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Links 25/9/2010: The 5 Dollar KDE Challenge, Etc.

Posted in News Roundup at 11:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • How do you copy 60m files?

    So the best way to move 60 million files from one Windows server to another turns out to be: use Linux.

  • Desktop

    • Making a Difference; Selling a Difference

      Some will argue that the desktop no longer matters or if it does, it won’t for long. They will tell you that the age of mobile technology is here, that Web apps do it all, and that since Linux, in its Android persona, is on its way to ruling the mobile roost, that we should all sit back happily and congratulate ourselves on finally achieving Linux World Domination.

      They are wrong.

      Sure, mobile devices are cool. But for the foreseeable future, the desktop will continue to be the place where the real work gets done. It’s the place where large scale productivity applications will continue to dominate. It’s still where you’re going to do your accounting, write letters, create cool graphics, edit video, and so on. Try to imagine creating a complex marketing presentation on your iPhone just for fun. See if you can find many businesses out there that have plans in the next 5 years to dump all their desktop systems in favor of everyone typing on their smartphone touchpads. Uh huh. The desktop matters as much as it ever did and there’s a damn good chance that it’s never going away, at least not anytime soon. Barring some truly revolutionary *ahem* paradigm shift in the way we interface with computers, of course. That revolutionary shift hasn’t happened. Not yet anyhow.

  • Ballnux

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Linux’s new Gnome desktop to take on KDE and Windows

      The next major release of Gnome promises to re-define the Linux desktop the way KDE has. Ashton Mills previews the new shell for Ubuntu’s default desktop.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • The 5 Dollar KDE Challenge

        Anyways this is not meant to be a review of Choqok, cool as it is, but to allow me to make a point: We are lucky to have many great applications in KDE. Everything from financial apps to great media players to CD/DVD authoring tools to a full-fledged office suite. Great games. And on and on it goes. Not to mention to gorgeous KDE Workspaces we luckily get to look at every day. And let’s not forget all the work and costs associated with running the KDE e.V. as it supports and funds so many KDE activities. And it’s all free! And while we’re at it let’s not forget the individual distributions out there that put it all together for us. And the bloggers and all of the people who donate their time in order to promote and support KDE in many ways every day.

      • The future of KDE

        MeeGo is less than a year old. KDE, by contrast, has 14 years of experience in building the Linux desktop. Even with the backing of the world’s largest mobile phone and processor vendors, it takes a bold man to turn up at Akademy, KDE’s annual global conference, and announce that MeeGo is “redefining the Linux desktop landscape”.

      • Linux finally matches Windows’ eye candy with the KDE desktop

        KDE is an interesting beast: up to version 3.0 it competed with Gnome for the mind share of Linux desktop users. KDE 3.0 was an excellent alternative, often favoured by the power users for its emphasis on configurability and flexibility.

        For version 4.0, the KDE team took the drastic action of re-inventing and re-building KDE almost from the ground up. This included re-designing the desktop paradigm and breaking functionality into core components that include Plasma (desktop display and effects), Phonon (multimedia backend) and Solid (hardware abstraction layer).

  • Distributions

    • Linux: Paradox of choice

      Are hundreds of different Linux versions a good or a bad thing for open source?

      Every so often every Linux advocate is subjected, yet again, to the question: “Are there too many Linux distributions?”

      The answer is both simple (“no”), while at the same time being a lot more complicated than that.

    • New Releases

      • Momonga 7
      • SystemRescueCd 1.6.0
      • Absolute 13.1.5 released

        Security updates including mozilla-nss package, (and Firefox, Seamonkey and Thunderbird on CD2.) Icewm menu fixes and re-arrangement and AbiWord is back in base install with gtk printing preview by epdfview (so no more abiWords crashes… right?) Also several package updates including OpenOffice, Imagemagick, Inkscape, Chromium Browser, and new default sound mixer – alsamixer-qt4. New script in menu to change screen locker mode and updated find-installed script.

      • Tiny Core 3.1
      • Parted Magic 5.5
      • Kongoni 1.12.3 (Cicero) released!

        This is the final and stable release of Kongoni 1.12.3 (Cicero). With this release most issues and problems should be solved, also most packages where cleaned-up, updated to the latest version. Kernel upgraded to version, improved the stability and speed, re-build with support for more hardware devices, cleaned-up the kernel configuration, set Rekonq browser as the default web browser, Gnash upgraded to verison 0.8.8, KDE upgraded to version 4.5.1, removed Ktorrent and replaced it with qBittorrent, which should be much more faster and lightweight.

      • PelicanHPC 2.2
    • Red Hat Family

      • Amid Oracle Threats, Red Hat Remains In Growth Mode

        Oracle is making some lofty claims about its Linux strategy, but entrenched rival Red Hat continues to gain momentum with its three-pronged open source strategy: Linux, virtualization and middleware. Here’s the update, which includes Red Hat’s first $1 million-plus private cloud deal.

        After the markets closed today, Red Hat said its Q2 2011 total revenue was $219.8 million, up 20% from the year ago quarter. Subscription revenue for the quarter was $186.2 million, up 19% year-over-year. Although net income fell to $23.7 million (down about $5.2 million), Red Hat’s earnings still beat Wall Street’s expectations.

      • What’s Next for Java at Oracle?

        The future of Java under Oracle’s leadership is one that includes continued innovation across multiple deployment areas including servers, desktops and mobile devices. That’s the message delivered by Thomas Kurian, executive vice president, Oracle Product Development during a JavaOne keynote address detailing the road ahead for Java.

        New graphics, performance and enhanced programming capabilities are all on Oracle’s roadmap for Java development. Oracle took over the stewardship of Java as part of its acquisition of Sun which closed earlier this year.

    • Debian Family

      • aptosid 2010-02

        I recently reviewed Linux Mint Debian, a very user-friendly version of Linux Mint based on Debian. This time I looked at another distro based on Debian, called aptosid.

        Aptosid, for those who aren’t familiar with it, is actually made by the same developers that created the popular distro Sidux. There was apparently some conflict and controversy within the Sidux e.V association that resulted in Sidux morphing into Aptosid.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Apple’s multi-touch Magic Trackpad tested in Ubuntu 10.10

          Today I got my hands on Apple’s new cool peripheral that everyone is talking about, the Magic Trackpad. When it was first released, a lot of people said that this was the beginning of the end of the humble and trusty mouse. I’m not entirely convinced that the magic trackpad spells the end, but this idea of bringing laptop multitouch to the desktop is certainly is an interesting concept.

        • Tale of two Ubuntus

          The console version of Ubuntu 10.04, as I expected, wouldn’t even start. My experiences earlier this year foretold that a machine with a meager 32Mb of memory wouldn’t get past the grub menu.

        • Ubuntu Netbook Edition Review

          I got a very good conditioned asus eeepc 701 and the first distro of choice after chatting on freenode channel #eeepc was ubuntu netbook edition or une for short (10.04 Lucid).

        • Can Ubuntu Linux Attract More Hardware Partners?

          This is the second year Canonical is hosting the Ubuntu Hardware Summit. The event, located in Taipei, Taiwan, arrives roughly five months after Canonical shipped Ubuntu 10.04, a long term support (LTS) release designed for servers, desktops, mobile devices and private clouds. As an LTS release, Ubuntu 10.04 potentially provides customers and partners with long-term peace of mind on the support front.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source


  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • More than Twenty Cities Rally for Bradley Manning

      From September 16-19, supporters of Bradley Manning held public rallies and vigils for the accused WikiLeaks whistleblower, currently imprisoned in Quantico. Events were held in twenty-one cities in the United States, Canada and Australia in response to a call for action sent by the Bradley Manning Support Network and Courage to Resist.

    • “Welcome Home, War!”: Pennsylvania and the Marcellus Shale

      Activists, concerned citizens, and democrats (written purposely with a lower “d”), watch out. As George Orwell stated in his ominous book 1984, “Big Brother is watching you.” One need to look no further than the creepy and covert Orwellian events that were recently unearthed in Pennsylvania as Exhibit A for a reflection of the current horrifying environment that exists for those who choose to speak out against governmental and corporate injustices and in this instance, against fracking in the Marcellus Shale.

  • Finance

    • Millennium Development Goals- Another Awesome Joke on the Poor!

      it is being received.

      I would not go into the economics of why this ‘project’ is a joke. This piece originally tweeted by William Esterly really brings the point home. Forget about aid and all the other philanthropic overtures. Take away the subsidies that have killed the farming businesses of hundreds of thousands of petty farmers in all poor countries, let there be a little fairness in trading between the haves and have-not countries.

    • SPIN METER: Largest tax increase ever? Not quite

      The expiration of Bush-era tax cuts in January has sparked a partisan bickering match this election season, and much of the rhetoric from both Democrats and Republicans is misleading. Here’s a look at three prominent arguments, sorting the spin from the facts:


      THE SPIN:

      Republicans warn that America faces the largest tax increase ever if Congress doesn’t extend the tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003, which are due to expire in January.

      “Democrats in Washington are now plotting the largest tax increase in history,” says the website for Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, makes a similar claim in a press release, and so does Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, chairman of the Republican Study Committee.


      THE FACTS:

      Few members of Congress want to let all the tax cuts expire. Republicans want to extend all the tax cuts, and President Barack Obama — along with Democratic leaders in Congress — want to extend them for individuals making less than $200,000 and married couples making less than $250,000.

    • Spinning the Tax Cuts

      A 1942 tax increase accounted for over 71 percent of federal revenues. By contrast, the currently-proposed potential tax increase would raise revenues less than ten percent. Republicans also argue that the dollar amount of next year’s potential increase would be the largest ever, even accounting for inflation.

    • Already Elizabeth Warren Deserves a Promotion

      She appears to be happy about all this, but it leaves us here at BanksterUSA unsatisfied. This is a temporary appointment. What is she? A Kelly Girl? We are sick of temporary jobs. We prefer permanent things like a title, a salary, benefits, five years guaranteed, and most importantly, power.

    • Tell Larry Summers, “Don’t Delay!”

      A Resume Only Wall Street Could Love

      Summers has a long resume that makes him an ideal candidate for a job on the Street. For years, he promoted the concept of “a post-industrial age” where manufacturing takes a back seat. An expression he was fond of repeating was, “Financial markets do not just oil the wheels of economic growth. They are the wheels.” And has he worked very hard his entire career to grease those wheels.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • In Wake of Ballot Initiatives, Questions About the National Organization for Marriage’s Funding

      Add to that list a donation of a whopping $1.4 million in 2009 to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a nonprofit group dedicated to fighting same-sex marriage through the ballot initiative system in California, Maine and other states. While NOM hasn’t yet made public its 2009 fundraising numbers, the amount of charitable contributions it received in 2008 totaled approximately $2.9 million.

    • Netflix apologizes for using actors to meet press at Canadian launch

      Problem is, many of those in the crowd were actors who were paid to be there. Many of the “extras” on hand were interviewed by journalists, who didn’t realize they weren’t real consumers interested in the product.

    • Ad Campaign Aims to Change Americans’ Image of Mormons

      The Mormon Church has launched a television ad campaign in nine test markets. The ads contain no Bible verses or doctrinal discussions … just everyday folks talking about their everyday lives. And, oh, by the way … they practice a faith that nearly half of Americans know little to nothing about.

    • Mormons Use PR Campaign to Boost Their Image

      The Utah-based Mormon church is running a television ad campaign to try and address stereotypes about their adherents. The TV ads show regular people doing regular things, and then saying they are Mormon. The ads attempt to influence how people think of the religion, and drive traffic to the church’s official web site, Mormon.org.

    • Journalists Flee Utah Newspaper Overtaken by PR

      Journalists working for Utah’s oldest continuously-published daily newspaper, the Deseret News, are leaving the paper in a dispute over the new direction in the paper’s journalism. The problem started when the paper published a front-page story written entirely by Michael Purdy, the head of the LDS Church’s public relations department.

    • Open Container: D-News Exodus

      The Mormon Media Observer, Joel Campbell, leaves the Deseret News because of ethical conflicts. Senior political reporter Lee Davidson is also leaving.

      Joel Campbell (pictured) is moving to the Salt Lake Tribune, effective immediately, because he does not consider the bold, new direction of the paper as journalism. Campbell also said he is not alone, and that there are some other reporters leaving the Deseret News for the same reasons.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Remotely wiping mobile phones

      As Nathan Hamblen reports on his blog, remote wipe is currently being misused by Exchange administrators to punish users who access their corporate email from unapproved devices. In many, perhaps most, cases, those unapproved devices are the personal property of a user who is just trying to get their work done. One can understand administrators wanting to impose draconian access rules, and even to enforce them, but punishing users by deleting their photos, applications, and other personal data seems just a tad beyond the pale.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • A Big Week For Broadband

      But the Internet is not just for developed countries – it should be for everyone, and that’s why I am getting involved in the United Nations Broadband Commission.

      Finally, I am quite inspired by this video (also above) – this is a case of broadband by the people, for the people you might say. I really recommend you watch it. As the women explaining the process says: “if we can you do it, anyone can do it.” That is exactly the spirit we all need in the coming years – our digital future belongs to people willing to get invovled in building it!

    • Gallo report adopted: A stab in the back of citizens’ freedoms

      The European Parliament has just adopted the Gallo report on copyright enforcement by 328 to 245 votes. This very repressive text is one more step in the entertainment industries’ crusade against their own public. The Members of the Parliament have failed to recognize that the measures called for in this non-legislative text profoundly undermine fundamental freedoms1. For the next steps, citizens must remain on their guard and should continue to inform their elected representatives about the lies of the industry, and the importance of the Internet for the future of our societies.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The Kafkaesque Question Of Who Owns Kafka’s Papers

        Law professor Peter Friedman has an interesting discussion on his blog about who owns Franz Kafka’s papers, based on a recent New York Times piece about a big legal fight over the matter. Yes, Kafka died back in 1924. Apparently, when he died, he left a note to his friend Max Brod, ordering him to burn all of Kafka’s papers (“diaries, manuscripts, letters (my own and others’), sketches and so on.”) Much to the benefit of modern literature, Brod totally ignored this request, and published a series of posthumous Kafka works, including some of his most famous and respected works, such as “The Trial.”

      • Kafka’s Last Trial

        The National Library’s argument is complicated by Brod’s so-called gift letter of 1952. The most crucial and enigmatic document in the case, it appears to give all of the Kafka papers outright, during Brod’s lifetime, to Esther Hoffe. The sisters presented the court with a two-page photocopy of this letter. The National Library, however, produced a photocopy of a four-page version of the letter, of which the two missing middle pages appear to clarify the limitations of Brod’s gift. When the court ordered a forensic examination, the sisters were unable to produce the original letter.

        Last year, the court decided to grant the National Library’s request that the papers in the sisters’ possession be inventoried: some evidence suggests that the vaults contain further documentation clarifying Brod’s intentions for the papers. The sisters appealed the decision, maintaining that the state has no right to search private property for documents whose existence can’t be proven beforehand. The hearing I attended was to determine the outcome of their appeal.

      • ACS:Law Anti-Piracy Law Firm Torn Apart By Leaked Emails

        Earlier this week, anti-piracy lawyers ACS:Law had their website taken down by a 4chan DDoS attack. Adding insult to injury, owner Andrew Crossley was harassed at home in the middle of the night by prank phone calls. Now, through a fault with his website, hundreds of megabytes of private emails have been exposed to the public and uploaded to The Pirate Bay. To those hoping that this is a MediaDefender-type fiasco all over again, trust us – it is.


        Financial problems? Interesting. Many tens of thousands of people who received letters from ACS:Law are also experiencing the same problem, having already paid up several hundred pounds each to make non-existent lawsuits go away.

        “We’re still sorting through it. There’s a lot of stuff here to go through. But, basically, we were told we were less important than a 10 minute late train, or a queue for coffee by Andrew,” the attackers’ spokesman told us, adding:

        “Payback is a bitch, isn’t it Andrew?”


        – ACS:Law and USCG (of Hurt Locker fame) appear to be cooperating
        – Crossley boasts that his retained lawyer “literally wrote the SRA rules!”
        – Crossley accuses Which? of ‘defamation’ and articles designed to “demean” and “denigrate”
        – Crossley gives veiled warnings to Which? that he could sue them for libel
        – Internal documents reveal intentions to take down Slyck.com

      • ACS:Law (Gay) Porn Letters Target Pensioners, Married Men

        Last night, the private emails of anti-piracy law firm ACS:Law were spilled onto the Internet. Today, as we continue to dig through the mountain of information, we take a look at some of the human victims of this scheme. From poor people pleading for clemency, to bewildered old age pensioners accused of sharing adult movies, to married men who have been confronted with allegations of sharing gay porn, the cost is significant.

      • Forget digital tunes; analog music on the upswing

        Seventy-two years ago last week, the 33-1/3 long-playing vinyl record was invented. And while most music fans have moved on to streaming Bluetooth audio, MP3s and other digital music formats, LP sales are higher today than at any time in recent history.

      • Sharing is legitimate

        For centuries, people were free to transmit to others cultural works such as books or records as they wished. This was codified under two separate mechanisms: the first sale doctrine and the recognition that acts in the private sphere were none of the business of right holders3. It was accepted that such a transmission of works between individuals is at the root of a shared culture, and in the end benefits authors and other contributors.

        With the development of information technology, digitization and the Internet, the scale and scope of sharing was immensely extended. Its usefulness did not disappear in the process. Actually, sharing has now acquired another function: it counterbalances to a certain degree the ability of centralized media to concentrate attention on a limited number of works for the purpose of maximizing per title profits. In the digital era, in the absence of large scale sharing providing an alternative non-market distribution channel, access to culture would be severely impoverished.

Clip of the Day

Paolo Carlini – “The new C++ Standard and library (C++0x)”

Credit: TinyOgg

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