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08.03.12

Links 3/8/2012: Linux 3.6 RC1, KDE 4.9 in Chakra

Posted in News Roundup at 8:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Dreaming a Little Dream of the Ideal Linux Distro

      “It is hard to say what an ideal distro looks like because there are many important niches,” noted Slashdot blogger Chris Travers. “What I need as a software developer for my laptop is very different than what I’d want to deploy my software to.” For his development laptop, he prefers Fedora. “On the server, though, I would prefer to deploy to a more conservative distro, like Debian Stable or Scientific Linux.”

    • Commodore 64 at 30: the specs compared

      The Commodore 64 turns 30 this month. How does it compare to modern computers?

  • Kernel Space

    • Another round of Leapocalypse

      Some Linux sever administrators found out that time was not on their side yesterday, when an errant signal from some Network Time Protocol (NTP) servers broadcast a new leap second that adversely affected many servers unprepared for the change.

    • Bogus leap second disrupts Linux systems

      During the night of 31 July to 1 August, various servers that provide time information via NTP (Network Time Protocol) incorrectly announced that clients should apply a leap second. On Tuesday evening, Marco Marongiu pointed to this issue on one of the NTP project’s mailing lists. Now, reports from users whose systems applied a leap second at 00:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) – 2am CET – can be found in places such as a Mythtv forum, on Twitter, on Google+ and on the NTP project’s mailing lists.

    • Kernel Log: Development of Linux 3.6 under way

      The kernel developers have added the VFIO userspace driver framework and a hybrid standby option to Linux 3.6. The 64-bit ARM code will be called “arm64″ after all. The widely used software collection util-linux has been extended to include a range of new tools.

    • New Linux kernels bring performance improvements

      Kernel 3.0.39, recently released, and kernel 3.2.25, coming soon, include not only smaller changes and enhancements but also a long list of performance optimisations. This marks a change in the strategy for maintaining older kernel versions; previously, these kinds of adjustments generally weren’t made to stable and long-term kernels to avoid introducing bugs.

    • Linux 3.6-rc1
    • Graphics Stack

      • Xi Graphics’ Proprietary X Server, Drivers Have Faded Away

        Xi Graphics, the company that once developed proprietary X Servers and graphics drivers for Linux and UNIX platforms, has faded away.

        Going back to the early 90′s there was Xi Graphics Inc that specialized in creating high-performance X Servers and graphics drivers for Linux/UNIX. Their proprietary Accelerated-X product was compliant against X11R6.4 and was licensed to a range of major companies, universities, and individuals for its features and performance. They also developed their own in-house graphics drivers for different hardware (namely early ATI hardware), which they claimed to be the fastest.

        Among the advertised features for their products was hardware-accelerated support for multiple displays / stretched displays, support for IBM AIX, SPARC support, and “Our ATI graphics support has been the fastest on UNIX/Linux for years. No kidding.”

      • Intel Continues Gaining Ground For Linux Graphics

        Following the success of Ivy Bridge and their continued open-source contributions, Intel graphics continue to gain market-share on the Linux desktop.

        Last month I mentioned Intel Winning Over NVIDIA For Linux Enthusiasts. The trends cite the publicly-available OpenBenchmarking.org data, which largely reflects the latest happenings of Linux enthusiasts.

        The auto-generated statistics for the month of July are now available and they continue to reflect Intel’s growing market-share when it comes to Linux graphics use.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • WattOS R5: Not Ideal, But Still Nice

      I heard about this OS from couple of my readers, who left the comment on the blog posts. They mentioned this OS as the extreme light one.

    • Does Archlinux need a new slogan?

      Last week Archlinux released the install media 2012.07.15. In a post on the website they told us that the most noticeable change was the fact they no longer ship their installer, the Arch Installation Framework (AIF), with it. This means, that after downloading the ISO, you will have to perform all the installation steps manually. Or, to put it in their own words, “This means a menu driven installer is no longer available and we rely more on documentation to guide new users.”

    • Vine 6.1 Screenshots (07/31/2012)
    • I always come back to Zorin OS
    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 12.10 Continues Strong On The PandaBoard ES

            Back in June I showed how Ubuntu 12.10 was continuing to improve the ARM Linux performance and since then showed that on TI OMAP4 hardware Ubuntu is faster than Fedora, while today I have more benchmarks to share. Up now are the latest PandaBoard ES benchmarks from a more recent Ubuntu 12.10 development build for the ARMv7 Cortex-A9 dual-core development board.

          • Ubuntu Accomplishments: Building Maturity

            Progress on Ubuntu Accomplishments has been moving apace. For those of you who have not been keeping score, we released 0.1 earlier this year which provided a first cut of the core system working. We then followed up with our 0.2 release which brought many refinements to the system based upon user feedback and the increased level of testing by our 600+ users. In September 2012 we plan on shipping our 0.3 release, and our goals are very clear for this release: quality, visibility, and growth.

          • The Endeavour Desktop

            Space-based desktops have a special place in my heart, and this shot of space shuttle Endeavour shadowed by the Earth below it is a great one. Flickr user Michael Farquhar used this photo as the bedrock for his customized Ubuntu desktop. It’s gorgeous when you sit down, not at all distracting when it’s time to work, and well-placed widgets keep informative data around the sides of the screen.

          • New Ubuntu 12.10 Unity Concept Looks Amazing

            After introducing last week a very nice video that presented an amazing mockup of the Unity interface for Ubuntu OS, we’re now proud to announce today, August 2nd, another nice concept that looks simply marvelous.

            First of all, be aware that the above mockup of Ubuntu’s Unity interface is unofficial, created by an Ubuntu user, and it has nothing to do with Canonical.

          • Gumstix Waysmall Silverlode is a tiny PC with Ubuntu Linux

            *

            The Gumstix Waysmall Silverlode is a tiny, low power computer designed for commercial or industrial applications. But under the hood it’s running a version of Ubuntu Linux optimized by Linaro to run on ARM-based processors. So it could also theoretically find use as an inexpensive desktop computer or media center PC.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Bodhi Linux RaspBerry Pi Beta

      As for changes, this release is now utilizing Terminology as it’s default terminal emulator and PCManFM file browser has been replaced with the native EFM (Enlightenment File Manager). The issues our first image had with networking and flash drives should also be resolved with this release. Also worth noting is that the AppCenter is now configured to work by default in the Midori web browser – but the synaptic interface runs fairly slow on the Pi hardware.

    • Phones

      • Take That, Touchpad: No Open WebOS Support For You

        Open webOS is marching toward its first release, but it won’t have many products to run on, because previous webOS devices will not be supported. The reason for that circumstance is the fact that the new operating system is based on the Linux 3.3 kernel and requires SoC support. In HP’s words:

        “For Open webOS we are aiming for support on future hardware platforms where SoC’s support Linux 3.3+ kernel and where open source replacements for proprietary components are integrated. Existing devices cannot be supported because of those many proprietary components, including graphics, networking and lack of drivers for a modern kernel (but of course, there is the Community Edition for those interested in improving the TouchPad).”

      • Open WebOS: No (official) support for existing devices
      • Open WebOS Releases Core Apps; Reveals Touchpad Won’t Be Supported 44
      • Android

        • Google Cracks Down on Deceptive Android Apps

          Google sent out an email to its developer community with news that Google Play is undergoing policy changes to crack down on shady behavior in the Android market.

        • HTC Evo 3D, EVO Design 4G Gets Android 4.0

          Sprint has started pushing Android 4.0 OTA upgrade for HTC Evo 3D, EVO Design 4G. This upgrade brings Google Chrome browser, Face Unlock and other features synonym to Android 4.0. Some enhancements include:

        • DROID RAZR HD Appears in All Its Glory Thanks to Another Forum Leak

          One day after the international RAZR HD appeared over at XDA, the U.S. version, better known as the DROID RAZR HD, has appeared via Droid Forums. We now have a confirmation on the name, thanks to a picture of the phone’s About screen – not that we were questioning it to begin with, since Motorola employees gave that up long ago. We also get a look at the backside, which is full-on kevlar, and in my opinion, much more appealing than the backside that we saw on the international version.

          If you thought for a second that this wasn’t coming to Verizon, the 4G LTE logo on the backside along with “Verizon” being mentioned in the system version should help ease your mind there. On-screen navigation keys are present. The “HD” in the name clearly means the resolution of the device, so we will likely see a similar 720p Colorboost display to the one included in the Atrix HD.

        • Canalys Researchers Report Strong Android Smartphone Numbers

          Market researchers at Canalys have published their final Q2 2012 country-level shipment estimates for smartphones, and the news is all good for Android. The firm reported that 158 million smartphones were shipped globally in the second quarter, and 100 million of those were Android phones. Android has a whopping 68.1 percent of the global market–nothing to sneeze at. Meanwhile, smartphone shipments in China are on a tear.

        • Android 4.1 ‘Jelly Bean’ hits 0.8 percent market share
        • Ice Cream Sandwich now on 16 percent of Android phones
        • HP releases more Open webOS code, including System Manager and core apps

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source NAC system PacketFence 3.5 released

    PacketFence is an unobtrusive solution that works with equipment from many vendors (wired or wireless) such as Cisco, Aruba, ExtremeNetworks, Juniper Networks, Nortel/Avaya, Hewlett-Packard, Meru Networks, Foundry/Brocade, Enterasys, Accton/Edge-corE/SMC, 3Com, D-Link, Intel, Dell, Aerohive, Motorola and many more.

  • An “Open Source” Cargo Container Building – The Epic Creative Co-Op

    The Woodlands/Houston, TX (August 1, 2012) – Imagine applying the concept of Open Source Software – where the code is published and made available to other programmers free of charge – to architecture. That is just what one Houston based multimedia development company did with a new commercial structure using upcycled cargo containers and recycled building materials. Every step of their 18 month building process is chronicled online and available for others to learn from.

  • ViewCast Supports Linux Open Source Community

    ViewCast Corporation is supporting the open source community through its partnership with KernelLabs, a coalition of like-minded Linux software engineers whose primary goal is to improve the Linux platform for audio / video applications.

    ViewCast is working with KernelLabs in the development of Linux drivers for all of its latest Osprey video capture cards. Most recently, Linux drivers for the Osprey 260e, 460e and 820e capture cards were made available through the KernelLabs website. The drivers will be submitted to the next Linux kernel and then available directly in the Linux distribution thereafter.

  • Rent A Chaos Monkey From Netflix

    Video rental company Netflix has used its extensive consumption of the Amazon Web Services cloud to give something back to the open source community. The company’s Chaos Monkey system was developed to ensure that its operations were capable of self-healing (or at least continuing to run) should instances in the AWS cloud fail. This month sees the firm open source its code.

    The firm’s Cory Bennett and Ariel Tseitlin have written on the Netflix techblog explaining that over the last year, “Chaos Monkey has terminated over 65,000 instances running in our production and testing environments. Most of the time nobody notices, but we continue to find surprises caused by Chaos Monkey, which allows us to isolate and resolve them so they don’t happen again.”

  • Open Source Intelligence Presentation featured at Hacker Halted – Hacking Conference, Miami, Florida in October of 2012
  • Adobe releases open Source Sans Pro font

    Working every day in an open-source environment, there’s always one area where open-source aesthetics fall down compared to the Windows and Mac ecosystems: professionally produced fonts.

  • Keyhole Software Releases Open Source khsSherpa Framework for HTML5 Development

    Leawood, KS, August 03, 2012 –(PR.com)– Software Consulting Firm Keyhole Software has announced the release of version 1.1.4 of the khsSherpa framework. khsSherpa, an open source JSON endpoint framework for Mobile and HTML5 support, now boasts RESTful Service URL Mappings. Version 1.1.4 is publicly available in the Maven Public Central Repository and gitHub.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Latest Browser Share Data Shows Very Slight Decline for Google Chrome

        It’s no secret that Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox–both open source browsers–have been locked in a neck-and-neck market share battle for some time now. The two browsers are on rapid release cycles, and are now tending to leapfrog each other for market share in small increments each month. Now that August is here, NetApplications is out with its updated browser share data for July, which shows that Firefox maintains a tiny share lead over Chrome, and that Chrome actually declined slightly in share during the month. Meanwhile, Internet Explorer retains more than half of the browser market.

      • Google Wants Chrome 21 to See You

        When Marc Andreeson created the first web browser, it was all about users simply viewing static web pages. A lot has changed over the years in the web browser world, and now with the latest Google Chrome 21 browser there is a host of new two-way interactivity options. The new features in Chrome 21 change the way that users look at browsers and the way that browsers look at us.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Drupal 7.15 Released

      The Drupal team have announced a new release of Drupal, Drupal 7.15. This is a bug fix release only and no new features or security patches have been added in this release. Upgrading to this release is strongly recommended by the Drupal team. Upgrade instructions can be found on this page.

  • Healthcare

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open Forum Europe: ‘Widespread discrimination in IT procurement’

      ‘Use of discriminatory technical specifications is a widespread practice within the EU’, says Open Forum Europe (OFE), an organisation advocating the use of open standards and open source.

      The group examined 585 invitations to tender, published in March, April and May this year by public administrations looking for computer software products. OFE found that almost 1 in 5 of these, procurement rules are broken (17 per cent).

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Three California Democrats Team Up with Monsanto

      In California, the battle over Proposition 37, which would require the labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food products, is heating up. In late July, pro-labeling groups obtained a flier sent out by a group opposed to the proposition containing the endorsements of three Democratic California Assemblymembers, even though the Democratic Party of California (and over 90 percent of consumers) supports GMO labeling.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Super Rich Holding $21 Trillion Overseas To Avoid Taxation

      At a time when the gap between the ultra-rich and the rest of us is reaching historic heights across the globe, at least $21 trillion (with a “t”) in unreported private financial wealth was recently discovered sitting in secret tax havens.

      While it can be difficult to imagine sums so large, consider this: the $21 trillion alone is the amount of the U.S. and Japanese economies combined. That reflects only financial wealth, and not the holdings and investments of this monied elite in mansions, yachts, private jets, etc. According to a recent reports by the Tax Justice Network, “The Price of Offshore Revisited” and “Inequality: You Don’t Know The Half of It,” this staggering disparity is only growing worse.

  • Civil Rights

    • Media, ACLU to argue against censorship at Guantánamo

      The chief war court judge has agreed to let media and civil liberties lawyers argue for openness at the start of a pre-trial hearing at Guantánamo in the death-penalty case of five alleged conspirators in the Sept. 11 attacks.

      A consortium of 14 media groups, including The Miami Herald, and the American Civil Liberties Union separately filed motions protesting protective orders that shield the public from access to secret information in the case.

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