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02.27.13

Links 27/2/2013: Firefox Phone Partners, DistroRank

Posted in News Roundup at 11:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • DriveDroid lets you boot Linux on a PC by plugging in your (rooted) Android phone

    Makers of Linux-based operating systems have been letting you boot Fedora, Ubuntu, and other popular software from a removable CD, DVD, or flash drive for years. Now you can use your Android phone instead.

  • Create a hardware encrypting USB with your own Linux OS
  • German federal state switches Linux-based school server

    The governmental IT supplier for schools in the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg has committed to stop development of its in-house Linux-based school server software paedML in favour of a new solutionGerman language link based on Univention’s UCS@schoolGerman language link product. This move was originally announced by the government organisation at the end of 2012; the intention was to reduce the workload on the teachers developing and supporting the software by outsourcing this work to a commercial company. UCS@school is based on version 3.1 of the open source Univention Corporate Server.

  • Two fallacies of choice

    Free Software means nobody can stop you doing whatever you want with the software³, but this also protects the developers’ rights to do whatever they want. Nothing they change (even GNOME 3) can actually infringe that freedom, even if you don’t like it.

    So: there may be legitimate criticisms of new software like pulseaudio or juju (or GNOME 3 or the new anaconda), but any complaint along the lines of “the developers are taking our freedom/choices away!” is 100% rhetorical nonsense.

  • Little Things Make It All Happen

    Reglue is no different. From picking up and diagnosing donated computers to taking care of vehicles, coordinating volunteers and making sure computers get into the hands that need them, sometimes the little things can slip below the horizon.

  • Chromebook wars: Pixel vs. Samsung Series 5 550

    On my test machine table, I have Google’s brand new Chromebook Pixel. Beside it, I have what had been the fastest Chromebook before it, the Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook. Is the Pixel better? Yes. No question about it. But, here’s the real question: Is it $850 better?

  • Key statistics from the 2013 Linux Jobs Survey & Report

    For the first time, both hiring mangers (850) and Linux professionals (2,600) were surveyed in the 2013 Linux Jobs Survey & Report, which forecasts and provides a comprehensive view of the Linux career landscape, including business needs and personal incentives.

    The report also includes insights into why employers are seeking Linux talent now and what the top incentives are for Linux professionals.

  • Desktop

    • Chromebook Pixel can boot into Ubuntu and Linux Mint, just like a real laptop

      There are plenty of reasons to not want to spend $1450 on the Chromebook Pixel, but most of them are an extension of the fact that Chrome OS hasn’t grown up enough to replace a traditional OS. Fortunately, Google’s new BIOS makes it easier to work around the native operating system than any Chrome OS hardware before it.

      The main appeal of the Samsung Chromebook and its ilk has been price. For $250, you could afford to pick one up and see if you were going to like it. You could give one as a gift to that family member who considered it a biological imperative to click on every link they came across, leaving you to scrub the shame off of their hard drive the next time you were over for a visit.

    • The Linux Setup – Dan Gillmor, Journalist

      I’m a huge fan of Dan Gillmor. As a reporter at the San Jose Mercury News, he was on top of a lot of great tech stories. His book, We the Media, was an incredibly accurate prediction of where American journalism was heading in the early part of this century. And he’s been very public about his move to Linux. So I’m pretty psyched to have his participation here.

    • Dances with Laps

      I’ve been searching for a new laptop for a very long time. My old Dell Inspiron 6400 has served me very well for over four years, but about a year ago I decided I needed a refresh. I finally decided upon the Dell XPS but it was a hard journey coming to that decision! Read on for a little bit more background about why I picked this laptop on how Mageia runs on it!

  • Server

    • Private clouds driving up Linux uptake in Australia: IDC

      As enterprises move to adopt private clouds in the backend, Linux will increasingly become the operating system of choice for server infrastructures in Australia, according to IDC research director Matthew Oostveen.

      In financial year 2012, AU$235.35 million was spent on Linux servers, and in the same year, one in four servers shipped in the Australian market was Linux-based. Approximately 29 percent of all the money spent on server infrastructure in Australia went towards Linux servers.

      Based on those figures, IDC believes Linux is now running more enterprise mission and business critical workloads than other OSes such as Windows Server.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • NILFS2: A Slow But Dependable Linux File-System

      Last week when benchmarking the new F2FS file-system from Samsung that was introduced in the Linux 3.8 kernel its performance was compared to Btrfs, EXT3, EXT4, XFS, JFS, and ReiserFS. For those hoping to see file-system performance results of NILFS2, those results are available today.

    • EXT4 File-System Updated For Linux 3.9

      The EXT4 file-system in the forthcoming Linux 3.9 kernel will support using the previously-introduced punch hole functionality for inodes not using extent maps.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • The GUI You Never Knew You Had: The X-Window System
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Roadmap for Kolab 3.1 – iRony included

        A few weeks ago we released a brand new major version of Kolab. The feedback we received was overwhelming and we are truly happy that we see more and more people who are taking control of the cloud and escape the monopoly with Kolab 3. It is great to have such an amazing community that encourages and supports our work while providing helpful and constructive feedback to make Kolab even more awesome.

      • process separation

        When Google Chrome first came out sporting its process separation feature where each tab is in its own process, it was broadly hailed as the best thing ever. The idea was to increase stability and security.

        This was during a time when Plasma Desktop was still facing a number of implementation hurdles that impacted stability. So a number of well-meaning people decided that I should be informed about this revolutionary new idea in Chrome and every component in Plasma Desktop should be put into its own process.

      • KDE from the future #2

        The second episode of KDE from the future, where we briefly talk about what happened this week in the development of Plasma and KWin is online here

      • Cool KDE Users

        Can I thank all the Kubuntu Ninjas for their superlative efforts with Raring (amazingly stable for Alpha 2), KDE SC 4.10 and KDE Telepathy.. it is amazingly smooth and stable, and uses a lot less memory than previous releases.. very impressed..

        I was watching a film about the Pirate Bay last night on BBC’s Storyville, turns out the people who run The Pirate Bay run KDE.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • DistroRank
    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • OpenMandriva Honing in on Logo

        Last month OpenMandriva announced a contest to solicit community contributed logo proposals. The entry deadline has come and gone and the next phase has begun. Once verification is complete, public voting commences. So, let’s take a look at some of the proposals.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 11 XFCE Review: Extremely refined and a release not to be missed!

        The name “Sabayon” always rings me of a very refined and extremely polished Linux operating system. As has been my experience with Sabayon 9 and 10, even the Sabayon 11 release doesn’t disappoint. Sabayon 11 is refinement exemplified and is released in four flavors: Gnome 3, KDE, XFCE and LXDE. I start this series of review with my preferred desktop environment, XFCE.

      • Sabayon 11 KDE Review: Great aesthetics and stable performance

        To begin with, Sabayon 11 release is not be missed. At least that is the evidence I got post using the Sabayon 11 XFCE release. Hardware support is better than ever with complete EFI/UEFI and UEFI SecureBoot support, greatly improved NVIDIA Optimus support through Bumblebee, a selection of MySQL flavors, including Google MySQL and MariaDB, up to 14000 packages now available in the repositories per architecture, and much, much more. I already reviewed the XFCE release and found it to be really really good. Next in line is the KDE version.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Symphony In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Minor

        Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 arrives this month as a small but beautifully formed “minor” release with several new components including scale-out data access through parallel NFS (pNFS). To provide this, Red Hat has collaborated with its partners and the upstream community on the parallel Network File System (pNFS) industry standard.

      • Big Data Storage: Five Must-haves for Middle East Enterprises

        DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, 27th February 2013: Big data holds big opportunities for companies here in the Middle East. Correctly leveraged, it can enable the organization to attract and retain new customers, deliver more innovative and profitable products, improve business performance and tap unexpected revenue streams. Oil companies are using real-time data to better manage remote drilling operations. E-commerce websites are using data from their operations to personalize the shopping experience and radically improve customer support. And an ever-growing number of start-up companies are combining innovative cloud services with big data analysis to create highly targeted products and services sold directly to consumers.

        Yet harnessing the power of big data is not without challenges. The same massive volumes of structured and unstructured data that create these opportunities for innovation can confound attempts to cost-effectively contain it, let alone extract value from it. And while the strategic questions surrounding big data are indeed difficult- What data do we actually need? How should we analyze and interpret it? What value will we eventually get from it? Perhaps the most difficult question to answer is the most basic: How will we store it?

      • Red Hat spins, SUSE plays it straight

        Red Hat is the 800-kg gorilla of the commercial Linux space. SUSE is about quarter of that in terms of revenue, yet is the second biggest of the three companies that vie for business attention in the burgeoning Linux market.

        Last week, Red Hat announced its intention to get into the big data business; this week SUSE is trying to woo new businesses in Australia and keep its existing partners in the loop.

        There could not be a bigger contrast in the approach the two companies take.

        Red Hat’s presser was a webcast, with Ranga Rangachari, vice-president and general manager of the company’s storage business unit, making a presentation. I understood it to be a one-hour affair, but it ran for only 32 minutes.

    • Debian Family

      • Kademar 5 preview

        Kademar is Debian-based Linux distribution, with KDE as the default desktop. The first beta of what would be Kademar 5 was released a few days ago. And this beta release is my introduction to this distribution.

        As always, I’m always curious to find out what the installer looks like and if it supports the features that define a feature-complete graphical installation program for a modern Linux distribution.

      • Linux Mint Debian 201303 RC released!
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Touch prepped for 20+ smartphones and tablets

            The developer preview of the Linux-based OS was released for the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 smartphones and Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets last week.

          • Airing of grievances: in which upgrading Ubuntu wreaks havoc
          • Why the Ubuntu Tablet Is a Winner

            At the time of this article, Canonical’s efforts with Ubuntu have done wonders for gaining new adopters for Linux. Sadly however, Canonical’s efforts have yet to make the company profitable.

            Despite their financial shortcomings thus far, Canonical is bullish about their efforts with the Ubuntu phone and the Ubuntu tablet. Recently I was given the opportunity to try both firsthand.

            After spending some time getting to know the interface and understanding the core back-end, I was shocked to find that in many regards the Ubuntu developer preview had a ton going for it. In this article, I will share why I think this could be a winning alternative to Android on the tablet.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 305
          • Can Ubuntu ‘Converge’ Across Phones, TVs, PCs and Tablets?
          • Will SurfaceFlinger Replace Compiz In Ubuntu 14.04?

            Canonical has been hard at work on some very interesting projects lately. This new direction started last year when it announced Ubuntu for phones, a fully featured desktop loaded onto an Android device. More recently — and more mysteriously — they’ve been working on the Ubuntu operating system for phones and tablets as a replacement for Android.

          • 7 Impressive Features Expected in Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail)

            Ubuntu 13.04 (codenamed Raring Ringtail), apart from being a long-term release, will bring along some major changes to the Ubuntu operating system. With the proposed improvements in Dash, one of Shuttleworth’s major goals, that is bringing the web and the desktop together, will get a shot in the arm. Undoubtedly, Ubuntu 13.04 marks a crucial release for Canonical.

            Their new project on the other hand, which is bringing Ubuntu to smartphones, is in heavy development. But the busy developers at Canonical are making sure that their core product gets all the attention it deserves. Ubuntu 13.04, apart from bringing new features to the user, will also come with a more polished and refined look that will hopefully put it head-to-head with Microsoft’s convoluted Windows 8 desktop.

          • Ubuntu Developer Summit Reformatted; Is Canonical Starting To Cut Costs?
          • Ubuntu Touch OS heading to slew of smartphones, tablets
          • ‘Ubuntu Touch Port-a-Thon’: 25 devices and counting
          • How Ubuntu Turned Search in the Dash into a PR Crisis

            While Ubuntu’s upcoming phone and tablet dominate the headlines, an existing controversy is threatening to flare up again as the 13.04 release nears. The display of Amazon search results in the dash, which first became an issue in the 12.10 release, is erupting again as Ubuntu plans to extend the feature to dozens of other websites. The company also plans to add direct payments from the dash and more suggestions.

            Ubuntu has been displaying music search results in the dash for several releases. However, the music results were drawn from Ubuntu’s own music store, and those who use the dash to search for applications on their hard drive may have never noticed them.

          • On Moving To An Online Ubuntu Developer Summit

            Some of you may have seen the news about us transitioning to an online Ubuntu Developer Summit and running the event every three months. If you didn’t see the news, you can read it here. I just wanted to share my personal perspective on this change.

            For a long time now I have been attending Ubuntu Developer Summits as part of my work, but for the last event in Copenhagen my wife was about to give birth and so I attended the event remotely. As someone who has been heavily involved in the planning and execution of UDS for the last 10 or so events, I was intimately aware of the remote participation features of the event, but I had never actually utilized them myself. I was excited to dive into the sessions remotely and participate.

          • XDA Developers and Ubuntu Touch
          • No more physical Ubuntu Developer Summits – moving to the cloud

            The six-monthly Ubuntu Developer Summits (UDS) – held in locations such as Brussels, Orlando in Florida, Budapest, Oakland in California, and Copenhagen – will not be taking place in future, according to an announcement by Community Manager Jono Bacon. The meetings will be replaced by online events held every three months. The real world events which saw Ubuntu and Canonical developers from around the world gather at the start of an Ubuntu release cycle to plan the features of that release, are to be replaced by online gatherings using Google+ Hangouts supported by IRC, Etherpad, “Social Media sharing and links to blueprints and specs”.

          • Elegant Ubuntu Touch OS impresses for phones and tablets (hands-on)
          • Ubuntu Developer Summit Is Dead, Long Live Online UDS
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Take that, Chrome OS! Chromebook Pixel runs Ubuntu and Linux Mint

              It’s not easy to shell out $1,450 for a laptop that runs a Web-dependent operating system, especially when it has much, much cheaper counterparts. Why spend that much money on the Chromebook Pixel when you can get an Acer C7 for $200, a Samsung Series 3 for $250, or an HP Pavilion Chromebook for $330? The Chromebook Pixel does have great hardware replete with a display that can rival Apple’s Retina screen – and it does come with an amusing Konami easter egg – but the limitations brought about by Chrome OS might still deter most people from getting the device. Still, if it entices you enough that you actually want to get it, know that you can at least install Ubuntu or Linux Mint on it thanks to an extra BIOS slot.

            • Fuduntu: An Innovative Old Linux Revisited

              Ease of navigation, better battery performance, Fedora-style functionality; how can Linux users not find the fun in Fuduntu? This distro brings the open source goodness to the desktop, and provides workarounds for popular applications like Netflix, but does so in a way that’s almost an homage to classic Linux — right down to the old-school GNOME 2 desktop effects like woobly windows.

            • A Fat Stack of Bodhi Linux

              When I first started preparing Bodhi ISO images almost two and a half years ago I set out with the goal of providing a clutter free operating system powered by the latest Enlightenment desktop. We call what we do “minimalist” meaning it doesn’t come with a whole lot by default. This ideology isn’t for everyone, though. Thankfully, the power of choice is something that greatly empowers free software development.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenGamma’s Kirk Wylie: Open Source Is Busting Out All Over

    “The fact that we are open source is critical to most of our customers. The fact that it is absolutely transparent, that they can inspect the code if they want to, that they can pack up and move to self support is the ultimate alignment of our customers’ interest in our business model. And what they really care about more than anything else is that our business model must remain in radical alignment with theirs .”

  • Open source app can detect text’s authors

    Free whitepaper – Cern and FuseSource Case Study

    A group of Adelaide researchers has released an open-source tool that helps identify document authorship by comparing texts.

    While their own test cases – and therefore the headlines – concentrated on identifying the authors of historical documents, it seems to The Register that any number of modern uses of such a tool might arise.

  • The Open Source Column – You can’t have it until we tell you

    No matter what technology exists, the wrong people seem to be in charge of turning the taps, argues Simon

  • 75 Open Source Replacements for Popular Education Apps

    School budgets never seem to get any larger, but one way educational institutions may be able to cut costs is by deploying open source software. The open source community has developed applications that educators can use directly in the classroom, apps that are great for use at home and tools that administrators can use for school management.

  • DoubleTwist Teams Up With Qualcomm On Open Source AirPlay Alternative, “MagicPlay”

    DoubleTwist, an iTunes alternative for the Android ecosystem, has teamed up with chipmaker Qualcomm on the release of “MagicPlay,” which the two companies are describing as an open-source, media-streaming platform meant to challenge Apple’s AirPlay. The technology is built on Qualcomm’s AllJoyn protocol, a mesh networking platform that has been in development for several years, but which has yet to achieve serious OEM or consumer adoption.

  • Growing the next generation of open source hackers
  • Events

    • Southern California Linux Expo Features 3D Printing, Cloud Computing, Product Demos
    • Open Education Week: March 11-15
    • One for the record books

      The Southern California Linux Expo turned their annual event up to 11 this year in more ways than one.

      SCALE 11X, celebrating its 11th year as the first-of-the-year Linux/Open Source expo in North America, played host to more than 2,300 attendees visiting more than 100 exhibitors and hearing more than 90 speakers giving a wide variety of presentations during the course of the three-day event.

      Many of the sessions had full attendance, and some were in overflow status. A testament to the quality of the presentations during the course of SCALE 11X is that some of the final presentations on Sunday afternoon were also full.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • RMS

      I hear he was here last time in the mid-90ies, but that happened ages ago and very few people know it ever happened, so when Richard Stallman came to Bucharest it was quite an event for the local FOSS community, many traveled long distance to see him talking. For me it was obvious to go there, I never attended one of his talks and it was a perfect opportunity to take some photos.

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • Cloud Foundry, Forking and the Future of Permissively Licensed Open Source Platforms

      With the cost of forking reduced or eliminated entirely, software development is parellelized; much as bacteria evolve more quickly because they iterate in peer to peer fashion, so too can software projects innovate along multiple parallel tracks rather than a single serial development path. DVCS-enabled forking, then, is an enormous step forward for software development.

      What is less clear, however, is the impact of forking on platform compatibility in an age of permissively licensed software. In his counterpoint to Schuller’s original blog post, VMware’s Patrick Chanezon pointed to this timeline of the various Linux forks, saying in part that there would be “No Linux of the Cloud without forking.” This assertion is likely correct; certainly it’s difficult to imagine Linux evolving as quickly or successfully without its decentralized – and fork-friendly – development model. As many are aware, in fact, Git – the most popular DVCS tool in use today – was originally written to manage the Linux kernel.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • DOJ ‘admits’ to targeting Aaron Swartz over his activism
      • DOJ admits Aaron’s prosecution was political

        The DOJ has told Congressional investigators that Aaron’s prosecution was motivated by his political views on copyright.

        I was going to start that last paragraph with “In a stunning turn of events,” but I realized that would be inaccurate — because it’s really not that surprising. Many people speculated throughout the whole ordeal that this was a political prosecution, motivated by anything/everything from Aaron’s effective campaigning against SOPA to his run-ins with the FBI over the PACER database. But Aaron actually didn’t believe it was — he thought it was overreach by some local prosecutors who didn’t really understand the internet and just saw him as a high-profile scalp they could claim, facilitated by a criminal justice system and computer crime laws specifically designed to give prosecutors, however incompetent or malicious, all the wrong incentives and all the power they could ever want.

      • We Paid for the Research, So Let’s See It

        The Obama administration is right to direct federal agencies to make public, without charge, all scientific papers reporting on research financed by the government. In a memorandum issued on Friday, John Holdren, the president’s science adviser, directed federal agencies with more than $100 million in annual research and development expenditures to develop plans for making the published results of almost all the research freely available to everyone within one year of publication.

      • Aaron Swartz Prosecutors Weighed ‘Guerilla’ Manifesto, Justice Official Tells Congressional Committee

        A Justice Department representative told congressional staffers during a recent briefing on the computer fraud prosecution of Internet activist Aaron Swartz that Swartz’s “Guerilla Open Access Manifesto” played a role in the prosecution, sources told The Huffington Post.

        Swartz’s 2008 manifesto said sharing information was a “moral imperative” and advocated for “civil disobedience” against copyright laws pushed by corporations “blinded by greed” that led to the “privatization of knowledge.”

      • Public access to scientific research endorsed by White House

        The White House responded last week to the petition: Increasing Public Access to the Results of Scientific Research. It was posted to the We the People petition site and got 65,704 signatures (the minimum required is 25,000).

  • Programming

    • NetBeans 7.3 helps with web-centric development

      Oracle has released version 7.3 of its NetBeans open source IDE; this is mainly used in Java development, but also works with PHP and C/C++. The new release’s features cater predominantly to the needs of programmers who increasingly need to include HTML5, JavaScript and CSS in their desktop and mobile applications. As a consequence, the majority of new features affect the web development and mobile capabilties of the IDE. The highlight of these enhancements is the new JavaScript editor and debugger that is based on the Nashorn project; Nashorn is the new JavaScript implementation for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

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