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Links 03/06/2009: A Lot of Sub-notebooks News

Posted in News Roundup at 7:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • “Lackdose-Allergie” helps Linux admins

    Developer Michael Prokop has announced the release of grml 2009.05, codenamed Lackdose-Allergie. grml is a Debian based Linux distribution that’s specifically aimed at system administrators and users of text tools, such as awk, sed, grep, zsh, mutt[ng], slrn, vim and many others. The release features several new boot options, including the persistent boot option which allows users to easily store their settings and reuse them on reboot, avoiding the older config framework. The new findiso option searches for ISO files on all disks and the bsd option allows users to boot the minimal MirOS BSD operating system and run the minimalistic hardware detection tool (HDT).

  • Intel paints rosy future at Taiwan confab

    And Tuesday at Computex, Maloney discussed and demoed some of the chips that those investments will produce. For example, he gave the first public demo of the two-chip Atom-based platform known as Pine Trail, along with a demo of version 2.0 of the Linux-based Moblin OS designed for such small form-factor, low-power systems.

  • SanDisk next-gen SSDs are faster, target netbooks and Linux

    SanDisk today announced that it has begun shipping its next-generation solid state drives for the 12 million-strong netbook market in 8, 16, 32 and 64 GB flavors.

    The drives employ a new technology called nCache, a non-volatile write cache capable of supporting burst performance up to five times the steady state vRPM2, the company says. nCache improves user responsiveness and helps prevent incidence of “stalling” or “shuddering” often seen in first generation netbook SSDs, SanDisk says.

  • Linux: Lean on Me

    I received a newsletter from rPath concerning Lean IT and it occurred to me that Linux is the keystone in each one of the elements listed in it: Virtualization, Cloud Computing and Cost reduction mandates. As more businesses work toward saving money, they’ll look for ways to save on IT infrastructure (Hardware), labor and external services.

    All of those cost-cutting changes point suspiciously to Linux.

  • Cisco Announces 10 Finalists in its Linux App Contest

    The finalists look to be quite savvy when it comes to routers, deep network services and the like. There were several unified communications applications among the finalists, network security applications, a phone call validation application, video streaming services ideas, rich media environment applications for networks in hotels, and more.

  • Cisco developer contest drives great applications to Linux
  • [Linux Gazette] June 2009 (#163)

    * News Bytes, by Deividson Luiz Okopnik and Howard Dyckoff
    * The LG Backpage, by Ben Okopnik and Kat Tanaka Okopnik

  • Linux Picks Up Where Windows FAIL!

    So; knowing that, we tried it on my installation of Fedora and I tried it with Epiphany and Firefox and BoYAH! We’re in! Just one more reason to switch from Windows to Linux. Linux can get you into online banking.

  • Desktop

    • Screen shots in the package manager

      I’ve been doing some thinking about what would make Mandriva stand out and also what could help Linux distributions in general. I think that although rpmdrake is pretty good, it has room for improvement. Two features I am thinking of are screenshots of packages that are graphical and ways for end users to provide feedback about packages.

    • Linux: I’ve got to admit it’s getting better

      I recently installed Linux (Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope” to be exact) on my not-so-old pentium 4 HT machine, the very same computer where different Linux distros have been installed over the course of two years. What struck me most after this very latest installation is how Linux has evolved and has become a more than capable desktop operating system.

    • Are there not enough netbooks in the world?

      This “standardization” has left PC makers to differentiate their offerings mostly through price, the operating system used (the sexy-and-sleek HP Mini 1000 Mi generated excellent buzz by offering a highly customized and über-slick Ubuntu Linux experience that, alas, remains unavailable to the Filipino market), and, of course, cosmetic details (the unbelievably slim Sony Vaio P series, which the company refuses to call a netbook).

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel v2.6.30-rc8
    • Available Now: Nvidia Linux Video Driver 180.60

      Nvidia has announced today, June 1st, the immediate availability of another maintenance release for their proprietary video driver for Linux, FreeBSD and Solaris operating systems. The new 180.60 display driver comes with improved stability for GeForce 6200, 7200 and 7300 cards running on SMP and multi-core machines. Several other fixes are also part of this new release….

    • Filesystems: Data Preservation, fsync, and Benchmarks Pt. 2

      The benchmarks were run on a P35 motherboard equipped with 8GB of 800MHz DDR2 and an Intel Q6600 2.4 GHz quad core CPU. The disk was a Samsung HD642JJ, 640Gb SATA drive. The system was running an up to date Fedora 9 with the kernel. A single extended partition was used, ranging from block 35058 to 77824. As a more human digestible size indication, when formatted with the default ext3 parameters this gave a 323G blank filesystem with 195M used. I used this same disk and block range reformatted to a different filesystem for all testing.


      In Part 3, we’ll examine the next most obvious benchmark: how many open, write, fsync, close, rename cycles can be performed per second, as well as other benchmarks.

    • Linux Foundation revamps individual membership deal

      The Linux Foundation has revamped their individual membership scheme, and doubled the price in the process. Last September, the Foundation announced an individual membership scheme which cost $49 per year, gave the member some voting rights and a T-shirt. The newly reworked package raises the price of membership to $99 and now gives users an @linux.com email address and a package of discounts on Linux Foundation conferences and events, O’Reilly books, No Starch Press books and Linux Journal subscriptions among others.

  • Applications

    • Award-Winning FileTek StorHouse Product Suite Now Available for Linux Environments Port to Linux Extends StorHouse Benefits to an Even Broader Customer Base

      FileTek, Inc., a pioneer developer of high-volume data management and information governance solutions, today announced that its StorHouse/RFS file system interface software now operates on Linux-based commodity servers. This milestone completes the port of the entire StorHouse® product suite – StorHouse/SM, StorHouse/RM, and StorHouse/RFS – to Linux, which has become the gold standard for many corporations, universities, research institutes, and government agencies worldwide. Now all StorHouse software modules can be hosted on a popular Linux distribution on the most competitively priced family of Open System servers on the market today.

    • 10 things you can do faster with the command line then with the GUI

      It is also much more convinient to do ALT+F2 gedit/firefox e.d. then opening op the menu, search for the app and then click it. Again, this is faster if you know the name of the binary. (In Mint you can search trough the start menu ^.^).
      (Note that ALT+F2 is the same as typing it in a terminal).

  • Desktop Environments

    • The GNOME Foundation Is All About People, Stormy Peters

      As open source projects mature, they tend to join or create a foundation to manage the project’s financial and software assets, provide a marketing and legal entity, and help to set the direction of the project. As non-profit organizations, foundations have a specific structure defined by the jurisdiction in which they were formed. This structure typically includes a volunteer board of directors and sometimes paid staff such as a secretary or executive director.

  • Distributions

    • Customize your distro before you download with Slax

      One of the features I always enjoyed about Slax was its use of modules. Want to add some apps to your Live CD? Just download the module, add it to the folder in the Slax ISO, burn, and away you go!

    • Should Linux and Android Fuse?

      It’s hard not to be ambivalent about Android if you’re a fan of Linux. Android is free and open source (mostly, I think) and it’s got a lot of momentum building behind it. Cool, right? On the other hand, it’s not really a Linux distro in any traditional sense even though it uses a Linux kernel. It would be one thing if it were purely a smartphone OS, but it’s increasingly looking like it will be a netbook and maybe, therefore, even a full desktop OS. A lot of people will probably find that a netbook and a smartphone are really all they need anyway, along with their TV and maybe a docking station at home with a large LCD. That’s a very plausible scenario to me when people get used to netbooks and the things inevitably become more powerful. And having the same OS on all these devices may be a really slick thing. In this light, Android may prove to be an irresistable force.

    • An acquaintance with Arch Linux

      Simple does not mean ‘newbie friendly’, instead it means that the system is structured in such a way that a user can easily configure it to his liking by changing simple configuration files and installing just what he needs.

    • Review: SimplyMepis 8.0

      SimplyMepis is a Debian-based distro developed by Warren Woodford who believed that Mandrake Linux was too hard for new users. (Mandrake, now Mandriva, was the Ubuntu of its time). I’ve heard him interviewed a few times on The Linux Link Tech Show and he seems to be of the realist (as opposed to idealist) school of Linux distro maintainers. He believes users should be able to listen to MP3s, use Adobe Flash, and so on. SimplyMepis 8.0 is based on Debian 5 stable, which I recently reviewed. So let’s load her up into VirtualBox and see how it goes.

    • Red Hat

      • CentOS Pulse – Community newsletter

        A CentOS newsletter was what I wanted to have for a long time.

      • CentOS Pulse – The Bi-weekly CentOS Newsletter #0901


        1. Foreword
        2. Announcements
        1. New CentOS-Mirror-Announce mailing list
        2. CentOS 5.3 LiveCD released
        3. CentOS Directory Server (CDS)
        4. CentOS-2 goes EOL
        3. Featured Articles
        1. CentOS Promo SIG
        4. Community Threads
        1. Wiki translations to Chinese (zh)
        2. CentOS presence at HAR2009
        3. CentOS on the Dell XPS M1530 and Compaq CQ60
        4. Missing updates danger to CentOS
        5. CentOS and the Amazon EC2 cloud
        6. The yum-clean-all mantra
        5. CentOS Errata
        1. CentOS-3
        2. CentOS-4
        3. CentOS-5
        6. CentOS in the Spotlight
        7. Upcoming Events

      • Where does Red Hat grow from here?

        If this is the future of Red Hat – duking it out with small (but growing – SpringSource grew subscription revenue by over 300 percent in 2008) open-source competitors? I think Red Hat is well-positioned to win this battle, but at what cost?

    • Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Open source automotive group gains members

      The Genivi Alliance of car manufacturers and suppliers, which is aiming to establish open source standards on In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) systems, has added three new members with close ties to embedded Linux. The new members are MontaVista Software, Texas Instruments, and Freescale Semiconductor, says Genivi.

    • Phones

      • Linux mobile spec revised

        The LiMo Foundation announced the completion of its second-generation R2 specification for its LiMo (Linux Mobile) Platform. The spec offers new location-based services (LBS), multimedia, personal information management (PIM), and security features for LiMo smartphones, plus support for OMTP’s BONDI web-app interoperability spec, says LiMo.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Microsoft won’t offer Windows for smartbooks

        The OS maker doesn’t plan to offer Windows versions for the machines leaving the market to Linux and Android

      • Linux vendors line up behind Moblin

        At Computex, both Novell and Xandros have announced plans to base future operating systems for netbooks on Moblin 2, the Intel developed Linux for Atom processors, recently moved under the aegis of the Linux Foundation. There are also reports that Canonical will announce a Moblin 2 based Ubuntu Netbook Remix. Moblin 2, which was recently released as a “user experience” beta, has won praise for its user interface, based on work by Opened Hand (an Intel 2008 acquisition) and for its rapid boot times.

      • Moblin: A Netbook OS to Watch

        Intel’s Linux-based netbook operating system gives Windows a run for its money.

      • First Glance at KDE 4 in Netbook Context

        Patience is called for those who expect completed software. The Plasma interface optimized for netbooks is first planned for KDE 4.4 that might come out in December 2009. There is, however, a current requirements and roadmap for the project, along with some first screenshots of what it could look like.

      • Moblin, Ubuntu Netbook Remix, Android and Linux Netbook Prospects

        As we reported yesterday, ASUS has been demonstrating an Android-based netbook powered by a 1-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. If you check out the video demonstration, it looks very snappy. Dell also has video online of Android running on netbooks, and Dell’s newest netbooks are available with Ubuntu pre-loaded.

        Meanwhile, Embedded Alley, a leading provider of embedded Linux solutions, has delivered a new development system for Android-based devices, including netbooks. “The Development System enables development of Android-based intelligent devices built on MIPS Technologies’ processors, targeting applications in domains beyond mobile handsets,” the announcement says.

      • Embedded Alley Delivers Development System for Android-based Devices – Takes Android Beyond Mobile

        Embedded Alley, a leading provider of embedded Linux® solutions, today announced shipment of the Embedded Alley Development System for Android-based Devices. The Development System enables development of Android-based intelligent devices built on MIPS Technologies’ processors, targeting applications in domains beyond mobile handsets. Delivery of the Embedded Alley Development System enables both systems and applications developers to extend the reach of Android to encompass multimedia, Mobile Internet Devices, digital video and home entertainment, automotive, medical, networking, instrumentation and industrial control.

      • Android port to MIPS completed

        Embedded Alley (EA) announced it is has completed its port of the Linux/Java-based Android platform to the MIPS architecture. The Embedded Alley Development System for Android-based Devices initially targets devices ranging from set-top boxes (STBs) to industrial equipment running the MIPS-based RMI Au1250 processor.

      • Invasion of the Android Snatchers

        On the subject of Linux-based netbooks (and at least in passing, Intel), Canonical — the corporate side of Ubuntu — announced today, at Computex of course, that it has contracted with Intel to provide a modified version of Ubuntu Netbook Remix for Intel’s Classmate PC. The Classmate, intended for educational use, offers a number of features not found in the ‘normal’ netbook: both standard and tablet modes, with automatic adjustment between portrait and landscape, a touch screen which allows the user to rest their hand on it without affecting its use, a larger SSD/HDD along with additional memory, an of course, the current trend towards larger screens. Though, as Linux users can attest, the operating system is often derided as having poor hardware support, the version of Ubuntu Netbook Remix used on the Classmate will support all of its unique features. Jon Melamut, Canonical OEM Services General Manager: “Our goal has always been to take the best technology and make it available to everyone. Coupling our software with a fantastic, affordable education device like this is a concrete realisation of that ambition.”

      • Moblin 2.0 Beta Impressions

        The Linux Foundation intends for this to be a base for other distributions and the Linpus team has already announced that they plan to base a new version of Linpus Linux Lite on it. This is definitely a promising start and something that has the potential to bring an influx of new Linux users via netbooks.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Extending the free software paradigm to DIY Biology

    Hierarchical, big, controlled and funded by taxpayers, venture capital or shareholders. The time of the amateur dilletante scientist seems to be over. It takes the huge, collective organisation of private individuals to challenge this monopoly. GNU/Linux has managed to make a significant challenge but what of open science, not just the actual use of free software as practised by CERN but utilizing the whole philosophy of organizing scientific endeavour on the principles of open source? Some amateur biohackers think they have the answer.

  • The State of MySQL

    Robust development from outside the Sun/MySQL sphere, new storage engines and the return of Monty are just some of the signs that MySQL is healthy, despite may reports to the contrary.

  • Jumping Bean releases updated version of OpenBill

    OpenBill 1.2, a Java-based invoicing and contract management application, has been released by South African developer Jumping Bean. The new release includes both a number of bugfixes as well as a few key feature additions.

  • Mozilla

  • Java

    • Sun Execs Debut Java App Store

      Today at Sun Microsystems’ JavaOne conference, CEO Jonathan Schwartz and Vice President and Sun Fellow James Gosling unveiled the beta version of Sun’s new Java App Store, which you can visit here. As we’ve reported, Sun foresees it reaching many millions of users of Java applications, and the company hopes developers will fill it with useful Java applications. Although, applications at the store will be free in the beta trial, Sun’s goal is also to get significant revenues from the store. Here’s more on what Schwartz and Gosling said and showed on stage.

    • Oracle will invest heavily in Java

      ORACLE CEO Larry Ellison has said that the “new Oracle” will continue to invest in Java and will consider building Java-powered netbooks and phones.

  • People

    • The Human Factor in Open Source, Cat Allman

      Google uses, creates and supports open source software (OSS) both as the raw material of code, and as a development model. My work in the Open Source Programs Office (OSPO) at Google as one member of a three person Outreach team is almost entirely about the mechanics of building good relations between the F/LOSS community at large and Google. This article describes our day-to-day tasks which are variously focused on student programs, external communications, event management, and financial administration.

    • Are You A Contributor?: Women’s Contributions to Linux & Open Source Span Technology and Business, Amanda McPherson

      While there are over 60 names on the list of women in open source on the Geek Feminism wiki, there are far more than 60 women making their mark in open source. I work with talented people every day in my role as Vice President of Marketing and Developer Programs at the Linux Foundation, and see first-hand the contributions women make at the technology and business levels.

    • Offline: Where Tech Communities Succeed With Women, Selena Deckelmann

      Conferences are one way that women can be drawn into the free/libre and open source software (F/LOSS) ecosystem. Many different approaches are needed to increase women’s participation in F/LOSS, but face-to-face interaction has proven to be a critical part of the way the technology community in Portland, Oregon has thrived. This article describes the successes of this community, and suggests how other communities could benefit from Portland’s experience.

  • Business

    • Why Open Source isn’t Tiddly for BT

      But I still look forward to the day when BT’s appreciation of the virtues of sharing extend to public declarations that attempts to enclose the intellectual commons through intellectual monopolies are a waste of time, and that patents – at least for software – are a n obstacle to innovation that should be abolished definitively.

  • Funding

    • Recession and FOSS

      The key to promote Linux effectively not only lies with Linux enthusiasts but also with Open Source vendors who are yet to find out a way in which it can be monetized efficiently to expand recognition amongst its probable user base.


      An Open Source product or service will be able to get buyers who are bereft of major cash inflows and the business operations shall hence continue successfully. The best thing that could happen to Linux is its emergence as the top alternative to Microsoft. Open Source tools such as PostgreSQL, Ruby, Perl, Python, and Ubuntu etc. can be used as a substitute to do most work that Microsoft does, of course with a difference in terms of use, installation, features and support. This will probably be of tremendous help to FOSS in retaining its “free aspect” USP.

  • Government

    • Pursuing Government RFPs: A How-To Guide for Open Source

      As they make software and hardware purchases, governments are creatures of habit.

      They form long relationships with IT vendors and stick with them so they can keep their IT systems running with minimal interruptions.

      And while new technologies might be intriguing, governments often shy away from major IT changes because they have little willingness to take even the slightest risks of introducing a glitch into their infrastructures. So they stay with the companies and technologies they know as they undergo their traditional Request for Proposal (RFP) contract bidding and acquisition procedures.

    • US Open Government Dialogue

      One suggestion that I find particularly appealing is “Mandate open formats in all government formats.” This topic will be well understood ground for those who have supported ODF over the last few years. I urge you to contribute constructively to the discussion.


  • Downloading 3322 Copyrighted Movies is Okay in Spain

    In Spain, a judge has dismissed a case against a man who downloaded and shared 3322 copyrighted movies on the Internet. Despite efforts from local anti-piracy outfits, the legal system in Spain continues to stand firmly behind those who share music and movies without financial gain.

  • YouTube’s Big Traffic Stick Forces PRS To Slash UK Streaming Royalty Rate

    As Mike pointed out at the time, “Google is making the point to PRS: you need us much more than we need you.” It looks like that point’s been made, as the PRS last week cut its streaming royalty rates by more than half, and is now basically begging YouTube to remove the block, since the site was at one point responsible for 40 percent of PRS’ online plays. It looks like maybe the PRS is beginning to understand that without useful distribution (like that provided by YouTube), its members’ content loses a lot of value, and that in turn, moves it makes to hamper distribution (like high royalty rates) actually serve to destroy value, not deliver it.

  • Napster: Ex RIAA boss rues lost opportunity

    Instead, the RIAA’s litigation helped drive P2P underground – where it became entrenched, and harder to monetise.

    Rosen also criticised a lack of action and “too much attention on security and not enough on interoperability”.

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