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Links 8/6/2010: Eclipse Foundation Survey, ZFS for Linux

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  • Developer Survey Reveals Greater Linux Development
    The Eclipse Foundation has released its 2010 Eclipse Community Survey results, which reveal an interesting snapshot of one slice of the development community.

    Taking the results at face value, the likely respondent from the 1696 total is a male programmer who works for a high-tech company with fewer than 100 employees. Oh, and their favorite IDE is some flavor of Eclipse.


    And, the second half of the news will surely be that this increase comes at the cost of Windows development, which has seen a steady decrease in platform participation: in 2007, 73.8 percent preferred Windows; in 2009, it was 64.3 percent; and this year just 58.3 percent listed Windows as their favorite operating system.

  • Evolution of Linux computing and its implications
    Today Linux is acknowledged to be the ideal operating system amongst programmers and application intense users. This is not to say that UNIX solutions have developed problems, but simply that Linux continues to be increasingly capable of doing the task that has typically been expected of Unix, and in many instances does so more effectively and efficiently.

  • Sensationalism Isn’t Helping Linux
    No matter the intent, sensationalist articles are not overall helpful or realistic when it comes to advancing Linux. The only thing that will continue to help move Linux forward is action on the behalf of the community that supports it. This includes developing the software to make it better than the competition and providing marketing support, which can include written articles. Those articles need to be informative, however, and better educate users on what Linux is all about. We need to be smart about this though, since there is a difference between the audience on CNET and LinuxInsider — know to which audience you are writing. Why continue to preach to the choir about how Linux is ready to dominate when we can go help it achieve the goals we write about so often?

  • MeeGo, Android, ChromeOS - Signs of Linux REALLY Going Mainstream Finally?
    Ever since I have started learning and using Linux, this is something I always thought "was happening" and never knew when it will "really happen". And the thing is called mass Linux adoption. Why is it necessary? How is the likes of Android, MeeGo and Chrome OS is going to change the world as we know it forever? Let's explore.

  • Linux crash on a Plane!
    In the end, we can only hope that of the several networks likely running on a modern passenger jet, that true air-gapping is taking place and these systems are in no way connected to critical on-board networks. Time will tell if this is indeed the case. In the meantime, keep an eye out for those Linux boxes crashing on planes!

  • Can’t Buy Love
    Look what freely giving worthwhile stuff to people gets you:

    * up 18% and in the top 1000 sites in some parts of the world. * Debian GNU/Linux is in the top 3000 over much of Europe. * in the top 400 over much of the world

    Those organizations give stuff away for free sincerely and without trying to manipulate anyone. There are hundreds of GNU/Linux distros and most are thriving, taking a serious and increasing share of the desktop OS market.

  • Desktop

    • ES: Zaragoza's move to complete open source desktop going to plan
      The move by the city of Zaragoza to an open source desktop is making good progress. All of the city's civil servants now use open source tools including Thunderbird, VLC, Firefox and OpenOffice. And this year some seven hundred of the city's 2800 desktop PCs will have seen their proprietary operating system replaced by the Linux open source alternative.

    • Comparative Test Problems – Hardware, Windows7 and Linux
      You knew I was gonna go there huh. If you want a printer, 3g and OS combo that works – go with Samsung, new Huawei Modem, and Ubuntu. I would recommend this to anyone who needs a reliable combination for the small office but needs Internet on the go as well.

    • The Perfect Desktop Articles
      The first problem I had with the article was just seeing it’s link on Lxer. People are still recommending and using 32-bit software. These people needed to be locked up for mental illness. Well at least they SAY it’s Gnome, instead of calling it the default desktop. They ruin it however by making users install mono applications like F-Spot, and a weird assortment of proprietary applications which HAVE NO PLACE in Fedora.

  • Audiocasts

    • Episode 142: Waterfront
      In the begin I talk a bit about difficulties in the forum and my thoughts about flattr. The TOC

      03:25 Subscribe to the RSS feed 04:35 flattr 06:30 An image from the Europahafen 08:15 Goal: Enhance the contrast between old and new 08:25 Rotation correction 10:15 Saving as XCF 10:45 Cropping 11:25 Fixing the aspect ratio 13:15 Duplicating the layer before tweaking the colours 14:05 Adjusting the curve to get more contrast 15:35 Desaturationg parts of the image with a layer in saturation mode 20:00 Adding sepia colour 22:20 Colour layer mode

  • Google

    • Chrome and Rust: Pros and Cons of Google's Browser
      Should you be using one of the official Google packages, you might want to read the end-user's license agreement. The agreement reads as though generic, and may not be the final license. Still, you may want to know that, like the license that openSUSE used on its betas until a few releases ago, it is non-free. When you download an official package, the license assumes that you have implicitly agreed not to copy or distribute it.

  • Ballnux

    • Hacking for Freedom
      These are first hours of hackweek. A lot of people in Novell and in the community are starting to work on different projects. What can I give for free software in this week? Sure, my favorite project is NetworkManagement.

  • Kernel Space

    • ZFS for the Linux kernel
      Developers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have cooperated with Oracle to port large parts of Solaris' ZFS file system to the Linux kernel. Their aim is to make the distributed Lustre file system available under Linux with ZFS.


      Native ZFS for Linux can be compiled with kernel versions up to 2.6.32; among the tested platforms are the 2.6.32 kernel in Fedora 12 and in the beta version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, as well as the 2.6.18 kernel in RHEL 5. The build requires the Solaris Porting Layer and a 64-bit Linux system.

    • X Server 1.9 Window Closing After RandR 1.4 Pull
      There's good news for the Ubuntu camp and others releasing in the September-October time-frame: development work on X.Org Server 1.9 is still going as planned for an August release and its merge window is about to be closed. In the past it's been tough for the X.Org project to release server updates in a timely manner that's on schedule, but continuing from their X.Org Server 1.8 success, 1.9 is shaping up nicely too.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Eight Ways GNOME Could be Improved
        In this piece, I want to show you that the GNOME desktop has a number of issues that need attention as well. I’ll outline eight areas in GNOME that need to be improved for a better user experience.

  • Distributions

    • The Leading Enterprise Linux Vendors
      Enterprise Linux Vendors

      €· Red Hat €· Canonical Ltd. €· Novell / SuSE €· Other Major Players And Contributors €· Debian €· IBM €· Oracle

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Canonical rejigs Ubuntu support services
        Canonical, the commercial presence behind the Ubuntu Linux distribution for servers and desktops, is in business to make money as well as to put out the best free operating system it can.

      • Well that’s a nice volume slider (minor post alert)
        You’re likely all aware that Ubuntu 10.10 is getting a funky feature-packed new sound applet for Maverick. That shindig promises to be crazy awesome and a great usability improvement. Until that pops up do allow me to bask in the sweet glow of simple progression because sometimes, as you may be aware, very minor changes make me giddy.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 196
        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 196 for the week of May 30th - June 5th, 2010. In this issue we cover Maverick Alpha 1 released, Kubuntu: Maverick Alpha 1 Released, Postponing Ubuntu User Days, Call for Testing: Hardy Firefox Users (or willing to install Hardy in a VM), Request For Help Preparing ClassBot For Translations, Operation Cleansweep Launched!, Linaro: Accelerating Linux on ARM, Ubuntu Stats, LoCo Teams Best Practices and Guidelines, Help translating the LoCo Teams Best Practices and Guidelines, The LoCo Directory wants to speak your language, Ubuntu Development Team Meetings Minutes, Launchpad News, NGO Team during Maverick, Free culture projects need a ubiquitous funding system, Hacking on grub2, Severed Fifth II, Project Maintainers Required, In The Press, In The Blogosphere, Towards Linaro 10.11, Ubuntu Systems Management update, SouthEast Linux Fest Announces Full Speaker List, VMware User Conference – Phoenix, TurnKey Hub: a new simplified cloud deployment service, Featured Podcasts, Monthly Team Reports: May 2010, Upcoming Meetings and Events, Updates and Security, and much much more!

      • Ubuntu: when Linux ideology meets business
        Profiting from Linux doesn't involve an obvious winning formula. There are as many different business models as there are distributions, and you seldom find much overlap between those that are working.

      • Lucid Productive Wallpaper

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Trust: the catalyst of the open source way
    Collaboration works better when you trust the people with whom you are collaborating. Transparency is more believable when you trust those who are opening up to you. And it is much easier for the best ideas to win when there is a base level of trust in the community that everyone is competent and has the best interests of the project at heart.

  • The Epic War of Browsers
    Since Symantec released its report in 2005, Microsoft lobbyists have quoted the old document to make people believe that Internet Explorer is the safest browser today. Their idea is to tell users that Mozilla Firefox might make one's computer vulnerable to attacks.

    Symantec, the company that flags Norton Antivirus, stated back then that there were 25 vulnerabilities in Firefox while Internet Explorer had only 13. This is the part that supporters of IE love to repeat. The part that they don't want us to consider is this:

    1. The Mozilla Foundation started in 2003, so Firefox was a fairly young browser back then. Yet, its problems were solved in a period of THREE DAYS. Some of the noted problems of IE are still there today.

    2. From the 25 problems in Firefox, only 8 were considered as real threats by Symantec ...the SAME NUMBER OF PROBLEMS THAT WERE FOUND IN INTERNET EXPLORER. This means that the young Mozilla product and Microsoft's 10-year-old browser WERE TIED REGARDING PERFORMANCE.

    3. According to Secunia (a Danish company that checks the security of software products), up to 2010, IE keeps a total of 19 vulnerabilities that have not been fixed, while Firefox has only 3.

  • BSDMag: Jun 6 BSD Firewalls [PDF]


    • Geek Of The Week: Richard Stallman
      He is largely responsible for the popularity of the Linux operating system (including Linux-based derivatives like Android), and the open source community. If it wasn’t for him, you’d probably be paying for every piece of software you use on a daily basis.

    • GNU/Linux: The Name Game
      I want to make things easier for them to understand, not more difficult. I feel that I am not doing anything wrong; when I choose to call Microsoft Windows Vista "Vista" I am not doing a disservice to Microsoft. Nor do I do a disservice to Canonical by calling Ubuntu "Ubuntu." A great many people and groups have to come together to make any particular operating system, particularly community-created ones, and credit for success should go to each and every one of them.

    • So, what exactly is a Freedom Outlaw?
      A Freedom Outlaw is (loosely) somebody who cares so much about freedom that he or she will go after it regardless of any laws or regulations blocking the way. Will go after it personally. Not petition for it. Not write letters for it. Not vote for it. But GO for it.

  • Open Data


  • Germany’s Artificial Cornea Ready To Restore Sight To Thousands
    An expansive EU project to produce an artificial cornea has found success thanks to the work of Joachim Storsberg of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP in Germany. Storsberg helped develop a new version of an opthalmological polymer which the eye will bond to and still allow to function properly. The new polymer could help restore sight to thousands waiting for corneal transplants around the world. The artificial cornea has passed clinical trials and is ready to see expanded use in patients this year. Very soon those with corneal blindness may find a ready cure in the form of the new implant.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Restraining order on CyberSpy lifted
      The Federal Trade Commission has come to an agreement with Florida-based CyberSpy Software that allows it to resume sales of its Remote Spy commercial spyware application. According to the U.S. District Court settlement, the company must not provide users with the means to disguise the software as an innocent file or email attachment. Users must also be advised that doing so may violate US state or federal law. Additionally, all recorded information sent over the internet must be encrypted and older legacy versions of the software must be removed from computers on which it was previously installed.

    • Cyberwar is fiction
      I'm reading various articles about the Russia's proposal, with support from the UN, for a "cyberwarfare arms limitation treaty". What astounds me is that nobody seems to realize that "cyberwarfare" is a fictional story, and that "arms" in cyberspace don't exist.

    • Botnets Using Ubiquity as Security
      As major botnet operators have moved from top-down C&C infrastructures, like those employed throughout the 1990s and most of the last decade, to more flexible peer-to-peer designs, they also have found it much easier to keep their networks up and running once they're discovered. When an attacker at just one, or at most, two, C&C servers doling out commands to compromised machines, evading detection and keeping the command server online were vitally important.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Bashing Is The New Chinese Black
      Did anybody tell these people how many "losing" trading days Goldman had in the latest quarter/year? Joking aside, we do find it somewhat ironic that the company which brought capitalism (or at least the Goldman-centric version thereof) to China is now being openly attacked for being "too successful." It really is time for Buffett to MBO the squid and get the public company farce over with (that means only another $30 in GS downside before the Oracle announces his true intentions). We are sure that Goldman can pull enough strings where even as Buffett's last hypocritical hurrah, it will still have full discount window access, even as a fully private hedge fund. Because the last thing Goldman needs is to be the primary scapegoat of a better way of life gone horribly wrong for 1.3 billion angry Chinese. On the other hand, look for the American Idol empire to promptly move to Beijing with Goldman's blessings and venture funding - when all else fails, prime time distraction with moronic entertainment for an increasingly lazy middle class always seems to get the job done.

    • Goldman Sachs Must Defend Its Gains in China
      Always eager to jump at anything suggesting foreign conspiracy, the Chinese press leapt at accusations of fraud made against Goldman Sachs by the American regulatory authorities.

    • Goldman Sachs Reputation Destruction Tour
      The brutal combination of inept management, poor legal advice, and horrific decision making is combining is uniquely ugly ways to further damage their reputation — as if that were possible. Hard as that is to imagine, their PR — recently ranked as “For Shit” — is now heading south from there.

    • Goldman Sachs subpoenaed for failing to cooperate with finance probe
      A high profile panel investigating the causes of the financial crisis announced Monday it had subpoenaed Goldman Sachs for failing to cooperate with the probe.

      "The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has issued a subpoena to Goldman Sachs & Co. for failing to comply with a request for documents and interviews in a timely manner," the body said in a statement.

      It is the latest controversy for the New York-based bank, which is facing civil and potentially criminal charges for misleading investors.

    • 15 attorneys leave LeClairRyan to form new firm
      Fifteen attorneys have left Richmond-based LeClairRyan to form Murphy & McGonigle, a firm specializing in advising financial services clients during lawsuits, government investigations and enforcement actions.

    • The Regulation Crisis

    • Countrywide Settles Fee Complaint
      Countrywide Home Loans and its mortgage servicing unit, which are now part of Bank of America, agreed on Monday to pay $108 million to settle federal charges that the company overcharged customers who were struggling to hang onto their homes.

    • The Greek Debt Crisis
      When the CCS derivative instrument maturity came, we saw back in 2009 that Greeks Deficit suddenly climbed to 12% of GDP which is 4 times over the limit. With the credit crunch, borrowing more to finance government spending became a problem. This resulted on the news of its potential default of certain loans.

    • European Stocks Follow Asian Markets’ Decline
      Stocks fell across Asia on Monday and the euro hit fresh multiyear lows against the dollar and yen, after disappointing U.S. jobs data and amid renewed fears that the European government debt crisis could spread to other vulnerable economies.

    • Hungary Is Playing Political Games on Debt
      Its budget deficit is about one-half that of Greece. It does not use the euro and so could, if pressed, lift exports by devaluing its own currency, the forint. And it is in the middle of an economic overhaul program with the International Monetary Fund and can call upon an additional $2 billion if needed.

    • Debtors’ Prism: Who Has Europe’s Loans?
      IT’S a $2.6 trillion mystery.

      That’s the amount that foreign banks and other financial companies have lent to public and private institutions in Greece, Spain and Portugal, three countries so mired in economic troubles that analysts and investors assume that a significant portion of that mountain of debt may never be repaid.

    • Anatomy Of A Bubble

    • Richard Fisher, Senior Fed Official: White House Is Dead Wrong
      Richard Fisher, president of the Dallas Fed, has long been a proponent of serious financial sector reform. As a former commercial banker, he sees quite clearly that the legislation now headed into "reconciliation" between House and Senate versions amounts to very little. He also knows that pounding away repeatedly on this theme is the best way to influence his colleagues within the Fed and across the policy community more broadly.

    • This Flight to Safety Wasn’t Supposed to Happen

    • How to manage student loan debt
      In 2008, about two-thirds of students graduating from four-year colleges and universities had student loan debt averaging $23,200, according to data analyzed by the Project on Student Debt, an initiative of the nonprofit Institute for College Access & Success.

    • Overcoming the Debt Trap
      But there is another part of their story that contains some truth. The government is borrowing large amounts of money right now to sustain demand in the wake of the collapse of private sector spending following the deflation of the housing bubble. If the deficit continues on the projected path, the country will substantially increase its debt burden over the course of the decade.

    • Pols turn on labor unions
      Spurred by state budget crunches and an angry public mood, Republican and some Democratic leaders are focusing with increasing intensity on public workers and the unions that represent them, casting them as overpaid obstacles to good government and demanding cuts in their often-generous benefits.

    • Bank Reform Bait and Switch
      When the Senate bank reform legislation passed in May, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) said it sent the message to Wall Street that they can "no longer can you recklessly gamble away other people's money." The bill told Main Street, "you no longer have to fear that your savings, your retirement or your home are at the mercy of greedy gamblers in big banks. And it says to them: never again will you be asked to bail out those big banks when they lose their risky bets," according to Reid.

    • Senate Financial Reform Bill DOESN'T End Too Big To Fail, Major Credit Rating Agency Says

    • Reining in Speculation on Oil and Food Prices through the Financial Reform Bill

    • New bonds to help cash-strapped states also benefiting Wall Street
      New federally subsidized bonds that have proven wildly popular in helping cash-strapped state and local governments fund roads, schools and other construction projects also offer a windfall to a less obvious beneficiary: Wall Street banks.

    • The Contractual Structure of Private Equity

    • Long-Term Unemployed Now 46 Percent Of Unemployed, Highest Percentage On Record
      The proportion of people jobless for six months or more has accelerated in the past year and now makes up 46 percent of the unemployed. That's the highest percentage on records dating to 1948. By late summer or early fall, they are expected to make up half of all jobless Americans.
    • Banks Say No. Too Bad Taxpayers Can’t.
      FROM the earliest days of the credit crisis, the nation’s big financial institutions have been less than forthcoming about ballooning loan losses buried inside their books. To some degree this is understandable: denial is a powerful thing, after all, and writing off troubled loans during a period of severe stress is, for bankers, the equivalent of getting a root canal.
    • Distressed Sales: Sacramento as an Example, May 2010
      The Sacramento Association of REALTORS€® is breaking out monthly resales by equity sales (conventional resales), and distressed sales (Short sales and REO sales), and I'm following this series as an example to see mix changes in a distressed area.
    • THE INFLUENCE GAME: Dueling over debit card fees
      Swipe your debit card at the supermarket and you've placed yourself at the heart of a contentious congressional debate.

      On one side are banks like JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America and credit card networks like Visa and MasterCard. On the other are retailers, including giants like Wal-Mart and Target.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • University Networks Block Student Project
      An anonymous reader writes "A computer science student at University College London put together FitFinder as a bit of a joke — it's been described as a cross between Twitter and personal ads, and it rapidly became very popular. The university took exception to this and started by blocking the site from being accessed on campus. Not content with this, a few weeks later it fined the student €£300 and had him take the site down completely. Currently, the site is still offline, although there is a petition with several thousand signatures requesting its return. In the meantime, a site called PhitFinder has appeared, claiming to have no link to the original."

    • Porn sites suddenly available in China
      Some websites, including ones with pornography, that were previously blocked by China's Internet censors were accessible inside the country Friday, though reasons for the change were unclear.

    • U.S. Intelligence Analyst Arrested in Wikileaks Video Probe
      Federal officials have arrested an Army intelligence analyst who boasted of giving classified U.S. combat video and hundreds of thousands of classified State Department records to whistleblower site Wikileaks, has learned.

      SPC Bradley Manning, 22, of Potomac, Maryland, was stationed at Forward Operating Base Hammer, 40 miles east of Baghdad, where he was arrested nearly two weeks ago by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division. A family member says he’s being held in custody in Kuwait, and has not been formally charged.

    • Turkey bans use of Google, services
      Turkey has imposed an indefinite ban on Internet search engine Google and many of its services citing “legal” reasons.

      In an official statement, Turkey’s Telecommunications Presidency said it has banned access to many of Google IP addresses without assigning clear reasons. The statement did not confirm if the ban is temporary or permanent.

  • Digital Economy Bill

    • Paedo-Fear Pushes The Surveillance Agenda
      For instance, only a huge effort from concerned people prevented Europe from adopting software patents under the pressure of lobbying from big self-interested software companies. And only continued vigilance will prevent those big companies from wearing down resistance.

      In the UK a big campaign against the excessive measures of the Digital Economy Act has had some effect in tempering the eventual implementation as prpoposed by Ofcom, but it didn’t kill it, because in the end most elected representatives simply don’t get it, and let it pass in the rush before the end of the parliamentary session.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect - HT - Jamestown (5/19/2005)

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