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Links 26/11/2009: US Military Goes with GNU/Linux on Cell (PS3)

GNOME bluefish



  • Giving Thanks For FOSS
    I'm thankful for the people who fight for our digital freedoms against those who would lock down, shut out, and restrict through patents, copyright, DRM and so much more, our freedom to use, share and enjoy that which should rightfully be free.

    I'm thankful for all the people who write about FOSS and Linux, providing tutorials, guides, reviews and so much more, as well as the numerous volunteers who step up and help newbies with problems in order to help make their experience with Linux a happy one.

  • Buying a PC: Some Simple Advice
    Linux is another option, with Ubuntu as the most common desktop distribution these days; but Linux is aimed at technical users who are mostly building their own systems. You're not likely to see a Linux machine if you're looking for a typical consumer PC.

  • Audio

    • Podcast Season 1 Episode 22
      In this episode: Google releases the source code to its new operating system, Chrome OS. The Fedora 12 distribution makes its way onto the mirrors and The Gimp is too powerful and too complex for Ubuntu 10.04. We present the results of our two-week Bing research project and ask whether we'd switch to Bing if it was the only place to find News Corp. coverage.

    • Linux Outlaws 123 - Simple Doesn't Equal Shit
      This week on the show: We review OpenSuse 11.2 and Fedora 12 and review them in our Big Distro Shootout and in the news Apple says no warranty for you if you smoke, Chrome OS source released, Fedora 12 lets non-root users install stuff and Ubuntu removes the GIMP from Lucid.

  • Server

    • US Air Force orders 2200 Sony PS3s
      The US Air Force plans to buy a whopping 2200 PlayStation 3 games consoles which it will use to expand an existing PS3-based supercomputer.


      The entire set-up runs on an in-house developed Linux-based OS.

    • U.S. Military building PS3 supercomputer
      A recent InformationWeek article reveals that Rome hosts the Air Force Research Laboratory's information directorate, where the military is conducting research on the possibilities of supercomputing "to determine the best fit for implementation of various applications" that take advantage of networked PS3 Cell proessors running Linux.

  • Google

    • Five things Chrome OS isn't
      Put it all together and you have a fascinating operating system, which is still at a very early stage of development. Since Chrome OS is built on an Ubuntu foundation and uses the Chrome browser for its desktop interface, it looks and feels more mature than it actually is. I'm enjoying playing with it, and I'm going to be very interested in seeing how it works out in the long run. But one thing Chrome OS certainly isn't yet is ready for any kind of final verdict.

    • How to Install Chrome OS From A USB Drive

    • Chrome OS Wi-Fi Support Running on a Mini 10v... Source Code Available
      Last week, Google released ChromiumOS to the open source community at ChromiumOS is a small, optimized OS whose purpose is to make it extremely simple and easy to browse the web. Without a network connection, ChromiumOS is not very interesting. With a network connection, ChromiumOS shines. The Chromium browser is extremely fast and makes for a great web-centric browsing experience. Boot time appears quick too - about 12 seconds from hitting the power button.

    • Fear and Loathing of Chrome OS?
      Certainly Chrome OS shouldn't be anything Linux users fear - it is Linux, and although they mount the fs RO, you can change that instantly with a "-o remount,rw" (at least for now).

      To my mind, Microsoft has the most to fear (and saying that is probably what caused one nasty comment).

      So, I guess two issues here: one is the use of such OSes/devices at at all and the other is whether this is good for Linux. I'd say yes - even if potential users don't initially realize that they are using Linux!

    • Google is about to give away computers
      Linux expert Glyn Moody thinks that Google is set to give away free computers.

      The writer of Rebel Code: Linux and the Open Source Revolution said that Chrome OS based free netbooks could be offered by Google as a way to push its advertising. He said that with open source code the unit cost of software close to zero, but if people use netbooks the hardware will be pretty cheap too.

    • Engadget Hearts Chrome OS
      Google's forthcoming Chrome OS operating system -- previewed recently to mixed reviews -- just received a serious nod from Engadget. After prepping a USB key so it could boot to Chrome OS natively, the tech and gadget blog exclaims, "What we're seeing with Chrome OS is actually on par performance-wise with our crazy expectations for a stripped-down OS." The highly-anticipated operating system "boots in mere seconds and loads Web sites with the best of them," according to Engadget.

  • Kernel Space

    • Getting to the Heart of the Linux Kernel
      Against that background, you almost begin to feel sorry for Microsoft...

      This long interview with Kroah-Hartman is simply the best introduction to the inner workings of the kernel development team that I've read: highly recommended.

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.32 (Part 4) - Drivers
      The forthcoming Linux version 2.6.32 comes with numerous new and improved drivers – for instance for the Hauppauge HVR 2200 and 2250, for some ThinkPad notebooks by IBM/Lenovo, and for the MSI Wind's fingerprint reader. The kernel developers have incorporated Microsoft's Hyper-V driver into the staging area.

    • Working DisplayPort Arrives For Radeon KMS
      David Airlie has announced on his blog that he and Alex Deucher have finally got support for DisplayPort-driven graphics cards and monitors working with the open-source ATI Linux driver stack.

  • Applications

    • Create Video Slideshows in Linux with SMILE
      SMILE is a Free Software that allows you to create video slideshows using images and videos. The name SMILE is acronym for Slideshow Maker In Linux Environment. The best way to start using SMILE in Ubuntu 9.10 is to install this package from because it installs all the required components with a couple of clicks. Users of other Linux distros can download SMILE here.

  • Instructionals

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Yes-No Vote on behalf of the Foundation
      The trustees anticipate that more approaches of this nature will be received and view it as a sign of Gentoo maturing. Recognising that this would be a break with tradition, by allowing even major users to contribute to Gentoo in this way the trustees determined to put the question to a vote of Foundation members.

    • Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat increases stock-ownership rules for executives
        Raleigh software company Red Hat will soon require its top executives to own more of its shares, creating added financial incentive for them to help the stock rise.

        Since 2006, the company has required officers and directors to own shares. The revised stock-ownership policy, which takes effect March 1, increases the minimum ownership levels, said Brandon Asbill, vice president and assistant general counsel.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical Landscape And Ubuntu: Government Boost?
        Ubuntu, as WorksWithU previously reported, has scored government and public safety wins across the globe. But I must concede: I’m surprised there aren’t more articles about Ubuntu’s potential strengths and weaknesses for government agencies. We’ll be sure to keep that topic in mind in the weeks ahead.

      • Linux based OS Ubuntu 9 10
        Ubuntu 9.10 is the latest iteration of the popular Linux-based operating system from Canonical Ltd. Version 9.10, which is also known as the Karmic Koala, stands out for its built-in encryption support and new Software Center, as well as for the early look at affords organizations waiting for the next Long Term Support version of the distribution, due next Spring.

      • The Incredible Guide to NEW Ubuntu (Karmic Koala) [PDF]
        The guide is aimed, not only familiarizing you, but on making your Linux experience easier in general. Learn how to define command aliases, making the Command Line Shell easy to use!

      • Ubuntu Karmic … my first impressions
        Now I’m obviously so much more productive with massive(?) monitors…. and funky desktop effects.

      • Lucid Lynx - This Is The Plan
        Of course no one can know exactly what Ubuntu 10.04 will be like and what features will land. But based on the outcome of the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Dallas here's my vision.

      • Kuki Linux development resumes
        Well that was fast. Just after two weeks after announcing that development of Kuki Linux had been put on hold indefinitely due to real-life distractions, the developers are back on the job.

      • How to upgrade Linux Mint 8 RC1 to Linux Mint 8 (stable)

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Wind River and Kontron buddy up
      Wind River and Kontron announced a global, multi-year agreement under which the embedded system manufacturer will distribute Wind River's VxWorks and Wind River Linux distributions. The agreement is expected to extend software and service offerings across a range of industries, says Wind River.

    • Low-cost Linux RTL and Gate-level simulator from Aldec

    • SYSGO announces ELinOS support for Freescale's i.MX25 Platform
      The i.MX25 family of multimedia applications processors extends Freescale's ARM9 portfolio by integrating many new features for the industrial and general embedded markets and by committing to ship these processors for at least 15 years from time of launch. When coupled with SYSGO's ELinOS industrial grade Linux operating system, the i.MX25 provides an ideal platform for challenging multimedia applications. Both technologies have been designed to support evolving, long-life applications, minimizing costly redesign.

    • Phones

      • First Else phone raises the interface bar for smart phones
        But a new offering from Else, (formerly Emblaze) which will debut next year in the second quarter, is offering an intriguing glimpse at a radically different and potentially much more friendly form of user interface. The First Else phone, (yeah, not sure about that name) is a 3.5 inch touch-screen phone built with the latest Access Linux Platform operating system.

      • Nokia

        • KOffice 2.1 Released and for Nokia N900
          Six months after KOffice announced their platform 2.0.0 release, KOffice has now announced version 2.1.0 of the platform which delivers new features and general improvements in the maturity of the applications along with the importing of documents receiving an overhaul.

        • Nokia and Sony Ericsson withdraw handsets
          Nokia were left with egg on their faces today when they, along with Sony Ericsson had to withdraw two devices from the UK market due to software issues with Nokia's Symbian mobile platform.


          Sony Ericssons official statement is very vague however we are aware of issues with many aspects of the Saito handset, from quality issues with the onboard camera and even software freezing and operating system crashes.


          This looks like the first signs that the Symbian platform has had its day, especially with Nokia's own dramatic move to the Linux Maemo platform.

        • Sony Ericsson, Nokia pull handsets
          The platform, which powers both simple handsets and smartphones, has seen increased competition from Google's Android and other Linux-based mobile platforms - so much so that Nokia's latest and greatest handset moves away from the company's once staple software to the Linux-based Maemo platform.

        • Big demand delays Nokia N900 launch
          Nokia has been forced to delay the release of the Nokia N900 due to the massive demand for the Maemo 5 device.

Free Software/Open Source

  • At its best, is open source unbeatable?
    The answer might well be no, as the top open-source projects are collaborative efforts between multiple companies that pool resources and expertise to drive development. And while it might seem reasonable that a single corporation could best open source's seeming "development by committee" approach, the reality is that well-managed open-source projects have none of the inertia that one might expect from a communal approach.

  • The Story Of Freeware
    People unfamiliar with the world of open-source software often presume its adherents to be hostile to property, profits and the other mainstays of capitalism. Not true. Bryant, for example, has plans for a for-profit program unrelated to WavPack, and both men say they would consider consulting engagements from companies trying to get the most out of their software.

  • Be Transparent To The (Open) Core
    I did some further digging around on the SugarCRM site myself, and was further surprised at how much work I had to do to find out which license they used. (It's GPLv3, as of Community Version 5; earlier versions were under the Mozilla Public License and the Attribution Assurance License.)

  • Open source Magnolia CMS receives WebDAV interface
    Version 4.2 of the open source Magnolia CMS has been released. In this latest release, the developers further extended the Standard Templating Kit (STK) which has been part of Magnolia since version 4.0. A new feature is the WebDAV interface for editing and managing templates. According to the developers, the templates have been optimised for search engines and comply with the W3C's content accessibility guidelines. The data module can now handle hierarchical data types, which allows complex structures to be mirrored and managed with ease.

  • Fog Computing

    • Putting Trust in the Cloud
      With new platforms like Moblin and Chrome OS in various stages of availability, though, I may soon find myself facing a real push to store data like this out on the cloud.

      My security twitchiness aside, I do see real advantages to using the cloud for storing data. It would be nice, for instance, to have all of my computers' data stored and accessible from one place. Right now, a lot of older info is kept on enclosed hard drives pulled straight from the original machine the drive was used, until an upgrade or a re-assignment necessitated moving that drive. If I have to find my wife's recipe for peppermint cocoa created in 2003, I know on what drive that's stored, but it's not a pretty system by any means.

    • EC study hails cloud computing growth
      "Open source is also playing an important role in the customisation of information systems, enabling service providers to better serve customer needs. "

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla hatches Thunderbird 3 release candidate
      Mozilla Messaging on Wednesday conjured up the first release candidate for version 3.0 of their popular open source email and news client.

    • Why to embrace Firefox 3.6's new-tab ethos
      Specifically, when you open a link in a new tab, it appears immediately to the right of the active tab. Before, the new tabs would appear to the far right of the strip of tabs.


      First type "about:config" in the Firefox address bar. You'll get a warning that you're tinkering with Firefox's innards and you should be careful, but this isn't brain surgery, so don't be frightened. Click the "I'll be careful, I promise" button, and you'll see a big list of all the browser settings that can be tweaked.

    • Firefox 3.6 Beta 4 Available for Download
      The forth Beta development milestone for the next iteration of Mozilla’s open source browser is currently available for download. Firefox 3.6 Beta 4 was already offered to heavyweight testers as a nightly, preview build via the browser maker’s FTP servers, and was followed shortly by the fully-fledged Beta 4 bits. In fact, Mike Beltzner, director of Firefox at Mozilla had announced early yesterday that the nightly Builds had already been offered to early adopters and that the full Beta was scheduled to follow. Mozilla managed to live up to the promise and users can now grab the complete Firefox 3.6 Beta 4. And not just the nightly release.

    • Firefox locks down the components directory

  • Databases

  • CMS

    • Open-source software opens business doors for web-development companies
      The City of Vancouver has launched a program in which much of its data is accessible to everyone. It’s also replacing many of its applications with ones powered by OSS.

      Appnovation initially worked solely with Drupal, one of the most widely used OSS platforms – particularly among media companies and non-profit groups.

  • Releases

    • HandBrake 0.9.4 Released With a Whopping 1,000 Changes
      Popular open source video transcoder project HandBrake saw a new release this week with a boatload of new features, changes, and improvements. Many of version 0.9.4's changes optimize the application for better picture quality and performance while others make using the tool to rip DVDs a much friendlier experience.

    • Blender 2.5 Alpha Brings Major Changes
      For those interested in 3D modeling and graphics, you will want to check out the first alpha release of Blender 2.5. Blender 2.5 is bringing major changes to this free software 3D graphics application. With Blender 2.5, the user-interface is being redesigned and bringing rewritten components like a new file browser, customizable tool shelf, support for multiple windows, and customizable keyboard shortcuts.

  • Government

    • European ministers favour open specifications and open source
      European ministers responsible for eGovernment policy of the European Union say the open source model could be promoted for use in eGovernment projects, they said in a statement last week in the Swedish city of Malmö.

    • NSW ponders open source, SaaS
      The NSW Government is evaluating the benefits of software as a service (Saas) and open source software in a bid to rationalise and reduce the costs of its software procurement, according to a Request for Information (RFI) document released today.

  • Licensing

    • Legal Compliance: Open Source and Quality Assurance
      Software is a pervasive element in most products and processes nowadays. It comes from internal developments, from suppliers of sub-systems and chips, from outsourced development contractors, from open source repositories or simply from the previous work of the developers themselves. Software, unlike hardware, is easily replicable, accesses, copied and re-used.

  • Openness

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The Parliament said: ODF only
      Today the Danish Parliament said ODF only for public administration. The Minister of Science doesn't agree, so he will ask the Minister of Finance for advice. The Government is afraid that the decision will be too expensive.

    • Momentum builds for open content management standard
      A proposed standard meant to help content management systems communicate with each other has steady momentum, and an initial version could be finalized early next year.

    • Content management standard to be set

    • Kindle battery life extended; PDF support added
      Another firmware change provides a PDF reader, allowing the reader to display files in the popular format. This means such files can be transferred directly to a Kindle via USB.

    • Kindle gains longer battery life, PDF support announced two enhancements to its Linux-based Kindle e-book reader, offering 85 percent more battery life, as well as a native PDF reader. The Kindle can now last seven days even with wireless turned on, claims Amazon, which is offering the enhancements to current users via firmware upgrades.


  • Silicon Sweatshops
    Whether it's your cherished iPhone, Nokia cell phone or Dell keyboard, it was likely made and assembled in Asia by workers who have few rights, and often toil under sweatshop-like conditions, activists say.

    By the time a gadget reaches Apple's flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City or any other U.S. retailer, it may have passed through the hands of a heavily indebted Filipina migrant worker on the graveyard shift in Taiwan, a Taiwanese "quality control" worker who'll soon be fired without warning, and a young Chinese worker clocking 80-hour weeks on a final assembly line, at less than a dollar an hour.

    Recent years have seen a drumbeat of reports on such abuses. In 2006, in an audit following a British media report, Apple found that workers in a factory assembling iPods in China were working excessive overtime hours.

  • Rupert Murdoch vs. The Web
    Defending the Web and the Net from collateral damage are Tim O'Reilly, Chris Messina, Anil Dash — and Dave Winer, whose whole oeuvre is thick with warnings about subordinating the Web and the Net to narrow personal or corporate interests. (He also offers positive advice: "Ask not what the Web can do, ask what you can do for the Web".)

  • Funny How Those In Favor Of ACTA Are Against Treaty Providing More Access To Content For Vision Impaired
    Now, that's funny, because you could pretty much say that ACTA is doing the same thing... and yet these same groups are strongly in favor of ACTA, which would also be at odds with existing, longstanding and well-settled norms." Funny how their view changes completely when discussing treaties that would beef up copyright law vs. those that would create important and useful loopholes in it.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Michael Shaw, community reporter for Assigment Zero 01 (2007)

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Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

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