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02.24.12

IRC Proceedings: February 24th, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Links 24/2/2012: Intel’s New Linux Graphics Drivers, LPS Security 1.3.2

Posted in News Roundup at 7:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 10 free Linux e-books
  • Desktop

    • Living and Loving the Acer Aspire One 522

      What an odd situation this is. For the past week or so, the only netbook / notebook I have been carrying with me is the Aspire One 522. Never mind that the display resolution is “only” 1024×600. Never mind that the keyboard is absolutely flat, so the feel is a bit odd and touch-typing takes some getting used to. I just like it. It’s kind of like it was with the HP 2133 Mini-Note, despite a number of apparent drawbacks or problems, I prefer using it. First because it is so small and light, and because the screen is so clear and bright. It is also quite fast – the AMD C-60 cpu and Radeon HD 6290M display controller make it noticeably faster than the other netbooks I have around here. I can connect it to an external display via VGA when I want to do more serious work at home, or to a TV via HDMI When I want to show my photographs, and in both cases the dual-display netbook/external works perfecty, and makes using it much easier and more pleasant. Oh, and it has a memory card slot that takes Memory Stick as well as SD/xD cards, which is a very nice extra.

    • Canonical believes Windows XP stragglers hold the future for Ubuntu

      LINUX VENDOR Canonical believes that Microsoft’s Windows XP, not Windows 8, could drive adoption of its Ubuntu Linux operating system.

      With Microsoft readying Windows 8 for release later this year, companies are expected to evaluate whether it is worth renewing existing Microsoft licenses or splashing out on the latest Microsoft revision of its desktop PC operating system. However, according to Canonical CEO Jane Silber, it isn’t undercutting Windows 8 that holds the key for take-up of Ubuntu Linux but Microsoft’s termination of Windows XP support that will drive Ubuntu growth.

    • Why Adobe Is Wrong to Restrict Flash Updates for Linux Users
    • Linux on Smartphones: Could it Replace the Laptop?

      Dan Gillmor’s got an interesting column looking at an idea I’ve raised before. Could the smartphone end up becoming the replacement for the laptop computer? My own question took it a little further: could the smartphone become our basic computer?

    • Death to Office or to Windows – choose wisely, Microsoft

      Windows is dead, and Microsoft Office has killed it. Or will, once the rumours about Microsoft porting its wildly popular Office product to the iPad become reality.

      For just as porting Office to Mac OS X back in 2001 sowed the seeds of Apple’s relevance as a credible desktop alternative to Windows, so too will Microsoft’s capitulation to the iPad ensure that Windows will die even as Office takes on a new, multi-billion dollar relevance.

      Microsoft, however much it may want to own the customer experience – from database to operating system to applications to free-time leisure gaming – wants to make money even more. Right now, Microsoft’s only real money in mobile comes from browbeating Android licensees to pay it patent hush money. So Microsoft needs a winner in mobile, and Windows isn’t it. At least, not anytime soon.

  • Kernel Space

    • Why Linux Is a Model Citizen of Quality Code

      With 6,849,378 lines of Linux 2.6 code scanned, 4,261 outstanding defects were detected and 1,283 were fixed in 2011. The defect density of Linux 2.6 is .62, compared to .20 for PHP 5.3 and .21 for PostgreSQL 9.1. Keep in mind that the codebase for PHP 5.3 — 537,871 lines of code — is a fraction of that of Linux 2.6, and PostgreSQL 9.1 has 1,105,634 lines of code.

    • Moving Linux Kernel Drivers To User-Space? Nope.

      Brought up on the Linux kernel mailing list this week was a short-lived discussion whether Linux device drivers should be moved from kernel-space to user-space in an attempt to provide “greater security and robustness” of Linux systems.

      Jidong Xiao asked on Wednesday, Can we move device drivers into user-space? It’s been a matter that’s been brought up before in past years and he cited an earlier research paper on “Tolerating Malicious Device Drivers in Linux.” Jidong’s reasoning for bringing up the topic again is that, “Advantage: Since most of kernel bugs are caused by device drivers issues, moving device drivers into user space can reduce the impact of device driver bugs. From security perspective, the system can be more secure and robust if most device drivers are working in user space. Disadvantage: At least, existing techniques as well as the above paper showed a relatively high overhead.”

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Releases 2.18 X.Org Linux Graphics Driver

        The primary target of xf86-video-intel 2.18 is to address outstanding bugs. The bugs namely addressed are changes for limiting the maximum object size, incorrect clipping of polygons, limiting the number of VMA cached, and latency in processing user-input during continuous rendering.

      • Intel 2.18 Video Driver for Linux Released
      • The Fallback Mode-Setting Driver Is Improved

        One week after the release of the new X.Org mode-setting driver there’s another release with more changes.

        Last week David Airlie announced the release of xf86-video-modesetting as a generic, un-accelerated DDX driver that in theory should work with any hardware that’s being handled by a Linux KMS (kernel mode-setting) driver. The xf86-video-modesetting driver just relies upon the generic KMS interface with the kernel to allow X.Org to work atop it.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Developers Make More Money From Android Than From iOS

          Android has left Apple behind when we talk about the market share. There is, however, one area where Android is catching up fast — apps. A new study shows an interesting aspect of Android vs iOS market.

          According to a survey by Canalys, Android developers earn more from Android than from iOS. A developer will make around $347.37 from top apps for Android vs only $147.00 from iOS.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Aussie woman scammed Nigerians: court

    A BRISBANE woman fleeced Nigerian scam artists by stealing more than $30,000 from their internet car sales racket, a court has been told.

    Sarah Jane Cochrane-Ramsey, 23, was employed by the Nigerians as an “agent” in March 2010 but was unaware they were scam artists, the Brisbane District Court heard today.

  • Security

    • PacketFence 3.2.0 brings new features, closes XSS hole

      PacketFence logo The PacketFence development team has published version 3.2.0 of its open source network access control (NAC) system. The release adds support for Ruckus Wireless Controllers, integrates the OpenVAS vulnerability assessment system for client-side policy compliance and adds a billing engine that enables the use of a payment gateway for gaining network access.

  • Finance

    • Consumer Rates Climb After Deregulation Goldman Sachs Funded

      Houston (10750MF) consumers were supposed to get lower electricity rates from deregulation. Instead, they pay some of the nation’s highest prices, partly because of bonds Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) recently sold for a local utility.

  • Privacy

  • DRM

    • Who’s adding DRM to HTML5? Microsoft, Google and Netflix

      With tech companies abandoning the proprietary Flash and Silverlight media players for HTML5, it was inevitable somebody would try to inject DRM into the virgin spec.

      Microsoft, Google and Netflix are that “somebody”, having submitted a proposed modification to HTML5 to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for “encrypted media extensions”.

    • Proposal to add DRM to HTML5 meets resistence

      A proposal at the W3C by Microsoft, Google and Netflix to add encrypted media support to HTML5 has already become controversial. The proposal has been called “unethical” by HTML5 editor and Google employee Ian Hickson who added that the proposal does not provide robust content protection. Hickson has yet to elaborate on his response to Microsoft’s Adrian Bateman who raised the issue in response to a change request to add parameters to pass values to audio and video elements. In follow up comments, Intel’s representative said they “strongly support the effort”.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Links 24/2/2012: Linux at McDonalds, Android 5.0

Posted in News Roundup at 5:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Bill G Got One Thing Right

    That was written the year after I adopted GNU/Linux and he was right on all those points. I went from being a newbie to being able to do everything a teacher normally would do with that other OS in just a few days. The download took more time, 10 days of nights and weekends on dial-up… I replaced Lose ’95 on five old PCs in my classroom and never looked back. GNU/Linux was clearly superior to the software we were using on Macs and other PCs in the school.

  • Linux as an Automation Host

    Automation is a perennial technical buzzword among System Administrators (SAs) and in management circles alike. Business owners and managers demand automation with the thought that it will save “man hours” and possibly decrease the need for a full technical staff. System Administrators realize that this is not the case nor is staff reduction the inevitable result of automation. The bad news is that the purpose of automation isn’t to reduce staff numbers. The good news is that there are several reasons for automation that make it a worthwhile pursuit.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Open-Source Radeon HD 7000 Code Coming Soon?

        Where oh where is the open-source support for the “Southern Islands” GPUs, a.k.a. the AMD Radeon HD 7000 series? It’s been over two months since the first hardware launched and there still is no open-source Linux driver support available.

      • Mesa 8.1-devel On Radeon Gallium3D

        Earlier this week I shared a pleasant surprise in Mesa 8.1 Radeon Gallium3D with some significant performance improvements to be found in the current Mesa Git code-base for the “R600g” driver in some OpenGL games. In this article is a more diverse look at the current state of Mesa 8.1 development for R600 Gallium3D and comparative benchmarks from every major release going back to Mesa 7.10.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat’s KVM Overtakes Xen and Service Providers Lead the Way

        This week Ubuntu sponsor company Canonical released the results of its latest Ubuntu Server User Survey. Over 6,000 Ubuntu Server users from around the world responded. Possibly the most interesting result is that although VMware still leads, Red Hat’s KVM has overtaken the Citrix backed Xen as the most common host environment for virtualized Ubuntu Server instances. According to the report, this is the fist time in the three years that Canonical has been conducting this survey that KVM has beat out Xen.

      • Oracle extends Linux support to 10 years

        Oracle has reaffirmed that it’s in the Linux business to stay by extending the support lifecycle of its own-brand build to ten years, and tempting Red Hat users with a trial offer of its Ksplice patching system.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 16 KDE

          Fedora 16 was released a while back, and I’ve finally gotten around to checking it out. For this review though I’ve opted for the KDE version of Fedora. As you may already know, Fedora comes in multiple spins including GNOME, Xfce, KDE and others.

        • Raspberry Pi school computer to run cut-down Fedora

          Early adopters of the Raspberry Pi $25 computer will be offered a cut down and customised Fedora ‘remix’ compiled to run on the system’s ARM microprocessor, it has been confirmed.

          The first Raspberry Pi is just bare circuit board for now but developers at Toronto’s Seneca College have worked hard to fit a Fedora image on to a 2GB SD card to boot the computer into a GUI, complete with a small suite of applications and admin tools.

        • Fedora puts back Btrfs deployment yet again
    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu crests new wave of mobile computing solutions

            The popular Linux distributor is helping travellers turn smart phones into laptops, but we’ve barely imagined the potential

          • seems McDonalds is happy to stick with Jaunty…
          • Ubuntu: Community Developer Interview | Boden Matthews

            It’s always nice to follow the development of Linux distributions such as Ubuntu and Fedora. But what about the people behind the scenes that use these operating systems. The developers. The community. The Users. Behind all those pixels that make up your display, there’s a whole wide range of interesting geeks with plenty of talent to contribute in many ways to the future of Linux development.

            Geeks of all ages, young and old. I found one such person for which I briefly interviewed for Unixmen. A promising young developer who is still in his teens. Boden Matthews is a community developer who is currently working on a version of Ubuntu designed for the HP TouchPad. And it seems to be an interesting project with potential.

          • Canonical CEO admits Unity was a painful change

            LINUX VENDOR Canonical has acknowledged that Ubuntu’s shift to the Unity user interface was painful for many of its users but insisted it hasn’t led to a decline in the popularity of the Linux distribution.

          • Ubuntu 12.04 Updates: The First 12.04 Beta to Be Released Next Week

            According to a development update posted on Ubuntu Fridge by the Ubuntu developer Daniel Holbach, Ubuntu 12.04 is on its way to release the first beta next week, on February 29, after the user interface freeze which occured today. “Today User Interface Freeze and Beta Freeze will kick in, next week we will do a test rebuild of the whole archive and Beta 1 will get out next week as well.”

            Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin is a LTS (long-term support) release and it will ship with Linux kernel 3.2 by default, GNOME 3.2, Unity 5.4.0, LibreOffice 3.5. According to Ubuntu Kernel Release Manager, Leann Ogasawara, as soon as new stable versions of the 3.2 kernel branch will be released, they will be included in Ubuntu. “With Ubuntu 12.04 being an LTS release, our primary focus has been on stability. As such, we chose to ship with a v3.2 based kernel and will continue to rebase to the latest v3.2.y stable kernels as they become available.”

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Introducing Descent|OS: Ubuntu With GNOME 2

              Softpedia is once again proud to introduce a new Linux distribution based on the popular Ubuntu OS from Canonical, this time with a modernized GNOME 2 desktop environment.

            • Hands On with the Cinnamon Desktop

              As one of the GNOME users who’s still fond of the old-school GNOME desktop, the recent release of Cinnamon 1.3.1 caught my eye. While it’s not exactly GNOME 2.x, it’s close enough that most users with a fondness for the 2.x days will feel right at home.

              The GNOME Shell (and Ubuntu’s Unity) are making lots of rapid progress, and they may (or may not) be the bee’s knees for many users. I’ve been using Linux desktops for a long time now, so I’m probably not the target audience for GNOME Shell or Unity. Either way, I’d rather spend my time writing and learning about how to use server-side software than re-learning how to use my desktop.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Smackdown: Google TV vs Apple TV vs Boxee vs Roku vs…

      Throughout this smackdown, there are links to DeviceGuru’s in-depth reviews of all five devices. The reviews provide lots more detail on each device’s unique capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses, and also include comprehensive screenshot tours that demonstrate the device’s user interface and operation.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android 5.0 ‘Jelly Bean’ launching in Q2? Eh, maybe
        • Samsung announces armor-plated Android, the Rugby Smart

          Rugged phones have been around forever, but melding extreme survivability into a true Android smartphone that’s not laughably large or looks like an off-road tire is a challenge. Samsung feels it has created a tough device that has beaten the odds.

          The $99.99 Samsung Rugby Smart certainly has a rough and tumble name. The company claims it’s built to meet both the U.S. military Mil-spec 810f and the IP67 international standards for ruggedness. In a nutshell, that means the phone should be able to withstand submersion in 3 feet of water for 30 minutes, plus prolonged exposure to blowing dust, driving rain, extreme temperatures, and the odd drop onto hard surfaces.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • The Problem with Tablets and the Spark Solution

        It’s real: Tablet PCs have arrived. According to a recent DePaul University study, one in every dozen airline passengers is using a tablet PC or e-book reader at any given moment.

        Like many of you, I got a tablet (a Nook, if you’re interested) as a gift this last December (thanks Jeanette!). It’s pretty nice. I read Wired on it now, check news, post tweets occasionally. But it’s moderately frustrating that I can’t really do anything worthwhile on this machine.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Monopoly is Not Natural for IT
  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Scarcity Is A Shitty Business Model

      The Gotham Gal has been under the weather this weekend. Last night we made soup for dinner and decided to sit on the couch and watch a movie and go to bed early. After dinner, we fired up Boxee and checked out Netflix. Nothing good there. Then we fired up the Mac Mini and checked out Amazon Instant Video. Nothing good there. Then we went to the Cable Set Top Box and checked out movies on demand. Nothing good there. Frustrated and unwilling and uninterested in heading to a “foreign rogue site” to pirate something good, we watched a TV show and went to bed.

    • Trademarks

      • Trademark Lobby Wants To Help European Court of Justice Forget About EU Citizens’ Rights

        It was only yesterday that the European Commissioner Karel de Gucht made the surprise announcement that the European Commission would be referring ACTA to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) “to assess whether ACTA is incompatible — in any way — with the EU’s fundamental rights and freedoms.” Just a few hours after that, there are already signs of panic among ACTA’s supporters that the treaty may indeed be incompatible — and thus dead in the water as far as the European Union is concerned.

    • Copyrights

      • It’s my word, don’t you dare use it.
      • Australian Commercial Radio Wins Simulcast Suit Against PPCA

        Australia’s commercial radio stations won’t have to pay out extra royalties for online “simulcasting” of recorded music following an important ruling last week from the country’s Federal Court.

        Recording companies’ collecting society PPCA had sought a declaration from the court that Internet streaming of radio programs – or simulcasting — should not be regarded as a “broadcast” under the country’s Copyright Act and should there be subject to a separate music tariff.

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