03.08.09

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Links 08/03/2009: 2-3 Million Downloads of OpenOffice.org Per Week; Nokia Might Drop DRM

Posted in News Roundup at 7:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux : the cool factor – part 2

    GUI for everything

    While it may seem of no use learning the command line. In these days with gui’s for everything, where there’s no reason for everyday users, even in linux, to use the command line.
    The moment you get over the point where it feels natural to use, you’ll feel it’s power. Then you’ll understand why it’s cool. If you know what you can do and at what speed, you’ll clearly understand it’s a small effort to learn using the command line.

  • Programs

    • RadicalCodex helps you collect, read digital comic books

      System requirements for RadicalCodex were not announced, but the software was originally developed for Linux.

    • Amarok vs Songbird

      Amarok Verdict: Visually refreshed and ready for action. Amarok is our open source music player of choice. 9/10

      Songbird Verdict: A brilliant mashup of web and media technology that’s definitely worthy of attention. 8/10

    • Only Time Will Tell – Amarok 2.0.2 released

      Our primary focus is on the upcoming 2.1 feature release, but we have fixed a number of the most critical and annoying bugs present in 2.0.1.1.
      Get Amarok 2.0.2 while it is fresh, and keep Amarokin’. And remember, good things are on the way! Check our blogs for updates.

    • PlayOnLinux 3.4 Released

      PlayOnLinux version 3.4 has been released and it has some long awaited new features and as always bug fixes and tweaks. Also a new version of the PlayOnLinux website will be coming soon, so keep a eye on the site for these future updates.

  • Servers

    • HP Unix ‘Vigilant’ in the Face of Linux

      But the latest enhancements to the venerable operating system will come as it faces the mounting threat from a more recent arrival: Linux.

    • PC Shipments to Decline Through 2009

      This forced hardware lifespan extension is a silver lining to economic instability. Business should take back their machines, adding RAM, hard drives, and other updates instead of blindly replacing systems. And you can even use an old PC in other, less-demanding ways; set it up as a Linux server.

    • Is Open Source Ready To Get The Message?

      Earlier this week, Cisco announced that it will offer an email-security offering as both a fully hosted and a hybrid service. While the announcement focuses mostly on Cisco’s IronPort business unit, Cisco also acknowledged that its email security offering will dovetail with its plans to build a hosted email offering based on technology acquired from PostPath.

  • Kernel Space

    • Free implementation of the VMware cluster file system

      fluid Operations, a provider of management software for complex fully virtualised environments, has developed an open source implementation of the VMFS cluster filing system that uses VMware ESX to store virtual machines and disks. This is a userspace driver written in Java that has been tested under Windows and Linux, but according to the project’s site it “should work on any platform that supports Java”. It only supports VMFS3, not versions 1 or 2, and was developed by analysing the on-disk format of VMFS.

    • NVIDIA Releases 180.37 Linux Display Driver

      It was not even two weeks ago that the NVIDIA 180.35 display driver was released for Linux, but yesterday NVIDIA decided to push out yet another update (they have been on a driver updating rampage this year).

    • QEMU 0.10.0 Release To Bring Many Features

      QEMU, the popular open-source processor emulator that can be run as a user-space program and also has found its way into use by the KVM and VirtualBox projects, will soon reach version 0.10.0 As was announced on the QEMU development list, a 0.10.0 branch has been created in its SVN repository and the 0.10.0 release has been made available. This release does bring some exciting changes.

  • Automobiles

    • CeBIT 2009: Starting Shot for Linux in Automobiles

      Thinking of buying a BMW, a Peugeot or a Citroen in the near future? If you are then the chances are pretty good that you’ll be buying an automobile with a small Linux computer behind the middle console

    • Genivi shows why open source is good for business

      The automotive industry consortium, Genivi, has been announced. Its aims are to produce a common Linux-based stack to run the user-level electronics in cars — entertainment, navigation, information systems, and so on. It all sounds perfectly sensible, but it’s far smarter than that. It’s actually a good example of why open source is good for business, even outside the software industry itself.

      [...]

      It’s up to the Genivi Alliance itself to choose which licence it uses for its reference stack — parts will be covered by the GPL, at least — but a good open source licence will ensure that no one manufacturer in the alliance gets to dictate what the others are able to do in their products, and none of them will have to pay ongoing or per-product licensing fees just to use the stack.

  • Desktops

    • Improved Linux Screen Space Management With PekWM

      PekWM is extremely lightweight making it ideal for legacy hardware. I had an old Pentium 133 system with just 32MB of RAM which finally died last summer. It ran a minimal build of Ubuntu with a desktop consisting of PekWM and fbpanel.

    • Transparent GTK Themes

      Compiz may be the prime suite of effects on the desktop, but it can’t go too far beyond decorating the windows themselves. What if you could give GTK+ widgets effects themselves? Depending on your theme, you may be able to.

  • KDE

    • KOffice 2.0 Beta 7 Released

      The KOffice developers have released their seventh beta for KOffice 2.0. This release may be the last of the many betas. A decision on whether there will be another beta or if the next version will be the first Release Candidates will be made next week.

    • Koffice icons 2, the HighDef ones.

      Today we committed the 16×16 icon versions of the koffice application icon set for oxygen. we are just missing the 22×22 ones. 256×256 128×128 64×64 48×48 32×32 and 16×16 done. The big news here is that KOffice 2.0 Beta was 7 Released .

    • KDE Commit Digest: Issue 150: 15th February 2009

      An example Phonon-based video player in 5 lines of javascript code. Beginnings of a D-Bus interface for the Plasma “System Tray” daemon. Start of support for retrieving contacts from Akonadi through the Plasma DataEngine.

  • Distributions

    • Review of Exherbo Linux (From A User’s Perspective)

      Exherbo is a Linux distribution led by a small team of opinionated developers. It’s lean, to say the least, but when they give you a solution for something you can believe it’s well engineered and that it does that task well – nothing more.

    • Debian

      • Debian Lenny Now Available and Fully Supported by QNAP Turbo NAS Series

        Debian Linux on the QNAP NAS can serve as a great alternative to the default firmware provided by QNAP. Debian can be easily installed and thousands of popular software packages will be instantly available on the energy-saving yet powerful 500MHz ARM SoC-based QNAP NAS.

      • Knoppix 6.0: Perfect Distro (also for Netbooks)

        Knoppix has always been regarded as one of the most versatile Linux distros out there, but the latest version of the venerable Live CD Linux distribution has got yet another trick up its sleeve. Thanks to its excellent hardware detection, blazingly fast boot process, and the lightweight LXDE desktop environment, Knoppix 6.0 makes a perfect distro for netbooks. In fact, it supports all hardware on ASUS Eee PC 701 and 900 as well as Acer Aspire One right out of the box, including the wireless card. That’s right, you don’t have to fiddle with ndiswrapper or install a custom kernel in order to make your wireless card work. Knoppix 6.0 also detects the graphics card correctly, chooses the proper screen resolution, and enables Compiz Fusion 3D desktop effects. Even with 3D desktop effects enabled, the system feels very snappy.

        [...]

        All in all, even though the latest version of Knoppix isn’t designed specifically for netbooks, its netbook hardware support is excellent and the system runs smoothly even on the original ASUS Eee PC 701. The distro comes with key applications which can help you to stay productive when you are out and about. So if you are looking for a replacement for the distro that comes with your netbook, or you want to try something different, Knoppix 6.0 is definitely worth a closer look.

    • Ubuntu

      • In defence of Ubuntu against old school hackers.

        On the other hand, if you ARE really a slackware type hacker who wants to customize and rig everything, then Ubuntu allows you to do that too, because deep down, it is still Linux and follows the same philosophy when it comes to running the system as a whole.

      • Ubuntu: Community for Human beings

        The ubuntu community is one of the most enjoyable I’ve ever been a part of, it has a much more diverse set of people and ideas than other development communities, but retains a strict sense of community and togetherness.

    • Red Hat

      • Can Virtualization Make Red Hat Linux Desktop Pay?

        Microsoft, however, appears to be giving the concept somewhat shorter shrift than it is due, perhaps because VDI clashes somewhat with the company’s fat (or rich, if you prefer) client business model. If desktops begin to migrate to the server room, they’ll be migrating to a place where Microsoft wields significantly less control than they do in the desktop and notebook realm.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Wind River reports strong year, lowers guidance

      Wind River’s 4Q Linux bookings, meanwhile, grew 48 percent year over year, says the company.

    • Embedded Linux on the Grow
    • RTI’s Real-Time Messaging Middleware Integrated with Security-Enhanced Linux

      Combination provides end-to-end information assurance in high-performance distributed computing environments

      Real-Time Innovations (RTI), The Real-Time Middleware Experts, today announced that RTI Data Distribution Service, its real-time messaging middleware, has been integrated with Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux). This combination provides real-time and high-performance distributed applications with the ability to securely distribute data by combining RTI’s high-performance network communications with the extremely flexible Mandatory Access Control (MAC) facilities of SELinux.

    • Adeneo Develops Linux BSP For e2V Platform Based On Sensors

      Adeneo, a member of the ARM Connected Community, is developing a Linux BSP platform for industrial camera expert e2v’s generic hardward architecture, designed to be the base of their future CCD and CMOS sensors.

    • Kindle 2 hacks: bypassing Whispernet

      Vincent has also achieved a root shell with telnet access on his Kindle but for the time being has declined to share step-by-step details on how to achieve this for yourself. He writes, “If you’re interested in voiding the warranty on your Kindle 2, my writeup about USB Networking, igorsk’s posts from 2007, the Kindle 2.0.1 update, a copy of the right build of busybox and a little bit of hackery will get you your very own login on a cute little ARM Linux box with 128 megs of RAM.”

    • Phones

      • ‘Openness’ leads way for mobile platforms

        Byrne said the decision to move Symbian to open source is crucial in maintaining its leadership over Android, Linux and Microsoft, in an increasingly competitive market.

      • Economic Slowdown Accelerates Linux Growth in Mobile Handsets

        With deteriorating global economic conditions making their impact felt in the wireless industry, handset OEMs and mobile network operators are looking to Linux-based operating systems to cut costs and diversify their handset portfolios, reports IMS Research.

        While Linux-based operating systems have had a presence in the mobile handset market for years, growth has been slow and steady until recently. However, recent announcements from Motorola, Vodafone, HTC, and Huawei, among others, all stating that Linux-based operating systems will figure in to their upcoming handset releases, clearly demonstrate that OEMs and operators are ready to embrace Linux software on a larger scale, according to IMS Research.

      • Open source to help Android overtake iPhone by 2012

        Google’s Android mobile platform will overtake Apple’s iPhone OS X within three years, Informa has predicted

Events

  • DEFCON 16 Audio, Video, and Slides Now Available

    The DEFCON organizers made the audio, video, and slides available for DEFCON 16 via RSS feeds. There were alot of interesting talks this year including

    * David Maynor & Robert Graham’s “Bringing Sexy Back: Breaking in with Style” where they discuss turning Hollywood-fiction attacks into reality

  • Governance with FOSSology and FOSSBazaar: Rights and Licensing

    At CeBIT Open Source 2009 Martin Michlmayr, past Debian project lead, presented his current projects FOSSology and FOSSBazaar, and spoke about the role his employer Hewlett-Packard is giving him in the governance project and how the FOSSBazaar work group is organized within the Linux Foundation.

  • CeBIT 2009: OpenStreetMap Wins Two Linux New Media Awards

    Linux New Media AG has presented its annual awards for outstanding contributions to Open Source at CeBIT 2009 in Hannover. The OpenStreetMap project ended up garnering two of the six Linux New Media awards.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Developing Rich Client Applications Using Swing – II

    Eclipse is an open source IDE that can be used to develop both open source and commercial solutions.

    [...]

    NetBeans 6.x
    NetBeans is an open source IDE that can be used to develop both open source and commercial applications. As with Eclipse, there exists a portal dedicated to plug-ins that extend the NetBeans base platform.

    [...]

    Anyway, it’s possible to group these IDEs in categories by distinguishing between open source products (or near open source, i.e., low licence costs) and commercial products. An organization should ask oneself why choose a commercial solution if the same features are available in open source solutions too: what added value does a commercial IDE provide? Greater productivity? Greater support or documentation? Superior development tools?

  • Drupal

    • Michael Jackson using Drupal

      Not only is there a new tour, but MichaelJackson.com, the official site for fans of the King of Pop, has just re-launched, featuring some new community-oriented features and some old-school graphics from back in the day. MichaelJackson.com was built using Drupal by the good folks at Sony Music. They are also using Mollom to protect against comment and forum post spam. Moonwalks!

    • New CEO, New Drupal CMS Offerings for Acquia

      Acquia launched a year ago with $7 million in venture capital with the aim of providing a commercially supported version of Drupal. Since then, Acquia’s release of Drupal includes the core CMS components while adding in additional modules and testing.

  • Business

    • Catching up with GroundWork’s new CEO, Peter Jackson

      This economy is good for open source. I think we’ll double our customers. At the same time, we’ll be enhancing services to the community of contributors, and building out a large set of 2.0 community infrastructure to enhance education, communication, and partnerships.

    • Firms to trim IT expenditure, take refuge in open source

      Anticipating a tough year ahead, major Indian companies are planning to trim their IT expenditure or stop additional investments. This is against the conventional wisdom of increasing IT budgets even at times of crisis (due to long-term benefits), with companies now increasing exposure to open source technologies and low-cost infrastructure.

  • Sun

    • Technology Adoption (2 of 4)

      On the consumer side, OpenOffice.org, which certainly promotes Sun’s vision of open standards and data formats, reaches nearly three million new users – every week. Adding them to a user base we estimate to be between 150 and 200 million users. Talk about global circulation.

  • Government

    • FOSS in government – a Pakistani perspective

      Though there are various TCO and ROI studies on such cost comparisons in both the long and short term and there have been immediate benefits reported by many developing (and developed) countries who have switched over to FOSS in their government departments.

    • New U.S. CIO could be a big win for open source

      Granted, open source has already made extensive inroads to federal IT. Kundra’s appointment as U.S. CIO, however, opens the door to new competitors–Google and open source among them–even wider. He says he plans to take a pragmatic approach to IT spending, but that’s all open source needs to thrive.

  • Licensing

  • Literature

    • Virginia Releases First Open-Source Textbook

      Open-source software and hardware are common elements of the technological world. And now the ancient counterparts to these modern products, written books, have finally jumped the gap into open waters as well. Virginia’s currently accepting public comments for its first-ever open-source school textbook, “21st Century Physics FlexBook: A Compilation of Contemporary and Emerging Technologies.”

    • An open source textbook is more than a book

      The release of an “open source” physics textbook by the state of Virginia is a serious milestone.

      I put the words “open source” in quotes because, while the work has a Creative Commons attribution license and was built using open source tools, its chapters are all bylined and it was done with strict peer review.

Leftovers

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Gabriella Coleman, an anthropologist, explains Free Software culture 06 (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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