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04.06.11

Links 6/4/2011: More Linux Tablets, Red Hat Expands in New Zealand

Posted in News Roundup at 5:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The compat-wireless dance
  • Guest blog: Five more signs Linux is ready for mission-critical workloads

    The UNIX vs. Linux debate continues to rage on especially when it comes to applications that require high availability. As I watch the market, I see more and more evidence that Linux is ready to handle the demands for mission-critical computing.

  • Kicking Puppies or Giving Up on GNU/Linux Desktops

    The desktop is changing. No longer do folks need a big case on their desks to do the job. Notebooks have taken over. No longer do they even need a thick/heavy/hot notebook. Netbooks, smart phones, tablets and some hybrids have taken over. When the dust settles, some kind of thin client probably running GNU/Linux on ARM will have evolved. It’s survival of the fittest, not the fattest, in IT. That other OS has a severe disadvantage, that Zemlin points out. GNU/Linux just works better on everything. When the conventional desktop with huge local resources goes the way of the DoDo bird, GNU/Linux will be there on whatever results.

  • Issue 144 (May 2011) – Get more from MythTV
  • Desktop

    • Review: System 76 Gazelle Professional Ubuntu Laptop

      System 76 has done a fantastic job with the Gazelle Professional. It’s very well put together and runs everything as it should out of the box. If you need a high performing Linux laptop, the Gazelle Pro should make your short list. At $1877 for the reviewed configuration, it sounds pricey but the extra ram and processor really help if you are planning on doing a lot of multimedia work or running a lot of virtual machines. Also, there isn’t a MacBook that Apple sells that can hold 16 GB of ram. Take the reviewed configuration and add another 8 GB of RAM for a total of 16 GB, and you are still under a similarly configured MacBook’s price except you have 8 GB more ram than ANY MacBook. No – it’s not near as pretty as a MacBook, but it’s just as powerful in an experienced Linux user’s hands.

  • Google

    • Is Google Marketing Linux-BSD?

      The openness of Android seems to have paid off for Google and the various makers of Android devices. On Friday, comScore announced that Android’s share of the mobile market grew by 7% between November and February, compared with a 0.2% gain for iOS, with RIM’s Blackberry actually seeing a 0.2% drop in usage. According to the report, one out of ever three mobile devices in use is running some implementation of Android.

    • How big is Google, really?

      There’s been a lot of talk about how big Facebook has become, and with its 600 million users (!) it has certainly become a force to be reckoned with. But there is still one player out there that dwarfs Facebook, and that is Google.

      The problem is that it’s extremely difficult to estimate just how big Google actually is. But we’re going to try anyway.

  • Ballnux

    • Samsung Galaxy Prevail joins Boost Mobile Android portfolio at $179.99

      The Samsung Galaxy Prevail was officially announced at a Boost Mobile and Samsung Mobile press event in New York City. But someone at Boost decided it would be better to simply unveil the Prevail early and list the device on the Boost Mobile phone selection page.

      Broken schedule or not, we can now confirm that the Samsung Galaxy Prevail is Boost Mobile’s second Android phone, joining the Motorola i1 to double the carrier’s Android offerings. Packed into the Galaxy Prevail’s 3.8-ounce body are a 3.2-inch touchscreen, Android 2.2, and a 2 megapixel camera. Similar to its Sprint brethren, the Prevail also ships with unlimited usage of TeleNav map and voice navigation, and has the following apps pre-loaded on the phone: Facebook, Hookt, Poynt, SCVNGR, ThinkFree Office, and Twidroyd.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Another Benefit To Wayland: Its Screensaver

        When Mark Shuttleworth announced last year that Ubuntu will eventually deploy Wayland instead of an X.Org Server with their new Unity Desktop, there were many mixed reactions. There were many Phoronix enthusiasts excited since this means replacing ancient X11 code with a brand new code-base designed around modern graphics technologies that takes advantage of KMS, OpenGL, etc. Others, however, were less excited since Wayland is still a work-in-progress. While Wayland has come a long way in recent months, it’s still not as full-featured as an X.Org Server, but the features coming are beginning to trump the current capabilities of the X stack.

      • X.Org security advisory: root hole via rogue hostname
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME vs. KDE: The Latest Round

      Most free software users have long ago made their decision about whether they prefer the GNOME or KDE desktop. However, with the release of GNOME 3 this week, the choice requires a new answer. Now, both GNOME and KDE have versions that are radically different from those each had a few years ago.

      The difference is not in the software. The choice of applications designed for each desktop has not altered: in most cases, the utilities have identical features, but GNOME still lacks a font installer and a fully-featured music player, while KDE could use better accessibility and network connection tools.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Telepathy – straight of the Shelf

        I’ve been interested in Telepathy for some time now. And every time it was mentioned on PlanetKDE, I wanted to test it. Some things worked, some not. Now, that the important ones are functional – system settings module, contact list, chat window – I decided to start the preparations for Lancelot to switch from Kopete to Telepathy.

      • Ditching KDE Applications

        On a side note, don’t confuse KDE and Qt. I still have Qt on my system because of Skype and VLC, both of which I use regularly. I’m not getting rid of those.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Are You Looking Forward to GNOME 3?

        GNOME 3.0 will be officially released tomorrow to what will almost assuredly be a bunch of fanfare. It’s been five years in the making with contributions from over 3,500 developers. It’s had quite a bit of press and blog coverage already and opinions will most likely multiply in the days ahead. But how do regular users feel about the upcoming GNOME 3.0 against the backdrop of the debates over the good and bad points?

        A year ago I started a poll on my Website to gauge excitement over GNOME 3.0 which was just starting to get some buzz and included early screenshots. Then in February of this year I asked again after quite a bit of coverage had been circulating forming a more complete picture of just how the new desktop would look and operate.

      • OCRFeeder for GNOME’s Google Summer of Code

        I have added OCRFeeder to the list of GNOME ideas for this year’s Google Summer of Code.

      • Introducing Gnome Tweak Tool – GUI To Configure Gnome 3 / Gnome Shell

        If you’ve been following the Gnome Shell development, you probably know that it doesn’t provide a GUI tool to tweak some basic settings like changing the GTK, Gnome Shell theme or icon theme, re-enable the minimize and maximize buttons, and so on.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Foresight Linux 2.5 review

        oresight is a distribution I thought had “died” and gone to tux heaven. But it seems that the developers decided to bring it back to life. Given that, I hoped that the developers would have taken more time to bring every aspect of the distribution up to date.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • April 2011 issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine

        The magazine is lead by Paul Arnote, Chief Editor, and Assistant Editors Andrew Strick and Meemaw. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license, and some rights are reserved.

      • PCLinuxOS 2010 Review

        PCLinuxOS is available in 85 languages using the Addlocale tool, and has over 12000 packages available from the repositories.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat opens New Zealand office

        The new office will be located in Auckland and will focus on driving adoption of Red Hat’s Linux, middleware and cloud computing offerings through its partners.

        Red Hat solutions are distributed through Ingram New Zealand; Datacom, Gen-i, OSS and Solnet; and OEM Partners IBM, HP, Dell, and Cisco.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Unity Almost There

          So, I’m a bit surprised how much people liked my spider diagrams to update folks on my perception of the state of Unity. It’s been hard to update that last few months, just because Unity has been changing so fast. However, those changes have slowed down, and I’ve gotten some requests, so here is my post-beta 1 spider diagram for Unity.

          As you can see, the orange line, Unity, almost overlaps the yellow line, our target for Natty. Obviously, this is a major accomplish for many teams involved in this project. I’ve been using Unity and my netbook and on my desktop for months now. Over the last few weeks it has crisped up into a very tight experience. Of all the desktop environments I have ever used, Unity is by far my favorite.

        • US Dell Site: Now selling Laptops again

          It looks like the Dell USA website has been updated and is now selling 2 models of Ubuntu laptop. The first is a 10 inch almost netbook which ships with Ubuntu 10.10 (so it’s likely to be a recent addition) and an older Latitude 13-N which comes with Ubuntu 9.10 (which shows it’s likely to be an older model that might not have been properly advertised on the website previously)

        • Unity Works

          The Unity interface works for me. It is tidy and simple enough for any newbie to figure out. It is not as easily configured as GNOME normally is but about the same as XFCE4 which I often use.

        • ShipIt Discontinued, Long Live LoCo Teams

          Today it was announced that ShipIt, the free CD service that Canonical has been running since the inception of Ubuntu will be discontinued. I know some LoCo Teams may be worried about this, so I wanted to clarify some details right away.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 – What Have They Done?!

          9 hours later, after installing the Kubuntu Desktop Environment alongside Ubuntu along with many updates, upgrades and software packages, I have discovered I can have a taskbar at the bottom of my Ubuntu 11.04 desktop. To get Natty Ubuntu looking somewhat similar to Maverick you must change your desktop environment to “Ubuntu Classic” when you log in by clicking your username then changing “Ubuntu” (in the dropdown box) at the bottom of the screen to “Ubuntu Classic”. I would never have realized this had I not installed KDE (Kubuntu).

        • Joining Canonical Ltd.

          Starting last Friday (1st of April) I’m now working for Canonical Ltd. as a member of the Ubuntu Foundations team !

          I’ll mostly be working on network related stuff, though my TODO list will probably be a lot clearer after the upcoming Ubuntu Developer Summit in Budapest, Hungary.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Elementary OS Review

            Long story short, Elementary OS was a bitter disappointment for me. I think the concept is there, and it could be a successful one with the right implementation, but I don’t see that happening in Jupiter. Moon OS, Zorin OS, Linux Mint… The list of Ubuntu forks that do better is long and I don’t see that changing as long as the Elementary project does not realize that Linux without flexibility is hardly an option.

          • Lucid Puppy 5.2.5 is released ! Screenshots Tour
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • US: Android is the most popular smartphone system

          US market researcher comScore reports that 69.5 million US citizens own a smartphone, and that one third of these phones run Google’s open source Android mobile operating system. On the popularity scale, RIM and Apple are next with 29% and 25% of users, leaving Microsoft (8%) and Palm (3%) far behind. According to market researcher Nielsen, the US sales figures for Android phones have already been above those for RIM and Apple since July 2010, but this is the first time that Android is also leading in terms of devices in use. comScore said that last November, RIM was in the lead with 34%, followed by Android and Apple with an almost identical share each of 25% of users.

    • Tablets

      • Sylvania Magni – 10 inch Android tablet

        Here is a real budget tablet for Mr Scrooge. For $199 you can pick up this Sylvania Magni 10 inch tablet with 1Ghz Arm 11.1GHz chip, 257 MB of Internal Memory and 2GB of space. It does have a MicroSD Card so you can up extend the memory up to 16GB. For connectivity it has WiFi, 2 Mini USB ports and HDMI. It also has a 1.3 megapixel camera and 1400mah battery. Sylvania Magni runs on Android 2.2. Sylvania Magni has an obsolete 800 x 480 pixel display on 10 inches. Needless to say, a bit more money can get you a much better tablet. At least when it comes to the resolution. Someone had slept in I think, but the price is right. Can’t have it all, can we? JR sells it for $199.

      • MeeGo Linux tablet user interface source code now available

        The powers that be that manage the development of the MeeGo Linux software for netbooks, tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices have released the source code for the first tablet version of the operating system. The software developer kit and source code for MeeGo Tablet are now available for download.

        MeeGo still describes the tablet software as a “preview” version and a work in progress. But by making the source code available, MeeGo will encourage third party developers to write apps for the software platform, and possibly to help find bugs or areas that can be improved.

      • Android tablets must balance freedom with functionality

        Who’d have predicted that overpriced slivers of silicon, covered in oleophobic glass trying its best to repel your sticky fingers, would become the first great technological innovation of the 21st century?

Free Software/Open Source

  • 63 Top Commercial Open Source Projects

    Frequently, Datamation publishes lists of free Linux and open source software. This time, we’re doing something a little different: we’re highlighting outstanding commercial open source software.

    Before we go any farther, we should define what we mean by “commercial open source software.” As with many topics in the open source world, different people have very different opinions about what that phrase means.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Must-have restartless Firefox add-ons

        The future of Firefox’s add-ons arrived in Firefox 4 with the introduction of “restartless add-ons.” Based on the new Jetpack API and Add-on SDK, restartless add-ons–also known as bootstrapped add-ons–don’t require a restart to be used or removed. Not coincidentally, they also provide Firefox with a venue for competing directly with other browsers, which use add-on frameworks that were created after the technology that supports restartless add-ons was created.

      • What Should Mozilla Do As Firefox 4 Performance Problems Persist?

        Mozilla’s disclosure of slow performing add-ons is admirable, but let’s not forget that browsers are one of the most competitive application categories, and the open source Chrome browser from Google is breathing down Firefox’s neck in terms of market share. Chrome is widely lauded for performance, while Firefox 4 is taking criticism precisely on the performance front.

  • SaaS

    • The Ideal Cloud Computing Deployment Is a Patchwork Quilt of Tools

      In the rapidly emerging cloud computing arena, providers of platforms and solutions tend to fall into two camps. In the first camp, players such as Amazon and Microsoft pitch their cloud computing platforms as end-to-end solutions that provide one-stop shopping for all things cloud. In the other camp, there are players such as Red Hat, focusing on allowing many open source projects to be weaved together into patchwork quilts of cloud computing solutions, offering optimal flexibility to those deploying or enabling cloud applications. There are ever more reasons to believe that the second camp has cloud computing right.

    • Eben Moglen on freedom — and the lack thereof — in the cloud

      I just listened to this (audio and video available from Hacker Public Radio).

      It’s all about rethinking our “relationship” with services such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft and the like — and what we can do about it to reclaim our freedom from a technological standpoint.

  • Databases

    • Brian Aker explains Memcached

      Memcached is one of the technologies that holds the modern Internet together, but do you know what it actually does? Brian Aker has certainly earned the title of Memcached guru, and below he offers a peek under the hood. He’ll also provide a deeper dive into Memcached in a tutorial at the upcoming 2011 MySQL Conference.

  • Healthcare

    • Tell the E.P.A.: No more methyl iodide

      Methyl iodide is a nasty chemical. It is a known neurotoxin and endocrine disruptor, and scientists in labs handle only small amounts using special protective equipment because it is so toxic. But do you know where else it is used? As a pesticide on strawberries and other food crops.

      The battle against methyl iodide is being fought on several fronts. Last summer, Washington state banned the use of the pesticide. Unfortunately, the pendulum swung the other way in California, when despite more than 53,000 public comments submitted by CREDO activists and our allies, the state’s Department of Pesticide Regulation approved the chemical for agricultural use last December.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD: Portability With VMware

      Interview with Dru Lavigne

      Dru Lavigne is a network and systems administrator, IT instructor, author and international speaker. She has over a decade of experience administering and teaching Netware, Microsoft, Cisco, Checkpoint, SCO, Solaris, Linux and BSD systems. She is author of BSD Hacks, The Best of FreeBSD Basics, and The Definitive Guide to PCBSD.

  • Government

    • Are the U.S. Government’s Open Initiatives Facing a Funding Crisis?

      There is no named source for the reports, but if these sites are indeed shutting down it is evidence that the push toward open initiatives–including many open source technology initiatives–in the U.S. government may need to be refined and better targeted. Kundra has done a remarkable job shifting important aspects of the U.S. government toward open practices and open source tools. It takes money to run some of these projects at the federal level, though.

    • The need for open markets for ICT

      Leaders and legislators often wonder how to keep up with the fast-moving world of ICT. But we know at the same time that there is significant public interest in play, so we are keen to have a role. With that thought in mind, I’m pleased that the European Union and the United States have found a way to make a constructive difference to ICT-related trade – through a series of principles that we will each apply to our respective trade negotiations with third countries.

  • Programming

    • The PHP Fat-Free Framework: Slim Down Your PHP Development

      The Perl community has long laid claim to the motto “There’s more than one way to do it”. As a long time member of the PHP community, I often wonder whether our motto should be, “There’s more than ten ways to do it.” The number of competing PHP projects can be staggering at times, as is evidenced by the ten lightweight frameworks I introduced in last year’s article, Top 10 Lightweight Frameworks for PHP Development. While sorting through such a broad selection of solutions can at times be overwhelming, the advantage is that with some patience you will eventually come across a solution which perfectly suits your particular tastes.

Leftovers

  • Hardware/Storage

    • The Perils of PATA, Part 3

      A quick trip to the Debian repository revealed “smartmontools”, the package with the basic text-mode tools, and “gsmartcontrol”, a GUI front-end. I installed these back in December, and ran the routine tests on the drives. And while my old /dev/hda passed with flying colors, the newly-acquired used /dev/hdb threw up a lot of warning flags. So I was expecting trouble.

      This, by the way, is why you want to install both packages. The text-mode tool dumps a load of numeric data, for which you need some knowledge of hard drives to interpret. The GUI tool, however, does the interpretation for you, highlights problems in red, and has useful help information.

    • A Lesson Learned the Hard Way about SSDs
    • Commodore 64 Gets Priced, Comes in 5 Models

      As promised on Monday, Commodore USA has unleashed the eagerly-awaited Commodore 64 keyboard PC. For the uninitiated, this isn’t a re-release of the ancient AIO that initially depended on cassette tapes to load up software. This is a modernized version packed with Intel’s dual-core Atom 525 CPU, Nvidia Ion2 graphics, 2 GB of DDR3 memory (expandable to 4 GB), an optical drive, and more. It may not be ideal for running Crysis 2, but it sure beats the dinosaur 8-bit technology from the 1980s.

  • Security

  • Cablegate

    • Bradley Manning “British by descent” says U.K. govt

      In a letter raising “concerns” to Washington over the pre-trial treatment of alleged military whistleblower Bradley Manning, the U.K. government asserted that he is “British by descent” after campaigners lobbied for the U.S. to allow his mother (who is from Wales) to visit him.

    • U.S. ambassador to Ecuador kicked out over WikiLeaked cable

      WikiLeaks has claimed another WikiLoser: U.S. Ambassador Heather Hodges, who was kicked out of Ecuador today over a cable detailing alleged corruption in President Rafael Correa’s government. “It is unfortunate that the published documents on WikiLeaks have made it impossible to continue collaborating with the current ambassador to Quito, but we hope to work with a new ambassador,” Ecuador’s Washington embassy said in a statement today, according to the Associated Press.

  • Finance

    • Lone Star State “Reform” a Texas-Sized Distortion

      When Republicans talk about how the American health care system should be reformed, they typically mention two things: allowing insurance firms to sell policies across state lines, which I wrote about last week; and malpractice reform.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Walker, Van Hollen, Prosser and Others Attended Koch-Fueled Americans for Prosperity’s Tea Party Conventions

      David Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity conventions in Wisconsin over the past two years may have helped lay the groundwork for the state’s controversial battle over labor rights and budget cuts. The conventions featured leading figures in the right-wing’s attack on workers, and may also have skirted disclosure rules in the process. Governor Scott Walker and Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen appeared when they were running for office, and both conventions featured Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David T. Prosser, Jr., whose race with challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg will come to an end with Tuesday’s state-wide election.

    • Koch’s Americans for Prosperity Aims at Kloppenburg, Strikes GOP Attorney General?

      The Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity is behind a mailer criticizing Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Joanne Kloppenburg for prosecutions that were trumpeted by her boss Wisconsin’s Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, who is defending Governor Walker’s union-busting bill in court.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • MPAA ‘Goes Nuts’ With New Movie Streaming Lawsuit

        In a bizarre yet brilliant example of how messed up the current copyright restrictions are, six major movie studios have filed a new lawsuit against the quasi DVD-rental outfit Zediva. Under the flag of the MPAA, the studios label the new business as a “sham,” because it uses a clever way to bypass a licensing roadblock.

        Zediva is a recently launched movie streaming service which allows customers to rent and view physical DVDs remotely. It is the result of the movie industry’s set of strict copyright rules, but also a service that bypasses them at the same time.

      • Digital Economy (UK)/HADOPI

        • Digital Economy Act: filesharing code delayed by six months

          The government’s code to clamp down on illegal filesharing will not come into force for another six months as the Digital Economy Act is held up by a high court challenge.

          However, plans to send thousands of warning letters to alleged copyright infringers are still on track to begin in the first half of next year, the government said on Tuesday.

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boeing 777 cockpit landing


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