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08.14.14

Links 14/8/2014: Kernel Summit Coming, KMix on KDE Frameworks 5

Posted in News Roundup at 11:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Linux

    Linux. It’s been around since the mid ‘90s, and has since reached a user-base that spans industries and continents.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Thanks KDE

        It’s more than year of my encounter with source code of some real life application.(Thanks to KDE) I had never before seen such huge source code. The guidelines on techbase were so comprehensive that I didn’t even realize that I had started fixing imperative bugs. The best part was that KDE had all types of applications, under various categories like multimedia, education, games etc. So I could try my hand on many different applications and recognize my interest. I enjoyed hacking source code of Kstars the most. And I compiled the code with the help of instruction on techbase and KDE’s cool developers at IRC, who are always eager to help. I used to get fascinated on running those awesome application on my plasma desktop. I used to wonder how they work. The secret was revealed then. I sent mail in KDE developer’s mailing list that I want to contribute and how do I start even though answer was there on techbase. And reply came that I can search though bugs related to application of my interest on bugzilla and try to fix it. I did it. It was really so easy.

      • Plugins for KAMD and system settings module

        All plugins from the old activity manager are ported to the new version.

        This means that one of the most requested features is coming back – you will be able to set custom keyboard shortcuts for individual activities as soon as Plasma 5.1 comes out.

      • Volume Configuration
      • what is “the desktop”?

        We all know that the ‘D’ in KDE originally stood for “desktop..

      • Randa: Meeting many people and working together
      • Randa meeting 2014
      • Understanding Icons: Participate in survey no. 2
      • Plasma 5 gets first update

        The first update for Plasma 5 has arrived. 5.0.1, adds a month’s worth of new translations and fixes from KDE’s contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important such as fixing text which couldn’t be translated, using the correct icons and fixing overlapping files with KDELibs 4 software.

      • KMix on KDE Frameworks 5

        KMix is now ported to KDE Frameworks 5. After a one day long porting effort, the basic functionality of KMix is available: Main Window, Systray, Volume Key Shortcuts, Sound Menu, volume save and restore. More sophisticated parts require more efforts and are currently missing, like the On-Screen-Display (OSD), which requires a port to Plasma 2.

  • Distributions

    • Slackware Family

      • On LKML: an open letter to the Linux World

        What relation does Christopher’s rant have to Slackware? After all, it’s Debian that got the flak, and in the comments section people indicate they intend to switch to Gentoo… forgetting that Slackware is a good systemd-free alternative (but hey! this automatic dependency resolution thingie that makes life so comfortable in Gentoo is not part of Slackware either).

        Last week I asked the SDDM developers to reconsider their decision no longer to support ConsoleKit because Slackware does not have systemd or logind and thus we need to keep using ConsoleKit. The answer could be expected: “answer is no because ConsoleKit is deprecated and is not maintained anymore” and therefore I had to patch it in myself.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Ansible, an open source startup with Red Hat roots, doubles down on Durham

        Ansible, a Durham-based IT automation startup with Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) roots, is doubling down on Bull City.

        That’s according to CEO Saïd Ziouani, who tells me the 30-employee shop will cross the 100 mark next year.

        “Our goal is to continue to grow aggressively in the Durham area,” he says, adding that all facets of the business can happen from Durham.

      • Oracle Linux 7 Now Available

        Oracle Linux is now generally available today. According to the company, the release builds on its approach to providing support for emerging technologies, such as OpenStack, while delivering new Linux innovations, tools, and features.

        “Oracle Linux continues to provide the most flexible options for customers and partners, allowing them to easily innovate, collaborate, and create enterprise-grade solutions,” said Wim Coekaerts, senior vice president of Linux and Virtualization Engineering, Oracle. “With Oracle Linux 7, users have more freedom to choose the technologies and solutions that best meet their business objectives. Oracle Linux allows users to benefit from an open approach for emerging technologies, like OpenStack, and allows them to meet the performance and reliability requirements of the modern data center.”

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Installer Images Now In Beta For 8.0 Jessie

        Debian has yet to issue an announcement concerning these beta images for the Debian Installer for Jessie, but a sharp-eyed Phoronix reader pointed them out to us this evening, which can be found via Debian.org. Images are available in the plethora of architectures supported by Debian.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Review: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

            Canonical is pushing hard to expand Ubuntu into new consumer markets. In the past year, we’ve seen shiny prototypes of Ubuntu-based mobile phones and tablets, and the company hasn’t given up on its 2012 vision of getting Ubuntu onto TVs either. What’s more, serious work is underway on converging all of these roles into a single chameleonic OS, something even Microsoft hasn’t tried to tackle.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sandwich-style ARM9 SBC ships with Linux

      MYIR announced a sandwich-style single board computer that runs Linux on a Freescale i.MX28x SoC and features -40 to 85°C operation and a CAN bus interface.

      MYIR specializes in low-power ARM single board computers (SBCs) and computer-on-modules (COMs), with the latter including the MYC-SAM9X5-V2 (using Atmel’s ARM9-based AT91SAM9X5) and MYC-AM335X (using TI’s Cortex-A8 based Sitara AM335x). With the new MYC-IMX28X COM and associated MYD-IMX28X development board, the company is mining the Freescale i.MX28x, a 454MHz, ARM9 system-on-chip that has been used in many embedded Linux boards, most recently including Technologic’s TS-7400-V2.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Hands on: LG G3 Android smartphone

          So what’s the verdict? If you’re chasing screen real estate and resolution above all else then the LG G3 is certainly going to catch your eye. A larger screen without much extra bulk is an impressive achievement, although there are few situations where you can put all those pixels to good use. The combination of the removable battery, microSD slot and wireless charging will also seal the deal for some Android fans. LG’s G3 sits somewhere between the elegant HTC M8 and the brash Samsung Galaxy S5, perhaps offering the best of both worlds.

        • Galaxy Alpha: Samsung Puts Pedal to Metal

          Android 4.4.4 (KitKat) runs the device, which comes with 2 GB RAM, 32 GB internal memory and a 1,860-mAh battery. It also has real-time high-dynamic-range imaging, as well as an ultra-power-saving mode, private mode, the S Health app, and connectivity with the latest Samsung Gear Fit, Gear Live and Gear 2 wearables.

          The Galaxy Alpha will be available in early September; depending on the market, color choices will include charcoal black, dazzling white, frosted gold, sleek silver and scuba blue. Pricing has not yet been disclosed.

        • Samsung new Galaxy Alpha is more metal

          Samsung have today officially unveiled the newest addition to their Galaxy smartphone range. The Galaxy Alpha has been expected for some time with details filtering through news agencies at a steady stream. However today was the first time we have actually had the images and details released by Samsung.

        • Is the Samsung Galaxy Alpha just another clone of Apple’s iPhone?

          The rivalry between Apple and Samsung in the mobile phone arena has been bitter and hard fought, with each side battling the other in court as well as in the smartphone market itself. Now Samsung has released the Galaxy Alpha phone and some think it bears a suspicious resemblance to Apple’s iPhone.

      • Android

        • Motorola’s ‘Shamu’ the rumored Nexus 6 surfaces

          A couple of weeks ago we reported rumors were circulating that Motorola was building the next Nexus (6). Now we can add a little more speculation to the Nexus rumor mill for your enjoyment.

          There has been wide speculation that a device ‘Codename Shamu’ is the Nexus 6 although this has not been confirmed by either Google or Motorola. However Shamu suddenly appeared on the GFX Benchmark Database fuelling suggesting that the Nexus is getting nearer and nearer.

Free Software/Open Source

  • CenturyLink Thinks ‘Dockerized’ Multi-Container Apps Shouldn’t Be a Pain in the Rear
  • CenturyLink Debuts Panamax for Docker Virtualization Management
  • CenturyLink rolls out Panamax, using Docker even gets easier
  • Upgrading libraries to open source Koha system

    I am constantly looking for ways to make my life easier whether it’s keeping track of my kid’s school activity schedule or not loosing my grocery list. For this, I often look for open source solutions. Why? Because most of the time the open source solution is simple and doesn’t have unnecessary bells and whistles that I don’t need, and even if I need those extra bells and whistles, I know that someone else out there also needs it and most likely has coded it already.

  • Librarian Council, NITDA Train Professionals in Open Source Software Application

    Librarians Registration Council of Nigeria (LRCN) in collaboration with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has organized a skill gap workshop in information and communication technologies for librarians.

    According to the organizers, the joint workshop with special focus on application of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in library operations was aimed at equipping librarians with skills to measure up new challenges in the ICT sector and be able to deploy and apply the knowledge to improve the lot of all information seekers.

  • LRCN, NITDA Train Librarians In Open Source Software Application
  • Why Umbrella Company techies should brush up on open source software skills

    Umbrella Company Employees specialising in IT contracting would do well to acquire skills in open source technology, according to a poll of 300 IT professionals by CWJobs.co.uk.

    Nearly half (48%) of the respondents believe that more open source jobs and contracts are available today than a year ago, and 71% are confident that it will be widely required in the future. Currently, however, 62% of those surveyed believe that businesses are missing out on open source’s potential.

  • Going Open Source and How Simple Machine Hopes to Inspire Others

    At the time Kurt Bieg, CEO of Simple Machine, explained their reasoning in doing so: “we believe ownership is becoming obsolete, this is our way of inspiring young and old people to read, learn, and ultimately manipulate code that came from a studio known for taking chances and innovating puzzle games.”

  • Exploring open source and the cloud

    Collaboration is at the heart of the open source movement, and when the biggest names in the technology sphere join forces, massive steps forward can be made. The world certainly witnessed this in July this year, when Red Hat worked together with none other than Google on a high-profile project.

  • An open source approach to fraud prevention

    In the end, the move to an open source architecture makes iovation a more nimble, scalable, and better performing service provider. The upgrade is ultimately an investment in the company’s future and a commitment to providing world class services to customers.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Business

    • Small banks turn to open source solutions to cut costs

      As of March, only a third of 1,589 urban co-operative banks that have been told by the central bank to migrate to a core banking system have done so. The rest of the market is up for grabs.

      “Open source-based products, which could bring down the total cost of ownership, have become a credible alternative for decision makers,” said Aniruddha Paul, CIO of ING Vysya.

      The bank which has over 500 branches in the country started upgrading its core banking platform last year and completed the project in February.

    • GlassCode first official partner of Openbravo open source ERP in SA
  • Project Releases

    • Anand Release Candidate

      Things have been rolling along here at the ManageIQ community, and we’re proud to announce that the first release candidate is now ready. The first release for ManageIQ is called “Anand”, named after world champion chess player Viswanathan Anand.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source in the NHS: With choice comes responsibility

      Just because a trust has taken an open source approach, it does not mean you have to take all that work, control, ownership immediately – you can take as much as time as you want to develop those abilities. Also, with a community interest company in place to support the management of the code, there will be a structure in place for clinicians to really have some input into the way the system is developed, whilst maintaining the integrity of the code for better patient experience and outcomes.

    • NDI Launches Open Source DemTools for International Development

      Yesterday the National Democratic Institute launched a suite of web-based applications created for their partner organizations, mostly pro-democracy groups and political parties around the world. These “DemTools,” which are ready-to-use but can also be customized, will give organizations in developing countries some of the capabilities that political activists and parties in the United States have had for years. Moreover, since the National Democratic Institute (NDI) is making the promise to host partner organization’s applications in the cloud essentially forever, they hope these applications will help usher in a period of more sustainable tech.

    • Why isn’t all government software open source?

      The federal government is the single largest purchaser of code in the world. So why is this code—taxpayer-funded and integral to the day-to-day working of our democracy—so often hidden from public view? There are two sides to answering that question: Why does the government so often build on closed platforms, and once built, why isn’t the code released to the public?

  • Licensing

    • Why Ximpleware may establish new rules in the open source world

      The case is complicated and likely will undergo much procedural maneuvering before the court will get to the substance of the case. However, a key question that the courts will likely look at is whether a violation of GPLv2 gives a plaintiff a right to a contractual remedy or a claim for copyright infringement.

    • The Gentle Art of Muddying the Licensing Waters

      I’ve been writing about free software for nearly 20 years, and about Microsoft for over 30 years. Observing the latter deal with the former has been fascinating. At first, the US software giant simply dismissed free software as unworthy even of its attention, but by the early years of this millennium, that was clearly no longer a viable position.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OpenGL 4.5 Announced, Work Started On Next Generation OpenGL

      The Khronos Group who oversee OpenGL development have announced not only OpenGL 4.5, but they are also encouraging others to come forward to join them in building the next generation of OpenGL.

      It’s been a turbulent time for graphics API development with AMD announcing Mantle, and even Apple bringing their own API to the table called Metal. We have then had lots of back and forth between developers putting up blog posts discussing the good and bad for OpenGL itself. Now we are here for the future of OpenGL and it’s all good news.

    • OpenROAD: Showing Off All The Khronos APIs

      The Khronos Group released OpenROAD today at SIGGRAPH 2014 showing off all of their cross-platform, industry-standard APIs.

      OpenROAD is an animated video featuring all of the royalty-free APIs out of Khronos working together in an “open ecosystem”. There’s OpenCL, OpenCL, OpenSL ES, OpenMAX, OpenVX, WebGL, and WebCL.

Leftovers

Shameless Microsoft Spin is Blaming China for Microsoft’s Misconduct and Back Doors While Justifying Massive Losses in Hardware (Made in China)

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 6:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Bill Gates speaking about China

Summary: A new look at how Microsoft-friendly media takes negative Microsoft news and turns that news into some kind of scandals where Microsoft is the victim

Following the well-overdue Microsoft raid which targeted Microsoft for its abuses (allegedly back doors, but perhaps also racketeering, tax evasion, conspiracy against users and bribes to officials) there was yet another raid. Microsoft is laying off many people in China (they are protesting as some used to work for Nokia) and as Pedro Hernandez put it:

With a new round of raids that have ensnared Microsoft partner Accenture, the Chinese government takes a closer look into the software giant’s dealings in the country.

Chinese government officials returned to Microsoft this week in an antitrust probe that has spread to the company’s partner Accenture, a technology services and consulting firm.

On July 28, China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) announced that the agency’s anti-monopoly investigators had seized computers, documents, emails and files from Microsoft’s offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu. The SAIC is looking into allegations of anti-competitive behavior by Microsoft.

Accenture is a disgusting company that we wrote about before. It acts as somewhat of a Microsoft proxy and it is a patent shark.

Well, the Microsoft media is trying to distract from it either by smearing China or changing the subject. This is typical and we have noted this before.

Microsoft is undeniably facing some serious problems and this includes losses in many areas, not just bans of Windows and Office (the online version) in the biggest market. According to this analysis, Microsoft is losing billions in tablets:

Even the most diehard of Microsoft fans will admit its old Surface RT tablet was an unmitigated disaster. From lackluster sales to massive inventory write-offs, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s efforts to make a splash in mobile devices and services didn’t exactly start off with a bang. And catching tablet sales leader Apple with the Surface RT? Not even close.

Apple is not the leader, Android (collectively) is. Watch the Microsoft booster Lance Whitney trying to incite against Android by citing the frivolous complaint from Microsoft and its proxies (like Nokia). The Microsoft booster writes:

Still finishing up its antitrust probe of Google’s search practices, the EU is now looking into allegations regarding the company’s control over Android apps, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The author is poor on disclosures. He is still reliant on Microsoft as by his own admission (must click to view) he wrote for “Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, “Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time,” was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.”

Being CBS (parent of ZDNet), this bias is typical. It is very pro-NSA, pro-CIA, and pro-Microsoft (top NSA partner). Many writers there came from Microsoft and continue to serve Microsoft, often by smearing Microsoft’s rivals. Vista 8 boosting is quite common from the man above and his colleagues who came from Microsoft do this too.

Here in Reuters is some “naked PC” propaganda (“naked PC” is a propaganda term from Microsoft and its allies) trying to shift public opinion against China, pretending it is indebted to Microsoft. Towards the end it dares to admit that alternatives to Microsoft do exist in China: [via]

The result is that up to 60 percent of PCs shipped in the emerging markets of Asia, says IDC research manager Handoko Andi, have no Windows operating system pre-installed – so-called ‘naked PCs’, which usually instead carry some free, open source operating system like Linux. That compares with about 25 percent in the region’s developed markets like Japan and Australia.

Reuters is at least writing “so-called ‘naked PCs’”, implying that the term itself is dubious. It’s intended to make PCs without Microsoft software tightly bundled onto them seem socially inadequate, inherently incomplete, and gross/rude. It is actually very trivial to install one’s GNU/Linux distribution of choice. It’s a lot easier than doing that with Windows these days.

“Reuters is at least writing “so-called ‘naked PCs’”, implying that the term itself is dubious.”Microsoft fails not only when it comes to software sales but also hardware (made in China, which Microsoft is heavily reliant on). Based on some new Xbox numbers, “Microsoft’s Xbox One Is Failing” with hundreds of millions in losses incurred by lacklustre sales. As one author put it: “Microsoft has reported that its next-gen console, the Xbox One, has lost the company over $400 / €298 million, since it was released in November last year.”

This will only lead to yet more layoffs (maybe Xbox manufacturers in China), but cover-up from Microsoft- and Gates-leaning media calls it “Perfectly Fine”.

That’s yielded a collection of startled headlines about how Microsoft has dropped the ball with their new console by losing $400M already.

Then comes the usual spin. This is a pattern we see a lot of; Microsoft-friendly media would bend backwards to put a positives spin on something which is inarguably bad.

Microsoft had lost billions on Xbox 360 before it chose to make yet another Xbox incarnation. The money continues to go down the drain; Windows and Office (the main cash cows) won’t be able to make up for it for much longer.

Microsoft depends on China in many ways. China does not depend on Microsoft unless China continues to fall into Bill Gates’ trap by using Windows.

Microsoft Spin in the Media Evokes ‘New Microsoft’ and New Back Doors

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 5:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft embedded in the press

Tony Bradley

Summary: Some new examples of Microsoft boosters rewriting history, characterising Microsoft as a FOSS champion, and generally weak/shallow reporting on Microsoft’s audio/video surveillance software

Microsoft is in serious trouble and it is aware of this (just ask Microsoft employees). It is seeking an identity change and a longtime Microsoft booster, Todd Bishop, releases his latest spamvertisement with which to openwash Microsoft. He is not alone though. Microsoft’s booster and business partner Tony Bradley (pictured above) runs a similar spamvertisement with the goal of openwashing Microsoft. Watch the propaganda banner at the top. Bradley must be afraid that Microsoft’s death would doom his personal business. That’s why he keeps attacking real FOSS and trying to portray Microsoft as a FOSS company.

Another leading booster of Microsoft (who receives gifts from Microsoft), Ed Bott, releases some more of his spamvertisements to pretend Nadella will change much. It’s quite common to see Nadella’s image used for openwashing, based on nothing of substance. The management at the back room is still the same; this is just reputation laundering. ZDNet plays a role in it, but given its strong connection to Microsoft people — including Microsoft staff as ‘journalists’ — none of it should be shocking. These are not journalists but marketing people with a platform that calls itself ‘news’. There is another new example that a reader told us about. It was published by AOL some days ago and our reader called it “spam and possible revisionism.”

“It’s quite common to see Nadella’s image used for openwashing, based on nothing of substance.”He explained that “MSIE wasn’t released until later to fight Netscape. NCSA Mosaic what the browser in use in 1994.”

The last example we have does not mention surveillance aspects of Skype (as confirmed by Snowden’s leaks about Microsoft) and does not mention FOSS or surveillance-free alternatives. It is this article about forced Skype ‘upgrades’ with new back doors (or bug doors). The article says: “The downside of this for Microsoft/Skype is that they can’t get people to use all their new services – or see their new ads – if there are so many older versions.

“Similarly, they can’t move to new technical architectures that may provide better service when they have to also support a long history of past releases. (For example, their move away from the peer-to-peer architecture that was their original highlight to more of a centralized “cloud” architecture to provide better support for mobile clients.)”

Interestingly, as pointed out here, Microsoft is essentially deserting Vista Phone 7 useds [sic.], which leads to heckling. To quote: “We are permanently retiring all Skype apps for Windows Phone 7. As a result, within the next few weeks, you’ll no longer be able to sign in and use Skype on any Windows Phone 7 device” (repeating the original source).

You know Microsoft is in serious trouble when it abandons even its own clients. It’s not as though many use Vista Phone 7. It was an utter failure.

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