03.06.09

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Links 06/03/2009: Firefox 3.5 Named; Gnash Reaches New Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 7:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Ubuntu vs. Windows memory, and a backup solution

    349MB of RAM. In other words, a whole gigabyte less than Vista. The discussion veered off even farther when it got to Xubuntu, which can run in 127MB of RAM.

  • MSI Winks at New Operating System

    MSI, the Taiwanese PC company that is known for its Wind netbooks, has created a new instant-on operating system based on the Linux kernel.

    The OS called Winki will feature in an upcoming MSI netbook and could ultimately be extended to a small module that plugs into motherboards.

  • Linux System Administrator Wanted – Send Word Resume’

    Being a curious fellow about the growth of the Linux market, I occasionally browse job lists looking to see what companies are seeking related to Linux skills. More often than not there are several job listings seeking people with “strong Linux administration” and other skills that are specific to or most often found with Linux and Unix “guru” types. Then at the bottom of the employer’s list of requirements one will often see something like, “Qualified candidates should forward their Word formatted resume …” What?! Word? As in Microsoft Word? Are they looking for Linux experts or not?

  • Microsoft and Its Three Biggest Threats

    Microsoft sees Linux as a much more significant competitor, even though its share of the desktop OS market is small. Here’s why: “I think the dynamic with Linux is changing somewhat,” Ballmer said at the meeting. “I assume we’re going to see Android-based, Linux-based laptops, in addition to phones. We’ll see Google more as a competitor in the desktop operating system business than we ever have before.”

  • 10 ways to go green with Linux

    If you’re not beginning to think green, you’re a release behind. In today’s world you have to think green. But how do you do that without installing a roof of solar panels? If you are using (or thinking of using) Linux, you’re one step ahead of the competition.

    In this article, you will find 10 solid ways to start thinking green in your IT department. It’s responsible, it’s smart, and it’ll save you money and time on this great planet.

  • Alcatel-Lucent launches unified communications support for videoconferencing, smartphones

    The support for smartphones and videoconferencing comes in addition to previous support from Alcatel-Lucent for unifying voice, messaging, fax services and Web services, Alcatel said in a statement. The OmniTouch 8400 suite is based on Linux, which Alcatel said will help businesses trying to integrate it with existing business applications.

  • The ‘Linux desktop’ heads for the cloud

    Although it’s true that roughly 30 percent of Dell Inspiron 9s Netbooks run Ubuntu Linux, it’s equally true that about 90 percent of Netbooks run Windows, as Computerworld recently pointed out, while Linux had started with 30 percent of the Netbook market.

  • Multimedia

    • Video Podcasting From Linux

      How do I edit? Found some interesting programs Kino is my favorite so far but it doesn’t seem to work well with a file that’s already in avi format, such as from the Flip. Sounds like it would work great with a raw dv format video though. In researching this article I found Pitivi which seemed simple enough to import avi files but perhaps something was wrong with my Pulse Audio because I couldn’t seem to get sound at all.

    • Linux Outlaws 80 – Pull the FAT Out

      MP3 – 1 hour 28 minutes 05 seconds, 40.5 MB — you can also download all our episodes in both MP3 and Ogg Vorbis format from the Outlaw Archives.

  • Beginners

    • Migrating to Linux in 5 Steps

      Migrating to Linux doesn’t have to be difficult. All you have to do is, get a fresh copy of your favorite distro, backup your data, find out what hardware is compatible, identify essential programs, and have a fresh hard drive or partition ready to go.

    • The Reality of Using Linux Every Day

      My opinion is that the distros aimed at general users and developed to a high level–mainly, Ubuntu–is more than ready for everyday computer users.

      [...]

      The reality of using Linux everyday is that it is not a burden. The reality is that I don’t have to stress over my system. I have no viruses, no trojans. My computer runs extremely fast, and that’s with a heavy system like Ubuntu on it. I have the software I need to do anything and everything 95% of computer users do. It works without issue. It is ‘free’. I can swap distros if I get bored. I can change the menu system to work however I would like. I can enable eye-candy until my head explodes. I can choose what updates to install.

      If you’re tired of Windows, and you can’t afford a Mac, then seriously give Linux a serious try, because it’s not as horrible as you might think.

    • The Argument for Buying Linux Pre-Installed

      One of the things you hear a lot is that Macs “just work.” As nicely described in this article, Linux “just works” just as well if you only run it on hardware it was designed to run on. I would like to take the post one step further, though. I would recommend that new Linux users, perhaps after testing out the Live CD for a bit, should actually buy a computer with Linux pre-installed.

  • GNOME

    • GNOME 2.26.0 Release Candidate (2.25.92) Released!

      My friends, we’re nearly there! 2.26.0 will be out in two weeks. Yes, it will! I tell you so. And it will be a milestone in our history. Sure, it will! You don’t doubt it. Because it’s looking quite good. It definitely does! Ask around you to check. And people will love it. That’s for sure! Make people try it. But we can still work a bit more on polishing GNOME for the prime time.

    • browsing in GNOME

      GNOME’s web browsing applications currently use a Mozilla bridge (epiphany, yelp, devhelp) or the custom gtkhtml library (evolution). However, none of these are actively developed any more, because roughly a year ago we started to switch to Webkit, trying to build the webkit-gtk library. This switch has not been completed. It was originally scheduled to be delivered with GNOME 2.26, but has been postponed to GNOME 2.28.

  • Gaming

  • Distributions

    • Debian Seeks New Fearless Leader

      Yes, it’s that time again: time for the root of all Debian-based distributions — that’d be Debian, of course — to pick a fresh face from its ranks to take on the mantle of the powers-that-be.

    • Finally, Linux Mint 6 with KDE 4.2

      One day after the announcement for Linux Mint 6 Fluxbox CE RC1, Clement Lefebvre and the community behind the Linux Mint project announced today the immediate availability of the first release candidate of Linux Mint 6 (Felicia) KDE Community Edition: “I think I can speak for the team when I say we’re all really excited about this release. It’s new, it looks fantastic and it’s our first ever KDE4 release. I would like to congratulate Boo for the excellent work he’s done on this edition, and I’m proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 6 KDE RC1.”

    • DIY Linux

      So, you want to install Linux on your new Netbook but just cant find a perfect distro? Don’t have the time, patience or know-how to go digging through repositories for just the software you want after installation? Not even sure what software is available?

      [...]

      So if you are looking for a good Linux distro and are not sure which one will best suit your needs….make one just for you using Custom NimbleX 2.

    • Installing Mepis 8

      I am writing this tutorial because I have received feedback from people I have recommended Mepis 8 to that the step where partitioning is done or partitions are selected during the install is not clear. Also, I have seen questions about upgrading an existing Mepis installation or reinstalling to fix a broken installation. I will address these situations in this tutorial

    • 5 Minutes of Elive 1.9.23
    • New Releases

    • Red Hat

      • Red Hat’s Plymouth Sees New Work

        Not a lot of work has gone into Red Hat’s Plymouth project since the release of Fedora 10, but now in the middle of the development cycle of Fedora 11 we are seeing some new work emerge. Plymouth is a boot splash program that leverages kernel mode-setting to provide a rich, flicker-free boot experience. In the past week there have been a fair number of commits to the Plymouth Git repository, which is the first time it has seen new work since early January.

    • Ubuntu

      • Linux Mint 6 Felicia Fluxbox CE, In Depth

        A review of the new Linux Mint 6 Felicia Fluxbox CE

        Find more about Felicia Fluxbox here: http://twitclicks.com/735k

        Enjoy the embedded video, or download this episode is many formats below…

      • Starting the day with Ubuntu 8.10 Linux

        The need for antivirus and anti-malware software is the great curse of Windows. Windows traces its ancestry back to Microsoft’s first operating system, DOS. DOS was built for a client-server model, before the internet and networking were widely used. As such it had no builtin protection. Microsoft’s commitment to providing upwards compatibility, so that each new version of Windows must support all its predecessors, including DOS, means that Microsoft has never been able to correct this fundamental limitation.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Concurrent Targets the Embedded Operating System Market With RedHawk(TM) Embedded Linux

      Concurrent (Nasdaq: CCUR), a worldwide leader in real-time Linux(R)-based computing technologies, today announced general availability of RedHawk(TM) Embedded Linux, a complete software development environment for embedded applications in a wide-range of industries, including aerospace and defense, automotive, industrial automation, manufacturing and telecommunications. RedHawk Embedded Linux, built on Concurrent’s field-proven, contemporary open-source Linux technology, features the latest version of Concurrent’s popular NightStar(TM) advanced debugging, analysis and optimization tools. With the release of this new product, Concurrent expands its Linux product offerings to reach the fastest growing segment in the embedded OS market – Linux based operating systems and tools.

    • Who Else Benefits From Intel – TSMC Partnership?

      Apparently, Intel is looking to use Linux as their lightweight operating system on MIDs and the company has been hiring top Linux developers to jump start the programming effort.

      So if the various versions of the Atom processor find their way into popular devices, and that is a big “if” given Intel’s less than stellar performance in the mobile space thus far, the next battle will be over software. Intel is committing to Linux but what about long-time partner Microsoft?

    • Phones

      • Smartphones: they’re all about Linux, baby

        iPhone challengers Palm Pre as well as HTC’s Dream and Magic have one thing in common: Linux-based operating systems. We look at why Linux is so good for smartphones.

      • Mobile-phone Competition Heats up as Sales Slow

        The slower growth is creating an opportunity for new entrants in the smartphone market. In-Stat believes that smartphones with the Linux operating system will see the most growth, though they will be second-best in volume behind Symbian. That means Linux will outpace Windows Mobile, RIM and the iPhone, In-Stat said.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Netbooks: proof the tech industry has gone nuts

        Opinion: Why spend £2,000 when a £299 machine does what you want?

        [...]

        The 17″ MacBook Pro is currently £1,949. The Samsung NC-10 is £299. Of course the MacBook Pro is better than a netbook in all kinds of ways, and of course Apple makes cheaper machines. But a MacBook Pro is what I’ve got, and it’s nearly seven times more expensive than the Sammy.

      • Introduction; the World’s First Fully Open Netbook

        The netbook market has become watered down with so many competitors trying to cash in on the new craze, including but not limited to netbooks from companies such as Asus, Acer, Dell, MSI Wind, and Sony. Finally though, one company has decided to release a fully open netbook for those of us who love open stuff. Lemote’s 8.9 inch YeeLoong netbook doesn’t look fantastic by any means, and it sports a processor barely half as powerful as it’s competitors, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

      • Netbook Security: A Problem Or A Put-On?

        That doesn’t mean “better” versus “worse,” although Linux does deliver an advantage in terms of malware vulnerability. Mostly, it simply means that Linux netbook buyers need to ask slightly different security-focused questions than those buying Windows netbooks…

Free Software/Open Source

  • PHP tops new survey for developer satisfaction

    There are some devs out there that don’t like PHP, then there are those that do.
    A new survey from Evans Data of over 500 developers, asked questions in 12 different categories to see which dynamic languages they like best.

    The study asked about Ruby, Python, Perl, Java script, Flex and VB script and the overall crown went to PHP. Ruby placed second followed by Python and then Perl.

  • Rod Johnson On Federal CTO: Promote Open Opportunity

    “Whatever the federal Chief Technology Officer’s agenda, Mr. President, think big.” That was the advice that a group of commercial CIOs, CTOs, and major technology company CEOs offered the president on the task before the soon-to-be-appointed U.S. chief of technology. Open source developer Rod Johnson had another bit of advice: Support open opportunity.

    Like many of his fellow CIOs, CTOs, and CEOs, Rod Johnson, CEO of SpringSource and lead developer on the Spring project, considered the role of a federal CTO as supplying leadership to achieve better value for the taxpayer’s dollar, greater transparency in government and a national strategy on information that includes national security.

  • Understanding what it is to be open source.

    First and foremost, I think it is best to understand that open source does not mean anti-Microsoft. It also does not mean Linux. Although the latter is licensed under an open source license (GPLv2). If you pay careful attention there are numerous open source projects such as Mozilla Firefox, MySQL, Apache Server, GIMP, etc. that are available on a wide range of operating platforms including Microsoft Windows.

    [...]

    Second, open source does not mean free. Free software is another category and depending on the licenses used can determine how free an open source application is. When it comes to free software there is a saying: “Free as in speech, not as in free beer.” I would delve more deeply into this topic but it is one meant for another posting.

  • Gnash Starts To Shine With Fourth Beta Release

    Gnash, the Free Software Foundation project to create a completely open-source SWF movie player and browser plug-in that aims to be compatible with a majority of Adobe Flash files, has reached version 0.8.5, which is its fourth beta release.

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla confirm next Firefox will be version 3.5

      In response to suggestions by developers, the much delayed Firefox 3.1 is to become Firefox 3.5 to reflect the “increased scope” of browser’s next update. The notes from the Firefox developers say that the forthcoming beta 3 will still be shipped as Firefox 3.1 while the developers update their tools to switch to the new version number.

    • Mozilla rethinks the behavior of new browser tabs

      Today Mozilla’s Aza Raskin shared some of the team’s conclusions, based on user feedback. Basically, most of the time when you open a new tab it’s because you’re going to load a web page or conduct a search. The image above shows a screen that tries to help you accomplish these things without getting in your way or requiring much user interaction.

    • Mozilla Cooking Firefox 3.5, Forget Firefox 3.1
    • Questions For: Mitchell Baker, Mozilla Chairman

      Firefox has long been the Burger King to Internet Explorer’s McDonald’s. Mozilla, the Mountain View, Calif., nonprofit behind Firefox, has been supportive of the European Commission’s renewed antitrust probe of Microsoft, saying the way it ties IE to its Windows operating system hampers competition.

  • FSF/GNU

    • FSF adds speakers for LibrePlanet conference on GNU/Linux: March 21st-22nd

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced additions to the speaker lineup for its March 21st-22nd LibrePlanet 2009 conference.

      The conference, to be attended by GNU/Linux users, free software activists, and programmers from around the world, stresses three themes: strengthening global free software activism, addressing the threats posed to free software users by moves toward “cloud computing” and “software as a service,” and advancing the projects on the FSF’s High Priority Projects list.

  • Government

    • Can we build a world with open source?

      Vinay Gupta is a Scottish-Indian engineer who designs low-cost homes for poor parts of the world or disaster zones, and then makes them freely available on the internet so others can do the building. His flagship is the Hexayurt shelter system, which costs around $200 (£142). It uses common building materials, including insulation boards – which, he claims, are a third of the cost of a tent. The business plan is to cut the price of essential goods and services to the point where the poor can afford them. Gupta is just one example of a global movement that offers an alternative to the scandalous tales of banking avarice that have saturated the world’s media.

      [...]

      Open source is on a roll and the interesting thing is that it is now expanding into hardware. The global recession, coinciding with an unprecedented expansion of social networks ought to give it a big boost and turn the new model into a global force. If you fancy an open source mobile phone try Openmoko.com. Want to be part of an open source project building a different kind of car? Look at theoscarproject.org.

  • Open (But No Source Code)

    • Open Source Cinema is Ready For Its Close-up

      Open Source Cinema If you’ve been to the movie theater lately and thought, “I can do better than that,” now’s your chance. Open Source Cinema is inviting the FOSS community to get involved a project surrounding its first movie, RiP: A Remix Manifesto.

  • Programming

    • The A-Z of Programming Languages: Bourne shell, or sh

      On this occasion we speak to Steve Bourne, creator of the Bourne shell, or sh. In the early 1970s Bourne was at the Computer Laboratory in Cambridge, England working on a compiler for ALGOL68 as part of his PhD work in dynamical astronomy. This work paved the way for him to travel to IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center in New York in 1973, in part to undertake research into compilers. Through this work, and a series of connections and circumstance, Bourne got to know people at Bell Labs who then offered him a job in the Unix group in 1975. It was during this time Bourne developed sh.

    • CollabNet Comes Out of the Shadows

      These are serious numbers, and it suggests that while we weren’t looking CollabNet has quietly turned into a front-rank open source company, successfully straddling the enterprise and community worlds. It may not be in quite the business its founders thought it would be when it was launched ten years ago, but that’s more a testament to the flexibility of the management team prepared to adapt than a weakness in itself. Although CollabNet doesn’t release financial statements (it’s privately held), it looks to be in a good position both to weather the current financial problems, and to grow when/if we ever come out of them.

Leftovers

  • Google Docs “Power User” Appointed First US Gov CIO

    Vivek Kundra, long expected to be appointed the first ever CTO of the US Federal Governement, will instead be appointed as the country’s first Chief Information Officer (CIO), according to reporting done by the Washington Post’s Kim Hart.

    Kundra became “web 2.0 famous” last Fall when as D.C. CTO he switched 38,000 District of Colombia government employees off of Microsoft Office and onto Google apps instead. What kinds of crazy moves could he make as the government’s CIO? We can only imagine.

  • Manchester man arrested for alleged sewer-grate photography, held as a terrorist

    Still think that if you’re innocent, you have nothing to fear from surveillance and control laws? Have a look at this news-video about Stephen Clarke, a man who was accused to taking pictures of sewer-gratings in Manchester and arrested. Though the police couldn’t find any photos of sewer-gratings on his phone (and even though “what a sewer grating looks like” isn’t a piece of specialized terrorist intelligence), he was held on suspicion of planning an act of terror, imprisoned for two days while the police searched his home, his phone and his computer.

  • Yelp Controversy Highlights Trouble With Consumer Reviews

    This consumer review thing may need to be rethought. Like just about everything else that came out of the Web 2.0 movement, customer reviews of businesses are huge targets for abuse.

  • Censorship

    • Australian Internet Censorship Plan Hits Roadblock

      The SMH reports that independent Senator Nick Xenophon is going to scuttle the government’s mandatory internet censorship plan – Web censorship plan heads towards a dead end. Please re-elect him South Australians.

    • Telcos throw more wood on EU net neutrality fire

      Telcos are lobbying hard for discriminatory practices in network management to be permited, which threaten the neutrality of the Internet. They are opposed by citizens groups who are calling on MEPs to close the loopholes in the Telecoms Package Second Reading.

      Liberty Global is the latest telco to throw its hat in the anti-net neutrality ring, with a statement in support of its colleagues at AT&T and Verizon. In a statement to run with its European Parliament seminar today, Liberty Global calls for limitations on regulatory intervention in respect of ‘network management practices’. The AT&T amendments are about trying to stop European regulators taking the kind of action that the FCC was able to take in the Comcast case, where a netwwork operator was restricting lawful services on the Internet and the FCC told it to stop.

    • New EU Telecom Rules Face Delay After Talks Break Down

      At a lunch debate Thursday, Reding described the Czech government’s failure to secure an agreement as “catastrophic.”

  • Copyrights

    • MPAA Study Links Piracy to Gangs and Terrorists

      The MPAA funded report report titled ‘Film Piracy, Organized Crime, and Terrorism’ claims that terrorist groups use film piracy to finance their activities, while organized gangs see it as a significant revenue stream. Selling pirated goods is a ‘low-risk, high-profit enterprise’ which attracts criminals of all sorts according to the report. And, as if that is not bad enough, in some areas the influence of these pirating gangs extends into law enforcement and political leaders, who are bought, intimidated, or induced to create “protected spaces” where crime flourishes.

    • MPAA Study Calls For Piracy Patriot Act
    • Uni computer lecturer makes YouTube his classroom

      A computer science lecturer at the University of NSW, who has pioneered the use of YouTube at Australian universities, is offering high school students the chance to get started on their computing degrees early.

    • YouTube Wants to Kill MTV Once and For All

      Universal Music Group and YouTube want to change all that. The two media giants are working on a deal that would launch a YouTube sister site that would be a music video cornucopia, according to sources cited by CNET.

    • No Doubt Gives Its Music Away, Sort Of

      In a further sign that some in the music industry are caving into the file sharing credo “music is free,” No Doubt is giving away its entire music catalog as part of a promotion for its 2009 Summer tour.

      To qualify for the music giveaway, you must spend $15 to become a member of No Doubt’s Tour Club (space is limited). As part of this exclusive club you get the chance to buy up to 4 “prime tickets,” to the summer tour, and as an added bonus, tour club members get to download the band’s entire digital audio catalog once per ticket purchased. The download also includes their new cover version of the Adam and Ants’ “Stand and Deliver”.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Gabriella Coleman, an anthropologist, explains Free Software culture 05 (2004)

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A Single Comment

  1. David Gerard said,

    March 6, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Gravatar

    “version numbering [would advance from] 3.1 -> 3.5 to indicate increased scope.”

    i.e., it’s late!

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