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10.13.12

Links 13/10/2012: Stallman on Canonical, New Zenwalk

Posted in News Roundup at 6:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Linux Labs – how it was done

    Earlier this year we launched an appeal. We wanted you to help us with our Linux Labs. We didn’t want you to answer a few multiple choice questions; we didn’t want plain numbers. We wanted you to help us write the reviews themselves.

    So, via the medium of The big PC Pro Linux Labs wiki, hosted by our friends over at Memset, we set about building a collaborative Labs of the likes never seen before in the pages of the magazine.

  • TLWIR 46: Limerick Loves LibreOffice
  • We Invite You to Share the World’s Most Inspiring Linux Stories

    Linux inspires. It is enabling nearly every technology innovation of the 21st century and is supporting the growth of numerous industries from mobile to the cloud. And, its reach goes far beyond these markets to also enable scientific discovery, smart cities, new companies and young students.

  • Desktop

    • A California School District Is the Latest to Adopt Chromebooks

      Slowly but surely, Google is getting traction for Chromebooks–portable computers running the Chrome OS operating system–in schools. In the latest example of a school system standardizing on Chromebooks, California’s Milpitas Unified School District has put Chromebooks in the hands of more than 1,000 students. It’s only the latest example of Google’s global efforts to woo schools and educators over to its concept of cloud computing and what a modern operating system should do.

    • Chromebooks allow students to navigate online learning
    • Windows 8 vs Ubuntu: battle of the operating systems

      When Windows 8 is released on 26 October, it will be the third straight time a major Windows version is launched close to the release of arguably the world’s most popular Linux distro – Ubuntu.

    • Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook: Day one

      After a full day of using the latest Chromebook from Samsung it’s clear the Chrome OS has evolved to be a powerful platform. It handles my work so perfectly it is like an OS made just for me.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Kernel Support For The Loongson-3

      Lemote has published new Linux kernel patches for enabling the Loongson-3 processor support plus Loongson-3 based systems.

      The Loongson-3, which is codenamed Goson-3, is a quad-core MIPS64-compatible CPU that runs at around 1.0GHz. The Loongson-3 is manufactured on a 65nm process and has a sub-15 Watt TDP. Eight and sixteen core versions of the Loongson-3 are also expected to be released in the future.

    • Linux 3.6 Debuts with 5 Major Advances

      Late last month Linux creator Linus Torvalds had been considering publishing an eighth release candidate of the Linux 3.6 kernel, but on Sunday Torvalds decided to skip that step and launch the final version instead.

    • One Kernel Can Now Handle Multiple ARM Platforms
    • Intel SMAP Comes To Try To Better Secure Linux

      The Supervisor Mode Access Prevention feature is an instruction set extension whereby the kernel cannot access pages that are user-space. However, when the need comes about for the kernel to access a user-space page, an override is available. This work from Intel was originally published last month and has now been merged into the mainline kernel for Linux 3.7.

    • 30 Linux Kernel Developers in 30 Weeks: Jiri Slaby

      Welcome to week 16 in our 30-week series that profiles the world’s leading Linux kernel developers. This week we talk to Jiří Slabý, a young developer who tells us why he likes working on the Linux kernel: “Because no one can really understand the kernel fully. It is a constantly changing ecosystem and one still has to learn something new. And, it is also the people. They taught me real programming.”

    • Linux on ARM breakthrough to take away Torvalds’ arse pain

      A single Linux kernel build that can run on various ARM-powered kit from competing manufacturers has come closer to reality, much to Linus Torvalds’ relief.

    • Fluendo Advances Multimedia for Linux

      The Linux Foundation in March announced that Fluendo was becoming a member. The company has been at the forefront of building legal multimedia solutions for open environments and works very closely with the Gstreamer community. In this exclusive Q&A with Fluendo’s VP of Business Development Michael Pizzoli we get to learn more about the company’s work and perspective on the Linux desktop, embedded Linux and infotainment for cars.

    • AMD Turbo Core Performance Under Linux

      As the latest AMD A10-5800K Trinity APU benchmarks under Linux, here’s a quick look at the impact that Turbo Core Technology has under Linux.

      AMD Turbo Core is the technology that’s been around for about two years going back to the AMD Phenom II CPUs that automatically shift the CPU frequency to a higher state when greater performance is desirable. Similar to Intel’s Turbo Boost, it’s basically the reverse of Cool ‘n’ Quiet and Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology.

    • Xen For ARM Is Set For The Linux 3.7 Kernel
    • ARM64/AArch64 Support Going Into Linux 3.7 Kernel
    • Linus Torvalds Compares Hard Disks to Satan

      In a chat with tech lovers at Slashdot on Thursday, Torvalds compared the hard drive to Satan. Yes, Satan — as in “Get thee behind me, Satan.”

    • Linus Torvalds interviewed by Slashdot readers

      Slashdot, the 15-year old popular technology discussion site, recently had their readers come up with a list of their top questions to ask Linus Torvalds, Linux’s creator. The results were interesting.

      For example, the first question presumed that Torvalds was anti-patent and copyright. Eh… no, he’s never really been either. As Torvalds explained, “I like copyrights, and even on patents I’m not necessarily in the ‘Patents are completely evil. camp. When I rant about patents or copyrights, I rant against the *excesses* and the bad policies, not about them existing in the first place.”

    • 64-bit ARM support merged into Linux kernel
    • Yocto-Compliant Enea Linux Reaches Version 2.0

      The past year or so has seen a number of new technologies emerge based on The Linux Foundation’s Yocto Project, including several that have gone on to be certified as officially Yocto-compatible through the project’s new Compliance Program.

    • Linaro Introduces “Boottime” For Linux Kernel

      Up to this point if you have wanted to monitor the start-up/boot performance of a Linux system, namely how long it takes the Linux kernel to boot, you have had to use an independent utility like Bootchart. Now with work done by the Linaro project, there is an in-kernel measurement capabilities via a new “Boottime” patch.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Update to Trinity KDE 3.5 fork brings improvements

        Trinity, the fork of the classic version of the KDE desktop which appeared in wake of the backlash against KDE 4.0, is still being developed and, after a year of work, a new stable release, version 3.5.13.1, of the desktop environment is now available. Trinity is a fork that continues development of the old 3.x branch of the KDE desktop and which has been enhanced with additional features but is also designed to be both compatible with newer hardware and responsive on older systems.

      • 2012 Randa Report

        In September, several teams met in Randa, Switzerland for the fourth such Sprint Intensive. As expected, there was substantial progress as the teams worked on their individual projects and across projects. The work done at the Randa meetings involves both future-oriented discussions and detailed bug fixing and coding, all done ultimately to delight KDE users.

        Each of the project teams—Accessibility (a11y), Plasma, KDE Edu and Multimedia—have provided a synopsis of their accomplishments below. The actual results of their work will appear in future versions of KDE software.

      • KDE Plasma, Applications and Platform 4.9.2

        Packages for the release of KDE SC 4.9.2 are available for Kubuntu 12.04.1 LTS releases. You can get them from the Kubuntu Backports PPA. They are also in our 12.10 development release.

      • KDE celebrates 59 successful Summer of Code projects

        The KDE project has announced the outcome of its participation as a mentoring organisation in the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2012. According to the announcement, KDE was the biggest participating organisation in the event and 59 out of the 60 different projects it mentored were successful. Under the project’s stewardship, students worked on a diverse range of KDE sub-projects from core libraries to entertainment and multimedia applications.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • New versions of GTK+, GLib and Clutter

        Theming support for CSS animations and blur shadows are just two of the new features in the recently released GTK+ 3.6. Also new are the GtkMenuButton widget, which generates a button for a pop-up menu, GtkSearchEntry, an entry field with added “search” icon and “clear” button, and GtkLevelBar, which can be used to display Wi-Fi signal strengths or other levels.

  • Distributions

    • Which Distros Would Obama and Romney Use?

      With fewer than 30 days remaining until the U.S. presidential election, it’s become more or less impossible to hear ourselves think here in the Linux blogosphere, so loud is the din emanating from the land of stars and stripes.

      Of course, misery loves company, as the old saying goes, which probably explains why there’s nary an unoccupied barstool to be found lately in any of the blogosphere’s many bars and saloons.

    • LIF by numbers

      A couple of days ago I wrote my impressions after the Linux Install Fest, but didn’t have exact numbers to back my impressions. Now the organizers published the stats, I can see the numbers and play with them.

    • CAINE 3.0 Screenshots
    • SimpleWelcome gets a new look, and goes social

      The second alpha version of what will become ROSA Desktop 2012 was released yesterday. It is a showcase of the very bright future ahead for this Russian distribution.

    • Zenwalk 7.2 has been launched

      We are happy to release Zenwalk 7.2. After several months of rescheduling we think it’s time to let this new jet fly. Zenwalk 7.2 is loyal to it’s design : providing 1 application per task, everything needed to work / play / code / create, in a single 700MB ISO image, through a 10 minutes automatic install process on any recent computer. Zenwalk is aimed to be really fast in the club of “modern desktop” Linux systems, due to many optimizations at different levels : kernel, applications, desktop. The challenge that we faced, and made them delay the 7.2 release date, was to achieve 100% Slackware Linux compatibility while keeping most of the optimizations that were introduced during the last years of development, started in 2004. Zenwalk 7.2 runs on kernel 3.4.8 with BFS scheduler. The Zenwalk desktop is based on the XFCE 4.10 / GTK 2.24.10/3.4.4 team, with unique look and feel and perfect ergonomic integration of the application set : Libreoffice 3.6.2, Firefox/Thunderbird 15.0.1, Gimp 2.8.2 and much more… The Netpkg package manager has been improved with multiple mirrors support and better performance.

    • Qubes 1.0 Review – Absolute Security

      Don’t you trust the websites you’re visiting? Thanks to Qubes, you can visit them in disposable virtual machines and isolate many other applications from each other

    • New Releases

      • Parted Magic 2012_10_10
      • Blender 2.64 improves green screen and compositing
      • Snowlinux 3.1 Has Been Officially Released

        Lars Torben Kremer proudly announced yesterday, October 10th, the immediate availability for download of the stable release of the Snowlinux 3.1 operating system.

      • Zenwalk 7.2, Now Compatible with Slackware

        Zenwalk Linux 7.2 was released today with “many optimizations at different levels.” Zenwalk is based on Slackware Linux, but aims to be faster, easier, and smaller. It’s been a long time coming, but Jean-Philippe Guillemin says they’ve finally achieved 100% compatibility with Slackware.

      • Tiny Core Linux: A Barebone Linux Distro That Boots Very Fast

        Lightweight Linux distro usually comes in the file size ranging from 20MB to 50MB and they are best suited to use on a old computer. Recently, I come across this tiny Linux distro that weighs only 12MB and it boots up really fast. I am referring to Tiny Core Linux.

      • Absolute Linux 14.0 – Still Needs Refinement

        As expected Absolute Linux 14.0 is not radically different from 13.1, details of which you can read here. Besides the usual package updates that Slackware itself has undergone as well there isn’t a lot to tell on the surface. Underneath Slackware is now using kmod to load modules but that is pretty irrelevant to the desktop user experience. Absolute is still centered around IceWM which is why it was tailored in the first place but also offers Fluxbox as another light weight alternative. It is still 32-bit for the i686 architecture only, in keeping with its target market of older but not too old PC’s, i.e. no 486 processors any longer. It is fully compatible with SlackBuilds and Slackware repositories. Like other derivatives it also still uses a slightly modified version of that old ncurses installer, only in gray.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • A few thoughts on cloud computing

        The problem with cloud computing is it creates situations that were unknown before and therefore new, unforeseen problems may arise. We at Mandriva have been thinking for quite a while about this, and we feel we owe our customers and the market in general a few clear and simple answers on our vision of what cloud computing should be :

        * It should work well : if you can’t make it work and provide the right, efficient service to your customers then it’s not worth it.

        * It should be open : your data should not go into a black box, and more often than not, the cloud stack should be based on standards.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • mod_pagespeed Out Of Beta, Helps Developers Boost Page Speed Significantly

    When it comes to developing a complete website, page speed is one of the key factors to make a site successful. For this reason, Google, along with a community of developers had created a new Apache module called mod_pagespeed back in 2010. The good news is, this module is now out of beta and can be used in enterprise and business environments.

  • Google’s Latest Web Speedup Strategy Aims at Apache
  • There Must Be 50 Ways To Profit From FLOSS

    The old school types constantly complain that FLOSS and */Linux cannot possibly succeed because there’s no profit to be made selling software licences. That argument is irrational because it assumes selling licence is the only way to make money from software.

    I have made part of my living just using FLOSS. That’s huge. There are lots of businesses making money other ways:

    * selling support for FREE software like RedHat,
    * selling hardware that uses FLOSS, like most OEMs lots of specialists, and
    * selling some other good or service with FLOSS in the mix somewhere.

  • Quantcast Open Sources Hadoop Distributed File System Alternative

    Quantcast, an internet audience measurement and ad targeting service, processes over 20 petabytes of data per day using Apache Hadoop and its own custom file system called Quantcast File System (QFS). Today, it’s making that technology available to as open source under an Apache license. You can now find it on GitHub.

  • SOFA Statistics: An Interview with developer Dr. Grant Paton-Simpson

    I have been a data analyst and researcher since the mid 90s, mainly in the health sector. Was an SPSS user from about 1989. Discovered that most analysis in many sectors is very rudimentary (simple descriptive tables, maybe a barchart, possibly a t-test). Thought there would be a gap for a program that makes the 20% of functionality used 80% of the time very easy to use. I have four children but still find enough peace and quiet to think and program. Badminton makes a nice change from sitting in front of a keyboard.

  • It’s official: Open source is an engine for growth

    When I wrote about open source as a stealth stimulus package this summer, some readers expressed skepticism. But two reports from Europe today support the growing hypothesis that open source provides an excellent monetary bundle for economies that embrace it. More than that, it can be a springboard for businesses that engage it on the basis of delivering flexibility rather than restricting their vision to cost savings.

  • Open source software helps artists create music

    TruthLogik, a New York based hip hop artist, says that in a million years he could not have imagined he would be recording an album using entirely free software. When he first stumbled on open source music-making tools, he thought about the computer classes he took in school. He had never been exposed to the idea that free software could be so well-made and uniquely useful.

  • Events

    • Linux Event TV: One-on-One with Open Source Visionaries

      Linux Foundation events are studded with Linux and open source community leaders, as well as some eccentric personalities. What better place than one of these events to sit down and talk to the people who are making innovation happen in software development and cloud computing?

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Sites can slurp browser history right out of Firefox 16
      • Make your own political campaign ad

        Mozilla and PBS Newshour launch innovative new election video tool — starring YOU

      • Mozilla Firefox 17 Gets Social

        Firefox 16.01 (updated today) is out the door and that means Firefox 17 is now in Beta (those trains move fast!).

        This release like the the last half dozen before it – adds new developer goodness – but this time it’s more sociable than just CSS3 support.

        Firefox 17 includes the new SocialAPI , which is described as an attempt to integrate social content (i.e Facebook) into the browser.

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • SkySQL launches Cloud SQL Suite and Enterprise Suite

      SkySQL has announced a beta release of Cloud Data Suite, a platform for deploying high availability MariaDB databases to Amazon’s EC2, and, Enterprise Data Suite, comprising a carrier grade database, a high availability tool and analytics applications. The Cloud Data Suite is free to use and includes open source components, while the Enterprise Data Suite is designed to be part of the company’s commercial service and support subscription model.

    • What is NoSQL, and why do you need it?

      Imagine that you have coupons that you wanted to push to mobile customers that purchase a specific item. This is a customer facing system of engagement requires location data, purchase data, wallet data, and so on. You want to engage the mobile customer in real-time.

    • Is Oracle squeezing the MySQL lemon too hard?

      Despite what many feared, Oracle has not abandoned development of MySQL. Indeed, as announced at Oracle OpenWorld this week, Oracle just released MySQL Release Candidate 5.6 with a host of new features.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Funding

    • Hardware startup creates open source Kickstarter alternative

      After having their project rejected by Kickstarter, the designers of the wireless lock system Lockitron went away and wrote their own crowdfunding platform, which they have now open sourced. Apigy Inc’s Selfstarter enables companies to set up their own crowdfunding site, similar to Kickstarter, to host financing campaigns for their products. The very successful funding drive for Lockitron is already being run using the software.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSF rallies support for GNU MediaGoblin to make media publishing free “as in freedom”

      BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA — Thursday, October 11th, 2012 — Today the Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced its support for the GNU MediaGoblin project’s fundraiser at http://mediagoblin.org/pages/campaign.html. MediaGoblin is community-developed free “as in freedom” software that enables users to share their experiences through photos, videos, and audio, in a decentralized way that sidesteps current media-publishing gatekeepers.

    • GnuTLS 3.1.3
  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Leipzig on course with free office package

      The Münchner IT-Blog, the IT blog of Munich city council in Germany, reports that its fellow council in Leipzig started a migration to the free open source office suite OpenOffice earlier this year.

    • Romanian animal monitoring program proves open source’s reliability

      Romania’s for the past seven years has been using open source for all servers, PCs and laptops for its country-wide farm animal monitoring program. It proofs the reliability and sustainability of this type of software, says Teodorescu Constantin, the project’s IT manager. “We chose Linux and other open source solutions because we wanted trouble-free workstations.”

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Clay Shirky on how the Internet will one day transform government

      Clay Shirky has done it again. In a fascinating TED Talk, Shirky examines the impact that collaboration tools developed for and by open source communities will have on the way citizens participate in public life and how they can steer the political processes.

    • Open Access/Content

    • Open Hardware

      • Inside Facebook’s lab: A mission to make hardware open source

        A look behind the scenes of Facebook’s hardware lab, the spiritual home of the Open Compute datacentre hardware movement, which may radically change the type of IT enterprises use, and who they buy it from.

      • Build Your Own Arduino Powered Automatic Blinds

        Build Your Own Arduino Powered Automatic BlindsOne of the easiest tricks to keeping a house warm (or cool), is to open and close the blinds in time with the sun. Of course, that’s only helpful if you’re home all the time to do that. Instructables user FreedomToCreate has made an Arduino powered system that opens and closes the blinds on a schedule, based on room temperature, or outdoor light.

      • Open-Source Kits Put Robots in Many Hands

        I recently received an interesting press release about Multiplo, a four-person startup seeking venture funds in small amounts to create and manufacture kits for anyone interested in robotics.

        The company has used Kickstarter, a Web-based business that helps connect sponsors with small groups that want to pursue a specific project. The Kickstarter approach lets people involved with a project — which must have a specific goal — solicit funds and offer “rewards” to people who contribute funds.

  • Programming

    • Google launches its third junior Code-in event
    • Perforce Aims to Bring Git to the Enterprise

      It’s no surprise that the pace of technological innovation in the startup and web development world greatly eclipses the pace of technology adoption at most enterprise organizations. Enterprises are generally slow, risk averse, and demand long-term support for products in which they invest. Startups, web development shops, and open source enthusiasts move at a significantly faster pace. While some enterprises are just now moving from the venerable CVS version control system to something like Subversion, the bulk of today’s generation of developers are using git (and GitHub).

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • Q & A with Journalist & Author of “Bet the Farm” Frederick Kaufman

      What would be a significant first step in reducing hunger in America?

      A: Hunger in America isn’t about not having enough food; it’s about not being able to afford food. One proven remedy has been the availability of food stamps, which depends on the fate of the next Farm Bill. Many would like to cut programs that make food available to children in schools, and adults in need, a “reform” that would bring this country a step closer to food insecurity. In this country, not having the money to purchase food also translates into obesity, as cheap calories generally come with too much fat, sugar, and boatloads of artificial everything. In order to consume better calories at lower prices, Americans need to learn about nutrition and home food preparation. Education can help, along with support for purveyors of produce in urban food deserts. Above all, we need jobs for Americans. Food often accounts for 12-15 percent of a weekly paycheck, but first Americans need the paycheck.

  • Censorship

    • Internet censorship: Let it rot in walled gardens

      John Gilmore, an internet activist who was also one of the co-founders of both the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the first free software company, Cygnus Solutions, once wrote that “the net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it”.

  • Privacy

    • Party conferences and the Comms Data Bill

      The usefulness of data comes in part from its intrusiveness. So the collection and access to communications information is balanced against the fundamental right to privacy. As a start, many politicians accept that the police should have access to communications traffic data. Of course, sometimes law enforcement have had access to this data, as with phone bills.

  • Civil Rights

    • Snooper’s Charter: 19,000 Emails Against, 0 In Favour

      Back in August, I urged people to respond to the consultation on the truly dreadful Draft Communications Bill, aka Snooper’s Charter. Obviously, I wasn’t alone in doing that: many organisations concerned about the impact on civil liberties in this country have done the same. For example, both 38 Degrees and Open Rights Group (ORG) provided suggested texts and asked people to contact the Joint Parliamentary Committee that has been considering the Bill – and doing rather a good job of it, I must say.

  • DRM

    • Txtr Beagle – Concern to Amazon? – No.

      I’m looking at the Guardian today for the purposes of this article which is reporting a new e-ink, ebook reader which they write about under the title of “Kindle under fire from low-cost ‘txtr beagle’ e-reader” – A dramatic and wholly inacurate headline in my view, but then this is the Guardian so I don’t expect either Guardian staff or its readerbase will see any problem with that. Reported at being available for around £8 this twin AAA powered device with significantly less storage capacity, a slightly smaller screen, no WIFI or 3G and having to be loaded with ebooks via Bluetooth on an Android or iPhone, is going in some way to disturb Amazon or indeed any of the other great e-ink devices.

    • Kindle Owners’ Lending Library Coming to the UK, Germany and France

      Amazon is bringing the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library to the UK, Germany and France later this month, giving European Kindle owners (with Prime membership) the choice of over 200,000 books to borrow for free as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • DEAct: Concerns about copyright infringement evidence gathering

        Consumer Focus have today written to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) about the way the MPAA collect evidence of copyright infringement by individuals on P2P networks. The letter relates to a presentation the MPAA gave to Consumer Focus and security expert Dr Richard Clayton (also a member of Open Rights Group’s advisory council), about the process they will be using for the US’ ‘six strike’ copyright infringement process. In his analysis, Dr Clayton found a number of issues that could lead to errors in the gathering of evidence of infringement.

      • ACTA

        • CETA: Governments Must Protect our Freedoms!

          La Quadrature du Net publishes a letter sent to French ministers in charge of negociating CETA, the Canada – UE Trade Agreement, and calls them to act to protect our freedoms, in accordance with previous commitments.

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