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06.07.14

Links 7/6/2014: ‘Linux is Everywhere’, Valve Games Milestone (500)

Posted in News Roundup at 3:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux is Everywhere….So where do we go from here?

    We all know that Linux has changed the world….in small ways and large One of the ways it’s changed the world is by changing the way work gets done in corporations, big and small, around the world. As with the computer itself, the effects of ever-advancing Linux seem evolutionary and “slow & steady” from day to day. But in the 20 years since its introduction, the impact Linux has made in macro is truly staggering!

    Today everything from cars and jets to every supercomputer and most servers in datacenters have Linux somewhere…doing something important. Linux is, indeed everywhere! How’d that happen? And more importantly, what will happen next?

  • Why (Linux-)devs use Macbooks

    And I think that’s why many people prefer OS-X over Windows or Ubuntu/Fedora. For everyday tasks as email, picture stuff, booking flights, doing taxes etc. OS-X definitely offers a good solution. And being UNIX-y enough to be used in a Linux delpoyment context, you get a good compromise.

  • Desktop

    • Chromebooks Can Finally Play Movies and Shows Offline

      When Google launched Chrome OS, it touted it as a nearly entirely cloud-centric operating system. In fact, it wasn’t designed to store data or applications locally at all, or do anything local, really.

      Since then, Google has wisely hedged that bet, and it is doing so in a big way as it finally gives Chromebook users a way to watch Google Play Movies and TV offline. Google announced offline viewing last month and new Chromebooks are indeed pulling the feat off via a new app for Chrome OS.

  • Server

    • Oracle, Extreme Join OpenDaylight SDN Group

      Oracle and Extreme Networks are the latest companies to join the vendor-driven OpenDaylight Project, which is developing an open-source platform for software-defined network and network-functions virtualization.

      Also joining the group June 5 was supply-chain services firm Flextronics, bringing the total number of members in the consortium to 39. The numbers have more than doubled since April 2013, when Cisco Systems, IBM and 16 others announced the formation of OpenDaylight.

    • Why are Linux professionals in such high demand?

      There’s no doubt that Linux professionals are in high demand. But how much are they getting paid? I took a peek at the average Linux salaries page on SimplyHired and it was quite interesting to see how much various Linux jobs paid. See for yourself in the image below. You can also compare Linux salaries on that page, and you can search SimplyHired for Linux jobs in your area.

    • OpenDaylight SDN Grows to 39 Members with Oracle
  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.16 Handles 64-bit ARM EFI Stub Support

      The “ARM64″ pull request pertaining to EFI was sent on Thursday. This newest 64-bit ARM EFI patch-set enables EFI stub support similar to the x86 EFI stub support. The Linux EFI stub kernel support on (U)EFI systems to let the firmware function as the bootloader and to boot directly into the kernel without having to deal with a separate bootloader such as GRUB2 or Gummiboot.

    • Sound Support Gets Updated For The Next Kernel Release

      Most of the sound driver updates for Linux 3.16 revolve around ASOC (ALSA System-on-Chip) changes but there’s also a number of other noteworthy commits. HD Audio changes include Tegra HDMI support, a ThinkPad T440 dock fix, Realtek codec updates for several chips, Firewire audio support improvements, and various other changes.

    • Many ACPI & Power Management Changes Head Into Linux 3.16

      Rafael Wysocki has sent in his ACPI and power management pull that will target the next Linux kernel release cycle.

    • Understanding Intel’s RAPL Driver On Linux

      For many months now Intel has been working on RAPL support within the Linux kernel as part of their power-capping framework as a power feature for Intel hardware on Linux.

    • Trying Out kGraft Live Kernel Patching On Ubuntu Linux

      Graft is the SUSE-developed approach to live-patching the Linux kernel as another reboot-less option similar to Ksplice.

      Besides kGraft and Ksplice, Red Hat coincidentally shortly after the release of Ksplice had announced Kpatch as their means of live patching a running kernel. Both Red Hat and SUSE have open-sourced their live patching mechanisms and both hope to have their solution mainlined, or some unified form of both. While no solution has been queued up for merging in the Linux 3.16 kernel, there still is a lot of interest by Linux developers in these solutions.

    • Linux Kernel 3.10.41 LTS Is Available for Download

      The amount of changes and enhancements for this branch of the Linux kernel is rather large and the developers have added numerous drivers and other improvements. This is an LTS release and it’s likely that it will be updated for a long time.

      “I’m announcing the release of the 3.10.41 kernel. All users of the 3.10 kernel series must upgrade.”

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Calligra-powered Okular plugin for ODT, DOC & DOCX

        You might know that Okular has a plugin system, for adding support for more document formats. And you might know that Calligra since years also provides a plugin to Okular, which adds support to view slides from files in the OpenDocument Presentation (ODP) format. And not only for the ODP format: by simply using the Calligra import filters for PPT and PPTX you can also view the slides locked away in those formats.

      • Preview GCompris Qt 0.11

        Just a little video showing a gimpse of our progress on the port of GCompris in Qt Quick. So far we already have 44 activities on the 144. We now have a configuration dialog box and a menu similar to the old version.

      • Political Map for Marble

        I am glad that I accomplished my first task to integrate political map with marble.

      • KDE Frameworks 5 Beta 3 Gets More Improvements

        A new development build of KDE Frameworks 5 is now out and the developers are making great progress. If things continue to evolve according to the plan KDE has laid out, we should see this new desktop environment pretty soon.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Popular Faience GTK / GNOME Shell Themes Updated For GNOME 3.10 [Ubuntu 14.04 PPA]

        A year and a half after the previous release, the beautiful Faience GTK / GNOME Shell theme pack was finally updated and it now supports GTK / GNOME Shell 3.10.

      • GNOME: Notify me

        Over the past several GNOME releases, we have been aiming to stabilise GNOME Shell as much as possible. We have been largely successful in this: the last major UI change was in 3.10, when we introduced the combined system status area, and the main improvements in the recent 3.12 release were for performance and bug fixing. This is a good thing. At the same time, there is one area where a number of us still feel that bigger changes are needed. This is notifications, particularly the Message Tray.

        In this post, I’m going to present a new set of designs for notifications and the Message Tray, which we’re hoping to implement for the next GNOME release. As ever, these aren’t set in stone and are in a state of evolution. The aim of publicising the designs is to get feedback so we can improve them.

  • Distributions

    • RoboLinux Smooths the Linux Migration Path

      RoboLinux is a robust Linux desktop solution for a home office, as well as for SOHO and enterprise users looking for a well-protected migration path away from other operating systems. Its modified traditional desktop design and built-in virtual machine packages for running windows XP and Windows 7 from within the Linux desktop make it an easy and reliable option.

    • Kali, Makulu, and Robo Linuxes

      In today’s Linux news, LinuxInsider has a review of RoboLinux saying it “smooths the Linux migration path.” Makulu Linux 6.1 is said to be “big, beautiful, and fun.” A new flaw has been patched and Shawn Powers discusses the new Linux professional.

    • New Releases

      • Black Lab Linux 5.0.1 released

        Today we are pleased to announce the release of Black Lab Linux 5.0.1. With this release we bring some much needed overhaul and advancements to our Linux desktop to make it the most stable, and easiest to use yet.

    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Valve improved X-Box gamepad driver for Fedora

          I’ve added to the Steam package repository for Fedora an alternative kernel module for xpad, the X-Box gamepad driver. This variant contains patches created by Valve to improve the driver and its behaviour.

          The module is available in both akmod (RPMFusion) and dkms package formats.

          This made my 3rd party X-Box controller work without any issue in Steam games and in the Big Picture Mode interface!

        • The new (potential) notification system for Fedora

          This new design allows for a greater amount of detail when glancing at your notifications, rather than just an icon, and the number of unread notifications. The upstream developers seem to be targeting getting this new design implemented for GNOME 3.14, so hopefully we should see this in Fedora 21 Workstation.

        • The new Fedora Project Leader is…
    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-based NAS hosts private clouds and VMs

      Qnap unveiled a Linux-based, SOHO-focused “TS-X51 Turbo NAS” device with 2-8 HDD bays, plus private cloud sharing, video transcoding, and virtualization.

    • Wireshark support for AllJoyn: What it means for Internet of Everything developers

      The AllJoyn open source project is the core interoperability framework hosted by the AllSeen Alliance and works on Linux, Android, iOS and many other operating systems and platforms. This ability to discover, connect and interoperate regardless of the OS or manufacturer will enable a simple, seamless and universal experience for consumers and businesses.

    • Arynga and Mentor Graphics Showcase Over-The-Air Updates for Linux-Based…
    • Introducing the Linux Development Module for Rockwell Automation Processors
    • More APUs For Embedded And Mobile Devices
    • World’s first emotional robot runs Linux

      SoftBank and Aldeberan have teamed up on a Linux-based, $1,930 personal robot named Pepper that can read emotions and respond autonomously.

      As we gradually approach the “singularity” when robots overtake human intelligence, we often comfort ourselves in believing robots will never duplicate our often troublesome capacity for emotion. Yet such James Kirkian sentiments may prove suspect as roboticists make robots more sensitive to emotions while using emotional expression to communicate.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Samsung and Barnes & Noble are making a Nook together

          Samsung and Barnes & Noble announced on Thursday a co-branded device called the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, a 7-inch reading-focused tablet designed to compete with the Kindle Fire HDX and the Nexus 7. It’s the first sign of life in some time for the Nook brand, the lineup of ebook readers and tablets that have been consistently great but never popular enough to unseat Amazon as king of the reading device. Now, however, with the combined retail and marketing weight of Samsung and Barnes & Noble, the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook may have the might to find a place once again. (And there’s only the slightest irony in the fact that Microsoft owns part of the Nook brand, meaning it now owns yet another Android device.)

        • Linux Video of the Week: Meet the First Tizen Smartphone, Samsung Z

          At the Tizen Developer Conference in San Francisco this week, Samsung unveiled the first smartphone to run the Linux-based Tizen mobile operating system. In this video, CNET reporter Jessica Dolcourt walks through the phone’s features and demonstrates its camera capabilities.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Meta blogging

    Some time ago, I read Jos’ “meta” blog post. Jos argues that contributors to free software projects should blog more regularly. In my own “meta blog” post, I will confirm everything that Jos writes and share a few of my own thoughts on why blogging is important for everyone who is part of a free software community.

  • PicasaWeb integration: Add the Miner (Update 1
  • Contributing to OSS

    Many individuals may want to contribute to Linux or some open-source software project. However, many people may not be sure where to start or how to help. Others may not know computer programming and feel that there is no way they can contribute. Well, guess what? There are many ways anyone can contribute to Linux directly or some open-source software (OSS).

  • LinkedIn upgrades its search engine and ditches an array of open source extensions

    LinkedIn has overhauled its search engine infrastructure in favor of a new system dubbed Galene, a homegrown engine designed to improve search results and problems with maintenance, the company plans to announce Thursday.

  • An open-source robotics OS is moving from the lab to farms and even into space

    They’re routine activities for people, but this was a Willow Garage PR2 alpha robot. By navigating through eight doors and using nine outlets, it notched an important milestone—using the Robot Operating System (ROS) to accomplish its complex mission.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Mirantis offers Icehouse-based OpenStack 5.0

      Mirantis announced version 5.0 of its OpenStack distribution. This version is based upon OpenStack Icehouse and is designed to play well in VMware vCenter environments. I’ve spoken with company executives from time to time and have always come away impressed with their understanding of the market and OpenStack technology.

    • Hadoop Drives Storage Costs Down, Needs Friendly Front Ends

      The Hadoop Summit went on this week in San Jose, California, right in the heart of Silicon Valley, sponsored by Hortonworks and Yahoo. There were some interesting keynotes, including one from Microsoft on “Transforming data into action using Hadoop, Excel, and the Cloud,” and Red Hat officials delved into “Enterprise Hadoop and the open hybrid Cloud.” At the Summit, it was clear that Hadoop has become a true open source success story. It’s also driving down enterprise storage costs.

    • Exploring OpenStack cloud case studies

      During the course of the last twelve months, the OpenStack community has advanced as more users of the leading open source cloud technology have been reporting their progress—with the help of their partners—towards making a meaningful impact on their business goals and objectives.

    • MapR, Syncsort Partner on Big Data ETL Hadoop Solution
    • Exploring OpenStack cloud case studies

      During the course of the last twelve months, the OpenStack community has advanced as more users of the leading open source cloud technology have been reporting their progress—with the help of their partners—towards making a meaningful impact on their business goals and objectives.

    • The challenges for enterprises going open source

      With Hewlett-Packard’s recent announcement of HP Helion, there are questions lingering about how the company can compete in the public cloud market, while using OpenStack as a way to get into the enterprise.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.3 Beta 2 Is Now Available for Testing

      The developers from The Document Foundation have released a new build in the LibreOffice 4.3 Beta branch, bringing even more changes than the latest update in the series. It looks like 4.3 will be quite interesting, but it’s going to take a while until it’s released.

  • Education

    • RASPBERRY PI IN SCHOOLS

      Two years ago, when the Raspberry Pi launched, it was with the intention of improving IT education in the UK. Since then more powerful, better connected or cheaper boards have come onto the market, but the Pi retains its position as the white knight of ICT teaching.

  • BSD

    • PC-BSD 10.0.2 Receives GNOME 3 and Cinnamon Updates

      According to the developers, the distribution is based on FreeBSD 10.0-RELEASE, but it looks like that there is still room for improvements. The developers have made a few important changes and it’s recommended to update.

      “In preparation for the next release we have been fine tuning some of the new features and making sure the loose ends are tied up. We were also able to close out a good amount of trac tickets this week and commit the fixes for 10.0.2,” reads the official announcement.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Reset the Net with our email self-defense guide

      One year ago today, an NSA contractor named Edward Snowden went public with his history-changing revelations about the NSA’s massive system of indiscriminate surveillance. Today the FSF is releasing Email Self-Defense, a guide to personal email encryption to help everyone, including beginners, make the NSA’s job a little harder. We’re releasing it as part of Reset the Net, a global day of action to push back against the surveillance-industrial complex.

    • Join the FSF and allies: strengthen the Tor anti-surveillance network

      Today we’re joining our allies at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in kicking off the Tor Challenge, an effort to strengthen the global Tor network that protects Internet traffic from surveillance.

      Tor is a publicly accessible, free software-based system for anonymizing Internet traffic. Tor relies on thousands of computers around the world called relays, which route traffic in tricky ways to dodge spying. The more relays, the stronger and faster the network.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Weatherman’s best friend: How Australia used open source for its supercomputing network

      How did Australia scale up to cope with all of its public research agencies at the same time? FutureGov spoke with Allan Williams, Associate Director, Australian National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) to find out how they did this.

    • Help Labour Get Its Digital Policy Right This Time

      Long-time readers of this column may remember the great Digital Economy Bill saga back in 2010, which culminated in one of the most disgusting episodes in recent Parliamentary history, with the Bill being approved by a near-empty House of Commons in the dying hours of the last government, and with no substantive debate whatsoever. The result was an appalling piece of legislation, whose putrefying corpse is still polluting the UK’s digital landscape, acting as an ever-present reminder of just how badly the Labour treated the online world when it was in power.

      Labour is now out of power, and trying to get back into power. I leave readers to decide for themselves whether it would be better or worse than the present incumbents. Instead, I want to concentrate on two initiatives that the Labour Party is taking to help it come up with some decent policies for the digital world.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Natron 0.92 released with new roto and keying nodes

      The project is a free (Mozillla Public License v2) node-based compositor that relies on OpenColorIO for color management, OpenImageIO for file formats support, and Qt for user interface. It also works with 32bit float per channel precision and supports OFX plugins, both free and commercial.

    • Khronos Releases OpenGL ES 3.1 Conformance Tests

      The adopter program lets potential adoptees run the OpenGL ES 3.1 conformance test for possible certification as their driver’s implementation being conformant to the official specification. The ES 3.1 test is obviously built atop the existing OpenGL ES 3.0 test.

Leftovers

  • Tetris at 30: a history of the world’s most successful game
  • Tetris at 30: An Interview with the Historic Puzzle Game’s Creator
  • Hardware

    • Unboxing the Intel NUC at Tizen Developer Conference 2014

      This is a quick unboxing video of the Intel NUC device that was given out to attendees of the Tizen Developer Conference 2014, and represents reference hardware that developers can use Tizen Common to test and develop their applications with.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Deep Interest of the Deep State

      The language is the language of intelligence service tasking memoranda, which Obama is consciously or unconsciously reproducing.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Memo to Potential Whistleblowers: If You See Something, Say Something

      I’ve met many whistleblowers over the years, and they’ve been extraordinarily ordinary. None were applying for halos or sainthood. All experienced anguish before deciding that continuous inaction had a price that was too high. All suffered negative consequences as well as relief after they spoke up and took action. All made the world better with their courage.

      Whistleblowers don’t sign up to be whistleblowers. Almost always, they begin their work as true believers in the system that conscience later compels them to challenge.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Fox News Enlists Fossil Fuel Industry To Smear EPA Carbon Pollution Standards

      Fox News hosts or guests cited a discredited report by the Chamber of Commerce seven times, even though it studied a scenario far stricter than the actual rule from the EPA. According to the executive director of the Green Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is “dominated by oil companies, pharmaceutical giants, automakers and other polluting industries.”

  • Finance

    • Writing Unions Out of the Story on Fighting Poverty

      The New York Times (6/4/14) took a look at one of the economic puzzles of the last few decades: If growth has been strong, why aren’t we seeing a greater reduction in poverty? Interestingly, the research the Times is relying on offers some explanations–ones the paper doesn’t see fit to mention.

    • USA Today and Wal-Mart Poop

      It’s not often that anti-corporate activists are heard from in the corporate media. Do they really need to be called “party poopers”?

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Guardian Installed SecureDrop Outside The UK, Due To Legal Threats

      In other words, the Guardian, a UK newspaper, is admitting that it simply doesn’t feel safe locating its SecureDrop implementation inside the UK. For people who believe in press freedom in the UK, this is a pretty scary statement — just the latest in the past few years that have really called into question the UK’s support for a free and open press.

  • Privacy

    • The Year of Edward Snowden

      A year ago I stumbled across a story about a wor­ry­ing new sur­veil­lance pro­gramme developed by the NSA: Prism. While nobody was iden­ti­fied as the source of the dis­clos­ure, I was awe­struck by the bravery of this unknown person.

    • The Best Ways to Better Protect Your Online Privacy
    • Edward Snowden and Reset the Net: Eight ways to take back your online privacy
    • Snowden: one year on and still no action by the British government

      It’s a year since The Guardian published the first of many news stories about the scale of GCHQ and the NSA’s intrusion into our private lives. Based on the revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden, the stories had global implications, exposing the insecurity of the Internet, straining relationships between the US and its allies and raising questions about who has control over the agencies that purport to protect our freedoms.

      And as my conversation in Germany showed, surveillance has damaged global freedom of expression, affecting the way we think when we use the Internet. There have been other consequences to free speech in the UK as well. We have fallen five places in the Freedom House world ranking of countries’ press freedom. This was as a result of legal threats made by the Government against The Guardian, the destruction of hard drives in the newspaper’s offices and the detainment of David Miranda, the partner of Glenn Greenwald – one of the journalists who broke the Snowden story.

    • Why should I care about privacy, when I have nothing to hide?

      We get this a lot. There are a million answers (our favorite short one is “Nothing to hide? Really?”) but here’s something thoughtful and comprehensive to share with a friend the next time it comes up. The short version? None of the freedom and progress we’ve won over the past century would have been possible without the freedom to change things (starting with our own lives first) that privacy gives us.

      Imagine a world where you were constantly being judged by everyone around you, suffering immediately, or years down the road, for anything you did or said that was unusual, unpopular, or against the rules. In that kind of world, social and economic progress grinds to a halt, because everyone’s afraid to rock the boat!

    • Email encryption using an email self-defense guide from the FSF
    • FSF publishes email encryption guide to mark Snowden anniversary

      The Free Software Foundation has released a guide to encrypting email to mark one year since the disclosures of NSA blanket surveillance by analyst Edward Snowden.

      The British newspaper, The Guardian, carried the first story on the topic on June 6, which also happens to be the anniversary of the Normandy landings. Since then, there have been a slew of stories on the topic in newspapers all over the world.

    • In Some Countries, Big Brother Listens In Without Telling Mobile Operators

      Vodafone, the world’s largest wireless operator outside China, says governments in some countries have installed permanent listening “pipes” into mobile networks, allowing authorities to monitor all communications and data without alerting or getting cooperation from network operators.

    • Vodafone reveals secret wires allowing direct-access government spying

      Pirate Party spokespeople are always ready to give a lively, informed, and often provocative view on the issues of the day. Whether it’s tech politics, civil liberties, the EU, local issues or anything else we’ll have something to say.

    • Vodafone Reveals Government Agencies Have Direct Access To Its Network Around The World, No Warrants Required

      One of the important results of Snowden’s leaks over the last year is that the companies involved are not only becoming more open about how their services have been used by the NSA and GCHQ to spy on people,

    • Vodafone reveals existence of secret wires that allow state surveillance

      Wires allow agencies to listen to or record live conversations, in what privacy campaigners are calling a ‘nightmare scenario’

    • Google’s End-to-End is Unacceptable

      2) As if #1 wasn’t bad enough, Google has chosen to ‘reinvent the wheel’. Namely, the long-standing, mature, fully-debugged gpg2 open source OpenPGP standard codebase is being rejected out of hand, again because they want to do things ‘their’ way by creating a duplicate, immature, bug-laden codebase port of gpg2 as an incomplete subset into slow, interpretive Javascript. That’s right. Javascript. gpg2 is fully compiled C/C++ code.

    • U.S. Marshals Seize Cops’ Spying Records to Keep Them From the ACLU

      A routine request in Florida for public records regarding the use of a surveillance tool known as stingray took an extraordinary turn recently when federal authorities seized the documents before police could release them.

  • Civil Rights

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    A form of globalisation or unification among patent offices, courts and policies can serve to highlight the great role played by rich and powerful monopolists, including their rich lawyers who profit from protectionism


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