Has Pear OS 8 jumped the shark by imitating Apple's iOS 7?
Today in Open Source: Pear OS 8 takes cue from iOS 7. Plus: A US government backdoor into Linux? And the openSUSE 13.1 beta
Pear OS 8 and iOS 7
iOS 7 was just released and it didn't take long for it to infiltrate Linux. The developer of Pear OS 8 is promising that the distro will take its cue from Apple's iOS 7.
David Tavares, the father of the Pear OS distribution, has just shared a screenshot on Google+, teasing Linux users with the iOS 7-inspired look of his upcoming Pear OS 8 operating system.
Image Courtesy of Softpedia
Looking at the screenshot above, we can see lots of resemblance with the newly released iOS 7 mobile operating system from Apple, and we have to admit that it looks pretty good.
I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. iOS 7 has caused a lot of controversy among users. Some like it a lot, and some flat out hate it. I suspect the same might be true of Pear OS 8 users.
The icons in the screenshot are certainly different than what one would expect from a Linux distribution. I wonder if this is going to catch on with other distros? Can you imagine the reaction from Linux Mint or Ubuntu users if they saw something similar after an upgrade?
Pear OS 8 might have jumped the design shark on this one. Oh my.
Linus Torvalds and A Backdoor into Linux
Techdirt has an amusing and also somewhat disturbing story about Linus Torvalds and the US government possibly seeking a backdoor into Linux.
At the LinuxCon meeting in New Orleans, Linus Torvalds was asked if he had ever been approached by the US government to insert a backdoor into the Linux kernel. Here's his characteristic answer:
Torvalds responded "no" while shaking his head "yes," as the audience broke into spontaneous laughter.
Obviously, it's hard to tell from that whether he really meant "yes" or "no". But the question does touch on an important issue: whether open source might be less vulnerable than traditional applications to tampering by the NSA or other intelligence organizations. That's plausible, because by definition free software's code is always available for inspection; the idea is that even if backdoors are somehow introduced, they will be spotted by people looking over the code.
It wouldn't exactly be a shock if the US government tried to do this. Hopefully it won't amount to anything. I found Linus' answer to be pretty darn funny though. You can't say the guy doesn't have sense of humor.
OpenSUSE 13.1 Beta Download
Softpedia is reporting that the first beta of OpenSUSE 13.1 is available for download. It might be a good idea to fire up VirtualBox and check it out if you want to take it for a test drive.
Being powered by Linux kernel 3.11.1, openSUSE 13.1 is built on top of the KDE Software Compilation 4.11.1 and GNOME 3.10 Beta 2 desktop environments, supporting both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures.
openSUSE 13.1 includes systemd 207, Mesa 9.2.0, LLVM/Clang 3.3, Wine 1.7, Samba 4.1, Amarok 2.8, Vim 7.4, TexLive 2013, Apache 2.4.6, PHP 5.4.19, TCL 8.6, and Bluez 5.
What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.