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Links 1/6/2012: Tiny Linux-Powered PCs, LibreOffice 3.5.4

Posted in News Roundup at 4:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • mintBox runs on a Linux variant operating system

    It seems that the folks behind the hugely popular Linux Mint operating system have come up with an announcement that you will soon be able to pick up a Mint-branded computer that is aptly known as the mintBox, where it is more or less a Compulab fit-PC3 that has the Mint brand name on it. Not only that, Compulab intends to share a part of the proceeds with the Mint team in order to further assist their efforts in developing the operating system in order to bring it to greater heights. Right now, Compulab offers its fair share of small form factor PCs under the fit-PC range, with the latest models being hugely line diminutive at a mere 6.3″ x 6.3″ x 1″, and will rely on low power AMD processors as well as Radeon HD graphics to get the job done.

  • Invasion of the Tiny, Linux-Powered PCs
  • Miniature Linux Computers Are Emerging As 2012 Highlights

    As we head toward the mid-point of 2012, it’s clear that one of the biggest open source stories of all is the proliferation of diminutive, inexpensive Linux-based computers at some of the smallest form factors ever seen. The tiny $25 Linux computer dubbed Raspberry Pi (shown here) has grabbed many headlines on this front, and Google Chairman Eric Schmidt recently pledged to give some of the units to U.K. schools along with training for teachers who can pass on Linux knowledge to kids. But the Raspberry Pi is only one of many tiny LInux computers being heralded as part of a new “Linux punk ethic.”

  • Command Line and User Friendliness
  • As a power user, I want to punch you every time I change a setting
  • Desktop

    • Google Chromebox: Better Than Windows PC?

      In my opinion Chromebox and Chromebook are a major threat to Microsoft’s core market — businesses. The desktop as we know it is almost dead and with Microsoft’s switch to Metro will further put a nail in the traditional desktop market. Desktop is being used only by those who either create content and use it for editing audio, video and images. Applications which need massive processing power to handle the workload. The desktop is also used for gaming (though the consoles are picking up).

    • ZaReason Upgrades Open Source PC Line

      If you’re in the market for a Linux-ready PC, May 2012 has been a good month. First eRacks launched a new line of high-end desktops. Then System76 introduced high-power laptop. Now ZaReason, one of the few other big open source OEMs, has both released new hardware and upgraded a popular existing model. Read on for details.

    • Samsung refreshes ChromeOS hardware with first desktop system

      Google and Samsung have launched fresh hardware aimed at reviving interest in its ChromeOS platform, with a laptop for end users and a desktop box system.

  • Kernel Space

    • XFS, Btrfs, EXT4 Battle It Out On Linux 3.4

      Following the Linux 3.4 kernel benchmarks from last week, available now are the results from a three-way file-system comparison using the Linux 3.4 kernel as well as the Linux 3.2 and 3.3 kernels for reference. The three file-systems being pitted against each other are Btrfs, EXT4, and XFS.

    • The Linux Foundation Announces New Tool for Tracking Free and Open Source Software Components

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced the availability of The Linux Foundation FOSS Bar Code Tracker.

      Released as an open source project under the MIT license, the new software tool aims to simplify the way open source components are tracked and reported by using an auto-generated, custom QR code for each product. The QR code contains important information on the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) stack contained in a product, such as component names, version numbers, license information and links to download the source code, among other details.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Is Xfce a GNOME and Unity Replacement?

      Xfce’s first release in sixteen months comes at a critical time. After years of being a distant third among Linux desktops, in the last year Xfce has found a new popularity among those looking for alternatives to GNOME 3 and Ubuntu’s Unity.

      In fact, according to one survey, Xfce is now the second most popular desktop, and starting to crowd KDE — at least among experienced users.

      Under these circumstances, Xfce 4.10 might have been an ambitious release, full of new features and extras designed to attract new users. Instead, like earlier releases, the latest version of Xfce consists of a modest set of visible changes — specifically, a few miscellaneous new features, some improvements to the panel, and some new configuration options — that improve the desktop without visibly altering it to any great extent.

    • Linux Desktop Environments

      A full desktop environment is the lazy man’s approach to Linux. Most popular Linux distributions today employ a full desktop environment, while hand selecting each component for specific purposes.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 2 Review

        Mageia began as a fork of Mandriva Linux in September 2010 by the former employees and contributors of Mandriva because they were not happy with the governance of the project.

      • Mageia 2 Review – Pure Magic

        Mageia has been pretty popular ever since its original release last year. While all Linux distributions give you more choice than any other operating system, Mageia was one of the few distros that has a lot of these choices upfront. This is partly due to it being an offshoot of Mandriva, however the team at Mageia have taken it noticeably further.

      • Charles-H. Schulz Joins Mandriva’s Recovery Team

        Today Charles-H. Schulz posted a short message on Mandriva’s official blog stating that he will be joining the Mandriva team to help them come back to life. Charles-H. Schulz is a very active member of the Open Source community and is probably best known for his invaluable contributions to OpenOffice.org, The Document Foundation, and LibreOffice.

      • Mageia desktop background causes foreground headache

        The Mageia developers are replacing the background image in Mageia 2 after discovering that they did not have permission to include it. Mageia 2 was released just over a week ago. The current background image, which won the Mageia 2 artwork contest, was submitted by a user who had derived it from an original work by pr09studio. The Mageia community were made aware of the use of the Domination wallpaper early on the morning on 31 May and, after confirming that it was derivative, set about remedying the problem.

      • Mandriva

        I usually avoid to talk much about my day job and what my company is working on, but I will make an exception for this one. Starting today, I will be assisting Mandriva in its Open Source strategy and its relations with the community.

        Mandriva has had rough times lately, but things have improved recently and a few important decisions have been made concerning the overall corporate strategy of Mandriva and its role with respect to the Mandriva Linux distribution and its standing within the broader community. Specifically, the conversation on the future of Mandriva Linux as a distribution, the goals and expectations of its community needs to start. In many ways, it is a discussion that has been delayed, but a conversation that is worth having.

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat to support Korean financial firms’ migration to open-source platforms

        When people generally think of open-source platforms in Korea, Google’s Android immediately comes to mind due to the wide use of smartphones and tablet PCs in the business-to-consumer space.

        But in the business-to-business world, U.S.-headquartered Red Hat provides the world’s leading open-source operating systems for enterprises’ data-processing servers.

      • Red Hat To Present Cloud Technology Update Via Live Webcast On June 6
      • Fedora

        • Fedora 17 KDE and GNOME 3 preview

          Fedora 17, code-named Beefy Miracle, was released yesterday for all to download and use. Aside for the main edition, which uses the GNOME 3 desktop environments, installation images for three main Spins were also released. These are for KDE, LXDE and Xfce.

          Specialized Spins for Security, Scientific-KDE, Design-suite, SoaS, Games, Electronic-lab and Robotics were also released. It is very unlikely that I will review these, but there will be reviews of the main edition and KDE Spin. While the reviews are still being baked, here are a few screen shots from test installations of the main edition and KDE Spin for your viewing pleasure.

        • Fedora 17: Mm.. this stew of beefy source tastes just right

          That’s a bold claim for a package with such a ridiculous name. While this is a solid update with significant enhancements under the hood and the latest version of the GNOME desktop, there’s nothing particularly miraculous about it – just as we concluded in the review of the beta build.

          A miraculous Fedora 17 would have included full support for Btrfs – the kernel at least supports the filing system – but that’s going to require a major rewrite of the Anaconda installer interface and has been postponed until at least Fedora 18.

        • Fedora 17 Boot Optimization (from 15 to 2.5 seconds)
        • What’s a Beefy Miracle anyway? The story of the Fedora 17 release name

          Last October, I received a message via Twitter from a hot dog. This hot dog, calling itself The Beefy Miracle, informed me that the latest version of the Fedora operating system, Fedora 17, was going to be named after it. The voting was close, but Beefy Miracle ended up winning by almost 150 votes, and it was released yesterday.

        • Why Doesn’t Fedora 17 Linux Have a Beefy Miracle Theme?

          For the most part, Fedora Linux releases have had names that weren’t particularly controversial. For instance, Fedora 16 was named Verne and the default desktop wallpaper had a submarine type theme (an hommage to 20,000 Leagues under the Sea). With Fedora 17, which was officially released on Tuesday the codename is Beefy Miracle. It’s a theme that has its own mascot and it’s a fun one.

          Yet despite that, the default Fedora 17 desktop has no Beefy Miracle.

        • Fedora 17 boasts OpenStack, JBoss, oVirt support
        • When An Ubuntu User Revisits Fedora 17

          I wrote about an Ubuntu user’s experience with Fedora last year when Fedora 16 came out. It was pretty impressed with Fedora 16, and now Fedora 17 is out so I wanted to share my experience about F17. But, I also realized that how different is it going to be from the previous review. One of my friends helped me out. He threw a challenge at me that what if he takes my Ubuntu box away from and leaves me with Fedora 17, will I survive? Sounds interesting so I took up the challenge.

    • Debian Family

      • First Knoppix 7.0 update arrives

        Later than originally planned, Knoppix creator Klaus Knopper has released an update to version 7.0 of his popular Live Linux distribution. The first point update to Knoppix 7.0, which was a special “CeBIT Edition” from March, includes a number of improvements and package upgrades, while removing proprietary packages, such as Adobe Reader.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • New Ubuntu Phone Concept
          • Ubuntu Demotes Its Migration Assistant

            Ubuntu developers have decided to remove the migration-assistant package from the stock Ubuntu installer. This software package was supposed to make it easy for transferring files and settings to Ubuntu Linux from Windows.

          • Measuring Incoming Contributions
          • 10 things you should know about Ubuntu Unity

            Now that Ubuntu 12.04 has arrived, a number of questions have bubbled up from the curious minds of those wondering about the state of Ubuntu. When 11.04 hit, faithful Ubuntu users were up in arms about how bad Ubuntu Unity was. It was buggy, it was far from user friendly, and it seemed a slap in the face to those who had worked so hard and so long on the previous default desktop: GNOME.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Report: Google Will Aim for a Merger of Android and Chrome OS

          This week, Google introduced a new Chromebook and a new Chromebox–both systems designed around the company’s Chrome OS. The moves, along with recent comments from Google leaders, illustrate that Google is not throwing in the towel on Chrome OS, despite a lukewarm market reaction to it. Other comments from Google leaders pointed toward an event that many people have scoffed at for years: the eventual merger of the Android mobile OS and Chrome OS.

        • 5 reasons everyone will be using Chrome OS in 3 years

          The new Chromebooks and Chromeboxes may not have gotten much attention outside of tech circles, but Chrome OS will be everywhere…and soon.

        • Sony Updates Its Android Powered SmartWatch

          You might have seen people wearing a nifty iPod Nano as the watch. As an Android user you may wonder if there are similar watches running Android. The answer is yes. There are many Android powered watches which are more than just watches. Sony SmartWatch is one such watch, but it does much more than just telling the time.

        • HTC One X Used As Hammer, iPhone Nailed

          It seems like Android powered HTC One X is the Hummer of smartphones. A YouTube video is showing an Asian HTC One X user putting two nails in a wood with is HTX One X phone. You can clearly see in the video below that he was using the screen to hit the nail. At the price of $577.49 on Amazon.com, HTC One X earns the reputation of the most expensive hammer. HTC One X uses the Corning Gorilla Glass for protection of its display.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source still feared within Whitehall, says IT architect

    The government is missing opportunities to make significant savings by dismissing open source software when procuring products, Tariq Rashid, lead architect at the Home Office, has said.

    Rashid, whose role covers information, applications, infrastructure, open standards, and open source, told the Open Gov Summit in London that he has had “lots of battles internally” with the IT security team at the Home Office around open source.

  • Why do I contribute to open source?

    People tend to ask me why do I do work for free, while I have a company that provides similar services to those I’m giving away to open source. I must say that I don’t completely agree with their way of perceiving contributions to open source. While it superficially looks like working for free, there are a lot of benefits to gather from it, both concrete and abstract.

  • EMC, Puppet launch Razor project for hardware provisioning
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • How cloud can give back to open source

      There’s been a lot of talk about open source and the cloud, which makes sense given the proliferation of open source technologies that actually comprise cloud computing.

      But what about open source in the cloud? Can cloud computing and storage provide open source projects less expensive access to computing resources?

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 3.5.4 Released, Faster Than Ever Before

      The Document Foundation (TDF) has announced the relase of LibreOffice 3.5.4, the fifth version of the free office suite’s 3.5 family.

    • LibreOffice 3.5.4 Released, w/ 100% Better Performance

      Today The Document Foundation released the latest version of their Open Source office productivity suite. This release comes with lots of bug fixes and something everybody loves: improved performance. In fact, the release announcement claims that one could experience as much as 100% better performance.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Well over two hundred French assembly candidates sign free software pact

      A campaign for free software has garnered the support of 267 candidates running for France’s National Assembly in next months’ elections. Most supporters (149 signatures) are Europe Ecology–The Greens candidates. The Pirate Party comes second, with 54 signatures.

    • Number 10 shuts wallet on closed-source IT projects

      Government IT projects that don’t explore alternatives to closed and proprietary software are getting kicked back and denied funding.

      The civil servant running open source, open standards and information management under No 10’s digital change agenda called such spending controls a “key gateway” in complying with new IT procurement rules.

  • Licensing

    • Conservancy’s Coordinated Compliance Efforts

      Conservancy announced today its new coordinated Free Software license compliance effort. As you might guess, in between getting things together for Conservancy conferences, making sure developers get reimbursed on time, and all the other primary work of Conservancy that I’m up to each day, I’ve been spending what hours that I can coordinating this new effort.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • ideas to build content stores on

      Freedom doesn’t begin and end with software, though. We are big fans of Free culture in general. There are a few reasons for this. First, we like sharing stuff with people and really enjoy experiencing the creative efforts of others. It’s thrilling and enjoyable and highlights how “Make” and “Play” fit together so well.


  • Dedoimedo: I don’t believe in being idle or wasting time
  • Finance

    • Randy Wray: MMT Without the JG?

      I had made the analogy between disease and unemployment: would any reasonable person who understands the cause of a disease oppose a cure? If you knew that a vaccination can prevent smallpox, would you oppose providing vaccinations (at least to those who want them—I do not want to get into a debate about forcing vaccinations as we have never advocating forcing jobs on those who do not want to work)?

      Now I do realize this is not quite a fair comparison because it is possible that there are many cures for the disease of unemployment. MMTers advocate the Jobs Guarante (JG) cure. I am open to alternative cures. I just do not hear any coming from the critics.

    • Goldman Sachs Exec Serves As Trusted Advisor To Romney
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • EU Telecom Regulators’ Wake Up Call on Net Neutrality

      In the first official assessement of the Internet access restrictions imposed by Internet access providers, EU telecom regulators depict a very alarming situation. The Internet as we know it is very much at threat, and the EU Commission’s reluctance to take any resolute action on the matter is irresponsible. Like in the Netherlands where the Dutch Parliament adopted a Net Neutrality law earlier this month, Net Neutrality must be enacted into European law.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • Important victories on ACTA! Moving on to Final Steps

          Votes were cast in three of the four parliamentary committees preparing the EU Parliament’s final decision on ACTA. Citizens’ concerns, as well as Internet innovators & start-ups’ interests have been upheld in “Civil Liberties” (LIBE) and the “Industry” (ITRE) committees. Even the “Legal affairs” (JURI) committee, usually very conservative and keen to support repression on copyright issues, rejected Marielle Gallo’s pro-ACTA opinion. Citizens should rejoice but keep up the pressure for the upcoming steps, up until the final vote scheduled for early July. A massive rejection of ACTA would create a political symbol of global scale.

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