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12.17.10

Links 17/12/2010: Mentor Graphics Joins Linux Foundation, Linux 2.6.37 Imminent

Posted in News Roundup at 9:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Have yourself a very Linux Christmas

    Whether you cut your teeth downloading Linux 0.x source code or you want to give Linux a try for the first time, we’ve got presents for you.

    What do you get for the Linux lover in your life? Or, for that matter, a would-be Linux user or someone you want to talk into giving Linux a try? Well, here are some of my suggestions. Got some of your own? Share them in the comments.

  • Best Gifts For the Linux Geek, Make Your Own Railgun, and More

    Tis the season! Linux is the gift that keeps on giving; here is a roundup of my suggestions for treating yourself, your loved ones, or other people with Linux and geeky goodness.

  • How’d Ya Do That?

    Since moving over to Linux, I’ve been using the graphics applications the come with this wonderful OS. And I use them exclusively to produce all my cartoon features. The Gimp (photo editing) and Scribus (Desktop publishing), especially, do a great job in helping me create my cartoon features for newspapers and other print publications.

  • Free Software turns DisplayLink docking stations into Linux client PCs

    DisplayLink, maker of graphics-over-USB solutions, has partnered with Canadian company Userful to turn Displaylink-powered docking stations into Linux-driven CPU-less client PCs.

  • Experiences with (very) rare Linux crashing, upgrades

    The CentOS upgrade process refreshed all of the binaries on the system including the kernel and the system booted up and was up and running in no time. No tweaking or adjustments were needed at all. This is one of the most amazing things about Linux is that the upgrade process can be so straightforward and so effective. Great great stuff here. I am so used to seeing upgrades in Windows and other software fail miserably.

  • Desktop

    • A Windows User Installs Ubuntu Linux

      Maybe I’ll look back and wonder why I didn’t try Ubuntu sooner. So far, it appears to be a great solution for older computers.

    • Serious games, KDE and Co

      I have lost count of the number of times I have heard people say that they would use Linux if only it had xxx programs. I have also lost count of the number of times I have heard vendors say that it is not economically viable to produce programs for such a small user base. Both parties have a valid point but no solution. The solution is easy to say but hard to implement.

      The solution is. Either the user base must increase and kick start the vendors or the vendors must build up the user base with the offering of so called “killer apps”. Theoretically, either one of those solutions could work. The hard part is doing what is needed to make one of those choices a reality.

    • Windows 7 and the Linux desktop (PART 1)

      Anyways, as I am sure you know by now, I choose Linux Mint 10 and the Linux desktop in general over Windows 7, and it certainly is not just because I expected better from the latter.

    • The Next New Year of Linux on the Desktop: 2011?

      Those of us who have been part of the FOSS community for more than, oh, say 10 minutes, are no doubt already familiar with the recurring “Year of Linux on the Desktop” debate.

      It’s a topic that comes up again and again in the Linux blogosphere, typically fueled by some new success or promising advance in our favorite desktop operating system.

      The question — or questions, really — center on whether Linux has “arrived” on the desktop already, whether it’s on the verge of doing so, whether it might possibility get there at some point in the undefined future, and so on. You get the idea.

      Well, guess what? It’s baaa-ack.

    • AUSkey finally gets open source support

      Starting today, Linux users will be able to take advantage of the government’s AUSkey authentication software after months of waiting.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Google

    • Nothing but ‘Net: hands-on with the Cr-48 Chrome OS laptop

      Google’s ‘Net-centric Chrome OS platform challenges conventional notions about what constitutes an operating system. It puts the cloud front and center, eschewing the familiar desktop paradigm and native applications in favor of a browser-only environment. It’s an audacious and intriguing experiment, but it’s not clear yet if it will resonate with a mainstream audience.

      To get a feel for how Google’s new platform works in the field, we spent a few days testing the Cr-48, an experimental laptop prototype that runs an early version of Chrome OS. Although the software is still under development and not yet mature enough to support an authoritative conclusion about the platform’s potential, we have assembled some observations based on our experiences.

  • Kernel Space

    • Official open source driver for Kinect
    • Mentor Graphics Joins Linux Foundation

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that Mentor Graphics (NASDAQ: MENT) is its newest member.

      Mentor Graphics was founded nearly 30 years ago and today is a leading supplier of products and services that assist in the embedded design of chips and boards, as well as embedded operating systems, applications and drivers.

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.37 (Part 3) – Network and storage hardware

      Numerous changes to the network and storage code are to increase processing speed and improve the system’s hardware support. Among the new additions are a PPTP stack, various drivers for Wi-Fi hardware by Atheros, Broadcom and Realtek, and code for hard disks with a logical sector size of 4 Kbytes.

    • The Linux 2.6.37 Kernel Nears Completion

      With it being just over a week since the release of Linux 2.6.37-rc5, Linus Torvalds has this evening put out Linux 2.6.37-rc6. This seventh release candidate to the Linux 2.6.37 kernel is just packing regression fixes as it nears completion

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Support GNOME by shopping at Amazon this Xmas

        With Xmas almost here you’re likely to find yourself edging near the starting line titled ‘the mad rush for last-minute gifts‘.

        If you’re going to be busy on Amazon over the festive period don’t forget to use the GNOME referral links. Using these cost you nothing and they work just like normal amazon links, but instead of the shopping giant getting every cent of your cash a small slice goes to help keep the wonderful folks at GNOME all warm and fuzzy.

  • Distributions

    • Sabayon on a Acer Aspire Netbook

      I just bought an Acer Aspire One D255 Netbook with the intention of testing out Sabayon, and seeing how our distro stacks up against Win7 and other Linux distributions geared towards netbooks.

      I intentionally bought a lightweight, cheap netbook so I could gauge the experience other people might have if they decide to experiment with their netbooks. The crippled Windows 7 Starter edition that ships on many of these less expensive netbooks may prompt people to check out alternatives.

    • Easy Linux for Your Grandparents

      In the January 2011 Computer Power User magazine there is a review of a new Ubuntu derivative designed for novice computer users to run Linux on their desktop, Pinguy OS.

      [...]

      Of course, I do have to question the basic concept behind this new distribution – Who is it really for? As the developer states, the idea was to build a simple to use operating system with everything a typical user would want built-in. Is the typical user someone who already runs Linux and likes the simplicity of not having to do all the legwork to get the OS up and running or is this the answer to the desktop Linux question; can my grandma use this?

    • Top 10 Distribution Developments in 2010

      Millions of Linux-based ARM client computers have shipped this year in the form of Android phones and tablets, and Canonical and other companies have seen the wisdom in supporting ARM for netbooks. You won’t find a lot of netbooks or desktop-type systems with ARM on the shelves right now, but I suspect 2011 will change that.

    • Interview with Doudoulinux’s creator.

      A: DoudouLinux is a young project that was launched this summer after 2-3 years of experiments. We want to provide a child OS for standard computers and our model for ease of use is gaming consoles. Indeed gaming consoles are just computers so why should standard computers be much more complicated to use? Additionally as it is based on Linux, DoudouLinux is not this kind of empty OS that are sold in supermarkets neither. Some people would have advertised for DoudouLinux as “The kid OS for human beings” [NDR Ubuntu like] but I chose “The computer they prefer” ;) .

    • Bodhi 0.1.3 Released

      This 0.1.3 release is a bit larger than previous versions, coming in at 385 megs (still under our 400 meg goal).

    • Reviews

      • Pardus Corporate 2 beta

        Pardus Corporate 2 is the corporate (professional) edition of Pardus, the Linux distribution developed and maintained by the National Research Institute of Electronics and Cryptology (UEKAE), Turkey. This is the first beta, released on December 13. The final release will be made available on February 16, 2011 (see the release schedule). This article presents a cursory review of this beta release, and because the re-designed management tools in Pardus Corporate will also feature on Pardus 2011, this (review) will also give you a pretty good idea of what to expect on Pardus 2011, which is slated to be released on January 20, 2011.

        [...]

        The final stable release of Pardus Corporate is at least two months away, and I think that is time enough for the developers to add the following features:

        * Full disk encryption support in YALI, similar to Fedora’s implementation. By the way, the next snapshot release of PC-BSD 9, will feature disk encryption support in the installer in a similar fashion.
        * The firewall rule creation process could use a few more options
        * Ability to search across tabs in the Package Manager.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Flash 2010 Christmas Sale

        Now here’s a special Christmas present for all of you Linux enthusiasts out there, as Mandriva announced the availability of its portable USB Mandriva Flash Drive. It is based on the KDE4 Edition of the Mandriva Linux 2010 distribution (released on July 8th, 2010) and it’s available as an 8GB USB flash drive.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat to pay $20 million

        Software company Red Hat has agreed to pay $20 million to settle a 6-year-old class action suit that accused it of deceiving investors by falsifying its finances.

      • Red Hat’s New Strategies For Enterprise And SMB

        Red Hat has devised a two pronged channel strategy to address customers in the enterprise and the SMB segments in India. The strategy is essentially a part of Red Hat’s plans for RHEL 6 that was released last month.

        To target the large enterprise, the vendor is expanding partnerships with its advanced business partners (ABPs).

      • Serious games, KDE and Co
      • Fedora

        • [opinion] Fedora needs an architect

          I read yet another thread about Fedora randomly changing the way UNIX has done things forever (the specific thread was on /dev/shm mount options) and it reminded me that I’ve been saying for a while that Fedora urgently needs an architect. FESCo should appoint a person as their technical representative who speaks for overall system architecture concerns. The person in this role should actively seek out compatibility or integration problems but should also be a “go to” person for concerns that arise in the interests of distribution cohesion. Sure, they should be accountable, etc. but the idea that everything should be filed in some ticket and wait a week for FESCo to debate it is both the reason these things don’t get filed (because you can’t file every tiny annoyance) and also the reason why we have these long mailing list threads in the interim.

        • Fedora 14 KDE

          Pros: Comes with KDE 4.5; good selection of software.

          Cons: Install routine is a bit odd and could use a tweak or two; software management is good but not quite as good as Linux Mint’s or the Ubuntu Software Center.

          Suitable For: Intermediate and advanced Linux users, particularly those who prefer or require the KDE desktop.

          Summary: Fedora 14 KDE is a good choice for experienced Linux users that prefer the KDE desktop environment.

          Rating: 3.5/5

        • Red Hat Dictates Fedora 15 Wallpaper

          The whole purpose of using the upstream GNOME 3 wallpaper for Fedora 15 was because Fedora 15 will be the first distribution to feature GNOME 3 in its entirety as default. But as the conversation continued it came out that there is still a slight chance it would not ready for Fedora 15. In any case, GNOME 2 would be provided as a choice and fallback for those without sufficient hardware. So do they use the GNOME 3 wallpaper for GNOME 2 too?

          From there the conversation was joined by other team members very much against having to use the GNOME 3 wallpaper either as a basis for all the artwork or just as the GNOME 3 background because it breaks consistency. Alternative choices and default for other spins were also discussed.

        • Fedora Board Meeting, 13 December 2010
    • Debian Family

      • Debian Squeeze Kernel to be Completely Free

        Debian developers have been working overtime to remove any of the proprietary drivers from their kernel that shipped with 4.0 and 5.0. Many users appreciate this firmware to convert bricks to useful hardware, but the Debian project strives to remain committed to their guidelines. One states that any code used must allow redistribution of it and its source code. Another says that any code must allow modification. Most closed-source code restricts or prohibits both of these. The press release said, “We hereby reaffirm Free Software as one of our priorities, as documented in the Debian Social Contract.”

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Changing how we track Launchpad’s bugs, questions and blueprints

          From today, all Launchpad bugs, code, questions and blueprints are tracked under the one launchpad project.

          We’ve already moved everything from the individual projects over to the parent launchpad project. All you need do differently is search/file bugs, questions and blueprints under that parent Launchpad project, rather than Rosetta, for example.

        • The future of Ubuntu

          Traditionally Ubuntu has been known for providing the world with a stable, friendly and usable GNU/Linux desktop while Fedora has been known for launching cutting edge technologies which might not be very mature at the point of release. Hence hardcore hackers swear by the likes of Fedora and Debian while casual users loved Ubuntu.

        • Ubuntu as Intended. My Experience Of Using the ‘Default’ Ubuntu

          Like many so-called “power users”, the first thing I do after installing Linux is customize it. I set it to my preferred desktop settings, applications and configuration because I know what I like, and I normally go to great lengths to get it just right. Recently, after setting up a new Ubuntu Maverick install for my wife, I began to wonder what it would be like to run a system on the defaults. To try things their way – to use Ubuntu’s desktop settings, Ubuntu’s preferred applications and configuration. This meant I could not install any of my favorite applications (Chrome, VLC, Exaile…) if Ubuntu already provided an equivalent (Firefox, Totem, Rhythmbox…). How did it turn out? Frustrating, but with some surprising results. (Note: This is not your usual Ubuntu review, but my miscellaneous ramblings, and some praises. Read on for details.)

        • Ubuntu Up and Running Book Review

          With all that said, I would stay give this a book a “would recommend” as it is very detailed, and can go a long way in taking the interested reader from being interested in Ubuntu, to reasonably well versed in Ubuntu.
          The chapter covering the command line is thorough and clear. In fact, I learned a few things that I didn’t about using some CLI tools installed in Ubuntu.
          I look forward to future versions of this book covering newer versions of Ubuntu, and hopefully, through the Blogger Review program, is touched up in some of its rough edges.

        • Bored of your homepage? Try this bright Ubuntu-ized one instead

          Created by spideofdesign on deviant art the theme is bold, minimal and works just like a regular google search page – just a bit prettier.

        • It’s Been a Crazy Year

          So here I am, the official manager of the Canonical Ubuntu Server team (and acting manager of Foundations and Security)…..wow….up ’til now, I’ve been pretty client focused…..now I have to switch gears to the server workspace?…..backfill two positions?…..figure out our cloud infrastructure stack?….hell, figure out cloud!……what the %$#! did I just get myself into!!!!

        • Myth Busted #6: Ubuntu is only for n00bs and not for serious linux users ( n00buntu )

          Ubuntu is n00b friendly, yes. We work to help new and non-technical users going with Ubuntu, yes. We like n00bs, yes.

          However, we’re just as much complected GNU/Linux as anyone else, if you want it to be. In fact, tons of Ubuntu Developers love using tweeked systems, and we’d never “disable” that for ourselves!

          This myth is mostly false, and I say mostly, because we try to not let anyone act like they’re better then anyone else for using our distro.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • World’s first dual-core smartphone debuts in Korea

          LG Electronics announced an Android 2.2-powered handset claimed to be the world’s first dual-core smartphone, due for a release in Korea next month. The Optimus 2X is built around a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, and offers a four-inch WVGA display, an eight-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 1.3-megapixel webcam facing front, says the company.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google Donates Java Tools Source Code

    Google on Wednesday plans to make a substantial contribution to the open source community: It’s giving over $5 million worth of code and intellectual property associated with two Java Eclipse products, WindowsBuilder and Code Pro Profiler, to the Eclipse Foundation.

    The company acquired WindowsBuilder, a Java GUI design program for Eclipse, and Code Pro Profiler, a Java performance analysis tool, when it purchased Java development tool maker Instantiations in August. After offering Instantiations software for free in September, Google received many requests from Java developers to “take it to the next level,” said Eric Clayberg, software engineering manager for Google Developer Tools and former co-founder and VP of product development at Instantiations.

  • Vietnam slow in applying open source software

    Vietnam has been developing open source software for the last 10 years, but it has witnessed no considerable progress so far, according to the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC).

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle

    • Oracle releases Open Office 3.3 and MySQL 5.5

      Since taking over Sun Microsystems, Oracle’s posturing has led many to believe that the open source projects MySQL and Open Office are set for the closed source scrapheap. Both MySQL 5.5 and Open Office 3.3 are the first major releases since the takeover. Somewhat surprisingly, Oracle is stressing the continuing free software character and free availability of both of these important open source products.

      Oracle’s Cloud Office mirrors moves by Microsoft and Google, both of which offer cloud based office suites. Cloud Office is essentially a web based office suite, offering users the opportunity to work on documents using their web browser. Oracle cites interoperability between Microsoft Office and Open Office, though anyone with experience will know that the difference between such claims and reality can be large.

  • CMS

    • Drupal 6.20 released

      Drupal 6.20, a maintenance release fixing issues reported through the bug tracking system, is now available for download. There are no security fixes in this release. Upgrading your existing Drupal 6 sites is recommended.

  • BSD

    • PC-BSD 9 installer preview

      KDE 4 will still be the default desktop environment, but you will be able to choose from GNOME, LXDE, Xfce.

    • OpenBSD backdoor claims denied

      The claims were made by Gregory Perry, a former OpenBSD developer who now heads a company in Florida named GoVirtual Education; it offers VMWare training.

      In an email to the head of the OpenBSD project, Theo de Raadt, Perry accused a couple of people by name of implementing the backdoors.

    • OpenBSD backdoor claims: bugs found during code audit

      De Raadt decided to go public with the mail, posting it to the openbsd-tech mailing list, along with his own comments.

      In that post, among other statements, he said: “The mail came in privately from a person I have not talked to for nearly 10 years. I refuse to become part of such a conspiracy, and will not be talking to Gregory Perry about this. Therefore I am making it public so that (a) those who use the code can audit it for these problems, (b) those that are angry at the story can take other actions, (c) if it is not true, those who are being accused can defend themselves.”

  • Project Releases

    • Paludis 0.56.1 Released

      Paludis 0.56.1 has been released:

      * We now show the number of skipped and failed packages in “x of y” output.
      * We now run pkg_pretend even if certain confirmations are required.
      * Various minor bug fixes and documentation tweaks.

  • Government

    • EU group to map advantages of public administrations using open source

      A consortium of public administrations in eleven EU member states, IT innovation centres, and the university of Sheffield have started a project to increase awareness on the advantages of free and open source software. It specifically wants to provide guidelines to those administrations that are less familiar with this type of software.

    • Is 2011 the year of open source in the public sector?

      Speaking shortly before Christmas, cabinet office minister Francis Maude reiterated the importance of open source software for future government contracts. Speaking to a delegation of large IT suppliers, including BT, Cap Gemini, Hewlett Packard and IBM, Maude pulled no punches, stating:

      “The days of the mega IT contracts are over, we will need you to rethink the way you approach projects, making them smaller, off the shelf and open source where possible.”

      The speech, at a supplier summit in London, broke no new ground, but it is the clearest indication yet that the coalition government is committed to pre-election pledges from both parties to level the playing field for both open source and smaller IT suppliers in providing IT goods and services to the public sector.

    • European Citizen Initiative powered by Open Source software

      The European Parliament wants to ensure that software used for the European Citizen’s Initiative (1 mio signatures for initialising European laws) is open source, adopted today…

  • Programming

    • Git Joins the Software Freedom Conservancy

      Today, the Software Freedom Conservancy welcomes Git as its newest member. Git joins twenty-three other Conservancy members, who receive the benefit of aggregated non-profit status available to all Conservancy member projects.

Leftovers

  • 5 Best Websites With Awesome Christmas Wallpaper For Your Desktop

    It’s that time of the year again. There’s snow on the ground, you’ve got your holiday shopping done (right?), and everybody’s in a festive mood. Personally, I’m looking forward to kicking back with the family and watching Christmas Vacation, as well as catching some holiday bowl games.

  • Science

    • Periodic table to get atomic weight update

      The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry’s Commission on Isotopic Abundances and Atomic Weights will update the atomic weights for 10 elements on the periodic table.

  • Cablegate

    • Julian Assange has committed no crime in Australia: AFP

      Neither WikiLeaks not its founder Julian Assange has committed any crime in Australia over the leaking of official United States government documents, the Australian Federal Police announced this afternoon.

      This comes despite Prime Minister Julia Gillard labelling the actions of the group “illegal” two weeks ago.

    • Dear Government of Sweden …

      So imagine our surprise when all of a sudden you decided to go after one Julian Assange on sexual assault charges. Well, sort of: first you charged him. Then after investigating it, you dropped the most serious charges and rescinded the arrest warrant.

      Then a conservative MP put pressure on you and, lo and behold, you did a 180 and reopened the Assange investigation. Except you still didn’t charge him with anything. You just wanted him for “questioning.” So you — you who have sat by and let thousands of Swedish women be raped while letting their rapists go scott-free — you decided it was now time to crack down on one man — the one man the American government wants arrested, jailed or (depending on which politician or pundit you listen to) executed. You just happened to go after him, on one possible “count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation and one count of rape (third degree).” And while thousands of Swedish rapists roam free, you instigated a huge international manhunt on Interpol for this Julian Assange!

      What anti-rape crusaders you’ve become, Swedish government! Women in Sweden must suddenly feel safer?

    • Crime and Punishment

      “The lawyer said the only correspondence his client had received was a note telling him that a copy of Time magazine sent to him had been destroyed because the cover bore his photograph.”

    • EC’s IT chief hits out at open source hypocrisy claims

Clip of the Day

Athlete Robot: Sprint Running (1st video)


Credit: TinyOgg

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    A quick look at various new articles of interest (about software patents) and what can be deduced from them, especially now that software patents are the primary barrier to Free/Libre Open Source software adoption



  30. Software Patents Propped Up by Patent Law Firms That Are Lying, Further Assisted by Rogue Elements Like David Kappos and Randall Rader (Revolving Doors)

    The sheer dishonesty of the patent microcosm (seeking to bring back software patents by misleading the public) and those who are helping this microcosm change the system from the inside, owing to intimate connections from their dubious days inside government


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