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Links 09/04/2009: “We’re Linux” Winner Announced, Sub-notebooks FUD Debunked

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  • Oldfields desktops go to Linux, Mac, and don’t look back
    ASX-listed Oldfields has reduced its IT spending from just over three per cent of gross revenue to 1.2 per cent, mainly by reducing its reliance on Windows.

  • Sun Board Meets, Discuss Next Steps in IBM Acquisition Attempt
    If all this works out, then IBM will be one of the luckiest companies in the world. eWeek has learned a lot of details regarding the IBM-sun acquisition talks, as well as that today, the Sun board is holding another meeting to discuss the talks. The outcome could be that IBM would buy Sun after all - but at a much lower price since Sun's shares fell 25% after it had broken off the negotiations with IBM.

  • Making the Future Happen In Linux
    A consequence of Linux's amazing growth is a growing new user population that is not accustomed to having any power. Folks, you have the power-- you don't have to sit around all sad because Linux is missing an application or feature that you need. What you do is roll up your sleeves and help make it happen, because that is how Linux works, and that is what makes Linux--and all Free and Open Source software-- so good.

  • Latinamerican Free Software Installation Festival'2K9
    I have registered myself as an installer at the Latinamerican Free Software Installation Festival, a.k.a FLISoL (first time to work on a FLISoL ever, by the way). This year this event is going to take place on April 25th on many locations all around latinamerica.

  • Three Reasons Linux Will Win in the Future
    1. The Economy. “The economic downturn is more than just marketing hype for open-source and Linux as a way to cut costs,” says Zemlin.

    Right now, corporations large and small are actively consolidating IT infrastructures, Zemlin says, and free and open-source software is becoming increasingly attractive. Also, he says, a recession usually causes companies to re-think their age-old assumptions about their computing environments. They will be more likely to consider all the options when they think about software, server and workstation costs.

    2. Redefinition of the Desktop. You’ve heard it so many times, it’s become a running joke: This is the year of the Linux desktop.

  • Cost Replacing Functionality as Linux's Appeal
    With a shrinking server market, financial services firms are porting more applications to Linux at the expense of Unix and other legacy platforms. While that has been an ongoing trend for many years, the motive has shifted in the past year from adding new functionality to reducing cost. That was the consensus at Monday's annual Linux on Wall Street conference in New York.

    "The global financial crisis has changed business priorities," said Inna Kuznetsova, IBM's director of Linux strategy, during a keynote panel discussion. "People are less focused on adding functionality and more focused on cost reduction."

  • I Switched to Mac After a Lifetime of Windows, and It Doesn't Matter
    I realized both of these things a couple of weeks ago after I bought a Dell Mini 9 with Ubuntu Linux. I was worried at first that I'd hate not using Windows, but after about an hour I realized that I was having almost the exact same experience I would be having if it had XP on it. It just didn't matter.

  • Marketing

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Linux 2.6.30 is taking shape
      Between Tuesday and Wednesday, Linus Torvalds released Linux 2.6.30-rc1, the first release candidate of version 2.6.30 of the Linux kernel. The final version is expected in eight to ten weeks. Fifteen days after the release of Linux 2.6.29, the first RC of 2.6.30 closes the merge window, the first phase of the development cycle in which the kernel hackers integrate all the major changes into the main development branch; the coming few weeks will be dedicated to eliminating any flaws the testers find in the release candidates.

    • Linux Foundation’s Annual Collaboration Summit Kicks Off Today in San Francisco

    • Grand ambitions for Linux
      Like a fervent preacher appearing before his flock, Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin emphasized benefits and potential for the Linux platform Thursday during an industry conference that also featured an update on mobile Linux efforts.

    • Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit keynote notes
      These may be a little ad hoc but here are some quick notes from the Jim Zemlin's welcoming talk on the state of Linux and the Linux Foundation at the third annual Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit.

    • Panel: The Linux Kernel - What’s Next (Liveblog)
      Panelists: Ted T’so - CTO Linux Foundation Greg Kroah-Hartman - Novell Andrew Morton - Google Keith Packard -

  • Hardware

    • Core i7 plays nice with Linux
      MICHAEL OVER at Phoronix is running some new Core i7 tests under Linux. Back in November, Core i7 Linux benchmarks were nowhere to be seen, but Michael seems to have taken care of that. Big thumbs up it seems.

    • Nvidia releases Linux Cuda 2.2
      The Nvidia spinfo says the refresh means "Linux developers can now use a debugger on Cuda-enabled GPUs that offers both the familiar interface of the popular open-source GDB debugger and the ability to debug kernels as they execute on the GPU".

    • Nvidia intros hardware debugger for GeForce GPUs

    • Game on! Anniston's Own Gaming System is Trying to Take on the Big Boys
      The designers are touting the EVO as the first open-source console based on Linux software. Linux is an open-source operating system, meaning users can modify and improve the software's design. Other video game systems use their own proprietary operating systems, Envizions CEO Derrick Samuels said.

      They say they can take any game designed for Linux-based computers and make it run on the EVO.

  • Graphics

    • Entertainment Arts Research Using Blender Game Engine for Production
      April 6, 2009- Atlanta, Georgia--Entertainment Arts Research Inc. and it’s subsidiary Twilight 22 Studio both based in Atlanta, Georgia USA are in pre production on an original third person action thriller IP called Fire Wire District 22 driven by artistic creativity and advanced technology.

      Fire Wire District 22€® is using the Blender Game Engine. EARI is using the Blender Game Engine by adding additional real time shaders, as well as for scène graph and culling. “Benoit Bolsee, one of our programmers, has been able to speed up the scenegraph and culling in the game engine 5 times in just the very first optimization that was done,” stated Nate Nesler. Nesler is the Artistic Technical Director for Fire Wire District 22€®.

    • BGE - Taking it to the Next Level
      It was announced very recently (on the 6th of April) that the Blender Game Engine will be used to make a third person action thriller called Fire Wire District 22. The game is being produced by Entertainment Arts Research Inc and its subsidiary Twilight 22 Studio based in Atlanta, Georgia USA.

    • XreaL: The Most Advanced Open-Source Game Engine?
      The lead developer of XreaL is Robert Beckebans, who has been working to deliver stunning graphics capabilities to the id Tech 3 engine. As far he knows, XreaL is actually the only Quake-based engine with a pure GLSL (GL Shading Language) renderer. With his GLSL renderer for XreaL, he wrote it entirely against the OpenGL 2.0 ES specification, so that it is very minimalist in order to avoid driver problems. With OpenGL 3.x now available, he has been heavily targeting OpenGL 3.1 support. That is right, there are no commercial games on Linux yet with OpenGL 3.0/3.1 support, but XreaL has an open-source answer. XreaL also has a true 64-bit HDR rendering pipeline.

    • RadeonHD 1.2.5 Driver Released
      The RadeonHD 1.2.4 driver was released back in December and since then a lot of work has went into this open-source driver through the partnership between AMD and Novell. Over the past few months they have made significant process, but also faced some setbacks, like losing a key X developer. Yesterday the xf86-video-ati driver was updated, but now this morning we have an update finally for xf86-video-radeonhd.

    • Compiz INSIDE VirtualBox? YES.
      VirtualBox 2.2.0 has been released today.

      Looks to be a good release… then I see this in the changelog:

      “OpenGL 3D acceleration for Linux and Solaris guests”

      You know what that means? That means you can have full support for Compiz… inside a Linux guest running in VirtualBox.

  • Applications

    • Two Unusual and Good Twitter Clients For Linux
      Most Twitter and other micro-blogging clients use the same interface as, but two new free software clients make Twitter easy to use from the command-line or an IRC client.

      Twidge lets you send and receive Twitter or updates from the command-line. Although micro-blogging from the command-line may not appeal to you, the command-line makes it easy to fiddle with Twitter, and Twidge works well in shell scripts. For example, you can automate sending updates or filter out unwanted updates from your friends.

    • Zmanda Recovery Manager 3.0 for MySQL on Ubuntu Server
      ZRM 3.0 for MySQL on Ubuntu brings a polished, easy-to-use and full-featured, professional backup and recovery solution to Ubuntu, today's most popular Linux distribution.

    • Review: Deluge 1.1.6 - Powerful BitTorrent Client for GNOME
      Written in GTK, Deluge is a powerful BitTorrent client which, in my opinion, is the GNOME counterpart to KTorrent, the most popular client in KDE. The version I will review in this article is the latest at the time of writing, 1.1.6, released on April 6, 2009.


      Overall, Deluge is definitely a very good choice, especially if you are a GNOME user. It is powerful, it has a simple and intuitive interface and comes with all the configuration options needed to customise and use it the way you want.

    • Review: Text and Programming Editors for Linux
      When it comes to something as seemingly simple as editing text (programming, configuration files, etc), there are a surprising number of options available to Linux users. This review focuses on some of the more commonly used tools found in the Ubuntu repositories; most, if not all, of these editors can be easily installed in other Linux distributions. Most of these applications have similar core features, but some integrate more advanced functionality.

    • Move over Rambo, this Penguin means business - Time Waster
      Clearly fed up with the penguin's generally soft and cuddly image, the lead character in Penguinz is Hell-bent on changing that perception. Antarctica's a dangerous place, after all, and he's kicking ass and taking names.

  • KDE

    • Konqueror Plugin
      Its been a while since I posted about my progress with Kobby, but the editor is definately making headway.

    • Qt Creator
      Reviewed: Linux isn't short of a few integrated development environments, but if your chosen development arena happens to be Qt, and/or KDE, the only viable option for the last eleven years has been KDevelop. KDevelop is a powerful application that supports many more languages than just C++, but the bewildering array of icons, panels, tabs, menus and windows are likely to scare beginners back to Blitz Basic.

  • Distributions

    • Linux Mint 6 KDE CE released
      The Linux Mint developers have announced the release of Linux Mint 6 KDE Community Edition (aka Felicia). Linux Mint is an Ubuntu-based distribution that aims to be user friendly and provide a more complete out-of-the-box experience by including support for DVD playback, Java, plug-ins and media codecs. The release is based on Kubuntu 8.10 (aka Intrepid Ibex) and includes the 2.6.27 Linux kernel, 7.4 and KDE 4.2. Linux Mint currently ranks as number three on the Distrowatch popularity rankings, just behind Ubuntu and openSUSE.

    • Red Hat

      • Red Hat Done Good: Open Sources Data Integration Code
        It's very easy to treat Red Hat as something of a cold, corporate outsider in the cosy world of feel-good distros like Ubuntu – I've done it myself. Its recent comments dismissing GNU/Linux on the desktop have not really helped in this respect. But Red Hat's steadfast focus on the enterprise market does mean that it's doing some sterling work in filling in missing bits of the corporate open source puzzle.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Manga!
        While Windows is still far and away the OS of choice here in Japan, Ubuntu Linux can now boast something that Micro$oft cannot: It has been made into a Japanese comic. Check out Ubunchu, by Hiroshi Seo. According to Hiroshi's Web site, this manga follows three students in a system admin club who are "getting into Linux".

      • Ubuntu License Plate on the Santa Monica Freeway
        I came across this car while driving eastbound on the Santa Monica Freeway this past Saturday. Do you think the license plate is referring to the Ubuntu Linux OS or just the Ubuntu philosophy?

      • Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope - Review
        When it comes to Ubuntu, usually, I skip spring releases and focus on autumn editions, as I've found them to be more cultivated and more responsive to my needs. This time, I decided to break tradition and give the latest Ubuntu release beta a whirl.

      • Ubuntu 9.04 To Feature Fingerprint Scanning
        A fingerprint sensor is something new for me as I’ve never had a laptop or anything for that matter that included such a cool feature. It’s THE nerdgasm-causing feature of this decade; you can just imagine Napoleon Dynamites brother using one of these and pretending he’s Agent 007 while doing it.

        I have to wait a few more days for this thing to be delivered in the mail, so in the meantime I wanted to see if Ubuntu Linux would support it. To my surprise, fingerprint recognition is a new feature that is slated to role out with the new version of GNOME 2.25 included with Ubuntu 9.04, which is in Beta right now and scheduled to be finalized and released on April 26. So right off the bat I’m going to be able to replace long complex administrative passwords with just a swipe of my finger. I can’t wait to try it out.

      • 5 feature of Ubuntu you would like
        1. When you boot the system, it will give you many options to start. One of them is starting the session in which you closed your system. Apart from that, you also have the option to choose your language in which you want to operate the system.

        2. Suppose you have a folder of music files. You don’t need to play every file to know which one you would like. You can just hover your mouse pointer over the file and it will start playing. When you move the pointer away, it will stop playing. It does not do it with video files.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • "Cost-effective" PICMG 1.0 SBC runs Linux
      Axiomtek is readying a full-sized PCI/ISA single-board computer (SBC) that adheres to the PICMG 1.0 spec. The SBC81206 (pictured) supports a range of Intel processors, has a 945GC Express chipset, and offers extensive I/O, including two gigabit Ethernet ports and six USB 2.0 ports.

    • Six New Mobile Devices Running Open Source
      Last week the Wireless Association’s yearly technology extravaganza, CTIA, took place in Las Vegas where the top gadget manufacturers shared their latest and greatest in mobility wares.

      While the recently anointed poster child for open mobile devices, Google Android, was practically nowhere to be found on the show floor, the event did feature wall-to-wall exhibits from over 1200 companies. And, here and there, you could find pockets of either devices running open source apps or Linux environments or vendors courting open souce developers.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Intel aims for 2-second boot time with Moblin Linux platform
        At the Linux Collaboration Summit, the director of Intel's Open Source Technology Center has revealed some details about the company's vision for Moblin, its Linux-based mobile platform. He says that Intel hopes to achieve two-second boot time and redefine mobile user interfaces.

      • Ubuntu accuses Microsoft of Linux netbook FUD
        LaBlanc opened by claiming that almost all netbooks sold today are sold with Windows. Well, no, not really. The numbers LaBlanc cites are from NPD's sales survey. NPD focuses on brick-and-mortar U.S. sales, not overall sales. Notice how many Linux systems you see at Best Buy? NPD numbers say a lot more about retail channel sales than it does over-all sales. Besides, as Canonical's director of business development Kenyon wrote, "However here is an interesting fact--when customers are offered choice on equally well-engineered computers around a third will select Ubuntu over XP."

      • Canonical Strikes Back at Microsoft's Linux 'FUD'

      • Canonical: End-Users Are Satisfied with Ubuntu Linux on Well-Engineered Netbooks.

      • Nokia MID and Nautilus. New Linux based mobile computers from Nokia
        Well, today we have info about a couple of more high end touch devices coming up from Finnish vendor in late 2009-2010. And, most likely, they are not based on Symbian S60.

      • Foxconn to Manufacture Nokia's Netbooks
        Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia was reported a while ago to plan on entering the netbook market, and the company already started to make steps in this regard. Nokia seems to have partnered with Foxconn for the manufacturing of its compact mobile computer that was announced back in February at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

      • Another Look At Linux Netbook Return Statistics
        Linux can deliver a great netbook user experience. And as more netbooks using ARM processors hit the market, Linux will increasingly be the only operating system choice. Bear in mind that the ability to customize Linux is both its greatest strength and chief weakness, and you'll be well-positioned to make informed netbook buying decisions.

      • Mandriva 2009.1 (rc1) on the Acer Aspire One
        For a while now I have been considering buying a netbook, for the wife’s parents (who could do with a device to use to look at photos, read email, browse the internet, and one or two other activities).

Free Software/Open Source

  • Freedom & Piracy
    OK, I’ll get off my soapbox now. Where’s the FUD? “Everyone” knows that the Linux community was started by a “bunch of hackers” and the negative connotation that accompanies that statement is well-understood. “You Linux people want everything for free!” This perception unjustly deposits the Linux community in the same class as pirates. I occasionally come across the accusation that Linux egregiously promotes piracy, though this is most often made in the context of copyright violations in the entertainment industry.

    The truth is, (intellectually) Free Software is available to those who disagree with the concept and/or laws of intellectual property. Usually, Free Software is also (gratis) free or low-cost software, because intellectual protection is often what permits software price gouging. The authors are usually the first users of a Free software package, so overall quality is generally higher than one might expect. As expressed in the articles above, the availability of Free Software should reduce or eliminate the perceived “need” for piracy. Free Software is not limited to the Linux platform, but the Linux community supports and fosters this mentality explicitly.

  • Cloud Based and Open Source - Can Business Intelligence Get Any Cheaper Than This?
    So, yes, as I've lately discovered, there are open source, cloud based business intelligence solutions. With no more license fees to worry about, you can bring down capital expenditures. And with all the cost-saving benefits mentioned earlier, it would be very difficult to say no to such a solution. Not everyone needs this, but those who do should very well start studying their options. This is definitely one advantage you wouldn't want your competition have a head start on.

  • Mozilla

  • SFLC/Legal

    • Neary on Copyright Assignment: Some Thoughts
      Dave Neary found me during breakfast at the Linux Collaboration Summit this morning and mentioned that he was being flamed for a blog post he made, Copyright assignment and other barriers to entry. Or, as some might title it in a Computer Science academic tradition: Copyright Assignment Considered Harmful. I took a look at Dave's post, and I definitely think it's worth reading and considering, regardless of whether you agree with it or flame it. For my part, I think I agree with most of his points.

  • Sun

    • Solaris Express Community Edition, build 111, released
      Solaris Express Community Edition (aka Nevada) build 111 has been released. Originally planned as a stabilisation build, build 111 will be a foundation for the OpenSolaris 2009.06 release. The build concentrates on bug fixes and relatively few new features are introduced.

  • Open (But No Source Code)

    • CKAN - an idea whose time has now come
      The exciting thing is that not only public data storage but even public triple storage is starting to become massively freely available. As soon as I knew that Talis was offering their platform to host Open Data (PDDL, to which Talis made critical and significant contribution) I started to think how we could get CKAN into it. Not everything will fit. But we can get enough overlap of concepts that we can start to unite the entries using SPARQL.

    • Of markets and black swans and opensource and software
      So what would happen if financial markets get run on opensource principles? Complete transparency. Open inspection. Visible track records. Compartmentalisation of losses, sharing of gains. Moderation not regulation. And yes, the capacity to “fork”.


  • How Open a Platform does "Open Government" Need?
    These documents, which were posted for public comment through September 22 of last year, represent but the latest deliverables of a carefully considered and practical process. The definition and requirements for open standards that the IDABC has developed are both sound in substance and founded on real and well articulated justifications.

    I believe that the EU is following a path that is leading towards the type of interoperability within governments, and between governments and citizens, that should serve as a model for governments everywhere. Hopefully governments around the world will so conclude as well. If they do decide to follow along on the carefully considered roadmap that the IDABC and the Member States of the EU have laid out, vendors as well as citizens will benefit, as achieving a global consensus on what constitutes an open standard for government procurement must inevitably serve to rationalize and expand the market for compliant products..


Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Nelson Pavlosky, Co-founder of Free 01 (2005)

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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