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10.25.12

Links 26/10/2012: Chinese Stock Exchange and 64-Bit Server Platform Use Red Hat

Posted in News Roundup at 9:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux needs a second look – review

    Cape Town – Linux Ubuntu is a viable alternative to users who don’t feel comfortable with Microsoft’s latest version of Windows.

    The software giant has launched its latest version of its iconic operating system and has targeted mobile devices like tablets, but many have criticised the company, saying the OS is a departure from what users expect of a desktop operating system.

  • Desktop

    • Beta of ROSA Desktop 2012 released

      The ROSA development team has released a beta version of ROSA Desktop 2012, its Mandriva-Linux-based operating system aimed at desktop users. The beta of the next major release of the Russian firm’s distribution, also known as Marathon, addresses various compatibility issues and brings with it several changes and new features, such as a new boot menu option.

      The new “Install in basic mode” option has been added to allow users to run the ROSA Desktop 2012 installer on lower-spec hardware. Aimed at testers and developers, the release also sees the inclusion of full support for EFI/UEFI; basic support for UEFI was added in the in the second alpha as an experimental option, but is now fully integrated into the main system.

    • ROSA Desktop 2012 Getting Closer

      The ROSA team has announced the release of ROSA 2012 Beta saying only two more steps until final. This release represents lots of work behind the scenes as well as several key improvements to ROSA. Now is the time to test and report bugs.

    • Windows 8? It Won’t Win Microsoft’s Biggest Battle
    • Dear Microsoft, Thanks for Windows 8! Love Linux

      Microsoft has a big launch event today in New York City for Windows 8. Surprisingly I got invited, but no I won’t be there. Linux users like myself however really should thank Microsoft though, Window 8 is truly a great gift.

      Unlike Windows 7, which provided Microsoft’s large user base with an evolutionary path forward from Windows XP, with a look, feel and overall experience that was better – Windows 8 is a different beast.

      I’ve had to support a couple of Windows 8 (preview) users for a few months now and the experience has taught me one thing – Windows 8 is unlike other Windows and it’s not something that most users will like. In my case, the users wanted Windows (but they wanted it for free) so I said ‘hey you can try Windows 8. Windows 8 takes an app-centric view of the desktop, which might work for tablets, but deskop users aren’t used to that. In fact, in my users’ experience the most often clicked app was ‘desktop’ because all they wanted to do was get the ‘regular’ Windows experience.

    • Southern India Overtaken By GNU/Linux Desktops
    • Hands-on with the Asus X202 11.6 inch notebook

      The Asus VivoBook X202 is a notebook with an 11.6 inch display, Intel Core i3 Ivy Bridge processor, and a starting price of $599. It’s expected launch with Windows 8 on October 26th.

      Asus will also offer a cheaper model with Ubuntu Linux soon, but I haven’t been able to get US pricing for that model just yet.

  • Server

    • Dell donates concept ARM server to the ASF

      Dell has donated an ARM-based concept server to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). The company provided the server, which uses Calxeda’s EnergyCore processor architecture, to the ASF so that it can test and optimise its software for ARM server deployment. The Apache web server, Hadoop and the Cassandra NoSQL database are of particular interest to Dell customers, according to the company.

    • Dell Lends An ARM Server Concept To Open Source Community

      Dell has donated an ARM server concept to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), in the belief that the open source community will help develop and promote the model.

      Servers based on ARM chips are gaining some traction, although still are miles away from challenging Intel’s x86 architecture, which dominates data centres across the globe.

      Yet ARM server designs, due to their low-power and high-efficiency attributes, have caught the attention of a host of tech giants, including HP and Dell. Customers are looking at them for hyperscale deployments, or Big Data projects, where lots of parallel processes are run across numerous servers.

    • Zend Takes PHP Mobile and Into the Cloud

      Commercial PHP vendor Zend today took the wraps off a trio of new initiatives designed to enable developers for the new world of mobile and cloud development.

      The new Zend Studio 10 IDE provides new visual development options for mobile developers while the update Zend Server 6 and Zend Gateway products provide enhanced cloud capabilities.

    • Facebook Adapts Open Compute for Colo Space

      A rack of Facebook servers in a third-party data center in Virginia, adapted to work with Open Compute designs normally used in Facebook’s company-built facilities. (Photo: Open Compute Project)

      We’ve been closely tracking the progress of the Open Compute Project, wondering if these uber-efficient open source hardware designs would ever be available at your local colocation center. Facebook has now shared details of its first use of Open Compute hardware in its third-party colo space.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • TI Linux Developers Continue Work On The OMAP5

      While the ultimate future of Texas Instruments’ OMAP division remains uncertain, their software engineers continue to work on maturing the OMAP5 Linux support.

      Rumours began circulating back in September that Texas Instruments would begin winding down their OMAP operations as it pertains to producing ARM SoCs targeting smartphones and tablets, in order to put more emphasis on embedded devices where they have more power to succeed compared to the extremely competitive smartphone/tablet market. There have also been rumours that Amazon might even acquire TI’s OMAP division since they have the resources to do so, they already use OMAP4 chips within their Kindle tablets, and would put them at a greater competitive advantage over some of the other tablet vendors.

    • Stable Linux kernels hit by serious file system bug
    • Graphics Stack

      • DirectFB Continues To Gain New Features

        While Wayland is sitting in the public limelight, DirectFB continues to exist as another means of handling Linux displays and input. DirectFB continues to quietly march on with new capabilities.

        DirectFB 1.6 was released in June after being set back by delays but it did bring several features. DirectFB 1.6 brought a new core architecture, dynamic registration of window managers / compositors, support for new image providers, Xine/VDPAU acceleration, improved video drivers, better performance, initial Android support, and much more.

      • A Proposal To Fix The Full-Screen Linux Window Mess

        Ryan Gordon, the well-known Linux game porter and developer of SDL and other open-source projects, along with Sam Lantinga, another key SDL developer and recent hire for Valve’s Linux team, have proposed a window manager change to work out the full-screen X11 window mess.

      • Calxeda ECX-1000 Benchmarks vs. Intel Atom, TI OMAP4

        Last week I began delivering benchmarks of the low-power yet massively scalable Calxeda EnergyCore ECX-1000 ARM Server and followed the initial tests with some ARM compiler benchmarks and other benchmarks from this 5-Watt Linux Server. In this article is what many Phoronix readers have been waiting for: comparing Calxeda’s quad-core Cortex-A9 ARMv7 performance against a dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP4460 PandaBoard ES and then an Intel Atom processor.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 26th August 2012
      • KDE PIM October Sprint

        While not as traditional as the annual KDE PIM meeting in Osnabrück near the beginning of each year, a second meeting around October/November is starting to become a tradition of its own. Similar to last year and in contrast to the Osnabrück meetings—which usually focuses on discussing ideas and planning—this year’s October sprint again concentrated on improvements to existing features.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Shell 3.7.1 Brings New Features
      • 7 Amazing Custom Gnome 3 Desktops!

        deviantART is the largest online social network for artists and art enthusiasts with over 19 million registered members, attracting 45 million unique visitors per month.

        dA hosts the best Gnome Shell, GTK and Icons themes, but also has many enthusiasts that come up with extremely designs how a desktop should look like. If you think that Gnome Shell can’t be customized, think again :)

  • Distributions

    • Pear Linux 6 review

      Many Linux users really love Ubuntu because of its huge software repositories, its familiar system, the community … But when the guys in Canonical decided to use Unity on Ubuntu, it caused a discontentment to many users and that created an opportunity to thrive for other Ubuntu-based distros that still have the advantages of Ubuntu but dont use Unity.

      Pear Linux was first created just right after Ubuntu totally switched to Unity. But unlike Linux Mint that aims for the users who love the traditionally-featured desktop, the aim of Pear Linux is to created a Linux distro that has the nice features of Ubuntu and looks and behaves similarly to MacOS.

      Pear Linux 6 was released some days ago. It is based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS with several new and nice features.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu To Work On Rapid Hardware Enablement

            Ubuntu developers will be discussing this week about how they can rapidly bring-up support for new hardware within the Linux distribution.

            One of the many discussions to be had next week at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Copenhagen aside from ridding old GNOME code, pushing Ubuntu as a gaming platform, looking at Ubuntu TV, XZ packages by default, porting Ubuntu to the Nexus 7, and listening to Valve talk about Linux will be a session about rapidly bring-up Ubuntu on new hardware.

          • Nitro Is a Super Simple To-Do App that Syncs with Dropbox and Ubuntu One
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Edubuntu, Canonical and the Education Channel

              Most recent buzz in the Ubuntu world has centered around the mobile and business markets, not education. But the team behind Edubuntu, an official variant of Ubuntu designed for use in the classroom, has been quietly at work shaping future versions of that platform. Here’s what they’re hoping to bring to the open source channel in upcoming releases.

              Although Canonical endorses Edubuntu as an official Ubuntu spinoff, and not merely a community-based variant, the education-oriented face of Ubuntu remains a much more low-key, grassroots affair than its more commercial cousins, including Ubuntu Business Remix. Its core development team includes only a handful of programmers who in some months exchange no development-related emails at all.

            • Ubuntu Studio 12.10 Out, Ships With Xfce 4.10

              After Ubuntu and related distros released a new edition last week, Ubuntu Studio developers have released a new version of their OS which is based on Ubuntu Quantal. Ubuntu Studio is mainly focused on content creation and ships with a low latency kernel by default. You can download the DVD image and burn it to a USB stick or disk.

            • Don’t like Ubuntu’s Unity? Try the new GNOME Remix instead

              We’ve known for some time that a “pure GNOME” version of Ubuntu Linux was in the works, and following last week’s release of Ubuntu 12.10 “Quantal Quetzal,” the first GNOME Remix of the software has now made its debut as well.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Surface – XBox of Personal Computers

    Once again, M$ with its tens of thousands of employees have been unable to compete with FLOSS, a cooperative project of the world to produce software that works. When will they learn? When will markets realize the emperor has no clothes?

  • Contest aims to give open source projects a second wind

    The Code for America Brigade recently launched Race for Reuse. It’s a different kind of contest that aims to increase adoption of existing open source projects with real dollars. The goal isn’t to build something brand new—it’s to encourage volunteer teams (called “brigades”) across the U.S. to stand up and support existing open source projects. Because one of the more difficult parts of deploying open source apps is building the user community around the projects and getting citizens engaged.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • My next big thing
    • Cloudera Announces Real-Time Query Engine for Hadoop

      Cloudera’s Apache-licensed, open-source query engine, Cloudera Impala, is specifically designed for real-time query of data stored in a Hadoop Distributed File System, or HDFS, and in HBase, a non-relational distributed database, and the company said it is the result of two years of in-house development. The queries for Impala can be expressed as SQL.

  • Databases

  • Semi-Open Source

    • Sangoma Releases Answering Machine Detection Software for Asterisk

      Sangoma Technologies, a provider of hardware and software components for IP communications systems for both voice and data, today launched the Sangoma Answering Machine Detection (AMD) for Asterisk software solution.

      The solution is backward-compatible to Asterisk 1.4 and delivers all of the features of other sophisticated dialer analytics packages at a price-point aligned with the open source marketplace. AMD for Asterisk is available immediately to select early-adopters, and Sangoma anticipates a general availability release before the end of the year.

    • Tine 2.0 groupware adds human resources management module

      The Tine 2.0 developers have released another major update to their open source groupware and customer relationship management (CRM) solution. Version 2012.10 of the software, code-named “Joey”, includes a new human resources management module, security guidelines for ActiveSync, PostgreSQL support and improvements to the calendar features.

    • Xtuple ERP – Free and Open Source Software

      I recently published an article that looked at using GNUCash for personal budgeting on Linux. The comment thread made for a fascinating read – it seems that many people feel that personal Linux accounting is just too painful right now, and opt for Quicken (using Wine front-end PlayOnLinux). One product that was given honourable mention, however, was xTuple’s PostBooks-based ERP system. What’s it about?

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Wassamatta GNU?

      “Today visitors to the primary Windows 8 launch event were greeted by an unexpected and uninvited visitor—a gnu.”

      Thus began a Free Software Foundation (FSF) press release I read today that I just couldn’t resist sharing with you. Partly because, hey, it involves a gnu walking the streets of New York City (see press release for the photo), and partly because of the reason why a gnu was at the Windows 8 event.

      “Activists, one dressed as the free software movement’s buffalo-like mascot, converged on Microsoft’s event to distribute pamphlets about the hidden dangers of Microsoft’s latest proprietary creation,” the press release explained. “The Halloween-themed action included plastic pumpkin buckets full of DVDs loaded with Trisquel, a free software distribution of the GNU/Linux operating system.”

    • Windows 8: Don’t buy the hype

      Microsoft has shelled out a mind-boggling $1.8 billion to convince the public that it needs Windows 8. Why the record-breaking marketing deluge? Because a slick ad campaign is Microsoft’s best shot at hiding what Windows 8 really is; a faulty product that restricts your freedom, invades your privacy, and controls your data.

    • Activists trick-or-treat for free software at Windows 8 launch event

      New York, New York, USA — Thursday, October 25th, 2012 — Today visitors to the primary Windows 8 launch event were greeted by an unexpected and uninvited visitor — a gnu. Activists, one dressed as the free software movement’s buffalo-like mascot, converged on Microsoft’s event to distribute pamphlets about the hidden dangers of Microsoft’s latest proprietary creation. The Halloween-themed action included plastic pumpkin buckets full of DVDs loaded with Trisquel, a free software distribution of the GNU/Linux operating system.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Does Open Source Hold The Keys To Innovation In Government?

      new narrative is emerging in government innovation and it goes something like this: Truly great leaps in innovation are almost never possible with monolithic, proprietary approaches to software development, and many small innovations, when taken together, often lead to large, game-changing paradigms.

    • Open source platform targets Australian Government

      PreviousNext, an Australian website strategy, design and development firm, has launched a free Drupal CMS platform specifically designed to meet Australian Government mandatory web requirements.

      It says aGov is a free open source platform that ensures all government sites are Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0 Level AA) compliant, and provides a full set of common website features delivered via a responsive mobile device interface.

Leftovers

  • International monitors at US polling spots draw criticism from voter fraud groups

    United Nations-affiliated election monitors from Europe and central Asia will be at polling places around the U.S. looking for voter suppression activities by conservative groups, a concern raised by civil rights groups during a meeting this week. The intervention has drawn criticism from a prominent conservative-leaning group combating election fraud.

    The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a United Nations partner on democratization and human rights projects, will deploy 44 observers from its human rights office around the country on Election Day to monitor an array of activities, including potential disputes at polling places. It’s part of a broader observation mission that will send out an additional 80 to 90 members of parliament from nearly 30 countries.

  • The Voter-Fraud Myth
  • Our legal fight for free and equal debates

    Yesterday, Monday, October 22nd, Florida attorney Kathleen Kirwin filed an emergency complaint on behlf of Dr. Jill Stein requesting an injunction against the bipartisan presidential “debate” sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), Lynn University, the Democratic and Republican national committees, and approved by the Federal Election Commission. The injunction request was denied, and the bipartisan campaign event was allowed to proceed.

  • Is The EU’s New Directive On Clinical Trials Moving In The Wrong Direction?

    It’s a cliché that we live in a world increasingly awash with digital data. Even though it all comes down to 1s and 0s, not all data is equally important or valuable. Data about clinical trials, for example, is literally a matter of life and death, since it is used to determine whether new drugs should be approved and how they should be used. That gives clinical data a critical role in the approval process: results that support the use of a new drug can lead to big profits, while negative results can mean years of expensive research and development have to be discarded.

  • What an anti-Google antitrust case by the FTC may look like
  • Health/Nutrition

    • California GMO Labeling Supporters Confront $41 Million Opposition and 13-Point Poll Slide

      California Proposition 37 to label foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is up for a vote on Tuesday, November 6. It enjoyed broad popular support as of September, with a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll showing support by 61 percent of registered voters.

      But in the two weeks following that poll, support dropped to 48 percent, according to a poll done by Pepperdine University School of Public Policy and the California Business Roundtable.

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • American Farm Bureau caught in crossfire over biofuels

      Tensions among ranchers and farmers might lead the nation’s largest farm lobby to alter its position on the federal biofuel mandate.

      The American Farm Bureau Federation has been a staunch supporter of the renewable fuel standard (RFS), a mandate for blending biofuels — currently, mostly corn-based ethanol — into traditional fuel. The rule has been a boon for the nation’s corn-growers, who have a guaranteed customer for 40 percent of their crop.

  • Finance

    • 1 hr special interview with Chris Hedges
    • Bank of America sued for alleged mortgage fraud

      The Justice Department is seeking $1 billion from Bank of America, alleging the bank committed fraud by selling defective mortgages from a program it says was known within the bank as “the Hustle.”

    • Ex-Goldman exec given 2 years for inside trades

      A former Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble board member once widely respected worldwide for his business smarts was sentenced Wednesday to 2 years in prison for feeding inside information about board dealings with a billionaire hedge fund owner who was his friend.

      Rajat Gupta, 63, of Westport, Conn., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff, who also ordered him to pay a $5 million fine. The Harvard-educated businessman long respected on Wall Street was one of the biggest catches yet for the federal government in its five-year crackdown on insider trading that has so far resulted in 69 convictions.

    • Barney Frank Defends JPMorgan Against Bear Stearns Suit

      Rep. Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, defended JPMorgan on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” Wednesday, calling the recent lawsuit brought against the bank for alleged fraud at Bear Stearns a dangerous precedent.

    • Futures market: Wall Street’s thirst for water

      Moves towards a global water commodities market must be stopped. It will push the price of food far beyond the peaks of the past five years, warns Frederick Kaufman.

    • What Ex-Goldmanite Greg Smith Didn’t Say, and Some Guesses as to Why

      Smith’s sin seems to be that he’s an insider from an uber prestigious, connected firm who dared say something bad about his former employer. The “don’t rock the boat” attitude is so deeply ingrained in America that it’s considered reckless to be candid about why you are quitting a job in an exit interview. And it’s not a stretch to call the reaction totalitarian when it’s Wall Street that is on the receiving end of criticism. Look how, despite running again and again to Wall Street’s aid, Obama is an official enemy for a mere “fat cats” remark. Similarly, the industry depicts Elizabeth Warren as a power-mad Commie bank serial killer, when her fault-finding is based on clear eyed analysis of how deceptive and predatory practices hurt consumers.

  • Censorship

    • Spineless Web Host Shutters Site Over Toothless Legal Threat Because Comments Are Too Much Trouble

      What is it with hosting companies who are quick on the trigger to take down entire sites in a kneejerk response to legal threats, going way, way beyond their legal obligations? We recently wrote about hosting firm ServerBeach taking down 1.5 million blogs over a single copyright claim (when to keep their DMCA safe harbors, they only needed to take down the one bit of content highlighted). Now another hosting company, PhoenixNAP, has done something even more ridiculous. In response to a takedown notice (pdf) sent by Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed’s lawyers, PhoenixNAP took the entire gossip site LipstickAlley offline without any notice to the site owner.

    • Jesus & Mo cartoon censorship controversy reaches LSE

      Following the recent controversy surrounding the use of a frame from the satirical cartoon strip Jesus & Mo by the atheist student society at University College London, it has now emerged that the cartoons are at the centre of a similar dispute at the London School of Economics.

      The Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society at LSE (LSEU ASH) reproduced the Jesus & Mo cartoons on their Facebook page following news of the controversy at UCL, and were yesterday instructed by their student union (LSEU) to remove them. In a statement released on the union website,

  • Privacy

    • EU Surveillance Team: We Need More Surveillance To Justify More Surveillance

      Whether or not you believe that CCTV surveillance makes the world a safer place, there’s a big problem with deploying it more widely: you still need someone to look at that footage and pick out the things of interest, and it’s much harder adding new personnel than adding new cameras.

    • In Court: Uncovering Stingrays, A Troubling New Location Tracking Device

      The ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation have filed an amicus brief in what will be the first case in the country to address the constitutional implications of a so-called “stingray,” a little known device that can be used to track a suspect’s location and engage in other types of surveillance. We argue that if the government wants to use invasive surveillance technology like this, it must explain the technology to the courts so they can perform their judicial oversight function as required by the Constitution.

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Veteran Parodist Turns To Kickstarter To Fund Downton Abbey Spoof After Publisher Gets Spooked

        Kickstarter provides a way for creators to route around the strictures of traditional publishing industries for a variety of reasons. We’ve seen Double Fine break the bank on Kickstarter, after getting a lot of blank stares from publishers who didn’t think there was a market for point-and-click adventure games. We’ve seen top Hollywood talent fund a film on Kickstarter to ensure no studio execs would be meddling with their movie. Now, in what I think is a first, we’ve got a parody author turning to Kickstarter after his publisher dropped the project, citing fear of a legal backlash.

      • BuzzFeed lawsuit over celeb snaps raises copyright questions

        A photo agency is demanding $1.3 million from BuzzFeed after the viral news site published photos of singer Katy Perry and actress Kathy Griffin. The case comes at a time when online media is increasingly image-based, and raises questions about whether current copyright law is still working.

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