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Links 31/12/2009: Great Year for Mobile Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 4:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Boycott Novell in 2010

GNOME bluefish



  • Still Livin’ La Vida Linux

    It’s been over a year since I wrote about my conversion to a Linux based digital media environment, and since it’s the holiday season (or just after) I thought it was time to update the story, and describe some new Linux based devices I’m using that others might find useful.

    In the original essay I spoke about converting all my physical CD’s to digital files into the patent-free FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) format. At the time I was looking at the Sonos multi-room music system to play the files. I took the plunge and ended up buying a four room system last year. They aren’t cheap, but they’re the most robust devices I own. They never crash (and for a device as sophisticated as this that’s a real pleasure). I’ve owned televisions that fail more often than the Sonos boxes.

  • Linux and windows people are the same.

    Linux is, for the average user, no easier nor harder to use than windows. It is more configurable and flexible than windows will ever be and this gives power users more of an opportunity to tweak and twiddle than their windows brethren. Those who don’t tweak and twiddle have the same computing experience with Linux that they have with windows. The caveat here is, of course, that they must use the operating system as it is designed to be used. You don’t drive a manual car like an automatic so to speak.

  • Linux 2019

    What does that tell us? That the trend toward mobile computer devices — smartphones, netbooks, etc. — is going to continue, and that the traditional PC desktop will be a niche technology by 2019. By 2005, computer vendors were making more money from laptops than desktops. In the last year, more laptops were being sold than desktops.

    It won’t stop there though. Google, with its Linux-based Chrome OS, is pointing the way not just to making the traditional Windows desktop obsolete, but putting the whole concept of desktop-based computing in the junk pile. Google is taking a lightweight operating system, adding cloud-based applications and storage, and creating a world where any netbook or smartphone can do 95% of what most people do every day with a Windows-powered desktop.

    It’s not just that this kind of Internet mobile computing is going to displace older-style desktops and bring entertainment to anyone, anywhere on any device. No — there’s a whole new set of services that will be taken for granted by 2019 that no current static computing device can duplicate. It will be a combination of LBS (Location-Based Services) and AR (Augmented Reality) that will transform how we use computers.

    With LBS, your applications use GPS and related technologies to determine where you are at any given moment. Armed with this information, applications can tell such things as where the nearest subway or closest steak house is. The next step, which is already being taken, is to update that information in real time. So, for example, you’ll soon be able to know that your buddy is waiting for you at the coffeehouse two streets away.

    LBS is already changing how we get around, and AR will take it one step further. Instead of looking at a map, you’ll be able to look at the world through your smart device’s camera viewer to see a virtual golden brick road to where your friend is staying. You can already use it in applications like SPRXmobile’s Layar Reality Browser 3.0, which can already serve as virtual tour guides with your Android, and soon your iPhone 3Gs phones.

  • Best Linux software for new users

    This is a Live DVD – you simply place the DVD in the computer’s DVD drive and reboot the machine from it. When the machine comes up, you will be running Linux. Normally, the software won’t write to your computer’s hard drive unless you specifically ask it to.

  • Server

    • OEIPL releases new versions of SafeSquid: Content Filtering Internet Proxy, for Linux and Windows

      The latest SafeSquid Linux version – ntlm-RC2.0, now supports NTLM authentication, or Single Sign On. NTLM uses a challenge-response mechanism for authentication, in which clients are able to prove their identities without sending a password to the server. This allows access to clients using Windows Integrated Authentication in Microsoft-centric Networks, without an authentication pop-up.

  • Applications

    • Seven great Ubuntu applications



      Now how many time did you have couple of photos and needed to do the same editing on them. It could be just resize or something other, but you needed to open every single one and repeat that action. Now there is one cool program for photo and batch, Phatch. You can do: resizing, adding watermark, text, shadow, rotate pictire, … But there is no crop, I needed it couple of time but isn’t there.


    • Announcing Acire

      After a wonderful week in England with family celebrating Christmas, Erica and I flew home to the East Bay. We were sat at Heathrow having a cup of coffee and I was thinking of what I occupy myself with on the plane ride over. Unfortunately, Lernid hacking was out of the question as I had no net connection on the plane, so I got to thinking of something else. After some busy hacking time at 35,000 feet I am proud to show of the results of my labor: a little program called Acire.

    • Instructionals

    • Games

      • Making a game with Ogre 3D

        This tutorial series steps you through the process of creating a 3D shoot’em’up game using the popular and powerful Ogre 3D engine.

      • Gifts for Gamers: Some End-of-Year Recommendations, Part 3


        Free, 2D graphics, http://www.openlierox.net

        Players alternately take charge of an army of worms that are armed to the teeth in an unfriendly terrain. As in the game Worms, the surviving team wins.


        Simon Tatham’s Portable Puzzle Collection

        MIT license, 2D graphics, http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/puzzles

        A good puzzle solver will find his collection rewarding. A number of good examples await.

  • GNOME Desktop

    • Theming GNOME

      I get a lot of questions as to how to make the GNOME desktop look better. This question can be approached from numerous angles: Compiz, Emerald, Metacity, Window borders, etc. I have covered Compiz here on Ghacks (see Compiz on Ghacks) as well as Emerald (see Emerald on Ghacks). But I have yet to cover the basic theming of the GNOME desktop. As of this tutorial, that will all change.

    • GNOME needs to get its act together

      To understand the significance of these links, one must go back to 1997 when GNOME was set up by Miguel de Icaza and Federico Mena Quintero. The only rationale that they had for setting up a project to create a second desktop environment for a small number of users – KDE was a thriving desktop by then but it used a non-free library for development – was that it would be totally free.

      GNOME was set up under the aegis of the GNU Project. The name says it all: the GNU Network Object Model Environment.

  • Distributions

    • What Is Ubuntu?

      Ubuntu is an easy version of Linux. It is not windows,but it is almost user friendly like windows. No all applications have graphical interface. Many applications force users to use commands to run them.Commands are mandatory to work with Linux and Ubuntu is not an exception.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux drivers for Broadcom HD Video Accelerator

      The Broadcom Crystal HD video decoder is a card that you can slip into a netbook to enable HD video playback on computer with an Intel Atom processor and integrated graphics. Broadcom has supported Windows since day one, and the Broadcom BCM70012 and BCM70015 cards play well with Windows media Player 12, Adobe Flash Player 10.1 beta, ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre and CyberLink PowerDVD. Linux, on the other hand, has been a different story… up until now.

    • welcome to the internet acceleration appliance blog

      As well as detailing my solution, I have also written some very basic general Linux/Networking guides – basically stuff that I learned whilst getting the Internet Acceleration Appliance working.

    • Logging on at Warp Speed

      I’ve been using one such program, HyperSpace from Phoenix Technologies, on a Samsung NC10 netbook for the last couple of weeks, and even starting up cold, the speed is impressive. Press the power button and in 15 seconds the Linux-based HyperSpace presents you with a customizable screen including a Web browser, a notepad application, and RealPlayer media software, along with news, weather, and stock information. I jotted a quick note, watched videos on YouTube (GOOG), and made calls using Skype, all without launching Windows.

    • Phones

      • 2009: A breakthrough year for mobile Linux

        In 2009, mobile consumer devices including netbooks, e-readers, tablets, MIDs, PMPs, and mobile phones were increasingly dominated by embedded Linux or the Linux-based Android. LinuxDevices presents four updated showcases of story summaries for netbooks, phones, and other portable devices, recalls 2009 highlights ranging from the Kindle to the Droid, and looks in on new rumors about the Google Nexus One and Chrome OS netbook design.

      • Root Google Nexus One on Android 2.1

        Paul over at Modaco forums has managed to successfully root his Nexus One, running the latest Android 2.1 version on the said device. He has cooked a custom ROM for Nexus One with the method, which he is referring to as Superboot.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • 2009: A year in review, November

        The hardware end of the netbook world was quiet, but the software side exploded with the release of the source code for Google’s forthcoming open-source, browser-based operating system Chrome OS. Within hours of release, enterprising hackers had managed to put together a working version that could be run in a virtualised window, so we had a play with it and found it to be a little lacking – just a browser window and nothing else. Hopefully Google can do a little better before it’s finally released in 2010.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source 2010: New Year’s predictions.

    New Year predictions are of course a licence to speculate. What’s more the normal boundaries of sanity are loosened sufficiently to make the predictions fun rather than libellous.

    ‘Predictions’ in the above context are merely extrapolations of what has occurred already, (genuine sight of the future is best left to the psychics), so it’s not really that hard to do if … you look closely at what is going on now. But, the other component of a prediction uses what I call ‘white space’ analysis which involves looking for gaps and silences. In other words looking for lack of information. This is important.

  • eyeOS and IBM – Working together

    We’re happy to present to the eyeOS community the result of more than six months of work together with the great IBM US team, where eyeOS will be the Sample Workload of the new System Z serie Solution Edition for Cloud Computing. System Z is the IBM brand used to produce their mainframe servers, used worldwide by governments, big companies and thousands of organizations.

  • Pixelize, create an image consisting of many small images

    Pixelize is a program that will use many scaled down images to try to duplicate, as closely as possible, another image.

    Pixelize works by splitting up the image you want rendered (or duplicated) into a grid of small rectangular areas. Each area is analyzed, and replaced with an image chosen from a large database of images. Pixelize tries to pick images that best match each area.

  • Open source in 2009

    Unlike in previous years where each new release of a Linux distribution or an application was met with expectations of it being the killer app, this years OSS developments were more low-key, more circumspect. The idea that Linux is suddenly going to hit a critical mass and turn into the Microsoft-killer is fading, to be replaced with a more rationale view that Linux, Mac OS X and Windows will co-exist, even if uncomfortably, for many years to come. Linux is not going to wipe out Microsoft’s dominance any time soon, just as Mac OS X is unlikely to turn the tables on Windows in the coming year.

    And yet, there was much progress in 2009 that open source fans can celebrate. It was a year in which open source software became even more deeply entrenched, even if users weren’t completely aware of the change. Even Microsoft started embracing open source software, albeit cautiously, with a few carefully thought out moves.

  • WSO2 Launches Business Activity Monitor

    Open source code firm WSO2 has launched WSO2 Business Activity Monitor to provide visibility into services oriented architecture-based services, transactions, and workflows.

  • How to Write a Client Proposal

    Anybody can use open source. You might depend on open source software if you’re responsible for IT in a large enterprise or as a consumer who prefers FOSS apps for her own personal computing needs. That’s true whether you’re simply a software developer contributing code to the open source project, a techie who customizes software that just-so-happens to be open source (such as a web developer building sites using Drupal), or an end user who appreciates the price (free!) and quality of FOSS apps.


    The problem that techies have is that they want to talk about and use technology, and they hate having to “sell” anything — particularly themselves or their skills. Often, or at least to begin with, the work comes to them, either because they’ve developed a reputation for excellence (“My brother-in-law says you’re good at creating websites”) or because of a relationship with another techie who needs assistance (“A client asked me to take this on and I’m already busy; could you write the back-end code and I’ll deal with the company?”). That’s fine — and with the right connections you can make a living that way.

  • CMS

    • Queen Rania using Drupal

      More royal Drupal goodness. This time her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is using Drupal: see http://www.queenrania.jo. Queen Rania is well-known for talking about using social media to help change the world — follow her on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.

  • Openness

    • A New Firm Lures Brokers from Big Wall Street Houses

      Possibly the most compelling of the new opportunities for breakaway brokers is a Chicago firm called HighTower. It offers brokers with at least $100 million under management what it describes as an “open source” alternative to firms like Merrill and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.

  • Programming


  • Top Storage Stories of 2009: RAID, Clouds, SSDs and Mergers

    In a year of dramatic change and mergers for the data storage industry, it should come as no surprise that the most-read stories on Enterprise Storage Forum this year were about … dramatic change and mergers.

  • AMD plans two six-cores in Q2 2010

    We don’t have many details, but we can confirm that AMD plans to launch two six-core desktop CPUs next year. This should happen in Q2 2010 and if AMD holds on to this date, it might come a bit later than Intel’s Core i7 980X.

  • Security

    • Further evidence of council CCTV failure

      When Big Brother Watch released our first report earlier this month – a study into the huge number of council controlled CCTV cameras – we condemned the enormous rise of almost 200% in 10 years for several reasons.

    • Innocent face postcode lottery over removal of records from DNA database

      Innocent people face a postcode lottery in the way police treat requests to remove their records from the national DNA database, according to figures published today.

      The huge difference in the way police forces across England and Wales deal with requests is described as a “shambles” by the Conservatives.

      Some police forces refuse to remove any records once a case is closed and the person declared innocent, while others comply with 80 per cent of requests for deletion.

      Damian Green, the Shadow Immigration Minister, said the huge disparities in the way police deal with requests showed that the system was in chaos.

  • Finance

    • Diet for fat-cat bankers an illusion

      On the surface, many of the moves undertaken by investment banking behemoth Goldman Sachs look respectable, but a bit more digging reveals some ulterior motives at play. While Goldman repaid the money it took from Uncle Sam as part of the TARP program, many taxpayers are still angry that the government’s taxpayer-funded bailout of AIG indirectly benefited Goldman, who had billions invested in complicated trading deals with the troubled insurer.

    • Regulators Probe Banks On Failed Securities

      The SEC and FINRA are investigating conduct by Wall Street investment banks, which bet against securities which they created ahead of the implosion of the housing market, according to reports from the New York Times.

    • Banks Probed for Betting Against Own Securities

      Congress and financial regulators are probing several Wall Street firms for bundling bad debt, selling it to clients, and then profiting from betting that those same securities would fail, insiders say. Clients at Goldman Sachs and other firms lost billions of dollars on the mortgage-related securities as the housing market collapsed. The firms and some hedge funds made billions from the negative bets.

    • Adams: Goldman’s Actions Cross Into Criminal Activity

      Thomas Adams, a lawyer at Paykin Krieg and Adams, LLP, and a former managing director at Ambac and FGIC is backing up the charges that Janet Tavakoli has been making against Goldman Sachs. In fact, he is taking her charges one step further and stating that the Federal Reserve and the Treasury aided and abetted Goldman Sachs in “committing financial and ethical crimes at an astounding level.”

    • small chinese firm gives goldman sachs the finger

      Goldman Sachs (GS.N) was one of the foreign banks, along with Citigroup (C.N), Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley (MS.N), blamed by the state assets watchdog for providing “extremely complicated” and difficult to understand derivatives products.

    • JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs Trillions Deep In Derivatives or Dumbed-Down Reporting?

      First, Kosman states and characterizes the institutions involved in these derivatives trades as “brokers” when, in fact, they participate as PRINCIPALS. The amount of risk involved when one trades as a principal is materially larger than when one acts as a broker or agent. Of course, if Kosman had bothered to read the rest of the Report, he would have known that these trade COULD NOT HAVE BEEN BROKERED because the report tells us there are empirically NO END USERS FOR THESE PRODUCTS…

    • How Goldman Sachs Made Tens Of Billions Of Dollars From The Economic Collapse Of America

      Step 1: Sell mortgage-related securities that are absolute junk to trusting clients at vastly overinflated prices.

      Step 2: Bet against those same mortgage-related securities and make massive bets against the U.S. housing market so that your firm will make massive profits when the U.S. economy collapses.

      Step 3: Have ex-Goldman executives in key positions of power in the U.S. government so that bailout money can be funneled to entities such as AIG that Goldman has made these bets with so that they can get paid after they win their bets.

      Step 4: Collect the profits – Goldman Sachs is having their “most successful year” and will end up reporting approximately $50 billion in revenue for 2009.

    • Goldman Sachs Should Have Known Its Gun Was Loaded, And It Owes The Public Reparations

      The New York Times published a Christmas Eve expose of Goldman Sachs’s so-called “Abacus” synthetic collateralized debt obligations (CDOs). They were created with credit derivatives instead of cash securities. Goldman used credit derivatives to create short bets that gain in value when CDOs lose value. Goldman did this for both protection and profit and marketed the idea to hedge funds.

    • Goldman Sachs: Following God or the Devil?

      But certainly the economic damage to the USA that resulted from Lloyd Blankfein’s “work for God”, and that of his disciples, was much more than the economic damage inflicted on that country by the activities of Osama bin Laden.

    • Sell Junk, Short The Same Junk, Laugh Your Way To The Bank: Ethical?

      According to the New York Times, Congressional and SEC investigators are examining if these firms knowingly created disastrously performing securities, sold them to investors and then proceeded to short the same securities. Essentially collateralized debt obligations were sold to investors. Goldman, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche and other firms sold these securities and then proceeded to short the same securities, in effect hedging against a loss in the value of the securities.

    • Wall Street Crime Blockbuster: Goldman’s Lucrative Bets Against America

      Ace biz blogger Henry Blodget has a shrewd take on it, “The Goldman Housing Scandal Isn’t A Scandal: It’s Inevitable.” Blodget’s argument, as always, is that this is how business is done. And he’s right. And he should know. A dot-com bubblegummer, Blodget didn’t get banned for life from the securities industry for being stupid.

      Probes are supposedly under way, the NYT story says, but that won’t mean much. One of the smaller firms that peddled these CDOs and then bet against them was Tricadia, whose parent firm is controlled by Lewis Sachs, now a special counselor to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Joerg Heilig, Sun Microsystems Senior Engineering Director talks about OpenOffice.org 18 (2004)

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

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