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08.16.10

Links 16/8/2010: Birthday of Debian, KDE SC 4.5.0 Coverage, Gestures With Multitouch

Posted in News Roundup at 11:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • TV

    • The Netflix Linux Conjecture: How Netflix snubs the Linux comunity

      Conjecture: A conjecture is a proposition that is unproven but appears correct and has not been disproved. If that statement confuses you (and it may if you’re not a student of math), then you understand exactly how I felt during a discussion with Netflix’ Steve Swasey (VP of Corporate Communications – aka “Spin Doctor”). Quite frankly, the man didn’t spin the discussion in such a way to make Netflix anything but a tiny bit ignorant of the topic at hand.

      Before I go any further, I should probably tell you what this is all about. Netflix has a feature that allows members to stream movies directly to their PCs. To accomplish this, they use Microsoft’s Silverlight technology. Silverlight is basically a web-application framework that provides functions similar to that of Adobe Flash.

      Now, with that out of the way, let me give you the gist of the conversation between myself and Mr. Swasey:

      ME: Hello, I am a freelance writer for Techrepublic (CNET), Linux.com, and Ghacks.net and I get a LOT of readers asking why Netflix does not support Linux. I plan on doing an article on this very subject and was wondering if I could get your official statement on this very subject.

      Steve: Jack, Netflix wants to be ubiquitous on any screen you want to watch TV shows and movies on and we’re working to get on as many platforms as we can. However, Linux currently does not have a Microsoft Silverlight plug-in that’s comparable with Netflix playback. Please let me know if you have other questions.

    • CWTV adds Support for Streaming to Linux

      Back in March I had mentioned that one of the only issues I had to deal with when converting my girlfriend’s laptop to Linux Mint was that her favourite TV show would not stream to Linux. The reason for this is that CWTV, instead of using Adobe Flash, uses Move Media player to stream to Windows and OSX (Move does not support Linux). Because of this if you are on a Linux system you would simply receive an “operating system not supported” message when browsing the page with the stream.

  • Versus Windows

    • The Fanboi Stops Here

      My company computers were hacked in 2005…a three city network went down due to the Bagle virus, specifically referred to as W32/Bagle.J@MM

      It was fast, it was tenacious, it spread through Outlook and it was devastating.

      That was when I migrated my company computers and network to Linux. Of course I had help and without a good friend who knew what he was doing, it would have never happened…

      But it did and it worked for us….Professionally

    • Windesperation

      In Linux, the ritual of rebooting after an install becomes a hazy memory buried in the back of your brain. But this WAS Windows, not Mandriva Linux. With full lungs, XP said to me, “I don’t care what you do in Sparta, but THIS-IS- BOOTLAND!!!” and I had to reboot to try the program… After almost an hour, I was getting closer to getting things done at last.

      But then the firewall blocked the anti-Malware program. When I was trying to solve the problem, the firewall showed an alert of a high-rate attempt to access my computer from the outside. And then, it flashed a warning: “the Win32 Sality Virus that disables antivirus programs is becoming too common. Your version of the firewall cannot stop it, but an upgrade of the program can. Do you want to upgrade for free?” A year ago, I would have clicked YES immediately. However, more than an hour and 15 minutes had elapsed and I had not accomplished anything. The missing installation required me to knock off the firewall, but the firewall was asking me to update! This was too much. I felt completely unproductive in front of the computer. I was mad while I thought that this was XP, the most popular OS today. From what I have seen happening to happy users, Windows 7 performs pretty much in the same fashion, except that it requires more computer resources to run properly. That, in itself, is a funny paradox. I buy clothes that fit me; I do not buy shoes too wide for my feet hoping to fatten until the shoes fit. However, Microsoft expects you to drop XP and buy Windows 7 and to buy new hardware if your PC does not fulfill the requirements for 7. So, Windows is an OS to which the computer has to accommodate! Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Outlaws 162 – Neckbeards Unite!

      This week on the show: The Google/Verizon deal, the SFLC defends the GPL again, Canonical tracking Ubuntu installations, Google kills Wave, the Illumos Project revealed and of course lots of neckbeard action.

    • Episode 29 – How to get a job as a Linux Admin….

      1) Introduction

      We talk about an E-Mail from Matt. Matt wants to know how to get a job as a Jr. Linux Admin. We discuss some things we think anyone looking to make this career choice should do.

      [...]

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • A Common Compositing Window Manager Specification

      Martin Gräßlin, one of the KDE developers that works on the KWin window manager, when not working towards OpenGL 3.0 support for KWin in KDE SC 4.7 has been writing a draft specification for what he proposes as a unified specification for compositing window managers. Martin hopes for this to become a FreeDesktop.org specification and that KWin/Plasma, Compiz, and other compositing window managers would implement this common specification.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • How much of an Open Source Gypsy are you?

      On the next step down, we have desktop gypsies. These folks might well stay in a distro they know well, but might switch between KDE, Gnome, Xfce, LXDE, and others as their mood strikes. Again, I think it can only help everyone if we try and help these folks make the easiest and smoothest transition between them. Some will stick with a desktop, and some won’t, but making it easier for them to do so helps everyone who switches to that desktop.

    • Reviews

      • Puppy 5.1 “Lucid Puppy” Review

        The most recent release of Puppy Linux, version 5.1 “Lucid Puppy” has some huge changes which include binary compatibility with Ubuntu 10.04 packages, easier package installation with Quickpet and in the Puppy Package Manager, a new Simple Network Setup utility and more. The official release announcement is here.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLINUXOS

        I have been using linux for about 4 years. I am by no means an expert but I would consider myself a little bit above average. I don’t usually write on my blog but something urged me to do it this time just so I can spread the word about Linux and this wonderful distro.

    • Debian Family

      • Happy Birthday, Debian!
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Gestures with multitouch in Ubuntu 10.10

          Multitouch is just as useful on a desktop as it is on a phone or tablet, so I’m delighted that the first cut of Canonical’s UTouch framework has landed in Maverick and will be there for its release on 10.10.10.

          You’ll need 4-finger touch or better to get the most out of it, and we’re currently targeting the Dell XT2 as a development environment so the lucky folks with that machine will get the best results today. By release, we expect you’ll be able to use it with a range of devices from major manufacturers, and with addons like Apple’s Magic Trackpad.

          The design team has lead the way, developing a “touch language” which goes beyond the work that we’ve seen elsewhere. Rather than single, magic gestures, we’re making it possible for basic gestures to be chained, or composed, into more sophisticated “sentences”.

        • Stunning New Gnome Shell Motion Design Mock Up[Video]
        • 10 Beautiful Wallpapers For Ubuntu 10.10 ‘Maverick Meerkat’ From Official Ubuntu Artwork Pool

          Ubuntu Artwork Pool in Flickr is buzzing with activity once again. With the release date of Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick getting nearer everyday, the submissions onto Ubuntu Artwork Pool in Flickr keeps piling on. Here are a few of those wallpapers that I think, are worth mentioning. Click on the links provided to get wallpapers with different resolutions.

        • Maverick Ubuntu

          No Gnome 3.0

          One of the big changes that most users have been waiting for is the Gnome 3.0 desktop. The brand new desktop interface won’t be making it into this release however. Originally Gnome 3.0 was scheduled for release in early October which was already cutting it fine for Ubuntu developers to include it. However, the Gnome developers have pushed back the release of Gnome 3.0 by another six months which means that the new desktop may not in fact reach Ubuntu until October 2011.

        • Trying Out The New Ubuntu 10.10 Installer

          Following last week’s Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 3 release but landing before the Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat” feature freeze this week were a number of last-minute features like X Server 1.9 integration and other updated packages along with the committing of the revamped Ubuntu desktop installer to Maverick. Via this revamped Ubuntu installer it’s possible to install proprietary bits directly like support for MP3 audio files and proprietary graphics drivers.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Lightweight Distro Roundup: Day 1 – Lubuntu

            Our candidate? Lubuntu, a Ubuntu flavor that uses LXDE as its desktop environment. I has everything that Ubuntu has going for it; large community support, tons of packages in the repositories and years of Ubuntu legacy and know-how.

          • Ubuntu Studio Sound Theme is Old But Still Really Good

            Ubuntu Studio is a multimedia enhanced Ubuntu variant packed with custom wallpapers, themes, screensavers, system sounds and more. With Canonical in the lookout for a new System Sounds theme for upcoming Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat, all those who want to contribute may want to check out the original Ubuntu Studio sound theme for inspiration. They are pretty darn good IMO.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • We should all be using free software

    By free software, they do not mean software that is given away at no cost. Lifelong free software activist Richard Stallman uses the French word “libre” to describe his ideal software; it’s free as in freedom, not as in free beer. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) defines four criteria for this freedom: the freedom to run the software for any purpose; to study how it works (to have access to its source code); to redistribute copies; and to publish modified and improved versions.

  • Top tips for a successful open source project
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • TabCandy becomes tab sets for Firefox 4

        Latest Firefox 4 nightly builds now feature Tab Sets, the ability to organize your tabs by visually grouping them to match your browsing style, introduced a few weeks ago as TabCandy.

        If you have tried the experimental build released at that time, you won’t notice much change except some important bug fixing for improved stability.

  • Oracle

    • Considerations For FLOSS Hackers About Oracle vs. Google

      James Gosling is usually pretty cryptic in his non-technical writing, but I think if you read carefully, it seems to me that Gosling regrets that Oracle now holds his patents on Java. I know developers get nice bonuses if they let their company apply for patents on their work. I also know there’s pressure in most large companies to get more patents. We, as developers, must simply refuse this. We invent this stuff, not the suits and the lawyers who want to exploit our work for larger and larger profits. As a community of developers and computer scientists, we must simply refuse to ever let someone patent our work. In a phrase: just say no.

    • Oracle Scorns Open Source: How to Respond?

      This was bound to happen, of course. Things were going too well. At a time when Google is activating 200,000 Android phones a day, and Android has overtaken the iPhone in terms of US market share, Oracle decided to drop the bomb…

    • New: OOo-DEV 3.3.x Developer Snapshot (build OOO330m4) available
    • Defending Free Software against Oracle’s attack

      I don’t think Google developed Dalvik to work round licensing and patent problems with Java, they developed it simply because Sun’s Java technology wasn’t good enough for what they wanted to do. If you watch Dan Bornstein’s presentation that is abundantly clear. Designing a new virtual machine runtime is hard, but not that hard. The JVM was influenced was influenced by the Pascal pcode system, and the Smalltalk virtual machine architecture from the 1970s has also been very influential. Recently there have been a pile of virtual machines for JavaScript being developed. Thirty years later after Smalltalk-80 the technology of virtual machines and JIT compilation is really mainstream.

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • Wondermedia WM8505 Linux + u-boot source code

      In recent months, a number of alleged GPL-violation reports regarding products (tablet computers, mini netbooks and the like) using the Wondermedia WM850x line of ARM SoCs. People have been contacting me, as I was working as VIA Open Source Liaison, and there is the general belief that VIA and Wondermedia Technology (WMT) are one company.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Truth-o-Meter, 2G: Andrew Lih wants to wikify fact-checking

      At the same time, though, “I welcome die-hard Fox viewers,” Lih says. “I welcome people who think Accuracy in Media is the last word. Because if you can cite from a reliable source — from a congressional record, from the Census Bureau, from the Geological Survey, from CIA Factbook, from something — then by all means, I don’t really care what your political stripes are. Because the facts should win out in the end.”

Leftovers

  • Grope Claim Against Donald Duck

    While visiting Epcot Center in Florida, a Pennsylvania woman alleges that a Disney employee dressed as Donald Duck grabbed her breast and molested her after she sought an autograph.

  • Health

    • Christopher Hitchens: Topic of Cancer

      One fine June day, the author is launching his best-selling memoir, Hitch-22. The next, he’s throwing up backstage at The Daily Show, in a brief bout of denial, before entering the unfamiliar country—with its egalitarian spirit, martial metaphors, and hard bargains of people who have cancer.

      [...]

      These are my first raw reactions to being stricken. I am quietly resolved to resist bodily as best I can, even if only passively, and to seek the most advanced advice. My heart and blood pressure and many other registers are now strong again: indeed, it occurs to me that if I didn’t have such a stout constitution I might have led a much healthier life thus far. Against me is the blind, emotionless alien, cheered on by some who have long wished me ill. But on the side of my continued life is a group of brilliant and selfless physicians plus an astonishing number of prayer groups. On both of these I hope to write next time if—as my father invariably said—I am spared.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Fla. developer sues Halliburton over Gulf spill

      Florida real estate developer St. Joe Co. is suing Halliburton Co. over its role in the rig explosion that led to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    • Confessions of a recovering environmentalist

      I generalise, of course. Environmentalism’s chancel is as accommodating as that of socialism, anarchism or conservatism, and just as capable of generating poisonous internal bickering that will last until the death of the sun. Many who call themselves green have little time for the mainstream line I am attacking here. But it is the mainstream line. It is how most people see environmentalism today, even if it is not how all environmentalists intend it to be seen. These are the arguments and the positions that popular environmentalism – now a global force – offers up in its quest for redemption. There are reasons; there are always reasons. But whatever they are, they have led the greens down a dark, litter-strewn dead end street, where the bins overflow, the lightbulbs have blown and the stray dogs are very hungry indeed.

      What is to be done about this? Probably nothing. It was perhaps inevitable that a utilitarian society would generate a utilitarian environmentalism, and inevitable too that the greens would not be able to last for long outside the established political bunkers. But for me, now – well, this is no longer mine, that’s all. I can’t make my peace with people who cannibalise the land in the name of saving it. I can’t speak the language of science without a corresponding poetry. I can’t speak with a straight face about saving the planet when what I really mean is saving myself from what is coming.

    • Huge ice island could pose threat to oil, shipping

      An island of ice more than four times the size of Manhattan is drifting across the Arctic Ocean after breaking off from a glacier in Greenland.

      Potentially in the path of this unstoppable giant are oil platforms and shipping lanes — and any collision could do untold damage. In a worst case scenario, large chunks could reach the heavily trafficked waters where another Greenland iceberg sank the Titanic in 1912.

  • Finance

    • IT Hiring Continues to Improve, According to Surveys

      Hiring for IT jobs continues on the upswing in the U.S. and Canada as recessionary gloom gives way to cautious optimism, according to various recent polls of employers, who cite networking, security, virtualization and database skills as among the most sought-after.

    • IMF document illustrates plan to raise global currency

      It’s no secret that many of the world’s largest industrialized nations are somewhat eager to ease their reliance on the U.S. dollar. For months China and Russia have pushed ever subtly, for a new “global reserve currency,” to give governments around the world enhanced economic stability in the event of greater fluctuations in the dollar’s value.

    • Financial Fallout: The Surprising Effects of a Recession

      In March 2010, ScienceDaily published a story about an intriguing report investigating the connection between stock-market activity and the frequency of heart attacks.

      The researchers, a team from Duke University Medical Center, discovered an increased incidence of cardiac arrest in the United States between January 2008 and July 2009, precisely when the stock market showed a clear decline in the midst of a massive economic crisis.

      Although the scientists determined in subsequent tests that this inverse relationship wasn’t quite as pronounced as they believed initially (due to seasonal fluctuations in heart attack rates), their study remains groundbreaking in terms of its efforts to explore a rarely covered topic: the impact of economic patterns on cardiovascular events.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Net neutrality is foremost free speech issue of our time

      If we learned that the government was planning to limit our First Amendment rights, we’d be outraged. After all, our right to be heard is fundamental to our democracy.

      Well, our free speech rights are under assault — not from the government but from corporations seeking to control the flow of information in America.

      If that scares you as much as it scares me, then you need to care about net neutrality.

    • Who Will Kill Net Neutrality?
    • eBooks, Open and Closed

      This means that I can’t buy an book in EPUB format and read it on my hardware or software EPUB reader of choice. Or rather, I can do so only under limited circumstances. For example, I can read a Sony B&N ebook on a Nook, but I can’t read a B&N ebook on a Sony reader. Or, when I Google anything to do with EPUB and DRM, I get a lot of links that seem to lead to instructions for stripping DRM.

    • Simple Coloured Bash Prompts
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Jay-Z spoof Newport State Of Mind removed from YouTube

        The hit internet spoof video Newport State Of Mind which parodies Jay-Z has been removed from YouTube due to a “copyright claim” by EMI Publishing.

      • Once More (With Feeling): There’s Still A Role For Record Labels… But It’s Changing

        But we’ve regularly highlighted smart labels doing cool things, and others are noticing that as well. The New Yorker has a nice article pointing out that there’s still a role for record labels to help a band do all the stuff it doesn’t want to do itself, and that many indie labels have done a good job figuring this out. The article focuses mainly on the band Arcade Fire, and the success it’s had, despite being on a small “indie label.” It mentions the band Vampire Weekend, which has also had similar success.

        There’s nothing revolutionary about what their labels are doing. It’s just that the bands generally have a bit more control and are less a cog in a giant machine, allowing them to stay a bit more true to their musical roots. As the article notes, this is “not a radical change so much as a scaling back, a return to a business model that involves fewer people, and concentrates on the product.” Indeed, it notes that the major record labels are still where bands may go to play the lottery — to try to get that one big check. But these more innovative and nimble indie labels are where a band is likely to go if it actually wants to make a career.

      • ACTA

        • ACTA Talks Resume: Round Ten Opens Today in Washington

          The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement talks resume today as Round Ten opens in Washington, DC. The full agenda indicates that all the issues will be addressed along with discussions of many smaller matters that have been left until the end. Following the last round in Lucerne, Switzerland (which only concluded 47 days ago), I had several posts on the leaked draft that tried to identify the primary areas of disagreement, the Canadian positions, the U.S. decision to cave on anti-circumvention, the importance of geographical indications in the talks, and speculation on the prospect of the EU walking away from ACTA.

Clip of the Day

Qt 4.6 Mobile Demos on Maemo & Symbian


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