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Links 21/5/2013: Handbrake Turns 0.9.9, NetBSD 6.1

Posted in News Roundup at 6:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • China and Linux: A Lesson in Industry Transformation

    Organizations around the globe are increasingly developing new applications for big data, mobile and cloud, not to mention the increasing creation and use of social tools, within major markets like banking, communications, retail, transportation and finance. These new applications are also fundamental to operating in a connected world where sensors, data centers, smartphones and even cars are now all connected in a large ecosystem.

  • Is The Canadian Government Rolling Out GNU/Linux Clients?

    The sudden increase by 2%, ~480K users, can only be a whole province’s schools or the Government of Canada. Nothing else is large enough for the sudden change. Even Dell could not do that pushing GNU/Linux at the retail level. The Government of Canada has been considering use of GNU/Linux for more than a decade but certainly not globally. They even considered dual-booting rather than one OS or the other per user. In 2011, Transport Canada documented how severely they were locked in to that other OS. There’s no way they suddenly switched. Recently the government rewarded a teacher who developed a GNU/Linux laboratory. They may have read about GNU/Linux and studied it but they don’t seem to have any motivation to switch despite having an estimate of break-even of 18months for migration.

  • Reality Check: 5 Linux Features You Want in Your Company

    One of my favorite things to do when I am teaching is explaining the whole Linux thing to my undergrad students. It takes a while to understand that no, their instructor isn’t crazy (about this), there really is a free operating system out there that’s pretty much running the Internet, supercomputers, and the DVR back in their dorm room.

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

    • The Windows Kernel’s Achilles’ Heel

      “Compared to the Linux kernel, the kernel of that other OS is as inspiring as wet noodles,” blogger Robert Pogson said. “No one can trust it to work for them. After decades of BSODs, vulnerabilities by the score and sluggish behavior on fast hardware, many suspect that there is evil in the black hole.”

    • Stable kernels 3.9.3, 3.4.46, and 3.0.79

      Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of the 3.9.3, 3.4.46, and 3.0.79 stable kernels. As always, they contain important fixes throughout the tree, so users should upgrade.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Using Six Monitors With AMD’s Open-Source Linux Driver

        Linux graphics drivers have come a long way in recent years for both the open and closed-source solutions from AMD, NVIDIA, and Intel. In this Sunday article, a Phoronix reader has shared his experiences in going from failing to setup two monitors under Linux just a few years ago with NVIDIA to now successfully driving six monitors on a single system using the AMD Linux driver.

      • Freedreno Gallium3D Now Banging The Adreno A3XX

        One month after Rob Clark began developing his Freedreno Gallium3D stack for Qualcomm’s Adreno A3xx hardware, he’s beginning to achieve visual success. While the code hasn’t yet been merged into mainline Mesa, on an A320 as found on the Google Nexus 4 he has es2gears (the OpenGL ES version of glxgears) successfully running on this open-source code.

  • Applications

    • Explore the Night Sky with Stellarium

      A visit to a planetarium might be fascinating, but doesn’t occur very often. The Stellarium software, however, provides a really interesting and convenient alternative. Moreover, Stellarium helps in observing the actual night sky. Because the software presents the sky photorealistically, nothing stands in the way of making it available in a classroom or during a lecture. And, because Stellarium is available in the repositories for all the major distributions, installation is at the click of a button.

    • QEMU 1.5 Supports VGA Passthrough, Better USB 3.0

      Just three months after the exciting QEMU 1.4 release, QEMU 1.5 is now available with many exciting and new features for those using this open-source software in a virtualized world. There’s the VFIO VGA pass-through support, USB 3.0 improvements, and much more.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • 24 Peachy Free Linux Games (Part 2 of 4)

        Linux has an ever-expanding library of thousands of free games, many of which are released under an open source license. A good selection of these titles are entertaining, highly addictive, offer captivating gameplay, and are most importantly, great fun to play. Identifying entertaining and challenging games is something that we have a passion for.

      • Reptile Games’ electro beat-’em-up Megabyte Punch coming to Linux
      • 24 Peachy Free Linux Games (Part 2 of 4)

        Linux has an ever-expanding library of thousands of free games, many of which are released under an open source license. A good selection of these titles are entertaining, highly addictive, offer captivating gameplay, and are most importantly, great fun to play. Identifying entertaining and challenging games is something that we have a passion for.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • Antergos Linux 2013.05.12 review

      Antergos Linux is a desktop distribution based on Arch Linux. The distribution started under the Cinnarch moniker with the objective of providing a Cinnamon-only desktop distribution using the same rolling release development model as its parent distribution.

      It got its new name after the developers came to the conclusion that it was going to be extremely difficult to reconcile the Cinnamon and Arch Linux development models, opting instead to use GNOME 3 as the default desktop environment and provide support for other desktop environments.

    • Best Linux Distro For a New User?

      There’s still a perception that Linux is difficult to use and is only for Geeks. This seems rather silly, since most casual users, the folks who use their computers only for surfing, email and word processing, would have little to no learning curve at all using many Linux distros these days. In fact, even with some of the more “advanced” distros, your grandma wouldn’t have any trouble sitting right down and doing whatever it is she does when she’s on the computer.

    • Hybryde Fusion: A very unique Linux distribution

      Hybryde Fusion is a new desktop distribution based on Ubuntu Desktop. Unlike most other Ubuntu-based distributions, it brings a few interesting features to the table.

      Hybryde Fusion 13.04 is the distribution’s first release and the developer, Larrieu Olivier, is based in France. I’m still playing with a test installation, so this is not a review, but a presentation of a bunch of screen shots just to show what this distribution has to offer.

    • Happy Anniversary, LinuxMigrante!

      Although Megatotoro migrated to Linux a bit later than I did, he took his migration seriously and learned a lot of Linux tricks before I did, all thanks to Mepis, Pardus, and AntiX, his distros of choice.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Before Mageia 3: Mageia 2 in Perspective Redux

        The early articles of this site revolved around the late and somewhat lamented Mandriva, which faced troubles as a Linux distribution, product, and company. Although Distrowatch lists Mageia within its top 10 of most clicked distributions, Mageia receives the same coverage in the media as long running PCLinuxOS and Sabayon. In fact, popular frugal Linux distribution Puppy Linux is mentioned more in articles and forums than Mageia.

        Why run Mageia 2 when the developers will be releasing Mageia 3 ( an RC is already out) soon? Well, to see if an updated previous release is a stable one – typically a good sign that a distribution has matured and the next release deserves a go. The positive reception for openSUSE 12.3, for example, was already foreshadowed by the excellent openSUSE 12.2 (which I’m still running to this day).

      • Mageia 3 Released, Still Using Legacy GRUB

        At long last the third major version of Mageia, the popular community fork of Mandriva Linux, is now available. There’s a lot of new stuff to Mageia 3 like a new version of RPM and updated systemd, but the distribution is still not shipping GRUB2 by default.

      • Mageia 3: Here’s what I gained and what I lost

        Mageia 3 was released today and I downloaded the Live DVD version to replace my Mageia 2 Desktop install without further consideration. Normally, I test the betas and the RC of a distro carefully in a virtual machine. This time, sadly, I had no time to do that.

      • Linux Top 3: Mageia 3, Linux Mint 15 and New Linux Kernels for All
      • Mageia 3 arrives “all grown up” after two months’ delay

        Almost two months later than initially expected, the Mageia developers have released the third major version of their Linux distribution. Mageia was originally forked from Mandriva over two and a half years ago and is now “all grown up and ready to go dancing,” according to its developers. Mageia 3 updates the distribution’s kernel, systemd startup tools, the six available desktop environments and a large number of included applications. The release is dedicated to long-time Mandriva contributor and Intel employee Eugeni Dodonov who died last year in a road accident.

      • Mageia 3 is out!
    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Chromium May Become Default Ubuntu Browser in Version 13.10

            Ever since 2005, Ubuntu has delivered Mozilla’s Firefox browser as its default browser, which has made millions of Ubuntu users loyal users of Firefox. But Firefox is hardly the only browser choice that Ubuntu users have. If you’ve tried Chromium–the open source core of Google’s Chrome browser–you already know that it’s fast, clean and very stable. That has now produced a lively discussion going on online about whether Ubuntu 13.10, due later this year, should ship with Chromium as the default browser.

          • Laptop Week Review: The Dell XPS 13 Developers Edition With Ubuntu

            Dude, you got a Linux-powered Dell! In all the years I’ve reviewed laptops I’ve never been as pleasantly surprised by an Ultrabook as I was with the Dell XPS 13 Developers Edition. This ultrathin, ultralight SSD laptop originally came in Windows flavor but, much to my surprise, I far prefer the Ubuntu edition of this device. It is solidly built, acceptably priced given the solid state drive, and surprisingly powerful.

          • What to Expect from Unity in Ubuntu 13.10
          • The Cost Of Ubuntu Disk Encryption

            It’s been a while since last running any Ubuntu Linux disk encryption benchmarks, but thanks to recent encryption improvements within the upstream Linux ecosystem, it’s time to deliver some new Linux disk encryption benchmarks. In this article are results comparing Ubuntu 13.04 without any form of disk encryption to using the home directory encryption feature (eCryptfs-based) and full-disk encryption (using LUKS with an encrypted LVM).

  • Devices/Embedded

    • $99 HDMI stick turns displays into virtual desktops

      Devon IT unveiled an HDMI stick that can turn any HDMI-compatible monitor or display into an interactive virtual desktop. “Ceptor” is somewhat larger than a typical USB memory stick, runs Devon IT’s Linux-based ZeTOS “zero client” operating system on a 1GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 SOC (system-on-chip), and sells for $99.

    • Arduino Yun weds Arduino, WiFi and linux at Maker Faire 2013
    • Phones

      • Jolla prices first Sailfish OS smartphone at €399 for a 2013 launch

        Jolla has just unveiled its first smartphone, which will go on sale this year for €399 (roughly $510). Running the company’s MeeGo-derived Sailfish OS, it features a 4.5-inch display, a dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel camera, LTE (in selected markets), removable back covers, 16GB of onboard storage, and a microSD slot. According to Jolla, the handset will be “compliant” with Android apps, although it’s not sure how many apps will be supported, nor is it clear where users will download the apps from.

      • Jolla Launch
      • Ballnux

        • See the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active for the first time
        • Samsung Galaxy Grand Quattro Launched in India

          Following the success of Galaxy Grand, Samsung launched the Galaxy Grand Quattro in India today. Priced competitively at Rs.17,290, the grand Quattro targets the lower mid range segment.

          The Galaxy Grand Quattro features a 4.7 inch at 480×800 resolution. The Dual-SIM phone is powered by 1.2GHz quad core Cortex A5 processor, Adreno 203 GPU, 1GB RAM and is running Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2. It comes with a 5 megapixel shooter and 0.3 megapixel from facing camera. The internal memory is limited to 8GB, but has an expandable memory up to 32GB.

        • Samsung Calls Out Developers with $800,000 Galaxy S4 App Challenge

          If you’ve been following recent market share numbers for smartphones and mobile operating systems, then you know that Samsung has achieved a dominant position with its Android phones, and especially the Galaxy line of phones. Now, Samsung has launched its “Samsung Smart App Challenge 2013,” inviting developers who work with the company’s peer-to-peer software to develop competitive apps for the S4 phone. The contest includes $800,000 in prize money.

        • Did Samsung confirm a new Galaxy device: the Galaxy S4 Mega?
      • Android

        • Google Glass will be a big deal, so deal with it

          Perhaps no group has earned a borderline obscene pejorative as quickly as the wearers of Google Glass. I mean, the product, not due for release until early next year, is seen in the wild today only on the few thousand who are its early testers. And yet we already

          have the term “glasshole.” Google Glass has also been banned ahead of its release. This all seems to stem from the belief, voiced by writers such as Jason Perlow, that Google Glass is evil, since “it’s a ‘stealth’ recording device.”

        • Intel’s Android mobile chipset play embraces ARM

          Intel has released a new set of development tools for the Android Jelly Bean mobile device operating system called Beacon Mountain.

          Beacon Mountain version 0.5 is only compatible with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

        • Dell Project Ophelia USB Android stick to ship in July, priced at $100

          We know that “wherefore art thou?” was about Romeo, but if your question was for (Dell’s) Ophelia, then it’s likely more “when art thou.” The answer? July. The Android pendrive / USB computer we saw back at CES may be one of many, but distinctive thanks to its mainstream PC-maker origins. We’re still lacking a lot of the specifics, other than that there’s WiFi, Bluetooth, Wyse PocketCloud integration, plus, of course, HDMI and Android 4.something.

        • Dell Project Ophelia Android USB set to launch in July

          Dell’s latest move to insinuate itself into the Android market, Project Ophelia, will be hitting our shelves soon.

        • Intel releases ‘Beacon Mountain’ Android-on-Atom dev tool

          Indroid Inside Intel has released “Beacon Mountain” a development environment for Android apps on both its own Atom silicon and ARM chippery.

          Beacon Mountain emerged over the weekend, promising “productivity-oriented design, coding, and debugging tools for apps targeting … smartphones and tablets.”

        • Google H840 media player hits the FCC: Next Nexus Q?

          Last year Google introduced a media player called the Nexus Q which was designed to let you stream content from your phone or tablet (and from the internet) to your TV. It didn’t last long.

        • Verizon’s “XFON” Likely the XT1060, Also Runs a Snapdragon S4 Dual-core MSM8960
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Twitter uses open source to automate security

    Twitter is increasingly using open source automation tools to ensure security processes are taken care of in all the code it produces.

    “Automation is where we see application security teams going in future,” Alex Smolen, Twitter product security team software engineer, told the Security Development Conference 2013 in San Francisco.

  • Has Open Source’s time come?

    In 1991, a Finnish university student posted a project on an internet discussion board that would change the world. Linus Torvalds had put up the first version of Linux, a computer operating system that within thirty-five years, millions of volunteer programmers around the world would have developed to a point where versions of Linux power 75% of mobile phones sold around the world in the first quarter of 2013 and the majority of websites on the internet, including the one you’re reading this article on right now.

  • RTKLIB Open Source GNSS Precise Positioning Software Supports NV08C Receiver
  • Don’t sell free software cheap

    How can I get paid for free software development? That’s a question many developers ask. And it’s a good question, because software development is expensive, no matter what the license is. Money is one way to pay for this, but fortunately there are many other ways to get paid for free software. The one thing you should never do, though, is to sell free software cheap.

  • Google’s chat client drops Jabber compatibility

    Google is currently deploying an update for its Talk chat client that will replace it with the new Hangouts app. Introduced last week at the I/O developer conference in San Francisco, the Hangouts application is designed to put an end to having three simultaneously available real-time Google communication services – Talk, Google+ Messenger and the original Google+ Hangouts – and is available for Android, iOS, Windows, and as a Chrome extension.

  • “Mobile-first” Bootstrap 3 is almost ready

    Mobile use cases are the major focus for the next version of the open source web frontend framework Bootstrap. Under the heading of “Bootstrap 3 will be mobile-first”, the developers have merged the responsive CSS templates into the core bootstrap.css file, dropping support for Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 3.6 in the process. The changes are aimed at making site designs implemented in Bootstrap adaptable to mobile resolutions by default, without the user having to explicitly enable additional functionality. Bootstrap, which originated at Twitter, has become popular with many developers and is used by hundreds of sites.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Ubuntu 13.10 may ditch Firefox for Chromium

        For years, Ubuntu and Firefox have strolled the open source countryside hand-in-hand. That could change with the release of Ubuntu 13.10, however, as Canonical is thinking about dumping Firefox for Chromium.

        It’s hard to believe that Firefox’s run as the default browser on Ubuntu could be coming to an end. In 2005, it was Firefox 1.0.2 that shipped with Hoary Hedgehog. Eight years later, you’ll find Firefox 20 in Ubuntu 13.04. When 13.10 arrives in the second half of this year, you may have to install the package manually from the Ubuntu Software Center if you want to keep surfing with the ‘fox.

  • CMS

  • BSD

    • Announcing NetBSD 6.1
    • NetBSD 6.1 and 6.0.2 released

      The NetBSD Foundation has announced the first feature update of NetBSD 6 in the form of NetBSD 6.1. The changes in 6.1 include fixes in the kernel for processes with attributes. Networking gets fixes for “atomic fragments” in IPv6, fixes for locking issues in the ipf packet filter, many changes to the npf packet filter library and a correction to the VirtIO NIC driver which had been crashing recent QEMU versions. Filesystem changes include various fixes and working big-endian support for smbfs and an ability to mount ext2fs and msdosfs in 32-bit compat mode.

  • Project Releases

    • Handbrake turns 0.9.9

      The developers of HandBrake, the popular open source video transcoder, have announced the release of version 0.9.9 of the popular video conversion application. Another two beta releases of HandBrake, one which previews the transcoder working with Intel’s Quick Sync Video SDK and another which uses OpenCL to accelerate cropping and scaling and decoding on windows, were also released.

    • Handbrake 0.9.9 Supports OpenCL Offloading

      Just three months after the exciting QEMU 1.4 release, QEMU 1.5 is now available with many exciting and new features for those using this open-source software in a virtualized world. There’s the VFIO VGA pass-through support, USB 3.0 improvements, and much more.

    • m23 rock 13.1 is ready!
  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • HetNet News: Range networks integrates its open-source equipment; new Firetide CEO

      Range Networks, which makes open-source cellular systems, announced that its equipment now integrates with operators’ SS7-MAP core networks and supports 4G. The company, which targets rural and developing markets and private industrial networks with low-cost network equipment, has been collaborating with SS7Ware and said that its One Core Network now supports 2G, 3G and 4G network nodes to be run off of the same core network. Previously, the company’s equipment was limited to 2G, 2.5G, and 3G GSM systems.

  • Programming

    • Perl 5.18 goes stable

      The latest release of Perl, Perl 5.18, is now available as a stable release. Among the many changes that have taken place over the twelve months of development and 400,000 changed lines of code, is a major overhaul of how hashing is implemented.

      The new hash implementation uses a random seed which will vary the return values from keys(), values() and each() each time a program is run; this change makes Perl’s hashes more robust and exposes hash-order dependency bugs. This improvement in security is accompanied by a fix for code injection through translations (CVE-2012-6329) and stopping Perl calling memset with a negative value (CVE-2012-5195), a problem which could become a heap overrun.


  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • 20 children among 91 dead in Moore, Oklahoma tornado

      Twenty children were among at least 91 people killed when a powerful tornado swept through an Oklahoma City suburb, tearing down blocks of homes and two schools, local officials said.

      The state medical examiner’s office released the latest death toll but the number was climbing rapidly, as emergency crews combed through smashed homes and the collapsed remains of an elementary school in Moore, Oklahoma.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Civil Rights

    • Weev in solitary confinement for remotely tweeting from prison

      Weev, whose real name is Andrew Auernheimer, was taken to court and subsequently landed in jail following his infamous and controversial AT&T hack. He’s in prison for 41 months, but even holed up behind bars Weev is causing trouble of the non-violent kind. The Daily Dot reports that Weev is believed to be locked up in solitary confinement following an unsanctioned tweet that shouldn’t have been published in the first place.

      Auernheimer’s lawyer Tor Ekeland says the tweeting from his client’s @rabite handle is the cause of the sudden isolation – Auernheimer is even unable to speak with his lawyer. While Auernheimer isn’t allowed access to the Internet directly, there’s something called the Trust Fund Limited Computer System (TRULINCS), a system where inmates can send email messages to approved contacts. Basically, he would use this system to send messages to a secure contact who would then tweet for him – think of it like surrogate tweeting.

      What looked like his own tweets were actually messages Auernheimer was sending to an approved content to tweet for him … at least that’s what is being assumed. With the help of a friend or friends, Auernheimer has been able to tweet relatively frequently. You can see his stream embedded below.

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