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Links 08/04/2009: Glimpse at Mandriva 2009.1 RC2; GNU IceCat 3.0.8-g1 Released

GNOME bluefish



  • 8 Reasons You Should Switch to Linux
    # It's Free – most Linux distributions, like Ubuntu and Fedora, come absolutely free of charge to install, distribute, reinstall, and modify without worrying about breaking any copyright or pirating laws.

    # Free Software – there are thousands of programs that can help you do almost anything you need. There are Office alternatives, web browsers, instant messaging programs, media players, email programs, a great Photoshop alternative, and even software where you can run a lot of your favourite Windows programs. Most of these free alternatives are available for Windows (and Mac OS X), too!

    # It's Fast – out of the box, the most popular distributions require less hardware to run than Windows or Mac OS X. There are also versions that can run on very little hardware, like Xubuntu or Damn Small Linux, so you can bring those old computers in the basement back to life.

  • Logitech G19 Keyboard Review
    Logitech's G19 gaming keyboard—which borders on ludicrous with its embedded Linux mini-computer and full-blown LCD monitor—is the best one they've made yet, even if it doesn't quite reach its full mind-blowing potential.

  • Kernel Space

    • NVIDIA's Open-Source Driver Gets Updated
      The ill-maintained, feature-limited, and obfuscated driver known as xf86-video-nv driver has a new release out. This is the first open-source NVIDIA X.Org driver update in several months, but its change-log is rather limited. The xf86-video-nv 2.1.13 release was pushed out by Red Hat's Adam Jackson, and not even NVIDIA.

    • Gallium3D-Capable Mesa 7.5 Release This Week!
      It was just three months ago that Mesa 7.3 was released and then work on stabilizing this graphics stack to form Mesa 7.4 began. When the development began on Mesa 7.5, the Gallium3D architecture was merged to master. This work soon will appear in a released version of Mesa.

  • Applications

    • Google 'Chromium' pre-alpha available for Ubuntu users
      Google's Chrome browser has quickly become very popular since its release on September 2, 2008, but one issue many have is that it's currently Windows only. Well, it appears that this will all change sometime in the hopefully-not-too-distant future, as Google's 'Chromium' browser is now available as a pre-alpha for Ubuntu users. As you may have noticed, the browser is called Chromium at the moment, as Google's Chrome is a browser based on the Chromium project. Once this has been officially released, it will be called Google Chrome.

    • 10 must-have Linux Web-based tools
      Linux is an outstanding operating system for serving up applications. And there are a ton of possibilities. From content management systems to Web portal creation tools, Linux has just about everything you need. Among those thousands of tools, a select few stand out as the best of the best. Listed below you will find my top 10 must-haves for Linux server/Web/cloud-based tools.

    • Radical Breeze releases easy to use personal desktop automation software for Linux.

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Back to the Future
      Yeah. That's Linux, specifically Linux Mint 5 (Elyssa) based on Ubuntu 8.04. Running from the Mint 5 Live CD. After reading about the troubles another user had with Mint 6 and his move from Mint 6 back to Mint 5, I decided to download the Mint 5 ISO and boot europa with it.

      And it's amazing. Everything. Just. Bloody. Works. Everything.

    • Mandriva

      • Testing Mandriva Spring
        French Linux specialist, Mandriva, has released version RC2 (codenamed Estephe) of their Linux 2009 Spring.

      • Mandriva 2009.1 RC2 Screenshot Tour
        Mandriva announced last night the immediate availability of Mandriva Linux 2009.1 RC2. Once again, we thought it would be nice to please our readers and offer them a visual tour of this second release candidate of the upcoming Mandriva 2009 Spring.

        What's new in Mandriva Linux 2009.1 RC2? Well, the most obvious thing is the new artwork, which consists of new wallpapers for both One and Free editions and a new theme called ia_ora, for KDE. Moreover, Mandriva and the KDE team successfully ported the popular K3b CD/DVD burning application to KDE4.

    • Red Hat

      • Bianor Extends Its Partnership with Red Hat, Inc
        Bianor extends its collaboration with Red Hat by starting a partnership with Mobicents - Open Source JSLEE 1.0 and SIP Servlets 1.1 certified VoIP Platform.

      • WCED Launches New Video Series “Raleigh-Wake County Business Showcase”
        Videos Will Feature Local Companies That Continue to Grow During Current Economic Slowdown


        The first video profile for WCED will feature the Raleigh-based company Red Hat, Inc. Founded in 1993, Red Hat ( is the world's leading provider of open source solutions and is one of the most recognized open source brands. Headquartered in Raleigh and with more than 65 offices across the globe, Red Hat serves global enterprises with open source technology and services. Solutions include Red Hat Enterprise Linux, JBoss Enterprise Middleware and a range of related management tools. Red Hat also offers support, training and consulting services to its customers worldwide.

      • Dell, Red Hat Partner Up On JBoss Middleware
        Sources say the Dell-Red Hat luncheon is part of a larger go-to-market strategy that will accelerate Dell’s push beyond Red Hat Enterprise Linux into JBoss middleware.

      • Sun, Red Hat Back OASIS Health Care Privacy Standards
        OASIS demonstrates health care IT privacy standards in a multivendor interoperability demo at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference in Chicago.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Wrist-mounted computer runs Linux
      Glacier Computer has announced a wearable computer that runs Linux and includes built-in WiFi along with GPS and Bluetooth options. The wrist-mounted "Ridgeline W200" has a 3.5-inch touchscreen display, backlit keys, a hot-swappable battery pack, and an electronic compass, the company says.

    • Linux-based PLC
      Systec Electronics (distributed in Australia by Embedded Logic Solutions) has released the PLCmodule-C32, an all-rounder for industrial control tasks. A Linux-based Compact PLC, the device is programmable in C/C++ and in IEC 61131-3. The IEC 61131-3 runtime kernel includes a fully functional CANopen manager and function blocks for accessing on-board peripherals.

    • Glacier’s rugged wrist PC is no Pip-Boy 3000
      You’ll also get support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS modules. It comes with Windows CE or Linux, sporting features like tilt and silent reckoning for putting the device in standby.

    • Phones

      • More Android devices tipped
        T-Mobile is planning to launch several non-handset devices that run the Android stack next year, says a New York Times story. Meanwhile, Samsung will ship two U.S.-targeted Android phone models this year in addition to a previously announced smartphone scheduled for a June release, says Forbes.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Windows Is Not on 96% of Netbooks
        The point: Brandon stated a number that may be true for U.S. retail for one month of sales, February. But how true is it really if some of those Windows XP netbooks also ship with Linux? Again, Brandon didn't misstate the facts, but there is also much unsaid. He can be excused for accepting NPD's numbers without looking at the greater context. After all, he works for a U.S. company and his job is to promote Windows and its benefits.

Free Software/Open Source

  • My OpenExpo talk: “The Intersection of Ideas in Open Source and Open Standards”
    Here’s a video of the talk I gave last week in Bern, Switzerland, at the OpenExpo conference.

  • The true cost of migrating to open source
    If you work with real free software, not neo-proprietary versions, the worst-case peak cost of migration is no greater than the proprietary-to-proprietary kind.

    If you also look beyond the migration window defined by the proprietarists, you will see that the really substantial savings accrue over time. So, project return on investment is better than proprietary-to-proprietary, with long-term sustainable cost reductions across the whole infrastructure.

    That simple fact is why, despite propaganda to the contrary, free-software migrations are accelerating in the current economy.

  • Firefox

  • Programming

    • PHP Middleware Debuts With Zend Server
      PHP is one of the most popular languages for Web development and is a critical component of the LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) (define) stack. Now PHP is getting a stack of its own, thanks to the new Zend Server, which packages PHP for Web application deployment and monitoring.


  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Bill Lets Obama Turn Off the Internet
      Two bills introduced giving the President the power to deem a private network part of the nation’s critical infrastructure and shut it down for cybersecurity reasons also gives the Commerce Secretary the power to access network data outside of oversight.

    • All your email are belong to us
      As of April 6th 2009 the same goes for your email conversations and Internet telephony calls. Courtesy of the introduction of The Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2009 the date, time, duration and recipients will be logged by ISPs and have to be available for 12 months.

    • EDF Goes Nuclear on Greenpeace
      An executive with the French government-owned energy company EDF "has been charged on suspicion of spying on the environmental group Greenpeace." The executive, "who previously worked as a police commander, is being investigated for conspiring to hack into Greenpeace France's computer system."

    • Canada's ACTA Briefing, Part One: ACTA Is A Response to WIPO Gridlock
      The Canadian government provided its first major briefing on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement this morning. There were attendees from all sides of the issue as well as an (unlisted) representative from the U.S. Embassy. The meeting started with a bang as Don Stephenson, an Assistant Deputy Minister at DFAIT, noted the two sources of ACTA.

  • Copyrights

    • President Obama Backs RIAA In Online File-Sharing Case
      President Obama’s US Department of Justice (DOJ) recently filed a legal brief in support of damages sought by an affiliate of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), prompting some observers to speculate on the Obama administration’s impartiality in the RIAA’s file-sharing litigation campaign.

    • Pop star union demands new kind of copyright extension
      “The UK music sector has lived up to its commitments by reaching an agreement, as demanded by Ministers, that will deliver real benefits to musicians in an extended term. In continuing to hold out for further changes, the government has not heeded the repeated pleas of the very musicians it claims to support, who strongly encouraged it to vote for the proposal today," it said.

    • Court: Congress can't put public domain back into copyright
      A federal court ruled on Friday that Congress overstepped its authority back in 1994 when it put some public domain foreign works back under copyright protection. Such a move changes the "traditional contours of copyright" in the US, even if done to bring the country in line with its treaty obligations.

    • AP Attempts to Shut Bloggers Out
      For a while now, the AP has had been fighting this insane war against bloggers who quote and use snippets of their articles in blog posts. About a year or so ago the AP decided they would try to charge bloggers and other sites $2.50 cents per word and threatened to sue anyone who did not comply with their dumb “copyright” scheme. The latest bright idea down at Dinosaurs ‘R Us is to try to create a copyrighted search engine like system for copyrighted works in order to some how track what is out there.

    • Google Insists It’s a Friend to Newspapers

    • Google CEO advises newspapers to innovate
      In order to move forward, he said, newspapers will have to get used to the idea that they are not just generators of trusted, professional content, but also aggregators of the new kinds of content the Web has enabled.

    • Amazon, Wal-Mart Follow Apple, Raise Prices On Some Top-Selling Tracks
      Well, that didn’t take long. (NSDQ: AMZN) and Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) have both quietly followed Apple’s lead and will now charge more for some top-selling tracks in their MP3 stores. Some songs will now sell for $1.29 at Amazon’s MP3 store, up from 99 cents, while Wal-Mart is now charging $1.24 for top tracks, up from 94 cents. Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) introduced variable pricing to its iTunes music store Tuesday, by charging 69 cents for older tracks, 99 cents for recent songs and $1.29 for new hits, instead of the previous 99 cents for any track.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Nat Friedman 16

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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