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Links 29/7/2010: GNOME Census, Sales of Android Gear Almost Quadruple

Posted in News Roundup at 2:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Missile defense contractor taps Sabalcore Computing for design deal

    ASI officials said that having real-time access to Sabalcore’s Linux-based network is cost-saving and essential to its work, especially its use of a fluid-dynamics calculation program in designing the aerospike component.

  • Desktop

    • The PC Is Not Dead; Long Live PCs

      Looking at some of the sources of the “PC is dead” mantra, it is usually a new technology that inspires the prediction:

      * Internet in 1994
      * Thin Clients in 1996
      * Smart phone in 2002
      * Virtualization in 2005
      * Cloud in 2007
      * Netbook in 2008
      * Slate in 2010

    • The Dell Dance

      Is Dell a global corporation with the corporate knowledge that GNU/Linux does well in and outside the USA? Does Dell actually know how to sell stuff? Imagine a car dealer with “Keep Out” signs all around the lot. Image a fish monger with huge signs saying “Our fish stink!”. That’s what Dell is doing with Ubuntu and GNU/Linux.

  • Server

    • VMI Enters Into LOI to Sell SaaS Technology to Applied Voice and Speech

      Company officials said that the UCN250 is a highly scalable and reliable Linux and SIP-based SaaS platform that will be integrated intoAVST’s ( News – Alert) unified communications (UC) solution portfolio to accelerate AVST’s ability to address the evolving communications requirements of current and future AVST customers.

    • IBM’s Next-Gen ‘System of Systems’ Mainframe

      This isn’t the first time IBM has delivered a wholly realized hybrid system. In 2006, the company announced the integration of its System i and BladeCenter servers, which allowed hardware, OSs and applications (including Windows) to be commonly managed via the System i platform. That same year, IBM and the Los Alamos Lab announced Roadrunner, a supercomputer utilizing both AMD (NYSE: AMD) Opteron and IBM Cell BE microprocessors, and that became (in 2008) the first system to break the petaflop sustained performance barrier.

  • Events

    • Australian Linux conference issues call for papers

      Organisers of the 11th Australian national Linux conference have invited those who wish to present papers at the January 2011 event to submit their proposals by August 7.

    • Linux Poll: Six Questions to Reveal Biggest Success and Failures

      As the conference focused on all matters Linux, LinuxCon brings attention to the most cutting-edge Linux advancements taking place today and the work being done to take them into the future. LinuxCon is the pinnacle for understanding what is happening with Linux at the developer, IT management and business levels of every enterprise.

      Since LinuxCon debuted in September 2009, a lot has happened in the Linux and open source space. Android is expected to outship iPhone; MeeGo is being built to power a whole new generation of computing devices; HP acquired Palm and its WebOS. And, that’s just in the mobile computing space! Linux is powering the largest cloud providers in the world, and it’s the foundation for most IT managers’ virtualization strategies. Linux is also the underlying technology for nearly every major web-based company – Facebook, Google and more.

  • Google

    • Chrome dev too stable? Try new Chrome Canary

      Google later this year plans to release a browser-based operating system called Chrome OS. Although it runs Linux under the hood, the applications run within the browser, one incarnation of the concept known as cloud computing.

    • OpenXcell Now to Offer Professionals for Android Application Development

      It was not long before that Google introduced Android operating system to work on Linux kernel and then it enhanced itself with Android Inventor that helped it to get programmed easily for small applications. While normal people can only develop small applications like creating tunes, images etc. with the help of Android operating system, therefore OpenXcell is now offering a helping hand to assist people with the creation of complex business applications.

    • Google Makes Custom Web Typography Ridiculously Easy

      Back in May, Google rolled out its Font Directory and the Google Fonts API. The idea was that these tools would make it simpler for designers and devs to embed a wider range of fonts in their sites and applications.

    • Lantronix Furthers Its Commitment to Linux
    • Vision Solutions CEO on Double-Take: ‘Virtualization is exciting’ for us

      Arnold:: We don’t have a Linux product today in the IBM world, and Linux is one of the fastest growing segments. We can take Linux from the Intel base at Double-Take and bring it to our customer base in Power systems. On the other side, we see many companies with Power systems with lots of Intel and this allows us to talk to customers we haven’t spoken to before. For customers that have integrated these technologies in their shops, we can bring them products nobody else has today.”

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Summit 2010 planning process begins
    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Ups The Workstation Ante With A New FirePro Driver

        Whether you are an owner of an ATI FirePro V3800 that retails for just over $100 USD, the proud owner of an ATI FirePro V8800 that goes for over $1,300 USD, or any of the FirePro products in-between, you will want to update your graphics driver when AMD puts out their next stable software update. Back in March AMD put out an amazing FirePro Linux driver that increased the performance of their workstation graphics cards already on the market (and the other Evergreen-based workstation cards that entered the market soon after) by an astonishing amount. Our independent tests of this proprietary Linux driver update found that the performance in some workstation applications had increased by up to 59% by simply installing this updated driver while other OpenGL tests had just improved rather modestly with 20%+ gains. AMD though is preparing to release another driver update for Microsoft Windows and Linux that ups their workstation graphics performance even more! We have run some tests of this new beta driver against their older driver with both their low-end and ultra-high-end FirePro products and have found the improvements again to be astonishing.

      • The Gallium3D R600 Driver Now Has Texture Support
      • Patches to run Wayland on Radeon graphics card
      • ATI releases Catalyst 10.7 drivers
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Next generation OpenGL compositing in 4.6

        In this blog post I want to give an overview on what I am planning and working on for KWin in KDE SC 4.6. The big topic for 4.6 is performance – in 4.5 we introduced the blur effect and our designers want to extend the usage of blur to all windows. This is currently not yet recommendable (yes there are widget styles on kde-look which offer this function, but KWin is not ready for it!), so we have to work on it.


        And what next? We still have many things to improve. Especially window rendering has to be changed to cache the geometries (when it makes sense) and the clip regions. The clip regions are one of the reasons why I want to switch to Shaders (other reasons are Nuno’s wishes for effects – if you want to work on awesome effects get in touch with one of us). The API still needs some more cleanup and our compositing stack has to be split into parts for GLX and EGL. Nevertheless I think the API is already in a state where I think of daring to compile KWin effect library this weekend on Maemo to see what breaks (effects would not yet compile).

      • OpenGL 4.1 Spec Finalized

        The Khronos Group announced that finalizing the OpenGL 4.1 specifications had been completed and that its release would be immediate. The new API specification is fully backwards compatible and adds several new features including 64-bit floating-point component shader inputs for higher geometric precision and the ability to query and load binary for a shader program objects.

      • OpenGL 4.1: 3D interface for Mac OS X and Linux
    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Census

        Today at GUADEC I presented the results (Slides are now on slideshare) of the GNOME Census, a project we have been working on for a while. For as long as I have been involved in GNOME, press, analysts, potential partners and advisory board members have been asking us: How big is GNOME? How many paid developers are there? Who writes all this software, and why?


        I see this information being useful for companies interested in using the GNOME platform for their products, companies seeking custom application development, potential large-scale customers of desktop Linux or customers buying high-level support who want to know who employs more module maintainers or committers to the project.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 107

        · First Look: Jolicloud 1.0
        · Announced Distro: Tiny Core Linux 3.0
        · Announced Distro: Linux Mint 9 Xfce RC
        · Announced Distro: ClearOS Enterprise 5.2
        · Announced Distro: eBox Platform 1.5


    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 13: what you need to know

          Corporate backing and a large supportive community – almost all Linux distributions can boast of at least one half of that.

          Fedora, since its inception in late 2003 as Red Hat’s community distribution, has nurtured around itself a devoted community. It has achieved this after providing, release after release, an innovative and complete distribution that demands attention and respect.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • The Ubuntu Software Management- A little clarification

          One of the greatest strengths of Linux over other OS is the centralized software and update management tools that come built in. This means that whenever there is an update to any of the packages or softwares you have installed, you are sure to not miss it. This alone goes a long way to improve the security of a Linux system.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Exacq Introduces Low-Cost, 8 and 16 Input exacqVision EL-S Hybrid NVR Line

      Using embedded Linux on a solid-state drive ensures that the unit will be available to users in the event of a hard drive failure.

    • Phones/Mobile

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo and Intel Atom to power next-gen car stereos

          Windows-based in-car entertainment systems give us the heebie-jeebies — Blue Screen of Death might be rather too literal — so we’re delighted to see that a Linux operating system, backed by Intel Atom chips, could soon get a crack at the automotive action. Genivi, a car-industry alliance including BMW, Intel and Nokia, has chosen the MeeGo Linux OS and — by proxy — Intel Atom CPUs as the basis for its forthcoming In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) system.

        • MeeGo heading for your BMW
        • The Competition: MeeGo [OSCON2010]

          Development of MeeGo, the operating system that’s the result of the marriage of Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo platforms, is pushing ahead full steam. Being that its a Linux based open source project, I’ve been able to catch a few presentations and even handle some preproduction hardware and software here at OSCON. It’s been relegated to netbooks so far in its short time on the market, but its set to hit handsets in October of this year. It’s more similar to Android in terms of how it’ll be distributed (and it’ll likely be just as open), but there are similarities to webOS in terms of what developers can do with the platform.

      • Android

        • Sales of Android soar 350% in first three months of 2010

          Sales of Google’s Android-based phones have sky-rocketed in the UK over the past three months according to new figures.

          Research published by German-based GfK Retail and Technology has revealed that Android operated phones now cover a 13 per cent share of the UK’s smartphone contract sales compared with a mere three per cent at the start of the year.

        • Acer launches a high end Android smartphone

          The Acer Stream is destined for demanding users with a bob or two to spare but just misses out on the Froyo release of Google’s Linux based OS, settling for Android 2.1 instead.

    • Tablets

      • $35 Computer Tablet to Feature Solar Design

        Still considered a novelty as it’s still in its first-version infancy, the iPad may have a new competitor on the market. A new Linux operating system-based tablet was introduced in India as one of the “world’s cheapest” innovations.

      • Afterthought: Is a $35 Tablet Even Feasible?

        Other than broad capabilities and vague details about this $35 mystery Indian tablet, little is known about the endeavor. R&D officials have yet to release processing power or memory capacity, leaving many people speculating this is some sort of media stunt to gain press for the advancement of Indian technology or to aid political figures along in the polls.

      • KMart stocks a $150 Android tablet

        Cheap Android tablets are officially starting to show up in the US. While we’re still waiting for higher end devices like the Dell Streak to go on sale, dirt cheap tablets running Google Android have been hitting the streets in China and other Asian countries for the past few months. Some of these cheap tablets are even available in the US thanks to companies that import goods from overseas. But now it looks like you may not even have to resort to ordering from obscure retailers to get your budget Android fix. Because Kmart is selling an Android tablet for $149.99.

      • $149 Android Tablet coming to……K-Mart?
      • iPad gets odd rival in $150 Android tablet at Kmart
      • Tablets

        This second half of 2010 should be quite hot for such devices. The manufacturer, Augen, makes all kinds of consumer gadgets and is not a “partner” of M$ and so in uninhibited by taxes and exclusive dealing with M$. Their retail partners may be uninhibited too. KMART sells products from M$, too, but may not have gotten the message. Interestingly Augen and KMART push Android and not ARM. Perhaps it is the year of Android, too.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Lockheed Martin goes open source, people freak out.

    Wait, what? Open source advocates have, for years, been trying to encourage more code to come out from behind corporate skirts. Where companies can build business models around governing and supporting open source projects, we want them to take the plunge. If more code is open, that makes everyone smarter. And that, my friends, is exactly what Lockheed Martin did today. Someone who probably never contributed code in their lives just gave the community a project they’ve been working on for months, or even years. I think that’s amazing. In return, this brave developer gets painted as a nefarious secret agent out to steal our thoughts and bug our laptops. Or whatever.

  • Databases

    • Oracle shuts down open source test servers

      Oracle has shut down servers Sun Microsystems was contributing to the build farm for open source database software, PostgreSQL, forcing enthusiasts to scramble to find new hosts to test updates to their software on the Solaris operating system.


    • Proprietary software puts pacemaker users at risk

      “Our intention is to demonstrate that auditable medical device software would mitigate the privacy and security risks in IMDs by reducing the occurrence of source code bugs and the potential for malicious device hacking in the long-term,” the report states. “Although there is no way to eliminate software vulnerabilities entirely, this paper demonstrates that free and open source medical device software would improve the safety of patients with IMDs, increase the accountability of device manufacturers, and address some of the legal and regulatory constraints of the current regime.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Creating online community the open source way

      There really are no right and wrong answers to the open source way, but we’re trying lots of things. It’s important to remember that the principles of the open source way should be used as guidelines when making decisions. But you should always be as transparent as possible with your community.


  • Finance

    • Goldman reveals where bailout cash went

      Goldman Sachs sent $4.3 billion in federal tax money to 32 entities, including many overseas banks, hedge funds and pensions, according to information made public Friday night.

      Goldman Sachs disclosed the list of companies to the Senate Finance Committee after a threat of subpoena from Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Ia.

      Asked the significance of the list, Grassley said, “I hope it’s as simple as taxpayers deserve to know what happened to their money.”

      He added, “We thought originally we were bailing out AIG. Then later on … we learned that the money flowed through AIG to a few big banks, and now we know that the money went from these few big banks to dozens of financial institutions all around the world.”

      Grassley said he was reserving judgment on the appropriateness of U.S. taxpayer money ending up overseas until he learns more about the 32 entities.

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