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05.19.11

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experience of Intel Sandy Bridge graphics under Ubuntu 11.04 as the packages found in the Natty repository are outdated and contain only the initial “SNB” support.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.

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