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Links 12/10/2009: GIMP 2.6 Documentation is Out, Linux 2.6.32 RC4 Released

GNOME bluefish



  • The Situation Now (2019)
    This particular day was very important for Sam and the PSF, though. It was the day they launched their “GNU/Linux Lies” campaign in downtown Seattle, explaining to passer-byers why proprietary software is more ethical than Free Software. The PSF had been facing greater difficulties ever since 2016, when the Closed Source Initiative was founded. This organization focused only on the practical benefits of proprietary software. Their stance was less powerful because it wasn’t based on ethics and philosophy, yet it gained so much more momentum. Instead of fighting for essential developer rights, the Closed Source Initiative advocated that companies cannot free their source code, because doing so loses them some business opportunities. While closed source campaigns still helped the cause of the PSF, they defeated the point that developers should be able to do whatever they want with the software they create.

    Unfortunately, though the cause was ethical, Sam and the PSF could not seem to get much traction. Any traction that was made for proprietary software was made by the closed source movement, not the proprietary software movement. It seemed that ethics didn’t matter anymore. The world was using this unethical “Free Software” with no regards whatsoever for the rights of the developers.

  • Synology€® Announces the Official Release of Synology Assistant, Introducing Linux Version, Multiple
    Synology€® Inc. today announced the official release of its Synology Assistant, introducing Linux version, multiple Disk Station installation, resource monitor and several enhancements of the management UI. "In addition, the official release also includes support for the latest Mac OS, Snow Leopard," said Edward Lin, marketing director of Synology.

  • Hulu on Linux looks great
    I’m impressed. Not only do we have a major force in Internet TV supporting Linux, they’ve done a darn good job of it right out of the gate.

  • Watch Hulu on Ubuntu in two easy steps

  • Computer OS's and Bee Hives
    Linux does what I need it to do. I don't play all the whiz bang games and I don't need the 3D fancy pants stuff. That just slows me down.

  • Ubuntu Karmic Koala- A perfect alternative to Windows 7
    Before you decide to pay for a Windows 7 license, I would humbly urge you to first download a copy of Karmic Koala, give it a try for a week or two and then make an unbiased assessment of it yourself. You will see that you would not have to spend money whatsoever on a pile of software that crumbles at the least attack made on it. Do you intend using Windows 7? Please tell us why or why you would not use Ubuntu.

  • The Lame Geek&Poke Weekend Joke

  • What Is The Achilles Heel of Windows 7?
    Another upgrade issue for Windows 7 is a familiar one, the confusion resulting in decision paralysis caused by the multiple versions of Windows 7 to choose from. I consider this manipulative strategy to be unethical. Microsoft should take a cue from Apple and release one version with all the bells and whistles at a reasonable price. Mac Os X Snow Leopard has all the bells and whistles and costs $90 less than Windows 7 Home Premium, which does not have all the features that the expensive Windows 7 Ultimate edition contains. This Microsoft strategy will discourage early adoption of Windows 7, and like the Windows XP upgrade problem, most will use their decision paralysis as an excuse to not get Windows 7 until their Windows XP computer dies.


    The adoption rate of Windows 7 is going to be slow. By the time the majority of Windows users have upgraded to W7, Apple and the various Linux distributions will likely have new versions of their systems that will once again put Windows in the back seat of advancements.

  • Windows VS Linux
    Its a close call between mint, suse and mandriva. In this test Mandriva is winner.

    1. Mandriva 2. Mint 3. Suse 4. XP 5. vista

  • Linux Outlaws 115 - GNUbucks Coffee
    On this show, which has been massively delayed due to Fab being taken out by the flu, we talk about GNU Bucks, Alan Turing being nominated for knighthood, Linux saving an Aussie power company and we also get into a massive discussion about sexism in the community.

  • Home Users Don't Need to Update their Linux Frequently
    Let's demystify the whole thing. Suppose, you installed PCLinuxOS 2009.2 which detected and configured all your hardware devices. You did a full update plus pulled in all the necessary apps of your choice. Period. You don't need to regularly upgrade it. Frequent updates don't bring about great improvements.

  • My wishlist for Spotify
    Clients on alternative platforms -- like Despotify for Linux -- already do this, by allowing premium users to use Spotify on a platform not officially supported by Spotify. But as this type of clients are essentially hacks, how many Linux users are actually willing to a pay for a service that can go offline any given day, without advance warning. By opening the official API, Spotify would ensure that the users of alternative platforms would also be willing to pay for the service.

  • Linux 2.6.32-rc4
    One thing I will note, though. The next -rc is definitely going to be smaller, both because I will definitely refuse to merge drivers-from-hell, but perhaps more relevantly because it will be a "short week" release. The kernel summit is coming up, and in order to avoid doing the release from Tokyo while jetlagged, I'll almost certainly do -rc5 on Thursday.

  • Applications

    • Gimp Help Released for GIMP 2.6
      The GIMP documentation team has been working hard and is proud to announce the availability of the first release of the user manual for GIMP 2.6.

    • Eyecandy for Your Chromium and Desktop
      If you’re using Chromium, the developer edition of the Google Chrome browser, then it’s your lucky weekend. There are new Chrome themes to choose from. Themes include Anna Sui and Viviene Westwood styles. Anime and such kinds of things are also present as distinct themes you could download to personalize your browser. That includes theme with Hatsune Miku, K-on and Super Monkey Ball.

    • Opera (Quietly) Continues to Get Better
      Opera is the browser I choose, because it does what is needed, with little fuss, and gives me an interface I like, with ways of making the things I do very easy. I haven’t found anyone who really gives Opera a try to not like it, and I have converted many people.

    • Off the Clock: djl is a must-have app for Linux gamers
      Now that I've managed to pick up a spare laptop on the cheap, I finally have a dedicated Linux machine to experiment with. Priority number one since I'm Off the Clock for the weekend: get some games installed that are more fun than the ones Ubuntu ships (sorry Nibbles and Gnometris).

  • Desktop Environments

    • Linux Distro and Desktop – The More the Merrier, Right?
      If you are planning to use an older machine and just require stability and an uncluttered approach then you can go with GNOME. However, if you have a newer machine, looking for a desktop closer to Windows and avoid the command line interface, then KDE is your best bet.

    • KDE

      • Maemo Conference 2009 in Amsterdam
        Last weekend Amsterdam was visited by hackers from various Free Software communities and companies from around the world. Brought together by the Maemo Summit in the WesterGasFabriek, they gave and attended talks about topics like the Maemo applications, user interface components, the underlying infrastructure and of course the future of Maemo. Read on for a short impression of this conference.

      • KDE 4.3: Boom baby!
        Stability has gradually improved to the point where I no longer have any problems at all. KDE boots fast and without issue. Applications don’t crash, except for the printer applet after one update, which was immediately remedied in the next. Kwin effects are fast and leave no artifacts. KDE 4 is stable.

        Configuration-wise, things have improved too. Config options have treacled back into KDE 4, and while it still might not be up to the standard set by its predecessor, it’s getting there.

      • Chakra Alpha 3: a review
        You have to hand it to the Chakra project developers: they sure have ambition. Don’t expect a remastered Ubuntu here, Chakra takes the do-it-yourself distribution Arch, and tries to make the installation easy, providing you with the latest and greatest KDE in the process. Chakra has more or less grew out of KDEmod, a modded and modular set of KDE packages for Arch. Apparently, the devs decided that they might as well slap an installer together and create a whole new distribution. Easier said than done…

      • Plasma widgets on Maemo5
        But after several more hours of hacking and trying to figure out how transparency works in X11, I even managed to get nice translucent applets. Also I figured out how to hook up the normal maemo5 widget configuration system to display the correct configuration dialog when you click on the configure button on one of these plasmoids. So with in the end maybe 20 lines of code, I got a rather good working implementation that makes it basically possible to have any plasmoid you might have on your normal kde desktop, also on your maemo5 home screen. One (somewhat major) problem with the current implementation is that it is not possible to resize widgets, but as far as I can tell that is mostly a limitation of the maemo5 desktop widget system, so I'm not sure if there is anything I can do about it from my side.

  • Distributions

    • Releases (Covered Before)

      • Mandriva Linux 2010.0 RC2 Has KDE 4.3.2 and GNOME 2.28
        One Live CDs of Mandriva Linux 2010.0 RC2 will be avilable next week! The only way for you to test this release is to grab the Free DVD edition and install it (see below for download link). Mandriva Linux 2010.0 RC2 is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. The development cycle of Mandriva Linux 2010.0 will conclude with the final release, at the beginning of November!

      • Tiny Core 2.4.1 Released
        Robert Shingledecker, founder of the Tiny Core Linux project, announced on October 9th the availability of Tiny Core Linux 2.4.0, a version that brings major updates to this very small Linux distribution (only 11 MB in size).

    • Promotion

      • Todays challenge..go download PCLinuxOS
        * For new users: PCLinuxOS (abbreviated pclos) is a Linux distribution (a free operating system) written with the new Linux user in mind. It is one of the most straightforward Linux versions to install and run. It includes all the essential software for everyday use.

        * For advanced users: PCLinuxOS is so complete and friendly, that it has become the primary operating system even of seasoned Linux users. For power users, PCLinuxOS is extremely easy to customize.

      • Gentoo Ten Live DVD 10.1 (New Release)
        After numerous bug fixes and enhancements the Ten Team would like everyone to try out the 10.1 release.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Karmic review
        While at Canonical, I played with some appliance configs and had from kernel load to running firefox in a dozen seconds or some. This laptop doesn't have anything I'd see as unusual for daemons - there's no mysqld, sshd, or anything unneeded like that. But to have everything Just Work(tm) at this stage is amazing.

        Nice job. =)

      • Gordon's Adventures with Ubuntu - Part 1
        Initial thoughts are that it seems much faster than Vista on the same hardware. Most of the features seem to work straight out of the box and seems pretty intuitive. Once I have fixed the partition size I will be able to try some other stuff in earnest. Watch this space for the next thrilling installment.

      • First Time booting with Ubuntu Linux 9.10 Karmic Koala BETA
        Pretty cool stuff, granted Ubuntu Linux does not have the Advertising Agency dollars behind them, so it doesn’t have the image that it really deserves, but the cost is free. You can’t beat that.. not by a long shot. Everything works as expected (even with an upgrade and not a fresh install) in face this post is being delivered via the new OS and Firefox.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • 'Frankencamera': A Giant Leap For Digital Photos?
      According to Levoy, these are just a couple of examples of how programmers could change the future of photography with the Frankencamera. The key is that the camera uses a Linux operating system. All digital cameras are essentially minicomputers, says Levoy, and they can be modified a bit by the photographer. But the manufacturer determines what features are available. Linux is "open source," which means the camera owner can change everything about the electronic guts.

    • Techsol touch panel ships, marking 10 years of embedded ARM devices
      Techsol is shipping a Linux-ready "TPC-43B" 4.3-inch touch-panel PC equipped with its ARM-based Medallion CPU Module and Power-over-Ethernet support, and targeting building automation and factory HMI applications. Meanwhile, Techsol announced its tenth year of designing low-power computers based on a variety of low-power ARM-based embedded computers.

    • Phones

      • As Android's Horizons Broaden, LiMo's Are Likely to Shrink
        It's interesting to note that early this year, at the Mobile World Congress conference, many observers were dismayed that Android didn't have a big presence. That's all changed, of course. By the end of this year there will be nearly 20 Android handsets from nearly every major manufacturer, and Google and Verizon Wireless have a far-reaching deal to advance Android (GigaOm Pro, sub. required), giving the platform substantial carrier diversification.

      • New Nokia Phone “Nokia N 900″
        N900 or NokiaRover as some call it, is a first new internet tablet by Nokia that is based on Linux platform Maemo 5. The reference software is Maemo 5, an open-source solution daughter of the GNOME project. The Nokia N900 integrates an ARM Cortex-A8 processor, up to 1GB of memory for applications and graphics acceleration.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Study: Netbook sales growing at 264 percent clip
        A DisplaySearch study shows netbook sales continuing to defy the recession and the slow PC market, growing at a 264 percent rate in the second quarter year over year, says eWEEK. However, netbooks are also eroding ASPs (average selling prices) across the mobile PC industry, claims the study.

      • Netbooks by the Numbers
        The big question is whether or not M$ can afford to allow more than 30 million more PCs to run GNU/Linux each year indefinitely. M$ cannot afford to continue buying the loyalty of OEMs if they drop their prices. There simply will not be enough money to go around soon.

        I expect M$ will delay the inevitable by giving better deals for “7″ on netbooks than other platforms. More will switch to netbooks, and, in 2010, M$ will be forced to retrench, either by cutting money-losing lines or ceding the netbook to GNU/Linux.

      • CEATEC: Sharp intros NetWalker, the touchscreen mini-netbook
        In addition to allowing you to surf the Internet, send email, and create documents, the NetWalker is also designed to work as an electronic dictionary and e-book reader. Running on the Ubuntu OS, the device also features an optical pointer, a USB port, WiFi, 4 gigabytes of memory, a microSD memory card slot, and has a battery life of 10 hours. Priced at 44,800 yen ($500), the unit is scheduled for Japan release in late October.

      • Sharp intros NetWalker touchscreen notebook at Ceatec
        The Sharp NetWalker is set to be priced at about 44,800 Yen (or $500) and is expected in Japan by the end of October. We can only hope that it shows up elsewhere too, for those who love small.

      • Processors from ARM are going beyond mobile devices
        After comfortably residing for years in mobile devices like cellphones, chips based on the Arm design are finding their way into commercial laptops.

Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenWorld to shed light on Oracle's Java plans
    Oracle's long-term agenda for Java may come into focus next week as the company plans to place Sun's application development technology in the Oracle OpenWorld 2009 spotlight, beginning with Sunday's keynote, which will feature Sun Chairman Scott McNealy and Sun Vice President James Gosling, considered the father of Java, alongside Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

  • Open Source Continues To Spread Through Official Circles
    Last March, the French Gendarmerie announced the dramatic reduction of its IT budget by 70%, thanks to the use of Open Source software, primarily in the form of Ubuntu desktops, and with the help of OpenOffice and Thunderbird, among others. Around this time last year, the German Foreign Office revealed that it had implemented Linux desktops in over half of the nation's 230 embassies and consulates, just one more in a long trail of German Open Source deployments, including the Ministry of the Interior, the state of Lower Saxony, and the City of Munich.

  • The great DRS success!
    After a long an exhausting week in Santa Clara, five Samba4 developers made their way to Redmond Washington, for a week working with Microsoft on the Directory Replication Service (DRS). Our single biggest aim was to finish what was started before the conference - moving from 'Samba4 to Samba4' replication to 'Samba4 and AD replication'.

  • Needles in a haystack (sorting out differences between Free and Open Source Software)
    There is just a mild disappointment everyone ought to have about this view: Open Source does not advocate Free Software and software freedom are bad things: it just tries to narrow their specifics for practical -and sometimes business-oriented- reasons. It does not mean, however, that Free Software gets in the way of business or stands against software business. It adds another layer of demands, moral demands that can anyone walk an extra mile in the hope to make software a better tool for social improvement, and this world a better place for everyone. No one must take this extra step, no business will die from it. But in the end , everyone might just benefit from it. I am disappointed that anyone would not find the simple possibility of this extra step a negative option to have.

  • Open Source is dead, long live Casino Open Source?
    This time however, I am afraid I don’t understand why people like Matt Asay keep on bringing this discussion back on the table. Perhaps Matt Asay wants to look reasonable, business-minded, or simply pettable by the grand corporations of this low world. I am merely conjecturing here. But Matt’s blog is becoming thoroughly disappointing.

    First this old discussion is, well, as old as Free Software and Open Source themselves. It disappoints me that Matt would want to recycle old stuff for an obscure reason. Really: Open Source vs. Free Software, let’s write something old, like, “oh those free software zealots”, and these open source darlings.


    • The mayor says: It is fully comparable with commercial systems!
      When OpenOffice became operational last Wednesday ,the mayor Rolf Aagaard-Svendsen (K) was happy with the prospect of reducing the cost of software. Rolf Aagaard-Svendsen said:
      There are many advantages to this. Among other things, it's free. The system is fully comparable with commercial systems

    • Localization
      The Danish community has for years been working on several strings: We must of cause keep up with translating the application. Right now we are in a working on translation of version 3.2. We have more than 73.000 strings at the moment.


    • [Daisychain]
      why are we making daisychain? well, like many of us, we've used several different social sites over the years. from orkut, to friendster, to myspace and now facebook. yet, when a new site appears, and everyone flocks to use it, your contacts are left behind, as well as a significant amount of your private and personal information.


      daisychain is a project of FooCorp released under the GNU AGPL version 3.0 (or later versions, if you so desire).

  • Openness

    • Help Us Free London's Data

    • Launched - and it’s Using CKAN
      The UK Government’s public sector data site launched last week in a private beta — and it’s using CKAN as its backend for storing all its dataset info!

    • The Foundations of Openness
      In March 2007 I went to Oxford University and worked on a paper about openness, a topic that had become vitally important as we were seeing more and more companies jump on the FOSS bandwagon with psuedo FOSS projects that were often not at all open. This had concerned Jeff and I somewhat and so we came up with a model that took into account 5 core themes - Open Source, Open Standards, Open Knowledge, Open Governance and Open Market.

    • Sun Exec Proposes Software Freedom Definition and Vendor Scorecard
      Phipps envisions the score card would have specific yes-or-no questions about community governance, community-controlled trademarks, and other benchmark qualities that help determine a company's true openness. "Suppliers could then state 'This product achieves 4 stars on the 10-point Open Source Audit' as they self-certify. In addition, procurement policies could then state they required a minimum number of stars for products and services they procure. And the only companies that could claim to be 'an open source business' would have all products scoring 10/10 - probably very, very few. A focus on software freedom - the code, rather than the company - is the answer to the issue."


  • Google Cloudboard
    Google tests a service called Cloudboard, an online clipboard that should make it easy to copy data between Gmail, Google Docs and other Google services. The service is not publicly available yet, but there are many references to it.

  • AstroTurf

    • Against Transparency
      Reformers rarely feel responsible for the bad that their fantastic new reform effects. Their focus is always on the good. The bad is someone else’s problem. It may well be asking too much to imagine more than this. But as we see the consequences of changes that many of us view as good, we might wonder whether more good might have been done had more responsibility been in the mix. The music industry was never going to like the Internet, but its war against the technology might well have been less hysterical and self-defeating if better and more balanced alternatives had been pressed from the beginning. No one can dislike Craigslist (or Craig), but we all would have benefited from a clearer recognition of what was about to be lost. Internet triumphalism is not a public good.

      Likewise with transparency. There is no questioning the good that transparency creates in a wide range of contexts, government especially. But we should also recognize that the collateral consequence of that good need not itself be good. And if that collateral bad is busy certifying to the American public what it thinks it already knows, we should think carefully about how to avoid it. Sunlight may well be a great disinfectant. But as anyone who has ever waded through a swamp knows, it has other effects as well.

    • Larry Lessig and Naked Transparency
      Lessig's essay is a call for us all to pay attention. Transparency cannot start and end inside the beltway, it needs us all. As Brandeis himself noted when he argued before the court in Muller v. Oregon (208 U.S. 412) in his pathbreaking Brandeis Brief, the first brief to use hard social science data to try and change the law of the land, “the most important political office is that of the private citizen.”

  • Rights/Censorship/DRM

    • Blu-ray on the PC: DRM failure
      I recently bought a Blu-ray DVD player for my home PC. I didn’t really need a Blu-ray player as the PS3 does the job admirably, but I was looking for a fast CD ripper and decided to go for the Blu-ray disc option as it was cheap and fast. I installed the drive last night, and since I have been frustrated by the unfriendliness of the technological implementation.

    • Essex Police in DNA FOI dodge

    • UK Border Agency suspends 'flawed' asylum DNA testing
      The UK Border Agency has quietly suspended its heavily-criticised attempt to test asylum seekers' nationality by DNA fingerprinting and isotope analysis.

      Officials have been told that the "Human Provenance Pilot", described as "naive and scientifically flawed" by Sir Alec Jeffreys, the inventor of DNA fingerprinting, has been "temporarily suspended".

    • ID card support hits bottom under Brown
      The research, carried out by ICM research, showed that 60 per cent of the UK population think that ID cards are a "bad idea" with 38 per cent saying they are a good idea. The national identity database - which will underpin the scheme - is opposed by a two to one majority.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Why Creativity Needs Shorter Copyright Terms
      In response to a tweet of mine about shortening copyright to stimulate creativity, someone questioned the logic. It's an important point, so it seems useful to do some thinking out loud on the subject.


      If we don't, one of two things will happen. Either we will fail to realise the full creative potential of computing, or else the younger generation of artists will simply ignore the law. Either is clearly unsatisfactory. What is needed is a copyright regime that is balanced. That is far from being the case today. As the media industry (sic) ratchets up copyright terms again and again, creation has become subservient to the corporation, and the creators are cut off from their past - and hence future.

    • Google Digital Library Plan Opposed by German Chancellor
      Isn't this astonishing? I thought "the goal" of copyright was to promote the spread and growth of human creativity. Now it appears "the goal" is to protect copyright itself. This reminds of government school advocates who say they "believe in public school"; who oppose any attempt to reform or privatize public school because it might threaten public schooling--when the goal of public schools is supposed to be education.

LF Collaboration Summit 2009: Chris Schlaeger, AMD

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