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Links 3/11/2011: Steam on PCLinuxOS, JavaFX

Posted in News Roundup at 7:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Yet Another Misinformed Swipe At Open Source and Linux

    Dominating the consumer desktop has not been a point of focus for the Linux community for years. Red Hat, a huge public company focused on Linux, doesn’t even make it a priority. At least Gualtieri concedes that over 60 percent of servers on the Internet run Linux, but he doesn’t even discuss embedded Linux, or technologies that have flourished as offshoots of Linux.

  • Server

    • Deutsche Borse implements 10GB Juniper switches on Linux trade platforms

      Deutsche Borse, the German stock exchange based in Frankfurt, has implemented 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches from supplier Juniper Networks on its Linux-based trading platforms.

      The stock exchange said the new switches will be resilient and will help slash trading round trip messaging latency and process market data for co-locating traders on its Eurex derivatives and Xetra cash markets.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Skeptic finds he now agrees global warming is real

      A prominent physicist and skeptic of global warming spent two years trying to find out if mainstream climate scientists were wrong. In the end, he determined they were right: Temperatures really are rising rapidly.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE 3.5 fork Trinity updated

        One year since the last update, the Trinity Project has released version 3.5.13 of its desktop environment. Trinity is a fork of the last stable snapshot of the 3.5.x branch of the K Desktop Environment (KDE), KDE 3.5.10 from August 2008, that has been enhanced with additional features and is intended to be compatible with more recent hardware.

  • Distributions

    • Scientific Linux, openSUSE, Ubuntu Tests

      Up for viewing today are benchmarks of Scientific Linux 6.1, openSUSE 11.4, Ubuntu 10.04.3 LTS, and Ubuntu 11.10. This is the latest in the series of Ubuntu 11.10 benchmarks after looking at the power consumption, boot speed, performance relative to Sabayon 7, and virtualization performance.

    • New Releases

      • IPFire 2.11
      • OLPC 11.3.0
      • Announcements concerning Scientific Linux

        Scientific Linux Live CD/DVD 5.7 can now be downloaded for 32 and 64 bit:


      • IPFire open source firewall improves OpenVPN support

        The IPFire project has released version 2.11 of its open source firewall. IPFire is a Linux server distribution that can be booted from a CD or USB drive, or installed to a computer’s internal drive.

        According to Project Leader and developer Michael Tremer, IPFire 2.11 is a major update that includes a new option to create net-to-net virtual private networks (VPNs) using OpenVPN. Previously, it was only possible to create “roadwarrior networks” using OpenVPN. Recently updated documentation about OpenVPN on IPFire can be found on the project’s wiki.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Mark is right, and Mark is wrong

            The second was a comparison of Unity, and to an extent GNOME 3, to the Edsel; comparing those desktop environment releases to how Ford had built up an enormous curiosity around this new “E-car” in 1957 — a car of the future — they were developing amid a shroud of secrecy before revealing to the world, well, the Edsel — which nearly everyone hated once they saw what Ford’s idea for the “future” was.

            I wish I could remember the third one. It didn’t get far and it was just kind of ramblin’ — that’s R-A-M-B-L-I-N-apostrophe.

          • Ubuntu One cloud storage: Staying for the long haul?
          • Ubuntu Plans To Make It Easier To Hookup With Users

            While the latest bold attempt by Ubuntu is to put it on TVs and phones in the next two years, this new social effort isn’t to build a full-blown social network to compete with (or replace) the likes of Google+ and Facebook. What this new community/social effort is about is just making it easy to find Ubuntu users and Ubuntu events within your geographic area. The idea has been brewing for over one year, but due to devoting resources towards designing the Unity desktop, this idea was largely postponed until now.

          • Leadership Summit Part Two Today
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Sick of Unity in Ubuntu 11.10? Give Xubuntu a try

              A few weeks ago, we took a look at Ubuntu 11.10 and observed that its default desktop, Unity, was much improved in this popular Linux distribution.

              Regardless, it seems that some people still dislike the Unity. Well, dislike is a bit mild — some readers wrote in stating that absolutely hate it and that sentiment has gained some traction here and there on the Internet. It seems that Canonical — the organization responsible for Ubuntu Linux — aren’t ones to shy away from controversy.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi close to shipping $25 schools computer

      The cheap Linux-based computer for schools, Raspberry Pi, looks to be getting closer to reality with the news that the foundation behind it has ordered sufficient parts to make the first 10,000 units.

      The Foundation reacted to premature reports that it had produced 10,000 completed Raspberry Pi computers by making clear that what had been ordered were “parts kits,” not complete devices.

    • ‘World’s smallest’ SDR radio runs Linux

      Epiq Solutions announced what it claims is the world’s smallest commercially available software defined radio (SDR). The 4.6 x 2.2 x 0.9-inch, four-ounce Matchstiq incorporates a broadband (28MHz) RF transceiver supporting 300MHz to 3.8GHz frequencies, an onboard GPS receiver, and an Iveia Atlas-I-LPe module integrating a Texas Instruments DM3730 processor and a Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • IT People should just say no to clueless reporters….

          I originally wrote this after Paul Thurrott wrote a ridiculous article (http://www.windowsitpro.com/content1?topic=android-140400&catpath=google1) about all that is wrong with Android. After writing it, I felt better but I realized he isn’t the only one with this messed up perception of corporate life. I have been consulting and supporting companies in the area of IT operations for my entire 16 year career. I have worked for a vary diverse set of companies from GE and Chrysler to an Internet Startup to Mom and Pop companies and everything in between. While they all have their own issues and odd behaviors, they always have a few things in common. IT is always a drain on resources that no one wants to fund. The IT staff always has to do more with less than they had last year. Finally, they are all expected to figure out how to do the next big thing.


          So the next time Mr. Thurrott or anyone in the press wants to talk about life as an IT Professional he or she should try being one for a while. For now though, go back to doing what you do best. Be a great reviewer and tell me what great things I have too look forward to from all of my favorite vendors. Leave the heavy lifting and worrying about how to protect corporate assets to the people who do that for a living.

        • Android Navi-X media streaming app arrives

          All Media Online (Amo) has recently released the Android market’s first app exclusively devoted to streaming multimedia to Android smartphones and tablets via Navi-X, an extensive, open source, community supported, media indexing web-service.

        • Ice Cream Sandwich confirmed open-source coming in weeks
        • Google: Android 4.0 to be open sourced in “coming weeks”

          Google will make its Android 4.0 dubbed “Ice Cream Sandwich” available to the open source community in the coming weeks and is designed to fuel Google’s big push in both the smartphone and tablet war against Apple. Google’s planned purchase of Motorola’s Mobility unit — the most successful Android smartphone and tablet supplier — will also likely help if it ultimately musters government approval

        • What Would Concern Me About Android if I Worked for Google

          The growth of the Android platform undoubtedly masks some of its shortcomings. As Chris DiBona summarized, “the only thing that really matters is how many of these we ship…There is a linear relationship between the number of phones you ship and the number of developers.”

        • HTC does it again, record Q3 earnings thanks to Android

          HTC is one of the leading smartphone manufacturers in the world. HTC phones feature amazing build-quality along with top-notch software and hardware. We reported HTC’s Q1 earnings a long time ago where we were shocked by their amazing performance, recording an almost 200% growth in revenue (thanks to Android).

        • Android found all over PC World’s Top 100 Best Products of 2011
        • Microsoft updates Bing app for Android and iOS, not Windows Phone 7

          If I hadn’t read it on Microsoft’s own Bing blog, I wouldn’t have believed it. The Microsoft Bing team has just released the new Bing for Mobile app for iPhone and Android… but not for Windows Phone 7 devices.

          Wow. Just wow.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Kid-friendly Android tablet features drop-resistant cover

        Karuma announced a seven-inch Android 2.3 tablet designed for kids. The PlayBase is equipped with a 1.2GHz processor, 1GB of DDR3 RAM, 8GB of storage, and an 800 x 600-pixel capacitive screen protected by a shock-absorbent silicone cover that can be folded back to use as a stand, says the company.

      • It’s official: New Nook Color tablet launching Nov. 7

        As we reported last week, rumor had it Barnes & Noble would be launching its next-generation, Android-powered Nook Color tablet e-reader on November 7. Now it’s become official, with Barnes & Noble sending out invites to the media for an event that morning in New York.

      • Motorola Intros XOOM 2, XOOM 2 Media Edition for UK, Ireland
      • Motorola Xoom 2: Second time’s the charm?

        The smaller Xoom 2 Media Edition is geared more toward entertainment. The screen offers a 178-degree viewing angle to let more than one person watch movies or videos at the same time. Motorola claims a 20 percent improvement in graphics performance and has added virtual surround sound, turning the Media Edition into a gaming device. This model can also double as a remote control for TVs and other equipment courtesy of a pre-loaded remote-control app. Battery life is rated at only around six hours per charge.

      • Ubuntu on tablet PCs by 2014

        Canonical grande fromage Mark Shuttleworth has said that the Ubuntu open source operating system will be available on tablet PCs by 2014. At this time it is also thought that Ubuntu for smartphones and “smart” televisions will also be available.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source vs. proprietary software
  • Evercube: the beautiful 5TB open source home storage server

    Massive amounts of storage are becoming increasingly important to companies providing cloud-based services. For home users, networked attach storage (NAS) is available from a number of manufacturers, and gives you the option of storing all your digital content in one giant storage area accessible to all your devices over a network connection.

    Choosing which NAS to invest in can be tough, though. Some use their own software that is less than great, others have limited storage and/or upgrade potential. Most of them don’t look great either, being just a plastic box and flashing LEDs you’d rather not have on display in a room.

  • IBM Open Sources Messaging Client for Embedded Devices
  • Events

    • Guest Post: Apache in Space

      The ApacheCon NA 2011 conference is rapidly approaching. The event takes place November 7 to 11 at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver, Canada. Registration for the event is now open, with discounts available. In conjuction with ApacheCon NA 2011, OStatic is running a series of guest posts from movers and shakers in the Apache community. In this latest guest post, three officials from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories (JPL) introduce OODT (Object-Oriented Data Technology), an open source middleware suite for working with and managing data-intensive scientific applications. It’s used at JPL and overseen by the Apache Software Foundation.

  • SaaS

    • Hortonworks launches Apache Hadoop based platform
    • Hortonworks Introduces Open-Source Hortonworks Platform

      Hortonworks recently introduced the open-source Hortonworks Data platform to mark their entry into software space. Hortonworks is a company formed from Yahoo! this past June.

      Considered a minor business move by the company, as compared to Cloudera, the provider of Apache Hadoop and mega-vendors like Oracle, EMC and also IBM which have their own plans for Hadoop, Hortonworks will need to put forth more effort and not rely on only name recognition alone.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle v. Google – How to Proceed on the Copyright Issue

      Monday’s filings were all about how to proceed on the copyright issue. That is, proposing what determinations the court needs to make with respect to copyright protection afforded Oracle before it can assess whether Google has infringed.

    • Office Suite Update

      Apple and Microsoft haven’t issued press releases about LibreOffice of course. Rumors on the street are that both companies are less than happy with the progress that The Document Foundation has made.

      While LibreOffice is not totally comparable to Microsoft Office, in that it doesn’t have matching applications for all functions, it does give a solid, inexpensive option. It works beautifully on Microsoft Windows, and is often used by offices which have large archives of documents saved in different versions of the Word file format, because it often is more compatible with Microsoft Office, than Microsoft Office.

    • Oracle formally proposes open source JavaFX

      At the recent JavaOne conference, Oracle had said that it intended to open source JavaFX. Now Oracle is formally proposing that the JavaFX user interface toolkit be open sourced under the OpenJDK project and is looking for it to be incorporated into Java 9. Oracle’s Richard Bair made the proposal on the OpenJDK mailing list, saying the company had talked about it for a long time, “but finally (finally!) we’re ready to act on it”. JavaFX was originally created by Sun as a standalone technology with its own scripting language, but since Sun’s acquisition by Oracle, it has been revamped and repositioned as a general Java user interface toolkit with a modern architecture, supporting features such as hardware acceleration and CSS styling.

    • Oracle reveals open source JavaFX plans
  • Project Releases

    • Logback reaches 1.0.0

      The Logback project has announced that its Java logging system that picks up where log4j left off has reached version 1.0.0. There are no big changes from previous releases of Logback, according to lead developer Ceki Gülcü.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Cabinet Office publishes open source procurement toolkit

      The Cabinet Office has published an open source procurement toolkit for the public sector on its website.

      It said the purpose is to ensure that there is a level playing field for open source and proprietary software and that some of the myths associated with open source are dispelled.

    • Cabinet Office publishes open source procurement toolkit

      It said the purpose is to ensure that there is a level playing field for open source and proprietary software and that some of the myths associated with open source are dispelled.

    • Open source buying toolkit published by UK Cabinet Office

      A fifth document, CESG guidance on Open Source, is only available to users with a gsi.gov.uk email address, but should address the issues which caused problems, now resolved, for Bristol City Council’s open source plans. The purpose of the toolkit it to help level the playing field for public sector open source acquisition. The procurement advice note points out that procurement rules need to compare total cost of ownership (TCO), but that where that cost is the same between open source and proprietary solutions, the open source solution should be preferred. This is because of open source’s inherent flexibility, an attribute that isn’t encapsulated by TCO calculations.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The power shift effect of open government

      The second CityCamp Colorado started off with Tom Downey and Stephanie O’Malley from the City of Denver setting the stage for the day’s theme: enhancing access to government. Held at the Jefferson County Administration and Courts Facility on October 28, 2011, more than 70 people gathered to participate, learn, and advance the open government movement.

      Tom Downey, Director of Excise and Licensing for the city and county of Denver, is excited about the spread of open government. He said the beauty of a movement like CityCamp is that the organization is flat, decisions are made democratically, and things can get done and move forward.

    • The power of open-source cancer research

      This is the question that cancer researcher, Jay Bradner and his colleagues have focused on in their research, and they think they may have found the answer: a molecule, which they call JQ1. But unlike the corporatocracy and its minions, which operate in secrecy, Dr Bradner and his colleagues chose to do something different. Engaging in an enlightened social experiment, they shared the news of this molecule by publishing their findings — and they mailed samples to 40 other labs to work with. In short, they open-sourced the information about this molecule and they crowd-sourced the testing and research.

    • Open Compute Project Gains Momentum

      From the racks to the roof, the Open Compute Project (OCP) is trying to break the mold to improve and redesign everything we take for granted as “industry standard” in the data center world. Its goal is to use open source community thinking to effect changes to the server hardware, design of the racks and even the building itself in much the same way the Linux community of developers changed the paradigm in the software realm. On Oct. 27th, the OCP held its second summit in New York City. In fact, Red Hat was there and formally announced it was joining and would be contributing to the OCP.

    • Open Access/Content

      • UNESCO recommends open educational resources

        The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), and the Commonwealth educational organisation, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), have published guidelines on the use of open educational resources in higher education. The 20-page Guidelines for Open Educational Resources (OER) in Higher EducationPDF document argues that the number of students is set to rise from the current 165 million to around 260 million in 2025, but that this will not be matched by a corresponding rise in expenditure.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open Hardware Journal
      • BeagleBone: The $89 Open Source Hardware Platform From BeagleBoard

        The all new BeagleBone has been dished out by the BaegleBoard.org as an open source Hardware platform, announced the organisation.

        According to the developers, the new BeagleBone comes as a pretty low cost, hardware hacker oriented, and expandable variant of the original BeagleBoard. Fan boys can get their hands on the new device for $89 only.

  • Programming


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