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05.05.11

Links 5/5/2011: Linux Back on PS3, New AntiX

Posted in News Roundup at 6:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Returns To PS3 Through Custom Firmware Update

    Homerbrew developers have released a custom firmware update for Sony’s PlayStation 3 video game console that reactivates the OtherOS functionality that was blocked the company more than a year ago.

    The OtherOS++ firmware, which installs the Linux operating system along side Sony’s PS operating system, is described as ‘one small step for devs, one giant kick in the nuts for Sony’.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • New Looks for Desktop Linux

        The GNOME Foundation, which has overseen the development of the default graphical environments for the Linux- and Unix-based operating systems from Red Hat, Novell, Canonical, Sun Microsystems, Oracle and others, has diverged from the consistent look and feel that marked its namesake desktop environment for years, with its new GNOME Shell interface.

      • GNOME Shell and Ubuntu Unity both offer new looks

        With the release of GNOME 3.0 and Ubuntu 11.04, the face of the Linux desktop environment is changing. This eWEEK review finds there’s a lot to like in both the GNOME Shell and Ubuntu Unity desktop environments, although both will take some getting used to.

        With GNOME 3.0, the GNOME Foundation has diverged from the consistent look and feel that marked its namesake desktop environment for years. The new GNOME Shell interface represents a new desktop approach intended to make applications easier to access, limit workspace distractions, and make more use of modern desktop and notebook hardware.

    • Xfce

      • In the Linux Garage, Xfce Is Your Tough, Reliable Jeep

        If the more popular Linux desktop environments out there are the cushy sport sedans of the open source world, think of Xfce as a rugged, reliable Jeep. It’s a feature-rich yet lightweight desktop environment that’s anything but underpowered. It’s a long-haul computing workhorse whose only noticeable shortcoming is a very forgivable lack of eye candy.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat’s thin client revival

        If you’ve been in the IT industry for a couple of decades you might well remember when thin-client technology was big news. In particular you might remember when Oracle chief Larry Ellison sang the praises of thin-client technology. You might also remember when, in the late 1990s, Ellison again proclaimed the virtues of thin-client computing.

        Today thin-client computing is no longer sexy. Many companies use it successfully but there aren’t that many vendors that will trumpet thin-client systems as a way to sexy-up their sales material.

        [...]

        Now Red Hat is hoping to give Linux on the desktop a boost with its new virtual desktop infrastructure plans.

      • Welcome to KVM virtualization – Thorough introduction

        If you’ve been reading my Virtualization section, you know that my focus so far has been mostly on VMware and VirtualBox, with a tad bit of cloud stuff and image remastering. Well, time to branch out. Today, I’d like to formally begin a whole new era of tutorials with KVM. Later on, there will be Xen and other weird beasts, but for now, our topic is KVM.

      • Red Hat, Inc. And IBM Corporation Announces Partnership
      • Red Hat Revolutionizes the Private and Hybrid Cloud Market

        By incorporating comprehensive application lifecycle management, Red Hat CloudForms allows organizations to benefit from the elasticity and flexibility of cloud computing while retaining the ability to control and govern their application portfolio in the cloud.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 15 First impressions

          So, most of my recent use of Linux has been on Linux Mint, a distribution based on Ubuntu. I currently have a dual-boot set up, and installed the new Fedora 15 (beta) to give it a spin. I have not used Fedora very much. I am used to the GNOME 2 desktop but the upcoming Fedora – which will be released on May 24 – is using the brand new GNOME 3 with no ability to return to GNOME 2. This is something Windows users wouldn’t be expecting – the same “desktop” but implemented differently. In Ubuntu and Fedora, the main taskbar is at the top. In Mint, and some other distributions of Linux, it is at the bottom, as Windows users usually see it.

          [...]

          I was much more impressed with the new Fedora than I expected.

    • Debian Family

      • MEPIS based antiX M11 Screenshots

        I’ve taken some screenshots of the MEPIS-based antiX M11 release that came out yesterday. This is an extremely lightweight distribution designed to run on as little as 64MB of RAM. I found using the live cd, installing antiX and performing basic tasks to be a breeze. Here are some screenshots of antiX M11. You can download antiX here or buy Linux CDs in our cart.

      • Congratulations, antiX! Well Done!
      • antiX M11 is Still Quite Impressive
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Debunking FUD: “Ubuntu restricts you, Ubuntu spies on you”

          This is the latest line used by people some people in the free software community in Venezuela to talk down on Ubuntu. This is not just a casual comment.This comes from the people that organize a nation wide 12 city tour to talk about free software.

          I have already commented on how we have been excluded by censoring us, they require us to say ubuntu is propietary software just like mac and windows, they claim ubuntu users are as naive as those using the previous mention propietary systems.

        • Fighting with Ubuntu 11.04 (Unity)

          Ubuntu 11.04 is one of the most expected releases this year. Yes, there were lots of pre-release discussions, reviews, controversy and so on. Finally, it was released.
          As you may know, my laptop is quadro-boot. One of the systems I had there was Ubuntu 10.10, which was upgraded from 10.04.
          Of course, such an event like Ubuntu 11.04 release could not be bypassed by me. This time I decided to go through fresh install route and replace my Ubuntu 10.10 with Ubuntu 11.04 with Unity desktop. Before going for final installation, I ran it in Live mode from Live USB. First impression was positive, so decision was made to go on.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 review

          Ubuntu 11.04, code-named Natty Narwhal, is the latest version of the popular Linux distribution. Released on April 28, 2011, Natty Narwhal is the first Ubuntu release to ship with the Unity desktop interface, replacing the GNOME 2 desktop. This release also marks the end of a separate Ubuntu Netbook Edition (UNE). So if you are running Ubuntu 10.10 Netboot Edition, you will, like every other Ubuntu user, be using Ubuntu 11.04 Desktop.

        • Top 6 Quicklists for Ubuntu 11.04 Natty to Enhance Unity Launcher Functionality

          Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal has been a revelation of sorts in terms of UI improvements it brought to the table. One of the highlights of the new Unity UI is the launcher that sits on the left side of Ubuntu 11.04 Unity desktop. Now I can access my most favorite apps much more faster and my desktop will remain clean at the same time. But I didn’t noticed the limitations of Unity launcher until I implemented the following quicklists which further enhanced the Ubuntu Unity launcher functionality. I am pretty darn sure that you are also going to love these awesome Unity launcher improvements as I did.

        • UnityFox: Integrate Firefox With Ubuntu Unity Launcher (Extension)
        • Change Login Screen On Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal”
        • [How to] Run KDE Plasma Widgets in Ubuntu Unity

          We all like a bit of desktop bling on our otherwise standard looking desktops, and despite the recently-revived Screenlets project boasting a noble, if belated, entry there is still no competitor to style and variety of KDE’s “Plasma widgets”.

        • Ubuntu Linux: A User-Friendly, Desktop Operating System

          Last week, Canonical — the open-source development firm — released a new version of its Ubuntu Linux operating system, seemingly aimed at offering casual Windows and Mac users a feature-rich alternative.

          Although it is certainly a bit of hyperbole to say that Ubuntu 11.04 will send Apple and Microsoft packing, ecommerce merchants may find that this new desktop operating system — which is free — is a viable alternative that may save money, improve security, and even provide a better environment for some kinds of web development and maintenance.

        • Install CompizConfig Settings Manager And Enable Desktop Effects Ubuntu Classic 11.04 “Natty Narwhal”
        • Canonical Introduces ‘Ubuntu Friendly’ Open Hardware Validation Program

          Victor Palau, Platform Services Manager at Canonical, announces a new open hardware validation program being developed at the upcoming UDS-O in Budapest called “Ubuntu Friendly”.

          “We are planning substantial change to our Self-testing hardware validation programme at UDS-O. Mainly, we are discontinuing the commercial Ubuntu Ready programme and replacing it with a community programme that has the working title “Ubuntu Friendly”,” writes Palau.

        • Manual disk partitioning guide for Ubuntu 11.04

          Advanced or manual disk partitioning is available for those that want to create a custom set of partitions for installing Ubuntu 11.04. For whatever reason or reasons you choose to use the advanced disk partitioning tool, this article gives a step by step guide, with detailed explanations, on how to do it.

        • How To Use Standard GNOME Notification Bubbles In Ubuntu
        • Speak to me!
        • [How To]: Enable Icons In Menus For Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal
        • 4 Terribly Easy Steps To Move Away From Unity In Ubuntu 11.04
        • Three Alternatives To Unity For Ubuntu 11.04

          A couple of days back, Ubuntu 11.04 was released. As expected it had the new Unity user interface. Unity has divided the Ubuntu users into two groups – those who like it and those who hate it.

        • Mark Shuttleworth talks Windicators, changes for Unity in Oneiric, and whole lot more…

          For one hour in the week following the release of the latest Ubuntu, Mark Shuttleworth, the ‘founder’ of Ubuntu, holds a question and answer session as part of ‘Ubuntu Open Week’.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Welcome to the future.

          Welcome to the future. On the left is the first AndroidNoG phone that I’ve actually played with.

          [...]

          It’s exactly how Baidu expects to dominate search on Android in China and is reportedly the basis for the Facebook phone.

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • OSR Group Thesis: Open Source Collaboration Codified (in English)

    Abstract: When using mailing lists as a collaboration tool, (open source) software developers are following various usage patterns. In order to improve the efficiency of open source collaboration, this thesis tries to identify these existing patterns by analyzing the mailing lists of popular open source projects, then proposes an annotation schema to codify these patterns. A mailing list archiver application is also implemented, which applies the codifications to handle email messages, provides tool supporting for the improvement.

  • Events

    • 20 Years of Linux at the ForumPA, 9 May 2011, Rome

      The Linux operating system is 20 years old, and the Open Source Focus Group for public administrations will run a dedicated event on May 9 at FORUM PA 2011, a workshop hosted by IBM to talk with experts and enthusiasts about Linux’s history and the state of the art.

    • The Linux Foundation Announces LinuxCon Japan Keynotes, Support for Tsunami Relief

      News Highlights

      • Linux creator Linus Torvalds tops LinuxCon Japan agenda, will share his thoughts on the 20th Anniversary of Linux

      • A dedicated day titled, “Open Forum: Power of Collaboration in Crisis,” will facilitate collaboration among open source project leaders working on technology to address crisis

      • The Linux Foundation to donate program funds to tsunami relief efforts

  • SaaS

    • The IT Reform Agenda: ‘Cloud-first’ and mainstreaming of open source

      I attended the latest briefing at the White House complex, where Federal CIO Vivek Kundra, Federal Chief Performance Officer Jeff Zients, and other Executive Branch officials reported on implementation of the Administration’s IT Reform Agenda.

    • Legal challenges could hold back cloud computing

      Want to store your digital songs, movies, TV shows, books and video games on a computer or mobile device? No problem. The real trick these days is pushing all that content onto the Internet so it can follow you from device to device, eliminating the need for storage altogether.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle Donates Open Source Hudson To Eclipse Foundation

      Oracle is donating the Hudson open source code that came with Sun Microsystems to the Eclipse Foundation Wednesday. Hudson stirred up controversy in late January when the project’s founder declared that it should be forked to create a branch free of Oracle’s control.

      The project’s founder, Kohsuke Kawaguchi, while at Sun created what’s called a continuous-integration tool in order to simplify agile Java development. A continuous integration tool automatically manages all the changes to a software system as it’s developed. Hudson became a Duke’s Choice award winner for top Java software at the 2008 JavaOne Conference, and was widely adopted by Java programmers. Kawaguchi still has a claim on some developers’ loyalty and they have followed him into his next project, Jenkins.

    • The Apache Software Foundation Subpoenaed to Produce Documents in Oracle America vs. Google

      The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has received a [United States District Court subpoena] requiring the production of documents related to the use of Apache Harmony code in the Android software platform, and the unsuccessful attempt by Apache to secure an acceptable license to the Java SE Technology Compatibility Kit.

    • Oracle, Google move to streamline Java lawsuit

      Google and Oracle each submitted proposals on Friday to reduce the number of claims in their Java patent infringement lawsuit, which could help bring the case to a speedier conclusion.

      Google and Oracle each submitted proposals on Friday to reduce the number of claims in their Java patent infringement lawsuit, which could help bring the case to a speedier conclusion.

      Oracle sued Google in August, claiming its Android mobile operating system infringes on seven of Oracle’s Java patents. Google has denied all wrongdoing.

    • Oracle Ordered to Reduce Claims Against Google From 132 to 3

      So, 132 Oracle claims down to 3, and the rest are deep-sixed forever, not to be seen again. That obviously will also cut back on any possible damages. Methinks this judge has a clue.

    • Governing Board Minutes: 2011/4/28

      The OpenJDK Governing Board met via conference call on Thursday, 28 April 2011 at 15:00 UTC with the following agenda:

      1. Use of the Chatham House Rule
      2. Status update on Oracle legal work
      3. Cadence for approving and publishing meeting minutes
      4. Observers

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Selfless behaviour brings success for all

      One possibility to spur people on to save energy: people punish selfishness more when their group is in competition with others

      That which motivates a football team to committed teamwork could also benefit climate change. The members of a group act in a particularly selfless manner and for the benefit of the group, especially when their community is in competition with others. They are then more likely to accept disadvantages themselves in order to punish members of their group who behave selfishly. A research group headed by the economics researcher Lauri Sääksvuori at the Max Planck Institute of Economics in Jena has gained this insight by conducting investigations involving game theory. This could result in a way of spurring people on to save energy.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Crippled class suits may put new watchdog to test

      It’s a joyful spring in corporate America thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court. It has ruled that companies can stop customers or employees from banding together to sue. But as directors celebrate, consumer advocates and trial lawyers are mobilizing to overturn the decision. One of their best hopes of an ally may be Elizabeth Warren’s new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

      The decision came in a challenge to AT&T’s requirement that cellphone customers resolve claims one-by-one in private arbitration. Lower courts struck down the class-action ban, but the high court reversed, saying federal law favors arbitrations over litigation and class actions make them too costly and slow.

  • Censorship

    • Alarm over EU ‘Great Firewall’ proposal

      Anti-censorship campaigners compared the plan to China’s notorious system for controlling citizens’ access to blogs, news websites and social networking services.

      The proposal emerged an obscure meeting of the Council of the European Union’s Law Enforcement Work Party (LEWP), a forum for cooperation on issues such as counter terrorism, customs and fraud.

    • China Makes Internet Censorship More Efficient

      China formed a new State Internet Information Office on Wednesday, consolidating its disparate offices that oversee the Internet into a single agency.

      The office will “direct, coordinate and supervise online content management and handle administrative approval of businesses related to online news reporting,” the government said in a notice posted to the official government Web site.

      Leading the office will be officials from the State Council’s Information Office as well as two vice ministers, Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology Xi Guohua, and Vice Minister of Public Security Zhang Xinfeng.

  • Privacy

    • Jennifer Stoddart’s Shot Across the Privacy Bow

      By virtually every measure, 2010 was a remarkably successful year for Canadian privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart. Riding the wave of high profile investigations into the privacy practices of Internet giants Facebook and Google, Stoddart received accolades around the world, while garnering a three-year renewal of her term at home.

    • WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange: Facebook an ‘appalling spying machine’

      “Facebook, Google, Yahoo, all these major US organizations have built-in infaces for US intelligence,” he said. “It’s not a matter of serving a subpoena, they have an interface they have developed for US Intelligence to use. Now, is the case that Facebook is run by US Intelligence? No, it’s not like that. It’s simply that US Intelligence is able to bring to bear legal and political pressure to them. It’s costly for them to hand out individual records, one by one, so they have automated the process.”

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • What a Conservative majority means for tech & telecom

      Well, that certainly was an exciting election! Not many people expected a Conservative majority to emerge and even fewer saw the NDP forming the official opposition. I’ll save the general political punditry for the… er… political pundits, but I can add some thoughts on what this might mean for tech, science and telecom in Canada over the next four years.

    • Digital Agenda: Commission and European industry join forces to build the Internet of the Future
    • AT&T Caps Have Arrived

      Back in March we exclusively were the first to report that AT&T would be imposing usage caps and overages on their terrestrial broadband users. Those caps have officially arrived, with DSL users now facing a 150 GB monthly cap, and U-Verse users now facing a 250 GB monthly cap. Both DSL and U-Verse users must pay $10 per every 50GB above the cap they travel. As our original report noted, only users who exceed the new usage cap three times — across the life of your account, not per month — will be forced to pay these new per byte overages.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • The US Intellectual Property Watch List: The Canadian Perspective

      To the surprise of absolutely no one, the U.S. has again placed Canada on its Special 301 Priority Watch List, implausibly claiming that Canada’s intellectual property laws are seriously deficient and on par with countries such as China and Russia. The U.S. “analysis” is short and to the point:

      Canada remains on the Priority Watch List. The United States continues to urge Canada to implement its previous commitments to improve its legal framework for IPR protection and enforcement. Unfortunately, Canadian efforts in 2010 to enact long-awaited copyright legislation were unsuccessful. The United States encourages Canada to make the enactment of copyright legislation that addresses the challenges of piracy over the Internet, including by fully implementing the WIPO Internet Treaties, a priority for its new government. The United States encourages Canada to provide for deterrent-level sentences to be imposed for IPR violations, as well as to strengthen enforcement efforts, including at the border. Canada should provide its Customs officials with ex officio authority to effectively stop the transit of counterfeit and pirated products through its territory. U.S. stakeholders have also expressed strong concerns about Canada’s administrative process for reviewing the regulatory approval of pharmaceutical products, as well as limitations in Canada’s trademark regime. The United States appreciates the high level of cooperation between the Canadian and U.S. Governments, and looks forward to continuing engagement on these important issues.

    • Israel returned to the US Special IP Report Blacklist

      This development is not surprising. I don’t think the position adopted by the US is a more moral position or an objectively better balance between free market competition and patentee’s results, nor do I think the amendment is warranted. I see this as simply an example of US protectionist bullying.

    • Trademarks

      • Department of Commerce Releases Worthless Report on Trademark Bullying

        Given its apathetic nature, the report doesn’t make the logical jump that any intellectually curious person would instantly make: if the “duty to police” might be driving trademark owners to be (over)zealous in their enforcement efforts, maybe we should fix the duty to police. After all, this “duty” isn’t in the statute at all; it’s barely in the caselaw; and it could be easily remedied with a statutory clarification that might very well be welcomed by both trademark owners and secondary trademark users because it might eliminate ambiguity plaguing both communities. C’mon, guys–that conclusion isn’t exactly rocket science.

    • Copyrights

      • Moral Bankruptcy of the Copyright Industry

        As anyone who has followed the area for a while learns, the copyright industry has an extraordinary sense of entitlement. It seems to think that it has a right to demand that governments around the world preserve its outdated business models and existing profit margins – and that it should be granted any kind of extraordinary legal protections for its monopolies to ensure that, whatever the concomitant cost to society.

      • Judge Lets Latest Righthaven Lawsuit Move Forward

        Even though controversial copyright enforcer Righthaven has already lost two lawsuits on fair use grounds, not every defendant that chooses to fight back is going to get a quick win. A lawsuit against an Urdu-language web forum over its copy of the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s “Vdara death ray” illustration will move forward, following a judge’s ruling.

        Righthaven sued Azkar Choudhry back in December, saying that an image at his website, GupShup forums, was illegally copied from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a newspaper that sells its copyrights so that Righthaven can file lawsuits. Choudhry responded, arguing that his site’s use of the image—which was an “in-line link” automatically added via an RSS feed—is fair use.

      • CNET Accused of Copyright Infringement for Distributing LimeWire

        CBS Interactive, the owner of CNET, is being sued for facilitating “massive copyright infringement” for distributing the LimeWire software, a file sharing service a federal judge ruled illegal last year.

        A lawsuit brought by rappers and others accuses CBS of profiting from distributing 220 million copies of LimeWire on CNET’s download.com site since 2008, or 95 percent off all LimeWire downloads.

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