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10.10.09

Links 10/10/2009: Sony Puts Linux on Board, nuBuilder Chooses GPLv3

Posted in News Roundup at 6:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux & Open Source: Open-Source and Mac Alternatives to Windows 7

    Although Microsoft is gearing everyone up for the release of Windows 7 on Oct. 22, there are other solutions out there that might satisfy a user’s desire for a new operating system without the additional cost. Unlike Windows, open-source operating system Linux has been tinkered with by several developers who have attempted to do more than re-create the basic computing experience. And in many cases, they have done a fine job at it. So fine, in fact, that some Linux distributions can be considered viable alternatives to Windows 7. Since Windows 7 isn’t for everyone, we’ve found eight alternatives that you’ll want to try out. In addition to Mac OS X, they range from basic consumer versions to enterprise-friendly Linux distributions that could solve a real need in the corporate world. In either case, they are worth considering before jumping into Windows 7.

  • Wine development release 1.1.31 is now available.

    What’s new in this release (see below for details):
    – Vastly improved monthcal control.
    – Performance improvements for DIB sections.
    – Several sound driver fixes.
    – Beginning of ActiveX support in JScript.
    – More Direct3D 10 work.
    – More 16-bit dlls split off to separate modules.
    – Support for attachments in MAPI.
    – Various bug fixes.

  • Security Fix Live

    Upper Marlboro, Md.: Hi Brian. Thanks for all you do to help us deal with the “wild west” of the Internet. I was freaked out by your reports on the clampi trojan – especially since no security software seems to protect against it. The main solution offered up – use a second, dedicated computer for financial transactions – is a non-starter for many in this economy. Also, if the trojan infects a national bank, a home user can become a victim even if s/he does everything required for safe computing. Besides buying a second computer (not gonna happen) what are some realistic steps that home users can take? Help!

    Brian Krebs: Yeah, I hear you on the buying-a-second computer thing. But there are other options. A few chats ago, I recommended Live CDs as an option. The beauty of this approach is that you download a bootable Linux installation, burn it to a CD-Rom drive, and boot from the CD straight into linux. The only cost is the penny or so for the blank CD. The operating system is free, and when you close it down, all data/changes are wiped. Clean slate. Best part is you don’t need a second computer. Take the CD-Rom out of the disk drive, restart, and you’re back into Windows again.

    There are literally hundreds of these free Live CD distributions out there. You can install them as your main PC if you want, but by default they run striaght from the CD. The last chat, I think someone suggested Puppy Linux, and I have to say I hadn’t tried it before then, but I have since, and it’s extremely small, lightweight and very fast.

  • NSW Police: Don’t use Windows for internet banking

    Cybercrime expert endorses Linux, iPhone when banking online.

    Consumers wanting to safely connect to their internet banking service should use Linux or the Apple iPhone, according to a detective inspector from the NSW Police, who was giving evidence on behalf of the NSW Government at the public hearing into Cybercrime today in Sydney.

  • London Stock Exchange gets the facts and dumps Windows for Linux

    Microsoft’s marketing arm excitedly churned out a case study in 2005 when the London Stock Exchange (LSE) rolled out a C# stock exchange ticker system on Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2000. Four years later the LSE has scrapped the whole system in favour of a Linux-based solution instead.

  • Desktop

    • PHOTOS: Sony Vaio CW

      The Vaio button under the screen will launch the Splashtop Linux OS, allowing you almost instant access to the Internet and saving you from having to start-up Windows 7 proper.

    • Introducing Cloudera Desktop

      Today at Hadoop World NYC, we’re announcing the availability of Cloudera Desktop, a unified and extensible graphical user interface for Hadoop. The product is free to download and can be used with either internal clusters or clusters running on public clouds.

      [...]

      Cloudera Desktop currently works with the latest testing release of Cloudera’s Distribution for Hadoop, and we’re working with the Apache Hadoop community to get our patches into the Apache project as well

  • Server

    • Parallels puts together public cloud enabling hypervisor

      In a private cloud a systems administrator might typically be care-taking no more than 30 to 100 users, but in a public cloud the ratio of admin to end-user may be one to several tens of thousands, so automation support is very important, he explained.

      “Our bare metal hypervisor is built with a stripped down Linux kernel and therefore supports a wide variety of hosts, and is fully unified with the container product line,” he said.

    • Positron Challenges the Traditional Telephony Board Market with its V-114 PBX PCI

      Positron Telecommunication Systems Inc.’s V-114 PCI adapter is the first commercially available embedded PBX (News – Alert) PCI adapter based on the open source Linux Project, Asterisk.

    • “An SMB needs to be at a certain level of business computing before it requires a mainframe”

      What about Linux? That’s available on System z.

      System z runs Linux extremely efficiently and there are hundreds of applications available for Linux on the mainframe, which are certified. You could take any Linux application and make it run immediately but unfortunately you don’t have many vendors supporting it. Secondly, while the customer adoption of Linux in India is high it is not for the mission-critical workloads (barring the government vertical). This is another reason why we are not able to make big inroads. Because when you are running only print servers and Web servers it doesn’t make any sense to run it on a mainframe. It’ll be like buying a Rolls Royce and running it like a taxi.

    • Mainframe not yet a has-been: IBM

      System z with zOS does have an issue with graying of the skills, but z is possibly the most open platform today – it runs zOS, zVM, Linux, zTPF, DOS/VSE operating systems natively. No other platform can do this. The fact that it runs Linux natively allows for any Linux skill to exploit System z. Hence the statement of skills obsolescence is only in a portion of the total dynamic.

    • Linux Server Management: Five Signs You’re Doing It Wrong

      Postulate: if you cannot tell a server (be it physical or virtual) to reinstall itself, then simply walk away knowing it will reload and return to full service, you are doing it wrong. Every network service, configuration file, and setting required for a server to function, absolutely must be automated and configured in your configuration management system.

  • Prizes

    • Cisco Contest Milepost on Journey to Open Innovation

      Bernhard Beckmann’s Team BugsBernie from Germany won US$20,000 for their Integrated Surveillance System application. Basically, their app turns an IP phone into a silent microphone/monitor that tracks noise levels in the room. If their is too loud a noise (based on a configurable decibel level), a notification is sent where ever you want: a security company, the actual owner of the room, whomever. Oh, and try to pull the cord out of the phone, and the alarm goes off, too.

    • Cisco rewards bit twiddlers in router-to-server contest

      Cisco has announced the winners of a contest, called Think Inside The Box, that asked bit-twiddlers and server tweakers to come up with interesting server applications to run on the routers.

    • The Social Desktop Winners

      After combining the community votes with the votes from the jury we have 4 winners. We are especially trilled that the winning submission of the contest, the “ExtendedAboutDialog for KDE apps” is not only fully implemented and working, it already ships with Amarok 2.2! So you probably already have it on your hard drive…

  • Kernel Space

    • The Kernel Newbie Corner: “initrd” and “initramfs”–Some Unfinished Business

      Since a few people seemed interested, I’m going to expand on last week’s column on initramfs and initrd and summarize what we know so far, tie off a few loose ends and throw in a little more information at no extra charge.

    • X Server 1.8.0 Gets A Release Date

      X Server 1.7 was released one week ago, but the release schedule for X Server 1.8 has now been decided by its release manager, Keith Packard. According to what was just committed to the X.Org Wiki, X Server 1.8 is planned for release on the 31st of March, 2010. In order to meet this release date, the end of the merge window is 31st of December and the end of the bug-fix window is on the 28th of February.

    • xf86-video-radeonhd 1.3.0 Driver Released

      Just this morning we were talking about the lack of activity within the RadeonHD and Nouveau drivers, but as luck would have it, this afternoon the xf86-video-radeonhd 1.3.0 driver has been released. This is the first RadeonHD driver release since April.

    • Yahoo’s salvation: Hackers who love its site as much as (or more than) it does

      The success of the Linux operating system is an example of a technology whose army of dedicated programmers and users propelled it from humble beginnings (creator Linus Torvalds wrote the operating system’s core code in 1991 from his mother’s Helsinki, Finland, apartment while he was still a student at the University of Helsinki) to become an alternative to Microsoft Windows and Unix that the even large corporations have embraced. The community behind Linux began with a simple post from Torvalds to the Usenet network that stated, “I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu).” (GNU is an operating system similar to Unix.)

  • Applications

    • Ripping Audio CDs in Linux

      For KDE users, the easiest way to rip CDs is through K3b, an application best-known as one of the first and easiest graphical tools for creating CDs in GNU/Linux. In most distributions, you will have to install K3b after installation.

      To rip with K3b, insert a CD, and go to Tools -> Rip Audio CD. If you receive a message asking if you want to use Cd-Text rather than CDDB, you can choose either one. Both will give you the same information about the tracks on the CD.

    • Five Super Simple Photo Fixes with the GIMP

      While the GIMP offers a plethora of advanced and powerful photo editing tools, it also sports a few easy-to-use features that can help you to instantly improve your photos with a minimum of effort.

    • Episode 122: Pimp my Photo! (1)

      The results of the Book Challenge have been so interesting that I have made two shows out of them. This is the first part.

  • Desktop Environments

    • Desktop Environments

      The GNU Network Object Model Environment (GNOME) and the K Desktop Environment (KDE) have long been the Linux/UNIX options for fully graphical environments. Long ago, it seemed that these two were truly all we needed. You chose one. It would work well in nearly any situation. It was nimble enough to run on most hardware, and it was prettier than most other operating systems’ graphical environments.

    • Are Linux distros downplaying the Gnome 3.0 preview?

      Lately, there has been some obervers in the Linux community that have been wondering if some Linux distributions might be sort of downplaying the Gnome 3.0 Stealth Preview. Having pushed KDE 4.0 too early on some of its users, those Linux distributions might have made an overkill and in the process could have broken a promise to keep the new Gnome away from some users until it is fully completed and that its been fully tested.

    • KDE

      • A small post for a not so small screenshot .

        Anew color theme that might work better on some less optimal screens, the windeco is now much more configurable and you can set its to be extremely thin or bigger if you so desire, the active glow as been improved, we have new windec buttons that have better contrast and great animation effects.

      • Cube Gears

        I broke a promise, the promise to never ever implement the most useless Compiz effect in KWin: cube gears. Well I was not motivated enough to work in a productive way yesterday and thought “just have a look on how Compiz does the gears”. I looked at it and there aren’t many Compiz dependencies, it’s just painting gears. So I just took the code added it into cube and there was a gear.

      • Install the KDE 4.3.2 on ubuntu 9.04
  • Distributions

    • Mandriva Family

      • Updates on Mandriva partitioning

        Mandriva 2010 RC2 is about to be released, so here are some news about latest changes I did this week.

        First, the partitioning wizard was updated.

      • Re-introducing Mandriva Linux

        Mandriva Linux 2010 is coming soon, as does the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” and we believe it’s time, yes, for a seasonal pitch about Mandriva’s persona as a Linux distribution publisher, and the Mandriva Linux Community role in this regard (we will cover other Mandriva activities later, for sure).

    • Debian Family

      • Next Debian release with FreeBSD kernel as well

        The Debian Project will, for the first time, release a stable version of its distribution running on a FreeBSD kernel when the next version, Squeeze, is released sometime next year.

      • New Ubuntu Community Council elected

        New council members include Daniel Holbach (Germany), Matthew East (UK), Mike Basinger (US), Benjamin Mako Hill (US), Alan Pope (UK) and Richard Johnson (US). The only woman on the team is Debian system administrator Elizabeth Krumbach (US). She has been a member of several Ubuntu teams since 2007 and is also a member of Ubuntu-Women. According to Shuttleworth, “the new community council takes office immediately”.

      • Dell’s Ubuntu 9.04 Offers More Changes

        In a blog post on Direct2Dell, Dell’s John Hull has commented on some of the technical changes to be found with those Dell systems shipping with Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope” — including those that are available with Ubuntu Moblin Remix.

      • Ubuntu Linux 9.04 – Technical Details

        I’d like to give a quick update on the technical details for what we have added with our 9.04 release. We have continued to build and improve upon on what we did for our previous Ubuntu offerings, and here are some of the highlights:

        * We now provide Cyberlink’s PowerDVD application for DVD playback (instead of LinDVD which we previously shipped). We also continue to provide Fluendo GStreamer codecs for mp3, wma, and wmv playback, which will work with your favorite Linux media player.

        [...]

      • Karmic Koala (Beta) with ATI Radeon HD3650

        I find it is good to know since I use this computer a lot and is in need of being really fast. I find Ubuntu much faster then any other OS that I have tried except Xubuntu which is a lighter weight OS.

      • Installer Slideshow in Ubuntu 9.10 Helps New Users

        Most geeks installing Karmic next month will probably not be bothered to pay much attention to to the slides. Nonetheless, the presentation represents a solid step in the direction of usability and user-friendliness on the part of Ubuntu.

      • Ubuntu 9.10 will use Xsplash and not Usplash or Plymouth
      • Ubuntu 9.10 CD/DVD Label | Cover art
      • Ubuntu 9.10 Software Store Video

        I’ve posted a short video walk-through of the new Ubuntu 9.10 Software Center. The Software Center will replace Add/Remove applications in the final release of Ubuntu 9.10.

      • This Is What Awesome Looks Like

        This is a screenshot of a conversation I had today with Rick Spencer, leader of the Ubuntu Desktop Team at Canonical. Using the Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, we are having a video chat using Empathy, while also sharing Rick’s desktop, also using Empathy, and he was demoing some of the work he been doing on Bughugger, a bug management tool that he wrote using the awesome quickly framework for rapid development of applications on Ubuntu.

      • Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) Beta

        Another item I have mentioned before – Karmic supports several hardware devices properly out of the box, which either didn’t work at all or didn’t work properly with previous releases. The most significant of these are the Atheros ath9k wireless adapter (AR9285 in my specific case), and the Logitech Audio Hub USB Speaker system.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • WLAN 11n router with support for Gigabit Ethernet and Linux firmware

      Made public by the Netgear firmware uses kernel version 2.4.20.

    • EmbedOne Linux Delivers OS Integration and Software Suite and Services to the Embedded Linux Community

      EmbedOne launched new embedded Linux OS, tools and services, geared towards roll-your-own Linux community. Promises to cut time-to-market from months to weeks in networking applications.

    • New generation of Iomega’s double-drive desktop NAS appliance

      The appliance utilizes the EMC LifeLine software, a fully-developed Linux operating environment and suite of applications that is designed for cross-platform support with Windows, Mac and Linux computers.

    • Phones

      • Attack of the Droids

        The Android mobile software platform has been on a roll this week. It scored its second Sprint phone, it made big plans with Verizon, and rumor has it even Dell is interested in putting it on an upcoming smartphone, which could give it an inroad to AT&T. Meanwhile, Adobe unveiled Flash 10.1, Ask.com revealed a new coupon finder, and bloggers were told to disclose their benefactors.

      • Open for Business: Android Phones

        When the first Android phone hit the market last fall, enthusiastic champions and early adopters of the open-source Android operating system — based on Linux — were thrilled. They had a one-of-a-kind smartphone that set them apart from the rest of the herd. BlackBerry? Feh. iPhone? Meh. Windows Mobile? Nah.

      • What extra functionality would you most like to see in the Nokia N900?

        Yesterday we posted a story calling for your suggestions on what we should do with the N900 when we finally get hold of ours. The response has been overwhelming – in less than 24 hours over 80 of you have shared your ideas, leaving heaps of smart suggestions (read them all here), and they’re still flooding in.

      • Nokia bolsters Memo Linux OS with Qt port

        Finnish handset vendor Nokia pressed on with development of its in house Linux platform on Friday, porting its cross platform application and user interface framework – Qt – to Maemo 5.

      • Nokia N900 operating system gets official Qt port

        Applications created for Nokia’s N900 smartphone will be easier to port to future versions of the company’s Maemo Linux operating system as well as to Symbian and Windows Mobile, after Nokia officially ported its Qt graphical toolkit to Maemo 5.

      • Nokia (officially) ports Qt to Maemo 5
      • The Nokia N900 – Not just an iToy, but a lot more fun

        So, what does the N900 offer for developers? Freedom! Yes, the N900 is a heaven for coding artists. For example, with the N900 developers have open access to device hardware, and you can talk about it (as opposed to the iPhone developers). This means that, as with desktop Linux, you can expect lots of deep coding information for Maemo (the N900’s version of Linux) freely available trough the web. The N900 out of the box has support for more programming languages than any other mobile platform, and there are surely more to come. Already, you can write applications in C, C++, Python, etc. For the GUI layer you can use either GTK or Qt, the two most popular GUI tool-kits in Linux.

      • 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.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Moblin 2.0 Is Multicore Ready

        Moblin v2.0 for Intel Atom Processor based netbooks is already available. Developers with Linux experience will find it easy to target this new attractive platform. However, many developers have many questions related to the multicore support offered this new operating system.

Free Software/Open Source

  • CNN using Drupal

    Cable news network CNN just released CNNgo.com into beta, fully developed with Drupal. CNNgo is a guide to six of Asia’s greatest cities. What is interesting about the site is that they are looking to complement their professional editors with local bloggers, opinion makers, and the very people that form the soul of these cities.

  • Untangling the Web with Mozilla Weave

    Syncing bookmarks? That’s for amateurs! If you’re ready to get real, you can sync your bookmarks, passwords, history, tabs, and more with Mozilla Weave Sync for Firefox and Fennec.

  • Ruby-On-Rails Startup FiveRuns Acquired By WorkThink

    Ruby-on-Rails startup FiveRuns has been acquired by WorkThink, according to FiveRuns’ site. FiveRuns provides a variety of monitoring products for Ruby on Rails and related open source and commercial systems. Built on Rails and delivered as a hosted service, FiveRuns’ products manage the complete Rails application lifecycle — from installation to production.

  • BT and Unisys Dial Up Jaspersoft to Support 8 Million Voicemail Customers

    Jaspersoft, provider of the world’s most widely used business intelligence (BI) software, today announced that BT and Unisys have implemented the Jaspersoft Business Intelligence Suite to support their Statistical Data Warehouse (SDW) for improving customer service for voicemail subscribers.

  • The European Systems Integration Community: Diversity Drives Vibrancy

    The vibrancy of the European systems integration community is very evident at the Open World Forum in Paris this week. Companies exhibiting at the forum include NXC, Smile, solinux, and the sizable Bull. Many of these companies are quite large, with hundreds of employees and distinct practices (which often include ECM-related services).

  • Six Apart Announces TypePad Platform and TypePad Developer Program for Building Social Applications

    Six Apart, the world’s leading blogging software and services company, today announced that it is opening up the TypePad Platform to developers for the quick and easy development of social applications that make use of TypePad’s smart cloud and API. By using the TypePad Platform, developers can run a social app on a single web server, leaving the storage, infrastructure and organization of social graph data and social objects to the TypePad cloud.

  • MonitoringForge.org Reaches 1,000 Registrants After First Week in Beta, Opens Community Documentation for Better Monitoring Practices

    MonitoringForge (www.MonitoringForge.org), the epicenter of all open source projects that relate to IT monitoring, announces its 1,000th registered member in the first six days after the public launch of the beta Web site.

  • Bazaar 2.0.0: interview with Martin Pool

    Matthew: What are you most excited about in this release?

    Martin: I’m just thrilled it came together for such a good release, that 2a is performing so well, and that it’s into Karmic as a foundation for future stable releases.

  • European Parliament Selects Mule ESB Enterprise as Backbone for Enterprise-Wide Architecture

    MuleSoft today announced that the European Parliament has selected Mule ESB as the backbone for their service-oriented architecture (SOA).

  • Zmanda Launches Cloud Backup Solution Optimized for the European Union

    EUDPD standardizes the protection of data privacy for citizens throughout the EU by providing baseline requirements. For practical purposes, the EUDPD restricts most organizations based in the EU from transferring any personal information outside the European Union.

  • OpenOffice.org

  • Business

    • The Business of Open Source is Not Software

      I sometimes get asked “how do you make money selling free software?” and I have to answer that I have no clue. I don’t sell software, I sell solutions. The prevalence of Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses are making this easier, since people are being introduced to the mindset of getting a solution without having to purchase software, but the biggest challenge to my business is getting people to understand the value free and open software provides in creating a great solution without the “purchase software” mentality.

    • Open Source vs. Proprietary Software Platforms: the Market’s Perspective

      And, open source doesn’t kill innovation. Quite the contrary – thanks to the inherent openness of the model and the competitive nature built-in (forks are an extreme example) – open source fosters great innovation.

  • Funding

  • FSF/GNU

    • Richard Stallman Speaks

      I had the honor and pleasure of speaking to Richard Stallman a few days ago while he was in New Zealand on a speaking tour. I had been in an email conversation with him over several days asking about which software programs he uses and I finally connected with him for some clarification and more details. So, if you’ve ever wanted to get the scoop straight from the man himself, you’ll want to listen to the podcast.

    • Stallman slams Microsoft’s Codeplex Foundation

      “The first thing we see is that the organisation ducks the issue of users’ freedom; it uses the term “open source” and does not speak of ‘free software’, he wrote. “Evidently Microsoft would rather confront the practical competition of open source than the free software movement’s ethical criticism. Its long standing practice of criticising only ‘open source’ does double duty: attacking one opponent while distracting attention from the other.”

  • Licensing

    • [nuBuilder Released as Open Source]

      Our nuBuilder development tool has been so useful to us that we have now decided to release nuBuilder under the GPLv3 Open Source licence model.

    • Open Core: The worst of both worlds

      In the end open core software is driven by the same incentives as proprietary software is. Therefore it suffers from the same problems: too much focus on features and too little on quality. That’s the downside of proprietary software. But it also inherits the problems of open source software. Because of the open source community editions you have to worry about forks taking your customers (e.g. vtiger). To top it off they also need to compete against their own developer community who will reimplement the closed enterprise features as add-ons for the open source edition. This magnifies the problems caused by the feature treadmill and leads to a rapid decline in quality.

    • Open Source Scorecard to be proposed to OSI

      Simon Phipps, an Open Source Initiative (OSI) Board Observer, is to propose that the organisation create an open source scorecard, which would allow projects and companies to be certified as attaining a score based on how free the project was. Phipps was considering the issue of distinguishing between open source projects and the various business models after debates about “open core” and “open source business models” at the Open World Forum 2009.

  • Openness

  • Programming

    • Jetty 7 arrives from Eclipse and Webtide

      The Jetty developers have released version 7 of their popular Java Servlet container. The source code for the new release is available from the Eclipse Foundation under the Eclipse Public Licence (EPL); Jetty 6 continues to be available from the Codehaus project under the Apache 2 license. Jetty 7 is the first major release of Jetty from the Eclipse Foundation since the project moved under the Eclipse umbrella.

Leftovers

PC 2009 Keynote: An Advanced Git Tutorial


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