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Links 18/4/2011: X.Org Server 1.10.1, Wind River Backing Android, Trinity KDE Reviewed, Lucas Rocha Moves on

Posted in News Roundup at 4:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Alas, Groklaw, We Hardly Knew Ye

    Here in the world of technology, it’s an everyday occurrence to see new companies and organizations spring up out of nowhere and begin to play an active role.

    What’s far less common, however, is to see one disappear — particularly one that has been an extremely productive and well-respected part of the community for years upon years.

    That, however, is essentially what happened a week ago, if a blog post over at Groklaw is anything to go by.

  • Server

    • 1 billion computing core-hours for researchers to tackle huge scientific challenges

      Computing is an invaluable resource for advancement of scientific breakthroughs. Today we’re announcing an academic research grant program called Google Exacycle for Visiting Faculty, which provides 1 billion hours of computational core capacity to researchers. That’s orders of magnitude larger than the computational resources most scientists normally have access to.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • In the beginning: Linux circa 1991

      It was also to Linux’s advantage that its license, the Gnu General Public License version 2 (GPLv2) made it possible both to share the efforts of many programmers without letting their work disappear into proprietary projects. That, as I see it, was one of the problems with the BSD Unix family–FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, etc.–and its BSD License.

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org Server 1.10.1 Released

        Jeremy Huddleston has tagged the first point release in the X.Org Server 1.10 series.

        X.Org Server 1.10 was released in late February after RandR 1.4 was pulled from the release. X Server point releases don’t add in any new features, however, but just correct outstanding bugs.

        The xorg-server 1.10.1 release has bug-fixes for XQuartz, X Input, XKB, and various other areas, but no single change jumps out as being too prominent.

      • Apple Mac OS X 10.7 Lion DP2 Battles Ubuntu 10.10

        When running the Warsow game at 1920 x 1080, its frame-rate is slightly up from the first Lion developer preview and Mac OS X 10.6.6, while the NVIDIA blob on Ubuntu 10.10 was the slowest of the bunch. Of course, if using the open-source Nouveau driver on Gallium3D its performance would even be worse for Linux.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Trinity KDE – An alternative to KDE4, Gnome 3?

        Trinity KDE is mostly nostalgia. While KDE3 had its merits, with the latest version of KDE4, it’s really hard to argue against the technological and ergonomic advancement introduced into the desktop environment.

      • KDE Commit Digest for 10 April 2011
      • Plasma Active: A Box of Crayons

        One of the results of the UX sprint in Berlin which I’m really happy with is that it helped me frame some of the bigger ideas behind in my mind behind Plasma Active, and make it digestable for someone who hasn’t spent a lot of time yet thinking about it, and digesting these ideas.

      • Marble 1.1 released

        The Marble Team has just released Marble 1.1. This release is special! With many new features being developed during Google Code-in, the Marble Team decided to get it out between the usual KDE application releases. The new version provides several new features and improvements…

    • GNOME Desktop

      • [Lucas Rocha] Leaving GNOME Release Team

        This is the team that set the general plan for the GNOME 3 release and I feel very proud of having been part of it. I especially remember a couple of very long conversations with my evil twin about GNOME 3 and the team discussions during our meetings at GUADEC and FOSDEM…

        Leaving the release team means that I now have no official roles in GNOME anymore. I’ve left a few other positions recently—among others that I haven’t really announced. This is actually an explicit decision of mine to gradually free some of my (rare) spare time for other personal projects. You probably know one of them. But there’s probably more coming, stay tuned!

      • Privacy settings are coming to Zeitgeist

        Writing on his blog, Zeitgeist developer Stefano Candori has shown off the beginnings of a feature addition to the semantic-tracking engine which allows users to specify what Zeitgeist can log – and what it shouldn’t.

  • Distributions

    • Visit My GNU/Linux (& BSD) Logo Zoo and See How Many Distros You can Name!

      Some people think that GNU/Linux is only one Operating System. Others think that “Linux” is the only UNIX Operating System derivative but BSD must not be forgotten. Both GNU/Linux and BSD include a lot of different OSs in their respective families. While Linux has Tux (a penguin) as its mascot, BSD has Daemon (a little devil). Interestingly, many of the OSs in both families are identified by logos representing animals. Thus, I made this little zoo with the logos of as many distros as I could find to illustrate the great variety of Operating Systems available to choose.

    • Reviews: Puppy Linux 5.2.5 – taking a bite out of bloat

      After a full week of usage, I can’t say that Puppy Linux 5.2.5 Lucid is quite ready to compete with industrial-strength distros such as Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora or openSUSE. It does come very close and I was able to get most of my work done, but the collection of PET packages is still insufficient to meet my heavy demands. The addition of the Ubuntu repository is potentially a solution, but the package collection is far from complete, and the issue of “dependency hell” is a source of frustration.

      Furthermore, the wisdom of running as root continues to haunt Puppy. In this era of online shopping and online banking, users expect ironclad security, and it should not require command-line hacks to get it. Discussion of this issue often gets heated, even rabid, turning into an all-consuming flamefest at times. I wish people wouldn’t get so emotional about it, but it is what it is. I don’t expect the raging debate to end any time soon.

      On the other hand, perhaps I’m barking up the wrong tree. Is Puppy meant to be blockbuster OS, built to withstand attacks like a server farm? Or is it just a lightweight fun OS that we can use to revive old hardware, or run from a USB stick when we need portability? A lot of people like Puppy – it’s in the top 10 of the DistroWatch page-hit ranking. I enjoy Puppy too, and it’s what I run exclusively on my netbook. Maybe the only thing wrong with Puppy is that users’ expectations tend to exceed the developer’s intentions.

    • Red Hat Family

      • The state sees Red and likes it

        I confess that when I read some weeks back about the state’s giving Raleigh-based Red Hat almost $17 million in incentives not to move, I was predictably agitated. After all, for over 15 years as a judge, candidate and lawyer, I have criticized and opposed this type of corporate welfare. My change of heart when it comes to Red Hat has nothing to do with our governor’s donning a red fedora set at a jaunty angle to announce the giveaway. Nor do I own any Red Hat stock. It’s really all about the fact that local businesses have finally figured out how the game is played.

      • Fedora

        • Top Five Fedora Derivatives

          One of the other “big names” in the Linux world is Red Hat’s community driven Fedora. Beyond Fedora itself, there are also a small number of derivatives out there based off of this Yum+RPM powered distribution. The following is a round up of some of the better ones.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project Leader Election 2011 Results

        The winner of the election is Stefano Zacchiroli.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Sorry Mate, But I Can’t Use Ubuntu Anymore: Goodbye Meerkat

          I liked Meerkat, in fact I loved it. But, its existence in my life has reduced to a couple of DVDs which are laying in some dark corners of the drawers of my office desk. They will never be put in CD drives again, they will never be used to install anything again. They might remain there as memories or be thrown in trash to be taken care by Brussels waste management department.

        • Unity vs GNOME 3 – Ubuntu 11.04

          This blog posting is strictly my opinion of the two interfaces in Ubuntu 11.04.

          I tried both of these interfaces when that I upgraded to Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 2. Unity did not stay installed very long. This interface has matured to a stable state however the interface did not appeal to me. Unity is plagued with overly large icons and lots of blandly bright colors. It’s like the screen was designed by Crayola and not Canonical.

        • The Bizarre Cathedral – 97
        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Wind River opens Android development center

          In yet another sign Intel is moving quickly into Android, its embedded Linux software subsidiary Wind River launched a new mobile technology development center in Stockholm focused on Android. Meanwhile, the Intel-backed MeeGo project appears to be gaining some new life for its handset development, with LG Electronics, ZTE, and China Mobile filling the gap left by Nokia, says an industry report.

          Wind River’s addition of an engineering team in Stockholm, Sweden, represents its “concentrated effort to grow its Android expertise for a wider range of Android-based devices including tablets, media phones and other device classes,” says the

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-Source Web-Sites, Memories Of The Past

    The forum discussion surrounding TransGaming’s GameTree Linux and Cedega Technology continues, with some Linux gamers regretting that they ever even supported TransGaming. One user also brings up the past from when — back in 2000~2001 — TransGaming had pledged to open up their code-base once they reached 20,000 subscribers. They believed in an open-source philosophy at that time, but they never ended up opening up their code once hitting that milestone. Even though Cedega as we know it is now dead, this former fork of the X11-licensed Wine is still closed.

  • The Folly of Business Use of Non-Free Software

    With FLOSS, the licence usually costs $0 so business running on FLOSS could save all of that $12billion and it would only take a small effort to migrate to FLOSS. Business has made mistakes along the way by not migrating sooner and buying licences instead of making their own software but it is never too late and $12billion annually saved forever will pay the total cost of migration in a few months or years, leaving all of eternity to spend the money on other things that bring value.

  • Open source programming tools on the rise

    The reason is clear: Open source licenses are designed to allow users to revise, fix, and extend their code. The barber or cop may not be familiar enough with code to contribute, but programmers sure know how to fiddle with their tools.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • AES encryption for OpenOffice.org

      The ODF 1.2 specification allows for stronger encryption algorithms, and Blowfish is declared as the legacy encryption algorithm.

      The new version of the standard allows the encryption algorithms listed in §5.2 of xmlenc-core.

    • LibreOffice 3.4 Beta 1 Available, Oracle Unchains OpenOffice

      April 15 brought some interesting developments in the office suite front. Oracle’s press release announcing its intention of halting commercial interest in OpenOffice.org came hours before The Document Foundation announced the release of LibreOffice 3.4 Beta 1.


      LibreOffice 3.4 Beta 1 received lots of bug fixes and a few new additions. Some include:

      + added navigation buttons to writer
      + Replaced unhide text button by icon buttons
      + Mouse wheel scrolls whole slides
      + Updated slide sorter icons
      + allow ‘select as you type’ aka ‘quick selection’
      + new ‘animated images’ for Throbber controls
      + enable human icon theme


  • Programming


  • C-SPAN Radio’s Historic Supreme Court Oral Argument: Lotus Development Corporation v. Borland International, Inc. (1996)

    The Supreme Court took up a case involving ownership of computer technology in this 1996 case.

    Lotus Development Corporation copyrighted a computer spreadsheet program called “Lotus 1-2-3.” Borland International, a competing software company, released a similar program called “Quattro,” that contained a program called “key reader.”

  • Youth engagement will make the Digital Agenda a reality

    On Tuesday I held an exciting meeting with a dozen high-flying young Europeans involved in science, start ups, government and civil society, whose insights are can really help us with the Digital Agenda.

    I was very impressed with their clear views and with what they’ve achieved using technology in their careers.

  • Science

    • Scientists teleport Schrodinger’s cat

      Researchers from Australia and Japan have successfully teleported wave packets of light, potentially revolutionising quantum communications and computing.

  • Security

    • Former Internet Vigilante Gets Two Years For DDoS Attack

      A computer programmer who once volunteered for Perverted Justice, the producers of “To Catch a Predator,” was sentenced Friday to two years in prison for launching a botnet that attacked the organization’s web site.

  • Censorship

    • YouTube: Fair Use is Why Conan Can Make Fun of Rebecca Black

      Yesterday, YouTube redesigned its copyright help center to help educate its users about the ins and outs of copyright law. Copyright law can be complicated and, in light of that, the site now sends offenders to the YouTube Copyright School where they can watch explanatory cartoons in an experience that our own Audrey Watters isn’t too sure arrives at education.

      If you agree, then you might want to get in on YouTube’s next effort – a Q&A with legal experts it will be holding on the video site at the beginning of May.

      Fair use, YouTube explains, “is a legal term that grants creators an exception to the strict copyright that the original content owner controls — in layman’s terms, it’s the idea that as long as the use is ‘fair,’ someone can reference part of someone else’s work for parody, scholarly reasons, or more.”

  • Privacy

    • Facebook looks to cash in on user data

      Julee Morrison has been obsessed with Bon Jovi since she was a teenager.

      So when paid ads for fan sites started popping up on the 41-year-old Salt Lake City blogger’s Facebook page, she was thrilled. She described herself as a “clicking fool,” perusing videos and photos of the New Jersey rockers.

      Then it dawned on Morrison why all those Bon Jovi ads appeared every time she logged on to the social networking site.

      “Facebook is reading my profile, my interests, the people and pages I am ‘friends’ with, and targeting me,” Morrison said. “It’s brilliant social media but it’s absolutely creepy.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • Terence Corcoran: CanCon, the Opera

      The professional shakedown artists otherwise known as Canada’s cultural industries — telecoms, broadcasters, TV networks, filmmakers — are gearing up for another operatic hit on Canadians. They want the Internet controlled through new rules and new charges that would expand their existing protection racket that now funnels billions into their hands and limits the freedom of Canadians.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The iPod tax is an expensive gamble

        In theory, those engaged online would be the most concerned by an iPod tax. It’s an unproven theory since I can’t say for sure the folks contributing to election chatter on Twitter are also the most likely to have iPods or be affected by the controversial (and possibly non-existent) iPod tax. However, since it’ll make this post more interesting, I’m going to make the assumption Tweeters are also most likely to be worked up into a frenzy (cue ass-u-me jokes now). Let’s call this campaign a safe bet with an expectation of a good ROI.

Clip of the Day

HTC Sensation Promo Video

Credit: TinyOgg

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