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06.23.12

Links 23/6/2012: Wine 1.5.7 released, Apple Racism

Posted in News Roundup at 11:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • OStatic’s Updated Collection of Free Books on Open Source Topics
  • The limits of openness

    The rise of open source is now being repeated by open endeavours in other fields, following a fairly constant pattern. First, somebody starts a small, personal project, often almost accidentally, and without any long-term plans. Crucially, they share that project online, and other people join in. Then, the project starts to grow and become quite useful. Later, it begins to rival commercial offerings, and companies start to attack it. Finally, it equals then surpasses those commercial offerings, and the companies find themselves in trouble.

  • The death of an HTML5 game breeds an open source project

    German social gaming company Wooga has thrown in the towel on its HTML5 project after seeing little return on the increasing amount of effort put into its “Magic Land Island” game.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla’s Collusion Privacy Protection Add-On is Gaining Fans

        All of us who spend a great deal of time with digital devices have concerns about being tracked online, and these concerns are often especially pronounced among members of the open source community. In response to these concerns about online tracking, Mozilla delivered a Firefox extension not long ago called Collusion. You can get the add-on and watch a demo of it here, and we previously covered it here. It’s designed to turn the tables on online spies, allowing you to see who is tracking you. In an address focused on privacy delivered at TED, Mozilla CEO Ted Kovacs sang the praises of Collusion, and it’s gaining more traction with other Mozilla leaders.

      • Mozilla Firefox 13.0.1 Arrives on Ubuntu OSes

        Canonical announced yesterday, June 20th, in a security notice, that an update for the default web browser in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, Ubuntu 11.10, Ubuntu 11.04 and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is now available.

      • Introducing Thimble: webmaking made easy

        Today we are proud to launch a new Mozilla Webmaker app to the world. Meet Thimble, the new tool that makes it incredibly simple for anyone to create and share their own web pages and other projects in minutes.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • After Oracle, OpenSolaris rises again

      While some of the open source projects that Sun Microsystems created — and which I used to work with — have maintained a high profile, the one most associated with Sun in the minds of system administrators has been strangely forgotten. Whatever happened to OpenSolaris?

    • Perspectives on Apache OpenOffice 3.4 download numbers

      You may have read, on the Apache OpenOffice blog, news that the project has had 5 million downloads in the first 6 weeks since the release of version 3.4. And as the above chart shows, the download rate has increased in the past two weeks, as we’ve started to roll out the upgrade notifications to OpenOffice.org 3.3 users.

  • Healthcare

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Open source Geiger counter successfully kickstarted

      The Safecast project, which was co-founded by BoingBoing contributor Sean Bonner in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, has recently completed a successful Kickstarter funding round to create an open source Geiger counter. Safecast aims to supply residents of Japan with reliable, crowd-sourced radiation measurements.

  • BSD

  • Project Releases

    • Nitro 1.4 Released With New Features

      If you are a busy guy with a lot of tasks to keep track of, Nitro is the one of the best task management tools available for you. A new version has been released with some exciting features that we are going to cover in this story.

  • Public Services/Government

    • FOI request: Public sector favours legacy over open-source storage

      Local and central government departments in the UK are favouring legacy storage systems from the likes of IBM and Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) as opposed to open-source storage, according to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

      The request was made by open-source software provider Nexenta Systems, and the revelation comes despite the government’s efforts over the past few years to cut costs and create a level playing field between open source and proprietary software vendors.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Using open source & grassroots to map the world’s radiation data

        Mapping the world’s radiation and air pollution data, using one volunteer with one gadget at a time — that’s the goal of the Safecast project, which this week closed over $100,000 on Kickstarter to deliver a limited run of its open source geiger counters to interested buyers. “I don’t think it’s an unreasonable goal,” to create comprehensive maps of this data from all over the world, says Sean Bonner, co-founder of Safecast, in a phone interview shortly after his team’s project was funded.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Apple Bigots

    Apple was found to refuse to sell to people who speak Farsi, the language of Iran. They claim it’s to prevent export to Iran even though the person lives in Virginia, USA, and is a US citizen.

  • Apple blacklists customers on basis of race

    Jobs’ Mob has been branded a bunch of racists after one of its stores refused to sell shiny toys to some swarthy types who were not speaking English.

    WSB-TV interviewed two customers who were denied the right to buy an iPad or an iPhone after store personnel heard them speaking Farsi. Farsi is the language of Ancient Persia and once was the lingua franca between merchants.

    The Apple staff apparently decided to refuse the sale because, in the opinion of its genius managers, the two must be buying the gear to sell to their evil terrorist mates in Iran. Apparently they even quoted laws that prohibit the export of products to Iran.

    The only problem is that the law does not forbid you selling technology gear to people in your own country or US citizens. The US happens to have a fair number of US citizens who are Iranian and so the move seems to be to blacklist them from owning gear using the made-in-China Apple logo.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • STUDY: Right Wing Spins Media With “Job-Killer” Claims

      The media is indiscriminately using the term “job-killer” to describe government policies and programs, but without verifying or substantiating the claims, according to a new study. Use of the phrase by major media outlets has exploded since President Obama took office and rapidly circulates throughout the press with little or no fact checking of the “job killer” allegations.

  • Privacy

    • 4 Steps to immunity from UK snooping laws

      Last week’s draft Communications Bill outlines how civil servants are again intent on surveilling the internet communications of innocent British citizens. Fortunately, Free Software provides several ways with which you can protect your privacy online, regardless of the measures that the Coalition may impose upon you or your telecoms providers.

06.22.12

Links 22/6/2012: Fedora 18 Plans, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3

Posted in News Roundup at 1:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Censorship

    • India unblocks The Pirate Bay and other sharing sites
    • Defamation and the Internet – Contact your MP Now!

      After many years of campaigning, Parliament is finally debating a new Defamation Bill. Defamation (covering libel and slander) is about protecting a person’s reputation, and balancing that right against the general freedom of expression. Over the last few years English libel law has become infamous around the world for its chilling effect on free speech, ease of use to silence criticism (informal, political and academic) and its disproportionate costs.

      The new Bill attempts to tackle some of these issues. But while it is a step in the right direction, it mainly codifies the existing law rather than significantly improving it. There are still some major problems with the current text and while it is being debated in the House of Commons we have a chance to try to fix it before it becomes law. To do this, we need you to write to your MP, highlighting the major problems. If nothing else, please ask them to read through the memorandum the Party submitted to the Public Bill Committee, the key points of which are outlined below.

06.21.12

Links 22/6/2012: Red Hat Reports Results

Posted in News Roundup at 7:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • How to Land the Best Linux Job
  • GNU/Linux is a Winner

    Jack Wallen thinks the decision of the US Navy to switch their drones to GNU/Linux from that other OS because of a virus will play out like this:

    * DOD begins Linux roll out
    * US Government begins wide-spread roll out
    * Civilian security companies world-wide begin roll out
    * Universities fall in line
    * Consumers begin clamoring for better security on their OS

    I think the situation is a bit more complex than that. Clearly weapons/intelligence collection devices require top security but it is far from clear that consumers will ever think that way. They fall for the salesmen’s lies…

  • Desktop

    • Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: It’s 2016, and Chrome OS is ascendant

      Google thinks we’re ready to say goodbye to fat client systems and move to cloud-based operating systems, such as its own Chrome OS. Instead of PCs, it wants us to use Chromeboxes and Chromebooks. We’re resisting, but I think we’ll come around to Google’s point of view in a few short years.

      Not that the old mainframe/terminal model ever really went away. Some companies still issue thin clients that are basically input devices, with most of the actual computing happening on a distant server. Others use its descendant, client/server systems. More companies might have stuck with those models, but users made their preferences known. They liked the “personal” in “personal computer.” They wanted their computers to run just the way they wanted.

  • Kernel Space

    • Stable kernels 3.0.35 and 3.4.3
    • Linus to Nvidia: Yawn
    • Graphics Stack

      • Nvidia Responds to F-Bomb From Linus Torvalds

        Linux creator Linus Torvalds may call Nvidia “the single worst company” the Linux community has ever dealt with. But the chipmaker makes no apologies for its approach to the open source operating system.

        Late last week, during an event in his native Finland, Torvalds went so far as to hurl an expletive at the chipmaker and flip it the proverbial bird, and when we contacted the company about this on Monday, it could not be reached to comment. But the company has now responded with a brief statement that seeks to explain why it doesn’t work to include its Linux hardware drivers in the core open source code for the OS.

        Basically, the company prefers to offer its own proprietary drivers for running its graphics hardware with Linux, rather than rolling driver code into the Linux kernel. “While we understand that some people would prefer us to provide detailed documentation on all of our GPU internals, or be more active in Linux kernel community development discussions, we have made a decision to support Linux on our GPUs by leveraging Nvidia common code, rather than the Linux common infrastructure,” reads a canned statement from Nvidia. “While this may not please everyone, it does allow us to provide the most consistent GPU experience to our customers, regardless of platform or operating system.”

        Torvalds created Linux in 1991 as an open source alternative to Microsoft Windows, which was on its way to dominating the computer market. In the twenty years since, it has became so widely used — particular on servers — that even Microsoft has started to play nicely with Linux.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Linux Desktops and Linux Personalities: What’s Your Perfect Match?

      Back when I started work at a Linux company, I had trouble wrapping my mind around the idea that an operating system could have more than one desktop. Finally, I asked what the difference between GNOME and KDE was.

      “Oh, that’s easy,” another employee told me. “KDE is for people who are used to Windows, while GNOME is for those who like innovations.”

      Today, recommendations are much harder. For one thing, both GNOME and KDE have morphed out of all recognition, making that summary long obsolete. For another, at least half a dozen other desktops are clamoring for users’ attention.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Reach your matching limits, with Mahjongg!

        GNOME’s Mahjongg is an one player matching game that is based on the ancient Chinese 4-player game Mahjong. The Mahjong Solitare games family has been available on computers since 1981, and is to be found in every platform and device nowadays. So, what is so great about this game?

        The aim of the game is to remove all 144 given tiles as quickly as possible, while avoiding a stall. The tiles have a specific formation that is called “The Turtle”. To remove 2 tiles by matching them, they must be “free”, meaning that they have no other tile on their right or left of the same level. See the two images below to understand this better.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi

      If you know one thing about the Raspberry Pi PC, it’s most likely the fact that it’s almost comically inexpensive. $35, to be exact. And what do you get for such a modest sum? In terms of in-the-box hardware, not much. Essentially a motherboard with a CPU soldered onto it, the Pi requires that you provide your own operating system, your own local storage media, even your own power supply.

      The point of such a product is primarily education. According to their Web site, the designers of the Raspberry Pi wanted to create an affordable computer that encourages students to break away from the technical hand-holding that comes with off-the-shelf PCs. Chances are you might learn something from building a system yourself. Given that it’s a Linux-based computer, you might even write your own software for it.

    • Measuring the Raspberry Pi’s Current …
    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • The Monotonous Decline of That Other OS

    That’s an average decline of 0.57% per month.

  • Cablegate

    • Ecuador offers Wikileaks founder Assange residency

      Ecuador has offered Julian Assange, the founder of the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, residency in the country.

      Deputy Foreign Minister Kintto Lucas said his country’s government wanted to invite Mr Assange to Ecuador to give him the opportunity to speak publicly.

      He said Ecuador was concerned about some of the alleged American activities revealed by Wikileaks.

      Earlier this year Sweden refused an application from Mr Assange, who is Australian, for residency there.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • House to Vote on Effort to Preempt EPA Regulation of Coal Ash

      According to the EPA, the waste from coal burning plants contains concentrations of arsenic, boron, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, and other metals that has been known to seep into ground water supplies. Thursday marks the two year anniversary of when the EPA first proposed minimum safeguards for coal ash disposal.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Nuns on the Bus Go Up and Down

      After an hour and a half visit to Janesville, the “Nuns on the Bus” bus cruised on to Milwaukee for a visit to St. Benedict the Moor’s meal program and to a picket line by mostly immigrant workers at Palermo’s frozen pizza plant. During the next two weeks, the sisters will visit seven more states, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland before a scheduled finish in Washington D.C. on July 2.

      Back on Janesville’s Main Street Tuesday afternoon, the crowd had evaporated, leaving a single peace sign between a Manpower office and a shuttered “Rock County Mortgage.” There were no manufacturing jobs at Manpower (GM’s last auto plant closed in 2009), just a poster seeking four telemarketers at $8.50 an hour. With so many Janesville families without work and grateful for what little government assistance there is in hard times, it is no surprise that the nuns received a warm welcome.

  • Censorship

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Monsanto May Be Forced To Repay Brazilian GM Soybean Royalties Worth Billions Of Dollars

      When the history of modern Brazil comes to be written, a special place will be reserved for the soybean, the powerful farmers that grow it — and the deforestation it is driving. And at the center of that tale will be Monsanto, with its patented “Roundup Ready” crop, so called because it has been genetically modified to withstand the herbicide glyphosate, marketed as Roundup.

    • Copyrights

      • Is Copyright Needed To Stop Plagiarism?
      • ACTA

        • Crucial ACTA Vote: Will INTA Committee Betray EU Citizens?

          This Thursday, June 21st, the “International Trade” (INTA) committee of the EU Parliament will adopt its draft report on ACTA. Under pressure from the EU Commission and industry lobbyists1, members of the committee could decide, potentially in a secret vote, to call for the adoption of ACTA or to postpone the final vote for years, which would help the pro-ACTA to save face. Citizens participation is absolutely crucial to ensure that the Parliament will stick to the general interest and face its political responsibility by voting a clear rejection of ACTA.

        • INTA Committee Must Reject ACTA

          ACTA threatens fundamental freedoms online, Net neutrality, innovation, access to free/libre technologies and to essential medicines. The European Parliament has all the evidence needed to reject it, and if it were to postpone the final vote on the agreement it would be seen as escaping its political responsibility.

        • Final Europarl Committee Rejects ACTA: Internet-Lobbyists, 5-0.

          Today, the final and ultimately responsible committee in the European Parliament gave its recommendation on ACTA. Its opinion was clear: Reject ACTA. This brings five recommendations to the European Parliament to reject and kill ACTA once and for all.

        • [Major Victory] Now Let’s Win ACTA’s Final Round!

          The European Parliament’s main committee in charge of ACTA just adopted its voting recommendation to the rest of the Members. Despite intense pressure, the Parliament is now officially advised to reject ACTA during the upcoming plenary vote, scheduled for July 4th1. We now have very high chances of finally defeating ACTA and opening the way for a positive reform of copyright! Let’s celebrate, while aiming for the final vote, and build a post-ACTA world!

06.19.12

Links 19/6/2012: Mandriva Linux 2012 Tech Preview, Linus’ Remarks, Dell Helps Ubuntu, Wine 1.4.1 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 8:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Weekend Project: Open Source Crowd Mapping with Ushahidi
  • Open Source Initiative Gets More Members

    The Open Source Initiative (OSI) Board has announced that five significant organizations have been granted Affiliate Membership of the organization, including the first User Group.

  • 5 new affiliates for the OSI

    The ranks of the Open Source Initiative’s affiliate scheme have expanded with five new “significant” organisations joining. The new members are AFUL (Association Francophone des Utilisateurs de Logiciels Libres), a user association for French speaking free software users; The Document Foundation, legal and logistical home of LibreOffice; The OuterCurve Foundation, the Microsoft and AOL sponsored enterprise open source group; OW2, the open source community for enterprise infrastructure software; and The Wikimedia Foundation, the organisation behind Wikipedia and many other collaboratively created reference projects.

  • OSI Welcomes New Affiliates, Opens For Affiliate Applications
  • SourceForge back-end code to be donated to Apache
  • Web Browsers

  • Education

    • Open source creates a more compassionate global education

      Rock legend Roger Waters, of Pink Floyd fame has asked many interesting questions (in song). This one (posted on his website) might be one you don’t expect: “Will the technologies of communication in our culture, serve to enlighten us and help us to understand one another better, or will they deceive us and keep us apart?”

      Will educators, parents, and children view free and open source as a way to create a kinder, sharing, and cooperative relationships with one another in the United States and around the world?

    • A quest for change in education

      For the last few years, I have been increasingly interested in the area of Open Education Resources (OERs). MIT’s Open Course Ware was one of the pioneers of OER and the manner in which it was used across the world was truly fascinating. Khan Academy took the concept of OERs and made it wildly popular – the 3000 videos on its web site have been viewed more than 133 million times!

      Why this interests me is because I believe (as do many others) that education is one of the most critical inputs for India’s development. Well, more than an input, I’d say this is the critical factor that decides whether our country descends into chaos in the next few decades or emerges out of poverty and takes a place of pride on the world state as one of the developed nations. Think of it as that moment when an aeroplane gathers speed on the runway and generates enough thrust to break free from the gravitational pull of the earth and soar into the sky. If we educate our youth and make them skilled and able citizens of India, we will soar into the skies. If we don’t, we will land with a thud. As simple (and scary) as that.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Richard Stallman talking in the UK

      For those of you in the UK who wish to catch Richard Stallman – father of the Free Software movement and president and founder of the Free Software Foundation – he is giving three talks in Britain in the coming days.

  • Project Releases

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Hardware

  • Security

    • Open Source PHP and Ruby on Rails Updated for Security
    • “Zero-day” exploit sales should be key point in cybersecurity debate

      Last week, Forbes’ Andy Greenberg investigated a dangerous but largely underreported problem in Internet security: the sale of zero-day exploits to customers not intending to fix the flaws. Zero-day exploits are hacking techniques that take advantage of software vulnerabilities that haven’t been disclosed to the developer or the public. Some companies have built successful businesses by discovering security flaws in software such as operating systems and popular browsers like Google Chrome and Microsoft Internet Explorer, and then selling zero-day exploits to high-paying customers—which are often governments.

    • Protecting Yourself in a Cyberwar World

      Which leads me to the second response: users are going to have to take even more responsibility for their own security. It’s not just “install antivirus and update regularly” anymore. You need to avoid the products which are most vulnerable — whether because they’re buggy, or just because they’re widely used and therefore often attacked. And, as I will elaborate in future posts, you need layered security — secure OS, secure browser and email, intrusion detection, and safe working habits. (Stop using your PC as “administrator,” and stop clicking on links in email!) This is where the real safety lies, because right now the industry has little incentive to make you safer, and — as EFF noted — the government has an incentive to make you less safe.

      You have to protect yourself…because no one else will protect you.

    • Hacked companies fight back with controversial steps

      Frustrated by their inability to stop sophisticated hacking attacks or use the law to punish their assailants, an increasing number of U.S. companies are taking retaliatory action.

      Known in the cyber security industry as “active defense” or “strike-back” technology, the reprisals range from modest steps to distract and delay a hacker to more controversial measures. Security experts say they even know of some cases where companies have taken action that could violate laws in the United States or other countries, such as hiring contractors to hack the assailant’s own systems.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • World Solar Power Goes Parabolic

      From a very small base, and from a tiny position in world energy supply, the buildout of global solar power is starting to go parabolic. Last year, according to the just released BP Statistical Review (you must access the Excel workbook for solar data), global solar generation nearly doubled to reach 55.7 TWh (terrawatt hours). | see: Global Solar Consumption in TWh (terrawatt hours) 2001-2011.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • New Zealand’s High Court Steps Into Extradition Fight Over Kim Dotcom

        As the Justice Department continues to pretend there’s nothing strange at all about its highly questionable tactics in shutting down Megaupload and having its executives arrested, the courts are still struggling with the details. A few weeks back, we noted that a judge in New Zealand rejected the US’s demand that New Zealand merely rubberstamp an extradition order to the US, despite there being numerous questions over the case itself and whether or not extradition is appropriate. As part of that, the judge also ordered the US Attorneys to hand over the evidence they’re using to make the case against Dotcom and his colleagues, such that they can properly respond to the evidence. The US, as you might expect has gone absolutely ballistic about this, insisting that such an effort is impossible — and that “it would take at least two months” to get the evidence together.

      • Copyright must foster innovation, not just protect a right

        It has never been clear to me how the growing criticism of copyright and patent law is faring. Not well, I would judge by the lack of coverage in widely read journals. At the same time, we are seeing more like this enteraining op-ed piece, titled “Fair Use, Art, Swiss Cheese and Me” in such widely read journals as the New York Times.

      • Google Threatens To Sue Huge YouTube MP3 Conversion Site

        According to a letter seen by TorrentFreak, Google are threatening action against one of the web’s largest YouTube conversion sites. The site, which according to Google’s own stats is pulling in 1.3 million visitors every day, extracts MP3 audio from YouTube videos and makes it available for users to download. Google’s lawyers say this must stop, and have given the site seven days to comply.

06.17.12

Links 17/6/2012: Wine 1.4.1, GNOME to Have New Software Center

Posted in News Roundup at 9:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Has Commodore Amiga flopped…..Again?

    This and the introduction video which starts as soon as you enter that page looks good and seems to promise a whole lot. To be totally honest I was rather excited. Well about as excited as a computer nut like me can be about yet another operating system :)

    So after clearing some space on my hard drive (It seems that no matter how big our hard drives are they are always full. Maybe I need to go out more :P). I downloaded the two ISO images totalling 7GB I started to become even more excited. I mean, bigger is better right?

  • Here’s how our beloved penguin lands on Mars!

    We all know the incredible versatility of our beloved Linux. To our great pleasure we can find it in the PC of the school of our son, or on the netbook of our secretary, in the terminals of the Internet Café of Madrid but also, for the amazement of many, in the most common security devices or in the more sophisticated satellite receivers. But I am quiet sure that you have never heard of Linux distributions for the space. That’s right! What reaction would you have in discovering that many of the satellites scattered in outer space have entrusted our beloved Linux? Shocked? Then, you have not heard anything! The future of Linux and its philosophy is finally conquering the space my dear.

  • Kernel Space

    • 2012 Kernel Summit: Call for Participation

      This year, in order to make the selection process more transparent, we’re trying a new mechanism where we’ll be selecting this year’s attendees from amongst those who submit proposals to attend as described below.

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org Applications On Wayland Are Working

        Tiago Vignatti, the former Nokia developer and now Intel Open-Source Technology Center developer contributing to Wayland, has blogged today about X on Wayland. “A rather cool feature on Weston compositor is xwayland, to support X11 native applications on Wayland. It’s a quite important feature because gives the compatibility with the “old” windowing system, so say you have an application written on Motif/Xt or even something more “fancy” like a Web browser all tied with GTK2 and whatever dependency, then you better not bother yourself re-writing it to native Wayland or porting to a modern toolkit — it should just work seamlessly on it. Hence, X on Wayland fits pretty well with our overall transition plan.”

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Linux Login Managers
    • Awesome Window Manager

      If you are looking for an Awesome window manager for your desktop, you found it! This window manager remains simple but offers flexible configuration as well.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • rekonq 1.0 Tech Preview

        yes, it’s that time again… while some of us are working hard to renew our website, actually in maintenaince mode, my attention is completely devoted to our new piece of code: the upcoming 1.0 release! I was a bit reluctant, at the beginning, to move to the fatidical 1.0 release (in my original plans, that was for when rekonq will become an official slackware package…). But if I consider what we did since that day in December, 2008… well… we probably are ready for another step. Moreover the summer plans are for a complete code “review” that will drastically change what we have now and will prepare to the future fights… so, yes! Next will really 1.0! It’s just a number, after all. ;)

      • KDE Activities: A Personal Case Study

        Activities are both KDE’s most talked-about and least understood features. Whenever I enthuse over them, I am invariably greeted with so much bafflement that I suspect that they are also KDE’s least used features. So, for those who keep asking, “What’s the point?” I thought I’d give a detailed description of how I use them.

        The typical desktop environment is built around applications, and designed for general purposes. By contrast, KDE Activities are task-oriented, and each one is customized for its specific task, and can have its own layout, widgets, icons, and startup applications. The result is an extension of the concept of virtual desktops (although, somewhat confusingly, each Activity has its own virtual desktops, and you can set up virtual desktops on a single Activity to act like Activities within Activities).

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Antidevelopment

        When I asked several people why they liked GNOME3 or GNOME-Shell, the most common answer was “the extensions system that allows you to customize your desktop.” GNOME3 simply wouldn’t be popular without the extensions system that allows developers to write and publish desktop extensions.

        Customization is at the heart of every Linux desktop. A long time ago, when GNOME2.0 was the standard, customization was openly allowed on Linux systems, and everyone used that freedom in different ways. Everyone tweaked their desktop differently, and made it feel like $HOME in different ways.

      • A Review Of MATE – Is It A True Gnome 2 Replica? [Linux]

        It’s already been well over a year since the initial release of Gnome 3, and the world of Linux desktop environments has dramatically changed since then. Gnome 3 was born, Gnome 2 was essentially thrown to the side, Gnome 3 was forked to create Cinnamon, and so on.

      • Gnome Developers are Working on a New Software Center

        One of these changes is the new interface for system updates which will make the update process lot more simpler and intuitive.

      • Gnome-Shell Extensions auto-updates arrive in 3.6
      • Emerillon – An “Open” Window to the World
  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Linux 2012 Tech Preview Released

        Per Øyvind Karlsen announced a few days ago the immediate availability for download and testing of the Tech Preview (TP) release of the upcoming Mandriva 2012 Linux operating system.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 9 Gnome Screenshots
      • Sabayon 9 Review

        Sabayon 9 has just been released not too long ago and features many upgrades since the previous version. It is available in three desktop verisons, Gnome 3.2.3, XFCE 4.10 and KDE 4.8.3.. This review will be taking a look at the Gnome desktop edition of Sabayon Linux 9.

        Sabayon is based on Gentoo Hardened edition which is focused on keeping security tight and keeping your PC secure from any possible holes found in the distribution and it’s available in both 32 and 64 bit versions.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Kororaa 15 support ending

          With the release of Fedora 17, version 15 will be unsupported from the end of June 2012. The Kororaa 15 ISO images will soon be removed from SourceForge mirrors, however the package repository will remain available for the next few weeks.

    • Debian Family

      • Tails 0.12 is out
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • How Would You Use Ubuntu TV? Canonical Wants to Know

            Ever wish you could help design the TV of the future? If so, you’re in luck: Canonical developers are currently soliciting the open source community’s feedback to help plan features for Ubuntu TV. Here’s what they want to know, and how you can have your say.

            First introduced back in January of 2012, Ubuntu TV is an ambitious project. It’s also one that, for the moment, remains pretty open ended, in the sense that its specifics have yet to be nailed down.

          • Another look at Ubuntu and the Enterprise
          • Canonical announces Ubuntu Apps Showdown

            Developers will have from June 18 until July 9 – a total of three weeks – to create an app using Canonical’s Quickly development tool, which combines Python and GTK into a single Ubuntu-centric package.

          • Canonical Presents Ubuntu App Showdown Contest

            Canonical proudly announced on June 14th that they prepared a new and exciting contest for developers who want to create an app, from scratch, for the Ubuntu platform.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Zorin OS 6 Lite: Windows replacement for low-end computers

              Zorin OS is an operating system targeted to new converts from Windows to Linux. It eases up the transition, because gives the user a familiar interface.

              As I wrote before, Zorin OS is based on Ubuntu and, until version 6, on GNOME 2 functionality. It means system resource requirements are quite high.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • US-CERT Shows the Value of FLOSS

    A US-CERT notice of vulnerability to many systems running many OS on Intel 64-bit processors shows the value of FLOSS:

    * for years Wintel systems were vulnerable to privilege escalation attacks due to a flaw in Intel 64-bit CPUs,
    * notified in early May of the flaw, M$ took a month to push out an update compensating for the flaw, and
    * Debian took 2 days to fix the flaw.

  • Advanced manufacturing re-tools with open source (bit by bit)

    Open source software and open source best-practices have become truly ubiquitous in the business world. Software used to be the new frontier, but open source software can be found leading up to the frontier, at the frontier, and beyond. My experience at CGI America 2012 (a US-focused subgroup of the Clinton Global Initiative) confirmed this.

  • Design without debt: Five tools for designers on a budget
  • Ringmark now fully open sourced

    The Ringmark performance tests are now fully open source according to a post by Facebook’s Matt Kelly. Ringmark is designed to test mobile browsers for functionality and performance and then classifies the browser in one of three rings. Previously, Facebook had open sourced the tests of Ringmark and contributed them to the W3C, but had not open sourced the server-side code which helped run the test.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome vs. Firefox for Ubuntu

        According to the independent web analytics firm, StatCounter Chrome has excelled as the world most popular browser with the highest browser usage share for the month of May 2012. But does that apply to Linux platform too? Is Chrome the best browser for Linux? The post compares the widely popular Mozilla Firefox browser version 4 with relatively new Google’s Chrome version 16, distinctly for Ubuntu!

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Launches Ignite Competition, Featuring Cash Prizes

        This week, the Obama administration unveiled US Ignite, “an initiative to promote US leadership in developing applications and services for ultra-fast broadband and software-defined networks.” The initiative is described as an incubator ecosystem that will hook people up with novel technology ideas with fast networks, advanced infrastructure and more. Mozilla is backing the US effort, but–in conjunction with the National Science Foundation–has its own Ignite effort. Here are details on it, and the cash prizes that go along with the program.

      • Mozilla and the National Science Foundation launch open innovation challenge
  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Funding

    • Google gives $300,000 to OSU Open Source Lab

      Google has made a $300,000 donation to the Oregon State University Open Source Lab, increasing its cumulative support of academia’s premiere open source development and hosting operation to nearly $1.9 million.

      The new funds will continue Google’s support of the lab’s effort to provide hosting services used by many of today’s most recognized open source projects and communities.

      Open source creates software licensing and distribution designed to be used and improved by developers around the world. Anyone can copy the source code and modify it.

    • Engine Yard sponsors PHP framework Lithium
  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • GPL and free software licensing: What’s in it for business?

      For a variety of reasons business is often seen as antipathetic to copyleft licensing. The GPL – the GNU General Public License – the most popular copyleft licence, sometimes gets a hostile press, often for reasons that don’t reflect its real and positive effects.

      Arguments about the pros and cons of copyleft and permissive licensing go back a long way. A permissive licence is as it says, and allows the user to copy, repackage, sell, or change the code in any way the user likes, as long as some form of attribution is given.

      A copyleft licence, such as the GPL, gives similar rights but ensures reciprocity by obliging those who distribute the code to pass on the same rights to others, unimpaired, which by definition includes giving access to the source code and to any changes that have been made to it.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Police Raid Anti-Fracking Encampment in Pennsylvania

      According to Democracy Now!, police and private security forces raided a protest encampment of anti-fracking activists in Pennsylvania this week. For two weeks, neighbors and other concerned citizens had been helping to stave off the
      eviction of more than 30 families in the Riverdale Mobile Home Park in Jersey
      Shore, Pennsylvania, after residents were told they had to vacate the property and move their homes after the land was sold to the giant private water
      corporation Aqua America. The company plans to pump up to three million of gallons of water a day from the nearby river to funnel through a pipeline to other parts of the state to be used in industrial drilling for shale gas, through controversial hydraulic
      fracturing or “fracking.”

  • Privacy

    • Online Activities To Be Recorded By UK ISPs
    • Theresa May’s Internet History

      Dear Home Office,

      Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 I hereby request the following information from and regarding the Rt Hon Theresa May MP (Con), Secretary of State for the Home Department (the “Home Secretary”):

      1) The projected cost to the taxpayer (calculated or estimated – whichever is available) of implementing the Government’s proposed new legislation regarding extending the use of communications data by the police and security services.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Comcast refuses IP lookups, calls anti-piracy case a ‘shake down’

        Comcast may be complicating the lives of copyright holders everywhere by rejecting recent requests made to link subscriber information to IP addresses. In an ongoing legal kerfuffle with AF Holdings, adult film publisher and plaintiff, Comcast requested an Illinois district court dismiss the piles of subpoenas it has received.

      • Comcast Protests “Shake Down” of Alleged BitTorrent Pirates

        Comcast has run out of patience with the avalanche of BitTorrent lawsuits in the United States. The ISP is now refusing to comply with court-ordered subpoenas, arguing that they are intended to “shake down” subscribers by coercing them to pay settlements. Copyright holders have responded furiously to Comcast’s new stance, claiming that the ISP is denying copyright holders the opportunity to protect their works.

06.16.12

Links 16/6/2012: Deploying Chromebooks, New Mandriva Foundation

Posted in News Roundup at 11:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Google Apps Consultant Cloud Sherpas Deploys Chromebooks

      Cloud Sherpas, a Google Apps and Salesforce.com consulting firm, has deployed roughly 50 Google Chromebooks internally and is rolling out the cloud-centric notebooks to some customers. Is this the start of a larger trend for Google’s cloud desktop and mobile strategy? Here’s the update and speculation from The VAR Guy.

    • Newegg: No, We’ll Totally Take Returns After You Install Linux

      Yesterday, we shared the story of Norma, whose new Thinkpad notebook computer from Newegg had a serious display glitch after only a few days of use. She sent the defective computer back, only to be told that they wouldn’t exchange it because she had installed Linux. “This voids Newegg warranty,” the RMA department told her in an e-mail. “Unit cannot be accepted or resold as received.” We reached out to Newegg for clarification, and they told us that this is not their policy, and they do accept computers back after the operating system has been upgraded or changed. Yay?

  • Server

    • Microsoft’s Azure platform falls short for Linux

      Recently it was announced that Microsoft is going to support Linux on its Azure cloud platform. At first glance, this sounds great, right? Microsoft supporting Linux with its own software. We’ve heard in recent times of Microsoft providing code to the Linux kernel, and this is what they have been preparing for: to support Linux on Azure. It hasn’t really been for the benefit of the open source community as some would like to think. In fact, there was some controversy regarding the code that Microsoft submitted to the Linux kernel, in that they were forced to do so after being caught using drivers that fall under the GPL (GNU General Public License). The code submitted for the kernel will ensure that Linux support is seamless on Azure.

      But, this offering by Microsoft for Linux support on Azure comes up short, as one of the largest players in the corporate GNU/Linux world has its distributions scratched from Microsoft’s list, and that is of Red Hat. If you look at the list of distributions that Microsoft is supporting, it includes…

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Linus, GNOME 3, and Much Ado About Desktop Interfaces

      “The world of IT is a better place when developers respect users instead of trying to enslave them,” said blogger Robert Pogson. “We need new user interfaces for new gadgets with tiny screens and no keyboards and no mice, but there’s absolutely no reason to radically change a user interface that has been used satisfactorily for decades.”

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Is Gnome targeting to OEMs with Initial Setup?

        We are living in 2012 but so far Linux Desktop is nowhere. Even the “too big to fail” Canonical struggles to make partnerships with manufacturers and distribute Ubuntu in a broader market. Maybe Gnome could show the way?

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • New Mandriva Foundation Nears Milestone

        Mandriva is in the process of building a foundation and creating a community to help develop future versions of their desktop Linux distribution. Today, Charles Schulz posted on the Mandriva blog to announce the first “milestone” of their journey.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat to Present Middleware Virtual Event and Press Conference on June 20
      • Technology Giants Back Red Hat Cloud Strategy

        Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) this week ushered in the era of the cloud OS. But IBM, HP, Intel and other technology giants are set to rally around Red Hat Enterprise Linux (particularly for cloud computing) within the next two weeks. The VAR Guy isn’t picking favorites, but…

        … here’s the blow by blow.

        During TechEd North America 2012 this week in Orlando, Fla., Microsoft Server and Tools Business President Satya Nadella welcomed 10,000 attendees “to the era of the cloud operating system (OS) for infrastructure.” No doubt, Microsoft wants Windows Azure and Windows Server 2012 to emerge as preferred cloud OSes. Plus Microsoft recently said Windows Azure will support Linux — most notably CentOS, Ubuntu and SUSE, with RHEL noticeably missing from the list.

      • Red Hat First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

        Past Earnings Performance: The company met estimates last quarter after beating the forecasts in the prior two. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, the company reported net income of 20 cents per share versus a mean estimate of profit of 20 cents per share. In the third quarter of the last fiscal year, the company beat estimates by 2 cents.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Unity alternatives – the many desktops of Ubuntu

            Ubuntu’s Unity is far from the only desktop environment available for the distribution. For users who want to stay with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS but prefer another desktop environment, there are plenty of alternatives to try.Ubuntu’s Unity is far from the only desktop environment available for the distribution. For users who want to stay with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS but prefer another desktop environment, there are plenty of alternatives to try.

          • Canonical announces Ubuntu Apps Showdown

            Linux developers will soon have a chance to compete for prizes of laptops and smartphones, thanks to Canonical’s announcement today of the Ubuntu App Showdown contest.

          • Canonical Organises Contest For Ubuntu Apps

            Canonical has finally taken the much needed step in order to create developer interest in the platform. The sponsor of Ubuntu, one of the popular operating systems, is organising a contest titled ‘the Ubuntu App Showdown’ to create an app from scratch for Ubuntu in three weeks, and delivered in the Ubuntu Software Centre.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint Heads Into the Hardware Biz

              The folks behind the ever more popular Linux distribution Linux Mint have announced that they’ve joined forces with an Israeli computer hardware provider, CompuLab, to sell Mint-branded computers with the operating system pre-installed and completely ready to go. “We’re passionate about what we do and for our very first Mint device, we wanted something unique, something special and extraordinary,” says the Linux Mint Blog. “The mintBox is Mint in a box. It’s tiny, it’s silent, it’s extremely versatile and it comes packed with connectivity.” Indeed, it does come with impressive connectivity options, and the two versions that are available (seen here) even look like Wi-Fi routers.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Enyo 2.0 beta 5 brings panels, bootplates, and more

        While we’re still waiting for Enyo 2.0 to come with the rest of the Open webOS kit, we’ll take an update to the beta framework when we can get one. In fact, this week we’re getting one with a bump to Beta 5. Included in this release are sliding and stacking panels, a ‘Bootplate’ starter template, an improved API viewer, and an expanded and reorganized developer documentation set.

      • Android

        • Orange San Diego review: Intel does phones, finally
        • First Batch of Via Technologies’ $49 Android PC Sells Out – Company.

          Via Technologies, a designer of low-power and low-cost computing platforms, started to accept pre-orders onto its Android PC (APC) platform for $49 on Sunday and managed to sell the first batch of mainboards within several hours. Apparently, the demand towards the Google Android 2.3-based APC 8750 was somewhat higher than the company expected and many users complained about that fact.

        • Google TV Gets New Legs with LG ARM TV

          Google’s struggling Google TV platform took a big step last October with the Android 3.0-powered version 2.0. It got another push with a June 6 “2.1.1″ update that enables the viewing of movies rented through Google Play and extends YouTube movie viewing options.

        • How to Get iOS 6’s Best New Features in Android Right Now

          How to Get iOS 6’s Best New Features in Android Right Now iOS 6 is a big update for Apple fans, featuring several exciting updates—but those of us with Android devices don’t have to sit back and wait Google to deliver those same features to us; we can get the best of them right now. Here’s how.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Cloud Roundup: Open Source Dominates Private, Hybrid Enterprise Clouds

    The open source cloud made waves in the news this week with the results of a RightScale study that claims widespread adoption among enterprises of open source cloud computing services. VMWare and IBM showed their agreement by announcing plans to expand their open source cloud investments. These positive stories offset the shocker that NASA has abandoned OpenStack entirely for Amazon Web Services.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • DreamWorks Using Red Hat Servers

      GNU/Linux may not have any pro-grade film editing software for the consumer market, but the film studios use Linux in every aspect of film production. Now Red Hat has added another feater in its hat as DreamWorks Animation SKG is using Red Hat Enterprise MRG as the grid infrastructure of DreamWorks Animation’s 30,000+ core render farm. The mega studio is also using Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization as the platform to run mission-critical services on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

    • Helsinki council presses IT department to continue using open source

      Helsinki’s city council wants its IT department to continue to use open source software alternatives to help rid the city of IT vendor lock-in. Yesterday evening fifty of the city’s 85 council members supported a resolution instructing the IT department to keep supporting an open source office suite.

    • Polish State Fire Services excludes open source in procurement

      Poland’s State Fire Services is excluding providers of open source solutions from responding to a call for tender. Asked to comment on the explicit ban, the Fire Services explains that the organisation is locked-in by proprietary office tools, ‘which likely make it impossible for open source to offer full compatibility’.

Leftovers

  • Online Retailer Kogen Taxing IE7 Use

    In a blog post, company founder Ruslan Kogan said it was too hard and costly to make his website properly display on IE7, and suggested a list of newer browsers, which should be used instead. In an interesting move he chose to suggest Firefox, Opera, Safari and Chrome, but not the later Microsoft browser.

  • Australian retailer charges customers IE 7 “Tax”

    If you’re shopping for electronics online at Australian retailer Kogan, an Oz equivalent of the U.S.’ Best Buy with the horribly out of date Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 7 browser brace yourself for a nasty surprise. Kogan will charge you an extra 6.8% sales “tax” on your purchase.

  • Internet Archive Sues to Stop New Washington State Law

    The Internet Archive has filed a federal challenge to a new Washington State law that intends to make online service providers criminally liable for providing access to third parties’ offensive materials.

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is representing the Internet Archive in order to block the enforcement of SB 6251, a law aimed at combatting advertisements for underage sex workers but with vague and overbroad language that is squarely in conflict with federal law. Procedurally, the Internet Archive lawsuit was filed as an intervention into a similar suit, Backpage.com v. McKenna, filed last week.

  • Hardware

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Coal Wins Again: Global Energy Use by Source, from the 2012 BP Statistical Review

      The 2012 BP Statistical Review, covering 2011 world energy data, has been released. With global oil production roughly flat for a seventh year, coal once again gained global share of total primary energy consumption. World consumption of coal rose 5.4% in 2011, as oil consumption eked out a very small, 0.7% gain. As for other sources, nuclear use fell notably by -4.3%. And world natural gas consumption was restrained to a 2.2% advance, owing to a large retreat in European demand. Finally, while starting from a small position, both hydropower and renewables (biofuels, solar, wind) once again made very strong gains.

  • Censorship

    • Newspaper Puts Reporter On Leave For Posting Link To Article About His Employer On Facebook

      We’ve mocked various newspapers for their ridiculous “social media policies” in the past — which often try to limit how reporters engage with the community. The whole notion seems backwards. But now one newspaper — the Colorado Gazette — has taken things to ridiculous extremes: putting reporter Barrett Tryon on administrative leave for posting a link to a news story about his own newspaper on Facebook. Apparently, the Colorado Gazette’s parent company, Freedom Communications, was purchased by a company called 2100 Trust. Soon after that happened, the LA Times reported that the company expected to spin off some of the smaller newspapers, including the Gazette. Given all of this, Tryon posted the following to his Facebook page:

  • Privacy

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • If You’ve Ever Sold a Used iPod, You May Have Violated Copyright Law

        The Supreme Court will soon hear a case that will affect whether you can sell your iPad — or almost anything else — without needing to get permission from a dozen “copyright holders.” Here are some things you might have recently done that will be rendered illegal if the Supreme Court upholds the lower court decision:

        1. Sold your first-generation iPad on Craigslist to a willing buyer, even if you bought the iPad lawfully at the Apple Store.

      • ACTA

        • ACTA: Last Crucial Step Before Final Vote

          On June 21st, the “International Trade” (INTA) committee of the EU Parliament will vote on whether to adopt its report on ACTA, which will mark the last procedural step before the Parliament’s final vote. Despite the fact that four committees recently voted against ACTA, heavy pressure from the pro-ACTA lobbies and the EU Commission might weigh on the INTA report. Citizens must mobilize to ensure that INTA Members recommend ACTA’s rejection, as this result will be decisive for the upcoming final vote of the EU Parliament, scheduled for the beginning of July (vote in plenary 3, 4 or 5th of July1).

06.14.12

Links 14/6/2012: Linux 3.5 RC2 is Out, Linus Gets Award

Posted in News Roundup at 3:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • TLWIR 39: GNU/Linux is Officially Too Big to Fail
  • The story of Eimi’s HD failure

    We were watching some YouTube clips when the computer rebooted and the OS refused to launch. It turns out that there was a power surge and some sectors of the HD fried. Yes, it was my fault because I forgot to replace the old UPS unit.

  • I started using LINUX because I didn’t want to wait 20 minutes to find out the weather forecast

    At the beginning of the century I moved away from my home in Southern England to the North East of Scotland. My job however remained in Southern England. Fortunately I wasn’t required to commute a 1400 mile a day round trip. Instead I was able to work from home.

  • Blame the user, not the tool

    For the past several days people have been tweeting at me (and Linus) to change the license of Linux to forbid the kernel’s use for war. These tweets were due to the issue of Linux being used in the drones of the US Military. I tweeted back “Do not blame the tool”, but I think that answer was too subtle, as the people kept tweeting. So here is a longer answer for them.

    First of all, Linus (and certainly not I) do not “own” Linux. The copyright holders of Linux are many, and some of them are no longer working on the project or even dead. Therefore to change the license terms at this point is both legally and morally impossible.

    Secondly, this request flies in the face of GPL Freedom #0, which states that the software can be used for any purpose.

    Many years ago we discussed the issues of Linux (or even GNU/Linux) being used in weapons, or for purposes that some people did not agree with.

    Part of the issue is that given a large enough audience, there are always some people that disagree with every use or with every person who uses it.

    For example, some people might not like the fact that Linux is used in robots that are used in the military. Yet some people’s lives might be saved by having that robot go into a situation that would be dangerous or even fatal to a human being. Should we ask that Linux not be put in that robot, knowing that a human life might be sacrificed instead?

  • Desktop

    • Clambook Turns the Laptop Into a Smartphone-Powered Peripheral, Cats Herd Sheep

      This year’s latest generation of smartphones will be equipped with new, more powerful mobile processors that rival the power of most laptops. So it almost seems fitting that Clamcase, the company that makes iPad keyboard docks, is making the laptop-like peripheral that’s completely powered by a smartphone.

      The Clambook is essentially a Macbook Air styled thin-as-hell laptop–minus all the guts. It’s equipped with a 16:9 display, 3D Cinema Sound system, track pad, and a full keyboard with Android specific keys.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Why Microsoft’s Metro Push Is Good for Linux

      With Ubuntu presenting its new Unity desktop to newcomers, I have been surprised to see how quickly many people are adapting to it. Like Windows 8′s Metro desktop, Unityalso presents something new to the end user.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Plasma Active – a New Approach to Tablet Computing

        Despite the success of Apple’s iPad, that is a question that seems to have defeated most hardware and software vendors. MeeGo struggled to define a tablet user interface, never quite managing more than a pre-release. It presented a few simple options, such as watching videos, playing music or browsing the Web—really no more than a modern phone with a larger screen. Even the iPad, an acknowledged success, is little more than an oversize iPhone. Its “wall of apps” approach has been largely copied by the Android-based tablets so far appearing on the market.

      • KDE Announces 4.9 Beta2
      • Amarok 2.6 Polishes, Adds Transcoding
    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome gets ready to unleash the beast: An App Center!

        Gnome three point six will surprise us in many ways. After the redesigned Shell we will get a new pretty package manager and ..a bit further a brand new fancy software center!

      • 10 GNOME games your friends will enjoy

        Back in February of this year, I wrote an article about casual games for the KDE desktop that non-Linux users would enjoy. Here is a list of some of the more popular games for the GNOME 3 desktop environment. Obviously they can be installed under a different desktop, but if you are already using GNOME, Cinnamon, or Unity, these will not add extra files that you wouldn’t use otherwise. The “gnome-games” meta package will install a total of 16 games, among which are all of the ones below.

      • Spice Up Your Desktop with Cinnamon!

        If you are disgruntled by the new interfaces provided by recent distribution releases, namely GNOME 3 and Unity, you might want to take a look at Cinnamon. With its traditional feel and extreme theme-ability, Cinnamon is a desktop interface bound to spice up anyone’s computer. The general feel is that of GNOME 2, or perhaps XFCE, but its polished look and downloadable themes make it truly exciting to behold.

  • Distributions

    • Linux Gets Fresh and Tasty with Sabayon 9 and LinuxMint Box

      There are a lot of Linux distributions on the Linux Planet, very few of them have their own branded hardware.

    • Interview with Ikey Doherty – creator of SolusOS

      SolusOS is a Debian-based distro that still uses Gnome2 as the desktop environment and it has gained a lot of attention of Linux users recently ( read my review for SolusOS ). 2 weeks ago, Burjans from com-sl.org sent me an interesting email about his interview with Ikey Doherty, the creator of SolusOS, about SolusOS and its future.

    • SolusOS 2 Alpha 4 Has Firefox 13 and GNOME 3.4

      Ikey Doherty announced yesterday, June 12th, the immediate availability for download and testing of the fourth Alpha version of the upcoming SolusOS 2 Linux distribution.

    • SolusOS 1 Eveline review – Very interesting

      SolusOS is a distribution with a clear mission – bringing back GNOME [sic]. This does not refer to your home garden midgets, mythical creatures or Gnome 3, but in fact the good old Gnome 2 desktop environment, the best one. SolusOS is based on Debian, sans the politics thingie, so there’s something for everyone.

    • New Releases

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 9 KDE and GNOME preview

        Sabayon 9 is the latest release of Sabayon, a multi-purpose Linux distribution derived from Gentoo Linux. Made available for download are 32- and 64-bit installation ISO images for KDE, GNOME 3 and Xfce desktop environments.

        Sabayon is a rolling-release distribution, so existing users do not have to reinstall to get the latest core and applications of a Sabayon release. That is one of the best features of the distribution.

        This article features a few scree shots from test installations of the KDE and GNOME 3 editions. A detailed review should be published by the end of the week. The first four screen shots are from the GNOME 3 edition.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian project leader Stefano Zacchiroli and the controversy over Debian Multimedia

        I came across Debian project leader Stefano Zacchiroli’s Bits from the DPL on Planet Debian — the most recent bits also living on Stefano’s blog and on a Debian mailing list.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Introducing Ubuntu Clear Dark Sky Lens for Unity

            The Ubuntu Clear Dark Sky Lens is a very nice plugin for the Unity interface that can be used for planning stargazing activities directly from the Unity Dash, by displaying stargazing conditions and locations. The plugin retrives data from the Clear Dark Sky website.

          • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin: Discovering a world of PPAs
          • Ubuntu 8.04.4 LTS, 12.04 LTS, 12.10 On An Old Laptop

            Last week I shared how the open-source R500 driver can compete with the legacy Catalyst Linux driver on an old Intel laptop with ATI graphics, but how has the performance for other areas of the system changed with the latest Ubuntu Linux code? In this article are benchmarks from other areas of this Core Duo laptop when running Ubuntu 8.04.4 LTS, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and then a recent development snapshot of Ubuntu 12.10.

          • Reviewed: Linux Ubuntu 12.04 — the pipe dream

            Ubuntu is a lot of things. Linux is a lot of things. For one thing that everyone can agree on — including the ones that hate Linux — is that it is probably the best server operating system available. The problem with it is that most people want it to become a bigger player in the desktop market. What could be the problem there? Well it’s simple. Linux is the kernel, like Windows NT is the kernel of almost all of the Microsoft Windows builds. Linux is used in almost everything from Android to your fridge.

          • Introducing Ubuntu Rotten Tomatoes Scope for Unity

            The Ubuntu Rotten Tomatoes Scope is a very useful Unity Dash plugin that allows users to search for review articles of movies, directly from the Unity Dash. The information is gathered from the Rotten Tomatoes website.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Quelitu 12.04 released

              Their comparison chart says that 12.04 has an idle RAM usage of 102 MB, which is a bit larger than my Debian/LXDE installation but not too much for an older PC, and pretty good for a Ubuntu-based distro.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • What do open source enterprise developers really need to know?

    After decrying an open source survey issued last month from BlackDuck Software as somewhat simplistic and contrived in its initial presentation of facts, I’m pleased to say that we have a direct response from the company.

    Speaking to Black Duck’s Peter Vescuso who is the company’s executive VP of marketing and business development, the Computer Weekly Developer Network offers this short punchy Q&A to provide some insight into what software applications developers really need to know when it comes to some of the most pertinent issues found at the open source coding coalface.

  • Bach Goes Open-Source With A Little Help From Some Fans

    u have to hand it to good old J.S. Bach for the latest project taken up in his name: a successful campaign to open-source and app-ify one of his most beloved works, The Goldberg Variations.

    The Open Goldberg Variations project is a dream come true for Bach enthusiasts, open-source fans, app-makers, remixers, mashers-up of all stripes, and anyone with interested ears, created with the aim of “Setting Bach Free.” Pristine recordings of this masterwork are available for free in sound qualities all the way up to 24-bit 96 Kbps FLAC (torrent), but that’s just for starters.

  • 5 Best Free and Open-Source Bible Study Programs for Linux and Windows
  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome vs. Firefox for Ubuntu

      According to the independent web analytics firm, StatCounter Chrome has excelled as the world most popular browser with the highest browser usage share for the month of May 2012. But does that apply to Linux platform too? Is Chrome the best browser for Linux? The post compares the widely popular Mozilla Firefox browser version 4 with relatively new Google’s Chrome version 16, distinctly for Ubuntu!

    • Chrome

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • BSD

    • OpenBSD forked to create Bitrig

      A group of developers have created “Bitrig”, a new fork of the OpenBSD free BSD-based UNIX-like operating system. The developers say that they forked from OpenBSD because they “want to be a bit more loose when it comes to experimenting with features”; as a security-focused distribution, OpenBSD tends to be more conservative when adding new features.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Introducing our new copyright & licensing associate

      Donald Robertson, III is the new copyright & licensing associate at the FSF.

    • I have some big shoes to fill

      I’m sad to announce that I will no longer be able to work alongside Brett Smith, who served as the FSF’s licensing and compliance engineer since 2007, but whom I first worked with at the FSF a decade ago when we both were interns for a summer. Brett has moved on to work with the World Wide Web Consortium and we wish him the best of luck! And, I hope you will all wish me the best of luck as I am changing roles here at the FSF. I am moving from campaigns manager to the newly re-branded, “licensing and compliance manager.”

    • Hostility to Free Software

      The free software community has been around for quite some time now–longer than I remember, since I’ve only joined in the past few years. And for some reason, though that time seems to have been spent on good works that benefit humanity, and advocacy that teaches people how to be free, the movement is sometimes the object of some hostility.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Larry Lessig: The corruption of the American political system

      Two years ago, I interviewed law professor, author, and Creative Commons co-founder Larry Lessig to discuss his work on institutional corruption and what he describes as the “economy of influence” in American politics. This week he was back in Durham, NC to discuss his new book, Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress—and a Plan to Stop It.

    • Data.gov Releases Open Source Software

      The General Services Administration (GSA) announced on May 21 that Data.Gov partnering with the Government of India National Informatics Centre has produced an open source version of Data.gov that is being made available today, the third anniversary of Data.gov. The open source product, called the Open Government Platform (OGPL), can be downloaded and evaluated by any national Government or state or local entity as a path toward making their data open and transparent.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • An architecture of participation

      What is changing now is that participatory models are becoming the rule, not the exception. The world used to be about command and control. Someone told you what to do. There still is a lot of that. But collaborative innovation is taking over. We are coming to a stage in our civilization where regular functions are masterfully automated and industrialized, and our focus as human beings can and will increasingly be on innovation. In the area of innovation, the most powerful creation happens in teams, groups, and crowds–across organizational boundaries. When we architect for such participation, we can multiply the power of innovation.

    • Patent granted to encourage purchase of digital textbooks

      In a newly approved patent, an economics professor hopes to bring to the academic publishing world what seems to be forthcoming in the video game industry—new restrictions that would seemingly eliminate a secondary market for digital goods and prevent legal borrowing.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Raunchy dance at Microsoft Azure presentation

    The dance included several drug references and one classic line that must have taken a lot of time to write: “The words Micro and Soft don’t apply to my penis.”

    But then, acutely aware of the fact that there could be accusations of sexism with these lyrics, the words “Or vagina” were added below on a monitor that displayed the lyrics as they were sung.

  • Security

    • Attackers target unpatched PHP bug allowing malicious code execution
    • Intel CPUs affected by VM privilege escalation exploit
    • Diving Into Flame, Researchers Find A Link To Stuxnet

      Researchers digging through the code of the recently discovered Flame worm say they have come across a wealth of evidence that suggests Flame and the now-famous Stuxnet worm share a common origin.

      Researchers from Kaspersky Lab say that a critical module that the Flame worm used to spread is identical to a module used by Stuxnet.a, an early variant of the Stuxnet worm that began circulating in 2009, more than a year before a later variant of the worm was discovered by antivirus researchers at the Belarussian firm VirusBlokAda. The claims are the most direct, to date, that link the Flame malware, which attacked Iranian oil facilities, with Stuxnet, which is believed to have targeted Iran’s uranium-enrichment facility at Natanz. If true, they suggest a widespread and multi-year campaign of offensive cyber attacks against multiple targets within that country.

    • Attacks Targeting US Defense Contractors and Universities Tied to China

      UPDATE: Researchers have identified an ongoing series of attacks, possibly emanating from China, that are targeting a number of high-profile organizations, including SCADA security companies, universities and defense contractors. The attacks are using highly customized malicious files to entice targeted users into opening them and starting the compromise.

  • Finance

    • UK Uncut makes high court challenge to Goldman Sachs tax deal

      A deal worth at least £10m between banking giant Goldman Sachs and the head of HM Revenue and Customs is set to be challenged in the high court on Wednesday by tax-avoidance campaign group, UK Uncut Legal Action.

      The high court in London is expected to hear that a multi-million pound agreement sealed with a handshake between David Hartnett, the head of HMRC, and Goldman Sachs senior employees, which permitted the investment conglomerate to keep back £10m in back taxes, should be quashed under judicial review.

      UK Uncut Legal Action have accused customs officials of giving the US multinational giant favourable treatment in a settlement of a tax dispute which saw Goldman Sachs let off £10m in interest payments.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Copyrights

    • If Megaupload users want their data, they’re going to have to pay

      U.S. federal prosecutors are fine with Megaupload users recovering their data — as long as they pay for it.

      The government’s position was explained in a court filing on Friday concerning one of the many interesting side issues that has emerged from the shutdown of Megaupload, formerly one of the most highly trafficked file-sharing sites.

      Prosecutors were responding to a motion filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in late March on behalf of Kyle Goodwin, an Ohio-based sports reporter who used Megaupload legitimately for storing videos.

      Goodwin’s hard drive crashed, and he lost access to the data he backed up on Megaupload when the site was shut down on Jan. 19 on criminal copyright infringement charges.

      U.S. law allows for third parties who have an interest in forfeited property to make a claim. But the government argues that it only copied part of the Megaupload data and the physical servers were never seized.

    • ACTA

      • Endspiel ACTA

        ACTA moves closer to the plenary. Next week the Trade committee (INTA) of the Parliament would take its decision. Commissioner Karel De Gucht invited himself to the meeting, what is tried now is delaying the Parliament vote. MEP Moreira mocked that since De Gucht has to come whenever INTA calls, he also enjoys the right to appear when he desires. Commissioner De Gucht would appear before INTA on Thursday 21 June at 10h (Room 4 Q 1), just before the crucial vote.

06.13.12

Links 13/6/2012: China Has GNU/Linux on the Desktop, Sabayon 9 Released, RMS Robbed

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • What Price an OS?

    Let’s assume the consumer can subtract… Identical hardware + “7″ – Identical hardware – GNU/Linux Mint = “7″ – GNU/Linux Mint = $589 – $476 = $113. Hey, do you really want to spend $113 more than you need to get the machine running? I like it. Competition in operating systems. What a concept…

  • Mainstream Notebook in China Runs GNU/Linux

    Thanks to Google Translate, I was able to find a ton of links to a recent model of Acer 14 inch notebook available in China and there’s no sign of that other OS, just GNU/Linux. The price is a lot lower than similar products supplied with that other OS. It’s not a netbook, folks. It has a ton of RAM and a Sandy Bridge processor.

  • A Modern Day (computing) Fairy Tale

    Once upon a time there lived a young squire (engineer) who learned to ride a seasoned horse (computer) with a trusted saddle (UNIX OS) for it was his job. While learning to ride, the squire learned to tweak the saddle (write scripts) to make the horse uniquely his. One day a saddle salesman named William came to the squire’s village (company) and told the village elders (IT department) that, for much gold ($$), he could sell them a new kind of saddle. One that could make the village’s horses do wonderful things. Never mind that the saddle was full of holes and had bugs for if they did not buy his new saddle, the village across the river would best them in tournament for they had already purchased his new saddle. All the saddles of the village elders were sold and soon all the old saddles, along with the squire’s saddle, were retired. Unfortunately the horses, with William’s new saddle, didn’t do all that William had promised. When asked about this, William replied “to make the new saddles work best you must spend more gold and buy new, more powerful horses.” The village elders were sold and soon the trusted horses were retired for new, more powerful ones.

  • Desktop

    • Newegg: Installing Linux On Your Computer Is Basically The Same As Breaking It

      One would think that Newegg, beloved electronics supplier to the world’s geeks wouldn’t have a problem with customers installing different operating systems on their systems after delivery. Heck, they should expect it. Which is why Norma was surprised when she returned her new Thinkpad that had a glitchy display after only three days, and Newegg refused the RMA. Why? Well, she had installed Linux Mint on it, which voids the Newegg return policy for computers.

    • Why Google Should Subsidize Chrome OS-based Systems

      Chrome OS is undoubtedly seeing a second wave of interest from Google, with officials from the company making very clear that they have no plans to give up on the operating system. New Chromebook systems are arriving, and Google is complementing the very cloud-focused Chrome OS platform with extras such as Google Drive–which offers free storage in the cloud–and the acquisition of Quickoffice, which provides office productivity applications for mobile devices. It’s becoming clear, though, that Chromebook systems are too expensive, and Google must address the issue.

    • Free As In… Trademarks? Linux And The Small OEM

      If anyone can help clarify this, please feel free to do so. I would like to know exactly what is required to advertise and sell small numbers of computers pre-loaded with Ubuntu.

      I decided to share my findings here – without prejudice – so that small OEMs considering free and open source operating systems might educate themselves, to ensure that they are not breaching the trademark policies of the organization(s) in question, and potentially exposing themselves to legal issues.

      Linux is an excellent operating system and a worthy first choice for many applications, however, computer OEMs must be aware of other requirements where commercial interests are involved.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • The GNOME Exodus and KDE

      Over the last fourteen months, discontent with Unity and the GNOME 3 series of releases have sent GNOME users galloping in all directions in their search for alternatives. Xfce and Linux Mint’s Cinnamon and Mate in particular have benefited from this search. However, one alternative that users have not considered to any extent is KDE.

      Considering the years in which GNOME and KDE were considered the main desktop environments for Linux, this trend is surprising at first.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • New KDE Telepathy version features audio and video calls

        After four months full of work, the KDE Telepathy team is back with another release. Version 0.4 of the Instant Messaging suite for KDE Workspaces now supports making audio and video calls right from the desktop. It also adds the ability to browse chat logs. We focused strongly on stability and performance, so most of the improvements are “under the hood”. In addition, work was started to have a Kopete log importer in the next release.

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 27th May 2012
    • GNOME Desktop

      • A Day With Gnome 3

        At UDS in Oakland I was asked me what I thought of Gnome 3. I answered honestly that there were parts I liked and parts that I did not. I also expressed that I thought that it would have been better if Gnome and Ubuntu had been able to work together so that efforts were not split on the ‘next generation’ Gnome experience. It had been a while since I had used Gnome 3 so I made a mental note that I should give it another try when I had the chance.

  • Distributions

    • The best Linux netbook distro?

      Most netbooks (if not all) use weak, low-voltages Atom processors and less RAM than normal laptops. When this hardware specification is very friendly to the battery life, it is not designed to be heavily taxed. That’s why the linux distro you use on the netbook should be simple and light-weight and not use too much memory.

    • Dick MacInnis is a “Dreamer” | Interview

      Why did a musician decide to develop his own operating system? What was your problem with the available software, and even music production oriented GNU/Linux distributions?

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 3 is on Its Way

        Mageia 2 was released on May 22, and while many are still planning their upgrades or thinking about a test drive, Mageia 3 is already on its way. In a blog post today Anne Nicolas announced the official kick-off of Mageia 3.

        Nicolas stated the full release plan is set for Mageia 3, which includes a final release date in March 2013. Users will get their first peek with Alpha 1 scheduled this September.

      • Mandriva finally died! Well, sort of…

        Many Linux users have already proclaimed Mandriva deceased and buried it. But is this old Linux distro quite dead? Well, yes. Sort of. Mandriva became a zombie!

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 9 arrives with Linux 3.4 and new app browser

        The developers say that much of their effort over the past three months since the previous release has been put into making the base system packages more secure. This has been done by introducing the Hardened Gentoo profile – Sabayon is derived from Gentoo Linux. The hardened profile adds several additional security services and enables various risk-mitigating options in the toolchain. However, the developers note that a hardened Linux kernel is not yet included, but that it “might come in the near future”.

      • Sabayon 9 Review

        In my review of Sabayon Linux 8, I praised Sabayon’s ability to combine spectacular beauty, breathtaking performance, bleeding-edge updates, competitive application selection, server-grade stability, and superb resource management. Sabayon provides an experience any experienced Linux user can fall in love with, and so far as I can tell there is still no Linux distribution that quite matches it in sheer awesomeness.

      • Sabayon 9 Released

        Sabayon 9 was released a few days ago with the usual updates as well as a new package management interface, Gentoo Hardened, and PAE. As is tradition, Sabayon 9 comes in several flavors and your choice of architecture and purpose.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian wheezy for Raspberry Pi goes into testing

        The developers working on Raspberry Pi are working on a release of the next generation of Debian, “wheezy” and have released a test image for users to try out on the mini-computer. The current release of Debian GNU/Linux for the Raspberry Pi is based on the current release of Debian, “squeeze”.

      • The MagPI Raspberry PI Magazine Issue 02 Released | Download pdf
      • Debian Project News – June 11th, 2012
      • My Mighty Debian Squeeze 64-Bit

        People always run after high performance and less resource-hogging computers and operating systems. In that run they stumble upon barely usable linux distro forks with lxde or xfce environments, or go for big muscle hardware such as core i7 extreme processors, latest intel chipset mobos, discrete graphics cards and the latest maximum memory modules. May be out of ignorance.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Fans: Humble Bundle Games Are Now Available In The Software Center

            If you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of years, you might be excused for not knowing about this Humble Bundle thing. As a long-time Linux user, the Humble Bundles have always been of interest to me, and I’ve always tried to support them financially. It’s also always been interesting to me that Linux users typically pay more for the Bundles than their Windows or Mac counterparts. Clearly there’s a profitable market for Linux games.

            Canonical has jumped on the Humble Bundle bandwagon this time around, and are making it easy for Ubuntu users to install the games they’ve purchased. Each of the Humble Bundle games is available individually for direct purchase through the Ubuntu Software Center at full retail price; but if you buy the current Humble Bundle you can quickly and easily install them through the Software Center, rather than download them and manually install them.

          • Ubuntu Linux 12.10 ‘Quantal Quetzal’ Alpha 1 – New features in free OS
          • I’ve had enough of Ubuntu Unity!

            Everyone I know who’s used Ubuntu of late can’t stick the Unity interface. Admittedly, a dozen people does not maketh a statistically coherent sample. But still, I feel it’s indicative of some real problems.

          • It’s Time for Canonical to Stop Protecting Unity

            I recently installed Ubuntu 12.04 on my T43, just to take it for a test spin, and because I had heard a lot of really nice things about the release. I’m still totally in love with OpenSUSE 12.1, which is my day-to-day home OS, but the vast Ubuntu repositories are always a selling point for me. I was curious if Unity was workable for me down the line.

          • Ubuntu 12.04 family boot times – Start the clock

            All right, time for another boot time competition. It’s definitely not the most important aspect of the computer usage, but it can show some rather interesting trends in how an operating system behaves, especially if you can compare successive editions or nearly identical versions.

            The last time I gave Ubuntu and its family a timely [sic] shakedown was shortly before the spring release, with Oneiric, Kubuntu of the same numerical persuasion and Mint Julia competing on my rather unusual old-new T61 machine with SSD. Surprisingly, the results were not what I expected; there was quite some variation and the overall boost the SSD gave over conventional disks was not that spectacular. Now, Precise Pangolin is out there, so let’s see what gives. Tested: Ubuntu, Kubuntu and – a newcomer – Xubuntu. After me.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 269
          • Ubuntu App Developer Goings On

            With the release of Ubuntu 12.04, there have been many different viewpoints on which parts are the most important features and facilities for our users; Unity, the HUD, application choice etc etc.

          • Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal Now Ready for Download

            In just a few weeks after a previous version called Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin arrived, a new alpha build of Ubuntu has been made available. The new version is called Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal and it is slated to come out in the fall this year. However, for those who want a preview of the new features, the software is now ready for download at the Ubuntu website.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • A Bodhi Linux 2.0.0 FAQ

              I’ve been getting a good deal of redundant questions regarding Bodhi’s upcoming 2.0.0 release. Today I would like to address a few of the more common questions I’ve been getting.

            • Review: Linux Mint 13 LTS “Maya” MATE

              Linux Mint has been my OS of choice for the last 3 years now. For the last 2 years, I have been using Linux Mint 9 LTS “Isadora” GNOME. That will be supported for another year from now, but that also means that I need to start looking into replacements for when the old version loses its official support. I’ve played around with Cinnamon, but it’s still a bit immature and unstable and doesn’t quite fit my needs; given that MATE is supposed to be GNOME 2 with the essential components simply renamed, it seems like this would be the best candidate for remaining on my computer’s hard drive for the next few years.

            • Bodhi Linux ARM Release Candidate for Genesi
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Are Multi-Core Processors a Waste of Time for Android?

          It’s tempting to suggest that Intel has a vested interest in rubbishing the current state of the Android market, especially when it comes to multi-core processors. After all, its hopes are pinned on its Medfield chip—which just happens to be a single-core design.

        • Linaro boosts Android 4.0.4 performance

          Using a customised version of Google’s open source Android mobile operating system, developers at Linaro have managed to improve the performance of some tasks by up to 100 per cent. In a recently published video from Linaro Connect Q2.12, Bernhard Rosenkränzer, a software engineer at Linaro, compares a stock build of Android 4.0.4 “Ice Cream Sandwich” from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) web site to the tweaked Linaro Android 4.0.4 build to show off its optimisations.

        • Android: not-so-open open source

          Google has just come through a searching examination of its claims to ownership of the Android mobile operating system, with one of the most aggressive tech companies in the US, Oracle, having gained nothing from a trial by jury.

          Google was accused of both copyright infringement and patent violation; the former claim was upheld but the jury was unclear whether the unauthorised use could be covered by fair use or not. The patent violation charges did not stick.

        • Android already offers more than iOS 6, but…

          There’s no doubt about it. Android, especially Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), version 4.0, already offers more than what is coming in Apple’s forthcoming iOS 6. But, Android has its own flaws.

          True, as Tom Henderson, principal researcher for ExtremeLabs and a colleague, told me, there’s a “Schwarzschild radius surrounding Apple. It’s not just a reality distortion field; it’s a whole new dimension. Inside, time slows and light never escapes– as time compresses to an amorphous mass.

          “Coddled, stroked, and massaged,” Henderson continued, “Apple users start to sincerely believe the distortions regarding the economic life, the convenience, and the subtle beauties of their myriad products. Unknowingly, they sacrifice their time, their money, their privacy, and soon, their very souls. Comparing Apple with Android, the parallels to Syria and North Korea come to mind, despot-led personality cults.”

          I wouldn’t go that far. While I prefer Android, I can enjoy using iOS devices as well. Besides, Android fans can be blind to its faults just as much as the most besotted Apple fan.

        • The iOS Fragmentation Begins

          iPad and 3rd generation iPod Touch will not be getting any iOS 6 upgrade at all. Even the devices which will be upgraded to iOS 6 won’t be getting all the ‘new’ (already found on Android) features.

          According to The Verge only “(the iPhone 4S, iPad 2, and new iPad) will be able to use the new Flyover and turn-by-turn navigation features in iOS 6.”

          iPhone 4 won’t be getting the Facetime over cellular networks feature whereas iPhone 3GS will miss quite a lot of features including shared Photo Streams, VIP and flagged email features, and the offline reading list.

        • Android performance boosted 30-100 percent by Linaro toolchain

          Linaro’s efforts have boosted Android’s performance, delivering an improvement of 30 to 100 percent in various benchmarks. They achieved these impressive gains by adapting Android 4 so that it could be built with their improved GCC toolchain.

          We first wrote about Linaro in 2010 when the non-profit organization was founded by a consortium of hardware and software companies, including ARM, Samsung, TI, and Canonical. Linaro has worked to improve the quality of Linux on the ARM architecture, focusing largely on hardware-enablement and tooling.

        • Android 4.0.3 update out for T-Mobile’s Samsung Galaxy S II
        • Sony To Launch Android SmartWatch In India For Rs 6,299

          Sony is planning to launch its Android-powered SmartWatch in India for the price of Rs 6,299. The SmartWatch features a multi-touch 3.3cm color OLED display. The SmartWatch can be used with any compatible Android smartphone or tablet.

        • Getting Work Done On Android

          With increasingly powerful Android smartphones and tablets, and the vast usability enhancements Android itself has gotten through its various incarnations, it’s increasingly likely that your day to day computer use can be reduced or eliminated by using your mobile device. I myself have not had a desktop computer since 2010 when I first got an Android device.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Tablet PC ASPs declined significantly in 1Q12, says IMS

        Despite booming shipments of low-end tablets, vendors of this tier have also pulled the average price down. Low-end tablets typically have prices below US$200. However, brands like the white-box tablet PCs have lowered prices below this average and as a result have won widespread adoption in the quarter, primarily in emerging countries.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Robin Miller’s formula for a successful open source career

    For an audience composed primarily of open source programmers, developers, and system administrators gathered at SouthEast LinuxFest, Robin Miller’s message might be tough to swallow.

    “You cannot be a ‘Linux sysadmin’ in today’s world,” he said. “Not if you want to maximize your income and job satisfaction.”

    It’s an odd statement to hear in a presentation entitled “Using Linux to Boost Your IT Career,” which Miller, the former Slashdot editor known affectionately as “roblimo,” delivered June 9, the second day of the conference in Charlotte, NC.

  • Publication of Sixth Issue – International Free and Open Source Software Law Review

    The Editorial Committee is delighted to announce the sixth issue of the ‘International Free and Open Source Software Law Review’ (IFOSS L. Rev.) which is available for free access on our website in HTML and PDF formats. IFOSS L. Rev. is a peer-reviewed biannual legal review dedicated to analysis and debate around Free and Open Source Software legal issues.

  • Events

    • Best Of LinuxCon Japan 2012

      Here are some of the highlights from this year’s edition of LinuxCon Japan, the largest yet with some 650 attendees. There were lots of sessions beyond those touched on here, as well as a lively hallway track—not to mention the lunch, dinner, and drinks tracks. One suspects that next year’s conference will be bigger and better still.

    • The Linux Foundation Announces 2012 Linux Scholarship Program

      The Linux Foundation has announced its 2012 Linux Training Scholarship Program, part of an annual program that offers scholarship funds to five computer science students. The organization is also today announcing a new Enterprise Linux Training program aimed at “preparing the next generation of enterprise architects.”

    • Five Reasons The Atlassian Summit Was a Great Show
    • Akademy 2012 Special Events

      Akademy is more than inspiring talks. It’s also a place to plan, collaborate and get a lot of work done in BoFs and workshops.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 14 Beta Arrives with an Extra Shot of Security

        Mozilla’s new Firefox 13 browser may have just barely landed on users’ PCs, but already forward-looking fans can check out the beta version of Firefox 14–and the Aurora version of Firefox 15, too.

      • Firefox 15 Aurora has native PDF support

        A new in-development version of Firefox 15 has arrived in the open source web browser’s Aurora channel. The experimental build of Firefox is the first version to include native support for viewing PDF documents; in contrast, Google added built-in PDF support to its Chrome Dev channel in June 2010, integrating it in the stable 8.0 branch later that year.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • TDF InfoGraphics, May 2012
    • Using HUD In LibreOffice

      When Mark Shuttleworth introduced the HUD earlier this year in his blog post, most of us were amazed by it and the tabloids called it the most exciting feature of Ubuntu 12.04 ‘Precise Pangolin’.

    • LibreOffice 3.6.0 Beta1 Available For Testing

      The Document Foundation, the body behind LibreOffice, has announced the availability of LibreOffice 3.6.0 Beta1. The fist beta of the next major version of LibreOffice (aka LO) is intended for evaluation, QA testing, etc. If you are a LibreOffice user and want to help the team in evaluating the upcoming release, you can download it from this link.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Thief open-sources Richard Stallman’s laptop, passport, visa

      Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, was distressed to find his personal belongings had been liberally distributed sans GPL – his prized laptop, wallet and passport were nicked at a conference in Argentina.

      [...]

      Stallman’s laptop will be even harder to replace than his passport and visa: it’s a Leemote Yeeloong, which runs free software from the BIOS up and is one of the rare bits of hardware compatible with his hardline stance on software freedom. Presumably the thief will have spent the day battling a command prompt and failing to install the right codecs and packages just to watch a YouTube video.

    • esr v rms – promoting good technology versus fighting evil technology
    • Free Software More Secure than the Real World, Stallman Learns

      THE OUTSPOKEN father of Free Software Foundation and GNU Richard Stallman, was mugged of all his important belongings last Friday after giving a talk at UBA Buenos Aires University, learning an important lesson on Basic travel security in the process…

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • How bikers and artists create community with LocalWiki

      If you’re a civic hacker then you know nothing brings developers together like the shared experience of solving a hard problem. But for you, “solving problems” is probably almost synonymous with “writing code.” What’s not always clear is how people who aren’t developers can work with Brigades to solve pressing civic issues.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Gorman to Blankfein Treated as Junk Before Cuts: Credit Markets

      Investors are fleeing global financial institutions as Europe’s escalating fiscal crisis threatens to poison the balance sheets of the region’s lenders and spread to trading partners globally. Moody’s, which has been reducing ratings for banks from Australia to Austria, has said that 15 banks with a combined $28.2 trillion of assets may be the next group it cuts as part of a review that will conclude this month.

    • Investors In Hedge Funds Are Starting To Head For The Exits

      There are signs that investors are becoming increasingly impatient with hedge funds and that 2012 will be an important year for this very rich $2 trillion industry.

      Investors pulled $5.1 billion from hedge funds in April, according to BarclayHedge and TrimTabs Investment Research, and more than $12.7 billion flowed out of the hedge fund industry between May 2011 and April 2012. There were net outflows in 6 of those 12 months.

  • Censorship

    • 451: Web censorship status code

      Back in the early days of the Web, we set up Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) status messages to let people know what was going on with a Web server. Today, we still use 401 error messages for pages you’re not authorized to see, 403 pages for pages you can’t see even with authentication, and the ever popular 404 for Web pages that can’t be found. Now, with the rise of Internet censorship, Tim Bray is proposing a new HTTP code: 451, for Web servers and pages that are being censored,

  • Privacy

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