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Links 11/03/2009: Red Hat in Ecuador; OpenOffice.org Gets Faster



GNOME bluefish

Contents





GNU/Linux

  • The best racing game ever runs on Linux!


    Last night I was looking for a linux game, to do some mindless gaming on the and of a tiring day.

    And I found the greatest thing, the racing game I've been playing a lot as a child is available as a remake and it runs on Linux. I've been looking for something similar to this game of and on for a long time now.


  • Linux services without mains power


    The system runs Ubuntu 8.04 LTS. I wanted to run an apt-based distribution and the long term support options are relevant to clients, so felt I should run the same as I would install on other sites, though running Debian would have been just as valid. I ran Gentoo for a while, whose optimisations are great for this type of application, but you really need to be a full time sysadmin to achieve the same consistency as with a non-source-based distribution. Arch Linux is also tempting (I run that on my Asus eeepc with XFCE 4.6) but a little too leading edge for this server requirement, for my taste.


  • Sneak Preview of Adobe Reader 9.x on Linux and Solaris x86


    The wait is, well, almost over. Here's a sneak preview of the upcoming 9.x version of Adobe Reader for Linux and Solaris x86 platforms. You read that right - the 9.x version of the Reader will be available on Solaris x86 and OpenSolaris platforms, in addition to Linux!




  • Kernel Space

    • What Goes On Within AMD's Linux Beta Program?


      This year NVIDIA has been following the "release early, release often" mantra with it seeming like two weeks can't even go by without seeing a new Linux driver -- whether it's a beta driver, an official driver update, or one of their legacy drivers picking up a few fixes (at times they have even released four drivers at once). On the opposite spectrum, AMD continues with monthly Catalyst driver updates on both Linux and windows. Rather than a continual stream of new public driver releases, AMD maintains a private beta program for their Catalyst Linux driver. This private program is made up of AMD developers, hardware vendors, users of different Linux distributions, other Linux vendors, and end-users. Phoronix has been a part of this program for years, but those testing this driver are under a strict Non-Disclosure Agreement with AMD regarding pre-releases of their Linux software. Today, however, AMD has decided to declassify some information pertaining to its Linux Graphics Driver Beta Program.






  • Desktop Environments

    • Why Sugar's Future Looks Sweet: User Feedback


      So what this process will hopefully be is an interface between teachers / deployments / learning / reality and people who are passionate about turning this feedback into 0s and 1s. This presents a unique chance to make Sugar a learning platform for people instead of a learning platform as envisioned by software developers.


    • Xfce Linux Desktop: Better Than KDE or GNOME?


      In the last year or so, KDE has been rethinking the desktop (and sometimes leaving its users behind), while GNOME has seemed to lack a united design philosophy. Xfce 4.6 is in striking contrast to both these directions. While neither strikingly new nor full of changes for change's sake, its features represent a return to desktop basics. Xfce has always been fast and efficient in the best UNIX tradition, but, with the 4.6 release, the desktop has finally found a balance such traditions and the usability of a modern desktop.

      I don't know about anyone else, but the fact that Xfce has achieved this balance makes me reassess my view of it as the third desktop in free software. I am seriously thinking of switching to Xfce 4.6 myself. Moreover, the next time I introduce someone to GNU/Linux, I think I'll encourage them to use Xfce rather than GNOME or KDE.






  • Distributions

    • Debian 5.0 XFCE At A Glance


      You can't beat Debian for simplicity, ease of updating, ease of upgrading, small footprint, support for the latest hardware, and for being one of the most popular distributions in the world.


    • First Look: Zenwalk Linux 6.0


      In conclusion, we really enjoyed playing around with this distribution. It's blazing fast, it's fun and simple and it's as up-to-date as it can be. If not as a replacement of your main desktop, you should definitely give Zenwalk 6.0 a try in your spare time. Who knows, it could be love at first sight.


    • Linux Performance: Different Distributions, Very Different Results


      When I write reviews of various Linux distributions and describe differences in performance I almost invariably get a comment to the effect that all Linux distros are essentially the same: running the same kernel, the same libraries, the same filesystems. Performance should be essentially the same, right? The answer is a resounding no. The performance results of different distributions, even ones running the same kernel version, the same core libraries, and the same filesystem can be very, very different.

      [...]

      The bottom line is that there are many variables in how a distribution is built. Slackware starts out simple and fast without much cruft. The derivative distros can add on, tweak for a specific niche, etc... and get somewhat different results. Since I run a netbook and a couple of older systems I tend to prefer distributions that place performance over other considerations.


    • News from Pardus


      The Team works great in these days :) We have Qt-Creator, Qt 4.5.0 and KDE 4.2.1 in our development repository just after release announcements :) For KDE 4 based technologies I finished my work on Sysinfo just follow;


    • Sabayon 4.1 Gnome Preview


      Im sorry Gnome, but you are never going to look as good as KDE 4. Now obviously even with this sexy new look, Sabayon’s gnome still doesn’t match up to Sabayon’s KDE4 in terms of pure visual appeal and ease of use, well in my opinion. Here they are, enjoy.




    • Red Hat

      • Ecuador's Internal Revenue Service Selects Red Hat Solutions


        Open source solutions Red Hat announced that Ecuador's Internal Revenue Service, SRI Ecuador, has developed a stable and secure platform for its Internet-based tax return project using a combination of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and JBoss Enterprise Application Platform.


      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Virtualization Delivers High Performance, Flexibility and Cost Savings To U21Global


        Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that U21Global, the world's premier online graduate school, migrated to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 with integrated virtualization to implement a reliable and affordable solution that could scale with growing business needs. It selected Red Hat Enterprise Linux to leverage its built-in virtualization technology in order to reduce its hardware footprint and increase operational flexibility.


      • BlueStripe Software Launches FactFinder 2.0, Delivering its Award-Winning Application Service Management Solution to Red Hat Enterprise Linux


        BlueStripe Software, the industry's first provider of Application Service Management (ASM) solutions for today's dynamic data centers, today launched FactFinder 2.0, the latest version of its flagship product that enables enterprises to confidently stage, deploy, and manage business critical applications. FactFinder 2.0 extends the reach of its intelligent application discovery and unique service-level driven capabilities for application support to Red Hat Enterprise Linux environments, enabling unsurpassed intelligence into the performance and behavior of these applications. This allows users to understand the structure and relationship of their applications to efficiently manage complex, integrated applications, identify performance issues, and perform triage to resolve issues.


      • Red Hat Announces Third Annual Innovation Awards


        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the launch of its third annual Red Hat Innovation awards to be presented at the 2009 Red Hat Summit and JBoss World, co-located this year in Chicago Sept. 1-4, 2009. The Innovation Awards were created to honor individuals and companies who have forged new ground to demonstrate innovative solutions through the use of Red Hat and JBoss products and technologies.


      • Linux Fedora KDE 10: First Look


        As you have seen, I have only graced the surface of Fedora 10. It really it is not that hard to use since the interface is very Windows-like. If you want to try it in your machine, get the Live CD first so you can check it out without touching your actual system setup.






    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 9.10 sees the cloud above the trees


        Next month Ubuntu 9.04, Jaunty Jackelope, hits an FTP or torrent site near you. With its feature set pretty much frozen the masterminds at Canonical are looking to the future with Ubuntu 9.10 – Karmic Koala, I kid you not – being touted as cloud-centric.

        [...]

        As to naysayers, well, hey, it’s not just a koala – it’s also karmic. That means Windows no more; this time Ubuntu isn’t just personal, it’s fate.


      • Upgrading Ubuntu to the Cutting Edge




  • Devices/Embedded

    • Chumby on everything


      In the past we have discussed that chumby is really a service, more than simply a product (though it’s a great product too: buy one!). The whole point of chumby is to enable your own personalized, always-on, at-a-glance, multimedia internet on any connected screen-based device you choose. Consider chumby the internet, appropriately delivered, for consumer electronics: photo frames, clock radios, even your TV. We’re not just talking about this as a vision, we’re showing it…today. So here’s a video clip that lets you in on the fun.


    • Little Boxes: Audio Production Hardware At Studio Dave


      Linux sound software has been the foundation of my music studio since the late 1990s, but as we all know, that software won't produce so much as a peep without the right hardware. Setting up a stable Linux system for audio production can be problematic enough, and the wrong decision about your hardware can render your otherwise powerful system mute and tuneless. This article briefly describes some of the audio production hardware I've acquired and employed here at Studio Dave during the last ten years. I hope that my readers find this information helpful when making their own decisions about their audio hardware purchases.


    • Power CPU group enhances instruction set


      The new instruction set includes explicit support for multi-threading on an embedded core, something that had been defined for servers. In addition, page table support has been added to the embedded architecture to ease the job of address translation and enhance embedded Linux performance.


    • T-Mobile exec praises Android, attacks Windows


      Reinhard Clemens, chief executive of Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Systems, is quoted in Fierce Wireless as saying Android is "the first OS that enables the development of cellphone software without the need to change the code to support specific handsets", and claiming "Windows Mobile devours simply too much energy, and the user needs to be close to a power socket if they intend to use a Windows Mobile handset with the OS for any length of time".




    • Sub-notebooks

      • Netbooks Offer a Chance to Challenge Windows' Long Reign


        JoliCloud's OS will offer iPhone-like icons to navigate. It plans to offer a custom browser, and the entire OS will be built on a Linux kernel, says Krim. The icon-based interface also makes it easier to support touch screens.

        Apart from the interface, these new OSes should better serve users who are increasingly living "in the cloud."

        Creating a system for users who live, work and play online has driven the development of Cloud OS, says David Liu, founder and CEO of Good OS. For these users, their word processor is Google Docs, their e-mail is Gmail, and their phone service is provided by Skype. For such users, the browser isn't just an application -- it's a lifeline.

        That's why Cloud OS will have a small Linux kernel at is core and will offer a browser screen on startup, says Liu. "The idea is to make the browser the starting point for the user," he says. "It fits well with the internet heavy usage pattern of netbook users."

        The rise of netbooks offers one of the best opportunities in more than two decades to challenge Microsoft's near-monopolistic dominance of the operating system business.


      • Is Microsoft's nightmare coming true (and x86 coming to an end)? Analyst sees ARM CPUs in most netbooks by 2012


        ARM-based processors will take market share from Intel Corp.'s Atom in the netbook segment and hold 55 percent of the netbook market by 2012, according to Robert Castellano, president of The Information Network.

        Castellano said Atom will hold 80 percent market share of the 21.5 million netbooks expected to be sold in 2009, but that technology changes—including trends in cloud computing and Linux—will undermine Atom's grip on the market during a recessionary time when people don't want, and can't afford, a second laptop just to carry around.


      • HP 2133 Mini-Note - The Verdict is In


        In summary, I don't see how we could be more pleased with these Mini-Notes. It's nice when you buy something with a specific use in mind, and it turns out that it serves that use very well. It took me a fair amount of work to get them loaded and configured the way that I wanted, but a lot of that was because of my personal preference; for Pat's, in particular, if we had simply stayed with the preloaded SuSE Linux we could have just used the Mini-Note straight out of the box. Mine, of course, came preloaded with Vista, which was absolutely unusable, so I had to do something. Although it is a bit tedious, now that I have the exact procedure to get various Linux distributions loaded on it, I could take a new one out of the box and have it ready to go in an hour, easily. With the price having come down, because of the introduction of newer models from HP, I think these 2133 Mini-Notes have become one of the best values available!


      • Review: HP Mini 1001TU with MIE


        Linux compatibility is a strong point with the HP Mini. The current release of Ubuntu Linux, Intrepid Ibex (8.10) supports the system almost flawlessly. Suspend-to-ram, wireless, bluetooth, and the webcam are all supported. This isn’t terribly surprising given that HP’s own Linux interface for the Mini, the Mobile Internet Experience (MIE) is based on Ubuntu Linux with a custom front-end.


      • Linpus Linux Lite OS caught on video


        We just came across this video showing the Linpus Linux Lite OS in action. Aimed squarely at netbooks and the Splashtop crowd, the operating system comes to life pretty quickly on the pictured Acer Aspire One. Unlike Splashtop, however, this isn't part of the BIOS, "just a very very minimal customized Linux version, installed on the hard disk," as the guy in the video points out


      • Netbooks open door to Windows alternatives


        But the contest may still be in the early innings. The expected release of laptops running Google Inc's (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) Linux-based Android operating system -- which many including Microsoft are predicting -- would inject fresh competition into the market.

        [...]

        Chris Kenyon, director of business development at Canonical, said that light, portable, Web-centric netbooks are the "sweet spot" for the Ubuntu operating system, which Canonical sponsors.








Free Software/Open Source

  • Nitobi Open Sources Complete UI, A Suite of Ajax-Powered User Interface Components


    Nitobi Inc. announces today that Complete UI--its popular suite of Ajax-powered user interface components--is now available for free. The open source version of Complete UI can be used without charge according to the General Public License (GPL), Version 3 license agreement.


  • The Open Source Community, the Worldwide Academy of Programming, Does Not Discriminate


    That would be the Open Source Community, the worldwide community of programmers and others who have created what I call the “Open Source Artifact,” an outstanding collection of software resulting from decades of open collaboration. All of it is available at no cost, and I can think of no other community, save science or medicine, that has made such a contribution.


  • Ounce Labs: Open Source Software Is Perfectly Secure


    Claims that open source software compromises security are largely false and misleading, a Waltham, Massachusetts-based software risk analysis company said today.

    Officials with Ounce Labs Inc. say that the relative security of software – be it open source, commercial or home-grown – really just depends on whether security was a top priority during the development cycle.




  • Business

    • Bruce Perens: Is Open Source Capitalist or Communist?


      The Linux distribution companies may or may not participate significantly in the Open Source projects whose work they distribute. All three of the above development paradigms - infrastructure, non-profit, or direct commercial, apply to the software packaged by the Red Hat, Canonical, and Novell.zuen toilet

      The Mozilla Foundation is another interesting exception. Even though they're not operated for profit, they have gotten much of their funding from Google, who has an obvious interest in having good web browsers for their service business and doesn't want Microsoft or Apple to dominate the web. So, I'd put them in the "infrastructure" rather than "non-profit" category.


    • Brian Gentile, CEO of Jaspersoft, on Consumerization of Information


      So, my prediction for the future of open source is that our sons, daughters, nieces and nephews, and what they’re teaching us about how to make web-based software services work for them, will drive the next decade of open source growth. The open source development model is the only way that we’ll enable them to both work in a way that they expect, and to build tomorrow’s innovations quicker than we might ever have imagined.


    • 'Open source' vendors push advantage


      Ready to get jealous? How would you like to work in an industry that benefits from economic downturns and for companies that see revenue, customer acquisition and budgets grow during these toughest of times?




  • Events

    • Openbravo: Small Conference, Big Partner Event


      At first glance, the forthcoming Openbravo World Conference is a small open source event with modest goals. But take a closer look, and you’ll see the open source IT channel’s continued emergence. In fact, even IBM and Oracle are joining Openbravo’s party. Here’s the scoop.


    • Google Summer of Code 2009 opens up with Melange


      It's Summer! No it's not (but hey we can dream..) -- It is time though for another round of Google's Summer of Code (SoC). The SoC is an effort that first started in 2005 as an effort to get students involved in open source code development. Google provides a stipend to the student and to the mentoring organization that helps the student.


    • SCALE7x: Open source in an economic downturn


      If you work with open source software, you have less to worry about in the current economic downturn, according to John Todd of Digium — the company behind the Asterisk telephony platform. Todd presented his ideas at SCALE in Los Angeles, arguing that many of the same factors that put jobs and revenue at risk in the proprietary software industry actually benefit open source projects and, by extension, provide job security for developers, implementers, and consultants who work with open source.


    • First Free Software Conference Held in Nigeria


      The first Nigerian conference on Free and Open Source Software was held this week in Kano, Nigeria. The conference featured local speakers, consultants, network engineers, system administrators and academics, and international guests from KDE for three days at Bayero University of Kano. Over 500 students and professionals attended, filling the hall to capacity.






  • Sun

    • Start up performance - something that always matters


      Today I want to show you what we have done so far for start up performance. We made a thoroughly analysis about the start up performance under Windows and Linux. Using powerful tools (e.g. Process Monitor from Sysinternals), which provide data from the system level, made it easy to collect data to quantify the different aspects during start up. Based on this data we want to see where we can influence the start up performance.


    • Performance #1 Database


      As performance for a database application is really important we had a look at some parts how we fetch rows and if improvement is necessary. Yes, we got also some issues where people complain about and yes they are right.


    • The foundation of today’s network economy


      India is growing as an economy and as an IT superpower. Enterprises in India are slowly but steadily adopting open source, and so is the government. Open source software has been deployed by both the national and state governments in India. State governments in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi and Maharashtra have taken the lead in this regard.




  • Programming

    • Eclipse Pulsar Platform: Uniting Mobile Manufacturers With a Single Development Platform


      Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation, said that this joint undertaking "is a great example of how open source can foster industry collaborations." It might feel counterintuitive to business models based on trade secrets and closely guarded development practices, but there is great value in sharing information and core tools. Streamlining the development process means developers can bring their applications to more devices and a wider audience -- and device manufacturers gain a competitive advantage when they are able to offer a diverse range of software to consumers -- even if (and perhaps specifically because) the same mobile applications are available on competing devices.






Leftovers (Copyrights)

  • Copyright on chess moves - shadows on the wall?


    Last week, ChessBase was apparently ‘forced to cease Internet broadcasting of the Topalov-Kamsky match’. As we noted in our report on the first match game, live broadcasting of the chess moves in this match without permission was prohibited by the Bulgarian Chess Federation (although they didn’t seem to have a problem with Chessdom’s...


  • Congrats EMI! You've Killed Some Innovation


    Remember how EMI insisted it was going in a new direction that wouldn't be anti-technology and anti-fan? The company even hired some well-respected Silicon Valley techies for street cred. And then... it just kept on suing any and every innovation that came, often making it personal. Last month we wrote about yet another such lawsuit that had numerous troubling implication. [...] So, congrats, EMI for killing an innovative service. Great way to show how you're "different" and how much you "get" Silicon Valley. If I were Doug Merrill or Corey Ondrejka -- EMI's two big digital gurus -- I'd be ashamed to be employed by such a company. You're helping to stomp out innovation rather than enable it.


  • UK Academics Warn Copyright Extension Supporters Not To Fall Back Into The Evidence-Free Zone


    The one exception he highlights? Copyright extension in the UK, where the famous Gowers' Report recommended against copyright extension, based on evidence that it would do a lot more harm than good. After the report came out, Gowers actually admitted that the evidence showed that the best economic results would be to make copyright much shorter, but he didn't push that at the time, since the interest was in the other direction. Yet, despite this evidence that copyright extension would basically harm nearly everyone -- including musicians and the public -- some politicians in the UK have been saying it must be done anyway. Yes, the one case where actual economic evidence is being used... and it's being totally ignored.


  • [A2k] Korea, Three Strikes Out Provision Passed in the Standing Committee with Some Changes


    On March 3, 2009, the National Assembly's Committee on Culture, Sports, Tourism, Broadcasting & Communications (CCSTB&C) passed a bill to revise the Copyright Law. The bill includes the so called, "three strikes out" or "graduated response" provision. The basic structure of the three strikes out provision is the same as that of the bill proposed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) in July, 2008






Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day



Gabriella Coleman, an anthropologist, explains Free Software culture 08 (2004)

Ogg Theora





Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

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