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09.21.11

Links 21/9/2011: Pardus 2011.2, Red Hat’s Results Impress

Posted in News Roundup at 4:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • The Model For Windows 8 Is Linux

      Linux has been more than competitive with Windows for a decade, thanks in part to the Apache Web server. It is more than competitive on tablets and phones, thanks to Google’s Android, now being forked by Amazon and Baidu. It gets laughed at, and perhaps rightly so, because it’s week on the desktop. “This is the year of desktop Linux,” is a running gag.

    • Building the Ultimate Modern Linux Desktop

      Despite what we’ve read in various Linux articles lately, there’s a world beyond Ubuntu and their Unity desktop experience. Fact is, you can actually still stick with Ubuntu if you choose to and not feel obligated to use their choice for a desktop experience.

      In short, Unity isn’t mandatory for people who want access to the rest of the Ubuntu experience. In this article, I’ll show how you can take part in the benefits of using Ubuntu without limiting your desktop experience to Ubuntu’s ideals.

      [...]

      On my desktop, I rely on Compiz Fusion. So the idea of using a dock that relies on that technology was a natural fit for me. In the end, I wound up with the Awn dock due to its useful functionality. Not only can I duplicate almost anything that Gnome panels or Unity might have to offer, but I can theme my Awn dock to look more appealing.

  • Server

    • To CFD, or Not to CFD?

      OpenFOAM (Open Source Field Operation and Manipulation) basically is a set of C++ libraries that are used in the various processing steps. OpenFOAM, just like most other CFD packages, breaks down the work to be done into three separate steps. The first step is called pre-processing. In pre-processing, you define the problem you are trying to model. This involves defining the boundary conditions given by the solid objects in your model. You also describe the characteristics of the fluid you are trying to model, including viscosity, density and any other properties that are important for your model. The next step is called the solver step. This is where you actually solve the equations that describe your model. The third step is called post-processing. This is where you take a look at the results and visualize them so that you can see what happens in your model. An obvious consequence of this breakdown is that most of the computational work takes place during the solver phase. The pre- and post-processing steps usually can be done on a desktop, while the solver step easily can use up 50 or 100 processors. OpenFOAM includes several pre- and post-processing utilities, along with several solvers. But the real power comes from the fact that, because OpenFOAM is library-based, you can build your own utilities or solvers by using OpenFOAM as a base. This is very useful in a research environment where you may be trying something no one else ever has.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • You can’t go Gnome again

        AS a user of Ubuntu Linux since 1996, I viewed with some trepidation the decision by its commercial sponsor, Canonical, to revamp its user interface, which was based on the Gnome desktop. Over the years, I’ve grown accustomed to Gnome’s simple elegance, which I found gave me a surprising amount of freedom to customize my desktop environment. Combined with special effects from programs such as Compiz and Emerald, my Gnome-based Ubuntu desktop was truly beautiful.

        But starting with the current release (11.04), Ubuntu began sporting the Unity interface, a system that Canonical designed from scratch, obviously with an eye to touch-screen functionality and the simplicity of point-and-drag menus favored by smart phone users.

      • Richard Hughes on color management in Linux and GNOME

        Color management on Linux used to be a thing for brave boys and girls in the past. Two years ago the GNOME Color Manager project led by Richard Hughes and powered by Argyll color management system made a major breakthrough to fix it once and for all. Now that GNOME 3.2 is just a week away, we decided to corner Richard and ask him some very direct questions.

  • Distributions

    • Pardus 2011.2 screenshot preview
    • New Releases

    • Gentoo Family

      • Stabilizations: situation stable

        I just checked and x86 and amd64 bug queues are fully under control. I’d even say we’re now doing stabilizations faster than maintainers can file new bugs and fix stabilization blockers.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Shares Poised for Earnings Pop

        The earnings calendar is unusually busy this week, with a number of big names on the schedule. Any time you can find Nike (NYSE:NKE), FedEx (NYSE:FDX), and Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) in the same week, things could be interesting.

        One of the smaller names on the docket this week is Red Hat (NYSE:RHT). The open-source business software maker reports on Wednesday after the close.

      • Red Hat to release earnings on Wednesday
      • Red Hat (RHT) Shares Given a “Overweight” Rating by Piper Jaffray (PJC) Analysts

        Red Hat last announced its quarterly results on Wednesday, June 22nd. The company reported $0.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the previous quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.22 EPS by $0.02. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 26.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Red Hat will post $0.25 EPS next quarter.

      • Open Virtualization Alliance adds 100-plus members

        The Open Virtualization Alliance, a consortium committed to fostering the adoption of open virtualization technologies, today announced total membership of more than 200, up from 65 in just over three months. New members include CA Technologies, DataStax and Jaspersoft.

      • Want to work for Red Hat?

        Respond quickly via email (spot@redhat.com) with your resume/CV and sales pitch as to why I should consider you for a job at Red Hat. This is a limited time opportunity, and I guarantee nothing. :)

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Interview: Stuart Langridge, Strategic Architect for Ubuntu One

            In this interview with Strategic Architect for Ubuntu One, Stuart Langridge, I kick off the first of a series of articles about Ubuntu One.

            Today, we’ll learn a little more about Langridge and his involvement with Ubuntu One and a brief overview along with future plans for this personal cloud service.

          • Ubuntu Linux and Wayland Display Server: Status Update

            Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth announced Wayland graphical server for Ubuntu, the Linux distribution, in fall 2010. Wayland for Ubuntu news made headlines. But almost a year later, Wayland for Ubuntu remains in development and the venerable X server won’t be going anywhere soon — which is not surprising, since replacing a display system that has dominated the open source world for decades is hard work. But when can we expect Wayland for Ubuntu to hit the mainstream? Read on for some updates.

          • Free ‘Ubuntu Software Centre’ Guide Released
          • Ubuntu Software Center: Streamline Your Software Experience

            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 make my life easier and more fun!”

            The Ubuntu Software Center is one of the most important components of Ubuntu. It’s the entry point for new users into the universe of excellent software that is written with freedom in mind. It’s our delivery channel. It’s an Ubuntu first (now copied by a fruit company), and it’s full of amazing.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Industrial-focused Cortex-A8 SoCs offer CAN support, imaging subsystem

      Texas Instruments (TI) announced three ARM Cortex-A8 system on chips (SoCs) featuring a camera imaging subsystem, a wide range of peripheral support including CAN-bus, and an optional evaluation board. Aimed at industrial applications, the Linux- and Android-ready AM387x triplets all feature 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 cores, while two of them offer video subsystems and the top-of-the-line AM3874 is endowed with a 3D accelerator.

    • Phones

      • Samsung plans to make Bada open source

        As part of a drive to increase the reach of its own brand OS, the firm has let slip its plan to release Bada to developers and device makers. The change will occur sometime next year, according to the Wall Street Journal.

      • Samsung Looking to Open-Source Bada [REPORT]
      • Android

        • Samsung Galaxy SIII Leaked

          According to the information the Galaxy SIII will come with a quad-core , yes quad not dual, 2.0 Ghz processor and a whopping 1.5GB of RAM. The multi-tasking performance of such a device will be incredible and we’re already excited about the gaming prospects of the device.

        • 5 Free Android apps for capturing ideas and thoughts

          Many writers and bloggers often need to jot down important ideas that they come across. For years, people have relied on notepads, sticky notes and even paper napkins. Even though the traditional method is the best, there are some tech-savvy folks like us who prefer using their smartphones to do the same. If you’re one of those people, then here are some of the best Android applications for capturing new ideas and thoughts.

        • Google preps developers for one-size-fits-all Android update
        • Do You Still Care That Android is Open Sourced? (Op-Ed)

          Android is ubiquitous because it is free and not because it is open source. Except for the popular Cyanogen mods, the FOSS aspect has largely been ignored by most of the ODM’s. Witness the poor implementations of Android devices by Archos, Augen, Camangi, and countless other Tier Three AKA Chinese manufacturers and the animosity towards UI’s like Sense and MotoBLUR. If the FOSS was so easy to take advantage of then why are only a handful of developers able to deliver a customer experience that was comparable to Google’s? And even Cyanogen AKA Steve Kondik only bothered to modify the ‘with Google’ version.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Google preps developers for one-size-fits-all Android update

        Google is preparing Android developers for the latest edition of its Android mobile operating platform that will work the same on both tablets and smartphones.

        Scott Main, the lead tech writer for Google’s Android Developers Blog, Monday reminded developers that the newest edition of Android — dubbed “Ice Cream Sandwich” — will “support big screens, small screens and everything in between.” Main also emphasized that Android would maintain “the same version … on all screen sizes” going forward.

      • Preparing for Handsets

        Early this year, Honeycomb (Android 3.0) launched for tablets. Although Honeycomb remains tablets-only, the upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) release will support big screens, small screens, and everything in between. This is the way Android will stay from now on: the same version runs on all screen sizes.

Free Software/Open Source

  • BRIC Countries A Huge Opportunity For FLOSS

    Brazil, Russia, India and China all have governments that support use of FLOSS for many different reasons: cost, security, local economies and building IT infrastructure. They also contain 40% of the global market for PCs and have high rates of growth.

  • Events

    • XDC2011 Chicago Recap: Open-Source Graphics, GPGPU, OpenGL 3.0

      For those that missed out on attending XDC2011 Chicago in person or missed out on the Phoronix coverage due to the Intel Developer Forum and other events taking place last week, here’s a re-cap of the interesting bits of information that were revealed during this year’s developers conference that focused upon open-source graphics drivers, GPGPU / OpenCL computing, and open-source OpenGL 3.0 driver support being just around the corner. Here’s also a collection of photos from the event.

  • Web Browsers

    • Acid3 Test Simplified; All Modern Browsers Score 100
    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla may shorten Firefox’s six-week release schedule to five weeks… or less

        Mozilla, not content with its monumental shift from four major builds in five years down to a new stable build every six weeks, is looking at outputting a new release every five weeks, or perhaps even less.

        Christian Legnitto, a project manager at Mozilla (and currently the “release manager” of Firefox), announced the intention to shift to a shorter release cycle on Mozilla’s planning mailing list. In response to one developer citing the success of the six-week release cycle, and asking whether it would be feasible to speed it up even further, Legnitto said: “Yes, I absolutely think in the future we will shorten the cycle,” but recognizing the pains caused by the sped-up process, he added “But it won’t be soon. We have some work to do to make 6 weeks smooth from a process, tool, and product side.”

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle v. Google – Update on ’702 Reexamination

      One of the patents asserted in the Oracle v. Google case, U.S. Patent No. 5,966,702 [PDF], is subject to an ex parte reexamination as we have earlier reported. Oracle has now filed their response [PDF] to the first office action [PDF] in this reexamination. Not surprisingly, Oracle contends that the art cited by the examiner in the first office action is not relevant and that all of the claims should reissue as is.

  • CMS

  • Healthcare

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • More partisanship from free software leadership

      But Stallman mentions open source with his little air quotes to make sure that when he’s talking about non-free software, he’s also lumping open source with proprietary software in that descriptor. It’s not enough that he disagrees with open source (which is his right, of course), but he also needs to belittle it as much as possible.

  • Public Services/Government

    • NASA unbolts open source space applications challenge

      NASA said it will coordinate with other interested space agencies around the world on an International Space Apps Challenge that will encourage scientists and concerned citizens from all seven continents – and in space – to create, build, and invent new applications that can address world-class issues.

    • MT: Number of open source applications on government desktops doubled

      The number of open source applications installed by default on desktop PCs of public administrations in Malta has increased by 47 percent, between December 2009 and May 2011, says Michel Bugeja, enterprise architect at Malta’s Information Technology Agency (MITA). “The biggest increase is on tools to handle PDFs, for creating diagrams, for mind mapping and for project management.”

Leftovers

  • UEFI secure booting

    The UEFI secure boot protocol is part of recent UEFI specification releases. It permits one or more signing keys to be installed into a system firmware. Once enabled, secure boot prevents executables or drivers from being loaded unless they’re signed by one of these keys. Another set of keys (Pkek) permits communication between an OS and the firmware. An OS with a Pkek matching that installed in the firmware may add additional keys to the whitelist. Alternatively, it may add keys to a blacklist. Binaries signed with a blacklisted key will not load.

  • Government Provides Details on Do-Not-Call Enforcement
  • Hardware

    • Intel downstream partners request CPU price drop

      Executives from Intel’s PC partners – Acer Taiwan president Scott Lin and Compal Electronics president Ray Chen both have invoked Intel to help drop the Ultrabook price to below US$1,000 by reducing the CPU price.

  • Finance

    • SEC’s Proposed Rule To Stop Banks From Profiting At Investors’ Expense

      Underwriters or sponsors of asset-backed securities would be banned for one year from taking positions to profit from investors’ losses under a plan released by U.S. securities regulators on Monday.

      The proposal by the Securities and Exchange Commission would get at the very heart of issues raised by U.S. Senate investigators in a report earlier this year that accused Goldman Sachs of positioning itself to profit from clients’ losses on complex securities that it packaged and sold.

      The proposal would also prohibit the kinds of conflicts that were seen in the SEC’s civil case against Goldman in 2010 by banning third parties from helping assemble an asset-backed pool that would let those parties profit from investors’ losses.

    • Tech Firms Facing the Abyss

      There seems to be quite a few tech companies in trouble these days. In fact, in an article published yesterday on 24/7 Wall Street, tech firms represent six out of the eight major companies listed as being in troubled financial waters. There aren’t any surprises here for anyone who’s been paying attention, but a year or so ago most of us wouldn’t have suspected that some of these companies would even be capable of falling on hard times.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Claimed Monopolies Over ‘Running A Game of Skill Tournament’

      Apparently the Game Show Network felt it could just steal another company’s property by having a computer match, rank and distribute awards to competing contestants based on their relative skill levels. They obviously need to pay dearly for this moral outrage…

    • Patents finance illegal drug company payoffs to doctors and worse

      Dean Baker takes issue with a Washington Post story link here on doctors shilling for drugs and drug companies paying them big money to push greater use of their drug including for uses prohibited by FDA link here.

      The Post article is a routine description (“fair and balanced” as the big papers like to claim) leading to the fact that the doctors are well-paid for what amounts to treating patients while never seeing them. In some cases they push uses that are criminal, as when they recommend or prescribe a drug for unapproved use.

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