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Links 30/9/2011: FOSS Catchup, Many More Linux Tablets

Posted in News Roundup at 3:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Microsoft’s Secure Boot Gambit

    Few vendors and few topics on the Linux Planet inspire as much vitriol as Microsoft. This past week, Microsoft managed to inspire new outrage, as details about its secure boot approach for Windows 8 were alleged to be a potential risk for Linux. It was also a week that saw a delay for Linux 3.1 as the kernel.org servers remained offline.

  • Server

    • Amazon’s Linux AMI is All Grown Up

      Amazon has declared its Linux Amazon Machine Image (AMI) production ready. With the update, Amazon is introducing a security center to track security and privacy issues, providing 50 new packages for the distribution and adding access to Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL).

      The Linux AMI provides a Linux image for use on Amazon EC2, so that users have a way to get started with EC2 without having to create their own image or use one of the paid images from Red Hat or SUSE.

    • Amazon Linux AMI – General Availability and New Features

      A total of 50 new packages are available including the command line tools for AWS, Dash, Dracut, Facter, Pssh, and Varnish. 227 other packages have been updated and 9 have been removed. For a full list of changes, refer to the Amazon Linux AMI Release Notes.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • FLOSS Weekly 184: Eucalyptus

      We talk about Eucalyptus, the project that enables on premise private clouds without retooling existing IT structure or introducing new hardware.

    • Two FaiF Episodes

      I’ve not been particularly good at keeping up with this blog here, although I have generally kept up with the oggcast that I co-host with Karen Sandler, Free as in Freedom, which is released every two weeks.

    • Episode 167: Exporting Grumpy Bears

      This Blog needed a header image – and it still needs a lot of header images to rotate through. So I created one out of an image of a Berlin Subway station. Nothing much new in here – rotating, cropping to the needed aspect ratio, a bit of curves for better contrast and colours, scaling and sharpening. Finally I added a text layer with the image credits.

  • Kernel Space

    • LiMo Foundation and Linux Foundation Announce New Open Source Software Platform, Tizen™
    • Welcome Tizen to The Linux Foundation

      But many of you who closely watch this space may be asking: what about Meego? While Meego will remain a project at The Linux Foundation, we see industry leaders lining up behind Tizen. Imad Sousou, Meego’s technical steering group co-leader, had this to say about the future of Meego.

    • 2011 SNIA SDC Report: Summary

      The annual Storage Developers Conference is kind of like a five-ring circus. There are way too many tracks to follow, all going on at once and all interesting to varying degrees to varying people. It was a big show again this year, but this year it didn’t matter what else was going on. The center of attention was Microsoft’s center-ring act: SMB2.2.

      I have been going to the SNIA SDC every year since before it was the SDC. I started going in 1997, when it was still “The CIFS Conference”. Even before that, I went to lots of different computer conferences and shows. Remember DECUS and DEXPO? Amiga DevCon? LISA-NT? I do.

    • The truth about Linux Power Management “issues”
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • The KDE vs. GNOME Schism In Free Software

      For those looking for an interesting read today, Martin Gräßlin, the maintainer of KDE’s KWin and known for his insightful blog posts, has written about fighting the schism in free software; in particular, the KDE vs. GNOME battle.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Okular The Document Viewer With Even More Features

        When you are looking for a universal document viewer that will suit all of your needs you might as well go for one with all of the features. Thats where Okular dominates the stage on KDE desktops, being one of the best document viewers available. Some of the excellent features include advanced presentation support, overview mode, and annotation capabilities. Also with Okular it is easy to open files and switch between them. Okular will store your recent documents for easy viewing as well. This is how you can install Okular document viewer on your system from the Linux command line.

      • Instant Messaging With Kopete

        For a fun and friendly instant messaging client try Kopete for the KDE desktop. You can use Kopete to communicate with your friends and family, even using multiple different network interfaces. Kopete also offers some key features that are lacking in other instant messengers. Advanced users can also expand the functionality of Kopete using plug-ins without much hassle. So if your current instant messenger will not suffice maybe you should try Kopete today. To install Kopete on your system open your terminal and type these commands.

      • Qt gets a bit more independence

        Qt, the cross-platform and application UI framework, formerly run by Trolltech until they were taken over by Nokia, has taken a step forward to more independence: the hosting of the project will soon move to qt-project.org, a domain owned by a non-profit foundation “whose only purpose is to host the infrastructure for the Qt project”. Lars Knoll, director of Research and Development at Nokia, announced the change on the Qt Labs Blog noting that this move was solely about the infrastructure and the new foundation would not have anything to do with steering the project.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Pardus 2011.2 review

      Pardus is a Linux distribution developed by the Turkish National Research Institute of Electronics and Cryptology (UEKAE), an arm of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK). Unlike most distributions, it is not based on another; an original, in the same sense that Debian is an original Linux distribution.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • LMDE Update Pack 3 is out!

        Update Pack 3 was released as the “latest” update pack today. If you’re not using Linux Mint Debian, please ignore this post.

      • Mandriva Directory Server 2.4.2 now available

        Mandriva announces the immediate availability of a new release of the Mandriva Directory Server (MDS), an easy to use, powerful and secure solution for managing identities, directory services and network services within the enterprise.

      • Mandriva 2011 – A magnificent attempt but is it enough…

        I wish I had the time to provide a more comprehensive review of Mandriva 2011, perhaps I will come back later on with a few more articles featuring Mandriva but until then I seriously recommend trying Mandriva 2011.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Clean Your YUM Out!

        YUM is a package manager and updater service for Red Hat Linux, and if you’re part of the Red Hat Network, you’re likely already using the offering to keep your applications fresh. YUM makes sure your various server components are as up to date as they can be, bringing you the latest and greatest in Red Hat without much fuss.

      • Red Hat’s Jolly Journey to the Billion-Dollar Club

        Red Hat “won’t be the first company to make a billion dollars a year off of open source — Google and IBM spring to mind — but as a ‘pure play linux distro vendor,’ this is great news,” said Slashdot blogger Barbara Hudson. “There’s certainly a halo effect for all linux-based endeavors.” Red Hat has been criticized “for focusing on the business and server market and ignoring the desktop, but the move has paid off in continued growth.”

      • Lessfs 1.5 On CentOS 5

        For this HowTo I used a VirtualBox with CentOS 5.7 x86_64. I attached a separate 20GB Data drive mounted to /data. This will hold the lessfs DB and data. The lessfs mountpoint I put at /lessfs.

      • Open Virtualization Alliance Membership Grows Significantly With Cloud Companies and in Emerging Markets

        The Open Virtualization Alliance (OVA), a consortium committed to fostering the adoption of open virtualization technologies, including Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), today announced that it is experiencing rapid growth in participation from companies focused on cloud computing and emerging markets around the globe.

      • Fedora

        • Where would you like your install today?

          We are making some great progress on Anaconda’s UI revamp mockups after last week’s Anaconda team meetings. Here’s the storage flow diagram, now annotated with the screen #’s from the mockups:

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Trisquel GNU/Linux – Free Software and Gorgeous

          Welcome to Trisquel GNU/Linux! I’ve been wanting to write this for a long time, because trying this distribution really feels inviting. Trisquel GNU/Linux is as you can see by the naming convention one of the few distributions fully endorsed by the Free Software Foundation, and in return they’re doing a lot to promote the FSF and their principles on their website. If you’re yawning already, hold steady and read on, because Trisquel looks sharp and has something to offer.

          Trisquel is available for i686 and x86_64 architectures, and is drawing from both Debian and Ubuntu, a fact which became immediately apparent when booting. To celebrate Software Freedom Day 5.0 was released on 17th September which has become an annual tradition for the project. The main and so far only edition was using GNOME, but since 4.5.1 in May this year there’s also a Trisquel Mini edition using LXDE, and we have been promised that a KDE using image for 5.0 is on the way. For more advanced needs like disk encryption, RAID/LVM or server setups a netinstall image is also available. Since I have a 64-bit capable machine I downloaded the CD sized image trisquel_5.0_amd64.iso (696 MB).

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tiny Cortex-A8 module gains Linux development support

      Timesys announced embedded Linux development support for two Logic PD embedded modules incorporating Texas Instruments’ 1GHz DM3730 processor. The LinuxLink offering supports Logic PD’s Torpedo System on Module (SOM) — which at under one square inch is billed the industry’s smallest embedded module — as well as the larger, more feature-rich DM3730 SOM-LV module.

    • Phones

      • Nokia preps Linux-based Meltemi OS for feature phones, says report

        Nokia is developing a new Linux-based “Meltemi” operating systems to replace Symbian on its feature phones, according to the Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, more details have emerged on the Linux Foundation’s MeeGo-derived Tizen project, which also gained a bit of industry support beyond co-sponsors Intel and Samsung.

      • Android

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • 13 schools. 7 provinces. 3 territories, 2295 students, and 282 teachers: OLPC Canada Progress
      • India’s $35 tablet launching next week?

        Think that new $199 Amazon Kindle Fire tablet is cheap? Indian officials plan to launch a tablet for students on October 5th that will be available for just $35.
        We’ve been hearing stories about the cheap Indian tablet since last summer — and it’s not the country’s first foray into cheap computers. Officials promised a $10 laptop way back in 2009, but it turned out to be just an inexpensive computer without a keyboard or monitor.

      • Government To Launch $35 Tablet On Oct 5

        The long awaited $35 (Rs 1735) dream tablet promised by the Indian government will finally see the light of the day as the launch date has been fixed for October 5. The low cost computing device touted to be the cheapest in the world, has been a project drawn on lines similar to the OLPC, with the students being the target beneficiaries.

      • ZaReason Working to Release First True Open Source Tablet

        There’s no denying the open source world lags far behind the proprietary universe when it comes to tablets and touch-enabled devices. But as ZaReason CEO Cathy Malmrose explained recently, that may soon change, as she and her employees are working hard to release a Linux-friendly tablet. Here are the details.

        It’s true that open source developers have been making progress when it comes to touch. Interfaces including Unity and GNOME 3, with their finger-friendly buttons and emphasis on dropping and gesturing, lend themselves to touch in ways that earlier desktop environments do not. And projects like Canonical’s uTouch promise better overall support for touch on Linux.

      • Introducing Amazon Silk

        Today in New York, Amazon introduced Silk, an all-new web browser powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and available exclusively on the just announced Kindle Fire. You might be asking, “A browser? Do we really need another one?” As you’ll see in the video below, Silk isn’t just another browser. We sought from the start to tap into the power and capabilities of the AWS infrastructure to overcome the limitations of typical mobile browsers.

      • Amazon spins color Kindle tablet, plus three more E Ink devices

        Amazon was widely expected to announce a Kindle-branded tablet today, and it did — also revealing three additional Kindles, two breaking the magical $100 price barrier. The $200 Kindle Fire has a seven-inch color IPS (in-plane switching display), “cloud-accelerated” Silk browser, dual-core processor, and 8GB of flash storage, while the $150 Kindle Touch 3G, $99 Kindle Touch, and $79 Kindle all include six-inch E Ink screens and either 2GB or 4GB of flash.

      • How to Turn a Nook Into a Great Android Tablet

        Presto chango! You can have a full-fledged Android tablet today by applying your DIY skills to a few simple ingredients: a Nook Color, a memory card, a PC to carry out a few tasks — and some nerve. Among your rewards, besides self-satisfaction: the Amazon Kindle app. This is a great solution for anyone who already has a Nook or anyone who just can’t wait another month or so for Amazon’s Fire.

      • The Kindle Fire and the Triumph of Open Source

        Today’s big tech news is the release of a new generation of Amazon Kindles. Of particular interest is the Kindle Fire, a $199, 7-inch color touchscreen tablet based on Android. It seems destined to become the most credible competitor to the iPad.

        One point I haven’t seen anyone make about this is the importance of open source software to the evolution of the tablet computing market. Google decided to make Android an open-source operating system, which meant that third parties could take the code, tweak it for their own needs, and sell competing Android-based products. That’s what Barnes and Noble did last year with the Nook Color, and it’s what Amazon did to create the Kindle Fire.

      • Toshiba’s seven-inch tablet ups ante on screen resolution

        Toshiba announced a seven-inch Android 3.2 tablet featuring an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor and a 1280 x 800-pixel resolution typically found on 10.1-inch models. The Thrive 7″ Tablet offers 16GB or 32GB of storage, microSD and HDMI connections, five- and two-megapixel cameras, and a full complement of wireless features — except for cellular support.

Free Software/Open Source


  • Another Windows Version. Another Hardware Upgrade.

    Windows 8 currently boasts the same hardware requirements as Windows 7. Don’t believe it. Microsoft has never been accurate with its hardware specifications yet.

  • Will Windows 8 ‘Secure Boot’ Lessen Linux Adoption?

    Another issue is that most casual PC users aren’t going to be too enthused about having to do anything extraordinary just to get their computers ready to install Linux. Even with an off switch in computer BIOS, Secure Boot could still be a significant stumbling block for some.

    And even if disabling Secure Boot in the BIOS is simple to do, the fact is that Linux newbies who aren’t aware that Secure Boot even exists will only find themselves frustrated when their distribution won’t install as expected.

  • Linux fans file ACCC complaint over Win8 boot

    A number of Australian Linux users have filed a formal complaint with the national competition regulator over what many perceive to be restrictive practices introduced in upcoming Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system which may stop many mass-market computers from being able to boot alternatives such as Linux.

    Microsoft recently revealed it would support a PC booting protocol named the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) in Windows 8. The move was broadly seen as positive, as it will increase the security of PCs as well as doing away with the legacy limited BIOS platform which underlies operating systems like Windows and Linux on computers today.

  • Finance

    • “Lifting the Veil”

      Mark Ames referred me to the documentary “Lifting the Veil.” I’m only about 40 minutes into it and am confident it will appeal to NC readers, provided you can keep gagging in the sections that contain truly offensive archival footage (in particular, numerous clips of Obama campaign promises).

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Rogers Astroturf Lobby Campaign on Spectrum Foreshadows Battle over Wireless Broadband Competition

      The Rogers astroturf lobby campaign against a spectrum set-aside, which sneakily uses people interested in a notification on when LTE may be available in their market, foreshadows a major battle over the rules on the 2012 spectrum auction. Much like the 2007 battle over the AWS auction, the incumbents will argue that the market is already sufficiently competitive and that any set-aside will unfairly advantage new entrants. The 2007 battle included submissions from Rogers and Bell that insisted that Canada was already “extremely competitive” and that consumer prices for wireless services very low. For example, Rogers argued:

    • Wireless carriers and the fine art of astroturfing

      Rogers, Canada’s biggest cellphone carrier, made waves on Friday by taking its lobbying efforts for the next auction of wireless airwaves to the public. The company launched a website that urges Canadians to write to their MPs in support of a wide-open auction, rather than one that will set aside licenses for new cellphone companies.

    • Mobilicity calls Big 3 lobbying ploy insulting to consumers who will ultimately pay for the return of high wireless rates

      Responding to what it says is a thinly veiled attempt at manipulating government regulators and public perception, Mobilicity today said Canadians should not be fooled by a new Big 3 carrier stunt to get people to protest more wireless spectrum set-asides for Mobilicity and other new carriers.

      “The future of affordable wireless rates is at risk, not the future of long-term evolution (LTE) networks,” said Chief Operating Officer Stewart Lyons. “Mobilicity has helped bring down the cost of wireless in Canada significantly and we need to augment our limited amount of spectrum to ensure affordable pricing continues.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Net neutrality supporters file lawsuit against net neutrality rules

      When the Federal Communications Commission last week issued its final network neutrality rules and said they would go into effect at the end of November, lawsuits against the policy could finally begin. Verizon and Metro PCS, both wireless carriers, had already made clear their intention to sue and were widely expected to be the first to do so. Instead, they were beaten to court by the activist group Free Press—one of the strongest supporters of network neutrality.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Re: Hurt Locker P2P Lawsuit Comes to Canada

        What is curious is that this company that is taking people’s IP’s must be using some sort of commercial app to target the specific city of the person. For example when I try to geo-locate the IP using standard available web apps or demo’s of commercial apps, it shows it to be in Terrebone, or Ottawa or Toronto. The filing shows it as Asbestos, Quebec. How did they get that? And with which app? Or did Bell give them that location?

      • Copyright Board Refuses to Require Transactional Licenses from Access Copyright or its Rights Holders

        The Copyright Board today released a decision denying AUCC’s request to amend the interim Access Copyright post-secondary tariff to force Access Copyright to issue transactional licenses.

      • Canada tries again to update copyright legislation

        The legislation, first introduced ahead of the federal election in May, is designed to cope with things like movie piracy, which the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association put at more than C$1.8 billion ($1.7 billion) in 2009-10, or the equivalent of 12,600 full-time jobs.

      • Government to again debate changes to copyright law

        The Conservative government is taking another stab at revamping Canada’s copyright law after minority parliaments scuttled past attempts.

        Industry Minister Christian Paradis will reintroduce the government’s copyright reform bill Thursday, setting out what consumers and educators can — and can’t — do with copyrighted songs, movies, video games and e-books in the age of MP3 players.

      • Copyright Is Back: Why Canada is Keeping the Flawed Digital Lock Rules

        Later today, the government will table Bill C-11, the latest iteration of the Canadian copyright reform bill that mirrors the previous Bill C-32. It was widely reported this fall that the government would reintroduce the previous bill unchanged, re-start committee hearings where they left off in March (with prior witnesses not asked to return), and move to quickly get the bill passed by the end of the calendar year. That seems to be what is happening with today’s tabling and a new legislative committee to follow.

      • Statement by the Liberal Party of Canada on the Copyright Modernization Act
      • ACTA

        • Minister Fast Visits Japan and Indonesia to Drive Canada’s Success in Priority Markets
        • ACTA to Be Signed – But Can it Enter into Force?

          It has been reported in the global press this week that ACTA will be signed October 1 in Japan. But that does not mean that ACTA actually goes into effect.

          ACTA Article 40 states that the “Agreement shall enter into force thirty days after the date of deposit of the sixth instrument of ratification, acceptance, or approval as between those Signatories that have deposited their respective instruments of ratification, acceptance, or approval.” Although six ratifications is a pretty low threshold for an agreement with 36 parties to the negotiation, it is far from clear that this agreement will get even that.

        • Holding of the Signing Ceremony for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

          On Saturday, October 1, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan will hold the signing ceremony for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) at Iikura Guest House, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

        • ACTA will be signed Saturday

          On Saturday, October 1, 2011, parties that have completed relevant domestic processes will sign ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement).

          FFII (Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure) statement:

          The world faces major challenges: access to medicine, diffusion of green technology needed to fight climate change, and a balanced Internet governance. While flexibility is essential to solve these major issues, ACTA codifies heightened measures.

          To stimulate startup companies, the EU legal situation should minimize market entrance risks for innovators. In digital markets, innovators are often confronted with patent minefields. Even a mere allegation of infringement may easily lead to market exclusion. ACTA’s damages beyond the actual prejudice have a disproportional negative effect on startup companies, which do not have deep pockets.

        • EU will not join countries in signing ACTA this weekend

          Japan has announced that negotiators of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) will congregate at the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday and those countries that have “completed the relevant domestic processes” will sign the agreement.

          ACTA is a voluntary international treaty that seeks to provide standardised international enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights. The agreement was negotiated in secret by the Governments of a collection of countries over the past three years.

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