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02.01.12

Links 1/2/2012: Humble Indie Bundle for Linux and Android, Bid for Mandriva Fails

Posted in News Roundup at 5:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux at CES 2012: Everything You Need to Know

    Linux has been gaining some serious mileage over the years. Linux and other high-end Open Source software like Blender are not some hobbyists-only stuff anymore and the whole technology world is slowly starting to realize the positive and unbiased influence Open Source and Linux has on everything technology. Linux was quite prominently featured at just concluded International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 in various different forms. Let’s go find out what those ‘various forms’ were. Read on.

  • User Friendly? I Choose Expert Friendly

    I don’t know about you but to me the term user friendly is everyday becoming more like a pejorative rather than a feature. Let me explain: I’ve realized than almost everything requires time and effort (sometimes a lot) in order to have it just the way you want it. This is specially true if you really care about customizing your environment . Let me give you an example: vim. Vim is a fantastic editor and in my opinion the best editor around. Nevertheless I’ve spent a lot of time and effort just to learn how to edit with it and playing with the configuration file just to make it perfect for my needs. At almost every level of software tools or programs there’s at least one that take this approach.

  • Desktop

    • Linux: A Getting-Started Guide

      Are you fed up with Microsoft Windows and ready to give Linux a try? Here’s how to get started. This guide for Linux discusses who the Linux OS is right for, what you need to get started, and how to turn your Windows PC into a dual-boot computer so you can have the best of both worlds–Linux and Windows.

    • Userful Releases Next Gen MultiSeat Linux Solution for $99 HP t200 Thin Client
    • The Dilemma of the Linux Desktop

      Both Unity and Cinnamon are reactions to GNOME 3. However, Unity is the result of Ubuntu’s inability to work with the GNOME project, not a difference in design policy. While Unity and GNOME 3 are very different interfaces, both are the result of a top-down process, in which the design is chosen by lead developers and allegedly supported by usability principles.

    • Linux multiseat solution advances to Ethernet with HP thin client

      Userful Corp. announced a new version of its multiseat Linux PC sharing software, now Ethernet-ready and bundled with a $99 HP t200 thin client. The “Userful MultiSeat with HP t200 thin client” solution turns one Edubuntu-based Linux PC into up to 15 computer stations, enabling faster networking than the previous USB-only release, says the company.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Clonezilla Live 1.2.12-10 Has Linux Kernel 3.2

      Steven Shiau proudly announced today, January 30th, a new stable release of his popular Clonezilla Live operating system, used for cloning hard disk drives.

      Clonezilla Live 1.2.12-10 is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit platforms and includes major improvements and assorted bugfixes.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • The diminishing of the operating system

        Mandriva S.A., the company behind the Mandriva Linux distribution, has been given a temporary reprieve from fiscal collapse, following a shareholder skirmish that has left the ultimate fate of the Linux vendor still in doubt.

        COO Jean-Manuel Croset made a brief statement in a blog post yesterday indicating that even though the funds from the minority stakeholders from Russia had not been received, Mandriva had found financial assistance from the Paris Region Economic Development agency that would carry the company through until mid-February.

      • Bid for Mandriva fails

        The external bid for financially troubled Mandriva has been blocked by a minority shareholder. The news was announced by Mandriva COO Jean-Manuel Croset in a brief blog posting. Croset says the company’s financial situation is though “far better than expected” and this will allow the company until the middle of February to find a new solution to its problems.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Linux Users Will Get A Heads-Up Display Instead Of Menu Tabs. Say What?!
          • Ubuntu 12.04 Dash Gets Rid Of Default Shortcuts

            As we earlier reported Ubuntu Dash is getting rid of default useless huge icons (I haven’t seen any use of it yet). The update has arrived. We are running Ubuntu 12.04 to keep an eye on the progress and we just noticed updates to Unity which removes those default 8 icons from the Dash and replace them with more useful shortcuts.

          • Canonical Adds Unity Settings in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

            At the request of many Ubuntu users who hated the Unity interface, introduced with the Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) release, it looks like Canonical is trying hard to make it more user friendly by adding new functionality and allowing users to easily configure it.

          • Ubuntu 12.10 Developer Summit Sponsorship Open
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Mint’s Cinnamon: The Future of the Linux Desktop? (Review)

              Over the last few years, we’ve seen radical changes to the Linux desktop. Some, despite initial opposition, such as the KDE 4.x re-start, took a while to gain favor, but eventually became popular. Others, such as GNOME 3.x have alienated many users and first Ubuntu’s Unity and now it’s Head-Up Display (HUD) have not been greeted with overwhelming approval even by hard-core Ubuntu Linux users. So, Linux Mint’s developers have decided to go back to the past with a GNOME 2.x style desktop: Cinnamon. So, how well have they done? I give them an “A” for effort, but only a “B” for execution.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Proprietary Software Support vs. Open Source Support – Common Misconceptions
  • Pandora’s Box 2.0: Opening proprietary code

    What does it take to open up a proprietary application and make it a successful open source project? To answer this, Glyn Moody takes a look at some prominent successes and failures and identifies the best practices.

  • Mentors fuel growth for open-source communities

    Mentorship programs help people working on open-source projects build a community, make decisions and to maintain projects beyond their initial idea. Some communities use programs that require one-on-one mentorship, while others allow existing members to on-board new members at their own pace. Either way, these programs all aim to ensure the success of the projects.

  • Foradian Technologies’ open source software soon in 50-plus languages

    After implementing open source school management software in 15,000 schools under the Kerala Government’s Sampoorna school management system project, the Mangalore-based Foradian Technologies Pvt Ltd is looking at India and overseas for growth.

  • Fact: Open Source Software saves money

    Just today, I ran across an experience with Microsoft Excel. A need for generating Code 128 barcodes in Excel came up. Immediately upon looking, there are naturally additional plugins for Excel that will do this. And there are several of them out there, all developed by a different party. They are not super cheap, however, and are about half of the cost of Microsoft Office itself. Not only this, but they are victim to very strict licensing as well. Some offer a one-time cost per workstation, and others offer a site license which must be renewed by year. But the same concept applies, the more you want to use the software, the more you must pay.

    Unfortunately where the Code 128 barcode solution is needed, Microsoft Office is deployed currently. Just for personal knowledge, I looked and found that OpenOffice/LibreOffice Calc has a plugin for generating Code 128 barcodes, and it’s FREE. In fact, the plugin itself is open source as well.

  • Taming knowledge with open source
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

    • PostgreSQL cloud database announced

      PostgreSQL specialist EnterpriseDB has announced the availability of Postgres Plus Cloud Database on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Users can run either PostgreSQL or the PostgreSQL-based Postgres Plus Advanced Server with the database-as-a-service (DBaaS) cloud service without needing to undertake major installation or configuration work.

  • CMS

  • Education

    • Open Source Higher Education

      Open CourseWare and other open educational resources are beginning to draw the attention of higher education policymakers and other leaders. Why? These web-based educational tools hold the promise of both reducing the cost of high education and helping learners to complete their degrees by providing access to top quality course materials and instruction.

  • Business

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD Made Much Progress Last Quarter

      The FreeBSD project has published their quarterly report outlining some of the advancements made by this leading BSD operating system in the last quarter of 2011. A lot of progress was made, but still there’s some work left to be accomplished.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

    • open beyond licensing

      When I first let the world in on our “little” project to create an open tablet there were some who wondered openly about the licensing of the software. It’s an important question that deserves a clarifying answer:

      We are not using the OS (Android, in this case) provided by the hardware manufacturer. We are also well aware that some of the people in the hardware supply chain are violating the terms of the GPL. This was amazingly frustrating for us and caused significant delays as we went in search of GPL friendly vendors. We found that in the market of affordable device makers in China, they just don’t exist. There’s a cultural as well as legal hurdles that have led to this unfortunate situation, and I personally think Google has a lot to answer for when they allow such companies open access to their app store while they must be aware of the license violations that are going on. So it’s an unfortunate situation, but we’re problem solvers, we’re bad-ass Free software developers who see a problem and bang on it until it falls over, right?

      We decided to go with Mer, the community continuation of MeeGo, as our base OSS. With the amazing help of the Mer community, we have been able to bring up a non-Android, built-from-source kernel on the device and even boot into Plasma Active. There is still work left, and we still do have some binary drivers, but this progress is already one massive crowbar that’s prying open the doors that have been shut on the world of ARM based devices.

    • The ongoing fight against GPL enforcement

      GPL enforcement is a surprisingly difficult task. It’s not just a matter of identifying an infringement – you need to make sure you have a copyright holder on your side, spend some money sending letters asking people to come into compliance, spend more money initiating a suit, spend even more money encouraging people to settle, spend yet more money actually taking them to court and then maybe, at the end, you have some source code. One of the (tiny) number of groups involved in doing this is the Software Freedom Conservancy, a non-profit organisation that offers various services to free software projects. One of their notable activities is enforcing the license of Busybox, a GPLed multi-purpose application that’s used in many embedded Linux environments. And this is where things get interesting

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Git Gets Enterprise Equipped

      Developer tool provider AccuRev will release a package designed to help enterprises incorporate the increasingly popular Git open source version-control software into their development operations, the company announced Tuesday.

    • Learning Python: a good IDE can help

      Recently, I started trying to learn Python. And, no, not because everyone seems to be learning to code this year. Doing this has been on my back burner for a while, and I’ve finally decided to take the reins.

    • 7 Best Free Alternative Git Clients

Leftovers

  • Beer ‘must be sold’ at Brazil World Cup, says Fifa

    Beer must be sold at all venues hosting matches in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, football’s world governing body, Fifa, has insisted.

  • M$, It’s Just Not Happening

    It’s not going to happen, M$. About 30% of PCs are running XP and many of them are a bit old. To buy 450 million new PCs to replace them, in 800 days would need 500K machines per day, about 45 million per quarter. The world is only shipping 90 million PCs per quarter and many are getting GNU/Linux or MacOS. Don’t hold your breath expecting a 50% pop in revenues the next few quarters. M$ has been selling 50 million licences for “7″ per quarter but that includes consumer, business, replacements and new purchases. The replacement part is not the whole ball of wax.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Paying for Cancer Treatment for Children in America with a Car Wash, Bake Sale and Fish Fry

      “It shouldn’t be this way,” read the subject line of an email I received Friday morning from a conservative friend and fellow Southerner. “People shouldn’t have to beg for money to pay for medical care.”

      At first, I thought he was referring to my column last week in which I wrote about the fundraising effort to cover the bills, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, that the husband of Canadian skier Sarah Burke is now facing. Burke died on January 19, nine days after sustaining severe head injuries in a skiing accident in Park City, Utah. I noted that had the accident occurred in Burke’s native Canada, which has a system of universal coverage, the fundraiser would not have been necessary.

  • Finance

    • John Reed on Big Banks’ Power and Influence

      Bill Moyers talks with former Citigroup Chairman John Reed to explore a momentous instance: how the mid-90s merger of Citicorp and Travelers Group and a friendly Presidential pen — brought down the Glass-Steagall Act, a crucial firewall between banks and investment firms which had protected consumers from financial calamity since the aftermath of the Great Depression. In effect, says Moyers, they put the watchdog to sleep.

  • Copyrights

    • Pirate Party Docks at Berlin’s Parliament

      The recent U.S. shutdown of the Hong Kong-based file-hosting service Megaupload has led other file sharing sites to tighten their content sharing practices, for fear of facing criminal charges. Seven of Megaupload’s executives were charged with copyright violations, racketeering, and money laundering, while CEO Kim Dotcom, a German-Finnish citizen, was arrested along with four others and could face up to 55 years in prison.

    • Copying Is Not Theft, But Censorship Is

      This morning a friend shared with me some amusing American Sign Language videos, and in return I wanted to share with him my favorite ASL video of all time: B. Storm’s interpretation of the Gnarls Barkley song Crazy. Only I couldn’t because it was gone. Why? Because “This video contains content from WMG (Warner Music Group), who has blocked it on copyright grounds.” This is appalling for many reasons, not least of which being the video is almost certainly fair use.

    • Former Survivor member sues Newt Gingrich for using ‘Eye of Tiger’

      Newt Gingrich might feel like Rocky Balboa when he takes the stage at campaign events to Survivor’s 1982 hit “Eye of the Tiger,” but it’s the co-writer of the song who is ready for a fight.

    • Pro-SOPA Folks Push Fact-Challenged Op-Eds

      It seems that, in the wake of the big protests that helped shelve (for now, at least) SOPA and PIPA, the pro-SOPA folks have started pushing people to write op-eds in various publications about how important SOPA/PIPA are — while simultaneously dismissing the concerns of those who opposed the bills. I keep seeing more of them, but wanted to dig into three recent examples, all of which show how the pro-SOPA folks are trying to distort the debate through either outright falsehoods, or carefully misleading statements.

    • Pro-SOPA Folks Push Fact-Challenged Op-Eds
    • ACTA

      • As Anonymous protests, Internet drowns in inaccurate anti-ACTA arguments

        After the Internet’s decisive victory over the Stop Online Piracy Act earlier this month, online activists have been looking for their next target, and a growing number of them have chosen the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which was signed by the EU last week. Indeed, the renewed focus on ACTA even led a group of Polish politicians to hold paper Guy Fawkes masks—the symbol of Anonymous—over their faces in protest at the way ACTA has been pushed through. In the US, over 35,000 people have signed a petition urging the White House to “end ACTA,” despite the fact that it has already been signed by the US.

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