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Links 19/08/2009: Linux Report is Out, Wikia Up Sharply

GNOME bluefish



  • FotoInsight's New Photo Paper Book Makes Book Bulge Disappear
    Europe's most popular photo book software is now also available for Linux and Mac OS.

  • There is Hope
    I got out the laptop, booted up, the normal startup drum-beat played... and their son, who is certainly not more than 10 years old, glanced over and casually said "Oh, you have Ubuntu?".

    There is hope. Somewhere along the line, that wonderful boy has not been blindly indoctrinated to the Microsoft juggernaut. Hallelujah!

  • Desktop

    • Let Their Eyes Be Opened...
      A place powered by Linux.

      There's not a lot to tell about the process...a lot of heavy labor, younger knees than mine crawling under tables to connect cat 5 to the adjoining sockets...testing, adjusting, testing, replacing, testing...and ultimately...


    • Beware the Experts
      The Linux kernel and GNU utilities make a fantastic base to several distributions which serve many different purposes, desktops, servers, appliances, netbooks, firewalls, and several specialized tools for dedicated roles such as recovery, backup and diagnostics to name only a very few. Choosing the right tool for the right job may seem intimidating, yet a little research, experimentation and experience (or the experience of others) will often lead to the correct choice. Using the wrong tool for the job and then boviating about it helps no one and in the end may just show ignorance.

    • Free At Last! Linux in the House!
      At $21.00 at the magazine rack, it is cheap insurance and quite frankly cheap in software terms. You can actually resurrect an older machine with Linux and really get your money's worth out of it!

  • Server

    • Fujitsu and Asianux to Deliver Advanced Linux-based Server Products
      Fujitsu, a leading provider of IT-based business solutions for the global marketplace, and Asianux Corporation Ltd., a leading Linux vendor, announced they will jointly deliver advanced Linux server products.

    • Linux Software RAID - A Belt and a Pair of Suspenders
      There is an old phrase about wearing a belt and a pair of suspenders if you want to make sure your pants stay up (why haven’t plumbers figured that out?). The point of the phrase is that if you want to be sure that your plans will happen you should have a backup plan as well. In the case of file systems this is literally the truth. If you want to make sure you don’t lose any data, do backups as well as provide some other form of data protection. That something else for data protection is RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks).

    • Making The Case For Free Software
      The company’s mission, according to its still operational web site, was to “build the world’s most energy-efficient computers.” According to press reports around the time of the company’s closure, SiCortex was unable to close on a new round of venture capital funding and simply ran out of money.

      For open source advocates, the most valuable aspect of SiCortex’s property is the “PathScale compiler suite,” which according to a blog post from Bergstrom at, is “one of the highest performance compilers in the industry.” A compiler is software that translates source code, the computer language written by people, into language a computer understands. Specifically, the PathScale compiler helped software programmers develop and deploy software applications.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Foundation updates Kernel Development study

    • Who writes Linux: Big Business
      The Linux Foundation has just released a new report on who writes Linux (PDF), and guess what? Linux isn't written by lonely nerds hiding out in their parents' basements. It's written by people working for major companies -- many of them businesses that you probably don't associate with Linux.

    • Linux: More contributors, more code
      The report reveals how it is coding the changes in the kernel and what companies are sponsoring the programmers who are making the changes - if any. And what is immediately clear is that Linux is much bigger than its namesake and creator, Linus Torvalds.

    • Report: Linux developer base up 10 percent since 2008
      With over 1,000 developers actively working on the Linux kernel, representing some 200 different corporations, Linux is an exceptional example of the power of open-source communities, and also speaks to the value of groups like the Linux Foundation that help to shepherd it.

    • KMS, GEM Comes To Linux Mobile Phone
      The Neo FreeRunner that was developed by the OpenMoko project and manufactured by FIC, now has kernel mode-setting support and GPU memory management via the Graphics Execution Manager. The Neo FreeRunner smart-phone has a S-Media Glamo 3362 graphics accelerator and an independent developer decided to write the necessary kernel DRM, libdrm, and xf86-video-glamo DDX driver to introduce this support.

    • Linux dev community growing, 5 patches accepted every hour
      A new report published by the Linux Foundation provides insight into the growth of the Linux kernel development community. It reveals that the entire code base has grown by 2.7 million lines over the past year while an average of 5.45 patches are accepted every hour.

  • Applications

    • Add Emerald for slick window decorations
      As stated earlier, Emerald is a theme-able window decorator. But Emerald takes window decorating one step further by also allowing for full-composite window decorations. By adding composite to the decoration Emerald can include such features as transparency and drop shadow. And Emerald does this without taking any more of a hit on your resources than a normal window manager. That is, assuming you have the hardware that supports compositing. The main issue is that your graphics chip must support 3D/Direct Rendering. If your hardware can support that, your hardware will work with Emerald. You will also need to have Compiz installed (this article will assume you have Compiz up and running).

    • Convenient Linux terminal access with Yakuake
      Yakuake is a boon to anyone who uses the terminal frequently. After using this handy tool for a while you will wonder what you ever did without it!

    • How to make Conky play nicely with KDE 4.3

    • Pidgin 2.6.0--It's About Time
      Well, by now most people probably realize that we've released Pidgin 2.6.0. It feels like this has been in the works forever, particularly these last couple weeks.

    • OpenShot — Video Editing Made Simple
      Desktop Linux isn’t necessarily the first platform you’d think of going to for video editing. Despite that, there are several great projects that offer video editing functionality; things like PiTiVi, Cinelerra and Kino to name just a few.

    • Get Cooking With These Open Source Recipe Management Apps
      Gourmet Recipe Manager - Collect and organize recipes with this software, then use it to automatically generate shopping lists from the menus you select. Gourmet Recipe Manager also tracks nutritional information, import recipes from other apps, and exports in several different formats.

  • K Desktop Environment

  • Distributions

    • The Road to Beta 1 of 5.0
      I don’t know if everyone has seen this yet, but Shake0 has produced an awesome Sabayon 5.0 promo video. Be sure to check it out. I would love to see an artwork package that evolved around it.

    • Linux Got Game!
      Depending upon your preferences, Supergamer Supreme can be totally awesome. It can be run from the live DVD with almost as good performance as when installed. Perhaps you don't mind booting back and forth between systems, and as such the Firefox, MPlayer, and GIMP versions may not matter all that much. Even if you prefer to avoid lots of booting, are the older versions even an issue for you? Despite the drawbacks, Supergamer Supreme is still the best gaming distro available.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora 12 Alpha To Bring Many Linux Desktop Improvements
        The first development release for Fedora 12 (codenamed Constantine), Alpha 1, was supposed to be released this week. However, Red Hat has pushed back its release to next week Tuesday. While there is this seven-day delay, an Alpha 1 RC1 ISO spin is available and we decided to provide a very early and brief look at the Fedora 12 release.

      • Campaign to get more folks to use Fedora
        I’ll keep the blog updated with the other steps that we take. If there are any changes needed in the poster (as per guidelines etc that I could have missed), please comment or email me at “ankursinha AT fedoraproject DOT org” . I still have 4-5 days to put these up.

      • FUDCon Toronto 2009.
        Today we announced FUDCon Toronto 2009, our North American event for this year. FUDCon, as always, is free and open for everyone to attend. This year some excellent contributors in Toronto stepped up to deliver a great location and some logistical support that will help us put on an awesome event.

      • Red Hat Compares Itself To Facebook or Wikipedia
        It's a "dot" version upgrade, but it's an important one. Details will be forthcoming on Sept. 1, but what can be revealed here is that RHEL 5.4 will include new virtualization capabilities that will enable the operating system to become, in effect, its own hypervisor within a data center structure.

      • Hilti Standardizes Global Mission-Critical Systems On Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SAP Solutions
        Hilti Corporation has migrated its critical systems running SAP applications, including SAP Business Suite, SAP ERP, SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM) and the SAP NetWeaver technology platform, from Tru64 UNIX to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Cluster Suite and Red Hat Global File System (GFS).

      • CentOS users remain faithful despite developer shakeup
        Plankers concurred. "The good thing is that because CentOS is just a re-labeled Red Hat Enterprise Linux it's pretty easy to move to Red Hat's offerings if CentOS goes under. I don't think there's any need to worry now, though."

    • Debian Family

      • New Ubuntu Installer Coming Soon
        Canonical is working hard these days to redesign the Ubuntu installer (also known as Ubiquity) into something a little more in tune with our times. We've already told you in our latest report on Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) Alpha 4 that Ubiquity has now a "Quit" button during all the installation steps, so you can quit the installer at any time. Moreover, the time zone selection items have been changed a little to reflect the region/zone only, and not the city.

      • Karmic Boot/GDM/Login Screen – Updated Design
        The GDM/Login Screen for Karmic Koala has received a slight update since my last post.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Garmin’s new nuvi 1690 and 1860: specs and more
      The Garmin Nuvi 1860 has a 4.8 inch WVGA display, a Linux Operating System, built in WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, along with this it has lane assist, a traffic receiver and text-to-speech.

    • Drone takes wing with Linux PCs onboard
      Parvus Corporation has announced a successful test flight for the Aurora Excalibur, an unmanned attack drone using two Linux-based DuraCOR 820 embedded PCs. Offering autonomous vehicle management and flight control, the Excalibur allows operators to focus on mission objectives, according to the company.

    • Fanless industrial PC has PCI slot
      Nexcom has introduced a fanless PC that runs Linux on Intel Celeron or Pentium CPUs. The NISE 3100e includes a PCI expansion slot, dual gigabit Ethernet ports, four serial ports, and CompactFlash or hard disk storage, the company says.

    • Linux and my search for the perfect MP3 player
      I’m a huge music fan. I pretty much have music playing all the time, in some form. As such, I like my MP3 player. Like many music lovers, I became enamored with the concept of having my entire music library at my fingertips at any time, so the MP3 player as a concept really appealed to me when they began to appear with larger capacities several years ago.

    • Phones

      • Spotify comes to Android
        A SPOTIFY CLIENT called Droidify has been released for the Android mobile phone operating system. But it's not from the eponymous music streaming company.

      • ARM11 MID runs Android
        SMiT says the MID-560 includes the typical Android Linux/Java software stack, including a WebKit based browser and a Gmail client, stored on 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB of available flash storage. There's also a microSD expansion slot, the company adds.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • First Look: Jolicloud Alpha 2c
        Bottom line, Jolicloud deserves all the attention that it's getting right now. We don't feel that the social component in its current state will be a very useful addition, but if the developers extend it so that it integrates with the desktop synchronization functions and other social networking websites it may just become a central feature. The all-around optimizations make this operating system a real alternative for netbook owners, as they work wonders even for those rather old first-generation devices that are already starting to appear as pieces of computer history to us.

      • Netbook runs Ubuntu
        Denver-based System76 is selling a netbook that includes preinstalled Ubuntu 9.04. The Starling includes a 10-inch display, the usual Intel Atom N270 CPU, a 160GB hard disk drive, and a six-cell battery, the company says.

      • Which netbook OS is right for you?
        Under Linux you can easily find and install new products. You don’t need to go searching for them yourself. Similarly, you can update every application as well as Linux itself from the one software update menu. Linux has no need for the multitude of “program x is going to check for updates now” run-on-startup memory wasters that plagues Microsoft Windows.

        Another reason you ought to consider Linux is its greater security. There is absolutely no need to run anti-virus software on Linux. It’s far more resistant to Internet nasties. Some Windows advocates will defend Microsoft’s vulnerabilities as a result of mass popularity making it a bigger target.

      • New Dell-ARM combo poised to take on Wintel netbooks?
        Dell takes on Microsoft's assertion that Linux suffers from higher return rates on netbooks. The hardware vendor is exploring the possibility of building ARM-based smartbooks with Linux preinstalled.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Software: More Reasons It Is More Secure
    That is why I’m so happy to see a new series of videos on Youtube by IngresCorp. These are short clips that deliver easy to understand messages.

  • OpenSourceWorld Report
    Last week I took the 20-minute BART ride from the East Bay over to Moscone West in San Francisco to visit what was once known as LinuxWorld and is now OpenSourceWorld, Next Generation Data Center, and CloudWorld all rolled into one event. Like many others, having been to previous LinuxWorlds, I was curious to see how this re-branding and grouping of events would pan out. LinuxWorld had been getting quite the panning (no pun intended) over the last five years or so, so could the new event cut the mustard and reel back in its once committed group of sightseers?

  • MySQL

  • Wikia

  • Licensing

    • Does Copyright Matter? Or, is the End of Dual-Licensing Near?
      Linux, by contrast, is such a maze of copyrights that there have been threads on whether relicensing would be even theoretically possible given the fact that some of the original copyright holders were deceased. Unlike MySQL – or, as Anderson points out, EveryBlock – the copyrights to the code that makes up Linux is held in commons, such that no single entity – not even the majority holder, Linus – can make exclusive use of it. SuSE, for example, can’t introduce its own proprietary extensions to differentiate itself from Red Hat. Oracle can’t introduce a compatibility layer that only works with its distribution of the kernel. And so on. The rights enjoyed by one are the rights enjoyed by all, because the copyright doesn’t belong to any single party.

    • 7-Zip 9.06 Beta
      7-Zip is a file archiver with a high compression ratio and is open source software. Most of the source code is under the GNU LGPL license.

    • The Software Freedom Law Show: Episode 0x14: Considerations on GPL Business Models
      Bradley and Karen discuss a few different types of for-profit business models that are common around codebases licensed under the GPL.


  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Interception law reforms come under attack
      But Nic Suzor, an associate law lecturer at the Queensland University of Technology and board member of Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA), said the proposed amendments are "far too broad" and "pretty scary" when it came to the privacy of internet users in Australia.

    • Is A Blogger Strike The Best Way To Fight Back Against Laws Designed To Quiet Bloggers?
      If anything it would seem to do the opposite. By silencing themselves, and not talking about the issues, it keeps those issues out of the discussion for whatever period of time. Instead of silencing, why not do what the bloggers do best and talk about the problems of the law so that many more people are aware of them?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Sirius XM Passes RIAA Tax On To Consumers
      Not quite sure how I missed this earlier (update: oops, turns out we didn't miss it -- so consider this an encore presentation), but Bret alerts us to the news that with the ever increasing royalty rates pushed by the RIAA in the form of its "spin-off" Sound Exchange, and codified by the Copyright Royalty Board (for whom I still do not understand how anyone can justify its existence), that Sirius XM has simply added a $2 RIAA tax to everyone's monthly bills to help pay for the new performance royalties. Yup, because the RIAA and its members haven't been able to come up with a business model that works

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Richard Stallman_003 (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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