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Links 13/06/2009: Palm Pre Reviews, Fedora 11 Impressions

GNOME bluefish



  • Is Android the key to the GNU/Linux desktop? Really?
    I have been talking about the convergence of telephony and desktop computing for years. Nowadays, more and more companies are announcing small devices (“netbooks”) that will run Android — and we are not talking about phones here. Is this the beginning of a new revolution? Or maybe not?


    More interestingly, hardware makers are making (or are considering making) small laptops which will come with Android rather than Windows XP (!) or Ubuntu. This hasn’t happened yet, but everybody is expecting it.

    More interestingly, Ubuntu developers are talking about finding the best possible way to integrate Android applications within Ubuntu. This pretty much confirms that they expect Android to be “the next big thing” in the client-side computing world. Write once, run everywhere — for real this time.

  • Get Your Free Networked Storage
    Openfiler saw open source — the Linux kernel — as a way for enterprises to inexpensively yet efficiently deploy and manage their storage networks years ago. And it developed an open source network storage operating system with a Web-based GUI that worked with any industry standard x86 or x86/64 server, which enterprises could download for free. Several years later, Openfiler boasts more than 1,000 customers and is busy developing new features to serve its growing customer base — and both enterprises and vendors have taken notice.

  • Cost is just a part of the value equation
    There is a two-horse race in the market, wherein one segment is dominated by the Windows platform while the other caters to the Linux platform in terms of market share, unit shipment, revenue, etc. If you look at Linux, Red Hat has pretty much emerged as the biggest player in this space and, depending upon which geography you are in, the numbers are as high as 95%.

  • Looking at the Roadmap
    Meanwhile, I'm looking at what's coming up on the features roadmap, and I'm pretty excited. We'll soon be making it easier to submit articles to all parts of (and awarding of serious Guru points for doing so).We will also be working on building a more centralized directory of software, hardware, and distributions.

  • BEL Project: The Small Business and Schools "One Stop Shop" to adopting Linux
    I am proud to announce, on behalf of the BEL Project team, that BEL Project (Business Edition Linux) is here to help.

    BEL Project is targeted to the Small Business as well as School communities.

  • ZumoDrive's Cloud Storage and its New Linux Client
    Among the new additions to the service is a Linux client (in alpha for now), which Linux users and cross-platform users may welcome.

  • Desktop

    • Why I Use Linux
      Speaking of pricing, that leads me to my final point of this article. Just why do so many people pay a hundred or two dollars for Microsoft to hassle them? Is the product really that worth it? Most Linux distributions are free and even the ones that aren’t generally cost only a fraction of what Microsoft charges. There is no activation routine either. You buy it or download it, and you use it at your leisure. Sure, Linux may not run every application that Windows does, but there are amazing Linux apps that haven’t been ported to Windows either.

    • More reasons to love Linux
      Ubuntu is running beautifully, all of my files are where I want them, I have no DLLs to worry about, and it’s smooth sailing. And it looks as good as ever, too.

    • Anti-Linux Perspectives and How You Could Deal with Them
      For the last one: Being a Linux user is not like getting into a religion or cult. It might feel like it to some who hear so many talks about the philosophy of Linux and free and open source software. Maybe it’s time to balance it out by showing how the community interacts. If you’re active in the Linux community maybe you could introduce your friend/colleague to other Linux users locally just so your friend knows who else are using Linux and what they think about it personally. It’s not just all about the intellectual stuff, after all.

    • 5 Reasons Old Computers Love Linux
      There are hundreds of stories about people who pulled an old Windows 95/98/ME computer out of their basement, put some kind of Linux distro on it, and are in a computing heaven, blissfully unaware of the age of their computer. And you never hear about people pulling the same computer out and saying, “Wow! Windows 95 solves all of my problems! Good bye, modern computing!” Why is Linux so dominant in this category?

    • Linux Migration Guide: Choosing a Linux Distribution to Replace Your Windows Desktop
      The time has never been better to try Linux. With improved hardware compatibility, excellent software applications, and superior stability and security, there's really nothing holding you back from giving Linux a try.

  • Kernel Space

    • Radeon 3D Driver Rewrite Merged To Master
      It has been several months coming, but the "radeon-rewrite" driver has been merged into the mainline Mesa code-base in the past hour.


      This radeon-rewrite merger is also good news for those interested in the forthcoming merger of the TTM memory manager and Radeon kernel mode-setting into the Linux 2.6.31 kernel.

    • Happiness is a warm SCM
      So why am I in a good mood?

      My real "work" is not really writing code any more, and hasn't been for a long time. No, I worry most about the whole "flow of patches", and the way development happens, rather than so much about any individual piece of code I maintain. And the last few release cycles have had a couple of really hard-to-merge issues - not because the code was necessarily bad, but because of how it was then presented to me as a fairly messy history.

  • Applications

    • DigiKam 1.0.0 First Beta
      Gilles Caulier has announced the first beta version of DigiKam with the magic number 1.0.0. Downloads are provided.

    • Murphy's Law: Is it Time for an Open-Source App Store?
      Instead of staring at a screen of binaries and snippets of documentation, users could view a brief summary of what each application does, as well as its system requirements and a screenshot or two. Integrated community features would not only allow users to submit bug and help requests a la SourceForge, but would give users a chance to add comments and rate the application. Registered users, validated developers, or important community members could chime in to lend these notes and reviews a voice of authenticity over the general internet mutterings, and good users-like Yelp commenters-could be voted into authority based on their behavior.

    • Amarok 2.1 music player for debian / ubuntu
      The launch of Amarok 2.1, five months after its previous version 2.0 was announced , the all-free multimedia player developed primarily for the KDE desktop.

  • Desktop Environments

    • [KDE] beta cycle
      We still have a target goal and 4.3.0 will be an outstanding release, it's just a bit more reasonable given our priorities for 2009. A number of our team showed up on IRC today and helped slay the dragons as they rolled in, so there's still a lot of attention being paid to polishing up 4.3.0 for the release.

  • Distributions

    • R.I.P. Linux 9.1 Comes with Opera 10 and GRUB 2
      Kent Robotti announced yesterday (June 11th) yet another stable release of his popular R.I.P. (Recovery Is Possible) Linux distribution. R.I.P. 9.1 comes with the newly released Opera 10 Beta (the installation is available as an option in the X11 setup menu), an updated SVN version of GRUB 2 1.96 and the latest beta of the upcoming Firefox 3.5 web browser.

      The following applications have also been updated in R.I.P. 9.1.: Partclone 0.1.1-svn revision 294M, aria2c 1.4.1, LYNX 2.8.7pre.5b, Syslinux 3.82 and ClamAV 0.95.2.

    • Review: Zenwalk 6.0
      Ok, so I’d say Zenwalk is a good, beautiful distro. I would only recommend it to a new user if they have done their research on this Linux thing. They need to know how to find help or why Firefox is called Iceweasel or they need to have a geek friend they can ask. For Linux veterans, Zenwalk seems nice and easy. It seems to give all the power of Slackware with none of the (IMHO) BS. The repos are not as large as Fedora or Ubuntu, so check that you don’t need programs that aren’t there or are ok with compiling software. I’m still of the opinion that anyone who is unhappy with his or her current distro should try this one out. You may find it to be a good fit. It has nice, light requirements including Pentium 3 and 128 MB RAM so it might be great for resurrecting some old computers without having to resort to a “light” distro. It’s also good if you like Xfce or Gnome. There does not appear to be an official KDE version.

    • Chinese Linux distro taps new Qt SDK
      Qt Software announced that Red Flag Software will start using the SDK (software development kit) for the Qt development framework as part of its Red Flag Software Linux Desktop 7.0 distribution. Red Flag Linux is the most widely used Linux desktop distribution in China, Nokia-owned Qt says.

    • PCLinuxOS

      • PCLinuxOS Appstore Launched
        Apturl is a web-based tool that install applications on the PCLinuxOS distribution. This is a web interface for APT, and the packages are downloaded and installed from official PCLinuxOS repositories right from your brower.

      • New Documentation Site Launched
        The new PCLinuxOS Documentation site has been launched. We are currently recruiting members with a knowledge of PCLinuxOS to assist with the rebuilding of documentation for PCLinuxOS. Please visit MyPClinuxOS where a topic is in progress about the recreation of our documentation.

    • Fedora

      • Screencast: Virtual Machine Manager, Fedora 11 Preview
        I've been doing quite a few Fedora 11 installs on various hardware in preparation for the review of I'm working on but I wanted to give a short glimpse of KVM in Fedora 11 with the Virtual Machine Manager (virt-manager). I also show MontanaLinux (a Fedora 11 remix), some of the new features in Fedora 11 and some additional software.

      • What's new in Fedora 11
        Desktop effects with NVIDIA graphics cards still, therefore, require NVIDIA's proprietary driver. As this is not available under an open source license, it is not included in Fedora, which restricts itself to open source software only. Likewise AMD's proprietary graphics driver ("Catalyst" or "fglrx"), the latest version 9.5 released in May, also happens to be incompatible with the Linux kernel version 2.6.29 used in Fedora 11.

    • Ubuntu

      • Fit-PC2: Ubuntu Desktop In A Tiny Box
        The Fit-PC2 has an Intel Atom Z530 processor running at 1.6 GHz, 1 GB of RAM, an Intel GMA500 graphics chipset with hardware acceleration and a 160 GB SATA drive. It also sports Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11g wifi, 6 USB 2.0 ports, and runs on 12 volts at 1.5 amps. Physical dimensions (without the little power brick) are 1 1/8" (27 mm) x 4 1/2" (115 mm) x 4" (101mm). See Figure 1 for a typical desktop configuration.

      • Karmic Koala Alpha 2 released
        The Ubuntu developers are moving quickly to bring you the absolute latest and greatest software the Open Source Community has to offer. The Karmic Koala Alpha 2 is the second alpha release of Ubuntu 9.10, bringing with it the earliest new features for the next version of Ubuntu. This is an alpha release. Do not install it on production machines. The final stable version will be released on October 29th, 2009.

      • Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 2 Released
        We should start this article by letting everyone know that Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala), due for release in late October this year, will not have that professional theme everyone was expecting, as stated by Mark Shuttleworth himself in the Ubuntu Open Week Q & A:

        "It has taken a long, long time to pull together a design team. I had hoped to have that team in place six months ago, but it's still forming. I think we will make good progress in the next cycle, you can already see a few things that have borne fruit from that team: notifications, time zone selector in installer, etc, but it's fragmentary. I'm pretty darn confident we'll have a new look for 10.04 but I think only pieces of that will emerge for 9.10."

      • Ubuntu 9.10 is getting an installation slideshow
        The Ubuntu-Doc mailing list just received word from Dylan McCall and the Ubiquity Slideshow Team that Ubiquity (the Ubuntu live CD's installer) is being retrofitted with a slideshow that will play during installation. This is something I've supported for a long time and good news for new users, but it likely won't help anyone else.

      • is ubuntu superior?
        Due to the agreement between our Education Department and Microsoft I work in a Microsoft centric environment. So when our network manager recently became very enthusiastic about the latest Ubuntu release (9.04), I asked him to spell it out. This is what he said:

        Ubuntu is better than Windows (eg. Vista) as follows:

        * managing memory * easier to install virtual box, for testing multiple OS environments

      • Best Ubuntu & Kubuntu Software to Add After Installation
        Canonical’s Ubuntu & Kubuntu distros are loaded with great software and utilities. There are, however, a bunch of great tools that are not included in their standard installations. Aside from Skype, all of these tools can easily be added by going to your download package manager (in Ubuntu, Synaptic) and search for the program names.

      • The Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase Kicks Off
        Folks, we are back with another Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase!

      • Editor's Note: Ubuntu Is Not Our Savior
        Let's also remember non-Linux FOSS operating systems such as FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD. From these also come herds of wonderful things such as routers, firewalls, drivers, network stacks, and stout high-demand servers. (Take a look at the top servers on Netcraft.)

        We don't need a savior. Saviors make us weak. "The most terrible thing to befall a people is a hero." We need a strong, diverse community chock-full of smart people creating interesting things. Here's to creative chaos, and all the good things it brings us.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Ion-based Linux nettop soars in review
      The nettop also provides VGA, DVI, and HDMI video ports, a gigabit Ethernet port, and audio and PS/2 connections, says ZaReason. A variety of Ubuntu 9.04 Linux distros, detailed in the table below, are available pre-installed.

    • PBX PCI adapter runs Linux, Asterisk
      Positron Telecommunication Systems is shipping a PBX PCI adapter with telephony and Ethernet ports, based on the open source Asterisk telephony engine. The Linux-based V-114 is an "Asterisk PBX on a card," complete with hardware echo cancellation, and supports any desktop OS, says Positron.

    • Middleware supplies VoIP/video telephony for ARM devices
      Trinity Convergence has extended its mobile VoIP/video middleware software to enable a wide range of embedded devices with IP telephony and video. The Linux-compatible VeriCall Communicator is available in voice-only and voice/video versions targeting ARM-based devices such as video doorbells and surveillance systems, says the company.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Archos claims crown for 'world's slimmest' netbook

      • Windows 7 to push up netbook prices
        Netbook makers are currently lobbying Microsoft to reduce the price of its upcoming operating system revision, which, DigiTimes reports, is currently priced at $45-55 a pop, depending on the vendor's negotiating skills and the size of its order.


        We'd suggest the even cheaper option: Ubuntu.

      • PR disaster alert: Asus attacks on Linux
        As the articles here and here as well as the discussion here point out, leaving Linux is not only a bad move from a technical point of view but the way it was done also angered and insulted members of the Linux community, many of which are your customers. Guess what? They are not you consumers anymore. Worse, these are usually people responsible for purchasing the computing equipment for their families or their companies, so the loss goes much deeper than just a few Linux users. Let's look at a few chosen comments from the articles above:

      • Tech Rumor of the Day: Hewlett-Packard
        In another threat to the PC Wintel establishment, smartbooks use Linux operating systems and not Microsoft's (MSFT Quote) Windows programs. The disadvantage is that users can't run common Microsoft programs like Word or Outlook. The advantage is that a Linux laptop has eight-hour battery life, instant-on power-up and an always-on 3G wireless data connection.

      • Gecko EduBook: The Tinkerer Netbook
        Non-tinkerers can order the assembled version of the EduBook for US$200 plus shipping costs. This comes with Ubuntu Netbook Remix pre-installed, but will also support other Linux distros as well as Windows XP, as demonstrated in NorhTec's video, for those who want to run a more dated operating system.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 10th LSM from 7 to 11 July 2009 in Nantes
    In 2009, LSM will take place between July 7th and July 11th in Nantes, France ! An event managed by the Linux-Nantes Association, with active support from Free, Libre and Open Source Software users’ associations from the whole country. The city that we call "West Venice" is becoming the meeting place for the many invited nationalities.

  • Why I hate non-Free software
    All software sucks. It's full of bugs, and rarely works right.

    The general solution to this is to live with bugs, and fix them as you see them. Eventually, you've fixed enough of them that you don't care anymore. If one comes up, you just fix it. Easy.

  • Why Software is not treated fairly
    When you “buy” a proprietary software you are not actually buying the software but a license to use it. Although in many cases the physical package of the software convinces you that you actually bought something that belongs to you, in reality what you get is someone’s permission to use a piece of software.

  • Is betting on the "MySQL mass market for data warehousing" a good idea?
    The bottom line is that I've having doubts about whether there really is a MySQL data warehousing mass market. I know this blog is still very young and does not have many readers, so there are unlikely to be any comments, but if you do have thoughts on this subject, I'd be interested to hear them.

  • Call for Tax Deductibility for Donating (to) FLOSS (AU)
    There is cause to believe that an entity could be established in such a way as to be a deductible gift recipient under the Australian Income Tax legislation and that donations of open source software to that entity would give rise to a tax deduction to the benefit of the donor while preserving public access to the software. Such an arrangement would benefit individual FLOSS developers (who have an income against which a deduction can be claimed), including those whose FLOSS activities are pro bono at the moment. There is no reason to think the same principles would not apply to other licensing schemes, such as open content.

  • Yes, we need an open App Store standard
    As enterprise platform vendors, at the operating system, middleware and application levels, begin to expand their App Store capabilities, the wrong path forward will be for each vendor to invest in building the store platform themselves. The App Store isn’t going to be differentiating technology, so why invest in it individually? A better approach is for one of these vendors to open source their existing store platform code, with the goal of building open standards based on that implementation. Then the cost of maintaining and evolving the App Store platform code would be shared across multiple vendors.

  • Browsers

    • Google Chrome

      • From The Labs: A first look at Chrome 2
        Charles McLellan checks out the new features in Google's latest browser, and compares its performance to its rivals

      • Google Chrome 2
        You’ve probably seen many web sites saying, "Yeah! Chrome rocks! Fast! Speed-speed-speed! Woo-hoo!", provided with a bunch of benchmarks flexing it’s muscle, so to speak.

        Is Chrome fast? Yes, obviously. The fastest? No, that honor still belongs to Lynx and always will. Fastest GUI-based browser? Quite possibly.

      • Google Chrome As Smooth as Chrome on Linux
        I would say once Flash gets in into this Google Chrome pre releases then it will be something I will stick with on Linux. Once Google Chrome comes out to Linux and Mac the browser wars will really heat up, and I don’t think Chrome is going to melt.

    • Mozilla Firefox

      • FireFox 3.5, Plugins and The Meaning of Life
        FireFox 3.5 is due out by the end of June and includes some pretty interesting new features--and not a moment too soon. Some of these new features include the ability to play videos in the browser without the need to download and install a third-party plugin. It also includes TraceMonkey, which is a JavaScript Engine that is much faster (And hopefully less buggy) than the one in previous FireFox versions.

      • Firefox 3.0.11 security and stability release now available
        As part of the Mozilla Corporation’s ongoing security and stability process, Firefox 3.0.11 is now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux users as a free download from

      • How Firefox Gets Grass-roots Marketing Right
        At times it feels like the ad industry is constantly besieged by bad news: Budgets are getting trimmed, mass audiences are splintering into niches, display ad click-through rates are at all-time lows and no one has figured out the social-media equation just yet.

      • 11 million downloads in 3 days
        Firefox 3.0.11 was downloaded about 150 million times in the last 24 hours.

      • Top 6 Firefox Add-ons For The Movie Freak
        Is the browser the new idiot box? With convergence as a mantra, movies are finding homes in new places. Correct me… I should say ‘old’ because watching movies on our computers is already passé. It’s maybe the iPod now. But still, the internet remains a favorite source and the computer screen, the sink pit for our movie addiction. And the browser of course, is the vehicle of choice to get to that blockbuster.

      • The History of Firefox Extensions - An Interview with Asa Dotzler
        Firefox has surpassed 22 percent global market share, its popularity driven in large part by the thousands of extensions and add-ons that personalize the Firefox experience for diverse users. Intriguingly, however, Firefox's extensions strategy didn't start out as a strategy at all. It was a compromise to keep the project's developer base together, as Mozilla's Asa Dotzler explains in this interview with John Newton (Alfresco) and Matt Asay (Alfresco, CNET's Open Road blog).

  • Business

    • New release model for MySQL
      The MySQL developers have presented a new release model for the development of the open source database. The aim of the changes is to create a more dynamic, accessible, open and understandable development model.

  • Releases

    • IBM releases Lotus Symphony 1.3
      IBM has announced the release of Lotus Symphony 1.3, an alternative suite to Microsoft Office. The productivity tool suite consists of three component applications, Documents, Spreadsheets and Presentations, and is based on the 1.x branch of OpenOffice that has been modified by IBM developers.

  • Government

    • Vancouver becomes role model for open source
      The lack of open standards is actually one of the largest barriers to open source, said Ottawa-based open source activist Russel McOrmond. The only way for open data to be useful is if it's released in an open standard, he pointed out.

      What makes the motion so significant is that it recognizes the interdependency between data, standards and software, he said. "Recognizing that there are interconnections between all three things is great," he said.

    • Dutch government using Drupal
      The Dutch government is using Drupal for the website of the State Service for Cultural Heritage. The site was built by Cinnamon.

  • Openness

    • Web inventor to help Downing Street open up government data
      Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, will help the British government to make its data more easily available online, Gordon Brown said today.

    • – Film Meets Freedom
      I’m a big fan of Free Culture and free open source web services too, licensed under the AGPL. The example I use most is probably, because I’m a noisy git and I like talking to people. I also wrote about the creation of a little while back, and I think we could really use more of these truly “free” web services. So when I heard about a new AGPL social network for film fans, I was very happy. The site is called Filmaster and I was lucky enough to have a chat with Borys Musielak (the site’s creator) about how it all came to fruition. Borys is also involved with the popular website Polish Linux, which you may have heard about.

  • Programming


Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Real-time Linux hacker Bill Huey discusses Linux kernel society 07 (2004)

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

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