Summary: A few bits of news from the OpenSUSE world (2 months after Novell’s sale)
THE PROJECT called “OpenSUSE” does not receive direct support from Attachmate. It is up to itself and to donations from Google Summer of Code [1, 2, 3] to drive the project further, even though there is no considerable progress.
The third openSUSE Conference will occur on September 11-14, and there are only a few days left to submit a talk: the call for papers is open until next Monday! So don’t think twice, and go submit something now. If you really want to think twice, take a look at our guidelines for speakers, they should convince it’s worth the effort!
Not so long ago they were also looking for sponsors because Novell is not around anymore and it never properly supported this project anyway (not even with server space). █
Summary: A lot of multimedia files served over the past week
TOMORROW the blogging will resume at full steam, but today we took a quick look at the past 6 day’s retention for non-cached, i.e not Varnish-served, pages (logs older than 4 weeks are deleted). These suggest a record high of 9462 .ogg files, 15613 .ogv files, and 1498 .mp3 files downloaded in the past 6 days without the proxy/cache. This is roughly twice the usual number and today we also noticed a PageRank surge. In terms of PageRank, we are one of the highest ranked Linux-oriented sites right now (PageRank 7 front page) and the server has been slow due to heavy bandwidth usage. This was like an unintended experiment. █
Posted in Site News at 4:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz
Summary: After much time spent off the Internet, more time will be spent on Techrights again (it is PageRank 7 now)
VIDEOS are quick to make and audio — as in TechBytes — is also easy to put out there provided Tim is off work. This requires no preparation and no proofreading (or post-processing). But as readers have pointed out, there are many drawbacks to multimedia, so this site will get back to text, provided I find enough time to write. Due to high workload (several jobs) and some leisurely activities [1, 2] I haven’t had much time to run the site recently. As always, people who have articles to contribute can use IRC or E-mail to do so. Later this month I take another 1.5 weeks off the Internet (lab work/research), so we really do depend on the contributions of others. G. Forbes helps keep the wiki tidy. The IRC channels have 5 new ops, Goblin, MinceR, Tessier, Cubezzz, and AMarsh. Let’s keep Techrights strong. “Boycott Novell” was victorious and we have other objectives on the horizon. █
Apple Time Machine is a feature that was introduced in Mac OS X 10.5 nearly four years ago, which allows the automatic creation of incremental file back-ups that can be restored at a later date, either for the entire system or just an individual file. Mac OS X programs can also become Time Machine-aware themselves to take advantage of these incremental backups. Basic read-only support for better managing Apple Time Machine back-ups is now available to Linux users via a new virtual file-system aptly called the Time Machine File-System.
Typemock, the leading provider and pioneer of easy unit testing solutions announced today the launch of Isolator++ for Linux. Isolator++ for Linux enables easy unit testing of C++ on the Linux distributions, Ubuntu, Fedora (Red Hat) and SUSE (Novell). This release marks Typemock’s ability to offer unit testing tools and mocking frameworks for multiple platforms and enable organizations that work on Windows and Linux to benefit from one solution for both platforms.
While we have also seen heavy use of “Linux,” as opposed to specific distributions, among the world’s supercomputing system builders, it is also interesting to see which Linux distributions are gaining on the list, and which operating systems have lost spots.
It is also interesting to note that amid the global competition occurring at the supercomputer scale, nearly all of the participants from around the world are using Linux.
In this episode: Sabayon 6 has been released, Google launches a new social network and Red Hat is doing well. Share in our discoveries, hear our ideas for a ‘You Dare Us’ replacement and you tackle Firefox version numbers in our Open Ballot.
Solid-state drives (SSDs) are seen as the future of mass storage by many. They are famous for their high performance: extremely low seek times, since there is no head that needs move to a position and then wait for the spinning disk to come around to where it needs to read/write; but also higher throughput of sequential data: My 2,5″ OCZ Vertex LE (100 GB) is rated at 235 MB/s sustained write speed, and read speeds up to 270 MB/s, for example.
DAISHO is a good productivity software for Windows, Mac and Linux. There is a free version called Daisho Basic for Windows and Mac, but many advanced features requires you to buy DAISHO Professional edition. But Daisho for Linux is completely free of charge.
Fans of Nethack, UnNetHack and Slash’Em can play these games in isometric graphical interface on Linux, thanks to open source project Vulture.
Nethack dates back to 1987 and Slash’Em (NetHack variant) was released in 2006 but these rougelike games have huge fan following and have inspired many games. Though not everyone likes to play these games because of their complex gameplay, roguelike games have one of the biggest gaming communities all around the world. These games are constantly being ported to gaming handhelds and mobile devices because of their demand (NetHack is available on Android, iOS, Maemo, NDS, PSP and many more)
The other night I decided that it would be much easier to pick out one of the other distributions I have on my machine than to try and build an older version of KDEPIM myself for Sabayon. So, with that in mind, I booted up Mageia 1 that night.
I began the process of moving into another distro: copying configuration files, setting up directories in /etc/fstab, importing news feeds, setting up hardware that needs extra attention, and in Magiea, installing Flash. It’s awful when you can’t remember how to do something. For example, I need for KRadio4 to use my FM radio chip as a V4L 1 instead of 2. I know I’ve found the right incantation before, a couple of times. I’ll figure it out again I’m sure…
So, after three or four days of full time use, I don’t really have too many complaints. Mageia, like Mandriva, is a wonderful distro; but it’s not home. I miss Sabayon.
RHEV 3.0 management is browser based, so customers can manage it from any platform they want — an effort by Red Hat to be 100% open source. The management server, also called RHEV-M, includes new features for viewing virtual machine (VM) storage reports and easily importing VMs.
For many users, CentOS represents a way to get the enterprise quality of RHEL without paying enterprise dollars for support, that isn’t necessarily required. It’s also something that Red Hat realizes and with RHEL 6 they have made it more difficult for groups like CentOS to clone RHEL. The proof is in the long delay for CentOS 6 which should have been out months ago and would have (IMHO) been under the old RHEL 5 build system approach.
As some of you might know I started writing for the German Linux Magazin in April. I am now in the lucky position to know quite a few people at Linux New Media and one of them asked me if I had an idea for the DVD they ship with their magazine. Of course I had: A Fedora Multiboot DVD.
First the editors were a little skeptic: Fedora is not that popular in Germany and many people still think it’s too bleeding edge, so Linux Magazin usually ships with save bets like Ubuntu or OpenSUSE. But when I told them about the new amazing features of our Multiboot media such as automatic detection of the CPU architecture and offered them to do a custom German spin, they agreed. So I made a prototype and it has taken a shine to them. 3 days later they asked for an English version, so it now ships not only with the German Linux Magazin but also with the English Admin Magazine.
“There’d be no Google. Everything that has happened on the Web would have, at best, happened far more slowly. The economics of Linux were what made it possible to do those things at such large scale. Obviously that’s been an enormous impact Linux has had on the world. More than that, this notion, rewind 18 years (20 years for Linux) think about how ridiculous it would have seemed at the time… the notion that a disconnected, uncoordinated, non-economically motivated group of people could build something as complex as an operating system or an encyclopedia.”
I’ve been writing about Mint a lot recently, and if you’ve been reading those, you know already what I think of Mint, which is quite positive. So I’m not going to give a full review of everything; I’m just going to touch on those areas where the KDE edition differs significantly from the Gnome version.
First off, it’s gorgeous. KDE has been really pretty for a while now, with gentle blue glows around the windows, and slick animations. This installation looks really nice, especially after a little bit of tweaking to my tastes. But it barely runs on this machine. Gnome-based distros run handily on this box – an old Pentium 4 with 2GB RAM – but with KDE it’s really struggling. I had to put in an old Nvidia card instead of using the motherboard Intel video, because I couldn’t get compositing at all otherwise. And a few minutes ago, the system bogged down to a near-total halt under the strain of installing a Firefox update and running Kopete at the same time. I had to reboot, which is just sad and wrong.
KDE comes up with the default desktop setting of plasma workspace.
The Toshiba Thrive will become available at a variety of retailers July 10. The Android Honeycomb tablet combines hefty hardware with a price competitive with the Apple iPad. However, “Thrive’s big challenge is the app gap,” said analyst Carl Howe. “Android [Honeycomb] has about 300 apps, while the iPad has more than 100,000. That puts Toshiba at a … disadvantage vis-a-vis Apple.”
Nina Paley, a professional illustrator and animator, has produced a fairly energetic rantifesto arguing that the “four freedoms” of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) should apply to free cultural works as well. While that might be nice, I think Paley is way off base.
Let me say at the outset that I have no problem at all with artists who choose to adopt the “four freedoms” espoused by the Free Software Foundation that Paley wants applied to free culture. What I do have a problem with is the idea that the FSF is hypocritical for distinguishing between culture and code. None of this should be taken to assume that I’m not in favor of artists and creators willingly adopting the same freedoms that the FSF argues in favor of for code. I simply disagree, very strongly, that it’s a one-to-one comparison or that having different standards for code and culture make one hypocritical.
And I would agree that some freedoms are more desirable than others, both for free culture and for works that hold traditional copyright. I have some qualms with Paley’s attack on the Non-Commercial restrictions, but my primary problem is with the attack on the No Derivatives (ND) restriction. Since most of my concerns lie with her argument against ND restrictions, that’s all I’m going to focus on here. Commercial restrictions can wait for another day.
Ludovic Fauvet, one of the developers working at VideoLan, has done a blog post about the extent of these malicious alternative versions of VLC. He lists 18 common URLs that appear in search results for VLC, all of which include crapware/adware/spyware. By far the most common are associated with pinballcorp.com, eorezo.com and tut4pc.com (do not visit them).
The reason they manage to get so high up on the search listings is because they are willing to pay for adwords. At the same time, Fauvet states that asking Google to remove these links turns out to be pointless because “Google ignore us, they’re making money with these scams.”
Love it, or hate, Gmail introduced millions of people to the concept of fully threaded email conversations.
It’s a concept that Mozilla is now delivering to its Thunderbird email users by way of a the Conversations add-on.
Conversations this week got it’s first stable release, tagged officially as version 2.0 (now up to version 2.0.4 for some incremental bug fixes). The real push with this add-on is that it is fully integrated with the new Thunderbird 5.0 release which came out last week.
The SeaMonkey Project developers have made version 2.2 of their “all-in-one internet application suite” available to download. SeaMonkey 2.2 is a major update that is based on the same Gecko layout engine as the recent Firefox 5.0 release.
Oracle has published the first release candidate for JDK 7, the long-awaited next version of Java set to officially debut on July 28.
On Thursday, during a webcast from the Oracle bunker in Redwood City, California, Java chief architect Mark Reinhold said that the most significant thing about the new release is that “we’re finally shipping it”. Though it has been nearly five years since the release of Java 6, the new version isn’t exactly a huge leap forward.
One of the things I enjoy in the law is reading briefs, especially in the context of the give and take of the parties briefing a topic in contention in litigation. That is certainly the case with respect to the pending Daubert motion [PDF], filed by Google, in which it requests the court to exclude Oracle’s damages expert, Prof. Iain Cockburn. On June 14 Google filed its opening brief in support of its Daubert motion, and about a week later Oracle filed its response. Now we have the final piece of the briefing debate in the form of Google’s reply [PDF] to Oracle’s response.
In addition to two other talks, I had the opportunity to speak as the co-presenter in a session about the evolution of OpenOffice.org. The growth of the developer community for that codebase was always stifled, and while there are some excellent and experienced developers on working on it, very few have affiliations beyond Sun/Oracle. Following Oracle’s decision to withdraw, the maintenance of the code is moving on from corporate sponsorship to community management under the auspices of The Document Foundation and the Apache Software Foundation.
CERN announced version 1.1 of its Open Hardware License (OHL), a legal framework “designed to facilitate knowledge exchange across the electronic design community. The license is intended to become for hardware what the GPL (General Public License) is for software, the organization says.
Open source software is used extensively by CERN, the particle physics lab behind the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiments. In fact, the organization even maintains its very own Linux distribution—based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux—called Scientific Linux CERN. Inspired by the productivity of Linux development, a group of CERN engineers have decided to bring the advantages of the open source software development model to the world of hardware.
The WebCL standard is still a work in progress, but the first experimental implementations have already arrived. Samsung has opened the source code of its WebCL prototype for WebKit, which is designed to run on Mac OS X. The company has also published some videos that demonstrate the efficacy of WebCL in action.
A study conducted by researchers at Northwestern University has reached a conclusion that many of us have entertained but dismissed as “not having a study conducted by researchers at Northwestern University behind it.” Namely: trolling is like being sloppy drunk.
Boston-based Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. and several of its subsidiaries have sued investment banker Goldman, Sachs & Co. for “making materially misleading statements and omissions” in a preferred stock offering of mortgage lender Freddie Mac in November 2007.
The insurers invested $37.5 million in the Series Z offering of Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.) shares backed by subprime mortgages and underwritten by Goldman, according to the filing made in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts.
The insurers say that if they had been informed of the “true state” of Freddie Mac’s capitalization, they would never have purchased the Series Z preferred shares. They say that as a result of what they charge is Goldman’s “fraudulent conduct,” their more than $37 million in investments are “virtually worthless.”
Their complaint says they have suffered “huge losses” on the shares of stock they have sold, as well as on the shares of stock that they still hold.
They are asking treble damages and a jury trial.
The plaintiffs include Liberty Mutual and its subsidiaries Safeco, Employers of Wausau, Peerless and Liberty Life.
Goldman Sachs told Insurance Journal it will fight the suit.
A month ago we reported about Bob Ivry’s discovery that the Fed had been conducting a secretive bailout operation between March and December 2008, under which banks borrowed as much as $855 billion over the time frame for a rate as low as 0.01%. As the Fed itself explains following a just disclosed launch of a page dedicated to this Saint OMO, “The Federal Reserve System conducted a series of single-tranche term repurchase agreements from March 2008 to December 2008 with the intention of mitigating heightened stress in funding markets.