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12.02.10

Links 2/12/2010: Red Hat Climbs 6.28%, Linux Mint 10 Receives High Marks

Posted in News Roundup at 5:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Five tips for easy Linux application installation

    Most people don’t realize how easy it is to install applications on modern releases of the Linux operating system. As the package managers have evolved into powerful, user-friendly tools, the task of installation has become equally user-friendly. Even so, some users encounter traps that seem to trip them up at every attempt. How can you avoid these traps and be one of those Linux users happily installing application after application? With these five tips, that’s how.

  • Desktop

    • French mini-PC upgrades to Intel Atom

      Linutop released a new version of its small, fanless Linutop 3 PC, moving up from a 1GHz Via C7 CPU to a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 while dropping to under 16 Watts of power consumption. The Linutop 3 ships with 1GB or 2GB of RAM, 2GB of flash, gigabit Ethernet and serial ports, six USB 2.0 ports, and dual SATA ports.

  • Server

    • Ubuntu-based ARM server runs on 80 Watts

      ZT Systems announced what it says is the first commercially available ARM-based development platform for the server market. The Ubuntu Linux-based R1801e 1U rackmount server employs SSD (solid state disk) storage and eight ARM Cortex-A9-based computer-on-modules (COMs), providing 16 600MHz cores while using less than 80 Watts, the company says.

    • Microsoft’s dropped feature is Linux’s gain

      Companies usually spend time and money developing new and interesting features to drive upgrades, but Microsoft is taking a different approach with the “Vail” release of Windows Home Server (WHS): It’s dropping the popular Drive Extender feature that lets users “pool” hard drives to increase storage. In response HP is kicking WHS to the curb and using WebOS for its MediaSmart systems.

      One of the reasons I’m such a fan of Linux, and FOSS in general, is that no one company is in charge of product direction for the platform. If a Linux vendor or project decides to drop a feature or turn off support for something (for example, Red Hat dropping Xen support) other vendors can pick it up or continue to offer support.

    • SuperComputing 2010: Faster, Denser Storage Technologies
  • Ballnux

    • Dual-core Android phones from LG and Samsung break cover

      More photos have been posted of an “LG Star,” rumored to be the first Android smartphone to offer a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor. Meanwhile, a more imminent LG Androider called the LU3000 has been tipped in South Korea, and the FCC has posted details on two Samsung Android phones, one of which appears to be the rumored Nexus S.

    • Linux fast-boot technology touted for four-second Atom boot

      Lineo Solutions announced Warp for Atom, a new version of its Linux fast-boot technology claimed to boot in 4.06 seconds on an Intel Atom Z530-based single board computer (SBC). Meanwhile, MPC Data released a YouTube video of a Renesas SH7724-optimized version of its SwiftBoot Linux fast boot technology, claimed to boot up in just a second.

  • Kernel Space

    • Is Linux Kernel Development Slowing Down?

      According to the 2010, ‘Who Writes Linux’ report, the number of code commits to the recent 2.6.35 kernel was 18 percent lower than the 2.6.30 kernel which was released in 2009. There are a number of reasons why kernel code commits have slowed over the past year, including new processes for staging code.

    • Linux Kernel Servers Get New Heavy Lifting Machines

      Kernel.org is the central hub which runs the infrastructure that the Linux Kernel community uses to develop and maintain a core piece of the operating system. The infrastructure is getting some massive muscle power with two new “heavy lifting machines” and two new backend machines to round out kernel.org’s infrastructure of 12 boxes running worldwide.

    • Well-Funded Businesses Are Driving Linux Forward
    • Graphics Stack

      • Supporting Old Hardware In X Gets Brought Up Again

        It’s long been a topic of what parts of X.Org should be killed with fire. There’s plenty of dated and obscure X.Org and Mesa drivers around for hardware that hasn’t even been manufactured in years and are rarely used. At XDS Toulose and on other occasions it’s been decided not to do a massive purge of all these legacy graphics drivers for Linux. Old hardware support by the X Server has once again been brought up, but this time it’s about monitors.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Oracle’s Reply to Google’s Answer with Counterclaims

        FOSDEM is one of the largest gatherings of Free Software contributors in the world and happens each February in Brussels. We are now inviting proposals for talks on KDE, KDE software and general desktop topics to take place in the Cross Desktop devroom. This is a unique opportunity to show the novel ideas of KDE to a wide audience of developers.

      • I joined the game …and you can, too!

        Some months ago I joined the Game. “Join the Game” is the campaign from the KDE community to make it possible to everyone to support the KDE project. Although I contribute to KDE already (e.g. promotion) I had the impression that I still take more than I could give back. To show my love and to support the vision and the values behind KDE I decided to become a financial sponsor, too.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Impressive New Look Evolution Mockups

        In Linux, a lot of design makeover starts with a mockup. We have already experienced it first hand with the clever redesign of Nautilus called Nautilus Elementary. The following Evolution mockups are so impressive that I really hope someday these changes will be implemented in Evolution partially at least.

    • Xfce

      • Also not a joke: XFCE on 39Mb

        Not Debian this time — although Debian could probably put up a fight when compared to this. No, this time it’s Alpine Linux, which you may or may not have heard of. Until a few weeks ago, I hadn’t.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • MUGs : Mandriva User Groups

        We will give them a free license for our server product – Mandriva Enterprise Server – for each MUGs in the world. We know that it is a small gift, but we offer it to you all as a token of our gratitude for everything you have been doing.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Compiz vs Ubuntu Classic Desktop

          I am running the development version of Ubuntu (the Natty Narwhal). I’ve tried the Unity desktop (and will continue to do so) but for reasons I won’t go into here, I need to use the Ubuntu Classic Desktop for now.

        • Myth Busted #1: Ubuntu Hackers are Canonical Employees

          People assume that Canonical guys and gals are the only ones who work on Ubuntu. When people talk about the direction in which Ubuntu is going, people talk about the direction that Canonical takes Ubuntu in.

        • Livin’ La Vida Canonical Ain’t Easy

          Linux is free as in beer. Yeah, and speech too, but I’m concentrating on the beer right now. The same is true for Ubuntu’s brand of Linux. You can download a free beer, er, I mean a free ISO image of the latest Ubuntu from the Ubuntu servers, burn that ISO, and install it on as many PCs as you want. You can then hand that CD to a friend and let them do the same. I’ve done this countless times over the years. I’ve also paid for Linux many times over the years and frankly, I don’t object to doing that when I think paying a little here and there supports the companies that support and promote Linux and other free and open source software.

        • Ubuntu Manual Officially Recognized By Canonical [Updated]

          For those unfamiliar, the Ubuntu Manual was started by Benjamin Humphrey to provide users with a comprehensive guide minus the technical jargon often found in books and forums. The team quickly progressed and released the manual for Ubuntu 10.04. The manual covers nearly every daily task an Ubuntu user will encounter: web browsing, music, scanning documents, managing photos, troubleshooting, finding help, and more. The guide also provides clear screen shots, making it easy to follow for people of all levels of computer expertise.

        • Is there room for an Ubuntu powered smart-phone?

          Canonical had experimented and discarded the idea of a mobile device centric version of its popular desktop OS Ubuntu. However, a closer look at the current smart-phone OS market makes me believe there is room for the company to revisit the idea of a mobile version of the OS, this time, targeted at smart-phones and not the ambiguous MID.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Linux Mint 10 Julia – A Perfect 10!

            I’m proud to say that Linux Mint is the best autumn release, and possibly the best release of 2010. It’s on par with Ubuntu in terms of good looks and stability, but then it builds on this foundation and becomes even better. The default choice of programs is superior. The Software Manager is a blast. You get the best system menu and the prettiest icons on the market.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Fast-boot OS offered in free browser-only version

      Splashtop Inc. (formerly DeviceVM) released the first downloadable version of its Linux-based Splashtop instant-on companion operating system for Windows, and also signed a deal with Microsoft to make Bing the default search engine on all Splashtop products. Based on the Google Chromium browser, Splashtop OS (beta) is billed as a lightweight, web-centric OS optimized for notebooks and netbooks.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • China market: Many smartphones at below US$100 to be available in 2011

          Qualcomm has the competitive advantage of being able to most quickly update IC designs to Android versions due to its close cooperation with Google, whereas MediaTek gains the upper hand in terms of cooperation with China-based handset designers and vendors, the sources indicated.

    • Tablets

      • Coby ships cheap Android tablet, amidst negative reviews for others

        Coby Electronics announced a seven-inch Coby Kyros Tablet MID7015 Android tablet for $250, and Linsay’s seven-inch Tablet A-1A tablet is selling on Amazon.com for approximately $200. Meanwhile, a rash of negative reviews of low-cost Android tablets has led pundits to worry that the tablets’ bad reputation could stifle more compelling Android competitors due in 2011.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Capgemini Puts Its Trust In Open Source
  • Capgemini Enters into Open Source Alliance

    Capgemini positions Open Source as a brand next to Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and IBM and is offering a Total Open Source Stack.

  • Progress Report: LibreOffice Beta 3

    The progress made by the LibreOffice folks so far is impressive, at least when it comes to attracting contributors. The third beta was released on November 18th, and seems to have impressive momentum. The release notes list 118 contributors who’ve helped with the development just between beta 2 and beta 3. How’s it looking so far? Don’t expect miracles, but it’s shaping up nicely.

    If you’ve installed beta 2, remove it before installing beta 3. I installed on Ubuntu 10.10, which was pretty easy — just download the tarball with all the Debian packages and uncompress it. Then go to the DEBS directory and run sudo dpkg -i *deb. After that, go to the desktop-integration directory and install the single Debian package (libreoffice3.3-debian-menus_3.3-2_all.deb) there. That package isn’t strictly necessary, but it provides menu integration. You probably want that.

  • A Bushel of Open Resources for Web Developers
  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle

    • Oracle’s Reply to Google’s Answer with Counterclaims

      Oracle has now filed its Reply to Google’s Answer with Counterclaims to Oracle’s Amended Complaint.

      And now that I’ve read all three documents, I think I’ve finally understood what it’s about, at least the big picture. It’s an intriguing case. Standard wisdom would indicate that Google would settle, pay up, and move on. From that viewpoint, Google’s filing would be mostly positioning for settlement purposes.

      But nothing in patent law is normal right now, so if Google is interested in getting these patents tossed overboard in a way that could have broader implications for software patents, they might decide to go all the way with this. After all, they have alleged that each of Oracle’s patents is invalid “because one or more claims are directed to abstract ideas or other non-statutory subject matter”, and frankly the first thing I noticed with the patents was that they didn’t seem to be tied to a specific machine, so depending on how the US Supreme Court defines its terms after Bilski, this case could be the one to get that firmed up. Google has a strong record of winning patent infringement cases, so they know what they are doing.

    • All That Java Jive

      How many times have you run into problems with Java? Chances are very good that most of you have. If you perform a Google search using the words “Linux” and “Java,” you’ll have an all-day scavenger hunt on your hands. Searching for answers to installing Java, making it work and surviving the aftermath could use up whatever energy you’ve gleaned from actual cups of java. If you install the correct package, you need never fret again. You’ll learn to love Java again. You might even sing about it.

  • Project Releases

    • Moodle 2 Released

      Martin Dougiamas, founder of Moodle, has announced the release of Moodle 2.0, which is now available for download.

      Dougiamas writes in his post, “I know it’s taken a long time, it’s been a rough and rocky road. A huge thank you must go out to all the developers, testers, supporters, teachers, trainers, administrators, artists, friends, researchers and students who have contributed to this release. Special thanks to our Moodle Partners for providing most of the funding.”

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Russia wins World Cup bid in parrot-sickening travesty

    The 2018 World Cup has been awarded to Russia.

  • U.S. General Services Administration is going Google

    GSA’s decision to switch to Google Apps resulted from a competitive request for proposal (RFP) process that took place over the past six months, during which the agency evaluated multiple proposals for replacing their existing on-premises email system. GSA selected Google partner Unisys as the prime contractor to migrate all employees in 17 locations around the world to an integrated, flexible and robust email and collaboration service in 2011.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • ‘Hacktivist’ Claims Credit for WikiLeaks Attack

      A self-proclaimed “hacktivist” said Tuesday he’s the computer expert who knocked rogue Web site WikiLeaks offline for several hours through a distributed denial of service attack.

      The hacker, who calls himself The Jester and goes by the name th3j35t3r on Twitter, said he was motivated to take down WikiLeaks for patriotic reasons. He also said his other targets include Web sites used by Al Qaeda and other terrorists groups for recruiting purposes.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Wants To Spill Your Corporate Secrets

      In a rare interview, Assange tells Forbes that the release of Pentagon and State Department documents are just the beginning. His next target: big business.

    • Goldman Fails to Vacate $20.1 Million Bayou Award

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. failed to vacate a $20.1 million award an arbitration panel had granted Bayou Group LLC creditors who sued Goldman for failing to detect Bayou funds for which it did transfers were a fraud.

    • Observations In Progress On The Fed Data Dump (In Which We Learn That Merrill Pledged Up To 77% Of A Fed Loan With Equity Collateral)

      Keep in mind this is very raw data and will need far more processing before conclusions can be

    • Goldman Sachs Bailed Out to the Tune of $590 Billion!

      What exactly does it mean when the Fed bails out a number of American corporations, including Goldman Sachs (for $590 Billion), and does not ask them to help reform the financial system or to keep a lid on humongous executive bonuses? In fact, Goldman Sachs sent many lobbyists to Congress to make sure that the financial reform would not be too onerous for them (and succeeded)! Something is rotten in the State of Denmark that won’t be made fresh soon.

    • Fannie, Freddie say mortgage servicers triggered foreclosure crisis

      Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac defended their role in the foreclosure crisis in prepared testimony to Congress on Wednesday, while at least one federal regulator said the mortgage giants had contributed to the problem.

    • Couple Accused of Trading Insider Tips

      The federal government’s crackdown against what it considers illegal insider trading advanced on Tuesday with one arrest and a lawsuit brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission against a husband and wife formerly employed by the consulting firm Deloitte Tax.

    • Report cites SEC time pressures in BofA case

      Securities and Exchange Commission attorneys wanted to bring a case swiftly against Bank of America for allegedly misleading shareholders when it acquired Merrill Lynch, and as a result omitted significant violations from their initial charges, according to an agency watchdog report released Tuesday.

      The report by the office of SEC Inspector General David Kotz also found that the agency sought a relatively small penalty against Bank of America, $33 million, after investigators initially “relied substantially on case precedent” to arrive at the figure.

    • States See a Rebound in Tax Receipts

      According to preliminary tax collection data compiled by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, 48 early reporting states collected 3.9 percent more in taxes, in nominal terms, from July through September 2010 than in the same period in 2009. Still, don’t get too excited: tax collections were 7 percent below the same period two years ago, which means the pain that many states have been feeling is not likely to recede yet.

    • Two-year low for layoffs hints at hiring pickup

      November marked a two-year low for the number of people applying for initial unemployment benefits, suggesting that the tight job market may be easing at last.

    • Who Pays for Big Government?

      Progressives hope that the federal government will raise revenue mainly, if not exclusively, by levying taxes on wealthy Americans. But a comparison of France and the United States suggests that raising tax revenue will ultimately involve increasing tax rates on the poor much more than they would be increased on the wealthy.

    • ECB extends special crisis measures

      The European Central Bank stepped up efforts to contain the continent’s government debt crisis, as bank president Jean-Claude Trichet announced it would prolong measures to provide ready cash to banks and steady the financial system.

      Markets were initially disappointed Thursday when Trichet did not say the bank would go even further and increase its purchases of government bonds. The euro sagged almost a cent during his news conference.

    • Delaying Vote, Debt Panel Splits on Taxes and Spending

      The chairmen of President Obama’s debt-reduction commission have been unable to win support from any of the panel’s elected officials for their proposed spending cuts and tax increases, underscoring the reluctance of both parties to risk short-term political backlash in pursuit of the nation’s long-term fiscal health.

    • Report: States face more financial stress

      Legislatures around the country may have to make more spending cuts over the next couple of years because of dwindling help from the federal government and a slow recovery in tax revenue, according to a new report.

      States will spend about $43 billion in economic stimulus funds during the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. After that, they’ll probably have to get by with less federal funding.

    • Fed aid in financial crisis went beyond U.S. banks to industry, foreign firms

      The financial crisis stretched even farther across the economy than many had realized, as new disclosures show the Federal Reserve rushed trillions of dollars in emergency aid not just to Wall Street but also to motorcycle makers, telecom firms and foreign-owned banks in 2008 and 2009.

    • Foreclosures made up 25 pct of US home sales in 3Q

      The worst summer for home sales in decades also put a chill on foreclosure sales, even as the average discounts on the distressed properties got bigger compared with other types of homes.

    • Deficit panel’s painful budget draws challenges

      Both Democrats and Republicans seem willing to extend most of the tax cuts. But Democrats want to let cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire, citing damage to the federal deficit from lost revenue as a main argument.

    • Fed Documents Breadth of Emergency Measures
    • Poverty Soars in California

      In September the state of California hit a new high in food stamp benefits, crossing the 6 billion dollar mark on an annualized basis. Over the past year in California alone the total number recipients of the federal SNAP program (supplemental nutritional assistance program) rose by 16.3%. In many of the big counties of California however, food stamp usage rose even faster.

      [...]

      The State of California is running hard now to take as much federal assistance for which it qualifies. In addition to food stamp benefits now annualized at six billion dollars, the state continues to borrow funds from Washington to pay its own portion of unemployment benefits.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Glasgow pioneers free Intellectual Property for industry

      In a first for the UK, the University of Glasgow is to offer Intellectual Property – including ground-breaking medical and scientific research – to business and entrepreneurs free of charge.

      Speeding up and simplifying IP transfer, the move will revolutionise the relationship between academic research and commercial enterprise and make Glasgow the most libertarian University in the UK for IP access.

    • Copyrights

      • Why is homeland security enforcing the nation against music downloads?
      • The Background Dope on DHS Recent Seizure of Domains

        As has been reported, it looks like ICE, which is the principal investigative arm of DHS, has begun seizing domains under the pretext of IP infringement. But it’s actually not ICE who is executing the mechanics of the seizures. It’s a private company, immixGroup IT Solutions. Here is what is going down.

      • Copyright Enforcement Tail Wags Internet Dog, Cont’d; or, What the Hell Ever Happened to Due Process?

        Some of you may recall that a month ago or so, I posted a comment here about a bill making its way through the Senate, the Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act (“COICA”), that would allow US courts to “seize” domain names belonging to US or foreign websites simply upon a charge, by the Attorney General, that the site was “primarily devoted” to infringing activities. I was the author of a law professors’ “Letter in Opposition” to the bill, which garnered around 50 co-signatories, based largely on the grounds that these seizures would represent “prior restraints on speech” under the First Amendment, and were blatantly unconstitutional.

      • Trademark Insanity

        Trademark suits can often be rather silly and highlight the high legal costs of maintaining sanity. This week-end’s press gives us two nice examples.

Clip of the Day

Harper advisor calls for assassination of Wikileaks director


Credit: TinyOgg

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