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01.06.10

Links 6/1/2010: More Nexus Thoughts

Posted in News Roundup at 9:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • December 2009 Market Share Report

    The top 3 make 64%. Where are you team Linux and Apple?

    4 Linux 17%
    5 Mac OS X 14%
    6 Unknown 3%

  • Microsoft legal unfazed by Ubuntu Windows XP GUI clone

    Microsoft legal has decided to react passively to the news of Ylmf OS, a Linux distribution that clones the look and feel of Windows XP.

  • Rescue a broken system with Linux

    Some argue that Windows is inherently easier to use than Linux, while that may have been true 15 years ago before the Graphical User Interface became increasingly popular for Linux distros, nowadays there are new advantages to the less-savvy computer to really like about Linux.

  • Linux Format wallpapers

    Updated: We’ve had a number of reader requests to make available some of the imagery we use in Linux Format magazine. Naturally we’re happy to share with you all, so we’ve put this page online where we’ll upload artwork as it’s requested.

  • Linux gives me confidence

    This something I never had with windows. Confidence in my operating system. What do I mean by this? Well let me explain. Just recently I was doing a remote upgrade of Ubuntu Jaunty to Ubuntu Karmic. Everything was going along as easily as a hot knife through butter. Configuration files were changed, packages were downloaded and were in the process of being installed. Then it happened.

    Halfway through the upgrade. At the most sensitive part where the packages were being installed. The computer was rebooted. This could easily happen to anyone if there is a power glitch and you are not using an UPS. In this case, if you remember I was connected remotely, the end user decided to reboot the computer. After I had specifically told them not to touch it. I don’t blame them. These sort of things happen.

  • Applications

    • Hulu Desktop for Linux

      Summary: Hulu Desktop for Linux is a great option for Linux users who don’t want to use the web version and who want to sit back, away from their computer and use a remote control to watch Hulu content.
      Rating: 3.5/5

    • Linux-based media center Enna ready for its close up

      It’s here! Enna, a media center application made for Linux is finally ready for public release. Yay? If you’re not sure what this is, you’re not alone. First, GeeXbox is a Linux app that turns your computer into a media center that can work on a lot of software configurations. Enna is a nice graphical interface for GeeXbox that adds some cool new features and makes it a lot more usable.

  • Instructionals

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • key quests for kde in 2010?

        In my last blog entry about 2009 achievements and events I said that I had a “looking forward” entry to come this week. This is the start of that entry, or rather, entries. As I was working on it, it became apparent that it was a big big for one entry. Yes, even too long for me. ;) I also realized that having a list of topics in one blog entry was probably going to lead to chaos in the comments section. The solution seemed evident: address each topic up in it’s own small blog entry and publish them in sequence over the course of several days. So that is what I am going to do.

      • KDE Licensing Policy

        I have been invoked by John Layt to explain some bits of the KDE licensing policy. It’s related to my recent writing on copyright assignment in the sense that it discusses reasons for picking particular licenses and how licenses interact. The back story is the KDE Licensing Policy, which lays down which licenses are acceptable in the various parts of the KDE platform technologies and applications. Roughly, the libraries need to be liberally licensed (which means they can be taken proprietary or shipped with otherwise closed devices — a common choice of GUI libraries nowadays). More concretely: (LGPL 2.1+) or (LGPL 2.1 or LGPL 3 or later approved) or BSD or MIT or X11. The idea is that you can either go for any version of LGPL from 2.1 onwards, or only selected versions of the LGPL which have been approved by the membership of KDE e.V. (if you don’t want to give a blanket permission to the FSF to update the license terms) or something very liberal.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Walking tall.

        I love the fact that in addition to the millions of Fedora fans around the world, we also have in our community a very special group of hundreds upon hundreds of individuals known as Fedora Ambassadors. These contributors give of their free time to represent Fedora in schools, governments, businesses, and other community groups, and at events of all shapes and sizes.

    • Debian Family

      • SimplyMEPIS 8.5 beta4 Greets a New Year

        Warren Woodford has announced that SimplyMEPIS 8.4.96, the beta4 of MEPIS 8.5, is available from MEPIS and public mirrors. The ISO files for 32 and 64 bit processors are SimplyMEPIS-CD_8.4.96-b4_32.iso and SimplyMEPIS-CD_8.4.96-b4_64.iso respectively. Deltas, requested by the community, are also available.

      • 2010: Your Year for Ubuntu Membership!

        Maybe you have been thinking about becoming an Ubuntu Member? If so, 2010 can be your year. Let’s find out how. I had the opportunity to interview Nathan Handler who lead a session on Ubuntu Membership during the last Ubuntu Open Week. Nathan is a member of the Ubuntu IRCC (Internet Relay Chat Council). Nathan is very versed in the community aspects as he is an active contributor in many areas. Nathan was also feature in the Ubuntu Hall of Fame. Let’s get started!

      • http://www.workswithu.com/2010/01/05/benchmarking-ubuntus-lpia-build/

        As the new owner of a Dell Latitude 2100 netbook, I’m eager to get as much performance out of my little machine as possible. One of the most pressing issues in my life over the last week, therefore, has been to decide whether to use the i386 or lpia build of Ubuntu on my new computer. Here’s the decision I came to, and why.

      • Official Ubuntu Desktop Support For Home Users

        Trust me to miss the memo, but somewhere along the line Canonical started selling support services to home users as well as businesses and enterprises via the official Ubuntu Store.

      • Manual for Karmic Still Not Certain
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • VIDEO: Dell netbook to Dell phone mod!

        So this guy buys a Dell Inspiron Mini 10.1-inch netbook but either isn’t happy at its lack of cellular coverage, or just has a severe phone fixation and decides to rip it apart and turn it into a Dell Mini 3i phone, complete with Android-based OS.

      • Nexus/Android

        • Nexus One vs iPhone, Droid & Palm Pre – Total Cost of Ownership

          As the smartphone wars continue to heat up the Nexus One is entering a marketplace that is currently dominated by the iPhone 3GS with and gaining popularity of the Droid by Verizon Wireless.

        • Our new approach to buying a mobile phone

          We first executed on this vision a little over a year ago, when we launched Android on one device with one operator in one country. Today, we have 20 devices with 59 operators in 48 countries and 19 languages. And because Android is free and open source, it continues to flourish. Android allows devices to be built faster, and at lower cost. And anyone can build anything on top of the platform. This ultimately benefits users.

          [...]

          Well, today we’re pleased to announce a new way for consumers to purchase a mobile phone through a Google hosted web store. The goal of this new consumer channel is to provide an efficient way to connect Google’s online users with selected Android devices. We also want to make the overall user experience simple: a simple purchasing process, simple service plans from operators, simple and worry-free delivery and start-up.

        • Google uncloaks the Nexus One

          Google has surprised no one by unveiling the Google-branded and Google-sold Nexus One phone at a press event in Mountain View.

          Manufactured by Taiwanese manufacturer HTC, the phone will be sold through an online store operated by Google at www.google.com/phone. The phone can be purchased unlocked for $529 or in tandem with wireless service from T-Mobile USA at prices beginning at $179.

        • Head to head: Google Nexus One v Apple iPhone

          It’s a clear win for Google on the specs. However, specificationists should beware. The iPhone was far from the cutting edge spec-wise when it launched in 2007. In fact, Nokia’s N95, which was launched almost five months before the iPhone, had higher specs in almost every category. The iPhone beat it with usability, attention to detail and features such as integration with iTunes. And that was before the App Store. The Google Nexus One is a worthy opponent for the iPhone at last but this battle is far from won.

        • How the Google Nexus One and Motorola Droid compare

          The Nexus One smartphone, which was manufactured by HTC, is Google’s first attempt at making its own device that runs on its open source Android operating system. The phone’s official unveiling comes just a couple of months after the similarly hyped Motorola Droid came to market as the first Android-based phone available on the Verizon network.

        • The Google Phone (Nexus One) is Finally Here
        • A Few Thoughts on the Nexus One

          Overall, the phone is good enough that it’s conceivable in a way that it wasn’t a few months ago that we’ll see a replay of Apple’s experience in the PC market twenty-five years ago, in which Apple’s fit and finish was unquestionably superior, but a commodity platform that was “good enough” and available to the entire industry ended up taking the lead.

          (Henry Blodget makes this case in Hey, Apple, Wake Up — It’s Happening Again. On the other hand, Mark Sigal raises a different historical analogy, Novell vs. Microsoft, asking whether Google’s release of its own anointed phone might end up blunting adoption by other vendors, while Google takes the eye of its core business. A lot depends on whether Google holds back anything from the platform available to others. At today’s press conference, Google emphasized the open platform aspect of Android, so they are trying to address that fear. The model seems to be to work with individual partners to push the ball forward, but to return those innovations to the pool available to all partners.)

        • AdMob Determines Android Is Growing Faster Than Ever

          Google took the wraps off its Nexus One phone today, and by all accounts, this device will help spread Android further and faster than ever. But new data from AdMob shows that the mobile operating system was already on quite a roll.

        • Google’s Nexus One: First Look

          Google’s Android 2.1 OS is now available on the HTC Nexus One phone. Here’s an early look at the new device.

        • Google Gives Alex Over a Million Books

          Spring Design, the makers of the Alex eReader device, announced it has entered into an agreement with Google, which will see it gaining access to over a million Google Books. Alex users will be able to read these books online or download them using the Android-integrated browser and search applications.

        • Linux e-reader boasts 11.5-inch display

          Skiff LLC announced a Linux-based e-book reader optimized for newspaper and magazine content, delivered via Sprint’s 3G network. The Skiff Reader’s display is claimed to be the largest (11.5 inches) and highest-resolution (UXGA) among e-readers, and the first to offer LG Displays’ stainless-steel foil display technology, touted for greater durability.

        • E-reader Sales Will Double Again This Year, CEA Says

          Skiff and telecom giant Sprint said they will team up to provide newspapers, magazines and e-books over 3G networks for the Skiff Reader, an e-reader with an 11.5-inch flexible touchscreen created by Skiff and LG Display. Another company, Spring Design, said its Alex eReader, which uses Google’s Android OS, will have access to over 1 million books online through a deal with Google. Other companies have announced new e-readers, too, including Interead’s Coolreaders.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Laptop powered by AA Batteries

        Proprietary laptop battery packs can cost 100 a pack however one company has come out with a Linux based Laptop computer which is available for only 200 dollars and can run off of AA Batteries.

      • OLPC News: Win One, Give One and SoaS Blueberry

        A new version of SoaS was released early last month but I found a video interview with Walter Bender talking about it that I thought I would share.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Is Microsoft’s Anti-Piracy Campaign Good for Open Source?

    Luckily, Microsoft’s behavior is also pushing more and more companies to adopt other open source software. Before years, Linux and free software were worthy only to open source fanatics and geeky IT managers, but now they become more than a valid option in contrast with expensive software licensing and intellectual property illegalities.

  • Six Lessons Learned from Launching – and Closing – a Community

    Lesson 1: No need to restrict membership in the community. Many foundations might initially decide to limit membership to certain designated experts or focus attention on those experts. I’ve certainly heard those conversations among foundation executives. (How can we be comfortable handing off grant decisions to people who are not qualified experts?) ON had no such concerns. At its peak, the community had more than 19,000 registered members. They ranged from stay-at-home moms to entrepreneurs to renowned experts to potential grantees. With the self-moderation tools baked into the platform, the community policed itself. Kriese says some of the most passionate contributors came from among the people who were not professionals in the field. He also says many of those people were motivated by the chance to work side-by-side with the big-name experts.

  • Has Cloud Computing Jumped the Shark?

    Leading the pushback is skeptic Larry Ellison, Oracle CEO, who Barron’s quotes as unloading this torrent of sarcasm in an analyst’s meeting: Cloud computing “is the future of all computing, but more impressively, it is the present of all computing and the past of all computing…Everything is cloud computing.”

    Wow, and I thought I was smart-aleck.

    Alas, now even Oracle is making joyful noises about the cloud. The database titan touts its Cloud Computing Center and has launched a new, semi-comprehensible acronym: OaaS, Oracle as a Service. (Seriously? OaaS? Someone suggested that in a meeting, and no one giggled?)

  • Databases

    • New Groovy Cozies up to Java, SQL

      Last month, SpringSource, a division of VMware, and the community of volunteer developers behind Groovy released a new version of the dynamically compiled language. The new features include some old Java functionality that may help Java programmers work more easily with Groovy. It also includes some additions that ease the burden of working with SQL-based databases.

  • FSF/SFLC/GNU

    • Better to remain silent…

      This is so wrong, I can only assume Mr. Lustfield means to say that the “GNU system” does not exist without Linux. Which of course, is still wrong. Been wrong for a long time, in fact. (This isn’t counting GNU/Hurd of course)

      I’m not sure if the problem is because Mr. Lustfield is ignorant of other kernels, if he doesn’t understand what a kernel is, doesn’t understand what GNU is, doesn’t understand what an operating system is, or simply doesn’t care and just wants to rag on the FSF and GNU. I’m of the opinion it’s all of the above.

      Of course, the supreme deliciousness is that Mr. Lustfield is so very involved in (surprise, surprise) Ubuntu, which of course is a derivative of …. Debian GNU/Linux:

      Debian is a free operating system (OS) for your computer. An operating system is the set of basic programs and utilities that make your computer run. Debian uses the Linux kernel (the core of an operating system), but most of the basic OS tools come from the GNU project; hence the name GNU/Linux.

    • Giving FSF Chief GNU-isance Richard Stallman The Credit GNU Deserves

      After carrying-on for many years an on-again, off-again email-only relationship with Free Software Foundation president and founder Richard Stallman (or “Chief GNU-isance” according to the FSF staff), I finally met him today for a face-to-face interview. While the interview was actually for a larger project we’re working on here at InformationWeek, we spent a considerable amount of time talking about the issues he wrestles with every day. One of them is GNU and the highly misguided usage of the term Linux to describe what is really GNU/Linux. Stallman, GNU, and the FSF deserve some credit and we (including distributors such as Red Hat and Novell) should all pay it to them.

      [...]

      After the interview’s conclusion, Stallman said I was particularly nasty in the way I started to ask my question to which I responded that I understood the issue well, that I have understood it for many years, and that I meant no disrespect. He admonished me to go back to the recording and listen to the way in which I phrased the question. He was right. Stallman chooses his words very carefully. I didn’t. If you compare his request in email to the question I started to ask, you can see how my question essentially endorses “Linux” as the accepted name of an operating system that should be called “GNU/Linux.”

    • FSF announces LibrePlanet 2010 free software community conference: March 19-21

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has announced the 2010 dates for its LibrePlanet international free software community conference. The three day event will be held in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the Harvard University Science Center, from March 19th to March 21st, 2010.

    • SFLC: Episode 0x1E: Fontana Redux

      Karen and Bradley interview this show’s first-ever second-time guest, Richard Fontana, who is an Open Source Licensing and Patent Counsel at Red Hat.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Welcome to TinyOgg!

      This service allows you to watch and listen to Flash-based videos without the need to Flash technology. This gives you speed, safety, control, freedom and openness.

Leftovers

  • MySpace Replaces Embedded Imeem Playlists With Ads

    Imeem users, bloggers and web users are in for another nasty surprise following MySpace’s acquisition of “certain parts” of the service. MySpace has replaced Imeem songs and playlists embedded on blogs and elsewhere on the web with advertisements for generic ringtones and the MySpace Music service.

  • Wipe The Slate Clean For 2010, Commit Web 2.0 Suicide

    Are you tired of living in public, sick of all the privacy theater the social networks are putting on, and just want to end it all online? Now you can wipe the slate clean with the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine. (Warning: This will really delete your online presence and is irrevocable). Just put in your credentials for Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or LinkedIn and it will delete all your friends and messages, and change your username, password, and photo so that you cannot log back in.

  • Comments on local content suspended

    Reader comments on Pantagraph.com often are informative, sparking serious dialogue on an issue of local or national interest. At other times, they are offensive and devoid of civility, the worst of which include personal attacks and/or assertions that have nothing to do with the story.

    In recent weeks, we have seen too much of the latter on some local stories. Far too much. So, effective immediately and through the New Year’s holiday weekend, no comments will be allowed on new local content posted on Pantagraph.com.

  • Security

    • Can Imaging Technologies save us from Terrorists?

      As you might imagine, this idea of TSA employees looking at what are essentially images of naked people has not gone over well in some circles. It’s not just EPIC and other civil libertarians. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Republican from Utah, introduced legislation in the House of Representatives to ban both kinds of scanners. Of course, that was before the near disaster over the skies of Detroit.

    • The God That Fails

      Much of the criticism has been contemptuous and hysterical. Various experts have gathered bits of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s biography. Since they can string the facts together to accurately predict the past, they thunder, the intelligence services should have been able to connect the dots to predict the future.

      Dick Cheney argues that the error was caused by some ideological choice. Arlen Specter screams for more technology — full-body examining devices. “We thought that had been remedied,” said Senator Kit Bond, as if omniscience could be accomplished with legislation.

      Many people seem to be in the middle of a religious crisis of faith. All the gods they believe in — technology, technocracy, centralized government control — have failed them in this instance.

      In a mature nation, President Obama could go on TV and say, “Listen, we’re doing the best we can, but some terrorists are bound to get through.” But this is apparently a country that must be spoken to in childish ways. The original line out of the White House was that the system worked. Don’t worry, little Johnny.

  • Finance

    • Harsh lessons we may need to learn again

      The first lesson is that markets are not self-correcting. Indeed, without adequate regulation, they are prone to excess. In 2009, we again saw why Adam Smith’s invisible hand often appeared invisible: it is not there. The bankers’ pursuit of self-interest (greed) did not lead to the well-being of society; it did not even serve their shareholders and bondholders well. It certainly did not serve homeowners who are losing their homes, workers who have lost their jobs, retirees who have seen their retirement funds vanish, or taxpayers who paid hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out the banks.

    • Britain threatens to freeze Iceland out of EU as loan payback vetoed

      Britain warned Iceland that it would be frozen out of the European Union after its President abruptly vetoed the repayment of a £3.6 billion loan.

      The Treasury expected Reykjavik to rubberstamp the terms of repayment for the loan extended by Britain and the Netherlands at the height of the financial crisis. The loan meant that 400,000 savers with deposits in Icesave did not lose their money.

    • Road To Perdition

      In the early 1980’s, before the three decade long debt induced frat party, the National Debt was between $900 billion and $1.6 trillion. Today, the National Debt is $12.3 trillion, up 1,250% in three decades. The US dollar was phenomenally strong in the early 1980’s versus a trade weighted basket of foreign currencies, reaching 145 in 1985. Today it has sunk to 77, a 50% decrease in 24 years. Enormous deficits and a plunging currency are a precursor of the unavoidable breakdown of a onetime economic powerhouse. A courageous act by our leaders would be to dramatically decrease government spending and increase interest rates to encourage savings, which would result in a strong dollar. The short term pain would be intense, but it would put our country back on a sound fiscal path. Instead, we will throw our children and grandchildren under the bus with continued financial malfeasance. More spending, more debt, and a cheaper dollar are the drugs of choice.

    • What’s Acceptable for Bank Returns?

      Of course, there is no good reason that banks should consistently earn 20 percent and more on their equity, particularly when interest rates are at zero. During the 1970s and the 1980s, when interest rates and inflation were much higher, the return on tangible equity for the British banking industry averaged 10 to 11 percent, according to Credit Suisse research. This changed only in the 1990s, when looser regulations permitted large banks to increase leverage and take on more risk.

    • Goldman Sachs is Latest Bank to Threaten London

      Goldman Sachs (GS) has joined JPMorgan Chase (JPM) in threatening to hotfoot it out of London over the U.K.’s proposed “supertax” on banker bonuses.

    • Why Goldman Sachs isn’t going anywhere

      Obviously, like nearly all right-wing frothers nearly all the time, they’re talking complete and utter bollocks.

    • Charlie Gasparino Suspects Goldman Sachs Is Behind Anonymous Blogger

      As you may have noticed over the last year or so, Charlie Gasparino is no fan of anonymous bloggers. Usually he’s content to let them live in their holes, like bums, but they step into his den, they step too far.

    • Charlie Gasparino Still Doesn’t Get My Point About Goldman
  • Censorship/Civil Rights

    • War-blogger Michael Yon says he was harassed, cuffed, detained in Seattle

      Author and warblogger Michael Yon says (via Facebook) “Got arrested at the Seattle airport for refusing to say how much money I make.” I presume he was entering the US from overseas, not clear to me yet who the agents were.

    • The Hero Of Time Update (01-01-10)

      Hey, everyone. We just wanted to let you know that Dec. 31 was the last day that The Hero of Time was available for viewing. We came to an agreement with Nintendo earlier this month to stop distributing the film. In the spirit of the holiday season they were good enough to let us keep the movie up for you to watch and enjoy through the end of 2009, but not past 2009. We understand Nintendo’s right to protect its characters and trademarks and understand how in order to keep their property unspoiled by fan’s interpretation of the franchise, Nintendo needs to protect itself — even from fan-works with good intentions.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • First 2010 Google D.C. Talk on ACTA: the global treaty that could reshape the Internet

      The panel will tackle important questions like: Will ACTA preserve the existing balance in intellectual property laws, providing not just enforcement for copyright holders but also appropriate exceptions for technology creators and users? Will it undermine the legal safe harbors that have allowed virtually every Internet service to come into existence? And will it encourage governments to endorse “three strikes” penalties that would take away a user’s access to the Internet?

    • UK Gov’t On ACTA: Lack of Transparency Not In the Public Interest

      The UK Government discusses the lack of transparency in an EU access to information request:

      “More broadly with respect to ACTA the UK considers that transparency is crucial to ensure the legitimacy of the agreement and to stop the spread of rumours. We believe the lack of transparency is unhelpful and do not believe that it is in the public interest.”

    • Record Label Stops Signing Artists Because of Piracy

      Despite this, there will also be labels that perform badly for unrelated reasons. How convenient is it then, to blame evil file-sharers for your disappointing results. The Finnish hard rock label Lion Music is doing just that, with rather dramatic consequences.

    • The Next Big Battle: Cable TV vs. The Internet

      Still, the more interesting battle may be shaping up elsewhere. Some consumer groups are asking the Justice Department to investigate cable companies for their “TV Everywhere” effort, which they claim is almost certainly an antitrust violation of collusion to keep certain content from going on the internet. Not surprisingly, the cable industry and their lobbyists have hit back hard, claiming that the whole thing is ridiculous.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Claudio Menezes, a UNESCO official uniting international Free Software communities 05 (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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