10.11.11

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Links 11/10/2011: KDE Releases Plasma Active One, Debian 6.0.3 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 6:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Dave Whitinger, LXer

    I know of Dave Whitinger from LXer, which is a lot of people’s must-read for Linux and open source news (obviously, it’s one of my daily stops). Dave has a fascinating setup. As you’ll read, it’s Fluxbox over Fedora, and as Dave points out, it allows him to use the same user interface for as long as he wants to. Thinking like this keeps Dave out of the UI wars and lets him focus on work. It’s a novel concept…

  • Different computer users, one common Linux complaint

    I guess I fall in the gourmet user category. I decided not to jump into the MS Office 2007 wagon because I could use the previous version quite efficiently. Well, since the version I bought did not include PowerPoint, I had to learn how to use electronic presentation software in StarOffice. Additionally, I didn’t like the Ribbon interface…and they killed “Linxs”. To modify pictures, I used Satori (never liked Photoshop), not MS Paint. And I didn’t use MS Movie Maker to produce videos, but VirtualDub. I required my OS to be able to handle Japanese input. Finally, I also wanted my OS to handle text-to-speech synthesis, to fire all sorts of alarms (music, alerts, actions) and to keep me protected from malware. I managed to learn how to do all that in Windows (with the obvious exception of the latter, which is virtually impossible). To do everything I required, the computer depended on many, many third-party programs to add functionality to the MS OS.

    I never shy away from learning. That’s the reason why migrating to Linux was not so difficult for me…not to mention that I found a friendlier environment in which all tasks I require from the OS can be performed more easily than in the MS operating system.

  • Small Victories? I’ll Take ‘Em…

    Unfortunately, one of her most counted-on apps will not run in Wine or Crossover. Efficient PIM is a great little all-around calendaring app with a ton of features. She has now upgraded to the full version just so she has a license, should she ever have to reinstall. I had a legit license for WinXP SP3 and I installed it via VirtualBox on her Linux side.

    From what I understand, she is now working more than half the time in Linux. Microsoft is in the position to abuse their customer base this way because people think they have to endure it to access their computer.

    I am glad to report there is one less of them today.

  • Kernel Space

    • Motherboards With Broken ASPM On Linux

      One of the many OpenBenchmarking.org features that haven’t yet been fully taken advantage is the opportunities presented by the vast collection of system hardware/software information and logs that have been submitted to this collaborative testing platform from Phoronix Media. OpenBenchmarking.org is much more than just being a storage place for benchmark results. After writing a simple plug-in this morning, here’s a list of many motherboards that have broken PCI-E Active State Power Management support from their BIOS, which can lead to greatly increased power consumption under Linux.

    • Intel’s Brewing A New Linux Driver Release Cycle

      Intel’s Open-Source Technology Center (OSTC) team responsible for the open-source Linux graphics driver stack is drafting new plans for how they release their driver code. The release model and release criteria for the Intel Linux driver will be quite different from the status quo of putting out new releases on a timed quarterly basis.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Desktop Summit 2011 Berlin survey published
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE takes on Android, Apple’s iOS on smartphones and tablets

        If another group was trying to take on Android and Apple’s iOS on smartphones and tablets, I’d dismiss them. RIM, BlackBerry’s parent company, is having a heck of a time getting anyone to buy into PlayBook and while HP TouchPad users loved it,HP killed the TouchPad after only a few weeks. So, why should anyone think that KDE, makers of one of the two most popular Linux desktops, should stand a chance with Plasma Active? Well, because KDE has a long history of delivering the goods with minimal resources.

        So what is it? Plasma Active is not, like Android, iOS, or webOS, an operating system. It’s a KDE 4.x style interface and application programming interface (API) designed for touch devices. The Plasma Active Team states that “Plasma Active is innovative technology for an intelligent user experience (UX). It is intended for all types of tablets, smartphones and touch computing devices such as set-top boxes, smart TVs, home automation, in-vehicle infotainment. The goals for this KDE open source project are:
        A fast embedded UX platform with minimal memory requirements
        Customizable and modular to support different form factors
        An interface that adapts as users change Activities.

      • Plasma Active One released!

        Today marks a major milestone for KDE Plasma Workspaces. Plasma Active One has been released, primarily for tablet computers. It is the latest expression of the Plasma concept, following Plasma Desktop and Plasma Netbook. In the KDE tradition, Plasma Active One is designed for the best User Experience—for people on the move and engaged in many activities.

        Plasma Active is a truly open project. It is modular, customizable, and offers an attractive app development environment. The KDE Community and the Plasma Active team invite participation from individuals and companies with interests in ultraportable computing.

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 2nd October 2011
      • KDE Releases Plasma Active One User Experience

        There’s several screenshots of this new KDE tablet user experience within the press release. Plasma Active can be installed as a package and there are also live images available for those interested in testing this mobile user experience from the KDE developers.

  • Distributions

    • Tiny Core 4.0 Put Together Your Own Desktop

      The traditions of small size and speedy operation that were established in previous versions of this distro have been upheld in the new release, and believe it or not, improved upon. I’m not exaggerating when I say that you could be staring at a fully loaded desktop ten seconds after you boot from the 12MB ISO image.

    • New Releases

      • Parsix GNU/Linux 3.7r1 Is Available for Download

        Alan Baghumian proudly announced on October 9th, the immediate availability for download of the Parsix GNU/Linux 3.7r1 operating system.

        Parsix GNU/Linux 3.7r1 is the first maintenance update to Parsix 3.7 series, bringing a lot of new features and improvements, and of course many updated packages.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Video: Red Hat on CNBC’s Mad Money
      • Triangle CEOs back tax break

        BY DAVID RANII The News and Observer

        The CEOs of Red Hat and Quintiles, two of the largest companies based in the Triangle, say that a new bipartisan bill co-sponsored by North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan could entice them to hire more U.S. workers.

        Red Hat’s Jim Whitehurst and Dennis Gillings of Quintiles were among a half-dozen local business executives who turned out at a press briefing Friday, flanking Hagan in a show of support for the bill that calls for temporarily cutting the tax rate for corporate profits earned overseas. Many multinational corporations with a presence in the state across a range of industries – including Cisco Systems and Duke Energy – have pushed for the tax break.

      • Red Hat will wait on Progress

        Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst said the Linux software company can afford to delay its move into one of Progress Energy’s two downtown Raleigh buildings while the utility overhauls its merger plans with Duke Energy.

        In August, Red Hat announced it would shift its headquarters from N.C. State University’s Centennial Campus to downtown Raleigh, where Progress plans to exit one of its buildings in conjunction with its merger with Charlotte-based Duke. But a glitch emerged last week when federal regulators sought assurances that the merged company won’t manipulate electricity rates.

      • Red Hat
      • Red Hat to Acquire Gluster
      • Open Virtualization Alliance Grows

        It appears that KVM, the Linux kernel’s built-in virtualization, has become mainstream with the Open Virtualization Alliance now having 200 members. Started by HP, IBM, Intel and RedHat the Alliance seeks to promote and standardize KVM and associated tools so that price/performance and competition thrives.

    • Debian Family

      • Updated Debian 6.0: 6.0.3 released

        The Debian project is pleased to announce the third update of its stable distribution Debian 6.0 (codename squeeze). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments to serious problems. Security advisories were already published separately and are referenced where available.

      • Download Debian 6.0.3 Now

        The Debian project proudly announced a couple of days ago, October 8th, the third maintenance release of the stable Debian 6.0 operating system.

        Debian 6.0.3 brings fixes to various security issues, as well as improvements to some serious problems. Some of the packages included in the previous versions of the distribution were also updated with the Debian 6.0.3 release.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 11.10 In The Offing, Will Have ARM and Cloud Features

            Reports from a variety of sources indicate that the forthcoming Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) will feature ARM architecture support as well as a variety of cloud features.

            At the Open Stack conference in Boston this week, Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical (which makes Ubuntu), gave a keynote wherein she teased details of the upcoming distro, which is due to launch this week–Thursday, October 13th, to be exact.

          • The World Welcomes Oneiric Ocelot: Ubuntu 11.10

            The Ubuntu Linux distribution has come a long way since it’s first release in 2004. It started out as a nicely packaged Linux desktop, built from a specific set of packages cultivated from the nearly thirty thousand packages available in the Debian distribution. Regular six-month releases ensured that Ubuntu would always be close to the cutting edge of Linux and free software development. Every fourth release is a long-term support offering, which gets security and support updates for three years. In the last seven years Canonical, the primary commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, has added a server version of Ubuntu, built UbuntuOne, a cross-platform cloud storage solution, and made great strides in cloud computing.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 to Feature Arm Support, Cloud Orchestration

            The next version of Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux distribution, to be released next week, will be the first to run on the Arm architecture, as well as the first edition to offer a new cloud service orchestration engine, called JuJu.

          • Ubuntu Linux heads to the clouds

            Last week, Ubuntu Linux’s parent company Canonical CEO Jane Silber announced at the OpenStack cloud software conference that HP has chosen Ubuntu as the lead host and guest operating system for its Public Cloud. That’s impressive. It’s Canonical’s biggest enterprise win to date, but that’s only a hint of what Canonical is up to with the cloud.

            Canonical started its move to OpenStack from Eucalyptus in February. While Canonical has promised its not going to leave its Eucalyptus users without support, the company is clearly pinning all its cloud plans going forward around OpenStack.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 launch interview- Unity is here to stay

            Linux User talks to Canonical’s Gerry Carr to get the full low-down on Ubuntu 110.10 ‘Oneric Ocelot’ ahead of its 13th October launch…

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Bodhi Linux 1.2.1 and other Updates

              At little over a month ago the Bodhi team and I released our second update release. We were unaware at the time that the version of GCC used to compile the kernel on this release had an issue that caused an issue for some users when compiling and inserting extra kernel modules (such as the nvidia drivers and Virtual Box). This update release today contains a kernel in which this issue has been resolved.

              If you already installed Bodhi 1.2.0 (or an earlier release) and your system is working fine (odds are it is, this issue was only affecting some users) there is no reason to install this new release. It is simply a bug fix release so the ISO image has the updated kernel by default.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Releases Chrome Desktop-Sharing Feature

        Called Chrome Remote Desktop, the new feature is in beta testing and lets you connect any two computers that have a Chrome browser, including systems running Windows, Linux, and Mac OS, as well as Chromebooks. The app can access all data on a remote computer and requires the person sharing access to their computer to give a code to the person who will tap into it remotely. That authentication must be done every time access is granted.

    • Mozilla

      • Future Firefox to slurp updates silently

        Mozilla is changing the way Firefox installs on computers in an apparent concession to enterprise users it previously ruled were irrelevant.

      • Stop Firefox from Greying Out URLs in the Navigation Bar
      • Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs On The Fate Of Firefox In A Mobile Era

        Firefox is one of the world’s most popular desktop browsers, with more than 450 million users. But as the world increasingly turns to mobile devices to access the web, Mozilla is in danger of getting left in the dust. A recent Pew report found that roughly 68% of all smartphone owners access the mobile web on a typical day; what’s more, 25% of those users go online mostly using their phone (rather than, say, a PC).

      • Mozilla postpones Firefox 3.6 update plan
      • Firefox Boounce, Switch Search Engines Effortlessly
      • Mozilla: Rising revenue, but rising challenges

        The Mozilla Foundation, the developer of the Firefox Web browser and an organization charged with defending openness on the Web, plans to report today that its revenue increased 18 percent from $104 million in 2009 to $123 million in 2010.

        Expenses rose, too, though–from $61 million to $87 million–and Mozilla generated less net cash, down from $26 million to $22 million, according to Mozilla’s tax filings. But hey, in case you missed it–Mozilla measures its success by improving the Web, not amassing a pile of cash.

      • Firefox 8: The Next Major Version of Mozilla’s Browser

        While many Firefox users are still working with version 7, Mozilla has made a beta version of Firefox 8 available, and this version can be thought of as the next major iteration of the browser. You can download the beta now. It’s the latest of several upgrades to Firefox that Mozilla has delivered since moving to a rapid release cycle in February, which came in response to machine gun-paced releases of Google Chrome. Firefox version 8, is in Mozilla’s own view, the next big upgrade.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle Drives Java Technology Forward at Annual Conference

      One of the side benefits of Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems was it gained control over Java, and therefore gained a wedge against its Java-loving rival IBM. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison declared victory over IBM Power Systems in the Java performance category at its Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco last week, while at the same time, Oracle and IBM teamed up at the nearby JavaOne 2011 conference to discuss the future of the world’s most popular programming environment.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Free Software Foundation Calls PDF Done

      Matt Lee of the Free Software Foundation announced earlier this week from their web-site that this high priority FSF project has been removed from their list since the mission is complete. The foundation cites libpoppler as an open-source library supporting modern PDF features like annotations and forms as now being good enough to mark GNU PDF off their list.

    • Richard Stallman Draws Heat for His Negative Comments on Steve Jobs
    • Eric S Raymond Defends Richard M Stallman Over Steve Jobs
    • RMS – Too Crude to Lose

      When it comes to software freedom, Richard Stallman is a bomb throwing anarchist. That’s a good thing. The FOSS community needs a few bomb throwers in its arsenal.

      His job is to keep the bad guys, those who constantly attempt to usurp our principles for their own gain, at bay. More importantly, his job is to expose them, which helps keep us FOSSers from believing the spinmasters when they use Orwellian magic to convince us that “closed is open.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • A New Experiment in Open-Source Citizenship

      Not long ago I received in the mail a slender envelope with international postage on the front. Inside was a small card-paper placard bearing my name, handwritten, confirming my citizenship in what is apparently the world’s newest nation—neither South Sudan nor Kosovo, of course, nor even a nascent Palestine, but rather nowhereisland. This decidedly more post-materialist undertaking is the brainchild of British artist Alex Hartley.

    • Big Pharma’s Open Innovation Initiatives Zoom In on Discovery

      The software industry was a trailblazer in the field of open-source innovation. Savings to users were estimated at about $60 billion a year, according to a 2008 study by The Standish Group International. Open-source collaboration has now spread to the biopharma industry, among others.

Leftovers

  • OpenIndiana – back and better

    The last time I took OpenIndiana for a test run it was back when the project was first getting up and running. At the time they’d just moved away from the OpenSolaris project and were in the process of moving things over and getting their infrastructure in place. Predictably running a development release of a new project in the midst of a major change wasn’t a smooth experience. At the time some applications didn’t work properly and, though the project’s work with file system snapshots was coming along nicely, the newborn OpenIndiana wasn’t yet ready to face the world. Well, some time has passed, a new stable release (version 151, Desktop edition) is here and it’s time to see what a fully formed OpenIndiana can do!

  • Security

  • Wikileaks

    • Google Hands Wikileaks Volunteer’s Gmail Data to U.S. Government

      The contacts list and IP address data of Jacob Appelbaum, a WikiLeaks volunteer and developer for Tor was given to the U.S. government after they requested it using a secret court order enabled by a controversial 1986 law called the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, according to the Wall Street Journal. The law allows the government to demand information from ISPs not only without a warrant, but without ever notifying the user.

  • Finance

    • Michael Lewis: The United States is Now a Third-World Nation

      Michael Lewis, author of the new book “Boomerang,” says the United States and many European nations suffered a moral failure which lead to economic collapse. Lewis insists that the U.S. economic situation will get much worse before it gets better.

    • Michael Hudson on #OccupyWallStreet and the Need to Treat Banks as Utilities
    • What They’ve Come to Find at Occupy Wall Street Is America

      Sal Cioffi and Randy Otero are union electricians from Local 3 of the IBEW in New York. They’re working on the Freedom Tower a few blocks over in lower Manhattan. Over the past couple of days, they’ve taken to having their lunch in Zuccotti Park, in the middle of the Occupy Wall Street protesters who have set up camp here. The event has grown sufficiently that it’s now attracted almost as many food trucks and mobile falafel units as it has television-news trucks, so there’s always some place for Sal and Randy to buy lunch. So they park themselves on the stone bench, put their hard hats on the ground and, almost organically, they become part of the event.

      “We’ve had demonstrations, and it never makes the news,” says Sal. “We could have 10,000 workers demonstrating, and it won’t make the news. At least, something like this, they get the publicity.”

    • “Occupy” Movement Comes to Madison, Wisconsin

      The energy from Wisconsinites protesting Governor Scott Walker’s attack on working people in early spring may have inspired Occupy Wall Street, and on Friday, Occupy Wall Street inspired demonstrations in Wisconsin. Around 150 people gathered in Madison’s Reynolds Park Friday night for the first in a series of Occupy Madison demonstrations.

    • How I tracked down The Market

      Has anyone seen him? Has anyone talked to him? Gotten answers? Maybe asked him to change his ways? I cannot think of a single journalist, economists, or policy maker who has interviewed The Market. And then I knew…this was only a job only for Dr. Gal Noir. I wanted to hear more about The Market’s rationale for what seemed to be very disturbing developments. I wouldn’t normally investigate questions that are only of interest to me, but it turns out that The 99% have been asking the same questions too. Of course, we all know who The 99% are. Here are their stories and their faces. But no one seems to know exactly who The Market is!

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