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10.05.09

Links 05/10/2009: GoblinX 3.0 Chooses KDE 4, New Chumby Arrives

Posted in News Roundup at 12:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Today’s Webtip: Boxee

    Multi Media Hard drives? Well, they have some nice connections, tend to run linux, and can push out a full HD image while sipping saft.

  • The Grand Experiment – Linux Ads on Radio

    We fielded 179 phone calls, 63 emails and 4 personal visits of inquiry from the ads. There are three categories in which I have placed these communications.

  • The best anti-virus.

    Like a lot of things in our society, all you have to do is instill fear into people and then sell them products to protect themselves. Antivirus software is big business and the industry is very good at scaring the common computer user. Most viruses could be avoided just by following simple common sense rules. Anyways, my mom found out that she is immune to majority of viruses that are out there and that her precious data is safe for now. The way Linux is created makes it difficult for viruses to function. Linux is the best anti-virus software.

  • LSE buys MillenniumIT

    The new platform will be based on Linux and Solaris, while TradElect is based on Microsoft’s .Net technology. The choice of the latter, which has raised quite a few eyebrows in the market, is defended by Lester. He claims that LSE is coming off TradElect not because of the .Net technology itself (although its trading speed is 2.7 milliseconds compared to Linux-based Chi-X’s 0.4 milliseconds), but ‘for more control, less costs, and the ability to build and innovate’. Furthermore, he describes LSE’s experience with .Net as ‘very positive’. With LSE and its Italian subsidiary, Borsa Italiana, converting to Linux, Microsoft’s .Net offering is left with virtually no takers – the only remaining one being Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). ‘JSE has been aware for some time that the LSE has been considering its trading technology options,’ says Leanne Parsons, JSE’s chief operating officer. The South African exchange ‘will be holding discussions’ with its UK counterpart regarding the latter’s technology replacement project. However, it is ‘a bit too early in the process’ to go into any detail, she adds.

  • Kernel Space

    • Using an Epson Perfection V30 scanner in Linux

      When I was shopping for an inexpensive flatbed scanner, it was not always easy to figure out which ones would work in Linux. Many manufacturers use proprietary protocols in their products and generally ignore Linux. I bought an Epson V30 because it was cheap and because there are drivers available for download here. The drivers work on Linux Mint 6 (Ubuntu 8.10) or later, and on several other Linux variants. Unfortunately source code is not provided, so if you don’t have one of the popular distributions, you may be out of luck.

    • Linux Outlaws 114 – LinuxCon 2009 Special

      In another special episode, we bring you Dan’s interviews from LinuxCon with James Bottomley (SCSI subsystem maintainer), Allison Randal & Chromatic (Parrot), Jeremy Allison (Samba) and Greg Kroah-Hartman (staging tree maintainer) as well as a Mac rant from Fab.

  • Applications

    • Search Your Files Using Catfish

      Not everyone is very familiar with using the command line and now there is an option for users to have a graphical front-end for it. Sometimes it might be overwhelming for users especially new ones to use the command line. And it could be less confusing for them to have graphical symbols to help them. If you find it hard to remember to use the find command or locate then it’s better to find files using something else like Catfish. Catfish is the graphical front-end for find and locate, as well as other tools like strigi, beagle and pinot.

  • Desktop Environments

    • Hidden Linux : Learning to love KDE 4 (part I)

      * Compiz is still around but you might like to check out Desktop Effects under System / System Settings / Desktop first. (I particularly like the Fall Apart option for closed windows …)

  • Distributions

    • Trisquel on Sugar

      This new project will improve the Trisquel Edu system, providing a nice educational environment for first grade students. We hope this will also be the start of a productive relationship with the SugarLabs folks, who helped us a lot to achieve this release. Many thanks to Aleksey Lim and to everyone at the Sugar project for giving us this wonderful software!

    • GoblinX 3.0 Has KDE 4

      Flavio Pereira de Oliveira announced today the third release of his popular Slackware-based Live CD Linux distribution, GoblinX, also known as G:Standard. GoblinX 3.0 used to have five desktop managers, but it appears that Flavio decided to keep only one, the K Desktop Environment. With the KDE4 on board, this distribution offers stability and good looks on a bootable Live CD ISO image.

    • 2009 Gentoo 10 Screenshot Winners

      Thanks to everyone who entered the contest. There were 54 entries using 5 different window managers / desktop environments.

      The Winners

      1. Quick23t Compiz Fusion
      2. ashtophet Fvwm 2.5.27
      3. Integer Fluxbox

    • Debian Family

      • LiberKey applications work on Debian through Wine

        Today, I tried out several LiberKey applications on Debian through the Wine interface and most of them seemed to be working well. The only fall back is that these applications dont work through the Liberkey interface. But rather each application needs to be run from its folder manually. This is not a set back as all it takes is a link to a application to open it.

      • Ubuntu Karmic Koala preview

        But what can you expect and how should it run? In this preview of Ubuntu 9.10 I will fill you in on the upcoming features and give you a few screen shots as well as my opinion on how the release will fare.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 162

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #162 for the week September 27 – October 3rd, 2009. In this issue we cover: Ubuntu 9.10 Beta Released, Ubuntu 9.10 Countdown Banners, Ubuntu 9.10: Testers Needed, Planning of Karmic Release Parties Kicks off, Ubuntu Karmic Free Culture Showcase Winners Announced, Changes to releases.ubuntu.com rsync/FTP access, LoCo News: France, Ohio, Florida, Massachusetts, Honduras, Philly, Michigan, North Carolina, & El Salvador, Help Launchpad get better icons, Ubuntu Forums Tutorial of the Week, The Planet: Michael Lustfield, Martin Meredith, Mathias Gug, Shane Fagan & Luis de Bethencourt, PlayOnLinux to be in Ubuntu Karmic repositories, September Team Meeting Summaries, and much, much more!

      • Linux Mint

        Linux Mint addresses lots of problems that kept people on the Microsoft habit. Having to mount the drives. The single click launching of programs. The hassle of installing programs. Linux Mint’s installs are less painful than Microsoft. As of yet there are not lots of garbage shareware programs you “must install” so you can get some other feature.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • The Chumby One: More powerful, less cushy UPDATE

      But anyway, the new model is expected to run $100 when it drops in a month or two.

    • Novatel’s MiFi Router Gets Smarter, with Apps

      Novatel Wireless on Monday announced a plan to embed applications in the company’s MiFi portable 3G-to-WiFi router, which has its own Linux-based operating system. The first MiFi apps will let the device act as a shared network drive, negotiate VPNs and upload photos.

    • Cowon to expand product categories

      I assume Cowon may release its first MID with a Linux OS rather than Windows XP. Cowon has one of the best Linux developers and they have worked with several Cowon PMP products in the past, so they would find it easier to deal in the Linux environment and differentiate themselves from other MIDs in the Korean market which are based on Windows XP.

      Also, Linux OS can reduce retail cost. However, it’s been their experience that the Linux OS does not really attract customers even though there is WiFi on the Cowon Q5W. Korea’s Internet access is limited by ActiveX which has been a stumbling block for the Linux OS for portable Internet devices including laptops.

    • The critical choice of the right operating system

      Also on Thursday, Andreas Orfanos, open source software consultant at Hedera Innovations Ltd. will explore working with real-time Linux. Recently, Linux has gained strong momentum in Real-Time applications but which real-time Linux is the right one for your project? How does it perform? What kind of limitations does it have? What is the licensing model for each of one? What kind and where you can find support? Orfanos will attempt to provide the answers.

    • Phones

      • Linux-based phones : Why are GNU/Linux users treated as second class?

        I’m aware that some will read this post as me whining because I bought an HTC Hero without checking if it worked with my GNU/Linux box. Just to be clear: I was fully aware of these limitations prior to purchase. I don’t tend to sync my mobile devices with my desktop(s). I do back them up and right now that’s all I need. So in reality the sync issue isn’t a problem for me — other than the firmware upgrade for which I must borrow a Windows box. But I — like many — chose the HTC because the software it was based upon was free and I wanted to support companies and products which utilised it. The same thing applies to other manufacturers. So, specifically HTC: Where is the synching and upgrading for non-Windows users? and generally for all: Because of your use of free software, GNU/Linux users are an increasing part of your customer-base, start recognising and addressing that factor you may well lose our custom.

      • Acer Joins Android Army, Demotes Windows Mobile

        Fanbois and girls alike constantly debate the future mobile operating landscape. Is there room enough for all of the current platforms or will there be just a few? From a consumer standpoint, there’s room for plenty of competitors — after all, choice is good, right? But more choices can play havoc with the finances of the companies that produce handsets. With a fixed budget of resources — in a tight economy, no less — handset makers need to judiciously manage their resources and devote them strategically.

        Acer is reportedly doing just that, says Digitimes, and they’re adding to the growing trend of phone makers who are joining the Android army.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Nokia N900 – Top of the Hacks

        Push N900 invites hackers, mods, creatives, and coders to push the Linux powered N900 to its limits and if you haven’t already begun creating your masterpiece you should probably get cracking, as the competition, in which you can get your hands on a Nokia N900 and funding to realise your designs, ends on the 11th October.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Free software is so easy…you don’t even need a keyboard!

    Fortunately, the unit had a build of Ubuntu installed on its internal flash, configured to log in automatically to a graphical desktop. Using a dust-covered USB mouse I found in the bottom of the parts box, I copied and pasted letters from the gnome-terminal help files to install openssh-server, so that I could login over the network and finish setting it up.

  • Microsoft Office to OpenOffice.org Migration WhitePaper, OOo Con, Git and OOo: OpenOffice.org links, 04-10-2009

    Nearly there – John Mc Creesh says it is almost time to go to the OpenOffice.org conference. Look at the Conference Programme and if you can make it don’t forget to register online, Orvieto waits for you!

  • News Roundup – 5/10/09

    Roy Schestowitz of Boycott Novell will be on the FLOSS weekly podcast on 14/10/09 at 13:30. I for one am looking forward to the broadcast as Roy always manages to create interesting debate on a diverse range of subjects within the IT world. In the meantime (if you haven’t already been there, check out his site site: or come on over to #boycottnovell on freenode.net for a chat!

  • OSS: the real point is software control

    Control is what really matters, on-premise and online. Who, how such control is performed, what it may affects. You may prefer the ethical angle (like Stallman did) or the economic angle (like I do) but the end result is the same, exactly like free software and open source are the same.

  • New York Times Releasing Open Source Document Viewer

    The New York Times has announced plans to release the next version of its Document Viewer under an open source license. The new viewer will be ready for launch in a few weeks and offers users interactive tools for annotating pages to share with others.

  • ONA 09: NY Times to Release Open-Source Document Viewer in ‘Weeks’

    On the other, the Times expects that other organizations that use the tool will build new functionality on top the Times’ code and then, in true open source spirit, share their enhancements back so that all organizations using of the Document Viewer will benefit.

  • OStatic Interviews Cisco Developer Contest Finalists: Team Enhancers

    The Local Advertising Mesh Network, an advertising platform for local ad management, is Rajesh Kotagiri’s response to the challenge Cisco put forth in the Developer Contest guidelines — to use the “network as a platform” approach and develop an application using Cisco’s Linux-based AXP (Application Extension Platform), a service module on its ISR (Integrated Services Routers).

  • GoalBit: P2P Streaming Goes Open Source

    GoalBit, which is available for Windows and Linux, currently features just a handful of Uruguay’s TV networks streaming at fairly low bitrates. But the service looks promising nonetheless, and its extensive documentation could be intriguing to anyone interested in P2P streaming.

  • Open core, closed heart?

    The terms “open source” and “free software” are often confused by companies who want to gain the benefits of a wider developer community. More often than not this has arisen from a misunderstanding of the full implications of “open source” and “free software”, and how free software licensing works to the advantage of developers and the companies that are formed to market the software.

  • Sri Lanka – Moratuwa university the world’s best

    UoM won the highest number of awards at each of the annual competitions held in 2007, 2008 and 2009. The awards measure students’ talent, creativity, ability and performance in the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) development.

  • Firefox

    • Firefox Tips

      Mozilla Firefox has been outperforming Internet Explorer for a number of years, and its latest version is even faster than ever. However, there is a new, lean, free web browser on the block which runs web pages at lightning speed. It goes by the name of Google Chrome. Google released the source code of Chrome, including its custom JavaScript engine as an open source project entitled Chromium.

    • Mozillians of Europe, Unite

      Mozilla Europe was kind enough to invite me to give a talk at its EU MozCamp 2009 on Saturday. It was an inspiring experience – not my talk, of course, but being among 180 of the top free software coders in Europe, along with other key people from the Mozilla project.

  • Hadoop

    • Bioinformatics, Genomes, EC2, and Hadoop

      Built on top of a 64-bit Ubuntu distribution, the JCVI Cloud Bio-Linux gives scientists the ability to launch EC2 instances chock-full of the latest bioinformatics packages including BLAST (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool), glimmer (Microbial Gene-Finding System), hmmer (Biosequence Analysis Using Profile Hidden Markov Models), phylip (Phylogeny Inference Package), rasmol (Molecular Visualization) genespring (statistical analysis, data mining, and visualization tools), clustalw (general purpose multiple sequence alignment), the Celera Assembler (de novo whole-genome shotgun DNA sequence assembler), and the NIH EMBOSS utilities. The Celera Assembler can be used to assemble entire bacterial genome sequences on Amazon EC2 today!

    • The View from HadoopWorld

      All in all? An excellent show, one well worth my time. My only parting suggestion – besides not doing it on a Friday – would be to arrange power strips for the show. It’s kind of tough to write it up on a dying battery. Otherwise, congrats to the organizers and the speakers: very well done.

  • Openness

    • The Three Laws of Open Government Data

      Yesterday, at the Right To Know Week panel discussion – Conference for Parliamentarians: Transparency in the Digital Era – organized by the Office of the Information Commissioner I shared three laws for Open Government Data that I’d devised on the flight from Vancouver.

      The Three Laws of Open Government Data:

      1. If it can’t be spidered or indexed, it doesn’t exist
      2. If it isn’t available in open and machine readable format, it can’t engage
      3. If a legal framework doesn’t allow it to be repurposed, it doesn’t empower

    • Calling Open Data Developers: We need your help

      From today we are inviting developers to show government how to get the future public data site right – how to find and use public sector information.

    • FR: ‘Governments should make their public data available on-line’

      Governments should make their public data available on-line to all, Jean-Louis Missika, deputy mayor of Paris said on Thursday. Such data could be used to create real time services and geo-location services.

    • Welcome to the SPARC Open Access Newsletter, issue #138

      I want to celebrate the progress of OA journals and the launch of the OASPA by setting out what I see as the 10 greatest challenges facing OA journals. I want to do this without pretending to set the association agenda and without presupposing that association members don’t already know these challenges very well. I’m not a member of the association or even a publisher. I merely want to see OA journals succeed.

Leftovers

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Regulators’ Role Seen Rising As E-Content Tied To Devices

      Amazon deleted the Kindle file of Orwell books to remove the content, Manara said. The issue of sellers’ control over devices arose in a French case in which a mobile phone operator’s customer discovered he could not use the phone with another telecommunications provider because of lack of interoperability. The user sued under an 1804 civil law provision stating that “Ownership is the right to enjoy and dispose of things in the most absolute manner.” A Paris court ruled that the operator could not breach this fundamental right, and that goods must be able to be used in the way their owners expect.

    • Will the European Parliament take its last chance to save citizens’ rights?

      “In our societies, access to the Internet is so instrumental to people’s ability to communicate with each other that restricting or limiting this access cannot be decided by a company or even an executive agency. Only a fair trial by the judicial authority guarantees that citizens’ rights will be respected. It is now Catherine Trautmann’s duty to ensure that amendment 138 will protect citizens against the arbitrary blocking or limiting of their Internet access.” concludes Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for the citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • LimeWire in the Crosshairs of Anti-P2P Legislation

      The House Energy & Commerce Committee is scheduled to mark up tomorrow a bill dubbed the Informed P2P User Act (H.R. 1319) that aims to prevent accidental file-sharing by mandating the display of clear warnings during the installation and usage of P2P software. Critics, however, fear that the final bill might end up going much further, regulating FTP clients, web browsers and even complete operating systems.

    • EMI Tries To Hide Kids Education Anti-Piracy Objective

      A music industry consultant has changed her Linkedin profile when it was revealed that the music lessons she’s giving in schools aren’t quite as they seem. Ruth Katz, who worked in anti-piracy enforcement for EMI and still works for the company as a consultant, is lecturing kids as young as five on anti-piracy issues.

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