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Links 5/1/2012: Nginx Beats Microsoft, Alpine 2.3.3, and Hadoop 1.0

Posted in News Roundup at 7:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux 2012: 5 Things to Watch

    As we begin 2012, Linux is 25 years old and showing no signs of slowing down. 2012 should be another solid year for Linux growth and expansion in a number of areas with new development in the kernel, distros and on architectures big and small.

  • How Much Do You Linux?

    My journey with Linux began in 2009, one week before the release of Ubuntu 9.04. I was a long-time Windows user who knew of nothing else, but what Microsoft had to offer for my computer. Years of frustration culminated with me clicking away on Google to look for an alternative, if there was even one. Boy, did my eyes fill with wonder as I found out about Linux, in general, and more specifically Ubuntu. I read and read about it and came to find out that I could test drive it right from the cd itself. It works! It really works! I was ecstatic. I was free from the shackles of Microsoft Windows.

  • Download Linux From Your Desktop With Get Linux

    How do I download Linux? That’s a question that I hear fairly often. It usually leads to follow-up questions, like what is a distribution, which distribution should I download or how do I install Linux on my PC.

  • Linux emerges as a reliable option in 2012

    Linux has been into the market since the late 1990s and is open to anyone who wants to use it. Linux is free and moreover there is no paying for a cd or a product key. Yet many consumers are very skeptical to switch operating systems or download another. Because of various reasons, windows popularity could be one of them and adding to it is the extra work and time needed to install a new operating system.

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • Nginx Passes Microsoft for Active Web Server Share

      New web servers continued to come online at the end of 2011. According to web server stats vendor Netcraft’s January 2012 survey, there are now nearly 583 million sites on the Internet. The January survey figure represents an increase of 27.2 million sites over the December 2011 figures, for a 4.9 percent gain.

    • BT provisions IT faster with Database-as-a-Service

      BT has revealed how automation has enabled it to reduce the time it takes to deliver a new database from weeks to minutes.

      To do this, the telecoms company created a pre-provisioned, six-node rack cluster, which heavily uses automation to create databases for IT projects that require them. This means that new databases can be created on this Database-as-a-Service cluster in just 19 minutes.


      BT has built its entire DaaS on Oracle, except for the hardware. It uses Oracle Database 11g, Oracle Enterprise Linux, Oracle Clusterware and Oracle Automatic Storage Management (ASM).

    • Nginx overtakes Microsoft as No. 2 Web server

      With financial backing from the likes of Michael Dell and other venture capitalists, open source upstart Nginx has edged out Microsoft IIS (Internet Information Server) to hold the title of second-most widely used Web server among all active websites. What’s more, according to Netcraft’s January 2012 Web Server Survey, Nginx over the past month has gained market share among all websites, whereas competitors Apache, Microsoft, and Google each lost share.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • LinuxCon 2011 Europe keynote videos now available

      Keynote videos from the September 2011 LinuxCon Europe conference are now available for on-demand viewing. Keynote presenters and participants included such Linux luminaries as Linus Torvalds, Alan Cox, Thomas Gleixner, Dirk Hohndel, Nils Brauckman, Tim Burk, Jon Corbet, and more.

    • Linux Foundation sites back in action

      The damage from the September 2011 cracking of several Linux Foundation web sites seems to have been repaired, though one site won’t be coming back: the Linux Developer Network.

    • What’s new in Linux 3.2

      Improvements to the Ext4 filesystem, network code optimisations and thin provisioning support in the Device Mapper are some of the major improvements in Linux 3.2. Further additions include new and improved drivers – for example, for graphics hardware by Intel and NVIDIA, as well as Wi-Fi components by Atheros and Broadcom.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Akademy-es 2012 – Call for Host

        KDE España has started planning Akademy-es 2012—the most important KDE-related event in Spain. The conference is an opportunity for Spanish KDE users and developers to meet, share experiences, catch up on KDE news, and plan for the future. Akademy-es includes a range of presentations, workshops, hacking sessions, informal get-togethers and an assembly of KDE España members. KDE members and supporters will be coming from other countries to enjoy famous Spanish hospitality and meet up with KDE friends. The date for Akademy-es depends on what location is chosen and the availability of suitable facilities.

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 11th December 2011
    • GNOME Desktop

      • What does Cinnamon bring to the desktop?

        Cinnamon is another attempt to make the GNOME 3 desktop acceptable to those in the community who have so far refused to have an unpalatable substance rammed down their throats. While MATE is a fork of GNOME 2, Cinnamon is a fork of GNOME 3 Shell. And though better than the other attempts, it does not really represent a sharp break from GNOME 3 + MGSE. Imagine GNOME 3 + MGSE without the Applications view or menu, and you have Cinnamon. The last two updates added some much needed configurations options to the menu, but much still needs to be done.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Alpine 2.3.3 released

        The Alpine Linux project is pleased to announce immediate availability of version 2.3.3 of its Alpine Linux operating system.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • New aptosid Fork, siduction 11.1 Released

        A few day ago a new distribution forked from aptosid announced their first stable release. On the last day of 2011, Ferdinand Thommes announced the release of siduction 11.1. siduction is based on Debian Unstable and ships in versions featuring KDE, LXDE, or Xfce.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical at CES, Las Vegas, 10th – 13th January

            Canonical will have a presence at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, from the 10th – 13th January. The booth, in the Upper Level of South Hall 4, is at location 35379 within the Las Vegas Convention Center.

          • Last Consumer Electronics Show (CES) for Microsoft, First for Canonical

            We have decided that this coming January will be our last keynote presentation and booth at CES. We’ll continue to participate in CES as a great place to connect with partners and customers across the PC, phone and entertainment industries, but we won’t have a keynote or booth after this year because our product news milestones generally don’t align with the show’s January timing.

          • Will an Ubuntu Gadget Debut at CES?

            The start of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is rapidly approaching, and speculation is running rampant as to what shiny new wares will make their debut there.

          • Ubuntu hoists skirt, flashes ‘concept’ gadget at CES

            Ubuntu shop Canonical has promised to make a splash at the annual gadget jamboree, the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas, Nevada, next week.

          • Precise Quality, not just for Precise

            I upgraded my primary laptop to Precise yesterday. Very smoooooth! Kudos to the Ubuntu team for the way they are running this cycle; their commitment to keeping the Precise Pangolin usable from opening to release as 12.04 LTS is very evident.

          • Canonical Seeking Designer for ‘Core Apps’, ‘HIG’

            A recent job posting from Canonical appears to hint at Ubuntu’s continued commitment to first-class user experience.

          • Canonical Will Present Exclusive Ubuntu Concept Design at CES

            Canonical announced last night, January 3rd, that it will present the latest in Desktop, Cloud and Ubuntu One demonstrations, as well as an exclusive Ubuntu concept design, at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) event, in Las Vegas, US.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Comparison Test: Pear OS 3.0 “Panther” vs. Zorin OS 5.2 Core

              There’s been a new distribution making small waves lately called Pear OS. It aims to replicate the experience of Apple’s Mac OS X, and upon first appearances, it seems to do so pretty well. I’m comparing it to Zorin OS, which similarly tries to replicate the experience of Microsoft Windows, to see which one does its job better.

            • Review: Meet ‘Lisa,’ Linux Mint 12

              For someone who has never before tried out a Linux desktop, consider telling them to make Linux Mint 12 their initial exploration.

              This version of the Linux distro, which launched late last year, is code-named “Lisa” and runs the relatively new Gnome 3 desktop graphical user interface. It is based on Ubuntu 11.10.

            • Linux Mint launches Cinnamon desktop

              Not content with its Mint GNOME Shell Extensions (MGSE), nor with GNOME 2 replacement MATE, Linux Mint has decided to launch a new GNOME 3-based desktop dubbed Cinnamon.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Cortex-A9 hardware/software dev platform supports Android 4.0

      Intrinsyc announced a hardware/software development platform for Freescale’s Cortex-A9-based, dual-core i.MX 6 processor, offering support for Android 4.0 and Windows Mobile 6.5. The Open-6 Design and Production Platform combines a development kit, a wireless telephony stack, and a reference platform with a capacitive multitouch display, cameras, sensors, and wireless radios.

    • 13-Year Software Veteran Learns New Tricks with Embedded Linux Course

      Derald Woods is a 13-year engineering veteran who today works in software development, designing and supporting electronic vehicle controls for heavy equipment and trucks. Lately, his time is being used to work on an ARM9-based embedded Linux solution that involves NTSC/PAL video CSI input, V4L2 overlay, and graphics provided by an SDL implementation.

    • Roku media player shrinks again — to an HDMI dongle

      Roku announced a tiny dongle version of its Linux-based streaming player device, designed to plug directly into a TV’s HDMI port. Due to ship in the fall, the “Roku Streaming Stick” will send its signals to — and accept power from — Mobile High Definition Link-enabled televisions, including some of Best Buy’s Insignia models.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • The 10 Rookie Mistakes Every Android Developer Should Avoid

          As veteran mobile application developers with experience in most of the popular platforms of the past decade, we feel that the Android platform is one of the most accessible platforms for new developers. With cheap tools, a friendly development community, and a well-known programming language (Java), developing Android apps has never been easier. That said, we still see a number of mistakes that developers who are new to Android make over and over again. Here are the 10 most insidious gaffes.

        • Android Market tops 400,000 apps, climbing fast

          Google’s Android Market now has over 400,000 apps, and the pace of new code additions is accelerating.

        • Android Market hits 400,000 available apps, says analytics firm
        • Brits got Kindles for Christmas

          Ask punters what they got for Christmas and a rather large number of them say they got a Kindle.

        • Kindle Fire burned up some holiday iPad sales
        • Best Japanese Role-Playing Games (JRPGs) for Android

          Since the late 1980s, Japanese role-playing games or JRPGs have managed to enthrall a wide range of audiences. From Wizardry to Final Fantasy, this genre has garnered a huge fan following not just among the Japanese, but also among Western gamers. Furthermore, since JRPGs have been made for almost every platform that’s out there, our very own Android, which is also a fledgling gaming platform, has seen some great titles in this genre. So, if you’re hankering for a visit to mystical realms and dragon-infested lands, here’s a list of some of the best JRPGs for Android.

        • Quad-core SoC supports Android 4.0, 3840 x 1080 video resolution

          ZiiLabs says it is sampling a quad-core Cortex-A9 SoC (system-on-chip) designed for Android 4.0 tablets. Clocked at 1.5GHz, the ZMS-40 processor is equipped with 96 “StemCell” media processing cores supporting 3840 x 1080 resolution for 1080p 3D stereo video, features 200-megapixel/sec image processing, and supports the new HEVC (H.265) video compression standard, the company says.

        • Android phones need to give root access. Now!

          I wanted to make an impression with my title. I hope I managed. I am writing this article as Gingerbreak’s wheel spins aimlessly runs on my Galaxy S phone. I have little hope that I will actually be root on my phone. Here I am: I intended to write an article about Busybox, in order to turn an Android phone into something that really resembled a GNU/Linux system. I failed, twice: as a user, I failed gaining control of my own phone. As a free software advocate, I failed warning people about what could have happened — and indeed I let it happen.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • MusOpen.org is Commissioning the Prague Symphony Orchestra this January

    It looks like 2012 is going to be a great year for free culture. Possibly my favorite development is that MusOpen has organized its planned symphony recordings for this January. In September, 2010, the free culture organization raised over $68,000 (several times their $11,000 goal) through a Kickstarter campaign, with the intent of commissioning a “internationally renowned orchestra” to perform the Beethoven, Brahms, Sibelius, and Tchaikovsky symphonies.

  • The Jeff Gauthier Goatette: Open Source

    Musicians tend to make pretty decent label bosses. When I saw Adrian Legg perform several years ago, he extolled his new label, Favored Nations, because it was “run by a guitar player.” Violinist Jeff Gauthier is a triple-threat in this regard; he runs the Cryptogramophone label, produces some pretty happening names such as Jenny Scheinman and Erik Friedlander, and he’s one terrific bandleader. On top of all of that, he plays jazz violin like a bat out of hell, swinging the instrument by its tail and knocking over jars in the jazz, classical, and rock fusion departments in the process. Last time out, Gauthier’s modern jazz combo, The Goatette, was greeted with a year-end approving nod from Slate’s Fred Kaplan. Indeed, House of Return was a highpoint for music on the fringes in 2008, and its follow-up Open Source is just as good.

  • # NASA Promotes Open Source With New Website
  • All in the name

    One Debian/Ubuntu-based distro I’ve always liked — Qimo — seems innocent enough, especially since it is kid-oriented. Of course, when you try to pronounce it phonetically, it comes out “chemo,” as in “chemotherapy.” Actually, that’s not the correct pronunciation for Qimo — it’s really “kim-o,” as in “eskimo,” which is the basis for the name of the this distro. I’m not making this up: The lead developer has a toddler son named Quinn, named in part because the developer Dad is a Bob Dylan fan, and hence the “Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)” reference is not lost on the Dylanistas among us.

    Or so I was told.

    Then there’s the ongoing debate about the acronym for the GNU Image Manipulation Program, more commonly known as GIMP. My friend Ken Starks of HeliOS fame — not exactly a paragon in the defense of politically correctness (to his credit) — has a good point when he says that GIMP is insensitive to those with movement disabilities. While I hope a name change is being considered, I would like to think they’re not doing so at the moment because they’re still working on the single-window thing.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chromegate? Google Will Penalize Itself For Sponsored Posts

        Just a few weeks after Google Chrome was reported to have overtaken Mozilla Firefox to become the second most popular Web browser in the world, Google’s glory has been tarnished by a “jaw-dropping,” massive online Chrome advertising campaign that would seem to violate Google’s own guidelines, uncovered by SEO Book blogger Aaron Wall.

    • Mozilla

      • Can Firefox be a Web browser contender again? Firefox 9.01 Review

        The newest Firefox is faster, better, and its parent group is well financed, but is it this version, Firefox 9.01, good enough to win back fickle Web browser users?

      • Mozilla persuades Firefox 3.6 users to dump old browser

        Mozilla’s upgrade call last month pushed more Firefox 3.6 users to grab a newer edition than any month since June 2011, a Web metrics company said over the weekend.

      • Mozilla Updates License – Does it Matter?

        The Mozilla Public License is one of the most influential software licenses in recent memory. In many respects, it is the basis for alot of modern idea about open source, as opposed to just Free Software and the GPL.

        This week, the Mozilla Public License 2.0 was officially released – and to be honest, I was caught a little off guard. I’ve known that work was in progress since at least 2008. In 2010, Mozilla Chief Mitchell Baker let us know that the new MPL 2.0 would remove references to Netscape in the license.

      • Mozilla Releases Version 2.0 of Its License
      • Firefox Aurora for Android gets native UI

        Mozilla has published a new version of Firefox for Android to its Aurora development channel; the version 11 branch was previously only available as a Nightly build. The open source mobile web browser now uses a native Android UI. Traditionally, Firefox implementations have used XUL, an XML-based language that is interpreted by the Gecko rendering engine. According to its developers, the new native UI should provide improved start-up and page load times, while also using less memory. The new native UI also brings a completely re-designed interface and start page.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice: Is the Open Source Software Suite Here to Stay?

      For those who don’t know the back story: In 2010, Oracle acquired Sun, which owned the OpenOffice.org project at the time. Concerned that Oracle might restrict or close the OpenOffice code, or sell the product for money, several groups formed the Document Foundation and forked OO into LibreOffice, an independent endeavor. Since then, most leading desktop Linux distributions have replaced OpenOffice with LibreOffice as their default office productivity suite.

      Meanwhile, the fears of open source advocates were allayed in June 2011, when Oracle handed the OO code over to the Apache Foundation, ensuring that it would not, in fact, become proprietary. Now, Apache is in the process of regrouping and reorganizing the project, but for now development is kind of dormant and there has not been a new release in almost a year.

  • CMS

  • Healthcare

    • WebOS Gets Surprise Second Life in Healthcare

      Andrew B. Holbrook, a Stanford University Department of Radiology research associate, developed a WebOS application that operates an MRI scanner and allows radiologists and other medical personnel to view images captured by the MRI machine on a TouchPad tablet.

      Holbrook designed an app allowing HP’s TouchPad to operate an MRI machine from inside the scanning room, then interface with a PC server located elsewhere. The computers traditionally used to control MRI scanners are cumbersome and costly because they need special modification to reduce metal parts, which react to the MRI machine’s magnetic field and pose safety risks.

    • VA Details Plans to Replace Medical-Scheduling Platform

      The Department of Veterans Affairs wants to overhaul its medical-scheduling software, which is integrated into its VistA electronic health record system.

  • Project Releases

    • Aeon Nox 2.0 XBMC Theme Released, Looks Fantastic!

      Many consider XBMC as one the finest, if not the best, media center application out there, which is also open source. Starting from the previous XBMC 10 ‘Dharma’ release, XBMC started supporting add-ons officially which made it super easy to install third-party developed skins and apps for XBMC. Aeon Nox 2.0 was one such long awaited theme for XBMC and it is now available with the default XBMC 11 repositories.

    • Apache’s Hadoop cloud computing framework achieves 1.0 status

      The Apache Software Foundation’s formal 1.0 release of Hadoop will give enterprises and SMBs a cost effective, open source cloud computing software framework that is mature, stable and features state-of-the-art technologies

    • gnutls 3.0.10
    • FreeIPMI 1.1.1 Released

      Major Updates:

      o Support new tool ipmi-pet, tool to parse/interpret platform event traps.
      o Support new –sdr-cache-file option specify specific SDR cache file in all SDR related tools (ipmi-sensors, ipmi-sel, ipmi-fru, etc.).
      o Support Quanta QSSC-S4R/Appro GB812X-CN OEM SDRs, sensors, and SEL events.
      o Update libfreeipmi for DCMI 1.5 additions.
      o Add petalert.pl contribution.

    • For years in development, is Scribus 1.4.0 worth the wait?

      Open-source, cross-platform desktop publishing package Scribus 1.4.0 has been given a final, stable release, four years after the first developmental version saw the light of day. Over 2,000 feature requests and bugs have been resolved in this new release, which, despite the relatively minor version number jump from 1.3.3.x, is a major new release.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Of Open Source and the European Commission

      At the end of last year I reported on the worrying signs of vacillation from the UK government over its support for truly open standards. At least it’s relatively straightforward to keep tabs on what’s happening in Blighty; Europe is another matter – I find the labyrinthine bureaucracy and its digital shadow pretty hard to navigate. So I was pleased to come across the following page, entitled “Strategy for internal use of OSS at the EC”.

    • DISA revises software guideline clarifying open source rules

      The Defense Information Systems Agency has updated the Application Security & Development Security Technical Implementation Guide, clarifying a commonly-misunderstood Defense Department policy that many saw as a hurdle to open source software use at DoD.

  • Licensing

    • The economic incentive to violate the GPL

      My post yesterday on how Google gains financial benefit from vendor GPL violations contained an assertion that some people have questioned – namely, “unscrupulous hardware vendors save money by ignoring their GPL obligations”. And, to be fair, as written it’s true but not entirely convincing. So instead, let’s consider “unscrupulous hardware vendors have economic incentives to ignore their GPL obligations”.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • C development on Linux – Pointers and Arrays – VI.

      We have come to a crucial point in our series of articles regarding C development. It’s also, not coincidentally, that part of C that gives lots of headaches to beginners. This is where we come in, and this article’s purpose (one of them, anyway), is to debunk the myths about pointers and about C as a language hard/impossible to learn and read. Nonetheless, we recommend increased attention and a wee bit of patience and you’ll see that pointers are not as mind-boggling as the legends say.

    • 10 programming languages that could shake up IT
  • Standards/Consortia

    • Open document standards mandatory in Hungary government

      Hungary’s public administrations will by default use open document standards for their electronic documents, as of April this year, the government ministers agreed on 23 December, and all public organisations are encouraged to move to open source office tools. Hungary’s government also in December decided to cancel the funding of proprietary office suite licences for all schools.


  • Boneheaded Stunts

    Don Reisinger has a list of M$’s mistakes in 2011:

    1. Where were the tablets?
    2. Let Google cement its lead online
    3. Failing to acquire a handset maker
    4. Let Android get away
    5. An odd Nokia partnership
    6. Failing to wrap up the living room
    7. Retaining Steve Ballmer as CEO
    8. Let Google cement its lead online
    9. Overpaid for Skype
    10. Tipped its Windows 8 hand too early
    11. Failing to make the mobile space about security

  • M$ and One of its Partners are at War

    This is great fun for me. One of the last barriers to the desktop space for GNU/Linux is the retail shelf space GNU/Linux gets. Now, M$ is actually suing one of its partners, Comet, a retailer of electronics. I don’t have details but according to Ars Technica, Comet sold recovery CDs to customers against M$’s wishes.

  • The Commodore 64 is 30 this year

    I used to have a paperweight sitting on my desk that read something like “Robert H. Lane, appointed President of Commodore Computers….” It was the sort of thing that they gave to executives. A brass plaque of their appointment as it appeared in the Wall Street Journal or the Globe and Mail.

  • IBM Buys Cloud-Based Software Testing Platform Green Hat

    In its first acquisition of 2012, IBM has announced the purchase of cloud-based software testing platform Green Hat. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • MF Global sold assets to Goldman before collapse: sources

      (Reuters) – MF Global unloaded hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of securities to Goldman Sachs in the days leading up to its collapse, according to two former MF Global employees with direct knowledge of the transactions. But it did not immediately receive payment from its clearing firm and lender, JPMorgan Chase & Co , one of the sources said.

      The sale of securities to Goldman occurred on October 27, just days before MF Global Holdings Ltd filed for bankruptcy on October 31, the ex-employees said. One of the employees said the transaction was cleared with JPMorgan Chase.

  • Civil Rights

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    Links for the day

  25. EPO: It's Like a Family Business - Part III

    A look at how the EPO's management (Željko Topić in particular) defended the unprecedented promotion of Ms Bergot (wife of the president's close assistant), even in the face of outcry from EPO staffwarning

  26. In an Effort to Counter EPO Staff Narrative (After ~2,000 of Staff Protest) EPO Management Portrays Staff as Violent But Provides No Evidence

    The EPO's management has a poor record on accuracy and truth and the latest staff-shaming tactics serve to reinforce that track record

  27. Gross Aggression by EPO Management Shows the Urgent Need to Remove Immunity From EPO

    The increasingly militant approach of EPO management (with counterterrorism staff added to interrogate EPO staff) serves to show an organisation gone truly bonkers

  28. Patents Roundup: Alice Decision Still Upsets Patent Lawyers, Microsoft AstroTurf Group Lobbies on FRAND, Google and Red Hat Recalled

    The reaction of patent profiteers to scope/boundary restrictions, the FRAND lobby by Microsoft's longtime front group, FRAND matters in Korea (affecting Android), Google's response to patent threats, and Red Hat still keeping quiet about its patent agreement with Microsoft

  29. Links 20/11/2015: DockerCon EU, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2

    Links for the day

  30. Patent Lawyers Want to Bring Software Patents (Hence Patent Trolls Too) to Europe, Piggyback Battistelli's Habitual UPC Promotion

    Analysis of the views of academics (profiting from solid research), contrasted with patent lawyers (profiting from feuds and conflicts), and the latter group's exploitation of Benoît Battistelli's misguided policies


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