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Links 22/07/2009: Launchpad is Free Software; 2 Flash Frameworks Go FOSS

Posted in News Roundup at 3:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • the home desktop, the the work station and the school desktop, oh my!

    The Linux home desktop. This is the coveted property that untold numbers go home to play video and music on. Create home made birthday cards and print their digital photos from.


    So, start the schools using OpenSource software and Linux. The students will be trained and proficient on it. Workplaces will buy into it to accommodate to meet the capabilities and experience of the incoming generations of skilled new workers.

  • Linux Format wallpapers

    Updated: We’ve had a number of reader requests to make available some of the imagery we use in Linux Format magazine. Naturally we’re happy to share with you all, so we’ve put this page online where we’ll upload artwork as it’s requested.

  • Linux Against Poverty Installfest – August 1st

    What’s even better than recycling your old computer? Donate it to a good cause!

  • Desktop

    • Quick Guide to Installing Ubuntu on a Mac OSX PC

      Can Linux co-exist peacefully with Mac OSX? Of course it can, and it’s my opinion there are some real advantages to having both available on your Mac system. So, with this beginner article it is my hope that others will be open to trying out the power of Linux on their Mac.

    • Life with Linux: More apps

      I’ve been working on tuning the Linux installation I have on my work Lenovo Thinkpad T400, and it’s time to add a few more applications. I’ll break them down by category.

    • Ubuntu 9.04 Snaps Desktop Visaster

      I finally had my fill of Visaster on my office desktop. The final kick in the teeth delivered by Visaster was a document that flat out disappeared while I was attempting to move it to a remote shared drive. Explorer did its typical “white-out” and then locked up the desktop and the system had to be power cycled to get responses from the keyboard or mouse.

    • Dude I Got a Dell!

      Mighty impressive effort here on the part of Dell and Canonical.

  • Server

    • eBox Releases Version 1.2

      eBox is a server management platform that handles some really advanced configurations and makes them easy to set up. I reported about eBox a couple of weeks ago and told you that there were some cool new features in the pipeline.

  • Kernel Space

    • Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 Nears Final Release

      Head on over to Phoronix-Test-Suite.com to give 2.0 Sandtorg a try, which introduces a horde of new features. More on some of the new features and capabilities to be found in Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 are described in Driving Linux-based Benchmarking With Sandtorg and Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 Enters Alpha. In this release there are more than 100 test profiles! Share your feedback on this testing software of ours within the Phoronix PTS Forum.

    • Intel Releases Version 2.8 X.Org Driver

      It’s been an interesting past few months in the Linux graphics world, but to mark the end of four months of development, Carl Worth on the behalf of the Intel Open-Source Technology Center has announced the release of an updated DDX driver. This new Intel driver is, of course, xf86-video-intel 2.8.0.

    • Linux’s Thickening Waist Line

      Microsoft’s operating systems have exploded in size during the past 20 years or so as their functionality increased to include thousands of features that weren’t considered necessary in DOS. Nowhere is this more true than Microsoft’s Vista — a classic case of an OS so bloated and unwieldy it barely crawled along on machines that could run Linux like a bat out of hell.

    • Linux driver problems? What driver problems?

      For ages people have complained about how there’s no drivers for certain products in Linux (or insufficient drivers), despite Linux having the largest driver database in the entire world, easily twice as large as Microsoft’s largest collection.

      However, the problem doesn’t lie in what’s supported, but rather when it’s supported. Too many products are released on the market with Windows drivers, but nothing for Linux.

  • Applications

    • Chromium in Linux is advancing nicely

      I’ve installed “chromium-snapshot” from Arch’s AUR yesterday (means user contributed, unofficial packages), and I must say it’s come a long way. In the very beginning, this was described by the devs as a 500MB binary that displayed a window. I’m paraphrasing here, but you get the idea. Then it developed into something browserlike, but without tabs, or flash, or stability. Now it has all those things, plus it actually follows your GTK theme. Flash works, albeit a bit buggy. It’s the only thing that has been able to crash a page at this point. The browser itself hasn’t died on me yet.

    • Promises Plated in Chrome

      With the recent announcement of Google’s Chrome OS, open source zealots everywhere have been licking their lips raw and playing their trumpets loud. But is another big corporation going to be a good thing for OSS? We take a trip down memory lane and look for whether Google can (or wants to) buck the old trends.

    • 15 Email Applications for Linux

      Email clients are becoming less and less of a frequently used program, now people can go to Yahoo, GMX or Gmail and just put some few details down for registration and they have some few gigs of email space and an online client. And with the popularity such as the Mozilla prism project, web clients can be turned into normal looking programs and be used even off-line, making normal clients less of a necessity. But for some, email applications are still their first choice, one main advantage is the multiple use of accounts at the same time. Since awareness in email applications is decreasing, here is a list of email applications for Linux that shows many of the email clients available.

    • Top 3 Linux Burning Applications

      1. K3b
      Not many can argue against this one. K3b is the most popular burning application for Linux, and although it uses KDE3 libraries, many GNOME users prefer it too over native GTK burners.

  • KDE

    • KDE Reaches 1,000,000 Commits in its Subversion Repository

      KDE announced today that the one millionth commit has been made to its Subversion-based revision control system.

    • Draco loves KDE3

      For some unknown reason, Ole Andre Rodlie seems to have decided that KDE3 is more interesting than XFCE for a desktop OS, and — unannounced! — he is building beta versions of «Draco K3 Desktop Enviroment 1.0», which is otherwise based on Draco GNU/Linux 0.3.1.

    • looking to the future

      So what of 4.5? Well, we won’t have an army of gsoc students; a lot of us will be in school. But if we’re on git, and the branch layout is what i hope it’ll be, then perhaps i can focus on bugfixing while the rest of kde is doing features, then start my features when they’re in feature freeze – because that’s when i’ll have *time* for features. Of course, that means any feature i write over xmas break will be in 4.5…

  • Distributions

    • WattOS – A Fast Energy-Saving Linux Based on Ubuntu – Review & Screenshots

      WattOS Beta 3 is a lightweight Linux Distro geared towards running on less energy and for recycled or low power computers without compromising on features or performance that you’d expect from a full power system.

      Their motto “Light, Fast, Now” seeks to provide a low-energy full featured Linux distro.

    • Sidux 2009-02 (KDE)

      The excellent distribution suggestions keep coming from Brian Masinick and here’s yet another one, Sidux 2009-2. Sidux is based on Debian and you can download a version that uses the XFCE or KDE desktop environments. You can also opt to download the lite version that weighs in at about 600MB or the full version that weighs in at around 2.1GB. Being the greedy app pig that I am, I opted to download the full KDE version.

    • Apperi.com enters public beta

      We are proud to announce the launch of the public beta of apperi.com. A new linux app store for Debian and Ubuntu users. Apperi.com currently supports users of Debian 4 & 5 as well as Ubuntu 8.04, 8.10, and 9.04 with a total of 119,295 packages.

    • Mepis 8.0 Linux – Review and Screenshots

      Mepis 8.0 Linux is a Linux distro designed for ease of use and suitable even for beginners.

      Mepis is built on Debian 5.0 stable core with the 2.6.27 Linux kernel and comes in a 32bit and 64bit version.

      You can download from the Mepis mirror sites here.

    • Mandriva

      • Mandriva unveils its very latest Mandriva Flash 2009 Spring

        Mandriva Flash 2009 Spring brings all the extras you wanted. You will find the Mandriva Linux 3D workstation and the complete Linux gamut, such as Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird, Skype, Google Toolbar, and the OpenOffice suite…

      • Distro Hoppin`: Pardus Linux 2009

        The fact that Pardus made me actually enjoy using KDE 4 is by itself an indication of the overall quality of this operating system. It’s easy to install, easy to configure, 100% up-to-date and more importantly, very stable. I’ve used many distributions that shipped with ages-old software “for improved stability” that performed much worse than Pardus. Hopefully, the future will bring a bigger software repository and maybe support for other desktop environments.

        Turkey, you’ve got yourself one of the finest OSes out there!

    • Red Hat

      • Who Is the Next Red Hat?

        The open source world is cheering as Red Hat joins the S&P 500. It’s a huge vote of confidence in Red Hat. But is it a vote of confidence in the open source business model? Or more of a sign that Red Hat is miles ahead of its open source rivals on Wall Street and in the channel? Some clues from The VAR Guy…

      • Red Hat’s Open Source Cloud Forum–Free Online, Top Speakers

        The schedule for the forum is below, and note that all sessions will start at Eastern Standard Time, so if you’re on the West Coast in the U.S. and you want to participate live, sessions kick off at 6:30 a.m. The citation below for the 12 p.m. session with Eucalyptus Systems says “Mitch Wolski,” but that’s actually Rich Wolski, who we’ve talked with a number of times. Eucalyptus Systems has strong venture capital backing, and has several innovative open source efforts focused on the cloud. The session with Mike Olson, CTO of Cloudera–focused on Hadoop–also looks excellent. Cloudera provides support and services for Hadoop’s clustered speed-queries across large data sets.

        Here’s the complete agenda…

      • CentOS Pulse #0903 – 16th July 2009

        1. Foreword
        2. Announcements
        1. Break-In Attempt on www.CentOS.org
        3. Featured Articles
        1. The Definitive Guide to CentOS
        4. Community Threads
        1. Web Environment
        2. OS Protection
        3. Is there an openssh security problem?
        4. Better CentOS hardware support
        5. Interview
        6. Jokes and Funny Stuff
        1. How could he ?
        2. Comment your code
        7. CentOS Errata
        1. CentOS-3
        2. CentOS-4
        3. CentOS-5
        8. CentOS in the Spotlight
        9. Upcoming Events
        10. Contributing to this newsletter

      • Fedora

        • That FUDCon poster is catching on.

          There’s a nice entry on the Red Hat press blog about some of the interesting items that went on at FUDCon Berlin 2009.

        • Fedora 11 vs. Ubuntu 9.04

          Put Fedora 11 on my laptop just out of boredom, some notes:

          * Fedora 11 SELinux by default: Cool but confusing
          * Fedora 11 repositories: Better selection than previous releases, still not as many choices as Ubuntu
          * Ubuntu still wins on the default menu organization for new users (just a bit easier to navigate)
          * Fedora bootup vs. Ubuntu bootup is about a wash, they both look good and are fast
          * Default themes: Neither will win a competition on looks, Linux Mint is much better looking than both

    • Ubuntu

      • CrunchBang Linux 8.10.02: A review

        As I become more knowledgable about Linux, the thought has crossed my mind to create my own distribution. However, I’ll readily admit I’m not the most technical user, but at least I’m getting to a point where I could give it a try. Using Ubuntu as the base would probably be easiest, starting from a minimal install, and using my favoruite window manager: Openbox. It wouldn’t be a minimalist or leightweight distribution, just one that provided almost all of the functionality and none of the bloat.

      • Migrating From WUBI to Full Ubuntu Install

        Note: This blog post could also be titled “Reinstalling Ubuntu and Keeping Your Applications and Data” or “Migrating Ubuntu Data and Applications from One Machine to Another”.

      • Review: Linux Mint 7 Is Glorious

        Linux Mint 7 “Gloria” was released a little while ago, so before it became too old of news, I thought I’d take a whack at experimenting with it for the sake of netbookers everywhere (and for myself, naturally). As I type this on gedit after about two weeks’ use, let’s just say that the system on my EeePC 1000 HE is, for the most part, rather glorious– pun intended. As a bonus, I also got Google’s Chromium browser to run on it, so keep on reading to find the section on that.

      • Ultimate Edition – A free overdose

        Don’t like the fact your Ubuntu does not have everything you want or need? No Flash Player installed? No MP3 codecs? Where’s Google Earth? Worry not. That’s what Ultimate Edition is for.

      • A First Look at Kubuntu-Jaunty (v9.04)

        Are you looking for a Linux distribution with an ultramodern look with plenty of eye candy? One that will run on older desktop computers or current netbooks? Does the well-known stability and security of Linux interest you? Does a high level of user customization( without having to edit configuration files manually) sound like something you’d like? Are you an experienced KDE user who has heard the (accurate) horror stories about early versions of KDE4? A. Lizard thinks that Kubuntu-Jaunty just might be the distribution you are looking for.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • LiMo Foundation quietly gaining mobile Linux converts

      I spoke with Andrew Shikiar, director of Global Marketing for LiMo Foundation, on Tuesday to get a status report on LiMo, as well as to uncover what makes the foundation tick.

    • Android vs. webOS

      So far we’ve heard quite a bit of comparisons between the webOS platform and OSX (for the iPhone), as well as Android vs. OSX. But so far, comparisons between both Android and webOS have been nonexistent. What makes this lack of coverage quite interesting is the fact that both operating systems are built off similar frameworks and use similar languages for programming. So I think it’s only fair that both systems get compared side to side and see who wins.

    • Another Reason I Don’t Like Apple

      Those of you who read my blog regularly know by now my computer operating system of choice is Linux with Simply Mepis being the particular distribution. A quick look through my Computer Category will show you several posts written on the subject. Several of those posts have been published in a various internet computer magazines, for which I’m grateful.

    • Ubuntu Netbook Remix in AA1

      But finally, it appeared that the Ubuntu Netbook Remix project had managed to produce a version of Ubuntu that would be running smoothly on weak systems, plus it would support almost all of the AA1 hardware out of the box. Trying it out now for couple of days, I am pretty happy. It is not a speed demon, but I am amazed at the scope and quality of functions they have managed to pack into a lowly 512 MB netbook machine. Reason to be happy for a while! :-)

Free Software/Open Source

  • Launchpad is now open source.

    This is a post I’ve been looking forward to for a long time:

    Launchpad is now open source!

    We released it today under the GNU Affero General Public license, version 3. Note that although we had previously announced that we’d be holding back two components (codehosting and soyuz), we changed our minds: they are included — all the code is open.

  • Take Open Source Software For a Test Drive With Click2Try

    It’s easy for people who are skeptical of open source software to come up with a dozen reasons — some perfectly valid — to not give it a chance. Chief among them are uncertainty about which applications to try and an unwillingness to alter their computers in any way. Click2Try is a great way to try open source software in a virtual environment without the hassle of downloads and installation.

  • Adobe Open Sources 2 Flash Frameworks

    Adobe has announced two new Flash Platform open source initiatives: Open Source Media Framework (OSMF) and the Text Layout Framework (TLF). The former is part of the project previously known as Strobe.

  • PacketFence 1.8.4 released

    The Inverse Team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of PacketFence 1.8.4. This is a maintenance release of PacketFence which focuses on stability and includes many bug fixes and several small enhancements.

  • Why are people attacking RMS?

    I don’t think Stallman’s remarks are particularly tasteful, especially in an era of political correctness such as the one we live in. However, to accuse him of sexism, when he has clearly explained what he meant to convey, is a bit of a stretch.

  • ReactOS 0.3.9 Review and Screenshot Tour

    As the new version of Microsoft Windows 7 is nearing completion, many users are gearing up for the big upgrade. Since it is the most popular operating system, many people who use an alternative OS miss out on some good software made for Windows, such as Photoshop, many new games et cetera. Even though we have partial solutions like Wine, they are not perfect and remain the main obstacle for wider adoption of open source operating systems.

  • Diversity in open source

    Understanding gender or race diversity can be hard since we’re all born into one group or another. But all of us might find ourselves an uncomfortable outsider in some stereotypical situation or other. A nerd on a sports team. A jock on the chess team. An atheist at a church function. A 30-something in a college class.

  • Cloud Interoperability: Haven’t We Danced Before?

    You would think that with our long and growing history, we in IT could be realistic about the prospects of any early implementers putting interoperability high on the list above functionality, wouldn’t you?

  • Firefox/Mozilla

    • Mozilla Firefox 3.6 Project Codenamed Namoroka

      Mozilla has announced it’s new Project – Mozilla Firefox 3.6 which is codenamed “Namoroka“, with an intended release target of early-to-mid 2010

    • What I Like About Firefox

      There are camps of people who use different browsers and have long-winded, heated arguments over which one is best. I have no strong feelings about browsers. They’re tools that help get the job done. That being said, if a tool can make my life simpler, more efficient, and fun, I’m more likely to use it. Firefox 3 fits the bill and gives me a lot of gadgets and options that make me smile. Here are a few reasons why I like it.

    • mozilla foundation is 6 years old today

      Of course our project and technologies go back much further, but it was on this day in 2003 that the Mozilla Foundation was launched.

    • It Can Now be Cheaper to Shop Using Firefox

      London, United Kingdom (PRWEB) July 17, 2009 — It can now be cheaper to shop using Firefox. Vouchers.Im Indicator for Firefox is a new add-on which will keep consumers aware of all promotions and discount voucher codes available on the websites they visit.

  • Business

    • Career advice: Preparing for life after the recession

      One other area to consider: open-source solutions. Having a strong knowledge of open-source alternatives to commercial products can give you an edge over competitors that are only using purchased package solutions. Giving your customers options, especially a lower-cost option, should help you get work from companies that can’t afford a purchased package solution. Open-source solutions are going to be more and more viable in the future.

    • Emmys using Drupal

      Glamour, glitter, and champagne all around because Drupal has gone Hollywood. The Emmys website has just switched to Drupal in preparation for the announcement of nominees tomorrow, and the subsequent annual Emmy award ceremony later this year. The Emmys are annual awards to outstanding television programs and performers.

  • Licensing

    • Reports on the Death of the GPL …

      … are greatly exaggerated.

      It’s funny, from my small corner of the world it seems like the GPL is under attack of late. First, back in March, esr questioned the usefulness of the license. And now a lot of discussion has built up around a post by Benjamin Black comparing the GPL to DRM. Since I am nothing if not fashionable, I felt I should throw my opinion into the mix.

      I have to disagree with Mr. Black’s premise that

      it [the GPL] acts as a virus to force the release of ever more source. the gpl serves to rigidly control what you can and cannot do with software covered by it, and is thus the license equivalent of digital rights management

      The GPL is a rather simple license, and I don’t view its requirement that changes to GPL’d code must also be GPL’d as “rigidly controlling” what one does with it. I can run GPL’d code on any device I want. I can modify GPL’d code any way I want. I am free to do whatever I want with GPL’d code as long as any changes I make are given to whomever I share the code. Heck, if I don’t share the code the license doesn’t apply, since it is based on the making of copies (copyright) and not possession.

    • Integration Watch: The need to expand open-source licensing

      It’s fair to say that while OSI certification is meaningful, the absence of it means very little. To avoid this, the OSI needs to change its licensing procedure.

  • Programming

    • Get Ready for PHP 6

      PHP 6, the next major revision of the popular Web application development language, looms on the horizon and promises many changes. Learn what’s new and what’s obsolete and how to prepare your code for tomorrow.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • ODFDOM 0.7 Released

      I’m pleased to report that the 0.7 release of the ODF Toolkit Union’s ODFDOM library has just been released. This is an open source (Apache 2.0 license) Java toolkit for programmatically reading, writing and manipulating ODF documents. The code is 100% Java and does not require that you have OpenOffice or any other ODF editor installed. It operates directly on the document itself.

    • Gallery for danger signs

      This extension add one theme to your gallery with more than 100 signs dealing with security, not as bitmap but as vector graphic in ODF format : you may modify them or retrieve some parts to build your own signs. It contains :

      * 9 new official signs for chemical products and other danger (http://www.inrs.fr)



  • Middle East Blackberry Update Spies on Users

    A BlackBerry update that a United Arab Emirates service provider pushed out to its customers contains U.S.-made spyware that would allow the company or others to siphon and read their e-mail and text messages, according to a researcher who examined it.

  • Internet filter sparks outrage

    The Government is spending $150,000 on website “filtering” software, outraging some bloggers who say the move amounts to censorship of the internet.

    Since 2007 the Department of Internal Affairs’ Censorship Compliance Unit has worked with a small group of internet service providers on a “trial” project to block access to websites distributing child pornography.

  • Iranian consumers boycott Nokia for ‘collaboration’

    The mobile phone company Nokia is being hit by a growing economic boycott in Iran as consumers sympathetic to the post-election protest movement begin targeting a string of companies deemed to be collaborating with the regime.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

A tour of School Park mashup art and Free Software space in Santo Andre, Brazil 02 (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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  30. Patent Lawyers Want to Bring Software Patents (Hence Patent Trolls Too) to Europe, Piggyback Battistelli's Habitual UPC Promotion

    Analysis of the views of academics (profiting from solid research), contrasted with patent lawyers (profiting from feuds and conflicts), and the latter group's exploitation of Benoît Battistelli's misguided policies


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