You can now run Linux apps on Chrome OS

For the longest time, developers have taken Chrome OS machines and run tools like Crouton to turn them into Linux-based developer machines. That was a bit of a hassle, but it worked. But things are…

While this is pretty exciting, it still seems like Crouton would be needed to be able to really work on ChromeOS as a full development environment. For example, unless you used a browser-based dev environment, like AWS Cloud9 or shelled into a remote server, you’d probably still want to set up an environment on your local filesystem – which means installing software such as Node, PHP, Ruby, (whatever you work on these days).

Update: It’s worth noting that, while not having tested it out myself, it sounds like these Electron-based applications aren’t super performant on ChromeOS – at least not until they get GPU support.

None the less, it’s still pretty cool to see how Chromebooks are evolving!

Source: You can now run Linux apps on Chrome OS

MATE Explained: A Look at One of Linux’s Most Enduring Desktops

This is a good write-up on the MATE desktop environment for Linux. I’ve only briefly tried out Ubuntu MATE on a Raspberry Pi and I thought it was pretty nice.

Unlike commercial operating systems, Linux lets you change your desktop environment. One of the most popular is MATE, but how good is it, and should you install it on your Linux PC? Let’s find out.

Source: MATE Explained: A Look at One of Linux’s Most Enduring Desktops

WordPress.com Teams Up with Rebrand Cities to Bring Local Businesses Online | The WordPress.com Blog

Cities are collections of neighborhoods — and neighborhoods are powered by small business. From coffee shop owners to fitness instructors, therapists to thrift stores, it’s the people we see in the storefronts next door who build and reinforce the unique character of our cities.

At WordPress.com, we want to support local businesses as they grow their own communities (and their revenue!) on the open web. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Rebrand Cities, a project founded by Hajj Flemings to bring small businesses online, in pursuit of an audacious goal: 10,000 new websites for 10,000 small businesses and to tell their stories.

Read the full article: WordPress.com Teams Up with Rebrand Cities to Bring Local Businesses Online — The WordPress.com Blog

Who Has Your Back? Government Data Requests 2017 | Electronic Frontier Foundation

In this era of unprecedented digital surveillance and widespread political upheaval, the data stored on our cell phones, laptops, and especially our online services are a magnet for government actors seeking to track citizens, journalists, and activists.

In 2016, the United States government sent at least 49,868 requests to Facebook for user data. In the same time period, it sent 27,850 requests to Google and 9,076 to Apple.1 These companies are not alone: where users see new ways to communicate and store data, law enforcement agents see new avenues for surveillance.

Read the full article: Who Has Your Back? Government Data Requests 2017 | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Changing Things Up

This past weekend, I decided to change things up a little bit on my blog. Nothing extreme – I’m still using WordPress but I moved my blog from WordPress.com to Pressable, a self-hosted solution. My main reason was so that I could be more helpful in testing out other Automattic products, such as Jetpack, as well as some new Core features, such as the beta Gutenberg editor. Additionally, a self-hosted solution will allow me to customize things a bit further that I would be able to on WordPress.com … but I don’t really plan to do a whole lot of that at the moment.

You may have also noticed that this blog has a new look. After a pretty decent stretch using the theme Revelar, I decided to switch to the default them from 2016 – Twenty Sixteen. I still think Revelar is a great theme. The main reason I switched is because I felt like Revelar is set up great for photography but, if I wanted to post a quick blurb or a standard blog post, I always felt pressured to come up with a good featured image. After exploring a few other themes, I found that Twenty Sixteen was exactly what I was looking for (after making a few very slight visual customizations). It looks great for photo posts with nice featured images, yet it still looks very nice for posts that don’t have/need one.

I’m hoping that this switch prompts me to blog a little bit more, since I don’t have to spend additional time worrying about imagery for non-photography posts. That being said, if you are looking for a more photo-based blog, Revelar is still a great theme!