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Links 17/1/2012: SOPA Action, Android at the NSA

Posted in News Roundup at 6:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Quarterly LQ [Linux Questions] Zero Reply Drive

    One of the main goals of LQ is to help members get questions about Linux answered. One way we help facilitate this is with the “Zero Reply” functionality, which allows you to easily find threads with no replies.

  • Desktop

    • Free Windows Tool Offers a One-Stop Shop for Linux

      Windows users have many reasons for wanting to download and check out the Linux operating system, whether it’s to get a more secure environment to use for online banking, for example, or to get a full-blown Windows replacement.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Microsoft’s ReFS File-System: Competitor To Btrfs?

      Microsoft has released extensive details on their next-generation ReFS file-system to be introduced with Windows Server 8. How though does the file-system compare to Btrfs and the Linux file-systems?

      Unlike Microsoft’s exFAT file-system that’s designed just for flash memory cards and external storage mediums, ReFS is designed to be a real successor to Microsoft’s aging NTFS file-system that’s been widespread since the Windows 2000/XP days. ReFS is short for a Resilient File System and will be introduced as a production-ready file-system with Windows Server 8. The non-server Windows 8 won’t have ReFS support, but per typical Microsoft fashion, will come to the consumer operating system variants at a later date.

    • Intel Has 50 Patches For ACPI/Power In Linux 3.3

      The fun for the Linux 3.3 kernel merge window is not over quite yet; Intel this morning published 50 patches for integration into this next Linux kernel that affect ACPI and power management, primarily around ACPI 5.0 support for the Linux kernel.

    • Graphics Stack

      • VA-API Video Acceleration On Intel Medfield

        It turns out that Intel’s recently-launched Medfield SoC for tablets and smart-phones will support VA-API for video acceleration.

      • Cogl, Clutter, Cogland Get It On With Wayland

        With the next GNOME 3.4 development release due out on Wednesday, several GNOME3 packages are being checked-in for release. In this latest round of updates, Clutter and Cogl have both been updated again to take better advantage of the Wayland Display Server.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • The Fragmentation of the Linux Desktop

      As recently as a year ago, the Linux desktop was easy to describe. GNOME and KDE dominated, both offered an ecosystem of applications, and neither much different from Windows and OS X in their goals or design. Xfce was a distant third, with other desktop environments trailing even further behind.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • WIP: Plasma Active Handbook

        The Book is written in Docbook 4.5 (XML) and uses XSLT/FO for producing the book. The book started in german, so the most is done in the german part of the book. Today i’ve added all Topics from the german book to the english one. This Plasma Active Documentation is created and driven by open-slx.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Decrappify GNOME3 Powermanagement

        GNOME3 has actually become quite usable, but I was really annoiyed by the inability to disable actions on “critical low battery” (Additionally, there is no way to define what “critical low battery” is and with a big battery I assume this might well mean that you cannot use the machine anymore even though there is half an hour of juice left). Add to that bnc#738782 which leaves my screen unlocked after suspend and I decided it was time to use someting sane — like xfce4-power-manager — instead.

      • MATE Desktop

        The other day on the #opensuse-gnome IRC channel there was a debate about the MATE Desktop and openSUSE. While I like GNOME3, I still feel more comfortable with GNOME2 and this “MATE Desktop” is somehow interesting. Mariusz Fik, a Polish contributor for openSUSE is most likely taking the lead on this project, for which I’ve decided to give some help with the packaging.

  • Distributions

    • Aligning Linux Distributions with Presidential Hopefuls

      Most politicians probably don’t use Linux. After all, some of them have barely figured out computers at all. But since the American presidential campaigning season is once again upon us, I’ve been wondering to myself lately: If the candidates did run Linux, which distribution would they choose? At the risk of offending various groups of people, here are my answers, for better or for worse.

      To be clear, and to temper some of the passionately loathsome comments that a post like this might inspire, I’ll preface these thoughts with an assurance that they are not intended as an endorsement of any candidate, party or ideology. Personally, I’d like to resurrect Rousseau’s state of nature, if only I thought it could endure. And there would be no Linux there, since everyone would be running around the forest. But that’s neither here nor there.

    • BackBox Linux 2.01 review – turning heads in the pen testing scene

      A relative newcomer to the forensic and penetration testing live CD scene, Italian project BackBox is already turning heads as it hits version 2.01. Gareth Halfacree explains why…

    • ArtistX 1.2 Released

      After nearly ten years of development and more than ten versions, the ArtistX 1.2 multimedia studio on a DVD is finally released. It’s an Ubuntu 11.10-based live DVD that turns a common computer into a full multimedia production studio.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Is Ubuntu trying to act like Google?

            But Ubuntu the brand, and Canonical as a company, is seriously confusing to me. What exactly is it there for, outside of being the backing for the Ubuntu distro? Apparently they provide some sort of “enterprise consulting” and training. Apparently you can also buy support from Canonical as a regular consumer (just found this out on their website) for just over $100 (American). And of course there’s the deal with Dell (and others?) to act as an OEM for a few computer models. So they do have a business, but I don’t see how they have a profitable one.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • We’re auctioning ten beta Raspberry Pis!
    • Phones

      • Android

        • INSIDE Secure Introduces Open NFC Stack for Google Android 4.0

          “The Ice Cream Sandwich release brings even greater NFC functionality to the Android operating system, and INSIDE is making our latest version of Open NFC available to give connectivity chip vendors, smartphone and tablet manufacturers and software developers a head start in achieving NFC hardware independence,” said Charles Walton, COO for INSIDE Secure. “Once again, INSIDE is offering the Android community a complete, open-source NFC stack solution that can be used to greatly speed development and time to market, requiring only that the small hardware abstraction layer (HAL) portion be tailored for specific hardware.”

        • Galaxy Nexus: A Dazzling Phone With an Enormous Appetite

          The Samsung Galaxy Nexus features an impressive screen, a nice camera and the latest and greatest version of Android — Ice Cream Sandwich. Its voice control option is no Siri, but it gets the job done. However, the phone seems to guzzle power, significantly depleting the battery in just a few hours of moderate use.

        • Android variant Cyanogenmod passes one million installs

          Yesterday Koushik Dutta, a member of the Cyanogenmod team, announced that the distribution had reached the one million installs milestone. Cyanogenmod is a community led distribution based on Google’s Android known for supporting many smartphones and tablets.

          According to Cyanogenmod’s statistics, just under 24 per cent of Cyanogenmod users run 7.1. While detractors claim that Android is fragmented between several different vendors, Cyanogenmod’s statistics show that the vast majority of its users run Cyanogenmod 7.0 or above, near the latest bleeding edge of Android.

        • NSA releases ultra-secure open source Android derivative
        • NSA Releases a Security-enhanced Version of Android
        • Workforce mobility driving growth in global handheld device market

          Mobile, handheld computers are changing the way people do business. A new report from GIA says that open source operating systems such as Google’s Android are expected to dominate the market going forward, while single-source systems such as Apple’s iOS and RIM are going to lose market share.

        • Android Ice Cream Sandwich gets free NFC stack

          Inside Secure SA, a fabless supplier of near field communications (NFC) chips, has announced a free, open-source NFC protocol stack that it has made available for version 4.0 of the Google Android platform that is otherwise known as Ice Cream Sandwich.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Introducing Ubuntu Secured Remix 11.10

        Softpedia is proud to introduce today a new Linux operating system based on the popular Ubuntu distribution, Ubuntu Secured Remix.

        Ubuntu Secured Remix 11.10 is actually based on the Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) operating system and is a slightly modified version of the Ubuntu Desktop Live CD.

Free Software/Open Source

  • INSIDE Secure Introduces Open NFC Stack for Google Android 4.0
  • Release of OpenNebula 3.2 for Data Center Virtualization and Private Cloud Computing

    The OpenNebula Project is proud to announce the release of a new stable version of its widely deployed open-source management platform for enterprise data center virtualization. OpenNebula 3.2 is the first stable distribution produced by OpenNebula’s new release cycle aimed at faster delivery of new features and innovations to the community, based on their requirements and feedback, while also increasing technical quality.

  • Take a decision to enter FOSS in 2012

    So, the year changed again and with it come quite often new decisions. Some swear to work out the superfluous kilos, pounds, or whatever standardized measure your country uses, gained too fast during the festivals. If it is your decision, it is for sure good for your body and I wish you success that goes beyond the act of subscribing to a local gym (and never appearing there after first month).

    But this could be also a nice time to take a decision that you were procrastinating with for too long. That one is good for your intellect and programming skills (even though you don’t consider yourself a programmer yet). What about starting to contribute to a Free and Open Source Software project (FOSS)?

  • Big Switch Networks Intros Open-Source OpenFlow Controller

    Big Switch Networks, a new vendor in the nascent, but growing field of OpenFlow-based networking, has introduced an open source controller for companies that want to build applications on top of the controller in an environment where the network intelligence is in the software-based controller rather than in the physical hardware of routers and switches. Big Switch, which also has a commercial controller offering in beta release, said it is offering the open source controller, called Floodlight, to stimulate development on the OpenFlow protocol.

  • Events

    • Playing games, going UpSCALE at SCALE 10X

      The Southern California Linux Expo SCALE 10X is putting the final touches on the first-of-the-year Linux expo in North America. Games? SCALE has them, as well as classes at SCALE U and the rapid-fire UpSCALE talks and more.

    • Looking forward to FOSDEM
    • Keynote Q-and-A: Selena Deckelmann
    • Speaker Q-and-A: Alison Chaiken

      A: My name is Alison Chaiken. For years I worked on cool technologies in the area of device physics and BioMEMS, but the projects I worked on always ended in cancellation and opportunities were diminishing. I’ve used Unix and Linux for almost 30 years on my personal systems. When the original Bug and Gumstix came out, suddenly I had the epiphany that by I could convert my hobby into a career with more positive impact on the world.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Nuxeo Opens U.S. Headquarters in NYC

        Nuxeo, the provider of an open source content management platform for business applications, today announced the opening of its U.S. headquarters in New York City. The company initially expanded into the United States in 2009, and already has offices in Boston and Silicon Valley.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 9.0 Delivers More Power to Serve

      One of the oldest open source operating systems is getting a new release. FreeBSD 9.0 was officially released this week, providing users with a boost in performance and capabilities over the FreeBSD 8.0 branch that was released in 2009.

    • FreeBSD 9 release updates ZFS support

      OPEN SOURCE OPERATING SYSTEM FreeBSD has released FreeBSD 9.0, almost a year after its previous release, updating ZFS to pool version 28.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • What makes a city open source?

      What qualities make a city open source? Is it technology, government policies, or businesses? No. It’s the mindset of the people. It’s the philosophy and the culture.

      About a year ago, I started trying to define an open source city. I’m very interested in seeing my own city (Raleigh, NC) become a hub for open source and a leader in open government. With Red Hat’s announcement to stay headquartered in Raleigh earlier this month, the City of Raleigh appears poised to “establish a growing ecosystem of partners and providers around the open source leader and to bolster Raleigh’s reputation as a leading open source community.”

    • Open Data

      • Google IP addresses link Indian contractor to vandalism of Open Street Map

        Someone hiding behind a range of Google IP addresses in India has been up to no good. Allegedly, the person or persons behind the range of Google IPs have been accessing the open-source map project called Open Street Map and using tools there to vandalize maps of major cities. The vandalism has included things that could get some users of the map into danger.

      • Google Contractor Caught Mucking Up Competing Open Street Maps

        Late last week, a story broke about how a Google contractor was apparently scraping info from a Kenyan crowd-sourced phone directory, Mocality, and then calling businesses pretending that there was a joint Google-Mocality venture for which businesses had to pay. Google responded that it was “mortified” by these actions, and are investigating them. However, ReadWriteWeb, is now reporting that the very same contractor has now been called out for vandalizing Open Street Maps, the more open alternative to Google Maps that has been getting a lot more attention lately. It appears the vandalism was deliberate, doing things that are hard to spot — like reversing the direction on one-way streets.

      • Google accused of vandalising OpenStreetMap

        Google has once again been accused of underhand business tactics, this time by OpenStreetMap. The not-for-profit organisation published a light-on-detail blog post alleging that Mountain View was “moving and abusing” the mapping outfit’s data.

        However the very same post appears to have been completely debunked by an OSM sysadmin, who claims to have first uncovered the issue.

    • Open Hardware

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

        “We decided to follow an open-source model, because if all of these labs have a common research platform for doing robotic surgery, the whole field will be able to advance more quickly,” said Jacob Rosen, associate professor of computer engineering in the Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz and principal investigator on the project.

  • Programming

    • The Danger of Day-Tight Compartments

      What I was really happy about, however, was the Microchip MPLAB X, which runs nicely under my OS of choice, Linux. I promised that this week I’d show you a little bit about MPLAB X under Linux, and I’m as good as my word.

      The IDE is based on Netbeans (see the Figure) which is, of course, a Java program so it isn’t too surprising that it runs well under Linux. Netbeans is on par with other modern development environments — it interfaces with bug trackers, version control, and additional tools you expect to use while writing software.

    • new ruby RPM bindings
    • The FOR looping statement. A semantic compiler plugin


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