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Links 13/8/2010: Linux 2.6.36 Sighted, Fedora 14 Delayed

Posted in News Roundup at 9:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • 32 bit vs 64 bit Linux – Which to Choose?

    For the average desktop user the applications issue, especially with flash – something most of us use everyday, is the driving factor to use a 32 bit version of your Linux distro of choice. If you are using your system as more of a work station (compiling and decoding) then maybe the 64 bit version is a better selection for your needs.

  • Linux is Political!

    People have a hard time understanding that there is no single company behind Linux. They don’t understand that Linux cannot be monopolized like Windows or Mac OS because no single entity owns the Linux source code. When these people realize that there is much more to Linux than its technical strengths and weaknesses, then they really understand its potential to change the software industry.

  • Desktop

    • Confessions of a Windows 7 to Ubuntu switcher

      The other night, I got quite the shock. A good friend, who is a Windows enthusiast and IT administrator/consultant, informed me that he had dumped Windows 7 for Ubuntu.

    • What Tweaks Could Make Linux Even Better?

      Maybe that’s why it’s been so hard to wrap our brains around the topic of a recent poll on TuxRadar entitled, “What would you change about Linux?”

      At first, Linux Girl’s mind drew a huge blank. Then she read on.

      “If you had the resources, what single thing would you change?” the daring minds behind the site asked. “Would you merge KDE and Gnome? Would you introduce a new package manager? (eek!) Would you find all mentions of ‘Linux’ and replace it with GNU/Linux?”

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel.org shares some cute e-mails

      “I’ve been using linux for years (since Red Hat 4, i think). But I just thought – after all this time – why is the “kernel” called that? A ”kernel” is just a little, potentially not even viable, grain of vegetative material. Why not call it the “Colonel?” A Colonel is almost a flag officer, with semi-executive capabilities, etc. – altogether cooler that a mere “kernel,” which mostly connotes an unpopped grain of corn. Huh?”

      No, it doesn’t look like Hawley made it up. He was kind enough to shield the writer’s name.

      I’d love for Linus Torvalds to weigh in on that one — as well as this recent blanket e-mail granting Linux the coveted Famous Software Award — one that will be treasured for years.

    • Linux kernel report shows continued innovation. 2.6.36 coming soon

      Corbet said that Linux kernel development is maintaining a fast cadence with about 80 days between Linux releases.

    • Linux Security, Then and Now

      Linux is inherently not a secure operating system. The reason it’s not secure is because Linux was based on the architectural design of UNIX, and the creators of UNIX didn’t care about security – it was 1969 after all.

      “The first fact to face is that UNIX was not developed with security, in any realistic sense, in mind; this fact alone guarantees a vast number of holes,” Dennis Ritchie wrote in his paper, “On the Security of UNIX” in 1979.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • At Work with Linux: Linux Mint 9 Gnome and KDE

      For general use I consider Mint 9 Gnome to be the better distribution, especially for getting inside and tinkering about. It’s also better to just stick with the Gnome desktop throughout, even if the Mint 9 Gnome desktop is using the slab-style mintMenu. At least if folks get annoyed with the pretty Mint Gnome menu, they can install the more conventional Gnome menu bar.

      I feel that the Mint 9 Gnome desktop is snappier than Mint 9 KDE in operation. This is purely subjective, and it may be due to the fact that the VirtualBox additions in Mint 9 KDE are not aligned with the latest version of VirtualBox.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • In Search of the Perfect KDE4 Distro – 4 Linux Mint 9?

        This weekend I will be downloading and installing my next KDE4 candidate, which one will it be? Well kids, YOU decide!

      • Two cool KDE Plasmoids

        It’s time to head off to that wonderful land of KDE where the desktop only gets better and better with each release. In fact, a new release should be out now – KDE 4.5 with 1,723 new features and 16.022 bug fixes. I don’t believe the packages have hit the repositories just yet, but they will soon. And when they do, you should make sure you download and install very quickly.


        The KDE desktop keeps getting better, and so does its Plasmoids. The two you have been shown here are only a tiny portion of an ever-expanding set of tools available for the KDE desktop.

      • KDE Reaches New Audiences in North America

        KDE software has traditionally been strongest in Europe and South America. With the growth of events such as Camp KDE and many key contributors calling North America home, KDE is increasing its presence in this region.

      • How Much Faster Is Konqueror With WebKit?

        So, there you have it you cannot even compare Konqueror (KHTML) with Konqueror (WebKit). The one with WebKit is way faster. Not only is it faster than KHTML, it is also much faster than Firefox 4.0 Beta 2.

        Of course, there is much more to a browser that the speed of its JavaScript engine. We are not saying Konqueror is a better browser than Firefox; we are only saying it is faster. If you check out the results we got in our previous tests, Konqueror (WebKit) is however not nearly as fast as Opera, Google Chrome and Chromium.

      • Plasma: now comes in tablets

        In Plasma we always tried to avoid this, by having everything as a plugin, so it will be necessary to replace maybe the shell itself and just the components that really have to be changed.

        With Qt 4.7 a new framework ha been introduced: the declarative UI, that permits to do quite fancy stuff in the QML language in a very short time.

      • Stripes wallpaper

        If you haven’t noticed, KDE SC 4.5 comes with a new wallpaper named Stripes. It has replaced the old default_blue that has been our friend since 3.x days (and maybe even earlier, I don’t know).

      • Distribution branding and Stripes

        So, without a further ado, the preview version of a Debian-specific version of the Stripes wallpaper…

  • Distributions

    • Screenshots

      • Backtrack 4 R1 Screenshots

        For those of you that have yet to discover it, Backtrack is a popular Linux security distribution focused on providing a powerful selection of penetration testing tools. It runs mostly as a Live DVD or USB but is suitable for installation. Once in use, this distribution has excellent hardware detection and a low memory footprint, running well on older hardware too. Backtrack brings users over 300 tools to help with various security-related tasks like hacking wireless, exploiting servers, learning about security and much more.

      • Salix OS 13.1.1 Screenshots

        Today users were greeted by the Salix OS 13.1.1 release. Salix OS is based on Slackware and includes Xfce as its desktop environment. This latest release of Salix OS includes several enhancements over its previous release including Lilosetup, a graphical tool for settings up the Lilo bootloader, a few graphical system administration tools have been added, and more. Find a full list of changes in the official release announcement. You can download Salix OS 13.1.1 in 32 or 64 bit versions or buy Salix OS in our cart on CD. Here are some screenshots of Salix OS 13.1.1.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Well, Fedora 14 Will Not Ship On Time

          Jared Smith, the new Fedora Project Leader, announced last night that the decision was made by the Fedora engineering, development, and QA teams that a delay was in order for this release that is codenamed Laughlin. This decision was made as the Fedora 14 Alpha release was not ready and they felt an extra week was needed to get this first test release in order. With the alpha release slipping, the entire release schedule has been pushed back by one week time.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 6.0 on Track for December Release

        After several delays and many months behind schedule, Debian 6.0 appears to be one step closer to release. As of August 6, the testing branch is now frozen except for fixes and translation updates. This puts Final on track to possibly be released by the end of the year.

        Neil McGovern, Debian Release Team manager, wrote in from DebCon10 in New York to announce this milestone for Debian 6.0. Freeze had been delayed until Python 2.6 migration and updating Glibc was completed. Now only critical bug fixes, documentation changes, and translation updates will be accepted into the Testing branch as a general rule. This will give developers the opportunity to polish 6.0 for final release. The last two major versions have seen a four month stabilization period before final release, allowing estimates that 6.0 will arrive sometime in December.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Feature Freeze in place for Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat)

          The Feature Freeze is now in effect for Maverick. The focus from here until release is on fixing bugs and polishing.

          If you believe that a new package, a new upstream version of a package, or a new feature is needed for the release and will not introduce more problems than it fixes, please follow the Freeze Exception Process by filing bugs and subscribing ubuntu-release.

        • Why this Linux veteran runs Ubuntu

          I keep hearing Ubuntu described as merely a noob’s distro lately. However, Ubuntu has around 50% of the Linux desktop market share, give or take, but Linux as a whole has only gained a tenth of a percent or so since Ubuntu’s introduction. So either noobs adopted Ubuntu in such numbers that half of Linux veterans switched to Windows in protest, or there are quite a few veterans out there running Ubuntu, but who apparently don’t think it’s cool to admit it.

        • Talking about Ubuntu Studio with Scott Lavender, Project Lead for Ubuntu Studio

          SL: I would like to see Ubuntu Studio accomplish at least two things in the next 3 to 5 year; develop an active and supporting community around it and to identify and explore the possibility of cultivating additional user bases.

          KDE has a rich and vibrant community, something similar is what I would like Ubuntu Studio to develop. This would be characterised by significant and frequent user suggestions and feedback, user contributions of art and music to be include in the releases and web site, and user testing of ISO images and bug fixes. Already users routinely report bugs, for which I am grateful.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • LinuxCon Day 2: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics: Linux has Arrived.

      As a society, we are all about numbers — How much, how far, how fast. In IT, it is all a numbers game. Teraflops to compare computing power, TPC results to compare databases, analyst numbers to compare penetration — We are all about the numbers. And as a wise man once said, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. And after sitting through not one but two presentations about the numbers, I am more convinced than ever that numbers are best left to the accountants.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 4 a big deal

        The impending final release of Firefox 4 is something of a big deal for the Mozilla Foundation. Over the past year the popular open source browser has been facing some stiff competition from the likes of Google’s Chrome and, even, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser.

        Around a year ago Firefox hit a peak in its popularity with almost 25% market share, something that was achieved in the space of just a few years. Since then its popularity has remained largely static, even dropping slightly in the last few months.

      • Mozilla Looks Ahead to More Secure Firefox

        Additionally, the Firefox team continues to grapple with what Stamm described as “social-technical security” issues, those scams that rely on persuading a user to share personal information or take an action that navigates to a malicious site.

  • Government


  • Science

    • Critical plant bank in danger

      Plant scientists around the world are warning that hundreds of years of accumulated agricultural heritage are in danger of being plowed under after a Russian court ruled today (August 11) that the land occupied by a world-renowned plant bank on the outskirts of Saint Petersburg may be transferred to the Russian Housing Development Foundation, which plans to build houses on the site.

    • Greed vs. Survival: Which Prevails?

      The global environmental catastrophe that we all face is, of course, a typical tragedy of the (analogue) commons. Resources that are held in common like the atmosphere, or water, or fisheries are exploited for short-term gain by powerful players able to push to the front.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Verizon and AT&T Ban BitTorrent On Wireless Networks

      A recent Net Neutrality proposal from Google and Verizon has dominated the news this week, with opponents claiming that the deal would kill Net Neutrality on wireless (cellular) networks. What hasn’t been mentioned thus far, however, is that BitTorrent and other types of evil traffic have already been banned for years by Verizon, AT&T and others.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Anti-Piracy Failure Takes Down Creative Commons Videos

        An anti-piracy group has caused a storm of controversy by taking down movies it has no rights to. GVU successfully ordered video hosting site Vimeo to take down several Creative Commons videos created by a freelance journalist and an independent filmmaker. The anti-piracy tracking company hired by GVU claims that its technology failed.

Clip of the Day

Android vs iphone

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