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06.28.09

Links 28/06/2009: LiMux Effect, Firefox 3.5 Days Away

Posted in News Roundup at 6:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Opinion: Death knell heard for Microsoft and really all proprietary efforts

    Linux has become mature, open-source has proven it can be a viable solution for businesses, and that the expenses involved in applying their own personal paid developer staff toward efforts which ultimately are given away for free, in the long haul are actually far more cost effective than paying continuously for proprietary access to systems, such as those provided for by Microsoft and Windows-based products.

    The future is most assuredly open-source, which means various forms of Linux for mobile devices, from handhelds to netbooks to notebooks, even on to desktops and servers. And prior to this recent announcement by Intel that they’ve signed up with Nokia to deliver Atom-based x86 CPUs for use in their mobile smartphones, I would’ve said that the future was entirely ARM-based.

    I still believe the future will be ARM-based ultimately, but I think Intel’s intrusion into those roadmaps may push it out a bit.

  • Libre

    • The ‘real’ freedom of ‘free’ software

      The ‘Free’ in FOSS not only provides the freedom discussed above, but also it provides individuals the freedom to learn and expand their experience, education and opportunity to help others to be successful using Free and Open Source Software.

    • GNU/Linux: What Does “Free” Mean?

      I have been pondering the meaning of “free” in association with Free Open Source Software (FOSS) in general and GNU/Linux in particular. If one asks a FOSS advocate what free means in regard to these one might hear the reply, “Free as in beer!” and/or “Free as in freedom!”. While that means something to the FOSS advocate it may not mean the same thing to whoever asks the question. Frankly, my beer has rarely been free and furthermore what is “freedom”? I think I have answers to the question in the title. Bear with me while I attempt to explain what free means in relation to FOSS and GNU/Linux.

  • Desktop

    • LiMux: Munich Linux (R)evolution has its Imitators

      Florian Schiessl, the acting head of the Munich LiMux project, says, “We’d do it again”. Pictures of Tux the penguin, the Linux mascot, adorn the walls of the Munich city council’s IT department. The target is to convert 80 per cent of the city council’s 14,000 computers to Linux by mid-2012 at the latest. Even earlier, by the end of this year in fact, all the town hall staff are to drop Word, Excel and Internet Explorer and use free OpenOffice software and Firefox, the open-source browser, instead.

    • LiMux: Where the Munich Linux (R)evolution is today
    • Do the Linux Jig!

      And I’m just damn tired of Windows already.

      Doesn’t that ever happen to you? Not particularly with your operating system because you know, that’s geeky as all Hell. But say you always bought from the same brand of shoes. They were great, and did everything you asked them to do for you. But after so many years, damn! Don’t you wanna try something new? See what’s out there?

      I’ve been fighting with the want to use Ubuntu for like three years now. Not just use Ubuntu, but make it my primary OS of choice. For the last few years I’ve fiddled with it, put it on a separate partition, or a virtual machine.

    • Should You Switch to Linux in Your Law Firm?

      These are just a few of the reasons why your law firm may want to make the switch to Linux. There are wide variety of distributions to choose from, and best of all, they’re FREE! If you don’t feel like diving right in without any prior experience, Ubuntu can be downloaded and installed through WUBI. The Windows-based Ubuntu Installer (Wubi) allows you to install and uninstall Ubuntu from within Microsoft Windows. It lets a Microsoft Windows user try Ubuntu without risking any data loss due to disk formatting or partitioning.

    • The Desktop Is Dead. So Is The Server!

      When anyone mentions blade servers and Big Blue in the same paragraph, it’s fair to assume that only big enterprises need to pay attention. Dell, however, hopes its new “SMB-in-a-box” lineup, which bundles hardware with pre-configured open-source software packages, will prove an attractive proposition for smaller firms concerned about keeping IT costs to a minimum.

  • Applications

    • Package Converter: A Graphical Front-End for Alien

      Alien, the Linux application that converts between Red Hat rpm, Debian deb, Stampede slp, Slackware tgz, and Solaris pkg file formats now has a front-end GUI to simplify the already simple process of converting packages from one format to the other with Alien.

    • 10 Great Apps to Convert Audio & Video Files in Linux

      With the different audio and video formats available, there is often the need to inter convert amongst them – sometimes for quality and sometimes for compatibility. Here are some of the better software, that you can use to achieve the inter conversions on your Linux box.

    • Emailing on Linux: sticking to one

      Overall, Thunderbird is easy to get into. I feel the learning curve isn’t steep at all and it will meet all the major needs of regular users.

    • How Metalink gives you faster downloads

      Want to make your downloads easier and faster? Then it’s time for a quick lesson in Metalink…

      You’re wrong I tell you! BitTorrent is the One True Way of downloading files, and I won’t hear any different!

      I see. In that case, why not check out TechRadar’s article on speeding up BitTorrent downloads. But if you’d like to hear why Metalink is designed to sit alongside BitTorrent rather than replace it, hang around and I’ll tell you.

  • Web Browsers

    • 5 Free and Open Source Web Browsers That You May Have Never Heard Of

      For web browsing, most of us would prefer Firefox or Opera because of their speed, security, stability, and overall features. While a handful of people may like surfing the web with some of those terminal-based browsers.

    • Opera Kicks It Up A Notch With Unite

      A few weeks ago I took Opera 10 beta for a test drive to see if the Opera folks had a shot at claiming serious share on the desktop. While Opera 10 is the best Opera release yet, it didn’t seem to have any killer features that would drive adoption. Last week, Opera pulled the other one and released Opera Unite: the killer feature that might put Opera over the top.

    • Firefox

      • Firefox 3.5 gears up for a possible Tuesday public release

        Unless someone out there in the community can locate another big bug, Mozilla may finally be ready to lift the curtain on its biggest Web browser release to date.

      • Musing about Firefox and the death of IE

        The only question next is, what’ll happen after IE is defeated? (*laugh*) Who cares? Firefox isn’t competing against anyone, except maybe itself. So the death of a major competitor really means nothing in the grand scheme of things.

      • Why Firefox Doesn’t Take Google Chrome Features

        The new release will include a number of new features, but don’t expect to see many features that were inspired by the new arrival of Google on the Web browser scene with its Chrome browser.

      • Updated Firefox 3.5 release candidate available for download

        Please note: the Firefox 3.5 Release Candidate is a public preview release intended for developer testing and community feedback. It includes many new features as well as improvements to performance, web compatibility, and speed. We recommend that you read the release notes and known issues before installing this release candidate.

      • Life With A Bleeding-Edge Browser

        Firefox 3.5 went to public release-candidate status earlier this week. But while the whole 3.5 branch was still under wraps, I was sticking my neck out and running the bleeding-edge nightly builds of the browser — and was surprised at how un-beta it was.

      • 9 Amazing New Features of Firefox 3.5!

        Even cooler is how Firefox lets you interact with videos built around the open standards. Dubbed Dynamic Content Injection, other images and videos can be inserted into specific points of a video in a sort of augmented reality fashion. Technically, the same types of tricks can be done in Flash, but it’s a lot more complex and typically requires the entire page be coded in Flash.

      • 10 Firefox extensions you can’t live without

        Whether you want to speed access to the Web sites you regularly visit, keep better tabs on your tabs, or protect your system from potentially dangerous active content, there’s a Firefox extension ready to help you out. Jack Wallen shares his list of favorite time-saving, browser-enhancing add-ons.

    • Chrome

  • KDE

    • Reviewed: KOffice 2.0

      We grabbed the Kubuntu version of the software from official sources and installed it on a fairly standard Dell laptop. We experienced quite a few problems trying to run it under Gnome, but switching to KDE (as you’d expect) made things a lot more stable. KOffice’s launch speed is comparable with that of OpenOffice.org 3.1, and its rendering is beautifully smooth, even when shifting around large blended objects.

    • KDE Forums – Something big is about to happen

      Now you might wonder, what has bubbles to do with the forum? Unfortunately I can’t give you an answer, but it seems to be related to this picture that has been floating around…

    • A brand new look for KDE Community forums
    • KDE 4 – Third Time’s the Charm?

      Having recently upgraded to Jaunty, I thought it might be time to give KDE another try. I have been a little tough on KDE in the past, but I have always maintained it has potential. Time to see if 4.2 can finally deliver!

    • GNOME makes Linux look bad?

      So where am I going with this? Basically because GNOME is chosen as the primary Desktop Environment, Linux in general looks bad, and this is because GNOME in general looks bad. So how does one fix this? Well I personally think that KDE4 is soon ready to replace GNOME, it attracts a lot more positive attention and is (almost) completely stable. Otherwise the standard will stick with GNOME and there will be constant negative attention due to its poor UI. If GNOME wants to keep Linux in the game they NEED to work on their UI for their upcoming release of 3.0 and it needs to be comparable to KDE4.

  • GNOME

    • Notes from a GNOME 3 Mockup

      Accuse me of blogspam and whatnot, but I saw this, it was really cool and I thought I just /had/ to share it with you.

  • Distributions

    • Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 updated

      The Debian project is pleased to announce the second update of its stable distribution Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 (codename “lenny”). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustment to serious problems.

    • Contributing upstream, it will make or break Linux

      The Sabayon team always desired to be working closer to upstream with the belief that together we are stronger, and that by having a more desktop and user focused Gentoo it would improve the Gentoo experience for a lot of users, and I think that extends to all of open source in general, if we all worked together in a harmonious way we could do anything, but its open source, so it will never happen, the status quo of its greatest strength and greatest weakness.

    • My Run In with CentOS at LinuxTag

      For HAR, we’re planning on starting an Event Box for EMEA and debuting it there. Hopefully if we get our hands on a projector and screen, we can do a combination of a Fedora/CentOS/FreeJ barcamp as well as VJing and running demos at night. If you want to participate in the process of putting together the Event Box, we’ll be having a session at FUDCon on Saturday or Sunday to coordinate planning and hammer out a few details.

    • Popular Linux Distros That’ll Get You A Job

      On the right, an average job demand was looked up for 2008 & 2009 for each of the distribution analyzed. More than 80% of the demand is for RedHat, BSD and Suse. (Aside point: The name Mandriva, what was originally Mandrake has not caught on. There was not a single position that used the new term. Mandrake however was still used and had an average demand of about 10 jobs a month). RedHat at 3000, is more than double that of BSD (800), and Suse (550). centOs(200), Debian(300), Fedora(225), and Ubunt(175) were the center of the pack. Gentoo (60) finished last.

    • PCLinuxOS! Everything Works!

      So play DVD movies, listen to MP3s, online audio streams, and other entertainment with no hiccups or glitches. PCLinuxOS handles ‘em all! It’s so easy, you’ll think you’re running an Apple Mac (but with out the hefty price tag) or a Windows system ( but without the viruses and pop-ups!)

    • PCinuxOS Rolling Along!

      The app that helps monitor this is “Update Notifier.” The screen shot above shows it in action. You launch it once and it sits in your system tray. Update Notifier periodically checks to see what new software updates are available. It flags you and allows you to make those updates with a couple of clicks of the mouse.

    • Five Reasons I Prefer Slackware Over Ubuntu

      Really, when I thought about doing this I wondered if I could come up with five reasons but now I’m sure I could go on much longer. Slackware is the oldest existing Linux distribution and it didn’t get to being around this long by being sub par. There’s a general consensus that the post install configuration of Slackware may be a bit too challenging for beginners, but I think anyone who can read a copy of the Slackbook and use a Slackware forum if need be would be able to do it. Believe me, it’s worth the initial effort and like Trent of the Linux Critic says-once you go slack, you never go back.

    • Fedora

      • Fedora 12 release name

        The Fedora 12 release name is:

        Constantine

        The full GPG-signed message from our election coordinator, Nigel Jones, is attached. Thank you to the community for their suggestions, Josh Boyer and the Board for their work on additional diligence searches, and Nigel Jones for setting up the voting.

      • A quick look at Fedora 11
      • How Manipal got its first Linux (fedora) server

        It all started with a failing Student’s Teacher Feedback System, designed by few fourth year students of my college, in oct-nov 2008 the system was not able to scale and everything was reverted back to paper, it was then when i was contacted by a teacher from my Department ( Information and Communication Technology ), regarding if i can improve it.

      • Fedora 12 to be named Constantine
      • LinuxTag and FUDCon 2009, part 1.

        Wednesday was the beginning of LinuxTag and as always the efficiency of our Ambassador contingent was plain to see. The booth was in fantastic shape, with plenty of “Four Foundations” decorations and also a projector to show off slides that offered excellent Fedora messages and data about the upcoming FUDCon event. There were also new, free-standing, vertical banners using the “Four Foundations” logos that look simply superb.

      • FUDCon Day 1.

        Lots of great conversations went on for Day 1, as others have written. Security team collaborating with release engineering, wireless hackers collaborating with each other, and lots of new people finding their way around to meet with other contributors as well. The hackfest started a little timidly, which surprised me seeing how many great engineering minds were here from various locations. But ultimately everything came together very well, culminating in an awesome BarCamp/unconference scramble at the end of the day.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ksplice Offers Rebootless Updates For Ubuntu Systems

        Ksplice has started offering Ksplice Uptrack for Ubuntu Jaunty, a free service that delivers rebootless versions of all the latest Ubuntu kernel security updates. It’s currently available for both the 32 and 64-bit generic kernel, and they plan to add support for the virtual and server kernels by the end of the month, according to their FAQ. This makes Ubuntu the first OS that doesn’t need to be rebooted for security updates. (We covered Ksplice’s underlying technology when it was first announced a year ago.)

      • Ubuntu Wiki – not shareable?

        I may be missing something here (be great if I am), but it seems to me that the content of the Ubuntu Wiki – which contains some great stuff – is not licensed under one of the common ’shareable’ licenses, like CC, GFDL or OPL

      • Proposed Backgrounds for Ubuntu Karmic Koala

        Earlier I wrote about Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala planning to offer a greater and more diverse set of wallpapers. Now that a little more time has passed, here are some of the most promising wallpapers for Ubuntu 9.10…

      • Will Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala Stand Up Against Windows 7

        On paper Ubuntu Karmic koala 9.10 is the more efficient than Windows 7, but most will tend to use Windows 7 due to its glam quotient and marketing strategy.

      • Ubuntu Boot Performance coordination with Debian
      • Tracking Ubuntu Community Issues

        Blog entries are single shot capsules of feedback, wisdom and opinion ejected onto the Internet and often aggregated in places such as Planet Ubuntu. They are typically highly personalized, lurking in personally-driven locations (such as a homepage or personal blog), have no facilities for applying status, assignment, milestones or priority, provide little or no means to subscribe to specific problems, and lack facilities for communicating when a problem has been solved: if the issue is resolved the blog is sometimes updated and sometimes not.

      • [Full Circle Magazine] Issue 26

        This month:

        * Command and Conquer – MOC & IRSSI
        * How To: Ubuntu As A Guest, Apt-Cacher, and Inkscape – Part 3.
        * My Story – Why I Converted To Linux.
        * Review – WebHTTrack
        * MOTU Interview – Stefan Ebner.
        * Top 5 – Linux-powered Devices.

      • Ubuntu Karmic – 9.10 to drop the ‘i386-server’ Kernel.

        As I have been very interested in the newly released 2.6.30 Linux Kernel, I was browsing around the ubuntu kernel wiki and I’ve found and interesting tidbit…

      • Kubuntu

        • Kubuntu 9.04 on Dell Studio 1555

          So overall, it’s really good to have *buntu working on a Dell :)

        • Kick Start Your Asus Notebook: 64-bit Kubuntu

          After about a week of evaluation, I’d say that if you need a new laptop, you can’t go wrong by teaming up the latest version of Kubuntu and the Asus X83-VM. The fit and finish is great. It’s light and has a bright 14-inch screen. Kubuntu has done a great job with the desktop applications and hardware recognition.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Google Android Gets Help In Fight Against Apple iPhone (GOOG, AAPL)

      Taiwanese cellphone maker HTC, which has spent the last year or so making Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows Mobile less ugly, is now doing the same for Google’s (GOOG) Android. It’s the first look at how gadget manufacturers and carriers will try to differentiate their phones based on Android.

    • The XO Laptop Two Years Later: Part 1 – The Vision

      The XO laptop made a considerable splash when it was announced to the world by Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop per Child (OLPC) non-profit organization. Tech enthusiasts were anxious to get their hands on the fabled $100 laptop. Reviews at the time were very enthusiastic and focused mostly on the hardware, ruggedness, battery life, innovative display technology and mesh wireless access. The software however was a custom linux distribution with an entirely new user interface and an entirely new way of doing things. Some tried to compare it to Windows or linux running on similarly inexpensive Netbooks, and those reviews were unfavorable.

    • Netbook Linux Screencaster Smackdown

      If you’re using Linux you may have already read TuxArena’s excellent rundown of three highly regarded screencasting apps.

    • Sugar on a Stick brings sweet taste of Linux to classrooms

      Sugar Labs has announced the first official release of Sugar on a Stick, a Linux-based learning environment that can boot from a USB memory stick. The Sugar platform, which originally emerged from the One Laptop Per Child project, could soon arrive in classrooms.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Do You Do the Drupal?

    The Drupal content management system is one of the most popular engines for dynamic websites — indeed, it powers the site you’re visiting right now. All this powering doesn’t happen by itself, though, and the developer community that does the dirty work behind the scenes is in need of a bit of Linux labor.

  • Miro Internet TV 2.5 Preview

    Internet TV is one of the most developing field in the tech market.
    The origin of this field can was with the introduction of streaming video. The quality of the video depended on your connection speed. With the advancement of broadband Internet, the quality of the video and ability to access it online increased. The next revolution in this field was YouTube, which gave the idea of social interaction with video. But the problem with YouTube was that movies can only be viewed in a little pop-up windows. After this the idea of high definition video which utilizes fast broadband speeds for streaming the content over the Internet emerged.

  • Platforms

    • OpenSolaris: No Standing Still On A Moving Train

      Sun doesn’t have a full-blown methodology for this yet, but they are starting to offer a way towards it: use OpenSolaris to get people’s hands dirty with the new features, and even let them run it in a production environment. (Little-known fact: people with Solaris support contracts can substitute OpenSolaris for the regular version and still get Sun support.) Then let them move to the next real version of Solaris, which maintains binary compatibility with previous editions — something Sun sweated blood to make sure of — and continue where you left off.

    • FLOSS Weekly 75: OpenSolaris

      Glynn Foster for OpenSolaris OpenSolaris the free and open source operating system from Sun Microsystems.

    • Rock your box with Rockbox

      Seeing as how I haven’t switched OSes or gone on a customization frenzy this week, I’ll talk about a little something I found a few months ago. Rockbox is its name. MP3 players are its business. Awesomeness is its nature.

  • Government

    • Open Government and Open Source at the Department of Defense – Part 1

      Open source can be defined as a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process, and the promise of open source is better quality, higher reliability, more flexibility, lower cost, and an end to predatory vendor lock-in (from The Open Source Initiative). The US Government, including DoD, is taking a new look at open source as a way to achieve cost savings, and improvement in quality. Scott McNealy, in a BBC interview in January of this year, said that he had been asked, by the new administration, to write a paper on open source. OSI President, Micheal Tiemann, also claimed that the US government could save around $400bn dollars through use of open source.

    • Is the world now an open source society?

      The same is true for politics. The Obama campaign, in computing terms, was a much more top-down affair than the Dean campaign which preceded it. The Obama people bypassed the blogs just as they did media gatekeepers. The online environment they built, in the end, was proprietary.

      It’s the ability to harness trends which leads to success, not the trends themselves. This harnessing would seem to contradict the open source ideal. But does it?

      Again, I would argue that it does not. Open source is an accelerant of change. The Internet is the rocket fuel of change. Harnessing that power, directing that rocket, these remain tasks for leadership.

Leftovers

  • Universities Cope with New Anti-Piracy Requirement

    Reis’ headaches began at the end of last summer, just after President Bush signed into law the Higher Education Opportunity Act, the first reauthorization of the Higher Education Act since 1998. The act included several new provisions, but the one that has Reis and others on college campuses concerned is a new requirement that schools ensure they are doing all they can to combat illegal file sharing among students.

    [...]

    Reis estimates he will spend approximately $100,000 implementing new hardware and software in order to be in compliance with the regulation. But figuring out exactly what is needed is not easy. The HEOA is still in the negotiated rulemaking process, so the exact language and interpretation from the Department of Education is still forthcoming.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

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