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05.08.10

Links 8/5/2010: Wine 1.1.44 is Out, RHEL 6 Beta Reviewed

Posted in News Roundup at 9:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux lasershow Cool!

    One of the coolest things you can do with linux is control a show laser.

  • Linux on my Macbook Air

    During the last three years, my Macbook Air has been kinda depressed. Every time i tried to install my free GNU programs using ports it has silently played this tune for me.

  • Ballnux

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE Finance Apps Group Spring Sprint
      • A Blog on Sourceforge

        A little more than two weeks ago we released Kraft version 0.40, the first version of Kraft based on KDE 4 software platform. The release went fine as far as I can tell, no terrible bugs were reported yet. Some work went into the new website since then, but in general I need a few weeks break from Kraft and spend my evenings outside enjoying spring time.

        Today, Sourceforge posted a blog about Kraft after they kind of mail-interviewed me. It’s nice, it really focuses on the things also important to me. This might be another step towards a broader user base for Kraft. I say that because one could have the impression that the number of people actually really using Kraft could be larger. A high number of users is one of the fundamental criteria for a successful free software project and thus I am constantly trying to understand whats the reason for the impression or the fact.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Marketing Hackfest: Day 1

        * GNOME 3.0 Website: there’ll be a specific GNOME 3.0 website to introduce this new version of GNOME, and get people excited about this new version. In the long term, the content will be moved to the main website, but we feel a separate website is the best way to build momentum for the 3.0 effort. The target audience is existing GNOME users and there is already a good sitemap. Work is ongoing for the exact content and design, and the hard work will be the creation of videos. If you’re interested in helping there, raise your hand :-)

      • Preparing To Let Go Of GTK+ 2.x For GTK+ 3.0

        As we have mentioned with the first of the early GNOME 3.0 development packages getting checked-in (such as the improved Totem Movie Player), the first GNOME 2.31 development milestone is this week in the road to GNOME 3.0 (a.k.a. v2.32) that will be reached this September. Joining this round of new GNOME development packages that are looking for testing is GTK+ 2.21.0, which is leading up to the 2.22 release of the de facto standard tool-kit for the GNOME desktop.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • RHEL 6 – your sensible but lovable friend

        Another big change in the RHEL 6 beta is the wide selection of disk formatting options, including ext4. You know a Linux feature has arrived when it makes its way to the conservative enterprise releases like RHEL and such is the case with ext4 file system, which is now the default filesystem format in RHEL 6. In addition to ext4, the XFS filesystem is now supported.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 13 Expands Linux Virtualization

          Virtualization technology has long found a home in Red Hat’s Fedora community Linux distribution. Ever since Fedora 4 emerged in 2005, virtualization technologies have continued to advance in the distro and that remains the case with the upcoming Fedora 13 release set for later this month.

    • Ubuntu

      • Users want a Linux port of uTorrent?

        Its possibilities like this which I have always held as a reason why I don’t want mass migration away from Windows to the Linux platform. If Linux is to get a wave of disillusioned Windows users, we have to keep in mind that they will bring their demands (and their voting power) to a platform near you which has been going quite happily without Windows users turning up after finally working out that PC does not just mean Microsoft. Now please don’t get me wrong, I am happy that anyone would want to come to Linux after a Windows experience, but what these people need to remember is that Linux/FOSS is != Windows/Microsoft, Linux should never be looked as the OS of choice only for it to still depend on 3rd party Windows apps. Linux and FOSS are unique (and for me) better in their own right, why should we lust over anything Windows offers either natively or via 3rd party apps?

      • 5 lessons for other Linux distros from the success of the Lucid Lynx

        3.Try to become an answer

        Ubuntu Studio, Lubuntu, Edubuntu, Ubuntu server among others are part of what I call the Canonical suite which helps to gain more users in that it is able to meet more needs. Do not narrowly focus on being just an OS, try to be an answer to more specialized needs.

        4.Clearly define the role of your community

        It is necessary to clearly define the role your user community will play in the growth and development of your OS. The faux pas that happened following the change of the window buttons from right to left in the Lucid Lynx could have had a devastating consequence had it been a smaller distro.

        5.It does not hurt to apply marketing to Linux

        If there is any one Open Source company that does marketing right, it is Canonical. And as is clear now, it does not hurt at all to invest some time and if possible some money to marketing your distro, it really pays.

      • Variants

        • Linux Mint Scarf

          In January I received a call from a friend: Her laptop hard drive had crashed leaving her in a bind. I was able go install a new one and reload Her OS that evening. She was very grateful and wanted to do something for me. The one thing I had been wanting was a scarf with the Linux Mint logo. So it was agreed She would do this for me. I most admit that I got the better end of the bargain, it only took me a few hours one evening and my part was done. The knitting of this scarf took much more time.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-ready, open-platform ARM9/DSP SBC costs $89

      Four distributors have begun shipping the open platform, Linux-ready Hawkboard single board computer (SBC) for as low as $89. Based on the Texas Instruments OMAP-L138 system-on-chip (SoC), which combines an ARM9 core and a DSP, the community-driven Hawkboard project is structured on the TI-sponsored BeagleBoard project, and is similarly designed for hobbyists and general testing.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Ubuntu Netbook Remix a Winner

        Ubuntu Netbook Remix (reviewed version 10.4) is Linux like you’ve never seen before. It has a smooth, attractive, interface that works very well with the netbook form factor. It is a clear winner, as good as if not better than operating systems from enormous corporations. There was a gotcha on my HP Mini installation in an otherwise great work. Digg this article

    • Tablets

      • Google Android tablet runs Flash on Tegra 2 SoC

        Adobe has demonstrated a prototype Nvidia Tegra 2-based Android tablet from Google running Adobe’s Flash, say industry reports. Meanwhile, Samsung is preparing an “S-Pad” Android tablet, and Bill Gates tips new Microsoft tablet projects, say other reports.

      • 10 Reasons the T91MT is better than the iPad

        This is no doubt the Year of the Tablet computer. As such I began searching some months ago for a tablet I could add to my ever growing list of gadgets, I researched and played with many different devices before deciding on my Asus T91MT. I have had my tablet for a couple of weeks now and it amazes me how many people do not even know they exist when they released almost a year ago! The iPad on the other hand got more press than you can shake a stick at and everyone under the sun knows what it is after just a few weeks.

        The following is my list of reasons why Asus’s T91MT tablet/netbook hybrid is better than Apple’s iPad:

        #1 – It is also a Netbook
        Touch screens are fantastic, don’t get me wrong but honestly some things are much quicker to do with a physical keyboard and a mouse. Having the option to flip my T91MT around and use it as a netbook is a wonderful option to have. Plus I personally feel my device’s screen is much safer when I can “close” the screen instead of just sliding it into a case.

      • Android Prototype Tablet Makes Flashy Debut

        Android smartphones are giving Apple’s iPhone a run for its money and may soon overtake it. If Android tablets follow suit, will Flash get its mojo back?

Free Software/Open Source

  • Rockin’ FLOSS Manuals: The CiviCRM book sprint

    If you use open source software, and aren’t a programmer, you may wonder how you can give back to the community that provides you with such marvelous tools at no-to-little cost. At the same time, maybe you’ve run into a problem running some piece of open source software, clicked F1 or otherwise looked for some help in doing something—and found little or no help on offer. There’s a way to solve both these problems: Check out, and get involved with, the FLOSS Manuals project.

  • Closed source software hurts GUI development

    AS OPERATING SYSTEMS increasingly become visual feasts, those who want to create useful interaction enhancements are having to bend over backwards thanks to closed source software in order to bring innovation to the user’s environment.

    Two bright young men from the University of Washington recently presented Prefab, a technology which they say will facilitate the implementation of “advanced behaviours in graphical interfaces”. That in itself isn’t particularly new but the route Prefab takes to implement well documented graphical user interface (GUI) techniques are a clear example of the lengths engineers have to go to circumnavigate the limitations posed by closed source software.

  • Server

  • Databases

  • Oracle

    • FSF launches free software extension listing for OpenOffice.org

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced a project to assemble a replacement extension library for OpenOffice.org, which will list only those extensions which are free software, at http://www.fsf.org/openoffice.

      “OpenOffice.org is free software, and an important contribution to the free software community. However, the program offers the user a library of extensions, and some of them are proprietary. Distributing OpenOffice.org in the usual way has the effect of offering users the nonfree extensions too,” said FSF executive director Peter Brown.

    • Nexenta Leverages OpenSolaris and ZFS for Enterprise Storage
  • CMS

    • Midgard2 10.05 “Ratatoskr” released!

      The Midgard Project has released the first release of Midgard2 10.05 “Ratatoskr” LTS. Ratatoskr LTS is a Long Term Support version of Midgard2 Content Repository.

  • Education

    • Moodle Milestone: 2.0 Beta Preview

      Those who’ve been waiting for the release of Moodle 2.0 are getting their open source just rewards this week. The release, which has been met already with several delays, is a “beta preview” — which is to say, not yet a stable release, but a functional template of what’s in store for early adopters (note that Moodle HQ will be releasing weekly updates as the code matures as a series of beta previews leading up to the stable release¹).

  • Business

    • Recipe for a successful business: One part openness, two parts trust

      I’m reminded of an article Dana Blankenhorn wrote a few years back, where he noted that trust lies at “the heart of open source.” Trust is what motivates software coders to open up their projects to communities of strangers. It drives a CIO to choose an open source vendor, who won’t lock them into a particular technology or brand. And it is broken when a social networking (and advertising) business repeatedly strongarms its users into pushing their private information out to the world.

    • BIRT Generates Over $45 Million Across 450 Paying Customers, Used by Over 750,000 Developers Worldwide

      BIRT is an Eclipse Foundation open source project that was founded by and continues to be co-led by Actuate. It is used by about 750,000 developers worldwide and has become the de facto open source environment for presenting compelling data visualisations on the web.

  • SpringSource

  • Releases

    • Rapid-I revolutionises business intelligence processes with RapidMiner 5.0

      Rapid-I, a leading provider of open source solutions for predictive analytics, data mining and text mining, is launching RapidMiner 5.0: The new version allows enterprises to map and manage the entire business intelligence process chain from analytical ETL, data mining and predictive reporting with a single solution. The fully revised user interface offers a significantly simplified operation, meaning that even newcomers to analysis can be given vital support with tasks that come up frequently.

  • Government

    • VistA Modernization Report Features Open Source

      A Veterans Affairs requested VistA Modernization Report is now available. The good news: it prominently features and recommends open source and discusses the prospect of VA VistA as a national standard.

      [...]

      Among the reports issues, it calls the GNU General Public License ‘restrictive’. Restrictive of what? Restrictive of the ability of proprietary vendors to establish and maintain vendor lock-in at the great expense of taxpayers and patients? The report at times treats open source and proprietary EHR software as equals instead of proprietary EHR software as a destructive invasive species. The report probably understates the number of private sector VistA deployments as measured by the 2008 AMIA Open Source White Paper. Finally, it makes the common error of subdividing open source vs commercial when open source is certainly commercial. They probably mean open source vs. proprietary.

  • Economist

    • The Economist and Launchpad

      Economist logoThe online team at The Economist recently set up a Launchpad project, using a commercial subscription. I asked Mark Theunissen, from The Economist Group, about their plans.

      Mark: We’re migrating the existing Economist.com stack from Coldfusion/Oracle to a LAMP stack running Drupal. At present, we’re about half way through — if you visit a blogs page, channel page, or comments page they will be served from Drupal, but the home page and actual articles are still served from Coldfusion. There’s a migration and syncronisation process happening in the background between Oracle and MySQL.

    • The Economist To Go Open Source

      The world renowned Economist Magazine is migrating its infrastructure from proprietary to an Open Source stack. According to this blog post on Launchpad, The Economist is migrating its existing stack “from Coldfusion/Oracle to a LAMP stack running Drupal,” says Mark Theunissen from the Economist Group.

  • Programming

    • Yehuda Katz on Merging into Merb

      In December of 2008, the Ruby on Rails community was at a crossroads. The mainline Rails project was losing ground to Merb, an alternative open source MVC framework for building Ruby applications. The community was fragmenting. Yehuda Katz was the creator of the Merb framework, and rather than continue on with that project, he and his fellow contributors decided to merge Merb and Rails. The decision sparked a number of Rails homecomings for other outside projects, and in February the first beta of an integrated Rails 3.0 arrived. We sat down with Katz to discuss the past, present and future of Ruby on Rails.

Leftovers

  • Law & Order

    • Spammers ordered to pay tiny ISP whopping $2.6m

      The judgment was awarded by Magistrate Judge Elizabeth D. Laporte of the US District Court in Northern California. It comes in a case filed against the principals of a business called Find a Quote. A four-employee ISP in Garberville, California, Asis said it receives about 200,000 junk messages per day and spends about $3,000 per month to process them.

    • Teacher Caught On Video Stealing From Lockers

      A school spokesman said it’s possible the student who recorded the cell phone video could get in trouble as well because students are not supposed to use their phones during the day.

      School officials said they are not allowed to record video in locker rooms because of privacy.

    • Italy: Prosecution Advances in Red Light Camera Fraud Scandal

      The investigation into the fraudulent use of red light cameras in Italy last week concluded with prosecutors preparing charges against thirty-eight public officials and photo enforcement company executives. Prosecutors claim that three photo enforcement companies formed a cartel that operated in collusion with public officials for the purpose of generating revenue. The officials accepted bribes in return for approving lucrative contracts and shortening the duration of yellow lights at intersections equipped with red light cameras.

    • Voters turned away from polling stations in UK general elections
    • Search neutrality? How Google became a “neutrality” target

      If ISPs should be subject to “net neutrality,” should companies like Google be subject to “search neutrality”?

      When we wrote recently about the idea of “search neutrality,” some readers seemed to believe that we had coined the term, but nothing could be further from the truth. “Search neutrality” now fills the FCC filings of companies like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and AT&T, all of whom see no reason why their businesses should be picked out for regulatory scrutiny while Google goes about its business unmolested.

    • Downloaded software presents legal woes

      A court decision ruling that the supply of software through a digital download mechanism is not a supply of “goods” has been upheld in the Supreme Court of NSW, setting a precedent that software downloaded via the internet is not protected by the Sale of Goods Act.

  • Science

    • Neanderthals live on in DNA of humans

      There is a little Neanderthal in nearly all of us, according to scientists who compared the genetic makeup of humans with that of our closest ancient relatives.

    • NASA team cites new evidence that meteorites from Mars contain ancient fossils

      NASA’s Mars Meteorite Research Team reopened a 14-year-old controversy on extraterrestrial life last week, reaffirming and offering support for its widely challenged assertion that a 4-billion-year-old meteorite that landed thousands of years ago on Antarctica shows evidence of microscopic life on Mars.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

  • Finance

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Iranian civil rights protester is spared deportation

      Bita Ghaedi, who feared her life was at risk if returned to Iran, wins interim reprieve

    • The Facebook Privacy War: What is Personal Data?

      There is a current campaign on the internet for users to not log into Facebook for a whole day on June 6th, 2010. This comes in response to the recent changes made by Facebook to their privacy settings, especially to the one leaving the default “on” instead of “off.” Basically it became quite apparent that Facebook is in fact, a business, and that your so-called “personal” data was for sale. To economists and investors, this was no surprise at all. They all expected Facebook to make a genuine attempt to make money at some point, and what better way than demographic targeted advertising?

    • Stealth installs and adware come to Facebook

      As noted earlier by PC World, the social networking site silently adds apps to profiles whenever a user is logged in and browses to certain sites. Facebook displays no dialogue box or notification window asking permission, and there is no easy way to opt out of the process.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Canadians Get To Pay More Money For The Same Broadband

      To be clear: this shouldn’t be confused with pure “billing by the byte.” The low cap and high overage model (which Time Warner Cable tried — and failed — to impose in the U.S. last year) simply jacks up prices “thousands of multiples beyond what the costs are” on top of the already high flat rate price — ensuring that consumers wind up paying significantly more money for the same service.

    • FCC Gives Hollywood The Right To Break Your TV/DVR… Just ‘Cause

      That logic is backwards. Basically, Hollywood is saying that it held the public hostage until the FCC let it break your TVs, and because the FCC caved in and Hollywood will release the movies it easily could have released before, consumers win. When someone is taken hostage and the family pays up, that’s not a “win” for the family. As Public Knowledge points out, this appears to be the FCC doing this just as a favor to Hollywood.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright law must be relaxed, says new group

        Librarians, digital activists, ISPs, music managers and other associations and trade bodies have called for the relaxing of copyright law in the EU to allow more people to access and re-use copyrighted material.

      • Canadian Writers Guild Wants ‘You Must Be A Criminal’ Tax On Both Distribution And Storage Of Content

        Canada has long had a blank media levy on things like blank CDs, which is a sort of “you must be a criminal” tax on things. Of course, what it really does is drive down the usage of blank CDs by making them ridiculously expensive — such that, in some cases, it accounts for 90% of the price of a blank CD.

      • UNESCO’s bizarre World Anti-Piracy Observatory

        Particularly notable: WAPO’s “collection of national copyright laws”, where each country’s page is linked to a “Disclaimer” in which UNESCO claims copyright on the content of the collection and restricts its use to educational, non commercial purposes – even though in most cases, they simply downloaded the copyright law from the official site, renamed the file and re-uploaded it on the UNESCO server.

      • A Copyright Violation???

        So, the question is do we not use Brittany’s painting, the piece that 18 months of design work have been crafted around, because the Manager of Intellectual Property of a famous Pop artist who also appropriated from the same source image says we can’t? Brittany’s painting certainly appears to be an appropriation of the uncopyrighted(?) graphic novel piece as opposed to an “adapted…Roy Lichtenstein image” as Ms. Lee has stated. We haven’t pressed the album yet, so we just need to know whether or not we CAN use the image based on its appropriative properties. What IS the answer here??????

      • How Many Bad Assumptions Can You Make In A Single Article About Content Creation And Copyright?

        That’s simply not true. McArdle is making the same mistake that many politicians and reporters make, despite it being pointed out as an error time and time again: she’s confusing the recording industry with the music industry. The music industry is actually doing quite well when you look at the numbers. Switching back and forth between the two, as McArdle does throughout the piece, and pretending they’re the same thing at some points, and different at others is really weak reporting. Yes, the numbers for the recording industry are worse, just as the numbers for the horse buggy industry got worse and worse each year as the automobile industry ramped up.

      • Library Group And Others Issue Declaration For Consumer Friendly Copyright In Europe

        Stuart Hamilton from the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) alerted us to the news that his organization, along with “a broad based coalition of European groups, representing consumers, creators, libraries, civil society and technology companies” have put together a declaration in the EU Parliament for Copyright for Creativity — with the goal being to reform copyright law to bring it back to its original purpose, while updating it for the internet age so that it “fosters digital creativity, innovation, education, and access to cultural works.”

    • Ofcom rattling ahead with Digital Economy Act letters regime

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – ISS – ISS Basics (1/4/2001)


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