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Links 17/8/2012: Jolla’s MeeGo UI Arrives, WebOS is ‘Gram’

Posted in News Roundup at 6:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux Is A Lemon On The Retina MacBook Pro

    If you are planning to buy one of the new Apple MacBook Pro notebooks with a Retina Display for use under Linux, hold off on your purchase. Running the Retina MacBook Pro with Linux isn’t a trouble-free experience and after using even the latest development code and jumping through various hoops, Linux on the latest Apple hardware is still less than an ideal experience. Linux support will improve for the Retina MacBook Pro in the coming months, but it’s not likely to see any proper “out of the box” experience until next year.

  • Tesla Model S Relies On Linux

    Electric cars introduce a complete fundamental paradigm shift not only with their electric drivetrain but also with software management. This is where the Open Source movement can have the most positive effect.

  • Desktop

    • HOWTO make a school computer lab for free with “broken” computers and free/open source software

      Elizabeth on ifixit tells us the heartwarming story of Robert Litt, a teacher at ASCEND, “a small arts K-8 school in the Alameda County School District.” Litt needed a computer lab. His school had no budget, So he called around to local businesses and individuals and collected all their “broken” computers (refusing anything made before 2002 or with less than 512MB of RAM) and installed Ubuntu GNU/Linux on them. What he got was a free, robust computer lab. Litt says “”Discarded computers are our most wasted educational resource,” and that we are “starving in the midst of plenty.”

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • AArch64/ARM64 Linux Kernel Work Still Ongoing

      The ARMv8 64-bit architecture enablement, officially known as AArch64, is still ongoing for the Linux kernel.

      Back in early July were the initial Linux kernel patches for AArch64. The initial code drop consisted of about 23,000 lines of code to enable this 64-bit ARMv8 support in Linux. More on the AArch64/ARMv8 Linux enablement was talked about last month at Debian’s DebConf 12.

    • ZFS File-System On Linux Moves Along

      A new release of the native ZFS file-system module implementation for the Linux kernel (not the FUSE-based ZFS) has been released by the team at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

    • Linux 3.6-rc2
    • Linux 3.6-rc2
    • Linux 3.5.2
    • Linux Kernel 3.5.2 Is Available for Download

      Greg Kroah-Hartman announced a few hours ago, August 15th, the immediate availability for download of the second maintenance release for the stable Linux 3.5 kernel series.

      Linux kernel 3.5.2 comes some ARM improvements, x86 and ia64 fixes, nilfs2 and EXOFS filesystems fixes, sound and networking updates, as well as new drivers.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Freedreno: Complex Fragment Shaders, VBOs

        Freedreno, the reverse-engineered open-source Linux graphics driver for Qualcomm’s Adreno graphics hardware, continues hitting new milestones.

      • Intel Graphics Hit High Point With Linux 3.6 Kernel

        Testing of the latest Linux 3.6 kernel that’s presently under development has revealed some additional OpenGL performance improvements with Intel graphics, at least concerning the latest-generation “Ivy Bridge” processors.

      • NVIDIA Releases $299 Kepler Graphics Card

        NVIDIA has announced today the release of their GeForce GTX 660 Ti “Kepler” graphics card, a new competitive NVIDIA GPU for the $299 USD price-point. The Linux binary driver from NVIDIA should be able to handle this new graphics processor while the Kepler support for Nouveau is still being raised.

        The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB graphics card features a 915MHz base clock, 980MHz boost clock, and 1.5GHz GDDR5 video memory. The GeForce GTX 660 Ti is built on the “GK104″ core — the same as the GeForce GTX 670 graphics card — and features 1344 Stream/CUDA processors, 7 SMs, 4 GPCs, 7 tesselation units, 24 ROPs, and a transistor count of around 3.54 billion. The recommended retail price at launch for the NVIDIA GTX 660 Ti is $299 USD.

      • AMD Catalyst 12.8 Driver For Linux: Not Exciting

        A Catalyst 12.8 proprietary driver release is now available for Linux, but it doesn’t pack much in the way of changes.

        As usual, members of the Phoronix Forums community have been quick to monitor AMD servers looking for new driver releases to discuss. They are now playing with Catalyst 12.8 but for Linux users there isn’t much in the way of exciting changes.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt stewardship baton passed from Nokia to Digia

        Computer Weekly has reported on both the highs of Nokia Qt’s developer conferences and the lows of uncertainty that have surrounded the parent company’s position regarding the cross-platform application and user interface framework.

        Nokia Qt’s SVP of strategy Sebastian Nystrom has now confirmed that Qt will cease to be used in future Nokia products due to a so-called “sharpening of strategy” — readers will also note that Nokia plans to cull up to 10,000 positions globally by the end of 2013.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME’s Ambitious OS Adventure

        “Man that’s funny! They’re bleeding out, don’t have enough devs as it is, have run off most of the community, and NOW they think they can pull off GNOME OS? … It’s over, it’s done, the fat lady is down the street eating a sandwich,” said Slashdot blogger hairyfeet. “This is just how FOSS works in that if you tick off the community and refuse to listen, they’ll just route around the damage … .”

      • GNOME – from abyss to common ground

        GNOME’s recent development has been widely criticised, from Linus Torvalds to its own contributors. Richard Hillesley looks at the background to this and the possible ways forward. Can GNOME ever be the defacto favourite desktop of Linux again?

  • Distributions

    • Everything works out of the box in Zorin!
    • New Releases

    • Debian Family

      • Debian celebrates its 19th birthday

        Debian, one of the oldest actively maintained GNU/Linux distributions, turns 19 today. Project founder Ian Murdock originally announced the project on 16 August 1993 when he released the first version of the distribution. Looking back at that email, a surprising number of Murdock’s initial goals for the project are still reflected in Debian today, despite the fact that the distribution has gone through regular leadership changes since Murdock left the project in 1996.

      • Debian Community celebrates its 19th birthday

        The Debian community is pleased to celebrate its 19th birthday since Ian Murdock’s original founding announcement. Quoting from the official project history: “The Debian Project was officially founded by Ian Murdock on August 16th, 1993. At that time, the whole concept of a ‘distribution’ of Linux was new. Ian intended Debian to be a distribution which would be made openly, in the spirit of Linux and GNU.”

        A lot has happened to the project and its community in the past nineteen years. There have been eleven releases – most recently Debian 6.0 “Squeeze” in February 2011 – and a huge amount of free software packaged. The current “unstable” branch consists of more than 37,000 binary packages for the amd64 architecture alone – over 46 GB of Free/Libre Software! Since last year’s birthday new steps to portability have been made; 11 official ports are now available, amongst which Debian/kFreeBSD deserves a special mention for successfully integrating a non-Linux kernel within the project.

      • Looking back at 16 years of dpkg history with some figures

        With Debian’s 19th anniversary approaching, I thought it would be nice to look back at dpkg’s history. After all, it’s one of the key components of any Debian system.

        The figures in this article are all based on dpkg’s git repository (as of today, commit 9a06920). While the git repository doesn’t have all the history, we tried to integrate as much as possible when we created it in 2007. We have data going back to April 1996…

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Now Invite Your Friends And Get More Free Ubuntu One Storage

            After Dropbox, its now Ubuntu One’s turn to run a referral program to increase users and give the users a chance to get more storage. Now invite your friends and family members and get 500 mB extra storage for each successful registration.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • GNOME-Ubuntu Flavor Looking At “GNObuntu”

              For the GNOME-ified Ubuntu spin they don’t want to go with the name “Gubuntu” since it could be easily confused with Goobuntu, Google’s internal re-mix of Ubuntu for its employees.

            • GNOME Ubuntu community derivative name proposed

              In a post on the GNOME mailing list, Ubuntu developer Jeremy Bicha started a discussion about the naming of an Ubuntu variant that will use GNOME as its default desktop. The need for a new GNOME derivative of Ubuntu was first discussed in May by several developers at the Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) in California, where the group found that the traditional naming conventions for alternative flavours of Ubuntu could cause some confusion. Although discussed at UDS, the effort is not supported by Canonical.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Timesys Announces LinuxLink for i.MX6x SABRE Lite Board from element14

      The SABRE Lite board from element14 is a low-cost, high-performance development platform featuring Freescale’s i.MX 6Quad Application Processor. With LinuxLink for i.MX 6 Series, developers designing embedded Linux products around the SABRE Lite board will have access to an integrated board support package (BSP) that enables them to evaluate the i.MX 6 Series processor before committing to a custom design. The complete design solution will be available for purchase globally from element14 later this calendar year.

    • Phones

      • Jolla’s MeeGo UI is ready to go – and it’s on the hunt for mobile talent

        Finnish smartphone startup Jolla is scouting out new talent in Finland and China, where Jolla’s CEO Jussi Hurmola reckons its MeeGo OS can tap into the nation’s hunger to make a mark on mobile innovation.

      • HP Spinning Off WebOS as ‘Gram’

        WebOS just can’t let go. More than six months after HP decided to open source the mobile OS, webOS Nation has discovered that the webOS Global Business Unit (GBU) will be reborn as a new company known as Gram.

        WebOS Nation posted a memo from HP chief of staff Martin Risau in which is Gram is described as “a new brand.”

      • Android

        • Instagram 3.0 debuts on Android

          Instagram today announced a new version of their popular Android (and iOS) application which adds in a number of handy features.

        • The alleged flood of Android trojans

          However, F-Secure has, for some time, chosen a more sophisticated approach to how it analyses the pests for its statistics, such as those it presents in its quarterly Mobile Threat ReportPDF. It bases its numbers for malware distribution on malware families or variants and therefore provides a much better measurement of the real threat compared to the inflated unique samples values. So F-Secure has discovered that in the April to June period, 40 new families or variants of existing families of malware emerged, an entirely realistic number. Both AV vendors agree on one thing though; that Android is the preferred mobile platform for digital pests.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Using Open Source to Virtualize Old (Ancient) PCs

    If you’re like me, you — or your customers — have an excessive number of old PCs lying in your basement or in a storage room. Time to throw those old PCs in the recycling bin? But what if you can’t bear the thought of saying goodbye to those machines forever? Fret not: Using a few open-source tools, you can immortalize those retired PCs as virtual machines without having to hold on to the actual hardware.

  • Webinos provides open-source platform for gadget interconnectivity
  • Events

    • The LinuxCon/CloudOpen Experience

      Imagine arriving at a conference where you immediately recognize Linux kernel developers from their annual Linux Kernel Summit photo. You connect with colleagues from other companies but with whom you’re working on collaborative, open source projects. A lot of faces in the sessions are familiar and a lot are new. Your session and hallway discussions move beyond talk and you start working on advancing your projects right there at the conference. You might even start a new one. And, at night you leave the laptop in the bag and you enjoy amazing venues and great laughs. This is LinuxCon/CloudOpen.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google pledges $2 million in prizes to hackers who exploit Chrome

        Google has upped the ante in its industry-leading cash-for-security-bugs program with hefty bonuses and a hacking contest that will award up to $2 million worth of prizes to people who successfully exploit its Chrome browser.

        On Wednesday, the search giant announced plans for Pwnium 2, a contest that will pay $60,000 for hacks that fully exploit its Chrome and Chromium browsers. The competition, scheduled for October 10 at the Hack In The Box security conference in Malaysia, will award smaller amounts for Chrome attacks that rely on code not native to the browser. For instance, a “partial Chrome exploit,” such as one that combines a bug in Chrome’s native code base with a bug in Windows, will be awarded $50,000. A “non-Chrome exploit” in Adobe Flash, Windows or other app will fetch $40,000.

      • Google Doubles Value of its Bug Bounties in Chrome Pwnium Competition
    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla’s Firefox OS Has Even Shown Up on the Raspberry Pi

        Mozilla has been moving quickly ahead with its mobile operating system, which is dubbed “Firefox OS,” and photos of it have been appearing online, as seen here. It looks a lot like other graphical, mobile operating systems for smartphones, although Mozilla stresses that it is strictly built on open standards. Now, a Nokia researcher has put Firefox OS on–of all platforms–the Raspberry Pi. And, there is video to prove it.

      • Raspberry Pi gets a Firefox OS port

        The first low-cost smartphones running Mozilla’s Firefox OS won’t go on sale for quite some time yet, but Nokia engineer Oleg Romashin has already gotten an experimental version of the software up and running on his Raspberry Pi.

      • Check This Out, Firefox OS Running On Raspberry Pi

        With the Raspberry Pi, $35 has never bought you so much flexibility. It’s a Linux file or media server, it’s an Android device, it’s a Linux media player- it’s whatever you want it to be. The newest OS to make its way to the $35 mini-PC motherboard is Mozilla’s Firefox OS. For those that don’t know, Firefox OS is an HTML5 and “open web”-tech OS that is designed by Mozilla and will be targeted towards entry-level smartphones starting in 2013.

      • Comodo IceDragon 14.0 released as a secure alternative to Firefox
  • SaaS

    • Rackspace Private Cloud: Instant OpenStack

      Rackspace has released its Private Cloud software distribution as a free, installable ISO file. Enterprises can sign up for commercial support for a starting fee of $2,500 and a monthly charge of $100 per node. Private Cloud includes Ubuntu 12.04 LTS server operating system; a KVM hypervisor; Opscode Chef, which automates the installation; and OpenStack Essex’s Compute, Image Service, Identity Service and Dashboard modules. The only thing missing is OpenStack Storage, which Rackspace says will be available in the next release.

    • Newly Formed China Open Source Cloud League Connects To OpenStack

      ntel, Sina, China Standard Software, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University have jointly announced the establishment of China Open Source Cloud League.

      China Open Source Cloud League will be committed to the integration of enterprise users’ demands for cloud computing infrastructure platforms. Based on the development and improvement of open-source frameworks like OpenStack, the league will promote the development of the cloud computing industry in China.

    • Rackspace delivers OpenStack “Alamo” for private clouds

      The co-creator of OpenStack has delivered a free OpenStack cloud distribution that allows customers to launch a private cloud in minutes. Will the hosting company’s embrace of an open source cloud platform ensure its survival in the hyper-competitive cloud era?

  • Databases

  • CMS

  • Education

    • Khan Academy’s new computer science program is inherently open source

      As the world demands more and more computer scientists, Khan Academy’s computer science program could not have been introduced at a better time. The new curriculum was debuted yesterday in a video featuring John Resig, Khan Academy’s Dean of Computer Science, and Sal Khan, Founder of Khan Academy.

      While the program is not explicitly labeled as “open source learning,” the lessons instill the values of open source through collaborative learning and sharing of programs. The lessons are targeted at middle school-age kids who are expanding their interests before high school. The tutorials are designed to be basic enough for even the most novice programmer to understand. This is great news for the open source community because young students using this tool are practicing the principles of open source from the start as they learn how to code.

  • Funding

  • Project Releases

    • SpringSource Tool Suite 3.0.0 released

      The Spring community and SpringSource have released a new version of their tool suite for Spring, which sees the available tools split into two separate suites. The newly released version 3.0.0 of the Spring Tool Suite and Groovy/Grails Tool Suite are now completely open source and can be deployed independently of each other. This enables Groovy/Grails developers to skip the previously time-consuming process of configuring the software with extensions for their platform.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Oracle plans to join Java hardware speed party

      Following in the footsteps of Microsoft, Mozilla, Google and Apple, Oracle is now turning to hardware acceleration to speed up Java by harnessing the emerging potential of the GPU.

      The OpenJDK project’s Hotspot group has said it will explore ways of speeding Java with a native Java Virtual Machine (JVM) that taps hardware acceleration.

    • GCC shifts internal focus to C++

      The development branch of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) now includes the major modifications that provide a C++ re-implementation of the C code that was originally accumulated when the collection was first created. Before this re-implementation, the code used in stage 1 of GCC build process was implemented in the C programming language. The code used in stages 2 and 3 of the GCC build process has been available in C++ for a while.


  • Chinese App Store users complain that Apple doesn’t speak their language

    Apple has become the target of complaints from some Chinese customers as searches in the localized version of the App Store are producing sometimes quizzical results, even when they include the specific name of an application.

    Sohu IT (via Mobisights) noted the “strange phenomenon” that is taking place on the App Store. Some developers are reporting that their applications aren’t showing up on the first page when the names of the software are inputted.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Finance

  • Civil Rights

    • US, UK Betray Basic Values To Get Assange At Any Cost

      Then there’s a deeply disturbing, but quite compelling, argument by Mark Weisbrot at The Guardian, that even if these things seem disconnected, it’s pretty clear that the driving force behind all of this is the plan for the US to prosecute Assange under the Espionage Act for his role in Wikileaks — and this moment is particularly stunning. Historically, those who were being persecuted on human rights issues fled to the United States for asylum. Not the other way around. But here’s a case where the exact opposite is true. And while many people have gotten past the point of believing that the US is a beacon of light on human rights issues, the fact that Assange had to take this action, combined with the UK’s response, really acts as a distinct (and tremendously embarrassing) marker for a clear point in time in which the US turned from being a protector of human rights, to a persecutor against human rights.

    • Julian Assange’s right to asylum

      If one asks current or former WikiLeaks associates what their greatest fear is, almost none cites prosecution by their own country. Most trust their own nation’s justice system to recognize that they have committed no crime. The primary fear is being turned over to the US. That is the crucial context for understanding Julian Assange’s 16-month fight to avoid extradition to Sweden, a fight that led him to seek asylum, Tuesday, in the London Embassy of Ecuador.

      The evidence that the US seeks to prosecute and extradite Assange is substantial. There is no question that the Obama justice department has convened an active grand jury to investigate whether WikiLeaks violated the draconian Espionage Act of 1917. Key senators from President Obama’s party, including Senate intelligence committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, have publicly called for his prosecution under that statute. A leaked email from the security firm Stratfor – hardly a dispositive source, but still probative – indicated that a sealed indictment has already been obtained against him. Prominent American figures in both parties have demanded Assange’s lifelong imprisonment, called him a terrorist, and even advocated his assassination.

  • DRM

    • Hachette Tells Authors And Tor To Use DRM Because It Is Awesome Or Something

      It has only been a bit over a month since Tor’s DRM-free policy went into full effect. At the time of the announcement, Tor’s president stated that the policy change was made at the request of both authors and readers who felt that DRM was a hinderance to their enjoyment of ebooks. As we know, DRM is not an effective measure against piracy. More often than not, DRM is actually harmful to paying customers as they hit restrictions that do not exist in the physical realm. Even with all these reasons against the use of DRM, there are still some publishers out there that feel that DRM is an effective means of stopping piracy.

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