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11.21.11

Links 21/11/2011: Steel Storm 2, GNOME Mentoring Program for Women

Posted in News Roundup at 7:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux is a tortoise.

    Lets face it. Modern day Linux installations are nowhere near as fast as they were a few years ago. It seems that they have been adding in everything, including the kitchen sink. To be fair, the kitchen sink will be used somewhere down the line. Actually, the standard desktop Linux installation generally has everything already installed to do ninety five percent of all needed tasks. Without having to install anything else.

    This means that you have a fully capable word processor, spreadsheet program, presentation program, graphics program, music player, cd burner, chat, mail, web browser and kitchen sink. Right out of the box so to speak. This is so much more than proprietary offerings can give. Even if those proprietary systems do supply some functionality out of the box. It is nowhere near the functionality of the add ons which you absolutely must have to be able to do any work.

  • Why Linux Isn’t Only for Geeks

    If you’ve ever owned a Windows computer chances are your computer was at one point infected with a virus. The solution to this problem is not purchasing antivirus software.

    The answer to this problem is abandoning Windows as your main operating system, however to some this might seem an impossible thing to do. Apple computers are rather expensive and while they can run Windows as a secondary operating system most people would prefer to be able to run Windows applications on their primary operating system without a noticeable slowdown.

    This is where Linuxcomes in as an all around great performer. Linux has very few viruses written for it and due to the many different versions and “flavors” of Linux it is hard to write a virus for this platform. Linux is still not perfect and does have security features implemented to protect you from the few threats that are present or any threats that may arise in the future.

  • Kernel Space

    • The Journal – a proposed syslog replacement
    • Linus Torvalds: Locked Down Technologies Lose in the End

      “Technologies that lock things down tend to lose in the end,” said Torvalds when asked about Microsoft’s secure boot feature, which he likened to Apple’s use of DRM technology. “People want freedom and markets want freedom,” he added.

      Secure boot is a feature in Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system designed to protect against low-level hacker attacks, but it could also end up preventing users from installing Linux on a PC shipped with a pre-loaded copy of Windows 8.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Krita 2.4 reviewed

        We still haven’t released, and at the Calligra sprint we decided to have at least one more beta, but that hasn’t prevented Linux Format to give Krita as their “hottest pick” award in their Christmas issue, issue 152, which you can get from good news agents everywhere!

      • The Great Features of KDE Workspaces and Applications Part II – Klipper

        Today I’d like to introduce Klipper, easy, small and very useful tool included in KDE Workspace since…well, always. That’s the scissors icon sitting in the systray area. Basically it is a history of your clipboard but it can do much more. Very important thing is that the contents persist between sessions, so if you have something in your clipboard, you log off/reboot/shutdown and then you log back in, you still have your whole clipboard history ready and the most recent entry already in clipboard, so you can paste it immediately.

      • Kstars, a desktop Planetarium that’s not just an Educational “Toy”

        Have you ever wondered what that bright object in the pre-dawn morning was that you couldn’t help notice? Or is that reddish star Mars? Is that fuzzy mass of white a wispy cloud or a galaxy?

      • Plasma Workspaces Wallpaper Contest

        With the KDE 4.8 releases drawing near, it’s time to change the look of the default desktop. Every two major releases, the main wallpaper of the Plasma Workspaces changes to maintain a fresh style.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME mentoring program for women continues

        As part of the GNOME Outreach Program for Women, the Foundation has announced the twelve women who will be sponsored and mentored to work on open source projects. The internships will run from 12 December 2011 to 12 March 2012. The programme builds on previous successful internships which have seen participants work on on-screen keyboards for the GNOME Shell, Empathy avatars, educational Braille software and many other applications.

  • Distributions

    • Commodore OS Vision Beta 6

      Last night i was searching for a new Linux OS to install on my laptop and when i was looking on distrowatch i found the Commodore OS Vision. Commodore OS Vision is based on Linux Mint 10 (Ubuntu 10.10) and is still under development. It comes with GNOME 2 so all the desktop effects are there and installed by default… just watch the video!!

    • Top 6 Linux and BSD graphical installation programs
    • New Releases

      • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 174

        Summary:
        · Announced Distro: Linux Mint 12 Release Candidate
        · Announced Distro: openSUSE 12.1

      • Tiny Core Linux v4.1

        Continued upgrades to the base system including pcmciautils, sudo, freetype, imlib,libpng, and busybox. New boot codes of “cde” and “pretce”. cde for easy remastering. pretce for raid and lvm support. Improved support for Microcore which includes Ondemand, and icon options when used with the X extensions. Several bug fixes and enhancements as requested by the community. See change log for all the details.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Powerpack 2011 released

        Mandriva has released Powerpack 2011, a commercially enhanced version of the company’s Mandriva Linux distribution. The system comes with the Linux kernel 2.6.39 and uses KDE 4.6.5 as the default desktop.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Why I’m quitting the Debian Lineup

        Being an advocate of Linux Mint, which is a derivative based on Ubuntu, which is a derivative of Debian; I noticed a nasty bug back in July of 2011. Ubuntu 11.04 was released in April of that year and I waited for the bugs to be shaken out of the rug and finally installed it.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 7 Hidden Features Of Ubuntu 11.10 You Might Not Know Of

            As the latest version of Ubuntu was released, the team of developers have been hard at work adding some convenient features. However, some are more known than others, while others will surprise you when they pop up. Some aren’t even installed by default but can be very useful. So what are these features that can make a major difference?

          • Bringing The PackageKit Interface To Ubuntu

            The PackageKit DBus Interface is coming to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, but it’s not full PackageKit support and integration.

            Back during the Ubuntu 12.04 Developer Summit in Orlando, PackageKit integration was talked about. However, it’s not bringing PackageKit to Ubuntu Linux, but rather just their interfaces and they will interact with Canonical’s own design.

            Sebastian Heinlein yesterday wrote to PackageKit DBus Interface in Ubuntu – It is the API that matters! to the Ubuntu development mailing list. He’s the developer working on bringing the PackageKit system D-Bus interface to the Ubuntu desktop by adding a compatibility layer that in turn will make it poke AptDaemon, which is Canonical’s preferred software management service for Ubuntu.

          • death by a thousand cuts

            It’s amazing to me what features drive decisions when choosing a technology. In my case, it’s a clock applet, but let me set a little bit of a context first.

            I stopped configuring my UI environment several years ago, opting instead to use the experience that had been designed for me by the fine folks at Ubuntu. This wasn’t entirely just blind trust or pleasure – but rather that the defaults were sensible enough, and I wanted to be in the business of doing things, not spending an hour deciding what font I wanted my desktop to display. I believe I’ve been doing this since dapper, if not earlier.

            Until now.

            I tried. I mean, I’ve bitched at Jorge some in person, but I ran Unity starting with Natty up until last week. I ran it as provided, as intended, and I tried to learn to think about things in the way it was asking me to.

          • Ubuntu’s Global Menu Is A Stupid Idea

            I have been using Fedora 16 for a week now and since its quite stable I have been using it instead of my trusted and much loved Ubuntu. One of the reason behind using Fedora over Ubuntu is Unity. I love Unity, but at the moment there is very little customization possible, which makes it a bit hard to reshuffle things around according to one’s needs. Gnome 3, on the contrary, offers much more customizations, thanks to Gnome-Shell Extensions. Before trying Fedora I was using Gnome 3 Shell in Ubuntu, instead of Unity.

            I must also add that I love Ubuntu. No other distro can match the work Ubuntu team has done to make GNU/Linux useful for an average user. Even if I am using Fedora, there is no denying the fact that Ubuntu has a very important place in the consumer desktop space — which presumably is not the market of Fedora.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • USB stick packs ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, runs Android or Ubuntu

      FXI Technologies announced a USB stick-sized computer that can run Android or Ubuntu on a 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor. The “Cotton Candy” will include 1GB of RAM, a microSD slot, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and an HDMI port, the company says.

    • Tiny USB Stick Brings Android to PCs, TVs

      Google has made no secret about its plans for Android. Smartphones and tablets are just the beginning — the company wants Android everywhere. And thanks to FXI Technologies’ Cotton Candy USB device, we may not have to wait long to see Android on more than just our mobile devices.

      FXI essentially built an ultra-lean computer inside a small USB stick. Stick it into any device that supports USB storage, and Cotton Candy will register as a USB drive. From there, you can run the Android OS in a secure environment inside your desktop, courtesy of a Windows/OSX/Linux-compatible virtualization client embedded in the device.

    • Phones

      • A Promise Kept – Never Again Nokia

        A few months ago, when the Trojan Horse from Microsoft made the decision to switch Nokia to Windows Phone, I swore that I would never buy another Nokia product. Yesterday was the first time that I put that promise into action.

      • Android

        • Motorola Mobility shareholders approve Google merger

          Motorola Mobility shareholders have approved the sale of the company to Google. However, it will be federal regulators who have the final word on whether the deal will go through, and they have yet to make their decisions.

        • Android 4.0 arrives as Galaxy Nexus goes on sale

          Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus, the first phone with Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android, has gone on sale in the United Kingdom.

        • Amazon planning Kindle smartphone in 2012?

          Amazon looks like it’s not content with just having a shot at the e-reader and tablet market, with reports emanating from Asia that it wants a smartphone too.

          According to CitiGroup, Amazon is looking to launch a smartphone in Q4 2012 in association with Foxconn International Holdings, and will aim it at the cheaper end of the market.

        • Motorola Mobility sued for allegedly stealing source code
        • Top 5 Audiobook Players for Android

          Unlike iOS, Android doesn’t come with a dedicated Audiobook player. However, that shouldn’t stop you from listening to your favorite books. The Android Marketplace offers some great apps that can play and manage audiobooks really well. Not only will these apps let you play audiobooks in MP3, OGG and M4B formats, they’ll also allow you to manage, tag and organize your favorite books easily. So, if you’re itching to listen to that nail-biting bestseller you just downloaded, here’s a list of five of the best audiobook players and managers for Android.

        • Small Taiwanese Firms Finally Get Some New Android Code

          Google had pledged to release the source code for Honeycomb, also known as Android 3.0, but then delayed its release indefinitely. It provided Honeycomb only to bigger manufacturers, such as Acer and Motorola, while smaller companies had to stick with earlier versions of the software.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Android tablet mimics iPad display specs

        Archos announced an Android 2.3 tablet with an iPad-like display: 9.7 inches, 1024 x 768 pixels, and IPS (in-plane switching). The Arnova 9 G2 is equipped with a single-core 1GHz processor, 8GB of storage, a front-facing videocam, plus micro-USB, USB, and microSD connections — but so far, no price tag.

      • HTC Launching Quad-Core Tablet at MWC? (Update – it’s called Quatro)
      • Nook Tablet starts shipping a day early

        Barnes & Noble has begun shipping their latest product, the Nook Tablet, one day ahead of schedule. While it might not seem like much of a deal on the surface, it puts the tablet in stores and, more importantly, in hands earlier than expected. The sooner these are in a retail environment, the better as the next few weeks will be heated to say the least.

      • Nook Tablet Now Runs Kindle, Aldiko, & More – No Hack Required

        Earlier today I was griping about how Amazon had quietly made it difficult to install competing reading apps; today I get to dance for joy because I’ve learned how to install third party apps on the Nook Tablet.

        A reader tipped me to the secret (Thanks, Geert). There’s a thread over on the XDA-Forums where someone discovered a loophole in the Nook Tablet firmware.

      • Amazon Posts Kindle Fire’s Open Source Code

        Unlike some vendors which shall remain unnamed (*cough*, HTC, *cough*), Amazon didn’t make us wait for the mandatory open source bits of the Android Fire’s kernel and released them over at their Source Code page the same day the tablets themselves started arriving in consumers’ hands. The download, which comes as a compressed tar.gz, weighs in at a whopping 809MB.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google’s Eclipse Plugin open sourced

    Google’s IDE integration for GWT, Speed Tracer and App Engine, which is known as Google Plugin for Eclipse (GPE), has been open sourced under the Eclipse Public Licence. The tools had previously been proprietary, but Google said in a blog posting that the size of the ecosystem around GWT, App Engine and the company’s cloud services meant the idea of open sourcing the tools made “a lot of sense for us” as it was easier for the community to improve the tools.

  • jQuery Mobile 1.0 finalised

    After a “year of refinements” the jQuery Mobile developers have finalised version 1.0 of the HTML5-based user interface libraries and framework for mobile platforms. Based on jQuery core and jQuery’s UI library, the platform has been developed to work with Apple iOS, Android 2.1-2.3 and Honeycomb, Windows Phone 7 and 7.5, Blackberry 6.0, 7 and Playbook, Palm WebOS, Firefox Mobile, Opera Mobile, MeeGo 1.2, Kindle 3 and Fire, and the desktop versions of Chrome 11-15, Firefox 4-8, Internet Explorer 7-9 and Opera 10-11.

  • Commercial, Open Source App Suites Offer Alternatives To Microsoft Office

    “Microsoft Office doesn’t dominate the way it used to,” said Doug Heintzman, strategy director for IBM collaboration solutions, including the company’s free Lotus Symphony personal productivity application suite. “This is a very dynamic and changing landscape.”

  • Typesafe to integrate Play 2.0 into its Scala stack

    The open source Java/Scala web framework Play 2.0, recently released as a beta, will be integrated into Typesafe’s Scala based application stack. Typesafe, which launched in May, has built its Typesafe Stack, aimed at providing all the tools needed for Scala developers to create applications which address multi-core and cloud-scale computing workloads. The announcement by Typesafe notes that the addition of Play will make the stack “a complete web platform”.

  • Open Source Nurtures Innovation

    With his usual rigour, Stephen O’Grady considers whether open source is innovative over on his blog. As ever, his view – that “innovation is a function of incentive, not the software development model” – is worth understanding and accepting, but I think there’s more to consider here. While it provides no guarantees, I believe an open source environment potentially makes software innovation cheaper and easier.

    As a proprietary developer, you are responsible for the eternal care of every line of code you add to your software. In the early days, you can be very productive, creating clean, fresh software that is compelling and doing so fast because you’re in complete control of the process. But the code you create is your sole responsibility, and as it gets more and more substantial – and as you have more and more paying customers depending on it – the burden of sustaining it grows.

  • Open source backup software lags in the cloud and VM backup
  • Events

    • Open Source India 2011 Kick-Starts Today!

      Gear yourself up for three consecutive days of learning and exciting time with 3,000+ open source innovators, enthusiasts, and gurus at Bengaluru’s NIMHANS Convention Centre. The technology world is looking at open source technology for future innovations. Thus, the 8th edition of OSI Days, which will run through 22 November 2011, becomes even more important. It aims to commemorate and celebrate the true spirit of open source, and aims to strengthen and consolidate the Indian open source community.

    • More Linux lessons at hub

      Linux Users Victoria is holding a second, free information session for people keen to learn more about the original computer operating system, similar to Windows and Android, but with one major exception ? there is no cost.

    • Lucene Eurocon 2011: Day Two
  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Own Your Cloud: Interview With PageKite Founder

      Cloud computing is the buzz word, even if most users don’t even fully understand what it is. One thing is for sure, putting all your eggs in one basket is always a bad idea, especially when someone else is holding the basket. So, the best cloud is the one that you own. We are aware of ownCloud, which you can easily run on your local server. But your ISP doesn’t let you assign an IP to your network, so you can’t access your ownCloud from outside your network. That’s the problem that PageKite solves. We interviewed the CEO and founder of PageKit,e Bjarni R. Einarsson, and discussed various aspects of the Cloud computing and how a user can take control of his/her own cloud.

  • CMS

    • Dr Dre of the Internet

      Dr Dries Buytaer, the Dr Dre of the Internet and founder of Drupal, the world’s most used open source Content Management System (CMS), was in the city on a visit to ISB and IIIT-Hyderabad.

      While the passion of developers came as a pleasant surprise, what made his “eyes pop” was, all of India.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • SugarCRM: More Business Partners, Less Open Source Talk

        Like so many open source software companies, SugarCRM seems to be talking more about business growth and partner momentum, and less about open source technologies. The latest example: SugarCRM’s Q3 billings rose 69 percent vs. Q3 2010. Moreover, SugarCRM recruited 38 new partners during Q3, raising its worldwide partner engagements to 343 companies. Impressive. Here’s how SugarCRM has been evolving to deliver that type of growth.

        First, The VAR Guy needs to be clear: SguarCRM certainly isn’t abandoning open source. The company continues to promote its open source community and open source values. And CEO Larry Augustin has carefully described his views on open source.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Linux super-duper admin tools: gdb

      Let’s talk debug. So you wrote a piece of code and you want to compile it and run it. Or you have a binary and you just run it. The only problem is, the execution fails with a segmentation fault. For all practical purposes, you call it a day.

  • Project Releases

    • ColorHug open source colour management announced

      Developer Richard Hughes has announced the development of ColorHug, an open source colorimeter for measuring the colours displayed on a screen and creating a colour profile. Hughes began working on colour management in Linux two years ago and decided to create the device after finding that existing hardware was closed and proprietary. He wanted to make colour management accessible to end users and, with a background in electronics, set about designing the hardware.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open government leaders support funding for key transparency initiatives

      OMB Watch and the Sunlight Foundation today [November 16, 2011] released an open letter to the U.S. Senate supporting continued funding for the Electronic Government Fund’s important transparency projects. The letter echoes the Obama administration’s policy statement issued Nov. 10.

      The letter calls for full funding for the E-Gov Fund, which pays for flagship projects such as USAspending.gov and Data.gov. In April, Congress short-sightedly slashed the E-Gov Fund by 75 percent, from $34 million to $8 million, drastically reducing the fund’s ability to maintain current transparency tools or develop new ones. The House Appropriations Committee has proposed a slight increase for the fund next year, but Senate appropriators proposed an additional cut.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Google Code-In 2011 about to start

      Eighteen open source organisations have been selected for this year’s Google Code-In contest for pre-university students. The contest starts on November 21st so it’s time for students to select the tasks they want to work on.

    • Five years of open-source Java: Freedom isn’t (quite) free

      Open source Java has a long and torrid history, rife with corporate rivalry, very public fallings-out, and ideological misgivings. But has all the effort and rumpus that went into creating an officially sanctioned open JDK been worth it?

      Java co-creator James Gosling certainly thinks so – although he didn’t seem entirely open to the idea in the early days.

    • Version 5.0 of Open64 compiler improves performance

      The developers of the Open64 compilers have released version 5.0 of the tool, with improved performance, bug fixes and changes to the infrastructure of the compilation system. Open64 is an open source optimising compiler for x86-64, IA-32 and IA-64 platforms. Historically, Open64 is derived from SGI’s Pro64 compiler for MIPS architectures; versions of the compiler for MIPS and other architectures such as CUDA and PowerPC are available from other sources. The main release of Open64 concentrates on Intel and AMD architectures and offers pre-built C, C++ and Fortran 95 compilers.

    • Java’s ‘Steve Jobs’ moment in 2012?

      The OpenJDK project followed shortly after Sun’s open-sourcing of Java in November 2005; it’s both a free-and-open-source implementation of Java Standard Edition (Java SE).

      The project has seen a fresh lease of life under Oracle, Sun’s buyer, who has tempted IBM away from the Apache Software Foundation’s Harmony Java SE project and who also recruited Apple to OpenJDK. OpenJDK also has a new set of governance rules, albeit rules that hand Oracle and IBM a duopoly over ultimate control of the project and, therefore, the roadmap.

    • Why devops is no silver bullet for developers

      In the survey, Puppet Labs finds that 55 percent of respondents ranked the automation of configuration and management tasks as the top benefit expected from the devops movement. Another 13 percent ranked it in their top three expected benefits.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The trials and tribulations of HTML video in the post-Flash era

      Adobe reversed course on its Flash strategy after a recent round of layoffs and restructuring, concluding that HTML5 is the future of rich Internet content on mobile devices. Adobe now says it doesn’t intend to develop new mobile ports of its Flash player browser plugin, though existing implementations will continue to be maintained.

      Adobe’s withdrawal from the mobile browser space means that HTML5 is now the path forward for developers who want to reach everyone and deliver an experience that works across all screens. The strengths and limitations of existing standards will now have significant implications for content creators who want to deliver video content on the post-flash Web.

Leftovers

  • Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures and M$ Is Oh So Desperate

    In the marketing wars over cloudy documents M$ has launched a campaign to get back the defectors from Office 365 to Google Docs. A sign of their desperation is a blog post in which they trot out US advertisements by Google requiring skills with Excel. They find 88 such ads. When I look I find Google has 1500 ads out there without any need for Excel, suggesting Google’s use of Excel is less than 10% of desktops… Ouch! Thank you, M$, for advertising Google Docs.

  • Google enhances WebP to take on PNG

    Google has enhanced its open source image format WebP. The latest update adds a new lossless compression technology and supports transparency information for images. This, the developers say, allows the format to be an alternative to PNG; it was originally introduced as an alternative to JPEG, with its lossy compression of image files promising files up to 39 per cent smaller but retaining the same quality. PNG, a very popular image format for the web, is the target for the Google developers now, especially with the support for transparency.

  • Security

  • Finance

  • Copyrights

    • Pirate To Join European Parliament As Youngest Member

      In a few weeks Amelia Andersdotter will be the second Pirate Party member to take a seat at the European Parliament in Brussels. The 24-year-old Swede was voted in more than two years ago, but due to bureaucratic quibbles her official appointment was delayed. TorrentFreak catches up with the soon-to-be youngest MEP to hear about her plans and expectations.

11.20.11

Links 20/11/2011: GNU/Linux in Tamil Nadu, Flex Donated to Apache

Posted in News Roundup at 8:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Clarifying the “secure boot attack”

    Obviously, this protection is based on all the components of secure boot (ie, everything that runs before ExitBootServices() is called) being perfect. As I said, if any of them accept untrusted input and misinterpret it in such a way that they can be tricked into running arbitrary code, you’ll still have problems. But when discussing the pros and cons of secure boot, it’s important to make sure that we’re talking about reality rather than making provably false assertions.

  • The Linux Week In Review 25
  • Desktop

  • Server

    • TOP500 List of Supercomputers Released

      Linux has dominated the list so long, it’s not even broken out in the statistics when TOP500 lists are announced. With the November 2011 list, Linux holds steady at 457 of the 500. That’s right – 91.4% of the top 500 supercomputers in the world are Linux-based.

  • Kernel Space

    • A Journal Comes To systemd

      The new feature to systemd is the “journal”, which for providing new system logging functionality. From a quick glance, a replacement for syslog.

    • How does Linux kernel detect and plug in your hardware? Kernel, sysfs, udev and dbus collaboration.

      I have been administrating Linux systems for a while now and were always strugling to „dig deeper“. Today I found myself wondering how does Linux detect, plug in my hardware and show that pop-up window asking me to choose what I want to do with my flash drive. So I launched my web browser and began to search for an answers in forums, tutorials and how-tos which almost ended in complete failure. I say „almost“ because I did find some of the answers but they all were scattered and incomplete or too old. So I had to use „heavy artillery“ and read through all those manuals… And I think I finally get it how it works :) This is what I will try to explain further. *I really hope I didn’t misunderstand something*

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 6th November 2011
      • Google CodeIn 2011: A Chance for the Next Generation to Join KDE

        KDE is honored to be chosen again this year to be part of Google Code-In. Pre-university students aged between 13 and 17 are offered a great chance to contribute to KDE by choosing from a large pool of tasks, depending on their skills—code, translation, videography, user interfaces, research and more. Spread the word about the contest to any students and parents you know.

      • KDE and Colour Management

        Colour Management has a long way to come to the Linux desktop. Like on other computing environments first came single applications like Scribus, CinePaint or Krita and proved colour management be useful and mature. Now the open source Desktop stacks are following. Most advanced and wide spread inside colour managed applications is colour correction for monitors.

      • Debugging nepomuk/virtuoso’s CPU usage
      • Kraft 0.44 released
    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome Pie Is A Slick Application Launcher For Gnome [Linux]

        There are thousand and one ways to launch application in Linux. You can use the Application menu, via the dock, use a app launcher like Synapse or Gnome Do or simply press “Alt + F2″ and type the name of the application. Gnome Pie is yet another application launcher that allows you to quickly launch your applications, except that it is slick and highly configurable.

      • GNOME 3.2.2 Released

        A lot of bugs have been fixed in this new release along with some static analysis bugs. Some of the existing modules have new versions too. The “Forgotten Release” release is new to this new version which fixes a lot of memory leaks in the log viewer. In addition, this new release has updated translations as well.

      • Gnome Shell Introduction

        Now finally the Gnome Shell guide you have waited for. Surely some users are still broken-hearted about the loss of the Gnome panel and other components of Gnome 2. Gnome Shell is getting better every day, and there are certainly some features that are becoming quite popular. Gnome Shell is designed to be even more user-friendly than Gnome 2. Not only that, Gnome shell was created to look absolutely stylish and offer users a fun experience. New integrated instant messaging and advanced system notifications are reported to be some of the most popular upgrades. But more on that soon!

      • Overlay Scrollbars, No Maximized Window Titlebar By Default In GNOME?
      • Using the GNOME file manager’s FTP capabilities to manage my Ode site
      • What People Are Saying About GNOME [Part 3]

        The GNOME 2011 User Survey is still going on, so be sure to participate. For those wanting to know what other Linux desktop users are saying about the GNOME3 desktop environment, here’s one thousand more comments. (After publishing part 1 and part 2 previously.)

  • Distributions

    • Ubuntu Alternatives, Xfce, & Having A Go With Fedora 16!

      A little over a year ago I fired up the then latest version of Fedora (13) and found much that I liked. Ultimately though, it just wasn’t the right tool for the job and I ended up going back to Ubuntu and Linux Mint.

      Fast forward another year, a few more releases have come out from Fedora, and Canonical has been making some choices that, while likely great long-term for Ubuntu, are a bit awkward currently for some of its user base.

    • Red Hat Family

      • A new lover… RHEL 6.1 Desktop

        There’s Community Linux… and Enterprise Linux… which is one the best? I don’t know and I don’t care, for a tinkerer anything works out… For a long time that I wanted to move back to Enterprise Linux and there were two choices to contemplate, and I’ve picked the red one… My laptop count still does weight in favor of green (2 vs 1)…

      • The Cloud Will Be Open Source And Ubiquitous

        When you architect servers with virtualization, distributed computing and the ability to handle big data, so a single Web site or job can take power of the whole system when needed, that’s a cloud.

        Salesforce.com (CRM) (whatever you may think of it) is not a cloud. It is Software as a Service (SaaS), something that can result from a cloud architecture but does not require a cloud. The same can be said for Apple’s (AAPL) iCloud. It too is SaaS, which could come from a cloud or from a standard enterprise set-up.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 16 KDE Review: Gnome 3 vs KDE 4

          After playing with Gnome 3 under Fedora 16 and openSUSE 12.1, which made me a happy GNU/Linux user. I tried to see the issues people have with Gnome 3, most issues are not about ‘status-quo’ these issues are genuine so I looked at the alternative and tried to see how suitable is the second most popular Desktop Environment, KDE, for a Gnome user. I am writing this review as an average user. Advanced users know what they need – they are like mountaineers, they don’t much care about such things. So, let’s see how good is Fedora 16 KDE for an average Gnome user.

          Gnome 3 Is In The Same Boat As KDE
          The beauty of Linux is ‘diversity’. You can have what you want as you are not stuck in the one-size-fits all model. There are couple of DEs (desktop environments) you can try if you are not happy with the one that comes with your OS. Fortunately, most leading distros, including Ubuntu, Fedora and openSUSE come with almost all the top DEs to choose from. Gnome and KDE are the most popular ones.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian, World’s Easiest GNU/Linux Distro You Can Install

        Here’s how to do it and here’s where to find the CD or USB drive image. These links point to the squeeze/stable branch of Debian GNU/Linux so there could be a few less bugs than you expect with Ubuntu.

      • Derivatives

        • Unexpected uses of a knoppix thumbdrive system.

          Knoppix is pretty cool. It’s a linux live system on a USB stick, which by itself is not something too impressive anymore. This is something that’s been done for years now, with other systems like Damn Small Linux, Puppy Linux, based off the original Knoppix I believe.

          But the Knoppix guys really have a good setup. You can encrypt local storage on the stick so that someone else can’t get to your data if you lose the drive. You can install applications that are persistent and available the next time you boot the stick. In essence, you have a portable computer that just borrows whatever hardware you boot it on.

        • Tails, the incognito live system, gets 0.9 release

          Tails, “The Amnesic Incognito Live System”, a live CD or USB distribution of Linux which is designed to preserve privacy and anonymity, has been updated to version 0.9. The developers also urge users of the previous version, 0.8.1, to upgrade due to “numerous security holes” in that release.

          Tails is based on Debian GNU/Linux and comes with several built-in applications which have been configured with security in mind. For example, it relies on the Tor anonymity network to protect the user’s privacy online, and all outgoing connections are forced to make use of its ability to bounce internet traffic between multiple nodes. As a live CD or USB, Tails can be booted on a machine without being installed on the hard disk. It is configured to never use the hard disk even if, for example, there is some free swap space on it. It also attempts to wipe the RAM memory of the computer system as it is shutdown. Despite these capabilities, the developers do warn prospective users of the limitations of the technology.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 11.10 live from USB — first impressions

            Since I spent some time running Fedora 16 with GNOME 3/GNOME Shell via a live image, and I judged it as working well but not as polished in the design department as Ubuntu 11.04/11.10 with Unity, I figured I should give Ubuntu 11.10 a try with its live image and see what I thought.

            So I grabbed a 64-bit Ubuntu 11.10 ISO. Since I was already in Debian Squeeze, and Debian and Ubuntu ISO images these days are “hybrid” images that can be burned to CD the usual way, or easily (very easily!) dropped onto a USB thumb drive, I found the 4 GB drive I used for my Ubuntu 11.04 test and put 11.10 on it. It’s this easy (use the filename of the ISO you downloaded and the filesystem location of your USB drive):

          • Welcoming Our New Horseman: Michael Hall
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Cortex-A8 dev board takes on the BeagleBoard-xM

      Embest is shipping a single board computer based on the Texas Instruments Cortex-A8-based DM3730 or AM3715 system on chips. The DevKit8500D — also available from Premier Farnell’s Element14 engineering community as the DM3730-EVK Evaluation Kit — is equipped with DVI-D, Ethernet, USB 2.0, and serial expansion interfaces, plus options including touchscreens, wireless modules, and cameras.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Microsoft Surface Beaten By 65 Inch Android Tablet

        Microsoft has been playing with the concept of touch-screen for ages without having developed any product that can be used by ordinary user or which targets a mass market.

        The company is now working with Samsung (the leading Android phone maker who are wrongly paying Microsoft Android taxes) to release their 40 inch Surface tablet running on Windows 7 and Surface 2.0 software.

        Ironically, within a week of the announcement an Android tablet has beaten Microsoft’s surface by creating a bigger — 65-inch — tablet running on Android.

      • Amazon Kindle Fire shipments upped to 6 million in quarter

        A market research firm has boosted its projection for Kindle Fire shipments in the current quarter, as the Amazon tablet is proving to be one of the hottest consumer devices this holiday season.

      • Kindle tablet? Check. Kindle smartphone? Maybe next year

        The Kindle Fire tablet has only been available for a few days, but already Amazon could be looking to launch a smartphone, according to a new report.

        According to a note from Citigroup analysts obtained by All Things Digital, Amazon is believed to be currently working with well-known manufacturer Foxconn to develop a smartphone slated to be released in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Free Software/Open Source

  • An other Open Source Colorimeter

    Richard Hughes, the author of colord, developed in the recent months new hardware for measuring monitor colours. The ColorHug called device shall come at a relatively low price. It shall be useable for LCD/LED monitors providing input to calibration and profiling software. The most wide spread open source colour management system, which can create ICC profiles from colour measurements, is Argyll.

  • Open Source WYSIWYG Visual Editor for UI Mockups

    Maqetta is an open source project that provides WYSIWYG visual authoring of HTML5 user interfaces. The Maqetta application itself is authored in HTML, and therefore runs in the browser without requiring additional plugins or downloads.

    Maqetta allows User Experience Designers (UXD) to perform drag/drop assembly of live UI mockups. One of Maqetta’s key design goals is to create developer-ready UI mockups that promote efficient hand-off from designers to developers. The user interfaces created by Maqetta are real-life web applications that can be handed off to developers, who can then transform the application incrementally from UI mockup into final shipping application.

  • Adobe Donates Flex to Apache

    In a move that appears to be another step away from its Flash platform, Adobe has submitted the code for its Flash-based Flex framework to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) to be managed as an independent project.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Introducing Mozilla Conductors

        In the last couple of months I’ve be involved in a surprising number of conversations about how to make communication through Mozilla bugs and
        discussion threads more productive. This ranges from how to keep the discussion on point, how to keep the discussions about the substance and not the people, and what to do if one feels uncomfortable. The topic is raised by both long time contributors and new participants, and ranges from asking for help in how to deal with the topic, to noting how much poor communications makes it difficult to work effectively.

  • SaaS

    • Big Data Attracts Big Money

      More than $350 million has been invested in Hadoop and NoSQL technology to date. A top VC tells us why.

      The move towards Big Data and NoSQL is being fuelled by big money, as investors bet on the next big thing in technology.

      One of those venture capitalists is Frank Artale, a partner with Ignition Partners and an investor in Apache Hadoop startup Cloudera and NoSQL vendor Couchbase. In an exclusive interview with InternetNews.com, Artale explained that Ignition wanted to have a footprint in cloud and Big Data for a variety of reasons.

      In his view, there is the potential for several large multi-billion dollar companies to exist in the Big Data space, which is one of the reasons the firm invested in Cloudera.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Visio Import filter: the goodness soon on your desktop

      It has been a long time since I last time blogged about the LibreOffice Visio import filter. My silence did not prevent a pretty cool code from falling gradually into our git repository. To the point where now we are working on the last 5% of features that normally take the 95% of development time. But, let us see what happened since my July blog:

    • Trying to visualise Open Source OpenOffice.org derivatives

      The caveats. As to my motivation (please remember to play the man not the ball): I do not intend to make anyone afraid, uncertain or doubtful. If graphs scare you – please look away at this point. These graphs are built from estimates, hopefully they are fairly un-controversial ones, I detail them at the bottom. This is probably misleading in all sorts ways I didn’t discover yet. My hope is that it provides a more helpful picture of the world today than this history graph that gets a frequent airing. By rendering only the last two years, we de-clutter lots of lapsed projects, and by not rendering version numbers we can use perceptual area for showing something more useful: an estimate of user-base. As/when I discover major bugs I’ll update this, it is a work in progress:

  • CMS

  • Semi-Open Source

    • New admin GUI for Zarafa

      Internally, Z-Admin is based on Yaffas with a customised ZCP theme and several Zarafa-specific modules. The modules are developed on the Zarafa Community Hub, while Yaffas is hosted on SourceForge.

  • BSD

    • A Simple OpenBSD Router For Your Virtual Machines

      I tend to use VirtualBox a lot at home for experimenting with different operating systems or trying out scenarios that are too dangerous to “do it live”. While I could just give these virtual machines a bridged connection, I like to try to keep things as close as possible to the original environment, especially for “forensic” inspections.

    • FreeBSD 9.0 RC2 Arrives Late, Pushes Back Final

      The good news: FreeBSD 9.0 RC2 is now available. The bad news with that announcement: FreeBSD 9.0 RC2 is late, which also means the third (and last) release candidate has been pushed back along with the final release. Hopefully FreeBSD 9.0 will arrive in time for Christmas.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • The Richard Stallman saga, redux

      But the commentary was by no means all negative. Several readers wrote in to express their own appreciation of Stallman. Chris Hanson, a research scientist at MIT who says he has known Stallman for 20 years, contributed the most telling appraisal.

      “Most people that I know are seriously alienated by Richard’s politics and by his uncompromising attitude; I’m often uncomfortable around him as well,” wrote Hanson. “But he has a knack for getting to the heart of things, and once you understand where he’s coming from, the things he does make perfect sense. In fact, it’s hard to understand how else they could be done. It’s sad that so many people reject him out of hand, often while mouthing some empty boilerplate phrase about how they admire him for his programming skill or something. As if one part of him could be separated from the other.”

      “I don’t always agree with him,” added Hanson, “but I always listen carefully to what he has to say. Richard is a genius, a man with a clear and unusual vision, and like others before him, he comes in a quirky and difficult package. Mozart wasn’t too well-liked among the cultured people of his day, either; perhaps someday someone will make a movie about RMS, his dry humor, temper tantrums, and beautiful vision of people working together.”

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • 7th ODF Plugfest in Gouda
    • Khronos Group releases OpenCL 1.2

      The Khronos Group has announced the ratification of version 1.2 of the OpenCL (Open Computing Language) standard. Developed under the industry panel’s leadership, the standard defines parallel programming interfaces for applications that run on different OpenCL-compatible processors. The OpenCL standard is designed to enable other general applications to harness the computing power of graphics processors by allowing computations to be distributed across multiple graphics processors and CPUs. OpenCL uses a subset of the ISO-certified C99 C dialect with added parallel programming extensions.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Supreme Court Will Uphold Health Care Reform, and Here’s Why

      Opponents of the Affordable Care Act who believe the Supreme Court will declare the law unconstitutional are going to be disappointed next year when a majority of the nine justices vote to uphold it. It will likely be a 5-4 decision, but moderate conservative Anthony Kennedy will, I’m confident, recognize that without the law, the free-market system of health insurance, so highly valued by conservatives, will implode, sooner rather than later.

      The high court announced earlier this week that it will hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of the law next March. A decision is expected in June, just a few weeks before the parties hold their conventions. Regardless of which way the justices go, the decision will ensure that health care reform will be as contentious a campaign issue as it was in 2008.

    • CMD Opposes Gutting of Telemarketing Regulations

      The Center for Media and Democracy is asking Congress to reject a bill that could “open up everyone’s cell phones, land lines, and business phone numbers, without their consent, to a flood of commercial, marketing and debt collection calls,” according to a letter signed by the Center and a number of public interest groups. The Mobile International Call Act of 2011 amends the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a statute that regulates telemarketing and limits telephone solicitations and robo-calls. The bill purportedly makes sensible updates to the TCPA to allow consumers to be notified about fraud, appointment cancellations, drug recalls, late payments, and the like. However, other provisions of the bill would allow businesses to make pre-recorded robo-calls “for any commercial purpose that is not a solicitation.” This applies to any consumer’s cell phone, even for those that have placed themselves on the Do-Not-Call list. The bill also exempts modern automated predictive dialers from the TCPA, “permitting repetitive ‘phantom’ calls to cell phones doctor’s offices, hospital rooms and pagers.”

  • Security

  • Finance

    • What price the new democracy? Goldman Sachs conquers Europe

      The ascension of Mario Monti to the Italian prime ministership is remarkable for more reasons than it is possible to count. By replacing the scandal-surfing Silvio Berlusconi, Italy has dislodged the undislodgeable. By imposing rule by unelected technocrats, it has suspended the normal rules of democracy, and maybe democracy itself. And by putting a senior adviser at Goldman Sachs in charge of a Western nation, it has taken to new heights the political power of an investment bank that you might have thought was prohibitively politically toxic.

    • JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs Sued for Alleged MF Global Misstatements

      JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. units were sued by two pension funds over claims they made misleading statements about the exposure of MF Global Holdings Ltd. securities to European sovereign debt.

      As a result of the misstatements, MF Global’s stock traded at “artificially inflated prices,” the funds said in the complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Manhattan. “While the extent of MF Global’s exposure to European sovereign debt was concealed, the defendants were able to raise some $900 million in the offerings.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Intellectual Monopolies

11.19.11

Links 19/11/2011: Linux Mint 12, ACTA Secrecy

Posted in News Roundup at 11:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Man Survives Steve Ballmer’s Flying Chair To Build ’21st Century Linux’

    Yes, the story is true. At least according to Lucovsky. Microsoft calls it a “gross exaggeration,” but Lucovsky says that when he walked into Ballmer’s office and told the Microsoft CEO he was leaving the company for Google, Ballmer picked up his chair and chucked it across the room. “Why does that surprise anyone?” Lucovsky tells Wired.com, seven years later. “If you play golf with Steve and he loses a five-cent bet, he’s pissy for the next week. Should it surprise you that when I tell Steve I’m quitting and going to work for Google, he would get animated?”

    The famous flying chair shows just how volatile Steve Ballmer can be, but it also underlines the talent Mark Lucovsky brings to the art of software engineering. Lucovsky joined Microsoft in 1988 as part of the team that designed and built the company’s Windows NT operating system — which still provides the core code for all Windows releases — and after joining Google, he was one of three engineers who created the search giant’s AJAX APIs, online programming tools that drew more traffic than almost any other service at Google. “[He's] probably in the top 99.9 percentile when it comes to engineers,” says Paul Maritz, the CEO of virtualization kingpin VMware, who worked with Lucovsky as a top exec at Microsoft.

  • Desktop

    • Chrome OS Linux 1.7.932 Has Google Music Manager

      The Chrome OS developers announced today, November 17th, the immediate availability for download of the Chrome OS 1.7.932 Live CD operating system, which brings the new Google Music Manager.

    • Life with a ChromeBook

      During May’s Google IO developer conference, the first netbooks using the Linux-based ChromeOS were announced from Acer and Samsung. This was a public follow up from the very public beta of ChromeOS netbooks kicked off in December. One of the morning keynotes was dedicated to describing the new netbooks and their features. In June, the ChromeBooks finally shipped and were available for purchase from Amazon and Best Buy. Amazon actually sold out of Samsung Chromebooks in the first week.

      ChromeOS was the cover topic 2 years ago on the July 20th (2009) issue of Information Week. In that article, the bottom line was “… Google has a shot at gaining respectable consumer market share if it produces a slick, fast, secure OS that delivers a great web experience. And if Google succeeds with consumers, it is logical to expect it to steer that momentum toward the enterprise.”

  • Kernel Space

    • New Kernel Patch Slashes Linux’s Power Appetite

      Linux users working on laptops and other portable devices may soon have cause to rejoice thanks to a new kernel patch that finally promises to fix power regression problems associated with recent versions of the software.

    • Linus Torvalds Takes Aim at Proprietary Tech, and Apple

      (Brazil has recently squared off with Apple over policies on iTunes.) Apple co-founder Steve Jobs delivered a defense of the company’s tendency to deliver proprietary tools in Walter Isaacson’s biography of him. He told Isaacson that “people are busy” and don’t want to be bothered with incompatible products and products that don’t just seamlessly work. “They’re busy doing whatever they do best,” Jobs said “and they want us to do what we do best. Their lives are crowded; they have other things to do than think about how to integrate their computers and devices.”

      It seems that that explanation is not good enough for Linus Torvalds.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Comparison of major Linux package management systems
    • New Releases

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 7 on Acer Aspire One D255

        The Acer Aspire one is a a 1Gb, Intel Atom Netbook PC, and while you may think the netbook is dead, having a low powered throw in the bag computer is never a bad thing. However even in these heady days when Microsoft are willing to convince you that Windows 7 will happily run on devices such as this, and then effectively killed the market a customers just couldn’t figure out why their £200 netbook ran like a dog there is still hope with the Gnome 3 based Distro..

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Getting the Blooming Flavor of Fedora 16 KDE

          If you have read my review of Fedora 16 KDE Live, you should understand that I liked this Operating System. That’s why I decided to give it a chance to show all bloom in installed version of Fedora.
          In order to run installer, I booted my Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505 laptop using same Live USB as before.
          Before running the installation, I activated WiFi connection.

        • Fedora 16: A GNOME lover’s paradise

          After several delays, Fedora 16 has been delivered. While hold-ups are a characteristic of the distro’s release cycle, these latest ditherings have put the latest version of Fedora a few weeks behind its main competitor, Ubuntu.

          Fortunately for Fedora fans this release is well worth the extended waiting time, offering an updated GNOME Shell, the Linux 3.0 kernel and plenty of the under-the-hood improvements that Fedora is known for.

    • Debian Family

      • I’m back home with Debian

        I have been struggling with my conscience recently over using Ubuntu as a server. From a technical perspective, it’s an excellent choice. It has regular releases, can be both stable and cutting edge, has thousands upon thousands of packages, supports a lot of hardware, has a very pragmatic approach to enterprise server requirements, and much, much more. With all these benefits Ubuntu has been a favorite of mine for a long time. But recently I have been thinking more philosophically.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 3 Interesting Ubuntu Unity Mobile Mockups

            User created ideas and concepts have always been an hallmark of popular Linux based distors like Ubuntu. We have featured such awesome works by loyal users, ranging from awe inspiring Ubuntu Unity mockups to professional looking LibreOffice mockups. Shuttleworth, during the recently concluded Ubuntu Developer Summit(UDS), made it clear that they will be taking Ubuntu to smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs. Inspired from that, some users have already created interesting mockups based on the idea of mobile Ubuntu Unity.

          • Ubuntu launches at retail in Portugal with ASUS

            As of this week, Ubuntu is now on sale in over 100 retail outlets in Portugal.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Kubuntu 11.10 review

              Kubuntu 11.10 is the latest stable release of the desktop Linux distribution sponsored by Canonical Ltd., a Linux software provider based in London, UK. It is based on Ubuntu, but uses KDE, the K Desktop Environment. According to the Release announcement, Kubuntu is a “perfect OS for casual users, social butterflies, Linux gamers, software developers, professionals, and anyone interested in a free, open platform that is both beautiful and useful.”

              That statement, by the way, applies to every (desktop) Linux distribution.

            • Lubuntu 11.10 review – Alternative to Unity?

              I just figured out I never did give the LXDE desktop paired with Ubuntu a proper review. We did have several stabs at Kubuntu, Ubuntu with Gnome classic and Unity, even the Xfce-flavored Xubuntu, but not this one. Now that it is officially endorsed by the company shipping the most popular Linux distro, it’s time to dig in and see whether Lubuntu can deliver the missing zen lost in the Gnome 2 and Unity guard change.

              Lubuntu is supposed to be a simple, lightweight alternative to heavier, more fully featured desktops, so it seems like a logical choice for older hardware. But then, all my past experience shows that these dietary environments are always lacking in something, never quite as good as the top two or perhaps top three desktops. And there’s the matter of spotlight and quality assurance. That said, maybe Lubuntu can deliver?

            • The most popular Linux is…

              Trying to figure out what the most popular Linux distribution is isn’t easy. We can safely say that Red Hat’s Rat Hat Enterprise Linux is almost certainly popular server Linux. You don’t close in on a billion in annual revenue without a lot of users. You could argue that it’s Android since there are over two hundred million Android smartphones out there, but I was thinking of PCs. So, which distribution do most individual people use on their computers?

              For years, Ubuntu has been the number one end-user Linux, but, somewhat to my surprise, it looks like Ubuntu has to face not just a challenger, but indeed it appears that Ubuntu has already been dethroned by Linux Mint, my own current favorite Linux desktop distribution.

            • Linux Mint 12

              Linux Mint was officially released on November 12, for almost a week now. Be sure to check it out if you haven’t had a chance to look at it yet. For those not familiar with the Mint distro, Linux Mint is based on the latest release of Ubuntu, but with a few wrinkles. For starters, it works out of the box with full multimedia support.

              So, no more hassles in trying to get your DVD movies and other multimedia formats to work, which is a common problem for people starting out with Ubuntu. You also get a Windows-like menu system. Hey, anything helps to smooth out the transition when switching from Windows to Linux.

            • How to make Linux Mint look like OS X

              You might be wondering why we’d spend time morphing elements of the Linux Mint desktop into the shape of OS X, but there are several great reasons.

              Firstly, while recent Linux desktops like Unity and Gnome Shell take many of their cues from OS X, they don’t give you the option of only changing what you want to. Our piecemeal modifications will let you add only the features you want, while getting some of that OS X eye candy and usability. This isn’t a betrayal – it’s an example of Linux’s adaptability.

            • Linux Mint 12
            • Review: Pinguy OS 11.10 Beta

              For those who don’t know, Pinguy OS is basically Ubuntu plus everything and the kitchen sink. Also, the interface is made to look much more like Apple’s Mac OS X, with a top panel featuring a global menu, along with docks and similar themes. However, there have been some changes out of necessity because as of version 11.10 “Oneiric Ocelot”, Ubuntu no longer officially supports GNOME 2, so Pinguy OS has also had to upgrade to GNOME 3. As a result, the whole “Apple Mac OS X” look has had to be adapted to the new interface and restrictions (and there are many such restrictions) of GNOME 3. I’d like to see if it still remains as usable and friendly as before.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Amazon will launch a Kindle phone next year

          ONLINE DEPARTMENT STORE Amazon already has its Kindle e-reader and its Kindle Fire tablet, and it could branch out into Kindle smartphones too.

          The device, so far dubbed the Kindle Phone for want of another name, will be launched around this time next year in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to All Things D. The information comes from Citigroup’s research department which bases its theory on intelligence gathered from supply chains.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Women in FOSS: men need to do more, says senior dev

    A long-time member of the FOSS community believes that men need to do much more about increasing the participation of women in the community and improving their experience of being part of the community.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Silent installation – following up

      In my earlier post about administrative installation of LibreOffice i described how its possible to use the program ORCA to manipulate the msi-file by creating a new mst-file.

      Unfortunately this subject is not very well documented from the developers. if you are a developer and find that I am giving wrong or inaccurate information then please notify me ASAP.

      Lately I have investigated some more details and possibilities in the installation process.

    • Now you can buy LibreOffice merchandise
    • Oracle v. Google – Oracle Names Final Three Deponents

      On Monday of this week Judge Alsup settled the issue of whether Oracle would be permitted to depose any or all of the technical witnesses on which Drs. Leonard and Cox relied in preparing their damages reports by granting Oracle the right to depose any three of seven such witnesses. (Copyright Fight Moves To Trial; Oracle Gains Some Depos) Oracle had already identified Tim Bray and John Rizzo as two of those deponents, and Google had agreed to produce them. So what the judge’s ruling really did was to limit Oracle to one additional deponent out of the remaining five witnesses. Oracle has decided that deponent will be Dan Bornstein, a witness Oracle has already deposed for two full days.

    • Oracle v. Google – Google Wins One and Has a Second Deferred

      Google won a victory on its motion to strike the “rebuttal” report of Dr. Serwin. In an order issued yesterday Judge Alsup sided with Google, granted the motion, struck Dr. Serwin’s report, and ordered that Dr. Serwin could not testify at trial. (622 [PDF; Text]) This means that Dr. Serwin’s survey is out the window, as well.

      Judge Alsup not only granted Google’s motion, he appeared to level a good bit of criticism at Oracle’s counsel, calling the attempt to introduce the Serwin report a “highly unusual maneuver.” Judge Alsup also said that “in twelve years of using this form of case management scheduling order, this is the first time anyone has suggested [that reply reports were not explicitly limited to the authors of the opening reports].” He went on to say: “Oracle’s argument that Google has not been prejudiced is meritless. As explained above, the practice urged by Oracle is inherently unfair and frustrates important case-management objectives.” Turn out the lights, the Serwin party is over.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • This holiday season donate support to free software!

      Are you dreading the end of this month and all it entails in terms of mall-parking expeditions and frenzied spending amidst crowds of other buyers? Are you looking for a break from the gimmes and some respite from advertisers’ leitmotif that “you have needs”? Break with the year end’s usual rampant consumerism and give your loved ones a gift that makes a social difference: give back to the community by giving a membership as a gift, and make a positive change for you and your gift recipient.

  • Project Releases

    • wdiff 1.1.0 released

      Translations can now make use of plural forms. While this means a drastic improvement for some languages, it may also mean that some languages for which no such plural forms are available yet might be lacking user visible message strings, not only error messages, but also for e.g. statistics. You might want to check the translation status if your users have problems with English.

    • gnutls 3.0.8
  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Mexico’s Largest University to Post Online Nearly All Publications and Course Materials

        The National Autonomous University of Mexico, better known as UNAM, has said it will make virtually all of its publications, databases, and course materials freely available on the Internet over the next few years—a move that some academics speculated could push other universities in the region to follow suit.

        Campus officials at UNAM, Mexico’s largest university, said the program, known as All of UNAM Online, could double or triple the institution’s 3.5 million publicly available Web pages, as the largest collection of its kind in Latin America.

  • Programming

    • [Bazaar developers' blog] What I did on my Rotation

      Bazaar is the version control system used by top open source project hosting site Launchpad so I was surprised to come across a bug which prevented bzr from talking to Launchpad properly on errors. “This is really important to fix. We need error reporting.” said Jonathan Lange over 2 years before. Pleasingly I could fix it, very satisfying. I had to learn about the hooks mechanism in bzr which shows up some of the downside of Python, you have to guess the arguments to send the hook. But who needs API documentation when you can just read the code? :)

Leftovers

  • What is Usenet and How Does it Work?

    Have you heard of Usenet? Maybe your father once mentioned something about his Usenet account in college. If you are unaware of what Usenet is, don’t worry. You are about to find out.

    Usenet was initially an idea hatched by 2 Duke University students in 1979. It was soon available on college campuses around the world. Access was eventually granted to early internet service providers who gave free access to their subscribers.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Digital divides: UBB as part of a much bigger broadband mess

      1) Leadership. The FCC has been making headway with a real broadband strategy over the last 18 months, along with a set of network neutrality rules, because the vision comes from the top – the White House. Harper and his cabinet have never cared about world-class retail broadband, because that would put them on the wrong side of the consumer vs business divide.

    • CRTC goes REM on UBB: everybody hurts, sometimes

      The CRTC’s usage-based billing decision is in and boy is it a lot to digest, which is perhaps why there were so many conflicting reports in the media as to who exactly the winners and losers are or will be. After reading and digesting the long document and speaking to a number of the small internet providers that will be affected by it at the ISP Summit dinner on Tuesday night, it’s hard to see how anybody really wins with this decision. Burdened with the impossible task of trying to make everybody happy, perhaps this was the CRTC’s desired outcome.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Universal Music Sues Insurer To Pay For Its Copyright Infringement

        Earlier this year, the four primary members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association (now Music Canada) – Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada – settled the largest copyright class action lawsuit in Canadian history by agreeing to pay over $50 million to compensate for hundreds of thousands of infringing uses of sound recordings. While the record labels did not admit liability, the massive settlement spoke for itself.

      • Creative Commons at WIPO

        This week, Andres Guadamuz (CC Costa Rica) is representing Creative Commons at the 8th Session of the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The agenda [PDF] promises review of several pending recommendations as well as a discussion of future work by the CDIP. Consistent with protocol, Creative Commons prepared a statement for the opening session, which you can read here, as well as find CC’s prior statements and presentations at the CDIP and other WIPO meetings and conferences.

      • File Sharing Lawsuits Progress in Canada as Dozens Face Payment Demands

        Earlier this fall, I wrote about the return of file sharing lawsuits to Canada as the copyright owners of the film the Hurt Locker obtained a court order requiring three major ISPs – Bell, Videotron, and Cogeco – to reveal the identities of dozens of subscribers alleged to have downloaded the movie. I noted that the targeted Canadians would likely face the prospect of demands to pay thousands of dollars in order to settle the case (or spend thousands in legal fees fighting the claims in court).

      • ACTA

11.18.11

Links 18/11/2011: Android/Google Support at Motorola

Posted in News Roundup at 8:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • How misinformation can still hurt FLOSS

    There seems to be a bit of confusion out there about what open source means in terms of security: specifically, there’s a pervasive notion that because software is open source, it’s inherently insecure.

    Seriously?

    Apparently these folks have completely forgotten about software like sendmail, Apache, MySQL, SSH, and oh, what’s that platform called… the one with the penguin… oh yeah: Linux. The applications and platforms are regarded in the industry has highly secure and generally free of malware in the wild.

    And yet, when Google Open Source Programs Manager Chris DiBona recently quoted an article that said that “critics have been pounding the table for years about open source being inherently insecure,” I decided to locate that article… I found myself running smack into what I believe is a serious error.

  • Open source biometrics technology for mobile devices, PCs and servers

    DigitalPersona has open sourced its new MINEX-certified FingerJetFX fingerprint feature extraction technology.

    FingerJetFX, Open Source Edition (OSE), is free, portable software that device manufacturers and application developers can use to convert bulky fingerprint images into small, mathematical representations called fingerprint “templates” for efficient storage or comparison.

  • FOSS over Miami

    Here’s a little Larry-the-Free-Software-Guy history for those of you who don’t already know it: I grew up in Miami and didn’t move to San Francisco until I was 29 (and that was the summer of 1987, so you can do the math). More specifically, I grew up in a strip of unincorporated Dade County sandwiched between North Miami and North Miami Beach. So you’ll understand why I have a tendency to pull for the Dolphins and the U on occasion, and I don’t think twice about driving 30 or so miles down Highway 1 into Monterey County to visit The Whole Enchilada because it has the only Key Lime Pie in this region close enough to be considered Miami-class. Listening to Jimmy Buffett puts me back among the palm trees, retroactively sweating in the 80 degree/90 percent humidity coziness for which South Florida is known worldwide.

  • Web Browsers

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Nov. 21: Free Software’s Stallman

      Richard Stallman, the founder of the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation, will present a visiting lecture from 7-9 p.m., Monday, Nov. 21, in Mitchell Hall at the University of Delaware.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Wintel is Fragmented

    UPDATE A part of the changes to make “8″ will be a consolidation of re-re-reboots into one reboot per month where possible. The trolls here who claim re-re-reboots are no problem for competent users are again proven wrong. Even M$ admits re-re-reboots are a problem that needs fixing. Of course re-re-reboots don’t bother those of us who use GNU/Linux because we get to choose when and if we reboot. I have enjoyed that capability for a decade and love it.

  • The OS Wars: We Have A Winner

    You would not have shown your face at, say, ApacheCon, with a MacBook.

  • Google’s Brin and wife plop half-million into Wikipedia’s hat

    The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit publisher of Wikipedia and its affiliate sites, has received a $500,000 grant from the Brin Wojcicki Foundation, a philanthropic organization set up by Google cofounder Sergey Brin and his wife Anne Wojcicki, cofounder of “personal genetic information” website 23andMe.

  • Security/BIOS

    • Attacks on secure boot

      This is interesting. It’s obviously lacking in details yet, but it does highlight one weakness of secure boot. The security for secure boot is all rooted in the firmware – there’s no external measurement to validate that everything functioned as expected. That means that if you can cause any trusted component to execute arbitrary code then you’ve won. So, what reads arbitrary user data? The most obvious components are any driver that binds to user-controlled hardware, any filesystem driver that reads user-provided filesystems and any signed bootloader that reads user-configured data. A USB drive could potentially trigger a bug in the USB stack and run arbitrary code. A malformed FAT filesystem could potentially trigger a bug in the FAT driver and run arbitrary code. A malformed bootloader configuration file or kernel could potentially trigger a bug in the bootloader and run arbitrary code. It may even be possible to find bugs in the PE-COFF binary loader. And once you have the ability to run arbitrary code, you can replace all the EFI entry points and convince the OS that everything is fine anyway.

    • UEFI Debugging Tools

      One of the many things I work on is UEFI support. It’s an interesting thing to work on, in part because there’s a lot of new development and it’s at a fairly low level, which is just the sort of thing I like.

      Often during UEFI development, we’ll see a bug and need to diagnose whether it’s a problem with the hardware, the firmware, the bootloader, the OS kernel, or even a userland program. One case of this is when console graphics don’t work right.

    • GPT disks in a BIOS world

      Starting with Fedora 16 we’re installing using GPT disklabels by default, even on BIOS-based systems. This is worth noting because most BIOSes have absolutely no idea what GPT is, which you’d think would create some problems. And, unsurprisingly, it does. Shock. But let’s have an overview.

  • Finance

    • State orders Goldman Sachs to repay investors for misleading sales tactics

      Florida’s securities regulators announced a settlement agreement with Goldman, Sach & Co. that has required the investment firm to back back an estimate $20 million in so-called “auction rate securities” because the company claimed they were liquid and secure when they were not.

    • Middle-class areas shrink as America divides into ‘two-tiered society’ of rich and poor

      The portion of American families living in middle-income neighborhoods has declined significantly since 1970, according to a new study, as rising income inequality left a growing share of families in neighborhoods that are mostly low-income or mostly affluent.

    • Our friends from Goldman Sachs…

      Serious and competent, they weigh up the pros and cons and study all of the documents before giving an opinion. They have a fondness for economics, but these luminaries who enter into the temple only after a long and meticulous recruitment process prefer to remain discreet.

      Collectively they form an entity that is part pressure group, part fraternal association for the collection of information, and part mutual aid network. They are the craftsmen, masters and grandmasters whose mission is “to spread the truth acquired in the lodge to the rest of the world.”

      According to its detractors, the European network of influence woven by American bank Goldman Sachs (GS) functions like a freemasonry. To diverse degrees, the new European Central Bank President, Mario Draghi, the newly designated Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Monti, and the freshly appointed Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos are totemic figures in this carefully constructed web.

  • Privacy

    • Wintel is Fragmented

      When I wrote about Google making it possible to opt-out of their Wi-Fi access point mapping program, I made a mistake. I thought Google was still using its StreetView cars to pick up Wi-Fi locations. Nope, Eitan Bencuya, a Google spokesperson, tells me that Google no longer uses StreetView cars to collect location information. So, how does Google collect Wi-Fi location data? They use you.

  • Civil Rights

    • Going Incognito

      The Internet can be a dangerous place. Once it was the scam artists and the damage they wrought that users had to watch. These days it seems it’s more governments trying to oppress citizens and so-called respectable companies looking to track and sell your movements that strike fear in the hearts of Penguistas. Perhaps it’s time to go Incognito.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • EU Adopts Resolution Against US Domain Seizures

      The European Parliament has adopted a resolution which criticizes domain name seizures of “infringing” websites by US authorities. According to the resolution these measures need to be countered as they endanger “the integrity of the global internet and freedom of communication.” With this stance the European Parliament joins an ever-growing list of opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act .

IRC Proceedings: November 17th, 2011

Posted in News Roundup at 12:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

11.17.11

Links 17/11/2011: AMD Catalyst 11.11, Memcached 1.4.10

Posted in News Roundup at 8:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Benefits of Migrating to Linux

    One of the biggest issues facing IT is finding ways to reduce cost and complexity, particularly in an increasingly competitive environment in which upper management demands justification for every expense. Gone are the days of the CFO signing big cheques for projects just “because the IT guys say we have to have it.” Harvard Research Group (HRG) conducted a survey of professionals involved in migrations to Linux, especially as the migrations relate to initiatives to reduce cost and complexity.

  • Server

    • IBM pushes BlueGene/Q to 100 petaflops

      In February 2009, IBM announced that Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, one of the US Department of Energy’s supercomputing centers, was shelling big bucks to build a 20 petaflops machine that is now known as BlueGene/Q.

    • Aruba Advances Instant Enterprise WLAN

      Big enterprises typically deploy Wireless LAN (WLAN) with Access Points (APs) managed by a central controller. But not everyone needs the power and complexity of a controller-based WLAN, which is why Aruba Networks (NASDAQ:ARUN) has its Aruba Instant portfolio of products.

      Aruba Instant is a controller-less architecture for WLAN, enabling enterprises both large and small to more rapidly deploy wireless networks. The system includes a virtual controller embedded into the access point, providing administrators with some of the same features that are available on physical hardware controllers.

  • Kernel Space

    • Download Linux Kernel 3.2 RC2 Now

      Linus Torvalds proudly announced last evening, November 15th, that Linux kernel 3.2 RC2 is now available for download and testing as a tar archive, from the kernel.org website.

    • AMD Cool ‘n’ Quiet, Turbo Core Impact On Linux

      For those wondering about the impact that AMD’s Cool ‘n’ Quiet and Turbo Core technologies have under Linux for the latest-generation Bulldozer processors, here are some tests illustrating the changes in performance, power consumption, and operating temperature.

    • AMD Cool ‘n’ Quiet, Turbo Core Impact On Linux
    • Graphics Stack

      • OpenCL ratchets up to version 1.2

        OpenCL, the open-source standard for programming heterogeneous computing systems – aka CPU/GPU mashups – has reached version 1.2 with the ratification and public release of its latest specification documentation.

      • AMD Catalyst 11.11 Brings Critical Linux Changes

        What’s good about Catalyst 11.11 over previous releases? Well, AMD has still discontinued their tradition of publishing release notes for the public for their Catalyst Linux driver build, but Phoronix has you covered. Some of what’s noteworthy about the Catalyst 11.11 binary blob for Linux is:

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Future of UI Design

      Let me start this off by sharing a cute “futuristic” video about possible future of the mobile technology. Please keep in mind that this was created by folks at Microsoft so you won’t actually see any innovative ideas or ground shattering paradigm shifts in there. Microsoft basically created a vision of future which is safe – one which it understands.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Amarok 2.5 Beta 1 Released, Integrates Amazon Music Store

        Amarok is one of the most popular music player for GNU/Linux based operating systems. Recently the player has gone through some UI changes and has upset some long-time users. A group of developers forked Amarok and created Clementine. But, Amarok is still kicking and alive.

      • Stop me please!

        In a couple of weeks, I will need to deliver yet another default wallpaper for KDE’s 4.8-49 desktop editions.
        So my brain wile starting to go in to “crazy” mode to try to find that specif edge, design pattern, blue, that will make me happy and hopefully our users happy as well… decided to have a look at what we have done over that 4.x series and, I saw a pattern alright.

  • Distributions

    • Roundup of Linux Distributions for the Schools

      An important field where GNU/Linux is gaining ground is that of schools, both primary and secondary.

      I think it’s important to teach children and young people that there is a whole world of open source software to explore, and that not everything that is connected to a computer means Windows and/or proprietary systems.

    • New Releases

      • PHP 5.4 Hits RC1
      • Memcached 1.4.10 improves performance

        Memcached logo In a release focused on improving thread scalability and performance, the developers of Memcached, the distributed memory object caching system, say that version 1.4.10 can now “feed data back faster than any network card can support”. The performance enhancements saw developers report batched multiple key fetches per second rising from 1.6 million keys/second to “around 3.7 million keys/sec” on a quad core system with between 3 and 6 worker threads; more than six worker threads reduced speed, while a system with more cores was able to reach six million keys/second.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2011 PowerPack: A quick image tour

        As I promised, I bought the PowerPack version of Mandriva to test it. I installed it to a virtual machine because my main goal is not to check for performance, but to see what Mandriva 2011 PowerPack offers that you do not get in Mandriva Desktop 2011.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Drupal and Red Hat webcast on open source

        Drupal creator Dries Buytaert, and Opensource.com, the community building initiative of Red Hat Inc. are presenting a webcast on Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 2330 hrs Indian time. The theme of the webcast would explore how Linux and Drupal have evolved to become open source communities by themselves and also compete in the enterprise world.

        The speakers at the event include Michael Tiemann, Vice President of Open Source Affairs at Red Hat, and Dries Buytaert, creator of Drupal and co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Acquia. They will address the audience on their personal learnings and experiences and how they lead Open Source Affairs and Drupal, respectively.

      • Red Hat: 52-Week High Recently Eclipsed (RHT)

        Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) traded at a new 52-week high today of $53.42. Approximately 1.2 million shares have changed hands today, as compared to an average 30-day volume of 2.2 million shares.

      • Red Hat (RHT) Showing Bullish Technicals With Resistance At $54.99
      • Taking oVirt for a Spin

        The new open-source project is focused on delivering an openly developed and freely licensed virtualization system.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu, we all should thank you, however its time to move on..

            There are a lot of reasons why Ubuntu has become the byword for Linux over the last few years. It had a promise, a simple one really “Linux for Human beings” and as an Operating system Ubuntu has more than delivered on that promise.

          • 4 Simple Tools For Tweaking Ubuntu’s Look & Feel [Linux]

            Do you like Ubuntu, but wish it behaved differently? Don’t worry, there are a variety of ways to tweak Ubuntu to your liking.

            It’s been a key criticism since the launch of Unity, that Ubuntu is now impossible to configure. Ubuntu 11.10, the latest version of Ubuntu, is a mixed bag on this front. Some things, like automated backup, are easier to configure than ever before. Other things, like screensavers, are seemingly completely missing.

          • 5 Things I Would Like to See Improved in Ubuntu Software Center
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 12 Mini Review

              Once again Linux Mint developers released their release candidate for Lisa and, as is often the case, made it available with no expected date for the final release. Fine by me… Mint RCs are usually very good in quality, very mature and stable, so I rarely wait for the final version to get to grips with it. Those who read my Linux Mint 11 REVIEW probably remember that I was not particularly surprised with it. It felt like a conservative step forward that didn’t include that many surprises. In a sense, Katia was probably a safe bet to stay away from the brand new (and heavily unstable) Ubuntu’s Unity interface and also to ensure the move to GNOME3 happened at the right moment. In that sense, Mint 11 was a great release and one of the best implementations of GNOME 2.32, with a very personal caracter and carefully designed aesthetics. Linux Mint 12 is probably the opposite, for it represents the transition to GNOME3 and GNOME Shell, the developers first attempt to swim in these cold, unexplored waters. How does it do, you ask?

            • Mint 12: Just what the doctor ordered

              If you’ve been following Linux news lately, you know that on November 14, Mint 12 RC1 was released. This isn’t the final version (which is due at the end of November), but it’s unlikely that anything significant will change in the next couple of weeks. The most important aspect of Mint 12 is that it includes GNOME 3.2 as opposed to Unity Desktop, which is used by Ubuntu 11.10, the Linux distribution that Mint 12 is based on.

            • Lubuntu 11.10 review – a cure to Ubuntu’s Unity blues?

              Could Lubuntu 11.10 prove to be the perfect cure Ubuntu’s Unity backlash? Russell Barnes tests the latest LXDE spin to see how it has progressed in the last six months…

              Firstly, congratulations need to go to the Lubuntu project – it’s their first release as a fully subscribed member of the official Ubuntu family since Mark Shuttleworth welcomed the project to its ranks around the release of 11.04. It joins Xubuntu and Kubuntu among others, and slots rather neatly into the pack, each member bringing a slightly different slant to our beloved Linux desktop while staying true to the mainline software on offer from the core Ubuntu repositories.

            • Is Linux Mint the Most Popular Distro?

              It’s never been an easy thing to measure the popularity of a Linux distribution. Downloads alone are not an accurate measure, and distributions don’t always know how many people have actually downloaded their distro.

              Others, like Fedora, try to take stab at usage by counting how many servers contact the main repositories for updates.

            • Is Linux Mint the Most Popular Distro?
            • One Year with Bodhi Linux

              Today marks the one year point from our first Bodhi Linux “0.1.0″ release. I feel we have come a long way in such a short time and I am happy with everything the team has accomplished thus far. Would you believe that I first started Bodhi simply because I was tired of having to recompile E on each of my half dozen systems every week?

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • PandaBoard demo’d running Android 4.0

          PandaBoard.org’s community-driven PandaBoard is the first device to run Android 4.0, according to Texas Instruments (TI) and the Android Open-Source Project (AOSP). Based on TI’s dual-core, 1GHz OMAP4430 processor — similar to the OMAP4460 available in the soon-to-ship Samsung Galaxy Nexus — the PandaBoard has been demonstrated on YouTube running an experimental build of “Ice Cream Sandwich.”

        • PandaBoard demo’d running Android 4.0
        • Turkish company builds 65-inch Android ‘tablet’ with Honeycomb, 1080p support (video)

          Want Honeycomb on your TV? You can take your chances with a Google TV-enabled set from Sony, or you can get the full Android experience by adding a connected tablet to your HD mix — if Istanbul-based Ardic gets its solution out the door, at least. The Turkish company’s prototype uses a 10-inch Android Honeycomb-based tablet to power a 65-inch LCD with 1080p support for basic gestures, like pinch and zoom. The display currently has two touch sensors, but a version with four sensors is on the way, which will bring multi-touch support. The tablet is powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 2 SoC, and includes 1GB of RAM, 16GB of flash memory, dual cameras, HDMI, USB, microSD and 3G and WiFi connectivity. A dock enables instant connectivity with the OEM TV, including HDMI for video and audio, and USB for touch input (a wireless version is in the works as well).

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Review: Amazon’s Kindle Fire isn’t really a tablet

        Amazon’s Kindle Fire is the world’s smallest vending machine disguised as a tablet. In other words, according to this eWEEK review, it’s really a dedicated media device, not something you should expect to use for work.

      • Amazon Kindle Fire sales could top 5 million in two months: report

        Amazon Kindle Fire is poised to be a retail blockbuster, according to one analyst. What makes the Amazon Kindle Fire different from the steady success of the Nook Color?

      • A day with my XO

        I am writing from the Airport of La Rioja, with my blue XO, waiting for my delayed plane to Buenos Aires. I spent this morning with the Minister of Education, professor Walter Flores and his team, visiting two elementary public schools. Today the whole province is celebrating a significant event, every child and teacher is showing their work on their XO, more than 50,000 have been already distributed. Un día con mi XO, is the title of this very peculiar Journey. A very impressive experience indeed, a massive celebration, the first ever, I think, in the OLPC world. An incredible feat for this Argentine province, the first in Argentina to have saturated the whole educational system, in elementary and special schools with the XO laptops, private and public, and also the secondary and technological schools with the Intel netbooks. A detail, the XO were bought by the province and the netbooks by the nation. A perfect solution.

      • Using a Tablet as a Portable Management Console

        With the dozen or so tablet computers on the market, surely you have one by now. If not, you really must buy one. Tablets are not only lightweight, ultra-portable, and capable of performing any remote administrative tasks, but they also give you that freedom that you never had before. But, that freedom that you so desperately seek might also bring along a lengthier chain attached to it. How can you have both freedom and a chain attached? System administrators understand the concept like no other technology professional.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Adobe donates Flex to foundation in community-friendly exit strategy

    Adobe and the Open Spoon Foundation are preparing to open up development of the Flex SDK. They plan to donate the technology to “an established open source foundation” so that the Flex community and other stakeholders can participate in developing future versions of the SDK.

    Flex is a development framework for building conventional applications with Flash. It’s especially targeted at the enterprise space and has some specialized capabilities for creating data-driven software. The core components of Flex were released as open source under the Mozilla Public License in 2007.

  • Haiku – Open-source recreation of BeOS

    The above title is so full of puns. Firstly, there’s Haiku, which is a wicked form of Japanese poetry, consisting of 5-7-5 morae, somewhat similar to the traditional European eight or ten syllable limericks. Then, recreation could be either recreation, as in we’re going to Ibiza, or recreation as we’re reforging anew the Sword of Whatever. Got it?

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Early Mockups Emerge for Firefox’s Upcoming New Tab Page

        Google’s New Tab Page, which got a revamp last month has a new competitor. Oh and it’s not Speed Dial 2 which we talked about earlier, it’s the upcoming New Tab Page for Firefox. For Firefox 11, Mozilla is planning to replace the time-honored blank page with a spiffy new New Tab page. Here are some early mockups of how the page might look when it’s done.

      • Mozilla Releases Firefox 8.0.1

        Mozilla is about to release an update for the latest stable version of Firefox. Firefox 8.0.1 will be released less than two weeks after the release of Firefox 8, the latest stable version of the popular Internet browser.

      • Mozilla censors itself as part of American Censorship Day

        Mozilla has joined with other leading Internet organisations such as AOL, eBay, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yahoo, Zynga and public interest groups in opposing the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Also known as H.R.3261, SOPA was introduced in the US House of Representatives in October. The organisations have sent Congressional leaders a joint letterPDF expressing their concern with the legislative measures that are being introduced.

      • Introducing Mozilla Conductors
      • Firefox not to become fully multiprocess in the near future

        Mozilla has announced today that the Electrolysis project, which aims to make Firefox a multiprocess application, will be put in pause for the foreseeable future.

        The reason, the amount of changes required at the architectural level are so deep that it will require a large amount of resources to make this happen. At the same time, it is possible to get some important responsiveness improvements with much smaller investments.

      • Mozilla Builds a 1 Megawatt Data Center
      • How Mozilla Intents To Speed Up Firefox’s Update Process
      • Firefox 8 grabs 35% of traffic in just one week

        Mozilla’s latest version of it’s popular Firefox web browser saw rapid adoption following its release last week. Firefox 8, the fifth major release of the Mozilla browser so far this year, became available for download on November 9th. Within one day, the new iteration had already grown to account for 7% of all Firefox traffic across Chitika’s ad network, the company reported on Tuesday. By the end of the browser’s first week of availability, Firefox 8 claimed 35% of all Firefox traffic.

  • SaaS

  • Semi-Open Source

  • Funding

    • VC funding for Hadoop and NoSQL tops $350m

      451 Research has today published a report looking at the funding being invested in Apache Hadoop- and NoSQL database-related vendors. The full report is available to clients, but below is a snapshot of the report, along with a graphic representation of the recent up-tick in funding.

      According to our figures, between the beginning of 2008 and the end of 2010 $95.8m had been invested in the various Apache Hadoop- and NoSQL-related vendors. That figure now stands at more than $350.8m, up 266%.

    • Index Provides Hortonworks With “Substantial” B Round
    • Vyatta Secures $12 Million in Funding Led by HighBAR Partners

      Vyatta, the leader in software-based networking for physical, virtual and cloud infrastructures, announced today it has completed a funding round of $12 million led by HighBAR Partners. Also participating in this round of funding are existing investors JPMorgan, Arrowpath Venture Partners and Citrix Systems.

      HighBAR Partners specializes in infrastructure software and solutions companies, and Vyatta will leverage HighBAR’s broad network and operational experience to accelerate customer adoption and acquisition worldwide.

    • Network Infrastructure Startup Vyatta Raises $12M

      Network infrastructure startup Vyatta has raised $12 million in new funding led by HighBAR Partners with JPMorgan, Arrowpath Venture Partners and Citrix Systems participating. This brings Vyatta’s total funding to more than $45 million.

      Founded in 2005, Vyatta allows enterprises to segment and secure virtualized environments. The company offers an enterprise-focused network routing, security, and traffic management software that enables network administrators to leverage the performance of Intel/AMD hardware, as well as run in VMWare, Xen, and Hyper-V virtual environments.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Indian Government To Popularise Use Of Open Source

      India may not be a huge contributor to the development of Open Source and Linux, despite being and IT force, it is definitely becoming a big user of Open Source. Emerging economies like Brazil already champion the adoption of Open Source and India is not far behind.

      The Indian government recently prepared a draft for the “Policy on Device Drivers for Procurement of Hardware for e-Governance”. The goal of the policy was to ensure that computers must be capable of running on all general purpose operating systems including GNU/Linux and not just Microsoft Windows.

    • : System to display zoning permits online available as open source

      Software that combines geographic information systems (GIS) with zoning regulations and other country wide sources of information on land use, and offered online as an interactive map, was made available as open source software by the Dutch ministry of the Interior last week. The tool, titled Geozet, is hosted on the OSOR Forge since 1 November.

    • Open source serves as linchpin to modernization: Justice

      The use of open-source software is making a difference on the ground in combat zones, and it’s proving increasingly necessary to keep up with rapidly evolving technology and requirements, Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, commanding general of the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command said Nov. 16.

      Using open source, the Army can integrate technologies tailored to mission requirements on essentially an as-needed basis, and at a lower cost than traditional approaches, Justice said at the Red Hat Government Symposium in Washington.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Steve Jobs wanted an Iphone only network

    THE LATE FOUNDER of Apple, Steve Jobs had aspirations to build Apple’s own wireless network using unallocated bands of radio spectrum, for Iphones only.

    According to Network World, Jobs was going to use unlicensed parts of the spectrum for WiFi rather than work with existing mobile operators.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • How the Plummeting Price of Cocaine Fueled the Nationwide Drop in Violent Crime

      Starting in the mid-1990s, major American cities began a radical transformation. Years of high violent crime rates, thefts, robberies, and inner-city decay suddenly started to turn around. Crime rates didn’t just hold steady, they began falling faster than they went up. This trend appeared in practically every post-industrial American city, simultaneously.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Selling the Oil Illusion, American Style

      US production of crude oil peaked in 1970 at 9.637 mbpd (million barrels per day) and has been in a downtrend for 40 years. Recently, however, there’s been a tremendous amount of excitement at the prospect of a “new era” in domestic oil production. The narratives currently being offered come in the following three forms: 1) the US has more oil than Saudi Arabia; 2) the US need only to remove regulatory barriers to significantly increase production; and 3) the US can once again become self-sufficient in oil production, dropping all imported oil to zero.

    • Oil Soars and Natural Gas Withers: But the Energy Singularity is Not Forthcoming

      If you firmly believe higher oil prices will drive energy transition, and the adoption of alternative sources, then do (by all means) feel excited today. The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil, which has sold for as much as a 25% discount to Brent oil over the past 9 months, has been slowly filling that gap recently. And, with the announcement today that a major pipeline would further relieve the surplus of WTI at Cushing (taking it away to the Gulf Coast), the discount has closed further. As of this morning, WTI soared to $102.00 as Brent has fallen closer to $110.00. Accordingly, the full impact of the higher global price of oil is now about to be visited upon North America. Is that bad news, or good news?

  • Finance

    • Occupy Wall Street: Crafting A Constitutional Amendment To Stop The 1%

      I’m very sympathetic to the cause of reducing the power of big business corporations to control our government, our economy, our consumer culture, our society, and our lives. We can’t have democracy without a major shift of power into the hands of the people.

      But would an amendment to remove all rights of corporations from the US Constitution accomplish that? Would there be unintended consequences?

      There are two problems with a constitutional amendment that abolishes corporate personhood. One, it does too much, and two, it does too little.

  • Censorship

    • Speaking up for media freedom

      Media freedom and freedom of expression have been big topics in 2011 – just look at what the heroes of North Africa and the Mediterranean have been prepared to do to win or defend these rights. Travelling back from the European Parliament in Strasbourg this morning, it occurred to me that I haven’t written about these issues on my blog. Let me correct that today – because media freedom is high on the EU agenda. We support this in law, through debate and through research. We support it online and offline. So I want you to know we will not waver in that support, and in fact I’ve just finished another important discussion about it.

  • Privacy

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • UBB ruling will put government in crosshairs

      The CRTC is set to announce the results of its usage-based internet billing proceeding Tuesday afternoon. Far from being one of the regulator’s many dull procedural announcements, this one is surely the most anticipated, at least in recent memory. I’ll have an analysis on Wednesday (my posts generally go live at midnight, Eastern time) and probably some knee-jerk reactions on Twitter beforehand, if you want to check those out. In the meantime’s here a primer of what the ruling will involve and why it’s so important.

    • Stop US online Censorship before ACTA brings it to Europe!

      The European Parliament today massively adopted its resolution on Net neutrality, calling on the EU Commission to protect the open Internet, which is put at risk by an increasing number of restrictions imposed by telecoms operators. This overall positive resolution urges EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes to depart from her failed wait-and-see approach by rapidly assessing the need for further regulation to keep the Internet open and free. This votes represent a political commitment by the European Parliament to protecting the Internet from any form of restriction or censorship.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Does copyright protect something useful?

        Nick Bilton poses an interesting question in the New York Times on whether you can copy physical objects without violating copyright link here. His answer is yes and he found intellectual property lawyers who supported that view. He gives several examples, based on 3-D printers actually producing copies of a cup and other useful physical objects, either from the object or from photographs of the object. He asserts that copyright does not cover things that are useful.

      • ACTA

        • Stop US online Censorship before ACTA brings it to Europe!

          Paris, November 16th, 2011 – In a letter sent to the United States House of Representatives, La Quadrature du Net joins leading civil society organisations from across the world to denounce the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) bill. SOPA aims to create global censorship of the Internet in the name of an obsolete copyright regime. If this dangerous piece of legislation were to pass in the US, it would become the global norm in the war on culture sharing, with the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) as a vehicle. As the European Union starts debating the ratification of ACTA, citizens must mobilize to defend their freedoms by calling for the rejection of such ruthless online repression.

11.16.11

Links 16/11/2011: Linux 3.2 RC 2, Android Majority Market Share

Posted in News Roundup at 4:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Has Linux dropped off the face of the Earth?

      “Has Linux dropped off the face of the Earth?” The answer is obviously no. Linux is still around, stronger than ever, but the desktop OS does seem to be disappearing. Of course this is true of Windows and Mac OS, at least from the average user’s perspective. Desktop Linux is strong with those who use it; those who have been using it, but the buzz seems to be gone.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • The Linux Foundation Announces Four New Members from Around the Globe

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that four companies are joining the organization: DENSO Corporation, Integrated Computer Solutions (ICS), ProFUSION Embedded Systems and Savoir-Faire Linux.

      These companies are joining The Linux Foundation to advance the Linux operating system for next-generation electronics, such as connected automobiles, phones and televisions, as well as for industrial automation and the development of mobile and web applications.

    • Evolution of the Linux kernel source code tarball size

      Here is a graph showing the evolution of the size of the different linux.tar.bz2 source code packages. It starts with version 1.0 and finishes with the 3.1. We see that the evolution is mostly exponential, we could try to predict that linux-3.19.tar.bz2 should be around 100MB.

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 3.2 (Part 1) – Networking

      The TCP stack is now faster at adapting the data transmission rate to the available line capacity. The drivers for Wi-Fi components by Atheros and Broadcom have matured considerably; other drivers will support more LAN and Wi-Fi hardware in 3.2 than they did before.

    • AMD Linux KVM Virtualization Benchmarks

      In recent weeks there have been a lot of AMD Linux benchmarks of the latest-generation Bulldozer processor, namely the eight-core FX-8150. The latest unique look at the first-generation Bulldozer CPU under Linux is the KVM virtualization performance.

      Over on OpenBenchmarking.org are the AMD Bulldozer Virtualization Benchmarks that provide a look at the performance overhead of using the Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine on this platform. Ubuntu 11.10 with the Linux 3.0 kernel was used on both the host and guest with stock settings. From OpenBenchmarking.org you can compare the Bulldozer KVM results against other Intel and AMD CPUs, etc. A wide variety of open-source Linux benchmarks were run from the Phoronix Test Suite.

    • Linux 3.2-rc2 Kernel Doesn’t Bring Too Much Churn

      Linus Torvalds released the Linux 3.2-rc2 kernel this morning. Considering the long development cycle of the Linux 3.2 kernel, this second development release is relatively tame.

      “For being an -rc2 release of a pretty large merge-window, it seems to be quite reasonably sized. In fact, despite this having been the largest linux-next in a release in our linux-next history (I think), rc2 has the exact same number of commits since rc1 as we had during the 3.1 release,” says Linus Torvalds in the kernel mailing list announcement.

    • Linux Kernel Vulnerability Affects Ubuntu 11.10 OMAP4
    • Linux 3.2-rc2
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE vs. Trinity: Is One Really Better?

        The KDE 4 release series is nearly four years old. Yet many users still maintain that the KDE 3 series delivers a faster, more efficient, and more customizable desktop. However, their claims are rarely detailed, so the recent release of a new version of the Trinity Desktop Environment, the KDE 3 fork, seems a suitable time for an examination of the claim.

        The last time I compared the two KDE versions, KDE 4 was still working out some of its rough spots, such as using Akonadi to manage personal information in a database. Similarly, although based on what was then eight year old technology, Trinity was still fine-tuning, adding such features as the ability to run KDE 4 applications.

        Since then, however, both desktops have matured and added features. So how do they compare now in terms of speed, feature, and stability? It’s time for a point-by-point look.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Federico Mena-Quintero talks about the Document-Centric Desktop

        GNOME founder also issues some criticism about the current state of the desktop project

        Federico Mena-Quintero is one of the longest standing contributors to the free desktop, having started GNOME together with Miguel de Icaza back in 1997. He is still a very active GNOME developer, nowadays being employed by Novell / SUSE to work on the desktop. During this years Desktop Summit Andreas Proschofsky had the chance to conduct the following interview with the Mexican. In this Mena-Quintero talks about his concept of the “document-centric-desktop” and the importance of having a journal directly in the GNOME Shell, but also goes on to add some criticism about the current way decisions are made in the GNOME world.

      • Learning from GNOME

        Federico says (emphasis mine): “The latest thing is that now things have to go through the design team first, and I don’t think that is a good thing; there should not be a central body of control that decides how things are done, because that simply doesn’t scale. And it also doesn’t teach people in how to do design properly. I really would like to move to a model where, instead of having a central body of people who can veto things in or out, we can have a shared understanding of what constitutes good design and implementation.”

      • Get Gnome 2 Like Classic Menu In Ubuntu Unity

        The latest Ubuntu comes with flashy Unity, which offers different way of accessing apps and data. However, if you are used to the old style drop-down menu, you can still get that in Ubuntu — without having to ditch Unity for Gnome 3 or Gnome 2.

  • Distributions

    • Puppy 5.3 “Slacko” – Slackware With Added Woof

      On 17/10 a new version, or edition if you prefer, of Puppy Linux was released, this time based on Slackware, and it is appropriately named Puppy “Slacko”, because we all know that Slackware users are lazy, right?

      I have not used Puppy before, in part because I felt no need considering the many distributions out there, and in part because some things like its original Ubuntu roots did not appeal to me, but a Puppy based on my favorite Slackware needs to be checked out.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2011 PowerPack just arrived!

        Right on time, Mandriva released its 2011 PowerPack version. With the announcement, they ratify that Mandriva will be now releasing one version per year, not two versions, as they had been doing.

        What does Mandriva PowerPack version offer? Well, the distro promises all drivers, the smart desktop technology, the Fluendo DVD player, and three months of free Web support, among other features.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Stock Hits New 52-Week High (RHT)

        Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) hit a new 52-week high Tuesday as it is currently trading at $52.37, above its previous 52-week high of $52 with 1.2 million shares traded as of 12:36 p.m. ET. Average volume has been 2.8 million shares over the past 30 days.

      • Red Hat Adds App Lifecycle Tools to PaaS Preview

        Red Hat has outfitted its OpenShift hosted application platform with a set of application development lifecycle tools to simplify deployment on the PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), the company announced Tuesday.

      • Red Hat Expands OpenShift PaaS for Cloud Development
      • Red Hat’s OpenShift Adds Full Java Lifecycle Offering

        Red Hat’s OpenShift platform as a service offering has been in public beta for a while now. It offers a fairly simple way for people to jumpstart “cloud” development efforts by abstracting out all the messy business of setting up application and database servers. Instead, you simply publish your source code to OpenShift, and their platform does the rest. Supported languages are those used heavily by nimble, agile startup types: PHP, Python, Ruby. Interestingly, OpenShift also supports Java. That’s not a language that many people associate with cloud solutions. Today, Red Hat is announcing that they’re improving their support of Java on OpenShift with support for “full Java lifecycle for developers”.

      • RHEL 6.2 Will Support AMD’s Bulldozer Opterons
      • CentOS 6 Linux, A First Look

        I’ve been running CentOS 5.x for a number of years, mostly on servers, and have been extremely happy with it. In fact, I’ve upgraded servers along the way, up to 5.6 and have also been amazed at the seamless upgrade process from version to version. For those that don’t know, CentOS is the free derivative of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The source is compiled and released as its own distribution that is so close to Red Hat Enterprise that packages can even be interchanged between the two. I have to tip my hat at the developers that release CentOS, they do a ton of work and the documentation on the CentOS Wiki site is excellent.

        This past weekend I finally got a look at CentOS 6, which every CentOS user has been anxiously waiting for since Red Hat announced RHEL 6 a while back. I’m a little late to the game, but unfortunately time has prohibited from checking it out sooner.

      • SGI(R) UV Achieves Largest Certified Configuration for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

        This certification highlights the benefits of the newest generation of Intel(R) processors and SGI’s high performance computing technology for customers with data-intensive workloads requiring outstanding performance in a high-density form factor with excellent power efficiency. Targeting the high-end supercomputing, large-scale database and data analytic environments, the combination of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SGI(R) UV 1000 paves the way for customers in the government, intelligence, and scientific communities to deliver more meaningful scientific and technical results. As we enter the next generation of computing, moving from petaflops to exaflops, Red Hat and SGI are enabling some of the industry’s most mission-critical and large-scale computing applications.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Final PCB artwork

      As promised, here are the Gerbers (a visualisation of the printed circuit board or PCB) for the finalised version of the Raspberry Pi. I get several messages every day asking what it can possibly be that we are still working on: I hope you will understand on looking at this why the routing, which has to be quite spectacularly complicated to minimise expensive PCB features and to keep things tiny, took as long as it did! That snarl in the middle is the signal escape for the BCM2835, the chip at the heart of the Raspi. The elves have been working overtime.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Sony Ericsson details its Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update

          The firm spoke earlier of its plans to upgrade its handsets to the ‘next Android platform’ and has now confirmed that its entire range will get the latest version. The entire 2011 Xperia line will get ICS but Sony Ericsson has given no time frame for the rollout.

        • More than half of smartphones are Android

          Gartner analyst Roberta Cozza said, “Android benefited from more mass-market offerings, a weaker competitive environment, and the lack of exciting new products on alternative operating systems.”

        • Android snaps up 52% of mobile phone market

          RIM should start worrying though, as it lost over 4 per cent of its share and is now down to just 11 per cent, the reason that is cited is that the company has fallen out of favour with the US market.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Adobe Flex SDK bombshell STUNS developers

    Adobe is to hand over its Flex SDK, which lets you develop applications for the Flash runtime using XML and ActionScript code, to an open source foundation. The company is committing to HTML 5 as the “best technology for enterprise application development”, according to a statement issued on Friday, November 11 by two Adobe product managers.

    The news has caused consternation among Flex developers. “It feels as though Adobe is completely abandoning Flex, and ultimately Flash … My company has invested millions into committing to Flex for our enterprise applications and now I don’t know what to tell them.” says Erich Cervantez, senior Flex developer for a large chain of health clubs.

  • Adobe Donating Flex to Open Source Foundation; Continues Fire Sale on Formerly-Core Software
  • Open Source Desktop GIS: Let’s Get Started

    A few years ago, a colleague at another institution asked my advice about offering a GIS class at his campus. He wanted to teach students the fundamentals of GIS and spatial analysis, both concepts and applications. The caveat was that he had no money to purchase software. He asked me if there were any worthwhile free applications that could be used for the class. At that time, the only free resource with which I had experience was Esri ArcExplorer Java Edition for Educators (AEJEE). AEJEE is a lightweight GIS tool for exploring geographic data. With AEJEE, you can classify and symbolize shapefiles, integrate image data, project on-the-fly shapefiles and use data over the Internet. A GIS course that relied exclusively on AEJEE would reach its ceiling very quickly.

  • FLOSS for Science Books October 2011
  • Apache Mahout: Scalable machine learning for everyone
  • DigitalPersona Open Sources New FingerJetFX Biometrics Technology for Mobile Devices, PCs and Servers
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Make Firefox Start Quicker By Only Loading Tabs As You Use Them

        If Firefox is a bit slow to start up and fast to use up RAM due to tons of open tabs, you can turn on a quick setting in Firefox 8 to only load tabs one at a time, when you click on them.

      • Firefox 10 Aurora Released, Gets WebGL Anti-Aliasing

        Mozilla just released Aurora 10, the developer version of Firefox that just graduated from nightly status and will move to beta in about six weeks.

      • Mozilla Adopts Real Life Firefoxes to Celebrate 7th Birthday

        Last week, Mozilla’s Firefox browser turned seven years old. To celebrate this milestone, the company has adopted several red pandas cubs (also known as firefoxes). Named Dolly (after Dolly Parton), Bernadette and Winston, the three cubs are said to be quite happy in their new home at the Knoxville Zoo. You might remember Mozilla adopting a couple of red panda cubs earlier this year. Dubbed Spark and Ember, the two pandas resided at the Knoxville Zoo until they were fully grown. They were then shipped off to Cleveland Metropark Zoo and Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City, Kansas, with the goal of having some cute cubs of their own next year.

      • Mozilla Fights for the Internet’s Future

        Starting at midnight, Mozilla will join other leading Internet companies, public interest groups and citizens in opposing The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the US House of Representatives. We’re censoring the Mozilla logo on many of our web sites as part of American Censorship Day and we sent Congressional leaders a joint letter together with AOL, eBay, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yahoo!, and Zynga raising our concerns with the bill.

      • Mozilla Public License Version 2.0, Release Candidate 2
      • Mozilla hatches plan to tackle memory leaks in Firefox add-ons

        Mozilla began an aggressive campaign earlier this year to trim Firefox’s memory footprint with a new initiative called MemShrink. The first fruits of that effort landed in Firefox 7, which was released in September. As a result, Firefox’s memory consumption is now between 20 to 50 percent lower. Building on that success, Mozilla is expanding the scope of its MemShrink initiative and looking to address memory consumption in additional areas.

      • Updated: Hollywood and Congress Target Mozilla

        Another dangerous bill is winding its way through Congress, this time it’s the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) by Texas representative Lamar Smith. Smith’s bill would establish a system for taking down Web sites that the Justice Department “determines to be dedicated to copyright infringement.”

        The bill is, by nearly any sane measure, overreaching and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) says that the bill targets Mozilla specifically for refusing to comply with Homeland Security’s ICE unit.

      • How To Install Firefox 8 In Ubuntu 11.10
      • Firefox 10 Alpha is Here, How to install it in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric via PPA?
      • Rapid Fire: Firefox 9 Beta is Already Out for Download

        Firefox 8 was just released last week. Some of you have probably yet to update. However, the releases are coming fast these days, as is evidenced by the fact that Firefox 9 Beta is already available for download. Mozilla recently announced that the “new, faster” Firefox Beta is now ready for testing and download with support for Windows, Mac and Linux.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • We have a DevRoom at FOSDEM!
    • So Oracle – Are you Supporting Linux or Unix?

      Oracle is in an interesting position. It is now a supporter of both Linux and Unix with their own Oracle Enterprise Linux and Solaris Unix operating systems. This past week, Oracle released Solaris 11 their first official Unix release and it made me wonder if the new Solaris is changing Oracle’s position on Linux.

      I asked Markus Flierl, vice president of software development at Oracle that question and the answer I got, was not what I had expected.

    • Analysis: Spark of hope for Solaris 11
  • CMS

    • My Take on PacktPub’s Open Source Awards

      This year I chose to sponsor PacktPub’s Open Source Awards by publishing and sharing the news of the various steps in the voting and nomination process. In return for the CMS Critic logo being posted on the awards page, I would publish their news releases as the process progressed.

  • Funding

    • What recession? Lessons learned through Free Software

      It all started ten years ago, at a beach party called (appropriately enough) “Open Beach”. A young programmer named Douglas Conrad had discovered Free Software about two years before, and dreamed of having his own company devoted to Free Software, making a living from the use and production of Free Software.

      Douglas started his company “OpenS Tecnologia” a year later in 2002, but still did not have a good idea for a sustainable business plan. In the years between 2002 and 2006, his company grew slowly while Douglas investigated different parts of Free Software, until the year 2008.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Join the FSF on American Censorship Day

      When you visit http://fsf.org this Wednesday, November 16th, you won’t see the usual site. Instead, you’ll see a preview of what the site could look like in the future, if we were accused of copyright infringement by companies who routinely manipulate copyright law to attack free expression and sharing on the Internet — values fundamental to the free software movement.

  • Project Releases

    • PHP 5.4 Hits RC1

      The first Release Candidate (RC 1) for PHP 5.4 is now out, marking the end of the feature development phase of the next generation of PHP.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Still Crippled By “Free”

      The recent release of the Open Source Procurement Toolkit by the Cabinet Office has been interesting and encouraging, even if it did stir in me a certain scepticism that things will be different this time round. Under both Labour and Conservative administrations, the Cabinet Office has been tasked with increasing the adoption of open source by government departments, and each time a fine statement has been made that has resulted in very little change.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Fingerprint recognition firmware released, including an open source ‘extractor’ package

        DigitalPersona is shipping Linux- and Android-ready fingerprint recognition software for biometric and mobile device manufacturers. FingerJet OEM provides fingerprint extraction, identification, and verification, runs in just 192KB of code space, and is compliant with NIST’s MINEX Ongoing Test standard — and the extractor function is available separately as a free, open source FingerJetFX OSE product.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • 15+HTML5 Video Player Open Source Download

      Here is open source code HTML5 video player instead of the flash player available free download. HTML5 can play video online without adobe flash player. There are more beautiful HTML5 video interface built in, including a set of controls (play/pause etc.), so you don’t need anything else to play video in them.

      In addition to having a built-in player, browsers also give website developers access to the video functionality through a jQuery API. This allows developers to build custom video player controls or other interfaces, that utilize the browser’s core video functionality html5 video controls

Leftovers

  • Why Google Will Continue to Deliver Apps Across Platforms

    The Chronicle raised the issue of Google’s recent app for Gmail on iOS, which was pulled only hours after Google delivered it. Girouard characterized it as a simple mistake, and stressed that Google will continue to develop apps for competing platforms.

  • Hardware

  • Security

    • Apple fails to fix a longstanding sandbox vulnerability in OS X

      TABLET AND SMARTPHONE MAKER Apple has failed to fix a bug in its Mac OS X operating system that allows processes to bypass the sandbox protection in place.

      The flaw was discovered by Anibal Sacco and Matias Eissler from Core Security Technologies. They let Apple know about the problem on 20 September, and while Apple acknowledged their submission, it said that it did not see any security threat, forcing the Core Security Technologies team to publish the report to the public this month.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs International Advisor Mario Monti Is Italy’s New Prime Minister

      Not on even a Sunday is the headline barrage over:

      * MARIO MONTI ASKED TO FORM NEW ITALIAN GOVERNMENT
      * MONTI TO MAKE COMMENTS AFTER ACCEPTING OFFER TO LEAD ITALY
      * MARIO MONTI THANKS NAPOLITANO FOR OFFER TO FORM GOVERNMENT
      * MARIO MONTI SAYS ITALY MUST BE PROTAGONIST IN EUROPE
      * MARIO MONTI SAYS HE’LL ACT TO SAVE ITALY FROM CRISIS

      And so the international advisor to Goldman Sachs drones on. In the meantime, the €300 billion in BTP sales is set to resume in just over 13 hours.

      Yet the reason why the EURUSD is less than jubilant on the news is that Silvio apparently has just come back from the dead and has treatened to “pull the plug” on Monti.

    • Walker Recall Gets Underway with Pajama Parties and Sabotage

      The effort to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker begins today, and organizers and volunteers are readying their clipboards to begin collecting more than half-a-million signatures throughout the holiday season. But as volunteers celebrated the launch at midnight “recall themed” pajama parties, the many challenges ahead were underscored by a deliberate, grinch-like cyber-attack on a key recall website.

    • As Zuccotti Park is Cleared, Congress Moves to Gut Financial Reform

      In the dead of night last night, the movement to hold big banks accountable for their crimes took two major hits. Occupy Wall Street activists were swept from Zuccotti Park as radical members of Congress moved to gut funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and advance a series of shocking proposals to roll back financial reform.

    • Seattle police pepper spray 84-year-old woman as ‘Occupy’ crackdowns occur nationally

      As much of the national press focused on protesters’ return to Zuccotti Park after their forcible eviction, crackdowns took place on “Occupy” protests nation-wide late Tuesday.

      During a crackdown on “Occupy Seattle,” an 84-year-old woman and a pregnant 19-year-old girl were among those attacked by police wielding pepper spray, according to reports.

      “Something funny happened on my way to a transportation meeting in Northgate,” said Dorli Rainey, the octogenarian who said she was nearly trampled after police became violent. “As I got off the bus at 3rd and Pine I heard helicopters above. Knowing that the problems of New York would certainly precipitate action by Occupy Seattle, I thought I better check it out.”

  • Censorship

    • America Heading Towards The Internet Dictatorship?

      The greedy Hollywood is about to change the world as we know it. The entertainment industry which is failing to keep up with the innovation and is relying on Flintstones model is conspiring with the US congress to break the Internet and freedom on the web.

      After the Protect IP bill, the US congress is now working on yet another dangerous bill — SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), which is apparently a disguise to give unlimited power to Hollywood to break the Internet and shutdown any website without any trial.

  • Civil Rights

11.15.11

Links 15/11/2011: Mandriva Linux Powerpack 2011, Fedora 16 Reviews

Posted in News Roundup at 7:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • The Automotive Linux Summit Marks Linux’s Bright Future in Vehicles

      If you cycled the clock back a few years, you would find lots of people still debating whether Linux had the potential to dominate as a desktop operating system. Fast-forward to today, and it’s clear that Linux is in fact finding many of its biggest opportunities at the server level, in mobile devices, in embedded Linux deployments, and in other scenarios that lie outside the desktop computing arena. There are also more and more signs that the next frontier for Linux may be in cars, with big backers interested in the idea. And now, The Linux Foundation has announced its program for the first-ever Automotive Linux Summit taking place November 28, 2011 in Yokohama, Japan.

    • AMD Linux KVM Virtualization Benchmarks

      In recent weeks there have been a lot of AMD Linux benchmarks of the latest-generation Bulldozer processor, namely the eight-core FX-8150. The latest unique look at the first-generation Bulldozer CPU under Linux is the KVM virtualization performance.

    • Managing Live and Offline Migrations with Linux’s KVM
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • “The New Linux Distros Edition” of Dr. Bill.TV Netcast #214
    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • The brand new Mandriva Linux Powerpack 2011 is here

        Following the Mandriva Linux free 2011 Mandriva is proud to launch the Mandriva Powerpack 2011, the full version of Mandriva Linux! Based on its new product strategy, Mandriva changes the release procedure, aiming for a one-year period between major releases. However, Mandriva will also release updated versions of its products on a periodic time on a 6-month basis.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat reveals that RHEL 6.2 will support AMD’s Bulldozer power saving features

        LINUX VENDOR Red Hat has said that its upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2 (RHEL) will support all of the power saving features of AMD’s Bulldozer Opteron processors.

        AMD’s Bulldozer Opteron chips deliver a number of new features that the firm claims help it beat Intel’s Xeon processors when it comes to all-important power consumption. The problem is few operating systems actually make use of AMD’s power tweaks such as the C6 state, but Red Hat has confirmed that RHEL 6.2 will support all of Bulldozer’s power saving features.

      • Taking oVirt for a Spin

        The new open-source project is focused on delivering an openly developed and freely licensed virtualization system.

      • Red Hat Provides Comprehensive Lifecycle Support for Java in the Cloud with OpenShift PaaS

        With OpenShift, Red Hat offers a compelling PaaS built on open source technologies that enables developers to quickly develop and deploy applications on the cloud. OpenShift provides built-in auto-scaling, supports a wide variety of languages, frameworks, middleware and clouds and is available free of charge. In August, Red Hat announced that it was the first to deliver Java EE 6 on a PaaS with OpenShift, powered by Red Hat’s JBoss application platform technology. Today, OpenShift expands upon its Java capabilities with the integration of several technologies that allow OpenShift to offer a fuller Java lifecycle for developers — developers can now code their application in an IDE, as well as build, deploy and scale it with OpenShift.

      • Red Hat: Let OpenShift cloud compile your Java apps

        Red Hat doesn’t just want to run your apps on its OpenShift cloud. It wants you to code, compile, tweak, and repeat the process on its cloud until you get the applications just right and get rid of that workstation or heavy laptop you lug around.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 16 KDE: Improving Perfection

          Desktop Environment is very important part of today’s Linux distribution which pretends to be used on desktop or laptop. There are some Linux distributions which give you only one Desktop Environment by default, being it Pardus with KDE or CentOS with GNOME. As opposite, there are distributions which are supplied with selection of different DEs available:

        • Fedora 16 Review: When An Ubuntu User Tries Fedora

          Fedora 16 was released a few days ago and I was looking forward to this release. I used to be a Fedora user in the early days, when I had more time to play with my PC. Ever since I switched to Debian and then Ubuntu, I just fell in love with apt-get’s smart dependency resolution. I was finally out of the RMP hell. I did dabble with Fedora here and there, once in a while but 14 and 15 were both quite unstable for me. So, I distanced myself from Fedora.

        • Almost that time of year…
        • Kororaa 14 no longer supported
    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Kubuntu 12.04 LTS and Lubuntu 12.04 Highlights

              As we’ve stated in our previous article, Allison Randal from Canonical announced a few days ago the highlights for the upcoming Kubuntu 12.04 LTS and Lubuntu 12.04, as well as for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS and Edubuntu 12.04 LTS (presented in a separate article).

            • Get an Early Taste of Linux Mint 12

              Just a week or so after revealing that Linux Mint 12 would be taking a hybrid approach to introducing GNOME 3, the project behind the free operating system on Saturday announced the debut of a release candidate of the software.

            • Will a Spoonful of Mint Help the GNOME 3 Go Down?

              If a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, as Mary Poppins once sagely said, will a splash of Mint help users swallow GNOME 3?

              That, indeed, appears to be the question of the day now that the Linux Mint project has announced a hybrid desktop strategy for Linux Mint 12 that’s apparently designed to help ease users into the controversial new interface.

              “The future of Linux Mint is GNOME 3,” asserted Clement Lefebvre, Linux Mint founder and project leader, in a recent blog post. “The present of Linux Mint is a simple question: ‘How do we make people like GNOME 3? And what do we provide as an alternative to those who still do not want to change?’”

            • Linux Mint 12 RC1 adds GNOME 2.x-like extensions to GNOME 3.2

              Linux Mint 12 (“Lisa”) RC1 was released, based on Ubuntu 11.10 and Linux 3.0. RC1 offers the GNOME 3.2 desktop, but augments it with “MGSE” extensions that let users create a more GNOME 2.3x-like environment, and also supplies a desktop called MATE that’s claimed to be a GNOME 3.x-compatible version of GNOME 2.x.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Wind River Linux stack targets residential gateways

      Wind River announced a pre-validated stack built on Wind River Linux 4.2, aimed at development of home gateway systems for automation and multimedia. Wind River Platform for Gateways supports two ARM11-based processors — the Mindspeed Comcerto 1000 and the Cavium Econa CNS3xxx — and features software from DigiOn (DLNA), Makewave and ProSyst (OSGi for Java), Works Systems (remote management), and Skelmir (virtual machine technology).

    • Tuning Embedded Linux: When Less is More

      There’s a saying that you can never be too rich, or too thin. While that’s a bit of hyperbole, thin is definitely in when it comes to embedded Linux. Luckily, trimming the fat off Linux for embedded use is a lot easier than getting rich or losing that spare tire. Intel’s Darren Hart explained how he slimmed Linux down at the Embedded Linux Conference in October.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android 4.0 face recognition flawed

          The face recognition unlock feature in Google’s Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” mobile operating system has been bypassed by a simple photo trick. A blogger recently demonstrated how easy it was to unlock the device. He took a photo of himself using another phone and held it up to the front facing camera on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the first smartphone to run Android 4.0, which was then unlocked.

        • Top Free Android Web Browsers
        • Google Releases Source Code for Ice Cream Sandwich. And yeah, there’s Honeycomb too

          Google has just released source code for the latest version of Android, that is Ice Cream Sandwich. According to this Google Groups post by Jean-Baptiste Queru a.k.a JBQ, the code for Android 4.0 is currently being pushed to the servers and will take some time to complete. The release, which also includes the source code for Honeycomb, will enable manufacturers to start prepping their own devices for the big upgrade.

        • Source Code Android 4 (ICS) released

          “Hi! We just released a bit of code we thought this group might be interested in. Over at our Android Open-Source Project git servers, the source code for Android version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) is now available.”

        • Google Slaps Critics, Releases Android 4.0 And Honeycomb Source Code

          Google has shut the mouth of its critics by releasing the source code or Android 4.0 aka IceCream Sandwich. Jean-Baptiste M. ‘JBQ’ Queru, software engineer from AOSP (Android open source project) wrote on Google group, “Over at our Android open source project git servers, the source code for Android version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) is now available.”

        • Rugged handheld offers capacitive touch plus 1GHz Cortex-A8 processor

          Winmate announced a rugged handheld computer that includes a 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen and runs Android 2.3.4 on a 1GHz Cortex-A8-based Texas Instruments DM3730. The E430T offers IP65-level sealing, up to 512MB of RAM, five- and two-megapixel cameras, plus wireless technologies including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and 3.5G cellular.

        • Google releases Android 4.0 source — and Honeycomb too
        • Google releases Android 4.0 ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ source
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Amazon’s Kindle Fire ships a day early

        Amazon began shipping its Kindle Fire tablet device Nov. 14, a day early. The $200, seven-inch Android tablet will compete against the Nook Tablet and Apple iPad, among others, for holiday dollars.

      • HTC to unveil quad-core tablet PC at MWC, says paper

        HTC is likely to unveil a new Android-based tablet PC running on a quad-core CPU from Nvidia along with two new Android smartphones in February at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012, according to a Chinese-language Commercial Times report.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Adobe moves Flex SDK to independent open source project

    Adobe will move its Flex SDK to the Open Spoon Foundation. The vendor said that the “Spoon Project” was created from within the Adobe community, and that it will continue to maintain and develop the SDK. Although Adobe now advocates HTML5 as the best technology for enterprise application development, it has promised to continue contributing to the development of the Flex SDK.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • What Is Mozilla’s Mobile OS?

        Linux users have always been happy with the sheer amount of choice available to them. When the mobile sector is considered, yes, it does lack in the field of choice when compared to the thousands of distros available for the desktop. Well, mobile users, its time for a treat. Mozilla Foundation’s Boot 2 Gecko project is said to be finalized by Q2 2012.

      • HTML5 games, video get boost from full-screen API in Firefox nightly

        Support for the HTML full-screen API was recently enabled in Firefox nightly builds. It allows Web applications to toggle the browser into full-screen mode and stretch a single page element so that it fills the user’s display.

        The feature will be especially useful for the HTML5 video element, making it easy for developers to add native full-screen playback to their custom HTML video player interfaces. It will also likely be useful for games and other kinds of content where fullscreen interaction is desirable.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle v. Google – Google Files Writ; Oracle Complains About Production of Witnesses

      Google has now filed a petition for a writ of mandamus with the Federal Circuit seeking review of the district court’s ruling on the Lindholm emails. The petition was filed November 4 and the matter is denominated In Re Google, 2012-M106. Oracle is required to respond to the petition no later than November 28.

      A writ of mandamus is an equitable remedy. Consequently, the Federal Circuit has discretion in considering the matter and responding to it. While Google certainly has a good faith argument for protecting the Lindholm email, there should be little doubt that they are swimming upstream in their continued attempts to suppress the email.

    • Oracle v. Google – Copyright Fight Moves To Trial; Oracle Gains Some Depos

      Not surprisingly, Google disagreed (615 (PDF; Text]) with Oracle’s characterization that Google was refusing to produce witnesses for depositions. (See, Google Files Writ; Oracle Complains About Production of Witnesses) However, in the end it doesn’t make any difference because Judge Alsup has made the call. (617 [PDF; Text]) Google had offered to make two of the witnesses available to Oracle for deposition (Bray and Rizzo), but Google refused to produce the other five (Agarwal, Bornstein, Rubin, Swetland, and Yellin).

      Judge Alsup, in what appears to be a more and more frequent use of the “split the baby” approach, has granted Oracle the right to depose any three of the seven. Oracle may depose those three for up to two hours each, but only on their testimony related to the Leonard and Cox damage reports.

  • Social

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Run today’s GNU!

      It’s a fresh QEMU image of GNU (aka. GNU/Hurd), the extensible operating system designed to liberate users from the tyranny of sysadmins, professional kernel hackers, and other restrictions to Freedom #1.

  • Project Releases

    • Tomahawk media player version 0.3 released

      The Tomahawk developers have released version 0.3 of their open source media player. The cross-platform application has the ability to play any file chosen no matter its location. Version 0.3 has many additional features, including a global search bar which can search across all available sources.

  • Licensing

    • GPL upheld in Berlin case

      AVM Computersystems had sought legal sanction to prevent Cybits from making changes to the code that is used in its routers, in particular code covered by the GPL in its popular Fritz!Box product.

      According to the Free Software Foundation Europe, this code comes from the Linux kernel and is thus open to modification, provided the changes are made available to anyone to whom the code is then distributed.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • What a classroom will look like in 10 years

      Classrooms of the future will be equipped with technology that supports the open source way – openness, transparency, collaboration and diversity. We may need to wait more than 10 years, but hopefully not!

  • Programming

    • AMD Bulldozer only FMA4 and XOP instructions are supported by GCC

      AMD’s Bulldozer Opteron 6200 series chips might be the firm’s first 16-core processors but the firm has done a bit more than increase its maximum core count by four, adding two new instructions. Both 4200 series and 6200 series Opteron processors have AMD-only FMA4 and XOP instructions, and the firm told The INQUIRER that popular compilers including the GNU C Compiler (GCC) already support these instructions.

    • Obfuscated C contest returns after five year break

      The International Obfuscated C Code Contest (IOCCC) has returned and announced the start of 20th competition; the contest had been on hiatus, with no results published for the last one, which was held in 2006. Now, the contest is back and, from 12 November 2011 to 12 January 2012, entries are being accepted in the competition to write the most obscure or obfuscated C program which will illustrate, perversely, the importance of programming style, stress C compilers with strange code, and demonstrate the subtleties of the C language. Although the competition is already open, online submissions will only be accepted from 1 December 2011 as the submission system is being upgraded.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Finance

    • A Decade of MSFT

      M$ can afford to maintain share price by increasing dividends but they cannot stem the flow of mindshare to other technologies. At the moment, predictions are that ARMed thingies will continue to grow while x86 stagnates for years. At this rate, M$’s installed base will start to shrink shortly and it will do well to save 50% of shipments for itself within three years. With that kind of competition the monopoly will be truly dead.

  • Privacy

    • W3C privacy workgroup issues first draft of Do Not Track standard

      W3C has published the first draft of a new Web standard that addresses online privacy. It establishes an official specification for the mechanism that browsers use to broadcast the “Do Not Track” (DNT) privacy preference to websites. The draft was authored by a new W3C Tracking Protection Working Group and could be ratified as an official standard by the middle of next year.

      Mozilla originally introduced the DNT setting in Firefox 4 earlier this year. The feature consists of a simple HTTP header flag that can be toggled through the browser’s preference dialog. The flag tells website operators and advertisers that the user wants to opt out of invasive tracking and other similar practices that have become pervasive with the rise of behavioral advertising.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The Coming Fascist Internet

      Around four decades ago or so, at the U.S. Defense Department funded ARPANET’s first site at UCLA — what would of course become the genesis of the global Internet — I spent a lot of time alone in the ARPANET computer room. I’d work frequently at terminals sandwiched between two large, noisy, minicomputers, a few feet from the first ARPANET router — Interface Message Processor (IMP) #1, which empowered the “blindingly fast” 56 Kb/s ARPANET backbone. Somewhere I have a photo of the famous “Robby the Robot” standing next to that nearly refrigerator-sized cabinet and its similarly-sized modem box.

      I had a cubicle I shared elsewhere in the building where I also worked, but I kept serious hacker’s hours back then, preferring to work late into the night, and the isolation of the computer room was somehow enticing.

      Even the muted roar of the equipment fans had its own allure, further cutting off the outside world (though likely not particularly good for one’s hearing in the long run).

      Occasionally in the wee hours, I’d shut off the room’s harsh fluorescent lights for a minute or two, and watch the many blinking lights play across the equipment racks, often in synchronization with the pulsing and clicking sounds of the huge disk drives.

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