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Links 25/8/2011: Gentoo Installer, Android Car Receiver

Posted in News Roundup at 4:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Excellent Ways of Watching TV on Your Linux Desktop

    Television, the little box that sits in the living room is something many people can’t do without. If you have hooked up your TV to your computer then you might want to check out the list of free and open-source television software we published earlier. However, if you want to watch your favorite programs according to your own schedule, you won’t have to rely on the idiot box anymore.

    Thanks to the Internet, a lot of native as well as web applications have come up that make sure that you watch your favorite shows at the time and place you want. Here’s a list of ways in which you could get the best television experience on your very own Linux desktop:

  • Linux Hardware Support Better Than Windows 7

    The concept of better is a subjective idea. What is better to me is possibly, even probably, not better to someone else. In my case, and in the case of some of my clients, Linux hardware support is “better”. I do not buy cutting edge hardware and tend to keep systems and peripherals until they stop working and can no longer be repaired at a reasonable cost. When a new release of my favorite Linux distribution comes out I can be 100% certain that my hardware that works with my current release will still work with the new release. That is something I just take for granted. This is not so in the Microsoft camp.

  • Zorin PC

    After waiting like Job for the pre-installed Linux machines we deserved, we’ve arrived at a literal Garden of Eden full of worthy choices. A compelling new offering is the Zorin PC, a new mini-laptop that runs its own Linux distro, Zorin OS.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux is 20 years old today

      ONE MIDSUMMER’S NIGHT, a student at the University of Helsinki posted a query to the newsgroup comp.os.minix asking, “What would you like to see most in minix?” The student’s name was Linus Torvalds, and that Usenet post was the beginning of the Linux operating system (OS). The date was 25 August 1991, exactly 20 years ago today.

    • It was twenty years ago today…

      Linus Torvalds didn’t use words half as lyrical as those of the immortal Beatles when he first announced the arrival of Linux 20 years ago (for those who don’t know, the headline for this article is taken from the famous album, Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, released by the band in 1967).

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org Server 1.11 Set For Release On Friday

        X.Org Server 1.11 was originally planned for release on the 19th of August, but following a one-week delay, it should be officially released this Friday. This is another significant update to the X.Org Server.

        X.Org Server 1.11 was originally planned for release last Friday, but last week was met by the unexpected passing of Keith Packard’s mother. With Keith serving as the release manager and being out of the game last week, the xorg-server release was obviously postponed.

      • Legacy Mesa Drivers Receive Their Death Sentence

        Last year at XDS 2010 Toulouse there was a discussion about killing old X.Org / Mesa drivers with fire. In particular, dropping all the old drivers that go un-maintained and have little in the way of users and modern functionality. Last year they decided to not really do much about it since these drivers cause little maintenance burden, but the topic has been brought up again and it sounds like these crusty old Linux drivers will finally receive their death sentence.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Current Status of Plasma Media Center

        Happy to tell that Plasma Media Center has been improved a lot and have basic functionalities which is required in a mediacenter i.e Picture, Music and Video.

        First of all when user open MediaCenter then welcome screen gets opened in full-screen (required) modes i.e picture, Music and Video. User can enter into any of these mode by clicking on the icons.

      • Self Reproducing Machines at the Berlin Desktop Summit

        I look forward to software conferences because you can never tell which ideas will excite you most. In 2011 I would expect to be wowed by the latest in tablets or 3D rendering stuff, but actually it turned out that 3D printers and a bad attempt to build a toaster from first principles were what left me with the deepest impression at the Summit. Michael Meeks gave a Lightning Talk on his 3D printer RepRap project. It was really funny, about how he built five iterations of his printer, with each generation printing the next printer. Sadly it seemed his wife’s nylons suffered in the cause of science, but holy crap I’d personally happily donate my socks to further such an awsome project. I don’t know how Michael does it, I am a big fan of his blogs where he describes his thoughts on software such as Libre Office, massive child rearing efforts, attempts to fix his plumbling, lots of stuff on learning Christianity and of course those 3D printers. I couldn’t actually write a blog like that because I personally manage to do bugger all apart from mainly writing software, listening to music and drinking a lot of beer, and if I wrote about my life, by comparison sadly it would be a bit of a dull read. Oh well. I can only think about one thing for years on end it seems, and I wish I was more of a generalist like Michael. But if I wanted to think about one thing, there couldn’t be many better topics than self replicating machines.

      • KDE in France – the View from RMLL

        Geoffray found quite a few differences in attitudes towards the free desktop options on Linux compared to the previous year. The situation with Gnome 3 and Unity in Ubuntu has affected the view that people have of KDE. Some traditional free software users have given Unity a bad reception and are considering other options. The response to GNOME 3 seems to be more mixed. Some traditional Gnome users appreciate the new look and feel, while others do not really like it. Some think that the new desktop is not finished, likening it to the KDE 4.0 release. This creates some new interest in KDE, although of course some KDE people are excited to try out alternatives such as GNOME 3 and Unity.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • SalixOS: older brother of SLAX

      My first acquittance with Salix OS left very good impression on me.

    • Use parted for large partitions
    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Gentoo Family

      • Gentoo Gets an Installer

        Almost as though they heard my suggestions, Gentoo now has an installer. It’s not included on an official Live DVD just yet, but it just might next release.

        Wiktor W Brodlo has ported the Red Hat Anaconda installer from Sabayon to work with Gentoo. You can either install it in the live Gentoo environment or you can roll it up in a new Gentoo ISO.

    • Red Hat Family

      • RHEL 6 uses Upstart!

        With the advent of RHEL 6 — the newest release of RedHats Enterprise operating system — RedHat have chosen to replace the old SystemV init system with… Upstart!

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 16 KDE and GNOME 3 Alpha screenshots

          From the test installations I carried out, I observed that GPT is the default if Fedora is installed in standalone mode. If, however, there is an existing distribution or another operating system on the drive, and you attempt to dual-boot, it defaults to the MBR partition table.

        • Trying out Fedora 16 Alpha.

          Sadly, I don’t have quite as much time to do deep testing of Fedora as I used to. So the above is basically a minimal report from about 3 minutes of usage I was able to fit in a couple nights ago. But I can say I’m looking forward to doing more! Remember that if you’re testing and finding problems, we need bugs! Without them it’s really hard to make a better product. So do your part for free software, and report them.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Top 10 Ubuntu 11.10 Features

            Beta of the Ubuntu 11.10 operating system is knocking on our doors, as it will be released next Thursday, and we though this will be a good moment to list some of the most important features that will be added in the upcoming Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) release.

          • Ubuntu Oneiric gets makeover
          • Ubuntu 11.04 Installer Fail

            So I decided to take a go at Ubuntu 11.04 in a virtual machine before taking the leap and installing it for real. As I understand it, the new Unity desktop is a pretty major departure from the Gnome 2.x desktop that I’m used to, and I want to see if it’s as bad as it looks in the screenshots.

          • Interview with Ubudog
          • Full Circle Podcast 24: OGGCamp Part Two
          • The New Ubuntu Friendly Program Needs User Feedback

            Is your computer Ubuntu Friendly? How do you find out? Do you know about the System Testing Application/Client on Ubuntu? Let’s talk, shall we?

          • A Photobomb Sale!
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 11 Gnome Review

              Well not much was left unmentioned, apart from the vast amount of application and package upgrades. The sleek and stylish Mint 11 Gnome interface is an almost flawless working environment, while remaining quite minimalistic and uncluttered. I encountered no problems at all when running this distribution, thus I highly recommend it for everyone.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Galaxy line gains four new Android 2.3 phones, new naming scheme

          Samsung announced four new Android 2.3 Galaxy smartphones, as well as a new naming scheme for the Galaxy product line. The new phones include the Galaxy W (3.7-inch, 1.4GHz), the QWERTY-enabled Galaxy M Pro (2.66-inch, 1GHz), the Galaxy Y (three-inch, 832MHz), and the keyboard-ready Galaxy Y Pro, according to the company.

        • Android car receiver offers hands-free telephony, web access

          Parrot is readying what it claims is the world’s first Android-based car receiver for an October release. The Parrot Asteroid offers a 3.2-inch display, GPS-based location services, Bluetooth, optional 3G access to web services, a 4 x 55 Watt MOSFET amplifier, plus support for music sources including Internet radio and a built-in FM/AM tuner.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • 35% of Tablet Owners Use Them in the Bathroom [STUDY]
      • First NFC-ready Android tablets debut

        NFC is coming to Android tablets this fall, in two seven-inch, Android 2.3 models announced by Sharp and TazTag respectively. The Sharp RW-T107 is an enterprise-focused tablet that supports the Sony Felica flavor of NFC in Japan, while TazTag’s TazTab combines NFC with a biometric fingerprint scanner, plus ZigBee, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and optional 3G.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Three Worthwhile Open Source Project Management Apps
  • Alfresco- An opensource alternative to Microsoft sharepoint
  • Korea to Develop Own Web-Based OS

    The government has decided to develop an operating system capable of rivaling Google’s Chrome OS in collaboration with Korean companies such as Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, a move to gain ground in the emerging cloud computing service industry.

  • Events

    • Interesting Talks For Linux Plumbers Conference 2011

      Besides XDC Chicago 2011 for Linux graphics developers, coming up in just two weeks in Santa Rosa, California is the Linux Plumbers Conference. Here’s some of the interesting talks expected at this event that’s largely targeted for Linux kernel developers.

      Here’s the talks I find to be most interesting based upon the LPC2011 schedule. (My list is in no particular order.)

      Coreboot – The Coreboot software project will be talked about and their efforts to replace proprietary BIOS/UEFI/firmware with this fast open-source code that’s designed to initialize the hardware and boot the system in a lightning fast manner. The talk abstract mentions that Coreboot currently supports around 230 kinds of motherboards and can get to booting the kernel in as little as a half second. The Coreboot project has been around for a while known — previously it was called LinuxBIOS — and is supported well by AMD, especially with the promise of supporting Coreboot on all future hardware.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Says Firefox Mobile Memory Usage Is “Pretty Bad”

        Mozilla’s JavaScript engine man-in-charge David Mandelin believes that there is plenty of room for the Firefox Mobile team to improve the browser’s performances on ARM/Android devices. He highlighted Firefox Mobile’s memory usage as a key problem area and suggests that the mobile browser might have to revert back from a multi-process to a single-process architecture.

      • 5 awesome Mozilla Firefox secrets
  • SaaS

    • Gluster Goes After Hadoop Big Data

      Big data requires big file systems. That’s where the open source GlusterFS file system is aiming to fit in with the upcoming GlusterFS 3.3 release.

      The Gluster project is out this week with the second beta release of GlusterFS 3.3, the final release is expected before the end of the year. The new release provides an integration point for Apache Hadoop enabling Hadoop users to use Gluster for storage. According to Gluster, their filesystem is also comptable with Hadoop’s own HDFS (Hadoop File System), though Gluster provides some additional benefits including scalability and performance improvements.

    • Thoughts From Eucalyptus System’s CTO As it Rolls Out its Version 3.0
  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Extension-Repository is growing

      I had a short look at the new Extension repository, that I created for LibreOffice, and I saw the number of projects is growing. There are currently fourteen projects on the site and I expect more of them in the next weeks, because we had not going into the wider public with this new sub-project.

    • LibreOffice Draw and Impress Guides Published
    • Election Announcement for The Document Foundation Board of Directors

      Having been asked by the Steering Committee and Membership Committee to act as the Elections Officer for The Document Foundation, it is my pleasure to announce that we will now conduct the election of a Board of Directors. This election is following the Bylaws [1] of our Foundation. The term is one year commencing from the date the Foundation is legally established.

  • CMS

  • Project Releases

    • NetworkManager 0.9 Release Brings Networking Fun

      NetworkManager 0.8 was released at the beginning of the year and then NetworkManager 0.9 was planned for release in March, but its release didn’t finally take place until yesterday. NetworkManager 0.9 is a huge release that breaks both the API and ABI compared to the previous NetworkManager release.

  • Programming


  • Cablegate

    • WikiLeaks Hit With DOS Attack as It Releases Tens of Thousands of Cable

      Hours after announcing it would be releasing tens of thousands of cables from various countries including Libya, China, Israel and Afghanistan, WikiLeaks announced that it was sustaining denial of service (DOS) attacks and had “regressed” to its backup servers.

      Not surprisingly, WikiLeaks suggested on Twitter that the attacks were from a state-sponsored entity. The organization asked, “Are state directed Denial of Service attacks, legally, a war crime against civilian infrastructure?” And, “Should we, legally, declare war on state aggressors that commit infrastructure war crimes against us?”

      These messages came early in the morning on August 24. Releases had already been posted. Followers were helping WikiLeaks “crowd source” the cables by tweeting out their findings with the hashtag #wlfind.

    • WikiHistory: Did the Leaks Inspire the Arab Spring?

      Almost two weeks before the desperate young fruit-seller Mohammed Bouazizi set himself on fire on a street in Tunis and a full month before the uprising that ensued, touching off the “Arab Spring” that is still unfolding, the rationale for revolution appeared on the Internet, where it was devoured by millions of Tunisians. It was a WikiLeaks document pertaining to the unexampled greed and massive corruption of Tunisian president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and all his money-hungry family.

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