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09.29.10

Links 29/9/2010: Dell to Bring 7-Inch Linux-based Tablet; Mageia Gets a Logo

Posted in News Roundup at 2:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Mocking fortunes

    X windows:

    The ultimate bottleneck.

    Flawed beyond belief.

    The only thing you have to fear.

    Somewhere between chaos and insanity.

    On autopilot to oblivion.

    The joke that kills.

    A disgrace you can be proud of.

    A mistake carried out to perfection.

    Belongs more to the problem set than the solution set.

    To err is X windows.

  • The joy of installing hardware in Linux

    I want to write about the bright side of Linux hardware management and support.

    IS THERE A BRIGHT SIDE?

    Contrary to what many believe, Linux hardware support is superb, which is not the same as saying it supports every single hardware part or device under the sun. This is a key concept that has been misinterpreted (and misused at times).

  • Desktop

    • Chasms and Imagination

      GNU/Linux on the desktop has long ago ceased to be a geek/early-adopter thing. It is being accepted on the mainstream/mom and pop desktop now. That started happening with the netbook. Many millions of netbook users are not geeks and don’t know an OS from an application. They know GNU/Linux works and love it. OEMs have passed up that opportunity in some ways but consumers have not. They have bought GNU/Linux whenever and wherever it has been offered.

    • Uncluttered Minds Do Not Care…

      Chase, Ami and Zeneda are three fairly recent recipients of HeliOS Project computers, ages 12, 13 and 11 respectively.

      When we go into a home to give a child a computer, one of the first things we do is explain to them that we have installed Linux on their computer, not Windows.

      This announcement is usually met with even stares or shrugs.

    • How I converted my Office to Linux

      I use Linux for my TV, notebook, development (work & hobbies), electronics and thin clients.

      [...]

      Im a programmer at heart and although I do a lot of administration at work I try my best to minimise this with the use of technology be it hardware, software or scripts. What we had to start with Mixture of large noisy desktops Running Windows XP 100Mbps 24port switch 6 Staff, with requirements for 10 desktops (display screens, boardroom, casual employee and test computers) Safety net I had many safety nets as I was migrating…

  • Server

    • Dell Servers Certified to Run Ubuntu Server Edition

      It’s a small step for Dell and symbolic victory for Ubuntu Server Edition, Canonical’s Linux distribution. Specifically, selected Dell PowerEdge servers are now certified to run Ubuntu Server Edition. Does that mean Dell is shifting away from Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Novell SUSE Linux? And what are the implications for Linux channel partners?

    • Amazon Web Services unveils PHP tool kit

      Amazon Web Services (AWS) has released a toolkit to make it easier to develop applications in PHP that will run on Amazon’s cloud, the company said on Wednesday.

      Using the AWS SDK for PHP, which works with PHP 5.2 or later versions, developers can build applications that use different parts of Amazon’s cloud, including Simple Storage Service (S3), Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for computing capacity, and the SimpleDB database.

    • Red Hat KVM Virtualization Powers Banking Startup

      Financial services firm Ganart’s experience with the open source code as the basis for its check cashing kiosks indicates how Red Hat is positioning itself for growth in private clouds.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Harmony brush adoption in Krita: Sketch

        Besides my sponsored work on Krita, I work in my spare time (if I find some) on some new features. I did a thesis about brush painting and I still enjoy this topic. So when I find some new interesting brush, that might be usable, I’m trying to adopt it in Krita as a new brush engine. Few months ago I discovered project Harmony and I liked the brushes there. Especially Sketchy, Shaded, Chrome, Fur and Long Fur. The idea for those brushes comes from concept of connecting neighbour points. The concept was realized first in Scribbler and Harmony was inspired. Then I adopted the Harmony version in Krita.

      • 5 Intriguing KDE Apps

        The beauty of an open development platform is that anyone can take a stab at creating an application. KDE, which is built upon the Qt application and UI framework, is a shining example of this. A quick look at KDE-Apps.org reveals that new apps are added daily. I periodically browse through the latest KDE apps to see if anything stands out, and I found these five, some of which are in early development.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • How will GNOME 3.0 be Received?

        After a week of using GNOME Shell, the preview of GNOME 3.0, on Fedora 13, that is the closest I can come to a prediction about how GNOME’s new desktop will be received when it is officially released in the spring of 2011.

        On the one hand, GNOME Shell is an attractive and easy to use interface that integrates multiple workspaces better than any desktop that I’ve seen. On the other hand, it requires some adjustments in the way you work, and, in its present form, feels inflexible — although part of that inflexibility may be due to features that haven’t been implemented yet.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Spotlight on Linux: SliTaz GNU/Linux 3.0

        In the world of small size distributions, SliTaz is one of the most remarkable. Not only does it have one of the smallest download images, but it can also run on modest hardware while offering graphical applications with familiar interfaces. It’s one of the wonders of the Linux world.

        SliTaz ships as an installable live CD and features an attractively configured OpenBox window environment. Not only is it attractive, but also very familiar. Expected elements are in place on a lower panel such as an application launcher, system tray, task manager, pager, and traditional menu system. With the 30 MB ISO, one might expect only commandline applications, but SliTaz offers graphical applications for many tasks. For example, the Midori Web browser is featured and it offers many of the amenities that other more popular browsers have such as Speed Dial (visual bookmark page), tabs, and Private Browsing. Using the SliTaz Package Manager, get-flash-plugin can be installed to fetch and install Adobe’s Flash Player.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Best of Proposed Mageia Logo

        The Mageia project is a fork of Mandriva Linux. It is a brand new project, announced on September 18, 2010. There is an ongoing discussion about different aspects of the project, and one of those discussion revolves around the project’s logo. There have been some very good and some not so good logos proposed by community members, and what is being presented in this article are some of the proposed logos.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Software Center will have Zeitgeist Integration in Ubuntu 11.04 ‘Natty Narwhal’

          Ubuntu Software Center will have Zeitgeist integration in Ubuntu 11.04 as announced by Michael Vogt on his blog. Seif Lotfy, from Zeitgeist Developers’ Team proposed the idea of possible integration of Zeitgeist into Ubuntu Software Center.

        • zeitgeist support landed in software-center trunk
        • Googlubuntu Aims To Make Your Linux Mint / (K)Ubuntu Searches More Relevant

          Thanks to a tip from a friend, and the newly redesigned (and much maligned) Digg, a really handy, highly customized search engine was recently brought to our attention named Googlubuntu. How did we miss it? What Googlubuntu is, as you might guess, is a specialized search engine that pries through relevant ‘buntu domains in order to help you get your ‘buntu-fied answers faster – and presumably to weed out the nonsense stuff.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Beta 1 and a Dell M4500

          My Linux life has been pretty stable and mundane lately (other than a DAVMail outage, mentioned below). The main desktop runs Ubuntu 10.04, and it has been humming along without issue. Every now and then the summer rainstorms come along and pop the mains, and it and its companion PC, a Windows 7 system, crash to the ground. When power returns, the Linux system spins right back up and keeps right on going. The Windows 7 system committed Harikiri a couple weeks ago after one of the power hits, and it was a slow painful process to get it put back together. The office UPS system went to meet its maker a few month back, and I guess I should have replaced it sooner. I did not replace it because I had a new laptop coming, and I was rethinking the need for desktop PC’s at all. Laptops have their own built in UPS’s.

        • mFatOS – A fat Ubuntu

          mFatOS has a few big issues that need to be smoothed out.

          First, there are just too many programs available. I can understand variety and color, but it’s just too much. Adding applications for the sake of adding them does not help the average user. Sometimes, less is more.

          Second, the integration of various elements. Ubuntu logos all over the place, hard-coded repositories for developer’s country, applets in non-English configuration, browser history, GRUB menu layout, all of these are not done with enough care to make it feel professional enough.

          mFatOS joins a long series of quickly remastered Ubuntu forks, including OzOS, MoonOS, Zorin, Ultimate Edition, and some others. Like most of these, the integration of elements is not good enough. The magic is in the little details. Unfortunately, it takes months and months of dedicated work by entire developer teams and can’t be done easily.

          It’s very decent, it works well, it’s fairly suitable for the typical Linux user, and the offline stuff is a blessing for people with bad Internet. However, mFatOS does not have a critical WOW factor. If you’re looking for a heavily loaded distro that has it all, take a look at openSUSE Edu-Li-f-e. You may even want to consider PCLinuxOS. Another suitable choice could be Scientific Linux. Last but not the least, let’s not forget the one true fork of the highly successful Ubuntu family, Linux Mint, which really takes the remastering business to another level.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tablets

      • Dell to Launch 7-Inch Tablet in Weeks Ahead

        Dell Inc. will launch its seven-inch tablet in the next few weeks and a 10-inch tablet within 6-12 months, Dell Greater China President Amit Midha said Wednesday.

      • Next Up for Netflix: Android Phones and Tablets?

        Now that Netflix has an app on the iPad and the iPhone, it could soon make a push into the Android ecosystem, based on job postings that have cropped up on the company’s website recently. The creation of an Android app could expand Netflix’s addressable audience on consumer electronic devices even further, especially with a group of new Android-based tablets set to launch.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Databases

    • Open Source Databases Have Come of Age

      Client/server systems with SQL interfaces jockey for position against upstart NoSQL systems with intimidating (and exciting) new models for data representation, distribution and consistency. In addition, more than a dozen embedded and special purpose databases have grown up to serve the needs of applications too small or too agile to require a full RDBMS.

  • Oracle

  • Government

  • Licensing

    • The “Free Beer” Hangover

      Changes to the way mailing lists work are nothing new. I am a member of several Yahoo Groups. But I am also a member of a number of Google Groups and a mess of mailing lists running on Mailman. While reading the complaint, I had two thoughts.

      First, I was reminded of comments made by Stormy Peters at LinuxCon this year. She was talking about Facebook and Google and by implication Yahoo, when asking us if we were aware of all the things that these services provide and the licenses, for lack of a better word, that they provide them under. She pointed out that they are essentially offering free beer and we, as users are drinking it up without any thought of the costs afterwards. And as the folks decrying the changes in Yahoo’s Groups are discovering, some of those costs are pretty high.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Wikipedia Adds BitTorrent Powered Video Streaming

      Streaming capabilities have been added to BitTorrent via the Tribler client, and more recently uTorrent. Thus far the implementation of these technologies into major websites has been lacking. That position changed this week as the Wikimedia Foundation partnered with P2P Next to use BitTorrent-powered streaming for their video content.

    • Tunnel vision: Sydney movie maker stopped from listing free BitTorrent film

      A top movie website has rejected a thriller about a TV crew being hunted in tunnels – and the producers, including Andrew Denton, believe it’s because they want to give it away free.

      Sydney independent film producer Enzo Tedeschi said he tried five times since June to get the film, The Tunnel listed on the Internet Movie Database, IMDb.com.

      But each time it has been rejected and Mr Tedeschi – who has had other films accepted – believes it is because he wants to distribute it through BitTorrent – which is best known for the illegal sharing of movies and music.

      Getting listed on IMDb is important to a producer, as the site is considered the premier database used by industry professionals, including those in Hollywood.

      “Some people think that by releasing our film legitimately on peer-to-peer networks that we are condoning piracy,” said Tedeschi, who has worked in television and film for a decade.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Finance

    • Home prices to take hit next year in many markets

      Don’t take the latest snapshot of U.S. home prices too seriously.

      The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city index released Tuesday ticked up in July from June. But the gain is merely temporary, analysts say. They see home values taking a dive in many major markets well into next year.

      That’s because the peak home-buying season is now ending after a dismal summer. The hardest-hit markets, already battered by foreclosures, are bracing for a bigger wave of homes sold at foreclosure or through short sales. A short sale is when a lender lets a homeowner sell for less than the mortgage is worth.

    • Recession rips at US marriages, expands income gap

      The recession seems to be socking Americans in the heart as well as the wallet: Marriages have hit an all-time low while pleas for food stamps have reached a record high and the gap between rich and poor has grown to its widest ever.

    • Sour economic mood in living room and boardroom

      Americans in both the living room and the boardroom are growing more fearful about the economy, creating a Catch-22 for the job market: Shoppers won’t spend until they feel more secure, and business won’t hire until people start spending.

      The eroding views were revealed Tuesday by two separate surveys, one that found everyday Americans are increasingly pessimistic about jobs and another that found CEOs have grimmer predictions about upcoming sales.

    • Biz leaders gloomy on economy

      A wide swath of U.S. businesses Tuesday reported that the economy has slowed significantly in the last few months, and they said that the tax stalemate in Washington was a major reason that flagging consumer sentiment is now endangering the recovery.

      In separate reports, big business members of the Business Roundtable, along with manufacturers, home builders and the oil industry gave gloomy assessments of the recovery and said Congress’ decision to postpone action on tax cuts until after the election was weighing heavily on consumer sentiment.

    • Where Are All the Prosecutions From the Crisis?

      A consistent question since the financial crisis in 2008 is why has the federal government not prosecuted any senior executives for their roles in the collapse of firms like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns or the risky investments that led to bailouts of onetime financial giants like the American International Group, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. How can companies worth billions of dollars just a few months earlier suddenly collapse in 2008 without someone being held responsible?

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • New sex laws: Conservatives ‘very concerned’

      Toronto judge Susan Himel says Canada’s prostitution laws meant to protect women and residential neighbourhoods are endangering sex workers’ lives.

      If her decision to strike down the laws stands, “prostitutes will be able to communicate freely with customers on the street, conduct business in their homes or brothels and hire bodyguards and accountants without exposing them to the risk of criminal sanctions”, says the Toronto Star.

      But the Stephen Harper government is “seriously considering” an appeal against the decision, says Xtra!.

      “Yesterday we had the naming of the commissioner for the Public Inquiry in Vancouver for the missing women,” NDP MP Libby Davies, part of a special parliamentary committee on sex laws, is quoted as saying in the story, going on:

      “These are related issues — what happens to women who are on the street who are involved in the sex trade, and the risks that they’re at. This is something that can’t just be swept under the rug and pretend it doesn’t exist.”

    • People Behind the Internet Question Plan to Block Piracy Sites

      A group of engineers with legitimate claims to helping invent the Internet — and we’re not talking about Al Gore — are opposing a Senate bill intended to fight copyright infringement, saying it would endanger the system of domain names that underlies the Interne

    • Political Porn Scandal Revealed as Internet Bungle

      The arch-conservative Christian Democratic Party is staunchly against pornography and defended the allegations, claiming any website visits logged were for “research purposes.”

      But Paul McLeay, the minister for the state’s ports and waterways, resigned after admitting he looked at adult and gambling websites on his parliamentary computer.

      However, further investigation revealed that McLeay — guilt aside — possibly resigned prematurely, while Nile probably was using the Internet for research purposes.

      Analysis of the audit left investigators red-faced when it was discovered that mainstream news websites had been classified as “adult” because of advertisements or links to matchmaking and dating sites.

    • Thai Webmaster Arrested for Online Speech

      On Friday, the Director of a popular alternative Thai news portal Prachatai was arrested by the Thai government. Chiranuch Premchaipoen — popularly known as Jiew — was charged under the intermediary liability provisions of the 2007 Computer Crime Act and for “Lèse Majesté,” or defamation of the Thai royal family. She faces a 32-year prison sentence.

      Jiew’s crime? In 2008, Prachatai published an interview with Chotisak Onsoong, a Thai man known for refusing to stand at attention during the Thai Royal Anthem — a dangerous political act in Thailand, though not technically a crime. The interview received huge attention, drawing over 200 comments from Thai citizens. On April 28, 2008, complaints were filed against Prachatai alleging that several comments on that interview were a defamation to the Monarchy. An arrest warrant for Jiew was issued on Septemeber 8, 2009, but no summons was received by Jiew until her arrest this past Friday.

    • Which words does Google Instant blacklist?

      Some folks at the Hacker publication 2600 decided to compile a list of words that are restricted by Google Instant.

      Except in extreme and special cases, Google is known for anything but censorship, but as we’ve said before, there are some terms the web giant’s new instant search feature won’t work with.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Public consultation on the open internet and net neutrality

      DG Information Society and Media has launched a public consultation on key questions arising from the issue of net neutrality. European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, announced in April 2010 her intention to launch this consultation in order to take forward Europe’s net neutrality debate. The consultation is part of the Commission’s follow-up to its commitment – one of the prerequisites for the successful conclusion of the 2009 EU telecoms reform package – to scrutinise closely the open and neutral nature of the internet and to report on the state of play to the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Seriously? ASCAP Still Wants A Performance License on Downloads

        The download part of the decision may seem rather obvious to the outside observer, though in the post-analog land grab, traditional definitions seem to carry little weight. “[We] are, of course, disappointed in the Court’s decision that there is no public performance in the transmission of certain musical downloads,” ASCAP told Digital Music News. “We are studying the decision and will determine what further action is appropriate.”

      • A Field Guide to Copyright Trolls

        With all of this talk about copyright trolls and spamigation, it is easy to get confused. Who is suing over copies of Far Cry and The Hurt Locker? Who is suing bloggers? Who is trying to protect their anonymity? Who is defending fair use? What do newspapers have to do with any of this? In order to cut through the confusion, here’s a concise guide to copyright trolls currently in the wild, with status updates.

      • BT embroiled in ACS:Law porn list breach

        BT has admitted it sent the personal details of more than 500 customers as an unsecured document to legal firm ACS:Law, following a court order.

        The news could put BT in breach of the Data Protection Act, which requires firms to keep customers’ data secure at all times.

        The e-mails emerged following a security lapse at ACS:Law.

        A BT official admitted “unencrypted” personal data was sent, adding it “would not happen again”.

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