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Links 29/09/2009: GNOME 3.0 Introduction, Open Android Alliance Launched

Posted in News Roundup at 7:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Cisco Developer Contest Finalists: Team CampUser

    In June, Cisco announced the ten finalists in its “Think Inside the Box” developer competition. The global contest centered on the “network as a platform” philosophy, and asked applicants to develop applications using Cisco’s Linux-based AXP (Application Extension Platform), a module on its ISR (Integrated Services Routers).

  • 10 easy ways to play with Linux without leaving Windows

    While I haven’t made the switch to Linux full time, I find myself spending more and more time experimenting of late. In particular, I’m enjoying projects like Moblin and the Ubuntu Netbook Remix.

  • 10 important Linux developments everyone should know about

    The Linux® technology, development model, and community have all been game-changing influences on the IT industry, and all we can really do is stand back and look at it all, happy to have been along for the ride for developerWorks’ first 10 years. The Linux zone team has put together this greatly abbreviated collection of things that stand out in our minds as having rocked the world of Linux in a significant way.

  • Ubuntu Is Pretty Cool (My Linux Experiment)

    * I had an old Windows XP laptop that was slow and required constant attention. One of the great things about almost any Linux distribution is that is small and efficient. It is often recommended as a good way to get some new life out of an older machine.

    * Ubuntu makes it easy. I picked the Ubuntu distribution because it was easy to figure out and install. The software takes you step by step through the process and even gives you the option to split your hard drive so you can have both Linux and Windows (or whatever) on the same machine.

    * I am not sacrificing much (if anything). As the title to this post suggests, Ubuntu is pretty cool. True, the user interface is a little different but, having oriented myself (and pretty quickly for an old guy, I am proud to say), it seems a little better than Windows. It does well all of the things my old Windows machine did poorly. I have faster web-browsing now through my trusty Firefox browser. Web apps (like Google Docs) are operating system agnostic and I have yet to run into a major plugin that is not also available for Linux distributions. Open Office (a free Office-like application) works very well with most of my Office files (and others). There are also tons of new productivity and gaming applications to explore as well, all with little (some would say no) risk of virus or malware infection.

  • User Agent Switcher keeps Ubuntu usable at College

    To me this inconsistency is a true sign that computer discrimination and software profiling not only exists but should be a very big concern for all of us. There is no other reason that the Pearson system works with a Linux operating system sporting Firefox except for their Microsoft based computer course which they claim doesn’t work with anything but Microsoft which is actually untrue.

    But until software discrimination ceases to exist then programs like User Agent Switcher truly saves the day but also points out that most of the sites claiming it only works with one operating system or browser is usually just the ignorance of the website administrator pushing what they believe you should be using.

  • Google Search Applicance head: Success depends on open source developers

    The success of the Google Search Appliance business is dependent on the open source developers and independent software vendors (ISVs) community, according to its head.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log – Main development phase of Linux 2.6.32 completed

      With the first release candidate of Linux 2.6.32, last night, Linus Torvalds completed the main development phase of the next version of Linux on the main development branch. As the kernel hackers already integrate most of a new kernel version’s major changes into the source code management system during this phase, called the merge window, 2.6.32-rc1 is already a good indicator of the most important new features due for release with Linux 2.6.32 in early December.

    • NVIDIA Publicly Releases Its OpenCL Linux Drivers

      It’s been no secret that NVIDIA has been working on an OpenCL Linux driver for their graphics processors just as AMD has been doing, but up until now their beta drivers were only available to registered NVIDIA developers. Today though — on the same day as NVIDIA’s OpenCL driver launch for Windows — they have made their OpenCL support publicly available.

    • Nvidia Releases OpenCL Drivers

      Nvidia on Monday released its first public OpenCL graphics-chip drives for both Windows and Linux.

    • Mesa 7.6 Released, Mesa 7.5 Updated Too

      Just as planned, Mesa 7.6.0 has been released and Mesa 7.5.2 has also been released as a bug-fix in the 7.5 series. The mailing list announcements for Mesa 7.5.2 and 7.6.0 can be read here and here, respectively.

    • Linux and the Trusted Platform Module (TPM)

      Digital Rights Management (DRM) is an example of companies controlling consumers’ use of their product, Phorm is an example of a technology delivering targeted advertising based on demographic analysis and TPM and associated technologies such as AMT and TXT are examples of hardware integrated security systems.

      DRM is designed to protect the media companies not the consumer and Phorm benefits the advertiser not the consumer; both are technologies that have generated a strong negative reaction. TPM and other technologies designed to protect the individual computer might seem beneficial to the end user, but are tainted by fears about back door access.

    • 5 Things You Can Do to Put Linux in the Driver Seat

      Here’s what we can do:

      1. Any time you find a piece of hardware that doesn’t have a Linux driver, write to the manufacturer and request that a Linux version become available for it.

      2. Boycott any hardware that doesn’t explicitly work with Linux.

      3. Check hardware compatibility lists and only purchase hardware that does work with Linux.

  • Games

    • Aquaria Coming to Linux

      Thanks to a reader for linking this forum thread in which Bit Blot’s Alec Holowka announced that Ryan “icculus” Gordon is now porting the award-winning undersea action game Aquaria to Linux…

    • Osmos Coming to Linux

      Speaking of IGF winners, GamingOnLinux let us know that Osmos is slated to make an appearance on Linux, based on their feature list…


    • Stormy’s update: Week of September 14th and 21st

      Proposed and got enough takers to do a women’s issue of GNOME Journal. An issue written all by women about what they are working on in GNOME or about things they find interesting in GNOME. It’ll come out in November.

      Proposed that the a11y team branch out to non software conferences to spread the word about GNOME and how it can help people with accessibility needs.

    • An Introduction to GNOME 3.0

      The presentation focuses on three things:

      1. What is GNOME
      2. History of GNOME (up to and including a brief overview of GNOME 2.28)
      3. GNOME 3.0

      One thing I hope attendees take away is that GNOME 3.0 is more than just GNOME Shell. I believe the call to action in the GNOME 3.0 community that Vincent and the release team started back in April and that continued at GUADEC really motivated a number of teams to see what they could do to contribute to GNOME 3.0. In the presentation I talk about Accessibility, Documentation, Marketing, the GNOME Developer Platform, the GNOME Activity Journal and Zeitgeist, Tomboy Online and GNOME Shell (including a demo).

  • Distributions

    • Slax

      I particularly like how Slax resolved the whole package management conundrum. For example, you can “temporarily” install software with one click of a button. You just go here find your module and click “Activate”. This will download an install the package, but only for the duration of the current session. Once you reboot the package will be gone. Of course you can download the package and permanently install it as well – it’s just that the temporary option is kinda neat.

    • eyeOS: Your Own Private Linux Cloud that You Control (part 2)

      Don’t get too used to eyeOS. Version 2.0 will have a much different look and enhanced features. The release is already set for January 1st, 2010. As their blog says, it will feature a new desktop, applications, filesystem; pretty much everything.

    • Wallpapers

    • New Releases

      • Absolute 13.0.2 released

        Brasero has replaced K3B and kdelibs, kdemultimedia and arts have all been removed. Gtk themes have been implimented and are changeable via customized gtk-chtheme utility. While we are staying away from the heavy integrated environments, we can still get our lightweight apps to look good and coordinate with each other… changing Gtk theme also changes icewm theme, desktop background (in pcmanfm) and window background for ROX-Filer.

      • [GParted 0.4.6-4 released]
      • [Calculate 9.9 released]
    • Devices/Embedded

      • With Zipit, who needs a netbook?

        Who needs a 10.1 inch screen or an Atom processor when you can get this 2.8″ QVGA beauty with an XScale processor for around $40?

      • HD videoconferencing system runs Linux

        Later this week, Panasonic Communications plans to ship a full HD videoconferencing system that incorporates embedded Linux and Nokia’s Qt cross-platform development/UI framework. The KX-VC500 offers SIP-compatible videoconferencing supporting H.264-compressed 1920 x 1080i H.264 video over links from 2 to 8Mbps, and offers Internet connectivity, says Panasonic.

      • 3G-ready e-book reader boasts 8.1-inch display

        Irex Technologies is readying a Linux-based electronic book (e-book) reader with an 8.1-inch, 1024 x 768 display. Based on Freescale’s ARM11-based i.MX31, the Irex DR800SG communicates via the Verizon Wireless 3G network, supports the open ePub publishing standard, and offers built-in support for the Barnes & Noble eBookstore, says Irex.

      • 5 of some of the most popular Linux powered mobile devices of 2009

        Linux, the Open Source OS platform, is making inroads into the mainstream desktop OS market and fast becoming a popular alternative to the big brother Windows. With popular distros like Ubuntu and Fedora leading the charge, the desktop OS market is set to witness some serious change of terrain in the coming years. The popularity of Linux is also in part due to more and more hardware manufacturers shipping their wares with one flavor or the other of it installed. Below are 5 of some of the most popular Linux powered devices of 2009.

      • So I “Hacked” My Crappy MP3 Player

        For starts, this OS loads FAST. Not only that but it came with a bunch of extra applications, visual themes, and GAMES! Yeah baby! I couldn’t believe it when I loaded up a variant of id Software’s DOOM on my cheap $30 MP3 player. There’s no other way to say it but Rockbox is one really awesome piece of software and I’m really happy I found it! THANK YOU ROCKBOX!

      • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • Former Open Text-er Takes CMO Job at Open Source Nuxeo

    It’s Bloom Time at Nuxeo

    Meet Cheryl McKinnon, who, as of today, is the new Chief Marketing Officer of the Paris-headquartered open source ECM vendor Nuxeo (news, site).

  • More SMBs are adopting open source

    Fast on the heels of Sun’s release of an updated version of the MySQL Enterprise Monitor, MySQL has released the results of a survey of 637 small and medium-size businesses (less than 500 employees) in Europe documenting open source usage. While this is not as comprehensive as Alfresco’s prior Open Source Barometer surveys, it still provides an interesting snapshot on usage patterns. (And maybe this will encourage Alfresco to revisit its survey.)

  • Rutgers using Drupal

    Rutgers University, with more than 50,000 students the largest institution for higher education in the state of New Jersey, switched their main website, http://rutgers.edu, to Drupal. Looks stunning!

  • OpenOffice.org

  • Talend

    • Opening Up MDM

      Talend will adopt its standard open core model, which is for a free open-source offering but an enterprise edition, which comes with technical support and some premium features.

    • Talend to offer Master Data Management software soon

      Talend has acquired the rights to a Master Data Management product (MDM) by French-American vendor Amalto. The acquisition complements the BI specialist’s data integration portfolio with a central management solution for master data that allows companies to maintain their data consistency even across applications.

  • Budget

    • How to Save $1 Trillion a Year with Open Source

      In essence, that optimism stems from the magnitude of the savings that open source can bring to companies – and the world economy. Tiemann spells this out in a fascinating paper [.pdf], entitled “How Open Source Software Can Save the ICT Industry One Trillion Dollars per Year”.

    • Open source can save schools billions

      In it he claims civil servants and head teachers appear to have no idea what value for money means, and calls for 40,000 teaching assistant jobs to go and cites as an example of incompetence a case where £35,000 was spent on a £1,000 photocopier.

      His report follows last week’s statement from Education Secretary Ed Balls that schools could save £2bn by sacking Senior Teachers.

      Seems that it’s not just me that thinks schools are being let down by a bunch of dopes.


      So, oh cloth-eared brethren responsible for value for money procurement in schools… heedless of the risk of repeating myself here goes:

      Open Source software can save schools billions of pounds.

  • Events

    • ApacheCon US 2009 is Approaching: Want a Discount?

      The conference is partly in celebration of the 10th anniversary of The Apache Software Foundation, and is one of several annual events that the foundation runs around the world.OStatic is a media partner with the foundation for the event, and readers can get a 10 percent discount to the conference. Here is how to do so, and more details.

    • Global Conference on Open Source (GCOS) will be held in Jakarta, on 26-27 October 2009

      Global Conference on Open Source (GCOS) aims to bring the global open source community together in order to address the growing demand for open source technology in every social spectrum. GCOS will generate an international collaboration among governments, businesses, academicians, and communities to strengthen the position of open source, making it more attractive and valuable for the society at large.

    • Ohio LinuxFest report: “Forty Years of Unix”

      I just got back from OhioLinuxFest “Forty Years of Unix,” and I want to report on what I heard, who I saw, and what I learned. I wasn’t sure how it would be this year, with a slowed economy. Compared to last year, it had fewer exhibitors, but roughly the same number of attendees. The raffle tickets sold out, which is a good sign for any fund-raising activity.

  • Openness

    • Open Source Homeland Security: The $250 DIY Bedazzler Induces Nausea via LEDs

      I’ve blinded myself with my own high powered grow lights before. It is disorienting and the flashes would reoccur in my own vision for up to a hour later. While the bedazzler has not yet induced vomiting Ladyada has confidence that with a open design someone will figure out the magic combination of LEDs and pulses to make a fully effective unit.

  • Programming

    • GitHub picks Sydney sysadmins

      Git-based online hosted service, GitHub, has chosen Sydney company Anchor to implement and manage its infrastructure.


  • Mediterranean EU countries block bluefin tuna ban

    The “Club Med” of southern European Union countries came under attack from environmentalists today for defying the campaign to ban trade in bluefin tuna, Japan’s highly prized sushi fish, whose stocks are dwindling dangerously low.

  • Dodd pens telecom immunity repeal

    A handful of Democratic senators are promoting legislation to repeal immunity for telecommunications firms that cooperated with the Bush administration on a warantless wiretapping program.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • A Song For Lily Allen… And A Little Conversation

      And, despite her deleting her blog, some actually saved many of the comments on her blog. And, again, they don’t show “abuse,” but thoughtful, reasoned argument along these lines — none of which Ms. Allen has responded to as of yet. That post, by the way, also highlights numerous factual errors in Ms. Allen’s earlier responses.

      So, yes, I’m going to post this video, because I think it’s great (and catchy) and because I think it does further the conversation, just not in the direction that Ms. Allen intended. It’s from a fan of Ms. Allen’s work, and is endearing, not attacking. It’s entertaining. It’s free… and it got me to go and buy Dan Bull’s first album, even though he’s offering it up for free, too.

    • Warner Inks Deal to Bring Green Day, Madonna Back to YouTube

      Warner Music Group has completed a deal with YouTube that will bring back music videos for Green Day, REM, Madonna and other artists to the video-sharing site from which they were removed in December, according to two executives familiar with the talks.

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