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Links 6/2/2012: PCLinuxOS 2012.02 and Mint KDE Reviews

Posted in News Roundup at 11:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • BT Vision plans to leave Mediaroom

    BT Vision is apparently preparing to drop the Microsoft Mediaroom platform and put in place a browser-based replacement running on Linux. The migration away from Mediaroom would be an embarrassment for Microsoft, which developed a special variant to cater for the BT Vision hybrid broadcast and broadband service. BT is a partner in the planned YouView platform, which also specifies a Linux operating system.

    Microsoft created Mediaroom as a platform for IPTV or internet protocol television services, aimed at top tier telcos. BT was an early customer. Others include Deutsche Telekom and AT&T. With more than eight million households through over 40 operators, it is one of the most widely deployed commercial IPTV middleware platforms.

  • Hail the penguin

    Last year Linux celebrated its 20th birthday. The operating system began life as a cut-down version of the commercial Unix system, which turned 40 last year, and has become the largest distributed software development project in history.

    The kernel – the bit between the hardware and software – consists of more than 11 million lines of code contributed by more than 500 companies and tens of thousands of developers around the world. It has been estimated that commercial redevelopment of Linux would cost more than US$3 billion, yet it’s yours for free.

  • Desktop

    • Writing and GNU/Linux

      He really expects e-books to dominate in book publishing and is at the tipping point. He likes the way FLOSS works for him.

      FLOSS has so many tools for writing. I like LyX for larger projects because it scales nicely. The applications does less during writing and saves the heavy lifting for the rendering process so I can maximize my productivity. The less my PC does to get in my way, the better I write. I use LibreOffice for routine stuff and it also provides a good spreadsheet for handling tabular data. I should also use a FLOSS database to keep track of stuff but WordPress does that already and Google is great so I have not done that yet. I could probably scrape MrPogson.com for hyperlinks and generate a good database for my writing automatically. Whatever we imagine we can do with FLOSS.

    • Don’t Get Excited Over Coreboot Laptops Yet

      There was the Coreboot main track session today at FOSDEM 2012 about Coreboot support on laptops and other areas, but unfortunately, there isn’t much to get excited about at this point.

      While Coreboot has made much progress in providing a “free” BIOS / UEFI for modern systems (particularly those based upon new AMD hardware), there is still much work left to be accomplished. There was an expectation that at this FOSDEM event there would be a new laptop shown off running Coreboot with the expectation that a new vendor might be shipping this device with Coreboot this year.

    • Scholarly work using Linux

      In Linux, I do not have to install anything for my computer to do all that: the OS includes all the functionalities I need. From KOrganizer, I get the computer to wake me up with a song and to launch Firefox and LibreOffice with my article without exposing my computer to any malware. I simply used the process for a song but selected “application/script” instead of “sound”. Then I wrote libreoffice3.4 for “application” and added the path where the file was in “arguments”.

      But that’s not all: Linux has a great tool for copying citations from PDFs: Okular. Its fabulous feature to select text from virtually any PDF, copy it, and paste it truly facilitates the process of adding citations to one’s article. Even in the rare cases when it is not possible to get the selection as text, you can paste it as an image with Okular…simple and quick.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Gallium3D For Mesa 8.0

        With the Mesa 8.0 release right around the corner, in recent weeks there have been a number of benchmarks on Phoronix looking at this latest open-source OpenGL library and its drivers, including Gallium3D. In this article though are new benchmarks from one of the areas not explored yet: the Intel Gallium3D driver performance.

      • Intel Haswell Graphics Driver To Be Opened Up Soon

        While the Ivy Bridge launch is still a number of weeks out, Intel will soon be publishing their initial hardware enablement code for next year’s Haswell micro-architecture.

        There’s already been Haswell compiler support patches, but for the open-source graphics drivers there will soon be the first bits of public code. The Ivy Bridge Linux support code is mostly all molded into shape, so some attention has already turned to the Ivy Bridge-successor Haswell.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Integrating Shutter With KDE 4.7

        Did you know that you can integrate Shutter with KDE 4.7? Yes, you sure can. Shutter is an excellent tool for screen captures regardless of your desktop environment.

      • KDE Development – A Beginner’s Guide

        During a recent 5 day sprint, four KDE contributors planned and produced a handbook for beginning KDE developers. We had assistance from several generous organizations, worked hard, and learned a lot.

  • Distributions

    • RebeccaBlackOS – First Live CD Running Wayland Display Server
    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS 2012.2 has been released

        Bill Reynolds announced the availabilty of PCLinuxOS 2012.2 with Linux Kernel and desktop environment KDE 4.6.5. It is available in 32-bit and 64-bit architecture. PCLinuxOS is mainly forked from Mandriva and very easy to use operating system.

      • PCLinuxOS 2012.02 Review

        There are quite a few distributions out there that are geared towards the novice user, and PCLOS does a great job at it. The website does have a community where one could ask for help and there is even a monthly magazine that they publish monthly with tips and tricks for Linux users. That right there is worth a few bonus points as they are trying to keep a community and help a new user. They have also published a

        What I found strange in PCLOS is what the developers chose to have on the desktop by default. The applications they chose doesn’t make much sense in my opinion as there could have been better ones selected, say Firefox and Thunderbird, compared to LibreOffice Manager, Network Center, Firewall Setup and Localization manager.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • inux Mint 12 KDE review

              Linux Mint 12 KDE is the latest update to the line of Linux Mint editions that are based on Ubuntu Desktop and use the K Desktop Environment. It is actually the first release of the KDE edition in a very long time. The last release before this one was Linux Mint 10 KDE, which was released in February 2011. (See Linux Mint 10 KDE review.)

              So we moved from Linux Mint 10 KDE to Linux Mint 12 KDE because Linux Mint 11 KDE did not make it out of the developer’s box.

            • LinuxMint12 KDE has been released! | Screenshots Tour

              LinuxMint 12 KDE has been released, this edition comes with the latest and recently released KDE 4.7.4. This is the first release of Linux Mint using Hybrid ISO images. Traditionally, tools such as ‘Startup Disk Creator’ or ‘UNetbootin’ were needed to install Linux Mint via USB. With hybrid images, you can simply use the ‘dd’ command or a graphical front-end to make a bootable USB stick with no efforts which acts exactly like a live DVD.

            • Xubuntu 12.04 LTS Alpha 2 Screenshot Tour

              On February 2nd, Canonical unleashed for testing the second and last Alpha version of the upcoming Xubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) operating system.

              Xubuntu 12.04 LTS Alpha 2 is powered by Linux kernel 3.2.2 and is built on top of the Xfce 4.8 desktop environment. It features a new greeter and desktop theme, as well as minor changes to various packages and default settings (including the size of the Terminal font).

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • U.S. government, military to get secure Android phones

          Some U.S. officials this year are expected to get smartphones capable of handling classified government documents over cellular networks, according to people involved in the project.
          The phones will run a modified version of Google’s Android software, which is being developed as part of an initiative that spans multiple federal agencies and government contractors, these people said.

        • 10 beautiful Android Live Wallpapers
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Details Emerge About the Spark Linux-Based Tablet

        There’s a new tablet in town (well, on its way to town, at least) called the Spark. The Linux-based tablet, based on the Zenithink C71, was announced several days ago, but the fellow behind the project, KDE developer Aaron Seigo, released more details on his blog in a convenient Q&A format.

      • Linux unveils open source tablet

        The Spark, an open source tablet that will be available for purchase by May this year, is part of the Linux-based MeeGo project, which is hosted by the Linux Foundation, iTWire reports.

        The device will run open source software, as well as a mix of free content, such as digital books from Project Gutenberg, as well as content and apps for purchase, PC World states.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Help OSI – Complete Our Survey!
  • HP Opens Up Its Switches to OpenFlow

    HP has been a supporter of the OpenFlow effort for several years, but previously had not offered full commercial support on its switching platforms.

    “We have been working with OpenFlow and had a special licensed version available for over four years,” Saar Gillai, Vice President, Advanced Technology Group, and CTO at HP Networking told InternetNews.com. “Now, based on strong demand from our customers, we’re putting out a fully supported commercial release that any of our customers can download and use on their switches.”

  • Big Switch releases open source controller for OpenFlow
  • OMB Shared First should include open source, says group

    Open source advocates urge the Office of Management and Budget to expand its Shared First strategy to include open source software development in a Feb. 2 comment posted online.

  • Open Source Initiative affiliates announced at FOSDEM

    Open Source Initiative (OSI) board member Simon Phipps has announced a group of affiliate organisations who will be providing advice to the OSI as it reforms itself from a self appointed board-based organisation eventually to a member-based organisation. The affiliates, announced during Phipps’ presentation at FOSDEM in Brussels, are the Apache Software Foundation, Creative Commons, Drupal, the Eclipse Foundation, FreeBSD, Joomla (via Open Source Matters), KDE, the Linux Foundation, the Mozilla Foundation, Plone, Sahana and Wikiotics. The OSI is also undertaking an anonymous survey to gauge what a future personal membership of the OSI should mean in practice.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 3.5 Will Be Released on February 8

      The Document Foundation proudly announced on February 4th that the third and last Release Candidate version of the upcoming LibreOffice 3.5 open source office suite is available for download and testing.

    • LibreOffice making steady progress

      A little more than a year after The Document Foundation was set up to look after LibreOffice, the fork of the former OpenOffice.org project, it seems that Oracle did the users of the latter office suite a great favour by neglecting it.

  • Education

  • Healthcare

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Alfresco Embraces SaaS and the Cloud with Its New CMS Platform

        In a big endorsement of the SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) model, enteprise content management system (CMS) maker Alfresco is embracing cloud- and mobile-based usage of its platform with its new Alfresco 4 release. The open source CMS platform is used by 2,500 enterprises in 55 countries according to the company, and users need to access the content from their mobile devices, share and sync on the go, and more. The new platform is accessible from tablets as well as smartphones, and also allows users to publish straight to social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook.

  • Public Services/Government

    • New Hampshire Passes ‘Open Source Bill’
    • How Did This Get Past Microsoft? New Hampshire Passed An Open Source Software Bill

      New Hampshire (motto: “Live Free or Die”) has passed HB418, a House bill which legislates the requirement that state agencies “consider open source software when acquiring software and promotes the use of open data formats by state agencies. This bill also directs the commissioner of information technology to develop a statewide information policy based on principles of open government data.”

      Whew! According to bill author and Linux kernel contributor Seth Cohn (commenting on Slashdot), this is the first open source and open data bill to pass in any state, ever. Now, it does not require state government officials to pick the open source alternative over the proprietary one at any point in time, but simply to officially document their justification for their software policy.

    • Live Free or Die in New Hampshire
  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming


  • Finance

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • White House Petition Demands TPP Process Be Open & Transparent

      It seems that, with every issue that comes up around here, people are quickly putting together White House petitions on the White House’s “We The People” site. The latest, in response to all of these stories about secrecy concerning the negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), is a petition demanding that the process be more open and transparent.

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • ACTA Attack

          ACTA is perhaps one of the most sinister developments in the history of the Internet, and beyond, not only because of the Draconian legislations it proposes, but also because of the manner in which they were proposed.

          You see ACTA has never been democratically scrutinised or debated. It was created and negotiated entirely in secret by private corporations, not transparently by democratically elected representatives, and then ratified without any democratic mandate (by “executive order”). Indeed, the US government actually went so far as to describe these boiler-room “negotiations” as “a matter of national security”.

        • The EU Commission’s Repressive Plans Beyond ACTA

          The EU Commission is relentlessly defending ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which faces widespread opposition in Europe and beyond. Falsely portraying ACTA as an acceptable agreement, the Commission is paving the way for its ultra-repressive copyright enforcement agenda, as revealed in documents just released. Citizens and their elected representatives across Europe must denounce this dangerous drift of the policy-making process, which is bound to undermine freedoms online and the very architecture of the Internet, and instead require a thorough reform of copyright.

        • European spring is over

          The European Parliament has sent me the legal service’s opinion on ACTA. It is almost completely blacked out.

          On 4 October the Legal Affairs committee requested the opinion of the Parliament’s legal service on ACTA. The service concluded the opinion on 8 December. I requested the document on 10 December.

          On 19 December the Legal Affairs committee decided to make the opinion public.

          There was a first indication things were going wrong on 11 January. The Parliament’s register wrote me: “Due to ongoing consultations in view of disclosure of the requested documents, we would like to inform you that in accordance with Article 7(3) of Regulation 1049/2001, we need to extend the reply’s time limit by adding 15 working days.”

          On 4 February (letter dated 31.1) I received the blacked out document. Apparently, the Legal Affairs committee’s decision was overridden. By whom? Probably by the Parliament’s Bureau.

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