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Links 28/7/2010: Linux Mint 9 KDE is Out, GNOME 3 Delayed

Posted in News Roundup at 3:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • The Linux Box Achieves ISO 9001:2008 Certification

    The Linux Box, a software development company specializing in open source technology, has earned ISO 9001:2008 certification.

  • Linux Format wallpapers
  • ["Get a cat"]
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • VLC backend for Phonon 0.2.0

        The VLC backend for Phonon is released!

      • BlueDevil, the new KDE bluetooth stack is here

        BlueDevil is a set of components, which integrates bluetooth within the KDE SC, for example adding a system preference module (KCM), or allowing to browse the files in a cell phone from you favorite file browser.

      • Blue smile
      • Linux Music Players: Amarok vs. Clementine

        Open Amarok and Clementine side by side, and the philosophical differences become apparent immediately.

        The difference goes far beyond the fact that Clementine uses two panes — one for music sources and one for playlists — while Amarok adds a third pane for context information. The number of panes does indicate a difference in assumptions about what users have want, but it is the least of the differences.

        Instead, the largest difference is that Amarok’s design philosophy is influenced by the current interface design theories, while Clementine’s are more oriented towards stone geeks, including every detail imaginable.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Linux Storm: Stormy Peters

        Stormy: I first got involved with open source software around 1999 or 2000. I was managing the HPUX desktop and we decided that having GNOME, a free and open source desktop, on HPUX would be advantageous for users. It was a platform with a vibrant community and new features that customers wanted. The technical part turned out to be the easy part. The harder part was explaining what open source software was and how HP’s intellectual property would not be compromised, and how free and open source software was changing the software business. I ended up with a new job teaching people about open source software and creating the Open Source Program Office.

      • Terminator for GNOME lets users split terminal windows

        Although a command line isn’t a necessity anymore in modern desktop Linux distributions, there are many situations where it’s still the most efficient way to perform and automate tasks. I often spawn terminal windows in clusters on my desktop while I’m working so that I can monitor and switch between a number of simultaneous operations. A large number of terminal windows can be frustrating to manage, however, and can look cluttered on a desktop.

      • GNOME 3 not ready yet, release pushed back to 2011

        The developers behind the GNOME project have gathered in the Netherlands this week for the annual GUADEC conference. During a meeting that took place at the event, the GNOME release team made the difficult decision to delay the launch of GNOME 3, the next major version of the popular open source desktop environment.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • PClinuxOS: Radically Simple

        At the end the hardware requirements of each distribution depend much on its components (Desktop Envorinment, Window Manager,…) which are in many distro’s the same, what makes PClinuxOS different from the rest is that PClinuxOS is “Radically Simple”. I have not found anyother distribution which is simpler.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Ships JBoss Enterprise Portal Platform 5.0

        Red Hat Inc. has launched its next-generation portal solution, JBoss Enterprise Portal Platform 5.0, offering organizations a flexible, open source alternative for building, deploying, integrating and managing on-premise and cloud-based applications.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android vs iPhone vs Palm Pre vs Maemo: which is best?

        Mobile Linux is an unprecedented success. In a market that has been dominated for years by the likes of Nokia and Microsoft, it’s a credit to our favourite operating system that it has been able to quickly adapt and slot into the mobile ecosystem over a such a short period of time. It’s also amazing that our open source operating system is rivalling Apple without the massive research and development budgets, without the singular vision and without curtailing users’ freedom, albeit with help from the likes of Google.

        What’s most impressive is that Linux-based mobile phones can beat the iPhone without resorting to free software idealism. In many cases, they’re just better. Simple functions like modifying your home screen, or replacing your music and photo browsers, are almost impossible on the iPhone, and ridiculously easy on all three of the platforms we’ve looked at. Their APIs aren’t controlled by a single developer, they don’t force draconian limitations on their use, and you’re free to create and install any kind of application you choose, regardless of the moral judgements of the developers behind the platform.

        But the best reason is that they all run Linux, and while you might not be able to get into the operating system as much as you can on your desktop, you can’t completely escape from it either. Many Linux tools and applications have been ported to these devices, and much of the third-party software you find in their app stores has been derived from open source projects. This means you’re probably already familiar with them, and it also means that there’s a great sense of longevity in these phones. The hardware may change, and so too may the operating system and APIs, but the free software bedrock upon which they’re built won’t change, and can only go from strength to strength.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Nokia N900, the ultimate smartphone?

          I bought a Nokia N900 a litte more than a month ago, after having wanted one ever since when Nokia first released word that it was coming out with this new Linux based smartphone.


          The included software is pretty good, but if you are not going to install 3rd party software then this really is not the phone for you.

      • Android

        • Why Android won

          The OS wars in the mobile space appear to be over and there are two left standing, the iPhone and Android, a Linux distro.

Free Software/Open Source

  • MagicMail Adds Collaboration, Mobility from Open-Xchange

    LinuxMagic will incorporate the Open-Xchange software in its MagicMail offering that is designed as a turn-key solution for ISPs and telcos with 2,000 to 200,000 users. MagicMail comes with integrated anti-spam protection and support from LinuxMagic, one of the foremost experts in e-mail and spam security, as well as a stable redundant infrastructure built on Linux technology.

  • Web Browsers

  • Project Releases

    • GNU make 3.82 released!

      The next stable version of GNU make, version 3.81, has been released and is available for download from http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/make/.

  • Openness/Sharing


  • Genome Nobelist: The hard numbers of population growth

    The topic of population is moving up the agenda again. It was very much discussed 40 years ago. Then, with the green revolution, people felt things would be fine because the world population was increasing and everyone wasn’t starving to death as predicted. But now we are facing a whole series of resource limitations. We are also facing the results of our own emissions – it is only in the last 10 years that we’ve had the hard evidence to say that rising levels of carbon dioxide really are leading to rising levels of global warming.

  • Leaked report on Land grabs

    Today’s Financial Times has a preview of a much-awaited World Bank report on land grabs. The Bank has, for months, been promising the arrival of a report that makes a cast iron case for why allowing rich foreign investors to buy land in poor countries is win-win-win-win. The release date for the report keeps slipping because it appears that even the Bank is struggling to massage the facts to fit its case. From a leaked version of the report:

    “Investor interest is focused on countries with weak land governance,” the draft said. Although deals promised jobs and infrastructure, “investors failed to follow through on their investments plans, in some cases after inflicting serious damage on the local resource base”.

  • Environment

    • Billionaire polluter David Koch: Global warming is good for you

      This is the big pull-out quote from a profile in New York Magazine of the billionaire polluter behind the Tea Parties, whose family outspends Exxon Mobil on climate and clean energy disinformation.

      NY Mag gives Koch free rein to spread that disinformation, with not a single quote by any scientist disputing it. Of course, if conservatives continue to listen to Koch and the groups funded by him, like the Cato Institute and Heritage Foundation — and block all efforts to get off our current emissions path — then we are headed towards very high concentrations of carbon dioxide, which will dramatically reduce the land available to produce food, even as we add another 3 billion mouths to feed (see “Intro to global warming impacts: Hell and High Water“).

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Why a Uyghur Journalist Was Sentenced 15 Years

      On July 23rd, 2010, a Uyghur journalist, activist and blogger named Gheyret Niyaz (a.k.a. Heyrat Niyaz, 海莱特·尼亚孜) was sentenced to 15 years in prison. His crime, according to many reports, was “endangering state security” by conducting an interview with a Hong Kong newspaper shortly after the Urumqi riots of 2009. He played no role in the actual riots.

    • Every Small Business Needs A Privacy Policy

      Online privacy policies have taken center stage as social networking sites and search engines have recently come under fire for sharing user information.

    • Use of parking enforcement cameras suspended in west of borough

      Complaints from drivers prompted Hounslow Council to switch off CCTV cameras in some part of the borough.

    • Blackburn town centre CCTV cameras ‘faulty’

      CRUCIAL evidence of Blackburn town centre incidents could be being missed because of faulty CCTV cameras.

    • Your mobile app is spying on you

      The odds are pretty good that if you’re a big consumer of mobile apps, the private information on your phone has been collected and sent somewhere without your knowledge.

      That’s the finding of the App Genome Project mammoth study by Lookout, a mobile security company that has scrutinized more than 300,000 apps on both the iPhone and Android mobile phone platforms.

    • 100 million Facebook pages leaked on torrent site

      A directory containing personal details about more than 100 million Facebook users has surfaced on an Internet file-sharing site.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ASCAP Boss Refuses To Debate Lessig; Claims That It’s An Attempt To ‘Silence’ ASCAP

        We were among those who were amazed at ASCAP’s misguided and factually incorrect attack on EFF, Public Knowledge and Creative Commons. ASCAP’s Paul Williams falsely made the claim that those three groups were against copyright and against compensating content creators. Nothing could be further from the truth. All three groups responded politely to the bizarre and factually incorrect attack, and many ASCAP members who support these groups and use Creative Commons licenses expressed their displeasure with ASCAP for such a blatantly misleading letter. Larry Lessig responded with a blog post, again pointing out the blatant errors in ASCAP’s attack, noting that these groups actually look to help content creators by providing them tools to better exercise their rights. In that blog post, Lessig also challenged Williams to a debate so they could iron out their differences and ASCAP could (hopefully) retract their false attacks on these groups, and focus on helping artists again.

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • Digital Economy Act “not fine” – great understatements of our time…

          One of the consequences of this act is that internet service providers (ISPs) will be require to keep a dossier on individuals suspected of illegal file-sharing. Individuals will be identified via an IP address associated with them (an ID assigned to equipment connect to the internet).

        • DE Act: could the UK Parliament revisit it?

          The Digital Economy Act, and the issues raised by it, will be addressed by a new Committee of the UK Parliament. At its first meeting yesterday, it was rights-holders v citizens. But where were the telcos?

Clip of the Day

Dell Streak

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Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. twitter said,

    July 28, 2010 at 6:03 pm


    I would have posted this comment about Synergy at TechRepublic, but they have a painful and stupid registration. I’m not terribly impressed with Synergy, but that’s mostly because I think dual monitor sets are wasteful solutions to Microsoft Windows limitations.

    If you install OpenSSH and tsclient, you can ditch all but one monitor as well as your second keyboard and mouse set. The Unix side, of course, is easier and works better than the Windows side, but all of your displays can be exported to one screen if you are a GNU/Linux user. This works for everything but demanding video games but PC gaming has been eclipsed by consoles anyway. Now, let’s get back to work!

    “ssh -X user@host” is all you need to export everything in the Unix world. Non free Unix boxes can be a bit tricky but most GNU/Linux distributions will work out of the box without further effort. This way you can seemlessly fill your virtual desktops with output from as many computers as you feel the need to run. Cut and paste works flawlessly and files can be moved around with ease using Konqueror’s “sftp:/” ioslave. The computers don’t all have to be on your desk or even in your house, they can be anywhere you have a reasonably static IP address and a GNU/Linux box you can log into. Windows can also be transported this way via tsclient.

    If you must talk to Windows, you can run Samba and tsclient. Terminal Server Client does Windows Remote Desktop protocol service. For the most common versions of Windows, this is not encrypted and these should be tunneled by X11 if the boxes are not all on a local hub. Windows will only let one person at a time use a computer, so you will litterally be stealing the screen, but it works well enough. Windows XP will export it’s screen and fill up one of your spare virtual desktops. Samba can be used to move files on and off of those machines. People with a great deal of patience can also use Samba to manage their Windows logins and perform other stupid pet tricks.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, it was almost a decade ago that I took advantage of this great X functionality to get work done.

    Windows has not caught up since then. (At least it comes with nicer wallpapers and a deskbar which takes up more space.)

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    Forking of Linux is misleadingly reported in the media because of a couple of very loud people, who are not even quitting their jobs

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