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Links 29/3/2011: Beta of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1, Bodhi Linux 1.0.0 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 5:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • The Issues With The Linux Kernel DRM, Continued

      Yesterday Linus voiced his anger towards DRM, once again.

    • Upstart Improved Documentation and New Features for Ubuntu Natty Release

      “Jobs and Events are the primary Upstart concepts,” writes James Hunt Ubuntu Upstart maintainer at Canonical. “The version of Upstart provided with Ubuntu Natty provides a new “initctl” command “show-config” which when coupled with a new tool “initctl2dot” allows these interactions to be understood visually.”

    • Linux Foundation 20th Anniversary of Linux Campaign and Video Contest

      It’s the 20th Anniversary of Linux in August and the Linux Foundation is kicking off celebrations at The Collaboration Summit which takes place April 6-8, 2011 at the Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco. A highlight of the campaign is the annual Video Contest, which this year focuses on the 20 year celebration and will be judged by Linux Linus Torvalds himself.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Gallium3D’s LLVMpipe Under LLVM 2.9

        Version 2.9 of the Low-Level Virtual Machine is set to be released in a little more than a week, but what will it mean much for users in terms of performance? We will be looking at the LLVM 2.9 and Clang performance in the coming days (along with GCC 4.6, which was just released). We are beginning this weekend by providing a look at how using LLVM 2.9 affects the performance of the Mesa Gallium3D LLVMpipe driver relative to the previous LLVM 2.6, 2.7, and 2.8 releases.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome 3 – This is the end, it seems

        I believe Gnome 2.X will be the last version of Gnome I will be using, at least based on my current findings, but hey, anything can change. And despite major progress with KDE, I’m not looking forward to the inevitable switch down the road, should the jab come to stab.

  • Distributions

    • The King of Linux Distros

      How is Debian the king of Linux distros

      As with everything else in software, every distro is much loved by its followers and there is great difference of opinion on which is the best of linux distros. Debian is a point in example of what a good linux distro should be and is the template for almost every other distro to have ever appeared. Hence the discussion was more on how powerful the features of Debian are rather than proving others are no match to this classic distro. Almost every distro has powerful features that set the tone for the entire distro to develop and evolve. Debian is perhaps the only linux distro that is so feature rich that every feature by itself can be spun into an effective application or tweaked to become another distro.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Beta version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1

        Less than five months after releasing Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.0, Linux distributor Red Hat has now announced the beta phase of the first RHEL6 update. As usual in this phase of the RHEL version families’ seven to ten-year life cycle, minor release 6.1 offers not only bug fixes and minor improvements, but also various new functions and hardware drivers.

      • Fedora

        • How Many People Use GNU/Linux? Lots!

          According to Wikipedia, 2,350,000 hits came from Fedora of 111,806,000 hits that came from GNU/Linux (including Android/Linux). Unfortunately some of Fedora’s counts may be for multiple IP addresses to the same machine (DHCP), and some of the machines could be servers.

        • Update on Fedora 15 Development – GNOME 3 Shell Updates

          I’ve been keeping up with Fedora 15 development. I installed a nightly build on my wife’s dual-boot computer. I setup a Fedora 15 KVM virtual machine in preparation for my remix compose… which isn’t quite there yet.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Community Wallpapers for Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Released, The Best Collection So Far IMO

          Community contributed wallpapers collection for Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” is finally released. The collection include 17 brand new wallpapers and this latest set of community contributed wallpapers for Ubuntu is definitely the best so far in my opinion.

        • Uplink, Darwinia released on Ubuntu Software Centre

          Introversion Software, indie developer of hits Darwinia and Uplink, have now launched the aforementioned titles on the Ubuntu Software Centre. The titles are currently selling for US$10 each.

        • Are there 10 reasons to upgrade to 10.10?

          But, as I asked before… Are there 10 reasons to upgrade to 10.10? Probably not. Canonical itself says that most improvements in 10.10 compared to 10.04 are related to netbooks, cloud computing, photo applications and fonts. Are you netbook user? If you’re working on 10.04 and happy with it, why worry? Just use whatever fits you better. Don’t get into arms race!

        • How about a Ubuntu LTS Backports repository?
        • How About Firefox 4′s Panorama Like Workspace Manager in Ubuntu Unity?
        • Ubuntu will not default to installing Flash
        • Ubuntu Software Center Lets You Test-Drive Applications Without Installing Them [Ubuntu 11.04]

          Ubuntu Software Center got a really cool feature in Ubuntu 11.04: it lets you test drive applications without having to install them.

        • Ubuntu: Even the Computer-Averse Can Use It

          Yesterday, I was talking to one of my relatives (whom I shall refer to as $relative) about computers, and I inquired as to whether $relative was still using Ubuntu 10.04 LTS “Lucid Lynx” that I had installed on $relative’s laptop shortly before I left for college. Do note that $relative is pretty computer-averse when it comes to anything other than using a browser or using a productivity suite. To my surprise, $relative said yes! I also asked if $relative’s printing issues were sorted out, because the printer connected is made by Lexmark, and Lexmark printers play as badly with Linux as Broadcom wireless cards do (i.e. they don’t mix). To my further surprise, $relative said yes again!

        • New Ubuntu/Canonical Web Ads Up and Running

          These ads were spotted running on www.theregister.co.uk through Google/DoubleClick ad services.

        • F-PROT Antivirus ‘Fire & Ice’ Software Certified on Ubuntu 10.04

          FRISK Software International, the developer of the world famous F-PROT Anti-virus ‘Fire & Ice’ family of software, is proud to announce that the Virus Bulletin has certified its Home and Enterprise editions on Ubuntu, Long-Term Support Version 10.04. Ubuntu is one of the leading Linux distributions and is maintained by Canonical Ltd., an Open Source software company founded by Mark Shuttleworth.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Many a Tux Do Not Exist

            In case you didn’t know, Wikipedia articles are case sensitive. The page that had stuck around for about two weeks was located at Bodhi_Linux. Another of our users (not realizing we already had one) put up another page with the title Bodhi_linux. This page was correctly flagged as a duplicate and promptly deleted – the issue? The moderator that deleted the duplicated page also took a look at previous page and this moderator decided there was not enough about the project there for the page to exist. Never mind the fact that it had already been up for two weeks and had already been approved by another moderator.

          • Bodhi Linux sticks with design principles

            After your first fifty distribution reviews, a certain ennui creeps in. Most have the same selection of software, and GNOME or KDE for a desktop, and, if they are new, are derived from Ubuntu. Under these circumstances, features worth writing about tend to be rare. That is why Bodhi Linux has been attracting attention from reviewers — because it has actually done a few things differently.

            Not that Bodhi is revolutionary. You can find other distributions with small footprints, such as Puppy Linux or Damn Small Linux, and other distributions such as Elive that use the Enlightenment window manager as a desktop. However, except for using Ubuntu’s Lucid repositories for packages, Bodhi’s choices are not exactly routine, either, and their integration are enough to make Bodhi stand out among the army of clones that are the typical modern distribution.

          • Review: Bodhi Linux 1.0.0

            Hats off to Jeff Hoogland and the Bodhi Linux team!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Foremay ships world’s smallest solid state disk

      Foremay is shipping a NAND solid state drive (SSD) claimed to be the world’s smallest SSD “disk-on-chip.” Its OC177 DOC chip measures only 0.87 x 0.87 x 0.07 inches (22 x 22 x 1.8mm), supports standard IDE or SATA host interfaces, and is available in 32GB capacities, with a read/write speed of up to 70/40MB/sec, says the company.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Hands on: Google Chrome OS netbook review

        We first glimpsed the CR-48 prototype Google Chrome OS netbook at CES in January and they’ve finally appeared in the UK courtesy of the Big G.

      • Asus’ Eee Pad Transformer Is a Notebook in Disguise

        Asus’ latest swing at the tablet scene is the Eee Pad Transformer, a Honeycomb tablet that can be combined with an optional keyboard docking station that turns it into a notebook computer, more or less. The Transformer’s guts seem to be on par with most other Honeycomb tablets in the field, but will its keyboard accessory be enough to make it stand out in an increasingly crowded space?

    • Tablets

      • Acer locates ‘missing’ tablet strategy
      • 2011: Revolution in IT

        That is all changing with the move to notebooks and smart thingies. Notebooks are over 50% of shipping units and smart thingies shipments are expected to exceed x86-like PCs in 2011. This has changed how people use their person computers and how IT is done. More people are using stuff from outside the monopoly at home and bringing it to work. I saw it last year, out in the bush… People were bringing all kinds of web-enabled gadgets to school even though there were rules against doing so for students. Many of the gadgets were from Apple but now Android/Linux and other Linux variations are appearing.

      • Neat Product, Awful Price

        The floodgates of products that look somewhat like “normal” personal computers but run ARM and Android/Linux are cracking open. One by ASUS is great but priced too high for wide adoption. ASUS and others do want to recoup costs of development and there is a market for “new” at any price.

      • The first great Android Tablet: Nook Color

        Let’s get real. There are only two great tablets out there today: Apple’s iPad and the iPad 2. Android has always had the potential to be a wonderful tablet operating system, but most Android tablets have been non-starters and, even the best of them, the Samsung Galaxy Tab aren’t as good as an iPad. But, the iPad may soon have a serious Android opponent: Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color.

      • Customizable tablets and panel PCs run Linux, Android

        Sparkpad has begun selling customizable display computers at sizes ranging from eight to 15 inches, complete with a touch-ready, Lua-based Linux SDK and promised Android support. Sparkpad’s Wi-Fi enabled tablets and panel PCs run on ARM11-based Telechips 8902 processors, and are touted as enabling customers to develop and deploy their own touch panels, digital signage systems, and tablets quickly.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Awards Highlight Impact of Open Source Software

    It’s hard to beat stellar earnings as proof of a technology’s business value, and Red Hat provided that for Linux with its Q4 report last week. Adding further fuel to the celebratory open source fires over the past few days, however, have been several batches of awards recognizing the global impact of various free software projects and contributors.

  • Documentation and free software

    As a former technical writer and a sometime reviewer of software, I don’t need anyone to tell me how important documentation is — nor how often it is the last part of a project if it is considered at all. But recently, I had a frustrating reminder.

    The reminder came when I was setting up my new computer. All went smoothly through my backup, installation, and restore, during which I suffered nothing worse than boredom. I was just wrapping up the final touches, indulging in the obligatory musings about how, these days, I hardly had to worry about GNU/Linux hardware compatibility — when, suddenly, I found myself in undocumented territory.

  • Open Goldberg Variations Raises $16,000 in 20 Days for “Open Source Bach”
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • I’m not jumping on Firefox 4 or GNOME 3 just yet
      • The Day Firefox Left IE in the Dust

        Firefox 4′s victory is “just another sign that Microsoft is past its prime when it comes to generating excitement,” opined Barbara Hudson, a blogger on Slashdot. “For decades users have internalized the ‘upgrading Microsoft products can put you in a world of hurt’ meme: ‘What I’ve got works. Let someone else be the guinea pig.’ Can you blame them?”

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Computers in the Classroom

      I recommended some changes that could be made:

      * Using GNU/Linux would reduce licensing costs and improve performance,
      * using thin clients would reduce the workload of staff while improving performance, and
      * mounting monitors and thin clients on the wall might make better use of space.

      A lot of FLOSS has been written by teachers and used by teachers in just such situations. It works for us.

    • How to Sell Linux to Schools

      In my view the best Linux distro for the job of being used in a school which is both fast and user-friendly would have to be Ubuntu, as it has a great community and lots of support available. Certainly the Ubuntu distro which I would chose would have to Lucid Lynx (10.04) which is a Long Term Support (normally called LTS)distro meaning that it will be updated as much as possible for around 3 to 4 years by the Ubuntu developers and community. In some respects Linux Mint 9 would be a better choice for schools because most children and teenagers won’t have tried Linux before and Mint is more like Windows in the menu aspect of it. Mint is also a spin-off of Ubuntu so it is like it in many ways including the Software Center and the different applications available for it alongside the the ability to install .deb files easily.


    • The pragmatism of free software idealism

      “Propriety and single interest divides the people of a land and the whole world into parties and is the cause of all wars and bloodshed and contention everywhere” – Gerrard Winstanley, 1649

      “If you want to accomplish something in the world, idealism isn’t enough – you need to choose a method that works to achieve the goal. In other words, you need to be pragmatic” – Richard Stallman

      Free software is and was an idealistic proposition. Its aim was to change the world and the way we live, work and play, albeit with particular reference to computer programs and the way they are put together.

      In the beginning, the idea that software should be free was deemed unrealistic and laughable, and then unworkable. Now, for the most part, it is deemed acceptable and desirable – not just as a workable approach to writing software, but as a means of writing better software.

      Free and open source software is no longer a fringe movement. But, as Dan Cohen points out, “if the movement toward shared digital openness,” (he is also writing about the wider issues of open access and digital freedom), “seems like a single groundswell, it masks an underlying tension between pragmatism and idealism.”

  • Licensing

    • RMS weighs into Google GPL debate

      Free Software Foundation chairman Richard Stallman has weighed into the debate over whether Google may be guilty of a GPL violation or not by saying that what the search giant has done is not limited by copyright.

    • Open sourcers urged to adopt dancing poultry license

      In an effort to revolutionize the world of open source, a free software advocate has submitted a new license to the Open Source Initiative. The document is two years in the making, and it’s known as the CDL, short for Chicken Dance License.

    • Google’s ‘clean’ Linux headers: Are they really that dirty?

      The trouble with open source is that most coders aren’t lawyers and most lawyers aren’t coders. And even if everyone did wear both hats, there would still be ample room for disagreement. The law, you must remember, is subjective.

      Two intellectual-property lawyers have told the world that Android is at risk of legal attack because it uses Googly versions of the original Linux header files. But Linux daddy Linus Torvalds says this is “totally bogus”. The truth lies somewhere in between. But good luck finding it.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Freeloading Digital Economy

      This is the terrible bargain of free content: in exchange for content we don’t have to pay for, everyone pays in crappy content, ads masquerading as news and reviews, and wholesale invasion and exploitation of our privacy and personal business. We already have crappy advertiser-controlled TV and radio, why would anyone want to extend that to movies, books, and music?

      Jose_X wrote an interesting comment on the hurdles to making money in a digital economy. This shiny new digital marketplace is completely nuts, and I think it’s going to settle into a tip jar economy, which Jose_X talked about, whether we want it that way or not. It’s already most of the way there because despite the best efforts of the brainiacs at Sony, RIAA, MPAA, and our other beloved titans of the entertainment and publishing industries, treating copyright infringement like shoplifting doesn’t work.

      Digital copying and distribution are so easy, and making people pay for it is so hard, it seems obvious that trying to keep the old retail model going is not going to work. Market value is irrational in so many ways. I think digital media should be worth more– you can copy it to multiple devices and modify it in all kinds of ways to suit your own needs, for example run an ebook through a reader so you can listen to it, get glorious color copies without the high cost of color printing, print out just the pages you want, copy and paste and assemble selected passages onto one page. With movies and music you can erase the dirty words if that is your desire, do-it-yourself karaoke, put yourself in the movie, convert them to lower-fi formats, store thousands of them on a single small computer, copy to multiple devices. It’s the ultimate in convenience and flexibility.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Document Freedom Day 2011

      “In cooperation with the Dutch Digital heritage Foundation and the Club for History and ICT, we will be celebrating Document Freedom Day 2011 in Royal Library (National Library for the Netherlands) in The Hague this year on March 30th. The theme for this event will be “Open Heritage”. The importance of information and open formats is in this branche very well known, because of broad availability, openness of information and endurable access.


  • Science

    • Scottish invention ‘improves phone storage’

      Scottish researchers have helped to create a device which improves memory storage for technology including MP3s, smartphones and cameras.

    • Understanding Parallel Computing: Amdahl’s Law

      More cores mean better performance, right? That’s not what Amdahl says. Learn one of the foundations of parallel computing in “Amdahl’s Law.” Prepare yourself for math. And lawn mowing.

    • Security

    • Defence/Police/Aggression

      • Sudan to unleash cyber jihadists

        Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party has warned that its “cyber jihadists” will “crush” internet-based dissent.

        It follows an increase in anti-government campaigns organised on Facebook and Twitter.

        Senior NCP official Mandur al-Mahdi warned opposition groups that its “cyber battalion” was leading “online defence operations”.

    • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

      • Adorable loris videos: maimed, tortured, dying endangered trafficked animals on YouTube

        You may be one of the millions of people who’ve enjoyed videos of slow lorises behaving adorably while being tickled or clutching tiny cocktail umbrellas. However, according to animal rights activists, these endangered lorises have been illegally trafficked, brutally mutilated, and are doomed to die from infection, covered in their own feces and urine.

    • Finance

      • The Collapse of Globalization

        They presage growing misery for hundreds of millions of people who find themselves trapped in failed states, suffering escalating violence and crippling poverty.

        They presage increasingly draconian controls and force—take a look at what is being done to Pfc. Bradley Manning—used to protect the corporate elite who are orchestrating our demise.

    • Privacy

      • France fines Google over Street View data blunder

        Google has been hit with a fine by France’s privacy watchdog CNIL over the personal data it mistakenly gathered when setting up Street View.

        The £87,000 (100,000 euro) penalty is the largest ever handed out by CNIL.

      • No Privacy on Amazon’s Cloud Drive

        Don’t believe me? Read the Amazon Cloud Drive Terms of Use for yourself. In particular, take a glance at: Section 5.2:

        “5.2 Our Right to Access Your Files. You give us the right to access, retain, use and disclose your account information and Your Files: to provide you with technical support and address technical issues; to investigate compliance with the terms of this Agreement, enforce the terms of this Agreement and protect the Service and its users from fraud or security threats; or as we determine is necessary to provide the Service or comply with applicable law”

    • DRM

      • US hacker denies fleeing justice

        The American hacker who unlocked Sony’s PS3 has denied fleeing the country to avoid legal action.

        George Hotz, also known as Geohot, said his trip had been planned for months and added that he was still in contact with his lawyers.

        Sony had raised questions about the reason for his sudden disappearance in recent legal papers that it filed in California.

    • Digital Economy (UK)/HADOPI

      • Digital Act heads to High Court

        Parts of the Digital Economy Act that deal with illegal file-sharing are being challenged in the High Court.

        Internet providers BT and TalkTalk demanded the judicial review, arguing that the legislation was rushed through parliament without proper debate.

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