07.31.09

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Links 31/07/2009: GNU/Linux in Venezuela, Bundling Revisited

Posted in News Roundup at 3:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Venezuela to Provide Children with 50,000 Mini Laptops

    The computers will run on the open source operating system Linux, while the Education Ministry together with the National Centre for Information Technology are working together on designing education programs for the computers. The computers are made for children, both in size and durability, and come with wireless internet access and flash memory instead of a hard drive.

  • Amazon’s Windows Refund Helps the Earth

    I thought it would be good to show you where the Microsoft Tax has gone:

    Dear Melissa,

    Thank you.

    Your support will help the Sierra Club continue its efforts to protect wild places and endangered species, confront global environmental challenges, and keep the pressure on politicians and corporations.

    By supporting the Sierra Club online, you also become a member of the Club’s Online Community — helping to save paper and postage and enabling you to get the latest environmental news and information quickly. As a member of our Online Community you can help protect the environment by visiting the Sierra Club Action Center and sending personalized emails to key decision makers on important conservation issues. And, at our Online Member Center, you can subscribe to one of the Club’s email newsletters and electronic publications.

    The Sierra Club has been devoted to protecting our natural heritage for over 100 years. And thanks to your support, we can continue to fight and protect our natural resources.

    Thanks again.

    Sincerely,

    Carl Pope
    Executive Director
    Sierra Club

    Please print or save this message for your personal records.

    Name: Melissa Cameron
    Amount: $67.58
    Designation: Donation to the Sierra Club

  • Taxing Times for Free Choice

    Anyway, it boils down to this:
    Forcing people to buy something else with what they really want to buy is called bundling. It is now prohibited in France, and it is probably so in the UK too.

    Perhaps these vendors need to read about the Sale of Goods Act again.

  • CHROME OS – First look?

    I wonder if Google will disguise their OS, put it on specs of their choosing and “test” members of the public? I wouldn’t have thought so, Google has a “clean slate” when it comes to OS’s.

    This could be the making of Google as an OS developer, but whatever it turns out to be, its another choice for users and that can only be a good thing.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Ubuntu

      • Canonical to offer Ubuntu desktop support

        Canonical will be announcing these new support services for the Ubuntu desktop for individuals and small businesses tomorrow, July 31st, in London. These services are particularly designed for small business owners who are looking for cost effective alternatives to Windows and Apple Mac.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • CompactPCI board supports new PlusIO standard

      MEN Micro announced a Linux-compatible CompactPCI SBC that it says is the first to follow the forthcoming PICMG 2.30 PlusIO standard. The F19P uses an Intel Core 2 Duo SP9300 processor, offers up to 8GB of DDR2 RAM, features multiple PCI Express links, and has five SATA ports with RAID support, the company says.

    • Security concerns drive Carrier Grade Linux

      Network equipment, whether for a phone system, digital broadcast or wide area or enterprise network, must have high reliability and high availability. Traditionally, network equipment companies have provided this through proprietary architectures, but they have been moving to Linux and open source solutions over the past few years.

    • Timesys Announces LinuxLink Availability for OMAP-L137 Processor

      LinuxLink, the first commercial software development framework for building custom embedded Linux products will be available for the new Texas Instruments’ OMAP-L137 Processor.

    • Embedded Linux suppliers ranked: Wind River and MontaVista top list

      Wind River Systems, a real time software provider in Alameda, Calif., has become the leading commercial supplier of solutions for embedded Linux applications, ranked as a percentage of total market revenue, according to analysts at market researcher VDC Research in Natick, Mass.

    • Android

      • Mentor unveils Android, Linux strategy at DAC

        Mentor Graphics announced its acquisition of Embedded Alley Solutions as a key component of its Android and embedded Linux strategy Wednesday afternoon at the Design Automation Conference. Mentor also announced the integration of its Nucleus Graphical User Interface tool with the ARM Mali graphics processing unit; it announced the availability of a Linux and Nucleus operating-system combination for the Marvell Sheeva MV78200 dual-core embedded processor; and it said that it is extending Embedded Alley’s Android mobile-applications platform to support Freescale Semiconductor’s QorIQ and PowerQUICC III processors.

      • ZiiLabs Announces EGG StemCell Computer.

        Another Android-capable device comes down the line, but this one is different from anything currently out on the market. ZiiLabs created the StemCell computer to be an open standards development platform, capable of running a Linux distro or Android with equal ease. This ZiiLabs EGG is not a phone, but it can be upgraded with the proper chipset to become one.

      • Motorola Pledges Cheaper Android Phones

        Android smart phones. Cheap Android phones. Android phones on the Nextel/Boost iDen network. Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha said many of next year’s Motorola phones will run the Google Android OS in a call with analysts today, continuing a big bet on the Linux-based system.

      • Acquisition of Linux/Android specialists to bring Android to PowerPC

        Mentor Graphics announced it has acquired Linux development firm Embedded Alley, plans to port Android to PowerPC, and will work with ARM, Freescale, Marvell, MIPS, RMI, and TI on Linux and/or Android projects. One plan calls for combining Linux with Mentor’s “Nucleus” RTOS on Marvell’s dual-core Sheeva MV78200 processors, added Mentor.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Funambol Brings Open Source Mobile Cloud Sync to mVoIP

    When I heard that Funambol was rolling out an open source mobile cloud sync service for mobile VoIP users, I’ll be honest — I wasn’t thinking about the open code, or about how much easier it would make contacting people worldwide over a diverse array of devices. I immediately thought of my dad.

  • Open Source Monitoring: 4 Key Questions You Need to Ask

    Ultimately, MSPs need to look at their DNA. Are they a product development organization or a service organization? I’d argue it’s very hard to be both. Can the MSP afford the cost and distraction of developing, maintaining, and supporting an open source monitoring product internally?

    In addition, MSPs need to look at the DNA of the open source products available. Do they have the makeup to be an enterprise-grade solution that enables, rather than hinders, an MSP’s growth objectives? Is it in their DNA to move elegantly beyond being a tactical, low-cost point solution to one that yields real business advantage in a competitive MSP market?

  • Programming

    • The “R” Statistical Environment, and REvolution Computing, Spread Out

      REvolution Computing offers REvolution R, an enhanced distribution of R, as a free download. It also offers REvolution R Enterprise, a subscription-based version of R aimed at large companies that work with large data sets, and ParallelR (included in the Enterprise edition), which can take advantage of multi-processor systems and clusters for large data crunching tasks. R itself, and REvolution’s versions, are being embraced in a number of fields, with a number of innovative new applications arriving.

    • Why Code For Free? Yet More Linux/FOSS Devs Speak! (part 3)

      My usual experience is: for the vast majority of people, do it by finding the right company to work for. A lot of companies, from giant to tiny, use and work with free software.

      They are often happy for you to continue to work with the upstream community as part of your job, which can mean anything from “submit the occasional patch” through to “run the entire OSS project, on their infrastructure.”

      As an example, my present employer uses Perl, and other OSS, heavily, and we regularly work back. Several of our staff are committers on the OSS projects we base our work on, and address bugs on the companies time (and dime).

    • GNU Emacs 23.1 Provides Anti-Aliasing

      Emacs, the extensible editor of the GNU project, is available in version 23.1. The release adds countless modernizations to the traditional program, such as font anti-alising and support for D-Bus and zeroconf.

      Up to now the programmable editor, which could read mail and news and provide a development environment for many computer languages, didn’t recognize smoothed fonts. Many users integrated snapshots of the newly released version alone for that reason. The newest release provides new ways to adopt anti-aliasing font rasterization.

    • Emacs capable of handling Unicode

      After years of work, the Emacs developers have released Emacs 23.1, the first version of the free editor that internally uses the UTF-8 Unicode format. The editor manages and displays fonts using Fontconfig and Xft, allowing users to apply anti-aliasing to their fonts.

Leftovers

  • B&N Wraps Public Domain Books In DRM To Protect Authors’ Copyrights. What?

    The ebook “war” is a race to the bottom, apparently, with Barnes & Noble trying to out-do Amazon on DRM stupidity. A reader emailed B&N customer service to point out that their “free books” offer consists of 5 public domain titles that are no longer protected under copyright, yet are still locked down with digital rights management (DRM). Their response? “For copyright protection purposes, these files are encrypted and cannot be converted or printed.”

  • Once Again, Congress Wants To Blame Limewire For Stupid Staffers, As Arts+Labs Propaganda Campaign Works

    This started a few years ago, when suddenly grandstanding Congress-folk started blaming Limewire for “leaking” a confidential terrorist threat assessment. Of course, that was misguided. The problem wasn’t Limewire (or any file sharing software), but idiotic gov’t employees who (a) put file sharing software on gov’t computers (b) didn’t properly wall off the software and (c) put confidential info where it could be shared. Earlier this year, suddenly, the issue came up again (again targeting Limewire). It was instigated by some aggressive entertainment industry lobbyists, who have concocted this huge story about how Limewire is to blame. And politicians always seem willing to buy it.

  • Big Content: ludicrous to expect DRMed music to work forever

    Rightsholders can’t understand why people who bought DRMed music only to have the authentication servers go dark might demand the right to crack the DRM. Big Content believes the idea that rightsholders “are required to provide consumers with perpetual access to copyrighted works” is laughable. Ha ha.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Luis Casas Luengo, Director of Extremadura’s Fundecyt foundation 10 (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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