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03.23.09

Links 23/03/2009: JBoss Developer Studio 2.0 Released; NZ Beats Copyright Cartel

Posted in News Roundup at 7:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • French police switch from Windows to Linux

    The French national police force has slashed its IT costs by 70 per cent by cutting Microsoft out of the equation.

  • 10+1 things to tell your boss why you should migrate to Linux

    A while ago somebody asked me what he could tell his boss to convince him to migrate to Linux, so I made him a small list.
    1. Cost

    Bosses know calculators, so this is the number one thing to tell your boss why you should migrate to Linux. The total cost of ownership(TCO) of linux is lower than windows. While linux administrators are a little more expensive, they are a lot more efficient so this gives a benefit. The licensing costs are lower, you don’t have to migrate to a new OS every few years, you can use the same hardware twice as long.

  • When politics does not get in the way of FOSS

    Politicians have no incentive to adopt free and open source software – not until someone writes a FOSS application that will ensure that they win the next election. But when geeks are part of a party and the party’s policies are furthered by adopting FOSS, then it is a slightly different story.

    [...]

    Wright, a former employee of Reuters and HP, says the use of FOSS fits in with Green policies well. Russell points to a few policies: that government information, both internal and external, should be made available in a format that is accessible by all, and is not restricted by the need to purchase additional software; that electronic government documents should be saved in an open document standard; and that government should be an active proponent and contributor to open standard forums.

  • LiveOps moves from outsourcer to SaaS provider

    Sometimes it takes fresh eyes to see new opportunities in an existing technology. LiveOps Inc. in Santa Clara, Calif., was founded in 2001 as a call center outsourcer. To be competitive with in-house call centers, LiveOps developed its software as a Web-based application on Linux. The application stack was designed to manage multiple customer campaigns simultaneously among tens of thousands of operators.

  • Is Ballmer conceding victory to Linux Netbooks?

    Even if consumers and businesses don’t opt for Linux on their Netbooks, the Windows they’re choosing is not very profitable for Microsoft, and getting users to upgrade to a pricey Windows 7 could prove to be a fool’s errand, as Microsoft admits.

  • Linux Monday: Political Perspectives From the Übergeeks

    “I’m absolutely uninterested in politics,” Linus famously (well, famously if you’re a Linux geek) said in 1999. “It was a fairly political family, so I may have reacted against that by being non-political.” Yet pressed a little further, he acknowledges leaning more left than right and has expressed opposition to US foreign policy of the Bush 43 administration (along with the rest of the civilized world).

    As an immigrant in America, Linus has some comparative thoughts on our system:

    The whole US voting system is apparently expressly designed to be polarizing (winner-take-all electoral system etc). To somebody from Finland, that looks like a rather obvious and fundamental design flaw.

    Design flaw. Spoken like a true programmer.

  • Podcast 51 Interviews Networking and more …

    In this Podcast an interview with a 7 year old Linux user, the Gentoo Community Portal, a tour of my home network and much more .

  • Games

    • Call of Duty: World at War v1.3 Dedicated Server for Linux

      Building on the Call of Duty 4 engine, Call of Duty: World at War thrusts players into the ruthless and gritty chaos of WWII combat like never been before, and challenges them to band together to survive the most harrowing and climactic battles of WWII that led to the demise of the Axis powers on the European and South Pacific fronts. The title re-defines WWII games by offering an uncensored experience with unique enemies and combat variety, including Kamikaze fighters, ambush attacks, Banzai charges and cunning cover tactics, as well as explosive on-screen action through all new cooperative gameplay.

    • Battle For Wesnoth Gets New Campaign, Graphics

      For those interested in turn-based strategy games, Battle For Wesnoth 1.6 is now available on Linux and other supported platforms. This major update to Battle For Wesnoth brings a new campaign (called The Legend of Wesmere), many multi-player improvements, improved game graphics, new terrain types, user-interface improvements, and an improved map editor.

    • Open source Artillery / Worms clones

      Scorched 3D has been in development since 2001 with build 1 released on 29th April of that year.

      The first thing to note about Scorched 3D is that it looks beautiful. It is the only 3D game in the article, but it is especially well done. The islands deform as they get pounded by missiles. Battleships stay moored offshore, the waves lap against the beaches, and jet fighters fly overhead the tanks. It looks as good as a commercial game.

  • Applications

    • 12 of the Best Free Linux Instant Messaging Clients

      Instant messaging (IM) is a form of real-time communication between two or more individuals based on typed text. The text is conveyed via devices connected over a network such as the Internet.

      There are a number of different instant messaging protocols which are used by the major networks. The primary ones are XMPP (used by Google Talk, Jabber etc), AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger (formerly called MSN Messenger), and the venerable Internet Relay Chat (IRC). The IM clients featured in this article either cater for as many different networks as possible, or focus on a small subset.

    • Testing 3.0 – A Sneak Peek at 64 Studio 3.0 and Ardour3

      I know it’s a tease, but I want readers to know that some important development is going on in these projects—development that may have a great impact on the Linux audio world. 64 Studio 3.0 promises a new world of kernel capabilities, and Ardour3 will assume the status of a complete professional DAW. Linux sound software is indeed looking and sounding better all the time.

    • Plugins Bring Vanilla Gedit a Spicy Kick

      The two computers I use most run Linux — the laptop runs Ubuntu, while the desktop is a “distribution nomad” that changes frequently. One great thing about Linux is that the platform has no shortage of capable text editors. Some lend themselves more to writing code and heavy-duty programming than others (such as Vim and Emacs) while others straddle the plain text document/programming editor line.

      Lately, primarily because I’ve been slow to install my usual cross-over text editor of choice, Geany, I took a closer look at the plugins available for GNOME’s “came with the desktop” editor, Gedit. The default plugins (and those found in the “extra” packages) make the plain vanilla editor far more appealing and useful for hardcore writers and casual programmers alike.

    • 10 Best Image Viewers for Linux

      I earlier wrote about the best 20 free image editor including 5 best online image editors. Image viewers are used to display or handle stored graphical images in different graphics file formats. Following are some of most widely used Image viewers for Linux you can consider using. They are all unique in their own way.

    • Top 5 most useful (and little known) Firefox add-ons

      Here’s your cheat sheet on the absolute best plugins for Firefox — that you probably don’t know about.

    • Maddog’s Challenge: Quick and Dirty Videos about Free Software

      I have been busy over the past several weeks doing various videos, all done with Free Software, in specific the programs Inkscape, Kino, GIMP and Audacity.

      These videos can be found on my YouTube channel “maddoghall” I have had many comments about them. A couple of people have critiqued the quality (particularly the singing) and one criticized the acting, but most of the comments were positive.

    • 10 Twitter Clients For Linux

      If you think Twitter is a no-good, time-waster, fad that will die off just in time before the new social media fad comes in; you should be glad to know that that is exactly how I felt before I started using Twitter. Your experience with twitter will be as good as the people you follow or the users you socialize with. If you follow someone who spams you with marketing stuff and updates every morning what he had for breakfast, then you definitely will be disappointed.

  • Desktop Environments

    • We Won’t Leave You Behind…

      Both features will be available with KDE 4.3. Have fun!

    • GNOME 2.26: Fast & Stable, But Light On The New Features

      As I’ve used GNOME 2.26, I tried hard to find new things to make the overall release notable, but unfortunately I couldn’t really find anything exciting. Don’t get me wrong, GNOME is not a horrible desktop by any means; it’s fast, stable and gets the job done. However, this new release likely will not do much to convince users of other desktop environments to make the switch.

  • Distributions

    • In search of the perfect Linux and BSD desktop distribution

      Is there such a thing as a perfect Linux or BSD desktop distribution? If so, what features and functionalities would such a distro have for it to have attained that high state – of perfection (on the desktop)? And perfect for what group of users? Geeks or non-geeks? In order to answer these questions, we set out here the most important features we expect a modern Linux or BSD desktop distribution to have.

    • My dog is more Linux than your dog

      Is there really a way for any one distro to be “more Linux’ than another?

      [...]

      It’s hard to say that one distro is “more Linux” than any other, because technically, as long as they contain the Linux kernel, then they are Linux.

      Now is where we bring GNU into the GNU/Linux discussion. GNU is where a whole lot of the apps Linux users use come from.

    • Review: Qimo Linux for Kids

      Overall, I give Qimo a good thumbs up. The developers appear to be working hard to make a child friendly distribution, and it shows. It’s also good because it gives you a safe, virus free, child friendly environment on which to let your kids run free. It’s also a good way to get them started into Linux.

      One word of warning though. It’s best not to allow the machine you’re going to put this on to be connected to the Internet. This is mostly because I didn’t really find any parental controls that limit where the child can go. So they could very easily stumble onto the darker sides of the Internet if you’re not with them, monitoring wherever they go.

    • PCLinuxOS 2009.1 Review

      PCLinuxOS is a Linux distribution based on Mandriva Linux. The most recent update, and the first since the last update in 2007, was released last week. This review will be the very first review of PCLinuxOS on this site.

      [...]

      What we like about PCLinuxOS Using PCLinuxOS is like using Mandriva Linux Powerpack without paying for it. The main thing missing is that LVM configuration is not supported. Also disk encryption is limited.

      What needs to improve Not a whole lot, but there are key features I think should be supported especially when those features are supported on Mandriva, its parent distro. Here’s a short list:

      * A regular release schedule. PCLinuxOS 2009.1 is the first release since 2007. That wont cut it in the free software operating system arena.
      * LVM configuration. Contrary to the opinions of a few mis-informed people, Linux Logical Volume Manager is important, even on the desktop.
      * The firewall must be enabled by default. There is no good reason to disable the firewall on a networked computer.
      * During the installation and just before the packages are installed, give users one last opportunity to tweak their settings. That the way it is on Mandriva.

    • Red Hat

      • Red Hat Launches Second Generation Development Environment

        Red Hat (NYSE: RHT – News), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that JBoss Developer Studio 2.0 – Portfolio Edition is now available; the complete development environment not only enhances the Eclipse-based toolset, but also adds JBoss Enterprise Application, Portal, SOA and Data Services Platforms. The solution provides a robust, integrated development environment for rich web applications, mission critical enterprise applications, integration services in a single package, and at a price point that is expected to deliver compelling value to Red Hat customers.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Freescale to tip the netbook scale to Linux

      You read it correctly. A sub-200.00 dollar netbook that offers more than most current netbooks. The kicker? As of now it looks like the only operating systems that will support the new processor are Android and Linux.

Leftovers

  • The State of the Database State

    A recurrent theme in these posts – and throughout Computerworld UK – has been the rise of vast, unnecessary and ultimately doomed databases in the UK.

    But those stories have been largely sporadic and anecdotal; what has been lacking has been a consolidated, coherent and compelling analysis of what is going on in this area – what is wrong, and how we can fix it.

  • Government databases slammed as illegal

    Of the 46 databases investigated, only six were found to conform to current human rights and data protection laws. Nearly twice as many are described as: “Almost certainly illegal under human rights or data protection law and should be scrapped or substantially redesigned.” The remaining 29 databases all have significant problems.

  • Who drives the Spanish ICT public policy? The Minister? Sure?

    Open letter to the Spanish Minister of Industry demanding him to fire to the vice-minister who seems to drive the current ICT public policy of Spain… for big telecoms and Hollywood entertainment corporations. The man who tries to bring the French 3-strikes against P2P to Spain. Everything against the public opinions expressed by the Minister. What is wrong here, Minister Sebastián?

  • Why Barclays Are Barking

    Inevitably, a copy has made its way to Wikileaks; inevitably that link is being exposed all over the place, which has led to the site being overloaded (do make a donation if you can: I’ve given my widow’s mite). Barclays Bank can apply for as many injunctions as they like, the judge can – and probably will – huff and puff as much as he/she likes, but the game’s over: this stuff is out.

    And quite right too: these documents either show the bank engaged in something dodgy, in which case they should be published, or they don’t, in which case there’s no problem in them being public anyway, since the bank is asking for serious scads of public dosh, and is effectively being part-nationalised.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Big websites urged to avoid Phorm

      Seven of the UK’s biggest web firms have been urged to opt out of a controversial ad-serving system.

      Phorm – aka Webwise – profiles users’ browsing habits and serves up adverts based on which sites they visit.

  • Copyrights

    • Kiwis reject wild west copyright cut-offs

      NEW ZEALAND HAS REJECTED a controversial law which could have seen suspected illegal file sharers disconnected from the Internet without trial or evidence.

    • Draconian copyright law: Section 92 a SCRAPPED
    • Lion of France on the attack against Amendment 138

      The French government is said to be ‘fighting like a lion’ to kill the controversial Amendment 138 for user safeguards in the Telecoms Package. It is taking its fight to heart of the Council of Ministers, where the British government is also pushing its position for an Internet where access and use is conditional on the operator’s terms.

    • Filmmaker Releases Film Via All Torrent Sites, Says Pay If You Like It

      It looks like yet another filmmaker has realized that obscurity is a much bigger threat than piracy. Matthew Krum lets us know that the makers of the movie BLANK have decided to release the movie on all torrent sites, while also offering up a DVD version and a donation offering on their site.

    • British Library and Copyright – geeks vs. business

      * Authors create the information with (usually) public funding
      * Authors do not expect or want any financial reward
      * Authors and funders want the results to be re-used by others
      * The work is usually understaken with the benefit of the human race in mind

      PMR: Copyright and contracts can often stand in the way of re-use for science. Sometimes this is unintentional, but users dare not infringe copyright and libraries often sign additional contracts which have very powerful constraints about the amount and purpose of re-use.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Bhaskar Chakravorti, business theory visionary (SF) 07 (2005)

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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2 Comments

  1. aeshna23 said,

    March 23, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Gravatar

    I’d like to reply to one of the links above that asks
    “Is there really a way for any one distro to be “more Linux’ than another?”

    Yes! A distro can be less Linux is if that distro is allied with entities that attack FOSS. Isn’t that the point of all the effort that goes into this website?

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Indeed, but the answer given there is a semi “no”.

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