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08.09.12

Links 9/8/2012: New CentOS, Sony Linux Tablets

Posted in News Roundup at 5:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Mars Curiosity. Where is Linux?

    With all the excitement about the Sunday AM (ET) landing of the NASA Curiosity rover on Mars, I’ve felt that something has been missing.

    I’ve seen multiple press releases from vendors all highlighting how their tech is helping NASA.

    One of the releases I got was from Intel’s Wind River division. Wind River has a robust embedded Linux operating system offering.

    However, that’s not what they sold to NASA for Curiosity.

  • Desktop

    • Which Linux Desktop Will Dominate in the Future?

      Sometimes, being right is no fun. Three years ago, I suggested that the Linux desktop was headed for a future dominated by KDE, and that GNOME would be at a disadvantage. Looking back, I conclude that I was right, if only approximately.

      What I did not foresee was that GNOME 3 would not only lag behind KDE for code maturity and innovation, but fail catastrophically with users, resulting in alternative interfaces, ranging from Ubuntu’s Unity to Linux Mint’s re-creations of GNOME 2 in Cinnamon and Mate.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Intel’s Imad Sousou: Open Cloud Standards will Emerge With More Collaboration

      Standardization is the biggest issue facing the open source cloud today, says Imad Sousou, director of Intel’s Open Source Technology Center. Adoption of open formats and interfaces will ensure flexibility and choice for users and vendors of the cloud.

    • Building a Linux kernel module without the exact kernel headers

      Imagine you have a Linux kernel image for an Android phone, but you don’t have the corresponding source, nor do you have the corresponding kernel headers. Imagine that kernel has module support (fortunately), and that you’d like to build a module for it to load. There are several good reasons why you can’t just build a new kernel from source and be done with it (e.g. the resulting kernel lacks support for important hardware, like the LCD or touchscreen). With the ever-changing Linux kernel ABI, and the lack of source and headers, you’d think you’re pretty much in a dead-end.

    • Keeping Linux Kernel Training Current
    • Linus Torvalds Will Be In Korea To Attend Korean Linux Forum

      The Linux Foundation is partnering with Samsung to organise the first-ever Korean Linux Forum, taking place Oct. 11-12, 2012 in Seoul, Korea at the JW Marriott. The goal of this event is to increase Linux development and collaboration from the talent pool in Korea and other countries in the Asia region.

      The Korea Linux Forum will feature keynotes from Samsung’s Head of Software R&D Center KiHo Kim, Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman, Google’s Tejun Heo, Intel’s Chief Linux and Open Source Technologist Dirk Hohndel and Linux creator Linus Torvalds.

    • Kernel Development Made Easy? Not yet.

      If someone asked me “What is your favorite part of the Linux operating system?”, I would have to say the Linux kernel itself. And it’s much the same for Unix too. Having that source code of the kernel loaded up in Emacs ready

      for some serious tweaking gives you a strange sense of power at your fingertips. But it’s not having that sheer power that I love, it’s simply having the ability to edit that kernel source code freely without any restrictions. But there does lie one major hurdle. Only serious and advanced Linux users and developers have the understanding and ability to configure and build kernels from source. It’s not easy and takes some time to learn the skills to really make it worthwhile and successful. But at the moment, there’s no real incentive to learn how to configure and build a custom kernel other than just curiosity itself. And that curiosity has to come from within the user.

    • Fujitsu’s Yoshiya Eto Becomes Vice Chair of Linux Foundation Board

      e are pleased to announce that Yoshiya Eto of Fujitsu is the new Vice Chair of The Linux Foundation board. He joins officers Doug Fischer (Intel), Chairman, Alan Clark (SUSE), Secretary of the Board, and Frank Fanzilli, Treasurer. All Linux Foundation Board of Directors can be seen here: http://www.linuxfoundation.org/about/board-members

      Essential to Linux’s ongoing growth around the globe and in the industries it is transforming is collaboration across geographies. We’re seeing more participation in Linux development than ever before from companies in Japan, China, South Korea, South America and throughout Europe.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • XFCE Makes Mint Even Fresher

      This latest XFCE Mint 13 distribution is a complete Linux distro unto itself. Even more significant is that the Mint 13 development team ushered in this distribution on the heals of team Ubuntu phasing out its own XFCE Ubuntu distro, which was called “Xubuntu.” This latest version is clearly a fast and fun-filled alternative to other desktop options.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Kolab 3: Ready For the Cloud – The Open Groupware Receives a Major Overhaul
      • Fixing Slow Window Movment in 4.9

        Unfortunately a small bug entered 4.9: when using an Aurorae theme moving the window through the titlebar is delayed. It’s a bug we discovered a few days after the final tagging through the work on porting Plastik to QML.

      • Bored Of Windows 8 Metro? Install The Awesome KDE

        Yes, it is true. Soon you will be able to install the awesome KDE desktop in Windows 8, thanks to the KDE Windows Initiative. Builds and setup files for KDE 4.8 on Windows XP, Vista and 7 are already available, and developers are working day and night to port it on Windows 8. The below video shows the performance of KDE in Windows 8 desktop. True, its not as responsive as Linux, but it works.

      • An Opportunity to Contribute to Research and KDE

        A research team from the University of Maryland Baltimore County has launched an online study to explore the usability of KDE notifications. Participants are asked to describe a recent KDE notification experience to deepen the understanding of what makes a good or bad notification. Results from the research will help improve the usability of KDE notifications, and will make a contribution to the academic field of Human-Computer Interaction.

      • Digia to Acquire Qt from Nokia

        Digia, the software powerhouse listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki exchange (DIG1V), today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Qt software technologies and Qt business from Nokia. Following the acquisition Digia becomes responsible for all the Qt activities formerly carried out by Nokia. These include product development, as well as the commercial and open source licensing and service business. Following the acquisition, Digia plans to quickly enable Qt on Android, iOS and Windows 8 platforms.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Linux Mint Team Forks Nautilus, Brings Out Nemo

        The Linux Mint developers have have forked Nautilus and are bringing out a new file manager based on it. The move comes after Gnome developers made some controversial changes to Nautilus like removal of dual pane, compact and sidebar views, Go menu etc which some users considered important.

      • Gnome Shell 3.5.5 Released
      • Gnome OS, The Future Of Gnome

        The GUADEC summit is over and Gnome developers have finally made plans of what future or Gnome may look like. Gnome developer, Allan Day blogged about a new brick in the block – Gnome OS.

      • Gnome Worstation OS Followup

        The last post seemed to get some attention. I also think it has been misunderstood. So I would like to briefly reframe it.

        It wasn’t a rant about GNOME Shell or about design driven development. Neither was it a dismissal of the urgency for a strong developer story. I like the fact that we take risks and innovate in design. I also think that our developer workflow is broken, and fixing it is a priority.

      • GNOME Workstation OS

        I wanted to give my one cent about the GNOME project, and where I think it could be successful. It would be two cents if I were actually involved in any constructive manner, but I am not. So it is one cent.

      • Devs Cast Net to Capture Nautilus Improvements
  • Distributions

    • Quick review for SING , first distro of 31 Flavors of Fun project
    • Saluki Linux 023 – Why use anything else????
    • The Baskin & Robbins of Distros : 31 Flavors of Fun Experiment
    • Review: Stella 6.3

      A couple weeks ago on an unrelated review, I remember a commenter asking if I could review a Linux distribution called Stella. It seemed interesting, but I didn’t think much of it until the last few days when its release of version 6.3 made news on several major Linux news sites. At that point I knew I should check it out, so here it is. (Also, if Tennessee Williams were alive today, I think that “A Linux Distribution Named ‘Stella’” would have made a great title for one of his plays. Yes, I really did have to make that pun, and it won’t be the last time either.)

    • New Releases

      • antiX 12
      • NetSecL 4.0.0
      • ROSA 2012 (GNOME)
      • SalineOS 1.7
      • Damn Small Linux Returns, Hints at Modernization

        Damn Small Linux was one of my favorite distributions… back in 2005. I stopped following it closely when it’s hardware support became too outdated for my everyday machine. But they’re back with hints of a more modern version to come.

      • GParted 0.13.1

        This release of GParted fixes a failure to mount rescued file systems larger than 2 GiB or file systems that start after the initial 2 GiB of the disk device. Also includes language translations updates.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Saying Goodbye To PCLOS

        The bull doesn’t seem to be part of PCLinuxOS anymore, as it was in 2010 when I first started using it. The distro changes its look with each new release and nowdays the logo is something akin to a CPU usage graph. Other than that, I can’t tell you a thing about the greatest and latest version of PCLOS.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Apache Deltacloud Hits Open Source Cloud Server Milestone

        Back in 2009, Linux vendor Red Hat launched an ambitious project known as Deltacloud in an effort to prevent cloud server silos. With Deltacloud, many clouds can be managed and abstracted to enable operational efficiency and prevent cloud lock-in.

      • Scientific Linux 6.3 Beta 1 Review: Simply outstanding but why on older linux kernel & Gnome shell?

        Initially what I did is install it with the default options in virtualbox. Once the installation was over, I was really disappointed by the limited number of apps there and it definitely didn’t look very different from another run-of-the-mill linux distro. That too with older Linux and Gnome 2 and not 3! Then I reinstalled it again to give it a second look and there I understood my folly. Scientific Linux is for the advanced users who want to take control of the entire installation process. It gives amazing freedom to the user to customize from a rich source of apps it has within the DVD itself. Even for desktop, it gives you choice of Gnome and KDE at the installation. Below pictures show you step by step installation process.

      • Scientific Linux 6.3 Released

        Scientific Linux is a stable distribution based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux co-developed by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Its aimed at higher performance computing and can work as a server too. Along with regular upstream packages from RHEL, it also features Sun Java JDK, IceWM window manager and the R language used in statistical computing.

      • Fedora

        • The Top Features Of Fedora 18 “Spherical Cow”

          With Fedora 18 entering its feature freeze and branching today, here’s a rundown of some of the most interesting features to be found in this next Fedora release.

        • Freezing the Cow: Fedora 18 Features Freezed

          With the Alpha release date of 28th August for Fedora 18 (codenamed Spherical Cow), approaching near, the Fedora developers were able to reach a feature freeze today.

        • Secure Calling in Fedora

          Sometimes you learn about what’s going on in a distribution by accidentally breaking something. Such was the case for me recently with respect to Fedora.

          Fedora is an RPM based GNU/Linux distribution that does focus on providing a free software license clean repository, with the one unfortunate exception of the Linux kernel itself including binary blobs, and that publicly fights against software patenting. Fedora also happens to focus on enabling community self service a lot. For this latter reason too it came to pass that I maintain some of my upstream packages directly in Fedora over two years ago, rather than having this done by an intermediary Fedora package maintainer, as more often occurs in other GNU/Linux distributions.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • On Earth as It Is in Cloud

            Ubuntu for one has now reached 12.04 LTS in its server iteration (and desktop), where LTS stands for Long-Term Support. This means five years of cover for companies requiring official certification and audit compliance as well as enterprise-level security guarantees from Ubuntu’s commercial parent Canonical.

          • Three Top Ubuntu Alternatives

            Over the past few years, I’ve come to the conclusion that cutting-edge software availability is the leading indicator of which Linux distribution I’m going to end up with. Perhaps this is why I’ve found myself flailing into the arms of Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based distributions recently? More often than not, I can find the software I want with a deb package or PPA ready to go.

            It’s time savers like the one mentioned above that has made non-Ubuntu centric distributions not worth spending much time with. It’s not a lack of ability on my end, rather it’s a lack of wanting to spend a weekend setting up a new installation just to meet my needs. My time is valuable, so any distribution I select to meet my needs will be reflective of this.

            In this article, I will be looking at distributions based on Ubuntu and/or Debian (only), then exploring what makes each spin-off unique.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 277
          • Insync For Linux Brings Google Drive Desktop Sync to Ubuntu
          • Ubuntu App Showdown Winners Announced

            Out of 133 apps submitted in Ubuntu App Showdown contest organized by Canonical, only three made it to the finals and we have final top three apps decided by panel of judges at Ubuntu. The apps were judged on appearance, stability, platform integration, innovation and “Scratching and Itch” and Lightread, Fogger and Picsaw won Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes respectively.

          • Free Official Ubuntu Book For Approved LoCo Teams
          • Ubuntu May Drop Nautilus, Consider Nemo Or Marlin

            The recent controversial changes in Nautilus 3.6 have made different distribution developers to think the other ubway. While the Linux Mint team is busy developing a fork of Nautilus, Ubuntu developers are thinking to drop 3.6 series Nautilus in Quantal and use 3.4 instead. Sebastein Bacher, a software developer at Canonical posted in a bug in Launchpad that Ubuntu 12.10 may go back to use Nautilus 3.4 even though 3.6 are in the repos.

          • Ubuntu App Showdown winners announced

            The winners of the Ubuntu App Showdown have been officially announced. In the end, the three-week coding challenge produced 133 applications. A jury of five Ubuntu members then picked the three winners: Lightread, Fogger and Picsaw. These three applications are already installable from the Ubuntu Software Centre.

          • Valve software announces its games library will come to Ubuntu

            Valve, the makers of the popular game-distribution service Steam, has announced plans to convert its software and games for the Linux operating system, specifically Ubuntu. It follows comments made by Gabe Newell, Chief Executive and co-founder of Valve, who said: “I think that Windows 8 is kind of a catastrophe for everybody in the PC space”.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Bodhi Linux On Raspberry Pi Hits Beta

              Interesting developments are happening for Raspberry Pi everyday as new OSes get ported to it. After Debian, Arch, Fedora and KDE, it was Bodhi Linux that got an updated ARM port specially for the Raspberry Pi.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • The 256MB World

      Gentlemen, meet the Raspberry Pi.

      [...]

      Last night’s demo was running Debian Linux…with LXDE! Truly, they are developers after my own heart; I’m hoping this gives another big boost to the LXDE project. And the demo included the unit playing a first-person shooter video game — sorry, I’m not a gamer, so I didn’t recognize which one — with quite impressive speed.

    • The Raspberry Pi Challenger: The Hackberry A10

      With all the hype surrounding Raspberry Pi, the credit-card sized, low-cost developer board, little attention is being paid to the new kid on the block : Meet the Hackberry A10 Developer board.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Motorola teases new phone ahead of August 10 announcement (NOT REALLY)

          Motorola has taken to Facebook to tease their next smartphone ahead of its Friday announcement. The first of 4-5 clues indicates that the handset will be 4G LTE ready. It’s pretty much a foregone conclusion at this point that we’ll be getting the Droid Razr HD’s debut later this week but we’ll still be watching closely.

        • Control Your DSLR Cameras With Android Devices

          Android is like a Swiss knife. It runs on your smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, microwave ovens, cars and much more. That’s not all. There are areas where Android can do what you never before expected. One such area is controlling your DSLR cameras via your Android devices.

        • Wanna see three dozen shots of the unannounced Sony Xperia T (Mint)?

          As many of you know, a photo or two of an unannounced phone finding its way online is not all that uncommon. In fact, most Android devices we’ve encountered have, at some point, been treated to an “in the wild” or “blurrycam” shot. Every once in a while you get a model that stands still for an extended period of time and poses for an entire gallery. Such is the case with the yet-announced Sony Xperia T (codename: Mint).

        • Multiuser Support For Android: Is AndroidBook Coming?

          One of the strongest points of the older Linux, Unix systems were their support for multiple users from the very beginning. The *nix world has always been proud of the fact that this feature has been in their beloved OSes long before Windows developers thought of it.

          Having said that, this is not true for Android, the OS notorious for bringing the fame and glory to the Linux world.

          While it must have been an easy decision not to have multiple user support on an OS destined only for handheld mobile phones, Android has long past crossed this barrier. While still popular only on embedded devices, people have already started porting Android on x86 machines and sending patches to enable this feature since 2011 and there has never been a real need for multiple user support.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Who Loves Hadoop?
  • Open Source for the Space Age

    NASA has started a rather ambitious project: to provide open-source everything. The main site is located at http://open.nasa.gov. From here, there is access to data, code and applications, among other things. This is a great launching point for anyone interested in space science and NASA work. In this article, I look at what kind of code is being made available that you might want to explore.

  • Events

    • LinuxCon/CloudOpen Party Details Revealed

      LinuxCon is known for its deep technical content and unmatched networking opportunities. This year LinuxCon and CloudOpen will provide 140 sessions, 15 keynotes, nine co-located events, and three onsite Linux training opportunities.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Why Firefox is handicapped in browser race

        According to the cleverly named traffic counter outfit StatCounter, Google’s Chrome browser has long passed Internet Explorer and Firefox as the number one browser in the world, with Chrome now reaching the 33 percent mark (33.81 percent for those watching at home) for browser share.

  • SaaS

    • OpenStack Foundation Picks Up Steam, Will Put Board in Place

      The OpenStack cloud platform hasn’t been short of powerful companies backing it, and now the OpenStack Foundation is finally heading into high gear, including preparing to hold elections to its board later this month. If you haven’t checked on how much support this promising cloud platform has, here are some details on the foundation and its structure.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 3.6.0 is Here
    • The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 3.6 with a wealth of new features and improvements

      The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 3.6, the fourth major release of the best free office suite ever, which provides a large number of new features and incremental improvement over the previous versions. Innovations range from invisible features such as improved performance and interoperability to the more visible ones such as user interface tweaks, where theming has improved to more closely match current design best-practice. A full list with screenshots is available here: http://www.libreoffice.org/download/3-6-new-features-and-fixes, because a picture says more than a thousand words.

  • Education

    • Foradian CEO explains benefits of open source school management software

      –>

      Last month, a professor at the Higher Institute of Computer Science and Management of Kairouan in Tunisia told us how implementing and customizing Fedena, an open source school management solution from Foradian, enhanced collaboration and understanding between administrators, students, and instructors. Unni Koroth, Foradian’s co-founder and CEO, was kind enough to answer our questions about Fedena—and to explain precisely what makes open source school management systems so appealing.

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • Compliance Lab in the news

      Joshua Gay and I were recently interviewed for an article by Bruce Byfield, “The FSF Compliance Lab Doubles.” Bruce shares our excitement in super-charging our ability to help the free software community with licensing issues. Byfield discusses how our expanded capacity means that we are better able to make use of the volunteers we have, as well as to recruit new members to our licensing team. If you would like join the licensing team and help answer community questions about free software licensing, please send an email to licensing@fsf.org.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • OSCON 2012: Kaitlin Thaney calls for open science

      At the recent OSCON 2012 convention, Kaitlin Thaney, Manager of External Partnerships at Digital Science, shared in her talk a fresh approach to scientific research. Her views offer a way out of the stagnation of many research fields, where the rewards system (how researchers get evaluated for job positions, raises and promotions) and the economics of funding discourage researchers from openly sharing their data and tools with larger communities and the public.

    • Open Data

      • Unleashing the Potential of Open Data

        It seems a long while ago now, but June was a pretty hectic month in this neck of the woods, since it saw the final push to get ACTA rejected in the European Parliament. But of course, plenty of other things were happening then, and one in particular that I wanted to cover was the release of this UK Open Data White Paper entitled “Unleashing the Potential”.

        It’s a measure of the glimmers of hope that the entire UK open data project emits that the document is available not only as a PDF and in Microsoft Word, but also as an .odt file – kudos to those involved for making this happen.

Leftovers

  • The Internet Archive Starts Seeding Over a Million Torrents

    An anonymous reader writes with news that The Internet Archive has started seeding about 1,400,000 torrents. In addition to over a million books, the Archive is seeding thousands and thousands of films, music tracks, and live concerts.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Good Week for Chemical Reform

      A bill to improve reporting standards for toxic chemicals has passed out of committee to the U.S. Senate for a vote, and anti-regulatory czar Cass Sunstein has headed back to academia.

      The Safe Chemicals Act (S. 847) would promote the use of safer alternatives to hazardous chemicals and put common sense limits on toxic chemicals. It has been approved by the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and passed to the full Senate for a vote.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Why Is the U.S. Government Funding Islamic Terrorists Who Are Killing Christians?

      Most Americans are Christians.

      But few know that the acts of our American government are leading to the persecution of Christians in numerous countries.

      According to the Vatican’s official news service – Fides – and many other Christian news sources, the Syrian opposition is targeting Christians. Priests and bishops on the ground in Syria confirm these reports.

  • Finance

    • Economics as Sleaze (Blog)

      The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), even as a Murdoch project, ought to know and do better than its lead opinion piece on “Tax Fairness” (July 23, 2012, p. A13). The gross pandering to right-wing self-delusion accomplished there by Ari Fleischer would win any economics student a well-deserved failing grade. The piece purports to interpret a recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report, “The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2008 and 2009 “. The quality of the writing in such sentences as “A new Congressional Budget Office Reports (sic) shows (sic)….” reminds us that Fleischer was the press secretary for the similarly English-language-challenged former President Bush. The editing that misses such gross mistakes suggests that the WSJ would get failing grades in English as well as economics.

      Fleischer’s foray into economics makes the following points explicitly: (1) rich people pay too much in taxes relative to middle class and poor people, (2) the US tax system is thus “unfair” to the rich,(3) it became more unfair over the period covered by the CBO report, 1979-2009, and (4) President Obama is a liar because he says that the unfairness runs the other way. As I can easily show, the quality of Mr Fleischer’s economics suggests that he not give up his day job to do more economics.

    • GoldenTree Hires Goldman Sachs Trader Salem in Mortgage Push

      Asset managers including Canyon Partners LLC, Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP and D.E. Shaw & Co., known for betting in markets such as real estate, government notes or company debentures, have been wagering on mortgage securities as potential returns narrow elsewhere, accelerating gains in housing debt. The $1 trillion market for U.S. home-loan bonds without government backing offers “probably the most upside in structured products,” though carries more risk than notes such as collateralized loan obligations tied to companies’ health, Tananbaum said.

    • Czech Position: Presidential candidate Dlouhý leaves Goldman Sachs

      Czech presidential candidate Vladimir Dlouhy will end his engagement with the U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs that he started in 1997 as from end-October and he is also going to leave the Telefonica Czech Republic supervisory council, has has told Ceska pozice server.

      “I will also terminate all other positions in the private sector,” economist Dlouhy, 59, industry and trade minister in the 1990s, said.

      He told the server that large investment banks are not perceived so negatively in the Czech Republic like in the United States.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Corporate “Sin-Washing:” Embracing the Olympic Brand Pays Off for Sponsors

      Global corporations like Dow Chemical, Adidas, and McDonald’s are paying upwards of $100 million USD to sponsor the 2012 London games and associate themselves with the Olympic brand — but with their brands already well-established, what do corporations get in exchange for these expensive sponsorship deals?

      According to Dave Zirin, sportswriter and columnist for The Nation, the payoff comes through “corporate sin-washing.”

    • Koch-Funded AFP Hails Walker as Conquering Hero, Rallies the Troops for November

      Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker flew to DC over the weekend to thank the Americans For Prosperity astroturf group for its help with the Wisconsin recall. Walker headlined AFP’s 2012 “Defending the American Dream” Summit two months after winning his June 5 recall battle — with a $10 million assist from the organization that was founded and is funded and led by billionaire David Koch. (The $10 million spent by AFP was $3 million more than what was spent by Walker’s opponent.)

08.07.12

Links 7/8/2012: OpenGL 4.3, Nautilus Forked

Posted in News Roundup at 7:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Upcoming Conference will Showcase Linux’s Growing Success in Vehicles

    If you’ve followed Linux for any length of time, you know that it is finding many of its biggest opportunities at the server level, in mobile devices, and in embedded Linux deployments–all of them areas that lie outside the desktop. In recent years, Linux has also had a growing impact on cars, with big backers behind Linux-based automotive initiatives. With that in mind, The Linux Foundation is hosting its Automotive Linux Summit, taking place Sept. 19-20, 2012, at the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon/Warwickshire in the United Kingdom. Here is what’s on tap for this global meeting on Linux and cars.

  • I want a little penguin powered friend.

    It may not look like a penguin. It doesn’t eat fish neither does it have a blubbery outer coating (unlike me). It is however about as tall as a Gentoo penguin and it does walk a bit like a penguin. What am I talking about? It is the new love of my life with two brains (well cpu’s) and penguin powered with the Gentoo Linux operating system and I want one!!

    The little friend I want is called NAO (not to be confused with Sodium Oxide) and comes from the country of love. Don’t worry, you will not have to learn French though (although the girls love it when you do…va va va vooom :) as NAO can speak several different languages, stands about 58cm high, has more sensors than the Borg, is more flexible and can dance better that I can.

    You should have guessed by now that I am talking about a robot. One of the most advanced robots for public sale that I have ever seen. The company which develops and makes these little beauties is called Aldebaran Robotics (not to be confused with the planet in Star Wars). You can access the main web site here to feast your eyes on the ultimate of geeky drool inducing technology. Did I mention NAO also runs on Linux?

  • TLWIR 43: You Know That the GNU/LInux Shift is Coming When the Eggheads Start Conspiring
  • Kernel Space

    • Talking Phoronix On The Linux Action Show
    • Intel Works On Haswell HDMI/DP Audio Linux Support

      Intel’s open-source hardware enablement under Linux of next year’s Haswell architecture continues. New HDMI audio patches have been published while the DisplayPort audio patches are still forthcoming.

    • Apple Thunderbolt Display Presents Problems For Linux

      For the past few weeks I have been trying out the Apple’s Thunderbolt Cinema Display under Linux. While this 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt Display is beautiful and delivers stunning quality, it does illustrate another area where the current Linux hardware support currently comes up short. There’s both good and bad news about using a Thunderbolt-based display under your favorite Linux distribution.

    • 30 Linux Kernel Developers in 30 Weeks: Arnd Bergmann

      Linux kernel developer Arnd Bergmann is interviewed for this week’s 30 Linux Kernel Developers in 30 Weeks profile. Bergmann shares with us his focus areas at the moment as well as some specific advice for newbies.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Basic Texture Support, Multi-Tile For Freedreno

        The open-source Freedreno driver — the reverse-engineered creation for supporting the Adreno-based Qualcomm’s Snapdragon graphics hardware — picked up a few more features this weekend.

      • Coreboot: Replacing Intel’s Binary Video BIOS Blob
      • The Huge Nouveau Kernel Driver Rewrite Surfaces

        Over the weekend there was the push by Red Hat’s Ben Skeggs that effectively reworks/rewrites the Nouveau DRM kernel module for reverse-engineered open-source NVIDIA graphics under Linux.

        Skeggs work rewrites a large portion of the Nouveau kernel driver code — it measures in at about 50 commits and thousands of lines of code have been changed. We knew a big Nouveau DRM rewrite was happening following minimal changes for Nouveau with the Linux 3.6 kernel but on Saturday was when the code finally landed within the Nouveau project’s kernel repository.

      • Khronos ASTC: Royalty-Free Next-Gen Texture Compression
      • OpenGL 4.3, OpenGL ES 3.0 Specifications Unveiled

        Just as I reported last week would happen at SIGGRAPH and in late May first talked about OpenGL ES 3.0, today at the first day of SIGGRAPH LA 2012 the Khronos Group announced the release of the OpenGL 4.3 and OpenGL ES 3.0 graphics API specifications.

        It’s been twenty years since the release of the original OpenGL specification and this royalty-free multi-platform graphics specification keeps moving forward. New functionality provided by the OpenGL 4.3 specification includes: compute shaders leveraging GPU parallelism within the context of the graphics pipeline, shader storage buffer objects, texture parameter queries, high-quality ETC2/EAC texture compression as a standard feature, debug capabilities to receive debugging messages during application development, texture views for interpreting textures in different ways without data replication, increased memory security, and a multi-application robustness extension.

      • OpenGL 4.3 Support Is A Ways Out In Mesa

        While the OpenGL 4.3 specification was just released (along with OpenGL ES 3.0), there’s already a beta NVIDIA Linux proprietary driver supporting this latest desktop graphics API from Khronos. AMD will also soon be released a Catalyst beta with the GL 4.3 / GLSL 4.30 support. However, the open-source Mesa support will still be a ways out.

        The Mesa documentation was updated today to reflect what’s left in supporting the latest revisions of the OpenGL standard. Unfortunately, there’s a lot left with officially Mesa/Gallium3D still being limited to OpenGL 3.0 compliance.

      • Khronos Group updates OpenGL and OpenCL graphics standards

        The Khronos Group has released the latest version of its OpenGL graphics standard, 20 years after SGI first opened up the code.

        The latest revision, OpenGL 4.3, adds the ability to harness the GPU for shading and draw commands, ETC2/EAC texture compression is included as standard, and an improved debugging system has been added, along with security enhancements aimed at stopping information leakage between applications.

      • New OpenGL Standards Promise To Bring Better, Faster Graphics To Mobile And Desktop
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Amarok’s Context View Getting A New UI

        KDE music player Amarok is getting a new UI for its context view. The new UI is written in QML that makes it fast as well as good looking.

      • KDE Ships August Updates to Plasma Workspaces, Applications and Platform

        These updates are the fifth in a series of monthly stabilization updates to the 4.8 series. 4.8.5 updates bring many bugfixes and translation updates on top of the latest edition in the 4.8 series and are recommended updates for everyone running 4.8.4 or earlier versions. As the release only contains bugfixes and translation updates, it will be a safe and pleasant update for everyone. KDE’s software is already translated into more than 55 languages, with more to come.

      • Qt Developers Work Out Plans For Time-Based Releases

        Following the Qt 5.0 release, developers of this open-source tool-kit will aim to issue feature updates on a six-month cycle.

        Joao Abecasis reignited the discussion today concerning setting up time-based releases for Qt. “While releasing Qt 5.0.0 is an ongoing process, I think this is a good time to start planning future releases (5.0.1, 5.1.0, etc.) and, most importantly, we need to discuss *how* we’ll get them out on time. With the setup we now have we should quickly move to a strict time-based release schedule. A predictable schedule allows all interested to align with the project and contribute to make the next release the traditional Best Release Ever ™ of Qt.”

      • Final 4.9 version of KDE SC
    • GNOME Desktop

      • Linux Mint developers work on GNOME file manager fork

        Once upon a time, the GNOME Linux/Unix desktop team could do no wrong. That was a long time ago. More recently, GNOME has lost many of their Linux desktop supporters. Now the GNOME developers’ proposed changes to Nautilus, the GNOME file manager, is losing them more fans. The Linux Mint developers have started work on their own fork of Nautilus: Nemo.

        Clement “Clem” Lefebvre Linux Mint’s lead developer told me, that the Mint, or more properly the Cinnamon desktop, itself a fork of the GNOME 3.x desktop, programmers reacted “to the upcoming regressions in Nautilus 3.6 (loss of the compact view, loss of some desktop icons, changes in paths hierarchy..etc,) by creating a fork in github called ‘nemo.’”

      • Linux Mint team forks Nautilus

        The latest 3.5.x branch of Nautilus sports redesigned tool and menu bars but has also removed the dual pane, compact and sidebar views, the Go menu, and other features. Nemo currently includes very few visible changes from the 3.4.x branch of Nautilus, and the Linux Mint project has not yet officially announced what its plans for the new file manager entail, but it seems clear that its creation was prompted by the recent changes to Nautilus.

      • Is GNOME in Free Fall?
      • Nemo: The Linux Mint Team Forks Nautilus

        After Cinnamon, Muffin and MDM, the Linux Mint team works on yet another fork: Nemo, a file manager forked from Nautilus 3.4.x.

        Nautilus 3.5.x, which will become Nautilus 3.6 stable and will be a part of GNOME 3.6, has got a new toolbar and menubar, but there were also some features that were removed, like the dual pane feature, sidebar tree view and others. And this, it seems, wasn’t what the Linux Mint developers want for their users, so they’ve decided to fork Nautilus 3.4.x, which still has these features.

      • A preview of Gnome Disks 3.6

        Red Hater David Zeuthen in his blog introduces all the new features in Gnome Disks 3.6 and also refers to the upcoming new options for Gnome 3.8. There are some nice additions; some are just optics and some are useful tools, but in my opinion not everything is perfect and complete.

      • Speed Up with Midori!

        Sometimes, human minds get stuck without a reason between two options, jumping from the one to the other, never finding exactly what they are looking for.

        This is what happens to most people with today’s browsers. Almost no one completely likes Firefox and Chrome for their own personal reasons, but everyone keeps trying both when a newer version becomes available. Time to make a step towards something “greener” and give Midori a try!

  • Distributions

    • Zorin OS 6: The ultimate Linux distro for Windows users?

      Every once in a while I try some new version of Linux, some overhauled or updated “distribution” of the operating system that supposedly improves the user experience. And inevitably I get frustrated with it because, well, it’s just not Windows.

    • IPFire drops Reiser4 filesystem support

      IPFire, the hardened Linux distribution for firewall appliances, was recently updated to IPFire 2.11 Core update 61 and along with the enhancements, the developers announced that they are ending support for the Reiser4 filesystem. Rarely found in the wild, Reiser4 is an advanced filesystem, and sequel to ReiserFS, which offers an efficient journalling system, plugin support (for metadata or encryption), disk-layout optimisation and transaction support.

    • Review of Calculate Linux 12: KDE with a twist!

      I wanted to try out some Linux distros which are not Fedora or Ubuntu based. So, in came Calculate Linux 12 Desktop version and I liked what they have done with KDE here. The KDE ISO is big (2.3 GB) and I downloaded it from the calculate linux site. Just a day before Calculate Linux, I tried out Scientific Linux – given similarity in names and a large ISO size, my expectations were really high!

    • The 31 Flavors of Fun project has been started

      If you still remember, Todd Robinson from On-Disk.com is trying to create and release 31 different usable and complete Linux distros everyday in August 2012. Three distros have been released, they are named SING, SOHO and Debian_live_VTWM.

    • Quick review for SING , first distro of 31 Flavors of Fun project
    • Bridge 2012.8 Xfce Screenshots (08/04/2012)
    • PoliArch 12.05 Screenshots (08/06/2012)
    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Intersouth-funded company raising $2M in debt financing

        Intersouth’s Katrin Burt is listed as a director and Lee Congdon, chief information officer of Raleigh-based Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), also is a board member at Adaptivity.

      • First look at CentOS 6.3

        For the most part using CentOS 6.3 was a pleasant experience. Installing codecs, Flash and various extras did require that I hunt down and install several additional repositories, which is a bit more work than is required from most other popular distributions. Further, some software isn’t available for CentOS, even with the extra repositories (searches for items such as the VLC media player failed to find any matches). However, when we consider CentOS isn’t aimed at the desktop crowd I feel the distro can be forgiven for the additional work required. Once the system was set up with the software and repositories I wanted it was smooth sailing from there. CentOS comes with good administrative tools, slightly aged, but still perfectly functional software and it will be supported for a good long time.

        One aspect of the default install I really appreciated was the fact that both GNOME 2 and KDE 4 were available. Most distributions these days put just one desktop environment on a disc while CentOS provides two, along with a full office suite and plenty of other popular applications and they still manage to keep their live disc under 2GB. The distribution doesn’t provide excitement or new, shiny features, it is pleasantly laid back and mature. The system is fairly light and stays out of the way. It’s a good option for people who want to install their OS and forget about it for the next several years.

      • Fedora

        • Kororaa 17: User-friendly KDE spin of Fedora 17

          But, Kororaa changed my view – it is definitely user friendly and offers a more complete out-of-the-box distro than Fedora with the usual smoothness that characterizes Fedora.

        • Fedora Linux Project Manager Robyn Bergeron on Open Source Leadership

          Robyn Bergeron became the Fedora Project Leader earlier this year. In her tenure so far, the Beefy Miracle (aka Fedora 17) has been released. She’s also had to contend with Secure Boot and is now busy getting everything lined up for Fedora 18.

          I recently got the chance to chat with Bergeron, to talk about what she’s doing. She told me that there are a lot of good things about the job of Fedora Project Leader (FPL) One of those good things is the fact that people aren’t afraid to raise the flag if you’re something is missing.

        • Fedora 18 Picks Up Last Features – There’s No Btrfs

          The feature freeze and branching of Fedora 18 is scheduled to occur tomorrow. The FESCo meeting happened today where a few of the last features were approved for the Spherical Cow release.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 7 First Beta Now Available

        The Debian Installer Team has released the first beta release of Debian 7 codenamed Wheezy. This is a development release for testing purposes only and not intended to be used in enterprise, business and production environments. It ships with a lot of bug fixes and new hardware support for a number of devices. The release announcement can be found here.

      • First beta for Debian 7.0′s installation media
      • Debian Wheezy May Ship With XFCE As The Default Desktop Environment

        Debian developers are planning to switch the default desktop environment of Debian 7 codenamed Wheezy from Gnome to XFCE. The move comes mainly to make the distro lightweight and also reduce the size of the installation image.

      • Gnome Clocks Almost Ready

        Gnome developers have laid out plans to make Clocks a core application in future Gnome releases and there have been some impressive work on this app. Some screenshots:

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu for Beginners: System Settings

            In the previous article you were able to find out what Ubuntu software center is capable off. Today you are going to read a bit advanced theme: System Settings.

            Once when you get comfortable with Ubuntu you will want to: change desktop appearance, test sound, create accounts on your system for other people and much more.

          • Android With Ubuntu – If Looks Could Kill

            It was not long ago (February) when we heard a tad bit about Ubuntu for Android. It was basically a project from Canonical to bring the popular Linux system to Android smartphones. However, a video highlight for some of the system’s capabilities was filmed at the Forum Internacional Software Livre in Brazil last week. The aim was to provide us with an up-to-date look at the progress the project has been making, currently.

          • Android meets Ubuntu, makes a smashing debut

            Once upon a time, Linux was a small experiment running in the backrooms of NOC (Network Operations Centers) and MIT/Berkeley labs. Then came the Internet and the home computing craze and the advent of the OS for the consumer side. If Windows and macOS were the two mainstream choices you were thinking of, you’d be right. However, Canonical has changed that over the last 5 years with their OS, Ubuntu.

          • Ubuntu for Android – The First Sneak-Peek

            Not a long time ago, we reported about the possible integration of two Linux ‘bros’- Ubuntu and Android into one device. We see the dream coming true, sooner than ever.

          • Ubuntu Accomplishments Live Video Tutorials Coming Up
          • Flavours and Variants

            • My Installation of Linux Mint 13 “Maya” Xfce

              Well folks, this is it. After many months of looking for a suitable replacement for my setup of Linux Mint 9 LTS “Isadora” GNOME, I have found one and have followed through with it. There were two reasons why I wanted to make this upgrade/switch: I wanted to stay up-to-date and take advantage of the support promised in the latest LTS release, and I needed to either reinstall my current OS or install something else because my present installation of Linux Mint stopped recognizing my laptop’s ethernet card when I accidentally pulled out the power adapter cord from the laptop about 2 months ago. I got by with wireless Internet, but it was painful, and it had become so painful in the last few weeks that I couldn’t stick with it for much longer. The following is a log of my experience installing and customizing Linux Mint 13 LTS “Maya” Xfce on my laptop. As of the moment that I write this sentence, this will simultaneously be the last post that I write with the old version of Linux Mint and the first that I write with the new version. I have to confess that I’ve become somewhat attached to the way that I’ve customized the old version (and that’s what made finding a suitable replacement so difficult), but given that it looks like I can do the same things in the new version, I eagerly anticipate having the new version installed. Follow the jump to see what happens.

            • Six Key Improvements in Bodhi Linux 2.0.1

              It’s been less than a year since I first wrote about Bodhi Linux 1.2.0, but already the popular, Ubuntu-based Linux distribution has reached its second major milestone.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • A New, More Powerful Challenger to the Raspberry PI!

      Sure, it costs almost twice as much, but look what you get for your $60.00!

      Hackberry A10 developer board: $60 PC board with Allwinner A10 CPU

      “A Hackberry A10 Developer Board with 512MB of RAM is available for $60. A 1GB model should be available soon for $65.

    • Adafruit launches educational distro for Raspberry PI

      Adafruit Industries has published a new Linux distribution called “Occidentalis” for hardware hacking and teaching electronics using the ARM-based Raspberry Pi mini-computer. Its developers say that they decided to create Occidentalis because Raspbian – a Debian-based distribution released by the Raspberry Pi Foundation last month – didn’t include many of the tools and software components that most hardware hackers would need.

    • More Android and Linux Support for Raspberry Pi

      The credit-card sized $35 Raspberry Pi computer is gaining software support which should make it more usable by enthusiasts. As we have reported it is a device that is designed to be educational and to encourage a new generation of programmers.

      These latest additions by third-party developers are not for the faint-hearted. They are meant to be challenging. The tiny inexpensive computer, which is sold uncased, has been designed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation based in Cambridge U.K. The only version now available costs $35, but a a slightly lower-specified $25 model should be coming soon.

    • TakkTile turns digital barometers into open-source robot touch sensors

      Tactile Array turns digital barometers into opensource robot tactile senors

      Freescale Semiconductor’s MPL115A2 is a tiny thing that will sit quite comfortably on the tip of your finger. It’s hard not to marvel at the engineering that went into the creation of something so small, yet so sensitive. The little metal square is minute enough to be plunked into a cell phone, offering up location pinpointing technologies that supplement GPS, gauging positions based on changes in atmospheric pressure. Harvard’s Biorobotics team was clearly impressed when it discovered the technology, devising a fascinating implementation that extends beyond the walls of the cell phone. The sensors would go on to form the core of the department’s TakkTile open-source boards capable of bringing sensitive touch sensing to robot hands.

    • Azul Offers Free Zing JVM to Open Source Community Projects

      Following on from the release of Zing 5.2 at the end of April, Azul Systems have announced that they are making their pauseless Zing JVM freely available to open source developers and projects for use in development and testing.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Samsung announces redesigned Galaxy Note 10.1

        It might have taken more than half of the year to come to fruition, but Samsung today announced the redesigned Galaxy Note 10.1. Details for the tablet include a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 10.1-inch display, 5-megapixel main camera, and a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera. Since we’re talking “Note” here then you might already know this guy has the S Pen capability for note-taking, markups, drawing, and more. Rounding on the specs, the Galaxy Note comes in three storage capacities, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB, each with expandable microSD card slots.

      • Can Samsung’s Big Note Bring the Stylus Back in Style?

        Samsung has taken its line of Note devices to full-fledged tablet territory, offering up the Galaxy Note 10.1. It’s a full-sized Android tablet that features both a touchscreen and a stylus for pen-assisted drawing, note-taking and input. The Galaxy Note 10.1 comes with an accelerometer, a digital compass, a light and a gyroscope.

      • 4G isn’t fast enough for tablet and smartphone users
      • An Enormous Galaxy Note For Stylus-Wielding Arty Types

        An Enormous Galaxy Note For Stylus-Wielding Arty TypesIf you were a fan of the original stylus-packing Galaxy Note, but always thought that 5.3-inches was just too small: good news. Samsung’s finally released the long-awaited quad-core 10.1-inch version of the Note, and you should be able to get your hands on it by the end of this month.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Apache Deltacloud Hits Open Source Cloud Server Milestone

    The project moved to the Apache Software Foundation in 2010 and became a top level project earlier this year.

    Now after three years of effort, Deltacloud has finally hit its 1.0 release. A 1.0 release is usually a major milestone signifying that an open source project is mature and ready for consumption. In Deltacloud’s case, the effort has already been deployed and integrated into Red Hat’s commercial CloudForms effort that officially launched in June.

  • How to Enhance Your Router With Open-Source Firmware

    The stock firmware included on many broadband routers takes advantage of only a fraction of the hardware’s capabilities. We explain how to use use powerful open-source firmware to unleash the beast in your router.

  • Giant robots and open source

    I know why you’re excited this week … you’ve seen the “Kuratas”, a 13 foot tall, 9,900-pound robot you can ride in at speeds of up to 6 miles per hour and which is equipped with a water bottle cannon and Gatling guns that can fire 6,000 BBs per minute (the operator can fire the armaments just by smiling … no, really, watch the video).

    The Kuratas robot, built by Japanese artist Kogoro Kurata and marketed by Suidobashi Heavy Industry, can be controlled by the onboard operator, a remote control device, or a smartphone and runs V-Sido, a “next generation robot OS”.

  • Pixar opens beta on open source subdivision
  • 4 Tips On Scaling From Open-Source Pioneers
  • Southpaw Technology Announces Open-Source TACTIC For Asset Management

    If you’re planning on getting into the design field and you have all these crazy-cool ideas, there are a few things you’ll need: A design engine, modeling software and an asset management suite. The first two are pretty easy to get your hands on, but the third can become a bit tricky, unless you decide to use TACTIC from Southpaw Technology.

  • Cloud Foundry Evangelist Escapes VMware’s Gravity

    VMware has lost another high-profile employee: Dave McCrory, a senior technical marketer for the company’s open source cloud building platform, Cloud Foundry. The move comes amidst a growing number of questions around the platform, which was built to remake VMware as a cloud computing company capable of competing with the likes of Google, Amazon, and Microsoft.

  • Open Source: Choice of Companies

    Businesses, across all industries, yearn for highly reliable technologies to support their IT infrastructure. However, on the software side, high upfront costs, license limitations and support often become the barriers to implementation. Thus, free and flexible software have become the choice for an increasing number of companies, regardless of size.

    To cite an example of its unwavering promise, enterprises can always look at Google and RedHat as just two of the well known proponents of open source software. But considering that we are an SMB-dominated dog-eat-dog environment, what is the true value of the open source software? Are there risks to integrating open source codes to your system?

  • SaaS

    • 5 Things to Make the Hybrid Cloud Enterprise-Ready
    • Exclusive: eBay puts OpenStack to work

      OpenStack, the open source “cloud operating system,” has stirred community excitement and attracted a vendor following, including Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM, and Red Hat. But until now one thing has been lacking: A high-profile corporate customer willing to talk about its OpenStack implementation.

      Today, eBay is announcing that it’s using OpenStack to manage a high-volume dev, test, and experimentation environment where apps are created for eBay Marketplaces. According to Jean-Christophe Martin, Cloud Architect for eBay, the current OpenStack implementation is small, but eBay is looking at extending that footprint as the open source project matures.

  • Healthcare

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Google’s RISE Awards to Give Grants to Promising Educational Projects

      Are you involved with any open source efforts focused on K-12 or university-level students? Do you happen to have involvement with any projects in the rapidly growing field of open source robotics? If so, you may be a good candidate for a Google RISE (Roots in Science and Engineering) award. Through this annual program, Google makes grants of $5,000 to $25,000 to organizations around the world, and you can apply for a RISE grant today.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Canary Islands’ government increasing and encouraging open source use

      The government of the Canary Islands will increasingly be using open source applications. It is moving to open source for its telephony needs and will install a handful of open source applications on governmental desktop PCs. “We are strongly encouraging the use of OpenOffice.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Adobe releases its first open source font
    • New Font From Adobe For Release
    • Open Data

      • A new skepticism on open data?

        Resistance to open data is much older than the concept of open data itself. Those who control—and/or benefit from the control of—data have traditionally resisted its open dissemination.

        This resistance is being steadily eroded by government policy (see open data policies in the US, UK, and a long list of other national, state and local governments), by growing social and political movements in Europe, by technological advances such as the move to “Big Data,” and by the continued work of the broader open source, open content, open access community.

  • Programming

    • LDTP 3.0 automates GUI testing on Linux

      Shortly after the release of Cobra 2.0, the GNU/Linux Desktop (GUI Application) Testing Project (GNU LDTP) also released a new version of its Linux testing tool. LDTP 3.0 includes many of the new features that were included with the Windows version, including enhanced language support. Linux-specific additions include the ability to change the state of check boxes in Firefox and fixes to the program’s interactions with Qt and the Python-ldtp interface.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Fresh claims in Goldman negligence case

      Goldman Sachs Asset Management has been accused of causing a pension scheme client’s money to be invested in sub-prime mortgage-backed securities in mid-2007 even though it knew, at the same time, that Goldman Sachs’ proprietary trading desk was short selling MBS “on a very large scale in order to profit from falling prices”.

  • Censorship

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Exploring Anti-Net Neutrality Arguments

      As I noted recently, net neutrality is back in the spotlight, so I thought it would be useful – and maybe entertaining – to look at an anti-net neutrality article for the insights it gives us about how the other side views things. It’s called “Pick Up On One and Let The Other One Ride”, and appears in the Huffington Post.

  • Copyrights

    • Form Over Function – The ECJ Rules On Software Copyright

      Seldom does a fact bear repeating as frequently as the maxim, “There is no copyright in ideas”. And despite the regularity with which this fundamental principle of copyright law is cited, its application remains a bone of contention.

      Since the Statute of Anne (1710), the common antecedent of modern copyright law, this creature of statute exists exclusively for the protection of the material expression of ideas, and not the underlying ideas, facts or discoveries contained in the work.

      For this reason, copyright protection vests at the moment a work is recorded in physical form, and only to the extent that it is recorded. As a result, an author will hold the exclusive rights to reproduce and distribute his/her novel while the ideas that inspired the storyline (the general plot, setting and timeline) may be lawfully reproduced by another.

08.06.12

Links 6/8/2012: HP TouchPad Has Latest Android, VirtualBox 4.2 Beta 1

Posted in News Roundup at 11:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Is usability breaking Linux adoption?

    I have been a Linux (Linux in this article refers to Linux based Operating System) user for a quite a number of years, actually, since I owned my first PC about four years ago. All through I have been using Fedora Linux , and it has not been an easy ride all along.

    Linux users have to learn how to use text editors, and how to work their way around configuration files. Initially, the issue was that Fedora Linux ships without a number of drivers, so called proprietary drivers and software. Proprietary drivers are drivers that do not conform to open source licensing terms. This means that the operating system ships lacking support for common media formats including MP3 and will also lack firmware drivers required for the functioning of some hardware such as sound cards and graphics drivers.

  • Desktop

    • Perfect Storm Brewing: The Linux Desktop – Part Two

      In “Perfect Storm Brewing: The Linux Desktop – Part One” I described some of the attributes that made for a low desktop penetration for Linux. Notice that not one of the issues was “ease of use” or “ease of porting applications”, but all had to do with installed base and volumes of systems being sold presently.

    • Adafruit launches Raspberry Pi Educational Linux Distro, hastens our hacking

      The Raspberry Pi is already considered a hacker’s paradise. However, that assumes that owners have all the software they need to start in the first place. Adafruit wants to give the process a little nudge through its Raspberry Pi Educational Linux Distro. The software includes a customized distribution of Raspbian, Occidentalis, that either turns on or optimizes SSHD access,

    • Brightness

      The future of IT clients is bright. People are loving small cheap computers, x86/amd64 PCs running GNU/Linux and, of course more servers than ever running GNU/Linux. I don’t see much possibility of this trend slowing in the near future, because fast and efficient is the right way to do IT. Any way you measure efficiency, GNU/Linux, Android/Linux and FLOSS are superior to that other OS. The world can make its own software and does not need to rely on a monopoly. The Wintel monopoly will have to change or die. A few units on ARM or smart phones won’t cut it when a better OS costs ~$0 per unit.

  • Server

    • Harvard goes PaaS with SELinux Sandbox

      Running students’ submitted programs is a security challenge for any university Computer Science department. When Harvard University contacted me about some work they are doing with the “sandbox” tool on Fedora 17, we decided it would be a great opportunity to see how they could get more out of it and share our findings with the community.

      In a lot of ways, Harvard is setting up a simple PaaS (Platform as a Service). We discussed tools like OpenShift and Secure Linux Containers, but the immediate issue was that once they begin offering ‘Intro to ‘C’” courses online, the students will upload programs to a Harvard web server that will be compiled and tested. And, to no one’s surprise, they were concerned about what the students “C” applications might attempt to do.

    • CME Group CIO – The challenges of upgrading an electronic trading platform to Linux

      Having now moved to Linux, CME is looking to refresh the order entry and market data parts, as well as upgrade the exchange’s network infrastructure.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • First release candidate of Linux kernel version 3.6

      Linus Torvalds has issued the first release candidate for Linux 3.6, closing the merge window for major changes. Among the new additions is a feature called “Suspend to Both” that offers hybrid standby functionality – when hibernating, the system will preserve its memory contents both in working memory and on a system storage device. Hybrid standby usually behaves like Suspend to RAM; however, if there is a power cut during hibernation, the system can restore the main memory contents from the storage device and resume as expected.

    • Find ‘Skater Tux’ and Win Cool Linux Skateboard
    • The 3.6 merge window is closed
    • Download Linux Kernel 3.6 Release Candidate 1
    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Hacks On Tablet Shell For Wayland’s Weston

        Aside from the normal desktop shell for Wayland’s Weston reference compositor, open-source Intel developers have resurrected work on a tablet-oriented shell for this fledging display server.

      • Intel X.Org Update Restores 830GM/845G Acceleration
      • X.Org Foundation Issues Hasty CFP For XDC2012

        The X.Org Developers’ Conference 2012 is happening next month. Unfortunately, continuing to reflect the hastily-managed organization, the board has now come up with a call for presentations.

        XDC2012 is happening from 19 to 21 of September in Nürnberg, Bavaria, Germany. This three-day event focused upon X.Org and FreeDesktop.org projects (including Mesa and Wayland) will take place from the Nürnberg SUSE office. It’s just another developer event following in their yearly tradition to get together to hash out plans for future X.Org Server releases, Wayland, open-source 3D drivers, etc.

      • Intel Sandy Bridge Is Performing Well On Mesa 8.1
      • Intel Updates VA-API Video Acceleration Code

        Intel’s Video Acceleration API (VA-API) has seen updates to its core library as well as to the Intel-specific VA-API Intel driver.

        The libva-1.0.16 that was announced by Haihao Xiang of Intel adds API support for handling data structures for JPEG baseline decoding, clearing up another bit of the API, and adding a test case for VA-API JPEG decoding. The announcement of this generic VA-API library update can be found on the libva mailing list.

      • AMD RadeonSI Gallium3D Driver Runs A Bit More

        Earlier this week the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver hit the glxgears milestone for handling AMD’s latest-generation Radeon HD 7000 series graphics cards on an open-source OpenGL driver. There’s still much work left, but it’s moving bit by bit.

        The pace of the open-source AMD HD 7000 series support has been disappointing, but with the very simple glxgears OpenGL test running, more milestones will hopefully be reached soon. Since the gears milestone on Monday, there’s been more RadeonSI commits to the mainline Mesa Git repository.

      • Intel Lands Some Haswell Commits For X.Org Driver

        For the past several months there’s been open-source driver development activities within the Linux kernel and Mesa library as it pertains to Haswell, the 2013 Intel micro-architecture to succeed this year’s successful Ivy Bridge platform. There’s xf86-video-intel DDX driver commits landing today pertaining to Haswell.

        Haswell commits to the xf86-video-intel X.Org driver aren’t as exciting as the Intel DRM driver commits within the Linux kernel or the user-space 3D work for Haswell, but is important nevertheless since there’s still more than a half-year until the 2013 Intel processors ship. Aside from work on the Intel SNA architecture, not many interesting things happen these days within the Intel DDX driver since all the important bits are now handled in kernel-space by the Direct Rendering Manager and the DDX drivers are on the way out with Wayland.

      • Intel Sandy Bridge Is Performing Well On Mesa 8.1

        A few days back I published benchmarks showing Intel’s Ivy Bridge hardware regressing with Mesa 8.1. While those problems are still outstanding, the good news is that Intel’s previous-generation Sandy Bridge hardware appears unaffected. Overall, Sandy Bridge is performing well with the soon-to-be-released Mesa 8.1 library for open-source Linux graphics drivers.

      • AHCI vs. IDE Modes With A SATA 3.0 SSD On Linux
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Gnome Disks Gets A Major Overhaul

      Gnome 3.6 is going to be released soon and the developers are working hard to make this the best Gnome release ever. One of the apps that desperately needed and upgrade was Gnome Disk Utility. Luckily, one may find some great changes of Gnome Disk Utility in Gnome 3.6.

    • CDE released as open source

      IconWe have some very good news for those of us with a love for the Common Desktop Environment. I’m a huge fan of CDE – I’ve even dedicated an article to it – so I’m excited about this. CDE has been released as open source under the LGPL, and can be downloaded as of today for Debian and Ubuntu. Motif will follow later.

    • MATE vs Unity, GNOME 3: Open Source Desktop’s Future?

      MATE, the open-source desktop environment whose name no one is sure how to pronounce, is now nearly a year old. Many of us never thought it would make it this far, but the interface has held own against competitors like Unity and GNOME Shell. But does MATE have a long-term future in the fast-evolving world of desktop Linux? Here are some thoughts.

      When MATE debuted last August, it was a one-man effort by a developer who called himself Perberos to keep alive the GNOME 2 desktop environment, which the GNOME project had deprecated in favor of GNOME 3.

    • Three LXDE-based distributions: race them face-to-face

      I am in a very interesting situation. Some time ago, I promised myself to stay away from LXDE-based distributions. At the same time, I wrote about three of them in the last 6 weeks.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Disk Improvements Within GNOME 3.6

        While disk management improvements might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to a desktop environment update, the disk utility (Disks) and udev within GNOME 3.6 will offer some new features.

      • GNOME needs to go to the Moon

        Even as the prospect of a another new Windows blunder and some new OEM deals have some wondering if this might be the time people start paying attention to the Linux desktop, disruptions within Linux desktop development communities may be threatening the future of the Linux desktop.

      • GNOME’s Future: Open Source Desktop Interface In Doubt?

        GNOME, the project responsible for what has been one of the open-source world’s most popular desktop interfaces for well over a decade, is teetering on the edge of crisis mode. At least, that’s what one developer suggests in a recent personal blog post ominously titled “starting into the abyss.” Does GNOME, despite its rich and influential past, really face such a dismal future? Here are some thoughts.

        Personally, I’d be pretty sad to see the GNOME project die. I haven’t used the desktop environment on a daily basis since development on GNOME 2.x ended in favor of GNOME Shell, but I grew up as a Linux user with GNOME. The open-source ecosystem just wouldn’t feel the same if I knew I no longer had the option of running GNOME software.

      • Speed Up with Midori!

        Sometimes, human minds get stuck without a reason between two options, jumping from the one to the other, never finding exactly what they are looking for.

        This is what happens to most people with today’s browsers. Almost no one completely likes Firefox and Chrome for their own personal reasons, but everyone keeps trying both when a newer version becomes available. Time to make a step towards something “greener” and give Midori a try!

  • Distributions

    • Stresslinux Torture-Tests Your Hardware

      Stresslinux is a lean, mean torture machine with 750MB of hardware-pummeling goodness for probing and load-testing your computer’s hardware. Why, you ask, would anyone want to torture their nice hardware? Perhaps “torture” isn’t the best word; think load-testing to expose defects, “burning in” a new machine, or to figure out some limits for overclocking.

    • Stella 6.3 Screenshots (08/03/2012)
    • This Week in Linux: Debian, Fedora, & Slackware

      This week in Linux brought the last developmental release of openSUSE 12.2 and Fedora’s approval of the MATE desktop for version 18. But besides that Debian Wheezy progresses, Fedora is getting a new installer, and Slackware deploys new package browser online.

      Debian Wheezy, or what will be Debian 7.0, is progressing forward in development. Despite nearly 600 bugs remaining on the to-do list no talk of a delay has been overheard in the hallowed halls of Debian as of yet. Of course, Debian isn’t on any kind of schedule and all we really have are educated guesses of the release date. Debian Wheeze went into new version freeze nearly a month ago. Another bit of good news out of Debian team is that the next version, Debian 8.0, will be codenamed “Jessie” after the cowgirl in Disney’s Toy Story.

    • New Linux distribution aims to club most benefits of other distributions

      There is a wide variety of distributions for Linux, with the differences mainly depending on the users’ needs. This could cause indecisive developers and enthusiasts to have more than one distribution of Linux installed at any time. Now, there is a distribution of Linux in development that aims to have the best features of all the different popular distributions.

      According to Bedrock, the new Linux distribution, “If one would like a rock-solid stable base (for example, from Debian or a RHEL clone) yet still have easy access to cutting-edge packages (from, say, Arch Linux), automate compiling packages with Gentoo’s portage, and ensure that software aimed only for the ever popular Ubuntu will run smoothly – all at the same time, in the same distribution – Bedrock Linux will provide a means to achieve this.”

    • Bedrock Linux Makes Most Of The Available Linux Distributions

      Open source lovers would love to know that a new Linux Distribution is in town with the name ‘Bedrock Linux’. It aims to get the best of all the distros and be as transparent as ever. You get to have all the mutually exclusive benefits such as a stable base from Debian or a RHEL clone, while having a hand on the Arch Linux packages. Users don’t have to worry about running their favorite Ubuntu-only software simultaneously while automating compiling packages with Gentoo’s portage. Having something as minimal as Tinycore or SliTaz and as user-friendly as Mint, does have a mass appeal. Bedrock gets you exactly that.

    • Slackware Current Goes Beta – And I Upgrade Now

      Alright. Enough about that Arch Linux for a while. Let me return to my first love… Slackware, baby! :)

      A few days ago, Pat V. announced that the Current branch of Slackware has now gone beta. Well, let me tell you how I do things. Ever since I started running Slack as my primary OS back around 10.1 or so, I always upgrade to Current from stable once it goes beta. Up until this time around, I’ve always used the standard UPGRADE.TXT method found on the servers along with an in depth perusal of the CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT. I guess you could say that’s the “Slacker Way” of doing it.

      I have three production systems running Slackware as the main operating system; my main system, my home office laptop, and my workshop system out back. They were all running fully updated 13.37 at the time I started this project. Normally, I would have started with the system that was lowest priority and easiest to restore should I do something stupid… that would normally be the shop system. However, it was awfully hot out there this week. I decided to sit in the AC and upgrade the home office laptop first.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Investing In Clouds Means Seeking Applications

        echnology journalist Adrian Bridgwater says clouds are a social phenomenon. They’re not as important for what they do as for what they enable, namely closer connections among people.

        This is not the way most investors see the technology. Most investors see companies involved in building clouds, like Rackspace (RAX), or developing cloud software, like Red Hat (RHT), as having more value.

      • Red Hat: Open cloud requires open APIs and stacks
      • Fedora

        • Kororaa 17: What Fedora should be!

          Let’s be realistic for a moment here. I believe that there is not a single Fedora user who doesn’t use repositories that conflict with Fedora’s policy and default selection ideology. Not even the most hardcore Fedora developers can use the completely useless system that Fedora is out of the box, without adding third party sources and pieces of proprietary software.

        • Why Fedora?

          No, I don’t think Ubuntu is bad, or has Linux cooties or anything. It’s a good distro if it best meets your needs. There are some really awesome people in the Ubuntu community. A few that come time mind immediately are Jorge Castro, Alan Pope, Jonathan Riddell and of course Jono Bacon. So why did I switch? Well let me start with the Fedora Core Values:

          * Freedom
          * Friends
          * Features
          * First

          There is a really good write-up of the values and what makes Fedora Different on the Fedora website. If you aren’t familiar with Feodra, it’s values and what makes Fedora different, go read that…I’ll wait until you come back, and then give you my personal take on this.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu from Android demo video

            When someone talked about Ubuntu from Android, it was somewhat akin to something which is rather hush hush, as very little was spoken about this particular project in February. This particular project from Canonical intends to deliver the hugely popular Linux operating system to the Android smartphone platform. Well, someone decided to come up with a demo video of Ubuntu for Android, where it will highlight a fair share of the system’s capabilities. First filmed at the Fórum Internacional Software Livre in Brazil last week, this is as up-to-date as it gets.

          • Five Latest Unity Lenses For Ubuntu

            One of the most beautiful and powerful feature of Ubuntu Unity is the lenses. These lenses enable instant searches in the Unity dash itself. For e.g., you can search Youtube videos straight from the dash by just typing the title of video. The main idea behind separating these kind of small features in individual lenses instead of providing in a bundle is to let the users decide to install them based on their preference and need, thus keeping the Unity dash clean and uncluttered.

          • Ubuntu for Android Looks Awesome [VIDEO]
          • Ubuntu 13.04 Developer Summit Sponsorship Open

            Canonical announced a couple of days ago, August 1st, that the sponsorship for the upcoming Ubuntu Developer Summit 2012 event is now open for submissions.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Quelitu 12.04

              I’ve been meaning to test Quelitu for quite some time. This weekend I finally got around to it. And the bottom line is, this might be the lightweight Linux I’ve been seeking for computer refurbishing…if only it had its own ready-to-run install disk.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Adafruit Announces its Own Raspberry Pi Linux Distro Geared for Better Hackability

      The initial fervor over the Raspberry Pi Linux PC has perhaps faded a bit, but that’s fine because the thing has been available long enough for master tinkerers such as Adafruit Technologies to do terrific things with it.

      Adafruit has actually developed its own Linux distro for Raspberry Pi called “Occidentalis v0.1” (a play on “Rubus occidentalis”, the Latin term for “black raspberry”), which is geared for optimum hackability. The Adafruit gang loves the Raspberry Pi but felt that the latest distro from the latter (Raspian Wheezy) lacked enough features; instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, Adafruit took the good work done in Wheezy and built Occidentalis around it.

    • Empowering your hardware engineers

      Your new embedded design becomes a reality when the first prototype arrives. This is an exciting time in any design cycle, but it can also be the most stressful. Sleep may not come so easily for the hardware team. When you think about it, the prototype is the realization of a new schematic, a new PCB layout, and a board full of new components. The likelihood of all these new design elements coming together and working out of the box are pretty slim.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android 4.0 ported to Raspberry Pi’s $35 Linux computer

          The Raspberry Pi foundation announced today that its popular $35 Linux computer will soon be able to run Android 4.0. Google’s mobile operating system is being ported to the device by Broadcom developer Naren Sankar.

          The Raspberry Pi foundation was originally founded in 2009 with the aim of building a low-cost computer that can be used to teach computer programming to young students. The organization’s $35 computer—a bare board that is roughly the size of a deck of playing cards—has a 700MHz ARM11 CPU and 256MB of RAM. It sparked considerable demand when it launched earlier this year.

        • Samsung to unveil new Galaxy Note in late August

          Samsung Electronics is set to take the wraps off a sequel to its popular Galaxy Note smartphone at an event on August 29, about two weeks before the possible debut of Apple’s new iPhone.

        • Even Bigger Galaxy Note Set to Launch August 29th

          Even Bigger Galaxy Note Set to Launch August 29thSamsung’s updated Galaxy Note is on the way, with Samsung confirming that its Galaxy Note 2 is scheduled to be the star of its showing at this year’s IFA trade show.

        • DLNA certification pegs Sony Xperia LT30 as the Sony Xperia T

          A device that we know as the Sony Xperia LT30 may be coming to market with a different name if this DLNA certificate is to be believed. The certificate lists the device as having a product name of “Sony Xperia T.”

        • Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies arrives on Android
        • Desktop Android? Multi-user Android support is on its way

          Your smartphone is your smartphone, your tablet is usually your tablet, but your desktop, well you probably share it sometimes with friends, family, and co-workers. That’s one of the reasons why Android, the popular Linux-based device operating system has never been seriously considered for the desktop. Without multi-user support, it’s not great for a shared computer. That may be changing. We now know that Google has been slowly introducing multi-user support into Android.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • HP TouchPad gets Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

        Since day one, the HP TouchPad hasn’t been treated very well by its parent company, and as always, it’s been up to the hacker community to save the day. Last month, Google open-sourced Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) for third-party modification. As such, nobody should be surprised to learn TouchPad owners can now install Jelly Bean on their tablet (albeit it’s currently a CyanogenMod 10 build).

      • Samsung’s August 15 event looks awful Galaxy Note 10.1-ish

Free Software/Open Source

  • Netflix Unleashes Source for Chaos Monkey

    In other words, Chaos Monkey is a tool used to simulate failures in “cloud” services so that the operators can be better prepared for unexpected outages. By inducing failures in the system, developers are able to implement fixes and contingencies on their own terms, rather than waiting for a serious problem to develop before being able to deploy countermeasures.

    Netflix claims that Chaos Monkey has been used to cause over 65,000 failures in their system over the last year, and while most went by without issue, a few of them brought issues to light which Netflix engineers were able to repair so they won’t cause outages down the road.

  • Adobe releases Source Sans Pro, a new open source font

    Adobe has open sourced a new font family called Source Sans Pro. The font itself is now available in OTF and TTF formats. The company is also releasing the underlying source material so that the font can easily be modified and improved by third parties. Adobe is releasing the fonts under the terms of the SIL Open Font License, an OSI-approved license that broadly allows modification and redistribution.

  • Open source: The stealth stimulus package

    If I asked you to account for your energy consumption, you might list your laundry equipment on the spreadsheet. We’d see how much you spend using your dryer each month — quite a large amount. Worried by the cost, you might then opt for a clothesline in your yard. Naturally, your costs have gone down. But has your energy usage? You’re actually consuming as much energy as before, but you may decide to omit it from your spreadsheet because you’re no longer paying for it.

  • The Application Component Doctor Will See You Now

    Sonatype has launched Insight Application Health Check, an application component analysis designed to assess the integrity of open-source components at every phase of the software lifecycle. As a Component Lifecycle Management (CLM) player, the company says that this is a means of understanding the potential risks and opportunities associated with each component in use.

  • Wind River Becomes Key Sponsor for ISC Open Source Routing Initiative
  • Adobe debuts its first open source type family
  • Apache Deltacloud 1.0 Supports Open-Source Cloud Interoperability

    The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) announced Deltacloud 1.0, a new open-source cloud interoperability toolkit.

  • Open source: The stealth stimulus package

    If I asked you to account for your energy consumption, you might list your laundry equipment on the spreadsheet. We’d see how much you spend using your dryer each month — quite a large amount. Worried by the cost, you might then opt for a clothesline in your yard. Naturally, your costs have gone down. But has your energy usage? You’re actually consuming as much energy as before, but you may decide to omit it from your spreadsheet because you’re no longer paying for it.

    This tendency to account only for the resources we pay for and to ignore the value of the resources we don’t is called “the clothesline paradox” (first coined by Peter van Dressler). It was also the subject of O’Reilly Media CEO Tim O’Reilly’s well-received keynote at the recent Open Source Convention (OSCON) in Portland, Ore.

  • Adobe open sources its first font family
  • Mozilla

    • New Photos of Mozilla’s Mobile OS Have Arrived Online

      Back in February, we reported on how Mozilla is in an alliance with Telefonica and Qualcomm to become a serious player in the smartphone arena with its own open mobiile operating system. And, just recently, we reported that Techweek Europe had posted a series of screenshots, seen here, showing Mozilla’s mobile operating system with a look and feel that Mozilla claimed was non-representative of the final OS. Now, adding credibility to sightings of the new OS in the wild, Robert Nyman, a Technical Evangelist for Mozilla, has posted a Flickr gallery of screenshots of what some are calling “Firefox OS.”

    • Mozilla expands in Berlin and US

      Mozilla is expanding its San Francisco office and will open another one in Berlin’s new Factory tech campus, the company recently announced. The branch in San Francisco is supposed to add 125 new employees for a total staff of 275 by the beginning of next year. Mozilla has confirmed that it will be hiring in Berlin as well, but has not yet given concrete numbers for that office.

    • Why We Love Firefox. And Why We Hate It.

      Admit it. You are in a love-hate relationship with Firefox. Either Mozilla gets Firefox right and you are jumping up and down, or Mozilla screws up and you threaten to ditch the browser in favor of Chrome. Mozilla’s passionate user base keeps Firefox dangling between constant ups and downs, which is a good thing, as long as Mozilla is going up. Unfortunately, that is not the case right now. Mozilla’s market share has been slipping again at a significant pace. There has been some discussion and finger pointing and it seems that the rapid release process has to take the blame this time. Are we right to blame the rapid release process?

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle Releases VirtualBox 4.2 Beta 1

      Oracle has put out their first (beta) development release of Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.2. The 4.2 release series brings several new features to this easy-to-use virtualization platform.

      Key features of VirtualBox 4.2 Beta 1 include improved support for Microsoft Windows 8, the GUI has an expert mode for wizards, support for up to 36 network cards, support for limiting network I/O bandwidth to virtual machine guests, support for starting VMs during system boot, and experimental support for drag ‘n’ drop from the host to Linux guests. Additionally, more support for guest and guest-to-host drag ‘n’ drop is planned.

    • Oracle releases VirtualBox 4.2 Beta 1
    • Download VirtualBox 4.2 Beta 1
  • Business

    • Study: During Hard Times, FOSS Has Tremendously Helped Small Businesses

      At the recent OSCON conference, the folks at O’Reilly released the results of a study, done in conjunction with the ISP Bluehost, called “Economic Impact of Open Source on Small Business: A Case Study.” It includes an extraordinary amount of data based input from over two million Bluehost customers and 4,000 survey respondents. The study makes the case that open source has had a profound impact on small businesses during these tough economic times.

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Open Source ERP Buyer’s Guide

        Open source is still a small subset of the ERP market, yet its promise of low cost and added flexibility means it merits investigation, especially for entry-level ERP deployments.

  • Funding

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Harvard creates software for 3D printing articulated action figures

      Harvard’s plan is to commercialize the software. They feel it will be useful for animators who want to print out and experiment with a physical version of the characters they create. There’s also a market for allowing anyone to create their own characters and have action figures printed and sent to them.

      Clearly this software is a little ahead of its time in terms of home 3D printing. Right now you’d be able to create the models and basic joints to clip together yourself, but using metal joints and being able to apply a color coating to recreate the character perfectly are desirable. Maybe that will be possible a few 3D printer generations from now.

    • Open Data

  • Standards/Consortia

    • IETF, W3C and IEEE publish statement on modern standardisation

      The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) presented a joint statement on modern global standardsPDF in Vancouver. The paper calls for fair, consensus-based processes, transparency and access for all to the principles of modern standardisation. Standards, they say, should not be determined by a few large corporations.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Finance

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • “Anti-Occupy” law ends American’s right to protest

      I was stunned upon hearing a news report about a protest going on in China. Teachers, parents with their young, school-age children and pro-democracy activitists (one estimate was 90,000 people) marched in Hong Kong to government headquarters last Sunday to publicly protest a new required “Patriotism” class, to be taught in the school system starting in 2015. The protestors think that the effort of the Chinese government here is to brainwash their kids in favor of communism.

      What stunned me was that this protest, in China, against the government’s upcoming policy, at the government headquarters, would not now be tolerated here in the United States of America.

      Thanks to almost zero media coverage, few of us know about a law passed this past March, severely limiting our right to protest. The silence may have been due to the lack of controversy in bringing the bill to law: Only three of our federal elected officials voted against the bill’s passage. Yes, Republicans and Democrats agreed on something almost 100%.

    • America the Great … Police State

      For those of us who had hoped that the Obama administration would present us with a rebirth of the old republic that was so rudely erased a few years ago by that team of judicial wreckers, Bush and Gonzales, which led, in turn, to a recent incident in Cambridge, Mass. that inspired a degree of alarm in many Americans. But what was most alarming was the plain fact that neither the president nor a “stupid” local policeman seemed to understand the rules of behavior in a new America, where we find ourselves marooned as well as guarded (is that the verb?) by armed police who have been instructed that they are indeed, once armed, the law and may not be criticized verbally or in any other way and are certainly not subject to any restrictions as to whom they arrest or otherwise torment.

      This is rather worse than anyone might have predicted, even though the signs have been clear for some years that ours is now a proto-fascist nation and there appears to be no turning back; nor, indeed, much awareness on the part of our ever-alert media. Forgive me if you find my irony heavy, but I too get tired of carrying it about in “the greatest nation in the country,” as Spiro Agnew liked to say.

    • FBI Agents Raid Homes in Search of “Anarchist Literature”

      When FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force agents raided multiple activist homes in the Northwest last week, they were in search of “anti-government or anarchist literature.”

      The raids were part of a multi-state operation that targeted activists in Portland, Olympia, and Seattle. At least three people were served subpoenas to appear before a federal grand jury on August 2nd in Seattle.

      In addition to anarchist literature, the warrants also authorize agents to seize flags, flag-making material, cell phones, hard drives, address books, and black clothing.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • We need to go the extra mile with broadband

      Here in the rural areas of the United Kingdom we have waited patiently for broadband to reach us. We have made do with expensive satellites and community WiFi for a decade. Many homes are still on dial up, with no mobile coverage in many places.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Microsoft dumps Metro from Windows 8

        Microsoft has dropped “Metro”, the name given to the squaretastic user interface for Windows 8 and Windows Phone, claiming it was just a code name all along.

        Litigation, though, may be the real reason as it seems the word may be owned by a European company or individual that objected to its use.

    • Copyrights

08.03.12

Links 3/8/2012: Linux 3.6 RC1, KDE 4.9 in Chakra

Posted in News Roundup at 8:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Dreaming a Little Dream of the Ideal Linux Distro

      “It is hard to say what an ideal distro looks like because there are many important niches,” noted Slashdot blogger Chris Travers. “What I need as a software developer for my laptop is very different than what I’d want to deploy my software to.” For his development laptop, he prefers Fedora. “On the server, though, I would prefer to deploy to a more conservative distro, like Debian Stable or Scientific Linux.”

    • Commodore 64 at 30: the specs compared

      The Commodore 64 turns 30 this month. How does it compare to modern computers?

  • Kernel Space

    • Another round of Leapocalypse

      Some Linux sever administrators found out that time was not on their side yesterday, when an errant signal from some Network Time Protocol (NTP) servers broadcast a new leap second that adversely affected many servers unprepared for the change.

    • Bogus leap second disrupts Linux systems

      During the night of 31 July to 1 August, various servers that provide time information via NTP (Network Time Protocol) incorrectly announced that clients should apply a leap second. On Tuesday evening, Marco Marongiu pointed to this issue on one of the NTP project’s mailing lists. Now, reports from users whose systems applied a leap second at 00:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) – 2am CET – can be found in places such as a Mythtv forum, on Twitter, on Google+ and on the NTP project’s mailing lists.

    • Kernel Log: Development of Linux 3.6 under way

      The kernel developers have added the VFIO userspace driver framework and a hybrid standby option to Linux 3.6. The 64-bit ARM code will be called “arm64″ after all. The widely used software collection util-linux has been extended to include a range of new tools.

    • New Linux kernels bring performance improvements

      Kernel 3.0.39, recently released, and kernel 3.2.25, coming soon, include not only smaller changes and enhancements but also a long list of performance optimisations. This marks a change in the strategy for maintaining older kernel versions; previously, these kinds of adjustments generally weren’t made to stable and long-term kernels to avoid introducing bugs.

    • Linux 3.6-rc1
    • Graphics Stack

      • Xi Graphics’ Proprietary X Server, Drivers Have Faded Away

        Xi Graphics, the company that once developed proprietary X Servers and graphics drivers for Linux and UNIX platforms, has faded away.

        Going back to the early 90′s there was Xi Graphics Inc that specialized in creating high-performance X Servers and graphics drivers for Linux/UNIX. Their proprietary Accelerated-X product was compliant against X11R6.4 and was licensed to a range of major companies, universities, and individuals for its features and performance. They also developed their own in-house graphics drivers for different hardware (namely early ATI hardware), which they claimed to be the fastest.

        Among the advertised features for their products was hardware-accelerated support for multiple displays / stretched displays, support for IBM AIX, SPARC support, and “Our ATI graphics support has been the fastest on UNIX/Linux for years. No kidding.”

      • Intel Continues Gaining Ground For Linux Graphics

        Following the success of Ivy Bridge and their continued open-source contributions, Intel graphics continue to gain market-share on the Linux desktop.

        Last month I mentioned Intel Winning Over NVIDIA For Linux Enthusiasts. The trends cite the publicly-available OpenBenchmarking.org data, which largely reflects the latest happenings of Linux enthusiasts.

        The auto-generated statistics for the month of July are now available and they continue to reflect Intel’s growing market-share when it comes to Linux graphics use.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • WattOS R5: Not Ideal, But Still Nice

      I heard about this OS from couple of my readers, who left the comment on the blog posts. They mentioned this OS as the extreme light one.

    • Does Archlinux need a new slogan?

      Last week Archlinux released the install media 2012.07.15. In a post on the website they told us that the most noticeable change was the fact they no longer ship their installer, the Arch Installation Framework (AIF), with it. This means, that after downloading the ISO, you will have to perform all the installation steps manually. Or, to put it in their own words, “This means a menu driven installer is no longer available and we rely more on documentation to guide new users.”

    • Vine 6.1 Screenshots (07/31/2012)
    • I always come back to Zorin OS
    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 12.10 Continues Strong On The PandaBoard ES

            Back in June I showed how Ubuntu 12.10 was continuing to improve the ARM Linux performance and since then showed that on TI OMAP4 hardware Ubuntu is faster than Fedora, while today I have more benchmarks to share. Up now are the latest PandaBoard ES benchmarks from a more recent Ubuntu 12.10 development build for the ARMv7 Cortex-A9 dual-core development board.

          • Ubuntu Accomplishments: Building Maturity

            Progress on Ubuntu Accomplishments has been moving apace. For those of you who have not been keeping score, we released 0.1 earlier this year which provided a first cut of the core system working. We then followed up with our 0.2 release which brought many refinements to the system based upon user feedback and the increased level of testing by our 600+ users. In September 2012 we plan on shipping our 0.3 release, and our goals are very clear for this release: quality, visibility, and growth.

          • The Endeavour Desktop

            Space-based desktops have a special place in my heart, and this shot of space shuttle Endeavour shadowed by the Earth below it is a great one. Flickr user Michael Farquhar used this photo as the bedrock for his customized Ubuntu desktop. It’s gorgeous when you sit down, not at all distracting when it’s time to work, and well-placed widgets keep informative data around the sides of the screen.

          • New Ubuntu 12.10 Unity Concept Looks Amazing

            After introducing last week a very nice video that presented an amazing mockup of the Unity interface for Ubuntu OS, we’re now proud to announce today, August 2nd, another nice concept that looks simply marvelous.

            First of all, be aware that the above mockup of Ubuntu’s Unity interface is unofficial, created by an Ubuntu user, and it has nothing to do with Canonical.

          • Gumstix Waysmall Silverlode is a tiny PC with Ubuntu Linux

            *

            The Gumstix Waysmall Silverlode is a tiny, low power computer designed for commercial or industrial applications. But under the hood it’s running a version of Ubuntu Linux optimized by Linaro to run on ARM-based processors. So it could also theoretically find use as an inexpensive desktop computer or media center PC.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Bodhi Linux RaspBerry Pi Beta

      As for changes, this release is now utilizing Terminology as it’s default terminal emulator and PCManFM file browser has been replaced with the native EFM (Enlightenment File Manager). The issues our first image had with networking and flash drives should also be resolved with this release. Also worth noting is that the AppCenter is now configured to work by default in the Midori web browser – but the synaptic interface runs fairly slow on the Pi hardware.

    • Phones

      • Take That, Touchpad: No Open WebOS Support For You

        Open webOS is marching toward its first release, but it won’t have many products to run on, because previous webOS devices will not be supported. The reason for that circumstance is the fact that the new operating system is based on the Linux 3.3 kernel and requires SoC support. In HP’s words:

        “For Open webOS we are aiming for support on future hardware platforms where SoC’s support Linux 3.3+ kernel and where open source replacements for proprietary components are integrated. Existing devices cannot be supported because of those many proprietary components, including graphics, networking and lack of drivers for a modern kernel (but of course, there is the Community Edition for those interested in improving the TouchPad).”

      • Open WebOS: No (official) support for existing devices
      • Open WebOS Releases Core Apps; Reveals Touchpad Won’t Be Supported 44
      • Android

        • Google Cracks Down on Deceptive Android Apps

          Google sent out an email to its developer community with news that Google Play is undergoing policy changes to crack down on shady behavior in the Android market.

        • HTC Evo 3D, EVO Design 4G Gets Android 4.0

          Sprint has started pushing Android 4.0 OTA upgrade for HTC Evo 3D, EVO Design 4G. This upgrade brings Google Chrome browser, Face Unlock and other features synonym to Android 4.0. Some enhancements include:

        • DROID RAZR HD Appears in All Its Glory Thanks to Another Forum Leak

          One day after the international RAZR HD appeared over at XDA, the U.S. version, better known as the DROID RAZR HD, has appeared via Droid Forums. We now have a confirmation on the name, thanks to a picture of the phone’s About screen – not that we were questioning it to begin with, since Motorola employees gave that up long ago. We also get a look at the backside, which is full-on kevlar, and in my opinion, much more appealing than the backside that we saw on the international version.

          If you thought for a second that this wasn’t coming to Verizon, the 4G LTE logo on the backside along with “Verizon” being mentioned in the system version should help ease your mind there. On-screen navigation keys are present. The “HD” in the name clearly means the resolution of the device, so we will likely see a similar 720p Colorboost display to the one included in the Atrix HD.

        • Canalys Researchers Report Strong Android Smartphone Numbers

          Market researchers at Canalys have published their final Q2 2012 country-level shipment estimates for smartphones, and the news is all good for Android. The firm reported that 158 million smartphones were shipped globally in the second quarter, and 100 million of those were Android phones. Android has a whopping 68.1 percent of the global market–nothing to sneeze at. Meanwhile, smartphone shipments in China are on a tear.

        • Android 4.1 ‘Jelly Bean’ hits 0.8 percent market share
        • Ice Cream Sandwich now on 16 percent of Android phones
        • HP releases more Open webOS code, including System Manager and core apps

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source NAC system PacketFence 3.5 released

    PacketFence is an unobtrusive solution that works with equipment from many vendors (wired or wireless) such as Cisco, Aruba, ExtremeNetworks, Juniper Networks, Nortel/Avaya, Hewlett-Packard, Meru Networks, Foundry/Brocade, Enterasys, Accton/Edge-corE/SMC, 3Com, D-Link, Intel, Dell, Aerohive, Motorola and many more.

  • An “Open Source” Cargo Container Building – The Epic Creative Co-Op

    The Woodlands/Houston, TX (August 1, 2012) – Imagine applying the concept of Open Source Software – where the code is published and made available to other programmers free of charge – to architecture. That is just what one Houston based multimedia development company did with a new commercial structure using upcycled cargo containers and recycled building materials. Every step of their 18 month building process is chronicled online and available for others to learn from.

  • ViewCast Supports Linux Open Source Community

    ViewCast Corporation is supporting the open source community through its partnership with KernelLabs, a coalition of like-minded Linux software engineers whose primary goal is to improve the Linux platform for audio / video applications.

    ViewCast is working with KernelLabs in the development of Linux drivers for all of its latest Osprey video capture cards. Most recently, Linux drivers for the Osprey 260e, 460e and 820e capture cards were made available through the KernelLabs website. The drivers will be submitted to the next Linux kernel and then available directly in the Linux distribution thereafter.

  • Rent A Chaos Monkey From Netflix

    Video rental company Netflix has used its extensive consumption of the Amazon Web Services cloud to give something back to the open source community. The company’s Chaos Monkey system was developed to ensure that its operations were capable of self-healing (or at least continuing to run) should instances in the AWS cloud fail. This month sees the firm open source its code.

    The firm’s Cory Bennett and Ariel Tseitlin have written on the Netflix techblog explaining that over the last year, “Chaos Monkey has terminated over 65,000 instances running in our production and testing environments. Most of the time nobody notices, but we continue to find surprises caused by Chaos Monkey, which allows us to isolate and resolve them so they don’t happen again.”

  • Open Source Intelligence Presentation featured at Hacker Halted – Hacking Conference, Miami, Florida in October of 2012
  • Adobe releases open Source Sans Pro font

    Working every day in an open-source environment, there’s always one area where open-source aesthetics fall down compared to the Windows and Mac ecosystems: professionally produced fonts.

  • Keyhole Software Releases Open Source khsSherpa Framework for HTML5 Development

    Leawood, KS, August 03, 2012 –(PR.com)– Software Consulting Firm Keyhole Software has announced the release of version 1.1.4 of the khsSherpa framework. khsSherpa, an open source JSON endpoint framework for Mobile and HTML5 support, now boasts RESTful Service URL Mappings. Version 1.1.4 is publicly available in the Maven Public Central Repository and gitHub.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Latest Browser Share Data Shows Very Slight Decline for Google Chrome

        It’s no secret that Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox–both open source browsers–have been locked in a neck-and-neck market share battle for some time now. The two browsers are on rapid release cycles, and are now tending to leapfrog each other for market share in small increments each month. Now that August is here, NetApplications is out with its updated browser share data for July, which shows that Firefox maintains a tiny share lead over Chrome, and that Chrome actually declined slightly in share during the month. Meanwhile, Internet Explorer retains more than half of the browser market.

      • Google Wants Chrome 21 to See You

        When Marc Andreeson created the first web browser, it was all about users simply viewing static web pages. A lot has changed over the years in the web browser world, and now with the latest Google Chrome 21 browser there is a host of new two-way interactivity options. The new features in Chrome 21 change the way that users look at browsers and the way that browsers look at us.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Drupal 7.15 Released

      The Drupal team have announced a new release of Drupal, Drupal 7.15. This is a bug fix release only and no new features or security patches have been added in this release. Upgrading to this release is strongly recommended by the Drupal team. Upgrade instructions can be found on this page.

  • Healthcare

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open Forum Europe: ‘Widespread discrimination in IT procurement’

      ‘Use of discriminatory technical specifications is a widespread practice within the EU’, says Open Forum Europe (OFE), an organisation advocating the use of open standards and open source.

      The group examined 585 invitations to tender, published in March, April and May this year by public administrations looking for computer software products. OFE found that almost 1 in 5 of these, procurement rules are broken (17 per cent).

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Three California Democrats Team Up with Monsanto

      In California, the battle over Proposition 37, which would require the labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food products, is heating up. In late July, pro-labeling groups obtained a flier sent out by a group opposed to the proposition containing the endorsements of three Democratic California Assemblymembers, even though the Democratic Party of California (and over 90 percent of consumers) supports GMO labeling.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Super Rich Holding $21 Trillion Overseas To Avoid Taxation

      At a time when the gap between the ultra-rich and the rest of us is reaching historic heights across the globe, at least $21 trillion (with a “t”) in unreported private financial wealth was recently discovered sitting in secret tax havens.

      While it can be difficult to imagine sums so large, consider this: the $21 trillion alone is the amount of the U.S. and Japanese economies combined. That reflects only financial wealth, and not the holdings and investments of this monied elite in mansions, yachts, private jets, etc. According to a recent reports by the Tax Justice Network, “The Price of Offshore Revisited” and “Inequality: You Don’t Know The Half of It,” this staggering disparity is only growing worse.

  • Civil Rights

    • Media, ACLU to argue against censorship at Guantánamo

      The chief war court judge has agreed to let media and civil liberties lawyers argue for openness at the start of a pre-trial hearing at Guantánamo in the death-penalty case of five alleged conspirators in the Sept. 11 attacks.

      A consortium of 14 media groups, including The Miami Herald, and the American Civil Liberties Union separately filed motions protesting protective orders that shield the public from access to secret information in the case.

08.02.12

Links 2/8/2012: Raspberry Pi Has Android 4.0, Google Chrome 21

Posted in News Roundup at 2:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • MATE 1.4 Released, PPA Available
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop

      • ZaReason’s Valta X79

        I was recently contacted by Earl Malmrose of ZaReason, who wanted to know if I’d like to review ZaReason’s new Linux-based desktop computer, built around the new Intel 6-Core processor and quad channel memory. I told him I’d be thrilled to review it, and asked if he’d also include a snappy ATI video card so I really could push the system to the limit using one of my favorite side hobbies, namely cryptocurrencies.

        I start with a review of the system itself and finish with a bit of fun—I run the numbers and see what sort of CPU and GPU-hashing power I can get from it. Whether you think cryptocurrencies are a brilliant take on alternative economics or a dumb idea that wastes electricity, I can assure you no one knows how to overclock hardware quite like a Bitcoin miner. (I don’t actually overclock this system, since I’m sure ZaReason would like it back in full working order, but I push it to the max with stock settings.)

  • Distributions

    • Zorin OS 6 Core: fresh blood

      Changing the operating system on your computer is not like flipping a switch. It is a cultural change, too.

      Different operating systems give you different degrees of freedom, different degrees of access to knowledge of “what is inside”. And, what is more important for a non-technical user, they give you different user interfaces.

      Windows users are used to having a panel at the bottom of the screen, window control elements at the right side of the window, the Windows Start button and so on. If you see something like the modern design of the Unity interface, nothing is the same as Windows. It’s a steep learning curve, isn’t it?

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat CEO Likes CentOS Linux – Oracle Linux, Not So Much

        Red Hat makes its money from selling support subscriptions for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Mostly the same bits are available entirely for free by way of the community led CentOS project that clones RHEL.

        I recently chatted with Red Hat CEO about CentOS and the long story short is he’s good with CentOS.

        Having CentOS out there is a good thing. It broadens our community. There are people that don’t need the things that we have in subscription and it’s great that there is an offering build off the same code base.

      • Red Hat: Big Hires, Big Virtualized Storage Push Into Cloud

        Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) is making multiple strategic hires that will deepen the open source company’s work with channel partners across Linux, virtualization, storage, cloud platforms and JBoss Middleware. The evidence surfaced when The VAR Guy met Red Hat North America Channel Chief Roger Egan at CompTIA Breakaway this week. Here are the exclusive details.

        First up, Egan’s role is evolving. Going forward he’ll have more of a strategic role — focusing on how Red Hat’s partner program must serve a range of company types: Resellers, VARs, integrators, cloud and telecom service providers, OEMs (like Dell, HP and IBM) and ISVs (independent service providers). The VAR Guy believes Egan still reports into Red Hat Global Channel Chief Mark Enzweiler.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Install HandBrake 0.9.8 In Ubuntu

            HandBrake is an open-source, cross-platform multi-threaded video transcoder for Mac, Linux and Windows. You can use it to convert to and from different media formats. The availability of presets make the conversion easier even for novice users. Just select the media device to which you want the video to be transcode to and HandBrake will manage the rest.

          • Ubuntu Developer Summit Schedule Announced
          • Ubuntu Developer Summit Sponsorship Now Open

            The Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) is the most important event in the Ubuntu calendar. It is where we get together to discuss, design, and plan the next version of Ubuntu; in this case the Ubuntu 13.04 release.

            The next UDS takes place at Bella Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark from the 29th Oct – 1st Nov. You can find out more about why UDS is interesting from the perspective of a member of the community, an upstream contributor, and a vendor. We also welcome everyone to participate remotely if you can’t attend the event in person. More more details on how to get there, see this page.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint Discontinues Gnome 2 Repositories

              With the arrival of Gnome 3, Gnome 2 was discontinued in most major distros like Ubuntu, Fedora, openSuse, Arch Linux etc. However, a few distros like Debian, Gentoo are still using the old desktop while Linux Mint maintained a separate repository called gnome2-frozen for older gnome builds. However, soon they will discontinue that as well.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Amadeus Invites Third-Party Developers to Use Source Code
  • Internet NZ sponsoring Open Source awards

    Internet NZ
    The organisers of the New Zealand Open Source Awards are pleased to announce that Internet New Zealand has been confirmed as a Platinum sponsor of the event which will be held in Wellington in November.

    Internet New Zealand Chief Executive Vikram Kumar says the organisation is proud to be supporting the Open Source Awards, noting that the vision of a free and uncaptureable Internet depends in large measure on open source software.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

  • SaaS

  • Project Releases

    • Pygmyfoto 1.0 Released

      Version 1.0 of Pygmyfoto, a no-frills application for publishing a photo roll on the web, is now available on GitHub. The first stable release features a handful of new features and improvements added since the latest beta version of the application. The older 1.2.3 version of jQuery bundled with the beta release has been replaced with jQuery 1.7.2. The jQuery lightBox plugin has been replaced with the Lightbox2 plugin. The pygmyfoto.py script features improved handling of EXIF metadata. Pygmyfoto now integrates the +1 button which can be used to share the published photos on Google+.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Giant robots and open source

      I know why you’re excited this week … you’ve seen the “Kuratas”, a 13 foot tall, 9,900-pound robot you can ride in at speeds of up to 6 miles per hour and which is equipped with a water bottle cannon and Gatling guns that can fire 6,000 BBs per minute (the operator can fire the armaments just by smiling … no, really, watch the video).

      The Kuratas robot, built by Japanese artist Kogoro Kurata and marketed by Suidobashi Heavy Industry, can be controlled by the onboard operator, a remote control device, or a smartphone and runs V-Sido, a “next generation robot OS”.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • NVIDIA Linux Driver Hack Gives You Root Access

      NVIDIA’s had a past few weeks with Linus Torvalds having harsh words for NVIDIA, the downing of their forums, and now a NVIDIA driver exploit being revealed that gives normal users the rights to super-user privileges.

08.01.12

Links 1/8/2012: KDE Releases 4.9, Wine 1.5.10, MATE 1.4

Posted in News Roundup at 5:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Top Three: Peppermint, Mint and Arch Linux Get Updates
  • July 2012 Issue of Linux Journal: Linux Means Business
  • Linux is not a “second string” operating system
  • Bogus leap second disrupts Linux systems

    uring the night of 31 July to 1 August, various servers that provide time information via NTP (Network Time Protocol) incorrectly announced that clients should apply a leap second. On Tuesday evening, Marco Marongiu pointed to this issue on one of the NTP project’s mailing lists. Now, reports from users whose systems applied a leap second at 00:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) – 2am CET – can be found in places such as a Mythtv forum, on Twitter, on Google+ and on the NTP project’s mailing lists.

  • Desktop

    • Could this be the year of the Linux desktop?

      In the 21 years or so since its inception, Linux has gained some amazing enthusiast street cred, but failed time and again to enter the mainstream. This year, however, may afford it an opportunity it’s never had before: to gain the momentum necessary to join the big boys in the operating system world. If that happens, Linux devotees the world over — from users to developers to even Linus Torvalds himself — may have Microsoft and Windows 8 to thank.

    • Will Windows 8 really push more people towards Linux?

      So what does this all have to do with Linux you might ask? Well, Gabe Newell of Valve, has come out stating that his company is porting its Steam software for use on Linux and he is hoping that they will have over 2,500 games available to be playable on the Linux OS. Now while most of us are not able to play games at work, this type of exposure for Linux should do nothing but help the open source community. But again, even though his feelings are that Windows 8 will be a huge failure, we have to keep in mind that when Sony released the Playstation 3, he came out and spoke about the difficulties of working with Sony’s device, a stance that he seems to recently have gone back on.

    • Nigeria: The Linux-Based Dell Xps 13 Ultrabook Could Rival Macbook Air

      Linux-based operating system has proven to be more reliable and rugged for day-to-day activity especially security purposes, when placed at par with other operating system.

      The Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution with the defining component – Linux kernel is generally seen by hackers as tough to crack.

    • Apple’s Retina MacBook Pro Causes Linux Woes

      I had ordered the Apple MacBook Pro 2012 model with Retina Display after being tempted by its impressive 2880 x 1800 display and other attractive features. Unfortunately, when Linux is running bare metal on the hardware it’s not running too good at the moment. My full review of the Retina MacBook Pro with Linux will come in early August, but there’s a few tid-bits to share now for those tempted shoppers.

  • Server

    • System Administration of the IBM Watson Supercomputer

      System administrators at the USENIX LISA 2011 conference (LISA is a great system administration conference, by the way) in Boston in December got to hear Michael Perrone’s presentation “What Is Watson?”

      Michael Perrone is the Manager of Multicore Computing from the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. The entire presentation (slides, video and MP3) is available on the USENIX Web site, and if you really want to understand how Watson works under the hood, take an hour to listen to Michael’s talk (and the sysadmin Q&A at the end).

  • Kernel Space

    • VFIO Driver Merged Into Linux 3.6 Kernel
    • Linux Kernel 3.4.7 Is Available for Download

      Greg Kroah-Hartman announced a few hours ago, July 30th, the immediate availability for download of the seventh maintenance release for the stable Linux 3.4 kernel series.

    • 30 Linux Kernel Developers in 30 Weeks: Alan Cox

      In this week’s 30 Linux Kernel Developers in 30 Weeks profile, we talk to Alan Cox. We learn how he originally got involved in Linux and why it remains important to him. He also gives us a bit of music education.

    • KLANG: A New Linux Audio System For The Kernel

      A developer has begun working on a new audio sub-system for the Linux kernel, which he is referring to as KLANG, the Kernel Level Audio Next Generation. KLANG was conceived after the developer became frustrated by ALSA, OSS4, and PulseAudio.

    • Presented by Digi-Key’s Continuing Education Center: Linux Kernel Debugging
    • Linux Foundation Adds Antelink, Calxeda and Reaktor as New Members
    • Linux Foundation welcomes three new members
    • ViewCast Supports Linux Open Source Community through Partnership With KernelLabs
    • Massive power regression going 3.4 to 3.5
    • Linux 3.5 Kernel Power Regression Spotted

      Following yesterday’s news of a massive power regression within the Linux 3.5 kernel, James Bottomley has uncovered the kernel commit causing excessive power usage.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Linux Isn’t Alone With OpenGL Driver Issues

        While the open-source Linux graphics drivers may not be up to scratch with the proprietary Linux graphics drivers from NVIDIA and AMD in terms of features, power efficiency, and performance, Linux isn’t the only operating system with less than desirable OpenGL drivers. I’ve been surprised by the OpenGL issues under OS X 10.8 “Mountain Lion” with the Retina MacBook Pro.

      • AMD Open-Source S.I. Botched, Hope For The Future

        We’re now going into eight months since the AMD Radeon HD 7000 series “Southern Islands” graphics cards first launched. In that time the Catalyst Linux support has been stable and fine, but the open-source driver support is still unusable.

        There has been the DRM/KMS support already for the Southern Island GPUs within the mainline kernel, so there is kernel mode-setting support, but not much more. There is the new RadeonSI Gallium3D driver to provide the user-space 3D/OpenGL driver support, but that isn’t yet in a working state. Getting RadeonSI up and running is the main blocker right now for usable Radeon HD 7000 series open-source support. There isn’t even 2D acceleration support yet since its using GLAMOR and so first the 3D code-paths must actually work.

      • Intel Driver Integrates BRW Assembler

        The xf86-video-intel driver has picked up thousands of lines of new code today with the integration of a BRW assembler in order to compile shader programs on the fly and to remove inefficiencies and mistakes from current Intel shaders.

      • Intel Ivy Bridge Is Okay On Linux Power Usage

        With talk of a massive power regression in the recently released Linux 3.5 kernel, yesterday I began benchmarking some different systems with varying versions of the Linux kernel looking for any new kernel power regressions on different hardware.

      • RadeonSI Gallium3D Driver Can Now Handle Gears

        It turns out that minutes after writing AMD Open-Source S.I. Botched, Hope For The Future, a number of “RadeonSI” Gallium3D driver commits landed in mainline Mesa.

      • NVIDIA 304.30 Supports FXAA, X Server 1.13, K10

        The NVIDIA 304.30 Linux graphics driver is available this Monday afternoon. There’s several exciting changes to this latest NVIDIA Linux driver for the 304 series that’s still in beta.

        The 304.30 beta comes less than a month after the first hefty NVIDIA 304 Linux driver beta that brought DKMS installer support, RandR improvements, and much more. However, due to the hacking of NvNews, the NvNews Linux forums being eliminated, and NVIDIA not yet putting up their own Linux forums (their developers are certainly welcome here too), this is a rather quiet release. The NVIDIA 304.30 Linux driver isn’t also yet mentioned on NVIDIA.com until later in the week, but Hardy Doelfel of the NVIDIA Linux team was kind enough to write in about today’s driver release.

      • Wayland’s Weston Gets Output Configuration File
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • MATE 1.4 desktop improves Caja file manager

      The MATE development team has released version 1.4 of its desktop environment, adding support for sharing files via Bluetooth and further improving the Caja file manager. This update to the fork of the older 2.x branch of GNOME now allows users to open bookmarks in the Caja side pane using the enter and space keys, and, in the file conflict dialogue, a button to show the differences between files has been added; the toggle button for the text-based location bar has been restored.

    • MATE 1.4: The GNOME 2 Desktop Clone Gets a Key Update

      Fans of Linux in general and Linux Mint in particular are no doubt already familiar with MATE, the GNOME 2-like desktop that was first included in Linux Mint 12 as an alternative for users wary of GNOME 3.

    • LMDE’s “gnome2-frozen” repository discontinued

      In the latest Update Pack to Linux Mint Debian (UP4) released in March, MATE 1.2 and Cinnamon 1.4 were made available as well as an option called “gnome2-frozen” which allowed users to stick to Gnome 2 and skip the Update Pack altogether.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Back to … KDE‽

        Now this is one of the things that you wouldn’t expect — Years after I left KDE behind me, today I’m back using it.. and honestly I feel again at home. I guess the whole backend changes that got through KDE4 were a bit too harsh for me at the time, and I could feel the rough edges. But after staying with GNOME2, XFCE, then Cinnamon.. this seems to be the best fit for me at this point.

        Why did I decide to try this again? Well, even if it doesn’t happen that often, Cinnamon tends to crash from time to time, and that’s obnoxious when you’re working on something. Then there is another matter, which is that I’m using a second external monitor together with my laptop, as I’m doing network diagrams and other things on my dayjob, and for whatever reason the lockscreen provided by gnome-screensaver no longer works reliably: sometimes the second display is kept running, other times it doesn’t resume at all and I have to type blindly (with the risk that I’m actually typing my password on a different application), and so on so forth.

      • KDE Release 4.9 – in memory of Claire Lotion
    • GNOME Desktop

      • The Future Of GNOME: Very Optimistic?

        Following the controversial information this weekend about some viewing GNOME as fading into abyss and losing relevance on the desktop, Christian Schaller has shared his views on the future of GNOME. In general he is very optimistic about the future of GNOME.

      • GNOME developers set ambitious goals at GUADEC

        In a talk given at the annual GUADEC developer conference, GNOME developers Xan López and Juan José Sánchez have set ambitious goals for the open source desktop project proposing the release of GNOME 3.12 as GNOME 4.0 in March 2014 and the creation touch enabled versions of GNOME for mobile devices.

      • An Awesome GUADEC and a Bright Future

        This year’s GUADEC was one of the best that I have ever attended. I have never seen the GNOME community so energised. New contributors were more visible than ever before, and all of them were fantastically enthusiastic and motivated. It is always a wonderful experience to see newcomers be inspired by our community. Our outreach efforts are more successful than ever.

  • Distributions

    • ProxLinux 2.2 Screenshots (07/30/2012)
    • 5 Linux Distros focused on computer security

      Today I’ll present you 5 Linux distribution focused on computer security, in this list I’ve not put 2 distro I’ve already talked about: Backtrack and Damn Vulnerable Linux.

      The 5 Linux distribution are: DEFT (Digital Evidence & Forensic Toolkit), QubesOs, Pentoo, Lightweight Portable Security and CAINE.

    • Ubuntu, RHEL, SUSE, Amazon Linux On The Amazon EC2 Cloud

      After providing benchmarks last week of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on different Amazon EC2 instance types, up today are more benchmarks from the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. Rather than just tossing out a lot of Amazon EC2 numbers of the different instance types to judge their performance, this article offers benchmarks of different Linux distributions on the same cloud. Tested here are Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, Amazon Linux AMI 2012.03, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11.

    • SolusOS: A New Linux Distro with a Focus on the Familiar

      There’s been no end in sight to the controversy over Linux desktop environments, and with new contenders including Unity, GNOME 3, and Cinnamon–to name just a few–users now face more choices than ever before.

    • Look what Stella brought to CentOS 6.3

      There is a new Linux distribution released almost every week, sometimes, even every day. The latest is one called Stella, and the first version is Stella 6.3. Stella is a desktop-focused remix of CentOS, and Stella 6.3 is based on CentOS 6.3.

      If you are familiar with CentOS, you know that out of the box, it is not really designed as a desktop distribution. Stella changes all that, as it is primarily aimed at desktop users, while retaining the core enterprise features and capabilities of CentOS.

    • CentOS gets a desktop remix with Stella 6.3

      Programs bundled with Stella include Firefox and Thunderbird ESR 10.0.6, the Pidgin IM client, version 2.6.9 of the GIMP image editor, LibreOffice 3.4.5 and the Transmission BitTorrent client. Stella includes additional third-party repositories such as Fedora’s Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) and the ELRepo RPM repository for Enterprise Linux packages. Two repositories – nux-dextop and nux-libreoffice – contain the additional desktop components, applications and the LibreOffice productivity suite that have been added to Stella.

    • New Releases

      • Pentoo 2012.0 Defcon Release
      • Pentoo 2012 Beta Has Been Released

        The Pentoo Team has announced last evening, July 30th, the public Beta release of the Pentoo 2012 operating system based on Gentoo Linux.

        Pentoo 2012 Beta comes after three years of hard work to bring you all the latest and greatest tools for your daily penetration testing tasks.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS: A surprise addition to our family computers

        We have 5 computers in our household. My dad, my wife, and I have a laptop each, and my mom uses a desktop that sits in my parents’ bedroom. There is also a laptop that sits connected to our living room television. With the exception of this computer, we run Linux on all our computers. My mom and my wife use Kubuntu on their computers, while my dad and I have ArchLinux/KDE. The day before yesterday I realized that I hadn’t run updates on my dad’s laptop in a while so in haste, I issue the following at the terminal:

    • Red Hat Family

      • Stella GNU/Linux 6.3 Is Based on CentOS 6.3

        The developers behind the Stella Linux operating system have announced last evening, July 30th, that version 6.3 of the Stella distribution is now available for download.

        Stella 6.3 follows the release of CentOS 6.3, an open source clone of Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux operating system, and includes all the cool new stuff found in RHEL 6.3.

      • Leeyo Software’s RevPro Revenue Management and Automation Software Achieves Oracle Database Ready, Oracle WebLogic Ready and Oracle Linux Ready Status
      • Scientific Linux 6.3 RC1 Comes With LibreOffice

        Pat Riehecky announced last evening, July 30th, that the first Release Candidate version of the upcoming Scientific Linux 6.3 operating system is now available for download and testing.

        Scientific Linux 6.3 RC1 comes with the LibreOffice office suite, which replaced the depricated OpenOffice.org application. Moreover, various packages were updated in this release, including yum-conf, OpenAFS 1.6.1, rpmfusion-free-release 6.1, yum-conf-rpmfusion 0.1, gtk2-immodules 2.18.9, gtk2-immodule-xim 2.18.9, ibus-gtk 1.3.4, procps 3.2.8 , and pacemaker 1.1.7.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 18 to get MATE desktop, Samba 4 and ownCloud

          A Fedora developer has proposed adding the packages for the MATE Desktop Environment – a fork of the older 2.x branch of GNOME – into the repositories for Fedora 18, which is due for release in early November. The proposal was approved at yesterday’s meeting of Fedora’s Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo). This is, however, conditional on the developers involved merging the desktop components into Fedora’s package repositories on time, otherwise the MATE desktop will have to wait for a future Fedora version. Since Fedora’s rules allow new packages to be added to the update repositories, MATE – which has come to the fore primarily through Linux Mint – could find its way into all currently maintained Fedora versions.

        • Fedora 18 To Get MATE Desktop, Samba 4, Etc
        • Fedora Gets MATE and New Server
    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – July 30th, 2012
      • Debian 8.0 Will Be Known as Jessie

        The Debian Release Team, through Adam D. Barratt, announced a few days ago on their mailing list that the next major release of the Debian operating system will be named Jessie.

      • Debian’s new draft trademark policy

        If you’ve ever stumbled upon http://www.debian.org/trademark , you might be aware that, as a project, we’ve been working on a proper trademark policy since quite a while.

        I’m happy to attach a first complete draft of such a policy, and I’m looking for comment on it.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Mid-2012: Arch Linux vs. Slackware vs. Ubuntu vs. Fedora

            At the request of many Phoronix readers following the release of updated Arch Linux media, here are some new Arch Linux benchmarks. However, this is not just Arch vs. Ubuntu, but rather a larger Linux distribution performance comparison. In this article are benchmark results from Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, CentOS 6.2, Fedora 17, Slackware 14.0 Beta, and Arch Linux.

          • What Is Ubuntu’s Target Audience?

            We started an Open Discussion section on Muktware, where readers can suggest topics for discussion (the idea is to use these discussions as base to create stories ). The second topic was about the target audience of Ubuntu. The OP (original poster) wrote about his own dilemma to pin-point the core market of Ubuntu, which generated some heat. I think that’s an important topic for various reasons. I, being a FOSS/Ubuntu advocate, often come across the same question as the OP was asking. What is the target audience of Ubuntu?

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Planning To Happen In Copenhagen
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Long-Term Review: Linux Mint 13 LTS “Maya” Xfce

              If you’ve read my very recent review of Linux Mint 13 LTS “Maya” Xfce, you’ll know how pleased I was with it. Given that my latest long-term review of Kubuntu 12.04 LTS “Precise Pangolin” just ended, I needed something new, so this was going to be it. Follow the jump to see what this is like over the course of 7-10 days.

            • Video Review: Linux Mint 13 Xfce
  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Netflix Releases Chaos Monkey Into the Wild

    Netflix has released its Chaos Monkey tool to open source. Chaos Monkey is a testing utility that randomly shuts down virtual machine instances across large systems, ensuring that system is built with a great degree of resilience. Chaos Monkey’s is built in Amazon Web Service’s system, but its design is flexible enough for it to be used with cloud providers other than Amazon and with other instance groupings, Netflix said.

  • Netflix Does Its Tech Homework
  • Open source Chaos Monkey brings order to cloud
  • Netflix uncages Chaos Monkey disaster testing system

    Netflix has released Chaos Monkey, which it uses internally to test the resiliency of its Amazon Web Services cloud computing architecture, making available for free one of the tools the video streaming company uses to keep its massive cloud computing architecture running.

  • Open Source Asterisk Leader Kevin Fleming Leaving Project

    The first time I spoke with Kevin Fleming, was back in 2006 about a new collaboration that Asterisk built at the time with Zimbra. I had spoke with Mark Spencer, the founder of Asterisk many times before, but Fleming was the ‘new’ guy, taking on a leadership role in the open source Asterisk VoIP project.

  • Inktank’s Ceph: An Open Source Storage Solution for the Enterprise

    Launched in May, Inktank is one of the newest companies to enter the still very new open source cloud computing industry. But it’s got a great head start as the enterprise support arm of the Ceph storage system. The one-time doctoral thesis of founder Sage Weil, Ceph has been incubating as an open source project with L.A.-based web hosting company DreamHost over the last eight years.

    “The founders and the community realized that in order for companies to adopt Ceph and use it, it needed to have commercial support available,” said Ross Turk, VP of community at Inktank. “The technology created a necessity for the company, instead of a company creating technology to make money.”

  • Open source gift from Netflix rains chaos in your cloud
  • Defcon: Will Open Source Divashark Unseat Wireshark for CTP?

    We all love open source Wireshark for packet capture right?

    Apparently, that isn’t always the case. Researcher Robert Deaton took the stage at Defcon to announce a new open source effort that could one day possibly unseat Wireshark.

    Deaton said that every team at the Defcon CTP (Capture the Packet) contest uses Wireshark. That said he argued that in his view it’s the wrong tool for the job.

  • Azavea and Temple University’s Center for Security and Crime Science Announce the Release of ACS Alchemist, an Open Source Software Tool to Access Census Data

    Azavea, an award winning geospatial analysis (GIS) software development company and the Center for Security and Crime Science at Temple University announce the release of ACS Alchemist, an open source tool that enables the extraction of up to 100 variables of the American Community Survey (ACS). The data is extracted directly into a format convenient for display on maps or for use in advanced spatial analysis and modeling. The source code for ACS Alchemist is being released under the GNU General Public License and is available for download at: https://github.com/azavea/acs-alchemist.

  • Azul’s Zing JVM free for open source developer testing

    Azul Systems has announced a new programme for open source developers that will allow them to use its Zing JVM for development, qualification and testing of their open source applications. Zing JVM, which runs on commodity x86 servers, is a heavily optimised Java virtual machine with a high performance, pauseless garbage collection system.

  • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache Deltacloud(tm) v1.0
  • Web Browsers

    • 12 ways web browsers differentiate themselves

      So it’s simply a matter of choosing your preferred application for this task… and this is a decision often influenced by pre-installed options on a user’s preferred choice of hardware and therefore platform.

      If you don’t get on with Internet Explorer, then there’s always Chrome, Safari, Opera, Firefox — and even Flock, Maxthon, Deepnet Explorer and Phaseout 5.

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • An Easy Guide to Getting Going with the Thunderbird Email Client

        As we reported in early July, Mozilla has pulled back on further development of its long-standing Thunderbird email platform, despite the fact that it has more than 20 million users. Mitchell Baker, Chair of the Mozilla Foundation, has a blog post up about the topic.

  • SaaS

    • Linux lessons for Hadoop doubters

      While Hadoop is all the rage in the technology media today, it has barely scratched the surface of enterprise adoption. In fact, if anything, we are still only on the first few steps of the Big Data marathon, a race that Hadoop seems set to win despite its many shortcomings.

    • OpenStack lands on Rackspace’s cloud as the open-source fightback begins

      Rackspace switched on its OpenStack-powered cloud on Tuesday, making the end of a two-year journey and the beginning of the long struggle for relevance to the cloud-enabled enterprise.

      The availability of OpenStack-backed Cloud Databases, Cloud Servers and a Control Panel for US customers (a UK launch is slated for the 15 August), gives developers access to a range of rentable infrastructure based on the open-source OpenStack system.

    • Rackspace launches OpenStack portfolio

      The company’s OpenStack era launches with a portfolio of cloud services. Current customers can migrate over time.

    • ownCloud Releases Mobile Apps for Andoid, iOS

      If one of the major selling points of the cloud is that it makes data available from anywhere at anytime, it’s only natural for users to expect to be able to access it from mobile devices as well as traditional PCs. For users of ownCloud, the open source data-sharing platform, that’s now easier than ever thanks to the release of ownCloud apps for Android and iOS. Here’s the scoop and what it means for the open source channel.

      The apps, which run on Android devices, iPhones and iPads, allow users to interact fully with data stored in an ownCloud-based infrastructure. Besides browsing and downloading files, they can also upload, delete and modify data. Here’s a look at the software in action:

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice skips to 3.6.0 release candidate 4

      The LibreOffice developers have made LibreOffice 3.6.0 RC4, the latest pre-release version of the office suite, available, after having to skip a release candidate. The last release candidate was RC2, and examining the release notes shows that RC3 wasn’t published. This was because the LibreOffice Windows build system failed and broke a number of Windows builds, making them unrunnable; a problem which was picked up by the LibreOffice Q&A teams before publication.

    • Interview With InstallFree Nexus With LibreOffice Team
  • CMS

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Berlin in August: Free Software at Campus Party

      From August 21. to 26. there is Campus Party in Berlin. I was asked beforeif I can make suggestions for good speakers from the Free Software community.That is what I did. So beside the already announced keynote speakers like Jon “maddog” Hall, MarkSurman (Mozilla Foundation), and Rainey Reitman (EFF) to following talks will take place in the Free Software track…N

  • Public Services/Government

    • CONNECT posts open source HIE software patch

      The folks behind CONNECT, based on feedback from community members going through ONC onboarding, have made version 3.3.1 available.

      CONNECT essentially uses National Health Information Exchange (NwHIN) standards and protocols for secure health information exchange. ONC issued the latest full release, that being 3.3, on March 16 of this year, with improved performance, usability, and higher exchange volume features.

      Describing this week’s 3.3.1 release as a patch, the group explained that it carries two main features. The first, which was a request from the Social Security Administration, enables users to tap both PurposeOfUse and PurposeForUse, dependent on the end-point, whereas CONNECT 3.3 supported one or the other.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Forget empowerment—aim for exhilaration

      There is no doubt that there is tremendous goodwill, not to mention countless exciting experiments, when it comes to making the world of work more deeply human—designed to promote more freedom, equity, and engagement, and passion. Why, then, can those words sound so cheap and drained of their juice when we hear them repeated over and over by leaders of all stripes? Probably because they’re spoken so much more often than they’re ever enacted.

      That’s why it’s so very refreshing to spend time with a leader who is relentlessly inventive and impressively effective as a champion of the fullest expression of humanity at work. We aim too low, says Ricardo Semler, the irrepressible force behind Brazil’s Semco Group. “We constantly talk about passion—serving customers passionately, filling in forms passionately—but what if we created the conditions for people to feel exhilaration, to get involved to the point they shout ‘yes!’ and give each other high fives because they did if their way and it worked?” What if, instead of assuming passion will just show up when we invoke it, we focused on designing organizations to unleash human flourishing?

    • PhantomLink Provides Open-Source Alarm Monitoring Solution
    • Movim: The New Open-Source Social Network

      Movim is the latest in decentralised social networks to hit the scene, the most well-known being Diaspora. It’s entirely open-source code, built using PHP, SQL, HTML5 and CSS. The main sentiment behind the project is that you should be the one who has control over your data.

    • Open Data

      • OpenStreetMap study shows around 192,000 active users

        Fewer than half of all registered OpenStreetMap (OSM) users have contributed to the open source project’s mapping data according to a new study by researchers at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. Of the mapping platform’s 500,000 registered members, approximately 38% had contributed data at least once. The study, which examined activity of registered OSM users up to December 2011, found that more than 24,000 users (about 5% of the total) had contributed at least 1,000 edited nodes.

      • Codebender – coding for Arduino in the cloud

        The Arduino has come to define the hands-on microcontroller, for education and for practical applications. But the associated software tools are very much tied to the traditional desktop. Codebender is hoping to change that by taking Arduino development into the cloud while keeping it open source.

  • Programming

    • PathScale Working On DogFood, A New Dev IDE

      PathScale is working on a new project that is internally dubbed “DogFood”, it’s a new integrated development environment (IDE) based upon Qt Creator but with a greater focus on C++ and other new development concepts.

      In response to Nokia shutting down their Brisbane office and getting rid of those developers where several key Qt components are developed, C. Bergström shared that PathScale is hiring.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • How HTML5 Video Works

      It doesn’t have to be that way. Scott Davis, founder of ThirstyHead, a training and consulting company, argued at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) that HTML5 Video is ready to go today.

      Davis opened by saying that, unlike closed video standards, HTML5 video can play on a wide variety of devices – everything from smartphones to HDTVs. It achieves this by not supporting any single video format or container. With this multiple-choice approach, HTML5 makes a “standard” by defining a standard way to embed video in webpages using the video element.

Leftovers

  • SAP works with Sencha on HTML5 apps

    IT WORLD CANADA CURATED Developers can use Sencha’s Touch 2 framework to build applications that can be deployed on the Web or offered through an app store

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Days Supply of Global Grains Stocks 1960-2012
    • Monsanto’s Quiet Coup: Will Congress Limit Scope and Time for GMO Reviews?

      After a series of court defeats over the past few years, Monsanto and friends are trying to use Congress to make an end-run around the courts and current law. Lawsuits brought by opponents of genetically engineered (GE) crops resulted in the temporary removal of two products — Roundup Ready Alfalfa and Roundup Ready Sugarbeets — from the market. If the biotechnology industry and the legislators they support have their way, future GE crops will not suffer the same fate.

      Genetically engineered crops are plants that have had genes from other species inserted into their DNA. “Roundup Ready”crops like alfalfa and sugarbeets fall in a class of GE crops called “herbicide tolerant” crops, which are engineered to survive exposure to Monsanto’s bestselling herbicide Roundup. Farmers spray their entire fields with Roundup, killing only the weeds. Monsanto profits by selling both the seeds and increased quantities of Roundup herbicide.

    • Fighting GMO Labeling in California is Food Lobby’s “Highest Priority”

      n case you had any doubt that California’s Prop 37 — which would require labeling of food containing genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) — is a significant threat to industry, a top food lobby has now made it perfectly clear.

      In a recent speech to the American Soybean Association (most soy grown in the U.S. is genetically modified), Grocery Manufacturers Association President Pamela Bailey said that defeating the initiative “is the single-highest priority for GMA this year.”

  • Security

  • Finance

    • The War against the Regulatory Cops on the Bank Beat

      The Wall Street Journal has long led the struggle against freer more efficient markets. Whatever its rhetoric, its policies favor crony capitalism. The latest example is the July 23, 2012 article: by Francesco Guerrera entitled “Too Many Cops on the Bank Beat.”

      He begins the article with this question, which foreshadows the alternate reality the article inhabits. Bank examiners are not nannies and bankers are not children. The metaphor demonstrates the author’s lack of seriousness.

    • Mirabile Dictu! ECB Chief Draghi Being Investigated for Membership in the Group of Thirty

      It’s easy for Americans to labor under the delusion that other parts of the the world have less obvious forms of corruption or its milder form, conflict of interest, than our revolving door system (one of my favorites was when the NY Fed staffer tasked to overseeing AIG left….to AIG).

      And ex banking, that actually is true in most advanced economies. But as a reminder of how backs get scratched in Europe, we have Mario Draghi. The former head of the Bank of Italy, now ECB chairman, was responsible for European operations for Goldman from 2002 to 2005, and predictably has no memory of the currency swaps deal that enabled Greece to camouflage the size of its budget deficit. The new contretemps involves his membership in the Group of Thirty (aka G30), which despite its grand claims, is a bank lobbying group, even as he is serving as the head of the ECB. An alert reader pointed me to the story in Der Spiegel (German version only) and Google translate does a serviceable job.

  • Civil Rights

    • Extremism normalized

      Isn’t it amazing that the first sentence there (“I respect the vice president”) can precede the next one (“He and I had strong disagreements as to whether we should torture people or not”) without any notice or controversy? I realize insincere expressions of respect are rote ritualism among American political elites, but still, McCain’s statement amounts to this pronouncement: Dick Cheney authorized torture — he is a torturer — and I respect him. How can that be an acceptable sentiment to express? Of course, it’s even more notable that political officials whom everyone knows authorized torture are walking around free, respected and prosperous, completely shielded from all criminal accountability. “Torture” has been permanently transformed from an unspeakable taboo into a garden-variety political controversy, where it shall long remain.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

07.31.12

Links 31/7/2012: Richard Stallman Remarks on Valve for GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 8:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Black Hat Defcon: Can you hack a Linux Powered SOHO Router with DLNA?

    Security researcher Zachary Cutlip (my pic left) took the stage at both Black Hat and Defcon conferences this weekend.

    His talk was about doing SQL Injection on MIPS Powered SOHO routers – and in particular he aimed at the Linux powered Netgear WNDR3700.

    After sitting through an hour of this guy’s presentation at Black Hat (I didn’t bother to see it a second time at Defcon) the answer is:

  • Linux Desktops Dominate at Black Hat

    There are some people that don’t believe the Linux Desktop is relevant.

    I’m not one of them, and apparently neither are hordes of security professionals that were at the recent Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas (including me).

    The show itself doesn’t calculate who uses what..but Aruba Networks (they have a Linux powered set of wireless routers) does measure.

    For desktop OS users of the Wi-Fi network, the top desktop OS was…

  • Kernel Space

    • Ext4 vs. Btrfs: Why We’re Making The Switch [Linux]

      Quite honestly, one of the last things people look at is which file system is being used. Windows and Mac OS X users have even less reason to look, because they really have only one choice for their system – NTFS and HFS+, respectively. Linux, on the other hand, has plenty of different file system options, with the current default being ext4.

      However, there’s been another push to change the file system to something called btrfs. But what makes btrfs better, and when will we see distributions making the change?

    • Linux Foundation Adds Antelink, Calxeda and Reaktor as New Members

      The Linux Foundation announced that Antelink, Calxeda and Reaktor have joined the organization supporting the growth and adoption of Linux.

      The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on promoting Linux, has announced that three new companies are joining the organization: Antelink, Calxeda and Reaktor.

    • Talk Of A “Massive Power Regression” In Linux 3.5

      For at least some hardware, it looks like the Linux 3.5 kernel has regressed and is burning through noticeably more power than its predecessor.

      Over the weekend a new mailing list thread began that was entitled “Massive power regression going 3.4->3.5″ pertaining to a power problem in this most recent Linux kernel release. This just wasn’t a random user complaining of a “massive power regression” but James Bottomley, a Linux kernel developer veteran.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Ivy Bridge Performance Drops In Mesa 8.1

        In recent days there have been updated Mesa 8.1 development benchmarks put out looking at the R600 Gallium3D, R300 Gallium3D, and Nouveau Gallium3D open-source drivers. Those results for the different drivers show that Mesa 8.1 is generally faster than the current Mesa 8.0 stable series, but that does not appear to be the case for Intel at the moment. It looks like there are some active regressions that are lowering the Intel Ivy Bridge graphics performance with their Mesa 8.1-devel driver.

      • Freedreno Driver Gets Working Shader Assembler
  • Applications

    • TorqueBox 2.10 comes with new leadership and JDK workarounds

      The TorqueBox project’s leader, Bob McWhirter, has stepped down from leading the development of the platform designed to run Ruby on Rails applications on JBoss’s Application Server. McWhirter has led the project for the past four years, but has now become “Director of Polyglot for JBoss”, a role that gives him more responsibilities within Red Hat. His place will be taken by Ben Browning, an existing core contributor to the project; Browning is said to have been unofficially driving the project for the last few months and “now – it’s just official”.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Richard M Stallman: Steam Is Good For GNU/Linux
      • Valve, Linux and the Windows 8 ‘Catastrophe’
      • Microsoft Windows 8 Games: Software Developer War or Empty Words?
      • Richard Stallman pours cold water on Steam

        While many open sourcers have welcomed the news that the games company Steam might be making thousands of games available for Linux, Free Software Guru Richard Stallman is not impressed.

        Writing from his bog, Stallman said that while the availability of popular nonfree programs on GNU/Linux can boost adoption of the system, it may not bring enough freedom.

        He said that nonfree games were unethical because they deny freedom to their users. So if users want freedom the only way they can do that is to only have free software on their computer.

      • GNU founder Stallman calls DRM’d Steam for Linux games “unethical”

        Valve recently announced plans to bring its Steam game distribution service to the Linux platform. The company has also ported its Source game engine and the popular title Left 4 Dead 2. In a recent interview, Valve’s Gabe Newell said that the move was partly influenced by concerns about the increasingly closed nature of the Windows platform.

        The Linux desktop has historically been ignored by major commercial software developers due to the relatively small audience and technical issues like fragmentation. Steam’s arrival on Linux has largely been welcomed by Linux enthusiasts who recognize it as a big step towards legitimizing the Linux desktop as a consumer platform.

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME’s Future: Open Source Desktop Interface In Doubt?

        GNOME, the project responsible for what has been one of the open-source world’s most popular desktop interfaces for well over a decade, is teetering on the edge of crisis mode. At least, that’s what one developer suggests in a recent personal blog post ominously titled “starting into the abyss.” Does GNOME, despite its rich and influential past, really face such a dismal future? Here are some thoughts.

        Personally, I’d be pretty sad to see the GNOME project die. I haven’t used the desktop environment on a daily basis since development on GNOME 2.x ended in favor of GNOME Shell, but I grew up as a Linux user with GNOME. The open-source ecosystem just wouldn’t feel the same if I knew I no longer had the option of running GNOME software.

      • Gnome-Schedule – GNOME scheduler for automatic tasks

        Gnome-schedule is a graphical user interface that leverages the power of vixie-cron, dcron and at to manage your crontab file and provide an easy way to schedule tasks on your computer. It supports recurrent (periodical) tasks and tasks that happen only once in the future. It is written in Python using pygtk, and has been developed, tested and packaged for various Linux distributions.

      • Is GNOME “Staring into the abyss?”

        A leading GNOME developer thinks the once popular Linux/Unix desktop interface has lost its way.

      • GNOME in Trouble Again (or Still)?

        We knew that a certain segment of the Linux population was still unhappy with GNOME, but I thought most of issues were behind us; that most have adapted or moved on. But apparently, a wave of articles today suggests otherwise. Of course, an insider’s blog post set off this campfire.

      • Staring Into The Abyss: Some Thoughts

        Last week Benjamin Otte shared some thoughts about GNOME that were pretty stark. It gathered some steam and hit Slashdot and this all happened the week GUADEC was taking place in A Coruña. I wasn’t at GUADEC :-( but I can imagine there was some fervent discussion about the blog entry.

        The gist of Benjamin’s blog was that people are leaving GNOME, that the project is understaffed, and arguably the reason for this is that GNOME has lost its direction and Red Hat have overtaken the project as the primary contributor-base. Of course I am summarizing, but check out the original post if you feel I am not representing Benjamin’s views fairly.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • HTC bites the bullet, closes South Korean office

          Fighting sluggish sales numbers and competing in a locally-dominated smartphone market, HTC has closed its South Korean office doors.

        • ZTE Flash headed to Sprint with 4.5-inch IPS 720p display and 12.6MP camera

          ZTE recently announced the Grand X for Europe and the Asia Pacific in the third quarter, but it looks like they have something else up their sleeve for the U.S. in the 4th quarter. The ZTE Flash will debut on Sprint this October and it sports some pretty decent specs such as a 4.5-inch IPS 720p (1280 x 720) display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 12.6MP rear camera, 1MP front facing camera, 8GB of internal storage, microSDXC slot, 1780mAh battery, Bluetooth 4.0, LTE, Gorilla Glass, and Android 4.0.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Do I Still Like My Nexus 7 After A Week? Nexus 7 Review

        Google’s Nexus 7 is all the rage. The tablet is so popular that Google ran out of stock and the orders are on halt for a while. The tablet is getting praise even from staunch Apple fans like MG Seigler. The most notable praise came from none other than the creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds, who is a great critic and seems to have a hold of what a user wants.

      • Nexus 7 (16GB) Now Available At Google Play
      • Samsung Working On Bigger Tablet With Retina Display

        Many Samsung fans always wondered that despite being the world’s #1 display manufacturer and lead supplier of Apple’s retina display why is Samsung now offering the same high resolution display for its phones or tablets. Well, Samsung Galaxy Nexus and S3 do have an extremely high resolution display but tablets are still a different animal. It seems Samsung is working on a high resolution tablet with a bit bigger screen size.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Six misconceptions about open source software

    In information technology (IT) and software development fields, there are a few fairly common misconceptions about the use of open source software. These misconceptions were debunked in a discussion at POSSE RIT 2012, and we’d like to share (and spread) that conversation.

  • Open source won

    I heard the comments a few times at the 14th OSCON: The conference has lost its edge. The comments resonated with my own experience — a shift in demeanor, a more purposeful, optimistic attitude, less itching for a fight. Yes, the conference has lost its edge, it doesn’t need one anymore.

    Open source won. It’s not that an enemy has been vanquished or that proprietary software is dead, there’s not much regarding adopting open source to argue about anymore. After more than a decade of the low-cost, lean startup culture successfully developing on open source tools, it’s clearly a legitimate, mainstream option for technology tools and innovation.

  • Free open-source software: My take on its inexorable rise

    As we all know, Android has Linux at the heart of it, with a litigious Java platform, which means that it is the powerhouse driving the adoption of free software — although many would argue that it’s not really free.

    From my own very small web design corner of the universe I can see the inexorable rise of free software. Of my last eight contract roles, four of them were working on either the WordPress or Drupal content management systems.

  • ZoneAlarm: Defining the Difference Between Freeware and Free Software

    The other day, when my friend’s laptop spit-up a warning from ZoneAlarm that she was no longer protected, I stood over her shoulder and instructed her to update the firewall. The warning was basically a scare tactic, of course. Without the update she would still be protected, just as protected as she had been the day before. She just wouldn’t have any new whiz-bang features included in the update, nor would she be able to take advantage of any new security enhancements.

    We ran the default install. This was Windows, so there had to be a reboot. After that, we opened the browser to find that the homepage had been reset to a ZoneAlarm themed Google search page. We had not opted-in to any such change; the ZoneAlarm folks had just taken it on themselves to hijack Firefox’s revenue, which I didn’t think cricket.

  • Events

    • Texas Linux Fest is This Week – Win a Free Pass

      Texas Linux Fest begins this Friday, August 3rd, and there’s still plenty of time to register. Or, you can enter to win one of five free passes. You have until 3pm tomorrow, July 31 to enter, so hurry! We’ll post the winners tomorrow afternoon, so you’ll still have time to register if you don’t win.

    • Google I/O Keynote and Session Videos Are Available Now

      Throughout its existence, Google has been very dedicated to enlisting developers all around the world to embrace its projects and become contributors. And, the company’s Google I/O conference remains its biggest annual event focused on outreach to developers. Google recently held the I/O 2012 conference, and ever since then has been steadily posting videos of keynote addresses and complete videos of the sessions. Some of these are very much worth watching–even if you’re not a developer.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • On Software obsolescence

        Recently the Mozilla Foundation announced a new orientation for their email client, Thunderbird. It caused quite a bit of discussion, and we, at the Document Foundation, received quite a lot of public and private feedback on this mostly in the form of: “Now that Mozilla is getting rid of Thunderbird, The Document Foundation should take on its maintenance and development”. Much of this crazy rumor has ended being disproved by Mozilla itself and what seems to be going on is that Mozilla will in fact enable a real community-led development style on Thunderbird (contrary to the development model of Firefox) but has to intention of dumping it anywhere. That didn’t stop the rumor to spread anyway and this article by Brian Profitt caught my eye: “Will Open Source Office Suites go the way of Thunderbird?”.

  • SaaS

    • OpenStack: Allegation of ‘abusive’ conversation under investigation

      Days after opening its nomination process for Individual Member elections, the OpenStack Foundation is investigating allegations that an executive within one of the Foundation’s corporate member companies may have pressured an Individual Member candidate to withdraw her nomination for a board position.

  • Databases

    • Oracle releases MySQL migration tools for SQL Server, Windows users

      As it prepares to release its Windows-enhanced MySQL 5.6 database, Oracle announced late last week a number of downloadable migration tools to ease the process of converting from Microsoft SQL Server to MySQL, including data conversion, Excel and Windows installer tools.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Business

    • Open source model disrupts the commercial drone business

      The do-it-yourself (DIY), open-source drone movement is turning into a real business that could disrupt the commercial and military drone industry. It’s another case of how exploiting the curiosity of hackers can turn into a commercial opportunity.

      That’s the view of Chris Anderson (pictured), editor of Wired magazine and a drone hobbyist and businessman on the side. He spoke about this DIY trend and his own efforts to lead it in a talk at the Defcon hacker conference in Las Vegas today.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSF Bulletins are on the way
    • FSFE working on better legal protection for free software

      The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) has voiced concerns about what could happen to source code distributed under free software licences if the company providing the software goes bankrupt and enters insolvency proceedings. Especially in Germany, the current rules in this area of law are not well explored. Speaking to The H’s associates at heise open, Matthias Kirschner, who coordinates German matters for the foundation, explained that a bankruptcy court in Germany could currently rescind the free software licence and all rights granted by it after the fact.

Leftovers

  • NBC: We Have No Clue Who Tim Berners-Lee Is, But Without Our Commentary, You Wouldn’t Understand The Olympics

    First of all, seriously? Tape delay to the West Coast? You lock down coverage in order to take advantage of prime time and try to pass it off as some sort of “value added” service. Pay no mind to all the twittering and live blogging willing to fill in the gaps, while you do some sort of production magic behind the scenes. Live events don’t need windows and real life shouldn’t need **spoiler** warnings.

    Even worse is the fact that the opening ceremonies weren’t even streamed live on the internet, where time and distance aren’t factors. And you know it, too, because your official Twitter accounts were posting updates live, giving Americans the dusty old feeling that they’re listening to a local broadcaster read off the ticker feed from a title match. So close, but so far.

  • Hardware

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs’s Devastating Interest Rate Swaps

      The banks brought us the financial crisis which resulted in zero interest rates. Now the banks are improperly benefiting from those rates through contracts they made with cities BEFORE they blew up the financial system.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Proposals for the reform of copyright and related culture and media policy

        Now that the ACTA treaty has been rejected by the European Parliament, a period opens during which it will be possible to push for a new regulatory and policy framework adapted to the digital era. Many citizens and MEPs support the idea of reforming copyright in order to make possible for all to draw the benefits of the digital environment, engage into creative and expressive activities and share in their results. In the coming months and years, the key questions will be: What are the real challenges that this reform should address? How can we address them?

      • Leaked RIAA Report: SOPA/PIPA “Ineffective Tool” Against Music Piracy

        Contrary to the endless lobbying and subsequent defending of the now-dead SOPA and PIPA frameworks, a leaked report shows that earlier this year the RIAA’s Deputy General Counsel admitted that the legislation was “not likely to have been effective tool” for dealing with music piracy. All efforts are now being put behind the “six strikes” plan – but could disconnections for repeat infringers still be on the agenda?

        “These illicit sites are among the culprits behind the music industry’s more than 50 percent decline in revenues during the last decade, resulting in 15,000 layoffs and fewer resources to invest in new bands,” wrote RIAA CEO Cary Sherman in a New York Times piece last year.

07.30.12

Links 30/7/2012: Wine 1.5.9, Warsow 1.0 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 10:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • This Week in Linux

    Another week has come and gone and much more has happened than what I can cover in my regularly scheduled slots. So, let’s have a look at some of the other developments this week in Linux. The Ubuntu family got a new developmental release, Zorin OS continues to get rave reviews, and Bodhi Linux 2.0 was released.

  • Chrome OS Linux 2.1.1145 Is Powered by Cinnamon 1.4

    The Chrome OS developers announced today, July 27th, the immediate availability for download of the Chrome OS 2.1.1145 Live CD Linux operating system, which brings a lot of fresh software.

  • Five ways to skip Windows 8

    I’ve been working with Windows 8 for months. Even after Microsoft dished out the release candidate to application developers, I’m still finding Windows 8 to be the worst Windows version to date.

    Yes, worse than Vista, worse than Windows Millennium Edition (Me), and the only reason I’m not saying its worse than Windows Bob, is that Bob was just a user interface for Windows 95 and NT and not an operating system in and of itself.

    Now, though even some of Microsoft strongest fans are beginning to back off from praising Windows 8.

    [...]

    2: Go with desktop Linux

    I’ve been telling you for ages that desktop Linux works great. It’s far more secure than Windows will ever be, and is more stable to boot. I’m not going to repeat myself here. I will say, though, that Mint 13 is a really great Linux desktop that any XP user will quickly feel at home using. I’ll also point out that anyone — and I mean anyone — can use Ubuntu Unity. I can also point out that Valve is bringing its Steam gaming platform to desktop Linux.

    Finally, I’ll add that you can buy PCs with pre-installed Linux from many smaller vendors and that Dell is recommitting to the Linux desktop. Dell has just released new high-end laptops with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and will soon be releasing a developer’s Ubuntu laptop.

  • Fresh eyes on Linux

    On July 16, game publisher Valve created Steam’d Penguins and formally announced their entry into development and promotion of the gaming scene for Linux.

    For years there have been feverish rumours of such a move based on job postings which explicitly asked for Linux experience in the job description.

    Without trying to play down the importance of the announcement and the excitement generated in the Linux community, there are still many unanswered questions about whether the games will be native ports or bundling of emulators, how open source friendly the underlying distribution platform Steam will be and which flagship titles will make the Linux leap.

    As a long-time Linux user but not really much of a gamer, I applauded Valve for looking at my operating system of choice more seriously and building a Linux capability even if I am not in their intended audience.
    Advertisement

    Linux has lately had a flurry of indie games released for it which has made the community richer and widened the audience which in turn helps break some of our more insular perceptions.

  • How to pick a new Linux distribution

    You might not have noticed, but there’s more than one Linux distribution out there. In fact, there are hundreds, and the list is growing weekly.

    Okay, you probably did notice, but the fact remains that the free software world is, primarily, one of choice, and that means developers can – and often do – scratch their own itches.

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 210
  • Desktop

    • Impending Windows 8 ‘catastrophe’ behind $3bn game maker’s shift to Linux

      Computer game platform maker Valve is to port its Steam gaming and distribution platform to Ubuntu Linux in a move intended to protect the company from the impending “catastrophe” of Windows 8.

    • From Windows to Linux In No Time

      There are countless users of Microsoft’s Windows operating system who become Linux users each year–an important part of the engine that drives the popularity of Linux. In some cases, these migrating users want to escape the malware storm that afflicts the Windows ecosystem; in some cases they want to run Linux alongside Windows (a dual-OS strategy that has its advantages); and in some cases they want to use specific applications that are available for Linux.

    • The Linux-based Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook Could Rival MacBook Air

      Linux-based operating system has proven to be more reliable and rugged for day-to-day activity especially security purposes, when placed at par with other operating system.

  • Kernel Space

    • Ask a Kernel Maintainer

      I’ve been writing an occasional “Ask a kernel maintainer” column on the lwn.net weekly kernel page. It’s been a while since I last wrote one, so I figured it’s time to start it up again.

    • VIA Releases ROM, Bootloader And Kernel For Android PC
    • Linux 3.6 Kernel Adds EFI Handover Protocol

      The in-development Linux 3.6 kernel introduces an EFI handover protocol, which will ultimately lead to faster boot-ups and simpler EFI boot-loaders.

      Right now EFI boot-loaders and the EFI boot stub in the Linux kernel carry the same initialization code to setup an EFI machine for booting the kernel. However, with this EFI handover protocol support, this redundant code could be eliminated. Intel and others want to have the initialization and booting of the kernel just within the kernel’s EFI boot stuff than also copied within the boot-loader.

    • VMware Has VMCI Ready For The Linux Kernel

      VMware is preparing to push VMCI support into the mainline Linux kernel.

      Back in May I mentioned VMware was working on the Virtual Machine Communication Interface for Linux and back then their kernel patches were in a “Request For Comments” state. The patches have been revised and now VMware is lining up the VMCI support to enter the mainline kernel, hopefully for the Linux 3.6 kernel.

    • Intel Rewrites TurboStat Plus IVB CPU Idle Support

      Another one of the pulls going into the Linux 3.6 kernel this week is the ACPI and power management updates courtesy of Intel. The two prominent changes for this next Linux kernel release is a rewrite of the “turbostat” tool and the “intel_idle” CPU idle driver now supports Ivy Bridge processors.

    • Testing Intel Sandy Bridge LLC Cache Controls
    • EXT4 Updates Go Into The Linux 3.6 Kernel
    • Oracle Rewrites Linux ZCache Compression Code

      Seth Jennings of IBM proposed that ZCache be moved out of the Linux kernel’s staging area and be accepted officially into the mainline tree. However, that proposal is being criticized by an Oracle engineers as they have evidently “completely rewritten zcache” and will share it soon but still doesn’t see a reason for the memory compression code to leave staging.

      On Friday was the kernel message by Jennings that proposes zcache to leave the kernel’s staging area, with the email being accompanied by four patches to make that happen. His justification for the code leaving staging is that “Based on the level of activity and contributions we’re seeing from a diverse set of people and interests, I think zcache has matured to the point where it makes sense to promote this out of staging.”

    • AHCI vs. IDE Linux Performance Benchmarks

      Hitting OpenBenchmarking.org this weekend are some interesting benchmarks comparing performance of AHCI vs. IDE modes under Linux from an AMD Fusion system.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa Support For OpenGL Core Contexts

        There was exciting OpenGL 3/4 news yesterday for Mesa when it came to early but yet-to-be-merged support for OpenGL geometry shaders, but that’s not all the new Mesa GL news this week. Patches were also published to provide support for OpenGL Core contexts for OpenGL 3.1 and newer.

      • Intel Mesa Driver Ups Counter-Strike Performance

        A patch to mainline Mesa yesterday from Intel has resulted in a ~7% performance boost for Sandy Bridge “GT2″ graphics when running the video stress test for Valve’s Counter-Strike: Source.

      • Another Intel Linux Graphics Driver Release

        Intel has released a new open-source X.Org driver for their Intel graphics since it was only just discovered that the Ivy Bridge GT1 “HD 2500″ graphics were busted.

        Just days after releasing xf86-video-intel 2.20.1, which came just a week after the big 2.20 release, Chris Wilson has released a third update. The xf86-video-intel 2.20.2 driver takes care of a critical Intel Ivy Bridge issue while also packing more SNA acceleration architecture improvements.

      • VMware Has VMCI Ready For The Linux Kernel
      • R300 Gallium3D Driver In Mixed State For Mesa 8.1
      • Mesa Support For OpenGL Geometry Shaders
      • Intel SNA Performance Continues To Be Compelling

        Due to the extreme pace at which Chris Wilson has been releasing SNA architecture updates for Intel’s open-source X.Org driver, here are another set of benchmarks of Intel Sandy Bridge HD 3000 graphics when comparing UXA and SNA using yesterday’s Git code following the xf86-video-intel 2.20.2 driver release.

      • AMD Releases ACPI Header For Open-Source GPU Driver

        For those that didn’t notice, this week AMD released a new header that defines the AMD ACPI interface used for laptops, PowerXpress, and chipset-specific functionality.

        This new header defines four ACPI control methods used by AMD graphics hardware and then related functionality to them. The four AMD ACPI methods are ATIF, ATPX, ATRM, and ATCS.

      • Haiku Looks To Leverage More Of Mesa

        Haiku OS, the open-source operating system that’s a re-implementation of BeOS, is continuing to look at leveraging more of Mesa for its 3D/OpenGL rendering.

      • One Week To SIGGRAPH OpenGL Announcements
      • GLAMOR 0.5 To Advance 2D Over OpenGL

        With the Radeon driver now supporting GLAMOR acceleration — it works for all hardware, but for Radeon HD 7000 series and newer its the only way of 2D HW acceleration — this 2D-over-OpenGL architecture became more interesting.

      • Freedreno Driver Gets Working Shader Assembler

        Freedreno, the reverse-engineered open-source Qualcomm Snapdragon graphics driver, continues to advance. The latest accomplishment of the Freedreno Linux driver is that it now has its own working shader assembler, which means Freedreno can now work without any binary blob dependence.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Chrome OS Linux 2.1.1145 Is Powered by Cinnamon 1.4

      The Chrome OS developers announced today, July 27th, the immediate availability for download of the Chrome OS 2.1.1145 Live CD Linux operating system, which brings a lot of fresh software.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Results from the Kolab Sprint in Berlin

        This week members of the Kolab Community met in Berlin for some very productive face to face work on the upcoming release of Kolab 3.0 alpha. Developers from ownCloud, Roundcube, KDE, Cyrus IMAP, Fedora, and of course Kolab sat together for one week, discussed, hacked and celebrated. Employees of Kolab Systems used the opportunity to meet with several business partners and a usability expert provided same valuable input that will be used to make Kolab clients more user friendly.

      • EPUB Support Coming Soon To Calligra Words

        Calligra Words, a KDE word-processing software, will soon support EPUB formats. This support will make it possible for the user to create high quality and portable ebooks compatible with PCs, netbooks, tablets and mobile devices.

      • QML Support for Window Decorations

        Implementing a new window decoration for KWin is not the easiest thing to do. While the API has hardly changed since early 3.x releases it is not very Qt like and requires a strong understanding of how the window decoration in KWin works. To design a window decoration you basically have three options which come with KWin…

      • Get Bleeding Edge KDE Software In Fedora

        If you use Fedora and are a great fan of KDE, you can enable the KDE unstable repository to have latest and bleeding edge KDE software.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • staring into the abyss

        I suppose I can’t just leave my last post standing there as-is. I’ll start by listing a bunch of things I consider facts about the GNOME project. I don’t want to talk about solutions here, I just want to list them, because I don’t think they are common knowledge. People certainly don’t seem to talk about them a lot.

      • GNOME 4.0, GNOME OS Coming In 2014 & Other Crazy Plans

        While some GNOME developers and users see the once fledging desktop environment fading into abyss, other GNOME developers see nothing but GNOME getting better with the best yet to come. It’s been called for this week from GUADEC that GNOME 4.0 to be released in March of 2014 along with GNOME OS. That’s not all of their ambitious plans but they think they can gain a 20% market-share by 2020 and they also have some other plans on their agenda.

      • GNOME implodes – again

        From time to time, the GNOME Desktop Project blows up, with one developer or another indulging in soul-searching and realising that the project lacks direction. Or people. Or something else.

      • An opinion on the future of GNOME

        According to some within the GNOME team, the team and the GNOME product are falling apart. By alienating the people that were loyal dedicated users they have begun a downward spiral into the abyss. What was once a respectable, reputable product now a garbage salad that no one wants and no-one uses.

        Many projects are reacting to GTK3 with proverbial “meh” including Inkscape, Mozilla, GIMP, and LibreOffice. GNOME is bleeding developers, and it is being dropped like an anchor from multiple distributions.

      • Marvel-ize your Gnome Shell Theme!

        This is a simple guide on how you can hack your Gnome Shell (just a bit!) and make one unique theme just for you.

        I used Adwaita as base because everyone has this (but you can do this in every theme), and I also used some Marvel images that you can replace with anything you like.

      • yorba, a modern Gnome company!

        Some days ago I had posted about the new upcoming Gnome mail application and a reader let a comment about Geary. What is Geary? A mail client app, written in Vala which seems to share many common design goals with Gnome Mail.

  • Distributions

    • AntiX 12: Most complete lightweight Linux distro I have seen!

      Linux never ceases to amaze me – particularly the light-weight distros aimed for low powered PCs! There are so many options and depending on your need and suitability you can pick and choose which one to use. Plus, it brings your old machine back to life without compromising on the security and with the state-of-the-art applications! You can’t ever think of that with any other operating system, for sure.

    • Puppy Arcade – Good idea but needs an update

      Before I start I’d like to say this is not supposed to be an in depth review of Puppy Arcade. It is a post which explains what Puppy Arcade is and how I think it can be improved.

    • A Full LuninuX Experience!

      Another Ubuntu-based distribution featuring a customised Gnome 3 desktop with Gnome Shell has been released today and it is time for another distro review here on worldofgnome.org.

    • LuninuX 12 Screenshots (07/27/2012)
    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Slideshow: Take a tour of new Red Hat office tower

        Our Red Hat tour guide turns on a light in a corner conference room – onto walls that are, not surprisingly, colored red.

        “You can’t appreciate it yet,” Craig Yost, senior director of global facilities and real estate says, “but when we’ve opened all the floors, you’ll see something.”

      • 3 Software Stocks To Buy, 1 To Ignore

        Within the software industry, Red Hat specializes in open source software solutions and applications. It is one of the less known mid-cap firms in the space, but has gained respect as a momentum play. As data demand takes off against rising consumer interest and emerging market growth, Red Hat will continue to be a prime beneficiary. Over the last 5 years going through the Great Recession, the stock more than doubled – appreciating by 133.7%. But, at this point, I don’t believe the fundamentals and earnings power is not enough to justify the valuation.

      • Red Hat’s Top 4 Priorities for 2013: Cloud, Virtualization, And…

        What are Red Hat‘s top four priorities for its fiscal year 2013? Sure, driving adoption of key technologies (virtualization, cloud and storage) is one top priority. But what are the other “big three” focus areas? And where do channel partners fit into the Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) conversation? Here are some clues, plus questions The VAR Guy will ask Channel Chief Roger Egan during CompTIA Breakaway (July 30-Aug. 2) in Las Vegas.

      • CowboyNeal Reviews Oracle Linux

        If you’re already perfectly happy with your RHEL or CentOS Linux install, Oracle Linux is a hard sell, even at the price of free. After toying about with the system, I’d say it’s at least worth a hard look. As it is, you get the benefits of CentOS or Scientific Linux, with Oracle’s own stuff bolted on, and their enhancements, even minus Ksplice, make a compelling argument to use Oracle Linux. If you are setting up a machine to use Oracle’s database software, Oracle Linux is the best choice, since it’s been designed to support Oracle DB, and is the same Linux that Oracle uses in-house. While Oracle’s premier support contract is cheaper than the RHEL alternative, the actual cost of switching from RHEL to Oracle in a given case may not be. While this release is a good first step for Oracle, more options, like free Ksplice Uptrack, or even a Ksplice Uptrack subscription, would make it an easier sell.

    • Debian Family

      • Bits from the nippy Release Team
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • What’s new with Ubuntu?

            One of Linux’s most popular distros, Ubuntu, will be getting some new UI and web integration with its latest LTS (Long Term Support) version, Ubuntu 12.20.

            In a recent presentation at Oscon 2012, founder Mark Shuttleworth said that Linux now comes pre-installed on five percent of PCs globally.

            With regards to the next version, 12.10, Shuttleworth mentioned that the next iteration would offer font, search and menu innovations.

          • A Game-Changing Proposal: Ubuntu for students.

            There’s this thing about students: they take technology for granted. It’s nothing too disheartening, except for the tech-savvy ones who seem that technology is more than a commodity. The 21st century endowed us a new way to access information, and to do so, it shouldn’t be just endlessly chatting with a friend through facebook or ceaselessly playing games on the iphone, hungry for more. Insatiable appetite is a byproduct of the consumer world. Why not change that?

            Today, during lunch, I had the honor of meeting David Montes, a senior and the school’s computer guru, to talk about something quite drastic. Two days ago, I had a facebook chat with him about the idea of Ubuntu running on all the systems within the school, from student cart laptops to the school administration servers. Although we saw some implications, we reached a stunning conclusion, that it actually should be done if we want to take learning about computers to a whole new and exciting level.

          • Ubuntu App Developer Showdown Likely To Be Repeated

            Ubuntu App Developer Showdown is an online event hosted by Canonical where new developers learn about creating apps with Ubuntu technologies and get a chance to host them in Ubuntu Software Center.

            This year, the event ran full three weeks, at the end of which developers submitted 140 applications. The event is accompanied by video tutorials and interactive Google+ hangouts where developers can ask and interact with lead Ubuntu devs and get their doubts cleared.

          • Ubuntu 12.10 Alpha 3 Has Firefox 15 and Unity 6

            Softpedia is the first to announce today, July 26th, that the third Alpha version of the upcoming Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) operating system is now available for download. As usual, we’ve grabbed a copy of it in order to keep you up-to-date with the latest changes in the Ubuntu 12.10 development.

          • Ubuntu 12.10 Alpha 3 Screenshots (07/26/2012)
          • Ubuntu 12.10 Unity Concept Mockup Video

            Britt Yazel posted a couple of days ago on the unity-design team mailing list an interesting link to a YouTube video showing a mockup of Unity in Ubuntu 12.10. The video was originally posted on February, but it is a very good example of how Unity should be.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Bodhi Linux 2.0.0 stable release arrives

              Alongside the launch of a new web site, the developers at the Bodhi Linux project have published the second major release of their minimal Linux distribution with an Enlightenment-based desktop. As previously described by lead developer Jeff Hoogland, the goal of version 2.0 of Bodhi Linux was not to “introduce ground breaking new features” to the distribution, but rather to smoothly transition to a new version of its underlying operating system.

            • Xubuntu 12.10 Alpha 3 Screenshot Tour
            • Lubuntu 12.10 Alpha 3 Screenshot Tour

              Canonical published yesterday, July 26th, the third and last Alpha release of the upcoming Lubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) operating system.

              Lubuntu 12.10 Alpha 3 comes with a new version of the session manager, a new version of PCManFM, xfce4-notifyd replaced notification-daemon for default notification system, added Catfish searching utility, and updated the artwork (including the wallpaper and GTK themes).

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Nexus 7? Wait: Google’s Motorola Xoom + Jelly Bean is coming soon

        Google launched Android 4.1 on the Asus-developed (but Google branded) Nexus 7 in part to reassure OEMs that they will be treated equally in the aftermath of its Motorola Mobility purchase. Maybe Google really did spend $12 plus billion for the Motorola patents, but users are still awaiting the more full featured iPad2 killer from Google. Will it be Jelly Bean on Motorola’s Xoom?.

      • Lenovo plans clip-on physical keyboard for tablets

        Tablet owners have so far had to opt for keyboard docks to take their typing physical. However, that may be about to change after recently published Lenovo patents revealed an interesting clip-on.

      • Casio announces V-T500-GE and V-T500E Tough Business Tablets

        Casio announced today the release of the V-T500-GE and V-T500E business tablets. Based on a product concept of Smart and Tough, these new tablets offer rugged, dependable performance and a full range of features to suit various work styles. The new Casio tablets run Android 4.0 and are equipped with an OMAP4460 1.5 GHz dual cores CPU. The V-T500-GE and V-T500-E are equipped with a large 10.1-inch screen with LED backlight for outstanding readability. The 10.1-inch screen offers excellent readability indoors and out, and offer multi-finger touch control as well as digitizer pen input (sold separately) for ease of use. The new tablets deliver tough, robust security, coming with an NFC Reader/Writer that can authenticate user login using a non-contact IC card, and they have a Secure Access Module (SAM) slot for applications where even higher security is required.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Can open source save HP?

    You seldom hear about it, but Hewlett-Packard has long been a supporter of open source. The company contributes to the Debian GNU/Linux distribution and has hired several people who were formerly leaders of the Debian Project, including the redoubtable Bdale Garbee. HP also participates in many smaller projects and invests plenty of effort in governance and community activities. Despite its work engaging the community and ensuring HP printers are usable from Linux, open source seems to have made little impact on HP’s software portfolio (alas, poor WebOS).

  • Google opens code for building interactive experiences in physical spaces

    Google has released a new software framework that aims to give programmers the ability to create interactive experiences in physical spaces. It could potentially be used to build interactive art installations or games that involve physical interaction.

  • Obsidian joins Open Virtualisation Alliance

    Obsidian Systems has further entrenched its position as a leading provider of enterprise open source in southern Africa by joining the Open Virtualisation Alliance (OVA), a global collection of platform and system providers dedicated to promoting open virtualisation as an alternative to proprietary solutions.

  • VMware buys Nicira: Open-source threat or cloudy opportunity?
  • Open source middleware and SOA help FAA distribute weather data

    Though its work is somewhat behind the scenes, most travelers know they depend on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure safe air travel. In the past, the organization has often scrabbled with technology and change. In fact, many of its systems have a lot of mileage on them and are difficult to modernize.

  • Call For Participation

    Do you contribute to open source? A great way to get started is to attend a conference, and there are four fine choices available to you this August-October.

  • Look Beyond Commercial Software, Asahi Technologies Provides Open Source Integration Services for Small and Medium Size Businesses
  • Open Source: Incredible Apps For Every OS

    As the resident open source zealot, I thought it might be nice to have a quick rundown of some of the best apps that are free, open source, and cross-platform available to our readers. Experienced users may find fault with me for leaving out their favorite app, but hopefully they will agree that the ones I’ve picked here are deserving of recognition. I especially hope this is useful to those that are unaware of the existence of these applications due to the long shadows cast by the proprietary icons of their respective categories. If you feel I did miss an important app, please let us know in the comments and share your favorites with everyone.

  • Exercising a Little Open Source Prudence

    IT organizations today are more dependent on open source code than ever; they’re just not always sure where it came from, whether they can legally use it or how secure it is.

  • Google hands developers keys to enliven interactive rooms

    Google this week announced it is opening code for building interactive experiences in physical spaces. The Monday posting on its open-source blog site, which carries news about its open source projects, announced the release of Interactive Spaces. As such, Google has a special invitation for developers: “Make a room come alive,” using this framework for creating interactive spaces. The release is described as a new API and runtime that allows developers to build interactive applications for physical spaces.

  • RIP Sparrow: Components of the beloved mail client are open sourced for personal use only
  • Events

    • My Top Five Sessions at the CloudOpen Conference
    • Mydala opts for open source

      When the deal aggregator Mydala was planning its portal, CTO Ashish Bhatnagar was convinced that the business was likely to take off in a big way and that they would be reaching a scale where, in a day, they would be catering to nearly 8 mn subscribers and running over 1.5 lakh deals across 93 cities.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Addons Cross 3 Billion Downloads

        Mozilla Firefox is everyone’s favorite browser because of its large collection of add-ons. These add-ons allow you to customize your browser the way you like. You can change personas, themes and more to make your browser stand out from others. And there are some tools like Adblock and NoScript that make your browsing safer and ad free.

      • Firefox Add-ons Cross More Than 3 Billion Downloads!

        We are excited to announce that we just crossed more than 3 billion downloads* of Firefox Add-ons! That’s almost half of the world’s population and more than the number of people on the Internet today.

  • SaaS

    • CIOs Increasingly Bullish on the Cloud, Survey Finds

      It’s easy enough to find rosy predictions for the cloud from the vendors of related products and services, but when CIOs speak out in favor of the technology, it’s hard not to sit up and take notice.

      Such, in fact, is just what came out of a recent survey of IT executives from Host Analytics and Dimensional Research.

      Whereas a few years ago we were still hearing considerable concern from CIOs on a number of fronts — security and control perhaps foremost among them — this new research suggests that these executives are increasingly optimistic about cloud computing’s many benefits.

    • Cisco Touts Its Cloudy Open Future – Will VMware Do The Same?
  • Education

    • AdaCamp DC: A learning environment for women in open source
    • Monoculture in Education

      I was browsing this morning and came upon an advertisement for system administrator for a small northern Canadian school division. I was surprised to see that there was not a single mention of a GNU/Linux product involved, not even on servers. They were locked in securely to the Wintel world, even in their virtual machines.

      I have worked in places like that a decade ago, but thought them totally obsolete by now. Even the most staid organizations see that GNU/Linux has its place, particularly in servers. I was working in one such place and was encouraged to give a presentation to all the IT people about rolling out a GNU/Linux server in each school. That was 2004. Eight years later, to still find M$-only shops still exist is surprising.

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Lunatics is now Crowd-Funding for a Pilot Episode

      If you’ve been following my column for the last year or two, you already know that “Lunatics” is the free-culture animated science-fiction series that we are creating with free-software applications like Blender, Synfig, Audacity, Inkscape, Gimp, and Krita. We are finally crowd-funding for our pilot episode “No Children in Space” on Kickstarter. If we get funded, this will be a major step forward for free-culture and free-software in the media industry. Come check it out, tell everybody you know, and/or get a copy on DVD or other cool stuff from the project!

    • Open-Source Startup Meteor Gets $11.2M from Andreessen Horowitz

      Meteor Development Group (MDG) raises $11.2 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz and others to fund development around the open-source Meteor Web app development platform.

      Meteor Development Group (MDG), the company behind the Meteor open-source project, which produces a platform for building software applications, has announced $11.2 million in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz.

    • Money can’t buy open-source love… only code can

      Money can’t buy you happiness, but Meteor, a web-apps startup focused on enterprise app development, seems to think it can buy it an open-source community.

      Instead of the standard startup funding announcement, proclaiming that the company will use its funding for product development, marketing and so on, Meteor says it “will use the money to build the open source community around its offerings.”

      Is that so? Who knew all you needed for an open-source community was $11.2m in venture funding?

    • Open-Source Startup Meteor Gets $11.2M from Andreessen Horowitz
  • Public Services/Government

    • Hungarian city of Miskolc: “Saving €3,000 per user per year on licenses”

      In 2009, under the leadership of the vice-mayor, the administration of the city of Miskolc in Hungary started a transition to open source software and open standards. The primary goals were to reduce costs and find alternative solutions for IT services.

      At the start, under the control of service provider Open SKM (in Hungarian), there were no project-like qualities attached to this transition: it had no roadmap, no stages and no milestones.

      According to Dr. János Kovács, head of the Miskolc IT department, the plan also included some bad ideas, like converting document formats from .doc and .xls to .odt and .ods, respectively, as part of the move from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice. The original plan was to process as many as 600,000 existing documents to free the city from its data lock-in. However, important questions concerning the rationale and cost of this conversion were not considered.

    • DISA must make forge.mil live up to its potential

      When the Defense Information Systems Agency made forge.mil operational in 2009, it appeared a revolutionary step forward in Defense Department adoption of open source software.

      The site would be a repository for code and an online gathering point for a collaborative community of defense open source coders, DISA officials said at the time.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OAuth 2.0 standard editor quits, takes name off spec

      The lead author and editor of the OAuth 2.0 network authorization standard has stepped down from his role, withdrawn his name from the specification, and quit the working group, describing the current version of the spec as “the biggest professional disappointment of my career.”

Leftovers

  • Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

    Facts from these data that please me are

    * that other OS has a proper share and no more,
    * FireFox, a FLOSS web-browser rules, even though I am partial to Chrome,
    * there are a lot of comments per post, thanks to readers, and
    * Internet Exploder has a tiny share, probably still more than a tool of anti-competition deserves.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Randy Wray: Why We’re Screwed

      As the Global Financial Crisis rumbles along in its fifth year, we read the latest revelations of bankster fraud, the LIBOR scandal. This follows the muni bond fixing scam detailed a couple of weeks ago, as well as the J.P. Morgan trading fiasco and the Corzine-MF Global collapse and any number of other scandals in recent months. In every case it was traders run amuck, fixing “markets” to make an easy buck at someone’s expense. In times like these, I always recall Robert Sherrill’s 1990 statement about the S&L crisis that “thievery is what unregulated capitalism is all about.”

      After 1990 we removed what was left of financial regulations following the flurry of deregulation of the early 1980s that had freed the thrifts so that they could self-destruct. And we are shocked, SHOCKED!, that thieves took over the financial system.

    • Fed Governor Speaks Out For Stronger Rules

      A powerful new voice for financial reform emerged this week – Sarah Bloom Raskin, a governor of the Federal Reserve System. In a speech on Tuesday, she laid out a clear and compelling vision for why the financial system should focus on providing old-fashioned but essential intermediation between savers and borrowers in the nonfinancial sector.

      Sadly, she also explained that she is a dissenting voice within the Board of Governors on an essential piece of financial reform, the Volcker Rule. Her colleagues, according to Ms. Raskin, supported a proposed rule that is weaker, i.e., more favorable to the banks; she voted against it in October.

      At least on this dimension, financial reform is not fully on track.

  • DRM

    • Guide to DRM-free Living gets a big update!

      We’ve just finished a major update of the Guide to DRM-free Living with dozens of new places to get ebooks, movies, and music without DRM and a page of worst-offenders. There have been some exciting developments in the realm of DRM opposition on ebooks, like Tor/Forge dropping DRM on ebooks, and we wanted to spruce up the guide to reflect all the progress that’s been made. The suggested additions came from the LibrePlanet Wiki where you can submit new items for the guide for us to review. With so many new additions, we’ve also had to reorganize the guide into more sections that should make it easy to find what you need.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Creative Commons CEO reflects on YouTube’s remixable library

        How many of you have utilized the four million Creative Commons videos on YouTube? Cathy Casserly, CEO of Creative Commons, recently shared a guest post on YouTube’s blog, reflecting on the first year of YouTube’s Creative Commons video library. According to Casserly, this library is larger than any other in the world.

      • Digital Economy Act Consultation Response

        Last week I wrote about the extremely short consultation period for aspects of implementing the Digital Economy Act. Time is running out – the consultation closes tomorrow at 5pm, so I urge you to submit something soon. It doesn’t have to be very long. Here, for example, is what I am sending – short, but maybe not so sweet….

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