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Links 20/1/2012: Linux Foundation Report, KDE 4.9 Previews

Posted in News Roundup at 6:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux Is Reaching New Heights in Enterprises, Study Finds

    Global economic woes may continue to dampen spending forecasts for IT departments around the world, but that isn’t stopping large companies from adding more Linux servers to their operations.

  • Linux Foundation Report Shows Growing Linux Adoption Rates in the Enterprise

    The latest report shows a 40% decrease in technical issues cited among respondents since the 2010 report. “Twenty-two percent fewer respondents cite perception by management as an issue, and 10% fewer say there are no issues at all impeding the success of Linux,” the report says. Further, more than two-thirds of respondents consider Linux to be a more secure operating system over the alternatives.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.org screensaver bypass found
      • NSA releases security-enhanced Android

        The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) released a security-enhanced version of Android based on the hardened SE Linux, featuring stricter access control policies. SE Android restricts the system resources available to an Android app regardless of user permissions, blocking malware such as the “GingerBreak” exploit at six different steps during execution, says the NSA.

  • Applications

    • Poor Mans GoogleEarth

      In my last blog, I mentioned that I had gone in and made changes to our thin client build to accommodate running NX sessions along with local RDP. We had another thin client project scheduled for 30-45 days in the future and because I was already in the code it was the best choice to just finish it and roll out all features at the same time.

    • Proprietary

      • Is Steam Finally Coming to Linux?

        A job posting from Valve has sparked new speculation that the developer might be bringing their popular Steam service and library of Source engine games to Linux.

        The listing, for a Senior Software Engineer, states that one of the position’s responsibilities will be to “port Windows-based games to the Linux platform.” As Valve’s games are exclusively available through their Steam storefront, the logical conclusion is that Valve is planning to bring the entire service to Linux at some point in the near future.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Setting up a talking clock easily in Linux
      • DIY: Quick and easy Samba print server setup
      • fuk the kit you will love
      • Beginning Linux – Part III

        Now you’ve got Ubuntu installed and running, you’ll have probably noticed there are one or two things missing. Things like MP3 playback and decoding, support for certain audio formats, Microsoft fonts, Java runtime playback, Adobe Flash, and the ability to play (and rip) DVDs.

        The reason this stuff’s missed out from the default install is that it’s either proprietary — meaning the source code is controlled by a third party and you have to agree to their terms and conditions in order to use it — or it’s subject to copyright restrictions, or, in some countries (notably the US), there may be legal issues surrounding its use. (You can find more about this stuff here.)

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE 4.9 to Get a New Widgets Explorer

        As you might have heard, KDE is, more or less, getting a whole new rewrite again. Some folks may read (or write) that with dread given how the last rewrite went for users there for a while. However, perhaps we should take a look at some of the good things instead. One that’s come to light recently is a brand new widgets explorer.

      • Calligra Words style selection combo
  • Distributions

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Review: Fuduntu 2012.1

          Fuduntu used to be based on Fedora, but then several months ago the lead developer announced that it would fork and maintain an independent codebase. This would serve two purposes: one would be to provide stable rolling releases, and the other would be to maintain GNOME 2 as long as possible. Indeed, Fuduntu uses not MATE, but good old GNOME 2.32.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Review: Aptosid (Install and First Impressions)

          I’ve installed Debian here and there on different computers in the last seven or so years that I’ve been using Linux. I almost ended up being a Debian person, but the Fedora book at the bookstore was more comprehensive, so I was set along the Red Hat path. On the one hand, I’ve often envied Debian both for its ease up upgrades and for its stability. On the other hand, I like having the latest stuff. KDE 4.8 is about to come out and I’ll be restless for the next few months before it makes its way into Fedora. So Debian’s never quite been for me. I’ve heard a lot about Aptosid (formerly Sidux) which turns Sid (the unstable repo) into a usable distro. Of course, Ubuntu does this along with a little extra polish, so I figured I’d see what Aptosid’s up to.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Do Fewer Spinoffs Signal a Waning in Ubuntu’s Popularity?

            Even if you don’t run Linux, chances are good you’ve heard of Ubuntu. You’re probably also familiar with its official cousins: Kubuntu, Xubuntu and the like. But there’s another subset of the Ubuntu ecosystem that gets less play — namely, the medley of unofficial spinoffs built by third parties. Although little discussed, the trends surrounding these distributions that hide in Ubuntu’s shadow reveal a lot about the open source channel more broadly.

          • Unity’s Dash to Ditch Giant Shortcuts

            Not a fan of the 8 giant shortcuts in the Unity Dash? Ubuntu 12.04 might just present you with something different…

          • Full Circle Podcast Episode 28 A Year in Comedy
          • Development Update
          • Ubuntu 12.04 May Get Rid of Useless Dash Shortcuts

            I have been using Unity since they day it came out with alpha of Ubuntu 11.04. One thing I never understood was the purpose of those 8 giant shortcuts in the Dash. I wrote about it in my first review. I still don’t know and have never used any of those 8 shortcuts. I wanted to get rid of them and put something more useful. It seems Ubuntu 12.04 will fix that too. As we reported earlier that with 12.04 we may get some more customization of Unity, the chances are that we may also get rid of those 8 icons and be replaced with something more useful.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Cyborg lawyer demands software source

    Lawyer Karen Sandler’s heart condition means she needs a pacemaker-defibrillator to avoid sudden death, so she has one simple question: what software does it run?

  • Open Source Still The Biggest Enterprise Software Threat

    Cloud is not the biggest threat to enterprise software companies like Oracle (ORCL), Microsoft (MSFT) and SAP (SAP).

  • Still don’t think open source hurts commercial software? Guess again
  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • New LibreOffice Ubuntu versions

      LibreOffice 1:3.4.5-0ubuntu1 has just been uploaded to oneiric-proposed too to be SRUed (it is exactly the same as the ppa version, except for the changed version).


  • Public Services/Government

    • Q&A: NASA’s Sean Herron and William Eshagh on code.nasa.gov

      On Jan. 4, NASA added to its growing collection of open.nasa.gov websites with the launch of code.nasa.gov. The site aims to be a “community hub” by providing access to current NASA open source projects, information on

      its open source release process and a forthcoming forum for project collaboration.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • FLOSS Body of Knowledge

        As courses, certificates, and curricula are created, it’s valuable to bring together people who are working to develop and deliver this material into a community where we can jointly define a central body of knowledge related to free, libre, and open source software. That goal has led me to take the first step toward creating this body of knowledge, termed FLOSSBOK. The initial outline, intentionally very brief, can be found on our FLOSS Competency Center site.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open-Source Robot to Perform Surgery

        A new surgical robot called the Raven—originally developed by the army for battlefield surgery—is light and relatively inexpensive. It also runs Linux, an open-source software, so that different medical institutions can adapt the machine to different ends while sharing advances they find along the way. Harvard wants to use the machine to operate on a beating heart by compensating for the heart’s motion. Scientists at Berkeley will try teaching the robot to operate autonomously by mimicking surgeons.


  • How important is virtualization to commercial UNIX customers?
  • Finance

    • Bank of America Hopes to Improve its Image

      With its stock scraping bottom at just over $6.00 a share, its image reeling from a failed attempt to to stick its customers with a $5.00 per month debit card fee, and accusations of thousands of fraudulent foreclosures, Bank of America is undertaking another effort to improve its image. Heading up the makeover attempt is Anne M. Finucane, BofA’s Global Strategy and Marketing Officer. Ms. Finucane knows better than most the depths of the trouble BofA is in.

    • Returning to Simplicity

      The modern world depends on economic growth to function properly. And throughout the living memory of every human on earth today, technology has continually developed to extract more and more raw material from the environment to power that growth.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • How Timbaland Got Away With “Copyright Theft”

        So basically, if you’re a famous American, in a contract with a big American record company like the Universal Music Group, you’re entitled to copyright protection, but if you’re a little guy from Finland who writes chiptunes, you’re just a “freakin’ jerk” that American’s can plagiarise from with complete impunity.

      • SOPA backer reassures his troops: “Facts will overcome fears”
      • SOPA Protests: Results And Aftermath
      • SOPA a controversy against the Open Source world
      • SOPA protest by the numbers: 162M pageviews, 7 million signatures
      • Politicians Backing Off From SOPA And PIPA

        The big website blackout is paying off with a total of 18 U.S. senators publicly their withdrawing support of the controversial Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the last 24 hours. Let’s name some these belatedly good men who have finally come to their senses; Theres’s Sen. Marco Rubio (Rep, Florida) Lee Terry (Rep-Nebraska) and Ben Quayle (Dan’s boy, Rep, Arizona) Sen. Kelly Ayotte (Rep-NH), Sen. Marco Rubio (Rep-FL), Sen. Roy Blunt (Rep-MO), Sen. John Boozman (Rep-and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD). Has someone been telling these guys that they’ll be censoring themselves as well with this act?

        Rubio puled out as a co-sponsor of PIPA in the Senate, while Terry and Quayle said they were pulling their names from the companion House bill, SOPA. In a posting on his Facebook page, Rubio noted that after the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously passed its bill last year, he had “heard legitimate concerns about the impact the bill could have on access to the Internet and about a potentially unreasonable expansion of the federal government’s power to impact the Internet.”

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