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01.20.12

Links 20/1/2012: Linux Survey, Linux 3.3 RC1

Posted in News Roundup at 9:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • Poll: Linux’s big data guzzling worries melt away

      Concerns about using Linux on servers to crunch huge data workloads are evaporating, according a survey.

    • Despite whacking Windows, Linux gets too little respect

      After more than a decade of Linux vendors trying to grow into the enterprise — and Red Hat, the poster child for Linux, approaching $1 billion in annual revenue — it’s easy to presume that Linux is pervasive in businesses. It is, but as the Linux Foundation’s enterprise survey finds, there are still barriers to overcome. The survey also shows new data showing Windows — not Unix — as the primary operating system being migrated to Linux.

    • Linux Continues to Grow in the Enterprise – Is Anyone Surprised?

      Nearly every year that I’ve been writing about Linux, I’ve seen at least one report (if not more) showing that Linux adoption is on the rise.

      The latest example came this week from the Linux Foundation. Yes, their data is self-serving, but the trend is clear and it has been for the last decade.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.3-1 out – merge window closed
    • Responses To The Linux Desktop Security Problem

      Just about 24 hours ago I spread the news about a major vulnerability in X.Org / XKB that makes it trivial for anyone with physical access to a Linux-based desktop system to easily bypass any screensaver lock whether you’re using GNOME, KDE, or most other desktop environments. So what’s changed in the past day?

      Well, many people have confirmed this problem is widespread if running X.Org Server 1.11 or newer. This is affecting users right now of Gentoo Linux, Arch Linux, Debian Wheezy, Fedora 16, users of the Xorg-Precise testing stack for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and other distributions updating their X stack in the past few months. It doesn’t matter if you’re using GNOME or KDE or one of the lighter-weight alternatives like Xfce. With a few hits at the keyboard (e.g. CTRL+ALT+Keypad-Multiply) the screensaver lock is rendered useless.

    • Download Linux Kernel 3.3 RC1 Now

      Linus Torvalds announced last evening, January 19th, that the first Release Candidate version of the upcoming Linux kernel 3.3 is available for download and testing.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Bettering Radeon Gallium3D Performance With PCI-E 2.0

        While it will not take you up to the speeds of the Catalyst driver, besides the 2D color tiling patches, there are a few other outstanding features not yet enabled-by-default in the open-source Radeon graphics driver that can yield some performance boosts. One of these other features is enabling PCI Express 2.0 support within the Radeon DRM.

      • Bumblebee Has Tumbleweed For NVIDIA Optimus On Linux

        Bumblebee 3.0 “Tumbleweed” has been released as an updated (and unofficial) way of handling NVIDIA Optimus technology under Linux.

        Optimus, the NVIDIA technology that’s becoming found on an increasing number of notebooks as a means of dynamically enabling a discrete GPU on the notebook for maximum performance only when needed and to be turned off otherwise to conserve power, has been troubling on Linux since its inception. NVIDIA doesn’t officially support Optimus under Linux, so the Linux development community is left to do what they can to support this growingly-popular feature.

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GTK+ 3.4 For Multi-Touch May Come In GNOME 3.4

        Now that X Input 2.2 with Multi-Touch is merged into X.Org Server 1.12, which will be released by early March, it’s time for the tool-kit and application developers to take advantage of the support. It looks like GNOME will be on the ball this time around with GTK+ 3.4 looking to handle multi-touch.

      • Basic Chemistry on the GNOME Desktop

        I’ve realized I’ve missed out on a huge area of computational science—chemistry. Many packages exist for doing chemistry on your desktop. This article looks at a general tool called avogadro. It can do computations of energy and gradient values. Additionally, it can do analysis of molecular systems, interface to GAMESS and import and export from and to several file formats. There also are lots of options for generating pretty pictures of your totally new molecule that you hope will revolutionize the chemical industry.

      • Mutter 3.3.4 Released
  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Toorox 01.2012 “GNOME”

        A new version of the “GNOME” – Edition of Toorox has been finished featuring the recent stable GNOME 3.2.1. Some gnome-shell-extensions has been added to give the user the old fashion of a window panel and a classic app-menu. The Linux kernel 3.1.6-gentoo as basis and also included: Xorg-Server 1.11.3, Mesa 7.11.2, LibreOffice 3.4.3, Thunderbird 9.0.1, Firefox 9.0.1, Wine 1.3.37

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu TV is Coming. Will it Find Success Among the Masses?

            By now you’ve probably heard Canonical’s big announcement out of CES 2012: Ubuntu is coming to your TV (or so Canonical hopes). But what’s received less attention amid all the fanfare is the role of Unity, the Linux desktop environment on which the new TV interface is based. Since Ubuntu TV could have important, if surprising, ramifications for Unity, here are some observations to keep in mind.

            For the sake of civility, I won’t get back into the debate on Unity’s merits relative to GNOME Shell, KDE or any other Linux desktop environment. Suffice it to say, though, that — as we’ve seen in abundant clarity here on this site — Canonical’s decision to replace GNOME with Unity was more than a little contentious for many users.

          • Out of the Gate, Ubuntu TV Is Drawing a Mix of Criticism and Praise

            At the CES show in Las Vegas earlier this month, Canonical showed off Ubuntu TV, as we reported here. You can take a gander at it at the Ubuntu TV site, via a video. It’s a new interface that integrates television and movie content on an open source platform that Canonical hopes will win developers over. The interface is based on Unity, the controversial interface that many Ubuntu users have wrestled with. In the days since the arrival of Ubuntu TV, some interesting hands-on reports and criticisms have arrived, but there is no question that this will be one of the big open source stories of 2012.

          • Three Ways to Tweak Ubuntu Linux’s Unity Desktop

            The Unity desktop environment that was recently made default in Ubuntu Linux has been nothing if not controversial, as has the alternative GNOME 3.

          • Ubuntu 10.04 Lives! Go Back To The Future With Lucid Lynx

            Does Oneiric have you down? Is your hardware not up to snuff? Well, what are you going to do about it? Ubuntu 10.04 is almost 2 years old now, but you can teach it the electric slide even if all it know how to do is the funky chicken. Here is a short and simple guide for bringing Ubuntu 10.04 into 2012.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi demos Model B computer’s AirPlay capabilities (video)

      Just a few days after announcing that production of its Model B Linux computer is underway, Raspberry Pi has now unveiled a preview of what its single board device can do when combined with AirPlay. In a video published this week, a Raspberry Pi developer demonstrated how to stream content from an iPad to the ARM-based Model B, using only an HDMI-equipped TV and an AirPlay app. It’s as seamless as dancing cows are beautiful. Still no word yet on when this $35 will begin shipping, but in the meantime, be sure to check out the demo video, after the break.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • To Clean Up Android Smartphones, Take A Cue From PCs

          My Android phone has something in common with my desktop PC. It’s riddled with junk. Apps I didn’t install and can’t get rid of, “skins” that make my phone slower and less stable, and who knows what else—all contributing to the fractured headache that has become life with Android.

          The devices we’re forced to use feel like textbooks that have been through five different sets of grubby hands before we even use them.

          With my PC, it wasn’t so bad. A few hours of uninstalling and I had all that factory-loaded fluff out of the way. But my phone was another, much more painful story. I say it’s high time we were offered some choices in this regard.

        • INSIDE Secure Introduces Open NFC Stack for Google Android 4.0
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Ultrabooks, Tablets and the Space Between

        Ultrabooks may be targeting part of the tablet market, but using a tablet is a different experience than using a thin notebook computer. Meanwhile, convertible and hybrid form factors are gaining traction, and accessories can be used to add full-sized keyboards to tablet computers. Is there a form factor on which the mobile computer market is converging?

Free Software/Open Source

  • The making of open-source software

    Nicole Kobie reveals how software such as Ubuntu, LibreOffice and Firefox is made – and how you can get involved

  • 10 New Open Source Projects You May Not Know About

    With so many open source software projects under way at any given moment, it can be difficult to keep tabs on all that’s going on.

  • ForgeRock Updates Java-Based OpenIDM

    ForgeRock, the company formed last year by former Sun Microsystems executives to steward the open-source access management and federation server platform project known as OpenSSO, has released version 2.0 of its OpenIDM identity management offering.

  • Google Sky Map development ends, app goes open source

    If you’re a fan of Google’s augmented reality astronomy app Google Sky Map, I’ve got good news and bad news for you. Google announced that major development on the app has ended, so there will be no more major official releases from the company. On the plus side, they’ve decided to release the open-source code for Sky Map, so given enough developer interest it should be around for quite some time.

  • Events

    • Friday at the Southern California Linux Expo

      BUILD A CLOUD DAY: Mark Hinkle leads Build a Cloud Day, an all day session, in the Carmel room beginning at 9 a.m. The all-day session will teach users how to build and manage a cloud computing environment using free and open source software. The program is designed to expose attendees to the concepts and best practices around deploying cloud computing infrastructure.

      JUJU CHARM SCHOOL: Jorge Castro and Clint Bynum host a session in the Marina room at 2:30 p.m. It’s an event where juju experts answer questions about writing your own juju charms. The intended audience are people who deploy software and want to contribute charms to the wider devops community to make deploying in the public and private cloud easy.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Hands on: building an HTML5 photo booth with Chrome’s new webcam API

        Experimental support for WebRTC has landed in the Chrome developer channel. The feature is available for testing when users launch the browser with the –enable-media-stream flag. We did some hands-on testing and used some of the new JavaScript APIs to make an HTML5 photo booth.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • U.S. losing high-tech jobs, R&D dominance to Asia

    U.S. companies are locating more of their research and development operations overseas, and Asian countries are rapidly increasing investments in their own science and technology economies, the National Science Board (NSB) reported this week.

  • Two Years After “Citizens United,” Amending the Constitution is Essential
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • More than Half of the EU with Restrictions to Net access. What will Neelie Kroes Do?

      Paris, January 20th, 2012 – La Quadrature du Net sent EU regulators evidence from the platform Respect My Net that in more than 14 EU Member States, telecoms operators engage in illegitimate restrictions of their customers’ Internet access. Such evidence shows that EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes’ “laisser-faire” approach on Net neutrality amounts to allowing operators to blatantly violate their users’ freedom of communication. Now is the time for the EU Commission to start working on stringent measures to enforce Net neutrality all across Europe.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • DOJ Gives Its Opinion On SOPA By Unilaterally Shutting Down ‘Foreign Rogue Site’ Megaupload… Without SOPA/PIPA

        If you’ve been paying attention to the MPAA/US Chamber of Commerce/RIAA claims about why they need PIPA/SOPA, a key argument is that they need it to go after these “foreign rogue sites” that cannot be reached under existing US law. Among the most prominent sites often talked about is Megaupload — which accounts for a huge percentage of the “rogue site traffic” that the US Chamber of Commerce and other bill supporters love to cite. However, it certainly appears that the US Justice Department and ICE don’t think they need any new law to go after people in foreign countries over claims of criminal copyright infringement. As lots of folks are currently digesting, the Justice Department, along with ICE, have shut down the site and arrested many of the principles (with the help of New Zealand law enforcement) and charged them with massive amounts of criminal copyright infringement.

      • EU Politicians Send Letter To US Congress Warning Of ‘Extraterritorial Effects’ Of SOPA And PIPA

        Since SOPA and PIPA are US bills, the focus has naturally been on the US response to them – notably in the list of major sites that participated in the blackout, or who have otherwise protested against the proposed legislation. But it’s important to remember that the whole rationale of these new laws is tackling copyright infringement outside the US.

      • McConnell Calls for Senate Dems to Shelve PIPA, Study and Resolve ‘Serious Issues’ With the Bill
      • The Internet Strikes Back: Anonymous Takes Down DOJ.gov, RIAA, MPAA Sites To Protest Megaupload Seizure

        I’ll have a more detailed look at the Megaupload indictment tomorrow (there are some really ridiculous claims in there, but also some evidence of bad actions on the part of Mega, which isn’t too surprising). However, even if you’re 100% positive that Megaupload was a bad player in the space, you have to question both the timing and the process of completely taking down the site/company the day after practically the entire internet rose up to protest the threat of similar takedowns under SOPA/PIPA. For them not to think the reaction would be fast and furious shows (yet again) just how incredibly, ridiculously, out of touch with the internet the DC establishment is.

      • Joe Biden Picked An Interesting Day To Raise Money From Silicon Valley…

        Where was VP Joe Biden during yesterday’s big SOPA/PIPA blackout? Apparently he was cruising around Silicon Valley for cash from tech CEOs. Biden, of course, has been seen as the White House’s key man in supporting Hollywood efforts to pass ever more draconian copyright laws. One would hope that the various tech CEOs he met with spent some time showing him how their websites were blacked out in protest. From the article linked above, Biden spoke about a variety of topics during prepared remarks… but said nothing about SOPA/PIPA (or, at least the reporter didn’t mention it). Given the White House’s existing statements concerning the bills, he’d probably be limited in what he can say anyway… but is this a sign that Biden might finally realize that his previous actions were so damaging to the part of the economy that is developing innovation and actually creating jobs?

      • Crowd Cheers Loudly As All Four GOP Candidates Say No To SOPA/PIPA
      • US internet laws could be used to attack NZ websites

        As the British Wikipedia site goes dark for 24 hours to protest American internet piracy laws, web experts are warning the laws could be used to attack New Zealand websites.

        Wikipedia plans to go dark on Wednesday, US time, and Google and other websites are also planning protests to voice their concern over legislation in the US Congress intended to crack down on online piracy.

      • Brad Feld: Why SOPA and PIPA must be stopped

        In the last 30 days, there has been a loud and clear backlash against two bills – SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act). SOPA is the House version of the bill; PIPA is the Senate version of the bill. For starters, I must emphasize that I agree that online piracy is a real problem — and, as an author, I deal with it all of the time — and that it is important to look for appropriate solutions.

      • SOPA and PIPA laws would affect Canadians if passed
      • Michael Geist’s website went dark to protest U.S. restrictions on Internet

        Yesterday my website, michaelgeist.ca, went dark for 12 hours with thousands of posts replaced by a single page warning against proposed U.S. legislation called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). My site was not alone as the online protest included some of the Internet’s most popular sites, including Wikipedia, Craigslist and Reddit. It is nice to be in good company, but taking an academic site committed to open access to information offline on a day when thousands came visiting anxious to learn more about copyright and the Internet was not a decision to be taken lightly.

      • SOPA Opera

        SOPA is a culmination of years of corruption orchestrated by the copyright cartel. The victim is the public, whose elected officials became more concerned about campaign funding from Hollywood than about justice.)

      • You Moved Mountains

        On January 18th, 13 million of us took the time to tell Congress to protect free speech rights on the internet. Hundreds of millions, maybe a billion, people all around the world saw what we did on Wednesday. See the amazing numbers here and tell everyone what you did.

        This was unprecedented. Your activism may have changed the way people fight for the public interest and basic rights forever.

        The MPAA (the lobby for big movie studios which created these terrible bills) was shocked and seemingly humbled. “‘This was a whole new different game all of a sudden,’ MPAA Chairman and former Senator Chris Dodd told the New York Times. ‘[PIPA and SOPA were] considered by many to be a slam dunk.’”

      • MegaUpload: Copyright Industry At War Against Monsters of its Own Making

        The takedown1 of MegaUpload from the Internet shows a global attempt to control and censor the Internet, as illustrated by PIPA2 in the US, and the ACTA3 agreement worldwide. Conducted outside of the US territory and without even a court ruling, this case makes clear how disproportionate and violent is the war waged in the name of an obsolete copyright regime.

        The huge profits made by the editors of MegaUpload through the centralizing of copyrighted works are barely defensible. MegaUpload is a direct by-product of the war conducted against peer-to-peer non-market sharing between individuals. After promoting legislation that boosted centralized sharing sites, the same lobbies now declare a war against them.

      • SOPA/PIPA protestors finally heard; votes delayed indefinitely
      • Department of Justice shutdown of rogue site MegaUpload shows SOPA is unnecessary

        A strange confluence of events brought the question of how to deal with online piracy to the forefront of the American consciousness this week. Protests against the anti-piracy bills, SOPA and PIPA, were the major news of the day on Wednesday, with blackouts of big sites across the web. The very next day, MegaUpload, one of the largest sites allegedly enabling piracy on the internet, was shut down as the result of a two-year FBI investigation.

      • SOPA Protests Sway Congress: 31 Opponents Yesterday, 122 Now

        Yesterday the Internet cried out in protest of SOPA-PIPA, and congress heard us loud and clear. At the beginning of Janaury 18th, there were 80 members of congress who supported the legislation, and 31 opponents. Now, just 63 support SOPA-PIPA, and opposition has surged to 122, according to ProPublica.

      • Sopa and Pipa bills postponed in US Congress

        The US Congress has halted debate on two contested anti-online piracy bills.

      • PIPA Vote Canceled, Senator Leahy Not Amused

        PIPA is crumbling, Senator Harry Reid has announced that next Tuesday’s vote on the Protect-IP Act has been canceled. He is now talking compromise, saying, “There is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved.” And, “We made good progress through the discussions we’ve held in recent days, and I am optimistic that we can reach a compromise in the coming weeks.”

      • ACTA

        • Will the EP Development committee betray billions of people?

          Regarding compatibility with current EU law, the acquis, see our FFII note on the Legal Service’s Opinion on ACTA. Only by consistently overlooking known issues it is possible to claim that ACTA is compatible with current EU legislation.

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