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Links 13/8/2011: Android ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’, MySQL Conference 2012

Posted in News Roundup at 7:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Did Linux dominate at Black Hat?

    Linux users comprised 35 percent of the total.

  • Installing Linux on a 386 laptop
  • Windows for Linux users, Part 1

    I’m making a best effort to turn my Windows XP box at work into a usable system. I’m tired of lugging the laptop to the office, and I have neither desk space nor a network connection for it. I’ve run CCleaner and Defraggler. I used the freeware version of Revo Uninstaller to clear out a lot of applications I no longer needed and couldn’t otherwise get rid of.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • Top 5 MPlayer Skins for your Ubuntu Desktop

      We have recently started bringing out more eyecandy stuff as we really think that Linux has to shed its “old command only interface for geeks” image to make it appealing to more people and as you know there is strength in numbers. Yeah we know Ubuntu has changed that a lot!! but hey allow us to speed up the process. Here is our take on some of the most appealing themes to juice up your Mplayer experience.

    • MPlayer2 Is Still Alive & Kicking

      Back in March I reported on the MPlayer2 fork of the popular MPlayer multi-media application. MPlayer2 came as a result of one of the MPlayer developers being denounced from the group and from there the developer and others took to implementing their own desired features and functionality from a fork of the open-source code-base. But how’s the MPlayer2 project now doing?

    • Top 5 Music Notation Apps

      LilyPond is one of the best-known open-source sheet-music notation programs in the world. Created by two Dutch musicians (Han-Wen Nienhuys and Jan Nieuwenhuizen), LilyPond utilizes a powerful yet simple scripting language that includes support for notes, chords, lyrics, orchestral parts, and much more. You can also add the
      composer and lyricist, majors/minors, clefs, and much more. You can then export everything to LaTeX, HTML, or (with a plugin) OpenOffice.org.

      To install LilyPond, use the lilypond package in the universe repository.

    • Proprietary

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Gentoo Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Linux makes musical friends with the Apple iPhone

            Linux and Apple’s iPhones, iPods, and iPads usually get along about as well as cats and dogs. Oh sure, you can root a jailbroken iPhone to boot Linux, but that’s just a stunt. And, if you don’t mind living dangerously, you can use the popular Linux music application Banshee to manage your music collection on iPhones or iPods. Generally speaking, though, when you try to bring Linux and Apple devices together, the fur flies. Until now. Today, Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux introduced an iPhone streaming music app that lets you stream music from the Ubuntu One cloud to iPhones and iPod.

          • [Screenshots and Video] New Improved Unity Interface Lands in Ubuntu 11.10

            Unity Interface has just received a massive overhaul and the dash looks better than ever. Applications and Files Lenses on the launcher have been removed and are now integrated into the dash only. A new Music Lens has also been introduced for quickly searching and browsing your favorite artists.

            The Ubuntu Button on top left corner has been removed and a new big Ubuntu orb on the launcher now activates the main dash menu. Active blur option for the dash is turned on by default now giving it a really sleek and polished look. Application title, window controls and app menu on top panel now show all the way to the left.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ultimate Edition 3.0 “Gamers” Released

              On one of the slowest news days of the year came the welcomed announcement of Ultimate Edition 3.0 “Gamers.” The Ultimate Edition, once dubbed Ubuntu Ultimate, is based or derived from Lubuntu, but the “Gamers” Edition takes it to another level by offering an environment suitable for gaming as well as dozens of pre-installed games and emulators.

              Since the Gamers Edition is built on the “Lite” version, regular software is somewhat less than one might find on the full version, but it certainly seems like Ultimate Lite brings more than most other’s full. You’ll find applications such as Firefox, Sylpheed, Amarok, Brasero, Pidgin, and VLC. This sits on Linux 2.6.38-8, Xorg X Server 1.10.1, and GCC 4.4.5 is installable. The list of games is quite extensive, but suffice to say that just about every cool game you can think of that’s freely available for Linux is included. Wine, Winetricks, and PlayOnLinux are also thrown in for good measure.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ screens revealed

          Two tech blogs have obtained information and images regarding Google’s upcoming “Ice Cream Sandwich” version of Android, apparently from a common source. The release will feature a new, blue-themed user interface, a revised launcher for applications and widgets, and a panorama mode for cameras, among other new features mentioned by Android Police and RootzWiki.

        • Is there really room for a third mobile OS?

          I wrote before that I thought there was no room for four mobile OSs. I felt one between Windows and BlackBerry was not going to make it. Considering Nokia is behind Windows, and the strength of Microsoft, I was betting on Windows to be #3.

          Now I am wondering if there will ever be a #3. I mean, one with significant market share. The way this graph looks, knowing that a Nokia with Windows is not going to be here in Q3 (therefore, this graph is going to look even worse for Q3), considering that the bottom of the market could be taken eventually by BADA, one would conclude there will be two mega players (iOS and Android) and there will just be crumbs for the rest (e.g. below 10%).

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Acer releases seven-inch Android 3.2 tablet for $330

        Acer announced a seven-inch tablet that runs Android 3.2 (“Honeycomb”) on a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor. The $330 Iconia Tab A100 offers 1024 x 600-pixel resolution, 8GB or 16GB of flash storage, dual cameras, plus a microSD slot as well as micro-HDMI and micro-USB ports.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Guest Post: How eBay Leveraged Open Source to Streamline Transaction Processing
  • Event Controversy

  • Percona Live MySQL Conference & Expo Planned for April 10-12, 2012
  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Netscape Must Be Spinning In Its Grave

        Remember the browser wars when M$ crushed Netscape by all means fair and foul because the Netscape web browser brought us Javascript which M$ saw as a threat to the monopoly?

        Google is beta-testing a native client that can run C in Chrome. This means web applications will be able to run on the client natively, several times faster than Javascript…

        This changes everything:

        * better-performing web applications,
        * a new API, totally familiar to millions of developers,
        * less need for native applications on the client,
        * less need for that other OS if applications essentially can be ported to whatever OS is under the browser as long as the C-code will run on the hardware, and
        * possible new ways for malware to operate…

    • Mozilla

      • Number Of Firefox Users Selecting ‘Do Not Track’ Has Quadrupled

        How do you dramatically increase the number of people using a privacy feature in just a few months? Apparently, just by putting it somewhere they can find it. A new study shows that more than 6 percent of users of the newest version of Firefox are now selecting the “Do Not Track” privacy option, probably because it’s much easier to find than on the previous version.

        Mozilla, maker of the Firefox web browser, was the first browser company to install a “Do Not Track” option in its software. Just a few months ago, the company’s privacy chief said that of the 160 million people using Firefox, the rate of Do Not Track (DNT) users was between 1 and 2 percent.

      • Firefox 6 Next Tuesday?

        If they’re aren’t a new batch of bugs discovered between this weekend and Tuesday, the 16th of August, Firefox fans and users alike can expect a new version of the browser to be available.

  • Semi-Open Source

    • Jaspersoft Offers New BI Knowledge Center for Open Source Community

      Jaspersoft, maker of the world’s most widely used business intelligence (BI) software, today announced Self-Service Express, a new subscription service available to open source community members that want premium, professional-grade BI documentation and knowledge base articles. Requested by over 80 percent of the JasperForge community in a 2011 annual survey, Self-Service Express provides access to Jaspersoft’s entire commercial customer portal and will make tens of thousands of Jaspersoft community members more productive as they create reports and dashboards and do analysis using Jaspersoft open source BI products.

  • Funding


    • Resources for learning GNU Octave

      flattr this!

      GNU Octave is a high-level interpreted language, primarily intended for numerical computations. That is exactly how it is described on its official web site http://www.octave.org. Unofficially it is also described as a “MatLab clone” although it only aspires to be compatible with MatLab. It is also free software.

  • Licensing

    • Westinghouse Sanctioned in Case Over Open Source

      Open-source software developers convinced a federal judge to impose sanctions on Westinghouse Digital LLC, which was found to have violated an injunction against using free programming code for commercial gain.

      In 1999, programmer Erik Andersen developed software and contributed it to an open-source computer program known as BusyBox. Open-source software can be freely distributed, as long as it is not sold commercially.

  • Openness/Sharing


  • Health/Nutrition

    • Florida Governor Scott Reduces Choice and Competition in Health Care

      As he was gearing up to run for governor of Florida, Republican Rick Scott emerged as one of the most vocal opponents of what he and others began referring to as “Obamacare.”

      Scott created, chaired and bankrolled a group called Conservatives for Patients Rights that spent millions of dollars on TV commercials attacking health care reform, especially a proposal calling for the federal government to create a public health insurance option to compete with private insurers.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Privatised police arrive on the street

      Aradical change in the way we police Britain has sneaked in below the radar over the past 18 months. In a series of Home Office initiatives designed to add manpower with particular skills or knowledge to the regular police force, six new groups of privately sponsored police have been introduced into the Met and are being deployed in a number of the provincial forces.

    • Britain’s prime minister only makes things worse

      To many looking from the outside, the recent unrest in Britain may have come as something of a surprise. Recent months have seen repeated protests, occupations, strikes and huge trade union marches, but street protests with seemingly no rhyme or reason were surely out of the question. With unfortunate timing, one British commentator, Nick Cohen, wrote a piece earlier this month titled “No riots here. Just quiet, ever-deeper misery,” arguing that “the wider public remains resigned rather than enraged; indifferent rather than incandescent.” The student protests of November and December last year were limited outbursts, no more, many agreed; the establishment consensus was that most people would grumpily carry on even in the face of huge cuts to public services, massive unemployment and more severe austerity measures to come.

    • Study: CIA drones strikes have killed 168 children

      Based on international and Pakistani news reports and research on the ground, the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism has issued a new study on civilians killed by American drones, concluding that at least 385 civilians have been killed in the past seven years, including at least 168 children.

  • Finance

    • SEC Probes Goldman Over Libya Deals

      The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday on the filing, which was made late Tuesday. Goldman said in the filing that a probe of the company’s “compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act” was among the string of investigations and regulatory reviews it faced in the past quarter.

    • The Top 1%
    • Job Creation and Entrepreneurship

      Economists generally agree that our persistent high unemployment rate, – the longest such period since the Great Depression, – is primarily caused by a fundamental reshaping of the economy. The US economy is undergoing structural changes driven to a large extent, by advances in information technologies, which have led to a resurgence in US labor productivity as well as to an increasingly integrated global economy.
      Companies are able to do their present work with fewer people, as a result of advances in IT-based productivity. Moreover, many of these companies are truly global, doing business all over the world. They are cutting jobs in the US and other countries where demand is weak, while adding jobs in the booming emerging markets. Furthermore, they are optimizing their supply chains and shifting work around the world to cut costs. This is a what you would expect the private sector to do given our current global market environment.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Britain’s High-Tech Riots

      Social media and other emerging internet technologies have played key roles in Great Britain’s devastating riots, reportedly sparked by the August 4 fatal shooting of Mark Duggan, a man alleged to have had ties to London gangs, while he was in the custody of Scotland Yard. As it has in other recent uprisings, Twitter played a role in the coordination of England’s riots, but the preferred tool of Britain’s young looters and arsonists was Research in Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry Messenger instant messaging service (BBM). Thirty seven percent of UK teens use BBM, a free service that makes it particularly easy to send messages to groups. BBM’s proprietary encryption also makes messages more private and difficult to trace, another characteristic that made the service popular among perpetrators of England’s extensive chaos, arson and looting. Some point to BBM as the primary planning tool for vandals. Some have even called it the London rioter’s best weapon.

      RIM issued a statement pledging to cooperate with law enforcement and regulatory officials working to squelch the riots and seek justice their aftermath, but the company hasn’t said directly whether it plans to turn over chat logs or other identifying information about its subscribers to law enforcement. RIM’s pledge of cooperation, though, was enough to trigger a group of hackers who call themselves “Teampoison” to post an online threat to RIM warning the company not to cooperate with police. Teampoison claims to have access to RIM’s databases and said if the company turned private information over to police, they would make the names, addresses and phone numbers of RIM’s employees available to rioters. It is unclear whether RIM can un-encrypt messages sent over its BBM messaging system, but the company can shut down the entire service. David Lammy, a member of Parliament from Tottenham, where the worst of the riots started, is urging RIM to do just that. Police are also uploading photos, taken by London’s some 1.5 million closed circuit TV cameras, onto Flickr and asking the public to identify anyone they may recognize. A Google Group even formed in the days following the riots called “London Riots Facial Recognition;” the group’s subscribers are trying to find a way to apply facial recognition technology to identify looters in photos posted on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.

    • For all you need to know about Rupert Murdoch, look at his lawyers

      Americans are extremely interested in Rupert Murdoch’s unfolding scandal in the UK. As I wrote a few weeks ago, it has striking parallels with Watergate, an observation I offer based on personal knowledge and experience. (I am sure I speak for many Americans when I shout out a thank you to the Guardian, whose journalism on the Murdoch story is every bit as good, and in many instances better, than the legendary work of the Washington Post during Watergate.) Many Americans wonder if this scandal will leap the Atlantic or remain “contained” in Britain. Because of Watergate, I have some familiarity with containment – when it works and when it does not.

  • DRM

    • High-calibre ebook management

      One of the delights of free software are the applications that do everything I can ever imagine in their general category. Sometimes I may long for leaner or simpler apps, but I know, for example, that K3B will give me everything I need for burning DVDs, or digiKam for managing and editing photos. Now, as I start getting into ebooks, I’m looking at calibre as potentially another of these ultimate apps, destined to be to ebooks what Amarok is to digital music.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Monsanto – the black stain on the biotech industry

      The Monsanto company does not have a Facebook page. They are well aware that if they did, it would just become a wall of constant protest. There’s good reason for the resentment, too: a long, complicated history including everything from poisoning public waterways to manufacturing Agent Orange, bovine growth hormones, and DDT pesticides. They’ve become the black stain on the biotech industry to anyone with a CSA subscription and a reusable bag.

    • Of Patent Cartels and a Rising Africa

      It’s nigh impossible for any company starting life to navigate the patent offices to ascertain what belongs to who. In the meantime, we have these giants applying for as many patents as they can, some so vague as to mean almost nothing. The aim, to rake in licensing fees from competitors. Will the cartel kill creativity with time? Can a rising African tech scene navigate the almost treacherous sea of patent wolves? I guess only time will determine that.

    • Copyrights

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