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Links 25/11/2009: KDE Branding Redone, KOffice 2.1 Released

GNOME bluefish



  • Robots for Grandma and Grandpa
    Several residents expressed opposition to the robot having a human face. To accommodate this, Charlie has a touch screen instead, standing at 10.4 inches. While his his user interface runs Windows — go with what the seniors might know, we suppose — Carlie is Open Source at heart. His hardware is controlled by a Linux system, which no doubt will prove useful when the machine uprising comes.

  • MSU Gives Michigan Works $200K For IT Training
    Michigan State University has awarded Capital Area Michigan Works $200,000 for immediate information technology training in Linux.

  • Events

    • LCA 2010: The art of the matter
      Buchanan is the creative designer for the Wellington conference which is being held from January 18 to 23. Apart from the conference website, every other graphic used in the conference has been created by her.

      "The creative design is something that has had a lot of input from the team from the beginning," she told iTWire in an interview. "I didn't design the website, but pretty much any other graphic associated with the conference was designed by me."

      The conference T-shirts generally long outlive any LCA - delegates will thus have Buchanan's designs with them long after the conference is over.

    • Combining Flexibility with Control: Managing the “Complexity Hell” of Customized Linux
      Join this timely webinar to hear from some of the foremost Linux innovators on what it takes to achieve flexibility and control in low-cost and scalable management of customized Linux platforms. Presenters include:

      * Erik Troan, founder & CTO of rPath, Inc.; first engineer and former VP of Engineering at Red Hat * Lee Thompson, former chief technologist, eTrade Financial * Bryan Richard, Editor-in-Chief, Linux Magazine

    • Expanding Career Options with Linux
      Linux is used extensively in the following: ● TV set top boxes, flat screen TVs, digital cameras, consumer electronics. ● the automotive industry, the aeronautics industry, the military. ● the NYSE uses Linux for critical trades and transactions. ● dynamic web page design and content management systems. ● search engines and social networking sites

  • Desktop

    • Five reasons Google Chrome OS Security Wins
      Google's Chrome OS has many virtues. Based on a solid foundation of Ubuntu Linux, it uses the Chrome Web browser as its interface to any and all applications. Chrome OS is also not so much a Windows replacement, as it's an attempt to get rid of the entire traditional idea of a PC desktop. If Google is successful with this, one big reason will be its vastly improved security.

    • Linux in 5 Easy Steps
      2. Download Ubuntu 9.10 - Everyone agrees that Ubuntu Linux is the great Windows contender, especially for those who are new to Linux. Go to the Ubuntu Downloads page to download your free copy. The download is large (~600MB) so it might take a while, so be patient.

    • Chrome OS

      • Chrome OS: a first look
        If Google delivers on its promises for Chrome OS, then it has a very good chance of becoming the dominant force in netbooks at around the same time that Android starts to mature. That will be a very different world to today.

      • Chrome OS boots in mere seconds from USB key
        Once Google Chrome OS is made available on partnered netbook devices, we can see a new love affair starting. The new operating system from Google is both simple and fast, and once all the bugs are ironed out, will be a match for Windows.

      • Where is Google Chrome leading us?
        If Google can make it as easy as turning on the machine and get to working, or playing immediately and there is little to no thought about installing apps or configuring drivers, etc.. They will have a gold mine. People want simple.

  • Server

    • Today’s supercomputers: far greater than the sum of their parts
      A few years later, the follow-on generation of supercomputers was built in a similar fashion from x86 processors running Linux.

      Welcome to innovation, 21st Century style. A couple of months ago, I posted some observations about innovation coming from low-cost and conveniently available parts — part of the formula for success for our era: “Good enough” may be good enough when it comes to developing new products and services.

  • Kernel Space

    • Matthew Tippet, ex-AMD Linux guru joins Palm
      Linux community knows Matthew Tippet for years, since he was one of big pushers for ATI Linux drivers and put a lot of personal and professional effort in improving functionality of ATI hardware on Linux operating system. Also, Matthew was one of co-founders of Phoronix Test Suite, probably the best test suite for Linux operating system out there.

    • EX AMD linux guru joins Palm
      I sent him an email this morning to wish him the best of luck with his move and I hope Palm are able to use his wealth of knowledge to improve their products.

    • The Cost Of ATI Kernel Mode-Setting On Fedora 12
      One of the articles on Phoronix last week was entitled Intel Linux Graphics Shine With Fedora 12, which showed off the nice state of Intel graphics on this latest Red Hat release when it came to kernel mode-setting and its 3D stack with it working well "out of the box" and offering some nice performance gains over the earlier Fedora 10 and Fedora 11 releases. While the Intel stack may be improved in Constantine, the ATI support has taken a hit, as users were quick to point out in response to last week's article. In particular, when using the ATI kernel mode-setting driver in Fedora 12 (which is the default for pre-R600 hardware), there is a large performance discrepancy compared to using the traditional user-space mode-setting for ATI Radeon hardware. Today we are looking at what exactly the performance cost is for using ATI KMS in this new release.


    • NVIDIA Pushes Out 195.22 Beta Linux Driver
      Further enriching VDPAU continues to be a core focus of NVIDIA's developers and with the 195.22 release there are enhancements to the VDPAU blit-based presentation queue, updated VDPAU to improve thread concurrency (this could help the GStreamer-Cairo developers, modified the install location of the VDPAU libraries (see the recent libvdpau release), a define for VDPAU_INTERFACE_VERSION, and a fix for a periodic temporary hang in the VDPAU blit-based presentation queue. The main new feature for VDPAU though with the 195.xx series is that the Video Decode and presentation API for Unix now allows multiple streams to be decoded at once.

    • BSD

      • NVIDIA 64-bit FreeBSD Beta Driver By Year's End
        With the FreeBSD 8.0 release now available, we reached out to NVIDIA to find out the status of their 64-bit BSD display driver, now that this operating system carries the necessary mmap extension support in their 64-bit kernel for their proprietary graphics driver to function. Andy Ritger, who heads the user-space side of NVIDIA's UNIX Graphics Driver team and was previously interviewed by Phoronix, provided a brief update.

      • Finally, FreeBSD 8.0 Released
        FreeBSD 8.0 is available from their (FTP server), while we still have been waiting on an official release announcement. Details on some of the FreeBSD 8.0 features can be found from this web-page. Information on the FreeBSD 8.0 release process can be found on the FreeBSD Wiki.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Docky Separates from GNOME Do, Still a Clever Linux App Dock
      Linux: Application launcher GNOME Do has a "theme" called Docky that we dubbed an intelligent Linux interface. Now Docky is its own (alpha-level) application, bringing many of its best features over and setting the stage for many more.

    • KDE

      • Repositioning the KDE Brand
        KDE has changed over the past 13 years. The application framework has grown, matured and gone cross-platform, as have the applications. Strong growth in our community has created an increasingly diverse and large set of high-quality applications.

        In the process, KDE's identity has shifted from being simply a desktop environment to representing a global community that creates a remarkably rich body of free software targeted for use by people everywhere.

      • Why the rebranding?
        So now the Dot article is out with my name on it (that’s just an accident really as I was the guy who first imported our draft text in to the Dot) It is supposed to provide a concise, readable, but far from comprehensive summary of the “Repositioning the KDE brand” document that Cornelius put together after a lot of discussion.

      • Finally: rebranding KDE
        Don't worry: most of it will sound familiar, we have changed our communication over the past year to fit the new branding. But some of it will be new. After years of discussing this and consulting the wider community (both by contacting key figures by personal mail and by discussing it on kde-devel, for example) it was time to move. We have made decisions (many of them at the recent marketing meeting), and yes, you could debate them. Please don't. Dark blue or light blue bikeshed, it does not matter.

      • KDE Community Repositions Brand, Releases KOffice 2.1
        The leadership of the KDE community says it has decided to change the KDE brand's focus being an open-source Linux desktop to being an overall open-source community. Meanwhile, Version 2.1 of KOffice, the office suite for KDE, is released.

      • KOffice 2.1 Released
        The KOffice team is very happy to announce version 2.1.0 of KOffice, 6 months after the platform release 2.0.0. This release brings a number of new features as well as general improvements in the maturity of the individual applications. Importing of documents have also been given an overhaul.

      • How to Install KDE in Windows
        For over a decade, KDE has supplied Linux and Unix users with a graphical desktop environment and a suite of useful applications. It has become one of the most popular desktop environments and is the default on many Linux distributions. With the coming of KDE 4, developers promised native KDE applications running on Windows. While the current release is still not ready for production, as of KDE 4.3.3, it is coming closer and worth trying. What follows is a brief guide to getting KDE running on Windows.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora 12 Pushes Bleeding Edge of Linux Networking
        Moving forward, Frields sees users moving to Fedora, and to open source software in general, as an alternative to proprietary software that isn't keeping pace.

        "We're being assisted by the fact that proprietary software is not getting better at the pace that people expect," Frields said. "People expect an increasing rate of evolution and proprietary software is not capable of sustaining that rate. That is driving people to look for alternatives."

      • The Live CD/DVD of Scientific Linux 5.4 Is Out
        Announced three weeks ago, the Scientific Linux 5.4 operating system brought improved support for Atheros wireless chipsets, the iwlwifi 5150 ucode firmware, updated iwlwifi 4945, 3945, and 5000 ucode, the Lua programming language and lots of updated packages & numerous bug fixes. Last night (November 24th), Urs Beyerle announced the immediate availability of the Live CD and Live DVD editions of this Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4-based distribution created by scientists for scientists. The Live CD/DVD is available for the i386 and x86_64 architectures and it allows users to run Scientific Linux directly from the CD/DVD media.

    • Debian Family

      • Can Ubuntu reach over 16,000 anime lovers in April?
        Can Ubuntu reach over 16,000 anime lovers in April? Of course it can, with the support of the rapidly expanding super mega-awesome community (that's you all)!

      • Ubuntu 9.10 on SSD
        I've been thinking about replacing the hard disk on my production notebook with a solid-state disk (SSD) for quite a while. So when I stumbled upon a good offer on Kingston 64GB SSDNow V series SSD I decided to take the plunge. 64GB is a far cry from the modest by today's standards 160GB hard disk on my notebook. But since I store all my files on a Bubba Two server, I rarely use more than 15-20GB anyway. The Kingston 64GB SSDNow V series SSD model is available in several versions, including a so-called notebook kit. It's slightly more expensive than the disk itself, but it's well worth a few extra bucks. The notebook kit includes hard disk cloning software (which is, obviously, of no use on Linux) and a hard disk enclosure. The latter is a very handy addition, as you can use it to convert the replaced hard disk into an external USB drive. So I pulled the old hard disk out of the notebook, inserted it into the enclosure, and moved files and profiles to the freshly installed SSD. The entire procedure of installing the SSD and moving the files took no longer than half an hour.

      • Retirement of the lpia architecture

      • Jolicloud "Robby" Beta To Ship WIth Linux 2.6.32
        In early September we featured an article on Jolicloud Linux, which sought to provide innovations atop Ubuntu Netbook Remix by enriching the experience for cloud computing and through their Jolicloud service to have easy access to various web-based applications. At that time we were seeded with an early alpha build of Jolicloud, but this morning (just a day after we published the first Chrome OS benchmarks), their CEO has provided us with a pre-beta copy of Jolicloud (codenamed "Robby").

      • Interview with developer of T.O.S.S Linux distribution
        TCE, or Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai is one of Tamil Nadu’s finest Educational Institutions. In an organization that uses Debian as it’s OS of choice, two students Sowmy Narayan and Sarvesh Ghautham have rolled out their own version of an Ubuntu clone.

      • Ubuntu: Time for Another Reality Check
        So by some measures and opinions, Ubuntu and Canonical do not represent the best of the free-software world. But despite all this, Ubuntu has succeeded in an important area where every other distribution has failed–specifically, in expanding the image of Linux and free software to unprecedented heights.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • HPC Project Joins the Scilab Consortium
    The Scilab Consortium, created with the ambition of making Scilab the open source reference in numerical computation, and the company HPC Project are pleased to announce that the latter is now a member of the Consortium.

  • Forum Functions for Open-Source E-Commerce Platform
    Forum functionality is now available for Open Source eCommerce platform Magento through integration with vBulletin - the major Open Source forum publishing software. The extension that provides close integration between the two platforms was developed and released by AITOC, Inc. this November.

  • Information sources for documenting free software
    To take advantage of the information available, you need a reasonable grasp of the written language. Contrary to the impression that many salaried technical writers give, you do not necessarily need to know how to parse a sentence or be a wizard at the black arts of grammar. Text that requires minimal editing is always an asset, but free software documentation is a communal effort. If you're lucky, another documenter can compensate for your less than perfect syntax.

  • As Boxee Grows, It Should Remember Two Things
    Boxee is having a big announcement in New York on December 7th. It will be interesting to see what comes of that, and what lies ahead next year as Boxee woos hardware makers.

  • Open source has not reached apex
    Fast forward to the present and open source is indeed on the rise--most notably in the mobile industry, for example, where handset makers are falling over themselves to embrace new open source OSes such as Google's Android and Maemo, while the more established Symbian OS continues to shift millions of units every quarter.

    "Some years ago there was practically no open source in the mobile and telecoms space, today there is. So that's a major new land win for open source," Mickos said.

  • Mail/Communication

    • OpenEMM 6.0 email marketing software released
      The OpenEMM developers have announced the availability of version 6.0 of their open source email marketing and newsletter application. OpenEMM 6.0, the open source version of AGNITAS AG's E-Marketing Manager, includes several updates, improvements in the web interface and in usability and some new features.

    • Open-Xchange integrates Facebook, Twitter with e-mail inbox
      Open-source collaboration software vendor Open-Xchange plans to open its e-mail inbox to messages from social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

    • Review: Goggle Wave so far
      Since I'm all about making improvements, I clicked the link to accept my invitation to Google Wave. Once I signed in with my handy dandy Google account (OK, so I'm going a little overboard here), Google Wave opened in my Firefox browser.

  • Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Better Copy/Paste with Firefox
        QuoteURLText and Copy Plain Text are not the most advanced Firefox extensions out there, but they sure can save you a lot of time if you do a lot of copying and pasting from Web pages to other documents. As any Firefox user knows, the copy operation grabs not only the selected text fragment but also all the formatting. In most cases, however, all you want is the text itself without all the formatting silliness. Sure, most applications let you strip the pasted text of formatting, but this just adds one more unnecessary step

      • Firefox hopes to one-up IE with fast graphics
        But the day of Microsoft's demo, Mozilla evangelist Chris Blizzard had this to tweet: "Interesting that we're doing Direct2D support in Firefox as well--I'll bet we'll ship it first."

      • Exploiting the portable edition of Firefox
        For the absolute best security, I previously suggested booting a copy of Linux off a USB flash drive, SD memory card or CD, and running Firefox from within Linux. This remains, in my opinion, the safest option. But, the hassle factor is much higher than simply running another copy of Firefox from within Windows. Your choice.

    • Google

  • CMS

    • Alfresco leading on CMIS standard
      Alfresco has beaten its rivals to the chase by incorporating the new content management interoperability standard (CMIS) into its Community 3.2 edition product.

    • ImpressPages Web CMS, Open Source and Simple
      Lots of Web CMS offerings claim to make things easier, but a first look at the demo of ImpressPages shows something that anyone can get their brains and mouse around. PHP-powered and using SQL 5, there isn't a great deal to the CMS yet, but its interface shows a lot of potential.

  • Business

    • Crossroads in FOSS Projects: Some Business Considerations
      At our Seminar last month, Managing FOSS to Lower Costs and Achieve Business Results, several participants asked about the dynamics of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) projects that reach a crossroads (a failure, a merger, loss of key personnel, etc). I had not expected that concern because with commercial software, it seems to me, the problem is more severe. When you have the source code and the right to modify and redistribute it, the source gives many more options (and its freedoms provide many more protections) than when commercial software goes bankrupt or gets bought by a competitor for instance.

  • Government

    • Open source revolution in the public sector
      I was asked two very interesting questions by a thoughtful technical architect who worked for a major Local Authority who now, like many many others in this sector, wanted to know more about open source software.

      He wanted to know, in the light of the Government's well-publicised new found enthusiasm for open source software, whether I thought they would all be using open source software in ten year's time and if so when and how would it all happen?

  • Openness

    • ‘Openness is not the enemy of quality,’ Wikipedia founder says
      What is unique about Wikipedia is that it is an almost entire construct of the internet and is edited publicly. Built entirely on open-source software, it was spawned out of a project Wales called Nupedia, and eventually grew as volunteers, writers and editors contributed articles. By 2007 it had passed the 2-million article mark – eclipsing the 1,407 Yongle Encylopaedia, which held the record for 600 years.

      Today, the site receives between 25,000 and 60,000 page requests per second and gets an estimated 330 million unique visitors per month.

    • What open source can teach medical practice
      An open source attitude toward that data, within the realm of science and throughout the medical community, can help patients gain access to the benefits of that data and answer the question they ask — what should I do?

  • Programming

    • Eclipse 4 goes a mile further
      A graphical user interface (GUI) generated via an XML dialect, a concept already previously demonstrated by Mozilla years ago, is to become part of the next version of the free Eclipse development environment. Casually called "e4", the second milestone of the fourth version of Eclipse, has just been released.


  • Court Kills ‘Round-The-Clock’ Surveillance Case
    That’s what a federal appeals court is telling Scott Tooley of Kentucky in dismissing his civil rights lawsuit. Tooley believes the government put him under blanket surveillance after he said the word bomb to an airline agent.

  • British cops arrest people just to add them to the DNA database, claims inquiry
    Britain's cops have the largest DNA database in the world, and it's full of innocent people who were arrested but not charged, or charged but not convicted (the EU's Court of Human Rights have ordered this practice to stop, but the cops refuse to comply with the law -- their latest dodge is to keep innocents' DNA for six years). Now an inquiry that begins today claims that police are "routinely arresting people" that they know they can't convict of any crime, simply to get their DNA into the database.

  • Environment

    • Global body needed to direct green technology, G77 says
      A green technology body with powers to direct a worldwide transition away from a high-carbon economy is needed to combat climate change, according to the world's developing nations. While most negotiations ahead of the UN's climate change summit in Copenhagen next month have been concerned with which nations should slash greenhouse gas emissions and by how much, the method in which these cuts will be achieved has received far less attention. Yet the importance of green technology – from wind turbines to electric cars to zero-carbon buildings – is enormous.

  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

    • Rise in e-book piracy: One more reason to DITCH Digital Rights Management
      Pirates find easy new pickings in open waters of e-book publishing is the headline of a Times piece in the U.K. As reported there:

      –American publishers have lost “more than $600 million” to piracy, by one estimate.

      –Readers downloaded illegal copies of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol “more than 100,000 times” within days.

    • Advertisers say new cookie law met by browser settings
      Advertising trade bodies have claimed that a new law passed this week by the European Parliament will not require website publishers to ask permission to put cookies on a user's computer.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • US Senators are concerned about secret treaty
      POLITICIANS in the former British colony of Virginia are starting to wake up to the fact that its government is about to sign a secret treaty called the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that will give sweeping powers to the movie and music businesses to lock up filesharers.

    • Industry FAIL: Four Musical Mistakes Of The Decade
      The practice of record companies paying radio DJs to play specific records is an old one -- and an illegal one since 1960. So major record-label interests simply employed "independent promoters," complete with scare-quotes, to bribe stations and their employees with vacations, new clothes, illegal drugs -- the usual. A pre-punchline Eliot Spitzer, then New York's attorney general, launched a massive investigation into the issue, eventually winning settlements totaling more than $25 million from three of the four major recording companies. Not only was this a terrible financial and publicity burden, but in today's commercial radio climate, the labels' songs -- especially those from major artists -- likely would have been played anyway.

    • Rin Tin Tin court win
      Nu Image and First Look Studios have won a legal dogfight over using the name Rin Tin Tin in the kidpic "Finding Rin Tin Tin: the Adventure Continues."

Verify Your Downloaded ISO Images Before Burning Them

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