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10.30.11

Links 30/10/2011: GNOME 3.3.1, GNOME User Survey

Posted in News Roundup at 7:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • How to Convince Your Friends to Use Linux Without Being a Jerk

    Linux is one of the most secure and stable operating systems around, and yet, its user base hasn’t really grown as everyone expected it to. There are many reasons for this, and we won’t go into those right now. However, if you, like any other Linux user, are disappointed by the current market share stats, we can tell you some simple tips that will help you convince your Windows or Mac-crazy friends into using Linux.

    Now, many Linux users have already tried to coax their friends and family members to try out this popular and newbie-friendly distro called Ubuntu. A select few have succeeded and many have failed. So here, we will give you some important tips to help you spread the word about Linux without sounding like that arrogant nerd who has nothing but contempt for Windows or Mac.

  • What’s Popular In The Linux World This Year

    Now being in Orlando for the UDS-P summit, but with the event not officially getting underway until Monday (beginning with Mark’s keynote where something will be announced), there’s time to catch up on a few things (especially as the beer is crap and the weather is less than ideal for VFR flight at the moment). In deciding what to write about next, I was looking at the most popular Phoronix stories from this calendar year.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.2 Is Still Looking To Be Power Hungry

      The PCI subsystem pull for the Linux 3.2 kernel was published on Friday evening. If you were hoping it would rework PCI-E ASPM (Active-State Power Management) to be more like the Windows implementation or for more PCI drivers to be setting the bits directly to support it (effectively white-listing drivers/hardware), it didn’t happen yet.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The DRM Pull Request For Linux 3.2 Kernel

        There’s a new driver to the DRM subsystem in Linux 3.2 and it’s the Samsung Exynos SoC driver. This DRM driver is only for the Exynos 4210 SoC at the moment. It supports kernel mode-setting, but doesn’t expose any 2D/3D hardware acceleration or any user-space interfaces. Samsung doesn’t have a full open-source driver stack for this ARM SoC, so the capabilities of this driver just come down to mode-setting in the kernel right now. Samsung has been working on this driver for a while.

      • 2011 Linux Graphics Survey Results

        In September the 2011 Linux Graphics Survey came to an end, but due to Oktoberfest, AMD Bulldozer Linux testing, OpenBenchmarking.org developments, and other matters, I didn’t have time to look at the survey results until this weekend when getting ready for the Ubuntu Developer Summit. Here’s the 2011 results looking at what Linux desktop end-users are running when it comes to graphics cards and drivers as well as their key concerns.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 3.3.1 Development Release

        It never stops ! Here comes the first development release of the 3.3 development cycle. We are off to a slow start, with most features still
        on the drawing board or in early development. Expect things to become more exciting in the next development release. But for now, we want you to download, compile and test this release.

        [...]

        This release is a snapshot of early development code.

      • GNOME 3.3.1 Development Release Is Here
      • Gnome User Survey

        Phoronix recently hosted a near Gnome User Survey, which surprised me, given Gnome Developers’ general “We know what’s best, bug off” attitude.

  • Distributions

    • Zentyal Linux, a usable Linux Server
    • Jolicloud “personal cloud” for PC, iOS, Android coming soon

      Jolicloud Personal Cloud

      Jolicloud is getting ready to roll out a new cloud-based service that the company says will offer a new way to interact with all of your online services from one place — and that place can be a web browser, smartphone app or tablet app.

      When Jolicloud first launched, the company made an operating system for netbooks based on Ubuntu Linux. The “cloud” part of the name signified two things: the ability to “install” web apps to your desktop so you could launch them quickly just like native Linux applications, and a social element that let you share your recent activity with your peers.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Ubuntu, Red Hat Take Stand On Microsoft’ Secure Boot Lockdown

        Microsoft stirred the bee’s hive by announcing new requirements for manufacturers who want to ship Windows 8 systems, including a feature called ‘Secure Boot’. It means only Windows 8 will be able to run on that hardware, locking GNU/Linux out, shutting all windows on Linux on these computers.

      • Secure Boot and your choice for Linux

        Canonical, the parent company of Ubuntu together with Red Hat, have weighed into the controversy surrounding the so called Secure Boot setup that requires OEMs to lock down your BIOS allowing only “approved” software to boot from it. This is of course being pushed by Microsoft.

      • Feeding the trolls

        A few years ago I got up on stage and briefly talked about how the Linux community contained far too many people who were willing to engage in entirely inappropriate behaviour, how this discouraged people from getting involved and how we weren’t very good at standing up against that sort of behaviour. Despite doing this in front of several hundred people, and despite the video of me doing so then being uploaded to the internet, this got me a sum total of:

        * No death threats
        * No discussion about any of my physical attributes or lack thereof
        * No stalkers
        * No accusations that I was selling out the Linux community
        * No accusations that I was a traitor to my gender
        * No real negative feedback at all[1]

      • Red Hat, The Linux Foundation and Canonical Publish White Paper on Unified Extensible Firmware Interface
      • Will Rise Of Cloud Computing Push Red Hat Higher?

        Today we’ll look at Red Hat (RHT), a leading provider of open source operating systems based on Linux. The rise of cloud computing has been increasing demand for Red Hat’s open source solutions, which are often less expensive than comparable offerings from Microsoft and other rivals.

      • Red Hat, Cisco Partner to Bring Open Source to the Cloud

        Cisco and Red Hat offer RHEL with FlexPod: FlexPod, as you might remember, is the NetApp/Cisco virtualization project, essentially a blueprint for deploying a pre-configured interoperable virtualization environment specifically designed for scalability. Now, Red Hat Enterprise Linux will be part of that mix, and will be part of Cisco’s Validated Design (CVD) program. Ideally, Red Hat now has another avenue to find its way into enterprise data centers, potentially even through Cisco VARs. In addition to the CVD induction, Red Hat will also be made compatible with Secure Separation, a process that ensures secure “separate multi-tenant environments for non-virtualized workloads, alongside virtualized ones.”

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Debian joins Dropbox’s officially supported platforms along with Fedora and Ubuntu

        If you checkout Dropbox’s Linux download page, you will see that Debian packages are provided. Up to a few days ago, they only provided packages for Ubuntu and Fedora.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • End of support for Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) Netbook and ARM – 2011/10/29

            Ubuntu announced the 10.04 Netbook Edition and Ubuntu for ARM products 18 months ago, on April 29, 2010. At that time, Ubuntu committed to ongoing security and critical fixes for a period of 18 months for these specific products.

          • Ubuntu Unity Experience

            I’ve come to enjoy launching and switching between applications via the Launcher. Making the distinction between running and not running applications less important and having stable targets for the most common applications is nice. But only as long as it’s about single window applications, as having to juggle windows after using the launcher just feels like a hassle. The single top bar switching between title and menu is great with maximized windows. This is barely enough to tolerate the shortcomings.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot review – Damn good

            Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot has a silly name, but it is a very decent and polished product.

          • Ubuntu LTS support period getting extended starting Ubuntu 12.04
          • Dell bundles Ubuntu Linux on PCs in China
          • Canonical, Dell bring Ubuntu laptops to 220 Chinese retail stores
          • Canonical Changes OEM Strategy to Reflect New Customer Base

            What do you do when your partners also become some of your most important customers? That’s a challenge Canonical executives grappled with recently as they moved to restructure Canonical’s relationship with OEMs. Here’s what’s changed at the company, and what it means for the open source channel.

            As Canonical CEO Jane Silber pointed out in a recent blog post, OEM partnerships have been key to distributing Canonical’s main product, the Linux-based Ubuntu operating system. Agreements with server manufacturers in particular have helped Ubuntu gain a significant presence on enterprise machines.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Review: Kubuntu 11.10 “Oneiric Ocelot”

              That’s where my time with Kubuntu ended. Barring a few Rekonq crashes which could be fixed by Mozilla Firefox, Kubuntu is absolutely amazing. It is stable, polished, and really, really fast. Plus, it brings with it the benefits of a familiar interface (compared to Ubuntu’s Unity) along with the large package selection and the PPA system of Ubuntu. I would strongly recommend that newbies try this, and if the trend of improvements is an indicator for future versions, I might just consider installing Kubuntu 12.04 LTS “Precise Pangolin” on my laptop as my main distribution, now that I know that it will be supported for 5 years. It, along with Linux Mint, Chakra, #!, and Pardus, is now a contender. Bravo Kubuntu!

            • Xubuntu 11.10: go, little ‘Buntu, go!
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Xilinx Launches Open Source Linux Support and Developer Community at ARM TechCon for Zynq-7000 Extensible Processing Platform

      Xilinx Adds Open Source Linux Support as Xilinx Continues to Build out Development Model for its ARM Processor-Based Programmable SoC

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Exclusive: First Pictures of the DROID4 by Motorola

          Keyboard lovers, get ready – the DROID4 by Motorola is coming and according to our sources, has the best slideout they have “ever seen on a smartphone.” In this set of glamour shots we received, you can get a taste for what’s to come which means ultra-thin slider with DROID RAZR styling and wait for it….4G LTE. You asked for it and Moto appears to have made it.

        • Motorola announces Q3 financial results: Smartphones selling like hotcakes, tablets… not so much

          Motorola Mobility recently announced third-quarter 2011 financial results, posting net revenues of $3.3 billion, up 11 percent from third quarter 2010. Mobile device revenue came in at $2.4 billion, up 20 percent from Q3 of last year. Motorola smartphones have been flying off shelves, with 4.8 million smartphones shipped in Q3 of 2011, up 1 million from Q3 of last year. On the flip side, Motorola’s XOOM tablet hasn’t been doing so well, with only 100,000 XOOM’s shipped in Q3 (apple ships that many iPads a day). There’s also a few tidbits in there about the Motorola/Google merger, with around 18 million in expenses going towards the merger, which will seek stockholder approval on November 17th. The merger will also require antitrust clearances in the U.S., by the European Commission, and in Canada, China, Israel, Russia, Taiwan and Turkey.

        • An Update on Google TV

          The Google TV platform contributes to this evolution by enabling new content creators to add to the programming you already enjoy on your TV. Given so much choice, we’re committed to delivering the best way to discover and engage with the high-quality entertainment on your television, whether that comes from your cable or satellite provider (DISH, Comcast, DIRECTV, etc.) or from the Web (YouTube, Netflix, and thousands more). The initial version of Google TV wasn’t perfect, but launching it gave us the opportunity to learn. These are still early days, and we’re working hard to move forward with each update.

        • Hacking the Google TV Box Without Rooting It

          I’ve long held the opinion that the most effective way to get Internet-based content onto a TV is to simply hook a laptop up to the flat screen with an HDMI cable. The laptop acts as an oversized remote control. You get a full Flash-based Web browser, hard drive and keyboard on your TV.

        • Top 5 Word Games For Android
        • Hands on: Motorola Atrix 2 review

          The original Motorola Atrix smartphone was a powerful device that doubled as a pseudo laptop or AV centre – you could connect it to an HDTV in your living room or the LCD on your desk and run a Linux variant with full keyboard and mouse.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Following the open source (and beer) trail through Europe

    Before I follow up with a story on Nokia Qt’s news of the Qt platform now moving to a completely pure open source status, I thought I would also make mention of LinuxCon as I had to select just one from the two events and chose to have my beer German flavoured this year with Qt.

    LinuxCon will reportedly feature a keynote/Q&A held between Linus Torvalds and Greg Kroah-Hartman about the kernel and 20 years of Linux.

    So 20 years in as we are, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst will detail the biggest challenges we still now face and what the next 20 years looks like. While Chairman Emeritus at the IBM Academy of Technology, Dr. Irving Wladawsky-Berger will present “Linux – A Short Retrospective and an Opinion on the Future”.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Feeds The Mouth That Bites It; Starts To Bing

        The only reason we have Firefox today is because Microsoft used their signature anti-competitive business practice to butcher Netscape. Google helped Firefox to generate revenue so as to create a competitor to Microsoft’s fossilized Internet Explorer and bring the Web to the highway.

        Firefox used Google as its default search engine. The open source browser signed a deal with Microsoft recently to also use Bing as a search option.

        Just today the open source browser announced another deal to feed the hand that bites it. The Mozilla foundation has announced a version of Firefox with Bing as the default search engine.

        Microsoft is an abusive monopoly which kept all other players out of the PC business. When Linux emerged as a contender they started attacking all Linux players over unknown patent issues which Linus Torvalds called bogus.

      • Bing Filters LibreOffice And Linux, Yet Firefox Goes In Bed

        Firefox, which was created from the ashes of Netscape, which was burned down by none other than Microsoft, is now going in bed with the same Microsoft. The interesting point is Microsoft’s Bing gives out ‘confusing’ results.

        We did a test and searched for Open Source Office Suite. The results were obvious for any user. You must see OpenOffice and LibreOffice as top results. When we Googled. We got the expected Results.

      • Mozilla’s Brendan Eich on JavaScript – and Microsoft Buying Netscape

        It seems so long ago now, but for those of us lucky enough (and old enough) to have been there, the launch of Netscape’s 0.9 version of its Netscape Navigator browser in October 1994 was clearly the beginning of a new era. For a few years, Netscape was the centre of the Internet universe – it’s home page was the first you checked each morning for news about what was happening on this strange new Web thing that the company was doing so much to define.

        Of course, Netscape went from Net hero to zero remarkably rapidly, but its influence is still felt in multiple ways. Perhaps most importantly, Netscape Navigator gave rise to Mozilla and thus Firefox. It also gave us JavaScript. Or rather, Netscape’s Brendan Eich gave us JavaScript. Eich is not so well known as some of his colleagues around that time, and that’s a pity, because he was one of the key figures in this formative time. Today he is CTO of Mozilla.

        A few weeks ago I met up with him, and we looked back at the amazing ride the Web – and he – has had since the founding of Netscape. What follows is the first part of that interview, dealing with the birth of JavaScript and the origins of Mozilla. Next week the story will look at Firefox and more recent developments.

  • SaaS

    • Internap Debuts World’s First OpenStack-based Public Cloud
    • Karmasphere Announces Quick-Start Hadoop Virtual Appliance for Developing Analytics on IBM InfoSphere BigInsights
    • Jaspersoft Announces New Hadoop-Based Big Data Analytics Solution
    • Why We Moved Off The Cloud

      Cloud computing is often positioned as a solution to scalability problems. In fact, it seems like almost every day I read a blog post about a company moving infrastructure to the cloud. At Mixpanel, we did the opposite. I’m writing this post to explain why and maybe even encourage some other startups to consider the alternative.

      First though, I wanted to write a short bit about the advantages of cloud servers since they are ideal for some use cases.

      * Low initial costs. Specifically, you can get a cloud server for less than $20. Even the cheapest dedicated servers (and I wouldn’t recommend the cheapest) will cost more than $50. For new companies, this can make a difference.
      * Fast deployment times and hourly billing.If you have variable traffic and you’re not having problems scaling your data persistence layer, you can fairly easy spin up and spin down servers quickly in response to usage patterns. It’s worth pointing out that I specifically mean variable traffic rather than growing traffic. From purely an ease of deployment standpoint, handling even quickly growing traffic is fairly easy on both cloud and dedicated platforms.

      * Cheap CPU performance.If your application is purely CPU bound, then you can end up with great price/performance ratios. Most cloud servers allow a single small node on a physical server to use more than its fair share of CPU resources if they are otherwise underutilized — and they often are. One of the last bits of our infrastructure still on the cloud is CPU bound and even though we pay for very small Rackspace cloud servers, we get the performance of dedicated hardware.

    • Clouds, open source, and new network models: Part 3
    • Open Compute Project Aims to Bring Open Source Standards to Data Center Technology
  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle v. Google – Oracle On Copyright

      Yesterday’s filings of significance all came from Oracle, beginning with a letter to the judge disagreeing with Google’s request that certain copyright issues be disposed of by the judge before the trial commences. (566 [PDF; Text]) Google had suggested that the following issues related to Oracle’s copyright infringement claims were a matter of law and should be decided by the court before the commencement of the trial to make the trial proceed more efficiently:

    • October wrap-up

      I would like to come back shortly on two of the announcements we made, regarding the porting of the LibreOffice platform (not the interface) to iOS and Android, as well as LibreOffice OnLine. While these two projects are at various stages of completion and have different requirements they help to show not just the vitality of our community, they also shed some light on how we manage to embrace a bazaar-like approach to development and think about what I call our “development ecology” (which some could really translate into development strategy, but I think it’s more subtler than that). What you see through our online office suite project and platform porting announcements is that we are taking some great care in doing something paradoxal with respect to our stated intent to change the codebase as much as possible: we keep our codebase intact. Note that we do change, upgrade, clear and trim the codebase, but we do adopt a singular codebase approach where the code used in LibreOffice OnLine, and the underlying code on iOS and Android will essentially be the same than the one inside the LibreOffice Desktop suite. In other words, we do not release a product here and something completely different there, even if in the future, a specific work on the interface for tablets will have to be made (we won’t use the existing interface on these as it would not make sense).

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Hadapt Secures $9.5MM Series A Financing

      Hadapt, creator of the first big data platform to integrate Hadoop with a structured data store to allow for high performance analytics across both structured and unstructured data, today announced that it has closed a $9.5 million Series A round of financing led by Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) and Bessemer Venture Partners. Matthew Howard, general partner at NVP, and Felda Hardymon, partner at Bessemer, have joined Hadapt’s Board of Directors.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSF: Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive

      My problems with the Free Software Foundation (FSF) has been simplistically condensed to either being a knee-jerk reaction to anything the FSF has to say, or else part of a broader conspiracy to hate all free software.

  • Licensing

    • Why I (A/L)GPL

      In the Python world the GPL is frequently frowned on, with most people preferring to use a more permissive license such as BSD, MIT, or Python’s. It’s understandable then when people get angry because I’ve licensed Lamson under the GPL. Many people just hate the license, since they feel it goes contrary to the spirit of Python.

      However, I’d like to explain why I use the GPL after decades of writing open source software and after a couple of “successful” projects. These are my reasons for using it, and only apply to me and what I want to do with my software from now on. You are free to your own opinions and choices, and I hope you’ll respect mine.

      [...]

      I use the GPL to keep you honest. You now have to tell your bosses you’re using my gear. And it will scare the piss out of them. Good. Because I have a solution to that too.

    • Justifying the commercial license for open source

      It was the late summer of 2008 that I found myself sat listening to Sun Microsystem’s then CEO Jonathan Schwartz explain how the open source model would work for customers in practice. Sat as I was at the last JavaOne conference before Oracle’s acquisition of the Java innovators, Schwartz said something like:

      “Hey, the software is free. When you want the services that go with it, we’ll be there to provide them for you.” For ‘provide’ you can obviously take it that he meant ‘sell’ of course.

      So how do companies now continue to justify the open source model and validate their option to sell a commercially provided service, support and maintenance package in this space?

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Making It Real: Next Steps for the Open Compute Project

      When we announced the initiation of the Open Compute Project earlier this year, we posed an audacious question to the industry: What if hardware were open?The benefits, if we could make it work, were clear enough: More openness and collaboration would likely mean a faster pace of innovation in infrastructure technology, greater accessibility to the best possible technology for us all, more efficiency in scale computing and a reduced environmental impact through the sharing of best practices.

    • 50 Companies Team to Create Open Source EV

      The StreetScooter is a $7,000 EV with a 74 mph top speed and an 80-mile range. It relies on leased batteries and uses a heat pump for heating and air conditioning, and shipping company DHL has already ordered 3,500 of them — but the most interesting thing about the vehicle is how it came to be.

    • OpenSim open-source software from Stanford accurately models human motion

      There are 640 muscles in the human body, or maybe it is 639. Or maybe it is 850. Or 656. It all depends on whom you ask. In any case, it is a lot. Stanford bioengineer Scott Delp knows; he has programmed almost every one into his latest work, OpenSim, a software application that helps medical professionals and bioengineers study, diagnose and correct abnormalities in how people move.

    • How R&D is going open-source
  • Programming

    • Serendipity 1.6 integrates jQuery and updates plug-ins

      Serendipity logo Version 1.6 of the open source Serendipity blogging software has been released. The new update includes the jQuery framework so that plug-in and template authors can “provide extended functionality to the frontend” and, like plug-ins, templates can now also use config-groups.

    • 5 Reasons to Learn a Programming Language
    • Don’t Call Yourself A Programmer, And Other Career Advice

      Engineers are hired to create business value, not to program things: Businesses do things for irrational and political reasons all the time (see below), but in the main they converge on doing things which increase revenue or reduce costs. Status in well-run businesses generally is awarded to people who successfully take credit for doing one of these things. (That can, but does not necessarily, entail actually doing them.) The person who has decided to bring on one more engineer is not doing it because they love having a geek around the room, they are doing it because adding the geek allows them to complete a project (or projects) which will add revenue or decrease costs. Producing beautiful software is not a goal. Solving complex technical problems is not a goal. Writing bug-free code is not a goal. Using sexy programming languages is not a goal. Add revenue. Reduce costs. Those are your only goals.

    • IP and License Clean for Eclipse Foundation

      Over the past couple of months the Hudson community has been working hard to ensure that its source code and libraries are IP and license clean in order to pass the stringent entry requirements of the Eclipse Foundation. I spoke briefly about this at my Hudson session at JavaOne and the response was so enthusiastic that I feel I need to bring the facts to a wider audience through this blog.

      The Hudson code that is moving to Eclipse is made up of its core components and plugins for SSH-Slaves, Git and Subversion. The initial upload was made up of around 1700 Java files, 125 XML files, 600 Jelly files and some 3700 property files. The core elements (core, UITest and UpdateCenter) have now been approved and are around 8 of the external libraries but there is still some way to go. Each license is checked by both Eclipse’s automated system and by hand.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • The Great American False Dilemma: Austerity vs. Stimulus

      It’s quite clear that advocates on both sides of the current debate truly believe that the US can return to a growth path. Equally, they share an assumption that the supply of energy will adhere to a shift in the supply curve, which means simply that more supply or substitutes will be brought to market if the price level is sustained at high enough levels.

  • Finance

    • Bringing Europe’s cultural treasures to a new generation

      If these assets are made digital and put online, we can bring them to a wider audience, and preserve them for the next generation. They can have applications in education, tourism, or as a source for further art. They can be used by developers and for online exhibitions to which members of the public can contribute. And they can boost our growth and jobs, including in the creative sector which represents 3.3% of our GDP.

      Europeana is the focal point for all these efforts. It already holds 19 million digital items – from Principia Mathematica to Het Meisje met de Parel. Check out the site now and explore our cultural heritage!

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