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Links 27/6/2011: Wine 1.3.23, KDE 4.7 RC

Posted in News Roundup at 4:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Mac experience

    So in my personal opinion, it is pointless comparing a Mac experience to a Linux Desktop one.

  • LinuxQuestions.org Turns Eleven

    I’m extremely excited to announce that exactly 11 years ago today I made my very first post at LQ, which served to introduce it to the web. As I’ve stated numerous times, since then LQ has exceeded my expectation in every way. 4,382,316 posts and 457,176 registered members does not even begin to tell the story. The community and mod team that has grown here at LQ is truly amazing and something that I’m very proud to be a part of. I’d like to once again thank each and every LQ member for their participation, dedication and feedback. Without you guys, LQ quite simply wouldn’t exist.

  • LinuxQuestions.org Turns Eleven
  • Linux Format issue 147 is on sale now!
  • LulzSec Used Ubuntu

    In the latest (and seemingly final) batch of documents dumped on The Pirate Bay by computer hacker outfit ‘LulzSec’, a familiar looking operating system can be seen in use.

  • On reboots

    Rebooting machines is a interesting study in the varied opinions of the Linux community. On one end, there are folks who will use ksplice or simply avoid rebooting for any reason short of a hardware failure. On the other you have desktop users who reboot their machines daily. I’m somewhere in the middle: For servers if there is a security update to the kernel or glibc that applies, the server should be rebooted. For my laptop, I usually reboot when there’s a reason (I want to test something related to the boot process, there’s a security update, etc).

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Torvalds: User-Space File-Systems, Toys, Misguided People

      Yesterday I mentioned what Anton Altaparmakov of Tuxera had recently said about their NTFS kernel driver being the fastest Linux file-system, which erupted into a large debate in our forums. Within that mailing list thread was also another interesting comment by Linus Torvalds. “Userspace filesystem? The problem is right there. Always has been. People who think that userspace filesystems are realistic for anything but toys are just misguided.”

      Torvalds additionally added, “fuse works fine if the thing being exported is some random low-use interface to a fundamentally slow device. But for something like your root filesystem? Nope. Not going to happen. So Andrew, I think that arguing that something _can_ be done with fuse, and thus _should_ be done with fuse is just ridiculous. That’s like saying you should do a microkernel – it may sound nice on paper, but it’s a damn stupid idea for people who care more about some idea than they care about reality.”

    • Burning Through Power: Linux Regressions Found

      For the multiple Linux kernel power regressions that I’ve talked about on Phoronix now for a number of weeks and have been affecting mobile Linux users en mass, I said I was looking for a better power measuring approach by using an AC power meter / UPS rather than a notebook battery to use in nailing these regressions. Using such a power meter would lead to a fully-automated process by the Phoronix Test Suite as no longer would I need to keep pulling the power plug from a laptop, could use much faster hardware, and allow for some other interesting possibilities. Well, last week I bought a power meter that plays with Linux. So now there’s some news to share.

    • Linux 3.0 Faster Than Linux 2.6
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Six Lives and Counting

      But the miracle didn’t sustain. Today, the same techniques that made yields multiply have now rendered many fields unusable due to the upward leaching of subsurface salt deposits, a process that has left their recently enriched owners both destitute and desperate. So also with nuclear energy, which at one time seemed to promise limitless clean energy, but today seems fraught with threats both immediate, with the risk of accidents, and long term, through our failure to come up with adequate storage solutions for radioactive generator waste. And while new technological advances have opened up previously inaccessible sources of fossil fuels, the recent deep drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as unresolved concerns over deep water pollution arising from oil shale “fracting,” remind us in this domain as well that accidents happen, and that unanticipated consequences, by definition, cannot be anticipated.

      Meanwhile, the process of globalization continues apace, in all of its positive and negative aspects. The latter include increasing competition for finite resources conjoined with the inevitability that greenhouse gases and nuclear fallout do not respect national boundaries. Indeed, it seems only a matter of time — and not much of that — before hostile alliances and the threat of war rise again. This time it will not be ideologies that define power blocs, but resource dependencies and trading relationships.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME developer quote of the day

        In the past users could just select the their favorite terminal in gnome-default-applications-properties. Some things required additional configuration: For a mail client the system needs to know the command to compose a new mail or to add attachments and for a terminal emulator an option to run something in a terminal is required. Developers could pre-configure these values with an xml file in $(prefix)/gnome-control-center/default-apps.

      • Wallpaper Slideshow App For Gnome 3 (Updated)

        Dhananjay Sathe sent in news of an application he’s been working on that will be of use to GNOME 3 users.

  • Distributions

    • Distros Jockeying for Position

      It’s not a race but people do keep track of the relative popularity of various distros of GNU/Linux. After years of being at the top of the heap on Distrowatch, Ubuntu has been passed by Mint and Fedora. At the same time openSUSE passed Debian GNU/Linux.

    • The SliTaz Experience

      Slitaz is yet another Linux distro! (oh no…) It’s a very small and efficient one, ranking in the same category as Damn Small Linux and Puppy. I am probably not the most qualified person to talk about linux distros as i am not the bigest fanboy of them (i’m more of a windows/mac user – but let’s remember mac os came from the same place as linux UPDATE BELOW), but if you want to hear a somewhat more impartial view on the matter keep on reading.


      So definitely go and give it a try, it’s worth at least that!

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Gentoo Family

      • More software freedom of choice!

        The first system I worked with to begin the weekend was Sabayon 6.0. I had Sabayon 5.5 previously installed, liked it a lot, had added quite a bit of software to it, and during a recent upgrade it ran out of space. I unsuccessfully tried to clear the cache of enough space to make it worthwhile to keep, but the disk stayed 100% full, so it was an excellent candidate for a replacement. Too bad: it had worked well, and it also only recently started offering rolling release upgrades as an alternative to fresh installations. But I needed a fresh installation, plus installing a new system always shows off the new features – and sometimes the limitations as well. That, at least initially, proved to be the case here. Sabayon is in the middle of making some infrastructure and packaging improvements. Chances are that in the long run these will work very well. In the meantime, though, I ran into problems. When I went to update the system, it told me that there were eight new packages available, but none of them would install for me, and I started getting error messages about something wrong with the package management system. I sent one of them along to Sabayon; hopefully it reaches them, they are aware of whatever issue it was that cropped up, get it fixed soon, and maybe even drop me a note to let me kno

      • Review: Sabayon 6 KDE

        Sabayon 6 KDE seemed faster and more stable than Sabayon 5.5 KDE, and the replacement of Mozilla Firefox with Chromium was a pleasant change, I suppose.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat declares war against VMware on cloud front

        Red Hat declared war on VMware’s Cloud Foundry today, announcing that 65 new companies have joined the Open Virtualization Alliance backing KVM in a month’s time.

        In May, Red Hat, SUSE, BMC Software, Eucalyptus Systems, HP, IBM and Intel, announced the formation of the Open Virtualization Alliance.

        As of today, 65 new members have joined, including Dell. Scott Crenshaw, who leads Red Hat’s cloud effort, denounced what he called VMware’s proprietary cloud platform.

      • Markets Lose Ground As Italian Banks Faces Crisis, Technology Sector Slumped

        The US stock indexes closed the week on a negative note amidst rising concerns for the Italian banking sector, Greece’s austerity plans.

        The Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.96 percent or 115.42 points to close at 11,934.58. The Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. composite index was down 1.26 percent or 33.86 points to finish at 2,652.89. The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 1.17 percent or 15.05 points to end at 1,268.45. Among other major indices, the New York Stock Exchange composite index slipped 0.99 percent or 79.36 points to close at 7,974.72. The American Stock Exchange composite index shed 0.84 percent or 19.04 points to settle at 2,260.78.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 15 KDE review

          Final Thoughts: I think Fedora 15 is a decent distribution. Because of the projects philosophical stance on Free Software, there are certain features that are not expected to work out of the box. However, there are other features that have nothing to do with that philosophical stance that did not work as expected. I am referring, of course, to the state of Amarok, the default music player, but also to printer configuration. On many of the top distributions, a connected printer is automatically configured, but not so on Fedora 15 KDE and the other Fedora 15 Spins that I have reviewed. I am yet to review Fedora 15, the main Fedora 15 version, but judging from how a connected printer is configured on Fedora 14, I do not think it will be anything like the situation on these Spins.

        • An In-Depth Look at Fedora 15

          If you fancy a distro that strives for stability and giving you the best cutting-edge software and tools Linux has to offer, Fedora is well worth a test.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian moves to LibreOffice
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Alienates Their Major Asset.

            Canonical beat the odds with Ubuntu. The fan-base became so large, so fast that Universal Awareness of Ubuntu can be credited to a simple grass-roots effort that expanded across the globe.

            It wasn’t television or radio advertising.

            It wasn’t billboards.

            It was good old fashioned proselytizing.

            Gimmee that old-time religion any day.

            And if you take some time to really look back at the process, many of us would admit it was a thing of beauty…almost a force of nature.

          • [Ubuntu 11.10 Updates] New Window Auto Maximize Option in CCSM
          • Ubuntu Certification: What components do we test?

            Certification is a generic level of functionality to be expected for hardware running on an Ubuntu Release. Part of the challenge is to identify what hardware components should be included in the test.

          • Ubuntu One: A long way to go!
          • Full Circle #50 – the half-centenary issue!

            This month:

            * Command and Conquer.
            * How-To : Program in Python – Part 24, LibreOffice – Part 5, Ubuntu Development – Part 2, and Use KDE (4.6).
            * Linux Lab – Gnome Shell -vs- Unity.
            * Review – PAM Facial Recognition.
            * Top 5 – USB Installers.
            * I Think – Should Ubuntu keep it’s current schedule, or switch to a rolling release?
            plus: Ubuntu Games, My Story, and much much more!

          • Top 10 Ubuntu 11.04 Unity Panel Applets

            The following article will list some of the most important panel applets, also called indicators, for Ubuntu 11.04′s Unity interface.

            The Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) operating system introduced a different user interface, designed by Canonical, called Unity. The default indicators are nice, but many people complained that they miss their usual applets on the panel.

          • Ubuntu is…
          • Distro Review: Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

            It’s been a very long time since I did an in-depth distro review here, but today I’m going to write about my experiences of Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal. I’ve been running it as my main desktop for about a month. The last version I properly reviewed was Ubuntu 9.10 and though I’ve used the other releases in the meantime, there’s still a lot of changes to talk about with Natty. Most notably the complete shift to the new Unity interface which feels very different to Gnome. I’d heard a lot about it but how would I fare? Let’s find out…


            I know this reads a lot like a review of just Unity and not Ubuntu, but in this release Unity really is the story.

          • Unity and Gnome 3: What is good and what is evil?

            With two recent releases of Linux operating systems, Ubuntu and Fedora, new age of desktop environments began.
            These two operating systems bring you new user interfaces: Unity in Ubuntu 11.04 and GNOME 3 in Fedora.
            Are these new interfaces good or evil for Linux community? Let’s try to analyse.

          • Interesting Ubuntu Unity Concept with Android-esque Trash Icon Gesture

            We have featured a number of really good Ubuntu Unity concepts before, here is another one which supposedly deals with the trash button in Unity more efficiently.

          • Why I Use Linux Ubuntu
          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • ARM-Based Notebooks Are On The Way
    • nD, New $10 Gaming Handheld Device Claimed to be more Powerful than Nintendo DS, Runs Custom Embedded Linux Firmware

      nD is a new indie handheld gaming device currently in prototyping phase. nD is a brainchild of Robert Pelloni, creator of Bob’s Game. Many of you who follow Nintendo DS news will be familiar with Bob’s game and Robert as there has been quite a bit of history between him and Nintendo. I won’t get into details about this but you can just search for Bob’s Game on the web or hit Wikipedia for more info.

    • Phones

      • Nokia’s new MeeGo-based N9 is set up for failure

        Nokia has finally announced the long-anticipated N9 handset, the culmination of Nokia’s five-step plan to deliver a mainstream Linux-based smartphone. The N9 is an impressively engineered device that is matched with a sophisticated touch-oriented interface and a powerful software stack with open source underpinnings. It’s a worthy successor of the developer-centric N900, but it provides a user experience that is tailored for a mainstream audience.

      • Meego/Harmattan – A willfully misunderstood platform.

        Huzzah! The Nokia N9 has finally arrived in a genuinely consumer-oriented package. Granted, it is not step-five-of-five given the February 11th announcement to abandon Meego as Nokia’s smartphone future, but it is getting rave reviews even from the likes of engadget – usually the first to take a pop at Nokia’s hubris in pursuing alternatives to Android/Apple.

      • Android

        • FUD Flows Freely Against FLOSS

          In fact, sales of Android tablets have been quite good and share of page views from Android tablets are nearly on par with iPads. iPad + iPhone gets 3.93% of page views on Wikipedia compared to 1.19% for Android. Surely Lawrence Latif and others should know that iTunes soaks up lots of megabytes and megabytes do not trounce page-views as usage. In fact, Gartner shows Android is expected to have a 20% share of tablets shipped in 2011, up from 14% in 2010. They project Android will catch iOS after 2015. I think Gartner is way off on that. The Android tablets released lately are spectacular compared to iPad 1 or 2 and the Android tablets produced in 2010. The Android tablets are being widely promoted by heavy hitters and many smaller operations. The exposure of Android tablets to the market is huge. Android tablets are not being “trounced”.

        • In a first, a Nook beats the Kindle in our e-book reader Ratings

          The Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch Reader is more than merely a worthy competitor to the Kindle, as I wrote when I saw the e-book reader demonstrated late last month. Now that we’ve tested the device in our labs, it actually scores a few points above the Kindle in our tests. [To clarify: The Nook scores 1 point above the Kindle below it in the 6-to-7-inch category. But it ranges from 4 to 5 points higher than other Kindles.]

          That marks the first time since the Kindle launched that Amazon’s e-book reader hasn’t been the top-scoring model in our Ratings (available to subscribers). It also continues the steady improvement in Barnes & Noble’s e-book devices since the company rushed out a glitchy first version of the Nook during the holiday season of 2009.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Free OpenShot Video Editor is Tremendous

    OpenShot is a free, simple-to-use, feature-rich video editor for Linux. The brainchild of programmer Jonathan Thomas, OpenShot has garnered a large and enthusiastic following for many reasons, one being Thomas’s responsiveness to user feedback. To quickly see the best uses of OpenShot, check out the beautifully created music videos of Verity and Gersom de Koning-Tan, from the Netherlands. Several of their videos have had more than one thousand video views. These videos have much going for them, not least their musicality and playfulness.

  • The Thecus® Open Source Module Competition Begins!

    Thecus is opening the floodgates for new open source modules. With the release of the Thecus software development kit (SDK), third-party developers and adventurous users can get involved in writing their own modules to fit even the most specific needs. This competition is the beginning of building a vibrant Thecus developer community with open dialogue, improved support, and an unlimited range of features that can only be supported by a grassroots society. Everyone will be able to get involved: commercial developers, computer savvy techies, and even basic home users.

  • Open source music identification technology launched

    A digital company called The Echo Nest has launched a Shazam-style technology that is open source, and can therefore be used by any developers wanting to incorporate audio-based music identification into their product. There’s a tie up with 7Digital, which means the Echoprint system can identify the millions of tracks in their digital catalogue. As an open source technology it’s hoped that catalogue of identifiable tracks will grow as other developers use it.

  • Web Browsers

    • Web Browser Battle Royale turns Dirty

      Tweet 2

      The all-out web browser brawl has competitors throwing dirty punches in a below-the-belt free-for-all fight for market share.

    • Chrome

      • Chrome’s security overhaul begins with PDF plug-in

        Google has begun work on the first step of rebuilding Chrome from the inside out on a more secure foundation called Native Client, CNET has learned.

        That first step is the built-in Chrome module used to let Google’s browser read PDF (Portable Document Format) files. Linus Upson, vice president of engineering for the Chrome team, revealed the plan in May at the Google I/O conference, and now evidence is emerging that the first step is under way.

        References to the Native Client version of the PDF extension have begun cropping up on the Native Client’s bug-tracking database. Programmers are encountering problems with scrollbar rendering, Gmail integration, loading PDF files, and displaying URLs when the mouse pointer hovers over a link

      • Exploring Art with Chrome Store
    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla FireFox 5 vs Google Chrome 12 #Benchmark

        I have been using Mozilla Firefox 5 since Mozilla developer announced it, firstly when I decide to add this post I was not going to compare between Mozilla Firefox 5 and Google Chrome 12, just to check Firefox 5 enhancements. But when I used couple benchmarks for checking HTML 5, JavaScript, and CSS 3, didn’t expect this result.

      • 10 must-have Firefox extensions
      • Should Mozilla Ditch The Rapid Release Cycle Again?

        Mozilla has successfully released its first rapid release cycle version of Firefox. While Mozilla is proud, there has been criticism that the new version number cannot be justified given the new features in Firefox 5. The transition also screwed corporate users and there is mounting disapproval close to Mozilla that the current product plan is beneficial to Firefox. Should Mozilla roll back its release strategy?

      • Firefox Drops URL Prefix
  • Business


  • Openness/Sharing

    • [Jimmy Wales:] Free Knowledge requires Free Software and Free File Formats

      People sometimes ask me why I’m so adamant that Wikipedia must always use free software, even when in some cases it might be the case that proprietary software might be more convenient or better suited for some particular need that we have.

      After all, the argument goes, our primary mission is to produce free knowledge, not to promote free software, and whlie we might prefer free software on practical grounds (since it is generally best of breed for webserving applications), we should not be sticklers about it.

      I believe this argument is seriously mistaken, and not on merely practical grounds, but on grounds of principle. Free knowledge requires free software. It is a conceptual error to think about our mission as being somehow separate from that.

    • Open Data

      • Big data and open source unlock genetic secrets

        The world is experiencing an unprecedented data deluge, a reality that my colleague Edd Dumbill described as another “industrial revolution” at February’s Strata Conference. Many sectors of the global economy are waking up to the need to use data as a strategic resource, whether in media, medicine, or moving trucks. Open data has been a major focus of Gov 2.0, as federal and state governments move forward with creating new online platforms for open government data.

        The explosion of data requires new tools and management strategies. These new approaches include more than technical evolution, as a recent conversation with Charlie Quinn, director of data integration technologies at the Benaroya Research Institute, revealed: they involve cultural changes that create greater value by sharing data between institutions. In Quinn’s field, genomics, big data is far from a buzzword, with scanned sequences now rating on the terabyte scale.

  • Programming

    • Perl, Perl 5, Perl 6, and Names

      The benefit to Perl 6 is obvious, in the same way that applying liberal amounts of lubricant to a mechanical joint producing an extended and incessant whining sound is an obvious solution.


  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • ‘You can’t stay at home’: G20 reflections and Ford

      Following the demonstration, we went to lunch up the street, and over drinks B. and I talked about the police fear-mongering that had gone on in the past few months. We wondered whether that would dramatically reduce the number of people on the streets in the week to come. I recall B. saying that despite the police media spin (remember the talk about the sound cannons, the special laws, the constant talk about the violence to come), people knew that the decisions made at these meetings would impact their lives and they would resist it.

  • Finance

    • Stop Oil Speculation Now

      he increased cost of oil and gasoline is damaging the American economy and is causing severe economic pain to millions of people, especially in rural America, who often have to drive long distances to work. Many workers are already seeing stagnant or declining wages and high gas prices are just taking another bite out of their paychecks.

      People in Vermont and across the country are also worried about the high price of heating oil for the coming winter.

      The price of oil today, while declining somewhat in recent weeks, was still over $95 a barrel today. That’s about $30 higher than it was two years ago.

    • JPMorgan Settlement With SEC Recalls Case Against Goldman Sachs

      JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s deal to settle a U.S. regulator’s claims that the bank misled buyers of mortgage-linked securities before the housing market collapsed echoed a case brought last year against Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

      JPMorgan agreed to pay $153.6 million to end a Securities and Exchange Commission suit. The SEC alleged that the New York- based bank failed to tell investors in 2007 that a hedge fund helped pick, and bet against, underlying securities in the collateralized debt obligation they purchased. In July, Goldman Sachs paid a record $550 million for failing to inform clients in 2007 that it allowed a hedge fund that also bet against housing to help formulate the CDOs.

    • Gensler Evolving in Derivatives War Sees No Deed Go Unpunished

      Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, took his seat before a Senate appropriations subcommittee on May 4 to make his case for a $106 million budget increase.

      Without the money, Gensler said, his agency wouldn’t be able to perform its new job of policing roughly $300 trillion in U.S. over-the-counter derivatives, a market that includes the credit-default swaps that helped push the U.S. economy into the worst recession in 70 years, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its August issue.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Righthaven Loss: Judge Rules Reposting Entire Article Is Fair Use

        A federal judge ruled Monday that publishing an entire article without the rights holder’s authorization was a fair use of the work, in yet another blow to newspaper copyright troll Righthaven.

        It’s not often that republishing an entire work without permission is deemed fair use. Fair use is an infringement defense when the defendant reproduced a copyrighted work for purposes such as criticism, commentary, teaching and research. The defense is analyzed on a case-by-case basis.

Clip of the Day

Fedora 14 vs Ubuntu 10.10: Death Match

Credit: TinyOgg

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  30. Microsoft Customers Complain About 'Inevitable' Vista 10 Because Microsoft Nearly Forces Botched 'Upgrades'

    In a desperate effort to spread Vista 10, sometimes even against people's will, Microsoft really upsets loyal customers, who are eventually eager to explore alternatives


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