When Google took over Motorola an year ago, the speculation was that Google would simply sell off the hardware division of Motorola since they are only interested in the patents. But the arrival of Moto X proved everyone wrong. And now, Google is really starting to bring more life into Motorola. Project Ara is what its called. Remember Openmoko? It is similar but only better. Project Ara intends to create a free and open hardware platform for smartphones, where the users will be able to replace/upgrade hardware components at ease.

motorola project ara - open hardware platform
Much like the previous Ubuntu 13.04, the latest Ubuntu 13.10 "Saucy Salamander" is also an incrementally updated release with no major visible changes. But that is to be expected with Unity slowly maturing as a robust desktop alternative. For a more detailed analysis, wait for our full-blown review of Ubuntu 13.10. For now, here are a few things you could do after installing Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander to make it even more tuned to your needs.

15 Things to do After Installing Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander
Lightbeam is a Firefox extension that debuted as Collusion in 2011 and created by Mozilla software developer Atul Varma as an experimental add-on to visualize browsing behavior and data collection on the web. Watch this highly rated TED talk where Mozilla's Gary Kovacs introduces the Collusion add-on. Using interactive visualizations, lightbeam lets you see the full depth of the web today, including parts that are not transparent to an average user.

lightbeam firefox add-on to track websites that monitor you online
When it comes to Ubuntu pre-installed laptop and desktop offerings, System76 pretty much pioneered the movement. Now they have come up with the first ever touchscreen enabled Ubuntu laptop called Darter UltraThin. It features a 14.1" 1080p full high definition touch display with glossy finish. Shipment will begin by the week of October 28th. But you can already pre-order Darter Ultrathin for $5 ground shipping in the US through October 28th.

ubuntu touch laptop darter ultrathin by system76
Towards the release of a major Ubuntu version, a lot of people writes to us seeking help regarding corrupted ISO image file problem. This can be because of so many reasons. At one point, the default Startup Disk Creator failed every time and I had to rely entirely on UNetBootin for creating Ubuntu based bootable USB drive. There can be other reasons too, prominent one being the .iso file corruption. Let's find out how to check the authenticity of an ISO image file (it can be Ubuntu or any other distro) that you downloaded for creating a bootable live USB.

ubuntu iso image authentication
Spotify for Linux has released its latest version, Spotify 0.9.4, with new media key support along with a host of other improvements. Though Spotify is still not available in many countries, it is an immensely popular music streaming service with nearly 20 million active users as of December 2012. Here's how you install the latest Spotify for Linux client in Ubuntu and other debian based distros like Linux Mint, elementary OS etc.

install spotify in Ubuntu
Be it Ubuntu or any other platform, one thing I learned over the years is the fact that people like to download their favorite YouTube videos and would want to keep a local copy of it no matter how hard it is. Luckily, there are plenty of tools to do this in Ubuntu without any hassles. Here, we'll explore 5 of the most capable YouTube video downloading tools for Ubuntu.

top 5 youtube video downloading tools for ubuntu

download from ubuntu software center

Minitube: When it comes to "conventional" YouTube video streaming and downloading in Ubuntu, nothing beats Minitube. You can type any keyword, and Minitube will give you an endless stream of videos to watch, as simple as that. Minitube does not use the Flash Player either, which means lesser CPU consumption. And of course you can download videos in the quality you choose with the click of a button. What more, Minitube is available for download in default Ubuntu repositories (Edit: Ubuntu 16.04 LTS supported). Click the link above.

top 5 video downloading tools for ubuntu

best 5 youtube video downloading tools for ubuntu

Youtube-dl: Command line tools are a big no-no to many. But I would argue otherwise. Youtube-dl is the best and easiest way to download YouTube videos in Ubuntu. It is fast and obviously nimble. And make no mistake, it has quite a wide range of functionalities. But if all you need is to download the best quality version of a particular video, open up the Terminal and type "youtube-dl<space><link to the video>". Does that look complicated? A more detailed installation and how-to-use instructions can be found in our previous post on Youtube-dl.

top 5 youtube video downloading tools for ubuntu

Gmediafinder: A good Minitube alternative loaded with YouTube streaming and downloading capabilities. In my experience, Minitube has been more stable and a little bit more easier to use when compared Gmediafinder. But it gets the job done. To install it though, you have to add the following PPA and it is not readily available in Ubuntu Software Center (Ubuntu 12.04, Ubuntu 12.10 and Ubuntu 13.04 supported). Just do the following in Terminal.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:s-lagui/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gmediafinder

5 ways to download youtube videos in ubuntu

Movegrab: Yet another command-line tool for downloading YouTube videos in Ubuntu. Somehow, I am finding it difficult to download YouTube specific videos using Movgrab at the moment, even though I didn't had any problem with sites like Dailymotion. Many consider Movgrab to be a superior alternative to my favorite Youtube-dl. More details and how-to-use instructions on Movgrab at WebUpd8. Do the following in Terminal to install Movgrab.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install movgrab

top 5 youtube video downloading tools for ubuntu
YouTube Downloader Script: Here's a simple cross-browser script that will add a download button to the YouTube page, literally. It will let you download your favorite videos in MP4 format (HD, Full HD and even 4K supported). See installation instructions below,

For Firefox: You need to download Greasemonkey extension for Firefox first. Afterwards, simply visit the script download page and install it.
For Chrome/Chromium: Install Tampermonkey extension first. And then, like before, visit the script download page and hit Install button on top.

Make no mistake, almost all the tools featured above (except the cross-browser script) does support other popular sites like Dailymotion, Vimeo, Metacafe, Liveleak, Blip.tv etc. apart from YouTube. Try them out and let us know your feedback. Thanks for reading.

Recommended: Top 5 Video Editors for Ubuntu/Linux
Google's now-famous driverless cars initiative seems to have kick-started a new kind of war. Various manufacturers are fighting tooth and nail to bring the most advanced driverless car technology to the market as fast as they can. But what's even more intriguing to me was the presence of Ubuntu, first on Google's driverless cars, and now here, on this Mercedes-Benz driverless research car. Autonomous long-distance drive technology demonstration on a Merc.

Ubuntu Spotted on Merc's Driverless Research Car video
The capabilities of Ubuntu OS is known well outside its enthusiast circles. The recent discovery of Ubuntu OS at the heart of Google's driverless cars is a perfect example. And that is not an isolated case either. Seems like the branch of French Armed Forces in charge of public safety is the latest to understand the cost-benefits of using open source software. 

French Armed Forces Switches 37,000 PCs to Ubuntu
Ubuntu App Showdown contest was a huge success last year. Though the inactivity or the lack of continued development of many important apps raised some questions about the contest's real value, it was still quite an achievement by any stretch. This year's contest was dedicated to Ubuntu Touch specific apps. Here are the winners of Ubuntu Touch App Showdown 2013.

Ubuntu Touch App Showdown 2013 Winners