05.28.10

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Links 28/5/2010: KDE 4.5 Features; OLPC XO-3

Posted in News Roundup at 11:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Five tips for desktop malware first responders

      2: Carry a Web-enabled smart phone and carry a big (16GB USB) stick

      Pay for that data plan. Get reasonably proficient with a favorite mobile browser. Store bookmarks. Most phones support flash cards where additional remediation software can be stored. Also, consider carrying a hefty USB drive containing favorite anti-malware utilities, if not a fully bootable OS with security tools on it, such as Slax.

    • Welcome to the world of free software

      Free operating system: Let’s start with the operating system (OS). A Microsoft OS is chosen by a majority of users as no retailer bothers to inform buyers about the free to load open source OSes like Red Hat, OpenSolaris or the most popular one, Ubuntu. A word of caution: If you are a newbie at open source, it might be advisable to get a technical expert to upload the OS.

      Cost Saving: An entry-level Microsoft OS would cost you between Rs 4,000 and Rs 14,000.

  • Server

    • From Obsolete Servers to Private Cloud in 3 Easy Steps

      1. Assemble the Pieces

      CentOS is the free version of the popular Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system. It is a community-supported, mainly free, software operating system based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It exists to provide a free, enterprise-class computing platform, and it strives to maintain 100 percent binary compatibility. CentOS stands for Community ENTerprise Operating System.

      We knew that CentOS had clustering capabilities, so we installed it across all five of our servers. Once we patched them and hardened the servers, we used the native clustering functionality to run all five servers as one environment. The really nice thing here is that the enterprise investment in the RHCE certification for us was not wasted. Our server administrators already had the skills to carry out the architecture design, so right there we were able to avoid contractor or training expenses.

    • Wanted: Virtual Personal Email Servers
  • Audiocasts

  • Graphics Stack

    • Radeon “R600g” Gallium3D Driver Merged To Master

      Those owners of ATI Radeon HD 2000, 3000, and 4000 series (R600/700) graphics cards not only have a reason to celebrate today over the voltage adjustment support to improve their GPU power management, but there’s another reason too. The Radeon R600 Gallium3D driver known as “R600g” has been merged to Mesa’s mainline “master” code-base.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE 4.5 beta brings window tiling, new notifications

        One of the additions that I’m particularly enthusiastic about is support for tiled window management in KDE’s KWin window manager. This feature allows users to snap windows together in non-overlapping arrangements and resize them together, much like the behavior of Ion and other tiled desktop environments. The feature was implemented as a Summer of Code project last year and was finally merged last month. I’ve long been a fan of tiled window management, so I’ve been looking forward to seeing this feature land ever since work on it was started.

        KDE 4.5 is getting a new panel notification area that is designed to be more consistent and functional. This feature is based on a D-Bus protocol that the KDE development community has submitted to the FreeDesktop.org organization with the aim of making it a cross-desktop standard. Although the upstream GNOME community has rejected the protocol, it has been adopted by Canonical and is used to power the new application indicator feature that is included in Ubuntu 10.04.

  • Distributions

    • Sabayon 5.3 Progress, Get Involved with Testing, Bumps

      It must be about time for an update, tough to blog when summer is here. 5.3 is in the works and is at a RC2 status. Some of the changes include bug fixes of course, btrfs support, mono removed from grub and installer fixes. Keep in mind that btrfs is very young in development and should not be used in a stable environment. I did try it out in a virtual box setting and it seemed to work good for the little bit of time I worked with it. Mitch follows the progress of it and has been a good source for information. It sounds like in kernel 2.6.36 things will even be better for btrfs. I’ll have to try and keep an eye on it myself, seems promising.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS

        The fact that I really like about PCLinuxOS is its small community with great connection between one another. I can always reach to its developers easily. I know who is working on the distro that you are using. This is a great advantages for me to learn about Linux and grow to love it. I learned about packaging even though I seldom practice it.

    • Ubuntu

      • Guitars to Goat Festivals – Ubuntu For All!

        Pete found a local place, B-Sharp Music.Pete started talking to the owner Stan, who as it turned out is an advocate of Open Source. After they talked and he took a look at Ubuntu, he switched his computers over to Ubuntu. Karmic at the time, but now Lucid. Stan also asked for some CD’s and fliers so that when people asked what he was running on the computers in the music store he could tell them and help them switch to Ubuntu.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Pandora Open Source, Linux-based Handheld Game Console Now Shipping

      Pandora is also designed for the emulation of older computer systems and video game consoles. It has working emulators for Dreamcast, PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Amiga, SNES, Atari Jaguar and Sega Mega Drive software.

    • Nokia

      • Impressions of the latest MeeGo release

        MeeGo, in its first release, is pretty damn good, and this coming from a KDE loving maniac! It used to be Maemo, all Gtk in the backend, but now it is MeeGo with Qt (v4.6) as its backend now with a really nice MeeGo API as well. With MeeGo using Qt, KDE apps and Qt apps integrate nicely. What I don’t get is this, why in the hell are all of the Apps Gtk-based then? Chromium, OK I can understand, it is an amazing browser, and my browser of choice right now. Banshee? I think Amarok would have been a better app for media. Evolution? Oh hell no! I would rather they ship Mutt. You want me to say KMail or Kontact don’t you? Well I won’t, just yet. If I used POP3 for email, then yes, KMail/Kontact for the win! But seeing as I am lazy and use GMail’s IMAP settings, KMail needs help here. Thunderbird seems like a good choice, but for what I am guessing to be as a netbook operating system for those who aren’t hardcore mostly, I would think KMail/Kontact would be perfect. You can’t beat Kontact’s tight integration, you can’t, so don’t even try to argue that. Empathy is nice and light, so I understand it, even though I do not like it. I would have loved to have seen Kopete here, especially with its Skype plugin.

        Overall though, I am still impressed with MeeGo, though I don’t think it is my replacement for the KDE Plasma Netbook Workspace. I think it is a perfectly fine solution for many though, and I am excited to see the ongoing work that is going into it. I know a few of the developers and I know they will be doing an amazing job on it in the future, especially as it starts getting on the more mobile devices out there. It uses Yum/RPM, which took me a few minutes to get used to again, but package management was as fast as I am used to when using APT or some other Debian package manager.

        Good job MeeGo devs, and keep up the good work! I am fairly certain my review here sucked, so if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask them in the comments section, or email me at nixternal AT gmail DOT com, or even hit me up on IRC (freenode) as nixternal.

    • Android

      • Key WebOS developer jumps ship to Team Android

        Departure of Palm’s Matias Duarte may signal a vote of no confidence in HP’s ability to compete on mobile

      • Top 10 Android 2.2 Features Developers Can’t Wait to Use

        Android 2.2 (codename: Froyo) is a minor SDK release, but it still packs some punch, providing both developers and users with some much-anticipated features. After attending the Google I/O conference and witnessing the Froyo announcement, here are the top ten features (in no particular order) that we think developers cannot wait to get their hands on.

    • OLPC

      • One Laptop Per Child Revamps Tablet Plans

        The One Laptop Per Child foundation’s aim to create the world’s most innovative tablet computer for the developing world just took a giant leap toward reality. But as is often the case, reality may not be quite as exciting as imagination.

        On Thursday the foundation announced a partnership with chip maker Marvell to collaborate on a sleek and cheap touch-screen tablet for developing-world school children, a device it now plans to launch at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2011 for less than $100. One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) says that’s close to two years ahead of its scheduled release for the so-called XO-3, the long-awaited upgrade to the non-profit’s XO, the so-called “hundred-dollar laptop” launched in 2007.

Free Software/Open Source

  • A Thriving FOSS Community on the North

    Living in Sweden, conferences usually include travelling abroad. This is all fun, but it also means spending time away from family and work. This in turn means catching up on work, i.e. spending even less time with the family. Not exactly what I want to do all my life.

    Recently this has changed. First of all, the free community conference FSCONS (held in Gothenburn Sweden), has gained more and more technical content (without losing the free community angle!). This means that it is more and more attractive to my flavour of geeks. This year, in November, they are even pursuing an embedded track and I definitively plan on both attending and speaking!

  • Why Open Source Makes Sense: Scientifically Proven

    Check out this video below. Its basically an animation about an MIT social experiment, where sociologist found a bizarre pattern when it came to work and incentives. When the task at hand was a mundane and a repetitive task, money was found as perfect incentive. However, when the task required “rudimentary cognitive” skills, money, it turns out, wasn’t the best incentive. This makes perfect sense when we look at the amazing open source projects out there. From Linux to Wikipedia to Open Street Map, all these project tap into this basic human behavior.

  • Open source pays off for TimeTrex

    Many open source businesses have a multi-tiered product model, offering an open source version for free and a closed source version with extra features that users have to pay for. TimeTrex, a Canadian company that offers a web-based payroll and time management application, offers free Standard and commercial Business and Professional editions of its TimeTrex software, but all of them are open source. “Having a freely available edition allows potential customers to test out the software without any restrictions before deciding if they require support or features available in our other products,” says developer Jon Hutchison.

  • Free as in Speech

    • Wiki As an Example to Demystify Cloud Computing

      Cloud computing is supposed to save you money and make things easier for your business/organization. If a self-proclaimed cloud computing provider tries to sell you some expensive and fancy new technology that requires a lot of training on your employees, then be alerted that this may just be a hoax. Try partially replacing MS Word and Frontpage with wiki before buying any cloud solutions. Wiki is a minuscule, and yet most used form of cloud computing. It takes more cultural changes than monetary investment to introduce cloud computing into your organization/business. You can forget about cloud computing if your employees cannot get accustomed to this new culture of transparency, participation, and democracy.

    • Openness, transparency, and community: The future of commenting on the web

      But should that be the default for the entire web? Is complete openness always the best way? Are there valid reasons for completely closing comments (as a policy, not for specific posts) on a news site like NPR? What about the heavy policing implied in this comment? At the very least, shouldn’t it be more transparent–visible comment deletions, and reasons given to banned users?

    • What is “open source”? (And why should you care?)

      Although the term gets used quite a lot in technology circles, there is often some confusion about exactly what it means, particularly when it comes to questions of whether or not software that is “open source” is necessarily “free.” In an oft-repeated saying, open source is free as in “free speech” not free as in “free beer.” In other words, it is meant to be open and accessible, but that doesn’t necessarily come without a price-tag.

      In other words, open source is a practice that opens up the source (in the case of technology, this is typically the source code) so that others beyond the original creators can develop, expand, and modify the code. Unlike proprietary systems in which you are forbidden to “open the hood” to tinker with the moving parts, open source allows anyone to download the code and then alter it without restriction or fear of punishment.

  • Databases

    • CouchDB Moves to the Cloud With Couchio

      According to its motto, the underlying premise behind the open source CouchDB NoSQL database is about helping developers “relax” — chiefly by providing them with a simple, powerful database alternative.

  • Government

    • European Union lost open source decision C(2006) 7108

      A final version of the decision is not found in the register. In Europe you can file a request for public document access under the regulation EC/1049/2001 and usually get what you ask for. IDABC is now superceded by a new EU programme for interoperability, ISA. Apparently the Commission decision was later updated when the 1.1 version of the European Union Public License was approved. The EUPL is a wise choice for software from the public sector and enterprises as it is the legally best reviewed license for European market jurisdictions, available in all EU languages, it does not contain a political agenda and is compatible to most common licenses such as the GPL.

  • Open Hardware

    • Five Reasons Willow Garage is Going to Succeed

      4. Willow Garage is community first, personal gain second. The whole company is focused on how they can work with the global community to advance the field of robotics as a whole. This is largely expressed in the open source licensing of everything they do, and their insistence that everyone who uses the PR2 follow the same open sharing. Even more than that, it’s apparent in their attitudes. Keenan Wyrobek, Co-Director of Personal Robotics, freely admitted that other groups are working on PR2 like robots, and may soon make them cheaper and perhaps even better. He liked this idea. He wants other groups to innovate, to expand, and to improve the field of robotics. It’s cooperation first, competition later.

  • Programming

    • Dynamic Open Source Languages Head to the Cloud

      According to a poll conducted by analyst firm Redmonk and sponsored by dynamic language vendor ActiveState, over half of the developers surveyed have deployment plans for cloud applications within the next 12 months. Those cloud deployments are likely to be a hybrid of both public and private cloud platforms, according to 37 percent of respondents.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • WebM – The New Open Source Codec on the Block

      In August 2009, Google acquired codec developer On2 Technologies for a rumoured $106 million. The flagship On2 codec was VP8 and it was also rumoured at the time that Google may open source this technology in the future, although a number of challenges lay ahead.

      Late last week this rumour became reality and WebM was born. Alongside Theora and Dirac, WebM now enters the open source HTML 5 ready codec battle. Almost immediately all major web browsers, except one, but including Internet Explorer announced support for the codec. Using the might and muscle of Google WebM must have a solid chance of taking on the dominance of H.264 in the web video delivery battle. This really will be a solid kick in the pants for Theora, which now seems destined to remain a reasonably niche product, even with direct HTML 5 support from Firefox.

    • VLC 1.1.0 Release Candidate supports WebM / VP8

      The VideoLAN Project developers have announced the availability of a release candidate for version 1.1, the next major release, of their popular VLC Media Player. According to the developers, the latest 1.1 branch of VLC is much faster and more stable, thanks in part to a substantial amount of “important code clean-up” and rewrites. VLC is a free open source cross-platform multimedia player for various audio and video formats.

    • Mozilla trying to build VP8 into HTML5 video

      Mozilla is working to incorporate Google’s newly released VP8 video technology as part of the specification for Web video.

      “That’s our hope,” said Mozilla Chief Executive John Lilly when asked if VP8 could be built into the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) specification for Web-based video. “We’d love for VP8 to be specified in the HTML5 standard. Once it’s in the spec, it can really get better traction from other players.”

    • Intel eyes hardware acceleration for Google’s WebM

      Google last week announced the high-definition WebM video file format to deliver high-quality Web video to multiple devices including TV sets and handhelds. WebM files will include video streams compressed with the open-source VP8 video codec, which was acquired by Google when it bought On2 Technologies in February.

      “Just like we did with other codecs like MPEG2, H.264 & VC1, if VP8 establishes itself in the Smart TV space, we will add it to our [hardware] decoders,” said Wilfred Martis, general manager for retail consumer electronics at Intel’s Digital Home Group.

Leftovers

  • UK

    • The EGM debate: BCS v Len Keighley

      The BCS is facing a call for an Extraordinary General Meeting from 50 BCS members. Supporters of the EGM motion, led by former BCS trustee Len Keighley, have listed 20 reasons for suppporting the EGM. In the debate below, the BCS and Len Keighley put forward their arguments for and against the EGM.

    • A search wall for UK Times

      The UK’s Times and Sunday Times are putting up search walls in addition to pay walls.

      The papers, which plan to start charging users for access to their newly redesigned Web sites in late June, will prevent Google and other search engines from linking to their stories.

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • Identity cards scheme will be axed ‘within 100 days’

      The 15,000 people who voluntarily paid £30 for a card since the 2009 roll out in Manchester will not get a refund.

    • New proposal would require identification to buy prepaid cellphones

      A bipartisan pair of Senate leaders have introduced a first-of-its-kind bill aimed at stopping terrorist suspects such as the would-be Times Square bomber from hiding their identities by using prepaid cellphones to plot their attacks.

    • CERT Releases Basic Fuzzing Framework

      Carnegie Mellon University’s CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) has released a basic fuzzing framework to help identify and eliminate security vulnerabilities from software products.

    • 44 Million Stolen Gaming Credentials Uncovered

      In previous blogs, Symantec has highlighted threats that steal user data. We recently analyzed a new sample submitted to Symantec and came across a server hosting the credentials of 44 million stolen gaming accounts. What was interesting about this threat wasn’t just the sheer number of stolen accounts, but that the accounts were being validated by a Trojan distributed to compromised computers. Symantec detects this threat as Trojan.Loginck.

  • Environment

    • Obama defends handling of gulf oil spill

      As BP continued its effort to gain control of its untamed deep-sea well, President Obama announced more restrictions on offshore oil drilling Thursday and insisted his administration is firmly in charge of the response to the spill, now believed to be the largest in U.S. history.

  • Finance

    • Mathematical Logic Finds Unexpected Application on Wall Street

      The monetary advantage of the current strategy is rapidly exhausted after a lifetime of approximately four seconds–an eternity for a machine, but barely enough time for a human to begin to comprehend what happened. The algorithm then switches to another trading strategy of higher ordinal rank, and uses this for a few seconds on one or more electronic exchanges, and so on, while opponent algorithms attempt the same maneuvers, risking billions of dollars in the process.

  • Genetics

    • Prof. Correa in Munich – Jul 19 2010

      In the past decade, an increasing number of patents on plants and animals have been granted, especially in industrialised countries. The negative impacts of these patents on farmers, on breeders and on innovation have became more and more evident during the last years, as has the patents’ contribution to market concentration. There is a growing rejection of these patents by NGOs, farmers’ organizations, breeders and even governments. The conference “Patents on Seeds – The turning point?” shows current trends, highlights the negative impacts of the current patent system. Conference participants will discuss what the necessary changes are and what the possibilities are to effect such changes.

    • Genetically Engineered Bugs Can Smell Blue Light

      Fruit fly larvae made this mistake while participating in a study recently published in Frontiers in Neuroscience Behavior. By adding a light-sensitive protein to certain smell receptors in the larvae, German scientists allowed the genetically engineered bugs to essentially smell light.

  • Copyrights

  • ACTA

    • Tell Your Lawmakers: “Anti-Counterfeiting” Treaty Is a Sham

      ACTA is being negotiated by a handful of countries behind closed doors and is on track to be finished by the end of this year. Despite its potentially far-reaching impact for consumers and the future of the open Internet, the U.S. Trade Representative has claimed that it can shut out Congressional oversight by treating ACTA as a “sole executive agreement” under the President’s executive power, rather than a treaty.

      We can’t sit back and let this fake “anti-counterfeiting” agreement become law! If your congressional representative is on one of the committees below that has oversight over the U.S. Trade Representative, tell your lawmaker not to be fooled by this chicanery and demand that ACTA be limited to addressing international counterfeiting.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – VE – Systems (10/16/2003)


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DecorWhat Else is New


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