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09.05.10

Links 5/9/2010: KDE SC 4.5 Coverage, Systemd in Fedora 14, Debian 7.0 Named

Posted in News Roundup at 5:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • GNU/Linux powers state-of-the-art hearing aid research

    The next generation of digital hearing aids is being developed and tested on real-time GNU/Linux systems from 64 Studio Ltd, using dedicated multi-channel audio interfaces and standard Lenovo notebooks.

  • Desktop

    • Web Stats from Wikipedia

      rom billions of hits, 1.88% are from GNU/Linux. I think this lays to rest any idea that GNU/Linux on desktops is less than 1% share of OS. Further, Wikipedia is mostly in English so this sample represents mostly the English-speaking world, UK, Australia, Canada, USA, and segments of other countries where English is a language of tech/science/business.

  • Server

    • Maturing as a Linux Systems Administrator

      Finally, one of the greatest signs of a mature systems administrator, no matter what platform he specializes in, is patience. Admittedly, this is an area I’m still working on, and probably will be for the rest of my life. It takes patience to write good documentation, it takes patience to throughly test a system before it’s put into production, it takes patience to ensure systems are patched on time, and that the patches are tested before they are put into production. It takes patience to know that the cool new thing might not be whats best for your environment. It takes patience to recognize that voice in the back of your head that says something that you are looking at is not quite right. And, it takes patience to smile and nod to vendors who speak condescendingly about your profession.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Open-Source GPU Drivers Causing Headaches In KDE 4.5

        Martin Gräßlin, the KDE developer known for working on KWin and working on advanced features like OpenGL 3.x compositing in KDE 4.7, has written a new blog post in which he details some of the driver issues currently being experienced by some users of the recently released KDE 4.5 desktop.

        With the KWin desktop effects in KDE SC 4.5 they are beginning to use the GL Shading Language. Initially this GLSL usage is limited to KWin’s blur effect and lanczos filter, but stressing the GLSL code paths is exposing some Linux graphics card driver bugs, primarily with the open-source hardware drivers.

      • KDE SC 4.5 – Desktop Activities Exposed

        Whilst I now understand how these features work and might be used, I still don’t understand how this might improve my workflow. It may be that because I’ve never been a big fan of desktop widgets – despite the fact that I developed one of the most popular superkaramba themes ever – liquidweather ;-) I understand that, in addition to being able to put different wallpapers and plasmoids on different activities, you can specify the activity on which each application opens. This could be a useful way to organise yourself, but it has always been possible to specify which virtual desktop a particular application opens on. Activities to me seem to be simply an extension of the virtual desktop metaphor.

      • Driver dilemma in KDE workspaces 4.5

        KDE is currently blamed for errors in external components: the graphic drivers. I am lately reading quite some crap (e.g. on it news today) that we KWin devs knew about problems in the drivers and shipped 4.5 nevertheless with changes enabled which trigger the driver bugs. That is of course not true.

    • GTK/GNOME Desktop

      • GTK Impression – Scrollbars

        The Impression themes sought the middle ground by creating a stepper “prelight” event. As demonstrated in the two screen shots above, the steppers are hidden unless the mouse hovers above the area before or after the trough. A very muted stepper is shown when the bar has landed at the beginning or end of the trough to provide visual feed back to this event.

  • Distributions

    • Are You Intimidated By Breakfast Cereal?

      An article by Graham Morrison for Tech Radar UK this past week struck a bit of a raw nerve for me. It was one of a type we see periodically in the tech press and the title pretty much tells the story: 
      The trouble with Linux: there’s too much choice. To Mr. Morrison and all the others who have written articles like this one I say: Hogwash!

      I pose the following questions to Mr. Morrison and to all the others who share his views. Are you intimidated by the breakfast cereal isle in his supermarket? After all, there are so many choices. Isn’t it confusing? Should we all just eat corn flakes? Would you like to go back to the days when Henry Ford famously said, “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black”? After all, wouldn’t buying a car be easier if there were fewer makes, models and colors available? How about clothing? Wouldn’t life be simpler if we all had to wear the same uniform?

    • WTF is Unity Linux? A self faq-interview thing

      So it occurs to me that I’ve never really sat down and talked about Unity Linux. I’ve engaged in bunches of discussions and have even popped in on some early forum posts when Unity Linux was just conceived, so that I could correct things. But I haven’t really participated in any of that (even before my recent break).

      Part of the reasoning was that I was expecting a manifesto or at least a good official description to be crafted which goes over anything I would want to say. The rest of the reasoning was that I figured the magazine would sprout up and I’d be able to do interviews or articles within it which would clarify anything not covered by the official stuff.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • September 2010 Issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine

        In the September 2010 issue:

        LXDE: An Overview
        LXDE: The Control Center
        LXDE: Autostart Apps With .desktop Files
        Installing PCLinuxOS-LXDE On An IBM Thinkpad 600e
        Does Linux Market Share Matter? What Matters?
        OpenOffice 3.2, Part 4: Impress
        Command Line Interface Intro: Part 12
        Ms_Meme’s Nook: Download The Distro
        Forum Foibles: User Names
        Computer Languages A to Z: Octave
        Alternate OS: Syllable, Part 1
        Ladies Of PCLinuxOS: Meemaw
        Educational Linux!
        Game Zone: Battle For Wesnoth
        Repo Spotlight: Repository Speed Test
        and much, much more!

      • I’ve Moved On …

        Mandriva is by no means the best distro out there, but to me, it meets my needs, at least for now

    • Red Hat Family

      • Piper Jaffray: More Clients Using Red Hat Than Microsoft’s Windows

        Shares of Red Hat gained $1.10, good for a gain of 3.18%, to close at $35.65.

      • Red Hat Sets Its Cloud Strategy, Eyes Microsoft Azure Alternative
      • Fedora

        • Systemd and Fedora 14

          Systemd, an alternative to Upstart or System V init, has made big strides since it was announced at the end of April. It has been packaged for Fedora and openSUSE, and for users of Fedora Rawhide, it gets installed as the default. There are still bugs to be shaken out, of course, and that work is proceeding, especially in the context of Rawhide. The big question is whether Fedora makes the leap to use systemd as the init system for Fedora 14.

          When last we looked in on systemd, Lennart Poettering intended to have a package ready for Fedora 14, which has happened, but it was unclear what, exactly, openSUSE’s plans were. Since then, Kay Sievers, who worked with Poettering on developing systemd, has created an openSUSE Factory—essentially the equivalent of Fedora’s Rawhide—package along with web page of instructions for interested users. But most of the action seems to be going on in Fedora-land.

    • Debian Family

      • Some notes on Flash in Debian and Debian Edu
      • Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 updated

        The Debian project is pleased to announce the sixth update of its stable distribution Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 (codename “lenny”). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustment to serious problems.

      • Debian 7.0 named

        As the Debian developers work on completing development of the free software Debian GNU/Linux 6.0, known as “Squeeze”, they have also been selecting the name for the next version, 7.0. In a recent release update posting, it was announced that Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 will be named “Wheezy”.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 10.10 beta arrives with new netbook UI

          Canonical has announced the availability of the Ubuntu 10.10 beta release. The new version of the popular Linux distribution, codenamed Maverick Meerkat, is scheduled for final release in October. It brings some noteworthy user interface improvements and updated software.

          The beta ships with GNOME 2.31, which introduces support for the new dconf configuration storage system. Ubuntu’s standard F-Spot photo tool has been replaced by Shotwell, a relatively new application that is developed by nonprofit software group Yorba. Although it’s not as feature-complete as F-Spot, it’s progressing quickly and has a lot to offer.

          Canonical has continued its work on panel indicators, especially the audio indicator which now has playback controls in addition to a volume management slider. This will eliminate the need for individual audio applications to have their own notification area icons.

        • Install Nautilus Elementary In Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat
        • Ubunchu Episode 7: “The Ultimate Installfest” is out September 5, 2010
        • Kazam Screencasting tool 0.1 released – the bar just got raised
        • Full Circle Side-Pod #3: Where’s the Neurotic Numbat?
        • Preview: Ubuntu 10.10 Beta

          Just like Ubuntu 10.04 threw me off (too many changes rushed into a release that felt unfinished and unstable, which was specially concerning given its LTS nature), Ubuntu 10.10 got me excited and hungry for more. I think most of the changes that were introduced for Lucid Lynx are now mature and make more sense, even things like the window button position shift (alright, maybe not this one) or the “Social Desktop”.

          There are still some rough edges in terms of Look&Feel (default icon theme, GDM theme), but the improvement is obvious. The application catalog is still not my favorite, but customizing it to one’s liking should take less than an hour total. The installation wizard enhancements are excellent and I believe will set the standard other Linux distros will look up to. Last but not least, the Software Center is finally coming to life and it excels, right up there with Linux Mint’s (which Canonical got so much from).

          All in all, Ubuntu 10.10 raised the bar again. I personally believe that it’s biggest accomplishment is that it makes the “Ubuntu: Linux for human beings” motto full justice.

          I did skip Ubuntu 10.04, but they can already sign me in for a heavy dose of Maverick Meerkat!

        • Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) Beta Screenshots Gallery
        • Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat” Wallpapers

          Here are all the new wallpapers that are included in Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat”

        • Ubuntu 10.10 sneak peak

          Of course I am leaving out a lot of minor bits and pieces. Nearly every (if not all) applications have been updated and run better and faster. But what you have seen above are the MAJOR changes to the Ubuntu LTS release. This October is going to be an exciting period, once again, for Ubuntu fans. My biggest hope is that third-party vendors will have applications already listed in the Ubuntu Software Center prior to the official release. That would go a long way to validate Linux on the desktop.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Beta Has Been Released! Screenshots And Videos Inside (Both Ubuntu Desktop And Ubuntu Netbook Edition)
        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • USB-Based PSFreedom PS3 Exploit Now Adapted To Palm Pre

        Huzzah! Now the Palm Pre can be used to hack the PS3, too. Developer blake_zero over at PSX-Scene has released an adaptation of KaKaRoTo’s USB hub-emulating PSFreedom exploit, which takes advantage of the same heap overflow vulnerability in PSGroove, the initial open-source implementation of PS Jailbreak’s jigkick wonder. Currently, only source code is available.

      • Android

        • Top 5 best puzzle games on Android

          Everyone likes puzzle games. They might not be your favourite type of game, but I guarantee we’ve all played and enjoyed one at some point in our lives.

          Which probably explains why it continues to be one of the most, if not the most popular games genre around.

        • Challenging Apple’s ambitions

          Samsung and Toshiba are among a crowd of companies unveiling tablet computers at IFA, many of them running on Android. They are almost all going to be cheaper than the iPad and do much the same. Only the sheer power of the Apple brand, along with the integration with its App Store, could keep the iPad ahead of its new rivals.

          [...]

          The Toshiba Folio 100 is bigger, a bit like a more widescreen iPad. Again, it does most of the things that an iPad does, but although, like the Tab, it runs on Android, it has a slightly clunky interface. And because the Google OS isn’t yet built to work with screens this big you have to rely on Toshiba’s own apps rather than the Android Market.

        • XDA Discovers Updated ROM for Nexus One

          Score another one for the open source Android developer community over at XDA. Some of the users over there have discovered another update to the Froyo ROM for the Nexus One, with build number FRG33. It has been found that the ROM has some minor bugfixes and a newer version of the installed radio than in the latest official released build.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • New features in Google Chrome 6

      Google Chrome made its debut in September 2008 and just two years later, it is the third most widely used browser with around 7.5% of the market. Only Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox remain ahead of it and these two have been around for considerably longer. However, with Google Chrome’s current momentum, the situation may not remain so for very long.

    • Mozilla

      • No 64-bit version of Firefox 4.0?

        Seriously? Do they have any idea how many Mac users are out there running 10.4 or older? OS 10.5 came out in October of 2007. Windows 2000 came out ten years ago.

        Linux “minimum version” is listed as “to be determined”. I’m guessing that based on the complete disregard for anyone in the Mac world running a legacy OS, Linux’s minimum version will be 2.6.30?

        I know, all vitriol and sarcasm aside, I understand that there’s a lot going into the Firefox 4.0 release. And I suppose if I was feeling particularly masochistic, I could grab the source code of the latest build of the final release and just compile my own 64-bit binary.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle offers student coders free access to JavaOne

      The announcement comes a day after Google technologist Tim Bray wrote a blog post that suggested Oracle doesn’t place great importance on developing “mindshare” among software developers.

    • Could Oracle fracture open source community?

      An Oracle was a person or agency considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic opinion. How can that particular definition be applied to Oracle the company? It can’t. In fact I would claim that Oracle, the company, is quite the opposite of “wise” or “prophetic”.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Free Software Needs Free Tools

      The GNU GPL license and source code mean little to a user attempting to modify a program without free access to the software required to make that modification. Is is not only developers’ freedom at stake but, eventually, their users and all future “downstream” developers as well. Those choosing to use nonfree tools put everyone at the whim of the groups and individuals who produce the tools they depend on.

      While proprietary development tools may help free software developers create more free software in the short term, it is at an unacceptable cost. In the controversial area of private software and network services, free software developers should err on the side of “too much” freedom. To compromise our principles in attempts to achieve more freedom is self-defeating, unstable, and ultimately unfair, to our users and to the larger free software development community.

      Just as the early GNU maintainers first focused on creating free tools for creating free software, we should ensure that we can produce software freely and using unambiguously free tools. Our failure to do so will result in software that is, indirectly, less free. We should resist using tools that do not allow us the freedoms we are trying to provide our users in the development of their software and we should apply pressure on the producers of our development tools. Free software has not achieved success by compromising our principles. We will not be well served, technically, pragmatically, or ethically, by compromising on freedom of the tools we use to build a free world.

    • Free Software Needs Free Tools

      The article was published in the Spring 2010 FSF Bulletin which was mailed to all FSF associate members. I’ve also posted the article on my website and in PDF form as well.

    • Revolution OS is Open Source: The Movie

      As the viewer would hope, this piece features interviews from most of the biggest names that have helped shape the open source landscape over the last decade including Richard Stallman, Michael Tiemann, Linus Torvalds, Larry Augustin, Eric S. Raymond, Bruce Perens, Frank Hecker and Brian Behlendorf.

      [...]

      Linus Torvalds is then interviewed on his development of the Linux kernel as well as on the GNU/Linux naming controversy and Linux’s further evolution, including its commercialisation.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Open Hardware Summit Comes to Queens

        The Open Hardware Movement is dedicated to producing a real and enforceable license for open source hardware. This license would be similar to a Creative Commons License for artistic Creations and the Gnu Public License for software.

Leftovers

  • Texas opens inquiry into Google search rankings

    Google Inc.’s methods for recommending websites are being reviewed by Texas’ attorney general in an investigation spurred by complaints that the company has abused its power as the Internet’s dominant search engine.

  • Author Simon Singh Puts Up a Fight in the War on Science

    For a while there, things didn’t look too good for British writer Simon Singh. The best-selling author of the science histories Big Bang and Fermat’s Enigma knew he was heading into controversial territory when he switched tracks to cowrite a book investigating alternative medicine, Trick or Treatment? What Singh didn’t count on, however, was that writing a seemingly innocuous article for London’s The Guardian newspaper about especially outrageous chiropractic claims—one of the subjects he researched for the book—would end up threatening his career. The British Chiropractic Association sued Singh, hoping to use Britain’s draconian libel laws to force him to withdraw his statements and issue an apology.

  • Going back to the past to survive
  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • Cars: The next hacking frontier?

      Of course, your car is probably not a high-priority target for most malicious hackers. But security experts tell CNET that car hacking is starting to move from the realm of the theoretical to reality, thanks to new wireless technologies and evermore dependence on computers to make cars safer, more energy efficient, and modern.

    • Police sergeant suspended after assault on woman

      Dramatic video footage has emerged of a police sergeant dragging a women to a cell and hurling her inside, an incident which has led to his suspension.

    • More War Lies
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Greenpeace activists arrested after abandoning occupation of Arctic oil rig

      Four Greenpeace activists who halted drilling by a British-owned oil exploration rig off Greenland have been arrested after they abandoned their occupation because of severe weather.

      Greenlandic police arrested the four after high winds buffeted the Stena Don drilling rig overnight, forcing them to abandon mountaineering-style platforms they had suspended by ropes underneath the platform less than 48 hours earlier.

    • Paris Over Amherst: Food, Energy, and Credit

      As readers understand, fossil fuels have played an enormous role in the long-cycle upgrading of agricultural yields. And while energy-dense fossils fuels are indeed a miracle, now that oil production globally is no longer increasing (with a new price regime reflecting that change) the cost inputs to food production are rising.

    • Mexico’s foreign minister dampens hopes of Cancun climate deal

      Mexico’s foreign minister today dampened hopes of a breakthrough deal at the Cancun climate change talks in November, saying negotiators are focusing on making progress on smaller issues before perhaps seeking a comprehensive agreement in 2011 or later.

    • If Rajendra Pachauri goes, who on Earth would want to be IPCC chair?

      When it first emerged in India that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had made a major blunder about the date the Himalayan glaciers were predicted to melt, the sceptics predictably called for the head of Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC’s chair. There followed a series of malicious falsehoods and disinformation from journalists and bloggers about his business interests.

      Without waiting for retractions or the evidence of any inquiries or investigations, leading western environmentalists and other commentators shamefully rushed in to say he should resign. And now, following the InterAcademy Council (IAC) report into the IPCC’s processes earlier this week (which also found Pachauri not guilty of any misconduct), commentators and editorials in the Times, Financial Times, Time, New Scientist and Telegraph have called for his resignation. The BBC’s Roger Harrabin has also suggested that Pachauri’s “time appears to be running out”. The reason most given? That by staying, Pachauri would give the sceptics more ammunition.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Said to Shut Principal Strategies Unit

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is disbanding its principal-strategies business, one of the groups that makes bets with the firm’s own money, to comply with new U.S. rules aimed at curbing risk, two people with knowledge of the decision said.

    • AIG Derivative Suit Against Greenberg Settles for $90 Million

      American International Group has finally closed the book on the turbulent Maurice “Hank” Greenberg era. On Thursday the embattled former chief executive officer and other defendants agreed to settle a derivative suit alleging that they fraudulently used various accounting tricks to mask problems at the company. Under the deal, which must be approved by Vice Chancellor Leo Strine Jr. of Delaware Chancery Court, AIG will receive $90 million. At the same time, Greenberg and former AIG Chief Financial Officer Howard Smith will be reimbursed $60 million for their legal fees. Both sums will be paid by AIG’s insurance carriers.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Censored! Craigslist Adult Services Blocked in U.S.

      The “adult services” listing on Craiglist was removed late Friday from its U.S.-based sites and replaced with the word “censored.”

      Craigslist did not announce the move and its blog was not updated as of Saturday morning. Craigslist did not immediately respond to e-mail and voice mail messages seeking comment. Adult services listings continue to be available outside the United States.

    • Craigslist removes its controversial adult section
    • School Must Pay Lawyer in Webcam Case

      Federal prosecutors said they will not charge a suburban school district officials with spying on students and families through school-issued laptop computers with remotely activated webcams, but Lower Merion School District still faces litigation from parents and a student. On Monday, a federal judge ordered the district to pay the family’s attorney $260,000 for his work on the case.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Sharron Angle hit with R-J copyright infringement lawsuit

        The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s copyright infringement lawsuit partner on Friday sued U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle over R-J material posted on her website, allegedly without authorization.

        The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas by Righthaven LLC, seeks damages of $150,000 against Angle personally and forfeiture of her website domain name sharronangle.com.

      • Do you download copyrighted porn? Lawsuits seek to reveal names

        The lawsuits yesterday were filed in Illinois District Court by a single lawyer, John L. Steele of the Media Copyright Group based in Chicago. Steele has set up a website advertising a “cost-effective solution for reducing P2P-based content piracy.”

        [...]

        The plaintiffs in these cases surely see this as a potentially effective tool against the piracy problem. Adult entertainment companies, in particular, likely see the benefit of potentially exposing people who download, say, transgender porn.

      • Secretary Locke Meets with Music Industry Representatives in Nashville to Discuss Piracy and Global Intellectual Property Protection

        “This administration is committed to tackling the challenges facing the music industry, because it is a fundamental issue of economic security and jobs,” Locke said. “We are continually looking for new ways to protect the creativity that is the lifeblood of Nashville and America’s economy.”

      • James Gannon Lies By Omission Yet Again – Star Article Doesn’t Disclose His CRIA Connections

        Curiously Barry Sookman’s blog is just like James Gannon’s blog. Nothing but articles that appear to be work related. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that, if they admit the connection. But they won’t. I directly asked Barry Sookman if he had any connections with the industry, and he refused to answer. His only problem is that he’s listed as a lobbyist for the CRIA by the Canadian Government. I already knew this of course – but I was curious. Would he admit something that was publicly available? No, he wouldn’t. He won’t even post the connection on his website, which claims:

      • Anti-Piracy Outfit Threatens To DoS Uncooperative Torrent Sites

        In recent years, technical anti-piracy enforcement has taken a less aggressive approach to that previously demonstrated by the infamous MediaDefender. But now, according to a company being hired to protect Bollywood blockbusters, if BitTorrent sites don’t cooperate by taking down torrents when asked, they will have denial of service attacks launched against them and material taken down by force.

      • Radiohead lend their music to fan-made live DVD

        Radiohead have thrown their support behind a fan-made live DVD, providing the hi-fi soundtrack to Czech film-makers’ amateur shots. The British band provided audio masters to the makers of Prague DVD, a DIY concert film shot on 23 August 2009.

        While the project website has been overwhelmed by traffic, samples of the Prague film have been uploaded to YouTube. It’s a strangely communal document, collecting the viewpoints of more than 50 camera-people – each with a cheap handheld Flip camera. “A group of Radiohead fans descended on the Výstaviště Holešovice exhibition hall in Prague to capture the band perform, using as many different angles as possible,” explain the film-makers. Recalling the Beastie Boys’ groundbreaking Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That!, the footage is scattered, inconsistent and frequently electrifying.

      • ACTA

        • ACTA will have deeper impact on Europe than on United States

          In the United States, the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement ACTA will be adopted as an “executive agreement”, without involvement of Congress. This would imply that ACTA can not change U.S. law. In the EU, ACTA needs consent of the Parliament. After that, the EU will have to fully implement ACTA, and possibly change its internal EU law. To prevent surprises, the Commission, Parliament, Council and or Member States of the EU should ask the Court of Justice of the European Union to examine whether ACTA is compatible with EU law

        • Welcome to Faces against acta

Clip of the Day

Richard Stallman – Negative Consequences


Credit: TinyOgg

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    Links for the day


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