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12.26.11

Links 26/12/2011: Another GNOME Fork, Linux at Gas Pump

Posted in News Roundup at 12:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • 2012 Server Roadmap
    • Xen or KVM

      Since little more than half a year, I am in the process of installing a new virtualization Platform. One of the hardest decisions to make was if we should use Xen or go with KVM. We already have Xen in production and I know that it works well. From KVM we expect, that it will be growing faster then Xen and be the right thing on the long run.

  • Kernel Space

    • Android drivers to be included in Linux 3.3 kernel

      Android drivers are returning to the Linux kernel. Kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman has retrieved the Android drivers removed from the staging area of Linux 2.6.33 in the spring of 2010 and put them back into his development branch for version 3.3 of the Linux kernel.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Some Mobile GPU Documentation To End The Year

        There was a new documentation drop this week that consisted of data-sheets and other programming documentation for the 2D, 3D, and MPEG engines of a mobile GPU.

      • Why The Radeon Gallium3D Performance Is Down

        After yesterday’s article about the Grinch that stole the Radeon Gallium3D performance, here’s three offending commits since Mesa 7.10 that are causing the open-source Radeon Gallium3D driver to run slower than it should.

      • What’s Up With The S3 Graphics Linux Driver?

        Yesterday when writing about VIA Technologies preparing a new graphics open-source push, it made me curious where the S3 Graphics Linux driver is at today.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Makes First 4.8 Release Candidate Available, Adds Secret Service

        Today KDE released the first release candidate for its Workspaces, Applications, and Development Platform. With API, dependency and feature freezes in place, the KDE team’s focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing. Compared to Beta2, RC1 contains hundreds of fixes. Please give this release another good round of testing to help us release a rock-solid 4.8 in January.

      • My Heroes of KDE, 2011

        I was looking back on this year and thinking about what the real successes have been. There have been many great things, new technology and work behind the scenes to make it all happen.

        But perhaps the greatest thing has been the return of the Commit Digest, so I’ll name the Commit Digest team my personal heroes of KDE for 2011. Every week, they let us know what’s going on in this great community of ours. It’s a hell of a lot of work and they deserve a lot of credit.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Another GNOME Fork? Can Cinnamon Survive?

        Linux Mint has not adopted the new interface instead going their own route with the MATE fork and the MGSE (Mint GNOME Shell Extensions). Apparently that’s not enough and now Mint Founder Clement Lefebvre has launched a new effort to create a new desktop called Cinnamon.

      • Goodbye GNOME 2, Hello GNOME 2?

        Many Linux users who have been GNOME fans for years find themselves in a sudden quandary. GNOME 3.0 has completely abandoned the desktop experience we’ve come to love during the years. That’s not to say change is bad, it’s just that many folks (even Linus Torvalds) don’t really want to change.

  • Distributions

    • I give up; my search for the perfect Linux rescue distro is over

      When I discovered Linux two years ago, I started looking for what I called “The Perfect Rescue Distro”, a somewhat mythical distribution that fitted into a CD, could mount Windows partitions, play all sorts of video/audio formats, include a productivity suite, decent image-manipulating tools, and burn backups…all in Live mode. Hence, over these two years, I have tested lots of distributions and some of them came really close to the ideal. I felt as if the Holy Grail was between an arm’s reach.

    • Semplice Linux, An Exercise in Simplicity

      Semplice Linux is a very young project that has only recently made its debut on Distrowatch with Release Candidate 1 for their upcoming 2.0 code-named ‘Emily’ getting listed. This means there must be a support structure in place, a website, bug tracker, documentation and user forum.

      The distribution originates from Italy and is based on Debian unstable, using only the Openbox window manager, a handful of applications and a blank background. It will not surprise you then that semplice means simple.

    • Suicide Linux, Not for the Faint Heart
    • Gentoo Family

      • Oh Gentoo

        Well it’s been a couple of months now since the start of Experiment 2.0 and I’ve had plenty of time to learn about Gentoo, see its strengths and… sit waiting through its weaknesses. I don’t think Gentoo is as bad as everyone makes it out to be, in fact, compared to some other distributions out there, Gentoo doesn’t look bad at all.

    • Red Hat Family

      • IPO Outlook For New Year Uncertain After Rough 2011

        “What happened doesn’t necessarily give confidence in companies that are wanting to go public,” said Manoj George, CEO of outsourcing firm Nair & Co. and CFO of Red Hat (RHT) during its IPO. “I’ve talked to a couple of companies who have the fundamentals to go public, (but) they are looking at 2013 as opposed to 2012.”

      • Analysts’ Weekly Ratings Changes for Red Hat (RHT)
      • Fedora

        • Fedora 16 Live/Install CD

          I used Unetbootin to install the Live/Install CD onto a USB stick. No problems booting into live mode and then installing from the live mode. The installed edition booted just fine. With the exception of some Gnome3 applications not correctly sizing to my netbook screen, the installed applications worked. Yet, I have major issues with this edition.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical shares U1DB technical preview

            When Canonical announced it was stopping its use of CouchDB, it also announced it would also be dropping DesktopCouch, the desktop API for CouchDB, and creating its own solution, U1DB, to fill the gap. The Canonical developers have now announced that a technical preview of U1DB is available and have given more details of its functionality. According to the announcement, U1DB is an API and data model designed to be backed by any database for storage. The API has been created to enable the storage of JSON documents in synchronised databases and to make that process simple.

          • CTL Announces the MB40U Ubuntu Powered Notebook
          • Canonical Focuses on Multi-Monitor Support In Ubuntu

            Just a day after questioning whether multiple monitors are really necessary, I learned the design team at Canonical had purchased not two but six monitors to attach to a single computer. Fortunately, this seeming excess should benefit Ubuntu users — if not me personally — by improving the multi-monitor experience in Ubuntu. Here’s a look at these efforts so far, and how they fit into the larger open source picture.

          • Ubuntu Tweak 0.6.0 arrives for Oneiric Ocelot

            The Ubuntu Tweak development team has announced the release of version 0.6.0 of its popular open source application for customising the Ubuntu Linux distribution. With Ubuntu Tweak, users can configure their installations by changing a number of desktop and system options that are not provided with the default Unity environment.

          • What is the best Christmas gift for Ubuntu Linux fans?

            If you are an Ubuntu fan and are wondering what is the perfect gift to suprise your friends this Christmas. Then think no more!! Gift them a CD with the latest version of Ubuntu Linux as a gift. Gifting a distro inevitably requires you to get you hands dirty and if that is what is stopping you from celebrating Christmas, then check out the rest of the post.

          • Ubuntu Powered Display Spotted at a Gas Pump in Colorado

            We have written a number of times Linux being spotted in public. Besides powering displays in Best Buy and HMV Stores in UK, Ubuntu has just been spotted at one of the gas stations in Colorado.

          • Ubuntu 12.04 Development update

            This will be the last development update of 2011, so let’s see where we stand in terms of 12.04. We are 10 weeks into the release cycle and have still 18 weeks to go. There is definitely still a lot left to be done, but the foundations for a great release have been laid already.

          • Linux Deepin Software Centre to be made Available for Ubuntu

            Ubuntu users envious of Chinese Linux distro’s slickly-styled ‘Software Centre’ won’t nee to be green-eyed for too long: it’s coming to Ubuntu.

          • Surprise! Full Circle Magazine #56 – I Come Bearing Gifts

            Surprise! Since everything is in place there’s no point in holding back the issue until next week. You lucky devils get FCM#56 almost a week early!

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Bodhi Linux 1.3.0 Released

              Jeff Hoogland has announced the release of Bodhi Linux 1.3.0. He writes that there are no earth shattering new features in this release there are many minor improvements.

            • Bodhi Linux Gets Christmas Update
            • Linux Mint 12 On ASUS Eee PC

              In a previous article, I talked about setting up my Asus Eee computer with eee-control on Ubuntu. Today, this is no longer valid if you’re using Ubuntu 11.10 or Linux Mint 12. Now you must run different software. Not only that, now more than ever disenchanted Ubuntu users are switching to Linux Mint due to the ongoing frustrations presented with the Unity desktop. The great news for folks wanting to switch to Linux Mint is that Ubuntu packages and PPAs work great in Mint. Even better, you have additional Gnome desktop choices made available.

            • Enjoy The Best In Linux With Linux Mint 12

              Linux Mint has been quite a revolutionary distribution, gaining plenty of popularity. In fact, DistroWatch statistics suggest the Linux Mint is now the second most popular distribution in the world, behind Ubuntu (upon which it’s based) and in front of Fedora.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi £16 computer project nears lift-off

      The Raspberry Pi project, which aims to sell tiny £16 Linux-based computers to help kids learn about real computing in schools, has said it is now testing beta versions of the device.

      The project published photos of its first populated beta circuit boards on Thursday, having shown off the naked boards earlier in the month. If electrical and hardware and software testing goes well, Raspberry Pi devices will go on general sale in January.

    • Bare bones Raspberry Pi PC gets ready to launch

      The $25 (£16) machine is being created in the hope that it will inspire a new generation of technology whizz kids.

      The Pi uses an Arm chip similar to that found in mobile phones and is intended to run a version of the Linux open source operating system.

    • $25, Credit Card Size PC Runs Debian, Fedora & Arch; No Ubuntu

      UK-based Raspberry Pi Foundation is working on a credit card size, $25 PC which will redefine computing. The tiny computer runs on Linux. It supports Debian, Fedora and Arch Linux. Initially Ubuntu, as its based on Debian, was supported but it doesn’t at the moment.

    • US: Magneti Marelli system will connect cars to the Cloud

      Magneti Marelli has demonstrated a Linux-based prototype of what it claims is the first open-source infotainment system. The platform was unveiled at the fifth Member Meeting of the GENIVI Alliance in San Jose, California. Other partners of the group, the medium-term aim of which is to connect cars to the Cloud, include BMW, PSA Peugeot Citroen and Intel.

    • 27 top Linux-powered Christmas gifts

      It’s no longer hard to find a Christmas gift that runs Linux, thanks to the popularity of Google’s Android. The Tuxy possibilities go far beyond tablets and smartphones, however, as we highlight in a list of 27 top gift picks for 2011.

    • Populated boards: an update on where we are

      Here’s a little something to warm your festive cockles. These are populated boards from our first run of beta devices. They’re undergoing electrical testing alongside hardware and software testing at the moment, and if all goes well, the Raspberry Pi you’ll be buying in January (or by auction later this month if they all work as they should) will be exactly like one of these.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • Ada Initiative highlights challenge to get more women in open source

    The lack of women involved in open source has unfortunately long been a weakness for open source software and its many, varied communities around the globe. In fact, we found out recently just how significant the problem is, with troubling figures as reported by Valerie Aurora with the Ada Initiative that indicate significantly lower representation of women in open source (2%) compared to the overall IT industry (20%).

  • GitHub open sources Janky CI server
  • The problem with open source in 2012

    Rather like cloud computing and green eco-aware initiatives, open source has sometimes suffered from being added as a “label” to projects that (for the most part) remain predominantly focused on licensed sales with only an “element” of open source.

    So is open source ever used a marketing badge to try and evidence some kind of community contribution effort that is actually downplayed internally?

  • Open source: Pretty much right on track

    With the close of the old year, and the advent of the new, it’s very easy to sit back and start reflecting on where open source has been and where it’s going.

  • Why the Operating System is becoming irrelevant

    The operating system used is becoming more irrelevant. Why? Software is slowly becoming more and more homogeneous in nature, and more cross compatible to some extent. People are also using many different devices running many different operating systems already, from phones to tablets to desktops to laptops. The age old argument that “that other operating system is too difficult” is no longer holding up as much as it used to. As we know, Microsoft still has a very high market share (anywhere from the high 80 percent to low 90 percent) in the desktop market. GNU/Linux has a high share in the server market. And on other smaller devices, it’s a large mix of Apple iOS, GNU/Linux/Android, and Windows (Windows being mainly on phones as there isn’t much of a tablet presence yet). On desktops there has been a natural shift to Wintel over the past couple of decades that has allowed Microsoft to lead the user experience with the PC as well as document formats most commonly used today, etc. But, as open source software becomes more and more prevalent, it has accustomed itself to be cross compatible with the proprietary software that already exists, and as such is a viable replacement for the proprietary software. Now that we are becoming more used to using a multitude of different devices and operating systems, moving the desktop from one operating system to another is becoming less of an issue. Users are already becoming familiar with different operating systems and are able to find their way through them easier than ever before.

  • Events

    • XDC 2012: Nuremberg!

      For 2012 we (Egbert Eich, Professor Hopf, and I) will be hosting the annual X conference in Nuremberg!

    • Dreaming of Summer — and WordCamp Milwaukee!

      You have no idea how excited I am that WordCamp is coming to Milwaukee next June 2-3, 2012. A small group of us, led by Scott Offord, have been laying the groundwork for this two-day conference on all things WordPress at Bucketworks. We’re ready to accept visitors.

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Apache confirms new OpenOffice build by 2012

      The Apache Software Foundation has confirmed that a new build of the OpenOffice suite will be out next year, and has warned rogue developers that it – and only it – can use the trademark for the software.

      According to the group, version 3.4 of the software will be out in the first quarter of next year, and will be a developer-focused release that is designed to ensure the entire code base fits with Apache’s licensing terms. There is some third-party code to remove from the OpenOffice base that is incompatible with the Apache licence, although in some cases the original coders have been happy to relicense their source under different terms in order to help the project.

    • Oracle v. Google – Pretrial Conference Held

      A pretrial conference was held in the Oracle v. Google case on Wednesday, December 21, during which Judge Alsup heard oral arguments on some of the motions in limine. (654 [PDF; Text]) The hearing lasted about four and a half hours, but any outcome from the hearing has yet to be reported. It is known that the court heard oral arguments on three of the four motions in limine on which the parties had agreed to have oral arguments. Judge Alsup has yet to determine how much time will be required for the trial.

    • Apache Software Foundation Hits Their Sore Thumb Again

      Claiming ASF is good for everyone including the end user is wrong. Clearly, the end user is a part of the ODF ecosystem, the largest and most important part. While ASF permits modifications to source code to be distributed it does not require source code to be distributed. That has serious implications for end users:

    • Performance improvement in opening ODS documents
    • Redesigned autofilter popup
    • LibreOffice mega Christmas inteview

      Below you find the result of my search. Some parts are technical, some parts really talk about features for users.

  • CMS

    • Somewhat Shameless Self-Promotion: WordPress in Depth
    • New version of Composite C1 CMS released

      Danish software company Composite has released version 3.0 of its .NET-based open source content management system, Composite C1. This is the first major new version since the software was released as open source just over a year ago – version 2.1 was released in March 2011. Previously only available as a commercial product, both open source and commercial products are now available. The functionality is the same, but the commercial version comes with a product warranty, automated upgrades and end-user mail/web-based support. Composite also offers a range of support, training and other commercial services.

    • Google Knol Comes to WordPress
  • Business

  • BSD

    • GhostBSD 2.5: A GNOME-ified FreeBSD 9.0

      If you want to try out FreeBSD 9.0 this holiday but are not turned on by the actual FreeBSD 9.0 install and setup process, nor find the KDE desktop of PC-BSD 9.0 enjoyable, you may want to try out GhostBSD 2.5.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • “Yes We Scan”

        Take a look at the campaign being run by Carl Malamud and John Podesta called “Yes We Scan”. It’s an effort to encourage the US government to make plans to digitize the contents of all national libraries including the Library of Congress. In a letter addressed to President Barack Obama, John Podesta and Carl Malamud point to the economic, scientific and social benefits that would arise from a large scale digitization of America’s cultural riches currently held in the vaults of various national institutions.

  • Programming

    • ISO updates C standard

      The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published the new specifications for the C programming language. The standard is known unofficially as C1X and was published officially as ISO/IEC 9899:2011. It provides greater compatibility with the C++ language and adds new features to C (as indicated in the draft).

Leftovers

  • How vendor specific should uni be?

    In our current higher education world, many are unable to find work after university because their degree just wasn’t applied enough.

    But the Nelson-Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT), at the top of New Zealand’s South Island, might be going too far by adding a VMware module to its Bachelor of IT degree.

    Last week, Computerworld reported that in collaboration with VMware, IBM, NetApp and BlueBerryIT, NMIT has embedded a VMware IT Academy curriculum module in its third-year networking.

  • How to annoy fanboys

    Well, hopefully this blissful piece of article has taught you some useful tips that should bring you much rejoicing. Remember, you must exercise flexibility with your ideas and never falter, even when faced with ultimate zeal. It is important to innovate, have a backup plan ready, as well as be persistent and consistent in your trolling. Do not laugh, break down or show compassion. And you must never give up. It’s all for the greater good. With your help, one day, we might live in the world where fanboyism is restricted to Star Wars versus Star Trek. Now, there’s a tricky topic.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Why Oil Prices Are Killing the Economy

      Oil prices emerged from their spider hole over two and half years ago. Having fallen from the towering heights of $148 a barrel in the summer of 2008, the early months of 2009 saw a return to prices in the $30s. Interestingly, during that great oil crash, the price of West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil (WTIC) spent only 20 trading sessions below $40. That is the exact price that most analysts only three years prior believed oil could never sustain as the world would pump “like crazy” should prices ever reach such “impossibly high levels.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • DOJ Rejects ALEC-Inspired Voter ID Bill in South Carolina

      The U.S. Department of Justice has rejected South Carolina’s voter ID law, which was inspired by an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) model, as discriminatory against people of color.

      Fourteen states passed restrictive voting measures over the past year, many of them (including South Carolina) using the ALEC model Voter ID Act as a template. According to a report issued this month by the NAACP, 25% of African Americans (over 6.2 million African-American voters) and 16% of Latinos (over 2.96 million Latino voters) do not possess state-issued photo IDs, and as many as 5 million Americans, many of them people of color, would be ineligible to vote under the new restrictions.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Namecheap CEO: SOPA Is Like Detonating Nuclear Bomb On The Internet

      Namecheap, one of the top domain registrars, has come out opposing SOPA, the dangerous bill aimed to destroy the Internet by Hollywood. Namecheap CEO, Richard Kirkendall, has released an encouraging statement “While we at Namecheap firmly believe in intellectual rights, SOPA is like detonating a nuclear bomb on the internet when only a surgical strike is necessary. This legislation has the potential to harm the way everyone uses the Internet and to undermine the system itself. At Namecheap, we believe having a free and open Internet is the only option that will continue the legacy of innovation and openess that stands for everything we all value in our modern society.”

  • DRM

    • My fight with AA

      But .AA is a proprietary file format, which contains Digital Rights Management, and is only supported on Mac and Windows. Googling “converting AA to MP3″ yielded a flood of Windows results; “Linux converting AA to MP3″ was more on point, but hardly more productive. It seems there are only three ways to convert AA to MP3, and all of them require Windows

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The Great Piracy Circle Jerk

        Today I needed to get a mp3 file for a certain band fast, no it wasn’t Norma Jean. The file I needed was actually released royalty free via Creative Commons license so I am allowed to download and distribute for free. I found a torrent tracker that hosted the album the mp3 was in so I downloaded the .torrent file and proceeded to open. Upon doing so, I learned that my distro of linux doesn’t have a pre-installed torrent software so I headed over to download.com. I was sad to learn they didn’t have a linux version of uTorrent, but I saw something else. It was right in front of my face. The #1 site to get the tools to download torrents, rip DVD’s, and all sorts of other illegal activities is owned by C|Net. C|Net is a large geek based media company and their parent company is none other than CBS Interactive / Viacom. Viacom, along with CBS, is the top sponsor of SOPA and has had thousands of lawsuits filed on their behalf over movies and music piracy.

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