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10.27.10

Links 27/10/2010: Red Hat CEO on Growth, Fedora 14 Preview

Posted in News Roundup at 9:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The $100.00 (USD) Coolest Linux Workspace Contest Winner

    The month-long voting is over so it is about time to announce the winner of our $100.00 (USD) coolest Linux workspace contest. The people have spoken, and from our five finalists only one has emerged victorious.

  • Less is More

    • Old hardware a handicap? Au contraire!

      Whoa, waitaminute. A 1.7Ghz machine with a healthy 256Mb will be a handicap to learning Linux? A handicap? Even when armed with lightweight applications?

      [...]

      But I can also say that I learned a lot more about Linux from a wildly unpredictable 100Mhz machine, and even more from a rancid little K6-2, than I ever did from a dual core Thinkpad. I enjoy having it, but I don’t count it among my educational treasures.

    • More reasons to learn from old computers

      I’m still a bit wired over the post from a day or two ago, insisting that a 1.7Ghz machine with a healthy amount of RAM and a decent-sized hard drive would be a detriment to anyone learning Linux.

      More and more that strikes me as completely counterintuitive, and for plenty of reasons. I already explained that an older machine is a challenge, whereas a newer machine is a luxury.

      But honestly, when someone wants to learn Linux, or at least try it out, I don’t recommend they go buy a new computer. I suggest they find a 4- or 5-year-old laptop, and learn the ropes that way.

      And aside from three reasons to buy old machines instead of new ones — power demands, noise levels and Linux compatibility — there are other good reasons to use an old computer to learn about penguins.

    • Minimalist Distros are the Way to Go (Not Ubuntu)

      Ubuntu, the most user-friendly of the Linux distributions; Ubuntu, the harbinger of the day of the Linux desktop to the world; Ubuntu, the crowned king of all distributions; Ubuntu — the Operating System that has now killed my desktop for the third consecutive upgrade in a row. This is ridiculous. I have been an Ubuntu user and supporter since the seventh grade, when I first started using Linux, but this is just too much. I know I’ve denounced Ubuntu and then reconsidered at least once in the past, but this is different, this is intolerable.

      My final unfortunate experience with Ubuntu began last week. I had just run the upgrade to the new release, version 10.10. When turning the computer on in the morning, I had expected to be greeted by my customary desktop with maybe a new theme at the most. However, I was welcomed by a bleak login prompt on tty1 — the command line. The new upgrade had ruined my configuration so that the X server would no longer start the graphical display. Fail. Ubuntu has ruined my desktop three times in the last two years, not coincidentally in the wake of each six-month release. That makes its record of stability in my experience worse than both Gentoo and Arch, each of which are supposed to be horribly difficult to use.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Ballnux

    • Samsung Galaxy Tab review

      Overall though, the Galaxy Tab is the best non-Apple tablet to date, and it plays well against Apple’s impressive iPad. As the Android OS and app developers catch up with the new form factor, the gap is certain to narrow further.

  • Kernel Space

    • What is the Linux Kernel and What Does It Do?

      With over 13 million lines of code, the Linux kernel is one of the largest open source projects in the world, but what is a kernel and what is it used for?

    • The kernel column #93 by Jon Masters

      Linux averages 5.5 changes per hour, every hour of every day, and is perhaps one of the most active software projects in human history. Jon Masters charts these changes every month in quite possibly the best technical column in human history…

    • What’s The Fastest Linux Filesystem On Cheap Flash Media?

      Flash drives and SD Cards are getting bigger, faster and cheaper. They’re not just for sucking down snaps from your pocket camera any more: they’re backup storage, portable homedirs, netbook expansion … you name it.

      Most arrive with a VFAT filesystem, and usually stay that way. But for a lot of applications, this is not ideal. Curious if the filesystem made any difference, we did what Feynman would have done: tested some.

      For once, testing gave a pretty clear answer. So what is the fastest filesystem linux folks can use on their flash media?

      Ext4.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KSnapshot gains free-region capture

        From time to time I need to take a screenshot of some application or a part of my desktop. The obvious solution in KDE is KSnapshot, which is perfect if you want a rectangularly-shaped picture.

      • becoming a cog

        One more example is how the Git services for the KDE community keep improving, from Git integration in KDevelop to the rapidly maturing infrastructure the sysamdin team have been tooling up for us for some time now. projects.kde.org continues to get better and better and Tom is doing an awesome job of keeping everyone informed about that process.
        V

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Fun facts

        Percentage of gnome-shell code written by Red Hat by lines [:] 91%

  • Distributions

    • 3 Nice Live Linux CDs to Try

      1. Mepis

      [...]

      2. Kubuntu

      [...]

      3. PCLinuxOS

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat CEO: Growth demands more space

        “In all honesty, we’re out of space,” Whitehurst said following a Harvard Alumni Association panel discussion Tuesday night that brought four area CEOs to Cisco’s campus. “We’ve rented all they have around us.”

      • Marico reduces costs and increases performance with Red Hat Solutions

        Red Hat announced that leading Indian FMCG major, Marico, is powering its SAP-based mission-critical ERP system on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 15: Lovelock, Pushcart, Sturgis, Asturias?

          Earlier this month the Fedora community began proposing names for Fedora 15 with the proposals ranging from names like Malmstrom to Fortaleza and Gutzwiller. The list, however, has now been narrowed down to five potential candidates for the Fedora 15 codename.

        • Fedora 14 preview

          You may have noticed that Fedora 14 makes its release next week. Curious to see what was going to be in the new version, and on a suggestion from pyxie, I grabbed a copy and installed it on my USB flash drive.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Attention Mark Shuttleworth: Don’t forget most important feature for Ubuntu 11.04

          That “feature” is marketing. Let me explain.

        • 10 things I would like to see in the upcoming Ubuntu 11.04 release

          It amazes me how quickly Canonical releases Ubuntu. Every six weeks, like clockwork, a new release is out in the wild. And every new release brings with it a host of improvements, squashes bugs, and introduces new features. But there are some features and improvements I have yet to see. So I thought I would take this opportunity to spell out a few things I’d like to see come along for Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal).

        • Ubuntu Needs Unity To Fight Mac, Windows
        • Unity on the Desktop

          Firstly, it’s good to mention that it’s actually “Unity as the default desktop if your graphics card and drivers support it”. We’ve learnt a harsh lesson this cycle about where Unity works well, where it should work but doesn’t and finally where we just can’t expect it to work.

          Therefore, it is going to be a primary focus this cycle to enable Unity on as many chipsets as possible. We will be much more lenient about what OpenGL features are required (allowing runtime fallbacks through detection and through quirks files for those chipsets that lie about their capabilities).

        • A bright new future for Compiz

          So, I was expecting this to be announced at Mark’s keynote this morning, but it looks like good ol’ Jono Bacon beat me to it :) Nevertheless, I won’t let him steal my thunder.

        • Compiz Brings New Eye Candy to You and Ubuntu

          A mere four months since the 0.9.0 release, which was the first release in quite a while, Compiz developers brought out version 0.9.2. Sam Spilsbury, developer of Compiz, announced this release on the Compiz mailing list as well as his personal blog on Sunday, October 24.

          This release brought a few new features and lots of stability and performance fixes. Splisbury says it should be ready for general usage.

        • Zeitgeist’s bright future in Unity

          This post will be about Unity stuff I am interested (and maybe start working on), I am not a designer but I can give it a bit of a kick off by implementing zeitgeist-powered backends.

        • Ubuntu getting a new icon theme

          Whilst the big news in Mark Shuttleworth’s opening address at the Ubuntu Developer Summit was regarding Unity he also touched upon the creation of a new Ubuntu icon theme – one that will be in keeping with the Ambiance and Radiance GTK themes.

        • Ubuntu Unity Sucks

          It started harmless. I saw a message about a new release being available (10.10 instead of 10.4). I’m used to smooth updates in Linux, so I clicked the upgrade button without further thinking.

          All went smooth indeed. About 2 hours later my netbook was ready to reboot. After doing so I was greeted with a new wallpaper behind the login screen. So far so good. I logged in and…

          ..was surprised. What was that? Not the UI I was used to and which was the main cause to install UNE in the first place.

        • General Disillusionment with Ubuntu

          I’m not going to say anything about Unity for myself because I haven’t tried it (and it will likely not happen). What I will say is that it isn’t surprising to me that more and more distributions today are switching from an Ubuntu base to a Debian base, because Debian is entirely community-driven and is usually more stable. That’s why my Fresh OS respins are based off of Linux Mint “Debian”, that’s why #! moved to a Debian base, and that’s why Manhattan OS (which was based on Ubuntu not too long ago) moved to a Debian testing base (along with rebranding itself to Jupiter OS). Folks, expect to see a lot more of these types of base shifts happening in the near future, as Ubuntu starts to really chart its own course.

        • Unity and the Community

          As Susan wrote earlier, Mark Shuttleworth made the announcement of Unity’s promotion to the big time at the Ubuntu Developer Summit. Much of the early criticisms of this move are from developers who claim that Canonical is more interested in pushing the Ubuntu brand than working together with the community.

        • A modest proposal re. Unity

          Having slept on it since writing my initial reactions yesterday I now have a proposal for Canonical & GNOME, which I hope the people concerned will consider.

          Yesterday, I said “the best possible outcome I can see is that one of the two projects will become an obvious choice within a year or so”. So my proposal is this: let’s have a bake-off, Unity vs GNOME Shell, under the big tent of the GNOME project.

        • Install and use Ubuntu Unity before it’s released
        • Is Unity the Right Interface for Desktop Ubuntu?

          Canonical shook the Linux world yesterday when it announced that the next version of Ubuntu — “Natty Narwhal,” or version 11.04 — will no longer use the GNOME interface by default. Instead, Natty will feature Unity, the multitouch and 3D-enabled interface that made its debut earlier this month in the distribution’s netbook edition of Maverick Meerkat, or Ubuntu 10.10.

        • Has Ubuntu exceeded the Ben & Jerry’s hippie threshold?

          Is this the end of Canonical and Ubuntu’s Free Software ideals? Hardly. But the company has come to the realization that in order for Linux to have a chance on the desktop, it has to make some hard choices and compromise. It can’t sit and wait for the GNOME Foundation to twiddle its thumbs and lag behind in desktop innovation from Windows, Mac OS, or even KDE.

        • More Ubuntu tweaks

          Ubuntu Tweak (now on Version 0.5.7) has evolved quite a bit since the early days, adding more functionality along the way.

        • The United Colours of Ubuntu
        • Ubuntu 10.10 (“Maverick Meerkat”) Netbook Edition

          The biggest mistake you can make with Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition is to directly equate it with the new Ubuntu 10.10 Desktop Edition of the same distro.

        • Meet Ian Booth

          Ian: I only recently started working on Launchpad. I work on the “Code” team, reporting to Tim Penhey.

          We deliver functionality associated with managing and importing branches, merge proposals, code reviews; Bazaar-Launchpad integration; the XML-RPC and web services API etc.

          Personally, I’ve also done some work on improving the menu rendering performance and other infrastructure type things.

        • UDS-N Day 1

          The idea of Ubuntu Developer Summit if you’re not sure what it’s all about just yet is “Getting face time together is really important” it helps us to get to know one another, puts the faces to the names/nicks which will help folks become more productive for the coming cycle.
          There track have been re organised to get more cross-pollination:

          * Application Developers

          * Package Selection and System Defaults

          * Performance

          * Multimedia

          * ununtu the project

          * hardware compatibility

          * cloud infrastructure

        • UDS Narwhal – Tuesday
        • What’s Next for Ubuntu?

          At the Natty UDS currently underway in Florida, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has provided a new desktop direction with a move to the Unity shell, instead of the GNOME Shell. Moving beyond just the user interface, Shuttleworth has also shared some insight into where he sees Ubuntu headed in the next five years.

        • How relevant is Ubuntu?

          Even Microsoft knows the desktop is dying. It’s not going to disappear, any more than the TV is going to disappear. But the excitement in technology lies elsewhere, and it’s not coming back. (Might as well wait for the Fugees to get back together.)

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Linux Mint 10 Review

            Linux Mint 10 is a good release that builds upon great features from both Ubuntu 10.10 and Linux Mint 9. The new features are not an example of aggressive development, but still provide enough enhancements to justify an upgrade/installation. In fact, I would still recommend Linux Mint 10 to those Mint users who can’t be bothered to upgrade, if only to enjoy the latest Ubuntu, Kernel and GNOME updates and features.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Linux Netbook Review: ZaReason Terra HD Netbook

        It’s been a couple of years since I reviewed a laptop from ZaReason, the UltraLap SR. Now I’m reviewing something a bit smaller — the ZaReason Terra HD.

        [...]

        What I liked: Nice big screen for a Netbook; great looks and construction for something in a Netbook class machine

      • Nicholas Negroponte

        Nicholas Negroponte wants to give laptop computers to children in third-world countries so they can communicate with the rest of the world. (05:21)

Free Software/Open Source

  • 5 (More) Free and Open Source CRM Software

    5 (More) Free and Open Source CRM Software: We have already featured here several free and open-source CRM software but due to popular demand, we will showcase five more CRM tools. As I’ve already explained before, CRM software is used for effectively managing a company’s interactions with clients and possible customers by organizing, automating, and synchronizing business processes.

  • Be Open To Open Source

    Looking at the evolving scenario, it will become imperative for solutions providers to have an open source play. Many solutions providers we spoke to said that the lack of skill sets and non-availability of applications have been the key reasons for not providing open source solutions.

    This partner perception was probably correct a couple of years ago. Today, the availability of open source professionals has considerably improved, and the overall open source ecosystem has matured. Vendors such as Red Hat have built a portfolio of end-to-end offerings, including virtualization.

  • 50 Awesome Open Source Apps You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of

    Experts estimate that the number of open source apps available doubles every fourteen months. Sourceforge alone has more than 260,000 projects, and with so many open source apps now available from so many different repositories, it can be hard to keep up.

    For this list, we’ve highlighted some newer open source tools you might have missed. We also included some gems from obscure categories, like Mandelbulbs, gene sequencing, and knitting, to name just a few. Other open source tools on the list are good projects that are overshadowed by older, better-known projects, and at least one is an old favorite that has a new name.

  • Open-Source Software in the Enterprise

    The topic of open-source software has been steeped in debate since the development and licensing took root in the 1980s and picked up steam with the proliferation of the Internet in the decade that followed.

  • Annual awards source of pride

    It’s time for the annual New Zealand Open Source Awards, and the 31 finalists show an extraordinary range of innovation and collaboration.

    Among the three nominations for best open source project are: SilverStripe, a New Zealand-made content management system that has been downloaded more than 325,000 times globally in less than four years; Kete, a digital library project, and R, a programming language and software environment that has become the lingua franca for statistical computing and graphics.

  • Events

    • Open Source Think Tank Paris: Summary

      We had a great time in Paris at our Third Open Source Think Tank this year! We had over 120 attendees, primarily from Europe http://thinktankeu.olliancegroup.com/index.php.

      The two case studies were very different and illuminated the range of the open source market: Airbus and the Danish Government. The Airbus discussion was particularly fascinating as they described a product development cycle of twenty years with a product life cycle of forty years. Software has become critical to their planes, but given these time periods, proprietary software has significant disadvantages: (1) most proprietary software companies are likely to be acquired or go out of business during such a long period and (2) even if the proprietary software company still exists, the technology will be dated and the company may be reluctant to invest in maintaining it. An open source approach overcomes many of these problems.

    • GPL compliance workshop on December 2nd in Taipei, Taiwan

      The OSSF at Academia Sinica in Taiwan has kindly organized a full-day GPL compliance workshop on December 2nd in Taipei, Taiwan.

  • Oracle

    • OpenOffice.org Council members resign – Update

      During an Internat Relay Chat (IRC) meeting of the council on the 14th of October, Louis Suárez-Potts, Community manager of OpenOffice.org for Oracle, called for members of The Document Foundation to resign from the OpenOffice.org Council. Christoph Noack, former OpenOffice.org Product Development Representative, and Florian Effenberger, former OpenOffice.org marketing project lead and German marketing contact, have responded with formal resignation emails.

    • New: OpenOffice.org 3.3.0 Release Candidate 2 (build OOO330m12) available

      OpenOffice.org 3.3.0 Release Candidate 2 is now available on the download website.

    • OpenOffice.org and the Unnecessary Ultimatum

      Last week, the OpenOffice.org Community Council requested the resignation of members who supported The Document Foundation, the recent fork of the OpenOffice.org project. This week, the results are revealed: resignations of key people, and a growing tendency to choose sides in the community. And the tragedy is that none of this angst seems necessary.

      The request follows the recent creation of The Document Foundation (TDF), to provide an independent governing body for the development of the OpenOffice.org (OOo) code, and the announcement of LibreOffice, The Document Foundation’s fork of the OpenOffice.org code.

  • CMS

    • The commercialization of a volunteer-driven Open Source project

      Within the Drupal project, we don’t have a paid staff to advance the core software. However, many of the developers who contribute to critical parts of the Drupal code base make their living by building complex Drupal websites. Some Drupal developers are paid by customers to contribute their expertise to the Drupal project or are employed by companies ‘sponsoring’ Drupal development. Tens of thousands of developers are working with Drupal today, and many of them contribute back to the project. Albeit different, neither Joomla or Drupal are exclusively a volunteer run project, and that is one of the reasons we’ve grown so big. Ditto for WordPress that gets a lot of help from Automattic.

    • A Tour of the Redesigned Drupal.org

      Last month Drupal.org had over 2 million unique visitors, many of them coming to the home page to learn about and evaluate Drupal. The home page was designed with these visitors in mind. Our UX research revealed that Drupal.org is primarily a searching site, so the home page features a large search box with optional search filters. The rest of the home page focuses on the needs of Drupal evaluators, including a section showcasing the newest and best Drupal sites.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Master’s In Free Software and Free Standards

      The Free Technology Academy (FTA) and the Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced today their partnership in the FTA’s Associate Partner Network. The Network aims to expand the availability of professional educational courses and materials covering the concepts and applications of Free Software and free standards (http://ftacademy.org/standards).

      The FTA consists of an advanced virtual campus with course modules which can be followed entirely on-line. The learning materials are all published under a free license and can be accessed by anyone, but learners enrolled in the FTA will be guided by professional teaching staff from one of the three participating universities. The FTA aims to enable IT professionals, students, teachers and decision makers to undertake accredited professional education modules in free software studies.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Top 10 tech tricks we’re sick of seeing in movies

      Think how awesome it was the first time you saw a lightsaber in action. Or how your mind was officially shredded when Neo mastered the Matrix. Technology in movies is cool. When artfully filmed, gadgets, gizmos, robots, and computers can captivate and amaze audiences.

      But for every thrilling example of cool-ass tech, Hollywood seems to produce a tired, dated cliche. There’s the obligatory no-cell-phone-service scene in horror flicks. There are robots with ATTITUDE in science fiction. There are impossible user interfaces in action films. The list goes on and on.

  • Security

    • UK should not put up with US airport security – BA chairman

      Britain should stop “kowtowing” to US demands over airport security, the chairman of British Airways, Martin Broughton, said yesterday, adding that American airports did not implement some checks on their own internal flights.

      He suggested the practice of forcing passengers on US-bound flights to take off their shoes and to have their laptops checked separately in security lines should be dropped, during a conference of UK airport operators in London.

  • Finance

    • Shrinking Bank Revenue Signals Worst Decade of Growth

      Shrinking revenue at U.S. banks, led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc., may continue to fall as the industry heads into what could be its slowest period of growth since the Great Depression.

      After the six largest U.S. banks posted record revenue in 2009, combined net revenue fell by an average of 8 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier and 16.3 percent over the last two quarters, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue so far this year is down by 4.1 percent, driven by declines in everything from trading at Goldman Sachs to home lending at Bank of America Corp. New laws restricting account and credit-card fees, as well as derivatives and capital rules, are also squeezing lenders.

    • Double whammy hits big local real-estate portfolio

      When investment-banking giant Goldman Sachs bought 11 Seattle and Eastside office buildings and complexes in 2007 — overnight becoming one of the market’s largest landlords — there wasn’t much talk of risk.

    • Homeowners Protest HAMP: ‘It’s Just A Scam And The Banks Are Getting Everything’

      Judy Stratton said she and her husband Harry have tried since January 2009 to modify the mortgage on their home in Stayton, Ore. after a drop-off in demand for Harry’s floor maintenance services. In August, Stratton said, they received a rejection letter from their bank saying they did not qualify for help per the Obama administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Nook Deletes All Your Files, Barnes & Nobles Shrugs

      If you own a Nook, you better make sure you regularly update its software, otherwise you might lose all your files that are not B&N books. That’s what happened to Michael, and customer service told him that it can happen if the device hasn’t been updated recently. The updates are too much for it to handle so it has to spontaneously jettison all foreign objects! Or something like that.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trade deal would include increased protection for brand-name drugs

      Canada’s pharmaceutical industry and the European Union have been quietly lobbying for changes that could give brand-name drugs several years more patent protection here — and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to Canadian medication costs annually.

    • Copyrights

      • Facts and Figures on Copyright Three-Strike Rule in Korea

        The legislation was passed on April 22, 2009 and came into force on July 24, 2009. By the end of July 2010, there has been no suspension against an individual user or a web site by the order of the Minister. However, the Copyright Commission has recommended ISPs to suspend accounts of copyright infringing users in thirty-one cases, and all of the individual users have been disconnected to the corresponding ISPs for less than one month.

      • Predicting the fate of Bill C-32 is like predicting the next election, says Geist

        Michael Geist isn’t shy about engaging in a “copyfight.”

        The very title of his new book alludes to his last public fight—waged on Twitter, blogs, and in the news media—with Heritage Minister James Moore.

Clip of the Day

The Digital Prism Screencast – MintUpload


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