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Links 10/7/2011: Wine 1.3.24, CentOS 6.0, Scientific Linux Live 5.6

Posted in News Roundup at 8:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • MLAA For Mesa Is Ready For Testing

        When it comes to this year’s Mesa / X projects as part of Google’s Summer of Code, progress is being made beyond just the OpenCL Gallium3D state tracker that’s now capable of building OpenCL native kernels. Lauri Kasanen, the student developer working on Morphological Anti-Aliasing (MLAA) for Mesa, has it working!

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Amarok 2.4.2 Beta 1 “Nightshade”
      • KDE Games: Towards an “Active” interface

        The fact that KDiamond is included by default in Plasma Active’s default set of “Favorite applications” (among rekonq-active, calligra-active, and friends) finally made me hack a bit on kdegames stuff again. The main problem I see with KDiamond on a mobile form factor is that menubar and toolbar waste quite some vertical space. Also, the menubar is awful to use on a touchscreen; the toolbar is much better in this regard.


        Apps like KGoldRunner or KTuberling just don’t fit the idea behind this proposal and will therefore not be affected.

      • Stripping Down KWin for Plasma Active

        For the usage of KWin in Plasma Active many of KWin’s advanced features are just not needed. For example on Plasma Active we target OpenGL ES/EGL compositing, so the for desktop usage still useful XRender compositing is just unneccessary bloat added to the binary.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • A look at: ArtistX (1.1) – LiveCD (3.6GB)

      Ubuntu is probably the most common for distro’s to derive from, the number of Ubuntu variants is staggering and whilst many can share aspects rendering them virtually identical, the one thing about a distro based on Ubuntu is that there is an accepted (high) level of functionality you can expect out of the box.
      ArtistX is no exception to this continuing trend and here we look at a distro aimed at the creative souls amongst us.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Gentoo Hardened SELinux state

        Since last post, we’ve been working on the further stabilization and bug fixing of the SELinux policies within Gentoo Hardened. You might have noticed that we started working on the QA of the packages, like I promised in the last post. The binaries within selinux-base-policy are now published somewhere on blueness’ developer page since he’s proxy’ing all my commits until recruiters get the chance to pick up my recruitment bug. Other patches that are coming up will be published likewise as well if they get too big to be within the main Portage tree.

    • Red Hat Family

      • 6.0 Released to External Mirrors

        The internal mirrors will now be opening up for external mirrors to sync from. This may take up to a couple of hours to propagate throughout the system, but external mirrors should start seeing the 6.0 soon.

      • Scientific Linux Live 5.6

        Scientific Linux Live CD/DVD 5.6 has been released for i386 and x86_64.

      • Is Red Hat Breaking Out?

        New York, July 8th (TradersHuddle.com) – Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) closed the trading session at $46.67 just above calculated resistance at $46.47 effectively breaking out, grabbing the attention of momentum traders, which could eventually push the stock to different trading range

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) develops and provides open source software and services, including the Red Hat Linux operating system.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 15 upgrade

          So I upgraded my Fedora 14 workstation to Fedora 15 last night using the yum update method (I’ve used preupgrade a few times and it’s worked on some and botched on others (mostly due to not enough space on /boot)). Since with other distros I’ve either used apt to do a dist-ugprade or the urpmi equivalent, this is somewhat my preferred upgrade path. I’ve done it before and it worked amazingly well, so I did it again last night using these great instructions: Upgrading Fedora using yum.

          The only gotchya is that due to the replacement of init by systemd, when it came time to reboot, halt/reboot/etc were unable to send the correct signals to something that would shut the machine down, so I had to do a hard reboot (which never plays nice with my RAID arrays, but upon reboot there was no RAID re-sync which is either cool or scary, I’m not yet sure which). So that was a bit nerve-wracking. Otherwise it was just a lengthy process with yum telling me I had 2850 packages to deal with (including installing and removing). Instructions are good and clear. Highly recommended if you’re even moderately technically inclined.

        • Fedora 15 LXDE on a Dell Mini 10v — nice!
    • Debian Family

      • Debian Mozilla team creates a Release archive for Iceweasel
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • UCubed

            UCubed, the Ubuntu & Upstream Unconference, is a compact unconference that brings together Ubuntu and Debian users in one place to exchange notes, talk about what they are passionate about and share knowledge and experience. This year’s UCubed happened a few months ago at the Madlab in Manchester, and The H decided to look up organiser, Les Pounder, to see how it went and what’s next.

          • LugRadio Reunion 2011
          • 7th July 2011: Season 6 Episode 1 : 76.00

            Jono Bacon, Stuart Langridge, Chris Procter, Adam Sweet, and Ade Bradshaw get back together after a three year hiatus for a 2011 LugRadio reunion show! Featuring:

            * Social networking: what’s identi.ca’s place in the new world order? Is it free-software-specific, and is that a good thing or not? (1.40)
            * The Devil’s Drink: a quiz with an unpleasant forfeit for getting questions wrong, and which could be construed as a way to make Adam’s life miserable, for which see below (15.45)
            * LibreOffice, OpenOffice, and Oracle: what does it mean that there are now two competing suites, and where do we go from here? (29.50)
            * In season 2 we talked about viruses on Linux and whether they were a problem. Seven years later, we revisit the situation in the light of the rise of Macintosh viruses and say: are we still right to be smugly safe? (44.10)

          • A Cool Dock For GNOME Shell: Unity 2D Launcher

            There’s a new cool dock in town and it works perfectly with GNOME Shell. Actually, it’s not new and you’ve seen it in lots of screenshots or you may even use it already but maybe you didn’t know that you don’t have to run Unity 2D to use it: the Unity 2D Launcher.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • OK Mint you win! I am impressed.

              I am impressed, very impressed. If it is as stable (and so far there is no reason to expect that it is not) as 10.04LTS then I might be tempted to move to my main home desktop to Mint, it will likely become the Distro I recommend when people ask me about “that Linux thing you are always using”.

            • Linux Mint signs a partnership with AYKsolutions

              Linux Mint signed a new partnership with AYKsolutions. The American hosting company is now the 3rd largest Linux Mint sponsor and provides our project with the bandwidth it needs for its repositories.

            • A quick look at Linux Mint LXDE 11

              I do have to say that Linux Mint LXDE makes the lightweight desktop look sexy. The green and grey theme works really well, and the Linux Mint team have obviously taken some time to make sure that their applications have great icons and an overall appealing style. I know that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but aesthetics do go a long way.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Free app turns PCs and Macs into Pogoplugs

      Cloud Engines, maker of the nifty Pogoplug device, has just introduced a software-only version of its cloud-based filesharing and multimedia streaming service. The free app builds Pogoplug functionality into Windows PCs and Macs, letting users share their desktop systems’ multimedia libraries and other files over the Internet, and with a modestly-priced upgrade adds A/V-streaming and transcoding capabilities.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Droid 3 slider phone sports dual-core CPU

          Verizon Wireless announced online availability of Motorola Mobility’s new Droid 3, claimed to be the world’s thinnest QWERTY slider phone. Running Android 2.3 on a dual-core, 1GHz processor, the $200 global CDMA/GSM phone offers 16GB flash, a four-inch qHD display, and both an eight-megapixel camera with 1080p video capture and a front-facing videocam, says Verizon.

        • $100 Android phone does HSPA+, has 4.1-inch screen

          Cincinnati Bell announced a 4G wireless network touting speeds “twice as fast as other national wireless companies,” as well as a new Android phone to go with it. The Huawei Ascend X 4G includes a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a 4.2 inch touchscreen, 512MB of RAM and 2GB of flash storage, GPS, and a five megapixel camera with geotagging, the company says.

        • It’s Android/Linux, Folks!

          This confuses the idea that the kernel is the OS, something the rest of the world has known about for ages. The kernel is Linux. The distro/operating system is Android/Linux!

          There is a video from an Android developer describing the operation of Android. In it he explicitly states that an Android process is a Linux process (4:00).

        • Six Signs Android really isn’t Linux
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Stampede of Tablets

        There’s more evidence that Android/Linux is about to overtake the iPad as it did the iPhone. 50% of shipments of tablets in June in Taiwan were non-iPads.

      • Asus Eee Pad Slider will tip up this Autumn

        The Slider is one of Asus’ Android Honeycomb tablets that we’ve all been waiting for, for a long time. The exact date is yet to be confirmed, which Asus said it will reveal, along with pricing, later this month.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome 13 tightens up WebGL security

        Chrome 13 is currently available in Google’s beta channel for the Chrome browser. Google says it is supporting the Enable-cors.org project which seeks to promote the CORS-enabling of sites with public content.

    • Mozilla

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Visio import filter – round shapes are beautiful
    • New VirtualBox Beta Has PCI Pass-Through Support

      Just a week after Oracle released VirtualBox 4.1 Beta 1, the second beta for this forthcoming feature release of the former Sun virtualization stack is now available. The VirtualBox 4.1 Beta 2 release has various bug-fixes since the first beta, but for Linux hosts it also introduces PCI pass-through support.

    • OOo! There’s a New Podling in the Nursery Incubator

      The Apache OpenOffice.org (incubator) project was born on Monday, June 13, 2011. Delivery was complicated. The baby’s doing fine.

      Following the June 1, 2011 announcement of the license grant from Oracle to the Apache Software foundation, there was extensive discussion over the proposal for acceptance of OpenOffice.org as an Apache incubator project. Before the June 10 voting began, 207 edits had been made to the proposal. Discussion leading up to the vote swamped the public mailing list used for consideration and oversight of incubator projects.

  • CMS

  • Education

    • How open source tools can create balanced learning environments

      “Free,” “open” and “libre” software has been a buzzword in media and technology spheres alike. A lot of heat surrounds its implementation, especially in developing countries. While there is much confusion concerning how open source can be used to leverage the benefits of information and communication technologies (ICT) and its impact on the areas of implementation, there is one definite sector where open source can be guaranteed to produce magnificent results when properly used.


    • Successful use of DDE!

      We are happy to announce that DDE has been successfully packaged for Arch Hurd! This means that we now have the ability to compile drivers from Linux 2.6 for the Hurd.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Open government data to fuel Kenya’s app economy

        From Brazil to France to Australia to India, new laws and platforms are giving citizens new means to ask for, demand or simply create greater government transparency. The open data movement has truly gone global, with 19 international open data websites live around the globe. This week, the world will see another open government platform go live in Kenya.

  • Programming

    • git commit
    • The Polite Fiction of Numbering

      One reason people debate so hotly the naming of “Perl 6″ is the magic tied to a version number. I’ve written many times that “Perl 5 can never break backwards compatibility in a radical way because it’s never broken backwards compatibility before.” That’s a common belief. It’s also a common belief that it’s only okay to correct some of the flaws of Perl 5 (especially missing defaults) by breaking backwards compatibility and signifying that change by incrementing a magical version number.

    • Java 7 Release Nears

      After years of development, delays and ownership changes, Java is ready for its next major release.

      The first release candidate for Java 7 was released this week, with general availability expected by the end of the month. In order to help celebrate the launch of Java 7, Oracle hosted a global event on Thursday highlighting the key features of the new language release. It’s a release that brings Oracle together with rivals IBM and HP to evolve what has become the most influential programming language for enterprise application deployments.

      “Probably the most significant thing is the fact that we’re finally shipping it,” Mark Reinhold, chief architect of the Java platform group at Oracle said. “It has been almost five years now and for various political and business reasons this release has taken some time.”


  • Windows 7

    When I first got my new laptop (Thinkpad!) I removed the copy of Windows 7 Professional it came with and replaced it with Fedora without even having booted it up. I haven’t used Windows in a good while and certainly haven’t used Windows 7 for any extended period of time; whenever I install it or say “I’ll keep the Windows partition on there” I just don’t ever boot into it. So I gave it a try. I installed Windows.

    One interesting thing is that I installed a completely blank copy of Windows 7. Now, a completely blank copy of Windows actually comes with nothing. No drivers. Not even a dancing pigeon. It was (and sometimes still is) a common complaint that Linux had/s poor hardware support, but by default Windows sat upon my Thinkpad looking like a dumb child without a clue.

  • Cablegate

    • WikiLeaks is the New Red Scare

      I founded and lead RevolutionTruth, a growing, global community and organization dedicated to defending WikiLeaks, whistleblowers, and legitimate democracies.

      RevolutionTruth defends WikiLeaks – not because WikiLeaks is perfect or uncomplicated. The WikiLeaks (WL) phenomenon is indeed, very complex. We defend them for two primary reasons: First, the way the U.S. government has responded to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange is alarming at best, and very dangerous, at worst. The U.S. government’s response to WL is so extreme, it has signaled a willingness to change U.S. laws on espionage, in order to ensnare Julian Assange.
      What does this mean? It means severe curtailing of the “free” press. A press that is already highly compromised, in its corporatized, sanitized state. If the U.S. government has its way, journalists could be forced to reveal their sources, and anonymous leaks of classified information could (i.e. instances of whistleblowing) will be considered “espionage.”
      If we allow this to happen, you can say goodbye to the last of our democratic freedoms. Freedoms that have been profoundly weakened since the year 2000.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Canada’s Net Neutrality Enforcement Failure

      Two years ago, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission conducted a much-publicized hearing on net neutrality, which examined whether new rules were needed to govern how Internet providers managed their networks. While many Internet users remain unaware of the issue, behind the scenes Internet providers employ a variety of mechanisms to control the flow of traffic on their networks, with some restricting or throttling the speeds for some applications.

      The Commission unveiled its Internet traffic management practices in October 2009, establishing enforceable guidelines touted as the world’s first net neutrality regulations. Where a consumer complains, Internet providers are required to describe their practices, demonstrate their necessity, and establish that they discriminate as little as possible. Targeting specific applications or protocols may warrant investigation and slowing down time-sensitive traffic likely violates current Canadian law.

      While there was a lot to like about the CRTC approach, the immediate concern was absence of an enforcement mechanism. Much of the responsibility for gathering evidence and launching complaints was left to individual Canadians who typically lack the expertise to do so. Nearly two years later, my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) posts an investigation into the system that reveals those concerns were well-founded.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Law Professors Urge Congress to Reject PROTECT-IP Act

        Over 100 professors who teach and write about intellectual property, Internet law, innovation, and the First Amendment are urging the members of Congress to reject the PROTECT-IP Act of 2011 (S. 968). The bill would give the government sweeping authority to take websites offline, remove websites from search engines, and bring infringement claims against Internet publishers.

        The professors have signed onto a letter written by Stanford Law School’s Mark A. Lemley, the William H. Neukom Professor of Law and director of the Stanford Program in Law, Science & Technology; David Levine, assistant professor of Law at Elon University School of Law and an affiliate scholar at the Center for Internet and Society (CIS); and David Post, professor of law at the Temple University Beasley School of Law. The letter outlines the group’s concerns that the bill, as proposed, is unconstitutional and potentially disastrous to the structure of the Internet and to U.S. thought leadership.

      • Smear Campaign Ramps Up Against Those Who Believe Free Speech Is More Important Than Hollywood’s Obsolete Business Model

        When the entertainment industry got the usual suspects to push the PROTECT IP Act forward, the story around DC was that this bill was a slam dunk. Who was possibly going to resist a bill against evil “rogue” sites that were stealing our jobs and “ideas?” When Senator Ron Wyden put a “hold” on PROTECT IP, we were told by supporters of the bill that this was just a phantom protest and the bill was going to pass easily. It might still… but, it appears that some are beginning to get worried. After all, since the bill came to light, the complaints against it have been pretty clear and pretty loud — and not from lobbyists, but from the actual people who understand it (much of the “support” from the bill comes from lobbyists).

      • ACTA

        • The European Parliament loves secrecy?

          This afternoon the FFII has requested minutes of European Parliament Committee meetings on ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement). ACTA was concluded in December 2010 after three years of confidential negotiations. The European Parliament now confidentially discusses whether to ask the Parliament’s legal service to answer questions about ACTA and whether to ask the European Court of Justice an opinion on ACTA.

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