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05.02.10

Links 2/5/2010: Screenshot Of GNU/Linux Steam Client; PlayOnLinux 3.7.5 and KDevelop 4.0 Are Out

Posted in News Roundup at 2:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Can you think of a better way to spread the use of Linux?

      Camfed International, UK, contracted 1ViLLAGE to set up 48 seats of Ubuntu Linux desktops in four districts in the Northern Region of Ghana. They also provided user training for the project. I reproduce here some photos of the computers as posted by @opentechgirl. The question I’d like you to help me answer is, can you think of a better way to bring Linux to Africa?

  • Kernel Space

    • Huge page handling and CFS with tickless kernel highlights of RHEL 6 beta

      Last week, Red Hat released the beta version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 to the public, moving the next major release of their popular server operating system into the testing and hardening phase.

      I spoke with Tim Burke, Vice President of Linux Engineering at Red Hat, and he filled me in on some of the details. Red Hat also has posted a blog with extensive product specs for RHEL 6 on their website.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDevelop 4.0 Stable Released into the Wild

        The KDevelop Hackers are proud and happy to announce that KDevelop 4.0 is finally available as a stable release. Released together is the first version of KDevelop PHP plugins, which make KDevelop a very interesting option for PHP developers.

      • Plasmoids in windows

        Since forever (where we define the start of time to be when I started working on Plasma) it has been possible to run Plasmoids, or any widget that Plasma can display, in a window on its own using plasmoidviewer. It isn’t completely satisfactory for running widgets in a window, though, because at its heart plasmoidviewer is a development tool meant for testing and debugging Plasmoids.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Fedora

      • Expected features in Fedora 13 Goddard

        boot.fedoraproject.org (BFO) is one of the unique features in Fedora. This effort by Fedora community hopes to completely remove DVD installations in long term. It allows users to download a single, tiny image and install current and future versions of Fedora without having to download additional images.
        This method is similar to Pxeboot, can also be considered as a Fedora branded version ofboot.kernel.org.

    • Ubuntu

      • Much Awaited And Fully Loaded Ubuntu 10.04 LTS “Lucid Lynx” Released!
      • Ubuntu 10.04 – Perfect
      • Ubuntu 10.04 Screenshots
      • Put Windows to the Most Appropriate Use: Create a Bootable USB Stick with Ubuntu 10.04

        The following steps provide two methods of putting the fresh new release of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx) on a USB stick. The first method will create a bootable USB stick with a live version and the second process will create a live version with persistence. Both methods are an excellent way to always have your favorite Ubuntu system and software with you at all times and it makes for one of the simplest ways to conduct an install to a hard drive.

      • Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 Post Installation Guide
      • (X)ubuntu 10.04

        On a final note, I will say that performance has improved drastically with the 10.04 release. Some of the issues I encountered in the previous kernel version have also been resolved. The boot time is only a fraction of what it was in 9.10, and with 10.04 being a LTS release, I am very confident that I will be more than satisfied with the *buntu family of operating systems for quite some time. The speed, security, simplicity, and stability are definitely unmatched by previous releases, and compete well with many of the other systems currently available.

      • Next Ubuntu netbook edition will have global menu

        Incidentally, the Netbook Edition of Canonical’s Ubuntu 10.04, which will be officially released tomorrow, features the “industry-leading interface for these smaller screens,” the company claims.

      • Variants

      • Mint

        • News update

          This is just a brief news update about what is going on at the moment:

          * Release date: The latest ISO is passing all my tests and I’m approving it for an RC release. It still needs to go through Exploder’s testing and it requires his approval before it can go out publicly.
          * Windows installer: Mint4Win is back and it’s fully functional. The version that comes with the CD installs what’s on the CD. We’re also considering to maintain a standalone version which would be able to download and install editions of Linux Mint as we release them.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Mobile is the New Desktop: The HP/Palm Q&A

        Q: But why now?
        A: Because for all of the penetration of the iPhone and Android class devices, this market is just getting started. Look at any hardware vendor’s roadmap and you’re likely to see not only a smartphone play, but all manner of MID/tablet/smartbook devices as well – largely ARM driven. Because that’s a compelling market. The hardware, of course, is only one part of the equation. And, arguably, not the hardest part.

      • Nokia Qt SDK beta has adorable mobile simulators

        Nokia is developing a new Qt SDK that will simplify the development of cross-platform mobile applications. A beta release, which was made available this week, includes the Qt Creator integrated development environment (IDE), comprehensive Qt reference documentation, and mobile simulators that make it possible to see how a Qt application will look and feel on MeeGo or Symbian.

      • Android

        • Mobile phone sales rise as Andoid online usage soars
        • Google reportedly preparing to intro TV software next month

          Google’s TV plans have yet to be officially confirmed, though they have been rumored for at least a month now. Consistent with the company’s strategy in other areas, Google isn’t expected to be involved in manufacturing set-top boxes; rather, the company is supposedly developing a version of Android that would be especially conducive to the big screen. Third-party developers would then be able to write their own apps for the devices, giving more openness and flexibility to people’s TV watching habits.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Proposal from OLPC Paraguay on how to manage Sugar or other educational software

        The project to deliver One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) for educational purpose in developing countries is doing great in Paraguay. According to developer Bernie Innocenti, this success comes from a way to manage the development of the Sugar educational software that other countries (or any other similar projects, see for example the Teachermate or the italian JumpPC) could and should imitate.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Magic Black Box Paradox of Freedom

    Freedom is the ability to do what one wants. Some restrictions to freedom are understandable and necessary. No sane individual would argue for the freedom to kill, or the freedom to steal. In modern society, restriction on an individual’s freedom are most acceptable if said restrictions protect the freedom of others. The freedom to kill takes away the freedom to live from the killed. The freedom to steal takes away the rights of property from the robbed. However, an argument against hate speech, because it hurts others’ freedom to feel safe, is much more controversial. A line must be drawn somewhere that establishes the maximum possible freedom for all individuals.

  • A quick one on Being Free

    Just finished editing a dot story on Choqok (will go live sometime next week). Some of you might have noticed the initiative by its main developer Mehrdad Momeny to speed up development by soliciting monetary input. This will allow him to spend more time on making Choqok rock, but also give users a tangible way of influencing development priorities. This can increase commitment from the users, developers and the community – while bringing real benefits (in terms of code).

  • The Bizarre Cathedral – 71
  • Open-Xchange Simplifies SaaS Pricing, Targets Exchange

    Open-Xchange, the open source Microsoft Exchange competitor and collaboration platform that’s been turning heads in the hosted application market, has announced a simplified SaaS partner pricing structure that comes in two flavors: guaranteed revenue and flat rate. Here’s the scoop on what could be a sign of things to come for the cloud market and the IT channel.

    If Open-Xchange’s press release is to be believed, Open-Xchange only cares about two things from its partners: how big your customer base is, and how you plan to pay for the groupware subscriptions. They call it “OXrate” pricing, and they have five tiered partner levels from less than 1,000 to more than 250,000 customers. No matter what tier you fall on, though, they’re still offering both aforementioned pricing schemes.

  • How to help large organizations to contribute open source project ?

    During the 2010 thinktank in Napa, one of the participant asked the audience the following question “How could we help organizations to contribute to Open Source software”.

    The problem is the following : most of the large organizations rely on open source software one way or another. There is not necessarily an official policy about FLOSS usage but system engineers and IT administrators & developers tends to use and deploy Open Source software.

  • The USING Series: More than Just a Book

    I previously posted here in my blog that my eBook Using GIMP was going to be released within a few months. What I probably didn’t spell out, is that it’s part of a newly launched book series called Using under the imprint of the aforementioned QUE Publishing. But why should you care?

  • Open source communities must protect their interests

    When Oracle bought Sun the first reaction in the mySQL open source community was to fork it.

    Now PGP may need a fork following Symantec’s purchase of PGP Corp., and speculation it may favor Guardian Edge instead.

  • A Bushel of Free FOSS Tutorials

    You can’t knock a good FOSS tutorial. While documentation, including tutorials, is often a weakness with open source applications–even very established ones–the good news is that there are some outstanding free tutorials on the web. They’re available for many projects and platforms. Sometimes these are delivered by the community behind particular projects, and sometimes they are from enthusiasts and other third parties. In this post, you’ll find many of them.

  • Interview with Mercurial’s Matt Mackall

    Recently, Mercurial author Matt Mackall has decided to try to devote his full time to working on the distributed source control tool. He’s doing this by seeking funding from companies that use Mercurial or sell Mercurial-based products.

    [...]

    OStatic: Do you have any plans for promoting Mercurial in addition to the development work to try to boost adoption & contributions?

    Frankly, no. I’m not much interested in evangelizing. Mercurial is successful enough that I just don’t have time for it, let alone motivation. As for contributions, there are already more than I can manage in my available time, and so a large part of this efforts is to free up more of my time for that.

  • Can’t Program, won’t Program? Then Mash the Web with Mozilla’s Ubiquity

    Mozilla’s Firefox browser has been downloaded more that one billion times and its success is reflected in the millions of downloads of one of its killer features: addons (or extensions, as we geriatrics called them).

  • Events

  • Oracle

  • BSD/UNIX

    • The customer is (almost) always right

      We had produced a version of Unix called Ultrix for our PDP-11 line of computers, and several releases of this had already been shipped, proving itself to be a solid implementation of Unix.

      At the event we had a reception, with finger food, beer and wine and I was standing there, munching some chicken wings and drinking a beer when a customer walked up to me and said:

      “I think your Ultrix system really stinks.”

      He actually used another word than “stinks”, also beginning with an “s” and ending with a “k”, but this is a family-oriented blog and we don’t want to put anything bad here.

Leftovers

  • Sony to stop selling floppy disks from 2011

    Sony has signalled what could be the final end of the venerable floppy disk.

    The electronics giant has said it will stop selling the 30-year-old storage media in Japan from March 2011.

  • Kicking Outlook

    Tired of Microsoft Outlook for managing your email? Here are some alternatives.

    Mention email and most Windows users immediately think of Outlook. The Outlook email client from Microsoft has become so entrenched in the Windows desktop that most users don’t even know there are alternatives.

    We look at five alternative email clients that run on Windows, and in most cases, other operating systems such as Mac OS X and Linux.

  • Science

    • US boffin builds ultra-dense nanodot memory

      A US scientist has developed a way to store binary data on dots 6nm in size – possibly leading to a one-square-inch chip holding 2TB of data.

    • The Grandfather Paradox

      There you go, a mind-boggling speculation that explains everything oh so well. Time travel, if possible, is definitely not something to partake in lightly. At most, you may want to experiment with individual particles. Shipping off entire humans across the barriers of Time seems a little far-fetched. Then, you may also destroy the Universe by playing with matter and anti-matter, not an everyday task.

    • NASA’s Ambitious New Space Telescope Passes Critical Test

      NASA’s hotly-anticipated new space observatory has passed its most significant mission milestone yet – a critical design review that sets the stage for a planned 2014 launch.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Google personal suggest bug exposed user web history

      The company also points out that it has been much quicker to add SSL encryption to its online services than competitors – which is true. In July 2008, the company added an HTTPS-only option to Gmail, and in mid-January, hours after announcing that alleged Chinese had pilfered intellectual property from its internal systems, it turned the encryption on by default. It also offers SSL as an option on its Calendar, Docs, and Sites services.

      Yahoo Mail and Microsoft Live mail still have not offered such protection.

    • How Many More Are Innocent?

      Scalia wrote that an exoneration “demonstrates not the failure of the system but its success.” But these 250 DNA tests aren’t proof that the system is working. They’re a wake-up call telling us that it isn’t. Instead of falling back on groups like the Innocence Project to serve as unofficial checks against wrongful convictions, cops, prosecutors, judges, and lawmakers should be thinking about why there’s so much work for these organizations to do.

    • Kindly Endorse: Citizens against UID / Aadhaar

      We, representatives of people’ movements, mass organizations, institutions and concerned individuals including all the undersigned strongly oppose the potential tracking and profiling based techno-governance tools such as the Unique Identification number (UID) by the Government of India and the manner in which legitimate democratic processes have been undermined through this.

  • Environment

    • Deepwater Horizon oil spill to be set on fire to save US coast

      The US coastguard is to set fire to oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico to prevent the slick from reaching shore after last week’s explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig.

      Robot submarines have so far failed to shut off the flow more than 1,500 metres below where the Deepwater Horizon was wrecked. Eleven workers are missing, presumed dead, and the cause of the explosion 50 miles off Louisiana has not been determined.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs explained
    • Justice Department Investigation Into Goldman Sachs Goes Beyond SEC Cases

      But since it’s all a giant shell game anyway, and it’s likely that the other Wall Street firms are using the exact same practices, why are the stock prices dropping? It’s almost as if investors need to believe this was an aberration, and they’re clutching the idea like a security blanket. Bad Goldman Sachs!

    • What Drives Motivation in the Modern Workplace?

      PAUL SOLMAN: You’re describing a world that sounds like a marketplace, but it just doesn’t have any money in it.

      JOHN YODSNUKIS, Open-Sourcer: You know, you need adequate compensation. You have to live. You have to survive, OK? But, if you ask an artist why they became an artist, a lot of them will say, I can’t do anything else. I have to do this.

      It’s the same thing here, you know? It’s the fulfillment, the love of doing it is reason enough.

    • Open Source vs. Wall Street Bonuses
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Fox News Calls Mr. Rogers An Evil Man

      Little did I know, Mr. Rogers was an evil man. By telling children they’re special just for being who they are, he helped create this generation of worthless, lazy socialists who think they’re entitled to health care… at least according to Fox News.

    • Climate Scientist, Heated Up Over Satirical Video, Threatens Lawsuit

      The Penn State climate professor who has silently endured investigations, hostile questioning, legislative probes and attacks by colleagues has finally spoken out. He says he’ll sue the makers of a satirical video that’s a hit on You Tube.

    • Why are Tea Party Supporters So Angry?

      Tea Party supporters repeatedly assert that they are not racists and that their strong dislike of President Obama is not racially motivated. The Tea Party is clearly not a hate group like the Ku Klux Klan or the various militia movements on the fringes that openly advocate hate, hostility or violence toward those they do not like. Their income, education and political influence place the vast majority of Tea Party supporters much closer to the establishment than to any such fringe groups. And in 21st century America you cannot be a well respected member of the establishment and openly advocate racist positions.

    • Even After Law Aimed At Banning It, RNC Still Sending Misleading ‘Census’ Mailer

      The Republican National Committee is continuing to send out a misleading fundraising mailer labeled “Census Document,” just weeks after Congress passed a law aimed at banning such mailers.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • EZTakes: 5,000+ strong DRM-free online video store
    • AT&T (And Friends) Still Hard At Work Making Up Net Neutrality Job Loss Figures

      As the FCC gets closer to crafting network neutrality rules (assuming they even have the authority to do so), AT&T lobbyists have worked overtime to push the idea that creating such rules would automatically result in job losses. To help nudge this scary meme into the press, they hired their old friend Bret Swanson, formerly employed at the Discovery Institute — a think tank that created both the “Exaflood” (debunked here countless times) and “Intelligent Design”. Back in February Swanson, like most AT&T hired policy wonks, used completely bogus “science” to insist that network neutrality rules would result in 1.5 million job losses. He came to that number simply by adding up all of the people employed by companies that submitted comments to the FCC opposing network neutrality (seriously).

  • Copyrights

    • Interview With Will Page, Music Industry Economist

      [E]conomic analysis can only tell us so much and it’s at this point when the baton must be passed on to folks from other disciplines or backgrounds who can bring new insights to the table to work out what that actually means in terms of this intriguing thing called ‘culture’ — which also means this is a good point to conclude this interview.

    • White House Releases Public Comments On IP Enforcement

      I’m not really sure how helpful those letters really were on either side, as they didn’t add too much to the conversation. The folks responding to the call from the Copyright Alliance didn’t really answer any of the questions from Espinel. They often just said “my business is in trouble, you must help me!” which isn’t very convincing. At times, they went to extreme lengths, like this guy, who tried to convince Espinel that having his photographs copied was the same thing as if he had stolen her car. Very convincing.

    • Chile Gets New Copyright Law: Some Good, Some Bad

      The “bad” is the second one. Increasing penalties makes little sense when penalties for violating copyright law are already way out of line with the “harm” done. The “neutral” one is the last one, concerning liability for service providers. Creating good safe harbors for service providers, so they’re not blamed for the actions of their users, is definitely a good thing. But the devil is very much in the details — and what the requirements are for a service provider to qualify for those safe harbors. While the report says “the ISP must meet certain requirements in order to be exempted from liability,” it does not detail what those “certain requirements” are.

    • File-Sharers Have Little But Not Zero Privacy
    • Court OKs Unmasking Identities of Copyright Scofflaws
    • Music Industry Execs Debate Brokep From The Pirate Bay

      Finally, he also knocks BPI and others in the industry for still thinking that DRM is a reasonable solution — pointing out that it’s totally anti-consumer:

      “The problem is, nobody really asked the consumer,” he says, about attempts to put DRM on CDs. “They absolutely hated it. You put the CD into the computer and it wouldn’t play… In the future, we’ve got to bring the consumers into the business model. In fact, they already are part of the business model.”

      Geoff Taylor, the head of BPI (basically the UK’s RIAA) comes off as about what you’d expect. He trashes The Pirate Bay repeatedly, claims that it’s “destroying national cultures” (with no proof, of course) and says that there needs to be “disincentives” to dealing with unauthorized file sharing.

    • RIAA Gets AFL-CIO To Support Performance Tax: Payments In Perpetuity For A Small Amount Of Work

      The RIAA has been touting this for a little while already, but the AFL-CIO has officially signed on to support the RIAA’s highly questionable performance tax. This is a bogus attempt to boost RIAA revenue by taxing radio stations for promoting their music. The RIAA has been going around claiming that radio promoting its music is a “kind of piracy”, while at the same time claiming it’s somehow illegal for radio stations not to play RIAA music. Yeah. Logic is not the RIAA’s strong suit. Even worse, of course, is that the RIAA has blatantly demonstrated that it knows there’s tremendous value in getting its music on the air. It’s been involved in payola scams for decades. To basically get the government to mandate reverse payola is the height of obnoxiousness.

    • Irish music blogs under attack over royalties

      The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) has moved against several of the country’s MP3 blogs, demanding licences that threaten to shut down some of Ireland’s most-respected music sites. Sites including Nialler9 and the Torture Garden have been asked to pay hundreds of pounds annually to continue sharing songs – most of which are sent to them by the artists and labels themselves.

    • USTR Announces What Countries Have Been Naughty When It Comes To Intellectual Property

      The USTR has released the list again (pdf) and it’s basically the same deal as in previous years. No methodology. No real interest in hearing concerns of consumers or about the rights of individual countries to make their own laws. About the only thing that the public consultation did was allow the USTR to say in the report that it “enhanced its public engagement activities.” It notes that there were 571 comments from interested parties, which is a lot more than in the past. But there doesn’t seem to be much in the actual report that reflects the concerns raised by myself and many others.

    • Google Wins ‘Thumbnail’ Images Ruling in German Court

      Google Inc., operator of the world’s most-used Internet search engine, won dismissal of a lawsuit in Germany’s top civil court aimed at stopping the company’s use of “thumbnail” preview images.

      Google isn’t violating the copyright of an artist who had posted photographs of her works on her Web site, the Federal Court of Justice said in an e-mailed statement today.

    • Washington Post Fails To Ask NBC’s Rick Cotton Any Tough Questions

      Cotton, of course, is one of our favorite quote machines. He’s the guy who famously claimed that movie downloading was hurting corn farmers of America, because people wouldn’t buy popcorn at movies any more (a factually ridiculous statement, considering that (1) box office sales keep going up (2) corn is one of the most heavily subsidized markets and continues to grow and (3) people watching movies at home still eat popcorn). He also considered it a victory, that his efforts made it more difficult for legitimate viewers to watch the Olympics.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – WYGTYA – Bird Navigation (1/12/1998)


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4 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    May 3, 2010 at 2:28 am

    Gravatar

    Roy, you forgot to annotate the Microsoft webinar, “Upcoming Open Source Webinars: SAP Open Source Strategy, OSS Discovery”, hosted by SOP and Black Dork. Five will get you ten that it’s more of the same anti-FOSS talking points and usual Party Line drivel from M$ Partners except now they’re calling they have always been doing as Open Source.

    How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Thanks. I have a post about that coming.

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    I look forward to it. It seems that the methods and message from MS are the same. It talks through its partners. What has changed is that the title of their usual monkey business is changed and one or two celebrities from FOSS are brought in as keynote speakers to try to lend an appearance of legitimacy.

  2. Latest-Report.com said,

    May 24, 2010 at 8:02 am

    GNOME desktop navigation guide – Orca…

    For those who are less than fortunate and have severe vision problems, using a computer can be a task that is almost impossible without either the help of others or some form of assisted technology. There aren’t tons of options available, but at….

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