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Links 12/08/2009: 10 Years Since Red Hat IPO, Scribus 1.3.5 Released

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  • The Command Line in Linux, Mac OSX and Windows
    This is the first in a series of posts on just what the title says: The command line. The main point will be this: Stop worrying about the command line.

  • Marketing Linux
    If I were Novell, Red Hat, the Linux Foundation, or Canonical, I would be pushing the idea of Linux as a "green" alternative to Microsoft and Macintosh. I would also push the idea that "green" means saving money while saving the environment. This claim is not without merit. There have been many advances in Linux power consumption technologies.

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 57
    The weekly starts with a first look at the brand-new KDE 4.3.0 desktop environment, followed by the Linux distributions announced last week: Linux Mint 7 KDE Edition, PTS Desktop Live 2009.3, Slackware 13.0 RC2, Arch Linux 2009.08 and Trisquel 2.2.

  • Events

    • The nitty gritty
      Text versions of the presentations given at the Linux Symposium 2009 are now available as a PDF file. They provide wide-ranging information on current and future Linux kernel-related developments. The spectrum ranges from profiling using Ftrace, through recent changes to the PCI subsystem intended to make suspend and standby more robust, to the latest developments, such as topology patches, in 2.6.31 and the Kernel Shared Memory infrastructure planned for 2.6.32.

    • Linux geeks, New Zealand beckons
      The Ruthvens have been regulars at LCA - as it is better known - since 2006, when it was first held in New Zealand, with Dunedin playing host.

  • Google

    • An Operating System for the Cloud
      Microsoft's troubles make the company's OS doubly vulnerable. Vista, its current version, has been roundly criticized, and it has never caught on as widely as the company anticipated; many Microsoft customers continue to use the previous version of Windows, XP. A new version being released this fall, Windows 7, promises to remedy the worst problems of Vista. But even 7 may not address a set of technical issues that both galvanize Microsoft's critics and stoke the appetites of Brin and Page to create a more pleasing alternative. In their view, the Microsoft OS takes too long to boot up, and it slows down even the newest hardware. It is too prone to viral attacks and too complicated.

    • Server side Android, a Google version of Amazon's EC2
      While everyone contemplates the place that Android will hold on the mobile device, in home entertainment and on the netbook, there is another interesting use-case for Android that's not yet been talked about. There's no reason that Android, as a complete OS, application stack and ecosystem (including the app market), has to be run on the client side. In environments where multiple users might want to use the same client hardware (monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc), such as at the office, the thin-client model could be a very useful way to access any given user's Android session. This way, the Android session can be displayed at any end-point, be it a desktop, notebook, meeting-room projector, or even smartphone device. Using a VPN or even SSL protected web browser session from home, a user could also bring up their work Android session.

  • Desktop

    • System76 Refreshes, Expands Ubuntu Netbook and Desktop Lineup
      Back in July, System76 said it was having trouble keeping up with Ubuntu netbook demand. And more recently, another Ubuntu PC specialist told me they plan to introduce an Ubuntu netbook (potentially in August 2009) to fulfill growing customer inquiries.

  • Server

    • Riken Next-Generation Supercomputer
      This Linux cluster, being interconnected by Infiniband, is one of the largest cluster systems in the world and is the core system of the RIKEN Supercomputer System. In addition, one of the clusters is equipped with accelerator boards designed specifically for molecular dynamics simulation. The cluster provides very unique service to users.

    • Verizon Business, Symark Craft Government Bundle
      PowerSeries focuses on password management and provisioning within heterogeneous UNIX and Linux environments. It also helps extend ActiveDirectory access control into Unix and Linux environments in order to create a single sign-on infrastructure across Windows, Unix and Linux servers.

    • Penguin Offers Cloud Computing for HPC
      Linux cluster vendor Penguin Computing has created a cloud computing environment aimed at the HPC space. Penguin’s POD service is built on the vendor's Intel-powered Linux clusters, high-speed interconnect technologies like InfiniBand, NetApp SANs, Nvidia graphics chips and Penguin’s Scyld ClusterWare management software, all important technologies for highly parallel, memory-intensive HPC applications. Penguin also is not using virtualization technologies on its server clusters, which officials said will improve server and I/O performance.

    • Penguin puts Linux supercomputer in sky
      Today, the San Francisco-based outfit announced the debut of what it calls Penguin on Demand - POD, for short - a service that offers remote access to high-performance computing (HPC) Linux clusters. The idea is to provide researchers, engineers, and simulation scientists with the sort of number-crunching power they can't get from something along the lines of Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

  • Kernel Space

    • Intel Kernel Mode-Setting Overlay Support
      While the Intel kernel mode-setting graphics driver entered the mainline Linux 2.6.29 kernel, and is beginning to become the default driver in various desktop Linux distributions, the KMS driver does not yet have a feature parity with the traditional DDX xf86-video-intel driver. However, announced on the DRI development list today is one more feature that has now been introduced into the kernel mode-setting driver and generic DRM mode-setting code. This is video overlay support for Intel hardware.

    • When Open Source Is Not Enough What are some of the challenges you believe Linux will need to address in the days ahead?

      Bdale Garbee: The biggest challenge for Linux itself may be just that it works so well in so many places that it's becoming easier to take it for granted and let most of our attention be drawn elsewhere. But Linux itself, the kernel and common core of software packages around it that are at the heart of every distribution, are critical components that we can't afford to let get lost in the swirl of announcements about new technologies above and around us.

  • Applications

    • Five gui hex editors for ubuntu
      I downloaded several programs (GUI as well as console) and poked around a bit with each. Here are five gui hex editors you can use on ubuntu 9.04.

    • Google Chrome 3.0.197.x fixes Linux plugins
      There still isn't a stable release of Google's Chrome browser for either Linux or Mac users, but Google is getting closer with the Chrome 3.0.197.x dev-channel release.

    • Shutter - Powerful Screenshot Tool for Linux
      GNOME has a basic screenshot application called gnome-screenshot, KDE has an advanced one called KSnapshot, which includes options to take screenshots of selected regions, fullscreen, or window under cursor, with or without a time delay (for taking screenshots of menus for example). But neither one of them compares to Shutter, a complex screenshot tool with many features, and the possibility to edit and apply effects directly from within it.

    • Avant Window Navigator for Ubuntu Linux
      Avant Window Navigator (AWN) is an application launcher and dock which would redefine your Linux experience. The good part is it’s highly customizable and hence will fit perfectly well with your Ubuntu theme. Let’s see how to install and customize AWN on your Ubuntu machine.

    • Scribus 1.3.5 desktop publishing application released
      More details about the release can be found in the 1.3.x Roadmap and in the change log. A "Get Started with Scribus" guide is provided. Scribus 1.3.5 requires Qt 4.4.0 or later and is available to download from Scribus is released under version 2 of the GNU General Public License (GPLv2).

    • The Linux screensaver xscreensaver
      There are over 200 collected screensavers in the collected xscreensaver packages. You will most likely find a screensaver that suites your needs here. No, you can not install that latest piece of work from the SyFy channel or from E! magazine, but you can find plenty to use and they will do their job well.

    • 1 Year Ago: Amarok 1.4.10 Review [Oldies but Goldies]
      Almost one year ago, on August 13, 2008, the last version of Amarok 1.4 for KDE3 was released. Since Amarok 2 for KDE4 was launched, bringing a completely redesigned interface and changing mostly all the major design concepts, users of this great player divided into two groups, the ones who still like 1.4 better and the ones who look forward for a complete Amarok 2.x (which still lacks many features from the old 1.4).

  • Distributions

    • GigaTux offers full Turnkey Linux suite, with half price VPSs
      GigaTux is proud to announce that we now support all versions of Turnkey Linux on our standard Virtual Private Server packages. Automatic installs and reinstalls of any Turnkey Operating System can be performed through the provided web interface, and basic support is provided.

    • Slack*

      • NO SLACKER
        With its novel package manager, Slax makes it simple to install new software and easy to build your own distributions.

      • Slack Mini Server 1.4.5 Released, Turns 2 Years Old
        The Slack Mini Server (SMS) Project team announced yesterday, August 10th, the release of Slack Mini Server 1.4.5, which celebrates 2 full years of activity. The new release is based on Slackware Linux 13.0 RC2 and it brings Asterisk PBX, Samba 3.4.0, PHP 5.3.0 and many updated packages (see below for details).

    • PCLinuxOS

      • REVIEW: PCLinuxOS 2009.2
        This might actually be the very best distro available for new users, and has features that make it a great distro for the rest of us as well. Another distro that is similar to PCLinuxOS, are Mepis even though its Debian based. Really, I can’t say I liked this distro, but I would say I loved it, that it exceeded what I thought possible that a Linux could do. I would recommend PCLinuxOS to anyone, its made me a fan. Now, on a negative note, what did I find that was wrong with PCLinuxOS? You know I have to find something, even if its picky. So don’t take it wrong PCLinuxOS community, but the number one thing I found wrong, is no 64 bit version. Other than that its truly an outstanding job folks, please continue the hard work! The polish and attention to detail in this distro is the best I have ever seen.

      • PCLinuxOS 2009.2 Review
        The only hurdle in mastering this operating system involves you familiarising yourself with the PCLinuxOS Control Center. Fortunately, the menus are organised and lots of practice can be done on the Live CD mode anyway. It is completely easy to setup from the start and all the applications mentioned earlier are all ready for launch. The overall environment makes it very appealing to Windows users that never used Linux before thanks to the friendly environment that the KDE 3.5 brings.

      • SAM Linux 2009, the Last Release Based on PCLinuxOS
        A member of the SAM Linux Team announced a few hours ago the release of SAM Linux 2009. This distribution is based on PCLinuxOS 2009.1 and is fully compatible with its packages, but later releases will be based on another distribution, unspecified at this moment.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Nokia

      • Nokia RX-51 Tablet Captured in the Wild
        The N900, as we are calling it now, can be termed an upgrade over the N97. The device features a full QWERTY keyboard and a huge 3.5-inch touch screen capable of WVGA resolution (800x480). It is expected to run the upcoming Maeomo5 OS, the latest version of the Linux based smartphone OS that Nokia uses for its lineup of tablet devices. That, we believe, would be the major difference between this one and the N97 which runs on the more "mass market" Series 60 Fifth Edition OS.

      • Maemo-powered Nokia N900 spotted!

      • Nokia to drop Symbian for Maemo?
        Nokia could be set to ditch Symbian as its main smartphone OS in favour of Maemo Linux. At least that’s the gist of a report in the German edition of the Financial Times (aka the FTD). Read on for all the details.

      • Nokia adjusts Qt brand, website
        Now Qt Software is being renamed as Qt Development Frameworks and the web address will change to

    • LiMo

      • Panasonic, NEC unveil 9 Linux phones
        Panasonic Corp and NEC Corp unveiled nine new cellphone models on Tuesday that run the open-source LiMo operating system, wireless Linux group LiMo said.

        The focus of the cellphone market has been shifting to software development since Google Inc and Apple Inc entered the mobile market in the past two years, with phone vendors and operators increasingly looking for open source alternatives such as LiMo to cut costs.

      • Panasonic and NEC announce 9 new Linux phones

      • NEC and Panasonic launch Linux mobile phones
        Limo Foundation, the Linux-based open systems development group for mobile phones, yesterday launched nine new phones from NEC and Panasonic for Japanese telco NTT Docomo, bringing the Limo-compliant range to 42.

    • Android

      • Dell and Motorola Android specs hit the blogs
        The device blogosphere is working overtime ahead of the flurry of handset launches for the holiday season, with its focus firmly on Linux. As well as the Nokia N900, this week has seen newly leaked details of Motorola's make-or-break Android phones, and Dell is finally expected to unveil the smartphone it has been promising all year.

      • Two Motorola Android Phones Arriving Soon?
        For anyone reading the tea leaves, it should come as no surprise that Motorola will be offering a few Android handsets this year. Om spoke with Moto CEO, Dr. Sanjay Jha, and generally confirmed that the handset maker is focusing on Google’s Android instead of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile for smartphones.

      • iPhone, Android apps development for new R&D centre
        Mobile content retailer, Mobile Streams, today opened a Center of Excellence for smartphone research and development in Hong Kong which it says will work on the development of new applications for the Apple iPhone and Google’s Android.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Sony Ericsson preparing netbook launch?
        Sony Ericsson appears set to launch a netbook. Sorry, smartbook - the phone firm's micro laptop seems likely to be as much phone as portable PC.

      • My XO For All Oddessey with OLPC - Part 1
        Now I love technology, especially liberating ones, especially for kids (the next generation of humanity), and especially with new GUIs. I love the lost science-art called interface design, and this seems to progress (and sometimes seemingly regress) so slowly that it is wonderful when something new comes along-- not to mention it is based on Linux and wholesomely Open Source. It is not difficult to see why one would be so enthusiastic about this project from the get-go.

      • Ubuntu Netbook Remix gets an interface overhaul
        The folks at Canonical are in the process of redesigning the user interface for Ubuntu Netbook Remix. UNR is basically a custom version of Ubuntu that includes optimizations for netbooks with Intel Atom processors as well as a desktop environment and program launcher designed for computers with small, low resolution displays.

        The first version of Ubuntu Netbook Remix introduced a few key concepts. By default, all program windows opened up in full screen. And instead of a typical desktop and start menu approach, you had a list of application categories on the right side of the screen, program shortcuts with big icons in the middle, and a list of places on the right side.

Free Software/Open Source

  • PC-BSD 7.1.1 Quick Review
    The default desktop environment is KDE. In Linux/UNIX circles concerning the desktop you’re either a GNOME or KDE type of user (or a super-lightweight environment like Fluxbox). I personally prefer GNOME, but I’m not turned off by the way KDE does things; it’s just a different type of environment compared to GNOME.

  • Digitization's tectonic shift in software value
    Sure, Microsoft got away with creating two massive businesses (Windows and Office) by copying its competitors and out-executing, but even Microsoft doesn't get a free pass anymore. Have you seen how its me-too offerings on the Web have fared? Weak.

    This digital upheaval is having a widespread impact beyond software. Record labels, newspapers, health care, and other industries are being overrun by digitization. At some point, we'll get past this in-between phase and a new era of digital prosperity will ensue. As with Vanderbilt, however, we'll need to be careful that our exuberance for income doesn't get carried away into monopoly.

  • U.C. Berkeley Creating Large-Scale Open Source Software Project
    Researchers and developers at the University of California, Berkeley are working on open source software to help distribute audio and video files of classroom lectures to media services like iTunes and YouTube. The university already publishes full-length videos of classroom sessions on YouTube, but recording, editing, and posting these videos is an costly undertaking. Now, new grant money will pay those expenses and help expand video distribution worldwide.

  • British Local Authorities Hesitant on Open Source
    The 15-page report, "Open or Closed? A Survey of Open Source Software in Local Government," is available from the website, an online network sponsored by Bull and One Point Consulting since April 2009. The project is an initiative of the Public Sector Forums originally dedicated in the U.K. to being a public information source on digital television and its use as an e-Gov channel, but having expanding its reach to Internet and open source activist issues.

  • Firefox 3.6 Alpha 1 Blows Version 3.5 Out Of The Water
    Using SunSpider, a JavaScript benchmark, the score for 3.6 Alpha 1 improved significantly over 3.5.; version 3.6 benchmarked at 1107.2 ms vs. the 1517.4 ms Firefox 3.5 benchmarked. SunSpider tests the core JavaScript language, and with this benchmark test, a lower score is better.

  • Business

    • Building a business selling open-source software
      In other words, provided that open-source companies can fill the revenue hole with premium features or some other value-added service that compels payment, then the other advantages of open source trump that of proprietary products.

    • On Open Source, the Services Model, and Long-Term Software Quality
      That's why I think my conversation with my friend will come full circle in the long run. He doesn't see open source platforms as all that competitive right now, but he likes the Red Hat model. The catch is, though, that the Red Hat model focused on service and support ends being a rising tide that lifts many boats--where the quality of the software directly benefits.

    • Drupal 7 Targets the Enterprise
      Fresh off a new round of financing, open source content management (CMS) vendor Acquia is putting its new funds to work in taking the Drupal open source CMS to new heights in the enterprise.

  • Government

    • Ideas sought for open government
      A DIY guide to becoming an MP and a database of the connections between the powerful could soon be created online.

      The two ideas are among those being considered by MySociety - a charitable group that helps construct civic tools.

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Once Again, Established Businesses Get Angry At 'Free' Competition
    It's no secret that established businesses or organizations get upset when they see any form of "free" competition -- even when it's utilizing a new or different business model or social model.

  • Oprah can relax, $1 trillion lawsuit is dismissed
    Then the National Enquirer reported that a poet named Damon Lloyd Goffe had filed an audacious complaint claiming copyright infringement. Only problem was that Goffe never registered the copyright on his poems, and more than a week before many news outlets were reporting the $1 trillion lawsuit, a judge had already dismissed the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Websense yanks censorware from Yemen
      Websense has blocked two ISPs in Yemen from receiving updates after it emerged that they were using its filtering technology in a government-mandated censorship scheme.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Godzilla Takes On Comcast Over Trademark
      Comcast, for its part, denies that the character is Godzilla, though Toho doesn't buy it. Of course, you might ask where's the actual "harm" here, as it would seem to only help advertise Godzilla and Godzilla movies -- though, Toho would likely argue that the harm is in Comcast not licensing the character (or the potential idea that this makes Godzilla "generic").

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Maria Winslow, open source biz guru 04 (2005)

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

Recent Techrights' Posts

[Video] Online Brigade Demands That the Person Who Started GNU/Linux is Denied Public Speaking (and Why FSF Cannot Mention His Speeches)
So basically the attack on RMS did not stop; even when he's ill with cancer the cancel culture will try to cancel him, preventing him from talking (or be heard) about what he started in 1983
On Wednesday IBM Announces 'Results' (Partial; Bad Parts Offloaded Later) and Red Hat Has Layoffs Anniversary
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[Meme] It Takes Three to Grant a Monopoly, Or... Injunction Against Staff Representatives
Quality control
[Video] EPO's "Heart of Staff Rep" Has a Heartless New Rant
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An Unfortunate Miscalculation Of Capital
Reprinted with permission from Andy Farnell
Online Brigade Demands That the Person Who Made Nix Leaves Nix for Not Censoring People 'Enough'
Trying to 'nix' the founder over alleged "safety" of so-called 'minorities'
[Video] Inauthentic Sites and Our Upcoming Publications
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List of Debian Suicides & Accidents
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Jens Schmalzing & Debian: rooftop fall, inaccurately described as accident
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IBM: We Are No Longer Pro-Nazi (Not Anymore)
Historically, IBM has had a nazi problem
Bad faith: attacking a volunteer at a time of grief, disrespect for the sanctity of human life
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censorship is done by the recipients of the grants
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[Meme] Fake European Patents Helped Fund the War on Ukraine
The European Patent Office (EPO) does not serve the interests of Europe
European Patent Office (EPO) Has Serious Safety Issues, This New Report Highlights Some of Them
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Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt (FUD) is the business model of "modern" media
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and Microsoft pretends that it is speaking for Linux
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Congratulations to Debian Project Leader (DPL) Andreas Tille
It would not be insincere to say that Debian has issues and those issues need to be tackled, eventually
20 April: Hitler's Birthday, Debian Project Leader Election Results
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September 11: Axel Beckert (ETH Zurich) attacks American freedoms
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20,000 victims of unauthorized Swiss legal insurance scheme
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Matthew Garrett, Cambridge & Debian: female colleague was afraid
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David Graeber, village wives & Debian Outreachy internships
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Neil McGovern & Ruby Central part ways
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The Latest Wave of Microsoft Crime, Bribes, and Fraud
Microsoft is still an evil, highly corrupt company