EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

04.01.13

Links 1/4/2013: April First Headlines and More

Posted in News Roundup at 7:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • DNA Is The Linux Of The Natural World

    DNA Is The Linux Of The Natural WorldWe probably all vaguely assume that computers will overthrow us someday, which may be why it’s so unsettling to learn that computer code is evolving much like genetic code. By comparing bacterial genomes to Linux, researchers have found “survival of the fittest” acting in computer programming.

  • Bullseye from 1,000 yards: Shooting the $17,000 Linux-powered rifle

    My photographer, Steve, squints through a computerized scope squatting atop a big hunting rifle. We’re outdoors at a range just north of Austin, Texas, and the wind is blowing like crazy—enough so that we’re having to dial in more and more wind adjustment on the rifle’s computer. The spotter and I monitor Steve’s sight through an iPad linked to the rifle via Wi-Fi, and we can see exactly what he’s seeing through the scope. Steve lines up on his target downrange—a gently swinging metal plate with a fluorescent orange circle painted at its center—and depresses a button to illuminate it with the rifle’s laser.

  • What’s in a Name?

    Katherine Noyes over on the Linux Advocates site has resurrected the GNU/Linux vs Linux naming debate, once again. To the uninitiated, the debate centers around if we should refer to the operating system as “GNU-slash-Linux” or simply as “Linux”, with the Free Software Foundation claiming that referring to the operating system merely as Linux gives undue credit to the kernel, without proper attribution to the GNU tools that make up the majority of the OS. Personally, I find the debate to be a waste of time. It is unlikely that anyone outside of a very small group of dedicated loyalists will care about the distinction. However, it does bring up a more interesting point, what about going a layer higher? What happens when distributions stop referring to themselves as Linux derivatives, come to market only under their name?

  • Desktop

    • Chromebook Pixel: Spoiling me for other Chromebooks

      I have been using a Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook since picking it up last year. The Samsung is a great laptop that happens to run Chrome OS, something that works very well for me. I like everything about the Samsung. Then Google sent me a Chromebook Pixel and spoiled me.

      The Series 5 550 Chromebook works very well for me. It runs Chrome OS nicely and is a super work machine that meets my needs. There is not really anything I don’t like about the Samsung, but it’s no longer enough.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Another OpenGL 4 Feature For Mesa Is Published

        Earlier this morning I wrote about Chris Forbes committing texture storage multi-sample support to mainline Mesa and the Intel DRI driver. This OpenGL 4.x extension is now accompanied by a new “RFC” patch-set for providing Mesa support for another GL4 feature.

        Chris Forbes’ newly-published patches on Sunday morning are for ARB_texture_gather, a feature mandated by OpenGL 4.0 and previously not tackled within the Mesa/Gallium3D world.

      • “Substantial Progress” With Mesa Geometry Shaders

        Open-source Intel developers have advanced their OpenGL geometry shaders work for Mesa, namely for the Intel DRI driver, and call it “substantial progress and definitely a reason to celebrate.” This important GL3 feature is nearing a working state but there’s still some work ahead before it will be merged.

      • LLVM 3.3 Picks Up More Support For Intel AVX2

        Beyond LLVM 3.3 having performance optimizations, one of many other features coming to this next compiler infrastructure update is greater support for Intel’s AVX2 instruction set extensions.

        AVX2 is the first major update to the Advanced Vector Extensions. AVX2 is also known as “Haswell New Instructions” and will be found in the Intel Haswell CPUs introduced in the coming months. AVX2 tacks in gather support, expands most integer AVX instructions to 256-bits, 3-operand FMA support, vector shifts, and other new functionality.

      • An OpenGL 4.x Feature Gets Crossed Off In Mesa

        Support for the OpenGL ARB_texture_storage_multisample extension is now implemented within Mesa and is exposed by the Intel DRI driver.

    • Benchmarks

      • Ivy Bridge Doesn’t Change Much With Modern Kernels

        For those wondering whether Intel “Ivy Bridge” hardware is still being made faster with each succeeding Linux kernel release, here are benchmarks from an Intel Ultrabook looking at the Ivy Bridge performance on recent kernel releases going up to the yet-to-be-out Linux 3.9 kernel.

        A few days back I carried out a Linux kernel performance comparison from an ASUS Ultrabook with Intel Core i3 3217U “Ivy Bridge” processor with 4GB of RAM, 500GB Hitachi HDD, and 24GB SanDisk SSD. Ubuntu 13.04 x86_64 was in use while the Linux 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, and 3.9 (Git) mainline/vanilla kernels were tested.

  • Applications

    • New features in Cairo-Dock 3.2
    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

    • Games

      • A Thought on What Holds Linux Gaming Back

        All the talk nowadays if of “unification” or to paraphrase Mark Shuttleworth and Ubuntu the “availability of a single interface for all devices.” And with all this talk I began to wonder why more gaming engine’s aren’t jumping on board.

        The recent release of Unity3d 4 was all the rage because it meant that an incredibly popular engine was coming to Linux, and thus all unity3d games developed with the new engine could in fact run on Linux (granted a Linux version was released). In my personal opinion, Unity3d is great, but when compared to the more AAA engines like the Unreal, FrostBite and CDProjectRed’s RED Engine just to name a few, Unity3d falls a bit flat in my eyes.

      • Half-Life 4 added to the SteamDB for Linux!

        That’s right, you heard it here first folks, Half-Life 4 has been added to the SteamDB! It includes hints of others things too.

      • Two from icculus now on Steam: Dungeon Defenders & Postal
      • New Racing Game for Linux
      • Serious Sam 3: BFE for Linux Gets Biggest Patch Since Launch

        Serious Sam 3: BFE is a very serious first-person shooter, as the name suggests, and it has just received a major update that greatly improves its performance.

        The Croteam studio has been hard at work and it is trying its best to make Serious Sam 3: BFE one of the best shooters for Linux.

        The latest update for the game has been promoted from the Beta to stable. It’s probably one of the largest patches launched so far and the number of Linux related fixes and improvements is quite impressive.

      • Humble Troubles Again, more platform specific bundles

        They have also just launched their Mobile Bundles which are for Android only, so no Windows, Mac or Linux (I know, I know Android is part Linux that’s an argument for another day) versions, which makes me wonder just how the Windows crowd feels since they have been left out this time, too.

      • Mir, ARM & Valve Excite Linux Users This Month

        March 2013 was another interesting month for Linux users. The Mir Display Server, ARM on Linux advancements, and Valve’s continued Linux game play continued to excite readers.

        This month on Phoronix at the time of publishing there were 242 original news articles and 11 multi-page featured articles. The number of news postings and articles is down from February when there was FOSDEM plus advertising campaigns on the site were more lucrative… Phoronix.com is almost entirely ad-driven so please view this site without AdBlock or other cruft. And/or please consider subscribing to Phoronix Premium for ad-free viewing as well as viewing multi-page articles on a single-page.

      • Valve Announces Half-Life 4 For Linux

        Valve has added Half-Life 4 to Steam and it will be a title for Linux without mentioning OS X or Windows support.

        As can be seen from SteamDB, Half-Life 4 was added today to Steam, well ahead of the Half-Life 3 debut. The Half-Life 4 entry also hints at binary support for the Steam Box, Valve’s forthcoming console. The Half-Life 4 entry also notes use of “Source Engine 2″ for the game.

      • Valve Releases Several New Linux Game Ports
      • There Isn’t Too Much Progress On Unigine Linux Titles

        For those that have followed Phoronix over the years know that I am a big supporter of the Unigine game/3D engine. The engine delivers absolutely beautiful graphics and there is first-rate Linux support. The developers at Unigine Corp are very Linux-friendly. Unfortunately, games and other software based upon Unigine aren’t too quick to come to the Linux gaming scene.

      • Valve Has Been Working Hard On Linux For One Year

        Today marks one year since an important milestone in the public history of Valve’s Steam client and Source Engine coming to Linux.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat’s fourth-quarter sales dropped

        Despite the growth of Linux adoption in enterprise and business use, Red Hat, the large company that sells Linux operating-system software fell after reporting fiscal fourth-quarter sales that missed estimates as some customers stopped purchasing, due to the current global economic situation.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Smart Scopes Get Removed From Ubuntu 13.04

            It’s been decided at the last minute that “smart scopes”, a feature of the new Unity desktop, will not ship in Ubuntu 13.04.

            Smart Scopes were supposed to be an intelligent server-side service for deciding if a search query should be pushed through a particular scope, among other benefits. Smart scopes were said to be self-learning and aimed to provide more relevant results for users of the Unity desktop.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 will disable Dash online search by default: Mark Shuttleworth

            Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu, has finally listened to critics and EFF and said that the much controversial online search feature of Dash will be disabled by default in Ubuntu 13.04, which will be released later this month. Canonical was working closely with EFF, FSF and the EU privacy advisors and found it in best interest of its users.

            “Users are our #1 priority and not our business interests,” said Shuttleworth in a statement, “the foundation of Ubuntu is people and if some decisions were made which put user’s privacy at risk, that would be very un-Ubuntu. We never shied away from trying out new things and we never hesitated in changing a decision for a greater good.”

          • User Interaction with Ubuntu Components
          • Ubuntu Powered Promo Booth? You Bet [Ubuntu In The Wild]

            Every day we walk past and interact with machines that run Linux, without ever noticing.

          • Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) server, 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) desktop and 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) reaching End of Life on May 9 2013
          • End of life for three Ubuntu editions on 9 May
          • Monitor ‘Zeitgeist’ Logging Activities in Ubuntu using ‘Zeitgeist Explorer’

            ‘Zeitgeist‘ is a computer based user activity logging framework for the GNU/Linux operating system that keeps a track of your frequently opened files (text, audio, videos etc), visited web links, conversations that you had with others (through ‘Chat’ apps) etc.

            The database is a semantic one and so it makes it easy to identify patters, thus improves the ability to predict user activities. And since this database can be accessed by other applications (if they support ‘Zeitgeist’), they can predict or guess the user’s needs more accurately and thus improving the user experience.

          • Experimental Compiz, Unity Work Continues

            While the future is with Mir and Unity Next, work on the short-term includes more performance optimizations for the Unity desktop and Compiz window manager.

            While Sam Spilsbury no longer works at Canonical and has some dissenting views over the future direction of Ubuntu Linux, he has dabbled with some performance optimizations recently for Compiz/Nux.

          • issue 71
          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Biggest Failure in Open Source Is…

    I have been a self-employed technical person for the past 38 years. I my living based solely on my output. Since 1998 a major secret weapon has been the use of SR. Certainly, you can get speech recognition from the Debian pool. While some good folks over in Japan have made some major advancements over the years, it is still a toy. This is inherent in the complexity of speech recognition software.

    In 1998 IBM had a Linux version of SR known as ViaVoice. It worked about as well as any other SR offering of the day. IBM dropped the product. At a conference I asked an IBM executive, Why? The answer was: “We did not get enough gross revenue to cover the cost of the box manufacturing to put the CD in it.”

    In my experience the Open Source community is its own worst enemy. Putting on the rose-colored glasses, and disappointing those who just want to ‘get something done’. Let’s look at a real world example.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • Funding

    • U.S. Defense Agency Feeds Python

      The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has given 3 million dollars to Texas-based software provider Continuum Analytics with a view to helping fund the improvement of the Python language’s data processing and visualization power for big data tasks.

  • BSD

    • DragonFlyBSD 3.4 Coming Soon, Focuses On DPorts

      The DragonFlyBSD 3.4 release is anticipated for release in mid-April and one of the features to this next BSD operating system update is the formation of DPorts, a derivative of the FreeBSD ports collection.

      DPorts is DragonFly’s derivative of FreeBSD Ports and will ultimately replace pkgsrc and the other pkg_* tools on the operating system. These older tools also reached an end-of-life state on FreeBSD.

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • Russians Selectively Blocking Internet

      The Russian government in recent weeks has been making use of a new law that gives it the power to block Internet content that it deems illegal or harmful to children.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Will Ford’s open-source car API drive us to distraction?

      That’s perhaps why it wasn’t all that surprising that Ford’s EVP of Global Marketing, James Farley, didn’t use his keynote address at the opening day of the New York International Auto Show to announce some line extension or new braking system, but rather to introduce a mobile app competition.

    • Urban activists hack their way toward open government

      OAKLAND, CA—Four years ago, Code For America (CFA) was founded with the mission to “help governments work better for everyone with the people and the power of the Web.” Within two years, the San Francisco-based nonprofit set up a fellowship program, inviting American cities to receive a team of three young motivated developers, activists, and policy planners. The Washington Post’s description captured what everyone was already thinking: CFA is the “technology world’s equivalent of the Peace Corps or Teach for America.”

    • Open Access/Content

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Making WebRTC Simple with conversat.io

      WebRTC is awesome, but it’s a bit unapproachable. Last week, my colleagues and I at &yet released a couple of tools we hope will help make it more tinkerable and pose a real risk of actually being useful.

Leftovers

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Patent Troll MPEG-LA Expands From Software Patents to Patents on Life While USPTO is Virtually Headless

    The travesty of software patents, such as patents on multimedia compression and playback, may soon be made worse as patents on genome are being aggregated by a notorious patent aggressor



  2. Lack of Independence of the Boards of Appeal at the European Patent Organisation (EPO) a Fatal Blow for the UPC

    Issues associated with the EPC, namely the lack of separation of powers at the EPO, may mean that the UPC is merely a zombie waiting to accept its permanent death



  3. [DE] STRASBOURG: Vertreter der Lufthansa wegen Korruption angeklagt

    Laut manche internationale Quellen wurde Željko Topić gerade wegen korruptiven und kriminellen Neigungen, mit welchen er von Natur begabt ist und mit welchen er den internationalen Korporationen beim Schutz von zwielichtigen Patenten in der Republik Kroatien geholfen hat, eigentlich belohnt mit der Arbeitsstelle in EPO in München, obwohl er laut seine Kenntnisse und seine Mentalität dorthin nicht gehört. Dafür spricht auch die Angabe, daß er als Person mit Komplexen neulich seinen Wohnsitz in Zagreb geändert hat.



  4. Links 21/7/2017: New Wine, Ubuntu EoL

    Links for the day



  5. The Bizarre World of US Patents and Ongoing Pursuit/Granting of Software Patents in Spite of Section 101

    A survey of recent patents that are either far too trivial, pertain purely to software, promote surveillance, or are pursued purely for vanity (when a court is likely to deem these invalid anyway)



  6. Battistelli's EPO Abuses May Soon Lead to the Death of the UPC and Return of the Old Order ('EPO Glory')

    Having severely damaged the EPO, in a selfish effort to make Europe attractive to patent trolls and bullies, Team Battistelli gradually goes away along with the UPC



  7. Links 20/7/2017: Qt Creator 4.4 Beta, Libgcrypt 1.8.0

    Links for the day



  8. Microsoft is Googlebombing “Linux” This Week in Order to Sell Proprietary Software That Does Not Run on GNU/Linux (and While Blackmailing OEMs Over Linux)

    A reminder of the fact that Microsoft very much hates GNU/Linux, lobbies against it (e.g. in Munich), blackmails companies that distribute it (using software patents) and shares all data stored by its software through back doors (for access by the NSA and other Western spy agencies)



  9. PTAB Persists and AIA Dominates in Spite of Smears and Bullying From Patent Extremists Including Watchtroll

    The America Invents Act (AIA) and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) maintain and gain prominence in spite of nefarious tactics of attack sites such as Watchtroll



  10. Patent Reform in the United States is Led by the Supreme Court, Not Industrial Lobbies

    Although lobbying by large corporations has served to change the patent landscape in the US, a lot of the big changes become possible because Justices with no vested interests (in patents and patent lawsuits) overturn decisions from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit



  11. Unified Patent Court (UPC): A Conspiracy of Lies and Silence

    The impasse which makes impossible any progress on the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is simply being ignored -- as if it never happened -- by Team UPC



  12. The British Government May be Pulling Out of the UPC Fantasy, Team UPC in Panic or Denial About It

    The latest news about the UPC -- news that Team UPC conveniently ignores -- is that the British government "withdrew motion on Unified Patent Court with no notice"



  13. Links 19/7/2017: MPV 0.26, Netrunner Rolling 2017.07

    Links for the day



  14. Links 18/7/2017: Sparky 5.0, Krita 3.2 Beta, Mageia 6, Slackware Turns 24

    Links for the day



  15. New Paper Explains Why UPC Ratification Efforts Have Been Just About as Corrupt as EPO Under Battistelli

    Yesterday, Dr. Ingve Björn Stjerna revealed serious Constitutional issues with the campaign for the Unified Patent Court, which resembles an aggressive Battistelli-esque coup, not a democratic process by any stretch of imagination



  16. Anti-Patent Trolls Reform in the US Evolves Nicely and Rogue Judges Get Named, Shamed

    A quick look at today's coverage regarding the battle against patent trolls in the US, as well as the patent microcosm's war on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)



  17. Software Patents Lobbying at IAM Strives to Reinforce the Positions of Patent Maximalists

    The latest push for software patents in the software powerhouse which is India and rants about the EPO's admission about overpatenting, only after pressure from the European Commission



  18. UPC Puff Piece in the Scottish Media is Just an Advertisement by Marks & Clerk

    Advertising in the form of an 'article' (complete with self-serving bias and falsehoods) in The Scotsman today, courtesy of Team UPC



  19. From East to West and Even Down South at the Eastern District of Texas Patent Trolls Are Losing Everything

    Patent trolls that are accustomed to friendly judges, typically in the Eastern District of Texas, will be circling down the drain if the trend of "fee award" (to the vindicated defendant) continues



  20. Those Who Endlessly Attacked Michelle Lee Now Attack Supporters of PTAB, Not Just PTAB

    Watchtroll, which combats patent progress by character assassination of instrumental figures, continues in its warpath today



  21. In the Face of Malicious Lobbying, High Tech Inventors Alliance (HTIA) and Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) Protect PTAB

    A new push by the patent microcosm to eliminate PTAB and marginalise Section 101 (which helps suppress software patents) is quickly met with opposition from concerned politicians and groups that represent actual technology companies



  22. Weakening of Patents Assigned to Google and Another New Patent Lawsuit Against Uber

    Project Loon patent canceled, Google's lawsuit against Uber gets 'diluted' by 75%, and Uber faces a new lawsuit in the Eastern District of Texas (capital of patent trolls)



  23. After the 'Fall' of Texas, Patent Trolls Struggle and Some Are on the Retreat

    Things are getting out of hand for patent trolls, which find themselves on the defensive (from challenges to all their patents) and try to escape the cases they started in order to dodge paying fees (to no avail)



  24. Immersion, FitBit, Jawbone, and Creative Chose to be a Pile of Patents Rather Than Real Companies

    FitBit is the latest company to be slapped by Immersion (having already driven Jawbone out of business) and there's news about Creative, which uses old patents to shake down Apple and Android OEMs



  25. Debate About Software Patentability in India Still Dominated by Patent Lawyers Rather Than Software Developers

    The warped debate in English-speaking media gives the impression that India should open the door to software patents even though it's perfectly clear that such patents would harm India's interests



  26. Links 16/7/2017: Mesa 17.1.5, FreeBSD 11.1 RC3

    Links for the day



  27. Serious Factual Errors in UPC Coverage at Science|Business and Lack of Coverage in the General Media

    With much of the British media already paid by the EPO to produce UPC puff pieces, we continue to see poor coverage on the topic (if any at all)



  28. Guest Post: Is Germany's UPC Ratification Postponement Related to Problems at the  EPO?

    A question currently being asked by some people watching UPC developments in Germany: "Is Germany's UPC ratification postponement related to problems at the EPO?"



  29. Amazon is Stockpiling Terrible Patents and Using These for Competitive Advantage

    Demonstrating the real purpose of patent hoards, Amazon too 'pulls a Microsoft' and shields its dominance by an atmosphere of sheer fear



  30. Microsoft-Owned LinkedIn is Ramping Up Software Patents Pursuits, Maybe Lawsuits

    A quick look at some of the patterns and priorities when it comes to Microsoft's patent strategy, which typically involves coercion, extortion and sometimes (when coercion or extortion fail) litigation


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts