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Links 06/04/2009: More Schools Move to GNU/Linux, Debian Gains Architectures

Posted in News Roundup at 6:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • All Tatarstan Schools Moving to Free Software

    According to the Deputy Minister, in each of the school-level workshops are planned to open courses on the work of «Linux» students. But before that is still to prepare professionals who will lead these clubs.

  • Debian unleashes inner devil

    The Debian project has announced that it is adding two new FreeBSD kernels to the unstable and experimental archive under the name of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD.

  • New architectures


    we just added two new architectures to the Debian archive. Everybody please welcome

    kfreebsd-i386 AKA GNU/kFreeBSD i386
    kfreebsd-amd64 AKA GNU/kFreeBSD amd64

    Note that this enables porter NMUs for those two. In case you have a bug with a patch waiting for your package that has to do with one of them, please either fix it soon or expect a porter NMU to be done soon.

  • From OSX to Ubuntu

    So far I’m not really missing that much – clearly OSX has a certain feel of slickness to it but in the last couple of years Ubuntu has become much more refined and easier to use. More an more works without intervention – I’d long held an opinion that using linux was like owning a vintage beetle — It’s great but you have to spend all weekend tinkering with it to keep it on the road. For me using windows was like that, as I found more and more time was sucked into keeping my PC running. When I switched to OSX I found my productivity went up. So far with Linux it’s too early to tell whether I’m as productive though I’m fairly confident that I’m finding enough software that performs well and is intuitive to use that I should be every bit as “at home” on Linux as I was on the mac. Plus with the added bonus that I’ve got a much better set of linux tools (rather than bsd) under the hood and not to mention that running an open source operating system is a much better prospect long term.

  • Morgan Stanley Growing Its Use of Linux

    Anthony Golia, executive director of enterprise computing at Morgan Stanley, told attendees at the High Performance Linux on Wall Street show this morning that his firm has been using Linux in a big way since 2001.

    “We use it because it performs well on inexpensive, commodity hardware,” Golia said. “That continues to be true and that continues to be a reason we use it.”

  • MIDs to bring Linux to Asia-Pacific

    MIDs (mobile Internet devices) may be the channel for Linux to reach mainstream consumers in Asia, according to an analyst.

    Ian Lao, senior analyst, mobile technologies at In-Stat told ZDNet Asia in an interview, MIDs are expected to do better in the region than in others, and that Linux will likely grow alongside as a result.

  • Linux Runs on Text: Understanding & Handling Text

    This month, as another part of the series about using text on Linux systems, we’ll introduce “plain text” and how you can restructure it. We’ll see how to identify text from different systems (Unix, DOS, Mac) and to convert text between systems. The article ends with some examples, and there’ll be lots more next month.

    If you’re used to clicking on files to view and edit them, you’ll probably find some new tools and concepts here. Gurus, please have a look at the main example and be sure it’s familiar.

  • Seven against the world

    Thanks in part to Vista, open source software has entered into the OS discussion, often for the first time for many CIOs and IT managers.

    “When we moved from XP to Vista we thought about this. If Vista is not going to help us then let’s look at open source technologies like Linux and Redhat, but to move from one technology to another is a huge resource requirement on time and getting all the applications certified,” explained Katyal.

  • Applications

    • 8 Image Viewers for Ubuntu


      Gwenview is by far the most popular image viewer for KDE, and it comes with all the features a well-thought image viewing application should have: it provides a file browser, previews, resizeable thumbnails, and a wealth of plug-ins for basic image manipulation. The sidebar will display image information, together with shortcuts to several useful file operations, like left/right rotation, resize or red eye reduction. You can also insert ratings for your images, up to five stars (handled the same way Amarok 2.0.2 handles ratings for audio files).

    • Moneydance–A cross-platform personal finance manager

      There is one other thing that I found to be a bit different from most other personal finance programs I have used and that is the way Moneydance treats accounts and categories the same. I am no accountant, but that is evidently the way most actual accounting software It’s called the double entry method and while I don’t understand it completely, it basically links the different accounts to each other. In KMyMoney and other personal finance managers, you can set up a transfer from one account to another by calling it a transfer. In Moneydance, I had to chooe the account in the category section of the transaction in order to get the changes to register in both accounts. Once I got past the difference, it’s a piece of cake.

  • Desktop Environments

    • plasma on netbooks

      At last year’s Akademy, we did some work on a layout for a Plasma interface for netbooks on the whiteboard and started putting together some code for it. It then went quiet and pretty much died: we focused 4.2 development on the idea of “traditional desktop usage parity”, there were no SoC projects around the concept to help push it forward and nobody else in KDE really seemed to care enough about the concept of “things that aren’t large screened, mouse driven devices” to give the effort any support.

    • Eight Reasons Why Fluxbox Is My Favorite Desktop

      What other annoyances doesn’t Fluxbox have? It doesn’t take extra time to start up with a splashy opening. It doesn’t declare 1000 dumb sounds for every trivial event (KDE, 1000 confirmed dialogs to disable, waterboarding, dominatrix), it doesn’t require a whole suite of programs to go with its environment… it does exactly what so many interface pundits out there say they want: it’s happy to be invisible. Two days into your first Fluxbox trial, and you will forget it’s there!

  • Distributions

    • Review: Parted Magic 4.0

      As far as actually using Parted Magic 4.0 to partition a drive, it works great. I went in, threw everything at it I could and it worked flawlessly. In fact, the newer version of Gparted works a lot better than the previous versions used. It was more or less *click, click, click, done* when repartitioning a drive. Yes, it was fast!

      And I haven’t seen any failings in all the tests I’ve run, including stability issues. It’s been rock solid. So overall I have no complaints with this version of Parted Magic. I think it’s some of the best work I’ve seen from this developer group since it got started. Well done guys!

    • Review of Parted Magic 4.0

      Hot off the press, Parted Magic 4.0 has been released. In short, it’s a lightweight Linux live CD with a firm focus on partitioning drives. From its web site, “The Parted Magic OS employs core programs of GParted and Parted to handle partitioning tasks with ease, while featuring other useful programs (e.g. Partition Image, TestDisk, fdisk, sfdisk, dd, and ddrescue) and an excellent set of documentation to benefit the user. An extensive collection of file system tools are also included.”

    • Hacker and slasher or stable and steady. There is a Linux for you.

      The first class of Linux distributions which live on the bleeding edge are generally those which are updated frequently. They have a very active community and are often the new kids on the distribution block. Some of the oldest distributions also fall in this class too. These types of distributions are for those who have a good knowledge of the Linux system and are not afraid of the command line. Some examples of these are Gentoo, the unstable branches of Debian and the Fedora project.

    • Arch

      • Another new Arch user

        I had the idea of using Arch for some time now and with the pain of first configuring it gone thanks to the Chakra project I went for it.
        So far I’ve had some minor issues which I’ve been able to tackle. And besides that I have to customize it to use the packages I use I’m a very happy new user. It’s fast and it’s nearly vanilla KDE, so what else can you ask for? =D.

      • Chakra: my new distro of choice.

        And then, two days ago I suddenly came across Chakra. It’s basically Arch linux + kdemod, but then with a live cd and quick and easy installer. And it’s amazing. It absolutely FLIES. On avage it consumes about 150-250 MB less memory then my kubuntu installation (?!). Everything works very well out of the box. The kde packaging is very well done. The live cd environment is one of the most response i’ve ever encountered (and uses only 256 MB RAM). It has rolling releases, so it’s easy to always run the bleeding edge. And it’s package manager pacman is really fast and easy to use.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 136

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #136 for the week March 29th – April 4th, 2009. In this issue we cover: Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.04 Beta released, Newly Approved LoCo Teams, Package Training Sessions, Hug Day: April 9th, Ubuntu Brainstorm: Call for Idea Reviewers, New MOTU, The Fourth Horseman, New Ubuntu Mirror: Colombia, Ubuntu Florida and Pennsylvania Jaunty Release Parties, Launchpad 2.2.3 released, Launchpad: Official Bug Tags, Checkbox 0.7.1 released, Ubuntu Podcast: Qimo, Ubuntu Podcast #24: Mark Shuttleworth Interview, Ubuntu-UK Podcast: The Return, Ubuntu Server Team Minutes: March 31st, and much, much more!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • NetGear offers new four-bay network storage appliance

      NetGear has announced the ReadyNAS NVX, a new network attached storage (NAS) device aimed at the Small to Medium Business (SMB) market. It’s priced starting at $1,500.

    • Linux Console Rears Head Again

      This one costs $380 and comes with Athlon 64×2 5600 CPU (clocked to 2.4GHz), an ATI HD 3200 graphics chipset, 2GB of DDR2 RAM, and a 120GB hard drive. It will use a version of Fedora called Mirrors, which says Engadget “can be upgraded to a beefier build named Mirrors Evolution X.”

  • Sub-notebooks

    • Dell Netbook Roadmap Surfaces

      If the roadmap proves to be accurate, it shows that the Mini 10 will get some new options on April 17 including a 250GB HDD, Ubuntu, an internal TV tuner, 6-cell battery, a 1.86GHz CPU and something called Picasso covers. On April 20, new options will include 2GB of RAM and a Red variety along with a standard 1024 x 600 LCD.

    • Dell Mini Roadmap Points To 11-inch Model

      Dell looks set to break the 10″ barrier with their upcoming Inspiron Mini lineup if this leaked product roadmap is to be believed.

Free Software/Open Source

  • First look: Mozilla Firefox FX 3.6 alpha 1

    Although Firefox 3.5 (formerly Firefox 3.1) is still in beta, Mozilla is already developing Firefox 3.6 code-named Namoroka (a Madagascar national park.)

  • Opening the Door to Open Source

    Open source software, which is written with source code that is widely available with little or no proprietary copyrights, is now entering contact centers and for several good reasons. These chief ones include lower (up to 40 percent) pricepoints, ease of customization, many new solutions, and the coming of age of these applications to endure demanding communications environments.

    Open source delivers these benefits because there are no licensing costs as there is with proprietary software and it has spawned a large and growing community of developers who believe in the concept. Open, though, does not necessarily mean ‘free’. While there is open-source-written freeware available directly via the Web, most applications that can meet the demanding needs of contact centers are packaged, hosted/delivered and supported by suppliers for fees. Those vendors typically offer a mix of core paid and free features.

  • InfoWorld using Drupal

    InfoWorld relaunched on Drupal 6 yesterday! Check out their new site at http://infoworld.com. InfoWorld has been around since 1978 and is a well-known resource for IT professionals. I hope they write up a use case because it is a great testament to Drupal 6.

  • Free Online Book Has Blueprint for Successful FOSS Projects

    Fogel’s book is an 887K PDF file consisting of 9 chapters and several appendices:

    * Chapter 1. Introduction
    * Chapter 2. Getting Started
    * Chapter 3. Technical Infrastructure
    * Chapter 4. Social and Political Infrastructure
    * Chapter 5. Money
    * Chapter 6. Communications
    * Chapter 7. Packaging, Releasing, and Daily Development
    * Chapter 8. Managing Volunteers
    * Chapter 9. Licenses, Copyrights, and Patents

  • Free Open Source License Insight Conference, 16 April 2009, Seoul

    On the 16th of April the Korea Software Copyright Committee (SOCOP) – a non-profit organization under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism having the mandate to promote the protection of software-related intellectual property rights – will host the Free Open Source License Insight Conference, at the COEX Intercontinental Hotel (Seoul).

  • Open Source Podcasts 5-04-2009: Mifos Microfinance Platform, MuleSource, Mark Shuttleworth

    Mifos on FLOSS Weekly Open Source Podcast – George Conard and Adam Monsen of the Mifos Initiative interviewed on FLOSS Weekly provide a look into the Mifos Initative.

  • Business

    • Jitterbit Open Source Integration Now Available on Intel® Business Exchange

      Jitterbit, the leading provider of open source integration software, today announced its award-winning integration suite is available on the Intel Business Exchange. Intel BX offers the best-in-class software and solutions/services from Certified Intel® Software Partners.

      The Intel® Business Exchange gives companies convenient and easy access to cutting-edge software built to take advantage of Intel’s latest platforms and technologies. Featuring a global network of software vendors, manufacturers and publishers, the Business Exchange includes new technologies and applications from Intel and premiere software brands.

    • Life Without Legacy Systems

      We’ve leveraged a lot of open source. There is sufficient open-source infrastructure so that you don’t need to buy enterprise software. You can hire the right people who are capable of managing that infrastructure.

  • Sun

    • Ten minutes with Jonathan Schwartz

      The good news about developing markets is that for the most part, open source appeals to those that are driving change and are investing in infrastructure. In a way, open source in developing markets is a far simpler message to send than in more mature markets.

  • Licensing

    • NiceMac’s Open Source Apps Help Sirius Focus on Core

      On the StarPlayr.com website NiceMac says, “Our redesigned satellite radio desktop and web applications will be open source. Our company plans to challenge proprietary radio systems and lead the forefront for Open Access by creating building blocks under the GPL. Our StarPlayr software will still require a Sirius or XM Radio subscription, but will give customers choice in how they access these services.”

  • Open (But No Source Code)

    • The Future of Our Cities: Open, Crowdsourced, and Participatory

      This is the future that is coming to our cities, one way or another, whether city councils and agencies accept it right now or not. Either it will come in a trickle, as interested developers find ways to build these services without the city’s consent, or it will come in a flood as cities get on board and help push things along.


  • Call the Obama administration and ask for your copy of ACTA now!

    The Obama administration wants to be called about the status of negotiations of ACTA. Call the Obama administration and ask for your copy of ACTA now!

  • The Latest Act in the ACTA Farce

    The rest, unfortunately, is the usual mixture of half-truths and outright fibs. But this constant trickle of such documents shows that they are taking notice of us, and that we must up the pressure for full disclosure of what exactly is being negotiated in our name.

  • Copyrights

    • US District Court: Restoration of Copyright in Public Domain Foreign Works Is Unconstitutional

      The US District Court for the District of Colorado has just granted a motion for summary judgment in Golan v. Holder you will want to know about. It is a very big deal. Anthony Falzone, Executive Director of the Fair Use Project at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society, who led this effort, says, “It is the first time a court has held any part of the Copyright Act violates the First Amendment and the first time any court has placed specific constitutional limits on the government’s ability to erode the public domain.” I read it as saying that nothing, not any treaty, not even the Berne Convention, can trump the US Constitution.

    • Court Rules Part Of Copyright Act Unconstitutional
    • Amazon takes heat over Kindle DRM

      A literacy group is planning to protest against the organisation that pushed for restrictions on Amazon and its Kindle 2 e-book reader.

      The Reading Rights Coalition is to hold a protest in New York on 7 April outside the headquarters of The Authors Guild. The group said that it primarily represents individuals who cannot read print, such as the blind and those with learning disabilities.

    • Stand Up for Your Right To Read

      Last month, a group called The Author’s Guild raised loud objections to the text-to-speech feature in Amazon’s new Kindle 2. They claimed that reading a book out-loud is a violation of US copyright law.

    • Radiohead to Testify Against the RIAA

      Radiohead, the band that made millions of dollars by giving away their music for free, has very little to complain about when it comes to piracy. On the contrary, in a landmark file-sharing case, Radiohead has responded positively to a request to testify against the RIAA.

    • “Limited and Temporary?”

      Thanks to the magic of the class action mechanism, the settlement will confer on Google a kind of legal immunity that cannot be obtained at any price through a purely private negotiation. It confers on Google immunity not only against suits brought by the actual members of the organizations that sued Google, but also against suits brought by anyone who doesn’t explicitly opt out. That means that Google will be free to mine the vast body of orphan works without fear of liability.

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A Single Comment

  1. aeshna23 said,

    April 7, 2009 at 2:51 pm


    I called the Office of U.S. Trade Representative, but they weren’t real friendly. They seemed harried. We need to make sure that they are harried.

What Else is New

  1. The European Patent Office (EPO) Crushes Not Only Unions But Also the Press and Even Bloggers

    The EPO is crushing unions pretty hard right now, but at the same time it spends around $80,000 per month fighting against critics and manipulating the media, as a recently-leaked EPO/Administrative Council (AC) document serves to prove

  2. The Spanish EPO Scandal – Part II

    An EPO-related scandal in Spain is explained, or new light is shed on what some belated research serves to show, revealing a continued atmosphere of nepotism and family connections

  3. EPO Staff Representatives Highlight to Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’ How Battistelli Deceived Him

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  5. Željko Topić Tries to Do to EPO Staff What He Did in Croatia, Now Crushes Staff Assembly in The Hague

    Reminder to European Patent Office (EPO) staff that the EPO's management has a history of union-busting and serious violations of the rules; a call to join protests later today and later this week

  6. The Spanish EPO Scandal - Part I

    How García-Escudero Marquez, the sister of a Spanish Senate speaker, got controversially appointed to succeed the (now) EPO's Vice-President Alberto Casado Cerviño

  7. Media Alert: IAM 'Magazine' Does Not Protect Sources

    An important discussion regarding the role of IAM (Intellectual Asset Management) in the debate about EPO abuses

  8. Richard Stallman and Eben Moglen on the Microsoft-Red Hat Deal

    Founder of Free software and author of the GPL (respectively) comment on what Microsoft and Red Hat have done regarding patents

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  11. Why the European Patent Office Cannot Really Sue and Why It's All -- More Likely Than Not -- Just SLAPP

    Legal analysis by various people explains why the EPO's attack dogs are all bark but no bite when it comes to threats against publishers

  12. How the EPO Twisted Defamation Law in a Failed Bid to Silence Techrights

    Using external legal firms (not the EPO's own lawyers), the EPO has been trying -- and failing -- to silence prominent critics

  13. East Texas and Its Cautionary Tale: Software Patents Lead to Patent Trolls

    Lessons from US media, which focuses on the dire situation in Texas courts, and how these relate to the practice of granting patents on software (the patent trolls' favourite weapon)

  14. The Latest EPO Spin: Staff Protesters Compared to 'Anti-Patent Campaigners' or 'Against UPC'

    Attempts to characterise legitimate complaints about the EPO's management as just an effort to derail the patent office itself, or even the patent system (spin courtesy of EPO and its media friends at IAM)

  15. The Serious Implication of Controversial FTI Consulting Contract: Every Press Article About EPO Could Have Been Paid for by EPO

    With nearly one million dollars dedicated in just one single year to reputation laundering, one can imagine that a lot of media coverage won't be objective, or just be synthetic EPO promotion, seeded by the EPO or its peripheral PR agents

  16. EPO: We Have Always Been at War With Europe (or Europeans)

    The European Patent Office (EPO) with its dubious attacks on free speech inside Europe further unveiled for the European public to see (as well as the international community, which oughtn't show any respect to the EPO, a de facto tyranny at the heart of Europe)

  17. What Everyone Needs to Know About the EPO's New War on Journalism

    A detailed list of facts or observations regarding the EPO's newfound love for censorship, even imposed on outside entities, including bloggers (part one of several to come)

  18. EPO Did Not Want to Take Down One Techrights Article, It Wanted to Take Down Many Articles Using Intimidation, SLAPPing, and Psychological Manipulation Late on a Friday Night

    Recalling the dirty tactics by which the European Patent Office sought to remove criticism of its dirty secret deals with large corporations, for whom it made available and was increasingly offering preferential treatment

  19. The European Private Office: What Was Once a Public Service is Now Crony Capitalism With Private Contractors

    The increasing privatisation of the European Patent Office (EPO), resembling what happens in the UK to the NHS, shows that the real goal is to crush the quality of the service and instead serve a bunch of rich and powerful interests, in defiance of the original goals of this well-funded (by taxpayers) organisation

  20. Microsoft Once Again Disregards People's Settings and Abuses Them, Again Pretends It's Just an Accident

    A conceited corporation, Microsoft, shows not only that it exploits its botnet to forcibly download massive binaries without consent but also that it vainly overrides people's privacy settings to spy on these people, sometimes with help from malicious hardware vendors such as Dell or Lenovo

  21. When the EPO Liaised With Capone (Literally) to Silence Bloggers, Delete Articles

    A dissection of the EPO's current media strategy, which involves not only funneling money into the media but also actively silencing opposing views

  22. Blogger Who Wrote About the EPO's Abuses Retires

    Bloggers' independent rebuttal capability against a media apparatus that is deep in the EPO's pocket is greatly diminished as Jeremy Phillips suddenly retires

  23. Leaked: EPO Award of €880,000 “in Order to Address the Media Presence of the EPO” (Reputation Laundering)

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  25. Documents Needed: Contract or Information About EPO PR/Media Campaign to Mislead the World

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