01.18.12

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Links 18/1/2012: Btrfs In Linux 3.3, Oxygen-gtk3 1.0, Woz Says Android Better Than hypePhone

Posted in News Roundup at 6:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux should copy Apple on user rapport

    The Linux operating system and other open software projects are under threat because they’ve failed to develop the sympathy for users manifested by companies such as Apple, according to luminary Bruce Perens.

    Perens created the Open Source Definition and was founder or co-founder of projects including the Open Source Initiative and the Linux Standard Base, to name just two.

    In his keynote address to the Linux.conf.au (LCA) 2012 conference in Ballarat yesterday he delivered a blunt warning.

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux for the ‘Longterm

      The Linux 3.0.y kernel has been deemed to be the new longterm kernel support release. Kernel Developer Greg Kroah-Hartman has pledged to maintain the 3.0.y branch for at least the next two years. The first Linux 3.0 kernel was released in July 2011. Since then, it has been updated 17 times, with the most recent release being the 3.0.17 kernel that Kroah-Hartman released on January 12.

    • Are Your Linux Skills Right for HPC Jobs?

      Do you have what it takes for that Linux job with an HPC vendor you’ve got your eye on? Brent Welch, the director of software architecture at Panasas, talks about the role Linux plays in HPC at Panasas and the in-demand technical skills supercomputing suppliers need from job applicants.

      Last year, Panasas, a provider of high performance parallel storage solutions for technical applications and big data workloads, moved into new corporate headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, and expanded its team by more than 50 percent in areas such as engineering and sales. Panasas hasn’t been the only supercomputing-focused company growing and hiring recently. In fact, high performance computing (HPC) vendors across the industry are hiring, but they are running up against a shortage of skilled talent.

    • Btrfs In Linux 3.3 Brings Reworked Balance Code

      On the same day as talking about Microsoft’s new Resilient File System, the pull request for Btrfs in the Linux 3.3 kernel was sent in and subsequently pulled. This file-system update does bring a few notable changes.

      Btrfs with Google Snappy compression support didn’t make it for Linux 3.3 (it was a last-minute request and there’s at least LZO and Gzip file-system compression already available), but there are some notable changes. However, the 3.3 changes also aren’t as noticeable as the beefy Btrfs changes found in Linux 3.2.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Oxygen-gtk3 1.0 is out

      The first release of KDE’s Oxygen widget theme, ported to GTK 3.X applications, has been uploaded to kde ftp servers on Tuesday January 17 2012 and is available for download here. It is called oxygen-gtk3.

      This release is still experimental, notably due to the small amount of GTK 3 applications it has been tested on. Still, since snapshots of the running git repository were already being circulated around for some time, we deemed it appropriate to release the current code, if only because it would make book-keeping and bug tracking easier. Also, we expect rapid progress as bug reports are being filled by users.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Delays Bankruptcy Decision

        In a short post today Jean-Manuel Croset said that recent events have lead the failing company to postpone any final decisions for a week. Earlier this month a letter to shareholders stated that Mandriva would have to close its doors by January 16 without an influx of capital.

        January 16 came and went without word while anxious users paced the floors over at the Mandriva Forums. Then earlier today Croset published his post. Unfortunately, it’s a little short on detail.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 248
          • Improving Battery Life in Ubuntu Precise 12.04 LTS

            art of my focus this cycle is to see where we can make power saving improvements for Ubuntu Precise 12.04 LTS. There has been a lot of anecdotal evidence of specific machines or power saving features behaving poorly over the past few cycles. So, armed with a 6.5 digit precision multimeter from Fluke I’ve been measuring the power consumption on various laptops in different test scenarios to try and answer some outstanding questions:

            * Is it safe to enable Matthew Garrett’s PCIe ASPM fix?
            * Are the power savings suggested by PowerTop useful and can we reliably enabled any of these in pm-utils?
            * How accurate are the ACPI battery readings to estimate power consumption?
            * Do the existing pm-utils power.d scripts still make sense?
            * Which is better for power saving: i386, i386-pae or amd64?
            * How much power does the laptop backlight really use?
            * Does halving the mouse input rate really save that much more power?
            * Should we re-enable Aggressive Link Power Management (ALPM)?
            * Are there any misbehaving applications that are consuming too much power?
            * What are the root causes of HDD wake-ups
            * Which applications and daemons are creating unnecessary wake events?
            * How much does the MSR_IA32_ENERGY_PERF_BIAS save us?

          • Flavours and Variants

            • ZevenOS – Does it recapture the flavor of BeOS?

              BeOS was a much loved and highly advanced desktop operating system that ceased active development in 2001. ZevenOS is a Ubuntu 11.10 based system (with a bit of help from Xubuntu) that attempts to recapture some of the BeOS look and feel.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-ready multitouch PC has huge 65-inch screen, quad-core CPU

      Ideum announced a “multitouch wall” that responds to as many as 32 simultaneous touches and will support Linux in March. The MT65 Presenter has a 65-inch screen with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, a 2.2GHz Core i7-2720QM processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD (solid state disk), and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 graphics card, according to the company.

    • Pushing the Limits of Price on Small Cheap Computers

      A system suitable for embedded, educational and R&D applications has been developed based on ARM and minimal hardware (no PSU) for $15, about the price of a box of copy-paper. The idea is to have a complete stack from circuit-board layout, CPU and OS completely open and produced by cooperation with Free Software proponents and Chinese hardware design and production.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Woz admits Android does things better than iPhone

          Although he still carries the iPhone 4S as his main handset, Steve concedes that Android is making serious headway over Apple.

        • Motorola DROID 3 Now $99

          With the announcement of the Motorola Droid 4 Verizon’s looking to push its predecessor off of store shelves and quickly. They’re now offering the 3G-only Motorola DROID 3 for just $99. It’s a decent deal for a great phone if you don’t care for 4G.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Who can afford Open Source?

    The reason why I asked Francesco permission to publish his outburst is to stimulate the whole FOSS community to share thoughts and experiences on this topic, to find out how general the problem he signals is in 2012. Personally, I still remember hearing, during a Linux Day in Rome almost ten years ago, somebody commenting a talk about the FOSS used in, and developed by, the Bank of Italy asking to himself: “so, in order to develop FOSS you must belong to a big organization?”

    What do you think? Do you agree with Francesco? What is your experience in similar cases? How general is Francesco’s conclusion? Besides, do you too, think that current FOSS products for schol management lack usability?

  • LCA2012: Bruce Perens Says Open Source Needs To Do More

    Wearing a suit when the rest of the 500-strong lecture theatre were dressed in shorts, jandals, and old conference T Shirts, Bruce Perens introduced himself by announcing his clothes as a lesson: Linux needs to be more outward facing.

  • Open source needed to save democracy

    Open-source software developers face greater risks today than they ever have, to the point where the constraints inherent in proprietary software now represent a risk to democracy, according to one of the movement’s leading figures.

  • Tilde-D Detection Focuses on Coding Anomalies

    An open-source tool from the Laboratory of Cryptography and System Security hunts for Duqu using telltale signs left behind by the Tilde-D creation toolkit.

  • Digital Delights – THe French, Open Source And Five Strips

    SourceDelight: The Droid Comic Viewer for Android systems that reads CBR & CBZ files has gone “open source” after its millionth download, to improve the software.

  • Web Browsers

    • Pushing the 3D Boundaries in WebKit with CSS 3D and Three.js

      Sometimes, you need to see what a technology can do before you can fully appreciate it. Take, for instance, CSS 3D and Three.js. It’s one thing to hear about doing 3D elements for Web sites, and another to see them integrated into a well-designed site. Take, for example, Steven Wittens’ Acko.net redesign.

    • Mozilla

  • Databases

    • Making the transition from RDBMS to Hadoop

      If your organization seems to be a good fit for Hadoop, you can download the open source software that comprises the data framework and try it out with relative ease.

  • BSD

    • Linux lovers should try FreeBSD for stable systems

      Say the words “free and open source operating system”, and Linux is probably what springs to most people’s minds.

      What many don’t even realise, however, is that there’s another free and open source operating system out there that’s also based on Unix and that’s also widely used on servers around the world. It’s called FreeBSD, and a brand new version of the software was just released on Thursday.

  • Public Services/Government

    • With Code.Nasa.Gov, Agency Steps Up Hunt for Its Open-Source Software Projects

      The Kepler space observatory slowly trails further and further behind the Earth as it orbits the Sun, scanning a sliver of the galaxy in search of Earth-like planets. A specially designed telescope, 0.95 meters in diameter, the Kepler instrument, per NASA, “stares at the same star field for the entire mission and continuously and simultaneously monitors the brightnesses of more than 100,000 stars for the life of the mission—3.5 or more years.”

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Google to Murdoch- This is just nonsense

    Well, Google has fired back and called the accusations “nonsense.”

    “This is just nonsense,” wrote a Google spokeswoman. “Last year we took down 5 million infringing Web pages from our search results and invested more than $60 million in the fight against bad ads…We fight pirates and counterfeiters every day.”

  • Myths and Realities of IT
  • Security

    • Apache Tomcat developers advise updates to avoid DoS

      The Apache Tomcat developers are advising users of the 7.0.x, 6.0.x and 5.5.x branches of the Java servlet and JSP container to update to the latest released versions 7.0.23, 6.0.35 and 5.5.35. Recent investigations revealed inefficiencies in how large numbers of parameters and parameter values were handled by Tomcat.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Commission seizes power to adopt certain measures blink-blink

      I have no idea what that is about, but it seems important. And in fact it is, the amendments concern “delegated acts”, where the Commission could take regulatory action without prior consultation of the legislator. We really should really look up Article 270 of the Lisbon Treaty regime…

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Lamar Smith & Bosses Call Wikipedia Blackout As Stunt
      • Wikipedia blackout tries to show SOPA is “unconstitutional’ and ‘dangerous’
      • Tell the EU regulator about your Internet restrictions!
      • This Site Has Been Shut Down Due To Possible Copyright Infringement
      • Who, besides Wikipedia, is going dark and why

        There is nothing wrong with your Internet. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. The reason you won’t be able to use Wikipedia, Reddit, or numerous other Web sites on January 18th is that these Web sites have decided to protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA).

      • Wikipedia, Other Sites to Protest Anti-Piracy Bills with Blackouts

        Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is warning students to do their online research before midnight Wednesday when the world’s largest online encyclopedia will block access to its English language site for 24 hours. Wikipedia’s worldwide blackout to its English-language site is part of a larger online protest against the Stop Online Piracy and Protect IP acts being considered by Congress.

      • Google to join Wednesday’s anti-SOPA protest

        Google will join Wednesday’s anti-SOPA and anti–PROTECT IP Act (aka PIPA) protest by noting its opposition to the bills on its home page.

        “Like many businesses, entrepreneurs and web users, we oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking American companies to censor the internet,” a Google spokeswoman told The Reg in an email. “So tomorrow we will be joining many other tech companies to highlight this issue on our US home page.”

      • January 18 captured: A SOPA blackout gallery

        I’ll be updating this post throughout the day with more images of sites that have joined the SOPA blackout. Leave a comment with any site you’d like to be added to the gallery, which will remain here after the blackout is over.

      • Google Goes Big With Its SOPA/PIPA Protests; Blacks Out Logo
      • Why Canadians Should Participate in the SOPA/PIPA Protest

        Some of the Internet’s leading websites, including Wikipedia, Reddit, Mozilla, WordPress, and BoingBoing, will go dark tomorrow to protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). The U.S. bills have generated massive public protest over proposed provisions that could cause enormous harm to the Internet and freedom of speech. My blog will join the protest by going dark tomorrow. While there is little that Canadians can do to influence U.S. legislation, there are many reasons why I think it is important for Canadians to participate.

      • Black Wednesday: In Protest of SOPA, Darken the Web
      • SOPA protest swells as Google, Scribd, and WordPress join

        “Like many businesses, entrepreneurs and web users, we oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking American companies to censor the Internet,” a Google spokesman told Ars. “So tomorrow we will be joining many other tech companies to highlight this issue on our US home page.”

      • U.S. movie piracy claims mostly fiction

        In recent weeks, Canadians have been subjected to a steady stream of reports asserting that Canada has become the world’s leading source of movie piracy. Pointing to the prevalence of illegal camcording – a practice that involves videotaping a movie directly off the screen in a theatre and transferring the copy on to DVDs for commercial sale – the major Hollywood studios are threatening to delay the Canadian distribution of their top movies.

      • The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

        Tomorrow, a number of very high profile websites will go dark in protest of the proposed U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act. Though the White House has since made it clear that the President will not support the bill, the fact that it was proposed at all is an indicator of the threat the Internet faces. And, according to this post from Michele Neylon, SOPA may not be quite dead yet.

      • ACTA

        • FFII note on the Legal Service’s Opinion on ACTA

          We welcome the decision to release the European Parliament legal service’s opinion on ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement). We have compared the legal service’s opinion with multiple academic opinions on ACTA and some civil society analyses.

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