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07.21.08

Links 21/07/2008: More Large Companies Sidle with GNU/Linux, X Snubs NVIDIA BLOBs

Posted in News Roundup at 3:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

  • Intel snubs Microsoft; offers Linux certification

    Intel’s enthusiasm for open source is gathering speed: now it is endorsing professional Linux certifications, snubbing the old Microsoft certification program.

  • Intel UMPC chip enters service as server CPU

    Yes, we’re talking Intel’s Atom, specifically the 1.6GHz 230, which Bytemark’s now using as the basis for what it claimed were its lowest-cost dedicated Linux-running servers yet.

  • Alitheia Online Demo Available
  • Why do GNOME people always play the man?
  • RS: Ministry backs localised GNU/Linux distribution and CMS

    The Serbian Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Society last month presented Cp6Linux, a GNU/Linux distribution translated into Serbian, based on the GNU/Linux distributions Debian and Ubuntu.

    The localisation of the GNU/Linux distribution was carried out by the School of Electrical Engineering of the University of Belgrade. Its name is derived from the Cyrillic writing of ‘Serbian Linux’, “срб-линукс”.

  • Stuff That Works With Linux #1
  • Review: Sabayon Linux 3.5S

    abayon 3.5 is a definite step up from 3.4a, despite only being a single subversion higher. The improvements and changes allow for a very complete, complex, yet simple and easy to use Linux distribution that can serve the needs of everyone from the UMPC and older PC users to those with the latest, greatest hardware. Sabayon Linux 3.5 really has a something for everyone, and it does an excellent job of fulfilling their motto of “Dreams we can believe in.” And Sabayon 3.5 is more than a dream I can believe in, it’s a reality I can use and trust.

  • Installing Mandriva 2008.1 on the ASUS Eee PC

    Out of the many distributions that work on the Eee PC, Mandriva Linux 2008 Spring (or 2008.1) is one that works exceptionally well. It can be installed to the built-in SSD or onto an external SD card.

  • Brazilian Federal Court Unifies IT Infrastructure With Red Hat Solutions

    Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Distrito Federal Justice Court (TJDFT) has implemented Red Hat solutions across the IT systems of its 16 courts and is leveraging the performance, security and cost-effective benefits of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Cluster Suite.

  • Face off: Windows vs Linux real world RAM and disk tests

    Forget fear, uncertainty and doubt. How do Windows Vista and Linux really compare against each other? It’s one thing to talk about the familiar applications available to Windows users contrasted with the rich suite of free open source apps for Linux, but something totally different to actually compare the loads of the two operating systems as they perform functionally identical tasks.

    [...]

    Windows’ memory usage went up by 0.07GB, or 71.68MB. The CPU still fluctuated madly but hung around 20%. Under Fedora, memory usage increased by only 50MB and with a maximum processor utilisation of 4%, shortly resuming to 1% while sitting idle (with Windows still jumping all about.)

Ubuntu

Devices

  • Linux-powered CherryPal uses just 2W

    The CherryPal mini-desktop runs an embedded version of Debian on a Freescale processor running at 400MHz, with 256MB of RAM and 4GB of internal flash storage.

  • Towards using the FreeRunner as my primary phone

    First of all, having a phone that you can SSH into and do all the usual Linux-y stuff on is very, very, cool. When you plug the phone into your GNU/Linux computer it appears as a device on the other end of a new network interface usb0. An SSH server is configured and works out of the box. You need to do a small amount of configuration to let your FreeRunner use your computer’s connection to get to the internet.

    [...]

    I installed a PDF reader and downloaded a couple of e-books to the phone. Astonishingly I can (pretty comfortably) read pages formatted for printed books on the FreeRunner’s screen.

  • Jailbreak for iPhone 3G released: how to use
  • Q5 interview – John Bruggeman, Wind River

    How important is Linux and move to open-source environments?

    Growth of Linux went faster than anyone thought it would. For us the Linux business has grown from zero to $50m in 24 months. Most of our Linux customers originally experimented with free software and then they discovered the hidden costs.

  • Automotive Linux drives innovation

    There are vendors developing embedded operating systems for the automotive infotainment market but they do not have the scale to bring all the new and exciting capabilities to the equipment quickly. Well established real-time operating systems such as Wind River’s VxWorks can have around 50,000 developers and still can’t provide all the required drivers and interfaces in the time needed.Because of this, a number of large car and equipment manufacturers have been working on ways to provide innovative new equipment designs.

  • Timesys Announces Embedded Linux Support for TI OMAP(TM) 35x
  • Linux-friendly SBC is cool, rugged type

F/OSS

Security

Leftovers

Quick Mention: Richard Stallman Explains Software Patents in New Interview

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, IBM, Oracle, Patents at 6:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In this good new interview with Richard Stallman you’ll find his current stance on and interpretation of the defunct system. This includes the Great Illusion that intellectual Monopolies ‘protect’ developers rather than achieve the very opposite.

This is the most crucial thing for people to realize about software and patents. It’s not a matter of patenting a program; it’s a matter of patenting the ideas that the developer puts together to make a program. Far from being something beneficial for software developers, instead, it’s a dangerous for a software developer to develop a software package–he likely to be the victim of a patent law suit.

Look who has just been trolled over software patents?

International Business Machines Corp., Oracle Corp. and SAP AG were sued by a closely held company that accuses them of infringing its patents.

Implicit Networks Inc., based in Seattle, claims the three companies and Adobe Systems Inc. are violating two patents for computer-server software that performs faster security functions. The patents were issued from 1998 and 2001 applications.

But you know what they say: there is no “innovation” in application, unless software patents is enforced. Supportive evidence seems to be lacking.

“I think that “innovation” is a four-letter word in the industry. It should never be used in polite company. It’s become a PR thing to sell new versions with.”

“It was Edison who said “1% inspiration, 99% perspiration”. That may have been true a hundred years ago. These days it’s “0.01% inspiration, 99.99% perspiration”, and the inspiration is the easy part. As a project manager, I have never had trouble finding people with crazy ideas. I have trouble finding people who can execute. IOW, “innovation” is way oversold. And it sure as hell shouldn’t be applied to products like MS Word or Open office.”

Linus Torvalds (last week)

Microsoft is Paid for Ubuntu-based Dell PCs

Posted in Dell, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell at 5:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

‘Codecs tax’ added

T

his seems like a sensitive subject, so it’s worth beginning with a clarification that the author hasn’t bias against Ubuntu (used it since the first version, alongside other GNU/Linux distributions). The decision from Dell to sell PCs with GNU/Linux preinstalled was fantastic too and it opened the door to similar offers from other competing OEMs.

What follows is intended to be constructive criticism, so it’ll be kept more polite and less ambiguous than the last time.

“There are no easy solutions here and it is perhaps why selling machines with no operating system and without the taxation should be needed.”The relationship between Microsoft, Novell and Dell is mysterious and very little is publicly known about the financial arrangement between Dell and Canonical. Nevertheless, every now and then, some people carry on complaining about the price of Ubuntu PCs from Dell. They are sometimes more expensive than equivalents with Microsoft Windows or are delivered without bonuses (hidden value).

On the face of it, one low-key addition to the latest expansion from Dell (availability of Ubuntu 8.04[.x]) is “licensed codecs”, where license is a fancier term for the payment to acquire binaries — or rather the permission to taint the GNU/Linux distribution with them. It seems unnecessary to revisit the endless debate about the harms of proprietary software, including such codecs especially where they are acquired in this fashion.

This nugget of information was made a little more apparent in the following article.

Dell began to address those problems with the 7.10 release by adding legal support for DVD playback. With the 8.04 release, Dell is going a step further and will be adding licensed codecs for common audio and video formats.

There are several issues here. Firstly, the price of GNU/Linux can be controlled (elevated) above the cost of proprietary software simply because files encoded in a certain way are spread among people. These are different (and legal) ways of obtaining such codecs.

In the case of Dell, you do not get any choice but to pay for proprietary software (preinstalled even) which is costly and essentially pays Microsoft for software patents, probably even in Europe.

There are no easy solutions here and it is perhaps why selling machines with no operating system and without the taxation should be needed. It’s called unbundling and it’s a state where people are permitted to just buy bare hardware from the Big Vendors. Microsoft fights this fiercely using daemonisation terms like “naked” (as in “naked PCs”).

Ubuntu on Dell PCs is not free. Not gratis and not libre. They seem to be turning it into another Linspire and that won’t help Linux (where the sense of freedom is diluted) or promote the advantages of Free software. GNU/Linux does not ‘win’ if it simply devolves into another OS X for wider acceptance.

Links 21/07/2008: New Pushes for Free Software in India, South America

Posted in News Roundup at 5:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

  • Welcoming Brian Proffitt (and looking forward to the LDN)
  • The Wikipedia ‘Naming Controversy’ by Joshua Gay

    On the English version of Wikipedia there is an article that discusses the naming controversy over whether one should call the operating system “GNU/Linux” or “Linux.” In that article, some contend that Linux is the more popular and common name for the system. But when writing an encyclopedia, neither popularity nor commonality are the paramount concerns. Calling the system “GNU/Linux” is more factually accurate, as the GNU project largely forms the base of all distributions of the operating system. For example, GNU packages accounts for 14.79% of the 16.5GB of source packages used to build the Main repository of the gNewSense GNU/Linux distribution (deltad). They also constitute 6.69% of the 27GBs of source packages from which the Universe repository is built. Linux weighs in at about 253MB and accounts for approximately 1.5% of the source code needed to build the Main repository. Furthermore, Linux itself is generally built using GNU libraries and GNU tools, and on many systems depends on them being there.

  • Top 5 Awesome Linux Distro Upgrades Coming Out in Second Half of 2008

    1. Debian Lenny 5.0 (around September)…

    2. Fedora 10 (October)…

    3. Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex (October)…

    4. Gentoo Linux 2008.1…

    5. Puppy Linux 5.0….

  • Former Delta Exec Whitehurst Riding High At Red Hat’s Helm

    “We have almost too many opportunities,” he said in an interview. “We have to really focus hard.”

    Red Hat, with $523 million in sales last year, gets much attention for its size. It’s long been the largest company focused on open-source Linux. It serves as an example for others that want to use open-source software to build a business worthy of Wall Street’s attention.

  • Linux at Lowes

    I don’t think the employee would have had a clue what Linux was or why I would be curious, but I was. I’m willing to bet that computer maintenance costs are extremely low at Lowes compared to Windows based businesses of the same size. I’m sure they have some Windows boxes somewhere, but on the floor, it looked Linux on almost every monitor I saw.

    Curious about how long they had been using Linux, I did a quick Google search and found that I wasn’t the only eagle eyed shopper spotting Linux at Lowes, the subject has been kicked around for at least three or four years.

  • NComputing: Little Box, Big Aspirations
  • Join the first Maemo Summit
  • 10 things I’ve overheard about my Linux laptop while on public transportation

    I’ve been taking the train to work for 4 years now. It’s a 45 minute rambling ride in which I usually either read a book, sleep, or grab my laptop loaded up with Ubuntu and get some stuff done. Over time, I’ve collected a few funny remarks I’ve either over heard, or that people have said directly to me. Here are the 10 best.

    1. That’s not windows, it’s a Mac! (One teenager to another).
    2. Where’s the start button? (Asked directly to me on a train).

  • [KDE4:] Leaving the mockup phase
  • Compiz Fusion – Unmatched 3D Environment in Linux

    Think Aqua interface in Mac OSX and 3D Flip in Windows Vista was the best looking Operating system? Ever thought that the 3D effects on hacker’s desktop shown in movies are not for real? No need to think again, just read on because the freedom and flexibility Compiz Fusion provides is beyond imagination.

  • Simplis GNU/Linux: A new face in GNU/Linux Town

    For the first public release of Simplis it is almost a perfectly stable distribution with some small issues with package management which I think can be easily fixed.

  • Look for the silver lining

    Clamping down too hard on pirates may also encourage people to switch to free, open-source alternatives. “It’s easier for our software to compete with Linux when there’s piracy than when there’s not,” Microsoft’s chairman, Bill Gates, told Fortune magazine last year.

  • Mandriva – Linux 2008 Spring review

    The latest Mandriva Linux distro includes the usual updates to the component parts plus a number of extras such as support for the Asus Eee PC and tools to synchronise data with Windows Mobile 5 and other handheld devices. Multimedia support is much improved in this release and parental controls added for home users. There’s no server implementation but it’s a good desktop for Linux learners.

  • Azingo to raise Rs 200 cr

    Azingo, a US-based company that offers a complete open Mobile Linux stack, will be raising $50 million (approximately Rs 240 crore) in a Series-B funding from US-based private equity firm Garnett Helfrich Capital and a few strategic partners by the end of the current financial year. The company, which has its research and development (R&D) centres in Hyderabad and Pune, had earlier received $30 million (Rs 125 crore) from Garnett.

Ubuntu

F/OSS

Rights

Microsoft

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