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Links 13/5/2011: Lubuntu 11.04 in Focus

Posted in News Roundup at 9:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Podcast Season 3 Episode 9

      In this episode: David Braben creates a low-cost Linux machine. Matt Zimmerman leaves Canonical while Mark Shuttleworth wants 200 million Ubuntu users within 4 years. Discover our discoveries, hear the latest conversion stories from TuxRadar and join us on IRC.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Planning the first release of KDE Telepathy

        Given the various blog posts, and (somewhat unnecessary) hysteria over the news of Skype I felt like I should give an update on what’s going on in KDE Telepathy.

        Pace over the past 5 months has been ace, we’ve got a lot done, and as mentioned by a few people already – we’re releasing “soon”! We don’t have a fixed date, but instead we will release when a set list of outstanding bugs are fixed. Probably about 4 weeks time. (unless I die of stress organising it all in the meantime)


        We have a GSOC student that I’m mentoring over the summer to really nail bringing instant messaging into the core of the Plasma Workspace.

      • KDEMU Certified Scrotum Master
  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Scala daddy wraps his Java baby in Red Hat-ness

        Martin Odersky – the man who created Scala, the Java-based programming language that now drives such big name web services as Twitter, Foursquare, and LinkedIn – has launched a company that provides service and support around an extensive open source application stack for the language.

        Both the company and the stack are known as Typesafe. Officially unveiled on Thursday, the Typesafe stack includes the most recent releases of the Scala programming language, the open source Akka middleware, and various open source tools designed to facilitate the development of Scala applications. “We want to provide stable versions of the stack, stable supported versions where you can get backports of fixes and improvements”, Odersky tells The Register. “It’s very much the open source support model you see with Red Hat”.

      • Fedora

        • Fosscomm 2011 & Fedora Activity Day

          May was here again, and it was time for our annual Greek Meetup. Fosscomm is the (now-standard) annual meetup of Greek foss communities, and this year it was Patras time to host it. My good friend Vasilis and the rest of his gang have done extraordinary good organizational job (arranging our accommodation, creating custom web apps for the conference, providing extensive info and material etc), and in overall I can say safely that it was the best Fosscomm so far.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 6.0: Upgrade

        I finally cleared enough time to upgrade my computer from Debian 5 “Lenny”, to the new Debian 6 “Squeeze”. Debian Linux 6 was actually released in February, but I wanted to have a few days of no commitments, just in case my computer would be down for an extended period. And a good thing, too.

        The short version: I successfully upgraded my desktop from Debian 5 to 6. It was not trivial….though it was easier than my last upgrade, from Debian 4 to 5, two years ago.

      • DNS security extensions now available for Debian’s zone entries

        The Debian Project is pleased to announce that its domains debian.org and debian.net are now secured by the DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC). The corresponding DNS records have recently been added in the .net and .org zones.

        “This enables users with security aware DNS resolvers to securely retrieve information from the domain name system such as IP addresses, or for those who have shell accounts on debian.org machines, SSH host key fingerprints. Any tampering with DNS replies would be detected by a user’s resolver,” says Peter Palfrader, member of Debian’s System Administrator Team. “DNSSEC is an important step in securing the Internet’s name resolution infrastructure.”

      • Derivatives

Free Software/Open Source

  • FOSS Experts, Where Are You Hiding?

    Linux has been around for a long time, but people were waiting for it to be a mature solution. Large product companies would not consider open source, as they doubted its stability—but now, the research and development phase is over. Over the years, FOSS has proved its stability in the industry, and many organisations are switching to using open source solutions rather than conventional proprietary solutions, because of the high costs associated with the latter. FOSS is very mature now, and it is possible to run Linux on a variety of platforms, making it a favourable commercial solution. This has led to a demand for FOSS professionals, especially in organisations that deal with technology and products. With the Android explosion, Linux on hand-held or embedded devices is an upcoming area, and will see much more growth in the coming years, especially because over 50 per cent of smart-phones run on Android today. The main sectors driving this demand are industries like technology, semi-conductors, telecom companies and phone manufacturers.

  • LGM – Day 3
  • Harnessing the Benefits of Open-Source Sustainability Tools

    OAKLAND, CA — The bedrock of capitalism based around innovation has for years been the idea that when someone invents a unique and in-demand product or service, it should be patented and protected at all costs.

    But a growing number of companies are turning the concept of intellectual capital on its head in the name of sustainability. Count IBM, Nike and the Outdoor Industry Association among the growing list of business interests turning to open source models to lower costs and scale best practices and technologies.

  • Mozilla

  • Public Services/Government

    • German Foreign Office explains open source elimination

      The German government has given details of its reasons for migrating the German Foreign office from Linux and free software back to Windows and Microsoft software. The SPD (Social Democrats, the main German opposition party) submitted an initial question on “the use of open source software in the Foreign Office and other Government departments”, but, according to the Green parliamentary group, the German government’s response left various questions unanswered.


Clip of the Day

Lubuntu Linux 11.04 Natty First Look Review & News

Credit: TinyOgg, Twitter


Links 12/5/2011: Google’s Linux in Headlines, Only 20% of Google Staff Uses Windows

Posted in News Roundup at 6:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Open Ballot: What is Linux’s killer feature?

    As we rev up our podcast engines for the next recording, we want to hear your words: what do you think is the killer feature of Linux? What’s its strongest selling point, the thing that makes it better than its competitors? Perhaps you reckon the kernel’s rock-solid stability is key, or maybe you think the plethora of desktop environments gives it an advantage.

  • Desktop

  • Google

    • Google Launching Chromebook for Business on June 15
    • Google may offer £12 a month Chromebooks on contract

      Google is rumoured to be set to announce a scheme where students can get a Chrome OS toting laptop for a $20 (£12) a month contract, mimicking the way in which many people get the latest mobile phones.

      According to Forbes, Google will announce the deal later in the day at its Google I/O conference, and the package will include Google Apps.

    • It’s Not A Linux Laptop

      I’ve been watching the commentary on Google’s announcements yesterday that their Chrome OS will be available on laptops from partners – ChromeBooks – and that they will offer a scheme where they provide a ChromeBook to businesses and students for $20-$30 per month. It’s clear that some people are not seeing the real deal here. I’ve seen comments on early reviews, Identi.ca and Twitter saying this is just a Linux laptop and asking why it will be any more successful than previous abortive attempts at the same, such as putting Ubuntu on “netbook”-style laptops.

    • Samsung Chromebook: 12 things you need to know
    • Five Reasons why Google’s Linux Chromebook is a Windows killer

      When Google first started talking about Chrome OS, I thought it might be turn into a Windows killer. Well, now we know that the first commercial Chromebooks will be available in mid-June and there’s no question: Google is aiming right at the Windows business desktop market.

    • Why Google Chrome OS is Crucial for the Linux Desktop

      As Google Chrome OS nears a grand release, everyone is excited about a brand new operating system entering the monopolized desktop market. On the other hand, Mark Shuttleworth has set a target of 200 million Ubuntu users in the next four years. With Ubuntu 11.04 ‘Natty Narwhal’ not being as good as expected, Shuttleworth’s plans, if not impossible, may seem a bit too ambitious.

      Many people believe that Chrome OS’s release can further hamper Ubuntu’s stagnating growth. However, if we consider the recent desktop trends, and if everything goes well for Google, Chrome OS might actually be the magic boost Ubuntu so desperately needs. Here’s why:

    • Sergey Brin: Only 20% of Googlers still on Windows

      Google co-founder Sergey Brin has said that only about 20 per cent of Google’s employees are still using Microsoft Windows, and that all of those users are on Windows 7.

      He stressed, however, that he is not sure of the exact percentage.

      Rumors had indicated that within the company, Google had almost entirely banned Windows. Speaking at Google’s annual developer conference on Wednesday, where and when the company announced that it will offer Chrome OS notebook for a subscription fee, Brin said that Google hopes to move most of its employees to Google’s Chrome OS, an operating system that puts all applications inside the browser.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Btrfs Support For Ubuntu’s Update Manager

      Eventually we will see Ubuntu Linux deploy Btrfs as the default file-system. While we will likely not see the switch from EXT4 to Btrfs with Ubuntu 11.10, there is work underway on Btrfs integration support into Ubuntu’s Update Manager.

      With Fedora 13, Red Hat introduced system roll-back support whereby anytime a yum transaction takes place for installing a new RPM package on a Btrfs root file-system, a snapshot will be created. Btrfs supports efficiently creating copy-on-write snapshots. Fedora has been quicker to adopt Btrfs installation support and its features, but now Canonical is finally supporting this path.

  • Applications

    • Proprietary

      • Skype-ing out an open source future

        Now, be honest: do you remember that aQuantive deal? Are you aware of any benefit that Microsoft has managed to extract from a purchase with that “shocking” purchase price? No, me neither. Now compare that acquisition with its current move, which has also “shocked” people for its “substantial overpayment”. Sounds like déjà vu all over again.

        But leaving all this shock aside, what will the impact of an undoubtedly important move be for open source?

        Whatever else it might mean, one consequence of the deal is that Microsoft now has less money in the bank, which will have knock-on consequences in all the markets it is active in. Given that it started out with $50 billion, and now has “only” $42 billion, you might think that effect will be minimal. But according to this interesting analysis, most of Microsoft’s money is held outside the US, which means that it’s actually quite constrained in the things it can do with it.

      • Evil Empire Buys Skype

        Now, before any Skype fan-boys get on soap boxes to tell Mr. Vaughan-Nichols and myself just how wrong we are, that Skype is worth every penny being paid and maybe even more, let me dig-up a few facts to explain our position. eBay bought Skype when it was a two year old start-up, in 2005, for $2.6 billion. A few years later, eBay was forced to admit to their shareholders they’d paid way too much. In 2009, they were happy to dump the company onto a group of investors for $2 billion, a $600 million loss. In the first six months of 2010, Skype finally realized a $13.2 million profit, after losing $99 million in 2009.

        As I like to do sometimes, let me quote the great television sage, Thomas Magnum: “I know what you’re thinking…”
        Easy AdSense by Unreal

        You’re thinking that Skype has to be worth gazillions of dollars because practically everyone on the planet is using it and it’s finally making a little bit of money.

      • Linux Community Working On Skype Alternatives!

        The message that Skype is being acquired by Microsoft got GNU/Linux community worried. There are indications that Microsoft may stop the Linux client of Skype. Microsoft won’t have to pull the binaries from the site. They can delay the development of Skype for Linux, either way Skype’s Linux kind is behind its Mac/Windows version.

    • Instructionals/Technical

  • Desktop Environments

    • glibc – inconsistent interfaces due to arrogance

      To start off, I don’t actually mind arrogant people as long as they back their attitude up with some semblance of sanity, however arrogance without ability pisses me off, and it seems that its the number 1 trait to be a maintainer of glibc.

    • The Desktop Linux Paradox

      Believe me, I used to think Linux on the desktop was one user interface revamp away from hitting it big time. Now I realize the problem is much more fundamental: Linux was never created to serve an end-user market, and end users are hard to serve properly. The only way Linux can be so reworked is if someone removes it from its native environment and single-handedly shapes it into something else.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • New Features in digiKam 2.0: XMP Sidecar
      • I need a new distro version 2

        Recently I’ve been surveying a lot of KDE distros. I tried a lot of live cds and looked at a lot of videos and screenshots. Things have changed a little bit since I last searched for a distro. People have started modifying KDE (KDESC?) a bit more from the defaults but not by much certainly nothing that compares to how much Gnome2/Kde3 were/are customized. In any case I eventually decided I had to settle on something. So I went to my s.o.p for distro selection. Make a list and use each distro long enough to decide if it was something I could use with minimal annoyance. Here are my findings so far.


        My next distro was going to be Arch. I have a great many good memories of my time on Arch.

      • Next Gen KDEPIM Coming in June with KDE 4.6.4

        KDEPIM users have been suffering through a variety of bugs and lagging development releases since KDE 4 first hit download mirrors. Developers tried to fix some, but others were just ignored or given up on. Now word is coming out of the project that KDEPIM 4.6 is finally coming, but will that fix users’ problems?

        Bugs have plagued KDEPIM ever since KDE 4 was released over three years ago. Some did get some attentions, but for the most part users were told to wait for the next major release. Well, that next major release is immenent, but according to a recent developer’s blog post, some of the same issues experienced in 4.4 will rear their wiggly heads in 4.6. In addition, other regressions are being reported as well.

      • Some News from the ALERT Project

        The ALERT Project, as already explained, aims to improve bug tracking and resolution in free software communities. KDE is participating as a project partner by providing expertise on how free software communities work and by providing testing and feedback for the ALERT software.

      • Resources and Activities

        After an update by Sebastian Kügler on the status of PlasmaActive, let’s see what’s happening lately on its semantic Contour user interface and backend.

        During Tokamak together Sebastian, we designed a plugin system for delegates of arbitrary Nepomuk resources.

      • What’s new in Plasma Active?
    • GNOME Desktop

      • Deja Dup (backup tool) to become default in gnome 3.2?

        As you probably know after the gnome 3.0 release developers are back on releasing the second iteration of the ‘awesome’ desktop, gnome 3.2. There have been discussions going on in gnome development lists. One of the discussions is about including deja dup backup as default in gnome. This will help to create a unified experience from the start.

      • Deja Dup (backup tool) to become default in gnome 3.2?
      • GNOME Board of Directors Elections 2011

        I can’t believe it’s been this long already, but it is time for yet another Board of Directors Election! Having had the opportunity to serve on the Board for these last 12 months, I want to encourage anyone who have the time and interest to improve the GNOME project to run for one of the seven spots on the Board of Directors! For more information on this, please read the official announcement here!

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • BackTrack 5 Release
      • Zenwalk Live version (ZenLive) 7.0 has been released!

        We are happy to announce the highly awaited Zenwalk Live 7.0, which will allow more people to try out Zenwalk without having to install it first.

        Zenwalk Live 7.0 is based on the sophisticated Slackware-Live-Scripts, being the first distribution using the brand new and not yet official released version 0.3.3

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 6, Entropy 1, a new Era is about to come

        It’s been some time since my last blog post, but if you’re a Sabayon user, you may know that I’ve been busy with a lot of stuff lately. Entropy eventually entered the final Beta phase: API documentation is complete, Entropy Services infrastructure has been rewritten from scratch taking advantage from the best communication protocol ever invented: HTTP (and JSON as “data format”), Sulfur eventually got its awaited speed boost (1.0_beta15), packages.sabayon.org has been deployed, www.sabayon.org will follow, Python 2.7 is now the default, same for GCC 4.5, and Entropy in general is as rock solid (and fast) as ever in all its 300.000+ lines of code, millions of line changes, that I’ve been able to work out in 4 years. You know, when you’re 20 you think everything is possible. Well, this time I was right and we can, today, all enjoy the most advanced and crazy package manager ever written by a single human being.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Rancore wins JBoss and Red Hat Innovator Awards
      • Why Choose Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Over VMware or Microsoft?

        Talk to Navin Thadani, Red Hat’s senior director, virtualization, and he’ll tell you that RHEV’s attractions are that it offers high-performance server virtualization, it’s scalable, and it’s very secure. And, perhaps most importantly, it offers “solid economics for customers.” What does that mean? It’s less expensive than Hyper-V and VMware, in other words.

        Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) doesn’t seem to sell RHEV based on the features it offers, and that’s probably because it lacks a few key ones. Despite Thadani promising as long ago as February 2010 that “you will be able to do an apples-for-apples feature comparison between us and VMware,” RHEV is still quite a few pieces of fruit short of a full picnic basket vis a vis VMware.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project at LinuxTag 2011

        The Debian Project is happy to announce that it will be again represented at the LinuxTag event in Berlin, Germany, this year. At the booth members of the project will be available for questions and discussions.

        The Debian booth will be at Hall 7.2b stand 118c. We invites users, developers and everyone else interested to visit it and ask questions, discuss technical issues and meet the Debian project and its developers in person.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Weekly News Revival
          • Riding the Narwhal: Ars reviews Unity in Ubuntu 11.04

            Ubuntu 11.04, codenamed Natty Narwhal, rose from the depths last week. The update brings a number of significant new features to the Linux-based operating system. It includes a much-improved refresh of the Unity shell and a number of other significant improvements throughout the application stack.

            This is the first version of Ubuntu to ship with Unity on the desktop. Due to the far-reaching nature of the changes that accompany the transition to a new desktop shell, this review will focus almost entirely on Unity and how it impacts the Ubuntu user experience. We will also look at how Unity compares with GNOME 3.0 and the classic GNOME experience.

          • Nouveau Gallium3D, LLVMpipe In Ubuntu 11.10?

            - Nouveau Gallium3D will finally be enabled by default, hopefully. For the past few releases it’s been optional in the package repository, but now it’s finally ready to enter the limelight. Why? Largely because upstream Nouveau developers are willing to look at Gallium3D bug reports, according to Canonical. There’s still some concerns by the Ubuntu X developers over the state of the OpenGL driver, but following my comments — and noting that the Nouveau support can be like a game of Russian Roulette depending upon the kernels — they’ll still likely move forward. In enabling this open-source NVIDIA driver, users could then use the new Unity (3D) desktop without the NVIDIA binary driver. The enabling will likely occur soon for Oneiric but if there’s too much fall-out around the time of Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 3, the feature could be reverted.

          • [UDS Updates] Evolution For Now, But Thunderbird Will be Default if Proper Desktop Integration Can be Done in Time
          • Ubuntu 11.10 To Switch From GDM To LightDM

            Earlier, during the Natty development cycle we reported that LightDM is being considered as a replacement for GDM. That did not happen for Ubuntu 11.04, but today it has been confirmed at the Ubuntu Developer Summit at Budapest that LightDM is finally replacing GDM.

          • Lubuntu 11.04 review – If it’s good enough for Mark Shuttleworth…

            This lightweight distro could be the perfect match for your netbook or for that old computer you’ve refurbished. Find out why Mark Shuttleworth has seen fit to welcome Lubuntu into the official Ubuntu family…

            Pros: Lubuntu 11.04 is a mature Ubuntu derivative featuring the LXDE desktop environment and lightweight applications
            Cons: Some software choices are odd, and Lubuntu lacks the Ubuntu Software Center. i586 processors aren’t supported any more
            Homepage: Lubuntu.net

          • LightDM, or: an examination of a misunderstanding of the problem

            LightDM’s a from-scratch implementation of an X display manager, ie the piece of software that handles remote X connections, starts any local X servers, provides a login screen and kicks off the initial user session. It’s split into a nominally desktop-agnostic core (built directly on xcb and glib) and greeters, the idea being that it’s straightforward to implement an environment-specific greeter that integrates nicely with your desktop session. It’s about 6500 lines of code in the core, 3500 lines of code in the gtk bindings to the core and about 1000 in the sample gtk greeter, for a total of about 11,000 lines of code for a full implementation. This compares to getting on for 60,000 in gdm. Ubuntu plan to switch to LightDM in their next release (11.10).

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • GNU Radio – Opensource Software Defined Radio (SDR)

    GNU Radio is an open source Software Defined Radio (SDR) project that was started about ten years ago by Eric Blossom, an electrical engineer. The main idea which is behind this project, as its founder says, was to turn all the hardware problems into software problems, that is move the complexity of a radio equipment from the hardware level to the software one, and get the software as close to the antenna as possible.

  • What Do Your Processes Say About Your Free Software Project?

    In an effort to broaden my horizons beyond writing code, I’ve been reading a lot of business books lately. Coming from a mostly Free Software background, it’s been an enlightening experience1. One thing sticks out the most: Processes matter, and they matter more than I ever thought.

    It’s common for me to contribute to random projects. Launchpad and Github and the like make it easy (can we get a Launchpad version of this shirt2?). However, I’m not likely to contribute to a project that has a HACKING document longer than any source file in the entire tree. If it takes me longer to figure out how to send a patch than it takes to write the patch, there might be some problems.

  • Open source designer Ian ‘Izo’ Cylkowski talks tools, design tips and talent

    If the name sounds familiar then it should. Ian is an active designer within the open source community – for example, he created the logo for the semantic app launch tool ‘Synapse’ and has been working with the Novacut team on creating a brand identity for the project.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Angry Birds for Chrome Browser

        Just noticed that Angry Birds is now online at http://chrome.angrybirds.com
        Plays pretty well in Chromium Browser. Takes a tad longer to load in Firefox. Most people seem to be able to play the game. Some though appear to have some graphic issues. I’m using the fglrx driver along with Flash 10.3 RC without issue. Check it out if you need a little time waster. *Warning* Game can be addictive. Level 20 here I come!!!

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla: It Has a Spinal Cord

        I know I’m a little late with this news, but that’s because I was kind of busy earlier in the week. Anyway, the news (Nate Anderson, Ars Technica) is that the US government (specifically, the Department of Homeland Security) tried to force Mozilla to remove an add-on for Firefox called MAFIAAFire. The DHS a few months ago seized tens of thousands of website domains without a warrant and without due process; only a few (countable on two hands) of those were truly harmful in any way, while the vast majority of those sites were perfectly legal. MAFIAAFire, whose name jabs at the RIAA and MPAA (frequently referred to as the “MAFIAA” in technology circles), essentially redirects searches for the old domains to the new domains where the content is now hosted. The DHS claims that such redirection violates the orders regarding the original seizures.

      • Mozilla Halts Updates For Firefox 3.5

        Mozilla is currently preparing to phase out Firefox 3.5 and said that it will not release further major updates for the browser version.

  • Project Releases

    • Review: Boxee Box firmware v1.1 arrives

      Boxee released the second major update to the D-Link Boxee Box’s firmware today. The new v1.1 release adds a variety of content channels for both movies and shows, enhances the device’s browser functionality, improves the consistency of its user interface, and squashes numerous bugs.

      The new firmware (numbered will be pushed out to users’ Boxee Boxes gradually over the next 48 hours, according to Boxee VP of marketing Andrew Kippen. While there will be numerous mostly unseen fixes, changes, and enhancements under the hood, here’s a run-down of the more noticeable improvements…


Clip of the Day

Trisquel GNU/Linux 4.5……….Cry Freedom..

Credit: TinyOgg

Links 12/5/2011: KDE Platform 5, Chrome/Linux Laptops at $20 Per Month

Posted in News Roundup at 4:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • What Linux Needs Is Some Good Marketing

    That’s a great and powerful thing for Linux in general–regardless of the resistance Unity has encountered from some longtime users–and it amazes me to see how far Canonical has come with its mainstream focus. If Linux is to enjoy more success in “the masses,” then this step had to be taken.

    Now that we seem to be getting this close, however, it’s making me think more than ever about what Linux still needs, and one of the biggest things I see is marketing.

  • Linux Heavily Used in the Enterprise by 1999 – And SCO Knew It or Could/Should Have

    Remember how SCO told the court in SCO v. IBM that Linux wasn’t ready for the enterprise until IBM got involved in the year 2000 and allegedly worked to make it “hardened” for the enterprise by donating code? It said that it wasn’t until 2001, with version 2.4 of Linux, that Linux was ready for enterprise use. Linux, SCO said, was just a bicycle compared to UNIX, the luxury car, until IBM did all that.

  • Server

    • Portable thin client has dual-core AMD G-Series processor

      Wyse introduced a mobile thin client using AMD’s dual-core G-Series T56N processor, with integral Radeon HD6310 graphics, and soon to be available with SUSE Linux. The X90m7 offers a 14-inch display with 1366 x 768 pixels, gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/b/g/n wireless networking, 2GB of RAM and 4GB of flash storage, plus a “2G/4G capable” ExpressCard slot and optional smart card reader, the company says.

  • Kernel Space

    • The kernel column #100 with Jon Masters – 100 issues of kernel updates

      To help celebrate Linux User’s landmark 100th issue which goes on sale tomorrow, celebrated Linux Kernel contributor, Jon Masters, recounts some of the biggest developments in the Linux Kernel over the magazine’s last 100 issues…

      I remember the first article I wrote for Linux User & Developer, way back in issue number one. It was a review of the first OpenOffice.org release, following the announcement by Sun Microsystems (now Oracle) that it was open-sourcing its Star Office product. Times have certainly changed. Sun is no more, and indeed OpenOffice.org has itself been forked (somewhat without enthusiasm from Oracle) into LibreOffice. In that same time period, untold changes have occurred within the Linux kernel community, which has grown in both size and complexity, along with its body of code…

    • Graphics Stack

      • A Look At Nouveau Driver Power Usage

        There’s been many individuals asking how the work is going in tracking down the major Linux kernel power regression I brought to light late last month (actually, there’s at least two power regressions in the kernel). Not much progress has been made since then as I’ve been out of the office (and country) so I’ve been preoccupied with other matters, but I do happen to have another power test today to satisfy other reader requests.

  • Applications

    • Talking Point: Overlapping Windows

      Back in the 80s, a GUI paradigm called WIMP (Windows, Icons, Mouse, Pointer) began to establish itself as the new way in which most people interacted with computers. When it comes to one of the most significant elements of that system, overlapping windows, I’m beginning to wonder, has it had its day?

      One of few things that Microsoft can claim to have developed from scratch is an efficient method of application switching called the taskbar, although it’s now in the process of being superseded on most GUIs by the application dock. One side-effect of that form of program management is that it doesn’t penalize the user for running applications fullscreen, and it therefore encourages it. You can glean some ideas about modern user behavior by observing that, in the most popular WM themes and skins, the areas of the window that are used for resizing have almost disappeared. The truth is, if you use Gnome or KDE, you probably run most of your apps fullscreen, most of the time.

    • Proprietary

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments

    • Starting to see more systems with Xfce 4.8 and KDE 4.6.3

      Xfce and KDE are the two desktop environments that I most commonly use, so it is nice when I see distributions that update these environments and keep them close to the most currently available software. In the case of Xfce, Version 4.8 was released near the end of January, so any distribution that offers Xfce really ought to have Version 4.8 available, and the good news is that most of the distributions that I use are now offering Version 4.8, and most of them have the patches that have been added to Xfce 4.8, and some packages are labelled as high as 4.8.3.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Responses to Qt 5

        It’s great to see so much feedback coming in about my Qt 5 blog two days ago. We’ve read and gone through all the comments, but it’s easier to try to answer the questions and concerns in a follow-up post rather than replying to comments.

        We have now created a mailing list for discussions about Qt 5. If you’re interested, please consider subscribing. This will allow us to have better and more structured discussions around Qt 5 than replies to a blog post.

      • relax :)

        After my last blog about a possible future KDE Platform 5 due to Qt 5, it was interesting to watch the number of “Oh no, not another big release that will break the interface we know!” type comments. Let me put all of that to rest:

        The Plasma team has no intention, desire or need to start “from scratch” nor engage in a massive redesign of the existing netbook or desktop shells.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome 3 And Ubuntu Unity Interfaces: Review

        The next Long Term Support version of Canonical’s Ubuntu is set to ship a year from now, with an October release of the OS in between to address usability and hardware fallback issues. A 2D version of Unity is already available in the Ubuntu repositories. As for GNOME Shell, it’s not clear when the new interface will make its way into the enterprise operating systems from Red Hat, Novell or Oracle.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • BackTrack 5 Has Been Released, Download Now

        Offensive Security, leaders in Online information security training, proudly announced a few minutes ago, May 10th, the immediate availability for download of the new and highly anticipated BackTrack 5 release, an extremely popular security oriented operating system.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat honors UW-Madison partnership, contribution to research computing

        Red Hat Inc., the world’s largest open-source software company, has given the first Red Hat Cloud Leadership Award to the Center for High Throughput Computing (CHTC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and named the CHTC its first Red Hat Center of Excellence Development Partner.

        Red Hat and UW-Madison have worked together for four years to integrate into the company’s products research and software produced by the university’s Condor Project — technology widely adopted worldwide by the scientific community to distribute complex computing problems across existing networks (“grids” or “clouds” of computers).

      • Red Hat Elected to DMTF Board of Directors
      • Red Hat’s KVM: A better way to virtualize the data center?

        When you virtualize your servers, do you divide them by operating system, or is it practical to use a bare-metal hypervisor to support all your x86 operating systems?

        That’s what Red Hat thinks is the best idea – which is why it thinks you would be better off virtualizing using KVM, included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

        With Reg users reporting that the cost of licenses, the problems of managing multiple platforms and virtual machine sprawl are hurdles to virtualisation, the enthusiasm for virtualisation – and the success of early efforts – creates its own problems.

      • Fedora

        • More thoughts on the Fedora Feature Process

          This is the second release running that another component of the Fedora Feature process has come and bitten me in the proverbial. This time its the “Major Features”(tm), must be landed by the Alpha release, part of the process.

          For Fedora 14 the feature that abused this requirement was python 2.7. Rather than landing by the Alpha release it landed moments before we locked down for the Beta breaking things horribly and causing massive amounts of work post Beta when we were suppose to be stabilising the release. This affected Sugar amongst massively as that’s the language its primarily written in.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • The Goal is 200 Million Ubuntu Users in 4 Years – Mark Shuttleworth at UDS[Video]

            “Our goal is 200 million users of Ubuntu in 4 years”, said Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth, while delivering the keynote address to the attendees of the Ubuntu Developer Summit, currently taking place in Budapest, Hungary.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Lubuntu to become official Ubuntu derivative

              According to reports, the Lubuntu Linux distribution will become an official Ubuntu derivative. As a fully supported release, its desktop packages will be made available in the Ubuntu repositories for anyone to install – other official derivatives include Kubuntu and Xubuntu.

              In a session at the Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS), which is currently taking place in Budapest, Shuttleworth and Ubuntu Devleoper Colin Watson discussed the details of integrating Lubuntu into the Ubuntu ecosystem with project member Julien Lavergne. Topics ranged from ISO building to Ubuntu One and a global menu.

            • Linux Mint 11 “Katya” Review

              After testing Linux Mint 11, one word comes to mind: Continuity. Katya does include several new features and enhancements which improve the product further, no doubt about it, but are they enough for Linux Mint 10 users to dump their current installation and upgrade? I personally don’t think so.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Phones

        • Android

          • Google Activates 400,000 Android Devices Every Day Now!

            During the Google I/O 2011 keynote address, director of Android product management, Hugo Barra, presented a number of interesting statistics. Google has now activated more than 100 million Android devices worldwide and as of April 2011, Google is activating nearly 400,000 Android devices every single day. That number was just around 100,000 just an year ago!

          • Android 3.1 released, as Ice Cream Sandwich waits in the wings

            At the Google I/O conference, Google announced Android 3.1, an update that fixes bugs, tweaks the UI, improves USB support, and adds an Arduino-based Android Open Accessory gadget control platform. Briefly tipping an upcoming “Ice Cream Sandwich” release that will integrate Android 2.x and 3.x, Google also announced Android Market movie rentals, an 18-month Android upgrade program, and an Android@Home home-automation framework.

      • Sub-notebooks/Tablets/Laptops

        • Google To Announce Chrome Laptops-$20/Month

          Google tomorrow will announce sales of the new Chrome laptop in a $20 a month “student package” that combines both hardware and online services, according to a senior Google executive.
          The product is almost certainly a precursor to an enterprise offering. Google Apps, an online product with features similar to Microsoft Office (word processing, spreadsheets, calendars, and other productivity software) is sold to business for $50 a year

        • Acer and Samsung unveil Chrome OS ‘Chromebooks’

          Samsung and Acer will start selling the first Google Chrome OS notebooks starting June 15, priced from $349 to $499 but also available as part of monthly business/school subscriptions. The 12.1-inch Samsung Chromebook Series 5 and the 11.6-inch Acer Chromebook offer dual-core 1.66GHz Intel Atom N570 processors, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, a 16GB solid state disk, memory card reader, a webcam, USB, Wi-Fi, and optional 3G.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Time for a new open source definition?

    Andrew C Oliver recently wrote “I think most know by now that a license is insufficient to make something actually open source.”

    What makes this fascinating is that it involves a director of the Open Source Initiative – the stewards of the Open Source Definition – stating that the Open Source Definition is not enough to define software as open source.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • SeaMonkey: More Than Just a Firefox Clone

        SeaMonkey is a good browser choice and solid alternative to the more popular and traditional Linux-based Web browsers. It will seem like home if you come to it from Firefox.

        If you are an enamored add-on user, the more limited extensions inventory may disappoint you. But its configurability can make up for this. All in all, SeaMonkey is a full-feature

      • [Mozilla] Merge dates vs release dates

        The schedule on the rapid release process specifics document generally focuses on merge dates. There is some confusion as to what to expect on those dates, so hopefully this post will make it clear.

        The main takeaway is that the merge date is not necessarily the date users on a particular update channel will see an update available.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/Sun/LibreOffice

    • SGI Expands Support for Lustre File System

      SGI), a trusted leader in technical computing, today announced that it is expanding its support of the Lustre® file system to include Level 3 support, and now provides complete end-to-end coverage for its customers. Lustre is a massively parallel file system, capable of supporting compute clusters of thousands of nodes and many petabytes of storage. The addition of Level 3 support brings the SGI® Lustre® solution for scale-out computing environments to a support level equivalent to CXFSTM, SGI’s own high-performance scale-up clustered file system.

    • Sonatype donates Maven 3.x integration, Eclipse Integration to Hudson

      We’re very excited about the proposed move of Hudson to the Eclipse foundation. To get the project off the right start in its new home, Sonatype has committed to donating all our Maven 3.x related work to the Hudson project. This includes the Maven 3.x integration for Hudson itself, our Eclipse integration, and our Maven Shell integration.

    • Some Observations on Oracle v. Google, by Mark Webbink, Esq.

      Google believed (and believes) it avoided this licensing structure by implementing a clean room version of the Java runtime. The problem with clean rooms is that, while they may help avoid copyright claims, they are not particularly helpful in avoiding patent claims — the ol’ two-edge sword of software. So if you are going to develop a new implementation of something like the Java run-time environment, you have to not only use a clean room in order to avoid copyright claims, you also have to work around any relevant patents (and this doesn’t require a clean room). Suffice it to say that the approach Google has taken has some potential holes in it with respect to patents. Of course, Google believes the Oracle patents are either invalid or not infringed in this instance. [Editorial aside – none of this commentary is intended to imply that patents are a good thing for software; in the eyes of this writer they clearly are not.]

  • Business

  • Project Releases

    • Puppet Labs Releases MCollective Version 1.2.0

      The 1.2.0 release is the latest production release of MCollective and supersedes the 1.1.4 and older releases. This new MCollective release is fully backwards compatible with earlier releases. It is available for download at http://www.puppetlabs.com/mcollective/introduction/.


Clip of the Day

Welcome to Minecraft – Bonus 001 – Chicken

Credit: TinyOgg, Twitter


Links 11/5/2011: Linux 2.6.39 is Coming, Skypocalypse Analyses

Posted in News Roundup at 1:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.39 (Part 4) – Drivers

      The kernel now supports USB 3.0 hubs, the latest Radeon graphics cards and Intel’s previously problematic GMA500 graphics. Other new additions include drivers for notebooks by ASUS and Samsung, and for audio and multimedia hardware from various other vendors.

      Linus Torvalds released the seventh pre-release of Linux 2.6.39 on Monday night. He wrote: “So things have been pretty quiet, and unless something major comes up I believe that this will be the last -rc”. If Torvalds sticks to his usual work patterns, then 2.6.39 could well be released early next week.

    • Linux 2.6.39 Kernel Is Imminent

      “So things have been pretty quiet, and unless something major comes up I believe that this will be the last -rc,” began Linus Torvalds in announcing the release of the Linux 2.6.39-rc7 kernel.


      Bit more information on LKML.org. Overall the 2.6.39 kernel is turning out to be a great release so far, sans the outstanding power regressions.

    • Linux 2.6.39 nears completion
    • Optimus Fun Merged For Linux 2.6.40 Kernel

      In continuation of the recent topic about NVIDIA Optimus coming unofficially to Linux, Red Hat’s David Airlie has just pushed several patches into drm-next that deal with Optimus. These patches will be part of the DRM pull request to then go into the Linux 2.6.40 kernel once its merge window opens.

    • Linux, History, Contributors and Thanks

      One of first things we need to have clear here, is what we are calling Linux is it the GNU/Linux or the just the Linux Kernel. Well usually when people talk about Linux they are referring to GNU/Linux, but what is the difference?

    • Graphics Stack

      • Wayland, X.Org For Ubuntu’s Future

        I had some other Ubuntu testing matters to tend to, but the notes can be found on this page.

        Phoronix readers should already be very familiar with Wayland due to all the articles I’ve written on the topic and even being the first to break the story about Wayland way back in 2008. With that said, here’s the interesting bits from the notes:

  • Applications

    • Proprietary

      • Microsoft deal will boost open Skype alternatives

        When rumors began circulating that Facebook was eyeing Skype for potential purchase, more than a few observers began to get nervous.

        Now that Microsoft has bought the VoIP leader, the shock in many circles is palpable. Widely viewed as primarily a defensive move, the acquisition has many wondering how Microsoft will integrate the service with offerings of its own — most notably Windows Live Messenger — not to mention how it will affect the 170 million or so Skype users around the globe.

      • Open Source alternatives for Skype

        So with Skype — already proprietary software, already dubious — probably going to Microsoft (as I read via Simon Phipps to the Grauniad and Johan Thelins) there’s an extra impetus to find something else.

      • Microsoft’s Skype acquisition may impact Linux users

        After a week of rumors about Skype being heavily courted by buyers such as Google and Facebook, it looks like the winning bidder may be Microsoft.

        According to a story the Wall Street Journal broke late Monday evening (and later confirmed early Tuesday morning), Microsoft has closed a nearly $8 billion deal for the popular voice-over-IP company.

        (In the video below, Keith Shaw talks with CIO.com’s Shane O’Neill about Microsoft’s $8.5 billion offer to buy Skype, and what it means for Microsoft’s consumer and enterprise voice offerings.)

      • Microsoft’s Ballmer $7.7-Billion Skype Blunder

        I’m bemused to see that Microsoft’s Grand Poobah Steve Ballmer has blundered yet again. This time, instead of Vista, the operating system that never should have seem the light of day, or Windows Phone 7, the far too little, too late, attempt to play in mobile devices, he’s wasted a cool $8.5-billion (Billion!) on Skype.

        Seriously? Ballmer just burned more money than Oracle did on buying Sun for a video-conferencing and Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) company? Come on! The only thing that Skype has over any of the dozens of other video-conferencing and VoIP companies out there is brand recognition and Skype’s brand is not worth $850-million much less $8.5-billion.

      • What Does Microsoft Buying Skype Mean For Linux?

        After speculations that Facebook is going after Skype, it has turned out that Microsoft too was interested. In fact, today, we heard that Microsoft has bought Skype for $ 8.5 billion.

        One thing that I wondered when I heard this new is what will happen to Skype on Linux. Everyone who has used the Skype client on Linux knows that it is not even anywhere near the level of the Windows and Mac client. The Linux client of Skype is plagued with problems of video chat, voice chat etc. And to top it off, there is the lack of updates.

      • Skype purchase highlights a weakness in “free enough” philosophy

        If you’re a Linux and heavy Skype user, the announcement that Microsoft is purchasing Skype no doubt sent shivers down your spine. You can relax, though: Steve Ballmer says everything will be OK. Reassuring, right?

        Ballmer has assured us that Microsoft will continue to provide Skype for “operating systems and devices not sold by Microsoft,” though I’m not sure that explicitly includes Linux. Let’s assume for a moment that it does include Linux, though — this is an obvious gap for free software nonetheless.

      • Opera — well worth a look

        The Opera Internet browser goes way on back to 1994 but has struggled for fans over the years.

        That’s a shame, too, as Opera is an incredibly useful Internet suite that — once configured — can do away with a heck of a lot of applications that a good number of users access daily.

      • LibreOffice 3.4 Will Have Native Support for Ubuntu Global Menu

        The Document Foundation and LibreOffice developers have been keeping quite busy. The foundation is busying itself getting ready for the LibreOffice Conference in Paris this fall, organizing speakers, accepting papers, and other thankless tasks while developers are coding full steam ahead.

        Version 3.4 will come with several new features besides its usual bug fixes and performance enhancements. For example, Writer will soon support color and line styles in columns and footers. Greek characters mode will be available for bullet lists too.

        Calc will soon be able to support multiple subtotals for a given subset of number ranges on a single sheet. A complete rewrite of the drawing layer will improve “precision on re-positioning and re-sizing of drawing objects.” Impress with sport improved HTML export with images.

      • Is Netflix Coming To Linux?

        Netflix is still not available on Linux platform. One of the reasons being, Netflix says that providers demand strong DRM (digital restriction management) which makes it hard to make content available under Linux.

        This is also one of the reasons Netflix is not available on Android. I think its time for Netflix to follow Apple and force providers to offer content without DRM.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments

    • Fedora and Gnome 3, Ubuntu and Unity, will openSUSE and KDE benefit?

      Right now it seems like some of the top Linux distributions such as Fedora and Ubuntu are heading down a slippery slope.

      Fedora 15 will be based on Gnome 3, it is still early days for the Gnome 3 project and over time I am confident it will get better but many (including myself) feel its not ready for use.

    • Are Usability Studies Hurting the Free Desktop?

      Few FOSS projects are as concerned with usability as GNOME and Ubuntu. For GNOME, the Sun usability study proved a turning point, especially when its lessons were codified and expanded into the GNOME Human Interface Guidelines.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Qt5 .. KDE5?

        As most of those who read my blog have already heard, Qt5 is on its way. The target is 2012 and the focus is QtQuick where there is a high degree of separation between display and data and things are rendered using a hardware accelerated (read: OpenGL) scene graph. This is very much in line with where we are heading with Plasma as well. Exciting times!

      • Muon – KDE Package Manager and Software Center

        During the UDS sessions yesterday about Kubuntu Defaults there was an interesting demo regarding a package manager and software center called Muon.


        I know I have left out TONs of features from this but, I wanted to show off something that is bringing Kubuntu forward in the way of assisting users.

      • Amarok 2.4.1 adds new “Preview” feature

        Code-named “Resolution”, Amarok 2.4.1 features the addition of a new “Preview” feature for the Organize Collection dialog, as well as support for remote NFS & SMB/CIFS collections. Users can now change text alignment in the lyrics applet and string filtering has been added to the albums applet.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • 50 Top Linux Distributions

      The list is organized into several different categories. The “major” distributions come first, followed by distros based on Ubuntu, Debian, Red/Hat Fedora, Mandriva, Slackware, Arch and Gentoo. Next come some distros that are optimized for cloud computing, some very lightweight distributions, some that are designed to look as much like Windows as possible and finally, some notable distros that didn’t seem to fit into any other category. Of course, some distributions could fit into more than one category, but we tried to place them where they seemed to fit most naturally.

    • CTK Arch: Fast and Furious

      CTK Arch is very interesting distro from my perspective. It is well balanced between graphical and CLI sides of Linux. Maybe I am little bit too unexperienced for it yet, but still can do quite a lot there.
      I will not recommend CTK Arch for beginners. You need to be prepared to take some of challenges. But once you have some basic knowledge, then digging within CTK Arch will give you unrivalled pleasure of control over system!
      I should probably look into CTK Arch (or other Arch-based distros) later, when have more Linux experience myself.

    • On technical support, and other things

      So there seems to have been some discussion, lately, about this blog post by Jeff Hoogland on his experience asking a question in #fedora.

      I noticed that no-one has actually posted the discussion, yet, so I will: you can find the full log from Jeff’s initial question to when he leaves the channel at the end of this post. Note: my log is from bip and prints nicknames in an ugly and unreadable way so I went through and fixed those by hand, any errors in nicknames are my mistake, but I did not alter the text at all.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Awesomeness!

          There have been a lot of people complaining about the Fedora community (Not planning to name any) and the way it works. I am not going to say that everything they say is false or made up, its their opinion and everyone should have one. Well from my opinion the Fedora community is just plain Awehellovcarfun (Yes I made a new word just to prove my point [Awesome + helping + loving + caring + fun]) Its like a fun family where there are all kinds of people, sure there might be some weird people around, but thats what a family is made up of.

        • Freeing up a Fedora Board seat

          As you can see from the Fedora Board History, I have held Elected Seat #5 since July 2008, and while I am rather proud of what we have accomplished during my tenure on the Fedora Board, I do not feel that it is healthy for a community to be run by the same people forever and ever. Accordingly, I will not be seeking re-election to the Fedora Board at this time. (I reserve the right to run in a future election, but I have no immediate plans to do so.)

        • Will Fedora Ever Learn?

          People can argue that Red Hat has nothing to with how Fedora’s ran. I was also told it’s distinctly outside of Red Hat. Then there’s the statement that the Fedora Unity Project runs the ‘Official’ Fedora Forums and the IRC channel(s), which Red Hat and Fedora have no control over. That’s all fine on paper, fact of the matter is Red Hat owns the Fedora trademark (which in my opinion means it owns the rights and responsibilities to Fedora, period), is its biggest sponsor, and it’s largest contributor. On top of that you have paid Red Hat employees conducting business for Red Hat and Fedora in the various Fedora IRC channels. If all of that wasn’t enough, the current Fedora Project Leader himself, Jared Smith, and every other project leader before him, has been an employee of Red Hat.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • What’s happening in Edubuntu for Oneiric?

            Today we had a session at the Ubuntu Developer Summit at Budapest covering the work in Edubuntu for the next release cycle. Not all of the items are assigned to someone yet (especially with the documentation), so if you’d like to get involved, please give us a ping on IRC or mailing list.

          • Shuttleworth bid to sell copyright policy

            He made the admission during his keynote to the Ubuntu Developers’ Summit which is taking place in Budapest this week.

            The experienced media operator that he is, Shuttleworth ensured that nobody would refer to this aspect of his speech by throwing out a figure of 200 million as being the number of users he aims for in four years – growth of nearly 1700 per cent, given that Ubuntu now has around 12 million users.

            That number has been spouted over and over again in the tech media and his statements on copyright assignment have been totally ignored. Which I think is what he intended – copyright assignment is a ticklish issue from which he has shied away.

          • 10 Useful Application Indicators for Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

            Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal is probably the most criticized may be even a tad too under rated Ubuntu release ever. But as we had noted in our previous Ubuntu 11.04 review, it doesn’t feel that bad for everyone anyway. Application Indicators are good way to extend the functionality of brand new Ubuntu 11.04 and here are some of the most useful among them.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • LinuxMint11 “Katya” RC is released! | With Screenchots Tour

              With the release of Ubuntu 11.04, at the end of April, the countdown for Linux Mint new release had begun. As Lefebvre, the founder and developer of Linux Mint, announced the release candidate Katya for version 11 of Linux Mint, the moment of discovery is here.

            • Kubuntu 11.04

              The release of Ubuntu 11.04 has garnered an enormous amount of attention, mostly due to the inclusion of Unity as its default desktop environment. But, as with any new version of Ubuntu, there are alternatives available and one of the most prominent is Kubuntu. Kubuntu 11.04 is a KDE-based distro that might work well as a substitute for those who are uncomfortable with Ubuntu’s Unity.


              Rating: 4/5

    • Devices/Embedded

      • SOURCE: Tilera Corporation

        Tilera® Corporation, the leader in manycore general purpose microprocessors, today announced the addition of Wind River support for their TILEPro and TILEGx processors. Such support enables Tilera customers to utilize state-of-the-art commercial Wind River Linux and Wind River Workbench tools and enables easy migration of legacy designs to Tilera’s scalable platform.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Verizon Recognized for Technological Achievements and Innovation in Use of Open Source and Middleware Solutions

    Verizon has won in the Superior Alternatives category of the 2011 Red Hat and JBoss Innovation Awards competition. The award, announced during the Red Hat Summit and JBoss World on May 6 in Boston, recognizes Verizon for “the most successful migration from proprietary solutions to open source alternatives.”

    Specifically, Verizon won the award for the company’s implementation of a new standards-based business process-management system for the company’s Integrated Management Platform for Advanced Communications Technologies automated platform, which monitors, troubleshoots and resolves network service interruptions.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • don’t let them* re-define open

        If you can substitute the word “participatory” for the word “open” and still be telling the truth, then you’re using “open” properly. If you cannot, then you are not.

      • Mozilla Aurora – There will be blood – and fun

        Whether Aurora is a pointer in the right direction, only time will tell. It could turn out to be a useless gimmick, a copycat feature with no purpose at all. On the other hand, it could become a powerful tool for developers and web designers. Increased exposure should guarantee fewer surprises, better compatibility and smoother transitions to new versions. This is particularly important for Firefox addon developers, who now must adapt to the new quick release cycle.

        Media hypes aside, I do believe Aurora has its place in the software testing tier. It’s a nice compromise between wider-use betas and wild nightlies, allowing more people to conduct checks and look for bugs without getting scarred by the experience. Overall, in the long run, such practice will draw in more people toward Firefox, or at the very least, make major releases easier and less painful, which is always a good thing.

        Aurora will always be a geek tool, but one with good potential of breeding a new generation of Firefox hardcore fans, obsessed with the thrill of living on the edge, the bleeding edge, where heroes are made or broken. Or at the very least, software is tested.

      • Mozilla Removes User Limit From Firefox 5 Beta

        Mozilla also revealed that there are 417,000 Firefox beta users in total, all of which will be eligible to sign up for the beta channel. If you are not part of the beta program yet, you can sign up for Firefox 5 Beta once it becomes available as a final build on May 17 here.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • 7 Nifty Tricks to Get the Most out of LibreOffice Writer

      Since the death of OpenOffice and the release of Ubuntu 11.04, LibreOffice has gained a lot of popularity in such a short amount of time. Though there is not much of a difference between LibreOffice Writer and its Oracle-owned predecessor, there are some tricks that can help you get the most out of it. Here’s a look at 7 such tricks.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • First day at Libre Graphics Meeting

      So here I’m sitting at my desk at my “Cosy Studio” in the Therese Casgrain student housing facility/hotel calles Les Studios Hotel in Montreal. Too tired to do anything but nibble cherry tomatoes and drink a beer, after the first day at the Libre Graphics Meeting, 2011 edition.

      Perhaps slightly less busy than last year, and I’m missing a lot of familiar faces, but the quality of the talks has been outstanding so far. I’m working on experimentally getting colord up and running on my OpenSUSE laptop so I can check whether I can generate Qt bindings for the dbus interface to experiment with integration in Krita.

      If the number of questions people want to ask after a presentation is a measure of success, then Lukas’ Krita presentation was a huge success. By that metric, but also by any other metric was a huge success indeed! Lukas showed off all the new stuff we’ve created since LGM 2010 — and was followed by Animtim giving a workshop on creating a comic in Krita. The audience was completely silent as he used Krita’s mirroring feature, sketch brush, vector layers, hatching brush and color modes to quickly create the first panel for a comic. (But admittedly, I came away with notes on three points where Krita must improve, because Krita made Animtim fumble at times.)

  • Standards/Consortia

    • PJ, Goodbye and Good Luck

      There was a time when daggers were drawn on Linux and its demise was plotted in dark detail. At that hour stepped out a shieldmaiden with a blog, and that blog was Groklaw. Eight years later, we hear the news that Groklaw will cease new postings after May 16th. My sadness in hearing this news is more than equaled by my gratitude to PJ and her community of researchers and commentators, for their enormous effort and unparalleled achievement over these years. The world is a better place because of PJ. Who can hope to say better?

Clip of the Day

Introducing Music Beta by Google

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 10/5/2011: More on SimplyMEPIS 11, Ubuntu Hype

Posted in News Roundup at 6:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Return of the Linux Quiz
  • We want our freedom!

    We’re celebrating the impending release of issue 100 this week. Kicking off the celebration is previous Linux User editor, Simon Brew who says we shouldn’t be afraid of opening our wallet for open source, but we should fight hammer and tongs to ensure freedom is kept at its core…

  • Kernel Space

    • Ixonos Joins Linux Foundation

      Ixonos creates solutions for mobile devices and services for wireless technology suppliers and telecommunications companies, as well as mobile device and consumer electronics manufacturers. It has been actively involved in mobile Linux development efforts since 2006 and joins The Linux Foundation today to maximize its investment in the operating system. The company will collaborate with other leading vendors, users and developers to help advance Linux-based mobile platforms, including Android and MeeGo.

    • Linux Kernel Benchmarks Of 2.6.24 Through 2.6.39

      With the recent look at the major Linux power regressions taking place within the Linux kernel, some initially wondered if the increase in power consumption was correlated to an increase in system performance. Unfortunately, it is clear now that is not the case. With that said though, here’s some performance benchmarks of all major kernel releases going back to Linux 2.6.24 and ending with the Linux 2.6.39 kernel.

    • Linux
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Thoughts about Qt 5

        Qt 4.0 was released in June 2005, almost six years ago. A lot has changed in the software industry over these years. While application development back then happened mostly on desktop systems, mobile devices connected to the web have become increasingly popular. User interface technology has moved from static widgets to a fluid touch based experience. Since Qt 4.0 we have released seven minor versions of Qt to stay ahead of development needs, for example by releasing Qt Quick. Within the growing Qt user base, we have had a strong up-take and new needs from embedded and mobile app and UI developers.

      • Kdenlive 0.8 Released

        April saw the release of Kdenlive 0.8. I’ll take you through some of the new features, along with some notes on how I built it for Debian Sid.

        Kdenlive 0.8 is a release that fixes bugs and adds new features rather than being a complete departure from the previous version, probably welcome news to the regular users. New features aside, my hope for this revision is that it can overcome the main shortcoming of Linux video editing programs: poor stability. It didn’t crash while I was testing it, but user feedback in the long term will be the real indicator of improvements that have been made in this area.

      • Blessed by Trinity…

        I am long established fan of KDE3 (Trinity). There might be 2 reasons:
        1) My first ever Linux was SLAX which is based on KDE3.
        2) I prefer old-school menu style with one column in main part with branches for each of them. When I see several columns in main menu I quickly get lost in navigation. It’s like Win95 style compared to Win7 style. Or KDE3 compared to Mint Menu or KDE4 in some Linuxes.
        That’s why every Tux which is blessed by Trinity is interesting for me. That’s why I am very thankful to Sirius Lee who gave me some more ideas in the comments to Pardus review.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME3 versus GNOME2 debates

        In the past couple of months, I like many others have been caught up in the GNOME3/Unity changes and the various debates of “are they good, are they evil.” I have continually had this case of deja-vu as if the words being said were ones I had heard before but maybe slightly different. While having deja-vu a couple of times is normal, having it constantly means I am probably “Forgetting History” and “Doomed to Relive It” (or some variant of the quote.)

  • Distributions

    • What next?

      Yeah, continuing from where i left it off, the Linux journey got more interesting this year. 1st because i wanted a little more adventure and installed Arch. Later on, my motherboard requested for retirement by breaking down, and hence had to either resurrect or renovate it. I chose the latter.

      Installing Arch, was intimidating when i did it on my old box. Venturing into a mouse-less world was a new thing and till i was at the end of the official Arch installation guide, i was skeptical about the whole idea. Once up and running with proper interface and stuff, the experience was better than that of Ubuntu, partly because I know what was, is and will be present in my system, and also coz my veteran system was able to satisfy my demands for a crisp freeze-less response.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Meet Mandriva at the Solutions Linux 2011 exhibition

        Beside the products and partnerships presentations, Mandriva will outline its new strategy and market positionning. The research activities of the company will also be described, showing how Mandriva is preparing the future by innovating in the key areas of Cloud Computing, formal methods applied to the enhancement of the Linux kernel, Enterprise 2.0, smart devices and Green IT.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Poster “Gentoo Abducted”

        Back in 2004 Matteo “Peach” Pescarin did a poster edit of his “Gentoo Abducted” wallpaper. The poster is portrait format and shows a city in background, instead of countryside, if you look close. He has now re-released its SVG sources.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat gives Windows the boot with RHEV 3.0

        RHEV-M manages Red Hat’s version of the open source Kernel-based Virtual Machine hypervisor (KVM) and is based on Microsoft .NET. The software will be ported to a Java code base in the next version, which will be out in beta later this year, according to previews at this year’s Red Hat Summit. The Microsoft SQL database on RHEV-M’s back end will be replaced by PostgreSQL.

        Users at the recent Red Hat Summit conference said that this change can’t come soon enough. Travis Tiedemann, systems engineer at Union Pacific Railroad, said he’s sticking to Xen virtualization until RHEV runs on Linux. “We’re waiting to bring in the RHEV product,” he said. “When it’s fully Linux, we’ll start looking at KVM.”

      • Red Hat, Eucalyptus, Rackspace leading open source IaaS charge

        The emergence of several open source Infrastructure-As-A-Service platforms must have VMware and Microsoft on edge.

        Linux leader Red Hat joined the fray last week with the public debut of CloudForms, its cross platform multifaceted IaaS platform for building private and hybrid clouds. It is based on Red Hat’s DeltaCloud APIs.

        There are several others, namely Eucalyptus, Cloud.com and Rackspace.

      • Red Hat Elected to DMTF Board of Directors

        The Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), the organization bringing the IT industry together to collaborate on systems management standards development, validation, promotion and adoption, today announced that open source solutions provider Red Hat has joined the DMTF Board of Directors. The addition of the industry-leading company adds to DMTF’s expanding presence in the IT industry. Red Hat joins AMD, Broadcom, CA Technologies, Cisco, Citrix Systems Inc., EMC, Fujitsu, HP, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle and VMware to continue DMTF’s mission to enable interoperable IT management solutions.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian wheezy: Perl 5.12, X Server 1.10, Nvidia 270.41.06, Java 6.25, Glibc 2.13

        This past week has been quite turbulent for Debian wheezy. Mostly because of the great Perl upgrade from 5.10 to 5.12. This included rebuilding of hundreds of Perl modules to play well with new version of Perl. Most of the time I had all this stuff put on hold, and only yesterday have I found guts to digest all 300 of new packages. For one day I was without trusty pidgin, but today even that popular messenger has been recompiled to work with Perl 5.12. There’s still a small number of perl modules (like libembperl-perl, libgimp-perl, libgstreamer-perl, libjifty-perl, etc…) not yet adapted, but I’m sure we won’t wait long until each and every perl module has been upgraded to fit Perl 5.12.

      • Derivatives

        • SimplyMEPIS 11 adds LibreOffice and a faster Firefox 4

          The MEPIS project announced the release of the Debian Linux based SimplyMEPIS distribution. SimplyMEPIS 11 moves up to Linux kernel and the KDE 4.51 desktop, switches from OpenOffice.org to LibreOffice 3.3.2, and provides FireFox 4.0, which was recently recompiled to run much faster on Linux.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Reviews: A look at Ubuntu 11.04

            In conclusion, I’d have to sum up my experiences with Ubuntu 11.04 as being generally good, but largely inconsistent. As an example, all my hardware was detected and worked properly, but when the OS couldn’t find a suitable graphics card on my desktop machine, it crashed. Attempting to work from the live CD on my laptop caused the machine to hang until I forced the installer window to close. The classic GNOME interface is well put together, but scrollbars now vary in form and accessibility from app to app. The Software Centre is probably the best it’s been, intuitive and helpful, but it seemed to request my password almost randomly. Usually I’d be asked for my account password with every new package installation, but sometimes the prompt would be skipped and I never did find a conclusive pattern.

            The update notification didn’t work on either of my test machines. Unity is, for smaller devices, probably a good UI, but I really feel it needs to be more flexible if it’s going to catch on with full-sized notebook and desktop users. The default applications which come with 11.04 are well thought out and, of course, Ubuntu offers over 33,000 packages in the repositories, making it easy to find what we need. I’m of the opinion there are good features in this release, but 11.04 definitely suffered from being rushed out the door while it was still beta quality. Ubuntu aims to be novice-friendly, but this release is buggy and I think they missed the mark this time around. I’m limiting my recommendation of 11.04 to people who want to play with an early release of Unity.

          • Natty to-do list

            Do you move to the newest release, or stick with what you know already works? Often, applications or devices that work on your current system will no longer do so once you’ve installed a new OS. There is also a period of adjustment when you try to figure out how tasks you have grown so accustomed to doing are done under the new system. Certainly, it seems prudent to wait at least until all the kinks have been smoothed out before jumping into a new operating system.

            For people who write about technology, however, there is really very little choice. So when Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) was released, the question for me wasn’t if I would move to it from Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat), but how I would do it.

          • Promoting Computer Literacy in Indonesia With Help From Ubuntu

            Despite the fact that Indonesia is a country with high use of social media and technology, there are still some regions in the country that lack computer literacy. To remedy this, a social program called Computers For Indonesia (or simply called Comp4id) are giving away old computers for schools in small towns. On Saturday May 7th the “1st Impact Day” event was held, and ten used computer units were donated to SMK PGRI Jatinangor (a vocational high school) in Bandung, Indonesia.

          • UbuntuStudio 11.04 Natty Screenshots tour

            Ubuntu Studio is a multimedia creation flavor of Ubuntu. Ubuntu Studio is aimed at the GNU/Linux audio, video and graphic enthusiast as well as professional.

          • Canonical and Lenovo Collaboration

            Canonical are pleased to announce more great collaboration with Lenovo, the world’s fourth largest PC manufacturer.

            There are now over 30 Lenovo ThinkPads certified with Ubuntu, with many of these being completed in the first half of 2011. The great work with Lenovo continues.

          • Canonical Will Collaborate With Lenovo

            Canonical, through John Bernard, has just announced a couple of minutes ago that they will start a collaboration with the popular Lenovo company, the world’s 4th largest PC manufacturer.

            It is now official that Canonical will work closely with Lenovo to certify the Ubuntu operating system on various Lenovo laptops, workstations and servers.

            At the moment there are more than thirty (30) Lenovo ThinkPads that are certified with Ubuntu, and many more will come by the end of this year. To check all the existing Ubuntu-certified Lenovo machines, please click here.

          • Top 10 Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal Themed Wallpapers

            Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal is here and has already been thoroughly reviewed. And for me, the latest Ubuntu 11.04 is one the favorite Ubuntu ever. Now, here is a really good collection of Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal themed wallpapers from around the web.

          • Mark Shuttleworth delivers UDS keynote; sets goal for 200 million Ubuntu users in 4 years
          • What To Expect Of Unity 2D In Ubuntu 11.10

            This morning at the Ubuntu Developer Summit there was a discussion about Unity 2D, the lightweight 2D version of Canonical’s Unity desktop that isn’t dependent upon 3D (OpenGL) acceleration. Work on Unity 2D based on Qt began during the Ubuntu 11.04 cycle, but with Ubuntu 11.10 it should be more polished and comparable to the full-blown Unity desktop experience.

          • Why Does Ubuntu 11.04 Disappoint?

            The 11. 04 preinstalled user interface is called Unity and it is very weak. Video acceleration is very slow, it lets the impression that it does not even exist. Other than that, things are identical to Gnome 3. Gnome 3 is a better option, it has a much better video acceleration, it navigates much faster through the menu and it has some extra apps compared to Unity.

          • My Experience of Moving Ubuntu 11.04 from One Notebook to Another

            Have you ever attempted to move an OS install from one PC to another? I am sure many of you have, and for those who are all too familiar with the process, you’re likely aware of the headaches that can ensue. Different PCs means different hardware, and where any OS is concerned, the chance of a non-bootable OS is sometimes an all-too-real caveat.

            It’s been a while since I’ve had to do something like this, but over the weekend, due to what seems like my netbook giving up the ghost, I moved my Ubuntu 11.04 install over to a different notebook that I managed to get working after it being “dead” for well over a year. Yes, my two notebooks apparently switched positions.

          • Adventures with Unity and Gnome-Shell

            Hooray! Gnome3 is in the standard Arch repositories! Hooray! I install it! Boo! It says my grahpics card is not capable of runnin Gnome-Shell so it drops into fallback mode. What the heck?

          • The size of the Ubuntu 11.10 CD gets debated
          • Ubuntu Aims for 200 Million Users by 2015, Will Need a Miracle

            At the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Budapest, Hungary, Mark Shuttleworth — Ubuntu’s founder — just delivered a killer keynote that outlined Canonical’s outrageous goal of reaching 200 million users in the next four years.

            To put that figure into perspective, Ubuntu had 8 million users in 2008, and around 12 million users in April 2010 — and those are combined totals, factoring in both desktop and server installations of Ubuntu. Canonical has not released updated figures since then, but estimates put the total number of Ubuntu installations between 15 and 18 million. Those numbers, incidentally, are derived from unique IP addresses that “ping” the Ubuntu update servers; they don’t take into account any offline installs of Ubuntu.

          • How Ubuntu’s Unity Can Be Improved

            Since its debut, I’ve had plenty of time to work with the latest Ubuntu release known as version 11.04. And even considering some of my earlier harsh criticism, I’ve indeed found some nuggets of goodness within the 11.04 release.

            This got me thinking. It appears the only gripe I have left is addressing Unity itself in some way. As I stated before, I have no problem with Unity being among the available desktop options. But defaulting people automatically to it is just plain foolish. There should be a cleaner indicator for folks that GNOME’s classic experience is still available.

          • Distro Hoppin`: Ubuntu 11.04

            Yes, it is here! Probably the most controversial Ubuntu release since EVER hit the servers, as planned, on the 28th of April. Canonical is, if nothing else, to be admired for the courage of sticking to their original plan and pushing their ideas forward, despite all the unrest they caused. On the other hand, this courage is a bit diluted by the fact that the GNOME project has also undergone a major makeover so users are now pretty much stuck between these two. A much riskier move would’ve been for Canonical to release the Unity-powered desktop well before the GNOME 3 release. On the other other hand, the community has every right to be pissed at the company for ignoring their gripes.

          • Ubuntu Aims for 200 Million Users In 4 Years

            Mark Shuttleworth, father of the Ubuntu operating system, announced yesterday, May 9th, at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Budapest that Canonical’s goal is to have 200 million Ubuntu users by 2015.

            Ubuntu Developer Summit for Oneiric Ocelot, the upcoming version of the popular Ubuntu operating system is taking place these days in Budapest, Hungary. Mark Shuttleworth delivered yesterday morning his usual keynote where he set the goal for 200 million Ubuntu users in 4 years.

          • Ubuntu Linux Satanic Edition (666.9) review

            Getting ready to review a Linux distribution is usually pretty straightforward. After some background research into the distribution’s history, you download the latest ISO and beseech the head of IT to lend you a netbook or scrounge up some moth-infested, aging desktop PC.

            In the case of Ubuntu Linux Satanic Edition (“Linux for the Damned”), however, I had wondered whether I would require some kind of spiritual preparation: Perhaps a confession of my sins to the nearest religious authority. Deadline pressure meant that there was no time for me to unburden myself of my frequent and extensive contraventions of the moral codes of many major religions (and quite a few minor ones). My atheist soul would have to face the distribution unshriven.

          • Will Linux Mint outdo the popularity of Ubuntu?

            It is raining new releases this month as a result of the domino effect caused by the release of Ubuntu 11.04. The latest in line is Linux Mint. Team Mint has always managed to come up with a distro that improved the strengths of Ubuntu many fold while remaining true to the original one. However this time the scene is completely different. The team had recently announced the release of Linux Mint 11, codenamed Katya. Although, its usual to give a feminine name to each Mint release, this one seems to have a meaning. Katya which means “pure” In Russian seems to hint subtly that the Mint team is upto something.

          • Natty Narwhal Offers Unity but No Clarity

            The Unity desktop that comes rolled into Ubuntu’s latest version, Natty Narwhal, could prove very divisive. A change this big will be met by users with a love-it-or-hate-it reaction. Personally, you can put me in the latter category. I did not like Unity in its earlier iterations, especially on the Netbook Remix version. And I like most of its features — or lack of features — a lot less now after seeing them in Natty Narwhal.

          • Ubuntu Linux Satanic Edition (666.9) review

            The second point is that distributions like Ubuntu Linux Satanic Edition serve to highlight the “free as in freedom” aspect of open source software. Yes, there is no doubt that this distro is a little tongue in cheek and a jab at the Christian Edition of Ubuntu Linux. But, along with the Christian Edition distro, this is an example of taking the powerful open source tools collaboratively developed over the decades and tailoring them to suit a niche market. Why not have a Satanic Edition of Linux? Or a cat fanciers’ edition, for that matter? The freedoms to innovate, customise and build upon are an essential part of the open source experience, delivered to users by the GPL and other free software licences.

            All up, if you prefer your walls black, your music loud and your hair long (and don’t care about Narwhal), then Ubuntu Linux Satanic Edition may be right up your alley. It is, as you would expect, a modern, easy to use operating system that is probably more profound than its creators realise.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 11 RC Based on Ubuntu 11.04, No Unity, No GNOME 3

              Clement Lefebvre, father of the Linux Mint project, proudly announced last evening, May 9th, the immediate availablity for download and testing of the Release Candidate version of the upcoming Linux Mint 11 operating system.

              Dubbed Katya and based on the newly released Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) operating system, Linux Mint 11 will feature Linux kernel 2.6.38, GNOME 2.32.1 and X.Org 7.6. Unity will NOT be included in Linux Mint 11.

            • Another Executive Departure at Canonical

              Canonical has been much in the headlines with its 11.04 version of Ubuntu, featuring Unity, but the shakeup at the top of Canonical has been much less in the news. The latest executive to announce that he is leaving his post at the company is Matt Zimmerman, who has spent seven years as CTO of Ubuntu. Zimmerman announced his decision in a blog post, and while it’s clear that he will remain an active participant in the Ubuntu community, his departure immediately follows the exit of noted open source executive and blogger Matt Asay, who had been Canonical’s COO. Is Canonical suffering from a leadership problem?

            • Mark Shuttleworth: Our Goal Is 200 Million Ubuntu Users In 4 Years
            • Newly re-Minted

              Last week I installed XFCE on my laptop, to experiment. The machine was running Zorin OS with Gnome, and I just did sudo apt-get install xfce4 to add the new environment as an option. I played with it a while, and I wound up with a desktop I really liked – Compiz, Docky, pretty much everything I’m used to. So one day if Gnome-based distros abandon the traditional desktop paradigm completely – as it looks like will happen – I can switch to XFCE and get a pretty good approximation of what I’m accustomed to.


    • Devices/Embedded

      • New quad-core, 1.5GHz SoC appears in UTM networking appliance

        Freescale Semiconductor announced a faster, 1.5GHz version of its quad-core QorIQ P2040 processor called the QorIQ P2041, claimed to deliver up to 10Gbps performance and ship with a Linux BSP. The P2041 system-on-chip (SoC) is available in a newly announced, 1U MR-630 networking appliance from Lanner called the MR-630, equipped with 12 or 16 gigabit Ethernet ports and aimed at the unified threat management (UTM) market.

      • New quad-core, 1.5GHz SoC appears in UTM networking appliance

        Freescale Semiconductor announced a faster, 1.5GHz version of its quad-core QorIQ P2040 processor called the QorIQ P2041, claimed to deliver up to 10Gbps performance and ship with a Linux BSP. The P2041 system-on-chip (SoC) is available in a newly announced, 1U MR-630 networking appliance from Lanner called the MR-630, equipped with 12 or 16 gigabit Ethernet ports and aimed at the unified threat management (UTM) market.

      • Wind River taps OpenSAFfire HA middleware for Linux customers

        Wind River announced a partnership with GoAhead Software whereby the two companies will become “preferred integration partners,” selling GoAhead’s OpenSAFfire middleware to embedded Linux customers. The company also announced a “Wind River OpenSAF Quickstart” professional services and technical support package for its OpenSAF customers.

      • Tilera unveils MIPS processor family with up to 100 cores

        Tilera unveiled a roadmap for its Linux-ready Tile-Gx multicore system on chips (SoCs): 16, 36, 64, and 100-core versions of a networking-focused Tile-Gx 8000 series; an upcoming, multimedia-focused Tile-Gx 5000 series; and a Tile-Gx 3000 series aimed at cloud server applications. Tilera also announced Wind River Linux support for its MIPS64-based TilePro and Tile-Gx SoCs.

      • Phones

        • Android

          • Google announces music streaming in beta, movie rentals for Android

            Music and movie rental services are coming to Android devices straight from Google’s labs, the company announced at its I/O conference today. Customers will be able to stream movies from the Android Market and stream their own uploaded music from a service Google is calling “Music Beta.” Users can also “pin” both types of media to their devices for offline consumption.

            Music Beta, which is currently available by invitation only for Android devices with at least version 2.2, allows users to upload up to 20,000 songs to music.google.com. Customers can then stream the music to any Android device, or “pin” it to the device for local storage. Devices will also be able to automatically cache recently played audio content for offline use. The music service will be free “at least while it’s in beta,” so here’s hoping for a Gmail-style development trajectory.

          • Google adds note-taking to Android image recognition app

            Google has added features to its Google Goggles visual recognition software for Android intended to make it more user friendly. Google Goggles 1.4 for Android adds note-taking capabilities, offers improved search history, and has better business card recognition, the company says.

      • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

        • Google Chrome OS: Reviving Netbooks Or Invading Notebooks?

          The VAR Guy is watching and listening closely for potential Google Chrome OS launch news. Chrome OS, a lightweight Web operating system for netbooks and notebooks, may grab the spotlight at this week’s Google I/O 2011 conference in San Francisco. There’s speculation Samsung may unveil a Chrome OS netbook at the conference. But here’s the big question: Can Chrome OS revive the struggling netbook market or will Google simply evangelize Chrome OS for notebooks? Either way, there could be hardware as a service (HaaS) opportunities for VARs and MSPs. Here’s why.

        • More colorful HP netbook gets hi-res option and larger drives, too

          HP announced a revamped version of its Mini 210 netbook that includes upgraded audio plus color that’s skin-deep. Still with a choice of Intel Atom processors and Windows 7 operating systems, the device now includes a social-media-centric upgrade to the available, Linux-based QuickWeb operating system, according to the company.

    Free Software/Open Source

    • EMC Opens by Going Open Source

      EMC World opened today in Las Vegas with a morning full of major announcements from EMC-acquired companies Greenplum and Isilon. This included the world’s largest file system at 15.5 PB, and a full-blown EMC adoption of the open source model for its Greenplum division at the very least.

      The announcements all tied in to the conference theme of Big Data Meets the Cloud.

    • If You Haven’t Seen It, Look Into Google’s Open Source YouTube Channel: OSPO

      As the Google I/O conference kicks off this week in San Francisco, many developers and others are tuning in remotely to streaming events. If you’re an open source developer or user, though, one of the existing ways to get at a treasure trove of archived video-based material from Google is the company’s relatively new open source channel on YouTube, found here. Dubbed Google OSPO and launched late last year, it is chock full of good content and you can set alerts for new content that arrives there that relates to your interests. Here is more on how to get the most out of this tool.

    • May 2011 Project of the Month: OpenPetra

      Non-profits and other charity organizations need all the help they can get, administratively speaking. That’s why it’s great to see something like what the folks at OpenPetra have put together. Flexible and customizable, it helps volunteers and non-profit agencies get the management tasks out of the way and focus on what’s really important: the cause at hand.

    • Open source attacks data stack

      A loose affiliation of open source organisations is forming, which hopes to provide a more serious challenge to monolithic data management and business intelligence systems sold by companies such as IBM, Oracle and SAS Institute.

    • Ubuntu project to transition Ubuntu Cloud to OpenStack

      The Ubuntu project announces today that future versions of Ubuntu Cloud will use OpenStack as a foundation technology. The Ubuntu project is gathered in Budapest, Hungary to discuss future development plans that will culminate in the October release of Ubuntu 11.10. This announcement will move OpenStack to being a core part of the Ubuntu Cloud product, which enables users to build an open source cloud.

    • Events

      • #fosscomm 2011

        A great fosscomm (the annual greek foss community conference) took place the weekend at Patra. The organizing committee did a fantastic job, but besides that it seems that the Greek FOSS community has raised the bar of quality holding some very interesting technical presentations.

    • Mozilla

      • WebGL in Chrome and Firefox is a serious security risk

        A WEB STANDARD enabled by default in the Firefox 4 and Google Chrome web browsers has serious security issues, according to an independent security consultancy.

        WebGL, which stands for web-based graphics library, is a software technology that allows you to bring hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to a web browser without the need for additional software. Enabled in the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox, it can also be switched on in Safari and Opera.

      • It’s Easy to Forget What a Global Phenomenon Firefox Is

        Here on OStatic, and elsewhere, the new version 4 of Firefox has been widely discussed, with some OStatic readers ditching the new version of previous versions due to reported performance problems. Still, it’s easy to forget the global power that Firefox commands, especially in certain targeted areas of the world. In a highly interesting new Computerworld report, for example, Gen Kanai, Mozilla’s contributor engagement director for Asia, discusses the browser’s growing prominence in Indonesia and parts of Asia. In Indonesia, in particular, Firefox is far and away the browser of choice, with neither Internet Explorer or Google Chrome anywhere near its market share level.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice is the future of Free Software Office suites

      This is of course my view, and I hope yours, but naturally it is worth presenting at least some rational and working for this conclusion. Unfortunately, there are so many reasons why TDF and LibreOffice are done right, that I can’t list them all in linear time. However, I’ll try to address some of the major ones recently raised by congenital worriers.

    • Novell will continue to support LibreOffice

      While Attachmate has talked a lot about its plans for Novell after it bought Novell, no one saw Attachmate closing down Novell’s Mono programming effort. Indeed, other than cutting Novell’s work-force by 25%, Attachmate has said little concrete about the company’s open-source plans. I have learned from sources though that LibreOffice, the open-source office suite, will continue to receive Novell’s support.

      Novell developers were leaders in founding the LibreOffice’s parent organization, The Document Foundation and splitting LibreOffice away from the Oracle sponsored OpenOffice project. Their feeling was that Oracle, as Sun had before it, had been neglecting OpenOffice and letting bugs go unfixed and new features go un-added for far too long.

    • Oracle is not Happy; Asks Judge to Reconsider Order Reducing Claims

      The parties have each responded to the judge’s order reducing the number of Oracle’s claims in Oracle v. Google from 132 to 3. And each has provided requested input to the judge on his tentative order on claim construction. If you recall, the judge asked for their input.

    • Oracle’s Subpoena to Apache, Claim Construction Order, and an Annoyed Judge

      I thought you’d like to see the Apache subpoena [PDF] that Oracle just sent them. Specifically, it’s a Boies Schiller production, as you can see at the bottom of page one.

  • Business

    • The business case for OpenSim

      A reader asked me today about the OpenSim business case — are there enough users on any of the grids to make it worthwhile for a business to set up a presence there instead of in Second Life?

      The short answer is: no.

      Second Life’s average concurrency is around 50,000. If you log into Second Life, depending on time of day, you are likely to find anywhere between 35,000 and 65,000 other people logged on. (See Tateru Nino’s great statistics page for more details.)


    • Important notice for free software supporters using Gmail

      Are you using Gmail? Nearly 50% of the FSF’s 40,000 strong supporter mailing list has an @gmail.com email address.

      JavaScript, once lauded for adding simple visual effects to web pages, is now used by web sites like Gmail to run powerful programs on your computer. These programs, like any other program running on your computer, should be free software. But right now, the vast majority of JavaScript programs do not respect your essential freedoms to run, study, modify and share them. They take control of your computer away from you; the same control we have been working for over 25 years to protect.

  • Licensing

    • Apple delays release of LPGL WebKit code

      Sometime after I posted this entry, Apple went ahead and posted the source code for JavaScriptCore-721.26 and WebCore-955.66.1, the code mentioned in this entry. No explanation on the delay was given, just the code. The immediate issue has passed, which is nice. My closing point about better communication, however, still stands.

  • Programming

    • 2018 is the Year of Perl 5.10

      The Perl 5 porters officially ended support for Perl 5.8 on November 5, 2008. Fortunately, Enterprise Support exists to help your legacy Perl 5 installations cope. Distributions such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux and its offshoot CentOS will continue supporting old versions of Perl 5 for up to ten years since their release (the release of the distribution, not the release of the version of Perl 5 they distribute).

      For example, the most recent CentOS release, CentOS 5.6, includes Perl 5.8.8. (CentOS 5.6 came out just over a month ago. Perl 5.8.8 is seven stable releases out of date.)

    • Google I/O Kicks Off, Focused On Developers

      Throughout its existence, Google has been very dedicated to enlisting developers all around the world to embrace its projects and help with the creative process, and one of its hugest annual events that focuses on this is the Google I/O conference. This week, in San Francisco, Google I/O is in full swing, and there are announcements arriving, and many sessions related to Google App Engine, Android, Chrome, Chrome OS and many other projects. Even if you can’t get to the conference, there are still ways to participate in sessions remotely, and Google will post archived versions of sessions after the event.

    • Baby Steps with Our Text Editor
    • Liveblog: Google I/O Day 1
    • Google announces Android Ice Cream Sandwich will merge phone and tablet OSes

      The next version of Google’s Android operating system, codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich, will converge the formerly disparate phone and tablet versions of the OS, Google announced at its I/O keynote today. Ice Cream Sandwich will maintain a single UI across all form factors and will allow developers to create applications for both kinds of devices in one motion. It will follow the rollout of Android 3.1 to the Motorola Xoom tablet and Google TV.

      Google says the Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android will “all be open source,” including APIs for face-tracking and other new features. Developers will be able to account for all form factors within this same version of the OS, and Google will be adding a lot of UIs to accommodate Android devices of all shapes and sizes.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Australia shops for search service

      Requirements for the service including conforming to the OpenSearch protocol and support for compressed and uncompressed versions of non-HTML documents like PDF, RTF, CSV, Microsoft Office formats and Open Document formats.


  • Time for Apple to Finally Close Cloud-Mobile Loop
  • Our Old Stuff is Junk

    In a way, M$ is its worst enemy. As it has convinced people that they must buy a new PC to get anything new in IT, they have also convinced people that a new anything is good: tablet, notebook, smart thingie… and many of these do not come with that other OS. Expect further poor quarters for that cash-cow.

    see TheRegister – Microsoft resuscitates ‘I’m a PC’ ads to fight Apple
    Alert Print Post comment Retweet Facebook
    PCs have come a long way since the PC

    How many cycles of the Wintel treadmill does it take to convince the subject that the next revolution is actually the same as the last one? The problem for M$ is that people are not gerbils and can solve the problem of spending years getting nowhere.

  • The Tech Press: We’re not all Arrington Scum

    Michael Arrington continues to try to con everyone, including possibly himself, into thinking he does technology journalism. Normally, I ignore the scum of the technology press. Life is too short. Every field has its fakes, its liars and its prostitutes, but every now and again someone, such as Arrington, falls to the bottom and makes such a splash along the way, that I can’t ignore him.

    Arrington, for those of who don’t know him, is the founder and co-editor of TechCrunch, a tech “news” site now owned by AOL. TechCrunch and Arrington are famous gossip-mongers—the National Enquirer if you would—of technology journalism. That’s fine by me. I’m not interested in covering MySpace co-founder and CEO Chris DeWolfe supposed romance with Paris Hilton. More power to you if that’s what floats your boat. After all, there are more readers for that than the kind of things, such as Linux and networking, that I cover.

  • Where Are They Now? Products Announced During Past Google I/O Keynotes

    The keynotes at Google I/O — Google’s developer conference — are always filled with such promise. Google TV, Google Wave, music in the cloud! But the products themselves haven’t always gone on to meet expectations. With Google I/O 2011 beginning on Tuesday, here’s a look back at what’s happened with past keynote product graduates.

  • The next Microsoft in the cloud computing era is …

    Cloud computing lacks both cross-compatibility and standards. Added to vendor lock-in is the possibility of outages, breaches of security or privacy, providers suspending your account, losing data or even going out of business altogether.

    A variety of vendor strategies are in play. Apple and Oracle exemplify the proprietary lock-in model, while Google champions open source without truly being open. VMware combines its high-margin virtualisation business with acquired software companies to create a hybrid model that is both proprietary and somewhat open all at once.

  • Security

    • Facebook caught exposing millions of user credentials

      Facebook has leaked access to millions of users’ photographs, profiles and other personal information because of a years-old bug that overrides individual privacy settings, researchers from Symantec said.

      The flaw, which the researchers estimate has affected hundreds of thousands of applications, exposed user access tokens to advertisers and others. The tokens serve as a spare set of keys that Facebook apps use to perform certain actions on behalf of the user, such as posting messages to a Facebook wall or sending RSVP replies to invitations. For years, many apps that rely on an older form of user authentication turned over these keys to third parties, giving them the ability to access information users specifically designated as off limits.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Controversial set of CCTV cameras to be removed from Birmingham districts

      After a long-running campaign, a controversial set of CCTV cameras are finally being removed from Sparkbrook and Washwood Heath in Birmingham. The regions are predominantly Muslim, and local residents had been fiercely opposed to the system. Many wondered why two medium-sized districts in Birmingham required 218 cameras, including 169 advanced Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras which monitor the movement of vehicles.

    • Davis alleges criminal misuse of CCTV cameras by government and police

      David Davis has alleged that the Home Office and Metropolitan Police may have broken the law while using security camera images. The claim was made during Home Office questions in the House of Commons.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Sued By Citizens
    • Goldman’s Blankfein Faces Investors Amid ‘Lingering Problems’

      Lloyd C. Blankfein, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), has sought to quell shareholder concerns about its bonuses and business practices at the past two annual meetings. Today, he will try again.

      As the fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets hosts investors for the first time at its building in Jersey City, New Jersey, shareholders are still questioning Goldman Sachs’s actions during the financial crisis, executive pay and business model.

    • Goldman Sachs ‘Totally Freaked Out’ About Volcker Rule, Lobbying Congress Without Remorse For Past Deeds

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc has just a few more months to put its stamp on the Volcker rule, and it is not wasting any time.

      The rule, designed to limit banks from speculating with their own money, will cost Goldman at least $3.7 billion in annual revenue, by one estimate. And billions more could be at stake if regulations now being drawn up are extra-tough.

    • Tallying the Votes at Goldman

      Goldman Sachs shareholders voted on 10 proposals this year, covering everything from climate change to executive pay. Goldman’s general counsel, Gregory Palm, announced the preliminary results at the end of the investment bank’s annual shareholder meeting, which was held on Friday in Jersey City.

    • Goldman Pay Plan Supported by Fewer Shareholders as Blankfein Pay Doubles

      Shareholder approval for Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)’s 2010 compensation plan, which doubled pay for Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein, tumbled to 73 percent from 96 percent a year ago.

      General Counsel Gregory K. Palm announced the vote tally at the end of today’s annual meeting, held for the first time at Goldman Sachs’s building in Jersey City, New Jersey.

    • Goldman Sachs (GS) Lobbying Hard to Weaken Volcker Rule

      With Paul Volcker having given up and riding off into the sunset, GoldmanSachs (GS) and its army of lobbyists is busy doing “God’s work” in weakening any impact he might have, according to this Reuters report. Again, in America the BEST return on investment for large corporations is lobbying – it makes the ROI on their actual businesses look like peanuts. For a relatively few millions, oodles of tax breaks, protections, or new contracts can be secured. For an investment bank the sums to buy up politicians direct policy is relatively tiny – effectively for the salary of a handful of vice presidents per quarter, the world is their oyster. $5M annually for Goldman is not even a rounding error. I am pleased to report the more things change, the more they remain the same.

    • Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is cordial but sniffly

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein was in good spirits on Friday at his firm’s annual meeting, despite battling some testy shareholders and what seemed to be a cold.

      The Wall Street chieftain sipped water and blew his nose through the two-hour proceedings, and declined to shake one investor’s hand after the meeting for fear of spreading germs.

    • Goldman Sachs Faces Off With Shareholders

      Goldman Sachs had its annual shareholders meeting in New Jersey on Friday. So Lloyd Blankfein had the chance to sit in front of a room full of investors and explain why he got a $5.4 million bonus last year even though stocks were down 38 percent. Seriously, this guy must have cajones as big as his bald head. At this point, there are no plans for the CEO to step down.

      Somehow, shareholder compensation proposals that would restrict pay didn’t pass and the directors got re-elected. A Catholic nun, Sister Nora Nash who is part of one of the religious orders that was in attendance, told Fox Business prior to the meeting that the pay “is totally outlandish because of the fact that we live a world where millions are going to bed hungry, they don’t know where their next meal will come from, especially in our inner cities and in the third world.”

      “Never in the history of capitalism has anybody convinced people that a cabal, if you will, of bankers earning obscene amounts of money is good for everybody,” Dezenhall Resources’ Eric Dezenhall told WNYC.

    • Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is cordial but sniffly

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein was in good spirits on Friday at his firm’s annual meeting, despite battling some testy shareholders and what seemed to be a cold.

      The Wall Street chieftain sipped water and blew his nose through the two-hour proceedings, and declined to shake one investor’s hand after the meeting for fear of spreading germs.

      But while Blankfein might have preferred chicken soup over the continental breakfast on display, his demeanor remained strong and, some might say, resilient.

    • Goldman Sachs Sued By Citizens
    • Vitro, Madoff, Timothy Blixseth, Asbestos Case: Bankruptcy

      (This report contains items about companies both in bankruptcy and not in bankruptcy. Adds Statistics section, Madoff in Updates and DS Waters in Downgrade.)

      May 6 (Bloomberg) — Vitro SAB, Mexico’s largest glassmaker, argued in a court filing on May 4 that its Chapter 15 case should remain in New York because the bankruptcy judge in Fort Worth, Texas, is ill.

      Separately, Vitro’s official creditors’ committee is asking for a delay in the hearing scheduled to begin today in Texas on a motion to approve sale procedures for the four U.S. Vitro subsidiaries that put themselves into Chapter 11 in the face of involuntary petitions filed in November.

    • U.S. Probes Goldman Sachs Findings After Senate Referral

      May 4 (Bloomberg) — U.S. senators formally referred to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission an investigative report that found Goldman Sachs Group Inc. misled clients about mortgage-linked securities. Bloomberg’s

    • Goldman Sachs May Make ‘Near-Term’ Management Changes, UBS Says – Bloomberg
    • Bloomberg: Goldman Sachs Referred to S.E.C. and D.O.J. (video)
    • Berkshire Will Record $1.25 Billion Gain on Goldman Redemption

      Berkshire was paid $5.5 billion for the securities on April 18, the Omaha, Nebraska-based company said late on May 6 in its first-quarter earnings report. The payment by Goldman Sachs includes the $5 billion Berkshire invested in 2008 and a 10 percent premium.

    • SEC chief keeps options open on private securities

      The top U.S. securities regulator pledged a rigorous review of potentially outdated private securities trading rules, but stopped short of endorsing changes being advocated by Republican lawmakers.

      At a congressional hearing on Tuesday, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro was pressed to make regulatory changes to help small and medium-sized companies more easily raise capital without going public.

  • Privacy

    • Still no timetable for deletion of DNA records

      The planned deletion of the DNA profiles of millions of innocent people still lacks a definitive timetable, it was revealed today. Conservative MP Philip Davies asked the government how much time would be required once the legislation has been passed to remove the DNA of people who have been found innocent but whose records remain on the database. Home Office minister James Brokenshire said:

  • DRM

    • Brick Nintendo before they brick you

      Send Reggie Fils-Aime, President and COO of Nintendo of America a strong message that the Nintendo 3DS Terms of Service are unacceptable and that DRM must be dropped. Brick Nintendo before they brick you!

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Biggest BitTorrent Downloading Case in U.S. History Targets 23,000 Defendants

        At least 23,000 file sharers soon will likely get notified they are being sued for downloading the Expendables in what has become the single largest illegal-BitTorrent-downloading case in U.S. history.

        A federal judge in the case has agreed to allow the U.S. Copyright Group to subpoena internet service providers to find out the identity of everybody who had illegally downloaded (.pdf) the 2010 Sylvester Stallone flick — meaning the number of defendants is likely to dramatically increase as new purloiners are discovered. Once an ISP gets the subpoena, it usually notifies the account holder that his or her subscriber information is being turned over to the Copyright Group, which last year pioneered the practice of suing BitTorrent downloaders in the United States.

      • Is Portugal about to make Creative Commons illegal?

        ETA 3. Very interesting details in the comments section. It seems like this already exists in similar fashion in Spain and in Chile (I still think that declaring economic rights inalienable is a horrible idea, it barely works with moral rights). I’d like to see if this has ever been applied in those countries, and if so, if it covers licensing. Probably it does not, as in licensing one is not giving the work away, one is simply granting rights to third parties.

      • Pirate Bay prepares for the battle of the internet

        COPYRIGHT CARTELS inspired legislation has forced The Pirate Bay to announce that it is preparing for lobbying and legal battles.

        The Pirate Bay, which might feel somewhat overshadowed by Anonymous, has posted a rallying call to arms on its blog and, channelling the voice of Britain’s wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill, announced that its “finest hour” is upon it.

      • ACTA

        • ACTA copyright agreement may breach EU law, claim academics

          A controversial anti-counterfeiting agreement between the European Union, the US and other countries has come in for fresh criticism after the European Commission failed to address concerns about the treaty’s legality.

          The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was reached last year despite concerns that it would protect ‘big business’ at the expence of the consumer.


          ACTA also includes other forms of trademark infringements based on similarity of signs, risk of confusion and the protection for well known trademarks against dilution. This, said FFII’s Wessels, is a clear extension of the EU acquis, which does not cover the criminal measures called for by ACTA.

Clip of the Day

Raspberry Pi – the £15 computer

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 10/5/2011: Slackware 13.37 Raves, Mark Shuttleworth’s Endorsement for GPLv3

Posted in News Roundup at 8:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Raspberry Pi Foundation

    Our first product is about the size of a USB key, and is designed to plug into a TV or be combined with a touch screen for a low cost tablet. The expected price is $25 for a fully-configured system.

  • Server

    • Dell Hopes to Speed up Virtualization With Four-socket Blade

      The blade can include up to 512GB of RAM and 2TB of internal storage. OS options include Windows Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Novell Suse Linux Enterprise Server. The blade will be available worldwide at the end of May starting at US$3,500.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • SandForce 1222 SSD Testing, Part 3: Detailed Throughput Analysis
    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Optimus Unofficially Comes To Linux

        NVIDIA’s Optimus multi-GPU technology now works under Linux. Well, at least for some notebooks, it’s been hacked together by an open-source developer and in fact is working to use both Intel and NVIDIA graphics processors simultaneously with the respective drivers. This is the best Linux implementation we’ve seen yet with NVIDIA Corp still not announcing plans to officially support this technology under non-Microsoft operating systems.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Amarok 2.4.1 “Resolution” released

        The long winter is ending, and the spring flowers are blooming, so it must be time for an Amarok release. In this version 2.4.1, we fixed many bugs and corner-case crashes, so your Amarok will be more rock-steady than ever. Lyrics iPod handling both got some love, along with remote collections. Also, you can now better preview your changes in the Organize Collection feature. The changelog below gives a fairly complete overview of the changes since the last major release.

      • Plasma + KWin = beautiful !

        I had skipped Slackware 13.0, because it had still no support for virtual screens in X/xrandr, and the KDE 4.4 in Slackware 13.1 crashed a few times while playing around with it. So I stayed with 12.1. For building current KDE, it doesn’t matter what desktop you’re running, so that was fine for me.

      • Season of KDE: we need you, KDE contributor, to get involved

        KDE provides a great oportunity for students interested in computer science, designers, translators, etc., to improved their skills in a worldwide, structured and organized libre software community project. The result of their work could be used by millions of users.

        Season of KDE is the program our community has built to give new contrinutors the chance to get involved in KDE in a smooth way, supported by experienced contributors. Coordinated by Lydia Pintscher, we are being really successful in getting potential contributors to join the program. After all the effort done in the past, and the great opportunity we have in front of us to increase our community, it is KDE’s time to give all these young students the opportunity to become part of our journey.

        We need you to join the program by mentoring these new contributors.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GTK+ 3.2 Is Coming Along WIth New Features

        GNOME 3.0 / GTK+ 3.0 was released just over one month ago, but already work is well under-way into developing GNOME 3.2 and with that the GTK+ 3.2 update for release later on in the year. GTK+ 3.1.2 was released in mid-April, but GTK+ 3.1.4 was released yesterday as the second development snapshot. This tool-kit update does provide more features.

  • Distributions

    • What’s Next?

      Slackware 13.37 has been proven to be a stable and secure release. But that won’t stop Slackware development towards next release (even though we might not see the next release in short time). Slackware is evolving as the upstream goes since it tries to deliver a complete Linux distribution that is up to date without sacrificing it’s motto of keeping it simple, secure, and stable.
      I have no idea what will the next Slackware codename be. It could be 14.0 (back to the old Slackware naming style) or probably it will use the current SLACKWARE_VERSION.KERNEL_VERSION naming just what we have in Slackware 13.37. What i’m quite positive is that it will be a major upgrade, so it will have a Slackware version of 14.

    • KDE 4.6.3 for Slackware 13.37

      While Slackware-Current development has not publicly visible, Eric keeps maintaining KDE 4.6.x series in his KTown repository and now releasing KDE 4.6.3 series for Slackware 13.37 and -Current (basically they are still in the same level for now). It’s another monthly maintenance version of KDE, so it’s safe to upgrade since there are no new features on this update, only bug fixes and translations updates.

    • The drive-by review

      I’ve lately noticed an increase in what I call “Drive by reviews”.
      They say that “first impressions are lasting impressions” and I can understand that. Everyone wants to make a good first impression and it takes a lot to overcome a bad one. However, I’ve seen more folks of late instead taking a first impression of something as a only impression, or over-generalizing based on one first impression.


      Which brings me to the Fedora/Linux tie in here. Every few months I see a sad tale of someone who tried the Fedora {mailing lists|forum|irc channel} and had a bad first impression, which leads to a “I am never going to use {Linux|Fedora} again!”. Please take a few moments to think logically and not judge an entire Linux distribution or Operating system based on one forum post, email or 5 minutes in an IRC channel. Do some research, work on explaining your problem better or in a different way, try a different support channel, or at the very least note that your impression is based on only one single drive by. It’s hard to overcome a bad first impression, but do consider giving more than a single chance.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat (RHT) Could Fall Through $44.66 Support Level

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that it has expanded its relationship with Amazon Web Services (AWS). In addition to being able to bring their own licenses to AWS, customers can now quickly and easily purchase supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux via AWS’s on demand, pay as you go Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). This new offering will be available in the coming weeks, to customers worldwide in every AWS Region.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Mark Shuttleworth Prefers GPL V3

            Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of the world’s most popular GNU/Linux based operating system Ubuntu has won accolades by showing what the technology leaders need to understand today. He said that he prefers GNU GPL v3 over V2, as it has ‘a calming effect on software patents’. He hopes soon more and more FOSS companies and communities will realize the dangers of software patents and choose GNU GPL v3 over other licenses.

          • Why I’m a bit disappointed with Canonical

            I mean, minimum wage for a community member to do superstar-level work for that month is going to be far less then the cost of a t-shirt, mug or other random bit of SWAG.

    • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • 4 Popular opensource Project Management applications

    Opensource Project Management Apps are the key to success in many an organization and in personal life for task management too. Open source provides the right platform for development of project management apps that are highly adaptable, flexible and ensure the project renders all deliverables. Introduced here are some of the popular open sources Apps for Project Management.

  • Events

    • Fosscomm 2011 – My review

      I just got back home from Fosscomm 2011 and I must admit it has been one of the best organized events of this kind I’ve seen in Greece ever. The single most important fact was that presentations and workshops were always _on time_. They started on time, they finished on time. The organizers had to face even a power cut by the national energy company but they still managed not to fall behind on schedule. My only remark would be about the selection of the presentations that took place in the big room (called BA). Most of them gathered far less people than other presentations which took place in smaller rooms (B3 for example) and those rooms got extremely crowded from time to time. Maybe the organizers thought that generic open source presentations would attract more people than the technical ones but, unfortunately for them, and fortunately for “the greater good”, they were very wrong. This doesn’t reduce their achievement though. Another thing I would like to see on the next Fosscomm is less material given out to participants and instead spend this money on paying for travel expenses of people coming to speak on Fosscomm from abroad. Giving one (or even more) of the phones that HTC kindly provided to the voted by the participants best talk/presentation/workshop would also be very nice. My sincere congratulations to the organizing committee.

    • A call for speakers

      The 9th annual Ohio Linux Fest is an open source conference held in Columbus Ohio. The conference this year will be September 9-11, 2011.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla building on Firefox’s dominant share in Indonesia

        Mozilla is building an army of volunteers in Indonesia to help customize Firefox and recommend add-ons, as the U.S.-based non-profit organization seeks to retain its massive share of the browser market in the country.

        Community groups in eight cities and drawing about 1,000 tech-savvy volunteers, with more expected, are meeting this month to brainstorm ways Firefox can be further localized, said Gen Kanai, Mozilla’s contributor engagement director for Asia.

      • Just Wait Until Microsoft Turns On Windows Update

        Then we shipped Firefox 4.

        Almost immediately after Firefox’s first 24 hours stomped the IE numbers into the dirt, Microsoft and their friends tried to change the subject with a lot talk about how it wasn’t the downloads but the usage that mattered. So I posted this chart showing that Firefox was not only crushing IE in download numbers but it was also off to a much stronger start on actual browser usage.

        Quickly the Microsoft reps and fans returned with “But we haven’t even begun to fight. Just wait until Windows Update starts pushing IE out to the full installed base.” I responded with this post and its accompanying chart showing that even well after Microsoft started pushing their browser through Windows Update, Firefox 4 was still lapping IE9 and I reminded people that Mozilla still had not flipped it’s big Firefox Update switch.

  • SaaS

    • Wringing More Value From Enterprise Cloud Computing With Open Source

      The world of open source software — with its flexibility, aggressive release cycles, and tendency to integrate with other software to perform complex tasks — is an ideal place to look for improvements in your enterprise IT infrastructure. So what kind of free and open source software is available for cloud computing? Compute stacks, distributed storage software and management tools, just to name a few.


  • Stevens Urges Congress to Crack Down on Prosecutorial Misconduct

    Retired Justice John Paul Stevens said Supreme Court decisions have given local prosecutors impunity for violating constitutional rights, and urged Congress to respond by authorizing victims of misconduct to sue.

    In a speech Monday night to the Equal Justice Initiative, which advocates for indigent defendants, Justice Stevens criticized the court’s March decision overturning a jury’s $14 million award to an innocent man who spent 14 years on death row after prosecutors concealed evidence that could have cleared him. (Click here to see the full text of Stevens’ speech.)

  • Security

  • Finance

    • The “Misleading” of Goldman Sachs

      Senator Levin candidly describes the banks as replete with conflicts of interest and greed. He is reluctant to used the words “lie” or “fraud” and is content to let the justice system decide whether those terms are applicable. However, he does use the word “mislead” which seems rather a tame term to use when you know what Goldman Sachs did to its clients and to the investors that trusted GS’s judgement when buying the securities they underwrote and sold to them.

    • An American Manifesto

      American democracy is withering on the vine. Not because of any basic flaw, but because democracy is incompatible with the malignant capitalism that that has come to shape our society and control our political system. As citizens, we have a choice: we can do nothing and watch our democratic traditions die out, or we can act together to regain control of our country. We have a long and honorable revolutionary tradition, so we do not have to be victims. This manifesto is a call to action from one ordinary American to all others who love liberty. It is a call to unite and determine our future by taking it out of the hands of those who value only money and power. It is a call to rescue our democracy.

      Today our country exhibits clear signs of a nation in peril, bogged down in needless, costly wars abroad and beset by economic stagnation at home. Terrorist attacks of 9/11 triggered an expanded military Empire and an intrusive national security state. Financial institutions driving a casino capitalism crashed and burned in 2008. The worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression followed. Collectively, these events have distorted our political economy and wounded our democracy. Voters are angry, confused and divided not only over policies but over the very role of government. An imperial presidency, a dysfunctional Congress and a corporate-oriented Supreme Court have aggravated existing problems and created a cynical and distrustful public.

      Plutocrats, taking advantage of a society in crisis, have tightened their hold on the economy and reshaped governance. The political economy, rooted in advanced capitalism, is now geared to serve the minority of Americans who control most of the wealth. Although our Republic retains the trappings of democracy, it has morphed into a Corporate State where ultimate authority is in the hands of a ruling class. Its operatives – in and out of government – determine domestic and foreign policy. They prop up an economic and military Empire that spans the globe, but is reeling from recession, debt and seemingly permanent military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    • You Call That Tough?

      It was Tuesday, and the U.S. attorney in Manhattan was proudly unveiling a lawsuit against Deutsche Bank that his office had filed that morning. As he took reporters through the legal complaint, Bharara spoke sternly about how the bank had defrauded the Federal Housing Administration, which had insured hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of bad loans that the bank then sold to investors, reaping handsome fees.

      Listening to Bharara, one could easily think that prosecutors were finally — finally! — getting tough on the bad behavior that helped bring about the financial crisis. Alas, it was mainly an illusion.

      Upon closer inspection, it turns out that the main target of Bharara’s wrath was MortgageIT, a smallish division that Deutsche Bank bought in 2007 — eight years into an alleged fraud that ended in 2009. In the complaint itself, not one MortgageIT executive was singled out as a wrongdoer; it was as if this faceless corporation had somehow defrauded the government without human help.

    • Paper vs Real: Exit From Normal, Ecological Economics, and Probabilistic Regimes in One Chart

      A 20 year chart of the US 30 Year Treasury Bond vs. a broad commodity index is the occassion to make several macroeconomic observations. The comparison reveals how the purchasing power of the long-dated US Treasury Bond has fared against a basket of commodities over the period. Tracking the ability of the US Treasury bond, denominated in US Dollars, to maintain its viability as a capital storage unit is not arcane. Rather, it is central. All institutions and individuals eventually use financial assets to purchase energy, natural resources, and labor. | see: 30 Year Treasury Bond by Price vs. The Reuters CRB Index–CCI Continuous.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Public Knowledge Urges FCC to Investigate AT&T Caps

      Public Knowledge and the New America Foundation say they’ve sent the FCC a letter urging them to investigate AT&T’s new usage caps. AT&T this week imposed a new 150 GB cap on DSL users and a 250 GB cap on U-Verse users, with those exceeding those caps paying AT&T $10 per every 50 GB thereafter. While many companies now impose caps to help differentiate residential and business class services, AT&T is the first major U.S. ISP to begin charging users per byte overages — a practice that is very common in Canada, but extremely unpopular among consumers across North America.

      “While broadband caps are not inherently problematic, they carry the omnipresent temptation to act in anticompetitive and monopolistic ways,” notes the letter. “Unlike competitors whose caps appear to be at least nominally linked to congestions during peak-use periods, AT&T seeks to convert caps into a profit center by charging additional fees to customers who exceed the cap,” the groups insist. “In addition to concerns raised by broadband caps generally, such a practice produces a perverse incentive for AT&T to avoid raising its cap even as its own capacity expands.”

  • DRM

    • Dreaming of Doomsday for DRM

      Then, of course, there was Star Wars Day — which, as it turned out, coincided with the Free Software Foundation’s Day Against DRM. Even more than weak Jedi allusions, in fact, Digital Rights Management — or should we say Digital Restrictions Management? — has been a popular focus of conversation over the past few days as a result.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The Avatars of Vishnu

        Back in January I was asked by the Brooklyn Museum to create a set of 11 iconic Vishnu avatars for an exhibit they’re planning in June. They didn’t offer a whole lot of money – an “honorarium,” they called it – but said the images could be under a Free license (they said CC-BY-SA was fine). I chose to do it because it was a cool gig, right up my alley; and I love the Brooklyn Museum and was excited to have my art be part of one of their exhibits. It turned out to be more work than I expected, but I was very pleased with the results.

      • Radical copyright law reform to boost Ireland’s digital economy?

Clip of the Day

Ubuntu 11.04 Nvidia & Xorg Bug

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 8/5/2011: SimplyMEPIS in the Headlines

Posted in News Roundup at 8:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Why Not Linux?

    I am always amazed that Linux isn’t more popular. It is a free operating system, is more reliable than Windows, and has many of the advantages of Macintosh. To be sure, Linux used to be more difficult to install and use than the other “big two” operating systems, but that is no longer true. Anyone who has used a recent version of Ubuntu Linux or any of several other versions of Linux will attest that those Linux distributions are now even easier to use than Windows, especially when installing new programs. Installation is a breeze. For instance, Ubuntu Linux does a better job of discovering my networking and sound boards than does Windows. Ubuntu Linux is significantly faster and easier to install than Windows; it even asks fewer technical questions during the installation process.

    Not only is Linux faster, but it is also impervious to viruses and most other forms of “malware” that plague Windows computers. If you have ever dealt with a Windows virus, you already know why Linux is better. Linux users don’t even install anti-virus software as they have no need for such protection.

  • No Linux support? An offer I can refuse

    Now, as I pay my bills online, paying one or two bills does not represent any benefit to me if it’s the same amount anyway. There is a major consideration for switching, nevertheless. This issue is support: The government agency sent a technician to help my mother once. Given the fact that this unsuspecting techie did not chicken away when he saw that my mother uses Pardus GNU/Linux and solved the problem to the best of his abilities, I decided to ask a question to the overly friendly representative on the line to assess the real service that they were offering me.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • 2.6.39 kernel will drop 686 flavour
    • Client Side Decorations For Wayland

      Besides OpenWF support in Wayland being talked about and on the roadmap, another item that’s been hotly discussed the past couple of days is about client side decoration support for the Wayland Display Server.

    • Graphics Stack

      • There’s An X.Org Driver For Nested X Servers

        Announced just hours ago on the X.Org development mailing list is recent work to create the xf86-video-nested driver. As implied by the name of the driver and the title of this news post, this is an X.Org video driver designed to run nested X.Org servers. In other words, X.Org on top of X.Org.

      • Speeding Up The Linux Kernel With Your GPU

        Sponsored in part by NVIDIA, at the University of Utah they are exploring speeding up the Linux kernel by using GPU acceleration. Rather than just allowing user-space applications to utilize the immense power offered by modern graphics processors, they are looking to speed up parts of the Linux kernel by running it directly on the GPU.

        From the project page: “The idea behind KGPU is to treat the GPU as a computing co-processor for the operating system, enabling data-parallel computation inside the Linux kernel. This allows us to use SIMD (or SIMT in CUDA) style code to accelerate Linux kernel functionality, and to bring new functionality formerly considered too compute intensive into the kernel. Simply put, KGPU enables vector computing for the kernel.”

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Dark, light and Openbox

      I have suffered an inordinate number of real-world issues over the last week or so, which is why I am doing such a poor job of keeping this page updated.

      I apologize for that. But in the little free time I have, I have not been idle. Here are two distros that both focus on lightweight desktop arrangements with Openbox.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 1st May 2011
      • On Stability

        KWin has been known as a rock-solid window manager in the KDE 3.5 times. I was wondering how the situation is nowadays with focus no longer on window managing but on compositing. Currently we are experiencing a major problem in combination of Intel/Mesa drivers with either fullscreen flash videos or OpenGL screensavers. Since the release of Kubuntu Natty we receive two to three new duplicates each day. In case you are experiencing this issue: do not report! Neither to us, nor to Mesa nor to (K)Ubuntu. It is a known issue and Upstream is working on a fix! As a workaround, do not use Flash to watch Youtube videos and do not use OpenGL screensavers. The issue is the most often reported bug against KWin of all time, now.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Virtual Box OS Distribution

      Using virtual Box from Oracle or any other Virtualization Software we can run one operating system inside another Operating System. For example, my computer runs on Debian Stable and I have Virtual Box in it. So I log into Debian and run the virtual Box program and install in it other operating systems, in virtual Disk Drives created by virtual box.

      This is fine, but to have more fun somebody should configure a linux, or opensolaris, or bsd distribution that opens directly into a Virtual Box Graphical User Interface. Just like the ChromeOS opens directly into the Chrome Browser, in a similar manner the Virtual Box Distribution should have Virtual Box running on top of the linux (or BSD or solaris) kernel.

    • New Releases

      • Xange 2011.06
      • Última versión estable: Canaima 3.0
      • Alpine 2.2.0 released

        The Alpine Linux project is pleased to announce immediate availability of version 2.2 of its Alpine Linux operating system.

        This release introduces several new features:

        * A new Linux kernel branch based on 2.6.38 with all of the Alpine patches either rebased or included in upstream Linux sources.
        * New support for the x86_64 architecture. Alpine 2.2 is able to efficiently take advantage of modern x86 processors supporting all available general purpose registers

      • PelicanHPC 2.4

        03 May 2011. v2.4 is available on the download page (see below). This version adds support to run better as a Virtualbox guest. Octave is at v3.4.0, added dsh, updated tutorial, general sync to Debian. Serious users should read the pelican_config file, which is in /home/user after booting up.

      • Clonezilla 1.2.8-37
      • VortexBox 1.9 released

        We are pleased to announce the release of VortexBox 1.9. This release adds updated versions of many of that packages that make VortexBox work so well. This version includes a new kernel for better hardware support. The DVD ripping package has also been improved and of course we added the latest version of SqueezeBox Server (7.5.4).

      • Scientific Linux release 4.9 has been released for i386 and x86_64.

        Scientific Linux 4.9 has been released. We want to thank all those who have contributed time helping us build and test this release. Scientific Linux 4.9 contains almost 2 years of security and bug fixes. There are no new features or packages, but it is a nice stable release.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat OpenShift Express & The Leafy Miracle

        Red Hat made a lot of awesome announcements this week at The Red Hat Summit, one of which being OpenShift.

        I had the opportunity to play with the internal beta for a little while now, and I must say that as a developer I am extremely impressed with the service. Just being able to git push my code into to the cloud drastically simplifies large-scale software deployment, and makes it so I don’t even have to leave my development environment.

      • Videos: Red Hat Summit 2011

        Red Hat held their annual Red Hat Summit and JBoss World conferences in Boston from May 3-6, 2011. I’ve yet to be able to attend a Red Hat Summit but I do search the web for information and videos from it.

        Red Hat announced a number of new developments including OpenShift (Platform as a Service) and CloudForms (Infrastructure as a Service). Basically Red Hat continues to sponsor development on a large number of open source projects and bundles them together into more comprehensive solutions. I haven’t yet done enough reading to speak intelligently about either of those… but give me some time… although they do seem primarily oriented towards the “enterprisey” folks.

      • The Tale of Red Hat’s Name!

        Version Three!

        While Marc wore a red hat in his university he became known by it. If any of his mate encountered problems in computer they used to ask Marc for help. The people who did not know him asked “Who is Marc?” and they received replies “The one in red hat!”. Therefore red hats become synonymous with technical expertise!

    • Debian Family

      • SimplyMEPIS

        • Review: SimplyMEPIS 11.0

          Yesterday, the MEPIS developers released SimplyMEPIS 11.0, a year after the release of SimplyMEPIS 8.5, which I have reviewed before. (I went back and read that review and had a pretty good laugh at how short and shallow it was. Please feel free to do the same. That said, if you feel like doing the same at this review, please explain why in the comments.) In that review, I liked that it included many codecs and useful programs out-of-the-box along with the MEPIS tools, which were basically the Linux Mint tools before Linux Mint existed. I didn’t like that Synaptic Package Manager refused to work.


          And finally, I’ve also seen comments on reviews of software that didn’t work complaining that I didn’t talk about the nuts-and-bolts of the software or show pictures or stuff like that. If I review a piece of software that works, I post pictures of my time with that software to prove that I really did use it. If I don’t post pictures, that means the software didn’t work for whatever reason. It’s as simple as that. So from now on, if I review software that doesn’t work and you want to see pictures or read release notes, go to the software’s website, because I’m not going to post pictures here. If you want to know whether the software might work for a newbie or whether it might work on your computer’s hardware, then do come here; having used Linux for two years, I’m not a novice anymore per se, but because I’ve stuck with the newbie-friendly Linux Mint through those two years, I’m still only epsilon above novice level, so when I do reviews, it’s still from the perspective of the newbie, not from the perspective of the experienced pro.

        • SimplyMEPIS 11.0 Screen Shots – MEPIS website
        • SimplyMEPIS 11 Final Released

          As the release announcement says, “Making it your own is simple, too”. The KDE desktop and SimplyMEPIS itself are easily and extensively configurable, and whether you prefer the standard KDE desktop or the KDE Netbook desktop, a few tweaks like this can make it just right for you to use. Because MEPIS is derived from Debian, the repositories contain a vast array of applications, utilities and other software. It all adds up to a really excellent distribution.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 8 Really Useful Ubuntu Unity Quicklists

            One of the useful features in Unity (Ubuntu Natty) is the adding of quicklists to the application icons in the launcher. For example, you can right click on the Google Chrome icon and access the option to open an incognito window, or right click the Gmail icon and select “Compose New Email” option. For those who came from the Windows background, this is very similar to the Windows 7′s taskbar jumplist.

          • All the Icons on Unity Launcher will be Movable in Oneiric, Including Lenses
          • Ubuntu 11.04: Great Promise, Quirky Execution

            It has been my experience for a number of years now for a new Ubuntu release to show lots of promise, and then disappoint. It always looks and feels great, but try and push it across a few delicate limits and it will show its real quirky face, and sometimes it doesn’t even need a push.

          • Bye, bye Ubuntu Ready – Hello Ubuntu Friendly!

            Instead of just removing Ubuntu Ready, we would like to start a non-commercial new hardware validation programme, created by Canonical, and with co-ordination with the rest of the community. This new programme is called Ubuntu Friendly (although the name might change).

          • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly About Unity

            We’ve talked about Natty and its features in our previous article (see: Ubuntu 11.04 ‘Natty Narwhal’: To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade?); however, we didn’t touch upon Unity much. Unity, the brainchild of the Canonical team was an out-of-the-blue decision which surprised and even shocked many users and developers alike. The shocking part of it was the decision to part ways with the GNOME desktop, which had been part of Ubuntu for so many years. The move has left many GNOME loyalists changing clans. However, there are also many users who have welcomed the changes. One reason why Unity works is because it brings something completely fresh to the user as opposed to the traditional GNOME desktop, which was getting too old-school to compete with Windows, Mac and even KDE4. Unity also relies heavily on the trusted Compiz window decorator, thus making the switch relatively smoother as compared to the one with GNOME 3 and Mutter. Furthermore, the GNOME 2.x series was a desktop that had not gone any major visual changes for years, and thus it failed to keep up with many of the modern desktop usability standards. For example, GNOME 2.x included two panels, one at the bottom and one at the top which consumed a lot of space. Also, the menus were too outdated when likened to modern desktops like Windows 7 and KDE4. Furthermore, the tray, the menubar, and indicator applets made the panels look way too crowded and tacky.

          • Thoughts on Ubuntu and Unity

            I have been giving a lot of thought to Unity and Ubuntu 11.04. I have to admit that I was, at first, very hostile toward the changes implemented in this latest release of the most popular Linux distribution.

          • Ubuntu CTO Matt Zimmerman leaving. Good Luck and thanks for all the fish.
          • My Week with Ubuntu Natty Narwhal

            So here’s the end of my little rant. For anyone out there interested in trying Linux for the first time I would still heartily recommend Linux Mint, or if you really want lots of apps and bells and whistles pre-installed, Pinguy OS is quite groovy, too.

            If you’ve been around the block with Linux a bit, also try Bodhi Linux with the Enlightenment window manager. It’s light, gorgeous and configurable to the nth degree. And in my opinion, makes Unity look old and crude in comparison.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Kubuntu 11.04 review

              Final Thoughts: Given the lukewarm reception to Ubuntu’s Unity desktop environment, Kubuntu presents an option that you might want to explore. It is still the same Ubuntu, but with a different and better desktop environment. If Kubuntu does not appeal to you, try Chakra, another KDE-based distribution that was just reviewed here.

            • Will Linux Mint outdo the popularity of Ubuntu?

              It is raining new releases this month as a result of the domino effect caused by the release of Ubuntu 11.04. The latest in line is Linux Mint. Team Mint has always managed to come up with a distro that improved the strengths of Ubuntu many fold while remaining true to the original one. However this time the scene is completely different. The team had recently announced the release of Linux Mint 11, codenamed Katya. Although, its usual to give a feminine name to each Mint release, this one seems to have a meaning. Katya which means “pure” In Russian seems to hint subtly that the Mint team is upto something.

            • Sabily 11.04 Is Based on Ubuntu 11.04, Has Unity

              The Sabily developers proudly announced the immediate availability for download of the new and improved Sabily 11.04 operating system.

              Dubbed Al-Badr, Sabily 11.04 is now based on the recently released Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) operating system and features the new Unity desktop interface. The release includes lots of new applications and various system improvements.

            • Sabily 11.04 released!

              The Sabily team is proud to announce the release of the new version of Sabily 11.04, codename “Badr”.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • $25 computer is barely larger than the average USB stick

        The Raspberry Pi is one tiny computer that’s actually functional enough for modern use. It doesn’t get any more barebones than a little circuit board with a 700MHz ARM 11 processor, a USB port, an HDMI port and an install of Ubuntu Linux.

        Designed by game developer David Braben and his friends, the Raspberry Pi’s basic structure was created to encourage schoolchildren to hack and mod it to unlock its true potential. On the stock Raspberry Pi, all one needs to do is plug in a display through the HDMI port and a keyboard through the USB and it’s good to go — getting online requires another adapter.

      • Phones

        • Sony Encourages Linux On Their Phones

          neokushan writes “Sony has been in the news a lot lately — from the PSN downtime and the identity theft issue that came with it, to the numerous court cases launched to try and quell the PS3 hacking scene. It may come as a surprise to many, then, that Sony’s mobile smartphone division has taken an almost polar-opposite approach — they’re actively encouraging developers to create, modify and install customized Linux kernels into their latest lineup of phones, including the Xperia Play, the device that was once known as the ‘PlayStation Phone.’”

Free Software/Open Source

  • GOEPEL electronic supports open source Initiative

    During Technology Days UK GOEPEL electronic announces the accession to the open source initiative goJTAG. The networking founded by various universities and the Company Testonica Lab pursues the goal to provide the industry JTAG/Boundary Scan tools and knowledge based on an independent and non-commercial platform, sustainably accelerating the wide adoption of standardized IEEE 1194.x test methods. The centre piece of GOEPEL electronic’s engagement is the provision of free hardware and respective reference designs.

    goJTAG is the first university-driven open-source project aiming at providing a full package for a JTAG/Boundary Scan newcomer including training materials, slides and exercises. The software includes a simulation component that fully reveals every single bit movement along the scan chains with a single TCK precision. The user can directly step-wise control TAP states and observe system’s reaction in a real time as an on-screen simulation. Using PicoTAP controller, all actions can be synchronized on the hardware attached. Such a fine-grain illustration of JTAG test principles has never been possible so far.

  • Cassidy: Lotus founder Mitch Kapor sets his sights on fixing education

    Kapor is a tech icon, for starting Lotus, for cofounding the Electronic Frontier Foundation, for being the first chairman of the Mozilla Foundation, which supports Firefox and other open source projects. He’s a San Francisco-based venture capitalist now and he’s done well for himself.

    But he has always had a wide progressive advocacy streak. Born in Brooklyn, he worked as a rock disc jockey, taught Transcendental Meditation and worked as a mental health counselor before making his name in the tech field.

  • The case for developer driven open source governance

    Disregarding the developer community in developing an open source governance policy is just bad policy. Many times developers are well versed in the issues relating to open source governance: legal risks, IP leakage, security vulnerabilities, etc.

  • Open Source`s Greatest Hits
  • Events

    • LinuxFest Northwest 2011 Report

      The end of April… is LinuxFest Northwest time. This was my 5th year attending and it was their 11th annual conference. As usual, I took my camcorder along and recorded all of the presentations I attended. Oddly no one from the BozemanLUG nor the BillingsLUG were able / interested in going with me so I was all by myself.

  • Web Browsers

    • PhotoFloat — A Web 2.0 Photo Gallery Done Right via Static JSON & Dynamic Javascript

      I don’t really like database driven photo management software, and prefer instead to manage my photos in a good old no-nonsense directory structure. For this reason, I was particularly attracted to Zenphoto as a means of getting my photos online, as it works on directory structures. Unfortunately, Zenphoto is horrible; it’s riddled with bugs, inconstant, a cluttered architecture, and most of all, it’s extremely slow. Every time it runs, it re-scans directories and makes a bazillion SQL calls. The viewer interface is also outdated and clunky, having a different html page for each photo. So I went back to the drawing board and considered how to make things better.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 4 — a major update

        Mozilla Firefox 4 was released out of beta on March 22 and is a significant update from Firefox 3.6 as it is, apparently, the company’s attempt to stay ahead of the competition that’s nipping at its heels and gain ground on Internet Explorer.

      • Mozilla Firefox 4 Review: A powerful browser in the making

        What’s the big deal about web browsers anyway? They’re only here to make life easier for internet users, right? But those who spend eons of time rambling through the virtual world seem to care a lot judging by comments posted across the web about some browser or the other. We might venture to say that Internet Explorer has always been the most used web browser by default due to the fact that it’s been coming with Microsoft’s Windows OS since forever through a large part of the PC revolution time zone. But there were always going to be cult favorites and when Firefox seemed to rise like a ‘Phoenix’ from the ashes, a lot of people started checking it out. Firefox is the second-in-command when it comes down to browser market share wars at present. Our fresh review of Mozilla Firefox 4 for Windows should give you a better idea of what makes the browser tick for the large number of users who resort in order to access the web.

  • SaaS

  • Healthcare

  • Funding

    • Crypto Currency

      The Internet has left plenty of dead and maimed paper-based institutions in its wake. If Gavin Andresen and his underground cadre of cypherpunks have their way, another archaic slice of pulped tree may be next: the dollar.

      Bitcoin is a grassroots nonprofit project that seeks to fashion a new currency out of little more than cryptography, networking and open-source software, and Andresen is the closest thing the project has to a director. Bitcoin is not, he explains, just a new way to digitally spend dollars, pounds and yen. That’s been tried before. Remember Beenz and Flooz?

  • BSD

    • FreeNAS 8 – Released.

      The release of FreeNAS 8 includes major architectural optimizations, a django-driven user interface, and ZFS – lending us some useful features like thin provisioning, periodic snapshots, LDAP and Active Directory authorization along with the most popular platform sharing protocols.

    • FreeNAS 8.1 Roadmap

      In the last 48 hours FreeNAS was downloaded ~43,000 times. That is like 890 downloads an hour, every hour. With stats like that it is no wonder how we’ve gotten so much feedback from the community!

      According to “the cloud” the community needs UPnP, iTunes, DAAP, RSYNC, and Bit Torrent support before they can use FreeNAS 8. This is on our Roadmap for 8.1…

    • PCBSD 20110502

    • Introducing Stuffed Baby Gnu
    • FSF announces publication of two new books by Richard Stallman

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has just released in tandem the second edition of its president and founder Richard Stallman’s selected essays, Free Software, Free Society, and his semi-autobiography, Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman and the Free Software Revolution.

    • Righting Wrongs by Re-writing Ebooks

      One key property of printed books is that it is very hard to modify them. Digital books, by contrast, are trivially easy to re-write – provided they are released under a licence that permits that.

      One early enlightened example of a book that does allow such modification is Free as in Freedom, a biography of Richard Stallman that came out around the same time as Rebel Code.

      Although Free as in Freedom was based on extensive interviews with him, Stallman was not entirely happy with certain aspects of it; he has therefore taken advantage of the GNU Free Documentation Licence it was published under in order to offer his own gloss on the text and facts [.pdf]:

      I have aimed to make this edition combine the advantages of my knowledge and Williams’ interviews and outside viewpoint. The reader can judge to what extent I have achieved this.

      I read the published text of the English edition for the first time in 2009 when I was asked to assist in making a French translation of Free as in Freedom. It called for more than small changes. Many facts needed correction, but deeper changes were also needed.

      The first edition overdramatized many events by projecting spurious emotions into them.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Facebook’s HipHop Can Now Build Grimstad

      Announced to the public last year by Facebook was HipHop, an open-source project that transforms PHP code into highly-optimized C++ and then uses the GCC C++ compiler to produce a native system binary. Facebook’s original numbers showed that by using this transformer/compiler on their servers the CPU usage went down by about 50% and they were able to supply around 70% more traffic on existing resources since the PHP code is no longer being dynamically interpreted. Here’s a look at Facebook’s HipHop during some of our first tests.

    • Perl and Python float on open source VMware cloud

      PHP might dominate the web LAMP stack, but ActiveState is taking steps to fluff the two other dynamic languages that put the “P” in LAMP: Python and Perl.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • This Could be Big: Decentralized Web Standard Under Development by W3C

      It just so happens that something like that may now be under development in the most official of venues. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announced today the formation of a new Web Real-Time Communications Working Group to define client-side APIs to enable Real-Time Communications in Web browsers, without the need for server-side implementation. The Group is chaired by engineers from Google and Ericsson. It sounds like Opera Unite to me (see video below), but democratized across all browsers. It sounds like it could be a very big deal.


  • Adobe Faces Antitrust Monopoly Class Action

    Adobe Systems bought Macromedia to remove its competitor FreeHand from the professional graphic illustration market, and to force users to switch to Adobe’s more expensive, and inferior, Illustrator software, graphic designers say in a federal antitrust class action.

    The class claims Adobe “has engaged in unlawful, willful acquisition and maintenance of monopoly power in the market for professional vector graphic illustration software.”

    Vector graphic illustration software uses mathematical formulas plotted by the graphic designer.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Are Health Insurers Writing Health Reform Regulations?

      One of the reasons I wanted to return to journalism after a long career as an insurance company PR man was to keep an eye on the implementation of the new health reform law. Many journalists who covered the reform debate have moved on, and some consider the writing of regulations to implement the legislation boring and of little interest to the public.

      But insurance company lobbyists know the media are not paying much attention. And so they are able to influence what the regulations actually look like — and how the law will be enforced — with little scrutiny, much less awareness.

    • Tobacco Companies Secretly Added Appetite Suppressants to Cigarettes

      A recent study of tobacco industry documents reveals that cigarette makers added appetite-suppressing substances to cigarettes and strategized on how to enhance the appetite-suppressing and weight-reducing effects of smoking.

  • Security

    • Sony issue apology after personal details of 100m customers stolen
    • Sony President Apologizes for Breach, Offers Free Identity Theft Protection
    • Sony and “friends” Or transparent damage limitation open letter style?

      The Sony hack has been very well documented and probably one of the few times when I have seen “average users” taking an interest in tech issues. True, this interest may have been merely selfish, but as a testament to the popularity of the PS3 I have had numerous “non-tech” folks engage me in conversation about their lack of PSN access and its ramifications.

      I’ve said on numerous occasions that I think Sony products are excellent and to that, I stand by my view completely, however I am very quick to jump on the shortcomings of others and it would be nothing short of hypocritical should I not do the same for Sony in light of this attack.

      Recently Howard Stringer (Chairman, Chief Executive and President of Sony Corp) posted an open letter on the Playstation blog, giving one of those “update with no update” type responses to the millions of customers who by now are probably very irate at having no PSN for a considerable time.

    • The PSN hack and open source

      I’m one of the people who has recently (perhaps in an excess of caution) cancelled their credit card because of the security breach of the Sony Playstation Network. Now you might wonder what this has to do with open source, but bear with me. Back in 2004 I went to a conference in The Hague about open source in the secondary software sector (meaning industrial sectors where software was a part of their product but not the core offering). One of the companies there was Sony Computer Entertainment. The presenter explained that Sony was a very open source friendly company, and that within the development division in Japan Linux desktops were the norm. The presenter also pointed to the Linux installation kit that Sony had released for their then-current games console the Playstation 2 (PS2), and advised us to look out for more Linux-related tie-ins in future games consoles. True to their word, two years later the Playstation 3 launched with the facility to install Linux in the basic model. True, you could not access most of the consoles advanced hardware via this ‘Other OS’ option, but it was a nice gesture, and generally appreciated by the open source community.

    • Critical hole in the Exim Mail server closed

      A missing format specification in a logging function of the free Mail Transfer Agent Exim has been identified by the developers as offering an attacker a chance to execute arbitrary code on the server. The particular line of code wrote a string directly to the logfile. An attacker could exploit this by adding particular formatting instructions into the DKIM information string in an incoming email which would allow them to inject their own code and run it with the rights of the mail server. Although no exploit is known to exist, the developers believe that an experienced attacker would not find an exploit hard to construct.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Pensioner arrested for feeding pigeons

      Neighbours had complained that the birds were blighting their lives, as hundreds flocked to feed from Monica and Janet McIntosh’s garden in High Harrington, Cumbria.

      The residents claimed they were unable to go outside and that the sky would

    • Drivers to be fined for littering even if they didn’t do it

      Ministers are considering a change in the law that would see motorists issued with £80 fixed penalty notices for littering – whether they are responsible for it or not.

      The change would be inserted into the Localism Bill which is currently progressing through Parliament.

    • Protests in Benton Harbor follow Martial Law Enforcement

      The stripping of all power of the local government in Benton Harbor, Michigan has brought the national spotlight to the tiny town on the shores of Lake Michigan. The first city to be declared in a “financial emergency” by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, CMD reported that Emergency Financial Manager (EFM) Joseph Harris was assigned to the city back in 2010 by then-Governor Jennifer Granholm. But it wasn’t until March of this year that Harris essentially disbanded the local government and boards.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Don’t Be Duped by the Sewage Sludge Industry’s “Compost”

      That company calls its Kellogg brand “quality organics” and deceptively labels bags sold at the garden store as “garden soil” made from “compost” — with no mention which are made from industrial and human waste that contains tens of thousands of contaminants. That’s why federal law bars the use of sewage sludge-based products in organic gardens.

    • “I Never Promised You an Organic Garden”

      She asserted that her organization never claimed the gardens were organic. Then, in the next week, EMA removed the word “organic” from its webpage about its school garden program … but left it in on some pages. (See screenshots here.) EMA referred to the gardens as “organic” in a fundraising form, leading donors to believe they are contributing to organic school gardens. Ironically, in 2003, EMA gave an award to King of the Hill for its episode titled “I Never Promised You an Organic Garden.” Talk about foreshadowing.

  • Finance

    • Blue Cross, Blue Shield Getting Richer, Like Corporate Insurers

      I’ve written frequently in recent weeks about the eye-popping profits the big, publicly-traded health companies have been reporting. Last year — as the number of Americans without health insurance grew to nearly 51 million — the five largest for-profit insurers (Aetna, CIGNA, Humana, UnitedHealth and WellPoint) had combined profits of $11.7 billion.

    • Big Bank Backlash: From Coast to Coast People are Moving their Money

      As the economy continues to sputter and new unemployment claims surge to an eight-month high, it hasn’t escaped the notice of people on Main Street that the folks on Wall Street are back in the black.

      According to Fortune magazine, profits of the 500 largest U.S. corporations have surged 81 percent this past year. Fortune’s editors write, “We’ve rarely seen such a stark gulf between the fortunes of the 500 and those of ordinary Americans.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • 60 Plus Association Ads Mislead Public About GOP Budget Plan

      Association, a front group that FireDogLake reported in 2009 is “almost fully funded by the pharmaceutical industry,” started running 60-second radio ads in 30 Congressional districts thanking Republicans for voting for House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which would phase out the current Medicare program completely for those under 55 years of age.

    • Deep pockets behind school choice

      Students First grabbed headlines in 2010 when its political action committee, largely bankrolled by a trio of ideologically driven wealthy Philadelphia-area businessmen — Jeffrey Yass, Joel Greenberg and Arthur Dantchik — poured millions of dollars into the gubernatorial campaign of state Sen. Anthony Williams, D-Philadelphia. Williams made school choice the cornerstone of his failed bid for the Democratic nomination.

      Williams is a co-author, with Senate Education Committee Chairman Jeffrey Piccola, R-Dauphin, of the vouchers bill now before the Senate.

    • Blackwater (Xe) Hires John Ashcroft as an Ethics Adviser

      Xe, the private security firm formerly known as Blackwater, has hired former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft as an ethics adviser.

    • Another Big Business Win in the U.S. Supreme Court

      Because the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) requires arbitration agreements be enforced according to their terms, Justice Scalia wrote, state laws that strike down contractual class action bans are preempted. Even though California’s Discover Bank rule applied equally to all contracts, the Court held it did not fall under the FAA exemption permitting non-enforcement “upon such grounds that exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract.” Additionally, the Court’s majority held that it not only is impermissible for states to prohibit bans on class action lawsuits, states also cannot prohibit bans on class action arbitrations.

    • Skin Care Company Tries to Get “Newsvertising”

      A skin care company that claims to have a cure for acne, psoriasis, folliculitis and other disorders is contacting Virginia media outlets and offering to pay them $100 for each person who sees the company’s press release and signs up to get treatment. The company asks editors to “consider running our press release as a win-win project.”

  • Censorship

    • AT&T’s broadband data caps start today

      Starting today, AT&T will begin restricting more than 16 million broadband users based on the amount of data they use a month. The number-two carrier’s entry into the broadband cap club means that a majority of American broadband users will now be subject to limits on how much they can do online or risk extra charges as ugly as video store late fees.

      The new limits—150 GB for DSL subscribers and 250 Gigabytes for UVerse users (a mix of fiber and DSL)—come as users are increasingly turning to online video such as Hulu and Netflix on-demand streaming service instead of paying for cable.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Tattoo Artist Claims Copyright Over Mike Tyson’s Tattoo – Sues Warner Bros.

      The Plant Patent Act of 1930 was the first step towards creating property rights for biological innovation: it introduced patent rights for asexually-propagated plants. This paper uses data on plant patents and registrations of new varieties to examine whether the Act encouraged innovation. Nearly half of all plant patents between 1931 and 1970 were for roses. Large commercial nurseries, which began to build mass hybridization programs in the 1940s, accounted for most of these patents, suggesting that the new intellectual property rights may have helped to encourage the development of a commercial rose breeding industry. Data on registrations of newly-created roses, however, yield no evidence of an increase in innovation: less than 20 percent of new roses were patented, European breeders continued to create most new roses, and there was no increase in the number of new varieties per year after 1931.

    • The Rate and Direction of Invention in the British Industrial Revolution: Incentives and Institutions

      During the Industrial Revolution technological progress and innovation became the main drivers of economic growth. But why was Britain the technological leader? We argue that one hitherto little recognized British advantage was the supply of highly skilled, mechanically able craftsmen who were able to adapt, implement, improve, and tweak new technologies and who provided the micro inventions necessary to make macro inventions highly productive and remunerative. Using a sample of 759 of these mechanics and engineers, we study the incentives and institutions that facilitated the high rate of inventive activity during the Industrial Revolution. First, apprenticeship was the dominant form of skill formation. Formal education played only a minor role. Second, many skilled workmen relied on secrecy and first-mover advantages to reap the benefits of their innovations. Over 40 percent of the sample here never took out a patent. Third, skilled workmen in Britain often published their work and engaged in debates over contemporary technological and social questions. In short, they were affected by the Enlightenment culture. Finally, patterns differ for the textile sector; therefore, any inferences from textiles about the whole economy are likely to be misleading.

    • Copyrights

      • Mike Tyson’s Tattooer Sues Warner Bros.

        The tattoo artist who did Mike Tyson’s face claims Warner Bros. “pirated” his work to advertise its movie, “The Hangover 2.” S. Victor Whitmill wants a federal judge to bar Warner Bros. from using the tattoo in its promotions, and damages for copyright infringement.
        Whitmill says he created and applied the tattoo to the upper left side of Tyson’s face on Feb. 10, 2003.

      • LimeWire and Labels Face Off Over Damages

        Attorneys offered competing explanations of how major record labels view file-sharing software as opening arguments kicked off the damages trial against former LimeWire CEO Mark Gorton on Wednesday.

        Industry insiders paint the phenomenon in biblical terms of “Thou shalt not steal.” An attorney for the labels said LimeWire’s operations invited “the biggest theft of music in the history of the world.”

        But Gorton’s defense attorney Joseph Baio claims that, behind closed doors, label execs spoke candidly about how peer-to-peer downloading could benefit their businesses, if they only adapted to changing times and technologies.

Clip of the Day

Unity Without Unity – Ubuntu 10.10

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 8/5/2011: Many New Linux Devices and ODF 1.2 Facts

Posted in News Roundup at 8:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Server

    • PSN was running on unpatched Apache server with no firewall

      Few gamers will be feeling sorry for Sony and the mess caused with this PSN hacking debacle. But if you were just annoyed by what has happened, be prepared to now start getting a bit angry.

      Dr. Gene Spafford, CERIAS Fellow and professor of Computer Science at Purdue University, has been talking at a hearing about the PSN security breach held by the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade. He explained that independent security experts monitor Sony’s systems such as PSN, Qriocity, and SOE and report in an open forum Sony employees view about anything they find.

  • Ballnux

    • Samsung Android phone features 4G, 4.5-inch screen

      Samsung and AT&T announced new details on their 4.5-inch Android 2.2 smartphone, said to be just over a third of an inch thick. The Samsung Infuse 4G will be available May 15 for $200 plus contract, and features a 1.2GHz Hummingbird processor, HSPA+, an eight-megapixel camera, and (possibly) the ability to load apps from third-parties.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux File Systems in the Cloud @ Linux Collaboration Summit 2011

      As tech lead of the Google Linux Storage Team I get to see how Linux runs on tens of thousands machines in Google’s cloud. Over the last year our team migrated this super system from ext2 to ext4, an educational and exciting experience to say the least. We learned a lot about the impact of the Linux file system on Google.

      Our team is often bombarded with questions from both within and outside of Google about why we chose ext4, and if the local file system even matters. The Linux Collaboration Summit with its audience of both kernel hackers and business folks interested in Linux deployments seemed like a good forum at which to present on this topic.

    • LinuxCon Japan keynote speakers announced

      The Linux Foundation has announced the keynote speakers for its LinuxCon Japan 2011 conference taking place from 1 to 3 June 2011 at the Pacifico Yokohama in Yokohama, Japan. The welcoming remarks will be presented by Noriaki Fukuyasu, Director at Linux Foundation Japan, and followed by a keynote from Linux creator Linus Torvalds, who will discuss the 20th anniversary of the Linux operating system.

      The premier Linux conference in Asia will also include presentations by Jim Zemlin, Linux Foundation Executive Director; James Bottomley, Linux SCSI subsystem maintainer and Distinguished Engineer at Novell; and Mark Charlebois, Director of Open Source Strategy at Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC), who will discuss the role of Linux in mobile development and innovation.

    • Linux 2.6.39 -rc6
    • Filesystem hierarchy standard 3.0 process begins
    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.39 (Part 3) – Architecture and infrastructure

      In 2.6.39, the Big Kernel Lock (BKL) disappears for good. The kernel can now process interrupts, which reduces latency. The Xen code now has a network backend needed for Dom0 operation, but it doesn’t look like the storage backend will be coming anytime soon.

    • Sapphire Pure Black P67 Hydra
    • Linux-ready MIPS64 SoC targets LTE infrastructure

      NetLogic Microsystems announced a new scaled-down member of its MIPS64-based XLP family, aimed at LTE mobile infrastructure. The XLP316 system-on-chip (SoC) offers four cores clocked to up to 2.0GHz, features a 16-issue, 16-threaded, superscalar processor architecture with out-of-order execution, and supplies 4MB of L3 cache and over 6MB of fully coherent on-chip cache for demanding control-plane processing, says the company.

    • More Ways to Get to LinuxCon: Submit Your Video

      We need you! And, we want you to join us at LinuxCon. That’s why today we’re announcing that we will give away one free LinuxCon pass per 20th Anniversary of Linux Video Contest entry.

      Our annual Video Contest is one of the only ways that individuals can promote Linux as they see fit and enter it to be considered for high-level visibility and promotion as the annual winner. And, with this year’s focus on the 20th Anniversary and with Linus judging, that visibility should be bigger than ever.

    • Graphics Stack

      • There’s An X.Org Driver For Nested X Servers

        Announced just hours ago on the X.Org development mailing list is recent work to create the xf86-video-nested driver. As implied by the name of the driver and the title of this news post, this is an X.Org video driver designed to run nested X.Org servers. In other words, X.Org on top of X.Org.

        When using the xf86-video-nested driver, it’s possible to run a new X.Org Server within a program window, similar to running a xorg-server nested within Wayland, but this is still on top of pure X.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Process RAW Files in digiKam

        digiKam usually does a decent job of decoding RAW files using the default settings. But if you prefer to have complete control of how the application processes RAW files, choose Settings » Configure digiKam, switch to the RAW Decoding section, and enable the Always open the Raw Import Tool to customize settings option.

      • KDE SC 4.6.3 Is Available for Download

        The KDE team has just announced a few minutes ago the third maintenance release for KDE Software Compilation 4.6. This is a minor update, focusing on bug fixing and translation updates.

        KDE Software Compilation 4.6.3 is the third in a series of monthly bug fixing releases to the KDE Software Compilation 4.6 series, which brings various translation updates and improvements. Everyone should update their existing KDE SC machines running version 4.6.1 or earlier (see a short tutorial below).

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Summit and JBoss World Slated for June 2012
      • Red Hat looks to stand out with open APIs

        The ability to scale out to third-party vendors without worrying about vendor lock-in, as well as the ability to move virtual workloads between different environments, are benefits of open application programming interfaces (APIs) that Red Hat has been espousing for a while now.

        Dirk Peter van Leeuwen, the open source software vendor’s Asia-Pacific vice president of sales, shared that Red Hat’s Linux-based systems currently power the cloud platforms of vendors such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), NTT, Fujitsu and IBM. With APIs that straddle these cloud infrastructure providers, van Leeuwen said customers need not worry about finding compatible cloud vendors to scale out to when they run out of resources.

      • Red Hat Debuts CloudForms and OpenShift for Cloud Deployment

        Red Hat is moving beyond its Cloud Foundations effort to deliver new Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions.

      • Cloud schmoud: Red Hat fans just want to lose Windows

        For all the sales pitches on CloudForm and OpenShift “open” cloud initiatives, Red Hat Summit attendees were far more interested in more prosaic (ie useful) things. First and foremost, they love that the next release of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) will rid them of the much-derided Windows Server requirement for managing their VMs.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1 Ships to Key Partners
      • Red Hat Expands Technology Partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison

        Red Hat (News – Alert), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, announced the expansion of its technology partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) to establish the Center for High Throughput Computing (CHTC) as the first Red Hat Center of Excellence Development Partner. Moreover, Red Hat unveiled that it has considered the UW-Madison CHTC as the first recipient of its Red Hat Cloud Leadership Award for its advancements in cloud computing based on the open source Condor project and Red Hat technologies.

      • Red Hat Inc. (RHT) EVP, CFO Charles E Jr Peters sells 26,352 Shares
      • Videos: Red Hat Summit 2011

        Red Hat held their annual Red Hat Summit and JBoss World conferences in Boston from May 3-6, 2011. I’ve yet to be able to attend a Red Hat Summit but I do search the web for information and videos from it.

        Red Hat announced a number of new developments including OpenShift (Platform as a Service) and CloudForms (Infrastructure as a Service). Basically Red Hat continues to sponsor development on a large number of open source projects and bundles them together into more comprehensive solutions. I haven’t yet done enough reading to speak intelligently about either of those… but give me some time… although they do seem primarily oriented towards the “enterprisey” folks.

      • Red Hat Summit: The opensource.com panel highlights

        For those who joined our panel at the Red Hat Summit this morning, below are the promised links to the things we talked about. (And for those who weren’t there, consider this a nice pointer to some of our favorite stories.)

      • Red Hat Summit recap: RHEL 6.1, cloud platforms, and a new openness
      • Open Virtualization Advances into the Enterprise with Red Hat And IBM
      • Red Hat Introduces JBoss Enterprise Data Grid
      • Red Hat Revolutionizes the Private and Hybrid Cloud Market
      • Red Hat Delivers the Platform-as-a-Service Cloud for Open Source Developers
      • Fedora

        • #fedora – You are always wrong
        • Take a breath, then respond

          That said, Jeff accurately points out a situation that has been a sticking point, and one that is being addressed and corrected, in the Fedora Project around the types of caustic responses that sometimes come up in #fedora. Also, while I don’t frequent the channel and usually find answers to my questions elsewhere — a good practice (and more on this later) — I can say that it’s something that has caused some of us in the Fedora Project some concern.

          However — and you knew that was coming — just as an observation on my part, it appears Jeff shot from the hip on this one rather than giving it some thought before writing.

          Believe me, I am not casting the first stone against this “sin” — I speak from experience here: lots of experience in which I have fired off unretractable words that a walk in the redwoods or shooting a few hoops would have tempered into something more reasonable and justifiable.

        • Fedora 15 Beta, GNOME 3

          The whole system feels very stable indeed and I’m using it on my production machine quite happily even though, really, I shouldn’t be!

        • ActiveState Stackato Delivers Perl and Python to the Cloud

          Although Red Hat sees OpenShift as being an open platform for the cloud, ActiveState doesn’t see it the same way.

          “It’s not Open Source and our current view is it is more limited in the range of languages, language versions and frameworks supported,” Mueller said. “It’s basically Red Hat in the cloud, which isn’t enough to satisfy customer needs we have seen.”

          Red Hat itself has admitted that OpenShift is not entirely open source. Isaac Roth, PaaS master at Red Hat said during a press conference this week that there are certain parts of OpenShift which are not yet open source, like the UI code for example.

    • Debian Family

      • MEPIS antiX M11 Screenshots
      • The GNOME 2.30 environment in Debian Squeeze – surprisingly productive

        In the case of Debian Squeeze I’m talking about GNOME 2.30. Now that we’re in the GNOME 3 era — and very early on — I can only hope that the dust will settle and GNOME will be just as functional, if not more so, in the year ahead.

      • Debian rolling discussion on -devel@

        Here is my attempt at a summary of the rolling discussion currently happening on debian-devel@. It might not be complete, it’s probably a bit biased, but I hope that it’s still better than nothing. It was also posted on debian-devel@.

        If you are involved in Debian development, please discuss it on debian-devel@, rather than in the comments of this blog.

      • People behind Debian: Steve Langasek, release wizard

        Steve Langasek has been contributing to Debian for more than a decade. He was a release manager for sarge and etch, and like many former release managers, he’s still involved in the Debian release team although as a release wizard (i.e. more of an advisory role than a day-to-day contributor). Oh, and he did the same with Ubuntu: on the picture on the left, he just announced the release of Ubuntu 10.04 from his Debian-branded laptop. ;-)

      • SimplyMEPIS 11.0 Released, Looks Good

        The MEPIS Website was updated just a bit ago to reflect the new release. The homepage splash says that MEPIS 11 is fast, fun, powerful, gorgeous, and ready-to-go. Well, there ya go, I can’t add much more to that.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • The Perfect Desktop – Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) (With The Ubuntu Classic Desktop)
        • Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal Reviewed: This is My Favorite Ubuntu EVER!

          Having said that, I never really had any sort of major technical issues with any Ubuntu releases so far. All my hardware drivers including that of wifi and graphics ones are enabled automatically and Compiz has always worked like a charm. From the mails I have been receiving, one common factor I noticed above all, are issues somehow related to Compiz. Maybe the smooth Compiz rendering itself is the primary reason why I like Ubuntu 11.04 so much. But the Unity factor cannot be ignored.

        • After Natty Narwhal, now begins the wait for Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

          Ubuntu follows a unique two-term nomenclature for all its two releases each year. The first term is an adjective from the English alphabet series followed by animal name from the same alphabet. Ubuntu release is named by the year first followed by the month of release. Therefore, the just released, path-breaking Ubuntu was 11.04 with a tradename Natty Narwhal. The following Ubuntu release slated for October release is called Ubuntu 11.10 and will be called Oneiric Ocelot.

        • Unity Just Became More Fun To Use

          While testing and playing with the desktop effects on Unity (if your video card can handle it) i found out that some effects still can be used. The window animations (the effects when you open/minimize/close a window) and wobbly windows can still be used. I found a manual to enable the desktop cube on Unity on the omgubuntu website but i didn’t test that yet.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal review – A great surprise

          You will notice I have not tried to install Natty on my high-end laptops. That’s right. There’s a reason for that. And we will soon get to it. But let me first complete the thought cycle and explain why Ubuntu 11.04 is a great surprise.

          I was expecting a slow, buggy, crashing system that can’t be used. Instead, I got a very well polished, well integrated, visually pleasing, and extremely stable and fast distro that does what it is supposed to do. This is indeed a great surprise. Natty surpassed my fairly pessimistic forecast.

          Comparing to Gnome 3, Unity is ahead, but then, it had a lot of time to mature, just like KDE4 eventually did. If you recall my initial reviews, I gave Unity 2.5/10. Today, that grade is more like 7.5/10. This is a tremendous improvement. This clearly shows that early, initial impressions can be deceiving, as well as the fact that things can get better after all. Unity may be aiming at the lowest common denominator, but it has enough to sway even the more hardcore Linux users.

          Natty is actually quite usable. Will I run it as my primary production system? No. I will not, not just yet. This is why I did not commit the distro to my production machines. But is there any sense, logic and use for this Ubuntu? Definitely. I can actually see the common user running this. Even power users with only a spoonful of personality disorders can relate to Natty. Hating Unity is terribly easy, but it did offer 80% of what I needed. Of course, it’s the 20% that make the big difference, but the experience was pleasant, simple, functional to a very high degree.

          Spring 2011 brings an interesting new beast to the software zoo. Unity is far from being a failure, far from being for smartphones only, far from being Mac. It needs more time to grow into something that even professional photographers, architects, Web developers, and posh people driving Fiat 500 will want to use. As to the rest? Well, they should definitely give Natty Narwhal a spin.

        • Negative Community Reaction Development

          The user in the quote is frustrated that development on Unity has seemingly come out of nowhere to crush all the familiarity they used to have and in order to continue to use the latest and greatest Firefox and OpenOffice they’ll be forced to put up with design decisions that will be against their own personal internal aesthetic. They’re not wrong in their concern, but of course this is a risky move that their distribution is attempting; a massive coarse correction which delves deep into the bowls of the ship we’re all sailing in and is tinkering with the engine and reshaping the hull to see if it’ll make the thing go faster.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Pinguy OS 11.04 Will Be Based on Ubuntu 11.04

            Antoni Norman proudly announced a few days ago, May 1st, that the Beta release of the upcoming Pinguy OS 11.04 operating system is available for download and testing.

          • Linux Mint 11 To Use Gnome 2.32

            This was somewhat expected since Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu and the only way to use GNOME 3 in Ubuntu 11.04 is by using a PPA.

          • Linux Mint 11 (Katya) Preview and Testing Version Released!

            With that said, and on an internal, Ainer.org note, I have been waiting to write my upcoming Couch Potato guide, as well as waiting to update my RAID and SABnzbd+ guides (at very least) until Linux Mint 11 reaches release candidate or final status. So, for any that have been itching to get an updated SABnzbd+ guide for the 0.6 release, or and updated and expanded RAID 5/6 guide, stay tuned!

          • #! CrunchBang 10 “Statler” Review

            After all those rich desktop Environment saw in Ubuntu, Chackra or Gnome 3 in general i needed a desktop minimalistic and comfortable, so today I’ve done some test on #! Crunchbang 10, it’s a Debian GNU/Linux based distribution with a lightweight desktop Environments: Openbox and optionally XFCE.

            I’ve tested it with a virtualmachine on Virtualbox, installation made at 32 bit with Openbox.
            Short story : i loved this Debian 6 in black and white, with custom Kernel and a minimalistic approach.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Wind River releases secure Linux distro and updated Simics simulator

      A day after celebrating its 30th anniversary, Wind River announced the availability of Wind River Linux Secure — said to be the first commercial embedded Linux platform to achieve EAL4+ certification using the GP-OSPP profile. Wind River also announced version 4.6 of its multicore-oriented Wind River Simics virtualization and simulation software, adding new debugging, collaboration, and target system visualization features.

    • NAS devices offer SSD support, cloud storage

      The Linux-based devices include the px4-300d and px6-300d — desktop models with a a dual-core 1.8GHz Intel Atom D525 and respective capacities of 12TB and 18TB — and the rackmount, 12TB px4-300r, using a dual-core 2.2GHz Celeron E1500.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Evernote for Android Gets a Major Update
        • PXA300 reference platform gains industrial-focused Android BSP

          E-con Systems announced an Android board support package (BSP) for its Marvell PXA300-based eSOM300 module and related Alioth baseboard reference platform. The company says it added to Android’s hardware abstraction layers with blocks that support non-mobile, industrial-focused peripherals including RS232/RS485, CAN, GPIO, ADC, and various sensors.

        • Motorola and Sprint reveal two business-focused Android phones

          Motorola Mobility and Sprint announced two enterprise-focused Android smartphones with 3.1-inch touchscreens, exposed QWERTY keyboards, and five-megapixel cameras. The Motorola Xprt is a 1GHz Android 2.2 phone with enterprise security features and international roaming, and the ruggedized, Android 2.1-based Motorola Titanium makes use of Sprint’s Nextel Direct Connect Push-to-Talk network, says Sprint.

        • Sony Ericsson cranks up Xperia Mini line with 1GHz CPUs

          The Snapdragons enable the phones to run the five-month-old (but still hard to find) Android 2.3, and in the case of the Mini, play and record 720p video. The Xperia Mini is said to be the smallest phone to do so, measuring only 3.5 × 2.0 × 0.6 inches.

        • Droid Charge may be best Droid ever, says review

          Is an Android smartphone worth $300 plus a two-year contract? In the case of the Samsung Droid Charge, which offers Verizon 4G bandwidth, a beautiful 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display, and an eight-megapixel camera, the answer is just maybe, says this eWEEK review.

    • OLPC-esque

      • ARM11 Linux educational computer aims for $25 pricetag

        U.K. games developer David Braben has launched an OLPC-like foundation called Raspberry Pi, hoping to sell a tiny ARM/Linux computer aimed at K12 computer education for as little as $25. Braben demonstrated a single board computer (SBC) prototype running Ubuntu 9.04 on a 700MHz, OpenGL-enabled ARM11 processor with 128MB SDRAM, HDMI, USB, and SD connectivity, supporting 1080p video.

    • Tablets

      • Quanta building E Ink-based Android tablet for Amazon?

        Quanta has received OEM orders from Amazon.com to build its much-rumored Android tablet, expected to sell in quantities of 700,000 to 800,000 units per month, DigiTimes claims. The tablet is said to use Fringe Field Switching display technology from E Ink — presumably a version of E Ink’s Triton color e-reader display.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Make open source mapping and location tools work for you
  • Top 5 Open Source Alternatives to Microsoft Exchange

    Are you tired of overpaying for the Microsoft Exchange messaging server? The Linux and Free/Open Source world is cram-full of robust, capable alternatives that won’t drain your bank account. This tasty assortment ranges from free with community support, to full commercially-supported products.

  • 6 Free Open Source Shopping Cart Software Options

    Open source shopping cart software is a big deal for a new merchant (or online retailer). One of the most alarming factors when starting your online retail business is the cost associated with commercial and proprietary shopping cart software.

    While you can pay a few extra dollars for shopping cart software when signing up for a hosting Web server account, these subscription-based plans don’t always offer the shopping cart functionality or design options that meet business needs. For the budget-strained new start-up, this is where open source software comes in to play.

  • Ever wondered, what is the motivation of Open Source Community?

    Open Source software development has drawn increasing attention as its importance has grown. Open source communities have been able to challenge and oftenopensource–t outperform proprietary software by enabling better reliability, lower costs, shorter development times, and a higher quality of code. But the question/fact that “why would skilled programmers, devote their time, effort and knowledge for an opensource project, where they might not get any reward interms of money?” So what are the motivations? Continue reading!

  • Puppet Labs Announces Faces API
  • Web Browsers

    • The Tor Project Eyes A New Browsing Model for Anonymous Surfing

      Even as Mozilla finds itself wrestling with sticky privacy and censorship issues raised by a U.S. Department of Homeland Security request to remove a Firefox add-on, the movers and shakers behind the Tor project–one of the primary resources for those who want to surf the web anonymously–are evaluating a new privacy-centric browser. Developer Mike Perry has put up a blog post discussing dedicated browser bundles that do away with the familiar Torbutton, and seamlessly allow users to surf completely anonymously. There could be room for this highly differentiated browser model, despite crowding in the browser market.

    • Mozilla

      • I started using Firefox Sync — and it doesn’t pose a potential (and probably real) privacy problem like Google Chrome sync

        Now that I’m running Iceweasel (aka Firefox) 4.0.1 on my Debian Squeeze laptop and Firefox (not aka Iceweasel) on my Windows XP box, I decided to use the newly built-in Firefox Sync to have my bookmarks, history and such track across my two instances of the browser.

      • A Firefox Tor Fork? I don’t think so

        The Tor onion router, privacy project is planning its own version of Firefox.

        Some people may call this a fork – I don’t.

        Tor as an onion router (or set of chained, private, maybe-anonymized proxies, if you’re lucky) is implemented in Firefox by way of the Torbutton add-on.

      • Tech Comics: “The Internet, 1999 vs. 2011″
      • Firefox 6 Should Sort Out Linux GPU Acceleration

        Mozilla Firefox 4.0 was released in March with many new features, including GPU-based acceleration, but on the Linux side this support was disabled. The Mozilla developers found the Linux GPU driver support to be a problem, even with the open-source solutions. It looks like though by Firefox 6 the Linux GPU acceleration will be in better standing.

      • Why We Need Firefox

        And thus, to date, Mozilla has not removed that Mafiaafire add-on.

        This response is notable not just for its robustness, but the fact that it shows Mozilla willing to question the whole rationale behind such requests. In doing so, it is playing an important, wider role of challenging developments that are extremely dangerous for freedom and the Open Web. That is, true to its mission, Mozilla is looking at the bigger picture here, and not just worrying about its bottom line as most companies do (and are required to do if they are public companies.)

        This, then, is the real reason to stick with Firefox: because the priorities of its designers are fundamentally different from those behind other browsers. Even if there are odd glitches from time to time – often resolvable, as my experience showed – it is important to keep this central fact in mind. Without Mozilla, the online world would be far less open – and we would be less free.

  • SaaS

    • Why Cloud Is Forcing Cisco to Embrace Open Source

      Cisco’s cloud computing ambitions might be judged by outsiders as being centered around selling servers and networking gear to cloud data centers, but recent developments show that such an assessment might not be entirely fair. The networking giant has been forced to reassess its business in a major way lately, and, at long last, it appears as if Cisco understands that open source software will be critical to its cloud success.

    • Syncsort Aims to Extend Hadoop’s Big Data Capabilities
    • CloudBees Opens Up Java Platform as a Service to Private Clouds

      CloudBees, the innovation leader in cloud computing for Java, today announced RUN@cloud Private Edition, which extends the company’s rapid-deploy, instant-scale, no-IT-headaches Java Platform as a Service (PaaS) to private cloud environments running on OpenStack™ or vSphere. With this new offering, CloudBees expands choices for customers on the CloudBees platform: choice in deployment (public, private or hybrid cloud) and choice of underlying infrastructure (Amazon, OpenStack or vSphere).

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Acquia Announces Record First Quarter 2011 and Rapid Expansion

      Acquia, the enterprise guide to Drupal, today announced a record first quarter, increasing revenue 300% as compared to the first quarter of 2010, and more than 20% over the previous quarter. Enterprise adoption of the Drupal social publishing platform and Acquia’s cloud hosting has fueled the rapid expansion of Acquia’s business.

  • Business

  • Money


  • Project Releases

    • Google Web Toolkit 2.3 arrives

      Google has announced new versions of its Google Web Toolkit (GWT) and Google Plugin for Eclipse (GPE). Version 2.3 of GWT, a Java-based open source development framework for Ajax applications, brings improvements in support for the latest version of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) and associated HTML5 features, including the ability to access Web Storage allowing local storage of data by web applications.

    • [PacketFence 2.2.0 released]
    • Infoblox Delivers IPv6 with DNS64

      Infoblox has a set of appliances that delivers DDI services running the Infoblox NIOS software. Liu noted that the core underlying operating system is a stripped down version of Linux, though he added that Infoblox is able to take advantage of some of the IPv6 capabilities in Linux.

  • Licensing

    • Relicensing Puppet to Apache 2.0

      As most of you realize by now, Puppet 2.7 was released under the Apache 2.0 license instead of under the GPL, and Facter has already been released under the Apache license. My goal in this post is to explain why, and what effects you might expect to see as a result.

      We’ve been talking about the possibility of this change for about two years, but it was only in the last six months that it’s been solidified as the right plan. For the vast majority of people, this change won’t affect you at all—Puppet is still open source, and under one of the most open licenses available. For a few of you, however, this license change will make it easier to embed Puppet into your software, ship it as part of a solution you’re building, or contribute code to it.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Ten Things You Didn’t Know About ODF 1.2

      # ODF 1.2 has been out for public review a total of 210 days.
      # The ODF TC resolved 1,822 public comments while working on ODF 1.2. We read every one of them.

    • Questioning the future of OpenOffice.org and ODF

      There’s a time for answers, and a time for questions.

      Last month’s announcement from Oracle that it would be discontinuing commercial development on OpenOffice.org definitely means it’s time for questions, a broader one being “what the heck does Oracle’s announcement mean?”

      For now, the status of OpenOffice.org is in a bit of limbo: work on OpenOffice.org 3.4 continues at the Hamburg offices where much of the core OpenOffice.org development takes place. At this moment, despite a few rumors that proved to be wrong, those developers are all still gainfully employed by Oracle. This may be a deliberate decision on Oracle’s part, or the fact that German hiring laws are different than those in the US, and don’t typically permit immediate layoffs. But beyond that, there is very little known about Oracle’s exact plans for OpenOffice.org.


  • 3 Professional Reasons For Computer Professionals To Attend Science Fiction Conventions

    Most people who attend science fiction conventions have plenty of social reasons for going, such as to have fun, make friends with like-minded literate people, or to see favorite authors and artists. Whether you attend a smaller con like PhilCon or a larger one like Atlanta, Georgia’s DragonCon (“the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film”), you can buy books, find an excuse to travel, or actively participate in SF singing (“filking”), costuming, live-action role-playing games (LARPS), and other activities.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs May Make ‘Near-Term’ Management Changes, UBS Says

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), accused of misleading clients by a U.S. Senate inquiry, is likely to make management changes in the “near-term,” said William Tanona, an analyst at UBS AG.

      “Any turnover will concern investors despite the firm’s deep bench,” Tanona, who worked at Goldman Sachs from 2005 to 2008, wrote today in a note to investors. “GS’s management team is very strong; however, missteps on the public relations front have further tarnished the firm’s reputation.” Managers will remain under strain after lawmakers sent findings to the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission, he said.

    • Blankfein Could Still Leave

      Start the clock counting down the days until Lloyd Blankfein steps down as the chief executive of Goldman Sachs.

      Blankfein has reportedly told the company’s board members that rumors of an impending retirement are not true. He plans to stay for another year, according to a report in the New York Post Tuesday.

    • At Goldman Meeting, Pay Is Likely to Rule the Day

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Lloyd Blankfein may have to defend the firm’s compensation policies, including a combined $69.6 million 2010 payday for its top five executives, when he faces shareholders at the bank’s annual meeting on Friday.

    • Goldman Sachs report referred to investigators

      A US SENATE report that said Goldman Sachs misled clients about mortgage-linked securities has been formally referred to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are reviewing its findings.

      Senators Carl Levin and Tom Coburn, the Democratic chairman and senior Republican on the permanent subcommittee on investigations, have signed a referral letter asking the agencies to examine the panel’s report.

    • DoJ reviews Goldman Sachs report

      US prosecutors are reviewing the findings of a Senate report that found Goldman Sachs misled clients buying mortgage-related securities, Eric Holder, the US attorney-general, has told a congressional committee.

    • The Real Reason Goldman Should Be Freaking Out About The Volcker Rule In One Word

      Why should Goldman Sachs be “freaked out” by the Volcker Rule, and lobbying hard to debilitate it?

      One word: Glencore.

      It turns out that contrary to prior statements by Goldman top brass, the bank is actually a little freaked out by the Volcker Rule.

      The firm has been spending millions to sway lawmakers in Washington against severe interpretations of the new regulation, and has assembled an all-star team to do so. Even Blankfein is getting in on the lobbying action.

    • Why Is Goldman Sachs Holding Its Shareholder Meeting In New Jersey?

      As you may have heard, Goldman Sachs will hold its annual shareholder meeting tomorrow. Unlike the past 12 years, in which the event has been held in New York, Friday’s meeting will go down in the Garden State. The bank has not explained the move, and while it does have a building across the river, one would hope you’re not falling for that.

      The real reason more than likely has little to do with real estate. Legitimate possibilities include:

    • Goldman Sachs lobbies hard on Volcker Rule

      The mantra for Wall Street firms when it comes to Dodd-Frank should be “never say never”. Dodd-Frank may be the law of the land, but the specifics are still being worked out by a resource-challenged SEC. For Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), the biggest issue still to be decided is the Volcker Rule.

      In general, the Volcker Rule sought to prohibit banks from engaging in risky proprietary trading with their own capital and from investing directly in hedge funds and private equity funds. The rule has already had a big impact on banks, including Goldman, which has disbanded at least two prop trading units.

    • Religious Groups Question Goldman on Pay

      When Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executives and shareholders gather Friday morning for the company’s annual meeting, the room might look a little like a house of worship.

      A coalition of religious groups headed by a nun, a priest and the CEO of a Jewish organization will be there to press Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to evaluate whether it’s paying executives too much. Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein will have no choice but to listen. The group has won a coveted spot on the annual meeting agenda.

    • Claiming Fraud in A.I.G. Bailout, Whistle-Blower Lawsuit Names 3 Companies

      The first known whistle-blower lawsuit to assert that the taxpayers were defrauded when the federal government bailed out the American International Group was unsealed on Friday, joining a number of suits seeking to settle the score on losses related to the financial crisis of 2008.

      The lawsuit, filed by a pair of veteran political activists from the La Jolla area of San Diego, asserts that A.I.G. and two large banks engaged in a variety of fraudulent and speculative transactions, running up losses well into the billions of dollars. Then the three institutions persuaded the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to bail them out by giving A.I.G. two rescue loans, which were used to unwind hundreds of failed trades.

    • Claiming Fraud in A.I.G. Bailout, Whistle-Blower Lawsuit Names 3 Companies

      The lawsuit, filed by a pair of veteran political activists from the La Jolla area of San Diego, asserts that A.I.G. and two large banks engaged in a variety of fraudulent and speculative transactions, running up losses well into the billions of dollars. Then the three institutions persuaded the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to bail them out by giving A.I.G. two rescue loans, which were used to unwind hundreds of failed trades.

      The loans were improper, the lawsuit says, because the Fed made them without getting a pledge of high-quality collateral from A.I.G., as required by law.

    • Wall Street Bankers Share Blame for Europe Crisis, Berkshire’s Munger Says

      Charles Munger, whose Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) holds $5 billion of options on Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) stock, said the role of investment bankers in helping to mask Greece’s financial troubles was “perfectly disgusting.”

      “Wall Street to some extent is deliberately trying to profit from sin, and I think it’s a mistake,” Munger told reporters yesterday after Berkshire’s annual press conference in Omaha, Nebraska. “Why should an investment banker go to Greece to teach them how to pretend their finances are different from what they really are? Why isn’t that a perfectly disgusting bit of human behavior?”

    • Banks Illegally Foreclosed On Dozens Of Military Borrowers, Federal Investigators Say

      Two of the nation’s largest mortgage firms illegally foreclosed on the homes of “almost 50″ active-duty military service members, according to a Thursday report by the Government Accountability Office.

      The report does not identify the two mortgage companies. GAO investigators attributed the finding to federal bank regulators, who recently completed a three-month probe into allegations of improper foreclosures carried out by the nation’s 14 largest home loan servicers.

    • Senate GOP: We’ll block consumer protection nominee

      Forty-four Republican senators sent a letter to Barack Obama Thursday threatening to vote down whomever the president nominates to run the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unless the administration overhauls the agency’s regulatory powers.

      The new agency — which GOP lawmakers have opposed since it’s inception — has been without a permanent head and is in the process of being set up by special adviser Elizabeth Warren. If a director is not appointed by July, the agency’s one-year anniversary, the bureau will lose certain powers, including the authority to supervise non-bank lenders.

    • Two Madoff Cases Reach Federal Court

      In one case, a federal judge has granted a request by JPMorgan Chase to decide whether the firm’s trustee, Irving H. Picard, has the right to sue the bank for $6.4 billion over claims that it aided Mr. Madoff in his Ponzi scheme.

      The judge, Colleen McMahon of the Federal District Court in Manhattan, said that she would release an opinion in the coming weeks that explains why she agreed to hear the case.

      She also gave JPMorgan a deadline of June 3 to file documents asking that the case be dismissed, and scheduled a hearing for late July.

    • Fannie Mae seeks $8.5 billion more in federal aid

      Fannie Mae asked the government Friday for an additional $8.5 billion in aid after declining home prices caused more defaults on loans guaranteed by the mortgage giant.

      The company said it lost $8.7 billion in the first three months of the year. Those losses led Fannie to request more than three times the federal aid it sought in the previous quarter. The total cost of rescuing the government-controlled mortgage buyer is nearing $100 billion – the most expensive bailout of a single company.

    • After Bust in Ireland, Ordinary People Make Do With Less

      Brian and Rosie Condra grew up poor. But as prosperity washed over Ireland in the first decade of the 21st century, they managed to buy a modest house, start saving for their children’s future and, for once, do more than simply make ends meet.

    • A Chart to Explain Confusion on Jobs

      But now look at the very end of the chart. Do you see how the blue line dips, leaving it closer to the red line? That is today’s jobs report. It doesn’t mean unemployment actually rose last month.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Ed Vaizey and lobby groups

      More concerning is their conclusion that Ed Vaizey is the “most lobbied minister” in the UK in the period May-Dec 2010. This is, we think, in large part because Ed Vaizey likes to meet large numbers of people at once, in ‘round table’ meetings. Not a bad thing in itself, but very disappointing that no meeting with any consumer or rights group took place in that time. Those views were effectively excluded from these discussions.

  • Censorship

    • Facebook political takedowns: Burying bad news?

      News has broken today that a number of activist groups pages and user accounts on Facebook have been deleted, mostly from the anti-cuts movement.

    • Corporations may not protect your free speech and privacy

      This ought to be the lesson we learn from the Internet and digital revolution. Over twenty or more years, we have had a huge rebalancing of power towards citizens, as we are able to communicate and network with each other much more easily. We are able to directly influence political discourse. No longer do a handful of media and political organisations act as gatekeepers to the public. They no longer act as exclusive mediators.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • What Will Canada’s New Majority Government Mean for Copyright Reform?

        Monday’s re-election of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government in Canada to a majority stronghold means that there will be fewer impediments to get its legislation passed. One bill, which died March 26 when the general election was called for May 2, was C-32, the Copyright Modernization Act. A new bill, assigned a new number, is expected to be introduced by the end of the year.

      • Von Finckenstein tells broadcasting industry to lobby Tories for regulatory change

        CRTC chair Konrad von Finckenstein laid out new details in his call for an overhaul of Canada’s communications regulatory framework Thursday and called on the broadcasting industry to form a new organization to lobby the Conservative government for change.

      • The future of electoral reform in the UK

        Our failure, both as a party and as individual campaigners, was to not properly inform voters of the choice in front of them, or indeed why it mattered at all. The same criticism applies equally to the No campaign. On 5th May I was still explaining to people on the doorstep that they were going to be asked to vote in a referendum in addition to casting their council ballots. It is a sad day when, after months of campaigning on an issue as vital as electoral reform, voters were still unprepared to answer a simple yes/no question at the ballot box.

      • Campaigns: looking back, looking forward

        As mentioned earlier, we’re not currently doing well at getting the party name out there. Our campaigns are being hampered by the fact that a relatively small proportion of those who would vote for us have heard of us — despite the coverage we received in the wake of the Wikileaks controversy. Perhaps we didn’t effectively leverage the media interest that we received then?

      • UK Music Publishers Association Tries To Hide CopyFraud

Clip of the Day

Swing 42 – Django Reinhardt

Credit: TinyOgg

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