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01.16.12

Links 16/1/2012: Mandriva Deadline, Bada OS-Tizen Fusion

Posted in News Roundup at 12:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Kernel Grows Past 15 Million Lines of Code
    • LessFS Pairs De-Duplication With Snappy Compression

      Btrfs isn’t the only file-system to take advantage of Google’s Snappy compression as a speedy means of transparent file compression, but the LessFS file-system has also supported Snappy for the past few months. This open-source file-system also has de-duplication support.

    • Graphics Stack

      • VMware’s New Graphics Architecture Is Shaping Up

        VMware’s overhauled Linux graphics driver stack is shaping up and coming together nicely in time for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, which will allow for 2D/3D guest acceleration within virtualized guest machines.

        VMware’s graphics stack for use on their virtualization platform has been a long time coming. Back in 2009 they introduced their Gallium3D driver and the adjoining Linux kernel DRM, but up until now both have been considered experimental / staging and not built by default. With Mesa 8.0 and the Linux 3.2 kernel that has changed with both being considered stable and good enough for default use by its customers. Their mainline DRM driver also does kernel mode-setting for its virtual “SVGA II” graphics adapter.

      • DirectFB 1.6 Release Is Imminent With New Features

        DirectFB 1.6 is about to be released this month and it will bring new features to the Direct Frame-Buffer project.

        The DirectFB road-map for a while has long cited “The release of 1.6.0 is planned for end of January 2012.” Earlier this month on the mailing list it was then confirmed by Denis Oliver Kropp that the release is coming this month. “Correct, we’ve been too busy with other things, but this month we should see 1.6.0 :)”

      • Closer To Radeon H.264 VDPAU In Gallium3D

        On Sunday morning there were a number of video-related commits to Mesa for H.264 Gallium3D by AMD’s Christian König.

        While not yet a complete implementation, Christian König did land the H.264 infrastructure inside the VDPAU Gallium3D state tracker. This was only about 100 lines of code (commit) while several other commits pushed this morning also furthered the video support (commits by König).

      • Closer To Radeon H.264 VDPAU In Gallium3D

        On Sunday morning there were a number of video-related commits to Mesa for H.264 Gallium3D by AMD’s Christian König.

        While not yet a complete implementation, Christian König did land the H.264 infrastructure inside the VDPAU Gallium3D state tracker. This was only about 100 lines of code (commit) while several other commits pushed this morning also furthered the video support (commits by König).

      • Nouveau For Open-Source NVIDIA In Mesa 8.0 Is Mixed

        After looking last week at the ATI/AMD Radeon Gallium3D performance under Mesa 8.0 and comparing its performance to Mesa 7.11 and the closed-source AMD Catalyst driver, along with the LLVMpipe driver performance, we’re now focusing upon the Nouveau Gallium3D implementation that seeks to provide open-source NVIDIA hardware support. This comparison is pitting Nouveau in Mesa 8.0 against Mesa 7.11 and the official NVIDIA Linux driver.

      • In OpenCL Push, AMD Makes Progress With LLVM For Gallium3D

        On Sunday there was a new RFC patch-set by Tom Stellard of AMD with a new TGSI to LLVM conversion interface. The AMD R600 Gallium3D driver with its LLVM shader back-end was also updated, which is a prerequisite to OpenCL support.

        Sunday began by Christian König making progress with H.264 VDPAU support in Gallium3D, which is one of AMD’s top three priorities for their open-source Linux driver. Tom Stellard meanwhile has been working on one of the other priority projects: enabling OpenCL in the open-source driver.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Three Spins You May Not Have Heard Of

      Always on the lookout for something interesting I found three more esoteric spins of major distributions and set out to give them a quick test run.
      This was helped by a streak of bad luck recently which resulted in me suddenly having two partitions available.

      To give you a quick run down on the string of events, I set out to upgrade my Fedora 14 LXDE (i686) install I intended to use for gaming. There’s a well documented but unsupported procedure for Fedora called Preupgrade which allows to skip one release, in my part straight to F16. The software will then inspect your system, determine the packages that need to be upgraded, and download them into an archive that is installed at next reboot. You are warned that you need a wired connection if you just download the installer (Method 2), but that it’s ok to interrupt package download to resume at a later time. I did just that half way through to attend some business, but found out later that somehow even initiating the download of updates without installing them had already corrupted or removed wireless drivers.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva: The ides of January are come

        So, today is January 15. Tomorrow, we will know if Mandriva Linux, a distro that has been around since 1998, is gone. One can but find a resemblance between this date and the prophecy that the soothsayer gave to Julius Caesar in Shakespeare’s tragedy.

    • Debian Family

      • Raphael Hertzog’s Debian Squeeze discs are well worth the money

        I’ve burned hundreds of Linux and BSD discs since I figured out what to do with an ISO sometime in late 2006/early 2007. I’ve saved many and gotten rid of many as well.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Interview with Quackers
          • My Unity 5.0 Experience

            Unity has improved a lot recently. I feel that I can continue using it if it’s memory consumption stays under control. I’m testing it on Ubuntu 12.04 which is currently in an early pre-release state. Unity crashed twice while writing this blog entry so I hope it’s just some underlying bugs that will be solved by the time Ubuntu 12.04 hits release.

            As for deploying it at client sites, I don’t think I could recommend that until it’s memory issues are resolved. Losing 1GB of RAM is a lot. Simple day to day tasks should be more intuitive (finding recent docs, accessing menus, accessing what used to be known as ‘Places’, etc), and it would help a lot if the Dash home were customisable (I couldn’t find a way to do it from within Unity or anything about it in the documentation). The Gnome 3 Fallback session is very solid and very familiar and I think I’ll continue to recommend it for the typical user desktop. At the rate that Unity is improving though, that might soon change.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Peppermint OS Two Review

              Peppermint OS is a distribution that is based on LUbuntu 11.04 (LXDE Desktop) and is geared to use more cloud applications. It’s sleek and simple desktop reminds us that a desktop doesn’t have to be cluttered to be useful.

              Peppermint can still allows you to add applications like any other distribution and note that it can easily be used on older machines.

              The software that is found on Peppermint OS has been carefully selected to make sure that resources are not over-utilized causing your system to slow down. Granted that this distribution is geared more towards cloud use, broadband internet would be of the utmost importance.

            • Following the unique way of Trisquel

              Trisquel is a GNU/Linux distribution with geographical roots in Spain. The project started off as localization of Linux for the Galician language, and later became more than just a local Linux distribution.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-Based EverSense, A Smart Thermostat

      Allure Energy has been turning the temperature up at CES 2012, with it’s new Linux-based EverSense, a tablet/ thermostat. Or as the company like to call it, “A home environment and energy management product.”

    • Phones

      • Samsung Sacrifices Bada To Make Linux OS Great

        Samsung has announced it plans on fusing its home-grown Bada operating system into the Linux based Tizen.

      • Samsung Planning To Merge Bada OS With Tizen
      • Samsung merging bada with Tizen for smartphone push

        Samsung has announced plans to merge its homegrown bada smartphone platform with open-source Tizen, a collaborative OS integrating Nokia-reject MeeGo, with the first Samsung Tizen devices tipped for release this year. ”We have an effort that will merge bada and Tizen” Tae-Jin Kang, Senior Vice President of Samsung’s Contents Planning Team told Forbes at CES 2012 last week. Tizen will show up on “at least one to two” Samsung phones in 2012, Kang confirmed; earlier this month, details leaked on the Samsung I9500, believed to run the new platform.

      • Android

        • A Final Goodbye to Nokia and a Hello to Android

          Just a little over a year ago, I detailed why I opted for Nokia’s Maemo powered N900 instead of an Android device. To be precise, I purchased my Nokia N900 on the 4th of Jan 2011, and wow, what an excitement it was to hold such an incredible device. A full blown, Debian based GNU/Linux OS in my pocket.

          However, it was not long to be before the groundbreaking, expertly leaked burning platform memo to Engadget and the subsequent Elopcalypse of Feb 11 2011. For long time Nokia loyalists like yours truly, it was like a dream shattered. We’d always dreamed of having MeeGo as the third force in a fiercely competitive arena dominated by the two tech giants of North America: Google with their Android offering and Apple with iOS.

          But the all knowing Nokia board knew better. To salvage Nokia from its not so desperate situation, they had to bring in a former Microsoft employee to head a company that was at the forefront of pushing GNU/Linux to millions of people around the world. And as was expected, the inevitable happened: the bringing to its knees of one of the most powerful and recognized technology companies on Earth.

        • My favourite Android applications: Part 2
        • Intel’s Medfield series processor debuts on the Lenovo K800

          Intel has been trying to get into the smartphone segment for a long time now but they have finally managed to do it with the Lenovo K800, which will be the first smartphone to hit the market running on Intel’s 32nm Medfield platform.

        • HTC Explorer budget smartphone

          The latest from startlingly prolific smart phone manufacturer HTC won’t be top of the list for mobile aficionados. It’s a basic entry-level Android with middling specs though these are still probably a cut above its bog-standard price. But for smartphone newbies, what it offers may prove to be more than enough.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Indian Government May Ditch Aakash Tablet

        The foot in the mouth minister Kapil Sibal who bear the credit of launching half baked products and call for Internet censorship may pull plugs off yet another of his projects — this time its Android based Aakash Tablet.

        According to reports India’s Union human resource development (HRD) ministry may not extend the letter of credit (LC) to DataWind, the maker of Aakash.

      • USB 3.0 Is Coming to Smartphones and Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source writing tools

    There has been an impressive change in tools and techniques which writers can use for the good. It is easy to locate one (or more) for individual needs. Whether it is writing a novel, graphics applications or tutorials, these writing tools can serve multipurpose. Writing skills can gain unmatched dimensions on integrating with these advanced techniques. Your love for writing can potentially experience a boost by adapting with the modern applications. You can search one and get many on the internet.

  • AURA Launches Alternative PHP Server Stack for IBM i

    AURA Equipments today launched iAMP Server, a free collection of software for running PHP workloads on the IBM i server. iAMP is composed of binaries for several products, including PHP, the standard Apache Web server, and the MySQL database. AURA says it developed iAMP, which runs primarily in the PASE AIX runtime, to provide IBM i shops with a standards-based alternative to Zend Technologies’ PHP solutions for the platform.

  • MathJax for mathematics, an open source that works in all modern browsers

    “MathJax is an open source JavaScript display engine for mathematics that works in all modern browsers. No more setup for readers. No more browser plugins. No more font installations… It just works.”

  • Events

    • FOSDEM 2012, Hardware Security and Cryptography, Call for Papers

      This is a call for talks and presentations that will take place in the Security devroom at FOSDEM 2012. Do you develop software that can do HTTPS queries? Can it use keys and certificates on a smart card? Does your service use RSA keys for signing? Can it work with hardware keys? Are you interested in protecting your private keys like Three Letter Organizations or do you want to roll your own proper PKI with a smaller than five or six digit budget? How can we make cryptographic hardware Just Work with any application that uses crypto? The devroom is the place to share experiences and learn.

  • SaaS

  • Semi-Open Source

    • Jaspersoft drives open source analytics

      Jaspersoft says it is working closely with Red Hat to leverage its cloud application life cycle management tools. Jaspersoft’s reporting capabilities can be deployed on-premises, as well as public, private, or in a hybrid cloud environment.

  • BSD

  • Project Releases

    • Skrooge 1.2.0 gains new features

      Version 1.2.0 of the open source Skrooge personal finance manager has been released. The new version includes updates to the Search & Process plugin and adds the ability to Import & Export of non-local files.

Leftovers

  • Has Microsoft Word affected the way we work?

    But has word processing changed the way we write? There have been lots of inconclusive or unconvincing studies of how the technology has affected, say, the quality of student essays – how it facilitates plagiarism. The most interesting academic study I looked at found that writers using computers “spent more time on a first draft and less on finalising a text, pursued a more fragmentary writing process, tended to revise more extensively at the beginning of the writing process, attended more to lower linguistic levels [letter, word] and formal properties of the text, and did not normally undertake any systematic revision of their work before finishing”.

    My hunch is that using a word processor makes writing more like sculpting in clay. Because it’s so easy to revise, one begins by hacking out a rough draft which is then iteratively reshaped – cutting bits out here, adding bits there, gradually licking the thing into some kind of shape.

  • ISC seeks wider input for BIND 10

    The Internet Systems Consortium is looking for a few more good programmers to bring the next generation of its open source BIND DNS server software to fruition.

    “The goal is to move away from having BIND a heavily sponsored corporate product,” said Shane Kerr, ISC’s BIND 10 engineering manager. “ISC will always maintain ownership of the code, but we would like there to be more of a community around it.”

  • Security

    • Malicious Software Attacks Security Cards Used by Pentagon

      Chinese hackers have deployed a new cyber weapon that is aimed at the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and potentially a number of other United States government agencies and businesses, security researchers say.

  • Finance

    • Greenspan’s Laissez Fairy Tale

      We continue to witness remarkable developments in the intersection of the related fields of economics, finance, ethics, law, and regulation. Each of these five fields ignores a sixth related field – white-collar criminology. The six fields share a renewed interest in trust. The key questions are why we trust (some) others, when that trust is well-placed, and when that trust is harmful. Only white-collar criminologists study and write extensively about the last question. The primary answer that the five fields give to the first question is reputation. The five fields almost invariably see reputation as positive and singular. This is dangerously naïve. Criminals often find it desirable to develop multiple, complex reputations and the best way for many CEOs to develop a sterling reputation is to lead a control fraud. Those are subjects for future columns.

    • Farewell, lost AAA

      It is official. Two months and a half after I claimed all these “last chance” european summits would amount to nothing really important and would not change the course of the present events, France lost its “sacred” triple A ratings. Given that many people explained how unreliable these rating agencies are -after all the very same agencies did claim Greece had solid finances and Goldman Sachs was doing things right four years ago- it should not be a serious thing. Yet, the consequences of the loss of the AAA rating will be real, and will probably have a snowballing effect in Europe (another one).

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Scott Walker’s Texas Rangers

      It has been a tough holiday season for Scott Walker. The state lost 14,600 jobs in November and a new government report indicates that Wisconsin leads the nation in killing public sector jobs. A November poll has support for the recall of the governor at 58 percent, up from 47 percent in the spring, and next week Wisconsin residents are preparing to file over 500,000 recall petitions to trigger a gubernatorial recall. Is it any wonder that Wisconsin’s governor decided to fly to Texas to find a friendlier crowd?

    • Emotional news framing affects public response to crises

      When organizational crises occur, such as plane crashes or automobile recalls, public relations practitioners develop strategies for substantive action and effective communication. Now, University of Missouri researchers have found that the way in which news coverage of a crisis is framed affects the public’s emotional response toward the company involved.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Canadian content doing just fine without regulator — on the Internet

      Even without a leg-up from regulators, Canadian content is just as likely to be watched as American programming — online, anyway.

      Despite not being held to the same “Cancon” carriage rules as traditional broadcasters, YouTube reports that Canadian videos are being sought-out and viewed at a rate roughly on par with those originating in the U.S. And the sheer amount of content is staggering.

      Analysts say there are so many uploads from this country, it would take half a lifetime to watch just one year’s worth — and that’s if you never left the computer to sleep. Annually, in fact, they calculate that the site features more original Canadian content than has ever been broadcast during prime time on CBC (English and French) and CTV combined.

    • Complaints about online traffic delays accelerating, says CRTC

      Complaints against Internet providers deliberately slowing down online traffic are way up in Canada, according to the telecommunications regulator.

      Fifty-two complaints have been filed since last fall, when the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission issued a public reminder to Internet service providers about the rules on controlling the flow of traffic on their networks.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • White House To Oppose SOPA

        The White House has responded to the petition agains ant-freedom bills SOPA, PIPA and OPEN (Online Protection and Digital ENforcement Act).

      • SOPA Will Ultimately Be Our Fault

        As was the DMCA

        As was The Patriot Act

        As was The NDAA.

        And so it will be for SOPA/PIPA.

      • Copyright Wars escalate: Britain to extradite student to US over link site

        Richard O’Dwyer, the 23-year-old British college student who operated the TVShack link site, can be extradited to the United States, ruled Judge Quentin Purdy of the Westminster Magistrates Court today. O’Dwyer’s attorney says he will appeal the ruling.

      • Big Content: the frenemy of consumer electronics makers

        A trip to CES is a combination of candy store window shopping and a trip to some nightmarish, dystopian future with thirteen-dollar-an-hour WiFi. Beneath all of the shiny gadgets, desperate marketing pitches, bizarre keynotes and sleep deprivation, there were a number of themes emerging at CES as the manufacturers of all these shiny toys tried to latch onto something to pull themselves out of the doldrums that hung over the last year. One was the lengths device-makers will go to for content; another was the anointment of “cloud” as a critical feature check-box.

      • Libraries are the best counter to piracy
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