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Links 5/1/2012: Nginx Beats Microsoft, Alpine 2.3.3, and Hadoop 1.0

Posted in News Roundup at 7:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux 2012: 5 Things to Watch

    As we begin 2012, Linux is 25 years old and showing no signs of slowing down. 2012 should be another solid year for Linux growth and expansion in a number of areas with new development in the kernel, distros and on architectures big and small.

  • How Much Do You Linux?

    My journey with Linux began in 2009, one week before the release of Ubuntu 9.04. I was a long-time Windows user who knew of nothing else, but what Microsoft had to offer for my computer. Years of frustration culminated with me clicking away on Google to look for an alternative, if there was even one. Boy, did my eyes fill with wonder as I found out about Linux, in general, and more specifically Ubuntu. I read and read about it and came to find out that I could test drive it right from the cd itself. It works! It really works! I was ecstatic. I was free from the shackles of Microsoft Windows.

  • Download Linux From Your Desktop With Get Linux

    How do I download Linux? That’s a question that I hear fairly often. It usually leads to follow-up questions, like what is a distribution, which distribution should I download or how do I install Linux on my PC.

  • Linux emerges as a reliable option in 2012

    Linux has been into the market since the late 1990s and is open to anyone who wants to use it. Linux is free and moreover there is no paying for a cd or a product key. Yet many consumers are very skeptical to switch operating systems or download another. Because of various reasons, windows popularity could be one of them and adding to it is the extra work and time needed to install a new operating system.

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • Nginx Passes Microsoft for Active Web Server Share

      New web servers continued to come online at the end of 2011. According to web server stats vendor Netcraft’s January 2012 survey, there are now nearly 583 million sites on the Internet. The January survey figure represents an increase of 27.2 million sites over the December 2011 figures, for a 4.9 percent gain.

    • BT provisions IT faster with Database-as-a-Service

      BT has revealed how automation has enabled it to reduce the time it takes to deliver a new database from weeks to minutes.

      To do this, the telecoms company created a pre-provisioned, six-node rack cluster, which heavily uses automation to create databases for IT projects that require them. This means that new databases can be created on this Database-as-a-Service cluster in just 19 minutes.


      BT has built its entire DaaS on Oracle, except for the hardware. It uses Oracle Database 11g, Oracle Enterprise Linux, Oracle Clusterware and Oracle Automatic Storage Management (ASM).

    • Nginx overtakes Microsoft as No. 2 Web server

      With financial backing from the likes of Michael Dell and other venture capitalists, open source upstart Nginx has edged out Microsoft IIS (Internet Information Server) to hold the title of second-most widely used Web server among all active websites. What’s more, according to Netcraft’s January 2012 Web Server Survey, Nginx over the past month has gained market share among all websites, whereas competitors Apache, Microsoft, and Google each lost share.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • LinuxCon 2011 Europe keynote videos now available

      Keynote videos from the September 2011 LinuxCon Europe conference are now available for on-demand viewing. Keynote presenters and participants included such Linux luminaries as Linus Torvalds, Alan Cox, Thomas Gleixner, Dirk Hohndel, Nils Brauckman, Tim Burk, Jon Corbet, and more.

    • Linux Foundation sites back in action

      The damage from the September 2011 cracking of several Linux Foundation web sites seems to have been repaired, though one site won’t be coming back: the Linux Developer Network.

    • What’s new in Linux 3.2

      Improvements to the Ext4 filesystem, network code optimisations and thin provisioning support in the Device Mapper are some of the major improvements in Linux 3.2. Further additions include new and improved drivers – for example, for graphics hardware by Intel and NVIDIA, as well as Wi-Fi components by Atheros and Broadcom.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Akademy-es 2012 – Call for Host

        KDE España has started planning Akademy-es 2012—the most important KDE-related event in Spain. The conference is an opportunity for Spanish KDE users and developers to meet, share experiences, catch up on KDE news, and plan for the future. Akademy-es includes a range of presentations, workshops, hacking sessions, informal get-togethers and an assembly of KDE España members. KDE members and supporters will be coming from other countries to enjoy famous Spanish hospitality and meet up with KDE friends. The date for Akademy-es depends on what location is chosen and the availability of suitable facilities.

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 11th December 2011
    • GNOME Desktop

      • What does Cinnamon bring to the desktop?

        Cinnamon is another attempt to make the GNOME 3 desktop acceptable to those in the community who have so far refused to have an unpalatable substance rammed down their throats. While MATE is a fork of GNOME 2, Cinnamon is a fork of GNOME 3 Shell. And though better than the other attempts, it does not really represent a sharp break from GNOME 3 + MGSE. Imagine GNOME 3 + MGSE without the Applications view or menu, and you have Cinnamon. The last two updates added some much needed configurations options to the menu, but much still needs to be done.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Alpine 2.3.3 released

        The Alpine Linux project is pleased to announce immediate availability of version 2.3.3 of its Alpine Linux operating system.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • New aptosid Fork, siduction 11.1 Released

        A few day ago a new distribution forked from aptosid announced their first stable release. On the last day of 2011, Ferdinand Thommes announced the release of siduction 11.1. siduction is based on Debian Unstable and ships in versions featuring KDE, LXDE, or Xfce.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical at CES, Las Vegas, 10th – 13th January

            Canonical will have a presence at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, from the 10th – 13th January. The booth, in the Upper Level of South Hall 4, is at location 35379 within the Las Vegas Convention Center.

          • Last Consumer Electronics Show (CES) for Microsoft, First for Canonical

            We have decided that this coming January will be our last keynote presentation and booth at CES. We’ll continue to participate in CES as a great place to connect with partners and customers across the PC, phone and entertainment industries, but we won’t have a keynote or booth after this year because our product news milestones generally don’t align with the show’s January timing.

          • Will an Ubuntu Gadget Debut at CES?

            The start of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is rapidly approaching, and speculation is running rampant as to what shiny new wares will make their debut there.

          • Ubuntu hoists skirt, flashes ‘concept’ gadget at CES

            Ubuntu shop Canonical has promised to make a splash at the annual gadget jamboree, the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas, Nevada, next week.

          • Precise Quality, not just for Precise

            I upgraded my primary laptop to Precise yesterday. Very smoooooth! Kudos to the Ubuntu team for the way they are running this cycle; their commitment to keeping the Precise Pangolin usable from opening to release as 12.04 LTS is very evident.

          • Canonical Seeking Designer for ‘Core Apps’, ‘HIG’

            A recent job posting from Canonical appears to hint at Ubuntu’s continued commitment to first-class user experience.

          • Canonical Will Present Exclusive Ubuntu Concept Design at CES

            Canonical announced last night, January 3rd, that it will present the latest in Desktop, Cloud and Ubuntu One demonstrations, as well as an exclusive Ubuntu concept design, at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) event, in Las Vegas, US.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Comparison Test: Pear OS 3.0 “Panther” vs. Zorin OS 5.2 Core

              There’s been a new distribution making small waves lately called Pear OS. It aims to replicate the experience of Apple’s Mac OS X, and upon first appearances, it seems to do so pretty well. I’m comparing it to Zorin OS, which similarly tries to replicate the experience of Microsoft Windows, to see which one does its job better.

            • Review: Meet ‘Lisa,’ Linux Mint 12

              For someone who has never before tried out a Linux desktop, consider telling them to make Linux Mint 12 their initial exploration.

              This version of the Linux distro, which launched late last year, is code-named “Lisa” and runs the relatively new Gnome 3 desktop graphical user interface. It is based on Ubuntu 11.10.

            • Linux Mint launches Cinnamon desktop

              Not content with its Mint GNOME Shell Extensions (MGSE), nor with GNOME 2 replacement MATE, Linux Mint has decided to launch a new GNOME 3-based desktop dubbed Cinnamon.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Cortex-A9 hardware/software dev platform supports Android 4.0

      Intrinsyc announced a hardware/software development platform for Freescale’s Cortex-A9-based, dual-core i.MX 6 processor, offering support for Android 4.0 and Windows Mobile 6.5. The Open-6 Design and Production Platform combines a development kit, a wireless telephony stack, and a reference platform with a capacitive multitouch display, cameras, sensors, and wireless radios.

    • 13-Year Software Veteran Learns New Tricks with Embedded Linux Course

      Derald Woods is a 13-year engineering veteran who today works in software development, designing and supporting electronic vehicle controls for heavy equipment and trucks. Lately, his time is being used to work on an ARM9-based embedded Linux solution that involves NTSC/PAL video CSI input, V4L2 overlay, and graphics provided by an SDL implementation.

    • Roku media player shrinks again — to an HDMI dongle

      Roku announced a tiny dongle version of its Linux-based streaming player device, designed to plug directly into a TV’s HDMI port. Due to ship in the fall, the “Roku Streaming Stick” will send its signals to — and accept power from — Mobile High Definition Link-enabled televisions, including some of Best Buy’s Insignia models.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • The 10 Rookie Mistakes Every Android Developer Should Avoid

          As veteran mobile application developers with experience in most of the popular platforms of the past decade, we feel that the Android platform is one of the most accessible platforms for new developers. With cheap tools, a friendly development community, and a well-known programming language (Java), developing Android apps has never been easier. That said, we still see a number of mistakes that developers who are new to Android make over and over again. Here are the 10 most insidious gaffes.

        • Android Market tops 400,000 apps, climbing fast

          Google’s Android Market now has over 400,000 apps, and the pace of new code additions is accelerating.

        • Android Market hits 400,000 available apps, says analytics firm
        • Brits got Kindles for Christmas

          Ask punters what they got for Christmas and a rather large number of them say they got a Kindle.

        • Kindle Fire burned up some holiday iPad sales
        • Best Japanese Role-Playing Games (JRPGs) for Android

          Since the late 1980s, Japanese role-playing games or JRPGs have managed to enthrall a wide range of audiences. From Wizardry to Final Fantasy, this genre has garnered a huge fan following not just among the Japanese, but also among Western gamers. Furthermore, since JRPGs have been made for almost every platform that’s out there, our very own Android, which is also a fledgling gaming platform, has seen some great titles in this genre. So, if you’re hankering for a visit to mystical realms and dragon-infested lands, here’s a list of some of the best JRPGs for Android.

        • Quad-core SoC supports Android 4.0, 3840 x 1080 video resolution

          ZiiLabs says it is sampling a quad-core Cortex-A9 SoC (system-on-chip) designed for Android 4.0 tablets. Clocked at 1.5GHz, the ZMS-40 processor is equipped with 96 “StemCell” media processing cores supporting 3840 x 1080 resolution for 1080p 3D stereo video, features 200-megapixel/sec image processing, and supports the new HEVC (H.265) video compression standard, the company says.

        • Android phones need to give root access. Now!

          I wanted to make an impression with my title. I hope I managed. I am writing this article as Gingerbreak’s wheel spins aimlessly runs on my Galaxy S phone. I have little hope that I will actually be root on my phone. Here I am: I intended to write an article about Busybox, in order to turn an Android phone into something that really resembled a GNU/Linux system. I failed, twice: as a user, I failed gaining control of my own phone. As a free software advocate, I failed warning people about what could have happened — and indeed I let it happen.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • MusOpen.org is Commissioning the Prague Symphony Orchestra this January

    It looks like 2012 is going to be a great year for free culture. Possibly my favorite development is that MusOpen has organized its planned symphony recordings for this January. In September, 2010, the free culture organization raised over $68,000 (several times their $11,000 goal) through a Kickstarter campaign, with the intent of commissioning a “internationally renowned orchestra” to perform the Beethoven, Brahms, Sibelius, and Tchaikovsky symphonies.

  • The Jeff Gauthier Goatette: Open Source

    Musicians tend to make pretty decent label bosses. When I saw Adrian Legg perform several years ago, he extolled his new label, Favored Nations, because it was “run by a guitar player.” Violinist Jeff Gauthier is a triple-threat in this regard; he runs the Cryptogramophone label, produces some pretty happening names such as Jenny Scheinman and Erik Friedlander, and he’s one terrific bandleader. On top of all of that, he plays jazz violin like a bat out of hell, swinging the instrument by its tail and knocking over jars in the jazz, classical, and rock fusion departments in the process. Last time out, Gauthier’s modern jazz combo, The Goatette, was greeted with a year-end approving nod from Slate’s Fred Kaplan. Indeed, House of Return was a highpoint for music on the fringes in 2008, and its follow-up Open Source is just as good.

  • # NASA Promotes Open Source With New Website
  • All in the name

    One Debian/Ubuntu-based distro I’ve always liked — Qimo — seems innocent enough, especially since it is kid-oriented. Of course, when you try to pronounce it phonetically, it comes out “chemo,” as in “chemotherapy.” Actually, that’s not the correct pronunciation for Qimo — it’s really “kim-o,” as in “eskimo,” which is the basis for the name of the this distro. I’m not making this up: The lead developer has a toddler son named Quinn, named in part because the developer Dad is a Bob Dylan fan, and hence the “Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)” reference is not lost on the Dylanistas among us.

    Or so I was told.

    Then there’s the ongoing debate about the acronym for the GNU Image Manipulation Program, more commonly known as GIMP. My friend Ken Starks of HeliOS fame — not exactly a paragon in the defense of politically correctness (to his credit) — has a good point when he says that GIMP is insensitive to those with movement disabilities. While I hope a name change is being considered, I would like to think they’re not doing so at the moment because they’re still working on the single-window thing.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chromegate? Google Will Penalize Itself For Sponsored Posts

        Just a few weeks after Google Chrome was reported to have overtaken Mozilla Firefox to become the second most popular Web browser in the world, Google’s glory has been tarnished by a “jaw-dropping,” massive online Chrome advertising campaign that would seem to violate Google’s own guidelines, uncovered by SEO Book blogger Aaron Wall.

    • Mozilla

      • Can Firefox be a Web browser contender again? Firefox 9.01 Review

        The newest Firefox is faster, better, and its parent group is well financed, but is it this version, Firefox 9.01, good enough to win back fickle Web browser users?

      • Mozilla persuades Firefox 3.6 users to dump old browser

        Mozilla’s upgrade call last month pushed more Firefox 3.6 users to grab a newer edition than any month since June 2011, a Web metrics company said over the weekend.

      • Mozilla Updates License – Does it Matter?

        The Mozilla Public License is one of the most influential software licenses in recent memory. In many respects, it is the basis for alot of modern idea about open source, as opposed to just Free Software and the GPL.

        This week, the Mozilla Public License 2.0 was officially released – and to be honest, I was caught a little off guard. I’ve known that work was in progress since at least 2008. In 2010, Mozilla Chief Mitchell Baker let us know that the new MPL 2.0 would remove references to Netscape in the license.

      • Mozilla Releases Version 2.0 of Its License
      • Firefox Aurora for Android gets native UI

        Mozilla has published a new version of Firefox for Android to its Aurora development channel; the version 11 branch was previously only available as a Nightly build. The open source mobile web browser now uses a native Android UI. Traditionally, Firefox implementations have used XUL, an XML-based language that is interpreted by the Gecko rendering engine. According to its developers, the new native UI should provide improved start-up and page load times, while also using less memory. The new native UI also brings a completely re-designed interface and start page.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice: Is the Open Source Software Suite Here to Stay?

      For those who don’t know the back story: In 2010, Oracle acquired Sun, which owned the OpenOffice.org project at the time. Concerned that Oracle might restrict or close the OpenOffice code, or sell the product for money, several groups formed the Document Foundation and forked OO into LibreOffice, an independent endeavor. Since then, most leading desktop Linux distributions have replaced OpenOffice with LibreOffice as their default office productivity suite.

      Meanwhile, the fears of open source advocates were allayed in June 2011, when Oracle handed the OO code over to the Apache Foundation, ensuring that it would not, in fact, become proprietary. Now, Apache is in the process of regrouping and reorganizing the project, but for now development is kind of dormant and there has not been a new release in almost a year.

  • CMS

  • Healthcare

    • WebOS Gets Surprise Second Life in Healthcare

      Andrew B. Holbrook, a Stanford University Department of Radiology research associate, developed a WebOS application that operates an MRI scanner and allows radiologists and other medical personnel to view images captured by the MRI machine on a TouchPad tablet.

      Holbrook designed an app allowing HP’s TouchPad to operate an MRI machine from inside the scanning room, then interface with a PC server located elsewhere. The computers traditionally used to control MRI scanners are cumbersome and costly because they need special modification to reduce metal parts, which react to the MRI machine’s magnetic field and pose safety risks.

    • VA Details Plans to Replace Medical-Scheduling Platform

      The Department of Veterans Affairs wants to overhaul its medical-scheduling software, which is integrated into its VistA electronic health record system.

  • Project Releases

    • Aeon Nox 2.0 XBMC Theme Released, Looks Fantastic!

      Many consider XBMC as one the finest, if not the best, media center application out there, which is also open source. Starting from the previous XBMC 10 ‘Dharma’ release, XBMC started supporting add-ons officially which made it super easy to install third-party developed skins and apps for XBMC. Aeon Nox 2.0 was one such long awaited theme for XBMC and it is now available with the default XBMC 11 repositories.

    • Apache’s Hadoop cloud computing framework achieves 1.0 status

      The Apache Software Foundation’s formal 1.0 release of Hadoop will give enterprises and SMBs a cost effective, open source cloud computing software framework that is mature, stable and features state-of-the-art technologies

    • gnutls 3.0.10
    • FreeIPMI 1.1.1 Released

      Major Updates:

      o Support new tool ipmi-pet, tool to parse/interpret platform event traps.
      o Support new –sdr-cache-file option specify specific SDR cache file in all SDR related tools (ipmi-sensors, ipmi-sel, ipmi-fru, etc.).
      o Support Quanta QSSC-S4R/Appro GB812X-CN OEM SDRs, sensors, and SEL events.
      o Update libfreeipmi for DCMI 1.5 additions.
      o Add petalert.pl contribution.

    • For years in development, is Scribus 1.4.0 worth the wait?

      Open-source, cross-platform desktop publishing package Scribus 1.4.0 has been given a final, stable release, four years after the first developmental version saw the light of day. Over 2,000 feature requests and bugs have been resolved in this new release, which, despite the relatively minor version number jump from 1.3.3.x, is a major new release.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Of Open Source and the European Commission

      At the end of last year I reported on the worrying signs of vacillation from the UK government over its support for truly open standards. At least it’s relatively straightforward to keep tabs on what’s happening in Blighty; Europe is another matter – I find the labyrinthine bureaucracy and its digital shadow pretty hard to navigate. So I was pleased to come across the following page, entitled “Strategy for internal use of OSS at the EC”.

    • DISA revises software guideline clarifying open source rules

      The Defense Information Systems Agency has updated the Application Security & Development Security Technical Implementation Guide, clarifying a commonly-misunderstood Defense Department policy that many saw as a hurdle to open source software use at DoD.

  • Licensing

    • The economic incentive to violate the GPL

      My post yesterday on how Google gains financial benefit from vendor GPL violations contained an assertion that some people have questioned – namely, “unscrupulous hardware vendors save money by ignoring their GPL obligations”. And, to be fair, as written it’s true but not entirely convincing. So instead, let’s consider “unscrupulous hardware vendors have economic incentives to ignore their GPL obligations”.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • C development on Linux – Pointers and Arrays – VI.

      We have come to a crucial point in our series of articles regarding C development. It’s also, not coincidentally, that part of C that gives lots of headaches to beginners. This is where we come in, and this article’s purpose (one of them, anyway), is to debunk the myths about pointers and about C as a language hard/impossible to learn and read. Nonetheless, we recommend increased attention and a wee bit of patience and you’ll see that pointers are not as mind-boggling as the legends say.

    • 10 programming languages that could shake up IT
  • Standards/Consortia

    • Open document standards mandatory in Hungary government

      Hungary’s public administrations will by default use open document standards for their electronic documents, as of April this year, the government ministers agreed on 23 December, and all public organisations are encouraged to move to open source office tools. Hungary’s government also in December decided to cancel the funding of proprietary office suite licences for all schools.


  • Boneheaded Stunts

    Don Reisinger has a list of M$’s mistakes in 2011:

    1. Where were the tablets?
    2. Let Google cement its lead online
    3. Failing to acquire a handset maker
    4. Let Android get away
    5. An odd Nokia partnership
    6. Failing to wrap up the living room
    7. Retaining Steve Ballmer as CEO
    8. Let Google cement its lead online
    9. Overpaid for Skype
    10. Tipped its Windows 8 hand too early
    11. Failing to make the mobile space about security

  • M$ and One of its Partners are at War

    This is great fun for me. One of the last barriers to the desktop space for GNU/Linux is the retail shelf space GNU/Linux gets. Now, M$ is actually suing one of its partners, Comet, a retailer of electronics. I don’t have details but according to Ars Technica, Comet sold recovery CDs to customers against M$’s wishes.

  • The Commodore 64 is 30 this year

    I used to have a paperweight sitting on my desk that read something like “Robert H. Lane, appointed President of Commodore Computers….” It was the sort of thing that they gave to executives. A brass plaque of their appointment as it appeared in the Wall Street Journal or the Globe and Mail.

  • IBM Buys Cloud-Based Software Testing Platform Green Hat

    In its first acquisition of 2012, IBM has announced the purchase of cloud-based software testing platform Green Hat. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • MF Global sold assets to Goldman before collapse: sources

      (Reuters) – MF Global unloaded hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of securities to Goldman Sachs in the days leading up to its collapse, according to two former MF Global employees with direct knowledge of the transactions. But it did not immediately receive payment from its clearing firm and lender, JPMorgan Chase & Co , one of the sources said.

      The sale of securities to Goldman occurred on October 27, just days before MF Global Holdings Ltd filed for bankruptcy on October 31, the ex-employees said. One of the employees said the transaction was cleared with JPMorgan Chase.

  • Civil Rights


Links 4/1/2012: Mozilla Public License 2.0, Pear OS Linux Debian Edition

Posted in News Roundup at 7:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • The Linux Setup – Brett Legree, Nuclear Engineer

    Good day – my name is Brett Legree. I am an engineer and I work in the Canadian nuclear industry – specifically, I am a nuclear facility site inspector and I work for the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, which is Canada’s nuclear regulatory organization. We help ensure the continued safe operation of nuclear companies. That is what I do from 9 to 5.

  • 2012 Plans and Dreams From the Linux Blogs and Beyond

    Looking ahead to this new year, “I wish and expect that the world will discover FLOSS, particularly Debian GNU/Linux, to be the rich and efficient software system I have been using for years,” said blogger Robert Pogson. “It is as different as night and day from that other OS, with all its restrictions and fragility.”

  • Linux design needs to be out of the hands of developers

    This post has been boiling in the back of my brain for quite some time. It’s been one of those that I was never completely sure of, until 2011 saw the influx of emails coming in saying how out of touch the Linux desktop designers were with both reality and the end user. From my perspective, it’s a bit strong of a sentiment; but the driving force behind the idea is dead on. After giving this train of thought plenty of time to derail, I decided it was finally time to fully address what I think is actually becoming an issue with the Linux desktop and how other platforms manage to avoid the problem. Although there is no big science behind my conclusions, this issue is something near and dear to me.

  • Linux Small Business Servers: Can Zentyal Succeed?
  • Windows Azure set for Linux inclusion?
  • Welcome to the 2011 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards
  • Genode OS Gets An Ambitious 2012 Roadmap

    Genode OS, one of the interesting non-Linux-based operating systems that is built on a unique framework architecture and is striving to make a general purpose OS, has shared a new project road-map.

  • Desktop

    • Ultra-Low-Cost School Computing Solution to be Exhibited

      At BETT in the HP booth (Stand J40, Upper Level) in London, England from January 11 – 14, Userful, the world leader in Linux desktop virtualization, will be demonstrating the next generation of their Userful MultiSeat™ solution.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Dolphin 2.0 – Status Update

        When introducing Dolphin 2.0 I talked about grouping support for all view modes. But I could not offer any screenshots, as this feature was not ready yet at that time.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Cinnamon 1.3 Released With Panel Autohide, More

        Cinnamon is a GNOME Shell fork created by Clement Lefebvre, the Linux Mint founder, which tries to offer a layout similar to GNOME 2: a bottom panel with launchers, GNOME2-like systray and notifications and more.

  • Distributions

    • Chakra Linux Review: Arch For Mortals

      Arch Linux has a cult following, and there is a price to pay too – it is one of those operating systems which requires its users to be well versed with the UNIX-like system. You build everything from scratch. There are quite a lot of benefits of using such a system. But, it also means that Arch Linux is not for mere mortals like me. I did install Arch once, reading a manual written by a Muktware author, but then moved back to my secure cocoon. I continue to dream of using Arch one day. Chakra brings me closer to realizing that dream. I may not have compiled the OS for my hardware and gone through the interesting installation process but through Chakra I do get to experience all the goodies of Arch without sweating too much.

    • New Releases

    • Debian Family

      • Lightweight Giant Debian XFCE

        When I started a poll about a month ago, I did not know what the outcome would be. I mean the “Best XFCE-based distribution” poll. I had a vague vision that Xubuntu would come out somewhere near the top not only because *buntu is the most popular distribution family, but also because it is a really good distribution on its own.
        But I had no idea which system would share the leadership with Xubuntu. All the candidates were actually decent Operating Systems, each with points pro and con.

      • Extremadura abandons its custom Linux distribution

        Extremadura isn’t the only public administration to discontinue the development of a custom Linux distribution. In May 2011, the German government said that among the reasons for migrating the German Foreign Office’s Linux systems back to Windows were the high maintenance costs of the custom Linux distribution.

      • Derivatives

        • Dreamlinux 5.0 Screenshot Tour

          The Dreamlinux 5.0 operating system has been released on January 1st, and it is based on the Debian 7 Wheezy distribution.

        • Announcing Pear OS Linux Debian Edition

          David Tavares, the French developer behind the jaw-dropping Pear OS Linux operating system is proud to announce today, January 3rd, the immediate availability for download and testing of the first Alpha version of Pear OS Linux Debian Edition.

        • Aptosid 2011-03 comes with Linux 3.1 kernel

          The developers of the Debian-based aptosid, formerly known as Sidux, have released version 2011-03 of the distribution. As with the Debian Sid tree (as of 2011-12-31) it is based on, aptosid 2011-03 comes with the 3.1.6 Linux kernel and either the KDE 4.6.5 or Xfce 4.8 desktop environments. With the new kernel comes more support for hardware including various USB Wi-Fi sticks with Atheros chipsets and some Broadcom wireless cards.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Abusing the word “free” in software: what’s really free in the Google market and in Ubuntu’s market?

            I am becoming more and more convinced that the real thread to free software (and I am talking here about software released under a free license, not software that you can download and use for free) is contempt. Proprietary software is a competitor, but not a real threat. Proprietary software cannot really kill free software: no matter how many law suits you start, how many patents you file, how many pre-installed versions of Windows you have, common sense will always win. Contempt, however, the the real danger.

          • Is Ubuntu’s Bleeding Edge Hurting Linux?

            Like most computer enthusiasts, I find myself seeking out Linux distributions that offer a bleeding edge experience. That said, I’m also careful not to place bleeding edge operating systems onto a desktop machine I rely on for daily use.

            After all, why put my daily productivity at risk only to discover possible bugs with a cutting edge OS! Therefore, my bleeding edge Linux experiences tend to be used on my notebook only, thus leaving my desktop free of any surprises.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi – first 10 on eBay!

      The famed Raspberry Pi Model B Beta Boards are now up for grabs on eBay. The first 10 are being auctioned off 2 at a time and 100% of the proceeds will benefit Raspberry Pi foundation.

    • Raspberry Pi Linux computer goes on sale on eBay

      The super-cheap Raspberry Pi Linux computer has been given huge New Year boost with the news that the first beta development boards have been put up for auction on eBay.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Sony cuts Tablet S price by $100, now starts at $400 for 16GB

        New year, new pricing strategy? We just got word that Sony’s cut the price of its 9.4-inch Tablet S by $100, so that it now starts at $400 for the 16GB model, and $500 for the 32GB flavor. The move follows a temporary $50 price cut, which Sony announced on December 15th and said would last through the end of the year.

      • Tablet PC or notebook?

        This time last year Apple’s iPad had just made its local debut. A year later and the iPad2 is now well established in the market, so much so that you can even buy one at your local Pick n Pay.

      • Tablets: an Android 2011 Retrospective
      • The young pretenders

        The line up of names listed in the handset vendor rankings looks very different now to how it did a few years ago and may yet change more, with Linux-based operating systems lowering the cost of entry to new players. Ruslan Kogan, founder and CEO of Australian electronic manufacturer Kogan Technolgies and Australia’s richest person under 30, gives his thoughts on the market as the company prepares to enter the fray with a £119 Android tablet.

      • Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and MSI tip Cedar Trail netbooks

        Following Intel’s announcement of its 32nm “Cedar Trail” N-Series Atoms, Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and MSI have all tipped netbook models equipped with the processors. Aiming to revive interest in netbooks via lower power consumption and better graphics, the Acer Aspire One D270, Asus Eee PC Flare, Lenovo Ideapad S110, and MSI Wind U180 all employ Intel’s dual-core 1.6GHz Atom N2600 or 1.86GHz N2800 processors.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Motion-Tracking comes to Blender with Project Mango

    The Blender Foundation has started a new “Open Movie” project called “Mango”, and this one is of particular interest to me for Lunatics, because of the technical goal: motion tracking. Motion tracking is principally about putting animated 3D objects into real footage so that it matches the background “plate” (i.e. the original footage).

  • A Gross Miscarriage of Justice in Computer Chess

    What happened? Starting with the release of the first open-source Fruit in mid-2004, and continuing with the release of subsequent versions of Fruit, open-source engine Stockfish, and especially the release of reverse-engineered Rybka derivatives, highly detailed recipes for building strong, modern chess engines have been in the public domain. Fledgling chess programmers as well as programming veterans have not failed to take notice and the state of the art has advanced rapidly. As a result of this spread of knowledge new programs receive a tremendous performance boost and become “fast climbers”.

  • Is There a War Coming for Control Over Our Computing Devices?

    Over the holidays, noted blogger Cory Doctorow delivered a keynote at the 28th Chaos Communication Congress in which he warned that one of the biggest problems on the technology scene is that control over our computing devices is about to be taken from us. There is a video of the address, called The Coming War on General Computing, available on YouTube. Doctorow warns that the copyright wars are only the beginning of a much bigger set of issues having to do with how much we control our own devices. The address has already drawn much reaction from the open source community, and is, in some ways, a defense of open source principles.

  • libdce: The Distributed Codec Engine

    For those who became more interested in the PandaBoard ES after it was benchmarked on Phoronix last week, here’s some details about the Distributed Codec Engine found on this OMAP4 platform from Texas Instruments.

    For providing hardware accelerated codec support there is the Codec Engine for modern Texas Instruments ARM platforms. “Codec Engine (CE) is a framework that enables applications to easily instantiate and work with XDM codecs and algorithms using a common API.”

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • The browser platform

      For the best part of the past decade I’ve been writing about web browsers. In fact it goes back further than that, all the way to the early 1990′s, when the Mosaic browser first opened my eyes to the potential of the World Wide Web.

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Public License, version 2.0

        So, as Luis Villa announced on a list, Mozilla Public License v. 2.0 has just been published. It’s actually an interesting evolution. (Indeed, the overall evolution of open licenses bears scrutiny, as they–the licenses–are being taken as seriously as any other legal instrument.)

      • Mozilla rings in new year with 2.0 license overhaul

        The overseer of the popular Firefox open source browser rang in the new year with an overhaul of its longstanding license — the Mozilla Public License 2.0.

        “Version 2.0 is similar in spirit to the previous versions, but shorter, better, and more compatible with other Free Software and Open Source Licenses,” the Mozilla project announced Tuesday

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice: Is the Open Source Software Suite Here to Stay?

      It’s a new year, and LibreOffice — the office productivity suite forked from OpenOffice.org — is the new face of open source productivity software. Or is it? And more importantly, will it remain so as OpenOffice is reborn under the Apache Foundation? Here are some thoughts on what to expect on this front in 2012.

      For those who don’t know the back story: In 2010, Oracle acquired Sun, which owned the OpenOffice.org project at the time. Concerned that Oracle might restrict or close the OpenOffice code, or sell the product for money, several groups formed the Document Foundation and forked OO into LibreOffice, an independent endeavor. Since then, most leading desktop Linux distributions have replaced OpenOffice with LibreOffice as their default office productivity suite.

    • Apache OpenOffice (Incubating)

      Apache OpenOffice is comprised of six personal productivity applications: a word processor (and its web-authoring component), spreadsheet, presentation graphics, drawing, equation editor, and database. OpenOffice is released on Windows, Solaris, Linux and Macintosh operation systems, with more communities joining, including a mature FreeBSD port. OpenOffice is localized, supporting over 110 languages worldwide.

  • Healthcare

  • Business


    • Richard Stallman Was Right All Along

      Late last year, president Obama signed a law that makes it possible to indefinitely detain terrorist suspects without any form of trial or due process. Peaceful protesters in Occupy movements all over the world have been labelled as terrorists by the authorities. Initiatives like SOPA promote diligent monitoring of communication channels. Thirty years ago, when Richard Stallman launched the GNU project, and during the three decades that followed, his sometimes extreme views and peculiar antics were ridiculed and disregarded as paranoia – but here we are, 2012, and his once paranoid what-ifs have become reality.
      Up until relatively recently, it’s been easy to dismiss Richard Stallman as a paranoid fanatic, someone who lost touch with reality long ago. A sort of perpetual computer hippie, the perfect personification of the archetype of the unworldly basement-dwelling computer nerd. His beard, his hair, his outfits – in our visual world, it’s simply too easy to dismiss him.
      His views have always been extreme. His only computer is a Lemote Yeelong netbook, because it’s the only computer which uses only Free software – no firmware blobs, no proprietary BIOS; it’s all Free. He also refuses to own a mobile phone, because they’re too easy to track; until there’s a mobile phone equivalent of the Yeelong, Stallman doesn’t want one. Generally, all software should be Free. Or, as the Free Software Foundation puts it:

      As our society grows more dependent on computers, the software we run is of critical importance to securing the future of a free society. Free software is about having control over the technology we use in our homes, schools and businesses, where computers work for our individual and communal benefit, not for proprietary software companies or governments who might seek to restrict and monitor us.

      I, too, disregarded Stallman as way too extreme. Free software to combat controlling and spying governments? Evil corporations out to take over the world? Software as a tool to monitor private communication channels? Right. Surely, Free and open source software is important, and I choose it whenever functional equivalence with proprietary solutions is reached, but that Stallman/FSF nonsense is way out there.
      But here we are, at the start of 2012. Obama signed the NDAA for 2012, making it possible for American citizens to be detained indefinitely without any form of trial or due process, only because they are terrorist suspects.

    • What should free software do in 2012?

      In my last column, I suggested that one of the best things that Mozilla could do in order to promote the Open Web and openness in general would be to support the battle for online freedom in more general ways. That’s something it has already started doing, notably in trying to halt the passage of the awful Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) that is currently grinding through the US legislative process.

  • Project Releases

    • Scribus 1.4.0 publishing software released

      After nearly four years of development, the Scribus development team has released version 1.4.0 of its open source desktop publishing (DTP) application. The major change in the 1.4.0 is the switch to the Qt4 framework, updating the application from its previous use of Qt3. The developers say the change itself was quick, but fine tuning and making use of new features of the application framework took “quite some time”. The result is that Scribus is now at the same level of reliability on all its supported platforms.

    • Version 1.0 of the Clementine music player arrives

      The Clementine developers have published version 1.0 of their open source music player. The cross-platform application is designed to be fast and easy-to-use, and was inspired by version 1.4 of Amarok (the current release is Amarok 2.5). With Clementine, users can listen to their local music library or to online radio stations; it can be used to transcode music into MP3, Ogg Vorbis, Ogg Speex, FLAC and AAC files.

    • [PacketFence v3.1 Released]
    • Trelby screenplay editor relaunched

      Trelby 2.0, an open source screenplay editor, has been launched by developers Anil Gulecha and Osku Salerma. Trelby is a rebranding of Blyte, an application written by Salerma in 2003 and sold until 2006; poor sales led to Salerma open sourcing the application in the hope that a community would form around it, but this did not happen. Five years later, in late 2011, Gulecha discovered the application while searching for a better screenplay editor than celtx. He began creating improvements to Blyte and this inspired Salerma to return to work on the application. Together they have renamed the application, refreshed the code, created a new web site and are now trying to build a community around developing the application though they admit “the intersection of software developers and screenwriters is tiny”.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Misplaced priorities hampering UK government uptake of open source

      According to a computing.co.uk article entitled Open Source: The government’s commitment so far, most of the IT technology used in the UK government is still proprietary and comes from single vendors.

      Open source adoption by government agencies in the UK is progressing, but is still being hindered by a focus on “free as in gratis.” Decisions based on cost-of-acquisition alone ignore the other real and more important values offered by open source, which are derived from “free as in freedom.”

    • Environment Agency deploys open source knowledge management

      The Environment Agency is deploying an open source knowledge management system to compile and share information on around 500 river restoration projects throughout Europe.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Marco Tempest makes open-source magic for the 21st century

      Magic tricks depend on secrecy. So it might seem counterintuitive that Marco Tempest — a Swiss-born magician living in New York — has gone open-source. He reveals his methods, talks to his audiences online and asks for feedback. “If someone has a good idea, I put it in my show and give credit,” says Tempest, 46.

    • Andy Carvin explains how Twitter is his ‘open-source newsroom’

      Andy Carvin and Clay Shirky spent an hour on WBUR’s “On Point” program Tuesday morning discussing Twitter’s impact on media and the world. In one of several insightful exchanges,

    • Adblock and Wikipedia Look to Raise Money for ‘Free’ Software

      On Monday, I wrote about how the lead developer of an open-source project – Adblock Plus – had created a start-up to manage the project. As part of a new business plan, the software, which has long been known for blocking ads, would no longer block what it calls “acceptable ads.” (These ads will not be flashy or slow down the browsing experience.)

  • Programming

    • Gambas 3.0 for BASIC with bug and security fixes

      The Gambas developers published version 3.0 of their BASIC development environment for Linux just before the new year was about to begin in the US. By their own admission, they made it just in time, as they had promised this version would be released in 2011. Gambas allows users to write applications in an extended version of BASIC that can make use of Qt4 or GTK+ GUIs, communicate over D-Bus, drive OpenGL, and access databases such as MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQLite.


  • Wikinews holds Reform Party USA presidential candidates forum

    Three men are currently seeking the presidential nomination of the Reform Party of the United States of America: small business owner Andre Barnett, Earth Intelligence Network CEO Robert Steele, and former college football coach Robby Wells. Wikinews reached out to these candidates and asked each of them five questions about their campaigns. There were no space limits placed on the responses, and no candidate was exposed to another’s responses before making their own. The answers are posted below in unedited form for comparison of the candidates.

  • Hackers aim to launch Internet satellite network, moon mission

    Armin Bauer, one of the three German hobbyists involved in the HGG, said at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin that the system involved a reversal of the standard GPS technique. The scheme was announced at the event, which is Europe’s largest hacker conference.

  • BASIC Is Dead. Bury It.

    Quite the troll post on Slashdot over the Holiday weekend, sniveling about wanting BASIC on the mobile phone platform.

    BASIC advocates seem to come back annually on Slashdot like a herpes outbreak. Last year it was somebody advocating BASIC as a teaching language again. Touting BASIC as a way to teach “the joy of programming” is like recommending a night in a whorehouse as a way to teach young men “the joy of marriage”.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Tail Risk and Embalming Fluid, in 2012

      I feel motivated today to write about global markets, and especially the lingering fear that’s sure to carry over from 2011 to 2012. The last 18 months have supplied historians with every reason to believe that a replay of the 2008 financial crisis was about to unfold. The difference being that the private sector debt crisis which triggered 2008′s terrible domino event has now been transposed, into a similar risk in sovereign debt. Especially the sovereign debt of peripheral Europe. As a student of macroeconomics, and as one who observes the procession of market psychology—when markets slowly move from the comfort of sleep to the Ker-Pow! of recognition—I am strangely in the position of thinking the following, mildly heretical thought: tail risk in global markets is now much, much lower than most anticipate. If that’s true, certain asset classes are going to make very large, very surprising moves in 2012.

  • Finance

    • Goldman’s Latest Boiler-Room Stock: America

      Happy New Year, everyone. Hope you all had a great holiday…

      Have a column on Iowa coming soon, but first, a quick but absurd note from the world of high finance.

      It seems Jim O’Neill, the head of Goldman’s Asset Management department, is predicting that the United States stock market may go up “15 to 20 percent.” O’Neill apparently believes Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve will resort to another round of money-printing, and finally green-light the long-awaited “Qe3,” or third round of “Quantitative Easing.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Neighbors Occupy Road, Blockade Sludge Trucks

      Recently, a group of farmers and neighbors in Salmon Valley, near Prince George, British Columbia, successfully blockaded Wright Creek Road and turned back a truck full of sewage sludge headed for a 117 acre parcel of farm land contracted as a dump site by the City of Prince George. One neighbor brought a snow mobile towing a portable fire pit on a sled so that they were able to keep warm while they blocked the road. As of this writing, the trucks have not returned.

  • Copyrights


Links 3/1/2012: Gentoo 12.1 LiveDVD, Red Hat to Hire a Thousand

Posted in News Roundup at 11:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • TLWIR 29: Mozilla News, LibreOffice Chart Trick and Bitcoin Rises Again
  • Predictions for Smart Buildings in 2012

    The Automation Campaign In 2012 Will Be About Open Source Programming Languages, and Standards For Naming Conventions, Building Systems and Integration.

  • What does “Open” mean?

    I am particularly pleased with how our session; New Open Source Technologies that are Changing the Industry 1:30 pm Monday, January 23th is shaping up.

  • QuNeo’s Kickstarter Success Fueled By Pro Fanboys

    The QuNeo is a “Multi-touch Open Source MIDI & USB Pad Controller” in its final days of fundraising via a Kickstarter campaign. The controller will be produced by Keith McMillen Instruments and due to a combination of their reputation, desire for the product and Kickstarter’s strong combo of fundraising and presales, their request for $15,000 on Kickstarter has resulted in pledges over $100,000. Though gear is definitely a different kind of product than an album or film release, it’s worth considering the QuNeo’s success as a harnessing of the combined force of fanboy enthusiast and pro fan, often in the same individual fan.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Cloud-Ready Buildings and Open Source

      It is inevitable that the future of building systems operations is in the cloud. In the best run corporations, whose enterprise operations are in a private cloud, building system operation has already joined other enterprise operations. They have found that cloud-based building operation is the means to better cost control, improved service provision, and close ties between enterprise activities and energy costs. As distributed energy makes the links between business and building operations more critical (and rewarding), building owners without clouds will want to link their own buildings to the clouds.

  • CMS

    • Drupal Web Design Company Alliance Interactive Joins Drupal Association

      Alliance Interactive has signaled its continued commitment to leadership within the open source community by joining the Drupal Association as an association member. “We have been impressed by the quality of Drupal’s membership program, their commitment to the industry and their passion for representing full service agencies,” said Adam Aloi, managing partner of Alliance Interactive.

  • Healthcare

    • Does webOS have a future in healthcare?

      HP’s webOS platform may find new life as an open source operating system for healthcare applications. Researchers at Stanford University have developed applications for the HP TouchPad tablet, a discontinued webOS device, to operate an interventional MRI scanner and view patient respiration data and images gathered from the device.


  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Security ‘misunderstandings’ remain open source barrier

      Cultural barriers and misunderstanding of security risks remain the biggest blocks to the public sector’s wider implementation of open source, the civil servant tasked with boosting open source has told UKAuthority.com.

      Robin Pape, chief information officer for the Home Office and the senior responsibility officer within government for open source and open standards, said open source software is still not being given appropriate consideration when government bodies evaluate software options.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Now, classroom content of IITs can be accessed by MIT students

        The Indian Institutes of Technology have agreed to a proposal by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to join their OpenCourseWare community. This move will enable MIT students to access classroom content of the IITs online at a click of the mouse.

        However, this is not the only way by which the IITs are opening their doors to the world; lectures from IIT classrooms will soon be available on Apple’s multi-media platform iTunes. YouTube already has a separate channel for IIT courses, which, as of December 2011, had 63.64 lakh viewers.

  • Programming

    • The Linuxification of software development

      Just before the start of my holiday vacation, I went ahead and updated my old Froyo Android phone to the new Galaxy Nexus running Ice Cream Sandwich, promptly becoming a statistic in a new trend: buying new hardware to update software.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Kazaam Screencaster To Use VP8, Drops x264

      A lot of bloggers and techies use screencasters to record desktop sessions for training, documentation, tutorial or reviews. Under GNU/Linux, there are couple of desktop session recorders. Gnome 3, for example, comes with a built-in desktop recorder. There is one such screencaster called Kazaam. However, the program is not getting any updates after Ubuntu’s 11.04 release.


  • 11 Who Died in 2011 (And Were Not Named Steve)
  • Mounting Google Documents in GNU/Linux is just not a (real) option
  • Security

  • Finance

    • Public Money for Public Purpose: Toward the End of Plutocracy and the Triumph of Democracy – Part Six

      I will conclude by proposing six social tasks for the rising generation – six challenging tasks whose successful pursuit will help us achieve a more just, equal and democratic society. It is my view that the resulting society will not only be fairer and more decent. It will also be more economically productive, and will better promote human happiness and flourishing by more effectively distributing the goods and services we produce. Most of us will be happier in such a society as well, because the practices of democratic equality do a better job satisfying the human desires for cooperation, solidarity, trust, stability and fellowship that are the foundation of the social life for which human beings are naturally framed.

    • The Miracle of Solvency

      The lies which got us to the purgatory we are in, are being told all over again, right now, in every bank in the Western World. Not by accident, but on purpose, by men with calculators and degrees, in the full knowledge of what they are doing, why and for whose benefit.

      Every religion has its holy days. The days when the priests face their god and perform the rituals that renew the covenant between them. For believers it is the renewal of their faith, of their promise to believe in and serve their chosen God in return for which God will protect them. Global Finance is no different, and these days approaching New Year are their Holiest of Holies.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Impunity Reigns and Death Threats Rise in Colombia

      Truth telling in Colombia, a nation that bears the scars of politically motivated violence lasting half a century, has become increasingly difficult in response to new legislation intended to help heal the wounds of this Latin American nation, says one of the nation’s renown documentary film makers.

      The Victims and Land Restitution Law — which passed this June under heavy international pressure — is estimated to give more than four million Colombians the right to seek reparations for land or family members lost during the armed conflict. While hailed as an important step forward, the legislation has been criticized for its gaps. For instance, critics charge it is easier to access reparations on behalf of victims of guerrilla or paramilitary violence than for victims killed by the government. The law has also increased the volume of threats against journalists in the country who dare to rehash the history of violence and tell the stories of the victims, according to Colombian investigative journalist Hollman Morris who recently visited the United States.

  • Copyrights

    • Ron Paul Opposes SOPA

      SOPA has been criticized by everyone who understands how dangerous the bill is. Hollywood may be pumping money into the congress to get congressmen pass it as soon as possible, ignoring expert’s warning and opposition by the governments across the globe and most importantly opposition by the citizen of the United States themselves.

    • Wikipedia To Dump GoDaddy Over SOPA


Links 01/01/2012: Alien Arena 7.53, Calculate Linux 11.12

Posted in News Roundup at 5:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Think Penguin’s “Penguin Air” Review.

    It wasn’t that long ago when we were forced to buy Windows machines, only to uninstall it and install Linux. But for most everyone, things are still the same. We shamelessly hand over our hard-earned money to Microsoft for something that we never wanted, nor planned to ever use. Most laptops are more than powerful enough for us to get by on, and those of us who know a thing or two about system requirements will gladly take a bargain system if it suits our needs. Sometimes it’s just about freedom, though many don’t know what it is as it regards to computing. You can certainly liberate any laptop (or desktop for that matter) from its shackles and regain freedom, but it goes a little deeper than that.

  • No Rants Just Sincere Concerns for Linux at Home

    Gone are the days of dirty commands on a text console. In 2012 99% users are going to use computers as just other electronic appliances. They are not going to worry what’s going under the hood as long as it works. I’m using Linux more than a decade (two of my home PCs are linux – Debian and PCLinuxOS, 100′s of my office workstations are linux – CentOS and Fedora), even administered some desktops for sometime. Here are my list of basics that go wrong in Linux, always.

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 180, Happy New Year!
  • Kernel Space

    • Host storage devices vulnerable with KVM Linux virtualisation

      According to a kernel update advisory by Red Hat, root users in a guest system that is virtualised with KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) can, in certain circumstances, gain read and write access to the Linux host’s storage devices. The advisory says that the hole exists when a host makes available partitions or LVM volumes to the guest as “raw disks” via virtio. Privileged guest users can send SCSI requests to such volumes that the host will execute on the underlying storage device – which allows the guest system to access all areas of the device rather than just the permitted partitions or volumes.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Best Desktop Distributions

      A few days ago a friend, being new to Linux, asked me about different distributions and that led to a long talk about their merits and failings. So, being new to blog-sphere, I decided to play it safe and write about best desktop distributions. But I also thought that I could do this a little differently. Best as in best for the Linux Desktop. First let us find some criteria for choosing distributions:

      1. Considering an usual desktop user uses around 1000-2000 package, the distribution must have over 10000 packages. Let’s just say over 9000.
      2. It must not be a cosmetic derivative, or a derivative of a derivative of a derivative of a…
      3. It must be up-to-date. My criteria for this is two important packages: linux (* > 3.0.6) and libreoffice (* > 3.3). This packages manage to give a good sense of up-to-dateness for the desktop.
      4. It must have an active community.
      5. It must support both KDE and Gnome 3.
      6. It must not be a testing variant.

    • That’s my name, don’t wear it out

      Linux Mint: I particularly like the naming convention Clement Lefevbre has come up with for Linux Mint. It’s alphabetically a woman’s name ending in “a.” We’re at Julia now. I asked Clement once what he’d do when he got to “Zelda” (or whatever the “Z” name will be for Linux Mint when they get that far . . . and they will), and he said that it was simple: Start with a name beginning with “A” and end the name in “e.”

    • New Releases

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Firefox 9 Is 30% Faster Than Firefox 8 | Install Firefox 9 On Ubuntu 11.10 and Earlier Releases
          • Search YouTube videos on Ubuntu with the YouTube Lens
          • What I Love About Ubuntu Unity

            I think the most important thing to understand about Unity is that it is not primarily a program or a desktop. It is primarily a set of specifications which are implemented in different ways. The two most prominent implementations are Unity and Unity 2D, but there are already several others. Since Unity is a set of specifications, it is possible to implement parts of it without that being considered an incomplete implementation. For instance, the indicators are supported on LXDE, Xfce, Windows, KDE and others. This is very important. For instance, people are complaining about not all Gnome Panel applets being ported to Gnome Panel 3 yet. This is because the applets become part of the panel itself, meaning that it has to be completely compatible or it won’t work. This is not the case with indicators, which is why all indicators are already supported on Gnome Panel 3. The panel just needs to support the indicator specification and then all indicators automatically work. It is also an uncomplicated specification, so it’s easy and quick to do.

          • Ubuntu rolling out the new

            If you’ve been thinking about giving Linux a run on your computer, Ubuntu’s next major release could be the one for you.

            Ubuntu 12.04, otherwise known as Precise Pangolin, will be released in April 2012 and promises to be one of the better releases of the past year from Canonical as the Ubuntu developers finally get to grips with the major desktop changes the OS has been going through.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source


  • Verizon Does A GoDaddy Drops $2 Bill Charge Plan

    It appeared to be a GoDaddy like day for Verizon and the customer broke the hell. The next day Verizon was forced to drop the plan.

  • Security

    • Researchers publish open-source tool for hacking WiFi Protected Setup

      On December 27, the Department of Homeland Security’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team issued a warning about a vulnerability in wireless routers that use WiFi Protected Setup (WPS) to allow new devices to be connected to them. Within a day of the discovery, researchers at a Maryland-based computer security firm developed a tool that exploits that vulnerability, and has made a version available as open source.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Civil Rights

    • Go Daddy really and truly opposes SOPA now

      Now, after the Reddit Go Daddy protest gathered steam; Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales announced that he would be moving Wikipedia’s domain names from Go Daddy; and, last but not least, aggressive ads from competiting Internet domain registry and hosting companies such as Namecheap, Adelman has had a real change of heart.

  • Copyrights

    • Actual damages for single unauthorized download of software program held to be cost of single license fee
    • Goodwill And Hospitality Theft Continue To Drive Up The Cost Of The Holiday Season

      This holiday season many lawyers, executives, lobbyists, and politicians will have their relatives, friends, and family members stay in their households. With the economy slumping, some out-of-town visitors can’t afford to stay at hotels. When money is tight, these visitors know they can count on the hospitality of family and friends, who will welcome them in with open arms and good cheer.

      However, these hosts need to remain vigilant and avoid being swept up in the general goodwill of the holiday season. In the rose-colored fog of the Christmas-to-New Year’s festivities, it’s easy for these situations to get out of hand. Guests have a tendency to get too comfortable very quickly and before you realize it, it’s nearly February and a variety of house guests have begun to refer to you as “Dad” or “Grandpa” and you’re on the hook for video rentals, dry cleaning bills and dental appointments. Your vehicle is now referred to as the “family car” (often by non-family members), your house has become a combination day care/animal shelter and your walk-in closet is now home to a family of Guatemalan refugees.

      What starts as selfless “giving” swiftly becomes one-sided “taking.” These interlopers are not only stealing the relatively priceless* time of their hosts, but also their unbillable goodwill. While “goodwill” would seem to be in infinite supply during the latter part of December, the available supply dwindles at a rate inversely proportionate to the number of hours the “family car” has been missing.

      *Not actually “priceless.” Billing for used time runs anywhere from $400/hr. [lawyers] to $55,000/hr. [executives] to $20+ billion/hr. [politicians].

      The result of this goodwill “piracy” is nothing short of tragic. As time and goodwill are swiftly “stolen” by house guests, the host’s direct family often finds itself having to do without. At best, they can only hope to have a few moments between meals and Immigration raids to angrily discuss efforts to block the rogue infringers, perhaps by seizing the guest bedroom and posting a sternly-worded warning on the door.

    • EA, Sony, Nintendo pull support from SOPA (but their industry association still supports it)


Links 30/12/2011: Cuba Progresses With GNU/Linux, Red Hat Expects Staff Boost of 24%

Posted in News Roundup at 5:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • The Top Five Linux Stories of 2011
  • TLWIR 29: Mozilla News, LibreOffice Chart Trick and Bitcoin Rises Again
  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Ubuntu Razor-qt Remix Screenshot Tour

      Softpedia announced yesterday, December 28th, the immediate availability for download of a new Ubuntu Remix, this time featuring the next-gen, super-fast, simplistic Razor-qt desktop environment.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 3.3.3 Heats Things Up For GNOME 3.4

        GNOME 3.3.3 is now available as the latest update in what will ultimately become GNOME 3.4 next March.

      • The Year in Review: Desktop Linux Developments in 2011

        The “year in review” pieces that proliferate old and new media alike around this time of year get tedious pretty fast. But because I’ve yet to see a good compilation of the major developments — and there were plenty of them — that affected desktop Linux in 2011, I couldn’t think of any better topic for my last post of the month. That may make me a hypocrite, but if you can forgive a personal flaw, keep reading for a look at how the Linux world has evolved in the last 365 days or so.

  • Distributions

    • Pinoy Linux flavor stirs ripple in OS community

      The latest version of a locally developed operating system made the country proud early this month when the Linux-based software made a good impression among enthusiasts of the open source community.

    • Google Chrome Uses Graphics Card to Accelerate SVG, CSS

      Google has just added a new flag in its Chromium 18 builds that extends the browser’s hardware acceleration feature.

    • Chakra and Pinguy OS find spots in the top 25 fastest growing projects

      GNU/Linux distros Chakra and Pinguy feature in the Top 25 fastest growing projects compiled by SourceForge.So find out who else features in the list…

    • TechSource’s Top 10 Linux Distributions of 2011

      As we say goodbye to a momentous 2011, it’s time to reflect on some of the big happenings in the FOSS world. Apart from Android’s rise, Torvalds’s rant, and a tasty ice cream sandwich treat, the year also saw some big changes taking place for popular Linux distributions. While many of the changes ranged from annoyingly buggy to downright unusable, a few pleasant minty surprises did manage to cleanse the Linuxiens’ palettes.

    • The Linux top 10 hit parade

      Picking the top ten Linux distributions is fraught with problems. There’s very little hard data to go on and the nature of open source means that most users are getting copies of their favourite Linux release from a variety of sources – from official download channels to third-party sites or even from friends.

    • Austrumi 2.4.5: Small and Mighty

      The Austrumi team released a new version of their operating system recently, on the 30th of September, 2011.

    • New Releases

      • Endian 2.5
      • Calculate Linux 11.12 released

        You are welcome to choose between several flavours: Calculate Directory Server (CDS) if you need a server option; Calculate Linux Desktop featuring a KDE (CLD), GNOME (CLDG) or XFCE (CLDX) desktop; Calculate Media Center (CMC) if a media center is what you want; or, if you would rather prefer a scratch distribution, either Calculate Linux Scratch (CLS) or Calculate Scratch Server (CSS).

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat (RHT) Crosses Pivot Point Resistance at $41.46
      • Get 10% To 20% Returns With Agilent And Red Hat Options

        Tech stocks have taken a beating in 2011, but in my opinion the market has it all wrong. The PowerShares Index (QQQ) has been trending sideways all year in the face of increased revenues and profits. Many tech stocks have been beating estimates and projecting growth into 2012. The QQQ has barely returned 1% for 2011, and 2012 isn’t looking any better. Using LEAPS, you can beat the market and get returns ranging from 10% to 20%.

      • CEO Of Cloud Firm Red Hat Expects To Boost Staff 24%

        Founded in 1993, the company has become a leading provider of support and related services for the Linux open-source operating system, which companies often use to build cloud computing-based data centers. That’s where users store data and apps that they access via the Internet, or the “cloud.”

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 11.10: Setting up Oneiric

            The latest Ubuntu is slick and sublime, and while it gets a lot right, there’s still some essential tweaks you can do to make the most of your new install.

          • Introducing Ubuntu Calendar Lens for Unity
          • Full Circle Magazine – Lite!

            I know we’ve spoke about a mobile/epub version of Full Circle before, but I have good news! Our latest team member, Jens, is working on an epub edition of FCM which I previewed on our Facebook and Google+ pages. It’s looking good so far, and I hope to have more to show you on that next week some time.

            In the mean time, think of Full Circle Magazine Lite as a quick beta test edition of FCM to read on tablets and mobile phones. The first edition (FCM#56) is available through Google Currents, and app that you can download either from the Android Market*, or the Apple App Store.

          • Poulsbo Looks Better On Ubuntu 12.04, But Still Ugly

            Intel GMA500 “Poulsbo” graphics have a better out-of-the-box experience under the forthcoming Ubuntu 12.04 LTS release thanks to improvements in the open-source field, but ultimately it’s still an ugly mess.

          • Ubuntu AppStore Goes Online

            One thing that GNU/Linux misses the most is marketing. We never get to know about the new and useful tools which are being added due to the lack of PR muscles. Recently Ubuntu made yet another incredible move which makes the application installation process of Windows look ancient. Ubuntu silently took its apps on-line by launching ‘Ubuntu App Directory’ (the name can be more attractive like Ubuntu App Shop).

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Lubuntu is a Nice Clean Desktop

              I am not going to make Lubuntu my day-to-day distro, on this machine. However, I would highly recommend it, and will use it, on older machines. Lubuntu is also a good alternative to those who want an alternative to Ubuntu’s Unity desktop.

            • Xubuntu 11.10 with Xfce4 Desktop

              I wasn’t really planning on installing Xubuntu, but it was the only Live/Install edition with the Xfce desktop that would install on an external USB drive from a USB stick, and that supported the Broadcom Wireless driver required by my HP mini netbook. The Xfce desktop is an alternative for those with older computers with minimal memory and older graphic cards.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • $25 Raspberry Pi Linux PC Said to Arrive in January
    • Enea Inks Binding Deal To Sell Nordic Consulting Business

      Enea said it would focus on operating systems solutions and has the building blocks to deploy an entire system solution featuring Linux, realtime operating systems and hardware environments. Also, Enea would continue to offer services such as training and product related consulting services through their consulting units in Phoenix, Bucharest and Beijing. After the divestment, Enea would have 400 employees in 9 countries.

    • LLVM/Clang On The ARMv7 OMAP4 PandaBoard ES

      Here’s a quick look at running the LLVM/Clang compiler on the OMAP4460-based PandaBoard ES compared to the default GCC compiler.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android for Dummies: Make your own build of CyanogenMod

          For those of our readers that are looking to get into Android ROM development, but may not know where to start, there is a new tool created by XDA developer Lithid that will allow you to start some basic experimenting using the popular CyanogenMod ROM. The project, entitled CyanogenMod Compiler (CMC), allows users to tweak some simple settings such as wallpapers and language packs then compile ROM builds from the CM repository.

        • Best root only applications for Android devices
        • Smartphones getting the ICS update

          With the impending retail release of the Samsung-made Galaxy Nexus smartphone in some parts of the world, Google will be making Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) open source.

        • 10 apps to add to your new Android phone
        • India To Become Android Super Hub?

          Chennai, the capital of south Indian state Tamil Nadu, is known as an electronic manufacturing hub with multinational corporations setting up Electronics/Hardware manufacturing plants in the region, especially in the Sriperumbudur electronics SEZ. The city is also home to many IT companies is fast becoming the support hub for Android, reports IBNLive.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Death and Rebirth of the Netbook

        As much as some of the Wintel “partners” would wish small cheap computers to go away, the netbook keeps going like the Energizer Bunnytm. Shipments are down quite a bit from a year ago with all the noise about smart thingies but the netbook is beloved because it is small, cheap, portable and comes with a keyboard.

        Intel has just announced an Atom processor designed for netbooks. At 1.6gHz it can be fanless but at 1.8gHz it wants a fan. In spite of 32nm technology and lots of features to reduce idle power consumption the thing must still be a hog. It uses 3.5 to 10 W while ARMed CPUs are way less than 1W per core. These gadgets are dual-core/dual-threaded. I guess Intel expects heavier batteries will do the trick…

Free Software/Open Source


  • Unix Server Market Poised For Growth, Transitions

    While the Unix server business has lost much of its glamour in the face of assaults from Windows, Linux, and the cloud, there is still plenty of life — and growth — in the business, although for the foreseeable future that growth will be enjoyed only by IBM.

  • One of the Nails in M$’s Coffin

    In all that time, shareholders reaped short-term gains. Insiders reaped huge windfalls. End users suffered one indignity after another. A better product was not produced until 2009 by which time the world had seen a better way to do IT: GNU/Linux on desktop and server and Android/Linux on mobile devices. M$ has climbed to the top of the “shareholder value” ladder only to find it’s not resting on anything. The monopoly is a house of cards now that OEMs are discovering they can cut M$ out of the stream of revenue. M$ is scrambling to put something forward in the mobile space buying Nokia (more or less) and pushing a laughable product consumers don’t buy and suing competitors to hold them back. In a year or two all this will bear fruit and M$ will be on a downward slide with no bottom.

  • The secret to getting rich in 2012: Open APIs

    If the last decade was all about open source, the next decade will be about open APIs. However, as with open source, APIs aren’t necessarily a guarantee of billions in the bank. They’re simply the ante for playing the technology game at scale. That scale will be determined by who gives developers the best access to data, and that access is a function of open APIs.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Bill Black: What if the SEC investigated Banks the way it is investigating Mutual Funds?

      The Wall Street Journal ran a story yesterday (12/27/11) entitled “SEC Ups Its Game to Identify Rogue Firms.” “Rogue” is an interesting word with a range of definitions. When it is used as an adjective its meaning is: “a playfully mischievous person; scamp.” The trivialization of the most destructive elite frauds is one of the most common forms of what criminologists call “neutralization” of the moral content of wrong doing. Neutralization increases crime.The actual story makes it clear that the criminals that the SEC was identifying were not “rogues.” They were the CEOs of seemingly legitimate firms. The SEC is identifying “accounting control frauds” – the frauds that cause greater financial losses than all other forms of property crime combined. The SEC is not identifying a few rotten apples, but roughly 100 hedge funds likely to have engaged in accounting fraud. The WSJ describes the SEC’s identification system:

    • Good Luck Occupiers, But Here’s Why “Facebook For Protesters” Won’t Work

      Members of the Occupy movement are building a “Facebook for protesters” called The Global Square, Wired reported yesterday. Less than a traditional social network, it’s an international collaboration network. While a valiant effort, I see 3 big problems with the project’s concept that will limit its success and impact.

      The Global Square is designed to allow Occupy Wall Street, local Occupy movements, and other protesters to coordinate and share knowledge across different content management systems. Some of the reasons for starting the project that its developers told Wired include:

      1. Connecting and mobilizing protest movements
      2. Creating an open-source alternative to Facebook and other corporate social networks
      3. Protesters don’t trust Facebook to keep their data and messages private from authorities


Links 29/12/2011: Linux Gains Respect From Enterprises, Approval of Army

Posted in News Roundup at 5:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux Gains Respect from Enterprise

    Clear advantages on usability and TCO related benefits are turning the tide in favor Linux usage within enterprise segment today.

    Over the past few years, Linux adoption rates in the enterprise have increased to encouraging levels. Enterprise users have quoted a wide range of TCO and ROI benefits, and as a result Linux has become a favorite strategic platform for business applications for a good number of enterprises.

  • Points about migrating from Windows to GNU/Linux

    I’ve had more questions lately about open source software, from co-workers and from other discussions. There seems to be a lot of curiosity of what open source is and how it can benefit. I’ve decided to take a moment and touch on the main issues I commonly explain to people that are currently using proprietary software such as Windows and Microsoft products, and are thinking of switching to open source alternatives. Switching operating systems and software is not as much of an issue as it used to be, as software is becoming more homogeneous. Some key points about migrating from Windows to GNU/Linux are:

    - Current and long term customers and are forced to pay for upgrades year after year, despite of how long they have been a Microsoft customer. It’s similar to paying maintenance on software, really. The worst example was with Windows Vista. Microsoft customers ended up getting this operating system on new PCs, and even though Microsoft admitted that Vista was a “mistake”, Microsoft turned around and focused on Windows 7 and making these very same customers pay full price for the Windows 7 upgrade, at the same price level as users still on XP. The moral move by Microsoft would have been to offer significant discounts to customers on Vista, with a different price level than those with XP. With open source, there are no upgrade costs to worry about. Once you decide to use an open source product, you are free to use it for as long as you wish, provided the product is continually developed.

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE SC 4.8 – Is KDE In A Permanent Feature Freeze?

        On 22 December, KDE unleashed its first release candidate of the next major iteration of the 4.x series on an unsuspecting pre-Christmas world. KDE 4.8 is a major release number. As such, I was hoping for some pretty cool new features. However, looking at the release announcement, I see that there are only three new features worthy of mention…

      • How to Get a Dock-Like Taskbar in KDE with Icon Tasks

        KDE has always given users the ability to add launchers to its panel, and it has always had a very usable task manager. Until recently, however, there has not been a comprehensive and well-designed merging of the two. The Icon Tasks widget has changed all of that. It is a robust plasma widget that includes support for task-oriented launchers and even the Ubuntu Unity API.

      • Very short 4.8 first look (from a user’s perspective)

        The release candidates of the 4.8 generation are out since a few days and now also openSUSE packages are available in the KDE Unstable repository.

        Release candidates by KDE are usually very solid with incomplete translations as biggest drawback but since translating is usually done during RC phase, it’s to be expected.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 3.3.3 Heats Things Up For GNOME 3.4

        GNOME 3.3.3 is now available as the latest update in what will ultimately become GNOME 3.4 next March.

        GNOME 3.3.3 was announced on Friday, 23 December, but only this morning did the release announcement clear GNOME’s mailing list queue.

  • Distributions

    • Review: Chakra 2011.12 “Edn”

      There’s a new build of Chakra out, and I have some free time to check it out, so I’m doing so now. The other reason why I want to try it now is because a member of my family was raving about KDE in Fedora, so I figured it would be worth my time to dig deeper and see if I can massage KDE into becoming something that I could really like and use regularly. I’ll spare any introductions because I’ve reviewed Chakra enough times already, so I’ll skip to the main part of it.

    • Clonezilla: A Drive-Duping Monster With a Fearsome Face

      Clonezilla does a lot. But it does have limitations, not the least of which is its kludgy, archaic textual interface. Still, the interface offers a simple and straightforward approach to cloning a hard drive partition. What Clonezilla lacks in prettiness it makes up for in performance. It has no lack of network devices, sharing protocols and external storage hooks.

    • Refactored Tiny Core Linux 4.2 released

      Tiny Core Linux 4.2 has been announced, with this release focusing on refactoring Robert Shingledecker’s ultracompact Linux distribution to be more modular. This has involved creating a new “Core” foundation for the platform comprising the 2.4 MB kernel and 5 MB of gzipped surrounding essential programs and utilities.

    • Arch, Ubuntu, and Debian Linux ported to the HP TouchPad tablet

      Before hackers figured out how to install Google Android on the HP TouchPad, people were using the 9.7 inch tablet to run Ubuntu Linux… sort of. The discontinued tablet actually shipped with HP’s webOS software preloaded and early attempts to run Linux didn’t boot Linux instead of webOS. They basically let you run Ubuntu alongside Android and run Ubuntu apps without rebooting using UbuntuChroot.

    • 13 weird and wonderful niche Linux distros

      Here are 13 of the best, oddest and most useful distributions that Linux has to offer, and why on Earth you’d want to use them.

    • And the best distro of 2011 is …

      I am absolutely sure this article will provoke as much agreement as hate and criticism, as the controversial list topped by Ubuntu is going to anger the hardcore users. But that’s the simple reality, the way I see it, take it or leave it.

      Like I’ve mentioned earlier, 2011 was a turbulent and unhappy year for Linux. KDE has blossomed but then it’s little wilted in the winter. Gnome 2 and Gnome 3, that’s a sad story, let’s hope MATE wins, although I’m skeptical. Unity started as something you had to hate, but it’s becoming a normal alternative to existing choices, and a rather good one. Do not diss it too lightly, take it for a spin. You might be surprised.

      So you might ask me, dear Dedo, were you testing desktop interfaces or Linux distros? Well, for most part, the two are inseparable, no matter how much you try. It’s the precarious, delicate combination of the system AND the desktop that makes the final product. Even though you can separate them, it is quite evident from dozens of failing attempts that the task is not that simple. A good desktop is an art, and it has to look pretty. But then, it also must be solid, robust and without any bugs. In this brutal race, Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot comes as the big winner of 2011. It, works, period.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Who Sat on My Red Hat?

        Linux vendor Red Hat (NYSE: RHT ) reported third-quarter results last night, and shares dropped 8% the morning after. You’d think the company missed analyst targets, management guidance, and the inside of a barn with a shotgun, judging by the market reaction.

      • Red Hat cuts $87M real estate deal with Progress Energy

        Red Hat and Progress Energy Progress Energy Latest from The Business Journals Report: Progress Energy reaches million deal to lease out Raleigh towerProgress Energy CEO to discuss Duke merger at forumProgress Energy CEO to discuss Duke merger at forum Follow this company have reached final terms for their sublease arrangement at Progress’ Two Progress Plaza tower in downtown Raleigh with a lease contract valued at roughly $87 million – before significant concessions – over the next 23 years.

      • Red Hat (RHT) Approaches New Downside Target of $40.99
      • CloudLinux OS Added by JaguarPC

        A Linux-based operating system, CloudLinux offers kernel-level control to web hosting providers. Specific features of the OS include the ability to limit application resources (to safeguard against traffic spikes), tenant isolation, expert support, and more.

      • 2 Useful plugins for Yum

        In these days i’ve worked a lot on Red Hat Enterprise and Centos machines, and so i’ve used yum to install, upgrade, remove and download packages.

      • Fedora

        • PHP 5.4 To Be Included in Fedora 17

          Two weeks ago we were announcing the new features of the upcoming Fedora 17 (Beefy Miracle) operating system, due for release on May 8th, 2012.

    • Debian Family

      • I replace sun-java6 with openjdk-6 in Debian Squeeze, everything still works
      • Derivatives

        • EeeMC 12.04.24: An Ubuntu 12.04 Based HTPC

          Whosa, the developer behind the EeeMC project, announced yesterday, December 27th, the immediate availability for download and testing of the EeeMC 12.04.24 Beta operating system.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Changing the LightDM login background in Ubuntu 11.10
          • 5 Alternatives To Unity For Ubuntu Users [Linux]

            We’ve previously written about Ubuntu’s Unity desktop environment, which we touted as a “big leap forward” for Linux when it was introduced with Ubuntu 11.04. Unity was certainly a big leap in a new direction, but it left a lot of users behind.

            Luckily, Linux is all about choice and Ubuntu’s software repositories contain a variety of excellent alternatives to Unity. Each desktop environment you install appears as an option when you click the gear icon on Ubuntu’s login screen. You can install as many as you want and find the one that’s right for you.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • As 2012 Dawns, Mint Leads the List of Top Linux Distros

              It’s a different landscape now in the world of desktop Linux, so as 2011 draws to a close and 2012 dawns, I’d like to take a look at where things stand when it comes to the many choices available in this free and open source operating system.

              Anything could change in the coming months, of course, but here are the top 10 desktop Linux distributions as of late December 2011.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi $25 PC on course for January arrival

      The $25 computer project known as Raspberry Pi is set to go on sale next month.

      The tiny computer, which runs Linux on an ARM processor and sports USB, audio and video out, as well as an SD card slot, was designed to be an ultra-low-cost computer aimed at children.

      In a blog post picked up by Business Insider this week, its creators noted that the machine will be available in January following some additional testing on the hardware and software.

    • U.K. Charity Preps $25-$35 PCs For Early 2012 Launch

      Don’t be fooled by the device’s tiny footprint and low cost. Raspberry Pi is fully capable of rendering Blu-ray-quality, 1080p video playback. What’s more, the Raspberry Pi integrates the requisite hardware-accelerated graphics capabilities for supporting imaging, a camcorder, streaming media and 3D gaming.

    • Phones

      • Tough negotiator: HP wanted $1.2B for webOS and Palm’s assets (exclusive)

        $1.2 billion. That’s how much HP paid for Palm last year, and it’s also how much the company was trying to sell its Palm assets for over the latter half of 2011, VentureBeat has learned.

      • HP wanted $1.2 billion for WebOS and Palm assets

        HP has already made the decision to open source its WebOS platform, but according to a VentureBeat insider source, the company had initially wanted to sell WebOS along with other Palm assets for $1.2 billion. This is the same amount that HP paid when it acquired Palm back in 2010, meaning it was trying to offload a failing purchase without taking a loss.

      • Unreleased 7-inch TouchPad Go Reviewed, Deemed a Good Tablet

        Although webOS is now an open-source platform available for all, that doesn’t mean we can’t take a look at some cool hardware of what could have been. The TouchPad Go — a 7-inch version of the TouchPad was never mass produced or officially announced, but webOS Nation got their hands on a prototype and gave it a thorough review.

      • Android

        • Samsung may allow Android 4 on Galaxy S, Tab after all

          Samsung may be rethinking its decision not to bring Android 4 to the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab (hat tip to The Verge). After the company’s announcement that neither device could be updated due to the size of Samsung’s TouchWiz interface, the company is reportedly considering backing down on its decision due to “strong customer demand.”

        • 2011: The year Android had Multiple Personality Disorder

          In 2011 Google’s Android brought us splits in versions, open source commitment, carrier and OEM implementations, preferred device vendors and application ecosystems.

        • The Army goes Android

          The U.S. military stands to be stuck in its way when it comes to technologies. For ages the only smartphone you could use in Department of Defense (DOD) operations was a Blackberry. Now, as first reported by Stars and Stripes, you can use your Android phone and tablet on DOD business and with DOD networks.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Top Ten Stupidest Things That Happened In Tech In 2011

    1. There was a movie called “Source Code” that had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with programming.

  • Five Open Source Technologies for 2012
  • Call for promotion of mother tongue

    Addressing the first technical session of the fourth international conference on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), Ms. Gordon, a specialist in international development, expressed concern over the tendency in India to use English as the medium from the kindergarten level. “I am not sure you will have the same level of technological capability if you start doing that. Research shows that people’s ability to think conceptually is facilitated by having their first years of education in their mother tongue. It is very important to stay with the language at least for the first few years.”

  • Top Open Source Projects of 2011: Find the Award Winners

    It’s that time of year when the open source community looks back on what the best projects and products of the past 12 months were. A peek at some of the compilations on this topic shows that there is some agreement on which projects and products stood out, but there are also some outlier technologies from this year that you may not be so familiar with. Here is a handy guide to some of the best open source offerings of 2011.

  • OStatic’s Best Read Open Source Resource Guides and Collections

    Since OStatic’s inception, we’ve produced regularly updated roundups on everything from free books on open source topics, to top FOSS applications for working with video and digital music, to collections of resources for learning Linux. Many of these roundups are good ways to dive into open source applications for the first time, and join communities that you may not have known about. Marking the end of 2011, here is an updated collection of the most popular roundups we’ve done, which include hundreds of our favorite open source applications and guides for using them.

  • Ada Initiative adviser deserts group

    An adviser of a non-profit group that aims to increase the participation of women in free and open source software and culture has quit, describing the group as having achieved little since it was set up, despite spending nearly $US100,000.

  • Fearless open source predictions for 2012

    Ah, the sweet smell of a new year. Although I have to admit, 2011 wasn’t the best of years for Linux and open source, it certainly wasn’t the worst. But what 2011 did do was build a nice solid base for things to come. And I believe 2012 will be a vastly improved year for our favorite software and platform.

    I won’t go as far to say that 2012 will finally be the year of the desktop for Linux — I think that flag has flown enough over the last decade (and to no avail). But, the good news is that the desktop landscape is about to see some serious changes as the multi-touch form factor starts to take a larger role. But more on that later. So, what is possible (besides ‘anything’) for the up-coming year? Here are my prognostications.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla isn’t a charity case – and Google’s $300m will do nicely

        Some people seem to think Google gave Mozilla a sweetheart deal when it renewed its search agreement for Firefox. At roughly $300 million per year, it will fund quite a bit of open-source development at Mozilla, but this isn’t a case of Google going soft during the Christmas season. It is, as Mozilla veteran Asa Dotzler argues, simply a case of Google paying the going market rate for traffic to its ads.

      • Why Google Continues to Fund Firefox

        Just before the holiday weekend Mozilla announced that it had renewed its long-standing search revenue agreement with Google, which will reportedly net Mozilla $300 million a year (as part of a three-year contract). The renewed contract comprises the bulk of Mozilla’s funding and is unquestionably a good deal for Mozilla. What’s less immediately clear is why Google — which now has its own Chrome browser — would want to continue the deal.

  • SaaS

    • OpenNebula 2011: A Year of Innovation in Cloud Computing

      The stable version of OpenNebula 2.2 was released in March with the new SunStone GUI and important new features for fault tolerance and scalability. Seven months later, in October, the project released OpenNebula 3.0 with management of zones and virtual data centers, new authentication methods with usage quotas, a VM template repository, a new monitoring and accounting service, and a new network subsystem with support for Open vSwitch and 802.1Q tagging. OpenNebula 3.0 features the latest innovations in cloud computing for the deployment of cutting-edge enterprise-ready on-premise IaaS clouds.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Had a Great Year

      Only Slackware, CentOS, PCLinuxOS, and ArchLinux do not ship LibreOffice. RedHat is a major contributor to LibreOffice so it will likely be shipped by them sooner or later and CentOS will follow. I think the number “over 30 million” is a conservative estimate. The distros shipping LibreOffice ship more than 30 million. The number must come from their downloads which include users of that other OS so the number could be twice as large as that. I would not be surprised if LibreOffice reaches 100 million users shortly. It’s that good.

    • Oracle Tip – The Department of Defense and Open Source Software

      Many major software companies, including Oracle, utilize Open Source software in their products. Most commercial software is actually blended software: software that is sold under a different licensing terms from Open Source, but is probably built using a variety of Open Source components.

    • Oracle v. Google – Inquisitive Judge Invites Questionable Approach

      In an order issued yesterday (657 [PDF; Text]) Judge Alsup invited the parties to submit memoranda analyzing an alternative approach to the use of the Sun/Google 2006 negotiation. In so doing Judge Alsup is inviting an almost insoluble problem that can ensnare courts and juries when applying the Georgia-Pacific factors in determining damages. Don’t expect Google to leap at this approach.

  • CMS

    • 12 tech leaders’ resolutions for 2012

      Matt Mullenweg is the founder of WordPress, an open-source publishing platform run by a non-profit foundation, and also the CEO of Automattic, a for-profit entity that offers services based around WordPress. We asked him for his reflections on 2011 and his New Year’s resolutions for 2012 because he is an entrepreneur who has achieved great success but also someone who has insights into where the web is going.

  • Semi-Open Source

    • eDoctor, Inc. Announces New Integrated OpenEMR Solution

      eDoctor, Inc., an innovative provider of Health IT solutions, now offers a Meaningful Use-certified Ambulatory EMR through the Open Source OpenEMR project. A state-of-the-art Web-based software system, the eDoctor OpenEMR is a comprehensive Health IT package providing numerous features including practice management, clinical management, and electronic billing. Integrated within the eDoctor OpenEMR are certified NewCrop-based e-Prescribing, the iON Laboratory Order and Entry System, and our new Patient Appointment and Management System- all designed to streamline office workflow, increase physician and patient satisfaction, and earn Medicare incentives.


  • Project Releases

    • XBMC 11 beta released

      It’s been a long time in coming but the beta version of XBMC 11 has now been released. Version 11 “Eden” adds lots of new features and improvements to the open source home theater software for both Mac and Windows.

  • Licensing

    • Open Source Licensing Defuses Copyright Law’s Threat to Medicine

      Enforcing copyright law could potentially interfere with patient care, stifle innovation and discourage research, but using open source licensing instead can prevent the problem, according to a physician – who practices both at the University of California, San Francisco and the San Francisco VA Medical Center – and a legal scholar at the UC Hastings College of Law.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Malaria researchers try open source approach to drug discovery

      The term “open source” describes practices in production and development that promote access to the end product’s source materials. I’m sure you’ve heard of open source software such as Perl, WordPress, Linux and Android, and are familiar with open content projects such as Wikipedia and Wiktionary, but what about open source drug discovery?

  • Programming

    • What to Look for in PHP 5.4.0

      PHP 5.4.0 will arrive soon. The PHP team is working to bring to some very nice presents to PHP developers. In the previous release of 5.3.0 they had added a few language changes. This version is no different. Some of the other changes include the ability to use DTrace for watching PHP apps in BSD variants (there is a loadable kernel module for Linux folks). This release features many speed and security improvements along with some phasing out of older language features (Y2K compliance is no longer optional). The mysql extensions for ext/mysql, mysqli, and pdo now use the MySql native driver (mysqlnd). This release also improves support for multibyte strings.


  • SCO’s bankruptcy keeps rolling along ~pj – Updated

    SCO is still around. The bankruptcy continues, of course, because you can’t get too much of a good thing. SCO has filed its monthly operating reports for November. And who should show up now but Riverside Claims LLC? Here’s what they do. Perhaps they’d like to get their claims paid. What claims, you ask? Well, for example, the claim they had assigned [PDF] to them by a Chinese software provider, Shenyang Neusoft Co. Ltd, long, long ago, in 2008. My, they are patient. It’s a claim for $11,364.81. Will they ever get paid? Good luck.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Obama Memo: Redeem Yourself With Rail

      Good news springs forth from the bad news, however. The footprint of America’s passenger rail system may lie beneath overgrown lilacs, but the majority of the rights-of-way have been maintained. To give some idea of the great contraction that took place with our rail system as the folly of our national highway program went into overshoot, these two maps from a half century ago tell the tale. (source: National Association of Railroad Passengers). The first is from 1962, when the intercity passenger rail network still covered 88,710 route miles.

  • Civil Rights

    • SOPA: All Your Internets Belong to US

      The U.S. Congress is currently embroiled in a heated debated over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), proposed legislation that supporters argue is needed combat online infringement, but critics fear would create the “great firewall of the United States.” SOPA’s potential impact on the Internet and development of online services is enormous as it cuts across the lifeblood of the Internet and e-commerce in the effort to target websites that are characterized as being “dedicated to the theft of U.S. property.” This represents a new standard that many experts believe could capture hundreds of legitimate websites and services.

    • SOPA’s most frightening flaw is the future it predicts
    • American Corporate Software Can No Longer Be Trusted For Anything


Links 28/12/2011: Quad Core Linux Devices, Darrell Steinberg for Open Access

Posted in News Roundup at 5:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • TextSecure App For Android Is Now Open Source

    Following the discovery of Carrier IQ, the devious app that stealthily collects data on smartphone users, putting a little more priority on security is worth considering. After all, you never know who is watching so you should probably assume that lots of prying parties are watching.

  • Open Source Software Development Helps You Get Edge in Web World

    The open source application development has become so much popular in the web world, as the users can change it as per their exigencies. Open source software refers to computer software that is to be availed in source code format.

  • WonderSchool streams world to a tablet

    Open Wonderland — an open source, Java-based alternative to OpenSim — is now available on a tablet. According to WonderSchool, a subsidiary of Germany’s THINSIA, clients can now access the platform on an iPad by having their user session streamed to the device.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • 7 Benefits of Mozilla’s Rapid Release!

        Just shortly Mozilla has released Firefox 9 according to its rapid release development oscillation. This rapid release has increased concerns about add-on firefox compatibility and revamped interface that is confusing for consistent browser users. Mozilla has already been criticized for its rapid release program particularly in enterprise sector. Nevertheless, there are benefits of rapid release program too; that we seem to negative. Lets investigate them.

  • Business

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Magneti Marelli Introduces Open-Source Platform for the ‘Connected Car’

      In the area of telematics and infotainment technologies for automobiles, Magneti Marelli presented what it believes to be the first open-source platform for in-vehicle infotainment devices. The platform complies with automotive requirements in terms of performance and durability, and, at the same time, is equipped with software developed and certified according to GENIVI Alliance compliance specification.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Steinberg pushes free digital college textbooks for California

        Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg wants to create a digital library of free course materials for California college students.

        The proposal, unveiled earlier this month, is bound to be popular with students grappling with rising tuition and fees at California’s public colleges and universities.

      • Our View: Open-source texts for state colleges

        A fat hardbound economics text that looks no fancier, if no worse, than a best-selling novel that goes for $26.95 can easily be priced at $95 and even into the triple digits. The professors who write these texts famously fight – or are perhaps encouraged to do so by their publishers – the always strong market for used books in college communities by writing sometimes imperceptibly small updates to the original editions and requiring students to buy new.


  • Civil Rights

    • SOPA? Get YOUR message across.

      My friend Katie had some bumper stickers made up that pretty much echoes my sentiments of SOPA/PIPA. I normally don’t dally in bumper stickers but this one is going on the old Explorer as soon as it arrives in the mail. 5 bucks out the door to include shipping.


Links 27/12/2011: Linux 3.2 RC 7, GNOME 3.3.3

Posted in News Roundup at 4:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Razor-qt: A New Linux Desktop Alternative

      Among GNOME 3, Ubuntu Linux’s Unity, and Windows 8′s Metro, there’s no denying that desktop environments have become a hot topic in 2011. More specifically, mobile-inspired interfaces are becoming increasingly commonplace, challenging users to accept a whole new paradigm in the desktop world.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Qt 5 For Your Web Applications In The Browser

        A Nokia developer shared this week that his Qt 5.0 patch-set for Google Native Client is roughly on par with the Qt4 port, which he hopes to have integrated for upstream development in Qt5. This work allows for the Qt5 tool-kit to be used by web applications within supported web-browsers.

      • Demystifying Krita with Comics

        If you’re like most people, getting started with an app like Krita can be intimidating. Working with a graphics tablet takes as much getting used to as learning to draw with ink and paint. How all the settings and tools work together when “used correctly” is a whole other problem. Fortunately, Krita has just released a training DVD that shows novices how it’s done, and helps fund development at the same time.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 3.3.3 Released Just in Time for Christmas

        The GNOME Project announced a few minutes ago, December 23rd, the immediate availability for download and testing of the third development release of the upcoming GNOME 3.4 desktop environment, which brings assorted improvements and bug fixes.

      • Linux Mint’s Cinnamon: A GNOME 3.x shell fork

        GNOME 3.2 keeps losing fans so leading Linux desktop distribution Mint turns its attention to forking the GNOME shell into a GNOME 2.x like desktop: Cinnamon.

  • Distributions

    • Linpus Lite Desktop 1.6 review

      Linpus Lite is a Linux distribution published by Linpus Technologies, Inc., a Linux software solutions provider based in Taiwan. Linpus Lite Desktop is, as the name suggests, the version designed for traditional desktop computing. Aside from that, the company also publishes other editions (for example, Linpus Lite Android Edition and Linpus Lite PCTV), but those are for OEMs and ODMs vendors only, and not available for download by the public. (OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer; ODM – Original Design Manufacturer.)

    • New Releases

      • Clonezilla 1.2.11-40
      • SMS 1.6.3
      • Semplice 2.0.0
      • LITRIX 11-12
      • Grml 2011.12
      • AgiliaLinux 8.0.0: Ooops, We Did It (Again)!

        Stop, you could ask, why is this version 8 then? Because AgiliaLinux is not a brand-new distribution. It is based on MOPSLinux, a project which stopped development. The previous version of AgiliaLinux was more or less a remake of MOPS. The current version is a fully independent development.
        This version was planned for release ages ago. A member of the development team wrote a comment on my post about AgiliaLinux 7 stating that version 8 was due in June. And finally… in October they did it!

      • Tiny Core Linux 4.2 Introduces Tiny Core Plus

        Robert Shingledecker proudly announced earlier today, December 27th, the immediate availability for download of the Tiny Core Linux 4.2 and Tiny Core Plus Linux 4.2 operating systems.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Weaker Euro to hurt Red Hat Q4 revenue

        Business software maker Red Hat Inc forecast fourth-quarter revenue largely below analysts’ expectations hurt mainly by a weaker euro, sending its shares down 7 per cent in after-market trade.

      • Arciero Testifies for Red Hat to Massachusetts Economic Assistance Coordinating Council

        State Representative James Arciero recently testified before the Massachusetts Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (MEACC) in support of Red Hat, Inc., a Westford high tech company, in their bid proposal for a tax credit to create new jobs at their Westford office. The MEACC subsequently awarded a state tax credit of $3.4 million.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Tweak Your Ubuntu Unity Desktop With MyUnity

            One of the reasons that many hated the Unity desktop in Ubuntu is because there is a lack of customization option. People switched from Windows/Mac to Linux is mainly because Linux offers them an environment where they can customize everything to their liking. When Canonical reduced your ability to do what you want with your desktop, many people start to grunt about it and some even switched to Linux Mint.

          • Ubuntu Tweak 0.6 released
          • Ubuntu IVI Remix Beta 2 Officially Released

            Canonical, through Lars Anderson, announced last evening, December 21st, the immediate availability for download of the Ubuntu In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) Remix operating system.

          • Canonical Releases Beefed Up Database API for Ubuntu One
          • CTL launches MB40U Ubuntu notebook
          • Quality In Ubuntu

            Over the last year quality has become a strong area of focus inside Canonical. This has included re-factoring the roles and responsibilities of QA staff (focusing them on defect analysis as opposed to just bug triage), Pete Graner has been leading an effort to get an extensive automated testing infrastructure in place, Jason Warner has led an effort to put acceptance criteria in place for Canonical upstreams (this requires that a certain level of quality is assured before Unity updates are landed in the development branch of Ubuntu), and I have hired Nicholas Skaggs who starts in January to build out our QA community, with a particular focus on manual testing and triage.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • $25 Linux PC ‘Raspberry Pi’ to Go in Production Early Next Year

      Much awaited credit card size $25 computer Raspberry Pi is about to go in production early next year. First run beta devices are currently being tested. If all goes well, you will be able to purchase it in January.

    • Boxee 1.5 for desktops arrives, but the end is nigh

      Boxee released version 1.5 of its free multimedia streaming software for Mac, Windows, and Linux desktops today, but simultaneously announced that it will cease offering the Boxee desktop software after January 2012. Thereafter, the company will limit its focus to devices such as the D-Link Boxee Box.

    • Boxee Mac media player reaches end-of-life with new version

      The Boxee project has come a long way from its humble origins as a fork of the Xbox Media Center, bringing easy video playback and a couch-to-screen UI to the Mac, then later to Windows and Ubuntu, and now to the company’s own dedicated Boxee Box

    • Boxee 1.5 for desktops arrives, but the end is nigh

      Boxee released version 1.5 of its free multimedia streaming software for Mac, Windows, and Linux desktops today, but simultaneously announced that it will cease offering the Boxee desktop software after January 2012. Thereafter, the company will limit its focus to devices such as the D-Link Boxee Box.

    • Boxee updates apps to version 1.5, says no more upgrades for PC users

      Boxee rolled out version 1.5 of its Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu apps today, but the news is bittersweet: according to the company, this will be the last time it issues an upgrade for PC. The platform’s future will be on the Boxee Box and the other streaming devices that run Boxee OS, from partners like Iomega and Nuu Media. It’s not a totally surprising move — the upcoming Boxee Live TV won’t be usable with a computer, and Boxee has had some issues getting major partners on board with its PC software anyway — but we’re betting there are plenty of home theater PC fans feeling abandoned on the day after Christmas.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • 10 Android apps for holidays
        • 7 Best Free Android Home Computer Emulators
        • 5 beautiful Android Launchers worth trying out
        • Android Approved By Pentagon For DoD Usage, Major Setback For iPhone

          The Pentagon has approved a version of Android running on Dell hardware to be used by DoD officials, along with the BlackBerry. The approval of Android by the DoD is a major setback for Apple’s iPhone.

          This doesn’t mean that DoD employees can use any Android phone. The Pentagon has approved only Dell’s hardware running Android 2.2. Interestingly Dell recently discontinued its Streak phone which runs Android 2.2. Dell is now offering Dell Venue which runs on Android 2.2. So, this is the phone which DoD employees can use.

        • Android Is Finally Coming Back to Linux Kernel

          Tim Bird in collaboration with many Linaro and individual developers, including Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman, announced the beginning of the Android Mainlining Project, to include Android’s patches and features into the mainline Linux kernel.

        • Sharp unveils the AQUOS PHONE IS14SH – a 2.3 feature phone for the masses

          While Sharp has never had a strong foothold in Europe or the US, the Japanese manufacturer has been the leader in the mobile segment in its own country for many years. Sharp does have a few high-end Android phones like the AQUOS PHONE 102SH which features a 4.5-inch 720p display, 12 megapixel camera, a dual-core 1GHz TI OMAP4430 processor and a waterproof body, but the majority of their sales are comprised of clam-shell or slide-out feature phones.

        • “$100 ICS Tablet” Novo7 is available for pre-order… for $120

          More than a few people got excited at the prospect of a $100 Ice Cream Sandwich tablet when a no-name manufacturer sprang out of China marketing the Novo7… and immediately became less excited at a $60 shipping fee that seemed more than a little fishy. Now the same low-powered tablet is sitting pretty with a pre-order status on import sites PandaWill and Merimobiles, both of which seem legitimate enough as far as Internet storefronts go. The latter is claiming an $80 discount off of the “retail” price of $200.

        • Bringing Android/Linux Home in 2012
        • HTC Flyer’s price dropped to £199, sale season starts early

          Really wanted a tablet for Christmas but the high prices put you off? Well Dixons online in the UK could well have come to the rescue by dropping the price of the HTC Flyer to £199 for the wifi only version.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Amazon Kindle Fire Will Burn Your Fingers If You Try To Root

        Amazon is a great company when it comes to buying physical stuff — their delivery is great. But when it comes to the digital content Amazon is as freaky as Apple. The company DRMs its books locking users into Amazon ecosystem. It also ‘endorsed’ usage of DRM for Android apps. Now, the company is playing Apple/Sony by wasting its resources in pushing patches to remove roots and ROMs from jail-broken Kindle Fire. Amazon recently pushed an update (6.2.1) for its Kindle Fire which breaks the root on jail-broken devices.

      • Kindle Fire Rooted Again

        One lesson that Amazon seems to not learn despite being a heavy Linux user is — don’t waste your time on un-rooting your devices. Let the developed do what they want to do with the devices they ‘bought’. This is a cat and mouse game where in the end the developers will win.

      • Sony Tablet S To Get Android 4.0

        Sony has finally given some indications of upgrading their Sony Tablet S to the version 4.0 of Android. Sony has not made any official statement, but a forum moderator did reply to a thread stating that the company is looking into ICS. He also said that there is no commitment at this moment. This language is vague but typical and safer for the thread moderator.

Free Software/Open Source

  • FLOSS for Science Books November 2011
  • Two decades of Linux: the big open source stories of 2011

    In 1999, Linux founder Linus Torvalds joked about plans for world domination. But as the Linux kernel celebrated its 20th birthday this year, Linux, and open source in general, have achieved a limited version of world domination. As we reported in August, Linux in its many forms now powers a majority of the world’s supercomputers. Apache web servers running on Linux and other Unix operating systems serve up the majority of the web sites on the Internet, and Linux powers some of the biggest sites on Earth—including Facebook, Google and Wikipedia. And embedded versions of Linux are part of the explosion of network-connected consumer devices, most notably as the basis of Google’s Android mobile OS.

  • Encouraging the next generation of hackers part 2 – Software implementation
  • Open*Business: 2011 in review
  • Open*Business 2011 best images

    The visual components on opensource.com are an important element to the look and feel of our content. The images help set the tone for the site. The imagery embodies qualities such as motivational, editorial, authoritative (but not authoritarian), human, and optimism.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Download Firefox 10.0 Beta 1 and Firefox 9.0.1 for Linux

        A day after the release of Mozilla Firefox 9.0.1 security fix, Mozilla unleashed today, December 23rd, the first Beta version of the upcoming Mozilla Firefox 10.0 web browser for Linux operating systems, and other supported platforms.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice seeks bug hunters

      The Document Foundation has announced its first bug hunting session for version 3.5 of the open source LibreOffice office suite – to be held online on 28 and 29 December. On those days, the Quality Assurance (QA) team and some experienced developers will be available on the IRC channel #libreoffice (IRC link) from 8am to 10pm UTC and will accept bug reports not only via Bugzilla, usually the only option, but also by chat and email.

    • USPTO Rejects Another Oracle Patent, Google Looks Stronger

      USPTO has presented Google with a last minute Christmas gift by rejecting Oracle’s U.S. Patent No. 6,192,476. According to Groklaw, on December 20 the USPTO issued a final rejection in the ex parte reexamination. All of the claims of the patent were subject to reexamination, including Claim 14. Claim 14 of the patent was the only claim being asserted by Oracle in this litigation, writes Groklaw. This rejection means Oracle has already lost 17 out of 21 patents, including all seven of the patent’s independent claims.

  • Healthcare

    • When Medicare Isn’t Medicare

      Let’s say you have a Ford and decide to replace everything under the hood with Hyundai parts, including the engine and transmission. Could you still honestly market your car as a Ford?

      That question gets at the heart of the controversy over who is being more forthright about GOP Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to “save” Medicare, Republicans or Democrats.

  • Project Releases

  • Programming

    • LLVM 3.1 Will Enhance AVX & Bring AVX2 Support

      While LLVM 3.0 has been barely out for one month and a release schedule for LLVM 3.1 hasn’t even been plotted yet, there are already some new details about what this next release of the extremely popular open-source compiler infrastructure will offer.

      In particular, LLVM 3.1 is poised to offer bug-fixes and overall improved support for Advanced Vector Extensions. AVX is the x86 instruction set extension that first appeared with Intel Sandy Bridge processors in early 2011 and then made their way to the AMD side with the Bulldozer launch.


  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Under the Surface of Non-OPEC Supply

      In 2002 Non-OPEC oil production contributed 60.75% of the world’s total oil supply. But technology, competition, and access to capital through listings on stock exchanges have not been able to overcome limits of geology. Global giants such as Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil have essentially abandoned the effort to meaningfully expand their oil reserves. Instead, they are now shifting course in favor of a strong, natural gas emphasis. The result is that Russia in the past decade has accounted for nearly all of the supply growth in crude oil, among Non-OPEC producers. Indeed, without Russia, Non-OPEC supply would be in steep decline. Instead, it’s merely flat.

  • Finance

    • ’2012: What’s in Store…’

      The Private Global Power Elite embedded in major governments is dead set on imposing World Government on us sooner rather than later. Let’s look at 12 mega-processes – veritable “Triggers” – that we infer they are using to achieve their goals.

      ­All roads lead to World Government. This should come as no surprise. London’s Financial Times openly articulated this view in an article by their chief foreign affairs commentator, Gideon Rachman, published on 8 December 2009, whose title said it all: “And Now for a World Government.” These goals are echoed by the Trilateral Commission, CFR and Bilderberg insiders – even by the Vatican.

      Macro-managing planet Earth is no easy matter. It requires strategic and tactical planning by a vast think-tank network allied to major elite universities whereby armies of academics, operators, lobbyists, media players and government officers interface, all abundantly financed by the global corporate and banking superstructure.

    • Argentina tango lessons: Europe’s turn for financial danse macabre?

      Exactly ten years ago Argentina suffered a full-scale financial and governmental collapse. That was the end-result of over a decade of doing exactly what the IMF, international bankers, rating agencies and global “experts” told us to do.

      Then President Fernando de la Rúa kept applying all IMF recipes to the very last minute, making us swallow their poisonous “remedies”.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Jack Abramoff Explains The Return On Investment For Lobbying: 22,000% Is Surprisingly Low

      We’ve talked a lot about the political process and how things work in DC to get things like SOPA pretty far along, even as the public seems to be almost universally against it. As you hopefully know by now, Larry Lessig has been focusing his attention on the issue of the deep-seeded corruption in the way our government works today, and his recent book, Republic, Lost focuses deeply on the issue. A few weeks back, Lessig did a fantastic interview on the subject with the Boston Review. In it, he describes how Congress picks up on unpopular legislation for the sake of scaring people (on all sides) into donating to their campaigns…

  • Civil Rights

    • Analyzing Carrier IQ Profiles

      As we explained in our post on Carrier IQ’s architecture, one of the main factors in determining what the Carrier IQ stack does on a particular phone is the “Profile” that is running on that device. Profiles are files that are typically written by Carrier IQ Inc. to the specifications of a phone company or other client, and pushed to the phone by Carrier IQ Inc. using its own command and control infrastructure. Profiles contain instructions about what data to collect, how to aggregate it, and where to send it.

    • Obama Gave Manning “Verdict First, Trial Later.”
    • Why Stop Billions When You Can Stop Millions….?

      You will receive the same thing I received…a form letter mechanically stating the reasons to support SOPA. Jobs, yada, yada, yada. Protecting American IP, yada, yada, yada….it takes a staffer about 30 seconds to scan your email and hit send on thier boiler-plate response.

      You and your “opinion” are forgotten in less than a minute.

      Get that person on the phone and raise hell. Remind said staffer that the congressman from X state is going to lose his job over support of this bill. Don’t let them lapse into talking points. Sure you are going to spend some time on hold but outside of a personal appearance, your phone call is the most effective way of getting your message across.

      Regardless of what happens to Lamar Smith personally or professionally, he will forever be known as The Man That Broke The Internet.

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