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Links 3/5/2011: OpenBSD 4.9, Firefox 6 Prioritising GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 3:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Tassie education dept wants Mac, Linux anti-virus

    Tasmania’s Department of Education has gone to market for anti-virus software for its 40,000 desktop PCs and 1,000 servers, specifying solutions must be able to secure not only Microsoft Windows, but also Mac OS X and Linux, in a move that once again raises the question of whether the alternative platforms require dedicated security software.

  • Server

    • GNU/Linux Marches On

      Netcraft reports that, of the top 40 hosting providers, one used F5-big_IP, 6 use FreeBSD, 24 use GNU/Linux, 2 use 2003 and 2 use 2008. I believe the market has spoken. GNU/Linux provides great performance/price. The same advantages seen running applications on the server present themselves running applications on the personal computer: low price, reliability, ease of administration, less malware, etc. Use Debian GNU/Linux.

  • Google

    • Is Today’s Google Really Open?

      With the current raging controversy over the delayed release of the source code to Android Honeycomb by Google, many an analyst have questioned whether the Google of today is really as opened as they’d like us to believe. As a stauch Google fanboy, I set out to find out what the meaning of “open” is in the first place, and what better place to seek that answer than from Google itself.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Kernel Boot Statistics: 2.6.24 To 2.6.39

      A clean installation of Ubuntu 8.04.4 LTS was done on two systems and the boot time of every Linux kernel release from 2.6.24 to present (2.6.39-rc4) was measured using Bootchart. The kernel was the only change made each time to the system.

  • Applications

    • 5 RSS Feed reader on linux

      If you follow news sites or blogs probably you are using some online service or a program to aggregate all the news into one more convenient point. This is doable thanks to RSS feed.

    • 9 of the Best Free Linux Data Mining Software

      This article focuses on selecting the best free software for performing data mining. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who needs to make strategic decisions when confronted with large amounts of information.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Gaming with Trine

        In conclusion, I think Trine is a great game. It’s flexible in that a person can spend just ten minutes bashing undead foes or get lost in an hour of solving puzzles or pass the time exploring. The controls are intuitive and the difficultly curve is gradual. The levels are varied and well laid out and I’ve encountered no serious problems with the game play. In short, Trine is a lot of fun.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

  • Distributions

    • GParted Live: A Boot Disk ISO You Can’t Afford to Be Without

      If you ever need to partition or edit the partitions on your hard drives without an existing OS on the computer, then GParted Live should be in your PC toolbox. The free GParted Live is based on a live version of Linux, (i.e. one that will boot from a disc or USB drive), and the Gnome Partition Editor, a.k.a. GPartEd, or more commonly GParted. GParted Live boots quickly, and handles virtually any partition type, including nearly all Linux, OS X, and Windows types.

    • Reviews

      • Is there a blue pill for Qubes OS?

        Those who regularly follow the Black Hat briefings probably remember Joanna Rutkowska who presented a novel attack against Windows Vista (and any Operating System running on an x86 architecture, in general). She was the first researcher to demonstrate a piece of malware (bluepill) that could run in root or host mode in a current x86 architecture and push the Operating System one layer (ring) below.

    • New Releases

      • 29/04/2011 — SMS version 1.6.0 Released!
      • [Tiny Core Linux] v3.6

        Much improved Tiny Core Installer, now offering a GUI for both USB and frugal hard drives. Updated critical system module, squashfs. Many updates to improve error handling, large files, and auditing / updating the extensions. Many user interface improvements and additional supported options in: ab, appbrowser, appsaudit, cpanel, flrun, fluff, mousetool, tc-install, tce-load, and wallpaper.

      • [OpenBSD 4.9]

        The current release is OpenBSD 4.9 which was released May 1, 2011.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Distro fatigue keeps me in the Squeeze of Debian

        I tried out the Fedora 15 Alpha. GNOME Shell wasn’t working on my hardware for some reason. I also tried Ubuntu 11.04, and Unity does work. OpenBSD 4.9′s release is imminent.

      • bits from the DPL: the start of the term
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • 5 things I like in Ubuntu 11.04 (Unity) and 10 things which I don’t

          Here we are! Long awaited and much discussed version of Ubuntu is here. It is Ubuntu 11.04.
          This version was long awaited because of one 2 main reasons:
          1) As of 11.04 Canonical stopped free distribution of CDs with Ubuntu via partner Shipit. It’s a pity, because that was a way how I got my first ever Ubuntu CD.

        • Ubuntu-running dual-core ARM desktop ‘Trim-Slice’ goes on sale
        • CPU Frequency Scaling applet in Unity
        • Nice themes for Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal
        • Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot Release Schedule
        • Are You Afraid Of The Dark Ubuntu Unity?
        • Ubuntu 11.04

          Summary Table:
          Product: Ubuntu 11.04
          Web Site: http://www.ubuntu.com/
          Price: Free
          Pros: New Unity interface; user ratings and reviews in the Software Center; easy install routine that includes the ability to upgrade from the Live CD.
          Cons: Unity interface is a “love it or hate it” affair that will either bring people to Ubuntu or drive them away, the jury is still out on that and we won’t know for a while which way things will go.
          Suitable For: Beginner, intermediate and advanced Linux users.
          Rating: 4/5

        • Ubuntu Insistant Upgrades & Testing
        • Can Unity create first consumer-class Linux distro?

          Yesterday, I read Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols’ discussion with Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth on the merits of Unity, and saw an interesting point that Vaughan-Nichols raised, but did not follow as far as I would have gone. Citing another blog lamenting GNOME 3.0, the “official” new GNOME shell that’s out and about, as “Defective by Design,” Vaughan-Nichols states:

          “GNOME 3.0, like too many Linux/Unix interfaces, was designed by software developers for software developers..”

          Unity, on the other hand, was built with Canonical’s usability testing and performance goals in mind. Which is why, we have heard Canonical reps explain ad nauseum, Canonical chose to take a different path with Unity rather than stick with a pure GNOME 3.0 environment for Ubuntu.

        • Linux desktop interface evolves

          No, this is not going to be a post about Ubuntu 11.04′s specific implementation of the Unity desktop. I’ll be trying 11.04, but not for a little while. Rather, this is about the Linux desktop in general, and how it’s maturing.

        • Are You Afraid Of The Dark Ubuntu Unity?

          Ubuntu Natty 11.04 is officially released! Some of us have already upgraded either during the development stages of natty or now after the stable release. However there are still a few who would like to hang on to their dear old gnome 2.x.

          This could be either due to fear of the new Unity interface or a general tendency to stay in the comfort zone of Maverick Meerkat. However I hope this article would help change that.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Kubuntu lets me down again

            I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m not going to fight with Kubuntu or KDE to try to make it stable the way Gnome is. At this point it’s fairly obvious that the problem relates to the Nvidia proprietary drivers, but I’m using the same drivers with Gnome, and having no trouble. If the current Nvidia driver breaks Kubuntu, then Kubuntu’s not ready.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • How Free Software Brought Motorola Back From Graves

      Those who question the relevance of open source or Mukt (free) Software need to look at Motorola, a company which was broken down by the attack from corporate raider Carl Icahn.

      The company was forced to split its business. But is now back as one of the giants of the mobile world. The credit goes to only and only one element — Linux. It was Linux-based Android which saved the company.

      Motorola has reported its financial results registering net revenues of $3.0 billion, up 22 percent from first quarter 2010.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Google Talk Enables Video Chat On Android Smartphones

          Google recently launched Google Talk with video and voice chat for Android phones. With the service, users will be able to video or voice chat with their friends and family directly from an Android phone. Calls can be placed over 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi connections. According to Google, the new features will first roll out to the Nexus S phones over the next few weeks as part of the Android 2.3.4 over-the-air update. Google Talk with video and voice chat will launch on other Android 2.3 and higher devices in the future.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Saturday at LinuxFest NorthWest

      First day of LFNW is going well. We gave away lots of CDs and DVDs. Lots of positive feedback on Gnome 3. Jesse, Adam, Tom and Robyn all stopped by to help. OLPCs were a hit. One of the cool thing about the OLPC was when a five year old complained about speak not pronouncing her brother’s name correctly, I noticed her mother was speaking a foreign language, so I set speak to use that language and it pronounced the brother’s name correctly! The mother got real interested in the OLPC and explored Scratch while her daughter moved on to mazes.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Review – SeaMonkey 2.0.14

        All in one solutions can be very appealing. Since I have multiple communication methods online and SeaMonkey is touted as an “all in one Internet solution”, I simply had to put it to the test against my browser of choice and the associated packages I use. With the release of 2.0.14 what better time?

        I’m sure SeaMonkey will be available for many in their respective repo’s, but since I wanted the latest version and wanted it now, I downloaded direct from the site. The comparison for this review will be with Chromium 11.0.696.25 (and I suppose X-Chat & Thunderbird too) which are currently installed on my system. Presently I am also running Compiz with the desktop cube effect, I have 4 available desktop spaces with each desktop space being given to Chromium, Thunderbird and X-Chat. The remaining workspace is left empty for anything else.

      • Firefox 6 For Linux To Be As Fast As Firefox Currently Is On Windows (And Less Sluggish)

        As linux users ourselves, we have been frequently fed up with the sluggish nature of the Firefox browser on Linux. Some time back,we told you about Opera 10 which was a bit less sluggish on Linux but then Google Chrome changed everything. However, for many Linux users Firefox is still the most preferred web browser and things are gonna change for sure for Firefox on Linux.

        Mozilla’s Mike Hommey has announced on his blog that his team at Mozilla has finally managed to get the Linux builds of Firefox to use GCC 4.5 with aggressive optimization and profile guided optimization enabled. All this simply means that we can now expect a faster and less sluggish Firefox browser on Linux (both 32 bit and 64 bit systems). The experience is going to be much closer to the Windows builds of Firefox.

      • The Best Firefox Security Add-Ons

        One of the biggest features and strength of the Firefox web browser is its extensions engine and the support it receives from the Firefox community. Users find thousands of different add-ons for virtually any purpose in the official extensions gallery over at Mozilla. Mozilla tries its best to promote popular and interesting add-ons, but the sheer amount makes that attempt more or less futile.

        The best Firefox security add-ons is a guide for Firefox users who want to improve their web browser’s security and protection from attacks on today’s Internet. That does not necessarily mean that you need to install all of the add-ons to protect your browser from malicious attacks, as some may only be useful if you visit specific websites or types of sites regularly.

        The list concentrates on security related add-ons, not privacy related. Only extensions that are compatible with at least Firefox 4 have been included in the list.

      • Why is Firefox slower on Linux than Windows?

        Have you tried Firefox 4 on Linux and then tried Firefox on a friend’s Windows 7 PC? The experience isn’t the same and that’s not good news for Linux users.


  • Programming

    • PHP Dependency Injection Creates More Maintainable Code

      Although not originally conceived as such, PHP has over the years evolved into a very capable object-oriented language, with countless enterprise projects and a number of powerful frameworks such as Symfony taking full advantage of these mature features. Of course, the advantages of object-orientation can only be fully exploited when implemented in conjunction with best practices such as encapsulation and inheritance. One such “implementational” best practice is dependency injection, a design pattern that facilitates the decoupling of otherwise dependent components.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • UK Government Open Standards Survey

      Government must be better connected to the people it serves and partners who can work with it – especially small businesses, voluntary and community organisations. Government ICT must play a fundamental role in making life easier and I want to ensure that it does.

      One of our first goals is to organise Government data and systems using an agreed set of standards that make our ICT more open, cheaper and better connected.


  • Federal govt goes shopping for new search service

    Requirements for the service including conforming to the OpenSearch protocol and support for compressed and uncompressed versions of non-HTML documents like PDF, RTF, CSV, Microsoft Office formats and Open Document formats.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Osama bin Fragged: a review of terrorist propaganda games

      It’s rare that the president addresses the country without giving any details about what will be discussed, but the topic of last night’s address became known well before President Obama spoke. The military forces of the United States had finally found Osama Bin Laden, we were able to put boots on the ground, and in a firefight that lasted 40 minutes, the world’s most wanted terrorist was killed. In an often ill-defined war on terror, this was a dramatic win.

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Peak Oil – April 2011 Update

      The US Energy Information Administration’s January oil production figures are out, and they show record oil production. Where are we headed from here?

  • Finance

    • Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World, By William D Cohan

      n the 1860s, when the clothing merchant Marcus Goldman offered cash, at a suitable discount, for bills yet to be paid by others, he used to stuff the accumulated IOUs under his top hat.

      Goldman’s clients could tell how busy Marcus was by the tilt of his headgear, a degree of transparency that would not always be displayed in the decades that followed.

  • Privacy

    • South Korea, Europe start iPhone location tracking investigations

      South Korea’s Korea Communications Commission is now asking Apple questions about the location data being stored on iPhones and iPads and backed up to users’ computers. South Korea joins the governments of France, Germany, and Italy, which late last week notified Apple that they also had questions about location data collection. These investigations follow stern letters from US Sentaor Al Franken (D-MN) and US Representative Ed Markey (D-MA), both of whom asked Apple to answer why the data is retained on users’ devices, how it is collected, and what Apple does to protect users’ privacy.

      Last week, a news firestorm started after the public revelation by researchers Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden that iPhones and iPads keep a log of location data based on cell tower and WiFi base station triangulation in a file called consolidated.db. The news led many to believe that Apple was using or could use the information to track iPhone and iPad 3G users, and raised privacy concerns that the information could make it into the wrong hands.

    • Sony apologizes, says 10 million credit card accounts may have been exposed in network attack

      Sony has revealed that 10 million credit card accounts may have been exposed two weeks ago when a hacker broke into the company’s computers in San Diego and stole data from 77 million PlayStation Network accounts.

      During a news conference in Tokyo on Saturday, Kaz Hirai, Sony’s executive deputy president, offered the company’s first public apology by an executive and promised to compensate customers.

    • Privacy Lost: The Amazing Benefits of the Completely Examined Life

      Your iPhone’s tracking you. Your game network just surrendered all your personal data. And your mom is posting your potty-training videos on Facebook. Like many of us, you’re laboring under the delusion that privacy matters–that there’s such a thing as too much (public) information. It’s time to get over it! Soon we’ll all recognize the positives of exposing every aspect of our lives. What a relief it will be when we’ve finally revealed everything and have nothing left to hide. Herewith, the potential benefits of our upcoming, privacy-free utopia:

      • Better security, plus entertainment, 24/7: Tune into the airport security “Grope-cam” channel.

  • Civil Rights

    • Wisconsinites Get Revved up for Worker’s Rights

      Hundreds of Wisconsinites lined Madison’s Capitol Square Saturday to welcome bikers from all over the Midwest and to protest Governor Scott Walker’s attack on Wisconsin unions. Just when Walker thought he had memorized all the chants and signs, Wisconsinites revved it up a notch.

      Every kind of bike, from Harley-Davidsons to Huffys, descended onto the Square from Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd and South Hamilton Street. Eric Hartz, the organizer of the event, complemented the thunderous entrance with songs from the Raging Grannies, a social justice organization made up of older women. Other speakers included Sen. John Erpenbach, Sen. Mark Miller, Rep. Cory Mason, Rep. Peter Barca, Milwaukee Public School Teachers and the City of Middleton Fire Fighters.

    • May Day March Unites Workers

      May Day, or May 1st, became International Workers’ Day in 1886, when it was the beginning of a multi-day general strike in Chicago in which workers demanded an eight-hour work day. On May 4, 1886, the strike ended in what became known as the Haymarket Affair.

  • DRM

    • Day Against DRM – Two Days Away

      Clear your schedule for a worldwide day of action against DRM. On Wednesday, May 4th, we will be taking action to raise the stakes and increase awareness about the threats of Digital Restrictions Management — in a very significant way!

      Awareness is a key part of defeating DRM. Whether protesting outside Apple Stores in Hazmat suits as we have done in years past, handing out leaflets in front of public libraries, or sending direct complaints to senior executives at Sony, action gets attention, and creates space for change.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Judge Slams Copyright Troll Lawyer John Steele’s Latest ‘Fishing Expedition’

        The mass infringement lawsuit shakedown plan is looking shakier and shakier these days as more and more courts keep hitting back on these cases. More and more judges (with one notable exception) are recognizing that these lawyers are just using the court system to pressure people into paying up… and they don’t seem to like it very much. The latest involves Chicago divorce lawyer-turned-porn P2P shakedown lawyer, John Steele. Steele has already had some trouble with judges buying his arguments. Steele is also the guy trying to set these lawsuits up as reverse class actions — a strategy that failed miserably the first time around.

        However, despite that loss, Steele has tried again for another reverse class action. Earlier, the judge denied Steele’s motion for expedited discovery. Expedited discovery is a pretty standard thing that almost every court grants as a matter of course, but we’ve now seen a few courts in these mass infringement lawsuits refuse, after realizing the only purpose behind expedited discovery is to get the names/addresses of people in order to hit them up with settlement offers. In this case, the judge specifically ordered the court clerk not to issue subpoenas in the case, to stop Steele from getting the info he needed to pressure people into settling. Steele still pushed forward, trying to get the court to approve things so he could send out the subpoenas and get the names.

Clip of the Day

Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal uses Unity Desktop by Default! [UDS N Day 1]

Credit: TinyOgg

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