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Links 6/12/2012: White House on FOSS, Drones Backlash Grows

Posted in News Roundup at 11:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • 4 Alternatives to Google Drive for Linux

    We’ve covered using Google Drive on Linux with third-party software, but why bother jumping through those hoops? You can use a cloud storage service that officially supports Linux instead – several of Google Drive’s competitors do.

    Google may be leaving Linux users out, but other services like Dropbox, Ubuntu One, SpiderOak, and Wuala don’t ignore Linux users. They even offer more storage and other useful features, such as local encryption of your files.

  • Linux Top 3: Sputnik, Spherical Cow and Secure Boot
  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • [E17] Alpha Is Go
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Spaceship Earth viewed through Marble

        Recently I was listening to a Talk of the Nation interview with Jerry Brotton about his new book A History of the World in Twelve Maps. He mentions how the maps have a political reason for existing as well as having an effect on the viewer. He also mentioned how the map creator always puts him or herself in the center. Interestingly, I learned that for most of human history it has not been governments who have created maps, but corporations (such as the Dutch East India Company) who needed maps for commerce. The last map he mentions in his book, which he worked on for seven years, is Google Earth. I haven’t read the book yet, but during the interview he mentioned that it was one of the first times we have a union between a globe and a map. Also, that through the “magic” of computer technology it’s an infinite map as you can always keep scrolling in any direction.

        I remember when Google Earth got big. I was already into Linux so I went through the rigmarole of getting it to work on Linux. In actuality, it wasn’t much work although it wasn’t installed in the usual manner. I played with it for a few days, but I was already past the age of caring too much about geography. I would have loved Google Earth when I was in elementary school and I used to marvel at my globe and peruse atlases. It certainly would have been interesting to grab the update on the day the Soviet Union collapsed. Rather than have an out of date globe or map I’d have an up-to-date resource. Of course, that does go back into the whole political thing – when Google decides to show this or that disputed region as belonging to someone they are, in a sense, making a political statement. And they make another one – they tend to show country names as written in that country in addition to English.

      • New QML components: Know thy dialogs
      • KDE Ships December Updates to Plasma Workspaces, Applications and Platform
      • KDE 4.10 Beta 2 Is Now Available for Testing
      • KDE 4.9.4 Update Released Kor Kubuntu

        The two most recent releases of Kubuntu, Precise Pangolin and Quantal Quetzal, have both received a new update for KDE, pushing the version number up to 4.9.4.

        The announcement was made today on kubuntu.org and lists 71 bug-fixes, major improvements to Dolphin file manager and Kontact PIM as well as stability improvements. Improvements to the 55+ available translations have also made this release.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME’s Next Step

        The GNOME project took an important step when Matthias Clasen announced that it would support a set of extensions that would re-create the GNOME 2 desktop. Many observers, including me, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols and Katherine Noyes immediately interpreted the news as proof that GNOME was turning itself around and finally starting to listen to users.

      • Privacy Panel lands in GNOME Control Center 3.7.x

        Privacy Panel arrived today in GNOME Control Center, and is one of the three new Panel (Privacy, Search, Notifications) we will get on the next GNOME. But there is also a re-designed Power Panel, and there are many improvements for Wacom, Users (added History Logs), Wireless, Bluetooth..

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Slacko Puppy 5.4 introduces installable layers

        Puppy Linux lead developer Barry Kauler has announced the release of Slacko Puppy 5.4. The Puppy Linux family sets out to create small, lightweight, live-CD versions of various Linux distributions. Slacko Puppy, as the name suggests, is built from Slackware, specifically the packages of Slackware 14, and is binary compatible with the venerable distribution. This gives users access to Slackware repositories in Slacko. The Slacko Puppy distribution is one of the more popular offshoots of the minimal Puppy Linux distribution, or as Kauler puts it: “one of our flagship puppies”.

      • ZevenOS 5.0 – Early christmas present

        I am proud to announce the release of ZevenOS 5.0 and thank you all for funding this release.
        In this release we made the switch from our deskbar tool to the xfce4-panel ‘deskbar’ mode which introduces many new features just like extensible plugin support and the ability to more flexibly configure your desktop.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 1 EOL

        Mageia 1 has now reached EOL (end of life) and will not receive any further security or bugfix updates.

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Avnet and Red Hat Partner On Open-Source Embedded Software
      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 Set to Improve Microsoft Interoperability

        RHEL 6.4 provides users with improved security enhancements as well as a number of new Microsoft-enabling features. The new RHEL beta update follows RHEL 6.3, which debuted in June and provided users with enhanced virtualization scalability.

      • Red Hat Delivers Beta of RHEL 6.4, Improves Virtualization
      • Red Hat Launches Open Source Solutions for Hybrid Clouds
      • Fedora

        • Fedora 18 Sneak Peek

          The beta of Fedora 18 has been released, and here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll find in it. This release has been dubbed “Spherical Cow.” Apparently, the Fedora developers have decided to follow in the footsteps of Apple and Ubuntu by using cute animal names for their operating system releases.

        • The heroes of Fedora 18 Alpha/Beta testing
        • Can a 7 year old install Fedora 18?

          There have been a number of threads about how the new Anaconda UI is unintuitive or hard to use. So many that I thought maybe there was something to the claims. Maybe working on Fedora for the past many years and being involved constantly for the past year and a half has skewed my opinion so much that I wouldn’t even recognize something being hard to use. So I decided to find a couple people that don’t work on Fedora and have never done a Fedora install at all. That is to say, I used my family as guinea pigs.

          Now, before you shout and rant about this, I am not claiming this is a scientific study. I’m not pretending this is somehow valid User Experience interaction data. This is is just me wanting to observe what happens when you sit someone down in front of a newUI screen and ask them to complete a default install. I found it interesting. If you don’t, then that’s cool with me. That’s why I gave the short answer at the top. OK, onto my experiment.

    • Debian Family

      • Amnesiac Incognito: Tails Secure Distro
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Is Ubuntu Software Management User Friendly?

            Many people believe Ubuntu revolutionized dpkg package management with its Ubuntu Software Center. And there is no question, Software Center is certainly user friendly by most people’s standards.

            But is it truly good enough for the masses?

            In this article, I will look at the current state of Ubuntu software management, how far software management has come since Ubuntu first came out, plus where I think Ubuntu software is headed.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 294
          • ZFS Administration, Part I- VDEVs

            So, I’ve blogged a few times randomly about getting ZFS on GNU/Linux, and it’s been a hit. I’ve had plenty of requests for blogging more. So, this will be the first in a long series of posts about how you can administer your ZFS filesystems and pools. You should start first by reading how to get ZFS installed into your GNU/Linux system here on this blog, then continue with this post.

          • Introducing Ubuntu Thesaurus Scope for Unity

            The Ubuntu Thesaurus Scope is an Unity Scope that allows users to easily search the Thesaurus for synonyms and antonyms or words. It uses the same API as the Dictionary app.

            The best part is that Ubuntu Thesaurus Scope allows you to search words right from Unity home, without accessing a Lens first.

          • The Shoreline Ubuntu Desktop

            If you’re running Ubuntu and want the same look and feel for your system, it won’t take much to make it happen

          • Introducing Ubuntu Medicines Lens for Unity
          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi hack event sees Spooks team crowned winners

      Husband and wife-led team developed a board game offering customisation abilities which encourages players to experiment with programming at 24-hour hackathon in Leeds


      …Dhajan developed a Pi operating system to replace the Pi’s Linux.

    • Raspberry Pi: One of the Top Linux Innovations of 2012

      It’s a rare product indeed that surpasses expectations as utterly and thoroughly as the Raspberry Pi did this year.

      Conceived as an educational tool that would be used in teaching kids to program, the device has since gone on to inspire countless new uses that must surely boggle the minds even of its creators.

    • Phones

      • Nokia dispels Android rumors, says Linux hire is for Here

        There was certainly a loud buzzing on the internet regarding Nokia’s recent moves. Nokia is certainly on the spotlight since people are watching what they will do next. After all, the company practically vowed revenge and plans to take the number 1 spot in mobile phones once more.

      • Android

        • Android Review: Zookeeper Battle

          After accepting a phone upgrade from my service provider, I decided to embark on a mission of investigating some new Android software and for the first time found myself genuinely keen to download a game. The game in question – Zookeeper. Why? Because its probably the one game I wasted months of my life to on the Nintendo DS (before giving over ownership of aforementioned DS to my kids)

          So now I’m presented with the “adult” version of the same DS title. I say adult because by my reckoning anything that goes on my phone is just as acceptable for adults to play as anyone else and I can fully justify wasting hours of time on a tile matching game featuring cute animals as long as its on my phone.

        • Half of all app store revenue goes to just 25 developers
        • Google now lets businesses build private Android app stores

          Announced on Tuesday for Google Apps customers, the Google Play Private Channel lets IT shops build their own applications and distribute them to employees on the Google Play store without making the apps available to the general public. “Whether you’ve built a custom expense reporting app for employees or a conference room finder, the Google Play Private Channel is designed to make your organization’s internal apps quick and easy for employees to find,” Google Play Product Manager Ellie Powers wrote in a blog post. “Once your company has loaded these internal apps using the Google Play Developer Console, users just need to log in with their company email address to browse the Private Channel and download apps.”

        • Toshiba Releases Android App for FlashAir SDHC Card
        • Has Google Android’s Open Source Business Model Failed?

          Yesterday’s WSJ.com video “Tablet Wars: How Are People Using Tablets?” had a shocking statistic: 98% of the web traffic from tablets comes from Apple’s iPad. Further, most of mobile commerce is from Apple’s iPhone:

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Most Popular Android Tablet: Nexus 7

        There are plenty of great Android tablets on the market now that weren’t around even a year ago. If you’re looking for one to wrap up for someone special, get your game on, or get some work done, you have plenty of options. Earlier last week, we asked you which models you thought were the top of the class, and then we took a closer look at the five best Android tablets. Now we’re back to crown the overall winner.

      • Amazon’s Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, For The Kids

        Amazon has introduced Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, a special bundle available only on the new Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD that brings books, games, educational apps, movies and TV shows—into one easy-to-use service for kids ages 3-8.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The open source advantage: Executives learn how to stay competitive

    Let’s say you’re a big company in a competitive industry. One who innovates and succeeds by creating software. Not extending COTS, not adapting existing code. Generating fresh, new code, at your full expense. The value the company receives by investing in the creation of that software is competitive advantage, sometimes known as the profit-motive.

    You’re an executive at this company. Creating the software was your idea. You are responsible for the ROI calculations that got the whole thing off the ground.

  • Easy, Real-Time Big Data Analysis Using Storm

    Conceptually straightforward and easy to work with, Storm makes handling big data analysis a breeze.

  • Open source Java projects: Storm

    Storm is a big data framework that is similar to Hadoop but fine-tuned to handle unbounded data streams. In this installment of Open source Java projects, learn how Storm builds on the lessons and success of Hadoop to deliver massive amounts of data in realtime, then dive into Storm’s API with a small demonstration app.

  • Events

    • open2012 to introduce open innovation to Silicon Valley

      open2012, Maven’s upcoming conference at the Computer History Museum on December 11th, 2012, seeks to bridge that gap. open2012 will bring leaders of the Open Innovation movement to Silicon Valley to highlight their successes and discuss areas of pain. The event will feature keynote addresses by Venture2 and Procter & Gamble, Open Innovation case studies by Intel, Strategyn, Boston Consulting Group, and the US Department of Health and Human Services, panel discussions including Roche, SAP, Agilent, Wrigley, GSV Capital, and Citi Ventures, and company presentations by BrightIdea, NetBase, Spigit, Inno360, competIQ, and many more.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Run Firefox OS in Gnome ;)

        I guess you all know about the upcoming Firefox OS, but what you might don’t know is how easily you can run it in GNOME and play with it.

        Its Apps and Interface is made totally by WEB Technologies (CSS JavaScript, HTML) and I think it could easily catch up with Apple’s and Google App Stores. Besides we all have bored to listen and talk about Google ;)

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • MariaDB Gets a Foundation
    • MariaDB steps out from MySQL’s shadow

      The MySQL community in exile made a significant announcement yesterday in London at the Percona Live conference. The three main companies investing in the MariaDB fork of MySQL joined with leaders of the MySQL development community to unveil the MariaDB Foundation, intended as a home for serious, commercially backed development of future versions of the popular open source SQL database. Already enjoying substantial commercial backing, the new foundation is seeking further participants and aims to elect a representative board in two months.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Revealed: The gift that keeps on giving to Oracle … is dying

      Even as traditional enterprise IT vendors come under pressure from modern cloud and open-source applications, these old-school businesses have one strategy that is the gift that keeps on giving: Enterprise licence agreements.

      Not only do ELAs help to shield vendors from pricing pressure from open-source alternatives, they also increase friction for those anxious to swap out ageing applications and infrastructure for better alternatives. But how long can ELAs block customers from embracing the future of IT?


      Matt Asay is vice president of corporate strategy at 10gen, the MongoDB company.

  • Healthcare

    • VA sets Gold Disk VistA as EHR baseline

      The Veterans Affairs Department will establish a separate repository for its fully open source Gold Disk version of its VistA electronic health record system to assure a common software baseline compared with the 133 instances of VistA operating at its hospitals and clinics across the country.

      VA also will put in place a software testing platform, standards supporting open source development and documentation of open source community outreach planning, according to a Nov. 27 announcement in Federal Business Opportunities.

  • Business

    • Open vs. Closed Clouds: What’s Best For Business?

      As an end consumer looking at the cloud space, there are two major types of clouds to choose from: open source clouds, championed by the likes of Citrix and Rackspace, and closed clouds, characterized by Amazon, HP and Google. There are reasons that the two types of cloud technology are differentiated, whether from a functional or marketing perspective, but in the end which is better for an end consumer’s business?

    • Open Source Entrepreneurship

      One of the great things about being a retired entrepreneur is that I get to give back to the community that helped me. I assembled this collection of free and almost free tools, class syllabi, presentations, books, lectures, videos in the hope that it can make your path as an entrepreneur or educator easier.

  • BSD


    • OpenACC Still Not Loved By Open Compilers

      The OpenACC 1.0 API has been public for more than one year as an open standard to simplify parallel programming on CPUs and GPUs, but to this point it’s basically only backed by commercial compilers. OpenACC is similar to OpenMP in terms of using PRAGMA compiler directives and special functions for tapping multiple CPU cores in an easy and straight-forward manner with C/C++ and Fortran code, but unlike OpenMP, OpenACC is also aware of GPUs.

  • Public Services/Government

    • What does open government mean to you?

      Open government means different things to different people. Is it about transparency, collaboration, or participation? Maybe it’s a combination of all three? If you listen to Tim O’Reilly speak about open government, he’ll tell you about his vision of government as a platform.

    • Open Source and the Power of Community

      You say sure. When she returns the screwdriver a couple days later, your friend mentions that she made an improvement: now it works with both Phillips and flat head screws. Another friend hears this and asks if he can take a look, too. When he returns the screwdriver, it’s been upgraded again: now it’s a power screwdriver. Then a third friend gets excited and adds some extra speeds and a better battery.

      This situation sounds improbable, but it’s how open source software development takes place.

    • Issa open source language comes under criticism

      Draft legislation proposed by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to overhaul federal information technology has drawn opposition for its section on open source software adoption.

      The draft (.pdf) would require the Federal Chief Information Officers Council to issue guidance that mostly reaffirms open source’s status as a commercial item under federal acquisition regulations, but it would also create a governmentwide open source software approval process to address “issues such as security and redistribution rights.”

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming


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