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Links 9/9/2011: Bodhi Linux 1.2.0, VortexBox 1.10

Posted in News Roundup at 8:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Longene: The Linux Kernel With Windows Support

    This morning after providing benchmarks of FreeBSD with Linux binary compatibility for gaming, which allows unaltered 32-bit Linux binaries to be executed seamlessly with the FreeBSD kernel (and in a rather fast manner), I was reminded on Twitter about another interesting project: Longene. Longene is a “Linux Unified Kernel” that attempts to implement Microsoft Windows APIs within the Linux kernel. In other words, Windows binary compatibility for the Linux kernel, including for Windows device drivers.

  • Desktop

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Two More Developers Join The Chicago Linux Panel

        Next Tuesday during XDC2011 Chicago at the Illinois Institute of Technology I am hosting a panel about contributing to Linux and open-source projects, in particular, X.Org, Mesa, and the Linux kernel, but the information should be largely relevant to any free software project. This discussion panel is largely targeted towards university students and others that aren’t yet contributing to upstream projects, with most of the panel participants having begun their Linux contributions prior to graduating from university and then most of them being poached by major open-source companies.

      • X.Org Smooth Scrolling Prepped For Merging

        One of the features part of the new X Input extension to be included in X.Org Server 1.12 is smooth scrolling support.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Eight Complaints About the Linux Desktop
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • King of KDistros

        Well, done at last! After some time gathering opinions from readers and quite some more time testing each one of the contenders, I have finished my comparison of the best of the best in KDE distros.

      • Phonon-Xine is dead. Long live Phonon-GStreamer.
      • Moving on

        So amid the upheaval of desktop environments, we have a precedent to look at with KDE having gone through this before. Fortunately for GNOME, KDE’s experience serves as a cautionary tale. KDE seems to have ridden out the rough spots after their release of version 4, though there are some that are just not going to be happy with anything other than their KDE 3.x, and they aren’t shy about saying so.

  • Distributions

    • Which Linux Distro Leads the Pack?

      “Debian is No. 1? Why am I not surprised,” said Roberto Lim, a lawyer and blogger on Mobile Raptor. “Sometimes I really feel like the Linux community, which used to be about innovation and building the best next thing, has lost touch with society and are in danger of becoming irrelevant.” The real No. 1 distro is Ubuntu, Lim asserted: “It is the only one with a shot at becoming more than a niche in a niche market.”

    • New Releases

      • Bodhi Linux 1.2.0
      • VortexBox 1.10 released

        It’s been a while since we released a new version of VortexBox and there are a lot of small fixes and tweaks in this new version. There is the usually updates such as a new Kernel and SqueezeBox server 7.6.1. There are also a lot of small updates such as increased UPnP player support. VortexBox now supports the latest Samsung TVs and the BeoSound 5 from Bang & Olufsen.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia Needs Artists

        Let’s face it. Mageia’s default look for version 1 wasn’t bad. The Ia Ora windec is attractive enough and the backgrounds and splash screens weren’t bad. But “not bad” isn’t beautiful. Attractive isn’t gorgeous. We users want gorgeous.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat starts marketing Centennial Campus space

        Red Hat Red Hat Latest from The Business Journals TBJ unveils 2011 Best Places to Work in the Triangle Red Hat to move HQ to Progress Energy building Triangle stocks drop along with market Follow this company ’s sublease arrangement at Progress Energy Progress Energy Latest from The Business Journals Duke Energy listed in Dow Jones Sustainability World IndexS.C. advocate supports Duke, Progress mergerDuke Energy, Progress Energy reach merger deal with S.C. advocate Follow this company ’s Two Progress Plaza tower in downtown Raleigh isn’t even official yet, but the technology company is wasting no time trying to find a new tenant for the space it’ll be vacating on N.C. State University N.C. State University Latest from The Business Journals Suddenly, Centennial Campus has space to rentVa. Tech football is top money maker in ACCTBJ Flash: Barkley, Shaq shine at Jimmy V gala Follow this company ’s Centennial Campus.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • _____[fill in the blank]: “Want me to wipe for you too?”
          • How Useful Is Ubuntu Menu?
          • How Ubuntu One Saved Me In The US

            I had the data sitting right next to me but I couldn’t access it. Lesson learned, if you don’t bring the right key you won’t be able to open the right door. So all my stories that I was working on were locked inside that shiny rectangular box made by Seagate with its cable sitting across the ocean in Belgium.

            Was there a solution late at night when I was stuck in Williamsburg with no option to go out and find a Best Buy when dark clouds were looming overhead, throwing thunderbolts at us and rain was pouring? There was. The solution was in the cloud itself.

            I recalled that before starting off for the trip I had dragged the story folder to my Ubuntu One folder, just in case. My Ubuntu One account is always synced. So there was a possibility that I may be able to access those files.

            I turned on my tablet, logged into my Ubuntu One account and there it was – the folder with all those files. I tried to open the file I was working on. Damn, QuickOffice doesn’t support ISO approved .odt format. I had an inferior (.doc) version of the same file and started working on it. The story was ready in less than half an hour.

          • How To Upgrade From Ubuntu 11.04 To Ubuntu 11.10 Beta
          • Unity Linux | You did not die !

            I wrote a post about Unity Linux ” Why Should I use Unity Linux ? ” back in April 2010 when this distribution was in its prime trying to stand upon its feet . I will not go into the history of the inception of this project because everybody knows about it .

            Things were exciting and promising and the Unity team was in high spirits willing to contribute as much as they could to this new distribution .This project was backed up by good team members pouring in from various former PCLinuxOS derived sister distributions . Many good projects came to surface with remasters based upon Unity Linux core . Two well known were HUMANity (e17) and Synergy (KDE4).

          • Ubuntu Development Update
          • Some Great Alternatives to the Ubuntu Unity Launcher

            We’ve already ranted about the little annoyances of Ubuntu Unity in our earlier article. Though there are many things that are just plain wrong about Unity at this moment, one bad feature that sticks out like a sore thumb is the elusive launcher.

          • A new release process for Ubuntu?

            The Ubuntu release process is well known, and its developers talk regularly about the cadence of it. A new release of Ubuntu comes out every six months, and each release follows a predictable pattern. I’ve stolen the following image from OMG! Ubuntu’s recent series about Ubuntu Development.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Try Bodhi Linux for Beauty and Customizability

              Scarcely a day goes by without an update being released for one Linux distribution or another, but today saw the launch of one I think is worth some attention.

            • Bodhi Linux 1.2.0 Released

              20,000 forum posts and over 100,000 downloads later the Bodhi team and I are proud to announce our second point release – Bodhi 1.2.0 Current Bodhi users can easily update their system to this latest release.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Samsung Setting up to Go with MeeGo OS

      Samsung is seemingly intending to purchase Nokia and Intel’s MeeGo operating system after the news arrived that Samsung decided that it was not purchasing Hewlett Packard’s webOS.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Amazon Renews Call for Android Developers

          Just weeks before their much-anticipated Android-based tablet, Amazon has renewed their call for developers. To sweeten the pot a bit, the online retail behemoth is giving a one-time $50 promo code, good for use on specific Amazon Web Service. AWS offers Android developers a number of helpful tools in the form of data storage, mobile-to-mobile communication, and flexible database options.

        • A Google Android and Java history lesson

          Recently, some people were shocked-shocked I tell you-to discover that Google had looked at Java to help create Android’s Dalvik and that Google kept its Android source code to itself and its closest partners until the final product was released to the public. Oh please. There’s nothing new here. It’s always been that way and everyone who knows anything about Android’s history already knew that.

          First, there’s the accusation that Android used Java code in creating its Dalvik virtual machine (VM). This is news? When Android first came out, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz, then Java’s owner, greeted the news of Android’s birth with “heartfelt congratulations.”

        • Android port for HP TouchPad making progress

          After the recent fire sale of the HP TouchPad tablet, hackers and modders quickly began work on porting Google’s open source Android mobile operating system to the device and they are making progress. The developers at Team-Touchdroid have already succeeded in replacing WebOS, which is the tablet’s default OS, with version 2.3.5 of Android.

        • Motorola Announces Android Powered DROID BIONIC

          Motorola has announced DROID BIONIC, the first Verizon Wireless smartphone to combine 4G LTE with the power of dual-core 1 GHz processors, 1 GB of RAM and a stunning 4.3-inch qHD display – all in a sleek form factor that makes it the thinnest 4G LTE smartphone from Verizon Wireless.

          Customers can expect to fly across the Web on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network with download speeds of 5 to 12 Mbps and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps in 4G LTE mobile broadband coverage areas.

        • Sony Ericsson Nozomi Rumored to Come with Ice Cream Sandwich, 720p Display, Dual-core Processor

          Earlier reports told of an upcoming Sony Ericsson Nozomi, said to come with a 1.5-GHz single-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and to be released before yearend. Recent buzz at the IT68 forums, however, reveal rumors of more powerful specs than initially reported for the Sony Ericsson Nozomi and a release date slated for first quarter of next year.

        • Amazon Cloud SDKs for Android, IOS Exit Beta Testing

          The company wants make it easier for developers to build mobile applications that take advantage of its cloud-based services. Previously, developers had to do more of the work themselves, according to Amazon.

          Using the SDKs developers can make API (application programming interface) requests directly from a mobile application to Amazon’s Web Services. Developers can integrate their applications with a long list of services, including Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Simple Storage Service (S3), the SimpleDB database and send messages using Simple Notification Service (SNS) and Simple Queue Service (SQS).

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • NVIDIA CEO: quad-core tablets to launch this year

        NVIDIA’s chief executive officer and president Jen-Hsun Huang confirmed that the company’s quad-core processor, currently codenamed “Kal-El,” will be available in tablets by the end of this year. “We’re the only people seriously on the dance floor with Qualcomm,” Huang told Forbes in a recent interview. “We’re really the only two active players.” Earlier this year, NVIDIA said it expected to ship quad-core tablets and smartphones in 2011, but Huang suggested to Forbes that smartphones may not hit the market until 2012. Read on for more.


        Huang also noted that NVIDIA currently has 50% of the Android smartphone market and 70% of the Android tablet market.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Bossie Awards for best open source software in 2011

    InfoWorld has presented its 2011 Bossie (Best Open Software Source) Awards. Prizes were awarded in the four categories of enterprise open source applications, desktop and mobile software, data centre and cloud solutions, and developer tools.

  • BT software engineer tells how the telco is using open source

    “One reason why culturally eventually open source will be an excellent fit for BT is that old-school engineering idea that ‘I’ll stake my life on this project because I understand the risks myself because I have the necessary professional background to do so’,” he says. BT is, after all, a company that for many years built everything itself.

  • Open source software – Competitiveness through collaboration

    On the 5th of September 2011, the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) hosted the third Government of Malta Open Source End User Group (MOSEUG) meeting. The theme, was ‘OSS – Competitiveness through Collaboration’ and the meeting focused on:

  • Morality and Legality of Open Source Code Forking
  • How to build a sustainable nonprofit the open source way
  • BSA secret agenda: open source saves the world

    Assuming that everything the BSA says is right, then it’s as plausible to blame unbearable temptation as it is ignorance. If you could obtain something that was worth a year’s wages at the click of a mouse, and you knew you’d not cost anyone a penny, what would you do?

    Quite. So while it’s perfectly in order for the BSA to wish for more money for its members, and good luck to them all in that, it’s highly unlikely that its proposed solution will in fact liberate that $59 billion — the GDP of Croatia.

    With perfect holiness and inescapable enforcement, in a world with no illicit copying at all, what would happen is that most of the world wouldn’t have most of those copies of the BSA membership’s products.

    Would that bar them from the benefits of IT, and all the necessary economic and social tools needed to be a productive, happy part of the global digital community? Fortunately not.

    A logical conclusion of the BSA’s arguments is that the free and open source software (Foss) model would step in to provide legal alternatives. Of course, for some software such as Adobe’s top-end creative products there is no Foss equivalent; the paid-for market is small enough and the lock-in so significant that there’s not been much point.

    Once the world cannot get what it cannot pay for, though, the motivation to make top-notch Foss products will be much higher, and we can reasonably expect them to appear. Indeed, we can expect the new wave of software to become so good that it will be functionally competitive with the full-price Western option – and competition, as we all know, promotes a healthy, honest market. Something we know the BSA is entirely in favour of.

    Thus, the real message of the BSA’s survey is to actively, even aggressively, promote the development of Foss within the developing world, to create far more competition that will help reduce prices worldwide, and to encourage a truly diverse and equitable digital world for everyone.

  • 4 More Things You Didn’t Know VLC Could Do
  • Three Top Open Source Bug Tracking Apps
  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • BSD

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Michael Hart (1947 – 2011): Prophet of Abundance

        What makes his death particularly tragic is that his name is probably only vaguely known, even to people familiar with the areas he devoted his life to: free etexts and the public domain. In part, that was because he modest, content with only the barest recognition of his huge achievements. It was also because he was so far ahead of his times that there was an unfortunate disconnect between him and the later generation that built on his trailblazing early work.

  • Programming

    • Book Review: HTML5 Media

      I understand that O’Reilly is publishing a series of hardcopy and ebooks that sport a rather modest page count in order to get the material to market very quickly. Shelley Powers’ HTML5 Media is one of them. Please keep in mind this book isn’t intended to teach you everything you want to know about HTML5 but rather, to show web developers how to insert HTML5 media elements into web pages using the new video and audio elements.


  • Health/Nutrition

    • Dining on Deceit: PR Stunt Backfires for ConAgra

      Hidden cameras captured what was supposed to be the bloggers’ delighted reaction to the meal and dessert of Razzleberry Pie (another frozen Marie Callender’s specialty). But the stunt backfired after bloggers found out the truth. One wrote, “Our entire meal was a SHAM! … We were unwilling participants in a bait-and-switch for Marie Callender’s new frozen three cheese lasagna and there were cameras watching our reactions.”

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Wealthy Wisconsin Heir Speaks at Koch Brothers Meeting

      Leaked audio from the Koch brothers’ donor meeting in Vail, Colorado, in June reveals, among other things, the connections between the Kochs and a wealthy Wisconsin funder who spent hundreds of thousands that helped elect Ron Johnson as well as Scott Walker and support various right-wing causes.

      An anonymous source released the tapes to blogger Brad Friedman, who published the audio and transcript at Mother Jones and BradBlog. Fred Young, the heir of the Young Radiator fortune in Racine, Wisconsin, addressed the crowd of Koch invitees and introduced Fox News personality Andrew Napolitano.

    • Cantor Introduces ALEC’s Agenda to the House

      Among the regulations targeted by Cantor are the new maximum achievable control technology “MACT” standards, known as the “boiler MACT rules” for utility plants. Analysts at the Center for Progressive Reform estimated that these rules “would annually prevent up to nearly 6,600 premature deaths, more than 4,000 non-fatal heart attacks, more than 1,600 cases of acute bronchitis, and more than 313,000 missed work and school days.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Yet Another Pro-Keystone XL Pipeline Front Group Set Up In Nebraska

      Last week, lobbyists in Washington, DC announced the creation of yet another front group in Nebraska to support the approval of the controversial Keystone XL, a pipeline running through the Midwest from tar sands mining sites in Canada to refineries in Texas. Given its central location underneath the proposed expansion route for the Keystone XL, Nebraska has become a flash point in the debate over approval of the plan.

      To counteract the broad opposition to the pipeline, oil lobbyists have paid special attention to Nebraska.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • BC Court Rules Rogers’ Zoocasa Real Estate Site Infringed Copyright, Breached Terms of Use

        The B.C. Supreme Court has issued a lengthy ruling against Rogers Communications and its real estate search site, Zoocasa. The case originates from Century 21′s objections to Zoocasa’s scraping of its real estate listings and incorporating them into its own site. Zoocasa scraped the full listings for several months starting in August 2008, but in November 2008 switched to “truncated” descriptions that provide only basic information. In August 2009, Zoocasa began “framing” other sites, but it stopped that practice in December 2009. Zoocasa stopped indexing Century 21 listings in 2010.

      • EU Officially Seizes The Public Domain, Retroactively Extends Copyright

        As was unfortunately expected, despite no evidence that this made any economic sense at all, the member states of the EU have agreed to retroactively extend copyright another 20 years, at which point you can expect it to be extended again (thanks to jtdeboe for sending this over). This is nothing short of governments and the entertainment industry seizing works from the public domain. As we’ve said before, the purpose of copyright law is to incent the creation of new works. If existing copyright law was enough to incentivize the creation at the time, then there’s simply no reason to retroactively extend the law.

      • Don’t Try To Create An Illustrated Version Of A David Bowie Song… Or The Copyright Police Will Come After You

        Except, as that started to get attention, Kolb was threatened with an infringement claim. Of course, the Star fails Jouranlism 101, in that it never actually names the party who holds the copyright or who threatened the illustrator. One might come away from the article believing it’s David Bowie, but I’m guessing it was someone else. In fact, I reached out to Kolb to find out who sent the takedown, and he said that

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