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11.17.12

Links 17/11/2012: EXT4 File System Benchmarks, Linus Torvalds Interview

Posted in News Roundup at 12:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux in Enterprises, market share and Business which use Linux

    Unquestionably Linux is still struggling to claim a respectable share in desktop market. The trend does not seem to vary drastically in enterprises too. However in contrast to Linux share in desktop operating system, Linux claims a considerably larger market share when it comes to operating system used by enterprises. The post presents some latest stats depicting where does a Linux stand as an operating system for business. The post also details some enterprises that rely on Linux for their everyday computation.

  • Kernel Space

    • EXT4 File-System Tuning Benchmarks

      Following last month’s Btrfs file-system tuning benchmarks, in this article are a similar set of tests when stressing the EXT4 file-system with its various performance-related mount options. Here are a number of EXT4 benchmarks from Ubuntu 12.10 with different mount option configurations.

      Aside from testing the EXT4 file-system at its defaults on the Linux 3.5 kernel with Ubuntu 12.10, the common Linux file-system was tested with nobarrier, data=journal, data=writeback, nodelalloc, and discard. Here’s the documentation on each mount option per the EXT4 documentation:

    • The Not-Ready Btrfs and ExFAT Linux Filesystems

      Two newer filesystems of importance to Linux are exFAT and Btrfs. exFAT is the controversial Microsoft filesystem for Flash memory devices, and Btrfs is for “big data”. Once upon a time there was much sound and fury around these, but lately it’s been quiet, so let’s see what’s been happening.

    • Why Linus Torvalds would rather code than make money

      The Linux kernel is what everything else runs on top of, so it’s the key to everything that a Linux device can do.

      It’s in your Android phone. It’s in the computers that run the servers at Google, Amazon and all the other web services that we take for granted.

      It powers the database that US immigration uses to decide if you are who you say you are, it’s deep under the Alps searching for new particles at CERN, and it’s even on unmanned drones searching for drugs traffickers in the Caribbean.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • The Problem of Menus

      Interfaces for traditional computers and mobile devices have become increasingly inventive in the last few years. So far, however, none have solved a basic design challenge: designing an efficient menu.

      The challenge rarely exists within applications. An application usually has half a dozen or more top level menus, each with less than a dozen items, so a drop-down system is usually good enough.

      But on the desktop environment, the norm has always been to have a single menu that lists all applications, and often shut-down commands, a list of favorites, and a few other items.

      To function well, each variation needs to make items quick to find and to distract minimally from whatever else the user is doing. Unfortunately, while a solution may do one of these things, none of the available alternatives manages to do both at the same time.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • FOSDEM’13 Excellent Opportunity for KDE

        FOSDEM is one of the largest gatherings of Free Software contributors in the world and happens each February in Brussels (this year on the 2nd & 3rd of February). It’s one of the few community-centered conferences in Europe, and the largest volunteer-run Free Software event in Europe as well. Proposals are now invited for talks on KDE, KDE software and general desktop topics. KDE will be in the Cross Desktop Developer Room (devroom), along with Enlightenment, Gnome, Razor, Unity and XFCE. This is a unique opportunity to share KDE with a wide audience of developers.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Final GNOME 3.6 update improves stability

        GNOME logo The second update to the 3.6.x series of GNOME has been released by the project’s developers to further improve the stability of the popular open source Linux and Unix desktop environment. As expected at this stage, the maintenance update has only minor changes including bug fixes and module and translation updates.

  • Distributions

    • Buyer’s guide to Linux distros

      Fancy giving Linux a whirl? Here are all the factors that you should look for when choosing from the wide range of available Linux distributions.

    • Which is the best Linux distro?
    • Dream Studio 12.04.1 Screenshots
    • New Releases

    • Gentoo Family

      • Gentoo Developers Unhappy, Fork udev

        The udev code-base has been forked by Gentoo Linux developers after they — and other parties — have been unhappy with the future direction of udev as set by systemd developers.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian review

        With several other distributions effectively based on the Debian system, it’s fair to say that it’s an important distro. In fact, as Linux distributions go, it’s positively stately; a grandaddy among open source upstarts.

        As you might expect from such an elderly, respected relative, it’s awash with hardware support – as well as the common Intel x86 processors, it will work with a number of other architectures, including PowerPC. Plus, there’s a huge 29,000 software packages included on the full DVD-based ISO, a download that runs to 4.4GB. In many respects, Debian’s tagline – “the universal OS” – is well earned.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Builder 2.3.1 Supports elementary OS Luna

            On November 15, Francesco Muriana has the pleasure of announcing the immediate availability for download of the Ubuntu Builder 2.3.1 open source application.

            Ubuntu Builder 2.3.1 is here to fix two annoying bugs in Ubuntu 12.10′s installer form, Ubiquity, that didn’t allow users to customize the slideshow.

          • Crowdsourcing in IT: A New FOSS Trend?

            Shuttleworth also pointed to what he called the “DevOps magic” that can arise when the community comes together. “You can have one group using Chef, and another group using Puppet, and with JuJu, they can easily connect and use each other’s knowledge, leveraging the unique skills that they both bring to table,” he explained. “It’s a complete buffet of all the goodness that open source offers.”

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • 3Scale Launches Open Source API Proxy Providing Enterprises On-premises and in the Cloud API Traffic Management

    3Scale3Scale, a leading Plug and Play SaaS API Management platform and services provider, has just announced the launch of a new Open Source API Proxy that provides Enterprises API traffic management on-premises and in the cloud.

  • i2b2 open source software boosts HIE, biomedical research

    The health informatics software i2b2 — Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside — was started in 2006, and has become something of a building block for several health information networks and research projects in genomics, pharmaceuticals and population health.

    Developed at the Partners HealthCare System as a federally-funded biomedical computing center, the open source software is letting biomedical researchers combine genomic and molecular research with data and observations from electronic health records, and its code set is also being used to link with claims databases and health information exchanges.

  • Sometimes the good guys win

    Leave it to him to prove me wrong, and I can tell you how he’ll respond: He’ll just chalk it up to my being a liberal. Honest. Then we’ll laugh about that — the tree-hugging Californian and the rock-ribbed conservative Texan — and we’ll move on to the next FOSS issue we’ll be addressing together.

    Thanks for getting the better of your disease, Ken. I know I speak for a multitude of folks who would echo that sentiment, and I know an army of folks who are glad you’re on our side in fighting proprietary software.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla’s Finances Are Sturdy As it Eyes the Mobile Future

        Mozilla has just released its annual report, with a PDF available at the bottom of this page, and perhaps the most interesting aspect of the report is that Mozilla’s search revenue climbed a very healthy 31 percent for the year. Many people don’t realize that Mozilla gets most of its revenues from Google, as we’ve reported before, but even more may not realize that Mozilla also has deals with Microsoft, Yahoo and other search players. Mozilla’s royalties, mostly from search deals, came to $161.9 million for 2011, up from the previous year’s $123.2 million.

      • With increased revenue, Mozilla sets its sights on mobile
  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • How to become a contributor to LibreOffice: a digest with pointers

      Sophie Gautier, one of the founders of the Document Foundation and currently a member of our membership committee has recently published a series of articles on how to become a contributor to the LibreOffice projects. Her blog posts do not cover the development side of the story, but they discuss an often less understood and perhaps less documented aspect of our community and contribution process. As I find myself sending her articles by email several times a week, I thought it would be just easier to list them and link them here for more convenience.

    • Upgrading Away From Office Suites
  • Education

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Could open source software save New York City’s bike share program?

      A bike share program that was supposed to be launched last summer in New York City has come to a halt due to software related issues. I can’t help but think that if the software was open source, these problems would have been easily resolved, elimating worrisome delays.

      This past August, Mayor Bloomburg said “The software doesn’t work,” responding to questions about why the bike-share program is on hold. Now, according to a post in the New York Times, flooding and damage from Hurricane Sandy has caused further setbacks.

    • Google Books team open sources their book scanner
    • Open Data

      • OpenStreetMap launches “Operation Cowboy”

        The OpenStreetMap community has announced that it will host its second global “mapathon” during the weekend of 23–25 November; this time, the event is code-named “Operation Cowboy” and will focus on the US. Concentrating on “armchair mapping”, aerial images will be surveyed at local meetings, as well as from home. Based on these surveys, the project will then complement its map material for the US. The campaign has its own official Twitter account and hash tag: #OPC2012.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • Development of PHP 5.5 begins

      The release of a first alpha of PHP 5.5 marks the official beginning of the 5.5.0 release cycle for the scripting language’s next major version. PHP 5.5 also marks the end of support for Windows XP and Windows 2003.

    • Why LLVM/Clang Was Ported To A Super Computer

      Most often whenever writing about LLVM and its Clang C/C++ compiler front-end on Phoronix, within the forums is a flurry of comments from those in support of and against this modular compiler infrastructure. Some are against LLVM/Clang simply because its BSD-licensed and sponsored by Apple rather than the GPLv3-licensed GCC backed by the FSF. Others, meanwhile, see LLVM as presenting unique advantages and benefits. What reasons would a leading US national laboratory have for deploying LLVM/Clang to their leading super-computer? Here’s an explanation from them.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Drone activist makes rounds before prison

      An Iowa farmer headed to federal prison at the end of the month after protesting at a Missouri Air Force base warned William Woods University students yesterday that the military’s use of predator drones will bring combat into the United States.

    • TSA Vendor Denies Faking Test of Body-Imaging Software

      OSI Systems Inc. (OSIS)’s Rapiscan unit, one of two suppliers of body-scanning machines in U.S. airports, may have falsified tests of software intended to stop the machines from recording graphic images of travelers, a U.S. lawmaker said.

      The company “may have attempted to defraud the government by knowingly manipulating an operational test,” Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Transportation Security Subcommittee, said in a letter to Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole Nov. 13. Rogers said his committee received a tip about the faked tests.

    • Naked Scanner Maker Accused Of Manipulating Tests To Make Scans Look Less Invasive
    • Doug Stanhope on Alcohol, Politics and Killing Comedy Bootleggers’ Families

      Stanhope’s coarse, unapologetic and shockingly candid brand of comedy has won him rabid fans, as well as a few foes. Ricky Gervais said Stanhope “might be the most important standup working today.” Jón Gnarr, the comedian-mayor of Reykjavik, recently welcomed Stanhope to Iceland so he could perform in the country’s only maximum-security prison. (For this, Stanhope invented the “Stanhope Defense,” the legal argument that you committed a crime just to see the show.)

      At the same time, Stanhope’s cracks about the attractiveness of Irish women and the redundancy of the royal family have incensed an impressively large fraction of the British Isles.

      Whether you love or hate him, there’s more to Stanhope than just his drunken, in-your-face comedy routines. That’s clear from his critically lauded portrayal of a suicidal comic in the hit show Louie, not to mention his media-savvy web ventures, including Doug Stanhope’s Celebrity Death Pool. In the lead-up to Tuesday’s release of his new live CD/DVD, Before Turning the Gun on Himself, Wired caught up with Stanhope and tried to temper his raging comedy fury with cold, hard science. The results were far less messy than expected.

    • A drone policy in reverse

      Should Mexico have the ability to send drones over U.S. soil to follow the gunrunners and kill them?

    • Oliver Stone on the Untold US History From the Atomic Age to Vietnam to Obama’s Drone Wars
    • Death from above

      Britain announced a doubling of its drone fleet in Afghanistan while France said it is sending drones to Mali.

    • NICTA to help protect the US’ drone fleet

      Other members of the consortium include the Boeing Company, Galois and the University of Minnesota.

  • Finance

    • Plan

      The rot comes from predators posing as conservatives and mouthing the rhetoric of “free markets.” They are not actually interested in free markets. Their goal is to use the government to build monopolies, to control resources, to block regulation, to crush unions, to divert as much as possible from taxpayers into private pockets. They have a reckless attitude toward war-making and they put the financial system in peril by failing to enforce standards of ethics and transparency. As a result, they imperil the country’s credit in the world. True conservatives recognize this, which is why they defected from Bush and McCain long ago.

  • Censorship

    • Right to remain silent in school?

      Principals in Kentucky may soon have to worry about reading students their rights in addition to ensuring that the students know how to read and write.

    • Social Media, Internet Shutdowns are the Latest Weapons in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

      This exchange prompted Brian Fung at The Atlantic to wonder if the war of words between Israel and Hamas violated Twitter’s of terms of service, which prohibits “direct, specific threats of violence against others.” Fung eventually concluded that the exchange did not constitute a violation of Twitter’s TOS, but Matthew Ingram took the opportunity to point out the extraordinary amount of power social media companies have in scenarios such as this one. YouTube has refused to take down the assassination video, even though it appears to violate the site’s community guidelines, which state “if your video shows someone being physically hurt, attacked, or humiliated, don’t post it.” Wired goes on to quote an anonymous YouTube employee saying that the guidelines are just that—guidelines, and not hard-and-fast rules. YouTube’s decision to leave the assassination video up comes just weeks after the company decided to break from its long-standing policies and take down an anti-Muslim video “The Innocence of Muslims” in Egypt and Libya, even though they explicitly admitted that the video did not violate any aspect of their terms of service and they had not received a court order requiring them to do so.

    • Verizon called hypocritical for equating net neutrality to censorship

      Back in July, we covered Verizon’s argument that network neutrality regulations violated the firm’s First Amendment rights. In Verizon’s view, slowing or blocking packets on a broadband network is little different from a newspaper editor choosing which articles to publish, and should enjoy the same constitutional protection.

  • Privacy

    • What the Petraeus scandal says about digital spying and your e-mail

      E-mail — even anonymous e-mail — is not as secure as you think: E-mails don’t just carry a subject line and whatever you type into them. These digital missives also tote along with them packets of information called “metadata” or “headers,” which may contain information about where the message was sent from. That can help investigators corroborate who sent an e-mail, even if it comes from an anonymous account.

  • Civil Rights

    • Polish and German police against antifascists

      That day, German Nazis wanted to organize demonstration against Polish immigrants. The counter demonstration is supported both by workers, leftists and religious groups. Even the mayor of the town gave “support” to the demonstration. But the true about this “support” is a bit different.
      Near the German-Polish border there was an organized group which was going to join. Posters were put in the streets of the town of Kostrzyn. People also could join contacting the group via internet.

    • Ikea ‘deeply regrets’ use of forced labour
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Bad Reasoning: We Don’t Need More High Speed Internet Because People Don’t Use Fast Internet Now

      There’s been a lot of discussion lately about how far the US has fallen behind other countries when it comes to high speed broadband. And many are taking it for granted that high speed broadband is important to economic growth and viability. Yet Tim Worstall, over at Forbes, argues that “High Speed Broadband Doesn’t Matter A Darn” because a UK study showed that people don’t use super high speeds. He quotes a report (pdf) from Booz & Co.

    • Domain Shakedown: Companies Warned About The Dangers Of Unprotected .SX

      Ever since ICANN announced plans to allow tons of new top level domains to enter the market, many have recognized that this was nothing more than a money grab — as companies would feel compelled to buy up “their” names to keep them out of the hands of others. What’s amazing is that TLD operators are barely even hiding this in their marketing material. Lauren Weinstein recently received a “pitch” from the operators of the new .sx domain. .sx isn’t one of the new “generic” TLDs from ICANN, but rather is a newish TLD from Sint Maarten (an “autonomous country” from within the Netherlands) similar to various other “new” TLDs built off of lucky country codes (such as .tv, .ly and .co). However, the marketing message for .sx is really quite incredible. Basically, they’re saying .sx is quite similar to “sex” and, gee, you wouldn’t want your brand associated with sex, would you?

    • Google, Dish Held Talks to Launch Wireless Service
    • Show your support for European fast broadband!

      You’re probably aware of our targets on broadband. To get every European with basic broadband coverage by 2013; and, by 2020, fast coverage (30 Megabits+) for all, with 50% of households having subscriptions at 100 Megabits or more. Those targets are central to Europe’s digital agenda – and essential to ensuring new products and services can come online.

    • History of the Internet in Canada

      When discussing the history of the internet in Canada we must first look at the pre-internet era: A confusing time with many emerging technologies and incompatible network protocols.

      In the early 1980s we had BBSes or Bulletin Board Services where individuals could run BBS software such as C-net, Opus and PCBoard (or even their own custom software) on a home computer. The computers were connected via modems using regular telephone lines, and users could log in one at a time. Some of the bigger BBSes could handle more than one user at a time but were generally a paid service, not free like most of the hobbyist services.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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