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Links 01/01/2012: Alien Arena 7.53, Calculate Linux 11.12

Posted in News Roundup at 5:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Think Penguin’s “Penguin Air” Review.

    It wasn’t that long ago when we were forced to buy Windows machines, only to uninstall it and install Linux. But for most everyone, things are still the same. We shamelessly hand over our hard-earned money to Microsoft for something that we never wanted, nor planned to ever use. Most laptops are more than powerful enough for us to get by on, and those of us who know a thing or two about system requirements will gladly take a bargain system if it suits our needs. Sometimes it’s just about freedom, though many don’t know what it is as it regards to computing. You can certainly liberate any laptop (or desktop for that matter) from its shackles and regain freedom, but it goes a little deeper than that.

  • No Rants Just Sincere Concerns for Linux at Home

    Gone are the days of dirty commands on a text console. In 2012 99% users are going to use computers as just other electronic appliances. They are not going to worry what’s going under the hood as long as it works. I’m using Linux more than a decade (two of my home PCs are linux – Debian and PCLinuxOS, 100′s of my office workstations are linux – CentOS and Fedora), even administered some desktops for sometime. Here are my list of basics that go wrong in Linux, always.

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 180, Happy New Year!
  • Kernel Space

    • Host storage devices vulnerable with KVM Linux virtualisation

      According to a kernel update advisory by Red Hat, root users in a guest system that is virtualised with KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) can, in certain circumstances, gain read and write access to the Linux host’s storage devices. The advisory says that the hole exists when a host makes available partitions or LVM volumes to the guest as “raw disks” via virtio. Privileged guest users can send SCSI requests to such volumes that the host will execute on the underlying storage device – which allows the guest system to access all areas of the device rather than just the permitted partitions or volumes.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Best Desktop Distributions

      A few days ago a friend, being new to Linux, asked me about different distributions and that led to a long talk about their merits and failings. So, being new to blog-sphere, I decided to play it safe and write about best desktop distributions. But I also thought that I could do this a little differently. Best as in best for the Linux Desktop. First let us find some criteria for choosing distributions:

      1. Considering an usual desktop user uses around 1000-2000 package, the distribution must have over 10000 packages. Let’s just say over 9000.
      2. It must not be a cosmetic derivative, or a derivative of a derivative of a derivative of a…
      3. It must be up-to-date. My criteria for this is two important packages: linux (* > 3.0.6) and libreoffice (* > 3.3). This packages manage to give a good sense of up-to-dateness for the desktop.
      4. It must have an active community.
      5. It must support both KDE and Gnome 3.
      6. It must not be a testing variant.

    • That’s my name, don’t wear it out

      Linux Mint: I particularly like the naming convention Clement Lefevbre has come up with for Linux Mint. It’s alphabetically a woman’s name ending in “a.” We’re at Julia now. I asked Clement once what he’d do when he got to “Zelda” (or whatever the “Z” name will be for Linux Mint when they get that far . . . and they will), and he said that it was simple: Start with a name beginning with “A” and end the name in “e.”

    • New Releases

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Firefox 9 Is 30% Faster Than Firefox 8 | Install Firefox 9 On Ubuntu 11.10 and Earlier Releases
          • Search YouTube videos on Ubuntu with the YouTube Lens
          • What I Love About Ubuntu Unity

            I think the most important thing to understand about Unity is that it is not primarily a program or a desktop. It is primarily a set of specifications which are implemented in different ways. The two most prominent implementations are Unity and Unity 2D, but there are already several others. Since Unity is a set of specifications, it is possible to implement parts of it without that being considered an incomplete implementation. For instance, the indicators are supported on LXDE, Xfce, Windows, KDE and others. This is very important. For instance, people are complaining about not all Gnome Panel applets being ported to Gnome Panel 3 yet. This is because the applets become part of the panel itself, meaning that it has to be completely compatible or it won’t work. This is not the case with indicators, which is why all indicators are already supported on Gnome Panel 3. The panel just needs to support the indicator specification and then all indicators automatically work. It is also an uncomplicated specification, so it’s easy and quick to do.

          • Ubuntu rolling out the new

            If you’ve been thinking about giving Linux a run on your computer, Ubuntu’s next major release could be the one for you.

            Ubuntu 12.04, otherwise known as Precise Pangolin, will be released in April 2012 and promises to be one of the better releases of the past year from Canonical as the Ubuntu developers finally get to grips with the major desktop changes the OS has been going through.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source


  • Verizon Does A GoDaddy Drops $2 Bill Charge Plan

    It appeared to be a GoDaddy like day for Verizon and the customer broke the hell. The next day Verizon was forced to drop the plan.

  • Security

    • Researchers publish open-source tool for hacking WiFi Protected Setup

      On December 27, the Department of Homeland Security’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team issued a warning about a vulnerability in wireless routers that use WiFi Protected Setup (WPS) to allow new devices to be connected to them. Within a day of the discovery, researchers at a Maryland-based computer security firm developed a tool that exploits that vulnerability, and has made a version available as open source.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Civil Rights

    • Go Daddy really and truly opposes SOPA now

      Now, after the Reddit Go Daddy protest gathered steam; Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales announced that he would be moving Wikipedia’s domain names from Go Daddy; and, last but not least, aggressive ads from competiting Internet domain registry and hosting companies such as Namecheap, Adelman has had a real change of heart.

  • Copyrights

    • Actual damages for single unauthorized download of software program held to be cost of single license fee
    • Goodwill And Hospitality Theft Continue To Drive Up The Cost Of The Holiday Season

      This holiday season many lawyers, executives, lobbyists, and politicians will have their relatives, friends, and family members stay in their households. With the economy slumping, some out-of-town visitors can’t afford to stay at hotels. When money is tight, these visitors know they can count on the hospitality of family and friends, who will welcome them in with open arms and good cheer.

      However, these hosts need to remain vigilant and avoid being swept up in the general goodwill of the holiday season. In the rose-colored fog of the Christmas-to-New Year’s festivities, it’s easy for these situations to get out of hand. Guests have a tendency to get too comfortable very quickly and before you realize it, it’s nearly February and a variety of house guests have begun to refer to you as “Dad” or “Grandpa” and you’re on the hook for video rentals, dry cleaning bills and dental appointments. Your vehicle is now referred to as the “family car” (often by non-family members), your house has become a combination day care/animal shelter and your walk-in closet is now home to a family of Guatemalan refugees.

      What starts as selfless “giving” swiftly becomes one-sided “taking.” These interlopers are not only stealing the relatively priceless* time of their hosts, but also their unbillable goodwill. While “goodwill” would seem to be in infinite supply during the latter part of December, the available supply dwindles at a rate inversely proportionate to the number of hours the “family car” has been missing.

      *Not actually “priceless.” Billing for used time runs anywhere from $400/hr. [lawyers] to $55,000/hr. [executives] to $20+ billion/hr. [politicians].

      The result of this goodwill “piracy” is nothing short of tragic. As time and goodwill are swiftly “stolen” by house guests, the host’s direct family often finds itself having to do without. At best, they can only hope to have a few moments between meals and Immigration raids to angrily discuss efforts to block the rogue infringers, perhaps by seizing the guest bedroom and posting a sternly-worded warning on the door.

    • EA, Sony, Nintendo pull support from SOPA (but their industry association still supports it)
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