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Links 25/8/2010: OpenSSH 5.6, Inkscape 0.48

Posted in News Roundup at 6:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Introducing Windows users to Linux

    Like many current Linux users, I once used Windows exclusively. Luckily, I learnt that there are alternatives that are just as good, if not better. When I started using Linux, I was constantly surprised as I unfolded its many impressive features. I quickly became a Linux enthusiast, passionately presenting it to friends and family. Unfortunately, I learnt the hard way that there are many things that can get in the way of a smooth transition, resulting in frustration and eventual rejection by the potential new user. I would like to share some of my thoughts and experiences here, so that anybody reading can avoid them.

  • Server

    • Virtualization Through Thick and Thin

      Back in the good old physical server days, you bought a server system, added disks to it and, after a time, when you came close to filling those disks, either you added more disks or replaced them with larger ones. Times have changed in the virtual world. You can still provision a static disk (Thick provisioning), which is typically much too large for the workload and any reasonable amount of growth. But, you do it to prevent that middle-of-the-night ‘disk is full’ call. With thin provisioning, you don’t have to worry about that call anymore. Or, do you?

  • Themes

    • Top 20 Bright Wallpapers For Ubuntu

      Cool bright wallpapers collection most wallpapers including Ubuntu logo, or kinda related to Ubuntu and another different distributions based on it, such as ” Kubuntu, Lubuntu “. All bright wallpapers looks great specially on bright themes.

    • Conky Colors Gets A Beautiful New Cairo Mode, Elementary Theme

      Conky Colors – a script to easily configure Conky with lots of built-in options -, added some cool new features recently: cairo mode (–cairo) and a new theme: Elementary.

    • GNOME Shell Themes Now Have an Equinox Variant

      GNOME Shell is a component of GNOME 3.0, the next generation of the GNOME desktop environment scheduled for release in March 2011. We did introduced Sonar, Elementary and Ambiance GNOME Shell themes before and we have one more to showcase, Equinox GNOME Shell theme.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Top 20 Apps for GNOME Fans

        With this in mind, I’ll highlight twenty great applications I like to use on the GNOME desktop.

        1) Geany – Gedit, among other GTK text editors, are all fine and dandy. But what about when you want something with a bit more kick to it? Geany is a lightweight Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that provides all the functions of a good text editor, in addition to features one might find with similar alternatives. The big features here include code folding and syntax highlighting.

  • Distributions

    • Linux distro focuses on audio recording

      Trinity Audio Group announced an upgrade to its Linux-based “audio operating system,” with an improved user interface, the real-time kernel 2.6.31, and a player that lets users change the speed of a song without altering pitch. “Transmission 4.0″ is available as a download, on a USB stick, or preloaded on a netbook or ultra-mobile PC (UMPC), the company says.

    • Gentoo needs you! A few things that would definitely be useful
    • Reviews

      • Alpine Linux 2 review

        Alpine Linux is a distribution designed primarily for use as a router, firewall and application gateway. The latest stable version, Alpine Linux 2.0, was released last week (August 17, 2010). This review is the first for this distribution on this site, and also marks its first listing in the Firewall & Router category.

      • Lightweight Distro Roundup: Day 7 – Impressions So Far

        Will I switch to a lightweight distro myself? Not likely, I am a pampered boy right now – it is way to cool to be able to have a moving globe wallpaper on my secondary monitor and a world map on my primary, both moving with the sun too!

        Am I confident that Elzje and I will find a distro for Grandma’s old clunker of a PC? YES!

        In fact, if we were to stop this experiment right now we would probably go with Linux Mint LXDE or maybe Xubuntu.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat: Will SAP Acquire Linux Leader?

        Rumors are swirling that SAP may acquire Red Hat. But does it make sense for SAP — the German software giant — to open its wallet and buy Red Hat, which is pushing beyond Linux to promote open source middleware and virtualization? The VAR Guy’s answer: A potential SAP-Red Hat combo makes sense. Here’s why.

        First, a disclosure: The VAR Guy owns about $5,000 worth of Red Hat stock. Our resident blogger believes in Red Hat’s long-term business strategy regardless of M&A chatter.

      • Red Hat’s Matthew Szulik to be Honored at NCTA “0021” Awards
      • Fedora

        • Btrfs in Fedora 13 – Interview with Josef Bacik

          So Btrfs is not the default for Fedora 13?

          Oh no, its not ready for primetime yet. It’s still very much an experimental fs that is under heavy development. A lot of the key features are there, but a lot of stabilizing and such needs to be done still

        • First pre-release version of Fedora 14

          The most profound change is a behind the scenes switch to systemd, an alternative to sysvinit and upstart released in May. Lately Fedora has been using upstart to launch the system and services, but has continued to use sysvinit scripts. The current state of systemd development and background information on the state of integration into Fedora is summarised by Lennart Poettering, the main developer behind systemd, in a post on his blog. In discussions on systemd on LWN-net, he has stated that faster booting is just one of many objectives for systemd – some systems boot significantly faster with systemd, whereas others see little difference.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 207

          * N-imal?
          * Join the fun at the Ubuntu Global Jam
          * Welcome New Ubuntu Members
          * Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS released
          * Gestures with multitouch in Ubuntu 10.10
          * Ubuntu Translations Interviews: Ricardo Pérez (Spanish Translation Team)
          * Ubuntu Stats
          * LoCo News
          * Ubuntu One Technical Aspects
          * Thankyou, Debian
          * Planet KDE Update
          * Beginners Team
          * Ubuntu at the Creative Arts Charter School
          * Getting Started with Ubuntu 10.04 Second Edition released
          * UbuCon at Ohio LinuxFest
          * In The Press
          * In The Blogosphere
          * Multi-touch Support Lands in Maverick
          * Canonical Announces the Release of uTouch for Ubuntu OS
          * Interviewing Mr. Gwibber (Ryan Paul)
          * Geode Driver Update
          * Puppy 5.1 codename Lucid is out- Now is compatible with Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx package
          * Oracle puts OpenSolaris to rest
          * KDE & GNOME cross-desktop development
          * OpenLuna – An Open Source Project Aimed at Returning Humankind Back to the Moon
          * Ohio LinuxFest Schedule
          * Featured Podcasts
          * Weekly Ubuntu Development Team Meetings
          * Upcoming Meetings and Events
          * Updates and Security
          * And much much more!

        • Interview with Ubuntu IRC Council Member – Jussi Schultink

          Today I am speaking to Jussi Schultink. Jussi is an active Ubuntu Member as well as and Ubuntu IRC Council Member. Thank you Jussi I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me and share your thoughts on being an IRC Council member and more.

        • Rethinking Canonical’s Ubuntu Business Strategy

          If you’d asked us in 2007 or 2008 to summarize Canonical’s grand strategy, our answer would have centered around beating Red Hat and Novell on the Linux server front. But fast forward to the present and a lot has changed. That’s why it’s time for a reevaluation of Canonical’s goals and future, and its relationship with other major players in the Linux ecosystem.

          For a long time, Ubuntu’s success as a traditional server platform seemed crucial to Canonical’s viability. While the desktop version of Ubuntu has fueled the distribution’s enormous popularity within the Linux community, it was hard to imagine Canonical becoming self-sufficient without competing head-on with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE and other major commercial server-oriented distributions.

        • Meerkat’s Software Centre gets a background…
        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Keep the “Linux” out of it Please

          Android and Ubuntu are arguably the two largest Linux success stories to date. Ubuntu with its soaring success over other Linux-based desktop solutions and Android with its seemingly single handed domination of the mobile market.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Nepal estimates its overall OLPC costs

        Rabi Karmacharya runs OLE Nepal, the local team in charge of implementing the current project in Nepal (with 2100 children and teachers at 26 schools). Today he posted an estimate of the total cost of their XO project — $77 per child per year. This includes network connectivity, school infrastruture, teacher training, repair, content creation, and administrative overhead for the project.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • WebM codec ‘outperforms’ H.264

      Videoconferencing specialist VideoPort has conducted some tests which should give Google’s WebM video codec a shot in the arm – demonstrating, as they do, that in certain scenarios the open source codec can outperform the proprietary H.264 codec.

      According to the company’s tests, the WebM codec – previously known as VP8 when it was being developed by On2 Technologies before the company was bought by Google and the codec renamed and the codec released under an open source licence – surpassed the performance of the popular H.264 video compression codec in high bit-rate scenarios on their video conferencing platform.

    • The New Browser Wars: Chrome vs. IE vs. Firefox

      Video in particular has been a thorny tangle of legal issues over what video codecs to support natively, with each browser picking a different approach and the HTML 5 spec not officially supporting any one of them.

    • Mozilla

  • SaaS

    • Take your desktop to the cloud with eyeOS

      Why settle for different web-based applications when you can have a full-blown cloud-based desktop, offering a complete solution for daily computing? If a personal cloud desktop appeals to you, then eyeOS is exactly what you need…

  • Oracle/SCO

    • [Oracle cartoon]
    • Some lessons from Bruce Steinberg

      Bruce Steinberg was the best Linux Journal reader I ever had, qualifying on the grounds of correspondence volume alone. His letters to this one editor were always long, and always thick with good humor, good advice, and rich history. Bruce was a Unix/Linux geek of the first water, and worked for many years at SCO, long before that “brand” was shamed at the end of its life. He was also a veteran of the rock & roll world, and knew more about the band Tower of Power than most people know about life. (It mattered to us both that the band, at the time traveling under another name but using the same horn section and singer Hubert Tubbs, played at our wedding.)

    • Illuminating the Illumos Project

      Though the Illumos Project is a community-driven project directed by an independent team, it does have a lot of corporate cheerleaders. One of these is Nexanta Systems, Inc. In fact, the Illumos project was announced in early August 2010 at a Nexanta facility in New York City by Nexanta engineer Garrett D’Amore. What interest does Nexanta have in Illumos? Nexanta is a popular enterprise network data storage solutions company that used OpenSolaris extensively. They prefer to provide clients with completely open solutions that prevent vendor lock-in. They had a vested interest in OpenSolaris, hence they have a vested interested in seeing that some sort of open sibling of Solaris thrives moving forward. I find it to be a very likely scenario that Illumos will end up being far more popular than OpenSolaris ever was because the veil of uncertainty will be removed. There will no longer be the inherent FUD associated with an upstream vendor whose commitment is questionable. Nexanta is a major sponsor of the Illumos project, but they do not direct the project. This independence will be one of the keys to Illumos’ success.

  • Project Releases

    • OpenSSH 5.6 Released into the Wild
    • Inkscape 0.48 lined up and released

      In 2009, the Inkscape Node tool was rewritten as part of a GSoC project and the subsequent changes have been incorporated into the core of Inkscape for further development; for example, in the new multipath editing. The text tool now allows users to control line, letter and word spacing, horizontal kerning, vertical shifts and character rotation while adding support for superscripts and subscripts; this work was funded through Linuxfund.org.

  • Government

    • IT: Municipality of Modena removing vendor dependency office tools

      The Italian municipality of Modena is well on its way to become independent from a major IT vendor for its office productivity tools, reports Laura Seidenari, instructor at the city’s IT department.

      The city council of Modena has installed OpenOffice on about 1500 of its 1600 workstations. The city started replacing the proprietary office tools in January 2008. Seidenari says this has helped save the city some 250.000 Euro on licences for proprietary software.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • So you think you can open source

      Street dancing also shares an obvious parallel with the principles of open source. B-boys develop their moves through collaboration and barter. This effort most often occurs in the open public, and the final product is usually available for free (or a donation to the “crew”). Choreography, on the other hand, is a partnership between a writer (literally a “dance writer”) and highly-trained artists. The partnership can be stunning, moving, and even political. But unlike street dancing, choreography takes place outside the public gaze and descends—deus ex machina—onto the stage to a very entertained audience. There is no doubt that choreographed dance is beautiful.


  • Security/Aggression

    • Rustock botnet responsible for 40 percent of spam

      More than 40 percent of the world’s spam is coming from a single network of computers that computer security experts continue to battle, according to new statistics from Symantec’s MessageLabs’ division.

      The Rustock botnet has shrunk since April, when about 2.5 million computers were infected with its malicious software that sent about 43 billion spam e-mails per day. Much of it is pharmaceutical spam.

    • Users are still idiots, cough up personal data despite warnings

      The authors approached the issue with a simple question: what motivates people to reveal personal information on the Internet? Understanding the phenomenon could go a long way towards explaining everything from blogging to phishing victims, but the authors chose to focus specifically on whether people would hand over embarrassing personal information, including sexual habits and illegal acts. After several rounds of tests, they conclude, “A central finding of all four experiments, is that disclosure of private information is responsive to environmental cues that bear little connection, or are even inversely related, to objective hazards.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Free That Tenor Sax

        Copyright laws are designed to ensure that authors and performers receive compensation for their labors without fear of theft and to encourage them to continue their work. The laws are not intended to provide income for generations of an author’s heirs, particularly at the cost of keeping works of art out of the public’s reach.

        The Savory collection, like other sound recordings made before 1972, is covered by a patchwork of state copyright and piracy laws that in some cases allow copyrights to remain until the year 2067. Congress needs to bring all these recordings under the purview of federal copyright law, which generally applies during the lifetime of the author or musician plus 70 years. That time period has been criticized as too long, but is unlikely to be changed because it is part of a global trade treaty.

      • File-Sharing Lawyers To Face Disciplinary Tribunal

        A law firm that says it has made more than £1 million by sending threatening ‘pay or else’ letters to alleged file-sharers in the UK, will now face a disciplinary tribunal. ACS:Law, believed to be the most complained about law firm in its field, has been referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. This is the second time in front of the tribunal for principal Andrew Crossley.

      • Lawrence Lessig’s new journey (part two)

        I think I was a surprised as anyone when I heard that Larry Lessig was stepping away from Creative Commons. It seemed like a sudden change of direction, because Lessig has been a vocal advocate for freedom and choice for so many years. But as I hear Lessig describe his journey from Creative Commons to Change Congress, I’m reminded of Daniel Okrent’s history of the prohibition movement in the United States, “Last Call”.

Clip of the Day

Free Software in Ethics and in Practice Manchester, UK 2008

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