09.29.10

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 29/9/2010: GNOME 2.32, Fedora 14 Analyses

Posted in News Roundup at 6:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux in Schools

    France’s Gendarmerie Nationale, the national police force, is in the process of switching its 90,000 workstations to Ubuntu Linux.

    [...]

    In 2006, the Kamloops School District started its journey into Linux at the Barriere Secondary School when the principal, Dean Coder, switched the entire school over to Linux. After the success of that pilot project the school district had difficulty keeping up with the demand from schools to help them switch. In September 2009, the transition was largely complete throughout the school district.

    [...]

    Linux is no longer a fringe operating system, but has widespread adoption at the high end of the market with organizations and companies at the leading edge of science and technology. Students who learn Linux may find a substantial advantage in job opportunities compared to those trained in Windows only.

    Schools can benefit by lower costs. In these days of tight education budgets, money saved on computers can be put toward special programs, teachers and assistants, or reduced school fees.

  • Desktop

    • Loss Leaders and Linux

      This also highlights what I believe to be the single biggest factor which limits widespread adoption of Linux on the consumer desktop: the lack of preloaded systems in retail stores. Yes, you can order a system with Linux preloaded from Dell or from Linux boutique vendors like System76, ZaReason or LinPC.us and that probably has helped with the growth of Linux desktop market share a little. However, until Linux systems are available side by side with Windows systems and are price competitive with Windows systems, including loss leaders, I don’t see how Microsoft’s hold on at least 80% of the market is going to be broken. This is particularly galling when systems that are sold with Windows perform so poorly when compared with the same system running Linux.

  • Server

    • Tesla GPUs Come to IBM BladeCenter

      I think the most significant announcement at this year’s GPU Technology Conference was the one that didn’t get a press release. You have to forgive IBM, as they had a lot of Deep Things going on, I guess, but this is a big deal; Tesla M2070 GPUs are coming to BladeCenter.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 2.32 Release Notes

        GNOME 2.32 is the latest version of the GNOME Desktop: a popular, multi-platform desktop environment for your computer. GNOME’s focus is ease of use, stability and first-class internationalisation and accessibility support. GNOME is Free and Open Source Software and provides all of the common tools computer users expect of a modern computing environment, such as e-mail, groupware, web browsing, file management, multimedia, and games. Furthermore, GNOME provides a flexible and powerful platform for software developers, both on the desktop and in mobile applications.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 14 Preview: What’s New in Fedora 14?

          Fedora 14 is on track for a final release date of November 02, 2010. If all 14 does is improve upon 13, Fedora will have another winner on its hands. Why? Fedora 13 was one of the strongest releases the Red Hat sandbox has had in a while. And with what Fedora 14 has under and above its hood, the next release should up the ante yet again for the Fedora distribution.

        • Spicy Fedora 14 Adds New Linux Flavor

          One new feature that desktop users may benefit from is the SPICE virtualization support included in Fedora 14. SPICE, the Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environment, is technology that Red Hat gained as part of its acquisition of Qumranet in 2008.

        • Fedora 14 adds MeeGo — and spiced-up virtualization

          The Fedora Project announced the Beta release of “Fedora 14 “Laughlin,” featuring faster JPEG downloads and MeeGo 1.0 for Netbooks. The Fedora 14 Beta also adds improved debugging and IPMI server management, and debuts the “Spice” virtualization desktop framework and “Systemd” management technology for faster start-ups.

    • Debian Family

      • Quick Impressions – Linux Mint Debian

        Linux Mint is exploring the “Rolling Distro” route.

        Recently they launched Linux Mint Debian Edition, or LMDE. I took some time to play with it, waiting for a proper time to do a full install and review.

        My impressions so far are largely positive though…

        [...]

        In short, I think that LMDE is a good direction for Linux mint, should they decide to go this direction. I believe that the six month upgrade cycle is beginning to irk some Ubuntu users, and a rolling distro can be a solution to the upgrade cycle.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • What is Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud?
        • Ubuntu 10.10 Preview: Steady Progress for Maverick

          Maverick Meerkat, the next release of Ubuntu and its official derivatives, is scheduled to hit the Internet in two weeks’ time. When it does, users will find a more polished release that continues Canonical’s five-year trend of providing steady incremental improvements. Ubuntu continues to make small usability changes that push each desktop experience slightly forward without tripping up users, but all most people will notice is a faster, more stable Linux distribution.

          The public release of Maverick is slated for October 10 in order to play off of the day’s binary-like date (10/10/10). ISO images of the beta release are available (via both HTTP and Bittorrent) through ubuntu.com for Ubuntu Desktop, Netbook, and Server, as well as mainline variants such as Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Ubuntu Studio, and several others. I tested the Desktop release for several days, as it is the most commonly-selected option.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo Looks Pretty Great On Everyone Else’s Phones

          Just because Nokia’s been slow to deploy MeeGo doesn’t mean the developers over at MeeGo Wiki have to be. They’ve already managed to port the operating system to a Nexus One, Dell Streak, and HTC Desire.

        • MeeGo Gets Ported to Additional Smartphones

          Intel and Nokia have been stingy about showing off official MeeGo hardware, but that hasn’t stopped intrepid members of the MeeGo community from porting the open source mobile OS to other mobile devices.

      • Android

        • Coders tip Google Android for eclipse of the Steve

          Seventy-two per cent of developers believe that Google’s Android is “best positioned to power a large number and variety of connected devices in the future,” whereas only 25 per cent favor Apple’s iOS, according to a new study.

          Appcelerator – the outfit whose Titanium dev kit was recently freed from the threat of Jobsian destruction – has now teamed with tech research mainstay IDC on its regular mobile developer studies, and their first joint effort indicates that although developers are currently more interested in Apple’s platform, they see lots o’ Google in the future.

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • ElastixWorld 2010

      PaloSanto Solutions is pleased to announce that the inaugural ElastixWorld 2010 will take place over two days on November 18-19, 2010 in Quito, Ecuador, and you’re invited!!

      The main objective of this event is to share a common area with community members, hardware vendors, resellers and Elastix users alike, where we can exchange and expand on ideas related to product capabilities, future development and direction, experiences from implementers, feedback from users, and other related topics.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome 60 times faster

      According to its Chromium blog the version 7 of the Chrome browser could get a healthy speed boost.

      Chrome already holds a strong position when it comes to speedy performance so increasing this even more could leave all other browsers in the dust.

    • Mozilla

      • Jetpack 0.8 helps automate web site mashups

        Until recently, if you wanted to automatically modify the display of web site pages when you accessed them, you needed the Greasemonkey extension, but now the latest version of the still-in-development Jetpack, you can do the same with JavaScript. Jetpack 0.8 adds the PageMod API, which allows JavaScript code to be registered for execution when specified pages are loaded. Users can then add their own JavaScript instructions to the registered code to modify the formatting or the colour scheme. More advanced users and developers can add new interactive elements into the page to add functionality to an existing web page.

      • Firefox Never Coming to iPhone

        I a recent blog post on the official Mozilla blog, Prabhakar Raghavan laid out future plans for Firefox Home and in the process put the question of whether the popular open source browser would ever make the jump to the iPhone.

        The blog, titled “Firefox Home — looking to the future,” Raghavan outlined new features for Firefox Home, the cloud-based iOS app that synchronizes bookmarks, passwords, and tabs between Firefox and an iOS device. Some new features mentioned in the post include the ability to share links, reviews, and comments directly with Facebook friends and Twitter followers via Firefox Home.

  • Oracle

    • How Should OpenOffice.org Fix Itself?

      OpenOffice.org has established itself as the free alternative to Microsoft’s Office suite—but not necessarily the better alternative. Now the project heads are breaking off and starting LibreOffice. It’s a great chance to remake the project. So, what should they prioritize?

    • New: OOo-DEV 3.3.x Developer Snapshot (build OOO330m9) available
    • OpenOffice.org 3.3.0 needs QA

      People interested into good quality of OpenOffice.org 3.3 should at least start now to check the current OOO330m9 developer milestone to find show stopper issues. In a few weeks we will start OpenOffice.org’s release candidate phase. Please have a look at the new implemented features.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • The FSF and Project Harmony

      We just published an article about contribution agreements for free software projects from our president Richard Stallman. You should read it if you haven’t already, but put briefly, it makes the point that organizations that collect contribution agreements for free software projects should not make that software proprietary, and recommends you ask for specific language in the contributor agreements you sign to ensure that your code is always available as free software.

  • Project Releases

    • vtiger CRM 5.2.0 released

      The vtiger developers have announced the release of vtiger 5.2.0 with over 50 new features / enhancements and over 350 bug fixes. A popular, community developed Customer Relationship Manager (CRM), vtiger claims over 1.5 million downloads to date and is used by Nokia and the German Postbank, among other corporate customers.

  • Government

    • Estonian Government publishes open source policy

      According to a report on osor.eu, the Open Source Observatory, the government of Estonia has published its policy on open source software. Estonia plans to recommend use of the EUPL for code developed or funded by Estonian public administrations and plans to create a software forge for this software.

    • Calls for action on UK Government Open Source

      Among the other speeches at the event, Glyn Moody’s speech that emphasised that open source and open standards were good for everyone was well received as was Alan Lord of the Open Learning Centre (OLC) who spoke of the challenges faced by small, medium and large organisations implementing Free and Open Source Software.

      The obstacles currently facing advocates of public use of open source are rarely anything to do with the software itself. As Mark Taylor of Sirius IT pointed out in his speech, the top five companies take 80% of the governments IT spending. In the US, this figure is 50% and in the Netherlands as low as 20%. This means that UK Government IT projects is centered around these incumbent companies, who have historically supplied proprietary software.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Fund-raising and self-publishing (the open source way), Part one

      The primary open source graphics offering is a package named Scribus, a desktop publishing tool based on the same Qt framework as KDE, Skype, and LyX. Proprietary equivalents of Scribus are Adobe PageMaker, PagePlus, QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign. However, Scribus cannot read these formats as developers were concerned with copyright and the complexity of working backwards through the code.

      This program was developed by the Scribus team, a group of programmers who evidently did not promote themselves. The earliest reference on Wikipedia is from 2001, and the nicks of programmers presently maintaining the program were all that could be found through the Scribus website.

    • Open Hardware

      • Arduino launches two new boards

        Open source hardware group, the Arduino Team, has announced two new Arduino micro-controller boards for open source hackers and developers to experiment with. Arduino’s board designs offer a micro-controller with numerous analogue and digital connections and a USB / Serial interface. The board designs are open source and there is a thriving community which uses the boards to create interactive objects and experiment with electronics. Some community members even use the design to build their own version of the Arduino board themselves.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Interested in free video formats? We need your help!

      We’re looking for a few volunteers willing to commit an average of a few hours per week as reliable technical consultants helping people transcode their videos to free formats like WebM and Ogg Theora.

      In particular, we want to provide this assistance for people who record videos of Richard Stallman’s speeches around the world, and other FSF events.

Leftovers

  • Funeral Directors Want To Put Monks In Jail For Offering ‘Unauthorized’ Coffins

    Ah, regulatory capture. Down in Louisiana, there’s a law that makes it a crime (yes, a crime) for anyone other than a funeral parlor to sell “funeral merchandise.” This rule is enforced by the state’s “funeral regulatory board,” which (you guessed it) is mostly dominated by funeral parlor industry insiders. Now, a few years back, you may remember, there was a big Hurricane called Katrina. Among the massive damage done to the state of Louisiana, it also knocked down much of a large forest of pine trees on the property of the Benedictine monks at St. Joseph Abbey. With so many downed pine trees, the monks, in a lemons-into-lemonade type of moment, decided to use the downed trees to make hand-crafted caskets.

  • The Internet Needs a Dewey Decimal System

    I need for people to be able to carry to the library the word processing they’ve done on donated computers to print on our library printers. These $2 flash drives are ideal for that. The fact that these flash drives come with a bootable version of Linux, well, that’s even nicer.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Arresting your customers isn’t the best PR

        One of the great things about the Internet is accessible information. The point is that it is a network of interconnectivity… that’s why it’s called the INTERnet.

        Many people still don’t get this. So sometimes old articles disappear. Which can lead to broken links.

        I just discovered a whole pile of broken links in my ACTA Articles, A.C.T.A. is BAD, errata: A.C.T.A. is BAD and A.C.T.A. is still BAD

        The Chicago Sun Times has removed the articles about Samantha Tumpach, the 22 year old Chicago woman who spent two nights in jail for videorecording her sister’s 29th birthday party.

        [...]

        Statements made by movie company executives in the articles I had linked to indicated they believed this arrest was justified under existing US law (DMCA).

        The Press Association story about the New Moon Director trying to make it up to her is also gone. (Funny how that served to point up the corporate heartlessness.)

        I don’t know whether the articles being expunged is a case of the Chicago Sun-Times not grasping the way the Internet is supposed to work, or if the embarassment factor (the theater chain, the movie company and the laws that allowed the arrest come out of this look very bad) had anything to do with it. Either way, my blog posts are left riddled with broken links as a result. Even the Wayback Machine can’t help (lending credence to the embarassment theory)

Clip of the Day

Mark Shuttleworth in China


Credit: TinyOgg

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