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Links 10/8/2011: Linux/Android Tablets Multiply, OpenGL 4.2 is Coming

Posted in News Roundup at 4:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Does Loving Linux Make Us Dislike Windows?

    Today I’m a full-time desktop Linux enthusiast, who is familiar with dozens of popular distributions. I’d consider myself very comfortable with Linux on the desktop. What’s interesting though, is the change in how I view Windows.

    These days, I avoid Windows as much as possible since I feel much more limited with it. Perhaps this is what Windows users trying Linux feel when stepping outside of their regular computing routine?

  • Samsung Remove Ubuntu Logo From Galaxy Ad [Updated with video]

    Seeing the Ubuntu logo sailing alongside hundreds of Android App icons in a TV spot for Samsung’s Galaxy S II was a strange, but not unwarranted, sight to begin with.

  • Answering readers and critics on Linux configuration anarchy
  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 159
  • Desktop

    • Seven Concerns on the Linux Desktop

      Instead, the major desktops seem to be responding to the pressures around them rather than taking charge of their direction. Some of these pressures are self-created, while others are historical or common to all modern desktops, free and proprietary alike. Some are barely articulated, although they operate no less powerfully for that.

      Whatever their origins, here are seven concerns that are shaping the Linux desktop today:

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: First release candidate for Linux 3.1

      Expected to be released in about two months, the next kernel version will offer optimised virtualisation, add bad block management components to the software RAID code and include an extended Nouveau driver for NVIDIA’s Fermi graphics chips. Several developers have been criticised for their clumsy use of Git in this development cycle.

      Linus Torvalds has issued the first release candidate of Linux 3.1, closing the merge window of this version, whose final release is expected in late September or early October, 17 days after the release of Linux 3.0. Therefore, the first phase in the Linux development cycle was three days longer than usual. This was caused by the diving holiday Torvalds is currently taking in Hawaii; he is providing an impression of his trip on Google Plus.

    • Linux 3.1-rc1 Kernel: A “Pretty Normal Release”
    • How to piss off a Linux kernel subsystem maintainer – part 6

      There’s nothing like waking up and receiving in your inbox, a few scant hours after the merge window has opened up again, a plea for why you haven’t already reviewed and applied all 117+ patches that the author sent to you a few weeks ago, back when they well knew you could not apply them due to the merge window being closed.

      Oh, and to top it all off, as the message was sent in HTML format, it didn’t hit the mailing lists, I was the only one who received it. Because of that, I figured it was better if I just ignored it as well, just like the vger.kernel.org filters did.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Ryan Gordon Criticizes Open-Source Drivers Again

        There’s just one and a half days left to the Humble Indie Bundle #3, but in less than two weeks the game offering has already grossed nearly $1.9M USD. Recently the developers behind these indie games had allowed the community to ask them questions on Reddit about their work. Ryan “Icculus” Gordon was one of the developers responding and he had provided some interesting comments.

      • Charlies Games original Bullet Candy comes to linux!

        As we retweeted via twitter on the day and as now other awesome sites have picked up, Charlies Games have ported over the original Bullet Candy to Linux.

        It will cost you a measly $1 + if you are feeling nice anything more you wish to donate.

      • Mesa GLSL-To-TGSI Is Merged To Master
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Open Source: Pondering the Linux GUI

      First we had the KDE 3.5 to KDE 4.0 debacle. A release numbering scheme by the KDE folk that differed from what is considered the norm ended up with alpha level code being pushed out in most major desktop distributions of Linux. Many people were so upset about radical and broken changes to KDE during this period they left KDE, swearing never to return. It does not matter if KDE is “okay” now. Some of these people will probably not return to KDE.

      Some of the disenchanted former KDE using folk moved to Gnome and liked what Gnome was at the time. These people got comfortable with Gnome 2.x and enjoyed the features it has. Now we have the strangeness that is Gnome 3. Once again, many people are not happy with the changes in Gnome 3. Especially upsetting to some is the loss of functionality they took for granted and an extreme change in the look and feel of Gnome.

    • Five Linux Desktops That Aren’t Unity or GNOME 3

      GNOME 3, however, has turned out to be just as controversial, and if any evidence were required, none other than the father of Linux himself–Linus Torvalds–recently provided it by condemning the desktop environment and switching to Xfce instead.

    • Linus Hates GNOME 3 and I Don’t

      My editor at LinuxPro, Joe Casad, asked me if I wanted to write an article covering the differences between GNOME 2 and GNOME 3, but I declined (I was already working on something else). The reason for his request was this piece by my colleague, Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols, where Steven that talks about Linus Torvalds’ intense dislike for GNOME 3. In the article, Linux suggests that a fork of GNOME 3 is in order.

    • Does Linus Run Linux Mint?

      Earlier he mentioned some of the other distributions he has used. In 2007 he told apcmag.com, “So right now I happen to run Fedora on my machines. Before Fedora had PowerPC support, I ran YDL for a while, and before that I had SuSE. Funnily enough, the only distributions I tend to refuse to touch are the “technical” ones, so I’ve never run Debian, because as far as I’m concerned, the whole and only point of a distribution is to make it easy to install.” He even took a swipe at Gentoo or LFS I think when he added, “so Debian or one of the “compile everything by hand” ones simply weren’t interesting to me.”

    • What Would Linus Do About GNOME 3? Why, Use Xfce
    • 9 Most Useful Compiz Plugins

      Last time we wrote about all the useless plugins in Compiz. This time, we won’t be bashing your favorite compositing window manager. Today, we’ll be listing the most useful plugins Compiz can boast of.

      So, without much ado, here’s a list of the most useful and popular Compiz plugins out there (in no particular order):

    • Desktop Summit 2011 Berlin, Aftermath

      I am sad to leave already, but tomorrow I’ll start my internship at the Mayflower office in Munich. I had a really good time in Berlin and enjoyed the talks at the Desktop Summit.

    • Keynotes and Sandals – Day Two at Desktop Summit 2011

      For the second full day at the Desktop Summit, the organizers played a little trick on us by starting talks at 9:00 a.m. Those who were awake enough after the dinners and chat of the previous night were treated to talks on Calligra (the KDE creativity and productivity suite), suggestions about blending the web and the desktop, color management and the build process for GNOME. Those who were still in bed will have to wait for the videos and slides to be posted online in the next few days.

      The hallways and courtyard were again busy with small, lively discussions. As the morning went on the attendance at talks increased noticeably. Sunday was also the day of the press conference, where key figures from GNOME, KDE and the cross-community organizing team met with the press to answer their questions about the event and the future of free software.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Control The Music Your Way With Amarok [Linux]
      • World domination

        KDE dominates the Desktop Summit, they even convinced the design shop opposite the venue to decorate with an big K. :D

      • Get the branding: Unofficial KDE abbreviations list

        Sometime last year I expressed my thoughts on the kde-promo mailing list that one of the reasons for lacking support of the KDE rebranding initiative from 2009 was the lack of official abbreviations – after all, “KDE 4.7” is easier to write than “KDE Plasma Desktop 4.7”. I got no responses but for the last months I didn’t really care a lot.

        After yesterday’s announcement of KDE Frameworks 5.0 I’ve seen talk about “KDE 5.0” on several web sites. But as anyone into KDE knows, there is no KDE5. Reading the mailing lists and other Planet KDE posts, it seems to me that the Plasma Workspaces won’t necessarily jump to the next major version once Frameworks 5.0 are released.

      • Keynotes and Sandals – Day Two at Desktop Summit 2011

        For the second full day at the Desktop Summit, the organizers played a little trick on us by starting talks at 9:00 a.m. Those who were awake enough after the dinners and chat of the previous night were treated to talks on Calligra (the KDE creativity and productivity suite), suggestions about blending the web and the desktop, color management and the build process for GNOME. Those who were still in bed will have to wait for the videos and slides to be posted online in the next few days.

        The hallways and courtyard were again busy with small, lively discussions. As the morning went on the attendance at talks increased noticeably. Sunday was also the day of the press conference, where key figures from GNOME, KDE and the cross-community organizing team met with the press to answer their questions about the event and the future of free software.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Five awesome new themes for your gnome shell

        The gnome shell extensions are getting more and more cool by the day. With high quality themes gnome shell really becomes the most pleasant Linux desktop to use. This is a list of five wonderful shell themes. You could use it on your gnome shell theme in ubuntu, fedora or any other distro.

      • Transparent voting: why I like the idea even though I think it would be useless

        Transparent voting is an idea that is ideally really useful but also completely useless in GNOME.

        Some people in GNOME have been asking for transparent votes. When the board votes, they would like to know who voted which way. I totally agree with them – it’s important to know how different board members think so that you can make educated choices. However, I also agree with the people that say that it would be totally useless.

      • GNOME Shell Multi-Touch Support State

        On the third day of the Berlin Desktop Summit there wasn’t any major announcements like the previous two days when we found out the KDE plans for Wayland, basic plans for KDE 5.0, and initial thoughts concerning GTK4. One of the talks that I attended on Monday that was of closest interest to that of Phoronix content is the work being done towards making a multi-touch GNOME Shell.

  • Distributions

    • Linux Distro: Tails – You Can Never Be Too Paranoid

      Tails takes the form of a bootable live image that can be used from a CD ROM, a USB stick or via a network boot. Once booted, it executes from RAM, taking care not to make use of a swap partition. The desktop is Gnome 2.0 and the applications are a fairly standard selection. The web browser is an old, but usable, version of Iceweasel 3.5 (Debian Firefox). There are other applications to handle graphics work, audio editing, media playback, text editing, instant messaging and a email client – basically, everything you need when you’re on the run from enemy agents. Extra software can be added via the Synaptic package manager which pulls directly from the Debian repositories. So far, so similar to most other live desktop distros. Security and limited footprint on the the host machine are the areas in which the distro differs from the run of the mill.

    • Reviews: Here’s looking at Linvo, kid

      Since I got into the Linvo trial to try out their atomic updates, I’d like to talk some more on the subject. Though I haven’t had a chance to install it yet there is another project out there with a surprisingly similar objective to Linvo. This other project is called NixOS. NixOS is a small distribution built on top of the Nix package manager, which is designed to make updates atomic and to insure the operating system is always in a usable state. As with Linvo’s stated goals, NixOS is said to support multiple users installing different versions of software. Nix also has a roll-back feature. The result is supposed to be a system without global program directories (/usr/bin, /usr/local/bin, etc), instead each version of each package gets its own directory. NixOS is a research project and isn’t targeted at home or business users. However, for people who are interested in trying out something different you can learn more from the project’s website.

    • The Six Best Linux Community Server Distributions

      One question we get a lot: What are the best community server distributions? That question isn’t as simple as it sounds. What makes a distro “the best”? Why community distributions, specifically? It’s not a simple question — but read on and we’ll point you to six distros that will help you reach a satisfying answer.

    • Browser Linux – An Extremely Lightweight & Fast OS For Older x86 Computers [Linux]

      Unless you’re a web developer or programmer, you most likely don’t really need a whole lot of applications aside from a web browser, perhaps a media player, file manager/viewer and text editor. Maybe that’s why a lot more people nowadays own smartphones, tablets, Chromebooks, etc, and can get away with not using their main computers or laptops for light web browsing. If you wish to have an equally lightweight operating system with just the tools you need but on your actual laptop, you can use Google Chrome OS or Jolicloud.

    • Tiny Linux distro gets dependency fetching and simpler USB install

      Team Tiny Core announced a new version of its small-footprint, in-memory Linux desktop distro. Tiny Core 3.8 includes faster shutdown, updates to the BusyBox tool collection, improved searching, and the ability to re-download non-installed extensions, among other enhancements.

    • New Releases

    • Gentoo Family

      • Gentoo Releases 11.2 LiveDVD to Crickets

        Ah, Gentoo. Gentoo was once one of the most popular distributions going. But somewhere along the line it declined. It’s become a fringe distro that even with dedicated developers and loyal users can’t seem to get its mojo back. I used Gentoo for several years and perhaps the reasons I moved on might be the same others did as well.

        In 2002 Gentoo was sitting at number three on the Distrowatch Page Hit Ranking. It’s been falling down that list every year since. This year it’s at 18. Version 11.0 was released in March and I don’t think anyone reviewed it. The Rolling Programmer tried, but “hit a brick wall.” Regardless, I don’t think it’s not-so-ease-of-use that took Gentoo down. I lay the blame at Moore’s Law.

      • Installing Gentoo on a Notebook in 2011

        The first time I installed Gentoo, back in late 2004, I used an at-the-time brand-new Dell Inspiron (5150 if I recall) notebook as the victim. At that time, Gentoo was a new world to me, and a confusing one. It took me about a half-week’s worth of actual work to get it installed, but it happened, and it was one of the most satisfying experiences I’ve ever had with a PC.

        There was a problem, though. As Gentoo is hugely a do-it-yourself Linux distribution, there are many things that are just not done for you without your explicit consent. Things have become a little easier over the years, especially with the very informative guides and major improvements made to Gentoo’s own software, but even today it’s still an amazing challenge to get it installed onto a PC and configured correctly (the latter being the more difficult part).


        I am glad I decided to give Gentoo another shot on a notebook, and I can’t see me moving off it anytime soon.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat to Present a Cloud Technology Update via Live Webcast on August 10

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that members of the Red Hat executive team will host a press conference that will be broadcast live via webcast at 12pm ET on Wednesday, August 10.

      • Red Hat Extends Open Source Summer Teaching Program to the Academic Year

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the expansion of its Professors’ Open Source Summer Experience (POSSE) 2011 that took place in late July in Raleigh, NC. Now in it third year, POSSE is a higher education faculty program that immerses professors in the culture, tools and practices of open source communities. Due to the overwhelming success of this year’s summer weekend workshop, several POSSE activities are scheduled throughout the 2011-2012 North American school year.

      • Fedora

        • No Btrfs by default in Fedora 16


        • Feature preview of Fedora 16 installer

          Fedora 16 is more than two months away from final, stable release, but pre-Alpha installation ISO images have been floating around. News from the Fedora camp have already indicated that btrfs will be the default file system on Fedora 16, joining the ranks of MeeGo, the first (Linux) distribution to use btrfs as the default file system.

          With several articles already published about Fedora and btrfs (see the latest here), I downloaded a pre-Alpha image just to see what the new partitioning scheme will be on Anaconda, the Fedora system installation program, with btrfs. If btrfs is to be the default, a file system with a built-in volume management system, what will happen to LVM?

        • Monday in Fedora

          I suppose this is a sort of a test. I’m going to keep a little log of everything I do during the day related to Fedora. We’ll see how far I get.

        • Fedora 16 Alpha Release Candidate 2 (RC2) Available Now!

          As per the Fedora 16 schedule [1], Fedora 16 Alpha Release Candidate 2 (RC2) is now available for testing. Please see the following pages for download links and testing instructions. In general, official live images arrive a few hours after the install images: see the links below for updates. When they appear, the download directory should be the same as that for install images, except with the trailing “/Fedora/” replaced by “/Live/”.

        • Btrfs Switch Postponed To Fedora 17

          While it originally appeared that Fedora 16 would be the first major distribution (besides possibly counting MeeGo) to switch to Btrfs as the default Linux file-system, that’s not going to happen. Fedora 16 will continue defaulting to EXT4 and it will not be until Fedora 17 now that Btrfs will be the Fedora file-system default.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian GNU/kFreeBSD on production

        During the last few weeks I had to work through some of the limitations that were holding me back, such automated driver load and FUSE. I was lucky enough that other people filled the missing pieces I wanted, such as NFS client support and a GRUB bugfix that broke booting from Mirrored pools.


        If you have installed Debian GNU/kFreeBSD, was it meant for production or just a “toy machine”? If you considered using it on production, did it succeed at satisfying your needs, or did something hold you back? Leave your comment!

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Membership

            The Ubuntu project accepts many kinds of contributions from people all over the world. After time, many contributors develop a sense of belonging and ownership of the project. When someone has been with the project for a long time and have made significant contributions to the project, then they may apply for membership. When you become an Ubuntu member, you become an official part of the project. You become a representative. You get an @ubuntu.com email address, an Ubuntu cloak on Freenode. You even get to vote on who serves on the Ubuntu Community Council, the top-level community governance committee in Ubuntu. For people who are serious about Ubuntu, membership is a big deal. Many people consider Ubuntu membership one of their biggest achievements.

          • Canonical Working to Put Ubuntu on the ‘App Development Map’

            Ubuntu may be marketed as “Linux for human beings,” but Canonical is working hard to make it the open source platform of choice for app developers as well. And it’s now calling on those who fall into the latter category to offer feedback on how Ubuntu can better meet their needs. Read on for details.

            I’ve always interpreted Ubuntu’s “Linux for human beings” mantra to mean that the operating system was built first and foremost to be friendly for non-geeks. To a remarkable extent, Ubuntu has succeeded in that vein, distinguishing itself as the most popular and one of the simplest Linux distributions for desktop users.

          • [Screenshots and Video] First Look at All New Ubuntu Software Center Tech Preview

            Ubuntu Software Center is getting a complete makeover in its GTK3 avatar and first tech preview of this whole new look landed today in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot.

            Being just a tech preview as of now, the current Software Center is still there by default. However, the demo can be launched by running the command software-center-gtk3 from the terminal.

          • Is Canonical Weighing Other E-Mail Options with Thunderbird?

            Few people are as passionate about their e-mail clients as they are about, say, browsers or phones. But that certainly doesn’t mean all mail apps were created equal, as Canonical showed recently when it commissioned a comparison of the open source clients Thunderbird and Evolution. Here’s a look at some of the findings.

            The Thunderbird standalone e-mail client enjoys relatively wide popularity. Developed by Mozilla, it runs on pretty much every modern operating system out there, and has been around for nearly a decade.

          • Amazon issues with EBS affect Ubuntu images in the EU-WEST region
          • Top 5 Ubuntu Alternatives

            The following article will list five of the best alternative operating systems to the popular Ubuntu OS, personally selected by the author.

            We’ve written this article to help some of our readers in finding a good alternative to the current release of the Ubuntu operating system, because of the Unity interface.

            Personally, I use Ubuntu 11.04 everyday and I have no problem with it. When Unity was about to be born, I was like “no way I am using that,” but I got used to it, and I’ve even managed to customize it the way I like it.

          • Ubuntu: The desktop Linux with the cloud inside

            Things can get really confusing when you start working with cloud-computing but we can all agree that having cloud file-storage is a good thing. It’s just so much easier to keep files in a universal storage box in the sky than worrying about whether you put the right USB drive in your laptop bag when you left for work. At this time though only one mainstream desktop operating system comes with the cloud built-in: Ubuntu.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 3 Has Firefox 6 and Thunderbird 6
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Free app brings easy penetration testing to Android

          Zimperium will soon release a penetration-testing app called Android Network Toolkit (Anti), ready to sniff our Wi-Fi vulnerabilities for good or evil, says Forbes. The software was shown at the DefCon hacking conference in Las Vegas, following a Black Hat security conference that featured presentations on a new DARPA Cyber-Fast Track project, the Shady RAT cyber-attack, and Facebook facial-recognition tools.

        • HTC releases OpenSense SDK for tapping 3D, stylus features

          HTC released a software developer kit for its Sense UI skin for Android. The OpenSense SDK offers APIs that let developers harness the GUI’s look and feel, as well as a stereoscopic 3D display (available on the Evo 3D 4G smartphone) and a stylus pen (available with the HTC Flyer and Evo View 4G tablets).

        • Android ‘smartwatch’ acts as Bluetooth extension to smartphones

          Blue Sky has begun taking pre-orders for the “I’mWatch,” an Android 1.6-based gadget that offers a 1.5-inch screen and audio jack, interacting with smartphones via Bluetooth to display alerts. The device follows last week’s WIMM One wearable Android watch, as well as an Android-based watch platform from Motorola called the MotoActive that popped up recently on the web.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Motorola Xoom gets Android 3.1

        Motorola has released a UK Android 3.1 update for the Motorola Xoom, activating long-awaited features for early adopters.

        The patch brings users up to speed with Honeycomb’s improved multi-tasking, resizable home screen widgets and keyboard and mouse compatibility, as well as a host of support for other USB or Bluetooth devices.

      • Lenovo ThinkPad Tablets: A Closer Look From Inside Lenovo

        The wait is over. Here at Lenovo, we have introduced our new Android-based ThinkPad tablet — taking the brand full circle. You can read the press release here. It’s hard to believe that the first ThinkPad, introduced back in 1992, was a pen-based tablet, but it was. The iconic ThinkPad 700c ushered in the familiar notebook form factor later. I once wrote a blog that goes deeper into the ThinkPad tablet history lesson for those who are curious. Nearly 20 years later, could our new ThinkPad tablet be the weapon of choice for business success? I think so.

      • Seven-inch Sharp Galapagos tablet runs Android 3.2

        Sharp announced a seven-inch, 1024 x 600-pixel “Galapagos A01SH” tablet running Android 3.2 on an Nvidia Tegra 2 processor — and its FCC approval suggests it’s eventually destined for the U.S.. Meanwhile, the Toshiba Thrive “Honeycomb” tablet has received a sleep-and-resume bug fix, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 got a “magazine-like” TouchWiz UI update.

      • Pandigital launches $159 Android tablet with Cortex-A9 processor

        Just a few days after Pandigital began selling a $170 Nova and $180 Planet tablet at BestBuy and Amazon, respectively, it introduced a third seven-inch Android tablet called the Star, for $160. What’s more, the company disclosed that all three tablets include ARM Cortex-A9 processors, representing a price breakthrough for products based on the technology.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • OSCON Round-up

      Reading some stories recently, it would be easy to conclude that there was some sort of a decline in open source. I’ll not pretend to have new and objective data on the subject, but having just returned from OSCON in the USA I have to say rumours of the death of open source are premature.

    • Ohio LinuxFest Registration is Open for Business
    • ESC Boston features giveaways, tackles embedded security

      Keynotes and tracks were announced for the ESC (Embedded Systems Conference) Boston, set for Sept. 26-29, including keynotes on embedded security and medical devices. ESC Boston offers a Linux/Android track, featuring a session on Android’s Open Accessory Kit, as well as giveaways to “All Access” users of a BeagleBoard-xM board and a Texas Instruments programmable, wireless-enabled eZ430-Chronos sports watch.

  • Web Browsers

    • Google, Mozilla Team Up to Create a Smarter, Action-Based Web

      Google has announced a new set of APIs for its Chrome web browser, which are designed to connect applications and sites across the web. Web Intents, as Google is calling its new meta-website API, allows websites to pass data between each other — for example, to edit a photograph or share a URL with friends.

      Developers at Mozilla have been working on a similar framework for Firefox, and now Google says it will work with Mozilla to develop a single API that works in both web browsers.

    • Mozilla

      • The Mozilla Interview: Why Firefox Matters

        Mozilla’s Firefox experienced a pretty rapid turn of fortunes last year and is still dealing with the effects of a changing browser landscape today. The rise of Chrome, a more competitive Microsoft, an increasingly loyal Apple user base, the often-delayed release of Firefox 4, created a perfect storm against Mozilla that is affecting its market share and credibility. Johnathan Nightingale agreed to spend some time with us to talk about the current state of Firefox and its immediate future in a very competitive environment.

      • Firefox Extension for Anonymous Browsing Hits Version 1.0

        There are lots of valid reasons why many people around the globe want to be able to use the web and messaging systems anonymously, despite the fact that some people want to end Internet anonymity altogether. In many parts of the world, opressive government regulations threaten free speech, and worse, which has produced an extensive list of technologies that people around the world use to beat the Internet censors. Among these, Tor, from the Tor Project, is one of the most powerful and flexible open source solutions for online anonymity. Last summer, we covered one of these solutions, a Firefox extension called HTPPS Everywhere, which leverages Tor for browsing anonymity. Now, there is an official version 1.0 available.

      • Creating Firefox web apps that look like native apps
  • Databases

    • MariaDB Crash Course released

      I am happy to announce that the first MariaDB book is released!

      The book is called MariaDB Crash Course and is written by Ben Forta, who also wrote the MySQL Crash Course book.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice vs. OpenOffice.org: Showdown for Best Open Source Office Suite

      With the release of a new version of LibreOffice this month, it’s a good time to look at the two major open source office suites, LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org, to see what advantages each offers, and which is a better bet for end users.

      Both products are suites of office applications, comprising word process, spreadsheet, presentation graphics, database, drawing, and math tools. Both also spring from the same code base. OpenOffice.org was created by a German company called Star Division, which Sun Microsystems bought in 1999. Originally the suite was called StarOffice, and it was popular in the European market as an alternative to Microsoft Office. After picking it up, Sun changed the name of the product to OpenOffice.org and released its code as open source. The product retained some popularity in the enterprise, partly because of its cross-platform capabilities and no-cost license.

    • TLWIR 12: Libreoffice 3.4.2, NASA, and the Asus X101
  • Openness/Sharing

    • Moto: From Dining To Open-Source Software

      Two months ago there was a mention of Moto on Phoronix as being a place for a wonderful (and tasty) high-tech dinner. At the time it was mentioned just for their use of interesting technologies to make wonderful dishes, and partnerships with NASA and other organizations to conduct food research. Come to find out, my favorite American restaurant is also entering the open-source software business. The restaurant is working on some interesting open-source code… In particular, they’re hoping to revolutionize restaurant management software with this project they have been working on, dubbed Moto Matrix.

    • Open Source Effort Will Deliver Low-Cost Wi-Fi for All

      One of the great things about open source software is that it doesn’t just bring a wealth of benefits to businesses. Rather, by making low-cost, high-quality software widely available to everyone, it also has the potential to change lives around the world.

    • A new way of measuring Openness, from Android to WebKit: The Open Governance Index

      [Much has been said about open source projects – and open source platforms are now powering an ever-increasing share of the mobile market. But what is “open” and how can you measure openness? As part of our new research report (free download), VisionMobile Research Partner Liz Laffan introduces the Open Governance Index – a new approach to measuring the “openness” of software projects, from Android to WebKit]

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OpenGL 4.2 Specification Published With GLSL 4.20

      The good news: Khronos has published version 4.2 of the OpenGL specification in conjunction with the GL Shading Language version 4.20 specification. The bad news? The open-source Linux graphics drivers are falling hopelessly behind in keeping up-to-date with the latest upstream OpenGL releases and what is supported by the proprietary drivers and those for other operating systems.

      The release of OpenGL 4.2 isn’t much of a surprise, it’s coming just around one year after the OpenGL 4.1 specification. The occasion for this release is the SIGGRAPH conference taking place this week in Vancouver, Canada. “The OpenGL 4.2 specification has been defined by the OpenGL ARB (Architecture Review Board) working group at Khronos, and includes the GLSL 4.20 update to the OpenGL Shading Language. The OpenGL 4.2 specification contains new features that extend functionality available to developers and enables increased application performance.”


  • Amazon, Microsoft Data Centers Go Down Without Much Fanfare

    It finally happened. We had a fairly significant cloud outage the other day and we didn’t have a lot of hand-wringing about the perils of cloud computing. Could it be that we have finally reached a point where we don’t have to defend the future of cloud computing each time a data center has problems, or is it just that everyone is on vacation in August and nobody was paying attention?

  • Microsoft gives BPOS customers credit note for latest crash

    This is the latest in a series of embarrassing cloud outages for Redmond after a summer of interruptions began in May, but differs from other incidents in that an “Act of God” was responsible for knocking out the service.

  • Security

  • Civil Rights

    • Secret Identities Online and Defamation

      The Internet has given rise to thousands of online chat forums, where participants can sound off on the issues of the day often shielded by the cloak of anonymity. Anonymous speech can be empowering — whistleblowers depend upon it to safeguard their identity and political participants in some countries face severe repercussions if they speak out publicly — but it also carries the danger of posts that cross the line into defamation without appropriate accountability.

      Striking the balance between protecting anonymous free speech on the one hand and applying defamation laws on the other sits at the heart of a new Ontario Superior Court decision released last week. The case involved postings about Phyllis Morris, the former mayor of Aurora.


Links 9/8/2011: Linux 3.0.1, KDE 5.0 Roadmap

Posted in News Roundup at 7:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • NPC to offer GNU/Linux class this fall

    It’s been called the Universal Operating System that can be securely customized to perform any computing task. And this fall, Northland Pioneer College will again be offering classes on the GNU/Linux Operating System using a revised, up-to-date curriculum on Thursday afternoons, 1 to 5 p.m., Aug. 25 through Dec. 8, in the Learning Center, room 133, at the Show Low – White Mountain Campus.

    “Learning GNU/Linux gives people options and choices when it comes to using operating systems,” commented instructor Eric Bishop, who also heads NPC Information Services Division. “Linux is a free, open source operating system that is very stable, secure and efficient, with thousands of free programs associated with it. Learning to use Linux also lets you learn more about how computers and operating systems work ‘under the hood,’ in a general sense.”

  • The wonders of the shell

    For those of you too young to know things weren’t all windows and clicks. There used to be a time when you used to control the computer using just the keyboard.

    And a great time that was indeed… if you wanted to copy all the .jpg files from a folder you need only but type in a command and it would be done! Now? After you press about a million clicks, do a 2 million drags and watch 10 million internet cats you get to finish the task you set your mind to. Some say it’s easier this way, it makes more sense to the normal user to drag a picture symbolizing a file from one box to another in order to copy/move it and indeed it is easier, but what if you have 10.000 files scattered around a 100.000 file folder?

  • Loving and Hating Linux

    The first reason (and possibly primary reason) is that it is still an operating system that you are using. No operating system has ever worked on all hardware, with all software, or without bugs. This means that at some point you are going to be infuriated or at least disappointed. In my experience, Linux fowls up a lot less often than do Winders or OSX, and as such I use it. I am sure that we have all experienced Xorg issues. This happens more to me now than ever before due to Xorg trying to automagically configure itself. I am also sure that we have all had issues with ALSA at some point. My latest was an issue with HDMI audio conflicting with an onboard audio chip. It was easily solved, but annoying none the less. There are also those times when you have a dependency issue. You might have one version of a library that is required for foo, and then a different version of the same library required for bar, and for some reason the system won’t allow you to have both… annoying, but it can be worked around.

  • Disney to Produce Penguin Film… Called ‘Tux’.

    The film is to be an adaptation of “gritty” Japanese graphic novel ‘Tuxedo Gin’, the storyline of which sees a young street fighter “fall into a coma and learns that he …only has enough karma points to be reincarnated as an animal 15 pounds or less.”

  • Ignore the speculation, Linux is far from dead

    Usually I try not to overdo the Linux evangelism. I’d rather Linux succeeded on its own merits than from the fumbling insights that come from the mouths of believers.

    But last month I read an article and it left me feeling a little down. It was titled Is Linux Finished? and the author outlined what he thought were the reasons for the distinct lack of success Linux has had on the desktop.

    A lot of it had to do with Apple stealing its niche, the lack of a decent user experience and the confusion that comes with distro fragmentation. It was a good article and each of these points is valid.

  • Desktop

    • Recycle’s Friend, Reuse

      Recycling is something we all deal with, or at least should deal with, when it comes to technology. Old computers, monitors, motherboards and their ilk are full of toxic chemicals that must be disposed of properly. Thankfully, “Being Green” is a trend that hasn’t really lost any steam. As technologists, we understand the need to use less power, recycle old technology and make wise purchasing decisions when it comes to hardware. And, we shouldn’t forget recycle’s buddies reduce and reuse either.

      With modern virtualization, it’s possible to reduce the number of servers we need to buy. Add to that the reduction in power usage with low-power CPUs, and it’s relatively easy to reduce the amount of waste in our server rooms. Unfortunately, it doesn’t eliminate the problem completely. That’s where reuse comes into play. In the photo, you’ll see a clock I received as a Christmas gift. It’s simply the circuit board from some sort of router that has “clock guts” added to it. Geeky yes, but if it’s stuck on my wall, it’s one fewer piece of computer scrap in a landfill.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • RapidDisk, A New Linux RAM Disk Kernel Module

      Released last month was RapidDisk 1.0, which is a Linux kernel module that up to this point has received little attention on the Internet. RapidDisk is a new Linux RAM disk kernel module like the brd and zram modules, but with a different feature-set.

    • Linux 3.0.1
    • Linux File System Monitoring

      A lot of the embedded systems I work on lately run Linux. I enjoy that, because I’m a long-time UNIX user and I run nothing but Linux on my personal computers and servers these days (well, assuming you count Android as a form of Linux, which I do).

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org Server 1.11 RC2 Is Released

        Keith Packard has tagged X.Org Server 1.11 RC2. The X.Org Server 1.11 release is imminent and the RC2 marks the end of development except for critical fixes.

      • Nouveau GeForce 400/500 Fermi On Linux 3.1

        Besides boosting the Intel Sandy Bridge performance, the Linux 3.1 kernel is also great for open-source graphics in that it has improved support for NVIDIA GeForce 400/500 “Fermi” graphics cards via the reverse-engineered Nouveau driver. The Linux kernel has already supported kernel mode-setting for these GPUs and then more recently there was 2D/X-Video acceleration as well as 3D acceleration when paired with the Nouveau Gallium3D “NVC0″ driver. The accelerated support though has required manually extracting the graphics processor’s microcode after the GPU was initialized by the proprietary driver. With the Linux 3.1 kernel, Nouveau can generate its own “FUC” microcode to circumvent this problem. In other words, there is now “out of the box” open-source support for NVIDIA GeForce 400/500 graphics cards.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Approaching the desktop summit

      It’s only one day left until the global KDE and GNOME communities meet at Berlin for the second desktop summit. Hundreds of free software contributors from all over the world, the core of the free desktop community is meeting at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in the middle of the German capital from August 6th to 12th.

    • The Linus effect

      On July 26th Linus said he switched to Xfce because he doesn’t like GNOME 3. Guess what happens when someone picked up the news yesterday:

    • What is the difference between GNOME, KDE, XFCE, and LXDE?

      In Linux, there are so many choices, and this includes the desktop environments and window managers. Four of the most popular desktop environments in Linux are GNOME, KDE, XFCE, and LXDE. All four offer sophisticated point-and-click graphical user interfaces (GUI) which are on par with the desktop environments found in Windows and Mac OS X.

    • KDE Draws Up Plans For Wayland In 2012
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Top 5 Plasma Widgets for the KDE Desktop

        With KDE 4.7, the KDE team has managed to create one of the most beautiful desktops out there, and to be honest, it’s even more appealing than Windows 7 or Mac OS X. On the usability front, KDE doesn’t seem to cut corners. Trademark features like Activities and Plasmoids (widgets) are polished to near perfection. Also, since the initial KDE 4 release, a lot of quality community-created widgets and plugins have sprung up, making the KDE workspace more than just an alternative to GNOME 3 or Unity. So, if you’ve just installed KDE on your computer, here are some of the best widgets you can drop on to your desktop and make your friends jealous.

      • RAW image processing with digikam
      • Donations
      • The Plans For KDE Frameworks 5.0 Were Just Announced
      • KDE 5.0 roadmap announced

        Most eyes in the Linux desktop world are on the Berlin Desktop Summit this week, as members of the GNOME and KDE camps come together for a joint technical conference running from August 6-12 at Humboldt University in Berlin. Currently, KDE seems to be making the most strides in the joint event, with the surprise announcement of the KDE 5.0 roadmap, which was revealed by KDE developer Aaron Seigo in his blog Sunday.

      • Important Announcement Coming Today at Desktop Summit

        Today at 17:30 there is a panel presentation here at Berlin Desktop Summit that is unfortunately titled “KDE Platform 4 Roadmap” and the schedule says I’m presenting it. This was submitted prior to the Platform 11 meeting in Randa so it could make the speaking schedule here at the Desktop Summit. At the time I didn’t know what precisely we’d decide on at Platform 11 .. and the title reflects that.

        What I did know was that we would want to communicate the results (whatever they would be) from Platform 11. That is in fact what we will be doing. Better yet, I will be joined by David Faure, Kevin Ottens and Stephen Kelly in doing so.

        Interestingly, however, the presentation will not be about KDE Platform 4. It will be about KDE Frameworks 5.0.

      • Dragon Player 3
      • KDE Having Fun at Desktop Summit 2011

        Friday, 10:00, August 5, 2011. A big group of people was standing a bit lost in the cloakroom of the Humboldt University at Unter den Linden, Berlin. They were the volunteers for the Desktop Summit 2011 – but without guidance and leadership, they were just nervously looking around and talking to each other.

        But at 11:00, Mirko Boehm came in, gathered everyone together and told them what to do! Tables got moved, tape stuck to floors, posters hung up.

      • King of KDistros (Poll Results)

        Alright, thanks to mobile technology, I was able to put together a very quick note to let you know how the King of KDE distros went.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • As Linus was saying . . . .

        Until recently, I had several of my lab machines using GNOME — until my hardware and I were relegated to second-class status by being only able to use the GNOME 3 Fallback Mode while the rest of the world went on its merry way using GNOME 3. But in the grand scheme of things, that’s OK: Regular readers of this blog also know that in the recent past I have taken both GNOME 3 and Unity to task for bailing on already experienced users in an effort to dumb down the desktop for those who are new to Linux.

        Of course, the woe I documented in past blogs about it is nothing compared to the choice words Linus Torvalds has for GNOME 3.

      • Testing Gnome 3
      • You’re Living in the Past, Dude!

        At the 2000 Usenix Technical Conference (which was the primary “generalist” conference for Free Software developers in those days), I met Miguel De Icaza for the third time in my life. In those days, he’d just started Helix Code (anyone else remember what Ximian used to be called?) and was still president of the GNOME Foundation. To give you some context: Bonobo was a centerpiece of new and active GNOME development then.

        Out of curiosity and a little excitement about GNOME, I asked Miguel if he could show me how to get the GNOME 1.2 running on my laptop. Miguel agreed to help, quickly taking control of the keyboard and frantically typing and editing my sources.list.

      • Top 10 GNOME Wallpapers

        Wallpapers!! What would we do without them? Here is the ist of top rated Gnome wallpapers which captured the attention of the users of gnome-look.org. What would we do without them??

      • Karen Sandler: Freedom from my heart to the desktop

        This is Karen Sandler, the Gnome Foundation’s new Executive Director, delivering her keynote speech at OSCon 2011. It is by far and away the best explanation of why software freedom matters that I’ve heard in a very long time.

      • So much to do, so little time

        Well, my time here with GNOME is coming to a close. This, of course, doesn’t mean I won’t be contributing to future projects (or maybe even enhancing this one), but it does mean college is on the horizon and my time will be greatly limited by it.

      • Premature bad taste becomes the norm
      • The Earliest Talk About The GTK4 Tool-Kit
      • Dear Gnome: Please listen to your users

        When Gnome 3 was released I pretty much immediately took the plunge and upgraded to it. I initially used the default Gnome Shell for a bit. There were some really big regressions right away. You can’t change your fonts, icon theme, GTK theme… I found a tool called gnome-tweak-tool that does allow changing those things, but I find it annoying that I can’t do it via the default system-settings tool.

  • Distributions

    • The best Linux distro of 2011!

      Fedora, Mint, Arch, Ubuntu, Debian and OpenSUSE go head-to-head – we’ve dropped the six most popular Linux distributions of the day into a cage fight for your affections. Read on to discover which distro comes up top for installation ease, customisation, performance, security and more. Which flavour of Linux gets the gold medal? You might very well be surprised, so read on for all the juicy details…

      In the beginning, Linus created the kernel. The kernel worked (sort of) and was good. Then, in an ever-spiralling Babelesque explosion of code, the world got umpty-ump different Linux distributions, some of which seem to differ from each other only in the colour of their desktop screens.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • August 2011 issue of The PCLinuxOS released

        The PCLinuxOS Magazine staff is pleased to announce the release of the August 2011 issue of the PCLinuxOS Magazine. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is a product of the PCLinuxOS community, published by volunteers from the community. The magazine is lead by Paul Arnote, Chief Editor, and Assistant Editors Meemaw and Andrew Strick. The PCLinuxOS Magazine is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license, and some rights are reserved.

      • Mandriva 2011 with kernel 3.0

        We prepared unofficial image for Mandriva 2011 RC2 with kernel 3.0 by MIB group. Note: because it is unofficial distro, it destined only for testing purposes. Mandriva 2011 will be with kernel, and later, after some period of testing, we will update kernel to 3.0. You may get Mandriva 2011 with 3.0 kernel from here.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Gentoo Linux releases 11.2 LiveDVD

        Gentoo Linux is proud to announce the availability of a new LiveDVD to celebrate the continued collaboration between Gentoo users and developers. The LiveDVD features a superb list of packages, some of which are listed below.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Top 10 Reasons Why Larry Ellison Dislikes Red Hat
      • Red Hat Certifies 400 Virtualization Professionals

        Red Hat‘s virtualization strategy is gaining momentum. One key indicator: The open source software company has trained 400 professionals on Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV). But that’s not all. Roger Egan (pictured), VP of North American Channels, has revealed several other milestones to The VAR Guy — including plans for a Cloud Partner Symposium. Here’s the update.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 16 Features With Desktop, Virtualization, Etc

          Fedora 16 (codenamed Verne) is set to be released at the end of October while the software string freeze and alpha change deadline just passed this week, with the only alpha release being scheduled to take place in mid-August. Fedora 16 is set to continue in Red Hat’s tradition of contributing real innovations to the Linux stack, with some of the new Verne features being talked about in this posting.

          As talked about already, Fedora 16 may use the Btrfs file-system by default, but according to the feature list Wiki page its status is currently at 0%. Other features include automatic multi-seat support, Chrony becoming the default NTP client, firewalld will be the default network firewall solution, and Fedora will finally switch to using the GRUB2 boot-loader rather than legacy GRUB. Also going out the door in Fedora will finally be the HAL daemon with everything being migrated over to UDisks, UPOwer, the UDEV library, etc. Fedora 15 switched over to systemd and with Fedora 16 they will finish up migrating SysVinit scripts over to systemd files.

        • My view of Fedora®
        • Fedora 15 Sometimes Really Suck
    • Debian Family

      • People behind Debian: Margarita Manterola, Debian Women member

        When I think about Margarita, I always remember her as a friendly and welcoming person. Like most of the Debian Women members by the way. But she likes to spread some love and organized a Debian Appreciation Day for example.

        I think I met her in real life for the first time at Debconf 6 in Oaxtepec (Mexico). She deeply cares about Debian in general. She has proven it multiple times with her DPL candidacy and by giving talks like Making Debian rule again.

      • Derivatives

        • KNOPPIX 6.7.0 Delivers a Few Surprises

          Once upon a time KNOPPIX was the king of hardware detection and an innovator in live CD technology. Well, time passed and more distribution developers began concentrating on live images and pretty soon remaster applications let anybody with an idea release their own Linux distribution. The Linux kernel itself took most of the hardware detection and configuration burden off developers. KNOPPIX then began declining in popularity and for a while seemed to be morphing into a specialty distribution. Well, I lost track of it about then and didn’t think of it again until yesterday when I heard 6.7.0 was available. I figured I might take a look and see what it’s been up to lately.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Shuttleworth: All your rights are belong to us

            Before I open palm — make that palms — and insert face, let me say that the Ubuntu community’s general mantra of “haters gonna hate” never really works as a valid argument when someone disagrees with what the self-appointed Ubuntu/Canonical leader/founder/Grand Poobah, or any other Ubuntu/Canonical leader, says. It’s a profoundly weak argument that first and foremost makes you sound shallow and stupid. It also makes you sound like you don’t have a reasonable response, as well as sounding like you’re incapable of responding.

          • Making mountains out of molehills

            The DMB grants both Ubuntu Membership and upload rights to (portions of) the Ubuntu archive. Both are assessed rather differently (one community and one somewhat more technical). Most of the current argument is about Membership (the only person the DMB deferred for upload rights was correctly so; it was a Per-Package Uploader application for packages which were not in the archive yet)

          • A Formal Introduction to The Ubuntu Orchestra Project

            Today’s post by Matthew East, coupled with several discussions in IRC and the Mailing Lists have made me realize that we’ve not communicated the Ubuntu Orchestra Project clearly enough to some parts of the Ubuntu Community. Within Ubuntu Server developer circles, I think the project’s goals, design, and implementation are quite well understood. But I now recognize that our community stretches both far and wide, and our messages about Orchestra have not yet reached all corners of the Ubuntu world :-) Here’s an attempt at that now!

          • Ubuntu Membership and Contributions to Upstream Projects

            There has been a lot (perhaps too much) discussion on the ubuntu-devel mailing list about (among other things) to what extent contributions to an upstream project should be taken into account when assessing whether a person’s application for Ubuntu membership should be granted.

            Jonathan Carter has very properly added it to the agenda for discussion by the Community Council at their next meeting.

          • Should Upstream Contributions Count?

            The Ubuntu Community Council will be deciding in a week or so whether upstream or external contributions count for Ubuntu membership & commit privileges. I always thought that all contributions that were for the good of Ubuntu counted.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 3 Released – Changes and Screenshots
          • Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 3 Review | Oneiric Ocelot

            Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 3 Oneiric Ocelot development release is out and available to download, check release notes, download options and what’s new in Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 3 Here.

            With each release of Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot coming out we see a highly impressive development work most of it discussed at Ubuntu UDS from Ubuntu developers and community members that could make the final release of Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot is one of the best distribution will be available at the moment.

          • Ubuntu Photography Guidelines

            The Ubuntu Brand has released guidelines for photography related to Ubuntu and Canonical. You can find the PDF at the bottom of the Ubuntu Brand Guidelines page titled “download the Ubuntu photography guidelines”. The PDF offers some simple Ubuntu style techniques for emphasizing the subject. These photo tips help reflect the Ubuntu brand values of freedom, collaboration, reliability and precision. Download the PDF and check it out!

          • Contributions of Non-Technical People

            In fact, if you run and love Kubuntu, we want and need your creativity, your testing, your bug reports, your corrections on the wiki, your help on artwork, documentation, promotion (like this blog!), your helpful voice in IRC, identica, twitter, Google+ — the sky is the limit! Community work is as important as the code, because people create the love, create the community, create the software.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • A newbie’s report on Kubuntu

              I’ve to confess that I was never fond of KDE. If you ask me ‘why’, then I’ve to tell that may be I’ve started my Linux life with Gnome and it was like ‘love at first sight’! I was introduced with Ubuntu at 2007 and to be frankly, I liked it so much that I never felt to try other distros to give a serious run. I’ve tested Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, OpenSuse, Fedora – but I’ve not taken them seriously. As a result I became a solely Ubuntu guy. My laptop still runs Ubuntu 10.04 (and I am quite happy with Lucid). This solely Ubuntu-only-background makes me a total newbie in the world of Kubuntu! But why I am using Kubuntu now? Well… after buying the new desktop, I thought to taste Kubuntu instead of Ubuntu, because (in my opinion) unity in Ubuntu is still in its early stage and I do not wanted to install Lucid in my desktop. So I choose Kubuntu Natty Narwhal to give a try. The result? I am an one-month old Kubuntu user!

            • Linux Mint XFCE: Gnome’s heir?

              Regular readers know I’ve switched away from Ubuntu and onto Linux Mint. I think the move away from the standard desktop interface and toward things like Unity and Gnome Shell is a mistake. Linux Mint is still using Gnome 2.32, a smooth and mature interface that suits me fine. But nobody’s doing any more work on the Gnome 2.x environment; the Gnome project is moving in a different direction now, and unless someone forks Gnome 2.32 – someone with deep pockets, to give it credibility and legs – then sooner or later the Gnome-based traditional desktop will have nowhere to go. I don’t know how much longer distros like Mint can hold out and still use Gnome 2.x; I give it a year, 18 months at the outside. So I continue to seek alternatives for when the time comes.

            • Linux Mint: This didn’t go to 11

              Regular readers will remember that I’d moved everything to Linux Mint. Most of the desktop boxes were running Mint 11, but I kept the laptops on Mint 10 because of a power regression in the kernel. It’s not such a big deal if desktop processors burn a little more power, but on a laptop it means short battery life and heat problems.

              Well, the power regression has been solved – or at least there’s a workaround – so I decided to go ahead and move my main laptop to Mint 11.

              I think I left it that way for about two days before moving back to Mint 10.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Open Embedded: An alternative way to build embedded Linux distributions

      As embedded processors have grown more powerful and feature-rich, the popularity of the Linux operating system in embedded applications has grown in leaps and bounds. Although the fact that Linux is open source and free of licensing fees is one major driver of its popularity, another key driver is the wealth of application software and drivers available as a result of Linux’s widespread usage in the desktop and server arenas.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • $199 Asus X101 targets Linux tablet alternative

        Though bearing some of the hallmarks of a Netbook, the Asus Eee PC X101 will be offered as an alternative to that category of small laptops, according to an Asus blog post.

        Asus spelled out today that the X101 is a departure from the Netbook as we know it. First of all, it’s even thinner and lighter than a traditional Netbook (which is already pretty light and thin to begin with) at 0.69-inches and two pounds, respectively.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Seven Signs that You Have Been Brainwashed by Microsoft

    Considering the last events I’ve been able to observe, as well as Mechatotoro’s contributions, I compiled this short list of manifestations of a Microsoft-only mentality, just for fun.

    1. You think free/libre software is unreliable and dangerous, but then you download cracked versions of programs and feel proud about it.

    2. If your Windows system breaks down, you are able to do all your computing off a Linux live CD, but then you look for a (pirated?) Windows copy and install it.

  • Despite successes, FLOSS still misunderstood, villianized

    Despite increasing evidence that corporations are turning to open source more than ever, there’s also countering evidence that people have a long ways to go before they “get” open source.

    The notion that innovation is driving open source adoption now is a theme that’s been woven heavily in my conversations with open source community members these past couple of weeks. More and more I am getting notes about organizations that have never used open source as a methodology before, now starting to deploy it in their in-house development departments or joining in existing FLOSS projects.

  • Commercial Gains Mean Growing Pains for Open Source Community

    Recent conversations at OSCON, which I’ve attended since 2004, as well as observations through talks with vendors, users and developers in open source all indicate a common theme: With commercial successes for open source software come some community growing pains.

    This was also illustrated to some extent by the attendance, content and vibe at this year’s OSCON, a good annual check on where commercial open source software stands in its ongoing maturation, evolution and disruption.

  • Open Source Meets Systems Management
  • Does open source need corporate backing to succeed?

    Much of Android’s success down to Google’s backing, says researcher

    Android is one of the most successful projects in the open-source world, but that’s mostly because of Google’s “muscle”, according to one researcher.

    Liz Laffan, an analyst at VisionMobile, has attempted to measure the “openness” of several open-source software platforms – ranking Google’s OS in last place.

  • The transition from “them” to “we”

    While a lot of large Free Software projects do have some sort of formal “membership” structure (e.g. for GNOME there is the foundation), in reality being part of a project is more about your mindset. It’s easy for anyone to complain from the outside about something – and then the project is “they”.

  • NZ Open Source Society elects new president

    Egressive owner and open source advocate Dave Lane has been elected president of the New Zealand Open Source Society.

    The president, vice president Peter Harrison and other committee members were confirmed at the Society’s annual general meeting late last week.

  • Linux Australia readies conference code of conduct

    Expands anti-harassment policy with Ada Initiative.

    Linux Australia has announced plans to introduce a conference code of conduct following a controversial keynote presentation at linux.conf.au (LCA) in January.

    A number of conference attendees complained about futurist Mark Pesce’s use of sexual images in his presentation, in breach of LCA’s anti-harassment policy.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Extending our Reach: Many Layers of User Sovereignty

        Today we access the Internet in many ways, with phones and tablets and new devices becoming more prevalent. These devices have new operating systems, new business models, and new opportunities. They also bring new challenges to interoperability and user-sovereignty. How should Mozilla respond? Should Firefox and Gecko be our only tools? Or should we develop other tools?

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

    • A Guide to Open Source Licensing

      If you’re working on or launching an open source project, one of the most basic decisions you must make is which license the project will be released under, and choosing the perfect license is more complex than ever. Over the years, we’ve provided many free guidelines on this topic, but it’s a moving target. In this post, you’ll find our updeated collection of all the things you need to know to make an informed open source license decision.

  • Programming

    • In Search Of… A Few Good Developers
    • Rugged Individualism, Community, and Templating Systems

      Consider this: I have at various times in my career written a templating system, an object model, and a test framework. I no longer use nor maintain those projects, and you will not find them in anything other than the Internet’s vast elephant graveyard (if they even exist there).

      These projects are long gone in part because other projects are (now) obviously better and I have exceedingly good taste in predicting the future, but (more seriously) because the value of those projects to the community was far less than the value of competing projects.

      I have the right to publish a new templating system to the CPAN, but without a staggeringly compelling reason to do so (such as that it uses a different technical approach or that it provides the most useful subset of features of an existing system with far fewer requirements or much better resource usage), the community is probably better off if I refrain from doing so.

    • Announcing our Code of Conduct and Community Contributed Docs


  • 141 nice fonts of popular Movies, games and Brands
  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Police use Flickr to identify London riot

      London has been the scene of utter chaos over the past few days, and last night it hit a new peak when it seemed many parts of the UK capital were under siege, from north to south.

  • Finance

    • The Personality of Goldman Sachs or What’s in the Gold Sack?
    • Republican Leaders Are Receiving Greatly Increased Contributions From Wall Street Firms

      Republican consultant Eddie Mahe said he had “no doubt” Wall Street has been betting that the House Republican majority would lead the effort to “repeal or at least modify” the revised financial regulations enacted last year.

    • Goldman Sachs ready to bail out California

      Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo are the lead lenders and will pony up $1.5-billion each. The consortium also includes Citigroup, Barclays, JPMorgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and US Bank.

    • BofA, Goldman Sachs Find State Mortgage Cases Hard to Shake

      A Washington state judge in Seattle said in rulings over the past two months that Bank of America, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and other underwriters can’t cite faulty data from appraisers or expired statutes of limitation to avoid Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle’s claims that there was false information in offering documents for at least $3.9 billion in securities it bought.

    • Goldman Sachs rates desk hemorrhages traders

      More than a dozen traders have quit Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s (NYSE:GS – News) North American government bonds and derivatives trading desk in New York in recent months as the bank takes fewer risks and big bonuses for ambitious traders dry up.

      Goldman has been handing out promotions and better pay to its salespeople rather than the traders who manage the bank’s inventory of securities and derivatives, people familiar with the bank’s operations said.

  • Civil Rights

    • ‘U’ team aims to expand digital freedom through Telex program

      According to Wustrow, Telex is a two-part system where users download software that allows Telex stations to act as a proxy site outside of the restricted country. He noted that one major difference between a typical proxy website and Telex is that proxy websites often have only one IP address that needs to be blocked, but Telex will have multiple addresses, making censorship very difficult.

      Wustrow added there are only a handful of undersea cables to China, but Telex stations would be sufficient for the program to work there. Nonetheless, there are still several hurdles to the implementation of this program.

      For example, Wustrow said there is no definitive price, but each Telex station could cost thousands of dollars and the stations would have to be incentivized for Internet Service Providers to install them. He added that in return for installing Telex stations, ISPs could sell the service to users to subsidize costs or the U.S. government could sponsor efforts toward increased Internet freedom.


Links 8/8/2011: Many New Games, Reviews

Posted in News Roundup at 11:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Opinion: Is economic collapse good for Linux?

    Thus, though we may face economic hardships not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s, we can at least look forward to a Linux Renaissance.

  • Asus Support – Excellent and Linux Friendly

    I’d heard stories from fellow Linux users about companies not honoring hardware warranties, unless Windows was reinstalled on the system. It’s wrong, but it does happen. I called up the Asus support line and after jumping through a countless number of automated menus I arrived at someone who could help me. After being walked through a few id-10-t checks the person on the phone agreed with me that the unit needed to be sent to a repair center. It didn’t matter that the system was running Linux, it was a clear hardware issue.

  • Linux, Linux, everywhere!

    Not long ago, I started to realize that Linux is already creeping up on me from all sides. People who have never heard of Linux were raving about it. They were showing me their latest gadgets and telling me how cool they were. After several months of random people going on about their gadgets I did realize that Linux is everywhere and it came upon us from an unusual source. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am talking about Android which is based on the Linux kernel. A lot of people purchasing their latest phones do not know what Linux is or that Android is based on the Linux kernel. However, they are definitely happy with their latest hardware and the many features Android has. Moreover, Android phones are selling in large quantities and are surpassing Blackberry and iPhone sales. This is amazing and the trend seems to be continuing with excellent and solid phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S2. The Galaxy S2 is a gorgeous phone and it is even better than the iPhone 4. Apple will definitely have to come up with many cool new features for the iPhone 5 to be able to compete with the Android Smartphones.

  • Evolution of the Operating System

    UPDATE SJVN has an article out with a similar theme.

    “In the long run, the question isn’t going to be “Which desktop operating system is going to be the winner?” No, it’s going to be, “Which mobile operating system will be the winner.””

    I don’t quite agree with that. I see a very diverse ecosystem in the future with many systems working together. There will be a need for “desktop” systems for a long while:

    * huge screens just are not mobile…
    * there are heavy tasks that just work better with storage and computing power close together…
    * thin clients can work with large displays and still be cool, quiet and unobtrusive…
    * desktop systems and notebooks can shrink quite a bit if we get rid of huge hard drives, power supplies, and CD drives. I expect a lot of the mobile tech will invade the desktop/notebook space…

    see Is XP finally dying or is it the PCs it’s been running on?

  • Linux Australia sorts out finances, keeps membership free

    Australia’s peak body for Linux and open source software, Linux Australia, will change its constitution and financial year arrangement this month and has committed to offering free memberships for anyone interested in the organisation’s programs and events.

    Linux Australia is an incorporated organisation in the state of NSW and operates as a non-profit, not a charity.

  • Windows is Dying… and so are Macintosh and Linux

    Writing in ZDnet.com, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has an interesting article. Well, it was interesting to me, and I suspect anyone else interested in the future of computing will enjoy reading it also. Vaughan-Nichols points out that the number of Windows XP computers has now slipped to slightly under 50% of all installed personal computers. Windows Vista remains steady at 10% and Windows 7 has edged up slightly to about 28% of the market. The small remaining percentages comprise Macintosh OS X plus a tiny handful of people who use Linux.

  • Indemnification assurance for community edition open source

    Bristol-based LinuxIT is launching an indemnification programme to underwrite community-based open source software. The company claims to be able to provide organisations with a “guarantee and assurance at zero risk”, no less.

    This arguably somewhat questionable claim is achieved by LinuxIT’s process of “verifying open source software” by running it through an accreditation process.

    The programme which is backed by an as yet unnamed “leading” global insurance-based financial services provider and a LinuxIT Service Level Agreement (SLA), which the company says enables LinuxIT to fix or replace software that does not work as expected. Cover to the value of £5m is provided.

  • Desktop

    • GNU/Linux on the Server Side Helps ‘Desktop Linux’

      The myths about “desktop Linux” are mostly associated and tied to “easy of use”. Many people, mostly ones with next to zero experience when it comes to GNU/Linux, have blindly decided that the slow growth of GNOME and KDE is due to an inherent problem other than marketing. But perceptions are changing when people discover that they are surrounded by GNU/Linux, even if their own client machine does not run a Free/libre operating system.

    • Linux Netbook Review: ZaReason Teo Pro Netbook

      The Teo Pro is yet another netbook running Ubuntu Linux and equipped with the venerable Atom N450. In fact, spec wise the Teo Pro is almost identical to the Terra HD except that the Teo Pro has a 10.1 inch 1024×600 LCD and one less USB port. Everything else in the loaner they sent me is equivalent to the Terra HD. As shipped, my loaner had a Atom N450, Intel NM10 Chipset, Intel GMA 3150 graphics, Intel HD Audio, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1.3 Megapixel Webcam, 10/100 Ethernet, 2 GB of ram and a 40 GB SSD. The default configuration opts for a 320 GB 5400 RPM hard disk and 1 GB Ram. The SSD makes this netbook a little faster than my normal netbook since it has a set of spinning platters.

    • KVM Virtualization: Ready for the Desktop?

      There are almost more virtualization tools out there today than even Wikipedia can count. KVM, however, stands out among them as perhaps the only free, non-commercial and open source hypervisor designed for enterprise-grade performance. And it’s come far in its (comparatively) short life — so far, in fact, that it may be time to consider it as a virtualization solution for the desktop as well as the server.

      KVM, which stands for Kernel-based Virtual Machine and has nothing to do with KVM switches, is a somewhat younger project than most of its major competitors including VMware’s hypervisors, VirtualBox and Xen. It’s also different from many other virtualization tools because it focuses on deep integration with the kernel itself, theoretically providing performance advantages over hypervisors that exist mainly in userspace.

    • 5 great uses for your old Windows computer

      Linux tester. Many Linux users start with an older machine to avoid the shame of buyer’s remorse (or, well, installer’s remorse, anyway). Linux isn’t a resource hog, so even decrepit old machines can usually handle it with grace and style. If you’re curious, it’s incredibly simple to install Ubuntu, and much easier than you would think to actually make a complete transition from Windows.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • A Look at the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard 3.0

      It was big news when the 3.0 kernel was released at the end of July, but as luck would have it, another fundamental piece of your average distribution is about to bump its own version number up to 3.0 as well: the filesystem hierarchy standard (FHS). If you’re not sure exactly what that means or why you should care, don’t worry. It’s the distros that implement the FHS — when it goes well, all you know is that your system runs smoothly. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing important hidden away in this new release.

    • Linux Creator Linus Torvalds and Other Hackers Don Penguin Suits, Tuxedos at Formal Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Linux
    • The First Shot Towards GStreamer 1.0

      Back in June I mentioned the plans for GStreamer 1.0 and that work is now beginning to materialize. GStreamer 0.11 has just been officially released as the first development snapshot for what will turn into the notable GStreamer 1.0 release.

    • Intel Sandy Bridge Speeds Up On Linux 3.1 Kernel

      Last week the DRM pull went in for the Linux 3.1 kernel. For the Intel DRM graphics driver in the Linux kernel there is frame-buffer compression clean-ups, high color support, ring frequency scaling, shared LLC support, and hang-check module disabling. Compared to the Linux 3.0 kernel, the driver improvements significantly boost the open-source graphics performance for Intel Sandy Bridge hardware.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Multiple X Servers For One Graphics Card, Again

        One of the long sought after features of X.Org and the Linux graphics stack has been the ability to run multiple X Servers from a single graphics card. While this wouldn’t be used by many, there are still many interested in seeing this feature request become a reality.

      • A Handful Of Patches Arrive For Wayland
      • NVIDIA 280 Linux Driver Series Becomes Official
      • A Modular Rendering System For ioquake3 Engine

        The ioquake3 game engine, the open-source project built around id Software’s Quake 3 engine release and is used by a number of multi-platform games, has its rendering system now modularized.

        The ioquake3 project has long had asspirations to move to a modular rendering system (see this Wiki page from last uear) in order to modernize this Quake 3 engine adaptation while maintaining compatibility with original Quake 3 content. In particular, developers are interested in modernizing the graphics and content capabilities.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • OpenBox 3.5.0 Window Manager Released

      OpenBox, the window manager originally derived from Blackbox and is used by the LXDE desktop environment and other niche configurations, has just reached its version 3.5 milestone release.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • new Plasma Active repos
      • Shadow and no Oxygen
      • Amarok 2.4.3 “Berlin”

        As you may remember, the last beta release was 2.4.2 beta 1. After that, we did roll a 2.4.2 (final) tarball, but because of some issues which were fixed right after the tag we decided to make another tarball and call it 2.4.3.

      • Kde 4.7 Released And In The Wild

        If you are a 4.6 user who has just upgraded, don’t expect to be aware of major changes the first time you reboot. Some of the core applications have been updated, but most of the work has gone into improving the underlying frameworks. The applications themselves have been shifted to a greater reliance on Akonadi, the PIM storage framework and NEPOMUK, the semantic information database.

        Kontact is the KDE PIM suite that includes email, contacts and appointments. Again, don’t expect to see many apparent differences when using the applications as most of the changes take the form of a switch to Anakondi for data storage. The mail component, Kmail is an example of this as it has been rechristened Kmail 2, although it looks almost identical to the previous version.

      • Modular KDE 4.7.0 arrives for Slackware

        The 4.7.0 release comes in the form of many more tarballs than usual. I needed to find time to re-write the KDE.SlackBuild we use to compile all of the KDE-related packages, and the holiday period was the first time I found some time to think and work on the script. I took the modular X.Org script and modeled the new KDE.SlackBuild after that. The advantage with the new script is that new source tarballs can easily be incorporated into the build framework now, and the new package that would be created from that source takes only a few extra lines of configuration to be added. Unfortunately, writing and testing took a while, and you had to wait for a complete set of packages a little longer.

      • Continuous Integration for KWin
      • New Pup is Born, Dolphin 2.0

        Dolphin, that underappreciated file manager shipped with KDE, has had a hard time. Many users didn’t want it in the first place. Many were upset that it replaced Konqueror as the default file manager. Some have real complaints and will never be happy with it. But those who use Dolphin might be happy with some of the newest changes coming in KDE 4.8.

        Peter Penz today blogged about his latest work on Dolphin and the major improvement he discussed was the “view-engine” for the view mode. Dolphin currently uses Qt’s Interview Framework which might be slow, unstable, and a pain for developers to work with. For these reasons Penz said he will be switching to Itemviews-NG which is said to make things “simpler, faster, and easier to use.”

      • Phonon VLC 0.4.1 – The Rise of Legacy Media

        This thrilling new release of the VLC backend for Phonon features vastly improved subtitle loading, support for it, s3m and xm, as well as greater stability in case of a broken libvlc installation.

      • Try KDE 4.7.0 now
      • Improvements in KOrganizer 4.7
      • KDE 4.7 – You didn’t think you would get off that easily, would you?
      • wetabirific

        Last week, I received a WeTab, hansomely provided into my care by the folks at OpenSLX so that I can track Plasma Active development on that device. Getting it set up was quite straight forward, particularly as the one I received already had firmware that supported booting from external media. Perfect. After a few small glitches related to the release of Plasma Workspaces 4.7, which caused some of the repositories to move around for us, I got the thing up and running. There are still some rough edges, and I’m hoping Sebastian and I can huddle together during the upcoming Berlin Desktop Summit to file some of them off as he probably currently has more experience with the WeTab and Plasma Active than anyone else.

        One result of having the WeTab in my hands is that I’ve been able to start collecting a list of tasks that need attention between now and the 1.0 release of Contour. It’s also giving me great hands-on opportunities with Plasma Active on a device of this form factor.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Visual Identity manual
      • Can GNOME 3 Become the Next Big Open Source UI Contender?

        To my surprise, GNOME Shell in its latest iteration actually worked relatively well. Not only was it stable — more stable, in fact, than the normal Ubuntu 11.04 interface, which has been crashing my Intel Sandy Bridge graphics driver periodically for reasons I’m still trying to track down — but it was also actually usable, a far cry from the last (beta) version of the interface I’d tested.

  • Distributions

    • FOSS, Linux, Distros and Life

      Distros. Fool me once, shame on you. My dear wife and I have come to the realization that distros are willing to throw their users to the curb for any or no reason. Those of you who drive the distro development need to pay more attention to your users. In fact, that is the only thing you should be looking at. I or we shall use what works. Make it hard to set up or hard to install missing whatevers and we will just download and try the other guy’s distro. If we have a distro we like and the community within that distro is rude or unfriendly, well I guess we know where we do not belong. Some of the communities that are distro-specific have become exclusionary to the extreme. They will not play with others. I live in a town of 12,000 or so people. We have 13 different churches, all Christian, and 14 AA groups. So maybe I am wrong, being divisive may be the way of the future? Group hug?

    • New Releases

      • SystemRescueCD & Parted Magic update to Linux 3.0

        The developers of the SystemRescueCd and the Parted Magic multi-platform partitioning tool have released new versions of their Linux distributions. Both of the updates are based on the latest 3.0 release of the Linux kernel and offer a number of changes and package updates, such as Firefox 5 and version 0.9.0 of the GNOME Partition Editor (GParted).

        Version 6.4 of Parted Magic has some “major improvements” on systems with Radeon and Mobile4 graphics cards. Other changes include updating Clonezilla to version 1.2.9-19. The developers also note that SMP support was removed from the i486 kernel, and an option to use the NV driver has been added to the failsafe menu due to issues with the Nouveau X.org driver.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Japanese in PCLinuxOS? Of course!

        After having installed PCLinuxOS 2011.6, I must say that I am very pleased with it. Differently from Mandriva 2010.2, I can see videos and listen to MP3 files out of the box and I don’t need to fiddle with the system to mount the partitions where my other Linux distributions are. It seems that everything works as expected. Great!

        But I still had one concern. Although I’m not a power user, for my work, I require a feature that is not very common: a Japanese input method editor. That’s one major area (of the many) where Windows 7 fails miserably; you are expected to pay more to obtain a Japanese-capable system, which is a rip off because regular XP did include a Japanese IME. Oh, well, we are familiar with the “Less-is-more” philosophy underlying Windows…Too bad it doesn’t apply to your pocket ;-)

      • Mageia 1

        It’s unfortunate that as venerable a distro as Mandriva ran into some corporate trouble. However, I’ve always been the type that believes you should make lemonade out of lemons and so apparently are the Mageia developers. They have taken a bad situation and turned it into something very positive indeed! Mageia is off to a very good start and I look forward to seeing more releases of this fine distro.

        I particularly like how community-oriented Mageia is; the Mageia developers have made it very easy for users to participate and help develop this distro. That’s a great approach and I think it will reap a lot of dividends for Mageia as the years go by and this distro matures.

      • Time for some news

        As most of you who are following either my twitter or facebook has already noticed, I am working at Intel now, within the Intel Linux Graphics group.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Review: CentOS 6.0

        So what’s the deal? CentOS is outwardly identical to Scientific Linux except for four things: branding, lack of boot splash, lack of multimedia codecs included out-of-the-box, and lack of compositing/desktop effects out-of-the-box.

      • Red Hat completes 10 years of Linux Kernel Leadership

        This milestone presents a good opportunity to reflect on what has been an exciting and vibrant period of time

        The recent numbering change in the Linux kernel brings to a close a 10 year history of the prior kernel series. This milestone presents a good opportunity to reflect on what has been an exciting and vibrant period of time – over 10 million lines of code have been added to the Linux kernel. This is a great testament to the power of community. Over time, the contribution levels among companies has fluctuated, however, Red Hat has consistently been among the top employer contributors. The fine folks at LWN in cooperation with several developers have long maintained statistics and reported results.

      • Red Hat Extends Open Source Summer Teaching Program to the Academic Year

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the expansion of its Professors’ Open Source Summer Experience (POSSE) 2011 that took place in late July in Raleigh, NC. Now in it third year, POSSE is a higher education faculty program that immerses professors in the culture, tools and practices of open source communities. Due to the overwhelming success of this year’s summer weekend workshop, several POSSE activities are scheduled throughout the 2011-2012 North American school year.

      • Fedora

        • Governance and scarcity.

          Recall the friction a year or two ago regarding how to advertise different spins of Fedora on the website, and whether or not the layout would recommend a default spin, or promote one spin as a first-among-equals. Real estate on the front page of fedoraproject.org is a scarce resource, which leads to lots of people debating the most efficient way to allocate it.

    • Debian Family

      • Debconf

        I’m very excited about the recent progress on expo.debian.net (a mentors.debian.net replacement), which could help streamline our sponsorship process.

      • Recent improvements with Debian GNU/kFreeBSD

        Debian GNU/kFreeBSD was first released with Squeeze in last february. The “technology preview” label indicated, among other things, that it had a number of limitations when compared with what users would expect: missing features, incomplete functionality, etc.

      • Derivatives

        • Aptosid 2011-02: is it any good?

          Aptosid is Debian-based Linux distribution aiming desktops of users wishing to live on cutting edge of technology. It is based on Debian Sid, which is unstable branch. Sid is kind of sandbox where developers can test their ideas before they are moved to Testing and eventually to Stable releases. It means that while Debian as whole is considered by many as rock-solid system, Sid should never be considered as such. And this is a platform for Aptosid.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Software Centre’s New Look

            Few people would argue that the Ubuntu Software Cenre in its current forms needs a makeover. Thankfully it is getting one, although whether or not it will be ready in time for Oneiric’s release in October is a whole different debate.

          • Interview with Em
          • Many Ubuntu Users Still Hate The Unity Desktop

            Two weeks ago on Phoronix it was asked what do you dislike or hate about Ubuntu? This was following a discussion on the Ubuntu development list about Ubuntu developer applicants being asked about what they like the least about Ubuntu. The overwhelming response among Phoronix readers was clear: they still really hate the Unity desktop.

          • Getting to know Ubuntu Software Center

            For all of Ubuntu’s ease of use (and, yes, I do find it easy to use), installing software can be a pain. There are so many ways to do the deed: manually installing software, using apt-get, compiling, using .deb packages. And, of course, my (least) favourite: Synaptic Package Manager).

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 226
          • Canonical Sees Seven Opportunities for Ubuntu Partners

            Seeking to promote Ubuntu to resellers and distributors, Canonical is making a surprise appearance this week at CompTIA Breakaway in Washington, D.C. Here, Canonical is outlining seven potential profit opportunities for partners that back Ubuntu, a Linux distribution that has mobile, desktop, server and cloud computing capabilities. Equally important, Canonical is promoting Landscape — a remote management tool — for VARs and MSPs.

          • New game titles in the Ubuntu Software Center

            We’ve recently added a few titles to the Ubuntu Software Center and have been hard at work on getting more diverse applications landed there. BEEP! by Big Fat Alien and Heileen from Hanako Games have recently landed in the Software Center.

          • Ubuntu IVI Remix receives GENIVI Alliance Compliance Approval
          • Unity Facebook App Adds Muti-photo Uploads and Easier Installation
          • What’s Not To Like About Ubuntu?

            Phoronix recently ran a survey, asking users to tell them what they dislike (or hate) about Ubuntu. The results are interesting, but seem to me to be completely predictable to everyone except Canonical themselves. What do users hate the most? Unity, of course. A couple of others hit some of my pet peeves as well – such as the “Not Invented Here” syndrome, which causes Ubuntu to put massive amounts of effort into re-inventing things (often inferior), and their general slowness in updating packages. That slowness extends beyond the inherent delay because they try to make major package updates in conjunction with their own 6-month release cycle, to situations where they really fall significantly behind an upstream package release even after they have made their own 6-month release.

          • The Road to Alpha 3

            All the changes in this week’s desktop team report have landed for the Alpha 3 release of Oneiric that will be out sometime today.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 3 – behind the scenes with Oneiric Ocelot

            Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 3 (otherwise known as Oneiric Ocelot) is available today. The sub-cycle between Alpha 2 and 3 has been quite intensive with a number of things taking place, says Dave Walker, Ubuntu Server’s technical lead…

          • Canonical Expands Partnerships with Game Developers
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Arios and gNatty – two interesting remaster of Ubuntu

              Maybe you are disappointed by Unity and looking for something new? But you would not like to go away from the known Ubuntu environment?

              Of course, Ubuntu like any Linux distribution, you can customize the look and the behaviour in the way you want. Depending on the knowledge you have, it will be more or less successfully. Or if you do not have time to adjust, try some of the already finished remaster . You may find some that you will like.
              Arios and gNatty are two remaster of Ubuntu using Ubuntu 11.04 as a basis for the operating system.
              Arios is configured to be an usable distribution, while gNatty it’s just an interesting concept that still needs a lot of work.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Why the Tablet Craze?

        I made a post last year titled “The Year of the Tablet Computer”. It is now over half way through 2011 and it seems the touch screen craze is far from over. Apple has released the second iteration of their iPad, we are up to our ears in Android tablets from various hardware makers and a Meego tablet or two might still exist before the year is up. I’ve played with the iPad a bit, I’ve used more than a few different Android tablets (I even own one for purposes of developing Bodhi for ARM) and I must say I’m confused what all the hype is about.

      • Tablet for toddlers runs Android 2.3

        A start-up called Vinci is taking pre-orders at Amazon.com for a seven-inch Android 2.3 tablet designed as an educational tool for toddlers. The safety-compliant Vinci Tab is equipped with a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, 4GB or 8GB of flash, a seven-inch, 800 x 480 touchscreen, a three-megapixel camera, a wrap-around handle, and a variety of early-learning apps.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Helps eBay Process $2000 Per Second

    The online auction house eBay continuously executes $2,000 worth of transactions a second and, to do so, requires a highly reliable transaction processing environment. EBay recently revealed that a key element of its transaction software is the WSO2 open source enterprise service bus (ESB).

  • Netatalk returns to open source

    NetAFP, the Netatalk developers, have announced that they are to resume open development of Netatalk and have updated the project’s git repository with the latest source. In early July, NetAFP, the Netatalk developers, announced they were only making the source code for Netatalk 2.2.0 available to paying customers. The timing of the move was well chosen as, within weeks of that, Apple released its latest version of Mac OS X, Lion, which uses AFP (Apple Filing Protocol) 3.3. The latest version of AFP mandates support for Replay Cache functionality and this feature is also required by Lion’s Time Machine.

  • Free Software for Little People: Interview

    Right, so I said I would follow up on the last post on this topic by asking a few questions to the comic’s creators, and I have! I dropped them an e-mail, Effy even tranSL:ated the first message for me, sent a few questions and these are their answers. I hope you find it interesting, I’m sure the team behind the comic will be pleased to hear any thoughts or further questions you have in the comments below.

    The interview was collaborately answered by: Iris Fernandez and Franco Iacomella (scrip authors); Emmanuel Cerino and Ivan Zigaran (artists).

  • Events

    • OSCON 2011: Open Source has moved from “disruption to default”

      Portland Oregon is (apparently) famous for rain, rose gardens and (now) OSCON, the open source conference now in its 13th year.

      Staged under the banner of O’Reilly technical publishing, this event’s ex-post “content” is now all online, so rather than preview the event, I am going to point to a couple of links now fully live.

    • Back from OSCon
  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • The Subverted GPL

      Just look at how the GPL has been subverted by the client-server model. You are never technically in possession of the software – only the output – so it is apparently exempt from any distribution clauses your license may have. BSD, GPL, doesn’t matter – you can’t get the code. The only one that apparently solves this issue is the AGPL and nobody ever seems to use it. The valued ‘freedoms’ are almost entirely gone with the client-server approach. Want the code to the modifications I have made on this site? Tough. As an end user you still have no rights to the code nor the modifications made. Yet there seems to be little to no attention made to this fact despite the large focus on ‘freedom’. Surely putting two computers in a box with a VNC setup is enough to defeat the GPL entirely given these circumstances? It’s certainly massively against the spirit of the thing but is this ever even discussed? Or is it just GPL, praise, praise, when the actual license is irrelevant?

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Developer Glimpse Proves Balance

      Florian Effenberger recently posted statistics of the number of developers contributing to the LibreOffice project. Several months ago, Cedric Bosdonnat offered data on the number of contribution and contributors from the various sources. While Effenberger’s post provides much less detail, it still provides a glimpse into the composition of the growing community.

  • CMS

    • New features for the Mollom module for Drupal

      We have just released new versions of the Mollom module for Drupal 6 and Drupal 7.

    • State of Drupal 2011 survey

      The last time I organized a State of Drupal survey was in 2008. The results of the 2008 survey were instrumental in shaping Drupal 7 as well as directing the work of the Drupal Association on drupal.org.

      Now three years later, I created a new survey. The results of this survey will guide thousands of people in the Drupal community over the next two years.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 9.0 Goes Into Beta

      It seems that finally hitting the FTP mirrors are the ISO images for the first FreeBSD 9.0 beta. This is the first dramatic update to the FreeBSD operating system in nearly two years since the FreeBSD 8.0 release. FreeBSD 9.0 is officially expected to be released in September.

    • PC-BSD Goes Into 9.0 Beta With New Features

      Following the news yesterday that FreeBSD 9.0 Beta 1 is now available, the PC-BSD crew has spun their first 9.0 beta release. Beyond incorporating the updates from FreeBSD 9.0, the PC-BSD 9.0 release is set to carry other desktop-friendly advancements on top.

      Among the PC-BSD 9.0 Beta 1 features are support for multiple window managers, support for meta-pkgs, an improved PBI system, a new AppCafe, an updated installer, network setup GUI improvements, a new system-update utility, a new backup utility, and a new PC-BSD control panel.

    • Memory File System in FreeBSD
  • Public Services/Government

    • EU-law on re-use of public sector data may include source code

      Public administrations in the EU facing resistance to their publishing of software as open source, are likePublic administrations in the EU facing resistance to their publishing of software as open source, are likely supported by a European Law, the ‘Directive on the re-use of public sector information’. The PSI-directive, part of member states’ national laws since 2005, obliges public administrations to avoid discrimination between market players, when making information available for re-use. Making source code available as open source is one way to avoid favouritism. ly supported by a European Law, the ‘Directive on the re-use of public sector information’. The PSI-directive, part of member states’ national laws since 2005, obliges public administrations to avoid discrimination between market players, when making information available for re-use. Making source code available as open source is one way to avoid favouritism.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Space Exploration Gets Open Sourced

        Last week, O’Reilly’s OSCON 2011 dished out a couple of courses of open source for space exploration, with NASA discussing its General Mission Analysis Tool (GMAT) and Ariel Waldman plugging the concept of “Hacking Space Exploration.” NASA is also bragging about the launch of its open government blog at open.nasa.gov.

  • Programming


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Privacy

    • In Defense of Internet Anonymity — Again

      A second flashpoint is the anti-pseudonym policy of the new social networking site Google+. Part of the problem is that Google appears to have been caught by surprise on the issue, and has applied its terms of service inconsistently, banning some users of pseudonyms from all Google services, and restricting others to read only access. There are even rumors that Google is preventing its employees from speaking on the matter, and that a massive internal debate is happening inside Google.

      But equally important is the fact that Google+ is applying the policy so strictly that even long established pseudonyms are rejected, as well as any names that are judged by Google employees to be false. Even the common practice among Chinese and other nationals of assuming an unofficial English name seems to have been rejected by Google in some instances.


Links 7/8/2011: Red Eclipse Released, KDE 4.7 Praises

Posted in News Roundup at 7:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Document Exchange: The World Has Changed, Billy

    Microsoft, for its part, needs to change some of its stances concerning open source if it wants to remain a big player in this new world that we see everyday. FUD campaigns are not working; users are gradually opening their eyes to see that they are suffering from the abusive policies of a company that lies to them. Some of them have already seen Linux computers which make their own Windows 7 PCs look like outdated dinosaurs that offer them the same problems found in computers a decade ago.

    Steve Ballmer is delusional if he thinks that young people, those mobile phone-thumbing individuals, belong to the recalcitrant, almost extinct user base that yells “Windows or nothing!”

    Bill Gates knew that the success of Windows depended on the ignorance of computer users. However, the world has changed, Billy… You wouldn’t believe how the world has changed…

  • A new life for old computers

    One group of computer buffs was way ahead of the game when the state on July 1 required that old computers no longer could be thrown in garbage dumps.

    The Columbia Linux Users Group has been recycling computers in a different way for a couple of years. They take old (but not too old) computers, wipe their systems clean and install the free Linux operating system and Linux-based software. Then they give the computers to recreation centers and charity groups.

  • Linux Day
  • Desktop

    • Don’t fear the penguin – there’s a Linux package for every taste

      But the reputation is undeserved. Linux hardly makes any special demands on users and is about as simple to use as Windows or Mac OS. Indeed, the most daunting prospect with Linux is choosing between the variety of versions available – and the ability to dive beneath the user interface and get deep into the software, if you’re so inclined.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Hurd mentality

        While recently there was the merging of Mesa pipe-video to master. most of the recent video decoding work going on within the Gallium3D world has been into the ATI/AMD R600 Gallium3D driver for XvMC and now VDPAU support too. This is after the R300 support matured a fair amount, but the first one to the Gallium3D video decoding party was Nouveau. Worked on several years ago as part of the Google Summer of Code was Nouveau Gallium3D video coding. Fortunately, some of this work has been resurrected.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Smart Folders in KDE Workspace

        So, a few days ago I was talking with an apple fanboy friend of mine who used to be KDE user before being abducted by the i* family of products (he started with an iPhone, he ended with i*Everything…). Anyway he is still using KDE from time to time so I asked him what is the feature he misses most when he is using KDE, the answer as you may gest was “Smart Folders”.

      • Instant apps

        Recently the Plasma library just got a new neat feature: the support for packages of files the are pretty generic, not bounded to being a “plasmoid”.

      • Upgraded to KDE 4.7

        Some people may find it odd that I don’t track KDE releases very closely — at least, not on my Linux machines, which includes my laptop. There things tend to be “whatever DVD is on the top of the pile gets installed” and updates happen only rarely. Quite different from my OpenIndiana or FreeBSD boxes, which track KDE closely.

        Anyway, I saw so much buzz and enthusiasm for KDE 4.7.0 that I wanted to update my desktop machine at home. It was running Kubuntu 10.04 LTS (with whatever KDE came with that, probably KDE 4.4). That meant a three-step upgrade path: 10.04 to 10.10 (I used these instructions on techie-buzz), 10.10 to 11.04 (repeat the upgrade-to-newer-release steps) and 11.04 to 11.04 + KDE 4.7.0 (the install instructions are clear and point elsewhere to add the KDE backports repository — some of the screenshots don’t match what I saw, but it’s well done).

  • Distributions

    • Choice is good

      Then I went to DistroWatch.com because, frankly, I hadn’t been there in awhile. For those of you who are interested in all things FOSS, DistroWatch is an interesting place to not only keep up with which distros are peaking and ebbing in the great scoreboard of FOSS, but also to see who has released what when, and sometimes, why.

      I decided to take a look at how many active distros — including those which also are Solaris- and BSD-based — there are as of today, July 31. It’s down a bit since I last looked, which has been literally several years ago.

    • Gentoo Family

      • KDE development environment in Gentoo

        In short, what I want is:

        * download the sources somewhere in my homedir
        * my everyday user to have write permissions to them
        * non-bare clones
        * url = anongit.kde.org AND pushUrl = git.kde.org, if possible directly on initial clone
        * if possible, have a live and a regular release side by side

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora package social networking
        • Praise for Fedora 15 and KDE 4.6.x – A great experience!

          Some old time Fedora users may be aware of Fedora’s poor track record when it comes to KDE although things have been changing ever since the release of KDE 4.x. I regularly try Fedora KDE and so far haven’t been fully convinced with the experience until now.

          As a fan of both Fedora and KDE it gives me pleasure to say Fedora 15 with KDE 4.6.x is a great experience!

          Over the past few months I haven’t had a single crash or experienced any bugs with Fedora 15 and KDE 4.6.x. I am also particularly impressed with the fact that the latest (minor updates) versions of KDE are included in the standard update repositories.

    • Debian Family

      • New beowulf cluster at EDF (200 Tflops) based on Debian 6.0 Squeeze

        Électricité de France S.A. is pleased to announce that its new supercomputer, which is 200 Tflops and 43rd in the latest TOP500 (June 2011), is based on Debian Squeeze.

        This supercomputer, called Ivanoe, is made of compute nodes, graphical nodes, connexion servers and infrastructure servers. This represents 1454 IDataPlex IBM Servers and 200 Tflops.

      • DebConf11 ends as another success for the Debian Project

        The annual Debian Conference ended today after being held for the previous week in Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has been a great success for the Debian Project.

      • Derivatives

        • Knoppix 6.7.0 Live Linux distribution released

          Version 6.7.0 of the Knoppix Live Linux distribution is now available to download free of charge from the project’s download server or via BitTorrent. As usual there are English and German versions for CD or DVD.

          Version 6.7.0 of the Debian-based live distribution uses the Linux kernel and has LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) as its default desktop. It includes version 3.3.3 of the LibreOffice suite, the Chromium 12 web browser, the Pidgin IM client, GIMP and Wine 1.0.1. There is also a new release of the ADRIANE (Audio Desktop Reference Implementation And Networking Environment) version designed for blind and partially-sighted users.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Interview with Cheri Francis on UDS
          • Flavours and Variants

            • The Linux Setup – Clement Lefebvre, Linux Mint

              Clement Lefebvre probably doesn’t need much of an introduction. As the founder of Linux Mint, he’s seeing more and more users flock to the various flavors of his distribution. Linux Mint began with a reputation for being a nicer, easier to use take on Ubuntu. Now, it often seems poised to replace Ubuntu as the go-to Linux distribution for new and experienced users.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi Interview With Eben Upton

      The robot revolution just got a little closer thanks to some of the cool devices that are coming down the pipe. One such cool device is called the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi device is basically a $25 Linux PC on a credit card sized board! This microcomputer looks perfectly suited as a low cost, micro form factor, low power, PC performance robot brain. If you think that’s unbelievable, well, believe it! Sure it’s not available just yet but already the Alpha Boards are being manufactured and they anticipate the devices will be available for sale later in 2011.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Asus Unveils 2 New Linux-Powered Netbooks

        Asus introduced the Eee PC back in 2007. This quickly became the standard for netbooks. In fact, some say the Eee PC coined the term netbook. Earlier this week, the Eee PC line was updated with two new models, the X101 and R011PX (shown above). Both models feature 10.1″ displays, built-in cameras, 4 hour batteries, 802.11B/G/N networking, and SD card slots.

      • Tablet smackdown: Galaxy Tab 10.1 vs. iPad 2

        Before launching into this review, which pits Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 against Apple’s iPad 2, I took a few days to familiarize myself with the Galaxy Tab’s Android 3.1 (“Honeycomb”) OS. The thing is, I’d already used iOS on an iPod Touch for two years, but was a rank newbie when it came to Android.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Song of the Leaders

    Leadership requires some mental agility in FOSS. For one thing, distributed development that includes a large number of volunteers means that hierarchal models of leadership don’t work. The means of coercion are automatically fewer, and aren’t as effective over a distance as they are person to person.

  • Open source opening doors to IT

    Danishka Navin speaks to the Mirror about revolutionizing IT needs among those in the outstations with open source software

    Danishka Navin saw a problem. In the rural regions of Sri Lanka people were struggling with the advancement of IT; students had to compete with the internet savvy kids of more privileged surroundings and teachers found it hard to keep up with the computer related modes of teaching. Danishka realized that a certain percentage of the younger generation was being left behind.

    The solution was free open source software that replaced the more expensive variants like Windows software, giving them a better change at a fast developing future. Hanthana Linux is a remix of the popular Linux distribution Fedora and was built with the aim of easily fulfilling the needs of people who don’t have consistent Internet facilities and people with minimal computer experience.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice


    • Hurd mentality

      It’s taken more than 25 years to develop but the Hurd operating system may soon be released.

      It’s been more than 25 years in the making and yet most people have never heard of it. Now the Free Software Foundation’s Hurd operating system may finally get to show what it has to offer.

      A little history: decades ago Richard Stallman began work on a completely free (as in freedom) Unix-like operating system. Frustrated by the increasingly proprietary software world around him, Stallman set about to rewrite the tools and applications that made up a typical Unix operating system.

  • Public Services/Government

    • CH: Proprietary competitors delay unwrapping of open source DMS

      A protest by Swiss proprietary software vendors is delaying the publication as open source of OpenJustitia, a document management system (DMS) developed in-house by the federal court. The court planned to unwrap the DMS in late August, but will now wait until after the court’s control committee in the parliament has looked into the complaints. This committee will consider the case sometime after the summer.

  • Licensing

    • Harmony horrors

      On the other side of the web, I kept discussing Harmony with Allison (Canonical) until I asked something and got no response anymore.

      Bringing up arguments like “it provides more clarity to contributors, a ‘check point’ to look at the legal situation and reassurance of legal status to users” or the already-debunked “but it is helps protect the copyrights and handling of disappearing contributors” doesn’t convince me that contributors should sign away their code while running the risk TO GET SUED BY THE COMPANY THEY JUST GAVE THEIR CODE TO FOR WRITING IT IN THE FIRST PLACE. Seriously, that’s a risk, read Michael’s post.


  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • CD and DVD ripping to be legalised in UK copyright reform

        Time for another ripping yarn from CNET UK — and today the ripping in question is the copying of CDs and DVDs to your computer, which believe it or not is actually illegal. It’s a triumph for common sense as government takes on board a number of suggestions for reforming copyright and intellectual property law.


Links 6/8/2011: Catching Up With a Week Ago

Posted in News Roundup at 5:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • 11 More Places You Would Never Expect To See Linux

    Here are 11 other cool or weird things that use Linux.

  • Would you like fries with that?

    I learned this trick in the Nineties, when, for further reasons I won’t bore you with, a friend of mine was buying a desktop PC in a large UK electrical chain. The assistant then was busying himself trying to sell my friend the after-care service, and I assured him that we had a further friend who would be able to resolve any problems should they arise. “Oh”, hissed the assistant in question, “so your friend is a qualified Mitac engineer is he?”. I played this one simply and succinctly. “Yes he is”, I calmly answered. The sales assistant gave up. I felt, in truth, really quite pleased with myself.

    This time, though, I wasn’t quite so lucky. Once I’d found the laptop that I needed to get – with the only OSes on offer being Windows 7 and Mac OS – I called the assistant over. It was going well. “I’d like this one, please,” I said, expecting some favourable acknowledgement in return.

  • [Joke] Top 10 Reasons to Switch to Windows
  • [Joke] Why Closed Source Software is More Secure
  • Desktop

    • The top five Linux desktop vendors

      It’s really not that hard to give Linux a try on a desktop or notebook. But, I get it. Not everyone is comfortable with burning operating system ISOs to a CD and then booting a computer from it. If that’s you, or a friend of yours, then consider just buying a PC or laptop that has Linux on it that’s ready to go.

    • Affordable But Capable Ubuntu-powered Laptop Computers

      Ubuntu, slowly but steadily, is gaining prominence in the Microsoft-dominated world of desktop, laptop and netbook computers. While this gradual rise may not be enough for your next-door Joe to switch to Ubuntu, it does however give the devoted Linux user some decent choice while buying his or her new laptop.

      Recently, laptops and netbooks have started showing up in the market and are pre-loaded with Ubuntu. Though this may not be any different than buying a Windows-based laptop and replacing the OS with Ubuntu, it does offer a few advantages. Buying an Ubuntu-powered PC allows you to overcome the initial hiccups many new Linux users face, which are mainly related to hardware incompatibilities.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • CUPS 1.5.0 Released With Several New Features

      For those still in a non-paper-less world, CUPS, the printing system for Linux, Mac OS X, and other operating systems, has been updated. CUPS 1.5 was just officially released today and its release, which is largely developed by Apple, comes just shortly following the Mac OS X 10.7 Lion release. CUPS 1.5 brings several new features and changes to the printing world.

    • Torvalds’s Git: The ‘it’ technology for software version control

      Git, the open source distributed software version control system pioneered by Linux founder Linus Torvalds in 2005, is now gaining real momentum with developers. But don’t count out rivals like Mercurial and the still-dominant Apache Subversion platform.

      In the past three years, the Eclipse Community Survey on open source development has seen Git grow from 2 percent adoption in 2009 to nearly 13 percent this year, says Forrester analyst Jeffrey Hammond, who has assisted with the survey. “Pretty impressive,” he says. “It’s one of the reasons Eclipse has adopted Git as a supported alternative to Subversion for Eclipse projects.”

    • The DRM Pull For The Linux 3.1 Kernel

      Previously I talked about some of the DRM changes for Linux 3.1. What is found in David’s tree for the Linux 3.1 merge window is nearly the same. The open-source graphics driver changes queued up for the Linux 3.1 kernel aren’t nearly as exciting as what has been merged during some of the past kernel development cycles. There isn’t any major new hardware support, no ground-breaking features, or other really fundamental changes, but just some modest updates.

    • Goodbye Linux 2.6, Hello Linux 3.0

      It’s not every week a new major kernel version is released. This past week, the Linux Planet witnessed the Linux 3.0 release, the first major since the 2.6 kernel came out in 2003. It’s a number change that has more to do with history than technology, but it is a significant milestone nonetheless. The Linux kernel wasn’t the only part of the Linux ecosystem with updates this week: Oracle, Red Hat and SUSE all pushed out new releases as well.

    • Further adventures in EFI booting

      Many people still install Linux from CDs. But a growing number install from USB. In an ideal world you’d be able to download one image that would let you do either, but it turns out that that’s quite difficult. Shockingly enough, it’s another situation where the system firmware exists to make your life difficult.

    • Virtualisation

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Releases A Batch Of Vintage Linux Drivers

        On the ATI/AMD Radeon side, when your hardware is no longer supported by the mainline Catalyst driver (e.g. right now all Radeon X1000 [R500] GPUs and older), you’re left to use just the open-source driver stack, which obviously works quite well for many consumers on new and old hardware. AMD doesn’t update their legacy Catalyst support for this older hardware in terms of bug-fixes and support for new X.Org / Linux releases. NVIDIA though, however, is continuing to support their vintage hardware via legacy Linux driver updates. This week they’ve released four new drivers.

      • AMD Catalyst 11.7 Driver For Linux Brings…

        As has been pointed out in the forums, the AMD Catalyst 11.7 Linux driver for Radeon and FirePro graphics hardware has been released this morning. What new features does this proprietary driver bring?

        Well, it does bring support for the Linux 2.6.39/3.0 kernels. The Linux 2.6.39 kernel is at least being reported to work with Catalyst 11.7 driver after in previous releases needing to apply a patch for the kernel. The Linux 3.0 kernel should also work with this driver, fortunately, making it possible to use under Ubuntu 11.10 (Canonical isn’t upgrading to xorg-server 1.11, so the core requirements should now be met) and other recent distributions.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME vs. KDE vs. Unity: Customization Tools and Ease of Use

      Customization has always had a high priority on the Linux desktop. That hasn’t changed now that the two major desktops have become three — GNOME, KDE and Ubuntu’s Unity. If anything, as much as two-thirds of the complaints are about this trio.

      Often, the problem isn’t that a tool is missing, but that it’s been renamed or repositioned. But the questions remain: Which of the three major Linux desktops offers the most customization tools, and which tools are easiest to use?

    • My GUI

      Once you’ve got those files in your .fvwm directory, logging out of your usual Gnome/KDE/XFCE/whatever session and selecting “FVWM” on the login screen should be all you need to do. If it’s not that simple on your system, you probably know how to deal with it.

    • I really want to show icons
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Contouring resources
      • on a cloudy wednesday

        Yesterday was also the day that the Ausie couch surfers went home. Aside from leaving little stuffed kangaroos all around the house for me to find (they had a great sense of humor and adventure), they also left behind some nice memories such as when one of them pulled out their laptop with a rather old version of Linux on it running Xandros with KDE. Crazy! She’s now looking to upgrade to a new system but isn’t too smitten with the idea of Windows and had been looking at a Mac. While here, I had my laptop out for work and what not and she shoulder-surfed a bit. The result was that she asked how she could get a computer pre-installed with Plasma Desktop on it. Just seeing what it looked like and how well it works on a commodity laptop was enough to create that desire.

      • Running KWin with OpenGL ES 2.0

        Today we expect the release of the KDE Plasma Workspaces in version 4.7 which is the first release including an OpenGL ES 2.0/EGL backend in KWin. This does not only allow us to run KWin on OpenGL ES powered devices (I am particular looking forward to see KWin on Tegra 2 devices), but also gives us a much better compositing experience on the desktop systems. Thanks to the work on OpenGL ES 2.0 our default compositing backend is now OpenGL 2.x based instead of OpenGL 1.x as it was till 4.6.

      • Awesomeness to land in KDE with release 4.7

        Ever since the bumpy start of KDE 4 series, KDE has maintained a steady improvement, consistently bringing stability, performance and features, as well as raising its overall quality release after release. Personally, I think KDE 4.4 was the first release to really bring stability and performance to high standard levels, while 4.5 and 4.6 have managed to improve that even further and expand that same level of quality to other areas.

      • KDE 4.7 – all your emails are belong to us
      • What is your best favourite KDE distro?
    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 3: Awesome Designs for “Music” and “Documents” File Browsing

        New and exciting ways of interacting with files are being explored in GNOME 3.

        Rather than just navigate to and ‘view’ your files the following designs show off features and interfaces that are helpful, modern and in keeping with the modern GNOME desktop.

      • Linus Torvalds would like to see a GNOME fork
      • DIDO?
      • GNOME Shell 3.1.4 released

        GNOME Shell provides core user interface functions for the GNOME 3 desktop, like switching to windows and launching applications. GNOME Shell takes advantage of the capabilities of modern graphics hardware and introduces innovative user interface concepts to provide a visually attractive and easy to use experience.

      • GNOME Shell, Mutter Move One Step Forward

        In readying for the GNOME 3.1.4 development release, there’s new development builds available for the GNOME Shell and Mutter — two of the key components of the GNOME 3 desktop.

      • A Worthy Alternative to Gnome 3 and Unity

        I’m back with a few opinions about the world of Linux and specifically the controversial state of desktop/window managers.

        As anyone who knows anything about Linux is no doubt familiar, the state of Linux for average desktop users has been changing a lot since Ubuntu 11.04 came out in April. Instead of Gnome 3 Shell, or Gnome 2.3; Ubuntu now uses the Unity desktop interface. Many people like it, but many people also dislike it in its present state of development. It may have been released a bit prematurely, but I imagine Unity and its ability for customization will improve greatly when Ubuntu 11.10 comes out, and in the coming years.

  • Distributions

    • Linux and BSD desktop distributions with support for disk encryption
    • Spotlight on Linux: Linvo GNU/Linux

      After an earlier quick look, it seemed Linvo GNU/Linux was worthy of a spotlight. Linvo is a Slackware-based distribution featuring GNOME 2.32 and is shipped as a live image. The desktop is pretty and features a handy set of applications. In addition, additional applications are available through a popular one-click format.

      Linvo has been in development since early 2009 and was recently added to Distrowatch’s distribution database. Slackware has long been known as rock solid and stable, and Linvo dresses it up and brings some advantages over Slackware itself.

    • Review: Kongoni 2011 “Firefly”

      his is another review that I’ve wanted to do for a while now. That said, until recently, the last new version of Kongoni came out quite a while ago, so I figured that I should sit tight and wait for the new version. I did, and it’s here, so I’m reviewing it now.

      So what is Kongoni? It’s a Slackware-based Linux distribution that uses KDE. Though it claims to also be relatively easy-to-use, its priority number one is to be a fully free software distribution, akin to Ubuntu-based Trisquel, which I have reviewed before. It also has a couple pieces of software to help it achieve the other goal of being easier to use.

    • 5 Tiniest Linux Distributions For Your Ancient Computers

      Not so long ago, IBM, in its ads, made a bold claim that read “Linux is everywhere”. While a Windows-crazy fanboy would be quick to repudiate that claim, any levelheaded IT guy would tell you how true that is. Linux can run on almost any kind of device, be it a gigantic supercomputer or a tiny mobile gadget.

    • Kongoni: You have the right to remain silent
    • DIY: How to find Linux versions needed for older hardware
    • antiX provides three great ways to build a Linux system to meet your needs

      I have been an enthusiastic user and supporter of the antiX distribution since it became available in 2006. The antiX distribution is a lightweight, flexible alternative to its parent distribution, SimplyMEPIS, which is based on the rock solid Debian Stable technology. As configured when installed, antiX uses the Debian Testing repositories instead of the Debian Stable repositories, and it also has entries in the packaging configuration directory /etc/apt for Stable, Testing, or Sid (Unstable).

    • Review: Chakra 2011.04-r2 “Aida”

      Desktop effects, though not enabled out-of-the-box, worked smoothly once enabled. Neither KDE nor the associated applications ever crashed. Finally, Chakra felt fast, and the numbers bore that feeling out: at idle, Chakra used just 280 MB of RAM, which is probably the lowest I’ve seen of any KDE distribution and is comparable to some of the heavier GNOME distributions like Ubuntu. The only other issue I had was in making the OS suspend, but it seems like Linux distributions all across the board dislike my laptop when it comes to suspending.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Linux Is Better Than Windows.

        My brother Jim finally got fed up with his Windows computers getting attacked by viruses. So, his son recently installed PCLinuxOS to his Netbook.

        The exact version Mike installed was the newest PCLinuxOS featuring the LXDE desktop Environment. If you have a netbook, PCLinuxOS LXDE is the perfect choice.

        You can get it here.

        Neal and his team at PCLinuxOS really did a superlative job. The Desktop is fast, light, and feature rich. And it’s quite familiar. If you’re coming over from Windows, you’ll have no problem finding your way around the desktop.

      • Mandriva’s Eugeni Dodonov Leaves Goodbye Gifts

        Dodonov states these tools may use Mandriva graphical front-ends, but the underlying tools should work on any distribution. He thought that previously use by other distros may have been hampered by subversion repository access and availability. He adds, “I’ll be still maintaining and developing them for the foreseeable future, but – as always – everyone is free to contribute, adapt and use them in the way you think the best.”

      • Mandriva Desktop 2011 pre-release screenshot review

        The last of the pre-releases of Mandriva Desktop 2011, Mandriva Desktop 2011 RC 2, was made available for download yesterday, just one day behind schedule. It, of course, looks better, runs better, than the previous pre-release, which I previewed here. As the title suggests, this article is not a full review, but a screenshot tour of the major features of what will be Mandriva Desktop 2011, due for final release on August 28, 2011.

      • Mandriva 2011 Almost Ready, RC2 Released

        Mandriva 2011 RC2 was released yesterday with lot of bug fixes and stability improvements. In the release announcement Eugeni Dodonov also introduced the new release manager, Denis Koryavov from ROSA Labs. ROSA Labs is taking a large role in this release primarily with its new interface elements.

      • Mandriva Directory Server 2.4.1 now available

        Mandriva announces the immediate availability of a new release of the Mandriva Directory Server (MDS), an easy to use, powerful and secure solution for managing identities, directory services and network services within the enterprise.

      • Mandriva 2011 daily builds
    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • The Other Side of Red Hat – an interview with Craig Muzilla

        Not just a Linux company, Red Hat has quite the middleware business, too, says Alex Handy who recently sat down with Craig Muzilla, Red Hat’s vice president and general manager of the Middleware business unit…

      • Argus Systems Group to Announce PitBull Foundation on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0

        Argus Systems Group will announce PitBull Foundation and PitBull Foundation Suite for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.0 at the 2011 Unified Cross Domain Office (UCDMO) Conference being held in Chicago, Illinois from August 1-4, 2011.

      • Red Hat’s Jim Whitehurst: “I Want to Meet Linus”

        Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst is speaking this year at LinuxCon on opening day about the challenges that still lie ahead as we embark on another 20 years of Linux. We wanted to know more about Whitehurst’s perspective as we prepare for the big event and the formal celebration of the 20th anniversary of Linux. Here’s what he told us.

      • Nuts and Bolts: ‘Red Hat is more secure’

        From as rudimentary but time-tested methods like open outcry, stock exchanges have slowly embraced paper-based systems and moved to electronic and technology modernization with panache. Here’s a stock exchange that has chosen Virtualisation to power its trading platforms. It picked Red Hat Enterprise Linux and does not see any problems, existing or potential with Open Source technology alternatives. To get a lowdown on some real issues and questions, we get to chat with Gajendarnath Mudaliar, VP – Technology, Inter-connected Stock Exchange of India Ltd.

      • Enterprise Linux 5.6 to 5.7 risk report

        Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.7 was released last week (July 2011), six months since the release of 5.6 in January 2011. So let’s use this opportunity to take a quick look back over the vulnerabilities and security updates made in that time, specifically for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Server.

      • Bob Young, founder of Red Hat and Lulu, on collaboration, innovation, and standing on the shoulders of giants

        Bob Young knows about open source and innovation. He’s co-founder and former CEO of Red Hat. Founder and CEO of Lulu. Co-founder of the Center for the Public Domain. Much of his life’s endeavors have been built on innovation through collaboration. Earlier this year I saw that he was giving a talk titled, appropriately enough, “Collaborative Innovation” on the lessons he’s learned from open source and community building. I asked if he’d bring those lessons to the opensource.com audience as well, and rather than edit down the stories he shared with me, I’d like to give them all to you in his words.

      • Red Hat’s 10 years of Linux leadership

        The recent numbering change in the Linux kernel brings to a close a 10 year history of the prior kernel series. This milestone presents a good opportunity to reflect on what has been an exciting and vibrant period of time – over 10 million lines of code have been added to the Linux kernel. This is a great testament to the power of community. Over time, the contribution levels among companies has fluctuated, however, Red Hat has consistently been among the top employer contributors. The fine folks at LWN in cooperation with several developers have long maintained statistics and reported results.

      • AscendOS – new kid on the Enterprise block? But can he dance?

        CentOS and Scientific Linux and Princeton’s Pisa, among others. What was once a simple (boring?) decision for Linux admins who wanted RHEL compatibility without RHEL’s various overheads, the neighborhood is becoming more and more crowded. And now, a completely new project is working its way out of the tall grass.

      • Enterprise Linux by any other name

        I’ve been doing a fair bit or reading and writing and talking about different versions of “Enterprise Linux”, and the more I talk and think about it, the more I come to realize that I’m not as comfortable with the definition of that phrase as I would like.

        The current working definition of “Enterprise Linux” is a Linux distribution based off of the Source RPMs and build methods of RedHat Enterprise Linux. Essentially a group of people get together, put together a build infrastructure, and make a distribution using RedHat’s released sources. However, there are interpretations and changes made that make each of these distributions unique in their own right. CentOS has its issues, of course, but tries to stay as faithful as it can to the RedHat product. Scientific Linux seems to be a livelier group right now, but they’re truly making their distribution their own.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 7 “Wheezy” to introduce multiarch support

        During this year’s annual Debian Conference DebConf11 made the introduction of “multiarch support” a release goal for the coming Debian release 7 “Wheezy” to be released in 2013. Multiarch is a radical rethinking of the filesystem hierarchy with respect to library and header paths, to make programs and libraries of different hardware architectures easily installable in parallel on the very same system.

      • Better video coverage during DebConf, thanks to our sponsors!
      • What is missing in the Debian desktop, or why my parents use Kubuntu

        While at Debconf11, I have several times during discussions mentioned the issues I believe should be improved in Debian for its desktop to be useful for more people. The use case for this is my parents, which are currently running Kubuntu which solve the issues.

      • Derivatives

        • Linux Mint Debian: A rough diamond

          The one I liked most is Linux Mint since it was quite nicely designed (I’m quite fond of my graphics) but it was no challenge at all. Almost everything worked out of the box. A kind user suggested i try Linux Mint Debian since it’s a tad rougher than its Ubuntu-based brother (or syster, I don’t know its gender) and this is what happened:

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 225
          • International Newsmaker Q&A: Jon Melamut

            A series of software programs known as Ubuntu Core from London-based Canonical is expected to bring a vast array of improvements and additional applications to the global in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) industry. The company’s vice president of operations, products and OEM services, Jon Melamut, recently explained some of the details surrounding the technology and its potential impact on the automotive marketplace.

          • Canonical announces the Ubuntu Advantage Partner Programme for resellers
          • Unity Progress Report – Alt-Tab style
          • Ubuntu 11.04 Review

            Another feature I enjoyed about Ubuntu 11.04 is the new functionality of the workspace switcher due to the choice of Compiz as the default window manager. You can simply click on the workspace switcher in the launcher to see a fantastic panorama of all of your available workspaces and all open windows. All of your open windows will have their own icons in the launcher as well which is quite convenient. But I can’t say that I am very fond of the new Mac OS style application menus which now appear along the top panel making it virtually mandatory. But to make up for that small fault, the system and notification area in the top panel now have enhanced integration with many applications.

          • Ubuntu goes head-to-head with Red Hat and Windows in businesses

            LINUX VENDOR Canonical is going head-to-head with Microsoft and Red Hat in the enterprise market with its Ubuntu Linux distribution.

            Canonical has been developing Ubuntu for the best part of six years now to become arguably the most popular consumer oriented Linux distribution. Now Canonical has set its sights on the higher end enterprise datacentre market by partnering with companies to flog Ubuntu Advantage, a support agreement for big businesses.

          • CPU Frequency Scaling Indicator, Fixed For Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot
          • Ubuntu Linux gets serious about business partners

            Most people, who like Linux, love Ubuntu. Oh they may object to Ubuntu’s new Unity desktop, but at day’s end, they still use Ubuntu. Technology businesses though have a more jaundiced view of Canonical, Ubuntu’s parent company. Canonical, though, is now taking steps now to make its potential hardware and software partners happier.

          • Why does Ubuntu need the Canonical Contributor Agreement?

            Several very important core components in Ubuntu are covered by the Canonical Contributor Agreement. These are Canonical-owned projects and include major items like Bzr, Upstart, indicator-applet and desktop-couch, to name but a few. A full list can be seen on the Contributor Agreement page.

          • Ubuntu Development Update

            Next week Alpha 3 of Ubuntu 11.10 will be released, so everybody is currently trying to get their latest updates in and everything tidied up for a release. For today I got an update from Ubuntu Desktop Team hero Sébastien Bacher, so if you’re interested in any other aspect of Ubuntu Oneiric, I’d refer you to the oneiric-changes mailing list and the big picture specification status overview instead. So what’s happening with the Ubuntu Desktop?

          • A retrospective of the first year of Ask Ubuntu
          • Ubuntu dressed in cheap elastic support, sent out in public

            Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux variant is popular out there on the public clouds of the world, but there is a serious mismatch between how support contracts are sold for bare-metal servers used inside corporate data centers and how virtual servers are deployed and used out there on the cloud. And Canonical wants to fix that and make a bit of money, too.

            Last June, Canonical rejigged its support services for companies deploying Ubuntu Linux server and desktop variants with its Ubuntu Advantage offering. Even though this new support structure offered tiered support levels in terms of coverage time and features, and even had add-ons to give companies a break if they were deploying Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud to build an internal clone of Amazon’s EC2 cloud, what it did not do is provide pricing for support contracts running on external public clouds like EC2.

          • Canonical: 3 Signs of Progress for Ubuntu Linux Partners

            The VAR Guy has to concede: In mid-2010, he was losing faith in Canonical — promoter of Ubuntu Linux. Amid multiple management changes, Canonical seemed focused on too many different priorities. And emerging threats like Google Android seemed to suffocate Canonical’s mobile Internet device (MID) strategy and even Ubuntu’s netbook momentum. Fast forward to the present, and several business developments suggest that Canonical is finally getting the Ubuntu house in order.

          • On conquering fears and future contributions…

            The next Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS-P) is scheduled to be held in Orlando, Florida at the Caribe Royal Hotel from October 31 through November 3, 2011 and the Ubuntu Community is busy preparing blueprints, requesting sponsorships, and checking to see if all the action items from the last UDS have been completed, deferred, or are in progress. (Gotta luv those burndown charts!) Reminder sponsorship requests close on August 24, 2011.

          • GUI tool checking system and hardware information in Ubuntu
          • Ubuntu takes UFOs to the cloud
          • Full Circle 51 has arrived!
          • [Oneiric Updates] Unity 2D and Ubuntu Software Center Improvements

            A new update to Unity 2D brings it almost at par with Unity 3D as now both have same shared settings. Unity 2D now uses GTK3 rendering and also new indicators. In last few days, Ubuntu 11.10 also received many other updates bringing in changes to Ubuntu Software Center, update settings and session menu.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Lubuntu to join the official Ubuntu family (Linux distro with light-weight desktop environment)

              t’s become something of a cliche to say that one way to breath new life into an older computer is to install a Linux-based operating system. But not all Linux distributions are created equal. While many can run on a PC with just a few GB of disk space or less, a small amount of RAM, and antiquated graphics, many newer Linux distros require fairly modern hardware if you really want to get the most out of the operating system.

              Ubuntu, for instances, is one of the most popular Linux operating systems around, but the system requirements for a basic installation include a 1 GHz Pentium 4 or faster processor, 512MB of RAM and 5GB of disk space. But there’s an alternative called Lubuntu which is designed to run well on computers that don’t meet those requirements.

            • Zorin OS Releases a “Lite” Version

              If your computer has put on a few pounds and needs to fit into a sleek new case, Zorin OS developers have released their “great taste, less filling” edition. Actually, Zorin OS 5 “Lite” is a more conservative version of their desktop system that’s designed for older computers.

              Zorin OS Lite is based on Lubuntu and features the LXDE desktop. Wine, VLC, and some games were removed and many other applications were switched for lighter alternatives in order to fit on a single CD and increase performance. Since it was designed with older computers in mind, it’s only available in the 32-bit variety.

            • Novacut: Not just vaporware.

              I am not here to be a cynic and say that Novacut’s funding efforts will fail (again). I am writing to say that the only way for the ideas behind Novacut to be realized is to stop pretending that throwing $25K worth of funding at it could possibly save the project. Over the past year, Novacut has put almost all effort into soliciting money. In the amount of time it would’ve taken to implement these features in existing software, Novacut has mainly been producing advertisements for itself.

            • New ISO images available : Lubuntu
            • Kubuntu 11.10 – A Very Early Review

              In the twilight hours of this morning, I thought I’d take a look at the new Kubuntu 11.10, codenamed “Oneiric Ocelot”. Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time, in my half-awake non-caffeinated state.

              Knowing how much you all dislike Ubuntu Unity and how many of you might be considering a change to Kubuntu, I thought you might like a non-technical peek review of Oneiric.

            • Lessons Learned: Linux + Sony Vaio F Series

              After a little over an hour of playing around with edids on my Vaio with no luck I started surfing through the comments and found a useful one. It mentioned that this setup was no longer needed with Ubuntu 10.10. After racking my brain for what the difference might be between Ubuntu 10.10 and Bodhi 1.1.0 I realized the largest difference was the kernel version. On a whim I installed the 2.6.35 kernel, installed the nvidia drivers from the Bodhi repo and poof! I was good to go (guess my first hunch about a kernel issue was correct).

  • Devices/Embedded

    • ARM9 SBC features Linux 2.6.38, high-res touchscreen support

      Artila Electronics announced a Linux 2.6.38-ready 3.5-inch ARM9 industrial single board computer (SBC), notable for its support for up to 1280 x 860-pixel touchscreens. The M-505 is equipped with a 400MHz Atmel AT91SAM9G45 processor, 128MB of DDR2 SDRAM, 128MB NAND flash, plus Ethernet, USB, and serial I/O.

    • Old King of Computers now on Ubuntu

      If you have been using computers for a while now say around 40 years or more then you must have probably started you first lessons in computing on the Commodore 64 computer. Many modern day children and engineers won’t probably know what the Commodore 64 is. It is nothing but the old Keyboard computer which you might have now seen in old movies or preferably in museums or old government offices.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Cordia Tab, Open Tablet to cost only $300

        Just heard about a new brand tablet, Cordia Tab, an open source tablet device to bring a practical and openly hackable tablet. The tablet is able to run any Linux kernel based operating system such as Cordia HD, MeeGo, Ubuntu, and even Android OS, however it comes with Cordia HD preloaded.

      • OLPC Programs are a $25 Billion Dollar Global Economy

        Have you ever thought about to total investment in one laptop per child programs worldwide? Robert Fadel has and came up with an interesting calculation. His estimate: that one laptop per child programs – from XO laptops to Classmate PCs to EeePCs used in one-to-one educational programs – exceeds $2.5 billion dollars over the last three years…

      • Internet in a box

        I’ve been mulling over this for a while now, fiddling with hardware, software, networking, content, etc. Then, out of the blue, I had to make a *very* short trip to India on a few hours’ notice. I woke up early, dropped off my kid at summer camp, and sat down to install the OLPC XS School Server on a Fit PC. Given that we have 15 XOs or so in Bhagmalpur, a Fit PC should do. It runs at 12 volts DC and draws about 8 watts at the AC adapter end. Accounting for a 20% loss in AC-to-DC, I’d suspect the machine runs at 5 to 6 watts internally. I have a 64 GB solid state drive on this one, so no moving parts at all. After fiddling for an hour or so, I had the school server installed and ready to go. As a sidenote, I am using a mesh antenna on this install.

      • Asus Eee PC X101 With MeeGo Available for Preorder [Asus Retailers Now Accepting Orders for Cheap 10-Inch Netbook Running MeeGo Linux; Shipping in September]

        Asus has announced plans to release inexpensive netbooks under the Eee PC X101 product line. Cost is brought down by the use of modest specs and MeeGo Linux. If this is your thing, you can now pre-order the Eee PC X101, which will start shipping in September.

      • Life with an Android Tablet One Week On

        I’ve had my Asus Transformer tablet for approximately one week now. I have endeavoured to use it fairly constantly and as my sole means of computing. It has worked to varying degrees of success. After the first couple of days, I discovered that if I actually wanted to achieve anything, I needed a proper keyboard. To that end, I have ordered the keyboard docking station for the Transformer, and I am also writing this post on my three year old netbook.

        A word of warning though about the Transformer docking keyboard – buy the package of tablet and keyboard to start with! This only attracts a £50 premium over the tablet alone. Buying the docking keyboard separately has set me back almost £120. I purchased from Amazon and couldn’t find cheaper on eBay, Google’s shopping results nor Tottenham Court Road (where it was not possible to buy the keyboard as a standalone item). I’ll live and learn.

        There are both good and bad points about this Honeycomb 3.1 tablet. Let’s start with the good.

      • Quickbooks Ported to Linux

        Intuit has an app in Android Market for Quickbooks. This tool is used by many small and medium-sized business for all kinds of accounting. The port to Android/Linux will allow Quickbooks to run on any PC with an Android port. e.g. Android-x86 and dozens of smart phones and tablets.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Project underway to achieve practical software engineering goals

    :The government is implementing a programme to develop open source software and help the students achieve practical software engineering goals.National Fund for Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) has provided Rs.37.63 million to execute the programme in National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (NU-FAST), an official source on Sunday told APP that the project would also help address the issue of the scarcity of quality faculty in most of the universities.

  • The new draw of open source: innovation

    Recent observations at OSCON has demonstrated that open source can never be thought of as an also-ran again, as new technologies are now being created that show open source is now a way to innovate.

    This is not, I have to say, my idea. During yesterday’s opening session at OSCON, Jay Lyman, Senior Analyst at The 451 Group, Twittered an interesting observation: “Overwhelming message @ Oscon so far is open source now driven mostly by innovation.”

  • Ten open-source fallacies that need nailing
  • Events

    • O’Reilly Open Source Convention coming back to Portland

      Thousands of software developers will converge on Portland this week for the O’Reilly Open Source Convention – or OSCON.

      The conference, one of the largest gatherings of its kind, runs Monday through Friday at the Oregon Convention Center.

    • OSCON 2011: Open source won. Now what?

      The theme of OSCON 2011 is “From disruption to default.” While that certainly captures the status of open source these days, it isn’t exactly news to anyone attending the conference. But the welcoming keynote addresses and early sessions devoted to data scalability and Java seem to be giving attendees fuel for thought and grist for some real soul-searching as the era of open source ubiquity (if not outright dominance) begins.

    • OSCON: Open Source Awards

      At the OSCON Conference, the O’Reilly Open Source Awards have been presented. Since 2005, the event organisers have been giving out these awards to people who have made an exceptional contribution to the development of open source software.

  • Web Browsers

    • Browser Wars: Chrome vs. IE9 vs. Firefox

      Web browsers are converging. Since the arrival of Google Chrome nearly three years ago, all browsers have come under its influence, and they’ve all moved in the same three-pronged directions—speedier page loading, cleaner user interfaces, and greater support for new Web standards. All of the major browsers—Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Opera—have made significant strides in each of these three dimensions. The first two qualities are pretty much universally desirable, but the “standards” support piece, while also desirable, gets sticky: Each browser seems to support a different subset of the many features that fall under the label HTML5. All you have to do is check out each browser’s HTML5 demo site. Apple’s HTML5 demos, for example, flat out won’t function unless you’re browsing with Safari. So much for “standards.”

    • Tug of war on the web
    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Our Direction from Mozilla’s Senior Leadership

        Mozilla’s longest-serving and top two leaders, Mitchell Baker and Brendan Eich, have some great information on where the project is going.

      • Shadow Layers, and learning by failing

        A hot topic for Firefox at the moment is the new out-of-process rendering, but is it common knowledge that this has already been in Firefox Mobile for a long time? For mobile, there’s what we call a ‘chrome’ process (this processes and renders the main UI) and then ‘content’ processes, which handle the rendering of the pages in your tabs. There are lots of fun and tricky issues when you choose to do things like this, mostly centering around synchronisation – and recently, I was trying to add a feature that’s lead me to writing this post.

      • The Browser By Many Other Names

        In my last post I wrote about Mozilla creating more than a browser. There are many topics in that post to be explored further. I’d like to start with a discussion of the various aspects of Firefox that are important to bringing interoperability and user sovereignty to the Internet. Then we can think about how we make these various aspects effective in changing settings.

      • Top 15 Firefox themes for this summer!
      • Mozilla’s next Firefox moment?

        The fact that there were now three good browsers supporting those standards, two of which were open source, meant that Mozilla had effectively achieved its goal of promoting a vibrant, open web – something to be celebrated, rather than fretted about.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle, SUSE, Red Hat drive 70% of LibreOffice development

      Upon the release of LibreOffice 3.4.2, the Document Foundation announced that Oracle and SUSE each contributes roughly 25 percent of the latest commits, while Red Hat contributed another 20 percent. Following Oracle’s donation of Openoffice to the Apache Foundation earlier this year, The Document Foundation wants to reassure the technology public that corporate support for LibreOffice is strong and that this Office suite is “enterprise ready.”

    • Have You Taken The LibreOffice User Survey?
  • CMS/Social Networking

  • Business


    • Emacs distributions are not GPL-compliant
    • Emacs has been violating the GPL since 2009

      The files in question have been in Emacs releases from around version 23.1.90 from late 2009 and have been circulated in 23.2 and 23.3. Stallman says that “Anyone redistributing those versions is violating the GPL, through no fault of his own”. The Emacs developers are now searching for the original source files and plan to include them in the Emacs trunk and regenerate the violating tarballs.

    • GNU Emacs Developers Will Fix It; Please Calm Down

      The story, IMO, makes the usual mistake of considering a GPL violation as an earth-shattering disaster that has breached the future of software freedom. GPL violations vary in degree of the problems they create; most aren’t earth-shattering.

  • Programming

    • Finding CPU flags using gcc
    • IDE for Ubuntu

      Linux, as with many other things, has no shortage when it comes to getting down to the more technical aspects in computing. Be it coding, testing or anything else that is related to the geeky arts, the free and open source community has a lot to offer. In this post we’ll be looking at some of the most popular and some not so popular Integrated Development Environments (IDE) out there which score a lot with regard to quality and flexibility.


  • Hardware

  • Finance

    • Bitcoin Developer Denied Entry to US by Confused Customs Agents

      It’s no great surprise that most people are confused when they first hear about the amorphous digital currency known as Bitcoin. Some customs agents in Seattle were more than a little confused when they screened a well-known Chinese Bitcoin developer. “Doctor Nefario” arrived with just $600 in cash. Agents determined he could not fund his two month stay in America, so they shipped him home, but not before asking him some questions.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Bandwidth caps are rate hikes

      Internet Service Providers in the USA are trying to apply bandwidth caps to their users, with those caps being 2, 4, or 5 gigabytes-per-month for wireless users at various price levels and generally 250 gigabytes-per-month for home users. Most of the press coverage of this issue comes down on the side of consumers but lately the ISP publicity machine has been revved-up and we’re being told that bandwidth caps are necessary, even inevitable. This is, as my 87 year-old Mom would say, BS.


Links 5/8/2011: KDE 4.7 Reviewed, News Catchup

Posted in News Roundup at 10:42 am by Guest Editorial Team

GNOME bluefish



  • Code 42 Software Reports New Data on Rapid Growth of Enterprise Linux Use

    Code 42 Software Inc., creators of CrashPlan, CrashPlan PRO, and CrashPlan PROe, continuous data backup for home and business, today reported new data about the rapid growth of Linux use in enterprise. Only halfway through 2011, Code 42’s CrashPlan PROe sales have grown 10 times 2010 levels. The company expects to end 2011 with a 14,000 percent growth in Linux revenue year-over-year. Since 2009, Code 42 has experienced substantial Linux growth. In 2010, the company recorded 400 percent year-over-year revenue growth of CrashPlan PROe for Linux.

  • How and Why Wall Street Programmers Earn Top Salaries

    There’s actually a pretty wide range of languages/tools used, but Linux is the ‘default’ OS…

  • Desktop

    • Linux Desktop Hits and Misses

      It seems like it wasn’t that long ago when Windows was an exclusive part of my computing life. Ever so slowly, I began to move away from Windows XP into some of the popular Linux distributions of the time.

      I found myself falling in love with a specific Linux distribution made popular by its ability to “just work” without a ton of configuration. At the time, this held a great appeal to me. After all, I had other things to do throughout my day besides having to configure everything on my desktop PC by hand.

    • Choosing the Right Linux Distro for Your Business

      In this article, I’ll look at the benefits of both corporate and community supported distributions and how they might best fit into the enterprise space. In addition, I’ll offer suggestions as to which option might make the most sense in each type of enterprise scenario. I’ll also take a look at specialized Linux distributions.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.0: More important than you think

      Ah vacation. It was a week of blissful lounging around a breezy beach side and playing in a water-filled world where I was no longer at the top of the food chain. There were no computers, no talk of networking this, security that, or anything in between. But then the hard reality of the world wormed its way back into my mind and I now find myself trying hard to get back into some sort of groove…an open source kind of groove (of course).

      And although it’s officially next month (the month of my forty-fourth birthday, thank you very much) Linux is about to turn 3.0. And although Linus Torvalds himself has said this is not a big deal, it is. Why? Because of the very fact it is not a big deal.


      These assumptions occur whether they are true or not — even if it has been made clear there are no deal making/deal breaking changes in the kernel. After all, look at the major feature list in the 3.0 kernel:

      * Btrfs data scrubbing and automatic defragmentation
      * XEN Dom0 support.
      * Unprivileged ICMP_ECHO.
      * Wake on WLAN.
      * Berkeley Packet Filter JIT filtering.
      * A memcached-like system for the page cache.
      * A sendmmsg() syscall that batches sendmsg() calls.
      * The setns() a syscall that allows better handling of light virtualization systems such as containers.
      * New hardware support such as Microsoft Kinect and AMD Llano Fusion APUs.

  • Applications

    • Super Collision At Studio Dave: The New World of SuperCollider3, Part 1

      SuperCollider is composer/programmer James McCartney’s gift to the world of open-source audio synthesis/composition environments. In its current manifestation, SuperCollider3 includes capabilities for a wide variety of sound synthesis and signal processing methods, cross-platform integrated GUI components for designing interfaces for interactive performance, support for remote control by various external devices, and a rich set of tools for algorithmic music and sound composition. And yes, there’s more, much more.

    • LiVES 1.4.5 has been released! | Video editor

      LiVES 1.4.5 has been released! the new release comes with many news features and fixed many bugs, it add -tmpdir startup option, Stop PAL formats reverting to NTSC in x264 encoder., Fix bug to add fewer blank lines to ~/.lives file, Do not show “Loaded subtitles” message when subtitles are not loaded, Instant opening of some .flv files, Move correct pointer (start or end) when the timeline is clicked in longer files, Add video fade in/out effect, Fix frames being cut after applying effects in virtual clips. more info about this .

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • REVIEW: BEEP – Linux platform fun!

        FPS games seem all the rage these days and after playing a few of them you would be forgiven for thinking there’s very little variety. Can you honestly remember vividly an FPS you played from a year ago on say the PS3, when all too often its the same generic gameplay albeit with different gfx and sound?

        As the Humble Indi Bundle, Minecraft et al showed, there’s a massive market for games which do not rely on the proven (and popular) FPS format. There are so many success stories that being an indi developer no longer means that you are resigned to selling only a few copies of your product – The Internet and word of mouth advertising mean that a decent product can be very lucrative.

      • First Person Shooter ‘Red Eclipse : Supernova Edition’ Released for Linux

        A new version for popular Linux FPS game Red Eclipse has been released. Codenamed ‘Supernova Edition’, this release sees many new features and changes.

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Yes, I broke my computer with PCLinuxOS

        Let me put this straight: I’m not blaming PCLOS at all. The installer performed the actions I commanded, nothing less, nothing more. Granted, I might be a non-technical Linux user, but I’m also beyond that childish stage in which users blame Linux when something does not go as planned. I should have paid attention to the small voice telling me that it was not a good idea to use a free HD space BEFORE my Mandriva partition and that it was an even worse choice to install the PCLinuxOS GRUB to the main sector of the partition table, but I stubbornly ignored the still small voice of wisdom.

      • PCLinuxOS, the REAL deal!

        A couple of days ago, I described how I had an unfortunate experience while I attempted an install of PCLinuxOS. Because of lack of time, I had to remove the distro to recover my PC and finish my work, promising to get back at PCLOS later.

        Well, time has come: a kind reader of my post, to solve the problem of the multiple boot, recommended me to visit the PCLOS forums and find the wise sage, who goes through forum-land under the name of Old Pollack.

      • Not a Tug o’War, but Convergence
    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – July 25th, 2011

        Welcome to this year’s eleventh issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community.

      • Debian’s GNU/kFreeBSD

        I’ve heard two popular reasons for running a GNU environment on top of a FreeBSD kernel. One is script compatibility. The idea being that if a person needs a FreeBSD kernel (for whatever reason) they may still want to run GNU-specific scripts. I can see the reasoning behind this, though kFreeBSD does have a few quirks to it (such as the device names I mentioned above) which may introduce new incompatibilities. The other reason often cited is ZFS support. Though I didn’t find ZFS tools installed by default, ZFS utilities are available in the kFreeBSD repositories. This brings together great file system technology with an environment which will be familiar to GNU/Linux users. A third, and often overlooked, reason for running kFreeBSD is because we can. There is something compelling about running a mash-up of technologies from two different open source camps. For people who just like to tinker with computers kFreeBSD is right up there with trying MINIX or running NetBSD on a toaster.

        Given the problems I ran into with the installer and issues I ran into trying to login to a graphical environment, I have to say kFreeBSD isn’t a project I would recommend to many people, certainly not novice users. Given the defaults it appears as though the project is aimed mostly at people running servers who have an interest in both GNU/Linux and FreeBSD. And, though certainly not without rough edges, it is an interesting operating system. It has got warts and it can be a pain to get up and running, but the fact that it can exist — does exist — is, well, is pretty cool when you think about it.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Contributor Harmony

            I have made no bones about my opposition to unpaid copyright assignment in any quarter. Least understandable was the old Canonical contributors agreement, Mark wrote another of his personal defences in his blog on Friday; of what I consider to be unreasonable and assumptive. But this isn’t about that blog post.

          • Contributor License Agreement corner cases

            I’m looking at the Canonical Individual Contributor License Agreement (pdf here). In contrast to the previous copyright assignment, it merely grants a broad set of rights to Canonical, including the right to relicense the work under any license they choose. Notably, it does not transfer copyright to Canonical. The contributor retains copyright.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi $25 PC goes into alpha production

      Game developer David Braben caused geeks to get excited back in May when he announced plans to develop and release a $25 PC. It is called the Raspberry Pi, and takes the form of a USB stick that can be plugged into the HDMI port of a display ready to act as afully-functional PC.

      The thinking behind the super-cheap PC is to get it into the hands of school kids and let them start experimenting and programming. The planend hardware included a 700MHz ARM11 processor, 128MB RAM, OpenGL ES 2.0, and 1080p output. It will run Linux in some form, but importantly it’s only $25 and will allow access to the wealth of free tools Linux has access to.

      Two months on and the spec of the PCB layout has been finalized and an alpha release has been sent to manufacture. Any doubts this PC wasn’t going to happen should now disappear as this alpha board is expected to be almost the same as the final production unit.

    • Google TV box price drops to $99

      We learned in May that Amazon.com had dropped the price of Logitech’s Google TV system (aka the Logitech Revue) 33 percent, to $199. Now, Logitech says it’s dropping the Revue’s price to $99.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Canalys: Android has almost half of global smartphone market, Microsoft has one percent

          Canalys tracks smartphone sales in 56 countries around the world, and released a summary of its data for Q2 2011 on August 1. According to the firm, Google’s Android operating system led in 35 countries and achieved a global market share of 48 percent.

          Android, “the number one platform by shipments since Q4 2010,” was shipped on 51.9 million phones during the quarter, a year-over-year increase of 379 percent, Canalys says. It put in a particularly strong performance in the APAC (Asia Pacific) region, garnering a 85 percent share in South Korea and a 71 percent share in Taiwan, the firm adds.

        • Huawei launches a 3D smartphone

          THE 3D TREND is once again being foisted upon punters as Huawei has announced the launch of its first 3D smartphone.

          Aptly called Vision, the handset features a 3D user interface and a “carousel display”, by which we think Huawei means a revolving set of home page icons, or images, or something. With it Huawei will join the Korean handset maker LG in the 3D smartphone market, which – to be honest – hasn’t exactly taken off yet.

        • HTC Salsa Android smartphone

          HTC has released two ‘Facebook phones’ of late – the Qwerty-packing ChaCha and the Salsa, the latter being a compact bundle of fun, which wears its dedicated Facebook button just beneath its screen.

        • Study: Android is least open of open source mobile platforms
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Tablets will overtake consumer PCs, says Fujitsu CTO

        Content consumption rules for consumers and tablet sales will overtake consumer PC and notebook sales. That’s the view of Dr Joseph Reger, Fujitsu’s chief technology officer.

      • Asus spins three low-priced netbooks

        Asus is taking the netbook back to its roots, with two devices intended to sell for as little as $200. The low-cost EeePC R011PX and EeePC X101 come with the Ubuntu and MeeGo operating systems, respectively — but will also run Windows if you insist.

      • Binatone Homesurf 705 tablet video demo

        MAKER OF GADGETS Binatone gave The INQUIRER a look at its budget 7in tablet, the Homesurf 705.

        Binatone has jumped into the tablet party with its Homesurf 705. It has a 7in resistive touchscreen with 480×800 resolution, 2GB of internal storage, WiFi, microUSB and a microSD card slot.

      • Android will turn the tablet market on its head

        SCATTER CUSHION HARDWARE, the tablet computer, will make its way into most homes with the Android operating system in place, according to a report.

        Informa Telecoms and Media said that despite its considerable hold on the market Apple’s IOS based machines will start to fall out of favour with users over the next four years before being completely swept aside by Android devices.

      • Galaxy Tab vs Playbook vs Flyer video review

        BITTER RIVALS Khidr Suleman and Chris Martin fight to the metaphorical death over the best 7in tablet currently on the market. This video face-off features three 7in tablets that are assessed on their various merits, and a winner is crowned.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla eyes mobile OS landscape with new Boot to Gecko project

      Mozilla has announced a new experimental project called Boot to Gecko (B2G) with the aim of developing an operating system that emphasizes standards-based Web technologies. The initial focus will be on delivering a software environment for handheld devices such as smartphones.

    • Boot to Gecko – Mozilla’s Project To Build A Web Based Operating System For Smartphones

      When Mozilla announced the Webian Shell last month, many wondered if Mozilla too is planning to launch its own version of a web-based operating system. There was no definite answer then, but there is now.

      Mozilla has launched a new project called “Boot to Gecko”. The aim of this project is to develop a complete operating system for the open web. Unlike Google’s version of a web-based OS – the Chrome OS – Mozilla’s version is not aimed at netbooks. With Boot to Gecko, Mozilla is aiming for smartphones – and Android forms a part of their plan.

    • Mozilla aims to play the OS game

      Mozilla is plotting to join the operating system fray with an “open Web” twist.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • A Word of Thanks

      Yesterday Michael Brauer posted on the OASIS ODF TC mailing list his farewell post. Michael, like a very large number of the other employees of the “Oracle’s Hamburg Business Unit”, if not all of them, will be let go by the end of the month. If you wonder what the “Oracle’s Hamburg Business Unit” is, it’s the people who have been developing a large part of what was OpenOffice.org and before that, StarOffice. I remember the company when it was a privately owned entity called StarDivision. I have contributed and interacted with these people for over 10 years. I guess I will see some of them working for different employers; sometimes as competitors, sometimes as partners. But we will see us again one day or another, and I look forward that day. I have made a few friends there; these are bright people, and they have played an instrumental in the expansion of Free and Open Source Software, and dare I remind it? ODF and Open Standards as well. I sincerely wish them the best for the future, whatever road they choose to take. This “business unit” has been known under many names during all these years, and I understand very well that the present days must be sad and sorrowful days.

  • CMS

    • Open source wars: WordPress vs Drupal vs Joomla

      Every IT person, developer, and programmer has an opinion when it comes to the various open source content management systems out there. It often comes down to functionality and ease of use, but even then the lines are often blurred and there is rarely a clear-cut victor. WordPress vs Drupal vs Joomla – which is really the king of open source CMS?

  • Programming

Reader’s Picks

  • United Nations University trains practitioners in GNU Health (formerly GNU Medical) and other free software.
  • Gmail wins Harvard

    Gmail will serve as the email interface for most Harvard undergraduate accounts by the middle of next month, replacing the webmail client currently designated for those addresses but used by a fraction of those students.

  • Trey Ratcliff likes Google+

    The interface of the streams and the hangouts enable me to get to know new people in a more human manner. Comparing it to Twitter, there is a not this matrix-like stream of symbols and bit.ly codes flying by my eyes. Here, I see photos, visual thoughts, videos, and the sorts of retinal stimulation that humans expect.

  • The value of open virtualization

    Over a 3-year period, an open virtualization solution can cost less than half of a proprietary alternative. Also, open virtualization efficiently supports a wide range of guest operating systems, including Windows as well as Linux. In fact, we think that one of the major uses of KVM is going to be by customers who want to virtualize mixed Linux / Windows environments, and have a common hypervisor.

  • Oracle throws Schwartz blog into the memory hole to hide his endorsement of Google’s use of Java. [2]

    Robert Pogson’s trolls taunt that use of free software caused the demise of Sun. Wikipedia’s explanation is that the Dot Com bubble burst ruined the hardware market, by flooding it with cheap Sun hardware from bankrupt companies. Anti-trust authorities should revisit this episode to be sure Microsoft did not engage in a classic second hand equipment anti-trust violation as well as Microsoft and telco retardation of the internet in the late 90s which ruined so many businesses.

  • Judge Blasts Oracle in Android Software Fight

    PJ adds a link to the ruling and adds, ” I don’t think the judge altogether grasps the tech yet, but he definitely ruled that Oracle’s expert wasn’t fit for the jury to hear, and that the $6 figure proposed as damages was not defensible.” In other news, she summarizes the history of the case,

    some keep pushing every step of this litigation as doom for Google, what has happened so far? Well, for starters, Oracle has had most of its patents found invalid in the reexaminations. And the judge has told it to reduce the number of its claims. So right there, Google has won a great deal. If there are any damages at all, they won’t therefore be in the stratosphere. And the judge yesterday told Oracle its $6B-expert was all wet in how he came up with that ridiculous figure. … In other words, this case is now a lot smaller than when it started, and if there is a settlement, it could only be on terms Google doesn’t mind. … at the beginning, almost the whole world was saying that Android was doomed, that Google was going to be found liable, that this was a slam dunk for Oracle, blah blah blah. Was any of that true? Obviously not. And may I point out that there are no patent counterclaims in this case, and yet Google is winning? Duh. Time for the media to notice that they got spun.

  • Praise for Web OS.

    If the tiny but powerful Veer and the absolutely rabid yet organised fan community is any indication of the direction WebOS is heading, the OS could make a rapid recovery under HP’s stewardship.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Anti-Trust

    • Nokia shows the Microsoft touch – faltering sales and losses.

      Nokia, struggling to hold onto its place as the world’s number one mobile phone maker, slumped Thursday to only its second quarterly loss since 1998 as sales continued to fall. Having pinned its hopes for recovery on a tie-up with US giant Microsoft, Nokia reported a three months to June a net loss of 368 million euros ($520.5 million), compared to a profit of 227 million euros in second quarter 2010. Analysts had expected a net loss of 104 million euros

      I’d buy one of their MeGo phones if I could be sure it was not a jail.

  • Civil Rights

    • Ralph Nater calls for US Supreme Court impeachments.

      Five Supreme Court Justices–Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito and Kennedy are entrenching, in a whirlwind of judicial dictates, judicial legislating and sheer ideological judgments, a mega-corporate supremacy over the rights and remedies of individuals. … the decisions are brazenly over-riding sensible precedents, tearing apart the state common law of torts and blocking class actions, shoving aside jury verdicts, limiting people’s ‘standing to sue,’ pre-empting state jurisdictions–anything that serves to centralize power and hand it over to the corporate conquistadores.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Apple discusses patent threats in their SEC filings.

      PJ laughs at the ambiguity and asks, “Time to fix the US patent system, then, don’t you think, if one of the most successful tech companies in the country can’t predict its own survival with certainty, due to the threat of invalid patents?”

    • Microsoft sued for Kinect patent infringement

      Impulse Technology filed the suit in federal court in Delaware, accusing Microsoft and several game makers–including Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and THQ–of violating patents related to, among other things, tracking and assessing movement skills in multidimensional space

      This does not seem related to the HiE-D case.

    • Did Microsoft Steal the Kinect?

      [Carlos Anzola], an inventor, tinkerer, and self-ascribed geek from Bogotá, Colombia, had been working for years on a nearly identical gesture interface for the PC. His creation, the Human interface Electronic Device, or HiE-D – pronounced ‘Heidi’ – was capable of gesture recognition years before Microsoft would release the Kinect.

      This seems to be a typical wine, dine, steal by Microsoft of a not entirely obvious piece of hardware.

More Reader’s Picks

  • Linus not happy with Gnome 3

    I’m using Xfce. I think it’s a step down from gnome2, but it’s a huge step up from gnome3. Really.

  • A study showing that IE users tended to be stupid was a hoax.

    I still think this PR flim flam was sponsored by Microsoft in the first place.

  • Security

    • McAffee admits complete and universal security failure.

      I am convinced that every company in every conceivable industry with significant size and valuable intellectual property and trade secrets has been compromised (or will be shortly), with the great majority of the victims rarely discovering the intrusion or its impact. In fact, I divide the entire set of Fortune Global 2000 firms into two categories: those that know they’ve been compromised and those that don’t yet know.

      Last year, another study showed that 88% of Fortune 500 networks had a particular botnet and Google has shown that Windows itself is spyware, so only people who don’t mind Microsoft and criminals looking over their work should use Windows. All non free software carries the risk of backdoors.

    • Glen Moody calls out Windows for “Operation Shady Rat”

      This massive breach of security, and loss of possibly highly-sensitive information, was all down to two things: the abiding thoughtlessness of people opening attachments, and a range of flaws in Microsoft’s software. So the statement that “the only organizations that are exempt from this threat are those that don’t have anything valuable or interesting worth stealing” is not true; another class would be those wise enough not to allow any of their personnel to use Microsoft products.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Feds Say They Can Search Bradley Manning’s Friend’s Laptop Because They Can

      This border search had nothing to do with the border and everything to do with the feds using a questionable opportunity to seize data that it could not otherwise get access to via legal means. If House’s laptop were really crucial to the case, then the Justice Department should have gotten a warrant to view it. … the reason given for having to keep House’s laptop for so long … the laptop ran both Linux and Windows and the tech geniuses at Homeland Security had trouble understanding how to deal with that.

      If you must travel to, from or within the US, bring a clean laptop you don’t mind giving away, sftp via rsync your files to yourself when you get here and scrub the drive before you leave. If you must run Windows, do it in a VirtualBox.

    • Man arrested and beaten for taking pictures of police in Los Vegas

      Crooks can be heard yelling in pain while Colling can be heard telling him to “shut up” and telling him his decision not to turn off the camera put him in “a world of hurt.”

      Bullies often blame their victims.

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Who’s Grabbing Africa’s Land? U.S. Speculators, Including Universities

      China and Arab countries have generally been scrutinized in the media for their land deals, but much of the cash flow comes through U.S. and European investors, according to Oakland Institute—through established pension funds, agribusiness behemoths and even educational institutions. … “We see really vertical integration and control of the markets [by investors] who will be able to both influence prices and also decide on what the production will be,” warns Oakland Institute Policy Director Frederic Mousseau. “We have the food chain, which is pervasively and quite rapidly in recent years being under the control of financial groups.

  • Anti-Trust

    • Former Microsoft Exec Steven VanRoekel Named US Federal CIO

      VanRoekel previously served 15 years at Microsoft where his final position was as Microsoft’s Windows Server and Tools Division, followed by a year+ stint at the FCC starting in 2009, ending at this newest appointment.

      Techrights has a lot of articles about the stint at the FCC.

  • Censorship

    • EFF – Vague Anti-Stalking Law Threatens Protected Speech Online

      In this case, the government has presented the novel and dangerous theory that the use of a public communication service like Twitter to criticize a well-known individual can result in criminal liability based on the personal sensibilities of the person being criticized. … “While true threats can and should be opposed, public speech about prominent people must be vigorously protected.”

      The rich and powerful would use anti-trolling laws and as a censorship tool which has no effect on corporate controlled media.

  • Privacy

    • EFF: Randi Zuckerberg Runs in the Wrong Direction on Pseudonymity Online

      Randi Zuckerberg [of Facebook] doesn’t just think that you should be using your real name on Facebook or Google+ or LinkedIn — she thinks pseudonyms have no place on the Internet at all … Not only is uncivil discourse alive and well in venues with real name policies (such as Facebook), the argument willfully ignores the many voices that are silenced in the name of shutting up trolls: activists living under authoritarian regimes, whistleblowers, victims of violence, abuse, and harassment, and anyone with an unpopular or dissenting point of view that can legitimately expect to be imprisoned, beat-up, or harassed for speaking out. … An Internet in which everyone has to use their real name is not necessarily going to be any more polite, but it is guaranteed to be a disaster for freedom of expression.

      Not mentioned is the fact that rules against nyms might be violated by the enforcers themselves, which simply gives authorities power that others lack. Put more concisely, Facebook and other ISPs would be the greatest fuckwads of all, a situation that mirrors the world of broadcast and physical media.

  • Civil Rights

    • Biofuels from food crops and rampant speculation lead to starvation and people eating less.

      The surprising conclusion from all this is that, leaving out the impact of the biofuel boom of the 2000s, global consumption of both cereals and edible oils is actually slowing down. All the more tragic, then, that speculative forces are still allowed to run amok in global commodity markets and global food prices are kept so high as to increase the deprivation of the millions of hungry people in the world.

    • US insurance companies have raised premiums and reduced health care.
    • Alabama’s immigrant hate law rehtoric finds a target.

      Newlywed shoppers claim Wal-Mart’s false accusation that they tried to steal $2.90 worth of chicken neck bones caused the wife to be falsely arrested and lose her job, her husband to be deported, and both to lose their car, all their possessions and their house – though Wal-Mart’s security video showed they had paid for the damn chicken bones.

      So much for “The customer is always right.” This is what happens when political leaders turn on minorities. RMS notes, “That false accusation would only have caused a brief annoyance if it had not been followed by repeated violations of the couple’s rights.” The annoyance might be brief, but the bad attitude is pervasive here in Alabama and officially encouraged by the state.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Huffington Post notices US patent problems, Huffington Post Notices

      It’s possible that one consequence of first-to-file is that you’ll have a rush of more patents … The bill’s new review process inside the PTO does provide a cheaper way to challenge silly patents than the current court process, but tech firms aren’t likely to take advantage of it. Monitoring patent applications is nearly impossible, and challenging a patent alerts its holder to a potential lawsuit target if the challenge fails.

    • Google: When patents attack Android

      Android’s success has yielded something else: a hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents. … A smartphone might involve as many as 250,000 (largely questionable) patent claims, and our competitors want to impose a “tax” for these dubious patents that makes Android devices more expensive for consumers. … the law frowns on the accumulation of dubious patents for anti-competitive means – which means these deals are likely to draw regulatory scrutiny, and this patent bubble will pop. … We’re also looking at other ways to reduce the anti-competitive threats against Android by strengthening our own patent portfolio.

      It is sad to see Google buying into a corrupt system which Microsoft has long used to extort gnu/linux users. Money wasted on worthless patents won’t fend off lawsuits from IV and other shell companies. Software patents should not exist.

    • Microsoft nonsense about Nortel Patents

      PJ notes, “Google publicly announced they wanted the patents for defense only. But counterclaims by a defendant are defense. It’s how you defend, meaning if no one sues you for patent infringement, you never use the patents at all in litigation. For Shaw to pretend he doesn’t know that, assuming the media won’t, is cynical. And you thought “Get the Facts” was bad.” Google put it more clearly

      it’s obvious why we turned down Microsoft’s offer. Microsoft’s objective has been to keep from Google and Android device-makers any patents that might be used to defend against their attacks. A joint acquisition of the Novell patents that gave all parties a license would have eliminated any protection these patents could offer to Android against attacks from Microsoft and its bidding partners. Making sure that we would be unable to assert these patents to defend Android — and having us pay for the privilege — must have seemed like an ingenious strategy to them. We didn’t fall for it.

    • Patents against prosperity

      This recent episode of Planet Money, “When Patents Attack”, is an informative and entertaining primer on the way America’s patent system squelches competition, slows innovation, and enables egregious predation through the legal system. Please listen to this. And then tell me that Nathan Myhrvold of Intellectual Ventures is not our age’s authentic villainous robber baron, making a fortune gaming America’s dysfunctional patent-law system to shake down would-be innovators.

    • Copyrights

      • Two solicitors fined and suspended for file-sharer letters

        The Solicitors Regulation Authority has suspended two lawyers and fined them £20,000 each for sending out thousands of letters accusing people of illegally sharing files…. Davenport Lyons passed the work onto ACS:Law and Andrew Crossley in 2009 when it got sick of the bad publicity. Crossley was declared bankrupt in June

      • Righthaven, still angering judges, finally pays cash for its mistakes

        Now, it is finally paying defense lawyers, even if it can’t quite manage to send a check to the proper location.

        Fraud from start to finish.

      • The UK Musicians Union wants to tax every device that can play music.

        [Their argument] reveals the abiding and ingrained sense of entitlement that pervades all the creative industries. They are not content to be paid once like most people, but want to be paid again and again.

        It is difficult to imagine individual musicians that blockheaded, so the union must represent someone else.


Links 25/7/2011: Calculate Linux 11.6.1, CentOS 6.0 LiveCD

Posted in News Roundup at 3:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 157
  • Kernel Space

    • Compiling Linux kernel 3.0 with Emdebian ARM toolchain

      The Emdebian project works to bring Debian on embedded platforms, with repositories of custom distributions and toolchains to cross-compile software. I wanted to try their ARM toolchains, and coincidentally the Linux kernel 3.0 has been released in these days, so I tried to cross-compile it and emulate it on QEMU. These tests have been done on my Debian “wheezy” desktop.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Moved to Fluxbox

      After giving Unity a try on Ubuntu 11.04 and hearing that GNOME2 will be dropped in Ubuntu 11.10, I’ve decided to find a new work environment. I tested a few desktop environments and window managers and decided on Fluxbox.

    • Change Isn’t Always Bad for Linux

      Mac users who don’t like the Lion changes don’t have that same kind of latitude. There aren’t really any alternative Mac distributions they can turn to.

      Linux users are better positioned to embrace change, since it’s usually not too hard to walk away from changes we don’t agree with. So why not be a little open to changes? Why not give more UI changes an extended look before we walk away in anger or disgust?

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Top Ten of the most viewed KDE Websites

        Some readers might remember, some time back we talked about setting up stats for most of our KDE Websites. Yes, we did. And i thought it is time to share something of that with you, my highly interested readers ;)

        Let’s compile a chart of our most viewed sites.
        It’s no surprise, our highly dynamics sites are ranking very high. But which and how?

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Calculate Linux 11.6.1 released

        First update for distribution Calculate Linux 11.6 has been released.
        Major Changes¶

        * Fixed KDE-applet knetworkmanager.
        * Fixed installation with the first version of Grub.
        * Fixed permissions for samba server share distfiles.
        * Fixed auto-install the video driver on to the USB-HDD.
        * Fixed saving settings.
        * To display the disk size using the binary prefix instead of decimal.
        * Improved localization of the Bulgarian language.
        * KDE updated to version 4.6.5.

      • Zorin OS 5 Lite is now available

        The Zorin OS Team are proud to release the Zorin OS 5 Lite, the lightweight version of our operating system designed for Windows users using old and low-spec computers. We have released this version ahead of schedule. This new version of Zorin OS Lite is based on Lubuntu 11.04 and uses the LXDE desktop environment, which brings new and updated packages. Many program changes were also made for this release to increase size efficiency and to improve the overall experience. Most notable in this release is that in can now fit on a CD. We have removed WINE, VLC, a few games and other programs to save space and included them into our new and exclusive program, the “Zorin OS Lite Extra Software” which allows you to install these programs easily if you wish to do so. We have also included our other exclusive programs such as our Zorin Look Changer and Internet Browser Manager in Zorin OS 5 Lite.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 6 GNOME review

        Chromium is the only Web browser installed, but Firefox 5 and Opera 11.50 are available for installation. Adobe Flash plugin and Java JRE are installed, and with libdvdcss installed, Totem, the installed video player, has no problem playing encrypted video DVDs, Essentially, the system comes loaded with all the applications that most users will need. Need some application that is not installed? Use the package management system to search the repository and install it.

    • Red Hat Family

      • 6 wonders of CentOS 6.0

        Do you know what CentOS is?
        No, this is a not a OS which costs you only one cent to buy. Although, I bought a DVD with Linux OS for 0.01 GBP once, it was not CentOS.
        CentOS is actually free Operating System based on RedHat Enterprise Linux. In other words, group of enthusiasts took out source code of RHEL, which they have to publish as part of Linux license, re-branded it as CentOS and published for open and free usage.

      • [CentOS 6.0 (LiveCD) is out]
      • Fedora

        • Ask Fedora – 24-7

          Enter the world of Ask Fedora. Of course this is just a test instance for feedback. So test it out, ask questions, provide answers and let me know how everything is working out for you. I am primarily looking at how well it scales and whether open id and your Fedora id is working as intended but any other feedback is welcome too. If you know Django and Python and want to help out, drop me a line. We are looking to add several features, fix some issues and provide excellent integration with Fedora including but not limited to auto linking to Red Hat bugzilla, theming it and providing its own logo!

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • CrunchBang worth more than just a test run

          However, I’m on my fourth day of using CrunchBang — also known in shorthand as #! — and, for once, the temptation to use it for longer that the simple “test drive” is overwhelming, to the point where it’s completely feasible that I may be using this for quite awhile.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Trying Kubuntu 11.04

              On a second thought, I am back into Kubuntu just to see how much I can endure it, I should say it is wow with all the effects as after rebooting it is with nvidia proprietary drivers and the effects are brilliant

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux thin client taps new Marvell ARM SoC

      Wyse Technology announced a Linux thin client based on Marvell’s new 1GHz PXA510 system-on-chip (SoC), with support for Citrix Receiver, VMware View Open Client, Wyse TCX and VDA, and Microsoft’s RDP (remote desktop protocol) 7. The Wyse T50 offers 1GB RAM, 1GB flash, DVI-I with a dual-display option, gigabit Ethernet, four USB ports, and support for 720p video within a browser.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Apple iOS versus Android

          As Android’s popularity grows its competitors look for ways to slow it down.

          Things are looking a little rough for Android right now. Its increased popularity is not only attracting millions of new fans but is also attracting unwanted patent attention from competitors unhappy with its success.


  • Cablegate

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs fights bias lawsuit, cites Wal-Mart

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) said a recent landmark decision throwing out a class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart (WMT.N) means it should not face a wide-ranging case accusing it of systematic bias against women.

    • The Fed Audit

      The first top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve uncovered eye-popping new details about how the U.S. provided a whopping $16 trillion in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. An amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders to the Wall Street reform law passed one year ago this week directed the Government Accountability Office to conduct the study. “As a result of this audit, we now know that the Federal Reserve provided more than $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the United States and throughout the world,” said Sanders. “This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.”


Links 24/7/2011: News Leftovers

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

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • 19 ways to do your bit for open source

    It’s undoubtedly good to give back to a community you take so much from.

    And in doing so, you can also help improve the software that you use every day, both for your benefit and for everyone else.

    Here are 19 ways you can help open source projects.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla jumps to deal with Google Toolbar demise

        The toolbar offers a variety of services, including a search box, a way to use bookmarks stored on a server, and a measurement of a Web site’s PageRank–a score Google gives that measures its influence in Google search results. But Google has chosen to do in the Firefox version.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • OpenOffice Gets IBM Boost

      It’s curious how the recent OpenOffice saga has been downplayed by much of the media covering technology, but it seems pretty important to me. OpenOffice and LibreOffice are the two primary office suites available today that are both free and complete. There are others, too, but OpenOffice is the dominant suite, and LibreOffice is a fork of the OpenOffice code.

      The fork, which is a common phenomenon in open-source projects, was expected by many to supersede OpenOffice, but two things happened. First Oracle, who owned OpenOffice as part of the Sun takeover, wasn’t interested in maintaining what is essentially a labor of love, so it gave the whole thing to the Apache Foundation. Then this week IBM decided it wanted OpenOffice to stick around, so it handed over its entire Lotus Symphony Suite to the group and told them to use whatever they wanted.

    • Contest winner Ksplice wins big with Oracle buy

      Barely three years old, Cambridge startup Ksplice Inc. was bought by database giant Oracle Corp. for an undisclosed amount.


    • Fellowship interview with Bernhard Reiter

      Bernhard is founder and Executive Director of Intevation GmbH, a company with exclusively Free Software products and services since 1999. He played a crucial role in the establishment of FSFE as one of its founders, and architect of the original German team. Beside that he participated in setting up three important Free Software organisations: FreeGIS.org, FFII, and FossGIS.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Free Technology Academy needs your help!

      Since the first pilot in 2009, the FTA programme [5] has expanded from 3 to 13 course modules, including subjects such as “The concepts of Free Software and Open Standards”, “GNU/Linux systems”, “Economic Aspects of Free Software”, “Software Architecture” and many others. According to the spirit of the Free Software movement, all FTA learning materials [6] are released under copyleft licenses.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • FTC chairman backs national data security standard

      Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz said there should be a national data breach notification standard Thursday but declined to take a position on the SAFE Data Act that passed a House subcommittee Wednesday.

      Currently, 47 states have laws that require companies to notify consumers if their private data is breached, but there is no national standard.

      “You don’t want a crazy quilt patchwork of statutes even if most of them, or the vast majority of them, are reasonable,” Leibowitz said at a forum on privacy at the Brookings Institution on Thursday.


  • Civil Rights

    • Eric S Raymond: Thoughts On No-Anonymity Policy Of Google+

      Google is clearly making some execution mistakes in implementing this policy, such as deleting the accounts of people with single-word legal names that merely look like handles. I agree these mistakes need correction and that Google needs to have a more responsive appeals process, but I think over-focusing on mistakes and edge cases obscures the most interesting question: is Google right? Will a no-handles policy produce a social network with higher value to more users than a network with handles?

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The Usage Based Billing Hearing Concludes: Has the CRTC Come to Competition Too Late?

      The CRTC’s usage based billing oral hearing concluded yesterday with a final decision expected some time in the fall. This long post focuses on the shift in CRTC thinking on the state of broadband competition in Canada but wonders whether it comes too late to make a difference. For many years, the CRTC has steadfastly maintained that the Canadian ISP market is competitive. For example, in the net neutrality decision from October 2009 it stated:

      Consistent with the current regulatory approach, under which the Commission has granted forbearance for retail Internet services, primary ISPs may continue to apply ITMPs to retail Internet services as they consider appropriate, with no requirement for prior Commission approval. This approach remains valid due in part to the large number of existing ISPs. A change in the approach would amount to interference with market forces and would result in inefficient regulation, which is contrary to the Policy Direction.

  • Copyrights

    • Access Copyright: It’s “Virtually Impossible” to Opt-Out Of Tariff

      Over the past few weeks, a growing number of Canadian universities have announced plans to opt-out of the Access Copyright interim tariff effective September 1, 2011 (the University of Calgary’s Gauntlet has an excellent article on the issue). Those universities join many others that opted-out from the start of the year. While many universities are moving on to alternative licensing approaches, the universities and Access Copyright continue to battle over the prospect of transactional (or pay-per-use) licensing which the universities want and Access Copyright refuses to grant. The AUCC filed its response on the issue earlier this week, which included some notable correspondence between Access Copyright and academic publishers.

    • ACTA

      • European Parliament ACTA study

        Act on ACTA refers to a European Parliament Trade Committee commissioned study on ACTA (pdf). The study highlights problematic aspects of ACTA and makes recommendations (see below). According to the study, “unconditional consent would be an inappropriate response”, and “There does not therefore appear to be any immediate benefit from ACTA for EU citizens”. The study confirms ACTA goes beyond current EU legislation. It recommends asking the European Court of Justice an opinion on ACTA.

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