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Links 10/6/2010: New Chrome OS Details Surface; Ubuntu UK Survey

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  • Free software edge to forge ahead
    CMRIT students, meanwhile, are preparing to work on ORCA, a screen-reading software used by the visually challenged on Ubuntu (Linux) which needs further enhancements. “We are also creating a whole new desktop environment for engineering students to work entirely on Gnu-Linux,” Abhinav said.

    MSRIT conducts Mukthi, an annual developer event to work with GLUGs from across the City and interact with those working on specific platforms. CMRIT also holds monthly events to create an environment of learning for students.

    Senthil believes the activities would stand the students in a good stead in finding jobs. With companies like Google and Fedora coming out to select interns to work with them for a sizable scholarship, he said interest in Free Software would soon spread to other colleges.

  • For Linux, untapped opportunities are huge
    The Linux now seems to make swift inroads to hyped product segments including tablets, smartphones, and TVs, cited related reports. Based on the number of products running Linux unveiled at Computex, market watchers are stating that Linux has a long way to go ahead.

  • Analysts: Linux will be ruling in the years to come
    There is a chance that Linux will really take the lead in many areas: tablets smartphones, and TVs, analysts say. One of the major indications is the increasing number of new tablets in the market, running Android Linux or other embedded Linuxes.

  • Acer

    • Acer bets on emerging markets for expansion
      Mr. Lanci emphasises that going Open Source is critical to the future of computing. He confirmed that Acer's much-talked-about notebook PC (that will run on Google's Chrome Operating system) is indeed on the anvil. “We are working closely with Google on this,” he said. He had earlier announced that Acer's yet-to-be-named Tablet PC will also run on the Open Source operating system Android. “Android is very good, particularly in terms of Internet browsing and connectivity. It is efficient and light enough not to overload the CPU. Also, from the consumer point of view, Open Source is the most sensible option,” he said reiterating his commitment to Open Source products. “It is no longer just a Wintel world,” he added.

    • Acer will Showcase the First Netbook with Google Chrome OS
      Acer, the Taiwan base computer manufacturer is set to showcase their new Netbooks that are incorporated with the Google Chrome Operating System. According to the computer manufacturer they will be launching and showcasing their Chrome OS powered netbooks at a tradeshow the Computex Taipei show on June 1-5.

  • Desktop

    • Ubuntu Linux wins over Windows power user
      I quickly discovered that as far as an operating system and GUI, Ubuntu/Gnome is every bit as good as the Windows I know so well and it stacks up fine to the desktop Mac we have, too. The Mac is slicker, but for a home PC, I don't care. What I want is ...

      1) Software, preferably free-- stuff that I need (word processor, HTML editor, etc.) and apps that I want (games, mostly). Ubuntu had all of this in droves, out of the box, though it wasn't perfect (more on that soon). 2) The ability to easily find my files and figure out how to organize apps and data. 3) Speed. (The Mac seems to have both Windows and my Linux machine beat on this, but its also got the newest, most powerful hardware)

    • Donate Your Old Computer To Linux Against Poverty
      Linux Against Poverty is currently collecting used computers, which they will refurbish and donate to kids who don't have a computer at home. Last year, the effort rebuilt more than $35,000 worth of computers, and the group has raised their goal to $50,000 this year. (Austinist is a media sponsor of this year's event.)

  • HPC

    • Customized Storage Solution Simplifies Scaling for Research Computing
      Dell and Terascala today announced the Dell | Terascala HPC Storage Solution, a storage solution for Linux clusters designed to enable efficiencies in high-performance computing environments by scaling to support massive amounts of data.

    • Researchers hope to build autonomous 'Batmobile'
      In part, he added, that's because, as unfunded university researchers, he and Cox are running their experiments on Linux computers, and Nvidia's GPUs are the best option for that operating system. Plus, he said, Nvidia is offering the research team a powerful software stack that helps with coding the GPUs.

    • IBM tunes math on Power/AIX boxes
      IBM has also goosed its Parallel Environment for Linux with a V5.2 release, adding in more parallel programming APIs and providing an Eclipse plug-in that lets the HPC Toolkit to snap into Eclipse and garb information from the Parallel Environment as HPC applications are running to allow them to analyze and then tweak the apps to get better performance out of them. PE for Linux V5.2 is supported on Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 on IBM's own Power Systems machines and runs on Red Hat's Enterprise Linux 5.4 on x64-based servers. It will be available on June 11.

  • Ciena

  • Fog Computing

    • SingleOS Adds IP Based Virtual Hosting To Fuscan Linux Cloud
      SingleOS ( ) announced that it completed the integration of IP based virtual hosting service with cPanel/WHM in its Fuscan EHA ( cloud automation platform. EHA is an automation layer part of Fuscan Linux Cloud ( It enables running different hosting automation software on top of the Fuscan Cloud platform.

    • TurnKey Linux: Launch Open Source Apps in Amazon EC2
      Never underestimate the power of Linux developers with a goal. TurnKey Hub, which makes it easier, faster, and cheaper to leverage Amazon EC2 and the cloud at large, is worth keeping an eye on as it matures more fully.

    • European cloud providers expect business to expand, says IDC
      The survey showed that European cloud providers are running infrastructures that are much closer to those of traditional enterprises than the global providers. Many of those providers use open source, with 56% of servers running Linux, 81% of organisations standardising on Apache, or a mix of Apache and Microsoft's IIS, and 69% standardising on MySQL.

  • Google

    • Google morphs Chrome OS into netbook thin client
      Google's Chrome OS — the operating system that moves all apps and data into a web browser — will provide remote access to "legacy PC applications" through a mystery process the company calls Chromoting, according to an email from a Google employee.

    • Google pays $2,000 for report of a vulnerability in Chrome
      Google has paid out its highest sum yet, $2,000, for the discovery of a vulnerability found in its Chrome browser. The recipient is developer Sergey Glazunov, who found a DOM method-related means of circumventing the same origin policy. Details of the vulnerability are not yet publicly available, but it is likely that it could allow a web page to access content from other web pages. Google classifies the risk as high. Update 5.0.375.70 for Windows, Mac and Linux resolves the problem.

    • More Details on Google Cloud Print for Chrome OS
      Google Chrome OS has set itself quite a hard-to-reach goal, namely to make everything a web app. Google has said from the beginning that there will be no native applications for Chrome OS except the Chrome browser itself. While web apps today are capable of amazing things, nobody, not even everyone at Google, believes that they can replace any native app and OS capability out there.

  • Ballnux

    • Samsung News Roundup
      When it comes to open source, nothing is more known than Google’s Android operating system, and Samsung has just announced their new Android device. Following the upcoming Android smart phone Samsung i9000 Galaxy S handset, there is a new Galaxy series device: the Galaxy Tab.

  • Kernel Space

    • Is Torvalds reducing bloat in Linux 2.6.35 ?
      Linus Torvalds has commented in the past that he thought that the Linux kernel was too bloated. To date though, not much (if anything) has been done to combat Linux bloat, but that might just be changing with the upcoming Linux 2.6.35 release.


      I've heard kernel developer Andrew Morton answer questions about how to address Linux bloat. Basically his standard answer is that if someone wants to tackle the problem they should go out and do it.

    • File Systems

      • When open source licenses collide
        It’s an attempt to port the file system of Open Solaris into a version of Linux, and was created by the good people at the Lawrence Livermore Lab.

        The problem, as Brian Behlendorf (above) noted at Github, is that the licenses are incompatible. ZFS must be offered under Sun’s CDDL. Linux, of course, is licensed under the GPL. You can’t combine the two.

        It would be like, as the late Richard Pryor noted in one of his best monologues, trying to mix regular milk with low-fat. It would explode.

        There are some kludgy work-arounds, Behlendorf noted. You can implement ZFS in a user space with FUSE, making it a derived work. Or you can modify and build it separately from the Linux, then build the combination yourself. But this is very hard.

      • CTERA Networks Announces Advanced Snapshot Capability in Next3 File System for Linux

  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • Fluffy Linux – For Those Who Like Pink, Bunnies And Unicorn
      Pink, Bunnies and Unicorns are what you will most probably find in a little girl’s room and certainly not in a Linux distro. But now there is Fluffy Linux with all the pink-ness (if there is such a word), bunnies, unicorn and, of course, fluffiness you can find.

  • Distributions

    • Sabayon

      • Sabayon Linux 5.3 adds new installer
        The Sabayon Linux developers have released the GNOME and KDE variants of version 5.3 of their Linux distribution. Sabayon, named after an egg-yolk based dessert, is derived from Gentoo Linux and is aimed at providing a "complete out-of-the-box experience" while being both stable and versatile.

      • Sabayon Linux 5.3 adds Anaconda

    • New Releases

      • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 100
        €· Announced Distro: Parsix GNU/Linux 3.5 €· Announced Distro: SystemRescueCd 1.5.5 €· Announced Distro: Mandriva Linux 2010.1 RC2 €· Announced Distro: Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 1 €· Announced Distro: Pardus Linux 2009.2 €· Announced Distro: Untangle 7.3 €· Announced Distro: Sabayon Linux 5.3 €· Announced Distro: Ultimate Edition 2.7

    • Red Hat Family

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Will Be Able to Restore Applications and Settings
        The following is not a rumor, it's something that will (finally) become reality in future releases of the Ubuntu operating system. First of all, let me offer you a simple example: I want to reinstall my Ubuntu system and I have to back up a part of the settings from various applications (such as Firefox's bookmarks, passwords and settings; Filezilla's site manager list; some Pidgin files; Thunderbird's RSS feeds; VirtualBox settings and virtual hard drives; and some other files), not to mention that I have to remember and reinstall most of the applications I use, how I arranged the shortcuts on the AWN dock, and many other desktop settings. How long will this take? A lot of my precious time!

      • Maverick Community Team Plans

      • Canonical Renews the Ubuntu Certification Programme
        Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, announced today that it has extended and revised its Hardware Certification Programme for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs). Canonical has made the changes to better align certification with the manufacturer's needs and also to encompass the broader spectrum of use cases for Ubuntu as it becomes a more established part of the OEM ecosystem.

      • 10 things I don't like about Ubuntu 10.04

      • Digital Planet
        He also interviews Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu, about the evolution of open source software in South Africa.

      • Ubuntu Growing Enormously In The Corporate UK
        Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, and the Ubuntu UK Community are jointly hosting an event aimed at introducing Ubuntu direct to UK businesses.

        Ubuntu is extremely popular with desktop users and widely used in UK datacentres as a server technology. The 'Ubuntu In Business' event provides a forum for IT professionals to get a clearer idea of the potential of Ubuntu and understand the applications, services and training options that abound for this product in desktop, server and cloud environments.

        The event itself will provide an introduction to Ubuntu at both a practical and strategic level to how companies are deploying it today and to the applications companies can deploy on it. In keeping with the hands-on feel, attendees will be able to view product demonstrations while networking with Canonical, partner and community representatives. The event will conclude with a panel discussion where they can quiz a variety of open-source advocates on the value of pursuing an Ubuntu strategy in their organisation.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • BeagleBoard-xM has USB and 1GHz Cortex-A8
      Users can also perform native development of various operating systems, such as Ubuntu.

    • Teleca Joins the GENIVI Alliance
      Teleca brings its best-in-class services in Open Source software development, integration, customization, and testing to the unifying force in Mobile Linux.

    • Phones

      • HP says it's in the smartphone market, after all
        Apparently what Hurd was really trying to say was that HP is excited about using webOS as the foundation for all types of smaller web-connected devices, and smartphones are just a part of that universe -- a part HP intends to pursue. Phew.

      • Weinschenk: What does the report look at?
        Fodale: The report is a look at the next generation of open source, Linux-based smartphones. I am working on another report now that brings in other mobile devices, such as netbooks, media tablets and multifunction Internet devices. Essentially, this report is a deep dive looking at Linux. It’s huge, it’s all over the place. The report is a deep dive on the top five or six Linux distributions for mobile phones.

      • MeeGo

        • Mobile computer for power users
          But, first, let me take you through the hardware. The N900 is a bit thick, because of its sliding keypad. There is no rocker button on the keypad and no pointer to control either. There are four arrow keys for scrolling around the web page. It is also a touch-screen handset, and a stylus is tucked into the keypad just in case you have oversized fingertips to press the application shortcuts and widgets.

          This smartphone is driven by an ARM Cortex A8. It has 1 GB memory just for applications and a whopping 32 GB to store up to 7,000 songs or 40 hours of DVD-quality video. If that is not enough, you can still add another 16 GB with a microSD.

        • MeeGo is coming

        • MeeGo Bug Jar 2010.23

      • N900

      • Android

        • Nexus One, Nokia X6 coming to South Korea in June
          Like Japan, South Korea has a wireless industry that's typically leaps and bounds ahead of just about everywhere else in the world -- but the country has never been a Symbian or Android stronghold, so it's actually not much of a surprise that two big recent releases are just now heading over there this Summer.

        • Android mobile devices with MIPS architecture
          Like ARM, MIPS is not a processor manufacturer, but rather a seller of (ARM incompatible) processor designs, which have, up to now, been used largely in the embedded field. An Android port aimed primarily at set-top boxes has been in the works for some time, however plans are now afoot for the first mobile device. At last week's Computex PC trade show taking place in Taiwan, MIPS, together with mobile phone specialist SySDSoft, has announced an implementation of the LTE mobile telephony standard for MIPS processors.

        • Android OS and Others Drive Growth of Mobile Linux
          You might call mobile Linux the little operating system that could, or at least is able to since the introduction of Google's Android OS helped push mobile Linux into the top ranks.

        • Engadget

          • Engadget's Dell Streak review, is it more appealing than the HTC EVO 4G?
            As Joel pointed out back in January Michael Dell showed a glimpse of the Dell Android tablet then known as the Dell Mini 5. The device launched this past week on O2 in the UK and is officially known as the Dell Streak. The folks at Engadget picked one up and posted a full review of this 5 inch display tablet. The Dell Streak should be launching here in the US in July for around $500. With my new Sprint HTC EVO 4G sporting similar specs and a 4.3 inch display for $200, I have to wonder if the slightly larger display will appeal to many looking for an iPad alternative.

          • Nexus One gets USB host driver from a dude with an oscilloscope (video)
            For Sven Killig, running Android 2.2 wasn't enough. No sir, this dude wanted even more power for his Nexus One, so he went ahead and penned a few lines of code that have allowed his Googlephone to act as a USB host.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Roundup of Linux distributions that play (mostly) well with the HP 2133
        I eventually settled on MinBuntu, a custom version of Ubuntu 8.04 that had been tweaked to support the HP Mini 2133. But a funny thing happened over the past few years — a number of other Linux distributions have been updated to add support for most netbooks, including those with VIA processors.

    • Tablets

      • Canonical developing Ubuntu OS for tablets
        Canonical is preparing a version of the Ubuntu OS for tablet computers as the company looks to extend its presence in the mobile space, a company executive said on Wednesday.

        Tablets with the Ubuntu OS could become available late in next year's first quarter, said Chris Kenyon, Canonical's vice president of OEM (original equipment manufacturer) services. The OS will be a lightweight version of Linux with a simplified, touch-friendly user interface.

      • Tablets take over Taipei
        Google, by making its Android software open source and allowing anyone to develop anything without all of the cloak-and-dagger secrecy and restrictions found in the Apple camp, is bound to emerge as the platform of choice sooner or later. Adding to this momentum is the fact that Android will be running on devices from multiple manufacturers and carriers; and that around 57% of Android's apps are free compared with only 25% of Apple's, according to analytics from Distimo, a website that monitors app stores. In the world of technology, the two essential ingredients for product success seem to be choice and the f-word - "free" - and Google offers both.

      • Meet the QuokkaPad a 8-inch open-source tablet/e-reader
        The latest e-reader/tablet comes straight from Australia and it’s dubbed QuokkaPad.

      • Android Half-Tablets: Smart Phones with 5 Inch Displays
        A recently leaked image of a Sony Ericsson Android smart phone is gaining plenty of attention. The device is rumored to be a new handset that will not only have the Google open source operating system, but it will be able to be used as a mini tablet and also as a mini netbook.

        These are made possible by a few basic features of the Android devices. The slide out QWERTY keyboard is the first part, while the large 5 inch display and the tilting upper face of the device make up for the whole ensemble. In many ways, there is plenty to be excited about with regards to the new Android device –if it turns out to be true. For now, we can expect plenty of focus on their new device.

      • Arm chief cautious on tablet PCs
        Mr Brown’s caution may be partly explained by Arm’s unsuccessful attempt last year to bring its chips to the traditional PC markets with so-called “smart books”. Smart books are cheap laptop computers that have long battery life and constant internet connectivity because they run on low-power Arm chips and a Linux-based operating system, such as Google’s Android.

        While dozens of prototype smart book models were the focus of last year’s Computex and the Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas this year, device makers were never really sold on the concept and few became actual products.

        Arm last week joined forces with IBM and chip companies Freescale, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments to create Linaro, a company that will accelerate the development of Linux software for devices such as mobile phones, tablet computers and digital TVs.

      • ARM and Intel's new battleground: the living room
        But with the exception of some small Linux-powered "smartbooks," ARM has yet to make a dent in general-purpose computing.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source DSTAR Voice -- Codec2:
    Development on an open source, freely available alternative to AMBE has been spearheaded by Australian amateur David Rowe, VK5DGR.

  • Grokking Green IT - and why Open Source Helps
    The last point is interesting, because it clearly only really applies to PCs running Windows, with their almost daily patches. Although not immune to security problems, GNU/Linux systems do at least avoid the vast amount of malware that routinely afflicts Windows, with the knock-on benefit that they don't need to be left on overnight for such anti-virus updates.

  • Synopsys, IEEE push open source modeling standard
    EDA and IP vendor Synopsys Inc. announced the open source availability of its Interconnect Technology Format (ITF) for parasitic modeling and the formation of a technical advisory board (TAB) under the auspices of IEEE Industry Standards and Technology Organization (IEEE-ISTO).

  • Open source could be Brazil's real advantage
    According to Grynzspan, what started as a protest against Microsoft of sorts motivated thousands of Brazilians to contribute with the development of open-source tools. This market is now very well developed and is hugely attractive - particularly for cash-strapped countries such as the UK - however the Brazilian government needs to do more to unlock that potential and promote it to prospective buyers.

  • Events

    • Canonical to hold "Ubuntu in Business" event
      The half-day will conclude with a panel of Canonical staff, partners and community members and chaired by regular The H columnist Glyn Moody, discussing "The Benefits and Pitfalls of an Open Source Strategy". The event will be held at The BrickHouse, Brick Lane, London, and registration is free.

    • Open Source Bridge: The City’s Data Will Soon Be Your Oyster
      Plus, there are some fun mashups Ogden has in mind—things that he hopes to be testing sooner rather than later. How about a map that shows every bar in the city—sourced from licensing data—along with the nearest Max or bus line. Sound like something you might be interested in? It’s on the way.

  • SaaS

    • NASA, Japan announce open-source cloud computing collaboration
      NASA and Japan's National Institute of Informatics (NII) plan to explore interoperability opportunities between NASA's Nebula Cloud Computing Platform and Japan's NII Cloud Computing Platform.

    • The Cloud's Killer Application: Mobile Media?
      While there still seems to be some consternation and confusion among many IT departments as to exactly where cloud computing based services will ultimately be of most use, the unusually named open source cloud provider Funambol is firmly of the belief that rich media over mobile devices holds the key.

  • Databases

    • NoSQL Goes Mobile with the Help of CouchDB
      If there is one aspect of mobility that has yet to live up to user expectations, it's the ability for data to be accessible in near real-time across multiple devices.

  • Business

    • Large VARs add open source to armoury
      The growing acceptance of open-source software has forced some of the UK’s largest VARs to break from a proprietary-only strategy for the first time.

    • Pentaho Takes Open Source BI On Demand

    • Jon "maddog" Hall Viewpoint: Total Cost vs. Return on Investment
      Why Does FOSS Typically Give Better ROI?

      Imagine if you were trying to glue two glass rods together. Each of the glass rod ends is shiny and smooth, and the glue can't get a good grip on the glass. It might hold for a few minutes, but eventually the glue will lose its grip. If you could take a bit of sandpaper and rough up the surfaces, the glue could get a better grip, and the rods might stay glued together.

      Consider the same analogy with software: With two pieces of CSPS software you can't “sand” them to make them integrate better. Any integration has to be done with the provided APIs that you have (if any). With FOSS software, you could change the source code of the two pieces and get them to integrate better. You can formulate a better integration than if the software was “closed.” This is the core of the argument around ROI: the ability to change the software to meet your business needs.

      CSPS advocates will argue that the companies that produce the software can integrate it for you. I find it hard to believe that large software companies will allow the types of integration that will be mentioned in the following ROI examples.

  • Licensing

    • How a Test Suite Can Help Your Open Source Project Grow
      Use these test suites to your advantage, as simulators like them can also help create an organic "buzz" around the project as well. Include the developers' names on the open-source software license, too. That will also help.

  • Open Hardware

    • xkcd’s Tiniest Open-Source Violin IRL

    • Qbo open source robot gets YouTube channel
      Is getting your very own YouTube channel a measure of success these days? It doesn't really matter for a robot that has no emotions, although that does not rule them out from getting their own channels either - case in point, the Qbo open source robotics project that comes with their very own YouTube channel you see above, depicting the stereo camera calibration method for the curious.


Clip of the Day

Adam Trickett: Introduction to Perl: The friendly programming language (2006)

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