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Links 12/1/2012: Intel Wants Tablets Market, New ODF Version

Posted in News Roundup at 5:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Three Priorities For Open-Source Radeon Graphics

        While we still haven’t been able to deliver any Radeon HD 7000 series Linux benchmarks, we do know what are AMD’s three priority projects right now for their open-source Radeon Linux driver stack.

        The three priorities right now for AMD and their open-source Linux driver stack come down to Southern Islands support, OpenCL, and UVD/video. If you’re part of the Phoronix Forums community, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since it was there where this information was first shared.

  • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • 11 useful commands for Linux/Unix administrators
      • Updating the ROM in Your Mobile Device

        Follow the forum instructions carefully, because it’s possible to brick the device. Often, the first release day of any community-released code will be athwart with danger — the experimenters that day know it and like the thrill. We don’t. The first day of a recent Google TV upgrade bricked numerous devices. As a beginner, wait a few days after a release for the kinks to get ironed out, and always reads the forums carefully.

  • Distributions

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Tame the Ubuntu 11.10 Unity interface with MyUnity

            The new interface introduced with the latest version of Ubuntu has had a mixed response. MyUnity offers an easy way to change some of the visual settings. This can make the Launcher and Unity in general easier to use as well as that satisfaction in having it set up exactly as you want.

          • Hands-on with Ubuntu TV, above and under the hood

            At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Monday, platform vendor Canonical unveiled a special version of Ubuntu that is designed for televisions. The platform has an integrated media library manager and will offer DVR capabilities. It includes a variant of the Unity shell that is intended to be operated with a television remote control.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 12 KDE screen shot preview

              The first release candidate of Linux Mint 12 KDE was made available for download yesterday, but do not be surprised if the “stable” version is released next week. While we await that, here are a few screen shots for your viewing pleasure.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • CMOS camera platform from Kappa Optronics enables motion detection

      The CMOS camera platform transmits image data directly to the monitor via HDMI/DVI or is directly saved on the memory card. The processor and the embedded Linux operating system are directly on-board. The platform provides high-definition live streams, up to 5 Mpixels, with a maximum 20 frames/s. Facial recognition and motion detection may also be implemented.

    • Diminutive, Linux-based Raspberry Pi Computer Heads to Production

      The tiny motherboard seen in the photo here forms the core of the Raspberry Pi computer, which has generated a lot of interest, as we originally noted here. Last month, as both CNet and Business Insider noted, the Raspberry Pi ultra low-cost computer was moving toward the manufacturing stage. It’s designed to run Linux via an ARM processor, and there will reportedly be versions available for $25 and $35. Now, there is word that manufacturing has begun, and there are more details about this diminutive, low-cost, yet surprisingly powerful computing device.

    • Raspberry Pi PCs are being built

      FIFTEEN QUID Raspberry Pi computers are being manufactured and will soon be on sale.

      Sadly, perhaps, the home grown PC on a USB stick is being made overseas due to a desire to keep costs down.

    • Phones

      • Tizen OS alpha released, may debut on Samsung I9500 smartphone

        The Linux Foundation’s Tizen project has previewed an alpha version of its MeeGo and LiMo-based mobile operating system and SDK. The HTML5-oriented release — including components from the carrier-backed WAC interoperability standards and the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries — follows rumors of Intel-based Tizen tablets, plus a screenshot leak that suggests an appearance on an upcoming Samsung I9500 phone.

      • Intel Teases Tasty Tizen Tablets

        Remember Tizen? You know, Intel’s Linux-based OS, which evolved from MeeGo when Nokia bailed. Surprise: It’s one of three OSes Intel is hoping to get onto tablets this year, along with the better-known Windows 8 and Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich.”

        “In our tablet business, we made a commitment to move a lot faster,” said Mark Miller, director of marketing for Intel’s netbook and tablet segments. “We have a lot of room to make up.”

        Here at CES, that includes showing off a slim, light Lenovo Android-powered tablet that runs on Intel’s new Medfield Atom Z2460 chipset. The Lenovo tablet (shown at left) is under 9mm thick and runs for up to eight hours on a charge. It’ll be coming midyear, Miller said.

      • Android

        • HDMI Dongle: Portable set-top box runs Android 4

          HDMI Dongle is an Open Source, USB-sized set-top box from Always Innovating, a technology outfit based in San Francisco, CA USA. A TV on a stick, it is designed to turn any TV with USB and HDMI ports into a connected TV running Android 4. Like the Cotton Candy, it has an HDMI and a USB port. The magic comes via the HDMI port, while the USB port is to power the device from the TV it is attached to.

          The hardware specs of the device are: Texas Instruments Cortex-A9 OMAP 4 processor (1.0 GHz to 1.8 GHz), 1 GB RAM, a microSD slot, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules. It comes with a simple remote control that has voice control and Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities. On the software side, it “can run Android Ice Scream Sandwich and is technically compatible with Google TV.”

        • AT&T offers HTML5 SDK for third-party mobile Web app developers

          AT&T is planning to launch a store for mobile Web applications that run in the browser. The company has released a set of JavaScript APIs and a software development kit (SDK) that provide Web developers with access to certain mobile network features.

Free Software/Open Source

  • High-quality scientific graphics with MathGL: An interview with Alexey Balakin

    F4S: What is MathGL?

    Alexey: MathGL is …

    * a library for making high-quality scientific graphics under Linux and Windows;
    * a library for the fast data plotting and data processing of large data arrays;
    * a library for working in window and console modes and for easy embedding into other programs;
    * a library with large and growing set of graphics.

  • 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.

    Adoption of FOSS is also seen as a promising solution to software piracy in countries like Kenya.

  • Google Maps Pricing Sends Real Estate Site to Open Source

    In October Google announced pricing for its popular Google Maps API. Though most sites won’t hit the free limits, those with a lot of traffic may be scrambling for a solution. That was the case for a New York real estate service, which discovered their bill would be $200,000 – $300,000 per year.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle fills another gap in its big data offering

      With Oracle’s announcement of general availability of the big data appliance, it is filling in the blanks by disclosing that it is OEM’ing Cloudera’s CDH Hadoop distribution, and more importantly, the management tooling that is key to its revenue stream.

  • Education

    • For Mobile Strategies, Open Source Offers Flexibility

      As universities transition to a mobile-friendly campus, more and more IT departments are considering the benefits of open source technology. Cost is definitely a factor, but schools are just as attracted to the flexibility that open source gives them.

      When the University of Chicago (IL) first introduced mobile technology two years ago, a key goal was to launch a product as soon as possible. Developer skills for mobile apps were hard to come by, so it made sense to go with a vendor. “It was faster to have a turnkey product,” explains Cornelia Bailey, user experience consultant for IT Services. Today, the mobile landscape and the university’s thinking have changed. The original product is now “not flexible enough” for the fast-evolving world of mobile technology. Instead, Bailey and her team decided to explore the possibility of going open source.

  • Semi-Open Source

    • Jaspersoft aims its open-source analytics suite at PaaS developers

      Open-source BI (business intelligence) vendor Jaspersoft wants its software to become another arrow in the quiver for developers using commercial PaaS (platform-as-a-service) offerings.

    • At the Intersection of Open Source and Cloud Computing, You’ll Find…Jobs

      As 2012 launches, some good news has rolled in on the employment front, but there are still many people looking for work. As noted in this post, it’s entirely possible to graduate with a technology-related degree but not end up offering in-demand skills to employers. Meanwhile, many tech workers with outdated skills are having to brush up on new skills. For prospective workers looking to differentiate themselves from the pack, new data shows that the intersection of open source and cloud computing can not only lead to a new job, but can lead to a job that will last.


    • In Which Eben Moglen Like, Legit Yells at Me for Having Facebook

      Yesterday afternoon, this reporter was scrambling to finish reporting a forward-looking story about how banks are exploring the possibility of using social media data to judge loan and credit applicants. My editor wanted a quote from a privacy advocate, so I immediately thought of Eben “Spying for Free” Moglen, a militant digital privacy advocate, founder of the uber-secure personal server FreedomBox, and the inspiration for the decentralized social network Diaspora. In hindsight, perhaps I should have just called Cory Doctorow.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • ‘Open-source’ robotic surgery platform going to top medical research labs

      SANTA CRUZ, CA–Robotics experts at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the University of Washington (UW) have completed a set of seven advanced robotic surgery systems for use by major medical research laboratories throughout the United States. After a round of final tests, five of the systems will be shipped to medical robotics researchers at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Nebraska, UC Berkeley, and UCLA, while the other two systems will remain at UC Santa Cruz and UW.

  • Programming

    • IBM updates EGL Web Developer Tools

      IBM has released an updated version of its Enterprise Generation Language (EGL) as part of its updated Eclipse EGL Web Developer Tools 0.7 (EWDT),. The open source EWDT is designed to simplify web application development using a combination of web services and JavaScript (Dojo and others). The development environment is of particular interest to businesses that are looking to migrate classical COBOL/RPG applications to current Java and JavaScript environments using solutions from the open source community.

  • Standards/Consortia/ODF/OOo

    • Open Document V1.2 OASIS Standard published

      The Open Document V1.2 OASIS Standard has now been published.

    • The Community Forum: New Year Status

      After 4 years of existence, the Community Forum has moved on the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) servers at the end of October 2011 (see details). Here are some figures about how we are doing on the English forum. We will try to make this kind of report on a monthly basis in the forum and perhaps quarterly on the blog.

    • Features for GraphicObjects and OLEObjects

      I just wanted to send some notes about added features which are part of AOO3.4 version. This one is actually the result of fixing tasks #118558#, #118485#, #108221# and #67705# which are all about GraphicObjects, OLEObjects (OLE means Object Linking and Embedding) and their geometrical attributes and properties. You may take a look at the tasks if you are interested in details, here I want to describe the benefits.

      GraphicObjects are used when you insert a picture (pixel and vector data) or convert something to it. They already supported the full attribute set, so line style, fill style, text and shadow are possible. Geometrically, they could be transformed widely, but could not be sheared. Because now the content of GraphicObjects is displayed using primitives (and these are fully transformable) it is possible to also use shear and thus now completely support all geometrical transformations used in the office.


  • M$ Shrinks

    The bottom line is that shipments of PCs (notebooks and desktops only) are about flat for 2011/2010, with just 1.6% growth. For Q4 only, there was a decline of 0.17%. Worse, for M$, USA, the most M$-friendly country on Earth, was off 6.7% for the quarter and 4.9% for the year. You know the USA, the country where people want to pay extra for words like “super-dooper” and such,

  • Security

    • Force firms to disclose data breaches, report urges
    • Go Daddy not liable for cybersquatting, US court rules

      Go Daddy was not liable for a form of trademark infringement when a system that the domain name registrar operates was used to redirect visitors from allegedly ‘cybersquatting’ web domain names to a pornographic website, a US court has ruled.

      Petronas, the national oil company of Malaysia, had argued that Go Daddy was in breach of US trademark law because it “used” the two domains to re-route visitors to the allegedly infringing sites to the pornography website through its servers in bad faith with the intent of profiting from its actions.

    • Microsoft kicks off 2012 with seven security bulletins

      The first Patch Tuesday for 2012 brings seven bulletins from Microsoft. One was held over from December, and only one of the seven is regarded as being critical.

  • Censorship

    • EU Commission Paves the Way for Privatized Net Censorship

      In a milestone strategy document on Internet policy, the EU Commission is getting ready to propose new repressive policies. With the upcoming consent vote on the anti-counterfeiting agreement ACTA and the revision of the “Intellectual Property Rights” Directive (IPRED), the controversial censorship schemes currently discussed in the United States will soon arrive in Europe.

    • Bulgarian police raid two filesharing web sites

      TWO BULGARIAN filesharing web sites have been raided by the country’s organised crime unit.

    • Holland moves to block the Pirate Bay

      INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS (ISPs) in the Netherlands must block access to the Pirate Bay website within ten days, following a court ruling.

      Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN demanded the ban, and the Court of The Hague approved it, so now two ISPs in Holland, Ziggo and XS4ALL have been ordered to block the web site.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Is internet access a human right?

      A recent United Nations Human Rights Council report examined the important question of whether internet access is a human right.

      While the Special Rapporteur’s conclusions are nuanced in respect of blocking sites or providing limited access, he is clear that restricting access completely will always be a breach of article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the right to freedom of expression.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Why The Movie Industry Can’t Innovate and the Result is SOPA

        This year the movie industry made $30 billion (1/3 in the U.S.) from box-office revenue.

        But the total movie industry revenue was $87 billion. Where did the other $57 billion come from?

        From sources that the studios at one time claimed would put them out of business: Pay-per view TV, cable and satellite channels, video rentals, DVD sales, online subscriptions and digital downloads.

      • Music Industry v. Ireland

        The long suffering Irish taxpayer will be delighted to learn that the music industry has joined the queue of those seeking a payout and yesterday issued a plenary summons against the State in the High Court for alleged failure to implement aspects of EU copyright law.

      • Is the Trans Pacific Partnership a re-writing of NAFTA? iPolitics Insight

        When Prime Minister Noda announced that Japan intended to join the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, a grim reality set in. Canada knew it needed to be at the table. This was decided even before President Obama invited Prime Minister Harper to join at the APEC Summit last November.

        Canada cannot allow Japan, its fourth most important merchandise export market, to become another Korea, with the US inside the tent enjoying discriminatory preferences and eroding Canada’s market position.

      • Response to Federal Register notice seeking comments regarding Canada’s interest in TPPA negotiations

        On December 7, 2011, USTR issued Federal Register Notice 76480-76481 requesting comments on “Canada’s Expression of Interest in the Proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement.” USTR issued similar requests for comments regarding Japan’s (Notice 76478-76479) and Mexico’s (Notice 76479-76480) expression of interest in the TPPA.

      • EMI Records launches action against State over anti-piracy order

        THE IRISH arm of multinational music group EMI has launched a High Court action against the State as part of its bid to stop the illegal downloading of music.

        The Government recently pledged to issue an order to allow copyright holders to compel internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to websites that they consider are engaged in piracy.

      • Anonymous will shut down to protest SOPA

        HACKTIVIST GROUP Anonymous will turn off its lights for twelve hours in protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the US.

        The hackers are following Reddit’s lead, and will join a communications blackout on 18 January that will begin at 8am and end at 8pm.

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