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11.21.11

Links 21/11/2011: Steel Storm 2, GNOME Mentoring Program for Women

Posted in News Roundup at 7:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux is a tortoise.

    Lets face it. Modern day Linux installations are nowhere near as fast as they were a few years ago. It seems that they have been adding in everything, including the kitchen sink. To be fair, the kitchen sink will be used somewhere down the line. Actually, the standard desktop Linux installation generally has everything already installed to do ninety five percent of all needed tasks. Without having to install anything else.

    This means that you have a fully capable word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation program, graphics program, music player, cd burner, chat, mail, web browser and kitchen sink. Right out of the box so to speak. This is so much more than proprietary offerings can give. Even if those proprietary systems do supply some functionality out of the box. It is nowhere near the functionality of the add ons which you absolutely must have to be able to do any work.

  • Why Linux Isn’t Only for Geeks

    If you’ve ever owned a Windows computer chances are your computer was at one point infected with a virus. The solution to this problem is not purchasing antivirus software.

    The answer to this problem is abandoning Windows as your main operating system, however to some this might seem an impossible thing to do. Apple computers are rather expensive and while they can run Windows as a secondary operating system most people would prefer to be able to run Windows applications on their primary operating system without a noticeable slowdown.

    This is where Linuxcomes in as an all around great performer. Linux has very few viruses written for it and due to the many different versions and “flavors” of Linux it is hard to write a virus for this platform. Linux is still not perfect and does have security features implemented to protect you from the few threats that are present or any threats that may arise in the future.

  • Kernel Space

    • The Journal – a proposed syslog replacement
    • Linus Torvalds: Locked Down Technologies Lose in the End

      “Technologies that lock things down tend to lose in the end,” said Torvalds when asked about Microsoft’s secure boot feature, which he likened to Apple’s use of DRM technology. “People want freedom and markets want freedom,” he added.

      Secure boot is a feature in Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system designed to protect against low-level hacker attacks, but it could also end up preventing users from installing Linux on a PC shipped with a pre-loaded copy of Windows 8.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Krita 2.4 reviewed

        We still haven’t released, and at the Calligra sprint we decided to have at least one more beta, but that hasn’t prevented Linux Format to give Krita as their “hottest pick” award in their Christmas issue, issue 152, which you can get from good news agents everywhere!

      • The Great Features of KDE Workspaces and Applications Part II – Klipper

        Today I’d like to introduce Klipper, easy, small and very useful tool included in KDE Workspace since…well, always. That’s the scissors icon sitting in the systray area. Basically it is a history of your clipboard but it can do much more. Very important thing is that the contents persist between sessions, so if you have something in your clipboard, you log off/reboot/shutdown and then you log back in, you still have your whole clipboard history ready and the most recent entry already in clipboard, so you can paste it immediately.

      • Kstars, a desktop Planetarium that’s not just an Educational “Toy”

        Have you ever wondered what that bright object in the pre-dawn morning was that you couldn’t help notice? Or is that reddish star Mars? Is that fuzzy mass of white a wispy cloud or a galaxy?

      • Plasma Workspaces Wallpaper Contest

        With the KDE 4.8 releases drawing near, it’s time to change the look of the default desktop. Every two major releases, the main wallpaper of the Plasma Workspaces changes to maintain a fresh style.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME mentoring program for women continues

        As part of the GNOME Outreach Program for Women, the Foundation has announced the twelve women who will be sponsored and mentored to work on open source projects. The internships will run from 12 December 2011 to 12 March 2012. The programme builds on previous successful internships which have seen participants work on on-screen keyboards for the GNOME Shell, Empathy avatars, educational Braille software and many other applications.

  • Distributions

    • Commodore OS Vision Beta 6

      Last night i was searching for a new Linux OS to install on my laptop and when i was looking on distrowatch i found the Commodore OS Vision. Commodore OS Vision is based on Linux Mint 10 (Ubuntu 10.10) and is still under development. It comes with GNOME 2 so all the desktop effects are there and installed by default… just watch the video!!

    • Top 6 Linux and BSD graphical installation programs
    • New Releases

      • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 174

        Summary:
        · Announced Distro: Linux Mint 12 Release Candidate
        · Announced Distro: openSUSE 12.1

      • Tiny Core Linux v4.1

        Continued upgrades to the base system including pcmciautils, sudo, freetype, imlib,libpng, and busybox. New boot codes of “cde” and “pretce”. cde for easy remastering. pretce for raid and lvm support. Improved support for Microcore which includes Ondemand, and icon options when used with the X extensions. Several bug fixes and enhancements as requested by the community. See change log for all the details.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Powerpack 2011 released

        Mandriva has released Powerpack 2011, a commercially enhanced version of the company’s Mandriva Linux distribution. The system comes with the Linux kernel 2.6.39 and uses KDE 4.6.5 as the default desktop.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Why I’m quitting the Debian Lineup

        Being an advocate of Linux Mint, which is a derivative based on Ubuntu, which is a derivative of Debian; I noticed a nasty bug back in July of 2011. Ubuntu 11.04 was released in April of that year and I waited for the bugs to be shaken out of the rug and finally installed it.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 7 Hidden Features Of Ubuntu 11.10 You Might Not Know Of

            As the latest version of Ubuntu was released, the team of developers have been hard at work adding some convenient features. However, some are more known than others, while others will surprise you when they pop up. Some aren’t even installed by default but can be very useful. So what are these features that can make a major difference?

          • Bringing The PackageKit Interface To Ubuntu

            The PackageKit DBus Interface is coming to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, but it’s not full PackageKit support and integration.

            Back during the Ubuntu 12.04 Developer Summit in Orlando, PackageKit integration was talked about. However, it’s not bringing PackageKit to Ubuntu Linux, but rather just their interfaces and they will interact with Canonical’s own design.

            Sebastian Heinlein yesterday wrote to PackageKit DBus Interface in Ubuntu – It is the API that matters! to the Ubuntu development mailing list. He’s the developer working on bringing the PackageKit system D-Bus interface to the Ubuntu desktop by adding a compatibility layer that in turn will make it poke AptDaemon, which is Canonical’s preferred software management service for Ubuntu.

          • death by a thousand cuts

            It’s amazing to me what features drive decisions when choosing a technology. In my case, it’s a clock applet, but let me set a little bit of a context first.

            I stopped configuring my UI environment several years ago, opting instead to use the experience that had been designed for me by the fine folks at Ubuntu. This wasn’t entirely just blind trust or pleasure – but rather that the defaults were sensible enough, and I wanted to be in the business of doing things, not spending an hour deciding what font I wanted my desktop to display. I believe I’ve been doing this since dapper, if not earlier.

            Until now.

            I tried. I mean, I’ve bitched at Jorge some in person, but I ran Unity starting with Natty up until last week. I ran it as provided, as intended, and I tried to learn to think about things in the way it was asking me to.

          • Ubuntu’s Global Menu Is A Stupid Idea

            I have been using Fedora 16 for a week now and since its quite stable I have been using it instead of my trusted and much loved Ubuntu. One of the reason behind using Fedora over Ubuntu is Unity. I love Unity, but at the moment there is very little customization possible, which makes it a bit hard to reshuffle things around according to one’s needs. Gnome 3, on the contrary, offers much more customizations, thanks to Gnome-Shell Extensions. Before trying Fedora I was using Gnome 3 Shell in Ubuntu, instead of Unity.

            I must also add that I love Ubuntu. No other distro can match the work Ubuntu team has done to make GNU/Linux useful for an average user. Even if I am using Fedora, there is no denying the fact that Ubuntu has a very important place in the consumer desktop space — which presumably is not the market of Fedora.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • USB stick packs ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, runs Android or Ubuntu

      FXI Technologies announced a USB stick-sized computer that can run Android or Ubuntu on a 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor. The “Cotton Candy” will include 1GB of RAM, a microSD slot, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and an HDMI port, the company says.

    • Tiny USB Stick Brings Android to PCs, TVs

      Google has made no secret about its plans for Android. Smartphones and tablets are just the beginning — the company wants Android everywhere. And thanks to FXI Technologies’ Cotton Candy USB device, we may not have to wait long to see Android on more than just our mobile devices.

      FXI essentially built an ultra-lean computer inside a small USB stick. Stick it into any device that supports USB storage, and Cotton Candy will register as a USB drive. From there, you can run the Android OS in a secure environment inside your desktop, courtesy of a Windows/OSX/Linux-compatible virtualization client embedded in the device.

    • Phones

      • A Promise Kept – Never Again Nokia

        A few months ago, when the Trojan Horse from Microsoft made the decision to switch Nokia to Windows Phone, I swore that I would never buy another Nokia product. Yesterday was the first time that I put that promise into action.

      • Android

        • Motorola Mobility shareholders approve Google merger

          Motorola Mobility shareholders have approved the sale of the company to Google. However, it will be federal regulators who have the final word on whether the deal will go through, and they have yet to make their decisions.

        • Android 4.0 arrives as Galaxy Nexus goes on sale

          Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus, the first phone with Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android, has gone on sale in the United Kingdom.

        • Amazon planning Kindle smartphone in 2012?

          Amazon looks like it’s not content with just having a shot at the e-reader and tablet market, with reports emanating from Asia that it wants a smartphone too.

          According to CitiGroup, Amazon is looking to launch a smartphone in Q4 2012 in association with Foxconn International Holdings, and will aim it at the cheaper end of the market.

        • Motorola Mobility sued for allegedly stealing source code
        • Top 5 Audiobook Players for Android

          Unlike iOS, Android doesn’t come with a dedicated Audiobook player. However, that shouldn’t stop you from listening to your favorite books. The Android Marketplace offers some great apps that can play and manage audiobooks really well. Not only will these apps let you play audiobooks in MP3, OGG and M4B formats, they’ll also allow you to manage, tag and organize your favorite books easily. So, if you’re itching to listen to that nail-biting bestseller you just downloaded, here’s a list of five of the best audiobook players and managers for Android.

        • Small Taiwanese Firms Finally Get Some New Android Code

          Google had pledged to release the source code for Honeycomb, also known as Android 3.0, but then delayed its release indefinitely. It provided Honeycomb only to bigger manufacturers, such as Acer and Motorola, while smaller companies had to stick with earlier versions of the software.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Android tablet mimics iPad display specs

        Archos announced an Android 2.3 tablet with an iPad-like display: 9.7 inches, 1024 x 768 pixels, and IPS (in-plane switching). The Arnova 9 G2 is equipped with a single-core 1GHz processor, 8GB of storage, a front-facing videocam, plus micro-USB, USB, and microSD connections — but so far, no price tag.

      • HTC Launching Quad-Core Tablet at MWC? (Update – it’s called Quatro)
      • Nook Tablet starts shipping a day early

        Barnes & Noble has begun shipping their latest product, the Nook Tablet, one day ahead of schedule. While it might not seem like much of a deal on the surface, it puts the tablet in stores and, more importantly, in hands earlier than expected. The sooner these are in a retail environment, the better as the next few weeks will be heated to say the least.

      • Nook Tablet Now Runs Kindle, Aldiko, & More – No Hack Required

        Earlier today I was griping about how Amazon had quietly made it difficult to install competing reading apps; today I get to dance for joy because I’ve learned how to install third party apps on the Nook Tablet.

        A reader tipped me to the secret (Thanks, Geert). There’s a thread over on the XDA-Forums where someone discovered a loophole in the Nook Tablet firmware.

      • Amazon Posts Kindle Fire’s Open Source Code

        Unlike some vendors which shall remain unnamed (*cough*, HTC, *cough*), Amazon didn’t make us wait for the mandatory open source bits of the Android Fire’s kernel and released them over at their Source Code page the same day the tablets themselves started arriving in consumers’ hands. The download, which comes as a compressed tar.gz, weighs in at a whopping 809MB.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google’s Eclipse Plugin open sourced

    Google’s IDE integration for GWT, Speed Tracer and App Engine, which is known as Google Plugin for Eclipse (GPE), has been open sourced under the Eclipse Public Licence. The tools had previously been proprietary, but Google said in a blog posting that the size of the ecosystem around GWT, App Engine and the company’s cloud services meant the idea of open sourcing the tools made “a lot of sense for us” as it was easier for the community to improve the tools.

  • jQuery Mobile 1.0 finalised

    After a “year of refinements” the jQuery Mobile developers have finalised version 1.0 of the HTML5-based user interface libraries and framework for mobile platforms. Based on jQuery core and jQuery’s UI library, the platform has been developed to work with Apple iOS, Android 2.1-2.3 and Honeycomb, Windows Phone 7 and 7.5, Blackberry 6.0, 7 and Playbook, Palm WebOS, Firefox Mobile, Opera Mobile, MeeGo 1.2, Kindle 3 and Fire, and the desktop versions of Chrome 11-15, Firefox 4-8, Internet Explorer 7-9 and Opera 10-11.

  • Commercial, Open Source App Suites Offer Alternatives To Microsoft Office

    “Microsoft Office doesn’t dominate the way it used to,” said Doug Heintzman, strategy director for IBM collaboration solutions, including the company’s free Lotus Symphony personal productivity application suite. “This is a very dynamic and changing landscape.”

  • Typesafe to integrate Play 2.0 into its Scala stack

    The open source Java/Scala web framework Play 2.0, recently released as a beta, will be integrated into Typesafe’s Scala based application stack. Typesafe, which launched in May, has built its Typesafe Stack, aimed at providing all the tools needed for Scala developers to create applications which address multi-core and cloud-scale computing workloads. The announcement by Typesafe notes that the addition of Play will make the stack “a complete web platform”.

  • Open Source Nurtures Innovation

    With his usual rigour, Stephen O’Grady considers whether open source is innovative over on his blog. As ever, his view – that “innovation is a function of incentive, not the software development model” – is worth understanding and accepting, but I think there’s more to consider here. While it provides no guarantees, I believe an open source environment potentially makes software innovation cheaper and easier.

    As a proprietary developer, you are responsible for the eternal care of every line of code you add to your software. In the early days, you can be very productive, creating clean, fresh software that is compelling and doing so fast because you’re in complete control of the process. But the code you create is your sole responsibility, and as it gets more and more substantial – and as you have more and more paying customers depending on it – the burden of sustaining it grows.

  • Open source backup software lags in the cloud and VM backup
  • Events

    • Open Source India 2011 Kick-Starts Today!

      Gear yourself up for three consecutive days of learning and exciting time with 3,000+ open source innovators, enthusiasts, and gurus at Bengaluru’s NIMHANS Convention Centre. The technology world is looking at open source technology for future innovations. Thus, the 8th edition of OSI Days, which will run through 22 November 2011, becomes even more important. It aims to commemorate and celebrate the true spirit of open source, and aims to strengthen and consolidate the Indian open source community.

    • More Linux lessons at hub

      Linux Users Victoria is holding a second, free information session for people keen to learn more about the original computer operating system, similar to Windows and Android, but with one major exception ? there is no cost.

    • Lucene Eurocon 2011: Day Two
  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Own Your Cloud: Interview With PageKite Founder

      Cloud computing is the buzz word, even if most users don’t even fully understand what it is. One thing is for sure, putting all your eggs in one basket is always a bad idea, especially when someone else is holding the basket. So, the best cloud is the one that you own. We are aware of ownCloud, which you can easily run on your local server. But your ISP doesn’t let you assign an IP to your network, so you can’t access your ownCloud from outside your network. That’s the problem that PageKite solves. We interviewed the CEO and founder of PageKit,e Bjarni R. Einarsson, and discussed various aspects of the Cloud computing and how a user can take control of his/her own cloud.

  • CMS

    • Dr Dre of the Internet

      Dr Dries Buytaer, the Dr Dre of the Internet and founder of Drupal, the world’s most used open source Content Management System (CMS), was in the city on a visit to ISB and IIIT-Hyderabad.

      While the passion of developers came as a pleasant surprise, what made his “eyes pop” was, all of India.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • SugarCRM: More Business Partners, Less Open Source Talk

        Like so many open source software companies, SugarCRM seems to be talking more about business growth and partner momentum, and less about open source technologies. The latest example: SugarCRM’s Q3 billings rose 69 percent vs. Q3 2010. Moreover, SugarCRM recruited 38 new partners during Q3, raising its worldwide partner engagements to 343 companies. Impressive. Here’s how SugarCRM has been evolving to deliver that type of growth.

        First, The VAR Guy needs to be clear: SguarCRM certainly isn’t abandoning open source. The company continues to promote its open source community and open source values. And CEO Larry Augustin has carefully described his views on open source.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Linux super-duper admin tools: gdb

      Let’s talk debug. So you wrote a piece of code and you want to compile it and run it. Or you have a binary and you just run it. The only problem is, the execution fails with a segmentation fault. For all practical purposes, you call it a day.

  • Project Releases

    • ColorHug open source colour management announced

      Developer Richard Hughes has announced the development of ColorHug, an open source colorimeter for measuring the colours displayed on a screen and creating a colour profile. Hughes began working on colour management in Linux two years ago and decided to create the device after finding that existing hardware was closed and proprietary. He wanted to make colour management accessible to end users and, with a background in electronics, set about designing the hardware.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open government leaders support funding for key transparency initiatives

      OMB Watch and the Sunlight Foundation today [November 16, 2011] released an open letter to the U.S. Senate supporting continued funding for the Electronic Government Fund’s important transparency projects. The letter echoes the Obama administration’s policy statement issued Nov. 10.

      The letter calls for full funding for the E-Gov Fund, which pays for flagship projects such as USAspending.gov and Data.gov. In April, Congress short-sightedly slashed the E-Gov Fund by 75 percent, from $34 million to $8 million, drastically reducing the fund’s ability to maintain current transparency tools or develop new ones. The House Appropriations Committee has proposed a slight increase for the fund next year, but Senate appropriators proposed an additional cut.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Google Code-In 2011 about to start

      Eighteen open source organisations have been selected for this year’s Google Code-In contest for pre-university students. The contest starts on November 21st so it’s time for students to select the tasks they want to work on.

    • Five years of open-source Java: Freedom isn’t (quite) free

      Open source Java has a long and torrid history, rife with corporate rivalry, very public fallings-out, and ideological misgivings. But has all the effort and rumpus that went into creating an officially sanctioned open JDK been worth it?

      Java co-creator James Gosling certainly thinks so – although he didn’t seem entirely open to the idea in the early days.

    • Version 5.0 of Open64 compiler improves performance

      The developers of the Open64 compilers have released version 5.0 of the tool, with improved performance, bug fixes and changes to the infrastructure of the compilation system. Open64 is an open source optimising compiler for x86-64, IA-32 and IA-64 platforms. Historically, Open64 is derived from SGI’s Pro64 compiler for MIPS architectures; versions of the compiler for MIPS and other architectures such as CUDA and PowerPC are available from other sources. The main release of Open64 concentrates on Intel and AMD architectures and offers pre-built C, C++ and Fortran 95 compilers.

    • Java’s ‘Steve Jobs’ moment in 2012?

      The OpenJDK project followed shortly after Sun’s open-sourcing of Java in November 2005; it’s both a free-and-open-source implementation of Java Standard Edition (Java SE).

      The project has seen a fresh lease of life under Oracle, Sun’s buyer, who has tempted IBM away from the Apache Software Foundation’s Harmony Java SE project and who also recruited Apple to OpenJDK. OpenJDK also has a new set of governance rules, albeit rules that hand Oracle and IBM a duopoly over ultimate control of the project and, therefore, the roadmap.

    • Why devops is no silver bullet for developers

      In the survey, Puppet Labs finds that 55 percent of respondents ranked the automation of configuration and management tasks as the top benefit expected from the devops movement. Another 13 percent ranked it in their top three expected benefits.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The trials and tribulations of HTML video in the post-Flash era

      Adobe reversed course on its Flash strategy after a recent round of layoffs and restructuring, concluding that HTML5 is the future of rich Internet content on mobile devices. Adobe now says it doesn’t intend to develop new mobile ports of its Flash player browser plugin, though existing implementations will continue to be maintained.

      Adobe’s withdrawal from the mobile browser space means that HTML5 is now the path forward for developers who want to reach everyone and deliver an experience that works across all screens. The strengths and limitations of existing standards will now have significant implications for content creators who want to deliver video content on the post-flash Web.

Leftovers

  • Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures and M$ Is Oh So Desperate

    In the marketing wars over cloudy documents M$ has launched a campaign to get back the defectors from Office 365 to Google Docs. A sign of their desperation is a blog post in which they trot out US advertisements by Google requiring skills with Excel. They find 88 such ads. When I look I find Google has 1500 ads out there without any need for Excel, suggesting Google’s use of Excel is less than 10% of desktops… Ouch! Thank you, M$, for advertising Google Docs.

  • Google enhances WebP to take on PNG

    Google has enhanced its open source image format WebP. The latest update adds a new lossless compression technology and supports transparency information for images. This, the developers say, allows the format to be an alternative to PNG; it was originally introduced as an alternative to JPEG, with its lossy compression of image files promising files up to 39 per cent smaller but retaining the same quality. PNG, a very popular image format for the web, is the target for the Google developers now, especially with the support for transparency.

  • Security

  • Finance

  • Copyrights

    • Pirate To Join European Parliament As Youngest Member

      In a few weeks Amelia Andersdotter will be the second Pirate Party member to take a seat at the European Parliament in Brussels. The 24-year-old Swede was voted in more than two years ago, but due to bureaucratic quibbles her official appointment was delayed. TorrentFreak catches up with the soon-to-be youngest MEP to hear about her plans and expectations.

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