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Links 3/6/2011: Google Censors Emulators After Pressure, More OpenOffice.org Analysis

Posted in News Roundup at 5:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • What computer users should know, but don’t.

    1. Know your operating system. Knowing what operating system and version you have is a great help for when you have problems and need outside help. It also helps for when you wish to install programs so you can choose the correct one for your operating system.

  • Linux’s ‘Killer Feature’: Impossible to Choose Just One

    Well, June has arrived for another year, and that means the dog days of summer can’t be far behind.

    Scorching temperatures have already begun to beat down upon parts of the Linux blogosphere, in fact, which may be why there’s nary a barstool to be found down at the seedy but well air-conditioned Punchy Penguin Saloon, where Linux Girl plans to stay until, oh, say, October or so.

    There’s been plenty to discuss in recent days, of course, what with Computex going on and all the excitement over Oracle’s (Nasdaq: ORCL) OpenOffice move, but many bloggers have preferred to keep their spirits up with a spirited debate instead.

  • Five Things Every Windows User Should Know

    PC users owe it to themselves to consider their options, and those options include a broad array of Linux distributions tailored to virtually every need.

  • Desktop

    • Asus to ship Ubuntu netbooks

      Asus has started selling its Eee PC netbooks preloaded with Ubuntu 10.10.

      Asus will initially sell the 1001PXD, 1011PX and 1015PX, with more models added through the year.

      The original Asus Eee PC 701 – which kickstarted the netbook craze in 2007 – ran on a version of Xandros Linux, prompting speculation that Linux was on the verge of a mainstream breakthrough. It was quickly superseded by Windows XP, however, with tales of high return rates of Linux-based netbooks.

    • ChromeOS huge niche market…???

      The Traditional Desktop computer, on the other hand is a Jack of all trades, a multipurpose, powerhouse tool. With the conventional computer you have flexibility and power. Once again that is not what the Chrome OS is meant to give.

      So, being that the mobile netbook/tablet market and the traditional desktop market are not compatible with the new ChromeOS Operating System and the devices optimized for it. What can we use it for? Where, in the vast operating system lanscape, we can find its niche market?

      In the medium to large Desktop monitors… I think! With the ChromeOS installed there, we only need to add a keyboard with a touch pad and/or a mouse to have a working, comfortable, Internet access device. Simple to setup, simple to use, and optimized to do what 95 percent of the traditional Desktop Users do with their computers. Surf the net for work and fun.

    • We review the System76 Serval Pro: Is it the best Ubuntu laptop ever?

      Independent Ubuntu computer manufacturer System76 refreshed their popular 15.6″ Serval Professional line earlier this year, upgrading the laptop with an impressively fast second gen Intel Sandy Bridge i7 quad core processor, powerful Nvidia graphics, a lovely 1080p display and lots of options for optical drives and storage.

  • Server

    • That Other OS Fails

      Netcraft has produced their monthly rating of reliability of hosting companies. Out of 41 listed, only 5 run that other OS while 24 run GNU/Linux.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Hardware and “3.0″ difficulties

      The two-figure version numbers are still creating quite a bit of hassle that the developers are working hard to overcome. Inaccurate work by hardware manufacturers causes problems with rebooting and with the handling of UEFI hardware. The maintenance of kernel series 2.6.38 is soon to be discontinued.

      Only hours after the first release candidate of Linux 3.0 was issued, the developers released the first patches to improve the way the kernel handles version numbers which consist of two, instead of three, numbers. Changes include a workaround which allows the version of the depmod program that was current until recently to cope with Linux 3.0. At the same time, a patch to fix the cause of the depmod problems was incorporated in version 3.13 of the module-init-tools, which were also released shortly after Linux 3.0-rc1. Several developers have suggested that, due to these and similar problems, Torvalds should consider using version number 3.0.0 instead of 3.0; however, the alpha male of Linux kernel development has so far not commented on this.

    • The early days of Linux – join us as we celebrate 100 issues of Linux User & 20 years of Linux

      2011 is a year of milestones. Not only is it the year that sees Linux User magazine turn 100, but it’s also a year that Linux celebrates it’s 20th birthday. What better way to commemorate these auspicious occasions than with a walk down memory lane courtesy of past Linux User editor, Richard Hillesley?

  • Applications

    • Proprietary

      • Skype protocol reverse engineered, source available for download

        Hello, I’am Efim Bushmanov a freelance researcher and here is my project files on skype research.

        While “Wall Street Journal” makes politics and skype today’s trend, i want to publish my research on this. My aim is to make skype open source. And find friends who can spend many hours for completely reverse it.

      • Researcher reverse-engineers Skype, makes code available publicly

        Just weeks after Microsoft announced it had acquired Skype for $8.5 billion, a Russian researcher has announced that he has successfully been able to reverse engineer the official Skype desktop implementation in an attempt to make the service open source.

      • Skype Reverse Engineered

        Good news for Free Software and open protocols: There has been a sucessful attempt to reverse engineer Skype (Magent URI). Nice timing, shortly after Microsoft’s acquisition Skype could finally be broken. :) He is also including modified Skype executables allowing debugging etc., which is usually prevented by really elaborated anti-features (encryption, kills itself if there is a debugger etc.). The sample code is able to send a message via Skype, awesome!

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to triple-boot Fedora 15, Ubuntu 11.04 and Windows 7
      • Gimp 2.6 Cookbook

        I’ve been using graphic photo manipulation software programs for nearly 20 years. After using several, I’ve come to the conclusion that all of them are quite similar in features, bells, and whistles. The main difference comes in how they carry out the task at hand. That is to say, the menus, tool bars, and commands are laid out differently from program to program. So, migrating from one program to another isn’t difficult, it’s just that you need to learn (or relearn) the “moves” and menus in order to get the application to respond to your input.

    • Games

      • 12 Paid Games for Linux Totally Worth the Price

        Oil Rush is a real-time naval strategy game based on group control. It combines the strategic challenge of a classical RTS with the sheer fun of Tower Defence genre. OilRush was expected to be available by 2010 itself, but it didn’t happen. OilRush RTS game for Linux is now available for pre order and you can expect a release very soon. Price: $19.95

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Reflections on Permanently Moving From KDE3 to KDE4: 2 Years Later
      • Efficiently Working With Text Files in KDE (or GNU/Linux in General)

        The bottom line is, if you work a lot with text, consider working with raw text and a powerful editor. Putting the whole thing through an HTML-based piece of software like WordPress or even LaTeX-powered software/front ends like LyX is always possible to do at the end. But the real power is in words; the lighter and faster, the better. To improve access to files and information of interest, divide the text editors/sessions into separate desktops. This reduces movement between desktops and enables focus on particular activities, leaving distractions aside. If you have to open the file manager a lot, then perhaps a better workflow is being missed. Shortcuts too can help.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 15 LXDE review

          Final Thoughts: The last time I used an LXDE-based distribution, LXDE was considered a geeks-only desktop environment. Since then, it seems to have developed into a nearly fully-featured desktop environment. It is usable by all, but not yet at the level of a KDE desktop. The main problem with Fedora Spins is that they do not seem to have received the same level of development attention as the main edition. But if you are looking for an alternative distribution to a GNOME 3-based distribution, and have the time to tweak and customize a lightweight distribution to fit your needs, this LXDE spin might be what you are looking for.

        • Fedora 15 impressions

          Last week, Fedora 15 was officially released. I installed a copy on my laptop, and quickly got back to work. The install process was the fastest I’ve seen for any Linux distro – about 15 minutes to install the complete operating system from the LiveCD installer.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • [Screenshots and Video] First Alpha of Ubuntu 11.10 ‘Oneiric Ocelot’ Brings Some Gnome 3 Magic
          • Ubuntu Certification: DELL PowerEdge Servers

            Over the last few months we have crossed the barrier of over 100 server models certified across all Ubuntu releases currently in maintenance. Last monthly alone we add 30 new servers to the certification list.

            We have been working with DELL to certify a large portion of their PowerEdgeline via what we call component equivalency.

          • The new ‘Celebrate Ubuntu’ YouTube channel

            A new official Ubuntu YouTube channel has popped up stuffed with short promotional videos.

            Called ‘Celebrate Ubuntu’, the channel was set up by Canonicals’ Iain Farrell as a result of discussions held at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in May. Those discussions centred around the idea of creating a ‘community toolkit’ that, as Iain explains on his blog, ‘…would allow anyone excited enough to show off and celebrate their use and love of Ubuntu.’

          • Family Farm game in Ubuntu

            We added Family Farm to the Software Center last week and I took a few hours (of non-work time!) to have a look at it. Summary is that it’s a fun simulation game for the whole family where your job is to build up your farm.

          • “For crying out loud Amber, it’s just a stupid newsletter”
          • Canonical Launches Ubuntu-Ready Hardware Certification

            Most VARs in the open source channel are happy just to get free code contributions from their users. Canonical, however, has taken community engagements one step further with the announcement of a user-driven hardware-certification program. Will it work? Here are some thoughts.

            Most software vendors can probably think of more than a few things they’d rather do than test hardware to make sure it works well with their products. Hardware certification demands many tedious hours, not to mention the acquisition of lots of hardware. Nonetheless, for companies like Canonical, whose main product is the Ubuntu operating system, hardware certification is a must-have to appeal seriously to users who want to be sure the Linux-based OS will be compatible with their computers.

          • Looking For Awesome LoCo Team Blog Feeds
          • Cool Projects That Need Your Help
          • Ubuntu/Xubuntu/Kubuntu/Lubuntu Power Tests

            With the extensive Linux power consumption tests that I’ve been carrying out to solve some nasty Linux kernel power regressions and find other areas for optimization, one of the requests that has come in frequently is to compare the power consumption of the KDE, GNOME, Unity, Xfce, and LXDE desktops. After the article earlier this week to look at how the desktop environments / compositing window managers affect OpenGL performance, I carried out a quick desktop power test. In this article are battery power consumption results for Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and Lubuntu.

          • Ubuntu Power User Branding Winner

            Last week the PowerUser community ran a poll to decide the new logo/branding for our community and the submission by Thorsten Wilms was selected as the winner. Many thanks to Thorsten and all the other people who submitted artwork, they were all fantastic.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Review: Linux Mint 11 “Katya” GNOME

              Linux Mint is currently my favorite Linux distribution of all and is the one I use almost exclusively on a regular basis. Since the release of Linux Mint 9 LTS “Isadora”, I have made it a point to review new releases of Linux Mint. Six months ago, I previewed Linux Mint 10 “Julia” GNOME RC. Since then, I have also reviewed two versions of Debian-based Linux Mint. However, due to Ubuntu’s fixed 6-month release schedule, I haven’t been able to check out the latest version of Ubuntu-based Linux Mint until now.

              Regular readers of this blog know Linux Mint needs no further introduction. The only things to consider while reading this are that Linux Mint also has a Debian-based version that is going strong, while Ubuntu’s state of transition (what with Unity, Wayland, et cetera) could pose difficulties for Ubuntu-based Linux Mint in the future.

            • Bodhi Linux: The Power of E17 Profiles

              One of the many features the Enlightenment desktop has that sets it apart from other desktop environments/window managers is the profiles. Those that have used Bodhi Linux or have compiled Enlightenment from source should already have some idea of what profiles are.

              Profiles are a powerful tool, they control the layout of your enlightenment desktop. I’ve found those coming from other desktops (such as KDE or Gnome) often confuse the idea of profiles with theme. Themes control the colors of your desktop and the appearance of your gadgets.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Google pulls emulators from the Android Market

          The open nature of the Android Market is becoming diminished as Google realizes it needs to take a more active role in its policing it.

          Over the weekend developer Yong Zhang, known on the Android Market as yongzh saw his Android developer account revoked and all the apps he offers removed from the Market. The apps he was offering were all emulators for popular older systems including the NES, SNES, Genesis, N64, Atari, Game Gear, and Game Boy. But Google has seen fit to remove all of them ( including Nesoid, Snesoid, Gensoid, N64oid, Ataroid, Gearoid, and Gameoid).

        • MIPS: More than 90% of Android apps can run on any processor architecture

          Android has been a hot topic at Computex Taipei this year, with various players discussing the pros and cons of developing apps for the respective hardware platforms such as ARM or x86. However when it comes to the MIPS platform, CEO and president of MIPS, Sandeep Vij pointed out that in terms of the application universe, well over 90% of the apps that are available in the Android marketplace work on MIPS.

Free Software/Open Source

  • W3af Open Source App Vulnerability Testing Hits 1.0

    The open source w3af project released a 1.0 stable version this week after five release candidates and months of development. W3af enables developers and security researchers to audit, discover and test Web applications for vulnerabilities.

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Arguments Over the Future of OpenOffice.org

      Don’t expect Oracle’s donation of the code of OpenOffice.org to The Apache Software Foundation to settle anything about the troubled office suite. If the situation does improve, it will be small thanks to Oracle.

      According to Oracle, the donation is proof that “Oracle continues to demonstrate its commitment to the developer and open source communities. Donating OpenOffice.org to Apache gives this popular consumer software a mature, open, and well established infrastructure to continue well into the future.”

      However, from the way that the donation was done, and the situation it leaves the project in, it looks very much like a last spiteful gesture toward the rival Document Foundation, the project that develops LibreOffice, the OpenOffice.org fork. The result is a future that leaves the future as troubled as the present. At the very least, to some observers it appears to show a disdain for the community that borders on arrogance.

    • The big winner from Apache OpenOffice.org

      IBM is still making Lotus Symphony. Remember Symphony? (Don’t worry, it slips my mind occasionally, too.) But IBM is still pushing this OpenOffice.org-based suite as a business desktop application, and Big Blue will be much happier keeping OpenOffice.org with the Apache Software Foundation than The Document Foundation.

      Why? Because when, not if, the OpenOffice.org proposal is approved by the Apache Software Foundation, the OpenOffice.org will be licensed under the Apache Software License (ASL) v2. This means IBM and any other Apache OpenOffice.org project member can innovate the heck out the source code and not be obligated to give back to the mainline OpenOffice.org code, since the ASL is a non-copyleft license. IBM and other OpenOffice.org contributors will also be able to re-license OpenOffice.org code under any license they want, including a proprietary license, should they wish. It also keeps a major Open Document Format project ensconced within IBM-friendly governance.

    • Michael Meeks’ Take

      It seems that IBM and the ASF are encouraging individuals from the LibreOffice world to sign on as ‘Initial Committers’ to their new project.

    • Why OpenOffice Going To Apache Foundation Makes No Sense At All

      Why The Document Foundation is a better choice than the Apache Foundation

      Another point to consider is the developers who will be taking care of OpenOffice. With OpenOffice in the hands of the Apache Foundation, they have to get a new team of developers to take on the development of the project. I am not saying that the Apache Foundation is not capable of doing that. But, for a completely new team to take over a project the size of OpenOffice can be very tough. In fact, that was what happened to Oracle after almost all of the previous developers left. But, The Document Foundation has most of the previous OpenOffice developers. After forking OpenOffice, they are developing one of the best office suite around – LibreOffice.

    • IBM Announces New Open Software Development

      IBM has announced its supporting role in the new OpenOffice.org code base submitted to The Apache Software Foundation Incubator. This is all part of an effort for the company to continue its long-standing commitment to open source. The firm will contribute staff resources to collaborate with the Apache community during the project’s incubation period to further the Open Document Format standard.

    • Oracle proposals may open Java Community Process

      The Java Community Process may get a welcome and much-needed breath of fresh air if a new proposal from Oracle is approved.

      The proposal, entitled JCP.next JSR 1, which is actually Java Specification Request 348, would see a reorganization of the existing Java Community Process to make the JCP a more open environment in which developers can work.

      According to the JCP Program Office, JCP.next JSR 1 (JJ1) “will focus on changes to the JCP Process Document in the following areas: transparency, participation, agility and governance. The Process Document describes the formal procedures used in the JCP program.”

      JSRs, by the way, are defined as “actual descriptions of proposed and final specifications for the Java platform.”

    • Apache president Jim Jagielski talks about OpenOffice.org next steps

      The ASF is best known for project like the ubiquitous Apache HTTP server — but Apache is home to dozens of projects. Still, doesn’t OpenOffice.org seem just a bit out of place here? Jagielski says no. “Although Apache is mostly known for server-side code (either complete servers, middle-ware, libraries, etc…) we do have some client-side and userland projects. Apache OFBiz is likely the best example.” In fact, Jagielski says what is “typical” for Apache is “building (or even “re-building”) communities around those codebases.”

    • What Oracle’s Open Source Retreat Means
    • Why Oracle’s donation of OpenOffice disappoints
  • Public Services/Government

    • EU goes global for procurement standards

      On Wednesday, the Commission laid out its strategy for reforming the way EU public institutions deal with standards. Open-source advocates welcomed the strategy, saying it would promote competition, reduce lock-in and lead to faster standard development.


      Taylor added that Oasis would not have had to cede control of the OpenDocument Format (ODF) standard to ISO in 2008, if the European Commission had not mandated this as a condition for accepting the standard. “Under this new arrangement there’s potentially no need to go to ISO,” he said. “Hopefully what we will get is faster standards to market without adding levels of bureaucracy.”

  • Licensing


  • Inventing Unix
  • My Thoughts

  • Cablegate

    • Julian Assange wins Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism

      iLeaks founder Julian Assange has been awarded the Martha Gellhorn prize for Journalism.

      The prize is awarded annually to a journalist whose work has “penetrated the established version of events and told and unpalatable truth that exposes establishment propaganda, or ‘official drivel’, as Martha Gellhorn called it.”

      Gellhorn, who died in 1998, was a well-known war correspondent and author.

  • Finance

    • S.E.C. Case Stands Out Because It Stands Alone

      Hundreds of employees worked closely in teams, devising mortgage-based securities — billions of dollars’ worth — that were examined by lawyers, approved by management, then sold to investors like hedge funds, commercial banks and insurance companies.

      At one trading desk sat Fabrice Tourre, a midlevel 28-year-old Frenchman who was little known not just outside Goldman but even inside the firm. That changed three years later, in 2010, when he achieved the dubious distinction of becoming the only individual at Goldman and across Wall Street sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission for helping to sell a mortgage-securities investment, in one of the hundreds of mortgage deals created during the bubble years.

    • Geithner and Goldman, Thick as Thieves

      What was Timothy Geithner thinking back in 2008 when, as president of the New York Fed, he decided to give Goldman Sachs a $30 billion interest-free loan as part of an $80 billion secret float to favored banks? The sordid details of that program were finally made public this week in response to a court order for a Freedom of Information Act release, thanks to a Bloomberg News lawsuit. Sorry, my bad: It wasn’t an interest-free loan; make that .01 percent that Goldman paid to borrow taxpayer money when ordinary folks who missed a few credit card payments in order to finance their mortgages were being slapped with interest rates of more than 25 percent.

      One wonders if Barack Obama was fully aware of Geithner’s deceitful performance at the New York Fed when he appointed him treasury secretary in the incoming administration. The president was probably ignorant of this particular giveaway, as were key members of Congress. “I wasn’t aware of this program until now,” Barney Frank, D-Mass., who at the time chaired the House Financial Services Committee, admitted in referring to Geithner’s “single-tranche open-market operations” program. And there was no language in the Dodd-Frank law supposedly reining in the banks that compelled the Fed to reveal the existence of this program.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The Real Legacy of the Hargreaves Report?

        Of course, on its own the report can’t achieve much in these three areas. But by raising these issues in a public way it has effectively put down markers. It means that when writing about the area of copyright and its enforcement, we can point back to statements about the need for evidence-based policies, and the fact that practically all the studies trotted out by the content industries are worthless, or that the economic damage of piracy is by no means a given.

      • Cabinet Minister Mandate Letters for The Digital Era

        James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage: Together with Paradis, you will be working on the fourth attempt at Canadian copyright reform. Bill C-32 provides the starting point, but we need to establish a stronger link between copyright and innovation by instituting greater flexibility on digital locks and fair dealing.

        The next four years also offers the chance to create a true national digital library as the foundation of a digital cultural policy. Canada has only digitized 13 per cent of its documentary text and less than one per cent of its video, audio, and photographs. You should assume a leadership position by actively working with provincial and local groups to develop a world-class national digital library that makes Canadian culture available from coast to coast and around the world by July 2015.

      • ACTA

        • Gröna gruppen mobiliserar inför ACTA-omröstning Green Group mobilizes for ACTA vote

          The Green Group (Greens / EFA) in the European Parliament are working hard to ensure that the European Parliament does not give its consent to the ACTA treaty. På ett möte i dag antogs att gruppen kommer att driva kravet på att alla av unionens förhandlingsdokument skall offentliggöras, i enlighet med den förfrågan som EDRi (European Digital Rights) framförde till utskottet för Internationell handel (INTA) den 11.e maj i år. At a meeting today was that the group will drive the requirement that all the Union’s negotiating document to be published in accordance with the request that EDRi (European Digital Rights) expressed to the Committee on International Trade (INTA) on 11th May this year. Vidare kommer man fortsätta driva kravet på att skicka ACTA-avtalet till European Court of Justice (ECJ) och kommer att försöka få upp sin resolution på dagordningen vid nästa plenarsammanträde. Moreover it will continue to drive the requirement to send ACTA treaty to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and will try to bring up his resolution on the agenda at the next session.

Clip of the Day

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (Wireless Games Contorller Demo)

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 2/6/2011: Skype Reverse-Engineered, Mandriva 2011 Beta 3

Posted in News Roundup at 12:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux and Ruby Geeks Compared

    If you think there’s only one type of geek, you apparently don’t know many geeks. It could be argued that there are as many kinds of geek as there are geeks in the world. Still, they can be loosely broken down into groups and sub-groups, recognizing that there is overlap and some exceptions. The chart at the bottom of this post is one rather amusing way of looking at the “evolution of the geek.” Personally, I’ve been really surprised to discover a rather striking contrast between Linux geeks and Ruby geeks, having spent time with “members” of both communities over the past couple of years in New York.

  • Server

    • IS buys into Linux specialist Synaq

      Internet Solutions (IS) has acquired a majority stake in Synaq, the Johannesburg-based managed Linux service provider and messaging company, for an undisclosed sum.

      IS says the deal will help it address the demand from the small and medium enterprise market for managed communications services.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Arch Linux Enables Mesa Floating Point Textures

        The rolling-release Arch Linux distribution has just enabled floating point textures for Mesa. This was the hotly-debated feature for Mesa that provides OpenGL floating point textures and render targets, but is disabled by default since its protected by patents in the United States and elsewhere. Arch Linux users when building new versions of Mesa will receive this support irrespective of their physical location.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • The end of the Linux desktop wars

        The desktop wars may be finally ending, but not quite the way we may have expected.

        Take the GNOME Shell interface, which reviewers admire for its general direction but have some issues with the actual execution within GNOME 3.

      • KDE, Qt & LightDM: Progress Made

        LightDM, the cross-desktop display manager that provides a clean API for writing multiple user-interfaces and for delivering fast performance, continues to mature. With the Ubuntu 11.10 release in October, Ubuntu is using LightDM instead of the GDM from GNOME as the display / log-in manager. For those concerned that the KDE side may be not getting enough love, it actually is and there’s been progress made on a Qt-powered interface.

        David Edmundson, a KDE developer, has written a Qt library for making simple greeter engines. “I’ve written a Qt library for making greeter engines, as well as a very basic demo greeter which is more for testing than a real demo of what can be done. This library is designed to be very QML-ready, with a strong emphasis on using models rather than simple lists.” LightDM is meant to be extended to handle various interfaces from Qt or GTK to having HTML/CSS-driven interfaces for this promising log-in manager.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Four tweaks to bring back missing functionality in GNOME 3.0

        The user interface shell of the open source GNOME desktop environment was completely redesigned for GNOME 3.0, which was released last month. The update brought a multitude of significant changes to the environment’s underlying technical infrastructure and the user-facing desktop experience. Fedora became the first major Linux distribution to ship the new GNOME environment with the official launch last week of Fedora 15.

      • Ready for Gnome 3.2? Meet Gnome Contacts

        The gnome developers are hard at work making the first linux desktop, that do not look like a cheap windows/mac rip off, even better. There are stupid mistakes they made along the way, but still Gnome 3.0 gives the best experience free software can offer by default. Obviously there are more feature need to be included to make it a complete replacement for your good old Gnome 2.x. For the time being you can use these extensions to get some functionalities back.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat to Webcast Results for First Quarter Fiscal Year 2012
      • Behind the scenes: a community workshop for Red Hatters

        Some of you may have heard that Robyn, Max, Sebastian, and I will be teaching a workshop on open source community participation to our fellow Red Hatters in Raleigh next week (June 8th, 2011). It’s the first run of such a workshop, and remixes some of the things we’ve done at POSSE for a more general audience – in a sense, we’re removing the discipline-specific (“you’re a college professor!”) parts and seeing how our stuff generalizes to folks already working in (open source) industry.

      • Fedora

        • 20 Things to do after installing Fedora 15

          Here are few things you can do after installing Fedora 15 to make the experience better. You may have to enable sudo to follow some of the tips or you can run the commands in terminal by logging in as root (su). The following are in no particular order. Feel free to skip the ones you do not need.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 30 Days With…Ubuntu Linux
          • You Can Run Ubuntu On Your HTC Desire HD

            If smartphone hardware can run Android, a Linux-based operating system, why can’t it run a full-blown Linux distro? In fact, you can run Ubuntu on many Android-powered phones.

            To get Ubuntu to run on a smartphone, some have started the OS side-by-side with Android, others have used emulators or virtualized hardware. On occasion a developer steps up and creates a bootable, functional Ubuntu image. If you’ve got an HTC Desire HD, you can count yourself as one of the lucky ones!

          • Six Months Of Rocking Ubuntu Events

            Education and learning has always been an important part of the Ubuntu culture. It is important to us because we always want to present an environment in which everyone is welcome to participate, whatever your skills, location, or experience.

          • Everything You Need to Know About Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

            A month has been passed since the eventful release of Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal. Many loyal Ubuntu users turned hostile with this release and Canonical’s new Unity interface is at the receiving end for what it does and what it doesn’t. I actually liked the new Unity approach to desktop and I believe that it has got a great future, provided that Canonical is able to rectify the bugs and usability issues in time. This post is for those who would like to use Unity. A quick recap of Ubuntu 11.04 tips and tricks that we published during the month.

          • Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (Dapper Drake) End of Life

            Ubuntu announced its 6.06 Server release 5 years ago, on June 1, 2006. For the LTS Server releases, Ubuntu committed to ongoing security and critical fixes for a period of 5 years. The maintenance period has now ended for Ubuntu 6.06 LTS Server.

            Ubuntu 6.06 LTS was a major milestone for the Ubuntu project, being the first long-term release. Its retirement evokes memories of Ubuntu as a younger project, and reminds us of all that we’ve accomplished together in the five years since we released the “Dapper Drake”.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Intel touts ‘ultrabooks’; Highlights Android Honeycomb Atom-based tablet

          Intel on Tuesday touted “ultrabooks,” tablet and laptop tweeners that would resemble MacBook Airs, and said these lightweight devices will account for 40 percent of the laptop market by the end of 2012.

          Speaking at the Computex show in Taipei, Sean Maloney, Intel’s executive vice president, said these ultrabooks will continue to improve annually. While the ultrabook phrase will generate initial buzz, these devices are evolutionary. What’s initially unclear is how an ultrabook differs from the netbook—a market under fire from tablets. Intel frequently touts next-gen reference designs. Anyone remember the mobile Internet devices (MID)?

        • MIPS enters Android Honeycomb tablet race

          Amid all the brouhaha about the low power–chip tussle between Intel and ARM, another processor architecture has been quietly advancing into the same tablet and smartphone battleground: MIPS Technologies, which has announced a partnership with Beijing’s Ingenic Semiconductor to port Android 3.0, aka Honeycomb, to the Chinese chipmaker’s upcoming ultra–low power system-on-chip.

        • Computex buzz: ARM vs Intel keeps people talking

          According to Nvidia CEO Huang Jen-Hsun, Android is the fastest growing operating system in computing history

Free Software/Open Source

  • Matt Asay Preaches

    Matt Asay doesn’t get sharing. The world needs software and FLOSS is a great way to produce it. If someone needs some software and can produce it they should. They also get to use all the software floating around in the community of FLOSS to go along with that. That is the right thing to do. Otherwise that software may not be written and our world in which we are social beings depending on and supporting each other will be poorer. It is a moral imperative of every human being and their organizations to try to make the world a better place. That’s good for everyone, not just the one doing the good work.

  • Google open sources $68.2m realtime comm platform

    Free whitepaper – Five Tips for Effective Backup and Recovery in Virtual Environments

    Google has open sourced a framework for realtime video and audio inside the browser. Known as WebRTC, the framework is based on technology the company acquired with its $68.2 million purchase of Global IP Solutions (GIPS) last year.

    “We’d like to make the browser the home for innovation in real time communications,” Google said in a blog post. “Until now, real time communications required the use of proprietary signal processing technology that was mostly delivered through plug-ins and client downloads.” The framework lets developers build realtime applications using HTML and JavaScript APIs.

  • Web Browsers

    • Firefox 4 hits 14.2% of worldwide market in May – study
    • Mozilla

      • Update: Spread Firefox is taking a breather

        Today we took Spread Firefox offline as I shared earlier. I want to thank everyone that has worked hard on Spread Firefox over the years. When it took off in 2004, it was truly innovative as a social network and organizing ground for our grassroots marketing efforts.

      • After a Few Short Months, Firefox 4 Is Mozilla’s Leading Browser Version

        As Mozilla continues to contend with claimed performance problems with its new Firefox 4 browser (although some reader responses to our post on the matter argue that there are none), it is achieving new milestones. According to data from StatCounter, which specializes in web analytics, the Firefox 4 browser claimed a hefty 14.2 percent of the global browser market in May–higher than the 13.2 percent claimed by the longstanding version 6. Meanwhile, the Firefox 5 beta has arrived, and there is even a new version 6 of the browser in the Aurora channel. Mozilla is moving full steam ahead with its new rapid release cycle for Firefox, competing directly with Google Chrome’s development schedule.

  • FUD of the Day

  • CMS

    • The Diaspora Project – First Year In Graphs

      We know that if you’re not a contributor and don’t follow us on Github, it’s hard to see Diaspora grow and evolve. Now that Diaspora is moving into its second year and a new phase of development, here are some numbers on the progress we’ve made.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Why I’ve been throwing Open Standards under the bus

      This may not sound like such a big deal until you realize that I am a big advocate of Open Source and Open Standards. In the Enterprise, I believe that these technologies are absolutely essential to building best of breed heterogeneous computing environments. But at home? Eh, not so much.


  • Think PCs will drop in price? Think again, warns Intel

    The Golden Age of ever-decreasing PC prices is over, at least as far as Intel is concerned.

    Speaking to investors in London last week, the chip giant’s CFO Stacy Smith boasted how the vendor had broken the pricing death spiral that has bedevilled the PC industry for most of its history.

  • Intel Admits Its Chips are Over-Priced
  • Microsoft postpones IDP for 2 weeks to re-consult with chip players
  • Pondering storage options
  • Security

    • NATO report threatens to ‘persecute’ Anonymous

      NATO leaders have been warned that Wikileaks-loving ‘hacktivist’ collective Anonymous could pose a threat to member states’ security, following recent attacks on the US Chamber of Commerce and defence contractor HBGary – and promise to ‘persecute’ its members.

      In a toughly-worded draft report to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, General Rapporteur Lord Jopling claims that the loose-knit, leaderless group is “becoming more and more sophisticated”, and “could potentially hack into sensitive government, military, and corporate files”.

    • Ensuring your information is safe online

      The Internet has been an amazing force for good in the world—opening up communications, boosting economic growth and promoting free expression. But like all technologies, it can also be used for bad things. Today, despite the efforts of Internet companies and the security community, identity theft, fraud and the hijacking of people’s email accounts are common problems online.

      Bad actors take advantage of the fact that most people aren’t that tech savvy—hijacking accounts by using malware and phishing scams that trick users into sharing their passwords, or by using passwords obtained by hacking other websites. Most account hijackings are not very targeted; they are designed to steal identities, acquire financial data or send spam. But some attacks are targeted at specific individuals.

Reader’s Picks and Comments

  • Anti-Trust

    • Erratic behavior from Microsoft proxy, Lodsys. PJ notes:

      Lodsys didn’t expect the kind of letter it got from Apple, and it took it as a clear indication that Apple intended to litigate, if necessary, and Lodsys didn’t want that to happen in California, so it didn’t honor its word to developers that they had 21 days to respond to the cease and desist letters and went ahead and sued in Texas. Natch. However, that doesn’t at all mean that the litigation will happen in Texas, if Apple intervenes

    • NDAs conceal portions of Lodsys’ extortion of Apple developers.

      we cannot unilaterally publish the letter because it refers to information that was obtained with an obligation of confidentiality to Apple and we do not have their permission to do so.

    • Microsoft muscles ARM makers with odious restrictions. Techrights has documented this for netbook makers and Barns and Noble has called it anti-competitive in court.

      Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is putting “troublesome” restrictions on makers of processors used to run the coming Windows tablet-computer operating system, Acer Inc. (2353) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer J.T. Wang said.
      “They’re really controlling the whole thing, the whole process,” Wang said at the Computex trade show in Taipei without identifying the restrictions. Chip suppliers and PC makers “all feel it’s very troublesome,” he said.

    • Microsoft Squeaks. No One Listens.

      M$ is apparently trying to dictate to the world on what kinds of ARMed systems M$’s “8″ will run. … By trying to freeze the market and dictate hardware compatibility, M$ will only delay its roll-out and restrict itself to a niche. … M$ cannot force all manufacturers to use Qualcomm;s chips and Qualcomm cannot supply the whole market. … No one wants to wait for M$ to get its act together while hundreds of millions of units could be sold.

  • Hardware

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Software patents described by a South African official.

      Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, the previous Minister for Public Service and Administration, recently described software patents as “an issue which poses a considerable threat to the growth of the African software sector”, adding that there had been “recent pressure by certain multinational corporations to file software patents in our national and regional patent offices … all of the current so-called developed countries built up their considerable software industries in the absence of software patents”. She said that for those same countries to insist on software patents now “is simply to place patents as barriers in front of newcomers”

Clip of the Day

Choose Ubuntu (new video, not an endorsement)

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 1/6/2011: GNU’s Proportion Measured in GNU/Linux, Mageia 1 is Released

Posted in News Roundup at 4:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • How much GNU is there in GNU/Linux?

    After building the infrastructure to analyse the code in an Ubuntu release I decided to satisfy a simple curiosity and figure out how much GNU software is actually part of a modern distribution. I picked Ubuntu natty (released in April) as a reference, am counting lines of code (LOC) as the rough metric for size of a given project, and am considering only the “main” repository, supposedly the core of the distribution, actually packaged by Ubuntu and not repackaged from Debian.

  • Raspberry Pi: Tiny Computer That Runs Linux

    700MHz processor, 256MB of RAM. It doesn’t seem that long ago since I was running a desktop PC like that. However, these are the specs of a new keyring-sized computer to be released by a UK not for profit company. They hope to be able to sell it for $25 dollars a pop, and best of all, it runs Linux.

    The idea is that this small unit can output 1080p video to a digital television. Permanent storage is provided via a memory card slot, and IO (keyboard and mouse) requires a USB hub. In other words, it’s a small but functionally complete computer.


    As for simple MIPS/FLOPS performance, I doubt that this processor is competitive with say, a Pentium III running at 700MHz, as modern ARM processors in desktop applications tend to be power-saving rather than powerhouses.

  • Celebrating 20 Years of Linux
  • Linux Cabal

    Yesterday evening I went to a Linux user group meeting in Guadalajara, Mexico. The name of the group was “Linux Cabal”.

    The meeting was held in a very large warehouse-like room with a shelf and seats placed around the wall, and convenient electric outlets and Ethernet hookups. On the walls were mounted T-shirts of many past events, as well as posters and banners from various past Linux events and diagrams of how code goes together.

    The organizer and host of this group was a man named Richard Couture. An expatriate from the United States, he wears colorful clothes and several earrings in each ear (who doesn’t?), is helping a hawk recuperate (he has a permit from the government) as well as a pet pig (who ran around the meeting visiting people) and various other animals.

    Richard also has some ancient computer equipment that are used as tables and seats for people who do not want to use the worn, but comfy, chairs.

  • The Linux Week In Review May 31
  • Desktop

    • System76 quietly updates Starling Linux netbook with Atom N570 chip

      The folks at System76 announced today that they’re launching a new high performance 15.6 inch laptop called the Pangolin. It’s a big heavy machine that I’m not particularly interested in, but when I saw the news I decided to take a peek at the company’s 10 inch Starling NetBook page and I noticed that System76 has updated the processor without changing the price.

    • Will Google’s Chromebooks Play Well with Linux?

      But wait, there’s more! Google has also worked hard to make sure that your printer will be completely useless when connected to your new Chromebook. That’s right, unless you happen to have an ePrint compatible HP printer, using the Chromebook to print is apparently not an option.

      The best part: if you wish to connect to a standard printer at all, you must jump through more hoops and run Windows or OS X on a separate computer. Comically, no Linux support is provided for this separate computer despite the Chrome OS itself being using the Linux kernel to operate.

  • Kernel Space

    • The Linux 3.0 Kernel Will… Reboot Better?

      Beyond file-system cleancache support, a Microsoft Kinect driver, Intel Ivy Bridge support, and various open-source graphics driver improvements, the Linux 3.0 kernel may also reboot your system better. Yes, really.

      Matthew Garrett of Red Hat today is blogging about the different ways to reset an x86 system and the limitations of these five different methods available on Linux. These methods include using kbd (rebooting via the keyboard controller), triple (generating a triple fault), PCI, EFI, and ACPI.

    • Rebooting

      3.0 will ship with this behaviour by default. It makes various machines work (some Apples, for instance), improves things on some others (some Thinkpads seem to sit around for extended periods of time otherwise) and hopefully avoids the need to add any more machine-specific quirks to the reboot code. There’s still some divergence between us and Windows (mostly in how often we write to the keyboard controller), which can be cleaned up if it turns out to make a difference anywhere.

    • New Name, Same Linux
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • digiKam 2.0 beta review – the ultimate open source image editor

        digiKam has earned a reputation as the most powerful and comprehensive photo management solution on Linux. But does the upcoming version 2.0 offer enough to keep digiKam ahead of the pack? We put the latest release through its paces…

      • Configure the Main Toolbar in digiKam
      • krunner doing just one thing

        So here’s a feature of KRunner than probably very few of you know about: KRunner can be made to query a single specific plugin for one search. You can even quite easily create shortcuts, both launchers and global keyboard shortcuts, to trigger this behavior. This feature was added some time ago by Jacopo, but it’s rather well hidden unless you know it is there or stumble over it accidentally.

      • Key open source project about to fail

        Open sourcers are a little worried that an important project is about to be killed off thanks to Nokia’s involvement with Microsoft. Nokia’s jump to Windows Phone 7 has meant that the Qt toolkit, is living a promise of continued investment, bonuses for developers who stick with the platform and even a phone or two that might use it.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome Shell

        So recently I’ve finally started to try an use gnome-shell as my primary UI. I primarily use computers for web browsing and writing code. In general, I don’t use keyboard short-cuts for window management, I prefer to use the mouse only. I’ve run into some issues with usability and perhaps those more familiar with gnome-shell can help me. At the moment, I end up running a lot of stuff from the terminal since I cannot seem to find the proper way to do it from the GUI.

  • Distributions

    • Zenix 2.0

      The general goals of Zenix are:
      Buddhism within the Linux community

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Gentoo Family

      • Picking up the pieces

        Lately I’ve been doing some “undertaker” work. Many of you might not be aware of that so let me explain that to you. When a developer is slacking without apparent reason, someone has to poke him about his status. This is usually done by sending two e-mails before declaring him officially away and let the infrastructure people disable his account etc. When we retire a developer, all of his packages are going to the notorious maintainer-needed list. Unless a developer picks some of these packages, they will remain on tree as long as no outstanding bugs appear on bugzilla. In this case, treecleaners will remove them. However, since the very beginning as a developer, I tried to be as close to users as possible. This is why I act as a proxy to quite a lot of them. This actually makes me feel happy and more useful, than playing solo if I may say. So, when we retire a developer, someone has to take care of his packages, reassing bugs etc. What I usually do is to search through the open bugs for easy fixes like stabilization requests or bugs that have a patch attached. This is actually a 2′ fix that would make another user happy :) But that is not enough. In my opinion, portage is growing much faster that we can handle, leaving too much craft behind in case someone retires. Quite a lot of herds are almost empty, so packages are maintained by a single developer not by a group of them. So, when he retires, nobody is taking care of his packages anymore.

      • music made with gentoo: 20110530
    • Red Hat Family

      • Is Red Hat’s Stock Expensive by the Numbers?

        The more consistent a company’s performance has been and the more growth we can expect, the more we should be willing to pay. We’ve gone well beyond looking at an 82.3 P/E ratio and though we see consistent profitability, recent growth has been slow relative to Red Hat’s expensive price multiples. But these are just the initial numbers. If you find Red Hat’s numbers or story compelling, don’t stop. Continue your due diligence process until you’re confident one way or the other. As a start, add it to My Watchlist to find all of our Foolish analysis.

      • OVA: Virtualization’s Good Eggs
      • Fedora

        • Five really unique gnome shell themes for fedora 15

          When the current gnome shell theme mockups started to coming in, one of the first reactions was that the theme looked so dark and so boring. I am one of those who admire the beauty of gnome shell and its default theme. Thanks to it, for the first time I have a wonderful looking desktop (by default) that so nice to look at (even ubuntu was never this beautiful) and at the same time does not look like a cheap windows rip off. For the first time linux desktop has a character of its own and makes a unique feel to your computer.

        • GNOME Shell, panel applets, and eating your cake

          One of the complaints doing the rounds about GNOME Shell is that it has no panel applets. This is technically true. It’s also entirely the wrong way of looking at things: I hope this post will make it clear why this is, and make some people happier with the road GNOME is going down.

          So, to start with, let’s take a step back and ask ourselves what exactly panel applets are, and what we mean by GNOME Shell not having them.

        • Kororaa 14 – Linux Mint of Fedora?

          Kororaa is a pretty desktop system that provides welcome convenience for users. It is also a plus for those not anxious to make the leap to GNOME 3 just yet. But I think in order to become a similar force as Linux Mint, releases will need to keep up with Fedora. For example, today’s release probably should have been Kororaa 15. If it continues to run a version behind, it may fail to resonate with users. Development on Kororaa 15 has begun and perhaps Smart will catch up and get in sync with Fedora in the coming months.

        • Installing Fedora 15

          The following tutorial will teach all Linux users how to install the recently released Fedora 15 (Lovelock) operating system on their personal computers.

          Fedora 15, also known as Lovelock, was released on May 24th, 2011, and it brings the highly anticipated GNOME 3 desktop environment with the GNOME Shell interface, a new search tool, Deja Dup, GTK+ 3, RPM 4.9, Mozilla Firefox 4, LibreOffice 3, and much more.

          This guide will make things very simple for you, but if you get stuck somewhere in the middle of the installation and you need help, do not hesitate to use our commenting system at the end of the article.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • antiX derivative still “Looking Good!”

          Anyone who follows and reads my journal, blogs, for forum posts anywhere on the Internet, including this blog, knows that I have been a big Debian software enthusiast for many years, and that in recent years, I have developed a particular enthusiasm and attachment to two of the MEPIS projects, SimplyMEPIS (for an easy, stable desktop system) and antiX (for a light, extremely flexible, customizable, and modifiable desktop or server system).

          As proof of how flexible MEPIS has been, antiX has been in existence over five years now and it has three derivatives (or “flavors”) of its own, the original, “full” version, a cut down “base” version, which includes a graphical user environment and customization tools, but withholds the applications so that you can select the ones you prefer, and then there is an even more minimal approach called antiX “core”, which provides the installation and configuration tools, but no graphical user environment or applications, so you completely build what you want from scratch.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 5 Stunning Plymouth Screen Themes for Ubuntu 11.04

            Plymouth is simply an application that provides a graphical boot animation while the boot process happens in the background. Ubuntu has a simple yet beautiful Plymouth screen by default. But that doesn’t mean that you should not experiment with some really cool alternative Plymouth screens in your Ubuntu. As we had promised while featuring Zorin Splash Screen Manager, here is our collection of beautiful Plymouth Screen themes for Ubuntu.

          • The Sins of Ubuntu

            Fair or not, Ubuntu reflects on the Linux community as a whole. How well Ubuntu meets criticisms matters even to Linux users who don’t use it.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 Features Defined

            UDS is over and any post UDS super bugs (stupid ubuflu/ubupneuomonia) should be out of people’s systems. Here is the feature list of items for Ubuntu this cycle.

          • Unity interface makes Ubuntu worse.

            I downloaded the latest Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal edition. The latest Ubuntu comes by default with the Unity interface. Previously, I already got to play with the unity interface on the netbook edition but was not impressed at all. Now the netbook edition has been merged with the destkop one. The Unity user interface makes Ubuntu worse and upsets some long time Ubuntu users such as myself. I think that Unity is too prominent on the screen and lacks customization. It is nice to have a simplistic user interface instead of something so pronounced on your desktop.

          • [launchpad] team owner no longer implies team member
          • GNOME Shell Is Finally Available In The Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot Repositories [Oneiric Updates]

            GNOME Shell is now available in the official Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot repositories, along with most of the GNOME 3 applications (Gedit 3, Nautilus 3 Evolution and so on; some of them are available for quite some time – like Nautilus, while some were uploaded recently – like Gedit or Evolution).

          • Elementary File Browser “Marlin”, Available To Install Via Ubuntu PPA
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 11 will not dislodge me from 10… yet

              So this weekend, because I apparently have nothing better to do, I installed the new Linux Mint 11 (Katya) on one of my test machines.

              Readers will remember my recent post praising Mint 10. I’m using it on my laptop right now, and it’s super stable and very polished. I have a hard time remembering any distro I’ve liked better, actually, so Mint 11 has a tough act to follow.

            • On Upgrading to Linux Mint 11

              The restoration of the extra software that I had added beyond what standardly gets installed was took its share of time but the use of a previously prepared list made things so much easier. That it didn’t work smoothly because some packages couldn’t be found the first time around so another one was needed. Nevertheless, that is nothing compared to the effort needed to do the same thing by issuing an installation command at a time. Once the usual distribution software updates were in place, all that was left was to update VirtualBox to the latest version, install a Citrix client and add a PHP plugin to NetBeans. Then, next to everything was in place for me.

            • Bodhi Linux Service Pack 1 Ready to Go
            • Super OS 11.04: Ubuntu 11.04 With Muscles

              Hacktolive.org announced today, May 30th, the stable and final version of Super OS 11.04, their Ubuntu 11.04 based Linux distribution with “super powers.”

              Super OS 11.04 includes extra apps, patches, utilities and other useful packages that are missing from a standard Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) default installation.

              Among the applications included in the new Super OS 11.04 distribution we can mention powerful web browsers such as Google Chrome and Opera, aMSN instant messenger, the VLC Media Player with support for DVD playback, a Live USB creator, and much more.

            • Mint 11 Screenshots
            • The Perfect Desktop – Linux Mint 11 (Katya)
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linaro supports Linux and Android on new Cortex-A9 open platform board

      Linaro announced an open-platform $199 “Origen” development board made by InSignal that incorporates Samsung’s dual-core Cortex-A9 Exynos 4210 processor, a Mali400 GPU, and Linaro open source Linux and Android BSPs. At Computex this week, Linaro is demonstrating its first Linaro Evaluation Builds for Android and Ubuntu, and announced a Linaro Partner Program, with founding members including Canonical and Mentor Graphics.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Lenovo’s MeeGo Netbook: Hands On

        It hasn’t been exactly smooth sailing for MeeGo, Intel’s Linux-based operating system that was developed to go up against offerings from Google and Apple. But there have been signs of life here at Computex 2011, beginning with Asus’s launch of the EeePC X101. And now there’s the Lenovo Ideapad S100, which was spotted in the wild running a version of MeeGo that’s actually usable. Let’s take a closer look.

      • Asus netbooks include MeeGo model

        Undeterred by slumping netbook sales, Asus announced three such devices, one of which — the Eee PC X101 — will be offered with the Linux-based MeeGo operating system for just $200. The EeePC X101 comes with a new 1.33GHz Atom N435 processor, while the Windows-only EeePC 1025C and 1025CE will include the “Cedar Trail” Atom N2600 and N2800, according to multiple reports.

      • Are Android Tablets Stumbling Out of the Gate?

        “Android will eclipse in the next two years. It is just a matter of getting the devices into the market,” Brian Reed, vice president of products and CMO for mobile management platform provider BoxTone, told LinuxInsider.

      • Asus shows Android-based phone/tablet combo and seven-inch 3D device

        At this week’s Computex conference in Taipei, Asus unveiled an Android-based hybrid tablet/smartphone device called the Padfone, embedding a removable smartphone in a 10.1-inch tablet. The company also announced a more conventional seven-inch tablet called the Eee Pad Memo 3D, with Android 3.x, a stylus, and glasses-free 3D video playback.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Open Source Road Ahead: Open Source and Parmesan Cheese
  • Getting help with open source software

    One of the best things about open source, particularly those that adhere to the GNU General Public License (GPL) is that the code must be made available for the general public. This entire design has many benefits as described by the GPL’s creator, Richard Stallman. If you ever want some interesting reading, look into why he created the GPL and what it is designed to do. I’ve found it very interesting on his personal thoughts and what he experienced with the Xerox code and how it spawned his crusade for opening up source code for software. The book “Free as in Freedom” is a good read on this subject.

    Recently as I wrote about previously, I had the pleasure of replacing Windows XP and Windows 2000 with Fedora 14 for several people. With those deployments, I found a problem with each one that I was not able to fix right away. It was with Rhythmbox (a full featured media player that is installed with Fedora by default). Rhythmbox has been quirky in the past, partially because I think the developers have tried to make it support a wide variety of players, formats, and also give it a lot of features that are common with media players now. But, the issues I saw with every Fedora 14 installation was that when opening Rhythmbox the first time, it would pop up with an error saying “Unable to activate plugin Audio CD Player”. After clicking Close for the error, Rhythmbox would open up and work until a mp3 song was played. When playing any mp3 song, another error would pop up saying “The playback of this movie requires a GStreamer element audioconvert plugin which is not installed.”.

  • Why you should pay for “free” software

    Tell me, what’s the difference between open source and commercial software? If you’d have asked me not long ago, I’d say that there was a world of difference between the two, and that they both sat at opposite ends of the software spectrum. “Isn’t it bad,” I thought, “to pay for software?”

    No! The correct answer is that it’s perfectly OK to pay for free software. Free and open source software at its heart is a philosophy: it is software that enables and empowers through the provision of its own internal code. This offers the public auditable standards, and an end consumer has the final say in choice, customization, and community.

  • Open Source Tools and the End of Price Gouging

    Have you ever read Tolstoy’s famous short story “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” It’s a morality parable about a man whose greed for land leads to his death. On the technology scene these days, it’s worth asking an analagous question: How much technology does a man (or woman) really need? There are numerous signs that upcoming operating systems, chips and other key components represent overkill for many users, and lots of those users can take advantage of fully functional technology for free, or for very low prices. Open source has helped create this environment, and as the trend continues, it bodes especially well for open source platforms and applications.

  • Google open-sources WebRTC
  • Events

    • Ten days to SELF 2011.

      This weekend included a Monday holiday for people in the USA. Unfortunately, my enjoyment of said holiday was interrupted by coming down with some sort of sinus bug on Friday, which wiped about half of my weekend. On Monday, though, I finished some retouches on my presentation for the upcoming Southeast Linux Fest 2011, where I’ll be talking with people about “Graduating to GUI: PyGObject for Beginners.” This is an update to a talk I gave last year on PyGTK, incorporating information about what’s changed from a beginner’s perspective.

    • Submit a Talk for Ohio LinuxFest 2011
  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle v. Google – Google decides to pack some heat

      In a sign that it is doubling down and getting serious in the case brought by Oracle, Google has now retained well known patent litigator Robert Van Nest of Keker & Van Nest, LLP. The Keker firm has represented Google in other cases in the past, but interestingly, they have also represented Oracle. At present Van Nest is representing HTC in its on-going battles with Apple. A tribute to Van Nest’s abilities is his being named the Bet-The-Company litigator of the year for the San Francisco region by Best Lawyer. With the addition of Van Nest and his team from Keker, the Google litigation team now includes the firms of King & Spaulding and Greenberg, Traurig (GB attorneys: Ian Ballon, an experienced IP litigator and well-regarded expert on IP, and Heather Meeker, an expert on open source).

    • VirtualBox 4 Builds a Clean and Easy Sandbox Inside Your Linux Desktop

      Constantly testing software and tinkering with a variety of Linux operating systems puts my multiple test-bench computers to constant use. Granted, Linux comes with a lot fewer security risks. But dealing with unknown factors and beta glitches can be time consuming to correct when they take down an entire box.

      A much safer and quicker way to deal with such potential harm is to spare the physical machines and run the new stuff in a virtual machine instead. Oracle’s (Nasdaq: ORCL) VM VirtualBox 4.0 is a handy app for doing just that. It runs nicely in a variety of Linux distros.

  • CMS

    • Avoid these Drupal hosting mistakes

      Reliable, high-performance hosting begins with good planning. Believe it or not, one of the most common mistakes is also one of the most obvious: Not anticipating a surge in demand. Whether you’re the site owner, developer or hosting provider, it’s critical to consider this factor. Commercial sites, for example, will experience upticks with every sales promotion, publicity event, or shift in user base. If your hosting environment isn’t capable of scaling quickly to accommodate these changes, you risk frustrating users and incurring potential losses in revenue.

  • Education

    • CH Parliamentarian: Schools should use open source to inspire students

      Changing their attitudes from mere consumers into participants, will make students more interested in IT, she believes. “Schools simply apply IT, ignoring the educational possibilities of new technologies.”

      Schools in Switzerland should increase their use of open source software, says National Councillor Kathy Riklin.

    • Anki – An alternative learning program

      There are two simple concepts behind Anki: active recall testing and spaced repetition. They are not known to most learners, despite having been written about in the scientific literature for many years. Understanding how they work will make you a more effective learner.

      Active recall testing means being asked a question and trying to remember the answer. This is in contrast to passive study, where we read, watch or listen to something without pausing to consider if we known the answer. Research has shown that active recall testing is far more effective at building strong memories than passive study.

    • A counter-response: Education in 2030

      Mel Chua’s recent post Education in 2030: Open source and community based is typical of the challenges to the educational establishment that are en vogue today. Because I know her well, trust her a great deal, and know that she works and thinks hard about FOSS participation and education, I feel mostly comfortable using her post as a starting point for my response. I say “mostly” because I’m going to challenge her writing, and that my reflections here are meant to be the start of a discussion/debate — this is all complex stuff we’re talking about.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Simple Java API for ODF Release Notes

      We are pleased to announce the release of the Simple Java API for ODF version 0.6 today. A major improvement of this version is the chart API. Now you can add charts to text, spreadsheet and presentation documents with easy-to-use methods. An interesting demo is uploaded to the website to show how to create a presentation/text/spreadsheet document with charts only using Simple ODF API.


  • Security

  • Transparency/Cablegate

    • Alaska Prepares to Release Palin Emails

      But officials say they are withholding 2,415 pages that are privileged, personal or otherwise exempt from the state’s disclosure laws. As the Daily News notes, it also “remains to be seen how many of the released emails are going to be at least partially blacked out.”

      A host of media organizations requested the records during the 2008 presidential campaign, when Palin was named as a the Republican VP nominee. But at the time state officials said they weren’t prepared to handle the requests for a number of reasons, including an antiquated electronic database system and the fact that Palin commonly used a personal Yahoo account to conduct official state business.

    • WikiLeaks Haiti: Let Them Live on $3/Day

      The factory owners told the Haitian Parliament that they were willing to give workers a 7-cents-per-hour pay increase to 31 cents per hour to make T-shirts, bras and underwear for US clothing giants like Dockers and Nautica.

      But the factory owners refused to pay 62 cents per hour, or $5 per day, as a measure unanimously passed by the Haitian Parliament in June 2009 would have mandated. And they had the vigorous backing of the US Agency for International Development and the US Embassy when they took that stand.

      To resolve the impasse between the factory owners and Parliament, the State Department urged quick intervention by then Haitian President René Préval.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Germany to scrap nuclear power by 2022

      Germany on Monday became the first major industrialised power to agree an end to nuclear power in the wake of the disaster in Japan, with a phase-out to be completed by 2022.

      Chancellor Angela Merkel said the decision, hammered out by her centre-right coalition overnight, marked the start of a “fundamental” rethink of energy policy in the world’s number four economy.

    • Cleaning Up Japan’s Radioactive Mess with Blue Goo

      A clever technology is helping hazmat crews in Japan contain and clean up the contamination caused by the ongoing nuclear disaster there: a blue liquid that hardens into a gel that peels off of surfaces, taking microscopic particles like radiation and other contaminants with it. Known as DeconGel, Japanese authorities are using it inside and outside the exclusion zone on everything from pavement to buildings.

  • Finance

    • Libya’s Goldman Dalliance Ends in Losses, Acrimony

      In early 2008, Libya’s sovereign-wealth fund controlled by Col. Moammar Gadhafi gave $1.3 billion to Goldman Sachs Group to sink into a currency bet and other complicated trades. The investments lost 98% of their value, internal Goldman documents show.

    • Lambregts Says EU Debt Woes `Banking Crisis in Disguise’
    • Are Taxes in the U.S. High or Low?

      Historically, the term “tax rate” has meant the average or effective tax rate — that is, taxes as a share of income. The broadest measure of the tax rate is total federal revenues divided by the gross domestic product.

      By this measure, federal taxes are at their lowest level in more than 60 years. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that federal taxes would consume just 14.8 percent of G.D.P. this year. The last year in which revenues were lower was 1950, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

      The postwar annual average is about 18.5 percent of G.D.P. Revenues averaged 18.2 percent of G.D.P. during Ronald Reagan’s administration; the lowest percentage during that administration was 17.3 percent of G.D.P. in 1984.

    • Galbraith on Goldman Sachs and the Fed

      Age of Uncertainty which came out of a BBC series of the same name. While there was much of interest a second time around, a couple of items jumped out at me. The first was the role that Goldman Sachs played in the run up to the 1930s Depression; not unlike it’s role in the current Great Recession.

    • Moody’s, S&P Caved In to Ratings Pressure From Goldman, UBS Over Mortgages

      Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s adjusted the way they graded securities after Goldman Sachs Group Inc., UBS AG and at least six more banks pressured them, according to a U.S. Senate report.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Canada’s Intellectual Property Protection for Pharmaceuticals Stronger In Many Ways than EU and US

      Canada’s intellectual property system for pharmaceuticals is already stronger than that in any other industrial sector in Canada, and is in many ways stronger than pharmaceutical IP in the European Union (EU) and United States (US), according to a new report by Edward M. Iacobucci, the Osler Chair in Business Law at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law.

    • Copyrights

      • Massive Copyright Class Action Settlement Approved: Record Labels to Pay $50 Million
      • Access Copyright Responds: So Much For Getting the Facts Straight

        Access Copyright has posted a two-page response to my recent series of blog postings (transactional licensing, economics of the collective, future reforms, all three posts in single PDF) titled “Let’s Get the Facts Straight on Access Copyright.” Unfortunately, as has become typical for an organization that based its advocacy strategy on Bill C-32 on misleading claims about fair dealing in an effort to “break through” beyond talk of digital locks and levies, the document contains very few facts to address its transparency and financial concerns.

      • Big Content sued for not paying musicians

        While Big Content claims that it is taking action against file sharers to protect the poor struggling musicians, it seems that this is not the case.

        A judge has given the go-ahead to a $50-million settlement in a copyright infringement lawsuit brought against four Canadian record labels for unpaid royalties. Judge George Strathy of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice approved the settlement of the proposed class action in Toronto on Monday.

      • Senators Want To Put People In Jail For Embedding YouTube Videos

        So yeah. If you embed a YouTube video that turns out to be infringing, and more than 10 people view it because of your link… you could be facing five years in jail. This is, of course, ridiculous, and suggests (yet again) politicians who are regulating a technology they simply do not understand. Should it really be a criminal act to embed a YouTube video, even if you don’t know it was infringing…? This could create a massive chilling effect to the very useful service YouTube provides in letting people embed videos.

Reader’s Picks

Clip of the Day

Benny Goodman Orchestra Sing Sing Sing from Hollywood Hotel

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 31/5/2011: Pardus 2011.1, Openoffice.org Petition

Posted in News Roundup at 9:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • OpenSUSE Workstations Used for Rendering Real Facial Expressions in L.A. Noire (By Rockstar Games)

    Couple of days back, we reported that how a Fedora system running KDE SC4 was used for Animation production in BBC’s Doctor Who Series.

    Here is yet another instance where Linux systems are being used for production in entertainment industry. This time Rockstar games, who gave the world Grand Theft Auto series used Linux systems (OpenSUSE/SUSE Linux) in rendering real life facial expressions to the characters in their game L.A. Noire (released on May 17th). Again, KDE is used as the desktop environment. Though I am not able to identify which software (not seems to be native) is being run on the system.

  • Richard Stallman’s Opinion On Dual Booting – “Defenestrate It”

    We all know that Richard Stallman has some very strong, serious and unconventional views on software freedom. Well, someone decided to ask him his view on dual booting Linux with Windows. His reply? “Defenestrate it.”

    Defen what? Well, I must also admit that I have never heard this word before. According to Wikipedia, “Defenestration is the act of throwing someone or something out of a window.”

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Problems With The GNOME Shell

        Debates surrounding Linux desktop environments, especially the new Ubuntu Unity shell and the GNOME 3.0 Shell, tend to be very polarized. There also tends to be lots of trolling by users when such debates occur within our forums and elsewhere. But what do graphics driver developers — and those not out simply to rant — think of the new desktops? Well, Alex Deucher of AMD recently switched over to the GNOME Shell and he’s provided a list of issues he’s had with the experience thus far.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Is Fedora 15 Faster Than Ubuntu 11.04?

          Ending out May, we have an interesting set of tests comparing the performance of Fedora 15 and Ubuntu 11.04. This is looking at the “out of the box” performance of both operating systems on three different systems. Not only is the actual test result looked at, but we also compared the power consumption of the two operating systems.


          Overall, Ubuntu 11.04 has better disk performance than Fedora 15, but Fedora 15 has better graphics driver support and performance.

        • Fedora Blogs Going Bye-Bye?

          This may turn out to be little more than a rumor, but Mark Terranova (aka markdude) posted that the Fedora Planet blog would soon be discontinued. This comes just a few weeks after the Fedora Talk service was retired.

          Red Hat stock has seen a lot of growth the last several years. It reached a recent high of nearly $49 a share in December 2010 and has remained in the 40′s all this year. It spent years floating around $20 for after rising respectably in 2005. It hit its lowest point since 2004 with the stock market crash of November 2008 trading at little over $9 a share. However, it’s been climbing fairly steadily since. The only worrisome spots came when players in higher management dumped large blocks of stocks a few times. All that to say Red Hat has done well for itself and isn’t exactly going broke.

        • NetworkManager Downgraded
        • Annoying QA fails: NetworkManager
        • Fedora Board’s Town Hall
        • Preupgrade Fedora 14 to Fedora 15
    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Pelagicore Signs Up to Ubuntu Core for In-vehicle Infotainment Development

            Open source automotive infotainment development specialists, Pelagicore has adopted Canonical’s Ubuntu Core to build new embedded experiences based on broad architecture and open source technologies for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems.

          • Mobica Adopting Ubuntu Core For Embedded Device Development

            Mobica is partnering with Canonical in the adoption of Ubuntu Core, a sub-set of Ubuntu technologies suited for the next generation of Internet-enabled embedded devices such as In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) systems, set top boxes, smart TV and digital devices for the home. Mobica, providers of high-end software development and integration services, is among a number of Canonical partners adopting Ubuntu Core to build new embedded experiences based on broad architecture and open source technologies.

          • Canonical rubbishes Android tablets

            UBUNTU LINUX DISTRIBUTOR Canonical believes the Motorola Atrix is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to smartphones that are able to transform themselves into more traditional computing devices.

            The dual-core Atrix was launched in May and came equipped with the optional extra of a ‘Lapdock’ which, when used to dock the phone, could turn it into a regular netbook.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 11 Review

              The live CD does not come with the proprietary codecs, however you can install them now from the link provided in the welcome screen and in the Linux Mint menu. You can otherwise upgrade to the DVD edition to have the codecs installed by default.

            • What is the sense of gNewSense?

              Most distros (apart from chosen few who violate first type) satisfy both criteria. With small exception. There are too many things around us which are covered by non-free (of second type) license. Most famous examples are MP3 decoder and hardware firmware.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • on the story of browser names

      One of the early graphical web browser that got really popular was Mosaic, developed at National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). Some folks from the team, along with SGI founder Jim Clark, decided that it’s worth a venture and formed a company, originally called Mosaic Communication and then later renamed to Netscape Communication.

    • Tech Blog: Do We Still Care About The Browser Wars?

      Remember when people used to argue about Internet Explorer versus Netscape? Seems like light-years ago, but that era was big enough for documentaries to be produced and books written about it. These days, IE’s market share is plummeting while Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari are all gaining ground fast. So the browser wars still exist, you just don’t hear much talk about it anymore.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Local Libraries Introduce New System Tuesday

      The consortium is moving away from a proprietary system, SirsiDynix’s Horizon Integrated Library System, to an open source software system dubbed BiblioOak and based on a framework called Evergreen.


Clip of the Day

Murray Perahia plays Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata 3rd Movement [HQ]

Credit: TinyOgg

Links 31/5/2011: Linaro Milestones, Ricoh Makes Linux Tablets

Posted in News Roundup at 5:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linaro

    • Linaro: Now a Year Old, the Linux Effort Begins to Deliver

      It was just about a year ago that IBM, Samsung, ARM and others formed Linaro, the not-for-profit organization that aims to make it easier for developers to use Linux on ARM-based devices, and over the past few weeks the group has made several announcements that reveal some of the fruits of its labors.

    • Linaro Non-Profit is Rapidly Hitting Embedded Linux Milestones

      For years, many Linux users wished for it to achieve a level of success on the desktop that in never did achieve; however, a funny thing happened on the way to that state of affairs: Linux succeeded off the desktop. Linux is growing very rapidly on servers, and already powers much of the server infrastructure behind the Internet and many corporate networks. Linux is also gaining traction as infrastructure within mobile operating systems such as Android, and the cloud-centric OS Google Chrome. One remaining non-desktop arena where Linux does very well is in embedded systems and applications. On that front, Linaro, a non-profit organization concentrating on embedded Linux, is maturing.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linus says “absolutely nothing” changes in Linux 3.0
    • New Linux 3.0 kernel, same as the old kernel

      After noodling it around for a while, Linux kernel maintainer Linus Torvalds has decided to shift the version numbering from the 2.6 kernel scheme to a 3.0 version scheme, the first significant change to the kernel numbering system since 2004.

      It’s a change that’s been a long time coming for many kernel developers, and one that will inevitably bring hype.

    • Linus Torvalds Approves Linux 3.0 RC1

      Nearly 20 years after Linus Torvalds’ first Linux post and after 39 major releases for the Linux 2.6 kernel, the OS inventor signed off on Linux 3.0. The new kernel is now available as RC1.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • The Compositing Modes of KDE Plasma Workspaces Explained
      • Plasma Active: Quick Catch-Up!

        We’ve been a bit quiet lately around the Plasma Active farm. This is mostly due to us being rather busy, both with technical as well as organizational tasks. On the technology front, things continue to plow forward at a very brisk pace with Contour shaping up with every passing day and libplasma2 (a big part of the Plasma Quick track) zipping ahead nicely.

      • libplasma2

        The motivation for these changes is based on the history of the library, which grew over the last couple of years in response to changes in Qt (the biggest being the arrival of QGraphicsProxyWidget which was first used in the KDE Platform 4.2 release) and the needs of the increasingly sophisticated applications using libplasma.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Configure Your Gnome 3 Desktop With Gnome Tweak Tool
      • Eye Candy : Faenza – Gnome Icon Theme
      • Ready for Gnome 3.2? Welcome back the weather applet!

        After the world clock, its time for another feature that is added to the 3.2 arsenal of the ‘awesome’ desktop. This time its one of the most requested features of gnome 3.0 that people complained about again and again. Yes, the gnome shell gets a replacement for the weather applet that is missing from the new version our favourite desktop.

      • GNOME 3 in Fedora 15: A Case of Acclimatisation and Configuration

        When I gave the beta version of the now finally released Fedora 15 a try, GNOME 3 left me thinking that it was even more dramatic and less desirable a change than Ubuntu’s Unity desktop interface. In fact, I was left with serious questions about its actual usability, even for someone like me. It all felt as if everything was one click further away from me and thoughts of what this could mean for anyone seriously afflicted by RSI started to surface in my mind, especially with big screens like my 24″ Iiyama being commonplace these days. Another missing item was somewhere on the desktop interface for shutting down or restarting a PC; it seemed to be case of first logging off and then shutting down from the login screen. This was yet another case of adding to the number of steps for doing something between GNOME 2 and GNOME 3 with its GNOME Shell.

      • GNOME 3! My experiences so far…

        The big news with GNOME right now is the official release of GNOME 3.0 happened on April 6, 2011. This UI is slick. Majorly slick. The Activities menu gives you an incredibly quick and intuitive overview of everything you have open, a bookmarks bar, and all your workspaces. Before you realize what happened, you’re viewing the window you need on a new workspace and you’re ready to go. If you are used to a little more customization, it can be hard to get used to at first. I’ve found that I have had to change the way I use the computer somewhat to use it efficiently, and train myself to actually work differently. I suppose this is true of any new interface, but it is still a bit of a shock.

      • Elections 2011: fostering the GNOME commercial ecosystem
      • Mixing the old and the new

        A lot has been written on GNOME 3 and, truth be told, I don’t have the digital horsepower (yet) to run GNOME 3 to give an adequate assessment. I think I get what they’re trying to do and, to be honest, I’m not sure I agree with the direction GNOME is taking here.

        Juan Rodriguez is taking the proverbial bull by the horns and has initiated a project called BlueBubble, which marries GNOME 2.32 to the newly released Fedora 15, “breaking the least amount of packages possible.”

  • Distributions

    • A Fun Weekend with AntiX!

      After my antiX installation, I’ve been exploring my new system and I have to say that, as they call it, it is “lean and mean”!

      I still have to adapt my KDE mentality to the Rox/IceVM enviroment of this distro, but so far I’ve managed to find all the applications I’ve needed. Besides, it’s a great brain exercise…routines kill neurons! :P You see, I’m even posting this on antiX!


      Oh, one of the best things of antiX is that, in my case, it does not take much CPU usage…actually, it seems it barely uses it. The most it has used so far is about 20%

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • The Perfect Server – Fedora 15 x86_64 [ISPConfig 3]
        • Fedora 15 Lovelock is not my love – Review

          Fedora 15 is a different story altogether. It’s a distro designed for power users, adorned with a toyish desktop that simply ruins everything. Slow and ineffective, just the opposite of what Fedora has always been.

        • Sometimes the bleeding edge cuts

          Of course once in a while there are some painful hickups. Gedit had been crashing for me since the upgrade to FC15, so I decided to run a yum upgrade this weekend. It grabbed an updated gedit along with some other stuff. Gedit now seems more stable, but unfortunately a lot of other stuff stopped working. Most critically it seems NetworkManager is down and out, so I had to fall back to the trusty old ‘ifup’ command to get online. Also it seems docking station support got an accidental axe in the back, because if I connect my laptop to the docking station, both screens just go black now.

        • Project BlueBubble

          Building on the previous post, I decided to make a ‘clean’ implementation of Gnome 2.32 for Fedora 15 (And beyond!). Specifically for those of us who have already updated, and dislike the new experience.

          Project BlueBubble aims to bring Gnome 2.32 packages in a Fedora-15 compatible way, breaking the least amount of packages possible. It’ll be a repository you can set up, and just “yum install gnome-desktop-classic”to get up and running. The only catch? It’s either Shell or Classic, a lot of packages conflict, but I’m trying my best to allow Gnome-Classic with Gnome 3.0 packages like gedit and totem.

        • Fedora 15 Review | LAS | s17e01
        • Small happy things: Fedora 15 and Bluetooth

          It’s always nice to write about something positive, so I thought I’d just say a quick thanks to whichever mystery person improved Bluetooth support for my Sony Vaio Z (VPCZ1) in the upstream and Fedora kernel revisions between 14 and 15. I have a Bluetooth mouse and also use Bluetooth tethering with my phone. In Fedora 14 kernels, it never quite worked well enough; the mouse would work at first but would not wake up again as soon as it went idle, and tethered data connections were similarly unreliable, the flow of data would just seem to stop after a while.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Thoughts on inverted jellyfish, or my week with SimplyMEPIS 11.0
        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • How Unity, Compiz, GNOME Shell & KWin Affect Performance

            Those that follow my Twitter feed know that over the weekend I began running some benchmarks of the various open-source and closed-source graphics drivers. But it was not like the usual Phoronix benchmarks simply comparing the driver performance. Instead it was to see how each driver performed under the various desktops / window managers now being used by modern Linux installations. In this article are the first results of this testing of Unity with Compiz, the classic GNOME desktop with Metacity, the classic GNOME desktop with Compiz, the GNOME Shell with Mutter, and the KDE desktop with KWin. These configurations were tested with both the open and closed-source NVIDIA and ATI/AMD Linux drivers.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 “Oneiric Ocelot”: 11 Great Features You Can Expect to Find

            In the past few weeks, we have covered a lot about Ubuntu 11.04 as well as its controversial Unity interface. However now, it’s time to take a look at the future of Ubuntu, which is 11.10. Despite being a standard release, Oneiric Ocelot, the upcoming version of Ubuntu will include many important changes. With the somewhat unexciting response Ubuntu Natty received after its release, the onus is now on developers to make sure Ubuntu reaches its 200 million users goal as early as possible.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Tasting some Peppermint Ice

              Lately, I’ve been running into a bit of a problem. My main laptop is getting old. I’ve had it for over four years and while it’s definitely not ready for the scrapheap, I’ve really begun to outgrow it. Either that, or maybe my computing needs are morphing. More details about that another time …

              Seeing as how more and more of my work is moving into the so-called cloud, I’ve been investigating some alternatives to standard desktop Linux distributions — for example, Joli OS. But instead of falling back on the familiar, I decided to try something different. And for me that was Peppermint Ice.

              You can read more about it here. Suffice it to say that Peppermint Ice fairly lightweight and designed for people who use Web-based applications. It uses Openbox as the window manager and, like Joli OS, Web apps launch in a browser window that lacks all the usual adornments and cruft that comes with a browser. There are some applications installed on the hard drive, too; you can get more desktop applications if you need them.


              Overall, I’m quite impressed with Peppermint Ice. It’s fast, lean, and easy to use. It didn’t take long to adapt to using the Web for most (if not all) of my work. My only complaint is that the version of Chromium that comes with Peppermint Ice is a bit out of date. A small problem, but one I’m sure would be remedied by doing a full install and update.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets/MeeGo/Qt

      • Laptops,
        ASUS Eee PC X101 runs MeeGo, costs only $200 (video hands-on!)

        The latter model will come out at the groundbreaking price of just $200. Check out its scarlet construction in the gallery below or jump past the break for our video hands-on.

      • Asus Eee PC X101: $200 netbook that will run MeeGo Linux or Windows 7

        Asus is getting back into the Linux netbook game with the introduction of the Eee PC X101. The company is positioning the new netbook as a thin and light model, measuring just 0.7 inches thick and weighing just 2.1 pounds. Those figures aren’t exactly revolutionary, but they do mean that the new netbook will be thinner and lighter than the original Asus Eee PC 701 which was launched in 2007.

      • A QML Presentation System

        When I was preparing for Qt Developer Days last year, I started out with an unnamed tool to create my presentation and was annoyed with some of its shortcomings. At the time, I decided to do my slides in QML instead, partially to learn it a bit better and partially because I thought it would be kinda cool. I have since then simplified it a bit and by now I have something that I personally find useful, so maybe someone else will too. It’s all QML and JavaScript, so no compilation required.

      • Ricoh Announces Enterprise Device With Tablet Features

        The tablet runs a version of Linux, and its support for advanced scripting language allows developers to write customized forms that can be viewed through a web browser interface.

      • Elaine Negroponte on Computer Usage in Schools

        Back in February, we reported that in OLPC Thailand, XO Students Show No School Improvement. The post was quite controversial – generating the response Roger Siptakiat on OLPC in Thailand on the official OLPC blog.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Open Source In Action at CeBit – stand N04

      Australia’s Open Source Industry Association (OSIA) will be showcasing lead examples of “open source in action” at this week’s CeBit conference in Sydney. The OSIA stand N04 will display a selection of local open source solutions and is highlighting three member companies:

      Pretaweb- PretaWeb is a specialist in development and top tier support for scalable, high availability web content management solutions built using Plone, one of the largest and most dynamic open source projects in the world. PretaWeb has developed and support Plone powered feature rich websites, intranets, mulit-site and e-government shared web platforms for major clients such as the NSW State Transit Authority, Greens Party, CSIRO and O’Brien Glass Industries.

Readers’ Picks

Clip of the Day

Linux GUI Programming with Ruby

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 30/5/2011: Linux 3.0 is Coming

Posted in News Roundup at 7:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • GNU/Linux in USA

    The fact is, GNU/Linux works everywhere for everyone and the whiners’ claim that GNU/Linux is flawed is only based on lack of appearance on retail shelves. What are they going to do next year when more machines running Linux are on the shelves than that other obsolete OS? Even the USA, the strongest user of that other OS can see the benefits of using FLOSS and .

  • Kernel Space

    • Just what is Linux mascot Tux doing in a TV cereal commercial? [Video]

      Reader Dexter S. was watching TV when a commercial for ‘Fruit Loops’ cereal flashed up on his screen with a rather familiar face in tow…

      Although fleeting, the gaudy animated commercial for an overly-sugared cereal appears to show Tux, the official Linux mascot, displayed rather prominently for a split second or so.

    • Linux 3.0-rc1

      Yay! Let the bikeshed painting discussions about version numbering begin (or at least re-start).

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • My KDE Experience

        A few weeks ago I wrote a review of Gnome 3 (With stuff I hated and stuff I liked separated). Since the ‘hated’ one was viewed many times more, I decided to write about the good, the bad, and the ugly about KDE 4.6.3 in a single post.

        As a hardcore GNOME user, switching over to KDE felt weird. Not in a bad way, but I kept on bumping into things that GNOME did different (Not better, different) and kept missing some of GNOME’s defaults.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Gentoo Family

      • Music made with Gentoo, and some modding

        Tonight’s experiment, this time with mlr + the smyth rhodes samples from another track I created. Performed on a monome 128, in Gentoo Linux.


        The picture is a screenshot of my working environment: mlr + JACK Timemachine + QJackCtl + JACKrack + monomeserial. Linux is amazing.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 15 Xfce review

          Final Thoughts: There are lots more about Fedora 15 that I have not covered in this review. Because those are the same across the Fedora editions, I will save them for a review of the main edition, which should be published some time next week. Specific to this Spin, I think the developers should have spent more time in customizing the default Xfce desktop. On a modern desktop operating system, somethings are expected to work out of the box. Unfortunately, on the Xfce Spin of Fedora 15, the most basic of those do not. I hope, Fedora 16 Xfce will provide a better, out-of-the-box user-experience.

        • Fedora (KDE) System Spotted Running Maya 3D on ‘Doctor Who Confidential’

          Maya is shown running with a bunch of terminals open. But Maya? May be remotely. Is Maya is available for Linux? (Just Found, It is indeed available.)

        • My Green Fedora

          I’m not a Fedora user at all. I grew up (so to speak) in the Ubuntu camp, and while I’ve never really embraced the Red Hat sphere, it certainly never lost points for me.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • The bzr-beta-ppa Ubuntu PPA for Beta Users has moved

            As the final step of consolidating all of the official Bazaar PPAs on Launchpad under one Launchpad team, the Bazaar Beta PPA formerly found at https://launchpad.net/~bzr-beta-ppa/+archive/ppa has moved to live under the main ~bzr team at https://launchpad.net/~bzr/+archive/beta. If you are a user and tester of Bazaar beta releases via this PPA, you will need to update your APT sources.list lines – you can see the new sources.list lines under the “Technical details about this PPA” section at the above link.

          • The Five Pillars Of Ubuntu Server 11.10

            - Ubuntu Orchestra
            - Ubuntu Ensemble
            - Ubuntu Server for ARM
            - Making Ubuntu Server the Best Cloud Infrastructure OS
            - Making Ubuntu Server the Best Cloud Guest OS

          • Canonical Chief Designer Hits the Road

            Ubuntu’s head designer, Ivanka Majic, is leaving for an extended motorcycle trip through America, and whether she will return to Canonical remains unclear.

            In a blog post, Majic says that she plans a three month honeymoon with her ​​husband, traveling via motorcycle from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. “I am taking what I believe is officially called ‘a career break’,” she writes.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Bodhi Linux 1.1.0 Review

              Bodh Linux, is a Ubuntu-based distribution, that uses enlightenment as its window manager. Bodhi 1.1.0 is based on Ubuntu 10.04 and is aimed at being relatively easy to use and easy on hardware resources, while at the same time, allowing the system to be very customisable.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Magazine publishers eye Android, finally

          Android may rule the smartphone market but when it comes to magazines Android users are sorely neglected

          Android may well be the most dominant smartphone operating system available. It may also be the OS with the coolest apps. However, there is one area in which Android users are sorely neglected: magazines.

          Take a look around the web. Most of the best magazines already offer an iPad-based subscription to their publications. Apple has been quick to try and lock publishers and readers into its iTunes platform.

        • 50 Paid Android Apps Worth the Price
        • Learn Android online … Free training

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Future Of 3D Is Free: WebM, HTML5 And Firefox

      YouTube has announced that users will be able to watch WebM encoded 3D videos using HTML 5 on Firefox 4. It’s yet another milestone in making the web free of non-free technologies such as Adode Flash and H.264.

      3D is becoming immensely popular. When you walk inside any electronics store here in Europe, you see the TV section dominated by 3D TV sets. In addition to TV sets 3D ready devices are also increasing their foot prints. Desktop and notebook users can also enjoy the power of 3D with Nvidia’s cards.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla And Google Going After Browser Memory

        Both Mozilla and Google have recently highlighted a more visible and detailed view of the memory that is consumed by a browser as well as content.

        As we are moving more and more to an Internet that is featuring applications in your browser, it will also be more important to make effective use of available memory on a client system. Mozilla and Google are leading an awareness campaign directed at developers to highlight a problem that could reveal a performance bottleneck.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Updates on the Foundation

      Some time has passed since we announced that we reached the goal of our 50.000 € fundraising challenge. In the meantime, we’ve updated you on our legal process via this blog, and so I’d like to post another update on where we stand and what our roadmap is.

  • Business

    • Cutting into open source business models with a sharp knife and a squeeze
    • Univa Unifies Grid Engine and Eucalyptus Clouds

      Univa (www.univa.com) the Data Center Optimization Company, today announced it has partnered with Eucalyptus Systems to enable organizations to seamlessly integrate Eucalyptus on-premise cloud management software into their Grid Engine compute environments. This enables organizations using Grid Engine to fully exploit the benefits of dynamic, scalable and self-serve cloud systems within the backbone of their production compute and data analysis infrastructures.

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Public Beta!

        We are making an open source release of the Acunu Storage Core under GPL v2 at the same time as this beta release. If you want to look at the source code, learn, explore, critique or extend what we have done, please go right ahead. You can find our more about the open source distribution here.


    • Free software campaigner Richard Stallman cancels Israel lectures due to Palestinian pressure

      The American software freedom activist Richard Stallman has cancelled a lecture that he was scheduled to give at Tel Aviv University due to pressure from the Palestinian Authority.

      The funding for his trip came from the Palestinians who invited him to lecture for them, Stallman wrote in a letter explaining the cancellation.

    • Palestinian pressure causes Linux founder to cancel Israel visit

      “I am sorry for the disappointment that I have caused,” wrote Stallman.

    • Richard Stallman at the Senate
    • Behind the scenes of the new GNU mailing list server

      The GNU list server is a monster machine serving lists.gnu.org, lists.nongnu.org and a few other domains. Every day, it spools out over 1 million messages for 2700 mailing lists. Until April 11, our venerable list server was an 8-year old Fedora Core 2 (!) box equipped with 6 high-speed SCSI drives organized in two RAID packs to maximize I/O bandwidth. These drives were incessantly cranking every day, as Mailman forwarded incoming posts to thousands of subscribers over a saturated T1 uplink at the FSF headquarters.


      …with well-tuned EXT4 file systems running on a RAID-1 array of solid-state drives and a second array of fast hard-drives.

  • Project Releases

    • Gnumeric 1.10.15 aka “TBD” is now available.

      The Gnumeric Team is pleased to announce the availability of Gnumeric version 1.10.15. This version requires the concurrently released Goffice 0.8.15. We also recommend the recently released Libgsf 1.14.21.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

  • Programming


  • Apple

    • Samsung Bites Apple: Wants To See iPad3, iPhone 5 Design

      It’s not even the secret design of the upcoming products which Apple builds with the help of communist China in their sweatshops where suicides are common due to controversial working conditions. We are talking about the ‘old’ Apple products which are already obsolete.

    • Apple Wants Access To Samsung’s Android Devices

      The same Apple that sent a SWAT team to a journalist’s house confiscating his IT equipments just because he published details about an upcoming iPhone. Instead of going after the one who stole the phone Apple went after a journalist.

      Apple is known for arm-twisting. The draconian, secretive Apple which displayed such aggressiveness in that prototype case now seeks that Samsung should hand-over product samples, packaging, and package inserts to the Galaxy S2, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Infuse 4G, and 4G LTE or “Droid Charge.”

    • Italy Thinks Apple Is Ripping Off Customers On Their Warranties [AppleCare]

      Piana, who was directly involved in what he calls the “first wave” of disputes from the Italian Antitrust Authority over paid extended warranties, says they see it as making the consumer pay for something they are already guaranteed by law.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Russia’s occupation of Georgian territory must end

      t is a little under three years since the Russian Federation’s invasion of the Republic of Georgia which claimed the lives of more than 400 innocent civilians.

      While the conflict has received little international attention of late, the ongoing Russian occupation of Georgian sovereign territory remains one of Europe’s bloodiest running sores. As I write, 20 percent of Georgia’s territory in Abkhazia and South Ossetia remains under the control of the Russian army.

      Standing on the line of occupation between the area under the control of the Georgian central government and the breakaway province of South Ossetia, the view is much the same as any other picture-postcard scene from the Caucasus.

    • Patriot Act surveillance provisions extended in nick of time

      The US Congress, racing the clock and rejecting demands for additional safeguards of civil liberties, passed a bill on Thursday to renew three expiring provisions of the anti-terrorism Patriot Act.

      Barack Obama, who is in Europe, signed it into law shortly before the provisions were set to expire at midnight. A White House aide said he used an “auto pen”, which replicates his signature.

      Obama acted shortly after the Republican-led House of Representatives and the Democratic-led Senate approved the bill overwhelmingly. It passed the House, 250-153, hours after it cleared the Senate, 72-23.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Phantom Efficiencies: US Economy Still Running Very Slow

      The problem remains, however, that in order to carry debt loads both public and private the US is still very dependent on strong industrial growth to generate revenues, and support wages. Accordingly, in the near term less energy inputs into the US economy more immediately aligns with less output. In other words, a more efficient economy is slowly being born. But until then, we will struggle with the transition. | see: US Average Annual Total Energy Consumption 1975-2010.

    • Speculator Ghosts in the Oil Machine
  • Finance

    • Fed Gave Banks Crisis Gains on Secretive Loans Low as 0.01%

      Credit Suisse Group AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc each borrowed at least $30 billion in 2008 from a Federal Reserve emergency lending program whose details weren’t revealed to shareholders, members of Congress or the public.

      The $80 billion initiative, called single-tranche open- market operations, or ST OMO, made 28-day loans from March through December 2008, a period in which confidence in global credit markets collapsed after the Sept. 15 bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

      Units of 20 banks were required to bid at auctions for the cash. They paid interest rates as low as 0.01 percent that December, when the Fed’s main lending facility charged 0.5 percent.

    • Former Senator Judd Gregg to Join Goldman Sachs

      It’s been a good month for government regulators going to join the companies they regulate. On May 11, Comcast announced Meredith Baker would leave the FCC to join its board, after she approved its merger with NBC Universal a few months earlier. Today, the news is about Judd Gregg, the former three-term Republican senator from New Hampshire, who is going to work for Goldman Sachs.

    • William Black on Wall Street fraud

      Former banking regulator William Black speaks about rackets and fraud in the financial sector. He says Wall Street’s fraudulent CEOs looted with impunity, were left in power, and were granted their fondest wish when Congress, at the behest of the Chamber of Commerce, Fed Chairman Bernanke, and the bankers’ trade associations, successfully extorted the professional Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to turn the accounting rules into a farce.

    • Oppenheimer Analyst Fadel Gheit Thinks Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Are Market Manipulators, Need The Government To Open A Can On Their Asses
    • Lock ‘em up

      Former Tory peer and leader of Essex County Council Lord Hanningfield has been found guilty of expenses fraud. Jail’s too good for him, says Shane Greer

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Oregon Senator Wyden freezes second Internet censorship bill

      A U.S. Senator from Oregon has once again taken a stand against his own party to defend what he sees as the inherent right to free speech on the Internet, placing a hold on a bill that could force search engines and Internet service providers to block websites deemed to be “infringing” on copyrights.

      The Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act — or “PROTECT IP” for short was part of a second attempt to pass provisions of the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), which failed to clear Congress during its last session thanks to a parliamentary maneuver by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).

  • Privacy

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • A Hippocratic oath for the internet

      That is the message I would like to bring to the e-G8 summit on the internet gathered by French President Nicolas Sarkozy this week in Paris.

      I am apprehensive about a meeting of government and industry that begins with the presumption that they wield authority over the internet, the people’s internet. Cory Doctorow decided not to attend, declaring it a “whitewash” for regimes that are at “war with the free, open net.” Perhaps that’s the right decision. Given the chance to go, I decided to witness it up close and say what I have to say so at least I can say I said it. And that is this:

      The internet was born open, free, and distributed. As conceived and built, all bits are created equal. It must stay that way. Sarkozy called this meeting to discuss the growth of the internet. It will grow only if it is open and free.

    • At the eG8, 20th century ideas clashed with the 21st century economy

      Sarkozy drew an explicit line between countries that keep the Internet up and those that closed it down, as Egypt did during the critical moments of its revolution this winter. “The free Internet today marks the difference between a dictatorship and a democracy,” said Sarkozy, noting “those who have tried to close the network have sided with the dictatorship.”

      To portray Sarkozy’s speech as a glowing endorsement of the Internet’s promise for humanity would be misleading. He asserted a strong role for government, given the power that our connectedness now brings. Sarkozy has referred to the Internet as “a territory to conquer” in the past, a position that Electronic Frontier Foundation founder John Perry Barlow made clear he opposed.

      “Now that the Internet is an integral part of most people’s live, it would be contradictory to exclude governments from this huge forum,” said Sarkozy. “Nobody could nor should forget that these governments are the only legitimate representatives of the will of the people in our democracies. To forget this is to take the risk of democratic chaos and hence anarchy.”

    • Telco missteps, overreach leading to Dutch net neutrality law

      Big news out of the Netherlands this week, where a government minister announced plans to guarantee network neutrality by law. If Parliament approves the amendment to Dutch telecommunications law, and it expected to do so, it would become one of the first countries in the world to legislate against Internet providers who want to charge more for using particular applications or services.

    • Mubarak’s $90M ‘phone bill’

      A CAIRO court has fined Hosni Mubarak and two ex-ministers $90 million for “damaging the economy”.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • PayPal Sues Google Over Mobile Payment Secrets

      Google Inc. was sued by PayPal Inc., the fastest-growing unit at online marketplace EBay Inc. (EBAY), over claims it misappropriated trade secrets from PayPal’s mobile- payment business.

      Osama Bedier, a former PayPal executive now at Google, stole PayPal’s confidential information, the company said in the lawsuit filed yesterday in state court in San Jose, California. Stephanie Tilenius, another ex-PayPal executive now at Google, violated contractual obligations by recruiting Bedier, PayPal said.

    • Trademarks

      • Trademark Squatters 0001 – OutbackZack

        Trademark Squatters have become a huge problem in the last couple of years. The value of a mark in commerce is immense, but often marks are not registered, with the owner depending upon common law recognition of rights.

        Trademark Squatters take advantage of inability of government agencies to check the truthfulness of statements made when a mark is registered, and the lack of sanctions for lying under oath. Most especially the lack of sanctions means that there is no effective action taken against Trademark Squatters.

        The Government Agency which supposedly exists to protect the Mark Owner instead protects the Mark Squatter against the Mark Owner. When ownership is finally settled at great cost to the Mark Owner, the Mark Squatter walks away unscathed, with the profits that he or she has accrued from his or her actions, ready to do it all again, against some other unsuspecting Mark Owner.

    • Copyrights

      • Senate panel approves controversial copyright bill

        A U.S. Senate committee has unanimously approved a controversial bill that would allow the U.S. Department of Justice to seek court orders requiring search engines and Internet service providers to stop sending traffic to websites accused of infringing copyright.

        The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act, or PROTECT IP Act, which would also allow copyright holders to seek court orders requiring payment processors and online ad networks to stop doing business with allegedly infringing websites.

      • The Access Copyright Backlash: Writers Union of Canada Calls for Collective Licensing Reform

        Last week’s series of posts on Access Copyright (transactional licensing, economics of the collective, future reforms, all three posts in single PDF), which examined the astonishing lack of transparency behind the copyright collective and the small percentage of revenues that are ultimately distributed to Canadian authors, resulted in a large number of private emails from authors expressing gratitude for the posts and venting enormous frustration. The concerns with Access Copyright broke out into the open this weekend at the Writers’ Union of Canada annual general meeting as the TWUC passed a motion recognizing the lack of control over how licensing revenue is managed and the inability of Access Copyright to represent creator interests. As a result, the TWUC plans to investigate operational separation of creators’ and publishers’ interests in collective licensing.

      • The Major Labels Think That They Own The Independent Artists – Do They?
      • It’s the law

        Not content with that, we then make it perfectly legal for the accuser to hand in false claims and allegations.

        How could we make that law better? Easy: by making it impossible for you to challenge or to defend yourself against the accusations.

        The above refers of course to that hobby horse of mine, the new Copyright Act that kicks in this September.

Clip of the Day

NVIDIA Project Kal-El Demo: Glowball

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 29/5/2011: KDE 4.7 Previews, MeeGo With Wayland Likely

Posted in News Roundup at 9:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • If Microsoft made Linux
  • Heart of Linux – part 2
  • Heart of Linux – part 3
  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux mainline contains all the Xen code bits for Dom0 and DomU support

      After a relatively long road traveled with a few bumps along the way, as of yesterday, Linus’s mainline tree (2.6.39+) contains literally every component needed for Linux to run both as a management domain kernel(Dom0) and a guest(DomU).

      Xen has always used Linux as the management OS (Dom0) on top of the hypervisor itself, to do the device management and control of the virtual machines running on top of Xen. And for many years, next to the hypervisor, there was a substantial linux kernel patch that had to be applied on top of a linux kernel to transform into this “Dom0″. This code had to constantly be kept in sync with the progress Linux itself was making and as such caused a substantial amount of extra work that had to be done.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Is AMD Open-Sourcing Something Next Week?

        Some Linux users seem to think that next week, Advanced Micro Devices will be open-sourcing — something — relating to their graphics stack. Firmware? ATI Avivo? OpenCL / Stream work? UVD unit specifications?

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • XMonad: a tiling window manager

      It’s an intelligent window manager written in Haskell whose ‘main’ peculiarities is to automatically position windows without overlapping. Xmonad has several advantages (which i found on the homepage of the project): tiling windows, minimalism, stable (and having tried hard, I can confirm), extensibility, many features (for example, supports xinerama), simple, supported .. .

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Commit Digest for 22 May 2011
      • Five cool KDE widgets for your desktop!

        With all the hype around Unity and Gnome 3, KDE fans might be having a lousy time and feel ignored. We are bored with those two anyway ;-). Its time for a change. KDE fans rejoice!! KDE has many very cool and useful widgets which you can add on your KDE desktop or in your taskbar. Lets have a look at the top 5 widgets.


        Great plasmoid for tracking your system processes. In this widget you’ll get six segments – CPU monitor, HDD status, Hardware info, Network monitor, Memory status and Hardware temperature.

      • The Underlying KWin Improvements In KDE 4.7

        Now that the first KDE SC 4.7 beta is available, Martin Gräßlin, the lead developer of the KWin, has blogged about some of the underlying improvements made to the compositing window manager for KDE during this development cycle. Of course, most Phoronix graphics junkies will already know what’s changed based upon previous articles, but here’s an overview for those not caught up to speed.

      • Plasma Compositor and Window Manager in 4.7

        With the first Beta for KDE Plasma Workspaces 4.7 out of the door it is time to look back what we achieved in the last half year for the KDE Plasma Compositor and Window Manager. Personally I think this will become a very great release with hughe improvements for our users. The best about it is, that users should not even notice that anything changed at all. Almost everything we did is under the hood improving performance, stability and rendering.

      • KDE 4.7 – A First Look At Beta 1

        In my view, 4.7 is looking like it’s going to be a solid release. Nothing earth shattering in there, just delivering more polish, refinement and (in the case of akonadi) promises made some time ago.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • The Cauldron is Bubbling!

        Will the Cauldron bubble for a long time, or will magic fade away?
        Will this distribution bedazzle a simple computer user who, following a star like one of the Magi, came to the world of Linux to discover a different reality?
        In three days, will we see a magical light?

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat (RHT) Could Fall Through $42.42 Support Level
      • Red Hat gives executives raises

        Red Hat, the Raleigh software company with a booming business, gave its top executives modest annual raises this week.

        CEO Jim Whitehurst’s base salary rose to $775,000, for example, a 3 percent increase, Red Hat reported Friday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Chief Financial Officer Charlie Peters and others got similar raises.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 15

          As usual, the odd number release is what I update to. I don’t know what it is, it just seems like even when multiple new huge features that the odd releases go smoother. Prior to my joining the QA team, this was the case, all the way back to FC1 (of course, I did skip FC2 because I didn’t realize it had been released until after FC3).

          I’ve been running Fedora 15 for about a month now, and I think it’s great. I love the new features, even Gnome 3. The only thing that really doesn’t seem to provide me any real improvement is systemd. systemd’s parallelization is only a real benefit on multi-core hardware, which does not apply to my graying machine. That said, I’m not going to knock it like some folks seem to be doing.


          How does it compare to Ubuntu 11.04? Well, besides having newer technology, Fedora lacks the little things in Ubuntu that mommick me for dear life.

        • Intel Sandy Bridge On Fedora 15 Is Decent

          For those Intel “Sandy Bridge” hardware customers that may be trying out the recent release of Fedora 15, the experience is decent and is in much better shape than the troubling support in Ubuntu 11.04. It is not in tip-top shape as there are some recent optimizations in the Linux kernel and Mesa that haven’t landed in Fedora 15 (at least not yet in the form of an update), but it’s suitable overall.

          Installing Fedora 15 (x86_64) to the HP EliteBook 8460p that Intel sent over had went very well. This notebook is being used for per-commit Intel Linux driver benchmarking, but prior to that I’ve been running a few other Linux SNB tests under different environments. This Hewlett-Packard notebook has an Intel Core i5 2520M CPU, 160GB Intel SSD, 4GB of system memory, and Intel HD 3000 graphics.

        • Fedora 15 KDE: When New Old Is Better Than New New.

          But Fedora is not GNOME-only oriented system. It features several “spins” with different desktop environments: KDE, LXDE, XFCE. Actually, there are some other spins for specific purposes, but that is not part of our today’s discussion.
          Having used different distros for some time, I still prefer KDE to any other desktop environment. That’s why I could not pass by opportunity to try Fedora’s KDE spin.

    • Debian Family

      • Changes to Ruby in Debian (and Ubuntu)
      • Derivatives

        • SimplyMEPIS 11 – My First Experience with MEPIS, Ever

          I thoroughly enjoyed my time with MEPIS 11. If I was in the market for a new KDE 4 centric distribution it would be a strong contender. It has a helpful community and good documentation. It’s got several graphical tools that make administration painless and comes with wireless drivers through Ndiswrapper, multimedia players that have not been crippled, the necessary codecs and Adobe Flash preinstalled. It benefits from access to a huge range of packages through the Debian repositories, enhanced by the additional repositories MEPIS offers. As such it could appeal to users relatively new to Linux just as much as it could appeal to old hands who just want a functional system quick, tired of the rigmarole of having to set up everything by hand. This sounds similar to the user base of PCLinuxOS and Mint.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) end-of-life reached on April 30, 2011.

            This note is just to confirm that the support period for Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) formally ended on May 1, 2011 and Ubuntu Security Notices no longer includes information or updated packages for Ubuntu 9.10.

          • Ubuntu Power Users: first meeting

            The Ubuntu Power Users Community had a meeting on Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 17:00 UTC in the #ubuntu-meeting channel. This was the first meeting of this new community, and we had many things on our agenda: the organization of the team, the team logo/branding, the overall team goals and purpose, our long term goals and the goals for the Oneiric cycle. Although we discussed many topics, we didn’t manage to talk about everything we originally planned.

          • Problems Open Doors To Solutions

            The folks who have reached out to me that I described at the beginning of this blog entry have faced these kinds of challenges, and I would like to encourage everyone to view these challenges as an awareness of problems that now allow us to make today the first day of the solution. This not only puts us in a better mental state (process the problem sucks, working the solution is far more empowering), but I think it also demonstrates a positive personality trait about constantly striving for self-improvement. It is also a very attractive attribute from a career perspective.

          • ShuttleworthDon Quixote Tilting at FLOSS

            Mark Shuttleworth doesn’t get FLOSS, the concept. He gets FLOSS as a business, but doesn’t understand that an essential element is that Free Software remains Free.

          • Look Out, Future: Ubuntu CTO Matt Zimmerman Joins Locker Project & Singly

            After seven years as the Chief Technology Officer of the world’s leading Linux distro Ubuntu, Matt Zimmerman announced today that he’s leaving that position to join a technology project we said was “aimed directly at the future of the web” when we wrote first about it earlier this year: open source personal data locker platform The Locker Project and its corporate counterpart, Singly.

          • Why I’m excited about joining Singly
          • Issue #49 is out for the taking!
          • Canonical and Ubuntu Needs to Settle Down

            I am not averse to changes. I like experimenting with new applications and features every now and then. I have no problem with that. But that is not the case with majority of Computer users out there. For them, Computer is just a tool to get things done in a much faster and efficient manner. The sooner Canonical realize this, the better.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • The Lubuntu 10.04 Experiment

              On my “middleweight” PC, having been dissatisfied with Linux Mint 9 LXDE, I decided to try Lubuntu 10.04. This is Ubuntu with the lightweight LXDE desktop, and is claimed to run in a Pentium II with 128 MB of RAM (though 160 MB is required for the standard installer). Unlike version 10.10, 10.04 will also work with older “i586″ (Pentium I and AMD K6) CPUs.

              Installation went smoothly. I was already familiar with the LXDE desktop from my testing of Linux Mint; it’s a good basic GUI that should be reasonably familiar to any Windows or Linux user. The default set of applications for Lubuntu is remarkably similar to Linux Mint 9 LXDE, except that Lubuntu offers the Chrome browser and Sylpheed for email.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • MeeGo Could Switch Over To Wayland This Year

      Even since Canonical decided that they are planning to ditch X.org and are planning to switch over to Wayland, I have been quite excited about the possibilities of Wayland. Today, we have more Wayland related good news – MeeGo might switch over to Wayland before the year ends.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • As netbook sales fall, Intel will slash Atom pricing

        Intel will respond to falling netbook sales by slashing the price of its upcoming “Cedar Trail” Atoms, bringing the cost of complete devices below $200, reports say. The 1.86GHz Atom N2800 and 1.6GHz Atom N2600 will both sport dual cores, while TDPs will be 3.5 and 6.5 Watts, respectively.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Does Amazon “owe” open source? Maybe a little

    When most people look at Amazon, they probably see a retail giant that’s constantly growing and reaching into new markets. But at the core of almost all of Amazon’s success is open source — yet you rarely see Amazon participating and contributing. What’s up with that?

    Glyn Moody raised this point on Wednesday, and I have to say he’s spot-on. Moody compares Amazon and Google — companies of similar size, that both depend heavily on Linux and open source. Yet Google is an active participant and contributor in open source, and Amazon largely sits on the sidelines.

    Consider, for example, the Linux kernel. Amazon uses tons of Linux, not only to power all the servers that it uses for retail but also for Amazon Web Services — and in its own Kindle device, which is by all accounts selling like hotcakes. But Amazon doesn’t turn up in the top 20 kernel contributors. (Google does, though a bit lower than one might think — just after Samsung and Oracle.) Why isn’t Amazon more active?

  • Open source used to be the John Lennon of computing
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Intros Website Permissions Manager In Firefox 5; More Power To The User

        The internet has two faces to it. One is that it is becoming more and more complex day by day and the second is the fact that this complexity is underlying because if you look at it this way – The Internet is simplifying a lot of things for users these days. Well, with all this happening one question arises is that how secure is the user on the Internet? Privacy issues have been one of the most debated topics on the web ever since Facebook was under fire for it’s complex user privacy options.


        There is some work still remaining about this new Website Privacy manager such as a more polished UI and addition of more granular controls plus the incorporation of features like “always access securely” (HSTS).

      • Get a Sneak Peek of Firefox 6

        Mozilla on Friday flipped what’s to become its Firefox 6 browser over to the Aurora channel where it’s now available for download and testing. The Aurora channel is where Mozilla offers up early builds with the “newest innovations” before they make the jump to beta, and then eventually released as a final build.

      • Firefox Aurora Jumps To Version 6

        I’m probably not the only user who thinks that the increase in Firefox builds has made it difficulty to keep up to date with the latest features and improvements. Just like Google Chrome, it has gotten to a point where I’m less interested in keeping track of the development progress. The main reason for that is that it requires more work to stay up to date with development of all different channels.

      • All New FireFox 5
  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • 4 LibreOffice Splash Screens Worth Checking Out

      Alternative LibreOffice splash screens. If you don’t like the default LibreOffice splash screen or if you just want to try something new, here is a collection of 4 LibreOffice splash screens for Ubuntu with installation instructions.

    • Developer Interview : Rob Snelders
    • Real-Time Ready

      Java has long been one of the central technologies of enterprise applications. The speed and scalability of the JVM, in particular, have endeared it to large IT organizations. But today, companies need more than just fast performance; they are increasingly searching for deterministic, real-time performance.

      Determinism in this sense means that a given action will occur within a fixed time interval, such as delivery of a stock quotation within some number of microseconds. Historically, Java has not been used to fill that role, because of some early design decisions in the platform. However, new options and new technologies are enabling IT organizations to use Java for both standard business needs and situations where deterministic, real-time requirements must be met.

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Moodlerooms Inc., a Baltimore startup, raising $1.5 million

      Moodlerooms Inc., a company that got its start in Baltimore’s Emerging Technology Center incubator, disclosed with the SEC today that it is raising a $1.5 million round of investment in the form of debt and unsecured promissory notes that will turn into equity.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OpenFormula Success!

      After years of work, the world is making a step forward to letting authors own and control their own documents, instead of having them controlled by office document software vendors.

      Historically, every office document suite has stored data in its own incompatible format, locking users into that suite and inhibiting competition. This lack of a free and open office document format also makes a lie out of archiving; storing the bits is irrelevant because formats change over time in undocumented ways, with the result that later programs often cannot read older files (we can still read the Magna Carta, but some powerpoint files I created only 15 years ago cannot be read by current versions of Microsoft Office). Governments in particular should not have their documents beholden to any supplier; important government documents should be available to future generations.

      Thankfully, the OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications (OpenDocument) Technical Committee (TC) is wrapping up its update of the OpenDocument standard, and I think they are about to complete the new version 1.2. This standard lets people store and exchange editable office documents so they edited by programs made by different suppliers. This will enable real competition, and enable future generations to read the materials we develop today. The TC has already approved OpenDocument v1.2 as a Committee Specification, and at this point I think the odds are excellent that it will get through the rest of the process and become formally approved.


  • A computer is not a toaster!

    Now today’s mobile telephones are thousands of times more powerful, yet all this power is utilised for nothing more than useless electron spinning. Today’s modern computers are way over powered for what they are used for and their real capability and potential is hidden away from the average person, bringing it down to, in those persons eyes, the same class as the humble kitchen toaster.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Flu Warning: Beware the Drug Companies!

      In February 2009, a spike in influenza cases was detected in hospitals around Mexico City. Mexican government officials sent samples of throat cultures from patients to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Canadian National Laboratory in Winnipeg, whose scientists found a new version of the H1N1 influenza virus, named for the type of hemagglutinin and neuraminidase molecules on its surface that enable it to spread within the body.

      The discovery of what came to be known as “swine flu”—because pigs were the original source of the virus—aroused enormous concern in public health circles. The 1918 flu pandemic that killed tens of millions of people globally was also caused by an apparently new version of H1N1 influenza. Although other H1N1 viruses had been circulating in US populations for more than thirty years,

Clip of the Day

Bloppers VideosChistosos.net

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 28/5/2011: GNOME 3 Analyses, Miro 4.0 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 8:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux Australia wants to boost its PR stocks

    As the number of events organised under its patronage increases, Linux Australia (LA), the umbrella organisation for Linux user groups Down Under, is actively looking for people who can be part of a media sub-committee.


    Apart from the LCA, Linux Australia, through a sub-committee, runs PyCon, Drupal Down Under, and WordCamp; it has also provided a grant to The Ada Initiative, a project that seeks to increase the involvement of women in free and open source software.

  • Heart of Linux – part 1

    I gave a talk to my local Linux User Group last night. By my reckoning, I could blitz through it in about 40 mins if it didn’t seem to be of enough interest, or go into a lot of detail and take an hour and a half.

    In the event, two hours after I’d started, I was finally allowed to finish because people had trains to catch. So I guess it went over fairly well. So here’s my attempt at a transcription, for whatever interest it might be.


    11 is not “bad software”. X11 is more than twenty years old!

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • CleanCache Merged Into The Linux Kernel

      While the first Phoronix benchmarks of EXT4, Btrfs, and XFS on the Linux 2.6.39 kernel were just published this morning, an interesting change was just made for the next Linux kernel that will affect many of the file-systems living within the kernel. For what will be the Linux 2.6.40 kernel, or rather the Linux 3.0 kernel is the finally-merged support for CleanCache.

    • Linux performance improvements
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Kraft 0.43 Release

        esterday I did a new release of Kraft, the KDE application to create and manage business documents in the small enterprise. It is version 0.43, the former one was 0.42, release in april 2011. Both releases, where the latter is a kind of maintenance release of the first are the result of a comparable high development effort of the underlying code in catalog handling and document lists in Kraft.

        The document lists consisting of a latest, complete and time sorted view are now fully based on one Qt interview model feeding the views. That was a step because the original code was based on Qt3′s treewidget code. The result is convincing: the time needed to build up all views with a couple of thousand documents went down from around 20 seconds with the old implementation (which of course was not optimized) to almost nothing now. A nice result.


        * Kraft Mobile – spin off a mobile app working on the new form factors providing useful functionality

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Zukitwo: A Beautiful GNOME2/3/Shell Theme Pack

        Zukitwo is a pack of GTK2, GTK3 (with 3 variations) and GNOME Shell themes. In this post I’ll only cover the GTK3 and GNOME Shell theme (you already know how to apply GTK2 themes, right? If not, have a look in the “INSTALL” file).

        Since the pack comes with both GTK2 and GTK3 themes, if you’re using GNOME 3, GTK2 applications will still look great. And of course, you can also use these themes (except for the GNOME Shell theme obviously) in the old GNOME 2.

        I especially like the GNOME Shell theme which comes with a transparent Top Bar and a beautiful Message Tray, giving GNOME Shell a glassy look.

      • Recent goings on in GNOME design

        Things have been busy in GNOME design since 3.0 was released. We’ve been hard at work, taking care of the small details as well as embarking on new projects. I’m sure I’ll have missed plenty of things, but here is a rundown of what’s been happening.

      • Ready for Gnome 3.2? The Shell gets world clock

        The new Fedora 15 is released and people start to really get a feel of the new Gnome shell 3.0. But not the developers as they are working hard on the next major version 3.2 of the redesigned desktop. One of the changes is that there could be a world clock that is coming to gnome shell. One of the Google summer of coders this year, a person called ‘Stéphane Maniaci’ is working on improving the current incarnation of the clock menu. The new clock is supposedly will have capabilities to display times from different locations.

      • Five must have Gnome shell extensions for Fedora 15

        This is a list of five must have gnome shell extensions. You can find the commands below on how to install each extensions. After installing you need to restart gnome shell (type alt + f2 and press ‘r’) or logout and back again for the extension to start working.

      • Gnome3 – yep, yet another Gnome3 post

        I’ve stated from the start, G3 is a massive shift for the end user experience, and a ballsy move in itself. When I first tried G3 it stood out as being an entirely different user experience to the windows-esque DE’s we are used to seeing. This, for me is an uber-cool move forward and more power to gnome for doing it.

      • Early thoughts on GNOME 3

        I must admit, the first time I installed Fedora 15 alpha, I did it only to test out what GNOME 3 was all about. It looked like an interesting interface that would work on a tablet-like device, having used the Andriod-based Archos 10.1 for while now.

        When Fedora 15 was officially launched on May 24th, I decided to move my work machine (a Dell Vostro v13) from Fedora 14 to 15.

      • Gnome (S)hell – Its underlying principles are an insult to users

        After trying Gnome (S)hell for the first time I was very optimistic, I thought a good future lies ahead but no longer.

        Looking a little bit more into Gnome (S)hell I have become very annoyed at the truth. The truth being Gnome (S)hell is designed for the mentally impaired.

  • Distributions

    • The Gentoo Newsletter (or why we don’t have one right now)
    • Dynebolic: forgotten Rasta Tux

      Latest version of Dynebolic 2.5.2 DHORUBA was released in December 2007. History wise, this is just peanuts. But in terms of Linux history, that is “ages ago”. ISO weights just under 700 Mb, in other terms OS was developed to be used from CD image. It is Live CD which means you can run it without installation.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 15 and offlineimap users beware

          This is just a word of warning: if you have upgraded to F15 and you use offlineimap, observe very carefully what it does and ensure you have a backup of your email.

          I noticed yesterday that I couldn’t search for some email that I knew existed. On closer inspection I found a huge chunk of my archive inbox to be missing. Several months worth of emails, they stopped in March and then continued with the emails from yesterday that I had copied in from my Inbox.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Natty Narwhal boot times – What has changed?

            In my Natty review, I did mention that boot times seem to have changed considerably compared to previous versions of the distro. In other words, they got longer, which is kind of surprising as the desktop is quite fast and snappy. I had no numbers to quantify my feeling then, but now I do. Using Bootchart, I profiled the boot times on Natty. So let’s see what happens. Moreover, we’ll check if there’s anything we can do to make things better.

          • Ubuntu Ocelot takes shape

            Plans for the next release of Ubuntu Linux are taking shape. A look at what users can expect

            Earlier this month (May 2011), Ubuntu developers from around the world gathered at the Ubuntu One Developer Summit with the primary purpose of laying down plans for the next release of the operating system. Although not yet set in stone, here are some of the things users can expect from Ubuntu 11.10, also known as Oneiric Ocelot.

            The first thing will be the switch from GDM (Gnome Display Manager) to LightDM for managing initial logins. LightDM is a tenth of the size of GDM and so will remove some of the overhead, and hopefully contribute to faster boot-ups. LightDM is also able to use the WebKit HTML engine to render login screens that can be easily customised using HTML, CSS and Javascript.


            For now the focus is on improving the Unity Launcher and icons, as well as adding additional features, such as progress bars, to existing icons. Ubuntu 11.10 will be released as a beta on 1 September 2011 and as a final release on 13 October 2011.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Bodhi Linux 1.1.0 Released

              Two months after our 1.0.0 release the Bodhi team and I are proud to announce the availability of Bodhi Linux 1.1.0. This is the first of our quarterly scheduled update releases to keep the software on the Bodhi live CD current. The live CD includes a number of package updates including:

              * Linux Kernel 2.6.39
              * Enlightenment SVN Build from 05/23/11
              * Intel 2.15 Drivers
              * Midori 0.3.6

            • Linux Mint 11 (Katya)

              The Mint-X theme has been better integrated with Synaptic, GIMP, Banshee and Deluge.

              The search add-on might be helpful for those who use Firefox 4, Chromium and Opera. It contains bug fixes, more spit and polish, and lets you more easily search Wikipedia, YouTube, Amazon, IMDB and other popular sites.

              The Mint developers also made some changes to the default software selection. LibreOffice is now the default office suite (woohoo!). Gwibber is no included by default, Banshee replaces Rhythmbox, and gThumb replaces F-Spot. I’m fine with these changes, particularly the inclusion of LibreOffice. I shed no tears whatsoever for the demise of OpenOffice; it’s time has come and gone. LibreOffice is where it’s at now.

              Next, I’ll look at the hardware requirements and I’ll show what the install routine looks like in this distro.


              Pros: Attractive default wallpaper. Software Manager has been improved with a font category, bigger category icons, better application pages, and a splash screen. Update Manager’s speed has increased. You can turn off fortune cookies in the terminal. LibreOffice replaces OpenOffice.org. This release retains the GNOME interface and does not use Ubuntu’s Unity.
              Cons: This release is still based on Ubuntu and is probably not well suited for those who dislike what Ubuntu itself has to offer. Those looking for Unity will definitely have to use generic Ubuntu instead of Linux Mint.
              Suitable For: Beginner, intermediate or advanced Linux users.
              Rating: 5/5

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • A Boxee Box review: Recent updates and questions of openness

    The Boxee Box, available since November 2010 with firmware recently upated to 1.1, is a winning compromise that makes a Linux-based HTPC easy enough for the least technical user.

    Linux-based HTPC (home theater PC) systems have been proliferating, and with good reason. Linux is known for being stable over long periods of time. You wouldn’t want to have to reboot your cable box as often as you do a Windows machine, would you?

  • Education

    • Bail out school ICT … Euro-style

      Schools and Colleges can’t procure ICT for toffee. Sure they can spend money and when it was plentiful they did just that. They had separate ring-fenced ICT budgets and mad old BECTA to advise them on what to spend.

      The former was eye-wateringly generous and created a generation of ‘boxed-set’ software reseller millionaires, the later ensured that no matter how dopey the procurement ‘due diligence’ had been done so no-one got fired.

      Once the kit was bought did anyone plan for the capital required to replace them? … not on your nelly, so when the money-tree was chopped down ICT found itself competing with leaky roofs for capital spending which in any case had been cut by up to 80%.

      So here we are ten years on from the mad days with a shed load of ageing stock, the vast majority of which is incapable of running even MS Vista (remember that OS?) and countless instances of expensive Learning Platforms that barely anyone uses.

      Schools are not buying anymore but they sure are spending. School ICT was a bit like buying an Inkjet Printer. The capital cost is very attractively priced but boy are you going to pay later (licences, support, maintenance, electricity, consumables).

  • Project Releases

    • Miro 4.0 Released : New Android Sync Feature, Music Stores, App Markets and More [Install from PPA]

      Miro 4 has been released with a long list of new features and fixes. Miro with version 4.0 aims to be a complete media suite and has come a long way from a being podcast/digital content service. Probably the most exciting features are inclusion of Music and App Stores.

      Miro 4 looks very similar to iTunes and is targeting android user base. It wants to provide same functionality to android users which iTunes is providing to iDevice users: sync music, share music, install apps etc. Miro is completely free, open source project made by non-profit organization. Read on for new features.

    • Hands on: Miro 4.0 offers music management, Android syncing

      The Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF) recently released Miro 4, a major new version of its open source media player. The new version introduces support for music library management and Android device synchronization—expanding Miro beyond its historical roots as a tool for consuming Internet video.

      Miro was originally created in 2006 under the name Democracy Player with the aim of opening up video. Its creators hoped to use the power of the Internet to move beyond the top-down approach of traditional broadcasting. The application makes it easy for end users to consume Internet video content from a wide range of independent sources. The scope of the application has grown over the years, but the focus has largely remained on open technology and encouraging the growth of inclusive content ecosystems.

  • Public Services/Government

    • U.S. Considers Open-Source Software for Cybersecurity

      Open-source software may not sound compatible with the idea of strong cybersecurity, but the U.S. Department of Homeland Security sees such software, which anyone can tinker with, as a possible tool for defending government networks from both online thieves and professional cyberspies.

      A new five-year, $10 million program aims to survey existing open-source software to find those that could fill “open security” needs. Called the Homeland Open Security Technology program, or HOST, it also may plant seed investments where needed to inspire innovative solutions that can fill gaps in cybersecurity defenses.

    • Need open source policy? Ask the DoD.

      It’s coming up on a couple of years since I wrote about the reasonable approach toward open source software adoption put forth by the U.S. Department of Defense, which was ready and willing to use open source, but was not requiring a less-realistic all-open source or only-open source approach.

    • MK: Public involved in finalisation of national Open Source policy

      In the course of March 2011, four public meetings were organised in cities of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in the aim to promote and discuss the draft National Policy for Open Software, by involving the public in the process of finalisation of the text. At the same time, the events marked the last stage of the project for the adoption of this policy.

      The events took place in the cities of Tetovo (14 March), Štip (17 March), Skopje and Bitola (22 March) respectively. Main presenters included representatives of the non-profit organisation promoting Free Software in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Слободен софтвер Македонија -, the Metamorphosis Foundation and the Ministry of Information Society and Administration.

  • Licensing

    • Choosing A License

      For me, the particularly interesting outcome of the tutorial is how it finishes a the turbulent trajectory of the FSF’s relationship with Apache’s license. Initially, there was substantial acrimony between the Apache Software Foundation and the FSF because version 2.0 of the Apache License is incompatible with the GPLv2, a point on which the Apache Software Foundation has long disagreed with the FSF. You can even find cases where I was opining in the press about this back when I was Executive Director of the FSF.


  • Canada’s procurement offer to EU will exclude hydro, urban transit: negotiator

    Canada will be putting a “very ambitious” procurement offer on the table when it heads to Brussels in July for an eighth round of trade talks, said lead CETA negotiator Steve Verheul in a civil society briefing today. But the offer will not include hydro utilities, and will likely also exclude urban transit — both sensitive areas for some provinces which use public spending in those sectors for strategic development and job-creation purposes. Since utilities are a major interest for the EU, it’s hard to see how a procurement offer without them could be “ambitious” unless, perhaps, it is heavy on other municipal commitments which cities across Canada are protesting.

  • 64-bit OS written entirely in assembly

    The folks at Return Infinity just released a new version of their BareMetal OS, a 64-bit operating system written entirely in assembly.

    The goal of the BareMetal project, which includes a stripped-down bootloader and a cluster computing platform is to get away from the inefficient obfuscated machine code generated by higher level languages like C/C++ and Java. By writing the OS in assembly, runtime speeds are increased, and there’s very little overhead for when every clock cycle counts.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • All Your Ideas Belong to Us

      In my search for a teaching position I came across this gem in a collective agreement:
      “ARTICLE 29
      29.01 An Employee who wishes to create or develop school curricula or school resources which are not on the Department of Education approved list of school curricula and resources, and/or use these school curricula or resources with students must seek permission from the Executive Director prior to developing and/or piloting such curricula or resources.
      29.02 All school curricula, resources or material which are created or developed by an Employee during the course of the Employee’s employment with the Employer shall, for all purposes, be the property of the Employer, unless there is another arrangement made in writing between the Employee and the Department of Education. “

      Isn’t that cute? A bureaucratic solution for a non-existing problem. The normal default behaviour is that when a teacher creates content as assigned by the employer, the employer owns that content. This moves the default to “all your ideas belong to us”. Is it a move to stifle creativity? Is it ignorance of the teacher’s role? Is it ignorance of how education happens?

    • Copyrights

      • Why The Situation Is Likely to Get Worse for Access Copyright (But Not Necessarily for Authors)

        My first two posts on Access Copyright this week focused on its decision to stop pay-per-use digital licensing in the wake of the Copyright Board’s interim tariff and the economics behind the copyright collective. This post explains why the situation is going to get worse and offers (admittedly unsolicited) advice about what to do about it (all three posts available as a single PDF).

      • Secret G8 memo reveals outbreak of internet harmony

        A private memo from within the G8 meeting on Thursday between internet chiefs and world leaders indicates strong levels of support from Barack Obama, David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy and co for the principles of internet freedom put forward by Facebook, Google and their peers.

        The confidential document, seen by the FT, supports the internet’s role in furthering the distribution of knowledge and free speech, broadly accepting a light-touch, internationally harmonised approach to regulation.

      • ACTA

        • New version of the ACTA text

          The EU Commission published a new version of the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) text (pdf).

          A Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan announcement mentions an April 15 round of negotiations: “The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was opened for signature on May 1, following its adoption by participants in its negotiations on April 15.”

Clip of the Day

Obama’s car gets stuck at US Embassy

Credit: TinyOgg

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