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06.01.10

Links 1/6/2010: Salix Live 13.0 and Parsix GNU/Linux 3.5r0 Are Out

Posted in News Roundup at 2:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Telstra’s Linux-based T-Box to launch mid-June

    Telstra today revealed it would launch its Linux-based T-Box integrated media centre set-top box from mid-June at a stand-alone price point of $299, with a sledload of free and pay-per-view content available and an associated revamp of its broadband plans in the works.

  • Desktop

    • The Big Question

      Rob Pregoraro at the Washington Post asks the question, “How can an operating system with those virtues, the open-source Linux, remain confined to a tiny minority of desktop and laptop computers at home? “. He’s missed the mark. GNU/Linux is not confined to a tiny minority of computers at home. It may be in the USA but globally, GNU/Linux is on about 10% of PCs. We know that because Ballmer told us and that was a while ago. 30% of netbooks run GNU/Linux and almost all ARMed devices do not run that other OS.You can buy “no OS” and GNU/Linux PCs from most OEMs and some retail outfits.

    • Firebird download statistics : Top Country : #Brazil , Top OS: #Linux

      The new download stats interface from sourceforge.net geeknet shows what are the countries from where firebird is most downloaded and what operating system is used to download it and the most unexpected thing is that Linux is in the Top

    • Zonbu Desktop Mini Review

      The $249 Community version is a much easier sell: a low-power PC that could easily run your audio collection into your stereo, has more than enough power for homework or basic image editing, and is unlocked so you can load anything you want on it via Gentoo’s package manager. There are definitely things you won’t want to do on a Zonbu (editing video comes to mind), but for most things, you’ve got more than enough machine here.

    • Crashes and Blue Screens are Normal and a Processor Fan has a Lifetime of 1 year — Everyday Support Hotline Fun and the Intel Dynamic Acceleration Technology

      But I don’t want to bore you any further with a story that probably happens everywhere to everyone and all the time in the daily Windows world… While hardware problems occur in Linux just as well, at least the people you talk to about them don’t treat you like an idiot but really know their stuff.

  • Schools

    • How to Sell Linux to Schools

      In my earlier post ‘How to Sell Linux’ I looked at three different ways how to popularize Linux and make it more mainstream as well as a household name. In the post I will look specifically at how I would sell Linux to schools, examining all the aspects of such a deployment and how I would do it and what distro and software I would use.

      Here is the order I will look at things in this post-:

      1. What Distro would be used?
      2. What Software would be pre-installed?
      3. What would be the Incentive?
      4. How Cost Effective would it be?
      5. How quickly could new users Adapt?
      6. Poll and Conclusion

    • How to Sell Linux to Schools- Part 2

      Building on the last post, I welcome the opportunity to share some of my experiences with deploying Linux in schools. It is a very broad topic however I will stay with the previous outline. First of all, it is a matter of migrating schools to Linux, not selling them. Second, the approach is different based on whether the school in located in a developing country, the EU or North America.

      Before I speak to the suggested list of considerations, which I have reordered based on feedback from my deployments and numerous other sources,I want to say that’ the single most factor for any migration plan to be successful is to is to manage the ‘human factor’ of resistance to change. Effective training and support are critical while technical and functional problems are marginal’ This is where FUD (fear, uncertainty & doubt) comes into play and is heavily leveraged by proponents of proprietary software.

      1. What would be the Incentive?
      2. How Cost Effective would it be?
      3. How quickly could new users Adapt?
      4. What Software would be pre-installed?
      5. What Distro would be used?

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Free Training Webinar Series – Linux Foundation

      Linux Foundation has launched a series of free Training Webinars to meet Growing Demand for Linux Professionals. These webinars are taught by well-known Linux developers directly building on their own experience.

    • Intel’s X.Org Driver Runs Even Faster Now

      A week ago we reported that Intel’s next X.Org driver (the xf86-video-intel 2.12 DDX) would render text/glyphs faster thanks to optimizations done by Chris Wilson, but this was not all that was in store for this Intel Linux driver that’s updated quarterly. With the most recent Git, there are more performance optimizations.

  • Applications

    • Desktop Facebook Notifier for Ubuntu
    • Lightspark 0.4.0 released

      Just a quick update. I’ve released ver­sion 0.4.0 of Lightspark, a free flash player imple­men­ta­tion. This release was focused on improv­ing sta­bil­ity, so all the crashes found by many testers should be fixed now. Thanks a lot for test­ing, sev­eral issues were related to par­tic­u­lar graph­ics hard­ware and I would have never found them with­out your col­lab­o­ra­tion. Please keep test­ing and report­ing any issue.

    • 9 of the Best Free Linux Terminal Emulators

      Now, let’s explore the 9 terminal emulators at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, a screenshot of the software in action, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.

    • wisotool 20100530 has been released

      Wisotool currently supports 60 games and/or benchmarks (see list below). Please consider contributing support for your favorite game, its not (too) hard. Im especially interested in recent or beta games; ideally wisotool would support (worthwhile) games on the day they are released.

  • Instructionals

  • Desktop Environments

    • Icons and the FOSS desktop

      In fact, modern applications, proprietary and FOSS alike, seem to me explicit admissions that icons do not work very well. Many applications provide mouseover help to help users identify the icons. The KDE desktop goes one step further, offering thumbnails to help you see what each icon does or contains. If icons worked the way they are supposed to, then why would these supporting structures even exist?

    • New In KDE Partition Manager 1.1 (IV): Improved Size Dialog

      This concludes part four in a sequence of entries presenting some of the new features of the soon-to-be-finished KDE Partition Manager 1.1. Part one was about Mount Management, part two dealt with SMART Status Reports and part three offered a very technical look behind the scenes on the topic of Support For 4096-Byte Sectors.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Salix Live 13.0

        Salix is a Linux distribution based on Slackware that is simple, fast and easy to use. Salix is also fully backwards compatible with Slackware, so Slackware users can benefit from Salix repositories, which they can use as an “extra” quality source of software for their favorite distribution. Like a bonsai, Salix is small, light & the product of infinite care.

    • Red Hat Family

      • On Teaching Open Source Development

        DeKoenigsberg is probably better known–for now–by his last job title: Senior Community Architect at Red Hat. It was more from this experience that he addressed the OSS 2010 audience on Open Source Projects, Educational Opportunities.

        DeKoenigsberg told the attendees of educators, researchers, and students that academic institutions are missing a real opportunity for instruction if they aren’t teaching with open source software. For one thing, working on a 5,000-line senior capstone project nowhere near conveys the sheer scale and complexity of a million-line project. And an open source project is the only kind of project a student developer could even get near something that big.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat” Code Freeze In Place, Alpha 1 Coming Thursday

        Barely a few weeks after Canonical released Ubuntu 10.04 aka Lucid Lynx, they already announced plans for Ubuntu 10.10 aka Maverick Meerkat, with a release schedule aimed to launch Meerkat in October 2010.

      • Ubuntu Fun

        So I also installed the Ubuntu Netbook Remix on the Toshiba Netbook we have. Used Wubi as before. It was very slow (10+ minutes) on bootup however. Luckily the internet is full of information and a few minutes of googling produced this forum thread that had me change a setting in the BIOS. Now it boots quickly. There’s another page on How-To Geek about doing this install.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter #195

        Welcome to The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter. This is Issue #195 for the week of May 23rd -May 29th, 2010 and is available here.

        In this issue we cover:

        * Track the Desktop Team and UNE in Maverick
        * Ubuntu Server update for Maverick Meerkat
        * Ubuntu Foundations and Maverick Meerkat 10.10
        * Maverick Community Team Plans

      • Full Circle Side-Pod #1: Hello World… Where Am I?
      • A Sleek & Easy Way To Administer Ubuntu – Ubuntu Control Center

        As you know, Ubuntu and Linux are hugely configurable. Find some spare time and you can customize anything starting from the boot up messages to the gradients used on the buttons and the scroll bars. While one might not attempt such extreme feats very often, administration and configuration are standard tasks that you might perform every now and then.

      • Ubuntu enchancements expected by 10.10

        In recent Linux related news I have been reading about the Ubuntu Control Center (UCC) and the Ubuntu Application Menu (Global Menu). The projects looked extremely interesting so I decided to install them and give them a try. Note that directions for download and installation are provided in the links above.

      • Variants

        • Parsix GNU/Linux 3.5r0 ‘Frankie’

          Parsix team is proud to announce that the final Parsix GNU/Linux 3.5r0 ISO images are available for immediate download.

          This release provides a stable computing platform for your daily uses and tasks. Package repositories are synchronized with Debian testing repositories as of April 7, 2010. Frankie ISO images will not fit on CD and a DVD is required to burn them. These images are compiled using SquashFS 4.0 with LZMA compression and for the first time GRUB 2 is used as default Live-DVD boot loader. The kernel build system has been modified and improved vastly to produce better kernel packages.

        • Teach your kids Linux from an early age with Qimo linux for kids

          Qimo is a desktop operating system designed for kids. Based on the open source Ubuntu Linux desktop, Qimo comes pre-installed with educational games for children aged 3 and up. So If you want to teach your children to use Linux from an early age, Qimo is the perfect for your kids.

          Qimo’s interface has been designed to be intuitive and easy to use, providing large icons for all installed games, so that even the youngest users have no trouble selecting the activity they want.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • ubuntu jewelry
    • Nokia

      • Despite Intel backing, MeeGo Linux to support ARM chips

        MeeGo Linux is being developed as a platform for smartphones, netbooks, internet connected TVs, in-car systems, and other devices where Windows may not always be the best option. The project is backed by chip-maker Intel and smartphone maker Nokia. And so far, every device I’ve seen running MeeGo has had an Intel chip — usually a low power Intel Atom processor.

        But in an interview with The Inquirer, Nokia vice president Alberto Torres explained that MeeGo is an open platform and that it will be available for device makers to use on a wide variety of hardware. In fact, Nokia’s first MeeGo device will have an ARM-based chip rather than an Intel x86 processor.

      • N900 Video Call with Skype

        If you have graced my page before then odds are you know I love my N900. This past Wednesday Nokia released the PR 1.2 update for the N900 and one of the features they added was support for the front facing camera to make video calls via the VOIP services Skype and Google Talk. I made my first video call this evening on my N900 and it works quite well!

    • Android

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Asus launches netbook app store, drops Linux netbook hints

        The Asus App Store is basically a branded version of the Intel AppUp Center. It’s designed as a place where netbook users can go to find software that’s guaranteed to work well on devices with Intel Atom processors and small screens. Asus will preload the App Store software on all Windows netbooks starting in the second half of 2010.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source marks a new era for African independence

    This year marks the 50th anniversary of 17 African states gaining independence.

    Now, a wave of homegrown programmers, developers and software makers claim to be heralding a new era of African independence.

    Earlier this month, the Idlelo conference, organised by the Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA), brought together the continent’s cleverest coding minds at Accra, in Ghana, to discuss new software opportunities in Africa.

    Unlike the bigger, foreign developers – who have mainly targeted the urban markets – the coders at this event looked at how to reach the rural, relatively poorer communities of Africa.

  • Oracle

    • Will Opensolaris 2010.06 be the next release?

      But wait. Today I just found in [osol-discuss] forums that Opensolaris 2010.06 will be expected to release on June 2010. The release date has not been stated yet but it is expected to be announced shortly after Oracle announces Fiscal Year results, which means in a couple of days or so.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Fellowship interview with David Reyes Samblas Martinez

      David Reyes Samblas Martinez is the founder of Spanish Copyleft Hardware store Tuxbrain, and attended the famous Open University of Catalunya. He’s also the subject of this month’s Fellowship interview, in which he answers questions on hardware manufacturing, e-learning and Free Software politics.

  • Openness

    • Chronicling the open source movement – one person at a time

      Whether open source is a license, a community or more is debatable, but what’s not is that none of it would be possible without the people behind it.

      Anyone who knows Linux knows the name Linus Torvalds. Free Software? Richard Stallman. Open Source Initiative? Eric Steven Raymond.

      There are many, many more names. Some well-known to people in the open source community, others who toil in relative anonymity.

      That’s why I liked the appeal for funding for Signal Boost: A Free/Open Source Narrative, on Kickstarter.

      [...]

      A young woman, M.J. de Blanc, has picked up and moved to Boston to write a book. It’s the story of open source, but as she notes in her explainer video, not about FLOSS – it’s about FLOS, Free Libre Open Source. She left off the second S – software – for a simple reason: She wants to write about the people, not the programs.

  • Open Data

    • Analysis: this government is open to scrutiny

      Yet as new technologies have made it possible for governments to make information more accessible to the public, governments have become increasingly creative in inventing excuses to keep it hidden.

    • Open Data: Fantastic, But Not Enough

      In an unusual move for such a significant news item, the UK government announced over the weekend that they were ordering all government departments to embark on a voyage of transparency.

      There were some very good ideas in the announcement, including a mandate to publish details of all ITC procurements. And there is no doubt that a mandate for open data is a fantastic move.

Leftovers

  • When Google locked the door

    This is the story of how Google, for a period of three years, locked me out of their groups service, how I eventually found my way back in, and what it cost me.

    Yeah, I guess this is a bit off topic regarding to software development. However these days many of us store important data and value in services like Google’s. Services with terms like: “Google may stop providing the Services to you at Google’s sole discretion, without prior notice to you”. I guess I never took it too seriously, as the companies would probably get seriously bad PR, if they did something like that. Deleting emails for billions. My error was forgetting the case where you are the only person being locked out.

    I my case the lock wasn’t from email, but from Google Groups. Not as critical as email would have been, but still, well, rather inconvenient. The lockout meant that I was unable to manage the PyChess mailing list. I was unable to fight the, at that time, increasing spam level; and more importantly I couldn’t reply anybody in my community.

  • Science

    • Solar Scientists Agree That the Sun’s Recent Behavior Is Odd, but the Explanation Remains Elusive

      In very rough terms, the sun’s activity ebbs and flows in an 11-year cycle, with flares, coronal mass ejections and other energetic phenomena peaking at what is called solar maximum and bottoming out at solar minimum. Sunspots, markers of magnetic activity on the sun’s surface, provide a visual proxy to mark the cycle’s evolution, appearing in droves at maximum and all but disappearing at minimum. But the behavior of our host star is not as predictable as all that—the most recent solar minimum was surprisingly deep and long, finally bottoming out around late 2008 or so.

    • Breakthrough in Stem Cell Culturing

      For the first time, human embryonic stem cells have been cultured under chemically controlled conditions without the use of animal substances, which is essential for future clinical uses. The method has been developed by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and is presented in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

  • Environment

    • China-India Water Shortage Means Coca-Cola Joins Intel in Fight

      A fight breaks out as student Vikas Dagar jostles with dozens of men, women and children to fill buckets from a truck that brings water twice a week to the village of Jharoda Kalan on the outskirts of New Delhi.

      Three thousand kilometers (1,900 miles) away, near Xi’an in central China, power-plant worker Zhou Jie stands on the mostly dry bed of the Wei River, remembering when he used to fish there before pollution made the catch inedible.

    • Documents Show Early Worries About Safety of Rig

      Internal documents from BP show that there were serious problems and safety concerns with the Deepwater Horizon rig far earlier than those the company described to Congress last week.

    • ‘Top kill’ operation fails: BP
    • Gulf oil spill is public health risk, environmental scientists warn

      Prolonged exposure to crude oil and chemical dispersants is a public health danger, environmental scientists warned yesterday as BP spent a third day trying to initiate a “top kill” operation to cap the ruptured well on the sea bed.

    • BP’s ‘top kill’ mission halts the oil gush – but is it stable?

      A delicate “top kill” operation by BP appears to have halted the gush of oil and gas from its ruptured Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, although experts warned that the underwater leak was still far from being permanently fixed.

    • Gulf Oil Leaks Could Gush for Years

      If efforts fail to cap the leaking Deepwater Horizon wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico (map), oil could gush for years—poisoning coastal habitats for decades, experts say.

    • BP clashes with scientists over deep sea oil pollution

      BP has challenged widespread scientific claims that vast plumes of oil are spreading underwater from its blown-out rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The denial comes as the oil giant prepares for a new operation to put an end to the worst oil spill in US history – which could see the leak get worse before it gets better.

      The company’s challenge to several scientific studies is likely to put it further at odds with an increasingly angry Obama administration, which has accused it of playing down the size of the leak in an effort to limit possible fines.

    • Nuclear arms treaty agreed with hope for deal on Middle East

      The 189 member nations of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) last night struck a deal on a series of small steps towards disarmament, including a 2012 conference to discuss a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East.

    • Maldives president calls for direct action over climate change

      A 1960s-style campaign of direct action must ignite on the streets as a catalyst for decisive action to combat climate change, according to President Mohamed Nasheed of the imperilled Maldives. Nasheed told the Hay festival that it was the United States, not China, that was the biggest obstacle to a global agreement to check carbon emissions.

      Nasheed, who held an underwater meeting of his cabinet last autumn and is presiding over the relocation of people from some islands because of the effects of warming oceans and rising sea levels, put his hopes in the emergence of “huge” grassroots action after the failure of talks in Copenhagen in December.

  • Finance

    • Feds: Man’s global Ponzi scheme ‘massive,’ mocking

      A Canadian national who the U.S. government says swindled $70 million from 40,000 investors on six continents carried out the same kind of Ponzi scheme the one-time bank robber mocked on his website, federal investigators allege.

    • Can the EU survive Europe’s crisis?

      Forged out of the ashes of World War II and the end of the Cold War, the European Union was meant to create peace and prosperity across the region. But Europe’s debt crisis has laid bare deep financial and cultural divisions within the 27-nation bloc that may never be bridged.

      The fateful decision to make the EU effectively a halfway house – tying its member countries into a joint currency and interest rate decisions, while allowing them to retain control over national budgets and taxes – has left the fractured grouping at a crossroads.

    • Blacks in Memphis Lose Decades of Economic Gains

      A single father, he worked for FedEx and also as a custodian, built a handsome brick home, had a retirement account and put his eldest daughter through college.

      Then the Great Recession rolled in like a fog bank. He refinanced his mortgage at a rate that adjusted sharply upward, and afterward he lost one of his jobs. Now Mr. Banks faces bankruptcy and foreclosure.

    • Debt-induced stress continues for many Americans

      The economy trudges ahead yet debt dogs many Americans, stressing them out even as they firm up their own financial foundations.

      There are new jobs produced but old worries persisting for people despite belt-tightening and boosted savings, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll.

    • 3,000 Pages of Financial Reform, but Still Not Enough

      FOR decades, until Congress did away with it 11 years ago, a Depression-era law known as Glass-Steagall ably protected bank customers, individual investors and the financial system as a whole from the kind of outright destruction we’ve witnessed over the last few years.

    • Shorting Reform
    • More of Michael Lewis on Bank Reform
    • The Consensus on Big Banks Shifts, But Not at Treasury
    • Cuomo’s HUD career under scrutiny
    • Grandma Lehman Sues Big Bad Wolf JPMorgan

      The complaint begins by explaining the relationships between Lehman and JPMorgan. Lehman was a full-service stock broker. JPMorgan provided clearing services for Lehman’s securities business. JPMorgan was the lead lender and administrator on a $2 billion unsecured revolving line of credit. Lehman also had a large derivatives portfolio with Jamie Dimon’s bank.

    • The SEC and the Python
  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • German Publishers Want Censorship Talks With Apple

      While the magazine publishers may rightly be concerned about private control of a platform that many of them are counting on for their long-term salvation, the German state is at the very least ambivalent about the subject of censorship. This is the country that has banned Wikileaks, sought a ban on violent games, and voted to censor child porn (only to have the president kill the ban as unconstituitonal).

    • Bangladesh ‘blocks Facebook’ over political cartoons

      Bangladesh has blocked access to Facebook after satirical images of the prophet Muhammad and the country’s leaders were uploaded, say reports.

    • Pakistan & Facebook are friends again

      Pakistan lifted a ban on Facebook on Monday after officials from the social networking site apologized for a page deemed offensive to Muslims and removed its contents, a top information technology official said.

  • Copyrights

    • Ofcom unveils anti-piracy policy

      Lists of Britons who infringe copyright are to be drawn up by the UK’s biggest ISPs, under proposals from the regulator Ofcom.

    • Copyright: consumer versus artists

      This week Ottawa will try once again to update Canada’s copyright law that Industry Minister Tony Clement says has holes big enough to “drive a Mack truck through.”

      The Copyright Act of Canada has not had a significant rewrite since 1988, at a time when the Internet was still in its infancy and an iPad was just a twinkle in some inventor’s eye.

      The trick — one the Conservatives and Liberals before them couldn’t master — is to find a balance between right of consumers’ and the rights of the artists or creators to not have their work ripped off.

    • Sneak Peek at Canada’s New Copyright Bill

      Media reports last week indicated that the government plans to introduce its long-awaited copyright reform bill within the next few days. The bill is sure to spark widespread debate since all Canadians — whether consumers, creators, businesses, or educators — have a significant stake in the outcome.

      The internal dynamics that led to the bill are by now fairly well known. Industry Minister Tony Clement, emboldened by last summer’s copyright consultation that generated unprecedented public participation, argued for a forward-looking, technology neutral bill with flexibility as a core principle. Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore advocated for a U.S.-style protectionist approach, with priority given to digital locks that can be used to limit copying, access, and marketplace competition.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – VT – Parallax (3/18/2004)


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