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Links 02/09/2009: RHEL 5.4 Released; Skype Buyout Can Help Free Software



GNOME bluefish

Contents





GNU/Linux

  • Linux grows up
    During my vacation last week I decided to take a look at Ubuntu's latest Linux offering and I was pleasantly surprised. I'm happy to say that Linux, as a desktop, has truly grown up. Out of the box I had audio, video, and wireless Internet support without any trouble whatsoever. It had an intuitive and user-friendly interface, something necessary to catch the attention of non-technically savvy users. Additionally, the installation was a breeze. This wasn't always the case and I finally felt Linux was a real option for the user desktop.


  • MLAs to go e-way with pre-loaded linux laptops
    The MLAs in the State are going e-way like their counterparts in other States, but with a difference. The 141 MLAs in the Kerala Legislative Assembly will be provided with pre-loaded GNU/Linux laptops, giving a clear indication that the State is still bonded to the idea of free software. The Kerala Legislative Assembly website has published the tender for pre-installed open source purchase with Linux Ubuntu certification.


  • Server





  • Kernel Space

    • Metadata Performance of Four Linux File Systems
      This article isn’t so much about benchmarks as a product, but rather it is an exploration looking for interesting observations or trends or the lack thereof. In particular this article examines the metadata performance of several Linux file systems using a specific micro-benchmark. Fundamentally this article is really an exploration to understand if there is any metadata performance differences between 4 Linux file systems (ext3, ext4, btrfs, and nilfs) using a metadata benchmark called fdtree. So now it’s time to eat our dog food and do benchmarking with the recommendations previously mentioned.






  • Games

    • CodeWeavers Releases CrossOver Games 8.0 for Mac and Linux; Adds Support for Snow Leopard OS
      CodeWeavers, Inc., a leading developer of software products that turn Mac OS X and Linux into Windows-compatible operating systems, today announced the release of CrossOver Games 8.0 for both Mac and Linux, available immediately. CrossOver Games allows Windows games to be played on Mac and Linux PCs without the need for a Windows operating system license. CrossOver Games 8.0 is also designed to run on the latest Snow Leopard OS for Mac PCs.


    • Battlefield 2 v1.50 Linux Dedicated Server
      Here's the Battlefield 2 Dedicated Linux Server (Build 1.5.3153) to host games for version 1.5.








  • Distributions







  • Devices/Embedded





Free Software/Open Source

  • Skype buyout wakes up open source vendors
    Meanwhile, the developers of FreeSWITCH, an alternative VoIP solution, have been re-emphasising that FreeSWITCH already supports Skype in an update released in August, albeit through a proxy mechanism which uses the Skype client software on Windows and Linux to connect to the Skype network. Whether the new ownership of Skype will see the company become more interoperable with open source in general has yet to be determined.


  • Integration Watch: Open-source hosts with the most
    At the top of the list is the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) at apache.org. It hosts only a few projects, but ones that matter and that frequently have a large following. In my recent interview with ASF president Justin Erenkrantz, he stated, “For a project to apply, it generally requires three active, regular contributors.” Even if it qualifies on that score, it must still go through an incubation and review phase before it becomes a fully accepted project. In exchange, the ASF provides hosting, a legal framework, considerable exposure and undeniable cachet.


  • Intalio Acquires Webtide, Developer of the Jetty Application Server
    Intalio, Inc., The Enterprise Cloud Company, today announced the acquisition of Webtide, the team behind the Jetty open source Java application server.




  • Business







  • Openness

    • Wikimedia Commons breaks 5,000,000 files
      Hot on the heels of the recent milestone of 3,000,000 articles on English Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons has just lodged its own major milestone: passing the 5,000,000 binary mark. Wikimedia Commons is the vast image, video, sound, illustration (and more) repository of works that can be freely reused by anyone, and perhaps most notably to users is the space where all of Wikipedia’s images are stored. Few would dispute that Wikimedia Commons is the largest single collection of freely reusable images on the internet.


    • Are You Ready for Open-Source Hardware?
      According to the Chaos Theory, in a giant system that has lots of interconnections, even the smallest action can have a massive impact. It’s more simply described by the butterfly effect. This theory has taken its toll on the software business, thanks to the rise of open-source software platforms. Today, I learned about a move made by Backblaze, a small San Francisco-based online back-up service that can cause a similar disruption in the storage industry.






  • Programming

    • CollabNet pushes community best practices
      CollabNet announced this morning that it will offer free one-hour audits of existing communities, and has made available the Enterprise Community Management Cook Book, enumerating the best practices for managing open-source projects. For companies seeking an even deeper engagement, CollabNet also announced both an advisory and a management service for corporate communities in need of a shepherd.








Leftovers

  • Amazon API crackdown neuters book apps
    Then Elam noticed a similar problem with an aging Windows app known as Album Art Aggregator, which provided cover art for his collection of ripped CDs. And after a quick web search, he turned up issues with several other Linux apps, including Amarok, a music player for the KDE Linux desktop interface, and Rhythmbox, a music-management app for the GNOME destktop.

    As it turns out, all are victims of a recent change to the Amazon.com data API.


  • Will eBooks Kill Off The Hard-Cover Book?
    Arnaud Nourry, CEO of French publishing group Hachette Livre told the Financial Times that pressure from Google’s (GOOG) digital library project and from the move by Amazon (AMZN), Barnes & Noble (BKS) and others into electronic books is forcing publishers to consider drastic price cuts. He thinks one result could be the death of hardback books.


  • NPR’s Digital Makeover
    Yes, that's the problem. That's sort of the beauty of a not-for-profit, like ourselves. We're beholden to no one. No financier. Our gifts come with no strings attached, or we won't accept them. Nobody is getting rich off of it. It's a big issue.


  • NPR Recognizes It Makes Business Sense To Give Up Content Cash Cow And Go Free
    It appears that she's putting this realization to work in other ways, a bunch of readers have been submitting an NPR blog post explaining why it has stopped charging for transcripts of programs, and started offering them for free on its website.




  • AstroTurf

    • EXCLUSIVE: Health Insurance Lobby’s Stealth Astroturf Campaign Revealed
      According to the server-information hub Domaintools.com, the AHIP grassroots outreach website AHIPAdvocacy.org is hosted on a server owned by DDC. Though DDC conceals the hosting of its other websites using a service called DomainsByProxy, ThinkProgress has obtained a list of the domains hosted on DDC servers. A review of this data shows that DDC maintains the grassroots outreach websites for large health insurance companies, but also for big tobacco and Koch Industries:

      – phillipmorrisusaactioncenter.org (Altria) – tobaccoissues.com (Altria) – kochpac.com (Koch Industries) – aetnavotes.com (Aetna) – healthactionnetwork.org (WellPoint) – humanapartners.com (Humana) – ahipadvocacy.org (AHIP)


    • Rendon's Embed Vetting Scandal
      The military newspaper Stars and Stripes reported that the Pentagon was using one of its favorite public relations firms, the Rendon Group, to produce profiles of reporters requesting to embed with U.S. forces in Afghanistan; that the profiles graded reporters' past coverage as "positive," "neutral" or "negative," sometimes suggesting how to "neutralize" expected negative coverage or how to design embeds to "result in favorable coverage"; and that, in some cases, the profiles prompted military officials to reject reporters' embed requests


    • Online politics reserved for rich
      US civic engagement remains in the hands of the middle-class despite hopes that the internet would democratise political involvement.








  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Authors Take Up The Tiered Support Models Also
      Another day, another example of content creators embracing the business models we've been talking about -- and once again, this one is outside of the music industry. Recently we wrote about movie makers picking up on tiered funding offerings, similar to what Jill Sobule has done, and now we've got a budding author as well.


    • Movie studios again demand HDTV disabling powers from FCC
      Even the MPAA now concedes that its bid for selectable output control could force some consumers to buy new home theater gear. What we still don't have is a reasonable estimate on whether the 11 million figure bandied about is accurate. Nor do we know what the Genachowski FCC thinks about this mess.


    • Despite Winning $675,000, RIAA Fears Defendant is File Sharing
      The Recording Industry Association of America took the offensive Tuesday against a college student whom a jury concluded in July must pay $675,000 for file sharing 30 songs.










Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day



William Li Wan, Manager of Sun Microsystems Sun China Engineering Institute 03 (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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