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Links 24/7/2010: Dell Betrays, Linux.conf.au 2011 Wants Papers

Posted in News Roundup at 4:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Jailbreaker GeoHot decides to withdraw from the web, goes invite only

    GeoHot, or George Hotz to use his real name, has built up quite a following and reputation online. This is mainly due to his antics jailbreaking the iPhone and iPad, and working to re-enable PS3 Linux after Sony removed it with a firmware update.

  • Freedom in an Open OS

    I know, I know… Linux is a “4 letter word” to all of the Mac/Windows users out there that like their pretty GUI’s (Graphical User Interfaces). But I want to take a minute or two to show you some of the things that you can do with Linux without diving in head first. Basically there are two popular methods to try Linux without having to change your existing OS. They are “CD/DVD Live” or “USB Pen Drive Live”. First, let me begin my discussion by explaining why you should care.

  • You Get What You Pay For

    A guy has a nice report of a construction project, a PC he built for $200 and a bit of his time. It uses an AMD64 X2 CPU and 1 gB of fast RAM on a minimal motherboard. He was under budget and if the construction and installation time cost $50/h, this project cost less than $250. He then benchmarked it against a $300 box with “7″ installed in the factory. He got what he paid for and it is faster in every test compared to that other OS on similar hardware.

  • Dell Grows Darker

    Since Dell has recently been caught out boycotting AMD and accepting payments for the boycott from Intel, is it not very likely that Dell would boycott Ubuntu upon payments from M$? What do you think?

    “Intel made exclusivity payments to Dell in order for Dell to not use CPUs manufactured by its rival — Advance Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD). These exclusivity payments grew from 10 percent of Dell’s operating income in FY 2003 to 38 percent in FY 2006, and peaked at 76 percent in the first quarter of FY 2007. The SEC alleges that Dell Inc., Michael Dell, Rollins, and Schneider failed to disclose the basis for the company’s sharp drop in its operating results in its second quarter of FY 2007 as Intel cut its payments after Dell announced its intention to begin using AMD CPUs. In dollar terms, the reduction in Intel exclusivity payments was equivalent to 75 percent of the decline in Dell’s operating income. Michael Dell, Rollins, and Schneider had been warned in the past that Intel would cut its funding if Dell added AMD as a vendor. Nevertheless, in Dell’s second quarter FY 2007 earnings call, they told investors that the sharp drop in the company’s operating results was attributable to Dell pricing too aggressively in the face of slowing demand and to component costs declining less than expected.”

  • Human Services, super next on list for SBR

    While the SBR scheme – flagged in the Ahead of the Game: Blueprint for Reform of Australian Government Administration report on public service reform – purports to simplify business-to-government reporting, Linux users have cried foul over the lack of AUSkey compatibility with the platform, while the ATO has told some businesses that the software “doesn’t like Macs”.

    “There’s some more discussions we’ve got to have with AUSkey about Linux,” Madden said. “If we get through the Linux process where Linux themselves would like to provide support for some of these facilities, those facilities will get published the same way as the rest of the Linux things do, in an open source way.”

  • Kernel Space

    • New Arrivals in the Linux.com Store

      We are announcing some new arrivals today in the Linux.com Store– hats, hats and more hats! To be more specific, we’ve added four new baseball caps, each with a different choice of a Linux-related graphic. My favorite is the “Green Fresh Kernels.”

  • Instructionals

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • CentOS Is Now The Most Popular Linux Distro For Web Servers

        CentOS is a Red Hat based free operating system which enjoys widespread use among servers. It does not have the recognition of Ubuntu, Fedora etc. since it focuses entirely on servers not on desktops.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora retrofit & retrofeel

          There’s a new virtual machine on my block, for the purposes of creating crisp and squeaking clean screencasts. And the VM goes by the name of Fedora 13, my chance to dip my toes in alternative Linux distro waters, away from the familiar shores of Ubuntu.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • HawkBoard development platform combines ARM processor and a DSP, with Linux

      The HawkBoard is available for global shipping today from Farnell. Offering portability and diversity in its small, 9×10-cm form factor, the HawkBoard, based on the OMAP-L138 processor from TI, enables Linux developers to harness the power of floating-point DSP to design unique open source applications. Developers can utilize ARM without DSP with TI’s pin-for-pin compatible AM1808 microprocessor from the Sitara family of processors. This low-power board requires only a five-volt power supply, allowing portability by connecting to a laptop.

    • Android

      • ARM tools up for Android design and debug

        ARM has announced commercial availability of ARM Development Studio 5 (DS-5) Application Edition.

        According to ARM, the software development tool is intended to “simplify the development of Linux and Android native applications for ARM-based systems”.

      • Android and PHP development

        Since not everyone may wish to get to grips with Java, the main Android development language, PHP fans have now developed an extension for Android which allows developers to create programs using the PHP scripting language.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • linux.conf.au 2011 CFP opens

      The linux.conf.au 2011 organisers now welcome proposals of papers from all areas of the open source community. linux.conf.au is a fun, informal, seriously technical conference. In 2011 it will also cater to a range of end users including those new to the open source community.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle releases Sun Ray Software 5

      New features include support for Oracle Enterprise Linux, an enhanced virtual desktop client, and a Sun Ray connector for VMware View 4, the virtualisation vendor’s virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) product.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Announcing the world’s fastest VP8 decoder: ffvp8

      Back when I originally reviewed VP8, I noted that the official decoder, libvpx, was rather slow. While there was no particular reason that it should be much faster than a good H.264 decoder, it shouldn’t have been that much slower either! So, I set out with Ronald Bultje and David Conrad to make a better one in FFmpeg. This one would be community-developed and free from the beginning, rather than the proprietary code-dump that was libvpx. A few weeks ago the decoder was complete enough to be bit-exact with libvpx, making it the first independent free implementation of a VP8 decoder. Now, with the first round of optimizations complete, it should be ready for primetime. I’ll go into some detail about the development process, but first, let’s get to the real meat of this post: the benchmarks.


  • Rupee sign to invade software lexicon, computer keyboards, mobiles

    “Having a symbol for the rupee will take up less memory,” said Satish Mohan, director of software engineering at Red Hat (India), which distributes the Linux OS.

  • Livel Law Abuse

    • Trafigura-esque Tangents, or A very progressive digital agency.

      Whether you’ve heard of Tangent Labs is a way of separating the political geek goats from the sheep, but if you’ve ever been on a Labour Party site you’ve probably come across something they’ve designed and built.

      My views about their products are a matter of record. This is from March:

      When I commented on the Political Scrapbook story, I referred to Labour’s favourite digital agency, Tangent Labs, who have been responsible for monstrosities such as this (which is vastly improved from its state at launch) and this. If such sites were free, that would be one thing – but Labour paid handsomely for them.

      Someone else who’s apparently less than enamoured of their work is Luke Bozier, a Labour supporting communications consultant, who took the time to give a more detailed comment on the subject earlier today, explaining why he felt the Labour party’s relationship with Tangent Labs resulted in an array of very similar, and not very attractive, sites.

    • Instant Corporate Karma

      How is it possible to stop someone from expressing an opinion? In a society that cherishes free speech as a fundamental principle, there are no legal lengths that a person or organisation can go to by way of imposing such a limit. That’s obvious, isn’t it? Well not exactly…

      British libel laws are some of the most abused in the world. Libel reformists have long been campaigning for an end to laws which, amongst their many faults, leave the burden of proof on the defendant. This is a principle that condemns that accused as guilty until such a time as they can prove their innocence.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Clip of the Day

Reinstalling GRUB

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