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Links 7/3/2012: NVIDIA Joins Linux Foundation, Android Easily Beats iOS in the US

Posted in News Roundup at 6:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • The Linux Setup, Noah Lorang, 37signals

    Noah’s on my radar because of this post he wrote about how operating systems are becoming irrelevant. The piece points out how Noah was able to effortlessly switch from OS X to Linux. I appreciated the post because it wasn’t about the politics of free and open source software. Instead, he was writing about getting to choose the best tools for the job, an idea that sometimes gets misplaced in our conversations about Linux.

  • The “Linux” Brand

    Part of “Technological Evangelism” according to M$ is to denigrate competitive brands. In the FLOSS world, unfortunately, there is too much of that. One item is the holding down of the “Linux” brand. Two popular examples are Android/Linux and Ubuntu GNU/Linux. S

  • Kernel Space

    • OMAP4 Kernel Vulnerabilities Fixed for Ubuntu 11.04

      Canonical announced on March 6th, in a security notice, that a new Linux OMAP4 kernel update for its Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) operating system is now available, fixing six security vulnerabilities discovered in the Linux kernel packages by various developers.

    • LPI announces “Linux Essentials” Program
    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org Server 1.12 Released With Multi-Touch

        X.Org Server 1.12 is now officially available with X Input 2.2, which is the X Input extension update that formally introduces multi-touch support.

        While the release of X.Org Server 1.12 wasn’t as drawn out as MythTV 0.25, this release is coming about a month late due to Keith Packard, the xorg-server release manager, taking a bicycling trip through New Zealand. However, it’s now available following the revised release plans (and the developers are now hitting targets much better than in the past).

      • AMD Launches Pitcairn GPUs, Open-Source Not There

        Yesterday AMD officially launched the Radeon HD 7800 “Pitcairn” series as the latest hardware in their Southern Islands family to reside between the Radeon HD 7700 series and their flagship Radeon HD 7900 cards. Unfortunately, the open-source support for these latest AMD GPUs remains unavailable.

      • Turning Mesa Into JavaScript For The Web?

        Besides the recent talk about using Gallium3D’s LLVMpipe for Mozilla Firefox, there’s another interesting technical discussion happening now about using Mesa on the web to emulate the full OpenGL API using the WebGL API.

      • Radeon Gallium3D Now Sort Of Works For OpenCL
      • Plugging X.Org GPU Hot-Plugging Into Mainline

        Earlier today was the first round of comments by David Airlie regarding the finishing and up-streaming of his X.Org GPU hot-plugging support. This allows for new GPUs to be dynamically added to a running X.Org Server environment.

        Airlie has been working on the GPU hot-plugging support for a number of months, but recently it’s finally come together. In particular, he’s been playing with the USB-based DisplayLink graphics adapters. David has written a DisplayLink KMS driver to top off DisplayLink’s other code and open-source support. This could also be adapted to work with dynamically hot-plugging/unplugging other graphics processors too.

      • NVIDIA Is Joining The Linux Foundation

        NVIDIA will be joining the Linux Foundation, per an announcement coming out in the morning. But for open-source Linux fans, will this be a reason to rejoice about NVIDIA potentially moving forward with open-source drivers? Don’t break out the champagne quite yet.

      • Nvidia Joins The Linux Foundation
      • A New OpenCL Back-End For LLVM Is Published

        Besides the open-source AMD Radeon support for OpenCL finally taking shape, there’s more good open-source OpenCL news: a newly open-sourced LLVM OpenCL back-end.

        Back in August I wrote about an OpenCL, GLSL back-end for LLVM that may soon open up. The work was the result of a German student writing the LLVM OpenCL back-end as part of his university thesis. OpenCL is generated from LLVM bit-code, similar to how the Emscripten project is generating JavaScript from LLVM bit-code. This work is what’s finally being opened up.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Nosonja XFCE 2012.02.29 Screenshots
    • New Releases

      • Clonezilla 1.2.12-29
      • IPFire 2.11 – Core Update 57 released
      • CeBIT 2012: Knoppix 7.0 presented

        Speaking at this year’s CeBIT Open Source ForumGerman language link, Knoppix creator Klaus Knopper presented version 7.0 of his popular Live Linux distribution. The new release is a special “CeBIT Edition” which is based on Debian “Wheezy” and uses the 3.2.4 Linux kernel. Available as a LiveDVD, it now uses UTF-8 encoding, and can run on both 32- and 64-bit systems.

      • Knoppix 7.0 release begins now

        The next major version of venerable Live Linux distro Knoppix is slowly making it’s way out the door over the next couple of days, includes some major updates to compatibility and performance

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian GNU/Linux Keeps Getting Stronger

        Look at the steepness of the bug-count for the next release (green curve) at Debian. Even as the count of packages in the repository rises, the rate at which bugs are getting killed in the release-cycle keeps rising. This shows the power of FLOSS. By using a modular layered approach, a thousand people can change the world faster than tens of thousands working in the darkness of M$. It’s beautiful that you can have the benefits of a package manager that keeps all your systems updated for applications as well as the OS at very low cost. I recommend Debian GNU/Linux. It works for you.

      • LLVM’s Clang Is Almost Good Enough For Debian

        Clang, the C/C++ front-end compiler for LLVM, is progressing quite quickly and is capable of building the Debian archives quite well, at least for a majority of the packages and on popular architectures.

        A Debian developer’s side project has been to see how well it would work to re-build the Debian archive (the entire distribution) using LLVM’s Clang C/C++ compiler rather than GCC. Apple has rated LLVM/Clang as being production-ready and it continues to find new uses, especially with the recent LLVM 3.0 release. But how well does LLVM/Clang work for building the massive Debian package-set?

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • Business


  • Licensing

    • Inside the ToyBox: An interview with Rob Landley

      A recent controversy about the legal aspects of software licensing put Rob Landley in the middle of an argument, but Landley says his real focus is on code, especially his ToyBox project – a reworking of the concepts of a project he once maintained, the Swiss-army knife of commands that is BusyBox. The H had a chance to talk with him about ToyBox, BusyBox and why he likes to work on these multifunctional monolithic utilities.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Open source helicopters trivialize Europe’s ODF troubles

      While technocrats in Westminster and Brussels cringe over the question of open document formats, the US military is planning a generation of open source helicopters.

      This is not just a generation of helicopters. It is the next generation of US military helicopter. It’ll be built on open standards, and will actively court open source systems suppliers.

      The US Army issued an official request for information on the proposal last week, formally kick-starting a procurement that will make the pedestrian kerfuffle over document formats in civvy street seem, well, pedestrian.

      It has already shone an unforgiving light on the question of royalties – one that has undermined every civil administration that has attempted to implement an open standards policy in Europe.

      Weapons manufacturers and US forces made an unequivocal declaration for royalty-free standards in January through the FACE (Future Airborne Capabilities Environment) Consortium they formed in response to US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta’s call for a “common aircraft architecture and subsystems”.

      “The FACE Standard is an open, nonproprietary technical specification that is publicly available without restrictive contracts, licensing terms, or royalties,” the Consortium announced from its base at The Open Group, the industry association responsible for the POSIX open Unix specification.

      “In business terms, the open standards specified for FACE mean that programmers are freely able to use them without monetary remuneration or other obligation to the standards owner,” it said.


  • Windows 8 showdown: Face-off on whether Windows still matters
  • “8″ Down and One to Go
  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • More Free Sludge! Calabasas, California Offers Free Sewage Sludge “Compost”

      Good news! The sewage treatment plant in Calabasas, California has been giving away free sludge! Free sludge, you say? That potent stew of human and industrial sewage sludge laced with flame retardants, endocrine disruptors, pharmaceutical residues, phthalates, industrial solvents, resistant pathogens, and perfluorinated compounds? “Composted” sludge, which can bioaccumulate in plants grown in sludge-contaminated soil? Oh, goodie.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Secret Greece Loan Shows Two Sinners as Client Unravels

      Greece’s secret loan from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was a costly mistake from the start.

      On the day the 2001 deal was struck, the government owed the bank about 600 million euros ($793 million) more than the 2.8 billion euros it borrowed, said Spyros Papanicolaou, who took over the country’s debt-management agency in 2005. By then, the price of the transaction, a derivative that disguised the loan and that Goldman Sachs persuaded Greece not to test with competitors, had almost doubled to 5.1 billion euros, he said.

    • Goldman Sachs: Social Security and Medicare Are ‘Weaker’ Promises Than Debt

      A report released today by Goldman Sachs says that if push comes to shove, the federal government will pay its lenders before it pays Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries. Debt service “should be seen as the top claim on government resources in most cases,” says the Goldman analysis.

  • Civil Rights

    • Mexico Adopts Alarming Surveillance Legislation

      The Mexican legislature today adopted a surveillance legislation that will grant the police warrantless access to real time user location data. The bill was adopted almost unanimously with 315 votes in favor, 6 against, and 7 abstentions. It has been sent to the President for his approval.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Pinterest and copyright: Why you should keep sharing–and keep pinning

        Pinterest is a social site for image sharing around themes that launched in closed beta in March 2010. As the site proceeded through an invite system and finally registration requests, it gained a considerable following and was one of Time’s “50 Best Websites of 2011.” In January 2012, it drove more referral traffic to retailers than YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn combined and became the fastest site to ever break 10 million unique visitors. As its popularity increases, so have concerns about whether its users aren’t just sharing their favorite things, but engaging one another in the web’s largest copyright infringement platform.

      • ACTA

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