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08.14.11

Links 14/8/2011: GNU/Linux Outperforms Windows 7 and OS X 10.7 (Lion) , GNOME 3.2 is Approaching

Posted in News Roundup at 7:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • How Linux handles hardware problems

    A few points to this post. First, diagnosing problems in Linux is not as hard as it is rumored to be. /var/log/messages is usually where the kernel logs its information. And it logs very thoroughly. The kernel’s entries show up as “kernel”, just like the example above. And, the logs are in plain text so they can be opened with any program that can read text. Unlike Windows which stores logs in a proprietary format that need Microsoft tools to view.

  • Ubuntu 11.04 vs Windows 7 vs OS X 10.7 (Lion)

    The Image Editing test uses ImageMagick’s command-line Convert tool to change 24-bit TIFF files to PNG format. It runs with the auto-level, auto-gamma, antialias and contrast options, simulating common operations performed on image files. OS X Lion is slightly ahead of Windows here, but Ubuntu is a huge 17 per cent ahead of its rivals.

  • Kernel Space

    • Update On Open-Source AMD Fusion Llano Support

      Last month when testing the AMD Radeon HD 6550D graphics as found on the AMD Fusion A8-3850 APU I mentioned the latest Git code (Linux kernel / Mesa / DDX) was broken for this Llano-generation APU while the proprietary Catalyst driver had “just worked” under Linux. Here’s an update where the open-source driver support is now at today.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Mate review on Arch Linux

      The resulting desktop looked exactly like Gnome2, and it felt good to be back :). I made the panels transparent, added a few applets and some panel shortcuts.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS Zen Mini 2011 Review

        Remain blissfully ignorant, or experience nirvana today with this powerful, lightweight, and highly customizable release from PCLinuxOS. Zen Mini provides a useful LiveCD and a minimal list of applications making this an ideal distribution for people looking to manufacture their own environment. As a user with much previous Zen Mini experience I found this slim distribution to be an excellent choice for older hardware or a small hard drive. Unfortunately rumors suggest that one of the primary contributors for this release, Siamer, may be ending his time with PCLinuxOS due to shortage of time. He will be missed, but I have high hopes that Zen Mini will carry on in the future.

        [...]

        Zen Mini also delivers exciting 3D effects using Drak3D and Compiz Fusion. This allows you to experience the rotating 3D desktop cube, enhanced window transparencies, wobbly windows, and much more. And to make all of your settings easier to find, you can find an icon that says configure your compute in the Gnome panel. This will open the PCLinuxOS Control Center where many of your options and settings can be configured from one location. All said, the stability and integrity of this distribution deserves far more recognition than I can offer. Be sure to try Zen Mini today!

    • Gentoo Family

      • Apt-gentoo? Gentoo-apt! Hah!

        I was marginally amused when I saw that some funny person had written an apt-gentoo wrapper that, err, scrolls build logs around slowly.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Redhat 5.1 Redneck Internationalization

        Installing RedHat Linux was fun in 1998 with this special language option. Thanks to the free Virtual PC 2007 for bringing back the laughs! See footnote #2 on this page to see why this was even a language option.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Unity. Simplify Your Life.

            The Ubuntu Vancouver Local Community believes that one barrier to the widespread adoption of Ubuntu’s ethos and its collection of outstanding software is a shortage of well-written and accessible user guides. Guides that make people say “Wow! I didn’t know Ubuntu is that easy. I didn’t know Ubuntu could do that!”.

            Unity is most new users’ entry point into Ubuntu, and first impressions count. Unity is the ethos of Ubuntu. Unity is our “secret sauce”.

          • Ubo Iconset : Ballpoint pen made, Handmade Iconset for Ubuntu

            In this post I am going to talk about very interesting icon set, though, this icon set is still under alpha version, and I usually dislike alpha version of icon-set as they miss many critical icons for the frequently used programs which makes the desktop look inconsistent and often are not completed, I would mention Ubo Iconset here because of the factor of novelty associated with the iconset.

          • Ubuntu Gnome Wallpapers
          • Linux Q&A ; Why I Play for Both Teams

            Recently a number of you in the OMG! Ubuntu community have been wondering about my “Ubuntu is Easy” videos, and why I have chosen to create a series of what seem like extremely simple tutorials.

          • Jenkins for Ubuntu Oneiric: Call for Testing

            Jenkins 1.409.1 has landed in Ubuntu Oneiric Ocelot so now is the time to try it out and help with testing this new distribution model for Jenkins!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Sumptuous Free Android Internet Radio Apps

          Internet radio is an audio service delivered over the internet. This type of service can offer personalized streams of music and is often seen as a promising medium for promoting recorded music. Internet radio should not be confused with podcasting. The difference between the two technologies is that the former involves streaming media, the latter focusing on downloaded media. Of course, some applications offer both internet radio and podcasting functionality.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google App Inventor Discontinued, Will Become Open Source Instead

    Many of you may not know much about App Inventor. This was a tool that was very exciting when it was first announced by Google Labs and it was made available to the public last December in a beta test. Basically Google created a program that would help users with zero coding skills or knowledge of any sort to build Android applications using the App Inventor tool. This was one of many great things that came from Google Labs.

    [...]

    Things wont stop there, Google has agreed to open source the Google Labs App Inventor code so hopefully the amazing developer community we all know and love here in the Android world can make something that was great, even better.

  • It’s time to switch to free and open source software

    A dip-stick survey among colleagues and friends revealed that FOSS is quite popular among the masses. Consider this: Over 60 per cent of the people surveyed said their choice of media player was VLC – an open source software. When asked what their favourite browser was, over 80 per cent said they used Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome – both part of the FOSS repository.

  • Free Software and homeschooling: reports from the trenches

    Andrew: I am a homeschooler, and I wish there was more FOSS out there for homeschoolers. Most of the FOSS I’ve experienced are small things like using TinyMCE rich text editor for the www boards at PA Homeschoolers’ online AP classes. However, there’s also a lot of informal stuff. My brothers have been playing around with programs like Tux Math, Tux Typing, GIMP, and Tux Paint.

    Marco: Why are you homeschooling? Did your parents homeschool you?

    Andrew: Well, it’s funny you ask that. My father and mother were staunchly against homeschooling, at first. My dad actually engaged in several arguments, taking the “homeschooling is wrong” side. Then one day, Dad met some homeschooled teens. He was amazed. They actually looked him in the eye, shook his hand firmly, and had a conversation with him. He was astonished. He then read a book on homeschooling while on vacation. He read all about the academics, the values passed down, and family quality time. When he came back, he told my mother, at the time a businesswoman on Wall Street, that “we are going to homeschool”. And that’s what happened. Every year, they asked us if we wanted to stop. We never said yes. However, I did take several classes outside the home, including several APs at pahomeschoolers.com.

  • 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.

    About a decade later, he and the Software Freedom Conservancy filed an action for copyright infringement against 14 companies, including Westinghouse Digital Electronics, Best Buy and Samsung, for allegedly distributing BusyBox code in products such as cameras, high-definition televisions and wireless routers.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome Is Being Ported To Wayland

        Besides the exciting news last week that KDE has drawn up plans for Wayland in 2012, there’s more good news in the land of this next-generation display server: the Google Chrome/Chromium web-browser is being ported to run on Wayland.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 7 Might Use 50 to 75 Percent More Memory

        Gary Kovacs, CEO of Mozilla Corporation, said in a press conference that Mozilla sensed that developers were getting very tired of the endless whining about memory usage of the popular browser and its many plugins.

      • Firefox 6 breaks out ahead of schedule, gets official August 16th

        is ready to make its worldwide debut a few days early. In typical Mozilla fashion, a complete build of Firefox 6 is now unofficially available for your downloading pleasure, three days ahead of schedule. If you’re looking for a major facelift to the desktop edition, you won’t find one here — most of the new features aren’t cosmetic. Perhaps most visibly, you’ll find the domain name of the page you’re parked on highlighted in the address bar. On the Android side, version 6 makes much bigger promises, like a “fresh visual style in Chrome Gingerbread,” enhanced image scaling, and, perhaps most importantly, it’s “faster and uses less memory.” We’ve downloaded the desktop version of the browser ourselves, and we’ve found the release quite snappy. If you’re not afraid of a little pre-release downloading, you can catch the (desktop) fox at the source links below. And as per usual, please let us know how it’s treating you.

  • BSD

    • PC-BSD/FreeBSD 9.0 For Intel Sandy Bridge

      In the half-year since the launch of Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors, these very fast processors with rather good integrated graphics (using an open-source driver) have been benchmarked every which way under Linux on Phoronix. Phoronix benchmarks have shown broken kernels, AVX compiler performance, and even comparison results to Windows and Mac OS X, among other original Intel SNB articles. What hasn’t been tested up to this point though is the BSD operating system support for Intel Sandy Bridge hardware.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • We have C++11

      Hopefully soon GCC will also have the -std=c++11 option, replacing the current one.

Leftovers

  • U.K. riots raise questions about U.S. unrest

    As Americans look across the Atlantic, a natural question arises: Could the flames and violence that erupted in Britain scar this country, too?

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Nanny of the Month: the vegetable garden forbidder

      Here’s Reason TV’s take on the Nanny of the Month. The winning loser this time is Oak Park, Michigan City Planner Kevin Rulkowski who wanted to jail a woman for growing vegetables in her front yard.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • 2011-08-13 Protests around the world

      China: Thousands of people in Qianxi County, Guizhou province smashed ten vehicles and torched another five, said Xinhua, China’s state news agency. According to Reuters, “China saw almost 90,000 such “mass incidents” of riots, protests, mass petitions and other acts of unrest in 2009, according to a 2011 study by two scholars from Nankai University in north China. Some estimates go even higher.” “In fact, China has riots more serious than England’s every week,” said one Weibo comment.

    • Starkey raving bonkers! Historian accused of racism on riots

      The historian David Starkey was fighting to save his lucrative TV career last night after he claimed that the riots were the result of “black culture” and that whites involved in the disturbances “have become black”.

  • Cablegate

    • 2011-08-13 WikiLeaks: U.S. and Brazil Vie for Power in Peru

      In their correspondence with the State Department, U.S. diplomats in South America have been exceptionally paranoid about the activities of Hugo Chávez and the possibility of a leftist regional alignment centered upon Venezuela. That, at least, is the unmistakable impression that one is left with by reading U.S. cables recently disclosed by whistle-blowing outfit WikiLeaks, and it’s a topic about which I have written widely in recent months. Yet, with President Hugo Chávez’s health now fading fast and Venezuela looking like a rather spent force politically, it would seem natural that Washington will eventually turn its sights upon other rising powers — countries like Brazil, for instance.

    • 2011-08-13 Murder as foreign policy: assassination of Syrian General could have been an inside job

      On the 1st of August 2008 Syrian General Muhammad Suleiman, who also bore the title of Special Presidential Advisor for Arms Procurement and Strategic Weapons for President Bashar al-Assad, was murdered in highly mysterious circumstances. General Suleiman was shot three times in the head, neck and stomach at his home in the exclusive Rimal al-Zahabieh resort in the Mediterranean city of Tartous. It was speculated then that the shots came from a sniper located on a boat, which explained how the top level security forces surrounding Suleiman were avoided. At this time relations between Syria and Israel were at their worst and the talk of war was in the air, particularly due to Syria’s intent on upgrading its nuclear and chemical weapons facilities, a strategy headed by Suleiman. Therefore, most of the international press, most notably The Sunday Times, stated as a fact that it was Israeli intelligence agency Mossad who was to blame.

  • Finance

    • China urges action on EU and U.S. debt, to keep yuan policy

      China is worried about challenges that the European Union faces in the next two months and urged the bloc as well as the United States to hold down government debt, its trade minister said on Friday.

    • Analysis: China costs start to worry U.S. multinationals

      For years, low prices on China-sourced goods helped dampen inflation in the United States. Now China’s efforts to boost domestic consumer spending, reducing reliance on exports, are leading to higher costs for multinationals that manufacture goods there.

    • Greed, not Osama, took down the economy

      It was a phantom prosperity, as was painfully learned. In his 2007 biography, Greenspan too politely acknowledged the role that the “loosening” of mortgage credit terms for subprime borrowers played in heightening financial risk. “Vaporization,” would have been a more apt term. Within the year, Lehman Brothers would declare bankruptcy, the era of bailouts arrived (again), and we all became comfortable with the lexicon. (The Troubled Asset Relief Program would forevermore be known as TARP, and even the innocent were initiated in the ways of collateralized debt obligations.)

    • WEB EXCLUSIVE: These rioters are Tony Blair’s children

      On the third day of the London riots I received a telephone call from Mash, a member of a Brixton gang who I befriended three years ago. He was standing outside an electronics shop in Clapham, watching the looting. I could hear shouts, glass breaking but never a police siren. I urged him to go home. ‘Harri man,’ he remonstrated, his voice hoarse with emotion, “You don’t get to do this every day. You do your thing, and you don’t get arrested. It’s wild and exciting. These few days, it’s our time.”

    • Somebody made huge money on S&P downgrade of US
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Heard Somewhere Inside the Beltway: BART vs. Free Speech

      BART officials in the San Francisco Bay Area cut off cell phone service in what they described as an attempt to prevent a public protest.

    • BART Defends Decision To Cut Off Cell Service After Civil Rights, FCC Concerns Raised

      After rumors of a possible protest intended to disrupt service reached BART officials yesterday, they pursued a number of strategies to ensure that didn’t happen. One of those strategies, cutting off cell phone service to passengers, has left riders outraged, and at least one expert calling for an FCC investigation. BART police, however, say the move was necessary to ensure the safety of all.

    • BART Pulls a Mubarak in San Francisco

      This week, EFF has seen censorship stories move closer and closer to home — first Iran, then the UK, and now San Francisco, an early locus of the modern free speech movement. Operators of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART) shut down cell phone service to four stations in downtown San Francisco yesterday in response to a planned protest. Last month, protesters disrupted BART service in response to the fatal shooting of Charles Blair Hill by BART police on July 3rd. Thursday’s protest failed to materialize, possibly because the disruption of cell phone service made organization and coordination difficult.

    • Save Our Social Media! Stop Cutoffs And Closedowns
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • “The University of British Columbia is transitioning to a new copyright environment…”

        I am hopeful that there will be some positive cultural shifts here at the University as a result of this development. There will be a higher profile for open educational resources and other Creative Commons licensed materials. And I dare to hope that some of the initial confusion and hassle around usage and “fair dealing” will inform and activate our energy when the impending revisions to Canadian copyright law again become an issue in the coming months.

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