08.17.09

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Links 17/08/2009: More Sub-notebooks Running GNU/Linux, PCLinuxOS Reviewed

Posted in News Roundup at 6:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Should businesses support Linux?

    Clearly, Linux should be considered for businesses right alongside of Windows and, yes, Mac OS X. Choices are a good thing in business.

  • Secure VPN the Easy Way With the Linux-based Untangle Router

    Last month, we discovered the Untangle Network Gateway. You can install it onto a PC to help protect, control, and monitor Internet access for your entire network. You can alternatively use the Windows utility if you don’t want to dedicate a computer to the cause.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log – Coming in 2.6.31 – Part 3: Storage and file systems

      The experimental file system Btrfs, billed as the “next generation file system for Linux”, should now be even faster. Libata drivers for IDE/PATA adaptors are pushing aside the IDE subsystem. The first components for defragmenting Ext4 file systems have been merged into the main development tree. Systems with Intel ATA chipsets now boot faster thanks to parallel hardware scanning.

    • Torvalds bashes vendor-sec private Linux security list

      I completely agree. Openness and transparency are the key to true security. However, I do also understand how this can put vendors and users at risk, since patches aren’t going to be co-ordinated. It’s a tough call and very delicate balance that needs to be achieved.

  • Applications

    • 4 Little-Known KDE Apps You’ll Really Like

      Users of the KDE desktop know it has a dozens of handy tools and functions built right in, but the beauty of open source means you can tweak it to your heart’s content by adding extra plugins to make your desktop do even more. Here are five KDE desktop applications that you might not have ever heard of, but are definitely worth checking out.

    • Enhanced Command-Not-Found Hook in Ubuntu 9.10

      One of the less prominent Ubuntu features that has received an overhaul for Karmic is the command-not-found handle, which helps users find the program they’re looking for when they type an unrecognized command in the terminal. Following is a brief outline of improvements made to this tiny utility, and why they matter.

  • Desktop Environments

    • Gnome 2.28.0 beta1

      The Gnome team has released a Beta version of the Gnome Desktop Environment, version 2.28.0 beta1.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS

      • Mini Review: PcLinuxOS 2009.2

        Overall though, I like the new version. They appear to have fixed all my previous gripes and have once again made it to the top of my recommended list. Congrats to the PCLOS team, and keep up the good work, because I like where you’re going with your distro.

      • PCLinuxOS LXDE (PCLXDE) 2009 Review

        Verdict: Big thumbs up. I would highly recommend PCLinuxOS 2009, the LXDE version, to anyone who has an old computer that needs new life breathed into it. This is probably the best Linux distro I’ve found for this computer, and I’m going to keep it.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Running Fedora “Rawhide”

        A few months ago we started a series of articles on running the development releases of major distributions. So far we have covered Mandriva “Cooker”, Slackware “Current” and openSUSE “Factory”. Today, with the imminent release of Fedora 12 Alpha, we’ll upgrade a stable Fedora 11 release to the latest “Rawhide”, the Fedora development branch.

      • Red Hat Names 2009 Red Hat Certified Engineers of the Year

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the five regional winners of its annual Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) of the Year contest. Winners demonstrated hard work, expertise and innovation utilizing RHCE skills to solve complex technical problems and deliver value to their companies and institutions.

      • Red Hat Expands Partner Program to Juice Reseller Business

        Red Hat has expanded its partner program to give companies more options for how they can work with the Linux vendor, more ways to demonstrate their areas of product expertise to customers and more discounts on product pricing, the company said Monday.

    • Debian Family

      • Linux Mint: Your Best Choice for a Desktop Linux OS

        Linux Mint, a distribution based on Ubuntu, has won a significant share of users, and represents a better Linux experience for both advanced and first time users. Simple yet effective tweaks, like the Mint Menu, might not appear very impressive at first glance but they affect your daily routines in a positive manner. It’s the same principle that makes Apple software better: an uncanny attention to details and yes, elegance.

        [...]

        A few more tweaks and applets make Linux Mint great, but they are less important and I’m sure you’ll discover them yourself. Linux Mint comes in both 32bit and 64bit, with KDE, GNOME and XFCE flavors available here. Each version includes the standard array of applications such as Gimp, OpenOffice and Rhythmbox. The Live CD image can be burned to a CD or USB stick and can be booted for testing or performing a permanent installation. A quick start guide can be downloaded for free. You might also want to check out our “Getting Started Guide to Linux”.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Linux, Symbian, Android, Apple or Blackberry? A tough choice for CIOs

        The recent launch of nine high-specification mobile phones that use the Mobile Linux operating system (Limo) will add fuel to an already overheated market.

      • HTC stylus to work with multi-touch screens

        HTC has applied for a patent on a magnetic stylus that can be used with capacitive touchscreens.

        [...]

        Linux, meanwhile, was also designed with resistive screens in mind, but multi-touch has now been introduced into the Linux 2.6.30 kernel. Of course, multi-touch also features in Palm’s Linux-based Pre smartphone, and is expected to be available in additional Android smartphones later this year.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Asus Eee PC 900 Rules the Netbook Market

        The Asus EEE PC 900A-WFBB01 is now available for a cheaper price than usual and comes with the powerful Intel 1.6GHz Atom N270 processor 4GB SSD, 8.9″ display with a 1024 x 600 resolution, and GNU Linux OS.

      • Asus EEE PC 900 Netbook with 1.6GHz Atom Processor Remember Review

        The Asus EEE PC 900A-WFBB01 is powered by an Intel 1.6GHz Atom N270 processor, 1GB DDR2, 4GB SSD, 8.9″ display with a 1024 x 600 resolution, and GNU Linux OS. The netbook features built-in mic, built-in WiFi 802.11b/g, 3 x USB port, SD / MMC (SDHC) expandable storage card support, VGA-out, stereo speaker, and RJ 10/100 Ethernet amongst many others.

      • Dell Vouches for Quality of Linux Netbooks

        A PC World story, apparently covering the same event, reports that Finch revealed that in a few weeks Dell will offer Linux OS upgrades to Ubuntu 9.04. PC World also reports that Finch said Dell is looking into manufacturing ARM-based netbooks and “smartbooks”. Finally, Finch was said to have revealed that “in certain quarters” close to a third of all Dell netbook shipments are pre-loaded with Linux.

      • Preview of Jolicloud: The social Netbook OS

        One of those, called Jolicloud is launching in beta in the next few months. Created by Tariq Krim, who founded and later left widget-based start page Netvibes, the alternate OS has been designed for Web workers, or people who do most of their work (or play) on Web applications and services.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The greatest open source software of all time

    The Linux kernel was not the first open source software (some argue that GNU Emacs was), but it is certainly the most famous and successful — the prime mover behind the popularization of open source development and the use of free open source products. Today the Linux kernel is the foundation of a rich variety of operating system distributions, the poster penguin of open source software, and the number one inductee into our open source hall of fame.

  • ES: ‘Open source science allows others to get involved’

    Researchers at the Spanish University of Granada are publishing as open source their software simulating the human nervous system, saying this is the only way to allow other teams to become involved.

  • OpenBSC powered GSM network live at HAR2009

    Under license of the Dutch regulatory authority, we operate two BTS with two TRX each, forming the network 204-42. The BTS are positioned on the top of a hill, with the antennas mounted back to back on a tree, each covering about half of the HAR2009 camp site. Every transceiver runs at 100mW transmit power, which is the maximum output as per our license.

    From that tree, we run AC power and a single E1 line down to the GSM tent, where it runs into the Linux PC that runs our OpenBSC software.

  • First look at stable Firefox 3.5

    In short this is a bad, dirty nasty naughty PC, with a highly fragmented hard drive and a lot of other programs fighting for processor attention. If Firefox works well here and (so far) it does, imagine what it can do on your nice, clean, obedient and well-tended machine.

  • Hard currency and open source

    Over 150 years ago, President Andrew Jackson agitated for principles that will sound familiar to open-source software advocates. But his “back to our agrarian roots” rationale for doing so sounds as wrong-headed today as it did back then.

    [...]

    In other words, while we should rightly say “good riddance” to Enron-esque software business models, it’s counterproductive to demand a return to our “agrarian” software roots.

  • Rohde vs Viasat on GPL/LGPL

    Viasat A/S is not the only Danish company that is likely to infringe on GPL. Stofa also distributes a Motorola box in Denmark named “Zaptor”, which is loaded with software like Linux and Mozilla Firefox. When I bought the Zaptor box I never received any GPL notices with it nor an offer to receive the source code. I know that Yousee also runs Linux on their HD boxes from Samsung, but I have yet to see the source code made available anywhere.

  • FlexBooks Challenge Textbooks, at No Cost to Students or Schools

    It is not clear if this is truly an altruistic endeavor. Perhaps the founders — who come from the Silicon Valley technology world — are giving away books in order to sell software at a later date. But for now, it is an experiment that could help bring down the cost of textbooks. And we’re going to keep an eye on it.

Leftovers

  • Censorship

    • US tests censorship circumvention tool; Chinese shrug

      Citizens living in China, Vietnam, Iran, and other countries may soon have another option for bypassing Internet filters, courtesy of a US-based agency. The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) announced on Friday that it was working on a new system that would use e-mail to carry encrypted data to and from the recipient, including information that would otherwise be blocked.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Can There Be A Fair File Sharing Trial When The Language Is All Biased?

      In the past, we’ve discussed the various problems with the language choices by the entertainment industry in discussing file sharing. Terms like “intellectual property,” “piracy,” “theft” and even its descriptions of “losses” are all misleading and biased. This, in fact, is a key point in William Patry’s upcoming book — where he looks at how the language has been co-opted by the industry to pre-bias the casual observer (including journalists and politicians).

    • Yes, book sequels should be allowed, transformative or not!

      The problem of unauthorized book sequels have been with us since the beginning of copyright. Charles McGrath brings us up to date on it here. By his account, if the originator doesn’t object, the sequel writer can get away with it.

    • Mandelson goes to war on teenagers downloading their music and movies… just days after dining with anti-piracy billionaire

      Lord Mandelson launched a crackdown on internet piracy just days after meeting a leading Hollywood critic of illegal file sharing.

      The business secretary plans to criminalise the estimated seven million people – one in 12 of the population – who illicitly download music and films over the internet.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Thomas Bartol, computational neuroscientist for the Salk Institute 08 (2005)

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

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