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Links 9/4/2011: More GNOME 3, Qt SDK

Posted in News Roundup at 1:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux high availability group working on critical enterprise application stack

    The Linux Foundation has formed a new working group to speed development within the Linux ecosystem that would make the operating system kernel more suitable for building high availability (HA) systems, the Foundation announced Wednesday.


    So, not surprisingly, the Linux HA stack will include a lot of components that should aid in the clustering of servers. In addition to Linux, the software stack may include technologies such as the Corosync cluster engine, the Open Clustering Framework, the Linux Virtual Server, the Pacemaker resource manager, the Oracle Cluster File System (OCFS), the Global File System (GFS) and others.

  • That Other OS Re-re-reboots, Again

    Why is this OS still around? Who needs this aggravation? There is a better way to do IT: Debian GNU/Linux.

    Debian GNU/Linux is not perfect but it is a lot less work to keep it running. In the five years I have been using it I have only had much angst three times: a flub of openSSH, lots of display problems in the display on the beta of Squeeze and just yesterday, my wife found OpenOffice.org would not open files from Office that it previously had opened. Libre Office fixed that and a problem every couple of years compared to a monthly curse is heavenly.

  • The Battle for the Last Desktop

    Acer expects component shortages for tablet PCs and smartphones

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Sanity
    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome3 is a YES

        I wanted to check out Gnome3 on my own, in spite of the wide range of reviews [or because of them!] I especially appreciated this review: https://piecesoflint.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/10-things-i-love-about-gnome-3/. I don’t wish to repeat the findings, but add my own reactions.

      • New GNOME cuts the clutter

        Five years in the making, the newly released version 3 of the GNOME Linux desktop interface has been radically redesigned.

        The development team endeavored to develop a simpler interface for the shell, noted Jon McCann, one of GNOME Shell’s designers, in a Thursday announcement.

        For this release, the boxy look and feel has been replaced with a more aerodynamic, clutter-free visage. All the icons were redesigned, and new default font Cantarell was adopted. Applications can be called up by simply typing the first few letters of a program name. Frequently used applications can be pinned to a desktop dashboard.

      • Gnome 3 Review

        The long, loooong awaited Gnome 3. Probably the most popular linux desktop environment out there has finally gotten its well deserved and a needed major overhaul. Often times I hear people complaining about the lack of features in Gnome 2.x when compared to, say, KDE. Others, on the other hand, like its simplicity, ease of use, and the fact that no big changes have been made for quite some time. In fact, I myself can’t recall any significant changes to Gnome since I first started using it 5 years ago. Gnome 3 was written from scratch and the team was hoping to reinvent some things, but innovate at the same time, while making the new Gnome the best desktop environment out there. But, did they succeed? More after the break!

      • GNOME 3 Heroes

        GNOME 3 is an incredible achievement. Looking back to that first announcement in 2008, I don’t think any of us would have quite imagined how much the project would accomplish with a new dot oh release. Everyone can feel very proud indeed.

      • GNOME 3
  • Distributions

    • 4 Recommended Linux Distros To Help You Choose The Right One For You

      Just imagine if you tried out a distro that wasn’t meant for you?

    • Have You Heard of AUSTRUMI Linux?

      I haven’t thought of AUSTRUMI in quite a while. My memories of it are tiny, tiny, fast, fast, yet up-to-date able work on modern hardware (modern at the time). Then it fell off my radar around version 1.5.0 released in 2007. But 2.3.3 was just released a few days ago, so it was time to see its latest incarnation.

      AUSTRUMI is Slackware-based distribution that hails from Latvia. Yes, that’s a country; in the general vicinity of Lithuania, Sweden, and the western Russian border. It ships as an installable live CD (to HDD or USB) with support for several languages. It was once about a 30 MB download, but these days it is 199 MB. It comes with Linux, Xorg X Server 1.10.0, GIMP 2.6.11, Opera 11.10, LibreOffice 3.3.2, and lots (relatively speaking) of other handy applications. It includes several server applications as well as system tools and utilities. AUSTRUMI also ships with NVIDIA and ATI/AMD proprietary drivers, although the choice of using Open Source drivers is available to boot. Another boot time option is whether to run it completely in RAM or not as well as your preferred language and several other options.

      It comes with a very attractive FVWM desktop with transparency and a nice titlebar, clock, and quicklauncher on the side as well as a pretty theme and wallpaper. They’ve also used Conky to display some machine statistics across the top of the screen.

    • 3-in-1: How 3 Old Friends Can Be Found In Same Place

      Post about SLAX was soon followed by post about Puppy. I felt in love with Puppy from the first sight. It’s a pity I had to remove it from my HDD to replace with Debian Squeeze.
      SLAX is based on Slackware.

    • New Releases

      • SystemRescueCd 2.1.0 updates Xfce desktop

        Version 2.1.0 of the SystemRescueCd Linux distribution has been released, the first major point update to SystemRescueCd 2.0.0 from early January. Based on the Gentoo LiveCD and using Xfce as its default desktop, the SystemRescueCd is configured as a tool kit for administering or repairing an operating system and recovering data after a system crash. Supported file systems include Ext2, Ext3 and Ext4, ReiserFS, XFS, JFS, VFAT, NTFS, ISO9660 and Btrfs.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Smile becomes Mandriva partner

        Mandriva Pulse 2 is the Open Source solution to manage business IT infrastructure whether it is homogenous, unisite, multisite, and
        comprising a handfull of machines or several thousand.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • I Don’t Like Unity; Should I Ditch Ubuntu?

          In my opinion most Ubuntu users who think the way my friend thinks are going to be upset about it. So, what to do? Should such users ditch Ubuntu and move to derivatives like Linux Mint (which is fast becoming my favorite)?

          Linux Mint has a very strong user-base and it doesn’t need Ubuntu’s failure to get new users. However, I can see quite a lot of users migrating to Linux Mint if they did not like Unity. While I have no issue whether you use Ubuntu or Linux Mint, I do have a suggestion to those who are not comfortable with Unity yet don’t want to ditch Ubuntu.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 May Default To Classic GNOME Desktop

          When Mark Shuttleworth and co announced last year that Ubuntu 11.04 would deploy a Canonical-developed Unity desktop environment instead of the GNOME 3.0 Shell or the classic GNOME2 desktop, many users were concerned by this move with Unity on Ubuntu Netbook not even being in great shape, etc. Concerns over Unity by default in Ubuntu 11.04 have only grown with the Unity interface in Ubuntu 11.04 Beta still being sluggish and broken in areas. Now it looks like Canonical may default Ubuntu 11.04 to using the classic desktop.

        • Test drive the whole Ubuntu archive with WebLive

          In my last blog post about WebLive I announced the availability on WebLive of the top-50 apps from the new Ratings & Review service.

          Today I’m happy to announce that this feature is no longer necessary as you can now test drive anything that’s available in the Ubuntu archive.

        • The Spiel About The Default Ubuntu 11.04 Desktop

          Earlier today Phoronix was the first publication to widely report that Ubuntu 11.04 may default to the GNOME classic desktop rather than the Unity desktop that Canonical has been developing viciously over the past few months. There’s just too many bugs outstanding and issues with Unity, but here’s the whole spiel about what their evaluation is coming down to in deciding whether to stick with Unity by default or instead use the classic GNOME desktop until presumably Ubuntu 11.10.

          A more elaborate email from Canonical’s Rick Spencer has now hit the Ubuntu development mailing list that further analyzes the situation and discussion that came out of the Ubuntu Technical Board meeting.

        • Ubuntu Expels One Of Its Developers

          Besides the MPlayer fighting that’s now going on, the battles within the Ubuntu community isn’t limited to GNOME vs. Unity on the desktop, but in fact the Ubuntu Developer Membership board and Community Council have jointly decided to expel one of the Ubuntu developers.

          The two Ubuntu groups have decided to kick Artur Rona out of the Ubuntu development community for at least two years, according to this mailing list post. This Polish developer had been responsible within the Ubuntu community for handling merges, syncs, and security updates for some packages.

        • Mark Shuttleworth talks Narwhals

          Natty Narwhal (Ubuntu 11.04) removes GNOME, adds new kernel, and offers a major patch for scheduling processes. Mark Shuttleworth talks to Linux User about all this, Debian relations and the future of Ubuntu…

        • Knowledge-Sharing on Agenda During Ubuntu App Developer Week

          Have an idea for a great Linux application that’s missing from the 30,000+ downloads in the Ubuntu repositories? Or just interested in learning some programming pointers? If you answered yes, the latest and greatest Ubuntu App Developer Week, which starts Monday, April 11, 2011, is for you. Keep reading for details…

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Elementary OS Review: Delight to Use, Few Issues Persist
          • Linux Mint Debian 201101 – Really, really nice

            There were two tiny wrongs with LMD – one, the lack of Compiz; two, the one-time boot glitch. Other than that, Linux Mint Debian was surprisingly good-looking and good-working, with none of the pessimistic predictions about its stability and usability.

            I’m thoroughly pleased with the distro. It’s a near perfect 10! The Mint dev team has scored two tremendous releases, one after another, not an easy feat by any means or standards. This is really amazing. What more, LMD is a beacon of hope for all those frightened Ubuntu users and Unity haters. If you don’t like the direction Ubuntu is going, there’s Linux Mint and its Debian edition waiting for you. Stable, fast, beautiful, the sum of all good.

            Let’s not forget – this is a rolling release, so install once and enjoy forever. It’s also probably going to be supported for eons. And this is just the first edition. Think how this thing will look like in a year or two, given more time to buff and polish.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Eurocom Launches Dual Processor Phantom 4.0 Server-on-the-Go Solution

      Eurocom Corporation (www.eurocom.com), the world’s leading developer of highly personalized, high-performance notebook PCs and energy efficient All-in-Ones has been developing a dual CPU notebook solution for years. Eurocom technicians have been testing and verifying the systems performance and quality since the beginning of 2011 and now the system is ready for shipping.

    • The WINDspeed Pocket Hotspot: great for Linux users but piss-poor documentation.

      I must admit that I haven’t found a suitable use case for a MiFi device until now — where I find myself tasked with procuring a no-fuss Internet connection for visiting family. Each of the big carriers in Canada sells a personal WiFi hotspot of some sort, but being a fan of the little guy I went instead with WIND Mobile’s Huawei E583C — aka, the WINDspeed Pocket Hotspot.

    • The MosKeyto’s Buzz

      A review of a USB drive might seem like a silly notion, but when the USB drive is barely bigger than the USB port itself, it seems worth mentioning. I recently was sent a LaCie MosKeyto USB drive, and I must admit, it’s even smaller than I expected it would be. In fact, the cover to the Flash drive is actually bigger than the drive itself!

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

        • Nokia offering new SDK for Qt

          Developers who want to take advantage of Nokia’s cross-platform application and user interface framework can now access the latest release candidate.

          Qt is designed to let developers write and deploy applications across desktop, mobile and embedded OSes without rewriting source code. The Qt SDK 1.1 Release Candidate is now available for download, Nokia said in a blog post on Thursday.

    • Tablets

      • Google begins tablet version of Chrome OS

        Details in Google’s source code reveal that company programmers have begun building a tablet version of Chrome OS, its browser-based operating system.

      • Acer expects component shortages for tablet PCs and smartphones

        Commenting about the tablet PC market, Acer Taiwan president Scott Lin pointed out that the company is currently working aggressively over its tablet PCs and is doing a marvelous job; however, Japan’s earthquake may affect component supplies for its smartphone and tablet PC lines.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why Facebook open-sourced its datacenters

    Facebook has opened up a whole new front in its war with Google over top technical talent and ad dollars. Instead of simply hiring away Google engineers, the social networking service is now aiming to do for its datacenters what Google is doing with Android—that is, it’s taking an open-source approach that will let the company harness the energy and know-how of a larger ecosystem of programmers and engineers to make its ad business that much more profitable. Facebook has framed the announcement as part of its commitment to openness, but there are much larger forces at work here. Specifically, despite what most people think, Facebook and Google are hardware companies, and the former’s open-source datacenter will potentially help it compete in the datacenter arena with its much larger and deeper-pocketed rival.

  • Facebook’s Open-Source Servers Will Change the Industry. Right?

    Facebook’s bid to open-source its server architecture sounds like a technology with broad applications. But it remains unclear how the Open Compute Initiative will affect the traditional server market.

    Facebook said Thursday that it is making the design documents and specifications of the servers used at its Prineville, Ore. data center public at OpenCompute.org. The company claims that the design of the new servers is 38 percent more power efficient than its older models, and costs 24 percent less to make.

  • Facebook open sources its server, data center designs: Hardware fallout to follow

    Facebook on Thursday launched an initiative it calls the Open Compute Project, an effort to share the specs and designs of the custom servers in its data center in Prineville, Ore. In other words, Facebook is going to open source its hardware designs just like the software industry largely has.

  • FLOSS Weekly 160: Open Source Software At The Department Of Defense

    Hosts: Randal Schwartz and Simon Phipps

    Download or subscribe to this show at twit.tv/floss.

    We invite you to read, add to, and amend our show notes.

  • Project Harmony Launches Today

    “Project Harmony is like Creative Commons for contributor agreements. We’ve set out to capture the best practices of free and open source software contributions, across a diverse array of project cultures, communities, and values.” said Allison Randal, a community participant in Project Harmony. “The public review process for the Alpha versions of the documents launches today, and runs through May 6th. After a year of hard work by the original ~100 drafting volunteers, we’re really looking forward to broader participation in this public review.”

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome 12 Protects Against Malware

        Google is updating its Chrome web browser, Chrome 12, with new performance and security features. Chrome 12 is now available in Google’s dev-channel, providing users with a sneak peak of what Google has in store . Chrome 12 includes a new version of the V8 JavaScript engine as well as an overall code cleanup.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 4

        But it’s rock solid, fast, and dependable. I no longer feel like I need to apologise for using Firefox as my browser.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Moodle 2.0 Science: Monitoring Your Students’ Progress

      By the end of this article, you will be able to do the following:

      * Check that your learners are looking at the resources that you add to your course
      * Track completion of activities
      * Plan what your learners need to achieve for the completion of your course
      * Evaluate the effectiveness of your quizzes by using result analysis
      * Identify gaps in learner’s understanding by using quiz grade analysis
      * Use assignment reports to identify learners who need extra help
      * Gain a valuable overview of your learners’ progress by effectively using the gradebook

  • Project Releases

  • Programming


  • The Bizarre Cathedral – 96
  • Alcatel-Lucent Launches Wired Networking Mesh
  • Cablegate

    • Dear Queen Beatrix,

      It is with anger and disbelief that I now read that the current interior minister of your government is willing to give up the freedom of Rop Gonggrijp to please the United States. As you can read here, Uri Rosenthal has no problem to extradite Rop Gonggrijp to the United States should they so desire.

      And why? Because he helped Wikileaks to publish the truth. Because he helped the truth to be put in the spotlight of public scrutiny. A truth that is tough to accept, but true to his nature, Rop Gonggrijp defended the freedom to tell the truth.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • Pensioner in Georgia cuts Armenia off from internet

      An elderly woman in Georgia is facing a prison sentence after reportedly causing internet services in neighbouring Armenia to crash.

      The country found itself offline for hours on 28 March after cables linking Georgia to Armenia were damaged.

    • BT escapes prosecution over web snooping

      BT will not be prosecuted for snooping on the web browsing habits of its customers.

      The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has dropped a request bring charges against BT and Phorm – the firm that supplied the monitoring system.

      The Webwise software used cookies to track people online and then tailored adverts to the sites they visited.

Clip of the Day

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 7/4/2011: Firefox 7 and GIMP 2.8 to Come This Year

Posted in News Roundup at 6:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Dual boot adventures
  • Yahoo: The Linux Company

    While Yahoo isn’t as big as it used to be, it still, according to Dummer, has 100,000s of servers, 640-million users, and over a 1 billion visits a months. According to Netcraft’s list of the most popular Web sites in the world, that’s still good enough to put Yahoo in as the 13th most popular Web site on the globe, or the fourth if you count all the international Google sites as one. In other words, Yahoo is still a player.

  • The GNU/Linux-Adoption Algorithm!

    Just for fun, I isolated the GNU/Linux-adoption algorithm

  • Windows/Linux driver support comparison

    Recently however I came across a bad situation with Windows 7 64-bit and the Intel 82567/82568 network card, which is present in a lot of desktops and laptops. The issue? Well, there are a few issues actually, but the main problems are the NIC dropping its connection at random and also not linking to some switches right away which causes the Windows 7 logon process to lag.

  • Server

    • 10,000-core Linux supercomputer built in Amazon cloud

      The customer that opted for the 10,000-core cloud cluster was biotech company Genentech in San Francisco, where scientist Jacob Corn needed computing power to examine how proteins bind to each other, in research that might eventually lead to medical treatments. Compared to the 10,000-core cluster, “we’re a tenth the size internally,” Corn says.

  • Google

    • Larry Page Starts as Google CEO

      The first day at a new job is an exciting and stressful time. Thankfully, Google’s new CEO already has a pretty firm grasp of the company’s workings, having co-founded the company 13 years ago with Sergey Brin. Larry Page and Brin served as co-presidents for the search company until 2001, when they recruited former Novell CEO, Eric Schmidt.

  • IBM

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Foundation Takes Aim At Embedded Devices

      According to Jim Zemlin, the Executive Director of the Linux Foundation, Linux is now moving beyond just being a server operating system.In Zemlin’s view, Linux has become the fabric of modern computing.

      In an effort to help nurture the continued growth of Linux, the Linux Foundation today announced the formation of a High Availability Linux working group, as well as the release of the Yocto 1.0 embedded Linux project.

    • Where Will Linux Be in 20 Years?

      It was 20 years ago this summer that Linux was born. Over that time Linux has transformed both itself and the IT industry.

      According to Jim Zemlin, the Executive Director of the Linux Foundation, the same core fundamentals that have helped Linux to reach its current stature will help to propel it forward for the next 20 years.

      “Linux itself really has no roadmap or grand plan persay, it sort of has a direction in which it is blowing,” Zemlin told InternetNews.com. “What makes Linux so great is that there are so many self-forming communities around Linux that use a single kernel to address so many different market segments.”

    • Celebrating 20 Years of Linux [INFOGRAPHIC]

      The Linux Foundation is celebrating 20 years of the famous FOSS operating system, Linux — or GNU-slash-Linux, depending on how hard-line a fossie you’re talking to — with a slew of special events, both online and IRL. Linux enthusiasts can check out the official anniversary site for details.

    • Linux 2.6.39-rc2 Is Uncommonly Calm
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Wishlist for gnome (and shell) 3.2
      • GNOME 3.0′s RAM usage

        …is surprisingly low. Unlike what some people would make you believe, GNOME Shell & friends don’t eat 883 MB of RAM. As you can see below, baseline memory usage is under 120 MB… And you know what? That’s less than the amount of memory that GNOME 2.30 uses on startup on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (127 MB+ even if you cut down on some useless services).

      • GNOME Shell Extensions: Additional Functionality For GNOME Shell (Dock Task-Switcher, Windows Navigator, User Theme, Etc.)
      • GNOME 3 First Impressions
      • GNOME3 Live image 1.0.0 released – It is about time
      • Gnome 3.0 first impressions, or “Is this thing on?”
      • GNOME 3 and the focus on usability

        GNOME 3 is out and of course I was very curious to give it a spin. As the GNOME developers claim they care a lot about usability and have given the new desktop design a lot of thought, I was pretty excited, since I care about these things as well. Haiku still has a lot of usability issues that we need to sort out. Maybe we can learn a few things. So what are my impressions? To be honest, I have pretty mixed feelings.

      • GNOME 3 and Its Fallback Desktop

        I like the GNOME 3 fallback desktop better than GNOME 3 itself.

        Amid all the attention given to the new GNOME 3 with its overview page, you don’t hear much about the fallback. Nor are you likely to stumble across it on your own, since it’s buried in Applications -> System Settings -> System Info -> Graphics -> Forced Fallback -> On, a location that’s both obscure and deep.

        However, you might want to search out the setting if your computer lacks the hardware acceleration needed to run GNOME 3. Set it to On, and the next time you log in, you’ll be using the fallback.

      • The inevitable is here : Ubuntu gnome remix

        It was predicted since canonical announced unity…
        It was anticipated since people tried and disappointed on unity…
        It was desired since people saw, tried and experienced gnome 3.0 and its new shell…
        It was inevitable since shuttleworth commmented that no classic desktop for ubuntu 11.10…

      • GNOME Developer Center now online

        In conjunction with the release of GNOME 3, the GNOME Project has opened the GNOME Developer Center to help new developers find their way around the desktop environment’s technologies. The centre includes instructions on how to install tools for GNOME development, along with “ten minute tutorials” for C, C++, JavaScript, Python and Vala, covering the creation of, as examples, a guitar tuner, image viewer, WebKit-based Message board and a Clutter-based Image viewer.

  • Distributions

    • Testing stable; stable testing
    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS 2010 E17 Review

        After spending a week using PCLinuxOS I can say that this is definitely a distributions to rival all others. PCLinuxOS is maintained by the staff and volunteers of the PCLinuxOS Magazine. When you grab yourself a copy of this nearly flawless operating system be sure to stick around their website and freely read through the PCLinuxOS magazine archives to learn Linux while your at it. The endless variety of options when using PCLinuxOS seems to be an important focus of the project. This distribution comes in many desktop versions including Gnome, Gnome Zen Mini, XFCE, LXDE. KDE, and OpenBox. Thats not all, PCLinuxOS is available in 85 languages using the Addlocale tool, and has over 12000 packages available from the repositories. The sleek and minimalistic interface definitely improves workspace efficiency. PCLinuxOS 2010 Enlightenment 17 would be a great choice for Linux newcomers.

    • Debian Family

      • Backing up your data in Debian/Ubuntu derived distros

        Today I want to discuss backing up your computer in case of major problems or when your hard drive conks out. Because ALL hard drives will eventually fail, often without much warning. Backing up your computer data (photos, music files, documents), system settings and software preferences is something we should all do on a regular basis so your information and precious memories aren’t lost. And if you like to install different operating systems from time to time like I do, or just to do a clean install of a newer version of your operating system, having a recent back-up is indispensable.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • GNOME 3 is out: will Ubuntu reconsider?

          GNOME 3 introduces “GNOME Shell”, a new window display and activities management interface that uses the Mutter compositing window manager.

        • Gnome 3 Fallback mode – Get your productivity back

          One thing is certain though, the Fallback Mode is more productive and useful than the standard, default Gnome 3 session. You don’t get the full repertoire you may expect, but there’s progress, good, healthy progress. In one fell stroke, you gain some 50-60% of your expected desktop functionality, which restores a bit of sanity and hope. Theoretically, you could get your old desktop back with some careful work on extra features, backward compatibility and a dab of visual polish. Experienced Linux distribution developers could pull this off easily, rebranding the skeleton looks with their own unique touch. Once again, we go back to Linux Mint, which has shown the art of subtle visual transformation many times over in the past.

        • 10 Things I Love About GNOME 3

          Fortunately for GNOME, their latest version of their popular desktop environment manages to break very few eggs, if any, and still magically makes omelets regardless of that. GNOME 3 designers and developers have had a lot of time to think and plan about the design of the latest desktop and it shows very clearly in several areas. Some refinement and improvement could come in future releases (and that is actually being worked on right now), but for now I am loving the GNOME 3 desktop as it stands today just fine. Why? I’ll give you 10 reasons:

        • Drag Me to Shell, p1.

          This is part one of what will be a multipart blog series: how tremendously exciting, eh?! In all seriousness, with GNOME 3 imminent, I thought rather than do a review of the desktop it would be much more interesting to talk about it from the perspective of a relatively hardened Linux enthusiast actually using it within a business environment.

        • First look: GNOME 3.0

          After a lot of preparatory work, the GNOME project has released the first version of the third generation of GNOME. With its modern design approach, subtle graphics effects and fresh UI concept, the new version presents itself much more modern and sleek than its predecessor – but it also needs to be handled differently.The GNOME Shell showed no sign of stability problems during our tests. Our primary test systems were a desktop computer with Radeon HD 4350 and a notebook with Intel’s G965 chip-set; both systems were running preview versions of Fedora 15.

        • Mac in Black: A disconcerting look at GNOME 3
        • Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal Beta Review

          Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal Beta 1 is released and it brings in some much needed UI(User Interface) improvements. I was impressed by the changes so much that I decided to install this beta release as my new default operating system instead of Ubuntu 10.10.

        • Where are Ubuntu servers being used?

          Earlier today, Ivanka Majic tweeted a link to the map of where Ubuntu Servers are being used around the world and I thought that was pretty cool so I wanted to find out a little more about how this information was gathered.

          According to the website, the application shows Ubuntu logo over each city where Ubuntu Server is used and the data is collected through volunteers who visit the application and agree to add their city to the map. Also stated on the site is the fact that personally identifying information is stored in the application database. Those who visit the application website can choose to add their information using their IP address or just see where Ubuntu Server is already being used.

        • Canonical Commits to Netbooks Over Tablets for Ubuntu

          Canonical has not yet built an Ubuntu Linux distribution for tablets and will continue development of the OS for PCs and netbooks, company executives said.

        • First Look At Ubuntu Linux 11.04 ‘Natty Narwhal’ Beta

          So that’s Ubuntu 11.04, and its somewhat bold step forward, and somewhat away from other distributions. What do you think of it, in looks alone or after using the beta a bit? Give us your take in the comments.

        • Ubuntu 11.04: is this the end of the road?

          If this amount of change had been incorporated into a release some years ago, when Ubuntu was two or three years old, it is unlikely that people would have noticed and commented as much as they have. Change takes place in the early stages of development of just about anything.

          When change of this magnitude comes after six years and a half – more than four lifetimes in the tech industry – then people start to ask why.

          Is this the end of the road as far as radical design changes for Ubuntu go? Or is there more hidden up the sleeve of the Canonical founder, changes that will make it look more and more like a Dinky Toy than a serious operating system?

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Elementary OS review – ‘Jupiter’ is massive, but it’s largely hot air…

            What, another Ubuntu-based Linux distro? Yes, but Elementary OS is meant to be something more than just an Ubuntu spin with a different wallpaper. We take a brief look at the new distro to see whether it lives up to its original promise…


            Elementary OS won’t replace Ubuntu on our machines just yet, but we will definitely keep a close eye on the project.

          • Spotlight On Linux: wattOS

            So many computers head for landfill when they are still able to carry out useful work. However, some organizations and individuals do what they can to put these machines into the hands of people who can use them. Naturally, this is an ideal application for Linux, and having had a quick look at it, I suspect that wattOS would make a good choice for refurbishing older computers.

            wattOS is derived from the current version of Ubuntu, giving it an advantage when it comes to hardware support. Another good thing about being tied to one of the big distributions is that there’s less of a chance of being stuck for a application that you need.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

        • Nokia admits ‘open’ Symbian is not open

          Nokia has admitted that its “open and direct” Symbian source code is not open, proving – once again – that the word has been stripped of all discernible meaning.

          Late last week, a little over three months after the Symbian Foundation shut down its web servers, Nokia returned the Symbian source code to the web. It announced the move with a blog post entitled “We are open!”, and the post was penned by Petra Söderling, the “Head of Open Source” for Symbian smartphones.

        • Nokia confirms Symbian no longer open source
        • Plans for the First Qt Contributors’ Summit Continue

          The first Qt Contributors’ Summit is scheduled to be held at the ParkInn Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany on June 16-18, 2011.

      • Android

        • Android and the Great Openness Debate

          Google’s motivations in protecting its Honeycomb source code are understandable to Slashdot blogger and consultant Gerhard Mack, who notes, “they are worried their code won’t be stable on other devices. Unfortunately, they are underestimating what the community could do for them if they opened up the code. There are plenty of hobbyist programmers who absolutely love to mess with phones and would check in fixes as needed.”

        • Penguin chief: Linux patent and copyright FUD ‘not relevant’

          Fear ye not, Linux faithful. Thy software is no more susceptible to patent or copyright attack than any other piece of closed source software.

          That’s according to Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin, who told penguins gathered as his group’s annual Collaboration Summit on Wednesday not to believe the FUD – fear, uncertainty, and doubt – claiming that violations are unique to their beloved Linux or open source in general.


          But the challenges to Linux and open source aren’t just coming from the likes of Microsoft. They’re coming from inside the Linux camp too. Foundation member Oracle, the world’s biggest database maker, is taking fellow Foundation member Google, the web’s number-one search company, to court, saying that Google’s smartphone operating system violates its Java patents. It’s a claim Google has denied and is contesting.

        • Google’s Andy Rubin Says Android Remains An Open Source Project

          Writing in a blog, he said : “As I write this the Android team is still hard at work to bring all the new Honeycomb features to phones.

          “As soon as this work is completed, we’ll publish the code.

          “This temporary delay does not represent a change in strategy” .

          While admitting that Google was placing limitations on those seeking to ship devices with Google apps as well as tighter restrictions on entry into the Android Market, Rubin said these were always in place from the inception.

        • Google: we’ll open source Android 3.0 when it’s ready
    • Sub-notebooks

Free Software/Open Source


Clip of the Day

Richard Stallman – What can individuals do?

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 6/4/2011: Linux 2.6.39 RC2, GNOME Desktop Reaches 3.0

Posted in News Roundup at 6:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Microsoft has lost the war to Linux

    Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin has decided that he has won the war against Microsoft and his sending his troops home.

  • Problems Addressed

    The fact is the vast majority of hardware works with GNU/Linux these days. Dell demands it. HP demands it. Lenovo demands it.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • GIMP Paint Studio 1.5 beats its own record

      The very nearly almighty Ramon Miranda has finally released a huge update to his ever-in-demand GIMP Paint Studio pack of GIMP add-ons for digital artists. Over 200 brushes, new high resolution patterns that resemble artistic media, and much more is what you get.

    • The 5 Best Open Source Graphics Programs

      Do you want to create your own promotional materials for your small business? Before you shell out big bucks for Adobe Creative Suite or another set of proprietary graphics software tools, you should think about what open source software has to offer. If you’d like to create professional work without breaking the bank, I’ve got five open source graphics apps that will get the job done.

      If your business focuses entirely on graphics work of some kind (Web design, desktop publication, etc.) then you may want to invest in tools like Adobe Creative Suite. Even though I’m a big fan of open source software, there are some jobs that require or at least benefit greatly from proprietary tools — though in skilled hands I’ve seen free and open source tools produce results that rival proprietary tools.

    • Instructionals/Technical

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Releases April Updates, Codename: “Congrats”
      • KDE 5 Menu

        Note in bold: no official plans here, however many continuously maintained software projects start with N+1 version development long before N version is discontinued. So yes, I really think the current works at UX level are “the” KDE 5 development.


        Ideas are rarely 100% original, and art is built on stealing.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • The GNOME Desktop Project Unleashes GNOME 3.0

        After five years of planning and design, GNOME 3.0 has been officially released. The totally rewritten desktop has had its share of both praise and condemnation in recent months due to what the project describes as “its most significant redesign of the computer experience in nine years.” They further say, the “revolutionary new user interface and new features for developers make this a historic moment for the free and open source desktop.”

      • A shiny new ornament for your Linux lawn: Ars reviews GNOME 3.0

        The developers behind the GNOME project have announced the official release of GNOME 3.0, a significant redesign of the open source desktop environment. The update introduces a new desktop shell that offers a streamlined window management workflow and a more modern look and feel. The new version also represents a major architectural overhaul, with many important enhancements to the GNOME platform’s technical underpinnings.

        The effort to deliver GNOME 3.0 has a long history. It took the developers years to reach a consensus about how to proceed with the new version, and years more to implement it. The protracted development period has largely paid off in stability and coherence. It’s fit for duty out of the starting gate, though there is still plenty of room for further improvement.

      • GNOME 3.0 Hits Desktops Today

        “In the face of constant change, both in software technology itself and in people’s attitudes toward it, long-term software projects need to reinvent themselves in order to stay relevant. I’m encouraged to see the GNOME community taking up this challenge, responding to the evolving needs of users and questioning the status quo,” says Matt Zimmerman, Canonical CTO.

      • GNOME 3.0 released: better for users, developers
      • The Two Most Urgent Tasks: Simplicity and a Keyboard
      • Fonts in GNOME 3: Cantarell, Tweaking, and Trailblazing

        Nicolas Spalinger explains why Cantarell is more than just a font—it’s a symbol of a whole new design process. And he shows you how to tweak the font settings in GNOME 3.

      • PyGTK, GObject, and GNOME 3

        Sumana Harihareswara interviews Tomeu Vizoso and John “J5” Palmieri about PyGTK, GObject, introspection and PyGObject. What’s new, what’s been hard, and what’s next?

      • How We Got Here: Part II of a Design History of GNOME 3 & the Shell

        Daf Harries continues his interview with Jon McCann and Jakub Steiner. Should we be treating code and design contributions the same, or differently? What pitfalls from GNOME 2 were designers trying to avoid? How do we deal with community indecisiveness?

      • How We Got Here: Part I of a Design History of GNOME 3 & the Shell

        Daf Harries asks Jon McCann and Jakub Steiner: what was the seed that got GNOME 3 going? How does modularity cause problems? And how do new contributors learn a project’s design philosophy?

      • Letter From The Editor

        With GNOME 3.0, the GNOME Desktop takes a step forward.

    • Xfce

      • Linux Mint Xfce Released

        A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the release of Linux Mint 10 LXDE, the first of the lightweight desktop distributions in the current Mint series. Today they have released Linux Mint Debian Xfce, another lightweight desktop version. In addition to the obvious difference – Xfce / LXDE desktops – if you are familiar with the Linux Mint naming convention you will also have noticed the other major difference between these two lightweight distributions. The LXDE distribution is based on their Ubuntu-derived Mint 10, while this new Xfce distribution is based on their Mint Debian, which is derived directly from Debian without passing through Ubuntu along the way. The Release Notes list some of the advantages of this; the two big ones for end users are continuous updates (rolling release) and improved performance with reduced resource use.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Try Mageia 1 Beta1 right now!

        As has been stated in the Mageia roadmap, Mageia 1 Beta1 is now available for tests. The first Mageia stable release is planned for 1st of June (which is now quite near!). Our focus is always on improving distribution content but also lots of work was done on localisation support (locales, main applications, Asian locales). Core packages versions include: kernel, KDE 4.6.1, GNOME 2.32, Firefox 4.0, … More information is available in the release notes and web announcement.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Maps.ubuntu.com shows ubuntu servers around the world

          Information is so much easier to digest – and so much more impressive to look at – when you can see it presented graphically.

        • Beyond Ubuntu CDs, Ubuntu Devices?

          For years, Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, has given away CDs of its Linux operating system to anyone who wanted them. That’s given away as in free, no cost, nada. But, all goods things must come to an end.

          As Gerry Carr, Canonical’s Head of Platform Marketing, wrote on an Ubuntu blog, “It’s with some regret that we are announcing the end of the ShipIt Programme and the CD distributor programme. When we started ShipIt in 2005 broadband was still a marketing promise even in the most connected parts of the most developed nations. We knew that this represented a significant stumbling block to the adoption of a new technology like Ubuntu. So we invested in making the CDs free and freely delivered to anywhere in the world. Since then we have shipped millions of CDs to every country in the world and brought Ubuntu into the lives of millions of individuals, we hope making them a little better.”

        • Falling In Love With ‘Sexy’ Ubuntu 11.04 aka Natty Narwhal

          I flirted with Ubuntu 11.04 yesterday and found it a bit annoying – a typical user experience when you see massive changes. After spending a night with Natty (and ‘she’ kept me awake all night) I now know more about this sexy beast.

          80% of my complains faded as the dawn broke. One of my biggest complaints was my inability to customize the launcher panel. I installed compiz settings manager and was able to customise the launcher. There is an option (experimental) for Unity 3D which lets you do just that.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Linux Mint Xfce (201104) released!

            In the long run, switching our alternative desktops to a rolling base also simplifies their maintenance. To users, this means faster updates and synchronised releases. To us, this means more focus on the main edition.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Infotainment server rides the rails with up to twelve cores
    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

        • MeeGo releases pre-alpha tablet platform

          The MeeGo project released a pre-alpha version of its promised Tablet User Experience (UX), officially opening up development for the UI layer. Based on MeeGo v1.2 core and Linux 2.6.37, the preview version includes a touch-optimized user interface for tablets, as well as a new panel UI concept and a suite of built-in browser, personal information management, and media playback apps.

      • Android

        • iOS vs. Android Arguments Escalate

          Let’s say you’re a mobile developer and you’re trying to decide whether to put your eggs in the Android or the iOS basket. Recent articles suggest that it’s not going to be an easy decision, and it’s not even clear if it’s an argument worth having.

          There are a number of factors coming together that have triggered these arguments over the last couple of weeks. First of all, recent news reports like this one from Engadget suggest that Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) could be tightening control over Android, trying to restrict the fragmentation that has been a consistent criticism of the operating system.

        • Maps for Android 5.3 adds Latitude location history

          Google has added Location History to Google Latitude in its latest Maps 5.3 for Android application. Users may also check-in from home and leave tips via the Hotpot recommendation engine, says the company.

    • Tablets

      • Sony May Have a Honey of a Tablet in the Works

        It appears that Sony (NYSE: SNE) is definitely planning to join the tablet wars: Its CEO Howard Stringer told the Nikkei newspaper that the company was planning to deliver a Honeycomb-based tablet no later than the end of the year, and possibly, according to some versions of his comments, as soon as this summer.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Experiments With Anti-Malware Warnings in Chrome

        One of the great ironies of computer security is that the computers aren’t as much of a security problem as people are. It’s well known in the anti-malware community that user apathy in protecting against malicious software is the largest security problem of all. The answer to this ongoing problem, though, is smart software that helps prevent users from downloading or exposing themselves to malware. Working with that premise, Google has implemented a new feature in its Chrome browser designed to warn users when malware is likely to be distributed to their computers on a drive-by basis. It’s a good idea, and hopefully it will be taken further.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 4 review – was it worth the wait?

        Firefox 4 is undeniably an excellent release that brings a lot of improvements and genuinely useful features.

      • Ever Wonder Which Firefox Add-ons Slow You Down the Most?


        The best thing about Firefox is that it’s incredibly customizable, but have you ever wondered how much of a price all those add-ons take? Here’s how to see which add-ons slow down Firefox startup time the most.

        Thanks to @codinghorror for pointing it out on Twitter, we can now know for sure, thanks to Mozilla Add-ons list of slow-performing extensions during startup—this doesn’t mean they necessarily slow Firefox down once it’s loaded, of course.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Interview: Charles H. Schulz on LibreOffice and The Document Foundation

      Anyone who has ever looked for alternatives to Microsoft Office probably knows about OpenOffice.org, a full featured competitor that is completely free. It started out as a proprietary StarOffice suite developed by a German StarDivision company until it was acquired by Sun Microsystems in 2000 which opened up the code to community oriented development that resulted in many improvements and two new major releases (OpenOffice.org 2 and 3).

      Last year Sun Microsystems, and by that the OpenOffice.org project as well, was acquired by Oracle causing many to wonder what they intend to do with it. Not long after a group of developers left the project to form The Document Foundation and a LibreOffice project.

      Charles H. Schulz has been with OpenOffice.org for many years and has intimate knowledge of what is going on. He was kind enough to answer some questions about the The Document Foundation, LibreOffice and their future.

  • Programming


  • Security

    • Insecurity

      Using GNU/Linux is a good layer of defence. Most malware is aimed at that other OS and GNU/Linux is simple and modular, much more easily and quickly patched. Being open source means many more people, also in layers, are testing/examining the code, and being Free Software, many more people, also in layers, are in a position to fix the problems.

    • Major law firms fall victim to cyber attacks

      Hackers have penetrated four major Bay Street law firms in the past seven months with highly sophisticated cyber attacks designed to destroy data or to steal sensitive documents relating to impending mergers and acquisitions.

      Daniel Tobok, president of Toronto-based Digital Wyzdom Inc., who investigated the attacks, would not name the firms. The attacks, which he said appeared to originate from computers in China, show that Canadian law firms are a target for hackers and potentially, state-sponsored cyber espionage. They follow similar attacks on governments and major corporations in recent years.

  • Finance

    • Blacklisted Economics Professor Found Dead: NC Publishes His Last Letter

      Professor Outis Philalithopoulos was found dead in his home three days ago; the coroner’s report cited natural causes that were left unspecified. Unfortunately, all of the professor’s academic work has disappeared; the only trace left appears to be the following letter, which he sent to an admirer shortly before his death. The understandably concerned recipient of the letter has shared its contents with Naked Capitalism, and has insisted that her identity be protected.

    • Austerity Comes to America

      The State of Michigan, hard hit by manufacturing job losses, is planning to reduce unemployment benefits. That can’t turn out well.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Scott Walker gives cushy $85.5K/year government job to major donor’s young, underqualified son

      Scott Walker’s administration is all about cutting costs, which is why it gave the largely unqualified son of a major campaign donor a $81,500 senior managerial job in the state Commerce Department. A state official confirmed that the young gentleman got his job after his daddy put in a good word for him. As ThinkProgress points out, Walker’s anti-union legislation allows him to directly appoint dozens more people for high-paying gubmint jobs.

  • Censorship

    • YouTube pulls Harper Imagine clip

      A video featuring Conservative Leader Stephen Harper performing Imagine by John Lennon has been removed from YouTube for copyright reasons.

      As of Wednesday morning, the video had been taken down and replaced with the message that said: “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Lenono Music.”

      Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, owns the rights to Imagine through Lenono Music.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • What Does a Gig Cost?

      The Montreal Gazette ran a major story over the weekend focused on the costs for ISPs to transport a gigabyte of data (picked up by others as well). As those following the usage based billing issue will know, the ISP overage costs – which run as high $10 per GB in Canada – have attracted the ire of customers and raised questions about the actual costs for ISPs.

      Developing a better understanding of actual network costs was a big part of the paper I posted last week on UBB. This post features part of the discussion on costs, though the complicated appendix that uses Bell’s submission on network costs as part of the deferral account proceeding must be accessed from the original paper.

  • DRM

    • Could Anonymous be harming public opinion for the Hotz case?

      As I type this article I have visions of flame wars, insults and bad feeling. I would hope that it is seen as an article which merely makes an observation and asks a question (with a little of my own opinion thrown in).

      I have never supported or condoned the DDOS attacks and I believe the announcement from Anonymous and the subsequent downtime of the Playstation network with its family of websites, shows a rather interesting result.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • AutoDesk v World

        Autodesk makes CAD software. By all reports it is good software and it is widely used. The licensing fees are substantial but many who use AutoCAD feel it is money well spent. However, other businesses wishing to provide CAD software have been persecuted for trying to make use of the files produced by AutoCAD (.dwg). One aspect of this is Autodesk seeking to obtain a trademark, DWG, to have leverage over competition. USPTO turned down that request but AutoDesk has made a 412-page reply asking the application to be granted for a trademark.

Clip of the Day


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 6/4/2011: More Linux Tablets, Red Hat Expands in New Zealand

Posted in News Roundup at 5:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • The compat-wireless dance
  • Guest blog: Five more signs Linux is ready for mission-critical workloads

    The UNIX vs. Linux debate continues to rage on especially when it comes to applications that require high availability. As I watch the market, I see more and more evidence that Linux is ready to handle the demands for mission-critical computing.

  • Kicking Puppies or Giving Up on GNU/Linux Desktops

    The desktop is changing. No longer do folks need a big case on their desks to do the job. Notebooks have taken over. No longer do they even need a thick/heavy/hot notebook. Netbooks, smart phones, tablets and some hybrids have taken over. When the dust settles, some kind of thin client probably running GNU/Linux on ARM will have evolved. It’s survival of the fittest, not the fattest, in IT. That other OS has a severe disadvantage, that Zemlin points out. GNU/Linux just works better on everything. When the conventional desktop with huge local resources goes the way of the DoDo bird, GNU/Linux will be there on whatever results.

  • Issue 144 (May 2011) – Get more from MythTV
  • Desktop

    • Review: System 76 Gazelle Professional Ubuntu Laptop

      System 76 has done a fantastic job with the Gazelle Professional. It’s very well put together and runs everything as it should out of the box. If you need a high performing Linux laptop, the Gazelle Pro should make your short list. At $1877 for the reviewed configuration, it sounds pricey but the extra ram and processor really help if you are planning on doing a lot of multimedia work or running a lot of virtual machines. Also, there isn’t a MacBook that Apple sells that can hold 16 GB of ram. Take the reviewed configuration and add another 8 GB of RAM for a total of 16 GB, and you are still under a similarly configured MacBook’s price except you have 8 GB more ram than ANY MacBook. No – it’s not near as pretty as a MacBook, but it’s just as powerful in an experienced Linux user’s hands.

  • Google

    • Is Google Marketing Linux-BSD?

      The openness of Android seems to have paid off for Google and the various makers of Android devices. On Friday, comScore announced that Android’s share of the mobile market grew by 7% between November and February, compared with a 0.2% gain for iOS, with RIM’s Blackberry actually seeing a 0.2% drop in usage. According to the report, one out of ever three mobile devices in use is running some implementation of Android.

    • How big is Google, really?

      There’s been a lot of talk about how big Facebook has become, and with its 600 million users (!) it has certainly become a force to be reckoned with. But there is still one player out there that dwarfs Facebook, and that is Google.

      The problem is that it’s extremely difficult to estimate just how big Google actually is. But we’re going to try anyway.

  • Ballnux

    • Samsung Galaxy Prevail joins Boost Mobile Android portfolio at $179.99

      The Samsung Galaxy Prevail was officially announced at a Boost Mobile and Samsung Mobile press event in New York City. But someone at Boost decided it would be better to simply unveil the Prevail early and list the device on the Boost Mobile phone selection page.

      Broken schedule or not, we can now confirm that the Samsung Galaxy Prevail is Boost Mobile’s second Android phone, joining the Motorola i1 to double the carrier’s Android offerings. Packed into the Galaxy Prevail’s 3.8-ounce body are a 3.2-inch touchscreen, Android 2.2, and a 2 megapixel camera. Similar to its Sprint brethren, the Prevail also ships with unlimited usage of TeleNav map and voice navigation, and has the following apps pre-loaded on the phone: Facebook, Hookt, Poynt, SCVNGR, ThinkFree Office, and Twidroyd.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Another Benefit To Wayland: Its Screensaver

        When Mark Shuttleworth announced last year that Ubuntu will eventually deploy Wayland instead of an X.Org Server with their new Unity Desktop, there were many mixed reactions. There were many Phoronix enthusiasts excited since this means replacing ancient X11 code with a brand new code-base designed around modern graphics technologies that takes advantage of KMS, OpenGL, etc. Others, however, were less excited since Wayland is still a work-in-progress. While Wayland has come a long way in recent months, it’s still not as full-featured as an X.Org Server, but the features coming are beginning to trump the current capabilities of the X stack.

      • X.Org security advisory: root hole via rogue hostname
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME vs. KDE: The Latest Round

      Most free software users have long ago made their decision about whether they prefer the GNOME or KDE desktop. However, with the release of GNOME 3 this week, the choice requires a new answer. Now, both GNOME and KDE have versions that are radically different from those each had a few years ago.

      The difference is not in the software. The choice of applications designed for each desktop has not altered: in most cases, the utilities have identical features, but GNOME still lacks a font installer and a fully-featured music player, while KDE could use better accessibility and network connection tools.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Telepathy – straight of the Shelf

        I’ve been interested in Telepathy for some time now. And every time it was mentioned on PlanetKDE, I wanted to test it. Some things worked, some not. Now, that the important ones are functional – system settings module, contact list, chat window – I decided to start the preparations for Lancelot to switch from Kopete to Telepathy.

      • Ditching KDE Applications

        On a side note, don’t confuse KDE and Qt. I still have Qt on my system because of Skype and VLC, both of which I use regularly. I’m not getting rid of those.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Are You Looking Forward to GNOME 3?

        GNOME 3.0 will be officially released tomorrow to what will almost assuredly be a bunch of fanfare. It’s been five years in the making with contributions from over 3,500 developers. It’s had quite a bit of press and blog coverage already and opinions will most likely multiply in the days ahead. But how do regular users feel about the upcoming GNOME 3.0 against the backdrop of the debates over the good and bad points?

        A year ago I started a poll on my Website to gauge excitement over GNOME 3.0 which was just starting to get some buzz and included early screenshots. Then in February of this year I asked again after quite a bit of coverage had been circulating forming a more complete picture of just how the new desktop would look and operate.

      • OCRFeeder for GNOME’s Google Summer of Code

        I have added OCRFeeder to the list of GNOME ideas for this year’s Google Summer of Code.

      • Introducing Gnome Tweak Tool – GUI To Configure Gnome 3 / Gnome Shell

        If you’ve been following the Gnome Shell development, you probably know that it doesn’t provide a GUI tool to tweak some basic settings like changing the GTK, Gnome Shell theme or icon theme, re-enable the minimize and maximize buttons, and so on.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Foresight Linux 2.5 review

        oresight is a distribution I thought had “died” and gone to tux heaven. But it seems that the developers decided to bring it back to life. Given that, I hoped that the developers would have taken more time to bring every aspect of the distribution up to date.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • April 2011 issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine

        The magazine is lead by Paul Arnote, Chief Editor, and Assistant Editors Andrew Strick and Meemaw. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license, and some rights are reserved.

      • PCLinuxOS 2010 Review

        PCLinuxOS is available in 85 languages using the Addlocale tool, and has over 12000 packages available from the repositories.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat opens New Zealand office

        The new office will be located in Auckland and will focus on driving adoption of Red Hat’s Linux, middleware and cloud computing offerings through its partners.

        Red Hat solutions are distributed through Ingram New Zealand; Datacom, Gen-i, OSS and Solnet; and OEM Partners IBM, HP, Dell, and Cisco.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Unity Almost There

          So, I’m a bit surprised how much people liked my spider diagrams to update folks on my perception of the state of Unity. It’s been hard to update that last few months, just because Unity has been changing so fast. However, those changes have slowed down, and I’ve gotten some requests, so here is my post-beta 1 spider diagram for Unity.

          As you can see, the orange line, Unity, almost overlaps the yellow line, our target for Natty. Obviously, this is a major accomplish for many teams involved in this project. I’ve been using Unity and my netbook and on my desktop for months now. Over the last few weeks it has crisped up into a very tight experience. Of all the desktop environments I have ever used, Unity is by far my favorite.

        • US Dell Site: Now selling Laptops again

          It looks like the Dell USA website has been updated and is now selling 2 models of Ubuntu laptop. The first is a 10 inch almost netbook which ships with Ubuntu 10.10 (so it’s likely to be a recent addition) and an older Latitude 13-N which comes with Ubuntu 9.10 (which shows it’s likely to be an older model that might not have been properly advertised on the website previously)

        • Unity Works

          The Unity interface works for me. It is tidy and simple enough for any newbie to figure out. It is not as easily configured as GNOME normally is but about the same as XFCE4 which I often use.

        • ShipIt Discontinued, Long Live LoCo Teams

          Today it was announced that ShipIt, the free CD service that Canonical has been running since the inception of Ubuntu will be discontinued. I know some LoCo Teams may be worried about this, so I wanted to clarify some details right away.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 – What Have They Done?!

          9 hours later, after installing the Kubuntu Desktop Environment alongside Ubuntu along with many updates, upgrades and software packages, I have discovered I can have a taskbar at the bottom of my Ubuntu 11.04 desktop. To get Natty Ubuntu looking somewhat similar to Maverick you must change your desktop environment to “Ubuntu Classic” when you log in by clicking your username then changing “Ubuntu” (in the dropdown box) at the bottom of the screen to “Ubuntu Classic”. I would never have realized this had I not installed KDE (Kubuntu).

        • Joining Canonical Ltd.

          Starting last Friday (1st of April) I’m now working for Canonical Ltd. as a member of the Ubuntu Foundations team !

          I’ll mostly be working on network related stuff, though my TODO list will probably be a lot clearer after the upcoming Ubuntu Developer Summit in Budapest, Hungary.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Elementary OS Review

            Long story short, Elementary OS was a bitter disappointment for me. I think the concept is there, and it could be a successful one with the right implementation, but I don’t see that happening in Jupiter. Moon OS, Zorin OS, Linux Mint… The list of Ubuntu forks that do better is long and I don’t see that changing as long as the Elementary project does not realize that Linux without flexibility is hardly an option.

          • Lucid Puppy 5.2.5 is released ! Screenshots Tour
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • US: Android is the most popular smartphone system

          US market researcher comScore reports that 69.5 million US citizens own a smartphone, and that one third of these phones run Google’s open source Android mobile operating system. On the popularity scale, RIM and Apple are next with 29% and 25% of users, leaving Microsoft (8%) and Palm (3%) far behind. According to market researcher Nielsen, the US sales figures for Android phones have already been above those for RIM and Apple since July 2010, but this is the first time that Android is also leading in terms of devices in use. comScore said that last November, RIM was in the lead with 34%, followed by Android and Apple with an almost identical share each of 25% of users.

    • Tablets

      • Sylvania Magni – 10 inch Android tablet

        Here is a real budget tablet for Mr Scrooge. For $199 you can pick up this Sylvania Magni 10 inch tablet with 1Ghz Arm 11.1GHz chip, 257 MB of Internal Memory and 2GB of space. It does have a MicroSD Card so you can up extend the memory up to 16GB. For connectivity it has WiFi, 2 Mini USB ports and HDMI. It also has a 1.3 megapixel camera and 1400mah battery. Sylvania Magni runs on Android 2.2. Sylvania Magni has an obsolete 800 x 480 pixel display on 10 inches. Needless to say, a bit more money can get you a much better tablet. At least when it comes to the resolution. Someone had slept in I think, but the price is right. Can’t have it all, can we? JR sells it for $199.

      • MeeGo Linux tablet user interface source code now available

        The powers that be that manage the development of the MeeGo Linux software for netbooks, tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices have released the source code for the first tablet version of the operating system. The software developer kit and source code for MeeGo Tablet are now available for download.

        MeeGo still describes the tablet software as a “preview” version and a work in progress. But by making the source code available, MeeGo will encourage third party developers to write apps for the software platform, and possibly to help find bugs or areas that can be improved.

      • Android tablets must balance freedom with functionality

        Who’d have predicted that overpriced slivers of silicon, covered in oleophobic glass trying its best to repel your sticky fingers, would become the first great technological innovation of the 21st century?

Free Software/Open Source

  • 63 Top Commercial Open Source Projects

    Frequently, Datamation publishes lists of free Linux and open source software. This time, we’re doing something a little different: we’re highlighting outstanding commercial open source software.

    Before we go any farther, we should define what we mean by “commercial open source software.” As with many topics in the open source world, different people have very different opinions about what that phrase means.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Must-have restartless Firefox add-ons

        The future of Firefox’s add-ons arrived in Firefox 4 with the introduction of “restartless add-ons.” Based on the new Jetpack API and Add-on SDK, restartless add-ons–also known as bootstrapped add-ons–don’t require a restart to be used or removed. Not coincidentally, they also provide Firefox with a venue for competing directly with other browsers, which use add-on frameworks that were created after the technology that supports restartless add-ons was created.

      • What Should Mozilla Do As Firefox 4 Performance Problems Persist?

        Mozilla’s disclosure of slow performing add-ons is admirable, but let’s not forget that browsers are one of the most competitive application categories, and the open source Chrome browser from Google is breathing down Firefox’s neck in terms of market share. Chrome is widely lauded for performance, while Firefox 4 is taking criticism precisely on the performance front.

  • SaaS

    • The Ideal Cloud Computing Deployment Is a Patchwork Quilt of Tools

      In the rapidly emerging cloud computing arena, providers of platforms and solutions tend to fall into two camps. In the first camp, players such as Amazon and Microsoft pitch their cloud computing platforms as end-to-end solutions that provide one-stop shopping for all things cloud. In the other camp, there are players such as Red Hat, focusing on allowing many open source projects to be weaved together into patchwork quilts of cloud computing solutions, offering optimal flexibility to those deploying or enabling cloud applications. There are ever more reasons to believe that the second camp has cloud computing right.

    • Eben Moglen on freedom — and the lack thereof — in the cloud

      I just listened to this (audio and video available from Hacker Public Radio).

      It’s all about rethinking our “relationship” with services such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft and the like — and what we can do about it to reclaim our freedom from a technological standpoint.

  • Databases

    • Brian Aker explains Memcached

      Memcached is one of the technologies that holds the modern Internet together, but do you know what it actually does? Brian Aker has certainly earned the title of Memcached guru, and below he offers a peek under the hood. He’ll also provide a deeper dive into Memcached in a tutorial at the upcoming 2011 MySQL Conference.

  • Healthcare

    • Tell the E.P.A.: No more methyl iodide

      Methyl iodide is a nasty chemical. It is a known neurotoxin and endocrine disruptor, and scientists in labs handle only small amounts using special protective equipment because it is so toxic. But do you know where else it is used? As a pesticide on strawberries and other food crops.

      The battle against methyl iodide is being fought on several fronts. Last summer, Washington state banned the use of the pesticide. Unfortunately, the pendulum swung the other way in California, when despite more than 53,000 public comments submitted by CREDO activists and our allies, the state’s Department of Pesticide Regulation approved the chemical for agricultural use last December.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD: Portability With VMware

      Interview with Dru Lavigne

      Dru Lavigne is a network and systems administrator, IT instructor, author and international speaker. She has over a decade of experience administering and teaching Netware, Microsoft, Cisco, Checkpoint, SCO, Solaris, Linux and BSD systems. She is author of BSD Hacks, The Best of FreeBSD Basics, and The Definitive Guide to PCBSD.

  • Government

    • Are the U.S. Government’s Open Initiatives Facing a Funding Crisis?

      There is no named source for the reports, but if these sites are indeed shutting down it is evidence that the push toward open initiatives–including many open source technology initiatives–in the U.S. government may need to be refined and better targeted. Kundra has done a remarkable job shifting important aspects of the U.S. government toward open practices and open source tools. It takes money to run some of these projects at the federal level, though.

    • The need for open markets for ICT

      Leaders and legislators often wonder how to keep up with the fast-moving world of ICT. But we know at the same time that there is significant public interest in play, so we are keen to have a role. With that thought in mind, I’m pleased that the European Union and the United States have found a way to make a constructive difference to ICT-related trade – through a series of principles that we will each apply to our respective trade negotiations with third countries.

  • Programming

    • The PHP Fat-Free Framework: Slim Down Your PHP Development

      The Perl community has long laid claim to the motto “There’s more than one way to do it”. As a long time member of the PHP community, I often wonder whether our motto should be, “There’s more than ten ways to do it.” The number of competing PHP projects can be staggering at times, as is evidenced by the ten lightweight frameworks I introduced in last year’s article, Top 10 Lightweight Frameworks for PHP Development. While sorting through such a broad selection of solutions can at times be overwhelming, the advantage is that with some patience you will eventually come across a solution which perfectly suits your particular tastes.


  • Hardware/Storage

    • The Perils of PATA, Part 3

      A quick trip to the Debian repository revealed “smartmontools”, the package with the basic text-mode tools, and “gsmartcontrol”, a GUI front-end. I installed these back in December, and ran the routine tests on the drives. And while my old /dev/hda passed with flying colors, the newly-acquired used /dev/hdb threw up a lot of warning flags. So I was expecting trouble.

      This, by the way, is why you want to install both packages. The text-mode tool dumps a load of numeric data, for which you need some knowledge of hard drives to interpret. The GUI tool, however, does the interpretation for you, highlights problems in red, and has useful help information.

    • A Lesson Learned the Hard Way about SSDs
    • Commodore 64 Gets Priced, Comes in 5 Models

      As promised on Monday, Commodore USA has unleashed the eagerly-awaited Commodore 64 keyboard PC. For the uninitiated, this isn’t a re-release of the ancient AIO that initially depended on cassette tapes to load up software. This is a modernized version packed with Intel’s dual-core Atom 525 CPU, Nvidia Ion2 graphics, 2 GB of DDR3 memory (expandable to 4 GB), an optical drive, and more. It may not be ideal for running Crysis 2, but it sure beats the dinosaur 8-bit technology from the 1980s.

  • Security

  • Cablegate

    • Bradley Manning “British by descent” says U.K. govt

      In a letter raising “concerns” to Washington over the pre-trial treatment of alleged military whistleblower Bradley Manning, the U.K. government asserted that he is “British by descent” after campaigners lobbied for the U.S. to allow his mother (who is from Wales) to visit him.

    • U.S. ambassador to Ecuador kicked out over WikiLeaked cable

      WikiLeaks has claimed another WikiLoser: U.S. Ambassador Heather Hodges, who was kicked out of Ecuador today over a cable detailing alleged corruption in President Rafael Correa’s government. “It is unfortunate that the published documents on WikiLeaks have made it impossible to continue collaborating with the current ambassador to Quito, but we hope to work with a new ambassador,” Ecuador’s Washington embassy said in a statement today, according to the Associated Press.

  • Finance

    • Lone Star State “Reform” a Texas-Sized Distortion

      When Republicans talk about how the American health care system should be reformed, they typically mention two things: allowing insurance firms to sell policies across state lines, which I wrote about last week; and malpractice reform.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Walker, Van Hollen, Prosser and Others Attended Koch-Fueled Americans for Prosperity’s Tea Party Conventions

      David Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity conventions in Wisconsin over the past two years may have helped lay the groundwork for the state’s controversial battle over labor rights and budget cuts. The conventions featured leading figures in the right-wing’s attack on workers, and may also have skirted disclosure rules in the process. Governor Scott Walker and Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen appeared when they were running for office, and both conventions featured Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David T. Prosser, Jr., whose race with challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg will come to an end with Tuesday’s state-wide election.

    • Koch’s Americans for Prosperity Aims at Kloppenburg, Strikes GOP Attorney General?

      The Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity is behind a mailer criticizing Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Joanne Kloppenburg for prosecutions that were trumpeted by her boss Wisconsin’s Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, who is defending Governor Walker’s union-busting bill in court.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • MPAA ‘Goes Nuts’ With New Movie Streaming Lawsuit

        In a bizarre yet brilliant example of how messed up the current copyright restrictions are, six major movie studios have filed a new lawsuit against the quasi DVD-rental outfit Zediva. Under the flag of the MPAA, the studios label the new business as a “sham,” because it uses a clever way to bypass a licensing roadblock.

        Zediva is a recently launched movie streaming service which allows customers to rent and view physical DVDs remotely. It is the result of the movie industry’s set of strict copyright rules, but also a service that bypasses them at the same time.

      • Digital Economy (UK)/HADOPI

        • Digital Economy Act: filesharing code delayed by six months

          The government’s code to clamp down on illegal filesharing will not come into force for another six months as the Digital Economy Act is held up by a high court challenge.

          However, plans to send thousands of warning letters to alleged copyright infringers are still on track to begin in the first half of next year, the government said on Tuesday.

Clip of the Day

boeing 777 cockpit landing

Credit: TinyOgg


Links /4/2011: Mourning Mozilla Messaging, Celebrating Simple Java API for ODF

Posted in News Roundup at 6:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux’s Own ‘Canterbury’ Tale: Laughing, Wishing and Hoping
  • Server

    • Penguin Computing overclocks Opterons for Wall Street

      Linux server specialist Penguin Computing has jumped into the overclocked server fray with a new Altus server aimed at clock-hungry high frequency stock trading applications.

      At the HPC on Wall Street Conference in New York City this week, Penguin Computing is showing off its Altus 1750 server, which is built using Advanced Micro Devices’ “Lisbon” Opteron 4100 processors and its homegrown chipsets. The 1U rack-mounted server has three things that companies running high frequency trading systems want: density, low power consumption, and relatively high clock speeds.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Live video stream for 20th Anniversary of Linux

      This week sees the start of the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, which also includes the Android Builders Summit. Held from April 6 – 8 in San Francisco, this invitation-only summit is a gathering of core kernel developers and end users.

      The Linux Foundation suggests that Linux is growing well out of adolescence in the commercial world — and says that it will have ‘working group’ announcements that detail the formation of a new group to address more sophisticated enterprise requirements.

    • Graphics Stack

      • A Hot-Replace Server For Wayland Is Proposed

        While proposals for this year’s Google Summer of Code is quickly coming to an end, there’s been a last minute proposal for the Wayland Display Server. This proposal is to work on a hot-replace server.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Browswers Part 2: Rekonq

        The Good
        -Appears to have “Download them All” built-in if you enable the KGet settings in the preferences
        -Integrates perfectly with KDE
        -When you start up a new tab and then click on “recently closed tabs” the list of tabs has thumbnails of the sites. I think this is great because it helps you quickly find the site you’re looking for.

      • of rockstars, unicorns and Isaac Newton

        A question that has bugged me for some time, is how we can bring our creations into the hands of more users”, and how we can show the world that a truely open and community developed system can bring great value to more people. How can we overcome the technical barriers that hold back so many people from benefitting from our hard work, all the genius, love and creativity we put into software. Since my first contact with Free software, Linux openSUSE and KDE, we have done some very solid work. We have technically caught up with Microsoft, and are delivering a product that is up to par in many aspects, and better in many more ways. While we have booked immense successes, we have not reached the goal of making the Linux desktop ubiquitous in the desktop market. In a world of iPhones and Android, we even see closed development models based on similar technology as ours being a big success, market-wise, but failing to deliver the full Freedom of a community-driven development model to end users.

      • Making KDEPIM less annoying
      • KDE Remote Desktop Sharing – Stand On the RFB Protocol!

        KDE Desktop Sharing is also known as the KRFB that is a service stand on the RFB protocol. It is permits the users to share their system with other system of the user.

        The process is also helping the users to show their desktop as an administrator to solve their problem. In this regard, the users can get full control to access their desktop. KDE Desktop Sharing is well-matched with all regular RFB and VNC the users.

      • Nice Things To Do With Nepomuk – Part One

        The other day I needed to find a website. The only thing I could remember was that Vishesh gave me the link in IRC a few days back. So I had to grep through thousands of lines of IRC log which, quite frankly, sucks. Nepomuk should handle this. So what do we have to do to achieve that?

      • Graesslin Has Compositing Dreams, But is it Yours?

        There are times when one might want to disable compositing. Graesslin’s example is in the case of saving battery life. Other’s might be when starting a 3D game or other heavy applications, watching movies, or with older or lower resource machines. For these examples, KWin’s usual method of unredirecting, or disabling composite on a per application basis while the actual effects engine is still running in the background, might be ineffective, counter-productive, or unsupported in a given application. While Alt+Shift+F12 can turn it off, most users don’t know of it or want the hassle of knowing when to use it. So, Graesslin thinks something else should be done.

      • digiKam Tricks 3.0 Released

        This is a major release of the digiKam Tricks book, featuring a completely revised and updated content that reflects changes in the upcoming version 2.0 of the digiKam photo management application.

      • Nice Things To Do With Nepomuk – Part Two

        Let us now take a look at the data we created. For this we will fire up NepSak aka. Nepomukshell and use a bit of SPARQL for testing and debugging purposes (remember: when implementing stuff try to keep to the query API instead of coding your own SPARQL queries).

      • Another one bytes the dust

        I’ve just pushed a change to kdepim 4.4 which removes this annoying dialog in a few annoying cases.

      • KDE, what next?

        14 years ago, the KDE community was born with a very bold vision: give to everybody a cool, attractive, easy to use desktop environment, now we are a worldwide community with hundreds of members, we provide a very strong foundation with the kdelibs framework, many apps, the Plasma Desktop workspace and the Plasma Netbook workspace.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Totem in GNOME 3.0, plans for 3.2

        Totem for GNOME 3 is available in the GNOME FTP servers. And now onto GNOME 3.2.

        There’s a couple of major UI changes planned for Totem 3.2, with designs from the GNOME Design team (and Hylke in particular). These include the removal of the status bar, better fullscreen controls, more contrast when playing movies, etc.

      • Cheese in The Board

        I spent a few spare hours during this week to finally implement webcam support on The Board‘s photo elements. I still need to polish the design a bit but it’s pretty nice already!

  • Distributions

    • Slackware 13.37: Linux for the fun of it

      In short, Slackware users are those who want to tinker with their system and don’t find it intimidating — or are willing to face intimidation to learn more about their systems. The users range from hobbyists to one who claims to manage more than 150 Slackware servers across the state. Which isn’t to suggest that Slackware is likely to be a big choice on behalf of business. The Slackware site lists a few companies that offer Slackware support but it doesn’t seem too many organizations are clamoring for it. I contacted Steuben Technologies and Adjuvo Consulting. William Schaub of Steuben Technologies says he’s received only one serious call for Slackware support and says “My guess is either there isn’t a lot of people running Slackware in production or (and this is more likely) that most people running Slackware on their servers have all the help in house that they need.”

      The Slackware community may be smaller than those of major Linux distributions, but it’s also largely free of politics and drama (Volkerding’s health scare excepted). The distribution is driven by Volkerding, but it’s not a one-man show. The changelog is full of acknowledgments from Volkerding to Robby Workman, Eric Hameleers, and many others.

      You could look at Slackware and say that it’s out of date, a throwback to the days when Linux was the domain of the “l33t” and little more than a hobbyist OS. Another way to look at it is that Slackware is for users who miss the simpler days of Linux and still want to tinker with their systems.

    • Red Hat Family

      • CentOS 5.6 release imminent

        Yes, we have heard it a few times before, but this time it is true. CentOS 5.6 is being seeded to mirrors and work has started to bring the Release Notes up to speed. Already 82 days after RHEL 5.6.

      • Fedora

        • Quick look at Fedora-inspired Fusion Linux 14 – Mini Review

          Round-up: Fusion Linux is slightly buggy, but a good choice for home users who want everything out of the box and do not want the hassle of adding extra repositories to get codecs and then install them. If Windows gaming on Linux is your thing, this distribution could work for you. If you’re not fussy about disk space and the mix of libraries thrown your way in Fusion, or you are already using Mint and are looking to move or just try out a Fedora base, this could also be interesting. And for advanced users, don’t forget, you can customize the kickstart file from the start as it is availabl

    • Debian Family

      • 120 Megabits/s

        That’s the current load on a Debian mirror in the Netherlands. There are hundreds of Debian mirrors. The last update for Squeeze, the latest release Debian GNU/Linux, was March 19 so much of this traffic will be new installations. Let’s estimate how many installations of Debian GNU/Linux are happening…

      • Debian wheezy: lots of fixes, new stuff
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • ShipIt comes to an end

          That’s not to say there won’t be CDs. We are going to make large numbers of CDs available to the Ubuntu Local Communities (LoCos) through a shipIt-lite program. We are asking the LoCos, who are much better placed than Canonical in many ways, to find creative ways to get CDs to those that need them. And of course, every single person reading this who has a CD is a potential distributor – it is after all free to copy, modify and redistribute. We will also continue to make the packs available through the store which are sold more or less at cost price (plus shipping).

        • Ubuntu 11.04: i686 vs. i686 PAE vs. x86_64

          At the end of 2009 I published benchmarks comparing Ubuntu’s 32-bit, 32-bit PAE, and 64-bit Linux kernels. Those tests were carried out to show the performance impact of using 32-bit with PAE (Physical Address Extension) support, which on the plus side allows up to 64GB of system memory to be addressable from 32-bit machines, but is still significantly slower than a 64-bit kernel and user-space. In this article the tests have been carried out on modern hardware and with the latest Ubuntu 11.04 packages to see how the three kernel variants are performing in 2011.

        • Narwhal: Not Really Classic Yet

          Then we have the file menus, they’re not in the windows like they were in Classic Ubuntu. They’re somewhere else. This is a major headache and retooling for something that’s supposed to be following the style of the classic desktop.

        • Is Ubuntu 11.04 Beta the Beginning of the End?

          Canonical recently announced the release of Ubuntu 11.04 Beta into the wild, and it has some wondering about the future of the free operating system.

          Ubuntu has experienced a very good run. Since it emerged in 2004 as a derivative of the popular Debian GNU/Linux operating system, Ubuntu has made consistent strides to be unique and more than just another Linux distribution. Not only has its popularity as the most widely-used Linux flavor soared, its brand recognition has broken into mainstream tech media and helped develop a more user-friendly image for the free and open source operating system.

        • Video Demonstraton of a Few Things I Like in Unity
        • Ubuntu Natty Beta 1 Review + Screenshots Tour

          The appindicators, global menu, the compiz effects and the Ubuntu Software Center have definitely make Ubuntu Natty a much better version than its predecessor. However, when it comes to the Unity interface, it is really a hate or love affair. Even though I appreciate the work put in by Canonical, but until it becomes more customizable and doesn’t break my productivity flow, I still prefer the Ubuntu Classic interface.

        • Verdict Is?: Ubuntu 11.04 beta arrives

          My first impression with the 11.04 desktop was surprisingly positive. I was very much prepared to be underwhelmed, but found quite the opposite to be the case. The Unity desktop ran smooth and was very efficient. After playing with the desktop for a while it becomes quite clear the ultimate goal is that of touch screens. But even being touch-screen-centric, the desktop still works well under the current norm of mouse and keyboard.

        • The new Ubuntu Desktop: Unity

          When Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu announced that the next version of the popular Linux, Ubuntu 11.04, would use Unity, instead of GNOME as its default desktop interface he shocked the Linux desktop community. Now, with the release of the Ubuntu 11.04 beta, we can get a real look at Unity.

          Before going into that though, let me answer the question of why Ubuntu has decided to move from pure GNOME to the GNOME-based Unity. As Shuttleworth explained to the Ubuntu developers, “Lots of people are already committed to Unity–the community, desktop users, developers, and platform and hardware vendors.” In particular, he noted, “Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) favor Unity. They’re happy to ship it.”

        • Natty In The Final Stretch: A Retrospective

          This is a personal post and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of my employer, Canonical.

        • Why being an approved loco team doesn’t actually matter a jot

          I am a firm believer being a LoCo is just as much about being friends with your team mates as installing Ubuntu on numerous machines or explaining what OSS/FOSS is all about. At the end of the day we are a community and sometimes that means doing casual non Ubuntu events, these can be added to the LoCo Directory (LD) also. Not every event has to always be about Ubuntu.

        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Two Linux-based NAS devices reach market

      Qnap Systems announced a four-drive, rackmountable network attached storage (NAS) “TS-412U” server supporting up to 12TB and aimed at the SMB and workgroup markets. In other Linux-based NAS news, Buffalo Systems started shipping its home-focused Pogoplug-based Cloudstor NAS device, which offers free cloud based-storage in addition to up to 2TB local capacity.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Google cracks down on Android ‘fragmentation’

          Google has told mobile manufacturers and providers they will have to go through its head honcho to make any changes to the Android mobile operating system.

          The Silicon Valley giant has laid down the law to prevent Android becoming more fragmented. Any changes will now have to be approved by the company’s head of mobile, Andy Rubin, according to a report in Business Week.

        • Rooting a Nook Color: Is it Worth It?

          The Color Nook is a nice little piece of hardware for the price. The screen is crisp and clear, and it’s a great size for carrying around for reading books and light Web browsing. But you can do all that right out of the box — what about when you’ve rooted the Nook?

          I decided to go the “Auto Nooter” option to root the Nook so I could install third-party applications, rather than installing a different Android release. The procedure to root the Nook is simple enough. It looks much more complicated on paper (so to speak) than it actually is. So if you’re finding the long list of steps intimidating, don’t worry — it’s a piece of cake. You can root your Nook in about 20 minutes, as long as you have a MicroSD card big enough handy.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Linux OS Hercules eCafe Netbook Does 13 Hours Per Charge

        The Hercules brand isn’t exactly a household name, but it is better known for the line of speakers than “real” computer equipment. Even so, they’re already onto the next generation of computing with two new eCAFE netbooks.

        The EX HD eCAFE netbook is the one that boasts a “real world” battery life of “at least” 13 hours. That should be more than enough to keep you Skyping and Twittering all day long. The Slim HD eCAFE netbook, on the other hand, has a claim to fame with its less than one-inch profile.

    • Tablets

      • Who will win the Tablet OS war?

        The question I have been asking myself over the past month is a very simple one, and one which I would guess is being asked by many of the companies making the growing range of of tablet PC devices and the operating systems that drive them: which factors will decide which companies come out on top in the long run and can we learn anything from the history of the PC?

        In the PC world it was the relentless pursuit of global domination by Microsoft that ensured that Windows ended up as the de-facto desktop operating system for almost the entire globe. There were a couple of other factors in play and of those, the ability of Windows to run on hardware built by multiple manufacturers was probably the most important of the lot.

Free Software/Open Source

  • NASDAQ in open source tech battle with £7bn NYSE bid

    NASDAQ has placed its Linux-based IT systems at the front of an $11.3 billion (£7 billion) effort to thwart a merger between the New York Stock Exchange and Deutsche Borse.

    The high-tech stock market is teaming up with InterContinentalExchange in an attempt to acquire NYSE Euronext from under the nose of Deutsche Borse, which only last month announced it was the approved bidder for the exchange.

  • Open source FusionDirectory forked from GOsa project

    The GOsa open source infrastructure management project has been forked with version 1.0 of FusionDirectory being released today.

    In February some GOsa developers decided to fork the project in order to provide better documentation; develop “the most powerful and universal” tool for IT management; and provide “more flexibility for development tools”.

  • Freedom through a clear governance model

    A while back, Mark Webb of the Met Office Hadley Centre for climate change described in a guest post, how his Cloud model project COSP introduced a governance model, based on one of our templates. This was a result of few informal chats over beers and his exploration of OSS Watch public resources. Mark also described some of the immediate benefits they experienced.

  • Decision criteria for open source and proprietary software

    The selection of operating systems was once one of the major decisions IT managers had to face when considering their options for service delivery, be it for servers or desktops. Until a decade or so ago, such choices were limited to choosing one from a range of proprietary operating systems supplied by vendors. But the past 10 years have witnessed a new option take hold in the form of open source operating systems. What drives the selection process when choosing between open source software and operating systems supplied by a vendor?

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Dissolves Messaging Unit

        Back in 2008, Mozilla announced the formation of Mozilla Messaging.

        It was supposed to be an effort that was going to propel Mozilla’s Thunderbird email client to the same level of adoption and interest as Firefox.

        It failed.

        Three years later, Thunderbird and Mozilla Messaging have not lived up to the initial hope of Mozilla Messaging. I don’t think that Mozilla Messaging ever achieved the market adoption they hoped for and I don’t think they ever figured out a revenue model either.

      • How To Use Firefox 4′s “Awesome Bar” To Make Search Faster

        Getting used to your new Firefox 4 web browser? If so, you might have seen some improvements in the Location Bar.

        The updated features make browsing the web a cinch, so it’s no wonder why more and more Internet junkies are calling it the Awesome Bar.

      • Firefox 4 Tips and Tricks
  • SaaS

    • How Many Open Source Projects Does It Take To Build A Cloud?

      For Linux vendor Red Hat (NYSE:RHT), the cloud isn’t about any one particular project, it’s about a combination of multiple open source projects.

      At the core of Red Hat’s cloud strategy is its Cloud Foundations effort which extends Red Hat’s infrastructure offerings for the cloud.

      “Cloud Foundations was named that for a reason,” Scott Crenshaw, VP and GM of the Cloud Business Unit at Red Hat told InternetNews.com. “The evolution to improving IT infrastructure is a continuous process and you’re never really done.”

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice/Symphony

    • Legacy should never be a burden

      While it’s clear we were and are the continuation of the OpenOffice project judging both by the numbers of contributors who have switched from OpenOffice.org to LibreOffice and by our manifesto itself, we also gained quite a few brand new people. I have the feeling that at least for some of them, they do not identify well with the notion that we are continuing some other project but would rather think of LibreOffice as something brand new (irrelevant of any technological arguments).

    • Using the Symphony office suite

      Discover a program similar to Microsoft Office, which you can download for free and includes word processing, spreadsheet and presentation tools

  • Education

    • I’m loving open source in schools

      It’s spring and I have fallen back in love with Open Source Software…

      I know, I know, I have been on and off this bike more times than I care to remember. My associates have warned me saying that’s it’s just another tease and I should stick with sensible software… but this time I am sure it’s the real thing.

      We met many years ago but somehow things just kept fizzling out; was it the odd pet names we used?… like Moodle, Gimp and Puppy, I don’t know, but I at least I never caught anything nasty apart from a brush with the karambas and some painful widgets.

  • Business

  • BSD


    • GNU Free Call – the freedom to call out when you really need to

      Making phone calls for free is one of the things made possible by the Internet that is more useful to all people, regardless of how much they like or dislike computers. Computer-based free phone calls make possible to stay in contact with relatives living thousands of kilometers away or to set up phone conferences without any special telephone equipment or contract.

      Regardless of costs and of which software is used, computer based telephony seems also great for hearing impaired people. As software phone user said: “for the first time in years, I’m actually enjoying talking to others using a (computer) phone.

  • Government

    • Government Procurement: Great Expectations for FOSS

      This year has seen an increasing focus on the use by free and open source software (“FOSS”) by governments with recent announcements by the UK, the Australian Federal Government and NASA. FOSS projects and companies need to be aware of these efforts because of the scope of the opportunity to transform government and provide less expensive software infrastructure to government. Governments are also a very large market for software. Yet governments continue to be hampered by their habits of using proprietary software as demonstrated by the recent decision by an administrative court in Lille, France. http://lawandlifesiliconvalley.com/blog/?p=584 .

  • Licensing

  • Standards/Consortia


  • The Geek&Poke Tip For A Good Marriage
  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Finance

    • Nuns ask Goldman Sachs bosses whether they’re really worth $69.5m

      Goldman Sachs is facing a call from four leading orders of catholic nuns to review whether the pay awarded to chief executive Lloyd Blankfein and other top executives is excessive.

    • Duration of Unemployment, Unemployment by Education, Employment Diffusion Indexes

      Unfortunately the “27 weeks or more” category increased slightly in March to 6.122 million workers (about 4% of the labor force). This remains extremely high, and long term unemployment remains a serious problem.

    • Gauging the Pain of the Middle Class

      LIKE everyone else, government officials want to look good. That often leads them to enact policies that promote favorable movements in the indexes by which they are judged. But when those indexes are imperfect, bad choices often result. And that’s nowhere more evident than in economic policy.

    • The Bank Run We Knew So Little About

      That Aug. 20, Commerzbank of Germany borrowed $350 million at the Fed’s discount window. Two days later, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and the Wachovia Corporation each received $500 million. As collateral for all these loans, the banks put up a total of $213 billion in asset-backed securities, commercial loans and residential mortgages, including second liens.

    • Obama: Shift from imported oil, new jobs will come

      President Barack Obama says shifting the U.S. away from imported oil and toward cleaner forms of energy will add momentum to a trend that has led to 1.8 million new jobs in the past 13 months.

    • Follow the Money: From MERS to Fraudclosure

      Understand this precisely: This was not a case of slipshod handling, of sloppy paperwork, or bad management. This was a willful decision to break the law in order to save expenses and be more profitable.

    • Judge: Bad Securitization = No Standing to Foreclose

      In other words, if you screw up the process of securitizing mortgages by failing to assign the loan note (and/or physically keep track of it), you lose the right to subsequently foreclose in the event of a default.

    • Blankfein Reaps $19 Million as Cash Bonuses Return at Goldman
    • Giving Paul Ryan credit

      In general, seniors vote Republicans and poor people don’t. So the easy play for Paul Ryan was clear: limit the entitlement-reform portion of his budget to slashing Medicaid. Then he could say he was taking a first step on entitlements without enraging the GOP’s core supporters.

      He didn’t do that. Ryan — and the GOP — are proposing to privatize Medicare. They’re proposing to save money by giving seniors less than their now-private Medicare will cost. They’re endorsing a plan that is the single least popular option for balancing the budget — below raising the retirement age, cutting defense spending or raising taxes on the rich.

    • It’s Time for Representative Ryan to Man Up

      Outside of Washington, people have a different conception of bravery. After all, over the last three decades the policies crafted in Washington have led to the most massive upward redistribution in the history of the world. The richest 1 percent of the population has seen is share of national income increase by close to 10 percentage points. This comes to $1.5 trillion a year, or as Representative Ryan might say, $90 trillion over the next 75 years. That’s almost $300,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States.

    • Citi to start clearing smaller checks first

      Citibank will soon start clearing customer checks in a way that minimizes the potential for multiple overdraft charges.

      In an internal memo sent Monday, the bank said it will process checks starting with the smallest amounts first as of July 25. Most large banks process larger checks first, a practice consumer advocates say increases the potential for multiple overdraft violations on checking accounts.

      Customers are being notified of the change in statements this week.

  • Privacy

    • Data retention rejected by Czechs

      Data retention has been rejected as unconstitutional in the Czech republic. The EU Directive, pushed forward by the UK, creates an obligation to store everyone’s traffic data, such as who you email or call on your phone, for possible use in criminal investigations.

    • Freedom Bill: Protecting our privacy?

      The Protection of Freedom Bill introduces a number of measures to help protect our fundamental right to privacy, particularly creating new Commissioners to deal with biometrics and CCTV, but did not seek to address many of the long-standing complaints about current protections.

    • Lohan threatens to sue over surveillance tape

      Just imagine you’re a celebrity and any retail store you walk into might sell security camera footage of your beautiful mug? Doesn’t sound too appealing, does it?

      Well, that pretty much sums up the feelings of one Lindsay Lohan, who is mulling a lawsuit against Kamofie & Co. after surveillance footage of her allegedly absconding with a necklace has been released into the wild.

  • Civil Rights

    • US IP Czar Proposes Limits on Civil Rights and Liberties to Protect Big Content

      The White House’s IP czar Victoria Espinel is calling on Congress to further expand and toughen U.S. intellectual property law, which is already among the most sweeping and strictest in the world. Copyright regulation has grown into a massive and complicated bureaucratic system, which has lost sight of it purpose and limits. The capture of this Administration and key members of Congress by the powerful special interests called Big Content continues to grow as demonstrated by this report, which fails to address the need for a balanced reform approach.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

  • DRM

    • Halifax libraries won’t pay rising e-book costs

      The manager of acquisitions for Halifax Public Libraries says she is not buying new e-book licenses from HarperCollins after the publisher increased the price of digital editions.

      HarperCollins used to offer unlimited lending on each e-book license but since the beginning of March the company has changed the policy. It now requires libraries to repurchase licenses after a limited number of uses.

    • Anonymous hacks Sony PS3 sites

      Several Sony PlayStation sites are unavailable this morning thanks to what looks like a distributed denial of service attack launched by Anonymous.

      The hacktivists have left the Scientologists alone in order to harass the console-makers because of Sony’s action against two lads for jailbreaking PS3s.


      In a strangely self-important and sanctimonious message, the hackers said:

      Congratulations, Sony.

      You have now received the undivided attention of Anonymous. Your recent legal action against our fellow hackers, GeoHot and Graf_Chokolo, has not alarmed us, it has been deemed wholly unforgivable….

      Now you will experience the wrath of Anonymous.

      You saw a hornets’ nest, and stuck your penises in it.

      You must face the consequences of your actions.

      Anonymous style.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright Wars – Starving The Enemy

        Which is why artist after artist is abandoning the Record Labels and the Publishers to go it alone. It’s sad to see these companies in trouble. But it was inevitable.

        And this has those companies terrified. This is why they are screaming for Bill C-32 to be passed in Canada. It’s the companies that want it, not the artists. My guess is that they hope to use it as a springboard for further legislation, which would halt or slow the migration of the artists towards the better option.

      • ‘My Works Are Like My Children’
      • US Copyright Group Drops Cases Against Alleged Hurt Locker Pirates

        Thousands of accused BitTorrent downloaders – including those of The Hurt Locker – can breathe a sigh of relief as their cases have been dropped. In what can be described as a major victory for those targeted, the complicated nature of these mass-lawsuits has forced the copyright holders to dump nearly all the defendants and rethink their strategy. Slowly, it appears that the US Copyright Group’s campaign to turn piracy into profit is crumbling.

      • Music Industry Destroys Another Powerful Free Download Tool

        If you know how, it is possible within just a few mouse clicks to have free access to one of the world’s largest resources of free music. Millions of tracks are available for free streaming but, with a few tweaks and the right software, they can be easily downloaded. The industry, seemingly powerless to do anything about the powerful source of the music, prefers to destroy the toolmakers – by fair means or foul.

      • Author Of Ridiculous ‘Piracy’ Report Defends Conclusions, Ignores Questions About Methodology

        But all of this ignores the main point: that the basic methodology he used for any of those calculations wasn’t sound. People aren’t complaining about the results. They’re complaining about the methodology itself. And he doesn’t seem to get that at all because he doesn’t defend it at all.

Clip of the Day

Einstein vs Stephen Hawking -Epic Rap Battles of History #7

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 4/4/2011: Hercules Does Linux, More Fedora 16 Details Surface

Posted in News Roundup at 2:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • reboot? – this is linux!

    Just had a scary few minutes, this morning I was unable to logon the home mailserver (running mandriva 2010.1) across the local network – the process connected, opened up a terminal window and just hung, never getting to a prompt! Sunday lunch over, I tried opening up a term when sitting at the machine with the problems and there too, no xterm! Fortunately I was already logged in and had root (admin) access.

  • Problems Linux Enthusiasts Refuse to Address

    I like to think of myself as a relatively long time Linux enthusiast. In fact, I feel like a fish out of water when asked to work on a Windows box or with a Mac.

    Like most of you, I can certainly make the adjustment for a day, but I always come away feeling a little stranger from the experience. Guess this happens when you’re bound to a single way of doing things for an extended period of time.

    Now let’s flip the coin for a moment. Despite the many successes seen from the desktop Linux camp over the years, there are some areas that continue to be left largely unchecked. Rather than automatically painting my findings with a negative brush, instead let’s examine each issue closely.

  • 5 Reasons why Linux is the Future of Technology

    From embeded spaces to mobile phones to desktops and servers, there’s not a single one of those except it’s being overtaken by the gradual but consistent revolution called Linux. Here’s why


    As I’ve stated a number of times, Africa, a massive market of about 1 billion people, is still mostly untapped and under-served. Symbian used to be the platform of choice of you wanted to use a smartphone. However, I’m increasingly seeing a gradual shift to the two platforms: iPhone and Android, especially among my contemporaries in school.

    All it’ll take for Android to excel here is for a handset maker to achieve the right balance between reasonable price and the right hardware capable of running Andoid at reasonable speeds. I personally tick Samsung to achieve this feat.

    Then in terms of desktops, again I was fairly surprised the first time I walked into our school’s computer lab and found out that half the computers are powered by Ubuntu 10.04. To say the popularity of Linux is soaring here in Africa is an understatement.

  • Hercules launches new 10-inch Linux and A8 eCafe netbooks

    The netbook was flying high in the darkest days of the recession over the last few years as consumers that needed or wanted a new computer flocked to the cheap machines rather than full on notebooks. As the economy improved, the market moved back to notebooks that are more powerful and with the advent of the tablet, many that would have bought a netbook opted for a tablet like the iPad instead.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • KWin Now Supports Suspended Compositing

        KDE’s KWin compositing window manager now supports suspended compositing that can be toggled by applications to provide a cleaner solution for stopping for removing the OpenGL context created by the KDE window manager and blocking the effects system so that directed full-screen applications and games should work better, especially with less than stellar graphics drivers.

        KWin/KDE has already supported un-redirecting of full-screen windows in a composited environment, but up to this point the OpenGL context from KWin has still been maintained as well as the window manager’s effects system. Thus while the performance may be improved in some instances (for the drivers that are faster without compositing), for other configurations this can still be an issue due to multiple OpenGL contexts and the resources of the effects system running.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • From Russia with source (Calculate Linux 11.3)

      The Calculate distribution certainly made some strong impressions on me during the week I was using it, most of them good. Generally, the things that turned me off were in relation to software management. The emerge tool, while reliable, was slow to work out dependencies. The login bug I ran into on my laptop was an unpleasant surprise, as was finding that choosing Intel drivers for my Intel video card would cause X to crash. On the other hand, Calculate comes with a lot of pre-installed software without much overlap in functionality, letting me perform most tasks while avoiding extra trips to the repositories. Performance was good and this is one of the few distros to detect and use all of my hardware out of the box. Furthermore, I liked having all the multimedia codecs available on the default install.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • KNOPPIX 6.5, CeBIT 2011
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Desktop Fun: Ubuntu Wallpaper Collection Series 2
        • Ubuntu ‘Unity’ Desktop Environment First Impressions

          When Canonical announced last fall that Ubuntu 11.04 would be released with a home-brewed desktop environment called “Unity”, I found myself almost immediately excited. As Ubuntu came equipped with GNOME as its primary desktop environment since the distro’s inception, the idea that Canonical would be pushing it aside for something it was creating was rather shocking.

          While it may not seem like a big deal on the surface, Canonical’s choice to move over to a different default desktop environment is impressive. What it says to me is that the company is confident that it can create a desktop environment “better” than GNOME, and as I’ve never been a big fan of it, the idea of another full-fledged alternative desktop environment was appealing.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • 4 Lessons Which Bodhi Linux Taught Me

            Ubuntu is not the oldest distributive on the Linux landscape. Moreover, it is not standalone one, and it is based on Debian. But Ubuntu and its derivatives became the most used Linux in the world, bringing Linux to the level when non-geek users can get benefits of this OS.
            I have mentioned already that Ubuntu has huge number of derivatives. The Wikipedia page contains impressive list of them, but even that list is not full.


            Lesson 4. Small size does not mean pocket size.
            Even though size of Bodhi Linux is comparable to SLAX, I would not consider it to be pocket OS. Basically, because SLAX is self-contained within same size while Bodhi is very limited in functionality.

          • Poking at Pinguy 10.10.1

            Earlier this week, the Ubuntu 11.04 beta was released. I was looking forward to trying out the Unity interface, as regular readers know; I’m apprehensive about it but I want to give it a fair chance. So I downloaded and installed it. This was supposed to be a review of it. But the installer threw an error right at the end, and though it seemed to have finished, the resulting system was unbootable.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Move over, Dr. Soong: Girls can build Android (apps) too

          In Google’s New York offices, a group of high school girls are learning to develop Android apps and start their own businesses thanks to the first East Coast Technovation Challenge. The 12-week program pairs high school girls from New York public schools with volunteer mentors to introduce them to high-tech entrepreneurship. Participants learn the basics of programming, design a user interface, develop a prototype app and business model, and cap it off with a presentation to a panel of judges and venture capitalists.The winning team’s concept will be developed by pros with input from the girls and released in the Android Marketplace.

        • Xperia X10 to get Gingerbread Update

          In a sudden change of heart, Sony Ericsson has decided to listen to the pleas of thousands of Xperia X10 owners and provide them with the Android Gingerbread that they have been yearning for. The update will be pushed to their phones by end of Q2/start of Q3 this year and will be the latest 2.3.3 update. The software will be similar to what Sony Ericsson will be offering on their newer Android phones, the Xperia Arc, Neo, Pro and Play, except for those features for which there is no hardware support on the X10, such as HDMI-out.

        • Amazon.com lets you play with an Android virtual machine, try apps before you buy them

          When Amazon’s Appstore rolled out last week, we glossed over one detail that merely seemed neat. Today, we’re inclined to say that Test Drive may be the most significant part of Amazon’s announcement that day. Basically, Test Drive allows US customers to take apps for a spin at Amazon.com, with all the comfort that their tried-and-true desktop web browser brings — but rather than sit you down with a Flash-based mockup of the app, Amazon is giving you a taste of bona fide cloud computing with an Android virtual machine.

        • The Freight Train That Is Android

          Yesterday, after the market closed, Research in Motion, the makers of the Blackberry device, announced that they would be lowering their current quarter earnings due to lower average sales prices. In a separate announcement, the company proffered that their new tablet will support Android apps, yet the CEO also made it clear that he believes the world is overly focused on the criticality of having a large numbers of applications on your platform. They also suggested that the guidance issue is temporary, and relates mainly to a product cycle not a systematic change in the industry.


          One might yearn to suggest that there is a market unjust here that should be investigated by some government entity, but let us not forget that the consumer is not harmed here – in fact far from it. The consumer is getting great software at the cheapest price possible. Free. The consumer might be harmed if this activity were prevented. And as we just suggested above, the market is finally driving towards software pricing that represents “perfect competition.”

        • Oh Noes — teh Angry Birds GPL’d! Google’s Alleged GPL Violations in Android

          Two commentators, Florian Mueller and Edward Naughton, have recently claimed that Google is violating the copyleft obligation of the General Public License in distributing the Android mobile operating system used in millions of smartphones all over the world. Android consists of a combination of the underlying Linux kernel, licensed under GPLv2, wrapped with a C library known as Bionic, and topped off with an application framework. Google has released Bionic under the permissive BSD license. Naughton’s and Mueller’s thesis is that Google’s Bionic library is a derivative work of the Linux kernel due to the amount and type of code Bionic lifts from the kernel, and therefore is required to be licensed under GPLv2. If Bionic is required to be licensed under GPLv2, that means Android applications would also have to be licensed under GPLv2 in source code form, they claim. Google would lose control of the entire platform, the argument goes, and Android as a viable and profitable ecosystem would collapse.

    • Sub-notebooks

Free Software/Open Source

  • LyX Devs Release First 2.0 Release Candidates

    Considering that they’ve been working on it for about two years now, the LyX 2.0 release candidates are starting to appear relatively quickly (RC2 at time of writing). Considering that the file format is now fairly fixed and should now be forwards compatible with all later versions, this might be a good time for LyX die hards to check out 2.0, if they haven’t already.

  • How to get a career in open source

    Many people are absolutely enthralled by Linux and open source, and what could be better than taking your hobby and making it your career? Is it really possible that you could be paid to do something that you love?

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

    • Where meritocracy fails

      Robert wrote about patches and rejection today, and quoted me from some tweets I made about meritocracy. I think Robert made some good points in his post, and I’m going to make some suggestions about patch review.

      But first, I want to address my irritation about meritocracy…

  • Government

    • White House releases IT Dashboard as open source code

      The White House has released the software code for its IT Dashboard and TechStat toolkit. The initiative was coordinated through Civic Commons, a code-sharing project incubated within Code for America that helps governments share technology for the public good, with support from OpenPlans. Civic Commons staff worked with REI Systems, the contractor that originally built the IT Dashboard for the United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB), to prepare the code for release under an open source license. That work included a security audit, documentation, and a licensing review of the software’s components.

    • UK ICT strategy offers “level playing field” to FOSS again

      The UK Government’s Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude MP, has unveiled the coalition’s ICT (Information and communications technology) strategy. The new strategy includes plans to “create a level playing field for open source software”. Though this is a position previous administrations had aspired to, now the plan is backed up with “compulsory open standards,” a new “streamlined procurement” regime, a cross-public “Applications Store” and an aggressive schedule for implementation of goals, from within six months to two years.

      The drive for open standards means that recent procurement guidance that defined open standards as royalty free will have a far reaching effect on how open source solutions can compete. The strategy recognises this saying that, “Where appropriate, government will procure open source solutions. When used in conjunction with compulsory open standards, open source presents significant opportunities for the design and delivery of interoperable solutions.” By using open standards for interoperability and security, the government hopes to be able to reuse more solutions within the different organisations which make up the government. Within six months, the administration aims to have created processes for managing open data standards.

  • Licensing

    • Whatever You Do, Just Don’t Steal From Goldman Sachs

      He was found guilty of stealing a proprietary computer program from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. He stole it on his last day of work. He tried to cover his tracks, encrypting the file transfer, deleting the program he used to steal it. Prosecutors said Mr. Aleynikov had been stealing code for the two years he worked at Goldman as a programmer.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • ODF 1.2 is finished!

      By OASIS processes, a specification must first be approved by the committee that developed it to be voted by the entire OASIS. In addition to the approved specification at the TC level, it is also necessary to have at least three statements of companies that the standard is being used by them in a interoperable way.


  • Groupon Is Becoming A Lawsuit Magnet

    The suit, filed last week by a company called San Francisco Comprehensive Tours, alleges the ads Groupon buys through Google’s AdWords program are misleading. S.F. Comprehensive Tours bids on terms like “San Francisco Tours” and “Napa Tours” through Google’s AdWords program, and has been doing so since 2005. Advertisers in AdWords are given the most favorable positions via an “instant auction” process that Google (NSDQ: GOOG) created. And while money counts—as the lawsuit notes—it isn’t the only factor.

  • Airing for H-P Letter

    A Delaware judge late Thursday ordered that the letter that led to former Hewlett-Packard Co. Chief Executive Mark Hurd’s August resignation be unsealed.

    A lawyer for Mr. Hurd, Amy Wintersheimer, said in a statement that she planned to appeal the decision, meaning that the letter won’t be made public anytime soon.

  • Google Apps Slammed by Advocacy Group for the Blind

    The National Federation of the Blind claims that Google Apps lacks required features for blind people and wants the U.S. government to investigate whether schools that adopt the e-mail and collaboration suite run afoul of civil rights laws.

  • Science

    • Researcher Overcomes Legal Setback Over ‘Cloud Cracking Suite’

      German researcher Thomas Roth got a phone call with some unsettling news the evening before he was to release a new hacking tool in his presentation at Black Hat DC: he had been served with an injunction for allegedly breaking anti-hacker laws in his country and law enforcement would be raiding his apartment back in Germany.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Cablegate

    • Jemima Khan to guest-edit the New Statesman

      Jemima Khan, writer and campaigner, said: “I am very grateful to Jason for inviting me to guest-edit this week’s issue of the New Statesman. I am a huge fan of the magazine. My task was to bring in new writers – a daunting one, as New Statesman regulars include some of my favourite writers, such as my fellow WikiLeaks supporter John Pilger, my favourite Question Time panellist, Mehdi Hasan, and the philosopher John Gray. I had great fun working with the NS team and enlisting the help of writers who express my own thoughts but with more eloquence, clarity or wit.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Almost Doubles Blankfein Pay Package to $19 Million for 2010

      The total includes $5.4 million in cash, $12.6 million in restricted stock, a $600,000 salary and about $464,000 in other benefits, the New York-based firm’s proxy statement showed. Blankfein’s $9.8 million pay for 2009 included $9 million in restricted stock plus salary and other compensation.

    • Barclays, Citigroup Said to Be Subpoenaed in Libor Probe

      Barclays Plc (BARC) and Citigroup Inc. (C) are among banks subpoenaed by U.S. regulators investigating whether some firms manipulated the setting of the London interbank offered rate, two people with knowledge of the probes said.

      Germany’s WestLB AG and London-based Lloyds Banking Group Plc (LLOY) are among the 16 banks on the panel that set Libor that have been contacted by regulators requesting information, said two people who declined to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak on the matter. Bank of America Corp. (BAC), the biggest U.S. bank by assets, also received subpoenas from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice, the Financial Times reported yesterday.

  • Censorship

    • Google Accuses Chinese of Blocking Gmail Service

      Google has accused the Chinese government of disrupting Gmail in the country, making it difficult in the last few weeks for users here to gain access to the company’s popular e-mail service.

      Google said that it was not having any technical problems with Google’s main Web site or Gmail service in China.

      “There is no issue on our side; we have checked extensively,” Google said in a statement released Sunday. “This is a government blockage, carefully designed to look like the problem is with Gmail.”

  • Privacy

  • DRM

    • “Fleeing”? Sabotaged hard drives? Hotz’s lawyer responds to Sony

      It was reported yesterday that George Hotz “fled” the country in order to escape… a civil case? Sony claimed that the infamous hacker had sabotaged evidence in the case and was using his location outside the US as an excuse to not comply with the court’s orders. Ars caught up with Stewart Kellar, one of Hotz’ lawyers, who rejected both accusations. Hotz is in South America on a trip he had planned before the lawsuit was filed, and Sony has been given all the components it needs to access his hard drive.

    • GeoHot still stoked about cracking Sony’s Xperia Play

      Yes, the talented PS3 hacker known as GeoHot is currently vacationing in South America. However, contrary to what Sony wants you to believe, Hotz is just simply enjoying spring break.

      As TG Daily reported yesterday evening, a very paranoid Sony accused GeoHot of attempting to ditch an ongoing lawsuit by flying off to enjoy some sun.

    • SCEA Files Motion to Dismiss Class Action Again, More Discovery Disputes, Plus a Revealing Transcript Surfaces – Update

      There’s news from the class action litigation, In re Sony PS3 ‘Other OS’ Litigation, where the plaintiffs are suing Sony Computer Entertainment America for removing OtherOS from Playstation 3s. SCEA has filed another motion to dismiss [PDF] the class action case, once again saying that the plaintiffs’ newly filed First Amended Complaint is insufficient to state a claim. The original complaint’s claims, except for one, were dismissed, with the judge giving the plaintiffs a chance to refile. Now that they have, SCEA says this refiled complaint should be tossed out also. There will be a hearing on all this on May 12th.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Pandora CEO: The Complexity Of International Copyright Law Is A Big Problem

        When Pandora filed papers with the SEC earlier this year indicating its plans for an IPO, the company disclosed a variety of risks to investors. That included the fact that copyright royalties eat up half its revenue, and the difficulty the company has had in its attempts to strike deals in other countries. Pandora abandoned its bid to expand to the U.K. in 2008. Speaking at the NARM music law conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy elaborated on how he sees international copyright issues and the evolving relationship between online music companies and record labels.

      • Death To The Shiny Disc: Time To Go All-Digital

        Back at Warners I was in a meeting about “reintroducing” a band to the market, which basically means the last record was a stiff so we needed to “reboot” them. Not dissimilar to what Hollywood does to franchises.

        A lot of ideas were floated around: vinyl singles, etc. My statement was “death to the shiny disc!” Basically, eliminate all physical, and go completely digital. Nothing was to be gained by putting out low margin product. This was four years ago. As you can imagine, that statement was met with some glares. I was pulled aside later and advised that the shiny disk still paid for my shiny servers. I didn’t use that catch phrase again.

      • Celebrated ‘Appropriation Artist’ to Appeal Copyright Infringement Ruling

        All of the strum and drang of the Shepard Fairey Obama Hope case — in which the street artist admitted to manipulating evidence in the Associated Press’s suit claiming he used an AP photo without permission — obscured the truly fascinating question at the heart of the dispute: What is fair use for an artist whose work involves the manipulation of images created by someone else? That question will now get a full airing in a copyright appeal by the painter and photographer Richard Prince, who this week hired Boies, Schiller & Flexner to work on his appeal of last Friday’s devastating infringement ruling that orders him to surrender all work in which Prince makes unauthorized use of photographs from the book “Yes, Rasta.”

      • Righthaven loses second fair use ruling over copyright lawsuits

        An Oregon nonprofit did not infringe on copyrights when it posted without authorization an entire Las Vegas Review-Journal story on its website, a judge ruled Friday.

        U.S. District Judge James Mahan said during a hearing he planned to dismiss, on fair use grounds, a copyright infringement lawsuit filed against the Center for Intercultural Organizing (CIO), in Portland, Ore.

        The lawsuit was filed last year by Righthaven LLC of Las Vegas, the Review-Journal’s copyright enforcement partner that also enforces copyrights for the Denver Post.

      • Did file-sharing cause recording industry collapse? Economists say no

        For the last decade, the movie and music industries have engaged in a relentless struggle against Internet file sharing. One prominent theater of this global conflict has been the UK, which last year saw the passage of the Digital Economy Act. The law, if fully implemented, could allow Internet Service Providers to disconnect “persistent infringers” of the UK’s copyright rules from the ‘Net.

        The zeal with which Hollywood and the recording industry have pursued this ISP-as-cop approach around the world has prompted some ISPs to cry foul. “The notion of disconnection without judicial oversight violates the presumption of innocence,” warned the Australian DSL service iiNet in a recent position piece . “As the penalty for possibly minor economic loss (at the individual infringer level) removal of Internet access is, therefore, both inappropriate and disproportionate.”

      • Judge administers another beatdown to P2P lawyer, severs cases

        Multiple federal judges in Chicago have absolutely ripped the tactics of the state’s only attorney filing mass P2P file-sharing lawsuits in recent weeks. Now, two new rulings directly contradict a ruling from Judge Beryl Howell, an RIAA lobbyist-turned-federal-judge in Washington, DC, who said that mass subpoenas against alleged file-swappers were proper.

        Last week, Judge Blanche Manning of the Northern District of Illinois “severed” two of the P2P suits filed by local attorney John Steele, cutting them down from 1,800 combined defendants to just two. The judge, acting sua sponte (of her own accord, without ruling on a motion), told Steele that he must file a separate lawsuit against every anonymous target of his litigation, not try to combine hundreds of people into a single case.

Clip of the Day

Galaxy Tab running Honeycomb (Android 3.0)

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 3/4/2011: WebOS 3.0 SDK, Trisquel 4.5 and Many Other Distros Released

Posted in News Roundup at 1:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Server

    • Linux-based IP telephony server updated

      Mitel announced an updated version of its Linux-based Unified Communications server for the SMB market. The Mitel 5000 CP 5.0 adds support for up to 20 eight-party conferences, bidirectional synchronization of voice messages with email, dynamic extensions for up 10 associated devices, a new web portal, and a System Open Architecture Interface (OAI) Toolkit for third-party app integration.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Google

    • Google: ‘We want to strip out operating system frustration’

      We popped along to Google’s London HQ this week to talk Chrome OS, Google’s new low-resource Linux-based operating system for netbooks and notebooks.

      Chrome OS product marketing manager, Eli Lassman, took us through the features of the CR-48 prototype portable which TechRadar saw last week and gave us some background on the imminent launch of notebooks featuring Chrome OS.

  • Ballnux

    • ABI projects rosy Android future — with Bada a surprise contender

      Android will represent 45 percent of global smartphone market share by 2016, while Samsung’s Bada OS may reach 10 percent, says ABI Research. Contrary to a recent IDC study, which estimated that Windows Phone 7 will be the number two platform in 2015, ABI says Microsoft will achieve only seven percent market share by 2016.

  • Kernel Space

    • kernel weekly news – 02.04.2011
    • LF Collaboration Summit: Access Free Video Streaming Live

      There’s a rumor going around that we’re going to be launching our 20th Anniversary of Linux celebration activities next week.

      Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s true. But, you’ll have to be either at The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit or watching the free, live video feed to get all the details (we’ll have a website you can go to afterward to get “the skinny” as well). Our working groups are also preparing to share some news that we’ll include here at Linux.com after it’s public.

    • Media Training at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit

      A few months ago, I was talking to Jennifer Cloer, the Linux Foundation’s Director of Communications, and I asked her if she’d ever considered running a media training session for free software developers, which would help us improve the situation. She was very enthusiastic about it, and we quickly agreed that the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit would be a great opportunity to make it happen. We made contact with Amanda McPherson, who thought it was a good idea, and the deal was done. On Thursday April 7th, we will run a 4 hour session aimed at giving participants knowledge and tools to deal more effectively with the press.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Another Look At The Open-Source Nouveau With Fermi

        Earlier this week was benchmarks of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 “Fermi” with the open-source Nouveau driver. The reverse-engineered Nouveau support for the GeForce 400/500 series is incomplete and requires users to generate their own custom firmware before there is even 2D/3D/video acceleration support. The initial tests on the GeForce GTX 460 also yielded a disturbingly large performance difference between the open-source and closed-source NVIDIA drivers, where as with previous generations of NVIDIA GPUs the performance difference is more manageable. Here is another look at Nouveau for Fermi, but this time from a GeForce GTX 485M.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Commit Digest for 27 March 2011
      • Camp KDE Preview: All About Mobile

        Q: Camp KDE is co-located this year with The Linux Foundation’s Collaboration Summit. Can you tell us about what attendees should expect at Hotel Kabuki?

        Jeff: Co-locating with the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit gives us a great opportunity to engage with the attendees of the Collaboration Summit and in return, for our attendees to become part of a broader Linux event. As one of the largest open source communities in the world, collaboration, both internally and externally, is an important part of the KDE community experience. As a result, many of our attendees are looking forward to discussing collaboration techniques and technologies with the larger attendee base of the Collaboration Summit.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Ubuntu 11.10 Will Not Ship With A Classic Gnome Desktop

        I know this may not sound like good news to many but let me remind you that it will take another 6 months of development after Ubuntu 11.04 is released until Oneiric so even though Unity may seem a bit rough on the edges right now, it has a lot of time to improve.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Installing Linux to a Gateway NV53 laptop, a trial for five distros
      • MoonOS 4 Neak – Something is STILL amiss, big time

        The installation failure leaves a sour taste in the mouth. It also reminds me why I’m usually wary of small distributions, since they are plagued with exponential complexity problems that stem from adding and removing components, without the ability to thoroughly check the consequences of these changes.

        Starting with the false promise of a lightweight desktop, which turn out to be a Gnome, pimped up and polished, followed by an application crash and ending in a big fiasco, Neak failed the test of usability. MoonOS 3 was not the prettiest, but at least it worked fully. MoonOS 4 does not even install. Worse, it killed my PCLinuxOS installation. Luckily, Windows survived intact. This is a test box, so no worries there, but still.

    • New Releases

      • Core update 48 was released
      • Deepin 10.12.1 发布了
      • RIPLinuX 11.7
      • Zenwalk Openbox 7.0

        Zenwalk Openbox 7.0 is ready!

      • 23 March 2011: GParted Live 0.8.0-5 Stable Release

        Thanks to Steven’s efforts, a new stable release of GParted Live (0.8.0-5) is now available.

        This release adds the ssh package and is based on the Debian Sid repository as of Mar 21, 2011 (linux kernel 2.6.38-1).

        NOTE: By default ssh service is not started. If you want to start ssh, make sure you change the password and the file /etc/hosts.deny.

      • GParted Updated To Linux Kernel 2.6.38-1, Debian Sid

        The latest live build of GParted, version 0.8.0-5, is now based on Debian Sid. Another major improvement is the addition of ssh packages to this version. The team has also patched a bug related to setxkbmap.

      • 29 March 2011 – New Cooking 20110329

        arch 2011 – New Cooking 20110329

        The SliTaz team is pleased to announce the release of a new cooking ISO featuring over 2900 packages. All packages have been rebuilt using our new cooking tool, now included in tazwok. It contains Linux Kernel 2.6.37 compiled against glibc 2.13, binutils 2.21 & gcc 4.5.2. The Core LiveCD includes Midori 0.3.3. Tazpkg is now entirely translated to French and we are open to additional translations. Tazwok has been entirely rewritten and it’s now possible to recook SliTaz from Scratch using any ISO. This ISO is the first of a release candidate series which leads us to a stable 4.0 release.

      • Announcing Foresight Linux 2.5.0

        Foresight is a Linux distribution for your desktop that features a rolling release schedule that always keeps your desktop up to date; a revolutionary package manager, Conary; the latest GNOME, KDE and Xfce desktop environment and an innovative set of excellent, up to date software applications.

      • Momonga Linux
        Official web site

        # Momonga Linux 7 LiveCD (i686) was released (sanuki, 2011/3/29)
        # Momonga Linux 7 was released (meke, 2010/9/14)

      • 03.2011 “GNOME3-RC” (Test-Version)
      • Release Notes for Alpine 2.1.6

        We are pleased to announce the Alpine 2.1.6 release.

        This release includes a security fix for tmpfs installs.

      • [Parsix-Users] Parsix GNU/Linux 3.6r2 is available now

        The last maintenance release of Parsix GNU/Linux 3.6 is available now.

      • Trisquel 4.5 “Slaine” released

        Trisquel’s latest release ships experimental NVIDIA 3D support.

        Trisquel, the free GNU/Linux distribution, has just released a new version, based on Linux-libre 2.6.35 and GNOME 2.32.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat edges towards BI acquisition

        Open source operating system and middleware firm Red Hat may be about to snap up a business intelligence company, CBR has learned.

        The news was confirmed in a CBR interview with CEO Jim Whitehurst here yesterday. Asked whether he agrees that business intelligence looks like a bit of a gap in the firm’s portfolio, Whitehurst said: “I think gap might be a strong word. When I think of gap I think of a hole with a piece missing. I think BI is a logical extension from a middleware portfolio.”

    • Debian Family

      • People behind Debian: Bdale Garbee, chair of the technical committee
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • 11 Killer Features That Make Ubuntu 11.04 Worth the Wait

          Ubuntu 11.04 dubbed Natty Narwhal will bring some major changes to the traditional Ubuntu desktop. As the conventional desktop gets a major overhaul, the spanking new Unity interface is busy preparing itself to replace the time-honored Gnome interface. Furthermore, some well-known default applications are getting replaced by newer and more feature-laden ones. While many users have welcomed these changes with open arms, a few disapproving nods have raised doubts over their success. Nevertheless, Ubuntu 11.04, which releases on 28th April 2011, promises to bring a burst of freshness to the Linux desktop along with a slew of new users.

        • Ubuntu App Developer Week Announced

          Canonical, through David Planella, announced last evening (March 31st) that the Ubuntu App Developer Week will take place between 11th to 15th April, 2011, on the Ubuntu IRC channel.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 1, Released [Video & Screenshots]
        • Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty) Beta installation video
        • Collateral Damage Due to Radical Change in UI for Ubuntu

          A review of the beta release of Ubuntu 11.04 shows the problems that happen with regular releases and radical change. Things break and the system is rough. That’s the advantage of Debian GNU/Linux testing flavour. They put all that rough stuff in a separate branch of the distro until it’s ready. Ubuntu charges ahead like a bull in a China shop.

        • Gwibber lens for Ubuntu Unity available; adds social awesome to the 11.04 desktop

          Lenses are one of the cool new features present in Ubuntu 11.04 and although the OS itself might not yet have been released properly, developers are already exploiting the opportunities that lenses – and the Unity desktop as a whole – provide.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 to allow you to try software before installing it

          The next version of Ubuntu, Natty Narwhal, will include the ability to try out apps before you install them. The feature right now can be accessed by installing a package, qtnx, through apt-get or otherwise. The package adds a “Test Drive” button on the software center, which will launch a full-fledged app you’re about to get into an environment.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Peppermint OS Ice

            Peppermint Linux is a very light-weight, yet an awesome distro. It’s one of the minimalistic distros convenient for carrying around on a USB stick when heading off to solve your family’s “I HEARD YOU’RE GOOD WITH COMPUTERS” moments, although its focus isn’t primarily as a tool for fixing broken PCs – it’s more of an actual, desktop/laptop/netbook distro.

          • Using a monome with Ubuntu Studio
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Permabit extends data dedupe to Linux-based NAS

      Permabit Technology on Tuesday announced an iteration of its Albireo primary data deduplication software for SMB network-attached storage systems based on Linux servers.

      Albireo Virtual Data Optimizer (VDO), which will be available in the second half of this year, offers inline deduplication and optional data compression as a component of storage systems. Permabit sells a higher-end version of its Albireo deduplication product to NAS vendors such as BluArc, Xiotech and LSI Engenio.

    • HP releases WebOS 3.0 SDK

      HP released its WebOS 3.0 software development kit (SDK), which takes advantage of new features available on the recently announced HP TouchPad tablet. Meanwhile, HP’s new CEO Leo Apotheker offered more details on how HP plans to spread WebOS across multiple devices and establish partnerships with smaller companies to expand the Linux-based platform.

    • AMD joins open source embedded group

      OSADL (Open Source Automation Development Lab) announced four new members, including new “silver” member AMD. OSADL, which has begun testing real-time Linux on AMD’s G-Series processors, also announced “bronze” memberships for Spanish software engineering firm DSM4, German automotive technology manufacturer Eberspacher, and Austrian industrial research firm OpenTech EDV.

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

        • We are Open!

          As we announced earlier, Nokia will no longer refer to official releases as Symbian ^3 or Symbian^4, but will deliver continuous evolution of the platform to partners and customers – including consumers. In line with this approach we are not delivering software builds, but do offer build tools through this website, and a SDK through Forum Nokia.

        • Nokia says about Symbian: “We’re Open”. The New License Shows Otherwise.

          I take issue with Nokia’s use of the word “open”. Let me show you the new license, then we can compare it to the old, and you can be the judge as to whether this is a move to openness or even treading water in place, or as I view it, the exact opposite.

        • MeeGo Coding Competition 2011

          As successor it will follow the good example of the community driven Maemo Coding Competition 2010. Quim Gil wrote lot of good things about this “grass roots community success”.

        • Nokia – The Journey to the Gallows Continues

          okia’s share prices have dropped significantly since Steven Ellop announced the company’s partnership (or sellout?) with Microsoft…

        • Nokia Won’t Sell Out to Microsoft Says CEO

          Steven Elop was very generous in his admission of the role played by Africa and Asia in the success of Nokia and promised to “reward such disproportionate achievements with disproportionate investments”, though he did not explain as to what disproportionate investment would mean.

          Now that it’s clear Elop has not completely sold out to Microsoft, we’d want to see a change in so many things, not least is the perpetual delays in the delivery of devices on their schedule date. I’d also personally like to see Africa’s loyalty to Nokia rewarded with the possible siting of a plant here on the continent. So yes Nokia will remain an independent company from Redmond, but will that last forever?

        • Qt and Digia, facts and fiction

          The planned transaction between Nokia and Digia is an important one for both companies, which will have positive outcomes for Qt and the Qt community, including commercial customers and our employees.

      • Android

        • Why open code is irrelevant to Android’s success

          Vendors, developers, and users are embracing Android for what it delivers, not how Google delivers the code

        • Amazon music service embraces Android, ignores iOS
        • Thunderbolt on LTE fastest Android phone yet, says review

          Partly thanks to Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network, HTC’s Thunderbolt is the fastest phone eWEEK has tested. The $250 price for the Android 2.2 phone is high, and HTC and Verizon need to work on extending battery life, but users who have access to Verizon’s 4G network will be sorely tempted by the Thunderbolt’s speed, big screen, and nicely tuned eight-megapixel camera, says this eWEEK review.

        • Aircell unveils Android in-flight phone

          Inflight telephony vendor Aircell announced its first Android-based phone, designed specifically for business aircraft. Due later this year, the Aircell Smartphone offers a 3.8-inch screen, said to be the largest available in the aviation telephony market.

        • Trying a Cute Approach to Android

          Amidst all the chaos surrounding the Qt project, the power of open source software has shown itself. The Romanian developer Bogdan Vatra has ported Qt to Android. To avoid trademark conflicts, the result was named Necessitas.

          Before looking at how to setup the tools and build an application, lets look at the system from the users’ view. When downloading a Qt based application, the size matters. The classic wiggly example that has shipped with Qt since the dawn of time is only about 113kB. Animated Tiles, provided by Bogdan Vatra, requires a 153kB download.

        • Now Open: Amazon Appstore Launches With 3,800 Apps for Android

          Amazon has officially launched the Android Appstore, a potential iTunes equivalent for Android.

    • Tablets

      • India’s HCL launches trio of Android tablets

        HCL Infosystems announced three Android 2.2 tablets for the Indian market, featuring one-button access to HCL’s India-focused Touch online service. The “ME” tablets include the seven-inch ME AE7 and ME AM7, both with 800MHz processors, as well as the 10-inch, 1GHz ME AP10, says the company.

      • This HTC Flyer Video Would Make Steve Jobs Jealous

        HTC is about the hit the iWorld with its Flyer Tablet. The tablet is far more advanced than the iPad. Steve Jobs was right when he said “We’re going to use the best pointing device in the world,” he says. “A device we’re all born with. Our fingers.” But, we need to do more than just pointing. Its the complex combination of fingers to manipulate a tool which makes them the best writing/drawing devices as well. The device was invented ages ago — its called pen/pencil.

      • Android Will Become The Gaming Platform, iPad Will Remain A Toy

        Google is one of the few companies which prefer looking ahead than holding onto the past. The company did not waste a week in breaking Android down and rebuilding it from scratch for tablets. Honeycomb is today far more advanced than generic iOS.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source, Nationality and Politics: How They Fit Together

    The open source world, moreover, is full of multinational personalities — from Mark Shuttleworth, who holds dual-citizenship in the United Kingdom and South Africa and who lives on the semi-autonomous Isle of Man, to Richard Stallman, who takes pride in his polylingualism and has sworn off employment in his native United States. And Linus Torvalds himself, of course, was born into the small Swedish-speaking minority of Finland, and now resides in Oregon.

  • OpenStack: balancing control and community

    Shifting from control to community is not easy. Recent weeks have provided a number of examples of how the demand for collaborative development from the community can outpace corporate strategy.

  • North Bridge and 22 Open Source Leaders Launch Fifth Annual Future of Open Source Survey

    North Bridge Venture Partners today announced the continuation of its highly successful annual Future of Open Source Survey. In 2011, North Bridge is pleased to welcome The 451 Group as a major partner in the survey. The survey, which involves more than 20 industry collaborators and polls a wide variety of members of the open source community, will reveal the most important issues, opportunities and future expectations of the industry in 2011. Open to the general public beginning on March 21, the survey has a target close date of April 22. The survey results will be presented during the Open Source Leaders keynote panel on opening day of this year’s Open Source Business Conference (May 16, 2011 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square). Moderating this panel will be Michael Skok, general partner at North Bridge Venture Partners. Michael will be joined on the panel by: Jim Whitehurst, CEO, Red Hat, Tom Erickson, CEO, Acquia, Mike Olson, CEO, Cloudera, and Adrian Kunzle, managing director, JP Morgan.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla’s “Do Not Track” Feature Gains Popularity

        Mozilla announces two developments that bring its Do Not Track privacy feature in Firefox closer to being respected by industry.

      • Firefox 4 quicker of the mark than Internet Explorer 9

        Published on 31/03/11 – Breaking news on the browser market in March 2011 with two expected releases: Internet Explorer 9 on the 15th March, and Firefox 4 on the 22nd. What follows is the first results of the battle between the latest versions of the most used browsers in Europe.

      • Mozilla’s “Do Not Track” header gaining support

        Mozilla, the non-profit organisation behind the Firefox web browser, has announced that it’s proposed “Do Not Track” (DNT) header is gaining industry support. In a post on the Mozilla Blog, Alex Fowler, Technology and Privacy Officer for the Mozilla Foundation, says that “Two developments bring it closer to being respected by industry”.

      • Mozilla to Crack Down on Add-ons Slowing Down Firefox

        Browser add-ons are a great way of bolting on new functionality and customizing the experience to a high degree. But they’re also a great way of slowing down browser quite a lot, which is why Mozilla is introducing several new measures to cut down on poorly optimized add-ons for Firefox.

  • SaaS

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice

      Now I’ve never been a big fan of OpenOffice. I saw it as a huge pile of legacy code with little future. Part of that was due to the “WE OWN OPENOFFICE” Governance from Sun/Oracle, part due the the slowness and UI horror.

    • Oracle Dominated JCP Approves Java Specifications

      Java Community Process Executive Committee, which has become an Oracle-IBM owned body post Apache’s exit, has approve the Java Specification Request (JSR) for the next release of the Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) 7 – JSR 342.

      Oracle said in a press statement that Java EE 7 will further enhance the Java EE platform for cloud environments. As a result, Java EE 7 based applications and products will be able to more easily operate on private or public clouds and deliver their functionality as a service with support for features such as multi-tenancy and elasticity (horizontal scaling).

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Collaborative Software raises $3.7M

      Portland-based open source software startup Collaborative Software Initiative Inc. has raised $3.7 million in new capital investment.

      The funds, disclosed this week, come from OVP Venture Partners and the Oregon Angel Fund. They are part of an expected $5.8 million funding round, said Stuart Cohen, the company’s CEO and former head of nonprofit Open Source Development Labs.

  • Project Releases

  • Government

    • UK Government ICT Strategy resources
    • 10 years on, where next for open source and open standards in UK Government?

      The Cabinet Office publication of a procurement policy note on open standards for government IT requirements is the latest in a long line of policy requirements concerning both open standards and open source.

    • Government Cost-Cutting Plan Embraces Open Source

      Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude outlined the plans today, promising to create a level playing field for open source software and impose compulsory open standards, starting with interoperability and security.

      “For too long, Government has wasted vast amounts of money on ineffective and duplicate IT systems,” said Maude. “We will end the oligopoly of big business supplying government IT by breaking down contracts into smaller, more flexible projects. This will open up the market to SMEs and new providers.”

    • The U.S. Federal Government Open Sources Two Useful Tools

      The two open source tools are called IT Dashboard and TechStat Toolkit, and Kundra writes:

      “We launched the IT Dashboard and the TechStat Accountability Sessions to improve IT transparency and accountability across the Federal Government. The Dashboard has helped us shine a light on IT projects, providing performance data to fuel TechStat reviews, which have led to over $3 billion in cost reductions. Today we are releasing the software code of the IT Dashboard and the TechStat toolkit to the public for two reasons. First, to take the platform to the next level, we want to tap into the collective talents and ingenuity of the American people, to enhance functionality, improve the code and address existing challenges such as those identified by David Powner and his team at GAO. Second, CIOs from across the country and around the world such as Maarten Hillenaar of the Netherlands, Kyle Schafer in West Virginia and Jason DeHaan of the City of Chicago are all interested in implementing these platforms in their respective organizations.”

    • Can The Public Sector Be Agile?

      The other, even if it is tokenistic, plus is the publication of the report in Open Document Format, a truly open standard. (It is also available in Word and as a PDF). A government spokeswoman did admit that she didn’t actually have anyway of opening an ODT document and it is noticeable that on the web page they don’t have an icon for ODT, but it is at least a move in the right direction.

      Slightly more concerning is the presumption against any IT contract that will cost more than £100 million over its lifetime.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • FIRST Open Source Robotics Competitions Teach Collaboration

      Among unsung open source collaboration efforts, the FIRST annual robotics competition deserves much more attention than it gets. Aimed at students, including young children, noted inventor of the Segway scooter Dean Kamen is behind the program, which challenges students to develop open source robotics software and components, with prizes for the winners. This program tends to fly mostly under the radar, but year after year it produces ever more interesting incentives for students.

    • Open Hardware

      • Q&A: Open Source Electronics Pioneer Limor Fried on the DIY Revolution

        Limor Fried is a maker’s maker. Sure, she’s got prime geek credentials: She earned an electrical engineering degree from MIT, invented several delightfully nerdy things to do with Altoid tins, and reverse-engineered the legendary Roland TB-303 synthesizer. Now she runs Adafruit Industries, a New York City company that makes open source electronics kits and components for the growing tide of DIYers who are inventing the future. But that’s not why she’s on the cover of Wired. This is why:

      • Father of the Atom leaves Intel

        Intel announced today that Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and general manager of its Ultra Mobility Group (UMG), will be leaving the company. While a reason for the resignation was not cited, it could be related to the chip giant’s failure to obtain smartphone design wins for its Atom processor.

  • Programming

    • List of accepted organizations released for Google Summer of Code 2011

      Google Summer of Code is a world-wide program that encourages students to participate in coding Open Source software by offering a paid stipend for participation in the project. Students are paired with a mentor from one of the registered projects.

    • MyEclipse and MyEclipse Blue Edition: Smarter Developer Technologies with HTML5 and Java EE6 Support
    • Revolution Analytics and IBM Netezza Bring Enterprise-Ready R to the Data Warehouse

      Revolution Analytics, the leading commercial provider of R software, services and support, and IBM Netezza today announced a partnership to integrate Revolution R Enterprise and the IBM Netezza TwinFin ® Data Warehouse Appliance. For the first time, customers seeking to run high performance and full-scale predictive analytics from within a data warehouse platform will be able to directly leverage the power of the open source R statistics language. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will work together to create a version of Revolution’s software that takes advantage of IBM Netezza’s i-class technology so that Revolution R Enterprise can run in-database in an optimal fashion.

    • 2011 Eclipse Board Election Results

      I am pleased to announce the results of the 2011 Eclipse Foundation Board elections.

      The elected Committer Member representatives for 2011 will be:

      * Chris Aniszczyk
      * Boris Bokowski
      * Ed Merks

      The elected Sustaining Member (e.g. Solution and Enterprise Member) representatives for 2011 will be:

      * Eric Clayberg (Google)
      * Hans Kamutzki (MicroDoc)
      * Mik Kersten (Tasktop)

    • Eclipse Foundation Launches Open Beta of OrionHub

      The Eclipse Foundation is pleased to announce that developers may now sign-up for access to a beta version of the OrionHub service, a hosted implementation of Orion. Orion is a new Eclipse initiative to define a platform for building and integrating web development tools. An early release of Orion provides web developers with an editor for JavaScript, HTML and CSS that runs in popular browsers and the ability to easily link with popular web-based tools. The OrionHub service provided by the Eclipse Foundation will allow developers to experiment with Orion and provide feedback to the Orion open source community.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • W3C Investigates Convergence of Web and TV

      Not that long ago the TV screen and the computer monitor were two very separate and distinct devices. That’s no longer the case.

      In an effort to try and help guide best practices and standards for a converged world, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has setup a Web and TV Interest Group. The charter for the group is for it to help identify requirements and potential solutions to ensure that the Web will work well with TV. The group recently held a meeting to help identify some of the issues that are currently facing the converged Web and TV world.

    • ODF Plugfest Video Interview with Mark Taylor

      While he actively particpiated in the odf plugfest he also took time out to interview some of the key attendees at the event and has been kindly agreed to let us post the interview he did with Mark Taylor.


  • The Bizarre Cathedral – 95
  • Science

    • Meet the 12 year old with an IQ higher than Stephen Hawking’s

      Meet Jacob Barnett, now 12 years old, mildly autistic and with an IQ of 170 – higher than Stephen Hawkings and Albert Einstein. At age three, he was solving 5,000 piece jigsaw puzzles and now he’s already got a paid research position at Indiana University.

      For a taster of this little man’s out-of-this-world genius, watch this (and enjoy his mother’s comedic timing). There are plenty more videos on his mother’s YouTube channel too.

  • Hardware

    • UNIX Warfare: Oracle Tried To Kill Itanium; HP-Intel Came To Rescue

      Ironically, Intel made an statement quite contrary to what Oracle says. Intel’s president and chief executive officer Paul Otellini, said, “Intel’s work on Intel Itanium processors and platforms continues unabated with multiple generations of chips currently in development and on schedule. We remain firmly committed to delivering a competitive, multi-generational roadmap for HP-UX and other operating system customers that run the Itanium architecture.”

  • Security

  • Cablegate

    • Who Blocked the Whistleblower Protection Act?

      Last January, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) and New York radio station WNYC sought help from the public to find out which senator put an anonymous secret hold on the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, killing the bill at the end of the last congressional term.

    • Bradley Manning : 300 Days

      Today sees the depressing milestone that Bradley Manning has been imprisoned for 300 days. I was proud to speak at the rally in support of him on the 20th March outside the US Embassy, like demonstrators across the globe.

      For over seven months he has been held in military arrest in conditions that most of us could not imagine enduring. To be confined in a tiny windowless cell. To be held in solitary confinement 23 hours a day. To be forced to stand naked. To be put under intolerable psychological pressure. No wonder that Clive Stafford Smith, director of Reprieve, likened the conditions to those in Guantanamo Bay.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Five Worst Things the Koch Brothers Have Done. Vote!

      The billionaire Koch brothers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to gain political influence and change America. Their work and spending is driven by the goal of increasing their own profit through decreasing regulations. The expansive and diverse nature of their efforts makes it overwhelming to keep tabs of all they’ve done that has caused harm. And that’s why Brave New Foundation is going to keep connecting the dots and telling the full story of what they’ve done to our country.

      Our work at Brave New Films has always focused on the best way to tell the full story, to connect all the moving pieces and to highlight how one example of a problem in our democracy is always representative of a larger problem

    • Post-Japan Disaster, Legislators Dish Out Pro-Nuclear Spin

      The disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant hasn’t stopped some U.S. legislators from insisting U.S. nuclear power plants are completely safe, but that support may be based less on facts than on financial influence.

    • Is Your Underwear Undermining Your Values? What Is Jockey’s CEO Doing at a Tea Partiers’ Convention and with David Koch?
  • Finance

    • Goldman Borrowed From Fed Discount Window at Least Five Times, Data Show

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) tapped the Federal Reserve’s discount window at least five times since September 2008, according to central bank data that contradict an executive’s testimony last year.

      Goldman Sachs Bank USA, a unit of the company, took overnight loans from the Federal Reserve on Sept. 23, Oct. 1, and Oct. 23 in 2008 as well as on Sept. 9, 2009, and Jan. 11, 2010, according to the data released today. The largest loan was $50 million on Sept. 23 and the smallest was $1 million on the most recent two occasions.

    • Goldman Sachs CEO Rakes In $21.7 Million In 2010

      Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein received a major hike in his 2010 compensation, according to a proxy statement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today.

    • The Future of the State

      The March 19 issue of The Economist included a special report on The Future of the State. In an excellent series of articles, the special report explains why the continuing growth of government is no longer sustainable, especially in the more advanced economies with aging populations like the US and Western Europe. It highlights what some governments are doing to address the problem, especially Singapore and Britain. Finally, the report offers a set of recommendations that governments might follow if they want to get a handle on the extremely complex and challenging problem of reforming the state.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Group Called “Citizens for a Strong America” Operates out of a UPS Mail Drop but Runs Expensive Ads in Supreme Court Race?

      A new special interest group has purchased an expensive TV ad campaign in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race but operates out of a UPS store. The self-named “Citizens for a Strong America” (CSA) advertises its address as “834 Park Avenue #306″ in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, but this address is nothing more than a box at a UPS Store. The TV ad campaign attacks Supreme Court candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg for an ad that was not created by her campaign. The ad CSA is complaining about argues that Supreme Court candidate Justice David Prosser failed to prosecute a priest who young boys said had molested them. (CMD does not endorse or oppose either candidate; CMD reports on front groups, PR campaigns, and spin, with a particular focus on corporate-funded spin.)

    • FOX to Be Fined by FCC for Fake News; CMD’s Complaint on “Video News Releases” Nets New Proposed Fines

      A FOX News station has been sent a notice of a proposed fine for airing fake news in the form of a “video news release” (VNR) without disclosing that the “news” segment featuring General Motors was produced to promote GM’s cars.

  • Censorship

    • EU Commission Pushing For a Censhorship Infrastructure

      As the European Commission’s consultation on the revision of the anti-sharing directive (IPRED) is coming to an end, let’s look at a hearing that took place in January at the European Court of Justice. At issue is the injunction pronounced by a Belgian judge forcing an Internet Access Provider (IAP) to implement broad filtering mechanisms to block all unauthorized transmissions of copyrighted works. In this case, the Commission is pushing forward a pro-copyright industry approach by calling for more repression. Such increased repression is also promoted through the upcoming revision of IPRED. It has to be stopped.

  • Civil Rights/Koch

    • Maine’s Governor Orders Removal of Public Mural Depicting Workers

      The Governor of Maine, Paul LePage, ordered a commemorative public mural depicting Maine’s labor history be removed from the state’s Department of Labor, saying he had gotten complaints that the artwork was too pro-labor. The 36-feet long, 8-foot tall work by Judy Taylor of Tremont, Maine depicts workers like Rosie the Riveter, child laborers, shoemakers, textile workers, strikers and the first female American cabinet member, Frances Perkins, who served as U.S. Labor Secretary.

    • Corporate Interests Try to Split American Workers

      Corporate America’s Strategy: Divide and Conquer

      So why are so many corporate-funded ad campaigns pushing the idea that public sector workers are Public Enemy Number One, and why now?

      As with so many other PR tactics corporations are using right now, we need to look to the tobacco industry — the original authors of corporate America’s PR Playbook — to better understand the persuasive efforts filling the media landscape that are designed to shape public sentiment towards various sectors of American workers.

      A previously-secret, internal Philip Morris (PM) presentation from 1996 reveals that company’s long-term plan to divide the ranks of anti-smoking advocacy groups, like the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society the American Heart Association and others, to weaken their joint efforts to reduce smoking rates. Just like public sector workers, these organizations command tremendous credibility with the public. When these groups join together to advance a single cause, they muster significant power to sway public and legislative opinion. When these organizations unite to advocate effective policies, like public smoking restrictions, together they can really make a difference. Thus these nonprofits were formidable opponents for tobacco companies, and a force that PM needed to hobble.

    • Kochs Fund $5.6 Million Ad Campaign in Ohio

      Billionaires Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries are funneling $5.6 million through the astroturf group FreedomWorks for an Ohio TV ad campaign starting March 18, 2011 that continues the attack on labor unions that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker started in February.

    • Glenn Beck Laughs at Worries about Japanese Nuclear Disaster; Dismisses Concerns as Soros Propaganda

      Charlatan Glenn Beck launched an absurd effort to discredit concerns about the cascading failures of the nuclear plants in Japan in the wake of the 9.0 quake and tsunami. In a genuinely shocking and callous segment on his radio show, Beck literally laughed off concerns about the potential nuclear meltdown.

    • David Koch Donates to Fight Cancer While His Company Fights the Regulation of Carcinogens
    • Fox News’ “Madison Protest” Footage Aims to Deceive
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • LQDN’s Response to the IPRED Consultation

      La Quadrature du Net has sent its submission to the European consultation on the “Intellectual Property Rights” Directive (IPRED). The citizen organization asks the EU Commission to renounce to increasing repression against the sharing of cultural goods over the Internet, and calls for an open-minded reflection on the future of copyright, patent and trademarck law. Lawmakers, citizens and NGOs must all engage in this crucial debate that will directly shape the future of the Internet.

    • Trademarks

      • Apple’s Stupid Trademark Cases: Now Including Emacs

        Apple has become progressively more aggressive about its products’ trademarks lately. The more talked-about example has been its aggression regarding the term “App Store” The problem is that Apple itself would refer to “app store” generically and even talked about other companies’ possible “app stores”, yet now, when Microsoft wants to make an “app store” for the Windows Phone operating system, Apple is claiming that “App” is short for “Apple”. This is truly disingenuous because practically every app developer on the face of this planet and many users out there too know that “app” has always stood for “application”, not “Apple”. Well, this sort of behavior has gone on even further. Many thanks to the good folks at Tuxmachines and LXer for providing the links; you can go to those sites to follow the original links. Follow the jump to read more.

    • Copyrights

      • BitTorrent Case Judge Is a Former RIAA Lobbyist and Pirate Chaser

        Less than a week after her investiture ceremony, U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell laid down a landmark verdict that will make it easy for copyright holders to send cash demands to people they suspect of copyright infringement. Many people called the decision into doubt, and the revelation that Judge Howell previously worked as an RIAA lobbyist and as the Managing Director of a pirate-chasing outfit hints at a conflict of interest.

      • Digital Economy (UK)/HADOPI

        • The Future of the Digital Economy Act

          Comparisons were then drawn with the French ‘Hadopi’ scheme, with evidence from the MPA suggesting that while Hadopi was “more aggressive” than the DEA, the European Commission’s objections to it had apparently been resolved; the argument being that if Hadopi was acceptable to the EC, so must the (allegedly weaker) DEA.

Clip of the Day

GNOME 3: Creating a Workspace

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 2/4/2011: Scientific Linux 6.0 Released, GNOME 3.0 Delays

Posted in News Roundup at 4:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Lady Gaga goes gaga over Ubuntu

    After enthralling the techies at Google last week, Lady Gaga has given her geek fans another reason to smile. In a press conference this Monday, the Grammy award-winning singer confessed that she is an avid fan of Ubuntu, the Linux-based operating system. Since then, Ubuntu has seen a massive surge in its popularity; particularly among teenagers.

  • 6 Linux Pranks for April Fools’ Day

    There’s been no shortage of April Fools’ Day pranks in the tech world this year, and the Linux community is no exception.

  • Desktop

    • ZaReason Teo Pro Netbook Proves Its Netbook Mettle

      It’s been nearly a month since I started testing the Teo Pro netbook, and the verdict is in: well-rounded, well-balanced and girlfriend-approved. What gives this machine such high marks? Read on for the full details …

      For a quick refresher, check out the preview article early in March 2011. To recap, however, my ZaReason Teo Pro netbook came equipped with 1.6GHz Atom CPU, 2GB of RAM and 160GB hard drive. Of course, like all ZaReason products, it’s running Ubuntu — this one featuring the latest version of Ubuntu 10.10.

      First, the good stuff. The Teo Pro is a mobile powerhouse. I’m not sure if that’s because of the 2GB of RAM, or the responsiveness I always see with Linux, but every click felt responsive. Every app loaded quickly. The entire computer boots up in 25 seconds. But what about for nitty-gritty, everyday use? I took user suggestions from my preview story and submitted the Teo Pro to the kind of torture readers wanted me to.

  • Server

    • Performance of Thin Clients on GNU/Linux

      What’s more, these tests were done with that other OS on the server. GNU/Linux scales a lot better and the real world does not have the whole office pushing enter at the same time. Intel’s test showed things taking 5 times longer with just 5 clients. My tests in a real world with real users shows tasks taking no more time with 20 users than with one user and in addition, tasks running on the server are faster than clients running on the client. That’s because people are not robots and real servers have multiple and faster drives than desktops from Dell usually have.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • The kde-www war: part 3

        Just a quick history lesson. In the introductory post we highlighted several tell-tale symptoms that KDE.org had a very big usability and design problem. In part 1 of the war, we discussed a back-to-basics question what are we trying to communicate, what are we trying to achieve, and outlined goals for our various target audiences. In part 2 of the war, we started to achieve the goals outlined in part 1 via restructuring the pages and site map in order to distinctly separate between the KDE: The Community and KDE: Software. In this part, we’re going to focus on the home page – the central entrance hub for new members, and how we can use design elements to achieve part 1′s goals, and still cover all of the masses of content that KDE has to showcase in a streamlined manner as in part 2, and even reenforce KDE’s identity in the process.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Delaying GNOME 3.0, again

        The Bangalore Hackfest was really useful for the release team to evaluate the status of GNOME 3. We really want GNOME 3 to be amazing, and various recent events lead us to wonder if doing the release next week is a good thing; we had a lot of discussion and meetings, and we even had a call with the Board to evaluate different options.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Scientific Linux 6.0 Released

        Linux adoption in the scientific community is very high for many reasons. Cost is a significant issue, as many university research groups typically have small computing budgets. Another key factor is the availability of quality tools and a community of support. Python has a tremendous amount of support in the academic and scientific community, specifically around tools like matplotlib, NumPy and SciPy. The recently held Pycon conference featured a large number of talks on Python in the scientific community.

      • A SCO Openserver to Red Hat Linux Conversion

        Any regular visitors to Tony’s site know that he “encourages” users to get off of SCO and onto Linux. Well, our company had been running our integrated software, written in Providex (a Business BASIC variant) for many years, and finally it was time. Before telling the tale though, I just wanted to say a couple of nice things about SCO. I certainly don’t agree with their litigation-as-a-business-strategy, but their OS did run our software very well with a minimum of problems. We started with 5.0.0 way back in late 1996, and had 5.0.7 running up until a couple of months ago. Here is how it went :
        Step 1 : Serial Terminals from C/X Concentrators onto Portservers

        This phase started before the server change, as Digi still provided SCO Openserver drivers for Portservers. Our existing C/X concentrators were linked throughout our site using Digi’s Fiber-Link devices, which communicated over fiber at 1.2 Mbaud. I was looking to buy a spare pair of Fiber-Link devices, and learned that they were no longer available. So I researched the Portservers, and decided to move over to those, as we already had network switches at each fiber end-point anyway. That went well, and the Portservers worked well, but I had a funky problem with the Zebra label printers that were connected via the terminal’s Aux port. They would somehow lose their handshaking, and would not come back even after resetting the Portserver. Luckily, most of the printers were the S4M model, which have a 9-pin female serial port. So I purchased some RJ45-DB9 adapters, and set up the printers with their own serial line. The nice thing about getting away from the C/X series, was that no host card was required. Also, If we had one server down, I could execute the drgp_cfg_node command from the other server, and provision the terminal sessions from the other site.

      • Red Hat execs pushed hard for incentives

        When Gov. Beverly Perdue donned a red fedora on Jan. 10 to join in an announcement that Red Hat was staying put in Raleigh, the celebratory mood was in stark contrast to the back-room, high-stakes drama that led up to the big day.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Natty Narwhal with Unity: Worst Ubuntu beta ever

          Last year, Mark Shuttleworth christened Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal”, saying the disto would be stylish and create a good, lasting first impression.

          While its debut in beta form is smart looking and definitely chases the fashion in operating-system design it’s also the single worst beta release of Ubuntu I’ve ever tested.

          That’s not to say there isn’t much to love in Ubuntu 11.04 with the new Unity Interface being the primary news, but even for a beta this release is way too rough. Unity – regardless of what you think of it – isn’t ready for prime time and it seems unlikely Canonical will iron out all its problems before the planned final release in April.

        • A dark new future Compiz
        • Five neat changes in today’s Unity update
        • First Look: Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Beta 1

          Since this is a beta it is not intended for real usage, and neither is it fair to carry out a full review.

        • First look at the next generation of Ubuntu Tweak!

          It has been a long time since the release of last version of Ubuntu Tweak, what is the development status of it now?

          Before we talk about the new Ubuntu Tweak, let’s go back to the November 2009.

        • Ubuntu Tweak unveils new look, features for Ubuntu 11.04
        • How to disable Unity and go back to the classic interface in Ubuntu 11.04 ‘Natty Narwhal’

          Since several people have asked the exact same question I decided to throw up a quick post on how to go back to the classic interface in Ubuntu 11.04 ‘Natty Narwhal’ rather than the new, swish looking Unity UI.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Review: Elementary OS 0.1 “Jupiter”

            Well, after quite a long wait, it has finally happened: the first official release of Elementary OS is here! Codenamed version 0.1 “Jupiter”, it’s based on Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat”, so you may be thinking to yourself, “Why should I care about yet another Ubuntu derivative?” I’ll admit that I had (and still have) slightly bought into the hype about Elementary OS, but there are plenty of reasons to care about Elementary OS. Let’s look at some history.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Richard M Stallman Says Its Linux Not GNU/Linux; Linus Upset With Android

          Richard M Stallman the father of free software movement yesterday stated that “Its Linux and not GNU/Linux…” He was speaking at the Brussels Free Software & Linux forum.

          The statement came when a journalist asked, “So, Richard, is it still the GNU/Linux vs Linux debate or you guys have reached any solution?”

          One of the free software advocates, present among the audience, stated, “It must be noted that Linux is the kernel where as GNU is the user-land or the layer on top of Linux which you and I use. In addition to that GNU has played a major role in bringing useful applications to Linux, in other words GNU has put some sense into Linux. Linux itself is nothing without GNU.”

Free Software/Open Source

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice


    • GNU/Hurd 0.401 is released!

      We’d like to pass on these marvelous news from our Release Management Team, headed by Release Manager Samuel Thibault…

  • Government

    • FR: Space agency to use Apache Commons Math

      On 18 March 2011, the Apache Commons team announced that the French space agency Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES) had selected the open source software Apache Commons Math as part of the basis of its future space flight dynamics systems, project Sirius.

  • Programming

    • MacOS X is an Unsuitable Platform for Web Development

      Part of the process of becoming a new eBay employee is selecting your company laptop. I was offered a choice: Lenovo Thinkpad or MacBook Pro. Coming from a Linux development world, I picked the Mac, thinking it would be closer to what I am used to.

      Man, did I fuck up.

      Thankfully, I still have my Ubuntu workstation to get real work done on, but the Mac does it duty — running Outlook, maybe Firefox or Google Chrome every now and then. Oh, I also have VMWare installed on it so I can boot Windows to browser test in Internet Explorer. I should have picked the PC, at least then I would save myself the step of booting VMWare.

      So what’s wrong with using the Mac as a development machine for Milo, a Python application backed by PostgreSQL and Redis (or any web project, for that matter)? Well, sacred cow, here come the spears.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The Openness of the UK

      So, the approach includes mandatory open standards. The UK plans to impose compulsory open standards, starting with interoperability and security. What those standards are, is currently under discussion, and there is an open survey on 270 standards.

      What the UK quickly will discover, of course, as they raise the stakes on what their interoperability framework means in practice, is that maintaining a list of such standards is not easy, that opinions on which ones should be included will differ, and that one government rarely decides for a global market, but must enter into dialogue and actively contribute to standardization where it occurs, not ex post in a government decree. There is indeed efficiency in having a single standard for each area of interoperability. However, in practice, the marketplace may embrace multiple and competing standards.


      Mandating Open Document Format (ODF) in Government
      In that camp, it is relatively straight forward. There is only one candidate. ODF is a special case where the “winner” can be clearly called. ODF is the only fully-open and widely used, editable document format. ODF is being adopted by governments around the world (Denmark, South Africa, The Netherlands, India, Russia, etc.).

      ODF is implemented in many office programs, including ours. Based on the Open Document Format (ODF) and open web standards, Oracle Open Office enables users to share files on any system as it is compatible with both legacy Microsoft Office documents and de facto formats and Portable Document Format (PDF). For that reason, Oracle is engaged in standardization of ODF, the only truly open standard for office interoperability.

    • Document Freedom Day

      Today is Document Freedom Day but you probably went to work anyway.

      Document Freedom Day may be one of the most misunderstood days on the open source calendar.

      Many who see the term probably think it relates to issues of copyright, and support for Creative Commons content. Or they may think it’s an answer to The New York Times’ paywall.

      Neither is true.

      Document Freedom Day isn’t about documents, but how documents are created.


  • Digitimes Insight: Acer needs new business model for mobile devices

    Facing fierce competition in the mobile device market, Acer has decided to replace its CEO and president Gianfranco Lanci. The company may not have to completely abandon its existing strategies of giving more emphasis on marketing than on product R&D because of Lanci’s departure. But it definitively must devote more efforts to mobile devices and establish a new business model that leverages its current advantages.

  • Foxconn announces $218 million loss for 2010

    Foxconn, the manufacturer of Apple’s iPad 2, has announced a net loss of $218 million for 2010, citing ‘tough challenges’ including shifting market dynamics and increased competition from rivals.

  • Top five datacenter stories that sound like April Fool’s, but aren’t.
  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • By merely bolstering the weaker side, we are prolonging Libya’s civil war

      Welcome to 21st-century war, liberal style. You do not fix an objective and use main force to get it. You nuance words, bomb a little, half assassinate, scare, twist, spin and make it up as you go along. Nato’s Libyan campaign is proving a field day for the new interventionism. Seemingly desperate to scratch another Muslim itch, Britain’s laptop bombardiers and their tame lawyers go into a daily huddle to choreograph the latest visitation of death on some wretched foreigners.

      Each day the tacticians tot up a gruesome calculus of wins and losses. Wednesday’s defection of Libya’s foreign minister, Moussa Koussa, somehow cancelled out two days of retreat by the rebels towards Benghazi. That retreat cancelled out a weekend of victory over Gaddafi’s army along the northern highway. Nato bombing cancelled out rebel ineffectiveness. Everything is stalemate punctuated by surprise.

  • Cablegate

    • Reflections on Wikileaks, Spycatcher and Freedom of the Press – speech given to Sydney University Law School 31 March 2011

      220 years ago the United States of America ratified the Bill of Rights, the most influential clause of which is the First Amendment:

      “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”


      The lesson for Governments, apart from improving their security, is to assume that everything said or written will, sooner or later, see the light of day. That may not be a good thing, and it certainly doesn’t make life easier, but it is, I fear, a reality.

      The Governments with most to fear from such disclosure are those whose public statements are at odds with their private opinions – and as I noted earlier so far it appears, to its credit, that the US State Department’s private cables have been consistent with their public policy.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Gulf Coast Residents Dismayed as Effects of Oil Spill Continue

      A billboard on Highway 1 says: Devastating Spill, Devastating Feelings. Inside the Gulf Coast Claims Facility building on the far end of Grand Isle, about 60 people have turned out for a National Resource Damage Assessment public scoping meeting. “You talk about 18 months or so before we get started,” a resident tell trustees. “That’s a long time for us who live here, while our environment and animals are dying.

  • Finance

    • Citibank debt collectors allegedly kill client

      An employee of Citibank and two debt collectors hired by the major international bank allegedly killed a customer who complained about his ballooning credit card bill.

      Citibank customer Irzen Octa, who was also the secretary-general for the National Unity Party (PPB), was allegedly killed by the three suspects after complaining that his credit card bill was inflated from Rp 48 million (US$5,300) to Rp 100 million at the bank’s branch office in Jamsostek Tower in Central Jakarta.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • North Carolina bill would prohibit cities from upgrading Internet access

      The Republican-dominated North Carolina State Assembly this week approved a bill that would prohibit communities from upgrading their internet access, forcing individual municipalities into a private monopoly of managed broadband services by companies like Time Warner and Comcast.

      Both firms have been restricting the amount of bandwidth users can consume, even though bandwidth itself is not a tangible, meter-able commodity.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Startup companies and the IP playing field

      We would like to thank the European Commission for this opportunity to provide feedback on the Report.

      To stimulate startup companies, the EU legal situation should minimize market entrance risks for innovators. Startup companies are often confronted with patent minefields. Even a mere allegation of infringement may easily lead to market exclusion. Startup companies often do not have enough resources to litigate. Established players in late stages of their own market life cycle may abuse the patent system to stifle entrants and emerging competitors, patent trolls drain market entrants in a phase where they want to grow.

    • Copyrights

      • Discussions About Scarcity vs. Abundance In Copyright From A Century Ago Sound Just Like Those Today

        A reader by the name of Shadow-Slider points us to a fascinating report from a 1897 Copyright Commission in Great Britain in which the report points out how content is different than real property because of the difference between scarcity and abundance. It sounds very much like what we discuss here — just well over a century ago.

      • Why Is It Rocket Science That Laws Should Apply Online Too?

        One of the primary demands of the Pirate Party has been that the same laws that apply offline should also apply online. I think it’s an entirely reasonable thing to demand; the Internet is not a special case, but part of reality. The problems appear when an obsolete but powerful industry realizes that this just and equal application of laws means they can’t enforce a distribution monopoly any longer.

        To understand the absurdity of the copyright industry’s demands, we must pause and consider which rights we take for absolute granted in the analog world. These are rights that already apply in the digital part of reality as well, but are somehow hidden in a legal game of hide-and-seek.

      • The IP Maximalist’s Guide To Making It Big

        Techdirt talks a lot about how to make money in the music biz without actually selling music. Consider this an improvement. With these instructions, you’ll hardly have to produce any music at all, and if you do, you won’t have to go through all that time-intensive and “extremely expensive” production/promotion stuff.

      • TV Site Sued For Linking To Completely Legal Videos

        There are thousands of sites that link to video on the Internet and it’s becoming increasingly common for them to be threatened by rightsholders when they link to unauthorized content. However, things have gone a stage further as a site is now being sued by a copyright group for linking to completely legal content provided by official sources.

      • Parliamentary question on the EU Commission’s new copyright czar

        Yesterday it was reported that the EU Commission has appointed former IFPI lobbyist Maria Martin-Pratt to be the new Head of Unit responsible for copyright issues at the Commission.

Clip of the Day

How to root HTC Hero, Desire, EVO 4G, Wildfire, Aria, Incredible,

Credit: TinyOgg

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