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Links 02/02/2009: Venezuela Hugs ODF, F/OSS Used by 75% of in APAC Developers

Posted in News Roundup at 1:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish


  • H & R Block Works with Linux

    We have used Linux based operating systems exclusively since 2001. Being able to do our taxes Online for free or for a nominal fee has always been our preferred way to get it done. We used to use Turbo Tax with the Mozilla browser until last year where we found that when they say it does not work with our operating system it really didn’t. Even after changing the browser identity information. Simply put they don’t want my business. OK. We get the hint we will just move along now.

  • Blood Frontier: The Latest Open-Source FPS

    Cube was early on one of the first open-source first-person shooter games designed around its own engine. The 3D graphics for Cube were not the best, but development of this game had been going on since 2001. Based upon the Cube engine was then the Sauerbraten game that was also referred to as “Cube 2″ with its engine being redesigned. Now though another game is emerging and its engine is derived from Sauerbraten. This game is called Blood Frontier and in this article we have a few screenshots of this game, which is working its way towards a stable release for the open-source community.

  • The next challenge for Linux

    This is not another lament about Joe Sixpack being too stupid to understand Linux. The problem is not that Linux is too complicated, its that Linux and Windows do things differently. Imagine someone who was raised on Linux; how would they react to Windows? Software installation would seem complicated and geeky, the single desktop would feel claustrophobic, and as for the idea of paying for software…

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Support For Microsoft’s exFAT File-System

      Introduced in Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and then last week as a Windows XP update was exFAT. exFAT, or the Extended File Allocation Table, is Microsoft’s new file-system for use on mobile devices like large USB flash drives. exFAT addresses the file-size and partition size limitations of Microsoft’s FAT32 file-system and brings other improvements to the table as well, albeit it’s proprietary. No read or write support for exFAT has yet to enter the mainline Linux kernel, but a set of read-only patches have emerged.

    • XRandR Gets Support For RandR 1.3 Features

      RandR 1.3 has come together for the X Server 1.6 release with namely new properties and panning support. Besides this update to the Resize and Rotate extension for the X.Org Server, xrandr, the command-line utility for controlling RandR-capable drivers/hardware, has been receiving improvements as well.

    • Kernel Log: What’s new in 2.6.29 – Part 4: ACPI, PCI, PM – notebooks and power saving improvements

      Following a one-week pause due to the LCA 2009, Linus Torvalds restarted the integration of patches into the development branch a few days ago, and has now released the third pre-release version of 2.6.29. In his release email, Torvalds points out a few changes made to improve the reliability of the system: suspend modes – changes that allow one of his notebooks to wake up reliably from power-saving mode. Our “What’s new in 2.6.29″ Kernel Log takes this opportunity to discuss the changes that concern ACPI, PCI, power management and the corresponding notebook drivers expected for 2.6.29.

    • Kernel Log: New stable kernels, AMD 3D documentation and Mesa 7.3 released

      Over the last two weeks, the kernel developers have released versions, and of the stable kernel and at the weekend they added versions and All of these versions incorporate corrections and minor improvements, including a whole set of patches, contributed by IBM’s Heiko Carstens, to eliminate a security vulnerability listed as CVE-2009-0029 that is said to affect only S390, PowerPC, SPARC64 and MIPS architectures. A little earlier, Torvalds accepted similar changes (1, 2 and 3) into the main development tree.

  • Desktop Environments

    • Xfce 4.6 Release Candidate 1 (Capybara) released

      Shortly after Beta 3, we are pleased to announce the first Release Candidate for Xfce 4.6. If no serious bugs are found, this is going to be the state of the final release (plus translation updates). This Release Candidate is the first 4.6 release that comes with graphical installers for the main components and goodies.

    • Gnome vs KDE in Ubuntu – 2009

      Two very popular Desktop Environments , that are used by two major Ubuntu distributions.

      Ubuntu uses as default Gnome and Kubuntu uses KDE. If we are to keep the facts straight we need to also take into consideration the versions. Ubuntu OS taken into consideration is 8.10 called (Intrepid Ibex). Ubuntu 8.10 uses Gnome 2.24 and Kubuntu 8.10 uses KDE 4.1.

    • KDE

      • Interview with Developer Dario Freddi

        It is with great pleasure that we publish this interview with Dario Freddi, the developer known as drf in the KDE community. For those who do not know, Dario dedicates his time to many aspects of KDE 4; PowerDevil for example, the power manager that has debuted in KDE 4.2, is the result of his hard work. Other projects which he contributes are Arch Linux and the Chakra Project, DeviceSync and PolicyKit-KDE! You can find much interesting information in his blog and in the various links here and there in this interview which comes from KDE Italia from last December.

      • Upgrading to KDE 4.2 in your favorite Linux distro
      • KDE 4.2 installation/upgrade on Debian,Kbuntu and OpenSuse
      • KDE 4.2.0 on my netbook

        It’s just great! Update from 4.1.4 went smoothly, thanks to Gentoo’s KDE maintainers, great work!

      • Five Improvements For KDE 4.3

        The new year has already brought us a nice treat in KDE 4.2. I found it to be a very solid desktop, yet with some issues that keep it from 100% perfection. I’m happy to say that 4.2 occupies all of the computers that I use, yet there are still some serious problems that remain. Last year I did an article similar to this one, detailing the things I feel would make the KDE desktop rise to a higher level of perfection, and now that KDE 4.2 is released, it’s time to do it again.

      • KDE 4.2: Usability Makes a Comeback

        All users, too, can appreciate the wealth of new applets, such as the Blue Marble Globe or RRSNow. There is even Bball, a red bouncing ball for the desktop that fulfills the apparent obligation for GNU/Linux desktops to have at least one useless widget.

      • Breathe KDE 4.2, Introducing Lancelot, New Dot…

        It is a peculiar feeling, although most of you who read my blog know what Lancelot is, and possibly using it already, KDE 4.2 is the first version that ships it. So, it is like Lancelot didn’t exist before, it is a new KDE application. Therefore, I’ll post here a small introduction of what it is.

      • My favourite KDE 4.2 feature: Task Bar And Window Grouping

        I was going to make it “Konsole Tabs Are Session Managed Again” but it’s a restored KDE 3 feature and all the kids know that commandline hacking is not cool.

    • GNOME

      • Desktop Flickr Organizer for GNOME users

        If you’re wondering how to organize your Flickr sets offline as well as your tags and comments, there is a way! Download and install Desktop Flickr Organizer. It helps you do the following:

        * Upload images – you could already edit its attributes: description, title, tags, privacy, sets, etc.
        * Manage your sets. You could even add new ones. This is one thing I can’t seem to do with Postr. With just a few drag and drop choices and synchronization you could easily update your sets. Sounds great doesn’t it?
        * Edit tags, titles, descriptions, privacy settings and licenses. If you uploaded everything already and forgot the stories behind the pictures, you could add them later.

      • Gnome 3.0/Interfaces in general

        Across the various planets, there seems to have been quite a lot of discussion about interfaces and how Gnome 3.0 should proceed. I think the most interesting of all these posts has been this one from Alberto Ruiz where he linked to this talk given by Aza Raskin. While I know very little about interface design and human computer interaction, it seems to me that many of his suggestions make a lot of sense and could help to tackle some of the problems people have with their computing experiences. I’m going to share some of my thoughts on this here, take it or leave it, but I at least hope those who are working on Gnome 3.0 interfaces will give some thought to Aza and his father’s work.

      • Gnome 3.0/Interfaces in general part 2
      • GNOME Mobile: bringing the desktop and the internet together

        GNOME is working on it. Partially with GNOME Mobile and partially with GNOME 3.0.

  • Distributions

    • Damn Small Linux – Puppy’s small brother

      I guess I’m biased, but I have a soft spot when it comes to small-size distros. I like it when developers have the craftsmanship to bundle lots of great stuff into small, highly practical packages, proving that size matters not.


      DSL is a very nice little distro. It is fast and stable. Its modest footprint makes it ideal for olden computers with antique hardware. And it packs a useful bunch of lightweight applications, good enough to serve a broad range of users.

    • Linux Distro Review – OzOS 0.9

      OzOS is a Linux operating system unknown, but marked by a desktop environment that is called Enlightenment. It’s a system of which I heard about for the first time in the international forums of Dreamlinux. It’s a derivative of Ubuntu and is developed by a group of people who have created a little piece of diamond. Let me to show you what this distro have to offer.


      It’s worth to downloading the ISO image of this distro and install it on PCs to have a small, beautiful and solid operating system as Ubuntu. OzOS live is primarily a system devoted to the installation on hard drive. In live session it’s a system with limited features.
      OzOS is a Linux operating system nice, fast, well designed that wait to be downloaded by you.
      Congratulations to the developers.

    • SimplyMEPIS 8.0 RC2: On the Home Stretch

      Warren has uploaded ISO files for RC2 of SimplyMEPIS 8.0 to the MEPIS pools. The files for 32 and 64 bit processors are SimplyMEPIS-CD_7.9.95-rc2_32.iso and SimplyMEPIS-CD_7.9.95-rc2_64.iso.

    • Linux Distro Review – Dreamlinux 3.5 RC4

      Dreamlinux is the only distro I know that has Broadcom B43, Madwifi, athkk, ath9k, Intel wireless drivers out of the box. Other Debian and Ubuntu based distros require you to download to install restricted drivers. Obviously this is pointless if you have no wireless internet in the first place. Therefore Dreamlinux is excellent for laptop users who only have wireless internet and want to run a Linux Live CD. It’s also a dream-come-true for Linux beginners who don’t want to or can’t install the drivers.

    • Red Hat

      • Q&A with Paul Frields at Red Hat

        If you’re a Fedora user, it’s a very small step to become a Fedora contributor. Participation is how free software works, and you can help, by doing anything from filing a bug to writing a wiki page.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 127

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #127 for the week January 25th – January 31st, 2009. In this issue we cover: Call for testing of DRBD: Server Team, New MOTU, Arizona LoCo installfest, Launchpad 2.2.1 released, Exporting translations upstream, PartyBoi2 interview, Ubuntu pocket guide and reference book, Ubuntu Nokia project (a community project), Technical Board Meeting, Server Team: January 2009, MOTU Council, and much, much more!

      • CrunchBang Linux, Netbooks at High Speed

        Ever since getting my Eee PC, I’ve used Easy Peasy as my netbook optimized operating system. But last week I discovered CrunchBang Linux (also referred to as #!), a distribution built on top of Ubuntu that uses OpenBox as its Window Manager. CruchBang Linux and its OpenBox environment are perfectly suited to the Eee PC. CrunchBang has a Eee specific release called CrunchEee. Eee PCs are by not slow, and they can run well by using a lot more resource intensive systems, but there’s just no need for it.

  • Audio

    • Karaoke Software for Linux

      Asians, especially Filipinos, really love to sing. I can easily say this because in our country, it’s normal to see karaoke machines at the malls, restaurants, bus stations, prisons, mental institutions, and even on the streets. Also, a lot of people here have their own karaoke players at home.

    • Episode 51 Mandriva 2009.0 xfce

      This episode I install the xfce version of Mandriva 2009.0. It’s a very user friendly distro and great for people who want to avoid the command line. The artwork is also very well done. I didn’t have much to say so I skipped the intro.

    • FLOSS Weekly 54: Maemo

      Quim Gil is an open source advocate in Nokia’s Maemo software unit, where he promotes good open source development and practices at a platform and application level both inside Nokia and in the Maemo community. He also helps build relationships between Maemo and the upstream projects that make Maemo happen. The Maemo platform is 80 percent open source and most of it comes from projects like the Linux Kernel, Xorg, the freedesktop.org and GNOME umbrellas, and more.

    • Stretching your dollars with Linux on blogtalkradio

      blogtalkradio’s Frugal Networker Ken Hess and I go at it again, this time discussing the use of Linux during challenging economic times. Click here to listen to the podcast.

    • Linux Void: Episode 19 – Snow Day

Free Software/Open Source

  • 75 pc developers employ open source in APAC

    Their was a time when Open Source software was considered has poor man software. Now, with economy slowdown in all the industries, adoption of Open source software has increased dramatically and its common to hear from all the big entrepreneurs to adopt open source software.

  • OpenCL Support In GCC?

    In early December the OpenCL specification was unveiled, which is an open framework initially conceived by Apple for extending the power of graphics processors to better handle GPGPU computing in a unified way.

  • ODF

  • FSF

    • Richard Stallman (USA)

      Stallman is also the inventor of the “Copyleft” concept, a software licensing method that allows the software to remain free, with its use and modification reverting to the community, on a permanent basis. In 1999 he launched a free encyclopedia project, a concept that others finally developed as the current Wikipedia. He frequently gives conferences in different parts of the world on free software and related political themes.

    • Richard Stallman is visiting Edmonton
    • Computer pioneer Richard Stallman gives UW talk on free software

      An American computer software pioneer, Richard Stallman, will discuss the global free software movement during a public lecture this week at the University of Waterloo.

  • Releases

    • OpenOffice 3.0.1 Released

      The OpenOffice.org project team have released OpenOffice 3.0.1 to the general public. Version 3.0.1 for Windows was leaked early by FileHippo on Monday, but now is officially available for download from the OpenOffice.org website and its mirrors. The new release of the open source office suite includes several bug fixes to repair some of the more major issues, such as fixing when auto-recovery does not recover the previously auto-saved document version, but the last one which was regularly saved, along with other smaller fixes.

    • [ANN] Ruby 1.9.1 is released: msg#00951

      I am proud to announce the release of Ruby 1.9.1. This is the first
      stable release of Ruby 1.9 series.

      Ruby 1.9 is a new series of Ruby. It is modern, faster, with clearer
      syntax, multilingualized and much improved version of Ruby. Ruby 1.8
      series has been used since 2003 and many great products were born on it.
      Today Ruby 1.9 series starts its history as 1.8 series did.

Free Culture

  • Jimmy Wales Quietly Launches Wikianswers

    Here’s a question for you. How many Q&A sites does the Web really need? Already, there is Yahoo Answers, WikiAnswers, Mahalo Answers, Linkedin Answers, ChaCha and dozens beyond. But Wikia (and Wikipedia) co-founder Jimmy Wales thinks there is room for one more.

    We learned from a tip that he has quietly launched Wikianswers, a Question & Answer site that attempts to create one true, consensus answer for each question, wiki-style. If this sounds familiar it is because Wiki Answers, which is part of Answers.com, does the exact same thing and had 26.7 million unique visitors worldwide in December (comScore). (Yahoo Answers had 144.7 million worldwide uniques in December).

  • Free Culture (99 of 108)

    A similar story could be told about the birth of the free software movement. When computers with software were first made available commercially, the software–both the source code and the binaries–was free. You couldn’t run a program written for a Data General machine on an IBM machine, so Data General and IBM didn’t care much about controlling their software.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

John William Templeton looks at Free Open Source Software and African American culture and innovation 11 (2004)

Ogg Theora

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

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    Now that emacs is being 'rebranded' this kind of meme seems apt

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