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Links 21/2/2012: Ubuntu for Android, Apache 2.4

Posted in News Roundup at 5:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • HCL Bags Rs 278 Crore Order From ELCOT

      These 200,000 laptops will be running on both Linux and Micrsosoft’s proprietary Windows OS. ELCOT will be working on offering some educational applications with these laptops.

    • The Linux Setup – Amelia Andersdotter, EU Parliament

      Amelia Andersdotter, 24, is the youngest member of the current European Parliament. She’s a member of the Swedish Pirate Party, a political party centered around copyright and patent reform. Given her political interests, it’s probably not a surprise that Amelia is a Linux user.

  • Kernel Space

    • x32 Support For Linux Kernel Called In For Review

      The x32 effort, an undertaking to provide a native 32-bit ABI for x86_64 on Linux, is finally moving closer to fruition. Peter Anvin has published the set of x32 patches for the Linux kernel that are now up for review and comments.

      Peter Anvin and others have long been working towards Linux x32: a native 32-bit ABI for Intel/AMD 64-bit systems so that applications not needing 64-bit pointers can benefit from 64-bit performance while using the memory foot-print of a 32-bit ABI. The Linux x32 ABI support necessitates changes to GNU binutils, the Linux kernel, Glibc, and the compiler (GCC). On Sunday the set of 30 patches touching around 1,000 lines of code was sent off to the kernel mailing list by Anvin.

    • The Btrfs File-System Repair Tool Is Available

      After writing about Btrfs LZ4 compression support and that the Btrfs FSCK tool wasn’t available, it turns out that there is the new Btrfs repair tool, but it’s not widely known and it’s not recommended to ever use it — at least at this stage.

      As pointed out by Phoronix readers, from the btrfs-progs Git tree on Kernel.org is a new branch that was pushed a little more than one week ago. This new branch is called “dangerdonteveruse” (expanded: don’t ever use [it]) and contains the ability to fix Btrfs file-systems.

    • Slow boot? Blame systemd!
    • Graphics Stack

      • DisplayLink KMS Driver Arrives, Supports Hot-Unplug

        There’s a new KMS/DRM driver to introduce to the world: UDL. UDL is a DRM kernel mode-setting driver for the USB-based DisplayLink graphics adapters.

        It was back in 2009 that DisplayLink decided to provide Linux GPU support and be open-source friendly for their interesting USB-based graphics adapters and since then the support has only become more compelling. At first DisplayLink provided a simple Linux library, documentation, and then a frame-buffer and X.Org driver for the hardware.

      • Proposals To Split KMS & GPU Drivers, 2D Kernel API
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Taming Clonezilla: Free open source disk imaging and backups

      Among the many tools out there for cloning drives and performing full-system backups, one came to my attention for being both free (and open source) and powerful: Clonezilla, a product of the Free Software Labs of the National Center for High-Performance Computing in Taiwan.

      Clonezilla’s power, however, is matched by complexity. You can get a lot out of it, but at the cost of paying close attention to what you’re doing. Here’s a guide to getting just what you need from Clonezilla — without wreaking havoc on your system or being swallowed by the monster.

    • New Releases

      • Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) 1.3.2
      • New package format in Tiny Core Linux 4.3

        The Core Project’s “Team Tiny Core” has released version 4.3 of Tiny Core Linux, the lightweight modular Linux system. The new version introduces a “Self Contained Mountable applications” (SCM) package format for adding additional applications. Mountable applications take the file extension .scm and can be dynamically mounted and unmounted at runtime. They are managed using scmbrowser, a new graphical application.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia at FOSDEM 2012

        This FOSDEM thing could turn into a habit! Mageia was at FOSDEM 2012 in Brussels – and this year, we had quite a noticeable presence.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Inspecting the Gentoo 12.0 Live DVD

        Following a recent request I downloaded the Gentoo 12.0 Live DVD for a test drive. I tried Gentoo many years ago but gave up after a few hours due to the time involved, and my knowledge back then was a lot more rudimentary than today. Gentoo is a source distribution that is supposed to be configured and compiled from stage 2 or stage 3 tarballs, although some base images are available that allow you to cheat and skip the early part of kernel compilation etc. with minimal install images.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Semi-Open Source

  • Project Releases

    • Apache 2.4 Delivers More Performance

      A key focus in the 2.4 release is improved performance which is delivered by way of multiple innovations.

      “What we have done is checked 2.4 against itself and other web-servers; in general, we find 2.4 to be the fastest version of Apache by far,” Jim Jagielski, ASF President and Apache HTTP Server Project Management Committee, told InternetNews.com.

    • Apache releases first major new version of popular Web server in six years

      The Apache Software Foundation has just announced the release version 2.4 of its award-winning Apache HTTP Server. This is the first major release of the Apache Web server in more than six years. Long before the release of Apache 2.2 in December 1st, 2005 though, Apache was already the most popular Web server in the world. Today Apache powers almost 400 million Web sites.

  • Public Services/Government

    • United Kingdom seeking advice on open standards definition

      The UK cabinet office is seeking advice on the definition of open standards in the context of government IT. It posted its consultation documents online last week Wednesday. The consultation follows the withdrawing in November of a IT procurement policy in effect since in January 2011.

      The consultation should also help to make clear what effects compulsory standards may have on government departments, on delivery partners and on supply chains. A third aim is to gain knowledge on international alignment and cross-border interoperability.

      In a statement, Minister for Cabinet Office Francis Maude said: “We are committed to implementing open standards and want to create a level playing field for open source and proprietary software. Open standards for software and systems will reduce costs and enable us to provide better public services. We want to get this right; so we want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to have their say on this matter.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • How to Kickstart an Open Source Music Revolution with CASH Music

      On February 10, 2012, CASH Music launched a Kickstarter campaign and raised more than 70% of their $30,000 goal in about 24 hours. What is CASH Music? And why does it already have vocal support from musicians, Firefox, and even Neil Gaiman? Jesse von Doom, Co-Executive Director of CASH Music, explains the inspiration behind the project and the big role Linux plays in it.

    • Booktype makes book collaboration web-based and simple

      If you’ve ever tried to collaborate with other authors and editors and the many other people who work to make a book successful, you know it’s not easy. Even if your experience stops at trying to incorporate three comments with changes tracked in word processing software, you get the idea. Last week at the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference, a new platform called Booktype was announced. It was created to help you collaborate on editing content and getting it ready for publishing.

    • Open Hardware

      • Like to tinker? Two new devices are fully hackable

        “Open source” is a term most often applied to software, and it’s become increasingly common in both the business and consumer worlds.

        What some may not realize, however, is that hardware can be open source too, with design specifications, schematics, source code, and other data about the device’s inner workings available for inspection and customization by the user.

        I’ve already written a few times about the new, Linux-based Spark tablet that’s on the way with unlocked hardware, but recently I came across two other open devices launched in the last few weeks that can be freely hacked and modified. Both the Openmoko GTA04 phone and the Auraslate Lifepad tablet promise a veritable playground for tinkerers and anyone who values complete openness and customizability.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Open Season on Open Standards

      The increasingly heated debates about the traditionally dull area of computer standards is testimony to the rise of open source. For the latter absolutely requires standards to be truly open – that is, freely implementable, without any restrictions – whereas in the past standards were pretty much anything that enough powerful companies agreed upon, regardless of how restrictive they were.


  • VA could give Microsoft Office the boot
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • On Anniversary of Prank Call the Real David Koch Wants to “Stop Union Power” in Wisconsin

      One year ago this week, blogger Ian Murphy of the Buffalo Beast pranked Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker by posing as billionaire David Koch on a phone call. As the crowds at the Capitol protesting Walker’s bill to end collective bargaining were increasing in size and volume, the fake Koch inquired how Walker’s efforts to “crush that union” were going. Walker’s fawning response helped rocket the Wisconsin protests into the national media limelight.

  • Civil Rights

    • From encryption to darknets: As governments snoop, activists fight back

      As the Arab Spring hits its first anniversary, tech activists around the globe are continuing their efforts to enable secure communications—especially in areas of the world that are in conflict or transition. After all, it’s become an open secret that governments ranging from Assad’s Syria to local American law enforcement to the newly created government of South Sudan are actively trying to find out what is being said and transmitted over their airwaves and networks.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • Canada’s C-11 Bill and the Hazards of Digital Locks Provisions

        While copyright owners claim that they need anti-circumvention laws to address copyright infringement, twelve years’ experience with the U.S. DMCA provisions demonstrates that overbroad digital locks laws can wreak havoc on lawful, non copyright-infringing activities, stifle free speech and scientific research, and harm innovation and competition. The issue is that overbroad anti-circumvention bans can override exceptions and limitations in national copyright laws, restricting or eliminating perfectly lawful non-copyright infringing uses of copyrighted works.

      • ACTA

        • How To Fight ACTA

          Now that the US bills SOPA and PIPA have been put on ice, attention has returned to their parent, an international treaty called ACTA. I’ve written extensively about ACTA before, but in summary it is an international treaty that has been secretly negotiated to ensure as little input as possible from the citizens of any country.

          While superficially about stemming the flow of counterfeit physical goods (ACTA stands for “Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement“), the copyright and patent industries (music, movies, software, pharmaceuticals and more) have successfully infested it and the result is a trade agreement that substantially reduces the scope for discretion over new approaches to business on the internet.

        • MEP Phil Prendergast has a few questions on ACTA

          Members of the European Parliament could submit as many written parliament questions to the Council and the Commission as they like and force these institutions to make official statements. If you have a technical question about specific ACTA provisions or procedural oddities feel free to suggest your Member of Parliament to table them. Most MEPs are not as industrious in tabling parliament questions as Phil Prendergast (S&D, Labour Party Ireland) recently, and they limit their tabling to the “priority questions”/”oral questions”, where they have limitations but the institutions have to answer in a faster pace. In the past most of the numerous questions on ACTA were posed to the Commission, not the Council. However, only the Council is competent to answer the procedural specifics of the strange criminal sanctions parts.

        • Economy Minister blocks ratification of ACTA

          The Economy Minister Daniels Pavluts has decided to block the ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which has caused wide protests in the society.

          On Wednesday, February 8, the Minister announced that he made the decision taking into account the mood of various groups of the society, as well as worries of several experts about the possibility of ACTA implementation in Latvia.

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