05.29.10

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Links 29/5/2010: KTorrent 4.0, GNOME 2.31.2

Posted in News Roundup at 6:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Ballnux

    • A Quick Q ‘n’ A Session with Greg Kroah-Hartman

      Swapnil: Which distribution do you use, and which desktop environment?

      Greg: I use openSUSE as my main distro, with Gentoo still on a few server or ‘tiny’ machines I use for infrastructure. I use SLED for testing new hardware out as part of my job.
      As for the desktop environment, my laptop is now running Moblin. Before that it was running Fluxbox. My main desktop is running GNOME, and I have a test box running KDE to ensure that the FACTORY branch of openSUSE is still working properly.

      [...]

      Swapnil: Although binary-only drivers make life easy for the end user, in your opinion, how good are they?

      Greg: They do not make life easy for end users; they make life harder. My opinion, as well as those of a very large number of Linux kernel contributors, was published last year and can be seen at www.linuxfoundation.org/en/Kernel_Driver_Statement.

    • openSUSE 11.3 Pulls In New Kernel & More

      A new snapshot of openSUSE 11.3 is available, which now puts it at Milestone 7, and means that the first release candidate is near. However, while the release of openSUSE 11.3 is approaching in July, it continues to add in new packages and support.

  • Graphics Stack

    • Open ATI R600/700 Driver Gains Tiling Support

      For those of you not interested in today’s ATI Catalyst 10.5 for Linux driver, if you pull the very latest open-source ATI Radeon Linux graphics driver stack there is now tiling support for the R600/700 (Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 series) graphics processors.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KTorrent 4.0 is out

        KTorrent 4.0 is finally released. This release add some rather interesting features like magnet support and the µTP protocol (bittorrent over UDP).

    • GTK/GNOME Desktop

      • X Input 2 Support Goes Into GTK+ 3.0

        Beyond updates to Clutter, Mutter, GNOME Shell, and various other GNOME applications, there is one very other important change that happened to the GNOME desktop this week. After being around for years, X Input 2 support was finally merged into the GTK+ library for the 3.0 release.

      • GNOME 2.31.2 Released!

        I’m sure you had lost hope. Hope to finally see GNOME 2.31.2. It’s true that it’s one day late, which is unusual. I could say it’s because of an udpated toolchain here, or because some tarballs were missing files, were depending on unreleased version of libraries or didn’t build for another reason. Or because I started a bit late to work on this release. Or because Roland Garros has started. Okay, this last one could be a
        good reason. But no, the real reason is that someone casted a curse on the release team to make sure we’re late. Want a proof? Did you see the 2.31.1 release? See! I told you! We can’t let this happen! So let’s all rock and show the world that we’re much stronger than those little magic things!

  • Distributions

    • The Spring 2010 Linux Distro Scorecard (Part 2)

      Remember, there is no wrong choice. Whatever distro suits you best is the right one for you, so if you’re happy with a distro that didn’t get a high score (or isn’t listed here) that’s OK. It’s impossible to objectively say “this distribution is the best one, period.” The goal here is to set out a roadmap for new Linux users or experienced Linux users that may not be fully happy with their current distro.

    • New Releases

      • Announcing Billix 0.27 and… SuperBillix 0.27!

        Billix debuted in the August 2008 issue of Linux Journal, and it’s gone thru incremental updates since then. I’ve tried to keep it on the same track as Ubuntu updates, more-or-less, though I’ve had varying levels of success with that. However, Billix 0.27 released only a few days after Ubuntu 10.04LTS did. As usual, Billix fits easily on a 256MB USB key or higher, and is available from the usual spot (http://sourceforge.net/projects/billix).

        Billix 0.27 consists of:

        * Ubuntu 10.04LTS (Lucid Lynx) netinstall
        * Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) netinstall
        * Ubuntu 8.04LTS (Hardy Heron) netinstall
        * Damn Small Linux 4.2.5
        * Fedora 12 netinstall
        * Centos 5.4 netinstall
        * Centos 4.8 netinstall
        * Debian Squeeze netinstall
        * Debian Lenny netinstall
        * Memtest86+ Memory Tester
        * Windows Password Cracker
        * DBAN disk wiping tool

    • Red Hat Family

      • Spreading the dandelions: Open Your World recap

        Thank you to all who joined us for the first Open Your World forum yesterday, and a special thanks to our speakers. We hope you all learned something new to apply to your lives.

        If you weren’t able to join us, or if you’d like to see a session again, you can listen to any of the session recordings. We’ve also added the PDFs of the presentation slides below as attachments to this post. We’ll also be posting a few followup articles related to some of the presentations.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Rethinking the Ubuntu Developer Summit

        At around this point, UDS had become too big, and had too many constraints, to plan on the fly (unconference style). We resolved to plan more in advance, and agree on the scheduling constraints ahead of time. We divided the event into tracks, and placed each track in its own room. Most participants could stay in one place throughout the day, taking part in a series of related meetings except where they were specifically needed in an adjacent track. We created the schedule through a combination of manual and automatic methods, so that scheduling constraints could be checked quickly, but a human could decide how to resolve conflicts. There was time to review the schedule before the start of the event, to identify and fix problems. Revisions to the schedule during the event were fewer and less painful. We added keynote presentations, to provide opportunities to communicate important information to everyone, and ease back into meetings after lunch. Everyone was still exhausted and/or ill, and tiredness took its toll on the quality of discussion, particularly toward the end of the week.

      • New research reveals troubling security issues for iPhones

        Though Apple has added additional data security features to the iPhone with every iteration of the OS—including encrypting files on-device for the iPhone 3GS—vulnerabilities still exist. These issues are of particular concern to enterprise users, since sensitive corporate data may exist on any given employee’s mobile device. A new vulnerability revealed by security researcher Bernd Marienfeldt, however, shows that all someone needs to get at that data is the latest version of Ubuntu.

      • Linux Mint 9 Vs Ubuntu 10.04
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tablets

      • Android tablet army starts to form

        The Android tablets are coming and this time Apple won’t have a big head start. Will value tablets sell?

        Dell’s Streak (top right), a 5-inch tablet powered by Android, launched Tuesday in the U.K. and the device will come to the U.S. later in the summer. The Streak has integration with the Android market and a few other goodies that may attract buyers, according to Dell.

        Meanwhile, Pandigital has its Novel, another Android-powered device. The Novel (bottom right) is a 7-inch touchscreen device also powered by Android. Joel Evans calls the Novel a poor man’s iPad at $199.

      • Declarations of OS Independence

        Dell and HP have recently made very strong declarations of OS independence from Microsoft. Take HP first.

        [...]

        At the sametime Dell has committed to the Android OS for both its Streak tablet and its lineup of new mobile phones. In sum, both vendors a)cant wait for Microsoft to get its mobile act together and b)the appeals of the customizing advantage of Android or self-owned webOS are too big to ignore.

    • One Tablet Per Child/OLPC

      • One Tablet Per Child?

        Judging from early mock-ups of the Moby—which will be available this fall, according to Marvell—the device will resemble a somewhat chunky iPad, right down to the single “home” button on the bezel. Marvell hasn’t announced the device’s full specs, but says the tablet will include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM, and GPS radios and will support “multiple software standards including full Adobe Flash, Android, Windows Mobile, and Ubuntu.” (Ubuntu is a variant of Linux.) Like the iPad, the Moby is expected to have a long battery life compared to a laptop, but unlike the iPad, it will have a built-in camera for photography and video conferencing. Marvell also says the device’s virtual keyboard will provide “touch feedback,” although it hasn’t specified how this will work.

      • OLPC and Marvell Team Up on $99 XO Tablet Project

        OLPC hopes to have this tablet run on only one watt of power (the current XO consumes 5W). It is unclear what kind of battery life this will allow, but it should be long, if not very long. As for how much it will cost, the target point is a fairly attractive $99.

      • Marvell and OLPC design $75 tablet

Free Software/Open Source

  • Colonyzer: automated quantification of micro-organism growth characteristics on solid agar

    Colonyzer was developed using the open source packages: Python, RPy and the Python Imaging Library and its source code and documentation are available on SourceForge under GNU General Public License. Colonyzer is adaptable to suit specific requirements: e.g.

    automatic detection of cultures at irregular locations on streaked plates for robotic picking, or decreasing analysis time by disabling components such as lighting correction or colour measures.

  • Antelink joins FOSSBazaar

    I’m very pleased to annouce that Antelink, the INRIA’spinoff I lead and cofound with Stépane Bagnier, joins FOSSBazaar community.

  • Databases

    • VoltDB launches Next-Generation Open-Source OLTP DBMS

      VoltDB is available immediately from www.voltdb.com. The open-source Community Edition is licensed under the GPL and is available for free. Pricing for annual subscriptions starts at $15,000 per year for a 4-server configuration. Visit this link for detailed VoltDB pricing.

  • Open Data

Leftovers

  • Federal Circuit Rules Patent Lawyers Filed Frivolous Claims

    A federal appeals court has ruled that former patent boutique lawyers now working at Philadelphia-based Woodcock Washburn crossed into frivolous territory in pursuing an inventor’s lawsuit. But whether the lower court’s sanctions against their old firm will stick remains uncertain.

  • Fla. Bankruptcy Trustee Quits With More Than $1 Million Missing, Sources Say

    Another South Florida receiver trusted by judges for years to oversee bankruptcies resigned from hundreds of cases after the U.S. Trustee’s Office determined more than $1 million was missing from accounts under her control, sources told the Daily Business Review.

  • Science

    • When science clashes with beliefs? Make science impotent

      It’s hardly a secret that large segments of the population choose not to accept scientific data because it conflicts with their predefined beliefs: economic, political, religious, or otherwise. But many studies have indicated that these same people aren’t happy with viewing themselves as anti-science, which can create a state of cognitive dissonance. That has left psychologists pondering the methods that these people use to rationalize the conflict.

      A study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology takes a look at one of these methods, which the authors term “scientific impotence”—the decision that science can’t actually address the issue at hand properly. It finds evidence that not only supports the scientific impotence model, but suggests that it could be contagious. Once a subject has decided that a given topic is off limits to science, they tend to start applying the same logic to other issues.

      The paper is worth reading for the introduction alone, which sets up the problem of science acceptance within the context of persuasive arguments and belief systems. There’s a significant amount of literature that considers how people resist persuasion, and at least seven different strategies have been identified. But the author, Towson University’s Geoffrey Munro, attempts to carve out an exceptional place for scientific information. “Belief-contradicting scientific information may elicit different resistance processes than belief-contradicting information of a nonscientific nature,” he argues. “Source derogation, for example, might be less effective in response to scientific than nonscientific information.”

    • Wave-powered desalination pump permitted in Gulf

      The waters of the Gulf of Mexico will see a novel offshore platform later this year, one that will use wave power to desalinate water.

      Independent Natural Resources, which makes the Seadog water pump, on Wednesday said that it has received a permit for a wave power generation facility off the coast of Freeport, Texas. The company says it’s the first to receive a “section 10 permit” from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to operate a wave generator in the U.S.

  • Environment

    • Report: “Junk shot” fails to plug leak in Gulf

      Videos and stills posted by Pas au-Delà appear to show spectacular events going on in the operation to cut off the flow of oily gunge in the gulf — possibly a ‘junk shot,’ where rubber and other materials are forced into the failed blowout preventer in an attempt to plug it.

  • Finance

    • Is The SEC Still Working For Wall Street?

      The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under Mary Shapiro is trying to escape a difficult legacy – over the past two decades, the once proud agency was effectively captured by the very Wall Street firms it was supposed to regulate.

      The SEC’s case against Goldman Sachs may mark a return to a more effective role; certainly bringing a case against Goldman took some guts. But it is entirely possible that the Goldman matter is a one off that lacks broader implications. And in this context the SEC’s handling of concerns about “high frequency trading” (HFT) – following the May 6 “flash crash”, when the stock market essentially shut down or rebooted for 20 minutes – is most disconcerting. (See yesterday’s speech by Senator Ted Kaufman on this exact issue; short summary.)

      Regulatory capture begins when the regulator starts to see the world only through the eyes of the regulated. Rather than taking on board views that are critical of existing arrangements, tame regulators talk only to proponents of the status quo (or people who want even more deregulation). This seems to be what is happening with regard to HFT.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • EU seeks privacy enforcement rights in US courts through diplomatic agreement

      Yesterday, the Chairman of the European multi-national group of ministers overseeing online privacy policy enforcement, Jacob Kohnstamm of the Article 29 Working Party (WP29), sent letters to the CEOs of Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo, urging them to alter their personal data retention policies in keeping with new EU standards. Kohnstamm wants their search engines to destroy personal data after six months’ retention rather than nine, as is Google’s current policy; and he simultaneously urged European Commission Vice President Viviane Reding for help getting that message across.

  • Copyrights

    • Words in Copyright Act vs Time

      I have run some numbers on how the size of the (Australian) Copyright Act has changed over the past century or so. With one exception, these numbers were generated automatically from electronic versions of the legislation. Before counting the words I stripped out the table of contents and everything from “The Schedule” on. This is because a bigger Act automatically means a larger table of contents and an older Act means more notes about when sections came into force, were repealed etc. The one exception is the Copyright Act of 1905, a word count for which was estimated by manually counting words on 3 pages, generating an average per page and multiplying by the number of pages. There are a couple of versions of the Act from between 1905 and the 1970s which are not plotted (as I don’t have access to a full copy of them) but everything I could find from 1970 on is there.

    • Solicitor General Kagan did a good job in Cartoon Networks v. CSC Holdings case

      Those considering President Obama’s nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court should remember that she did an excellent job on the brief in Cartoon Networks v. CSC Holdings, where she took positions directly contrary to those being taken by the Jenner & Block law firm, whose pro-MPAA pro-RIAA partners occupy very high positions in the Obama administration’s Department of Justice.

    • ‘Hurt Locker’ downloaders, you’ve been sued

      Producers of Oscar-winning film “The Hurt Locker” have made good on a promise to file copyright lawsuits against people who have illegally downloaded the movie via file-sharing networks.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – BHFSTE – Healthy Bones (11/20/2003)


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