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Links 10/11/2009: Mandriva Tops Distrowatch, Oracle/Sun Blocked

Posted in News Roundup at 7:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Event

    • The SCALE 8X Call For Papers

      The Linux Exposition of Southern California is proud to announce the 8th Annual Southern California Linux Expo scheduled for February 19-21, 2010 at the Westin Hotel near Los Angeles International Airport.

    • SCALE 8X Announces Call for Papers

      To ensure presentations appeal to the widest possible audience, SCALE organizers are looking for content in several areas, including:

      * Kernel Internals and Enhancements
      * Unix variants: Tools and Appliances
      * Operating Systems for Embedded Platforms
      * Virtualization


  • Desktop

    • The Linux-OEM complaint- Learn from Ubuntu.

      Using Ubuntu as the case study, we now have big shot OEMs like Dell and IBM beginning to ship units with Ubuntu Linux preinstalled. What is very clear from this development is that they are not shipping Ubuntu boxes because they believe in the Ubuntu philosophies or that because they think it is cool. They are shipping Ubuntu because there is now a nascent market for Ubuntu and hence some profit to be made.

    • Linux Helps Me Live a Stress-Free Life

      Thankfully there is an operating system that gives me the security and ease-of-use that I need. My laptop currently runs Ubuntu 9.10, a wildly popular Linux distribution. I’ve been using Linux (Red Hat, Mandriva, OpenSuse, PCLinuxOS and other distros) since 2004 and I can say that this free operating system helps me enjoy a stress-free life. And it’s because:

      1. Linux makes me forget about viruses.
      2. Linux allows me to update my system and all my applications with a single click.
      3. Linux allows me to give copies of the OS for free


  • Server

    • Linux Powers Giant Database: 400TB of Climate Data and Counting

      Underlying the WDCC’s data archive is the CERA-2 (Climate and Environmental Retrieving and Archiving) database system, one of the world’s largest databases. As of late 2008, it has around 400 TB of data, and nearly a thousand named users. Running on NEC and Solaris machines, it’s a federated ORACLE database connected to a set of StorageTek tape libraries hosted at DKRZ (the tape libraries themselves have a 60 PB capacity, but they store data other than that belonging to the WDCC). The database itself is a distributed system across multiple NEC machines running Linux.

  • Applications

    • 6 of the Best Free Linux Collection Managers

      For many individuals collection managers are an important type of software. It is human nature to collect objects, in part because people derive pleasure from the simple ownership of objects. The things that we collect change over time, partly as a result of technological improvements, and partly because our wants and desires do not remain static.

    • tnote: Simple is good

      For a console note-taker, tnote is extremely simple. It weighs all of about 19Kb when packed, untars into a space smaller than your fingernail, and when installed runs no slower than your machine can spit things out on to the screen.

    • Free online multimedia conversion tools

      Online conversions tools are quite handy. They save the user a hassle of downloading programs and trying them and mastering the use thereof, once they are found adequate for the task. Without wasting time on testing software endlessly and cramming the hard disk with useless bits, online services offer a quick, simple solution to most common needs.

      For the young generations, the e-generation if you will, for people almost constantly online, working with music and video, hanging around media-rich social networks and media portals, the online conversions tools are a blessing. You have the Youtube videos and music streams ready, at the tip of your fingers.

      What more, people who frequently travel or have weak computers will also like the notion of being able to work with multimedia files anywhere, on the go, without stressing their computers. The flexibility and the simplicity of this concept are simply great.

  • Desktop Environments

    • digiKam 1.0.0-beta6 released…

      6th beta release of digiKam 1.0.0 is out… With this release, 89 files have been closed to Bugzilla since 1.0.0-beta5.

    • Color Management in digiKam

      In most cases, you don’t have to worry about color management (see Ken Rockwell’s explanation why color management is a non-issue for most photographers). But if you do need to take control of colors, digiKam’s got you covered.

  • Distributions

    • Huge anticipation for Google’s Chrome OS

      A not inconsiderable 22 per cent of people suggested that they would download Chrome OS the moment they possibly could, so that they could try out Google’s attempt at an operating system that fits in with cloud computing.

    • Mythbuntu 9.10 (MythTV 0.22) installation

      On both my main box (Nvidia 8600GT) and my Zotac Ion (Nvidia 9400M) the ‘Bob 2X’ de-interlacer delivered the goods. Playback was ultra smooth on any format (mpeg2, h264) and resolution (480, 720, 1080) I threw at it! No stutters, hiccups or audio sync issues whatsoever.

    • Mandriva Family

      • Linux Wizard – First on Distrowatch for the last 7 days

        So congratulation to all the Mandriva team and community for this Mandriva 2010 release.

      • First look at Mandriva Linux 2010

        The Mandriva company has done a fine job in offering a diverse set of products that should appeal to free (libre) software advocates, as well as people more concerned with having things work out of the box than with software freedoms. The distribution is a careful mix of professional commercial product and open source community project. If you’re looking for a distro that you can suggest to your non-Linux friends and family, a distro that will work smoothly, offer lots of options, sane defaults and not require any command-line interaction, this is it. Mandriva is setting the bar higher and I strongly recommend giving it a try.

      • PCLinuxOS 2009.2 Installation Review

        In the days when Ubuntu 9.10, Mandriva 2010 and openSUSE 11.2 are having their releases, installing PCLinuxOS 2009.2 seems like taking a step backwards. But how could I refuse to try what I had considered to be my favourite Linux distro? In fact, the only reason why I hadn’t tried PCLinuxOS for so long was because I just didn’t have the time.

      • November 2009 Issue of The PCLinuxOS Mag Released

        The *NEW PCLinuxOS Magazine* staff is pleased to announce the release of the November 2009 issue of the PCLinuxOS Magazine.

    • Red Hat Family

      • From Fedora 11 to Ubuntu 9.10

        Bottom line: I don’t think Ubuntu is really any better than Fedora. Setting up ANY Linux distro to navigate codecs and video/audio formats is a pain. But for both key distros (Ubuntu and Fedora), it’s the sort of thing you mostly just do once. Call it a couple of hours — but less than five minutes of typing. I kind of like the idea of the new Ubuntu One program — free online storage that promises to sync across systems.

    • Debian Family

      • Announcing Project Timelord

        Through intense self-reflection, it has come to the attention of several Kubuntu developers that Kubuntu is not currently reaching its full potential. Whether due to major architectural changes in the software stack, the usage of certain Ubuntu technologies or limited developer time, we have realized that deep changes must occur. In order to fix this situation will do all in our power to make sure Kubuntu stands the test of time.

      • Canonical and Creative Commons Meet Donations Target

        Melissa from the Creative Commons pointed me to the rather good news that Canonical’s offer to match Creative Commons donations up to $3000 has already been matched…

      • Ubuntu Server Edition 9.10: No hardware required

        In the 9.10 release of Ubuntu Server Edition, we introduced something new for people who are exploring cloud computing using Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

      • Dell Recovery Tool Enhancements

        Today I’d like to announce some new features that have been introduced to the dell-recovery tool that we are shipping with Ubuntu machines. As you might have been aware, the dell-recovery tool takes the content of a Linux Dell recovery partition and builds it into a bootable ISO image that can be burned using usb-creator or CD image burning software. When booted up, this image emulates a run through the open source portions of the Dell factory process.


        Of course due to the nature of the tool and Ubuntu variants being so similar, you can even generate media for other remixes or derivatives of Ubuntu such as Kubuntu with a few small modifications.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Debian NAS project turns to SheevaPlug

      Martin Michlmayr has published several guides about running Debian on the Linksys NSLU2 (“Slug”) router/NAS device, including one on migrating a Debian NSLU2 installation to Marvell’s SheevaPlug NAS design. With the latest guides on troubleshooting, booting, modifying, and cloning Debian on the NSLU2, the documentation is essentially complete, says Michlmayr.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Over 1.1 Million Sugar Activities in the Wild!

        In the New York Times article Nonprofit Laptops: A Dream Not Yet Over, we are teased with the suggestion that next month we’ll have the OLPC 1.5 in production, with double the speed and four times more memory than the XO-1.

      • Nepal sets example with school laptops

        KATHMANDU, Nov 9: Nearly 2,000 children in 26 schools across six districts are currently using computers with internet access as part of non-governmental organization Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal´s collaborative initiative with the Ministry of Education (MOE) to transform education through technology.

      • Where is the Linux desktop going?

        While I like the Linux desktop a lot, I don’t pretend that it’s that popular. That’s why I found it fascinating that, despite everything Microsoft has been able to throw at it, desktop Linux still managed to claim 32% of the netbook market.

        And Microsoft has thrown everything but the kitchen sink at desktop Linux. For example, the Redmond giant has strong-armed vendors into not selling Linux-powered netbooks; lied about Linux sales; and all but gave XP Home away to keep vendors from including Linux instea. Despite all that, it seems, according to ABI Research, that desktop Linux has actually grown in the last year.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Back from Orvieto

    Some words regarding the QA Camp last Thursday at the OpenOffice.org Conference in Orvieto, Italy…


    All in all I think it was a very informative meeting and every attendee was able to take home new ideas and some information he/she was not aware of. The QA Camp was planned as an open house event but to my surprise most of the attendees stayed the whole three hours (!) and discussed and discussed…. :-)

  • Open Source CMS market share report 2009

    The 2009 Open Source CMS market share report was released a couple of weeks ago. The report concludes that WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal maintain a large lead on the rest of the pack, and that they are the dominant players in the market.

  • Five essential addons for new Firefox users (Happy fifth birthday, Firefox!)

    If Firefox users were a country, they’d be the third most populous in the world – behind only China and India – at 330 million people! 2009 has certainly been a big year for the Fox.

  • How Day Software stumbled upon an open source business strategy

    I’ve written a few times recently about the fact that I think the open source engagement model practiced by companies such as Day Software will become more popular as we see an increasing number of proprietary companies engaging with open source and the pendulum appears to have swung back in favour of community-developed open source software.

  • Why I hate proprietary software

    Unfortunately, the bad news will surprise you (you don’t want to hear them, or you are eager to hear, of course it depends on which side you are on). The news is that you will get a text file instead of the driver telling you that your devices are not supported anymore. So, you are shocked and frustrated!!

    This story is real and shows us how bad are the proprietary software, at least from my side!!

  • Sun

    • Statement of Oracle Corporation

      Oracle’s acquisition of Sun is essential for competition in the high end server market, for revitalizing Sparc and Solaris and for strengthening the Java development platform. The transaction does not threaten to reduce competition in the slightest, including in the database market. The Commission’s Statement of Objections reveals a profound misunderstanding of both database competition and open source dynamics. It is well understood by those knowledgeable about open source software that because MySQL is open source, it cannot be controlled by anyone. That is the whole point of open source.

    • Update: EU issues objections to Oracle’s Sun acquisition

      Oracle responded that it would “vigorously oppose” the Commission, saying its position reflects “a profound misunderstanding of both database competition and open source dynamics.” The U.S. Department of Justice, which has already approved the deal, also weighed in, saying it studied the deal carefully and concluded that it is “unlikely to be anticompetitive.”

  • Licensing

    • SFLC tech director finds one new GPL violator every day

      Bradley Kuhn, the technical director of the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), has published a helpful set of guidelines about the most productive way to respond to a suspected violation of GNU’s General Public License (GPL). The guidelines caution against jumping to conclusions and encourages free software enthusiasts to give violators the benefit of the doubt. GPL violations are extremely common, he says, but most of them are accidental.

    • Riddle me this license, riddle me that.

      The biggest difference between open source software and proprietary software, apart from being able to see the code, are the licenses governing their usage. Proprietary software licenses are pretty much standard. They all say basically the same thing. Which is that the software is ours, it is only on loan to you and if you try anything else we will own your soul.

  • Openness

    • Open Source Startup Developing Device to Link Home Appliances Over LAN

      People Power, a new open source-based green tech startup launches today with the goal of helping people reduce their carbon footprint and control energy consumption in their homes. More than just a cost-analysis Web site that lets you compare and contrast the cost of using various appliances, People Power is also developing devices that communicate wirelessly to connect a home’s appliances with a specially designed local network, so users can track energy use in real-time.

    • People Power Revs Up Wireless Energy Management With Open Source

      Wang said the startup’s open-source platform will be more reliable and compatible with other systems and devices, and it will be cheaper for third-party vendors to build applications than the communications platforms based on open standards currently being used by other players in the home energy management space. Those standards, such as wireless ZigBee, were designed for shorter ranges of 30-40 feet while OSHAN was designed for longer distances typical in a home, such as between the electric meter and the back of a house, Wang said.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • DE: German government wants open standards and open source

      The newly elected German government plans to support open standards and open source software. In its four-year coalition contract, the government led by chancellor Angela Merkel, writes it wants to orient its IT systems on open standards and include open source solutions.

      Together with its sister party CSU and her liberal coalition partner (FDP), the government parties have constructed a 133 page coalition contract, which, in the chapter “Information and Media Society” declares intentions to expand e-Government by increasing electronic communication options for both citizens and enterprises.

    • ODF Plugfest: Open Standards and Interoperability

      European Public Administrations urge to join Standards Settings Organizations, in order to avoid poor interoperability and also to influence standards definition, if needed (signature enabled version of ODF, just to name one of them).

      Open Standards are first and foremost about participation, implementers’ good-will is a good thing, but maybe not (always) enough. Until now standards compliance in this field is only a self-certification process, maybe Europe should start think ing about a more formal approach.

    • IBM’s ‘enterprise Facebook’ is a hit

      Symphony works with OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Office. This is a “tremendous advantage” for IT managers, Lobo said, “because they have the ability to service those users, but not have to spend the money on the office suite — but the users are not inconvenienced or in any way limited because they can’t read a format.”


  • TSG complaints: suffused by lack of will

    But recorded complaints are the tip of the iceberg. According to the most recent statistics from the British Crime Survey, only 10% of people who are “really annoyed” with the police go on to record a formal complaint. If the Met were genuinely concerned with ensuring the accountability of its officers, it would treat each complaint with great respect in appreciation of the fact that most incidents will not be brought to its attention. But as these figures demonstrate, complainants are treated contemptuously by a system that affords them no real prospect of achieving the vindication they seek.

  • Finance

    • POLL: Is Goldman Sachs “doing God’s work”? Its CEO thinks so

      Goldman Sachs looks set to pay about $20 billion in bonuses for its top traders this year, at a time when the fallout from last year’s financial crisis is still being felt and the United States unemployment rate has hit 10.2 percent, a 26-1/2-year high.

    • Goldman Sachs boss says banks do “God’s work”

      The dominant Wall Street bank posted third-quarter earnings of $3 billion and plans to hand out more than $20 billion in year-end bonuses.

    • Goldman Sachs boss: ‘bankers do God’s work’

      Mr Blankfein, the son of a Brooklyn postal worker, believes that banks serve a “social purpose” and argues that the return of big profits and bonuses should be welcomed as proof the economy is recovering.

    • Blog: Microsoft is perfect example why executive pay is broken

      It’s easy to point at Wall Street, AIG and the banking sector and call foul when execs lavish themselves with big bonuses after receiving billions in taxpayer money to keep them afloat. But the same issues are present in the board rooms of our corporations. How can executives at corporations lavish themselves with huge payoffs when thousands of their employees are losing their jobs and stockholders are still smarting from record losses. Clearly our board of directors system in business is broken too, perpetuating the “executive club” mentality that their executives are too valuable to lose.

    • Goldman Sachs: We’re doing God’s work

      Earlier this week, Goldman declared they were doing the work of Jesus. I know that piece put off some folk–Did the people at the cult of Goldman really believe that?

    • Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein: “I’m Doing God’s Work.”

      Goldman’s reputation is suddenly as toxic as the credit default swaps and other inexplicably exotic financial instruments it used to buy with glee. That’s bad for the one thing it values more than anything else: business. Being the prime target for popular and political outrage could put Goldman first in line for draconian new regulation.

    • Goldman Sachs: To Serve Man

      Others disagree. Rolling Stone magazine ran a story that described Goldman as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money”. In his latest documentary, Capitalism: A Love Story, Michael Moore drives up to 85 Broad Street in an armoured Brinks money van, leaps out carrying a sack with a giant dollar sign on it, looks up at the building and yells: “We’re here to get the money back for the American people!”

  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

    • Spying on us doesn’t protect democracy. It undermines it

      There’s nothing new about British governments spying on their own citizens. From the time of Elizabeth I’s spy chief Francis Walsingham to the legendary agent provocateurs of the years after Waterloo to the bugging and blacklisting of the postwar decades, espionage against domestic dissenters has long been a staple of British statecraft. For most of the last century, the secret state targeted the left, trade unionists and peace campaigners, along with Irish republicans and anyone else regarded as a “subversive” threat.

    • Foreign Policy: Iran’s Terrifying Facebook Police
  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • IFPI: If Lawsuits Aren’t Working In Denmark, We’ll Seize Computers To Get Evidence

      The IFPI insists that the lawsuits won’t stop, but just that the anti-piracy organization was realizing it needed more detailed evidence — and this means that it will now start seizing computers to get evidence.

    • Let’s Act on ACTA Before it’s Too Late

      That is, the US isn’t even sharing with its ACTA partners the “basically finalised” draft of the Internet chapter. Why? Because of “internal consultations” with “a number of private stakeholders”, who are essentially calling the shots – or at least, some of them: the scare quotes around the word “freedom” makes plain the attitude of the ACTA crowd to people who dare to stand up for Internet end users’ rights in opposition to the commercial interests of the copyright crowd. The only ones that really count are representatives from the media industries, who are among the very few being granted access to ACTA documents, and being allowed to influence their drafting.

      The real reason these discussions are being held in secret is not “security” but because the outcry over them would be much greater were the proposals out in the open. It’s a blatant attempt to slip hugely-damaging clauses into the treaty without the little people like you and me noticing until it’s too late.

Interview with Kristen Accardi of Intel

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

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