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03.02.11

Links 2/3/2011: Linux Everywhere, GIMP 2.8 Plans

Posted in News Roundup at 6:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Powered by Linux

    Linux Everywhere

    Do you Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)? You use Linux! Do you do shop at Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN)? You use Linux! Do you have a router for your home network? Do you have NAS (Network Attached Storage) on your home network for shared backups? Do you own a Logitech (Nasdaq: LOGI) Squeezebox? Do you Tivo your shows?

  • Desktop

    • Windows shuts door on user, Linux welcomes the guest!

      It happened a few nights ago. My sister pulled out her laptop & was all set to do her work on it. As the login screen on her windows vista laptop prompted, she religiously entered her credentials only to be shown the door out by windows.

      [...]

      Linux came to the rescue when Windows seem to have shut its door on its loyal user.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Is Linus’ Law still valid?

      But I wonder if that Linus’ Law is really as effective today as it was 10 years ago. Today Free Software is much richer and more complex than it was in the 90s.

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.38 (Part 4) – Storage

      Expected in March, the forthcoming kernel will contain the new LIO target framework for implementing Storage Area Networks (SANs). Also new are a kernel-side media presence polling feature for disk drives and various Device Mapper optimisations that are relevant for desktop systems.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Dropbox for KDE

        A question I have been coming across a lot lately has been, “How do I get Dropbox to work with KDE?” Most have probably noticed that when you go to the Dropbox website and go to download it, it is for GNOME and the Nautilus file manager. Unfortunately for us KDE users, we don’t use Nautilus. Or I could say fortunately for us KDE users, but I am sure that will start all kinds of flame wars in the comments. Instead, KDE utilizes Dolphin as its file manager. I will use this post to show you how to quickly get Dropbox installed and up-and-running in KDE, without the use of the terminal or command line.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Why Did They Take My GNOME Buttons Away?

        To answer this, Allan Day, GNOME Marketing Contractor, has offered his explanation. For him, there are a number of factors for the removals. First he says that the minimize button is no longer of any use in GNOME 3 as there is no dock or window list. Where would a window minimize to? GNOME wants to focus on the new rather than trying to make the old work in some logical manner. Overall, he thinks this makes for a more streamlined experience.

  • Distributions

    • Getting Started With Linux: Pick The Right Linux Flavour For You

      Don’t try to set up Arch Linux during a lunch break. Do dig into Arch Linux if you want to learn way more about Linux, get a system at just the right size and configuration for your needs, and want a crash course in how to tweak a Linux system for better performance.

      Want some detailed guidance on the process? Whitson already showed us a step-by-step Arch installation, ending up with a system he’s still digging into today.

      As noted, we couldn’t possibly cover all the distributions out there, or even give full due to some of the more popular varieties: openSUSE, Debian, Sabayon, and the adorable and teeny-tiny Puppy. No slight intended, but we just don’t have as much experience with them. If you think a particular distribution is very friendly to beginners, whether yourself or another first-timer you know, give us the scoop on it in the comments.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Scientific Linux 6 RC2 is released| with screenshots

        Scientific Linux (SL) is a Linux distribution produced by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). It is a free and open source operating system based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and aims to be 100% compatible with and based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

      • U.S. Government Configuration Baseline for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5

        On February 28, 2011, the U.S. Government Configuration Baseline (USGCB) for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 was released. The long awaited Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) content is the next phase in supplanting the legacy Bourne shell scripts collectively known as the System Readiness Review (SRR) scripts.

        In 2010, the USGCB replaced the Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC) which has always been associated with Microsoft® software. The USGCB initiative is to create security configuration baselines for Information Technology products widely deployed across the federal agencies.

      • Controversy surrounds Red Hat’s “obfuscated” source code release

        Red Hat has changed the way it ships the source code for the Linux kernel. Previously, it was released as a standard kernel with a collection of patches which could be applied to create the source code of the kernel Red Hat used. Now though, the company ships a tarball of the source code with the patches already applied. This change, noted by Maxillian Attems and LWN.net, appears to be aimed at Oracle, who like others, repackage Red Hat’s source as the basis for its Unbreakable Linux. Removing the visibility of information about which patches have, or have not, been applied will be difficult for companies like Oracle who use the patch information so they know what state the Red Hat kernel is in before applying their own patches.

      • Fedora

        • Defaulting to open.

          One of the fundamental principles I think our community expects from Fedora is that we default to open wherever possible. In other words, unless carrying out a process in an open and transparent way would be impossible (legal reasons, for example), we should do it. And by and large, we really do.

          [...]

          This post was prompted by a couple instances recently where I saw teams not reaching out for each other to ask questions or give information. I haven’t seen evidence of any widespread trends; in general, Fedora team members do a great job of communicating across teams. These instances were exceptions to the rule, but it would be fantastic if those exceptions never happened at all. (Zero may be an unattainable goal, but that doesn’t make it the wrong goal.) I’m not calling out specifics simply because they wouldn’t change the value of the ideas and practices discussed here.

    • Debian Family

      • Testing SimplyMEPIS 11.0 Beta 2 again, then antiX core and aptosid

        I used the version of SimplyMEPIS, Version 11.0 Beta 2 that I had already installed on my Gateway 2000 series portable 17″ PA6A system, but when I moved on to antiX core and aptosid, I ran both of these systems directly from DVDs that I had recently created. But I did something else; I loaded their images completely into memory.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Wayland snapshot available for Ubuntu 11.04

          A snapshot of the Wayland display server has been uploaded to the Ubuntu 11.04 Universe repository. Canonical developer Bryce Harrington says in his announcement that this has little relevance to end users and is experimental code intended to act as a foundation and starting point for packaging and further development work.

        • Canonical: Hardened corporate or community leader?

          Open Source is starting to become a very lucrative business model these days and I think we have Google to thank for that. However, this means money is coming in for people who didn’t get much before and who feel that it’s long overdue.

        • Ubuntu fast becoming Linux pariah

          Bruce Byfield said that political manipulation of the various software projects has miffed a lot of Open Saucers. They feel that Ubuntu is choosing projects on the basis the ability to dominate the projects that dominate its software stack.

          Shuttleworth got miffed at the glacial pace that Gnome was making interface improvements and he moved to beef up interface software called Unity and this meant that many Canonical developers were suddenly not supporting Gnome.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

        • froglogic Confident of the Qt Platform’s Future

          froglogic announces its continued support for, and confidence in, the Qt platform. After making significant investments in Qt and MeeGo, Nokia recently announced that it will use Windows Phone as the operating system for its smartphones. As a result many questions about the future of the Qt Platform have been raised. froglogic would like to share its take on the situation and on Qt’s future.

Free Software/Open Source

  • It’s the Free Software, stupid!

    Heated discussions are going on in the KDE community in the aftermath of the announcement of Nokia’s platform strategy change. Rationality often goes out of the window when people feel such a change goes against their personal values or beliefs. In the past days, I worked on an analysis of the impact of the changes on KDAB, Qt and the Free Software communities we work with, especially KDE. KDAB is rooted deeply in the KDE community, and many of our developers work with Qt and KDE for years now. We are sharing the same worries and hopes, so the results may be interesting for others as well. This post is about Qt, KDE, Free Software, politics, devices, markets, strategies – it does not get much better than that. Read on.

  • Open Source Software is not Free

    I believe this statement to be true for a number of reasons. The important thing to recognize is that I believe the “free” in this quote and the “free” in FOSS are two different types of “free”. In the quote the “free” refers to a monetary value. Even if you pay no monetary value for software – that software cost someone, somewhere, something. Whether that something is a paycheck for the software developer coming from a company backing the project or it is simply a dedicated individual hacking at code during his spare moments – that “free” software comes at a cost to someone.

  • The Ins and Outs of Open Source Audits: Part One

    No matter what industry your business is in, you’re almost certainly using open source software. The question is whether you know how you’re using open source, what licenses are in play, and whether you’re meeting all of your license requirements. If you can’t answer all of these questions — and most businesses can’t — you may want to perform an open source audit as a starting point. Why? An audit can answer the question of what Open Source Software (OSS) is present in your code and what licenses that OSS falls under.

  • Open Source Junction: cross-platform mobile apps

    The open source mobile app space is getting increasingly crowded. The recent opportunities for developers to produce and distribute mobile apps through a range of app stores is taking the developer world by storm. If, as the saying goes, all people dream of writing a poem at least once in a lifetime, then perhaps there aren’t many developers out there either who haven’t dreamed of building a great mobile app themselves.

  • thebigword Goes Open-Source as Lisa Shuts Down

    The global language services company, thebigword, has announced it will open-source part of its language technology software in order to support industry standards.

  • Events

    • SCALE 9X: It’s a wrap

      More people: SCALE had been flirting with overwhelming success all weekend. Friday’s “problem” at registration was that the folks in that department faced a lot more people than normally come on a Friday, to the point of where 800 of the attendees for the weekend came on Friday. The final tally — 1,802. So 1,002 folks came over the weekend to make this a record year for SCALE, and as a result, it makes the outlook for FOSS this year really robust. So get out there and FOSS it up, folks.

    • Scale 9x: Day 3

      The final day of SCALE 9x arrived far too early, since the Gentoo developers were still recovering from the merriment the previous evening/morning. We congregated in the hotel room Mike & I shared. You know you’re having some good times when hotel security places a call to your room, asking you to keep the noise down.

  • Funding

    • Boxee Gets $16 Million in Funding for its Media Center Platform

      New frontiers lie ahead for open source media center platform, Boxee, which we’ve covered ever since it was born. Today, the company is announcing a very healthy infusion of $16.5 million in venture funding, featuring some heavy-hitting new investors, and ones that had already invested. Boxee’s previous round of funding was only $6 million and came when the company had only 12 employees.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Exciting developments in GNU Radio

      GNU Radio had a pretty good year in 2010, and we are already on track for an even more productive year in 2011. While we only produced one release in 2010, a large amount of work went into our source repository to improve the quality and stability of the project, and we are on track for a new release soon that incorporates many of these fixes into a new stable release. From here, we have been implementing some major improvements and additions to GNU Radio that will be part of the releases in 2011, so 2010 was an important year for getting us to the next major milestones.

      [...]

      We are directly pursuing this by hosting the first GNU Radio conference in September of 2011.

  • Government

    • Open Source Tool Helps US DoD Eye in the Sky To See

      The US Department of Defense is awash in digital images and videos taken by a variety of sources including satellites, manned airplanes and unmanned drones. Going through all of that imagery by hand would take untold resources that the DoD just doesn’t have. Instead the DoD has turned to a computer vision program to help sort through the imagery. The programs they use are supplied by Kitware and get ready for this – are open source! That’s right the US Department of Defense is using open source computer vision solutions to help identify potential threats.

    • Death, taxes and open source software certainties

      Open source software gets a lot of positive press. Along with death and taxes we can say that this is a fair certainty. But are there hidden and very blatant flaws that we should be looking out for and be aware of?

      The Coverity Scan 2010 Open Source Integrity Report was launched at the end of last year to examine open source software integrity and was originally initiated between the company itself and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

  • Programming

    • Origins (Part 01)

      It may seem odd to people today, but programming came around long before the computer. Actually, it came about so much earlier that it wasn’t really recognizable as such. The three earliest examples I can think of are the Antikythera Mechanism, the Castle Clock, and the Jacquard Loom. The Antikythera Mechanism was a mechanical computer designed to calculate astronomical positions. It is estimated to be from about 150 BCE, and is thought to be of Greek origin. Much later The “castle clock” of Al-Jazari (1206 CE) displayed the orbits of the Sun and Moon, along with the Zodiac. On the Castle Clock, one could change the length of day and night, important for the seasons. The first largely reprogrammable (something more than day and night on the Castle Clock) device that I found anything about was the Jacquard Loom. The Jacquard loom used punch cards to change the pattern of weaves going through the device. This was so profound a revelation that our early computers used these cards as well. These three innovations are by no means the limit of pre-computer programming, but they were important achievements. They show the want of mankind to automate tasks before significant means to do so had been made available.

Leftovers

  • Mayor Ford would aim to privatize TCHC

    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he would “absolutely” consider privatizing the Toronto Community Housing Corporation in the wake of revelations of wasteful spending and untendered contracts at the agency.

    Ford made the comment in a Wednesday morning interview with Toronto radio station Newstalk 1010.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Fox News uses fake footage to make Wisconsin protests seem violent

      Doesn’t seem to get much lower than this. Remember the peaceful protests for worker’s rights in Wisconsin that Vanessa wrote about last week? Via Amanda Marcotte, it looks like ever-trustworthy Fox News is using fake footage to make it seem as if the Wisconsin protests are violent.

    • UK: Stop Rupert Murdoch!

      Murdoch has exploited his vast media empire to push war in Iraq, elect George W Bush, spread resentment of muslims and immigrants, and block global action on climate change. And he has interfered with our democracy — determining our election results, bolstering political careers in exchange for influence and destroying others with media smears when they refuse to do his bidding.

Clip of the Day

Gigabyte M528 MID, Ubuntu Mobile UI


Credit: TinyOgg

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