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12.19.11

Links 19/12/2011: Red Hat is Up, New Chakra

Posted in News Roundup at 5:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Systems Capacity Planning

    “Linux Systems Capacity Planning: Beyond RRD and top”, by Rodrigo Campos

    As infrastructure costs rise, there’s an urgent need to squeeze more performance from the same hardware. After several years of measuring and managing the capacity of thousands of Linux servers, we have learned that most typical tools and metrics are not sufficient to predict performance bottlenecks, particularly during traffic spikes. By using queue theory formulas and instrumenting our applications we were able to find the limits of our systems, improve reliability, and maximize throughput and performance.

  • Want a Linux Job? Learn Java or And
  • Linux Foundation shows job opportunities
  • GNFC-Intel tie-up may run into rough weather

    Surprisingly, senior officials of the state education department as also those advising Modi on the use of IT are blissfully unaware of the tie-up. “Those promoting the tie-up should know the advantage of free open source software Linux, in which schoolteachers are already being trained. In states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Linux-based software has been freely used in schools. It is easily downloadable,” the official said.

  • Desktop

    • Future of the Linux Desktop

      With the end of another year inevitable talks of the year of the Linux desktop is emerging once again. But what I’ve seen so far is all pessimism. I believe that compared to last years there is much improvement in the chances of Linux desktop in some cases. But there is also one big problem, let’s list them.

      Gaming first; with the rise of indie gaming Linux is a much better place then it was a few years ago. Recent release of Desura and popularity of various indie bundles is testament to this. Moreover, gaming consoles’ overtaking of PCs can only benefit Linux. So far, with regards of a year of Linux desktop, changes in gaming only improved Linux’s chances.

    • Google wants you to buy a Chromebook: Should you? (Review)

      Judging from all those Chromebook ads you’ve been seeing pop up on every tech. Web site known to man. Google really, really wants you to buy a Chromebook. Should you?

      I like my Samsung Chromebook, but it looks like not many people fell in love with these Chrome OS powered netbooks. So, Acer and Samsung have reduced their price from a high of $499 to $299 and Google started banging the advertising drum for Chromebooks. So, should you let the new price tempt you into getting one?

  • Server

    • Domination

      M$ was never close to dominating on servers, playing catch-up for years. Certainly they did make a dent in business databases, and authentication but there is so much more that servers can do. Apache has always been ahead of IIS:

      See Netcraft.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Top 5 lightweight Linux distros for older PCs

      The strange thing about PCs is that as they get older, even though they appear to be working fine, they can eventually become unusably slow. Successive operating systems take up more and more resources until your PC grinds to a halt.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • 5 S&P 500 Turnaround Stocks

        Red Hat (RHT): Red Hat, Inc. provides open source software solutions to enterprises worldwide. It also offers enterprise-ready open source operating system platforms. The company’s key products include Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss Enterprise Middleware. The stock has an ROA of 5% and an ROE of 8.38%. The company is trading with an ROIC of 8.38%. RHT is currently trading at 60.9% higher volume compared to its 10 day moving average. RHT is currently trading at $45.98, falling $0.58 or 1.25% this year.

      • Healthiest Employers of the Triangle – #11 – Red Hat
      • Employers promise jobs, seek tax breaks

        Red Hat, a North Carolina software developer best known for marketing a version of the Linux computer operating system, tentatively plans to expand its engineering headquarters in Westford in exchange for such aid.

      • Red Hat is still bound for downtown

        Business software company Red Hat remains committed to downtown Raleigh despite the uncertainty hanging over the proposed merger between Progress Energy and Duke Energy.

      • Red Hat open sources RHEV virtualization management tool
      • Analyst raises Red Hat target

        Analyst Steven Ashley of Baird Equity Research raised his 12-month price target for Red Hat this week in advance of the Linux software company’s release of its latest quarterly results.

      • Red Hat: Middleware Is Changing

        Red Hat has ended its year in business with an obligatory look forward at prospects for 2012. The company suggests that the role of middleware software as a crucial component of automating businesses processes will continue in the year ahead, but that the ways in which it plays its part will inevitably change.

      • Red Hat Higher Ahead of Earnings
      • Analysts’ Weekly Ratings Changes for Red Hat (RHT)
      • Fedora

        • Fedora 16 Verne with KDE – Rather nice, actually

          Fedora 16 Verne WITH the KDE desktop is a surprisingly high-quality product, much more than expected, and this is without lowering the comparison bar to Gnome 3 level. Taking all former Fedora tests into account, Verne is crash-free in all aspects. This is a pleasant change. Then, it looks good, runs fast and can be tamed easily.

          It is not without fault, and the magic is in the little details, of course. There are some half a dozen small problems and two moderately serious ones, the desktop effects and the printing, which must be sorted out. But the occasional freeze, the screensaver glitch, the Flash player behavior, the odd message here and there, and the comic strip widget bugs all remind us that Fedora is after all designed to be bleeding-edge, so issues are expected. They do not turn the desktop session sour, though, but they sure don’t make it glorious.

          Regardless, as far as Fedora goes, being what it is, the latest KDE edition is a rather solid product. It wins in the major categories – look, speed, stability. It loses some points where the spotlight shineth not, and there ought to be focus there, too. Most importantly, there are no cardinal issues or showstoppers. If you’re looking for a technology demonstrator type distro with a good balance between speed and stability, Fedora 16 Verne with KDE is a reasonable choice. I would say, 8/10, and that’s a lot coming from my biased mouth. But it sure proves one thing, that Gnome 3 is a disaster and that it must not be projected onto the distributions that bravely and yet foolishly choose to bundle their products with it.

          Bottom line, Fedora 16 Verne, KDE, stable and fast, quite polished, some rough edges, recommended to itchy power users who need a slick platform for work and testing, until they promptly discard it by the next release a mere six month away. Overall, a nice surprise, by Dedoimedo standards. Do try it.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian GNU/Linux Testing

        The next release of Debian GNU/Linux is shaping up beautifully. There are only a few hundred bugs to go and many are pretty easy to fix. Everything’s easy when you do it right. At the rate they are going, Wheezy could be released before “8″. I think Wheezy could be released by September, 2012 and “8″ may take until November, 2012.

      • Austrian e-Health System

        They use Debian GNU/Linux on 12000 machines scattered across the country. At DebConf11 there was a presentation given about how updates to the software are done in a single night remotely. The presentation mentions a rescue system they built in case something goes wrong. They do the normal testing followed by tests on 300 accessible clients and finally the whole set. They have a variety of clients some as small as 256MB RAM and 256MB storage to 4gB RAM. They have some custom packages and they polish the Debian packages to remove all unnecessary bytes like documentation. A messaging system notifies systems updates are available and the clients poll in a staggered and randomized pattern to spread the load out through the night. Systems that are in use 24×7 have a manual polling function. To trap defective installations, watchdog timers grab applications that fail to load and re-install packages in real time. They customize the distributions so that different types of clients and different application groups are all handled by the APT package manager.

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Reflecting on 2011
  • Bottom Up Adoption: The End of Procurement as We’ve Known It

    Open Source

    In the late nineties, startups and enterprises alike were effecitvely beholden to commercial suppliers for the majority of their software needs. Because each piece of the requisite software infrastructure had to be licensed, the capital expenses associated with new initiatives was high. This represented a barrier to entry, and thus a brake on innovation.

    With the popularization of open source software, developers from enterprises and startups alike were able to operate independently. For the first time, the actual software practitioners were free to choose their own software rather than having it selected for them and subsequently imposed upon them by upper levels of management. Even in situations where the ultimate production infrastructure targets remained commercially licensed software, open source software like Linux and MySQL allowed for prototyping and rapid development without the attendant costs, both financial and in procurement latency.

    This was the first major shift affecting procurement, and perhaps the most profound. None of the infrastructure we take for granted today – Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, etc – were originally adopted from the top down. Their adoption was, instead, a fait accompli. CIOs – the last to know – gradually became aware that increasingly significant portions of their infrastructure, unbeknownst to them, were running on free and open source software. The inevitable demand for production support options for this software is what fueled, in time, the valuations of MySQL, Red Hat and others.

  • Events

    • A need to know

      THE use of computers and the knowledge of software and the Internet are basic needs for education with the Software Foundation of Fiji holding its first workshop on Linux for Beginners on Saturday.

  • Web Browsers

  • Funding

  • Public Services/Government

Leftovers

  • A Wayback Machine journey with BeOS R4, Zeta 1.0, and Haiku

    As the staff of Ars Technica convenes in Chicago for some infrequent face-to-face time, we’re turning the clock back to 1998. It was a time when Windows 95 ruled the desktop, preemptive multitasking on the Mac was still a gleam in Steve Jobs’ eye, enthusiasts were furiously overclocking their Celeron 300a CPUs, and the attention of geeks was distracted by a unusually bright, shiny object: BeOS.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Yet Another Goldman Investment You Shouldn’t Buy

      Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS ) earned a terrible reputation during the financial crisis. It ended up paying $550 million to the SEC to settle charges, admitting that it offered complex investments involving subprime mortgage-backed securities to investors — without bothering to tell them that the hedge fund that helped choose those securities also had a short position against the offering.

    • Goldman Sachs to pay $10 million to settle Nadel-related claims

      Published: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at 12:03 p.m.
      Last Modified: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at 6:16 p.m.

      Giant investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will pay nearly $10 million to settle claims over its handling of hedge-fund trading in the Arthur Nadel Ponzi scheme.

      The settlement, by far the single largest recovery of money for the Nadel receivership, could set the stage for other deep-pocketed companies to resolve threatened litigation in the case.

  • Privacy

    • Sen. Franken Statement on Responses from Carrier IQ, Wireless Carriers, and Handset Manufacturers

      Today, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) released the following statement after reviewing the responses he received from Carrier IQ, AT&T, Sprint, Samsung, and HTC regarding Carrier IQ and the use of its software.

    • Tor experiments with IPv6

      With the alpha version 0.2.3.9 of Tor, the anonymity software, Tor clients can now connect to private bridges using IPv6. According to the announcement on the Tor blog, when using IPv6, bridges still need at least one IPv4 address, as they would otherwise lose contact with other nodes in the Tor network. On the Tor Developer mailing list, Linus Nordberg describes how to set the necessary options on a Tor bridge for IPv6 operation.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Universal Music claims it has a private deal with Google to take down YouTube videos it doesn’t own

        The saga of Universal Music’s war on the Mega Song (a song and video recorded by several major artists in support of the online service MegaUpload, which Universal is trying to have censored in the USA through its support of the Stop Online Piracy Act) just got weirder. Many of us were baffled that Universal kept telling YouTube to take down this video, even though it was clear they didn’t hold a copyright to it — a fact reinforced by artists like will.i.am, who insisted that he hadn’t authorized Universal to send the takedown notice.

      • Goldman Sachs to pay $10 million to settle Nadel-related claims

        The controversy over the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act legislation pending in Congress have pretty overwhelmingly focused on free speech issues (see, e.g., James Losey and Sascha Meinrath in Slate eloquently making the case again) but I think it’s worth calling into question the underlying economic premises here as well.

        It’s no secret that high-end income inequality has increased substantially over the past several decades. That’s happening for a variety of reasons. One reason, however, is that the returns to being a superstar content creator are much much higher in 2011 than they were in 1981. That’s because the potential audience is much bigger. It’s bigger because the world’s population is larger, it’s bigger because many poor countries have gotten significantly less poor, and it’s bigger because the fall of Communism has expanded the practical market reach of big entertainment conglomerates. At the same time, the cost of producing digital media content has fallen thanks to improved computers and information technology. Now step back and ask yourself why we have copyright in the first place. Well, it’s because policymakers think that absent government-created monopolies there won’t be adequate financial incentives to go out and create new content. That’s not a crazy thing to believe. But the implication is that if globalization and technology drive the returns to content ownership up, we need less IP protection. Instead, we’ve consistently gotten more. Copyright terms have been extended. Copyright terms have been extended retroactively. We’ve added “anti-circumvention” rules. And now we’re talking about SOPA and Protect IP. But why? What’s the policy problem being addressed here?

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