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Links 10/9/2010: Source Code for Linux-based Dell Streak Released, $35 Indian Linux Tablets Claimed Imminent

Posted in News Roundup at 6:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • How Linux Land Got Better Since Last Summer

    “My favourite change in the world of GNU/Linux this year is that GNU/Linux is being accepted by more people as a better way to do IT on the desktop as well as the server,” said blogger and educator Robert Pogson. “All the advantages of stability, efficiency, security, low cost, etc., that benefit us who use GNU/Linux on the server also apply to those using GNU/Linux on the desktop.”

  • Fact or Fiction? Top 8 Linux Myths Debunked

    In fact, the ranks of businesses and government organizations using Linux grows every day, and for good reason: it’s simply a good business choice. Let’s take a look, then, at some of the top anxiety-causing myths and dispel them once and for all.

  • Project Canvas Will be *Linux* Based

    It’s pretty amazing to read this panegyric to Linux: it shows just how far Linux has come, and how it is taking over the embedded world.

    Even though content will be “protected” – from you, the user, that is – which means the platform can’t really be regarded as totally open, the Project Canvas designers and managers still deserve kudos for opting for Linux, and for publicly extolling its virtues in this way.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE and the Expansion of the Desktop

        KDE developers do not seem to have articulated their purposes so succinctly, but those are the general tendencies in KDE 4. The goal seems to be to add features without straying too far from the basic metaphor of the desktop and making radical changes.

        Desktop icons are intended to put applications within easy reach of users. However, in most desktops on any operating system, one of two problems arises: either you settle on a general set of icons that works reasonably well when you are doing most tasks, but is not perfectly suited to any specific task, or else you add so many that finding the ones you need becomes difficult. In either case, you lose the convenience of desktop icons.

        You can, of course, rely entirely on the menu — and many do — but that can add substantially to the number of clicks needed to start an application. A Favorites menu can help, but, like a desktop covered with icons, it loses efficiency when more than about nine items are placed in it.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Absolute, Dream

        A couple of years ago, one of my first distro-hopping experiences was to tinker with DreamLinux, which (if I remember right) was one of the earliest distros to include Compiz and accelerated graphics by default.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Daily dose of Scribus trunk

          We’ll be using Scribus for much of the DTP internal to Canonical. Our templates etc will be published in Scribus, so folks who need to knock up a flyer or brochure have the pieces they need ready to hand. However, there’s a problem, in that the stable Scribus package is really quite old.

          The Scribus team is making good progress on the next version of Scribus, but I couldn’t find an easy way to test their trunk. So I thought to make a PPA with a daily build. Whenever I’m testing or evaluating a new app I like to check out trunk, just to get a feel for the pace of activity and quality of the work. A crisp, clean, stable trunk is a sign of good quality work, which will likely mean good quality elsewhere like documentation and project governance. Chaos on trunk means… chaos generally, as a rule.

        • No need to complicate your life…

          For some reason people always think that having seperate / and /home partitions is necessary to having a healthy Ubuntu system.

        • New features and changes in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick!

          Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) BETA has been published a few days ago and quite a few brave souls has already upgraded to it. The Beta release gives general idea of what final release will look like when it is due in October 2010.

        • Dell Vostro 3300 and Ubuntu 10.4

          I decided to purchase a Dell Vostro 3300 recently. I took the decision based on the cost, spec and the fact that it is Ubuntu certified (list of certified hardware for each release). I was interested on checking out 10.4 so I looked at what was available with Dell.

        • First Impressions: Ubuntu 10.10 Beta

          So, that concluded my rapid-fire trial of Ubuntu 10.10 beta. There’s a lot to like, and a lot to keep an eye on for bug fixes apparently. I didn’t see anything earth-shattering enough to convince me to replace my LTS release any time soon. Perhaps over the next month of polish and bug-squashing a star will emerge. If it does, you’ll certainly hear about it.

        • Whither with Ubuntu?

          Over the 6 years of life that Ubuntu has had so far, it has changed drastically. At first, it was just a quick and convenient way for me to install Debian. It started becoming more and more popular, and then was like a tidal wave through the Linux community. Today, it is the world’s third most popular operating system. Windows, OSX, Ubuntu, then everything else. There is, however, an untold story.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • [Reviews]: Linux Mint 9 Fluxbox Review ” Isadora “

            I have been using Linux Mint since Linux Mint 5 Elyssa always was interesting in Linux Mint Fluxbox editions because it does not require high hardware specifications using a really lightweight window manager Fluxbox based on Blacbox. First installation for Linux Mint 5 on my Laptop with hardware specifications 1GHz and 256 MB of RAM, so Linux Mint 9 Fluxbox edition is a good choice if you don’t have a good hardware specifications.

          • Linux Mint 9 Xfce or LXDE?

            Another round in the battle between Xfce and LXDE. This time the distro is Linux Mint 9. So far, the Xfce desktop has lost two rounds in a matches with LXDE on the same distro. It has lost both the free memory battle and the quality of distribution battle. On this last round, who is going to be the winner?

            Both installs were from a Live/Install CD for each desktop. No problem with either install, and both use GRUB2. While GRUB2 may have its problems, I like the fact that it automatically finds and correctly boots other Linux distros. To avoid installing GRUB2 on the MBR, you need to click the “Advanced” button on the Ready to Install screen (Step 8 of 8). This screen allows you to select the boot partition.

          • SuperOS 10.04 Screenshots

            SuperOS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution that makes Ubuntu more usable while remaining compatible with it. This is done by implementing several beginner-friendly tools and features. Along with over 200 updates from Ubuntu 10.04, SuperOS 10.04 also includes important enhancements like out-of-the-box support for DVD-playback, QuickTime video, Windows Media Video, Flash Video and many others. Other features include portable applications with RUNZ, programs are easier to run with App Runner, WUBI is in place, access the live USB creator cd2usb from the DVD menu, and many other enhancements.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Source code for Dell Streak unveiled

          Thanks to Android’s open-source agreements handsets are having their source codes released left and right. If you’re similar to me, I get quite excited that they released the source code, download the file, and realize… I have no idea what I am doing. Although I am still eager about what our developers will come up with to take advantage of this large screen. Hopefully all the manufactures will follow suit and continue this early release of source codes so that our developers can quickly get up custom ROMS and themes.

    • Sub-notebooks

    • Tablets

      • Sakshat, the Laughed-At $35 Indian Tablet, Reportedly Set for Early 2011 Launch

        Defying skeptics everywhere, the gadget with the funny name and an absurdly low price will reportedly arrive in India this January. Rumors concerning the Sakshat — a minimally priced, government-endorsed Indian Android tablet — have circulated for more than a year. The device, which was designed for students and folks typically unable to afford a computer, reportedly has a manufacturer, a price, a release date and detailed specs.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Community Types

    When I am with business people, I often find I need to distinguish between the different kinds of community that are layered around various Free software commons. It’s common to characterise community members as either “developers” (the “open source” worldview often emphasises this) or “users” (the “Free software” worldview often emphasises this). More than that, using the term “community” to apply to every style of gathering leads to confusion, especially regarding motivations for participating.

    As I’ve watched various community engagements by various companies and individuals, and discussed this with various people, it seems to me that there are four different development-related community types, in two bands. These aren’t absolute classifications with hard-and-fast boundaries, and most communities span two of the types, but the distinction is helpful when discussing communities.

  • Oracle

    • FSF Lashes Out at Oracle for its Patent Lawsuit Against Google Android

      FSF finally responds to the whole Google vs Oracle legal tangle and the threat posed by software patents. FSF lashed out at Oracle for suing Google over various Java patents, even calls the actions by Oracle as ‘unjustifiable.’ FSF also adds that, “nobody deserves to be the victim of software patent aggression, and Oracle is wrong to use its patents to attack Android”.

  • CMS

    • For-Profit Automattic Gives WordPress Trademark To Non-Profit Foundation

      “It’s not often you see a for-profit company donate one of their most valuable core assets and give up control,” Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg writes today in a post announcing that the WordPress trademark has been transfered from his company to the WordPress Foundation. “This is a really big deal,” he continues.

    • Something is Drupally in the State of Denmark

      It seems that while many technology conferences are suffering a bit with their attendance, there is no stopping the Drupal community. With almost 1200 attendees, the Copenhagen conference was the most well-attended European DrupalCon yet, likely due in no small part to the promise of a custom-brewed beer and our own bar to drink it in. Suffice it to say that Drupalers work and play hard.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Introducing OpenCharities: Opening up the Charities Register

        A couple of weeks ago I needed a list of all the charities in the UK and their registration numbers so that I could try to match them up to the local council spending data OpenlyLocal is aggregating and trying to make sense of. A fairly simple request, you’d think, especially in this new world of transparency and open data, and for a dataset that’s uncontentious.


  • Commodore Threatens Blogger For Being Skeptical About Its Amiga Plans

    Slashdot recently pointed us to the fact that OSNews received a legal threat from Commodore USA for publishing an article that was highly skeptical of Commodore’s Amiga plans. Slashdot focuses on the fact that the legal nastygram is obviously copied from ChillingEffects.org, including odd formatting and references. While that part is amusing, I don’t think it’s that interesting. While there’s been some discussion about copyright on legal documents, in general, lawyers copy others’ legal language all the time, and it’s (mostly) considered to be okay.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Daily Variety Refuses To Back Down On Vandals Lawsuit

      Where this gets even more interesting (or potentially dangerous, depending on your opinion), is that the band’s bassist, Joe Escalante, is a former entertainment lawyer who is representing the band in the case. Despite not being a litigator, he’s been learning about litigation and even got himself admitted to practice law in Delaware, where the lawsuit was filed (the band is trying to get the case moved to LA). Escalante has been publicizing all of the aspects of the case, and the band is even holding a “fundraising” concert to fund the legal defense.

    • Copyrights

      • Free Comics! Slightly Scanned.

        For comic fans, history fans, and comics history fans, the Digital Comics Museum is offering downloads and scans of public domain comic books from the 1940s and ’50s. There are a massive amount of titles and issues available, from Captain Science to Sherlock Holmes to Frisky Fairy Tales to the chaste Sweet Sixteen Magazine, and many, many more. You can also find the very same horror comics that led to the creation of the Comics Code Authority.

      • 2010 Catalyst Grant Recipients Announced!

        It’s with great pleasure that we announce the recipients of the first CC Catalyst Grants Program. Out of a grant pool consisting of more than 130 applications, seven projects have been selected for awards up to $10,000 each, to catalyze projects that contribute to the commons.

        Thanks to your generous support during the Catalyst Grants campaign, we raised almost $50,000, 100% of which will directly fuel the grant awards.

Clip of the Day

ARM Cortex™-A15 MPcore processor

Credit: TinyOgg

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