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Links 28/11/2011: Linux 3.2 RC3, VectorLinux 7.0

Posted in News Roundup at 4:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • A Visit to Brazil

    I was checking out DuckDuckGo search engine and used its setting to prefer .br and found VivaOLinux. It is a GNU/Linux-friendly site and I did not find any trolls in my brief visit. How refreshing. It’s in the top 10K sites in Netcraft stats. Compare that with DesktopLinux.com in USA which just scrapes by to get in the top million sites.

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • Review: Thumbs-Up On Oracle Database Appliance

      If you thought the past 10 years had brought forth an explosion of data — particularly when it comes to SMBs — just wait for the next 10. With mobile devices becoming incredibly powerful data collection devices, and with social media, new use patterns and more powerful processing, database technologies would appear to face a ton of challenges.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Top 5 Linux Distributions

      As a Linux user, I am sure, you will be interested to know which is the most popular Linux distribution. Till recently, if you go by Distrowatch stats, Ubuntu ruled the roost as the most popular Linux distribution. However, after Ubuntu team made a switch to the Unity interface, its popularity has declined considerably.

    • Linux, Open Source & Ubuntu: 10 Custom Linux Distros That Ease IT Administrators` Workload
    • New Releases

      • Download CRUX 2.7.1 With Linux Kernel
      • Parted Magic update brings fixes for multi-boot CD issues

        A new version of Parted Magic, simply labelled “2011_11_24″, has been released. According to the release announcement post on the project’s News page, the update to the open source, multi-platform partitioning tool includes the 3.1.2 Linux kernel and brings “some major changes that might cause some issues with the Multi-Boot-CD crowd”.

      • VectorLinux 7.0 Standard Gold

        The final release of VectorLinux 7.0 (code name ‘GG’) is now available. This release is the result of nearly two years of blood sweet and tears since the very successful release of VectorLinux 6.0. With the enthusiasm of a small group of packagers, our repository now hosts over a thousand up to date packages. VectorLinux is the fastest Linux desktop in it’s class bar none. We have exceeded our original goals of VectorLinux 7 and produced a beautiful, full featured stable desktop that is fun, fast and efficient.

      • VectorLinux 7.0 goes gold after two years

        The developers of the compact VectorLinux distribution have announced that, nearly two years after the release of version 6.0, they have released version 7.0 of their operating system. Described as “the fastest Linux desktop in its class bar none” by its developers, VectorLinux 7.0, code-named “GG”, sports a desktop based on Xfce-4.8, with an option to use FluxBox as an alternative desktop.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 2 Alpha 1 released for testing

        The Mageia project has announced the release of a first alpha of version 2.0 of its Mandriva Linux community fork. According to the Development Planning schedule, the first milestone will be followed by two more alpha releases, two betas and a release candidate; the final version is expected to arrive on 3 May 2012.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • fslinux_build: Debian Custom Build Script
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu penguins build Linux TV challenge

            Open-sourcers are taking Ubuntu Linux in the direction of Google TV and Microsoft’s Xbox 360.

            A list of priorities for something called Ubuntu TV have been thrashed out by Ubuntu developers with the blessing of Mark Shuttleworth. The Ubuntu daddy has corralled the points here.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 12 screenshot preview
            • The Perfect Desktop – Linux Mint 12 (Lisa)
            • DistroWatch: Ubuntu Drops, Linux Mint Still On Top
            • CrunchBang Linux 10 R20111125 Available for Download
            • CrunchBang 10 update goes exclusively OpenBox

              Developer Philip Newborough has announced the release of an updated image of CrunchBang 10 “Statler” R20101205, a Linux distribution based on Debian Squeeze; CrunchBang 10 was originally released in March 2011.

              This release has some new additions but mainly focuses on the removal and cleaning up of the distribution. Previously, “Statler” was available with either the lightweight Openbox window manager or XFCE. But Newborough says that he wants to concentrate on giving “the best out-of-the-box Openbox experience possible” and, to that end, has retired the Xfce version as “there are plenty of brilliant Xfce based distributions available”.

            • Linux Mint 12: A Great desktop Linux stays Great

              Installing Mint is a snap. All you need do is download the ISO, burn it to a CD, DVD, or USB stick and then re-boot your computer with it and follow the instructions. On my PCs, the entire process took about half-an-hour. One nice thing about Mint, and other Linux distros, is that they’ll work well on old PCs with as little as 512MBs of RAM. For most people though I’d recommend running Mint on a system with at least 1GB of memory.

              You cannot though do an in-place update of Mint 11. That’s by design. Mint’s developers feel that if you just upgrade an already existing Linux, you’re likely to carry forward potential problems or out of date software. So, you’ll need to back up and restore your home directories and files. I did this by backing them up to an attached USB drive. It’s a trifle annoying, but it’s not really a big deal.

            • Linux Mint 12 Review: The Best Gnome 3 Shell Implementation

              LinuxMint team has dropped the bomb with the release of version 12, which offers a unique Gnome experience. Linux Mint is also enjoying its new limelight with esteemed #1 spot on Distrowatch. However, the journey was not that smooth for the team.

              Earlier this year when Ubuntu switched to Gnome 3 and came with Unity as the default shell, Clement Lefebvre told me that they won’t switch to Gnome 3 or Unity. The statement was applauded by the LinuxMint users. However, we did understand that it was a huge technological challenge for the LinuxMint to not adopt Gnome 3.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • New ARM Dev Toolkit for Android Addresses Platform ‘Hodgepodge’

      This morning, ARM is taking a significant step toward ironing out Android’s multiple versioning issues that Linus Torvalds himself called a “hodgepodge” earlier this year. It’s releasing suites of developers’ tools, including a free community edition, of its ARM Developers Studio (DS-5), this time including a graphical debugger that it says will eliminate the need for devs to use a clunky, command-line debugger for tuning native code.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet review [Video]

        If you’re looking for a low-priced tablet this year, Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet is one you’ll want to consider.

        At $249, the Nook Tablet is a bit more expensive than the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Nook Color and the Kobo Vox, each of which are selling at about $200. But, the Nook Tablet is a better piece of hardware than its $200 rivals and the extra dough wouldn’t be spent in vain.

      • Get an Acer Iconia 10-inch tablet for $229.99

        And come on: $229.99?! That’s only $30 more than you’d pay for a 7-inch Kindle Fire. And it’s $20 less than the Nook Tablet. If you’re in the market for a 10-inch slate, this is without question the deal to beat.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Devs tempted to hit the source at appMobi’s free bar

    Mobile developers with an AJAX leaning can now get free access to the source for appMobi’s development toolkit, allowing them to incorporate bits of appMobi tech into their own apps.

  • Science prize goes to an open source project

    The monthly Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE) from Science magazine has this month been awarded to an open source project. The winner, Open Source Physics, is a web site that provides tools and resources for interactive computer-based modelling; it is intended to help teach students at all levels the principles of computational physics.

  • Crashing Google Wave Finds New Life in Open Source

    Google recently announced it will shut down Google Wave, the company’s web app for real-time collaboration, in April 2012.

    Google had previously all but abandoned Wave, ceasing new development over a year ago, but soon all traces of Wave will be removed from the web. Wave will become read-only in January 2012, meaning users will no longer be able to create new waves. After that Google Wave users have until April 30 to export their content before the service shuts down completely.

  • Why free software is not a job killer

    At first, this seems a little bit odd. As much as I love and enjoy using FLOSS and value it for its steadiness and security, I also understand that I must also devote some time to maintaining it, just like any proprietary system. What’s funny about my particular situation is that because I don’t use Windows that often, I actually spend more time maintaining security updates on my Linux machines than I do my Windows client. But when you only use a PC an hour a week or so, versus near-24/7 uptime, you get that. If I were using my Windows computer more often, I know the maintenance time would be much higher.

    And that’s just the client machines I have. I’ve done enough systems administration to know that there are almost as many tasks in administering FLOSS software as proprietary. Sure, there’s a lot less time spent looking for viruses on a Linux machine, but I still have to manage user accounts, provision machines, etc.

  • Events

    • CeBIT 2012: Call for projects

      Open source projects can now apply for free booth space at next year’s CeBIT trade show, which will take place from 6 to 10 March 2012 on the world’s largest fairground in Hannover, Germany. For the fourth year in a row, open source will have a presence at the event, with various organisations and projects from around the world represented in Hall 2.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Time up for Oracle’s HTML5 killer?

      Sun Microsystems in 2007 announced a re-imagining of GUI platform Swing with JavaFX. Swing, Sun said, had reached an architectural dead-end and need a reboot to compete on modern, Rich Internet Application (RIA) platforms.

  • CMS

    • The Big 3 continue to dominate the Open Source CMS race

      “WordPress turned in another strong year, clearly outpacing both Joomla! and Drupal,” notes lead analyst Ric Shreves. “Looking beyond the Big 3 we find a considerable amount of movement in the market, with several smaller systems turning in solid performances this year. Concrete5, in particular, had a very strong year.”

  • Healthcare

    • Summa Health System Launches New Site with Jahia

      Jahia, provider of Java-based open source CMS solutions, announced today that Summa Health System (summahealth.org) has re-launched its website using Jahia, chosen based on its interoperability with a wide range of content repositories, making Jahia the de facto “online digital hub” for Summa Health’s content.

  • Business/Other

  • Project Releases

    • Node.js 0.6.3 integrates NPM

      The Node.js developers have announced the release of version 0.6.3 of the JavaScript-based, event-driven, application framework. A new feature in the release is the addition of NPM, Node Package Manager, to the Node.js distribution. NPM was independently developed to offer Node users a simple way of packaging and distributing libraries of code and has become the de facto standard for Node.js packaging.

    • Version 1.0 of YaCy distributed search engine released

      After more than 5 years of development, the YaCy developers have released version 1.0 of their open source, decentralised search engine. The GPL-licensed YaCy peer-to-peer search engine is designed as an alternative to search services, such as those provided Google, that are centrally managed by one company.

      Like file sharing peers, all search engine peers will contribute search results and use the results contributed by others. An important advantage, say the developers, is that YaCy content cannot be censored. Karsten Gerloff, President of the Free Software Foundation Europe described the project as a “vital building block” for the “future world of distributed, peer-to-peer systems”.

  • Public Services/Government

    • UkGovcamp: walk a mile in our sandals and realise some serious savings
    • Open source: Is the government doing enough?

      Open source is currently in use across several government departments, with Drupal powering the Cabinet Office website and some DirectGov services, Transport for London’s Oystercard using an open source infrastructure, and the Department of Health using open source to work with EU partners.

      In addition, some departments are creating their own open source technologies, such as the Department for the Climate Change, which has created FoxOpen. However, most of the technology used by government remains proprietary, with the Department for Work and Pensions, for example, still using comprehensive proprietary products from single vendors such as IBM.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Will HTML5 kill mobile apps?

      By forcing Web developers, and ultimately Adobe, out of the Flash business, Apple made HTML5 apps better. That’s good for Safari users, but it’s also good for users on other Web platforms, like Android. If there’s a truly good universal platform for online apps, it stands to reason that the smart developer will build apps for it, since this way the app will be available to the largest number of users. Right?


  • Finance

    • Secret Fed Loans Undisclosed to Congress Gave Banks $13 Billion in Income

      $7.77 Trillion

      The amount of money the central bank parceled out was surprising even to Gary H. Stern, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 1985 to 2009, who says he “wasn’t aware of the magnitude.” It dwarfed the Treasury Department’s better-known $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Add up guarantees and lending limits, and the Fed had committed $7.77 trillion as of March 2009 to rescuing the financial system, more than half the value of everything produced in the U.S. that year.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Will Paradis Fail To Can Canadian Spam?

      Last year, a Quebec court upheld the largest spam damage award in the world, ordering Adam Guerbuez, a Montreal-based email marketer, to pay Facebook $873 million dollars for sending millions of spam messages to users of the popular social network. Two months later, the Conservative government passed long overdue anti-spam legislation that finally established strict rules for electronic marketing and safeguards against the installation of unwanted software programs on personal computers, all backed by tough multi-million dollar penalties.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Koha trademark: top lawyer says Trust has stronger case

        A leading ICT lawyer in New Zealand says the Horowhenua Library Trust, which is getting ready to lodge an objection to the registration of the Koha trademark for software by an American defence contractor, has a stronger case than its opponent.

        Rick Shera, a partner at Lowndes Jordan Barristers and Solicitors in Auckland, and the first lawyer to have qualified as a New Zealand Computer Society Information Technology Certified Professional, was commenting on the case of the Koha project, an integrated library system.

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright coming to the Supreme Court of Canada

        The copyright bar and the Supreme Court are gearing up for two big days of copyright appeals. The five appeals are being heard back to back on December 6 and 7, 2011.

        Earlier today the Court circulated the draft schedule for the arguments. It lists all the parties, the interveners, the lawyers involved, and the order in which the cases are going to be heard. It is going to be a very interesting two days for copyright in Canada.

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