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Links 19/4/2011: GIMP 2.8 Schedule, Boxee GPL Violations

Posted in News Roundup at 11:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • The Linux vs. Microsoft war is over

    Fans will tell you that Linux is one of the most dominant operating systems in the world and is showing signs of being a clear winner.

  • Kernel Space

    • [ANNOUNCE] Linux has been released
    • Storage Highlights in 2.6.38

      Kernel development has lots of aspects – performance, stability, transparency, modularity, etc. Each of these aspects is addressed at one time or another while the kernel evolves. However, there are a group of us that are more performance oriented than others. Sometimes we are referred to as “performance junkies” or what I like to think of as “performance challenged”, but regardless of our label, we like to see more storage performance from Linux, particularly the kernel. The 2.6.38 kernel introduced some changes that helped performance making all of us performance challenged people very happy.


      In addition to the VFS patches, there were a number of file systems improvements in the 2.6.38 kernel.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • The Extinct Species of My GNU/Linux & BSD Logo Zoo (A Tribute to Discontinued Distros)

      What about the distros that could have been in my zoo but are not there because they were discontinued before I got the chance to know about them?

    • LDR | Not just yet another Arch Linux Fork ?

      Release of new linux distributions based upon existing major and well known distributions is a common day happening in the linux world today . Ubuntu is known for having countless forks . Recently Arch Linux has gathered lot of spotlight and some distributions based upon Arch Linux have come forwards . LDR is one of those Arch Linux based distributions which was added to the “Distributions on the Waiting List” of DistroWatch.com on 2011-04-11.


      As LDR is in the early stages of development…

    • Debian Family

      • Debian on a 1995 Sparcstation 20 in 2011 – Part 1: Prelude

        I chose the “desktop” software selection, and that meant 700+ packages. They continued installing into the night. It looked like there were both GNOME and KDE in the mix.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Default Desktop Experience for 11.04 – User testing results
        • Ubuntu’s Unity in 11.04 – Not All That Bad

          With all the upheaval around Unity and Gnome Shell and not having used Ubuntu since ‘Breezy Badger’ (that was 5.10) I thought I take a fresh look at the upcoming version and the new desktop. Well, it’s not that bad, and at least to me seems more accessible than the new Gnome because it works in a more traditional manner.

          Also, Unity actually got up and running where Gnome 3 via the Fedora live CD just dropped me into fallback mode every time, with barely functional panels and no right click shell menu. I only got ATI cards here, but it is a huge blunder to get such an impression right from the start. I can only assess Gnome Shell from what I’ve seen in desktop recordings, but Unity for me has already won here.

        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Home surveillance camera offers night vision

      D-Link announced a Linux-based surveillance camera for homes and small offices that offers VGA-quality video streaming at 20fps plus infrared video for night vision. The $150 Wireless N Day/Night Network Camera (DCS-932L) offers Ethernet and 802.11n connections, and enables video streaming to LAN or web-connected PCs as well as Android and Apple iOS mobile devices, says the company.

    • Boxee GPLv3 violation alleged

      Here’s a web site with a lengthy sermon on how D-Link’s Boxee Box device is allegedly violating the GPL. Such violations are not generally noteworthy, but this one, if true, is interesting in that it involves GPLv3-licensed software and a user’s ability to install new versions.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Real Ipad competitors finally appearing

          Second up is the Shenzhen GS30, a Chinese designed and built IPad 1 clone. It claims to use the same processor, screen, battery, and a bunch of other components as the original IPad, which is good. That translates to the Samsung S5PC11o running at 1Ghz. It will be running Google’s Android operating system, but here’s where we hit a problem. We don’t know which Android. The reported price is 2000 Yuan ($306.00 US) to OEMs. Volume pricing would be lower, so we might see them on the North American market for as little as $400.00 in the shops, or on Amazon. We hope these guys did their cold weather testing unlike the first Iphone clones that died in northern China.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Sourcefire Adds FirePOWER to IPS
  • SaaS

    • OpenStack Cactus Advances Open Source Cloud Computing

      The open source OpenStack cloud project is out with a new release this week codenamed ‘Cactus.’

      The Cactus release follows the Bexar release which debuted in February. In the new Cactus release, OpenStack is now taking the Glance image creation service, which debuted in Bexar and renaming it the OpenStack Image Service.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle says it’s done, sticks a second fork in OpenOffice

      Fast forward to today, and Oracle has decided to wash its hands of OpenOffice (mostly). Control will be handed over to a community group, and Chief Corporate Architect Edward Screven says Oracle will work with supporters in order “to further the continued success of Open Office.”

      As Ars Technica points out, it’s little more than a symbolic gesture at this point since the bulk of the OOo community has already moved on and pledged support to the LibreOffice fork. There’s no word yet on whether Oracle will give up the OpenOffice.org branding, though it seems unlikely given that it refused to let the LibreOffice crew have it once already.

    • OpenOffice and LibreOffice Won’t Be Kissing and Making Up

      Today The Document Foundation published an announcement putting that speculation to rest. In a short but firm statement Charles-H. Schulz said that the foundation would be continuing on as planned. He further stated, “The Document Foundation is an independent self-governing meritocratic Foundation, created by leading members of the OpenOffice.org Community and we are always willing to include new members and partners.”

      Also included in the statement was the key points that The Document Foundation “continues to build on the foundation of ten years’ dedicated work by the OpenOffice.org Community.” It “was created in the belief that the culture born out of an independent Foundation brings the best in contributors and will deliver the best software for the marketplace.”

    • Faenza Icon Theme Gets New LibreOffice and Workspace-Switcher Icons, Natty PPA Updated

      Latest Faenza Icon Theme 0.9.2 update brings in a new set of icons for LibreOffice, Workspace-Switcher, Wine Notepad, Winetricks, Stellarium and Mypaint. Faenza PPA now works with Ubuntu 11.04 as well.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Good Citizenship in Open Data

        We must work to understand what good citizenship and ethical behavior means in open data projects. The nature of communication, copying and competition in the space of open data is very complex. Yes, it’s not just about Google, but about raising the awareness of these issues among the people organizing open data projects, and especially the communities where we want to have an impact. The best idea I’ve heard this week (in a week of amazing ideas in Cambridge) was from Jeffrey Warren. We need a clear set of principles and ethics to guide the practice of open data initiatives in new communities. Open data collection should have: open and clear explanations of the purpose of data collection and the license of data; effort to find existing sources of data, rather than replicating and resurveying, and lobbying for the sharing of that data; effort to give the communities that collect data every opportunity to use that data in their own work, however they see fit; etc…

      • Add your local knowledge to the map with Google Map Maker for the United States
  • Programming


  • Larry Page takes over as Google CEO

    Having served an appropriate 7 years apprenticeship at the hip of former Novell chief Eric Schmidt, Google co-founder Larry Page has taken the helm of the SS Google. It is thought that Page will be able to supply the much needed entrepreneurial energy that Google has been unable to muster over the last few years.

  • Bullshit Blocker

    Orlowski is a thoroughly nasty piece of work, who sneers at anything even remotely virtuous. He hates Wikileaks with a passion, and environmentalists, and Free Software advocates (or “Freetards” as he likes to call us), and … well, pretty much anything else on the “us” side of the “them and us” argument. Astute El Reg readers will note that Orlowski’s articles are the only ones on the site with comments disabled, and with good reason, given his right-wing extremist views.

    So on the one hand I want to keep reading El Reg, but on the other I don’t want to get even the vaguest whiff of Orlowski’s sick propaganda. Well surely the answer is simple, I hear you say, just don’t read his articles. But that’s easier said than done, given that it’s not always obvious who’s written an article until after I’ve already started reading it. Even if I don’t immediately notice the attribution line, the tone of an Orlowski article is unmistakable. I’d easily know one of his articles even if he submitted it anonymously, just by reading it. But frankly I’d rather not. Ever. Not if I can help it.

  • Privacy

    • The swan song of EU data retention

      European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström finally presented her devastating evaluation of the data retention directive transposition in the European member states. She wants to move on with a review of the directive via stakeholder consultation, a move to win time.

    • Data retention: given whitewash by EU Commission

      In 2006, the EU passed a Directive requiring traffic details* of our phone calls, text messages, internet (IP) addresses and emails to be recorded and stored across Europe. Today, that Directive is being officially reviewed, in a widely leaked report expected to whitewash concerns about its basic incompatibility with human rights.

      This Directive – the “Data Retention Directive” – was pushed by the UK at the height of New Labour’s push for intrusive surveillance and lack of respect for fundamental rights, in the wake of the 2005 London bombings. The UK persuaded the EU that data retention was necessary and had to be applied across the EU to combat terrorism and serious crime.

  • Civil Rights

    • Commissioner Malmström delays revocation of EU data retention directive

      Today the European Commission adopted an evaluation report of the data retention directive. EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström presented the report at a Brussels press conference.

      “Cecilia Malmström artificially delays an overdue revocation of the data retention directive and only presents an evaluation report instead”, comments FFII network expert Stephan Uhlmann.

    • EU activities to improve the conditions of disabled citizens

      MEP Kósa Ádám prepares a report on Mobility and inclusion of people with disabilities and the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 Have a look at the draft report, you don’t find it on OEIL.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • Net Neutrality: The European Commission Gives Up on Users and Innovators

      The European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, has submitted her long-due report on Net neutrality to the EU Parliament. This extremely disappointing document rules out any immediate measures against telecoms operators who continually restrict EU citizens’ access to the Internet. Hiding behind false free-market arguments, Mrs Kroes gives way to anti-competitive practices harmful to freedom of communication and innovation in the digital environment.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • FOSS Trademarks are Probably OK

        The protection that projects have from trademarks can often seem to be a weapon used to remove the freedom of hackers to change the source code and redistribute.

        Examples include the Firefox trademark agreement, where Mozilla will not allow a re-distributor to call their package ‘Firefox’ unless all code has first gone upstream. This policy is used to make sure everybody get’s Mozilla’s Firefox and not someone else’s Firefox that they couldn’t control the quality for.

Clip of the Day

Programmer under oath admits computers rig elections

Credit: TinyOgg

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