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Links 27/08/2009: Ubuntu Software Store and OggCamp 2009 Coming



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Contents





GNU/Linux

  • FSF and GNOME Calling Women of Community
    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the GNOME Foundation are targeting higher women's participation in the community. The first step is a "mini-summit" on "Women in Free Software."


  • The Linux Home Office: What's In Your Cyberspace?
    What does your home computer lab look like? Do you have a dedicated office, a corner of the living room, a lounge-in-bed setup? Maybe you're set up more like an old-fashioned terminal server, with a big workstation in a closet and several remote PCs. Maybe you have whittled your computing herd down to a single sleek laptop.

    Every time I help a friend with their Mac or Windows computer it's a good reminder of how restricted those platforms are. Every little thing is a big hairy deal, and the only flexibility you have is do you want to pay through the nose now or later, and how many times do you want to hear "No, you can't do that"?


  • Macs In the Enterprise Are Dead (and Chrome OS Killed Them)
    So here's the problem: Apple is essentially a hardware company, yet fancy hardware becomes irrelevant when all you need is something simple which can run a browser. Why would an enterprise spend $2499 on a Mac Pro or $1499 on an iMac that looks like a table lamp when a $200 Linux netbook will run Firefox or Safari just as well? These days netbooks come in white, anyway,


  • Let's end the use of pirated MS Windows OS\Software
    Linux is a real world option these days. It is free and legal to download, use and redistribute. It has come a long way to becoming more user friendly and compatible with lots of hardware out there. Not only that, but gives you more control over your system and many fixes are simple editing of text files using the command line. While this intimidate mosts, they need to get over it... the command line is the isht when X windows wont start.


  • Kerala NiyamaSabha Website published Tender for Purchasing GNU/Linux Preloaded Laptops to 141 Members of Kerala Legislative assembly
    The Tender Demands Ubuntu 9.04 Preloaded & Ubuntu compatible / Certified Laptops as Requirements


  • ForLinux certify more Linux experts
    July 2009 saw the successful launch of ForLinux's first LPI Level II certification course since the release of the new objectives. At the end of the 7 training days, the external delegates had successfully achieved 100% pass rate.


  • Man Uses Linux and CD Tray to Rock Baby to Sleep
    The creative parent, using Ubuntu Linux, wrote a program commanding his CD-ROM tray to repeatedly eject and then pull back in. Connecting the tray to his baby's car seat with a piece of string, macjonesnz effectively created a continuous baby-rocker.


  • Always Innovating introduces the Touch Book
    It has a working accelerometer and a finger-friendly Linux user interface; it’s pretty much a mini tablet with a keyboard attachment. The hardware and Software are both fully open source, it runs a custom version of Linux as its interface called Touch OS.


  • Windows Loses Money, Linux Nears the $1 Billion Mark


  • 5 reasons why I love Linux
    1. Linux is free, as in “freedom”

    I’ve worked in IT for almost a decade and a half, and I’m still occasionally shaking my head at how incredibly much effort goes into complying with software licenses. Where I used to work, just figuring out how many users were using what (particularly how many Windows Terminal Server users we had) so that we didn’t get sued by someone ended up eating up an incredible amount of man hours — man hours which could have been much more constructive doing more productive practical work, like handling support tickets and managing the actual software itself.

    Privately, however, I run Slackware Linux for my primary platform, OpenOffice.org for documents/spreadsheets, and a wide variety of other open source applications. And not only do I not have to worry and fret over whether or not I’m up-to-date on all my Linux licenses, I’m actively encouraged by the makers of my Linux distribution of choice to share it with others.


  • A contradiction in terms, Linux is.
    Linux can be a telephone or a mainframe. It can be a television or a toaster. It can be text only or graphical. Linux even fights amongst itself as to which process, distribution, text editor, graphical manager, et al. reigns supreme. How many of you have giggled over the flame wars between the gooey generals and command line commanders? How many times have there been arguments about Linux being easy/hard to use?




  • Desktop

    • Windows, Mac, Linux: Which Is Most User Friendly?
      If you aren't buying a new machine, look seriously at Linux. Linux is more user friendly than Windows, even if you have a slight learning curve there. Believe me, it's worth it. I first tried Linux after many terrible experiences with Windows Vista, and even though it took a little work at first, I don't regret the switch.


    • Working Linux in business
      On the whole, Linux is a completely viable solution for small and mid-size businesses. It also has found a place in understanding and willing large businesses.


    • Ubuntu 9.10 vs. Mac OS X Snow Leopard vs. Windows 7
      I've noticed that Windows and Mac OS X is trying to be like Linux right now --fast and resource efficient. On the other hand, Linux on the desktop is still polishing its user-interface perhaps to be like Windows or Mac OS X.


    • Checking In On Ubuntu Karmic's Boot Time
      The testing for this article was very simple. We performed clean installations of Ubuntu 8.10, 9.04, and 9.10 (using a daily LiveCD from 2009-08-25) on a Dell Inspiron Mini 9, Samsung NC10, and a Lenovo ThinkPad T60. Once the installation was complete, we installed Bootchart and that was the only change made to any of the distributions. After that and a few reboots later, we had our Bootchart numbers and then proceeded to test the next Ubuntu release in the same fashion.








  • Server

    • Cray nabs PathScale compilers from SiCortex
      Executives at SiCortex - which makes an energy-efficient, MIPS-based, massively parallel Linux super with 5,832 cores and rated at 8.1 teraflops - have refused to comment on the asset sales or the state of its business.








  • Kernel Space

    • Some exciting updates expected for Linux kernel 2.6.31
      Some updates include a large patch for the btrfs file system which tunes the file system to achieve greater performance. It is also noted that in this release btrfs will be less memory hungry and the SSD mode has been improved. Early benchmarks comparing both standard and SSD modes have shown the early implementation of SSD mode to be less than ideal. I am interested to see this improvement, especially as Flash-based SSDs increase in usage and popularity.








  • Applications

    • Exaile 0.3.0 Has Finally Been Released [Linux]
      Exaile is a music manager and player for GTK+ written in Python. It incorporates automatic fetching of album art, lyrics fetching, artist/album information via Wikipedia, Last.fm scrobbling, support for many portable media players including iPods, internet radio such as shoutcast, and tabbed playlists. It is kind of a Gnome Amarok (If I may call it that...).


    • Labels from the command line with LabelNation (Linux)
      Ever tire of laying out a sheet of address labels in OpenOffice.org or Word templates when you’re in a hurry? Karl Fogel’s LabelNation may be able to help. It is a small free software tool that whips out printer-ready label layouts from the command line. All you do is put the addresses in a plain text file and run LabelNation; the output is a standard PostScript file. And it’s not just fast; as a command-line tool it is easily integrated into scripts or other automated workflows.


    • Bordeaux 1.8.2 for Linux Released
      The Bordeaux Technology Group released Bordeaux 1.8.2 for Linux today. Bordeaux 1.8.2 adds support for Apple's QuickTime 6.5.2 Player, IrfanView 4.25 the extreamly popular image viewer and editor. This release aslo bundles in Cabextract, Wget and Unzip to remove external dependencies.


    • New Video Editor For Ubuntu
      OpenShot is an new non-linear video editor similar in feature set to ‘Windows Movie Maker’ or Apple’s ‘iMovie’.


    • A Little Empathy For Pidgin
      With the integration of the Telepathy framework into GNOME, most distributions are dropping the old instant messaging favorite Pidgin, for the new upstream application Empathy. It’s a reminder of the important role that distributions play in making choices for us all.




    • Games

      • Heroes of Newerth (PC, Mac, Linux) Beta Key Giveaway
        We've got a treat for you PC, Mac and Linux gamers. Game developer S2Games have kindly given us Beta keys for a new fantasy real-time strategy game titled Heroes of Newerth, debuting on the PC later this year.


      • 3 Emulators To Play Free Old School Games On Your Linux Machine
        Old school games have always been fun, yet simple and easy to play. They may not have the best of the graphics but you can surely enjoy a trip down memory lane!

        [...]

        Here is how you can play those old, free games on your Linux machine. There are various emulators available for Linux, let us look at them one by one.












  • Linux Outlaws

    • Linux Outlaws 108 - Developer Shakedown
      MP3 - 1 hour 20 minutes 49 seconds, 37.0 MB, Ogg Vorbis version here — you can also download all our episodes in both MP3 and Ogg Vorbis format from the Outlaw Archives.


    • OggCamp 2009 – October 25th
      I want to make an announcement, admittedly a slightly redundant one now that everyone has already had a go (Popey & Tony), but damn it I’m going to say it anyway. As we mentioned on a recent episode of Linux Outlaws, we’ve been discussing the idea of holding a barcamp event in conjunction with the Ubuntu UK podcast.








  • Distributions

    • VIDEO: BackTrack 4, a Linux distro aimed at penetration testing
      Having an arsenal of penetration testing tools at the ready -- without having to actually install any of them -- is without question a major time-saver for information security pros. That's why BackTrack is so popular.


    • Foresight and Fedora, ClarkConnect Becomes ClearOS
      Last week it was reported by LWN and a few other Linux news sites that Foresight Linux may employ a change of direction…that is, create a spinoff project that places the Conary package manager onto a Fedora Linux base.




    • Red Hat Family

      • Oracle Linux fails to match up to Red Hat Linux
        It will be difficult for Oracle to compete against Red Hat as it contributes only 3.3 percent as compared to 12.3 percent of Red Hat to the Linux kernel.


      • Rumors About Red Hat: A Reheat, Or Something More?
        The rumors, of course, are nothing new. We have been speculating about a possible pairing between Red Hat and IBM or Oracle for almost three years. (When Oracle launched its own support of Linux back in 2006, we wondered if it wasn’t a ‘beat ‘em down and take ‘em out’ strategy from the coldhearted Larry Ellison.) And when the rumblings surfaced again earlier this year, we did some


      • Moblin in Fedora 12 pre-releases.
        Yes, you heard it right — among the other cool features in F12 Alpha, you can now take a look at Moblin directly in Fedora proper, regardless of your hardware platform.








    • Debian Family



      • Ubuntu

        • 10 Ubuntu Themed Wallpapers
          10 Ubuntu Themed Wallpapers for your Ubuntu desktop.


        • Karmic’s Proposed Boot Screen Tweaked Again…
          Ubuntu 9.10’s proposed splash and log-in screens have, once again, undergone minor revisions.


        • Ubuntu 9.10's New X Based Boot Splash
          Dear Ubuntu fans, we are proud to announce that, as of this morning, Canonical added a brand-new X-based boot splash, which will be present in the upcoming Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) operating system, due for release on October 29th. xplash is the package in charge of the new boot splash and it is a userspace software that uses the X interface to draw a splash screen at boot before the desktop loads. See the video below to see it in action! Softpedia is once again the first website to offer you a preview of the new artwork, which will probably be present in the final release of Ubuntu 9.10.


        • Revisiting Linux Part 1: A Look at Ubuntu 8.04
          I should add that while we were fishing for suggestions for the first Linux distro to take a look at, we got a lot of suggestions for PCLinuxOS. On any given day I don’t get a lot of email, so I’m still not sure what that was about. Regardless, while the decision was to use Ubuntu, it wasn’t made in absence of considering any other distributions. Depending on the reception of this article, we may take a look at other distros.






      • Canonical

        • Canonical Unveils The Ubuntu Software Store
          Well, those are the plans at least. As you can see from the screenshots, right now the Ubuntu Software Store is quite basic and really does not deliver anything new to the Ubuntu package management stack besides a simplified user-interface. The main screen provides icons for different areas (Accessories, Education, Internet, Office, etc...) while there are basic search capabilities, a list view when looking at packages in a specific area or the search results, and then a basic individual package view. Obviously, there is a whole lot of work left to be done before Ubuntu 9.10 rolls around and even more is ahead for future releases. Look for the Ubuntu Software Store to appear in Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 5.


        • Canonical at VMWorld 2009
          Next week (31 August through 3 September) VMorld 2009 kicks off in San Francisco at the Moscone Center. For the second year, Canonical has a booth to demonstrate Ubuntu’s virtualization and cloud computing capabilities.






      • SimplyMepis

        • SimplyMepis 8.0.10: Debian-compatible
          Mepis has a mature graphical installer, a clean (if not cutting-edge) look, and it works well with its parent distro, Debian. If that sounds like what you're looking for, you can do no wrong with Mepis.


        • Vista User On SimplyMepis 8.0.10
          Our Windows user ended his two hour session with little or no problems to speak of. The layout and navigation took awhile to get used to but he was navigating comfortably after an hour or so.


        • SimplyMEPIS 8 Update Released
          SimplyMEPIS 8.0.10 has been released, and it is as usual very good. I've been pleased and impressed with MEPIS for quite some time now, and despite a few small problems on my various computers, I continue to feel that way. MEPIS is a solid, well developed derivative of Debian, and it has an active, helpful and knowledgeable community for support
















  • Devices/Embedded

    • Rugged fleet computer runs Linux
      Octagon Systems announced a ruggedized mobile computer for police, taxi, medical, trucking, transit system, and mesh security network applications. The Linux-ready Fleet Core computer offers an Intel Atom N270, GPS, and gigabit Ethernet, and provides fanless operation over a -25 to 70 deg. C temperature range, says the company.


    • Web OS: Still in the early stages
      Someday, in the not-too-distant-future, the Web will likely function more like an operating system than the current collection of disassociated sites. With a Web OS, Web applications will communicate with each other, you will sign on to use services and applications just once and you will be able to easily back up data from one site onto another.


    • Iomega unveils new Linux-based, entry-level NAS server
      The Iomega StorCenter ix4-200d NAS server, based on EMC's AX line of low-end arrays, runs on Linux and can be set up in in a few minutes via four mouse clicks, according to the company.


    • Improve Audio Experience in Linux-Based Netbooks
      Netbook users will have a better audio experience with these features included in their Linux-based OS systems. From listening to music to watching streaming movies to chatting with family to protecting the speakers from damage, netbooks need features, such as an equalizer, compressor, limiter, AEC and NS, to improve the audio quality and experience.








Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenBSD Developers Work on AerieBSD
    A group of OpenBSD developers have joined in the AerieBSD project. A new distro is being prepared whose likeness to OpenBSD is unmistakable.


  • Open vs. Fauxpen
    Take a look at what Tristan says about "The API cycle". Yes, we do want APIs to be open and useful. But we also want independence and free agency for everybody in a given category's ecosystem. I fear that some APIs -- especially ones that lock us into dependency on commercial intermediaries that may fail -- are also a breed of fauxpen. And we'll learn big lessons about that as soon as some big commercial tree on which millons depend -- one with an "open API" -- fails to grow to the sky.


  • Open Source: One Sure Way To Keep Piracy At Bay
    The BSA won't tell you that the best way to avoid software piracy is to use software that cannot, by definition, be pirated. Then again, the BSA also won't tell you that a disgruntled ex-employee decided to make your life miserable by giving them a call.


  • The Commenting Practice of Open Source (Completed, for Now)
    I expect Oliver and me to summarize and extend on this work in a journal article (and upon Jacob’s special request, we’ll try to get boilerplate comments and headers removed from the comment line counting :-) ).


  • 6 Reasons Why Mozilla Firefox Is Safe Compared To Internet Explorer
    1. Firefox is not perfect software, but its vulnerabilities are fixed in a considerably shorter amount of time. Many new users are curious – is Mozilla Firefox safe? Updates are released immediately, not on a monthly schedule, and clock in at fewer than 10 MB. Users are notified automatically and prompted to install the update with a single click. The update process doesn’t take more than a minute on a modern computer.




Leftovers

  • ACLU Sues for Records on Border Laptop Searches
    The American Civil Liberties Union said Wednesday that it had filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), demanding records from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) policy of searching laptops at border crossings without any suspicion of wrongdoing.


  • ACLU chapter flags Facebook app privacy
    The Northern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has put out a campaign designed to raise awareness of the privacy implications of Facebook's developer platform. It's focusing specifically on the popular "quiz" applications, like "Which Cocktail Best Suits Your Personality?" and "Which Wes Anderson Movie Character Are You?" These are largely one-time-use apps that many a Facebook user clicks on and tries out with little concern.




  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Obama’s FCC to enforce ‘net neutrality’
      The Obama administration’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to keep the Internet free of increased user fees based on heavy Web traffic and slow downloads.


    • Dutch ISP Cripples Non-HTTP Traffic 12 Hours A Day
      If you recall, last year a Belgian activist got everybody riled up with an incorrect rumor that Canadian phone companies Telus and Bell Canada were planning to start charging customers extra to access certain websites.








  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Reason To Buy? The $1 Million Wine Book
      As book publishers are starting to struggle with the same business model issues facing the music industry and others, it seems at least one publisher has come up with a unique "reason to buy" -- though, it may be slightly out of your price range. johnjac points us to the news about the $1 million wine book.


    • Publishers File Suit Against Lyric Sites
      Peermusic, Warner/Chappell and Bug Music filed copyright infringement lawsuits today against two businesses exploiting unlicensed lyrics for profit through their operation of four Web sites.


    • Mininova Ordered to Remove All ‘Infringing’ Torrents
      Mininova has lost its civil dispute with Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN. The judge ruled that Mininova is not directly responsible for any copyright infringement, but ordered it to remove all torrents linking to copyrighted material within three months, or face a penalty of up to 5 million euros.


    • Official Word from US Courts -- Feel Free to Use RECAP With Our Blessing
      I got a call this afternoon from Michel Ishakian, the Deputy Chief for IT Policy and Budget at the Administrative Office of the United States courts. She assured me that they have no problem with counsel using RECAP (discussed here) and that the language sent out by the Northern District of Georgia (see my update to my previous post) is the only language that she disseminated for publication.


    • Let the Music Play
      Earlier this year, a number of our users complained about their experience on the receiving end of a DMCA complaint. Much commentary at the time focused on claims that we were removing blog posts at the behest of music labels, that we were not notifying users, and that we weren't providing users with any recourse if they were linking to the music with permission.

      [...]

      We realize this birthday present isn't for everyone—we'd hope most of you never receive a complaint. But music bloggers are a large segment of our users—and we know that for those who've received one or more DMCA complaints in the past, this may have been a frustrating experience. Please take care to remove the offending content once notified of the complaint—once you do, you can republish the original post so your audience will continue to have access to the other content contained in the post.


    • Music and film industries to decide who gets broadband
      THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT, which used to cover the world red, has decided to outsource decisions about who can get broadband to the music and film cartels.


    • Anger at UK file-sharing policy


    • To Buy Or To Pirate? Get A Clue RIAA!
      Although the RIAA suggests outrageous losses due to digital pirates, other research has pointed out that piracy has an insignificant effect on CD sales. From the musicians perspective, it takes the sale of about 500,000 CD’s for most artists to break even. By making their music available for free, some musicians believe it is beneficial. Once a listener has heard and appreciated the artist’s music, he may be more willing to buy future work. However, consumers who consider music piracy to negatively affect musicians and music companies in terms of profit will be less likely to engage in music piracy.


    • Ending the War on Sharing
      The purpose of copyright — on musical recordings, or anything else — is simple: to encourage writing and art. That's a desirable goal, but there are limits to what it can justify. Stopping people from sharing noncommercially is just too much. If we wish to promote music in the age of computer networks, we must choose methods that fit in with what we want to do with music, and that includes sharing.


    • Pirate Bay suitor gets backing for buy
      Global Gaming Factory X (GGF) shareholders have unanimously given the thumbs up to the firm's plans to buy The Pirate Bay.










Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day



Kevin Foreman, General Manager at RealNetworks 01 (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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