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Links 12/08/2009: Many GNU/Linux Releases, Free Software News



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Contents





GNU/Linux

  • 2010: The Year of Virtualized Desktops?
    Ultimately, the desktop virtualization market sounds quiet a bit like a next-generation successor to the thin client market. So it’s safe to expect virtualized desktops to surface within settings where thin clients first emerged — health care, retail and so forth.


  • Applications

    • Nathive developer spotlight
      Nathive is a libre software image editor, similar to Adobe Photoshop, Corel Photo-Paint or GIMP, but focused on usability, logic and providing a smooth learning curve for everyone. The project run in the Gnome desktop environment and anyone is welcome to collaborate on it with code, translations or ideas.


    • Open source and 3D
      Thus I read with interest the related blog posts “Sweet Home 3D” and “Sweet Home 3D: Open Source, Cross Platform Design Application” which, not surprisely, talk about the Java-based open source program called Sweet Home 3D. This seems similar to the programs I used on Windows years ago, though it is, as I said Java-based and open source. I’ll definitely give it a try.






  • Distributions

    • Run Multiple Debian Versions Simultaneously




    • New Releases

      • PC/OS 2009.3 released
        PC/OS 2009.3 has been released for the general public. This release fixes many of the hardware issues that users had with PC/OS 2009v2 series. With this release we went ahead and and installed all updates so all security updates since PC/OS Maintenance Pack 3 have been applied. The changes to PC/OS 2009.3 application wise are common across all releases except XFCE 4.6 was not included in WebStation due to some issues that are being explored right now on some models of netbooks.


      • Finnix 93.0 released
        Finnix is a small, self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution for system administrators, based on Debian testing. Today marks the release of version 93.0 for the x86/AMD64, PowerPC, and UML/Xen platforms.


      • The G:Standard 3.0.rc01 (2.9.90) is Released
        The GoblinX Project is proud to announce the second released of the next G:Standard. The G:Standard 3.0.rc01 (2.9.90) is Released. The G:Standard is the original edition first released in the end of October 2004. In the past it was called as GoblinX and later as GoblinX Standard. In order to dismiss doubt about the releases and follow the same criteria used for all distributions (editions) of the GoblinX Project it became simply G:Standard.


      • kademar 4.9


      • SystemRescueCd 1.2.3


      • Clonezilla 1.2.2-27












  • Devices/Embedded

    • Nokia to cull Symbian from smartphones?
      Nokia smartphones may soon be shipped running the phone giant's Linux-based Maemo operating system instead of Symbian, it has been claimed.

      Maemo – also known as the Internet Tablet OS – has been around since 2005 and was originally designed for Nokia’s family of handheld internet gadgets.

      Now a report by the Financial Times Deutschland has hinted that Nokia is preparing to drop Symbian from its smartphones, in favour of Maemo. The paper’s source is unclear.


    • Nokia: We’re Fully Commited To Symbian


    • How to hack a Sony Reader
      Inside the Linux-based e-book viewer




    • Phones



      • Mobile Marketers Must Look Past The iPhone
        Some experts suggest it's time to warm up to Android, as the Google-backed, open-source mobile-operating system is set to power a growing numbers of handsets, making it an equally vital, if not bigger, long-term play. And though there are only two Android-based phones available in the U.S. (the second one was only introduced last week), Google said 19 Android-based handsets will launch by year-end worldwide, from the likes of LG, Samsung and Motorola, and folks in the app-development space predict about half a dozen of these will be unveiled stateside. Android's platform is also open source, meaning that unlike the iPhone, anyone can build a device or create apps for it.


      • Dell to launch China-only mobile phone after all, calls it “Ophone mini3i” (Updated)
        We broke the news on Dell launching a China-only cell phone on Sunday, and today major Chinese news portal 163.com reports the device is on its way: What Dell will be offering in China is an Android-powered “Ophone” called the mini3i.








    • Sub-notebooks

      • Moblin v2 to reach netbooks this Oct.?
        The first netbook pre-installed with Moblin v2 operating system technology may reach market in October. A report suggests that Asus will offer Moblin v2 technology preinstalled on its "Seashell" netbook.










Free Software/Open Source

  • Flemish Region to educate citizens on open source
    The Flemish regional Government wants to educate its citizens on "free software (open source)", it writes in its coalition agreement published on 10 July 2009.

    The open source information is meant to help to increase the region's use of the Internet, including electronic government services, media, culture, health services and eLearning.


  • The Open Source Desktop Made Easy
    That's why for some time I've been advocating a phased introduction of open source software. This means swapping out programs like Internet Explorer, Outlook and Microsoft Office, and swapping in Firefox, Thunderbird and OpenOffice.org, but sticking with Windows. Once users are comfortable with these on that platform, it is possible to shift them across to GNU/Linux, using the same apps. Aside from one or two trivial changes of menu structure, the programs work identically across both, which means that users can concentrate on just one aspect of the second move: getting to know GNU/Linux.


  • Bank boosts customer service 60 per cent with open source tool
    A new way of tracking and capturing employee and customer ideas and data using an made-in-house CRM tool has worked wonders for YES Bank. In a short time, this relatively new banking firm has improved customer service by 60 per cent and turnaround time for its processes by almost 70 percent.


  • College Bytes
    Around 400 students from various colleges and experts from the IT industry interacted during the event. The topics included Green IT, Cloud Computing, Entrepreneurship, Open Source Software and Natural Language processing which were delivered by experts from IT companies like TCS, CDAC and Omniscient Technologies.


  • Mod Anti-Malware goes open source for server security
    The other key question that I had for Dasient was how their technology is different than say the mod_security Web Application Firewall (WAF), that is also open source.


  • Open Source Web Anti-Malware Tool Released
    An interesting new piece of security freeware was launched today as Dasient introduced an open source version of its Web server infection remediation technology.

    [...]

    However, anyone who downloads and installs the freeware version will be granted a limited free trial of the paid services.


  • MySociety.org calls for project proposals
    The group, who use open source to power their sites and release their code under the GPL, are looking for ideas which involve the internet and encompass ideas which have an easy to explain "social, civic or democratic benefit".




  • CMS

    • Joomla! calls for awards backing
      Open source custom webhosting platform Joomla! is calling on its users to put it forward for entry into an upcoming awards scheme.

      [...]

      "There are over 3,000 extensions to Joomla 1.5 in the Joomla Extensions Directory," the developers explained.


    • A big, open idea
      Matt's Wordpress, which I use at interest.co.nz, is one of the best and most used of these consumer open source softwares. Open source software is built through an essentially cooperative process where developers work together to create and debug software before giving it away. It uses a General Public License (GPL). There's more information on the GPL here.

      Essentially, the free software movement was borne in the early 1980s and led by Richard Stallman, a former MIT student and hacker. See more background here. Other devotees include Linus Torvalds (Linux).






  • Business

    • Forecast: Cost Cutting Will Drive Open Source Growth
      "We've seen a tremendous growth in interest from companies who really feel uncomfortable with the price hikes and the pricing practices of the big players in the proprietary world," said Ingres CEO Roger Burkhardt in an interview. "Now that budgets are being squeezed, we see a tremendous interest in the economic model that we offer."


    • Career Watch: Job growth could be more robust away from the coasts
      One other area to consider: open source. Having strong knowledge of open-source alternatives to purchased products can give you an edge over competitors that are only offering packaged software. Giving your customers options, especially lower-cost options, should help you get work. Open-source solutions are going to be increasingly viable in the future.


    • xTuple 3.3 open source ERP debuts
      Version 3.3 also allows customers to export to OpenOffice from any screen and the ability to copy one item, row or entire table to the clipbopard. One can export all displays to OpenOffice document formats, as well as HTML and comma-separated text Support for Qt version 4.5, now available under the Lesser GNU Public License (LGPL),” according to the release.








  • Funding

    • Open source living on VC time
      The price on the deal, $362 million plus the assumption of debt, is curiously close to what another Java framework outfit, JBOSS, fetched over three years ago.

      This may also make VMWare a more powerful adversary against Red Hat, although I had thought they were competing with Citrix’ Xensource. Silly me.


    • Peter Fenton Has That Magic Open-Source Touch
      Rather than “expensive sales efforts and negotiations with the upper management to get the most money possible,” the people that will be using the software can easily download and try the product. This helps the best products proliferate and weeds out the underperformers.


    • Google gives $300K to OSU Open Source Lab
      In yet another show of support for open source projects, Google has made another $300,000 gift to the Oregon State University Open Source Lab, increasing its cumulative support of academia’s premiere open source development and hosting operation to more than $1 million. The new funds will support OSL efforts to provide hosting services used by many of today's most recognized open source projects and communities.






  • Government

    • Ghana: Imani Honours Late Guido Sohne
      "He was one of the early founding members of the Free and Open Source Foundation for Africa as well as being part of the FOSSFA Council. However, he resigned due to differences over governance and direction of the organization and moved on to establish a new organization called AfricanIntelligence with the purpose of focusing on developing developers rather than promoting open source software."

      "He was responsible for the first Open Source project in West Africa (and possibly in sub-Saharan Africa as well) and won awards for creating two of Africa's top fifty websites. He has made minor contributions to OSS projects like the Linux Cross Reference tool, RedHat's Interchange e-commerce system, Ruby's Rannotate and JavaScript and Ruby implementations of a 2D barcode system, DataMatrix aka Semacode."




    • UK

      • Tories call for health computer systems cuts
        Mr O'Brien insisted that "open source" systems could be more secure. We guess he means open source database software run by government offices, not inviting all the world's under-employed programmers to rewrite the UK's NHS software systems.


      • Conservatives publish NHS IT policy pledges
        The Conservatives say they "welcome these conclusions" in part because they are "consistent with our plans to free the NHS from Labour's central control and interference so that it is locally accountable to patients and can focus on improving the results of their treatment".


      • Archives names expert as new FOIA ombudsman
        Miram Nisbet has been hired to head the Office of Government Information Services, which is housed at the National Archives and Records Administration. The ombudsman's office was created by the 2007 amendments to the Freedom of Information Act to be an intermediary between government agencies and requesters.








    • US

      • HHS to sponsor open source 'code-a-thon' for NHIN
        The project's initial strategy will be guided by Brian Behlendorf, an open source advocate and contractor to the Administration's Open Government team.


      • White House tells agencies, think 'open innovation'
        The White House is telling its agencies, which are set to prepare budgets, to pursue an "open innovation"-approach to government, be visionary in their spending requests, and focus on "transformative" projects that help the climate, energy, life expectancy and the economy.

        [...]

        The "open innovation" concept is akin to that used in open source circles. But longtime open source advocate Eric S. Raymond, author of The Cathedral and the Bazaar, read the White House memo and said he believed its call for open innovation is largely meaningless.


      • Obama, open source & healthcare
        Linux-based and open-source healthcare software has been around for years. Unless you were in health IT, however, chances are you never even heard of it. It's time to pay attention, because it may soon be tracking your medical records.

        With the passage of ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009), $19-billion dollars has been ear-marked for Medicare and Medicaid technology incentives over the next five years. Collectively, this program is known as HITECH. If open-source, medical software advocates have their way, some, if not most, of that money will be going to free software and open standard based EHR (electronic health records).












  • Openness

    • Info-sharing tops DOD's tech wish list
      Forge.mil, a family of services for developing open-source solution for the DOD, is example of the enterprisewide, on-demand services DISA wants to continue to develop, Mihelcic said.


    • 3-D Printers Make Manufacturing Accessible
      3-D printers can take blobs of plastic and shape them into almost any object you desire. Now, thanks to open source hardware designs and enthusiastic do-it-yourselfers, these printers are increasingly popular and accessible. People are using them to fabricate iPod docks, plastic bracelets, hair clips and miniature teapots at home.


    • Kaupthing’s loan book exposed and an injunction ordered against RÚV
      Yesterday the website WikiLeaks* published TOP SECRET information about loans made by Kaupthing bank just before the Big Meltdown last October. The info is a 209-page inside document containing slides used at a meeting of the bank’s loans committee on September 25 last year.


    • Open Plaques: open data about UK heritage sites
      There are currently over 1700 plaques, which can be browsed by area, by person, by role or by organisation. Though the project is currently in alpha the idea is that anyone will be able to add or edit plaques, and display photos uploaded to Flickr. We hope there will be participation from local history groups, schools and so on!








Leftovers

  • U.S. FCC examining broadcasters in music fee row
    U.S. regulators have launched an inquiry into whether certain broadcasters are refusing to air the music of artists who demand to be paid when their songs are played on the radio.

    The Federal Communications Commission reviewed a June petition by a music coalition that accuses radio stations of skipping songs of artists who support legislation aimed at paying royalties to artists.

    According to an official notice dated on Friday, the agency is seeking public comment on the petition until Sept. 23. The FCC customarily seeks comment on proposals for new or amended rules, but petitions received on a wide variety of subjects are also published for public comment.


  • Why the Internet Will Shape Social Values (and not the other way around)
    If anything, I suspect the internet is going to create a society that is more honest and forgiving. We will be returning to a world of thin anonymity - a world where it is difficult to escape from the choices you've made in the past. But the result won't be a world where fewer people take risks, it will be a world that recognizes those risks were necessary and expected.


  • Nabaztag can't make RFID cool, has to file for bankruptcy
    We always knew that any company courageous enough to take a technology designed to help mega-corps monitor their inventory levels and make it mainstream would face an uphill battle, but we never envisioned Nabaztag caving entirely to the pressure.


  • Special Report: Is US Chief Information Officer (CIO) Vivek Kundra a Phony?
    This is the sort of question you might ask after trying to actually verify his supposed MS in Information Technology from the University of Maryland, College Park campus. The registrar has no record of it. In fact the current University of Maryland grad department doesn’t even show this degree as being commonly available to anyone. A search of his college records shows no attendance after he received his BS degree in Psychology on 12/20/98. In fact his last day of school 12/19/98 wrapped up the six years it took Kundra to obtain his undergraduate degree.




  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Pirate Party UK Officially Registered
      The UK Pirate Party has been officially registered at the Electoral Commission and is hoping to follow in the footsteps of its successful counterpart in Sweden. With all the recent controversy surrounding anti-piracy legislation and lawyers going after alleged file-sharers, the party has become necessity.








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