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01.06.09

Links 06/01/2009: BtrFS in Linux, Instant-on Reviews

Posted in News Roundup at 10:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

  • Saving the Planet with Linux

    But putting on my objective journalist hat for a moment (that would be a raspberry beret), it’s safe to say that open source software has several environmental benefits over Store Boughten software.

    [...]

    With Linux you’re rid of almost everything physical. No shrink wrap, no cardboard box full of mostly air, not even a jewel box. Usually the original install is from a home-burned CD, though it can be done from a file or a flash drive. After that everything is just downloads from the repository, the digital equivalent of bringing your own bag to the grocery store.

  • The Bizarre Cathedral – 36
  • From Personal Computer to Impersonal Chameleon

    The easy swappability of bootable PC CD-ROM disks has been put to great use in the form of the live CD. With Live CDs like Ubuntu or Knoppix. The intriguing thing about these is that they do not change your PC in any way. They simple take it over for a while. When you reboot having removed the Live CD, the PC will revert to whatever it was before – generally whatever operating system is installed on the hard disk.

  • The Evolution Of An GNU Project

    First lets be honest GnoMenu is a fork of another project the “Gnome Vista Start Menu” by Chris Hughes. Most hard core Linux users looked at the menu Chris did as a cheap Vista look alike. In some ways it was but Chris also stated that other menu designs were possible yet no one really bothered to pay attention. Well almost nobody. Enter Helder Fraga who took Chris’ work and forked it into GnoMenu.

  • TORCS 1.3.1 released

    TORCS version 1.3.1 is available for download. The most important changes are reworked cars and tracks (Andrew, Bernhard, Christos, Daniel, Eckhard, Wolf-Dieter), new and better looking opponents (Andrew, Bernhard, Miguel, Wolf-Dieter), and a lot of little improvements and a few new features (Andrew, Bernhard, Brian, Christos, Eckhard, Eric, Jean-Philippe, Mart and some other people).

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: 2.6.29 development kicks off, improved 3D support

      Following the release of Linux 2.6.28 on Christmas Eve, the start of the hectic merge window phase of development for the next version was delayed for a few days of peace on earth, before business as usual, with Linus Torvalds begining to collect changes for 2.6.29 on the 28th of December. The 5400 odd patches so far adopted in 2.6.69 already include a number of major new features, such as kernel-based mode setting for Intel graphics hardware, the merger of the Sparc and Sparc64 directories, a V4L/DVB driver for the STB0899 chip and extensive changes to the XFS file system.

    • Appeal for BtrFS Inclusion in Kernel

      Chris Mason, lead developer of the copy-on-write BtrFS filesystem, has appealed for its inclusion in the Linux kernel.

  • Migrations

    • The New Year Linux Resolution: Switching to Linux for a Week

      My impressions of the Linux operating system are coloured by memories of the first time my computer-whiz friend unveiled his sort-of-new copy of Redhat Linux to me. “Check this out!” he said. “This OS doesn’t suck like everything Microsoft makes!” It came in an over-sized jewel case with 4 CDs, handed down second-hand from another computer-whiz friend who recommended we try it.

    • Tools for Migrating from Windows to Linux

      Taking baby steps to become more familiar with a new operating system can be as simple as revamping the OS already in use on your computer. It begins with unlearning Windows-born behavior to free up your mind for a new way of doing things.

    • [Tongue in Cheek:] I Don’t Like Linux Because …

      There is nothing that I miss about Windows. I am not a gamer and everything that I want to do, I can do in Linux or in a VirtualBox VM running Windows XP seamlessly in Kubuntu with KDE 4.2. Now that is cool! I get a shared desktop with a Windows bar on the bottom with full access to Windows programmes and a KDE panel at the top with full access to Linux applications. I can share devices, drag and drop and cut and paste. I can even use all of the eye candy that I like such as Compiz-Fusion. The only problem is that I seldom use Windows at all so my VM sits idle for months at a time.

  • KidZui

    • Linux desktop gains kid-friendly browser

      A start-up has launched a browser extension aimed at turning the Internet into a friendlier place for kids aged 3-12. Available in free and subscription versions, KidZui’s “KidZui” extension is said to provide a captive portal to 1.5 million pre-screened websites.

    • Let Your Geeky Kids Play Online With KidZui

      Fast forward just over two decades, and I now find myself worrying about the online activities of my two young girls, now aged 6 and 8, both of whom started using the computer when they were just three years old.

  • Boot

    • Hands-on: HyperSpace by Phoenix joins the instant-on fray

      Does your laptop take too long to turn on? Linux-based instant-on operating systems have turned up on plenty of recent laptops, such as the Splashtop-powered Asus N10J, and now Phoenix is jumping into the action with its HyperSpace OS, as featured on a handful of new Lenovo laptops including the S10 Netbook. We got a chance to get a hands-on preview with HyperSpace.

    • Phoenix HyperSpace: An Instant-On Linux Environment?

      Fifteen months ago we exclusively showed off SplashTop from DeviceVM, which was an instant-on Linux environment embedded into ASUS motherboards and since then it has worked its way into products from other OEMs (including notebooks). DeviceVM continues to work on further refining SplashTop by adding in virtualization support and other features, along with a promised developer SDK. Phoenix Technologies, the company producing the BIOSes for many of the motherboards on the market, is today introducing their SplashTop competitor. HyperSpace is the Phoenix Technologies product being unveiled this morning with several distinct differences from SplashTop.

    • Everyone’s free Linux: DeviceVM’s Splashtop

      Splashtop is a mini-desktop Linux distribution that’s based on the 2.6.20 Linux kernel. Currently, Splashtop comes pre-installed on pretty much all ASUS motherboards and on netbooks and laptops from ASUS, HP’s high-end VoodooPC division and Lenovo.

    • A peek at Phoenix’s HyperSpace fast-boot Linux add-on
    • The Open Source BIOS is Ten

      The firmware used to start up the hardware and load the operating system, the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS), is fundamental to the operation of a PC. It can be one of the major contributors to boot time on a PC. Most PCs use a commercial, proprietary BIOS, but steadily, open source firmware is making a place for itself. coreboot, previously known as LinuxBIOS, is one of the leading BIOS projects and is celebrating its ten year anniversary. Anton Borisov, who has researched the economics of open source firmware, talked to the developers behind the coreboot BIOS; Ron Minnich, who deals with largest supercomputers in the world at Sandia National Labs in California, Stefan Reinauer – CEO of coreSystems and Eric Biederman from Linux Networx.

  • Lists

    • My Top Five Linux Predictions for 2009!

      5.) A high profile school system somewhere in the United States will completely switch to Linux. Having had their fill of Windows viruses and needing to trim expenses, this school system will put Linux in all their classrooms. And they’ll be extremely happy with the results!

      4.) Linux netbooks will outsell Windows netbooks. Netbooks are ultra portable laptops with 6-8 hour battery time. Folks are going to discover that Linux netbook versions consume less power, come with more software and won’t get Windows viruses or malware.

    • Top 10 Linux Distributions in 2008

      Top 10 List

      1. Ubuntu. Based on Debian GNU/Linux, a popular Linux distribution. Its name comes from the Zulu word “ubuntu”, translated as humanity, describing the ubuntu philosophy: “I am who I am because of those around me,” a positive aspect of community. Ubuntu’s goals include providing an up-to-date, stable operating system for the average user, with a strong focus on usability and ease of installation. Ubuntu has been rated as the most popular Linux distribution for the desktop, claiming approximately 30% of desktop Linux installations in 2007.

  • Desktop Environments

    • The great window manager speed test.

      The regular readers of my blog would remember a few articles ago where I observed that some window managers don’t seem to be as fast in screen redraw speed as others. I stated that I would perform some tests and report the results. Well I did those tests and here are the results.

      [...]

      To summarise it all in a nutshell here are the final averaged scores again.

      KDE as the baseline at 1.0
      OpenBox is faster at 1.03
      XFCE is poor in its hometown at 0.85
      Enlightenment is ready for retirement at 0.80

    • Will the Gnome Project change version control system?

      At the end of 2008 the Gnome Project surveyed all users with a Subversion account for accessing the projects source code, asking them their opinions on version control systems, with an eye to the possibility of moving from the current Subversion based system, to a distributed version control system.

    • KDE

      • You’ve got branched!

        While this is great news for 4.2, it is even better for 4.3. This means that the SVN trunk is now exiting the /feature freeze/ state. This is a great thing for developers because the development becomes fun again (squashing bugs can not be labeled as fun), great for PlanetKDE readers since you’ll get real news from now on, and great for feature junkies for obvious reasons.

      • KDE 4.2 shaping up well

        Over the holidays i have spent lots of time in KDE 4.2 beta on openSUSE 11.1 and things look to be shaping up well. I have submitted a few bugs to upstream and hope to see those washed out when 4.2 is officially released.

  • Distributions

    • Linux Distro Review – Litrix 9.0

      Among the Linux distributions that have chosen Gentoo as base system, one of these is the Brazilian Litrix, a distro unknown for us Italians, but full of software. It’s the only Linux distribution based on Gentoo, who has worked in my laptop. Let me show what distinguishes this interesting distribution.

    • Mandriva

      • Mandriva One 2009:

        I love the look of Mandriva (GNOME). The colors are attractive, the packaged background is pretty, the icons look great, and after changing the window borders back to good ol’ Clearlooks, everything was just as I like it. Hell, flash support was even already available in Firefox. I haven’t tried to see if the system already supports DVD playback and such yet, but I expect it will. It’s nice to have a distro where these things are already supported, since that saves a bit of time after install.

      • Mandriva – Mandriva Linux 2009 review

        Another year has just started and with it comes a clutch of new Linux distro releases, among them the somewhat predictably named Mandriva Linux 2009.

        As with previous versions, the 2009 implementation of Mandriva Linux is predominantly designed for desktop rather than server use. As such it can detect and handle most desktop hardware straight out of the box, including wireless notebooks and the latest breed of lightweight ‘netbook’ devices.

    • Debian/Ubuntu/Derivatives

      • Debian 5 release approaches… binary blobs included

        The developers behind the Debian Linux distribution are preparing for the upcoming release of Debian 5, which is codenamed Lenny. The decision to move forward with the release follows a contentious vote over whether to permit the inclusion of binary blobs in the new version of the distribution. Consensus coalesced around a controversial proposal to “assume blobs comply with the GPL unless proven otherwise.”

      • My Experiences Installing Ubuntu

        When I installed Ubuntu onto my PC, a lot of my hardware worked on boot-up without any additional driver and software installations. However, to get everything working the way I liked, I had to follow the simple steps listed in various How-To’s and forum postings.

      • Linux & Teachers

        As few of you know, I’m a Computer Science student currently studying in F.E..
        The other day I was taking print outs from the college PC lab (as we call it). The official college time was over. Apart from me there was another friend of mine and our Computer Programming teacher. She was busy checking our assignments. I booted one PC and was pleasantly surprised to find good ol’ Ubuntu booting up. Normally here in India Windows is the norm in schools, universities and colleges. Hell, we still use Borland Turbo C compilers which are the relics from the stone age of modern computing.
        I asked my teacher , “Miss who installed Linux on that PC?”
        and she replied, “That isn’t Linux – It is Ubuntu.”

      • gOS and a bag full of mostly goodies

        Well, I have to say that I did go and look at gOS Gadgets…and downloaded it…and installed it on my daughter’s computer: P4 1.2Ghz or thereabouts, with 768Mb RAM and a 64Mb ATI video card. The following is not in any particular order and I’ve included pros and cons as I’ve gone along.

        [...]

        So, would I recommend it? Yes. Do I like it? Yes. More importantly, do my children like it? A resounding YES!

      • GOS 3 is Still the Best Linux OS

        A few months back I wrote a review about gOS on one of my blogs which received some raving reviews. I did not just review it, but decided to start using it as my default Linux desktop. So here is what I think after a month of using it as a default desktop.

        I am currently running gOS Gadgets 3.x on my system with 2GHz of memory on a 1.8GHz Core2Duo Intel Processor. The laptop has 250GB of hard disk space partitioned into three separate drives.

  • Embedded/Devices

    • Breadboard Contains Complete Linux PC

      Consisting of a Quad-band GRPS module and a SiRF3 GPS module, Round Solutions’ AarLogic C10/3 breadboard presents a complete Linux PC on a surface of 104 mm × 63 mm. The component includes interfaces for USB, RS232, and Ethernet components, as well as an SD-card reader to enable the expansion of the standard 4-Mb NV memory.

    • Superscalar ARM SoC runs Linux

      Freescale has launched a new Linux-ready system-on-chip (SoC) family based on ARM’s Cortex-A8 core clocked from 800MHz to 1GHz. The HD-capable i.MX51 integrates OpenGL ES 2.0 and OpenVG 1.1 accelerators, and will be be delivered in several variants suitable for specific consumer electronics and embedded applications, Freescale says.

    • From Hard Drives, Iomega Moves to Servers

      Iomega entered the market on Monday, in advance of the CES 2009 show this week, with the Iomega Home Media Network Hard Drive, a home server running a streamlined version of the Linux operating system.

    • A call for a Linux powered wearable PC

      Now while the above examples are just my concept of how easy it would be to assemble a wearable PC using what’s already out there, it does show that it is possible, is very desirable (I’d definitely be first to line up at the door to get one), and extremely practical. Now, the only thing we need is for either the FOSS community, or some major OEM (who supports Linux) to create such a device. With it, a lot of people could do a lot of great things.

    • Mobile Computing

      • “Zubuntu” keeps Zaurus spirit alive

        Ubuntu Linux 8.04 (Hardy Heron) has been ported to the Sharp Zaurus PDA in an open source distribution called “Zubuntu.” Developed by hacker Omegamoon, Zubuntu 1.0 uses the LXDE interface, and can now be booted (mostly) from flash memory.

      • Acer Aspire One Linpus Linux Lite recovery DVD online

        If you want to recover your Acer Aspire One netbook to its default state, Acer uploaded a disc image on its FTP server from the default Linpus Linux installation.

      • Easy Peasy Linux released for netbooks

        Ubuntu Eee is dead, long live Easy Peasy! This is a custom Linux distribution (Ubuntu 8.10 based), optimized for netbooks, especially the Eee PC series.

      • An Introduction to Intel’s Moblin Mobile Computing Platform

        Matthew Sacks explains how Intel’s Moblin open source project is helping mobile computing hardware and software developers to build mobile devices that are not just cooler and smaller, but better.

        The proliferation of mobile Internet devices is beginning to make waves in the computing community as the drive to create smaller, more powerful, more portable devices gains momentum. Mobile devices have become better at connecting to the Internet, and developers continue to add and improve features.

      • How MIDs Are Complicating Mobile Linux Development

        Mobile Internet devices are gaining in popularity, and manufacturers have increasingly chosen Linux as the operating system best suited for the device type. As the market segment begins to differentiate, developers should look to solutions that allow for more flexible development, writes Jason Whitmire of Wind River.

F/OSS

  • Vietnam to widely use open source software

    The Ministry of Information and Communications has issued an instruction on using open source software products at state agencies.

    Accordingly, by June 30, 2009, 100% of servers of IT divisions of government agencies must be installed with open source software; 100% of staffs at these IT divisions must be trained in the use of these software products and at least 50% use them proficiently.

    IT divisions at government agencies comprise the IT departments of ministries and government agencies, provincial and municipal Departments of Information and Communications.

    [...]

    The instruction also said that by December 31, 2009, 70% of servers of ministries’ agencies and local state agencies must be installed with the above open source software products and 70% of IT staff trained in using this software; and at least 40% able to use the software in their work.

  • ESA Embraces Open Source With New SAR Toolbox

    The European Space Agency (ESA) has released its Next ESA SAR Toolbox (NEST) freely as GPL for Linux and Windows. It provides an integrated viewer for reading, calibrating, post-processing and analysis of ESA (ERS 1&2, ENVISAT) and 3rd party (Radarsat2, TerraSarX, Alos Palsar, JERS) SAR level 1 data and higher.

  • Magazine: Oregon State’s Open Source Lab one of nation’s 10 coolest

    If so, you and hundreds of millions of other users have probably ended up at the Open Source Lab at Oregon State University, which was just named one of the nation’s “10 Really Cool University Networking Labs” by Network World, an information technology magazine.

    The recognition cites several of the lab’s features, especially its focus on open source software, which is freely available to anyone to download, use, adapt and pass on to others.

  • MuleSource Partners With FastConnect to Meet Rising Demand in France

    MuleSource, the leading provider of open source service oriented architecture (SOA) infrastructure software, today announced a partnership with FastConnect, a Paris-based IT consultancy, to provide Mule architecture and implementation services throughout the French market.

  • Free Software And Proprietary Dead-ends

    I’m really great with developers selling their work, but I believe they’re shooting themselves in their feet, if they use GPL’ed software in the first place as a platform or market, and then do not use the powerful legal tools at their disposal in the GPL and other free licenses, to leverage the reach and further refinement of what they do. And I believe users who are too impatient with open source communities and hobbyist free software developers and pay for themes and plugins help trap themselves and their developers in closed circles, which will lead them nowhere while the open communities grow stronger. There’s a real danger however, that great developer talent will wind up in these kinds of dead-end relationships, which doesn’t expose their projects to the open scrutiny of global free software communities. There’s also a real danger that open source software projects won’t spawn the businesses and startups they need, in order to create thriving communities and cultivate collaborative efforts to create even better architectures for facilitating the development of great free software. This may happen if developers and startups decline from using the GPL or other copyleft strategies, out of the misunderstanding and fear that they can’t make money on something which is “free”.

  • Cisco

    • Cisco Lawsuit: A Test for the GPL?

      “Though Jacobsen involved a different open source license, the Artistic License, some of the issues are similar,” Bennett said. “In Jacobsen, the court held that Katzner infringed Jacobsen’s copyright. That opened the door to copyright damages, including injunctive relief, which is typically difficult to obtain in a contract-based case. If FSF is able to establish that its copyright was infringed, many questions about the enforceability of the GPL could be answered.”

    • Cisco: Serving Up Open Source?

      Most folks are focusing on Cisco Systems’ consumer electronics push this week. But The VAR Guy is keeping one eye on the data center — where Cisco apparently is preparing to launch blade servers. If true, our resident blogger wonders: How soon will Cisco speed dial Red Hat, MySQL, Novell, SugarCRM and other open source application providers?

  • Drupal

    • Acquia Joins Red Hat Exchange Bringing Social Publishing Expertise to the Open Source Ecosystem

      Acquia, provider of the commercially supported distribution of the popular Drupal social publishing system, today announced that it has been selected to join the Red Hat Exchange (RHX), the trusted open source software and partner network managed by Red Hat. RHX is a program focused on helping organizations of all sizes access the benefits of software solutions that are powered by open source.

    • Benefits of a commercial open source arm

      One of my great Eurofriends linked me to his 2009 predictions piece over the holidays, noting that companies like Acquia are “appropriating returns from the commons.”

  • Predictions

    • Seven Predictions for Open Source in 2009

      1. Adoption of open source software will increase as the economy worsens. As the 2008 recession extends into 2009, it will change the software landscape as the economic “shock” forces businesses to make structural changes to their IT strategies to drive down costs. Open source software eliminates up-front licensing costs and drives down the total costs of new projects. It also introduces competition that will be used by customers to improve their negotiating position with the oligopoly of proprietary software vendors that dominate the market. Open source companies will see stronger year-over-year revenue growth than the proprietary software sector. Growth rates for propriety vendors will take a hit despite moves by traditional companies like Oracle to actually raise prices during the economic downturn. Oracle’s 45 percent increase on its BEA-acquired WebLogic application server, for instance, is causing customer migration to JBoss’ open source enterprise application server.

    • The difference a year makes

      In 2006/2007, most open source proponents argued that open source was the only way forward for the software market. Vendors were advised to adopt the open source business model completely or risk oblivion. Suggesting that there was room for both business models within a software vendor’s tool bag was an unpopular stance, sometimes to parties on both sides of the discussion.

  • Education

    • BETT 2009

      Do you want our Government and education system to waste your money on proprietary software like Windows, Anti Virus Software, Office 2000, 2003, 2007 etc and simply teach us how to use these products? “Just press CTL+ATL+DEL when it stops working Jonny”

      Or would you prefer to spend the money on more teachers, buildings, hardware etc and teach us how to use any computer and how the software works and how to improve it and how to collaborate and how to communicate and and and?

    • Sun offers free GlassFish education

      The secret to business according to Sun Microsystems’ chief executive Jonathan Schwartz is to first build volume and then figure out how to make money from the audience you’ve created.

      That’s what he told a small audience attending last November’s long-awaited JavaFX launch, and it’s the mantra driving Sun’s software strategy for the last few years.

Music

  • Amazon’s Best Selling MP3 Album For 2008 Was Available Legally For Free

    In other words, you could go on pretty much any file sharing system out there and legally download the music for personal use… and yet it was still the top selling downloadable album (this is on top of all the money earned by Reznor’s other business models associated with this album). Certainly puts a nice little cherry on top of the theme of my presentation.

  • As Rumored, Apple Gives Record Labels Variable iTunes Pricing In Exchange For Ditching DRM

    As was rumored last night by Greg Sandoval at News.com, it appears that Apple has worked out a deal with the major record labels (being confirmed as I type) where they will give up DRM (which is the direction they’ve been moving towards anyway) in exchange for variable pricing of music — which they’ve been salivating over for years. This has been a major source of contention between Apple and the record labels. Steve Jobs has stood firmly by the $0.99/song price, while the record labels specifically wanted to be able to price hit songs at higher prices. The dropping of DRM is nice, but hardly that surprising, given that pretty much every other online download store has been going DRM free. This just puts the final nail in the coffin for music DRM. One nice tidbit: you’ll apparently be able to upgrade your older DRM’d purchases to make them DRM free. That’s a good (and slightly surprising) move.

  • Obama Appoints Former RIAA Lawyer To Associate Attorney General

    However, his most recent tenure in private practice has had him representing the recording industry. Although specifics are hard to come by, according to his official biography, “Mr. Perrelli regularly represents the recording industry in cutting-edge intellectual property, technology, and anti-piracy litigation. He has represented the recording industry in a host of cases arising under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), as well as in copyright infringement and digital piracy litigation. He has also represented the record industry and recording artists in a series of copyright royalty proceedings before the Copyright Royalty Board.

Internet

  • Phorm plans international expansions of targeted ads

    Phorm has been marred by controversy since it emerged BT had carried out two earlier trials without customers’ consent. Mr Ertugrul stressed that the service is completely anonomised and the company does not store any records of websites visited by internet users.

  • Comcast Internet throttling is up and running

    COMCAST, the second-largest US cable television and Internet communications service provider, has a new broadband traffic throttling scheme installed and operating in all of its markets.

    The ISP’s new regime for restricting its customers’ bandwidth utilisation replaces its former stealthy practice of arbitrarily blocking subscribers’ peer-to-peer (P2P) upload traffic, which was criticised by the FCC last year after it was exposed by the Associated Press and others.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Digital Tipping Point: Marcelo Marques, visionary security networks entrepreneur 10 (2004)

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A Single Comment

  1. Diamond Wakizashi said,

    January 6, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    Gravatar

    The Windows garbageware admits it’s the problem!

    http://i37.tinypic.com/2vj2bk4.jpg

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    The Grand Corporations Party, or the political party which serves large businesses that are funding it, continues to just focus on a mirage of a 'reform' rather than tackle the real issues where culprits include very large businesses such as Microsoft and Apple


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