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08.14.10

Links 14/8/2010: GNOME Foundation’s New Rules, X.Org Server 1.9 Imminent

Posted in News Roundup at 3:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Google

  • Kernel Space

    • Qualcomm’s Take on Open Mobile Platforms

      Chandhok: The Linux kernel is the central key element of the common baseline package we would like to see emerge in mobile Linux. This engineer will help QuIC make important upstream contributions to the Linux kernel that, ideally, would be part of this common package. At a minimum, we expect this individual to help make valuable upstream kernel contributions that make it into the main distributions on offer today, or coming in subsequent years.



    • There’s more to FOSS than the Linux Foundation

      As a Canadian, I’m always irked by airy statements by Americans that they won World War II. Yes, the Americans entry into the war was decisive, but their side was not called the Allies for nothing, and many other countries contributed to the victory or at least kept the fight alive in the years before the United Stated joined in. With all respect, I feel much the same way about the recent interview on Wired.com with Jim Zemlin, the executive director of the Linux Foundation/

      Published to coincide with this week’s LinuxCon in Boston, the interview begins by describing Zemlin as “part legal guardian, part keeper of the flame. The non-profit foundation he runs is charged with promoting the growth of Linux, drafting new industry standards for its use, and defending it against legal challenges.”

      To be clear, let me emphasize that these are not Zemlin’s words. Nor, do the words in any way reflect the attitudes expressed by Zemlin or any of the Linux Foundation staff with whom I have had dealings over the years. Zemlin in particular, has always seemed to combine helpfulness and enthusiasm with far less ego than you might expect from someone with his level of responsibility.

      Nor would I deny for a moment that the Linux Foundation has done a reasonable job of representing the corporate face of open source and the Linux kernel. Not only does the Foundation seem to be a genuinely neutral meeting ground, but its support for major developers like Linus Torvalds, Till Kamppeter, and Theodore Ts’o benefits everyone in free and open source software (FOSS).

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel’s 2D Performance With X.Org Server 1.9

        X.Org Server 1.9 is set to be released as soon as next week, has already been pulled into Ubuntu 10.10, and is part of the X.Org 7.6 katamari. While X.Org Server 1.9 does not bring many exciting end-user changes like previously releases that introduced RandR 1.2, Multi-Pointer X / X Input 2.0, and other new technologies, there are plenty of bug fixes and other minor improvements throughout the X Server. In this article, we are looking at how the Intel DDX driver performance changes when upgrading from X.Org Server 1.8.2 to the latest X.Org Server 1.9 development code.

      • [ANNOUNCE] xorg-server 1.8.99.906

        A bunch of bug fixes for this (final?) release candidate.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Kiosk in KDE 4

        I’ve been working on my BS thesis with the name “Parental mode in KDE”. The name can be a bit misleading, because I was mainly working on some kdelibs internals (integration of KAuth into Kiosk) and the Kiosk Admin Tool application.

        The first part of the work uncovered some nasty things in PolicyKit and ended with a simple outcome: using KAuth/PolicyKit as a back-end for Kiosk is too problematic and would require rewriting a good part of PolicyKit to make it work at all. For example: unlike Kiosk, PolicyKit doesn’t have support for profiles that could be assigned to users and groups, is much slower compared to KConfig/Kiosk, and in the PolicyKit1 incarnation isn’t stable enough for heavy use. See freedesktop bugs 29394 and 29069 for some details. Only positive outcome up to now is that Dario Freddi fixed some problems I found in KAuth. I wanted to do it but he was faster ;-)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Foundation sets out new rules for copyright assignment

        The Foundation, with assistance from its Advisory Board, Bradley Kuhn and Michael Meeks, has now published the new policy. Although future decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, by both the Release Team and the Foundation’s board, the requirements of the new policy and the Foundation’s guidelines, aim to ensure that only sufficiently free code is included in GNOME.

      • Elementary, Ambiance, Sonar – Most Beautiful GNOME Shell Themes Ever!

        We saw the quiet evolution of GNOME Shell aka the next generation GNOME desktop environment. Now lets do some GNOME Shell theming. Hope you guys are familiar with Elementary and Ambiance GTK themes. Now they have these stunning GNOME Shell variants which are absolutely beautiful. First of all you need to download these themes.

      • Web services need to be Free

        Web services, whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Gmail or other services could be a risk to users freedom if people aren’t careful. Peters suggested that users need to make sure that their data is portable so they can move their data if need be.

  • Distributions

    • Debian Family

      • Tales From the Front: in Search of APT-GET UNDO

        I tell you (from my text editor) that a broken X-server is every bit as traumatic as the old “blue screens of death” were, and it doesn’t help when one realizes that searching for help usually reveals nothing but a few snide insults and a comment that when you start needing to downgrade packages, you’re only a step away from needing to reinstall your system.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat: A Preview

          These represent only the most noticeable of the changes planned for Ubuntu 10.10; there are certainly others already out there, and yet more may appear before the final development freezes are reached later this month. We’ll continue to follow Maverick as it nears its final release date of October 10.

        • Finding the Ubuntu font design

          Between ourselves and the Canonical team we chose version T3 from the remaining three designs as a basis for further development.

        • Free Software on the reservations

          When speaking of upstream providers, downstream sellers, and end users, this is an analogous representation of what a project like Ubuntu already does in terms of it’s upstream and downstream relationships, when paralleled into economics. Equally important, free software allows cooperative expertise rather than forcing rivalrous knowledge. Since one cannot derive exclusive benefit at the expense of another, there is much greater incentive for people working on similar problems to do so together, even when the outcome is in free software that will then be commercially sold. This might be thought of both as a market of both abundance and mutual interdependency, and such markets are the only kind I have seen that can self-sustain without abuse.

          With no market barriers to participation, and with the possibility for near zero cost in distribution, much of the cost of commercially starting in free software are entirely infrastructure and equipment costs. Given the cooperative nature of free software, this too could lend itself to shared or cooperative costs. Individual nations could even minimally invest in setting up small community development centers where equipment and infrastructure are particularly scarce. We had looked at starting something very much like this in Lakotah.

          Free software certainly will not solve all the problems of the captive nations alone. However, it certainly can even in a small way help contribute to the establishment of sustainable economic development as well as a means to enable individual and communal economic sovereignty even in the present world, and hence to do so without having to compromise core social and cultural principles in the process.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Rugged box PC braces for global warming

      Kontron announced a fanless industrial box computer that runs on an Intel Atom N270 and can withstand temperatures of between five and 140 deg. F (-15 to 60 deg. C). The Kontron Embedded Box PC CB 752 is equipped with dual gigabit Ethernet ports and six USB 2.0 ports, plus serial, optional CAN bus, and Mini PCIe connectivity, says the company.

    • Phones

      • Palm enabling webOS apps to interact with Universal Search, dock mode?

        When our own esteemed Paul Miller cracked the mystery that allows the Motorola Droid to behave differently when docked than when in the hand, it took a little of the magic out the switch. However, that doesn’t diminish from its utility, and it’s a feature that could be coming to webOS.

      • Android

        • Introducing the Dell Blaze
        • Augen Switches to AndAppStore on Tablet No Longer Available at Kmart

          Augen, maker of the GenTouch78, the well known “$150 Kmart tablet,” has been under fire from Google for distributing the Android Market and other Google apps without permission. Since Augen and Google were not able to come to an licensing arrangement for the proprietary apps (no surprise since Google has not yet licensed the apps for any tablet without telephony capabilities), Augen has decided to use a 3rd party app store on the devices. AndAppStore, created by Funky Android Ltd., has been around for a couple of years and aims to provide an efficient connection between users and developers. Al Sutton, director of Funky Android, said they “are always willing to help OEMs and hardware distributors by providing them with a royalty and contract free alternative to Google’s Android Market, and we are happy to have been able to assist Augen in resolving this issue.” Augen has made AndAppStore available as a download from their support site, and any Android user can download and install the AndAppStore client directly from Funky Android.

Leftovers

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • UK Movie Cammer Faces Jail Sentence

        A man has been charged with fraud and copyright offenses after being accused of camcording several Hollywood flicks, including the Jennifer Aniston movie The Bounty Hunter. Unlike other countries around the world, recording a movie in a theater is not specifically illegal in the UK so considering the serious nature of the charges, why is this man facing a potential jail sentence?

Clip of the Day

So Long and Thanks for all the Fish


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