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Links 2/2/2012: DEFT Linux 7, Mozilla Firefox 10

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

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Userful releases Multiseat Linux virtualisation

      SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Userful has launched its Multiseat PC sharing software for Linux with added Ethernet compatibility.

      Multiseat enables businesses and schools to turn one Linux system into multiple stations using HP’s t200 thin client. The software is bundled with the t200, keyboard and mouse for $99.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • A Short Q&A with New Linux Foundation Fellow Greg Kroah-Hartman
    • Exclusive Interview With Greg Kroah-Hartman [Video]

      Kroah-Hartman created and maintains the Linux Driver Project. He is also currently the maintainer for the Linux stable kernel branch and a variety of different subsystems that include USB, staging, driver core, tty, and sysfs, among others. Most recently, he was a Fellow at SUSE. Kroah-Hartman is an adviser to Oregon State University’s Open Source Lab, a member of The Linux Foundation’s Technical Advisory Board, has delivered a variety of keynote addresses at developer and industry events, and has authored two books covering Linux device drivers and Linux kernel development.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Introducing Wayland’s Weston Launcher

        The other Wayland-related news yesterday besides the surprise announcement that the Wayland 1.0 stable release is approaching was the first-shot attempt at “weston-launch”, an easy launcher for the demo Weston compositor.

      • Using An OpenCL Kernel In GStreamer

        There’s now a GStreamer plug-in to utilize OpenCL within this popular Linux video framework so that an OpenCL kernel can be applied against a video stream.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva lives to fight another fortnight

        Chief operating officer Jean-Manuel Croset said that an “external entity” that had expressed an interest in buying the company had not been able to do so because of objections by a minority shareholder.

      • MCLinuxPC 2012 – The Whole Kitchen Sink

        Kind of bubble sort, distributions come up, tumble down, some grow, some die unmaintained. First we had Slack, then Redhat, Mandy, Mepis, Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS… and now Mint. Most often the popularity of a distribution depends on the degree of “out of the box” functionality it offers, plus how well it integrates the various bits and pieces. IMO, only three distributions championed in this regards – Mepis, PCLinuxOS and Mint.

        Now on to the business. Here I am reviewing MCLinuxPC 2012, a remaster that comes from one of my favorite distributions that manages rpm packages on synaptic, by Sefy. No awards for guessing. But I won’t reveal the name for two obvious reasons: first, this remaster has gone too far in including the software not allowed to be legally redistributed, second, it’s not been publicly announced.

      • Should Mandriva Have Focused On More Than Just the OS?

        If you follow the Linux scene, it’s been hard to miss the brinksmanship with bankruptcy that Mandriva has been involved in. Susan has been covering the drama, and many OStatic readers have weighed in on it, some bewildered at how a respected platform went so awry, and some not surprised at all. Among those who follow commercial Linux vendors, though, there is a growing concensus that Mandriva S.A. failed to offer more than just an operating system.

      • February 2012 Issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine Released
    • Debian Family

      • From Mint to Debian on a server

        Not too long ago I posted that I’d switched my two servers from Ubuntu to Linux Mint. I was impressed by Mint’s polish and ease of setup, and was using it everywhere else, so for consistency when I built new servers, I used Mint 10 for those too.

        They’ve been working fine – flawlessly, in fact – but in retrospect I think it was a mistake. Mint 10 is reaching the end of its support life in April, and there’s no upgrade path. You have to reinstall. I’ve tried “unauthorized” methods for version upgrades to Mint in the past, and they don’t usually work all that well. I knew I’d eventually face this issue, but now that it’s almost upon me it seems like much more of a hassle than it did back when I built these boxes. So when I came upon an opportunity to move to 64-bit on one of the servers, I decided to change now.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Obsidian joins Ubuntu Advantage Reseller programme

            Leading open source software and services provider, Obsidian, is pleased to announce that it has strengthened its relationship with Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu operating system, by joining its Ubuntu Advantage Reseller partner network.

            Ubuntu Advantage is a package of services and tools that help customers deploy and manage Ubuntu on servers, desktops and in the cloud. Delivered by Obsidian, supported by Canonical, it includes support services from Ubuntu experts as well as Web-based software for the ongoing management and monitoring of physical and virtual systems.

          • Desktop-Tweaking Tools For Ubuntu Linux

            Ubuntu Linux got a new look when the much-debated Unity was unveiled to users. The modern, search-based interface was liked as much as it was hated, making it one of Canonical’s most controversial decisions. The problem with Unity was not just that it was a new interface; the main issue this reborn Ubuntu faced was of basic usability gone wrong. So, as obvious as it may seem, many people are trying hard to disencumber themselves from this ‘innovation’. While most of those efforts are spent making alternative distros, some are busy tweaking the desktop.

          • Multi-Monitor Update and Greeter Prototype
          • [Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter] Issue 250
          • Unity 5.2: What’s new, and a call for testing
          • Are You Ready to Test Unity 5.2 in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS?

            Canonical announced a few minutes ago, February 1st, that the Unity 5.2 interface is ready for testing on the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) platform.

          • Alternatives to Ubuntu

            Old-school Ubuntu fans who aren’t a fan of the new Unity-based direction of the operating system might find something to like in some of the official Ubuntu spin-offs.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Screenshot tour: Roku 2 streaming media player

      This Screenshot Tour was created to accompany our upcoming detailed review of Roku’s latest streaming media player device family. The tour comprises about 140 screenshots showcasing the Roku 2 media player’s menu system; its extensive library of movies, TV shows, and Internet content channels; its ability to stream from USB drives and LAN shares; the device’s setup functions; and more.

    • Phones

      • WebOS Swings Along the Open Road

        WebOS was “a beautiful thing when HP demonstrated it — HP just failed to get the world excited about it with a thorough advertising campaign and particularly getting ISVs and developers interested,” opined blogger Robert Pogson. “I hope that freeing the source code will have the desired effect. WebOS is too good a thing to lose.”

      • Android

        • NTT Docomo’s Android phones have Mickey Mouse user interface

          NTT Docomo announced a pair of 4.3-inch Android 2.3 smartphones whose styling, user interface, and content all have a Disney theme. Both have dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP4430 processors, but the “Disney Mobile on docomo F-08D” is clocked to 1.2GHz, offers HD resolution, and has a 13-megapixel camera, while the “Disney Mobile on docomo P-05D” offers 1GHz performance and a 960 x 540-pixel OLED screen.

        • CyanogenMod v9 Experimental Build for Sprint Epic 4G Touch
        • Whitepaper for Sony Xperia S gives us a detailed look at its specs

          While we’re not expecting to see the Sony Xperia S until early March, we’re gradually seeing more and more details on the device trickling out. British retailer Clove has received a copy of the Whitepaper for the Xperia S and within its 18 pages we get a pretty detailed look into its specs.

        • Kernel source released for AT&T Galaxy Note
        • Huawei Honor spotted at the FCC with AT&T bands

          One of Huawei’s most popular mid-range phones, the Honor (also known as the Glory, or the Mercury on Cricket) may soon be headed to AT&T. The phone was spotted going through the storied halls of the Federal Communications Commission, seeking certification for a US release. The phone had radios compatible with AT&T’s 3G and HSPA+ bands. As always with FCC filings, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s coming to any particular carrier – phones are often certified for the benefit of showing them off to potential partners.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • SDG Systems Announces Trimble Yuma® with GNU/Linux®

        SDG Systems announced today the availability of the Trimble Yuma rugged tablet computer running the Linux operating system. The Yuma with Linux provides an open source alternative for field data collection, military or industrial applications.

Free Software/Open Source

  • SFC director Kuhn reacts to BusyBox flame war

    Kuhn was reacting to the flame war that has grown out of Linux developer Matthew Garrett’s criticism of efforts to develop a replacement for the popular BusyBox program that provides minimalist replacements for the most common utilities usually found on a UNIX or Linux system.

  • Interview: Jaisen Mathai of OpenPhoto
  • Google is killing Free Software

    I’m not sure I should presume intent because of Hanlon’s razor, but a lot of smart people concerned about Free Software work at Google, so they should at least be aware of it.

    The first problem I have with Google is that they are actively working on making the world of Free Software a worse place. The best example for this is Native Client. It’s essentially a tool that allows building web pages without submitting anything even resembling source code to the client. And thereby it’s killing the “View Source” option. (You could easily build such a tool as Free Software if instead of transmitting the binary, you’d transmit the source code. Compare HTML with Flash here.)

  • Events

    • Get Your Embedded Linux On: Join Me at Yocto Project Developer Day

      Building an embedded Linux distribution can be a daunting task. From the Board Support Package (BSP) to Kernel configuration, root file system setup and the selection many additional software package there are many choices to make and taking the wrong turn can easily lead to a dead end and many hours of wasted time.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Delivers Firefox 10, Shifts Approach to Extensions
      • Mozilla’s first Extended Support Release arrives

        As expected, Mozilla has released the first Extended Support Release of Firefox, based on Firefox 10, for organisations. The release is the culmination of what began as complaints from the enterprise community that the rapid release schedule of Firefox was leaving them unable to qualify Firefox for use within their organisations. Mozilla reactivated its Enterprise Working Group who worked to create the ESR proposal for particular versions of Firefox to be supported for up to a year. The proposal was later refined and scheduled to launch with Firefox 10. The ESR release of Firefox 10 is not for individual users who Mozilla expect want to see the latest features and technologies in their browser.

      • Firefox 10 and Thunderbird 10 Arrive on Ubuntu 12.04
  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • TDF To Base Foundation In Germany

      The Document Foundation (TDF) has announced that it will base its community-driven entity in Berlin, in the legal form of a German Stiftung. This kind of structure is recognized worldwide as a legally stable, safe and long term entity, providing the ideal cornerstone for the long term growth of the community and its software.

      “For the first time in 12 years, the development of the free office suite finally takes place within an entity that not only perfectly fits the values and ideals of the worldwide community, but also has this very same community driving it. The future home of the best free office suite is built and shaped by everyone who decides to participate and join. And the best is: Everyone can contribute and is invited to do so, to further strenghten the free office ecosystem,” says Florian Effenberger, Chairman of the Board at TDF.

  • CMS

    • Your CMS Is Not Your Web Site

      First and foremost, the job of a CMS is (not surprisingly) to manage your content. It keeps content in raw form, separate from the presentation layer in which it eventually should appear. A CMS also allows you to deliver content in multiple formats, such as JSON, RSS and Atom feeds. Many legacy and proprietary content management systems rely on creating static HTML output to use for a Web site, but most newer or open-source content management systems are developed in a way that they can be queried directly and return Web-friendly markup.

  • Business

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD and PC-BSD installers in pictures

      In January, FreeBSD hit its 9.0 release, and PC-BSD followed soon after with its FreeBSD-based 9.0 release.

      FreeBSD takes the tried and tested method of having a text-based installer. Although this release contained a new installer called bsdinstall, it is very similar to the older sysinstall process.


    • You did your part, now it’s our turn to do more for you!

      Well, you did it! We raised $300,000 for free software during our winter fundraising drive, thanks to your contributions.
      Even better, we also exceeded our “behind the scenes” goal, which was to sign up at least 400 new members over the two months. I’m really thrilled to welcome so many new supporters, including our 423 new associate members.

    • GNU spotlight with Karl Berry (January 2012)

      In addition to the usual releases, a new installment of the Lilypond Report has been published. It includes release news, an interview, Prelude #1 in Scheme, and more.

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • Some Thoughts on Conservancy’s GPL Enforcement

      As most of those who know me are aware, I’ve been involved in GPL enforcement for more than 12 years, across three different organizations, the most recent one being here at the Software Freedom Conservancy. Since 2001, I’ve written dozens of articles, blog posts, and given at least fifty talks and CLE classes about how to do GPL compliance, and how enforcement actions tend to occur.

      This weekend at SCALE, I gave a version of a talk I’ve given many times (also available as an oggcast), which I’ve usually entitled something like 12 Years of Copyleft Compliance: A Historical Perspective. I decided to retire this talk last weekend at SCALE (in part because it’s now coming up on 13 years), but before I put that material aside, I thought I’d write a blog post summarizing the more salient points that I make in that talk.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Ending the Symphony Fork

      A fork is a form of software reuse. I like your software module. It meets some or many of my needs, but I need some additional features.

      When I want to reuse existing functionality from another software product, I generally have four choices:

      1. If your module is nicely designed and extensible, then I might be able to simply use your code as-is and write new code to extend it.
      2. I can convince you to modify your module so it meets my needs.
      3. I can work with you in your open source project to make the module (“our” module in this case) meet our mutual needs.
      4. I can copy the source code of your module and change the code in my copy, and integrate that modified module into my product.


  • Finance

    • Holder & Obama’s Propaganda is “Belied by a Troublesome Little Thing Called Facts”

      Elite financial institutions officers engaged in fraud face a dramatically reduced risk of prosecution compared to 20 years ago when financial fraud was far less common. TRAC reports that the number of financial institution fraud prosecutions under Obama is less than one-half the number 20 years ago. Bush (II) was slightly better than Obama in prosecuting non-elite financial institution frauds, but both were pathetically bad.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Google Bursts Microsoft’s Myth About Privacy Policy

      Google has clearly stated that users can opt-out of Google’s ad targeting as well as prevent Google for logging your search history. Google has in fact consolidated information at one place so it is easier to understand and be controlled by users as compared to lengthy documents full of incomprehensible legal jargons. Users are still in full control as they always were while using Google service.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Estonia Next In Line To Receive US ‘Encouragement’ To Adopt Harsher Anti-Piracy Laws

      Numerous Wikileaks cables have highlighted the pressure that the US has brought to bear on several foreign governments behind closed doors in an attempt to get the latter to pass maximalist copyright laws. But it’s worth noting that plenty of arm twisting takes place openly. Here, for example, is a letter (pdf) from the American Chamber of Commerce in Estonia addressed to the Minister of Justice, and the Minister of Economic

    • Copyrights

      • The Sky Is Rising!

        For years now, the legacy entertainment industry has been predicting its own demise, claiming that the rise of technology, by enabling easy duplication and sharing — and thus copyright infringement — is destroying their bottom line. If left unchecked, they say, it is not only they that will suffer, but also the content creators, who will be deprived of a means to make a living. And, with artists lacking an incentive to create, no more art will be produced, starving our culture. While it seems obvious to many that this could not possibly be true, since creators and performers of artistic content existed long before the gatekeepers ever did, we’ve looked into the numbers to get an honest picture of the state of things. What we found is that not only is the sky not falling, as some would have us believe, but it appears that we’re living through an incredible period of abundance and opportunity, with more people producing more content and more money being made than ever before. As it turns out… The Sky Is Rising!

      • White House Says It Can’t Comment On Possible Chris Dodd Investigation
      • Hollywood Gets To Party With TPP Negotiators; Public Interest Groups Get Thrown Out Of Hotel

        We’ve been talking about the ridiculous levels of secrecy around the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement — a trade agreement that is being designed to push through basically everything that Hollywood wants in international copyright law. Last week, we mentioned that various civil society groups were planning to hold an open meeting about TPP in the same hotel where the negotiations were being held (in Hollywood, of course).

      • Angry Birds boss: ‘Piracy may not be a bad thing: it can get us more business’

        Rovio Mobile learned from the music industry’s mistakes when deciding how to deal with piracy of its Angry Birds games and merchandise, chief executive Mikael Hed told the Midem conference in Cannes this morning.

      • CreativeAmerica Literally Resorts To Buying Signatures

        Remember CreativeAmerica? This is the slickly produced operation that claims to be a “grassroots” organization in favor of SOPA and PIPA… but which is actually funded by the major studios, staffed by former MPAA employees, and has had all the major studios directly pushing employees and partners to sign up for the program — even to the point of threatening to take away business if they don’t sign.

        This is also the group that was caught copying an anti-SOPA activism letter, and using the exact same words as if it was written by themselves (I guess they’re fine with plagiarism). It’s also been caught using funny math to pump up its tiny number of supporters.

        In December, we joked that CreativeAmerica had resorted to buying support, after it released a big (and expensive) advertising campaign all over TV and on some big screens in Times Square. Not exactly a “grass roots” operation.

        Either way, it appears the group has gone more direct now: to the point that it’s literally paying people for signatures.

      • iPhone Data Debunks Recording Industry’s Report On How French Three Strikes Law Increased Sales
      • New tactic in mass file-sharing lawsuit: just insult the EFF

        An old legal aphorism says, “If the facts are on your side, pound on the facts. If the law is on your side, pound on the law. If neither is on your side, pound on the table.” After reading the latest salvo in the P2P porn copyright wars, it’s clear that some poor table has been abused horrifically.

      • Venn diagrams: the intersection of morons and judges

        So what’s next? Outlaw links to proxies and anonymizers? Outlaw access to proxies and anonymizers? Outlaw sites who offer proxies, anonymizers, TOR or VPN? Outlaw technologies like proxies, anonymizers, TOR and VPN? Outlaw writing about proxies, anonymizers, TOR and VPN? Maybe I should emigrate to North-Korea or China. As long as you leave politics alone, you can at least blog about technology!

        Of course it doesn’t stop there. The weakest link in the current torrent architecture are the centralized torrent repositories. However, other technologies will emerge that eradicate this flaw as well and become completely decentralized. All that is left then is deep packet inspection, a technology that ironically has recently been banned by that same juridical system.

      • ACTA

        • Due diligence of negotiating criminal laws in the ACTA process

          Just an test inspection into ACTA negotiations formerly covered by secrecy. These allegations are pretty serious. Be reminded, the Criminal chapter of ACTA directly corresponded to the yet unadopted IPRED2 directive. The Commission had no competence to negotiate Criminal sanctions (because IPRED2 is not adopted, though the negotiating mandate mentions criminal enforcment which are also directly referenced in the Digital chapter).

        • Stop ACTA in Europe, February 11th

          More news on the ongoing ACTA protests in Europe. 1000 people attended a protest against ACTA in Poland last week, and more protests are on the way.

        • Slovenian Ambassador Apologizes For Signing ACTA [Updated]

          Update: As a few of you have sent in here is a Google translated version of her “apology.” The translation isn’t great… but it appears she’s saying that the government told her to sign it, and she didn’t know if she could push back, but now that she understands ACTA, she doesn’t like it, and she appears to hope that people will protest ACTA and stop it from getting implemented. If anyone has a better translation, please let us know…

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