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07.26.12

Links 26/7/2012: Serious Sam 3 for GNU/Linux, Rekonq Reaches 1.0

Posted in News Roundup at 1:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Flemish voting machines to run on Linux operating system

    The new voting machines to be used by the government of Flanders, Belgium, will use the Linux open source operating system, according to a report by Binnenband, a magazine targeting Flanders’ public administrations.

  • Let’s talk: how to help your team share more with Linux-based communication tools

    Communication and collaboration are crucial to business success; and can be improved when supported by Open Source enterprise unified communications and collaboration platforms. No matter where they are, teams and individuals can work together closely with tools like Linux-based instant messaging, email, document and knowledge management systems and mobile applications. Employees can improve their productivity and performance within teams or between departments.

  • Murchison radio astronomers to get Linux cluster
  • TLWIR Special: Three Signs That GNU/Linux Has Arrived

    Three recent news items provided evidence that the age of GNU/Linux on the desktop is arriving. The years of GNU/Linux languishing on the pc desktop are finally drawing to a close. Here are the three news items:

  • Desktop

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • TI Releases Linux Kernel Support For “Keystone”

      Texas Instruments has published their initial Linux kernel patches for providing support for their forthcoming Keystone platform, which is an interesting ARM-based platform dealing with many-core SoCs using Cortex-A15s.

    • DRM Drivers On Linux 3.6 Kernel Aren’t Too Fun
    • Apple OS X Mountain Lion vs. Linux

      As far as why Apple OS X Mountain Lion is being mentioned today on Phoronix is just to say that new OS X Mountain Lion vs. Linux benchmarks will be available on Phoronix in the near future. From earlier this year using development versions there were preview benchmarks of OS X Mountain Lion vs. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, but new benchmarks from multiple Macs will be done in the near future for a more in-depth Phoronix comparison.

    • 30 Linux Kernel Developers in 30 Weeks: Paul Mundt

      In this week’s 30 Kernel Developers in 30 Weeks profile, we talk to Paul Mundt, who works on the SuperH architecture and core parts of the AMR-based SH/R-mobile platforms. He shares a variety of stories from his nearly 20 years of experience working on the kernel, including one that proves collaboration never sleeps, even when you do during an inter-contentinetal flight.

    • 5 Best New Features of the Linux 3.5 Kernel Release
    • Linux 3.5 Boosts Ext4 Filesystem

      For many Linux distributions, the Ext4 filesystem is the default choice, following the decade-long legacy of Ext2 and Ext3. While Ext4 provides a higher degree of performance and reliability in comparison with its predecessors, it has trailed other fileystems. Both Oracle’s ZFS, used in Solaris, as well as Btrfs, which is part of the Linux kernel, have gone a step further than the Ext filesystem family with integrity checks. In the Linux 3.5 kernel a feature called metadata checksum has been added to help narrow the filesystem integrity gap.

    • RIP Andre Hedrick: The engineer who kept the PC open

      ndre Hedrick, a principal engineer and operating system architect at Cisco Systems and a Linux kernel contributor, has died. He leaves behind a wife, four young children and many friends.

    • Linus Torvalds holds ‘ultimate authority’ on Linux

      Below you can view a nice video explaining the mechanics of how Linux is actually built from a real world software application development perspective.

      The video explains that 10,000 patches go into each new release of Linux, but that after each submission has been checked over by a senior level Linux developer or “maintainer”, when the maintainer finishes his or her review they will pass it on to Linus Torvalds himself how holds “ultimate authority” on Linux before each new kernel can be released.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Radeon Driver Commit Activity Is On The Decline

        After delivering development statistics on the Nouveau driver and the Intel driver, here’s some numbers looking at the development pace of the xf86-video-ati X.Org driver for Radeon graphics cards.

        The Git stats on xf86-video-ati go back to 14 November 2003 with there being 2,970 Git commits in this time from 151 developers. The current size of xf86-video-ati is 64,148 lines of code spread across 83 files.

      • VIA’s OpenChrome 0.3.0: “A Major Step Forward”

        The xf86-video-openchrome DDX driver has been updated today with a version 0.3.0. Xavier Bachelot from the OpenChrome camp describes this release as “a major step forward for the openchrome X.org driver.”

      • RadeonSI Gallium3D Gets New State Handling

        AMD pushed a load of commits this morning into the mainline Mesa Git repository that provide a new state handling implementation for the Radeon HD 7000 series “RadeonSI” Gallium3D driver.

      • Intel Releases 12.07 Linux Graphics Package

        Like usual, the Intel Linux graphics package isn’t some new software component release, but rather it’s just what Intel recommends their customers and Linux distributions use for appropriate versions of the upstream Linux components to deploy when running Intel integrated graphics.

      • Wayland 1.0 With Weston Is Near: v0.95 Is Released

        Version 0.95 for Wayland/Weston marks the point of maintaining protocol and client API stability. They will attempt not to break any Wayland clients or toolkits written against this 0.95 protocol/API. The interfaces aren’t completely frozen until the 1.0 release in the near future, but they will to resist breaking things and use appropriate versioning.

      • Radeon Driver Commit Activity Is On The Decline

        After delivering development statistics on the Nouveau driver and the Intel driver, here’s some numbers looking at the development pace of the xf86-video-ati X.Org driver for Radeon graphics cards.

        The Git stats on xf86-video-ati go back to 14 November 2003 with there being 2,970 Git commits in this time from 151 developers. The current size of xf86-video-ati is 64,148 lines of code spread across 83 files.

      • Mesa 8.1 Will Offer Some Speed Improvements For Nouveau
      • Binary Driver Blobs Aren’t Yet Ready For Wayland
      • Intel SNA vs. UXA On Ivy Bridge
      • Intel updates its open source Linux drivers

        Intel’s developers have released version 12.07 of the open source Intel graphics package for Linux systems. The package includes the new X Server drivers for Intel cards as well as several other components that have been tested with these drivers.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Linux Mint 13 KDE Review

        The Linux Mint team has announced the release of Linux Mint 13 KDE. This is an important release for KDE and Linux Mint users as it brings the latest and greatest technologies from KDE and Ubuntu.

      • KDE’s Rekonq browser turns 1.0

        KDE developer Jonathan Riddell has announced that the Rekonq web browser has now reached version 1.0 and is available to download. Rekonq is a QtWebKit-based alternative to the more feature-rich Konqueror browser for the KDE desktop; it uses the WebKit rendering engine and aims to be faster, lightweight and simpler to use.

      • Akademy: Freedom and the internet

        Mathias Klang opened this year’s Akademy with a keynote look at freedom and the internet. It was something of a cautionary tale that outlined the promises that technology brings, while noting that the dangers are often being overlooked. Klang comes from an academic and legal background—he is currently a researcher and senior lecturer at the University of Göteborg in Sweden—which gives him something of a different perspective on technology issues.

        Klang’s talk was titled “Expressions in Code and Freedom”, but he came up with a different title the night before the talk: The TiVo-ization of everyday life. That title is “silly”, but it does reflect some of the dangers he sees. He noted that he is not a programmer, but is surrounded by them, and they “put up with my stupidity”. His background in the law means that he “likes reading licenses” and thinks everyone should. His current research is looking into social media, particularly in the area of control by the providers.

      • Qt 5.0 Beta Likely Coming In Early August

        After facing some delays, the Qt 5.0 Beta will likely be published in early August.

        In response to questions raised on the Qt development list, Marius Storm-Olsen of Nokia has shared that the Qt 5.0 beta is likely to come next month. “We are pushing as hard as we can to make it happen asap, but with all the vacations happening in Europe right now I think it will happen in early August.”

      • [Development] Latest stable Qt5 code
      • Project Neon provides daily builds of KDE modules

        The KDE project has announced Project Neon, an effort to provide daily builds of KDE modules for Kubuntu. The aim of this is to give developers and testers the ability to easily install cutting edge builds of programs from the KDE Software Collection without the risk of creating problems in their working KDE desktop environment.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Committed to Accessibility

        Accessibility is overlooked by many people because they think that it doesn’t affect them. But as Jonathan Snook points out, “accessibility is a spectrum. On one end, there are those with severe cognitive and/or physical disabilities; on the other end… well, what is the other end? People who wear glasses, or are color-blind? What about those who choose to use the keyboard instead of a mouse? Where does one draw the line?” Over time, almost all of us will require assistance of some kind to be able to make full use of our computers and devices.

  • Distributions

    • LPinguy 12.04.1 Screenshots (07/24/2012)
    • Bridge Linux 2012 Xfce Review

      Here is another wonderfully simplified way for less advanced users to get a taste of Arch Linux. This time I will be looking at the powerful but less-known Bridge Linux distribution.

    • Arch Linux 2012.07.15 drops AIF

      Arch Linux developer Pierre Schmitz has announced the availability of a new installation image for the project’s flexible Linux distribution, the first updated install media since August of last year. Arch Linux 2012.07.15 is a snapshot of the rolling-release operating system for new installations that includes several changes and the 3.4.4 Linux kernel.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 9 KDE review

        Sabayon 9 is the latest edition of Sabayon, a multi-purpose distribution based on Gentoo Linux. It is a rolling distribution, which means that existing users do not have to reinstall to get the latest edition. The simple act of installing updates and upgrading the kernel gives those users the latest and greatest edition.

    • Red Hat Family

      • German Manufacturing Firm Modernizes IT Systems with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization

        Red Hat, Inc. [...] the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Ferrotec, a global market leader in technologies based on the magnetic liquid Ferrofluid that is used in multi-phase motors, dampers for shaft ends and transformer cooling, has deployed Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization at the core of its infrastructure. Through this Red Hat technology combination, Ferrotec is increasing scalability, flexibility and performance while lowering operating costs.

      • Analysis: Nimsoft, Red Hat Collaboration Sets Stage for Mixed Virtualization, Clouds
        [print article]

        Nimsoft is expanding the reach of its Nimsoft Monitor, adding support for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization.

        In specific, Nimsoft Monitor for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization streamlines administration for IT using virtualized environments from multiple vendors, Steve Smith, Nimsoft’s senior principal manager for product marketing, told IDN. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is an open source virtualization management solution for servers and desktops.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Shows Contributors Some Love

          Fedora (and probably Red Hat) really really appreciate the contribution community developers bring to the popular Linux distribution. So much so, they want to give out some presents – 220 presents to be exact. Since that isn’t enough to go around, contributors will be randomly chosen from a sweepstakes pool.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Accomplishments: Call For Volunteers

            As some of you will be aware, we have working on a project called Ubuntu Accomplishments in recent months. We are making good progress with the project and are working to our 0.3 release. The goals of this release will be:

            * Assure quality and stability in the platform.
            * Provide the ability to publish your accomplishments online.
            * Expand our range of accomplishments.
            * Expand and improve the documentation for our accomplishments.
            * Provide a greater breadth of translations coverage.

          • FiberCloud Adds Ubuntu to its Supported Open Source Operating Systems
          • Amazon EC2 Benchmarks With Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

            …here are new benchmarks highlighting Amazon’s public cloud computing platform using all of the major instance types.

          • Help PC Pro write its Linux distro Labs

            In the past couple of years, we’ve seen huge interest in the reviews we’ve published of the different versions of Ubuntu. The popular free operating system has a massive following, and rightly so. It’s a fully fledged operating system, complete with office software and a host of useful tools and utilities. And Ubuntu, which has now reached version 12.04, is now a usable, mature operating system.

            But what of the rest of the Linux landscape? There’s a whole selection of other desktop distributions, or “distros” to give them their collective name, and the choice ranges from simple, lightweight distros designed to run on older hardware to more fully featured operating systems such as Linux Mint and openSUSE. How good are they? Can they challenge the usability of Ubuntu?

          • Foundation introduces software

            While introducing the Ubuntu Linux software — a free open source software (FOSS) — at the University of Fiji on Saturday, Software Foundation Fiji founder Prof Rohitesh Chandra said the new system was readily available at no cost.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 13 KDE released: But does it live up to expectations?

              Hot on the heels of its Xfce build, the final release of Linux Mint 13 KDE is now available for download. This is an iteration that a lot of people have been anxiously awaiting, because it combines a lot of good things in a single package.

            • Peppermint OS Three Review

              Peppermint OS Three, released yesterday picks up from where it left off in version two of this great lightweight distribution. It is based on an Ubuntu 12.04 variant, called LUbuntu which is geared towards the lightweight end of things. Peppermint OS Three is using Openbox as its desktop environment.

            • Bodhi Linux

              Along my quest to find a Linux distro to call home I stumbled across quite a gem – Bodhi Linux. It has to be said that is one of the less popular distributions but, it is by far the most fun!

              Originally an Ubuntu varient I think this one in particular has grown very well on its own. The only noticeable thing that it relates to ubuntu with its the package manager.

            • Xfce edition of Linux Mint 13 released

              The Linux Mint developers have released the Xfce version of their latest release, Linux Mint 13 “Maya”, with version 4.10 of the lightweight desktop environment. The Linux Mint team describes the Xfce environment as user friendly and good looking, and recommends it for systems with constrained resources. As with the other editions of Linux Mint 13, the Xfce version is based on Ubuntu 12.04.

            • Review: Linux Mint 13 LTS “Maya” KDE

              About a week ago, I reviewed the Xfce edition of Linux Mint 13 LTS “Maya”. While I was quite pleased with how that turned out, I held off on going ahead and installing it because I wanted to try the KDE edition as well. Now that is here, so I’m reviewing it.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Arduino Leonardo released

      The long awaited Arduino Leonardo is now finally available in commercial quantities. It contains a 16 MHz Atmega32U4, which also takes care of USB communication with the host. On the Arduino Uno, a separate chip is required to take care of this. The simpler layout and smaller number of components means that the Leonardo is around £3 cheaper than the Uno. It is available with or without headers for the shields.

    • Microchip Giant ARM Reports Q2 Earnings: Sales £136M, Net Profit £39.4M, EPS Of £3.58; ‘Record Order Backlog’

      ARM Holdings — supplier of microchips for Apple’s iPhone and iPad products, Samsung’s Galaxy line and soon technology for Microsoft’s Windows 8 devices — continues to report strong results while riding the wireless device boom and expanding to newer areas. The company reported Q2 earnings (ended June 30) of £135.5 million ($213 million), beating analyst estimates of $206 million. Net profit was up by 48 percent, to £39.4 million compared to £26.6 million for the same quarter a year ago.

    • Hardware Hacks: Pi in the sky and Linux on the MK802

      Hardware Hacks is the section on The H that collects stories about the wide range of uses of open source in the rapidly expanding area of open hardware. Find out about interesting projects, re-purposing of devices and the creation of a new generation of deeply open systems. In this edition, Raspberry Pi in the sky, Linux distros for the MK802, Chromium on Pi and cheaper ARM quad core boards.

    • Smartenit Adds the Sweetness of Linux Home Automation to Raspberry Pi Making it HomAidPi à la mode

      There is nothing as tasty as homemade raspberry pie in the summer, and the ice cream on top makes it even more delicious, especially when it’s free. Smartenit®, a home and building automation solutions provider, has added the popular Raspberry Pi® board to their repertoire of Linux platforms that run its XML-socket based automation package. The firmware enables the RPi to become a fully-featured and sophisticated automation gateway that manages large home/building automation networks based on ZigBee®, INSTEON® and X10® protocols. “HomAidPi” in a Raspbian equipped RPi plus one of several USB automation interfaces available from Smartenit and other suppliers, provide access to a large ecosystem of automation devices that include lighting, HVAC, irrigation, appliance control, energy management, water management to name a few.

    • Phones

      • Enyo’s Out of Beta – but Will Devs Give it Love?

        Enyo 2 was rewritten from the ground up to enable cross-platform development, supporting mobile and desktop browsers from iOS to IE8. However, its focus is on mobile devices. “Enyo is a good JavaScript/HTML 5 framework,” said Sam Abadir, chief technology officer at appMobi.

      • HP’s Enyo 2 Open-Source WebOS Offshoot Exits Beta
      • Enyo 2 HP open source app is more than webOS
      • HP’s open source Enyo 2 app framework goes gold, not just for webOS anymore

        Uptake of Enyo 2 in the web development community will be an important metric to watch over the coming months; the team says that its vision of a “web-centric future [...] won’t come to pass overnight,” but the final code drop is an important checkpoint nonetheless.

      • Android

        • Android apps for the London 2012 Olympic Games
        • Apple Slides Further on Walmart’s Best-selling Tablets
        • XBMC coming to Android soon

          XBMC Media Center is a very popular free and open source cross platform media player application that is developed by the XBMC Foundation. Being an open source application, XBMC media center software is available for multiple operating-systems and hardware platforms. The latest version features a 10-foot user interface that can be used with televisions and controlled using remote control. What makes XMBC unique is that it lets its users to play and view videos, music, podcasts, and other digital media files of various formats from local and network storage media and the internet right out of the box.
          It has been a popular alternative to Windows Media Centre and likes, and now the popular platform is finally going to be available for Android. Previously, there were applications like XBMC remote on the Android Play Store which could control the desktop software, just like the VLC remote app, but this is not just a remote application, nor is it a stripped down “mobile” version of the actual application. It is the real deal, and it promises to deliver the exact same experience that users enjoy with XBMC on a TV set top box, a computer, or any device on which XBMC is available.

        • Encrypted calling app RedPhone goes open source on Android

          Have you ever heard that mysterious click, or burst of static on a phone call and wondered if someone was listening in? Obsessing over such things might be a sign of a larger issue, but if you want to be sure no one is spying on you, there is always RedPhone for Android. Whisper Systems released an official app a while back, but now the product is going open source.

        • This week: Apple vs. Android

          Innovation and litigation meet again this week and next when Apple squares off in courts around the world with rivals Samsung and Motorola. With over a 60 percent market share in mobile device litigation, will Apple, the company that wanted you to “Think Different”, prevail? So far, the results have been mixed.

          Apple lost its patent case against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the U.K. while the same tablet was blocked for sale in the U.S. by a preliminary injunction. Apple has been ordered to run ads in the U.K. stating Samsung did not copy the iPad. The Galaxy Tab patent case in the U.S. is set for trial starting July 30 in California.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Linus Torvalds Loves Google Nexus 7

        Linus Torvalds posted a review about his newly bought tablet, Google Nexus 7, and it seems he is quite satisfied with it. Linus finds Nexus 7 ‘So far: very positive’, as he writes on his Google+ page.. Linus finds Nexus 7 ‘So far: very positive’, as he writes on his Google+ page. He also is not bothered about the fact that the tablet has only a front facing camera – “It’s probably fine enough for some video conferencing, but since that’s not my thing let’s just say “whatever”.”

      • Why a 32GB Nexus 7 is almost inevitable

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Telcos Deny Trying To Turn FCC’s Open Network Diagnostics Into A Closed, Proprietary Affair
  • Security

    • Mac malware Crisis as Apple lets slip its Mountain Lion
    • Black Hat: Wintel Flaw Remained Unpatched For Six Years

      Unknown to tens of millions of users, a hidden security vulnerability has been lurking on many Intel-based Windows PCs for the past six years.

      The vulnerability was found by researcher Rafal Wojtczuk from security firm Bromium. Wojtczuk announced his findings at the Black Hat security conference here in Las Vegas. According to Wojtczuk, the vulnerability he re-discovered was actually first exposed and patched six years ago, albeit only on Linux systems.

      The vulnerability involves the unsafe use of an Intel CPU instruction called ‘sysret’. The risk is that if left unpatched, an attacker could have executed a user-to-kernel privilege escalation attack. In such an attack, the attacker could potential get system access and then execute arbitrary code.

    • NSA open source database draws Senate’s wrath

      Lawmakers are questioning in a recently introduced bill whether a massive National Security Agency database modeled on Google’s BigTable is in conflict with a government policy preventing federal agencies from building their own software when they have access to commercial alternatives, reports Wired.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs, Bain Seek Dismissal of Bid-Rigging Lawsuit

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) (GS), Bain Capital Partners LLC and Carlyle Group LP (CG) (CG) urged a federal judge to dismiss an investor lawsuit accusing the largest investment banks and private-equity firms of conspiring to rig bids on leveraged buyouts.

      The financial companies were among the defendants seeking summary judgment from U.S. District Judge Edward Harrington in the five-year-old class-action, or group lawsuit, according to court filings yesterday in Boston.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Karl Rove’s American Crossroads Turns the “War on Women” on Obama

      Karl Rove’s American Crossroads is hoping to help the GOP regain ground among women, particularly Latina women. According to a Gallup poll President Barack Obama has a 48 point advantage among Latino voters, while a CNN poll finds that women voters back Obama over Romney by a 16 point margin. Now Rove’s Super PAC is trying to make inroads with these voters, releasing an online ad that attempts to turn the “War on Women” charge on Obama. The Super PAC is testing the video in focus groups, with an eye toward potentially creating a 30-second TV ad, according to CNN.

  • Privacy

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Time to Fight for Net Neutrality in the EU

      Net neutrality is one of those areas that most people are vaguely in favour of, without giving it much thought. Governments take advantage of this to make sympathetic noises while doing precisely nothing to preserve it. For example, following a UK consultation on net neutrality two years ago, Ofcom came out with a very wishy-washy statement that basically said we think net neutrality is a jolly good idea but we won’t actually do anything to protect it.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • SOPA/PIPA Wakes Up Internet Giants To Realize They Need To Be More Engaged In DC

        Earlier today it was announced that a new industry trade association representing large internet companies, called The Internet Association, is going to be launching this fall, with Google, Amazon, eBay and Facebook as the charter members. Part of the thinking behind this group stemmed from the realization of how little influence various internet companies had in DC when SOPA/PIPA came along last year — and a concerted effort to change that.

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