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07.03.10

Links 3/7/2010: Ubuntu Satanic Edition 10.04, Mint Thinks Debian

Posted in News Roundup at 7:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Audiocasts

    • Episode 143: One Window and Round Prints

      This show covers the single window mode of GIMP 2.7.1 with a video (which sat some weeks here) from nachbarnebenan. I just installed the new version on my machine and I like it.
      Then I scratch an itch I had – Printing DVDs with GIMP.
      The sound in this episode in not as good as usual. Sorry.

      00:20 Berlin and you
      01:45 Single window mode demo
      06:00 Printing on CD/DVDs
      06:50 Defining the media size in Turbo Print
      08:20 Defining a new image template
      11:30 Starting a new image from the template
      12:20 A layer with guide lines
      16:15 New layer(s) for content
      16:50 Inserting a source image
      17:40 Scaling down of the new layer
      20:00 A gradient background
      21:00 Blending the layers with a mask
      24:20 Adding text
      25:50 Printing
      28:50 Recap and more background about units

    • Full Circle Podcast #9: Playing a Unicycle and the Trombone

      The podcast is in MP3 and OGG formats. You can either play the podcast in-browser if you have Flash and/or Java, or you can download the podcast with the link underneath the player.

    • Man interviews his sister about Ubuntu

      Patrick L Archibald of hacker public radio interviews his sister Wynn Godbold who recently starting using Ubuntu Linux. She is a kindergarten teacher in South Carolina.

  • Kernel Space

    • Guest Blog: Rares Aioanei – Kernel Weekly Review with openSUSE Flavor

      -The first news for this week is Jan Kara’s pull request fot linux-fs (ext2 and ext3 in our case) aimed at -rc4, Frederic Weisbecker posting his pull request for the perf tree and Arnaldo Carvalho de Melo’s pull request for perf/core targetted at 2.6.36 .

    • Graphics Stack

      • The Embedded Linux GPU Mess & How It Can Be Fixed

        Various users and developers have expressed their views on the matter within this discussion thread (along with the usual bickering between David and Luc) but as it stands right now there is no user-space Linux graphics driver for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon graphics core that is open-source. Nor is it likely we will see a complete open-source Qualcomm Linux driver in the immediate future.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Qt/K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Open Governance Mailing list

        Two weeks ago I announced here on Labs that we were committed to an Open Governance model for Qt and related projects. I have read all the comments posted on the blog and those sent to me by email. I even had the chance to meet Robin Burchell in person and we had a very nice chat about the process, and the issues we’re facing. He also had some constructive suggestions.

      • Review of Kubuntu Netbook – Maverick Alpha 2

        I downloaded the .iso of Kubuntu Netbook Alpha 2 and installed it in Sun’s, I mean Oracle’s VirtualBox. The virtual machine is running with 2 GB of RAM with 2 processors. Included are some screenshots taken from the VM and some comments along with it.

        [...]

        Looking forward to Maverick and more changes coming down.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Training confirmed!

        A few days ago, I took the risk of setting off alarm bells on the GNOME developer training sessions planned for GUADEC this year. It was a risk, and comments from the naysayers reminded me that it’s easier to do nothing than it is to take a risk. I’m happy to say that the risk paid off.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Open source could be a success story, too: Red Hat CEO

        Coming from an airline, the 42-year-old Mr Whitehurst is an unlikely CEO for a technology company, and more so, a company that makes profits from selling free software.

        When he left Delta, he was approached to do a lot of additional turnarounds, but Mr Whitehurst said rather than trying to fix something, he wanted to build something, where there was a buoyant canvas to be painted, and Red Hat fit that bill. Red Hat was also looking for someone from a non-tech background and Mr Whitehurst’s profile, with his interest in geeky stuff, matched it well.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Satanic Edition 10.04 Features Stunning New Icon Theme And Wallpapers

        Ubuntu Satanic edition brings together the best of free software and free metal music. This is especially awesome if you are an avid dark theme fan boy. Moreover the latest Ubuntu Satanic edition brings in a brand new icon theme and some stunning wallpapers as well. There is a complete distro called Ubuntu Satanic Edition, but here we will concentrate on installing Ubuntu Satanic themes and other eyecandy in your native Ubuntu machine.

      • A system based on Debian

        The idea of a Linux Mint desktop based on top of Debian Testing is quite seducing. It’s much faster than Ubuntu and the current Linux Mint desktops, it uses less resources, and it opens the door for a rolling distribution, with a continuous flow of updates and no jumps from one release to another. It’s something we’ve always been tempted to do. Needless to say, whether it’s been because of our lack of communication on that topic or not, this has been a source of numerous rumors within the community.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Goodbye netbook, hello Hoverboard

      Remember when netbooks hit the market about three years or so ago? Some people considered them a fad, but I saw their potential. And, in a move that was very uncharacteristic of me, I bought a first-generation netbook. An Asus Eee PC 701. Seven inch screen, 4 GB solid-state hard drive, and 1 GB of memory (which I bumped up to 1.5).

Free Software/Open Source

  • Celebrate Independence Day By Thanking Your Open Source Developers

    Not to get all patriotic on you, but I wanted to deliver a simple message as many of us head into this 4th of July holiday weekend. We are celebrating American independence (and our Canadian friends just celebrated Canadian independence). The idea of being free to make our own choices runs deep in our culture. In that spirit take a moment to reflect on what the FOSS (free and open source software) movement has meant to you and to the IT industry.

  • Events

  • Databases

    • Open source database firms look to plug security gap

      Open source database vendors acknowledge insufficient third-party security tools is a concern but point out that more support from security companies and the open source community are imminent.

    • Oracle join SQLite Consortium

      Oracle has announced that it has joined the SQLite Consortium. The move came, according the BerkeleyDB’s Senior Product Manager Gregory Burd, “to show our commitment to the community which built SQLite and demonstrate our sincere desire to be a good citizen and partner”. Oracle acquired Sleepycat Software, the makers of the open source BerkeleyDB, in 2006.

  • Oracle/MySQL

    • Creative Commons Open Office Plugin gets a new UI and supports for Public Domain tools

      For the past few weeks I have been working on changing the User Interface and adding public domain tools for the Open Office plugin. In my previous post I introduced a new UI for adding creative Commons License, which is more simple and less confusing. In the same way I tried to make the UI for public domain tools as simple as possible.

    • Open source backer appeals EU approval of Oracle-Sun merger

      Monty Widenius, a leading open-source software proponent, lodged an appeal on Friday against the European Union’s antitrust authorities over their decision to green-light Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems at the beginning of this year.

      The appeal was filed to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Widenius was one of the co-developers of MySQL, the open source database software owned by Sun, and now by Oracle.

      The merger was completed on Jan. 27, just six days after the European Commission, Europe’s top antitrust regulator, signed off on the deal. Widenius’ appeal is not likely to have any bearing on the takeover itself, but may put pressure on the Commission for more transparency in its decision-making process.

    • Talking To Oracle About The MySQL Community

      Recently I was invited to go on the Oracle TechCast video show to talk about community within the context of MySQL.

      I was joined by Luke Kowalski, Oracle VP in the Corporate Architecture Group, and we discussed a range of topics. The primary message I took to the show was that (a) we should not pre-judge Oracle yet for their stewardship of the MySQL based on the fear of what could happen, but I also made it clear to Luke that (b) Oracle needs to make a firm commitment to acting within the culture and ethos of Open Source to have an effective, fulfilling relationship with the MySQL community.

    • SkySQL joins ranks of MySQL support providers

      MySQL users now have another choice for support besides Oracle, which acquired the open-source database through its purchase of Sun Microsystems.

      SkySQL plans to offer “enterprise class support & services for the MySQL ecosystem,” according to its Web site. Its CEO is Ulf Sandberg, ex-senior vice president of global services at MySQL, and “all core members” of the company have also worked for MySQL.

  • ‘Open’ Core/Business

    • Open Core Debate: Avoiding the Law of Unintended Consequences

      In the interest of transparency, I work with over twenty open source companies, most of who were funded by venture capitalists and the vast majority of which use the “open core” model. These companies have provided significant value to end users through the software licensed under open source licenses. Simon states: “But to use the package effectively in production, a business probably won’t find the functions of the core package sufficient, even in the (usual) case of the core package being highly capable.” This statement is simply incorrect. I have sat through many Board meetings and, in fact, the conversion rate from “open source” to “commercial” licenses is generally less than 10% for these companies. Thus, more than nine out of ten end users find the functionality of the open source version satisfactory.

      Simon says that open core does not provide software freedom for “end users”. Yet, nothing prevents the end users of the open source version to modify it and distribute it or otherwise exercise the rights under the license. In fact, Compiere demonstrates the fallacy of this position because it created two different forks. Simon complains about the lack of access to the “commercial extensions” of open core programs.

    • Open Source, free or not free?

      To be or not to be, free. That is the question. Well the answer is not 42. Or maybe it is. Forty two is the answer to life according to Arthur Dent yet he didn’t know the question. The question is probably too big for us to understand or even ask so I guess we will never know. Perhaps one day at the restaurant doing some pasta equations while watching the end of the universe we will know but until then…..

      [...]

      The meaning of the word free in the Open Source context is freedom (who doesn’t have Mel Gibson shouting that in their heads right now :). What freedom though? Freedom to devalue the hard work of companies and programmers trying to make a simple living? No! Open Source freedom is freedom of knowledge. Freedom to understand and freedom to learn. Advocates of Open Source are free to freely share their knowledge and freely learn from others.

    • Afraid of open core lock-in? The alternative could be worse
    • Open core is not a crime

      Simon Phipps has articulated why this strategy does not meet the approval of software freedom advocates, but in doing so, in my opinion, mischaracterises the relationship between open core vendors and open source.

  • Funding

    • Omidyar Network

      Today I’m very happy to be able to tell our community that mySociety is to be the recipient of $575,000 of grants from the US based Omidyar Network.

      The grants cover two areas:

      * Building organizational capacity
      * The provision of expertise to develop open source websites for transparency-focused organizations in Africa

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FOSS vs. open source as an American debate

      Soon after I took on this beat for ZDNet, I got a nasty gram from Richard Stallman (right).

      I wish he’d put it in the form of a paper letter. I probably should have framed it.

      In his note, as I recall it, Stallman made clear the difference between Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and open source as conceived by Eric Raymond and supporters in the business community.

      FOSS is not just “free as in free beer,” he told me. Under FOSS software is free, not just for the user. The software itself has liberties.

  • Government

    • Open source software in Malaysia

      The Malaysian government has set an example for the Asia-Pacific region in its support for free and open source softwarei (FOSSi). In 2004 it launched a master plan for rolling out FOSS throughout the public sector. That plan is now in its second phase of “accelerated adoption”, which is intended to make the use of FOSS within government more pervasive. The overall aims of the programme are:

      * increasing freedom of choice in software usage;
      * increasing interoperability;
      * increasing growth of the local ICTi industry;
      * increasing growth of the OSS user and development community;
      * increasing growth of the knowledge-based society;
      * reducing the digital divide;
      * reducing total cost of ownership; and
      * reducing vendor lock-in.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Technology and the Rights of the Child

      It’s also worth considering children’s own intellectual property rights. Whilst some bemoan young people’s attitudes towards copyright, particularly through peer to peer file sharing of copyright material, I wonder how much attention schools and teachers generally pay to the copyright of their pupils’ own work. Perhaps many are happy to photocopy, scan and upload children’s work, always with the best intentions, without seeking permission or acknowledging authorship. By way of contrast, I heard some very positive stories via Twitter of, for example, schools and teachers that buy art work off their pupils to hang. We could also help educate about copyright by doing more to encourage the acknowledgement, sharing and collaboration that underlies Creative Commons licensing, as well as much Early Years practice.

      In short, part of citizenship, be it analogue or digital, has to be educating children about their rights and associated responsibilities. To avoid charges of hypocrisy, surely this means that we should take their rights, including those of free expression, of free access to information, of privacy and of intellectual property seriously, respecting these and defending these when others do not.

  • Programming

    • 5 Python Pluses for the Enterprise

      You might not find quite as many experienced Python developers as .Net or Java folks, in part because Python is younger than Java and hasn’t had the corporate push of .Net. Still, Python’s doing well enough in developer adoption to make it a solid choice. Another advantage in Python’s court? It’s vendor neutral.

Leftovers

  • Thinking about better mousetraps and the Maker Generation

    Do you ever read Make Magazine? If you don’t, you should. You’re missing out. Take this article for example, from the October 2007 issue. A simple, brief piece about using everyday household objects to build non-lethal mousetraps.

  • Low-power Pixel Qi Displays Sell out in a Day

    The highly anticipated low-power 3Qi laptop displays from Pixel Qi were sold out on Thursday, just a day after the screens were officially announced and went on sale.

    The 3Qi LCD (liquid crystal display) screens, which were under development for two years, can absorb ambient light to brighten screens and reduce power consumption to extend the battery life of laptops. The displays reduce the need for the backlight, which are used to light up conventional laptop screens.

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • All of Beijing to be covered in security cameras
    • WikiLeaks, iPhone Incidents Show that U.S. Needs Shield Law

      The United States’ global reputation as a champion of free speech is at stake. This is partly because the legal framework has not kept pace with the evolution of free speech, and also because the Freedom of Information Act is not being applied correctly. Today, the U.S. is in danger of losing its place as the bastion of free speech because other countries are stepping up and creating new ways to protect freedom of expression.

    • Is calling torture ‘torture’ political correctness?

      The New York Times is one of the many newspapers which, after calling torture “torture” for generations, switched to euphemisms (“enhanced interrogation techniques”) during the previous administration. The prevalence of such language is summed up in a paper by Harvard University students, who found that its use became ubiquitous after prisoner mistreatment at Abu Ghraib was exposed.

  • Environment

    • The Pearce “Inquiry”

      Fred Pearce’s book on Climategate and the events leading up to it (The Climate Files) has just been published. (Pearce kindly sent me a copy.)
      Pearce has been involved in environmental reporting for the past 15 or so years and, like George Monbiot, is a strong supporter of climate policy.

    • 3D TV images guzzle up to 50% more power than 2D

      When a 3D TV is switched from 2D mode to 3D mode, the power usage can swing dramatically depending on the manufacturer, according to a new report from Cnet.

    • Hollow Men of Economics

      As state’s see their budgets collapse and start a new round of layoffs, we should consider the fact that house price inflation masked the lack of wage growth in the United States. And now that house prices continue their descent for a 5th year, American workers are more fully exposed to the decade-long march higher in energy costs. They can experience this individually through energy prices, or more generally through the overall energy cost to the economy. Hence, the chart above.

    • Peru to expel British ‘Tarzan agitator’ Paul McAuley

      Missionary told to leave after helping Amazon tribes resist incursion of oil, gas and mining firms into the rainforest

    • BBC’s Panorama falls into ‘balance as baloney’ trap in half hour climate show, “What’s up with the weather?”

      The BBC’s climate journalism has declined in recent months (see BBC asks CRU’s Phil Jones the climate version of “When did you stop beating your wife”). It just hit a new low in the half hour show, “What’s up with the Weather?”

      All you need to know about how distorted and sensationalistic the BBC’s worldview has become is to read how BBC’s News editors describe the show:

      To some, it’s a massive conspiracy to con the public. To others, it’s the greatest threat to the future of our world.

      Over recent years, opinions about global warming have become increasingly polarised.

      It came to a head late last year when hundreds of e-mails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit were published.

      The so-called “Climategate” debate was born.

      Despite governments, scientists and campaigners telling us the world’s climate is changing, opinion polls suggest growing uncertainty about global warming….

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Bill Introduced To Pressure Countries That Seek To Break The Internet

      Rep. Zoe Lofgren along with a list of other Congressional reps (from both parties) is introducing a new bill called the One Global Internet Act of 2010 (pdf), which is basically targeted at countries — like Afghanistan and Pakistan — that are seeking to block large parts of the internet from access, as well as countries like China, which for many years has tried to introduce its own, incompatible, standards for things like WiFi, DVDs, 3G cellular connections and more.

    • Listening to Wikileaks Julian Assange at the European Parliament

      Rarely does a lobbyist listen to someone and feel utterly impressed, no strings or cautious thoughts attached…Or at least, not an “old rot” like me…But today, just for a few minutes, I felt like “not all was lost”…that some sense would come out of the ongoing debates on how to “handle the Internet” if someone with the eloquence, brains and proven delivery record of Julius Assange could be invited to speak in a place such as the European Parliament, in the context of the ALDE organised debate on (Self) Censorship and Freedom of Expression in Europe.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk 11 May 2010 – Super Computing for Business (May 11, 2010)


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