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06.07.11

Links 7/6/2011: Platform 11, New Wine

Posted in News Roundup at 6:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Who Should Lead Linux?

    Richard Stallman is the ultimate nerdish power geek.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • Miro 4 – Maintaining an Android media library just got easier

      Android as a mobile platform is gaining more and more popularity day by day. However, Google is still yet to design a program that allows its users to synchronize their media across their phone and computers.

    • Proprietary

      • One Year Later: Adobe Abandons 64-bit Linux Again

        Just under a year ago I wrote about how Adobe had abandoned 64-bit Linux, at least temporarily. Linux users who chose to run a 64-bit OS were left with a range of unsatisfactory choices: use an outdated beta with known security vulnerabilities; run an FOSS alternative, most likely gnash, despite limits in functionality and compatibility; or run a 32-bit browser in a 64-bit operating system. At the time the move was surprising since reviews of the 64-bit beta, like this one by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols of Computer World, were quite favorable.

        Three months later on September 15, 2010, Adobe announced a preview of Flash Player “Square”, development code for an upcoming release of a native 64-bit version of Flash Player 10.2. Unfortunately Preview 3, released on November 10, 2010, was the last Square release. Flash Player 10.3 was released for 32-bit platforms only.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine

      • Wine 1.3.21 Released

        The Wine development release 1.3.21 is now available.

        What’s new in this release:

        * Support for installation rollbacks in MSI.
        * 8- and 16-bit bitmap formats in the DIB engine.
        * Fixes in the XInput2 mouse support.
        * Better support for text shaping in Uniscribe.
        * Improvements to the Item common dialog.
        * More MSVC runtime functions.
        * Various bug fixes.

    • Games

      • Any Linux News From The E3 2011 Gaming Expo?

        E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, is officially kicking off today in Los Angeles and will be running through Thursday. This, along with the Game Developers Conference, is one of the key times of the year for the electronic gaming industry. A number of game studios will be announcing new titles and other great announcements, but will there be anything Linux related?

        Only time will tell if there are any Linux-related announcements to be found this week. If we know of any, it’s of course under NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements) at the moment. But here’s a few random notes for what can be said at this tim..

        [...]

        - Linux Game Publishing is still working on something, but they won’t be at E3 and this next port of theirs with almost 100% certainty isn’t a triple-A title.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Platform 11 at Randa

        I’m at the Platform 11 sprint at Randa. We are here to discuss and shape the future of the KDE platform. It’s the first meeting of this kind since Trysil five years ago. Four people who were at Trysil also made it to Randa, including a respectable dinosaur, but it’s great to also have new and very new faces around.

      • Kollaboration in at Platform 11
      • Random Randa Rumours
      • Sonar color scheme for KDE
      • Science and the KDE Platform – An Interview with the KtikZ Developers

        Many scientists use the LaTeX typesetting system as the preferred way to write publications. Among the various widely used add-ons, one special mention is the TikZ language, a powerful extension which is used to create publication-quality figures. Of course, like LaTeX, it takes its time to learn. The good news is that, like with LaTeX there is KDE software to fill in this gap: KTikZ, a graphical front-end to TikZ.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Adwaita (GNOME 3 theme) for Chrome

        Like many of you, I split my time between two excellent browsers: Firefox and Chrome. Neither feels really all so native in GNOME3 — although Firefox, as it mimics GTK+2 by default, fits in just a little better. Every time I started Chrome, however, I felt a bit frustrated with how much of a sore thumb it stuck out and decided to do something about it.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Review: Red Hat Fedora 15

          Verdict:

          Version 15 of Red Hat’s community project Linux distribution Fedora showed great stability, and it was simple to add applications onto the platform. We had no problem with hardware drivers and the new GNOME 3 GUI was easy to use, even though initially we did seem to be blundering about. Fedora would suit corporate road warriors who would like a combined Fedora-Windows dual-boot system (in case of OS failure), or anybody interested enough to see how far Linux has advanced compared to Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. Support for each Fedora version is limited to 13 months, so corporates would not roll Fedora out except to expert users. In any case, there’s Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) available, which eventually gets to use features that have cut their teeth in Fedora.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Friendly: community sourced hardware validation

            Ubuntu corporate sponsor Canonical is developing a new Ubuntu Friendly hardware validation program for desktops, netbooks and laptops. The program will allow users to test hardware and the results of those tests will then be used to validate systems as “Ubuntu Friendly”. The program will be developed in parallel with the development of Ubuntu 11.10, Oneiric Ocelot, and should be in place by the time Oneiric Ocelot is released in October.

          • Using free software to promote proprietary

            The man behind the distribution Mark Shuttleworth already had a few ideas to earn money with the project. Ubuntu includes a Music Store, a Cloud Service for data storage and synchronization and commercial apps in the Software Center (which is quite similar to Apple’s App Store).

          • Ubuntu 11.04

            I guess the biggest enhancement for me is not so much related to Ubuntu. It’s that I completely deleted my Windows partition, with everything in it, i.e., everything I had before is now gone.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Instant Messaging in the Enterprise with Openfire

    Used responsibly, instant messaging (IM) offers the benefit of instant communication and collaboration on the corporate intranet. However, many companies, fearing IM’s adverse affect on productivity, tweak their corporate firewalls to block all ports ferrying IM traffic. A better approach is to control the IM server by bringing it in-house. The Java-based cross-platform Openfire application makes it easy to host your own instant messaging server.

  • Events

    • Linux Beer Hike 2011 in Tux

      Hacking, learning, talking, walking and dining – The Linux Bier Wanderung (Linux Beer Hike) is all this and much more. Each summer around 50 Linux enthusiasts meet up for a week’s holiday. This year the 13th annual event takes the penguin-friends to Austria, specifically to the small village of Lanersbach in the Tux valley [1].

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Labs Bring The Webian Shell – A Full Screen Web Browser Concept

        With the advancement of web technologies, it is not surprising that the web and web applications are increasingly playing an important part of our experience on the computer. In the coming week, Google is releasing its first Chromebooks – netbooks which are based completely on a cloud OS and in which the traditional desktop has been replaced by the web browser. Mozilla too has released the first concept of something along that line.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Is Oracle Holding Back OpenOffice Files from Apache?

      Michael Meeks published some interesting statistics on the completeness of the OpenOffice source code contributed to the Apache Software Foundation. His numbers actually came from a post from Christian Lohmaier to The Document Foundation discussion mailing list.

    • Strip mining of OpenOffice.org

      Oracle’s donation of the OpenOffice.org to the Apache Software Foundation does no favours for the users or developers of open office suites, says Richard Hillesley…

      Speaking at the time of Sun’s decision to release Java under the GNU General Public License (GPL), Marc Fleury, the founder of JBoss, claimed that “IBM reacted negatively” to the Sun announcement because “IBM’s approach to open source is what we call ‘strip mining’, which is to let the open source community do things – then IBM comes and packages them, adds proprietary code, and markets the result,” and concluded that “they have this dual strategy of proprietary products and low-end open source.”

  • CMS

  • Education

    • Saving Money

      I have long saved money in education by using GNU/Linux on PCs and on thin clients with zero licensing costs. I always chuckle when I read the anguish of some people trying to eke out similar savings with that other OS. Yes you can save money by using thin clients with that other OS because thin clients are cheaper and CALs are cheaper than full licences (just barely) but the maths is really simple with GNU/Linux. $0 beats all other licensing regimes of that other OS. No need to agonize over four plans each with negotiated prices to work things out. Install GNU/Linux and go.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • How GNU Free Call differs

      This is where GNU Free Call most clearly differs from most others who are looking to replace Skype. As GFC is already designed for use with any SIP capable client, we have no interest in re-inventing protocols or even how VOIP clients work. This is not the problems we are looking to solve. Rather than focusing on having people join or connect through yet another specific service provider to mediate their communications (whether iptel.org, ekiga.net, etc), we are interested in enabling anyone to discover and communicate with each other directly without the need for a mediating service at all. It is how users are empowered to discover each other which is hence most important in GFC’s design. This is best illustrated by the GFC client, which is in reality contact focused rather than communication driven. This I think becomes more clear from the GFC GUI design (and experimental client), as illustrated here.

  • Project Releases

    • VLC 1.1.10 is released!

      VideoLAN and the VLC development team present VLC 1.1.10, a minor release of the 1.1 branch. This release brings a rewritten pulseaudio output, an important number of small Mac OS X fixes, the removal of the font-cache building for the freetype module on Windows and updates of codecs.

    • VLC 1.1.10 updates open source media player for security

      Though it doesn’t typically come with EVERY Linux distro (it really should..), vlc is one of the most popular, and powerful open source media playing programs around.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Computacenter blamed in public sector open source row

      Systems integrator (SI) Computacenter has taken fire in a growing bust-up over open source software at Bristol City Council, which MPs have been told proves the government’s open source ICT strategy is unworkable, writes Mark Ballard.

      In a letter to MPs sitting on the Public Administration Select Committee, open source supplier Sirius Corporation said Bristol City Council had ditched its latest effort on the advice of its supplier Computacenter.

      Mark Taylor, CEO at Sirius, accused Computacenter of skewing an open source proof-of-concept pilot in favour of vendor partner Microsoft.

      Taylor told MPs this showed how the UK’s “oligopoly” of systems integrators ensured Cabinet Office open source policy “cannot and will not work”.

      Computacenter and Sirius bid for the Bristol deal after the Council Cabinet voted to adopt an open source computing infrastructure last September, said the letter.

      However Sirius claims it was thrown off the project after the two disagreed over its viabililty.

    • The end of open source down the Counts Louse?

      Money is now much tighter in the public sector, so we’re wondering how the council is going to pay for the Office 2010 licence, particularly as council tax has been capped. Will public services and/or staff be cut to pay for the Counts Louse’s largesse to Microsoft? Perhaps someone – councillor or officer – from BCC would like to comment below.

      Finally, another indirect effect of BCC’s return to the closed source fold is that this will have a negative effect on efforts to have Open Document Format (ODF) adopted as the standard means of exchange for public documents – something that is a reality in some of the UK’s EU partners.

    • System integrators render Cabinet Office open source strategy unworkable, MPs told

      More SMEs testified in secret to the PASC inquiry in May. They were fearful their complaints about the systems integrators’ oligopoly – said to control 80% of the UK’s £19bn-a-year public sector ICT – would lead to their exclusion from government contracts.

      [...]

      Taylor’s letter to MPs alleged Bristol City Council had, in September 2010, asked its supplier at the time, Capgemini, to complete a pilot of the open source software stack by November. Capgemini simply ignored the request, said Taylor’s statement.

      Capgemini was unavailable for comment.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • World’s first open source flashlight?

        Robotics wizard and two-time Battlebots champion Christian Carlberg first achieved notoriety shredding competitors’ robots with Minion’s 14-inch saw blade on one of TV’s first reality shows. Now he’s all fired up to begin shipping what may prove to be the “world’s first open source flashlight.”

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • The False Choice of Schema.org

    By ManuSporny On June 3, 2011 In RDFa, Semantic Web With 41 Comments Permanent Link to The False Choice of Schema.orgPermalink

    Full disclosure: I am the current Chair of the group at the World Wide Web Consortium that created RDFa. That said, all of this is my personal opinion – I am not speaking on behalf of the W3C or my company, Digital Bazaar. I am biased, but also have been around long enough to know when freedom of choice on the Web is being threatened.

    Some of you may have heard that Microsoft, Google and Yahoo have just released a new uber-vocabulary for the Web. As the site explains, if you use schema.org, you will get a better looking search listing on all of the search listings for Bing, Google and Yahoo. While this may sound good on the surface, it is very bad news for choice on the Web. There are few points that I’d like to make in this post:

    1. RDFa and Microdata markup are similar for the schema.org use cases – they should both be supported.
    2. Microdata doesn’t scale as easily as RDFa – early successes will be followed by stagnation and vocabulary lock-in.
    3. All of us have the power to change this as the Web community – let’s do that. We will release a plan shortly.

    The schema.org site makes it appear as if you must pick sides and use Microdata if you want preferential treatment. This is a false choice!

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Bank of America pays debt instead of losing furniture

      Two burly Collier County sheriff’s deputies and a homeowner’s attorney strode into the Bank of America branch on Davis Boulevard in Naples with a court order and an ultimatum for Manager Erich Fahrner.

      Fahrner’s choice: Write out a check for $2,534 in attorney’s fees for the couple wrongfully slapped with a foreclosure lawsuit by the bank, or a William C. Hoff Storage moving crew waiting outside would start hauling out furniture to be sold at public auction.

    • Goldman Uses Wall Street’s Favorite Reporter to Make Unpersuasive Defense Against Levin Report

      It’s telling that the first salvo is being leaked through Wall Street’s favorite reporter. Now it’s possible the firm was using Sorkin as a one-man focus group to test and refine their messaging and have him all prepped to go. Sorkin says he’s been in communication with Goldman officials “for the past several weeks”. But this may also indicate that the firm intends to make its case to the press and then let the press persuade the public.

      I see that as a sign of serious weakness. The Levin committee provides a great deal of documentation to the public as well as a detailed summary of its findings. By contrast, Wall Street firms make an art form of cherry picking numbers and presenting them in isolation. And journalists don’t have enough knowledge of tradecraft to push back in a serious way.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality (Canada)

    • The CRTC Must Die

      Every time you think the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the CRTC, has finally been chastised and in the process, learned a lesson, the bozos who run the circus come up with a new and silly act meant to help the broadcasters. And, as is usual with these folks, somehow ends up diminishing our choices as consumers and costing us more money in the long run.

      Last time the genius’ at the CRTC had the brilliant notion that behemoths Rogers and Bell should have the right to tell their sub-buyers like Teksavvy what they could charge for internet use. This blew up in the CRTC’s face when most Canadians saw through the money grab by the big providers and began a protest that made the suggestion disappear faster than a Liberal leader in the 21st century.

    • Conservatives To Discuss Net Neutrality, Broadband at Convention

      The Conservatives hold their convention later this week with 80 resolutions being considered for possible debate in the plenary session. The resolutions are proposed by local chapters and at least two focus on Internet access and net neutrality. Resolution P-063 (Durham) on broadband states:

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Federal departments hoarding copyrights: report

      Departments and agencies are hoarding hundreds of patents and copyrights each year, violating the federal government’s long-standing rules on so-called intellectual property, says a new report.

      For more than 10 years, federal policy has been to assign contractors the rights to any intellectual property produced during their work for departments and agencies.

    • The Copyright Pressure Points: What Next for Canadian Copyright

      The government delivered its Speech from the Throne on Friday, which included a commitment to “introduce and seek swift passage of copyright legislation that balances the needs of creators and users.”

    • Copyrights

      • Music and film industries split over pirates

        The music industry has backflipped on its long-held demands that repeat music pirates be disconnected from the internet as a new UN report declares such a policy would be a breach of human rights and international law.

        But film studios, represented by the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), are still backing the controversial measures, arguing protection of intellectual property is a human right. It has released research saying film piracy costs the Australian economy $1.37 billion a year.

      • A Copyright Bill for the Creative Digital Economy: A CCC Statement

        Revisions to the Copyright Act are essential to Canada’s digital economy strategy as incentive to move the creative economy forward, and also to satisfy demands by its trading partners that Canada implement the WIPO “Internet Treaties”. Bill C-32, which died with the election call, included many new exceptions from infringement and some confusing language that would have led to costly litigation. It was clear that many proposed changes, some unintentionally, eroded creators’ rights.

        Arts and culture industries provide over 630,000 jobs and contribute $46 billion to Canada’s economy. Copyright revision should be supportive of these industries, big and small, and encourage their growth. The works of creators are the foundation of all such industries. A bill like C-32 would make it significantly more difficult for creators to carry on their copyright-reliant businesses, cause them significant income losses, and be a real barrier to the continuing growth of Canadian digital content and Canada’s digital economy.

Clip of the Day

HUGE explosion on the Sun on June 7, 2011


Credit: TinyOgg

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