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Links 16/11/2011: Linux 3.2 RC 2, Android Majority Market Share

Posted in News Roundup at 4:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Has Linux dropped off the face of the Earth?

      “Has Linux dropped off the face of the Earth?” The answer is obviously no. Linux is still around, stronger than ever, but the desktop OS does seem to be disappearing. Of course this is true of Windows and Mac OS, at least from the average user’s perspective. Desktop Linux is strong with those who use it; those who have been using it, but the buzz seems to be gone.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • The Linux Foundation Announces Four New Members from Around the Globe

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that four companies are joining the organization: DENSO Corporation, Integrated Computer Solutions (ICS), ProFUSION Embedded Systems and Savoir-Faire Linux.

      These companies are joining The Linux Foundation to advance the Linux operating system for next-generation electronics, such as connected automobiles, phones and televisions, as well as for industrial automation and the development of mobile and web applications.

    • Evolution of the Linux kernel source code tarball size

      Here is a graph showing the evolution of the size of the different linux.tar.bz2 source code packages. It starts with version 1.0 and finishes with the 3.1. We see that the evolution is mostly exponential, we could try to predict that linux-3.19.tar.bz2 should be around 100MB.

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 3.2 (Part 1) – Networking

      The TCP stack is now faster at adapting the data transmission rate to the available line capacity. The drivers for Wi-Fi components by Atheros and Broadcom have matured considerably; other drivers will support more LAN and Wi-Fi hardware in 3.2 than they did before.

    • AMD Linux KVM Virtualization Benchmarks

      In recent weeks there have been a lot of AMD Linux benchmarks of the latest-generation Bulldozer processor, namely the eight-core FX-8150. The latest unique look at the first-generation Bulldozer CPU under Linux is the KVM virtualization performance.

      Over on OpenBenchmarking.org are the AMD Bulldozer Virtualization Benchmarks that provide a look at the performance overhead of using the Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine on this platform. Ubuntu 11.10 with the Linux 3.0 kernel was used on both the host and guest with stock settings. From OpenBenchmarking.org you can compare the Bulldozer KVM results against other Intel and AMD CPUs, etc. A wide variety of open-source Linux benchmarks were run from the Phoronix Test Suite.

    • Linux 3.2-rc2 Kernel Doesn’t Bring Too Much Churn

      Linus Torvalds released the Linux 3.2-rc2 kernel this morning. Considering the long development cycle of the Linux 3.2 kernel, this second development release is relatively tame.

      “For being an -rc2 release of a pretty large merge-window, it seems to be quite reasonably sized. In fact, despite this having been the largest linux-next in a release in our linux-next history (I think), rc2 has the exact same number of commits since rc1 as we had during the 3.1 release,” says Linus Torvalds in the kernel mailing list announcement.

    • Linux Kernel Vulnerability Affects Ubuntu 11.10 OMAP4
    • Linux 3.2-rc2
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE vs. Trinity: Is One Really Better?

        The KDE 4 release series is nearly four years old. Yet many users still maintain that the KDE 3 series delivers a faster, more efficient, and more customizable desktop. However, their claims are rarely detailed, so the recent release of a new version of the Trinity Desktop Environment, the KDE 3 fork, seems a suitable time for an examination of the claim.

        The last time I compared the two KDE versions, KDE 4 was still working out some of its rough spots, such as using Akonadi to manage personal information in a database. Similarly, although based on what was then eight year old technology, Trinity was still fine-tuning, adding such features as the ability to run KDE 4 applications.

        Since then, however, both desktops have matured and added features. So how do they compare now in terms of speed, feature, and stability? It’s time for a point-by-point look.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Federico Mena-Quintero talks about the Document-Centric Desktop

        GNOME founder also issues some criticism about the current state of the desktop project

        Federico Mena-Quintero is one of the longest standing contributors to the free desktop, having started GNOME together with Miguel de Icaza back in 1997. He is still a very active GNOME developer, nowadays being employed by Novell / SUSE to work on the desktop. During this years Desktop Summit Andreas Proschofsky had the chance to conduct the following interview with the Mexican. In this Mena-Quintero talks about his concept of the “document-centric-desktop” and the importance of having a journal directly in the GNOME Shell, but also goes on to add some criticism about the current way decisions are made in the GNOME world.

      • Learning from GNOME

        Federico says (emphasis mine): “The latest thing is that now things have to go through the design team first, and I don’t think that is a good thing; there should not be a central body of control that decides how things are done, because that simply doesn’t scale. And it also doesn’t teach people in how to do design properly. I really would like to move to a model where, instead of having a central body of people who can veto things in or out, we can have a shared understanding of what constitutes good design and implementation.”

      • Get Gnome 2 Like Classic Menu In Ubuntu Unity

        The latest Ubuntu comes with flashy Unity, which offers different way of accessing apps and data. However, if you are used to the old style drop-down menu, you can still get that in Ubuntu — without having to ditch Unity for Gnome 3 or Gnome 2.

  • Distributions

    • Puppy 5.3 “Slacko” – Slackware With Added Woof

      On 17/10 a new version, or edition if you prefer, of Puppy Linux was released, this time based on Slackware, and it is appropriately named Puppy “Slacko”, because we all know that Slackware users are lazy, right?

      I have not used Puppy before, in part because I felt no need considering the many distributions out there, and in part because some things like its original Ubuntu roots did not appeal to me, but a Puppy based on my favorite Slackware needs to be checked out.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2011 PowerPack just arrived!

        Right on time, Mandriva released its 2011 PowerPack version. With the announcement, they ratify that Mandriva will be now releasing one version per year, not two versions, as they had been doing.

        What does Mandriva PowerPack version offer? Well, the distro promises all drivers, the smart desktop technology, the Fluendo DVD player, and three months of free Web support, among other features.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Stock Hits New 52-Week High (RHT)

        Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) hit a new 52-week high Tuesday as it is currently trading at $52.37, above its previous 52-week high of $52 with 1.2 million shares traded as of 12:36 p.m. ET. Average volume has been 2.8 million shares over the past 30 days.

      • Red Hat Adds App Lifecycle Tools to PaaS Preview

        Red Hat has outfitted its OpenShift hosted application platform with a set of application development lifecycle tools to simplify deployment on the PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), the company announced Tuesday.

      • Red Hat Expands OpenShift PaaS for Cloud Development
      • Red Hat’s OpenShift Adds Full Java Lifecycle Offering

        Red Hat’s OpenShift platform as a service offering has been in public beta for a while now. It offers a fairly simple way for people to jumpstart “cloud” development efforts by abstracting out all the messy business of setting up application and database servers. Instead, you simply publish your source code to OpenShift, and their platform does the rest. Supported languages are those used heavily by nimble, agile startup types: PHP, Python, Ruby. Interestingly, OpenShift also supports Java. That’s not a language that many people associate with cloud solutions. Today, Red Hat is announcing that they’re improving their support of Java on OpenShift with support for “full Java lifecycle for developers”.

      • RHEL 6.2 Will Support AMD’s Bulldozer Opterons
      • CentOS 6 Linux, A First Look

        I’ve been running CentOS 5.x for a number of years, mostly on servers, and have been extremely happy with it. In fact, I’ve upgraded servers along the way, up to 5.6 and have also been amazed at the seamless upgrade process from version to version. For those that don’t know, CentOS is the free derivative of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The source is compiled and released as its own distribution that is so close to Red Hat Enterprise that packages can even be interchanged between the two. I have to tip my hat at the developers that release CentOS, they do a ton of work and the documentation on the CentOS Wiki site is excellent.

        This past weekend I finally got a look at CentOS 6, which every CentOS user has been anxiously waiting for since Red Hat announced RHEL 6 a while back. I’m a little late to the game, but unfortunately time has prohibited from checking it out sooner.

      • SGI(R) UV Achieves Largest Certified Configuration for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

        This certification highlights the benefits of the newest generation of Intel(R) processors and SGI’s high performance computing technology for customers with data-intensive workloads requiring outstanding performance in a high-density form factor with excellent power efficiency. Targeting the high-end supercomputing, large-scale database and data analytic environments, the combination of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SGI(R) UV 1000 paves the way for customers in the government, intelligence, and scientific communities to deliver more meaningful scientific and technical results. As we enter the next generation of computing, moving from petaflops to exaflops, Red Hat and SGI are enabling some of the industry’s most mission-critical and large-scale computing applications.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Final PCB artwork

      As promised, here are the Gerbers (a visualisation of the printed circuit board or PCB) for the finalised version of the Raspberry Pi. I get several messages every day asking what it can possibly be that we are still working on: I hope you will understand on looking at this why the routing, which has to be quite spectacularly complicated to minimise expensive PCB features and to keep things tiny, took as long as it did! That snarl in the middle is the signal escape for the BCM2835, the chip at the heart of the Raspi. The elves have been working overtime.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Sony Ericsson details its Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update

          The firm spoke earlier of its plans to upgrade its handsets to the ‘next Android platform’ and has now confirmed that its entire range will get the latest version. The entire 2011 Xperia line will get ICS but Sony Ericsson has given no time frame for the rollout.

        • More than half of smartphones are Android

          Gartner analyst Roberta Cozza said, “Android benefited from more mass-market offerings, a weaker competitive environment, and the lack of exciting new products on alternative operating systems.”

        • Android snaps up 52% of mobile phone market

          RIM should start worrying though, as it lost over 4 per cent of its share and is now down to just 11 per cent, the reason that is cited is that the company has fallen out of favour with the US market.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Adobe Flex SDK bombshell STUNS developers

    Adobe is to hand over its Flex SDK, which lets you develop applications for the Flash runtime using XML and ActionScript code, to an open source foundation. The company is committing to HTML 5 as the “best technology for enterprise application development”, according to a statement issued on Friday, November 11 by two Adobe product managers.

    The news has caused consternation among Flex developers. “It feels as though Adobe is completely abandoning Flex, and ultimately Flash … My company has invested millions into committing to Flex for our enterprise applications and now I don’t know what to tell them.” says Erich Cervantez, senior Flex developer for a large chain of health clubs.

  • Adobe Donating Flex to Open Source Foundation; Continues Fire Sale on Formerly-Core Software
  • Open Source Desktop GIS: Let’s Get Started

    A few years ago, a colleague at another institution asked my advice about offering a GIS class at his campus. He wanted to teach students the fundamentals of GIS and spatial analysis, both concepts and applications. The caveat was that he had no money to purchase software. He asked me if there were any worthwhile free applications that could be used for the class. At that time, the only free resource with which I had experience was Esri ArcExplorer Java Edition for Educators (AEJEE). AEJEE is a lightweight GIS tool for exploring geographic data. With AEJEE, you can classify and symbolize shapefiles, integrate image data, project on-the-fly shapefiles and use data over the Internet. A GIS course that relied exclusively on AEJEE would reach its ceiling very quickly.

  • FLOSS for Science Books October 2011
  • Apache Mahout: Scalable machine learning for everyone
  • DigitalPersona Open Sources New FingerJetFX Biometrics Technology for Mobile Devices, PCs and Servers
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Make Firefox Start Quicker By Only Loading Tabs As You Use Them

        If Firefox is a bit slow to start up and fast to use up RAM due to tons of open tabs, you can turn on a quick setting in Firefox 8 to only load tabs one at a time, when you click on them.

      • Firefox 10 Aurora Released, Gets WebGL Anti-Aliasing

        Mozilla just released Aurora 10, the developer version of Firefox that just graduated from nightly status and will move to beta in about six weeks.

      • Mozilla Adopts Real Life Firefoxes to Celebrate 7th Birthday

        Last week, Mozilla’s Firefox browser turned seven years old. To celebrate this milestone, the company has adopted several red pandas cubs (also known as firefoxes). Named Dolly (after Dolly Parton), Bernadette and Winston, the three cubs are said to be quite happy in their new home at the Knoxville Zoo. You might remember Mozilla adopting a couple of red panda cubs earlier this year. Dubbed Spark and Ember, the two pandas resided at the Knoxville Zoo until they were fully grown. They were then shipped off to Cleveland Metropark Zoo and Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City, Kansas, with the goal of having some cute cubs of their own next year.

      • Mozilla Fights for the Internet’s Future

        Starting at midnight, Mozilla will join other leading Internet companies, public interest groups and citizens in opposing The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the US House of Representatives. We’re censoring the Mozilla logo on many of our web sites as part of American Censorship Day and we sent Congressional leaders a joint letter together with AOL, eBay, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yahoo!, and Zynga raising our concerns with the bill.

      • Mozilla Public License Version 2.0, Release Candidate 2
      • Mozilla hatches plan to tackle memory leaks in Firefox add-ons

        Mozilla began an aggressive campaign earlier this year to trim Firefox’s memory footprint with a new initiative called MemShrink. The first fruits of that effort landed in Firefox 7, which was released in September. As a result, Firefox’s memory consumption is now between 20 to 50 percent lower. Building on that success, Mozilla is expanding the scope of its MemShrink initiative and looking to address memory consumption in additional areas.

      • Updated: Hollywood and Congress Target Mozilla

        Another dangerous bill is winding its way through Congress, this time it’s the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) by Texas representative Lamar Smith. Smith’s bill would establish a system for taking down Web sites that the Justice Department “determines to be dedicated to copyright infringement.”

        The bill is, by nearly any sane measure, overreaching and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) says that the bill targets Mozilla specifically for refusing to comply with Homeland Security’s ICE unit.

      • How To Install Firefox 8 In Ubuntu 11.10
      • Firefox 10 Alpha is Here, How to install it in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric via PPA?
      • Rapid Fire: Firefox 9 Beta is Already Out for Download

        Firefox 8 was just released last week. Some of you have probably yet to update. However, the releases are coming fast these days, as is evidenced by the fact that Firefox 9 Beta is already available for download. Mozilla recently announced that the “new, faster” Firefox Beta is now ready for testing and download with support for Windows, Mac and Linux.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • We have a DevRoom at FOSDEM!
    • So Oracle – Are you Supporting Linux or Unix?

      Oracle is in an interesting position. It is now a supporter of both Linux and Unix with their own Oracle Enterprise Linux and Solaris Unix operating systems. This past week, Oracle released Solaris 11 their first official Unix release and it made me wonder if the new Solaris is changing Oracle’s position on Linux.

      I asked Markus Flierl, vice president of software development at Oracle that question and the answer I got, was not what I had expected.

    • Analysis: Spark of hope for Solaris 11
  • CMS

    • My Take on PacktPub’s Open Source Awards

      This year I chose to sponsor PacktPub’s Open Source Awards by publishing and sharing the news of the various steps in the voting and nomination process. In return for the CMS Critic logo being posted on the awards page, I would publish their news releases as the process progressed.

  • Funding

    • What recession? Lessons learned through Free Software

      It all started ten years ago, at a beach party called (appropriately enough) “Open Beach”. A young programmer named Douglas Conrad had discovered Free Software about two years before, and dreamed of having his own company devoted to Free Software, making a living from the use and production of Free Software.

      Douglas started his company “OpenS Tecnologia” a year later in 2002, but still did not have a good idea for a sustainable business plan. In the years between 2002 and 2006, his company grew slowly while Douglas investigated different parts of Free Software, until the year 2008.


    • Join the FSF on American Censorship Day

      When you visit http://fsf.org this Wednesday, November 16th, you won’t see the usual site. Instead, you’ll see a preview of what the site could look like in the future, if we were accused of copyright infringement by companies who routinely manipulate copyright law to attack free expression and sharing on the Internet — values fundamental to the free software movement.

  • Project Releases

    • PHP 5.4 Hits RC1

      The first Release Candidate (RC 1) for PHP 5.4 is now out, marking the end of the feature development phase of the next generation of PHP.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Still Crippled By “Free”

      The recent release of the Open Source Procurement Toolkit by the Cabinet Office has been interesting and encouraging, even if it did stir in me a certain scepticism that things will be different this time round. Under both Labour and Conservative administrations, the Cabinet Office has been tasked with increasing the adoption of open source by government departments, and each time a fine statement has been made that has resulted in very little change.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Fingerprint recognition firmware released, including an open source ‘extractor’ package

        DigitalPersona is shipping Linux- and Android-ready fingerprint recognition software for biometric and mobile device manufacturers. FingerJet OEM provides fingerprint extraction, identification, and verification, runs in just 192KB of code space, and is compliant with NIST’s MINEX Ongoing Test standard — and the extractor function is available separately as a free, open source FingerJetFX OSE product.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • 15+HTML5 Video Player Open Source Download

      Here is open source code HTML5 video player instead of the flash player available free download. HTML5 can play video online without adobe flash player. There are more beautiful HTML5 video interface built in, including a set of controls (play/pause etc.), so you don’t need anything else to play video in them.

      In addition to having a built-in player, browsers also give website developers access to the video functionality through a jQuery API. This allows developers to build custom video player controls or other interfaces, that utilize the browser’s core video functionality html5 video controls


  • Why Google Will Continue to Deliver Apps Across Platforms

    The Chronicle raised the issue of Google’s recent app for Gmail on iOS, which was pulled only hours after Google delivered it. Girouard characterized it as a simple mistake, and stressed that Google will continue to develop apps for competing platforms.

  • Hardware

  • Security

    • Apple fails to fix a longstanding sandbox vulnerability in OS X

      TABLET AND SMARTPHONE MAKER Apple has failed to fix a bug in its Mac OS X operating system that allows processes to bypass the sandbox protection in place.

      The flaw was discovered by Anibal Sacco and Matias Eissler from Core Security Technologies. They let Apple know about the problem on 20 September, and while Apple acknowledged their submission, it said that it did not see any security threat, forcing the Core Security Technologies team to publish the report to the public this month.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs International Advisor Mario Monti Is Italy’s New Prime Minister

      Not on even a Sunday is the headline barrage over:


      And so the international advisor to Goldman Sachs drones on. In the meantime, the €300 billion in BTP sales is set to resume in just over 13 hours.

      Yet the reason why the EURUSD is less than jubilant on the news is that Silvio apparently has just come back from the dead and has treatened to “pull the plug” on Monti.

    • Walker Recall Gets Underway with Pajama Parties and Sabotage

      The effort to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker begins today, and organizers and volunteers are readying their clipboards to begin collecting more than half-a-million signatures throughout the holiday season. But as volunteers celebrated the launch at midnight “recall themed” pajama parties, the many challenges ahead were underscored by a deliberate, grinch-like cyber-attack on a key recall website.

    • As Zuccotti Park is Cleared, Congress Moves to Gut Financial Reform

      In the dead of night last night, the movement to hold big banks accountable for their crimes took two major hits. Occupy Wall Street activists were swept from Zuccotti Park as radical members of Congress moved to gut funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and advance a series of shocking proposals to roll back financial reform.

    • Seattle police pepper spray 84-year-old woman as ‘Occupy’ crackdowns occur nationally

      As much of the national press focused on protesters’ return to Zuccotti Park after their forcible eviction, crackdowns took place on “Occupy” protests nation-wide late Tuesday.

      During a crackdown on “Occupy Seattle,” an 84-year-old woman and a pregnant 19-year-old girl were among those attacked by police wielding pepper spray, according to reports.

      “Something funny happened on my way to a transportation meeting in Northgate,” said Dorli Rainey, the octogenarian who said she was nearly trampled after police became violent. “As I got off the bus at 3rd and Pine I heard helicopters above. Knowing that the problems of New York would certainly precipitate action by Occupy Seattle, I thought I better check it out.”

  • Censorship

    • America Heading Towards The Internet Dictatorship?

      The greedy Hollywood is about to change the world as we know it. The entertainment industry which is failing to keep up with the innovation and is relying on Flintstones model is conspiring with the US congress to break the Internet and freedom on the web.

      After the Protect IP bill, the US congress is now working on yet another dangerous bill — SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), which is apparently a disguise to give unlimited power to Hollywood to break the Internet and shutdown any website without any trial.

  • Civil Rights

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