Valve releases specs for prototype Steam Machines based on Linux

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Today in Open Source: Valve's Steam Machine prototype specs. Plus: Linux for astronomers, and the best Android antivirus apps

Valve Steam Machines Prototype Specs

More details are slowly being revealed about Valve's gaming prototype Steam Machines. ZDNet reports on just what you can expect in the first 300 units.

Another week has gone by, and Valve has parceled out a few more nuggets about the Steam Machine. It looks like the prototype systems will have specs similar to Windows-based gaming PCs. In particular, they will make use of a variety of Intel Core processors, with the quad-core Core i7-4770 mentioned specifically. No AMD in sight here. They will also come with 16GB of DDR3-1600 RAM and storage ranging from 1TB to 8TB via hybrid disk drives.

Linux games gain SteamOS

In terms of graphics, lower-end Steam Machine prototypes will include the Nvidia GeForce GTX 660; others will feature GTX 760 or GTX 780 cards, while the upper echelon systems will come with GeForce GTX Titan monster cards.

More at ZDNet

I love the fact users will be able to upgrade their Steam Machines instead of being locked into a particular hardware spec. That's much better than what Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo have allowed in the past with their consoles. Choice is a beautiful thing.

Distro Astro 1.0.2: Linux for Astonomers

I've got a full review of Distro Astro 1.0.2 at Desktop Linux Reviews. It's a distribution for Linux users who are interested in astronomy.

One of the great things about Linux is that there really is a distribution for everybody, even astronomers or folks who would just like to learn a little bit about astronomy. If that’s you then you’ll want to take a peek at Distro Astro 1.0.2. Distro Astro is all about learning about our solar system and the universe itself.

Distro Astro comes bundled with a great selection of astronomy applications (more on that in the software section), and it’s based on Ubuntu and Linux Mint. So it’s easy to install and use, even if you’re new to Linux.

More at Desktop Linux Reviews

Best Android Antivirus Apps

Malware and viruses have been a big headache for some Android users. PC Mag has a helpful roundup of the best Android antivirus apps.

Android is the most popular operating system on the planet. It powers everything from handsets in Korea, to Kindle Fires in Oslo, to video game consoles in New York. But on the Internet, success encourages attacks. That's why we've assembled this list of the best Android security apps for 2013.

avast! Mobile Security & Antivirus

Bitdefender Mobile Security and Antivirus 1.2.3

Lookout Security & Antivirus Premium 8.13

Kaspersky Mobile Security

Trend Micro Mobile Security & Antivirus 3.0

Norton Security antivirus

McAfee Antivirus & Security

Bitdefender Anti-Theft

LastPass Premium Password Manager

More at PC Mag

I'm firmly in the "better to be safe than sorry" camp on this. So it's a good idea to use some sort of antivirus protection on your Android device. This list is a good way to get started protecting yourself against the nasty stuff that's out there for Android.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

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