Novell News Summary – Part II: More SUSE and Xandros

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, Novell, Xandros at 11:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Large lizard

Summary: A quick look at the latest news involving SLE* and Xandros


SUSE is incorporated into a variety of products and one of its merits is great flexibility that Novell routinely brags about. Here is an article about SUSE Studio:

Read the rest of this entry »

Novell News Summary – Part I: A Little Bit of OpenSUSE

Posted in GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, Novell, OpenSUSE at 11:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Roundup of OpenSUSE news

IT has been a very quiet week for the OpenSUSE project. Some people wrote about their experience running it. For example:

i. openSUSE 11.1: My Personal Advantages over Ubuntu 9.04 & Fedora 10 (and a few tips!)

To sum it up, during the course of the last two days, I have been deciding between Fedora 10 & openSUSE 11.1. I tried Fedora a few times in the past and I noted that doing something simply like installing Flash was a bit too complicated over Ubuntu so I kept Ubuntu for a while.

ii. Mission Linux………..

OpenSUSE Now Running with KDE 3.5 in my system. Didn’t install KDE 4.0 as it looked a bit too much of stuff for me….

OpenSUSE got some respect from KDE for work it has done, including the recent new release that incorporates the latest KDE4. Novell employees do some good work on Kopete and other programs.

The first openSUSE Community Week took place on the 11-17 May 2009 and as an important part of the distribution, the geeko-loving KDE community were actively involved.

There were some HOWTOs out there and a short discussion about iFolder. Zonker defends trademarks (which would include OpenSUSE, being an exclusive property of his employer, Novell) and more gems can probably be found in these weekly news, the latest part of which comprises:

* Community Week
* Pascal Bleser : vnstat on openSUSE
* SUSE Linux Enterprise in the Americas: KDE: Social Desktop Starts to Arrive
* Forums: Why Are We Not Helping More in the Wiki?
* compiz-fusion.org: Beryl back from the ashes

A lot more was happening with SUSE.

Links 23/05/2009: Gaming, Phones, and Sub-notebooks

Posted in News Roundup at 5:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Discovery: The Ultimate Linux Device – The Kickfire Appliance

    Kickfire is having a contest where you can win a Kickfire appliance. You’ll have to compete with me, of course, and others who want to win the ultimate Linux device but we’ll all have fun doing it.

  • Statistics, Market Share, Logic, and Why There Probably Can’t Be Only One

    Operating systems aren’t immortal beings, and by rights, there can’t be (there shouldn’t be) only one. McKenzie reiterates Brian Proffitt’s take on the Freeform Dynamics report, highlighting the idea that visual artists and graphic designers generally find using Linux less appealing (or workable) than those in IT departments, or even generalized office workers.

  • Sometimes Linux is really better

    I’ve been very impressed with the latest Ubuntu and it seems that the polish goes far deeper than just the eye candy.

    Next week I’m off to Melbourne and the office lent me a nifty 3G USB wireless dongle, a Huawei model E169, supplied by Optus.

  • Events

    • Taiwan open source conference sets agenda

      An agenda has been posted for the FreedomHEC Taipei open source conference in Taiwan. Scheduled for June 10-11, the conference focuses on embedded hardware running open source Linux, and includes presentations on Linux fast-boot technology, GPL licensing, the Qi bootloader, and Coreboot.

    • Red Hat Open Source Forum

      The Red Hat Open Source Forum will explore how to carve out costs with open source technologies in the current economic climate. Taking place in London on 16 June, 2009, the full day conference, for IT professionals will feature testimony from Red Hat partners and customers on the benefits provided by open source solutions.

  • Applications

    • Ubuntu Polishes GNU Screen

      GNU Screen is a terminal multiplexer program that Linux folk have used for ages. It allows you to turn one terminal into many, and run processes even after logging out. In this article we will give a brief overview of screen usage for the uninitiated, then talk about how Ubuntu’s defaults and new screen-profiles package have taught us about new and wonderful features of screen.

    • Download Themes for Your Gnome Desktop with Gnome Art

      Gnome Art is an art website which allows you to download and install various items such as icons, backgrounds, desktop themes, login window theme and gtk engine. This website comes with a very interesting application which is in the Ubuntu repositories. If you want to install it, run this in a terminal:

    • A new feature for Krita

      Yesterday, I took a day off from serious things like redesigning the library structure of KOffice, working on the Krita part of the redesigned KOffice website, trying to optimize the hell out of freehand painting and several other things, like being too sick to actually think straight for two consecutive moments and so not making much progress with any of these things.

      I took a holiday, in short, a chance to add a nice little feature to Krita: image backgrounds.

  • Games

    • Linux MMORPG Game Engine Sees Major Update

      Regnum Online, a Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Game that has a native Linux client offered by its developers (NGD Studios), has received a major overhaul. Regnum Online is one of the very few MMORPGs that has a native Linux client, but now its own game engine got a whole lot more powerful. The game engine has been reworked greatly and is now known as NG3D2.0, but later this year they already plan to introduce another major update on top of that.

    • Mystic Mine Sale

      Koonsolo is starting production on their next game, but as you might know this can be quite costly especially for a small game developer. In order to gain some funds quickly, they are doing a promotion and sell their current game ‘Mystic Mine‘ at a huge price discount!

    • Vendetta Online launches Dynamic Warfare.

      With the Friday night release, Linux-friendly space MMO Vendetta Online has launched Dynamic Warfare: a new long-term battle and large-scale warfare mechanic designed to permit factional conquest of geographical areas.

  • Desktop Environments

  • Devices/Embedded

    • UMID M1 mbook Available now in Linux and Windows XP and Both Very Pricey

      The $659.42 (Linux) and $765.78 (XP) price points won’t help its cause either. For these prices, UMID could’ve used an aluminum chassis and maybe an OLED screen and higher-capacity 32GB SSD.

    • Home media server to demo on Intel Atom platform

      At Computex, Intel and Amahi plan to demonstrate an embedded version of the latter’s Amahi Linux Home Server software designed for Intel Atom N270 processors. The open source Home Digital Assistant (HDA) will provide media sharing and backup on integrated media servers and home routers, says Amahi.

    • Phones

      • NTT DoCoMo to Releases Their First Android Phone in Japan

        Behold the HT-03A, that according to this Japanese blog (memn0ck.com) is DoCoMo’s future Android powered phone. The HT-03A running Android 1.5 Cupcake (aka HTC Magic) (Eric Lin introduced us to it on video here).

      • Panasonic to embrace open-source smartphones

        Speaking at a press conference in Japan, Keisuke Ishii, board member and director of the Mobile Terminal Business Unit at Panasonic Mobile Communications, said the company is “seriously considering developing an Android-based handset and entering overseas mobile phone markets in fiscal 2010.”

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Linux Distros For Netbooks

        Most Linux distros are suitable for netbook use. But fine-tuning your particular flavor of netbook by finding an even friendlier Linux distro isn’t too difficult. Matching up your rig’s configuration: screen size, devices, and drivers — and your own style of work and play — with the most conducive Linux distro, you’ll get the max out of your mini-laptop.

      • Et Tu, Intel? Microsoft’s Ambitions Lie Bleeding

        Intel’s new operating system, designed for cloud-computing devices like smartphones and netbooks, is a potentially fatal stab wound to Microsoft’s operating system empire.


        Intel’s decision to develop Moblin was clearly driven by the success of smartphones and netbooks, both of which rely on the cloud to do most of the processing and storage that traditional PCs perform on the device itself. Microsoft has tried to float the idea that it will survive the obsolescence of traditional PCs and laptops because of the largely spurious idea that Windows 7 is optimized for netbooks.

Free Software/Open Source

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Steve Weber, creator of the phrase “anti-rival goods” 20 (2005)

Ogg Theora

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

USPTO Leaves People Dead. Is the Intellectual Monopoly Doctrine Practically Dead Too?

Posted in Patents at 8:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Stories of great failure to balance ethics and ownership of ideas

ABOUT a week ago we wrote about patents costing lives. Glyn Moody has just brought together two compelling examples of cases where patents are literally killing people. It’s gentle murder, by Intellectual Monopolies. To give one example:

If people with breast cancer genes are demonstrably suffering in this way, statistics tells us that some of them will be dying as a direct result of Myriad’s aggressive defence of its unwarranted intellectual monopolies.

The encouraging news is that, just as the EPO is already in a state of turmoil, the USPTO is almost grinding to a halt [1, 2, 3, 4] and the Copyright Office (for another form of intellectual monopolies) is suffering too.

Backlog At The Copyright Office Highlights Massive Problem With The System


As you hopefully know, you don’t need to register to get a copyright these days (and haven’t since 1976), but you can still register, and need to do so if you want to sue someone else for damages. So, professional creators still register copyright on pretty much everything they do — though the process is still a bit unclear even to the experts. At the recent copyright conference at Santa Clara University, one of the more amusing moments was when someone asked about registering blog posts and how that could/should be done — and a bunch of the world’s foremost experts in copyright law (including multiple representatives from the Copyright Office) effectively threw up their hands and said they had no clue what actually needed to be registered and how. It resulted in a lot of rather awkward laughter from folks in the room.

Is time for a rethink near?

“Since the birth of the Republic, the U.S. government has been in the business of handing out “exclusive rights” (a.k.a., monopolies) in order to “promote progress” or enable new markets of communication. Patents and copyrights accomplish the first goal; giving away slices of the airwaves serves the second. No one doubts that these monopolies are sometimes necessary to stimulate innovation. Hollywood could not survive without a copyright system; privately funded drug development won’t happen without patents. But if history has taught us anything, it is that special interests—the Disneys and Pfizers of the world—have become very good at clambering for more and more monopoly rights. Copyrights last almost a century now, and patents regulate “anything under the sun that is made by man,” as the Supreme Court has put it. This is the story of endless bloat, with each round of new monopolies met with a gluttonous demand for more.”

Lawrence Lessig

Xandros Thinks Linspire Customers Use Microsoft Windows

Posted in GNU/Linux, Linspire, Mail, Microsoft, Patents, Xandros at 7:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Xandros logo

Summary: Linspire customers are sent adverts for software that requires Windows

XANDROS is one of the few Linux vendors which signed a patent deal with Microsoft. Right not it is focused on selling software that requires Windows, demonstrating that it has gone the same way as Corel after it signed an agreement with Microsoft.

One of our readers, The Mad Hatter, has sent us an E-mail that Xandros dumped on former customers of Linspire (Xandros bought this company [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]). He explains: “Got this – I was signed up on the Linspire mailing list, and they sent me this. Which of course is no use to me, since I don’t run Windows.”

Here is a screenshot of the E-mail (shown below, click to enlarge).

Presto small

Links 23/05/2009: EarCandy 0.4, More Android Phones

Posted in News Roundup at 7:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Migrating to Desktop Linux: What is the Big Deal? Answer: Nothing.

    The anti-Linux FUD has been flying thick and fast lately. It’s not even interesting fresh FUD, but tired, worn-out old FUD. If you believe the headlines and all the masses of verbiage being emitted by Redmond’s tame “tech” “reporter” battalions Linux desktop market share has dropped since 2001; that not having Photoshop, AutoCad, and other specialty, expensive high-end applications are deal-breakers even for people who never use them; and that users are getting stupider and more fearful, and therefore must be protected from frightening things like command-lines, skills, and knowledge.

    Now you know it’s hogwash, and I know it’s hogwash, and the silly people emitting all this nonsense have never even touched a Linux computer, except to poke it with a stick. Rather than wasting time countering this tired, moldy old baloney let’s move on to my Common-Sense Easy-Peasy Guide to Adopting Linux.

  • Reviving a PowerBook G4 with Ubuntu 9.04 PPC

    I had purchased a used PowerBook G4 a while back on eBay. I initially installed Mac OS 10.3 Panther, since I have a spare lincense. The machine ran quite well with OS 10.3; however, I kept running into the problem of feeling uninspired to use my PowerBook because of the 20″ iMac with OS 10.5 Leopard installed sitting on my desk. Why would I use the old OS when I have the newer one, and not only that, but on much better hardware? Faced with the dilemma of whether or not to sell my PowerBook, I came across a little treasure that gave me something for this laptop: inspiration*.

  • The Wine development release 1.1.22 is now available.

    What’s new in this release (see below for details):
    – More improvements to OLE copy/paste.
    – Beginnings of x86_64 exception handling.
    – Direct3D locking fixes.
    – ARB shaders improvements.
    – Better OpenGL pixel format support.
    – Various bug fixes.

  • Should OQO Have Chosen GNU/Linux?

    This meant that it needed higher specs than a GNU/Linux machine with similar performance, and a licence from Microsoft (not a cheap one either: this was well before the GNU/Linux netbooks persuaded Microsoft to cut some deals on Windows XP). Both factors pushed up its price. That, in its turn, meant that this neat little machine never really took off – unlike the Asus Eee PCs.

    The final result?

    “We are sad to report that due to financial constraints, OQO is not able to offer repair and service support at this time. We are deeply sorry that despite our best intentions, we are unable to provide continued support for our faithful customers. Please accept our sincerest apologies”

  • GNU/Linux’s Secret Weapon: USB Drives

    As well as the natural advantages this system offers, described above, there is also the bonus that Windows simply can’t compete: you can’t transfer Windows to USB drives and hand them out to all and sundry. This seems to me to be an hugely important aspect: instead of fighting Windows where it is strong – on the desktop – GNU/Linux should be deployed where it offers unique solutions, and unique benefits.

  • Ex-Microsoftie: Free Software Will Kill Redmond

    Bill Gates probably will not sing the praises of Keith Curtis, a programmer with Microsoft for 11 years who’s now left the fold and written a book about why the Redmond way will fail. Oh yeah, Curtis is not afraid to speak his mind as a Linux guru, either.

  • Ubuntu prepares to initiate a business in China

    canonical services, controller of international OEM to Jon Melamut Sina research and expertise has disclosed that the business is designing to set up a business in China to accelerate into the market. Jon Melamut anticipated after three years China will become the world’s biggest computer market. Canonical the business 2 years before to go in the Taiwan market. And three months before has been set up in China Taiwan businesses, the 101 agency structures established in a well-known, actually has 11 staff.

  • Is Virtual Desktop Delivery Hype or Reality?

    What is changing however is the ability to just delivery terminal services or specific applications to delivering complete user desktops based on Windows XP or in Red Hat’s case, Linux as well.

    Michael Ferris, Director of Desktop Virtualization at Red Hat, commented that it took some time for Linux to prove its worth in the enterprise and he expects the same will now occur with Linux for VDI.

  • Desktop

    • EarCandy 0.4 rules !

      I’ve been warned by Jason Taylor that a new release of EarCandy is pretty much ready and, well, it looks awesome !

      EarCandy is a PulseAudio volume manager, but a smart one ! It will automatically mute your music when a Movie or a YouTube video starts. And will mute the video when a Skype call comes in. You’ll love that ! (I already do)

    • Open source must move from desktop to mobile

      Linux International executive director Jon ‘maddog’ Hall looks forward to a time when users aren’t forced into ‘closed’ relationships with phone providers.

    • Linux Desktop Stats: Wrong Question, Wrong Answers

      The problem, as some experts have pointed out, is that the Linux distribution model makes a mockery of conventional market-share reporting efforts. That’s not exactly hot news, either: Nearly a decade ago, critics were raising exactly the same objections to similar attempts to quantify the desktop Linux user base.

      But there is a bigger problem here: Numbers like these say nothing useful about when, where, or why businesses are deploying desktop Linux within their organizations.

      Another recent study, however, addresses these questions far more effectively. For starters, “Linux On The Desktop: Lessons From Mainstream Business Adoption,” conducted by Freeform Dynamics and sponsored by IBM, works with a sizable statistical sample: 1,275 IT professionals in the United States, Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

    • TimesReader 2.0’s big goof: No Technology section

      The reader is built atop Adobe AIR, the Windows / Mac / Linux toolkit that seems to be succeeding where Java failed as a cross-operating-system platform for desktop applications that use the Internet. All you need to know is that on a PC or a Mac, it installs quickly, runs without crashing, and automatically updates itself.

    • Opinion: Microsoft’s out, Linux is in. Ubuntu 9.04, I hear your call…

      A new global survey was published yesterday by IBM entitled Linux Desktop Easier to Deploy Than Expected. This announcement follows another one on the same day entitled Gruppo Amadori to Roll out Linux-based Desktops with IBM Software to Cut Costs. Intel has also recently made a strong push toward Linux for its Moblin 2.0 operating system for netbooks, a thin version of Linux with a special desktop designed to make using the mobile device easy. (By the way, Geek.com will have a review of Moblin 2.0 out soon.)

    • Italian Firm Chucks Microsoft for FOSS: Why Don’t More Follow?

      About 1,000 of the company’s 6,000 employees use computers and will move to Red Hat’s platform and IBM Lotus Symphony–a free software suite with long-standing open source roots, although it’s not developed as open source any longer. The company will also switch from Microsoft Exchange to an IBM Lotus Notes and Domino environment hosted on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This is the type of solution that many other companies should look into.

    • Italian Food Distributor Cuts Costs with IBM

      The company is now migrating some of these employees to a Red Hat (News – Alert) Enterprise Linux Desktop client operating system and IBM Lotus Symphony, open standards-based word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations.

  • Server

    • IBM ships SSDs for Power Systems

      IBM today begins selling its first solid state disks for its Power Systems boxes, the machines it uses to attack the Unix, Linux, and OS/400 installed bases.

  • Applications

    • EarCandy is a Smart PulseAudio Volume Manager

      This is not really a program where you have millions of options to play with. It’s more a zen one: you launch it and forget it. You’ll just remember about it when it automatically kicks in and do what you were about to do out of habit, before you.

    • Top 5 Linux Webcam Software

      To use your webcam in Linux the way you want, from applying special effects to home surveillance, requires webcam software that delivers on your specific requirements. Here we discuss some of the common and creative uses of your Linux webcam and the applications that support their use.

    • One of The Best Multi-Platform Music Management Applications: Jajuk

      Jajuk is a very comprehensive and feature rich Open Source music management software written in Java. The software program is therefore available for Windows, Linux and Apple Macintosh computer systems.

    • [Sarcasm] Software installation in Linux is difficult

      Linux is for geeks only. Software installation in Linux is difficult. It is not for the faint-hearted. Let’s take, for example, installing a simple game of Hearts.

    • Linux Myth: No Simple, Easy Database Software

      OpenOffice.org Base is just this sort of software. I have recently been “playing” with the OpenOffice.org Base software on my GNU/Linux desktop PC and have found it very easy to get started with. In fact, I have created some test databases, deleted them and started over a few times to get familiar with the basics of Base. My experience just using trial and error has shown me that Base is simple and easy for a database novice like myself. I am so confident it is simple and easy I have made a video of my creation of a database to store information about my CD collection. See the bottom of this article to download the video.

  • Interviews

    • The Sound of Fedora 11

      Red Hat basically hired me to help improving audio on Linux. So that’s what I am doing during work.

      Outside of work spend my time with photopgraphy. And I am trying my best to travel to interesting places as much as I can and my time off allows.

    • Interview: Mozilla Bespin’s Joe Walker

      TR: What timeframe are you looking at for 1.0?

      JW: I have no idea – we’re just planning 0.3 at the moment! We’re saying to ourselves: what do we want to get done this year? Collaboration features are one of those, and the biggest thing we’re working on is working with other people – a bunch of people want to use Bespin in various different projects. Top priority at the moment is making all that kind of stuff work.

    • Opera: Single-minded about widget development

      Jon von Tetzchner is the chief executive of the Norwegian browser company Opera. Although Opera first became known for its desktop product, the company has also become well known for its Opera Mini handset-based web browser.

      Opera has become heavily involved in the development of standards for widgets — the lightweight, web-based applications that are starting to become prevalent on new handsets. It has also been working hard on the development of HTML 5, which has more built-in rich media functionality than the current version of the web standard.

    • Opera CEO says hopes firm stays independent

      Focus of the wireless industry has shifted to software development and Internet access after Apple and Google entered the industry — leading to analysts speculating that Opera was a potential takeover target.

      When asked whether he sees Opera as an independent company in five years’ time, he said: “Hopefully. If we would be bought by someone it would probably very much limit our ability to play the role that we play.”

    • An interview with tinivole

      8. What would you like to see happen with Linux in the future? with Ubuntu?

      Further adoption and growth. Perhaps not on the Desktop for the time being, but in every other nook and corner of the Computer world.

  • Distributions

    • Puppy Linux 4.2.1 Launched

      The team behind the Puppy Linux project announced today, May 22nd, the first maintenance release of Puppy Linux 4.2 (Deep Thought). “I have just uploaded Puppy-4.2.1 final to ibiblio.org and Puppy-4.2.1retro is on its way up as well. [...] This is a bug fix update for Puppy-4.2 and includes very few changes from the original release[...]” was stated in the official release announcement.

    • A quick look at Mandriva 2009.1 Spring

      They say first love never dies, and I guess there is a degree of truth in that. Mandrake the predecessor of Mandriva was my first Linux, and despite the fact that over the years our ways parted, I have a sentiment for this distribution and I come back to it every now and again to check what’s new. This time round I decided to have a look the newest addition to Mandriva family; Madriva One 2009.1 Spring, boldly promising to bring the best of the latest cutting edge technology to your desktop. As promises go this is a big one, and after reading the release note on the Madriva website I wondered if this once probably the most popular distro is ready regain the leaser position.


      The newest Mandriva is no doubt an excellent system, easy to configure and use, appealing visually and offering a very powerful system under the hood.

    • Chakra Alpha 2 – Improved Arch, Mark I

      Chakra is every bit an alpha. These are exactly the kinds of things you expect. Despite this I’m excited at the idea of Chakra and I hope after some rigorous bug trials (and a couple of betas) they can solidify what I see as a solid foundation. Look for a rant from me as soon as this project hits a Release Candidate or full-on final version.

    • Kiwi Imaging System – Forge your own operating system images in a matter of hours

      Would you like to be able to create custom, ready-to-use operating system images that can be used as VMware images, Xen virtual machines or live DVDs or booted from USB sticks? Would you like to be able to convert your physical installation into a deployable image? Would you like to be able to do all of the above in a matter of hours, without dabbling with the command line, just following a simple visual wizard?

    • gOS 3.1 Gadgets OS Review

      Before I get into this review let me be clear that gOS is not “Google OS.” It is not put out by Google so nobody should be confused by its name. gOS stands for “Good OS” though it does contain a lot of links to Google Web apps, Google Gadgets, and the option to add Google Gears is found on its app menu list.

      gOS is based on Ubuntu 8.04 and thus offers all of the advantages of an Ubuntu based system. This version of gOS includes Wine 1.0 as well as Mozilla’s Prism. Wine lets you easily run Windows apps and Prism lets you run Web apps on your gOS desktop.

    • Up close and personal with Debian 5.0

      It’s great that Lenny’s finally out – even if you’re happy with the trade-off between stability/reliability and being on the bleeding edge of the newest releases, it’s still great to get new stuff! And now we can look forward to work starting on Squeeze…

    • Ubuntu

      • Managed Service Provider Hosts Ubuntu Linux Desktops

        For those who’d like a little background, Ubuntu is a fast-growing Linux distribution offered by Canonical. In some ways, it’s a desktop, server and mobile alternative to Red Hat Linux and Novell SUSE Linux. News of Midas Networks‘ strategy surfaced in a press release earlier today from Virtual Bridges, maker of the VERDE 2.0 virtualization software system.

      • WorksWithU Vodcast, Episode II

        Josh and Nick are familiar names to many Ubuntu community members. Both are active in the Georgia Ubuntu Loco, and they speak regularly with Canonical insiders as well as Ubuntu industry leaders.

      • Canonical’s Ubuntu Channel Partner Network Gets A Boost

        Canonical’s fledgling channel partner program for Ubuntu just got a healthy assist from IBM and Virtual Bridges, two key partners that are promoting Ubuntu as a low-cost alternative to Microsoft desktops

      • Virtual Bridges Grows Worldwide Partner Ecosystem

        “The global recession is driving companies of all sizes to seek the cost savings that a virtual Linux desktop can provide,” said Jim Curtin, president and CEO of Virtual Bridges. “The surge in our reseller ecosystem indicates that PC management has moved to the top of IT priority list. The IBM-Virtual Bridges-Canonical desktop delivers a sea-change in desktop infrastructure cost versus Microsoft products.”

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Low-cost pluggable NAS adds Linux support

      A $100 networked-attached storage (NAS) device using the Marvell SheevaPlug reference design has been updated to support Linux desktops.

    • First screenshot: Beagleboard runs RISC OS 5 desktop

      This is the first screenshot of Jeffrey Lee’s port of RISC OS 5 for the ARM Cortex-A8-powered Beagleboard reaching the familiar ROS desktop and running several built-in applications. The port was produced using source code made available by the RISC OS Open initiative.

    • Phones

      • Alleged Nokia Linux smartphone plans exposed by leak

        New information about Nokia’s Linux strategy has been exposed through a leak. The company is allegedly planning to bring its Linux-based Maemo platform to smartphone devices in 2010.

      • Google’s Rubin: Android ‘a revolution’

        A single product is going to have, eventually, limitations. Even if that was two products that’s going to have limitations. But if it’s a hundred products, now we’re getting somewhere, to the scale at which Google thinks people want to access information.

        Getting back to business models, Google has a great business model around advertising, and there’s a natural connection between open source and the advertising business model. Open source is basically a distribution strategy, it’s completely eliminating the barrier to entry for adoption.

      • Sony Ericsson Inches Closer To Android Phone

        Ever since Sony Ericsson joined the Open Handset Alliance, Android fans have been wondering when the company would release a smartphone with the Google-backed operating system. An executive gave some more details Friday indicating fans may not have to wait too much longer.

      • Intel’s Netbook OS Plans Hint Smartphone Aspirations

        If the chip maker has its way, Intel won’t be inside netbooks solely from a hardware perspective. Intel helped create the Moblin initiative in the second half of 2007, just as netbooks became a reality. Moblin is the mobile Linux operating system on which Intel and the open-source community jointly collaborate. But while Intel’s Moblin enters the ring to fight the battle for netbook operating systems, I suspect the effort is ultimately a front for the larger prize: smartphones.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • £199 Dell Inspiron Mini 10v Netbook 1GB 8GB 10″ Ubuntu Delivered

        The Mini 10 and Mini 10v are everything you want in a mobile companion and more. They may be small, but you’ll be surprised by all the fun features packed inside.

        Be productive with a keyboard 92% the size of a traditional laptop keyboard. Enjoy a beautiful veiw with a seamless display surface and 16:9 aspect ratio. Stay connected with advanced wireless options.

      • A+ for Dell’s new Ubuntu Linux netbook

        One of the features I like about this netbook is that, unlike most of its breed, Dell makes it easy to upgrade the Latitude 2100-N’s RAM. While Ubuntu runs great in 512MBs of RAM, and XP does decently in it, the netbook comes with a SO-DIMM (small outline dual in-line memory module) slot that, combined with the memory on the motherboard, will let you give the PC up to 2GBs of RAM. Nice.

      • Asus Eee PCs in USA Schools: A First-Hand Report

        The 901 Linux model has an 8.9″ screen, weighs about 2.5 pounds, and has a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 Processor, 1 GB RAM, 20 GB Solid State Drive, Linux, and a 6 Cell Battery with about 4-6 hours of battery life. Those seemed to me to be the right features for elementary and middle school education (high school students would probably want a slightly bigger screen and keyboard). The price – currently $275 retail on Amazon and presumably cheaper for a large order purchased through a distributor – is pretty good too.

      • Netbook Linux gets revved up

        In the meantime, there will be a flood of desktop Linux announcements around the ARM processor in early June at the Computex trade show in Taiwan. By my count, there will be at least half-a-dozen significant ARM Linux netbooks announced at the event.

      • Moblin

        • Moblin v2.0 beta for Netbooks and Nettops – It’s here…

          The Moblin steering committee is happy to release the Moblin v2.0 beta for Netbooks and Nettops for developer testing. With this release, developers can begin to experience and work with the source code of the visually rich, interactive user interface designed for Intel Atom based Netbooks. The Moblin v2.0 user experience has been designed from the ground up to provide unique ways to engage with the internet, aggregate your social networking activity, and enjoy your media content. The new user experience and core applications were developed using the Clutter animation framework, leveraging heavily from GL and the physics engine.

        • Moblin Linux

          All the conection options were in once place , bluetooth , wifi, wmax , and I think 3G and more

          had a nice “social” feel to it with twitter and last.fm build in to the welcome interface on boot took a few screen shots but they don’t express how impressed Iam

        • Moblin on the Classmate

          Based on Fedora, Moblin has been receiving a lot of very favorable reviews and really does have some very impressive features. Most importantly, it’s fast and responsive on minimal hardware and actually has a user interface that lends itself to the tasks best-suited to netbooks. I won’t go into the details as it’s been extensively reviewed elsewhere; suffice to say, the interface is very cool if you aren’t looking for something that looks like Windows.

        • Moblin 2.0

          Moblin 2.0 looks nothing like Moblin 1.0. The GUI’s are completely different. Moblin 1.0 has icons, uses Firefox’s minefield, and doesn’t change much from the standard GUI. Moblin 2.0 has no icons at all, instead has something similar to Apple’s launchpad; it also uses Google’s Chrome browser by default. There are only around 8 things that can be clicked in this launchpad interface. One of the most interesting being to me was the Twitter update status tab. It’s also important to note that all of these main tabs completely take up the window and cannot be resized or minimized, only closed or opened.

        • Netbooks & Moblin

          Currently, my Aspire ONE is dual boot WinXP and Mandriva 2009.1 Spring. Mandriva runs pretty flawlessly and boots FAST. This is the FULL version of Mandriva Free and not some stripped down or dumbed down version. The KDE 4.2 3D desktop effects work, too. The choice between a simplified system like Moblin vs. a full version of Mandriva is still making me question whether Moblin is a better choice. Granted, if they fixed ALL its problems, Moblin would be a great choice: GUI customized for the netbook platform, FASTboot, and a working package manager are strong selling points. If Fastboot achieved its goal, this alone would be worth using Moblin. Five second boot times are a dream we haven’t seen in reality since the days of DOS.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Students Adore Moodle

    And that was how Moodle was born. Soon after it was invented, Moodle’s popularity grew rapidly in schools and colleges around the world. The stories I hear from teachers who are using Moodle are deeply intriguing. Moodle works, and it works very well.

  • Open Source vs Proprietary Routing Rumble

    For Dave Roberts, VP strategy and marketing at Vyatta, the session was all about calling out the proprietary vendors on price and choice. Both Cisco and Juniper responded in kind during often heated exchanges that had the audience laughing and gasping at the same time.

  • Forrester’s five phases of open-source success

    If you walk into the headquarters of open-source leader Red Hat, you’ll see this quote from Mahatma Gandhi gracing the wall:

    First they ignore you,
    then they laugh at you,
    then they fight you,
    then you win.

  • Open Source Consolidation: Less is More?

    The open source startup scene is certainly very vibrant, but it’s also clearly still relatively immature. Company histories are short, and turnovers are still quite low compared to traditional players.

  • User buy-in and clear decisions key to OSS migration

    User resistance to change remains one the major obstacles to overcome in any successful open source migration. This is according to Michael Bohn, Sun Microsystem’s senior consultant for office migration, who was speaking to the Gauteng Linux Users Group (GLUG) this week.

    Hamburg-based Bohn was in South Africa to, among other things, meet with the South African government around its open source migration strategy.

  • [FSF] Free Software Action Alert!

    The upcoming European parliament elections give the free software movement an opportunity to educate the candidates to the importance of protecting free software from bad legislation involving software patents, interoperability and net neutrality. The French free software association April has organized the Free Software Pact initiative, but they need your help. In particular, candidates in the UK need to be contacted immediately.

  • Free Sofware Awards – Trophees du Libre 2009

    We’ve received 125 projects from 35 countries. The finalists will be present in Soissons on the 5th & 6th june during the “Trophées du Libre Days”.

  • Mozilla

    • Introducing Jetpack, Call for Participation

      Exploring new ways to extend and personalize the Web.

      The add-ons community for Firefox is arguably one of the largest, most vibrant sources for innovation on the Web today. If you want to affect people, to reach them and make a difference in their daily lives, the Firefox add-ons platform is hard to beat, with over one billion installs of Firefox add-ons to date.

    • Mozilla to breed prepubescent add-on developers

      The open-source house boasts that over the last four years, more than 8,000 developers have built more than 12,000 add-ons for its Firefox browser. But with its new API, dubbed Jetpack, it hopes to breed many more.

  • Business

    • The “Big Boys” don’t innovate anymore

      The real innovation comes from small businesses and projects trying to meet a need and make a name for themselves.

      They are unencumbered by massive PR and marketing departments trying to throw in everything but the stuff that is needed in order to appease some marketing survey.


      Wouldn’t it be nice if IBM or someone asembled a crack team of coders and let them loose on their own. Give them a list of “top ten type of apps that would really be good to have in OpenSOurce” and let them go. No one else talks to them except in providing information they ask for in terms of research.

    • OpenSource Software Bounty Hunters

      Let’s all pitch in and make a list of the top ten apps/programs that are most needed for Linux/OpenSource and then everyone find a way to drop some cash into the hat. We’ll use the cash to offer a ‘bounty’ for the programmer(s) who submit a working, usable solution for one of the top ten list.

      We’ll talk to the “Big Boys” out there and try to get them to participate as well. The more cash we put in the hat, the bigger the bounty we can offer.

    • How we won the open source battle
  • Government

    • Open Source joins European election battle

      THE FREE SOFTWARE movement is trying to recruit European election candidates to fight big software business interests in Brussels.

      Campaign group The Free Software Pact has already recruited 96 candidates in France and Italy. This week it appointed open source operator, Mark Taylor, to lobby candidates in the UK. It is also establishing campaigns in Germany and Spain.

      Mark Taylor told the INQ: “A massive amount of the politics that’s relevant to free software happens in Europe. Its phenomenaly important for people who care to ask their MEP candidate to sign the Free Software Pact.”

    • The Free Software Pact

      As regular readers of these posts will have noticed, politic issues are starting to impinge more and more on the world of free software and openness in general. I think that’s the result of two trends.

  • Licensing

    • Finding the right open-source savvy lawyer

      Some days, like it or not, you need a lawyer. For most business purposes, picking the right law firm isn’t usually that big of a deal.

      Chances are you already have at least an idea of how to find a contract lawyer, a tax law specialist or a real-estate attorney. But what if your programmers are using open-source code that’s licensed under two different licenses? What if you’re concerned with how a patent might affect open-source software your company is already using? Or let’s say a company based in Utah decides that you’ve put its proprietary code into Linux, who do you turn to then? Now, what should you be looking for in a law firm?


  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • New French law on Internet piracy meets skepticism

      President Nicolas Sarkozy’s governing party rejoiced when it muscled one of his pet projects through the French parliament: an unprecedented law to cut the Internet connections of people who repeatedly download music and movies illegally.

    • Judge Reviewing Pirate Bay Trial Bias Is Removed for Bias

      The judge assigned to review whether the trial judge in the Pirate Bay trial was biased has now been removed — for bias, of course.

    • Amendment 138 puts a spoke in ACTA

      The political significance of the Telecoms Package Amendment 138 has been raised a notch or two with the revelation that its fate will determine what the EU will agree to in the ACTA – Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

  • Copyrights

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Steve Weber, creator of the phrase “anti-rival goods” 19 (2005)

Ogg Theora

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: May 22nd, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 4:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


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