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Links 14/4/2014: MakuluLinux, Many Games, More Privacy News and Pulitzer Prize for NSA Revelations

Posted in News Roundup at 4:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • With Death of Windows XP, Now Is Perfect Time to Switch to Linux

    With the official retirement of Windows XP, the release of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and surprisingly healthy software and gaming ecosystems (yay, Steam!), there has never been a better time to switch to Linux. Linux will also run very well on any old, Windows XP-era hardware that you might still be using, too — and if you’re anxious that you’ll be filled with switchers remorse after nuking your Windows installation, don’t worry: dual-booting is a cinch as well, extremetech reported.

  • Cool and flexible: The Linux alternative
  • Windows XP alternative a free solution for many

    A wealth of other programs, many free, is available to augment the Ubuntu experience. If a user would like to edit some of the photos organized within Shotwell, for example, Krita and GIMP are two free image-manipulation programs that rival the functionality of Adobe Photoshop. In fact, Ubuntu presents users with a one-click option to download Krita when opening a Photoshop file for the first time.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Cinnamon 2.2 Desktop Supports HiDPI, GTK CSD Support

        The Linux Mint’s Cinnamon desktop project has graduated to version 2.2 and it’s a very large update for this GNOME3-forked environment.

      • Cinnamon 2.2

        On behalf of the team and all the developers who contributed to this build, I am proud to announce the release of Cinnamon 2.2!

      • Cinnamon 2.2 Released With System Settings Improvements, HiDPI support And More

        Cinnamon 2.2 was released today, bringing various improvements to the System Settings, HiDPI/Retina Display support, client side decorations support along with other interesting refinements.

      • Did the GNOME Foundation spend too much money on women’s outreach?

        I took a look at the issue of gender in open source a while back in an article on ITworld. I noted in that article that I had worked for and with many different women over the last twenty years in my technology career. The women I worked with served in many different roles: IT managers, vice presidents, art directors, web producers, editors, editors-in-chief, marketing managers and plenty of other roles.

        In short, the women I’ve worked with over the course of my career have been at pretty much every level in technology publishing. But, as I noted in the ITworld article, they all had one thing in common: THEY. JUST. DID. IT. They didn’t get into technology because of an outreach program, they got into it because it was the career that they desired based on their own individual personalities.

      • JDLL 2014 report

        The 2014 “Journées du Logiciel Libre” took place in Lyon like (almost) every year this past week-end. It’s a francophone free software event over 2 days with talks, and plenty of exhibitors from local Free Software organisations. I made the 600 metres trip to the venue, and helped man the GNOME booth with Frédéric Peters and Alexandre Franke’s moustache.

  • Distributions

    • Ozon OS Will Be One of the Most Beautiful Linux Distros

      You might feel that the names of Nitrux and Numix sound a little familiar. The developers involved with these are responsible for numerous icon packs and themes for the Linux systems, and Nitrux also has its own Linux distribution called Nitrux OS.

      The collaboration between two teams has been going for quite a while, and the upcoming operating system that has been promised by Nitrux and Numix finally got a face. Until now there were only glimpses and teases, but the Linux community can now get a good look at Ozon OS.

    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Out in the Open: Inside the Operating System Edward Snowden Used to Evade the NSA

        Tails is a kind of computer-in-a-box. You install it on a DVD or USB drive, boot up the computer from the drive and, voila, you’re pretty close to anonymous on the internet. At its heart, Tails is a version of the Linux operating system optimized for anonymity. It comes with several privacy and encryption tools, most notably Tor, an application that anonymizes a user’s internet traffic by routing it through a network of computers run by volunteers around the world.

      • MakuluLinux: Awesome Debian-Based Distro Ships with MATE 1.8

        MakuluLinux Mate Imperium Edition has been released a few hours ago, and being based on Debian Testing, I took it for a test drive. This is a good opportunity to have a look at the latest MATE 1.8, since Ubuntu Trusty only includes the 1.6 version in the repositories, and for the Mint release we’ll probably have to wait for about another month.

        But except for MATE, some very interesting choices make MakuluLinux Imperium Edition stand out: it comes by default with applications like Steam, Wine, PlayOnLinux and even the Kingsoft Office suite instead of LibreOffice. Upon installing MakuluLinux, you have the possibility to choose which components will be installed and which not.

      • Makulu Linux 6 MATE hands-on: A good path to Linux for XP users

        The MATE Live desktop is shown below, it is exactly what I expect from Makulu — beautiful wallpaper, bright colourful icons, and lots of interesting-looking additions scattered around the screen. The Installer icon and an Installation Guide are on the upper left corner of the screen.

      • DPL election is over, Lucas Nussbaum re-elected

        The Debian Project Leader election has concluded and the winner is Lucas Nussbaum. Of a total of 1003 developers, 401 developers voted using the Condorcet method.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Releases the Most Stable and Advanced Ubuntu Touch Version So Far

            “It’s been ages since I haven’t been able to say it, but… we have a new promoted image (#294)! This image is now the best ubuntu Touch image we never had. It’s been a tedious path to get there, so we hope you will enjoy it! People on the devel channel will be able to get the new scope design experience as per numerous other features and bug fixes since latest promoted image (#250). This, week-end, multiple images have been spinned. Some blocker fixes, some regressions went in and are now fixed,” said Canonical’s Didier Roche.

          • Meizu MX3 With Ubuntu Spotted

            The Meizu MX3 was announced on an official basis last year, but it seems as though this particular smartphone is going to roll out over in the U.S. some time in the third quarter of this year, which is still a fair number of months away. Well, the Meizu MX3 holds the distinction of being one of the first smartphones that will ship with Ubuntu Linux, although one can always make do with an Android-powered version of this smartphone. The Ubuntu version of the Meizu MX3 was shown off at Mobile World Congress in February.

          • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) Arrives on April 17, Three Features to Look Forward to

            The developers have made a lot of improvements in their latest Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) and the Linux community is waiting for the release with great interest. One of the main reasons for this anticipation is the fact that Canonical made some important changes to the operating system and now it’s somewhat different from Ubuntu 13.10 (Saucy Salamander), which is the current version.

          • Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) to Reach End of Life by the End of April

            The Ubuntu developers have changed their policy regarding the support period of non-LTS versions of Ubuntu, starting with the 13.04 version. This created a strange situation where Ubuntu 13.04, which had nine months of support, reached end of life before Ubuntu 12.10, which was the last with 18 months of support.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Install Lubuntu on old Windows XP PC, keep it alive

              Windows XP has officially died today as Microsoft pulls the plugs that leaves millions of users as juicy targets for crackers and cyber criminals and there will be massive attacks on these systems so it’s extremely important for Windows XP users to move away from this dead OS. There are two options for such users – either they upgrade to heavily criticized Windows 8 (which may not even work on their current hardware) or they simply move to Linux.

            • How to run XP on Linux Mint with Oracle VirtualBox

              VirtualBox, like any hypervisor, likes all the system resources it can get. Therefore, if you want to migrate your old XP box to Linux Mint and you have an older PC, you may not be able to use VirtualBox to run XP. In my experience, you could squeeze XP on top of Linux Mint and VirtualBox on a system with 1GB of RAM, but it’s going to be ugly. You want at least 2GBs of RAM and a 1GHz AMD or Intel processor.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • Google never copied Apple’s iPhone, says Android executive

          Lockheimer, who joined Google in 2006, was called by Samsung’s lawyers as a witness to demonstrate how the popular Android operating system was well into development before the first generation iPhone was introduced in 2007.

        • Android Doubles Apple Sales in Q2 Tablet Market

          Apple shipped less than half as many tablets as Android in Q2, representing 28.3% of the market compared with Android’s 67%. One year ago, during the second quarter of 2012, the two operating systems shipped almost equally.

        • Google rumoured to be testing 4.4.3 internally

          Android 4.4.2 (KitKat) was released some four months ago on the Nexus 4, 7, 10 and Google Play Edition phones that existed at the time. If you’re an avid follower of all things Android, then you may have figured that it’s just about time for Google to release another incremental upgrade to their dominant OS. A recent report from Android Police points to the rumoured ‘dogfooding’ (slow and controlled roll out of software for testing etc) of 4.4.3 to members of Google outside of the Android team. A move like this can only mean one thing. The Android team is confident and are ready to test it on a wider scale, before making it available to everyone.

        • Google Beta Testing Android App for Chrome Remote Desktop

          For about a year now, Google has been working on an Android version of its Chrome Remote Desktop app and new reports from Engadget, PCMag and other outlets claim that it is imminent. The origins of the project go all the way back to a short post from The Chromium Team, and many people have been waiting for the ability to access a remote computer or device from Android.

        • Moto G helps Motorola gain 6% market share in UK

          Moto G is the device that is turning things around for Motorola. The company has already accepted that the device is their most successful smartphone ever. According to latest data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Motorola is currently owing 6% share in the British smartphone market.

        • HTC publishes source code for HTC One M8 Google Play Edition

          The Taiwanese smartphone maker has plans to ship the HTC One M8 Google Play Edition in the next two-three weeks, but you will be glad to know that the kernel source is just a click away. The company has published the open source files for this device on its developer site, HTCdev.

Free Software/Open Source

  • What Holds Partners Back On Open Source?
  • Can Open-Source Infrastructure Move the Market?

    Kunkel says, “think of the open source foundation like Android.” The world’s most used mobile operating system can support free, paid, proprietary, or open source apps. There are great, decent, and downright terrible apps, but they’re all supported on nearly any Android device, from the soon-to-be-coveted Samsung Galaxy S5 to the budget-friendly burner.

  • When Should We Go Open Source?

    While the subject of open source used to be confined much more to software than to electronics and hardware, several changes over the past years have made it more universal. The advent of the 3D printer and other open source hardware projects along with Kickstarter as a vehicle for funding have made it much easier to bring a project to the open market than ever before.

  • Linksys launches new router with open source code

    Linksys has started shipping a new router, and it’s touting its latest offering as the first consumer-grade Wi-Fi router to provide thorough wireless coverage throughout the home through its four external antennas.

  • OSI Announces New Board

    The Open Source Initiative has announced the results of a ballot by its members to select new directors for its board. The outcome sees more diversity and strong community skills introduced, signalling new horizons for the 15 year old organisation.

  • [J.A.R.V.I.S.] Out in the Open: Build Your Own Siri With This Free Code

    In the Iron Man movies, Tony Stark uses a voice-controlled computer assistant called J.A.R.V.I.S. It manages the lights and security system in his home, helps him pilot his Iron Man suits, and even assists with his research. Some of this is still very much in the realm of science fiction, but not all of it. Inspired by the Iron Man movies, two Princeton students have built a J.A.R.V.I.S. for the real world.

  • Box joins the open source bandwagon with new showcase

    Box is getting into the mix, unveiling its own open source repository showcasing at least 20 projects to-date.

    Amid content and metadata SDKs for Android, iOS, Windows, and Java, more distinctive projects include the Box Anemometer (a MySQL slow query monitor) and the curiously-named Stalker, a jQuery plugin allowing elements to follow a user as he or she scrolls through a page.

  • Box Debuts ‘Box Open Source’ To Share Its Internal Tools With The Larger Developer World
  • Open source achievements based on merit, not age

    Lauren Egts is a student who loves technology. She teaches children and adults alike about computer programming, presenting about Raspberry Pi and Scratch at local area Mini Maker Faires and at the Akron Linux User Group. She’s enrolled in the Hathaway Brown School’s Science, Research, and Engineering program, and is a member of her school’s robotics team, The Fighting Unicorns. She also won a 2014 Ohio Affiliate Award for Aspirations in Computing from the National Center for Women in Technology.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Open Source Matters Elects New President, Sarah Watz, to Guide Joomla!

      Joomla, one of the world’s most popular open source content management systems (CMS) used for everything from websites to blogs to custom apps to Intranets, today announced the election of Sarah Watz as the President of Open Source Matters (OSM). The non-profit provides organization, legal and financial support to the Joomla project. Watz is the first-ever internationally based president of OSM.

    • Sarah Watz Elected by Open Source Matters to Guide Joomla

      More than 3 percent of the web runs on Joomla, with the platform being used for everything from websites to blogs to custom apps to Intranets.

  • Education

    • Community College Taps Open Source Software for Student Success

      Stanly Community College is using Student Success Plan (SSP), open source case management software from Unicon, to better engage at-risk students and promote student success. The Albemarle, NC, institution serves 10,000 curriculum, continuing education and basic skills students.

    • Teachers unite to influence computer manufacturing
    • Open source workshop explores FOSS in universities

      The Association for Computing Machinery’s annual meeting of their Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education is one of the largest academic computing meetings there is. This year’s event featured a full-day workshop on teaching open source practices, tools, and techniques by engaging students as contributors to humanitarian projects such as Ushahidi, OpenMRS, Gnome Accessibility, and others. TitanPad was used for collaborative notetaking during the event, and this article is a result. You could call it a crowd-sourced article.

    • Open source common in Irish education network

      Free and open source solutions are a common component in the ICT infrastructure of Heanet, Ireland’s National Education and Research Network, serving about one million students and staff in the country’s research and education institutes. Such tools are chosen over proprietary alternatives whenever possible, says Glenn Warren, one of Heanet’s IT security specialists.

    • Open education author shares valuable tools for any operating system

      I first read about Chris Whittum in an article on Fosters.com. Once I read that he was interested in using open source software in education, I knew I had to learn more about him. After working in education, Chris decided to share his knowledge in an eBook called: Energize Education Through Open Source: Using Open Source Software to Enhance Learning. This resource focuses on how schools can use open source to continue to offer great lessons to students without the high price tag of similar proprietary products.

    • Computational Thinking in Primary Schools
    • Book contest for Open Library Week

      It’s Open Library Week at Opensource.com, and we’re celebrating open source tools and methods for libraries with a contest.

  • Business

  • BSD


    • Seeing SDR in action

      These are direct-conversion transceivers which can be configured for experiments and evaluation of signals in FM and TV broadcast reception, prototyping a GSM base station with OpenBTS, developing with GNU Radio GPS, Wi-Fi and ISM.

    • GNU Guix 0.6 released

      We are pleased to announce the sixth alpha release of GNU Guix.

    • Running GCC 4.9 On AMD’s AM1 Kabini With Jaguar Cores

      Using the AMD Athlon 5350 AM1 APU with its four “Jaguar” cores operating at 2.05GHz, I ran some benchmarks from Ubuntu 14.04 Linux comparing the performance of binaries compiled under GCC 4.8.2 and this week’s GCC 4.9.0 RC1. Is GCC 4.9 better able to exploit the potential out of AMD’s Jaguar microarchitecture? Let’s see.

    • Bringing Major Features, GCC 4.9 RC1 Has Been Released
    • Link-Time Optimizing Improved, But Still Takes A While On GCC 4.9

      The GCC 4.9 compiler that’s about to be released has many improvements, including in the area of LTO (Link-Time Optimizations), but you must still have a fair amount of patience to compile with LTO support.

    • GCC 4.9 Compiler Optimization Benchmarks For Faster Binaries

      For those curious about the impact of modern compiler tuning CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS when using the GCC 4.9 compiler with an Intel Core i7 “Haswell” processor, here are many benchmarks of many C/C++ code-bases when testing a variety of compiler optimization levels and other flags.

    • Almost there! Campaign ends this Friday, and we’re close!

      Whew! We’re in the midst of the last week of the MediaGoblin campaign! As you may already know, we already beat our first milestone. This means we’ve unlocked the most core and exciting things: federation and 1.0 support.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

    • Why MediaTek Should Release Their Source Code (Even Though the GPL States They Have To)

      Many of our readers will already know that as Android is built using the Linux Kernel as its foundation, companies that manufacture smartphones, and mobile processors that run Android must provide source code. This is because the Linux Kernel (and many other libraries that Android depends upon) is licensed using the GPL (the GNU General Public License) which, in a nutshell, requires those that use GPL code or software to redistribute their changes and such in the same manner. This sort of practice is what allowed Open Source Software to take off in the first place, and keeps free software getting better and better and of course keeps things free for users like us.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Win books and participate in Open Library Week
      • Top 5 open source tools libraries need to know about

        There was a time when working in the library I found it very frustrating (as many librarians do) that there were so few options for software that actually did what I needed. In libraries we’re so used to there being this vendor=software model. Where one vendor controls a product and while there might be other similar products, they too are controlled by a vendor.

        This is why libraries need to take a closer look at open source software. By removing the “owner” (aka the vendor) from the equation we get a lot more freedom to make software that does what we want, how we want, when we want. One of the hardest thing to teach libraries who are switching to an open source solution is that the power is now in their hands to direct the software!

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Consortium launches platform to share data from cancer trials

      The Life Sciences Consortium of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer today announced the launch of the Project Data Sphere initiative, a platform designed to facilitate the sharing, integration and analysis of data from phase 3, comparator arm cancer trials.

    • Europe to Have One Charger for All Mobile Phones, Global Standard Next?

      Back in December, last year, we told you that a universal laptop charger standard was in the cards for this year and now we’re hearing reports that the European Union wants to cut down electronic clutter by obliging OEMs to adopt an universal charger for mobile phones and tablets, as well. This way, you won’t have to ditch your previous charger whenever you buy a new one. And, to be frank, not all of us are that conscious and decide to recycle, so it all turns out to be electronic waste which puts in big danger our environment.

    • UK’s IT security agency: Communities are key for standards

      The quality of support from a software community is key to the lifecycle of a technical standard, says Chris Ulliott, Technical Director at the UK’s Technical Authority for information assurance, CESG. “We love open standards, they make life easier.”


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