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05.22.11

Links 22/5/2011: Mageia RC1 is Out, Canonical Expects Well Over 10 Million PCs with Ubuntu to Ship This Year

Posted in News Roundup at 9:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • New Linux Laptop from ERACC – Self-Review

      The user ordered a serial Express Card for use to control some hardware that needs a serial connection. He said the serial control is not something that is a critical need, just desirable. This needs to work from within the Windows 7 Professional VirtualBox virtual machine. The serial express card is working just fine from Linux. I connected a MultiTech 56k MultiModem to the serial port and used minicom to send AT commands to the modem. I was able to control the modem from minicom. Unfortunately I could not get Windows 7 in the VirtualBox virtual machine to use the serial port. I tried every permutation of serial configuration over a period of about two days and never got Windows 7 to “see” the serial port. The client is going to keep the Express Card so we can keep trying to get it working with remote support. This is in the “iffy” section because it may work in the future even if it is not working now.

      The good. Everything else I was able to test works. The sound is working. The wireless NIC connected to our wireless router and pulled an IP address from the wireless router after I entered the WPA2 security information. The wired NIC, when connected to our LAN switch, pulled an IP address from our Linux internet gateway. The DVDRW drive is working to read and write DVDRW discs. USB ports are working. The external headphone and microphone jacks work. I do not have any eSATA hardware, so could not test the eSATA port. As already reported above, the Express Card port works. Even the 1.3 Megapixel Web Camera works. I started Kopete and ran the video configuration to test this.

    • Linux Desktop vs. The Rise of Tablet Computers and Smartphones

      There of course, is no problem with competition. However, with the rise in the consumption of smartphones and tablet computers, the importance of desktop is slowly waning. Linux on the other hand, is just starting out on its quest for world domination. Will Linux be able to match these new and ‘viral’ trends in technology? Or, will it go down as an operating system that was never meant for normal users? If you ask me, I think Linux has a fair chance of beating the hell out of these tablets and smartphones. Here’s my side of the argument:

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Using Kernel Linux 2.6.39

      As soon as the new stable kernel has been released by Linus Torvalds, i downloaded them and install it on my workstation few days ago. It was a nice release, and one thing i would like to test is the new EXT 4 SMP scalability and also further performance improvements after they removed the BKL (Big Kernel Lock) and many other patches from the kernel developers. At that time, i didn’t install it on my desktop first, since i’m not really sure whether the current NVidia driver already supported this new kernel or not.

    • Graphics Stack

      • A Tiny Wayland Compositor Emulates Four Displays

        One of the Clutter tool-kit developers has announced a tiny Wayland compositor that was written and it provides support for multiple display emulation. This Wayland compositor is capable of emulating four displays and for now basically serves as a technical example.

      • Bumbleebee brings NVIDIA Optimus graphics switching to Linux

        NVIDIA’s Optimus technology allows laptops with the latest Intel chips and NVIDIA graphics cards to automatically switch between Intel’s integrated graphics and NVIDIA’s higher performance graphics depending on what programs you’re running. This allows you to get better battery life when you don’t need bleeding edge graphics, while giving you the ability to play high performance video games without rebooting your computer to manually switch graphics cards.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Revisiting the tabbed desktop

      One of the things I had time to try, but didn’t have time to write about, was a revisit to someone else’s idea. I do that quite often, now that I think about it.

      This time it was urukrama’s tabbed desktop from a couple of years ago. Things like that tend to roll around in my mind, and then bubble up after a while.

    • Where ends the Workspace and where begins the Application?

      When we look at the thread, we can distinguish three groups of people participating:

      1. Users – they either like or dislike the behavior
      2. Application developers – they consider the behavior as a bug which breaks their application. They want the behavior either weakened or disabled by default
      3. Workspace developers – they consider the behavior as a feature provided by the workspace. It is not a bug that the window can be dragged. No application gets broken by it; in the worst case it’s an annoying, but very consistent behavior.

    • Desktop Summit Team Unveils Exciting Program of Talks
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Open Governance Roles and Responsibilities

        Last week, in my blog on the Maturity Level List and in the previous week’s Maturity Levels, I left some indications of what would be expected of a maintainer of a portion of the Qt codebase. In this blog I’d like to explain a bit more what’s expected of people working via the Qt Open Governance, what roles will exist and what responsibilities will each have.

      • Activity config UI for Contour and Active

        this short video shows the new ui for the configuration of an activity: right now you can configure the activity name and wallpaper, probably more options to come (even tough it will remain as simple as possible). It is accessed by a button on the activity switcher weel or from the activity itself (if the used Plasma containment provides a config button)

      • Meet the Gang!

        In between demoing his comic art and joining in the discussions during the meeting, an artist’s hands are never idle! So Animtim prepared this little collection of Krita hackers and artists… Only he himself is missing! So meet the gang, rendered by the Sketch brush!

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Greeters

          I’ve been watching the Ubuntu “power users” group set up with enormous interest. Although Ubuntu has aimed squarely at being easy to use, I’ve never seen it as being particularly unfriendly toward power users, and the idea of needing a specific area in which people can talk about power user issues seems somewhat odd. However – judging from the activity, it seems to have hit a real nerve. Whether or not it is a good idea in the long term remains to be seen: I’m firmly of the opinion that splitting communities into factions is a bad idea, so how they will overcome that in time will be a challenge, but clearly it’s meeting a real need.

          [...] the need for Fedora to be open and welcoming is more important now than ever.

    • Debian Family

      • Stepping Outside the Repository

        Package management and the repositories of software in distributions like Debian GNU/Linux are one of the great features of GNU/Linux. For most individuals and organizations, installing and updating packages from the repositories will be the best way to manage IT. Most of the work is done by the package managers and the end-user can do periodic or instant updates according to his needs.

      • Love of Money is the Root of all Evil

        The state of MA, whose IT is run by that other OS even fell prey to this thing and, for weeks, account information and access to accounts was given to a band of thieves. The malware hid itself and used multiple APIs of that other OS to infect PCs on the LAN and every USB drive inserted. Isn’t it time for this nonsense to end? Use Debian GNU/Linux and take control of your PC.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Psensor 0.6.2.8 Released, The Best Way to Display System Temperatures in Unity

            Psensor 0.6.2.8 has been released and is now available in its unstable repository. Psensor is a graphical temperature monitoring tool for Linux. Psensor has already been added to Ubuntu 11.10 archives so it will be available to download from software center in Oneiric.

          • Evolution 3.0 in Ubuntu 11.04

            With the great GNOME 3 PPA for Ubuntu, you get most of the GNOME3 desktop.

          • Meet Unico, The New GTK3 Theme Engine in Ubuntu 11.10

            Gnome 3 stack is steadily landing into Oneiric. Work is also being done to port default themes Ambiance and Radiance to GTK3.

            Light themes in Oneiric will most likely use Unico theme engine and not Murrine as some style guidelines for GTK3 themes have changed. Unico was actively developed in past but the work stopped as the new overlay scrollbars in Natty took precedence. Unico engine is already present in Official Ubuntu 11.04 repositories but that should be only meant for testing purposes as it is far from being finished. However, the development has resumed now.

          • Data From Canonical…

            “We will pre-load well over 10 million PCs with Ubuntu this year and we are more than doubling users every year in India and China.”

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Will Mint be the new Ubuntu?

              I’ve been sick. Or, as our British-speaking readers might say, I’ve been ill. Just about as ill as you can be and still manage to drag yourself in to work. Congestion, fever, sore throat, ugly disgusting gunk ejected in huge heaving coughing fits. Lost my voice, too, more or less. Not completely, but enough that I sound like a bullfrog. Ill.

              This is to explain the stasis.

              But to break the stasis, I bring you soaring praise of Linux Mint 10.

              As regular readers may remember, I switched my laptop to Mint 10 two weeks ago. The more I use it, the happier I am with it. It has been absolutely rock stable, no interface glitches whatsoever. It boots fast, it looks great (although part of that is my doing, from tweaking the fonts and themes and adding Docky and such). I’ve grown fond of the Mint menu and am starting to prefer it over the default Gnome menu. Applications look great and come up fast. KDE apps work and look fine too. It never crashes, never locks up. Nothing breaks it. Even the shutdown splash – traditionally a crapshoot in Ubuntu-based distros since they adopted Plymouth – works consistently.

              It just works.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • T-Mobile plans huge summer Android splash, according to leaked roadmap

          T-Mobile has an aggressive lineup of predominantly Android-based smartphones planned for this summer, starting with the 4.3-inch HTC Sensation 4G on Jun 8, followed later by a slider version of the MyTouch 4G, according to a leaked roadmap. Meanwhile, Android continued to make gains in the latest Millennial Media and Gartner studies, with Gartner pegging Android’s global 1Q smartphone share at a dominating 36 percent.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Dell’s 10.1-inch Streak Pro tablet breaks cover

        Dell is set to roll out its long-rumored, 10.1-inch Streak Pro tablet in June with Android 3.0, according to an industry report. The business-focused tablet is said to run on an Nvidia Tegra 2, and offers dual cameras and up to a 64GB solid state drive (SSD).

Free Software/Open Source

  • Read-only nation: can Open Source change the British way?

    We asked if open-source software had a part to play in increasing technological innovation in the UK. It seems that for a nation with such a great engineering heritage, we have too easily passed the tech leadership flag over to the US and to the emerging economies.

    Steve George from Canonical speculated that open-source software could inspire more people to engage with technology, and that the UK’s firmly closed-source infrastructure could be stifling innovation, making us less competitive on the global stage.

    And then you, the beloved readers of El Reg, joined the fray.

    Most people seem to agree that the UK could be doing better. Oliver Jones offers the following: “In computing terms, I have long thought of the UK as being a ‘read-only’ nation. They love shiny Apple products and Sony PlayStations, but have zero interest in learning how to make something better.

  • Open-source platforms benefit developer and user

    As a software developer for federal agencies, our company might have reason to be afraid of a new trend — giving away software products for free. Sounds like a losing business model, doesn’t it?

    But, in fact, we think it’s a great idea for government and our company.

    How government benefits…

  • Events

    • 2011 FOSDEM & Embedded Linux Conference videos published

      The team at embedded Linux site Free Electrons have published videos from this year’s Free and Open Source Software Developers’ European Meeting (FOSDEM) and Embedded Linux Conference (ELC). The eleventh annual FOSDEM event took place on 5 and 6 February in Brussels, Belgium, and the Embedded Linux Conference was held on 13 and 14 April at the Hotel Kabuki, San Francisco.

    • Solutions Linux & LinuxTag 2011

      I was traveling last week to attend two events: Solutions Linux in Paris and LinuxTag in Berlin. It was a bit unfortunate that they happened during the same week, as they conflicted for two days — which means I missed some days for both events. And on top of that, the Ubuntu Developer Summit was also last week, which resulted in some people missing the events…

      Compared to last year, both events had a quite visible difference in terms of number of visitors. I’m not exactly sure why this is so; it could be because there were conflicts with other events, or also because they moved to first half of May, which is different from previous years.

      What was most amazing, however, was to be present at booths just one month after the GNOME 3.0 release. For both events, we had tons of GNOME 3 PromoDVDs (kindly offered on behalf of the openSUSE project) to give away, and that was a big success: I think we gave around 600 of them at Solutions Linux and probably a similar amount, if not more, at LinuxTag (Tobias would know better than me here).

    • Gentoo LinuxTag 2011 and static gallery generators 2011-05-21
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 5 Beta Is Here, What’s New?

        So what’s new in Firefox 5? The release notes mention support for CSS animations as the only new technology included in the release.

      • The Next-Generation Browser: No URL Bar

        Being able to type the address of a website is one of the most essential features we expect from web browsers today. Yet it is the URL bar and its purpose that is now being reconsidered by both Google as well as Mozilla for Chrome and Firefox. The next major revision of web browsers will include options to hide the URL bar. Further down the road, it is inevitable that the URL bar will become what it is supposed to be: A tool – not more and not less.

      • What’s Inside Mozilla’s Firefox 5 Beta?

        Mozilla has released the first Firefox beta under its new rapid-release model: a program designed to ensure more frequent updates to the browser at the expense of huge, sweeping changes between new Firefox versions.

        Case in point—the company just sent Firefox 5 from the newly designed Aurora development channel to the public-facing Beta channel. That means that it’s available for public consumption and feedback. However, the list of new features might seem a bit scant at first, especially if one takes into account the historical jumps that have previously occurred between Firefox version numbers.

        “The shift to a rapid release development cycle delivers cutting edge Firefox features, performance enhancements, security updates and stability improvements to users faster,” reads the blog post announcing the Firefox 5 beta release.

  • CMS

    • Chris Rock using Drupal

      A lot of the recent “scores” I’ve listed on this site have been from serious institutions: ING, Investor.gov, The U.S. Small Business Administration, and The World Economic Forum.

      But don’t think for a moment that Drupal’s losing any ground in other areas. I was in NYC recently, the mecca of the media and entertainment industry, and Drupal is about to get really big there — that’s food for another blog post that I’m planning to write.

Clip of the Day

SSS(11 of 14) Homeopathy, Magnets, and Quackery


Credit: TinyOgg

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