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Links 6/7/2012: Mandriva Name Changes; Next GPL

Posted in News Roundup at 7:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux Played a Crucial Role in Discovery of ‘Higgs boson’

    Scientists working at CERN, Geneva have announced the discovery of Higgs boson which is considered to be one of the most important scientific feats in understanding the creation of Universe.

    Higgs boson is a a new subatomic particle that enables particles in atoms to gather mass, the basic building blocks of the universe. It is called ‘God particle’ because its existence is fundamental to the creation of the universe.

  • I failed the Linux Community

    Last night I’m afraid to say I failed the LINUX community.

    My wife’s Aunty and Uncle came up from Glasgow to Aberdeenshire to visit my mother in law for a few nights and en route stayed at our house for a meal.

    After the meal my wife’s Uncle asked whether he could use our PC to check his emails etc. My wife asked my son to give the Uncle his laptop to use which is running Windows 7 but I saw the instant opportunity to demonstrate the power of LINUX by letting him loose on my laptop running Mageia 2.

    Now the reason I am running Mageia 2 is that I had an unfortunate incident last weekend whilst playing with the partitions on my laptop whereby I accidentally destroyed the version of Zorin I was running previously. This however was not I thought an issue because I had set up Mageia meticulously with the KDE 4 plasma desktop and I think it looks really impressive. I have even installed Compiz to add some whizzy effects. Add to this the Chromium browser and you would think you have a really good setup to demonstrate to a non Linux user.

  • Tux and the God Particle

    One CERN physicist, though, went out of his way to give Linux some credit where credit is due, and posted a complimentary thanks to the operating system on Reddit.

  • Linux central to Higgs Boson discovery, claims CERN physicist

    After Linux was founding wanting over last weekend’s leap second server hiatus, some better news – it helped CERN physicists track down the mysterious Higgs Boson.

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Climate skepticism not rooted in science illiteracy

      People who strongly resist data indicating that human-induced climate change could spell catastrophe aren’t ignorant about science or numerical reasoning. Quite the opposite, a new study finds: High science literacy actually boosts the likelihood that certain people will challenge what constitutes credible climate science.

      Who will be receptive to climate science, the study found, depends more on cultural factors such as attitudes toward commerce, government regulation and individualism than on scientific literacy.

      “Simply improving the clarity of scientific information will not dispel public conflict” over climate, the study’s authors conclude online May 27 in Nature Climate Change.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome 3.5.3 Development Release Out, To Become 3.6

        The GNOME project have released the third update to the development cycle heading for GNOME 3.6. This is an unstable release and though usable, its mainly for testing and hacking purposes. The major changes in this release are a new API framework for Evolution Data Server, new widgets in GTK+ and a new Empathy interface to integrate well with the Gnome 3 style.

      • GNOME and input method integration

        Those of us who type in Latin characters may easily overlook what it takes to get text into windows or command lines in other writing systems. Entry of characters not found on one’s keyboard requires the use of an input method (IM) which turns multiple keystrokes into characters. There are plenty of capable projects, but they often lack deep integration into the desktop environment or widget toolkit. In April, GNOME developer Rui Matos proposed a feature for the upcoming GNOME 3.6 release that would integrate the IBus framework into the core GNOME desktop, tackling this precise challenge. IBus is a framework that allows the user to select — and switch between — multiple IMs. The plan spawned considerable debate, not only on the merits of IBus, but on the wisdom of tightly integrating a single component into the desktop environment. Complicating matters is the divide between the bulk of the GNOME developer community and those users who depend on input methods, primarily from the Chinese-Japanese-Korean (CJK) language communities.

      • Parsix GNU/Linux 4.0 Test 1 Ships with GNOME 3

        Alan Baghumian announced last night, July 4th, the immediate availability for download of the first test version of the upcoming Parsix GNU/Linux 4.0 operating system.

      • Shotwell vs F-Spot

        Shotwell is an image organizer designed to provide personal photo management for the GNOME desktop environment. In 2010 it replaced F-Spot as the standard image tool for several GNOME-based major Linux distributions like Fedora and Ubuntu. Shotwell’s power is its simplicity, ease of use and speed.

  • Distributions

    • 4 Fine Linux ARM Distros

      The ARM platform is exploding like a mad wet cat out of the bath. Here are four good distros cram-full of ARM fun.

      Linux has had ARM support since forever, but it’s been bumpy. There are hundreds of vendors of ARM devices (see Tiny Pluggable Linux ARM Computers Are Red-Hot for a sampling), all shoving their own personal hacked code out the door as fast as possible. This made Linux support complicated and unwieldy, to the point that Linus Torvalds threatened to stop accepting ARM changes in the mainline Linux kernel.

    • Arch linux – not just for geeks
    • Cultix RC1 Screenshots
    • ROSA Marathon 2012 GNOME preview
    • Porteus 1.2 Screenshots
    • Preview: CrunchBang (“#!”) Linux 11 “Waldorf”

      I’ve been a fan of #! ever since I tried version 9.04.01. It’s quite lightweight, yet the UI doesn’t feel antiquated, and it’s quite well-stocked with features that normal users would find useful. Two months ago, the first testing images of version 11 “Waldorf” went online, so I am previewing that now.

      #! is a Debian-based Openbox distribution. It used to be based on Ubuntu, and at one point, it gained [and then later lost] an Xfce edition. It aims to be quite lightweight yet have the niceties of other distributions with more mainstream DEs.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Help Name New Mandriva Community Distribution

        Last week when Schulz posted his diagram of the general structure of the new Mandriva foundation, he used the name OpenMDV as a placeholder for the new community distribution. It sounded liked like a good name to me, I even liked the spelling. However, Schulz being the community minded sort he is, decided to put it to an open vote. So, now, you too can help pick the name of the new Mandriva community distribution.

      • Voting opened to name Mandriva community distribution
      • Mandriva To Change Name: Votes Open

        Mandriva is going through a complete overhaul. The company recently decided to turn this once #1 GNU/Linux distribution into a community driven distribution. Now, they are seeking a name change for the distribution (and the foundation governing the development of Mandriva) to separate its identity from the company Mandriva S.A.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Knoppix 7.0.1

          Aren’t you frustrated at having to wait for all of an operating system’s services to load before you get to a usable desktop? Experienced Linux users would know that the system initialization of a Linux system, until recently, (by default, unless you know how to customize it) starts several services (some of which are either unnecessary to the user OR some are not needed instantaneously on startup, e. g. printing). Sounds familiar?

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Community Leadership Summit 2012: A Week Away!

            Just a quick reminder that in just over a week we will be hosting the Community Leadership Summit 2012 in Portland, Oregon on from Sat, July 14, 2012 – Sun, July 15, 2012. The event happens the weekend before the OSCON conference, so this is a great opportunity to attend both events.

            The Community Leadership Summit 2012 brings together community leaders, organizers and managers and the projects and organizations that are interested in growing and empowering a strong community.

          • The Power Consumption In Ubuntu 12.10

            Since last year when spotting a major Linux kernel power regression and subsequently finding the cause of the power problem that affected a large number of mobile Linux users, plus other regressions, it’s been fun to look at the Linux power performance situation. How though is the latest Ubuntu Linux code performing when it comes to power efficiency? Here are some early tests of Ubuntu 12.10.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • MeeGo team to part ways with Nokia

        Sotiris Makrygiannis, MeeGo’s Head of Development has announced that the entire MeeGo team will be parting ways with Nokia.

        MeeGo announced this just after releasing the MeeGo PR1.3 update for the Nokia N9, which was the first and last MeeGo phone by Nokia. The Finnish mobile manufacturer will be now concentrating fully on the development of Windows Phones with the help of Microsoft.

        MeeGo was very closely involved in the launch of various handsets by the Nokia, such as N770, N800, N810, N900, N950 and the N9. MeeGo, as you know, is a Linux-based open source operating system designed for various hardware platforms such as netbooks, desktops, tablets, and mobile computing. It is currently being spearheaded by the Linux Foundation.

      • Android

        • Amazon Working On Its Own Phone?

          According to reports, Amazon is working on its own Smartphone running a forked version of Android. Amazon already has its own Kindle Fire tablet which runs on Android. However, Amazong has cut Google out of its platform as user’s can’t buy content or apps from Google Play Store. On the contrary Google allows Amazon to sell their content on Android devices. So, an Android powered Amazon phone can be a lucrative market for Amazon as it has the entire ecosystem in place.

        • Nexus Q gets torn down, some parts are in fact imported
        • Android is Not a Single OS

          Long time ago I argued that Linux is not an OS the way many people think. Most people, when they say “Linux”, think of a singular operating system like Windows and Mac OS X when it in fact refers to a multitude of distributions each of which practically qualifies as its own OS. I argued that a better way to present “Linux” is as a brand representing a rather sizable family of operating systems with a common core: the Linux kernel. Back then I actually called it a “market of operating system components” out of which various Linux based operating systems are made.

        • ROM Manager Makes Device Maintenance a Pleasure
        • Nexus S 4G Reunited With The AOSP Family

          Jean-Baptiste Queru, Technical Lead on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and man after my own heart announced the return of the Nexus S 4G (Sprint) back into the main AOSP tree. In a post in the Android building group on Tuesday, Queru stated, “We’ve been able to resolve the issues around Nexus S 4G, and we can now properly distribute its CDMA and WiMAX binaries. That allows Nexus S 4G to work with AOSP just as well as Nexus S”. As a Nexus S user on Sprint, I can say that I did a few virtual cartwheels, but what is the current status of all Nexus phones within AOSP?

        • Recon MOD heads-up-display goggles go open source with Android
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Interview: Sebastiaan Mathôt talks about Psychological experiments with OpenSesame
  • Blender

    Blender was created as a rewrite by a Belgian company and spun off in its own company Not a Number Technologies. They expanded too fast and went bankrupt. Blender lives on under the umbrella of a non-profit organization The Blender Foundation. A failure it is not. About every two years, the organization produces a new animated movie and continues to thrive on donations and other revenue.

  • Public Art with Augmented Reality and Blender
  • The Open Source Balance at Banks

    While many banks still ponder the benefits of using open source technology for their coding needs, nascent BankSimple has gone full steam ahead.

  • ZaReason: a computer company with freedom built in

    For the past couple of months, I’ve been playing with a laptop from ZaReason, a small, GNU/Linux-based system builder founded in Oakland, CA (though it has expanded to New Zealand). ZaReason’s deal is that they build computers themselves, using components that are guaranteed to have free and open drivers, and pre-install your favorite free/open operating system at the factory. They offer full support for the hardware and the software, and promise that they’ll never say, “Sorry, that component just doesn’t work right under Linux.” So unlike buying a ThinkPad or other commercial laptop and installing a free operating system on it (which can be a bit of a gamble, and will shortly become more of one, see below), ZaReason’s machines arrive ready to run. And unlike buying a commercial laptop from a freedom-friendly vendor like Emperor Linux (who’ll sometimes warn you that certain features of your hardware aren’t supported), ZaReason can promise you that every single capability of every single component in your system will just work.

  • We could build an open Twitter, but would anyone use it?

    Amid the recent brouhaha over Twitter’s future — which some say is aimed at restricting what developers can do with the real-time information network, in an attempt to monetize it more easily — a number of critics have proposed duplicating the network using open-source tools and principles. This idea, which has also been proposed in the past by blogging pioneer and programmer Dave Winer, seems to have a lot of merit: after all, if a short-messaging utility like Twitter is a useful service for society to have, then why not recreate it as an open-source project? The only problem is that others have tried to do exactly that, and have mostly failed to achieve any traction. For better or worse, we seem to be stuck with Twitter.

  • GWT Swept Under Open Source

    Google is handing over control of its GWT (Google Web Toolkit) for browser application development to a steering committee. A release candidate of GWT 2.5, the final Google-directed release, is also available and features compiler optimizations.

  • Open source developer Bassel Khartabil detained by Syrian government

    Days after Human Rights Watch revealed that the Syrian government was putting political detainees through 20 torture techniques in 27 locations around the country, EFF learned that open source developer Bassel Khartabil has been detained by Syrian authorities.

  • Mozilla, Activists Call for Release in Syria of Open-source Developer
  • Kaltura expands open-source video in Europe
  • Non-profit launched to advance open source point cloud processing
  • Europeans develop open-source software for biosciences

    Processing bioimaging data has just become easier, thanks to new open-source software for multidimensional image visualisation, processing and analysis, developed by a team of German and Finnish researchers. In the making for the last 10 years, the so-called BioImageXD software is facilitating the analysis of cell and tissue functions, including how molecules move on cell surfaces and how they bond together. Presented in the journal Nature Methods, the study was funded in part by a grant under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

  • Mama is Open – why should clients care ?

    Simply put – it represents a real chance to have a single market data abstraction that clients can commit to, resulting in significant benefits arising from code reuse, reduced support and better tooling when compared to supporting the multiple platforms that many organisations have today. In addition, they will be able to turn to a large number of vendors externally who are committing to OpenMama.

  • .eu and EURid: .eu goes open source with YADIFA name server solution
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Eucalyptus Branches Towards Open Clouds

      Version 3.1 brings enterprise-grade cloud computing to open source

    • Open source: SugarCRM at Footprints Recruiting

      Customer relationship management (CRM) software is generally hard to get excited about, but Jeff Strachan a founder of Footprints Recruiting[1], an English as a second language (ESL) placement agency, verges on evangelical. And little wonder: Being burdened with a legacy system built using forms in Microsoft Outlook and being burnt by the lock-in of proprietary software would be enough to make an open source evangelist out of most people.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

  • Semi-Open Source

    • Group-Office 4.0 groupware released

      Dutch company Intermesh has announced the availability of version 4.0 of its Group-Office groupware solution. The open source Community edition of the suite of online applications includes address book, email, calendar, task and notes functionality, as well as file sharing, email templates and a newsletters module. Support and other features such as projects, a helpdesk system, and synchronisation with Microsoft Outlook and mobile devices are available in the commercial Professional version.

    • Atlassian’s big experiment with performance reviews

      Do you ever wonder if and how you could call a halt to your performance review process? Do you think traditional processes are marred by the distribution curve (and forced rankings), huge time investments and low impact on performance improvements? Maybe you agree that your processes have their faults, but you think that it’s not sensible to abolish performance appraisals altogether or replace them with coaching sessions.

  • Licensing

    • The next GPL: Why it’s being shaped on GitHub

      While you were getting ready to stick a fork in a burger for the Independence Day holiday, Red Hat employee Richard Fontana was making a fork of the GPL. Fontana previously worked at the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), a nonprofit law firm providing pro bono legal services to free and open source projects. He’s now the open source licensing and patent counsel at Red Hat, but he’s been careful to explain that the GPL fork is a personal project.

    • Red Hat Storage 2.0 Hits General Availability

      Red Hat is now officially a storage vendor. The open source operating system vendor released it first commercially supported storage system, dubbed Red Hat Storage 2.0, this week at the company’s annual user conference event.

      Red Hat Storage 2.0 first appeared as a beta in April of this year. The solution is built of top of Gluster, a company Red Hat acquired October of 2011 for $136 million.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Source Drug Discovery programme to cover drug development and delivery soon

      Spurred by the progress of the Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) scheme, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is planning to expand its scope of work to include more areas like drug development and delivery.

      The OSDD programme, which has emerged as a new platform for innovation in the domain of affordable healthcare, will expand to cover Open Source Drug Discovery, Open Source Drug Development, Open Source Drug Delivery, Open Source Disease Diagnostics during the current Plan period, sources said.

    • White House to open We the People platform

      The White House is in the process of creating an open source version of its “We the People” online petition platform, says Chris Vein, deputy federal chief technology officer.

      The effort will fulfill one of its objectives under the National Action Plan it revealed as a member of the international Open Government Partnership. One OGP member country, Latvia, plans to use the platform as soon as it’s available, said Vein June 20 at NASA’s Open Source Summit in Washington, D.C.

    • Hardware

  • Programming

    • Eclipse Developer Survey

      The results of this years Eclipse Open Source Developer Survey include some interesting finding about what motivates participation in open source projects and motivates developers to build apps in their free time.

      Compared to previous years, the survey noted that corporate policies are becoming more positive towards open source participation with only 0.6% of respondents choosing the “Does not allow the use of any open source software” to describe their organizations policy.

    • Eclipse 4 Lives – alongside 70 Open Source Projects in Eclipse Juno


  • Apple ‘fesses up: We broke App Store downloads

    An Apple App Store server spat out broken copies of several high-profile titles this week, the iPad maker has admitted.

    Updates for popular software including Instapaper and Angry Birds in Space were corrupted when downloaded, causing the programs to crash when fanbois attempted to use them.

    Instapaper dev Marco Ament chronicled his nail-gnawing frustration after a flood of punters blamed him for the error even though he was powerless to fix it. Deleting the app and installing it from scratch fixed the problem on individual devices, but Apple’s cock-up meant a new version of Instapaper received a rash of one-star reviews.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • NPR, NBC Use One Guy for Small Biz Opposition to ACA and Fail to Disclose his NFIB Ties

      With millions of small business owners in the United States, why can multiple news outlets find only one small business owner to say that federal health care reform will negatively impact business?

      When national news outlets want to know how ordinary small business owners feel about the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), they apparently all turn to just one man: Joe Olivo, owner of Perfect Printing in New Jersey. In recent weeks, Olivo has been quoted by both NPR and NBC News as a representative small business owner concerned that the ACA will make him reluctant to hire more employees.

  • Censorship

    • Freeing your router from Cisco’s anti-porn, pro-copyright cloud service

      But shortly after my purchase, Cisco pushed a firmware update to this router that limited owners’ ability to administer the devices ourselves. The update led me (and many others) to install an older version of the firmware in order to regain all the control we had in the first place. More on just how to do that in a bit. First let’s explain what Cisco did, and why many people are upset.

  • Civil Rights

    • WikiLeaks Releases 2.5m ‘Syrian Emails’

      WikiLeaks has started publishing 2.5 million emails from Syrian political figures, ministries and associated companies.

      The emails date from August 2006 to March 2012 and come from 680 “Syria-related entities”, including the Ministries of Presidential Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Information, Transport and Culture, WikiLeaks said.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • YouTube Audio Ripping Website Takes On Google

        Philip Matesanz, a 21 year old student of applied computer science and the sole owner of the YouTube-mp3.org website, has ignored “cease and desist” letters from Google and has instead launched a public campaign against the company.

        Matesanz operates an mp3 conversion service which extracts the audio tracks from content hosted on YouTube. After being threatened with a court case, he consulted legal professionals and now claims that Google had no right to block his website from accessing YouTube. He has also launched a petition which has already collected 334,361 signatures.

      • Could Oracle ruling lead to used e-book, music sales?

        When the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that Oracle couldn’t block the sale of used software over the Internet, did it open the door to sales of used e-books, digital music, and video?

      • BitTorrent usage increases in Europe, following the blockade of The Pirate Bay

        In a twist that will surprise no one except the RIAA, MPAA, BREIN, and other anti-piracy lobbies, the amount of BitTorrent traffic has stayed the same or increased in Europe following the blockade of The Pirate Bay in the UK, Netherlands, and other countries.

      • ACTA

        • ACTA: Last-Minute Appeal to EPP Group

          If you watched the stream of the plenary session in the European Parliament yesterday, you will know that what we saw was an incredible parade of politicians from all parties denouncing ACTA – with one exception. The centre-right EPP Group is asking for a decision on ACTA to be postponed until after the European Court of Justice hands down its judgement on the compatibility of the treaty with EU law. That’s likely to take a year or two, and amounts to a massive delaying tactic, as I’ve explained before.

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