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11.09.11

Links 9/11/2011: Fedora 16, Linux Mint Dethrones Ubuntu

Posted in News Roundup at 5:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Africa: Promising Land

    The big obstacle to IT in Africa is that networks and electrical power are concentrated in cities and large numbers of people live in rural areas with no network and no power. Solar power, ARMed smart thingies and wireless meshes seem to meet the requirements. Solar power may be very important in the locations off the grid. Schools need good GNU/Linux terminal servers and thin clients. Africa needs Internet access, wikis and the like so that Africa can unleash its talent to develop and support IT systems. Fortunately, there’s no time like the present to bridge the digital divide. IT has never been more easy and quick to implement thanks to ARMed devices and GNU/Linux and Android/Linux.

  • TLWIR 24: HP’s Redstone Servers, Open Source Textbooks, Netflix on GNU/Linux and More
  • Desktop

    • Where desktop sanity prevails

      While the knock-down drag-out debate over the great leap in desktop environment “developments” has raged over the last several months, Clement Lefebvre and the team over at Linux Mint have been taking a more sane and sound approach — mostly under the radar — to the whole desktop interface hubbub.

  • Server

    • Is Rackspace Ready to Support Private Clouds?

      This post is part of our ReadWriteCloud channel, which is dedicated to covering virtualization and cloud computing. The channel is sponsored by Intel and VMware. Read the case study about how Intel Xeon processors and VMware deliver unprecedented reliability in the face of RAM errors.

    • When There’s a Choice to be Made, Choose a Winner

      * Web servers – 65% of the million busiest sites (out of 525 million active web sites) use Apache on GNU/Linux
      * Android/Linux helps Samsung replace Apple as the most popular seller of smart phones
      * GNU/Linux runs an awful lot of embedded smart devices
      * 91% of the top 500 supercomputers run GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME vs. KDE vs. Unity: Performing Seven Basic Tasks

      When users talk about the latest generations of Linux desktops, almost always they report general impressions. They say that GNOME 3 seems needlessly complex, or that Unity seems too basic, but they’re vague on the specifics. In the past, I’ve been guilty of dealing with impressions myself.

      But what, I wonder, is the real story? In the hopes of providing some substance, I’ve to compare GNOME 2 and 3, KDE, and Ubuntu’s Unity, using seven basic tasks that anyone using a desktop is likely to do. The comparison is not just a matter of mouse-clicks — although that metric is sometimes revealing — but, in some cases, a matter of design as well.

    • What’s The Difference Between Linux Desktop Environments? [Technology Explained]

      f you’ve been introduced to the world of Linux, it probably didn’t take too long to notice that it doesn’t have a single “face”. Linux can sport all kinds of desktop environments, or none at all. That alone is one of the great benefits of Linux among many more.

      But while that’s impressive, it leaves a very important question for you to decide: What desktop environment should you choose? In this article, we’re going to break down what makes up each desktop environment so you will know what’s best for you and your system.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Trinity Project keeping 3.5 alive

        For people who prefer the KDE 3.5-style desktop, a new version of the Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) has been released. Trinity is a continuation of the KDE 3.5 Desktop Environment with ongoing updates and new features. Trinity Desktop Environment 3.5.13 source code is available and the project also provides packages for Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora. Read on for an overview of what is new in Trinity 3.5.13!

      • Takeoff with the K Desktop Environment’s best menu style

        The K Desktop Environment (KDE) has more menu styles than any other desktop environment available. There is the Classical type, the Kickoff style (which most users dislike), Lancelot (better than Kickoff, but with a few shortcomings), the ROSA Launcher (for Mandriva Desktop 2011), and the Takeoff Launcher.

        I have already written about the Lancelot menu and the ROSA Launcher. In this article, you will get to see screenshots of Takeoff Launcher. Now that I have used all five menu styles, I can say with confidence that the Takeoff Launcher is best of breed. I think it is what Mandriva developers had in mind when they started working on ROSA Launcher.

  • Distributions

    • ArchBang Brings Arch Linux’s Greatest Features To Your PC Without The Stress

      If you’re in love with Arch Linux but are tired of the painstaking installation process, ArchBang is the perfect distribution for you. It has everything you love about Arch, but installs in just a few minutes with everything you need.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • November 2011 Issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine

        The PCLinuxOS Magazine staff is pleased to announce the release of the November 2011 issue of the PCLinuxOS Magazine. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is a product of the PCLinuxOS community, published by volunteers from the community. The magazine is lead by Paul Arnote, Chief Editor, and Assistant Editor Meemaw. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license, and some rights are reserved.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Get Back to Your Roots, Ubuntu Users

        When you have installed Debian GNU/Linux to your hard drive or SSD drive, simply use apt-get to add the rest. You can use the list of packages I obtained with dpkg –get-selections or make up your own. For mine, use cat package.list_.mp3|dpkg –set-selections. (Note that this is a text file, not an .mp3 file. WP objected to text/something.) Also, note that I installed only the video driver for Cirrus which was used in my virtual machine. You could change “xserver-xorg-video-cirrus” to what you need (lspci can show that) or you could install them all by changing to “xserver-xorg-video-all”. apt-cache search xserver-xorg-video will show you what’s available. My list is 833 packages some of which are already installed in the basic system. Still, it’s 4.1gB, a lot of good stuff. The software not on the CD or USB drive will be downloaded from the web as usual so you should have a local repository or a fast Internet connection.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 11.10 is here

            Ubuntu 11.10, code named Oneiric Ocelot, is now available. It has loads of new functions, which puts other operating systems to shame! Here are a few cool features of this new release.

          • Ubuntu 12.04 to outgrow CD-ROMs

            The Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) is where decisions on what features will and will not make it into the next release of Ubuntu, in this case, version 12.04, code-named “Precise Pangolin”. Although many things were discussed, some issues are left open for further research.

          • System 76 – Ubuntu Linux desktops made to order

            For a lot of us, the process is pretty straightforward — take a Microsoft Windows-powered system, do some research, download a Linux distribution and install it. If all goes well, you’ll have a new OS that is configured well and ready to roll. There are times, of course, when all does not go smoothly, leaving the operator to figure out how to configure hardware, why graphical glitches are present, etc. Bear in mind that communities spring up around Linux distros and those are full of people willing to help folks struggling with various problems. Those groups are a wealth of information and anyone dealing with Linux should get acquainted with a forum or two.

          • 10 things to do after installing Ubuntu 11.10
          • The final word on Ubuntu and Unity
          • 10 things to do after installing Ubuntu 11.10

            AFTER tweaking my new Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) desktop system, I’ve finally got it to a point where it is almost perfect. I’m a little obsessive, which explains why I’ve been at this for a week (and I’m still going), but I do like putting things where I expect them, and the newest release of Ubuntu moved things around quite a bit.

            Ramesh Jha on the SUDOBits blog offered some good advice on 10 things to do after installing Ubuntu 11.10. This is my take on the same topic. Unless otherwise stated, most of the extra software can be installed using Ubuntu Software Center.

          • Ubuntu republic riven by damaging civil wars

            There’s a popular misconception about open source: that it’s democratic, that all users have a vote over its direction and development or even the running of the community around it.

            The users of Ubuntu, arguably the world’s most popular Linux distro these days, are currently discovering that this is not how it works. The result is making a lot of people very angry, but it might result in some interesting new developments for Linux – as well as maybe pointing the way towards the UIs of the next generation of PC.

          • Mark Shuttleworth Interview for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

            It appears that Mark Shuttleworth, father of the Ubuntu project, gave an interview to Amber Graner, an Ubuntu contributor involved in the community since February 2009.

            In the interview, Mark Shuttleworth talks about the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS codename and how he came up with the idea for Precise Pangolin.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Hooray for Linux Mint 12

              Regular readers already know I’m not really happy with the direction Gnome and Ubuntu have taken with Gnome 3 (Gnome Shell) and Unity respectively. I think both of these are mobile interfaces poorly scaled to the desktop. I understand that mobile is the future, and that’s fine, but it’s really premature to be pushing half-baked interfaces clearly intended for the tablets and phones of the future onto the desktops of today. I still have work to do and I would like to be able to keep doing it without the interface getting in the way. And I’m not alone. Even Linus Torvalds feels the same way, and when the Big Guy of Linux himself calls your new interface “an unholy mess,” something’s wrong. Torvalds called for someone to fork Gnome 2, and once that happened, I knew sooner or later someone might actually do it.

            • A cautious cheer for Pinguy 11.10 Alpha

              I don’t like reviewing alpha versions of distros. I try to pretend they don’t exist. They frustrate me. They’re not finished, and I tend to get hung up on the problems. I blame them for not being ready, when of course that’s the point of an alpha release. The issue is not with the alpha, it’s with me for irrationally expecting it to be smooth and polished. So I’ve pretty much sworn off even downloading alpha versions – and beta versions too, mostly. I try to avoid everything earlier than the release candidate.

            • Linux Mint Shakes Ubuntu, Replaces As The Top Distro

              Yesterday we published about Linux Mint’s secret project for Gnome users and Clem’s claims that soon they will overtake Ubuntu. Seems like he spoke too late. Today Linux Mint has broken the 6 year old record and replaced Ubuntu as the most popular Linux-based distribution on Distro Watch. Linux Mint sits on top with 2199 and Ubuntu slides to the second spot with 2011 rating.

            • Bodhi Linux ARM Repository Online

              Five months ago I did a post announcing that we are working to bring Bodhi to ARM devices. I’ve been rather quiet about this part of our project since then. We are still finalizing the direction this part of our project is headed in, but for now we have landed on the choice of Debian Stable as our core. Our repository is currently online and you can easily install our Enlightenment packages on top of your Debian Stable ARM install by following these steps:

            • How to install Bodhi Linux [snapshots toor]
            • Linux Mint moves to Gnome 3, keeps Gnome 2 MATEy

              The forthcoming release of Linux Mint will see it shift to the Gnome 3 desktop for the first time, but it will continue to support Gnome 2 users with a separate root, and has a shell to ease the transition between the platforms.

              The Linux Mint team does see Gnome 3 as the way forward, it explained in a blog post, but recognizes it’s a big shift to make. Gnome 3 has received heavy criticism, not least from Uncle Linus, mainly because it changes the traditional way of doing things. In particular, Linux Mint members cite poor multitasking and a shift from an application-centric to a task-centric model.

            • Linux Mint Pulls Ahead of Ubuntu

              Distrowatch.com displays a popularity list of all Linux distributions by measuring the number of hits per page on their site. This ranking system is considered to be one of the most reliable around. Even if it is only a measurement of one website’s traffic. Lately Linux Mint has been making a run at first place.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Google’s Eric Schmidt to visit Taiwan to promote Android

          Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt is set to visit Taiwan on November 9 to have a conference with Taiwan-based PC vendors and promote its Android operating system, according to sources from PC players.

        • Motorola ‘doesn’t even have Ice Cream Sandwich source’

          It will be four to six months before Android 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”) is widely available on handsets, a Motorola Mobility executive has warned. Motorola does not even have the operating system’s source code yet, Ruth Hennigar, the company’s vice president of software product management, reportedly added.

        • HTC promises more tablets, Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades

          HTC announced that at least seven of its smartphones will receive upgrades to Android 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”). They’re the internationally available Evo 3D Sensation, Sensation XL, and Sensation XE, as well as the U.S.-only Rezound, Design 4G, and Amaze 4G, according to the company — whose CEO also told Reuters it will release one or more additional tablets next year.

        • HTC leaks Edge smartphone with quad-core chip

          The HTC Edge is set for a launch in the first half of next year and will have an Nvidia Tegra 3 Kal-el quad-core processor, according to Pocketnow. The handset looks similar to the Titan but will run Android instead of Windows Phone 7.5 Mango.

        • Motorola Razr goes on sale today

          The iconic mobile phone brand has come back to life today as the latest incarnation of the Motorola Razr. Consumers can get their hands on the super-thin smartphone for £454 SIM-free after a delay of just over a week.

        • Google will continue to offer Android for free

          SMARTPHONE SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google will continue to offer its Android operating system for free, according to the firm’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt.

          Schmidt said at a press conference today, “We will run (Motorola) sufficiently independently so it will not violate the openness of Android.”

          According to the Wall Street Journal, during his tour of South Korea, Schmidt said that Google’s upcoming acquisition of Motorola will not have an impact on its other Android partners.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Fight! Fight! and M$ is not Even Invited

        Barnes and Noble’s Nook eReaders and Amazon’s Kindles are scrapping in the schoolyard and the bully, M$, is not involved.

      • HTC confirms Ice Cream Sandwich tablet for 2012

        HTC has confirmed it plans to take another stab at the tablet market in 2012 after officially announcing a new fondleslab with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich early next year.

      • HTC to release first Ice Cream Sandwich updates ‘early 2012′

        HTC will be bringing Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to four of its handsets early next year in what it described today as “the first wave of HTC phones that will receive upgrades”.

      • Rough and tough Honeycomb tablet offers extra security

        Panasonic unveiled a rugged, 10.1-inch Android 3.2 tablet for the enterprise market with extended temperature, drop, and ingress resistance. The Toughpad FZ-A1 is equipped with a dual-core 1.2GHz Marvell processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a full range of wireless features, a security co-processor, and an anti-glare, 500-nit display with 1024 x 768 pixels and an active digitizing pen.

      • Nook Tablet is $249, and other Nooks get price cuts

        Barnes & Noble announced a $249 Android tablet featuring a seven-inch IPS (in-plane switching) display, a dual-core, 1GHz processor from Texas Instruments, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage. The new “Nook Tablet” was joined by enhancements and a $50 price drop for the existing Nook Color, plus a new $99 price for the monochrome Simple Touch.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Which of the big five Web Browsers is the Best? (Review)

      Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Opera, or Apple Safari: Which of the most popular Web browsers is really the best?

      With Firefox 8’s early arrival, and new major updates to three of the other major Web browsers, Chrome 15; Opera 11.5, and Safari 5.1.1 it’s high time to take another look at our current generation of Internet Web browsers and see what’s what. Only Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) 9 hasn’t seen a significant improvement in the last few months.

      Why did I choose these browsers? The answer is simple. These are the most popular Web browsers out there. While Internet Explorer has dropped below 50% of the total Web browser market, it’s still the most popular Web browser. In most of the world, IE is followed by Mozilla Firefox, although in some places, such as much of Latin America, number three, Google’s Chrome, has already moved up to second place. After that Apple’s Safari, which owns the mobile Web browser market, comes in number four, and Opera hangs out to the fifth spot.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Version 8 Available Ahead of Official Release

        While many Firefox users are still working with version 7, Mozilla has now made version 8 available, and this version is definitely the next major iteration of the browser. Although Mozilla’s official release date is November 8, you can get Windows, Mac and Linux versions here. Version 8, is, of course, yet another iteration in Mozilla’s new rapid release cycle for its browser, but it also has a lot of new features. Here are some of the additions worth noting.

      • Mozilla Developers Testing Mobile OS

        Mozilla has been experimenting with an interesting idea called Boot 2 Gecko. Essentially, B2G (as it’s called) is a mobile operating system based on the Web, as opposed to what the project’s wiki calls “proprietary, single-vendor stacks”. Mozilla has something there–open Web technologies indeed increasingly provide an intriguing platform for lots of things, mobile and otherwise.

      • Firefox 8 Officially Released

        In late September Mozilla released version 7 of its Firefox browser, and as part of the company’s new fast release cycle we noted a few days after the release that a beta of Firefox 8 had already been seeded to developers. In the article, we noted Mozilla promised Firefox 8 would deliver better tab management, deeper Twitter integration, and new features for web developers.

        Uploaded to the company’s FTP servers a few days ago, Firefox 8 has been officially released today, with a blog post from Mozilla outlining the differences from the previous version. As with the Firefox 8 beta, Firefox 8 final comes with an option in the Preferences to load existing tabs (the pages you left open the last time you quit the browser) only when they’re selected. This should improve the browser’s startup times, as it’s no longer forced to reload all tabs upon launch.

      • Firefox 8 cracks down on add-ons
  • SaaS

    • Ignition, Accel, Greylock Put $40M In Apache Hadoop Distribution Platform Cloudera

      Cloudera, the startup that commercially distributes and services Apache Hadoop based data management software and services, has raised $40 million in new funding led by Ignition Partners, Greylock, Accel, Meritech Capital Partners, and In-Q-Tel. Cloudera previously raised $36 million from Accel Partners, Diane Greene, Qi Lu, Jeff Weiner, Marten Mickos, Gideon Yu, Caterina Fake, Greylock Partners, Meritech Capital Partners, and In-Q-Tel. The startup actually just raised $25 million last Fall.

  • Databases

    • MongoDB: Real, FUD or Hoax controversy spreads online

      Is it FUD, a hoax or a real complaint about MongoDB? That is the question being asked by many after an anonymous posting on Pastebin called “Don’t use MongoDB” created a flurry of controversy around the open source NoSQL database. The posting, alledgedly by an ex-user of the database, claimed that MongoDB loses data in various situations, including deleting the entire dataset, and that 10gen, the company behind MongoDB, was not prioritising reliability and instead chasing benchmarks. The eight part list also included complaints about performance on busy servers, recovery from database corruption and issues with replication stopping.

  • Education

    • Experiences Teaching Free and Open Source GIS at the Community College Level

      What’s it like to teach using free and open source GIS? Kurt Menke runs his own GIS consulting business in Albuquerque, New Mexico and also teaches at Central New Mexico Community College. He has developed a course called “Introduction to Open Source GIS and Web Mapping.” In this article, he describes the impetus behind the course development, details the course content and offers some of the lessons he’s learned in the process.

  • BSD

    • Why aren’t you using FreeBSD?

      Here I sit, watching a freshly installed FreeBSD box run through cvsup on all ports, to be closely followed by a new kernel compilation. As the output flies by in the xterm, I find myself wondering why I don’t run into more FreeBSD in the world.

      The truth is that I’ve been using some form of BSD since 1993 or so (the days of BSD/386). A foundational server that I’ve run since 1995 used BSDi initially, transitioning to FreeBSD back in the 3.0 release days. I can’t contemplate using any other OS for this box and the myriad tasks it performs. We’re not talking about a system that sits idle most of the time; this box generally deals with 250,000 to 300,000 emails a day (mostly spam, which produces a heavier load than actual mail delivery), and it serves up DNS, Web, and SMTP/POP/IMAP services for dozens of domains. It generally hovers at a load of 0.50 with the occasional spike.

  • Project Releases

    • Apache Tika reaches 1.0

      Version 1.0 of the Apache Tika metadata and structured text content detector and extractor has been released. The project began as a sub-project of Apache Lucene in 2007 and became a top level project in May last year.

    • VirtualBox 4.1.6 fixes 3D support on Fedora 15

      Version 4.1.6 of VirtualBox has been released. The third maintenance update to the 4.1.x branch of the open source desktop virtualisation application for x86 hardware improves its overall stability and addresses several issues found in previous builds.

    • New Milestone For Phoronix Test Suite 3.6-Arendal
  • Programming

    • 10 years of Eclipse: Consolidating the Java IDE market

      Ten years ago, IBM first presented the Eclipse development environment to a global audience as open source software. Wherever such figures may originate from: the estimated $40 million that the donated code including marketing efforts was said to be worth at the time in 2001 have turned into more than $800 million today, estimates Eclipse Foundation Executive Director Mike Milinkovich; the Eclipse Foundation was founded in 2004.

    • The H Speed Guide to Node.js

      Node.js, or Node for short, has become rather popular with web developers in the last year as a platform for their web applications. No one is talking about replacing the entire world of web servers with Node.js based systems, but Node is flexible enough to be able to take on a wide range of tasks. So what makes Node different to preceding web frameworks and platforms? Two words, event-based JavaScript.

    • Popcorn.js 1.0: Mozilla’s new HTML5 media toolkit

      Mozilla has announced the launch of version 1.0 of Popcorn, a new HTML5 media toolkit from the non-profit organisation. The Popcorn.js library is a event framework for HTML5 media that combines HTML and JavaScript; “Think jQuery for video” says the project’s site.

      Using Popcorn.js, developers can create interactive time-based media content using video and audio assets, combined with web content including real-time social media, news and visualisations. “Popcorn allows web filmmakers to amp up interactivity around their movies, harnessing the web to expand their creations in new ways,” said Mozilla Executive Director Mark Surman.

Leftovers

  • Killer Apps: the Defining Applications of Each Computing Wave
  • Why Google Plus Pages (Will) Beat Facebook. And Twitter
  • Router problem disrupts Level 3 network in North America and Europe

    On Monday, several US and UK ISPs, including Time Warner Cable, Research in Motion, Eclipse Internet, Easynet and Merula, reported a range of errors and problems on the Level 3 backbone. Level 3 has now confirmed the reports. The cause of the problems appears to have been a bug in Juniper’s Junos router operating system affecting the border gateway protocol (BGP).

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Finance

    • EU-China High Level Political Parties & Groups Forum

      The EU-China High Level Political Parties & Groups Forum, initiated in May 2010 in Beijing, gathers politicians from the European political families, together with Chinese representatives from the International department Central Committee of CPC and other institutions. It provides a tool for dialogue between politicians from China and from the EU.

    • Goldman Sachs–Where Are Your Cojones?

      Well, Goldman Sachs, since “deferred prosecution” is the vogue nowadays and really means that no one in your bank, whether CEO, COO or CFO, no one will be prosecuted for their responsibility for the financial meltdown or, if by some miracle or two someone is found responsible, the bank will just pay a fine and carry on.

      That act is the remarkable indictment of the US justice system: Goldman Sachs commits accounting control fraud that makes it billions and billions of fraudulent dollars and then, when it is found out, it just pays a few millions and carries on.

    • CMD Requests IRS Investigate Charity Accused of Fronting Private Jets for Presidential Campaign

      Madison — Today, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) filed a letter requesting that the Internal Revenue Service investigate a charity operated by Wisconsin political veteran Mark Block that spent over $40,000 of tax-exempt donations to pay for private jets, travel, and computers for Herman Cain’s presidential bid. CMD also requested an examination of other Mark Block-related groups sharing the same address or other commonalities. Mr. Cain, who has denied knowing who paid for his various travels, is not the target of these requests to the IRS.

      These requests follow an October 30 story by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Dan Bice revealing that “Prosperity USA,” which was created by Mr. Block, had footed the bill for expenses related to Mr. Cain’s bid for the White House. Prosperity USA’s financial records show the charity expected to get reimbursed. Tax-exempt charities are prohibited from intervening in the political campaign for any candidate for public office, no matter the post.

    • US IT sector gains jobs
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • New Investigative Report Highlights Koch Brothers’ Reach in Influencing Democracy

      Charles and David Koch, each worth about $25 billion, could be the most influential duo in the United States. These brothers have accumulated their fortune through Koch industries — an oil refining, chemical, paper products and financial services company with revenues of some $100 billion per year. A new documentary by Bob Abeshouse on the Kochs illustrates how these brothers use their billions to manipulate some in the public into voting for their right-wing agenda and to push policies that strip protections for people’s health.

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