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09.12.10

Links 12/9/2010: KDE Coverage, Salix Review, Other Free Software/Open Source News Items

Posted in News Roundup at 10:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Thanks, [Microsoft]

      15 years ago you produced a product so bad that it drove me to use GNU/Linux. Thanks.

      In 2000 I was using Lose 3.1 on my personal PC, a 486DX with some RAM. It would crash on me when I tried to print. I gave that up by then. At work I was using five Pentium Pros in class. Lose ’95 would freeze hourly on one of the other just running a browser or word-processor in 72 MB.

    • The Life of the PC

      Conclusion? We should see PCs sticking around a lot longer. After all the average PC in business is now about six years old and still doing well. It is a waste to change when not necessary. The result could be PCs lasting until ten years of age. Guess what OS works well on older machines? GNU/Linux. Thin clients often use it for puny 300 MHz processors. A 2 gHz machine is a wondrous thing in comparison.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Demystifying OpenGL Desktop Effects

        12. KWin will require OpenGL 3 in 4.6:
        No, please see my blog post where I wrote that I want to have OpenGL 3 support in 4.7.

        13. KWin will require OpenGL 3 in 4.7:
        No, this will also be only an additional feature. KWin supports multiple backends and it does not make any sense to remove a working backend which is required for all mesa users and users of graphic cards which cannot handle OpenGL 3.

      • Watch out KDE! MS now owns Qt by proxy…

        He will be transferring over later in the month. What does this mean for KDE, Qt and Nokia’s part in open source technologies such as MeeGo? It could mean that they slowly pull themselves out of open source due to Microsoft’s influence. They could also decide to stop investing money into it while pretending to contribute.

      • Manage your digital camera in Linux with DigiKam

        For those of you who thought managing external devices like digital cameras in Linux was a challenge, I give you DigiKam. DigiKam is an advanced digital photo management application for Linux, Windows, and Mac. DigiKam allows the user to view, manage, edit, enhance, organize, tag, and share photographs easily in the Linux operating system. It boasts tons of features that rival and/or exceed those of similar applications on other operating systems.

      • David Solbach

        This week the behindkde.org interview is with one of the unknown powers behind the sysadmin team. It’s David Solbach. Click on the image to see where David was during the “Fjällraven Classic”.

        He is the maintainer of reviewboard.kde.org. He not only knows his way around reviewing code, but also knows how to design and develop diagnostic blood analyzers and was hit when the dot com bubble bursted. Enjoy an entertaining and interesting interview with David!

      • Amarok 2.3.2 Beta 1 Review

        The version tested is the 2.3.2 Beta 1 release, put out earlier this year, running on top of Kubuntu 10.10 Beta. Amarok improved a lot since I last took a look at it (I’m still using KDE 3.5 with the old – but stable – Debian Lenny).

      • Burner (Fire Edition) – Bring Some Heat To Your Favorite KDE Media Burner

        I recently had occasion to be perusing KDE-Look.org for some nice new wallpapers the other day when I glanced over to the left at all the site’s category selections and was curious when I saw the category for K3b. With interest getting the best of me I clicked on the K3b category and right up at the top of the results list I found this killer K3b Theme. Although I’m not one to be overly concerned with tweaking all aspects of my Mint KDE setup, one look and I knew I had to install this theme pronto. It just screamed “cool”.

      • Nepomuk+strigi as desktop search

        In the last weeks I – once again – got fed-up with strigi/nepomuk being of no use to me. Since KDE 4.0 I long for a desktop search, i.e. some way of finding files and getting a result list such as google etc. has it, i.e. including some context around the string found in the document and not just a file list. Anything else would just be a faster version of kfind for that task. And since I do not use tags, it is the only desktop search task for me.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • REVIEW: Salix 13.1-rc1 (Live LXDE)

        As I say, Ive deployed Linux quite extensively, from friends and family to friends of friends and our local computer club. Most of these people have no clue what an operating system is or how to install one and merely want an escape from their Windows desktop. When looking at a distro for OpenBytes, I consider two things – would I want this on my main rig? and; How easy will this be to deploy and provide support for to a user who may not have any experience of Linux. In both cases Salix received a favorable answer. Little things like a package that installs the multimedia codecs is very welcome as if I am around a friend’s house installing it on their desktop, I want things handed on a plate, so that I spend as little time as possible.

        The speedy install times, make this a very attractive distro for me to deploy to others too and with the one click installation of all the codecs I could wish for also appeals greatly to me (although is not unique to Salix and Sabayon 5.3 (currently on my main rig, offers the same feature at install time)

        The installation itself was simple and I think shows just how far Linux on the desktop has come. Not so long ago, there were only a handful of distro’s that truly offered a user friendly installation, now it seems a “minimum standard” of any new release.

        Salix (thanks to its LXDE flavour) is very fast. Whilst some will find LXDE too simple looking and would probably migrate towards KDE or Gnome, LXDE affords even the lowest of specs a very fast, functional performance and a great introduction to a Slackware distro. If you are after a Slack distro that spares a thought for the new or inexperienced user, give Salix a go. Either way, seasoned Linux expert or Linux newbie, Salix LXDE is a great release and very worthy of a look.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2010 Spring (Gnome Desktop version)

        Mandriva is a pretty cool Linux Distribution (distro) which I have been using since it’s installation borked my Linux Mint partition. The graphical install was very simple but the installer did not recognise my Mint partition and add it to the Boot Menu. I was disappointed with this because my experience with Debian based distros is that they always recognise other Linux partitions and add them to the boot menu. I had created dual boot and triple booting systems before yet I could not get this to work with Mandriva

    • Red Hat Family

      • Ideas get greased at NCSU’s ‘Garage’

        N.C. State graduate student Andrew Misenheimer studies at The Garage, a 2,000-square-foot incubator for student entrepreneurs. It was sponsored by Raleigh-based Linux software company Red Hat.

        [...]

        Miller didn’t have to put on the hard sell to convince Red Hat to sponsor TheGarage.

      • Fedora

        • OLF 2010, day 0.

          I’m writing this from the Red Hat booth at Ohio Linux Fest 2010, which is bustling with visitors, so sorry if this is a little brief. For me Day 0 was yesterday (Friday). Some people, like Mel Chua, Ruth Suehle, and Robyn Bergeron, were here yesterday doing some awesome talks and generally spreading open source gospel here in Columbus, Ohio. Meanwhile, I drove about 2 hours to Baltimore, Maryland to catch my flight to the event. When I landed I met Brian Pepple at the world famous Cup O Joe stand, Spot landed soon after, and Brian took us to the hotel.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • The road not taken

          I am not an Ubuntu old-timer. I remember as far back as 5.10, but certainly there is a smaller circle of true Ubuntu veterans.

          And I am definitely not a Linux old-timer. I am a mere babe in the woods, comparatively speaking, and I try my best to remind myself of that fact regularly. There is always someone who knows more than you.

          It has been almost five years since I started out with Ubuntu though, and things have changed dramatically since then.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Triteq designs open source 3D imaging software

      Triteq has completed an open source design for a medical 3D imaging system capable of taking eight 5Mpixel images a second.

      [...]

      For hardware, Triteq chose an i.MX515 microprocessor from Freescale built into a Wi-MX51 module from Digi International, running Linux from Timesys.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Fall to bring Google TV, just in time for Apple TV faceoff

          Google announced Google TV in May of this year during its own developer conference, touting the device as a more open alternative to the closed set-top boxes out there (particularly the Apple TV). Because it will be Android-based and search-driven, third-party developers are expected to hop on board with a plethora of TV offerings—companies like Netflix and Amazon have already created native apps to run on Google TV.

        • Open thread: Will Google TV change your viewing habits?
        • Garmin’s Android Powered Navigation Phone

          The Garmin-Asus A50 is a sleek, full-touch 3G smartphone with a large 3.5-inch screen integrated with Garmin’s robust navigation experience for fast and reliable, on-board navigation. The company claims that A50 has everything users need to stay connected to the people important to them.

        • How to build the perfect Android tablet, part 4: Resolution and aspect ratio

          For this installment I want to return to the display and discuss a different, um, aspect with you. My pick for the 4th most important feature of the perfect tablet is:

          #4: A high resolution display that is wide but not *too* wide

        • STFU about Android and “open” [OPINION]

          Android users and media personnel frequently complain that carriers and manufacturers change the Android experience and that’s not “in the spirit” of open, which is a false statement. The changes those companies make is a direct reflection of open. Google wrote the code, made it available to the OHA, and the OHA members made their tweaks.

          That is why we have to refocus the discussion into the proper terms. If you embrace Android because it is open, then address the negative impacts of that openness appropriately. Don’t rail against companies for changing Android and claim that it violates the spirit of openness. Rail against those companies because those changes don’t meet your tastes or needs. You can’t have it both ways and extol open source as a virtue then complain when companies rightfully change the source to create a product they think consumers want.

          So, everybody, focus on the end results and address them accordingly. Do us all a favor and STFU about open source.

        • Dell Streak Android tablet source code now available

          Dell has released the source code for its Streak and Aero devices. The Streak is a 5 inch Android tablet or smartphone, depending on how you look at it, while the Aero is pretty inarguably a phone.

          Google Android is built on open source software and uses a version of the Linux kernel at its core. While Google keeps some source closed when it’s developing new versions of the operating system, it tends to release them as open source upon launch, allowing smartphone makers and wireless carriers to make core changes to the operating system to meet their needs.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Killed on a Technicality

    In 1994 Eddie Lee Howard was convicted of raping and murdering 84-year-old Georgia Kemp. Kemp was found dead in her Columbus, Mississippi, home by firefighters after a neighbor noticed smoke coming from the house. Investigators determined the fire was set intentionally.

    Kemp’s body was taken to controversial Mississippi medical examiner Steven Hayne, who would later lose his lucrative niche as the state’s go-to guy for autopsies after years of criticism for sloppy work that rarely failed to confirm prosecutors’ suspicions. Hayne concluded that Kemp died of knife wounds and said he found signs of rape, although the rape kit taken from Kemp turned up no biological evidence that the technology available at the time could test for DNA.

  • Wikileaks: Three Digital Myths
  • So people spend a fortune on office chairs?

    On the one hand I accept that you spend a lot of time sitting in chairs when you’re working upon a computer. On the left I find the idea of spending £750+ on a chair a little insane.

    For the past few years I’ve had a kneeling chair over time this has gotten pretty “squished” and “flat”. (Specifically the part where my knees go.)

    So I decided to get a new chair. What did I buy? a large rubber ball!

  • Security/Aggression

    • Internet Scammer Gets Nearly 13 Years for $1.3M Fraud

      A Nigerian man gets sentenced to 151 months in prison for a scam that stole $1.3 million from victims.

    • DHS Cybersecurity Watchdogs Miss Hundreds of Vulnerabilities on Their Own Network

      The federal agency in charge of protecting other agencies from computer intruders was found riddled with hundreds of high-risk security holes on its own systems, according to the results of an audit released Wednesday.

      The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, or US-CERT, monitors the Einstein intrusion-detection sensors on nonmilitary government networks, and helps other civil agencies respond to hack attacks. It also issues alerts on the latest software security holes, so that everyone from the White House to the FAA can react quickly to install workarounds and patches.

    • Do Mummies Have a Right to Privacy?

      The traditionally held assumption that ancient corpses are “fair game” for scientists to dissect and investigate is wilting under new pressure from leading academics. And The New Scientist’s Jo Marchant is on the scene to suss out the moral debate on what can or can’t be probed when dealing with ancient human remains.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Tea Party Suicide – Why Closing The United States Environmental Protection Agency Is Part Of The Platform

      One of the agencies most often mentioned for closure is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Unlike the other agencies that are often cited as not needed, the EPA doesn’t have a direct connection with the public. Compare that to the Department of Education which has a direct connection to anyone who has children, or have attended school themselves! So why is the EPA on the Tea Party’s hit list?

      Several investigations of the Tea Party have indicated that while it claims to be a non-partisan, grass roots group, it is heavily funded by corporate backers. The New Yorker recently ran an article titled Covert Operations – The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama. Other media outlets who have carried out investigations have confirmed the connection.

      Koch Industries is heavily involved in the oil and coal industries. The brothers who own the firm are rich by anyone’s standard. They pay a lot of taxes, and produce materials which are either regulated by the EPA, or have effects that are regulated by the EPA.. They have a vested interest in reducing the impact of government regulation, and government costs on themselves and their company. Curiously the very things that the Tea Party is concerned with.

      [...]

      Fake grass roots campaigns have a nasty habit of back firing. Take the Tea Party’s support for closing the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA has been responsible for cleaning up some truly horrible pollution.

      [...]

      Koch’s funding of the Tea Party is an attempt to evade responsibility, an attempt that the Tea Party members will not stand for when the connections become clear to them. They don’t like being taken advantage of, and this is what Koch is doing.

      Koch will continue to try and hide the funding connections, and the policy connections. But in the long term they will fail. Too many people are curious now. Too many people are looking at what is happening. Too many people know that many of the Tea Party policies disadvantage Tea Party members. When a group is disadvantaged by it’s policies, there is solid evidence that someone hiding behind the scenes is attempting to use them for his or her own advantage.

  • Finance

    • £32,000 a day for council website as 26,000 face job cuts

      Birmingham Wired have uncovered that Birmingham City Council spend on average £32,000 a day maintaining a council website that has cost the tax-payer over £48 million to date, while councils nationwide prepare to say goodbye to 26,000 jobs due to budget deficits.

    • Not Enough Labor Day

      Today, many Americans will be enjoying a respite from the incessant demands of their jobs. But many Americans will be wishing desperately they could trade the holiday for the incessant demands of a job. This year, given the state of the economy, Labor Day should be called Not Enough Labor Day.

    • Resignation cake sender has invoice cake delivered to People.com
    • Reclaiming Rights

      The U.S. is in an economic, fiscal, and public policy crisis with no end in sight. Indeed, it looks almost certain to get far worse. We can and will talk about what rights need to be reasserted, what programs need to be cut, what sectors of this American life need to be left the hell alone. But until we make a dent in the widespread notion that there always has to be some type of government structure or some taxpayer-financed watchdog to police every imaginable peaceable transaction, any contemplated fix to the mess we’re in will be temporary at best.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Tea Party multi-level marketing scheme

      The mellifluously named TeaPartyBizOpp.info (presumably the .com was taken?) is a pyramid scheme that recruits disgruntled wingnuts to “Get Paid To Stop Liberal Tyranny!” by “helping raise funds to defend our freedom.”

    • BCE-CTV deal remakes media landscape

      BCE Inc. BCE-T has agreed to acquire full ownership of CTV Inc. in a $1.3-billion deal that dramatically reshapes the landscape of Canadian media and telecommunications, and changes the ownership structure of The Globe and Mail.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • O’Brien: Campaign against Craigslist reaches absurd heights

      In the end, Craigslist did the only sensible thing it could do to end the controversy over its adult services ads by shutting them down, as critics demanded. And even that turned out not to be enough to silence the opportunistic campaign against the online classifieds site.

    • US government can demand your cellphone data

      A US federal appeals court said that government agencies do not need a warrant showing probable cause under the Fourth Amendment to demand the mobile phone location records from carriers.

    • ACLU sues over warrantless border laptop searches

      Citing the government’s own figures, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers claim about 6,500 persons had their electronic devices searched along the U.S. border since October 2008. In one instance, according to the lawsuit filed in New York, a computer laptop was seized from a New York man at the Canadian border and not returned for 11 days. The lawsuit seeks no monetary damages, but asks the court to order an end to the searches.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Playstation 3 Jailbreaking an Open Source of Controversy

      A little over a month ago a fellow IP Brief blogger reported on a very interesting decision handed down by the Librarian of Congress granting exemptions to the DCMA. The decision was triumphantly lauded by fair use advocates and not so happily received by certain others.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Clip of the Day

‘Free Software and Free Media’


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