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02.20.12

Links 20/2/2012: Linux 3.3 RC4, VLC 2.0

Posted in News Roundup at 12:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Super Dorky Way Programmers Are Trying To Get People Interested In Linux

    It’s Friday. That’s the perfect day to have uncovered this weird gem: This week, Rebecca Black got her own version of Linux, RebeccaBlackOS.

    She’s not the first teenybopper to get her own open source operating system either. RebeccaBlackOS follows Hannah Montana Linux and Justin Bieber Linux.

  • Baidu zooms in on mobile

    According to Reuters, Li said Baidu was looking to work with more smartphone vendors to expand the reach of its Linux-based Yi mobile platform.

  • Is Windows 8 a Linux Copycat?
  • Desktop

    • GNU/LInux Sold Retail in Brazil

      They don’t seem to have alphabetical order in mind but they certainly do give space to GNU/Linux. So much for the FUD that GNU/Linux is somehow not ready for consumers. Look at all computers sorted by “Best Sellers”…

    • Another Windows XP to Fedora 16 Linux migration

      My thoughts on why businesses and individuals need to start thinking about switching away from proprietary (and high maintenance) software like Windows, and look at open source and free software inste… Read more »ad like GNU/Linux. All articles are based on real world and everyday experiences with Windows and GNU/Linux, for both business and personal use.
      Recently I’ve had the pleasure of replacing yet another Windows XP computer with Fedora Linux (version 16). The user is a relative of mine, and finally became tired of dealing with malware every month or so by simply browsing the web. So at his request I put Fedora Linux on the PC and wiped XP away from it for good. He had already used GNU/Linux on other PCs.

      As stated in a previous post, I came across some issues with Fedora 16 and Gnome 3 with a previous deployment, but this time I knew what to expect. After installing Fedora 16 which took about 25 minutes or so from start to finish, I immediately changed Gnome to Fallback Mode to keep the desktop environment familiar to Gnome 2. My personal thought is that the Gnome 2 look and feel is much better suited for a desktop PC.

  • Server

    • ‘Linux for cloud’ floats anti-Amazon cloud taster
    • John Hancock Signs $25m Annuity Admin ITO Contract Extension with CSC

      CSC reports that the new contract authorizes a transition from the current mainframe environment to a new z Linux platform, which the vendor claims will: lower costs through enhanced operational and energy efficiency; improve service through a simplified, integrated environment; and augment risk management via strengthened resiliency and security features.

    • SGI’s Opteron-Based ICE System Is Tops in MPI Benchmark

      The SGI ICE 8400 platform with AMD processors is a completely open platform optimized for HPC workloads and runs an off-the-shelf Linux operating system for application compatibility. Although the ICE platform is able to comfortably support multi-petaflop sized installations, design considerations allow cost effective solutions down to a half rack. Single- or dual-plane integrated InfiniBand can be cabled into four different topologies, including hypercube, enhanced hypercube, all to all, and fat-tree, allowing flexible network customization for a variety of workloads.

  • Kernel Space

    • LZ4 For Btrfs Arrives While Its FSCK Remains M.I.A.

      The proper fsck utility for the Btrfs file-system remains M.I.A. while a contribution from an independent developer introduces LZ4 compression support to this next-generation Linux file-system.

      Last month at SCALE 10x the lead developer of Btrfs, Chris Mason, told the crowd that an error-fixing Btrfs.fsck tool was imminent since the file-system is going production-ready in Oracle Linux (Mason is an Oracle engineer) and had a deadline of 14 February.

    • Download Linux Kernel 3.3 RC4 Now
    • [announce] Gujin GPL bootloader version 2.8.5
    • [ANNOUNCEMENT] The Barbershop Load Distribution algorithm for Linux kernel scheduler.

      Here, I’m going to introduce an alternative load distribution algorithm for Linux kernel scheduler. This technique is named as “The Barbershop Load Distribution Algorigthm” or BLD for short and will be refered as BLD from here on. As it’s name implies, it only tries to distribute the load properly by tracking lowest and
      highest loaded rq of the system. This technique never tries to balance the system load at idle context, which is done by the current scheduler. The motivation behind this technique is to distribute load properly amonst the CPUs in a way as if load balancer isn’t needed and to make load distribution easier.

    • Linux 3.3-rc4
    • World Clamors for Linux Experts, Says Linux Foundation
    • Why being a Linux geek could make you more employable
    • Linux skills in demand, wages up
    • Report: Linux job openings on the rise

      This was the conclusion of the 2012 Linux Jobs Report released yesterday, which surveyed more than 2,000 hiring managers. The survey was conducted by IT job specialist Dice together with The Linux Foundation. The latter is a non-profit foundation set up to promote, protect and advance Linux.

    • Kernel Log: Apple streamlines CUPS

      CUPS 1.6, which is currently in development, will no longer include some features used in many Linux distributions. An Intel developer has presented patches that may allow the kernel to use an efficient power management feature by default.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Hardware Context Support Patches Arrive
      • Open-Source ARM Mali Code Published

        The initial code push has taken place for the Lima Project, which is the open-source ARM Mali graphics driver that’s under development.

        The Lima stack development is sponsored by Codethink and its lead developer is veteran X.Org developer Luc Verhaegen. Phoronix was the first to break the news on the project last month.

      • OpenChrome Picks Up New VIA Support, But Still Lags

        The xf86-video-openchrome driver has seen its first proper release in quite a while. The xf86-video-openchrome 0.2.905 release has support for new hardware and features.

        The OpenChrome driver is rarely worked on today by the small open-source VIA community, but the new 0.2.905 release that’s now available introduces VX900 support, VX855 X-Video support, X.Org Server 1.12 compatibility, and assorted bug-fixes/tweaks.

      • VMware Virtual GPU Driver Gets Fake Page-Flipping
      • VA-API Video Decoding Support For Wayland
      • Intel Tries To Fix RC6 Support Once Again

        After several attempts that ultimately failed, this weekend Eugeni Dodonov published a patch-set as “Another chapter in RC6 saga…” where he hopes the Sandy Bridge RC6 power-savings (and performance boosting) support is finally reliable to enable by default.

        For those that aren’t familiar with Intel RC6 at this stage, you must read more Phoronix articles as it’s been routinely covered in past months. To get up to speed, read SNB RC6 On Linux 3.1 Is Both Good & Bad where it outlines the power-savings abilities of this hardware feature, which allows the Intel graphics processor to be dropped into a lower-power state. At the same time as conserving precious energy, RC6 can also boost graphics performance as Phoronix benchmarks have shown in other articles.

      • The Technical Plans For Making Wayland 1.0

        After laying out plans earlier this month at FOSDEM for releasing Wayland 1.0 this year, Kristian Høgsberg has now written a more detailed message to the Wayland developers that outlines some of the TODO list and other plans for making Wayland 1.0.

      • Image Quality Comparison: Radeon Gallium3D vs. Catalyst
      • NVIDIA Releases 295.20 Linux Drivers
      • Morphological Anti-Aliasing With Mesa 8.0

        One of the less talked about features of Mesa 8.0 is its ability to handle MLAA, which is short for Morphological Anti-Aliasing. But how does MLAA on the open-source graphics drivers affect the OpenGL performance and is it worth it for boosting the image quality through this anti-aliasing technique? In this article are some benchmarks of MLAA under Mesa 8.0.

        Morphological Anti-Aliasing support for Mesa was worked on last summer as part of the 2011 Google Summer of Code with X.Org. Lauri Kasanen was the student developer responsible for bringing MLAA to Mesa. Unlike many GSoC projects, he was successful in his summer project. In fact, he had MLAA Mesa code ready for testing in July well before the August deadline. In August the support was ready for merging, which also included the Gallium3D post-processing support and ROUND support for the various drivers.

      • Radeon HyperZ In Open-Source On Older Hardware
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Matthias Ettrich: Creator Of KDE

        The KDE 4.0, the latest version of KDE desktop environment, was released recently. On this occasion, we reached out to the founder of KDE project, Matthias Ettrich who started the KDE project back in 1996. Almost 12 years down the line, he’s now working at Trolltech, hacking Qt. Here is what the KDE-Man had to say…[The interview was conducted in 2008. KDE is gaining popularity so we wanted to refresh the memories.]

      • More About the Acer Aspire One 522

        I have switched Linux Mint 12 KDE to the Netbook desktop, and as always it looks nice and is a pleasure to use

  • Distributions

    • Linux Distributions Described In Terms Of Beer

      After trying the openSUSE beer at FOSDEM, which is specially brewed at a small Bavarian brewery near the Nürnberg SUSE office and where many of their developers reside, I began wondering if other Linux distributions were represented by beer, what beers would they be? Continue on for this enjoyable weekend article where the leading Linux distributions are described in terms of beer.

    • Sabayon 8 XFCE Review

      Sabayon 8 XFCE is a Gentoo based distribution that comes with XFCE desktop version 4.8 and makes Gentoo a whole lot easier. Gentoo Linux is a more advanced based distribution that has been around a long time which is focused more on advanced users with compiling your own packages (programs) in order to run.

      Sabayon, takes a different approach and takes the hard part out of Gentoo and makes it easy with the latest version in Sabayon 8.Sabayon comes as an installable LiveDVD and is available in 32 bit and 64 bit flavours. Installation did not take that long and was not complicated. The configuration was pretty easy and had you setup your keyboard, select your timezone and so forth.

    • Happy Birthday, SimplyMEPIS

      Like a lot of stories, there is more to it than meets the eye. And while on the surface, this is a story about a Linux distribution, there are some life lessons that can be found in it.

      As with many other people, my life saw a lot of dramatic changes in the year 2001. For me, it started in January 2001. I should have been keeping in mind the words of wisdom from the world champion athlete Dan Millman. He wrote The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, and other books. One of his statements is all accidents can be attributed to one of three reasons:

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PC Linux OS 2012.02: nice and stable

        There are not so many distributions in the Linux galaxy which have names directly showing the purpose of the distribution’s creation. I honestly do not think that Bodhi is going to enlighten anybody or Fedora can stay on your head. As opposed to these, PCLinuxOS directly says that it is a Linux operating system intended to be used on PCs.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Unity 5.4 Review

            It is always exciting when new versions of Unity are released since they bring along bug fixes and new features. Well Unity 5.4 was released on Friday. Let’s go through some the features and bug fixes it comes with.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Your Language! Your Freedom! preserve it for the next generation!!

    I just want to show how you could join the 2012 International Mother Language Day by celebrations by contributing to a FOSS project with your friends and relatives.
    In this century ICT plays manor role in various fields including education sector. There are many tools have been localized but most of them not let you in to the project to contribute as a localizer. So where you could contrinute to a softwrae on behalf of your own language or community?

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • The pros and cons of Mozilla’s super-open Boot to Gecko mobile OS

        Mozilla, the folks behind the Firefox web browser, launched a project last year to create a totally open mobile operating system, and now that dream is nearly a reality. Boot to Gecko (B2G) is built entirely with standards-compliant web technologies like HTML and JavaScript. It gets its name from the Gecko rendering engine in Firefox, which is also the platform that will run B2G. Android has a number of things in common with B2G, for instance it is open source, and uses some of the same underlying technology. Designing the entirety of a mobile operating system on web standards is a risky proposition, but B2G does have some advantages over Android.

  • Project Releases

    • VLC 2.0 Released, Support For WebM

      The VLC team has announced the release of VLC 2.0, code named, Twoflower. VLC 2.0 is a major upgrade for VLC. The latest version of VLC offers faster decoding on multi-core, GPU, and mobile hardware and the ability to open more formats, notably professional, HD and 10bits codecs.

    • VLC 2.0 available now, includes faster decoding and experimental Blu-ray support
    • VLC Player 2.0 released

      Just weeks after the first release candidate, the VideoLAN developers have officially released version 2.0 of the VLC media player for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. VLC media player 2.0, code-named “Twoflower”, is a major reworking of the VLC application, bringing playback improvements and experimental support for playing Blu-ray discs, albeit without menus.

    • VLC 2.0 “Twoflower” has been released! PPA Ubuntu11.10 and LinuxMint12
    • Linux Mint developer releases Cinnamon 1.3

      The lead developer of Linux Mint, Clement Lefebvre, has released version 1.3 of the Cinnamon desktop environment. This is the first major update of the user interface based on code from the GNOME shell and which was first considered “stable” with version 1.2. In Cinnamon 1.3, all panel components are applets which means, for example, that users can remove a menu or window list and replace it with alternative third-party applets. All applets can also be moved using drag & drop so that users have even more control over where to position them.

  • Public Services/Government

    • New EU-level spat over open standards

      The European parliament is currently consulting on a wide-ranging draft European Commission regulation on European standardisation. Voting in the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, which is spearheading the legislation, is set to take place in March. The initiative is intended to create a comprehensive, effective, broadly applicable standardisation system. The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) has criticised the proposal as paving the way for standards which are poorly compatible with open source software.

      A reform of the existing piecemeal European standardisation framework is, according to an FFII paper on the Commission’s proposal, long overdue. Their analysis claims that current regulations are not designed for specifications for software interfaces or data formats. According to the FFII, the proposal would mean accepting standards from international consortia licensed under FRAND (Fair Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory) terms and conditions.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Google is being sued by some idiot using Safari on a Mac. US Congress critters investigate.

      There’s a big stink going on right now. Someone found out that Google was setting “third party cookies” (for their advertising servers) in Apple’s Safari browser, which defaults to not loading third party cookies (which I’ll get to in a moment).
      Now it appears that someone using Safari on a Mac that expected privacy somehow, is suing Google. (The PC World article on the first link has a more accurate technical description of what’s going on)
      In short, someone found a bug in Safari, and now Google is being sued and is under investigation by Congress. We know how much Congress can be expected to know about the internet based on their hilarious to horrifying attempts to regulate it as many of them uttered things like “I don’t know how this here internet thing works, but they tell me….” or the late Senator Ted Steven’s infamous “series of tubes” comment. To say nothing of the fact that Congress flip flops between mandatory tracking for all and bullshit “consumer privacy concerns” such as this one. (For those concerned with the former, the bill is called HR 1981, but a more fitting name would be HR 1984)
      If this was a bug in Firefox, it would be fixed. If it was a bug in Chrome, it would be fixed.
      Somehow, Microsoft and Apple users seem to think they can use proprietary secret software when they’re not allowed to know how it works. Software, which has a history of many bugs, with vendors that typically take weeks/months/years to patch them once they’re made public. These companies also slip back doors into the software for various government agencies.
      Apple was recently caught with a back door that they put into iTunes, it remained there for 3 years, undetected, which facilitated man in the middle attacks. (A government could use this to run a counterfeit iTunes server and load malicious software onto the victim’s computer. The article calls it a flaw, but we know what was really going on, and that it was likely just moved.).

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Finance

    • NJ programmer freed as NY court orders acquittal

      A smiling former Goldman Sachs computer programmer was freed from prison Friday after a surprise ruling from a federal appeals court reversed his conviction on charges he stole computer code.

      “Justice occasionally works,” declared the beaming programmer, Sergey Aleynikov.

      He said he “just jumped all over the place” at 6 a.m., the moment he read and repeatedly reread an email from his lawyer informing him that the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan had reversed his conviction. The words were, he said, “‘We won!’”

    • Goldman Sachs caught in a Sharia Catch-22

      According to an article in the Arab News, Shariah-committed imams declined to issue its religious approval (fatwa) for the Goldman Bond derivative because the “use of proceeds” to fund Goldman’s non-Islamic business is forbidden, according to Shariah finance laws.

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