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Links 28/9/2012: GeeXboX 3.0, Distros Screenshots

Posted in News Roundup at 6:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Free Software/Open Source

  • The Open Source Technology Behind Every Tweet

    SAN DIEGO. Twitter has become one of the most pervasive forms of real time social media interactions in recent years and it’s largely powered by open source technology. That’s the message coming that Chris Aniszcyzyk, the open source manager at Twitter, delivered today at the LinuxCon conference.

    Twitter’s infrastructure runs on open source technology using the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) and the Scala programming language. Aniszcyzyk noted that Twitter was first built with the open source Ruby on Rails framework, but ended up moving away from Rails for performance reasons.

  • Diaspora’s move to community not the end

    Just over two years after their now-famous Kickstarter fundraiser that generated ten times the amount of funds they were seeking, the founders of Diaspora have announced they will shifting control of the project to the Diaspora community.

    Diaspora is one of the flashy success stories of the social media age. Conceived by four NYU students as an open source, distributed answer to Facebook, the project received a lot of media and hacker attention in 2010, just as the apex of concern for Facebook’s data privacy policies was being reached.

  • Diaspora Is Now Community Property: ‘It Was Never Supposed to Be a Startup’
  • Is Twitter open source-washing its image?

    Twitter seems to have a somewhat cynical approach on how to treat developers these days. The news that Twitter is joining the Linux Foundation comes just days after the microblogging company angered many in its development community with tighter restrictions on its APIs.

    The timing for joining the Linux Foundation seems rather suspect–observers have already called Twitter on trying to spin the negative response it received when the company announced the changes to version 1.1 of the Twitter API on August 16.

  • MapBox Aims For Open Source, Digital Map Revolution

    “What a crazy week,” said Eric Gundersen, CEO of MapBox, a cloud-based digital map publishing company, in an interview with TPM.

    Gundersen’s point is well taken, given his small 25-person startup, based in Washington, D.C., just won a $575,000 grant from the journalism innovation nonprofit the Knight Foundation.

  • Events

    • Open Source in Action: LinuxCon 2012

      I participated in a panel discussion at LinuxCon today with other journalists who cover Linux and open source goings-on, including our own Alex Williams. One of the questions that was asked was “What was the most important story for you this week?”

      The answers from my peer journalists were interesting, and reflect the diversity in interest (and beats) between us all. From Google’s admission to using — and paying for support for — Ubuntu on the desktop, to Linus’s revelation of a Linux 4.0 release within the next couple of years, the things that piqued our various interests covered the spectrum of what happened this week.

    • Linux Australia needs the LCA

      The Australian national Linux conference appears to be becoming a victim of its own success, with no team putting up a bid to host the event in 2014.

      But the sponsor, Linux Australia, has no choice but to keep finding an organising team – the conference serves as its main source of funds. Else, it would not be able to spread its wings as it has.

    • How Do You Define Open Source?

      It’s not as easy a question as you might think. For me, I used to (perhaps naively) believe that any license approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) is open source. Those licenses are all supposed to conform to the Open Source Definition.

      Speaking at the LinuxCon conference, Red Hat lawyer Richard Fontana led an awesome session that really illuminated by view of the whole discussion.

    • LinuxCon 2012: OpenStack and Open Clouds
    • LinuxCon and the Promise of CloudOpen

      The fourth annual LinuxCon conference is getting underway this week here in Sunny San Diego. Over the last four years, LinuxCon USA has emerged as one of the preeminent Linux events on Earth, bringing together the best and brightest in a weeklong Linux love-in.

      LinuxCon filled the gap that was left behind after the collapse of LinuxWorld (remember that show?) as a vastly superior, technology focused show. The 2012 event by all indications will be another epic bonanza for Linux aficionados. While there have always been co-located conferences at LinuxCon, this year the Linux Foundation is co-locating its newest conference CloudOpen with LinuxCon.

    • ApacheCon Europe 2012 details announced

      The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has announced the speaker lineup and program for Apache Con Europe 2012 which is taking place 5 – 8 November at the Rhein-Neckar Arena in Sinsheim, Germany. According to the ASF, the conference is mostly targeted at “technologists currently developing Apache-based solutions, as well as those interested in committing code to an Apache project, contributing to the Apache Incubator, or enhancing their Open Source products and community practices.”

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome for Android Is More Sticky Than Slick

        Pitched as a browser for searching and browsing fast, with accelerated page loading, adjectives like “quick” and “speed” gave me the impression I was in for a Web-based speed record. That was not to be the case. I experienced sticky page scrolling at the image-heavy CNN website compared to scrolling on the stock browser.

    • Mozilla

      • Ubuntu One Added to Thunderbird 15 Filelink

        Mozilla officially released the Mozilla Thunderbird 15.0 email and RSS client to the world on August 28th, 2012, bringing a few interesting new features.

      • Mozilla Delivers Beta of Its Persona Streamlined Sign-In Project

        The Mozilla Foundation is out with a public beta of Persona, a browser-centric system for logging in to online sites that could do away with managing lots of usernames and passwords. Mozilla has been working with the idea of Personas online for a long time, ranging from schemes to customize browser skins and the like to streamlining online log-in processes. Mozilla claims that the new public beta can do a lot to simplify online identities.

      • Firefox 15 Accelerates Browsing for Desktop, Phones and Tablets

        Mozilla has been waging a multi-year battle against memory bloat in its open source Firefox web browser. With today’s Firefox 15 release, Mozilla is firing a major salvo in that battle, claiming a reduction in memory usage.

        The memory reduction comes by way of plugging memory links in the way that third party add-ons consume memory.

        In a blog post detailing the memory fix, Mozilla developers estimated that the memory improvement could be as much as a 4.8x improvement over the previous Firefox 14 release.

      • Mozilla and National Science Foundation seek developers to build “apps from the future”

        Today, Mozilla and the National Science Foundation announced eight winning ideas that offer a glimpse of what the internet of the future might look like. Next up: invite developers everywhere to make these and other big ideas a reality.

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • Open source MongoDB gets richer query commands

      In an effort to improve how MongoDB supplies its data to external applications, MongoDB keeper 10gen has extended the open source data store’s query language, providing developers with more sophisticated ways to extract and transform data.

    • Updates for PostgreSQL 9.1 and 9.2 fix critical bugs

      The PostgreSQL Global Development Group has released updates to the 9.2.x and 9.1.x branches of its open source relational database. According to the project’s developers, these updates fix two critical bugs that could lead to potential data corruption and which were accidentally introduced “as a side effect of performance optimisations and new features, mainly Unlogged Tables”.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle CIO: Linux is Fundamental

      Oracle CIO Mark Sunday has a lot of users he needs to support and he’s using Linux to do it. The tech leader took the stage at the LinuxCon conference this morning to discuss how Oracle uses and develops Linux.

      “Linux is our platform of choice across a wide variety of services,” Sunday said. “It is how we build products and how we provide services to our customers.”

      Oracle is a massive organization of over 125,000 employees spread across 49 countries and according to Sunday, they all depend on Linux. Linux is the core technology that powers Oracle’s core collaboration, including email and its primary systems.

    • Oracle woos open sourcers with free Java web framework
    • Oracle Claims MySQL IS Safe With Them

      If the accusation Oracle is incrementally withdrawing MySQL from open source is FUD, as an Oracle VP claimed this week, then it’s time for Oracle to take concrete steps to prove ‘open’ is their chosen path.

    • Larry couldn’t, but we can: Upstart Waratek touts cloudy Java love

      A startup has pledged to deliver for Java what the brains of Larry Ellison’s mighty Oracle and the entire Java community cannot: cloud scalability – now.

      It also hopes to spread the love to Java-hating sysadmins.

      Waratek is planning the general release of its Cloud VM for Java at JavaOne next week. The Cloud VM product is a virtualisation engine built by Waratek to deliver multi-tenancy and elasticity for Java apps. It will also release APIs that let you build for Cloud VM for Java at the event.

    • Oracle offers tiny tools for pint-sized Java devices

      Oracle has announced two new Java products for embedded systems, with the aim of getting the object-oriented language running on as wide a range of devices as possible, including ones with very limited resources.

      Tuesday’s new addition to the database giant’s Java Platform, Micro Edition (Java ME) lineup, Oracle Java ME Embedded 3.2 shrinks Java’s footprint down to levels that are almost unthinkable in the modern PC era. Derived from the version of Java ME that runs on feature phones, it supports devices with ARM processors and as little as 130KB RAM and 350KB ROM.

  • CMS

    • Drupal at Warp Speed

      Doesn’t it give you a warm feeling when you’re asked to do a week’s work in twelve hours or less? It should. It should give you a warmer feeling when you can do it in far less time. Give your C-Level suitors this one in under an hour and they’ll think you’re as magical as Mr. Scott aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. Mr. Scott often surprised the always demanding Captain Kirk with his ability to fix just about anything within the very tight time constraints placed on him. Instead of dilithium crystals and altered phaser electronics, you’ll have to work with Ubuntu and Drupal.

    • WordPress for Android updated with all-new stats

      Support for featured images and all-new stats are the most notable features in the recent 2.2 release of the WordPress for Android mobile application. This new version now lets users set Featured Images from directly within the app; previously this could only be done using the web interface. After adding an image to the post, users can enable this option by tapping on it and selecting “Use as featured image”; the developers note that this requires WordPress 3.4.1 or later.


    • GCC 4.5 Through 4.8 For AMD’s Bulldozer

      While the new AMD Trinity APUs are what’s exciting and being benchmarked at the moment, here are some updated compiler tests from earlier this month on an AMD FX-8150 Bulldozer system.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • A tour through open source creative tools
    • Keep calm and innersource on

      Winston Churchill was known as a charismatic leader and statesman, able to rally his country to great things when they needed it most. He was also fond of the occasional salty outburst when needed—I won’t repeat one of his more famous ones here, except to paraphrase it a bit…

    • Is open source democratic?

      In his recent post, Glyn Moody asks an important question: “Can open source be democratic?” He describes how free software emerged as a distributed, bottom-up system of writing code. The central defining aspects of that culture are a uniquely open process not just of programming but also of its organization, and a close relationship between programmers and users. Effectively, users and programmers together were both contributors, they collaborated on the project. Glyn goes on to explain how this community effort changed over time to become more institutionalized, more corporate and more dull—”becoming a ‘Firefox Affiliate’, hardly something that sets the pulse racing.” Ordinary users no longer play an important part in open source projects.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open source hardware answers the problem of mobile device obsolescence

        Perhaps you read my, “No iOS 6 for my original iPad? Now, I’m an Angry Bird” post that describes, in detail, my irritation with Apple for no longer supporting my iPad 1. If you haven’t, you should so that you’ll understand this post. Don’t worry, I’ll wait for you to finish before I continue.

        Now, that you’re back, I’ve come up with a solution to this overt obsolescence dilemma facing tens of millions of disappointed customers–not only from Apple but from other companies as well. Just read the comments from the original post and you’ll see that we all face this, “Buy our newest stuff” marketing ploy regardless of your device source.

  • Programming

    • Should we require that open source is developed openly?

      Of course I went out to re-read both the open source and free software definitions so I could prove him wrong…but I can’t. He is right, the definitions of both free software and open source software say nothing about being developed in the open, but as those of you who have attended one of my workshops (or read my book) know, I disagree.

    • Python Development on Linux and Why You Should Too
    • Open source Java projects: GitHub

      If you’ve been curious about GitHub then this short tutorial in the Open source Java projects series is for you. Get an overview of the source code repository that has changed the way that many developers work, both individually and collaboratively. Then try GitHub for yourself, using common Git commands to branch and commit your own open source project.

    • Open Source Programs Aim to Meet Global Demand for Developers

      I recently wrote that to master technology, you must master software. It is software that differentiates one device or computing experience from another. And since nearly all software today is built using open source projects and code, knowing how to collaborate and contribute to an open development community is a requirement for any developer or company regardless of industry.

    • Google launches its third junior Code-in event

      Stephanie Taylor from Google’s Open Source Programs Office has announced the launch of the company’s third Code-in contest for pre-university students. The annual event is open to students aged 13 to 17 from around the world and is designed to introduce them to open source software development.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • HTML5 to be completed by the end of 2014

      The chairs of the W3C’s HTML Working Group have presented a plan to approve a stable HTML5 specification before the end of 2014. The plan proposes to formally define a stable set of features as HTML 5.0, but when the HTML Working Group will approve this plan is as yet unknown. Features for which no stable specification is available by then could be moved to an extended “HTML 5.1″ set of features that could be completed by 2016.


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Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    September 29, 2012 at 7:37 am


    The Netflix article fails to take into account the real problem of Microsofters either on the board or in the management or both.

What Else is New

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  7. The Coup D'état of Benoît Battistelli Follows an Imperialist Model, Threatens Opposition and Dissent

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  11. OIN Turns 10, IDG Floods the Web With Puff Pieces That 'Normalise' Software Patents

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    Rumours are swirling around Wim Van der Eijk's absence, suggesting that he too may be a victim of Benoît Battistelli's iron fist

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    Worst-case scenarios are becoming a reality as Android backers officially attacked by patent trolls using standard-essential patents in London, England

  18. New Information on Limbo in the Enlarged Board, Courtesy of Illegal Actions by the EPO's Benoît Battistelli

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    European patent laws are being covertly overridden so as to allow broader scope of litigation, higher financial damages, speedy injunctions, and even software patents; the European public is intentionally kept in the dark about it, hence kept unable to express scepticism or issue truly effective objections

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