02.27.09

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 27/02/2009: New XFCE Released, PC/OS 2009v2 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 11:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Bizarre Cathedral – 41

    Should I tell him the router runs on Linux?

  • Cisco Goes Deep for Linux and Open Source

    Without much fanfare or self-congratulations, networking giant Cisco Systems has become one of the top contributors to the Linux kernel and an active contributor to the broader open source community.

    It’s a message that Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) isn’t boasting about yet, but was willing to discuss with InternetNews.com. Cisco is the world’s largest networking vendor and a technology juggernaut that is seeing the value in using and contributing to open source.

  • It’s Not the Cost of the OS – It’s the Cost of Apps

    Software costs now dwarf hardware costs

    Times have changed though, pretty thoroughly: at this point you can get a pretty rocking computer loaded with RAM, a quad core processor, a great graphics card, and a gi-normous fast hard drive for about $700. And have room in the budget for a great big gorgeous color LCD to see it all on and maybe even a nice big graphics pen-tablet. Meanwhile, the cost of Photoshop and all the other creative software has not come down one iota. Something’s gotta give.

    So it was the lure of free-libre programs like the Gimp, Blender, Audacity, Inkscape, and Rawstudio that first drew me in. Actually, I think it was probably OpenOffice that was the first FOSS program I downloaded and installed onto Windows 2000. You see, with the relatively small amount of word processing and office type stuff I do, it seemed crazy to keep buying office software. (I used WordPerfect ages ago, and I’ve never used MS Office at all.) So I tried OOo and guess what? It was just brilliant, exactly what I needed and more. Wow, I thought, how can a program this good be completely free?

  • More reasons to use Linux: How green is Linux?

    * First of all there’s the tickless kernel

    The tickless mode is an option in the newest kernels keeping power consumption low by having the processor staying asleep, in the normal state the kernel is waking up the processor on an automated interval. With the tickless kernel it’s possible to wake the processor only when there’s a real need for it. Effectively saving on power consumption in notebooks and servers alike.
    * Better virtualization support

    Which brings me to my second point, the tickless kernel brings great benefit in virtualized environments.

    [...]

  • Celtx jumps a version, releases 2.0

    After years of perpetual beta (it’s vogue these days), Celtx, the open source media pre-production and screenwriting application, finally earned its 1.0 status this past June. So it might seem a little odd that only eight months later, Celtx is making the jump to 2.0 (and it does seem a little sudden) so let’s take a look and see if this new version worth its version number.

  • The Linux Connection

    Turns out that all you need is a satellite dish (a one meter model will do), some knowledge of satellite communications (if you are of the geekish persuasion, you can become self-taught in these arts rather quickly) and familiarity with Linux, and tools (freely available on the Internet) for hacking Linux data feeds, you can access lots of useful data that is not supposed to be open to everyone.

  • Linux liberty: Are you overpaying for wireless data-collection devices?

    As the Wal Marts of the world increasingly press suppliers for real-time inventory tracking, the pressure gets passed right down the supply chain.

  • Training course in Leyte tackles 5-day Linux systems administration

    In order to provide professional training to students and current systems administrators who want to be familiar with configuring and managing Linux based systems in an integrated network environment, a five-day Linux Systems Administration I (LISA 1.3) course will be conducted from March 9-13, 2009 at the Leyte ICT Park, Academic Center, Palo, Leyte.

  • Linux Outlaws 79 – A Community Gone Wild

    In this episode, we talk about Koalas, training robots, a bunch o’Irish bastards, as well as some open source and Linux topics as well. Fab also reviews World of Goo for Linux.

  • Games

    • QuakeLive for Linux a “High Priority”
    • Quake Live beta opens to all, Mac and Linux support coming

      Quake Live, id Software’s experiment into taking its classic multiplayer shooter Quake III Arena online and integrating it with the Web, is now in open beta for all challengers.

      [...]

      By “PC,” the legendary id programmer also refers to Mac and Linux users, and their versions of Live are on the way. “It’s pretty high on my priority list to have the Mac and Linux support,” he told Joystiq.

    • Out of the Park Baseball 10 Announced

      OOTP 10, scheduled for release in Spring 2009 for PC, Mac, and Linux, is a further evolution of the game that GameSpy said, “is firmly atop the baseball general manager simulation heap,” offering gamers the ultimate in realistic baseball simulation.

  • Interviews

    • The Buzztard Project, Part 2: an Interview with Stefan Kost

      This interview with lead developer Stefan Kost continues my report on the development of Buzztard. As the interview reveals, Stefan’s work on Buzztard represents only one level of his deep involvement in Linux software development.

    • Interview: the return of the realtime preemption tree

      On February 11, realtime developers Thomas Gleixner and Ingo Molnar resurfaced with the announcement of a new realtime preemption tree and a newly reinvigorated development effort. Your editor asked them if they would be willing to answer a few questions about this work; their response went well beyond the call of duty. Read on for a detailed look at where the realtime preemption tree stands and what’s likely to happen in the near future.

  • Kernel Space

    • Video: Ted Ts’o on Ext4, BtrFS and first steps with Linux

      Linux Magazine Online took the opportunity of Fosdem 2009 in Brussels to track down and talk to kernel developer and CTO of the Linux Foundation, Ted Ts’o.

      Ted talks about the improved acceleration of ext4 and the difference between ext4 and BtrFS.

    • LinuxDNA Supercharges Linux with the Intel C/C++ Compiler

      Exciting news from the LinuxDNA project, which earlier this month successfully compiled a recent Linux kernel with the Intel C/C++ compiler (ICC). This is not just a compile without errors, this is — for the most part — a fully bootable, compatible Linux kernel that can boot into a full Linux system. The full system is based on Gentoo Linux, and utilizes kernel version 2.6.22.

    • Linux Foundation Unveils Plans for Upcoming Summit

      The Linux Foundation — the not-for-profit that keeps Linus in keyboards, and most recently, has been looking to glam things up a bit — earlier this month provided a first glimpse into its plans for the 2009 Collaboration Summit, to be held April 8-10 in San Francisco.

  • Xfce

    • Xfce 4.6 final released

      After more than two years of development, Xfce has been updated to version 4.6 which includes several bug fixes and new features. The open source desktop environment for Unix and Linux platforms aims to be fast and lightweight, while still being visually appealing and adhering to standards.

    • A Visual Tour of Xfce 4.6.0

      Since desktop icons have been introduced in Xfce 4.4, people have expressed the need to allow the selection of multiple icons (rubber banding). With Xfce 4.6, the Xfdesktop manager finally implements this feature: you can select multiple icons, move them, remove them, etcetera…

  • Distributions

    • Debian Variants

      • Mepis 8.0 Desktop – A Debian Joyride

        Overall Mepis 8 is snappier than ever. Needless to say it is rock solid based on Debian Lenny. I have been tinkering with it for 3 days, but it has never borked. And the best thing in using Mepis 8 is that you can you can enjoy very easy Linux computing yet access thousands of Debian applications.

      • Debian 5.0 Continues Strong Linux Tradition

        Version 5 of the Debian GNU/Linux open-source operating system offers the same top management tools and processor support that previous versions of the Linux operating system have. There also are a host of updates to open-source components, and the Linux distribution is still a great fit for servers and a solid desktop choice. However, the top reason for upgrading from version 4 may be the relatively short three-year security fix window, less than the coverage time offered with Ubuntu and Red Hat Enterprise Linux-derived CentOS.

      • A Short Review of KNOPPIX v6.0.1

        What can I say but Knoppix is a great distribution! Always has been. Even back when I was in college I used to use Knoppix on the Microsoft Windows 2000 client desktops just so I can remain somewhat sane and continue to work in an environment I was more comfortable in. Even when I used to be a service technician, Knoppix was always around to be able to perform data recovery/transfers from one medium to the other. Over the years I have continued to use Knoppix as the excellent tool for data recovery that it is. To those less familiar with the GNU/Linux operating system, Knoppix is based off of Debian and designed to run from a CD/DVD. It is a good way to run an operating system without installing it, which also gives you access to all your hardware. The latest CD image is only 661 MB.

      • 5 Minute Comparison – Ubuntu 8.10 and Debian Lenny
      • Ubuntu Variants

        • Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha 5 Screenshot Tour

          The fifth alpha version of the upcoming Ubuntu 9.04 (codename Jaunty Jackalope) was uploaded a few minutes ago on the official mirrors. As usual, we’ve downloaded a copy of it in order to keep you up to date with the latest changes in the Ubuntu 9.04 development.

        • Jaunty Alpha 5 released

          Welcome to Jaunty Jackalope Alpha-5, which will in time become Ubuntu 9.04.

          Pre-releases of Jaunty are *not* encouraged for anyone needing a stable system or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even frequent breakage. They are, however, recommended for Ubuntu developers and those who want to help in testing, reporting, and fixing bugs.

        • Review: Ubuntu Mobile Edition

          Overall this version represents a good start toward making the Linux operating system a viable alternative to Windows for these ultra portable devices. You can follow the development on any of the Ubuntu mobile mailing lists and IRC discussions listed on the UME wiki.

        • PC/OS 2009v2 released

          Today, Thursday February 26 2009 we are happy to announce the general availability of PC/OS 2009v2. The new release also introduces the new PC/OS WebStation 1.0. PC/OS OpenDesktop 2009v2 and PC/OS OpenWorkstation 2009v2 have been fully tested and ready for broad consumer adoption.

          Some of the changes include a slightly tweaked user interface and updated packages and all important security updates applied. Some of the updated packages are as follows.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • First impressions of the Neuros Link

      Having recently constructed the BoxeeBox, I naturally was eager to check out Neuros Technology’s somewhat similar IP-TV set-top box. Though currently at a “gamma” release, the Neuros “Link” shows great promise.

      [...]

      Even in its current, “gamma” state the Neuros Link strikes me as an irresistible gadget for early adopters itching to connect their TVs via the Internet to a wide range of TV shows, movies, and other A/V content. On top of all that, it’s a Linux PC!

    • Phones

      • Comment: Android beyond the phone

        Look out, Microsoft, I’m seeing signs that Google’s Android could wind up in netbooks, digital picture frames and a host of embedded devices as a friendly, app-rich face for Linux.

        In this recession-battered economy, designers will turn to open source code whenever they can. After all, Windows is often one of the most expensive components in a system, prompting some to dub it the Redmond tax.

      • The Android Developer Experience

        With the success of the Apple iPhone, a new surge of development opportunities has arisen in the consumer mobile computing space. However, due to Apple’s walled garden approach, some developers have been less compelled to spend a lot of time investigating its SDK.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • 9-inch netbooks seeing sharp price declines
      • Freescale Plans Reference Design for Linux ARM Netbooks

        When will power-saving and affordable ARM netbooks become available? Freescale Semiconductor has ventured into an advanced standard, albeit with their homegrown i.MX515 chip.

      • Still room on the netbook bandwagon for Nokia + Linux + ARM

        Nokia has invested considerable resources in building a robust Linux-based platform for ARM. The Maemo operating system, which is used on the company’s Internet Tablet devices, provides a relatively complete stack that could easily be adapted to run on a laptop.

      • Telephony stack ports to Moblin, Moorestown

        Open-Plug is working to integrate its Linux feature-phone telephony stack with the Intel-sponsored Moblin stack for mobile Internet devices (MIDs) running on Intel’s “Moorestown” processor. Open-Plug’s ELIPS Linux Telephony Stack will voice-enable Moblin- and Moorestown-based MIDs when they ship next year, says the French software vendor.

      • Linpus Linux To Launch QuickOS Next Week

        During the CeBit conference in Germany, Linpus Technologies is set to introduce Linpus QuickOS, which is their new quick booting Linux distribution. According to the information we have received, QuickOS boots in a speedy manner due to “fine-tuning and maximizing software performance for less powerful hardware platforms” and removing unneeded Linux libraries.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mozilla/Browsers

    • Thunderbird 3 Beta 2 is Now Available

      We’re happy to announce the release of Thunderbird 3 Beta 2, now available for download.

    • FSFE engages in the EU browser case

      Free Software Foundation Europe today announces that it will support the European Commission’s antitrust investigation against Microsoft and to this effect it has formally requested to be admitted as an interested third party.

    • Arora, a refreshing new Qt/WebKit browser

      The Gentoo Qt maintainers have been doing a fantastic job of getting cutting edge Qt software into shape with the qting-edge overlay. I’ve been running Qt 4.5 since beta1 and am pleased with the direction it is going. Recently the devs bumped the Arora ebuild to version 0.5. Arora is a lightweight browser based on Qt and WebKit.

  • Sun

  • Government

    • Digital Ombudsman, a Brazilian government free software project, starts taking complaints for more public and private sector organizations

      OUV is one of many software applications developed and released by CELEPAR. While Brazil’s government is saving millions of taxpayer dollars using free software and cultivating a digital community that encourages citizen participation, Microsoft is kind enough to offer US taxpayers some volume discounts for government organizations.

    • Open Source Vendors welcome new UK Government policy, but want more action

      Simon Phipps, Chief Open Source Officer at Sun Microsystems was the first person The H called. He was pleased to see the updated policy, “It’s a great thing to see it published, as the 2004 policy didn’t help very much”. The new policy had “a lot of good things in it” such as the costing in of exit, or as Phipps calls them, sundown costs and the preference towards open source because of, as the policy puts it, “its inherent flexibility”. Phipps explained “Open source has inherent benefits in that it gives a CIO control of the complete life-cycle. The four freedoms put the CIO in control”.

      Although Phipps is still disappointed by some aspects of the policy, he says he is “A little disappointed to see the loopholes in the area of open formats and I would have liked to have seen a timetable for the action plan. For this to succeed the government CIO needs to put an aggressive timetable in place”. The policy document omits any dates on the action plan items, and he felt that without that, the policy may not gain traction. Phipps also noted that without changes in how systems are purchased, open source may still find itself on an uneven playing field. Phipps preference is to move from “procurement led” buying and to an “adoption led market”.

Standards/Consortia

  • MEDIA ADVISORY: Realizing Government Transparency and Openness Through Standard Web Technologies

    The World Wide Web Consortium’s eGovernment Interest Group will hold a special stakeholder meeting hosted by the American Institute of Architects on 12-13 March in Washington, DC to address the goals, benefits and limitations of implementing electronic government. The two-day meeting provides a global forum for IT and policy representatives from government and industry to address the political, legal, financial, and social factors that impact the successful implementation of open government initiatives. The goal of the forum is to document progressive solutions for electronic government as well as to develop a road map for developing Web standards to realize open and interoperable solutions.

Leftovers

  • The Tech Lab: Bruce Schneier

    Welcome to the future, where everything about you is saved. A future where your actions are recorded, your movements are tracked, and your conversations are no longer ephemeral. A future brought to you not by some 1984-like dystopia, but by the natural tendencies of computers to produce data.

  • Censorship

    • Phorm Phorces Which? To Retract Critical Survey, Uses Defamation Threat

      The retraction came in so quick, we hadn’t even seen the original press release. Under legal pressure, consumer mag Which? on Wednesday hastily called back a survey it issued indicating public opposition to on-ISP behavioural ad targeter Phorm. Which? sent the following statement…

      “Urgent withdrawal of press release from Which? – Internet users say: don’t sell my surfing habits. Which? has received further information and representations from Phorm about the proposed Webwise service, and it has agreed to withdraw the above press release, issued under embargo on 24 February 2008, while we consider them. Some of the information in the press release and related article is said to be inaccurate and as a consequence may be defamatory. You are strongly urged not to write an article based on the press release or the related article ‘Online privacy matters’ in Which? magazine.”

  • Copyrights

    • Music Executive Ridiculed at Pirate Bay Trial

      Laughter filled The Pirate Bay trial here Wednesday when John Kennedy, the chief executive of the International Federation of Phonographic Industries, testified that people would have purchased every music track they got free file sharing.

      Kennedy answered an affirmative “Yes” to Pirate Bay defense attorneys when asked whether that was true. Bursting laughter could be heard from the audio room beside the courtroom where the trial’s sound was being broadcast.

    • Why Are Book Publishers Making The Same Mistake The Record Labels Made With Apple?

      Back in 2005, we noted that Apple’s dominance over the online music space, which upset the record labels tremendously, was actually the record labels’ own fault for demanding DRM. That single demand created massive lock-in and network effects that allowed Apple to completely dominate the market. If the record labels had, instead, pushed for an open solution, then anyone else could have built stores/players to work as well, and it could have minimized Apple’s ability to control the market. Yes, everyone is now opening up (including Apple), but it took a long time, and Apple had already established its dominant position.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Elmer Rivera updates us on the Xubuntu lab’s use 01 (2009)

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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