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05.19.11

IRC Proceedings: May 19th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

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Enter the IRC channels now

Links 19/5/2011: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1 is Out, Linux 2.6.39 is Near

Posted in News Roundup at 6:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • FLOSS Weekly 166: Compiz

      Hosts: Randal Schwartz and Dan Lynch

      Compiz the compositing window management system for X11.

    • Don’t miss our IRC session on Friday

      Just a quick note for those who didn’t listen to the last podcast recording (naughty, naughty): on Friday 20th of May, at 15:00 British Summer Time, the team behind Linux Format magazine and TuxRadar will be on IRC for chat japes galore.

  • Kernel Space

    • What’s new in Linux 2.6.39

      The latest Linux kernel offers drivers for AMD’s current high-end graphics chips and ipsets that simplify firewall implementation and maintenance. The Ext4 file system and the block layer are now said to work faster and offer improved scalability. Hundreds of new or improved drivers enhance the kernel’s hardware support.

    • Graphics Stack

      • When Open-Source Graphics Drivers Break

        This morning I wrote about the troublesome experience of Intel Sandy Bridge graphics under Ubuntu 11.04 as the packages found in the Natty repository are outdated and contain only the initial “SNB” support. In the mainline upstream code, Sandy Bridge is supported much better, offers faster performance, and possesses other new features (e.g. VA-API encode), except in the past week the Intel SNB Linux code temporarily broke hard.

      • Whoops, Intel SNB Is Borked At The Last Minute In Linux 2.6.39

        This morning after writing Intel Sandy Bridge On Ubuntu 11.04 Is Still Troubling, I proceeded to build the latest Mesa / Linux kernel / libdrm / DDX Git stack to see where the latest Intel SNB code is at and how it’s running for the popular Core i5 2500K processor. Before leaving three weeks ago, everything was running great, but to much surprise, this morning it was a broken mess. Intel just regressed hard in their Sandy Bridge support for the about-to-be-released Linux 2.6.39 kernel. Whoops!

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Bad Chakras of DarkDuck
    • Adventures in Chakra Linux

      What is my general feeling of Chakra Linux? Honestly, I expected more from famous and long-existing distributive. More in terms of included software. More stability. Just more… Yes, there are couple of nice findings in Chakra which make this system almost unique (at least among those which I saw), but they are not so important for me to think about switching to Chakra Linux.

    • Slacking the South African Way: Meeting Kongoni GNU/Linux!

      I had been wanting to try some Slackware based distro for some time. Why? If you say you like Linux and haven’t tried Slackware, the oldest GNU/Linux alive (yes! Ubuntu is NOT the oldest, for the record! :P ), you are missing your roots. Not enough reason, you say? Well, let me add that Slackware must have its magic touch if it has been able to stand the test of time since 1993. Yes, kids; Slackware may be older than some of you; then learn from the experienced and become better!

      [...]

      In general terms, Kongoni looks like a good distro. I liked it in spite that it does not come with any office suite.

    • Zenwalk 7: Shall We DANCE?

      My only problem was now to boot Zenwalk. I tried several solutions I found online, but none of them made GRUB stand up and invite Zenwalk to the dancing floor. So, I resorted to Mandriva Control Center. I opened the boot manager and tried to add the entry manually. Again, I was not sure of what I was doing, but I had to give it a try. I added a new Linux entry cutting and pasting info for tag, append, and image from lilo.config. Then, I clicked “advanced” and changed network profile to “default” and copy/pasted the info for initrd.

    • New Releases

      • BackTrack 5 Released – The Most Advanced Linux Security Distribution & LiveCD

        We have of course been following BackTrack since the very early days, way back in 2006 when it was just known as BackTrack – A merger between WHAX and Auditor. They’ve come a long way and BackTrack is now a very polished and well rounded security distro, most of the others have dropped off the map leaving BackTrack as the giant in the security LiveCD space.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • First Stable Release Of Mageia In 13 Days: RC Available

        The Mageia project has announced the availability of last development release of Mageia. This is believed to be the last release candidate opening the windows for the fist stable release of the GNU/Linux-based operating system.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat releases Enterprise Linux 6.1

        CORPORATE LINUX VENDOR Red Hat has released Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.1 with numerous security updates and patches.

        Red Hat released its popular RHEL 6 distribution back in November 2010 and typically the firm operates on a six month update schedule for current release tracks. So it is no big surprise that Red Hat has announced RHEL 6.1 in May, which brings out patches and security fixes and, according to Red Hat, maintains application compatibility and certification.

      • Red Hat Delivers Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1
      • Winning: Q&A with Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat CEO

        When Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst said in 2008 he planned to get the company to $1bn in annual sales by 2011, up from $500m at the time, there were those who scoffed. But as the open source vendor just closed its fourth quarter with sales of $244.8m, up 25%, it’s almost certain he will achieve his ambition, even if the firm’s first billion-dollar year will actually be its fiscal 2012, not 2011. Who’s counting?

        As Whitehurst said at the time of the recent earnings announcement: “With record bookings and billings in the fourth quarter, we are on a run rate to become the first pure-play open source company to achieve a billion dollars in revenues next fiscal year, a milestone achievement for Red Hat and the open source community.”

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical’s Launchpad Streamlines Translation of Ubuntu

            If you’re a native English speaker like me, you may not think very often about what it takes to make software available in a language you understand. For the rest of the world, however, translation is a big deal — especially in the open source ecosystem, where few projects have the resources to pay professional translators. Luckily, recent changes in Launchpad have made it easier for developers to integrate translations into Ubuntu. Here’s the scoop, and why it matters more than you might think.

            In the open source world, where programmers dot the planet, English tends to serve as a lingua franca among the people writing the code. This practice may work well enough for developers who need to communicate with one another, but it’s not a solution for users who cannot or prefer not to use their software in a language that is not their native tongue.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 Release Schedule Published

            While we have had an early Ubuntu 11.10 release schedule (along with one for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS) going back to last May, the official release schedule for Ubuntu 11.10 “Oneiric Oncelot” is now available.

            The official Ubuntu 11.10 release schedule is available from the Ubuntu Wiki with the various release dates.

          • Unity-2D on Ubuntu 10.10

            I have tried and tested Ubuntu 11.04 during its development cycle and also after the final release and I really liked Unity 2D. It was the first shell that I did not felt the need for major customization.

          • Jono Bacon, Ubuntu Community Manager – Unity is too simple

            Some may even laugh at the fact that even the Ubuntu community find Unity too simple, although let us be very clear about what is too simple about Unity. It is the usability and functionality that is too simple.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • MP3 player success with Rockbox

      Some of you who have been following this blog for a while may remember my post from 2009 where I was lamenting my lack of decent Linux-friendly MP3 player options out there to replace my aging Archos device.

      Well, I still haven’t found one. However, thanks to Rockbox and a used device I bought from a friend, I have a stopgap that will hopefully last me until the portable music player electronics market sorts itself out.

    • Another Reason to Love Linux

      Computers have long been a rather expensive luxury for those who could afford them. Desktops have drastically fallen in price, but with a cost of roughly $300.00 for a modest machine the price is still nothing to laugh at. Laptops have fallen in price as well, but $500.00 is still a lot of money. Worldwide, our economies are not in the best shape. Along with coffee, people tighten their technology budget. It’s a natural reaction. Food, water, gasoline, car maintenance, and home maintenance are far more important in the survival sense. The tightening of that budget may negatively impact children who are interested in technology. It’s also rather obvious that there are parts of the world that are not quite as well off as others. Luckily, their are some very bright, very clever people in the world. It just so happens that a few of them love technology and Linux. The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK based charity that has found a solution to this problem.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • DROID X2 Comes To Verizon Wireless

          Verizon and Motorola have announced the second-generation Android-powered DROID X2, designed for the consumer who does everything on their smartphone.

          The DROID X2, boasts Verizon Wireless’ first dual-core 1GHz processor for fast webpage loading and Adobe Flash Player.

        • Google I/O: The Android Story

          Of the companies that court developers, it’s difficult to conceive of one that’s more generous with hardware than Google. Just as they once handed out free handsets to stimulate Android application development, Google, as expected issued free Samsung tablets to all five thousand attendees of their annual developer conference. Then they handed out free Verizon LTE mifi devices with three months of free service. And a few weeks from now, they’ll be shipping out free Chromebooks as well.

          Whether you believe this largesse is good form or bad on Google’s part – and opinons vary on the subject – it’s a strategy that has shown results for them in the past. Last April, there were 38,000 applications in the Android Market. At present, there are over 200,000. The free hardware creates longer term issues with expectations, as attendees have obviously come to expect free kit. But in the short term, it’s clear that seeding the market in this fashion is likely to produce the desired effect: more applications.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Dell Releases Chromium OS for the Mini 10v

        Today, Dell’s Technology Strategist, Doug Anson announced that a Chromium OS build for the Mini 10v netbook is available for download from their website.

        Chromium OS is the open source version of Google’s Chrome OS. Like Chrome OS, it is a minimalist operating system with just a browser – Chromium browser. Chrome OS and Chromium OS are quite similar to each other except for a few things like verified boot.

      • Joe Wilcox Goes To Bat for Chrome OS

        just because they don’t do everything the same way that a brand new PC running that other OS will do?

      • Evaluating Chromebook: Treats and Risks

        Chromebook is built for internet-freaks who spend most of their time on the web so that they can experience the web, truly and completely without having to worry about ordinary computer headaches. Google Chromebook is based on ChromeOS, a web-based Operating System entirely relying on cloud computing. The revolutionary Chromebooks seek to completely transform our current (somewhat inflexible) computing habits, in an exciting new way. Nevertheless there are some risks and apprehensions associated with this new paradigm of computing.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome 13.0 Drops Support for Ubuntu 8.04 LTS

        The Google Chrome developers at Google proudly announced last evening (May 17th) the immediate availability for download and testing of the first development version for the upcoming Google Chrome 13 web browser, for Linux, Windows, Macintosh and Chrome Frame platforms.

    • Mozilla

      • Update: Mozilla Preps For Firefox 5 Beta Launch Day

        Update: May 17 was widely believed to be the launch day of Firefox 5 Beta. However, it turns out that Mozilla did not plan yesterday as the launch day, but as the day for the source code merge. The merge apparently happened, but the public release is still hiding in Mozilla’s FTP servers.

  • CMS

    • HTML5 in Drupal 8

      HTML5 is about to rock our world. There are books written about why that is the case, but simply put, it can provide a much better user experience on both desktop and mobile devices, and could lead to a convergence between native applications and the mobile web.

  • Business

    • Open Source Software Is Now a Norm in Businesses

      We’ve already seen mounting evidence that the numerous benefits of open source software are making a big impression on businesses far and wide, and this week saw the release of yet more data corroborating that fact.

    • Open source WCM needs more than geek appeal to succeed in the enterprise

      I just spent a few days at CMS Expo, a conference full of WCM open sourcers which I enjoyed very much. But I had a message for them during my keynote which I would like to share here as well: Open source web content management needs to change if it wants to maintain relevance in the enterprise in the next five years.

      While this is more a call-to-action than a prediction, it seems to fly directly in the face of predictions by many industry voices, all of which tend to indicate a rise in the popularity of open source WCM in the enterprise. In fact, these points do not conflict, but allow me to explain.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU SIP Witch 1.0 released for peer-to-peer next gen VoIP

      May 14, 2011 (Bayonne, NJ). We are distributing today a 1.0 release of the GNU SIP protocol provisioning and peer-to-peer call server, GNU SIP Witch. GNU SIP Witch is developed within GNU Telephony and has been selected for use in the GNU Free Call project. This will provide a stable release that we will support for existing applications while we actively develop GNU Free Call services.

      GNU SIP Witch is available as part of the GNU project. Stable releases will also power a web site later this summer to provide initial worldwide secure calling services for free directly to the general public for use in conjunction with any ZRTP enabled standards compliant softphone applications and SIP devices. GNU SIP Witch can be used to deploy private secure calling networks, whether stand-alone or in conjunction with existing VoIP infrastructure, for private institutions and national governments.

    • The curse of G-before-N

      Personally, I blame Richard Stallman. It’s an affliction that affects geeks on our side of the proverbial aisle: The “G” factor, where a normally silent letter gets pressed into phonetic service, well, for a couple of reasons. First, because it’s there (and from an engineering standpoint, why would it be there if it wasn’t going to be used?), and secondly, because we’re used to the fact that GNU and GNOME have the “g” — how can I put this? — unsilent, and we’ve been trained, or brainwashed, into putting the “g” in there where it doesn’t belong.

      It’s bad enough the little guys in the garden are guh-nomes — even after the recent movie “Guh-nomeo and Juliet” — but there are other places where this arises.

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • The GNU GPL and the American Dream

      When I was in grade school, right here in the United States of America, I was taught that our country was the “land of opportunity”. My teachers told me that my country was special, because anyone with a good idea and a drive to do good work could make a living, and be successful too. They called it the “American Dream”.

      What was the cornerstone to the “American Dream”? It was equality — everyone had the same chance in our society to choose their own way. I could have any career I wanted, and if I worked hard, I would be successful.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Goldman No Longer Laps the Field

      Goldman Sachs has lost its luster. The firm earned a best-in-class reputation for its history of profitability and navigating upheaval. But it seems less assured lately. In fact, Goldman is in danger of looking downright average.

    • It’s Getting Harder To Defend Goldman Sachs

      After reading Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came To Rule the World by William D. Cohan, I can no longer defend Goldman Sachs and the status quo on Wall Street.

      As Congress and the media were debating the controversial and populist-tinged Dodd-Frank Financial Regulation bill, my first inclination was to defend Wall Street and traders overall. I didn’t like Dodd-Frank’s Volcker Rule, which divests proprietary trading and alternative investments (hedge funds and private equity) from Wall Street (commercial) banks. I believed the bill was similar to reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act separating investment banking and trading from commercial banking.

      I argued that banks need trading profits — where the main profits have been the last decade — to offset losses on lending, especially during a recession. But now I agree with Chairman Volcker. We can’t be certain Goldman Sachs CEO Blankfein and other sleuths won’t steal client inside information to front run, compete, and trade against their clients and the public’s interests. The Chinese Wall is the biggest myth and lie on Wall Street.

    • Raj Gupta Was Merely Trying to Fulfill His Destiny As a Billionaire Eagle

      Recently convicted hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam might have been right about Rajat Gupta, the esteemed financier who allegedly fed Galleon inside information from the Goldman Sachs board. During the trial, the jury heard a wiretap of Rajaratnam saying that the reason Gupta left Goldman’s board for a gig at a private equity company was because:

    • Goldman Sachs in danger of looking average

      Goldman Sachs has lost its luster. The firm earned a best-in-class reputation for its history of profitability and navigating upheaval. But it seems less assured lately. In fact, Goldman is in danger of looking downright average.

      It’s not the first time. Goldman has been sent reeling by shocks from Penn Central’s bankruptcy in 1970 to Russia’s default in 1998. But the Goldman advantage comes from an ability not only to climb off the canvas but to thrive in the face of adversity.

    • Will the Banks Finally Have to Answer?

      At long last, there may be a serious investigation into the mortgage mess — the kind that results in clarity as well as big fines and maybe even accountability.

      Gretchen Morgenson reported in The Times on Tuesday that Eric Schneiderman, the New York attorney general, wants to discuss mortgage operations during the housing bubble with executives of Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. He has also requested documents and information from the banks, examined material given to his predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, and studied issues raised in lawsuits against the banks.

    • Feds, NYS probing banks over mortgage crisis

      The day of reckoning is fast approaching for the nation’s biggest banks.

      Several high-profile investigations, including one by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and another by the Justice Department, could hit banks with massive penalties for their role in the mortgage meltdown.

      Sources told The Post that Schneiderman will launch an investigation in the next few weeks into Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, along with other financial players down the road.

    • Goldman Sachs partner diaspora leaves a changed firm behind

      Could it be that some of the management missteps that dogged Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) through the financial crisis resulted from the firm’s long but awkward transition from a private partnership to a publically traded company? After going public, the partnership culture slowly diminished even as the transparency demands on Goldman Sachs and all public companies increased.

    • Levin sees ‘real hope’ of fresh Goldman probe

      Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate investigative subcommittee, said there was “real hope” law enforcement authorities would act on his panel’s report accusing Goldman Sachs of misleading investors and Congress.

    • Journalists spar over Goldman Sachs’ potential criminal activity

      Matt Taibbi argues forcefully in Rolling Stone this month that, following indicting Senate hearings, executives at Goldman Sachs deserve to go on criminal trial for their part in the financial crisis.

    • MATT TAIBBI: Goldman Sachs Executives Lied To Their Customers And Congress

      Matt Taibbi, the Rolling Stone writer who labeled Goldman Sachs a “vampire squid” in one of the defining stories of the financial collapse, has written another article on the Wall Street firm.

      This one is potentially more devastating.

      Taibbi argues that Goldman Sachs executives lied when they testified in front of Congress in the aftermath of the crisis. Unlike other commentators who grouse about how Wall Street execs should be tossed in jail, Taibbi actually provides specifics. He takes quotes from some of the Goldman execs who testified, including CEO Lloyd Blankfein and CFO David Viniar, and then juxtaposes them with what he believes to be the truth at the time.

    • Goldman planning to bankroll new hedge funds

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is seeking money to bankroll fledgling hedge funds, its second attempt since 2008 to break into a business now dominated by Blackstone Group LP, according to three people with knowledge of the plan.

    • Wall Street turns on Wall Street, finally

      In a break with Wall Street tradition, the Rochedale Securities research analyst issued a very rare sell rating last week — on Goldman Sachs, no less.

      Analysts live or die by their access to corporate managements, and corporate managements, like the army in Catch-22, want to be liked. And they like to have their analysts embedded. Like journalists covering a war by traveling with the U.S. army, the analyst at the CEO’s table gets a ringside seat on the corporate story. And also like the reporter, the analyst only gets to see what his hosts want to show him.

  • Censorship

    • Oppose PROTECT-IP Act: U.S. Government Wants To Censor Search Engines And Browsers

      UPDATE: Great news. We don’t always see eye-to-eye with Google, but we’re on the same team this time. Google CEO Eric Schmidt just came out swinging against PROTECT IP, saying, “I would be very, very careful if I were a government about arbitrarily [implementing] simple solutions to complex problems.” And then he went even further.

      [...]

      ORIGINAL: We knew that members of Congress and their business allies were gearing up to pass a revised Internet Blacklist Bill — which more than 325,000 Demand Progress members helped block last winter — but we never expected it to be this atrocious. Last year’s bill has been renamed the “PROTECT IP” Act and it is far worse than its predecessor. A summary of it is posted below.

  • Privacy

    • EU Committee Suggests Tough Rules On Locational Privacy; May Influence U.S.

      The opinion was published by the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party. The Article 29 group is part of the justice division of the European Union, and is formed by a representative in charge of data protection (privacy) in each EU member state. When the Article 29 group puts out an opinion, its recommendations can be followed by either individual EU states or the EU itself.

      The conclusions of the opinion aren’t law; they become law only if the EU itself or EU member states choose to pursue the recommendations in the opinion. The group has been influential in the past. It was the Article 29 group, for example, that ultimately set limits on how long search engines should be retaining their search data.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright policy based largely on “lobbynomics,” not data

        A major new independent report to the UK Prime Minister on his country’s intellectual property laws is out. Digital Opportunity: A Review of Intellectual Property and Growth could hardly make its position clearer: the UK has lost its way when it comes to copyright policy.

      • Google boss: anti-piracy laws would be disaster for free speech

        Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, warned on Wednesday that government plans to block access to illicit filesharing websites could set a “disastrous precedent” for freedom of speech.

      • The Cabinet Shuffle: Why a New Industry Minister May Not Mean Changed Policies or Big Delays

        On the substance, the experience of the past five years has been marked by the central role of the Prime Minister on all key policy decisions. On copyright, it was Prime Minister Harper that mandated the digital lock approach in both Bills C-61 and C-32. On telecom, it was Harper that shuffled Maxime Bernier out and Jim Prentice in to facilitate a spectrum auction that was far more interventionist (set aside, roaming) than Bernier wanted. On Internet access, it was the PMO – not Clement – that first confirmed the desire for change on usage based billing.

      • Access Copyright Claims Trademark (i.e. Monopoly) Rights in “©” Symbol

        This is from Access Copyright’s “new and improved” (and, as of now, even less informative than before) website.

        Access Copyright is an aggressive Canadian copyright collective that, despite its name, effectively restricts and charges for “access” to literary and artistic works.

      • Brazil’s Copyright Reform: Are We All Josef K.?

        On 20 April, Brazil’s Ministry of Culture announced the schedule (in Portuguese) for the country’s copyright law reform. It will be accepting comments on the draft bill until the 30th of May. Between 1 June and 14 July, the Ministry will implement modifications into the draft bill, send it to the federal government’s Inter-Ministerial Group on Intellectual Property (GIPI) for its assessment, suggestions, and amendments. Finally, on the 15th of July, the Minister of Culture will send the final version to the President’s Office – which will then be responsible for forwarding it to Congress.

Clip of the Day

NASA Space shuttle endeavour launch amazing view from plane window


Credit: TinyOgg

AttachMSFT Still in Control of SUSE, Even After Novell Takeover and Split

Posted in Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED at 1:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Broken heart

Summary: SUSE is maintaining Mono intrusions and AttachMSFT maintains its proprietary software status by shelving SUSE

EARLIER this month Glyn Moody thought that SUSE would be sold. It still can happen. Right now AttachMSFT is separating SUSE from the company, detaching it and putting it in Germany. An AttachMSFT executive “Takes Control of SUSE Linux” following the departure of key people like Rex. The new manager is not FOSS-savvy as AttachMSFT is a proprietary software company (with the intention of keeping that way). Is he a liquidator? The editor of The H (pro-SUSE publication) believes that the new manager is “very prominent”, but this does not say much about his commitment to freedom (if any). That’s the currency in a lot of the GNU/Linux world. To quote the piece:

Attachmate’s SUSE division has confirmed, as The H reported three weeks ago, that Nils Brauckmann is the new head of the freshly created business unit which will be headquartered in Nuremberg. For the first time, The H talked with Brauckmann about his new position and how the changes in the SUSE division will affect openSUSE. The H pointed out to Brauckmann that there was only one mention of openSUSE in the press release on SUSE and that might be taken to mean that the open source version of SUSE Linux was being downgraded.

Here is the press release about the shakeup at management level (lots of coverage ensued [1, 2]), which probably leaves quite a few Novell/SUSE managers out of work. Here is another article about Nils Brauckmann — one that says AttachMSFT is a “legacy software lover”:

Legacy software lover Attachmate has put one of its own long-time executives in charge of what was formerly Novell’s SUSE Linux operation and will focus that unit on serving Linux customers and growing Linux business.

Attachmate has tapped Nils Brauckman, formerly vice president of sales and marketing for the company’s EMEA region, to be president and general manager of the SUSE business unit. Markus Rex, who was a vice president of engineering at the original SUSE Linux AG back in the late 1990s and who became the company’s chief technology officer and eventually was general manager of Novell’s Open Platform Solutions group, which included the SUSE Linux and related businesses, left Novell as it was being acquired by Attachmate; Brauckmann did not know what Rex’s employment plans were.

Here is a sister site remarking on what it calls out by writing:

Sweeping changes blow through Novell’s board

[...]

Bob Flynn will lead the firm as president and general manager and oversee its move back to its Utah headquarters. Joining him are Dave Wilkes, who is VP for engineering, and Eric Varness, who is VP for product management and marketing. We’ll expect to hear a lot from him.

Novell’s friend, Joe the VAR Guy, is optimistic:

SUSE is a new business unit focused on Linux. Nils Brauckmann, a 20-year industry veteran with both Attachmate and Novell heritage, leads the SUSE organization. The VAR Guy’s Spin: According to SEC documents, Attachmate originally did not bid on SUSE as part of the proposed Novell acquisition. So The VAR Guy will be watching to see how Attachmate manages the SUSE business going forward. This could definitely be a growth unit…

So, as expected, SUSE is being separated from the rest [1, 2] and the news about it [1, 2] does not really deny the possibility that SUSE will get sold. The project/product still makes the big mistake of supporting Mono, whose patent protection expires for Novell Inc. within half a year.

“Mono is part of the SUSE Linux business,” Brauckmann said.

Brauckmann commented that the goal of the SUSE Linux business is to innovate in the areas that matter to customers.

“So what you saw happening in the last few weeks is we were starting to adjust our investments in Mono to be better aligned with our business,” Brauckmann said. “Unfortunately that resulted in some layoffs.”

Though Attachmate has laid off a number of Mono developers, Brauckmann said that SUSE Linux will continue to support Mono.

The worst thing about it is that it helps contaminate other GNU/Linux distributions because it develops around the GNOME desktop (here is Uwe’s take on SUSE Manager). It’s not a OpenSUSE/volunteer work, this is the activity of paid developers a lot of the time.

In other news, Novell (AttachMSFT) has more proprietary software for SUSE. It does not seem like AttachMSFT has any intention of directly supporting Free/open source software. Bad sign…

Firms With Microsoft Ties Discourage Use of the GPL Licence

Posted in BSD, FUD, GPL, Microsoft at 12:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Locks and poll

Summary: Free/open source software which can be converted into proprietary is said to be preferred by enterprises, based on proprietary data from a proprietary software firm headed by a Microsoft veteran

We have seen it all before. Microsoft-friendly firms like Black Duck (created by a Microsoft guy) tell us that the GPL is in trouble while saying good things about Microsoft’s replacements for the GPL after a special Microsoft arrangement; Meanwhile, OpenLogic, which is headed by a Microsoft guy, continues telling us that GPL violations are so very commonplace, scary, etc. and now they say that enterprises do not like the GPL (they try to soften the FUD using a comparison). Here is their latest press release which advocates more BSD-style licensing over GPL. “So considerations around choosing an open source license that will further open source adoption remain important,” they say. They also sell FUD around licensing. Another such company, Protecode, has this new press release about its proprietary software. The whole thing just doesn’t smell like Free software at all; rather, it is proprietary and it continues to portray the GPL as a threat to businesses, which it obviously is not. Many of the most popular packages out there (WordPress, Drupal, Linux, etc.) are GPL-licensed and it is working pretty well for everyone.

The BSD-style licences are mostly useful for one type of business: proprietary. Several years ago, code that I wrote and published under the GPL (and got about 100,000 downloads) was relicensed “BSD” without my permission really. I was given the option to either not publish it or relicense it as BSD. Now it can be exploited by companies whose behaviour I do not endorse — companies that harm my freedom (using my code that I wrote). Remember that Apple and Microsoft exploited a lot of BSD-licensed code, which became proprietary. They don’t really like to talk about it, unless they spin that as “supporting” open source (or “leveraging”, but never “exploiting” or “ripping off”). What ever happened to KHTML?

Microsoft is Living and Dying in x86 Land

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft, Windows at 12:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Board hardware

Summary: Usage trends, notably mobility and compactness, drive hardware changes, which in turn leave Microsoft Windows in the innovator’s dilemma, inevitably resulting in its demise

ARM has been causing Intel a lot of trouble. AMD too cannot be enjoying it. A lot of the devices sold today (largely Linux-based) no longer run on this aging architecture of theirs. Vista 8 has been hailed as the mythical operating system that would run on ARM, but just to explain how much of a vapourware/hype it really is, consider the fact that Vista 8 has no useful plans for third-party developers. The monocultural and binary culture of Microsoft is killing its business and this one news article says: “You won’t see the desktop version of Photoshop or Firefox or Chrome or World of Warcraft on your Windows 8 ARM device, either — not unless there’s enough adoption to justify the expense of compiling an entirely new build; and who knows whether ARM chips are powerful enough to run applications that are usually found on x86 computers?”

To clarify, it’s a proprietary software issue, as the source code is not available. Debian, by contrast, does not have such a problem.

Will from our IRC channels wrote that “Windows on ARM will not run legacy software: Microsoft has promised their Office suite on ARM, but nothing more. Ok, so explain to me why anyone would chose Windows on ARM, which will NOT have any of the legacy software that keeps Windows on life support these days, over some version of Linux on ARM, in which you have a wealth of free software only a recompile away?”

Here is another article about this:

Microsoft may be porting Windows 8 to the ARM architecture, but the general manager of Intel’s software and services group insists she’s not losing any sleep over a bruising battle in a more-competitive arena. At least when it comes to PCs.

Speaking on Tuesday at Intel’s Investor Meeting 2011 in Santa Clara, California, Renée James pointed out that the next version of Windows – popularly known as Windows 8 – will be available in versions for both x86 and ARM. There will be a “Windows 8 traditional”, she said, that will run on x86 chips and handle “legacy applications”, meaning existing x86-based Windows apps, and there will be a separate version of the OS that runs on ARM. Windows 8 traditional, she explained, will include a “Windows 7 mode”.

Mr. Pogson says that Microsoft is dying because the lock-in is dying. People can now buy Android devices.

The monopoly has relied on retail lock-in for decades. It’s gone. It’s dead. These small, not-so-cheap computers are flying off retail shelves as fast as they can be stocked and there is increasing growth rate…

Suffice to say, Microsoft has resorted to patent litigation against Linux because it cannot conceive or imagine any other ways to win (which it won’t).

“Gates’s refusal to adopt Adobe’s technology had something to do with money—Gates was not feeling cash rich in 1984—but it had even more to do with Gates’s persistent delusion that Windows be like the Mac.”

Barbarians Led by Bill Gates, a book composed
by the daughter of Microsoft’s PR mogul

Links 19/5/2011: Fedora 15 Goes Gold, Canonical Creates Ubuntu Power User Community

Posted in News Roundup at 3:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Super-slim Linux on a Raspberry Pi

    Linux on a stick promises to revolutionise low-cost computing

    Linux has a reputation for being available in many shapes and sizes, but now there is a version of Linux that promises to beat all-comers on both size and price. The new Linux PC, created by UK game developer David Braben, is not much larger than a thumb, but packs enough power to replace a lightweight laptop.

  • The $25 computer that could help change the world

    Unless you’re a hardcore gamer like me, you’ve probably never heard of David John Braben. Even among gaming circles, he’s no Sid Meier.

    But he has worked on some mighty impressive titles, including the classic trading sim, “Elite.” In more modern times, he’s worked on “Roller Coaster Tycoon 3” and games based on the lovable Wallace and Gromit.

  • Dell updates Chromium OS download for Mini 9 and Mini 10V

    Late in 2009, some Dell engineers got the company aboard the Chrome OS bandwagon at a very early stage. The group released a Chromium OS build for Dell’s Mini 9 and Mini 10V netbooks at a time when the only way for others to play with the nascent operating system was to build it from scratch on a 64-bit Linux rig. Now, more than 18 months later, the image has been updated. If you own a Dell Mini 9 or 10V, head on over to the Dell FTP server and download a copy of its May 13th Chromium OS build.

  • Desktop

    • Linux on the desktop: Europe leads

      According to a report from the team behind the web site monitoring service Pingdom, Europe leads the way for desktop Linux. The team analysed data collected from web statistics site StatCounter between February and April and published information about the popularity of desktop Linux in different countries.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • Meet MiniTunes

      Fortunately, MiniTunes is in very early stages of development and will hopefully gain momentum as more and more people get to know it. I bet it will get better and better, even if it is a great audio player already!

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Review: Steel Storm Burning Retribution

        Steel Storm Burning Retribution has largely stayed under the radar despite being released across multiple operating systems. The indie shoot’em-up received some attention for its simultaneous release on Windows, Mac, and Linux (from the Linux community, as you probably guessed), and it’s available on Steam, but it seems that most computer gamers have yet to hear about it. Being someone who never quite forgot Raptor: Call of the Shadows and who has always secretly wanted to see it updated, I was more than happy to give this new game a shot.

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME To Become A Linux Only Project?

        Something very interesting and potentially controversial is going on in the GNOME project. In an email to the GNOME mailing list, Jon McCann said that GNOME should focus on supporting on only support for Linux and drop the support for the other operating systems such as BSD, Solaris and Unix.

      • GNOME to drop support for BSD, Solaris, Unix?

        Take this one with a pinch of hearty pinch of salt for now, but, in a post to the GNOME Developer Mailing List, Jon McCann – a tour de force in the GNOME world and pioneer of GNOME Shell itself – has urged that GNOME not only become an OS, but forgo keeping support for other non-Linux operating systems such as BSD, Solaris and Unix in the process.

      • Transforming GNOME Into A Linux-Only Project?

        One of the mailing list messages making the rounds on the Internet today is concerning the GNOME project and whether they should no longer concern themselves with supporting non-Linux operating systems.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat KVM deployments face uphill battle

        Attendees at last week’s Red Hat Summit said that they are evaluating Red Hat’s latest virtualization products, but production deployments are scarce.

      • Red Hat Recognized as Top Support Website

        Red Hat has announced its global customer portal has been recognized as a top support website by the Association of Support Professionals. The 14th Annual Ten Best Web Support Sites competition illustrates the excellence in online support and service.

      • Fedora

        • My Fedora 15 Pre-release experience

          Today, it become clear that Fedora 15 will be released on May 24th :) . It is an interesting release, specially as the first official Linux distribution coming with GNOME 3. Besides, it comes with a number of interesting features including (but not limited to): KDE 4.6, systemd, power management enhancements, Robotics Suite, Retrace Server, Better SPICE support, Dynamic Firewall and GDB 7.3. You can find the complete list of new features at Fedora 15′s Feature Page.

          I have tried Fedora 15 since its Alpha release, and started using more seriously since the first test compose of the final release. I generally really like this release, however it has a number of issues too because of the arrival of the new GNOME 3. Let’s start with the annoying parts first!

        • Fedora 15 Goes Gold, and That’s Not All

          Several exciting announcements came out of the Fedora project today, the most exciting of which is that the Fedora Go / No-Go meeting resulted in a Go. In addition, the new Contributor Agreement was finalized and posted. A newish community project made its existence widely known as well.

          After the Go / No-Go meeting yesterday an announcement went out to the Fedora Developer Announce mailing list that version 15 “is declared GOLD!” A Release Readiness meeting will take place Thursday to make sure the release is coordinated and that all teams are in agreement and ready for the release.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Creating An Ubuntu Power User Community

            Over the last few months there has been some concerned feedback in some parts of the community about how Ubuntu is focused more and more on attracting new users to Ubuntu by providing a streamlined and simplified user experience. Much of this is being achieved with Unity; a new desktop interface delivered in Ubuntu 11.04, which will continue to be refined and improved upon based on user testing and feedback.

            One key piece of feedback from some Unity users was a concern around the lack of configurability in Unity, and a feeling that it is a little too simple and does not expose enough of the system, for which many more expert Ubuntu users enjoy.

          • As the Natty Narwhal Debate Continues, the Next Ubuntu Is Coming

            As far as Shuttleworth’s comments about the desktop go, Unity–as long as you have the hardware to run it properly–has mostly gotten good reviews and is credited for bringing Ubuntu more in line with other, competitive graphical operating systems.

          • Top 4 Lightweight, Official Ubuntu Based Alternatives for Ubuntu 11.04′s Unity 3D

            Many long term Ubuntu users have been quite critical towards Ubuntu’s new Unity interface. Unity has its share of issues which Canonical is hopeful of rectifying by the next major release, Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot. In the mean time, if you are not at all able to adjust with the revamped albeit buggy Unity desktop, there are a bunch of absolutely awesome Ubuntu based distros which runs on other interfaces like KDE, XFCE, LXDE etc. Here is how you install each of them as a different session in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal.

          • Intel Sandy Bridge On Ubuntu 11.04 Is Still Troubling

            When Intel released their “Sandy Bridge” processors in early January with next-generation graphics, the Linux support was widely criticized as although they had been working on the open-source Linux driver for nearly one year at that time, it wasn’t a pleasurable “out of the box” experience and building open-source graphics drivers on Linux can be a real pain. With Ubuntu 11.04, which was released at the end of April, this “Natty Narwhal” release still largely misses the Sandy Bridge support train.

          • Here we go again!

            Every 6 months the Ubuntu journey starts anew. Those of us entering yet another cycle assume that this all makes sense to the outside world but I like to post up dates on the wall in the office and write a blog post to give those new to the project, and some not so new, a handy reminder of the major milestones in each cycle.

            Each release that we create has a cycle with certain key milestones in it. These milestones are broadly agreed before the previous release is even out the door and are almost always an exact copy of what came in the previous release. The schedule for our next release 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot can be found by following this handy link to the Ubuntu wiki.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 roadmap | Are we moving in right direction?

            What is going to be in Ubuntu 11.10? Conclusions were drawn after much heated discussions and debates at the Ubuntu Developer’s Summit at Budapest. The centre of attraction of these discussions was the status of default applications that should be included and possibly excluded in the new version. Those that were shown the pink slip include Evolution, GMD and PiTiVi. Those which got included are Thunderbird, Chrome and LMD. Certain old warhorses will continue to stand strong in the new version such as LibreOffice. Now the developer community is expected to debate on these in the coming months. Here is our take on the whole thing.

          • What of Power Usering?

            Jono Bacon has come up with a really interesting ideas, in a blog post called Creating An Ubuntu Power User Community which describes Jono’s passion for creating a community of super power using.

            I’m concerned the initiative won’t work without some time and effort put behind the new group to prime the pump. Is there the time to dedicate to this? and importantly is this a Canonical sponsored idea (where Jono will have time during office hours to work on it) or would it be a hobby which may fall by the wayside?

          • Soon Ubuntu Will Be Running In Your Car

            Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, joined The GENIVI Alliance, a non-profit industry alliance committed to driving the broad adoption of an open source In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) reference platform.

            Canonical has joined to bring its new IVI-focused products to the GENIVI Alliance members and to announce its intention to build a new GENIVI compliant Ubuntu IVI Remix.

          • Unity in Natty: update

            2 months ago, I wrote about my experience with Unity in Natty. At that point, it was far from suiting my use-case, but yet, I somehow felt positive about its future and I kept using it. What was troubling me then was the release schedule. With all the remaining crashers and feature gaps 8 weeks before the long fixed release date, I had serious doubts about the final state of Unity in Natty. Now that it (Natty) has been released, and that developers spent a week at UDS and are now either taking some days off or writing blueprints, it’s a quiet period with almost nothing moving, a good time to see what has been achieved.

          • Problem Solvers vs. Problem Spotters

            Over my past few years involved in the Ubuntu Community, I have noticed an interesting trend. We are really good at spotting and vocalising problems. This in itself is not a bad thing. In fact it is good to spot problems. It is how we can make our contributions to the Open Source world better. We find the problems.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Linuxtag 2011 in Berlin

      Berlin is a great location for the Linuxtag, it’s always nice to come there. Just have a look at the photo: The boosters are getting hip! Nearly the complete boosters team was there to meet, be available at our booth for questions and take part at the talks. With over 10.000 attendees it’s the biggest event of this kind, and you can be sure to always meet some well known faces of the openSUSE community there.

    • LinuxTag 2011

      On that last note, I’d like to publicly ask Canonical and especially Mark to deeply consider getting rid of the Copyright Assignment for the Software Center. It is a blocking issue for real collaboration and as you consider it Bug #1 to get rid of MS’ majority market share, why not put your money where your mouth is and work with the other distributions to do something about that?

  • Web Browsers

  • Programming

    • Interview with Ken Thompson

      Go Language

      DDJ: Skipping several decades of work, let’s speak about Go. I was just at the Google I/O Conference, where it was announced that Go will be supported on the Google App Engine. Does that presage a wider adoption of Go within Google, or is it still experimental?

      KT: It’s expanding every day and not being forced down anybody’s throat. It’s hard to adopt it to a project inside of Google because of the learning curve. It’s brand new and there aren’t good manuals for it, except what’s on the Web. And then, of course, its label of being experimental, so people are a little afraid. In spite of that, it’s growing very fast inside of Google.

Leftovers

Clip of the Day

Byron Sonne leaves courthouse


Credit: TinyOgg

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