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Links 12/1/2012: Linux Mint 12 KDE is Coming, CyanogenMod Reaches 1 Million Milestone

Posted in News Roundup at 12:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Review: Saline’s Linux-Based OS For Desktops

    The mission statement of developers for the Linux-based SalineOS for desktops puts it this way:

    “The primary goal of the SalineOS project is to deliver a fast, lightweight, clean, easy to use and well documented operating system based on Debian GNU/Linux.”

    With a wide range and assortment of Linux-based desktop operating systems available for free, developers seeking to attract eyeballs to their software have a particular mission: Standout with something people will need or want real bad.

  • Short Notices: News In Linux Audio

    I hope all my readers enjoyed the best of the holiday season. I’ve been busy with the predictable confusions and minor crises that attend this time of year, but I managed to find time to jot down some recommendations for my readers. Go on, you’ve been good, give yourself a few extra belated gifts and don’t worry if your budget’s busted – it’s all free software, you can’t beat these deals.

  • Desktop

    • A First Look at New Ubuntu Laptops and PCs from CTL

      I had the opportunity yesterday to visit CTL Corp located in Portland, Oregon and sit down with Erik Stromquist, Executive VP and COO and Michael Tupper, Director of Business Development.

    • You made a mistake, your noob!

      Linux will make it big the moment the kernel strings becomes unimportant in the desktop sphere. If you must know it, you will fail. As simple as that. Once the software becomes agnostic to the point that you can use it any way you want, including not looking at little strings or looking as much as you want or need, then we will have passed to the next level in the game. Till then, we will get defeated by tiny mistakes in the major and minor numbers, and woe the fool to cross a number-strict geek.

    • Chinese Lenovo Secures Biggest Deal With India

      Chinese PC maker Lenovo has hit a mega deal with Indian state Tamil Nadu. The state will buy 3 lakh (0.3 million) laptops from the company making it one of the biggest deals for the Chinese maker. The Tamil Nadu government recenly announced the free laptop project for students of state-run colleges and high schools. ELCOT earlier issued a controvercial tender where it removed Linux as the requirement. Muktware broke this story. Within a few weeks ELCOT was forced to change its pro-Microsoft policy and put Linux on these computers.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • The Mystery of KDE Activities

        No feature defines the KDE 4 release series more than Activities. At the same time, no feature is so little understood — Fedora even has a package for removing the desktop toolkit, which provides mouse access to Activities.

        But, when you take the time to learn about Activities, you’ll find them a natural extension of the desktop metaphor that just might help you to work more efficiently.

        Activities are a super-set of Virtual Desktops. They don’t replace Virtual Desktops — in fact, each Activity can have its own set of Virtual Desktops if you choose. Instead, Activities are alternative desktops, each of which can have its own wallpaper, icons, and widgets.

      • When Unity Meets KDE: Video Spotlight

        Today’s video spotlight is a very polished and well-edited one by Youtube user GhindaUcigasa who aims to show us what happens when Ubuntu’s Unity Shell meets KDE. It’s an interesting concept, to be sure.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • January 2012 Issue Of The PCLinuxOS Magazine Released

        The PCLinuxOS Magazine staff is pleased to announce the release of the January 2012 issue of the PCLinuxOS Magazine. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is a product of the PCLinuxOS community, published by volunteers from the community. The magazine is lead by Paul Arnote, Chief Editor, and Assistant Editor Meemaw. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license, and some rights are reserved.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu TV for human being.
          • Ubuntu User Days — This Weekend!
          • Unity 5.0 Available For Testing In Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin [Video]
          • Browse Ubuntu’s Software Offerings Online On Any Computer [Linux]

            Explore the thousands of programs available by default in Ubuntu, online, regardless of what operating system you’re using at the moment. Whether you’re a would-be Ubuntu user curious about the software options or a current Ubuntu user occasionally stranded in Windows-land, Ubuntu’s clean and simple online catalogue is a great place to explore.

          • Top 10 Ubuntu apps that are worth every penny
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Mint With Cinnamon: A New Sweet Spot for Desktop Linux?

              “I gotta ask….why?” said Slashdot blogger hairyfeet. “I don’t see why, now that mint has grown in popularity, they don’t follow Canonical’s lead and pick their own DE which can be customized to their distro instead of trying to keep some horrible kludge of GNOME 2 and 3 running, which I bet will be a buggy nightmare.”

            • Linux Mint 12 KDE Almost Ready

              Last month Linux Mint 12 was released to quite a buzz. It addressed many of the issues disaffected users experienced with GNOME 3 (and Unity). This was great for GNOME users and Linux Mint in general, but hey, what about us KDE users? Well, the KDE version is nearly ready and users can test a release candidate now.

            • Download Linux Mint 12 KDE Release Candidate

              Clement Lefebvre, father of the Linux Mint project, unleashed a couple of minutes ago, January 11th, the Release Candidate version of the upcoming Linux Mint 12 KDE operating system.

              Linux Mint 12 KDE Release Candidate features updated applications, general improvements and new features, all to make your desktop experience more comfortable.

            • A wild Minty Customer appears!

              First, I must say that all that follows here is my own demented view. But blog thingy already implies that, and about the ‘demented’… well, going against the flow might always be demented, no? Our topic here is Linux Mint. It is very popular right now, but does it really deserve that much popularity?

              I don’t think Linux Mint is really important enough to give that much attention. Most of they have, they have because of Ubuntu. And all they contributed to the FOSS is some shiny panels and menus together with some non-crucial tools for package management, hardly worth mentioning in the greater scheme of the things. Cinnamon is still in the works but more on it later. Ubuntu greatly changed their Debian base and started projects like Upstart (which I am fond of), they made great leaps in desktop hardware recognition and use; Mint made some panels and menus. Comparison here is quite clear that I don’t think my intelligent readers (let me butter you up a bit) might need more clarification.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • US killer spy drone controls switch to Linux

      The control of US military spy drones appears to have shifted from Windows to Linux following an embarrassing malware infection.

      Ground control systems at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, which commands the killer unmanned aircraft, became infected with a virus last September. In a statement at the time the Air Force dismissed the electronic nasty as a nuisance and said it posed no threat to the operation of Reaper drones, but the intrusion was nonetheless treated seriously.

    • Anyone for Raspberry Pi?

      The Raspberry Pi Foundation is planning on revitalising computing amongst young people by bringing back the good old days of tinkering around with programmable computers.

      Production has begun for the credit card sized PC, which has an ARM GNU/Linux box that can be plugged into a TV and keyboard. Its system on chip is a Broadcom BCM2835.

    • The Raspberry Pi Computer Is Finally Being Manufactured
    • This digital picture frame runs Linux better than you might think

      Ah, the beauty of spreading the guts of some hackable hardware across your workbench. This happens to be the circuit board and LCD screen from a Parrot DF3120 digital picture frame. The device is pretty powerful, considering you can still find them available for around $25. You’ll get a 3.5″ screen, ARM9 processor with 8MB or RAM, Bluetooth, a tilt sensor, and more. It seem that [BusError], [Sprite_tm], [Claude], and few others really went to town and spilled all of the secrets this device has to offer.

    • Open Source PID Controller

      I used a PID (proportional–integral–derivative) controller to regulate the temperature of my espresso maker. I wrote about it in my book, Made by Hand: My Adventures in the World of Do-It-Yourself. (You can read an except from the chapter on Gizmodo.)

    • Phones

      • Tizen Puts Out Some Code, SDK Preview

        The Tizen Linux project, which is backed by Intel, Samsung, and others, have released some initial code and other information in time for CES 2012.

      • Android

        • ‘Medfield’ Atom breaks cover — will be in Lenovo and Motorola phones

          Intel and Motorola announced a multi-year agreement focused on the development of Atom-powered, Android-based phones and tablets. Meanwhile, Intel showed off an smartphone reference platform and a Lenovo K800 handset that both run Android on the “Medfield” processor — now unveiled as the Atom Z2460 — and third-party benchmarks rated the CPU high marks in performance and power consumption.

        • Google’s Schmidt Does the Android Definition Boogie

          Google Chairman Eric Schmidt doesn’t seem to like it when the word “fragmentation” is applied to his company’s Android mobile OS. Android isn’t fragmented, he said during a recent interview — it’s “differentiated.” But to developers and users, the change of wording may not make much difference. “If developers say Android is fragmented, then it is,” said Flurry Analytics CEO Simon Khalaf.

        • Google’s Schmidt: Android’s not fragmented, it’s ‘differentiated’
        • CyanogenMod surpasses 1 million installations

          CyanogenMod development team member Koushik Dutta has announced that the project’s open source modified Android firmware has been installed on more than one million devices around the world. At the time of writing, the CMStats web page currently shows a total of 1,001,177 installs of CyanogenMod across all versions, with 7,895 having been added in the past 24 hours.

        • Android A85 Superfone with Gesture Control

          Micromax and eyeSight partner up to create what seems to be a new type of smartphone. Although, their Android A85 Superfone boasts ordinary specs for today’s standard. This devices offers a 1GHz Dual Core processor, of the Tegra 2 variety, a 3.8” display, and offers Gesture Control.

        • HTC Desire News – Several Desire Models get Unlocked Bootloader
        • Huawei Annoucnes Android 4.0 Powered MediaPad, Along with Line of Color Series

          Huawei is a brand which is rapidly making a highly ranked place in the mobile market. They started from China as a small brand, they are now famous all over the world. Last year in June, they introduced their first ever Honeycomb tablet which was launched as Huawei MediaPad, and it featured Honeycomb and a dual-core processor. Now Huawei is back with the announcement of Huawei MediaPad, which is the world’s first tablet to feature Android 4.0; also the announcement of Huawei MediaPad Color series but this series will be Honeycomb powered, just like the original model.

        • Sony Xperia S coming to Orange UK, Vodafone has no plans to offer it

          Yesterday, O2 and Three UK have confirmed that they would launch the new Sony Xperia S. And today it was Orange’s turn to do the same.

        • Sony Smartwatch accessory launched for Xperia range

          Sony have announced a range of ‘smart’ accessories for their latest Xperia smartphones including this the Sony SmartWatch which connects via Bluetooth

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Intel’s educational PC gets dual cores, 12-hour battery

        Intel announced the fifth generation of its reference platform for education-focused portable PCs. The Classmate now features a dual-core Atom N2600 processor, delivering battery life of up to 12 hours, plus optional capacitive multitouch functionality, according to the company.

      • Android 4.0 tablet sells for $170

        At CES, ViewSonic announced a seven-inch ViewPad E70 tablet that runs Android 4.0 on a 1GHz processor and costs a mere $170. The company also unveiled a 9.7-inch ViewPad 10e tablet for $270, a 10.1-inch, dual-boot Windows/Android model (the $849 ViewPad 10pi), and a 3.5-inch ViewPhone 3 (Latin America-bound with Android 2.3).

      • ZTE shows off a 7 inch, 720p tablet with Tegra 3

        Chinese device maker ZTE has been promising to enter the North American phone and tablet market for a while, but so far hasn’t made much of a splash in the States. So I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for this sleek new 7 inch ZTE tablet to come to the US. But it’d be kind of nice if it did.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Big Switch open-sources Floodlight, an OpenFlow controller

    Big Switch Networks, a startup using the OpenFlow protocol to help companies build software-defined networks, has open-sourced its controller software, dubbed Floodlight. The company, which is one of several startups trying to solve networking issues that arise from virtualization and webscale systems, said on Wednesday that it would release the source code for the controller it developed on its website and will focus on developing an ecosystem of applications around the Floodlight code.

  • A response to a FOSS skeptic

    Don Parris wrote a book a while back called “Penguin in the Pew.” The book is an outstanding guide for nonprofits — aimed at churches, but it can apply to any other nonprofit — in the way to use Free/Open Source Software, which Don like to call “libre,” but you know it’s the same thing.

  • Liferay 6.1 portal software gets new setup wizard

    Liferay logo Liferay has released version 6.1 of the Community Edition of its open source and Java-based enterprise portal software. Designed to power corporate intranets and extranets, it combines a content management system and a web application framework in one platform. The Community Edition of Liferay contains the latest features and enhancements for the platform which will appear in a few months in the Enterprise Edition.

  • Using open source to build the ultimate walled garden

    That’s no slam on OpenStack, mind you: the Rackspace-owned cloud computing project is much-beloved in the open source community for the technology and the Apache license that covers the project. The fact that governance will be shifting from Rackspace proper to a planned OpenStack Foundation definitely helps, too.

  • Google open sources Zygote 3D human body viewer

    Google Body has open sourced the enjoyable to use 3D visualisation of the human body built by Google labs engineers in their “20% time”, the fuzzily-measured time slot employees are allowed to use to work on personally inspired creative projects.

    The open sourcing of this code is a result of the Google Labs division being closed last year. The code now sits with Zygote Media Group, who provided the imagery for Google Body in the first place.

  • Open-Source, Real-Time Bus Tracking Is Coming to All of New York City
  • Second Crack: New Open Source Static Blogging Engine

    Admit it, you’ve got something to say, you’ve got something that the world needs to hear. You’ve got something on your mind that you need to get out, and you want to do it in style. Marco Arment may have exactly what you are looking for. He has released the blogging engine that powers his personal site, Marco.org as open source, available on github under a basic BSD style license. If you do not know who Marco is, you might wonder why this is interesting. Marco’s last side project turned out to be a little thing called Instapaper, and the last web publishing platform he helped build was Tumblr, so his new project is worth taking a look at.

  • Geospatial services with FLOSS: Interview with Oslandia

    In this interview Olivier Courtin and Vincent Picavet, founders of geospatial service provider Oslandia, share with us their business story, some advice and how free and open source geospatial software plays a major role in their company. Enjoy the interview!

  • Rackspace Open Sources Dreadnot for Data Center Software Deployment

    Open Source software is created in a number of different ways, but the most common is simply when a developer has an “itch.” Rackspace’s Cloud Monitoring Team had such an itch when it came to having the right tools for the continuous deployment of software to their data centers and that’s how the new Dreadnot tool was born.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Plans for Firefox Enterprise – Will it Slow Innovation?

        One of the perceived shortcomings of Mozilla’s rapid release cycle, with new browsers every 6 weeks – is that enterprises couldn’t keep up.

        So now Mozilla has officially embraced a plan for an Enterprise release version of Firefox dubbed Extended Release Support (ESR). Personally, I don’t think it’s a great idea. In fact, I think it could hurt Mozilla’s mission for improving the web for us all.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Big rise in registrations for Drupal Downunder

      There has been nearly a 25 per cent rise in the number of registrations for the Drupal Downunder conference this year as compared to 2011, according to one of the main organisers, Donna Benjamin.

  • Education

    • The UK Bumps Up Its Computer Curriculum, While The US Slides Back

      And there’s no reason that US schools couldn’t do exactly the same.

      I listen to the war stories my kids bring home, from the tiny, reluctant, Medieval amount of computer education they get. Here is what a junior-high-school computer class in Iowa (top education achievement in the country, mind you) is teaching as of last month: “OK, kids, today we’re going to create an account at a web page. Open the broooowser, use the moooouuuse, click on the liiiink… We’re going to open a ‘Hotmail’ email account…”

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • SMEs Opt for Free and Open Source Software to Cut Costs

        Free and open source software is steadily growing in popularity in Kenya as firms move to cut costs and achieve more customised technology solutions.

        Many companies particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have adopted free and open source software (FOSS) to power their systems in the wake of increasing costs and shrinking IT budgets.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming


  • The Legend of Apple and Xerox PARC and the Truth About Innovation

    Every December for the last few years, NY Times OpEd columnist David Brooks picks the best magazine essays of the year. He describes his choices in two of his cols, with links to the essays in their online versiumns, with links to the essays in their online version. I generally really like his selections. One of his choices this year is a New Yorker article by bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell – Creation Myth: Xerox PARC, Apple, and the truth about innovation.

  • Security

    • Scareware – Symantec come under fire. A sign of a struggling marketplace?

      Those who follow my dulcet tones on TechBytes or read my musings on the various social networks I maintain will know that recently (after years of being let down) I changed my ISP. With this change brought the expected, a shiny new router, a nice welcome letter and, shovelled into the box was also a free trial of McAfee Anti virus. Of course there was no way of them knowing that the troubles Windows users may get with malware, virus’s and spyware don’t really have any relevance to a Linux user, but nevertheless their “kind” and “free” trial was put in the same place as probably many a Windows machine when it had been brought to a halt by malicious code and the user (through their own lack of knowledge) merely thought the machine itself was broken.

  • Finance

    • Bureau Recommends: Private Eye alleges second Vodafone tax scheme

      More than a year after first publishing allegations of a multi-billion pound tax avoidance scheme approved by HM Revenue and Customs boss Dave Hartnett, Private Eye has published details of a second tax scheme by Vodafone.

      The Eye alleges that, under the scheme, Vodafone Holdings, a holding company based in the US that owns Vodafone’s 45% stake in Verizon Wireless, borrowed billions of dollars from a second company called Vodafone Luxembourg 5 sarl.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights


        US Congressman and poor-toupee-color-chooser Lamar Smith is the guy who authored the Stop Online Piracy Act. SOPA, as I’m sure you know, is the shady bill that will introduce way harsher penalties for companies and individuals caught violating copyright laws online (including making the unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content a crime which you could actually go to jail for). If the bill passes, it will destroy the internet and, ultimately, turn the world into Mad Max (for more info, go here).

      • The Other Side of the Internet

        The internet makes it easy to redistribute unauthorized copies – SOPA is an effort to put an end to that, albeit at the price of getting rid of the internet. But the internet also makes it easy to reach audiences. From the point of view of the big distributors represented by the MPAA and the RIAA it’s all bad. I’m pretty sure buggy-whip makers didn’t much like automobiles either. But what about the artist? Chris Phelan points us to a recent article about Louis C.K. a successful but not superstar comedian. Rather than taking the $200K that the big distributors would have paid him, he put up $170K of his own money to produce the video of his show. Unlike the big distributors who hate their customers as much as their customers hate them – Louis C. K. has a good relationship with his customers. He put the video on-sale for a quarter of the price the big guys would have charged – $5 each copy. He did it without DRM, and simply asked politely that people buy it from him and not redistribute it. He took in $2 million, a net of about $1.8 million.

      • Let us Pray: Yea Verily, Filesharing is a Religion. Official.

        You’ve just got to love those crazy Swedes. Liberal, progressive, cool and politically correct. What’s not to like? They’ve excelled themselves this time though. As dedicated filesharers they applied, and succeeded at the third attempt, to register filesharing as a religion.

      • Bach’s Goldberg Variations commissioned for Public Domain Release

        One of the responses to my earlier post about the MusOpen symphony recording project mentioned a project I had overlooked: the Open Goldberg project has created new public domain scores for the Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” using the MuseScore free software musical notation software and is commissioning a studio recording of piano soloist Kimiko Ishizaka performing the pieces, also for public domain release (with CC0).

        This is another fantastic confluence of free software, free culture, and crowd-funding, as the project raised over $23,000 to fund the commission. According to the projects’ site, the score produced will be peer-reviewed, making them on par with commercially produced scores.

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