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Links 28/11/2009: Dell Spreads Chrome OS, Tiny Core Linux 2.6 Out

Posted in News Roundup at 8:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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  • What GNU/Linux Developers don’t get about the ‘mainstream’ market

    The point is, the advent of the Google Chrome OS is a harbinger that Linux devs somewhere, somehow, are targeting those ‘mainstream’ users with what they have been looking for. A “do it all for you” computing appliance.

    It will be interesting to see how this moves forward and how fast the mainstream market grasps the appliance OS.

  • $300,000 in grants used for IT training

    Michigan Works will use the money to pay for a three-week entry-level course in using the Linux computer operating system. The work force development organization also will provide job placement assistance.

  • Kohjinsha Dual-Screen DX Netbook Now on Sale

    The netbook measures 1.02 x 8.26 x 0.74 – 1.65 inches and weighs just 4.09 pounds. The dual-screen netbook is on sale for the equivalent of $1,110 and runs the Linux OS.

  • Server

    • The Perfect Purchase Cycle: Server OS Software

      But 47 per cent are running Linux and 52 per cent are running Unix – and that means they’re running multiple operating systems. “Unlike the desktop, it’s not a zero-sum game,” said Darin Stahl, lead analyst with Info-Tech Research Group. In companies with less than 100 employees, 78 per cent are only running Microsoft – but they may be running multiple versions. The more servers, the more we start to see Linux and Unix.

    • Global stock exchanges enter ‘technology arms race’

      Unsurprisingly perhaps, IBM’s low-latency messaging and analytics technologies are of major use in this sector – and many of these new super fast systems are running Linux.

      But would something simple such as file format incompatibilities restrict the widespread deployment of Linux even further throughout the financial services sector so that it sat on literally thousands of desktops? A little research told me that there is a conference every year called Linux on Wall Street for those who want to listen to speakers weigh up the various virtues of IBM’s offerings versus the likes of SUSE Linux Enterprise from Novell. IBM has in fact operated a “Linux Center” in Manhattan since 2002, so the market may be bigger than many of us think.

    • Zertificon Launches New Product Releases for Greater B2B E-mail Security

      Zertificon now launches its new releases before the end of the year. Significant new features include compatibility with Debian Linux 5.0, the new preferred platform, as well as the default supply of 64-bit versions.

    • Interview: Inside CERN with an LHC scientist

      What operating system do you all use?

      “A lot of it is Linux-based for the actual control-room infrastructure stuff. There’s a lot of coding that’s easier to do in Linux, there’s a lot of Java applications for the visuals. Operating system-wise, there are a lot of people preferring to use Macs rather than Windows.”

  • Google

    • Google offers peek at operating system, a potential challenge to Windows

      Not surprisingly, the Chrome desktop looked similar to the Chrome browser. It included a handful of smaller tabs that Google calls application tabs, which are meant to run the programs people use most often, like e-mail or calendar software.

    • Combining Chrome OS With Android Looks Like Google’s Endgame

      Now that Google has unveiled Chrome OS, it has to make sure it doubles down on Chrome’s exposure.

      With Chrome OS a potentially disruptive operating system in a market long-dominated by Google arch rival Microsoft, the backlash against Chrome will be quick and unrelenting if Google doesn’t have a solid long-term plan in place. Several Microsoft partners are already on record as saying Chrome OS is “all talk.”

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.32 (Part 6): Infrastructure

      Devtmpfs, aka ‘devfs 2.0′ to its detractors, should allow the Linux kernel to start faster and run without udev. Support has been added for ACPI 4.0 and there are two new make targets which generate kernel configurations attuned to the running system. Changes to the power management subsystem increase data throughput and allow better use of runtime power saving features on modern I/O devices.

    • Linux 2.6.32 Kernel Benchmarks

      With the Linux 2.6.32 kernel being released in a few days, we found it time to benchmark this newest kernel release that brings new drivers, kernel mode-setting improvements, virtualization enhancements, and more.


      While there are just nine test results shown in this article, we have been running more Linux 2.6.32 kernel tests on other systems and with more test profiles. Besides the performance drops when using EXT4 and then a few encoding improvements, we have not encountered many performance-related changes with the Linux 2.6.32 kernel.

    • [ANNOUNCE] xorg-server 1.7.2

      The second stable update to the X server 1.7 is now available.

  • Applications

    • How Necessary Is Windows Part 5 Crossover

      Bottom line: If Wine supports all the Windows apps you absolutely must use, you do not need Windows at all. I haven’t tested all the Windows packages that I use here (next up is MapPoint 2004) but for Office and Visio 2000 it’s been nothing short of magical, and I’m guessing InDesign will come along eventually. In a mature software market, time works in our favor: One by one, existing apps will be installable under Wine, and each time that happens, Windows slips a little bit deeper beneath the waters of irrelevance.

    • Interstellar overdrive – Linux and astronomy

      Desktop astronomy has become more accessible over the last few years as hardware and software have come down in price. For an outlay not much greater than a top of the range PC it is possible to put together a CCD powered telescope that is more than adequate for hunting comets or prospecting for asteroids which are still popular pastimes among amateur astronomers. This optical hardware can be augmented by a substantial range of free software to process the raw images and guide amateur astronomers on where to look and what to see.

    • Shutter screenshot tool updated

      After 15 weeks of development, the Shutter Project developers have released version 0.85 of their open source screenshot tool. Shutter (originally know as GScrot) is a feature-rich application for Linux that allows users to use a range of criteria to specify an area of their display, take a screenshot and then apply different effects. Once the grab and edit is completed, the tool gives users the option to upload the image to an image hosting site. The latest release includes a number of improvements and new features.

    • Instructionals

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments

    • Battery Improvements in KDE Plasma 4.4

      The battery applet in KDE Plasma 4.4 has gotten some nice improvements. First of all, I wasn’t really happy with the layout of its popup dialog. It looked messy and didn’t scale well with bigger fonts. During Tokamak3 in September, I started improving this. To make it look calmer, I reduced the amount of edges widgets are aligned to. The previous version used nested layouts, which lead to widgets not properly aligned with each other. This creates a rather messy look. For 4.4, I’ve reworked the layout and reduced everything to only one layout and attached the battery in the popup off-layout in the top-right corner. I thought about using an AnchorLayout for this, but a simple setGeometry() to position the battery top-right would work as well, so I went for KISS. I also replaced the text on the “Configure Power Management” button with a tooltip, reducing visual clutter but keeping this handy in-context shortcut to easily get at the more advanced power managment settings.

    • Review: Gnome Shell

      Gnome Shell is a redesign to the way the gnome desktop looks and works. I find it very interesting, because it stops trying to base itself on windows’ functionality and design (although gnome isn’t exactly like windows’ desktop, it had to many similarities to not have been based on it), and instead it consists of an original design and functionality.

  • Distributions

    • Tiny Core Linux 2.6 arrives

      Tiny Core lead developer Robert Shingledecker has announced the availability of version 2.6 of Tiny Core Linux. Tiny Core is a minimal Linux distribution that’s only about 10 MB in size and is based on the 2.6 Linux kernel. The latest release includes several bug fixes, changes and updates.

    • Debian Family

      • Karmic Open Week Wrap-Up

        On November 6, 2009, I participated in an online-chat conference called Open Week. This is when the Ubuntu community discusses and celebrates their most recent release Karmic Kola. It is a no-cost version of Linux that a company called Canonical will support until April 2011. After then, you qualify for a free upgrade! Rinse and Repeat. I spoke on the topic of “Resolve Bug One” since the Ubuntu community sees Microsoft’s hold on the majority of the market as a bug.

      • Ubuntu One Clients for KDE and Fedora

        Ever since the Ubuntu One cloud service played an important role in Ubuntu 10.04, a new prototype of a KDE client has become available. A port to Fedora is also in the works.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Korenix Launches JetBox9432-w Embedded Linux VPN Router Computer with Serial Ports for Enhanced Industrial Networking

      Korenix extends the JetBox 9400 series of intelligent layer3 VPN router computers by releasing the new JetBox 9432-w embedded Linux Ready VPN system designed with serial interfaces to deliver maximum flexibility to IPC providers. In addition to 4 LAN, 1 WAN, 3 USB, 8DIO and serial console ports, JetBox 9432-w is equipped with 4 additional RS232/422/485 ports allowing users to connect to the access and security control devices, such as card readers, cameras, speakers etc. and to remotely manage them through Ethernet in flexible ways.
      Combined with IP-31 rugged fan-less design, including vibration/shock resistance and -40~80℃ wide operating temperature, JetBox 9432-w ensures the reliability and high performance of large network infrastructures in severe industrial environments.

    • Phones

      • Android to dominate

        Already Android is making inroads into the smartphone market and analysts are predicting that by 2012 it will be the number 2 operating system behind Symbian. Along the way Microsoft’s Windows Mobile will lose huge ground as will RIM’s Blackberry and Palm’s Pre. The only OS likely to stay steady during this time will be Apple’s iPhone.

      • And Now for Something Completely Different – The N900 and its Killer Feature

        As you may have noticed, what I think makes the N900 a real standout are features that are important for developers! And developers are exactly the kind of user the N900 is mostly trying to reach. Nokia has been on record stating that the N900 is not what they consider a consumer ready device. They consider it the last step before the true consumer ready Maemo device arrives. That is why it is so important for them to appeal to developers. The N900 will provide the fertile ground where developers will be able to create the applications that will in the future make Maemo the best option for the regular user.

      • Android Gets Unofficial Pornographic App Store

        Since the Android OS is completely open source, that means there are not restrictions of any kind for anything, including porn. That’s why a company called MiKandi has taken the liberty to create and launch an unofficial app store for adult content only for mobile Android devices.

      • Stat Clash: Nokia N900 Vs HTC Touch Pro 2

        At a glance, the Maemo 5 powered Nokia N900 and the HTC Touch Pro 2 might seem like quite similar devices – they’re both good looking, stylish, and have enough in built features to make even the most hard-to-please tech geeks lust after them. However, there is certainly differences, and not surprisingly, the N900 comes out on top. Read on after the jump to find out more…

      • Should Nokia Abandon Symbian S60 for Maemo Linux?

        There was reason for my initial optimism: the OS has power to spare; it is basically a desktop Linux system in a tiny package. Maemo can handle multiple live apps minimized to little cards (similar to Palm’s webOS); the browser is unadulterated Mozilla code and includes support for a full implementation of Flash 9. The N900 has a high resolution 800×480 screen, TI OMAP3 (Cortex A8) processor, 32 GB flash storage plus an empty microSD card slot, forward facing VGA camera, and 5 MP camera on the rear with dual LED flashes and Carl Zeiss branding. There is a sliding physical QWERTY keyboard, and, for watching media, a pull out kickstand. The N900 has WiFi, quadband GSM and Triband HSPA 900/1700/2100, making it perfect for T-Mobile’s 3G network in the U.S.

      • First Else Phone Poised for Change, Hands-On Available

        The one thing that is certain here is that First Else does seem something else. The OS is said to have been developed from scratch, but one should agree that it looks pretty appealing. Take a look at the video below to make an idea on the handset. At the same time, you might also want to head to the Else website for additional details, or to have a look at the photo gallery available on pocket-lint here.

      • Acer to launch more phones with Android, fewer with Windows Mobile (in 2010)

        For 2010, Acer plans to introduce yet another 8 to 10 new smartphones, but this time the line-up will be more balanced between Android and Windows – se we could expect to see half of Acer’s 2010 handsets coming with Android.

      • Acer to Launch Up to 10 Smartphones in 2010 [Android OS to See More Love from Acer than Windows Mobile]
    • Sub-notebooks

      • Qualcomm Snapdragon-Based Smartbook Showcased

        A recent news-article on Silicon.com shows pictures of a Quanta-designed smartbook that was reportedly running on Qualcomm’s widely-advertised Snapdragon platform. The device was featured with the Google Android OS, a Linux-based operating system that was initially designed for smartbooks and low-power, ultraportable devices.

      • Google puts Chrome OS into open source, ‘cloudbooks’ in a year

        Sundar Pichai, Google’s VP of product management, said: “Google developers will be working off the same tree as external developers.” The OS is still in an early stage of development, but is not a full blown operating system in the conventional sense. Instead it provides a layer of low level software beneath the Chrome browser, with most of the work and development being done there. This could drive the evolving mobile internet device category into even more browser-oriented formats than the current designs being pushed by the cellphone community, notably Qualcomm and Freescale with their smartbooks.

      • Dell

        • Making wise Black Friday PC buys

          As for Linux, there’s not a lot to pick from, I had one deal I liked a lot, a Dell’s Vostro A90 Netbook for $184. This is a nice netbook that comes with Ubuntu Linux, but it appears that they’re already sold out. Sigh.

          Still, any netbook you can find will run desktop Linux successfully, so if you’re heart is set on Linux, shop around. Even the most minimal-equipped netbook will still do well with Linux running on it.

        • Dell Releases Customized Version of Chrome OS

          Dell has just released a customized version of Chromium OS, the open source code behind Google’s new operating system called Chrome, in a build designed specifically for Dell Mini computers. According to a blog post on the Dell Community site, several company employees were inspired create this custom version after seeing Engadget’s video showing Chrome OS running on a Vostro A860 netbook.

        • Dell Offers Custom Chromium OS Download For Mini 10V

          Dell made the customized download available Friday, giving all Mini 10V owners the perfect weekend project. All you need to do in order to give Chromium OS a shot is a spare 8GB on a USB flash drive. Once downloaded, simply move the image onto the flash drive, plug it in-to your Mini 10V, and enjoy.

        • Dell Customizes Chrome OS For The Dell Mini 10v

Free Software/Open Source

  • Free data warehouse tools pack serious data-crunching power

    Data warehousing vendors are offering free, open-source versions that actually pack some heat.

  • XDEV releases XDEV 2 Java IDE

    The XDEV Software Corp. has released its XDEV 2 Java development environment under the XDEV open source licence as a free community edition.

  • Fog Computing

    • EC predicts growth of the cloud

      And open source is playing an increasingly important role in the software industry. PAC says it can be seen as a ‘viable alternative’ to traditional software products.

    • Open Source, SaaS to drive future of microfinance IT: Grameen Technology Center

      Open Source software and SaaS are emerging as the key Management Information Systems (MIS) software for MFIs, according to Craig Chelius from the Grameen Technology Center (GTC). These products, he argues, can offer MFIs fully customisable, secure software that they can own without the need to pay expensive licensing fee.

  • Sun

  • Schools

    • OOo4Kids, the office suite for all children… and their parents

      OOo4Kids is a special version of OpenOffice.org (the popular, free and easy to use alternative to Microsoft Office) which is very interesting and useful not only for schools, but also for many adult users. Besides, interaction with developers seems much simpler and friendlier than in many other Free Software projects. Keep reading to know, straight from OOo4Kids developer Eric Bachard, what is that makes OOo4kids unique.

    • Schools seek savings in IT outlays

      “The need for IT technology in schools is growing all the time, but the resources aren’t,” notes Elias Aarnio from the Finnish Centre for Open Source Solutions (COSS).

      There are an estimated 100,000-120,000 computer workstations in Finnish schools across the country. COSS and its partners have estimated that, by switching their systems from closed to open source code software, schools could save up to 70 per cent on all IT purchasing and maintenance costs.

  • CMS

    • What Can Joomla Do for my Business?

      An open-source Content Management System (CMS) that helps you build online applications and easily updated Web sites, Joomla descended from an older CMS called Mambo. Because it’s open source, there are thousands, even tens of thousands, of people aiding its continuing development by writing news modules, plug-ins and extensions for it. No programming knowledge is required to use it since Web designers and developers simply combine modules to create applications and sites. The underlying framework was created in PHP, like the modules used for customizing sites.


    • Principles, Social Science, and Free Software

      Over the last year, I’ve been back at MIT taking classes, reading extensively, and otherwise learning how to act like a social scientist. My research goals, which I’m now beginning to focus on, are to help build a stronger understanding of the social dynamics in free software and free culture communities.

      With a slightly skeptical view toward my involvement with groups like the FSF and my work in the FLOSS community, at least one academic tried to suggest that taking a principled position in favor of software freedom might compromise the positivist social science research program in which I am engaged. “An advocate is too biased,” they said. After many months of thinking seriously about this warning, I believe that this criticism can be addressed.

  • Licensing

    • dGB starts “Open Seismic Repository”

      In September 2009 dGB released OpendTect v4.0, the first complete open source seismic interpretation system, under a triple licensing policy: 1) under the GNU / GPL license, 2) under a commercial license and, 3) under an academic license. The new release and the changed licensing model have been very well received by the seismic community. In just three months time the OpendTect community has grown exponentially while the software was downloaded more than 7500 times.

  • Openness

    • Taking an Open-Source Approach to Hardware

      The Arduino represents an early entrant in the emerging open-source hardware movement, which like Linux and other open-source software projects is driven by the belief that allowing duplication is a better way to spur innovation than keeping designs under lock and key. Its success suggests that the open-source model could provide a new way for manufacturers to develop and improve upon products.


Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Michael Shaw, community reporter for Assigment Zero 04 (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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