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Links 14/8/2012: Red Hat Embraces OpenStack, Calligra 2.5 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux Top 3: SUSE Secures Boot, Ubuntu Boots Wayland, Slackware 14 Boots Up

    Every Linux distro in one way or another is trying to come to grips with the upcoming Secure Boot problem that Microsoft is unleashing on the hardware world with Windows 8. Red Hat has outlined its plans, which are to acquire a key and then to essentially ‘play along’ with the Microsoft Secure Boot.

  • Linux and Open Source news for Week 32 of 2012
  • Desktop

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • We Interview Leann Ogasawara, Canonical Kernel Team Manager, Marathoner and Mother

      I first met Leann Ogasawara at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Oakland, California back in May of this year and ever since hearing her talk about the various projects she works on I wanted to get a interview in.

    • Linux Benchmarks This Weekend: Btrfs, VMware, Cloud
    • Qualcomm Atheros Publishes New Network Driver

      While Atheros network adapters were once notorious under Linux, their wired and wireless network adapters in recent years have been backed by permissively-licensed open-source drivers from the company. This work continues with Qualcomm Atheros announcing this week the release of a new ALX network driver.

    • Experience the Next Automotive Revolution

      There are many significant milestones marking the path of automotive history from the early beginnings in the 19th Century to the era of modern transportation technology today. However, there are only a few revolutions that caused a paradigm shift within the entire industry.

    • 30 Linux Kernel Developers in 30 Weeks: John Linville
    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Employee To Meet With X.Org Developers In X.Org Developers Conference

        It seems that NVIDIA is trying its best to engage better with Linux developers, thanks to comments by Linus Torvalds and Valve’s interest in steam for Linux. After a NVIDIA employee tried to open up in Linux kernel mailing list, its time for them to meet up and engage with other developers in X.Org Developers conference to be held next month.

      • A Look At OpenGL ES 3.0: Lots Of Good Stuff

        The OpenGL ES 3.0 specification was released earlier this week at SIGGRAPH 2012. The slides from the OpenGL ES BoF session have now surfaced with more perspective on this latest Khronos standard targeting OpenGL on mobile devices.

      • ETC2 Texture Compression Looks Good For OpenGL

        With OpenGL ES 3.0 and OpenGL 4.3 there is now mandatory texture compression support in the form of ETC2, the Ericsson Texture Compression method.

        The slides pertaining to the mandated ETC2 support in the latest GL standards from SIGGRAPH 2012 have now been uploaded. ETC1/ETC2 was designed by Ericsson Research and this means of texture compression is quite interesting. ETC2 also isn’t covered by patents like the notorious for open-source but widely-used S3TC texture compression.

      • Rootbeer: A High-Performance GPU Compiler For Java

        In recent months there has been an initiative underway called Rootbeer, which is a GPU compiler for Java code. Rootbeer claims to be more advanced than CUDA or OpenCL bindings for Java as it does static code analysis of the Java Bytecode and takes it automatically to the GPU.

      • Wayland Support For Cursor Themes

        After several interesting news items in recent days about Wayland, the latest is that Wayland/Weston now has support for cursor themes.

      • R300 Gallium3D Performance Is Topping Out

        Recently I showed benchmarks of the Radeon Gallium3D driver for a mature Radeon HD 4870 graphics card over the past two years to look at the performance improvements made to this open-source Linux graphics driver. Up today are benchmarks of an old Radeon X1950PRO (R500 class) ATI graphics card when using the original “R300g” Gallium3D driver and testing every major Mesa release going back to Mesa 7.8 with the classic R300 driver.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Support the 2012 KDE Randa Meetings: Inspired and Intense

        The KDE Randa Meetings are a small gathering of KDE contributors in the village of Randa, Switzerland. For the fourth year, the intense Randa sprints will include key KDE projects and top developers, all collaborating concurrently under one roof, isolated from noise and distractions. Funds are being raised to support the meetings.

      • Digia Sends Open Letter To The KDE Community, Promises Commitment To The Qt Ecosystem
      • Amarok Now Supports StatsSyncing With Last.FM

        Finally the feature we all have been waiting is here. Amarok will now support StatSyncing with Last.FM, the largest music social network in this planet. In short, it now means stuff from Amarok like rating of song, First Played and Last Played timings, tags etc will be available in Last.FM and vice versa.

      • Calligra 2.5 Released

        Words, the word processor has improved tables editing support. Sheets has a stand alone docker that help to preserve space and also makes data entry easier. Stage, the presentation program has several fixes to stabilize the program and make it more usable. Kexi, the database application now offers a full screen mode through F11.

      • Calligra 2.5
      • Krita 2.5 Comes With Enhanced Brushes

        Krita is a KDE based art creation suite that aims to make digital painting easier. A new version of Krita, Krita 2.5 specially comes with several enhancements in brushes that make the paintings more realistic.

      • Qt’s Move Gives FOSS the Jitters

        “I think this is a great development,” opined Google+ blogger Kevin O’Brien. “First, it gives Qt the stability of support by a company, which should give it the resources to move forward. Second, Digia made a point of reaching out to the KDE community when they made the purchase. At a time when KDE is moving into a dominant position, this stability is important.”

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Commit-Digest Issue 201
      • GNOME opts for pristine GNOME OS dev environment

        The GNOME Project is coming away from its annual GUADEC conference with a new goal for itself: creating a new operating system on which to develop apps. But is GNOME OS an indictment against current Linux application development practices?

        The new project, GNOME OS, is emphatically not meant to be a replacement Linux distribution to challenge the likes of Ubuntu, openSUSE, and Fedora.

      • Preview of GNOME 3.5.5

        Matthias Clasen gave readers of his blog another one of his release previews this Saturday of the upcoming GNOME 3.5.5. The big feature this release is the “new screen lock implementation.” Beyond that, various applications and System Settings received some improvements as well.

  • Distributions

    • Snowlinux 3 Crystal Review: With LTS Linux Kernel and Gnome 2 desktop

      True that Linux world is going through a rapid change. There are three types of Gnome based distros I see:

      1. Distros which are using Gnome 3 as such
      2. Distros which have Gnome 3 but have their own modification as well, like Unity in Ubuntu, Cinnamon in Linux Mint, etc.
      3. Distros which still prefer Gnome 2 or Gnome 2 derivative like Linux Mint Mate, Scientific Linux.

    • Reviews: Hello, Peppermint Three

      When I first started using Peppermint OS I found there were little things that put me off, not technical problems, but a simple case of habit and user preference. For example, I like to know which application I’m launching and I might have different image editors or text editors for different tasks. Peppermint’s approach of labeling items by task rather than by program name took a little adjusting. However, I have to admit newcomers to Linux will probably prefer the Peppermint way of doing things as they will not recognize specific program names. That comes with time. I also found trying to tell web services apart from locally installed applications was a trial and error process. There doesn’t appear to be a clear cut way to tell them apart. Otherwise, I think I like the way Peppermint provides some basic software on a very tight platform and lets users customize from the ground up. It does make for a good deal of gathering software post-install, but the performance and lack of unwanted items in the menus more than make up for it.

      The above were my personal desires compared to what I found in Peppermint and that’s not really a fair way to judge an operating system. A better evaluation would compare what Peppermint does with what the project’s goals are. The Peppermint website claims to offer a fast, lightweight distribution with a focus on providing web apps and services. These goals are all accomplished and both the setup of the OS and navigation of the user environment are made easy. I suspect users, especially those new to Linux, will be able to dive into Peppermint without much difficulty. This little distribution is a fairly niche product, aimed at people who want a platform for web services and/or want a low-resource base. In being focused Peppermint is able to provide a simple, polished distribution to suit its target audience.

    • MacPup LINUX – How do you like this Apple?

      During previous reviews of Puppy LINUX distributions such as Wary, Slacko and Lucid I have received comments asking “Have you tried MacPup?”. Well up until now no I haven’t.

      I downloaded the ISO for MacPup a few weeks ago but I’ve only just reached the point where I have had time to have an in depth look.

    • New Releases

      • First release candidate for Slackware 14

        The first release candidate for Slackware 14 has been released. The new version contains many refreshed packages compared to the current version 13.37 (code-named “Leet”) which was released in April of last year. The updated packages include a current long-term kernel based on Linux 3.2, GCC 4.7, version 2.15 of GLIBC, version 1.12.1 of X.org, and Perl 5.16.0. The Xfce and KDE desktops have also been updated to the latest stable versions.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 2 GNOME: not that good

        Mageia is a distribution forked from Mandriva some time ago. That’s not a secret. Also, it’s not a secret that Mandriva’s preferred desktop environment was KDE. Even the fact that the latest version Mandriva 2011 has only a KDE option proves that position.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Announces Preview Version of Enterprise-Ready OpenStack Distribution

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the immediate availability of the preview release of Red Hat’s OpenStack distribution based on the popular open source OpenStack framework for building and managing private, public and hybrid Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) clouds. With this, Red Hat delivers the next step in its plans for the industry’s only enterprise-ready OpenStack distribution with Red Hat’s award-winning commercial support, certified ecosystem of hardware and application vendors and leadership in delivering trusted open source clouds for organizations worldwide requiring enterprise-grade solutions and support.

      • Red Hat finally commits to OpenStack for the cloud

        Red Hat has long supported OpenStack cloud software… in theory. In practice though the Linux giant wouldn’t commit to OpenStack until now.

        On August 13, Red Hat, announced the immediate availability of the preview release of Red Hat’s OpenStack distribution. This test release is based on the Essex version of popular open source OpenStack Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud framework.

      • Red Hat offers up OpenStack preview, supported version planned for ’13
      • Red Hat Prepares Enterprise-Focused OpenStack Distribution
      • Red Hat Releases Open Source OpenStack Cloud Preview

        Red Hat is out today with the first public preview release for its Enterprise OpenStack cloud distribution.

        The preview release is the first milestone on the path to what will become Red Hat’s Enterprise OpenStack commercially supported release at some point in 2013. OpenStack is one of the leading open source cloud platforms and has the support of major IT vendors like Dell, HP, IBM, Cisco, AT&T and Rackspace.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian changes default desktop environment from GNOME to Xfce

        Almost in silence, Debian oldtimer Joey Hess made a commit that will switch default desktop task from GNOME to Xfce in Debian’s forthcoming 7.0 Wheezy release. And that was an excellent choice, if I may add!

        Xfce is full featured, but lightweight desktop environemnt whose best days are yet to come. It aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly. And those are all good reasons for Joey to make it the default, so a desktop environment can fit on Debian installer’s CD#1, which GNOME currently does not.

      • Organize a Debian Birthday party in your city

        On August 16, the Debian community will celebrate its 19th birthday since Ian Murdock’s original founding announcement. As is tradition, the Debian communities all around the world will gather to celebrate it with Debian Birthday parties.

        A Debian Birthday party is a fun event, globally marking the appreciation and the joy of being part of our community and could consist of workshops, talks, or bug squashing parties both virtual and in real life. Check if there is one in your area, and if not, it’s not too late to organize one and mark the event in the wiki!

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • OSI Signs Declaration of Internet Freedom

    Declaration of Internet Freedom is an initiative to make the Intenet as free and open. It aims to defend the rights of netizens in having access to the content on the Intenet in a transparent manner while protecting everyone’s privacy.

    OSI, a community non-profit organisation which promotes awareness of non-propreitary software and approvers of open-source conformant licesnses, has recently posted that they have been added as a signatory to the Declaration of Internet Freedom movement.

  • The open source technology behind Twitter

    Without open source, Twitter wouldn’t exist. Every Tweet you send and receive touches open source software on its journey between computers and mobile devices. We were curious about how much open source is used at Twitter. Beyond that, we wanted to discover how open source may influence the culture at Twitter, Inc.

  • Does Open Source Threaten American Software?

    After all, critics of open source will note, “Intellectual Property” (a lawyer’s term for patent, copyright and trademark rights) is America’s key advantage in global competition. Open source throws that away. Might as well turn over the keys of American exceptionalism to China and turn out the lights, goes the implication.

  • Web Browsers

  • Project Releases

    • coreutils-8.18 released [stable]

      Executive summary: 8.18 removes the su program, fixes an 8.17 regression in ls –color and tweaks sort’s memory constraints. All other fixes are for old (present since “the beginning”) and relatively obscure bugs.

  • Public Services/Government

    • The Government of Extremadura launches public consultation on the Regional Digital Agenda

      The Government of Extremadura opens up public consultation for the participation in the development of the Digital Agenda of Extremadura; an integrating, sustainable and intelligent project of all actions projected on Information Technology and Communication matters into the region, involving all stakeholders and tied agents in the ICT sector in Extremadura.

  • Programming

    • GCC Moves Forward With Conversion To C++

      The GCC initiative to convert more of the code-base from C to C++ as the implementation language for this leading open-source compiler is nearing fruition. On Sunday, Google’s Diego Novillo published a set of GCC patches for merging the C++ conversion into trunk.

      The set of six patches so far implement the changes made within GCC’s cxx-conversion branch and change the default boot-strap process so that stage one of the compiler build always happens with a C++ compiler. It’s possible the cxx-conversion branch could be merged for GCC 4.8, which will be released in 2013. Back in April I wrote about the aim for the C++ switch being GCC 4.8.

    • Java for graphics cards

      Phil Pratt-Szeliga, a postgraduate at Syracuse University in New York, has released the source code of his Rootbeer GPU compiler on Github. The developer presented the software at the High Performance Computing and Communication conference in Liverpool in June. The slides from this presentation can be found in the documentation section of the Github directory.


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Finance

    • ‘Are you kidding me?’ — Eliot Spitzer reacts to Goldman Sachs getting off ‘scot-free’

      So how do we make sense of this? Goldman Sachs emails call their own investments junk and crap, and Goldman Sachs salespeople refer to clients as Muppets and elephants, yet the Justice Department says there’s not enough evidence to bring a case on behalf of Goldman Sachs investors who lost vast sums of money.

    • Government won’t prosecute Goldman Sachs in fraud probe

      It’s at the discretion of the prosecutor whether to prosecute.

      Some prosecutors — for example, in cases involving petty (brown-skinned) street crime — need only something approximating the possibility of a conviction, or near enough, so long as they have a single shaky witness from blocks away who might even look credible if cleaned up (or “coached”).

      Other prosecutors — for example, in cases involving Jon Corzine or others of Our Betters — need no less than a “smoking gun” plus crime scene photos of the perp as the bullet leaves the chamber — without which, they say, they just don’t have enough to go to trial (do click, my characterization isn’t far off; and yes, that’s our hero Pat Fitzgerald talking).

  • Civil Rights

    • Google, Salesforce were allegedly offered ‘TrapWire’ spy tool

      Now approaching its 10th day of a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, WikiLeaks has released information about a video-surveillance program that is possibly being used by the US government and large organisations, such as Salesforce and Google.

      The program, called TrapWire, was developed by US-based Abraxas Corporation, which is alleged to be staffed by many former US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agents. TrapWire is meant to identify terrorists who approach a facility multiple times as they conduct their surveillance. According to Abraxas’ documentation on TrapWire, it is able to correlate video surveillance with other data, such as watch lists. It can, for example, identify suspected terrorists using facial recognition or stolen vehicles by reading number plates, and then correlate this information with other event data that it already has.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • The Humble Music Bundle

        Hi everybody. Well, this comes too late. This bundle is already over… I’m sorry for that. Anyway, i’d like to introduce to you a new bundle concept by the Humble Bundle team. This time, there were not games, but music albums from some famous internet’s musicians. These albums also came all in FLAC and MP3 high quality files!
        Let’s take a look in detail:

      • LendInks, Mob Mentality and the DMCA

        Every day, people are gunned down when they leave the relatively safe main streets of Reddit, Facebook or Twitter to wander into bad neighborhood forums where they’re not known. The usual weapons are words and the common advice is to grow thick skin for protection. Consequences are usually low; feelings are about all that ever get hurt.

        Sometimes, however, mobs form. Posses meet up outside a hated website and hit the owners with barrages of venomous email. If a site has a forum or a Facebook page, they try to take over. If it’s supported by ad money, they might launch a campaign against the advertisers, as happened in 2010 with Cooks Source Magazine–a New England site brought down by web users for cavalierly stealing content.

        If all of this fails to satisfy the mob’s thirst for blood, they might take their anger directly to the website’s landlord, the hosting company, with burlap bags filled with DMCA take-down notices the host can’t afford to ignore.

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