06.17.10

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 17/6/2010: Parted Magic 4.11, Haiku R1 Alpha

Posted in News Roundup at 6:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 10 great illustrations of Linux humor
  • Desktop

    • That Linux Attitude…

      I might be very passionate about Mandriva Linux, granted. After all, not experiencing a single virus attack for over a year of heavy internet surfing WITHOUT an antivirus can be very motivating. The BEAUTY of the system itself contributes, too. Seeing that a computer can be used safely, simply, and even artistically by people who where formerly paralyzed by fear is what makes me tell others about Linux.

      I want to tell the world : “No more blue screens! No more panic! No more sluggish performance after a while!” That is how I see Linux: as a friendly community, as people who care for others and want to help computer users in need.

      [...]

      So, people should really think about this before starting their trip to TUX Land…Please remember that turning against Windows users or novice Linux users antagonizes the very spirit of Free Software: the COMMUNITY is the POWER OF TUX.

  • Kernel Space

    • Talking About Kernel Mode-Setting
    • Graphics Stack

      • [ANNOUNCE] xorg-server 1.8.99.901

        The X.org X server version 1.9 RC1 (1.8.99.901) is now available. While not including huge amounts of new functionality, this release has seen a number of longstanding development itches cleaned up with the goal of making the code cleaner and easier to understand.

      • AMD Catalyst 10.6 For Linux Brings Changes

        Catalyst 10.6 for Linux offers up RHEL 5.5 production support, official support for OpenGL 3.3 and OpenGL 4.0, and 2D performance enhancements. AMD was quick to support OpenGL 4.0 on their AMD Radeon HD 5000 series “Evergreen” hardware via their proprietary driver, but now with Catalyst 10.6 that support is officially there. The older R600/700 ASICs only support up through OpenGL 3.3. There is not, however, any early OpenCL 1.1 support in this month’s driver.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE Visits FOSS Nigeria Conference 2010

        In 2010 the FOSS Nigeria Conference took place for the second time and, like last year, KDE attended the conference with two speakers. There was however a change in the visiting KDE team: Frederik Gladhorn joined Adriaan de Groot to take the place of Jonathan Riddell who could not make it this year. The venue for the conference was in Kano at the well-regarded Mambayya House, the Center for Democratic Research of the Bayero University. The conference date was moved from March to April, which meant that the weather presented a different face — hot followed by rain instead of the harmattan.

      • Flameworthy LinuxTag Notes

        So KDE has created a very open culture which results in innovation, experimentation and new technology. The user experience, while more of a focus than in the KDE 3.x times, imho still ain’t what it needs to be, might never be the way we currently work. At least, the finishing touch is boring and hard to do in such an open meritocracy.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Using Gnome Shell – Day 3

        I noted on a previous day that you need to ALT+TAB between windows, like any other regular system. The downside to this is that it is the only way to view open windows on a current desktop, where as with any other OS you can view at least which windows are open by glancing at your taskbar/panel.

  • Distributions

    • [Sabayon] Release Name Shuffling (CoreCD/SpinBase/CoreCDX)

      The upstream maintainers of Anaconda have drastically cut back the functionality of the Anaconda installer with respect to console-based text installation.

    • Reviews

      • Zenwalk 6.4 GNOME Screenshots

        Zenwalk is a Slackware-based distribution and this release, Zenwalk 6.4 GNOME, features the Linux kernel 2.6.33.4 and GNOME 2.28.2. This latest version of the GNOME desktop environment brings several improvements of its own to the distro. Other things that have changed in Zenwalk 6.4 GNOME include; new artwork, Gnome-disk-utility is added, Gnome-system-tools added, faster shutdown, bugs have been fixed, and more. View the release announcement for details and a list of packages included.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Bulls in Charge
      • Fedora

        • Fedora 13 Boasts Many Leading-Edge Enhancements

          Red Hat’s Fedora 13 open-source software can serve in a full gamut of Linux roles, as long as users are prepared to upgrade their systems about once a year.

        • SELF 2010 trip report.

          One of the hardest parts of being FPL and attending a conference is getting a trip report done while you try to catch up to everything you missed while you were gone! But better late than never, here’s my report from this past weekend’s Southeast LinuxFest (SELF).

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 197

        In this issue we cover – Welcome New Ubuntu Members, Kubuntu Council Elections, Ubuntu sparc and ia64 ports, Ubuntu Stats, LoCo-Directory Meeting Feature, Ubuntu 10.04 Release Party at Kanchipuram, Sunday Special: Ubuntu Hour, Día del usuario Ubuntu ROCKED!!!, LinuxTag 2010 Ubuntu Berlin Barbeque, Instructors Confirmed for Ubuntu User Day on July 10th, Reviewing 2000 patches, “Is Linux Secure?” at Southeast LinuxFest, In The Press, In The Blogosphere, Ubuntu In Business, Wine 1.2 Release Candidate 3 Is Out Now, EtherPad: web-based collaborative editor, Canonical Rolling Out Ubuntu Advantage for Enterprise Linux OS, Linaro Tools and Infrastructure Sprint, Severed Fifth Part Two Begins, Featured Podcasts, Upcoming Meetings and Events, Updates and Security, and much much more!

      • Would Mark Shuttleworth use Gentoo had he not founded Ubuntu?

        While Ubuntu lost the “just works on your notebook” unique selling point a while ago (thanks to freedesktop et. al.), we could convince Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth to sign our Gentoo slogan “It’s all about choice” — so maybe in a year from now, you might see USE flags in Ubuntu as well. Don’t believe it? Here’s proof.

      • easy to use Lucid-themed conky bar now even easier to use!

        Many of you loved the look of the look of the bar but found the hacking needed to get it to fit your screensize a bit off-putting. Thankfully the developer, Veoduendes, has addressed that issue with the launch of a new configuration wizard which makes using the bar a total breeze.

      • Operation Cleansweep making progress… (updated)
      • Interview mit Ubuntus Mäzen
      • Flavours and Variants

        • Have a Mint

          All in all I’d say the Mint experience was pretty much a wash; there were some things that I didn’t need to do on Mint that I’d have had to do in Ubuntu, and other things I needed to fix in Mint that aren’t broken in Ubuntu. But, and this is the key, I got a good working installation to start with, whereas Ubuntu didn’t give me that this time around. So on that basis alone, I’m sticking with Mint for a while.

        • Spotlight on Linux: Linux Mint 9

          The best thing about Linux Mint is its out of the box capabilities. Nothing says ease-of-use like having browser and multimedia plugins and codecs already included and ready to use. Nothing is appreciated more either, by a lot of users. There is a large community of friendly and helpful users surrounding the Mint project, so be sure to drop by the forums. This version comes with GNOME 2.30, but other desktop versions follow soon after initial release. Any way you look at it, Linux Mint is one of the best distributions available today from any project, no matter the size.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • PocketBook 301+ Comfort review

      The PocketBook 301+ is actually a recent update of the original model released in 2007, itself based on a popular eReader design that’s been sold by various companies. Ukrainian in origin, the original 301 was a variant on the Netronix EB-600 eReader and essentially offered the same basic spec as a very wide range of other eReaders – around seven or eight of them in total. The 301+ improves the specification in several ways, though the quality of the E Ink screen and a sizable increase in internal storage capacity (up to 512MB from 256MB) are two of the key areas here. It features second-generation Vizplex E Ink electronic paper (the same tech as adopted by Sony for its 505 among others), and boasts a resolution of 600×800 pixels on its 6-inch screen. It can cater for 16 shades of grey – which, like its size, is essentially the standard for eReaders at the moment.

    • Android

      • The Flavor of Android’s Open Apps

        It started when I heard that National Public Radio (NPR) had an Android app last week. Actually, I’m sure they had the app earlier than that, but it was the news that this application was being open sourced by NPR that brought it to my attention.

        While I have been grooving on my new phone, I haven’t been downloading things willy-nilly yet, because my current lack of travel plans means that I’m in the home office a lot and therefore don’t need a fully stocked mobile platform yet.

      • Sony Ericsson Shakira to be called X8

        A few days ago I added a news article outlining that Sony Ericsson where to produce a middle sized x10 that would be larger than an x10 mini and smaller than an x10.

      • AT&T CEO: Not Worried About Verizon’s Android Position

        AT&T Inc. (T) Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said he isn’t losing any sleep over Verizon Wireless’s strong current position with Android phones, adding that things will change dramatically over the next six months.

      • Logitech Confirms Companion Box to be Called “Revue”

        Logitech took to their blog today to confirm the “Revue” as their companion box for Google TV. Rather than forking out hundreds or thousands for a new television, Logitech’s add-on peripheral is designed to complement any current HD set. So how did they come up with the name?

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Ubuntu Netbook Edition (Remix) not just for netbooks?

        Ubuntu Netbook Edition (formally netbook remix) is a collection of applications that make Ubuntu more usable on smaller screens. But you don’t have to be running a netbook to benefit. This article looks at how to use the best netbook remix features in a standard Ubuntu 10.04 install.

    • Tablets

      • Hobbyist kit turns BeagleBoard into a tablet

        Open source electronics firm Liquidware has released a kit for attaching a 4.4-inch Liquidware BeagleTouch OLED touchscreen to a BeagleBoard to construct a Linux-based, tablet device. The Beagle Embedded Starter Kit also incorporates a BeagleJuice battery module and a 4GB SD card.

      • Linux on a Touchscreen? Try Jolicloud

        Here is a list of Touchscreen drivers that Jolicloud supports. It is a pretty impressive list, and includes some names that are near and dear to many Mobilitysite reader’s’ hearts. For example, the iPaq H3600 and several versions of the long lamented Jornada could find new lives with Jolicloud.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The one kind of open source, and the other kind

    Consider Linux: early on, it was bashed on quality, security usability, being “only for techies,” and held at arm’s length by the corporate world in general. Yet today it has matured to the point there probably isn’t a big corporation on the face of the earth that doesn’t use Linux in one way or another. Similarly, Lucene reached a tipping point three or four years ago with the introduction of Solr as a full-featured enterprise search server based on Lucene. At that point, still as a community project, it became competitive technically with commercial alternatives. An open source project in this state feeds on itself. More people use it, more people want to enhance it and a juggernaut is created.

  • Symbian faces ‘Titanic’ task to go open source – Funambol

    Nokia’s bid to transform its Symbian mobile operating system into a purely open-source platform has been a huge task, and one that could cost it the smartphone race, warned mobile synchronisation firm Funambol on Wednesday.

  • Impressions – Haiku R1 Alpha 2 – With Screenshots

    Haiku is an exciting new adventure. I love the idea of new Open Source and Free operating systems making their appearance. As a desktop OS there is work to be done as far as the user interface goes. How long before we have a stable final release? I don’t know, it has been in development for the better part of nine years, and development seems to have sped up recently with two major releases less than a year apart.

  • 10 Best Free Alternatives to Microsoft Office

    # Open Office (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux): Open Office is a great solution for those who are looking for a free open source alternative to the Microsoft family. The suite offers a great open source alternative to the Microsoft family of products. The suite has word processing, a database program, a spreadsheet application and a layout program to create most documents.

    # KOffice (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux): There are eight packages in this suite, including a spreadsheet, presentation software, project planning and image editing. It is fast, functional and open source.

  • What Would a More Open Twitter Look Like?

    It might look something like the idea proposed by Dave Winer, inventor of the RSS standard. He’s written often about the idea of “a decentralized Twitter” and how he’d like to see someone develop a Twitter app based on open-source standards, which he compared to the Apache open-source server software that lies behind a majority of the websites on the Internet. More recently, he’s talked about how developers of Twitter clients — whether they be apps, or services such as WordPress (see disclosure below) or Tumblr — could build an “emergency broadcast system” that would function even when Twitter is down.

  • Mozilla

    • Your Firefox in the cloud: Firefox Sync and Firefox Home

      Firefox enables hundreds of millions of people all over the world to each have a Web experience that’s unique. They can make Firefox look and feel the way they want with Add-ons and Personas. And more importantly, Firefox becomes their trusted guide to the Web. It intelligently searches browsing history and bookmarks to help people get to their favorite sites with minimum effort using the “Awesome Bar”. Tabbed browsing allows people to efficiently work with multiple sites at the same time while Password Manager and automatic form fill help them quickly get things done.

  • SaaS

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • “Life of Brian” Played Out In Community

      One of the frustrations of being a software freedom advocate is how many of the attacks that are made on me come from people who most observers would consider to be “fighting for the same side”. My recent call for volunteers to work on revamping the Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a case in point. Of the public comments I’ve read, the majority berate me for daring to be positive about OSI rather than castigating it in favor of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) as they themselves do. (Fortunately the private e-mails are much more encouraging). But it’s not just a tension between OSI and FSF. For example, in one forum where I mentioned my membership card for the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) had arrived, one reply asked if I would also be joining the FSF. Software freedom arouses extreme passions among its adherents.

    • FSF to host GNU social architecture meeting

      Tomorrow at its Boston offices the Free Software Foundation will host the first in a series of GNU social architecture meetings. Confirmed attendees include several GNU social developers, OAuth developer Blaine Cook and Evan Prodromou from StatusNet.

    • GNU social: next steps
  • Project Releases

    • OpenGeo Suite Enterprise Edition 2.0 Launches

      The Suite, which includes a robust geospatial development environment, is also the first to include PostGIS, a powerful spatially enabled database built on top of PostgreSQL, to eliminate lengthy implementation processes.

  • Open Data

  • WebM

    • FFMPEG Now Includes VP8/WebM

      This package is a part of many distros and will give users of GNU/Linux easy access to produce, edit, and decode video better. Use of this format on Youtube should establish it solidly.

    • FFmpeg 0.6 Has Support for VP8, WebM, HTML5

      Dubbed “Works with HTML5,” the brand-new release of FFmpeg brings lots of highly anticipated features. Announced last evening, June 15th, FFmpeg 0.6 improves the support for HTML5 video, has a better Vorbis decoder, and faster Theora and H.264 decoders. The most important feature of this release is the support for Google’s VP8 codec. Moreover, the matroska demuxer has been updated to support the WebM container.

    • Opera 10.6 Beta released
    • Opera 10.6 beta adds WebM video support

      Norway-based browser maker Opera today released a new beta of its Opera 10.browser which it says is 50% faster than its predecessor.

Leftovers

  • Twins fight academic penalties over Facebook remarks about professor

    Identical twin brothers reprimanded by the University of Calgary for making disparaging comments about a professor on their Facebook page want a judge to overturn the penalties.

    Keith and Steven Pridgen, 20, were placed on probation more than two years ago for statements made starting in November 2007 on a Facebook page entitled “I no longer fear Hell, I took a course with Aruna Mitra.”

    Both were initially ordered to write a letter of apology, but the condition was removed when they refused to do so.

  • Fifa acts after ‘ambush marketing’ by Dutch brewery

    Stewards ejected 36 Dutch supporters from Monday’s match between the Netherlands and Denmark midway through the second half in Johannesburg.

  • Internet addicts stage jail-break from rehab centre

    The 14 addicts, aged between 15 and 22, tied their instructor to his bed before making a bid for freedom from the treatment centre in Huai’an, in the eastern Jiangsu province, according to reports in China’s state media.

  • Journalism

    • To save journalism, save the net
    • Behind The Atlantic’s Brand Reinvention

      The Atlantic, a 153-year-old magazine, suffered from a protracted decline in revenues and rising costs starting in the 1960s. A dramatic multi-platform overhaul of the brand starting in 2007 has put it back on track to profitability. In his keynote address today at the FOLIO: Show, Atlantic Media president Justin Smith said The Atlantic is projected to have a profitable fourth quarter and a “multi-million dollar” profit in 2011.

    • UK And U.S. See Heaviest Newspaper Circulation Declines

      UK newspapers have suffered the most dramatic circulation declines of any country outside America since 2007, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Security: How the Federal Government Could Change Your Internet Privacy
    • Further thoughts on Gary McKinnon

      But it was my liberal inclination asserting itself having dismantled the central elements of the “Free Gary” campaign. I do not want to see Mr McKinnon extradited and I feel desperately sympathetic for his predicament.

    • Identity Documents Bill Committee issues call for evidence
    • Airports with body scanners
    • Italy To Install Body Scanners In All Airports, Train Stations

      Interior minister Roberto Maroni said Monday the Italian government planned to install body scanners, which were tested in three major airports, in all airports and train stations nationwide.

    • Body Scanners government consultation
    • Pilley hunt CCTV camera was broken

      A CCTV camera that could have captured the last known movements of missing Edinburgh woman Suzanne Pilley was not working properly and was missing a windscreen wiper, it was revealed yesterday.

    • DNA sample ‘problems’ at North Yorkshire Police

      The storage of forensic evidence at police stations in North Yorkshire has been criticised by inspectors.

      There were problems with the handling of DNA and other samples at custody suites, said a report by the chief inspectors of constabulary and prisons.

    • More Cyberwar Hype: Gov’t Fear Mongering To Get More Control Over The Network

      And then there’s NPR. It recently ran a whole long article about cyberwar that repeatedly suggests that the way to deal with this is to solve the “attribution problem” so that everyone online can be identified. Privacy? Anonymity? Not important, because of this threat — even though no one can provide any proof actually exists. The NPR piece uses Mike McConnell as a key source, highlighting (as everyone does) his former public service positions: former director of the National Security Agency and later the director of national intelligence. What NPR leaves out? Oh, that McConnell is now a Vice President at defense contracting giant Booz Allen Hamilton — a firm that recently scored contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars around this whole bogus cyber war threat.

    • “There’s No Transparency, and I Find that Inexcusable”

      Meet the 82-year-old ex-cop, World War II vet, and private eye who’s challenging one of the largest police departments in the country.

      [...]

      Beltrante asked me to lunch (disclosure: his treat) last month after seeing a column I wrote on the striking lack of transparency among Northern Virginia’s three largest police departments. He wanted to discuss his new organization, the Virginia Citizens Coalition for Police Accountability (VCCPA), which he says he started in order to fight what he calls the “decades of corruption and secrecy at the police department here in Fairfax County.”

    • Who Owns Public Crime Data?
    • 420,000 scam emails sent every hour

      More than 420,000 scam emails are sent every hour in the UK according to a report by CPP which estimates that Brits were targeted by 3.7 billion phishing emails in the last 12 months alone. A quarter of us admit to falling victim to e-fraudsters, with the average victim losing over GBP285 each.

    • Utah prisoner faces death by firing squad

      Should the execution go ahead, it will be the first in Utah for over a decade and only the third time since the death penalty was restored in 1976 that a firing squad has been used. Both previous firing squads – the execution of Gary