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Links 30/11/2011: Kororaa 16 Beta, Firefox 11 Mentioned

Posted in News Roundup at 9:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

    • First-Ever Automotive Linux Summit: Two Communities Become One

      Nearly 125 years ago, German inventor Karl Benz introduced his Patentmotorwagen Number 1, the world’s first automobile designed to be propelled by a motor. Twenty years ago, Finnish computer science student Linus Torvalds posted on the Internet…Ok, ok, you know the rest.

      But fast forward to November 28, 2011, in a conference center overlooking picturesque Yokohama Bay (in Yokohama/Japan and not on Oahu/Hawaii for the surfers among you), and we begin to see these two worlds collide in collaboration for the future of computing. The Linux Foundation yesterday hosted the first-ever Automotive Linux Summit, a conference designed to bring together experts from the automotive industry and Linux and open source software community.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Argentinean Tango with Gecko: Ututo XS

      I have already written couple of times about distributions from this country: country of tango, football, beef and Linux. Results of my trips were different.

      First time I tried Dragora Linux, and could not move further than to the initial screen: this Linux distribution does not have Live version.

    • A sneak Peak into the new Pinguy Mini OS 11.04.1

      Pinguy has launched a mini Avatar of its popular Pinguy OS 11.04.1 and has christened it Pinguy OS Mini 11.04.1. It has been completely designed on the basis of the main OS and comes with all the fixes and tweaks found in its parent. However what makes it different is the nature of applications. You do not have all those pre installed apps you would find in the Main OS, on the Pinguy OS Mini 11.04.1. Let us take a closer look.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 2 On Its Way

        The Thanksgiving holiday week didn’t seem to slow the Linux news any. Linux Mint is still in the headlines for stealing some of Ubuntu’s thunder, openSUSE is getting rave reviews for its 12.1 release, news emerges from the Vector camp, and Mageia released an early developmental build of its upcoming version 2.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Kororaa 16 Beta Released

          Chris Smart recently announced that Kororaa 16 Beta has been released. Kororaa is a Fedora-based distribution aimed at making everyday desktop computing a bit easier straight out of the box. Version 15 was released in September followed by an update in October.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu will now track Mozilla updates

            The Ubuntu developers are now tracking Mozilla’s rapid release cycle, releasing the updated version 8.0 of Mozilla’s Firefox and Thunderbird. Previously, Ubuntu distributions would have stuck with the major version they were released with, say 3.0, and only updated to the minor versions as they arrived, 3.0.1, 3.0.2 and so on. But Mozilla’s switch to a rapid release schedule for Firefox and Thunderbird, which sees a new major version every six weeks, has placed Canonical and other distribution makers with a decision: whether to stick with their old policy and support a version of a browser that would no longer be supported upstream within months, or follow the rapid-release cycle, even if it means updating major versions.

          • Ubuntu: Wake up and smell the Unity against you

            In the past few months, Ubuntu seems to have experienced a serious drop in popularity. It can be said that Linux distributions rise and fall when something new becomes the latest and greatest, but this turnaround seems sudden and could possibly be due to some recent design changes on Canonical’s part.

          • Canonical questions Distrowatch share slide figures

            Hall explained in a blog post that the figures on Distrowatch, while handy, aren’t an accurate guide to the actual number of users a particular build has. For example, he points out, Red Hat is 42nd on the list, but has a much larger installed base than that ranking would indicate. The figures are useful for gauging interest, but nothing more, Hall suggests.

          • Ubuntu May Be Coming to a TV Near You

            According to Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth, there are a few developers who want to develop such a platform and have met in a chat to nail down some of the priorities of a Ubuntu-TV project.

          • The “Ubuntu Pig Thesis”, Revised

            Yes, it’s me again. That guy who just won’t stop looking into the future and trying to determine when Ubuntu will cross the chasm. Admittedly, in August 2010 it was looking bleak.

            At that time our favourite, freedom-respecting, complete operating system with “community-awesomeness” was in clear and present danger of losing mind-share. And, like sharks drawn to blood in the water, the mainstream tech press (the Ubuntu “Non-Consumer” Journalist Community) began their feeding frenzy. Meanwhile we forged on with making Ubuntu even better, growing our local communities and spreading the word wider and farther than ever.

          • Reports of Ubuntu’s death are greatly exaggerated
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 12 debuts ‘Lisa’ as belle of the ball

              The Ubuntu variant famed for delivering a minty fresh taste to Linux has officially arrived at version 12. Code-named “Lisa,” the distribution introduces a new desktop that’s based on GNOME 3.2, yet offers extensive user customization courtesy of Mint Gnome Shell Extensions (MGSE). Open source fans will find the default search engine is now DuckDuckGo, which touts crowd-sourcing and a no-tracking privacy policy. Those concerned with aesthetics will certainly appreciate two new themes, Mint-Z and Mint-Z-Dark, and the distro also delivers upgrades to Firefox,

            • The End of the Distro Wars

              “Popularity” is a term that smacks of our days in high school, when we thought we should care about social standing and where we fit in that ranking. Now apparently, we seem to be locked into this notion of figuring out which distro is most popular, too.

              This is a silly question, for multiple reasons.

              First, the real data is hard to get. There is no common download tracker for distros. If you think DistroWatch is it, think again. DistroWatch doesn’t count downloads or boxes: it counts page hits for each distro’s page on that site. “Only one hit per IP address per day is counted,” the site explains.

            • Lubuntu 11.10 review: Lightweight Linux

              Canonical’s decision to go with Unity for the default Ubuntu Linux desktop interface was hardly met with universal acclaim. Likewise, GNOME 3 has been the target of criticism by some due to its interface changes. So where is one to go for an operating system with a classic desktop UI that just works out of the box?

              Luckily the key strength of free software is, as you would expect, the freedom to innovate and tweak until you come up with something that suits your needs. Of course sometimes this can tend to be a illusory — it can be hard to gather a strong community to support Feline Fanciers Linux (sadly) — but it’s not as though upsets are impossible when someone takes on the big guns of the Linux world.

            • Linux Mint 12: A much-needed, much-improved Linux desktop

              Outside of the desktop, the distribution is fairly straight-forward, and well done. There is one other feature that should be noted. When you fire up Firefox you will notice a different default search engine. Linux Mint has partnered with the Duck Duck Go search engine (which is built entirely on open source software – although currently the source for Duck Duck Go is closed). Now this might not be a big deal to some, but it should be known that Duck Duck Go does contribute to the open source community. What is also of note is that Duck Duck Go does not track search results and does not personalize searches based on your history. So if you’re looking for a more pure search engine, the new Linux Mint default might suit you.

            • Are DuckDuckGo’s Bing Ties a Problem for Linux Mint?

              The DuckDuckGo search engine is one of those new features thanks to a partnership between the projects whereby DuckDuckGo and Mint share the revenue generated by sponsored links within the search results seen by Linux Mint users.

              DuckDuckGo offers a number of advantages for privacy-focused users, as I noted yesterday; it’s also built in part on open source software, and it contributes to the open source community.

              In the past few days, however, there have been a few suggestions made that the search engine filters out free and open source software such as Linux and LibreOffice, largely because it draws in part from results from Microsoft Bing.

            • Linux Mint 12 (Lisa) Review – with Screenshot Tour
            • Mint solves Ubuntu Unity challenge

              Ubuntu always strives to make Linux easy. From its very first release in October 2004 Ubuntu was engineered to remove complexity while retaining the power of Linux.

              I’ve been a fan since day one and, with very few exceptions, it has been a rewarding and painless experience. At least until now.

              The problem now is Unity, Ubuntu’s new default desktop interfacet. Unity is ugly, clumsy and horrible to use. The alternative, Gnome3, is not that appealing either. Gnome3 is better looking than Unity but it is also a radical departure from Gnome2 which requires a lot of getting used to.

            • Screenshot Tour: Linux Mint 12 GNOME
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Ice Cream Sandwich

          No new version of the Android mobile operating system has been quite so eagerly awaited as v4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich as it’s more colourfully known. The reason is not hard to explain: Android has streaked ahead of iOS in the bums-on-seats stakes but there is still the feeling that the user interface lacks the polish and grace of Apple’s mobile platform.

        • CyanogenMod 9 (Ice Cream Sandwich) for Nexus S

          Over the past week, ROM Manager extraordinaire Koush has been frantically working on making a working build of CyanogenMod 9 (Ice Cream Sandwich) for the Samsung Nexus S. The custom ROM, which is built purely from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), has now reached “alpha 11.” All major features are present and no significant bugs remain. It’s too early to say that the build is ready for prime time or mission-critical work — the final release of CM9 is due in the new year — but it’s certainly stable enough for daily use. If you want to see CyanogenMod 9 in action, we’ve embedded our hands-on video at the end of this story.

        • GO Ubuntu Unity (donate)
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Will sprint for freedom: Report from the NYC CiviCRM code sprint

    Late last month, I attended a two-day code sprint in New York for CiviCRM, the free software constituent relationship management system. I want to say a few words about it because I thought it was a great experience, and a good model for other free software projects to follow (many already do!).

    CiviCRM is a “graduate” of the FSF’s High Priority Projects list. A system for nonprofits to organize their fundraising and communicate with supporters had been on the list for quite a while, because this was an area where many people told us they were still forced to use proprietary software.

  • YaCy takes on Google with open source search engine

    A project calling itself YaCy – pronounced “ya see” – aims to break Google’s headlock on the search market by giving away an open source search engine that can be used both online and within an intranet.

    The YaCy engine is based on peer-to-peer connections rather than search queries being run thorough a central server. Users download the software and act as peers for search, ensuring that no content can be censored and no search results can be recorded and analyzed on central servers.

  • Open-source skills best hope for landing a good job

    In the midst of a weakening global economy and rampant uncertainty as to when the recession will lift from North America and Western Europe, one thing is certain: open-source technology skills may be the best hope for landing a good job. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, open source claims five of the top 10 keywords in Indeed.com’s job listings, with Hadoop, Puppet, Android, and jQuery making the list, along with HTML5, a proxy for various open-source projects like ext-JS, SproutCore, etc.

  • OSE developing blueprint for building industrial machines in post-apocalypse era

    Open Source Ecology is creating what it calls the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) — a technology for ecology — that can help humans quickly build machines and a mini civilization in the event of a catastrophic event. Maybe overkill, but it’s nice to have a blueprint for survival — and an open source one at that.

  • 25 Ways Open Source is Catching On Beyond Software

    At a conference earlier this month, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg told attendees, “not just software, but everything should be open source.”

    Apparently, he’s not the only person who thinks this, because open source philosophy is spreading far beyond the software industry.

    This month, we’re taking a look at 25 projects that are taking open source in new—and sometimes unexpected—directions. While not all of these projects involve open source licenses, they do all embrace the ideals of the open source movement. That is, the source materials are freely available for anyone who wants to re-use and/or modify them.

  • The Flowering of Open Innovation

    While the foundation provides an improved legal structure through better licensing and provenance tracking, it also acts as a neutral space for ownership and collaboration. For all corporate participants to feel they aren’t giving away their innovation investments to partners and competitors or the public at large, a central neutral owner for the IP becomes essential to growth. Foundations serve as that neutral holder of IP.

  • The silent drum-beat
  • What’s a Free Software Non-Profit For?

    Much was written last week that speculated about the role of foundations and the always-changing ways that developers write Free Software. I must respectfully point out that I believe this discussion doesn’t address the key purpose of doing Free Software work as part of a non-profit organization.

  • Events

    • Free Software – Defending Your Freedom
    • Invitation for Participation in SCALE: The Next Generation

      The Southern California Linux Expo is proud to announce a conference for the next generation of free and open source (FOSS) community enthusiasts. SCALE: The Next Generation will be held Saturday, January 21, 2012, at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel. We invite the youth of the FOSS community to share their enthusiasm and excitement about FOSS projects with the other young people. Talk submissions are reviewed by a committee of youths, parents, and volunteers planning the conference and evaluated solely on their merits. We request that submission dates be strictly honored in order to provide the committee enough time to choose the best set of proposals.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 11 Gets Vibrator API

        Mozilla developers have landed some interesting new mobile features for the upcoming Firefox 11 for Android release. The new features will enable the browser to take full advantage of underlying hardware features, including the ability to vibrate, use a camera, check battery status and send an SMS.

  • Databases

    • Salesforce Heroku Offers Standalone Cloud-Based PostgreSQL Database

      The platform-as-a-service provider, owned by Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), announced the new offering – a standalone cloud-based PostgreSQL database – last week. The company has offered its cloud-based database services to customers of the Heroku platform since 2007, but this new release extends it to customers who only want the database.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle Sun ZFS Storage Appliance Buyer’s Guide

      Oracle CEO Larry Ellison likes to think inside the box these days. Following on from the success of the company’s Exadata and Exalogic releases, he rolled out several more Oracle/Sun big box solutions–Exalytics for analytics/Business Intelligence (BI), the Oracle Big Data Appliance and a new line of Sun ZFS Storage Appliances.

  • CMS

    • Survey Says: WordPress Leads Open Source CMS Market

      According to water & stone, the “big three” open source CMSes from 2010 continue to dominate in 2011. WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla all topped the company’s survey of open source CMSes, with WordPress “clearly outpacing” Drupal and Joomla.

      The survey started with 35 systems, which were narrowed down to 20 after getting the survey responses. The report primarily looked at rate of adoption and brand strength. All we really care about is rate of adoption, so let’s look at that.

  • Funding

    • Cisco, Google Ventures and VMware Back Puppet Labs with $8.5 Million

      Puppet Labs announced today that it is receiving $8.5 million in Series C financing from Google Ventures, Cisco and VMware. The new round of financing brings Puppet Labs up to $15.75 million, which begs the question – what does the IT automation company need with that kind of dosh?


    • GNU Typist 2.9.1 released

      Changes in 2.9.1:
      - Native Language Support added on Windows
      - fixed support for UTF-8 on Windows
      - re-added vim syntax highlighting and updated manual
      - updated Polish translation, thanks to Jakub Bogusz
      - several fixes to the build system

  • Public Services/Government

    • Government to publish new public datasets

      The government is to release a new tranche of public datasets, including information on healthcare, travel and the weather, chancellor George Osborne is to announce in his Growth Review tomorrow.

  • Programming


  • Security

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • The Koha Saga: A gift that keeps giving

        The world of libraries is not one we normally associate with passion and high drama. And yet that is precisely what the long-running saga of Koha, the open source library management system, has been filled with.

    • Copyrights

      • SOPA Gets Taiwanese News Animation Treatment

        Want to know when a bit of news has really hit the mainstream? It’s when the Taiwanese company Next Media Animation does a computer generated animation of the story. These videos have become a media sensation. Guess what they just took on? Yup, the battle over SOPA, which they animate by showing Hollywood lobbyists seeking to attack the internet, and showing not only how tech companies teamed up to fight this, but that internet users are pushing back. Amusingly, they make use of the imagery from the UC Davis pepper spray incident to show how Hollywood and the government can “knock out” sites under SOPA.

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