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Links 26/4/2011: Focus on Fedora 15 and Imminent Ubuntu Release

Posted in News Roundup at 1:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Smart Book

    While following some links that I had received from a conversation on Diaspora* Alpha, I ran across the Smart Book, a great product from Always Innovating. While they offer them for sale, they do not yet have a shipping date. Reading their press release, it does not look like they plan to sell them in mass quantities. Imaging having a hand held Internet device, a tablet, a netbook, and screen that can be plugged into another computer, all in one device. Along with all of those features it runs multiple operating systems all at the same time. On top of everything else it is Open Hardware and Open Software.

  • Hack the D-Link DNS-323 to get an array of Linux server options

    There are a number of products currently available aimed to meet home storage needs. Rather than purchasing an entire computer to act as a file sever, these NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices are cheap, and you can typically stuff them in a corner and forget about them, using them to store backups or files that you want to share with other systems. They can be used to share files with those outside of the home network, or strictly for those inside.

    One such device is the D-Link DNS-323, a two-bay NAS system that runs Linux. It is a small box, but large enough to store two 3.5″ SATA drives, so it can be stored nearly anywhere. By itself, the DNS-323 has a web-based administrative console, has multiple disk options (JBOD, RAID0, RAID1, or individual disks), gigabit Ethernet, allows for SMB (Windows file sharing) and FTP access. It has one USB port for a printer to allow it to be a print server as well, and it can also be an iTunes media server out of the box. All of this is available for roughly $200.

  • OS-Less notebook LDLC recommends the Joli OS

    This is one of those very few manufacturers recommending the OS together with the Jolibook that has the JoliCloud preloaded already on the system.

  • Seven Keys to Success with Linux
  • Linux Wins Big in Three Coups
  • A (Finally) Winning Linux Hand

    And try as Microsoft might, the public cloud computing services are increasing their dependence on Linux operating systems that don’t require them to pay licensing fees to Microsoft.

  • Desktop

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Google

  • Kernel Space

    • Instituting ‘Defense in Depth’ for PCI Compliance on a Linux Platform
    • Linux Kernel Power Bug Now High Importance In Ubuntu

      There is also this Launchpad bug report from a Canonical software engineer that was created earlier this month but now with the attention of Phoronix, 33 others have officially confirmed being ‘affected’ by this bug in its entry. This morning, the Ubuntu Kernel Team has now confirmed it as being a bug of high importance for Natty (11.04) and Oneiric (11.10). It should also be acknowledged in the Ubuntu 11.04 release notes that there is a power issue.

      It doesn’t appear that they are devoting any resources to getting the issue resolved but it looks like they will be waiting for a fix to appear upstream in the stable series or in 2.6.39 and then to have that back-ported into an Ubuntu 11.04 SRU update.

    • Another Major Linux Power Regression Spotted

      Since Friday there’s been a number of Phoronix articles about a very bad power regression in the mainline Linux kernel, which is widespread, Ubuntu 11.04 is one of the affected distributions, and has been deemed a bug of high importance. This yet-to-be-resolved issue is affected Linux 2.6.38 and 2.6.39 kernels and for many desktop and notebook systems is causing a 10~30% increase in power consumption. Nevertheless, this is not the only major outstanding power regression in the mainline tree, there is another dramatic regression now spotted as well that is yet-to-be-fixed.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Will NVIDIA Optimus Inevitably Come To Linux?

        Aside from political issues surrounding open vs. closed-source (graphics) drivers on Linux, the proprietary NVIDIA Linux driver is widely liked. The proprietary NVIDIA Linux driver is relatively bug/trouble-free, has a performance parity to the Windows driver, supports new hardware right away, and has a near feature parity to the Windows driver. There’s not much more you could ask for from a closed-source driver, aside from a few missing features. One of the missing features that’s been widely talked about as of late has been Optimus.

      • Wayland Can Now Use Gallium3D Software Rendering

        Besides the obvious requirements and demands of needing to design a display server that can fully replace the needs of the long-standing X Server, and making all the tool-kits and major software support running natively on Wayland, another inhibitor to Wayland’s adoption has been its graphics driver requirements. In particular, Wayland requires kernel mode-setting, EGL (in place of a DRI2 requirement), in-kernel memory management (GEM), and 3D acceleration.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • undertow

        # Contour continues to develop, and the OS image track is similarly moving; so these will follow on nicely after the Active App announcement.

        # Plasmate has seen renewed development and is polishing up nicely. We have a new contributor who has popped up recently, and both Sebastian K. and myself have been plonking away on it. I need to do a screencast soon! :)

      • Kate’s Tab Bar Plugins
      • announcing Season of KDE 2011

        I’m super happy that KDE could accept 51 student for GSoC this year. It’s an impressive number and they’ll make a difference in KDE this year. But this number also means that we had to say no to many students. A lot of tough choices had to be made. Now I can’t magically make more GSoC slot appear unfortunately. But I can do something else. I can run another Season of KDE together with an awesome team of mentors and co-admins.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • A revelation of an idea for GNOME3′s Shell

        I’ve made heavy use of the revelation-applet on my gnome 2 desktop panel to search for passwords inside my revelation password file. I’d like to restore that sort of quick password search inside the preferred mechanics of GNOME3 shell.

      • Diodon – GTK+ clipboard manager

        Diodon is a simple clipboard manager for GNOME with application indicator support. Aiming to be the best integrated clipboard manager for the Gnome/GTK+ desktop.

      • One week with GNOME3

        I’ve installed GNOME 3 ppa on my ubuntu natty last week, and have been using it exclusively since then. To be honest I’ve been ranting a lot against GNOME3 before using it for my day to day activities, so I feel I should share my observations now that I really know it. Here are all the good and bad things I’ve seen, with no particular order. I’ll try not being too polemic (that’s hard exercise for me), please keep in mind I’m not pretending being a normal user; I’m a developer so my needs probably are different.


        GNOME3 is a good base for upcoming releases.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

    • New Releases

      • Elastix 1.6.2
      • ALT 5.9.9-20110401
      • Kalumbata Rev 4 released

        The Bayanihan Linux 5 Revision 4 is now available for download! The newest Kalumbata revision now features LibreOffice by The Document Foundation, an Open Source office productivity suite greatly derived from OpenOffice.org. However, OpenOffice.org 3.3, the latest version, is still bundled in the installer. Also packed in the new ISOs is the latest release of BL5′s default web browser, Mozilla Firefox 4. Tons of security updates are also added.

      • 1+1 = Calculate Linux

        Another Monday, another review. This week it’s Calculate Linux 11.3 Gnome Edition! Get ready for another wild and crazy ride into the ever changing landscape known as FLOSS! (Free Libre Open Source Software)

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora dons the new Gnome
        • Fusion Linux 14 Thorium – Fedora Plus Plus

          Comparing to Fedora, Fusion Linux is a clear winner, as it only builds upon the existing without taking away.

        • Ubuntu to the Rescue: A Tale of Broadcom Wifi Drivers, Prerelease Software, and a new Acer Aspire One Netbook

          Let me say, however, that this is a STRONG argument for Fedora to have something like the restricted drivers menu. Sure, I know they want to have a freedom-only desktop. But I see nothing wrong with looking for certain hardware and telling people they may get better performance in the non-free repos. They aren’t doing anyone any favors by making them thing their computer doesn’t work with Fedora. And they’re losing potential users.

        • From Ubuntu to Fedora – Landing on foreign soil (the good, the bad and the ugly)

          During the past weeks I noticed how difficult it was to hack on a desktop environment that I am not using myself. And since most of my work now is about GNOME (and KDE) I came to the conclusion I have to use bleeding edge GNOME 3. Sadly Ubuntu 11.04 with GNOME 3 is pretty shaky for my taste.

          I am a very impatient developer who really does not enjoy compiling stuff and playing with packages a lot. Mutter gave me some hard time on a Virtual Machine. So I chose to move to Fedora, luckily though this has given me a new perspective as I have been a long time Ubuntu user.

        • Moving to Fedora

          Except for the apparently broken Eclipse in F15—couldn’t get the Android ADT plugin to install—and a few glitches and rough edges here and there, the experience has been quite good so far.

        • Fedora Talk: First static, then silence (talk.fedoraproject.org closing up 2011-05-05)

          For many years Fedora infrastructure has been running a talk.fedoraproject.org asterisk server. This allows contributors to talk to each other, or send voice mails, etc.

          However, it gets very very little usage and also has no one really maintaining it or fixing issues with it. In the last 130days there have been a total of 95 calls using the server. There are a number of outstanding infrastructure tickets on the service that no one has dealt with. The server running it is running an outdated OS version and asterisk version.

    • Debian Family

      • Ubuntu Unity Keyboard Shortcuts Wallpapers

        Can’t remember all the Unity keyboard shortcuts? Then check out the AskUbuntu keyboard shortcuts thread – you’ll find two wallpapers (one is also available in German) with most of the Unity mouse tricks / keyboard shortcuts:

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Is Canonical Attacking Its Own Ubuntu Communities?

          Ubuntu is growing big – bigger than ever. And there is a price you have to pay when you grow big. The dust of Ubuntu vs Banshee just settled and here is another storm, in a tea cup.

          Anthony Papillion, a blogger and quite a good writer, stirred the bee’s hive by posting an emotional blog about the shut-down of Sounder.

        • Why I love Unity

          In GNOME 3 it was closer to an inch and three-quarters ( or close to 44.5mm), with close to half an inch(12.5-13mm) dedicated to the title bar. I know there are plenty of deeper differences between the two interfaces (which plan to get int in a later post), but given the minor superficial differences, I would take Unity any day just because of screen real estate.

        • Why Is Ubuntu’s Unity Squeezing out GNOME 3?

          Not too long ago, I wrote about Ubuntu’s embrace of the Unity desktop and what that would mean for Ubuntu users who might prefer a traditional GNOME shell.

          At the time, I was called out by some readers regarding my belief that Ubuntu was limiting itself with its choice in relying on Unity. Now as we approach Ubuntu 11.04, it looks as if I might have been right all along.

          While users can certainly select the older GNOME shell, the move to the Unity desktop has clearly not been greeted with unanimous applause.

          Unity is not GNOME 3

          One fact that ought to be made clear from the start is that in the name of Ubuntu seeking to make Unity their default desktop experience, the development team has indeed locked some users into a singular desktop experience. “But Matt, that’s nonsense! Users can install any desktop they choose! Besides, if they want GNOME 3 instead, users can just add the PPA repository for it!”

          The above statement is what I feel makes this entire thing surrounding Unity so amusing. In the Ubuntu development team’s desire to make Ubuntu more “accessible,” they’re actually assuming new users even realize other desktop environments are possible.

        • One more step for Ubuntu Natty

          Final beta release paves the way for this week’s final release of Ubuntu 11.04

          It’s just a few days to go until the next major release of Ubuntu and the developers have issued a final testing version. Released late last week the second Ubuntu Natty Narwhal Beta will be the final pre-release ahead of a planned 28 April final release.

        • Deployment Ease, Experimentation Highlights of Ubuntu 11.04

          The latest and greatest release of Ubuntu — 11.04, or “Natty Narwhal” — is nearly upon us. To get a sense of how the new version situates Ubuntu and the rest of the open source community going forward, I recently spoke with Canonical VP Steve George. Here’s what he had to say about the new release and more:

          For starters, anyone who reads Linux blogs at least once in a while knows by now that Natty’s major claim to fame is the Unity desktop interface, which will become the default in new installations. Traditional GNOME will remain available as an option, at least for this release cycle, as will a 2D version of Unity catered to users whose hardware doesn’t support the video acceleration demanded by the default interface.

        • Ubuntu Transforms Your PC Experience
        • Latest Ubuntu Offers Business-Added Cloud Features and Sleek New Desktop Interface
        • Ubuntu 11.04(Natty) installation screenshots Gallery

          The Ubuntu developers are moving quickly to bring you the absolute latest and greatest software the open source community has to offer.

        • How Ubuntu Unity can help Linux really succeed

          What the Linux operating system needs, is for Canonical to really step it up, with the upcoming release of 11.04, and get that wonderful Unity desktop on retail boxes and tablet PCs, such that end users do not have to bother with the installation. That is the single biggest hurdle and, as much as it pains me to say it, Ubuntu and Canonical are probably the only shot Linux has of overcoming this monumental obstacle.

        • Ubuntu Download of the Week Episode 1 – TuxCards
        • Top Things to do after installing Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

          The final release of Ubuntu Natty Narwhal is almost out. It’s scheduled to be out in the 28th of this month. After you actually get done with the installation, there would likely exist a heap of things you still need to take care of. This post will share some interesting insight and ideas about what you can and should do after a successful installation.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Developer Interview: Ronald “wattOS” Ropp

            Biff Baxter, real name Ronald Ropp, is a technology consultant based in Portland, Oregon. He’s also the developer behind wattOS, an Ubuntu derived Linux distribution (see our overview). We were quite impressed with wattOS, so we got in contact with him for some Q+A.

          • Linux Minx XFCE Roller Coaster
          • Peppermint Two Plans Publicized

            Shane Remington, co-founder of the Peppermint operating system (OS), announced plans to merge the previous two Peppermint OSes into one OS to be released as Peppermint Two.

          • Linux Mint 5 LTS Elyssa reached end of life

            Repositories will remain open but no more updates or security fixes will be made available. Users of Linux Mint 5 LTS Elyssa are asked to migrate to Linux Mint 9 LTS Isadora (Long Term Release which will be supported until April 2013).

  • Devices/Embedded

    • TI updates DSP line with new chips, Linux support

      Texas Instruments (TI) announced a new single-core TMS320C6671 member of its multicore TMS320C66x digital signal processor (DSP) family, as well as enhancements to its TMS320C6670 radio system-on-chip (SoC). In addition, the company released a free multicore software development kit (MCSDK) update for its C66x DSPs featuring updated Linux kernel support, optimized DSP libraries, and support for the OpenMP programming model.

    • Tablets

      • Nook Color gets tablet makeover

        Barnes & Noble announced an automatic update this week for its Nook Color e-reader that turns the device into more of a low-cost Android tablet. New features offered by the 1.2.0 update include 125 apps, an email application, and support for Adobe Flash, says the online retailer.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-source backup

    Simon Brock rounds up the open-source options for backing up your critical data

    Everyone would like all their work securely backed up, with every version of every file instantly accessible, but few backup solutions come anywhere close to this ideal. And making backups is just boring.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 4: A Review

        Popular web browser Firefox unveiled its newest iteration, dubbed ‘Firefox 4: Tecumseh’, free for download just last month. It introduced several new features, as well as several major improvements on already extant features like Tab Groups and App Tabs. Here’s a quick review.

      • Mozilla Can’t Attract Enough Firefox Testers

        Mozilla’s new Firefox channels may have launched with a bang, but they do not seem to be doing so well now.

  • Databases

    • SkySQL Forms Regional Customer Advisory Boards to Deepen Relationships With Key Customers

      SkySQL Ab, the first choice in affordable MySQL® database solutions for the enterprise and cloud, today announced the creation of regional Customer Advisory Boards (CABs) to facilitate deeper relationships with its growing global customer base. In addition to the opportunity to influence future offerings and network with their peers, members of the boards will be the first to try new SkySQL products and services. The board will also provide insight into their business priorities and strategic directions, allowing SkySQL to meet growing customer demands.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Libre Office 3.4 Beta 1
    • Oracle’s OpenOffice Surrender

      It’s hard to believe that it was only about six months ago that LibreOffice was born.

      The free and open source productivity software suite was created, of course, in response to Oracle’s (Nasdaq: ORCL) unclear intentions regarding OpenOffice.org, which had long been the community’s suite of choice. At the time, Oracle chose to keep OpenOffice to itself, but now — fast forward to just a little more than a week ago — it appears to be giving it up after all.

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • Do we want to be 1991 forever?

      KDE’s licensing policies do not allow GPLv3+, LGPLv3+ and AGPLv3+ software in KDE’s repositiories (I guess it is for git, too, not only for SVN). But do we really want to keep that policy? There are more and more web-applications, ugly cloud-stuff, “software as a service”, is growing, and developers want to protect their Free Software by using the GNU Affero General Public Licens e. KDE is going to be adapted on embedded devices, and we should not care about tivoization? We should only use a 1991 license not targeting a lot of important issues of our times? Why should a KDE-application not be relicensed under the conditions of the GLPv3+ or AGPLv3+? In many cases that may be good.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Google and friends wrap open video codec in patent shield

      Google has announced a patent-sharing program around WebM in an effort to guard the open source web video format from legal attack.

      On Monday, with a blog post, the company introduced the WebM Community Cross-License (CCL) initiative, which brings together companies willing to license each other’s patents related to the format. Founding members include AMD, Cisco Systems, Logitech, MIPS Technologies, Matroska, Mozilla, Opera, Samsung, Texas Instruments, and the Xiph.org Foundation, as well as Google.


  • Amazon’s Cloud #fail is a wakeup call

    Amazon has been the poster child for everything that is good, right and holy about the cloud.

    After today, Amazon will also be demonized for everything that is wrong with their own cloud. Amazon today suffered a major outage crippling hundreds (maybe thousands?) or sites (including a few of my favs like reddit).

    For years, Amazon has been suggesting that their elastic cloud (leveraging Linux throughout as the underlying OS) had the ability to scale to meet demand. The general idea was supposed to be massive scalability without any single point of failure.

  • Time for your cloud gut check

    From Amazon’s and other providers’ perspectives – the cloud stubbed toe of this week also highlights how communication and reaction are perhaps as critical as the technical aspects of addressing what’s wrong and fixing it. Open source software also provides lessons here, indicating vendors and providers are best served by transparency and openness. What the message boards and Twitterverse are telling us now is that users will accept some degree of downtime and difficulty, but they want straight information on how long and how severely they will be down. Just as vendors face a challenge in fairly yet effectively pricing and charging for cloud computing, it may be difficult to provide guidance on recovery from an outage, but the same rules of PR crisis management apply: don’t over-promise and don’t under-deliver.

  • Cloud Haters Jump At Amazon EC2 Fiasco
  • Google Will Save Videos After All

    Each year, on or about the 25th of April, the Adelie penguins of Ross Island leave their brooding grounds and swim to their winter sanctuary northwest of the Balleny Islands. Some decided to mark the occasion by including all penguins and dubbing the day World Penguin Day.

    Most penguins do participate in migratory habits. Why they favor some places more than others as their destination is the current work of biologists. Current belief is that the Adelies favor a place that has more pack ice, thereby providing more protection. This appears to be true, as the Davis Station Adelies migrate north, then west, staying close to the Antarctic continent. Also, Antarctica’s days become much shorter and the Adelies do not feed well in the dark. Traveling north, these birds have longer days in order to fish and feed.

  • Hardware

    • Breaking in a Kingston SSD

      adation over time. Memory devices make use of internal garbage collection to regain areas no longer being used by programs. But due to certain drawbacks with garbage collection (such as time required to move data around), TRIM is recommended as well. The TRIM function detects and “informs” an SSD which blocks are no longer being used and can be wiped and reused. In Linux, one can use TRIM with ext3 and ext4 by adding the word discard to the options when mounting (or in /etc/fstab). An example of use could be: /dev/sda3 / ext4 acl,user_xattr,noatime,discard 1 1.

  • Finance

    • Hidden Handouts to Corporations Found in Walker’s Budget

      The almost $200 million in tax cuts that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has given to corporations have been both lauded and hated by the public and media. When it was discovered that businesses like M&I Bank and others who were large contributors to Walker’s gubernatorial campaign were receiving extra provisions through changes in the consolidated reporting law, questions started cropping up about why Walker was giving handouts to corporations even though he declared the state broke.

    • What Did Walker Admit?

      Union supporters celebrated and right-wingers raged when the Associated Press reported on April 15 that Governor Scott Walker admitted Wisconsin saves no money by “weakening government workers’ collective bargaining rights.” When responding to a question from Rep. Dennis Kucinich during congressional testimony, did Walker really admit the union-busting bill costs no money? And will implementing the annual recertification requirement actually cost Wisconsin taxpayers?

    • Insurers Getting Rich By Not Paying for Care

      UnitedHealth Group, the biggest health insurer in terms of revenue and market value, earned so much more during the first three months of this year than Wall Street expected that investors rushed to buy shares of every one of the seven health insurers that comprise the managed care sector. In my view, it would be more accurate to call it the managed care cartel.

    • What happens to our £220bn annual procurement spend?

      Any business needs to know where its money goes. This is especially so if it is spending £220bn a year – the equivalent of £3500 per adult and child in the UK – purchasing goods and services on our behalf. That is nearly 20% of our gross domestic product.

      The need for decent data on how it is spent and with whom has been highlighted in several reports including a National Audit Office report last May, Sir Philip Green’s report last September and my own, Towards Tesco, published by the Institute of Directors.

  • Privacy

    • State Police can suck data out of cell phones in under two minutes

      You don’t want to be pulled over by the police in Michigan. When law enforcement wants half a million dollars to produce documents for a FOIA request, something is not right. And since the high-tech mobile forensic device in question can grab data in one-and-a-half minutes off more than 3,000 different cell phone models, it could be used during minor traffic violations to conduct suspicionless and warrantless searches without the phone owner having any idea that all their phone data was now in the hands of authorities.

    • Big Apple, Big Google, Big Brother
    • Android Location Tracking is Opt-In

      The iOS operating system tracks your location without your knowledge and stores the data it collects in an unencrypted form on your phone. For Android users who maybe wondering the same thing, no, your location is will not be tracked without your express permission and approval.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Digital Economy (UK)/HADOPI

        • The Digital Economy Act: where we go now

          Yesterday morning Justice Kenneth Parker handed down his ruling on the Judicial Review of the Digital Economy Act. The Judge dismissed all grounds save for one aspect of the claim about the costs imposed on ISPs. The ruling means that Justice Parker deemed the other provisions of the Digital Economy Act are consistent with EU law.

          So what does this mean for those of us who place privacy, freedom of expression and due process ahead of chasing fictional losses from the creative industries’ revenues? On the face of it the decision feels like bad news for those who see important flaws in the Act. But it just means that this particular route to halting what we think is a damaging law may not work, depending on whether BT and TalkTalk appeal.

Clip of the Day

Working Title: “We use GNU linux”

Credit: TinyOgg

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  25. Links 24/11/2015: Asus Chromebit CS10, Second Linux 4.4 RC

    Links for the day

  26. European Central Bank Staff Committee Adds to Growing Pressure on Abusive EPO Management

    The staff representatives of the European Central Bank E-mail their colleagues -- with European Central Bank managers' approval -- regarding the European Patent Office and its attacks on staff unions

  27. Gross Violation of Workers' Rights in EPO: Denial of Christmas Vacation/Leave for Slower Workers

    A look at an E-mail from within the EPO which shows how Christmas is used to squeeze staff, urging them to work even faster (despite speed gains) or lose their Christmas leave

  28. The Bogus Narrative Floated by EPO Management: Our Judges and Examiners Are Armed and Violent

    A look at the union-busting and protest-crushing moves from high-level EPO managers, who are trying to convince politicians that they do so in an effort to stop terrorists and neo-Nazis

  29. Support SUEPO or End Up Like They and Some of the Boards Did

    SUEPO, the fast-growing staff union of the EPO, increasingly needs the support and protection offered by action and participation from staff

  30. NRC Handelsblad (Dutch Evening Newspaper) Speaks About EPO's Refusal to Accept Court Orders From The Hague

    Article explains the depths of the issues inside the EPO and the unacceptable immunity that management at the EPO continues to exploit, shaming or discrediting the very notion of the rule of law in Europe


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