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11.23.13

Debian 6.0.8 is Out (and Other Debian News)

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux at 6:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ian’s ‘baby’ keeps on giving and spreading freedom

Ian Murdock
Photo from Ilya Schurov, Computerra Weekly

Summary: Bits of news about Debian and its extended family

Debian, the most widely used GNU/Linux distribution (on servers in particular), has a new bugfix release [1] and some exciting news about its impact (see “Debian increases its popularity on web servers” [2]). MATE is now becoming part of Debian [3] and the default init system is to be decided on [4]. Virtualisation is an area where Debian provides many choices [5] and for those who prefer a different (from default) desktop environment there is KDE as part of the default in Kwheezy, which received some positive reviews lately [6].

In many ways, owing to extensive repositories and lack of focus on just one particular market or purpose, Debian has got in it much of the best of GNU/Linux, including choice. It remains a leading choice in many enterprises.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Debian 6.0.8 Officially Released

    The Debian project announced the immediate availability for download of the eight maintenance release of the Debian 6 Linux operating system.

  2. Debian Project News – October 28th, 2013

    Bits from the Release Team
    s390 removed from the archive in favour of s390x
    manpages.debian.net now an official service
    Debian increases its popularity on web servers
    Other news
    Upcoming events
    New Debian Contributors
    Important Debian Security Advisories
    New and noteworthy packages
    Work-needing packages
    Want to continue reading DPN?

  3. MATE to make it into Debian repositories
  4. Init wars: Debian technical panel to decide

    The leader of the Debian GNU/Linux project, Lucas Nussbaum, has announced that the question of which init system will be the default in the next release, Jessie, will be decided by the project’s technical committee.

  5. Debian Virtualization: LXC debootstrap filesystem
  6. Introducing Kwheezy 1.2

    Once the interface was pleasantly bland and once the additional services had been disabled, I found I slowly grew to like Kwheezy. The combination of the KDE desktop with a lot of useful software and Debian’s rock solid base is a winning formula. I certainly liked the Kwheezy installer and the basic concept behind its design. I would have enjoyed my time with the distribution a good deal more if it had a quieter interface and fewer features enabled out of the box. I feel a calmer desktop would be more in line with Debian’s design. In the end, I came around to enjoying Kwheezy, but only after I convinced the desktop to stop distracting me from my work.

Android Has Real Competition Coming and It’s Linux Powered (Sailfish OS Phone Out Next Week)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google at 6:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mer

Summary: The projects that come from MeeGo (a Nokia-led project for the most part) pose a threat to Android’s domination in the area of mobile Linux

AS we pointed out the other day, Android is not the only game in town. Linux is being used in rival platforms and next week Jolla’s Sailfish OS phone will be unveiled [1]. It uses some MeeGo code, so it will probably have a lot in common with Tizen, which also “turns up in an IVI system and a fridge” [2]. The Linux Foundation says [3] that Tizen is doing well and the more competition we have in this space, the more pressure there will be on Google to open up [4]. Without competition, there will always be this threat that Google will just use “open” for marketing, not much beyond that.

By the way, word on the Web says that Jolla is not really “open”, let alone free, but it remains to be seen (4 days from now).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Jolla Sailfish OS phone released in Finland on November 27

    Mobile newcomer Jolla has confirmed it will start selling its first smartphone at the end of this month, and it’ll be launched in Finland on a local network called DNA. The news comes from Jolla’s official Twitter account, but it wasn’t welcomed by everyone, as there’s no confirmation of when those who pre-ordered the phone will be getting their devices.

  2. Tizen turns up in an IVI system and a fridge

    Close on the heels of the revelation that Samsung’s NX300M camera runs Tizen, this week saw an announcement by Nexcom of a developer-focused, Intel Atom-based automotive computer called the VTC 1010-IVI that supports the Tizen In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) stack, plus news of a Tizen-enabled Samsung smart refrigerator. Meanwhile, Samsung’s first Tizen phones are rumored to be under test at Korean mobile carriers.

  3. Linux Foundation: Open Source Tizen Is Alive And Well

    Tizen has been described as everything from “a troubled child” to “dead in the water”, but analysts still believe it has the best chance of the four major open source mobile operating systems to make an impact on the global smartphone market.

    It is an opinion that Brian Warner, who oversees the Tizen project for the Linux Foundation, would agree with as he believes the operating system is capable “of scratching an itch” that is unaddressed by other leading non-Android open source platforms – Firefox OS, Sailfish and Ubuntu Mobile.

    Speaking to TechWeekEurope, he says the main advantages of Tizen is that it is truly open source and manufacturers can make alterations to the interface without affecting compliance and compatibility standards – unlike Android.

  4. Motorola no longer voiding warranties on Developer Edition handsets

    If you are among those who purchased a Developer Edition handset and want its bootloader unlocked to tinker with the operating system, this one goes out to you. Up until now, requesting such an unlock code would void the warranty for your Developer Edition device. But in an interesting step towards pleasing the developer and enthusiast communities, Motorola has introduced two big changes to its Developer Edition Program.

GNU/Linux Has 100% Market Share in Green10 and Top10

Posted in GNU/Linux, Servers at 6:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Deep Blue
Photo by James the photographer

Summary: When it comes to the world’s top computers, GNU/Linux is virtually without any competition

It is GNU/Linux occupying 10 out of 10 (top 10) ‘super’ servers. The numbers are out and they show this, based on Green500 [1] and TOP500 [2,3], which has GNU/Linux everywhere but 18 computers in the top 500. If this isn’t a sign of GNU/Linux having clear technical superiority, what is? Decisions regarding expensive computers such as these are not made based on some sole Microsoft MVP or a clueless manager (I have seen this personally) who has a pact with Microsoft.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Green500 List top 10 are all powered by NVIDIA Tesla GPUs and Linux

    The November 2013 edition of the Green500 List has be released, just two days after the TOP500 List.

    Unlike the TOP500 List, which lists 500 of the worlds fastest supercomputers, the Green500 List lists the most energy-efficient supercomputers that made the TOP500 List. So for the Green500, it’s not about how fast, but how energy-efficient. That’s why China’s Tianhe-2, which topped the November 2013 TOP500 List, did not even make the top 10 of the Green500 List for the same month. Rather, it ranked number 41.

  2. New ‘Real-World’ Benchmark Could Shake Up Top500 Supercomputer List

    “Once the definition and code for the HPCG is in a stable condition we envision collecting results for it in parallel to the ongoing effort for the HPL benchmark,” said Erich Strohmaier, head of the Future Technologies Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories and Top500.org editor. “For the foreseeable future the TOP500 will be based on the HPL benchmark test but we would hope to provide additional value and information by collecting and publishing numbers for new benchmark such as HPCG as well.”

  3. SC13: Top500 lists the world’s fastest computers

    Supercomputing 13, which takes place in Denver this week, began with the announcement of the latest Top500 list of the world’s fastest computers and Nvidia’s release of the Tesla K40 accelerator.

  4. 482 of the Top500 supercomputers run Linux, and China’s Tianhe-2 is the fastest

    The November 2013 edition of the list of the world’s fastest supercomputers has just been released. Known as the TOP500 List, it is released twice a year, first in June, then in November.

    The TOP500 List began in June 1993, ran again in November of that year and has been repeated in that order since. The November 2013 edition is the 42nd.

    This latest edition is not that much different from the previous edition, which was also topped by the Tianhe-2 supercomputer, which is built and maintained by China’s National University of Defense Technology. It retained its top spot “with a performance of 33.86 petaflop/s (quadrillions of calculations per second).” Folks, that’s fast, and impressive.

The Mandriva Family Expands With the Release of OpenMandriva Lx 2013.0

Posted in GNU/Linux, Mandriva at 5:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mandriva logo

Summary: The “OpenMandriva” branch of Mandrake/Mandriva shows continuity in what used to be the leading GNU/Linux distribution for desktops/laptops

REMNANTS of Mandrake include PCLinuxOS, which is a wonderful distribution [1], but from Mandriva too comes a new release, known as OpenMandriva Lx 2013.0 [2,3]. The staff which left Mandriva is saying goodbye to Mageia 2 [4] and those who support Mandriva-based distros continue to shuffle [5], showing us that Mandriva is able to thrive in branches and forks. Having more choices is essential for a project’s survival and expansion. Mandrake/Mandriva was once the most widely used desktop distribution. It can still make a huge comeback.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. PCLinuxOS Makes Desktop Linux Look Good

    If you prefer the do-it-your way experience, opt for the KDE MiniMe version. You will get a basic KDE desktop to configure your way. This version is intended for advanced users who know how to fine-tune their system. It is a much smaller ISO file that lacks printer drivers. You add what drivers you need as well as whatever other elements you want beyond the bare-bones KDE installation. – See more at: http://www.linuxinsider.com/story/PCLinuxOS-Makes-Desktop-Linux-Look-Good-79418.html#sthash.VNYARlCM.dpuf

  2. OpenMandriva Lx 2013.0 Released
  3. [OpenMandriva] 2013.0 Final Release

    The OpenMandriva Lx teams are pleased to announce the availability of the 2013.0 final release!

  4. Goodbye Mageia 2
  5. Pentaboot Laptop Changes

    2. PCLinuxOS has been updated and it now fixed the SCIM IME. That is simply great! PCLinuxOS 32 bits is my gaming OS as it gets to play my DESURA and STEAM games perfectly.

    3. Mageia 3 remains the same with some updates. This is my academic distro and my family OS (it was user accounts for my family)

Pear OS Helps Apple’s OS

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux at 5:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pears

Summary: By trying to copy OSuX we are led to the trap of helping to reinforce the notion that OSuX is better and hence we can only ever play catchup

Variants of Ubuntu are becoming a force to be reckoned with, especially amid controversies involving privacy, trademarks, and more. Pear OS 8 is an interesting variant which targets new form factors [1] but doesn’t always shine [2]. It recently had a new release. Pear OS 8 is somewhat controversial in the GNU/Linux world not because it imitates Apple poorly but because it strives to imitate Apple, which basically downplays our strengths and reinforces that notion that Apple’s OSuX is somehow better. Distributions which tried to mimic Windows — even Vista — got chastised for similar reasons.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Pear OS 8: Linux-based software for tablets, desktops (inspired by iOS)

    Pear OS is a Linux-based operating system designed to combine the beauty of Apple software with the utility (and open nature) of GNU/Linux. A year ago that meant making Ubuntu look like OS X. Now it apparently means giving Ubuntu an OS X and iOS 7-style user interface.

  2. Pear OS 8 – A Missed Opportunity?

    I love distros that try and mimic other OSes. They lessen the blow of using a new OS and encourage inexperienced users to take the plunge into Linux. In that respect, Pear OS 8 is a wonderful imitation of Mac OS X, but does a poor job of presenting the best of Linux.

Links 23/11/2013: Applications and Instructionals

Posted in News Roundup at 5:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

TPP is Patent Expansionism (Exporting US Patent Law)

Posted in Patents at 4:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

TPP treaty

Summary: TPP helps the killing of people (whose access to patented drugs and generics will be impeded) and helps an inane class of patents become applicable in more countries

THE recently-leaked Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) document helped show that the copyright cartel runs governments [1], not just in the US but also abroad [2]. This even affects how people use their phones [3]. Analysis continues to come [4], including a longish peep at the impact on patents.

In order to understand what TPP means in practical terms, watch how Apple extorts a Korean giant that promotes Linux/Android [1. 2]. Billions of dollars are at stake and it’s buyers that pay this money (to Apple, even if they never buy Apple). One company even rewrites the history of encryption in an attempt to extort businesses using patents. “Once-secret details of a mass-lawsuit operation are revealed in Texas courtroom,” says the author, who is one among several that address the problem. Remember that Apple actually copied a lot of companies but right now it rewrites the history of gadgets in order to extort money out of the real innovators.

What’s needed right now is acceptance that software patents are inadequate and that patents in general do nothing but serve large corporations like Apple. That’s what TPP is for. It’s protectionism for monopolies. We might return to covering patents in the future (running Tux Machines takes a lot of time), but the important point is, TPP has a lot to do with patents. TPP needs to be crushed.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. MPAA and RIAA Urge Government to Keep High Fines for Copyright Infringers

    This summer the U.S. Government’s Internet Policy Task Force published a Green Paper signaling various copyright issues that need to be addressed. Among other things, the group proposed a “recalibration” of penalties for file-sharers, which currently reach $150,000 per shared file. The MPAA and RIAA, among others, have now responded to this suggestion, stating that the current punishments are proportional, and needed to deter others from file-sharing and related offenses.

  2. Kim Dotcom: the TPP ‘proves’ that Wall St and Hollywood own Obama

    The secretive multinational trade agreement the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) “proves” that Wall St and Hollywood own Obama, according to MegaUpload and Mega founder Kim Dotcom.

    In part two of Wired.co.uk’s interview with the infamous entrepreneur, we talk about international copyright law, NSA surveillance, Hollywood’s “backward, outdated licensing model”, Barack Obama and Dotcom’s political ambitions.

  3. Jailbreak a phone, go to jail: Copyright law, the TPP way

    Even more examples of ill-informed thinking lurk in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the SOPA/CISPA/PIPA redux

  4. Visualizing Negotiating Positions in the TPP IP Chapter

    Last Thursday, Wikileaks released a draft text of the intellectual property (IP) chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The TPP is a free trade agreement currently been negotiated between 12 countries: the United States, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, and Japan. Like many FTAs, the TPP has been negotiated in a secret, non-transparent fashion, with access to draft texts provided only to lobbyists and the like. Wikileak’s release of the IP chapter thus provides an important opportunity for academics, activists, and the public to examine what is being negotiated in their name.

Links 23/11/2013: New Releases and Screenshots

Posted in News Roundup at 4:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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