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Links 29/11/2011: Droid 4, Thunderbird 8.0 in Ubuntu 11.10

Posted in News Roundup at 8:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux Aus’s Rusty Wrench award returns

    After an absence of four years, Linux Australia’s award for outstanding service to the FOSS community is back.

  • Presenters to get first warning: Linux Aus

    The process to introduce an official code of conduct for Linux Australia events is continuing, with the Linux Australia council today issuing a re-drafted code for the consideration of members, including a proposed new warning system for inappropriate speakers.

  • Linux Gratitude

    Is Linux so inconceivable that it is hard for users to say thank you? In her podcast Why don’t more people say thank you?, Cathy Malmrose does a great job telling her own story as an analogy for trying to understand the Linux user community. Cathy is the CEO of Zareaon right here in Berkeley and a supporter of BerkeleyLUG. Please let her know your thoughts and/or comment here.

  • TLWIR 26: DiBona, LibreOffice Templates, iPad 2 and Linux Mint
  • Kernel Space

    • The Lustre Distributed Filesystem

      There comes a time in a network or storage administrator’s career when a large collection of storage volumes needs to be pooled together and distributed within a clustered or multiple client network, while maintaining high performance with little to no bottlenecks when accessing the same files. That is where Lustre comes into the picture. The Lustre filesystem is a high-performance distributed filesystem intended for larger network and high-availability environments.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • What People Are Saying About GNOME [Part 4]
      • Faience Gnome Shell Theme And Faience Icons

        Faience Gnome Shell theme is fully compatible with Gnome 3.2 and older older version of Gnome 3.0 as well. Faience Gnome shell and icons theme designed by Matthieu James “tiheum” deviantart user.

        Faience icons theme based on Faenza icons. The latest update of Faience icons includes many new applications such as “Blender, Compiz Config Settings Manager, Desura, File-roller, Gajim, Gmail, Google Music Frame, Mail notification, System monitor”. Also missing links fixes, new mime types, and new icon sizes.

  • Distributions

    • Parted Magic – The Ultimate Linux Tool
    • Linux from Scratch: I’ve had it up to here!

      As you may be able to tell from my recent, snooze-worthy technical posts about compilers and makefiles and other assorted garbage, my experience with Linux from Scratch has been equally educational and enraging. Like Dave, I’ve had the pleasure of trying to compile various desktop environments and software packages from scratch, into some god-awful contraption that will let me check my damn email and look at the Twitters.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • How Mandriva was built

        The distro now known as Mandriva has been making headlines since its inception – unfortunately not all of the press has been flattering. It’s the distro the community first loved, and now just loves to hate.

        Way before Ubuntu and the current slew of desktop-friendly distros – when running Linux on your desktop was a measure of your geek cred – the technologically challenged turned to Mandriva.

    • Red Hat Family

      • HP Project Odyssey’s Biggest Server Winner: Red Hat Linux

        Hewlett-Packard is facing a difficult time in the server market. Indeed, IBM is gaining momentum amid HP’s missteps with Itanium, the latest Gartner research suggests. Now, HP is trying to save face with a server initiative code-named Odyssey. But here’s the big twist: Odyssey’s biggest potential winner is Red Hat.

      • Red Hat sales exec is moving on

        Linux software company Red Hat is seeking a new top sales executive to replace Alex Pinchev, who is departing in January.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Why You Should Not Ditch Ubuntu

            Ubuntu has been facing some backlash ever since they introduced Unity. I don’t know how many users actually migrated to other distros, but some long time Ubuntu users did switch to Linux Mint from my Google+ circle. I don’t think that’s a good sign for the distribution and the company behind it, Canonical.

            I also don’t think there is anything wrong with Canonical of Ubuntu, it’s change that was inevitable. Ubuntu uses Gnome as its desktop environment and the Gnome project was moving forward with the long-awaited version 3. Gnome 3 brings some radical changes to the UI, which was extremely important to keep it ready for the new breed of devices which as ‘touch-enabled’. Gnome 3 meant change; change in the way a user interacts with his PC, change in functionality, usability and features. There were some conflict of ideas which lead Ubuntu team to create their own shell instead of using Gnome 3 shell, it was called Unity. It was not a new concept, Ubuntu already had that interface for netbooks.

          • Asus and Ubuntu in Portugal
          • List Of Unity Keyboard Shortcuts
          • ‘Foss Yeaaaah!’ – A Song About Unity, GNOME and Ubuntu
          • A few useful tweaks for Ubuntu
          • Dare To Be Different: Ubuntu’s Popularity Is Not Declining

            Like a domino effect of mis-information, this week has been chock full of reports by tech news sites that Ubuntu’s market share is declining, being surpassed by the Ubuntu spin-off and close cousin Linux Mint.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • 12 Reasons to Try Linux Mint 12

              For any new release of a popular Linux distribution, there are typically numerous fans eagerly awaiting the software’s final debut. For Linux Mint 12, however, that anticipation may well have broken all previous records, so anxious have Linux fans been to see the new release’s answer to the controversial desktop environments increasingly appearing in other operating systems.

            • Ubuntu shows DistroWatch decline as Mint soars

              Linux Mint appears to be soaring in popularity at the expense of high-profile distros such as Ubuntu, figures from DistroWatch have suggested.

              The site’s latest page hit numbers show a sharp decline in the last month for Ubuntu, which having occupied second spot throughout year has now dropped to fourth place, behind even Fedora, openSUSE and top performer, Mint.
              The figures are perhaps more surprising given that Canonical released the latest version of Ubuntu, 11.10, on 13 October, within the period covered by the measurements, which look at the average number of hits per day from unique IP addresses.
              Assuming the numbers are a meaningful reflection of actual download interest (and it should be pointed out that the site itself does not make any definitive claims), why Ubuntu might be on a downward slope is an open question. The temptation will be for commentators to blame the arrival of the contentious Unity interface, which replaced Gnome/KDE, from 11.04 (Nutty Narwhal) onwards.

            • Linux Mint 12 ships as distro’s popularity soars

              The final version of Linux Mint 12 (“Lisa”) was released, with “MGSE” extensions to GNOME 3.2 that let users create a more GNOME 2.3x-like environment. Based on Ubuntu 11.10 and Linux 3.0, Linux Mint 12 features upgrades to Firefox 7.0, LibreOffice 3.4.3 and Thunderbird 7.0.1, and introduces a new DuckDuckGo default search engine.

            • Not moving just yet

              Vaughan-Nichols cites the Page Hit Ranking on DistroWatch, a Web site that tracks Linux distributions, as the authority for this claim. Now if you look at the Page Hit Ranking, sure enough, Linux Mint has beaten Ubuntu consistently, whether it is in the last month or the last 12 months. But what do these average hits per day really mean?

              Here is what DistroWatch has to say (emphasis mine): “The DistroWatch Page Hit Ranking statistics are a light-hearted way of measuring the popularity of Linux distributions and other free operating systems among the visitors of this website. They correlate neither to usage nor to quality and should not be used to measure the market share of distributions. They simply show the number of times a distribution page on DistroWatch.com was accessed each day, nothing more.”

              In other words, the Page Hit Ranking merely reflects the number of times DistroWatch visitors call up the information page about a particular Linux distribution. It does not reflect the number of visitors that each distribution gets on its Web site, much less the number of times a distribution is downloaded and installed.

              DistroWatch is pretty clear about this, so it is surprising how pundits such as Vaughan-Nichols can pass this lightweight ranking as the basis for declaring that Linux Mint is now the most popular distribution.

            • What’s that sound?

              Over the weekend, Philip made available some updated CrunchBang Statler images. The changes were somewhat profound and, as Philip points out in his blog, “the new images are not really about additional features, but more about what has been removed and/or cleaned up (although there are a few new features to look forward to).”

              CrunchBang is going the window manager route with Openbox, so that means Xfce version of CrunchBang is retired. the main thing to have been removed/retired is the Xfce version. “Besides,” Philip writes, “there are plenty of brilliant Xfce based distributions available, and if you know what you are doing, installing Xfce under Debian is really not too difficult.”

            • Updated CrunchBang Statler images

              Yesterday, I made available some updated CrunchBang Statler images. I have made a good number of changes to Statler, probably more than I should have, but the changes were considered and needed to be made in order to progress.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • ARM releases free Android development toolkit

      ARM announced a free edition of its Eclipse-based development toolkit that’s aimed at Android developers. ARM Development Studio 5 (DS-5) Community Edition (CE) helps create performance- and power-optimized native software by integrating a graphical debugger for code generated for the Android Native Development Kit (NDK) and a version of the ARM Streamline Performance Analyzer, the company says.

    • Raspberry Pi deserves Slackware

      Some time ago I ran into this website promoting a very cheap computer the size of a credit card. The Raspberry Pi is being created by a charitable foundation. It is designed to “plug into a TV or be combined with a touch screen for a low cost tablet“. Typically its target is “teaching computer programming to children“, but such a cheap computing device will certainly have “many other applications both in the developed and the developing world“.

      You have to see the device to believe it, I guess. The videos and photos look very promising. It’s not in production yet but according to the developer team’s schedule first shipments should commence before the end of the year.

    • Phones

      • Cricket ZTE Chorus brings entry-level Muve Music for $39.99, but it’s not a smartphone

        Be careful though, because you’re apparently also giving up Android for a generic “Linux OS” when you go that route — the Muve Music plan for Android phones is $65 per month and not available on the Chorus.

      • Android

        • Nexus S PowerSkin Review

          Smartphones have become many a persons entire world in the palm of their hand (if you’re reading this then you’re likely one of those people, just like me). But having this wealth of information at your fingertips comes at a price, mainly your phones insatiable hunger for power. So when I got an opportunity to test out a PowerSkin case for my Nexus S I jumped at the chance.

        • Droid 4 details surface days ahead of expected launch

          Verizon and Motorola have had a very busy fourth quarter together, having collaborated on no less than three top-tier Android-powered smartphones. First we had the Droid Bionic arriving months later than initially expected and only weeks after the Droid 3. Jump forward another few weeks and then we have the Droid RAZR slashing its way into the lineup and contending for best of year honors. What’s next? How about a Droid 4 less than one month after that?

Free Software/Open Source

  • You Won’t Get Fired for Using Apache

    In March of 2010, I sat on a panel with Justin Erenkrantz (Apache), Mårten Mickos (Eucalyptus), and Jason van Zyl (Maven/Sonatype) at the Eclipse Conference debating the future of open source [coverage]. The audience asked questions on licensing, development models and the direction of open source generally. One of the questions concerned the role of foundations like Eclipse, and whether they represented the future or if that would be written instead by commercial producers of open source.

  • Apache Server Hit by Reverse Proxy
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Thunderbird 8.0 Officially Lands in Ubuntu 11.10

        After Firefox 8 officially landed in Ubuntu 11.10 last week, earlier today (November 28th) Canonical announced that the Mozilla Thunderbird 8.0 email client is now available on the official software repositories of the Oneiric Ocelot operating system.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle v. Google – Why Jury Instructions Make A Difference – Updated: A Comparative Chart

      Back on October 15 the parties, Oracle and Google, filed their joint proposed jury instructions (539 [PDF]. Because of the length of this document we didn’t review it at that time or provide an html version, but we don’t want to ignore it either.

      Jury instructions, as we will see, can be critical in “guiding” the jury toward an approach to a verdict favoring one party or the other. That is why, although the filing is denominated a joint filing on jury instructions, it is really a filing that evidences all of the disagreements the parties have with the approach suggested by the other.


  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source: The government’s commitment so far

      The promotion of open source and open standards is a key tenet of the government’s ICT strategy, but did the publication of the Open Source Procurement Toolkit earlier this month and recent government initiatives provide the boost needed to increase understanding and procurement of open source within the public sector?

  • Programming

    • The Top Myths About Sourceforge

      Since starting at Sourceforge about a month ago, I’ve been paying close attention to media and Twitter mentions of Sourceforge. I’ve been astonished at the sheer volume of misinformation that’s just accepted as fact. I suppose when things are said often enough, you just can’t help believing them. Here’s some of the most common ones.


  • Health/Nutrition

    • Best Health Care System? Not in the USA, Despite Constant Spin to Make Us Believe It

      A little more than a year ago, on the day after the GOP regained control of the House of Representatives, Speaker-to-be John Boehner said one of the first orders of business after he took charge would be the repeal of health care reform.

      “I believe that the health care bill that was enacted by the current Congress will kill jobs in America, ruin the best health care system in the world, and bankrupt our country,” Boehner said at a press
      conference. “That means we have to do everything we can to try to repeal this bill and replace it with common sense reforms to bring down the cost of health care.”

  • Finance

    • ‘60 Minutes’ shines spotlight on homeless Fla. teens (Video)

      A powerful piece on “60 Minutes” on Sunday night shone a light into life as a homeless teenager in Florida. Though the show gave faces and stories to the impact the recession has had on South Florida, the Internet lit up with concern for two teens in particular, brother and sister Arielle and Austin Metzger. The siblings live in a van with their father, an unemployed carpenter.

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