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03.06.12

Links 6/3/2012: Rejecting a New Mac and Vista 8; Linux 3.3 RC6 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 8:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Faithful Author Writes Novel Entirely In Tweets

    Notable science fiction and fantasy novelist Piers Anthony has now gone where no author has gone before. Twitter. Anthony, who is new to Twitter is attempting to write an entire novel using only tweets.

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 189
  • Mini Versus Micro

    The x86 personal computers have long been powerful enough to run the applications of multiple users. I have often run a whole computer lab from a single PC running GNU/Linux. I used the lab’s PCs as thin clients. There is another way to use a PC for multiple users and that is to connect multiple monitors, keyboards and mice to one PC. That is what MiniFrame has been doing from M$’s OS. M$ liked that so much that they revised their EULA for Vista to include a “single-user” requirement.

  • Ninja Block Linux computer reaches $80k crowd-funding

    The Ninja Block open source cloud automation device looks as if it could be heading into the development stage after attracting $50,000 of pledges in only a week on the Kickstarter crowd-funding website.

  • Desktop

    • Windows 8 may drive me to Linux

      I have been a Microsoft defender for decades. “No, MS-DOS 4.0 isn’t really that bad,” I pleaded to friends almost 25 years ago. “Give Windows 98 a chance” I begged ten or 11 years later. Heck, I extolled the virtues of Vista (which I did believe in, by the way) to anyone willing to listen. But in the wake of last week’s introduction of the Consumer Preview edition of Windows 8, I can say only this: Microsoft, you’re on your own.

      Never — and I’m going to repeat this for additional emphasis, never – have I been as horrified by one of the company’s products as I am by this one. (Yes, I used Microsoft Bob.) Every choice seems to have been made for a sketchy reason, and the full collection of them bears the haphazard feel of the morning after a particularly raucous college party. Scratch that: Even at my most inebriated, I’m pretty sure I would never conceive of something like Windows 8.

    • Why I Hate My Brand New Mac (APPL)

      Hands down the fastest boot-up time is Ubuntu. Without fail, 10-ish seconds after typing my password, it was ready to go. Even on an old machine. Even if I left a lot of files and apps open.

    • 1% is a Statistic. This is a Trend.

      235 million page requests last month were from Linux systems. 161.9 million from Android/Linux for 3.36% share and 1.52% for GNU/Linux. That other OS was clinging to monopoly at 74%. In April, 2009, that other OS was at 89.5%. Times are changing.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Fog: A High-Performance Alternative To Cairo

      While Cairo gets much of the spotlight when it comes to a 2D vector graphics drawing library, there’s another open-source project that claims to provide even faster performance and greater benefits; meet the Fog-Framework.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 26th February 2012
      • KDE – Best Desktop Environment of the Year

        The 2011 Members’ Choice Awards from LinuxQuestions.org has honored the KDE Community with “Best Desktop Environment of the Year”. In addition, Tech Radar has declared that KDE Workspaces are the best desktop environment. KDE innovation, performance and stability have particular appeal for users. Tech Radar reports that KDE Workspaces have “the best mix of cutting edge software and stability…”, and writes, “We were amazed by the level of comfort the users experienced with KDE.” Chris from the Linux Action Show is switching to KDE!

    • GNOME Desktop

      • We need a Gnome computer

        tl;dr we need a Gnome computer.

        This is not about choice, it is about freedom.

        A hardware platform that would be libre, that would run a libre OS, based on Gnome, Linux and GNU.

  • Distributions

    • Linux Deepin 11.12.1 screen shots
    • A look at Frugalware Linux 1.6

      The Frugalware Linux live CD is provided as a 490 MB CD image. Burning this image to a disc and booting from it brings us to an Xfce desktop environment with a pleasant blue background. On the desktop we find icons for navigating the file system and launching the system installer. The application menu and task switcher are positioned at the top of the screen. In the top-right corner of the display an icon appeared indicating network status and I was surprised to find the icon showed I was not connected. Opening a terminal I tried to ping a server and found the live CD doesn’t include the ping command. Nor does it include the FTP command-line client, nor telnet. Deciding to change gears I clicked the icon for launching the distro’s web browser. A prompt came up asking which browser I would like to make my default, though only one browser, Midori, is listed as available. Once the browser launched I found that I was, in fact, connected to the network, despite the status presented by the network icon.

    • How to Find the Perfect Linux Distribution for You

      Linux is a badass open-source operating system. Take it from a card-carrying Linux lover. But it’s not without problems. One such problem: There are nearly six hundred different versions of Linux out there—an incredibly overwhelming number to even the most experienced of Linux users. If you’ve tinkered with Linux a bit and want to move beyond the basics, here’s how to narrow down that selection and find the distribution that fits your needs.

    • Chakra 2012.02: improved, but still confusing

      I have already written about two Linux distribution releases which happened in February: PCLinuxOS and Sabayon. Although it is already March, I still would like to write a third one about just another February release. Let it be three.

    • Linux From Scratch 7.1 published

      The Linux From Scratch (LFS) project has published version 7.1 of its manual for building a custom Linux installation. The new release of the step-by-step instructions is 345 pages long and uses more up-to-date components than previous versions – for example, the 3.2.6 Linux kernel and version 4.6.2 of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC). The update includes fixes to bootscripts and corrections to the text, as well as updates to 20 packages.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 8.0 review – The love is gone

        Once upon a time, Sabayon impressed me as a cute, furry mutation of Gentoo, a distribution forged in virgin’s blood and C code. It was big, even massive, and dared fight byte for byte with the likes of Vista. While most distributions were proud to claim their minimalistic share of GB for the installation, Sabayon shouted gimme more. It was nice. Lots of fun stuff, games, a media center, whatnot. Then it went downhill.

        Between versions oh-four and oh-five, some of the fun was gone, traded for maturity that did not suit it well. In fact, I let Sabayon rest for a while before picking it up again for today’s review. Now I’m aware of its Gentoo legacy, so credits are due when they are due, but that does not make the need for a suitable, friendly desktop environment any less. Therefore, me asking, can Sabayon deliver?

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – March 5th, 2012

        * Rebuild of the Debian archive with clang
        * Debian Peru revival
        * DebConf11 final report is out
        * Debian Utsav
        * Other news
        * Upcoming events
        * New Debian Contributors
        * Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release
        * Important Debian Security Advisories
        * New and noteworthy packages
        * Work-needing packages
        * Want to continue reading DPN?

      • You can now run Arch & Debian Linux on a Raspberry Pi
      • Raspberry Pi gets Arch Linux
      • Raspberry Pi and Cotton Candy: Computing’s Newest Treats

        “People are going to take these [RPi] boards and turn them into commercial products; they’re going to make gonzo one-off hardware projects ‘because they can.’ They’re going to use them in ways that we can’t begin to imagine, in places we wouldn’t normally think of,” said Slashdot blogger Barbara Hudson. “Instead of Beowulf clusters or Lego blocks, we can now think ‘tinker toys for the mind.’”

      • Linux operating system for Raspberry Pi ready for download

        The Linux operating system for the Raspberry Pi bare-bones computer is ready to download.

      • Raspberry Pi adds Arch Linux to downloads
      • 3D-print your own Raspberry Pi case at home

        If you’re one of the lucky thousands who snagged a $35 Raspberry Pi pocket Linux system before the first run of 10,000 sold out in just a few minutes, there’s almost certainly one question on your mind–where am I going to put this thing?

        The Raspberry Pi is a full system with all the needed ports that’s about the size of a credit card. It’s definitely cheap, but it’s not exactly pretty. That’s likely because its nonprofit designers are mainly focused on their mission of getting the systems into the hands of kids across the developed and developing world to get them excited about programming.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • What Ubuntu Can Take Away From The Raspberry Revolution

            While the $25 Raspberry Pi is turning a million eyeballs, Canonical’s incessant attempts at conquering non-Ubuntuers don’t seem to be working out as hoped or planned. Even though Shuttleworth, Canonical’s benevolent dictator, has decided to go all out in order to reach his 200-million mark as early as possible, the efforts are still visibly falling short. The recent announcements including Ubuntu TV and Ubuntu for Android have created some buzz among the non-Linuxiens, it’s still nothing compared to what Raspberry Pi has achieved in such a short span of time.

          • Here’s Top Ten Wallpapers from the Ubuntu Precise Wallpaper Contest
          • Unity Desktop Launcher

            The new Unity Launcher is a new and very significant part of the desktop environment. After logging into your system the Launcher will automatically appear along the left edge of your screen. The Launcher can be used to store and run all of your favorite applications.

          • Canonical Releases First Beta Version Of Ubuntu 12.04
          • Is Ubuntu 12.04 a Linux Game Changer?

            Ever since the Unity desktop first came to Ubuntu, I’ve been critical of it and found myself completely disinterested in it. Some aspects of this discontent may have stemmed from my refusal to try something new. But certainly Unity had some rough edges in the beginning.

            In short, Unity was a neat idea that needed more time to develop.

            With Ubuntu 12.04 just around the corner, I was shocked to discover that Unity now offers a stable and configurable desktop experience. Thanks to the HUD (heads up display), more Unity-based configuration options, support for Sandy Bridge, and improved power consumption, Ubuntu 12.04 is shaping up to be a really solid release.

          • Ubuntu 12.04 Open Source OS LTS Offers More Features, Polish

            We’ve now officially entered the season that comes only, er, twice a year: the countdown to the next iteration of Ubuntu. With beta 1 of Ubuntu 12.04 now available, it’s time to take a look at what’s new — and there’s a lot of it — in the latest and greatest version of what is (probably) the world’s most popular open source operating system.

          • … for human beings

            For the first time with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, real desktop user experience innovation is available on a full production-ready enterprise-certified free software platform, free of charge, well before it shows up in Windows or MacOS. It’s not ‘job done’ by any means, but it’s a milestone. Achieving that milestone has tested the courage and commitment of the Ubuntu community – we had to move from being followers and integrators, to being designers and shapers of the platform, together with upstreams who are excited to be part of that shift and passionate about bringing goodness to a wide audience. It’s right for us to design experiences and help upstreams get those experiences to be amazing, because we are closest to the user; we are the last mile, the last to touch the code, and the first to get the bug report or feedback from most users.

          • First Beta of Ubuntu Version 12.04 Features Many Improvements

            Late last week, after a long alpha release test period, which we covered here, the first beta version of Ubuntu 12.04 (dubbed Precise Pangolin) became available. You can get it and read about it now, although the Ubuntu Wiki warns that this beta is primarily for developers and testers at this point. This new version of Ubuntu is a major upgrade. Here is more on what to expect from it.

          • Unity Desktop Lenses

            One of the most popular features of the new Unity desktop are the Lenses. You can uses lenses to sort and search for items inside the Unity dash. For example, a lens for music will allow you to filter your searches for all of your music items and display music only in your search results. There are several lenses that can be added to the dash, each providing its own impressive functions as well.

          • Ubuntu 12.04 Global Menu News Update: HUD Lands In Unity 2D
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Time to eat humble raspberry Pi – Linux is NOT a processor

      First and foremost Raspberry Pi are a UK not-for-profit foundation.

      Though the credit-card sized naked motherboard does contain many ports including USBs and an SD card reader, it does not include a wireless mouse, screen or carry case.

      The peripherals are left up to users to find and build. Sort of.

      The two authorised resellers Premier Farnell/Element 14 and RS Components provide bundle packages that include all the bells and whistles to make it easier for users to build their own computers and create their own software programs.

    • Educators and Leaders Are Praising Low-Cost Raspberry Pi Devices
    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Hardware Profile: exciTe 10 LE

        Just one more entry in the Hardware Profiles category, where I profile upcoming and available mobile devices powered by Linux-based operating systems (distributions, as we like to call them). This one is an Android tablet from Toshiba.

      • Get A KDE Spark Tablet RIGHT NOW!

        Potential buyers have been clamoring over the new KDE Spark tablet. Though predicted to perform otherwise, demand has been incredibly high as suggested by the sheer volume of pre-orders over at Make-Play-Live. Well, you don’t have to wait in line…

        The Spark tablet is really just a re-branded unit. At first, €200 doesn’t seem like a lot of scratch, but once you get familiar with the intimate details of the hardware, you find something here that you might not be able to carry with you as a daily-driver. I must say however, the allure of this rather nice looking experience is enough for me… Now, how well will this run on a Touchpad??

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Canada Lobbies Against US Banking Reform

      You can say one thing for the powers that be in the banking industry. They’ve got a lot of nerve.

      This past week, our own finance minister, Jim Flaherty, along with Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of Canada, came out strongly in opposition to a modest proposal to regulate the U.S. banking system.

      Their interventions followed a concerted effort by American bank lobbyists to spark international opposition to U.S. regulatory reforms.

      What a shameful spectacle! Less than four years ago, the world was holding its breath for fear the crisis in the hyper-deregulated U.S. financial system would cause a second Great Depression. Now Canada and other foreign governments, cheered on by U.S. banking interests, are doing their best to block U.S. legislation that would curb the industry’s worst excesses.

    • Federal judge weighs whether to let regulators rein in oil speculators

      A federal judge on Monday refused to halt efforts by a key regulator to limit excessive speculation in the trading of oil contracts — which is driving up oil and gasoline prices — but hinted that he might soon rule in favor of Wall Street and let speculation go unchecked.

      Robert Wilkins, a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, declined a request for a preliminary injunction to halt the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from implementing a congressional mandate to limit how many oil contracts any single financial speculator or company can control.

      However, Wilkins told both the CFTC and lawyers for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and the International Swap and Derivatives Association that he expected to make a ruling soon on whether to hear the case. His line of questioning left both sides with the impression that he was concerned about how the regulatory agency has proceeded.

  • Privacy

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • 03/03/2012

      Talks on a free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union may take months longer to complete than initially planned as Canada seeks the best possible deal, Ottawa said on Tuesday.

      The agreement is particularly important for Canada, which is seeking to diversify exports away from the giant U.S. market.

      The two sides still have to settle contentious issues such as whether to amend Canada’s Patent Act to give more protection to European drug firms, a move the Canadian generic pharmaceutical industry opposes.

    • Blood in the water: Reports from the latest Trans-Pacific Partnership Stakeholder Forum

      I’m in Melbourne to advocate for free software users and developers at the latest round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), and I’m chomping at the bit to share a little good news with you all. The tone of the discussion here has turned much more friendly to us—and it’s thanks to your activism.

    • Rampant GMO Contamination Unchecked by Judge

      A judge in New York sided with Monsanto and against organic farmers in the first case of its kind seeking to protect famers from being accused of patent infringement upon unitentional contamination by Monsanto’s GMO seed.

      Organic farmers sought a judgment against Monsanto to protect themselves from being sued for patent infringement when their crops are unintentionally contaminated with the company’s genetically modified (GMO) seed, was dismissed in federal district court in New York by Judge Naomi Buchwald called the plaintiffs’ concern an “intangible worry, unanchored in time.”

    • Trademarks

      • THQ Trademarks ‘Evolve’

        On the 22nd of February, video games publisher THQ filed a trademark with the United States Patent & Trademark Office for a property called “Evolve”.

        It is still unclear what the term stands for, but we know that it pertains to “computer game software; video game software; downloadable video games.” Gamespot requested more information on the patent, unfortunately a THQ representative responded by saying “Sorry, no, we don’t comment on filings.”

    • Copyrights

      • In Copyright Enforcement, Ought Implies Can

        These two pieces are largely addressing different questions. Ruffini and Salam point out that the federal government have been pouring resources into anti-piracy efforts, and restraining individual liberty in the process, for decades. These efforts haven’t been very effective, and there’s no reason to think that the even greater efforts Hollywood advocates will be much more effective. So, they argue, Hollywood needs to recognize that the war on piracy can’t be won decisively and take pragmatic steps to deal with this reality.

        VerBruggen responds by insisting that piracy is wrong. He’s right, but this doesn’t get him as far as he thinks it does. This isn’t just an abstract exercise in moral philosophy. The government has limited resources, and a long list of problems to deal with. The question isn’t “should the government try to stop piracy,” it’s “how many resources should the government devote to combatting piracy as opposed to other problems.”

      • ACTA

        • SOPA, ACTA and the TPP: Lessons for a 21st Century Trade Agenda

          The ham-handed attempts by the U.S. entertainment industry to rein in online piracy, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), triggered an earthquake of public backlash that led to one of the quickest legislative collapses in modern history. In one day, fueled by Internet blackouts and user protests, the once “slam dunk” legislative effort to censor the Internet and make websites liable for “infringing” user content quickly became politically untouchable.

        • Assessing ACTA: My Appearance Before the European Parliament INTA Workshop on ACTA

          The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement has mushroomed into a massive political issue in Europe in recent weeks with protests in hundreds of cities across the continent. Much of the focus has been on whether the European Parliament will give its approval to the agreement. The focal point of attention within the EP has been on the INTA committee, which holds a public workshop on the issue today. Interest in the workshop has been incredible – there are apparently 800 registrants with thousands more expected to watch the live stream.

        • The Plans To Bring ACTA Back To Life

          Following the initial discussions in the European Parliament and the overwhelmingly negative workshop that was held on 1 March, ACTA is close to dead in Europe. What are the strategies for bringing it back to life and how will this impact on other similar initiatives? How can activists ensure that our great success so far can be maintained?

          The original intention was to adopt ACTA in May or June 2012, with the Commission Communication on review of the IPR Enforcement Directive 2004/48/EC (also known as “IPRED”) being launched at approximately the same time. The Commission’s “roadmap” for the review of the Directive is available here.

          The protests in the streets and the lack of support in the European Parliament created two big problems for the European Commission. Firstly, there was a significant risk of losing the Parliament vote and, secondly, the (successful) campaign against ACTA would create problems for the new proposal on the Enforcement Directive.

          The European Commission therefore decided to refer ACTA to the Court of Justice of the European Union in order to “de-couple” ACTA from IPRED. This leaves the way open for the launch of a legislative proposal in November/December. However, it is quite likely that these will be delayed to some extent.

          It has to be said that, while we would disagree with the Commission on a lot of aspects of IPRED, the Commission services working on the dossier do recognise many of the problems with the Directive and have ambitions to improve the legislation. They would, for example, seek to implement the rules against abuse of the Directive more effectively, in order to prevent disgraceful use of personal data, as in the ACS:Law case. The problem is that these positive proposals may not survive internal discussions in the Commission and the approach of the Parliament so far has been far from enlightened.

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