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12.16.11

Links 16/12/2011: Red Hat Upgraded, Android Everywhere

Posted in News Roundup at 5:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Top 5 Linux Predictions for 2012

    There will continue to be discussions and debates about Linux on the desktop, including popularity, vitality, usability, commercial connections and more, which is good for users and vendors. However, based on trends in cloud, mobile and consumer computing, Linux should and will move to these areas, leaving its longstanding low use on the desktop as it is.

  • Linux Professional Institute Appoints Director of Member Services
  • Desktop

    • Is Linux finally ready for the desktop?

      If this sort of initiative gains momentum, will it finally see Linux make it to the mainstream market for desktop computers? And if so, is it too late? Nowadays the tech-media would have us believe that everything is shifting into the cloud. The tablet and the mobile phone have become king. The desktop computer is dead. In this article, I want to look at some of these claims and see whether Linux has any hope as a mainstream desktop operating system.

  • Server

    • What’s next with hypervisors?

      The world of hypervisors is complicated by the fact that there are proprietary and open source tools and the latter are often pressed into service in different ways, say nothing of the fact that the whole market is evolving quickly. To get a handle on recent developments, Network World Editor in Chief John Dix corralled a panel of experts to assess where we are today and where we’re going. The experts included Al Gillen, an analyst IDC who tracks virtualization developments, Kerry Kim, director of solutions marketing at SUSE, and Adam Jollans, program director of IBM’s Linux and Open Virtualization Strategy.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux XFS Defragmentation

      There is a lot of debate over whether or not one should defragment file systems on Linux. Frankly, in most cases fragmentation of Linux file systems is probably not a problem. However, in a very few cases fragmentation might be a problem. When such a scenario has arisen is up to the reader of this article to decide. Recently here at ERACC we experienced access / speed degradation of the XFS file system on a heavily used /home partition. Part of the problem was that the file system was over 90% full. Another part of the problem was when we checked it with xfs_db the file system was roughly 20% fragmented. Besides cleaning up the file system by deleting and archiving old data from user’s directories, we came up with a defragmenation strategy for the entire server. This script is the result:

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Releases CUDA 4.1: CUDA Goes LLVM and Open Source (Kind Of)

        Since starting their GPU Technology Conference in 2010, NVIDIA has expanded into several events so that they can hold events in Europe and Asia. The next flagship GTC will be in San Jose in May, but NVIDIA’s #2 conference, GTC Asia, is occurring this week in Beijing. As with GTC America, GTC Asia serves several purposes for the company: a research symposium, a developer training program, and of course a platform for NVIDIA to announce new GPU computing products and initiatives.

      • AMD Catalyst 2011 Driver Year In Review

        With AMD having published the Catalyst 11.12 driver yesterday, the year is now complete as far as their graphics drivers are concerned. As such, for the sixth year, it’s time for the year-in-review articles looking at how the NVIDIA and AMD GPU drivers have matured over the past twelve months in terms of features and OpenGL performance.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • KDE and LightDM revisited.

      LightDM is a login manager (think KDM/GDM) for Linux, it is written in a way that is completely backend/frontend independent so we can share our the complex parts with our Gnome friends, whilst keeping KDE UI layers on top. It is currently the default display manager in Ubuntu, and the front end they’ve made looks gorgeous.

      There are two parts I’ve been working on, Qt bindings for LightDM which means anyone can easily write a whole new front end method in Qt, and a KDE front end using all the best KDE tech. The library has been majorly rewritten and the KDE front end has undergone a lot of work in the past few weeks..

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Gentoo Family

      • From beginner to Gentoo developer

        This is my first step in blogging universe. I did that never before and hope my english isn’t to bad. The reason, why i decided to blog from now on, is that i reached the Gentoo developer state. Which gives me the chance to get a central theme to write. My personal goal is at least one post per month, maybe a little bit more if there is something i want to share. For sure the content of this blog won’t be Gentoo only related.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat To Provide Weather-Prediction Data For Pattern Energy

        Red Hat, a provider of open source solutions, says wind energy and transmission company Pattern Energy Group LP is using Red Hat Storage’s technology to manage weather-prediction data, including for wind farms.

      • Goldman Sachs Reiterates Neutral, $55 target on Red Hat

        Goldman Sachs maintains its Neutral rating and $55 price target on Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) ahead of 3QFY2012 preview and as company continues to execute in a tough environment.

      • UPDATE: Stifel Nicolaus Maintains Buy, Raises PT to $56 on Red Hat
      • Red Hat Q3 Earnings Preview

        For the fiscal year, analysts are projecting earnings of 78 cents per share.

      • Red Hat CFO: We have a Plan B if Duke-Progress merger faces complications

        Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), which employs about 800 people in Raleigh, plans on moving its headquarters from Centennial Campus to the Two Progress Plaza building in downtown Raleigh starting in mid-year 2012. The process would take at least six months.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Wins on Samsung Netbooks

          I currently own two Samsung netbooks (an N150 Plus and an NF310). Following up on some information from Moley (thanks), I found that most Linux distributions have a lot of trouble with the display brightness control on both of them. The most obvious and severe symptom is that when running on battery power they will sometimes (often) suddenly start to run the display brightness all the way up and down its range continuously. Not nice. A secondary problem, not quite so severe, is that the Fn-key control for display brightness is often erratic, and on some distributions doesn’t work at all.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – December 14th, 2011

        * Volunteers needed for publicity team
        * Removal of sun-java6 from the archive
        * Debian SDL packaging team revival
        * Bits from the DPL
        * Ubuntu appreciates Debian
        * India mini-DebConf, Mangalore edition
        * New mirror in El Salvador
        * Debexpo maintainers call for contributions
        * Bug Squashing Party marathon started
        * Call for talks: FOSDEM 2012
        * New s390 buildd at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
        * Further interviews
        * New Debian Contributors
        * Release-critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release
        * Important Debian Security Advisories
        * New and noteworthy packages
        * Work-needing packages
        * Want to continue reading DPN?

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu-related Xmas Gift Ideas

            Whether you’re stuck on gift ideas for the Linux loving folks in your life, playing secret Santa in the Office, or keen to add something to your own xmas list, the handful of ideas below might help.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint Agree Amazon Revenue Share

              Linux Mint have agreed to split the revenue generated from Banshee’s MP3 Store plugin with ‘upstream’.

            • Xubuntu 11.10. It Came To Stay

              I repeatedly tell on my blog that my laptop has quadro-boot landscape. It became so when I first installed Linux on my hard drive (really installed, not frugal installation that I had for SLAX and Puppy).

              [...]

              And then Xubuntu came. I tried it recently for the first time, and liked it so much that fate of hard drive’s partition was decided.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android-ready ARM mini-HTPC costs $130, uses just three Watts

      Solid-Run is shipping an open source mini-PC platform for developing Android TV and media center apps. Measuring 2.17 x 2.17 x 1.65 inches and consuming less than three Watts, the CuBox runs Android 2.2 or Linux 2.6 on an 800MHz Marvell Armada 510 CPU, has 1GB of DDR3 memory and a microSD slot, and includes eSATA, USB, infrared, S/PDIF, HDMI, and gigabit Ethernet interfaces.

    • Pogoplug gains USB 3.0, SATA ports

      Pogoplug announced a new version of its Linux-based file-sharing and backup device. The Pogoplug Series 4 adds more local storage options, including two USB 3.0 ports and a SATA port compatible with Universal Storage Module-compliant devices such as SeaGate GoFlex hard disk drives.

    • Refurbed Boxee Boxes now $99 at Best Buy

      Refurbished D-Link Boxee Boxes are currently being offered by BestBuy.com for $99, with free shipping, although it’s not known how many are available or for how long the opportunity will last. Check it out!

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Media player box runs Android

          Nixeus Technology announced an Android 2.2-based multimedia player selling for as low as $160. Offering 1080p playback, web browsing, and third-party Android app downloads, the Nixeus Fusion XS Network Media Player includes a dual-core, 900MHz Marvell Armada 1000 system on chip (SoC), an Ethernet port, dual USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, and audio I/O.

        • Galaxy Nexus to cost $299 at Verizon, report says

          When Verizon Wireless’ version of the Galaxy Nexus finally launches, it will cost consumers $299.99 with a two-year contract, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

        • Android Market Download Crosses 10 Billion Mark

          Google has announced that Android Market has exceeded 10 billion app downloads. Google claims that its the growth rate of one billion app downloads per month.

        • Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus to finally launch tomorrow for $299.99

          Verizon Wireless on Wednesday finally announced the upcoming launch of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The world’s first Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich phone with 4G LTE support will become available beginning tomorrow for $299.99 with a new two-year service agreement. BGR reviewed the international version of the Galaxy Nexus last month and called it the best Android device in the world, offering a more cohesive user experience than previous Android builds as well as solid hardware and an amazing screen.

        • 7 Music Player Apps for Android That Rock

          Android Market is all over the news for the stupendous growth it managed to achieve in such a short span of time. Searching for the right applications in Android Market, with over 600,000+ apps already, is a classic needle-in-a-haystack problem. We have already pitched in to help you choose the right set of Siri alternatives and top launchers for Android from that burgeoning list of apps, now let’s take a sneak peek into the best music player apps available for Android.

        • Nine-inch Android tablet sells for $280

          E-Fun announced a nine-inch Android 2.3 tablet for $280. The Nextbook Premium 9 is equipped with a 1GHz Rockchips RK2918 processor, 4GB of storage, a two-megapixel camera, and a 1280 x 800-pixel capacitive display, says the company.

        • Via announces Android support for x86 SBC

          Via Technologies demonstrated Android 2.2 on an Em-ITX single board computer (SBC) equipped with a 1.2GHz dual-core Nano X2 E processor. Running Android on an x86 platform offers increased I/O, performance, and cost-saving advantages for embedded applications such as in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) and interactive kiosks, Via claims.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • More Android 4.0 tablets tipped, including a Cortex-A15 model

        Coby Electronics says it will unveil five tablets running Android 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”) at the CES show in Las Vegas, with shipments due in 1Q 2012. Meanwhile, Samsung is readying an Android 4.0 tablet for early 2012, offering 2560 x 1600 resolution and based on its Cortex A15-based Exynos 5250 processor, and Toshiba is prepping an “Excite” tablet running Android 4.0 on a TI OMAP4430 for February release, say reports.

      • Acer releases second-gen Android tablet
      • OLPC To Start Pre-Pilot For Helicopter Deployments In 3 Weeks

        Ever since Nicholas Negroponte started announcing that OLPC would parachute XOs into remote villages many people have asked whether he could possibly be serious about this. It seems like we now have an answer thanks to an interview he did with New Scientist (registration required to access the full article, at the moment the full text is also available here).

      • Tabulating 7-inch Android tablets

        In preparation for reviewing ViewSonic’s low-cost 7-inch Android tablet, this post tabulates the key features and specifications of five 7-inch Android tablets. The comparison includes ViewSonic’s ViewPad 7e and 7x, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, and Barns & Noble’s Nook Tablet.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google’s ANGLE certified as OpenGL ES 2.0 compliant

    Google’s open source ANGLE, the “Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine” which brings OpenGL ES 2.0 support to Windows without relying on OpenGL drivers, has passed the complete test suite for the OpenGL ES 2.0 specification. Version 1.0 of ANGLE has also been certified as a compliant OpenGL ES 2.0 implementation. The certification was announced by Vangelis Kokkevis, Software Engineer for the Chromium project, writing on the Chromium blog.

  • Open Source Datamining for Social Media Accounts with ThinkUp

    Proprietary social networking platforms have a few distinct issues for free software users, but one of the biggest is that it is often hard — if not impossible — to extract your information from them. With Twitter, for example, you can scroll down to the bottom of the page and wait for more tweets to load via JavaScript, but you can’t sort and analyze them yourself. But that’s exactly what the open source application ThinkUp does for you.

  • 2011′s Tribulations and Triumphs for FOSS

    “I think Google is the biggest FLOSS story of 2011,” said blogger Robert Pogson. “IBM and Red Hat and Dell and ASUS all did good things for FLOSS, but Google is the first one to drive a wedge into the heart of darkness: retail shelves monopolized by M$. … Nothing ensures the success of FLOSS like its ubiquity and popularity amongst ordinary people.”

  • Open source is not a dumping ground

    One of the unfortunate by-products of HP’s decision to shift webOS to an open source project is the notion that somehow webOS has been “dumped”–cast aside or buried in the open source graveyard.

    I was just wondering… when did it become okay to consider open source a dead-end option?

    Not to go all Pollyanna on all these pundits, but I would think that the historical open source success rate would at the very least see open source as an equivalent alternative to proprietary development practices–not as some kind of downgrade. (If I were not holding back, I would even argue that open source development is a better goal for which to strive. But, for the purposes of this discussion, I will settle for equality.)

  • Why We Need to Pay for Linux/FOSS

    If you rely heavily on open source software, should you be expected to contribute financially to its success? What if the project coordinator is specifically seeking out donations to keep things afloat?

    These are questions that I think most of us avoid. I believe that this avoidance might make sense to some end users, since no one wants to spend money where they don’t have to.

    In this article, I will point out how this way of thinking is why so many promising projects don’t last over the long term. While some open source projects manage to find successful ways of funding themselves, many others do not – a loss for all Linux users.

  • Levelling the playing field for procurement of open source solutions
  • Can open source save the planet?

    Ambitious open source projects are nothing new. After all, the free software movement started with the GNU project – the creation of free tools to build a free operating system – which at one point many would have considered an impossible dream.

    However, the participants in the Open Source Ecology project take ambition to new heights. The project takes the principles that were developed originally by the open source software movement and later the experiments with open source hardware, and applies them to developing an environmentally friendly society by creating open source tools capable of building sustainable communities – pretty much from scratch, using recycled and scrap materials.

  • Open source doesn’t repeal laws of economics

    After failing in its webOS strategy, HP has announced plans to use it to create an open source project. This is an example of what (in our 2006 paper) Scott Gallagher and I called a “spin-out” strategy by firms to find a home for a technology they no longer wish to control.

  • Events

    • Embodying the spirit of the LCA volunteer

      Thirteen years have gone by since the first Australian national Linux conference was held, but the event is still driven by the same category of people: volunteers.

      A great many things are organised very professionally, but it’s all done by people who have boundless enthusiasm and who work selflessly, often for a whole year, just to make sure that things run on schedule.

    • ELC and OSCON seek conference submissions

      The Linux Foundation’s CE Linux Forum (CELF) workgroup announced a call for participation (CFP) for this year’s Embedded Linux Conference (ELC), to be held Feb. 15-17, 2012, in Redwood Shores, California, with submissions due Jan. 6. O’Reilly Media, meanwhile, issued its own CFP, due Jan. 12, for its Open Source Convention (OSCON) 2012, scheduled for July 16-20, 2012 in Portland, Oregon.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Project Releases

    • GIMP 2.7.4 Released As a Precursor To Stable 2.8

      A new version of GIMP – the free graphics suite par excellence – has been released. GIMP ver 2.7.4 , which is termed as an unstable release leading to a stable version 2.8 sometime in January next year, brings a lot of new features.

    • GIMP 2.7.4 arrives for testing

      The GIMP development team has released version 2.7.4 of its open source GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) image editing software. Aimed at developers, testers and early adopters, the fourth point update to the 2.7.x branch is an unstable development snapshot that fixes bugs found in the previous release and includes changes to the user interface.

    • gThumb, The Image Viewer Gets Update

      gThumb, an image viewer for Gnome has his the version 2.14.1. gThumb is a light weight image viewer which comes handy if you are going through images and want to delete bad once while viewing them. You can’t do the same with Shotwell the image viwer that comes with Ubuntu. Another advantage of using gThumb is that you can open the image with other tools such as GIMP by right clicking on the image — shotwell lacks this ability. But, then Shotwell also comes with tools to edit images, which gThumb misses. Shotwell can also download images from your cameras. Anyway, each app has its own advantage and disadvantage. I prefer gThumb as when I go through my images I want to be able to delete the bad ones while I am going through them. Since I extensively use GIMP so ‘open with’ feature also comes handy.

    • Blender 2.61 Released

      The Blender Foundation today announced the release of Blender 2.61, the first bugfix update in the 2.6 series. Blender is an Open Source 3D graphic and animation application made famous for being used to create the first Open Source movie Elephants Dream and the Yo Frankie! video game. It has been used to create television commercials and Hollywood movies. Blender is quality Open Source Software at its finest.

    • GNU Stow 2.1.2 released
    • GNU Stow also available via CPAN
  • Openness/Sharing

    • OpenStreetMap calls for donations

      The open mapping service OpenStreetMap has launched an appeal for funds to finance the purchase of a new server. The main components for OpenStreetMap are currently hosted on several small servers held in the Imperial and UCL colleges of London University. The OpenStreetMap Foundation now feels that it is necessary to buy a new server to improve the system’s reliability and performance.

Leftovers

  • DuckDuckGo Doesn’t Show Leading Open Source Projects, Google Does

    We recently covered a story about LinuxMint using DuckDuckGo as the default search engine. The LinuxMint project will generate revenue through DDG. We do support LinuxMint and have nothing against them using DDG as the default search engine.

    However, the primary goal of a search engine is to show relevant results. We are aware that Microsoft’s Bing doesn’t show quite a lot of open source projects on the first page. LibreOffice, the default office suite of all major GNU/Linux based operating systems is missing from Bing’s first page.

  • SCO’s Reply to IBM’s Opposition to SCO’s Move to Partly Reopening the Case ~pj

    SCO has now filed its reply to IBM’s opposition to SCO’s motion to partly reopen the case. Guess what its argument is? To paraphrase, they say, What? Not fair? Who cares? Bankruptcy court lets us go ahead while tying IBM’s hands behind its back, so we want to do it that way. Besides, it’s not unfair, because IBM could have asked for relief from the stay, but it didn’t. It’s not SCO’s responsibility to help IBM advance its claims.

  • Judge Sam Has Now Recused Himself from SCO v. IBM ~pj
  • Judge Waddoups Also Recuses Himself from SCO v. IBM ~ pj

    Judge David Sam gets the hot potato now. I can’t tell if the problem is that nobody seems eager to take this case or if it’s just that Utah is a small and narrow world, so intertwined that it’s hard to find an impartial judge.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Teenager Who Changed My Life

      It was four years ago today that I received a phone call from a Los Angeles TV reporter that would change my life, although I certainly didn’t realize it at the time.

      The reporter said she had been told that CIGNA, the big health insurer I worked for back then, was refusing to pay for a liver transplant for a 17-year-old girl, even though her doctors at UCLA believed it would save her life and her family’s policy covered transplants.

      I didn’t pay much attention to the call at first, because as chief spokesman for the company, I had received many calls over the years from reporters seeking comment about benefit denials. We took them seriously, but usually didn’t have to do more than tell the inquiring reporters we couldn’t comment substantively because of patient confidentiality restrictions. If pressed, we’d email a statement to the reporter briefly noting that we covered procedures deemed medically necessary and that patients and their doctors could appeal a denial if they disagreed with a coverage decision.

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Sludge Industry Reveals “Resource Recovery” Spin

      The Water Environment Federation (WEF), the sewage sludge industry trade group that invented the Orwellian PR euphemism “biosolids” for toxic sludge in 1991, is now “rebranding” sewage treatment plants as “water resource recovery facilities.” The PR spin conveniently glosses over the toxic sewage sludge removed from the water and then heated and dumped on land for crops and grazing as “fertilizer” or misleadingly called “compost.” The toxins in sludge can then bioaccumulate in the meat and dairy we eat and be taken up by the food plants that feed us.

  • Finance

    • JPMorgan Chase Greedwashes Reputation with “American Giving Awards”

      As the New York Times media reporter, Brian Stelter, noted on Saturday, December 9, NBC agreed to broadcast a two-hour television show fully funded and sponsored by JPMorgan Chase called the “American Giving Awards.” The program, which aired this weekend, showcased solely recipients of charitable donations from Chase, featured commercials for Chase and reminded viewers constantly throughout the broadcast that the entire event was “presented by Chase.” NBC presented the show under the guise of a heartwarming holiday season special, but it was really a promotional/advertising event emblematic of a troubling trend among big businesses of creating their own media and disguising it as entertainment. As Lisa Graves, the Center for Media and Democracy’s Executive Director told the New York Times, the show is a “greed-washing campaign to score PR points.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Color of Change Targets ALEC Corporations

      Color of Change has launched a campaign encouraging corporations that rely on business from African-Americans to stop funding the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which promotes voter ID legislation that suppresses the black vote.

  • Privacy

    • ICO warns: Just six months to comply with EC cookie rules

      The Information Commissioner’s Office won’t begin enforcing the new cookies law for another six months yet – in the meantime, the regulator has issued a reminder to web outfits warning them to prepare to comply with the legislation.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Dutch Collection Society Found To Be Source Of Infringing Content

        Remember the story about the composer who found his music featured in anti-piracy ads and had a difficult time getting paid out, triggering a corruption scandal at collection society Buma/Stemra? It was obviously a bit ironic that the music in question was used in anti-piracy ads, but it appears the irony truck forgot to unload a package – filled to the brim with humiliation.

      • Software Freedom Law Center Asks U.S. Librarian of Congress for DMCA Exemption ~pj – Updated

        This is timely. Just as we are all reading about Carrier IQ, with our eyes wide in horror and our jaws on the ground, the Software Freedom Law Center has announced that it has filed comments [PDF] with the US Librarian of Congress, asking for an exemption to the DMCA, so that users can legally control their own devices — have the legal authority to control what software is installed, including being able to install a completely free operating system, and be able to remove whatever is not desired.

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