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Links 02/09/2009: Small Businesses Look at FOSS, Con Kolivas is Back



GNOME bluefish

Contents





GNU/Linux

  • Kids in Austin, Texas Need More Penguins
    Ken's health has taken a bit of a turn and even though he will be stubborn and continue to push himself too hard, it would be better for more people to pitch in with Komputers4Kids. I don't know if that is still the official name, but the job is still the same-- collect donations of good used computers of recent vintage, install Linux on them, make sure everything works, and deliver and set them up.


  • Microsoft Losing its Grip on UK Small Businesses?
    Put another way, according to this survey few small business in the UK intend upgrading to Windows 7 soon; the majority want to move to solutions independent of the operating system, to those based on the browser; and fully a third of the companies are using Firefox, not Internet Explorer, for that purpose.

    That adds up to a bunch of headaches for Microsoft if those results are mirrored across the whole of the UK, because it suggests some fairly seismic shifts are underway in the small business sector, and that the company is failing on multiple fronts.




  • Google

    • Is there a ChromiumOS to go with ChromeOS?
      In a recent report on TechCrunch, it was noted that modifications were being made to the Chrome browser which hint that the forthcoming ChromeOS will use the browser as the application launcher. Details also reveal that the developers at Google are extending the status bar to include an application launching control, a clock and battery indicator.


    • Google Chrome OS to Feature Single Sign-On for Chrome Browser
      Blogger Lee Mathews of Download Squad recently found a reference to Chrome OS in the source code of Chromium, the open source project that serves as the testing grounds for Google's Chrome web browser. In the code, a line references something being called the "Chrome OS login manager." Essentially, this login manager will function as a single sign-on (SSO) cookie which will simultaneously log you into all Google services including things like Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Reader, etc.


    • More Chrome OS clues - and it's sure sounding like a bootable browser






  • Desktop

    • Windows And Linux Users Get Another Great VM Option
      This week, for the first time in nearly three years, Parallels updated (and renamed) Workstation.2.2. The new release, dubbed Parallels Desktop 4 for Windows and Linux, offers some features that should make it very interesting to both personal and small-business PC users.


    • Easily Install Fonts In Ubuntu With FontMatrix
      Several unique features of FontMatrix include: -

      * Label fonts with multiple tags * Activate or deactivate fonts base on tag(s) * Install entire folders of fonts with one click * Preview font before deciding to install/activate * Select similar fonts (as long as PANOSE information is provided)








  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Unified Kernel (Longene) 0.2.4.1 released!
      On 31st August, 2009, the new version of Linux Unified Kernel (Longene) 0.2.4.1 is released. In this release, we updated the kernel patch and module based on Linux 2.6.30, so it will support more features that the new kernel brings. Meanwhile, we fixed some bugs in registry management, process management and synchronization in the previous version (0.2.4).

      In this release, both source code package and binary packages are provided for some popular distributions, like Redflag 6, Fedora, Ubuntu.


    • Con Kolivas returns with a new scheduler
      Con Kolivas, who worked on desktop interactivity issues in the past before storming off in 2007, has posted a new scheduler called BFS. "It was designed to be forward looking only, make the most of lower spec machines, and not scale to massive hardware. ie it is a desktop orientated scheduler, with extremely low latencies for excellent interactivity by design rather than 'calculated', with rigid fairness, nice priority distribution and extreme scalability within normal load levels."


    • Linus Torvalds in Live Streaming from LinuxCon
      The Linux Foundation will be holding its first LinuxCon conference from September 21 through 23 in Portland, Oregon. Linus Torvalds and Mark Shuttleworth will be among the speakers, and Linux Pro Magazine Online will do a live stream, free for the keynotes.


    • Accelerating X with Gallium
      So with a Gallium driver, besides OpenGL, OpenGL ES and OpenVG you'll get X11 acceleration. I'm specifically saying here X11 because after implementing Exa we'll move to accelerating Xv, which will give us a nice set of ops which are accelerated in a typical X application.








  • Applications

    • 5 Great opensource games for Linux
      Here are 5 Nice opensource games for Linux , I installed the games on ubuntu and they did work fine, I liked more Supertux perhaps because is similar to super mario bros one my favorite games, the rest of the games are nice ones also with nice music and good graphics, in general nice ones to play them in your free time, I advise you to try them and don`t forget to share with us your opinion about thee games.


    • Building Linux Audio Applications 101: A User's Guide, Part 1
      I have purposefully avoided any discussion of GUI-based tools. There are some very nice GUI-based development tools and utilities for Linux, but for present purposes I have chosen to target the lowest common denominator of programming environments, the Linux command line (a.k.a. the terminal prompt). Regardless of flavor, size, or shape, all Linux distributions include command-line access to the system. And if you've never worked at a Linux console command-line, have no fear: If you can enter your name in a login dialog you can enter and execute commands at the terminal prompt. The power is in your hands.


    • Ultimate Download Management guide for Linux
      When I got started with Linux, The one thing I couldn’t find was good download managers. but today we have plenty of them, in fact what we have on Linux is simply better than Adware/Shareware download managers on Windows.

      Downloading in Linux is not limited to using Wget, KDE KGet or Gwget or cURL now..

      In this guide, I’m going to tell you the various ways for good and reliable download management on Linux, for every type of download you can ever do.








  • Desktop Environments

    • Grants, bounties and free software
      The GNOME community has had mixed results with bounties and grants, so when Funambol community manager Stefano Maffulli contacted me about a GNOME grant and said they'd had success using grants for Funambol, I thought it'd be interesting to learn more about the program.








  • Distributions

    • Noteworthy PCLinuxOS updates (Aug 23rd – Aug 29th 2009)
      Another week has come and gone. Here are the noteworthy updates from the past week.




    • Red Hat Family





    • Fedora

      • Boog, the desktop bugzilla client for Fedora
        From the project page “Boog is a desktop and command line bugzilla client that aims to provide a very easy and simple interface for end users to file bug reports. We aim to built some intelligence into the client. We will collect the Fedora version and component version information, hardware details, log output, SELinux status and other details depending on the component the user chooses to file a bug report against.”


      • Fedora from an Ubuntu point of view
        I’m impressed by Fedora. It’s familiar and friendly, with a well defined and complete appearance. Delta RPMs are a great idea – especially as we consider that not everyone has a fast internet connection (Sony wants to take this on board, as I wait here for another massive system update on PS3). Encryption is very welcome as is SELinux. On the downside, the installation licensing limits the distributed applications and yum is still comparitively slow.




    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Netbook Remix UI Gets Tweaked Again
        Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala Alpha 4 brings another Ubuntu Netbook Remix user interface redesign. The colors has been lighted, the menus now dynamically resize to allow more of the background to be seen and launcher animations have returned.


      • Openbravo on Ubuntu Server Edition: ERP Sales Will Take Time
        Meanwhile, Ubuntu Server Edition 9.10 – set to debut in October — includes several cloud enhancements that could further improve Ubuntu’s appeal beyond the desktop. In the meantime, Canonical is working with training centers to expand the support network for Ubuntu Server Edition.


      • TechBoard 2009
        Thank you to everyone who voted in the Tech Board election, which came to a result last night. We had 84 votes from 130 eligible voters. The new Tech Board in reverse alphabetical surname order is:

        * Matt Zimmerman * Mark Shuttleworth * Scott James Remnant * Martin Pitt * Kees Cook












  • Devices/Embedded

    • Kindle DX Impressions
      Kindle today is actually from O’Reilly who provide DRM-free content. The Kindle DX supports PDFs really well, but I put my O’Reilly books on there using the .mobi format which works better and is searchable, zoomable etc.

      [...]

      So all in all, a pretty rocking device and I am tickled pink to have one on our coffee table.


    • Nokia’s Free Software bullshit and insults in Maemo
      There’s a wiki page in Maemo explaining why there are some proprietary software. That page needs to be passed by the bullshit filter, like I said in my comment, Nokia is far from being friendly to Free Software. They’re actually quite aggressive and strongly lobby for the legalization of software patents in Europe. Don’t be fooled by the sugar coating, they are not your friend. So what is in the wiki page after you pass the bullshit filter?

      * Brand We think that “open source” reduces our brand value * Differentiation Proprietary software is much better, just use it * Legacy We don’t want to be shamed by the garbage we forcefeed upon you * IPR & licensing issues Software Patents are good, just buy the freaking licenses from us. * Security Since we sell dangerous products, we take your freedom away so you don’t make the mistake of getting proof they’re crap (like their batteries, which the phones must know the limits of) * Third party Just accept that we know best and choose from the best






Free Software/Open Source

  • A Question of Community Values
    One of the core differences between open source and traditional software development is the role of the community. For companies employing the latter, it's essentially a resource to be strip-mined; for those using the former, it's a resource to be tended like a garden of rare orchids.


  • 4 Resources for the Powerful Inkscape Open Source Drawing Tool
    Among advanced open source graphics tools, GIMP has a lot of fans, and there are many free online resources available for it, but if you're looking for a drawing and illustration tool that can compete with Adobe Illustrator and is especially good for logos and splashy still graphics, give Inkscape a try.


  • Design Challenges, Service Week, Drumbeat, TestSwarm, AMO update, extension tutorials, and more…
    In this issue…

    * Two new Design Challenges * New Mozilla.org website * Mozilla Service Week: Sept 14-21 * Mozilla Drumbeat: topics, overview + forum * Labs: TestSwarm alpha open * New addons.mozilla.org updates




  • VoIP

    • Skype Dials New Owner… And Open Source
      The first piece of news involves eBay selling most of Skype to private investors, as reported by The New York Times. But a separate, smaller piece of news could also have big implications for Skype and its channel partners. Skype for Digium Asterisk — the open source IP PBX — is officially available for download.


    • Digium and Skype Enable Free and Low-Cost Calling through any Asterisk-based PBX
      “Digium has been using Skype for Asterisk for the past few months while the product has been in development,” said Danny Windham, CEO of Digium. “We created Skype accounts such as Digium Sales and Digium Support—a convention I suspect many companies will quickly adopt. Now, our customers all over the world can call us for free using Skype and our Asterisk PBX processes the inbound call just like it would a normal call. This is going to save Digium and our customers a lot of money.”






  • FSF/GNU/FSFE/SFLC



    • FSF internship - working with GNU MyServer
      My internship is now over but still there are things to be done, both for my GUI application and for GNU MyServer. I’m going to continue contributing to GNU Myserver and I hope my code will be useful for others.


    • Announcing GNU GRUB 1.97 beta1
      I hereby announce the release of GNU GRUB 1.97 beta1. This is the first of the beta releases that will lead to 1.97.


    • Lets work together.
      Lets make our diversity in the GNU/Linux community a positive point and work together to promote GNU/Linux as a whole. It is an excellent concept that keeps growing and flourishing. Tolerance of each other and acceptance of new users is essential. Peace, love and Linux.


    • The human face of the FSFE
      There is an interview series with Fellows — Smári McCarthy, Timo Jyrinki, Myriam Schweingruber are the last three — that illustrates really well the range of people involved in Free Software across Europe.

      [...]

      Anyway, the human face of FSFE: the fellows. See the Berlin group on the 10th of September, Wien or Helsinki or one of the other groups — or start one up yourself. Heck, I’m going to have to arrange something in the Netherlands now. How does October 28th sound?


    • Episode 0x15: Steve Holden of the Python Software Foundation
      # Steve has been using Python since version 1.5, which was released in 1998. (08:15) # Steve was previously the chairman of Sun UK User Group, and was also involved with DECUS. (10:40)








  • Misc.

    • Frances Pinter on the (Academic) Value of Sharing
      So much of academic output is now available on the web, and when you talk to academics they are not 100 percent happy with how difficult it is becoming to find their works. They are looking for tools; a digital means of selecting, filtering, and ranking the materials they are using and recommending. We are actually in a period of transition where we are still relying on the old, but wanting to experiment with the new. People like myself who spend a lot of time with the open access crowd can kind of forget there are a lot of academics who aren’t so vocal, who are primarily interested in producing their content, getting materials in front of their students, and getting their promotion and their recognition for work that they produce.


    • 'Bloggers' vs 'Audience' is over? or, Will the word 'blogger' disappear?
      Blog is just one of many technical ways to convey information. I think the phrase "Blogger Jones" will go away. But sometimes it is important to state how one got the information. So, one may say "Jones blogged it", or "I got this from Sally via e-mail", or "as Neal wrote in his 1996 book", or "Anne told me over dinner last night", or "in Jim's op-ed in WaPo yesterday", or "via Dave on Twitter", or "Elizabeth texted me", or "Bill posted on Facebook", or "Chris told me over the phone a minute ago". All of those media channels are useful for various purposes.


    • Google Translate now speaks 51 languages
      We spend a lot of time thinking about how information travels around the globe. After all, there are Googlers living and working in dozens of countries — and we're pretty sure our products are used in many more. So we're familiar with the need to translate information across borders, and we've been working hard to build the technology to enable you to do just that.


    • A New Way to Backup from Gladinet: Cloud-to-Cloud
      However, with Gladinet's new cloud backup feature, currently only available for Google Docs, you can backup your files from Google's cloud to someone else's, whether that's Amazon, Box.net, EMC, or whatever else you choose.








  • Programming







Leftovers

  • An Engineer to Run Japan
    It seems the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) smoked the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in today`s national election, ending the LDP`s five decade rule over Japan.


  • How much of the EU's data will the UK lose?
    That's OK for us Brits, of course, we're used to it. Ever since the records of 25 million child benefit claimants went AWOL, we've become inured to our personal data turning up in the strangest of places, including roundabouts, train carriages, laptops stolen from the boots of cars and disks going missing from secure sites in Iowa City.


  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyright’s Creative Disincentive
      Tucows is participating in the ongoing Canadian copyright consultation. We will be making a formal submission and I will be appearing at the final round table tomorrow (Tuesday, September 1, 2009) in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.

      We are big fans of government embracing the Internet in order to better get input from its citizens to help with the legislative process. While the methods have evolved, the submissions tend to be very formalistic. By lawyers for lawyers. To try and evolve that we have commissioned an original piece by the brilliant David Weinberger discussing the fundamental misconception in linking copyright to creativity. This piece will form the bulk of our submission and follows.


    • Is Creative Commons Good for Copyright?
      When CC founding board member Lawrence Lessig announced in 2007 he was retiring from the intellectual property debate to focus on ethics, we wrote the “issues [related to possible strategic errors in the Eldred v. Ashcroft case] are minor compared with the good Lessig has done and the enormous effort he has spent in trying to get it right and make things equitable. Lessig has put his energy and his money where his mouth has been, and right or wrong, we respect and thank him for that.”


    • Bad Idea Redux: Revisiting The Music Tax
      I was going to ignore this, but people keep submitting it. A student blogger for ZDnet has decided that he's solved the RIAA's problems: just tax every internet connection at $1 per month. This is, of course, unworkable and unwise for a variety of reasons. First, the recording industry would laugh (and laugh and laugh) at the idea that $1 from every internet connection would come close to covering what it (falsely) considers to be "losses" from file sharing. Remember, this is the same recording industry that's continually trying to raise the price per song downloaded to over $1. But, more importantly, there are so many problems with a music tax idea, that it's taken up multiple posts here.


    • Why digital is good for music
      Greg Kot: There is a part of the music industry that is dying as a result of what's happening on the Internet. But I think a new industry is being born, a grassroots industry.


    • No wonder the major record labels are in trouble
      Amazingly, all this can all be done digitally in literally minutes at a fraction of the cost. Since 2005, the entire Canadian music industry has led the world in moving to a total digital workflow. That industry has virtually eliminated the use of CD Pros to promote new music to radio stations, internally within the labels, and to other destinations with great savings of time, effort, and money.


    • Europe Pushing For An Orphan Works Law Also


    • Copyright Reform Made Easy
      As readers of this blog will have noticed, I'm not a big fan of intellectual monopolies like copyright or patents. For the former, I'd prefer a return to the original term of 14 years, or even less. But even I recognise that this is not going to be easy to achieve in the short term, so until there's an outbreak of mass sanity, we need a stopgap solution.










Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day



William Li Wan, Manager of Sun Microsystems Sun China Engineering Institute 02 (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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