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01.31.12

Links 31/1/2012: Debian 6.0.4, ownCloud 3

Posted in News Roundup at 7:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Weather in UK

      The weather office in UK has quit providing widgets for GNU/Linux desktops thanks to Adobe dropping support for AIR in GNU/Linux. There is a workaround. On my PC, running Debian GNU/Linux, there is an app called “metar”…

    • The satisfaction of an online course on Linux

      My mother, who successfully migrated from Windows to Pardus GNU/Linux, is always alert trying to find news about FLOSS in our little country. Two weeks ago, she called me with information that seemed like a dream: a reputable University that promotes online learning was offering a course named “Linux OS”.

      To be honest, although I really wanted to register, I hesitated. After all, online learning is not fully developed here and the platforms are Windows based. Paying only to discover that you are barred out because the software that the institution uses is not Linux inclusive is, obviously, no fun at all. So, before registering, I decided to find as much as possible about the course program and the platform. My inquiries gave positive results; everything seemed suspiciously fine.

    • Making Music on Linux; It’s A Thing

      I was never a great, or even good, guitar player, but it’s something I really enjoyed doing for a decent chunk of my life. But as life and work grew more complex, it kind of fell by the wayside, a casualty of the demands of adulthood.

      But recently, I’ve been actively trying to carve out time to mess around with my guitar. Because I live in an apartment, I became intrigued by the idea of amp and pedal modeling, where instead of playing through a physical amp or guitar pedal, one plays into a computer, with the amp and pedal sound created by software.

  • Server

    • Oh Boy! Tilera Servers Out in March

      Wow! A Tile processor uses a bunch of RISC CPUs on a chip in a mesh. They have 64bit processing and 40bit addressing. The idea is to get close to one processor per thread so that fewer context switches and massive parallelism will get a lot of throughput at lower cost than x86 with SMP. For servers this makes a lot of sense and because they are optimized for Linux and have tools, porting is trivial. Lots of software that runs on GNU/Linux will be able to move quickly to servers running these things. Sampling is happening and production will happen in March. 2012 will be even more interesting than Android/Linux v world.

    • Linux on POWER

      Anyone familiar with GNU/Linux will not be surprised by the fact that this operating system runs on almost all known processors. However, very few people are aware that mere support just might not be enough. You’ll also need to keep an up-to-date repository of code. This is especially true when it comes to serious hardware such as POWER.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.2 Kernel: What To Consider Before Updating

      There are few things in life more exciting than a new system update for your favorite Linux distribution. Often, system updates can bring performance enhancements or simply address problematic security issues. These updates are generally considered a good thing. But when it comes to installing kernel updates, there are some critical factors that must be considered.

      By now, you’ve likely heard all about the new 3.2 Linux kernel. While the new 3.2 kernel does offer some worthwhile benefits, this doesn’t always mean that everything is going to work as expected for every person upgrading.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Wayland Is Almost Ready For Showing Off

        If you haven’t tried out the Wayland Display Server as of late, after there being a stream of new announcements, you probably should or at least check out the videos in this posting. The Wayland Display Server is becoming more lively and slowly reaching a point where it may be possible for some to use it on a day-to-day basis.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Razor-qt 0.4 – Qt based Desktop Environment

      Razor-qt is a new desktop environment based on the QT toolkit. I installed it from the PPA and gave it a quick go. It’s early days for the project, but it might eventually become a refuge for lovers of KDE 3 in the same way that Xfce has become popular with people who want to recreate the Gnome 2.x experience.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Soup Up GNOME 3 Desktop using Opera Widgets
      • 3 Reasons Why Gnome Shell Is Better Than Ubuntu’s Unity [Opinion]

        There’s absolutely no denying the fact that there has been a lot of bickering between people about which desktop environment is the best. However, in more recent times, the discussion has been expanded and refocused, from not just Gnome vs. KDE but now Gnome Shell vs. Unity, two desktop environments that are both dependent on the Gnome framework.

        The difference between the two is simply the desktop shell, which is much more a difference in looks and functionality than a technical one. However, Gnome Shell has finally started to build itself a place in my heart, while Unity has not.

  • Distributions

    • Arch’ed in a day; a noob experience

      Before beginning with my arch story, let me tell you a bit about myself, or rather about my experience with Linux OS. I am software engineer by profession (used to be…but that is another story) worked in enterprise java and client solutions. My first experience with Linux was in 2003 or 2004 when I learned about an operating system called Red-hat and given a 3-cd install for the OS. I installed the OS in my computer, did not like it at all. Looked very bland and a cheap imitation of windows; I immediately realized being free means being cheap.

    • On switching to Arch Linux

      So you’re thinking about switching to Arch. Here are some things you should probably know first.

      (I’m assuming you already know all the great things about Arch — otherwise, you wouldn’t be thinking about switching — so I’ll skip that part).

    • Dreamlinux 5 review – Splendid

      You all know that I don’t like the Xfce desktop. For some reason, nearly every single implementation thereof lacks something so important, so basic. Recently, it’s been hailed as the replacement for Gnome 2, the new hope for Linux users disillusioned by the cartoon fever of new touch-like interfaces so wrongly mated to the traditional desktop. But I’m skeptical.

    • Tiny Core Linux 4.2 is a complete operating system in 64MB or less

      Once upon a time operating systems shipped on a stack of 1.4MP floppy disks. These days most come on DVDs because the installer files can’t fit on 640MB CDs. And then there’s Tiny Core Linux.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • The Mandriva waiting continues

        According to this laconic post by Jean-Manuel Croset-0, there was not a solution for the Mandriva dilemma. He claims that the financial situation is “better than expected”, which allows the company to try to find a new solution and the new deadline is “mid February”.

      • Mandriva Bankruptcy Crisis Averted, For Now

        Mandriva users have been anxiously awaiting word from corporate whether the first user-friendly distribution would be forced to cease operations. The decision, which has been postponed twice in the last week, has finally come down. Too bad it’s really a “good news, bad news” situation.

      • Mandriva 2011: A Different Linux Experience

        The Linux landscape has become pretty interesting as of late, with all the new desktop environments and changing popularity between distributions. It seems that now is the best time for all the distributions to make their mark and differentiate from each other wherever possible, especially when it comes to major players.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Quietly Joins the OpenStack Effort

        Word is that Red Hat refused to sign on to OpenStack when it was announced, because it didn’t like the governance model. Red Hat also has its own cloud management software projects. But the company that once dismissed OpenStack seems to be coming around. Look closely at the OpenStack community and you’ll find quite a few Red Hat engineers, including some that have become core contributors to OpenStack projects.

      • Red Hat developer explains open source color calibration hardware

        Color management has historically been a weak area for the Linux desktop, but the situation is rapidly improving. Support for desktop-wide color management is being facilitated by projects like KDE’s Oyranos and the GNOME Color Manager.

        Red Hat developer Richard Hughes, who started implementing the GNOME Color Manager in 2009, launched a small company last year to sell an open source colorimeter–a hardawre device that is used to perform color calibration. The Linux-compatible device, which is called the ColorHug, will retail for £60 (early adopters can currently order it at a sale price of £48). He has already received a few hundred orders and is building more units to meet the unexpected demand.

      • Fedora

        • Another Week, Another Round Of Fedora 17 Features

          The last few Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo) have seen a large number of features being approved for this next Fedora Linux release due out in May. This Monday’s meeting wasn’t any different with many more features being officially approved for this next Red-Hat-sponsored distribution. Below is a listing of the items that were just approved this week.

    • Debian Family

      • Updated Debian 6.0: 6.0.4 released
      • Download Debian 6.0.4 Squeeze
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 11.10 vs. Mac OS X 10.7.2 Performance

            As you can see, the performance results between Mac OS X 10.7.2 and Ubuntu 11.10 are definitely mixed, at least when using the latest-generation Intel Sandy Bridge hardware. One trend though is that using LLVM/Clang 3.0 within Apple’s Xcode4 package these days is a much better option than using the GCC 4.2.1 release they have shipped for a while. Depending upon the particular workload you’re interested in, you can run the given tests relevant to you under both operating systems using the Phoronix Test Suite with OpenBenchmarking.org to determine what platform is able to meet your performance needs, aside from any other software platform features to consider.

          • Beginning Linux : Part 4 – Exploring the Unity interface

            Ubuntu’s Unity interface is a step away from traditional graphical user interfaces. The intention is to make it the basis of a standard interface for everything from PCs to tablets to phones, and it’s implementation has been somewhat controversial. It’s predicated on two main ideas; that most users only ever use a handful of applications, and that people prefer to search for things by typing — as they do on the web — rather than going through going through arcane menus and clicking on drop-downs. I take issue with the second of those, but before abandoning the interface entirely — this is Linux, after all! — it’s worth exploring Unity to see what it has to offer.

          • Canonical Promotes Standard Ubuntu Branding with New Website

            When it comes to branding, the open source world is rarely at the front of the pack. Free software hackers tend to be much better at writing code than they are at designing logos, inventing names and developing elegant color schemes. But Canonical has long stood out as an exception, and its latest stride — a new website devoted to helping the community adhere to Ubuntu branding conventions — is no exception. Here’s a look.

          • Ubuntu’s New ‘HUD’ Factor: A Step Forward or Back?

            Ubuntu seems to have shifted lately “from trying to make a rock-solid desktop distribution to playing around with cool ideas for next-generation interfaces,” observed Slashdot blogger Chris Travers. “A lot of these ideas are very untested in terms of overall usability, and they represent a sort of ‘back to the future’ approach, thinking of the old X applications before menus became prevalent … .”

          • Ubuntu Should Be Forked!

            I have been a long time Ubuntu user, been using it since 2006. I loved it and have been installing it on user’s PC’s until version 11.04 came out with Unity. Before you get a wrong impression let me make it clear that I love to try new things as long as they don’t come in between me and my work. [Also read: You Don't Have To Quit Ubuntu]

            I started using Unity since its alpha days and am currently running Ubuntu 12.04 with HUD and KDE 4.8. The reason is simple — I am curious and love trying new things. I am also running openSUSE with Gnome 3 to stay updated with the latest developments.

          • You Don’t Have To Quit Ubuntu!
          • Why It’s A Good Thing That Unity Is Based On DBus

            With the announcement of Unity HUD, Mark Shuttleworth tried hard not to use a technical language. While I certainly applaud the effort, it seems that it may have been just a little bit too non-technical, seeing the number of people who misunderstood his points.

            He was really announcing two different things; the HUD itself, and the underlying technology that enables it; libdbusmenu. Because so far, it’s only been used to hide menus when they’re not in use and that’s not particularly innovative.

          • More Ideas About Ubuntu HUD Design, Mock-up
          • Sick of Ubuntu’s bad breath? Suck on a Linux Mint instead

            If the jump from the GNOME 2 desktop to the new GNOME Shell or Unity desktop in Ubuntu has left you feeling dissatisfied, one increasingly popular distribution just might offer something that turns out to be the best of both worlds – Linux Mint.

            Originally created as a spinoff of Ubuntu, Mint has long since come into its own and offers a number of advantages over other distros, including a desktop that dares to stay firmly in the Middle Earth of the ongoing desktop holy wars.

          • Ubuntu 12.04 Alpha 2 Getting Ready For Testing

            Good news for Ubuntu fans. The second alpha of 12.04 is expected to be available tommorow for testing. If you are planning to upgrade to Ubuntu 12.04 it’s time for you to help the team in testing and ensuring there will be fewer or no bugs in the final release.

          • Featured Ubuntu Software Centre apps for January 2012
          • Full Circle Magazine #57 – out now!
          • How to install Ubuntu the way you’ve never done it before.
          • Ubuntu 12.04 ‘Precise Pangolin’: The Basics of What to Expect

            The first thing I wish to point out about Ubuntu 12.04, is the fact that the new release will no longer be targeting the much loved final ~700MB CD sized ISO. At first, this came as a shock to the Ubuntu community. But any long term users and community members of Ubuntu will know that this is a debate which has been raging among the developers and users for some time. It was always inevitable that Ubuntu would grow beyond a mere 700MB ISO. It was a classic example of not “if”, but “when” it would happen. Fortunately, it has only grown an extra 50MB, which will push the final ISO up to ~750MB. So when Ubuntu 12.04 goes gold, it will require either DVD media or USB stick for installation.

          • Beginning Linux : Part 4 – Exploring the Unity interface
          • Where Mozilla Ubiquity Failed, Ubuntu HUD will Succeed

            The HUD is based on a concept that I really believe in and supported (though my own usage and newb attempt at script) when Mozilla tried the same idea a few years ago with Ubiquity. Mozilla however has this obnoxious habit of killing projects that I like (or in there parlance – putting them on the backburner – ubiquity, prism, skywriter just to name a few). Ubiquity was supposed to become something called Taskfox in Firefox 3.6 but that never happened.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu 12.04 Alpha 2 Getting Ready For Testing

              I am sure you have heard of Ubuntu Studio, an Ubuntu derivated targetted at multi-media, especially film and audio editing. Ubuntu Studio uses XFCE instead of Unity as its DE. The team is also known for one of the best wallpapers. Here is the latest Ubuntu Studio wallpaper.

            • Ozone 3

              Almost there. The default theme for Lubuntu, Ozone, is near to its final version. Lubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin is getting more and more polished. But if you can’t wait, or you have another version (or a distro with the LXDE environment) feel free to test it. Download here.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • A modern Pecora Commission could right Wall Street wrongs

      What shall we make of this surprise pronouncement in President Obama’s State of the Union address? A belated investigation has been launched into the role of fraud in the financial crisis.

    • Is Obama’s ‘Economic Populism’ for Real?

      There is a lot to digest in a recent series of events on the Prosecuting Wall Street front – the two biggest being Barack Obama’s decision to make New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman the co-chair of a committee to investigate mortgage and securitization fraud, and the numerous rumors and leaks about an impending close to the foreclosure settlement saga.

  • Censorship

    • US Government is a Website Vandal

      I can see a lot of lawsuits in the future and liability for taxpayers who may have to pay the bills. I can see people all over the world refusing to store any data on any server in US jurisdiction. This is yet another sign that the USA is going down the technological drain. The world does not need the bureaucracy of the US messing up IT.

    • Twitter users protest new Twitter policy with #TwitterCensored; #TwitterBlackout
    • What Does Twitter’s Country-by-Country Takedown System Mean for Freedom of Expression?

      Right now, we can expect Twitter to comply with court orders from countries where they have offices and employees, a list that includes the United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan, and soon Germany.

    • Using Wikileaks To Figure Out What The Government ‘Redacts’

      We’ve talked in the past about the ridiculousness of the US government pretending that the State Department cables that were leaked via Wikileaks are still confidential. The reasoning, obviously, is that they’re afraid that declaring anything that’s become public is no longer confidential is that it creates incentives to leak more documents. But the actual situation is simply absurd. Documents that everyone can see easily and publicly… live in this world, a world where anyone in government has to pretend that they’re still secret and confidential. There have even been cases where officials have gotten into trouble for using information from a “public” document, because they’re supposed to create this fiction that it’s not.

      Still, there is one way in which this has actually turned out to be enlightening. A few months ago, the ACLU filed some Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the State Department on some issues, getting some of the very same documents that were leaked via Wikileaks. Except… the kind that came with the FOIA had redactions. The Wikileaks documents, for the most part, do not. That created an interesting opportunity for Ben Wizner at the ACLU. He could now compare and contrast the two version of the document, to see just what the government is redacting, and figure out if they’re redacting it for legitimate reasons… or just to do things like avoid embarrassment.

    • Copyright Industry Calls For Broad Search Engine Censorship

      At a behind-closed-doors meeting facilitated by the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport, copyright holders have handed out a list of demands to Google, Bing and Yahoo. To curb the growing piracy problem, Hollywood and the major music labels want the search engines to de-list popular filesharing sites such as The Pirate Bay, and give higher ranking to authorized sites.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

    • The Daily Digital Lock Dissenter: The Series To Date

      Throughout the fall, I ran a daily digital lock dissenter series, pointing to a wide range of organizations representing creators, consumers, businesses, educators, historians, archivists, and librarians who have issued policy statements that are at odds with the government’s approach to digital locks in Bill C-11. While the series took a break over the Parliamentary holiday, it resumes this week with more groups and individuals that have spoken out against restrictive digital lock legislation that fails to strike a fair balance.

    • Apple’s iBook EULA exemplifies Everything that’s wrong with Proprietary Software

      Lovers and users of free and open source software are a hardy bunch. They’ve seen it all: Microsoft EULAs, DRM, UEFI, proprietary software and constant attempts to prevent end users jailbreaking and rooting the devices they paid for with hard-earned cash. If you think you’ve seen and heard it all, well, you haven’t. Apple may have trumped them all with a possibly unique EULA.

  • Copyrights

    • The Sky Is Rising: The Entertainment Industry Is Large & Growing… Not Shrinking

      Today, in Cannes, at the Midem conference, I did a presentation that was something of a follow up to the presentation I did here three years ago, about how Trent Reznor’s experiments represented the future of music business models. This time, the presentation coincided with the release of a new research paper that we’ve spent the past few months working on, sponsored by CCIA and Engine Advocacy, in which we did a thorough look at the true state of the entertainment industry. For years, we’ve been hearing doom and gloom reports about how the industry is dying, how customers just want stuff for free, about analog dollars turning into digital dimes… and (all too frequently) about how new laws are needed to save these industries.

    • The real problem with media pirate culture: Punishing artists for making art

      There is a problem with the world of illegal piracy that we have online today, but it’s not what the RIAA and MPAA want you to think it is. It’s that we’ve become accustomed to participating in illegal copying, and yet it is still illegal. This means that we have the illusion of a body of work that can be built upon, remixed, and combined with new work, but if real artists practice this commercially, we are exposed to legal attack. Being a remixer is revered by culture, but being a commercially successful remixer is punishable by massive lawsuits, and if SOPA ever passes, maybe even prison time.

    • NBC News Doesn’t Understand Fair Use; Demands Mitt Romney Remove Ads That Use TV News Clips

      Here we go again. Four years ago, during the presidential campaign, we had CBS News threaten the McCain campaign for using some news footage clips in a campaign ad. And here we are, four years later, with NBC Universal demanding that the Romney campaign remove an ad it’s using against Newt Gingrich, making use of old TV news footage. This strikes us as bizarre (and ridiculous) as it did four years ago. In many cases, these ads are likely to be considered fair use. But, secondly, is it really any harm to NBC News if Romney uses classic footage? I mean, the news reports are what NBC News had reported in the past. Essentially acting like it hadn’t — by trying to block the use of the footage — just seems silly.

    • UNCENSORED – A personal experience with DMCA – UMG vs Veoh
    • MegaUpload User Data Soon to be Destroyed

      MegaUpload has received a letter from the US Attorney informing the company that data uploaded by its users may be destroyed before the end of the week. The looming wipe-out is the result of MegaUpload’s lack of funds to pay for the servers. Behind the scenes, MegaUpload is hoping to convince the US Government that it’s in the best interest of everyone involved to allow users to access their data, at least temporarily.

    • The SOPA/PIPA Protests Were Not Pro-Piracy… They Were Anti-Crony Capitalism

      And it is that final point that many in Hollywood still fail to understand. They positioned this whole battle as if it was about the right to enforce laws on a lawless internet vs. those who wanted to pirate. But pretty much everyone can see through that facade. And, as we’ve said before (and will say again), this was never about just this bill. You can see that in the continued focus of people on other efforts by these industries to push through bad policies — such as ACTA and TPP. No, this was a rejection of crony capitalism — an attempt by one industry to push through laws that solely benefit some of its biggest players, at the expense of everyone else.

    • Is The ‘Legislative Solution’ To Online Infringement To Create A Content Use Registry?

      However, are there more creative legislative solutions that come from thinking out of the box? Ian Rogers, the CEO of TopSpin, who has been a vocal opponent of SOPA/PIPA, (despite his close relatioinship with many in the recording industry) has an interesting proposal that he’s put forth that’s worth thinking about. It starts from a different perspective. Rather than using the opportunity to directly tackle this undefined “problem,” he looks at solving a different problem: the fact that it’s difficult (to impossible) and expensive to license music for an online service. So his suggestion is really based on dealing with that issue by creating a giant registry whereby copyright holders could indicate what they’re willing to license and at what price. He notes that this is an idea that doesn’t directly need a legislative solution — and, in fact, notes that he’s tried to build something like that in the past. However, multiple attempts to build this haven’t gone very far. He suggests a more official version might be able to really go somewhere.

    • ACTA

      • Debunking the EU Commission’s Lies About ACTA

        The EU Commission is engaging in an all-out offensive to portray ACTA as normal trade agreement harmless to fundamental rights or access to knowledge. In several published documents, the Commission’s attempts to impose ACTA onto the EU Parliament while silencing legitimate criticism. But these misrepresentations don’t resist scrutiny.

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