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Links 18/8/2011: Linux Celebrations, Canonical Targets ARM With Ubuntu

Posted in News Roundup at 6:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Improving The Linux Kernel’s Memory Performance

      Over the past few days there’s been an active discussion on the Linux kernel mailing list surrounding the memory copy (the memcpy function to copy blocks of memory) performance within the kernel. In particular, an application vendor claims to have boosted their application (a video recorder) performance by 12% when implementing an “optimized” memory copy function that takes advantage of SSE3.

      This vendor hasn’t yet published the patches to this “optimized” memcpy that’s meant to replace what the developer says is “suboptimal” currently in the Linux kernel, but the patches are being cleaned up and should then be released. Besides a 12.2% boost in the application frame-rate from Atom Z5xx hardware, the C0 residency managed to drop from 75% to 67%, which means lower power consumption too.

    • Linux Foundation director takes a swipe at Microsoft

      To address the question, “what would the world look like without Linux?”, Zemlin started with a blue screen and then a Windows XP boot screen, then a boot screen again, simulating what the world would be like if it still ran only on Windows. He said, “This is gonna be about 20 minutes.”

    • Linus Torvalds on Android, the Linux fork

      There’s still a lot of distance between Google’s Android and its parent operating system Linux, but eventually, the gap will close… eventually.

    • Pictures: 20th Anniversay of Linux Gala
    • IBM’s Irving Wladawsky-Berger Talks Linux Then and Now

      The second day of LinuxCon North America 2011 kicked off with a key figure to Linux’s success, Dr. Irving Wladawsky-Berger. Formerly responsible for IBM’s response to emerging technologies, Wladawsky-Berger talked about the disruptive force of Linux then and now, and IBM’s relationship with Linux through the years.

    • Linux turns 20

      Only in the second of the last two decades have consumers considered Apple a real alternative to a Microsoft-powered PC. That whole time there’s been a third player quietly – at least from the perspective of consumers – building a formidable reputation as the operation system developer to rely on.

      That third player is Linux and it’s celebrating its 20th birthday.

    • 11 Milestones In Linux History

      Linux has come a long way since the early tinkerings of Torvalds in 1991. The OS has proliferated around the world and into every kind of computer, from smartphones to supercomputers. Here are 11 major milestones in the 20-year history of Linux.

    • A Look at the Changing Linux Landscape

      Jay Lyman, senior analyst for the 451 Group, spoke at LinuxCon North America 2011 on the changing Linux landscape. Sessions are short at LinuxCon – about 50 minutes in total, give or take. So there’s not a lot of time to get deep into the nitty gritty and perform a detailed analysis or explanation of a market that’s now nearly 20 years old. Lyman went through a brief discussion of the major players in the market, and touched on the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) for each.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Tuquito 5 “Pampa” Liberado! – Edición CD
      • Salix LXDE 13.37

        Salix LXDE 13.37 has been officially released! This release is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. For everyone that has used our previous LXDE releases there are no surprises here. The application selection has stayed the same for the most part, with all applications being upgraded to newer versions of course. Important changes in this release are the inclusion of Sourcery, our new graphical tool for managing and installing packages from SlackBuilds, which has been developed from scratch for Salix and which is featured in all our 13.37 releases so far and also the replacement of SCIM with IBus as the default input platform for Chinese, Japanese etc. IBus is more modern than SCIM and should work better with all applications. Of course, all relevant system tools have been updated to accommodate this replacement. GTKMan, a simple GUI for viewing manual pages, developed also in-house, has also been added to this release.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Shrek’s swamp built on a Red Hat cloud at DreamWorks

        Yesterday saw the beta launch of Red Hat’s Enterprise Virtualization version 3.0 offering. The company says that it has worked with industry partners to help establish the Open Virtualization Alliance (OVA) to promote Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) as an open alternative to proprietary virtualisation solutions

      • Linux ‘is no longer the challenger’, says Red Hat CEO

        He said, “It’s gone from catching up, to leading innovation. And everyone, or nearly everyone, is getting in on the act. When you’re looking at innovation, you’re looking at open source.”

      • Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0: A True VMware Rival?

        Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) 3.0 has entered beta testing. The key goals: Improving RHEV’s management, performance and scalability. Red Hat is positioning RHEV 3.0 for just about everything — server virtualization, desktop virtualization, public clouds and private clouds. But can RHEV 3.0 help Red Hat to gain some ground on VMware? And will Red Hat channel partners rally around RHEV 3.0? The VAR Guy has some strong opinions on this topic.

    • Debian Family

      • People behind Debian: Peter Palfrader, Debian System Administrator

        You might not know who Peter is because he’s not very visible on Debian mailing lists. He’s very active however and in particular on IRC. He was an admin of the OFTC IRC network at the time Debian switched from Freenode to OFTC. Nowadays he’s a member of the Debian System Administration team who runs all the debian.org servers.

        If you went to a Debconf you probably met him since he’s always looking for new signatures of his GPG key. He owns the best connected key in the PGP web of trust. He also wrote caff a popular GPG key signing tool.

      • Derivatives

        • Linux Mint Debian Edition(s) – Rolling and Updates
        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 11.10 Features Improved Unity Interface

            Mark Shuttleworth proudly announced last evening on his blog that the Unity interface introduced in the Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) release, will be much improved for the upcoming Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) operating system.

          • Ubuntu’s Next Unity Begins to Take Shape

            With the possible exception of GNOME 3, few recent innovations in the Linux world have proven as controversial as the Unity desktop included in Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal.”

          • Quick wallpaper update
          • Linux Wallpaper App ‘Wallch’ Adds Unity Support

            You’re either into wallpaper, or your not. And if you are then chances are you’re constantly changing it.

          • Controversial Unity desktop gets UI makeover in Ubuntu 11.10
          • VMware’s Cloud Foundry to Play Prominent Role on Ubuntu 11.10

            Many new cloud computing platforms–including OpenStack, which is backed by heavy-hitting tech titans–have been beating the war drums for the last couple of years, and VMware’s Cloud Foundry, which is billed to allow deployment and scalability of cloud apps in seconds, is now getting a lot of notice. Right out of the gate, Cloud Foundry experienced some performance hiccups that caused some to question the platform’s stability, but VMware’s platform will get a boost now that Canonical has announced that it will ship client and server components of Cloud Foundry in Ubuntu 11.10–the next major release of Ubuntu.

          • Ubuntu erects stairway to VMware code cloud

            Ubuntu 11.10 will ship with both the client and server components of Cloud Foundry, the “platform cloud” VMware open sourced this spring.

          • Canonical ARMs Ubuntu for microserver wars

            Canonical is suiting up for the coming microserver wars, confirming that Ubuntu Server 11.10 will run on ARM chips.

            Just under three years ago when ARM-based netbooks were taking the PC market by storm and iPad tablets were just a gleam in Steve Job’s eye, Canonical, the commercial sponsor of the Ubuntu Linux distro, made ARM processors full peers with x64 processors running its Ubuntu Desktop variant. And now, perhaps at the dawn of an ARM-based server era that will see the x64 architecture get some tough competition for the first time in a decade, Canonical is getting out on the bleeding edge by supporting Ubuntu Server on ARM-based servers.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 to support the Cloud Foundry Platform-as-a-Service

            anonical has announced that October’s Ubuntu 11.10, Oneric Ocelot, will now include VMware’s Cloud Foundry, the open source Platform-as-a-Service cloud environment. Cloud Foundry was launched in April and already supports Spring, Grails, Rails, Sinatra, Node.js and Scala applications.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Review: Linux Mint 11 “Katya” LXDE

              But this LXDE edition is supposed to be lightweight but still easy to use, yet I’ve found that it is both harder to use and just as heavy on resources as the main GNOME edition, so I see no reason to recommend it over the main GNOME edition.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Q&A: Eben Upton from The Raspberry Pi Foundation

      What’s coming up next on your IT agenda?

      The initial boards will go out with a fairly vanilla install of Ubuntu, but in the longer term we intend to provide educational software with a common look and feel. Once we have boards in the field, we’ll be focusing our attention on this.

    • H-P kills webOS handsets and tablets
    • HP’s webOS moves out of tablet foxhole into appliance mode

      HP is set to spread the wings of its operating system for its smartphones and TouchPad tablet, webOS, and plant it into a wider technology space of an OS for cars and household appliances. HP’s webOS chief, Stephen DeWitt, who leads the webOS global business unit, is on an HP mission to build up an ecosystem of developers and manufacturers, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. DeWitt said HP is looking into webOS embedded into cars and appliances. He said HP was into talks with auto and appliance makers but he did not specify any company names. HP’s webOS has a touchscreen interface and Internet connectivity.

    • H-P to Spin Off PCs, Exit Tablets
    • HP: If you want folks to hack the TouchPad, then Open Source it.

      I’ve expressed my views on this extensively in the past, such as when I returned the Motorola XOOM the first time around and pointed at my colleague Scott Raymond’s comparative success with it when rooting the device and installing a special kernel to give him access to his MicroSD card and overclock capability.

      We all know Android has these issues because it is a licensed and Open Source platform that is largely experiencing these problems due to fragmentation and loss of control when it gets in the hands of the OEMs/ODMs. And yes, I know that Google has committed itself as of late to try to solve a number of these problems.

      But Hewlett-Packard has no such excuses. They fully control the WebOS platform and they control the hardware that it runs on. They’ve got nobody to blame for the TouchPad not performing up to par but themselves.

    • Phones

      • Community Linux support for Penguin phones floated

        Plans are afoot to establish a long-term support system for new versions of the Linux kernel to help slide the penguin into more smartphones.

        One of the Linux kernel’s top maintainers has suggested that the Linux community each year picks a version of the kernel that they will commit to maintain for a period of two years, before dropping it for a new kernel.

        Such a long-term support commitment would mean that the chosen version of the kernel receives big fixes, security and hardware updates from maintainers.

      • Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • Exclusive: How LinkedIn used Node.js and HTML5 to build a better, faster app

    This morning, LinkedIn launched its gorgeously overhauled mobile app. We’ve already told you all about the new features, but for developers, the most exciting part is what’s going on under the hood.

  • Google Sponsors MIT Mobile Education Research

    Google and MIT have worked together on multiple projects in the past, and each collaborative project has given a good idea of Google’s mid- to long-term priorities. Their most recent investment is in the “MIT Center for Mobile Learning,” which is researching ways to ”transform learning and education through innovation in mobile computing.” Google Android will be the starting point for much of this innovation.

  • Over And Out? Recording App Audioboo Makes Its Android Effort Open Source

    Audioboo, voice recording app, was once a darling of the app world. It has gone a little more quiet of late, as a rush of other apps, such as Sound Cloud, have also entered the space. Now, it is taking the Android version of its app open source, as it prepares to launch a premium, paid version of its app for the iOS public. Mark Rock, Audioboo’s founder and CEO, told paidContent that the decision to make its Android app was not a light one, but that it was a necessary step in managing the app for a company that only has five full-time employees.

  • AudioBoo plans to make Android app open source
  • Why 2011 Is The Year Of Open Source

    This week, The Linux Foundation is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Linux – giving many observers the opportunity to consider whether it’s achieved much traction beyond heavy, iron-based server solutions or niche technologies. Pardon the cliche, but those questions miss the forest for the trees.

    Linux revolutionized the concept of sharing and collaborating on technology through the open-source model, a model that not only holds up 20 years later but is accelerating. With Google open-sourcing Android, NASA and RackSpace open-sourcing OpenStack, Oracle continuing to open-source MySQL, the list goes on and on with critical contributions of “community” to all aspects of consumer and enterprise technology.

  • Open source movement sheds hippy image in battle for corporate mindshare
  • Events

    • Siggraph 2011

      Blender Foundation was active on Siggraph 2011 in several areas.

    • The Community of One

      I had the good fortune of being present for Jono Bacon’s excellent community session at OSCON a few weeks ago. (The 40 minute version, not the 15 minute keynote version with which he was wholly dissatisfied.) As the open source model matures, community management as a discipline is maturing with it, and Jono did an excellent job of bringing together some of his own best practices in a concise and useful presentation. He promised to have his deck uploaded soon, so as soon as he does, I’ll link to it. (Jono: hint hint.)

    • 245 Desktop Summit Names to Find
    • OggCamp11 – Fear & Loathing In Farnham

      Hello again folks. I’ve been very busy over the last 2 weeks. Not least with a little thing called OggCamp11. So in lieu of my normal Weekly Rewind I’ve decided to write about events since last Friday Aug 12th. There’s probably enough in there to make a novel on its own. If you’re reading this blog for the first time you might like to know that OggCamp is a 2 day event bringing together Open Source / Free Software fans and Free Culture peeps, along with Makers, Artists, Musicians and anyone else we can grab. I’m one of the organisers and this year it was held in Farnham, Surrey. So, if you’re all sitting comfortably I’ll begin…

  • Web Browsers

    • Chromofox

      Once upon a time God gathered all the animals in one place and commanded: clever ones should go to the left, beautiful ones should go to the right. All the animals made their choice. And only a monkey stayed in the middle. She could not tear herself into 2 parts.

    • Firefox, Chrome spruce up

      New releases of two of the world’s most popular browsers hit user desktops.

  • Licensing


  • Apple sells world’s most expensive flash drive
  • Office 363.5

    Since 2011-6-28, Office 365 has been down six hours. I guess they should rename the product, Office 363.5, and I think M$ should not be saying the are “all-in”. Obviously they are holding back.

  • Still More Google-Bashing

    You can tell when a business is doing well, rats come out of the woodwork to bash it:

    * “It’s too big.”
    * “It’s growing too fast.”
    * “It’s acquiring other businesses.”
    * “It’s copying what works.”
    * “People who bet against it lose.”

    …and lots of other whining. Much of the world laughed at Google and its business model but Google persisted and made search work. They provided the world with what the world wanted.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Phone hacking: News of the World Hollywood reporter is arrested

      James Desborough, an award-winning reporter at the former News of the World newspaper, has been arrested by officers investigating the phone-hacking scandal.

    • Damn or fear it, the truth is that it’s an insurrection

      For the young at the bottom of the pyramid of wealth and patronage and poverty that is modern Britain – mostly the black, the marginalised and resentful, the envious and hopeless – there is never surprise. Their relationship with authority is integral to their obsolescence as young adults. Half of all black British youth between the ages of 18 and 24 are unemployed, the result of deliberate policies since Margaret Thatcher oversaw the greatest transfer of wealth from the bottom to the top in British history. Forget plasma TVs; this was pano­ramic looting.

    • Democracies learn from Mubarak’s example

      Following days of rioting in London, British Prime Minister David Cameron proposed looking at “whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality” and noted that he had “asked the police if they need any other new powers”, going on to suggest that Twitter, Facebook, and BlackBerry ought to consider removing messages that might spur further unrest in the country.

  • Cablegate

  • Finance

    • Is It Now a Crime to be Poor?

      Earlier this month, events resulting from genuine grievances were collectively painted only as vandalism and looting, even though that is a gross generalisation – an oversimplification to be exploited by opportunistic politicians . The real issues were left buried under the rug and a mesmerising picture of buildings/buses on fire was implanted in people’s minds in order to make oppressive new legal instruments seem acceptable and even necessary.

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