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09.29.10

Links 29/9/2010: Linux 2.6.36 RC6, MeeGo Ported to More Devices

Posted in News Roundup at 8:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.35.7

      I’m announcing the release of the 2.6.35.7 kernel. This is only needed if you run Xen, there was a typo that caused problems. My fault, sorry.

    • Linux 2.6.36-rc6 Kernel Released

      The Linux 2.6.36 kernel is just about here. Linus Torvalds has now released the sixth RC build of this upcoming 2.6.36 build. In the past week since 2.6.36-rc5 was released, there’s been many more regression fixes going into the kernel, but still it’s not in a state ready for release by Linus’ standards.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The ATI R600g Driver Gets Boosted By A New Design

        We’ve said it a few times already that the R600g driver continues to advance, but this open-source Gallium3D graphics driver that provides hardware acceleration for ATI R600/R700/Evergreen ASICs (the Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000/5000 graphics cards) has now received another huge boost with what has been dubbed as the “new design” and with the latest Mesa Git code these new code paths are used by default.

        Jerome Glisse describes the R600g driver’s “new design” on the Mesa development list for those interested in all of the technical details behind it and/or were curious what the stream of Git commits against Mesa master referencing this new design were all about.

  • Applications

    • Xnoise music player adds Sound Menu integration
    • OpenShot 1.2.2 Now Supports Export of Video in HTML5 WebM Format

      As you should know already, the WebM project is dedicated to developing a high-quality, open video format for the web that is freely available to everyone. Latest Open Shot 1.2.2 now has an option to export your videos in WebM format.

    • Rhythmbox Needs an Overhaul, 100(or less) Papercuts for Rhythmbox Maybe?

      Rhythmbox is, as you all know, the default gnome music player and default music player for Ubuntu as well. Canonical integrated Ubuntu One Music Store with Rhythmbox through a plugin with the release of Ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx” and the implementation works pretty good. The store has a discreet selection of music if you live in UK or USA, for everyone else it’s a very small selection of music, but that’s another story.

    • gThumb 2.12.0 (Stable) Has Been Released [Ubuntu PPA]

      Finally, after a long period of development, a new stable gThumb version has been released: 2.12.0. We’ve been following the gThumb development here at WebUpd8 so you should already be up to date with all the changes. To mention just a few new features since the last stable version (not development!): Facebook, Flickr, PicasaWeb and Photobucket export, import from Flickr and PicasaWeb, gThumb can now play videos and many many other new features and improvements which I’ll not cover since we already talked about all of them throughout the gThumb 2.12 development posts (gThumb 2.11.x was the development branch for gThumb 2.12). You can read all about the gThumb 2.12.0 new features by browsing our gThumb posts.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Software Center with a dose of Zeitgeist and maybe Teamgeist

        Today the Zeitgeist team showed Michael Vogt a possible integration of Zeitgeist with Software Center. And guess what he likes it and he will look into making it become a soft dependency. He will look into merging our branch soon. All it does is tell you how many times you used an application in the detailed view.

      • Ubuntu Software Centre with a pinch of Zeitgeist? More please!

        Stat fans looking to get a informational fix on the applications they use may be interested to hear news on semantic tracking tool Zeitgeist’s latest possible excursion into the desktop – via the Ubuntu Software Centre.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat v. Oracle: Which is More Standards Compliant?

        RHEL 5 was released in February 2007, while LSB 3.2 was still being put together for its January 2008 release. So Red Hat did put a little effort into getting compliant with the then-cutting edge LSB release. I might suspect that when RHEL 6 comes out, it will be compliant with LSB 4.0 (or whatever’s available at that time). But I have some concerns: Red Hat hasn’t gotten any of its RHEL-5 point releases updated to LSB 4.0 yet, even though it has had plenty of opportunity to do so.

        While I have issues with Oracle’s spin-doctor moves to lock more users into its hardware offerings, I think I will be a little hard-pressed to call Oracle Linux a complete knock-off of RHEL. In this instance, it seems clear that Oracle, which has not always been the best open-source player, has actually put in the extra effort to maintain current LSB certification.

      • Red Hot?
      • Fedora

        • Is Fedora’s Boot Time Increasing?

          The last time we closely examined the boot performance of Fedora Linux was in 2008 when comparing the boot times from Fedora Core 4 through Fedora 8. However, with more distributions taking pride in recent months over shortening their boot time — with Canonical for example having worked towards a ten second Ubuntu boot time — we decided to see how long it’s taking Fedora to put its hat on these days. With the three Intel notebooks we used from our recent Fedora power consumption review, we measured the boot times using Bootchart on the Fedora 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 Alpha releases.

        • Graphics Test Week starts tomorrow!

          It’s been creeping up, and now it’s time: the world-famous Graphics Test Week begins tomorrow, with the Fedora 14 Nouveau Test Day! That is 2010-09-28. As always, the event runs all day in #fedora-test-day on Freenode IRC (you can connect with WebIRC). To complete Graphics Test Week, the Radeon Test Day takes place the following day, Wednesday 2010-09-29, and Intel Test Day takes place Thursday 2010-09-30.

          As always, we’ll be testing a range of graphics driver functions, and we need as many people as possible to join in so we can evaluate the widest possible range of hardware and identify as many bugs as possible for the developers to fix. You can do all the testing from a live image – no need for an installed copy of Fedora 14, though you can test that way too if you like – and the testing is very easy, there are step-by-step instructions for each test and for entering your results. And of course, there’ll be many people in IRC to help with testing and debugging.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Community Artwork – Building Bridges

          With nearly all of the design work complete for Maverick Meerkat some folks are reflecting on Community and the path which lead to here. The Ubuntu Artwork Team and perhaps others are trapped by the pressure to produce in a manner which competes with established professional players and finding resources with the time and skills to complete tasks on time. With the desire to move Ubuntu into the mainstream, Canonical added talented resources to the design team leaving Community members standing on the side line to wonder how they can get back into the game. To add additional confusion to the mix the paradigm changed as new players entered and challenged existing norms.

        • Ubuntu Hardware Summit Success !
        • ARM A15: A Game Changer

          ARM based devices are ubiquitous, just like Linux. You may of not of even heard of ARM, just like you may not of heard of Linux, but making a phone call or searching on Google means you could already using their technologies.

          ARM, just like Linux, is a quiet pioneer, prevalent in the background just waiting for the opportunity to become mainstream. Whether mainstream is the goal, prevalence most definitely is on the agenda.

        • Something New and Beautiful: Ubuntu, distilled, in type

          Ubuntu is a global phenomenon, and we knew at the start we didn’t have the breadth of eyeballs close at hand to keep the font on track as it expanded. So we planned a process of expanding consultation. First within Canonical, which has folks from nearly 30 countries, and then within the Ubuntu community. We published the font to Ubuntu Members, because we wanted folks who participate and contribute directly to Ubuntu to have the strongest say in the public process of designing the font. We heard from Greek, Turkish, Hebrew, Arabic, Indian, Chinese and many other cultures. Not everyone has glyphs in this first round, but everyone has had a hand in bringing us to this milestone.

        • Interview with Leann Ogasawara

          My name is Leann Ogasawara and I’ve been working for Canonical for the past 3 years. Since joining the Ubuntu Kernel Team, I’ve been involved with QA and triaging, stable maintenance, and am now this cycle’s Ubuntu 10.10 kernel release manager.

        • ‘Party the real way for Ubuntu 10.10’ says Vancouver LoCo team

          “Don’t Call It A ‘Party’ If It’s Not!” yells the catchy slogan from the Ubuntu Vancouver LoCo team in their promotional call-to-arms for celebrating Ubuntu 10.10’s release next month.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • LMNR (Linux Mint Netbook Remix)

            I’ve stumbled upon a version of an as-yet-unnanounced new edition of Linux Mint, LMNR (Linux Mint Netbook Remix). It appears to be a netbook UI on top of the regular Linux Mint 9 Gnome edition. It looks very nice, and appears to be the answer to those with small screen netbooks who want the polish of Linux Mint.

          • Edubuntu 10.10 boasts many surprises

            Ubuntu’s education spin ‘Edubuntu’ has gained a new-look installer, some new applications and much more for its 10.10 release coming next month.

            Talking about the changes Edubuntu’s Jonathan Carter notes that whilst 10.10 doesn’t see the spin receive as big a overhaul as 10.04 had it nevertheless continues to build on the work laid down then, making for a ‘very good’ release.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo port for Dell Streak, HTC Desire and Nexus One

          Various developers have ported the handset variant of MeeGo, a platform mainly sponsored by Intel and Nokia, to a variety of smartphones that ship with Google’s Android. A page in the MeeGo wiki provides details about the ports’ current state of development and shows a Nexus One and a HTC Desire with the MeeGo handset user interface. Another photo shows a MeeGo command line log-in prompt on a Dell Streak.

    • Tablets

      • Chromium OS infiltrates iPad, makes itself comfortable

        What is this madness we see before us? Hexxeh, he who provides your nightly Chromium builds, has dropped a small but perfectly formed bombshell by revealing that he’s managed to install Google’s nascent OS onto Apple’s hotcake of a tablet, the iPad.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Practical Open Source Software Exploration
  • What makes Zeitgeist tick

    Zeitgeist is a prototype developed by BBC Research & Development to discover and track the most shared BBC webpages on Twitter. An overview of the project has already covered in our previous post.

    Today we’re publishing the full source code of this system under the GNU GPLv3 licence on github at http://github.com/bbcrd/zeitgeist.

    This post will discuss the technical architecture of the system, how we approached various problems, and our technical learnings from building the system.

    From a research point of view, we were particularly interested in two things:

    * The Twitter Streaming API and how it worked in practice
    * Whether a messaging pipeline architecture would be a good fit for this problem domain

    The system consists of an interface to the Twitter Streaming API which passes tweets to a processing pipeline. The pipeline finds and extracts links to the BBC, resolving shortened and redirected urls. Continuously-running background jobs extract page metadata and handle retweets and deletions. Finally, there’s a web interface to present the results to end users, which was written using the well-tested software stack of Sinatra, Thin and nginx, all fronted by a Squid proxy. The Zeitgeist database is mysql, the modelling done using Datamapper.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Elementary Firefox hits version 2.0

        An updated version of elementary styled Firefox theme ‘Firefox elementary’ has been released today.

        The theme helps to seamlessly integrate Ubuntu’s default web browser into your Elementary themed desktop.

  • Databases

    • Couchapp Walkthrough – Part 1

      Couchapps are a particular way of using couchdb that allow you to serve web applications directly from the database. These applications generate HTML and javascript to present data from couchdb to the user, and then update the database and the UI based on their actions.

      Of course there are plenty of frameworks out there that do this sort of thing, and more and more of them are adding couchdb support. What makes couchapps particularly interesting are two things. Firstly, the ease with which they can be developed and deployed. As they are served directly from couchdb they require little infrastructure, and the couchapp tool allows for a rapid iteration. In addition, the conveniences that are provided mean that simple things can be done very quickly with little code.

      [...]

      In addition to all the client-side tools for interacting with the database, it is also possible to make use of couchdb features such as shows, lists, update handlers validation functions in order to move some of the processing server-side. This is useful for various reasons, including being more accessible, allowing search engines to index the content, and not having to trust the client not to take malicious actions.

  • Oracle

    • James Gosling Interview – 9/22/10

      James Gosling: Well, the tshirt had been kinda fun. I am yet to see anyone wear one.

      Moderator: (jokingly) yeah, we’ve been all “taken care of” by the Oracle employees already, that’s why you don’t see us wearing them.

      James Gosling: Various Oracle employees have been instructed not to wear them. I’ve noticed this is a great tshirt to wear in big crowds around here because the seas just parts, ‘cuz people are like, ‘I don’t want to be near that.’ Which I find really funny. And the whole free java thing is kind of a weird history with me because Sun from day zero is an open source company and this whole weirdness that we have about open source was not a weirdness open source but a weirdness about the actors and the games in the drama. So when the start of the Java foundation thing happened in 2007 what we have to understand is that that was entirely orchestrated by Oracle. Oracle wrote that bizarre clause that went in that one set of meeting minutes, they wrote that. They went around to everyone in DC and said it is the sense of the executive committee that the Java community would be best served by the established new Java and Java foundation. And so if you’re an open source contributor, participant, that all sounds really good. And fundamentally we agreed with that. The problem was that A. it was driven by Oracle whose motives were more than slightly not what we wanted them to be, and they had strong-armed a bunch of people into signing in ways that made them uncomfortable. And some folks like IBM I mean, IBM’s been kind of weird on the whole topic because on the one hand they do everything they can to try and screw Sun over, I mean they didn’t name eclipse casually

      Moderator: I was surprised that they aren’t the ones that bought Sun

  • BSD

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Generation Facebook and higher education

      Many challenges lurk at the intersection of the open world of FOSS and the (traditionally) closed world of the college classroom. Perhaps it is because I’m reading The Starfish and the Spider with my first-year students right now, but I believe there are a lot of opportunities for educators who embrace the chaos and find ways to support their students in entering into and flourishing in the connected world of decentralized learning.

  • Programming

    • Interview with James Gosling

      About a half hour into our libations in walks a legend: James Gosling, creator of Java itself. Nervously, but keeping our cool, we approached and introduced ourselves. We left it at that. As the beers flowed, our courage and machinations began too as well. “What if, now just what if, we could get Gosling to do a cast?” But doubting thoughts prevailed: “Nah we aren’t big enough” “Do we really want to disturb a guy drinking his beer?” Quickly some of the Coder’s wives keyed into our anxiety over the issue. Wanting to play match maker, they approached James and asked him if he’d be willing to do a podcast with us. And wouldn’t you know it, he whipped out his iPhone (yay James!), opened his calendar and said “Sure! What works for you guys?”

Leftovers

  • Once More, With Feeling: Embracing ‘Free’ Doesn’t Mean You Make No Money

    I usually like The Guardian, but Lindvall’s work is not up to its normal standards. Free is a part of a business model. That’s all anyone’s saying. And when you say that it means you do believe in a larger business model, which means making money. I’m always amazed at how people like Lindvall seem to have their brains stop in their tracks when they get to the big 0, and never reach the other side of the tracks where it’s explained how you use that $0 to make money elsewhere.

  • AOL Acquires TechCrunch

    The rumors have proven true: AOL is snapping up Michael Arrington’s TechCrunch family of sites. The site will share a stable with AOL’s other major tech property, Engadget, along with TUAW, Switched, and DownloadSquad. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Business Insider has a source claiming the site went for $25 million.

  • Science

    • Basic Religion Test Stumps Many Americans

      Americans are by all measures a deeply religious people, but they are also deeply ignorant about religion.

    • PICTURES & VIDEO: British team proves flapless flight with Demon UAV

      Manoeuvring without the aid of control surfaces has been demonstrated by an unmanned air vehicle designed by a British team of industry and academic specialists.

    • Why cell phone talkers are annoys-makers

      Cell phone users irritate so mightily because their background chatter forcibly yanks listeners’ attention away from whatever they’re doing, says psychology graduate student Lauren Emberson of Cornell University. Overhearing someone spewing intermittent exclamations into a handheld gadget lacks the predictability of hearing a two-way exchange and thus proves inherently unsettling, Emberson and her colleagues report in an upcoming Psychological Science.

    • Solar cells thinner than wavelengths of light hold huge power potential, Stanford researchers say

      In the smooth, white, bunny-suited clean-room world of silicon wafers and solar cells, it turns out that a little roughness may go a long way, perhaps all the way to making solar power an affordable energy source, say Stanford engineers.

      Their research shows that light ricocheting around inside the polymer film of a solar cell behaves differently when the film is ultra thin. A film that’s nanoscale-thin and has been roughed up a bit can absorb more than 10 times the energy predicted by conventional theory.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • DHS Launches Cyber Attack Exercise

      For three or four days this week, the Internet will come under a virtual attack from an unknown adversary, and it will be up to the government and private sector’s coordinated efforts to root out the cause and work together to keep systems up and running — at least within the simulated confines of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Storm III exercise, which begins Tuesday.

      The Cyber Storm series of exercises simulates large cyber attacks on critical infrastructure and government IT assets in order to test the government’s preparedness. Specifically, this year’s exercise will be the first time DHS will test both the draft National Cyber Incident Response Plan (an effort to provide a coordinated response to major cybersecurity incidents) that will be publicly released later this year and the new National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (the hub of DHS’ cybersecurity coordination efforts).

    • Soldier confesses to ‘thrill kill’

      In a disturbing video, a young corporal admits his role in the killings of unarmed Afghan civilians — alleging that his superior egged him on

    • FBI drive for encryption backdoors is déjà vu for security experts

      The FBI now wants to require all encrypted communications systems to have backdoors for surveillance, according to a New York Times report, and to the nation’s top crypto experts it sounds like a battle they’ve fought before.

      Back in the 1990s, in what’s remembered as the crypto wars, the FBI and NSA argued that national security would be endangered if they did not have a way to spy on encrypted e-mails, IMs and phone calls. After a long protracted battle, the security community prevailed after mustering detailed technical studies and research that concluded that national security was actually strengthened by wide use of encryption to secure computers and sensitive business and government communications.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Shell in row over Brazilian Indian land grab

      Brazilian authorities have written to energy giant Shell expressing concern over the activities of its new Brazilian joint-venture partner, which is producing biofuels from land taken from an impoverished Indian tribe.

      Last month, Shell signed a $12 billion deal to produce biofuels from sugar cane with Brazilian biofuels giant Cosan. But some of Cosan’s sugar cane is grown on land officially recognized as belonging to Guarani Indians.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Motorcyclist wins taping case against state police

      A Harford County Circuit Court judge ruled this afternoon that a motorcyclist who was arrested for videotaping his traffic stop by a Maryland State Trooper was within his rights to record the confrontation.

      Judge Emory A Pitt Jr. tossed all the charges filed against Anthony Graber, leaving only speeding and other traffic violations, and most likely sparing him a trial that had been scheduled for Oct. 12. The judge ruled that Maryland’s wire tap law allows recording of both voice and sound in areas where privacy cannot be expected. He ruled that a police officer on a traffic stop has no expectation of privacy.

    • An Open Letter From Internet Engineers to the Senate Judiciary Committee

      Today, 89 prominent Internet engineers sent a joint letter the US Senate Judiciary Committee, declaring their opposition to the “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act” (COICA). The text of the letter is below.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Guest column: Copyright is no justification for digital locks

      Many creators start with views similar to what Stephen Ellis wrote in this space on Friday. While some retain this naive view, others take the time to learn how the technology in question works. They change their views once they speak with independent technical people, and go through the legal and economic analysis of real-world technology. Far from digital locks protecting copyright, they are the greatest threat to copyright and the interests of creators.

      I will not speak about audiences of copyrighted works. I am a creators’ rights activist trying to protect the interests of fellow creators, and oppose the C-32 digital locks based on this. The fact that digital locks also harm the interests of consumers is in addition to its harm to creators, not a matter of allegedly balancing the interests of one over the other.

    • TalkTalk, BT: we’d put iPlayer in the slow lane

      The UK’s two biggest ISPs have openly admitted they’d give priority to certain internet apps or services if companies paid them to do so.

      Speaking at a Westminster eForum on net neutrality, senior executives from BT and TalkTalk said they would be happy to put selected apps into the fast lane, at the expense of their rivals.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Challenge To Graham Henderson: Please Point Out Who Believes Music Should Just Be A Hobby

        There’s been a bizarre shift lately in the recording industry’s attempt to demonize people who believe in embracing new business models and new technologies in the music business. We just wrote about Universal Music’s Jim Urie claiming that “copyleft” supporters don’t care about art, and along those same lines, Zeropaid points us to Graham Henderson, the head of the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA — which is almost entirely dominated by foreign companies) going to Washington DC to lobby in favor of more draconian copyright laws.

      • Appeals Court Tells ASCAP: A Download Is Not A Performance

        A few years back, we covered the legal fight pitting ASCAP against Yahoo and RealNetworks, where the two internet companies were told to pay up based on a ridiculously arbitrary fee formula, including a totally made up multiplier called the “music-use-adjustment-fraction.” The really scary part was that it calculated the revenue based on all of Yahoo’s revenue. So, yes, even though Yahoo makes most of its revenue in ways that have nothing to do with music, its total revenue is used as part of the calculation. The one good thing that came out of the legal fight was the court making it clear to ASCAP that a download is not a performance, which requires a separate fee. As you may recall, ASCAP has been trying to claim just about anything involving music is a “public performance,” in a weak attempt to get more cash.

      • The “legal blackmail” business: inside a P2P settlement factory

        UK pornographer Jasper Feversham was fed up. The Internets were sharing his films, quality work like Catch Her in the Eye, Skin City, and MILF Magic 3. He wanted revenge—or at least a cut. So Feversham signed on to a relatively new scheme: track down BitTorrent infringers, convert their IP addresses into real names, and blast out warning letters threatening litigation if they didn’t cough up a few hundred quid.

        “Much looking forward to sending letters to these f—ers,” he wrote in an email earlier this year.

        The law firm he ended up with was ACS Law, run by middle-aged lawyer Andrew Crossley. ACS Law had, after a process of attrition, become one of the only UK firms to engage in such work. Unfortunately for Crossley, mainstream film studios had decided that suing file-sharers brought little apart from negative publicity, and so Crossley was left defending a heap of pornography, some video games, and a few musical tracks.

      • Law firm faces huge fine over leak of personal files

        A law firm that pursues the owners of internet accounts linked to alleged illegal downloads of music and films was warned yesterday it faces a swingeing fine after the personal details of a further 8,000 people were leaked online.

        The Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said that ACS:Law, which has sent thousands of letters to suspected internet “pirates” asking them to pay compensation of £500, could be forced to pay up to £500,000 if it is found that the company has flouted data protection law by failing to safeguard personal details on its computer system.

      • 7 Bit Torrent Piracy Suits Target 5,469

        In one of the largest swoops targeting bit torrent piracy, numerous suits were filed Friday against 5,469 suspected of poaching porn off the Internet, XBIZ has learned.

        West Coast Productions, Combat Zone, Third World Media and Patrick Collins Inc. filed seven suits at U.S. District Court in Martinsburg, W. Va., against the bit torrent users whose IP addresses were tracked.

        All of the suits were filed by attorney Kenneth J. Ford at U.S. District Court in Martinsburg, W. Va., and seek to identify each user through their Internet service providers. Each asks for injunctive relief and damages.

      • A Look At The Technologies & Industries Senators Leahy & Hatch Would Have Banned In The Past

        The more I look at the “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act,” (COICA) bill proposed by Senators Patrick Leahy and Orrin Hatch (and co-sponsored by Sens. Herb Kohl, Arlen Specter, Charles Schumer, Dick Durbin, Sheldon Whitehouse, Amy Klobuchar, Evan Bayh and George Voinovich) the worse it looks. The idea behind the bill is to give the Justice Department the ability to avoid due process in shutting down or blocking access to sites deemed “dedicated to infringing activities.”

Clip of the Day

Ralf Wildenhues – “Recent developments in GNU Autotools”


Credit: TinyOgg

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  30. Gartner Group Advocates Using Defective Software With Back Doors

    Despite strong evidence that Microsoft has been complicit in illegal surveillance, Gartner continues to recommend the use of Windows and other espionage-ready Microsoft software


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