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09.15.10

Links 15/9/2010: WeTab With Linux is Coming, Pandora Linux-based Handheld Sells Out

Posted in News Roundup at 7:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Why Linux Is Poised for Domination

    Could 2010 be Linux’ breakout year? Linux is already making huge waves in mobile computing, with the rise of the Android operating system, the momentum behind Meego, a bevy of Linux-powered netbooks, and an army of Linux-toting tablets on the horizon. With Web-based computing becoming the norm, flexible and robust Linux could finally become the OS of choice for device manufacturers.

  • New CSP Program Launched by Linux Professional Institute

    Now you can advance your proficiency in free and open source software solutions as the Linux Professional Institute (LPI (News – Alert)) has launched a brand new program for it service organizations and other technical solutions providers.

  • Canvas Specs: Audience Measurement, Web Apps, Linux On-Board

    “Devices shall be built using the Linux operating system with either glibc or uClibc” (libraries of the C language).

  • Interview Of The Week: Man With An IT Mission

    All new projects would involve GNU/Linux based operating systems. “The state has a successful history of GNU/Linux adaptation, and has a near cent-percent success rate,” observes Dr. Ajay Kumar. “We avoid proprietary software as much as possible. However some applications need legacy software, which are proprietary. In such cases, we are forced to use proprietary softwares,” he admits.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Good News for Linux Users From Broadcom

      Make no mistake: Broadcom didn’t open source this driver to support peace, love and Linux. Companies who have included their drivers in the mainline Linux kernel do so because it benefits them. Once the driver is included in the mainline, the maintenance costs associated with keeping up with kernel changes drop considerably. Also, as Katherine points out, they undertook this work because they see a market and realize that many of their competitors, like Intel, have been enjoying an advantage their open-ness affords them.

    • Strace — The Sysadmin’s Microscope

      Sometimes as a sysadmin the logfiles just don’t cut it, and to solve a problem you need to know what’s really going on. That’s when I turn to strace — the system-call tracer.

      A system call, or syscall, is where a program crosses the boundary between user code and the kernel. Fortunately for us using strace, that boundary is where almost everything interesting happens in a typical program.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Clementine Is a Simple, Amarok-Inspired Music Player for All Platforms
      • do plasma widgets dream of krita wallpapers?

        It’s really impressive how good Krita is getting these days. A look through the Krita showcase demonstrates quite admirably what someone can do with it. What strikes me most while looking through those images is how not all of them look like they were done with a computer, but could just as easily be scans of natural media artwork.

        I have Plasma on the brain, however, so of course I immediately jumped into thinking about what this could mean from a Plasma perspective. Yes, I’m aware that any connection between a great natural media painting app and a component framework for building primary user interfaces is probably not immediately obvious. No, I wasn’t thinking about how to use Plasmoids in Krita, either.

      • plasma documentation writing, friday and saturday

        How will it work? Each attendee can pick the Plasmoid or aspect of Plasma Desktop of their choice, announce their intentions in the irc channel and then start writing about it. You’ll have the support of KDE people to answers technical questions, proof-read and help with wiki-fu as needed. Personally, I’ll be working on documenting the new Activies features and user interface.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • SystemRescueCd 1.6.0 Has Been Released
      • SystemRescueCd 1.6.0 released

        The SystemRescueCd developer and Partimage author François Dupoux has released version 1.6.0 of the SystemRescueCd Linux distribution. Based on the Gentoo LiveCD and using Xfce as its default desktop, the SystemRescueCd is configured as a tool kit for administering or repairing an operating system and recovering data after a system crash. Supported file systems include Ext2, Ext3 and Ext4, ReiserFS, XFS, JFS, VFAT, NTFS, ISO9660 and Btrfs.

      • Tiny Core Linux 3.1 released

        Tiny Core lead developer Robert Shingledecker has released version 3.1 of Tiny Core Linux. Tiny Core is a minimal Linux distribution that weighs in at just over 11 MB in size. The “tiny frugal” desktop distribution features the BusyBox tool collection and a minimal graphics system based on Tiny X and JWM. The core can run entirely in RAM, allowing for very quick booting. With the help of online repositories, Tiny Core Linux can be expanded to include additional applications.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Shuttleworth answers Ubuntu Linux’s critics

          I might add, which Shuttleworth didn’t spell out, that if you need help to do anything with Linux, you’re more likely to find online help on how to do it on Ubuntu than openSUSE, Fedora, Debian, or any other Linux. Ubuntu’s popularity combined with that attitude of helping everyday users get the most from Linux has made it the go-to Linux for users who want and need a helping hand.

        • Upgrading to Ubuntu Lucid

          Notwithstanding these moments of suspense, the upgrade was surprisingly trouble-free. My applications work just as they did before. My scanner and printer both work as well, and because Lucid kept my desktop settings, my windows control buttons are on the right side, and not on the left where Lucid puts them by default.

          All in all, it’s worth going the upgrade route because the longer installation time is more than offset by the time you save from not having to reinstall programs and tweaking your system all over again. In my case, that could mean a savings of a day or more.

        • Save Money for Other College Costs with a Used Laptop and Ubuntu

          CrunchGear, TechCrunch’s hardware-focused sister site, makes a compelling argument for buying a “janky old computer” off Craigslist or from another source, then simply loading it up with Ubuntu and classifying it as a simple work/email/Facebook/MP3 machine.

        • Founder: Ubuntu’s contribution goes beyond the code tree

          Ubuntu creator Mark Shuttleworth shot back against detractors today, pointing out that his project has made Linux more marketable and successful on the desktop.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Tools For Professional Photographers

    If you are a professional photographer or an aspiring one, then the article Photography with Open Source / Linux will be a great help for you. This article written by Nathan Willis delves deep into the various tools that aid you to create photographic masterpieces.

  • Events

    • Draft Document Educonf 2010
    • FOSS.in turns 10

      Bangalore’s premiere Linux event, FOSS.IN, turns 10 this year. What started out as Linux Bangalore in 2001, organised by a group of hackers and Linux technology enthusiasts from the Bangalore Linux Users Group, is today a well-attended conference. In 2004, it was re-christened as FOSS.in.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Five Features to Look Forward to in Firefox 4.0

        Firefox 4.0 is still a bit away from final release, but the time to think about switching is now. The Mozilla Project is releasing Firefox 4.0 beta 6 this week, and the current builds are really good. Why switch? I’ll give you five excellent reasons to jump on the 4.0 train today.

        One of the great things about open source development is that you don’t have to wait for the final product to ship to get your hands on it. Case in point, I’ve been running development builds of the Firefox 4.0 series off and on for weeks. You can too, if you don’t mind some rapid changes and possible instability.

  • SaaS

    • German researchers accelerate Hadoop

      At the VLDB conference in Singapore, researchers from Saarland University have presented the results of the Hadoop++ project which aims to accelerate the distributed computing framework Hadoop when performing analytical queries. The technique involves plugging a kind of query planner into Hadoop using hooks provided for the purpose.

  • Oracle

  • Healthcare

    • A Wikipedia/Linux for global healthcare information?

      The open source movement already has produced innovations like online encyclopedia Wikipedia and the Linux operating system.

      By creating a free or “open” platform that allows people to share and analyze information, the system can tap the collective intelligence of the world to improve technology and solve global problems.

      In other words, 6 billion brains are better than one.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • More Than 60 Schools in Kaohsiung City Signed the Software Freedom Manifesto

      Principals from more than 60 elementary, junior high, and senior high schools of Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, signed a “Software Freedom Manifesto” at the invitation of the city’s Education Bureau on Sep 9 Thursday morning in a press conference. Also announced in the conference are the the upcoming events of International Conference on Open Source (ICOS), and the “mother tongue tux usb key” workshops designed for the growing population of Vietnamese mothers in Taiwan.

  • Licensing

    • Linux developer in solo bid to enforce GPL

      Red Hat employee Matthew Garrett says he has written to the US Customs about the fact that Fusion Garage, the maker of the Joojoo tablet, has not provided him with the source code for the operating system that runs the device.

      Garrett sent the letter based on advice offered by former Linux Journal publisher Don Marti on a web forum.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Attention Companies: Your Users Are Your Competitors

      “I can design with tools as good as those that the car companies use, that Intel uses. It’s just cheap software that lets me design, simulate and test,” he said. “Communication costs are also dropping because of the Internet. That lets users actually undertake bigger problems because each one does a chunk of the work. I can do part of Linux. You can do another part of Linux.”

  • Programming

    • Cloud-based source code host adds Git

      Git, he said, is becoming popular because of its association with Linux and its speed, said Marion. Git was authored by Linux founder Linus Torvalds, Marion noted.

    • Smalltalk web framework Seaside reaches version 3.0

      The developers of the Seaside web framework for Smalltalk have announced version 3.0. What had originally begun as development work for a 2.9 version turned out to be such a significant change that the developers say it justified relabelling the release a 3.0. They believe Seaside 3.0 to be a “solid foundation for the foreseeable development” of the Smalltalk web framework.

Leftovers

  • Road deaths among children spiralling in poorest nations, says report

    More schoolchildren are daily being killed by traffic on the highways of the world’s poorest nations than by deadly infectious diseases such as Aids, tuberculosis and malaria, prompting campaigners to call for a UN-backed target to halt the spiralling numbers of traffic fatalities by 2015.

  • New Release of Oracle Secure Global Desktop Now Available

    Applications and desktops that run on Windows, Oracle Solaris, Oracle Enterprise Linux, and other UNIX and Linux versions are supported, as well as mainframe and midrange applications.

  • Security/Aggression

    • I Am Detained By The Feds For Not Answering Questions

      I was detained last night by federal authorities at San Francisco International Airport for refusing to answer questions about why I had travelled outside the United States.

      The end result is that, after waiting for about half an hour and refusing to answer further questions, I was released – because U.S. citizens who have produced proof of citizenship and a written customs declaration are not obligated to answer questions.

    • Worse than Gary McKinnon
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Economic Sense: Why Don’t People Have Any?

      First of all, I’m not calling anyone out to put them down. I have had a long time to think about these topics. I’ve been in the workforce for over thirty years now, including a long period in which I earned the absolute minimum or close to it (in some cases more, in some cases less).

      I earned two associate’s degrees (one of which was in business administration), on bachelor’s degree (business administration), and one master’s degree (information technology) during that time. This means that I have typically had years more education than my bosses. But most of the time, this had little impact on my bottom line.

      During this time, I’ve been a voracious reader with a desire to know and understand what and how and why in things related to business and the economy (and computers, but that’s a different article).

      No matter what your instructor tells you, you have to look deeper. Look at real world data. Very often, what you’ve heard is factually wrong. When I was sitting around with business school classmates who commiserated about the low quality of applicants, I could tell them directly that they chose the worst applicants out of the bunch, because many times I had been one of those they chose not to hire.

      There are very many personal and group decisions that should be made with an understanding of economic principles. It is a pity that so few people ever learn them.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Haystack vs How The Internet Works
    • More on Internet Intellectuals and the Haystack Affair

      So the Haystack Affair (is there a Wikipedia page named after this already?) continues generating food for thought for those of us working at the intersection of free expression, Internet censorship, and media development.

      Yesterday I blogged about what the Haystack Affair suggested about the responsibility of “Internet intellectuals”. Ethan Zuckerman, who was one of the intellectuals I singled out in that post, eloquently responded to my criticism on his blog.

      “I’ve not published on Haystack for a very simple reason: I haven’t been able to conduct a proper evaluation of either the tool or the protocols behind it,” wrote Ethan.

    • Google Confirms Firing Engineer For Privacy Violations

      Google released a statement confirming it fired teen-stalking engineer David Barksdale for “breaking Google’s strict internal privacy policies,” as Gawker first reported earlier today. Our original exclusive, about Barksdale spying on minors’ Google Voice and Talk accounts, has been updated.

    • Censorship resistance attacks and counterattacks

      Related to the recent Haystack hubbub, here’s a basic overview of censorship resistance tools, of which Haystack was an example (unfortunately a fairly broken one).

    • Anti-censorship program Haystack withdrawn

      Software created to help Iranians escape government control of the web has been withdrawn over security fears.

      Haystack was designed to help people in the country communicate via the web without revealing their identity.

    • GCreep: Google Engineer Stalked Teens, Spied on Chats (Updated)

      David Barksdale, a 27-year-old former Google engineer, repeatedly took advantage of his position as a member of an elite technical group at the company to access users’ accounts, violating the privacy of at least four minors during his employment, we’ve learned. Barksdale met the kids through a technology group in the Seattle area while working as a Site Reliability Engineer at Google’s Kirkland, Wash. office. He was fired in July 2010 after his actions were reported to the company. [Update: Google has confirmed the security breach. An update appears below.]

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • HDCP ‘master key’ supposedly released, unlocks HDTV copy protection permanently

      Just as the MPAA is preparing to offer movies to customers at home while they’re still in theaters by limiting playback to DRM-protected digital outputs only, the HDCP protocol they rely on may have been cracked wide open. All devices that support HDCP, like Blu-ray players, set-top boxes and displays with HDMI inputs, have their own set of keys to encrypt and decrypt protected data and if keys for a particular device are compromised, they can be revoked by content released in the future which will then refuse to play. Now, posts have been floating around on Twitter about a supposed “master key” which renders that protection unusable since it allows anyone to create their own source and sink keys.

    • Make your voice heard on Net neutrality!

      Make you voice heard by responding to the European Commission’s public consultation on Net neutrality! The more citizens and NGOs submit their own responses to the questionnaire, the more chance we have to collectively weigh in the EU policy-making process to ensure that the Internet remains a free and open communications architecture. You have until September 30th to send your submission and tell the Commission to protect the Internet.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • Piracy Bill – Has Ed Vaizey actually considered this issue at all?

          The Telegraph is reporting today on how the Digital Economy Act will be met in order to tackle online piracy or copyright infrigement. You can read the Telegraphs article here. People may remember that its proposed that alleged infringers of copyright are sent a number of warning letters before sanctions and eventually a ban is put on their connection.

          [...]

          Now maybe here Mr Vaizey is making a joke that I don’t get. If the ISP is to pick up the tab for 25% of the costs for this “enforcement” where does he think the money will come from if not passed onto the customer? Whilst that may be fair for the repeated copyright infringer, how is that fair on me or anyone else who thinks that the material “infringed upon” is not even worth a download for “free” and on the rare occasion when they are interested in a title, actually goes out and buys it? – I think far from help enforce an anti-piracy message, many people will just say “stuff it, Im footing the bill, I may as well jump in too”. Just like in my view, the person who came up with the idea of knock off Nigel, when you get people who really don’t know the subject trying to solve it, you only end up looking silly when it backfires. (For those that don’t know, Knock off Nigel was an ad campaign against piracy, that turned into a cult classic and even gave piracy a little kudos)

        • Rights-holders bear brunt of costs of chasing pirates

          Rights-holders will bear the brunt of the costs for tackling copyright infringers, the UK government has said.

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7 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    September 15, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Gravatar

    I don’t like that gloomy ITWire article about subnotebooks. The future of computing belongs to free software like gnu/linux on cheap computers and everyone knows it. The Windows tax does not on a $200 or less computer.

    That gnu/linux is shipped on one in four netbooks is disappointing given the uselessness of Windows in that form factor but it’s still amazing news. Notebooks are the form factor people are buying with a preference for small. Given the bad market, damage Microsoft did to Asus, Xandros and EEEPC, nonexistant advertisement, tons of FUD and other dirty tricks, 25% is miraculous defiance that proves real market demand.

    This last point leads me to another, shipped units are not sold units. I’ve got three reconditioned EEE PCs, where a “Linux” sticker was applied over the “Windows” box and I got them for under $200 each. Despite a lot of hype, no one wants Windows on anything less than a fancy new desktop and not many people want that anymore.

    It is a shame that few ARM based clamshells made it to the US market but their arrival is only a matter of time. Makers had better jump on the chance to sell $100 clamshells before India starts cranking out $35 palm tops.

    Microsoft has no chance on such a platform. All of their efforts to date have been costly failures. Zune, for example, is a byword for industrial betrayal, greed, poor performance and market flop. Users not forced to non free versions of Android by a phone company are going to want gadgets that don’t restrict them so much. Even if Microsoft could be reborn as less greedy and technically competent, their top heavy business model can’t stand the price point. Apple is in similar trouble.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Microsoft has a(n ever-increasing) really hard time against tablets right now. They are mostly ARM/Android (Linux), except the hypePad.

  2. Mikko said,

    September 16, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Gravatar

    There’s no netbooks sold with linux in Sweden

  3. Dr. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 16, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Gravatar

    So Microsoft’s subversive activities have worked over there (and elsewhere). I heard Microsoft chiefs came/come to visit Sweden right about now. Were/are there any interesting details about that?

    Mikko Reply:

    Only info i have is that Steve Ballmer is going to speak at the royal institute of technology 4th of October

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    What will be the event/topic?

    Mikko Reply:

    translated with google translate (found lots of info at kth)

    “The theme of Steve Ballmers speech at KTH is “The new digital lifestyle”. How new trends in technology enables interconnected digital experiences across multiple platforms: PC, mobile and television – and how all this is possible because of new services in the cloud.

    Steve Ballmer to visit the largest technical university is hardly a coincidence.

    - Microsoft has identified KTH as an interesting partner. We have also recently signed a cooperation agreement, and we are interested in discussing further development of this, “said Peter Gudmundson, president of the Royal Institute of Technology.

    Marie Ygge, marketing director for the Public Sector at Microsoft in Sweden, is the same line as Peter Gudmunson.”

    http://translate.google.se/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=sv&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=sv&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.kth.se%2Faktuellt%2Fsnart-kommer-steve-ballmer-till-kth-1.66726

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