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01.10.12

Links 10/1/2012: Linux 3.3 Plans, More Desktops With GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 5:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Prof: Schools moving to OpenSim should pay for hosting
  • Google’s Open Source Video Player

    Perhaps Google isn’t all bad these days! A new open source HTML5 video player is yours for the download. As well as being a good showcase app it is also practically useful. It is the architectural core of the new 60 Minutes and RedBull.tv apps available in the Chrome Web Store.

  • Google open sources new HTML5 video tool

    Google chose the PR graveyard shift slot of 4:30 USA Pacific time on Friday afternoon last week to put out its latest communiqué to us, the consuming masses.

    The ‘search giant’ has pushed its latest HTML5 video tool to open source.

    The new Video Player Sample is built with open web technology and is designed to allow developers (and other users) to wrap video up in the required code to be able to release it as a web store application.

  • Rackspace open-sources Dreadnot for failure-free software deployment with Node.js
  • IBM Delivers Open Source Version of EGL Tools
  • Consolidation enables open source software strategy
  • AT&T Signs On With OpenStack Open-Source Cloud

    AT&T on Monday officially signed on with the OpenStack cloud, the Rackspace- and NASA-created open-source cloud computing project.

  • An Interactive eGuide: Open Source
  • ChannelEyes Social Media Cloud Built On Open Source
  • OSQA, the open source Q&A system

    OSQA is the free, open source Q&A system you’ve been waiting for. Your OSQA site is more than just an FAQ page, it is a full-featured Q&A community. Users earn points and badges for useful participation, and everyone in the community wins.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • The new MPL

        Last week the Mozilla Foundation released version 2.0 of the Mozilla Public License. Immediately recognized as a free software license by the Free Software Foundation and approved as an Open Source license by the Open Source Initiative, MPL 2.0 is a well-crafted modern license that ought to be considered by any open source project desiring a weak copyleft licensing policy.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Unused LibreOffice Code Expunged

      The more code an application accumulates, the heavier it gets and the slower it performs usually. It’s just basic physics of programming. Since years of neglect left lots of unused code in LibreOffice, contributors have been busy cleaning it up. The latest scan by Michael Meeks shows the efforts are really paying off.

  • Project Releases

    • LSU Releases First Open Source ParalleX Runtime Software System

      Louisiana State University’s Center for Computation & Technology (CCT) has delivered the first freely available open-source runtime system implementation of the ParalleX execution model. The HPX, or High Performance Parallex, runtime software package is a modular, feature-complete, and performance oriented representation of the ParalleX execution model targeted at conventional parallel computing architectures such as SMP nodes and commodity clusters.

  • Public Services/Government

    • NASA: Prize money a bargain for better software

      In October 2010, NASA and the Harvard Business School launched the NASA Tournament Lab, an online platform for contests between independent programmers who compete to create software and algorithms and solve computational problems.

  • Licensing

    • Mozilla Releases OSI-Approved MPLv2

      Last week saw a quiet landmark in the history of the open source movement with the formal release of version two of the Mozilla Public License (MPLv2) and its approval as an official open source license. While to many it may look like just another legal detail, it is significant both for the way it was conducted and for the intent with which it has been created. This is a license aimed at unity.

    • 2011: Top Ten FOSS Legal Developments

      This year, 2011, was one of the most active years in legal developments in FOSS. This activity reflects the increase in FOSS use: Laura Wurster of Gartner, noted in the Harvard Business Review blog that open source has hit a “strategic tipping point” this year with companies increasingly focused on using “open source” software for competitive rather than cost reasons http://lawandlifesiliconvalley.com/blog/?p=619.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Zend Updates PHP Server Stack for IBM i

      Zend Technologies has launched a major update to Zend Server for IBM i, its PHP server stack for the IBM i platform. Version 5.6 marks the general availability of the new XML Toolkit, which provides a new way for integrating RPG logic into PHP apps, and a new application deployment mechanism. DBi, the drop-in replacement for MySQL on the platform that was slated for release about this time, is not yet ready.

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • REO To Rental Fed Plan Would Do Little For Housing, Says Goldman Sachs

      The Federal Reserve’s foreclosure rental program would do little to lift the ailing housing market, Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a research paper released on Friday morning.

      The analysis, written in response to a Federal Reserve paper released earlier this week, calculates the nationwide effects of renting foreclosed properties as “positive but modest,” possibly fostering a 0.5 percent increase in home prices in the first year of program implementation, and a 1 percent increase in the second year. But those are Goldman’s maximum increases, and the researchers are quick to add that the “actual effect would likely be less.”

    • Goldman’s Infamous ‘Sh*tty Deal’ Turns Out Not To Have Been As Sh*tty As Others

      The infamous Abacus transaction that cost Goldman Sachs $550 million might have been designed to fail, but it turns out that it actually performed better than its peers, according to a new study co-authored by BlackRock and Columbia Business School.

      The Abacus CDOs’ performance, “while undoubtedly bad, was actually better than average among all bonds that had been similarly packaged.”

  • Copyrights

    • Copying the copyrighted is okay if it transforms: What’s that?

      Writing in the New York Times, Randy Kennedy reports on a court decision that would make it illegal to use most work of others still under copyright as the basis for new works which “transform” the original link here.

      “The decision, by Judge Deborah A. Batts, set off alarm bells throughout Chelsea and in museums across America that show contemporary art. At the heart of the case, which Mr. Prince is now appealing, is the principle called fair use, a kind of door in the bulwark of copyright protections. It gives artists (or anyone for that matter) the ability to use someone else’s material for certain purposes, especially if the result transforms the thing used or as Judge Pierre N. Leval described it in an influential 1990 law review article, if the new thing “adds value to the original” so that society as a whole is culturally enriched by it. In the most famous test of the principle, the Supreme Court in 1994 found a possibility of fair use by the group 2 Live Crew in its sampling of parts of Roy Orbison’s “Oh Pretty Woman” for the sake of one form of added value, parody.”

01.09.12

Links 9/1/2012: Ubuntu TV Unveiled, Qooq Runs Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 9:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 181
  • Download Linux From Your Desktop With Get Linux

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

    While it is possible to download a Linux distribution from a project website or developer homepage right away, it is often more comfortable to download it from the desktop without having to search for the download links and homepage in the first place.

  • Desktop

    • A snapshot of Linux on the desktop

      The Linux desktop landscape is a diverse place. As an open-source operating system, anyone can take the code, make whatever changes they want, and release it as their own custom distribution. A land of diversity, however, also has its pitfalls. Mandriva Linux seems like the most recent candidate to fall, with the company purportedly going under on January 16th if it doesn’t receive an infusion of funds. The funds are being blocked by a shareholder dispute, and it will be a sad story for the once-popular Linux distribution. How many Linux distributions have gone quietly into memory, and which have stayed? What makes Ubuntu so popular? Let’s take a quick look into the the history of Linux on the desktop.

  • Kernel Space

    • FIOPS: A New Linux I/O Scheduler For Flash/SSDs

      Last week a new I/O scheduler was presented for the Linux kernel. This new scheduler, FIOPS, is designed around modern flash-based storage devices like solid-state drives.

      Shaohua Li presented FIOPS, the Fair IOPS scheduler, under an “RFC” state last week on the Linux kernel mailing list.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Boxee Box gets a major facelift plus live TV support

      Boxee Box users who enjoy staying on the bleeding edge of features and functions can now download and install beta v1.5 firmware on their devices, by following a fairly straightforward procedure.

      Version 1.5.0.23422 implements quite a few new features and enhancements to the Boxee Box’s user interface. It also adds support for the soon-to-be-available Boxee Live TV adapter option.

    • Phones

      • Emerging markets push growth in handsets, mobile workers

        Smartphone manufacturers are increasingly focusing their efforts on emerging markets, says ABI Research, which forecasts the mobile handset market in general growing 8 percent in 2012, representing 1.67 million shipments. Meanwhile, IDC projects that by 2015, the world’s mobile worker population will reach 1.3 billion, representing 37.2 percent of the total workforce, with the greatest growth expected in emerging markets.

      • Samsung-backed open-source mobile OS Tizen leaks in new screenshots

        Tizen, a new open-source operating system backed by Intel, Samsung and a number of other smartphone manufacturers, has leaked in a number of new screenshots, providing a first look at the new platform that will power new smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and in-car devices.

      • Android

        • Android Powered 3D Goggles To Be Revealed At CES 2012
        • Android Powered 3D Goggles To Be Revealed At CES 2012
        • Wind River Solution Accelerators for Android Released

          Wind River, the maker of embedded and mobile software, has presented Wind River Solution Accelerators for Android, a series of software modules which the company claims can accelerate Android device development and reduce engineering time and cost to help developers turn around high quality devices faster.

        • From the Las Vegas Strip to your living room: Google TV partners at CES

          Last October, we launched an update to Google TV: a simpler interface, a new way to discover great web and TV content, a more TV-like YouTube experience, and Android Market. Since launching the update, we’ve seen our activation rates more than double. New features and new apps are coming to the living room via Google TV almost every day. We now have more than 150 apps which developers have specifically built for TV with thousands more Android apps from the mobile world available to deepen your living room TV experience. We’ve also been working with our hardware partners to bring new Google TV-powered devices to consumers.

        • Lenovo impresses at CES with Android

          The magic that is CES is starting a bit early, thanks to Lenovo. They’ve unveiled several new Android devices, and each is just as impressive as the next.

        • Lenovo outs Ice Cream Sarnie telly

          Lenovo has announced what it claims is the world’s first TV to sport Google’s latest OS, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It’s also the first set with a dual-core processor.

          Having already pitched its new ThinkPad laptop range for the Consumer Electronics Show 2012, the company turned attentions to the living room tech-head, introducing a smart TV, the K91.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • OLPC News: The OLPC Tablet at CES?

        It seems that the upcoming OLPC XO 3 Tablet is getting some buzz right before its debut next week at CES. It is said to be an 8″ tablet that may come in a few models. Information about it is currently very sketchy but supposedly some will be revealed next week. I am NOT posting any of the early concept pictures because they are dated and I’m fairly sure the real thing looks quite different… since it is designed to be very rugged for children. Here are some external links to get you in the mood:

      • One Laptop per Child To Unveil XO 3.0 Tablet At CES

        The One Laptop Per Child program’s XO-3 tablet will be revealed next week at CES, according to the project’s founder, Nicholas Negroponte. The XO 3.0 features Marvell’s Armada PXA618 SOC processor and Avastar Wi-Fi SOC, with 512MB of RAM. It can run Android and other Linux operating systems like Fedora. The version that will be shown at the CES will be running Android.

      • Motorola’s Wi-Fi Only Xyboard Tablet Coming Soon!
      • Toshiba launches Excite X10 at CES, redefines the term “sexy tablet”

        Toshiba hasn’t been too involved in the Android tablet world, save for the launch of their Thrive last year. It looks as if they’re aiming to change that in 2012, and they’re starting it off with a bang. Meet the Toshiba Excite X10, the latest in gorgeous Android tablets. Once we get past the brushed aluminum back and incredibly thin (just 7.7mm) profile, the Excite is packing a TI OMAP 4430 dual-core 1.2GHz processor, Ice Cream Sandwich (although it appears to be running stock Honeycomb in the photos), a wide 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 Gorilla Glass display, a 5MP rear camera, 2MP front-facing shooter, stereo speakers, Micro HDMI and Micro SD card ports, and it clocks in at just 1.2 pounds. Impressive enough?

      • Archos G9 101 8GB Android tablet

        Over the years, Archos has pitched much of its kit at the impecunious rather than the technically demanding. However, some of its Android devices like the 43 media player have appealed to both camps. Now it’s trying to repeat the trick with the G9 series of Android 3.2 Honeycomb tablets.

      • Qooq: The French Linux-Based Tablet For Your Kitchen

        The Qooq runs on a 1 GHz Cortex A9 processor, a 10.1-inch display with 1024 x 600 resolution SD card slot, Ethernet port, USB port and a headphone jack under a protective cover. The Linux OS is a specially customised version by Qooq, which it’s it easy to set up and run. Users will be able to access digital cookbooks and other recipe and cooking-related apps and too

      • Qooq: The tomato-proof tablet

        Linux. Designed for the kitchen. The Qooq is one of the weirdest tablet computers we have seen in a while. It’s selling respectably well in France, we are told, and it’s coming to the United States soon.

      • Overcrowded Markets

        Chuckle. The Android/Linux market is only overcrowded to those who are trying to sell that other OS on x86… Newsflash: The world does not owe those who sell that other OS and x86 a living. Free markets work. Manufacturers are making Android/Linux on ARMed tablets and selling them. They make money doing that because there’s no “tax” from M$ and they are not paying twice for the CPU. They will see the same thing on the desktop/notebook markets as well. With a free market, these makers can minimize the cost of manufacture the way sane manufacturers in other industries do.

Free Software/Open Source

  • eyeOS 2.5 Open Source review – how the mighty have fallen

    If you can set up a Linux box with Apache, with a bit of fettling you can use eyeOS to create your own personalised cloud desktop. Michael Reed reviews eyeOS version 2.5…

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GnuTLS 2.12.16
    • FSFE calls for an amendment of Slovak Copyright Act

      Free Software Foundation Europe calls for an amendment of the Slovak Copyright Act that would eventually enable Free Software and Creative Commons licenses for Slovak citizens. Currently, these licenses are considered to be void due to lack of their written form and problems with formation of the contract. Slovakia is thus one of a few countries where these popular licensing tools still struggle with rigid legislative framework. During the last week, FSFE therefore sent support letters to four members of Slovak Parliament that proposed this highly awaited amendment, but later faced its dismissal due to preliminary elections (See the sample letter below). If you also feel that also other 5 million Europeans should have this option, please support our action and write members of Slovak parliament (regardless of your residence). Explain them what is your experience with Free Software or just reuse our letter. Your support is important!.

  • Project Releases

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Why The Verge Is Wrong, Acer Did Not Rip Apple’s iCloud

    Apple fans and fan sites keep reminding us they are still trapped in Steve Jobs’ RDF (reality distortion field) that keeps us from seeing the reality and think everyone else is ripping Apple. Paul Miller of The Verge has written an article “Acer’s AcerCloud unveil is a blatant iCloud ripoff”. He goes on to put images of Apple’s iCloud Slides next to AcerCloud slides. (Business Insider also did a similar story without doing any home work.)

  • Security

  • Censorship

    • Hackerspace Global Grid to make an Uncensorable internet in space?

      The wilder shores of the internet are awash with bizarre stories but the one I’m about to relate just has to be one of the most extraordinary things I have ever heard in relation to FOSS. You will have heard about SOPA and the reaction against it in the open source community including petitions, boycotts of GoDaddy etc. Look, that’s small potatoes. What these guys are plannng is out of this world. Literally. Read on.

      Every hacker, geek and commentator has their own solution to circumvent internet censorship but some people’s reaction has been ballistic. In the actual sense of the word. A bunch of open source enthusiasts, hackers and amateur scientists at the Hackerspace Global Grid project have decided that the only way to escape internet censorship is to, well, reach escape velocity and launch communication satellites into orbit. Ambitious is not the word. Better still, the software and the hardware will be free and open. To track and support satellites there will be a distributed network of ground tracking stations using FOSS.

    • 2011: The Coming of Gestalt Politics?

      If there’s anything 2011 will be remembered for, it’s probably going to be the wave of mass protests that reverberated around the world (and is still traveling). I don’t think we’ve seen the end of this. I think this is the leading edge of an on-going pattern that will continue for decades. What’s happened is that a kind of behavior common online has jumped a groove and found a place in the “real world”.

    • Copyrights

      • Creative Commons and FreeSound.org Phase Out Sampling Licenses, Choose More Freedom

        A few years ago, I discovered a site called “FreeSound.org” which sounded quite exciting, but turned out to be rather disappointing because the content was released under the Creative Commons “Sampling+” license, which is not a free license. This made all of the content incompatible with use on free software or free culture projects, and was very frustrating, especially given the name. Last month, though, Creative Commons decided to retire the Sampling+ licenses, and FreeSound.org is rolling out a new site with a license chooser that favors the “CC 0″ public domain declaration and the “CC By” attribution licenses — both compatible with free projects. This will be a big help for free-culture multimedia projects.

Links 9/1/2012: OLPC’s XO 3.0, Boot to Gecko (B2G)

Posted in News Roundup at 11:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Bufferbloat To Be Fought In Linux 3.3 With BQL

      Byte Queue Limits is reported to bring significant performance improvements across nearly all Linux package schedulers and AQMs. Byte Queue Limits is a way to limit a network controller’s hardware queues by number of bytes rather than number of packets, which can reduce buffer bloat. A much more detailed description of BQL can be found from the 2011 LPC page. This is merged into the Linux 3.3 kernel with the “net-next” pull.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Sprite Support For Wayland’s Weston

        There’s some RFC patches out this week from Intel’s Jesse Barnes that provides sprite support for the recently announced Weston Compositor for the Wayland Display Server.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Introduction To The Enlightenment 17 Window Manager For X (Ubuntu 11.10)
    • Desktops for Netbooks – KDE, Unity, or Gnome

      Maximizing the use of screen space on netbook computers is critical, and it really helps when the desktop environment correctly size window to fit the screen. While writing about the KDE, Unity, and Gnome 3 desktops for my Basic Linux course, I made some interesting discoveries.

      For the KDE Project, I discovered the Plasma Netbook Workspace. For KDE SC 4.7, you just need to go to Configure Desktop -> Workspace Behavior -> Workspace and change the value from Desktop to Netbook. For the Plasma Netbook Workspace, the application launcher are on the Workspace, including Krunner, which is a great way to find applications. Windows open as maximized, and the task bar slide off the top of the screen. The title bar is part of the task bar, so the application window has the entire screen. To launch additional applications, or switch between applications, just press <Alt> and then tab the <Tab> key, and select the the workspace you want. With the Plasma Workspace, I have not found a window that does not size correctly to the screen. I knew I switched to openSUSE for a reason.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Answering a tricky question with the KStars desktop planetarium package

        In an earlier phase of my life, I worked as a professional astronomer, and I’ve loved space and astronomy since before I could pronounce the words. So naturally, I’ve gotten a lot of personal pleasure from the free software astronomy tools that are included in my Debian GNU/Linux system. But ironically, I haven’t written about them much. Recently, though, I was asked a question which I used KStars to answer, so this is a good chance to talk about how to use it.

      • Thoughts on KDE activities and workspaces

        The traditional desktop included menus, and icons for launching applications and various kinds of shortcuts. At times and in many environments widgets and things could also be added to it, along with task and window management, notifications, indicators, etc. These all came about separately with no cohesive vision, and as space became cluttered from all these things, virtual desktops were used to make it easier to help spread out all that clutter over multiple workspaces, at least for the single-headed users. This is perhaps best represented in very traditional desktops like gnome 2 and xfce4.

        Some looked at this as an awful mess and decided it was bad, but two very different visions came about from it. The first was in the KDE project, where it seems to me they thought about how all these different elements finally could be organized in a better way by the desktop itself to increase user productivity. From this we got plasma desktop and concepts like KDE activities. Those involved in GNOME, on the other hand, saw this as a question of how to remove all but what they believed are the bare minimal essentials. These two visions are I think almost polar opposites.

      • The Great Features of KDE Workspaces and Applications Part V – Gwenview

        After few super-busy weeks I finally have time to sit down and write another part of this blogseries. In this installment I’ll introduce Gwenview – the default KDE Application for viewing images.

      • Search this site:
        KDE Commit-Digest for 18th December 2011
      • Encryption in KDE SC
      • Active Settings: Modular, embeddable configuration

        Plasma Active‘s goal is develop an elegant, Free user experience for the device spectrum, for example touch-based tablets. Active Settings is a modular application hosting configuration user interfaces for apps and the system.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • DreamLinux 5 Review

      DreamLinux is a distribution that is based on Debian “Wheezy” and using the latest desktop version of XFCE 4.8 on a Linux 3.1 Kernel.

      DreamLinux has just released this latest version after a long absence and we will see if it can make up for lost time.

    • An eye on simpleLinux GNU/Linux
    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Why the Fedora ISV SIG never caught fire

          Once upon a time, it was part of my job to help these kinds of companies to work more closely with Fedora. We created the ISV SIG for this purpose. Karsten and I would go to trade shows and meet with various open source vendors, and we’d talk with them at length about the great benefit of leveraging the Fedora install base, and the power of “yum install YourCoolProduct”, and the general usefulness of building an ISV packaging community, and they’d nod and smile, and then we’d have a follow-up meeting or two to discuss the ins and outs of being in a distro. And then… well, nothing much would happen.

        • Geek Software of the Week: Dr. Bill’s Perfect Fedora 16 Build!
    • Debian Family

      • Second beta version of Debian Edu / Skolelinux based on Squeeze

        I am happy to announce that today we managed to wrap up and publish the second beta version of Debian Edu / Skolelinux.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • System Settings for Precise

            With Unity we have been trying to raise the bar innovating in the User Experience with new UI elements, such as Dash and Overlay Scrollbars. But this shouldn’t come at the cost of overlooking less exciting but essential core areas of the OS.

          • Launcher Reveal Prototype
          • 2012: The Year of Ubuntu

            At this time of year I like to read forward-thinking and philosophical writings. It’s one of the ways I try to “reboot” my thinking processes and clear the way for new ideas. In that quest today, I discovered an interesting and helpful research paper on Ubuntu written by Tom Bennett at the University of Cape Town entitled “Ubuntu: An African Equity.”

            Though written in the context of law several ideas presented resonated with what I’ve seen both online and in the “in-real-life” community.

          • ‘Ubuntu TV’ to be Revealed at CES

            An Ubuntu-powered internet TV is Canonical’s mystery ‘Ubuntu Concept Design’.

          • Cinnamon Desktop Gets First Custom Theme

            Canonical design team has revealed some more plans for the upcoming LTS release in a series of blog posts. Along with multi-monitor setup improvements, new changes have been proposed for system and sound settings.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint signs a partnership with Blue Systems

              Blue Systems is a German company sponsoring Free and Open Source projects such as Netrunner and KDE-projects like kcm-gtk-config.

              As part of the partnership, Linux Mint will share its knowledge and expertise with Netrunner and both distributions will work together on improving their respective KDE editions. Although Netrunner and Linux Mint KDE offer a different experience, they’re built on the same technology. This cooperation between the two distributions will have positive effects on both.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Cool little cheapo Linux device for 2012…

      Good news this start-of-year 2012 for some of us Linux DIY tinkerers:
      The little Raspberry Pi device is set to be released soon.
      The Raspberry Pi comes as a Printed Circuit Board with a processing System on a Chip (also known as a PCB with a SoC). Already eBay is auctioning off the first Beta releases of these boards, see Raspberry Pi – first 10 on eBay!

    • OLPC

      • OLPC’s XO 3.0 tablet hands-on (video)

        OLPC announced the XO 3.0 tablet yesterday, and today we had a chance to sit down with the company’s CTO, Ed McNierney and Marvell’s Chief Marketing Officer Tom Hayes, who gave us a tour of the new tablet. The XO 3.0 is powered by Marvell Armada PXA618 silicon, which lowers the power requirements of the tablet to a scant 2 watts. That chip, along with the custom charging circuitry developed by OLPC and Marvell means that the tablet can be charged by a hand crank at a 10:1 ratio (10 minutes of usage time for every minute spent cranking), or by the optional four watt solar panel cover at a 2:1 ratio on sunny days. Like other OLPC devices, the XO 3.0 is customizable to customer needs — so you can get the CPU clocked at 800Mhz or 1GHz, a 1500 – 1800 mAh battery, and your choice of a Pixel Qi or standard LCD display. The slate comes with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of NAND storage, USB and USB On-The-Go ports, plus the standard OLPC power and sensor input ports as well.

      • OLPC XO 3.0 Hands On: The $100 Wonder Tablet

        OLPC XO 3.0 Hands On: The $100 Wonder Tablet Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child initiative has historically been more about promise than fulfillment. But in the $100 XO 3.0 tablet, OLPC may have its first product that’s not just practical, capable, or cheap. It’s actually… good.

      • The Inside Story of India’s $50 Computer Tablet

        The annual gadget bacchanalia known as CES kicks off next Tuesday in Vegas, but as has been the case for the past decade, the most important new product in consumer electronics won’t be there.

      • San Francisco State University signs an MOU with OLPC

Free Software/Open Source

  • Many Eyes, Many Heads

    “Many eyes” does not mean FLOSS is perfect but that it can be made more perfect more rapidly and with greater certainty than closed software. “Many eyes” permitted the bugs to be found and corrections proposed. Otherwise, those bugs would have been found eventually by evildoers and we would have been victimized. This is one of the main reasons FLOSS is less targeted by malware. Many more bugs exist in closed software and few are motivated or able to fix them. That’s why the world wastes tens of $billions fighting malware in closed source software. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and it’s certainly less expensive.

  • What Minecraft Can Teach Us About Open Source Communities

    Along with the praises I’ve already heaped upon Minecraft and the fascination I’ve continued to have with it, I’ve been enthusiastic about it because of its very unique development pattern.

    Minecraft, you see, is developed a little bit like open source software evolves. The lead developer, Notch (Markus Persson and his company Mojang AB), has been plugged into online social media since day one. He tweets, he blogs, he responds to forums, he asks users what they want to see put in next. And also the game has a thriving mod community (even I’ve done a custom texture pack). What’s more, when a mod becomes particularly popular, Notch ends up incorporating it into the game, such as with the pistons mod. For another example, the game now includes ways to switch custom texture packs.

    Watching Minecraft “grow up” for two years has been a unique experience in studying how software and the community around it grows together. Here, we have an example of a developer who bends over backwards to make everybody as happy as he possibly, humanly can.

  • Super short review: Minix 3

    The world of the UNIX system is very wide.
    There are many different flavours. Linux is just one of them. Honestly, though, it is the most popular and the most widely used.

  • Web Browsers

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • MF Global Inquiry Turns to Its Primary Regulator

      Federal authorities investigating the collapse of MF Global have expanded their inquiry to include the actions of the CME Group, the operator of the main exchange where the commodities brokerage firm conducted business, according to people briefed on the matter.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Here Comes the National Internet

      I first heard about the concept of a national Internet over a decade ago while visiting the offices of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and discussing threats to the Internet. It was apparent then and it is apparent now that most countries, including the U.S., will eventually shut down the “World Wide” Web and instead use the technologies developed by the Internet community to cocoon itself. It solves endless political problems with the Web that plague almost every country.

  • Copyrights

    • Libre.fm: A music sharing site just for free-culture works

      You’ve probably heard of “Last FM”, a music playlist site that allows users to track their favorite bands and listen to music streamed over their mobile devices. But you may not have heard of Libre FM, a recent free software project and free culture web application intended to serve this purpose exclusively for free-licensed musical works.

      I discovered this site when I was looking for what happened to some of the bands that had left Jamendo, and it does serve some of the same purposes. I do have certain doubts about it as a reliable source as yet — it’s still very much in an “alpha” state, and the software is therefore fairly incomplete. It’s missing many of the features I’ve come to rely on with Jamendo (still the best site I know for this kind of search).

01.07.12

Links 7/1/2012: Red Hat HQ in Raleigh, Linux Mint 12 Reviews, New OLPC

Posted in News Roundup at 7:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Replacing Proprietary Windows Software with GNU/Linux

    I’ve written recently about main points on migrating from Windows to GNU/Linux. Those reasons included one which pertains to the software included with the GNU/Linux distributions, and replacing those proprietary products with those on GNU/Linux that you will never need to re-buy or pay upgrades for again in the future. But how is this done? With time and patience, which not everybody has. But if you do, it will pay off dearly over the years you stay on the open source road. One warning though, migrating is not for the timid, it IS a lot of work.

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • The 7 Best Servers for Linux

      System administrators who need a Linux system will often opt to purchase a bare-metal system and install Linux on the system their way. After all, Linux folks are a rogue, radical ilk. They think differently. They administer servers differently. And, they purchase systems differently. The CXO, purchasing agent or other money-responsible party, on the other hand, has the corporate trust to buy the best available technology at the best price he can negotiate. That’s a tremendous burden.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux p-p-picks up power profiling for peripherals

      Linus Torvalds has signed off on the latest release of the Linux kernel, version 3.2, and it contains several additions aimed at power-management. The new code modules have been submitted over the past year by engineers working at Samsung and Texas Instruments, among others.

    • Weekend Project: Get to Know Btrfs

      The Butter/Better/B-tree Filesystem, Btrfs, is supposedly destined to become the default Linux filesystem. What makes it special, and what’s wrong with good old tried-and-true Ext2/3/4?

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel SNA Architecture Is Constantly Evolving

        Intel’s experimental “Sandy Bridge New Acceleration” (SNA) acceleration architecture is a constant work-in-progress that even in the past two weeks over the holidays has received more than 100 changes. How though is this new 2D acceleration architecture fairing these days rather than the stock UXA configuration? In this article are our first Intel SNA benchmarks of 2012 when enabling this architecture.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Linux privacy distribution Tails updated to version 0.10

        Version 0.10 of Tails, the live distribution of Linux that aims to protect privacy and anonymity, has been released. Tails is essentially a Debian Linux, combined with Tor and other privacy or anonymity respecting applications, which can be booted and used from either a USB stick or CD. All internet traffic is routed through the Tor network, which should make all communications anonymous. Tails, an acronym for “The Amnesic Incognito Live System”, was inspired by the now abandoned Incognito LiveCD.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Linux Maker Could Face Bankruptcy in 10 Days

        “I regret to inform you that none of the recapitalization schemes that were proposed at the meeting of shareholders on December 5 was accepted,” wrote Mandriva CEO Dominic Loucougain in a letter to shareholders dated Dec. 23, 2011, and published on the Mandriva Forum on Friday.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Moving Headquarters From NCSU To Downtown Raleigh

        The City of Raleigh announced today during a press conference hosted by Mayor Nancy McFarlane that Red Hat will move its global headquarters from NC State University’s Centennial Campus to the RBC Bank Tower in downtown Raleigh.

      • Red Hat recruiting open-source firms to Raleigh

        As Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT) prepares to move its headquarters to downtown Raleigh and expand its operations, the company is also trying to build an open-source community in the city.

        Chief Executive Jim Whitehurst said Friday that he has already persuaded another open-source software development company to open a 12-person office in Raleigh, but he declined to identify the firm.

      • City, Red Hat tout Raleigh as open-source leader

        Mayor Nancy McFarlane formally welcomed Red Hat to downtown, saying Friday that the software company’s presence will help Raleigh become a national hub for open-source technology.

      • Incentives Lure Red Hat Downtown: Are They Worth It?

        When Red Hat began a search to expand in fall 2009, reports indicated they were considering sites in other states as well as a site in the Tobacco District of Durham County. For the past several months, three governments have offered incentives to the open source giant Red Hat to retain its presence.

      • Red Hat picks Raleigh as global headquarters
    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical launches Ubuntu One Files iOS app
          • Revisiting Ubuntu Design

            In 2010 I wrote about the challenge Canonical faced in revamping the design of Ubuntu, and later looked at the tough road they had ahead of them with Unity and the Community. In the past few days I’ve revisited the operating system to see how far they had progressed, and while the default look of Unity is beautiful, the system still faces significant challenges.

          • Install MPlayer2 And SMPlayer2 In Ubuntu
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Mint is fun, client-focused Linux distro

              When Ubuntu decided last year to abruptly replace the familiar Gnome UI with its own Unity interface, many users were upset. And according to the latest numbers from DistroWatch, Linux Mint has been the major beneficiary, so we decided to test Linux Mint 12.

            • Linux Mint 12 Lisa Review

              Until the release of Ubuntu 11.04, Gnome 2.x seemed to have become the standard desktop interface for Linux. It was the default for Ubuntu, Fedora and Linux Mint, three of the biggest distributions, and many others relied on it too. Of course, lots of people use KDE, but since they released version 4, things seemed to have swung in Gnome’s favour.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Mock commercial undermines new Vote 4 Energy oil advertisement

      Today, the American Petroleum Institute unveiled its 2012 Vote 4 Energy astroturf campaign, centered around a major election-linked CNN advertising package that PolluterWatch helped expose last month with audio recordings from inside the studio. Vote 4 Energy attempts to show ‘real Americans’ who are ‘energy voters,’ meaning they are committing to vote for whichever politicians support Big Oil’s dirty agenda in this election year. Typical. API also bought the back page of the A section of the Washington Post with a Vote 4 Energy ad, space that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to normal people.

  • Privacy

    • Private agency paid to monitor protest groups

      THE federal government has outsourced law enforcement surveillance of environmental and other protest groups, with a key monitoring service operating from an inconspicuous Melbourne apartment block.

  • Civil Rights

    • Michael Hastings on war journalists

      Rolling Stone‘s Michael Hastings — whose 2010 article on Gen. Stanley McChrystal ended the Afghanistan War commander’s career by accurately reporting numerous controversial statements made in a series of interviews — embodies the pure journalistic ethos. Some of the most celebrated establishment military reporters in America attacked Hastings for that article on the ground that it violated a sacred trust between Generals and war reporters (The New York Times‘ John Burns), and even baselessly insinuated that he fabricated the quotes and then went on to impugn his patriotism when compared to The Great General (CBS News’ Lara Logan).

      Even worse, The Washington Post, ABC News and others irresponsibly published totally anonymous military sources claiming with no basis that Hastings violated ground-rule agreements for the interviews.

01.06.12

Links 6/1/2012: Alpine Linux 2.3.3, Mandriva in Danger

Posted in News Roundup at 9:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Linux sex life – An illustrated story
  • Desktop

    • ThinkPad X1 Hybrid packs both x86 and ARM processors

      Lenovo has announced a 13.3-inch notebook computer that has both Intel and ARM processors. The ThinkPad X1 Hybrid combines an Core i3, i5, or i7 CPU with a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon, allowing users to toggle between Windows 7 and a Linux-based “Instant Media Mode” operating system whenever they want.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Razer BlackWidow, Other Products On Linux?

      The Razer BlackWidow is an incredibly well constructed mechanical keyboard, but how well does it work under Linux? Has the Razer product support at Linux improved at all recently?

      A few weeks ago I picked up the Razer BlackWidow keyboard for my main machine in the office. I didn’t pick-up this keyboard for any gaming, but rather having been a big fan of their mice, keyboards, and other peripherals over the years. Razer is obviously a gaming-focused company, but their many products I’ve either bought or received as samples have been wonderful. The build quality is great along with an impressive feature-set and being very reliable.

    • Did Your System Take A Dive With Linux 3.2?

      If you upgraded today to the just-released Linux 3.2 kernel and your Intel system is now having problems booting this new kernel release, you’re not alone, but here’s a possible workaround.

      A regression struck the Linux 3.2 kernel concerning IOMMU and is still present in the final release of Linux 3.2. The issue didn’t appear during the 3.2 merge window but later on in the cycle (if my memory serves me when I first struck the issue, it was around -rc2 or -rc3) and results in the kernel not successfully booting.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Success of GNU/Linux on the Desktop

      GNU/Linux has been a success on the desktop with every distro I have tested since 2000: Caldera eDesktop, Mandrake, Slackware, K12LTSP, Fedora, Red Hat, Ubuntu, Debian GNU/Linux and a few others I forget (failure of my memory, not the distros). Government, education, business, individuals, OEMs all use it successfully. Consider what some might call a failure on the desktop, Dell and Ubuntu. Just because Dell.com looks like a GNU/Linux desert means nothing. That’s in the home country of M$, the Great Satan of operating systems. Dell is selling GNU/Linux like hotcakes in China. It’s a wild success. They have 220 bricks-and-mortar stores pushing the product.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • 3.3.3 Of GNOME Shell, Mutter Try To Fix Things Up

        Version 3.3.3 packages of GNOME Shell and Mutter were independently released today. These latest development snapshots in the road to GNOME 3.4 mainly try to address outstanding issues.

        There’s already been numerous advancements in the road to GNOME 3.4, but for the 3.3.3 release of the GNOME Shell and for the Mutter compositing window manager there isn’t too much to get excited about.

  • Distributions

    • Fedora, Mint, openSUSE, Ubuntu: Which Linux desktop is for you?

      There are more interesting Linux desktop distributions to choose from than ever before. However, if you’re looking for major distros with a great deal of support, you’ll want to look at the big four: Fedora, Mint, openSUSE, and Ubuntu.

      Each has its own outlook and methods. Thanks to Linux’s customizability, you could take any of them and completely revamp it, if you wish. But unless your idea of a good time is operating system hacking, chances are you’ll want a distribution that already meets your needs.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva in danger of closing its doors

        Mandriva S.A. hasn’t had an easy time of it, even after emerging from bankruptcy in 2006. Formerly MandrakeSoft, the company merged with Brazilian Linux vendor and former UnitedLinux partner Connectiva in 2005.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Introduces Storage Solutions Software for Enterprises

        Red Hat, Inc., the pioneer in Open Source solutions has unveiled its new integrated product for storage solutions, the “Red Hat Storage Software Appliance” for Enterprises. The software can be deployed on a list of compatible hardware through an ISO image file. It offers support for mission critical and latency-sensitive data. It is even POSIX complaint, hence easing the deployment. The software makes use of GlusterFS 3.2, which provides scale-out storage solutions, without having to use the monolithic platforms, which are costly. The software comes as a balm on the fear that Open Source software isn?t capable of providing storage solutions for huge chunks of data.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Geospatial services with FLOSS: Interview with Oslandia

    In this interview Olivier Courtin and Vincent Picavet, founders of geospatial service provider Oslandia, share with us their business story, some advice and how free and open source geospatial software plays a major role in their company. Enjoy the interview!

  • Why open source needs Simon Cowell

    With apologies for the sensationalist headline, Simon Brew wonders how to get a realistic debate going in the modern world…

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Can Mozilla Unify Open Source?

        This week saw a quiet landmark in the history of the open source movement with the formal release of version two of the Mozilla Public License (MPLv2) and its approval as an official open source license. While to many it may look like just another legal detail, it is significant both for the way it was conducted and for the intent with which it has been created. This is a license aimed at unity.

        Drafting and reviewing the license has been a very open process, for which Luis Villa deserves much credit. Conducted mostly on open forums, the discussion has led to many revisions of the text. Luis also approach the Open Source Initiative early, accepting input from the License Review group and obtaining the Board’s approval easily.

  • CMS

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • NASA Discovers Open Source Planet

      NASA, like many mega organisations uses Free Software or Open Source due to the uncountable advantes it has over the proprietary technologies. NASA has been a user of open source forever, but we did not see much code coming out. Which is totally fine. You don’t have to relase the code of the work that you use. But, if you do it will benefit everyone.

      In addition, if the code is of no use to the rest of the world, there is no point in releasing it either. However, a lot of what NASA does enhances the quality of life and software is no exception.

Links 6/1/2012: KDE SC 4.8 is Coming, Tails 0.10 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 8:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • “Is this even LEGAL?”

    Chuckle. That was the reaction of one person to discovering GNU/Linux after being disgusted by that other OS falling down. After hearing so much about restrictions on copying in that other OS and the cost of repairing it repeatedly, the thought of Free Software for $0 does seem strange. “How can this be?” is reasonable, but the answer is simple: The world needs software and can make its own. The world does not need to sell itself software that it makes for itself any more than you need to pay yourself for mowing your lawn or washing your dishes. You don’t charge visitors for their enjoyment of your lawn and eating from clean plates. It’s a chore that needs to be done in the modern world and millions of contributors can share the software by including a licence to use and copy with the software that you can download and run, install, share and even examine and modify.

  • Linux Will Eat Oracle’s Lunch in 2012, Says Analyst

    In 2012, a shocking number of enterprises will slink away from Oracle into the arms of competitors Red Hat and SUSE, new market research finds. This comes even though Oracle has its own flavor of Linux that is basically a copy of Red Hat’s.

  • How to Craft a Killer Cover Letter for Linux Jobs
  • Lenovo Delivers Hybrid Laptop, Switches Between Linux and Windows
  • It’s CES Early! Lenovo Trots Out ThinkPad Ultrabook, X1 Linux Hybrid

    The hybrid’s pictured up top, dubbed the X1 Hybrid, a 13.3-inch (1366 by 768 pixel LED display) Thinkpad wielding your choice of Intel core i3, i5 or i7 CPUs and up to 8GB of memory. It runs Windows, of course, but lets you switch over to Linux with the press of a button if you want to max out battery life, something Lenovo’s calling Instant Media Mode (IMM). IMM mode runs off a Qualcomm dual core processor and can access up to 16GB of memory. “To switch to IMM from Windows, users simply click on an icon on the laptop’s home screen,” says Lenovo. “With IMM, users can watch videos, view photos, listen to music, browse the web and even work on documents with double the battery life, up to 10 hours.” Look for all that in a 0.6-inch thin chassis with your choice of 320GB or 160GB solid state drive for storage. The price: About $1,599, says Lenovo, and it’ll be available in Q2 2012.

  • 2012 to be year of Linux domination

    Previously, I’ve called out years for non-desktop Linux in 2008, Linux in both the low and high-ends of the market in 2009, ‘hidden’ Linux in 2010 and last year, cloud computing in 2011. For 2012, I see continued growth, prevalence, innovation and impact from Linux, thus leading to a 2012 that is dominated by Linux.

  • Desktop

    • Going All-FOSS With a New Computer

      There are many different ways to define “free” software, noted Slashdot blogger Barbara Hudson. “Some software costs money, some costs more in terms of time. Some software has more restrictions attached to it. And just as previous generations wasted their time arguing about angels dancing on pin-heads, today’s pin-heads dance around shouting why their definition of ‘Free’ is the only one that matters.”

    • Switching off Apple and going back to my old Mutt

      I BOUGHT a Lenovo Thinkpad X220 today. After a few years’ foray into the world of Macs, I’m moving back to using Linux as my desktop.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.2 kernel released: What you need to know

      After a long delay due to kernel.org being hacked in August 2011, Linux 3.2 has finally been released. It’s a whopper of a release with optimizations and tweaks in nearly every facet of the OS; here’s the rundown of what’s new inside and why you want to upgrade to it.

    • What’s Coming For The Linux 3.3 Kernel DRM Pull

      Now that the Linux 3.2 kernel is released, the Linux 3.3 kernel merge window is open. Here’s a quick look at what should be queued up for the Linux 3.3 kernel when it comes to the DRM graphics area.

    • The kernel column with Jon Masters – a look back at 2011

      This month Jon Masters takes a break from looking at the very latest developments in the Linux kernel community, to bring two New Year special editions of his column. We start with a look back at 2011 with a look into the future to follow…

    • Linux Rings in the New Year with 3.2 Kernel
    • Fusion-io demos billion IOPS server config

      Start transforming your infrastructure today with HP

      Fusion-io has achieved a billion IOPS from eight servers in a demonstration at the DEMO Enterprise event in San Francisco.

      The cracking performance needed just eight HP DL370 G6 servers, running Linux 26.35.6-45 on two, 6-core Intel processors, 96GB RAM. Each server was fitted with eight 2.4TB ioDrive2 Duo PCIE flash drives; that’s 19.2TB of flash per server and 153.6TB of flash in total.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Makes Second 4.8 Release Candidate Available

        January 5, 2012. Today KDE released the second release candidate for its renewed Workspaces, Applications, and Development Platform. With API, dependency and feature freezes in place, the KDE team’s focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing new and old functionality. Please give this release another good round of testing to help us release a rock-solid 4.8 later this month.

      • KDE SC 4.8 Will Be Released In Two Weeks
  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi Lands eBay Bidding Up To $2,700 USD

      The Raspberry Pi beta boards that are currently auctioning on eBay are reaching bids of up to $2,700 USD. The retail version will sell for $25 and $35 USD.

    • Someone Is Paying $US3000 For This Tiny PC
    • Here’s A Good Sign That HP’s Decision To Open Source WebOS Will Pay Off
    • Phones

      • Taiwan market: Smartphones account for 55% of total handset sales in December

        Sales of smartphones in the Taiwan market totaled 450,000 units in December 2011, accounting for a 55% share of a total of 820,000 handsets sold in the month, according to data compiled by local channel operators.

      • Android

        • High Noon – Android/Linux v “8″ on ARM in 2012

          Is a monopoly any longer a monopoly when OEMs have a choice? Nope. Free Software trumps non-free when it comes to small cheap computers. ARM is not going away and in 2012 every consumer on the planet will have a chance to own an ARMed PC. By 2013 the competition to sell ARMed PCs will swamp the x86 shipments and Wintel will be out in the cold looking in at the warmth of the fire.

        • Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 Kernel Source Code Hits The Open Source Release Center

          While we’ve yet to actually see a release date for the Galaxy Tab 7.7 that Samsung debuted back in September, the company has now dropped the kernel source code for the device. In the past, this usually indicates an impending release, so we’re willing to bet that availability will be officially announced at CES next week.

        • Google TV switches to Marvell’s new dual-core ARM SoC
        • Making VoIP Calls With Your Android Phone
        • Should Android and Linux marry?

          There have been thoughts and speculation floating around the web recently of Android and Linux merging again. What gets me is that everybody seems to be speaking and thinking of Android as a separate operating system. It is not! Android is just as much Linux based as the Linux based distribution you are using right now.

          Admittedly it has the Linux internals locked away from the average Joe Citizen. However, any free shell program allows you to explore the Linux under the hood. Not only that, any of the many availiable rooting methods (hmmmm reminds me of a joke about a koala :P) will allow you to do anything on an Android device you can do on a major Linux distribution. The closest I can come to another example is MacOSx. The MacOSx is at it’s heart a BSD operating system. Which has had a pretty interface and api wrapped around it and marketed for mucho mula. Android is pretty much the same situation for mobile devices, only the mucho mula comes from the hardware sales :)

        • Motorola announces pair of new Androids for Europe, China, and other markets

          Motorola Mobility today announced a pair of new Android smartphones for Europe, China, and other markets. Running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, these two are designed to offer consumers affordable choices that best fit their unique personalities. On one hand we have the MOTOLUXE, a slim touch-only handset with a 4.0-inch display and on the other we have the DEFY MINI with its water-resistant and dustproof design. Both come in a variety of color options and will be on display at CES next week. We’ll be in Las Vegas and expect to get our hands on each model and will be happy to share our early impressions.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Google tablet PC believed to be targeting Kindle Fire

        As Google reportedly may launch an own-brand tablet PC to compete against Apple’s iPad, sources from Google’s upstream supply chain believe that Google, instead of Apple, may actually be targeting Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire as its major competitor. However, Google Taiwan commented that the company has never heard about plan of launching own-brand tablet PC.

Free Software/Open Source

  • HBase, Node.js, nginx, Hadoop Make Big Enterprise Inroads
  • Web Browsers

    • QupZilla Browser: one web browser, three niche features

      Just how do you establish a niche in the browser market when it is already saturated with so many competitors? Well, you could use Webkit and QT, throw in a few neat features and see where that takes you. That’s exactly what the developers at QupZilla did. So, I decided to take a look at the substance behind that quirky name.

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 3.6 Support To end On April 24, 2012

        We all knew that the day would come eventually when Mozilla would pull the plug on Firefox 3.6. According to new information posted on the Firefox Extended Support page, that day will be April 24, 2012. This is directly connected to the announcement that Firefox 10 will be the company’s first Extended Support Release (ESR).

      • The Mozilla Public License version 2.0 is out—and GPL-compatible!

        Earlier this week, the Mozilla Foundation published the Mozilla Public License (MPL) version 2.0. This is a major update to their flagship license, which covers most of the Foundation’s own free software projects, as well as others’.

      • Firefox wants to be your business buddy Web browser again

        Mozilla, the group behind the Firefox Web browser, has finally gotten a clue that business users don’t like constant updates. On the Mozilla wiki page, Mozilla admits to what many of us have known for a long time: Firefox’s recent rapid-fire release schedule was way too fast for corporate and institutional users.

  • Databases

    • CouchDB creator distances self from Apache project

      Damian Katz, creator of CouchDB, has announced that he is moving on from Apache CouchDB development to focus his efforts on Couchbase. In a blog posting he calls the merger of the CouchDB and Membase technologies in Couchbase Server “a product and project with similar capabilities and goals, but more faster, more scalable, more customer and developer focused” adding “And definitely not part of Apache”.

    • CouchDB creator moves on, sparking debate over open source dev

      The future of CouchDB is Couchbase Server. That according to CouchDB founder Damien Katz, who took to his blog to explain why he and others on the CouchDB team are regrouping around a more commercially focused offering within Couchbase, the company created in early 2011 when NoSQL startup Membase bought Katz’s CouchDB-focused CouchOne. While the decision might make business sense, not everyone is happy about it.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Funding

    • GrabCAD grabs $4M for open-source CAD

      GrabCAD, a specialist in open-source CAD software, has netted $4.2 million in new funding from its existing VC backers. Plus, David Skok, the general partner with one of those backers, Matrix Partners, has joined GrabCAD’s board. The news was outlined in a blog post on Thursday by GrabCAD president Hardi Meybaum. Skok has some CAD cred: He is on the board of Dassault Systemes’ SolidWorks, a maker of 3-D CAD (or computer-aided design) software. Engineers use this kind of software to design products on-screen.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • XBMC 11 enters beta, final desktop version of Boxee 1.5 arrives

      As the XBMC developers release the first beta of version 11.0 of their open source media centre software, the Boxee developers announce that the newly released version 1.5 of their media centre software will also be the last open source version.

    • LibreCAD 1.0 released

      LibreCAD version 1.0 has been released. The free software 2D CAD program for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows is based on the open source community edition of RibbonSoft’s QCAD. LibreCAD is the result of a project which was started in order to add CAM capabilities to QCAD to drive a CNC router. That project, originally called CADuntu, set out to port the QCAD software so that it used Qt4 rather than the now outdated Qt3 before enhancing the software further. LibreCAD 1.0.0 now has a Qt4 user interface but is, for various reasons, not yet Qt3 free. An interface for plugins, autosaving and improved DXF file reading has also been added.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Five essential elements of an open government unconference

      Joining the open source (and CityCamp) movement has been one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve been involved with open source for over a decade, but I never got involved in a community project in any significant way–until I found CityCamp. I haven’t submitted a single line of code, but I’m able to bring my project management and community-building skills to the table. That’s important because it highlights the fact that there is more to open source contributions than writing code.

    • NASA launches open source web site

      NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the US, has launched code.nasa.gov, a web site that will serve as the central source of information about the agency’s open source projects. The site, which is still in early alpha, is intended to help unify and expand NASA’s open source activities.

    • NASA opens it Open-Source Code Doors

      Back in the 1980s, I was writing open-source programs for NASA. Oh, we didn’t call it open source then. Open source as a term wouldn’t exist until 1998. All the code we produced was “free software,” but we didn’t call it that either. We just made the best code we could and shared it with people. It was a different time. Many of these programs were made available under the COSMIC software project. Today, NASA is centralizing its open-source offerings at the Code NASA Web-site.

    • One small step: NASA launches open source portal, aims to open more code
    • NASA boldly goes deeper into open source with code.NASA
  • Programming

    • IDEs Are Dead. Long Live the IDE!

      How will developers’ favorite working environments evolve in a cloud-based, post-PC world?

    • SourceForge Embraces Mirror Projects

      SourceForge, the FOSS friendly site has expanded it’s nest with the new SourceForge Open Source Mirror Directory, whose job is to provide a directory that mirrors projects that are not hosted on their site. They are already busy adding non-Sourceforge Open Source software projects to the new directory. This will include a description of the product, links to their official website, and a mirror of their software releases.

    • SourceForge now mirroring external projects
    • Oracle Advances Open Source NetBeans

      Oracle is out with its first major open source IDE release of the year, updating NetBeans to version 7.1 The new NetBeans release builds on the Java SE 7 support first introduced in NetBeans 7.0 in April 2011.

      A key focus of the NetBeans 7.1 release is enhanced support for developers building user interfaces with JavaFX 2.0, CSS 3 and Swing.

      “For me, NetBeans 7.1 is all about the user’s interface,” Bill Pataky, vice president of Product Management for tools and frameworks, told InternetNews.com.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Hungary: Open standards for documents

      The Hungarian government has decided that, from April 2012, public administrations in Hungary should only provide official documents in internationally recognised open standards-based document formats and must be able to accept and process such documents. Quoting Hungarian media, a report on the EU Joinup collaboration platform said that only the Ministry of Defence will have more time to switch to using open document formats.

Leftovers

  • Nokia: There will be NO smartphone division selloff to Microsoft

    Rumours that Nokia is about to sell its smartphone division to Microsoft and that CEO Stephen Elop will jump after closing the deal have been denied yet again by the Finnish phone-makers.

    The suggestion that Nokia will sell off their crown jewels to Redmond has been rebuffed before, and even had an impact on the markets last year, but despite the Finns repeated denials, the rumour simply won’t go away.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • A Punch to the Mouth – Food Price Volatility Hits the World

      2011 was an abysmal year for the global insurance industry, which had to cover yet another enormous increase in damages from natural disasters. Unknown to most casual observers is the fact that during the past few decades the frequency of weather-related disasters (floods, fires, storms) has been growing at a much faster pace than geological disasters (such as earthquakes). This spread between the two types of insurable losses has moved so strongly that it prompted Munich Re to note in a late 2010 letter that weather-related disasters due to wind have doubled and flooding events have tripled in frequency since 1980. The world now has to contend with a much higher degree of risk from weather and climate volatility, and this has broad-reaching implications.

  • Finance

    • Crowd-Sourcing the Revolving Door

      This chart of Venn Diagrams (New Year’s Day links) is a nifty visualization[1] that shows how many, many people, through the operations of Washington’s revolving door, have held high-level positions both in the Federal government and in major corporations. To take but one example, the set of all Treasury Secretaries includes Hank Paulson and Bob Rubin, which overlaps with the set of all Goldman Sachs COOs. The overlapping is pervasive. Political scientists and the rest of us have names for such cozy arrangements — oligarchy, corporatism, fascism, “crony capitalism” — but one name that doesn’t apply is democracy. On the flip, you’ll find a larger version of the chart (and a discussion of its provenance).

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Defending media pluralism in Hungary*

      Over recent weeks serious questions have been asked by the European Commission about 30 new laws in Hungary, including a major constitutional revision, and these concerns continue. These laws have passed against the backdrop of a media law adopted in late 2010, which was found by the European Commission to put fundamental rights at risk, and by the Hungarian courts to breach the Hungarian constitution.

  • Copyrights

    • It Is Time To Stop Pretending To Endorse The Copyright Monopoly

      There is a saying in the political discussion in Sweden: “Anything you say before but in a political statement doesn’t count.” We’ve seen a lot of that practice in recent years with increasingly horrendous cultural monopoly laws.
      People in corporate and political suits alike are climbing on top of one another to be the most statesmanlike in stating “We are fully committed to the copyright monopoly, but these proposed enforcement laws are just nuts,” worded in all the synonyms you can find in a thesaurus.

01.05.12

Links 5/1/2012: Linux 3.2 Released, Android Devices Unlocked

Posted in News Roundup at 10:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Apache OpenOffice (Incubating)

      I suspect that finding the newly christened and newly energised project and application formerly known as “OpenOffice.org” is less than super easy for some. So, the link is there… Right now, I’m using the latest build for Mac OS X of Apache OpenOffice (thanks to Raphael Bircher!), and not only is it stable but fast. I’ve also added the usual extensions, etc.

  • CMS

    • Dries’ vision for Drupal 8

      In January last year the developers of popular open source content management system Drupal celebrated the release of version 7. Drupal 7 included significant architectural changes as well as usability enhancements.

  • Licensing

    • Mozilla overhauls for version 2.0 of public licence

      Patent protection and modernisation to reflect recent changes in copyright law have been addressed. The MPL 2.0 has also been polished to “incorporate feedback from lawyers outside the United States on issues of applicability in non-US jurisdictions”.

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • The US Economy in 2012 – Two Big Problems, Two Ready Solutions

      A number of Obama’s historical allies feel that the President missed a major opportunity by not embracing the Simpson-Bowles blueprint when it was first released a year ago.

      [...]

      “Ronald Reagan once said,” writes Christina Romer in her concluding paragraph, “‘There are simple answers – there just are not easy ones.’ What needs to happen on fiscal policy is relatively straightforward. The hard part is getting politicians to do it.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Real “Winner” in Iowa: New “Super” Front Groups That Are Super Corrupting Our Democracy Thanks to “Citizens United”

      Contrary to most press accounts, there was a decisive winner in the Iowa caucuses last night, and it was neither Rick Santorum nor Mitt Romney. The “winner” was the so-called “Super” PACs (political action committees), the mutant front groups for political candidates that were “created” in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision that unleashed corporations and billionaires to spend unlimited money influencing elections. The losers were the American people and the integrity of the democratic process, which is so vulnerable to attack ads and other influence funded by the 1%.

    • “Energy in Depth,” “Counter-Insurgency” Tactics, and Astroturf “Energy Citizens”

      The corporations pushing for expanded “hydraulic fracturing” (“fracking”) for “natural gas” are putting big money into PR campaigns due to growing citizen concerns about this damaging drilling process. At a “Media and Stakeholder Relations: Hydraulic Fracturing Initiative 2011″ meeting this winter, an industry representative went so far as to suggest that industry public relations agents download the U.S. Army/Marine Corps’ “Counterinsurgency Field Manual.” He noted that it would be helpful because the industry is “dealing with an insurgency.”

    • Mitt Romney’s “Super” Friends Take Aim through the “Restore Our Future” Super PAC

      The PAC Is Run by Romney’s Former Campaign Strategist Carl Forti

      The pro-Romney Super PAC that carpet-bombed Iowa with ads against Gingrich is led by Carl Forti. Forti is the man who ran Romney’s campaign for president in 2008. He was perhaps Romney’s closest advisor and strategist when Romney placed second in Iowa four years ago.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Challenging Counterfeit Counterfeiting Data

      Julian Sanchez has an excellent post at the CATO website debunking claims in the U.S. on the financial impact of counterfeiting and piracy, which is being used to promote the dangerous Stop Online Piracy Act. The post focuses on the fake $250 billion per year claim that is frequently invoked by copyright lobby groups, noting that the number is not based on an actual study but rather a 1991 sidebar in Forbes that took a guess at the global market. In 2010, the U.S. Government Accountability Office examined the counterfeiting data claims and found that they could not be substantiated and last year the Social Sciences Research Council released a massive study on counterfeiting and piracy that thoroughly debunked the claims.

    • Copyrights

      • Piracy is not a problem; SOPA is not a solution

        Recently, as I was browsing the shelves of my local used book store, I realized that I was engaged in “piracy” of exactly the same kind as what the legacy entertainment industry has slammed as a scourge so terrible that it is worthy of giving up our online freedoms to protect. This is what SOPA is supposed to protect us from.

      • Disaffection with Jamendo among artists

        Jamendo has been one of my favorite sites for finding free-licensed music (i.e. music licensed under Creative Commons Attribution or Attribution-ShareAlike licenses) for projects. So, it’s very sad for me to find out that it has had a flagging reputation over the last year or so. I first noticed earlier this year that some artists were disappearing from the site. Originally, I attributed this to artists becoming disaffected with free culture in general, which worried me a lot.

        However, I’ve had a chance to track down a few of the artists and find their own comments (and complaints). Several have expressed concern over dealing with Jamendo’s management, which has apparently become somewhat inattentive — especially with issues surrounding the Jamendo Pro service and the other ways artists can make money through the site. Perhaps they are understaffed or overloaded. I don’t really have the whole picture, but whatever the actual details, it seems a fair number of free-culture musicians have been leaving Jamendo.

      • Crystal Ball Gazing at the Year Ahead in Tech Law and Policy

        Technology law and policy is notoriously unpredictable but 2012 promises to be a busy year. My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) offers some guesses for the coming months:

      • Busted: Canadian Parliament Hosts BitTorrent Pirates

        YouHaveDownloaded is a great resource that reveals what people behind an IP-address have downloaded on BitTorrent.

      • ACTA

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

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux 2012: 5 Things to Watch

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

  • How Much Do You Linux?

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

  • Download Linux From Your Desktop With Get Linux

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

  • Linux emerges as a reliable option in 2012

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

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • Nginx Passes Microsoft for Active Web Server Share

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

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

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

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

      [...]

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

    • Nginx overtakes Microsoft as No. 2 Web server

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

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • LinuxCon 2011 Europe keynote videos now available

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

    • Linux Foundation sites back in action

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

    • What’s new in Linux 3.2

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

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Akademy-es 2012 – Call for Host

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

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

      • What does Cinnamon bring to the desktop?

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

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Alpine 2.3.3 released

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

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • New aptosid Fork, siduction 11.1 Released

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

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

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

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

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

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

          • Will an Ubuntu Gadget Debut at CES?

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

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

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

          • Precise Quality, not just for Precise

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

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

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

          • Canonical Will Present Exclusive Ubuntu Concept Design at CES

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

          • Flavours and Variants

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

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

            • Review: Meet ‘Lisa,’ Linux Mint 12

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

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

            • Linux Mint launches Cinnamon desktop

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

  • Devices/Embedded

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

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

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

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

    • Roku media player shrinks again — to an HDMI dongle

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

    • Phones

      • Android

        • The 10 Rookie Mistakes Every Android Developer Should Avoid

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

        • Android Market tops 400,000 apps, climbing fast

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • Android phones need to give root access. Now!

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

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

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

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

  • The Jeff Gauthier Goatette: Open Source

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

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

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

    Or so I was told.

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

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chromegate? Google Will Penalize Itself For Sponsored Posts

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

    • Mozilla

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

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

      • Mozilla persuades Firefox 3.6 users to dump old browser

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

      • Mozilla Updates License – Does it Matter?

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

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

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

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

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

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

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

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

  • CMS

  • Healthcare

    • WebOS Gets Surprise Second Life in Healthcare

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

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

    • VA Details Plans to Replace Medical-Scheduling Platform

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

  • Project Releases

    • Aeon Nox 2.0 XBMC Theme Released, Looks Fantastic!

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

    • Apache’s Hadoop cloud computing framework achieves 1.0 status

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

    • gnutls 3.0.10
    • FreeIPMI 1.1.1 Released

      Major Updates:

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

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

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

  • Public Services/Government

    • Of Open Source and the European Commission

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

    • DISA revises software guideline clarifying open source rules

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

  • Licensing

    • The economic incentive to violate the GPL

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

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

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

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

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

    • Open document standards mandatory in Hungary government

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

Leftovers

  • Boneheaded Stunts

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

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

  • M$ and One of its Partners are at War

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

  • The Commodore 64 is 30 this year

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

  • IBM Buys Cloud-Based Software Testing Platform Green Hat

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

  • Security

  • Finance

    • MF Global sold assets to Goldman before collapse: sources

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

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

  • Civil Rights

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