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Links 14/06/2009: Linux Multi-touch, KDE4 for PCLOS

Posted in News Roundup at 8:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • The Geek Factor

    Four years ago – StartCom’s main focus was still the StartCom Linux distribution and hosting business of MediaHost™ – we setup a new web site and created a very simple wizard for obtaining a digital certificate and announced to the world that we intend to end this multi-million dollar business of implied security. There was certainly some naivety and a lot of innocence with our proclaimed goal – until our servers were overran by almost two million page views during the initial days after our announcement which hit the Internet news sites. We went like….WOW!

  • Linux multi-touch technology demo’d

    A development group at ENAC in Toulouse, France, reports that it has developed a proof of concept for adding iPhone-like multi-touch support to the Linux kernel. The group has released a video showing multi-touch effects such as resizing and rotating using Linux 2.6.30.

  • ZumoDrive Expands: Linux Client, Proxy Support, Yahoo! Mail Integration

    2. ZumoDrive for Linux – I prefer cross-platform services so I can easily access and use them on any device. An alpha build of ZumoDrive for Linux is available for download. There are packages available for Ubuntu, Fedora, RedHat and CentOS.

  • SmartFLeX Technology, Inc. and Cendio AB announce new partnership in US.

    SmartFLeX Technology Inc. is a new partner to Cendio and will work with and sell the ThinLinc Linux Terminal Server solution in the US.

  • Desktop

    • Will my program work on all Linux distributions?

      This was a question asked by a programmer friend of mine who has a passion for wooden spoons. It is however, a very important question and has been asked several times. The reason being that there are hundreds of Linux distributions and they all have slight differences in their setup.

    • eBox Moves Onto the Desktop

      Wow. This is the first dead-simple log-on service for Ubuntu clients (that I know of, anyway, and I try to keep my ear to the ground). SUSE and RHEL have had good solutions for their distributions for a while, but eBox sets Ubuntu 9.04 and beyond up for SME use.

  • Server

    • An EHR for cancer patients

      The iKnowMed system runs under Linux, follows the HL-7 standards for describing medical conditions, and will go through the CCHIT certification procedures so physicians can use HITECH stimulus money to get it.

  • Desktop Environments

    • KOffice 2009 Sprint In Berlin

      Last weekend — it seems like yesterday and like a year ago at the same time — the KOffice team came to Berlin for the first post 2.0 sprint. Graciously hosted by KDAB and smoothly organized by Alexandra Leisse, this sprint was one of the most productive sprints ever for KOffice. Not only because there were many developers attending, among them three out of four of our KOffice Summer of Code students, but also because everyone was filled to the brim with joy and relief about having release 2.0 and eager to forge forwards to 2.1.

    • KDE 4 packages for PCLinuxOS Scheduled

      KDE 4 packages for the PCLinuxOS distrubtion are scheduled to arrive in the PCLinuxOS repositories by the end of June or sooner if things build well. Hopefully most of the 3rd party applications will have matured enough to replace their KDE 3 counterparts.

  • Distributions

    • Xenon: An Inspired Linux Project

      One of my readers commented briefly that he would take on the project. With the inspired words, “Alright then. I’ll make you one,” amongst the fray of negativity, a new distro was born: Xenon.

    • Ubuntu screenshot time

      To be fair, I think what this says is how well the Canonical people have their act together at optimizing GNOME for their project. Nice job, guys. Coming from a Slackware guy, I’m here saying that I’m not only impressed with the setup process, but I’m impressed with the performance so far too.

    • Fedora

      • Fedora 11 Review

        For those who have seen my past reviews, you’ve probably already figured out that I don’t even bother to write a review unless there is something spectacular or culture changing to write about. This review of Fedora 11 is not an exception.

        Before I continue, I think it’s important to put things in proper context, so for those not familiar with the Fedora Project I’ll give a brief rundown. The Fedora project is partially funded, in various ways, by Red Hat and produces the core of what eventually ends up as the Redhat Enterprise Linux operating system. In fact, Fedora was previously known as “Fedora Core”.


        In the past I would have never recommended Fedora for someone new to Linux. Fedora 11 is a different story entirely. Fedora 11 is easy to use, fast, rock solid, and loaded with features others just don’t have. If you happen to have a slow Internet connection or service where you pay based upon bandwidth usage, it’s currently the most reasonable choice available…at least until others can adapt the Presto technology into their package management systems.

      • First Look: Fedora 11
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Elektrobit MID Reference Design Aims to put Linux Desktop apps + Smartphone in your pocket

      Smartphones, netbooks, smartbooks, and Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) while very similar feature-wise, each has their own distinct advantages. Smartphones such as theiPhone ( News – Alert) have been widely successful, while the MID market has been a bit slow to take off. Elektrobit Corporation (EB), based in Oulu, Finland aims to change that with their new MID reference design that combines the “pocketability” of smartphones with the power of PCs/netbooks since it can run desktop Linux applications.

    • Phones

      • Intel quietly boosting its software in bid to get chips into smartphones

        Intel, which has long downplayed its big software-development team, is now coming out with a speedy Linux-based operating system — in direct competition to longtime partner Microsoft — in order to break into the smartphone-chip market.

      • How Palm Designed The Pre

        Perched on Peter Skillman’s desk for the past year has been a white ostrich egg, about as long as a DVD case. It is a talisman for Skillman, vice president of design at Palm: the inspiration for a novel smart phone, the Pre, slated to be available in early June. It hints at the phoenixlike rebirth Palm hopes to achieve in the smart phone business.

      • Pre proves a worthy smartphone competitor
      • The Palm Pre takes Manhattan
      • In Hindsight: Palm Pre or new iPhone? Read the fine print

        It happens every year: Programmers and other Apple fans gather for the Cupertino iPhone, iPod and “I’m a Mac” computer maker’s Worldwide Developers Conference* (*WWDC to its friends). Conspicuously absent from the event was CEO Steve Jobs. (The Apple rumor mill had raised the prospect of a cameo appearance from Jobs, even though his medical leave is scheduled to last until the end of the month.)

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Android Gains on Microsoft

        As if Google doesn’t have enough high-octane foes, it’s about to pick a fight with another giant: Amazon (AMZN). The Wall Street Journal reports that the search giant is planning to launch software that will allow book publishers to sell digital versions that will work with any computer, e-book, or smartphone that can access the Web. This puts Google in direct competition with Amazon, which sells electronic versions of books for its Kindle. What’s next, Google—taking on Jesus Christ or something? You gonna offer a Linux-based patch that lets us walk on water?

      • Ellison Mulls Foray Into Netbook Market

        Oracle Corp. Chief Executive Larry Ellison floated the idea that the software company might target mobile devices after its planned acquisition of Sun Microsystems Inc., including the small, low-priced computers called netbooks.

      • Microsoft upset with Intel

        We used to call them WinTel, as Intel was one of the loudest supporters of Redmond’s Windows operating systems, but since it came up with Atom and netbooks, Intel is trying to push for Linux. Intel calls it Moblin 2.0 and this OS is supposed to give you everything you should need to type and surf the web.

      • Microsoft is angry at Intel over Moblin

        Microsoft and Intel are angry with each other. Well to be more honest Microsoft is angry at Intel. Once upon a time, before the days of Anti-Trust, MS and Intel were pals, Intel supported MS and MS Supported Intel.

      • Intel Looks beyond Microsoft in Embedded Space

        Popularity of Linux-based OS is on raise. In the embedded space, its traditional partner Microsoft does not have major footprint, according to T.R. Madan Mohan, managing partner at Browne and Mohan
        Importantly, the non-PC business is almost 3.8 times that of PC business and Intel has been able to generate less than $1.2 billion in this segment. Considering all these, Intel has been trying to push its Linux version into the market; and has been strengthening its software armor chest by acquiring OpenedHand and Neoptika.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Fwd: [theora] Safari 4 Plays Theora/Vorbis
  • What Open Source shares with Science

    One of the overlooked advantages that Open Source development affords, is that it imitates perhaps the most fruitful and beneficial of all human endeavours: Science. How has the scientific-method evolved, and what can it teach us about the future possibilities of software construction?

    Science, in its clearly understood modern guise, is unique. This essentially Western tradition of open inquiry is believed to have developed only one instantiation throughout the whole period of human history. While almost all human societies have developed language, art, and music, open inquiry into the natural and philosophical world sprung only from the eastern rim of the Mediterranean sea, in a number of ancient Greek states, approximately 27 centuries ago.

  • BIND 10 Set to Update DNS

    A decade after work first began on version 9 of BIND, the widely deployed open source DNS (define) server, work is now fully underway on its successor, BIND 10.

  • Business

    • Freeriding, participation and another modest proposal

      There has been in the past several articles related to “freeriding“, that is the use of OSS without any apparent form of reciprocal contribution, be it in a monetary form, or in terms of source code. I am not sympathetic to this view in general, because it masks an ill-posed question, that is “if you use someone code, are you required to give something back?”


      Users contribute back in terms of participation in forums, in providing direct and indirect feedback, and much more. Of course only a small part of the users contribute back, a phenomenon that was apparent in most social phenomenon well before the internet, and should be no surprise to anyone.

    • Community: hype or enabler?

      We’ve stopped counting how many of our components were contributed by users – there are too many of them. For example, in France the Pays des Vals de Saintonge (PVS), recently decided to finance the Edigéo and Magic connectors to transform their data, which would then be given back to the community under a GPL license so that all municipalities could benefit from them. Eurofins enhanced a SQL Server connector commenting “Thanks to our expertise in terms of databases, we improved the MS Server connectors and we have shared these improvements with the community.” And Habitat 76 financed the development of a connector for the Alfresco management tool, which it opted to return to the community for integration in future versions of Talend Open Studio and Talend Integration Suite.

      These are only few examples of the involvement of our community.

      So to conclude, I’m delighted to say – no, the community is NOT hype!

    • MySQL has a new release model

      In an earlier post, the pursuit of openness, I announced that MySQL is working at a new release model.

      There are still a few details to sort out, but the general plan is ready. The new release model has been approved and starts to operate immediately.

    • Accenture jumps into open source in a big way

      I caught up with Alex Wied, senior manager at Accenture and head of its Innovation Center for Open Source, and Tony Roby, partner in Accenture’s Global Architecture and Core Technologies group, to find out what, exactly, Accenture has been doing with open source, and how the global consulting firm expects to use open source going forward. They collaborated on the answers to my questions below.

    • FLOSS Weekly 73: Tim O’Reilly

      Tim O’Reilly talks about open source and the future of web technologies.


    • 15 Mythical and Humorous Facts About Richard Stallman

      1. Richard Stallman doesn’t use web browsers, he sends a link to a demon that uses wget to fetch the page and sends it back to him.

      2. Richard Stallman is the only man alive who can pronounce GNU the way it is meant to be pronounced.

      3. Richard Stallman doesn’t read web pages. They write to him.


  • Pirate Bay – Anti-piracy campaign?

    I have written an email to Mr Anderson and his campaign which, whilst of good intention and noble cause, to me hints on previous “attempts” to tackle TPB (by others) which IMO ended in tears and comments making them look a little silly. I would ask him to consider that the people who run these BT trackers are actually very knowledgeable and certainly know their subjects inside out. I would ask him to “Cave quid dicis, quando, et cui” since a badly thought-out attempt will do more harm than good and in my opinion the coverage the TPB has had in recent dramas only exposes more new users to Bittorrent and in particular TPB. I base this opinion on the various forums and news groups that I see which have users comenting about the press coverage and then asking what TBP and bittorrent is.

  • Senator Orrin Hatch… And The Lies The Copyright Industry Tells

    In my last post, I walked through the misleading or outright false arguments by Rep. Wexler in defense of stronger copyrights. At the same event, Senator Orrin Hatch also spoke, and it’s worth responding to him as well.

    You in this room are the artists, the innovators, and leaders of the world copyright industry. Not only do your artistic works continue to encourage the creation of new works that inspire and delight us, but also your industry is one of the few that consistently generates a positive balance of trade.

    This assumes, incorrectly, that copyright is the sole reason for the creation of artistic works or that positive balance of trade. The evidence suggests otherwise. There are many reasons why people create. Some have nothing to do with monetary incentive — but even those that do have found that “copyright” is not the only way to make money, and, in fact may not be the best way to make money. Yet, those who do creative things are often limited by copyright.

  • Has The Pirate Bay Lost Its Appeal… Or Should We Not Trust The NY Times?

    Someone just alerted me to a NY Times story claiming that the guys behind The Pirate Bay have lost their appeal of the verdict that found them guilty. That would be big news (and it may very well happen). However, I can’t find anything else to support it. The NY Times credits the Hollywood Reporter, whose only recent article I can find on the subject merely claims that the TPB guys failed to get the case thrown out. But digging deeper, the only information I can find is that the District Court, which made the original ruling has told the Appeals Court that there was no bias.

  • Once Again, Before Sending A DMCA Takedown, It Helps To Actually Own The Content

    But, basically, someone used a video to respond to a guy from the Discovery Institute concerning a recent appearance he made on Fox News. The Fox News video is Fox’s copyright. Yet, the Discovery Institute sent the takedown notice. Furthermore, the use of the video (even if Fox had sent the takedown) is almost certainly fair use. It was used for commentary in a non-commercial manner.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Real-time Linux hacker Bill Huey discusses Linux kernel society 08 (2004)

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

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  1. twitter said,

    June 14, 2009 at 9:29 pm


    Red Hat’s Presto is interesting and impressive. Debian’s version of that is Jigsaw Download, which uses rsync, a program that syncs by only sending portions of updated files that differ. This is not quite as elegant as having precomputed diff files, but it achieves the same kind of bandwith reduction. Jigsaw Download was made to get around the fact that many Debian repositories eliminated install CDs because net install was so much more efficient. It was thought better to leave packages on repository mirrors to be pulled on demand rather than send out giga bytes worth of binaries that would never be installed. Precomputed diff files could make mirror syncing more efficient and less cpu intensive.

    Another level of efficiency would be for institutions to maintain local repositories that only contain the packages they actually use. These thoughts are obvious, so I’m sure someone is working on them.

    David Gerard Reply:

    Yeah, diffed updates will be reinvented until they work well ;-) because network is so much the limiting factor in practice.

    Debian and Ubuntu could have had apt-sync for a while, but approximately no-one uses it.

    Ubuntu is doing something similar with a view to having it in 9.10. The use case is people on 3G (where every byte costs) and rural India (where you’re on dialup when you even have a phone line). See also.

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