Story 2015-02-07

Hotel staffed by robots to open in Japan

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in hardware on (#2WYX)
story imageThe world’s first hotel staffed almost entirely by robots and controlled by the latest in computer technology is slated to open, yes, in Japan. The hotel will initially be staffed by 10 robots working alongside humans to provide a wide range of services from manning the reception desk to carrying bags and cleaning rooms. The management hopes to eventually "have more than 90 percent of hotel services operated by robots.”

In addition to the robots, the 72-room facility will feature high-tech gadgetry. Instead of traditional air conditioning, for example, rooms will feature radiation panels that will automatically detect body heat and create a “comfortable indoor environment with no unevenness.” Hotel guests will also be able to access their rooms using facial recognition technology instead of room keys. The Henn-na is planned to be built in two stages, with the first stage opening July 17. A second stage will consist of an additional 72 rooms and is due to be completed the following year.

First Ubuntu smartphone on sale in Europe, in limited numbers

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in mobile on (#2WYV)
story imageThe world's first Ubuntu phone goes on sale next week in an attempt to carve out a place for the Linux-based OS in the mobile space. Canonical said the limited launch is aimed at "avoiding the pain faced by other platforms" that tried to push their handsets to the mass-market too early, and they must work hard to get the Ubuntu Phone noticed. It will also be giving handsets to a select group of "enthusiastic Ubuntu and bq users" in London today.

Unlike the failed Ubuntu Edge concept, which was sold as a desktop/phone hybrid, the Aquaris E4.5 is more typical smartphone hardware. Parrino believes the phone's selling point will be Scopes. Scopes are full screen menus that show content stored both on the phone and on services you use. "On Ubuntu content and services are delivered directly to the screen without hiding them behind apps and the app icon grid," said Parrino. He played down the prospects for Ubuntu for Android.

First Tizen Phone Released

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in mobile on (#2WYS)
story imageSamsung has finally released Tizen OS on a phone, something they've been planning on doing since 2012. Tizen has a strange, strange history, half Intel, half Nokia, half Samsung, supported by the Linux foundation for reasons unknown. Now apparently its making its debut in India on a budget phone. Ars has a comprehensive review.

Popular Distribution 'Crunchbang' (#!) Stops Development

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in linux on (#2WY9)
It seems that the Debian based distribution's time has finally come. Crunchbang (#!) Linux has decided to end the project. The project's developer Philip Newborough writes:
I have decided to stop developing CrunchBang. This has not been an easy decision to make and I’ve been putting it off for months. It’s hard to let go of something you love.
He goes on to reason that:
I’m leaving it behind because I honestly believe that it no longer holds any value, and whilst I could hold on to it for sentimental reasons, I don’t believe that would be in the best interest of its users, who would benefit from using vanilla Debian.
With friends using this on their main machines, and as an old #! user myself with the distribution sitting on a couple of old laptops, I'm personally sad to see it go. It will be interesting to see what comes out of this announcement.