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Links 16/1/2010: Ubuntu for Obama, Android 2.1 Out

Posted in News Roundup at 11:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux: World domination (and jobs) in sight

    It’s looking more and more likely. Linux is everywhere, creating jobs, lowering IT costs, and serving as poster child for the open-source business and development movements.

    This momentum isn’t lost on Microsoft, which has revived its anti-Linux charm offensive. Speaking at CES, Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s entertainment and services division, overlooked Windows Mobile’s dismal market performance to sneer at mobile Linux, claiming that Linux in its current form is not “really sustainable.”

  • Server

    • SC09 Videos: AMD, Penguin, and the HPC French Fryer

      In 2009, we heard a lot about Nehalem and Telsa. AMD and AMD/ATI were not taking a nap. Their efforts are paying off and as the following video will illustrate, they have some great technology to offer the HPC crowd. Indeed, AMD has been a big supporter of OpenCL and has now released the ATI Stream Software Development Kit with OpenCL support. The promise of OpenCL is portability across processors and GP-GPU’s (not cluster nodes, however). The SDK from AMD/ATI has beta support for both x86 processors and ATI video cards. As you can see in the second half of the video, OpenGL has arrived.

  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • Cold War at the Eighth KDE PIM Gathering

      The eighth annual KDE PIM developer meeting in Osnabrück, Germany started out with an extended snowball fight among the Scottish, German and Dutch contingencies. That actual work was being done was evidenced by enhancements to Akonadi, KDE 4.4 and 4.5, and planned further development of the Kontact groupware client.

      The eighth annual meeting of the KDE groupware faction was all in the spirit of mobile devices. KDE Kontact is to be ported as fast as possible on mobile platforms such as Maemo 5 and Windows Mobile, if things go according to the plans of the Kolab Consortium under the auspices of Intevation and KDAB. Kolab has recently been releasing repeated new versions of the Windows port of KDE Kontact, the latest with a one-click installer.

  • Distributions

    • Debian Family

      • NASA Nebula – Obama’s own private cloud?

        The open-source Amazon-like compute cloud under development at NASA’s Ames Research Center could become a means of hosting websites across the US government.


        Nebula is based on Eucalyptus, an open source project meant to mimic Amazon EC2 inside private data centers. Eucalyptus is bundled with the latest version of Ubuntu. That’s why Ubuntu chief Mark Shuttleworth calls it Karmic Koala.

      • Exploring Embedded Linux with Xport Pro

        This past year I’ve had the good fortune to review an eeePC powered Netbook, the Fit-PC, and the Plug Computer. All were new, capable, and progressively smaller Linux machines. Readers may also recall my increasing interest in the Arduino micro-controllers. Although the Arduino doesn’t run Linux, its development environment is easy to use and particularly well suited for Linux notebooks.

      • Two GNOME Contractors Required

        We are currently looking for two contractors to come and work at Canonical to write some upstream code to help GNOME applications fit into the full Ubuntu desktop experience. This is an awesome opportunity for talented GNOME developers and a a great way to dip your feet into the Ubuntu development team.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 alpha 2 brings Pitivi, panel changes

        The Ubuntu development community announced today the availability of Ubuntu 10.04 alpha 2, a new prerelease of the next major version of the Ubuntu Linux distribution. This alpha is the first Ubuntu release to completely omit HAL, a Linux hardware abstraction layer that is being deprecated in favor of DeviceKit.

      • Ubuntu User Day Team Announces Event for New Penguinistas

        If any community within the open source realm lives and breathes outreach, it’s Ubuntu. There are days that teams devote solely to bug triage (today, incidentally, is gnome-power-manager hug day), along with the obligatory launch parties, a community-building Open Week and the more technical Ubuntu Developer Week.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Atom-based energy monitoring device taps Moblin

      At CES, OpenPeak unveiled a prototype of its Intel Atom- and Moblin Linux-based Home Energy Manager (HEM) energy monitoring device, and announced partnerships with Direct Energy and GE. OpenPeak also announced that the OpenFrame IP phone upon which the HEM is based was certified with the ZigBee Alliance’s Smart Energy Certification.

    • Linux-ready SoCs target consumer NAS devices

      PLX Technology announced a Linux-ready NAS 7800 system-on-a-chip (SoC) family for home network attached storage (NAS) devices. The low-end NAS 7820 and NAS 7821 and the high-end NAS 7825 offer dual ARM11 processors clocked to 750MHz, network security engines and a variety of hardware acceleration engines, says the company.


      A Linux-based SDK (see farther below) is said to support connections to multiple computers, smartphones, digital photo frames (DPFs), Internet radio sites, and more.

    • ESC Silicon Valley details 2010 program

      The EETimes Group says ESC Silicon Valley 2010 will add to the show’s already extensive bevy of instructional tracks with a new one called “Designing with open source software, including Linux and Android.” The track includes separate “Jumpstart” sessions on Linux, Android, and device drivers in general, as well as sessions on debugging Linux device drivers, real-time development with Linux and Android, using Android beyond handsets, and building a connected device with open source software.

    • Android

      • Touch subsystem supplies Android UI for microwaves, washers

        Touch Revolution is shipping an Android-driven touchscreen subsystem that OEMs can “drop in” to microwave ovens, washing machines, printers, IP phones, and more. The Nimble NIM1000 module comprises an embedded board with a Marvell/ARM PXA310 clocked to 806MHz, and a 7-inch, WVGA projective capacitive touchscreen, says the company.

      • Android 2.1 released as Linux 2.6.33 hits rc4

        The Android community released the SDK for Android 2.1, which ships with Google’s new Nexus One phone, and the Motorola Backflip phone is rumored for a March AT&T launch. Meanwhile, the Linux kernel that drives Android, as well as numerous devices, desktops, and servers, was released in a WiFi-focused Linux 2.6.33-rc4.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Vyatta: Pressuring Cisco Prices?

    Open source appliance maker Vyatta has unveiled the 3500 networking appliance family, which combines routing, firewall and VPN functionality. Vyatta claims the appliance offers 10 Gbps networking capability at 1/20th the cost other ‘name-brand’ networking appliances. But are solutions providers and their customers really ready for open source network?

  • GenoCAD Goes Open Source

    Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, an affiliated corporation of Virginia Tech, has announced that it has licensed the source code of GenoCAD to the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB).

  • Open source in 2010

    Google, on the other hand, has done wonders with its Android OS which is now right up there with the likes of the iPhone and is getting better all the time. Android will, without a doubt, be in the headlines throughout the coming year as Google takes other mobile makers on head-to-head.

    But open source will also start appearing on devices other than just mobile phones. Google’s Chrome OS and the Moblin OS are just a couple of the viable, Linux-based, alternatives for netbooks that will start to become important in the coming year.

    A couple of years ago Linux look poised to take over the netbook market but Microsoft managed to claw back its dominance in this market with Windows XP.

    This time around Microsoft may not be as lucky. There are indications that Linux now has its second wind and, together with a strong mobile phone presence, is ready to give Microsoft a serious fight in the ultra-portable space.

  • Astronaut Live Training February 4-7th, Early Bird Registration open.

    Introduction to VistA System Administration with Astronaut will be held in Houston…

  • Mozilla

    • TooManyTabs: Saves Your Memory

      In the past I’ve started my Firefox with many open Tabs. The negative Side from that, is that this eats many RAM. But now I’ve found the ultimate Firefox Extension for that. The Name of this Extension is “TooManyTabs”. First of all you have to define Categories.

  • Databases

    • “Geeks rule!”? Yes – but what that means depends.

      The striking thing about the exercise was that an easy majority have moved the database for this to MySQL on Linux with holdouts on Solaris (mostly also MySQL), HP-UX, and various Microsoft configurations – but the unexpected thing was that none of the Unix people had any difficulty either understanding it or doing it; while the Wintel people equally unanimously wanted meetings, paperwork, “a better understanding of the requirements”, and in something like three out of four cases additional monies from their bosses before they could see about getting it done.


  • Programming

    • Distributed Development with Mercurial

      Every clone of a Mercurial repository can act as a consistent, fully functional repository itself. This is a very useful property of a DVCS; one that you can take advantage of to make development a lot easier, especially for teams that are dispersed in multiple places of the globe.

    • Is Extreme Programming Dying? Is Agile Growing in Popularity?

      It’s interesting to compare the interest over time in various software development methodologies and practices. Google Trends is a great tool for this, although it’s not without limitations, especially since so many programming terms have other meanings.

    • JavaDay Program is on line!

      The program of the JavaDay is now on line.

    • Java Italian Events: JavaDay, 4th Edition, Rome 30-01-2010

      The fourth Javaday – the Italian technical event for Java developers organized on a volunteer basis directly by members of the Java community in Rome – will take place in Rome on Saturday 30th of January.


  • Voices from Haiti: ‘He wanted to die with his family’
  • Security

    • Fixing Intelligence Failures

      Today’s adversaries are different. There are still governments, like China, who are after our secrets. But the secrets they’re after are more often corporate than military, and most of the other organizations of interest are like al Qaeda: decentralized, poorly funded and incapable of the intricate spy versus spy operations the Soviet Union could pull off.

    • Why Counter-Terrorism Is in Shambles

      Editor’s Note: A blogger with the PBS’ NewsHour asked former CIA analyst Ray McGovern to respond to three questions regarding recent events involving the CIA, FBI, and the intelligence community in general.

    • Iraq war veteran jailed over ‘violent’ rap song

      Marc Hall, a junior member of an infantry unit, wrote the song in protest at the US army’s unpopular policy of involuntarily extending soldiers’ service and forcing them to return to Iraq or Afghanistan.

    • Government to release secret files that ‘prove MI5 colluded in torture of terror suspect’

      The Government has been forced to release highly-sensitive intelligence files which are expected to prove that MI5 agents were involved in torture.

      Government lawyers have spent the past four months fighting a desperate legal battle to avoid disclosing the potentially deeply-shameful information.

  • Environment

    • Arctic permafrost leaking methane at record levels, figures show

      Experts say methane emissions from the Arctic have risen by almost one-third in just five years, and that sharply rising temperatures are to blame

    • US cult of greed is now a global environmental threat, report warns

      The average American consumes more than his or her weight in products each day, fuelling a global culture of excess that is emerging as the biggest threat to the planet, according to a report published today. In its annual report, Worldwatch Institute says the cult of consumption and greed could wipe out any gains from government action on climate change or a shift to a clean energy economy.

  • Finance

    • Why Obama Must Take On Wall Street

      It has been more than a year since all hell broke loose on Wall Street and, remarkably, almost nothing has been done to prevent all hell from breaking loose again.

      In fact, close your eyes and you could be back in the wilds of 2007. Bankers are still making wild bets, still devising new derivatives, still piling on debt. The big banks have access to money almost as cheaply as in 2007, courtesy of the Fed, so bank profits are up and bonuses as generous as at the height of the boom.

  • Internet/Web Abuse

    • Parties Lobby FCC on Net Neutrality

      RIAA / MPAA

      The Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America have an established love-hate relationship with the Internet. Perhaps more hate-hate. The recording and motion picture industries are still struggling to find their footing and adapt to a world where MP3′s replaced CD’s, and where streaming movies are replacing DVD’s.

      Dating back to the early days of Napster, the RIAA and MPAA have lobbied for legislation and leveraged the court system to combat online piracy. In its filing on net neutrality with the FCC, the RIAA wrote “we encourage the FCC to stay its course and explicitly support, encourage, and endorse ISP efforts to fight piracy.”


      On the opposite end of the spectrum, the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) is urging individuals to join its petition to convince the FCC to remove language from the proposed net neutrality guidelines which provide a legal loophole for the entertainment industry to “hijack the Internet.”

    • RIAA tells FCC: ISPs need to be copyright cops

      The U.S. Federal Communications Commission should avoid adopting strict net neutrality rules that would limit broadband providers’ flexibly to “address” illegal online file sharing, the Recording Industry Association of America said in comments filed with the FCC on Thursday.

      Internet service providers should have authority to block subscribers from sharing music and other files without permission of the copyright owner, the RIAA said. “ISPs are in a unique position to limit online theft,” the RIAA said in its comments. “They control the facilities over which infringement takes place and are singularly positioned to address it at the source. Without ISP participation, it is extremely difficult to develop an effective prevention approach.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Adding up the explanations for ACTA’s “shameful secret”

      Why is an intellectual property treaty being negotiated in the name of the US public kept quiet as a matter of national security and treated as “some shameful secret”?

      Solid information on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has been hard to come by, but Google on Monday hosted a panel discussion on ACTA at its DC offices. Much of the discussion focused on transparency, and why there’s so little of it on ACTA, even from an administration that has made transparency one of its key goals.

    • U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson – Intellectual Property Rights

      Well, Ambassador, a lot of Canadians don’t think U.S. Intellectual Property Laws are in the best interest of Americans or Canadians either. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 comes to mind. Do you have any proof (specifically peer reviewed studies) proving that the DMCA has any benefit to the citizens of the United States? And if you don’t have any proof, when do you intend to provide it?

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  1. satipera said,

    January 17, 2010 at 6:29 am


    The stop loss policy of the US army smacks of contract small print sharking. It would appear that they can keep you in for life if they wish. Can it really be called a volunteer army still?

  2. uberVU - social comments said,

    February 12, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on WordPress by satipera: The stop loss policy of the US army smacks of contract small print sharking. It would appear that they can keep you in for life if they wish. Can it really be called a volunteer army still?…

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