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Links 27/09/2009: Linus Torvalds Interview, Libtheora 1.1 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 1:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Ohio Linux Fest Live Webcast & Podcast recording
  • The Linux insurgency

    So, for now let’s indulge the analogy that Microsoft is the Superpower to Linux’s Insurgency and explore what that means. No more history, but what on earth makes some Insurgents/Guerillas/FreedomFighters/Terrorists so darned good at what they do?

  • IBM opens a Linux innovation center in Kazakhstan

    IBM is betting that places like Kazakhstan will eventually see growth as vendors spread their wares around the globe and local businesses move onto the Internet. Linux is a perfect fit as far as encouraging low-cost technology in these areas. The center will be in Astana, Kazakhstan, the capital of the country.

  • Helpful Tools for Software Developers

    Since this is Linux Magazine, it’s no shock that I consider Linux essential for the job. Virtually every tool and package is available on the platform, and since much of the software I use originates on Linux, its my canonical reference for operation. A bug in a Linux package installed via apt-get likely means the bug exists on all platforms. Software installation is also a snap, the source to every utility and library is readily available, and hosting is cheap. For software development, there is no equal.

  • Server

    • Mainframes still command a loyal following

      But there are changes happening. BMC’s survey found increasing use of Linux, for example.

      “IBM is pushing z/Linux and we’re finally seeing a big upswing in interest. Some customers are even using their entire mainframe as one giant Linux box,” said Miller.

  • Kernel Space

    • FLOSS Weekly 88: Linus Torvalds

      A chat at LinuxCon with Linus Torvalds, who initiated development of the Linux kernel.

      Guest: Linus Torvalds, initial creator of the Linux kernel

    • LinuxCon 2009 Wrap-Up: The Continuing Benefits

      Expert sessions, informative keynotes, and multiple opportunities to kick back and socialize with Linux consumers of all stripes–these marked the flavor for LinuxCon. Attendees appreciated the balance of learning and information they got from the sessions–feedback from those I (unscientifically) surveyed was overwhelmingly positive, and I was asking for all comments, not just the good.

  • Applications

    • Intel Invests $500K In ‘Gaming On Demand’ Dev TransGaming

      Intel has invested $500,000 in TransGaming, a Canada-based company focused on bringing PC games to other platforms like Mac, Linux, and — eventually — television sets as an “on-demand” service.

    • Nintendo Emulation w/ Linux! – All you need to know! (and a little more)

      I have received a few emails asking about emulation on the Linux platform. These questions were mostly by Windows users who enjoy running retro titles and don’t know much about Linux and its thriving emulation scene. From being active in many forums I think retro gaming is one of the most popular pastimes of the hobbyist computer user and I think that mainstream gaming of the latest modern titles is moving away from the PC and to the consoles, where patches and workarounds are a thing of the past with consoles really being “plug in and play”.

    • The Wine development release 1.1.30 is now available.

      What’s new in this release (see below for details):
      – Support for OpenAL.
      – Many improvements in HTML and JavaScript support.
      – Many common controls fixes and improvements.
      – More Direct3D 10 work.
      – Better MAPI support.
      – Various bug fixes.

    • New LinuxDSP Plugins

      I’ve been a huge fan of Ardour. I talk about this program constantly. I was overjoyed when I read about the LinuxDSP plugin kit. The kit is several plugins designed for the JACK Audio Connection Kit and programs such as Ardour that can patch into Jack.

    • Five Linux-Compatible Online Backup and Storage Services

      Of course, you know regular computer system backups are important and it’s always a good idea to store your most critical data offsite for added security. If you’re a Linux user, finding a service that’s compatible with your operating system isn’t easy, but they do exist. Here are five online backup and storage services for personal or business use that work great with Linux.

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Slackware Package Management

      Slackware is a good, solid, reliable distro. These new package management utilities make it even better.

    • net_monitor lives again

      Working on Mandriva network tools, I looked on one of the most essential ones the network monitor (net_monitor). It was introduced a couple of releases before, and was mostly doing its job. However, it has a number of flaws and lack of features that motivated us to look closer at it.

    • Linux family tree, version 0.90

      This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    • Ubuntu Family

      • 10 Things New About Ubuntu Karmic Koala Worth Taking Note Of

        New Ubuntu Karmic comes with still faster boot times. That is a welcome development and lets hope, sooner than later, boot time will reach sub 10 second levels. In my case boot up time is an atrocious 40-45 seconds now.

      • Nice collection of themes for Gnome and Ubuntu-September2009-

        Here is a nice collection of themes for Gnome and ubuntu for September 2009, most of these themes are just updated in this month or just published, so you will find themes that you see for the first time.

      • 10 Days of Ubuntu 10.10 Feature Requests

        You may be wondering why I’ve chosen to title this article “10 Days of Ubuntu 10.10 Feature Requests.” If you haven’t already, now would be a good time to read my case for the one feature Ubuntu 10.04 needs. In that article I make the case for Ubuntu 10.04 being a “featureless” release – e.g. one that focuses solely on stability and performance. I stand by that opinion, and to that end I believe that Ubuntu 10.10 could be a great place to focus on a feature-heavy release (having solved all it’s stability and performance issues in 10.04, of course :p).

      • Ubuntu Wallpaper Nostalgia Trip

        This week in Ubuntu has seen a proverbial flood of new artwork for our favourite operating system’s latest pet – the Karmic Koala. One of the biggest additions has been a new default wallpaper (for the Alpha’s and Beta’s at least).

  • Devices/Embedded

    • New Freespace Reference Kit and open source library enable wider range of motion control apps

      Two new Freespace products from Hillcrest Labs, the libfreespace open source library and the Freespace Reference Kit (FSRK) Version 3.1, provide everything engineers need to create applications and products that incorporate Freespace in-air pointing and motion control technology.

    • O2 Joggler review

      If this was You-and-Your-Eight-Children.com, we might be more tempted to give this a glowing review. Anyone with a vague interest in organising their lives, however, should invest the cash in a low-powered Linux netbook or cheapo all-in-one machine and stick that in the kitchen instead. Fridge door my arse.

    • Rugged laptops (finally) run Linux

      EmperorLinux has started reselling three rugged “Panasonic Toughbook” laptops (and one rugged tablet) with Linux preinstalled: the Scarab, Ant, Wasp, and Tarantula. The CF-model ToughBooks join other “Windows-only” laptops and tablets that have been tuxified for customized resale by EmperorLinux, including models from Dell, Fujitsu, Lenovo, and Sony.

    • Phones

      • ALK CoPilot Live 8

        With the launch of HTC’s Hero, and with other Android phones from the likes of Samsung looming on the horizon, it seems the perfect time to take a gander at ALK’s CoPilot Live 8 satnav software, which is now available for Android and the iPhone.


        Twenty-five quid is good value for a fully functioning satnav system for a phone. The essential navigation part of the package does everything that 99 per cent of users are ever likely to require, while the various ‘Live’ features are a handy addition.

      • Mozilla free-love coders caressed by Palm

        Two prolific open web standards advocates at Mozilla are leaving the non-profit foundation for Palm, vowing to spread their developer-centric gospel to the smartphone maker’s webOS platform.

        Ajaxian.com co-founders Dion Almaer and Ben Galbraith have accepted new positions helming Palm’s developer relations team. The duo announced their change of venue on their blogs this Friday.

      • O2 reveals Palm Pre date and pricing for UK

        O2 will provide the Palm Pre in the UK from 16 October and will be the device’s exclusive carrier in the country, the operator has announced.

      • Vodafone intros LiMo R2 handsets for social aggregation platform

        Wireless behemoth Vodafone on Thursday announced an aggregation platform that brings a user’s contacts, social networks and messages together in one place.

      • Vodafone 360 Linux service announced, with 5 handsets due before Christmas

        Big news from the Vodafone camp today, with the announcement of Vodafone 360, a new internet service based on the LiMo Foundation’s OS, a platform developed using Linux.

      • There’s a reason smartphones are locked down

        Handset manufacturers and operators like Linux phones for lots of reasons. They like open source for lots of reasons. But for an industry that contributes as much to UK GDP as the oil and gas industry, few of those reasons are connected with the philosophy of openness that draws developers like Cyanogen.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Moblin Applications Found at a Garage Sale

        Basically, you’ll see a variety of Linux titles covering utilities, games, media players and more. At first, I thought there wasn’t much of a need for such a store, but as Linux continues to fragment, I can see why Intel wants one place for Moblin users to find software. That makes it more consumer friendly, which in turn could lead to wider adoption. Once I have Moblin running, I’ll look to install the special Mobile Application Installer and see how it works.

      • Mobile Sorcery develops MoSync SDK for Moblin v2 project

        Swedish Software Company Mobile Sorcery announced it will increase its efforts around Moblin, an optimized open source Linux operating system project optimized for Intel® Atom™ processor-based mobile devices, and is now in the process of porting the MoSync SDK to Moblin v2. MoSync is a cross-platform (Windows-based) development system for mobile devices, allowing users to develop and deploy applications for Moblin technology and many other platforms from a single code source, thereby radically cutting development cost and time to market.

      • Moblin v2.0 ships, appears on Dell netbook

        Moblin.org shipped the final version of the Moblin v2.0 netbook distribution, and released early-preview versions of a Moblin app store, Moblin installer, and Moblin v2.1. Meanwhile, Moblin v2.0 is now available on Dell’s Mini 10v netbook, as part of an “Ubuntu Moblin Remix Developer Edition” option.

      • Dell releases world’s first Moblin netbook
      • OLPC News Exclusive: XO-1.5 Laptop Debut and Speed Test vs. Overclocked XO-1 Laptop

        This newest laptop from OLPC features the VIA C7-M a 1GHz variable speed processor, which SJ Klein of OLPC says will empower learning in several key ways:

        1. Full screen video playback
        2. Faster eToys and scratch animation
        3. Larger offline library and storage capacity
        4. better image capture and remixing
        5. and a better Java experience, allowing for guilt-free Java programming for Sugar

Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenSourceSpeak.com – Where Open Source Has A Voice

    Open Source Speak is a new resource that (as its name denotes) deals with Open Source considerations of every type. On the site you can read information regarding enterprise open source applications, and more than 150,000 are currently featured.

  • Open source software: An all-star lineup – Feature

    Want a PC full of free software? To get it, you don’t need to adopt Ubuntu or any of the other Unix-based operating systems. Nor do you have to rely on the sometimes risky freeware you find scattered around the Internet. Instead, you can look to the open source movement, where free software is not synonymous with underpowered and unsupported. In fact, many of the best open source applications are not only updated as often as commercial packages. In some cases, they are simply superior. Here’s a rundown of open source applications that are widely considered best-of-breed. — Office Suite

  • Open source digital forensics framework

    The Digital Forensics Framework is an open source tool with a flexible module system which will help you in your digital forensics works, including files recovery due to error or crash, evidence research and analysis, etc. The source code is written in C++ and Python, allowing performances and extensibility.

  • Comval IT joins Open-Source Application

    Time will come when one can get rid of costly commercialized office application licenses. With the help of Open Source using Open Office Suite, these software applications could provide for lesser or no cost. All one need is to learn and apply this application in their respective offices.

  • Zenoss Announces Free Training for Open Source Network Monitoring Project

    September 21, 2009 – Zenoss Inc., corporate sponsor of the award winning open source network monitoring project Zenoss Core, today announced it will host its second Zenoss Community Day on September 25. The daylong event is a precursor to the seventh annual Ohio LinuxFest, where Zenoss is a gold sponsor and exhibitor.

  • LibLime’s “Enterprise Koha” Prompts Frank Conversations on Open Source Issues

    On September 11, LibLime announced the launch of Enterprise, a Software as a Service (SaaS) version of the Koha open source integrated library system (ILS). Takings its cues from similar open source software development and support models in the broader software industry, LibLime will focus all of its development efforts on features requested by its subscriber community. Though the company currently supports Koha installations for hundreds of subscriber libraries, mostly small public libraries and school libraries, much of the funding for feature development comes directly from its largest clients.

  • IMLS Grants To Support ROI Study, New Open-Source Library System, Digitization, More

    Among them are projects to assess return on investment (ROI) in academic libraries; explore online patron instruction in public libraries; develop an open-source ILS for public libraries; delve into energy-saving opportunities in research libraries; extend depository libraries’ collection development practices; collect television news; explore early literacy; digitize works from the Middle East; create a statewide institutional repository; and much more.

  • “Sophia fait sa Java” featuring top level Open Source specialists

    For Pascal Flamand, leader of the Open Source commission, “You find Java in practically all types of software and there are thousands of tools based on Java (frame-work, development environments, prewritten components…). The advantage is that just about everything is in Open Source. Thanks to this region’s wealth of resources and skills, I am convinced that the technology park can become a place of reference for Open Source technologies.”

  • Rivet Logic Launches Innovative, Open Source Web Content Delivery Framework

    Rivet Logic Corporation, a leading provider of open source content management and collaboration solutions, officially launched Crafter rivet — an innovative open source Web content delivery framework. Crafter rivet offers Web application developers an open source framework for building content-rich applications, including next generation enterprise Web sites, portals, and social networking platforms.

  • IT Blog Awards 2009: Open Source

    We want to know who you think are the best bloggers and Twitter users in the UK IT industry, so to kick off the Awards we’re asking IT professionals to submit their nominations to us.

  • ElementRiver intros open source framework

    ElementRiver has announced the launch of Potomac, an open source framework for Flex developers giving them the ability and confidence to bring Flex into Enterprise application development.

  • Marketing online: keep it open source

    FOR Sabino Matera the goal was to have the Quoco website up and running for the Taste of Sydney event last March where he had paid to have a stand to display food products imported from Puglia in Italy.

  • Why BI Consultants Don’t Get Open Source BI

    Indeed, as Ann outlined there is a “”big gap’ in availability of consultants versed in open source BI. Smaller companies often install and maintain their own open source BI applications and tools because they lack the money to hire outside help. Enterprises do it because they often possess the appropriate internal resources.”

  • Asia

    • Plan to accelerate open source usage

      The next three years will be a golden time for open source providers while users will have viable applications and certified Linux-Open Office users will help create an economic impact by reducing imported software with local related business worth at least 1.5 billion baht.

    • Programmers make Gujarati Operating System a reality

      A quiet revolution in the confines of a computer’s Disk Operating System (DOS) is causing a stir among the software enthusiasts across Gujarat. Linux and other parallel open source programmers from the state have finally made the dream of an Operating System (OS) in Gujarati a reality.

    • City-based company to launch India’s first SIEM open-source software

      Corporate houses, educational institutes and cyber cafes have reason to rejoice. A new software was launched on Tuesday that will help monitor usage of computers hooked to any particular local area network.

    • Cyberoam launches Open Source solution

      Cyberoam-iView, an open source logging and reporting solution was launched today by Cyberoam. iView is Cyberoam’s contribution to the open source community.

  • Business

  • Releases

    • [theora] libtheora 1.1 (Thusnelda) stable release

      We are pleased to announce a new stable release of libtheora, the Xiph.org Foundation’s reference implementation of the royalty-free Theora video format. This new release, version 1.1, codenamed Thusnelda, incorporates all of the recent encoder improvements we have been making over the past year, though some of the code had its genesis all the way back in 2003. It also brings substantial speed and robustness improvements to the 1.0 decoder.

    • New encoder library for Ogg Theora open source video codec

      The Xiph.org Foundation’s open source developers have released version 1.1 (“Thusnelda”) of their reference implementation of the libtheora encoder library. Thusnelda is said to offer considerable quality and performance improvements over version 1.0.

  • Government

  • Licensing

    • FOSS license compliance in the consumer electronics market

      Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) license compliance is a contentious topic. There are different perspectives about when and how license terms apply, about which licenses can be used together, and about how potential issues should be resolved. The consumer electronics market is an area where FOSS license compliance is particularly problematic. This is primarily attributable to economic reasons rather than dishonesty, but in a market worth more than $335 Billion in 2008, it is an issue worth exploring.

  • Openness

    • Inside Wikimedia’s Open-Source Strategic Planning

      Our early thinking is that the broad direction of Wikipedia should ultimately be owned and developed by the social movement that powers it. Over the next six months, a series of task forces comprised of community members and external advisors (to bring in new perspectives) will be analyzing, discussing, recommending action on a range of tough strategic issues and figuring out the roles, responsibilities and resources needed to achieve Wikimedia’s vision. In fact, an open call for participation launched Monday, September 21, to attract volunteers. We will soon find out if there are volunteers inside and out of the community ready to roll up their sleeves.

    • Ellen Degeneres should go open source

      By the way, if Ellen Degeneres wants to respond in a reasonable and constructive way to the lawsuits over her use of song snippets to dance to, she could always start using Creative Commons-licensed music, with a nice plug for the open-hearted musicians making our lives more tuney.

    • Open Source Moves Beyond Software

      More interestingly though, recent effort has been made to use open source to address one of its inherent weaknesses. I’ve written before about how difficult it can be to spread the open source message due to limited resources. One Texas entrepreneur is challenging that idea though. Ken Starks, founder of the HeliOS project in Austin, Texas booked professional radio talent and produced a quality radio commercial, then put it on the air during a popular computer tech help show in the area.

      While so far there is no report of the success of the commercial, what interests me is that Ken also provides the audio files for the commercial, and allows them to be used free of charge. Open source ads about open source software. I think he might be onto something here.


  • US to cede control of ICANN?

    The US government has reportedly agreed to cede control over ICANN once its current pact with the internet oversight body expires next week.

  • Michael Moore’s New Movie Was Brought to You by Goldman Sachs

    Ira Stoll of the Future of Capitalism makes the amusing point that Paramount Vantage, the distributor for Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story, is controlled by Viacom, “on whose board sit none other than Sumner Redstone and former Bear Stearns executive Ace Greenberg, who aren’t exactly socialists.”

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • DRM Doesn’t Enable Business Models; Blind Fear Disables Business Models

      And that’s my real problem with DRM. It cannot enable a new business model economically. That’s because it’s only purpose is to limit behavior. There are no business models that are based solely on limiting behavior. It may be the case that some companies may be too afraid to implement a business model without this faux “protection,” but that’s entirely different than saying DRM enables the business model.

    • Intel Inside Could Mean a TV That Watches You

      Intel is putting Atom processors almost everywhere these days, with the latest target being televisions. The company announced a new Atom-based system-on-a-chip (SoC) design for television sets to make them the hub of social networking and interactivity.


      Another, potentially disturbing element for privacy advocates, of the smart TV was it knew, thanks to a mobile Internet device (MID) Rattner had been carrying, that he recently visited a musical instrument store. The MID told the TV this, and among the different shows offered for suggested viewing were shows on guitarists. At the bottom of the screen were banner advertisements, one of them for a guitar store.

    • Intel’s Atom heads for digital TVs, STBs

      Developed in conjunction with Yahoo!, the Widget Channel architecture (above) appears to be Linux-based.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Music Industry Copies Language Of Copyright Reformers In Pushing For Three Strikes


      “BT is clinging on to an old business model which is supported by illegal downloading. That’s not only unfair to artists and creators, but penalises BT’s many customers who use the internet legally,”

      This implies — incorrectly — that file sharing is somehow a massive boon to ISPs. The very same ISPs who keep claiming they need to use traffic shaping to prevent any network from being overloaded by file sharing. It’s pretty ridiculous to claim that ISPs are relying on file sharing as any sort of business model at all.

    • New Zealand Author Claims Libraries Are Involved In Grand Theft By Loaning Books

      Edwards also seems fully enamored with the myth that copyright law is based on some sort of “labor theory” — that the more time you put in, somehow the more money you deserve to get out. While I’m unfamiliar with New Zealand copyright law, in the US, such theories have been widely discredited in the courts repeatedly. And, of course, they make no sense when viewed alongside the actual purpose of copyright law. Edwards seems to believe that copyright is welfare for creators, rather than an incentive to create.

    • Obama Appoints Scholar as New Copyright Czar

      The legislation was strongly backed by Hollywood, the recording industry, unions, manufacturers and the Chamber of Commerce.

    • Obama Finally Appoints IP Czar… Puts It In The Wrong Department

      In a move that surprises no one, the Obama administration finally got around to officially nominating Victoria Espinel to be the IP Czar, a position that was created out of thin air a year ago in the ProIP Act, though the position went entirely unfilled until now. Hollywood lobbyists have been pushing the administration to appoint someone ever since the spring, and VP Joe Biden had to come out and calm Hollywood execs and lawyers by promising them the “right person” would be appointed (meaning: not someone who is interested in copyright reform).


      So where did the position end up? Yup… it’s a part of OMB, just like Hollywood wanted.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Dan Bull – Dear Lily

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