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07.22.10

Links: GNU/Linux Spreads in India, Netbooks

Posted in GNU/Linux, News Roundup at 1:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Indian ring

Summary:News about GNU/Linux, structured with the new site format in place

GNU/Linux

  • How useful is anti-virus in Linux? (Part 1)
  • How useful is anti-virus in Linux? (Part 2)
  • A lesson in Linux: Eating one’s own dog food

    There is an old saying in the Linux community (actually in just about every community – but I heard it from a Linux developer first) “eating your own dog food” (or the shorter “hipster friendly” version dogfooding. This basically means using the product you create. It can also be associated with practice what you preach. Sometimes this ideology sneaks up behind you and stealthily bites you on the bum. This recently happened to me…and I thought I would share the experience with you to illustrate that user error is best way to an insecure Linux installation.

  • Another Educational Institute Opens Its Gates To Open Source

    Pune-headquartered Bharati Vidyapeeth has its institutions spread across India.In 2009, it adopted open source technology when it implemented the TechnoMail enterprise mailing solution to fulfil its communication needs.

    With around 180 educational institutions under its umbrella,Bharati Vidyapeeth has become a leading national-level educational organisation. Today, it touches the lives of 2.5-lakh students, employs around 8,000 people and has used open source technology for smooth communication across the board to improve productivity. TechnoMail, the enterprise mailing solution by TechnoInfotech built on an enterprise Linux platform, was adopted in 2009 to provide a single communication platform that went a step ahead of just e-mail and catered to the organisation’s active and passive communication.

  • Truecrypt 7.0 Linux AES-NI Benchmark with i7-620M on Dell Latitude E6510

    The new Truecrypt 7.0 release is almost 7 times faster compared to 6.0 on my i7-620M with AES-NI. It is some hundred mb/s faster now than dmcrypt (which runs my system-encryption on Debian Squeeze), but that is expected since truecrypt makes use of multiple cores AND aes-ni and dmcrypt only supports 1 thread per mounted device, so unless you create a RAID consisting of multiple dmcrypt-devices, you can only use 1 core.

  • Linux Desktop: Command Line vs. User Interface

    In the Linux desktop world, the graphical user interface is here to stay. Old Unix hands may grumble, but the fact remains that, without all the efforts poured into GNOME, KDE, Xfce and others, Linux would not be as successful as it is today.

    The reason for the desktop’s success is obvious. A desktop requires much less knowledge than a command line, and is suited to maybe 80% of the most common tasks that an average user needs. If the desktop needs much larger applications, that hardly seems a problem on a modern computer.

    All the same, the command line continues to have distinct advantages over the desktop. Although casual users often consider the command line as prehistoric as a giant sloth, it continues to give you more options and more tools that the desktop ever has or is likely to.

  • Linux Professional Institute Announces Volunteer Prizes and Community Initiatives

    The Linux Professional Institute (LPI), the world’s premier Linux certification organization (http://www.lpi.org), announced a number of initiatives for its community members: these include LPIMall.com (http://www.lpimall.com) — a webstore for LPI affinity products for Linux professionals, a survey of LPI alumni, and prizes for volunteer contributors from around the world who assist with LPI’s exam development program.

  • Desktop

    • System76 second gen Starling Netbooks look gorgeous, Available to pre-order now

      First off let’s get the boring bit out of the way: As netbooks go, the Starling is atypical of its competitors – Atom, RAM, Screen size. Counting against it slightly are a standard 3 Cell battery which will see you eek out 3.5 hours at best and the inclusion of 0.3MP webcam which, compared to most other netbooks, it pretty subpar. But at a base price of only $389, a gorgeous exterior and guaranteed compatibility from the off – including suspend and resume – it’s more than a match for it’s competitors.

    • Dell at it again: Windows vs. Ubuntu Linux

      Dell updated its Europe site with a “Windows or Ubuntu?” page. I can understand Dell wants to continue to market PCs with both operating systems, however the information posted on this page is fragmented, at best.

      On the page it states “Choose WINDOWS if:” and lists a few points:

      “You are already using WINDOWS programs (e.g. Microsoft Office, ITunes etc) and want to continue using them”. No mention of Wine, which actually allows Windows programs to run on Linux. Instead, they could have provided a link to WineHQ’s Applications page, for customers to check application compatibility if they are considering Ubuntu Linux.

    • 4 Reasons Every Windows User Should Have An Ubuntu Live CD

      Think Ubuntu is useless? Think again. Ubuntu can be an extremely effective tool for repairing and working on computers, even if you consider yourself a Windows purist. This is because Ubuntu is capable of loading completely from a Ubuntu Live CD, giving you access to your computer in ways Windows can’t – or when Windows is completely broken.

  • Audiocasts

    • Episode 0x2C: Eben on Software Liability

      Eben talks about “When Software is in Everything: Future Liability Nightmares Free Software Helps Avoid” to the Scottish Society for Computers and Law (SSCL) in Edinburgh, Scotland on June 30. Karen and Bradley introduce the talk to listeners.

  • Kernel Space

    • Cool User File Systems: ArchiveMount

      Have you ever wanted to look inside a tar.gz file but without expanding it? Have you ever wanted to just dump files in a .tar.gz file without having to organize it and periodically tar and gzip this data? This article presents another REALLY useful user-space file system, archivemount. It allows you to mount archives such as .tar.gz files as a file system and interact with it using normal file/directory tools.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Using KDE4 – Day 4
      • Using KDE – Day 5

        I had a lot to do today, and KDE4 proved a welcome ally in getting the job done – it was not obtrusive at all. This is probably my bias speaking here, but I think Gnome is less obtrusive – possibly because there is less going on. For what it is worth the Ubuntu notifications tend to be intrusive – I like them, but they tend to break your concentration if they pop into view in the corner of your vision.

      • Optimizing KDE’s energy profiles

        Even though I identified (and fixed) that this was due to the switchable graphics (both cards were running and sucking power), I was eager to optimize the power consumption. After some research, I came up with the following solution.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • 10 best Linux distros for 2010

      Hardware compatibility, ease of use, the size of a software repository. These three attributes are unique to each Linux distribution. But at the same time, each Linux distribution is at liberty to take and mix whatever it wants from any other.

      This creates a rather unique situation, where good ideas quickly spread, and bad ones fail. And as a result, there are dozens of distribution updates each month, hundreds each year, in a race to leap-frog the each other in the race to the top of the DistroWatch.com charts.

    • Reviews

      • PCLinuxOS

        • PCLinuxOS 2010 review

          PCLinuxOS is a APT-ified, Mandriva-based Linux distribution. It’s one of those distributions that offer a separate version for virtually every existing desktop environment. Four of them – Enlightenment, LXDE, Openbox and Xfce are recommended for intermediate to advanced users, while the GNOME and KDE versions are recommended for all user levels (beginner to advanced).

          [...]

          I left out Mint because it is an AWESOME distro. If it ever gets based on Debian testing, it will give PCLinuxOS a run for its money to take over my PC’s.

        • PC Linux OS : Radically Simple

          As you probably expect at this point, I absolutely recommend PCLinuxOS 2010. I have been using it for only a couple days, but I have the feeling that it is the best Linux release I have tested in years.

          PCLinuxOS 2010.1 is excellent for any kind of user, but probably most recommended for new comers. It brings down the need for CLI typing to almost zero.

          Don’t take my word for it, DOWNLOAD it and give it a try! You will not be disappointed.

      • Jolicloud

        • A tour of Jolicloud’s netbook Linux OS

          Over the last week, Jolicloud started rolling out the first complete version of its Linux distribution to existing users.

          The distro is highly netbook-centric and, until Jolicloud 1.0, looked very much like the Ubuntu Netbook Remix on which it is based. However, the new version looks significantly different to the ‘pre-final release’ that preceded it. That was an unusual move for the company, as major user interface (UI) changes tend to be tested in beta before their final release.

        • Why I’m jolly impressed with Jolicloud 1.0

          I may have found it. Jolicloud is not perfect, but I’m struggling to think of a rival Linux distro that can be so easily picked up and run by an average user. Let’s just get this out the way first: the weakling Booklet 3G flies on Jolicloud. I do not miss Windows 7 (a great OS for bigger, brawnier computers) one little bit.

        • How to dual-boot Jolicloud and Windows on your Netbook
    • Genealogy

      • Archives and history library to present computer genealogy software workshop july 8

        The Archives and History Library of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History has started a Genealogy Club which will meet on the second Thursday evening of each month from 6 – 7 p.m. The programs, which will focus specifically on genealogy-related topics, will take place in the library at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. All sessions are free and the public is invited to attend.

      • Linux Genealogy Live CD

        Would you like to try Linux but you don’t want to reformat your PC’s hard drive? There’s an easy way to take Linux for a “test drive” without affecting your PC. It’s called a Live CD.

        A Live CD, (or DVD, or USB external disc) is a CD containing a bootable computer operating system. With most Live CDs, that operating system is a version of Linux.

        [...]

        I think you will agree that the Linux Genealogy Live CD is an easy method of trying Linux and of trying the included genealogy applications without spending any money.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat 19.50% Above its May 6th Flash Crash Low of $26.81 (RHT)

        Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) is currently trading 19.50% above its May 6th low of $26.81. Investors are looking to see if this ‘flash crash’ low can act as support signaling the stock has completed a bottoming process.
        In the past 52-weeks, shares of Red Hat have traded between a low of $20.58 and a high of $32.6 and are now at $32.03, which is 55.60% above that low price.

      • Red Hat Inc. (RHT) EVP, CFO Charles E Jr Peters sells 2,879 Shares
      • Fedora

        • A new Fedora for the XO-1 release. Now with Sugar 0.88 !!

          Today I have released the 1st build of Fedora for the XO-1 which includes Sugar 0.88. You can get it here. Installation instructions are here

          Since this build includes Sugar 0.88 I have changed the numbering scheme. This is build 100. Builds 16 and below will continue to be available and include Sugar 0.84.

        • Fedora websites design status

          A long time ago, but not so long ago, http://fedoraproject.org was a simple splash page with just a bunch of links. Later on, it redirected straight to the wiki. After a release or two bringing the entire wiki down (and halting contributors from getting work done!) because of high-demand on the website for downloading releases, a very simple, lightweight set of static pages was put together to help alleviate the problem. It is the base of that lightweight static page set that we have been using for quite some time these days.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu at Non-Technical Events

        We seem to be quite good at turning up to technical events such as LUG meetings, technical conferences and other self-organised events and telling everyone how great Ubuntu is. However we seem to spend a lot of time preaching to the converted, speaking to people who already run Ubuntu or some other distro, rather than ‘converting’ people who have little or no exposure to Ubuntu.

      • Ubuntu Developer Week 2010: End Notes

        The second and last Ubuntu Developer Week online event for 2010 took place between July 12th to July 16th and covered various aspects of the Ubuntu and Kubuntu development process, from crash-courses in getting started with development to more advanced topics, such as Ubuntu hacking, creating applications for Ubuntu with Quickly or working with the Django web framework.

        On the last day of UDW, we’ve had the pleasure of talking a few minutes to Daniel Holbach, one of the organizers of this wonderful educational event, which takes place twice a year. Daniel was a bit sad because UDW was almost over, but on the other hand he was very enthusiastic about the number of participants who attended, and the quality of the event: “Again I’d like to thank everybody for helping out with making Ubuntu Developer Week rock as hard as it did. 350+ attendees, 25 sessions, lots of covered topics and everything happened in a very seamless fashion. Awesome. Thanks again!,” said Daniel Holbach on his personal blog.

      • Ubuntu Customization Kit 2.2.1 is out!
      • Is Ubuntu Commercially Driven?

        Simply that users and members of the community are confused by what commercial actually means. Commercial is not against the community, the community is commercial, people are employed to work on Ubuntu, work with Ubuntu and to be a part of the community. A varied commercial community would actually be kinda nice, imagine if we had a Dell community manager, or a system76 guy in IRC who was chatting away to the rest of the community of users *and* business people. Take a look at Organisations Learning to contribute to FOSS the right way.

        [...]

        My personal concern is the lack of commercial involvement of Ubuntu’s users, basically it goes like this: Canonical is a business and is interested in making enough money to pay it’s developers a wage. What they work on is based around what makes money. The money comes from Dell and HP. The developers work on what Dell and HP want. Users never get a direct say in the development of Ubuntu because A) They have no commercial relationship with Canonical and B) Canonical doesn’t co-operate wonderfully on DX with other programmers (commercial or non) preferring instead to announce features at the last minute and rail-road decisions and opinions of others.

      • Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS Delayed To Next Month

        Canonical’s Robbie Williamson has provided an update on the status of the Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS release, which is the first re-spin since the Long-Term Support release of the Lucid Lynx in April. Ubuntu 10.04.1 incorporates the package updates and minor fixes committed to Lucid since the original release. Ubuntu 10.04.1 was supposed to be released next week, but now it’s been postponed to August.

      • Flavours and Variants

        • Lubuntu 10.04 Review

          Overall, I was impressed with the distribution. It’s lightweight, easy to install, and small enough to run largely from within my machine’s 2GB of RAM. The one quibble I have with it is the default selection of applications. The logic of what was included is consistent with the desire to deliver a truly “light” Ubuntu respin, but in my experience some of the choices resulted in a system that wasn’t as easily usable as other variants of the mother distribution. But the beauty is that that was easy to fix, and the underlying operating system was responsive and reliable.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Woot! Indian Government Builds $35 Laptop

      Indian government has a reputation for false claims when it comes to technology breakthroughs – the $10 laptop, which wasn’t really a laptop (turned out to be a USB stick) and then the Google Earth Killer, i.e. ISRO Bhuvan added to the technology achievements of the governemnt and brought international shame.

      Today, the Union Minister for human Resource Development, Kapil Sibal unveiled a low cost computing-cum-access device which will be priced at $35, and expects the price to gradually drop to $20 (and ultimately to $10!).

    • Android

      • AppBrain Breaks Down the Current State of Android Apps

        AppBrain estimates that 5,500 applications out of over 70,000 officially recognized titles are installed on 99.9-percent of all phones. The other 65,000 apps are installed on less than .1% of phones. In other words, about 8-percent of all apps in the Android Market can be found on just about every phone. The other 92-percent languish in relative obscurity.

      • Linux Syncs Great With Droids

        Interest levels in syncing music collections have notched up a bit of late with the introduction of a plethora of new Android-based super phones. That is, unless you happen to be one of those owners with a large quantity of digital music encumbered by digital rights management (DRM) better known as copy protection. In that case, you might want to do some research into converting said digital files into a more portable format. Meanwhile, for the rest, with media ready to load up on a new cool phone, we’ll take a look at Linux options.

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