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Links 6/1/2012: KDE SC 4.8 is Coming, Tails 0.10 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 8:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • “Is this even LEGAL?”

    Chuckle. That was the reaction of one person to discovering GNU/Linux after being disgusted by that other OS falling down. After hearing so much about restrictions on copying in that other OS and the cost of repairing it repeatedly, the thought of Free Software for $0 does seem strange. “How can this be?” is reasonable, but the answer is simple: The world needs software and can make its own. The world does not need to sell itself software that it makes for itself any more than you need to pay yourself for mowing your lawn or washing your dishes. You don’t charge visitors for their enjoyment of your lawn and eating from clean plates. It’s a chore that needs to be done in the modern world and millions of contributors can share the software by including a licence to use and copy with the software that you can download and run, install, share and even examine and modify.

  • Linux Will Eat Oracle’s Lunch in 2012, Says Analyst

    In 2012, a shocking number of enterprises will slink away from Oracle into the arms of competitors Red Hat and SUSE, new market research finds. This comes even though Oracle has its own flavor of Linux that is basically a copy of Red Hat’s.

  • How to Craft a Killer Cover Letter for Linux Jobs
  • Lenovo Delivers Hybrid Laptop, Switches Between Linux and Windows
  • It’s CES Early! Lenovo Trots Out ThinkPad Ultrabook, X1 Linux Hybrid

    The hybrid’s pictured up top, dubbed the X1 Hybrid, a 13.3-inch (1366 by 768 pixel LED display) Thinkpad wielding your choice of Intel core i3, i5 or i7 CPUs and up to 8GB of memory. It runs Windows, of course, but lets you switch over to Linux with the press of a button if you want to max out battery life, something Lenovo’s calling Instant Media Mode (IMM). IMM mode runs off a Qualcomm dual core processor and can access up to 16GB of memory. “To switch to IMM from Windows, users simply click on an icon on the laptop’s home screen,” says Lenovo. “With IMM, users can watch videos, view photos, listen to music, browse the web and even work on documents with double the battery life, up to 10 hours.” Look for all that in a 0.6-inch thin chassis with your choice of 320GB or 160GB solid state drive for storage. The price: About $1,599, says Lenovo, and it’ll be available in Q2 2012.

  • 2012 to be year of Linux domination

    Previously, I’ve called out years for non-desktop Linux in 2008, Linux in both the low and high-ends of the market in 2009, ‘hidden’ Linux in 2010 and last year, cloud computing in 2011. For 2012, I see continued growth, prevalence, innovation and impact from Linux, thus leading to a 2012 that is dominated by Linux.

  • Desktop

    • Going All-FOSS With a New Computer

      There are many different ways to define “free” software, noted Slashdot blogger Barbara Hudson. “Some software costs money, some costs more in terms of time. Some software has more restrictions attached to it. And just as previous generations wasted their time arguing about angels dancing on pin-heads, today’s pin-heads dance around shouting why their definition of ‘Free’ is the only one that matters.”

    • Switching off Apple and going back to my old Mutt

      I BOUGHT a Lenovo Thinkpad X220 today. After a few years’ foray into the world of Macs, I’m moving back to using Linux as my desktop.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.2 kernel released: What you need to know

      After a long delay due to kernel.org being hacked in August 2011, Linux 3.2 has finally been released. It’s a whopper of a release with optimizations and tweaks in nearly every facet of the OS; here’s the rundown of what’s new inside and why you want to upgrade to it.

    • What’s Coming For The Linux 3.3 Kernel DRM Pull

      Now that the Linux 3.2 kernel is released, the Linux 3.3 kernel merge window is open. Here’s a quick look at what should be queued up for the Linux 3.3 kernel when it comes to the DRM graphics area.

    • The kernel column with Jon Masters – a look back at 2011

      This month Jon Masters takes a break from looking at the very latest developments in the Linux kernel community, to bring two New Year special editions of his column. We start with a look back at 2011 with a look into the future to follow…

    • Linux Rings in the New Year with 3.2 Kernel
    • Fusion-io demos billion IOPS server config

      Start transforming your infrastructure today with HP

      Fusion-io has achieved a billion IOPS from eight servers in a demonstration at the DEMO Enterprise event in San Francisco.

      The cracking performance needed just eight HP DL370 G6 servers, running Linux 26.35.6-45 on two, 6-core Intel processors, 96GB RAM. Each server was fitted with eight 2.4TB ioDrive2 Duo PCIE flash drives; that’s 19.2TB of flash per server and 153.6TB of flash in total.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Makes Second 4.8 Release Candidate Available

        January 5, 2012. Today KDE released the second release candidate for its renewed 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 new and old functionality. Please give this release another good round of testing to help us release a rock-solid 4.8 later this month.

      • KDE SC 4.8 Will Be Released In Two Weeks
  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi Lands eBay Bidding Up To $2,700 USD

      The Raspberry Pi beta boards that are currently auctioning on eBay are reaching bids of up to $2,700 USD. The retail version will sell for $25 and $35 USD.

    • Someone Is Paying $US3000 For This Tiny PC
    • Here’s A Good Sign That HP’s Decision To Open Source WebOS Will Pay Off
    • Phones

      • Taiwan market: Smartphones account for 55% of total handset sales in December

        Sales of smartphones in the Taiwan market totaled 450,000 units in December 2011, accounting for a 55% share of a total of 820,000 handsets sold in the month, according to data compiled by local channel operators.

      • Android

        • High Noon – Android/Linux v “8″ on ARM in 2012

          Is a monopoly any longer a monopoly when OEMs have a choice? Nope. Free Software trumps non-free when it comes to small cheap computers. ARM is not going away and in 2012 every consumer on the planet will have a chance to own an ARMed PC. By 2013 the competition to sell ARMed PCs will swamp the x86 shipments and Wintel will be out in the cold looking in at the warmth of the fire.

        • Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 Kernel Source Code Hits The Open Source Release Center

          While we’ve yet to actually see a release date for the Galaxy Tab 7.7 that Samsung debuted back in September, the company has now dropped the kernel source code for the device. In the past, this usually indicates an impending release, so we’re willing to bet that availability will be officially announced at CES next week.

        • Google TV switches to Marvell’s new dual-core ARM SoC
        • Making VoIP Calls With Your Android Phone
        • Should Android and Linux marry?

          There have been thoughts and speculation floating around the web recently of Android and Linux merging again. What gets me is that everybody seems to be speaking and thinking of Android as a separate operating system. It is not! Android is just as much Linux based as the Linux based distribution you are using right now.

          Admittedly it has the Linux internals locked away from the average Joe Citizen. However, any free shell program allows you to explore the Linux under the hood. Not only that, any of the many availiable rooting methods (hmmmm reminds me of a joke about a koala :P) will allow you to do anything on an Android device you can do on a major Linux distribution. The closest I can come to another example is MacOSx. The MacOSx is at it’s heart a BSD operating system. Which has had a pretty interface and api wrapped around it and marketed for mucho mula. Android is pretty much the same situation for mobile devices, only the mucho mula comes from the hardware sales :)

        • Motorola announces pair of new Androids for Europe, China, and other markets

          Motorola Mobility today announced a pair of new Android smartphones for Europe, China, and other markets. Running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, these two are designed to offer consumers affordable choices that best fit their unique personalities. On one hand we have the MOTOLUXE, a slim touch-only handset with a 4.0-inch display and on the other we have the DEFY MINI with its water-resistant and dustproof design. Both come in a variety of color options and will be on display at CES next week. We’ll be in Las Vegas and expect to get our hands on each model and will be happy to share our early impressions.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Google tablet PC believed to be targeting Kindle Fire

        As Google reportedly may launch an own-brand tablet PC to compete against Apple’s iPad, sources from Google’s upstream supply chain believe that Google, instead of Apple, may actually be targeting Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire as its major competitor. However, Google Taiwan commented that the company has never heard about plan of launching own-brand tablet PC.

Free Software/Open Source

  • HBase, Node.js, nginx, Hadoop Make Big Enterprise Inroads
  • Web Browsers

    • QupZilla Browser: one web browser, three niche features

      Just how do you establish a niche in the browser market when it is already saturated with so many competitors? Well, you could use Webkit and QT, throw in a few neat features and see where that takes you. That’s exactly what the developers at QupZilla did. So, I decided to take a look at the substance behind that quirky name.

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 3.6 Support To end On April 24, 2012

        We all knew that the day would come eventually when Mozilla would pull the plug on Firefox 3.6. According to new information posted on the Firefox Extended Support page, that day will be April 24, 2012. This is directly connected to the announcement that Firefox 10 will be the company’s first Extended Support Release (ESR).

      • The Mozilla Public License version 2.0 is out—and GPL-compatible!

        Earlier this week, the Mozilla Foundation published the Mozilla Public License (MPL) version 2.0. This is a major update to their flagship license, which covers most of the Foundation’s own free software projects, as well as others’.

      • Firefox wants to be your business buddy Web browser again

        Mozilla, the group behind the Firefox Web browser, has finally gotten a clue that business users don’t like constant updates. On the Mozilla wiki page, Mozilla admits to what many of us have known for a long time: Firefox’s recent rapid-fire release schedule was way too fast for corporate and institutional users.

  • Databases

    • CouchDB creator distances self from Apache project

      Damian Katz, creator of CouchDB, has announced that he is moving on from Apache CouchDB development to focus his efforts on Couchbase. In a blog posting he calls the merger of the CouchDB and Membase technologies in Couchbase Server “a product and project with similar capabilities and goals, but more faster, more scalable, more customer and developer focused” adding “And definitely not part of Apache”.

    • CouchDB creator moves on, sparking debate over open source dev

      The future of CouchDB is Couchbase Server. That according to CouchDB founder Damien Katz, who took to his blog to explain why he and others on the CouchDB team are regrouping around a more commercially focused offering within Couchbase, the company created in early 2011 when NoSQL startup Membase bought Katz’s CouchDB-focused CouchOne. While the decision might make business sense, not everyone is happy about it.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Funding

    • GrabCAD grabs $4M for open-source CAD

      GrabCAD, a specialist in open-source CAD software, has netted $4.2 million in new funding from its existing VC backers. Plus, David Skok, the general partner with one of those backers, Matrix Partners, has joined GrabCAD’s board. The news was outlined in a blog post on Thursday by GrabCAD president Hardi Meybaum. Skok has some CAD cred: He is on the board of Dassault Systemes’ SolidWorks, a maker of 3-D CAD (or computer-aided design) software. Engineers use this kind of software to design products on-screen.


  • Project Releases

    • XBMC 11 enters beta, final desktop version of Boxee 1.5 arrives

      As the XBMC developers release the first beta of version 11.0 of their open source media centre software, the Boxee developers announce that the newly released version 1.5 of their media centre software will also be the last open source version.

    • LibreCAD 1.0 released

      LibreCAD version 1.0 has been released. The free software 2D CAD program for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows is based on the open source community edition of RibbonSoft’s QCAD. LibreCAD is the result of a project which was started in order to add CAM capabilities to QCAD to drive a CNC router. That project, originally called CADuntu, set out to port the QCAD software so that it used Qt4 rather than the now outdated Qt3 before enhancing the software further. LibreCAD 1.0.0 now has a Qt4 user interface but is, for various reasons, not yet Qt3 free. An interface for plugins, autosaving and improved DXF file reading has also been added.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Five essential elements of an open government unconference

      Joining the open source (and CityCamp) movement has been one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve been involved with open source for over a decade, but I never got involved in a community project in any significant way–until I found CityCamp. I haven’t submitted a single line of code, but I’m able to bring my project management and community-building skills to the table. That’s important because it highlights the fact that there is more to open source contributions than writing code.

    • NASA launches open source web site

      NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the US, has launched code.nasa.gov, a web site that will serve as the central source of information about the agency’s open source projects. The site, which is still in early alpha, is intended to help unify and expand NASA’s open source activities.

    • NASA opens it Open-Source Code Doors

      Back in the 1980s, I was writing open-source programs for NASA. Oh, we didn’t call it open source then. Open source as a term wouldn’t exist until 1998. All the code we produced was “free software,” but we didn’t call it that either. We just made the best code we could and shared it with people. It was a different time. Many of these programs were made available under the COSMIC software project. Today, NASA is centralizing its open-source offerings at the Code NASA Web-site.

    • One small step: NASA launches open source portal, aims to open more code
    • NASA boldly goes deeper into open source with code.NASA
  • Programming

    • IDEs Are Dead. Long Live the IDE!

      How will developers’ favorite working environments evolve in a cloud-based, post-PC world?

    • SourceForge Embraces Mirror Projects

      SourceForge, the FOSS friendly site has expanded it’s nest with the new SourceForge Open Source Mirror Directory, whose job is to provide a directory that mirrors projects that are not hosted on their site. They are already busy adding non-Sourceforge Open Source software projects to the new directory. This will include a description of the product, links to their official website, and a mirror of their software releases.

    • SourceForge now mirroring external projects
    • Oracle Advances Open Source NetBeans

      Oracle is out with its first major open source IDE release of the year, updating NetBeans to version 7.1 The new NetBeans release builds on the Java SE 7 support first introduced in NetBeans 7.0 in April 2011.

      A key focus of the NetBeans 7.1 release is enhanced support for developers building user interfaces with JavaFX 2.0, CSS 3 and Swing.

      “For me, NetBeans 7.1 is all about the user’s interface,” Bill Pataky, vice president of Product Management for tools and frameworks, told InternetNews.com.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Hungary: Open standards for documents

      The Hungarian government has decided that, from April 2012, public administrations in Hungary should only provide official documents in internationally recognised open standards-based document formats and must be able to accept and process such documents. Quoting Hungarian media, a report on the EU Joinup collaboration platform said that only the Ministry of Defence will have more time to switch to using open document formats.


  • Nokia: There will be NO smartphone division selloff to Microsoft

    Rumours that Nokia is about to sell its smartphone division to Microsoft and that CEO Stephen Elop will jump after closing the deal have been denied yet again by the Finnish phone-makers.

    The suggestion that Nokia will sell off their crown jewels to Redmond has been rebuffed before, and even had an impact on the markets last year, but despite the Finns repeated denials, the rumour simply won’t go away.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • A Punch to the Mouth – Food Price Volatility Hits the World

      2011 was an abysmal year for the global insurance industry, which had to cover yet another enormous increase in damages from natural disasters. Unknown to most casual observers is the fact that during the past few decades the frequency of weather-related disasters (floods, fires, storms) has been growing at a much faster pace than geological disasters (such as earthquakes). This spread between the two types of insurable losses has moved so strongly that it prompted Munich Re to note in a late 2010 letter that weather-related disasters due to wind have doubled and flooding events have tripled in frequency since 1980. The world now has to contend with a much higher degree of risk from weather and climate volatility, and this has broad-reaching implications.

  • Finance

    • Crowd-Sourcing the Revolving Door

      This chart of Venn Diagrams (New Year’s Day links) is a nifty visualization[1] that shows how many, many people, through the operations of Washington’s revolving door, have held high-level positions both in the Federal government and in major corporations. To take but one example, the set of all Treasury Secretaries includes Hank Paulson and Bob Rubin, which overlaps with the set of all Goldman Sachs COOs. The overlapping is pervasive. Political scientists and the rest of us have names for such cozy arrangements — oligarchy, corporatism, fascism, “crony capitalism” — but one name that doesn’t apply is democracy. On the flip, you’ll find a larger version of the chart (and a discussion of its provenance).

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Defending media pluralism in Hungary*

      Over recent weeks serious questions have been asked by the European Commission about 30 new laws in Hungary, including a major constitutional revision, and these concerns continue. These laws have passed against the backdrop of a media law adopted in late 2010, which was found by the European Commission to put fundamental rights at risk, and by the Hungarian courts to breach the Hungarian constitution.

  • Copyrights

    • It Is Time To Stop Pretending To Endorse The Copyright Monopoly

      There is a saying in the political discussion in Sweden: “Anything you say before but in a political statement doesn’t count.” We’ve seen a lot of that practice in recent years with increasingly horrendous cultural monopoly laws.
      People in corporate and political suits alike are climbing on top of one another to be the most statesmanlike in stating “We are fully committed to the copyright monopoly, but these proposed enforcement laws are just nuts,” worded in all the synonyms you can find in a thesaurus.

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