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Links 07/10/2009: Dutch Police Moves to Free Software, Netgear a Faker

Posted in News Roundup at 6:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • How To: Windows XP Mode In…Ubuntu Linux?

    That’s right, Windows 7 Home Premium (and below) does not have XPM. Most systems sold by retailers come with a version of Windows completely lacking XPM. Wait, it gets better. Thanks to Microsoft’s ingenious Windows Anytime Upgrade, consumers who bought a new PC with Windows 7 Home Premium can upgrade to Professional for $90 or Ultimate for $140. If you were sold Home Basic or Starter edition, you’ll have to first upgrade to Home Premium for $80. Like I said, ‘ingenious.’ One way or another, you are probably going to have to pay Microsoft some amount of money if you want XPM…

  • Not Your Father’s Virtual Machine

    In it’s most basic form, virtualization involves the separation of a physical machine from the software the machine happens to be running. The first product of VMware ( VMW – news – people ), the EMC ( EMC – news – people ) subsidiary most responsible for the current interest in virtualization, allowed users to turn an entire Windows or Linux computer into a program, one that could then run as an application on another Windows or Linux machine.

  • VirtualBox 3.0.8 Released

    VirtualBox, an open source x86 virtualization project available for free has just hit version 3.0.8.

  • Contractor UK Market Report: Rates surge back from the brink

    But, where are the roles appearing? Iveson notes that his firm has, “seen demand for OpenSource technologies such as PHP, Linux and MySQL hold up fairly well and it is one area where we have been regularly placing candidates.”
    Longer term, the rise of Google’s Chrome browser could mean good times for Linux contractors. “Linux professionals with qualifications such as LCP, LCE or RHCE will be much sought after by employers,” says Iveson.

  • Government going Apple?

    Gettings allowed that not every customer is going to be able to support Apple systems, but “we’ve been shipping on Red Hat Linux for years, so if they’re supporting a Linux environment, they won’t have any difficulty with Apple,” said Gettings. “Those that are on Windows, it is a bit of a hurdle. But we’ll have that same hurdle whether we’re offering a Dell with Linux or OSX on an Apple.”

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • Arora Is an Open-Source Browser with Out-of-the-Box Ad Blocking

      Arora also boasts a similarly cool ClicktoFlash tool that disables embedded Flash by default until you click a Load Flash button—handy to have when you want to keep your browsing light and snappy (Tools > Options, then go to the Privacy tab and tick Use ClicktoFlash on flash plugins). You can right-click any blocked flash to whitelist Flash from sites where you don’t want to constantly click to allow, like YouTube, for example.

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME

      • Howto: Download Tons of GNOME-Specific Wallpapers With One Command

        Gnome-look.org has tons of wallpapers to decorate your favorite desktop. However the website isn’t really friendly to download them all. You have to go through a long list of wallpapers, click through each and download the wallpaper from the wallpaper page. Luckily, with the power of the command terminal and ftp you can get tons of wallpapers with a single command!

      • 25+ Stunning Gnome Desktop Themes for ubuntu users

        Since most may not know how to install custom themes in ubuntu , here is a quick guide for all those newbies.

    • KDE

      • device notifier work for 4.4

        It was interesting to read Johan Thelin’s blog entry on moving to KDE 4, particularly how much he likes the device notifier. I say this because that Plasma widget has been seeing a flurry of activity for KDE 4.4 so the timing was pretty neat.


        You can grab the OGG file here or watch the screencast via blip.tv below (though it is inexplicably enlarged; very odd)…

      • managing change during KDE’s evolution

        KDE has gone through an impressive evolution of organizational, procedural and community related changes over its lifespan. What started out as a “in-our-spare-time” project became a critical component in many F/OSS operating systems.

      • I don’t get KDE

        I look at that and see hope. It is elegant and refined. It is glassy and tasteful. It says: “I can easily compete with Windows 7 and OSX.” Simply put, it is beautiful.

        Yes, there are some problems with it. The buttons do not highlight in any way on hover. There are no tooltips, so I don’t even know what the top two buttons do. From what I can tell, they do absolutely nothing. But it really lives up to KDE’s reputation of eye candy.

      • KDE 4: Recap

        I have had a fair deal of trouble with KDE 4, especially with brand new users. Many are amazed, including myself, of all that it can do.

  • Distributions

    • Sabayon Linux 5

      Sabayon Linux is a good way for folks to get a taste of Gentoo without having to actually install or configure it. Just boot into the Live CD and you can play around until your heart’s content.

    • A CLEAR new OS concept.

      I think that ClearOS definitely deserves a good look at for an easy to use and maintain server implementation. It has been specifically designed for ease of use in any server application. It is especially suitable for single purpose services or as an all in one solution from personal use to enterprise level applications. Being based on Redhat Enterprise/CentOS Linux with Clear Foundations own customised interface, it looks like a winner to me. I was very impressed which is why I decided to write this review. There is no other reason.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian pushes development of kFreeBSD port

        The Debian Release Team is pleased to announce that it sees the port of the Debian system to the FreeBSD kernel fit to be handled equal with the other release ports. The upcoming release codenamed ‘Squeeze’ is planned to be the first Debian distribution to be released with Linux and FreeBSD kernels.

      • Report from EuroBSDCon 2009

        The first talk I attended was “How FreeBSD Finds Oil,” given by Harrison Grundy. Harrison runs a consultancy company in the US providing clustered computing systems to oil and gas companies.

      • Shuttleworth at LinuxCon: Will Ubuntu Lead Free Software?

        Throughout his keynote, Shuttleworth talks about Linux as a whole. However, when you think for a moment, his views are those of a particular segment of the FOSS community — naturally, the ones to which he, Ubuntu and Canonical belong.

      • Mark Shuttleworth : « Le libre ne relève plus de l’utopie »
      • Linux Foundation End User Summit: Right Mission?

        It’s been the Year of the Linux Desktop for some time now, insofar as Linux–or certain versions of it, at least–has been a viable desktop operating system. But if Microsoft has done one thing well, it’s demonstrating that good products don’t become popular on merits alone (and vice-versa): publicity is key.

      • Downloading Ubuntu 9.10 beta with zsync

        As per the release schedule for karmic, the release candidate and final release are expected on 22nd and 29th of October 2009. Get ready with zsync for updating your beta iso to the final .

      • Laptop Renovation Part II – The Community Feeds Back

        The first distro I took a serious look at was Debian (Lenny). It seemed like the “safest” route, which should theoretically allow me to build what I need from the ground up. I didn’t bother with a Live CD, I just pulled down an installer .iso and went from there.


        As things stand right now, I’m still not sold on any one distro/desktop combination. Damn Small Linux (with JWM) is the runaway performance winner, but the lack of support for my wireless card makes it problematic. Debian looks like it will be a fair amount of headache for a small gain: there are other thin distros out there that offer what Debian does, including APT, so my incentive to go that route is greatly diminished.

        I love Mint’s management tools. In many ways, I consider it an improved Ubuntu. But I also really like what wattOS is doing. They’re clearly not there yet, but they’ve shown me enough that I definitely want to spend more time with it, seeing if I can turn the beta version into what I need. For the time being, I’m going to experiment with some of the less-common environments on wattOS and see how well that works.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Amazon’s Kindle to launch in UK

      Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader is going on sale in more than 100 countries around the world, including the UK.

    • Atmel – Evaluation kit speeds development of 400MHz ARM9-based embedded MPU

      The SAM9G45 board offers dual boot capability, supporting Linux and Microsoft WindowsCE, with a pre-programmed demo showing the basic programming functionalities available under Linux and WinCE. Atmel provides full BSPs for both operating systems free of charge.

    • Aricent Adds Middleware for RMI’s Ultra Low Power Processors

      The Linux-based solution features Aricent’s Media EXP Software Suite running on RMI’s Ultra Low Power Processors. Target applications include connected media platforms such as home gateways, set top boxes and media phones across various form factors.

    • Meld Embedded Linux Community Hits Its Six Month Anniversary

      MontaVista® Software, Inc., the leader in embedded Linux® commercialization, today announced that Meld is now an active community of over 1,500 participants as it passes six months in operation.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Hands-On With The Netbook Linux Anyone Can Master

        Based on a Linux kernel, Moblin has a sleek shell that was clearly designed for the novice Linux user and internet social butterfly. The images below give you the best look at what it is like to use Moblin. At the core of the interface are a series of tabs that line the top of the screen. They are all pretty basic and include a web browser, applications, etc.

      • Google Chrome OS heading to netbooks
      • Taiwan-based processor firm DMP Electronics launches US$100 netbook

        Taiwan-based DMP Electronics has launched a US$100 netbook, the Edubook, that will be shipped to overseas markets in component form to be assembled by partners in other countries to save customs duties or meet import requirements. The netbook can be separated into about 10 different modules and components, and then be built up again in around 10 minutes using 30 steps.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Dutch police goes open source

    The Dutch police are going for an open source solution. Today, Red Hat, the leader in open source solutions, announced that the Dutch Police cooperation “voorziening tot samenwerking Politie Nederland” (vtsPN) has selected Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (RHEL 5) and Red Hat Network (RHN) Satellite Server to manage the rollout of the Linux based systems, to make it easier, faster and more scalable.

  • Issue # 3 of Opensourc3 Magazine is available (Open Source Unified Computing Magazine)

    Welcome to the premier Unified Computing magazine for Information Technology Professionals. Published on a monthly basis, opensourc3 is available for FREE download in PDF format, or can be read on-line.

  • Open source: Still waiting on IT

    There’s no question that enterprise IT is adopting open source in droves. Gartner speculates that 85 percent of enterprises already use open source. (The other 15 percent are, too, I suspect, but the CIOs at those companies simply don’t know about the Mule, JBoss, Postgres, etc. that is running rampant through their halls.)

  • ECM Vendor Knowledge Tree Helping to Reforest Africa

    Open source enterprise content management (ECM) vendor Knowledge Tree announced quite a generous offer today. Every time a customer places an order over $4,500, the company will plant a tree in Africa on their behalf. Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) will do the actual overseas planting and the customer will receive a certificate outlining details of the contribution made in their honor.

  • Astricon: Has Asterisk Gone Mainstream?

    When the Astricon conference kicks off Oct. 13 in Glendale, Ariz., The VAR Guy will be checking to see if Asterisk — the open source IP PBX — is ready for mainstream VARs and solutions providers. Actually, The VAR Guy thinks he already knows the answer to that question.

  • Free as in Speech vs. Free as in Beer, Redux

    Take a look in any data center anywhere in the world, and you may well find free software running there. Linux, in particular, has done extraordinarily well for itself during the past decade, popping up in places that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago.

    But why? “Well it’s bound to be popular isn’t it?” you’ll hear the non-tech savvy say. “Everyone loves something that’s free.” And that’s your cue to launch into the whole spiel about “free as in beer,” and “free as in speech.” About how software wants to be free. And about how, as the Free Software Foundation puts it, “we call this free software because the user is free. Free software is the foundation of a learning society — where the tools we all use are free to share, study and modify.”

    We can also point out if we want to — or if we’re Microsoft — that Linux and other free software usually isn’t always free as in beer. Money often changes hands — Red Hat and Novell are testament to that — even if strictly speaking what you’re paying for is called a support contract or a maintenance subscription.

  • Mozilla Personas for Firefox 1.3

    Mozilla Personas for Firefox is an add-on that enables you to change thevisual aspect of your web browser interface. You can quickly choose from aselection of pre-designed templates and colours, including the most popularthemes. Don’t get too excited though, the themes are more cheesy thanspectacular.

  • Bazaar 2.0.0 released

    The Bazaar development team have announced the availability of version 2.0.0 of their version control system (VCS). The release includes a number of bug fixes and some stabilisation work.

  • Licensing

    • Netgear trying to fool their users with “Open Source Router”

      Two days ago, Netgear has announced the so-called “Open Source” WNR3500L router, together with an equally “Open Source” MyOpenRouter community.

      The problem with this Open Source router is: It ships with binary-only kernel modules. Not only is this extremely Closed Source, but it also

      * has very practical security implications: You can never update your Linux kernel to get the latest security fixes, but have to run vulnerable old kernel versions
      * is a very questionable legal practise. Netgear as the vendor is simply relying on the fact that none of the authors who have written parts of the kernel against which their binary-only module links will ever make copyright claims against them

    • Netgear router not open source, says coder

      Networking company Netgear has been accused of breaking open-source licensing conditions, by shipping a Linux-based router without source code.

      The claims were made in a blog post on Wednesday by Harald Welte, Linux watchdog and developer.


  • What Does DHS Know About You?

    Here’s a real copy of an American citizen’s DHS Travel Record retrieved from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s Automated Targeting System (ATS). This was obtained through a FOIA/Privacy Act request and sent in by an anonymous reader (thanks!)

    The document reveals that the DHS is storing the reader’s:

    * Credit card number and expiration (really)
    * IP address used to make web travel reservations


  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Viacom thinks it has found a smoking gun

      Viacom is suing Youtube for a billion dollars and claims to have uncovered emails that allegedly proved employees of the video website were among those who uploaded unauthorised content.

    • File Sharing Goes Mainstream

      Fortunately, there are plenty of legal sources for torrents. One is the aptly named www.legaltorrents.com, which has plenty of music, movies, and games. Other legal sites include LegitTorrents.info, which offers a search box interface; Linuxtracker.org for open-source software fans; and the newer YouTorrent.com, which is still in beta but currently offers torrent files across a broad range of categories such as video, TV, games, and software.

    • The Pirate Bay Relocates to a Nuclear Bunker

      The Pirate Bay is going on a road trip through Europe, one they hope to end today in a former NATO bunker. After a move from Sweden to the Ukraine, The Pirate Bay has now arrived at CyberBunker, an ISP that can provide them with a facility that can resist a nuclear attack as well as electromagnetic pulse bombs.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Internet Video Celebrity Caitlin Hill 12 (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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