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08.10.11

Links 10/8/2011: Linux/Android Tablets Multiply, OpenGL 4.2 is Coming

Posted in News Roundup at 4:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Does Loving Linux Make Us Dislike Windows?

    Today I’m a full-time desktop Linux enthusiast, who is familiar with dozens of popular distributions. I’d consider myself very comfortable with Linux on the desktop. What’s interesting though, is the change in how I view Windows.

    These days, I avoid Windows as much as possible since I feel much more limited with it. Perhaps this is what Windows users trying Linux feel when stepping outside of their regular computing routine?

  • Samsung Remove Ubuntu Logo From Galaxy Ad [Updated with video]

    Seeing the Ubuntu logo sailing alongside hundreds of Android App icons in a TV spot for Samsung’s Galaxy S II was a strange, but not unwarranted, sight to begin with.

  • Answering readers and critics on Linux configuration anarchy
  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 159
  • Desktop

    • Seven Concerns on the Linux Desktop

      Instead, the major desktops seem to be responding to the pressures around them rather than taking charge of their direction. Some of these pressures are self-created, while others are historical or common to all modern desktops, free and proprietary alike. Some are barely articulated, although they operate no less powerfully for that.

      Whatever their origins, here are seven concerns that are shaping the Linux desktop today:

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: First release candidate for Linux 3.1

      Expected to be released in about two months, the next kernel version will offer optimised virtualisation, add bad block management components to the software RAID code and include an extended Nouveau driver for NVIDIA’s Fermi graphics chips. Several developers have been criticised for their clumsy use of Git in this development cycle.

      Linus Torvalds has issued the first release candidate of Linux 3.1, closing the merge window of this version, whose final release is expected in late September or early October, 17 days after the release of Linux 3.0. Therefore, the first phase in the Linux development cycle was three days longer than usual. This was caused by the diving holiday Torvalds is currently taking in Hawaii; he is providing an impression of his trip on Google Plus.

    • Linux 3.1-rc1 Kernel: A “Pretty Normal Release”
    • How to piss off a Linux kernel subsystem maintainer – part 6

      There’s nothing like waking up and receiving in your inbox, a few scant hours after the merge window has opened up again, a plea for why you haven’t already reviewed and applied all 117+ patches that the author sent to you a few weeks ago, back when they well knew you could not apply them due to the merge window being closed.

      Oh, and to top it all off, as the message was sent in HTML format, it didn’t hit the mailing lists, I was the only one who received it. Because of that, I figured it was better if I just ignored it as well, just like the vger.kernel.org filters did.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Ryan Gordon Criticizes Open-Source Drivers Again

        There’s just one and a half days left to the Humble Indie Bundle #3, but in less than two weeks the game offering has already grossed nearly $1.9M USD. Recently the developers behind these indie games had allowed the community to ask them questions on Reddit about their work. Ryan “Icculus” Gordon was one of the developers responding and he had provided some interesting comments.

      • Charlies Games original Bullet Candy comes to linux!

        As we retweeted via twitter on the day and as now other awesome sites have picked up, Charlies Games have ported over the original Bullet Candy to Linux.

        It will cost you a measly $1 + if you are feeling nice anything more you wish to donate.

      • Mesa GLSL-To-TGSI Is Merged To Master
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Open Source: Pondering the Linux GUI

      First we had the KDE 3.5 to KDE 4.0 debacle. A release numbering scheme by the KDE folk that differed from what is considered the norm ended up with alpha level code being pushed out in most major desktop distributions of Linux. Many people were so upset about radical and broken changes to KDE during this period they left KDE, swearing never to return. It does not matter if KDE is “okay” now. Some of these people will probably not return to KDE.

      Some of the disenchanted former KDE using folk moved to Gnome and liked what Gnome was at the time. These people got comfortable with Gnome 2.x and enjoyed the features it has. Now we have the strangeness that is Gnome 3. Once again, many people are not happy with the changes in Gnome 3. Especially upsetting to some is the loss of functionality they took for granted and an extreme change in the look and feel of Gnome.

    • Five Linux Desktops That Aren’t Unity or GNOME 3

      GNOME 3, however, has turned out to be just as controversial, and if any evidence were required, none other than the father of Linux himself–Linus Torvalds–recently provided it by condemning the desktop environment and switching to Xfce instead.

    • Linus Hates GNOME 3 and I Don’t

      My editor at LinuxPro, Joe Casad, asked me if I wanted to write an article covering the differences between GNOME 2 and GNOME 3, but I declined (I was already working on something else). The reason for his request was this piece by my colleague, Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols, where Steven that talks about Linus Torvalds’ intense dislike for GNOME 3. In the article, Linux suggests that a fork of GNOME 3 is in order.

    • Does Linus Run Linux Mint?

      Earlier he mentioned some of the other distributions he has used. In 2007 he told apcmag.com, “So right now I happen to run Fedora on my machines. Before Fedora had PowerPC support, I ran YDL for a while, and before that I had SuSE. Funnily enough, the only distributions I tend to refuse to touch are the “technical” ones, so I’ve never run Debian, because as far as I’m concerned, the whole and only point of a distribution is to make it easy to install.” He even took a swipe at Gentoo or LFS I think when he added, “so Debian or one of the “compile everything by hand” ones simply weren’t interesting to me.”

    • What Would Linus Do About GNOME 3? Why, Use Xfce
    • 9 Most Useful Compiz Plugins

      Last time we wrote about all the useless plugins in Compiz. This time, we won’t be bashing your favorite compositing window manager. Today, we’ll be listing the most useful plugins Compiz can boast of.

      So, without much ado, here’s a list of the most useful and popular Compiz plugins out there (in no particular order):

    • Desktop Summit 2011 Berlin, Aftermath

      I am sad to leave already, but tomorrow I’ll start my internship at the Mayflower office in Munich. I had a really good time in Berlin and enjoyed the talks at the Desktop Summit.

    • Keynotes and Sandals – Day Two at Desktop Summit 2011

      For the second full day at the Desktop Summit, the organizers played a little trick on us by starting talks at 9:00 a.m. Those who were awake enough after the dinners and chat of the previous night were treated to talks on Calligra (the KDE creativity and productivity suite), suggestions about blending the web and the desktop, color management and the build process for GNOME. Those who were still in bed will have to wait for the videos and slides to be posted online in the next few days.

      The hallways and courtyard were again busy with small, lively discussions. As the morning went on the attendance at talks increased noticeably. Sunday was also the day of the press conference, where key figures from GNOME, KDE and the cross-community organizing team met with the press to answer their questions about the event and the future of free software.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Control The Music Your Way With Amarok [Linux]
      • World domination

        KDE dominates the Desktop Summit, they even convinced the design shop opposite the venue to decorate with an big K. :D

      • Get the branding: Unofficial KDE abbreviations list

        Sometime last year I expressed my thoughts on the kde-promo mailing list that one of the reasons for lacking support of the KDE rebranding initiative from 2009 was the lack of official abbreviations – after all, “KDE 4.7” is easier to write than “KDE Plasma Desktop 4.7”. I got no responses but for the last months I didn’t really care a lot.

        After yesterday’s announcement of KDE Frameworks 5.0 I’ve seen talk about “KDE 5.0” on several web sites. But as anyone into KDE knows, there is no KDE5. Reading the mailing lists and other Planet KDE posts, it seems to me that the Plasma Workspaces won’t necessarily jump to the next major version once Frameworks 5.0 are released.

      • Keynotes and Sandals – Day Two at Desktop Summit 2011

        For the second full day at the Desktop Summit, the organizers played a little trick on us by starting talks at 9:00 a.m. Those who were awake enough after the dinners and chat of the previous night were treated to talks on Calligra (the KDE creativity and productivity suite), suggestions about blending the web and the desktop, color management and the build process for GNOME. Those who were still in bed will have to wait for the videos and slides to be posted online in the next few days.

        The hallways and courtyard were again busy with small, lively discussions. As the morning went on the attendance at talks increased noticeably. Sunday was also the day of the press conference, where key figures from GNOME, KDE and the cross-community organizing team met with the press to answer their questions about the event and the future of free software.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Five awesome new themes for your gnome shell

        The gnome shell extensions are getting more and more cool by the day. With high quality themes gnome shell really becomes the most pleasant Linux desktop to use. This is a list of five wonderful shell themes. You could use it on your gnome shell theme in ubuntu, fedora or any other distro.

      • Transparent voting: why I like the idea even though I think it would be useless

        Transparent voting is an idea that is ideally really useful but also completely useless in GNOME.

        Some people in GNOME have been asking for transparent votes. When the board votes, they would like to know who voted which way. I totally agree with them – it’s important to know how different board members think so that you can make educated choices. However, I also agree with the people that say that it would be totally useless.

      • GNOME Shell Multi-Touch Support State

        On the third day of the Berlin Desktop Summit there wasn’t any major announcements like the previous two days when we found out the KDE plans for Wayland, basic plans for KDE 5.0, and initial thoughts concerning GTK4. One of the talks that I attended on Monday that was of closest interest to that of Phoronix content is the work being done towards making a multi-touch GNOME Shell.

  • Distributions

    • Linux Distro: Tails – You Can Never Be Too Paranoid

      Tails takes the form of a bootable live image that can be used from a CD ROM, a USB stick or via a network boot. Once booted, it executes from RAM, taking care not to make use of a swap partition. The desktop is Gnome 2.0 and the applications are a fairly standard selection. The web browser is an old, but usable, version of Iceweasel 3.5 (Debian Firefox). There are other applications to handle graphics work, audio editing, media playback, text editing, instant messaging and a email client – basically, everything you need when you’re on the run from enemy agents. Extra software can be added via the Synaptic package manager which pulls directly from the Debian repositories. So far, so similar to most other live desktop distros. Security and limited footprint on the the host machine are the areas in which the distro differs from the run of the mill.

    • Reviews: Here’s looking at Linvo, kid

      Since I got into the Linvo trial to try out their atomic updates, I’d like to talk some more on the subject. Though I haven’t had a chance to install it yet there is another project out there with a surprisingly similar objective to Linvo. This other project is called NixOS. NixOS is a small distribution built on top of the Nix package manager, which is designed to make updates atomic and to insure the operating system is always in a usable state. As with Linvo’s stated goals, NixOS is said to support multiple users installing different versions of software. Nix also has a roll-back feature. The result is supposed to be a system without global program directories (/usr/bin, /usr/local/bin, etc), instead each version of each package gets its own directory. NixOS is a research project and isn’t targeted at home or business users. However, for people who are interested in trying out something different you can learn more from the project’s website.

    • The Six Best Linux Community Server Distributions

      One question we get a lot: What are the best community server distributions? That question isn’t as simple as it sounds. What makes a distro “the best”? Why community distributions, specifically? It’s not a simple question — but read on and we’ll point you to six distros that will help you reach a satisfying answer.

    • Browser Linux – An Extremely Lightweight & Fast OS For Older x86 Computers [Linux]

      Unless you’re a web developer or programmer, you most likely don’t really need a whole lot of applications aside from a web browser, perhaps a media player, file manager/viewer and text editor. Maybe that’s why a lot more people nowadays own smartphones, tablets, Chromebooks, etc, and can get away with not using their main computers or laptops for light web browsing. If you wish to have an equally lightweight operating system with just the tools you need but on your actual laptop, you can use Google Chrome OS or Jolicloud.

    • Tiny Linux distro gets dependency fetching and simpler USB install

      Team Tiny Core announced a new version of its small-footprint, in-memory Linux desktop distro. Tiny Core 3.8 includes faster shutdown, updates to the BusyBox tool collection, improved searching, and the ability to re-download non-installed extensions, among other enhancements.

    • New Releases

    • Gentoo Family

      • Gentoo Releases 11.2 LiveDVD to Crickets

        Ah, Gentoo. Gentoo was once one of the most popular distributions going. But somewhere along the line it declined. It’s become a fringe distro that even with dedicated developers and loyal users can’t seem to get its mojo back. I used Gentoo for several years and perhaps the reasons I moved on might be the same others did as well.

        In 2002 Gentoo was sitting at number three on the Distrowatch Page Hit Ranking. It’s been falling down that list every year since. This year it’s at 18. Version 11.0 was released in March and I don’t think anyone reviewed it. The Rolling Programmer tried, but “hit a brick wall.” Regardless, I don’t think it’s not-so-ease-of-use that took Gentoo down. I lay the blame at Moore’s Law.

      • Installing Gentoo on a Notebook in 2011

        The first time I installed Gentoo, back in late 2004, I used an at-the-time brand-new Dell Inspiron (5150 if I recall) notebook as the victim. At that time, Gentoo was a new world to me, and a confusing one. It took me about a half-week’s worth of actual work to get it installed, but it happened, and it was one of the most satisfying experiences I’ve ever had with a PC.

        There was a problem, though. As Gentoo is hugely a do-it-yourself Linux distribution, there are many things that are just not done for you without your explicit consent. Things have become a little easier over the years, especially with the very informative guides and major improvements made to Gentoo’s own software, but even today it’s still an amazing challenge to get it installed onto a PC and configured correctly (the latter being the more difficult part).

        [...]

        I am glad I decided to give Gentoo another shot on a notebook, and I can’t see me moving off it anytime soon.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat to Present a Cloud Technology Update via Live Webcast on August 10

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that members of the Red Hat executive team will host a press conference that will be broadcast live via webcast at 12pm ET on Wednesday, August 10.

      • Red Hat Extends Open Source Summer Teaching Program to the Academic Year

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the expansion of its Professors’ Open Source Summer Experience (POSSE) 2011 that took place in late July in Raleigh, NC. Now in it third year, POSSE is a higher education faculty program that immerses professors in the culture, tools and practices of open source communities. Due to the overwhelming success of this year’s summer weekend workshop, several POSSE activities are scheduled throughout the 2011-2012 North American school year.

      • Fedora

        • No Btrfs by default in Fedora 16

          BTRFS WILL NOT BE THE DEFAULT FILE SYSTEM FOR F16

        • Feature preview of Fedora 16 installer

          Fedora 16 is more than two months away from final, stable release, but pre-Alpha installation ISO images have been floating around. News from the Fedora camp have already indicated that btrfs will be the default file system on Fedora 16, joining the ranks of MeeGo, the first (Linux) distribution to use btrfs as the default file system.

          With several articles already published about Fedora and btrfs (see the latest here), I downloaded a pre-Alpha image just to see what the new partitioning scheme will be on Anaconda, the Fedora system installation program, with btrfs. If btrfs is to be the default, a file system with a built-in volume management system, what will happen to LVM?

        • Monday in Fedora

          I suppose this is a sort of a test. I’m going to keep a little log of everything I do during the day related to Fedora. We’ll see how far I get.

        • Fedora 16 Alpha Release Candidate 2 (RC2) Available Now!

          As per the Fedora 16 schedule [1], Fedora 16 Alpha Release Candidate 2 (RC2) is now available for testing. Please see the following pages for download links and testing instructions. In general, official live images arrive a few hours after the install images: see the links below for updates. When they appear, the download directory should be the same as that for install images, except with the trailing “/Fedora/” replaced by “/Live/”.

        • Btrfs Switch Postponed To Fedora 17

          While it originally appeared that Fedora 16 would be the first major distribution (besides possibly counting MeeGo) to switch to Btrfs as the default Linux file-system, that’s not going to happen. Fedora 16 will continue defaulting to EXT4 and it will not be until Fedora 17 now that Btrfs will be the Fedora file-system default.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian GNU/kFreeBSD on production

        During the last few weeks I had to work through some of the limitations that were holding me back, such automated driver load and FUSE. I was lucky enough that other people filled the missing pieces I wanted, such as NFS client support and a GRUB bugfix that broke booting from Mirrored pools.

        [...]

        If you have installed Debian GNU/kFreeBSD, was it meant for production or just a “toy machine”? If you considered using it on production, did it succeed at satisfying your needs, or did something hold you back? Leave your comment!

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Membership

            The Ubuntu project accepts many kinds of contributions from people all over the world. After time, many contributors develop a sense of belonging and ownership of the project. When someone has been with the project for a long time and have made significant contributions to the project, then they may apply for membership. When you become an Ubuntu member, you become an official part of the project. You become a representative. You get an @ubuntu.com email address, an Ubuntu cloak on Freenode. You even get to vote on who serves on the Ubuntu Community Council, the top-level community governance committee in Ubuntu. For people who are serious about Ubuntu, membership is a big deal. Many people consider Ubuntu membership one of their biggest achievements.

          • Canonical Working to Put Ubuntu on the ‘App Development Map’

            Ubuntu may be marketed as “Linux for human beings,” but Canonical is working hard to make it the open source platform of choice for app developers as well. And it’s now calling on those who fall into the latter category to offer feedback on how Ubuntu can better meet their needs. Read on for details.

            I’ve always interpreted Ubuntu’s “Linux for human beings” mantra to mean that the operating system was built first and foremost to be friendly for non-geeks. To a remarkable extent, Ubuntu has succeeded in that vein, distinguishing itself as the most popular and one of the simplest Linux distributions for desktop users.

          • [Screenshots and Video] First Look at All New Ubuntu Software Center Tech Preview

            Ubuntu Software Center is getting a complete makeover in its GTK3 avatar and first tech preview of this whole new look landed today in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot.

            Being just a tech preview as of now, the current Software Center is still there by default. However, the demo can be launched by running the command software-center-gtk3 from the terminal.

          • Is Canonical Weighing Other E-Mail Options with Thunderbird?

            Few people are as passionate about their e-mail clients as they are about, say, browsers or phones. But that certainly doesn’t mean all mail apps were created equal, as Canonical showed recently when it commissioned a comparison of the open source clients Thunderbird and Evolution. Here’s a look at some of the findings.

            The Thunderbird standalone e-mail client enjoys relatively wide popularity. Developed by Mozilla, it runs on pretty much every modern operating system out there, and has been around for nearly a decade.

          • Amazon issues with EBS affect Ubuntu images in the EU-WEST region
          • Top 5 Ubuntu Alternatives

            The following article will list five of the best alternative operating systems to the popular Ubuntu OS, personally selected by the author.

            We’ve written this article to help some of our readers in finding a good alternative to the current release of the Ubuntu operating system, because of the Unity interface.

            Personally, I use Ubuntu 11.04 everyday and I have no problem with it. When Unity was about to be born, I was like “no way I am using that,” but I got used to it, and I’ve even managed to customize it the way I like it.

          • Ubuntu: The desktop Linux with the cloud inside

            Things can get really confusing when you start working with cloud-computing but we can all agree that having cloud file-storage is a good thing. It’s just so much easier to keep files in a universal storage box in the sky than worrying about whether you put the right USB drive in your laptop bag when you left for work. At this time though only one mainstream desktop operating system comes with the cloud built-in: Ubuntu.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 3 Has Firefox 6 and Thunderbird 6
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Free app brings easy penetration testing to Android

          Zimperium will soon release a penetration-testing app called Android Network Toolkit (Anti), ready to sniff our Wi-Fi vulnerabilities for good or evil, says Forbes. The software was shown at the DefCon hacking conference in Las Vegas, following a Black Hat security conference that featured presentations on a new DARPA Cyber-Fast Track project, the Shady RAT cyber-attack, and Facebook facial-recognition tools.

        • HTC releases OpenSense SDK for tapping 3D, stylus features

          HTC released a software developer kit for its Sense UI skin for Android. The OpenSense SDK offers APIs that let developers harness the GUI’s look and feel, as well as a stereoscopic 3D display (available on the Evo 3D 4G smartphone) and a stylus pen (available with the HTC Flyer and Evo View 4G tablets).

        • Android ‘smartwatch’ acts as Bluetooth extension to smartphones

          Blue Sky has begun taking pre-orders for the “I’mWatch,” an Android 1.6-based gadget that offers a 1.5-inch screen and audio jack, interacting with smartphones via Bluetooth to display alerts. The device follows last week’s WIMM One wearable Android watch, as well as an Android-based watch platform from Motorola called the MotoActive that popped up recently on the web.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Motorola Xoom gets Android 3.1

        Motorola has released a UK Android 3.1 update for the Motorola Xoom, activating long-awaited features for early adopters.

        The patch brings users up to speed with Honeycomb’s improved multi-tasking, resizable home screen widgets and keyboard and mouse compatibility, as well as a host of support for other USB or Bluetooth devices.

      • Lenovo ThinkPad Tablets: A Closer Look From Inside Lenovo

        The wait is over. Here at Lenovo, we have introduced our new Android-based ThinkPad tablet — taking the brand full circle. You can read the press release here. It’s hard to believe that the first ThinkPad, introduced back in 1992, was a pen-based tablet, but it was. The iconic ThinkPad 700c ushered in the familiar notebook form factor later. I once wrote a blog that goes deeper into the ThinkPad tablet history lesson for those who are curious. Nearly 20 years later, could our new ThinkPad tablet be the weapon of choice for business success? I think so.

      • Seven-inch Sharp Galapagos tablet runs Android 3.2

        Sharp announced a seven-inch, 1024 x 600-pixel “Galapagos A01SH” tablet running Android 3.2 on an Nvidia Tegra 2 processor — and its FCC approval suggests it’s eventually destined for the U.S.. Meanwhile, the Toshiba Thrive “Honeycomb” tablet has received a sleep-and-resume bug fix, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 got a “magazine-like” TouchWiz UI update.

      • Pandigital launches $159 Android tablet with Cortex-A9 processor

        Just a few days after Pandigital began selling a $170 Nova and $180 Planet tablet at BestBuy and Amazon, respectively, it introduced a third seven-inch Android tablet called the Star, for $160. What’s more, the company disclosed that all three tablets include ARM Cortex-A9 processors, representing a price breakthrough for products based on the technology.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • OSCON Round-up

      Reading some stories recently, it would be easy to conclude that there was some sort of a decline in open source. I’ll not pretend to have new and objective data on the subject, but having just returned from OSCON in the USA I have to say rumours of the death of open source are premature.

    • Ohio LinuxFest Registration is Open for Business
    • ESC Boston features giveaways, tackles embedded security

      Keynotes and tracks were announced for the ESC (Embedded Systems Conference) Boston, set for Sept. 26-29, including keynotes on embedded security and medical devices. ESC Boston offers a Linux/Android track, featuring a session on Android’s Open Accessory Kit, as well as giveaways to “All Access” users of a BeagleBoard-xM board and a Texas Instruments programmable, wireless-enabled eZ430-Chronos sports watch.

  • Web Browsers

    • Google, Mozilla Team Up to Create a Smarter, Action-Based Web

      Google has announced a new set of APIs for its Chrome web browser, which are designed to connect applications and sites across the web. Web Intents, as Google is calling its new meta-website API, allows websites to pass data between each other — for example, to edit a photograph or share a URL with friends.

      Developers at Mozilla have been working on a similar framework for Firefox, and now Google says it will work with Mozilla to develop a single API that works in both web browsers.

    • Mozilla

      • The Mozilla Interview: Why Firefox Matters

        Mozilla’s Firefox experienced a pretty rapid turn of fortunes last year and is still dealing with the effects of a changing browser landscape today. The rise of Chrome, a more competitive Microsoft, an increasingly loyal Apple user base, the often-delayed release of Firefox 4, created a perfect storm against Mozilla that is affecting its market share and credibility. Johnathan Nightingale agreed to spend some time with us to talk about the current state of Firefox and its immediate future in a very competitive environment.

      • Firefox Extension for Anonymous Browsing Hits Version 1.0

        There are lots of valid reasons why many people around the globe want to be able to use the web and messaging systems anonymously, despite the fact that some people want to end Internet anonymity altogether. In many parts of the world, opressive government regulations threaten free speech, and worse, which has produced an extensive list of technologies that people around the world use to beat the Internet censors. Among these, Tor, from the Tor Project, is one of the most powerful and flexible open source solutions for online anonymity. Last summer, we covered one of these solutions, a Firefox extension called HTPPS Everywhere, which leverages Tor for browsing anonymity. Now, there is an official version 1.0 available.

      • Creating Firefox web apps that look like native apps
  • Databases

    • MariaDB Crash Course released

      I am happy to announce that the first MariaDB book is released!

      The book is called MariaDB Crash Course and is written by Ben Forta, who also wrote the MySQL Crash Course book.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice vs. OpenOffice.org: Showdown for Best Open Source Office Suite

      With the release of a new version of LibreOffice this month, it’s a good time to look at the two major open source office suites, LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org, to see what advantages each offers, and which is a better bet for end users.

      Both products are suites of office applications, comprising word process, spreadsheet, presentation graphics, database, drawing, and math tools. Both also spring from the same code base. OpenOffice.org was created by a German company called Star Division, which Sun Microsystems bought in 1999. Originally the suite was called StarOffice, and it was popular in the European market as an alternative to Microsoft Office. After picking it up, Sun changed the name of the product to OpenOffice.org and released its code as open source. The product retained some popularity in the enterprise, partly because of its cross-platform capabilities and no-cost license.

    • TLWIR 12: Libreoffice 3.4.2, NASA, and the Asus X101
  • Openness/Sharing

    • Moto: From Dining To Open-Source Software

      Two months ago there was a mention of Moto on Phoronix as being a place for a wonderful (and tasty) high-tech dinner. At the time it was mentioned just for their use of interesting technologies to make wonderful dishes, and partnerships with NASA and other organizations to conduct food research. Come to find out, my favorite American restaurant is also entering the open-source software business. The restaurant is working on some interesting open-source code… In particular, they’re hoping to revolutionize restaurant management software with this project they have been working on, dubbed Moto Matrix.

    • Open Source Effort Will Deliver Low-Cost Wi-Fi for All

      One of the great things about open source software is that it doesn’t just bring a wealth of benefits to businesses. Rather, by making low-cost, high-quality software widely available to everyone, it also has the potential to change lives around the world.

    • A new way of measuring Openness, from Android to WebKit: The Open Governance Index

      [Much has been said about open source projects – and open source platforms are now powering an ever-increasing share of the mobile market. But what is “open” and how can you measure openness? As part of our new research report (free download), VisionMobile Research Partner Liz Laffan introduces the Open Governance Index – a new approach to measuring the “openness” of software projects, from Android to WebKit]

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OpenGL 4.2 Specification Published With GLSL 4.20

      The good news: Khronos has published version 4.2 of the OpenGL specification in conjunction with the GL Shading Language version 4.20 specification. The bad news? The open-source Linux graphics drivers are falling hopelessly behind in keeping up-to-date with the latest upstream OpenGL releases and what is supported by the proprietary drivers and those for other operating systems.

      The release of OpenGL 4.2 isn’t much of a surprise, it’s coming just around one year after the OpenGL 4.1 specification. The occasion for this release is the SIGGRAPH conference taking place this week in Vancouver, Canada. “The OpenGL 4.2 specification has been defined by the OpenGL ARB (Architecture Review Board) working group at Khronos, and includes the GLSL 4.20 update to the OpenGL Shading Language. The OpenGL 4.2 specification contains new features that extend functionality available to developers and enables increased application performance.”

Leftovers

  • Amazon, Microsoft Data Centers Go Down Without Much Fanfare

    It finally happened. We had a fairly significant cloud outage the other day and we didn’t have a lot of hand-wringing about the perils of cloud computing. Could it be that we have finally reached a point where we don’t have to defend the future of cloud computing each time a data center has problems, or is it just that everyone is on vacation in August and nobody was paying attention?

  • Microsoft gives BPOS customers credit note for latest crash

    This is the latest in a series of embarrassing cloud outages for Redmond after a summer of interruptions began in May, but differs from other incidents in that an “Act of God” was responsible for knocking out the service.

  • Security

  • Civil Rights

    • Secret Identities Online and Defamation

      The Internet has given rise to thousands of online chat forums, where participants can sound off on the issues of the day often shielded by the cloak of anonymity. Anonymous speech can be empowering — whistleblowers depend upon it to safeguard their identity and political participants in some countries face severe repercussions if they speak out publicly — but it also carries the danger of posts that cross the line into defamation without appropriate accountability.

      Striking the balance between protecting anonymous free speech on the one hand and applying defamation laws on the other sits at the heart of a new Ontario Superior Court decision released last week. The case involved postings about Phyllis Morris, the former mayor of Aurora.

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