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Links 17/2/2012: Finnix 104, Android on x86

Posted in News Roundup at 6:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Random thoughts about Linux and my job

    Knowledge of Linux probably helped me indirectly to get my job — even if I don’t actually need to do any hacking as part of my job. People geekier than me can do the heavyweight php scripting much more efficiently than I can. In addition, I decided to use OS X as main main desktop system at work.

  • Where in the world is Tux? Photos of the lovable Linux mascot from 29 countries

    Do you remember the game “Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?” We’re going to play a game of “Where in the world is Tux?” As it turns out, the lovable Linux penguin mascot has been to the far corners of the world and back again.

    As you will see, Tux has gathered with lots of his friends in Argentina, played with a robot in Brazil, frozen his tail off in Estonia, enjoyed the beaches in Jamaica, visited a castle in Scotland, and much, much more.

  • Linux Jobs Report: 81% of recruiters say hiring Linux talent is a priority

    New Linux Jobs Report says 81% of tech recruiters are looking for Linux talent and 63% expect an increase in Linux-related employment…

  • Announcing *NIXJobs.com – UNIX and Linux Job & Resume Listings
  • Give An Old PC New Life With Linux

    Chances are you have an older computer sitting in a closet somewhere just gathering dust. Why not breathe new life into it by replacing its old, clunky Windows installation with a fast and shiny new Linux installation?

  • Linux talent shortage drives up salaries

    It pays to be a Linux expert, and if you have any needs that are not being met by your employer and you have Linux skills, now might be a good time to start making some demands.

    The Linux Foundation, the non-profit consortium that fosters the expansion of Linux and which gives Linus Torvalds his paycheck, tag-teamed with Dice Holdings, the jobs posting site, to get a handle on what’s going on out there in the Linux workforce in terms of salaries, benefits, and working conditions.

  • Accessibility Leaders in Linux

    Accessibility to computers for people with vision, hearing, or physical impairments needs to be a part of fundamental design, and not an afterthought. Progress in the proprietary world is slow, and even slower in the Linux/FOSS world. But thanks to some dedicated people some significant work has been accomplished, and the groundwork laid for a common platform for all Linux distributions to build on.

  • Linux has a Place in the Enterprise

    From its meager beginnings as a hobby project to its extreme success among geeks, Linux has survived lawsuits, boycotts and onslaughts from every corner of the UNIX, Windows and Mac computing markets. Linux has, in spite of its critics, made its way into the world’s data centers. Linux enjoyed early success as a host platform for the Apache web server but now has blossomed into a formidable contender for rack space. For an operating system, Linux has the best mixture of vendor neutrality, open source code base, stability, reliability, scalability and affordability. It also provides the user or administrator the choice of graphical user interfaces or none at all.

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Catalyst A.I. Useless Under Linux?

        AMD today launched the Radeon HD 7570/7770 graphics cards as the latest GPUs built on the GCN architecture. Unfortunately there still is not any open-source support for the Radeon HD 7000 series hardware nor has AMD sent out any review samples to Phoronix. But there is some other Catalyst Linux news to share.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Pre-orders For KDE Plasma Active Tablet ‘Spark’ Now Open

        All right everyone, there is a good news. Pre-orders for KDE Plasma Active/Mer based tablet Spark has just started.

      • Easy Favorites in KDE!

        Having recently switched to KDE, I found one major annoyance. That is not to say that KDE is perfect save for this one thing, but it was pretty glaring to me none the less. Favorites.

        I started “pinning” applications to my “favorites” section in the KDE launcher and it didn’t take long to fill it up. In Windows 7, this is not a big deal because the launcher will just get longer to accommodate the content. Not the case with KDE. I set out to find a way to make the KDE launcher longer, to fit my most commonly used applications, but came up short and instead devised this clever way to launch apps without the aid of any 3rd party widgets.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Looking forward to 2012

        Stuart Jarvis from the KDE project agrees that there needs to be more communication and collaboration between the projects: “I’d love to see better collaboration between ourselves, GNOME and the other free software players. It’s daft to have different standards for desktop notifications, password storage, etc. There’s been some great work on this recently, such as the work around telepathy, but there’s plenty more to do.”

  • Distributions

    • Today’s Featured Distribution – Salix OS

      As many of you know, I’m partial to distributions with the Slackware pedigree. Salix is one that I had not tried before. My favorites up to now have been Zenwalk, Absolute Linux, and Vector Linux. However, I haven’t had any of those on any of my systems for quite some time. I’m patiently waiting for the 64 bit versions.

      Now with Salix OS, I find a nice 64 bit version all ready to go. I installed it with the Xfce desktop. Installation was fast and easy using their familiar installer. No surprises here, folks. It just works. I had to do a couple custom tweaks here and there to get the system up and running, though.

    • Linux Live Environments: Cool Tools Even For Windows Folks

      Preconfigured Linux environments provide powerful tools to aid in pen testing, mobile security testing, malware analysis, and forensics

    • Bridge 2012.1 Screenshots
    • Dreamlinux 5.0: a leap to the dream

      There are a lot of Linux distributions based on Debian. The most famous of them are Ubuntu, some flavours of Linux Mint and Aptosid. There are many more less known, for example, Kademar. Another Debian derivative which I have already written about is DreamLinux.

    • SimplyMEPIS 11.0.12 Screenshots
    • Webconverger 11 review

      Can an operating system consisting of just a web browser, designed for public kiosk use, offer anything of use to the masses? Gareth Halfacree investigates…

      Webconverger is an interesting project, but one that is clearly targeting a small niche of the overall Linux market. Founded in 2007 as a business entity, the project aims to create a fast and efficient locked-down distribution aimed at public-facing computers that only need access to web apps.

    • CrunchBang 10 R20120207 Screen Captures
    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Chating with Red Hat’s John Mark Walker

        John Mark Walker, Red Hat’s Gluster Community Manager, stopped by to discuss Gluster, an open source project and the foundation of Red Hat Storage. Gluster is storage virtualization technology that supports scalable, high performance storage to support organizations’ move towards “Storage as a Service.” The technology is available as a software appliance that can execute on both physical and virtual systems.

      • Fedora

        • Will Fedora 17 Beefy Miracle get Cinnamon?

          The upcoming Fedora 17 Beefy Miracle release is likely to be one of the most feature packed Fedora Linux releases in years.

          One feature that I’d like to see in it, is the Cinnamon desktop.

          Cinnamon was started by Linux Mint and has since found its’ way to multiple distro’s repositories. As far as I can tell, it hasn’t quite yet landed in anything official for Fedora (and yes I know, it’s all open source so users can just go and build on their own – great tutorials are out for that too). Cinnamon is a response to user demands for something other than Unity or GNOME Shell on top of a GNOME 3 base.

    • Debian Family

      • GPL use in Debian on the rise: study

        A recent study by a free software advocate has found that the use of the GNU General Public Licence family in the Debian GNU/Linux Project has been growing over the last seven years.

      • Debian announces “Wheezy” artwork contest

        The Debian Project has announced the launch of a new artwork contest for version 7.0 of its Linux distribution, code-named “Wheezy”. The project’s developers are seeking proposals from contributors for a variety of graphics and other artwork that will make up the look and feel of the next Debian operating system release.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical refreshes “Lucid Lynx” with 10.04.4

            Canonical and the Ubuntu developers have announced the release Ubuntu 10.04.4, the fourth maintenance release of updated installation media for the long-term supported release of the Linux distribution. This is the last planned update to the installation media and updates the desktop, server and alternate installation CDs and DVDs for i386 and amd64 architectures. In future, security updates will be individually downloadable from the Ubuntu archives.

          • A More “Classic GNOME” Session Lands In Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

            The Indicator Applet port to GTK3 has finally landed in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin. This, along with some changes to the GNOME Panel default settings, finally “fix” the Classic (fallback) GNOME session in Ubuntu 12.04:

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Sick of Ubuntu? Take a look at Linux Mint 12

              For a number of years now Ubuntu Linux has been the poster penguin for easy-to-use Linux. But it’s not the only one.

              Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, set out to make a ‘Linux for human beings’ and succeeded — it is, currently, the most popular Linux desktop distribution and the first port of call for Windows users looking to make the switch.

            • Distro Hoppin`: Linux Mint 12 KDE

              Oh, dear Open Source Lord, how time has passed. As I was reading the release announcement of the new Linux Mint KDE, I didn’t even consider creating a distro hoppin` episode, thinking I just recently did one on it. I went looking through the archives and, there it was, Linux Mint 7 KDE, written on… August 5th 200…9! And it’s now 2012! Wowey.

              So here I am, in front of a new Kate document (I like writing my articles in the OS I am testing – though I would prefer, in the future, to have a completely separate hoppin` machine), ready to share some geeky thoughts with you people! Before I begin, let me give a shout-out to my great neighbor on the 4th floor, who likes listening to horrible, horrible music, at max volume, every weekday MORNING until early afternoon.

            • Linux Mint 12 Lisa KDE – I don’t know what to think

              Linux Mint is a brave and feisty distro. First, it managed to remain unchanged in the last three years, which can’t be said of many of its siblings, which seemed to have jumped on the moronity wagon and traded the 10-finger dexterity we developed through million of years of evolution for the single-finger slide-like motion called touchcrap. Second, the developers most courageously chose to abandon Gnome 3 as the flagship platform for their future releases, and are working on a brand new design called Cinnamon, which should offer the latest technology sans the cretinism. Third, it topped the DistroWatch daily pagerank hit list, which tells us something.

              All in all, Mint’s popularity seems to be growing. The distro is doing well, even though it was set back by Gnome 3 in its latest autumn release, forcing it down a whole four places in the best distro contest I ran in December. Still, it consistently provides a simple and rich environment for users, with everything configured out of the box. There’s a bright future ahead for Mint. But all of what I told you so far does not mention KDE in any way. So what happens when you take Mint and twine it to KDE? What happens?

            • Pear Linux Comice OS 4 beta 1 review

              The distribution now goes by a slightly different name – Pear Linux Comice OS, and the latest version is Pear Linux Comice OS 4. Pear, we all know, is a fruit, and Comice is a variety of pear, a European pear. The interesting thing about Comice OS 4 is that it was announced (via email) on February 9. Then on February 10, an update was hurriedly pushed out after several bugs were discovered in the first release. That update was called Pear Linux Comice OS 4-b. The next day, February 11, it was announced on Distrowatch as Pear Linux Comice OS 4 Beta 1. That is the brief account of how Comice OS 4 became Comice OS 4 Beta 1. It is like walking backwards, but you have to give the developer credit for an error and going back to the drawing table.

            • Xubuntu 11.10 Review

              The list of changes is smaller than I expected after finally experimenting with Xubuntu 11.10 Oneric Ocelot. In fact very little has changed, but things are running better than ever. Some of the default applications have been replaced, but nothing major. That being said, I certainly have high hopes for 12.04.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi to run BBC Micro 2
    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • The Kindle Fire After Two Months

        My wife got me a Kindle Fire for the holidays and I thought I should check in and report on how it’s been going with it. I wanted to provide the perspective of someone who’s been seriously using the device for a few weeks, rather than someone who played with it for a few days.

        I’m not a huge tablet fan, in general. I’m a very fast typist and I find it infuriating working with text on an on-screen keyboard. Even a simple search often drives me nuts on my phone.

        That’s impacted how I’m using the Fire. I’m really using it to consume content and avoiding creating content on it, including emails and tweets.

        In fact, I’m really just using it for games, feed reading, and reading PDFs, and for those purposes, it’s perfect.

      • Huawei Launching New Tablet and Smartphone at the MWC

        Huawei rocked the CES 2012 show by launching the world’s thinnest smartphone at only 6.68 mm thin. It’s known as Ascend P1, of course it’s an amazing looking device and hopefully it will hit US sometime soon. We also informed you that Huawei will reveal their “Diamond” series at the Mobile World Congress later this month, and now the word on the street is the first Diamond series device will be known as Ascend D1 Q. The “Q” means it will be the first ever Huawei device to come with a quad-core processor. It will also run Android v4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Weapons of mass open source destruction

    Open source is almost always viewed as a positive force for the onward development of software code, even if the community contribution model still garners criticism relating to quality, compliance and support from time to time.

    With this general trend in mind, the open sourcing of the Zeus banking Trojan last year may have left many industry watchers wondering whether an army of malicious code hackers would pick up the opportunity to further its destructive powers.

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Create amazing websites and WAP sites with Packt’s Liferay Portal 6.1 book

      Liferay Portal is the leading open source enterprise portal, available under the GNU Lesser General Public License. Including a built in web content management system as well as multiple social collaboration services, it is used in diverse situations often to power corporate intranets and extranets and external websites. Liferay Portal is Java based but supports multiple scripting languages, and runs on multiple computing platforms, web containers, operating systems and databases. Liferay has a very large community with roughly four million downloads and 350,000-500,000 worldwide deployments.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Time to dispel open source myths, says Liam Maxwell

      Open source and open standards are the direction for UK government IT, the civil servant leading the government’s technology change agenda has said, reports The Register.

      Liam Maxwell, Cabinet Office director of ICT futures, said that open source has grown up and it’s time to dispel lingering misconceptions about this technology and development process.

      Maxwell told the Intellect 2012 conference in London: “Open source software is not three guys in a shed anymore. There are a lot of misconceptions about open source but open source is the future model for delivering IT.”

    • New Hampshire Legislature Passes Open-Source Software Bill

      The New Hampshire state legislature recently passed a bill that makes open data and open source software included by default in the state’s procurement process.

      The bill, HB 418, requires government officials to consider open-source products when making new technology acquisitions and only purchase products that comply with open data standards. Last year, Nick Judd covered how the New Hampshire legislature changed with the addition of several “geeks” to the House of Representatives and the passage of this new legislation shows a growing culture of friendliness to the tech concept of “open” in the statehouse. It is currently on its way to the governor’s desk for signing.

      Open source advocates say the New Hampshire bill represents an evolution for open software in government.

    • Committed, until the monopoly comes calling

      Every other year there is a fresh commitment that open source solutions will be preferred for government funded projects, and that open standards will be adopted ‘wherever possible’. The logic for these decisions is well understood, but is soon forgotten when the monopoly comes calling, says Richard Hillesley…

  • Licensing

    • The pluses and minuses of licensing

      Proponents of open source push their licences as superior; the folk who support free software licences, such as the GPL, do likewise. And those who are selling commercial software under proprietary licences throw mud at both free and open source licences, hoping some will stick.

      When the average company wants to find out details of these licences – in order to use free and, often, much better crafted code – it is unlikely to approach either the open source or free software advocates. Nor would such an entity go to the Open Source Initiative or the Free Software Foundation.

  • Programming


  • Windows 8′s five biggest enemies

    What? You thought I was going to say that the Linux and/or Mac desktops were going to rise up from their combined less than 10% of the desktop marketplace and smite Windows 8? Please. Contrary to Windows fanatics’ view of me, I’m not a Linux fanboy. I just like what works.

    Specifically, I think the Linux desktop is the best for power users and I think the Mac desktop is best for people who just want an easy to use desktop. Thanks though to Microsoft’s illegal desktop monopoly in the 90s, its rivals never had a chance to flourish and to this day they’ve never been able to catch up. Windows 8 won’t increase Windows’ PC market-share, but it will only cause a slight decrease on the desktop, not a catastrophic decline. Unfortunately for Microsoft, Windows 8 has far more bigger rivals to worry about.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • How We Work Now, In America

      The chart above divides total Full Time jobs by Total Part Time jobs, in the United States. Coming into the financial crisis of 2008, the US maintained nearly 5 Full Time jobs for every Part Time job. The failure of the economy to add back those Full Time jobs, along with flat to falling wage growth in real terms, accounts for much of the country’s dissatisfaction with the “recovery.” Replacing higher paying full time jobs with lower paying part time jobs simply won’t do. As food prices continue to climb, and as oil stubbornly holds to $100 a barrel (kicking 12% of US oil consumption offline), Americans are discovering what it’s like to live without progress.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • SOPA/PIPA and ??

        This domain closure stuff is seriously bad news. If the report is to believed a site that provides online forms to hundreds of thousands of users was cut off by their internet provider (Go Daddy – well they were idiots for using Go Daddy for DNS services) at the request of the Secret Service who were investigating something or other – and investigating so hard that they promised they’d look into the site closure in a few days.

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