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Links 7/8/2011: Red Eclipse Released, KDE 4.7 Praises

Posted in News Roundup at 7:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Document Exchange: The World Has Changed, Billy

    Microsoft, for its part, needs to change some of its stances concerning open source if it wants to remain a big player in this new world that we see everyday. FUD campaigns are not working; users are gradually opening their eyes to see that they are suffering from the abusive policies of a company that lies to them. Some of them have already seen Linux computers which make their own Windows 7 PCs look like outdated dinosaurs that offer them the same problems found in computers a decade ago.

    Steve Ballmer is delusional if he thinks that young people, those mobile phone-thumbing individuals, belong to the recalcitrant, almost extinct user base that yells “Windows or nothing!”

    Bill Gates knew that the success of Windows depended on the ignorance of computer users. However, the world has changed, Billy… You wouldn’t believe how the world has changed…

  • A new life for old computers

    One group of computer buffs was way ahead of the game when the state on July 1 required that old computers no longer could be thrown in garbage dumps.

    The Columbia Linux Users Group has been recycling computers in a different way for a couple of years. They take old (but not too old) computers, wipe their systems clean and install the free Linux operating system and Linux-based software. Then they give the computers to recreation centers and charity groups.

  • Linux Day
  • Desktop

    • Don’t fear the penguin – there’s a Linux package for every taste

      But the reputation is undeserved. Linux hardly makes any special demands on users and is about as simple to use as Windows or Mac OS. Indeed, the most daunting prospect with Linux is choosing between the variety of versions available – and the ability to dive beneath the user interface and get deep into the software, if you’re so inclined.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Hurd mentality

        While recently there was the merging of Mesa pipe-video to master. most of the recent video decoding work going on within the Gallium3D world has been into the ATI/AMD R600 Gallium3D driver for XvMC and now VDPAU support too. This is after the R300 support matured a fair amount, but the first one to the Gallium3D video decoding party was Nouveau. Worked on several years ago as part of the Google Summer of Code was Nouveau Gallium3D video coding. Fortunately, some of this work has been resurrected.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Smart Folders in KDE Workspace

        So, a few days ago I was talking with an apple fanboy friend of mine who used to be KDE user before being abducted by the i* family of products (he started with an iPhone, he ended with i*Everything…). Anyway he is still using KDE from time to time so I asked him what is the feature he misses most when he is using KDE, the answer as you may gest was “Smart Folders”.

      • Instant apps

        Recently the Plasma library just got a new neat feature: the support for packages of files the are pretty generic, not bounded to being a “plasmoid”.

      • Upgraded to KDE 4.7

        Some people may find it odd that I don’t track KDE releases very closely — at least, not on my Linux machines, which includes my laptop. There things tend to be “whatever DVD is on the top of the pile gets installed” and updates happen only rarely. Quite different from my OpenIndiana or FreeBSD boxes, which track KDE closely.

        Anyway, I saw so much buzz and enthusiasm for KDE 4.7.0 that I wanted to update my desktop machine at home. It was running Kubuntu 10.04 LTS (with whatever KDE came with that, probably KDE 4.4). That meant a three-step upgrade path: 10.04 to 10.10 (I used these instructions on techie-buzz), 10.10 to 11.04 (repeat the upgrade-to-newer-release steps) and 11.04 to 11.04 + KDE 4.7.0 (the install instructions are clear and point elsewhere to add the KDE backports repository — some of the screenshots don’t match what I saw, but it’s well done).

  • Distributions

    • Choice is good

      Then I went to DistroWatch.com because, frankly, I hadn’t been there in awhile. For those of you who are interested in all things FOSS, DistroWatch is an interesting place to not only keep up with which distros are peaking and ebbing in the great scoreboard of FOSS, but also to see who has released what when, and sometimes, why.

      I decided to take a look at how many active distros — including those which also are Solaris- and BSD-based — there are as of today, July 31. It’s down a bit since I last looked, which has been literally several years ago.

    • Gentoo Family

      • KDE development environment in Gentoo

        In short, what I want is:

        * download the sources somewhere in my homedir
        * my everyday user to have write permissions to them
        * non-bare clones
        * url = anongit.kde.org AND pushUrl = git.kde.org, if possible directly on initial clone
        * if possible, have a live and a regular release side by side

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora package social networking
        • Praise for Fedora 15 and KDE 4.6.x – A great experience!

          Some old time Fedora users may be aware of Fedora’s poor track record when it comes to KDE although things have been changing ever since the release of KDE 4.x. I regularly try Fedora KDE and so far haven’t been fully convinced with the experience until now.

          As a fan of both Fedora and KDE it gives me pleasure to say Fedora 15 with KDE 4.6.x is a great experience!

          Over the past few months I haven’t had a single crash or experienced any bugs with Fedora 15 and KDE 4.6.x. I am also particularly impressed with the fact that the latest (minor updates) versions of KDE are included in the standard update repositories.

    • Debian Family

      • New beowulf cluster at EDF (200 Tflops) based on Debian 6.0 Squeeze

        Électricité de France S.A. is pleased to announce that its new supercomputer, which is 200 Tflops and 43rd in the latest TOP500 (June 2011), is based on Debian Squeeze.

        This supercomputer, called Ivanoe, is made of compute nodes, graphical nodes, connexion servers and infrastructure servers. This represents 1454 IDataPlex IBM Servers and 200 Tflops.

      • DebConf11 ends as another success for the Debian Project

        The annual Debian Conference ended today after being held for the previous week in Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has been a great success for the Debian Project.

      • Derivatives

        • Knoppix 6.7.0 Live Linux distribution released

          Version 6.7.0 of the Knoppix Live Linux distribution is now available to download free of charge from the project’s download server or via BitTorrent. As usual there are English and German versions for CD or DVD.

          Version 6.7.0 of the Debian-based live distribution uses the Linux kernel and has LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) as its default desktop. It includes version 3.3.3 of the LibreOffice suite, the Chromium 12 web browser, the Pidgin IM client, GIMP and Wine 1.0.1. There is also a new release of the ADRIANE (Audio Desktop Reference Implementation And Networking Environment) version designed for blind and partially-sighted users.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Interview with Cheri Francis on UDS
          • Flavours and Variants

            • The Linux Setup – Clement Lefebvre, Linux Mint

              Clement Lefebvre probably doesn’t need much of an introduction. As the founder of Linux Mint, he’s seeing more and more users flock to the various flavors of his distribution. Linux Mint began with a reputation for being a nicer, easier to use take on Ubuntu. Now, it often seems poised to replace Ubuntu as the go-to Linux distribution for new and experienced users.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi Interview With Eben Upton

      The robot revolution just got a little closer thanks to some of the cool devices that are coming down the pipe. One such cool device is called the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi device is basically a $25 Linux PC on a credit card sized board! This microcomputer looks perfectly suited as a low cost, micro form factor, low power, PC performance robot brain. If you think that’s unbelievable, well, believe it! Sure it’s not available just yet but already the Alpha Boards are being manufactured and they anticipate the devices will be available for sale later in 2011.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Asus Unveils 2 New Linux-Powered Netbooks

        Asus introduced the Eee PC back in 2007. This quickly became the standard for netbooks. In fact, some say the Eee PC coined the term netbook. Earlier this week, the Eee PC line was updated with two new models, the X101 and R011PX (shown above). Both models feature 10.1″ displays, built-in cameras, 4 hour batteries, 802.11B/G/N networking, and SD card slots.

      • Tablet smackdown: Galaxy Tab 10.1 vs. iPad 2

        Before launching into this review, which pits Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 against Apple’s iPad 2, I took a few days to familiarize myself with the Galaxy Tab’s Android 3.1 (“Honeycomb”) OS. The thing is, I’d already used iOS on an iPod Touch for two years, but was a rank newbie when it came to Android.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Song of the Leaders

    Leadership requires some mental agility in FOSS. For one thing, distributed development that includes a large number of volunteers means that hierarchal models of leadership don’t work. The means of coercion are automatically fewer, and aren’t as effective over a distance as they are person to person.

  • Open source opening doors to IT

    Danishka Navin speaks to the Mirror about revolutionizing IT needs among those in the outstations with open source software

    Danishka Navin saw a problem. In the rural regions of Sri Lanka people were struggling with the advancement of IT; students had to compete with the internet savvy kids of more privileged surroundings and teachers found it hard to keep up with the computer related modes of teaching. Danishka realized that a certain percentage of the younger generation was being left behind.

    The solution was free open source software that replaced the more expensive variants like Windows software, giving them a better change at a fast developing future. Hanthana Linux is a remix of the popular Linux distribution Fedora and was built with the aim of easily fulfilling the needs of people who don’t have consistent Internet facilities and people with minimal computer experience.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice


    • Hurd mentality

      It’s taken more than 25 years to develop but the Hurd operating system may soon be released.

      It’s been more than 25 years in the making and yet most people have never heard of it. Now the Free Software Foundation’s Hurd operating system may finally get to show what it has to offer.

      A little history: decades ago Richard Stallman began work on a completely free (as in freedom) Unix-like operating system. Frustrated by the increasingly proprietary software world around him, Stallman set about to rewrite the tools and applications that made up a typical Unix operating system.

  • Public Services/Government

    • CH: Proprietary competitors delay unwrapping of open source DMS

      A protest by Swiss proprietary software vendors is delaying the publication as open source of OpenJustitia, a document management system (DMS) developed in-house by the federal court. The court planned to unwrap the DMS in late August, but will now wait until after the court’s control committee in the parliament has looked into the complaints. This committee will consider the case sometime after the summer.

  • Licensing

    • Harmony horrors

      On the other side of the web, I kept discussing Harmony with Allison (Canonical) until I asked something and got no response anymore.

      Bringing up arguments like “it provides more clarity to contributors, a ‘check point’ to look at the legal situation and reassurance of legal status to users” or the already-debunked “but it is helps protect the copyrights and handling of disappearing contributors” doesn’t convince me that contributors should sign away their code while running the risk TO GET SUED BY THE COMPANY THEY JUST GAVE THEIR CODE TO FOR WRITING IT IN THE FIRST PLACE. Seriously, that’s a risk, read Michael’s post.


  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • CD and DVD ripping to be legalised in UK copyright reform

        Time for another ripping yarn from CNET UK — and today the ripping in question is the copying of CDs and DVDs to your computer, which believe it or not is actually illegal. It’s a triumph for common sense as government takes on board a number of suggestions for reforming copyright and intellectual property law.

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