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01.23.11

Links 23/1/2011: Sabayon 5.4 KDE, Debian GNU/Linux 5.0.8 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 1:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • GNU/Linux To Connect 9.2 Million UK Adults To The Internet

      While 200 computer packages have been set aside for the pilot, over the course of the next 12 months around 8000 consumers are expected to take up the Remploy offer. People will be able to get additional support by phone and email from Positive IT solutions, who can help with set up problems and troubleshooting. As well as making IT affordable, the scheme also has a Green IT message – giving a computer a second life is the equivalent of taking two cars off the road for one year.

  • Server

    • Zentyal Counters Windows Small Business Server In the Cloud

      Zentyal estimates that there are roughly 50,000 active Zentyal server installations worldwide.

    • Linux supercomputer beats humans in Jeopardy match

      IBM showed off its Linux-based Watson supercomputer in an exhibition “Human vs. Machine” game of Jeopardy, while discussing potential practical uses of its natural-language AI in the IT industry, especially in health care and tech support. Watson beat two human challengers in this practice round, but the real winner will be proven in a televised competition in February.

    • Large Scale SMP, Yes Really

      My desire for SMP is rather practical and has nothing to do with performance or cache coherency.

  • Google

    • As CEO of Google, Larry Page Won’t Frown on Open Source

      Google does qualify as the biggest open source company of all, and has consistently employed open source experts such as Chris DiBona, who serves as Open Source Program Manager. More than that, Google has released tons of open source code into the wild, sponsors Google Summer of Code, runs its own search engine on Linux, and generally gives open source much more of a fair shake than many companies focused on proprietary technology do.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Elementary Studio GTK Theme – Fusion of Elementary and Ubuntu Studio Themes

        Elementary Studio GTK theme is a nice and impressive fusion of DanRabbit’s Elementary GTK theme and beautiful dark Ubuntu Studio default theme. Elementary theme is supposed to be the default theme for upcoming Elementary OS codenamed “Jupiter”.

      • Unity Window Decorator

        The reason this is a fork (for now) is because it does depend on those changes to libmetacity-private and it makes no sense for the compiz project to ship a decorator which depends on a patched library. The plan is, of course, to get the changes to the metacity theme spec upstreamed once I’ve finished working on them and to merge the changes made to unity-window-decorator back into the upstream gtk-window-decorator.

  • Distributions

    • Gentoo Security Team: Scouting Tips

      When someone volunteers on the security team, the first role they are asked to fill is that of a “Scout.” In this role, they primarily work to learn of newly disclosed vulnerabilities, determine if it applies to Gentoo, verify that a bug does not already exist, and then open bugs as appropriate. I wish I could say that this job is out-of-this-world-fantastic-fun. But that just isn’t always the case. At the same time I think that done right, it doesn’t have to be that bad.

    • Classifying Linux Distributions

      This is somehow my personal classification, of Linux distributions. And maybe at the same time of the Linux users.

      I’m going to classify only those I have used more than just a few hours in a virtual machine.

    • Linux CDs Vs. Linux DVDs…

      My only complaints are that it is 1.1 Gb. and that Pardus repository is not as varied as those of Debian-based distros or Mandriva are. However, I can do without some packages…they are not vital…just minor things I like. In exchange, Pardus does have its unique features.

    • Request to Linux distributions

      Do not waste my hard disk!

      I recently acquired an 2 TB hard disk drive, which I immediately formatted with ext4. Given that mkfs.ext4 defaults to 5% reserved blocks for too, that amounts to 100 GB of lost* space.

      Wow. 100 GB. On a desktop machine. For root.

    • Reviews

    • New Releases

      • Clonezilla Live 1.2.6-59 Stable Has Been Released

        Steven Shiau announced earlier today, January 18th, the immediate availability of a new stable release of his system-cloning Linux distribution, Clonezilla Live 1.2.6-59.

        Clonezilla Live 1.2.6-59 is powered by Linux kernel 2.6.32-30, and it introduces a couple of important bugfixes, as well as many enhancements and changes.

        “This release of Clonezilla live includes major enhancements, changes and bug fixes.” – said Steven Shiau in the official release announcement.

      • Pardus Linux 2011 Has LibreOffice, Firefox 4 and KDE SC 4.5.5

        Gökcen Eraslan announced earlier today, January 21st, the immediate availability for download and upgrade of the popular Pardus 2011 Linux-based Turkish operating system.

        The final and stable version of Pardus 2011 is powered by Linux kernel 2.6.37 and it’s available as Live and Installation images for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. It includes an enhanced YALI installer, a fist boot configuration tool, and the brand-new KDE Software Compilation 4.5.5.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Provides an Educational Solution for Schools and OEMs

        Mandriva Linux is the ultimate operating system from Mandriva. It is the fruit of the convergence of three technologies: Mandriva, Conectiva and Lycoris and is available in three editions: One, Powerpack and Free, for both i586 and x86-64 architectures.

      • PCLinuxOS, LXDE, and User Management

        PCLinuxOS is an excellent distribution for everyone, especially for people who have never used Linux. The LXDE Desktop is similar to Windows reducing a casual users learning curve. Combine the two into PCLinuxOS – LXDE and it is an instant hit. Everything the Community Center’s need is included on one CD. The included programs are well thought out, and Open Office Org install is available at the click of a button, completing the setup.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Boxee Box Review

      For many, the Internet has become a preferred source of entertainment. With offerings like Netflix, VUDU, Hulu and digital downloads, even once loyal cable television subscribers are abandoning their service for online content.

    • Phones

      • Smartphone watch

        Once a mobile powerhouse, Motorola has been struggling to remain relevant in the fast-moving cellphone market over the past couple of years. Now the company looks as if it is ready to make a serious comeback. The Motorola Atrix 4G was awarded the title of best smartphone at the recent Consumer Electronics Show and will be the company’s flagship device for the early part of this year. The handset runs Android 2.2 operating system and is powered with a dual-core 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor coupled with 1GB of memory – the device is a serious contender.

      • Android 3.0 to kick-start tablet wars

        The Android Honeycomb release will feature many tablet PC-specific features

        Google’s Android mobile phone operating system was one of the winners of 2010, booming in popularity to become the second most popular smartphone OS by the end of the year. Now in 2011 it looks that Google is setting its sights firmly on the tablet market.

      • Android

    • Tablets

      • Android tablet boom

        Most of the devices here will run Honeycomb, Android’s 3.0 release, which has already been earmarked as being specifically designed for tablet PCs.

      • Motorola Atrix vs the Always Innovating Smart Book

        It is not an overstatement that the Motorola Atrix smartphone was one of the bright stars of CES 2011. An often-mentioned, breakthrough feature of the Atrix is its modularity, namely that it can be placed into a netbook dock which gives it work-time (and battery recharge) and a desktop-like work environment (Linux based).

      • Acer to ship Android tablets based on Sandy Bridge CPUs, says report

        Acer is expected to release two to three Android-based tablets running Intel’s “Sandy Bridge” Core processors, and will start to back out of the netbook business, says an industry report. At CES, Acer announced ARM Cortex-A9 based Iconia Tab A500 Android tablet for Verizon’s 4G LTE network.

      • Is HP’s WebOS heading for netbooks?

        HP is prepping a netbook using its Linux-based WebOS operating system, says an industry report. On Feb. 9, HP is expected to announce several WebOS devices, including nine-inch “Topaz” and seven-inch “Opal” tablets, says Engadget.

      • Turn Your Linux Desktop,Tablet or Touch Device into Digital Sketchpad

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Search Solutions Ready For The Enterprise: Ovum

    Open source enterprise search software is viable and reliable and can stand up against leading commercial players from the industry, according to Ovum.

    In a new report* the independent technology analyst states that open source software is ready for the enterprise and is able to deliver on the needs of most organisations.

    Mike Davis, Ovum analyst and author of the report, said: “Free-to-use open source enterprise search and retrieval (ESR) solutions are now ready for the enterprise. We believe enterprises should start with open source options when looking for a search solution and only go to the big players if open source is unable to deliver what they need.”

  • Events

    • 2011 Call for Presentations

      The Arizona Business and Liberty Experience Conference (ABLEconf) is soliciting presentations for its third annual conference. ABLEconf 2011 will take place on Saturday April 02, 2011, at the University of Advancing Technology (UAT) in Tempe, Arizona.

    • Texas Linux Fest 2011 Call For Papers is open!

      We are proud to officially open the call for papers for Texas Linux Fest 2011, scheduled for April 2 at the Hilton Austin hotel in downtown Austin, Texas.

      Texas Linux Fest 2011 is the second annual Linux and open source software event for Texas and the surrounding region. We are assembling a one day program for the business and home Linux user, and for the experienced developer and newcomer alike.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome 10 advances with new V8 3 JavaScript engine

        Google is updating its dev-channel version of the Chrome browser this week with an updated JavaScript engine and a long list of bug fixes.

        Chrome 10.0.642.2 is an update for Windows, Linux and Mac and includes the new V8 version 3.0.7.0 JavaScript engine.

    • Mozilla

      • Skype Toolbar Blocked by Mozilla – FINALLY!

        According to Mozilla, the Skype toolbar was one of the top crashers of Firefox 3.6.13 last week, accounting for some 40,000 crashes! In addition to that, Mozilla says that having the Skype toolbar installed can make some parts of Firefox as much as 300 times slower, making it appear that Firefox is slow loading pages.

  • SaaS

    • Open Source: OpenERP Launches SaaS Version for Partners

      OpenERP, as you may guess from the name, sells a suite of business applications built on open source code, ensuring low-cost apps for the customer and flexible deployment for the administrator. But OpenERP has always been limited by its status as an on-premises product. Not anymore.

  • Oracle

    • Univa forks Oracle’s Sun Grid Engine

      Another fork has appeared in the Sun Microsystems software road. Univa is forking the Sun Grid Engine project, now controlled by Oracle.

      In the wake of Oracle’s $5.6bn acquisition of Sun a year ago, co-founder and chief executive officer Larry Ellison made no secret of the fact that Oracle was not going to waste time on products and projects that do not make the company money. And rightly so, by the way.

    • Whamcloud Building New Lustre Distro

      The open source Lustre technology is a parallel file system that is often found in high performance computing (HPC) environments. Users of the file system will soon get community Lustre distribution, thanks to the leadership of startup Whamcloud.

      Whamcloud is a venture backed startup that includes veterans from Oracle and Sun, where the Lustre project originated. The reason why Whamcloud is building a Lustre distribution isn’t about creating a fork from Oracle, but is about helping to support and expand the Lustre community.

    • New: OpenOffice.org 3.3.0 Release Candidate 10 (build OOO330m20) available

      OpenOffice.org 3.3.0 Release Candidate 10 is now available on the download website.

  • CMS

    • My first look at DIASPORA*

      Consequently, when I finally got around to getting to getting an account for the DIASPORA* alpha, what I mainly noticed was the difference in the privacy policy and interface

  • Business

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Canada’s Digital Library a Grassroots Effort

        Last week, the European Commission released “The New Renaissance”, an expert report on efforts to digitize Europe’s cultural heritage. Europe has been particularly aggressive about its digitization efforts, developing Europeana, an online portal currently featuring more than 15 million works of art, books, music and film, as well as the European Library, which provides access to 24 million pages of full-text scanned by 14 national libraries.

    • Open Hardware

      • Nvidia Tegra3 launch imminent. Intel, you did this to yourself.

        Reading about the likely launch of Tegra3 at Mobile World Congress 2011 and seeing this video, one cannot help wondering how big a mistake Intel made when denied Atom hardware interfaces from Nvidia some time ago. Doing that, it practically forced Nvidia to abandon mobile-x86 solutions and pour all of its resources into Tegra/ARM development.

  • Programming

    • JQuery Mobile, Part 3: Attack of the Forms

      In our prior articles we have introduced JQuery Mobile and begun to look at application structure. In this article we continue our look at JQuery Mobile by touching upon forms handling.

      While many mobile applications are dominated by the presentation of information, we cannot escape the fact that mobile devices are ideally suited for data gathering, or data-collection.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • HTML5 to become a living standard called “HTML”

      HTML5, which has been developed by the WHATWG group, is to lose its version number and be referred to only as “HTML”. Ian Hickson, the author and editor of the W3C’s current HTML5 draft, announced this decision in a blog posting. Hickson said that, when the group announced that the HTML5 specification was progressing to “Last Call” in 2009, the plan at the time was to publish a “snapshot” of HTML5 in 2012. However, due to the high demand for new features, the group has now decided to switch to a different development model.

Leftovers

  • Takeover War Turns Into a Trial Over ‘Poison Pill’

    For almost 30 years, companies have used the pill as the critical legal tool to ward off hostile takeovers.

    Now the pill itself has come under attack and, in the next few weeks, a Delaware judge is expected to rule on its use as part of his review of a year-long takeover battle for industrial-gas company Airgas Inc.

  • Investors to stay lawsuit as HP investigates Hurd departure

    A committee of Hewlett Packard directors will investigate former CEO Mark Hurd’s departure from the company amid sexual harassment allegations last year, according to a recent court filing.

    The inquiry comes in the course of shareholder litigation involving the company. The investigation will be conducted by independent directors who joined HP’s board after Hurd’s departure and will be assisted by outside lawyers, according to a joint case management statement filed on Jan. 14.

  • H.P. Replaces 4 on Its Board in Wake of Chief’s Dismissal

    The changes are intended to diversify H.P.’s board and add new experience and perspectives, according to Raymond J. Lane, H.P.’s chairman. It comes just months after the hiring of Léo Apotheker as chief executive.

  • Deaf Attorney Takes On Key FCC Legal Post

    When Gregory Hlibok was 9 years old, he wanted to be a lawyer — until adults told him to consider another field, since it was “not possible” for him to litigate in a courtroom as a deaf person.

    Profoundly deaf since birth, Hlibok at first dutifully studied engineering, but never gave up on his dream. Now one of an estimated 170 deaf lawyers in the United States (out of a population of 36 million people with impaired hearing), Hlibok, 43, is the new head of the Federal Communications Commission’s Disability Rights Office.

  • A Supreme Conflict of Interest

    Americans are about to find out just how much baseball and our judicial system really are alike.
    Common Cause, which I’m privileged to lead, has asked the Justice Department to investigate whether Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas should have recused themselves from the landmark Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission case last year because they may have attended secret retreats where lobbying and political strategies were developed by some of the biggest players in the 2010 elections.

  • The Problem With Vendor Sponsored Testing

    Sponsored tests are meaningless, from any vendor. I simply don’t believe that sponsored tests provide value to the technical community. But that’s ok – they’re not targeted at the technical community. They’re marketing tools, used by sales and marketing teams to sway the opinions of management decision makers with lots of “independent” results.

  • Security

    • Cyberattacks on social networks doubled in 2010
    • It Management Fail: Always Blame the Worker Bees

      Security fail: When trusted IT people go bad has a great title. Then it’s all downhill. I suppose it’s appropriate for an audience of managers who want cheerleading for bad management more than good information.

      It starts off with a tale of ultimate horror: not only is your trusted systems administrator selling you pirated software and incurring the wrath of the BSA (Business Software Alliance), he is running a giant porn server from the company network and stealing customer credit card numbers.

      Then it takes the obligatory gratuitous swipe at “rogue” San Francisco admin Terry Childs.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Finance

    • Booya! Latest Wall Street Innovation: Twitter Trading

      Major news providers Dow Jones and Reuters offer news products that archive and structure news to provide machine-readable feeds for use in trading algorithms. This enables large-scale trading with little human screening. The market for unstructured data is also big. The New York Times reports that about 35 percent of quantitative trading firms are exploring whether to use unstructured data feeds of news, blogs and tweets. Two years ago, only about two percent of those firms used them.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Lorillard’s Unreal “Youth Smoking Prevention” Campaign

      Family Circle and Parents magazines regularly run youth smoking prevention (YSP) ads called “Real Parents, Real Answers” that are paid for by the Lorillard Tobacco Company. The ads drive readers to a website operated by Lorillard that contains no information about the health hazards of cigarette smoking, the nature of nicotine or cigarette companies’ role in promoting youth smoking through advertising and marketing techniques.

    • Dog-Whistling Past Disaster

      Recently the use of the political phrase “dog whistle” came to my attention while listening to the Sunday morning political talk shows. According to Wikipedia, “Dog-whistle politics” refers to political speechmaking or campaigning that uses coded language to signify one thing to the general public, while also signifying a different and more specific meaning to a targeted subgroup of the audience. The analogy is a reference to dog whistles, which emit an extremely high-frequency pitch that only dogs can hear, and humans can’t. Political “dog-whistling” as a tactic of public persuasion can take a variety of forms.

    • RootsAction.org Taps Into the Discontented Left

      A new, independent, progressive public interest group called RootsAction has formed to fight “a far-right Republican Party that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of corporate America, and a Democratic Party whose leadership is enmeshed with corporate power.” RootsAction is an online campaign to address issues like the squandering of billions of taxpayer dollars on foreign wars that are generating hatred of the U.S. overseas, Wall Street schemes that are costing Americans their homes and the continuation of Bush administration policies under President Obama.

    • David Martosko’s Glass House Takes a Hit

      In his role as research director for the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) — the notorious front group that works for the alcoholic beverage industry — David Martosko has routinely attacked Mothers Against Drunk Driving, claiming the group persecutes social drinkers by “expanding the parameters of the ‘drinking and driving problem’ ” to include social drinkers, rather than just focusing on hard-core alcoholics. Now a new website has sprung up called AboutDavidMartosko.com, that contains official law enforcement documents showing that Martosko was arrested in September 2008 for driving while intoxicated.

  • Civil Rights

    • UK ID Cards Are No More!

      The Identity card system was a perfect example of Big Brother. They were photo cards that, like a passport, enabled you to travel to other countries (but only a few countries, unlike a passport) and could be used to prove your identity, just like a modern photo driving licence. What then was the point?

  • DRM

    • Sony’s solution for root key hack? – Is a more open system really that bad?

      I would hope Sony keeps in mind that DRM/copy protection systems are very unpopular with end-users, we just have to look towards the PC to see the problems it can cause, one of the many advantages of the consoles is that any DRM type systems are mostly invisible to the user who merely wants to run and use the software. If introduce a more PC approach, making that “plug-in and play” gaming more of a chore and I think you are asking for trouble.

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