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Links 7/12/2012: More Games and RHT News

Posted in News Roundup at 11:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Ubuntu Linux and Windows 8: Head-to-Head at Last

    “There must be 50 reasons to prefer GNU/Linux over ’8′ — all of them sufficient for one or more groups of users,” asserted blogger Robert Pogson. “Where GNU/Linux appears on retail shelves, a significant number of consumers do choose it — we saw that all over the world when ASUS brought out its netbook with Linpus GNU/Linux, and we see it in Brazil today, where GNU/Linux outsells M$’s OS at Wal-Mart.”

  • Why Linux May Be Better For You Than What You’re Using Now

    I’m not saying Linux is the best thing to use for everyone. I am saying, however, that it may be better for you than what you’re using now.
    Linux is different from Windows or Mac OS X in some fundamental ways.
    For thousands of people, these differences are a reason to choose Linux
    over its alternatives. Are they for you? Read on to find out!

  • Desktop

    • Do Devs Need Custom Linux Laptops? Dell Thinks So

      Rumors began circulating earlier this year that Dell might be developing a laptop specifically designed for developers. Then Barton George, Dell’s Web Vertical Director, began blogging about Sputnik, a “scrappy skunkworks project” that would combine the XPS 13-inch laptop with the Ubuntu 12.04 Linux distribution.

    • Early Reviews for Low-Cost Chromebooks Are….Surprisingly Good

      In recent posts, we’ve been reporting on how Google is aggressively pushing Chrome OS, and the cloud-centric operating system is arriving on machines that are not only low priced, but Google is offering free incentives worth more than the computers running Chrome OS. We covered the arrival of Samsung’s new Chromebook portable computer running Google’s Chrome OS and selling for the strikingly low price of $249. And now, Acer is out with a new C7 Chromebook that sells for only $199 (seen here). Now that these systems have been in the wild for a few weeks, reliable reviews are appearing, and, users are liking them.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Changes in Gwenview for KDE SC 4.10

        I have been kept very busy during the last six months with Homerun, spending little time on Gwenview. Luckily Gwenview received several contributions from other developers during this cycle, so Gwenview 2.10 (from KDE SC 4.10) features some significant improvements.

      • KDE 4.9.4 Has Been Officially Released

        The KDE Project has announced a few minutes ago, December 5, the immediate availability for download of the fourth and last maintenance release of KDE Software Compilation 4.9.

  • Distributions

    • Puppy 5.4 Screenshots
    • 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”.

    • The best Linux distro of 2012!

      As promised in this week’s Open Ballot (and thanks for your fantastic contributions), here’s our own distro contest from issue 162 of Linux Format magazine.

      Our annual distro competition is as close to a tradition as we get here at LXF Towers. We do it because we love distributions – we love their variety and the way that so much changes over the course of a year. If you want to see what conclusions we came to last year, for example, check out our previous feature, The best Linux distro of 2011.

      But if we restricted our comparisons to the same old dominant stalwarts, our yearly parade of victors would look more like political oscillation than a reflection of Linux distribution development. Which is why this year we wanted to do something different…

    • ZevenOS 5.0: a lightweight Linux with a multimedia twist

      There are Linux distributions out there for pretty much every taste and purpose, but every once in a while I’ll come across one that seems especially intriguing.

      That happened this week with the release of ZevenOS 5.0, a Linux distro that’s based on the lightweight Xubuntu but adds a multimedia focus.

    • ZevenOS 5.0 Screenshots
    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 2 on Acer Inspire One

        Today I performed the easiest Mageia install ever. It was on an Acer netbook (an Inspire One D257-1408 that came pre-installed with the curse of Windows 7 Starter).

        The machine packs an Intel atom N570, 2GB RAM, and a 160GB HD. When I first saw it, my worry was the strange keyboard configuration: there are functions scattered all over the keyboard. Besides, I still had the usual concerns: Graphics server and effects, Wi-fi, sound, and the SD card reader.

    • Red Hat Family

      • ManageIQ Announces Support for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.1

        ManageIQ, the leading provider of IT Cloud Management ™ solutions, today announced support for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.1. ManageIQ support for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.1 provides customers with unified monitoring, management and automation capabilities that are quick-to-deploy and easy-to-use, reducing the cost and complexity of enterprise virtualization and cloud computing.

      • Red Hat Advances Hybrid Cloud and Virtualization
      • Red Hat RHEV gets storage savvy

        Less than a year after a major update to its Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) package, Red Hat has upgraded the software to offer more advanced storage capabilities.

        Released Wednesday, RHEV 3.1 allows administrators to make snapshots and clones of running virtual machines. And, in a technical preview mode, RHEV 3.1 supports storage migration for virtual machines (VMs), in which the backup disk image of a running VM can be moved from one SAN (storage area network) to another without stopping the running VM, said Chuck Dubuque, Red Hat product marketing senior manager for Red Hat virtualization infrastructure.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 18 Will Stick To Using Tmpfs

          It was decided at today’s FESCo meeting to not disable the mounting of /tmp as a tmpfs file-system by default for the forthcoming Fedora 18 Linux release.

          For months the Fedora developers have been planning to mount /tmp with tmpfs for putting the temporary directory in RAM/SWAP volatile memory as it will lead to less disk reads/writes, potentially save power / better the performance, not preserve temporary data across reboots, and other benefits.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • My review of The Official Ubuntu Book (7th Edition)

            After reading this book I can say that I have a better understanding on how this Ubuntu operating works. The nice thing about this book compared to other books on Ubuntu that cover how to use Ubuntu, is this books covers not only these topics, but goes over why and how Ubuntu came into being and thoroughly teaches the readers how the Ubuntu community runs and operates.

          • HP Envy m4 1015dx Initial Impressions with Ubuntu 12.10

            Over the Black Friday / Cyber Monday / Cyber Week madness, I managed to pick up a new laptop that, as it turns out, is decently Linux-friendly, so I thought I’d share my findings with you! As it turns out, I have a tendency to ramble on, so enjoy this 14+ minute video! Click “Read More” to see it.

          • Foobnix Music Player Gets New Ubuntu PPA

            A quick update for our Ubuntu readers using Foobnix: the player has a new PPA, so remove the old one and add ppa:foobnix-team/foobnix-player instead.

          • Ubuntu 12.10
          • Dell Ubuntu Laptop Developer Speaks About Future Plans

            Project Sputnik, Dell‘s innovative initiative for building a high-end, open source laptop, launched a week ago with the release of an XPS 13 “Developer Edition” laptop powered by Ubuntu Linux. But Dell’s far from done on this front, according to Barton George, the brain behind the project. In an interview, he explained where Project Sputnik — and Dell’s open source channel strategy more broadly–might be headed next. Read on for what he had to say.

            The Sputnik laptop released last week was the product of an effort that began about six months ago, when George floated the concept of creating a laptop tailored for programmers to the Dell Innovation Program. Sputnik was the inaugural project for the Innovation Program, which Dell established earlier this year to help inspire innovative product ideas from company employees.

          • First “alpha” arrives for Ubuntu Raring Ringtail 13.04

            The Ubuntu development cycle moves up a notch as the first alpha release of what is to become Ubuntu 13.04, Raring Ringtail, and images for Edubuntu 13.04 and Kubuntu 13.04, are released to the public. A decision has been made by the developers to reduce the number of milestone builds and switch to daily and fortnightly quality tests. Raring Ringtail will be continuously updated and new daily images will be released over the coming months to test it. There will not be a milestone release of Ubuntu 13.04 until 28 March 2013, and that will be a “FinalBetaRelease”. Rather than there being an Alpha 1 image, users should download the most recent daily image and use that.

          • Introducing Ubuntu PyPi Lens for Unity
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 14 for KDE Users is Almost Ready

              Every release KDE users are treated like red-headed stepchildren over there at Linux Mint. We wait and wait… Fortunately, Clem announced the Release Candidate today, which means version 14 with KDE should be along any time now. It comes with most of goodies outlined earlier and we’ll miss the showstopppers that prompted a quick update.

              Clement Lefebvre today announced Linux Mint 14 RC with KDE 4.9.2. Like the others, this release is based on Ubuntu 12.10 and includes Linux 3.5, Xorg X Server 1.13.0, and GCC 4.7.2. KDE 4.9.2 in Mint includes improvements such as enhanced Dolphin metadata, New “Change Directory To” upon drop in a Konsole, and Kwin got lots of quality and performance improvements. Kontact received many bugfixes and performance improvements too and Workspaces now have MPRIS2 support.

            • Linux Mint 14 Review
            • Linux Mint 14 RC KDE Edition Has Been Released

              Clement Lefebvre, father of the Linux Mint project, announced a few minutes ago, December 5, that the Release Candidate of the upcoming Linux Mint 14 KDE Edition operating system is available for download and testing.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • ODROID Boards Offer High-End Raspberry Pi Alternatives

      There’s no question that the Raspberry Pi is everyone’s favorite ARM development board right now: it’s cheap, silent, and exceptionally power efficient. The Raspberry Pi makes an excellent choice for low-energy applications like personal servers, routers, firewalls, environmental monitoring setups, etc, etc.

    • TI rolls open-source RTOS for MCUs

      Texas Instruments released a real-time operating system developed entirely in-house for its microcontrollers. TI will offer the code for on a royalty-free, open source basis, aiming to ease the path to market for its customers.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • $120 tablet that runs both Android and Linux to launch in early 2013

        For anyone who has ever used his or her Android tablet and wished that it could double as a desktop-style device, PengPod has a product just for you. Ars Technica reports that the new PengPod tablet, which runs both Android and Linux, has met its crowd-sourced fundraising goals and will so on sale in January for $120 a 7-inch model and $185 for a 10-inch model. According to Ars, the tablet will be able to “dual-boot Android 4.0 and a version of Linux with the touch-friendly KDE Plasma Active interface.” Overall, the tablet received funding of nearly $73,000, or around 49% more than the $49,000 that the company had been seeking.

      • Archos GamePad Goes On-Sale In Europe

        The Archos GamePad is now available in Europe for €149.99, with a North American release scheduled for early Q1 2013. As the name suggests it combines physical gaming button controls and a patented mapping tool that allows you to link the virtual controls of any game to physical controls.

Free Software/Open Source

  • GWT: No future without the community

    Vaadin, the company behind the GWT-based web framework of the same name, has published a report on the future of Google’s Web Toolkit (GWT), a Java-based web framework that includes a Java-to-JavaScript compiler. Google had appeared to scale back its own GWT development efforts following its shift in focus towards Dart as an alternative to JavaScript and, earlier this year, had promised to create a more open development process. This resulted in the formation of a steering committee, which includes Google representatives as well as developers from Red Hat and Vaadin and which will be responsible for the future development of GWT.

  • Oldest open-source software kept by Army

    Since 1938, the Ballistic Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., was the center for the United States Army’s research efforts in ballistics and vulnerability/lethality analysis. That remained the case until 1992, when BRL was disestablished and its mission, personnel and facilities were incorporated into the newly created U.S. Army Research Laboratory.
    But during the decades of providing support to the nation, BRL quickly became involved in the move toward modern computing. Indeed, nearly 70 years ago, BRL unveiled the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer — ENIAC, the world’s first operational, digital computer.
    The development of this computer was driven by the Army’s need to speed calculation of firing tables. And ever since the development of the ENIAC, ARL has provided the U.S. military with unprecedented scientific computational capabilities.

  • RFID News Roundup

    Transcends upgrades Rifidi open-source RFID software, introduces new appliances, reader; Napa Valley’s AuburnJames Winery to test RFID-enabled pallets; ADR’s Automated Workforce Monitor service initiated at Texas construction sites; Minneapolis Institute of Arts’ parking lot uses TagMaster RFID tags; Toshiba certifies Omni-ID UltraThin IQ 400 and IQ 600 RFID labels; Intellitix intros RFID MiniPortal.

  • U.S. Department of Labor Grantees Converge to create Nation’s first Open Source Nursing Textbooks under $2 Billion Federal Grant Program
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Art meets the open web

        Today, Mozilla and the Eyebeam Art + Technology Center are pleased to announce the recipients of the first-ever Open(Art) Fellowships. Together, these creative technologists will be exploring the frontier of art and the open web as part of our new Open(Art) program.

  • Databases

    • 1 million euros pledged to new MariaDB Foundation

      SkySQL’s CEO Patrick Sallner, Percona’s co-founder Peter Zaitsev and MySQL AB co-founders Michael “Monty” Widenius, David Axmark and Allan Larsson have come together to announce the creation of the MariaDB Foundation. “The time is right for an independent organisation to safeguard the interests of MariaDB users and developers as we head towards MariaDB 10″, said Axmark. According to the announcement made at the Percona Live conference in London, the organisation has secured a pledge of one million euros from the foundations two initial sponsors and is seeking other sponsors.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 3.6.4 Is Now Available for Download

      The Document Foundation announced a few minutes ago, December 5, that the fourth maintenance release of the LibreOffice 3.6 open source office suite is now available for download for Linux, Mac and Windows platforms.

    • LibreOffice 3.6.4 fixes over 60 bugs

      The LibreOffice developers from The Document Foundation have released LibreOffice 3.6.4, an incremental update to the open source office suite that fixes over 60 bugs. The fixed bugs include problems with the office suite’s RTF support, display problems with Hebrew font symbols, and several crashing problems. Bugs in the LibreOffice UI were also addressed, such as check boxes that would not retain their state, resetting configuration dialogs, and sorting of tables in the Calc spreadsheet application that did not work correctly.

  • Semi-Open Source

  • Funding

    • The Picket Project: Innovative Open Source Effort Seeks Funding For New Collaborative Online Community

      The Picket Project, an open source effort to create a new crowdsourcing software, launched on Indiegogo this week with the goal of funding their initial software release. This is the final push in the launch of their platform. The software was developed to tackle large, complex political problems in a new, innovative way. The Picket Project Platform allows engaged citizens to build their own solutions by connecting and building on related, similar ideas.

  • Project Releases

    • Ekiga 4.0 offers a fresh, open source Skype alternative

      Longtime users of Ubuntu Linux may already be familiar with open source Ekiga, which used to be the default Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) client in that popular Linux distribution, but late last month the telephony software got a major update.

  • Public Services/Government

    • U.S. Customs and Border Protection Decision Boosts Open Source Software for Government Procurement

      Talend, a global open source software leader, announced today it has received a favorable advisory ruling from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency around the government’s ability to purchase open source software. The CBP has determined that software products are compliant with the Trade Agreement Act (TAA) when that software is manufactured in a designated country through numerous, complex and significant activities including key product research, writing the specification and architecture, and the actual software build – even if the majority of its source code was created in a non-designated country.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open science spreads with new version of mMass spectrometry tool

      Over the last months, I became more and more aware of the “open” movement. “Open” as in open access, open source, open data, open science.

    • Can open source technology save music?

      We are now more than a decade into the technological revolution that turned the music industry upside down. Initially, it felt like there was so much possibility, that the internet might be the great democratizer, that it could empower artists to take more control over their careers, and ultimately allow them to see more of a percentage of income from their music. There have been some success stories, but it seems the vast majority of artists today are struggling even more, making less money yet paying more middlemen.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • Say Goodbye to Presentation Software With Reveal.js
    • Amazon connects node.js to AWS services
    • GRAILS: An open source framework for rapid app development

      You might get confused with the name of a musical band group but here we will talk about a serious technology. The framework is inspired by Ruby on Rails that makes use of Groovy language which is a dynamic and agile scripting language. The syntax is somewhat very similar to that of Java. In fact, you can use groovyc just like javac to produce bytecode files. Also, Groovy integrates with Bean scripting framework, which allows you to embed any scripting engine into your Java code. It is intended to be a high-productivity framework by following the “coding by convention” paradigm, providing a stand-alone development environment and hiding much of the configuration detail from the developer.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Intel Proposes Tool To Auto-Convert Code To C++11

      An Intel developer has proposed a migration tool based upon LLVM’s Clang tooling library to auto-convert C++ code to take advantage of new C++11 features in an automated manner.

      Edwin Vane of Intel Canada has called for comments on his proposal to develop a Clang-based tool using the LibTooling library for automatically transforming C++ code-bases to take advantage of modern C++11 features without needing any manual code rewriting.


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Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. saulgoode said,

    December 8, 2012 at 5:21 am


    Under the DRM category, an article title “UPDATED: Michigan to become nation’s 24th ‘Right to Work for Less’ state” is actually mention of a BoingBoing article about a Kickstarter drive to fund a movie named “The Root Kit” (the fund drive is now ended).

  2. mcinsand said,

    December 9, 2012 at 10:28 am


    I don’t know if this is the place to make a note on an open-source project that I’m enjoying, but Frans Schreuder’s PIC programmer is awesome. His site is usbpicprog.org, and he is very good with questions and nice e-mails.

    I was getting into PIC’s about a decade ago, which is also when my dissatisfaction with Windows had hit a critical level. Back then, all of the software was strictly for Windows, and Linux’ hardware support was still somewhat behind that of Windows (backwards from what I’m seeing now *grin*). Ditching Windows was more of a benefit to my day-to-day than keeping the PIC’s. Recently, after digging around, it was nice to find how the world has changed, including the availability of software such as SDCC (Small Device C Compiler).

    The software is mainly GPL, except where limited by Microchip-held copyrights and licenses. Having a Linux-native application for hardware tinkering is certainly very nice. The hardware does not have a case, but Frans has a file for a 3D printer. I don’t have such access, so I’m cobbling something together out of acrylic sheet.

  3. mcinsand said,

    December 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm


    While waiting on a sample to finish collecting, I took a look back through to notice the article on the Army and open source. A couple of decades ago, when I finally left the university, one of my first projects was to help out with adapting some freshly-opened Army source code to industrial problems. The US Army had declassified some FORTRAN code for missile targeting, where fuel, and thus time, are limited. In our continuous processes, time between changes makes for waste, so efficient transition from one point to a new ‘target’ was very desirable. When I came in, the group was still working with FORTRAN, and solutions took about 8 hours to calculate on the then-current ‘386’s. These were very complicated variable combinations, and management was insistent that we not put in decision branches to start by weeding out anticipated failure areas. A full shift for a calculation was not reasonable, so they wanted some help speeding things up. In graduate school, I had learned C to help with my X-ray calculations, and I knew enough to port the FORTRAN to C, as well as to play with memory allocations and data passing to speed things up. The first iteration that ran took 15 minutes, and we were able to reduce the time significantly from there.

    It’s been a while since I thought about that work, but it was a nice effort to turn something for war into peaceful use.

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