08.05.10

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Links 5/8/2010: Linux 2.6.35 Benchmarks, Jared Smith (Fedora Leader) Interviewed, 200,000+ Linux Phones Per Day!

Posted in News Roundup at 6:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • What Linux Hardware Upgrades Make Sense?

    While Linux runs great on most any hardware, it runs even better on a machine with ample memory and a recent CPU. Upgrade options abound for even the most hardware hacking averse. In this monthly roundup we’ll take a look at options to get your Linux system running even better without breaking your budget.

  • Desktop

    • 5 ways to ease desktop PC-induced pain

      Fix #2: The Open-Source Desktop PC

      Linux on desktop PCs offers the same cost savings potential as it does on server platforms: no upfront licensing costs. Novell’s SUSE Linux, Red Hat and, most recently, Canonical’s Ubuntu all have operating system distributions available via GSA Advantage.

    • OS Difficulty Myths

      Linux: First, Linux is scalable to a point that is kind of stupid. Linux can run mainframes and super computers, as well cell phones, and even less powerful embedded devices. Clearly, that gives it a wide range of application that neither Macintosh nor Windows can really deal with. Secondly, Linux has proven itself far more stable than its commercial competitors. Still, Linux lacks good CAD software, and good arguments have been made against Linux for tax, accounting, and other business related software not being up to par with commercial applications available for Windows and MacOS X. The general security, scalability, stability, and responsiveness of Linux make it perhaps the most capable general purpose operating system. So long as you are not using it for CAD, gaming, or certain very specific business tasks.

      Verdict: Each OS has its purpose. Each OS is easy to use.

  • Kernel Space

    • The Linux Kernel column #90 – the state of the kernel

      I gave the keynote speech at this year’s Linux Symposium. The talk was entitled the ‘State of the Kernel’, and summarised the past year of kernel development. Attempting to summarise an entire year in the space of an hour is a daunting challenge and required over 70 hours of preparation in order to review each of the many proposals and discussions that have taken place. With that work done, however, I’d like to share a few of the things I have learned with readers.

    • Running The Linux 2.6.35 Kernel With A Core i7 Notebook

      While we benchmark the latest Linux kernel code on a daily basis at kernel-tracker.phoromatic.com using our automated testing platform built on the Phoronix Test Suite, now that the Linux 2.6.35 kernel was released, we have run a formalized set of kernel benchmarks on a ThinkPad W510 notebook with an Intel Core i7 CPU to see how the Linux 64-bit kernel is running with this high-end notebook under the Linux 2.6.32, 2.6.33, 2.6.34, and 2.6.35 releases.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Sabayon 5.3 Xfce & Lxde – a few impressions

        Good installer, easy to use and full of choices without overwhelming the new user
        Virtualbox and mouse integration working from the start
        A very standard Xfce
        Good looking fonts
        Effortless localization
        Helpful links and pointers how to use the system everywhere
        Great package manager works well and fast, updates without hiccups, good package search
        Friendly update-notifier with links to package search and website
        Xfce and Lxde versions fit on a CD rather than the DVD-size download of bigger environments
        Gnome network manager applet used

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Interview with New Fedora Project Leader Jared Smith

          Earlier this year, former Fedora Project Leader Paul Frields announced he’d be stepping down from the post and that Fedora and Red Hat were searching for a new project leader. At the end of June, Frields announced that Jared Smith would be taking up the position. Since this is a pretty important job in our community, we thought it’d be a good idea to talk with Smith and learn more about him and his plans for Fedora.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android Invasion Has Begun: 200K Droids Activated Daily

          Google Wave may be gone, but there are still reasons to rejoice in Googleville. One of them is the continuing good news about sales of smartphones running Google’s Android operating system. While the shock of Searchzilla’s announcement that it was driving a stake into the heart of its experiment in collaboration, its boss revealed to a gathering of reporters at Techonomy in Lake Tahoe, California that Android smartphone activations have reached 200,000 a day.

          That’s an increase of more than 200 percent since over this year’s first quarter, when activations were around 65,000 a day. At 200,000 activations a day, one million Android phones would be sold every five days, six million every 30 days and from August 1 to the end of the year, 30 million new handsets would be in consumers’ hands.

        • Androids, iPhones Prepped for Battle in Army’s First-Ever App Contest

          Unleash the iPhones of war! The Army’s announced the winners of its first-ever mobile phone app development contest. And the general behind the program says some apps will be in the field “within a year.”

        • The Open Source Army of the Future

          Anyway, as part of my news-catch up today I read this announcement from the U.S. Army about Apps for the Army, an “application-development challenge… used to help the service more quickly acquire software applications.” Soldiers and Army civilians were eligible to team up and develop software applications based on the iPhone OS or Android. They had 90 days, and 140 people competed. Today the 5 winners and ten runners-up in all five categories were announced.

          The winners included a program that breaks down a new physical fitness manual of 400 pages into an multimedia presentation, one that helps potential recruits size themselves up, and the Telehealth Mood Tracker app, which “allows users to track their psychological health over a period of days, weeks and months using a visual analogue rating scale.” An honorable mention went to an App that would turn an iPhone essentially into a black box in case of “extreme shock events” — so, for instance, if an IED exploded nearby. It would take a series of pictures and report its location, the time, etc. to help with compiling a report later on.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Oracle

    • odt2braille brings Braille to OpenOffice.org

      The release of odt2braille by the Belgian university Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, has brought the ability to work with Braille to OpenOffice.org. The extension adds a “Braille” menu to OpenOffice.org’s Writer which allows users to translate documents into Braille formats such as .brf or .pef or send the content to Braille printers for embossing. The development was supported by the EU funded AEGIS project. Previously AEGIS helped deliver odt2daisy which allows for the creation of DAISY3 format digital audiobooks from OpenOffice.

  • BSD

    • BSD as Operating System

      Highlights:
      Introduction to MidnightBSD
      The FreeBSD Ubuntu challenge
      Network monitoring with Nagios and OpenBSD PART 1
      Replacing Microsoft Exchange Server
      Maintenance Systems over BSD
      Low Resource PCs with FreeBSD
      Making the Unknown Giant Visible and Known

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Citizen science: People power
    • We All Love The Bazaar Now

      While the world of Big Brands was initially too caught up in its sermons and fine words to notice the dwindling congregations, it has now woken up and joined the burgeoning world Bazaar. In fact, I suspect, many people, wish they had stayed in their pulpits where they were easy to avoid. But some brands are becoming very savvy and offering goodies including new soapboxes for people to use. Like the ‘Best Job In The World’ campaign run by the Queensland Tourist Board, that invited people to share their wares and talents in exchange for the type of adventure that sets the Bazaar buzzing.

    • Open Source Project Management with web2Project

      It’s easy to overlook open-source projects when exploring project management tools. But an open-source tool like web2Project can be the easiest way to choose a tool that will continue to grow with your needs.web2Project allows you to look to the future of what your organization needs, while still being able to get to work today.

    • U.S. Department of Education includes OER in notice of proposed priorities for grant programs

      The set of proposed priorities specifically mentions OER. Essentially, if the priorities are adopted, it could mean that grant seekers who include open educational resources as a component of an application for funding from the Department of Education could receive priority. OER is included in Proposed Priority 13–Improving Productivity:

    • Open Data

      • How The Guardian is pioneering data journalism with free tools

        Data Blog editor Simon Rogers gave me an action-packed interview in The Guardian’s London newsroom, starting with story walkthroughs and ending with a philosophical discussion about the changing role of data in journalism. It’s a must-watch if you’re wondering what the digitization of the world’s facts means for a newsroom.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Open Folklore
      • Why I want everything OA, right now

        I’ve started using Mendeley. I like it a lot, so far. Papers, but with a networking aspect. CiteULike, but with a quick PDF full-text search aspect. Free. Cross platform. Good stuff.

        But.

        The But isn’t Mendeley’s fault. It is a result of the evolution of our methods of scientific communication. I’m usually a fan of iteration, evolution. Not this time. I want instant, sweeping change.

        I want to share all the PDFs in my Mendeley library with everyone. Right now.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Gov 2.0 as means not end

    It’s often tempting to think that Gov 2.0 is common ground between those who always want smaller government and those who want government to help its citizens. To an extent, this is true: opening up services lets citizens and businesses do more for themselves, and means government doesn’t have to grow for more things to happen. In some cases, government can even get smaller.

    But government-as-platform doesn’t absolve us from asking what fundamental services should be provided by a government, as opposed to private industry. This is a big question. We didn’t come up with a single universally-agreed answer before Gov 2.0, and Gov 2.0 will neither answer it for us nor let us evade the question.

  • Getting Past The Hurdles Of Micropayments

    Much of the press coverage around Flattr, the “social payments” startup, focuses on the fact that it was founded by Peter Sunde, who is perhaps better known for being the (former) spokesperson for The Pirate Bay. I have no doubt that this is a big reason why the company got a lot of its initial attention, but I think what’s a lot more interesting is that this is one of the first “micropayment” platforms that actually tries to get around the historical problems of micropayments for content. There have been lots of micropayment companies out there, and almost all of them failed — and it wasn’t difficult to see why. First, they underestimated the “mental transaction costs” that micropayments entail. Just making the decision if something is worth paying for is a huge “cost” for users. Second, they heavily underestimated the “penny gap,” which is the effort that it takes to get someone to go from “free” to paying even a penny. Next, it’s an attempt to fight the basic economics of what supply and demand is pushing for the content be priced at. And, finally, required micropayments make it very hard to promote that content via word of mouth or sharing.

  • How Asimov’s Robot Laws Ended Up on Last.fm’s Server

    Like many websites, Last.fm’s web server contains a file called robots.txt, whose job it is to instruct the robotic web spiders employed by search engines like Google to ignore certain directories on the site.

  • Second Circuit Seeks More Input on Fleeting Nudity

    According to one of the parties in the case, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has asked both sides for supplemental briefs in the NYPD Blue indecency case, wanting to know what effect a recent ruling by a three-judge panel of that same court has on the FCC’s fleeting nudity enforcement policy under challenge in the NYPD Blue case.

  • Conservative Digg Cabal Uncovered

    A blogger for liberal sites such as AlterNet and News Junkie Post has reported discovering a conservative group of online users who systematically work together to bury, or vote down, stories on liberal subjects and by posters they believe to be liberal, in order to keep those stories from becoming more widely known.

    “A group of nearly one hundred conservatives have banded together on a Yahoo Group called Digg Patriots (DP), and a companion site at coRanks to issue bury orders and discuss strategies to censor Digg and other social media websites,” reported the blogger, known as oleoleolson, who is the Senior News Editor and Chief New Media Strategist for News Junkie Post. “DP was founded on 21 May 2009. Since then, over 40,000 posts have been logged at a steady rate of around 3000-4000 per month. The “Patriots” Network on coRank is a tool to submit Diggs to a group list as opposed to sending an e-mail every time. It also has some tools that make submitting to the list as easy as clicking on a bookmark.”

  • Health

    • The Deadly Neurotoxin Nearly EVERYONE Uses Daily (VIDEO)

      According to statistics published by Forbes Magazine [i] based on Tate & Lyle estimates, aspartame had conquered 55 percent of the artificial sweetener market in 2003. One of the driving factors behind aspartame’s market success is the fact that since it is now off patent protection, it’s far less expensive than other artificial sweeteners like sucralose (Splenda).

  • Security/Aggression

    • Naked Pictures!

      The government has assured us that the images made from “Digital Strip Search”” imaging technologies like millimeter wave and backscatter imaging wouldn’t be saved. They lied. It turns out the U.S. Marshals Service saved more than 35,000 “whole body” images of people who entered a U.S. courthouse in Orlando, Fla.

      And, if the U.S. Marshals Service can do this, why should we trust the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to keep their word about deleting these images? I can’t think of any good reason, can you?

    • It’s official: Saudi Arabia bans BlackBerrys

      The rumors are true: Saudi Arabia has become the second country inside of a week to block access to Research in Motion’s BlackBerry devices on grounds of national security.

    • For Kevin Mitnick, staying legal is job No. 1

      Kevin Mitnick was eager to participate in a social-engineering contest at the Defcon hacker conference in Las Vegas last weekend and was told he would target Microsoft in the event.

      He figured it would be fun to show off his schmoozing skills, which he so easily used to trick employees at tech companies in the 1990s into handing over passwords and other sensitive information, ultimately landing him in jail.

  • Finance

    • Peak Capital – Our Ultimate Limit?

      So, the degradation of the world’ GPS system is not something unexpected, nor it is unrelated to such problems as peak oil or the depletion of mineral resources. It is just another kind of peak: “peak capital.” Maybe GAO has been too pessimistic; maybe we’ll decide that the GPS system is so important that we can’t let it decay. But, in any case, it is a sign of the times: the fifth problem.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Technology Lessons from the Wikileaks Saga

      The truth, or at least more of its constituent parts, will out. In the big picture, that’s a good thing. Those who have the most to fear from an open environment are ones with closed agendas, for whom public debate is a threat rather than an opportunity. Long-term strength lies in persuasion grounded in fact, rather than on carefully constructed artifice.

    • Latest Attempt To Create Federal Journalism Shield Law May Carve Wikileaks Out Of The Protections

      Apparently Senators Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein are quickly drafting a special amendment that says the law wouldn’t apply to “websites that serve as a conduit for the mass dissemination of secret documents.” That’s obviously targeted directly at Wikileaks, but it certainly could impact other sites that store documents as well, and that could create problems.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Google, Verizon Try to Shape Net-Neutrality Law

      A Google spokeswoman declined to comment while a Verizon spokesman said in a statement that the companies have worked on an agreement for 10 months. “We are currently engaged in and committed to the negotiation process led by the FCC” that will allow both sides to “reach a consensus that can maintain an open Internet and the investment and innovation required to sustain it,” he said.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • DMCA Exemption Process Highlights The Folly Of The DMCA

        Last week, of course, we paid a fair bit of attention to the latest round of DMCA exemptions, which come along every three years. It was surprising that the Copyright Office and the Library of Congress seem to keep moving the bar (slowly, slowly) towards a more consumer friendly approach, as compared to the early exemptions which never helped consumers at all. Still, the exemption requests that got rejected show how arbitrary the process appears at times.

      • The Corruption of Our ‘Public Domain’

        Did you know that the definition of ‘public domain’ as ‘the few published works not protected by copyright’ is very recent?

        All published works are supposed to be in the public domain. This was the original pretext behind copyright – to incentivise the delivery of novel and educational works into the public domain – for the public’s benefit (albeit at the cost of cultural liberty).

      • Internet Ban Proposed for Serial Copyright Infringers

        The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill, which allows for large fines and six month Internet suspensions, has already passed its first reading in the New Zealand Parliament. However, according to copyright advocates, it doesn’t go far enough. Instead of simply disconnecting repeat infringers, they are calling for a heavier punishment that would take people’s right to Internet access away.

      • The price of privacy

        Once-abundant privacy is now scarce. Once-scarce publicness is now abundant.

        It’s the second half of that that interests me most since I’m writing a book about that.

        So if we’ve seen Lessin’s Law on Privacy, then Jarvis’ Corollary on Publicness (which is my synonym for publicity because publicity as a word is so freighted with marketing meaning now) is this:

        Now publicness is free.

      • Can We Please Stop The False Dichotomy Of ‘Creators’ vs ‘Consumers’ When It Comes To Copyright?

        It’s a shame that the recording industry and its lawyers want to turn this into an us vs. them situation. It’s not. Plenty of people want to create a situation where there are wider opportunities for everyone acting as both creators and consumers, to really allow creativity to flourish. But you don’t do that by locking up creativity and pretending that many of those creators don’t appreciate art.

      • Estimating the Economic Impact of Mass Digitization Projects on Copyright Holders: Evidence from the Google Book Search Litigation

        Google Book Search (GBS) has captured the attention of many commentators and government officials, but even as they vigorously debate its legality, few of them have marshaled new facts to estimate its likely effects on publishing and other information markets. This Article challenges the conventional wisdom propounded by the U.S. and German governments, as well as Microsoft and other competitors of Google, concerning the likely economic impact of mass book-digitization projects. Originally advanced by publishing industry lobbying groups, the prevailing account of mass book-digitization projects is that they will devastate authors and publishers, just as Napster and its heirs have supposedly devastated musicians and music labels. Using the impact of GBS on the revenues and operating incomes of U.S. publishers believing themselves to be the most-affected by it, this Article finds no evidence of a negative impact upon them. To the contrary, it provides some evidence of a positive impact, and proposes further empirical research to identify the mechanisms of digitization’s economic impact.

      • FT Claims Paywalls Are Morally Necessary… And Then Shows How Immoral The FT Is

        Remember, this is the guy who was just saying that if a publications primary duty was to advertisers rather than readers, it was morally abhorrent. But, even here he admits that the subscriptions are driven by… advertisers. If this was really about getting the influence of advertisers away from newspapers, why is he playing up the increased ad revenue due to the paywall?

      • Beach Boys take on Katy Perry’s ‘Gurls’

        Reps for the Beach Boys are threatening to sue Katy Perry after she included their classic line “I wish they all could be California Girls,” in her song “California Gurls.”

        Rondor Music has fired off a letter to Perry’s label, Capitol Records, demanding Mike Love and Brian Wilson — who penned the 1965 classic “California Girls” — be given a writing credit on Perry’s hit summer song, as well as royalties.

Clip of the Day

FSCONS 2008 video cast.


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