Chinese OS Ubuntu Kylin 13.10 Alpha 1 (Saucy Salamander) Officially Released

Ubuntu Kylin, a new addition to the Ubuntu family that aims to provide a more suitable distribution for the Chinese users, is now at version 13.10 Alpha 1 (Saucy Salamander).

Ubuntu Kylin 13.10 Alpha 1 has joined the other releases, along with Kubuntu, Lubuntu, and Ubuntu GNOME.

Highlights of Ubuntu Kylin 13.10 Alpha 1 (Saucy Salamander):

• Unity Music Scope for China has been added;
• A China Weather Indicator has been implemented;

Development Release: SparkyLinux 3.0 Beta 2

Paweł Pijanowski has announced the availability of the second beta release of SparkyLinux 3.0, a Debian-based distribution with a choice of LXDE (default), Enlightenment, Openbox, JWM and MATE desktop user interfaces: "SparkyLinux 3.0 beta 2 ‘Annagerman’ has been released. Sparky 3.x has been built from the ‘testing’ branch….

eBook Conversion Software Calibre 0.9.37 Supports Font Embedding

Version 0.9.37 of the eBook reader and management software Calibre was announced on June 28, marking a milestone for this amazing software.

The development of Calibre is going smoothly and fewer bugs remain with each edition. Even if it’s still pretty far off from a 1.0 release, Calibre can be considered stable….

Google Earth 7.1.1.1871 Released with Better Flight Simulator

Google Earth, an application that provides a virtual tour of most of the cities and locations on the planet, is now at version 7.1.1.1871.

Google has just released a major update for their Google Earth application, introducing a lot of new features and fixes.

Highlights of Google Earth 7.1.1.1871:

• The imagery is no longer blurry upon zooming in, when the cache is full;
• The font and tilt settings are now kept between sessions;
&bu…

The First Benchmarks Of Unity On XMir: There’s A Performance Hit

With Thursday’s announcement that Mir will ship by default in Ubuntu 13.10 on the desktop, many Ubuntu users were caught by surprise that this experimental display server will be ready by October. Up to now, Ubuntu 13.10 was expected to continue using …

Optaros: A Solution Partner’s Perspective on Magento Developer Certification

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Magento Gold Solution Partner Optaros sets the bar with twenty-five Magento Certified Developers, three Front End Certified Developers and numerous implementations that are bringing in over $400M annually.

Tell us a little about your business and how you became involved with Magento Enterprise Edition.

Optaros is a global digital commerce service partner that helps companies conceive, build and operate commerce solutions to accelerate revenue and decelerate costs. Part creative digital agency, part systems integrator, and part strategic consultancy, Optaros takes a holistic approach to creating exceptional commerce experiences for exceptional brands.

Optaros is 100% focused on digital commerce and the technology ecosystem that supports it. From core eCommerce and mobile to omni-channel and multi-channel experiences, Optaros delivers next generation tools and experiences that enable consumers at every digital touch point.

Optaros became involved with Magento Enterprise Edition in 2008 because it was the best open source eCommerce platform available with the flexibility to customize and integrate with our clients’ core systems.
Optaros is now a Gold Solution Partner and member of the Magento Advisory Board with twenty-five Magento Certified Developer Plus and three Magento Front End Certified Developers.

Optaros also built, hosts and supports some of the largest Magento Enterprise Edition powered sites, driving more than 5M visitors a day, 6,000 orders in peak hour and $400M in annual online revenue.

What are the key factors behind your success with Magento?

When speaking with large enterprise companies looking for an eCommerce platform, we are often asked why they should consider Magento Enterprise Edition. The question comes up because there is a common perception that Magento Enterprise Edition is not appropriate for bigger organizations, driven by its roots in enabling smaller businesses as an open source platform. But we have found that the opposite is true. In fact, it’s been Magento Enterprise Edition’s flexibility and scalability that have made our implementations so successful.

Flexibility

Our clients are typically large enterprises that are looking for a more agile – one that will grow and adopt new features quickly. The Magento team understands that they can only focus on the core platform and truly new capabilities will be driven by others. And our customers agree, seeing Connect as a unique opportunity for the community keep injecting fresh features into the platform. They feel that the this model, coupled with Magento Enterprise Edition’s relatively open architecture, will leave them less boxed-in and vendor dependent in the future.

Scalability

We have found that Magento Enterprise Edition, when set up and customized properly, can scale to support significantly large online businesses, well into the 100s of millions in turnover annually. These sites are also highly available. The Magento team recently announced the launch of 1.13, which incorporates new indexing features originally planned for 2.0. The statistics presented at the conference show the improvements making great strides toward supporting high-volume using the core platform.

Cost

When it comes to value, Magento Enterprise Edition leads the way. Compared to many of the other platform options available, Magento Enterprise Edition offers lower acquisition and operating costs. We have customers of all sizes who choose Magento Enterprise Edition because it is cost-effective, built on open source technology and lets them control and customize the look and feel, content, and functionality of their online stores.

Why did you decide to have your developers take the Magento Developer Certification exam?

The majority of our developers have been working with Magneto Enterprise Edition for years – before the Certification exam was even available. So when the opportunity came along, having them take the exam was a natural step for us to get their institutional knowledge recognized. The first developers passed the Magento Developer Plus certification shortly after it was released, then it became “viral” within our office. We organized study groups and we more than twenty people get certified in before the end of the year.

We also got involved in the new Front End Developer Certification Exam and, as part of the Advisory Board, we have been helping the Magento team and the Magento community ensure the certification matches the skills the developer need to implement successfully on the platform.

How many Magento Certified Developers do you current have on staff? How will having these certified developers help your business?

Optaros has one of the largest groups of Magento certified developers, with twenty-five on the scoreboard. As Optaros implements Magento Enterprise Edition for large accounts, we continue to focus on the Developer Plus certification. We are also investing in the Front End Developer certification that was announced at the 2013. We already have three Magento Front End certified developers.

What does this mean for our customers? It means they are guaranteed the highest quality solution, as well as better performance and lower maintenance costs. It’s also a proof of our commitment to Magento Enterprise Edition.

What drives you to do what you do?

Optaros is passionate about Digital Commerce, particularly when it comes to helping drive online success for our customers. Whether we’re building the best customer experiences imaginable, performing complex integrations or scaling the largest Magento Enterprise Edition implementation, Optaros is passionate about driving commerce success for companies of all types and sizes, from B2C retailers to branded manufacturers to B2B organizations and to multi-level retailers.

In addition to rolling out Magento Enterprise Edition as a single platform across multiple brands and business types, we are also well-versed in customizing Magento Enterprise Edition to support specific business models needs (e.g., multi-tiered marketing) and in scaling Magento Enterprise Edition for high throughput and performance.

Optaros also uses Magento Enterprise Edition when implementing Private Event Retailing (PER) experiences for customers. Whether it’s a flash sale site or a loyalty rewards program, Optaros’ PER solutions utilize Magento Enterprise Edition as a foundation for digital commerce sites that create a feeling of exclusivity among customers. PER initiatives help retail clients sell off excess inventory and build a new revenue stream while creating a feeling of exclusivity and urgency for customers.

To find out more about how Optaros can help you build a better eCommerce business with Magento Enterprise Edition, visit their listing page on our website.

Developers: find out how you can join the growing ranks of Magento Certified Developers.

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New Google Chrome 28 Improves the Sign-in Process

Google Chrome, a browser built on the WebKit layout engine that aims to be minimalistic and versatile at the same time, is now at version 28.0.1500.63 Beta.

A new Beta of Google Chrome has been launched, shortly after a stable and development version has been released.

Highlights of Google Chrome 28.0.1500.63 Beta:

• The applications is no longer trusting the sign-in process if it manages to navigate to another URL;
• The automated UI test…

Linux Kernel 3.9.8 Officially Released

Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the immediate availability for download of Linux kernel 3.9.8.

Linux kernel 3.9.8 brings just a few fixes, some driver updates, and improvements for various architectures.

“I’m announcing the release of the 3.9.8 kernel. All users of the 3.9 kernel series must upgrade.

“The updated 3.9.y git tree can be found at: git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-3.9.y and can be browse…

Wine 1.6-rc4 Released

The Wine development release 1.6-rc4 is now available.
What’s new in this release:

Bug fixes only, we are in code freeze.

The source is available now.
Binary packages are in the process of being built, and will appear soon at their respective do…

Radeon In Linux 3.11 Is Fantastic With PM, Sea Islands

The pull request for the Radeon DRM graphics driver changes for the Linux 3.11 kernel has been submitted. The open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver changes in this next kernel development cycle include dynamic power management (including ASPM) and s…

Intel Readies Its Last Graphics Changes For Linux 3.11

After having already prepared a number of changes for the Intel graphics driver in the upcoming Linux 3.11 kernel, Intel OTC has now published their last batch of changes they hope to see merged into this next kernel merge window…

BSD Release: GhostBSD 3.1

Eric Turgeon has announced the release of GhostBSD 3.1, an updated version of the project’s desktop-oriented operating system based on FreeBSD, with a choice of GNOME 2, LXDE and Openbox desktop user interfaces: "GhostBSD 3.1 is now available. This release is a respin of 3.0, including many bug….

Ubuntu Rushes Mir, XMir Into Ubuntu 13.04

Originally slated for inclusion in Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu will be providing Mir by default in the very next release, Saucy Salamander. Read more ….

New Staff Picks Selected in Magento Connect

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Congratulations to our new Magento Connect Staff Picks! Our Staff Picks highlight some of the best extensions in Magento Connect, extensions that are truly helping merchants improve their businesses. Staff Picks are selected from both Magento Enterprise Edition and Magento Community Edition extensions, and developed by both Magento Industry Partners and our ever-growing community of independent developers. Check them out!

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SimpleRelevance

SimpleRelevance allows you to send highly personalized, targeted email to your customers for better customer engagement and ultimately more revenue for your store.

 
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Bronto

The Bronto extension helps Magento customers to drive more sales faster by creating highly targeted lifecycle marketing campaigns that convert one-time buyers into repeat customers and motivate them to buy more.

 
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Addshoppers: Social Commerce Platform

AddShoppers helps you leverage social media to make more sales with smarter sharing buttons for eCommerce, social rewards to drive sales, actionable analytics, and way more.

 
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BrightPearl: Commerce Acceleration Platform

BrightPearl is a Commerce Acceleration Platform designed to help you grow your business faster and more profitably by managing inventory, orders, shipping, accounting and CRM in one place.

 
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Olark Live Chat

Olark’s on-page chat lets you answer questions immediately and keep your customers shopping.

 

How we picked them

Our algorithm for selecting Staff Picks is something of a secret sauce. It’s based on, but not limited to, the following criteria:

  • The extension offers something unique to merchants
  • It drives real value and benefits for merchants
  • Its extension and developer profiles are complete and well thought-out, including detailed benefits, feature functionality and service descriptions, as well as UI screenshots
  • The extension developer provides strong technical support
  • The extension has a good overall rating from the Magento Connect community, plus a good number of individual ratings
  • The extension’s Magento Connect page has strong, regular traffic
  • The extension is available for multiple recent versions of either Magento Enterprise Edition or Magento Community Edition
  • Magento Enterprise Edition extensions have few or no Magento Tech Support tickets (Not applicable to Community Edition extensions)

Want to be considered for Staff Picks?

Make sure you can check off as many of the above criteria as you can. Extensions that do not fulfill the criteria are not excluded or ignored, but the more of them you can check off, the better your chances of being selected. More importantly, improving your extension is also good for your business.

The following are easy ways to improve your chances of selection – and they are good for your business:

  • Improve your extension and developer profiles (e.g. focus on benefits and value, not just feature functionality. Sure features are great, but why should a merchant use them? What benefits will they get?)
  • Make sure you are supporting the latest version of either Magento Enterprise Edition or Magento Community Edition
  • Improve your developer support – customer service is everything!
  • Request reviews. Following up with your customers post-integration can not only help you understand how to improve your product, but it’s also great customer service. So follow up, ask questions, and request reviews!

Again, congratulations to our new Staff Picks! And thank you to all of the Industry Partners and independent developers that have posted extensions. Your extensions are driving real benefits for Magento merchants, enriching Magento solutions and improving the Magento ecosystem. Thank you – and keep up the good work!



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BTS Video 59: Vorago

This week, we meet Mod Chris L for details of the biggest boss fight yet: Vorago!

Squeal of Fortune: Crown of Seasons

A brand new tradeable rare item – the Crown of Seasons – can be made with items collected in-game and on the Squeal of Fortune between the 28th of June and the 8th of July.

Development Release: Kubuntu 13.10 Alpha 1

Jonathan Riddell has announced the availability of the first alpha build of Kubuntu 13.10, one of the four Ubuntu subprojects that have opted to release alpha images for public testing: "Early adopters of 13.10 can try out Alpha 1, now available for download or upgrade from 13.04. Highlights:….

Nvidia and AMD to Provide Support for Mir, Says Canonical

Canonical has released a ton of information regarding its Mir plans, but probably the most interesting fact unveiled is that they believe in the Nvidia and AMD support.

The Mir display server is currently under heavy development, but ever since the initial announcement a few months back, people have been wondering whether Canonical will manage to convince the GPU vendors to official support their endeavor.

According to their last statements, Canonical developers seem …

The Mir Display Server Will Be Default in Ubuntu 13.10, X Used as Fallback

Canonical has changed its plans regarding the adoption of the Mir display server and now it intends to bring it a lot sooner. In the initial announcement of Mir, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS was designated as the first OS to carry the new display server as the default option. The past few weeks have been fil…

Ubuntu GNOME 13.10 (Saucy Salamander) Alpha 1 Is Available for Download

Ubuntu GNOME 13.10 (Saucy Salamander) Alpha 1 has been launched on June 27, along with the Kubuntu and Lubuntu flavors.

This is the second release for this distribution, under the Ubuntu patronage, and the developers have managed to squeeze a lot of new features and changes.

Highlights of Ubuntu GNOME 13.10 Alpha 1 (Saucy Salamander) :

• Most of GNOME 3.8 has been included in the distribution;
• The new GNOME Classic session has…