06.25.10

Links 25/6/2010: Raves About X-Plane, MeeGo Milestone Next Week

Posted in News Roundup at 5:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Bizarre Cathedral – 74
  • Desktop

    • GNU/Linux is More Than Good Enough in Education

      My high school just did reports using word-processing documents file-shared and write-locked. I don’t think we had a single collision amongs four teachers and all their students’ reports. Some teachers used GNU/Linux and some used that other OS. It all worked. Indeed the simpler interface of FLOSS apps tends to be easier for students to learn which lowers the overhead of introducing them to particular apps.

  • Applications

  • Games

    • X-Plane Follow-up

      During the past few weeks I’ve continued to work on getting X-Plane to function well on my Core i7 Ubuntu 10.04 box . It has been a long journey, and I’ve learned many things. As of now, I have my joystick hat button working with Jhat, and I have frame rates that vary from 30 to 60 fps while I’m flying.

    • X-Plane as a RC Flight Simulator

      I’ve recently switched entirely to Ubuntu Linux as my primary operating system. Phoenix Flight Simulator has been my primary sim for the last few years, and it only runs under Windows. This got me searching for a solution to a very big problem. In the meantime, I’d been looking for a replacement to Flight Sim-X for Linux, and that is when I found X-Plane.

      As far as flight simulators go, X-plane is pretty far advanced. However, for an RC fligh simulator it still lacks a few things. I tried a trainer, and a 3d
      airplane,

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • Details that sometimes do matter

      Seeing that 4.4′s KDM had no support for differently sized wallpapers, I was about to submit a copy of Plasma’s code there when I noticed that trunk has some code for it. Of course, different from the rest again. Also, the login sequence is basically just lucky to be so smooth. The splashscreen is supposed to stay visible until Plasma is ready with its wallpapers and panel layout. And there is code in KSMServer to ensure this. And Plasma uses it. Yet it’s apparently not used properly – during the first login, when there is more setup to be done during login, it’s perfectly possible to see how the panels are set up.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat CEO Predicts VMware Will Suffer Sun’s Fate

        As Red Hat launches a cloud strategy and inks a deeper virtualization partnership with Cisco Systems, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst has a cautionary message for VMware partners. Indeed, Whitehurst claims VMware over the next few years will suffer the same fate as Sun Microsystems. Admittedly, he didn’t use those “exact” words — but draw your own conclusions based on this report…

    • Ubuntu Variants

      • Jolicloud 1.0 netbook OS to include touchscreen support

        The Jolicloud developers have confirmed that the upcoming major 1.0 release of their operating system will include support for some touchscreen displays out of the box. The developers say that Jolicloud 1.0 will also include a new HTML5 interface and launcher.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Chumby, the Next Generation

      If you’re unfamiliar with the Chumby, you might want to go back to the May 2008 issue of Linux Journal. Daniel Bartholomew showed us all about the cuddly little gadget and explained why we might want one of our very own. The folks over at www.chumby.com still sell the original Chumby device, but they’ve come out with a new model, the Chumby One. I’m rather fond of the numbering scheme they chose, because that would mean the original Chumby is number zero. If the next model is the Chumby 10, they will get extra geek points!

      How does the new revision stack up? Quite frankly, it’s great. Although it may have lost the rounded edges and squishy case, the Chumby One adds some welcome features:

      * A dedicated volume knob, for quick-and-simple volume control.
      * Rechargeable battery for Chumby uninterrupted mobility (battery not included).
      * FM radio.
      * Beefed-up CPU (454MHz).

    • MontaVista spins Linux development platform for Cortex-A9

      MontaVista Software, LLC, announced the availability of what’s claimed to be the first commercial Linux distribution and toolchain optimized for ARM Cortex-A9 processors. Offered as a market specific distribution (MSD) package for MontaVista Linux 6 (MVL6), the software includes a toolchain optimized for the multicore-enabled Cortex-A9 architecture, says the Cavium subsidiary.

    • Phones

      • Palm still designing new phones, despite HP’s doubts,

        HP wants the operating system, but is mainly focused on emerging device formats such as web-enabled printers and tablets, is the message from within the larger firm. But until the deal is finalized, expected in late July, Palm insiders say the company is not giving up on its key market and is developing new devices as well as an OS upgrade.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

Free Software/Open Source

  • Rockbox 3.6 and beyond

    Rockbox has been chugging along for years offering an open source firmware replacement for MP3 players. But how relevant is a firmware replacement for a type of device that’s slowly going extinct? With the release of Rockbox 3.6 on June 3, now is a good time to check in on the state of Rockbox and the future of the project.

  • Events

    • Mark Shuttleworth at LinuxTag

      Mark described his (and Ubuntu’s) job as taking the great work done by the development community and getting it out there where people can use it. There has been a lot of progress on the development front, resulting in a great deal of top-quality software. But that’s not where the job stops; getting that software to users, Mark says, is “a whole new level of awesome.” Achieving this new level is his objective.

    • SCALE moves to larger venue starting in 2011

      In order to accommodate its steady growth over the past few years, the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) will move to its new home, the Hilton Los Angeles Airport, starting with SCALE 9X in 2011

    • Save the Date: MeeGo Conference 2010 in November

      It’s time to block your calendar and request approval to travel – the MeeGo Conference has been scheduled for November 15 – 17, 2010 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. This is the annual conference for MeeGo developers, OSVs, OEMs, other integrators, and MeeGo project contributors.

  • SaaS

  • Openness

    • JCDL 2010 Keynote
    • Government Transparency

      • Gov 2.0 Down Under: Australia and open government
      • Development of the UK Government Licensing Framework

        The UK Government is developing the next generation of its licensing framework for public sector information. Building on the approach tested for data.gov.uk, part of the new framework is a machine-readable licence suitable for making central government Crown copyright as well as information and data from local government and the wider public sector available for re-use more easily. The key features are that the new licence will be: non-transactional, in that re-users do not need to obtain individual permission for re-use; free, in that there is no charge for the licence; and it will promote innovation and openness by allowing the re-use and re-purposing of a broad range of public sector information. In assembling this solution, the Government looked at the Creative Commons and Open Data Commons models, and anticipates a high degree of interoperability between these licences.

      • Open Economics: Inspiring confidence through transparency

Leftovers

  • Google seeks interwebs speed boost with TCP tweak

    Google vice president of engineering Urs Hölzle has warned that unless we update the internet’s underlying protocols, any improvements to network bandwidth will be wasted.

  • Science

    • ‘Biggest thing in farming for 10,000 years on horizon’

      Agro-boffins in America say that mankind could be on the verge of the “biggest agricultural breakthrough in 10,000 years”, as researchers close in on “perennial grains”.

      At the moment, most grain grown around the world has to be replanted after every crop. Farming so-called “annual” grain of this sort consumes a lot of resources and is hard on the land, which is especially worrying as half the world’s population lives off farmland which could easily be rendered unproductive by intensive annual grain harvests.

    • FDA Nixes Coffee as an Aphrodisiac

      The FDA warned consumers that Magic Power Coffee marketed as an aphrodisiac could have dangerous side effects.

  • Security/Aggression

    • FBI says new phone scam targets your bank account

      The FBI is warning consumers to be on the alert for scammers who tie up their phone lines while emptying their bank accounts.

      These “telephone denial-of-service” attacks are similar to ones that have been used by hackers for years to crash websites by flooding them with Internet traffic. But high-tech criminals are now using automated dialing programs and multiple accounts to overwhelm the phone lines of unsuspecting consumers and small- and medium-sized businesses.

    • G20 Summit cops get police-state powers

      Fortress city Toronto is under even fiercer police lockdown pending the arrival of guests to Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper’s billion-dollar G20 party.

      Security forces already have potentially lethal weapons such as the ARWEN anti-riot rifle with which to protect the likes of US president Barack Obama.

    • Protecting cyberspace comes at a cost

      A bill before the U.S. Senate would give the president power to declare a “national cyber emergency.” Apparently, such an emergency would require that the “owner or operator of covered critical infrastructure…immediately comply with any emergency measure or action.”

  • Environment

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • EU Panel Rejects Opt-Out For Online Behavioral Advertising

      The European Union’s data protection authorities released an opinion Thursday declaring that online advertisers who seek to target ads at consumers by tracking their surfing habits must obtain consumer consent before engaging in such practices.

    • Original ‘Echelon’ secret UK-US spookery treaty published

      Old news in the world of surveillance and spookery today, as the original 1946 secret treaty between the UK and US which set up the famous “Echelon” listening system is finally published.

    • The whistleblower

      THIS month, at least, Daniel Ellsberg’s tale doesn’t seem so extraordinary. Private (formerly specialist) Bradley Manning, a 22-year-old US Army intelligence analyst, is under arrest for leaking confidential video of a 2007 US helicopter strike in Iraq that killed insurgents, civilians and two Reuters journalists, and of the 2009 Granai airstrike that killed up to 140 civilians. Julian Assange, Australian-born founder of the video’s broadcaster, WikiLeaks, is in hiding and believed to be being hunted by the US government.

    • Foreign Correspondent on Wikileaks June 22. 2010 3 of 3
  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Say “No” to Net Neutrality Nuttiness

      I’ll admit it: watching the debates about net neutrality in the US, I’ve always felt rather smug. Not for us sensible UK chappies, I thought, the destruction of what is one of the key properties of the Internet.

      [...]

      I urge you to read the Ofcom discussion paper, and then to make your views known – the consultation closes 9 September, so you have plenty of time (light summer reading?). You can either use the online form, or, for longer responses, send it to traffic.management@ofcom.org.uk. I aim to do the latter: when I’ve written my thoughts on the issues raised by Oftel, I’ll post them here.

  • Copyrights

    • Facebook Uses BitTorrent, and They Love It

      BitTorrent is the ideal way to transfer large files to thousands of locations in a short period of time. This doesn’t only apply to movies and music that are downloaded by the average BitTorrent user, companies can benefit from it as well. With help from BitTorrent, Facebook can now push hundreds of megabytes of new code to all servers worldwide in just a minute.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk – 24 June 2008 – A review of working with technology in Central and Western Africa (2008)


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