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07.24.10

Links: GNU/Linux in China, India, Many Other Places

Posted in News Roundup at 11:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rice terrace in China

Summary: Some catch-up with news from the past week or two

GNU/Linux

  • Why I still hate Windows

    I’ve posted many times over that I used to be an avid Windows and Microsoft supporter, mainly around the Windows 95/98 days. However, after being introduced to Linux, I soon realized that Linux surpasses Windows in many ways, especially system reliability.

  • Kids get free computers

    Learners with very little prior computer exposure were taught programming languages in a primarily Linux environment at the Centre for High Performance Computing in Cape Town and the course organisers feel that they will have the tools to begin further studies in computer programming.

    [...]

    He explained the choice to teach using the Linux platform.

    “Linux is a free OS (Operating System) and is also virtually virus free. Unlike Windows, it comes with a variety of useful applications which are also free and all the PCs the kids have has (Linux) Ubuntu installed,” he said.

  • Operating systems: all about personal preference

    - Linux users: Many have used Windows and Linux at some point. Windows/DOS was around before Linux, so there are even some that used Microsoft’s earlier products. But for some reason they have chosen to dump Windows and stick with Linux. I know very few within the past 3-4 years or so, that know Linux in and out, and have chosen to use Windows as their primary operating system. I would be happy to hear from somebody that has done this, to find out why they took the path they did. Personally, I made this move myself in 2002 (about 8 years ago) when I attempted to migrate to Linux from Windows for my personal workstation, and I ended up back on Windows XP. I didn’t like Windows, but there were too many things that didn’t work in Linux at the time. However, within the past 3-4 years, things have changed significantly; Linux is now capable of handling Windows software with ease, as well as its own catalog of software growing exponentially. In 2008 I finally made my migration from Windows XP to Fedora Linux on my personal PC plus two other PCs in our home used by my family, and I will never use Windows as my primary operating system again.

  • Low-cost Computing

  • India

    • India’s $35 Tablet- The Everything Killer

      On July 22 a $35 (or 1500 INR) hand-held Linux computing device was unveiled by Shri Kapil Sibal, the Union Minister for Human Resource Development of India. The goal of the project is to lower the price to around $20 in time and eventually reaching the amazing price of $10.

      In a tablet form-factor and using an unspecified variant of Linux (that some have said might be Android), the cost should remain low while offering a wide range of functionality. The Sakshat descendant is said to be capable of supporting video conferencing, viewing a wide selection of video and image files, word processing, de/compressing files, printing with CUPS, full Internet browsing with Javascript and Flash, wireless communications, and remote device management.

    • Missions impossible for now

      Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi doesn’t mind following the Marxists when it comes to providing cheaper IT education in schools. On learning that the Kerala government used the open-source free software, Linux, for its schools, he has decided to do the same in 3,650 schools in his state. Though his babus objected, Modi saw he could save Rs 100 crore by installing Linux in schools. Before opting for Linux, his aides tried to negotiate to install the Microsoft Windows operating system at a cheaper rate. But the talks failed.

  • China

    • Taobao initiates Chinese open source revolution

      So three years later, Taobao, a user of Linux and FOSS, sets a precedent by not only admitting to be using Linux (OMG!) but also launching their own open source repositories, hosting their own projects and sharing them with the world–yes, the world! Its objectives are for the message not to only be constrained within the Chinese borders but as with any other corporation, to extend across the globe. Here’s the blog post announcement from a member of the Taobao Technical Committee, Coly Li.

    • China finally getting the open source message

      Muller calls this “a dream come true for those of us who have been advocating openness and contribution from those Chinese companies using FOSS.” His hope is that other companies will join the effort, and “admit” to using open source. He thinks it could boost the quality of open source worldwide.

      Which is the important point. Taobao isn’t doing this out of the goodness of its heart, although the company may have a very good heart indeed. But companies create forges and open their code to scrutiny to improve it, and in hopes a community will form they can benefit from.

  • Server

    • IBM Launches 5000 MIPS Hybrid Mainframe

      IBM’s zEnterprise server pushes mainframe performance on, and converges mainframe technology with blade servers

    • Vietnam Banks On Linux

      Vietnam Joint Stock Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank), one of the largest banking institutions in Vietnam, has selected an IBM System z10 mainframe to support the expansion of its banking businesses.

    • What is Web 2.0 anyway?

      This is important to counter the entire “2.0″ stupidity and media brainwashing. Linux runs the internet. Almost totally. There are several factors in play, not the least of which are security, lack of viruses on linux, useability, accessibility, and cost. All these factors weigh heavily in favor of non-Microsoft products. It costs anywhere from TEN to a HUNDRED times less to operate an internet service using Linux. Why? Support is cheaper, the initial software is FREE, and there are no licensing or patent issues to fight over!

    • Q&A: Carl Meadows of The Planet, on its New Server Cloud

      According to the launch announcement, key to The Planet’s server cloud is transparency into the systems running behind the interface. The offering is built on high-end physical infrastructure, from Dell, Intel, Juniper, Cisco and Sun, along with the Canonical Ubuntu Linux OS and virtualization using Kernel-based Virtual Machine.

    • Cutting Edge and Leading GIS Company Esri Announce New Linux Servers with ArcGIS Server 10

      Cutting Edge Networked Storage (www.cuttedge.com) and Esri (www.Esri.com) are pleased to announce new Linux Server Solutions with ArcGIS Server Enterprise 10 preinstalled to the U.S. Geographic Information Systems community. Esri has selected Cutting Edge Networked Storage to manufacture and deliver the new Linux Servers with ArcGIS Server 10 based on the popular Redhat Enterprise operating system to its customer base.

  • VoIP

    • Designing a VoIP Media Phone Framework

      Linux-based VoIP for Intel architectures

    • Is your business ready for VoIP?

      Alternatively, many Linux aficionados have taken the Asterisk freeware to create a Linux PBX appliance with excellent results.

    • Teo launches single-server unified comms system

      Teo Technologies today announced a unified communications (UC) platform that relies on a Linux-based server to provide multiple applications, including voice mail, across a variety of devices.

    • Teo Delivers Linux Based UC Solution

      Teo’s system relies on a single Linux server, a single administrator’s portal, and a single user interface to track calls, emails, and voice mails. The company claims that the Teo UC could cost customers 30% less than conventional approaches, which tend to rely on multiple servers, each supporting a different communications function.

  • Kernel Space

    • Careers Q&A: Happen Business’ Paul Berger

      Happen Business’ technical director, Paul Berger, has had a fairly meaty history in IT. Entering the industry with an electronic background, he is responsible for building a popular kit computer in the mid-1980s – the Applix 1616 – and the partner he built it with is now a co-maintainer of both the ext3 file system and the Linux kernel.

    • Re: ARM defconfig files

      I’m willing to try my solution, some others on the linux-arm-kernel lists considered it worth trying, too.

    • Kernel prepatch 2.6.35-rc5
  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Specialised

      • Security: Disposable VMs For Tighter Security

        A new flavor of the Linux Operating System is now available that might prove to be one of the strongest defenses put up against malware. The new Operating System is called Qubes, and it is a combination of Linux with the Xen Virtual machine. Qubes is the invention of Joanna Rutkowska, a Polish researcher of malware and exploits. Rutkowska is famous for a paper she authored and presented at a Black Hat conference in 2006 that described a technique called ‘Blue Pill’ for moving a running OS into a virtual machine using hardware virtualization.

      • SingleOS Improves Management Of High Availability And Load-balancing Services In Fuscan Linux Cloud

        The new functionality enables Fuscan Linux Cloud based web hosts to better control the load-balanced and High Availability services on the Cloud.

      • SystemRescueCd 1.5.6

        Although SystemRescueCD offers a desktop, it can be complicated to use and requires a some basic computer knowledge. However, it doesn’t require much Linux specific knowledge to operate most of the tools, so I would be happy to recommend it to a Windows guru. Besides, people who don’t understand the basics shouldn’t be operating partition managers and file recovery utilities anyway.

    • Reviews

      • Linux Distro Review: Mandriva Spring 2010.1

        It has been many years since I spent much time with Mandriva. I did try the last release for a bit when writing up the Linux.com 2010 Distro Scorecard, but haven’t used Mandriva as a primary distro in many years. Actually, it might be more accurate to say that I’ve never used Mandriva as a primary distro. The last time I used the distro consistently, it was called Mandrake.

        I still prefer the old name, but I like Mandriva 2010.1 much more than I liked the last Mandrake release I used. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Mandriva 2010.1 to any user looking for a solid, user-friendly Linux desktop. It’s not the only distro that I’d recommend, but it’d be one of a handful that I’d be comfortable recommending.

    • New Releases

      • SystemRescueCd 1.5.8 Fixes a Couple of Critical Bugs in GParted

        SystemRescueCd has been updated bringing newer Linux kernels and a newer GParted. With SystemRescueCd 1.5.8, both kernel lines offered have been updated to Linux kernel 2.6.32.16 and Linux kernels 2.6.34.1 respectively. A newer version of GParted, the graphical partitioning tool, has been included which fixes a couple of critical bugs from the previous release.

      • Reverse Engineer Releases Linux Distro for Malware Research

        A reputed security expert named Lenny Zeltser, who specializes in reverse-engineering malicious software has put together a special Linux distribution tailored to the specific needs of malware researchers. Called REMnux, the distro contains a wide variety of tools for analyzing malicious traffic and inspecting various threats.

      • Zencafe 2.2: Zenwalk Linux for Internet cafés

        The Zencafe developers have released version 2.2 of their Linux distribution designed specifically for internet cafés. Zencafe includes a built-in, “Deep Freeze like” auto-recovery tool and various specialised internet café applications, such as software for billing and system management.

      • Zenwalk Internet Cafe Edition 2.2 Released
    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Fund Buys Software Stake

        Russia-backed fund NGI acquired a stake in Mandriva, a French maker of software based on the Linux operating system, as part of a program to develop a Russian operating system, Kommersant reported Thursday.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • DebConf10: the Debian Project

        This operating system that we have been creating is called Debian GNU/Linux, or simply Debian for short. Every year, DebConf allows new and existing Debian project participants from around the world to assemble, share knowledge and ideas, make collaborative contributions to Debian, build tighter community bonds and improve communication within the project.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Google’s China rival to create Android-like OS

      Google’s biggest search rival in China – homegrown market leader Baidu, is to develop a Linux-based smartphone to rival the Californian search giant’s Android-based devices.

    • ARM

      • ARM Lines Up a Warp Speed Future For Mobile Processors

        ARM has solidified its position today as master of the mobile processor universe, announcing a deal with TSMC that will take smartphone chips all the way down to a 20nm process. That means: faster, better, more efficient.

      • Linux: New Distribution for the ARM mobile processing

        A group of hardware companies that produce ARM-powered mobile devices have gotten together to create a consortium called Linaro. ARM produces ultra-low-power consumption chips for mobile devices, like for the iPhone, and is available at a relatively low unit price. ARM has been successfully attacking the low end of the chip, a game-plan similar to Intel’s from a couple of decades back, and now ARM is capturing market share that would normally have belonged to Intel. About 98 percent of mobile phones use ARM chips and the chips are also used heavily in other consumer electronic products. It is expected that Linaro should help speed the time to market for new mobile devices.

    • Wind River (Intel)

    • Caanoo

    • iRiver

    • Nokia/MeeGo

    • Android

      • Android’s ascent in China might not elevate Google

        As the sole arbiter of Android’s dominant application delivery channel, Google has enormous control over the platform and how it is used. This is an extremely effective tool for preventing platform-level fragmentation and discouraging vendors from building forks that deviate from upstream Android in ways that might diminish application compatibility across devices.

      • Motorola Droid X Gets Rooted

        Hardcore Android fans have been leery of the Motorola Droid X because of the chip and bootloader combination in the device that could potentially brick it if custom versions of the Android operating system are loaded on it.

      • Droid 2 being prepared for launch, set to arrive August 23rd?

        The Droid 2′s been leaking out all over the place in the past few weeks, but it looks like it’ll be another month before it officially hits shelves — we just got these shots from a packaging facility that’s handling the phone, which puts it right on schedule for that rumored August 23rd launch. We’re also told that the phone will definitely ship with an 8GB microSD card, and that pricing appears to be $199 on contract and $599 standalone, although those numbers could change. Just a few short weeks left, we suppose — although give the rate at which this thing is leaking, we’re thinking Motorola and Verizon might do well to push that date up a couple weeks. We’ll see.

      • Graffiti for Android scribbles Palm OS memories all over Google’s platform
      • New Google tool lets anyone become an Android developer

        Google’s launched a new software tool that it says allows anybody to become an Android developer.

      • New Java IDE: Google App Inventor for Android

        Google has released App Inventor for Android, a new Java development environment aimed at the recently oft-targeted non-coder developer who wants to build an app for the Android operating system.

    • WebOS

      • HP PalmPad trademark foretells WebOS slate

        The United States Patent and Trademark Office granted Hewlett-Packard a trademark for the term “PalmPad” late last week.

        HP hasn’t released specific details on what it plans to do with the trademark; however, the application form confirms that HP will limit its use to “Computers, computer hardware, computer software, computer peripherals, portable computers, handheld and mobile computers, PDAs, electronic notepads, mobile digital electronic devices.”

      • Will HP Create PalmPad To Fight iPad

        According to reports, a PalmPad is on its way — at least is in consideration. HP has been granted a trademark for name ‘PalmPad’ by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

      • What the Palm webOS Platform Has to Offer Developers
      • HP Using Own Software in Phone Wars with Apple, Google

        In its bid to take on Apple and Google in smartphones, Hewlett-Packard won’t use Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 software.

    • Tablets

      • Lenovo to launch Android tablet by year’s end

        Lenovo is launching its own tablet to debut in China by the end of this year.

        Dubbed “LePad,” the tablet will run Google’s Android operating system, according to comments made by Liu Jun, senior vice president for Lenovo Group, as reported by TradingMarkets.com and other sources. Details are few so far, and there’s no word from Lenovo or other sources on whether the tablet will venture abroad after its initial debut in China.

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