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07.30.10

Links 30/7/2010: KDE 4.5 Screenshot Tour, Canonical Responds to DeKoenigsberg

Posted in News Roundup at 2:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • 10 reasons why your kids should be using Linux

      In this article, I will give you 10 good reasons why you should do just this. In the end, you can decide for yourself whether they’re reason enough to migrate those young users away from other operating systems.

    • Remember the year of the Linux desktop?

      For me the year of the Linux desktop was 2005. I started around 12/1998 and found distributions that I tried at the time still a bit rough and sometimes crash-prone, not really much better than Windows ’95. The real problem though was my ISA Winmodem. I never managed to get it to work and was too cheap to buy an external one which would have solved the problem. That was my decision and I cannot blame Linux for it. Then W2K came along and worked well for many years after applying some registry hacks and tightening of security. It got a bit long in the tooth by 2003, but it took until 2005 for Ethernet broadband to arrive at my household. I decided to give Linux another look shortly after and haven’t looked back since – VectorLinux, Debian Sarge, Ubuntu Breezy Badger (5.10). I was able to do everything I wanted and more. I would never have bothered to learn Vim on Windows although it is available. I would never have got into the capabilities of networking tools as much, or into protocols, NAS and file servers (due to not wanting to purchase Windows server licenses).

  • Applications

    • GLX-Dock 2.2 Enters Beta With Greater Usefulness

      The first beta release of GLX-Dock 2.2 is now available for those looking to add a Mac OS X-like dock to their Linux desktop. The GLX-Dock 2.2 release is focusing upon improving four core areas of this open-source application dock: being unobtrusive yet useful and simple while also introducing a new panel view.

    • Linux-based Hard Drive Data Recovery Tools

      Thankfully, there are tons of available Linux-based rescue tools that can get the job done quickly and easily.

    • Games

      • 211 free Wine-compatible Games in one download

        How does the thought of 211 completely free wine-compatible games available in one download, complete with slick launcher and per-game info, sound to you?

      • Alien Arena (latest release date July 29, 2010)

        Do you like fast paced deathmatch? How about rich, colorful, arcadelike atmospheres? How about…retro Sci Fi? Then you’re going to love what Alien Arena has in store for you! This game combines some of the very best aspects of such games as Quake III and Unreal Tournament and wraps them up with a retro alien theme, while adding tons of original ideas to make the game quite unique.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE 4.5 Screenshot Tour

        KDE 4.5 is coming out in August but I simply couldn’t wait to try it out a few days before the release. Hence, I got my hands on the Release Candidate v2 via kubuntu-beta ppa.Apart from some dazzling eye candy,KDE4 has matured a lot when it comes to stability.Here’s a screenshot tour and review of KDE 4.5 RC2 (click on each image to enlarge).

        1)The Desktop : As compared to the earlier KDE versions,the desktop looks more attractive with the Blur effect enabled.Also the system tray icons blend in with the theme.

        2)System Settings : The system settings menu has undergone a bit of shuffling along with some new additions.

  • Distributions

    • Sabayon 5.3 LXDE Screenshots

      I recently tried the new Sabayon 5.3 LXDE release and found it to be lightweight yet still hold up Sabayon’s feature packed, out-of-the-box way of doing things. The Sabayon 5.3 LXDE flavor is ideal for users who have lower hardware specs or prefer the speed of the lighter environment. Built on top of Sabayon “SpinBase” ISO images, this is said to be only a preview of upcoming spinoffs of the Sabayon project.

    • SystemRescueCD

      Yet another recovery OS has been updated this month. SystemRescueCD 1.5.8 is a minor update (the 2nd release in 3 weeks) to provide new standard kernels (2.6.32.16), alternative kernels (2.6.34.1) and a new version of the gparted package.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Friday Five: Red Hat’s Max McLaren

        Max McLaren has for the past five years been pushing the cause of open source software in Australia in his role as general manager of Red Hat in Australia and New Zealand. But he hasn’t always been — he used to work just as hard for proprietary software as a Lotus Notes stalwart. Max is this week’s guest on the Friday Five.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • My Motivation for Doing Opensource

          When I was the maintainer for the Linux Test Project , while my initial reason for doing it was because my employer requested me to, the reason why I stuck with it for so long (even when my job and employer changed) was because I knew people needed it. It felt good to know that I was helping to improve the “reliability, robustness, and stability of Linux”…it felt good to know that I was helping Red Hat, Novell, Terrasoft, and God knows how many other distros test their releases…it felt good to know I was helping IBM, Intel, HP, and loads of other technology companies test their hardware against Linux…it simply felt good. Hell, I even created the infamous crash test tux logo over a weekend because I thought it would give the project more of an identity…which lead to shirts being printed…banners being made…and me sitting for hours in a 2 person booth in the “dot org” pavilion at too many Linux World Expos to mention. As a project, we were always happy to receive testcases, bug fixes, and improvements from our users and others looking to help, and not once did I ever point the finger at someone using the test suite to improve their for-sale product and say, “you’re not giving enough!”….because I wasn’t doing the work for that reason. Now I’ll admit not participating as much as I should since passing on maintainership, but it’s not because I switched jobs, companies, or career paths…it’s because I got married, bought a house, and had 2 kids…and even got a dog…so

        • Red Hat, Canonical and GNOME Contributions

          I think the GNOME Census report is excellent, and it provides some excellent visibility into contributions in GNOME, but it only takes into account upstream contributions to GNOME itself. What the report doesn’t take into account are upstream contributions that are built on the GNOME platform but (a) not part of official GNOME modules, and (b) hosted and developed elsewhere, such as Launchpad. As such, while the report is accurate for showing code and contributions accepted into GNOME, there are also many projects built on GNOME technology that are not taken into account due to non-inclusion in GNOME modules or being developed outside of GNOME infrastructure.

        • What’s new in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

          Compiz
          There are minor changes in default set of animations for Compiz which makes the desktop experience better.

          Since Maverick is still undergoing heavy development, certain elements might be changed. I will keep you updated about the changes.

        • Ubuntu 10.04: A Second Look

          After I review an operating system or Linux distribution, it’s always fun to go back and try out the product again, with all updates, and see how it’s improved. Ubuntu 10.04 was something I thought was pretty decent, but not decent enough to steal me away from Arch. However, I know others that are Ubuntu users and my wife is a big fan as well, so I still continued to have exposure to it even after having reviewed it. Here are my thoughts on Ubuntu 10.04 and how it stands today.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android

      • uTorrent Web Now Available on iPad and Android

        After adding support for the iPhone last month, BitTorrent Inc. has now made the remote access ‘Web’ feature of its uTorrent Falcon client compatible with the iPad and Android devices. uTorrent users can now remotely control their downloads from wherever they are on their favorite mobile device.

      • Android wallpaper app that takes your data was downloaded by millions

        That means that apps that seem good but are really stealing your personal information are a big risk at a time when mobile apps are exploding on smartphones, said John Hering, chief executive, and Kevin MaHaffey, chief technology officer at Lookout, in their talk at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas today.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Could open source tools make Facebook the next AOL?

    Open-source social, or “open social,” networking services are not new. StatusNet has been running an open source implementation of its Twitter-like microblogging service for several years, called Indenti.ca. But no open-source service has gained Facebook- or Twitter-proportioned success.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • RMS AMA

      1. corevette: If you could have one proprietary package/software released as Free Software, which would it be and why?

      RMS: I have not made an effort to study the possible candidates, since unless a genie offers me a wish of that kind, the results wouldn’t enable me do anything constructive. Thus, I can only respond based on the few proprietary programs I happen by chance to know about.

      Of the programs I know of, I think freeing Autocad would give the biggest boost to the free software community. It is used in a wide range of activities, and our CAD software lags quite a bit,

  • Openness/Sharing

    • $20 Wikipedia Reader Uses 8-Bit Computing Power

      In all, it can hold the equivalent of 5,000 books, including an offline version of Wikipedia, and requires no internet connection. The Reader will cost $20 when 10,000 or more of it are manufactured. Without that kind of volume, the each Reader will cost about $35.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Security/Aggression

    • WikiLeaks Secret Records Dump Stays in Legal Clear: Ann Woolner

      With his prematurely white hair and his Australia-tinged English, 39-year-old Julian Assange has become the face and voice of what is surely the most massive leak of U.S. classified documents in history.

      His online organization, WikiLeaks, devotes itself to government and corporate whistle-blowers and the documents they offer. It stands as a buffer between them and whomever had the secrets being bared, whether documents on Cayman Islands bank accounts, video showing Americans firing on civilians in Baghdad or Sarah Palin’s e-mail.

    • Wikileaks war logs revelations will be far-reaching, say MPs

      The portrait of a chaotic and failing war revealed in the secret military files casts serious doubts on the government’s policy in Afghanistan and its plans to withdraw British troops by 2015, politicians said today.

    • Wikileaks: Q&A with Jacob Appelbaum on “The Afghan War Diaries”

      Jacob Appelbaum: The 15,000 documents are part of the set of Afghanistan documents. They are being redacted for harm-minimizing purposes as requested by our source, and will be made available as is applicable with respect to the relevant security concerns.

  • Environment

    • Met Office report: global warming evidence is ‘unmistakable’

      A new climate change report from the Met Office and its US equivalent has provided the “greatest evidence we have ever had” that the world is warming.

    • Global warming signs unmistakable: report

      A new report by 300 scientists has flagged the past decade as the hottest on record and compiled 10 “unmistakable” indicators that the world is getting warmer.

      But the scientists mostly stayed away from discussions about the cause.

    • Rising sea temperatures linked to decline in food chain

      Sea temperatures are rising, but what effect that might have is up for discussion.

      A study published in Nature today finds a strong link between higher sea surface temperatures and a major decline in phytoplankton or ocean algae, which forms the base of the marine food chain.

    • Climate check-up ‘screams world is warming’

      A report on the world’s climate has confirmed that 2009 was one of Australia’s hottest years on record and provides more evidence of global warming.

      Three hundred scientists from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association compiled the report, which the association’s data centre chief Deke Arndt says paints a compelling picture.

      [...]

      The list of last year’s extreme weather events includes a flood in Brazil that left 376,000 people homeless, heavy rainfall in England that damaged 1,500 properties and three intense heat waves in Australia, one of them coinciding with the Victorian bushfires that killed 173 people.

    • Tata to sue Greenpeace over turtle game

      Greenpeace India launched the game at the start of June, the latest step in its seven-year campaign against Dhamra port, which is due to open this summer at Bhadrak in Orissa, a state on India’s eastern coast. The environmental group alleges that the development will endanger local turtles. Turtle Vs. Tata, which is still live online and has been played by nearly 25,000 people, places a turtle in the role of Pac-Man battling against Tata logos in the place of ghosts.

    • Hackers shut down EU carbon-trading website
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • White House proposal would ease FBI access to records of Internet activity

      The Obama administration is seeking to make it easier for the FBI to compel companies to turn over records of an individual’s Internet activity without a court order if agents deem the information relevant to a terrorism or intelligence investigation.

    • China jails writer for 15 years for ‘endangering state security’

      Human rights groups have attacked the heavy sentence a Chinese court has imposed on a Uighur writer who posted critical articles online and spoke to foreign journalists after last year’s riots in Xinjiang.

    • CNN anchors attack the scourge of anonymity

      CNN’s Kyra Phillips and John Roberts spent a good five minutes yesterday expressing serious concern over what they called “the dark side” of the Internet: the plague of “anonymous bloggers” who are “a bunch of cowards” for not putting their names on what they say, and who use this anonymity to spread “conspiracy,” “lunacy,” “extremism” and false accusations (video below). The segment included excerpts from an interview with Andrew Keene, author of Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing our Culture, who explained that the Real Media must serve as “gatekeepers” to safeguard the public against the dangers of anonymity on the Internet. Roberts demanded that bloggers should “have the courage at the very least to put your name on it,” while Phillips announced: “something is going to have to be done legally. . . . these people have to be held accountable, they’re a bunch of cowards.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Sometimes It’s OK To Steal My Games

      Sometimes
      This blog post is about the bright side of software piracy. It’s about the times when not only is it OK to steal my games, but, in fact, I get something out of it. Perhaps an unusual topic for a blog post from a game developer.

      [...]

      Because, when I’m being honest with myself, which happens sometimes, I have to admit that piracy is not an absolute evil. That I do get things out of it, even when I’m the one being ripped off.

Clip of the Day

Copyright vs. Community – Richard Stallman


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