Links 29/12/2012: Calculate Linux 13, Finnix 107

Posted in News Roundup at 12:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • 2012′s 5 Most popular Linux stories

    Taken as a whole, 2012 was a great year for Linux. The most popular stories, however, were more about the day-to-day happenings of Linux then the big picture.

    2012′s top Linux story was The truth about Goobuntu: Google’s in-house desktop Ubuntu Linux. The title said it all. We’d long known that Google uses its own house-blend of Ubuntu on its PCs, but it wasn’t until this summer that Google finally revealed exactly how its workers use Ubuntu,

  • External Desktop Hard Drives, Backup Software, and Linux Part 3
  • The LINUX TABLET IS THE FUTURE – and it always will be

    The year of the Linux tablet is, like the year of the Linux desktop, destined never to arrive.

    That doesn’t mean we won’t see Linux on a tablet, but you’ll see Linux on a tablet the way you see it on the desktop – clinging to a tiny percentage of the market.

    There is of course Android, which does use a Linux kernel somewhere under all that Java, but when Canonical or Red Hat talk about building Linux tablets, obviously Android is not what they have in mind.

  • Five reasons 2012 was a great year for Linux

    The end of the year is always a good time to take stock of where things stand in any niche or field, and Linux is no exception.

  • 9 Major 2012 Events That Will Influence the Linux Desktop in Coming Years

    2012 was the year that the Linux desktop diversified.

    Two years ago, users could choose between two or three desktop environments. But by the end of the first quarter of 2012, they had at least eight choices, with more on the way.

    Similarly, the year started with LibreOffice as the main office suite. But halfway through the year, LibreOffice was joined by Apache OpenOffice as well as Calligra Suite.

  • Torque 3D Engine Is Wanting To Come To Linux

    Many Phoronix readers have written in over the past few days about the new effort to bring the Torque 3D Game Engine to Linux. The desire for Torque 3D coming to Linux is because the engine developers believe Linux is turning into a commercially viable platform for gaming.

    Torque 3D is the game engine out of Garage Games as the successor to the original Torgue Game Engine Advanced (TGEA) but with modern functionality like deferred lighting, NVIDIA PhysX, and modern shaders. The original Torque Game Engine had been originally developed in 2001 for the Tribes 2 game but it’s been developed much more extensively since its inception.

  • Desktop

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Great Powersavings with Kernel 3.7.0
    • Linux 3.8′s features staked out

      Linus Torvalds has announced the first pre-release version of Linux 3.8, releasing it on the “longest night of the year”. As previously reported, it includes support for the Flash-Friendly File System (F2FS), which has been designed for use on flash storage devices such as USB flash drives, memory cards, and internal storage in devices such as cameras, tablets and smartphones.

    • The Linux Kernel in 2012
    • What Didn’t Make The Cut For The Linux 3.8 Kernel

      While there’s a lot of features that are new to the Linux 3.8 kernel as covered in The Feature Overview For The Linux 3.8 Kernel, there’s also several promising new features and functionality that didn’t make the cut for this next kernel release.

    • Linus Torvalds Celebrates Today 43 Years of Uptime

      Linus Torvalds is one of the most influential people in the Linux world and among the most active figures that promote open source as a real alternative.

    • CM Storm QuickFire TK Keyboard in Linux

      When one says mechanical keyboard you think gamers, at least I did. Gamers prefer mechanical keyboards because the physical act of typing is more precise. That’s it in a nutshell, the feedback provided by mechanical keyboards gives gamers another edge over the game and opponents. So, one may think Windows, because gaming in Linux is rarely as competitive. But I’m here to tell you a Linux user, not even an avid gamer, can and does love her new CM Storm QuickFire TK.

    • Linux Top 3: Hello ARM, Goodbye 386
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Work in progress to improve keyboard shortcuts in Xfce
    • The triumph of convenience

      A few years ago, my neighbors asked for help securing their computer. They were running Windows, so my knowledge was limited, but I did set up a separate administrative account and add passwords to their regular accounts. When I looked at their computer a month later, they had removed both — and were back to getting viruses and malware along with their movie downloads. Their explanation? That my simple safeguards were “too inconvenient.”

      “Let me get this straight,” I wanted to say (but didn’t). “It’s too inconvenient to spend ten seconds typing a password, or twenty logging into a different account to install software. But it’s not too inconvenient to have your computer at the shop every few months to scrub it clean and to sometimes lose files because you haven’t bothered backing them up.”

    • Awesome 3.5 Window Manager Released

      Awesome, the dynamic X window manager written in C and Lua that started off as a fork of dwm, is out with its version 3.5 “Last Christmas” release.

    • Linux Google Drive Client Insync Gets Xfce And Mate Desktop Integration
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE To Get Improved Multi-Monitor Handling

        A new screen manager is being worked on for the KDE desktop to dramatically improve the multi-monitor experience by making it work “auto-magically” or at least be “super simple” to configure.

        Dan Vrátil and Alex Fiestas have been working on writing a brand new screen manager for KDE to overcome the current configuration shortcomings of the current settings panel. As Fiestas wrote today on his blog, “We are trying be as smart as possible adapting the behavior of it to each use case making the configuration of monitors as simple as plugging them to your computer.”

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 16th December 2012
      • KDE’s Krita Gets Its Own Stichting Krita Foundation

        The Krita community has created Stichting Krita Foundation to support the development of Krita through funding. The foundation will also help the community by organizing creative and open content projects like, Comics with Krita DVD. The have done some funding before where Lukáš Tvrdý was sponsored before actual development work and currently they are sponsoring Dmitry Kazakov, who is working on Krita performance improvements.

      • RIM Proposes A Donation Of $10,000 To Qt Project Hosting

        Qt is one of the most important projects for both commercial and non-commercial players, especially in the embedded space. Now RIM is trying to lure Qt developers for the success of BlackBerry. If you are a developer of Qt apps RIM is offering a great deal for your Qt applications under Blackberry Qt porting program.

      • Qt 5 Is Here, Digia Claims It’s Qt For The Future

        The Qt project and Digia, the company behind Qt framework, have released the most awaited C++ framework for developers, Qt 5.0. The company claims that it’s one of the best releases till date and has invested a significant amount of time behind this release. It’s an overhaul of the Qt 4.x series and makes Qt fit for the future.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 2: Still king of the Linux desktop

        It seems fair to say that Linux users enjoy a degree of choice that’s unmatched by the proprietary players in the desktop computing world, what with the wide variety of both distributions and desktop environments from which they can choose.

      • The Coming Gnome

        The last few years have been troubled for the Gnome Project. Once a premier desktop environment for Linux, it has seen its market share diminish amid user dissatisfaction over Gnome 3 and accusations that the project was ignoring users. Yet, over the last six months, something important has been happening: Slowly and quietly, the members of Gnome have started trying to turn the situation around.

      • GNOME Whiteboards: Calendar, Maps and Power Updates!

        There is a nice Search in Calendar, by Reda, a support for two batteries and plugged devices in Power Panel, by Allan and some mockups in Gnome Maps, by Andreas.

        Keep on mind that these are just early designs that may never arrive in GNOME the way they look now, or the may arrive at all!

      • 2013: The year of Gnome security

        The goal that Gnome board of directors set for the upcoming year is to improve the safety features of our favorite desktop environment by implementing and integrating special tools and features.

      • Evolution 3.7.3 Brings Numerous Fixes
  • Distributions

    • My first GNU/Linux distros

      These were my 2 first GNU/Linux distros that I used on my home desktop (actually, I met with GNU/Linux a little earlier – the very first GNU/Linux distro that I saw, it was RedHat 9.0).

    • This Weekend in Linux: Mint, Slax, and KNOPPIX

      Several familiar names cropped up in the news the last few days. The Mint team finishes out their lastest family tree and the Slax guys has rushed out a couple of bug-fix updates to the recently released 7.0. And KNOPPIX got an update too.

    • ArchBang Linux 2012.12 Review – Lightweight Arch
    • From newb to expert – best Linux distro for YOU!

      You know how I like to rate distributions at the end of each year? Yes, you do. However, while I do try to make those articles be as impartial and fair as possible and encompass as broad spectrum of users as possible, they ultimately reflect one man’s experience, me. Not bad, given my awesomeness, but still.

    • Another year, another totally different top 10 Linux distros

      Between the new innovations that emerge practically every day and the fairly constant rate of change in general, things never stay the same for long in technology.

    • Booting A Modern Linux Desktop In Just ~200MB

      Unlike many of the Linux distributions out there today that are little more than minor user-facing changes to Ubuntu or another tier-one Linux operating system, Slax for the past many years has followed its own dance. Slax, a LiveCD Linux distribution built around Slackware, is very lightweight and calls itself a “pocket operating system” as with the most recent release it can fit a full Linux OS with the KDE4 desktop in about 200MB. Slax is also intended to be quite easy for others to modify and create custom images via Slackware packages and Slax modules. The recent Slax 7.0 release was the first update for the open-source operating system in several years. For those interested in knowing how this very lightweight and customizable operating system can work so efficiently, Tomáš Matejícek, the Slax creator, has written an exclusive Phoronix article about the process.

    • When should you switch to or install a new Linux distribution?
    • Puppy Linux 5.4 Review – New Dog, New Tricks

      Presented in two formats based on two distros, which version of Puppy stays true to the commitment of being small and fast?

    • New Releases

      • Calculate Linux 13 released
      • Finnix 107 released
      • Manjaro 0.8.3 has been unleashed!
      • Clonezilla Live 2.0.1-15 Is Powered by Linux Kernel 3.2.35

        Steven Shiau proudly announced a few minutes ago, December 18, a new stable release of his popular Clonezilla Live operating system, used for cloning hard disk drives.

        Being based on the Debian Sid repository as of December 17, 2012, the Clonezilla Live 2.0.1-15 operating system is powered by Linux kernel 3.2.35 and incorporates various improvements, bug fixes and updated translations.

        This release also blacklists the floppy module from the kernel, just because none really uses a floppy drive anymore. But, in case you’re one of those people who still use a floppy drive, you will be able to manually load it by running the “modprobe floppy” command in a terminal.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 3 beta 1 waits for your tests

        Finally here is Mageia 3 beta 1. This first beta release was a bit tricky as it comes with some major new features in installer. GRUB2 has been included as an option for now.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Switching policy types in Gentoo/SELinux

        When you are running Gentoo with SELinux enabled, you will be running with a particular policy type, which you can devise from either /etc/selinux/config or from the output of the sestatus command. As a user on our IRC channel had some issues converting his strict-policy system to mcs, I thought about testing it out myself. Below are the steps I did and the reasoning why (and I will update the docs to reflect this accordingly).

      • Gentoo 20121221 Screenshots (12/21/2012)
    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat CEO: We have a “massive” potential next year

        Raleigh-based Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) CEO Jim Whitehurst says “the state of the union at Red Hat is strong.”

        Whitehurst took a break from running the billion dollar company to blog about accomplishments over the past year, as well as to look ahead to what he called “massive” potential in 2013.

      • A Red Hat for All Seasons

        Red Hat (NYSE: RHT ) is a success story for troubled times. The economy falters? No problem. Southern Europe on the brink of collective bankruptcy? Sure, but sales are growing there anyway. Corporate IT budgets trimming down? Hey, that’s actually a business opportunity!

      • IBM taps Red Hat for cut-throat priced Linux on big supers

        Big Blue has been talking about the Power7-based “Blue Waters” supercomputer nodes for so long that you might think they’re already available. But although IBM gave us a glimpse of the Power 775 machines way back in November 2009, they actually won’t start shipping commercially until next month – August 26, to be exact.

        The feeds and speeds of the Power 775 server remain essentially what we told you nearly two years ago. Today’s news is that the Power 775 is nearly ready for sale, and the clock speed on the Power7 processors and system prices have – finally – been announced.

      • Red Hat CEO: We’ve Grown So Fast That Employees Spread This Crazy Rumor About Me

        What does it feel like to be the CEO of a super-hot company as it crests the billion-dollar-revenue mark and grows to 5,000 employees?

        Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst says that it’s hard to notice the changes. Then something happens to make you realize you are the boss of a very big place.

      • Red Hat Makes $104 Million Cloud Management Bid with ManageIQ Acquisition
      • Fedora

        • Are you FedUp with Fedora 17? Upgrade to 18 ;)

          Fedorians have a nice sense of humor, and FedUp (FEDora UPgrader) is the new upgrading tool for Fedora 17->18 and beyond, that replaces PreUpgrader.

          Earth survived from Mayan prophecy, end of days didn’t come, and Fedora 18 release will make it at Jan 8, 2013 -hopefully ;)

        • Fedora 19 will catch up GNOME 3.8 with a 4 months release cycle!

          After the 2 months delay and the 8 months release cycle of Spherical Cow, Fedora now will try to make a “Speedy Gonzales” release inside in just 4 months. This is the shortest release cycle that Fedora ever had from its day one – Nov 2003, Yarrow / GNOME 2.4 / Linux 2.4.19.

        • Fedora 18 Will Include LibreOffice In The LiveCD

          One of the gripes of the Fedora users, and mine as well, was that it doesn’t come bundled with any office suite. Users have to manually install LibreOffice or Calligra to get some work done. This is changing now. The LiveCD of Fedora 18 Spherical Cow will be shipped with LibreOffice installed. This is a great step from Fedora developers towards usability. This change is pushed by Bill Nottingham to Fedora 18.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – December 24th, 2012

        Welcome to this year’s twenty-fifth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:

        * Bits from the DPL
        * Wheezy freeze: reviewers needed for unblock requests
        * Report from Bug Squashing Party in Mechlin
        * Other news
        * New Debian Contributors
        * Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release
        * Important Debian Security Advisories
        * New and noteworthy packages
        * Work-needing packages
        * Want to continue reading DPN?

      • A word on bitcoin support in Debian

        It has been a while since I wrote about bitcoin, the decentralised peer-to-peer based crypto-currency, and the reason is simply that I have been busy elsewhere. But two days ago, I started looking at the state of bitcoin in Debian again to try to recover my old bitcoin wallet. The package is now maintained by a team of people, and the grunt work had already been done by this team. We owe a huge thank you to all these team members. :) But I was sad to discover that the bitcoin client is missing in Wheezy. It is only available in Sid (and an outdated client from backports). The client had several RC bugs registered in BTS blocking it from entering testing. To try to help the team and improve the situation, I spent some time providing patches and triaging the bug reports. I also had a look at the bitcoin package available from Matt Corallo in a PPA for Ubuntu, and moved the useful pieces from that version into the Debian package.

      • Realtek ALC883 on Debian laptop
      • Derivatives

        • Knoppix 7.0.5 Is Based on GNOME 3.4 and KDE 4.8

          Knoppix, a bootable Live CD/DVD, made up from the most popular and useful free and open source applications, backed up by an automatic hardware detection and support for many video cards, SCSI and USB devices, is now at version 7.0.5.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Unity, what a concept!

            The Unity desktop environment is something which has intrigued me a lot over the past year or so. My interest has partly been in the strong reactions, for or against the environment, from Ubuntu users. The other key point of my interest has been that I’ve really only used the desktop in short bursts and, as a result, I don’t feel I’ve really got a feel for it. Once every six months I will install Ubuntu, play with Unity for a few days, not long enough to unlearn the habits I’ve picked up from using other desktop environments, and then I’m off to another distribution and another desktop. In these quick looks at Unity I’ve certainly encountered things which rubbed me the wrong way, but I’ve also caught sight of design features which struck me as being beneficial. Or they would be beneficial if one were to use them long enough to form new work patterns. At any rate, I wanted to find out how I would feel about Unity if I used it long enough to unlearn old habits, behaviour learned after over fifteen years of using desktops with approaches different from Unity’s. With that in mind I installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on one of my machines and tried to use Unity as much as I could while still taking time to test other Linux distributions. Right upfront I want to say that it took about a week for the old habits to fade away and for using Unity’s controls to become reflex rather than considered actions. Little things like moving the mouse pointer to the right of the window instead of the left have long been actions performed automatically and they were hard to break. This led to several days of jerking the mouse right, then back left to close windows or minimize them. There was also some trial and error at first finding the best way to handle window organization, launch applications and deal with window grouping on the launch bar. Typically, I have found I am most comfortable with setting up multiple virtual work spaces, populating them with related applications and switching between the work spaces. This allows for a small number of open windows in each space and avoids programs grouping on the task switcher. Unity, on the other hand, while it does allow for multiple work spaces, the desktop appears to be much better suited to having few windows open at a time and I slowly came around to typically using one workspace and grouping program windows together, switching between windows rather than work spaces.

          • Top 10 Things Ubuntu Is Doing Right

            Over the years, I’ve watched Ubuntu develop into quite the impressive Linux distro. While Ubuntu definitely has room for improvement, it does offer the casual user an outstanding experience overall. In this article, I’ll share the areas where I think Ubuntu is raising the bar on Linux for the masses.

          • Top 10 Ubuntu Apps of 2012
          • The Meritocracy

            Thus going after someone like Canonical and calling what they doing spying actually hurts the promotion of free software. What they are doing is a huge step in the right direction.

            Having run a business based on free and open source software for a decade, you can imagine that I am a big fan of it. Last year, for a variety of reasons, I decided to make the jump to using a desktop based on Linux. I tried a number of options, but the one that worked for me, the one that “stuck”, was Ubuntu. Using it just comes naturally, and I’ve been using it for so long now that other desktops seem foreign.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 297
          • ‘Unredirect Fullscreen Windows’ Now Enabled by Default in Ubuntu 12.10

            ‘Unredirect Fullscreen Windows’ option is finally enabled by default in Ubuntu 12.10. Compiz developer Daniel Van Vugt and his team has done lots of work in past few months to make sure that all the bugs related to this feature are fixed.

          • Canonical Supplies New Tools for Linux Evangelists

            Ubuntu may not quite be a religion, but it has its committed evangelists all the same. And now, Canonical has made their jobs easier with the release of an official “Ubuntu Advocacy Development Kit.” Will Ubuntu fans soon be showing up on your doorstep, asking you to convert? Probably not, but the move is an interesting endeavor nonetheless.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux round-up: A bunch of Mints for Christmas

              All the Linux Mint Editions have arrived just in time for the holidays – Linux Mint 14 (Nadia) with Cinnamon, MATE, KDE and Xfce dekstops, and Linux Mint Debian Edition Update Pack 6 with Cinnamon and MATE desktops.

            • Linux Mint 14 “Nadia” KDE released!
            • Linux Mint 15 New Features
            • Linux Mint 14 KDE: One of the best KDE distros of the year

              Linux Mint does it again! The thing I admire about Linux Mint is the ability to work on any type of system and refined interface that it brings on the table – every time! When I reviewed the Mint Maya KDE, I was wondering if I had seen any KDE distro more complete than this. With the Mint Nadia KDE release my impression has changed. This edition not only looks gorgeous but the KDE bloat-wares are gone to actually give the users a more functional set of applications.

            • Linux Mint 15: What’s Cooking In The Out Of The Box Operating System?

              I now refrain from comparing Linux based distribution because what my needs are could be different from yours and what works for you may not work for me, but I am really impressed with Linux Mint in the ‘out-of-the-box’ experience department, it’s becoming one of my favourites along with openSUSE and Kubuntu.

            • A week with elementary OS Luna: Could this be the start of something big?

              It is not far-fetched to say, open source and its poster child, Linux, is going through a golden period. The emergence of internet has a lot to do with the popularisation of open source way of thinking. But in the world of Windows and Macs, what makes Linux tick? Redhat was the first to explore Linux’s potential. But Redhat had a very enterprise centric approach. And in 2004, Ubuntu came along with the focus firmly back on end-users. This kick started a flurry of activity and a number of new Ubuntu based Linux distros started to sprung up. The latest one being elementary OS Luna. And this brand new OS has a lot going for it.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Zanata, an open source translation platform

    Zanata is an open source translation platform written in Java that offers translation memory, an online translation editor, and workflow integration with REST APIs and command-line tools. For translators, it is a web browser-based translation environment where previous translations provide context for their work. For software developers, it’s an integration tool that provides a centralized localization repository along with translation tools that save time and resources.

  • Taking open source foundations to the next level

    Given that now even some small open source projects are forming their own foundations, Glynn Moody thinks that perhaps open source foundations have come of age. He suggests that the time may now be right for the formation of an umbrella foundation to help share best practices, legal advice and other information and support.

  • Open Source: A Golden Age of Development

    Open source used to be an aberration — now it is an imperative. If you’re not using or developing open source projects, you’re putting your business at risk. That’s the message from Black Duck Software and Forrester, as recently presented in a webinar describing Open Source software and innovation.

  • Most ‘open source’ a good way to get software cheaper TECh TALK Nick Delorenzo

    DESPITE the increasing affordability of computers, the software that actually runs those devices can still be fairly expensive. Fairly common programs such as Microsoft Office can run to hundreds of dollars, and higher-end products like Adobe Photoshop can easily cost more than $500.

  • How open source shaped our world in 2012
  • Protect choice and freedom in technology by choosing open source solutions

    I remember first meeting Jeffrey A. “Jam” McGuire in person at DrupalCon Denver. We talked about communities, music, and shared ways to show why open source is a better way. Even before meeting him, I could tell from my first interaction with him that he was passionate about Drupal and open source. He’s becoming an in-demand Keynote speaker and presenter at Drupal and other business and software events around the world. He’s already a staple for the Intro to DrupalCon session and always seems to incorporate music and singing as part of the performance.

  • OpenPhoto: Elegant photo hosting in an open source package

    Think of all the photos and videos you’ve stored on various devices and social networks over the years. Enter: OpenPhoto, a new, open source platform all about gathering them into one place and never losing them. Their software imports your photos from Flickr, Facebook, and Instagram, and there’s an app for the iPhone (Android coming soon).

  • The founder gap: Why we need more women in open source

    At the same time, women make up an estimated 2% of the open source community, far lower than the percentage of women in computing overall, estimated at around 20%. Is it any wonder that women founders are so rare in Internet-related startups, when many of the founders come from a population that is 98% male?

  • Mahout, There It Is! Open Source Algorithms Remake Overstock.com

    Judd Bagley set out to build a web app that would serve up a never-ending stream of news stories tailored to your particular tastes. And he did. It’s called MyCurrent. But in creating this clever little app, Bagley also pushed online retailer Overstock.com away from the $2-million-a-year service it was using to generate product recommendations for web shoppers, and onto a system that did the same thing for free — and did it better.

  • Free Tools for Perfect Holiday Photos
  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • OpenStack Set to Tackle Open Source Federated Identity in the Cloud

      The OpenStack open source cloud platform started out with only two components: Nova Compute and Swift Storage. Nova originally came from NASA and Swift came from Rackspace.

      Over the course of the last two years, OpenStack has expanded beyond NASA and Rackspace and has been embraced by many large tech vendors, including IBM, HP, Dell, AT&T, Cisco and Intel among others. As OpenStack participation has grown, new capabilities have been added, including most recently the Cinder block storage project and the Quantum networking project. Cinder and Quantum both debuted in the recent Folsom release.

    • Dell Cloud and HP Cloud: OpenStack Twins or Different DNA?
  • Databases

    • NSA’s Super-Secure Database Dodges Bullet From Senate

      For Gunnar Hellekson — a chief technology strategist at Red Hat who closely follows the government’s approach to open source software — this language posed a threat not only to Accumulo but to open source project across the government. “It doesn’t take much imagination to see that same ‘adequacy criteria’ applied to all open source software projects,” Hellekson wrote earlier this year. “Got a favorite open source project on your DoD program, but no commercial vendor? Inadequate. Only one vendor for the package? Lacks diversity. Proprietary software doesn’t have a burden like this.”

      From where Hellekson was sitting, it was obvious that Accumulo was very different from the likes of Hbase and Cassandra. “When Accumulo was written, it was definitely doing new work,” he told us. “Some of its differentiating features are being handled by other pieces of software. But other core concepts are unique, including the cell-level security…. That’s an incredibly important feature, and to do it properly is incredibly complicated.”

      But it appears the Senate has now backed down. In that joint House-Senate statement on the DoD bill, Accumulo is cited by name. “[The Department of Defense] has already determined that the Accumulo database that NSA developed using government and contract engineers is a successful open-source project that is supported by commercial companies,” the statement read. “[We] expect that future acquisitions of Accumulo would be executed through such commercial vendors.”

      Those commercial vendors include Sqrrl. But Oren Falkowitz isn’t quite ready to celebrate. “Obama still has to sign it,” he says. “I wouldn’t jump for joy until it’s actually a law.”

    • If MySQL falters, what do you replace it with?

      The MySQL relational database serves as a back end for millions of websites, and powers millions of non-Internet data-handling applications. In 2009 ownership of MySQL passed to Oracle when it bought Sun, which had acquired MySQL the previous year. Since then developers and IT managers have worried that Oracle would someday cease support for MySQL because it competes with the company’s profitable proprietary database products. This fear may be justified. In August, Alex Williams wrote at TechCrunch, “Oracle is holding back test cases in the latest release of MySQL. It’s a move that has all the markings of the company’s continued efforts to further close up the open source software and alienate the MySQL developer community.” We tried to get Oracle to rebut that accusation, but multiple emails and phone calls did not get a response. Does this mean it’s time to move from MySQL to another open source database – and if so, which one?

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • OpenOffice.org vs LibreOffice

      Although there are many others, OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice are the two 800lb gorrillas of the open source office suite world. One or other comes bundled with pretty much every Linux distro out there.

      Without OpenOffice.org, it’s fair to say that the OpenDocument format would never have stood a chance of becoming an open standard. Pretty impressive, when many open standards haven’t had anything like the same success (how many people – even hard core Linux users – commonly spurn mp3 files for ogg vorbis?). Because (nearly) everyone needs a word processor and spreadsheet, OpenOffice.org has long been one of the open source poster children to encourage take up – “Why pay $$$ for Microsoft Office when this is just as good and you can have it for free?”.

    • Bugzilla-Assistant
    • The Document Foundation 2012 in Review

      Italo Vignoli today published lots of cool graphs and stats demonstating the growth and other accomplishments over the course of 2012. From the growth in number of contributors to high-profile roll-outs to increasing numbers of downloads, 2012 has been a banner year. He said, “Looking back, it has been amazing.”

      Starting with the contributor list, LibreOffice had 379 contributors at the start of the year, but that number had grown to 567 by Christmas 2012. The Document Foundation also announced 14 LibreOffice releases in 2012 and the team is currently working on LibreOffice 4.0, which should be released in February 2012.

    • The Future of LibreOffice and Other Office-Suites
    • Is Oracle Java 7 Update 10 Going to Improve Security?

      The Oracle Java Development Kit 7 Update 10 (JDK 7u10) release provides new updating and control capabilities that go beyond what Java users have enjoyed in the past.

  • Education

    • Open source groups warn Greece will waste millions on school software

      Advocates of free and open source are warning that the Greek government is going to waste millions of euro on proprietary software licences for the country’s schools. They are calling on the Ministry of Education to cancel its latest procurement. “Favouring proprietary software while ignoring the potential of open source, constitutes a choking of the educational process.”

  • Healthcare

    • Healthcare slow to adopt, not to adapt: Promise for open source in 2013

      Open source in healthcare remains in its infancy. This year saw some great activity with open source in health. Our community covered medical devices with available source code, electronic patient records, open product design and 3D printing, crowdfunding, and big data. These big ideas and innovations, but I predict that as more people take personal responsibility for their health in 2013, the greater the demand will be for faster, more affordable solutions… read: open source.

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Piwik FOSS Web Analytics Tool to Get Crowdfunded

      Ever since OStatic’s inception, we’ve been fans of the Piwik online analytics application, which is a free, open source alternative to tools like Google Analytics. For example, we discussed Piwik in our roundup of open source tools aimed at web developers. When it comes to doing web analytics, it’s beneficial to get as many views of your data as possible, so you can use Piwik in conjunction with Google Analytics or on its own.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 9.1 Official Release Nears as PC-BSD 9.1 Debuts

      PC-BSD is a desktop based derivative of FreeBSD and typically PC-BSD releases follow FreeBSD releases. That’s not quite the case with the new PC-BSD 9.1 release which is actually coming out *before* the official release of FreeBSD 9.1

      FreeBSD 9.1 was originally set for official release at the end of October but has been hit by some delays. Though an official announcement has not yet been made the primary FreeBSD mirror currently has FreeBSD release ISOs available (ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/releases/ISO-IMAGES/9.1/)


  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Government of India Generates Hundreds of FLOSS Promotional Videos
    • EU Commissioner Kroes articulates benefits of open source and open standards
    • FOSS satisfies government regulations

      Talend, a licensor of open source enterprise software, has recently received a ruling from the U.S. Customs Service corroborating that its software complies with the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (19 USC 2511 et seq.) Open source software adoption by the U.S. Federal government must comply with many regulations, some of which can be difficult given the nature of modern software development. And these rules are frequently used as a barrier, or a bar, to the use of FOSS in federal government procurement. One of these issues is the ability of the FOSS company to certify compliance with the TAA which requires a product to be manufactured or substantially transformed in the United States or a designated country.

    • EC postpones its guideline on ICT standardisation and procurement

      The European Commission will postpone until early next year the publication of its guideline on how to make best use of ICT standards in tender specifications. Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission and European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, in a video speech on Friday said that the guideline should ensure that public authorities get the most value from open source and open standards. “And also that open source suppliers can compete fairly in tenders.”

    • What government can learn from open source

      I wanted to share my notes with you all from this TED talk with Clay Shirky. You can watch the video—and I recommend that you do—but since I took notes I figured I’d share my textual summary as well!

    • DARPA and Defense Department look to a more open source future

      As the United States military marches further into the age of networked warfare, data networks and the mobile platforms to distribute and access them will become even more important.

  • Licensing

    • European Union’s open source licence to become compatible with GPLv3

      The European Union’s open source licence, EUPL, is to be revised, aiming to make it compatible with the GPLv3 and AGPLv3 and other licences. A public consultation begins today on Joinup, with the publication of a first draft and a background document on some of the proposed changes.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • How open source is disrupting visual art

      If you’ve seen an unbelievable interactive projection or a mind-blowing piece of generative video art, odds are you’ve come across openFrameworks, an accessible programming platform that has helped create projects like Arturo Castro and Kyle McDonald’s Faces, a real-time face-substitution project, the EyeWriter graffiti headset from F.A.T. Labs, and Chris O’Shea’s playful, Monty Python-inspired Hand from Above, among many other works of technology-based art. What makes openFrameworks and similar coding tools like Processing so powerful in an artistic context is that they are open source, free for any artist to use and hack to their own ends, and are made by artists, for artists.

    • Open Data

      • Digital Agenda: Turning government data into gold

        The Commission has launched an Open Data Strategy for Europe, which is expected to deliver a €40 billion boost to the EU’s economy each year. Europe’s public administrations are sitting on a goldmine of unrealised economic potential: the large volumes of information collected by numerous public authorities and services. Member States such as the United Kingdom and France are already demonstrating this value. The strategy to lift performance EU-wide is three-fold: firstly the Commission will lead by example, opening its vaults of information to the public for free through a new data portal. Secondly, a level playing field for open data across the EU will be established. Finally, these new measures are backed by the €100 million which will be granted in 2011-2013 to fund research into improved data-handling technologies.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Should Instagram automatically license photos under Creative Commons?

        Instagram has undergone several big changes lately, most noteably taking away the ability to quickly view Instagram photos on Twitter. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom described this update during the LeWeb Internet conference in Paris as Instagram’s evolution, and explained that the company would naturally change as it grew.In an article from Business Insider on December 6, Alyson Shontell calls for Instagram to make a bolder move: to publish all photos under Creative Commons unless the photographer specifically changes their publishing license.

    • Open Hardware

  • Standards/Consortia

    • New NIST Document Offers Guidance in Cryptographic Key Generation

      Protecting sensitive electronic information in different situations requires different types of cryptographic algorithms, but ultimately they all depend on keys, the cryptographic equivalent of a password. A new publication* from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) aims to help people secure their data with good keys no matter which algorithm they choose.

    • HTML5 Still Not a Standard Until 2014

      The W3C announced today that the HTML5 definition is now complete. This is a big deal for the web and all of us that work and use it…but it’s not end of the story.

      The definition is not a final standard for HTML5, though it is an important milestone. HTML5 will not likely be a full bona-fide standard until mid 2014 according to what Jeff Jaffe told me during a conference call today to talk about HTML5.


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