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Links 25/05/2009: Preinstalled GNU/Linux, KDE 4.3 Previews

GNOME bluefish



  • Offline Update 6.0: Windows updated by Linux
    The Offline Update script collection, published by The H's sister publication in Germany, c't, and Torsten Wittrock, has been updated to version 6.0. Offline Update helps manage delivering the latest security updates to Windows PCs without lengthy downloads. The latest version, 6.0, contains updates for Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows Server 2003 and 2008, and their 64 bit versions where available. The scripts can also be used to freshen up Microsoft Office 2000, 2003, XP and 2007.

  • PS3 Trophy Scanner for Linux (Discover all hidden PS3 trophies)
    StreetskaterFU wrote a quick application that runs on the PS3 that basically gives you a list of all the trophies for a certain game. This means that you will get a list of all hidden, secret PS3 trophies before they are released, or discovered by sheer luck or progression. Requires you to have Linux installed on your PS3. (Works for all PS3 trophies).

  • Ubuntu mumblings
    I am looking forward for something more to do with Ubuntu, with the open source movement and recession, the upcoming Windows 7, and computer maker's take on Ubuntu, I see the landscape changing, slowly but a beautiful work in progress. And I want to be part of it.

  • Open opportunity
    Increased adoption of open source by governments and enterprises will open avenues for careers such as open source developers. The trained and certified technical workforce meets only one-third of the Linux job market at present.

    The industry has adopted Linux in a big way and hence the requirement of professionals with infrastructure building and maintaining skills. In any normal IT infrastructure set-up, System Administrators are the most sought after, apart from Network Administrators and Security Administrators.

    A strong understanding of Linux Operating Systems is essential. System level programming, PHP, etc, would help students seek careers as developers, application porting and migration specialists. However, to seek a career as a security administrator or data centre specialist, they should start as system administrators with a strong understanding of the Operating System and subsequently grow by acquiring work experience and additional skills.

  • Desktop

    • Where to Buy a Preinstalled Linux Desktop/Laptop
      The hardest part of using Linux is often installing it. Over the last couple of years, Linux has come a long way in terms of hardware support, and these days it is relatively rare that an installation of ubuntu/fedora will be lacking any drivers for your machine. However, installing any OS can still sometimes be a tedious task and one that scares the wits out of the average computer user. And, for the expert users out there, it’s just more fun to buy a computer with Linux already on it and not have to pay the Microsoft tax - even, if you are going to put your favorite distro on it anyway. You can find Linux servers sold all sort of places, but where can you find Linux desktops for sale? Here is a list...

    • System 76: Making pre-installed Linux hardware a reality
      But why does a company (based in Denver, CO) decide to bring Linux hardware to life? System 76 was founded in November 2005 with the intent on bringing Linux-powered hardware to the public. Many companies have wanted to do this, some have even tried, many have failed. System 76 is a different animal all together. With the foundation System 76 has laid, and the hardware they are producing, they should handily succeed. Why? Simple: When a consumer purchases a piece of hardware, say a laptop, from System 76 what they get from them works…and works well. The laptops System 76 puts together are as smooth as any Apple laptop and as user-friendly as any Windows laptop. So finally a Linux-based hardware company is finally delivering what Windows-based hardware vendors have for years.

    • Dell now offering Studio XPS 13 with Ubuntu
      Dell's been showing Ubuntu lots of love over the past few months, so it's no real shock to see the Linux-based operating system slide on over to Dell's hottest (literally and figuratively) 13-incher. The Studio XPS 13 can now be ordered with Ubuntu 8.10 or 7.04 right from the factory, though it seems you'll be forced to upgrade to Jaunty Jackalope once the rig hits your doorstep. Ah well, you won't find us kvetching over added options, so we'll just pencil on a smile and raise a glass to diversity at Round Rock.

    • Dell Studio XPS 13 laptop shipping with Ubuntu

    • KELLNER: Operating systems offer some gains
      Let's start with Linux, or more precisely, SimplyMEPIS Linux. The 8.0 version, available via free download at, or via subscription at $50 a year or on a CD for either $18 in a basic package or $30 with all sorts of programs added. The download "subscriptions" get you updated versions as the year progresses.

      It's built on the Debian flavor of Linux, which is a specific set of interfaces and accouterments that sit on top of the Linux "kernel," or core. In plainer language, SimplyMEPIS is a version of Linux that claims it is easy to install and configure on most computers, at least those with Intel (and compatible) processors.

  • Server

    • Linux, Virtualization, and Clouds
      The presentation I gave yesterday at Cloud Expo Europe is now available online. As with most presentations, the slides are meant to drive the discussion. In particular, my thesis in this talk is that virtualization (or “virtualisation,” for you Brits) is essential for clouds and Linux is an absolutely fine way of providing virtualization.

    • Canonical support
      I am globally very satisfied with the level of support I am getting - I know I have a bunch of very capable people who would help me whenever I got a question, or who would spend time fixing a bug for me - which is something I may sometimes not be able to do myself. By paying these people to do that I also have the feeling that we contribute (in our own microscropic way) to making Ubuntu a better product, for us, and for all other Ubuntu users.

  • Kernel Space

    • GNU'S NOT UNIX - Richard Stallman with BYTE editors, July 1986
      Stallman: I'm currently planning to start with the kernel that was written at MIT and was released to the public recently with the idea that I would use it. This kernel is called TRIX; it's based on remote procedure call. I still need to add compatibility for a lot of the features of UNIX which it doesn't have currently. I haven't started to work on that yet. I'm finishing the compiler before I go to work on the kernel. I am also going to have to rewrite the file system. I intend to make it failsafe just by having it write blocks in the proper order so that the disk structure is always consistent. Then I want to add version numbers. I have a complicated scheme to reconcile version numbers with the way people usually use UNIX. You have to be able to specify filenames without version numbers, but you also have to be able to specify them with explicit version numbers, and these both need to work with ordinary UNIX programs that have not been modified in any way to deal with the existence of this feature. I think I have a scheme for doing this, and only trying it will show me whether it really does the job.

    • Kernel Conference Australia 2009
      Some of the finest minds in Open Source operating systems are coming to Brisbane for the first Kernel Conference Australia - come and hear keynote presentations from Jeff Bonwick, Bill Moore from Sun Microsystems Inc and Max Alt from Intel USA - learn about other operating systems' features - be inspired to contribute.

  • Applications

    • Chromium for Linux finally reaches Alpha build
      The Open Source project behind the Google Chrome browser called Chromium has finally established an official Alpha release and it promises to be a very lightweight swiss army knife once completed.

    • Chromium Hits Alpha Release!

    • 10 years of Krita
      Today it’s ten years since Matthias Ettrich proposed the idea to write a full-features raster graphics editor, which started the development of the application that we know as Krita today. It’s interesting how Krita changed over the years and how different developers and their visions influenced the development process. Even though the original idea was to develop a replacement for the Kimp hack (which caused a controversial discussion at that time), development went into it’s own direction.

    • Linux Myth: Lack of Accounting Software … with Payroll
      However, if one is willing to break away from Intuit and look at other solutions I have found some that might be of interest. Accounting software on GNU/Linux that includes payroll is BasicBooks by LinuxLedgers Business Accounting Systems and Passport Business Solutionsâ„¢ (PBS) by Passport Software Inc. While these are not Free Open Source Software (FOSS) they are accounting solutions that run on GNU/Linux and include payroll.

    • Ryan Gordon On Linux UT3: "still on its way"
      Ryan is not a novice developer when it comes to porting games and other software from Windows over to Linux, and it should not take nearly this long. It was back in September that he showed UT3 running on Linux.

  • Desktop Environments

    • Selective list of Plasma changes for KDE 4.3
      Aaron Seigo has published a list of changes and new features to Plasma, the desktop shell for KDE4, that will be included in KDE4.3. This list is quite long, so I will only try to show the most important changes.

  • Distributions

    • Puppy Linux 4.2.1 is not a Puppy, it's a Poppa to Many!
      Puppy has long been the posterboy for all those who needed a light distribution. However, I never really tried it before. I was happy in the crowd of biggies like Mandriva, PCLinuxOS, Mepis and Ubuntu. This morning I downloaded Puppy Linux 4.2.1 (puppy-4.2.1-k2.6.25.16-seamonkey.iso, the incremental .1 is a bugfix) just like that. And Lo! After popping it on my notebook, it a sort of stunned me for its beauty, simplicity, speed, usability, wealth of applications, and overall integration of the whole.

    • A Few Questions For David Nusinow
      I'm currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Brigham And Women's Hospital in Boston. I'm a Biologist by training, and I'm focused on generating and analyzing proteomic datasets as part of the SysCODE project which is dedicated to engineering whole organs to replace diseased ones in patients. Mostly this amounts to writing a lot of perl and R as part of a project that's currently science fiction that we want to make reality, which I think is very cool. I also love spending time with the other DD's and associated Free Software folk around Boston, and spending time with my girlfriend Nicole.

    • Fedora 11 “Leonidas” is Almost Ready to Kick Ass!
      A few more days from now, the latest and hopefully the greatest version of one of the most popular Linux distribution will be released. For those of you who loved Fedora 10, then the reasons are plenty for you to like version 11 (codename Leonidas) more.

    • Ubuntu

      • Upgrade to Jaunty
        The main reason I updated when I did was actually because of a known bug in Intrepid when downloading files and the bug report indicated it wouldn’t be fixed. This pretty much made downloading podcasts with Rhythmbox pointless.

        Having updated, I’m reasonably satisfied with both the process and the results. I’m not looking for “awesome new features” or the like – my system works largely the way I like. I want more of what I already have, it terms of stability and ease of configuration. I’m not so interested in totally new features (though I like to check them out).

      • Mitt mail till Mark
        To Mark Shuttleworth: About Ubuntu's release cycle

        Hi there Mark

        I'm a big linux (especially Ubuntu-fan) from Sweden, My name is Patrik. I have decided to write to you about the subject of the six month release cycle for Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 143
        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #143 for the week May 17th - May 23rd, 2009. In this issue we cover: UDS Karmic Koala begins, Team Reporting, New Ubuntu Members, Ubuntu Forums Interview, Tutorial of the Week, Canonical AllHands, KDE Brainstorm hits 1000+ ideas, Edubuntu Meeting Minutes, Renewed enthusiasm for Edubuntu, Ubuntu Romanian Remix, Ubuntu Podcast #29, WorkWithU Vodcast #2, and much, much more!!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • How Pogoplug Works
      Om: Can you share some details?

      Dietrich: Since we are so familiar with Linux’s kernel and networking stack, we rely on very little other software than the Linux kernel and the C library. Although the hardware will run the full version of Ubuntu for ARM (and some of our users are running it on their Pogoplugs), we took the approach of owning the majority of the feature stack ourselves so we could produce a good user experience that was fully integrated. We believe that seamless end user integration and location independence is absolutely critical to bringing the complexity of networking devices mainstream.

    • FLOSS Weekly 70: Bug Labs
      Ken Glimer for Bug Labs, the opens source hardware platform for mobile devices.

    • Linksys WRT160NL Linux-based Wireless-N Broadband Router
      Linksys WRT160NL is a Linux-based Wireless-N Broadband Router with Storage Link. Linksys WRT160NL is an open source router targeted at IT or programming professionals and hobbyists. Two detachable antennas allow flexibility for customized applications.

    • Phones

      • Panasonic: Open-source smartphones are the future
        “The global market for smartphones based on open source platforms including Android will reach 100 million units in three years.” That’s the claim made by Panasonic’s director of mobile terminal business, Keisuke Ishii, at a press conference on Thursday.

      • Google exec: Android is extension of Google's ad business that will 'change the game'
        In an interview with CNet yesterday, Google Director of Mobile Platforms Andy Rubin said that Android is an extension of Google's advertising business model and that the open source mobile operating system is a way for the company to "reach more people."

      • Google touts 'natural connection' between open source and ads
        According to Rubin, Android's revenues hinge on the Linux-based platform's open-source licensing approach. "Google has a great business model around advertising, and there's a natural connection between open source and the advertising business model," Rubin said. "Open source is basically a distribution strategy--it's completely eliminating the barrier to entry for adoption."

      • Canonical’s Ubuntu to Support Google Android?
        Canonical continues to promote Ubuntu in the mobile world, including Ubuntu Desktop Edition (for PCs and notebooks), Ubuntu Netbook Remix Edition and Ubuntu for Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs).

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Trying Out Moblin
        Overall, it wasn’t a bad experience for me to use Moblin. I guess some of my worries include the availability of the applications I use a lot as well as adding an extension monitor. (I wasn’t able to test that.) I plan to check out Moblin again when the official release is available already.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Jaduka CEO Thomas Howe on Telephony, Open Source and Innovation
    Starting late in the 90’s, the rise of high-speed networks and the open source movement marked a sea-change in communications. The most important and obvious open source example to come from that era was Asterisk, the open source PBX. Not only has it been a complete success in terms of deployment numbers, but finally proved to all that open source solutions can be reliable enough to handle demanding applications like packet voice. (And the joke’s on those that held that low opinion of open source, as the day is coming where the most reliable option will be open source because of massive testing and eyeballs.) Asterisk was not only a low cost and reliable option, it was a true catalyst for innovation. All of those telephony applications that couldn’t get millions in funding might become alive with Asterisk’s help. Since then, impressive efforts like Adhearsion have taken the telephony innovation crown, again on open source. Even though voice innovation has thrived because of open source solutions, is this the way of the future?

  • Open source media server debuts at Computex
    A small startup will debut at Computex in June its open source software for an integrated media server and home router, going up against giants including Google and Microsoft. Amahi hopes to power a range of consumer systems that link to subscription online services.

  • Vote for open source
    The Free Software Pact said it has signed up 96 French and Italian candidates to its manifesto, commiting government to supporting open source and opposing such things as software patents and an end to network neutrality.

    The group succeeded two years ago in getting all 12 candidates for the French presidency to support its manifesto, and two U.K. Greens say they have already signed on. Germany and Spain also have active FSP groups.

  • Code Jam: Globant and British Telecom working together on open software
    ...they released the alpha version of the open-source project: MediaWikiUnplugged

  • In 2010 Asia and Latin America will be leading the use of free software, according to a report carried out by researchers from Seville
    Researchers from Seville -María Dolores Gallego, Salvador Bueno (of Pablo de Olavide University) and Paula Luna (University of Seville)- carried out a report, published in the magazine Technological Forecasting & Social Change, stating that the use of free software in South America and Asia will be around 70% in 2010, with a special relevance in the education sector.

    This work, whose aim was to measure the increasing interest in free software, compiles the opinions of 18 experts, both from the academic as well as the professional fields, using the Delphi method. With this process, designed for reliable consensus-building among a panel of experts, experts had to answer two rounds of questions so as to define the future scenario for the implementation and spreading of free software until 2010.

  • Free Software in Education
    The notion of Free Software is definitely political. I’m not stating the obvious, that any human work that affects a community in any way is political. Neither I suggest that the ideological (as opposed to purely technical) reasons of many Free Software supporters (and its critics) automatically brand it as a political issue. They alone might as well characterize it as philosophical, artistic or simply iconic. Free Software is political because it is strongly tied with a deep political question: that of education, and access to it.


    You can read two great articles that support this: Richard Stallman’s Why schools should exclusively use free software and Jean Peyratout’s Why give precedence to Free Software at Schools. To summarize them, Free Softwares helps students assimilate and generate knowledge, instead of simply acquire technical skills; it offers education, instead of training. It helps build communities, and promotes (actually depends on) discussion, cooperation, initiative and active participation to the development process. In an increasingly expanding digital world, it embodies the ideals of education.

  • Business

    • How big vendors are getting it wrong in the recession
      One of the reasons we hear (and write) so much about open source and cloud computing these days is because customers want to be in control of their destinies as well as their infrastructure. MISO offer a great deal of lip service to new technologies but don't deliver an overwhelming wealth of new products or features that users actually want.

    • Open Source On Wall Street: Crunching The Numbers
      Open source on Wall Street isn't exactly news, but the "where" and "how" are crucial. It's looking more and more like the big-money men are turning to open source not just to build their networks and backends, but to actually crunch and count the money. I hope it's not just a strategy only for hard times.

  • Openness

    • California's textbook future
      Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has the right idea about providing online textbooks to California students instead of the heavy and highly expensive books that have been a staple of education. But his proposal -- to have textbook companies provide free content in exchange for proceeds from purchases of other classroom supplies -- is financially clunky and digitally outmoded. What's needed is a new model for collecting and disseminating information to students, and that's going to require a loosening of the state's labyrinthine regulations for textbook approval.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Kendall Dawson, Linspire Community Liaison 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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