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OpenStack Advocacy and Promotion (Especially From Red Hat) and Other Stack Initiatives

Posted in News Roundup at 9:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Other Initiatives

Recent and Upcoming Events

Posted in News Roundup at 9:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Great Wide Open

  • Atlanta Meets Open Source at ‘Great Wide Open’

    Like All Things Open, which is now an annual event, Great Wide Open is aimed at those who earn their living by plying their trades in the tech sector. In other words, don’t expect any workshops or presentations on “How to Setup Ubuntu for Grandma” here. However, this doesn’t mean there’ll be nothing for people who mainly use Linux and open source at home. Indeed, all FOSS supporters should look into enterprise events like this because what happens in the enterprise often eventually ends up on the desktop, either as improvements/additions to Linux or as new open source applications.

Linux Foundation Events


Desktop Environments News: KDE, GNOME, XFCE…

Posted in News Roundup at 9:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

  • Conf.kde.in 2014 – Knowledge. Power. Freedom.

    The primary goal of the conference was to encourage people to get involved with open source and to understand its power and its reach. We also wanted to help them get started by teaching them the basics and by getting them to know more about KDE. When the conference was over, it didn’t matter how many lines of code anyone could understand or even actually write. If some people were convinced of the magic of open source and of KDE, and are now willing to be contributors to this noble cause even if only slightly, then the event accomplished its aim. Events, speakers and mentors like these add fuel to the fire inside. Students were inspired to reach out and experience the power of free and open source technology.

  • “KDE5″ and Wayland

    As my readers probably know there won’t be a combined release as the software compilation used to be. There are independent ongoing projects around the libraries (frameworks or KF5) the workspaces (Plasma Next) and the applications. These projects have independent release cycles and are not one product. I know, I know, many people will disagree and say that it’s still one. But if we go for this strong simplification both “will support Wayland” and “will not support Wayland” are true.

  • The State Of Wayland Support With KDE Frameworks 5, Plasma Next
  • oldest krunner plugin ported to sprinter

    Today I ported the ~7.5 year-old “services” KRunner plugin to Sprinter and added support for some of the new Sprinter features in the process, which I show in the video below. It felt like something of a milestone to have the first plugin I wrote for KRunner now running on libsprinter. :)

  • Not the monday report but some clarification

    “Community” why is that more important than “Design”? Because it is design. It is the basis of Open Source Design. One of my favorite distros and desktops (aside from Plasma Desktop) is Crunchbang. It’s one of my first pure Linux Loves and will always have a certain place in my heart.Crunchbang got one huge chunk of design right: communication. Design is communication – it is not just “make pretty”, its the ability to communicate goals, ideals and ideas to a group. In Open Source the benefit we have is that everyone can be a part – we use it in almost every aspect, from the Kernel up to Widget programming. But we tend to forget Design because design have a myth about it of the “Lone Genius” and that “Design by committee” it’s supposed counterpart is somehow “bad for design”.

  • KDE Ships First Beta of Applications and Platform 4.13
  • First beta of KDE Applications 4.13 is out

    It’s Christmas time for KDE Software users, the team has just announced the first beta of the 4.13 versions of Applications and Development Platform. This release also marks a freeze on APIs, dependencies and features so the team will now focus on hunting down bugs and polish it further.

  • Replacing KDE4 with Xfce

    With these things in mind, I very quickly focused on two desktop managers that might provide the desired desktop: Xfce and Trinity. Since I prefer to use openSUSE as the underlying operating system and Xfce is one of the desktop manager options fully supported by openSUSE installations, Xfce was an obvious first choice for consideration. This article will consider the Xfce desktop manager from the perspective of a KDE4 user and it is addressed to all those KDE4 users who feel similarly frustrated with the development direction KDE4 has taken.

  • Krita Lime: Localization Support
  • Krita 2.8.0 Milestone Release, Steam [Ubuntu Installation]

    Krita 2.8.0 was released yesterday, and this version comes with quite a big list of changes. In addition to the new features that were implemented, Krita is also available for Windows with an installer available from here.

  • Major new version of free Photoshop replacement Krita released for Linux and Windows

    The KDE Project has released a major new version of its Krita image editing software, with the latest version of the free and open source Photoshop replacement available for both Windows and Linux.

    The latest update, version 2.8, marks a significant milestone for the software, marking the first stable version of the software released for Windows.

  • Krita 2.8 Provides Many New Features To Artists

    Krita 2.8 offers better tablet support based upon Qt’s tablet code, a new high-quality scaling mode for Krita’s OpenGL canvas, a new wrap-around mode, new brush presets, a layer picker, support for G’mic filters, and tons of new artist features and other improvements.

  • Calligra 2.8 Released

    The Calligra team is proud and pleased to announce the release of version 2.8 of the Calligra Suite, Calligra Active and the Calligra Office Engine. This version is the result of thousands of commits which provide new features, polishing of the user experience and bug fixes.

  • KDE Commit-Digest for 2nd February 2014


  • Ubuntu Gnome wants to get LTS status

    Ubuntu Gnome team wants to join the elite club of Ubuntu flavours which enjoy the LTS (Long Term Support) status. 14.04 is going to be an LTS release and its apt for Ubuntu Gnome team to get extended support of 2 years and 3 months as an LTS release which will make it easier for those users to use Gnome who want to use stable LTS releases.

  • GNOME Music 3.12 Beta 2 Arrives with Minor Improvements and Bugfixes

    Several other minor improvements have been added to this release, and various bugs have been fixed, including the removal of the “Now Playing” entry from the App Menu, songs are no longer being replayed when they’re paused, the current track is now restarted when the Previous button is clicked, and the position is greater than 3 seconds.


  • Why XFCE beats KDE and GNOME

    The sleeper desktop environment – which I didn’t even considered years ago – has been XFCE. I’ve found that XFCE offers more robustness than say, LXDE, which lacks much of XFCE’s polish in its default configuration. XFCE provides all the benefits one may have enjoyed in GNOME 2, but with a lightweight experience that makes it a hit on older computers.

  • Linux desktop environment Mate achieves 1.8 release

    Linux users do not like change. Well, actually, they do not like change for the sake of change. If something works, they typically hang on to it until something truly better comes along. A good example of this is GNOME 2. People love it and it works well. However, the GNOME Project moved to version 3 and radically changed how it works. GNOME purists were angry as version 2 worked just fine — for them. And so, many hung onto the outdated version, shunning version 3.

  • Totally Legal, LMDE Reviews, and R-E-S-P-E-C-T


Weekend News: Surveillance, Drones, CIA, and Ukraine

Posted in News Roundup at 4:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: More weekend news (plus early Monday news) about issues scarcely covered in the wider media/press



  • Controversy Brews Over Role Of ‘Killer Robots’ In Theater of War

    The idea of a killer robot, as a coalition of international human rights groups has dubbed the autonomous machines, conjures a humanoid Terminator-style robot. The humanoid robots Google recently bought are neat, but most machines being used or tested by national militaries are, for now, more like robotic weapons than robotic soldiers. Still, the line between useful weapons with some automated features and robot soldiers ready to kill can be disturbingly blurry.

  • Will We Ever Get Over 9/11?

    Will we rescue our character, our culture, and our Constitution from a sort of 9/11 P.T.S.D?

  • How Obama Became a Publicist for His Presidency (Rather Than the President)

    As an adapter to the thinking of men of power, Obama was a quick study. It took him less than half a year as president to subscribe to Dick Cheney’s view on the need for the constant surveillance of all Americans. This had to be done for the sake of our own safety in a war without a visible end. The leading consideration here is that Obama, quite as much as George W. Bush, wants to be seen as having done everything possible to avoid the “next 9/11.” He cares far less about doing everything possible to uphold the Constitution (a word that seldom occurs in his speeches or writings). Nevertheless, if you ask him, he will be happy to declare his preference for a return to the state of civil liberties we enjoyed in the pre-2001 era. In the same way, he will order drone killings in secret and then give a speech in which he informs us that eventually this kind of killing must stop.

  • China & US to enhance military exchanges



  • As China and India Back Russia, Ukraine Crisis Is Over

    Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchysta on March 8th said the Ukraine is ready to negotiate with Russia “at any level” over the Crimea issue, the move followed announcements by India and China that they were officially backing Russia’ right to intervene in the Crimea. Deshchysta added that international mediation efforts over the issue have made some small steps forward, including progress in efforts to establish a contact group. He also said the mediation group membership had yet to be settled, and progress is fragile. But with over a third of the world’s population backing Russia, the Ukrainian Crisis is over.

  • The hypocrisy of some nations

    Double standards are on display as Western leaders attack Russia regarding Ukraine, while they themselves commit or endorse worse aggression on other countries.

  • Radio Free Russia

    In her March, 2011 testimony before Congress, Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, lamented that the US propaganda mill was losing ground to its rivals for lack of funding. In an informal interview she went further, stating that when abroad she got her news from RT, since CNN had become obsessed with celebrity trials and failed to cover international developments. So the US Secretary of State declared publicly that her most trusted news source was….(drum roll ) Russia Today .

  • Is the U.S. Backing Neo-Nazis in Ukraine? [a little old]

    As the Euromaidan protests in the Ukrainian capitol of Kiev culminated this week, displays of open fascism and neo-Nazi extremism became too glaring to ignore. Since demonstrators filled the downtown square to battle Ukrainian riot police and demand the ouster of the corruption-stained, pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich, it has been filled with far-right streetfighting men pledging to defend their country’s ethnic purity.

  • Ukraine: No easy answers

    The Russian invasion of Crimea occurred in a place little known to Americans, for reasons rooted in a tangled and bloody history. The showdown between President Vladimir Putin and the new Ukrainian government is a fight about tangible matters of intense mutual interest.

    But many Americans can’t address international crises without sounding like a Toby Keith song: “I Wanna Talk About Me.”

  • Ukraine Ethnic Purity Extremists [Neo Nazis] threaten Russians, Jews, non-whites


Weekend News: Surveillance, Drones, Torture, and More

Posted in News Roundup at 3:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: News about power and abuse thereof, including — for the most part — surveillance


  • American Unlimited Imperialism:Now Ukraine

    By shamelessly exploiting the terrible tragedy of 11 September 2001, the Bush Jr. administration set forth to steal a hydrocarbon empire from the Muslim states and peoples living in Central Asia and the Persian Gulf and Africa under the bogus pretexts of (1) fighting a war against international terrorism; and/or (2) eliminating weapons of mass destruction; and/or (3) the promotion of democracy; and/or (4) self-styled “humanitarian intervention”/responsibility to protect. Only this time the geopolitical stakes are infinitely greater than they were a century ago: control and domination of two-thirds of the world’s hydrocarbon resources and thus the very fundament and energizer of the global economic system – oil and gas. The Bush Jr./ Obama administrations have already targeted the remaining hydrocarbon reserves of Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia for further conquest or domination, together with the strategic choke-points at sea and on land required for their transportation. In this regard, the Bush Jr. administration announced the establishment of the U.S. Pentagon’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) in order to better control, dominate, and exploit both the natural resources and the variegated peoples of the continent of Africa, the very cradle of our human species. Libya and the Libyans became the first victims to succumb to AFRICOM under the Obama administration. They will not be the last.

  • The Looting Of Ukraine Has Begun

    According to a report in Kommersant-Ukraine, the finance ministry of Washington’s stooges in Kiev who are pretending to be a government has prepared an economic austerity plan that will cut Ukrainian pensions from $160 to $80 so that Western bankers who lent money to Ukraine can be repaid at the expense of Ukraine’s poor. http://www.kommersant.ua/doc/2424454 It is Greece all over again.

  • As the Ukraine debate rages, both sides are getting it wrong

    It’s possible to condemn Vladimir Putin’s invasion – and to believe that Kiev’s new government is no place for fascists

  • Ukraine A Carefully Orchestrated CIA Coup d’état
  • Stating the Obvious

    One of the ironies of the Ukraine situation which has drawn no comment I can find is that the Ukrainians have been lectured on democracy by Baroness Ashton, who heads EU foreign policy despite never having been elected to anything.




  • Why flying ‘Internet drones’ over Africa is a dumb, libertarian fantasy

    Despite what the foolish #firstworldproblems hashtag on Twitter would have you believe, my phone was probably the most out of date there. Everyone else in this Ghanaian newsroom was using Android smartphones from Samsung and HTC. A few people had cheaper Nokia Asha smartphones. There were a couple of iPhones and when the Samsung S4 came out a few months later at least one popped up. That’s not to say everyone had a smartphone, or that there wasn’t hardship. But mobile Internet connectivity – with the exception of our unstable WiFi – was not the issue. Indeed, everyone was constantly connected with the now Facebook-owned WhatsApp – to the extent that journalists would update their editors with it.

  • Africa, you will have Facebook [by CIA Post]

    TechCrunch recently reported that Facebook is in talks to acquire Titan Aerospace, a drone-production company that has just started taking orders for its Solara 50. The drone is designed to fly at 65,000 feet, remaining above terrestrial weather. A typical launch sequence is initiated just after midnight, and the aircraft climbs under its own battery power. The Solara reaches altitude as the sun crests over the horizon and enters its standard day-night cycle. When the sun sets, the Solara shifts its propulsion, payload and systems to its battery banks. A battery-management system ensures voltage is maintained in the subzero atmosphere. It is designed to stay aloft for five years with a range or 2.5 million miles. Read related article.



  • US aviation agency to appeal drone ruling

    The US aviation agency said Friday it will appeal the dismissal of a $10,000 fine it imposed on a Swiss entrepreneur who flew a drone over a college campus to make a commercial.

  • Drones used to track fighters in Mali

    As many as 12 fighters from the Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) group have been killed in a counter-terrorism operation by French forces in Mali who used drones to track down the jihadists, France’s defence minister said on Thursday.

  • ​Abby calls out CNN on CNN, Oscars & drones strikes, AIPAC 2014, free Barrett Brown

    Abby Martin remarks on the ongoing media craze surrounding her remarks on RT regarding the crisis in Ukraine and features a clip of her appearance on CNN, where she took the opportunity to call out the corporate media.

  • Are we ready for a taser drone capable of jolting us with 80,000 volts?

    Just as America is beginning to wake up to poor discipline and order in the nation’s police forces, those same forces are becoming even more militarized. They have weapons that can fire a massive number of bullets without control or even any accuracy. Now, they, and anyone else with the money can have a new toy: A drone that can fire taser darts and shock a person with 80,000 volts. According to a March 7 Engadget article, the weapon is called the “Chaotic Unmanned Personal Intercept Drone, or “stun copter.”

  • What goes around, comes around

    Today, Uncle Sam continues to preen as the globe’s big sheriff on the side of international law even while functioning as the world’s biggest outlaw.

  • A synoptic view of drones

    Technological progress in the West at the cost of human life elsewhere

  • Geneva casino: Winners and losers

    However, I thought it was quite ironical — and sad — that a drone attack killed five Afghan soldiers while the Afghan President was in Sri Lanka. And guess who had launched the attack? It was NATO forces led by the Americans and the British!


  • Bitter dispute pits CIA, Congress

    Democratic staffers of the Senate Intelligence Committee obtained classified documents at the center of a bitter struggle with the CIA some three years before the agency determined that the materials had been spirited out of a secret facility and demanded their return, according to U.S. officials.

  • Letter of the Day: CIA spying

    The spies get caught spying on their bosses; what else could one expect? Give the spy agencies trillions of dollars and all the rope it needed to hang themselves. The over-caffeinated frat boys get bored killing innocent people with drones and tied themselves up in a knot.

  • I got 30 months in prison. Why does Leon Panetta get a pass?

    The confirmation in December that former CIA Director Leon Panetta let classified information slip to “Zero Dark Thirty” screenwriter Mark Boal during a speech at the agency headquarters should result in a criminal espionage charge if there is any truth to Obama administration claims that it isn’t enforcing the Espionage Act only against political opponents.

  • The Washington Post: Declassify the torture report

    …the misguided program of interrogation and torture carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency.

  • What’s Inside CIA’s ‘Black Site’ Database? And Were Senate Staffers Allowed to See?

    The CIA and the Senators overseeing the agency are nearly at war. And it all revolves around the contents of a secret database documenting the CIA’s clandestine prisons.

  • Former FBI Agent Approaches 7 Years in Captivity

    The family of American Robert Levinson is preparing Sunday to mark seven years since the former FBI agent disappeared from Iran’s Kish Island while on a mission for the CIA. Levinson turns 66 years old Monday.

  • Reassessing Us Israel Relations Mar 2014

Canada and the Crown


Links 8/3/2014: Distros

Posted in News Roundup at 1:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • AV Linux 6.0.3 Distro Is for Audio, Video, and Graphic Enthusiasts

    AV Linux is a very particular distribution aimed at a very specific niche of users. First of all, this is an OS geared towards the 32-bit PAE processor, which is considerably older than the current ones. In theory, the distribution is capable of turning older PCs or even Mac OS systems into an Audio / Graphics / Video workstation appliance.

  • Distros Compared, Free Ed, and Making Money
  • Different strokes for different folks when it comes to Linux desktops

    You might have noticed that I used the term “different strokes for different folks” in the headline of this article. I think it sums up well the issue of choosing a desktop environment because there simply is no one desktop that will appeal to everyone, no matter how great it is or how many people like it.

    Personally, I prefer classic desktop environments like Xfce because they simply meld well with how I like to work. I find using them to be much faster and more intuitive when I am multitasking or just moving around my desktop.

  • Simplicity Linux 14.1 – A fresh take on Puppy Linux

    Ever since I started using Linux I have always carried a copy of Puppy Linux on a pen drive. I have such a high regard for Puppy Linux that I have a page dedicated to it.


    I have to admit that I thought I was going to have a frustrating time with Simplicity because whilst trying 13.10 I came up with a number of issues and it just didn’t work for me.

    This however is 14.1 and it works very very well and in fact I haven’t come across any issues of note except for the fact that the OnLive application hangs. (Probably due to my poor internet connection).

    Simplicity is a worthy replacement for those of you using LXPup which is no longer being actively developed.

    If you have a laptop with a failed hard drive sat in a corner gathering cobwebs then you can easily breathe new life into it by running Simplicity Linux on a USB drive.

  • On my new laptop: ZaReason’s Strata 7440

    Getting Mageia 4 on the laptop was no big deal. In fact, I used the 64 bit version of the OS and everything worked, even the Japanese IME with iBus.

    Then I tried to get PCLinuxOS and, unfortunately, had problems with the display. I need to see if I can get to correct the problem later.

    The other OS that I installed to the Strata was OpenMandriva 2013. The only problem was the lack of Wifi connectivity… It was solved easily adding the appropriate packages.

  • BlankOn 9.0 review

    My first look at a BlankOn edition was BlankOn 8, which was back in August 2012 (see BlankOn 8 preview). So it’s been almost a year and a half between BlankOn 8 and 9. That’s plenty of time to make major improvements and fix whatever needs fixing on a desktop operating system.

    The distribution uses the GNOME 3 desktop environment with a custom desktop shell called Manokwari. It looked good the first time I took it for a spin (on BlankOn 8), but I wasn’t too impressed with some aspects of it. But that was 18 months ago, maybe things are better on BlankOn 9.0, which is code-named Suroboyo.

  • Frequently asked questions from Windows users thinking of using Linux

    Gaming on Linux has been behind Windows for a long time. Fortunately with the release of Steam for Linux that gap is beginning to close and I can foresee a time whereby Linux gaming will be on at very least a par with Windows.

  • Zorin OS 8 – More like Windows 7 than Windows 7

    It has been a while since I last wrote a review about Zorin OS. Time moves pretty fast and with other distributions making great strides, is there still a place for an operating system like Zorin which basically deploys a familiar looking desktop on top of Ubuntu.

    It has been a couple of versions since the last review so it is a bit pointless for me to just write the differences between now and then, so instead I am going for the full review as if I had never seen it before.

  • What is your most expected distribution?

    Yet another feature of Distrowatch is announcement for coming releases for Linux distributions. If you look at the list of distributions due to be released within next 3 months, which one is the most interesting for you? Which new release are you looking for most?

  • Linux – The Top 5 Lightweight Distros of 2014

    Hi there, and welcome to another edition of Gamerheadlines’ top 5. Today’s topic will be lightweight Linux distributions. So, keep in mind that, while there are several amazing distros for higher-end computers, such as Ubuntu and Mint, these distros are for those of us with, shall we say… computers full of wisdom. A wisdom that can only be attained following years (and years) of experience and, unfortunately, age.

Links 8/3/2014: Games

Posted in News Roundup at 1:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links 8/3/2014: Instructionals

Posted in News Roundup at 1:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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