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06.15.10

Links 15/6/2010: Chrome OS Partners, Red Hat Fastest Growing OS

Posted in News Roundup at 3:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Column: Linux Is Winning

    Linux doesn’t have a CEO. Consequently, there’s no annual keynote hosted by a charismatic alpha male. But if it did, and if there were a conference covering the first half of this year, the first speech would start with three words: ‘Linux is winning’.

  • The Linux Desktop isn’t Dead, it’s Pining

    I know it sounds crazy but the Linux Desktop isn’t dead, it’s just pining. It’s pining for the correct platform–a tablet computer. And, I’m not referring to some cheap imitation tablet that will merely satisfy a few observers and nerdlets who use Linux. I’m thinking of a tablet computer for hardcore Linux moguls. You know, the kind of Linux person who is so into Linux that he tries to carry an egg on his feet through the winter. The kind of Linux fan who carries a wallet-sized photo of Linus Torvalds in her wallet. Linux pines for a true tablet platform that will do Linux justice and vice versa. Does one exist? Not yet.

  • 10 People Who Should Use Linux

    I’ve been thinking lately that there are actually certain types of people out there that should be using Linux instead of Windows.
    Types of people who should be using Linux

    Geeks and people who enjoy tinkering with computers

    If you enjoy psychically building computers, chances are you’ll like tinkering with the operating system once your machine is running. There is no better operating system to tinker with than Linux.

    People who want easy security

    [...]

  • Who uses Linux?

    Finally, I realized that many mobile devices (cellphones, MP4s, etc.) and gaming consoles ALSO run Linux.

  • How Can Linux Out-’Fabulous’ Apple?

    As a result, “Linux needs to more effectively compete with Steve Jobs and the magic of Apple,” Zemlin added. “It’s important that open-source products add more value for users than simply being free. Open-source software also needs to be fabulous.”

    Funny that Mark Shuttleworth was making similar comments about the desktop back in 2008!

  • Desktop

    • ZaReason Verix Notebook
    • Raydesk 3.0: Revolution in Virtual Desktops

      Stickfish, a leading specialist in VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) technologies, introduces a new version of the multiplatform virtual desktop environment, Raydesk. It brings improvements in system functionality and a significantly better user experience. One of the new functions is, for example, the Menu Driven Desktop which enables users to drag & drop menu items to the desktop or to a designated area on the panel.

    • Linux Against Poverty 2010 – Making a Difference

      This year, Lynn Bender; the organizer of Linux Against Poverty has arranged for some pretty cool prizes to be raffled off to equipment donors. First prize is a pass to next year’s SXSW Interactive event. Make sure you or your company registers for the drawing….

  • Server

    • TurnKey Linux Make Launching Open Source Appliances in the Cloud Easy

      The open source project TurnKey Linux has launched a private beta of the TurnKey Hub, a service that makes it easy to launch and manage the project’s Ubuntu-based virtual appliances in the Amazon EC2 cloud.

      There are currently about 40 software bundles in Turkey Linux’s virtual library, including Joomla, WordPress, and Moodle. According to TurnKey Linux, these virtual appliances are optimized for easy deployment and maintenance. And as the name implies, launching an instance with one of the virtual appliances is very simple. Custom passwords and authentication, as well as automatic setup for EBS devices and Elastic IPs, are part of the setup process.

  • Audiocasts

    • Hacking with Open Source

      In this podcast Mitchell Ashley and Alan Shimel are joined by Mike Murray and Aaron Cohen, of The Hacker Academy. The Hacker Academy is a continuing information security training and education program fostering a community of security professionals interested in keeping their skill sets up to date.

  • Google

    • Are Dell, Acer, And HP The First Chrome OS Partners?

      Acer has long been wrapped up in rumor surrounding the forthcoming wave of Chrome OS tablets that are to be released this year. Recently implicated Dell and HP might just round off the first hardware partners that Google is planning to work with.

      On the Chromium OS website, files were found that pointed to those three companies already having specific configurations for the operating system in place to allow for coding to meet those specifications. It could be nothing more than corporations covering their bases to allow for possible future work, but at the same time, this is just too much together to write it off as complete happenstance.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat claims fastest growing OS

        Red Hat General Manager Max McLaren has told IT Brief that the company has the fastest growing operating system in the world.

        “We are the fastest growing operating system in the world today,” he said during a recent company update.

      • The open-source entrepreneur

        Bob Young is a self-confessed contrarian with a strong desire to change the world by allowing people to share and collaborate. The approach has served him well and has helped turn the Canadian into a multi-millionaire.

        From the outset, his software company Red Hat bucked the trend set by the big players like Microsoft which stubbornly guarded every line of code and charged whopping fees to maintain it.

      • There may never be another Red Hat but that is OK

        When you put it that way Red Hat’s success becomes even more remarkable. No one has to pay an open source software company for its code. If a pure open source company is only one that depends on voluntary code payments for its bread, then getting $800 million of such payments a year is pretty amazing.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – June 14th, 2010

        Welcome to this year’s fifth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:

        * Debian Community Poll
        * Automatic installation of hardware-specific packages
        * Desktop artwork and themes for Debian “Squeeze”
        * Debian Installer string freeze coming up
        * Provisional list of talks for DebConf10
        * License usage in Debian

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • New priorities for Ubuntu?

          It’s not just UbuntuOne, it’s the new SocialMe desktop, the switching window buttons, the ever-changing selection of default applications. Each new release of Ubuntu brings with it new tools, new ways of doing things and new challenges.

          Change is necessary and one of the things I most value about Ubuntu is the ever-present push to innovate. UbuntuOne, SocialMe and others are great examples of how Ubuntu is innovating.

          The thing is that as Ubuntu grows it begins to attract new users, and the quickest way to alienate new users is to make it hard for them to do what they want to do. Or worse, promise something but not do it. Users are more likely to stick with something that works well than something that mostly works but has lots of potential.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Wireless router tech support – Linksys vs. D-Link
    • Linux PC Robot < 500$ DIY Linux robot

      Looking for a cheap DIY Linux robot? This is the Linux PC robot project.
      The objective of LinuxPCRobot is to build a fully functional robotic development platform for $500 or less using linux, commonly available components, a little skill, and some good old fashioned scrounging.

    • Android

      • Nintendo DS or the First NEC Android Tablet?

        The answer is the first NEC Android tablet, despite it’s incredible similarity to the Nintendo DS. Pictured to the left is the NEC LifeTouch, and Android 2.1 based tablet with a 7 inch touch screen that will respond to both finger and stylus input.

      • A Week With Google Android 2.2: Froyo

        Google’s new Android treat has been named “Froyo” after frozen yogurt, and it’s nearly every bit as sweet as it sounds. I’ve been running a leaked Android 2.2 ROM on my Droid for a week now. Here’s a few impressions and what VARs, SMBs and anyone in general using Android phones has to look forward to with the upcoming update…

        [...]

        Even though I’m running a leaked ROM, it’s very stable. I can only see this getting better. Whispers around the ‘net are that Google is going to slow down their releases of Android updates, and focus on some solid polish before unleashing 2.3 (Gingerbread) to the world. But coming from a Droid which once ran Android 2.0, with no multi-touch and an unresponsive home screen? Android 2.2 is a breath a fresh air, especially for those with iOS 4 envy.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Sugar Learning Platform and GNOME Desktop Now Available on One Laptop per Child XO-1.5

        One Laptop Per Child announced an update to the XO-1.5 which enables both Sugar Labs’ Sugar Learning Platform and the GNOME free desktop. The Sugar Learning Platform has been featured on OLPC laptops since the original XO-1. The recent update introduces a more sophisticated interface for older students. Toggling between the two environments can be done with a single-click.

      • Chrome OS: Why so much confusion?

        What Chrome OS is not:

        * It was never intended to be a replacement for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, or any of the Linux/UNIX -based distributions.
        * It is not going to cater to everybody’s style in computing.
        * It will not necessarily bring everything that you are looking for in an OS (see previous statement).

    • Tablets

      • 5 reasons why open source will click in 2010

        In my last article on open source, I put together the reasons why shanzhai manufacturers favor open source platforms, and how they can enable them to initiate more legitimate business. The current technology trend of tablets makes me feel that 2010, the year of tablets is as much the year of open source, and the two combined may provide a breakthrough for shanzhai manufacturers.

        [...]

        4. Legitimate business: Google Android is shaping up to be the first widely accepted open source operating system that doesn’t have a fringe element tag associated with it. It’s a legitimate business option. Whilst in the past the motivation of a shanzhai manufacturer in offering a Linux option was more about offering an option that didn’t include a pirated Microsoft product, now their choice of an open source OS is totally mainstream and acceptable … legitimate.

        [...]

        In view of the fact that most computing services are shifting towards the cloud and with web-oriented handheld devices playing more of a role, light and resource efficient operating systems seem to be the future of the next generation of computing. Open source operating systems (especially Android) are becoming the prime choice of the shanzhai and I believe we’ll continue to see more in the future.

      • Q7 Linux MID nice but missing most important feature

        This is the Q7, a very nice mobile Internet device available running ubuntu or android. It has 1080p HD video playback and that could make it a top gadget. Sadly it’s missing one important feature I really think is a no-go for a device like this.

Free Software/Open Source

  • How to find a community’s cheeseheads when they aren’t wearing foam hats

    1) Find the people who bring ideas more often than opinions.

    Whether on a mailing list, a conference call, or at a meeting or event, it is pretty easy to tell who is active in a community.

    But activity is a red herring.

    Simply because someone is an active participant does not mean they are a key influencer in the community. I tend to look not for the people who are talking or emailing the most, but for the people who are generating ideas.

    In healthy communities, lots of folks are generating ideas. In unhealthy communities, a few people are generating ideas, and others are shooting them down.

    In my favorite communities, those run the open source way, there is a meritocracy of ideas where the best ideas always have a chance to win. My good friend and business partner David Burney taught me that the best way to generate the best idea is to generate a lot of ideas.

  • Twilio Releases OpenVBX, An Open Source Google Voice For Businesses

    Ever since it launched in late 2008, Twilio has a knack for making cool products. Its core service is a telephony API offering a set of commands that make it easy for developers to integrate phone and SMS services into their web-enabled applications. And today they’re releasing an open source platform based on that technology that has the potential to disrupt business-oriented call routing services in a big way — Twilio is describing it as a sort of Google Voice for businesses, with more flexibility. It’s called OpenVBX.

  • Movements

    • Free software in Africa: Striding ahead

      FOSSFA’s advocacy programme has seen unprecedented success in the past year. The FOSSWAY project (FOSS Advocacy in West Africa and Beyond) saw enormous buy-in. It has launched open source clubs, a regional FOSS study, four university roadshows, its own publications, hands-on trainings for at least 1 000 people in the use and deployment of FOSS.

    • A pony for every child – the politics of open source software

      To wrap up, we have Dana’s Tea Party Manifesto, Simon’s OSI reform campaign platform, and Neelie’s opening statement in the great EC Digital Agenda debate. Looks like a really interesting time in open source politics with many opportunities to get involved and a lot of horse-trading possibilities.

    • Phipps leads change at Open Source Initiative
  • Events

    • An Open Source Weekend

      This past weekend I didn’t watch baseball, World Cup soccer, or basketball; instead I sponsored a hallway table in a Marriott hotel in Spartanburg, SC to meet, discuss, and argue over all things open source at the SouthEast LinuxFest.

    • Ubuntu Developer Summit: Maverick Meerkat Highlights

      As each new developmental cycle commences, there is an Ubuntu Developers Summit (UDS) – it’s a biannual event where many of the developers meet to plan, and create, the goals for the next release of Ubuntu. The attendees are a mixture of Canonical employees, community members (many sponsored by Canonical) and external project representatives.

      The summit is always held in a different location, and usually switched between Europe and the USA each time. The latest one was held in La Hulpe (near Brussels), Belgium, to plan the next Ubuntu release Maverick Meerkat.

  • Databases

    • CUBRID Has Started the Clustering Project

      CUBRID plans to add the clustering support to its open source database by the end of this year, which will allow it to distribute the database across multiple servers and boost its reliability and availability.

  • CMS

    • Manatee County, Fla., Preps New Internet Portal Built on Open Source

      Manatee County, Fla.’s IT team didn’t want to spend another year battling the arbitrary limits on the back end of the county’s website.

      For five years, a patchwork mix of legacy systems turned simple Web IT tasks into time-consuming chores. With only 10 IT staff members working on the project, the county’s IT team had to create content and upload files to the content management system (CMS). But there were file size limitations so they had to hold files on a separate server. They couldn’t see front-end changes without publishing them, and sometimes edits just disappeared completely.

  • Business

    • Old-fashioned money

      Google can afford to give away Android and a huge (and growing) array of open-source software, without having to gate access to it through a compiler or contract, because Google doesn’t monetize open-source software directly. This, to me, is a far superior model, and one much more likely to lead to good community dynamics. Google is never in competition with its community, but rather can afford to be a full partner.

      Make no mistake: Red Hat is an impressive company, run by people of quality, intelligence, and integrity. Just listening to how Red Hat uses Salesforce to optimize the sales process is impressive.

      But Red Hat is the beginning, not the end, of the story on how to make $1 billion in open-source sales. Google offers far better clues as to where open-source entrepreneurs should look for inspiration, because Google reflects the reality of what “services” means in the Internet age. “Services,” in Google’s world, are far more scalable and potent than in Red Hat’s.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Python 2 series reaches last update

      Python 2.7, the last in the legacy Python 2.x dynamic language line, moved closer to general availability earlier this month when developers of the language put out a release candidate. The finished version of Python 2.7 is scheduled to be available July 3, after a second release candidate is offered on July 19, said Steve Holden, chairman of the Python Software Foundation.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OpenCL 1.1 Fully Backwards Compatible

      The Khronos Group today announced OpenCL 1.1, a backwards compatible update that boosts performance in the parallel programming standard. OpenCL 1.1 efficiently shares images and buffers by linking event objects and fence sync objects, features memory object destructor callbacks and now allows for OpenCL commands to be enqueued from additional hosts.

Leftovers

  • The 20 Worst Charities in America

    The non-profit Charity Navigator Web site tracks such expenses via charities’ disclosure statements to the IRS to provide donors with an assessment of how well charities run themselves. Looking only at the supply side for the more than 5,500 charities that it tracks, the organization does not evaluate the impact on the recipients of funds, since that impact is often a subjective appraisal of “effectiveness.”

  • Security/Aggression

    • Oath Keepers and the Age of Treason

      A strapping Idahoan, Brandon (who doesn’t want his full name used) enlisted as a teenager when he got his girlfriend pregnant and needed a stable job, stat. (She lost the baby and they split, but he’s still glad he signed up.) Unlike his friend, he doesn’t think the United Nations must be dismantled, although he does agree that it represents the New World Order, and he suspects that concentration camps are being readied in the off-limits section of Fort Drum. He sends 500 rounds of ammunition home to Idaho each month.

  • Environment

    • Democratizing the takedown of BP

      The BP oil spill is the first major national event where the bad guy in question is subject to lampooning not just from a satirical elite but by anyone with the material and the gumption to set up a Twitter account, or hell, create a funny hashtag. Democratizing the news was a step forward. Democratizing our skepticism towards all form of power is an even greater step.

    • Climate panel chief welcomes climate debate

      The head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, says he welcomes “the development of a vigorous debate” on climate science.

      In an article for the BBC’s Green Room series, he says those on the side of “consensus” must remember that debate drives the evolution of knowledge.

      The panel and its chairman have been much criticised in recent months over errors in its landmark 2007 report.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • China’s Internet White Paper: networked authoritarianism in action

      The release of the Chinese government’s first-ever White Paper on the Internet in China provoked some head-scratching here in the Western world. Part Three of the six-part document is titled “Guaranteeing Citizens’ Freedom of Speech on the Internet.” I’ve heard from several journalists and policy analysts (not people based in China, for whom such cognitive dissonance is normal) who at first glance thought they were reading The Onion or some kind of parody site. How, people asked me, can a government that so blatantly censors the Internet claim with a straight face to be protecting and upholding freedom of speech on the Internet? The answer of course is that China’s netizens are free to do everything… except for the things they’re not free to do.

    • Smile29

      Written declaration 2010/29 is a Written Declaration according to Rule 123 of the Rules of Procedure of the EU parliament, the stated aim an ‘early warning system’ for child sexual abuse. However, a thorough reading shows that it also includes a clause about extending the Data Retention Directive to cover search engines. This is not mentioned in any of the material given to MEPs, or even in the declaration itself. Instead, the DRD is only mentioned using its referral code of 2006/24/EC. This may very well be a sneaky way of getting the Parliament to take a strong stance on Data Retention where no such stance actually exists among the MEPs.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • IEEE working group considers kinder, gentler DRM

      People don’t like DRM in large part because it removes much of their control over things like e-books, music, and movies. Want to loan a DRMed song to a friend? You probably can’t, even though sharing a physical item like a CD remains trivial.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • La guerra de los Jarritos

      “They were suing us for more than $50,000 if we didn’t change our name,” she says. “We are a small business, and we don’t have a lot of money, so I didn’t think there was a good reason to fight them.” Edith, whose mother had brought hundreds of jarritos when she moved from El Salvador, still decorates her taqueria with the jars- but the sign over the door now read El Jarro Azul. “We thought if they’re located in Texas, they should let people have their own name. But I guess not,” she gives a rueful laugh. “They’re thinking we’re going to steal their name and start making sodas or something like that.”

    • Copyrights

      • A Failure to Communicate

        For those unfamiliar with the practice, e-reserves takes its name from the traditional library “reserve” model, where a professor makes a limited number of physical copies of articles or a book chapter available for students. Those copies were generally subject to permission, and proper reproduction fees were paid to the publishers.

        In the digital world, that’s all changed. Rather than make multiple physical copies, faculty now scan or download chapters or articles, create a single copy, and place that copy on a server where students can access it (and in some cases print, download, or share). Since the practice relies on fair use (creating a single digital copy, usually from a resource already paid for, for educational purposes), permission generally isn’t sought, and thus permission fees aren’t paid, making the price right for students strapped by the high cost of tuition and textbooks, as well as for libraries with budgets stretched thinner every year.

        Not surprisingly, e-reserves are widely used and are immensely popular. Students and instructors love the convenience, ease of use, and accessibility. They are efficient and fit with the way teachers teach and students learn in the digital age. In addition, e-reserves facilitate innovations, like distance learning and collaboration.

      • ISP Attempt To Block File-Sharing Ends in Epic Failure

        In response to the country’s “3 strikes” Hadopi legislation, last week a French ISP began offering a service to block file-sharing on customer connections for ‘just’ 2 euros per month. It didn’t take long for awful vulnerabilities in the system to be found which breached not only the privacy of subscribers, but exposed them to new security threats.

      • Limewire, ISOHunt, PirateBay and the future of P2P

        It is perhaps an indication of how times have changed that the content industries have won some decisive legal battles in court against Limewire, isoHunt and the PirateBay, yet these have not prompted the same level of scrutiny that previous cases have.

        The reason for this is quite simple. Whoever thinks that the legal victories against these services will dent P2P usage is seriously deluded. Limewire for example belongs to an era long gone in file-sharing terms, it was the client-based model of P2P which provided a centralised home for infringement, and therefore it was an easy target for litigation. isoHunt and the Pirate Bay are where the file-sharing action is, but these services are not at all similar to clients such as Limewire.

      • CEO Of UK Collection Society: We Don’t Want Gov’t Handouts, But The Gov’t Must Give Us Everything We Ask For!

        Well, this is nice. Fran Nevrkla, the CEO of PPL, the collection society for performance rights in the UK, recently gave a talk that shows the ridiculous extremes with which some folks in this industry view the very consumers they’re failing to serve. Last we checked in on PPL, it was trying to shake down charities for more money and had lost a massive ruling that said it had greatly overcharged multiple venues and owed them refunds. Towards the end of the talk, Nevrkla claims that he’s disappointed that capital punishment for file sharing isn’t available.

    • ACTA

      • WD12 on ACTA: 150 signatures to go, time to call!

        Only two weeks of plenary in Strasbourg are left for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to have a chance to sign Written Declaration 12 (WD12) on ACTA. 150 signatures are still missing, mostly from Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, and Poland. Every EU citizen is encouraged to call Strasbourg offices of non-signatories MEPs until thursday, 12:00, to urge them to sign WD12.

      • FFII backs Parliament Written Declaration 12-2010 on ACTA

        The European Parliament Written Declaration 12/2010 led by MEPs Françoise Castex, Zuzana Roithová, Alexander Alvaro, Stavros Lambrinidis receives backing from the Foundation of a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII), a European group for public education and consumer protection in the digital environment.

        The FFII analysed the current Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) draft and found many unintended consequences. For instance, sanctions against unauthorized “file sharing” in the digital environment would also stifle common electronic software distribution methods of operating systems and essential security updates. So far the Commission has not delivered an ‘impact assessment’ for these potential regulatory side effects.

Clip of the Day

Damian Brasher: Linux training and how to prepare (2006)


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