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Links 06/10/2009: DeviceVM Spreads, More GNU/Linux Releases

Posted in News Roundup at 8:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Advertising with Helios

    The idea of the radio adverts was to be able to increase the business of installing and supporting “Linux” based desktop computers in the Texas, Dallas area. This could then be considered a reasonable investment of money into advertising as radio ads are expensive for the average bloke on the street.

  • Linux Software Picks: Six Alternatives to Photoshop

    Phatch offers batch processing capabilities; if you need to apply effects like sharpen, add border, etc. to many images at once, it would normally take hours if you had to do it manually. In contrast, Phatch can process entire directories at once in minutes. Alternatively, Phatch offers drag-and-drop processing. Phatch may not be a tool you use every day, but it is invaluable in the situations where you do need it.

  • Instant-on

  • Server

    • A Linux server that fits in your palm

      The OpenBlockS 600 is powered by a 600MHz powerPC CPU and has 1GB of DDR2 SDRAM and a CompactFlash slot and three USB 2.0 ports for internal and external storage. It comes installed with Plat’Home’s own embedded SSD/Linux distribution by default. Customers can also request others such as Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Java SE for embedded and NetBSD.

    • Report: London Stock Exchange will move to Linux

      The LSE plans to migrate both itself and its Italian subsidiary, Borsa, to the new platform.

  • Kernel Space

  • Browsers

    • Firefox

    • Google/Chrome

      • Google Begins Test Phase for Wave

        Four months have gone by since Google announced their new, innovative communication solution, Wave. Last week was the beginning of its test phase.

      • Linux Google Chrome Shines

        The Google Chrome browser is still available as a stable build only for Windows, but it turns out that you can get a dev build for Linux and also for Mac OSX. I’ve been curious about this browser for a while, so I tried out both.

      • Google Chrome Artist’s Themes Work With Linux Chrome (Sadly does Include the totally pointless Mariah Carey Theme!)

        I’m please to report that they work fine in Google Chrome for Linux, so be sure to take a peek at the hard work that’s gone into them.

      • New Artist Themes for Google Chrome Are Super Slick

        The new Artist Themes are featured prominently in the Chrome Themes Gallery, and you just click an “Apply theme” button (from within Chrome) to get them going.

      • Fast, simple and now stylish: Google Chrome with Artist Themes

        We’re honored to have had the opportunity to work with artists including Jeff Koons, Jenny Holzer, Karim Rashid, Jonathan Adler, Oscar de la Renta, Anita Kunz, Tom Sachs, Kate Spade, Donna Karan, Kid Robot, Casey Reas, Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Graves, Todd Oldham, Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Mariah Carey (and that’s just to name a few!). We would like to extend our thanks to all the artists for lending their vision, imagination and hard work to this collaboration.

  • KDE

    • KDE 4

      I absolutely love KDE 4. There is so much new, but everything that is different feels intuit. My very favorite feature is, this far, the device notifying plasmoid. Not having to show the desktop to mount, open or unmount my USB-stick is just – smart and intuit.

    • Master Dolphin in KDE 4

      Ultimately Dolphin is a preference, and some will still prefer the more powerful Konqueror. Others will appreciate have a file manager separate from their browser. There are many other features to try with Dolphin. Experiment and try new things. You might be pleasantly surprised.

    • Linux Mint 7 (Gloria) KDE

      I think time has come when can try this fantastic distro which very stable and least risky to virus as comapred to windows any edition whether it is XP or windows 7.

      My Rating : 4.5/5

  • Distributions

    • Slackware Linux 13.0 – the oldest Linux distro gets a major overhaul

      Slackware 13.0 remains very much old school Linux. Despite some clear improvements in the new version, particularly in the area of wireless support, Slackware is still best suited to advanced Linux users who know what they are doing and are comfortable at the command line – despite claims to the contrary on the official website. The only newcomers to Linux who should consider Slackware are those who wish to really learn how Linux works under the hood and are ready to roll up their sleeves. If that’s your goal, to learn how things work, then you’d be hard pressed to do better than Slackware.

    • Puppy Linux 4.3 (step by step installation with screenshots)

      If all went well, you should be able to use Seamonkey and browse the web!

    • New Releases

      • DragonFly 2.4.1
      • Untangle 7.0
      • Plamo 4.7
      • Goblinx 3.0 “G:Standard”
      • Gentoo Family

        • Sabayon Linux 5.0 arrives

          Sabayon Linux founder Fabio Erculiani has announced the availability of the GNOME and KDE variants of version 5.0 of his popular Linux distribution. Sabayon, named after an egg-yolk based dessert, is derived from Gentoo Linux and is intended to provide a “complete out-of-the-box experience” while being both stable and versatile. The major update includes a number of bug fixes, performance improvements and new features.

        • Gentoo Linux releases special edition LiveDVD

          The Gentoo developers have announced the availability of Gentoo Linux 10.0 as a special edition LiveDVD to celebrate their tenth anniversary. The project usually works with rolling updates: every few weeks, the developers release updated installation CDs that serve as a basis for new Gentoo installations. Users then keep their systems current by installing regular online updates.

    • Debian Family

      • Shuttleworth: Amazon will win cloud battle

        Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud, or a new platform closely modelled on it, will emerge as the leading cloud standard, Canonical chief Mark Shuttleworth has predicted.

        Shuttleworth told delegates at a BT open-source event on Monday that to emerge as a leader among the alternatives now on offer, a cloud platform must have open-source implementations. He gave the example of the Eucalyptus implementation of EC2, which the Canonical-sponsored Ubuntu Linux distribution has adopted for private and public cloud use.

      • Install and use Ubuntu One

        Ubuntu One certainly one-ups DropBox for simplicity. This tool will make using Ubuntu on the business level all the more easier. You will be able to easily sync all of your files between home and work. Give Ubuntu One a try.

      • Ubuntu 9.10: First Impressions

        One word sums up this Karmic Koala Ubuntu incarnation: Super.

      • Ubuntu 9.10 Beta: A Review

        Overall, I have to say that Ubuntu 9.10 looks like it will be a great release. A few technologies in this release are new, so it may give the system a rough edge. When the next LTS release comes around (10.04), it will probably refine those features to create the best release yet. I will definitely be giving this system a test run when it is released in 24 days!

      • Ubuntu 9.10 Preview: New Login Manager

        Other aesthetic improvements in Ubuntu 9.10 include new default wallpaper and icon themes. Stay tuned to WorksWithU for coverage of these and other new features in Karmic.

      • Breathe Icon Theme v0.51 :A nice icon theme set for ubuntu

        Announced today the release of Breathe Icon Theme v0.51!. A new effort to create a set of icons mixing the modern style of KDEs “Oxygen” icons with Ubuntu’s “Human” set. This icon set has been crafted by the Ubuntu Artwork community and therefor has Ubuntu in mind for it’s intended use. “Because humans need Oxygen.”

      • Windows vs Ubuntu Release Parties

        The open source community doesn’t generally get the niceties like balloons and napkins, but we do know how to celebrate a good thing. The above is from a release celebration for Ubuntu (9.10 is coming out later this month!).

      • Karmic Koala Countdown Banners

        There are 3 different styles to choose from, 2 that use a java script and are animated, and one that is static for websites and blogs that don’t use java.

      • Ubuntu 9.10 Sticker
      • Why Newbies Should Choose Ubuntu

        The first question I hear Linux newbies ask is what is the best distribution to use? I think right now plenty of linux desktop options exist for newbies however a few things set Ubuntu ahead of the pack in my opinion.

      • 7 Things To Look Out For In Kubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

        A lot has been said regarding the upcoming release of Ubuntu, that is Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, – its new looks, new features etc. However, understandably, its KDE counterpart, Kubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, has been largely ignored and not a great deal of noise has been made about it. Here, in this article, we look at seven features, good as well as bad, that will be available with Kubuntu Karmic, which in our opinion needs to be watched out for.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Vstone Robovie-PC

      Other specifications include a 1.3 megapixel web cameras in his head, and it can run Linux or Windows making it highly customizable, check out the video of him in action below.

    • Autonomous robot runs Linux on Intel Atom

      Vstone has announced a two-legged humanoid robot that sports an onboard, Intel Atom-based PC. The “Robovie-PC” can walk on joints that offer six degrees of freedom, offers an accelerometer and gyro sensors, includes a 1.3 megapixel webcam, and has a body padded with polyurethane foam, says the company.

    • Netgear’s USB-Equipped WNR3500L 802.11n Router Goes Linux

      Caught yourself looking for a new Wi-Fi router here lately? Netgear’s new RangeMax Wireless-N Gigabit Router with USB (WNR3500L) is certainly worth a look, particularly if you value flexibility and have an inkling to make on your favorite USB peripherals go wireless. The router is built around a powerful open source Linux platform, giving developers and coding gurus the ability to make tweaks that would generally be disallowed.

    • Netgear intros 802.11n Wi-Fi router with Linux

      Netgear this morning challenged Cisco in customizable routers with a new Linux-based RangeMax model. The WNR3500L has the same 802.11n Wi-Fi, gigabit Ethernet and USB device sharing as the regular WNR3500 but runs on an open-source Linux platform and will take common unofficial router firmware like DD-WRT, OpenWRT and Tomato. These give it much more customization than the proprietary OS and can bring features that Netgear wouldn’t introduce itself.

    • 802.11n WiFi router offers open source Linux platform

      NetGear announced a Wireless-N (802.11n) router supported by its open source Linux development platform and “MyOpenRouter.com” community. The NetGear RangeMax Wireless-N Gigabit Router with USB (WNR3500L) offers an 802.11n WiFi access point, boasting up to 300Mbps bandwidth, five gigabit Ethernet ports and USB storage access, says the company.

    • Nokia pushes cross-platform Qt to center stage

      Both Nokia and Google have been much criticized for their dual-OS strategies, which many observers seem to find confusing, or a sign of indecision. A better question might be whether companies of such scale and ambition could realistically put all their eggs in a single OS basket – and that was certainly the view Nokia was presenting at its recent developers’ conference, Over The Air, where it continued to push its cross-platform software tools, Qt, towards center stage.

    • Phones

      • Android, Palm Pre growing fast in mobile data usage

        AdMob has issued a research report on mobile-phone data usage, claiming that the iPhone leads in mobile usage, but that the Linux-based Palm Pre and Android phones are rising fast, says eWEEK.. Meanwhile, Palm released a WebOS 1.2.1 upgrade that reconnects the Pre to Apple’s iTunes, says another eWEEK story.

      • Palm Pre Linux-Based Smartphone Reviewed

        Wi-Fi performance-to the extent it’s possible to test it-is good. The current inability to use Wi-Fi for anything but Internet access is unfortunate, but we can hope that Palm or some third-party developer will deliver an app in the future that adds that capability.

      • The Pre and Me

        The Palm Pre is the first real competitor to the iPhone. Those who are Apple fanatics will still go with the iPhone, I’m sure, but this is definitely a great phone. And if you love how Palm approaches things, then you’ll love how they take things to the next level with this smart phone.

        In the end, it really comes down to what you’re interested in and what functionality you need. For me? The Pre is the answer. Just ignore those awful, awful commercials.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Maximum PC Primer: Lightweight Netbook Computing with Linux

        Linux is an ideal choice for netbooks for multiple reasons in addition to CPU architecture. Netbooks generally have lower specs than most full-size notebooks (not to mention desktops) so they are ideal for lightweight applications like web browsing, document preparation, etc. Linux does these tasks very well without the bloat that Windows systems have to deal with from anti-malware utilities. This primer will help you set up and optimize Linux for your netbook.

      • XO Empowered Street Children at Lubuto Library

        For teachers, getting the subject that they are teaching their students to be fun should be the highest ideal possible, as it allows for the best learning experience; conveniently for teachers of computer literacy in third-world countries, they will find that teaching their subject using the OLPCs will be very easy.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Apache HTTP Server 2.2.14 released

    The Apache HTTP Server Project developers have announced the availability of version 2.2.14 of their open-source HTTP server. According to the projects developers, the release is considered to be the “best available version of Apache HTTP Server”.

  • Truth In Labelling

    That’s about more than just licensing. It also includes factors such as diversity of copyright ownership, representative leadership, use of open standards, patent safety, control of trademarks, openness of governance and more. While measuring such “inputs” can never wholly identify the holistic concept which is software freedom, I am still convinced the next step for open source is to devise “open source definitions” for these other key attributes, so that we can get away from an undefined and loose understanding of an open source business and instead have a more nuanced approach.

    What I would like to see is a move by OSI to create a suite of “open source definitions” against which a business could grade itself, and then indicate how many “stars” they score against the full suite. There would be very, very few businesses able to score a full set of stars, but the transparency of being able to see how companies rate in cultivating (rather just exploiting) software freedom would benefit us all in creating a strong, open market. We could set benchmarks in our procurement guidelines, requiring “no less than a five-star rating on the open source benchmark”, just as we require ISO9001 and similar ratings. OSI as an organisation is ready for this evolution of its role. Who wants to help make it happen? It’s time.

  • Enabling open core

    I have lauded the release of vxVistA but I fear that as a FOSS project, it will be stillborn because of the EPL. Users will be forced to choose between vxVistA and the considerable menu of proprietary partners whose patent and proprietary interests are satisfied by the EPL, and a projects where VA VistA is being improved -as a platform-

  • Open Solutions Alliance acquired by Europeans

    OW2, a European consortium dedicated to creating open source middleware, has acquired the Open Solutions Alliance, a two-year group dedicated to building reseller channels for open source.

  • Collabbit: A New FOSS Tool for Emergency Management

    We’ve covered some of the many strong open source applications and platforms aimed at humanitarian efforts. They include tools for disaster relief management, earthquake research and management applications, and mobile healtchcare efforts aimed at developing countries.

  • LucidEra’s BI tech finds new home at Pentaho

    Open-source BI (business intelligence) vendor Pentaho has purchased technology from failed BI company LucidEra, it was announced Monday. Terms were not disclosed.

  • Open source adoption still strong in RP

    According to a Red Hat study published in April this year, the Philippines ranked 67th out of 75 countries that had overall robust open source activity.

    The Philippines, meanwhile, ranked 20th in terms of open source activity in the government sector, largely due to many government-related IT projects running on open source.
    The Philippines, meanwhile, ranked 20th in terms of open source activity in the government sector, largely due to many government-related IT projects running on open source.


  • MAX 09: Flash Player becomes runtime environment for any platform

    According to Adobe, the new Flash version is the first runtime environment capable of rendering web applications and content as well as high definition (HD) videos across a variety of device types. It can reportedly utilise GPU performance to accelerate the rendering of video and graphics content while being economical with the resources, for instance the battery life, of a device. It also supports typical mobile device features like multi-touch, gestures and input switches for small displays.

  • Obama and the K Street Set

    There is something uniquely depressing about the fact that the National Portrait Gallery’s version of the Barack Obama “Hope” poster previously belonged to a pair of lobbyists. Depressing because Mr. Obama’s Washington was not supposed to be the lobbyists’ Washington, the place we learned to despise during the last administration.

  • Lobbyists As The New Celebrities? Cheering On Those Who Abuse The System

    As Copycense notes, it looks like DC lobbyists may be getting the celebrity treatment these days, similar to the hedge fund batch a few years ago. It’s as if the press gleefully looks for those who abuse the system for greed to celebrate. What a shame.

  • Having bought the government, Goldman Sachs shuts down its Versailles desk
  • Goldman Sachs Wants Its Money, CIT

    My TARP sense is tingling and it tells me it might be time for the taxpayer to bend over. Again.

  • Goldman Sachs Internal Memo

    The memo is touching in firm loyalty, surely a tribute to the all their hard work and well-known contributions towards rhe recovery of the US economy.

  • Let Freedom Wane: The Fed’s Role as Regulator and Obama’s Failure to Reform

    1. The Fed is in fact not a government institution, but owned by private and corporate banking interests. The failure of self-regulation and regulators who have been ‘captured’ by the corporations they regulate is one of the great lessons of this crisis.

  • Warner gives warning to Wall Street on pay

    Goldman Sachs spokesman Lucas Van Praag didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment.

  • GOLDMAN SACHS may be rolling in the dough these days, but it is dough from government handouts–not from “free-market” trading.

    So what’s wrong with Goldman posting $3.44 billion in second-quarter profits, and so far earmarking $11.4 billion in compensation for its employees? What’s wrong is that this is not “free-market” earnings but an almost pure state subsidy.

  • Goldman Sachs & J.P. Morgan Quietly Buying Up the Media

    Every since the Corporations have bought up the media, the very idea of ‘honest journalism’ has been a joke in America.

    I grew up with the likes of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite – I KNOW what real and honest journalism is all about.

    The ‘propaganda’ corporate machine that rules the airwaves now, is nothing more than a tool to control the message/masses, and at all costs, whatever ‘they’ do ‘they’ will make certain that stories like the one on Sibel Edmonds (on the diary recommended list) never, ever see the light of day. God forbid, America should hear the ‘truth’ about America and England planning to divide up Iraq months prior to 9/11.

  • New York man accused of using Twitter to direct protesters during G20 summit

    Elliott Madison arrested by FBI and charged with using social networking site to help demonstrators evade Pittsburgh police

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Van Loan’s Misleading Claims: Case for Lawful Access Not Closed

      Without a doubt, society needs to ensure that police have the ability to deal with serious crime. Yet, public concern about lawful access comes directly from privacy fears and the absence of compelling evidence that the current system has created serious barriers to police investigations. The latest reliance on a case that did not even involve ISP records should only heighten skepticism about the government’s proposed lawful access reforms.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Google says sorry for booting Pirate Bay

      RED-FACED GOOGLE claimed that an error caused its search engine to remove The Pirate Bay from its search pages.

    • Now on YouTube: David Letterman’s Amazing Extortion Video

      At some point it’s possible that CBS itself will put up an authorized clip on YouTube. But given that it hasn’t done so on its own “Late Show” site already and that the network tends to be reluctant to put its best stuff on the Web under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    • CBS Removes David Letterman’s Mea Culpa From YouTube

      The network did not post official copies of the segment on CBS.com or on YouTube, proving that while media companies are now generally eager to distribute their material on the Web, there are still some TV moments they would rather not spread widely.

      In a remarkable 10-minute segment Thursday night, Mr. Letterman told viewers of a Connecticut man’s suspected $2 million extortion attempt, predicated on evidence of Mr. Letterman’s sexual relationships with female employees. The suspect, Robert Joel Halderman of CBS News, was arrested Thursday and released on bail Friday.

    • US Chamber Of Commerce Makes Up Things About Intellectual Property

      Where to start? Well, how about that $200 billion number? It’s made up. Almost entirely. Both the GAO and the OECD looked into the numbers bandied about by the Chamber of Commerce and other lobbying groups and found (oops) that they were exaggerated, sometimes by an order of magnitude or more.

      As for the claim that “foreign governments” are trying to “weaken IP laws?” Again, totally made up. Around the globe, almost all of the efforts have been for strengthening, not weakening IP laws. And, again, studies have shown that stronger IP laws do not correlate to greater innovation, and often the reverse.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Internet Video Celebrity Caitlin Hill 09 (2007)

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

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