Windows 8: upgrade for $39.99

windowsMicrosoft is set out to make your upgrade to the new Windows 8 as easy as possible for everyone. Starting at general availability, if your PC is running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 you will qualify to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $39.99 in 131 markets. And if you want, you can add Windows Media Center for free through the “add features” option within Windows 8 Pro after your upgrade.

Read the Windows blog for more details.



GRUB 2.00 released

GRUB, also known as the GRand Unified Bootloader, is a modular, portable bootloader that supports a number of platforms, including standard BIOS-based PCs, EFI-based x86 (32-bit and 64-bit) and itanium systems, IEEE-1275 platforms (such as the OLPC and some PowerPC/Sparc64 hardware), coreboot, the free (as in freedom) pre-boot initialization framework, Yeeloong (laptop) and Fuloong2F (mini-box), free (as in freedom) Loongson-2F-based (MIPS compliant CPU) systems, big-endian mips ARCS systems (SGI), as well as bare i386 and mips (either endian) qemu. For the official announcement and full list of updates, visit this site.


Ubuntu To Ship on 5% of All PCs Sold Next Year

UbuntuUbuntu is on course to ship on 5% of the worlds PCs next year, Canonical’s Chris Kenyon has revealed. Kenyon, who helps lead sales and business development at Canonical, announced the gains during a plenary discussion at the Ubuntu Developer Summit on the company’s work with OEMs and ODMs.

Between 8 and 10 million Ubuntu units shipped ‘last year’, equating to around $7.5 billion dollars worth of hardware sales. That figure, Kenyon expects, will double to 18 million ‘next year’ which, he says, relates to some 5% of the world-wide PC market.

See the full article


GIMP 2.8 released

gimpGIMP 2.8 - a new stable version of GNU Image Manipulation Program has been released.

The new version includes some long-anticipated features such as layer groups, on-canvas text editing, advanced brush dynamics and the much desired optional single-window mode.
Some of the features are:

  • Single-Window Mode
  • Multi-Column Dock Windows
  • More Screen Real Estate For Dockable Dialogs
  • Save And Export
  • Layer Groups
  • Tools Drawn With Cairo
  • On-Canvas Text Editing (Finally!!)
  • Keyboard Shortcut Changes
  • Simple Math In Size Entries

and several others. Click here to read more about changes. Download it from here.


Interview with Mark Shuttleworth

UbuntuInteresting article from Mr Shuttleworth himself on Canonical, head-up display (HUD) and future development plans for Ubuntu. Ubuntu says it aims to offer users both a stylish interface and the benefits of being part of the open-source community. A system for anyone who needs a generic virus-free PC with Internet access or the next generation of tech entrepreneurs - people who are passionate about technology and want to do amazing things with it.

Here's the full article.


Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) Released

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS was released, with Linux 3.2 kernel and Unity 5.10. Download it from here.


  • Easy to trial or install
  • Fast and extremely stable
  • Updates install quickly and rarely require a reboot
  • Simple to add or remove applications via the Software Centre
  • Does not suffer from the concerted security attacks that are focussed on Windows
  • Free


  • Ubuntu's recent direction in user interface design, Unity, is still strongly disliked by some
  • Office applications are adequately supported, but — like all Linux distributions — Ubuntu cannot offer creative software that's comparable to the proprietary apps available for Windows and Mac OS X

LibreOffice 3.5.0 Final

libre-office-logoLibreOffice (a free and open source office suite developed by The Document Foundation as a fork of OpenOffice.org), released a new version on February 14th. Even though it is a minor release, it contains many changes and enhancements (unlike some applications - we are looking at you Firefox, with your versions race!).

Aside from bug corrections, the new features that we really liked (PostgreSQL native integration is a great addition, allowing users to create nice database forms in minutes):





Better UI for header/footer handling. Easily add header or footers. Quickly see what is edited with new changing text boundaries. Quickly edit or remove headers and footers without going through page styles formatting. (Cédric Bosdonnat)

New native driver for PostgreSQL databases (for versions > 8.4 - support for version 8.4 will be included in LibreOffice 3.5.1). (Lionel Elie Mamane)

New multi-line input bar in Calc. The arrow-control at the end of the toolbar allows to switch this on/off.  (Anurag Jain, Noel Power)


Google's iPhone Tracking

An interesting article by the Wall Street Journal, regarding tracking cookies. Google Inc. and other advertising companies have been bypassing the privacy settings of users using Apple's IPhone and computer browsers, tracking browsing habits and displaying ads based on the collected info. Nothing new really, but the day nears when Google will be one big evil giant. Very nice images and videos, describing the details of the process:


Read the full story.



Microsoft Security Essentials and Forefront Endpoint Protection flags Google search sites as a Exploit:JS/Blacole.BW. Microsoft issued the following statement:

"On February 14, 2012, an incorrect detection for Exploit:JS/Blacole.BW was introduced. On February 14, 2012, Microsoft released an update that addresses the issue. Signature versions 1.119.1988.0 and higher include this update."

If you are receiving this message, update your security definitions.

security essentials blacole