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04.15.11

Links 15/4/2011: Mageia Screenshots, GIMP Progress, OpenOffice.org Independence

Posted in News Roundup at 7:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • YouView mandates Linux, HD content encryption

    YouView has posted the technical specifications set-top box and TV makers will need to follow in order to support the would-be standard IPTV platform.

    The specs will please punters who favour the Linux operating system – it’s the mandated OS for YouView-compatible devices – but will annoy anyone who hopes to shift recorded HD content onto their computers or Nas boxes.

    For hardware companies, the key product ‘must haves’ include 10/100Mb/s Ethernet – 802.11n Wi-Fi is optional; WPA and/or WPA 2 must be used – at least 320GB of hard drive capacity, 30GB of which will be reseved for material pushed to the device by content providers; 512MB of memory; two USB 2.0 ports; DVB-T and DVB-T2 tuners; HDMI 1.3 output; and an RGB Scart connector.

  • Desktop

    • The inevitable…My return to Windows

      Last time I tried to use Windows, there was a blackout, so I, logically, got a black screen asking me if I wanted to boot Windows normally, or with the last configuration that had worked, etc. I selected “normal” and saw with hope the XP logo…but the computer rebooted unexpectedly and threw me again to the same black screen. “OK, let’s go ‘last good config’ this time,” I mumbled and chose. And XP, for its part, chose to do something wonderful: it got me into a cute loop and refused to start. Isn’t that wonderful? I have been using my PC all this time without even knowing that Windows XP had fried! Thus, my return to Windows was colored by the inevitable reminder of its many weaknesses.

    • Mageia Beta1 in pictures

      I would venture to say that not only is Mageia promising as a distro, but that it will also fulfill the dream of keeping the Mandrake/Mandriva legacy alive. I, for one, will save a partition for Mageia.

    • System76 Serval Professional Sandy Bridge

      The past few months on Phoronix and OpenBenchmarking.org you may have noticed several Intel Core i7 “Sandy Bridge” mobile benchmarks. This Linux mobile SNB testing was being done from a System76 Serval Professional notebook. Here is a look at this Linux-friendly notebook that ships with Ubuntu 10.10.

    • Joli OS 1.2 review – the best gets even better…

      Jolicloud, the leading cloud-based netbook and ‘recycling’ OS, has undergone another point release to address problems and add features. Russell Barnes reveals all…

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Podcast Season 3 Episode 7

      In this episode: Gnome 3.0 has been released while Nokia takes back its Symbian operating system. Red Hat is approaching $1b in revenue and Groklaw is calling it a day. Share in our discoveries, hear our responses to your emails and letters and join us in welcoming a new member to the team.

    • # The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 398
  • Kernel Space

    • Linux – Is It Still Standing Strong?

      Windows has been predominantly the OS of choice for most of us. Linux too has been around and it has struggled on the desktop space. Things haven’t turned out as well as Linux hoped. I have been on both sides for long periods of time. There is no denying Linux’s success on the server side of things. Many expected Linux to be an easy replacement for Windows, but for a number of reasons, it hasn’t been so.

      [...]

      If all of the popular mobile and tablet OS’ are offshoots of the Linux framework, and if we go by figures, Linux could very well be much bigger than Windows.

    • Torvalds Honored by Gaggle of Lawyers

      Linus Torvalds, the father of Linux and hero to many Open Source users, might not be the first person one might think would be honored by an organization of lawyers, but that’s exactly what’s happening. The International Technology Law Association will award Torvalds its ITechLaw Achievement Award at their upcoming 40th anniversary celebration.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Plasma Active: Operating Systems

        This is the fourth in a series of five daily blog entries covering the various tracks in the Plasma Active initiative. Today we’ll be looking at how we plan to distribute the fruits of our labor for use on devices. As we will discover, this is rather new ground for a KDE initiative. It will bring many challenges, but also open new opportunities.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • V. 3 – You Can’t Go GNOME Again

        Now that Canonical has adopted Unity for its next Ubuntu release, it seems likely that no desktop environment in history has ever launched to as much scrutiny as the new GNOME 3.

        Indeed, the GNOME project’s latest contender made its long-awaited debut last week, and the reviews have been coming fast and furious ever since.

      • Unity environment in good shape, on track for Ubuntu 11.04

        In an ongoing mailing list thread, the Ubuntu Technical Board is discussing whether the new Unity environment is a suitable default for the upcoming Ubuntu 11.04 release, codenamed Natty Narwhal. The prevailing view seems to be that Unity is still on track, but there are a number of technical issues that are still being addressed.

        Unity is a new user interface shell and window management system that is designed to improve Ubuntu’s ease of use and visual sophistication. A previous version of Unity served as the netbook user experience in Ubuntu 10.10. The plan for 11.04, codenamed Natty Narwhal, is to ship the much-improved new version of Unity as the standard user experience across desktop and netbook form factors.

      • GNOME 3 Double Fail

        So GNOME 3 was released. I don’t know why, but my excitement levels were quite low, until today when I pushed myself into trying it out. Rather than installing the new version on top of some other distro running GNOME 2, I decided to get the intended experience by downloading one of the “official” systems on the GNOME 3 webpage. There were two options: openSUSE and Fedora. As I haven’t checked on openSUSE for quite a while now, I chose it.

      • My First Impression of Gnome 3 and Unity for Linux

        There’s been a lot of hype and angst and discussion in the world of Linux lately. Actually, for several months; since Mark Shuttleworth announced that when Ubuntu 11.04 is released at the end of April it would use Unity as the default desktop manager, instead of Gnome 3. And we’ve also been gearing up for the release this week of Gnome 3, and Gnome Shell, which is the new GUI for Gnome.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Cache Move Sparks Standards Spat

        By introducing a Java specification for its own Infinispan data grid technology, open-source software provider Red Hat has generated a lively debate within the ranks of the JCP (Java Community Process) over the best way to add distributed caching to enterprise Java.

      • CentOS 5.6 Finally Arrives: Is It Suitable for Business Use?

        CentOS has been a valuable part of the Linux ecosystem for some time. It’s even been beneficial to Red Hat by helping it maintain its status as the de facto enterprise Linux, without competing too fiercely for support dollars. But the extreme delays in the release of updates for 5.x and the total absence of 6.0 after almost six months gives me little confidence in the CentOS project as it’s run today. It’s neither a community project in any real sense, nor suitable for enterprise or even small business use. It doesn’t have to remain that way, but as it stands now it’s not good business sense to rely on the project even if it costs nothing in support fees.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 15: Back in the game!

          Gnome 3 feels very sleek, unobtrusive, extremely solid, and intuitive. There may be (deliberate) functional omisions through its design mandate, but give it time – a few things feel more natural after a few hours of using the environment. Such as the lack of a maximize button… For a start, I’ve been a KDE user for the last 3 years, and I’ve always used the ‘drag-to-edge’ function for doing this. And this behavior just feels `right’.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 11.04 ‘Natty Narwhal’ Beta 2 Released

          Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 2 has been released today that brings many new updates and fixes. This is the last beta before the final Ubuntu11.04 release on April 28. There will be no release candidate.

        • 5 Out Of 11 Participants Crashed Unity In Canonical’s Study

          Today the results of the Default Desktop User Testing for Ubuntu 11.04 was published by Canonical’s Rick Spencer. The test was done using 11 participants from different backgrounds to test the new Unity interface that that Ubuntu 11.04 will have.

        • What Are Mac & Windows Users Saying About Unity?
        • Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 2 Released: Test and Report!
        • Ubuntu ‘Unity’ Desktop Environment Second Impressions

          A couple of days after the first beta was released of Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), I posted my “First Impressions” on what I thought of Canonical’s ‘Unity’ desktop environment after some light usage. At that time, all of my experience was limited to a notebook that I only use for the lightest of duties, so with 11.04 beta 2 just released, I decided to install the OS on my home machine and take it, and Unity in general, for a real spin.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Bodhi 1.0

            Since this is a 1.0 release, there’s no “what’s new” to include. However, here are a few more details about what Bodhi Linux is based on and what it includes.

            Based on Ubuntu 10.04
            Enlightenment .16
            Kernel 2.6.35

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tablets

      • Kogan goes Linux crazy with Android devices, Ubuntu netbook

        Kogan’s new netbook with Ubuntu 11.04 and Unity pre-loaded

        Kogan’s new netbook with Ubuntu 11.04 and Unity pre-loaded

        * Kogan’s new netbook with Ubuntu 11.04 and Unity pre-loaded
        * Kogan’s leap of faith with Unity
        * Android on TV with Kogan’s new PVR
        * The new Kogan budget tablet PC also runs Android 2.2

        View all images

        After becoming famous more than two years ago for promising to bring an Android smartphone to the Australian market, Kogan Technologies has released and Android tablet, PVR and new notebooks running Ubuntu Linux.

        Unfortunately the original Agora handset was a flop, but the new range of Agora devices are tangible and for sale on Kogan’s website from today.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Synchronization sucks!

    One of my biggest pet-peeves in the free software world hit me again. Whenever I asked my friends what are their biggest blockers against switching to Linux, I get two questions. The first one is “Will my Word documents work? Will I get something equivalent to MS Office?” And I am happy to say that I can point to Libre/OpenOffice and with a kind help from our friends in Redmont, I usually can persuade them that we have a good alternative here.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Ride the Firefox development wave with Aurora pre-release builds

        Mozilla has announced the launch of Aurora, a new Firefox release channel that is intended to open up experimental Firefox features to a broader audience of testers. The Aurora channel will serve up a stream of Firefox builds that are less fragile than the nightly builds but not as stable as official pre-releases.

        Mozilla is transitioning to shorter release cycles and a more incremental development model. The organization aims to deliver three more major Firefox releases this year, bringing the open source Web browser’s version number up to 7. As we explained in our previous coverage of Mozilla’s 2011 roadmap, the transition will require much more intensive testing throughout the development cycle.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • OpenOffice.org 3.4 Beta available for download

      we are happy to announce that OpenOffice.org 3.4 Beta is now ready for download.

      This Beta Release is available in English and 69 additional languages which can be installed as language packs (localizations are still ongoing).

    • Oracle orphans OpenOffice offering

      Oracle will no longer be offering the paid-for version of Oracle OpenOffice and the development of the open-source version at OpenOffice.org will be a purely community-driven project, the company has said.

      Oracle announced the plans to hand development of the software to a community-based process on Friday.

    • Oracle: OpenOffice.org to become “a Community-based Project”

      Oracle has announced that it intends OpenOffice.org to become a “purely community-based open source project” and that it plans to no longer offer a commercial version of OpenOffice. Edward Screven, Oracle’s Chief Corporate Architect, said the company intends “working immediately with community members to further the continued success of Open Office.”

    • Oracle licensing: just say no
    • Real or imagined? Open source contributions from Oracle

      Oracle likes to demonstrate. More specifically, Oracle tries hard to demonstrate commitment to open source in its various manifestations since its acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Let’s Play With GNU Screen

      Many GNU/Linux users spend time working at the command line. The GNU Screen utility can be of great use if you work with multiple shells at a time. We could also call Screen the “virtual terminal manager”. It allows you to handle multiple shell sessions within a single window/console, and view multiple sessions at the same time too. If this sounds interesting, read on!

      The Screen utility is provided by the GNU Foundation; take a look at www.gnu.org/software/screen/ for more details. It comes pre-installed in most Linux distros—if not, you can use sudo apt-get install screen (or your distro’s package manager) to install it from the distro’s package repositories. I‘m using Ubuntu 10.04 32-bit, which has Screen pre-installed—version 4.00.03jw4.

  • Project Releases

    • Blender 2.57

      The Blender Foundation and online developer community is proud to present Blender 2.57. This is the first stable release of the Blender 2.5 series, representing the culmination of many years of redesign and development work.

      We name this version “Stable” not only because it’s mostly feature complete, but especially thanks to the 1000s of fixes and feature updates we did since the 2.5 beta versions were published.

  • Licensing

    • Open Source Licenses: Greater Rights, Different Responsibilities

      The goal isn’t to eradicate open source software from the organization — it’s to use it properly in the pursuit of the company’s goals. The legal department should be part of the group that is applying the policy, and assessing and monitoring its effectiveness, but there should be equal stakeholders in engineering/development and IT, so the policy is not viewed as merely an onerous legal requirement.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • File Transfers Over 1Gbit/s Ethernet: SSD vs. HDD

        As mentioned a couple times recently in our news and content, we’re in the process of completely overhauling our suite for motherboard testing, to help assure that we’re delivering the more relevant data possible. Taking into account the fact that not all NICs are built equal, one introduction we’ll be making is Ethernet testing, to see which integrated card will deliver you the best networking experience.

Leftovers

  • Could 7-year-old emails halve Zuckerberg’s Facebook stake?
  • Zuckerberg’s Goodfellas

    Anybody who got sucked into the glamour/darkness of the Facebook story that culminated in Aaron Sorkin’s The Social Network movie will probably be familiar with the name Paul Ceglia.

    Ceglia is the guy who filed a lawsuit last August claiming that he owns 50 percent of Facebook and, therefore, is entitled to 50 percent of the revenue. There were, however, reasons to seriously doubt Ceglia’s claims. Facebook has understandably been keen to hammer the point that Ceglia is a convicted felon who allegedly defrauded customers of his wood pellet company of $200,000. Being a convicted fraudster doesn’t look good when attempting to convince a court that you are owed billions of dollars. Then there is the fact that Ceglia waited a full seven years before filing his suit, by which time, of course, his potential winnings had sky-rocketed. On first glance, Ceglia appears to be a small-time con man gambling on one big payout.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Biofuels transport targets are unethical, inquiry finds

      The legal requirement to put biofuels in petrol and diesel sold in the UK and Europe is unethical because their production violates human rights and damages the environment, a major new inquiry has concluded.

      “Biofuels are one of the only renewable alternatives we have for transport fuels, but current policies and targets that encourage their uptake have backfired badly,” said Prof Joyce Tait, at Edinburgh University, who chaired the 18-month inquiry by the independent Nuffield Council on Bioethics (NCB). “The rapid expansion of biofuels production in the developing world has led to problems such as deforestation and the displacement of indigenous people.”

  • Finance

    • Banks to Pay Victims of Botched Foreclosures in Settlement With Regulators

      The 14 largest U.S. mortgage servicers must pay back homeowners for losses from foreclosures or loans that were mishandled in the wake of the housing collapse, the first of a set of sanctions regulators are seeking against the companies.

      The settlement announced today between servicers and banking regulators could help the U.S. Justice Department determine the size and scope of fines for the flawed practices, regulators said.

      Officials from the Justice department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and 10 state attorneys general met with banks today, the second such meeting to negotiate a global settlement, Associate U.S. Attorney General Tom Perrelli said. The group is discussing potential fines and whether servicers should be required to reduce the principal on some home loans.

    • VOICES: Right-to-work law brings falling wages, 80-hour weeks

      Right to work came to Louisiana in 1976 and drastically changed my family’s work for the worse. I am a third-generation member of the Operating Engineers, Local 406 in Lake Charles. My grandfather, great-uncle, father, brother, cousins, and I have all worked in the heavy equipment industry. While previous generations ran a wide range of equipment (dozers, draglines, and cranes), my father, brother, and I have only worked with large, heavy-lift cranes.

  • Privacy

    • The Two Johns Strike a Note for Data Privacy

      Data privacy is one of the hot legal issues of the day. Companies can not gather enough information about consumers’ interests and spending habits.

      But one-time political foes John Kerry and John McCain are trying to put some limits on secretive data gathering.

      The Johns yesterday filed the august-sounding Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011.

  • Civil Rights

    • ICE Redefines Detainment For Wikileaks Helper: You’re Not Being Detained, You Just Can’t Leave

      Earlier this year, we wrote about computer security expert, Tor developer and Wikileaks volunteer Jacob Appelbaum, who was regularly being detained and intimidated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials each time he (a US citizen) traveled into the country. If you follow Jacob’s Twitter feed, you get detailed descriptions each time he flies back into the country of the hassles he has to go through. Every time he’s detained and never once given an explanation for why or what is being searched for. He’s often lied to and frequently told that it’s a “random” search. He certainly knows enough that he wipes all of his electronic equipment before traveling across the border.

      In the latest case, upon returning from a conference in Europe by flying into Houston, Appelbaum again asked his detainers why he was being detained, and was once again not given a straight answer. He knows that there’s something on the screen that they pull up on their computers, but they refuse to provide him with any info. This time, they even went so far as to redefine detainment, telling him that he wasn’t being detained, but that he just couldn’t go until they were done with him. Perhaps he should send Homeland Security a copy of a dictionary with the definition of “detained” highlighted.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • T-Mobile’s ‘new’ unlimited plan, now with more throttling

      Despite being in the midst of a $39 billion merger with AT&T, T-Mobile is still moving forward with business as usual. The carrier announced Thursday a new cheaper unlimited plan, however with some important caveats, including throttling for heavy data users.

      The plan will cost $79.99 per month, and included unlimited voice, data, and text and picture messaging. On average, the carrier says subscribers will save up to $350 yearly when compared to competitors’ plans. Customers will only have a limited time to to sign up for the new plan, although an end date was not provided. Both new and existing customers will be eligible.

    • Net Neutrality: An Encouraging Report From the French Parliament

      The trans-partisan parliamentary mission led by Laure de la Raudière and Corinne Erhel just released its report on Net neutrality. This encouraging report calls for preserving the Internet’s universality and protecting end-users’ fundamental freedoms, and should be considered a template for other European public authorities. That said, while this document offers an important reflection on the evolution of our legal framework to protect fundamental rights and foster the digital economy, it must be followed by actions. La Quadrature du Net publishes an unofficial translation of the report’s introduction.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • European Court of Justice To Outlaw Internet Filtering; Esp. For Copyright Enforcement

        Today, the European Court of Justice gave a preliminary opinion that will have far-reaching implications in the fight against overaggressive copyright monopoly abusers. It is not a final verdict, but the Advocate General’s position; the Court generally follows this. The Advocate General says that no ISP can be required to filter the Internet, and particularly not to enforce the copyright monopoly.

      • Filtering the Net for Copyright Runs Counter to Fundamental Rights

        Today, the advocate general of the European Court of Justice rendered his conclusions in the Scarlet/SABAM case, in which a Belgian judge ordered an Internet access provider to filter its subscribers’ communications to block unauthorized transmissions of copyrighted works. He concludes that such filtering measures are way too restrictive of freedom of expression and privacy, thereby reasserting the importance of fundamental rights online and stressing the disproportionate character of filtering measures to enforce copyright on the Internet. This should compel the EU Commission to revise its copyright enforcement strategy, as it undertakes the revision of the anti-sharing IPRED directive.

Clip of the Day

GP2X Shop – Small tour through the dragon’s lair


Credit: TinyOgg

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