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09.01.11

Links 1/9/2011: Beta of GNOME 3.2, Ubuntu Core

Posted in News Roundup at 9:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Fragmentation within the NTFS filesystem

    Recently while troubleshooting an issue on a Windows 7 PC, I noticed a number of events in the Application Log labelled “Defrag”. Sparking my curiosity, I looked further and discovered that there was approximately one entry per day in the log. I looked around some more at other Windows 7 PCs and found that they too have “Defrag” entries scattered about. It turns out that Windows 7 now automatically runs a defrag on its NTFS filesystem, compared to Windows XP which never did this. This is a great idea on Microsoft’s part, rather than letting things stockpile up and forcing the user to defrag while waiting for minutes or even hours while it churns away.

    This got me thinking back to when I read more about other filesystems, most notably ext3 and ext4 filesystems on GNU/Linux (which are standardly used now), which never need defragmenting. Yes that’s correct, they do not need to be defragmented.

  • Desktop

    • Build a Better Sub-$200 Linux PC: For a Few Dollars More…

      As we’ve hopefully shown, building a $200 PC is a fun experiment—and, provided you really modulate your expectations, you can get a solidly usable computer out of the deal. But when it comes right down to it, we admit that the $200 figure is a bit arbitrary. Is anyone going to complain if the final total is $225.87, or even $250.94? Of course not. The goal is to find components that have the best balance between low prices and high (or, perhaps more appropriately, decent) performance. And if you’re willing and/or able to spend a bit more money, you can get a better system still. Here are a few of our recommended upgrades if you want to take your $200 to slightly more expensive—but still solidly affordable—places.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Nepomuk Frameworks – kdelibs 5.0: What To Do

        Development of kdelibs 5.0 has begun in the framework branch of its git repository. The main goal for kdelibs 5.0 is that there will be no more kdelibs as it is now. kdelibs (and kde-runtime) will be split up into smaller pieces to lower the barrier for non-KDE developers to use part of the power we as a KDE development community provide. The rough idea is that there will be three groups of libraries/frameworks:

        1. Tier 1: components which only depend on Qt and no other lib/component from KDE.
        2. Tier 2: components which depend on Qt and other libraries from Tier 1.
        3. Tier 3: components which depend on anything.

      • tracking what happens in your DataEngine

        For lack of a better place, I plopped it into the kdeexamples repository so that others (and the future me ;) can easily include it into their project (DataEngine, Plasmoid, application, ..) and see what a given DataEngine is doing. It’s BSD licensed, so it can be used pretty much anywhere.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Web application mode in GNOME 3.2
      • First beta version of GNOME 3.2

        The GNOME Project has released the first of two beta versions of GNOME 3.2. The pre-release version, designated GNOME 3.1.90, comes just a few days after the user interface freeze, which, along with the beta, was recently put back a week to allow time to incorporate further modifications.

      • GNOME 3.2 Beta 1 (3.1.90) Has Arrived

        The first beta for the upcoming GNOME 3.2 is here for eager users to enjoy. This is still unstable code, so most users will want to hold on until the final, stable version lands, but if you want an early peek, this is your chance.

  • Distributions

    • Tiny Core Linux

      Several projects exist that purport to be small, run-in-memory distributions. The most popular probably is Puppy Linux. Puppy has spawned several variations, and I have used it several times myself on older machines. But, I have discovered one that bowled me over completely—Tiny Core Linux. This distribution is a totally different beast and fills what I think is as of yet an unfilled category.

      To start, Tiny Core is tiny—really tiny. The full desktop version weighs in at approximately 10MB—this is for a full graphical desktop. Not many other options can deliver something like this. People of a certain age may remember projects like Tom’s root/boot, or muLinux. Tiny Core fits somewhere in between those older floppy-based projects and “heavier” small distributions like Puppy.

    • ArchLinux vs Slackware

      This posting is not meant to start another flame war between these two great Linux distribution. It’s just meant to be my personal opinion after trying ArchLinux for several days and compare it with the distribution i have been using for the last six years. I know it’s not completely fair to compare few days experience with six years, but i will try to be as fair as possible.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Desktop 2011 review

        Considering that this was a major and highly expected release of a major Linux distribution, did anybody in management bother to take it for a spin to see if basic features work? I have visions of Steve Jobs getting involved in every phase of his company’s products development. There does not seem to be a Steve Jobs in Mandriva’s management team.

        None of the shortcoming of Mandriva 2011 will stop me from upgrading one of my permanent test systems running Mandriva 2010.2, but my laptop, which I use for serious stuff, on which physical security is just as important as any other feature, will continue running the old system until I figure out how to configure disk encryption when installing my favorite Linux distribution.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat’s move to downtown Raleigh could ripple widely

        Now that Red Hat has made public what had become the worst-kept secret in Triangle real estate circles, it’s worth delving into what the company’s move to downtown Raleigh will mean for interested parties.

        In the near term, the decision eliminates uncertainty about whether downtown would be left with an empty building once Progress Energy and Duke Energy complete their merger and consolidate operations.

      • Top 10 Reasons Why Red Hat is Moving to Downtown Raleigh

        It’s Thursday, and you know what that means? Even if we can’t get Christine to wake-up long enough to write one of her articles, you can always depend on us to be here like clockwork for the Top 10 List.

        A while back, Red Hat announced they might be leaving the big city of Raleigh to find a new location to continue tweaking their code. A little later, they announced they’d decided to remain in the North Carolina capital city after all – but they’d be looking for new digs since they were getting somewhat crowded at their old location. This week they announced they’d found their new home, a big ol’ office tower in Raleigh’s downtown.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • RaspberryPi £15 ARM Linux computer due for Christmas

      The RaspberryPi Foundation, which aims to put computers in front of children for £15, has taken delivery of 50 engineering prototypes, and intends to get the final version to customers by the end of the year, writes Steve Bush.

      Based in Cambridge and founded by six high-tech high-flyers, the foundation’s aim is to cure the programmer shortage by inspiring people to take up computing in childhood – as Sinclair Spectrums and BBC Micros once did.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Sony Ericsson Unveils Xperia Arc S

          Now, about the camera. The idea here is that the 8MP camera can take photos in 3D (SE used “panorama” quite a lot in the description of the photos). But since the Arc S’s screen isn’t a 3D display, the images are shown in 2D. When the device is plugged up to a 3D-capable TV via the MicroHDMI port, they’re shown as 3D photos. So you can (sort of) take 3D photos, but you won’t be able to view them without a 3D TV. The concept of a 3D camera on a non-3D device baffles us, but we’ll leave such judgments to you.

        • Samsung unveils small tablet, giant smartphone
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Not Dead Yet? Top Three Possibilities for HP’s webOS

        Reuters is reporting that webOS may not be dead, yet. In an interview, the head of HP’s PSG group Todd Bradley hinted HP may not be done with the webOS or tablet. So what does HP have up its sleeve? Bradley was elusive, but here are my top three ideas for what the PSG spinoff could do, along with some channel implications …

      • Samsung Unveils Dual-Core Galaxy Tab 7.7 And 5.3-Inch Galaxy Note

        Samsung understands this, and has thus tried to build a tablet for just about any size pocket or backpack you may own. We all know about the GalTab 10.1 and 8.9, but today even smaller models join the pack. At the IFA conference in Berlin, Samsung today announced the Galaxy Tab 7.7 and the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note.

      • Toshiba Unveils The Thinnest Honeycomb Tablet Yet, The 7.7mm-thick AT200

        Just like the rumor stated, Toshiba used IFA 2011 to announce its latest Android tablet and it’s just as tiny as it looked. The AT200 packs a 1.2GHz TI OMAP 4430 CPU, up to 64GB of memory, and most of the ports that made the Toshiba Thrive popular: micro-USB, microSD, and micro-HDMI. Toshiba claims that the battery is good for “eight hours of video consumption.”

      • Toshiba put its Android tablet on a crash diet
      • HTC’s first Honeycomb tablet supports 4G LTE network

        HTC announced its first 10.1-inch Honeycomb tablet, which is also AT&T’s first tablet to run on the carrier’s new LTE/HSPA+ 4G network. The HTC Jetstream runs Android 3.1 and HTC Sense on a 1.5GHz, dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, features eight-megapixel and 1.3-megapixel cameras, offers an optional HTC Stylus, and start selling Sept. 4 for a pricey $700 with 32GB of memory.

      • Amazon 10-inch tablet PC to start mass production in 1Q12

        Amazon’s 7-inch tablet PC, which is supplied by Quanta Computer, is expected to start shipping in October, the sources added.

      • Lenovo announces IdeaPad A1, the $199 Android tablet, we go hands-on (video)

        If you thought you couldn’t get a real Android tablet from a brand you’ve heard of for less than $200, think again. Lenovo’s just announced the IdeaPad Tablet A1, a 7-inch Android unit that we got a sneaky first glimpse of back in July. Now it’s real, and it’s cheap, it’s running Gingerbread, and while it doesn’t hold a candle to the Galaxy Tab 7.7, it honestly feels like something far above its price point. Read on for our impressions.

      • Why I bought a $99 HP TouchPad

        Aside from the default webOS software, there’s a good chance I’ll be able to install Android onto the TouchPad at some point in the foreseeable future. Teams of Android enthusiasts like the gang from RootzWiki are already hard at work creating Android ports for the product. For the moment, the phone-focused Gingerbread will be as good as it gets — the tablet-optimized Honeycomb release, remember, was never made open source — but with the all-purpose Ice Cream Sandwich release on the horizon, the future holds no shortage of interesting Googley possibilities.

        A 9.7-inch dual-core Ice Cream Sandwich tablet for $99? Yeah…exactly.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Police Report on Wisconsin Supreme Court Quarrel Describes Hostile Work Environment
  • Desktop computers changing, not dying

    There’s been a lot of dying technology predicted lately. The death of the desktop. The death of the PC (or, in more market-friendly terms, the “post-PC Era”). The death of Windows. The death of the mouse… you name it, if it’s desktop-connected, its demise been predicted in the last couple of months.

    So much anger has been leveled at the desktop operating systems and the PC, it really makes me wonder what the PC did to tick so many people off. Seriously, it’s not like it ripped you off and then asked the government for a bailout, right?

  • The Dawn of the Post-PC Era. Not.
  • Health/Nutrition

    • Rick Perry’s Texas Health Care Hoax

      In his quest to win the Republican presidential nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is perpetuating a convincing hoax: that implementing Texas-style tort reform would go a long way toward curing what ails the U.S. health care system.

      Like his fellow GOP contenders, Perry consistently denounces “Obamacare” as “a budget-busting, government takeover of healthcare” and “the greatest intrusion on individual freedom in a generation.” He promises to repeal the law if elected.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Cablegate

    • Guardian Investigative Editor David Leigh publishes top secret Cablegate password revealing names of U.S. collaborators and informants… in his book

      The UK’s Guardian newspaper’s Investigative Editor, David Leigh, author of the “Get this Wikileaks book out the door quickly before other Wikileaks books are published” Wikileaks book has messed up.

    • WikiLeaks: Cables detail concerns of U.S. contractor held in Cuba
    • Why Does Jeanne Whalen Have a Hardon for Julian Assange?

      It seems like just days ago that Luddie asked me to begin looking into the curious case of Jeanne Whalen’s WSJ story, which claimed that five human rights organizations had written a letter complaining to WikiLeaks that it was not taking proper care to protect civilian informants. As we soon discovered, the article was riddled with errors. To wit: not all the signatories were with human rights organizations, most of the signatories were not speaking for their organizations, and the letter was a call to meet with Assange, not an upbraiding. That the letter (which Whalen won’t release) quickly made it into her hands made whole thing smell of Newscorp astroturfing.

    • WikiLeaks: Iraqi children in U.S. raid shot in head, U.N. says
    • PJ Crowley: No US Policy Changed Because of the WikiLeaks Revelations

      Former State Department spokesperson PJ Crowley has written an op-ed on the recent release of more than 130,000 US State Embassy cables. Likening the cable publication to “pestilence,” Crowley provides his perspective on what he thinks will happen now that the cables have been published.
      Crowley was forced to resign in March after he made some comments that called attention to how accused whistleblower to WikiLeaks, Pfc. Bradley Manning, was being treated at Quantico Brig. When WikiLeaks published the war logs in July, he knew he had to do an assessment and figure out what might be put at risk if US State Embassy cables were released. What he says on WikiLeaks carries a lot of credibility. In fact, he has spoken about his work during the WikiLeaks release and why he made the comments he made about Manning on multiple panels.

    • Global – Guardian journalist negligently disclosed Cablegate passwords

      A Guardian journalist has negligently disclosed top secret WikiLeaks’ decryption passwords to hundreds of thousands of unredacted unpublished US diplomatic cables.

      Knowledge of the Guardian disclosure has spread privately over several months but reached critical mass last week. The unpublished WikiLeaks’ material includes over 100,000 classified unredacted cables that were being analyzed, in parts, by over 50 media and human rights organizations from around the world.

      For the past month WikiLeaks has been in the unenviable position of not being able to comment on what has happened, since to do so would be to draw attention to the decryption passwords in the Guardian book. Now that the connection has been made public by others we can explain what happened and what we intend to do.

    • WikiLeaks, media last bastions of trust for US

      The release of diplomatic documents by WikiLeaks last year has given people more insight into how the US government works according to Suelette Dreyfus.

      Dreyfus is the author of Underground: Tales of Hacking, Madness and Obsession on the Electronic Frontier, the 1997 that featured the exploits of Mendax — the hacker handle of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange.

      Dreyfus told this week’s Q&A show that people in the US now understand how their government worked behind “closed mahogany doors.” She said that WikiLeaks has also shown that governments don’t always act in the interests their own people. “In that sense, it’s a true whistle blower,” Dreyfus said.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Federal agency: Texas Gov. Perry wrong in comments about new license rules for farmers

      U.S. Department of Transportation officials are disputing Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s statement at the Iowa State Fair today that federal administrators plan to require a farmer driving a tractor across a public road to obtain a commercial driver’s license.

      “We are absolutely not requiring farmers” to obtain commercial licenses, such as those required of semi-trailer operators, said U.S. DOT spokeswoman Candice Tolliver in Washington, D.C.

      She said U.S. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood had put out a statement last week making the DOT’s position clear.

      “We have no intention of instituting onerous regulations on the hardworking farmers who feed our country and fuel our economy,” LaHood’s statement said.

  • Censorship

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright term extension returns. Again.

        Back in April we asked ORG supporters to write to their MEPs to help campaign against a Directive that would extend the term of copyright protection in sound recordings (for the reasons why, see our previous posts and the campaign site ‘Sound Copyright’). We had a fantastic response, with thousands of letters sent to MEPs across Europe.

      • The Coalition Has No Digital Rights Policy

        A key moment was the BT/NewzBin2 case. A clutch of Hollywood studios took BT to court in order to force them to restrict access to the website “NewzBin2″. The site in question provides only links to film downloads – it does not even host copyrighted content. The studios were extremely pleased to have the court find in their favour, seeing it as a crucial precedent. They were beginning to lose patience with how slowly the Government was implementing the Digital Economy Act, and saw this as a convenient shortcut. Culture and communications minister Ed Vaizey enthusiastically welcomed the judgment – ironically enough, online, by tweeting: ”Interesting judgment in Newzbin case, should make it easier for rights holders to prevent piracy”. He went on to continue defending the result, and his statement, from a barrage of replies.

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