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12.07.09

Links 07/12/2009: Chrome OS Adds 64-bit and VM Support, Linux Graphics Survey Results Analysed

Posted in News Roundup at 3:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • KELLNER: Thanks for year’s best technologies

    Ubuntu, one of the top Linux “distros,” is up to version 9.10, aka “Karmic Koala” — and I’m not making that nickname up. The open systems promise of Linux is catching up to reality, and that’s also a good thing.

  • Evading the Microsoft tax

    I’m running Archlinux on it, installed with the Chakra live distribution (the latest Archlinux live USB stick image isn’t recent enough for a confortable installation on this hardware), but I removed the stable (and awesome) KDEmod packages to replace them with packages from a KDE SC 4.4 snapshot repo. Hardware support under GNU/Linux is great, aside from the wired ethernet adapter which required some tweaking but it works now. Battery life is incredible. I had no trouble getting used to the keyboard, which is quite good, but the touchpad buttons are hard and they make middle-clicking difficult. The Atom N280 based system feels reasonably fast.

    I want to take this chance to thank Frank Karlitschek for his hosting of the OCS contest and his help and cooperation.

    Thumbs down Dell for actively refusing to do business like any decent internet store in the EU, and thumbs up Amazon.co.uk for cooperating with me in exercising the rights that the Windows EULA grants me.

  • Google

    • Google To Launch Chrome Extensions Within Days

      Google seems all geared up to woo the internet surfers by pushing the previously announced Chrome Extensions website online next week.

    • Chrome OS goes 64-bit

      Google’s Chrome OS has been the darling of open source developers for a while, and now it just got a bit more serious.

      ChromeiumOS64 is a new Chrome project with 64-bit support and it should offer a bit more potential for more serious use on proper, 64-bit CPUs. In addition to 64-bit support, ChromeiumOS64 also features Xen hypervisor! and allows users to run virtual machines on Linux or even Windows.

    • Chrome OS goes 64bit; adds a hypervisor
  • Kernel Space

    • Phoronix publishes Linux Graphics Survey results

      Just over two thirds of respondents said that they were using some sort of compositing window manager for 3D effects on their desktops. Approximately 37 per cent of users chose Compiz and 22 per cent preferred KDE’s KWin window manager.

    • 2009 Linux Graphics Survey Results

      Next up we found out which video adapter / graphics card brand(s) were being used by our survey participants. NVIDIA was the most common brand at just over 7,325 votes followed by ATI at 6,010, and then Intel at 4,543. VIA was just at 243 while SiS / XGI was halved at 105 and Matrox managed to come in at 109. Of those that participated in the survey, 68 were using some other brand. These results show NVIDIA commanding about 40% of the Linux systems followed by ATI/AMD at 33% and Intel at 25%. Compared to last year’s numbers, NVDIA lost a point or two of its market-share while ATI/AMD remained roughly the same and Intel had gained about 4%.

    • What Kind Of People Use X.Org’s VESA Driver?
    • Deduplication for the masses

      What about the rest of us? Smaller businesses will have to wait. There’s a lot of voices calling for a Linux-based deduping file system – there’s even one, lessfs, under development but it’s still in beta, and I wouldn’t trust my backups to a beta-level file system – would you?

      But the signs are that Linux will sprout at least one such add-on and may eventually include such functionality in the kernel. The problem is that enterprise-level data is hugely expensive because it meeds to be surrounded by management software, by redundant components and by other subsystems that ensure that not a single bit is lost. That makes deduping, rather than buying more storage, economically viable.

    • 2.6.32 is Out! But a Word of Caution Around CFQ

      In the 2.6.32 kernel there was a change to the CFQ default behavior to help improve interactiveness which is typically important for desktops and laptops or anything where something like media playback is important. However, this can have an impact on IO throughput performance. The author of CFQ, Jens Axboe, has a good discussion of the changes in an article on lwn.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • A Complete Guide To Customize Gnome Panel
    • KDE

      • Is Tabbed Windows Going To Be The Next Big Thing?

        With the release of KDE SC 4.4 Beta 1, tabbed windows is now available through its windows manager KWin. This raises the question, is tabbed windows going to be the next big thing after tabbed browsing?

        Tabs as a means of cleaning up the UI is by no means a new concept. It dates back to 1997 when NetCaptor, the first browser supporting tabed browsing was released. However, the concept really took off when Mozilla Firefox introduced it.

      • Hands-on: Plasma, KWin improve in KDE SC 4.4 beta 1

        There are a number of more sophisticated KWin changes that are under active development but probably won’t arrive in KDE SC 4.4. I’m particularly enthusiastic about a project that was undertaken by developer Nikhil Marathe which will ultimately add dynamic window tiling, so that KWin can be used like Ion and other keyboard-oriented tiling window managers. It’s still at an early stage of development, but it shows considerable promise.

        Several new applications will debut in 4.4, including a new blogging tool called Blogilo. The tool, formerly known as Bilbo, is designed to give users a way to manage and post content to blogs that use the Metaweblog API, including WordPress, MovableType, and Blogger. Its built-in content editor has optional WYSIWYG support and spellchecking. Due to its broad assortment of capabilities, Blogilo is arguably the most feature-rich native blogging tool on the Linux platform. It’s a particularly useful tool for users who write multiple blogs and want to manage them through a single interface.

      • KDE 4.3.4 now available for PCLinuxOS

        KDE has released a new version of the KDE Software Compilation (KDE SC). This month’s edition of KDE SC is a bugfix and translation update to KDE SC 4.3. KDE SC 4.3.4 is a recommended upgrade for everyone running KDE 4.3.3 or earlier versions. As the release only contains bugfixes and translation updates, it will be a safe and pleasant update for everyone. Users around the world will appreciate that KDE SC 4.3.4 is more completely translated. KDE 4 is already translated into more than 50 languages, with more to come.

      • KDE 4.4 Solid Auto Mount Enhancements
  • Distributions

    • Upgrading Elive Compiz to latest Elive

      Today was a day that offered me a few good surprises. On my editing schedule I have an assignment to cover virtual machines using KVM. But since KVM only works with CPUs that contain the necessary instructions, I knew my only chance was on my main desktop (and not any of my testing machines). My main desktop has been running a rather outdated version of Elive Compiz for some time now. I have been hesitant to upgrade for two reasons: 1) I am very busy and 2) My desktop was running smoothly. But the installation of KVM was giving me a bit of an obstacle I couldn’t get around – dependencies. So I knew I was going to have to bite the bullet and upgrade.

    • StressLinux

      • StressLinux – the linux distribution for high load stress testing sees new release

        StressLinux, a unique and handy linux distribution that provides a means of performing high load stress testing on systems, has seen a new release.

      • StressLinux 0.4.136 – Review and Commentary

        StressLinux.org just recently announced a new release and we thought we would take a quick look at the system to see what it’s made of.

        StressLinux is a pretty basic linux distribution that is quite small in size. At the time of testing, the ISO which is distributed in compressed bz2 format weighed in at about 141 megs.

        Built with SUSE Studio, this distribution isn’t for the feint of heart and if you aren’t familiar with the console or have never used applications like stress or hddtemp before, you may find it a bit confusing.

    • New Releases

      • Calculate Linux 10.0 released

        Calculate Linux has advanced server support and is published from Russia. It has some unique features that make it stand out from other distributions of Linux. Some of its features include support for a large range of file systems, offers a variety of installation types, and has multiple language implementations.

      • Savoring Flavors of Linux: PuppyLinux

        There are plenty of reasons to ‘wow’ this distro. One is the footprint size. The live CD ISO file is has a size of just 110MB and downloaded in a jiffy. As advertised all over the web, it can be used on older PCs with small .drives and memory.

        Having said that, I have had some problems trying to revive some older PCs with Puppy. It runs well, however on a P3 Dell (T.800) . Another word of caution is that if you plan to do some heavy weight development on Linux, Puppy may not be the one you want.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Squeeze freeze and Ubuntu Dev Syncing

        The Debian GNU/Linux project is looking at a development freeze in March next year for its next release, Squeeze, the project leader Steve McIntyre says.

        A freeze means that no new features are incorporated and only bug fixes are done. The release does not take place until all RC (release critical) bugs are squashed.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Will Have “Simple Scan”

        Robert Ancell is working on making scanning on Ubuntu “just work”. Currently scanning is performed using the default installed Xsane. Xsane has many options, has a style that does not integrate into the current Ubuntu desktop and does not allow scanning from within applications. In Karmic it was proposed to peplaced Xsane with the application Gnome-Scan, but Gnome-Scan was not found to be stable enough.

      • Trouble Free Karmic Koala

        The last time I blogged about Ubuntu Desktop, either I didn’t explain the problems I was having sufficiently, or people just don’t get it and react. I try to make what I write clear enough for those new to Linux, but that may make it seem like I’m not very experienced with Linux, even though I have been actively abusing it since 1995. I have decided to just keep on writing and let the chips fall where they may.

        [...]

        Not being an LTS version of Ubuntu, this version has worked very well.

      • Linux Mint 8-Helena

        Running a Linux Mint 8 Live CD, I boot into an adorable Linux Mint logo that’s animated! Then the splash screen really grabs my attention. I understand Zwopper of the Mint community is to “blame” for this beautiful background. Nice Job!

      • Best 4 Antivirus Software for Your Ubuntu OS

        Reasons include:

        * You have a dual-boot computer (Windows/Ubuntu) and you want to scan Windows drives,
        * You have Windows computers on your network, which you want to scan,
        * You are operating an e-mail gateway with Linux and want to check incoming/outgoing e-mails,
        * You want to scan Windows drives/shares etc.,
        * You are exchanging files with Windows users and you don’t want to pass on potentially infected files,
        * You are sending/forwarding e-mails to Windows users and you don’t want them to get infected with the attachments.

      • Things I like in Ubuntu

        Though I haven’t used (and won’t use) Ubuntu, it has a few things I appreciate (as far as I know them):

        Ubuntu One: I wish we could have something similar for Debian users (ideally, it should be extended so that we could sync our calendars, contacts, liferea data etc.).

      • Linux: I’m Lovin’ Ubuntu 9.10!

        Anyway, this is the happiest I’ve been with Linux in a long time :)

      • Ubuntu Sun Theme Gets Official Release
      • Android Theme for Ubuntu Linux
      • Day of Ubuntu Wallpapers
      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter #171

        In this issue we cover:

        * Renewed call for nominees – IRC Council
        * 2009 Ubuntu Server Edition user survey
        * UDS Lucid – Kernel Summary
        * An interview with Daniel Holbach

  • Devices/Embedded

    • OpenRisc simulator runs Linux

      OpenCores is an organization owned by ORSoc that invests in open source hardware. Their site hosts many hardware projects that ship the source code (Hardware Description Language in this case) with the GNU Lesser General Public Licence. This allows the adoption of free Intellectual Properties (hardware blocks) in any hardware design, being it proprietary (closed-source) or not. One of the most exciting project is the OpenRisc, a 32bit micro-controller that competes with professional cores.

    • Palm

    • Nokia

      • Nokia N900 Linux smartphone

        Some may find the size a concern, but it’s mainly a consequence of accommodating slide-out keyboard. In use, the keyboard, despite its compact layout, works very well and the camera is head and shoulders above what you’ll find on the iPhone. Overall, the Nokia N900 is a joy to use and full of good things that we liked very much, though it still feels like something of a work in progress. The Maemo 5 OS is very promising on this evidence – fast and useable, once we’d got our heads around the basic set-up, and bound to be much more versatile in a few months’ time as more apps and features are added.

      • Nokia N900 to be released in SA

        Nokia South Africa has announced today that the company has opted to release the N900 device locally, adding that it will be available in the second quarter of 2010.

    • Android

      • Droid: Easy, Breezy, Friendly, but a Little Fat

        Google’s intuitive operating system coupled with some top-shelf Motorola hardware and Verizon’s spritely 3G network make the Droid an attractive package for mobile users who want a smartphone they don’t need a degree in geek to use.

      • Discretix joins ARM Solution Center for Android

        Discretix, the leading provider of embedded security and DRM solutions for mobile devices and a member of the ARM® Connected Community™, today announced it is participating in the ARM Solution Center for Android, a collaborative resource for designers and developers of ARM technology-based products running on Android, the open source platform from the Open Handset Alliance TM. As part of this initiative, Discretix’ suite of mobile content protection solutions for Andriod™ have been optimized for the ARM architecture.

      • Wind River Launches Commercial Android Platform

        Wind River today announced the immediate availability of its commercial version of open source Android optimized on the OMAP™ 3 platform from Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI). The Wind River Platform for Android is a validated, fully compliant software platform based on the latest versions of the Android software development kit (SDK), available with pre-integrated software from initial partners Adobe, PacketVideo and Red Bend Software; and global support by Wind River.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Android-x86 – run Google Android on a netbook

        Although Google Android is an operating system designed to run on smartphones, it’s also possible to run it on netbooks. Earlier this year somebody already managed to install it onto an Eee PC 701. This wasn’t easy though, but now the Android-x86 project provides an easy way to install it onto your netbook.

      • Ubuntu Remix vs Chrome OS

        I like to use Ubuntu Remix more than Chrome OS in a netbook environment. No Doubts, Chrome OS is much faster than Ubuntu Remix, even Ubuntu Remix is already optimised for Intel Atom. I like it, because that is a OS with full features. In some situations, for example, I am on a travel in the rural area, or in a hotel room with a daily internet over $20 per day, I do not prefer to have a netbook always online.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Funding

    • Interview with Brian Kissel, JanRain

      About three or four years ago, a number of individuals in the open source community said–the concept of single sign-on is compelling, we ought to do something to get lots of companies to participate–and that was the genesis of OpenID.

  • BSD

    • First look at FreeBSD 8.0

      In the past, I’ve referred to FreeBSD as both stable and powerful and this release confirms that reputation. After spending a week installing, configuring and using the latest version of FreeBSD, I’d like to add that it’s a very mature and polished operating system too. On the surface, the system looks complex and arcane, but great lengths have been taken to make each step of each task smooth for the administrator.

  • Releases

    • Matriux Live CD has been released

      Matriux – The Open Source Security Distribution for Ethical Hackers and Penetration Testers The Matriux is a phenomenon that was waiting to happen. It is a fully featured security distribution consisting of a bunch of powerful, open source and free tools that can be used for various purposes including, but not limited to, penetration testing, ethical hacking, system and network administration, cyber forensics investigations, security testing, vulnerability analysis, and much more.

    • EtherPad to become open source as Google changes plans

      Google recently acquired AppJet, operator and developer of the online real time collaboration service EtherPad, and announced that it was closing down EtherPad and that the developers were moving to the Google Wave development team.

  • Openness

    • Infosys partnering CSIR for TB project

      New Delhi: Software giant Infosys Technologies Ltd is partnering the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for its open source drug discovery project (OSDD). The project, launched last year, is a novel attempt at fashioning an efficient way to look for tuberculosis (TB) drugs.

    • New Open Source Track-and-Trace Software Can Help Small Companies

      Small companies prepared to share commercially sensitive information can add value and develop new services for their customers, using a distributed track-and-trace software solution.

    • Transparency, Open Government and Climate Change
    • Local Governments Offer Data to Miners

      “The timing now with the open data movement is really critical because there are a lot of open-source tools that really make that data usable,” Mr. Gundersen said. These include the mapping tool he used to build Stumble Safely and also a site for the United States Agency for International Development that maps public health clinics.

    • Feds open to computer reboot

      It’s one example of what taxpayers could reap if federal institutions embraced what is known as open-source software, according to the paper.

    • Stage was set for drama at Whistler film summit

      When panel members talked about new ways of getting content out to the public, including Cross’s method of “open source” filmmaking where the consumer actually creates part of the movie, Safford did not over-react. In fact, he got off the best line of the day.

    • NNDA gives ‘open source’ economic development system a try

      Mike Skaggs, who heads the Nevada Commission on Economic Development staff, has dubbed NNDA’s approach as “open-source economic development.”

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • Easy money: Goldman Sachs execs pocket $55 million in insider sale

      Goldman Sachs was directly responsible for creating, marketing, and trading many of the toxic financial instruments behind the mortgage crisis and resulting recession. The bank’s irresponsible behavior nearly caused its collapse, and taxpayers had to bail it out. Public funds saved Goldman Sachs, which this year is minting money and watching its stock soar.

      Last month, two Goldman vice chairmen quietly sold $55 million worth of company stock and pocketed the cash.

    • Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) Claims Didn’t Need Government Bailout

      The government and lawmakers are under fire for the outrageous bailouts and what they have cost taxpayers, along with the extraordinary deficits being run up, which will ultimately savage us all with high inflation.

    • Geithner Rejects Goldman Sachs Assertion It Didn’t Need U.S. Help

      Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner disputed claims by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executives that the bank could have survived the financial crisis without government help and said it and other Wall Street firms should show some restraint in handing out bonuses this year.

    • What’s Behind Geithner’s Populist Response to Goldman Sachs?

      Why, oh why, won’t anyone ask Geithner how he can, out of one side of his mouth, speak in such apocalyptic tones about the state of the financial system during the time of the AIG (AIG) and Lehman (LEHMQ.PK) collapses, and out of the other side of his mouth, tell the SIGTARP that the financial condition of AIG’s counterparties was not a relevant consideration in the decision to proceed with the AIG bailout? How is it possible for these two things to be true? I’ll answer my own question: It’s not. He’s lying.

    • JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs: One of Ten Member Banks of The Federal Reserve

      I have also believed that The Federal Reserve – a privately owned company – rules our country by virtue of Rothschild’s saying quoted above. There was a book written by Eustice Mullins many years ago, The Secrets of the Federal Reserve, in which he exposes the Rothschild’s, their connections to JP Morgan, the Bush (as in former Presidents) family, the Rockefeller’s and others of our wealthy elite.

    • Former Managing Director of Goldman Sachs: Accounting Fraud of the Too Big to Fails May Be Worse Than Enron

      Indeed, financial writers (like Reggie Middleton, Mike Shedlock, Tyler Durden, Karl Denninger and others) who have dug deep and analyzed the underlying data say that the giant banks are totally insolvent. This wouldn’t be the first time that the biggest banks went bust and then covered it up over a period of many years.

    • Windfall tax on Goldman Sachs: Hey, it rhymes!

      Steven Davidoff, the Deal Professor, the one writing for Dealbook, hits the nail right on the head when he says:
      After this windfall tax is paid, and it should be imposed on pre-compensation profits, Goldman and the rest of the financial institutions should be free to pay whatever bonuses it wants. If Goldman wants to pay bonuses on amounts that the federal government has deemed unearned by the firm’s cohorts, then Goldman can bargain with its shareholders over that issue. That is a discussion I would love to see. In the meantime, Goldman is now bargaining with its shareholders over paying bonuses that were not earned and is money attributable to the federal government’s efforts.

    • Goldman Sachs bankers on course for $19bn pay and bonuses

      Goldman Sachs will ignite a storm of controversy in the new year when it reveals that its bankers are on course to collect pay and bonuses worth $19bn (£11.4bn), despite 2009 being the worst year for the US economy in 30 years.

    • Goldman Sachs defends hefty compensation to star bankers

      Goldman Sachs (GS) has started to meet with its largest shareholders to defend the millions, and in some cases tens of millions, that it pays its management and star bankers.

    • Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) Meets with Investors to Stop Criticism over Record Compensation Packages
    • Goldman likely to pay annual bonus in stock: report

      Goldman Sachs Chief Lloyd Blankfein is weighing plans to increase the share of compensation paid out in equity to executives in a bid to quell public anger over the probability of large pay-outs, the Financial Times said.

  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

    • Yahoo Issues Takedown Notice for Spying Price List

      Yahoo isn’t happy that a detailed menu of the spying services it provides law enforcement agencies has leaked onto the web.

      Shortly after Threat Level reported this week that Yahoo had blocked the FOIA release of its law enforcement and intelligence price list, someone provided a copy of the company’s spying guide to the whistleblower site Cryptome.

      The 17-page guide describes Yahoo’s data retention policies and the surveillance capabilities it can provide law enforcement, with a pricing list for these services. Cryptome also published lawful data-interception guides for Cox Communications, SBC, Cingular, Nextel, GTE and other telecoms and service providers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • P2P Pre-Settlement Letters In Germany May Have Been Illegal; Lawyer Who Reveals This Threatened With Lawsuit

      There have been plenty of legal questions over the activities of a small group of companies in Europe, including law firm Davenport Lyons, ACS:Law, Logistep and Digiprotect among others — who all seem to work together to purposely put files online that they have licensed, and then send threat letters to the owner of any IP address that connects to them. This leads to a fair number of totally bogus demands for people to pay up to avoid getting sued. Apparently, the business is quite profitable, even as no actual lawsuits have been filed.

      [...]

      After a German lawyer, Thomas Stadler, reviewed all this and posted his analysis saying that the efforts in Germany were clearly illegal under German law (Google translation from the original) , the German lawyer who had sent the original document (the leaked one, detailing how these operations worked), Udo Kornmeier sent him a cease-and-desist letter (again, Google translation from the original), demanding he take down his blog post that showed the whole operation was illegal. Apparently, lawyers who may be breaking the law in Germany don’t like other lawyers exposing them…

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