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Links 9/9/2010: GNU/Linux Market Share Debated, EXT4 and Btrfs Tested in Linux 2.6.36

Posted in News Roundup at 5:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • There’s more to open source than Linux

    In fact, realise the opposite. What open source actually is, is a guarantee. It ensures that one software business never profits from the destruction of an open source software, lawsuit or no lawsuit. Crony capitalism is a myth; Oracle wouldn’t take on Google, just because Steve Jobs was the official wedding photographer at his buddy Larry Ellison’s wedding. It’s all in the percentages.

  • 30 Linux-related Twitter accounts

    Today I want to offer some interesting profiles that I follow on Twitter, I found many useful information following their twittering.

  • Why we are here.

    I want people not to just use Linux, I want them to want to use Linux. I want them to wait anxiously for the next release of Ubuntu or Firefox or whatever.

  • Eight Bogus Beliefs of the Linux Community

    Comparing ourselves to corporations. Every sentence that begins “If Linux wants to win the desktop, it has to…” Linux actually doesn’t want anything – not even a sandwich. That’s because Linux is not a corporation. It does not have a CEO, stockholders, board of directors, a mission statement, or even a headquarters. An easy shot is to go “If Linux were a company, it’d be in the red ink.” Yes, if the avant-garde art movement were a company, it’d be in trouble too. What’s your point?

  • Linux ‘top command’ used in Tron trailer…
  • Desktop

    • The 1% Solution

      The mythology about GNU/Linux share of the desktop continues to be an issue. I have commented frequently that I think the share is much closer to 10% than to 1%. Caitlyn Martin has a similar analysis that comes to 8%. Short of definitive pronouncements from big ISPs or Google, there is not likely to be a good source of web stats and surveys continue to be too expensive.

    • Is Linux market share is 8x larger than most people think?

      If you combine embedded and mobile devices such as Android, Linux server installations and dual-boot installs (where Windows is counted as the default operating system), it’s quite obvious that Linux’s market share in the world of computers isn’t small at all – in fact it’s rather large and steadily growing.

  • Kernel Space

    • The Linux Foundation Announces Program for 2010 End User Summit

      The Linux Foundation, the non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced the speaker lineup and details for The Linux Foundation End User Summit. The Summit is a unique opportunity for the most advanced enterprise users to collaborate with leaders from within the Linux community, including the highest-level maintainers and developers.

    • EXT4 & Btrfs Regressions In Linux 2.6.36

      With the Threaded I/O Tester when doing eight threads of 32MB random writes, the EXT4 file-system performance was maintained between Linux 2.6.34 and 2.6.36. Btrfs meanwhile dropped by 14% between Linux 2.6.34 and 2.6.35 and then between 2.6.35 and 2.6.36-rc3 it has dropped by an additional 11%.

      These results are certainly a shock and not what we were expecting to see when testing the premiere Linux file-systems atop the latest kernel code that will be released as stable in just a month or two. The good news though is that these Linux file-system regressions do not appear across the board, but for example with our Intel Atom system with an HDD that is benchmarking the very latest kernel code on a daily basis at kernel-tracker.phoromatic.com don’t suffer from these massive performance blows. Our investigation shall continue.

    • Graphics Stack

      • nvidia, opengl, compositing: play nice!

        I have a Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T9500 @ 2.60GHz laptop with an nVidia Quadro FX 1600M, 1920×1200 screen and a second 1920×1200 LCD. I’ve loaded the new 256.53 nvidia module. Here are the results…

      • Kernel Log: Videos from LinuxCon and end to maintenance of 2.4 and 2.6.27 nears

        Videos and presentations from LinuxCon and the Embedded Linux Conference provide information about the development status of Btrfs and about problems between kernel hackers and the makers of Android. With the latest stable kernels, Linux 2.6.34 has reached the end of its life; furthermore, there are signs that maintenance of 2.4 and 2.6.27 will soon be discontinued or reduced.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Launching the Revolution: Kickoff’s redesign ideas

      Later, along came Linux and graphical environments for it. Some of them have kept the basic idea of a start menu, like the one on Windows 95. KDE did it, Gnome did it and many others, even the high end ones like Enlightenment, did it. It should be admitted though that this is a very clever idea to work with. It is fast, simple, and very visually engaging. However, this launching model by todays standards seems outdated. At least, this is something that frustrates me every now and then because it is so common. It is time for a revolution, a change.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Iron Man using KDE?!

        According to Invincible Iron Man issue #11, Iron man runs KDE 3.5 inside his suit. Why is he still running KDE 3.5? Apparently he just hasn’t run all his updates on his old suits, as he had to use an older suit in the issue.

      • A Look at KDE Desktop Effects

        KDE’s visual effects for windows and menus technically dates back to KDE 3. Experimental programs like kompmgr provided drop shadows and transparency for windows, and the KDE desktop itself had built-in support for basic menu transparency, shadows, and other effects.

        With the coming of KDE 4, the number of effects has multiplied, and KWin (KDE’s window manager) is now on par with Compiz (a window manager with numerous desktop effects). Moreover, KWin’s primary advantage over Compiz is that it is part of KDE and integrates perfectly with the rest of the desktop. While support for Compiz has been added, there are still some outstanding glitches when run on top of KDE.

      • 10 reasons to make KDE 4.5 your desktop of choice

        From the early releases to the current 4.5 release, KDE has made serious strides toward becoming of the most well designed, user-friendly desktops available. If you don’t believe me, take a look at these reasons why KDE 4.5 should be your desktop.

  • Distributions

    • Various Linux Distro Stickers

      Contains powered by stickers for following Linux distro ..

      – Arch Linux
      – Ubuntu
      – Debian
      – openSuSe
      – Linux Mint
      – CentOS
      – Mandriva
      – Kubuntu
      – Fedora
      – Gentoo
      – Puppy Linux
      – XUbuntu

    • 4 Linux and BSD Firewall/Router Projects

      SmoothWall Express is Linux-based, and installable onto standard PCs with a bootable CD. It was first released in 2000, making it the oldest firewall project of the four discussed here. It is designed with home and small business users in mind. More advanced firewall solutions are available from SmoothWall Ltd.

      SmoothWall Express runs on any Pentium class CPU and above. It has a recommended minimum of 128MB RAM. An IDE or SCSI hard disk with at least 2 GBs of space is also required.

      Like the others, SmoothWall Express provides a stateful inspection firewall and provides NAT. Weekly and monthly traffic stats are provided for each interface and IP. It supports port forwarding, outbound filtering, and timed access. It features Quality-of-Service (QoS) functionality. A network intrusion prevention and detection system (IDS/IPS) is provided by Snort integration.

    • Reviews

      • Spotlight on Linux: Zenwalk Linux 6.4 “Live”

        Advantages of using Zenwalk are good performance, small but welcoming community, and an up-to-date system. It’s easy to use, yet it’s not run of the mill. It’s different without being disconcerting. Hardware support is excellent for Linux supported devices and the desktop is attractive yet unobtrusive.

    • Debian Family

      • Linux Mint Debian review

        Linux Mint Debian is the latest addition to Mint’s suite of Linux desktops. Mint has long promoted itself as a distribution based on Ubuntu and Debian, a claim that I have long discounted as misleading. This release, while still experimental, is one, as the name implies, that is truly based on Debian.

      • Debian Project News – September 8th, 2010
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Stepping back in time: The evolution of OMG! Ubuntu!

          We’ve had many different looks over the life of this site, so I figured it would be pretty cool to see how the website has evolved over the past year, especially for those who have just started following. For those who have been following the site since it started, prepare to shed a little tear as you remember Keith, the lovable Koala from Karmic!

        • How Ubuntu Plays Nicely With Others: The Sponsorship Process

          The sponsorship process makes it easier for programmers to expose their work to users of the world’s most popular Linux distribution, making their applications more popular. It also helps ensure that those users have the best experience possible with the software they use, while at the same time generating bug reports to help upstream developers improve their code.

        • How Ubuntu is Made

          One way that Zimmerman keeps the project on track is ensuring close communication among members of his team, a disparate organization that mirrors how the Ubuntu community itself builds and develops its Linux distribution. For one thing, While Canonical has offices in multiple countries, most of Zimmerman’s engineers aren’t located in those offices.

          “My team is about 120 people and I think we have less five people who are in offices,” Zimmerman told InternetNews.com.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • A Quick Look at Lubuntu 10.04

            Since there tends to be a problem with the creation of menu entries during package installation, I installed Eye of Gnome and Gwenview (a KDE4 package). For the first time, Eye of Gnome did not appear in any of the menus. However, Gwenview did appear under the Graphics menu. Even better, Gwenview worked without a single hitch. If I started Eye of Gnome from the command-line it worked, but generated a lot of GLib errors. It just not have a menu entry. One of the advantages of starting an application from the command-line is that error message appear that otherwise would be lost in the bit bucket.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

  • Semi-Open Source

    • Eucalyptus Systems Appoints Said Ziouani Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales

      Eucalyptus Systems, Inc., creators of the leading open source private cloud platform, today announced that Said Ziouani has joined the company’s management team as senior vice president of worldwide sales. Ziouani has primary responsibility for growing and managing sales of the Eucalyptus Enterprise Edition software, an enterprise-grade private cloud computing platform built on the popular Eucalyptus open source software. He reports to Eucalyptus Systems CEO Marten Mickos and will be based in the company’s headquarters in Santa Barbara, Calif.


    • Software is Culture?

      In her short article, Ms Paley makes two major points:

      * In sponsoring a film, Patent Absurdity, that uses a -ND (no derivatives) clause, the FSF fails to uphold the Fourth Freedom (“freedom to improve and release improvements”)
      * Software is culture, and so the distinction between “utility” (Software) and “aesthetics” (Culture) is false.

      These are compelling points, although I recognize rms has addressed the need for certain restrictions on factual works to prevent misrepresentation. I’m not sure that the trade-off of attempting to maintain context is worth the sacrifice of preventing modification, so I tend to lean more toward Ms Paley’s position on this matter.

      The second point is another issue where I tend to agree with Ms Paley: I don’t see a clear distinction between works of utility and works of aesthetics, because I think most works have elements of both.

      I can also understand the argument that the FSF focuses on advocating software issues and not cultural matters in general, but that seems an unattractive distinction to make – especially considering how clearly “Free Culture” is modeled after “Free Software”.

    • Red: Software Freedom Day

      There is an alternative to Windows and Mac operating systems and it’s called Linux and it’s free. Red spoke with Donna Benjamin about Linux and Software Freedom Day at the State Library, Saturday 18th of September.

  • Project Releases

    • bzr 2.2.0 released!
    • GNU Debugger adds D language support

      The GNU Project Debugger release team has published the second point update to version 7.0 of its standard debugger for the GNU software system. The GDB debugger supports a wide variety of programming languages, including Ada, C, C++, Objective-C, FreePascal and Fortran, and, in the new release, adds support for the D programming language.

  • Government

    • Welcome to the Civic Commons

      One of the core reasons why sharing works is that it spreads the effort, and avoids the constant re-invention of the wheel. One area that seems made for this kind of sharing is government IT: after all, the problems faced are essentially the same, so a piece of software built for one entity might well be usable – or adaptable – for another.


  • Health/Nutrition

    • I was wrong about veganism. Let them eat meat – but farm it properly

      There’s no doubt that the livestock system has gone horribly wrong. Fairlie describes the feedlot beef industry (in which animals are kept in pens) in the US as “one of the biggest ecological cock-ups in modern history”. It pumps grain and forage from irrigated pastures into the farm animal species least able to process them efficiently, to produce beef fatty enough for hamburger production. Cattle are excellent converters of grass but terrible converters of concentrated feed. The feed would have been much better used to make pork.

    • Who dares question the industrial food system over GM salmon?

      Last Friday, though, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took a potentially dangerous step. The agency ruled that salmon whose genes have been altered so that they grow more rapidly than their wild counterparts are safe for human consumption. In so doing, the FDA opened the door for salmon to become just another unhealthful cog in the industrial-food machine. And it may have foisted upon the public yet another cancer risk.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Amnesty urges rethink on counter-terrorism measures

      Control orders imposed on suspects, secret proceedings leading to deportations and the “virtually unlimited discretion” given to the police to stop and search must be abandoned in the government’s continuing review of counter-terrorism powers, Amnesty International says today.

      Control orders are incompatible with Britain’s human rights obligations under international law, it says, given that they limit individuals’ movements and activities based on secret information not disclosed to the individual concerned nor their lawyers, Amnesty argues in a submission to the government.

    • First Big Brother, now Little Brother, and both are deadly

      Little Brother has got his fingers in your inbox. He gets your emails, reads your texts. No, not yours, of course: but those of anyone remotely well-known or in the public eye or connected to people who are. You may say, so what? If you can’t stand the heat … But it is a kind of oppression, a haunting, which at least deserves to be discussed.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Unjust sentence for Japanese anti-whaling activists

      Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki, known as the Tokyo Two, exposed widespread corruption in Japan’s whaling programme – in return, they have been handed a one year suspended prison sentence. However, despite the harsh punishment the two anti-whaling activists stood in court as heroes today, having successfully put whaling on trial, both in court, and in Japan’s national media.


      Greenpeace is appealing this totally unjust, politically motivated sentence. Junichi and Toru have taken great personal risks to investigate and expose embezzlement at the heart of Japan’s tax-funded whaling industry. They intercepted one of numerous boxes of whale meat embezzled from the whaling programme as evidence. These boxes were taken for private use by the crew of the Nisshin Maru in violation of the whaling programme’s regulations, and this amounts to a misuse of public funds.

    • BP spill: White House says oil has gone, but Gulf’s fishermen are not so sure

      No one, it seems, believes the assurances from the White House or government scientists that the oil is largely gone. And no one really believes BP when oil company executives say they will stay in Louisiana for the long haul.

      They have seen one exodus already, just before Tropical Storm Bonnie blew through, about a week after the well was capped in mid-July. BP evacuated work crews and boats; many have not returned.

    • Oil industry regulation: scepticism over new sheriff in the wild wild west

      Oil industry executives in the US call the Gulf of Mexico the “wild wild west”, a place where regulations are rarely enforced and offshore operators can do what they want. Barack Obama has promised to tighten regulations to prevent a repeat of the Gulf disaster but many within the industry are sceptical that much will really change.

    • World’s smallest seahorse faces extinction after BP oil spill

      The minute creatures, barely 2cm tall, were elusive even before the spill, found only among the seagrass in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Now conservationists from the Zoological Society of London’s Project Seahorse team are warning populations could fall precipitously because so much of their habitat could have been lost to the spill.

    • New deep sea drilling is not only irrational, our lawyers say it’s illegal too

      Today our lawyers sent a letter to the UK government threatening legal action over their decision to continue giving licenses for deep sea oil drilling even before we know for certain the causes of the Deepwater Horizon explosion.

  • Finance

    • Fed Report Finds Signs That Growth Is Slowing

      The latest regional survey by the 12 district Federal banks, known as the beige book, described an economy in which many sectors, from consumer spending to manufacturing, continued to expand. But there were also “widespread signs of a deceleration,” the report said.

    • Goldman Sachs faces massive fine in UK-FT

      Goldman Sachs (GS.N) is facing a massive fine from the UK’s City watchdog following an investigation into the U.S. investment bank’s international business, the Financial Times said on its website on Wednesday.

    • Goldman seen paying $30 million British fine

      Goldman Sachs & Co. is expected to be fined around $30 million by British authorities following an investigation of the big Wall Street bank’s activities in London, according to news reports Wednesday.

    • Judge slams Credit Suisse’s ‘greedy antics’

      He also said that federal authorities were investigating his ex-wife and others on fraud allegations stemming from events surrounding the bankruptcy. She denied the accusation.

    • Financial crisis panel tells NV leaders to be bold

      Nevada, which leads the nation in unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy rates, had unrealistic growth expectations before the nation’s financial meltdown battered its tourism industry and erased billions of dollars in real estate equity, an economist told representatives of the 10-member commission.

    • Study Shows Drop in Credit Card Use

      According to the results of a November 2009 Javelin survey, 56 percent of consumers said they used a credit card in the last month, down from 87 percent in the same period in 2007. The 56 percent figure is the lowest since Javelin started conducting the annual surveys about six years ago, and Javelin said it expected the figure to drop to 45 percent in this year’s survey.

    • What Can the Long-Term Unemployed Tell Us About Raising The Social Security Retirement Age?

      What can we say? Those approaching the retirement age have been devastated in this current epic recession. Their numbers are high among the worst indicators, including the length of unemployment. Older workers are the slowest to be reintegrated from unemployment to employment and are unemployed the longest, with the human capital depreciation that goes along with that isolation from the workforce, extra vulnerable to swings in the economy. (Question: is there good data on salary drops for unemployed going to employed by age groups?)

    • Financial literacy campaign could save money for citizens, government

      The federal government hopes to help by creating a national financial literacy campaign. At any other time, such an action could be seen as just more busywork for our public officials. But this is a serious matter. What people don’t know about personal finance is costing them and the government a lot of money.

    • Financial crisis panel tells NV leaders to be bold

      Nevada, which leads the nation in unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy rates, had unrealistic growth expectations before the nation’s financial meltdown battered its tourism industry and erased billions of dollars in real estate equity, an economist told representatives of the 10-member commission.

    • SEC defends $75 million deal with Citigroup

      The bank has nearly $2 trillion in assets.

      Other factors taken into account were the need to deter the alleged violation, remedial steps taken by Citigroup, and the bank’s cooperation with the SEC investigation, the agency said.

    • Obama firm, won’t yield on tax hike for wealthiest

      Politically weakened but refusing to bend, President Barack Obama insisted Wednesday that Bush-era tax cuts be cut off for the wealthiest Americans, joining battle with Republicans – and some fellow Democrats – just two months before bruising midterm elections.

    • Michael Lewis: “Goldman Sachs Has A Moral Justification For Bad Behavior”

      Michael Lewis recently offered another interesting explanation for a statement made a few months ago, “Goldman Sachs is doomed.”

      The reason the company is doomed is their status as a public corporation, he told Vanity Fair, because it allows them to justify barely legal activity that stops at nothing to profit.

    • Goldman Sachs, BP Met With Derivative Regulators on Dodd-Frank

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc., BP Plc and Vitol Group number among dozens of companies that have met with the top U.S. commodity regulator in the last six weeks as the agency moves to implement the sweeping overhaul of the $615 trillion over-the-counter derivatives market.

    • France: Protests over pensions bring over a million onto boulevards

      Huge numbers of people – 1.1 million according to the government, 2.7 million according to the leading CGT union – turned out throughout France to demonstrate against plans to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62. There was significant disruption caused to trains, planes and public services as a result of the strike. In the capital alone, the CGT union estimated the number of protesters at 270,000.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Beyond “Censored”: What Craigslist’s “Adult Services” Decision Means for Free Speech

      Through this now years-long struggle, Craigslist’s legal position has been and remains absolutely, unequivocally correct: the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (or CDA) grants providers of “interactive computer services” an absolute shield against state criminal law liability stemming from material posted by third parties. Put simply, the law ensures that the virtual soapbox is not liable for what the speaker says: merely creating a forum in which users post ads that may violate state law plainly does not lead to liability for a web site operator.

    • MetGate: A Guide to the Current Issues

      First, there is the issue of what happened within the News of the World newsroom: what the reporters did, what private investigators were contracted to do, what the editor and executives knew about and signed-off, and just how widespread was the use of unauthorised interceptions in producing stories for the newspaper.


      The emerging picture really does not look promising for Mr Coulson, who appears to have either known about this activity or should have known. He may even be forced to resign.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

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