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Links: Many New Releases of GNU/Linux, More Tablets

Posted in GNU/Linux, News Roundup at 4:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Blue balloon

Summary: Latest steps taken towards operating systems freedom


  • Sony now facing single class-action for PS3 other-OS removal

    Sony did not make many friends in the tech community when the company forcibly removed the option to install Linux via a mandatory firmware update. The problem was simple: Sony had previously pushed this feature as an advantage its system held over its competitors, and later assured gamers that it would continue to be supported. That is, until Sony became spooked about the possibility of piracy. Lawsuits were filed, and Ars Technica has now learned that the court will bundle all seven suits into a single class-action case.

  • Use GNU/Linux

    GNU/Linux is an operating system. It allows us to run computers and create, find, change and display information better than that other OS:

    * Of the million busiest web sites 66% use Apache
    * The London Stock Exchange is switching to GNU/Linux because it works
    * 90% of the top 500 supercomputers use GNU/Linux
    * Brazil installed 356800 GNU/Linux desktops in schools

  • Relationships

    Fortunately, the world is filling up with young people for whom migrating to GNU/Linux is a welcome, refreshing change. The current generation of young people will live in a world where there is choice in computing platforms. There are many forces leading to that result. One of them is exposure to GNU/Linux in schools. Another is the access to GNU/Linux on low-priced gadgets (smartphones are getting to that state soon…).

  • Good News From All Over
  • Desktop

    • Linux First Steps

      First, most of the people who write me aren’t interested in the fine details of Linux. They are just sick and tired to death of Windows’ endless security problems or its costs. Indeed, most of them aren’t that interested in learning Linux. They just want a cheap operating system that will let them read e-mail, browse the Web, and run some office applications without worrying about malware.

      So, here’s what I tell people who just want a good, working PC, and couldn’t care less about the specific differences between “free software” and “open source” or how KDE 4.4 compares to GNOME 2.30

    • Windows vs Ubuntu: in a nutshell

      You may recall how Dell dug itself into an almighty hole last month, after proclaiming that Ubuntu was safer than Windows, before swiftly changing its mind and declaring itself more neutral than Switzerland.

      Well, now the PC maker’s had time to think the matter through, another page has appeared on the Dell website, condensing the whole Windows vs Ubuntu debate into about 100 words.

      From Dell’s perspective the choice is clear. You should choose Windows if (and I swear I’m not paraphrasing here):

      * You are already using WINDOWS programs (e.g. Microsoft Office, iTunes etc) and want to continue using them
      * You are familiar with WINDOWS and do not want to learn new programs for email, word processing etc
      * You are new to using computers

    • Why does Dell hate Linux so much?
  • Server

    • Canonical Seeks Ubuntu Cloud Wins at HostingCon
    • Canonical Seeks 10 Ubuntu Cloud Hosting Partners

      How do you eat an elephant? In small bytes. That old saying applies to Canonical’s emerging Ubuntu cloud strategy. Instead of attacking the entire hosting industry and attacking big rivals like Red Hat and Microsoft head-on, Canonical is quietly pursuing 10 hosting partners to pilot Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud. Here are the details from HostingCon in Austin, Texas.

    • Ubuntu Linux brings IBM DB2 to the cloud

      Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has always had many user and developer fans. Enterprise business fans? Not so much. Canonical hopes to change that with today’s, July 21, launch of a virtual appliance of IBM’s DB2 Express-C software running on the Ubuntu cloud computing platform, in private and public cloud configurations. The company also announced that IBM has validated the full version of DB2 software on Ubuntu 10.04.

    • Canonical, IBM: Expanded Ubuntu DB2 Cloud Partnership Coming
    • Canonical launches IBM DB2 database virtual appliance

      Canonical has released a virtual appliance for running instances of IBM DB2 database software, the company announced on Wednesday. The software appliance will contain a copy of IBM’s DB2 Express-C, which will run on the company’s Linux-based server distribution, Ubuntu 10.04 Long Term Support Server Edition.

    • Will Canonical-IBM Relationship Attract Oracle to Ubuntu?

      Canonical and IBM, as expected, have expanded their relationship. The latest move involves a virtual appliance, comprising IBM’s DB2 Express-C software running on the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud. At first glance the Canonical-IBM relationship is a nice win for Ubuntu. But perhaps there’s a deeper story angle here… involving Canonical’s continued pursuit of Oracle on Ubuntu. Here’s the speculation.

  • Audiocasts

    • Podcast Season 2 Episode 13

      In this episode: A SCO representative finally reveals some of the Linux code SCO had a problem with and OpenSUSE 11.3 is here. Listen to the results of our new challenge, and we ask whether the likes of Red Hat, Novell and Canonical contribute enough back to the community.

  • Google

    • Release Early, Release Often

      Over the next few months, we are going to be rolling out a new release process to accelerate the pace at which Google Chrome stable releases become available. Running under ideal conditions, we will be looking to release a new stable version about once every six weeks, roughly twice as often as we do today.

      So why the change? We have three fundamental goals in reducing the cycle time:

      * Shorten the release cycle and still get great features in front of users when they are ready
      * Make the schedule more predictable and easier to scope
      * Reduce the pressure on engineering to “make” a release

  • Graphics Stack

    • A line in the sand for graphics drivers

      Support for certain classes of hardware has often been problematic for the Linux kernel, and 3D graphics chips have tended to be at the top of the list. Over the last few years, through a combination of openness at Intel and AMD/ATI and reverse engineering for NVIDIA, the graphics problem has mostly been solved – for desktop systems. The situation in the fast-growing mobile space is not so comforting, though. As can be seen in recent conversations, free support for mobile graphics looks like the next big problem to be solved.

  • Proprietary Applications

  • Instructionals

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • Successful KDE Finances Sprint Held

      On April 23rd, developers from various finance-related KDE applications gathered in Eschborn, near Frankfurt, Germany for the first ever KDE Finance Sprint. The fellowship was composed of developers from KMyMoney, Kraft and Skrooge. This was a week after the ash cloud stopped all flights over Europe. Until the last minute, it was not clear whether those who were coming by plane would be able to make it. Fortunately, the airports opened just in time. Read on for a report for the meeting.

    • Albert Astals Cid: KDE Edu, Okular, Akademy and Life

      Last time in the KDE contributor interview series, we talked with the KDE developer Stephen Kelly from KDE PIM. We’ve been digging around in the KDE interview vaults and found this interesting discussion we had with Albert Astals Cid on 12 May 2010. Albert is well known in KDE from his work with KDE España, as maintainer of Okular and the KDE Edu applications. The original interview in Italian is also available.

    • Creating plasmoids with JavaScript

      With KDE 4.4, plasmoids can now be written in JavaScript or QtScript, thus opening up a whole new class of applications. Marcel shows how easy it is to build JavaScript plasmoids.

    • Ever wanted your ownCloud?

      Akademy is a great time to meet people and understand some of the exciting new projects and buzzwords in KDE. One project that has been generating a lot of interest recently is ownCloud, the KDE cloud computing project launched by Frank Karlitschek. We caught up with Frank to understand ownCloud better, find out about the current status, and plans for the future.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Pinguy OS – Distro Review

        My favourite type of distros are Ubuntu based. For some time now I have been making a case for why you should be using Linux Mint. Even though I think Mint is fantastic, I still make it a point to try other distributions. I made a pit stop at Zorin 3 for a short while and even though it had many wonderful qualities it didn’t quite knock Linux Mint out of my top spot.

    • New Releases

      • [T2] 8.0 Changes

        User visible

        * GCC 4.5(.0)
        * GlibC 2.11(.2)
        * X.Org 7.5
        * preliminary (basic) support for LLVM/clang
        * preliminary (basic) support to target MinGW / Win32
        * over 200 new packages (now nearly 3221)
        * most existing packages received an update
        * over 10000 SVN revisions since the 7.0 branch!

      • Netrunner 2 – Official Release

        Today, we released the official Netrunner 2 – Blacklight ISO.
        Compared to the RC, we fully integrated Ubuntu Software Center back again,
        and updated VLC to 1.1.0.

      • Linux Mint 9 LXDE released!
      • [Tiny Core Linux] v3.0

        All new kernel, modules, libraries, and support for unlimited loops make up the new Tiny Core / Micro Core 3.0. Freedesktop support and many improvements to Apps Audit and OnDemand features. Also support for RAID disks and new bootcode to blacklist modules.

    • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Debian declassification delayed

        In 2005, the Debian project voted to declassify messages on the debian-private mailing list after a period of three years. That is easier said than done, apparently. The General Resolution (GR) calls for volunteers to do the work of declassification, and few Debian Developers seem eager to do the work required to make it happen.

      • Flavours and Variants of Ubuntu

        • Cloud-oriented distro gets site-specific

          The team behind the cloud-based Peppermint variant of Ubuntu Linux released a scaled-down, fast-booting, site-specific browser (SSB) version. The “Peppermint Ice” distro switches to Google’s Chromium as the default browser, and while still supporting native apps, is even more focused on web-based apps than is Peppermint.

          Written by Kendall Weaver, the creator of the Pepperment distro, which shipped in May (see farther below), Peppermint Ice was designed as a mechanism for launching web applications and/or cloud applications such as SaaS (Software As A Service) apps, says the Peppermint team. When a web based application is called from within Ice, the distro also pulls up a custom SSB using the default Chromium Browser, the open source version of Chrome. Chromium is used in place of the Firefox browser used as the default in Peppermint.

        • Peppermint Ice Is Here: Screenshots Included

          After tons of popularity surrounding the Peppermint OS release last month, today Cloud lovers get a treat in the first release of Peppermint Ice, version 07142010. This Peppermint project was developed around the Chromium web browser and a new SSB or Site Specific Browser developed by Kendall Weaver aka “Ice”. This is where Peppermint Ice got its name. If you want to compare Peppermint Ice to Peppermint OS One, I did a Peppermint OS One screenshot review last month you might find useful.

        • VLC Default In Kubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat?
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-ready NAS devices run dual-core Atoms

      Synology America is shipping two network-attached storage (NAS) devices running its Linux-based Synology DiskStation Manager 2.3 software. The desktop DiskStation DS411+ and rack-mount RackStation RS810+ are both equipped with dual-core Intel Atom D510 processors, as well as four bays supporting up to 8TB each, with the RS810+ expandable to 16TB via Synology’s RX410 add-on unit.

    • MontaVista revs IDE for new Linux build engine

      MontaVista Software announced a new version of its Eclipse-based integrated development environment (IDE) for embedded Linux. DevRocket 6.1 has been upgraded to better support the MontaVista Linux 6 commercial embedded Linux development platform, adding tight integration and a graphical interface to the new MontaVista Integration Platform build platform, plus enhanced analysis and debugging tools, says MontaVista.

    • Nokia/MeeGo

      • Android may have the phones, but MeeGo may get the cars

        Google’s Android is already hot in smartphones, and it’s going to be hotter than hot in Linux-powered tablets. So, where does that leave Intel and Nokia’s embedded Linux, MeeGo? In the dust? Actually, it looks now like MeeGo is going to have its own niche where it will be the embedded Linux of choice: Car entertainment, Internet, and navigation systems.

        Tomorrow, the Linux Foundation will announce that GENIVI, a non-profit auto industry alliance committed to driving the adoption of an open-source IVI (In-Vehicle Infotainment) reference platform. With members like BMW, GM, Peugeot Citroen, and Renault this is a big deal. These aren’t hangers-on in the car business; these are core car companies.

    • Android

      • Sony Ericsson earnings up thanks to Android

        Sony Ericsson has returned to profitability thanks in part to its Android phones, and it’s contemplating dropping its Symbian and Windows Mobile phones, says the Wall Street Journal. The company has found success with its Android-based Xperia X10 and Xperia Mini and Mini Pro, says the story, and the company is now prepping a mid-range Xperia X8 model.

      • Ex-Palm VP Says It’s A Two-Horse Race Between Android And iPhone

        As Palm’s VP of developer platform, part of David Temkin’s job was to build out the app catalog. But now as VP of mobile at AOL (NYSE: AOL), his focus is on Android and iPhone. “We are in a eyeball business. To the extent that Palm (NSDQ: PALM) or Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) turns it around, we’ll pay more attention to it. It’s a two-horse race.”

      • Android leads booming location based services market, study says

        IE Market Research Corporation (IEMR) released a report projecting that the global market for GPS navigation and location-based services (LBS) will rise by 51.3 percent through 2014 to $13.4 billion, and will be led by Android. Meanwhile, location-enabled search and advertising will see the biggest growth in market spending, growing at 131 percent by 2014, says IEMR.

      • Barnes and Noble spins Nook for Android app

        Barnes & Noble released a Nook for Android application, competing with a similar Android app released for the Kindle, and Amazon announced that its Kindle e-books are outselling its hardcover books by almost two to one. Meanwhile, Entourage Systems, which makes the Entourage Edge dual-screen Android e-reader, announced several e-book content partnerships.

      • Working Windows 95 Port for Android
      • Five deadly sins of Android Development

        1 Poor Performance
        If your application is not responsive enough, your users will receive an ugly ANR (Application Not Responding) message. An ANR is thrown when your application is not able to respond to user input within five seconds, or the Broadcast Receiver does not complete in ten seconds.
        An ANR message allows the user to either close the application or wait for it to respond. You know what most users will do, so optimise your application for performance. Or else.

      • Re: Apple. Will history repeat itself?

        My question is: Is Apple doomed to repeat its own history? Should we continue to expect Apple market share growth? Or will this plateau as more and more Android devices flood the market offering more affordable and feature rich mobile computing experiences?

      • Master Android Development

        Android is changing the way that Linux is perceived. It has become the single most widely adopted type of Linux on embedded devices. It is not only popular in the smartphone space but also expanding its coverage to tablets, set‑top Boxes, televisions and appliances. For an Android application developer, this means a broader market to reach out to. We have already covered the introduction to Android development back in issue 83, so this time we go beyond the ‘hello world’ basics and give you the tips and recipes you need to become a better Android developer…

    • Sub-notebooks

    • Tablets

      • Sharp, Lenovo, and Toshiba ready consumer tablets

        Presumably, the new version will maintain the Intel/Windows base, but replace Skylight Linux with the Linux-based Android, although this was unclear from the report. The Skylight netbook is definitely coming out with Android, says CNET, but the fate of the IdeaPad UI is still up in the air.

      • Android tablet to offer telephony

        Tattu Mobile is prepping an Android-based tablet based on ZiiLabs’ ZMS-05 SoC, with the help of Intrinsyc’s RapidRIL telephony technology, says Intrinsyc. Meanwhile, CNET reviewed the Dell Streak Android tablet (pictured) and dubbed it “the best Android-based tablet we’ve seen so far.”

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