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Links 16/9/2010: Compiz 0.9.2, 64-bit Adobe Trash GNU/Linux Support, PlayOnLinux 3.8.1, Diaspora Public



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Contents





GNU/Linux

  • A Future So Bright
    One of the catalysts for my excitement is a slide that was presented during an Ohio LinuxFest presentation from HP's Phil Robb: "This is the Year of the Irrelevance of the Desktop." Robb presented a slide which displayed just how far computing has come, and just how far it will go, with Linux riding the wave.

    [...]

    Until we get to today, with a projected 10 billion-plus mobile consumer devices (the LF slide appears to have a typo, but the original Morgan Stanley study has 10 billion). These mobile consumer devices include:

    * Car electronics * Mobile video * Home entertainment * Games * Wireless home appliances * Smartphones * Kindle * Tablets * MP3 * Cellphone PDS


  • Desktop





  • Kernel Space

    • LinuxCon Brazil: Q&A with Linus and Andrew
      Linus Torvalds rarely makes appearances at conferences, and it's even less common for him to get up in front of the crowd and speak. He made an exception for LinuxCon Brazil, though, where he and Andrew Morton appeared in a question and answer session led by Linux Foundation director Jim Zemlin. The resulting conversation covered many aspects of kernel development, its processes, and its history.


    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa 7.8.3 Release Candidate 1 Is Here
        While Mesa 7.9 is just around the corner with a great number of new features and other improvements to this open-source graphics stack used by Linux and other operating systems, those being bound to releases that are proven stable will still be leaving with Mesa 7.8 until Mesa 7.9.1 or 7.9.2 is released later in the year. But for those stable users, there's also Mesa 7.8.3 that will soon be released.


      • Power Management Patches For Nouveau, Finally
        Martin Peres is a French developer now working on the Nouveau driver and in particular has been focusing on developing the power management architecture based upon the reverse-engineering work of other Nouveau developers. This morning before leaving for XDS in Toulouse he announced his Nouveau power management work that includes support for parsing the NVIDIA BIOS for the necessary power management bits (with the NV40 to NV96 ASICs) and then voltage and clock settings for the NVIDIA graphics cards.


      • Where Wayland May First Appear In Use By A Distro
        It turns out that Wayland may end up finding itself deployed within MeeGo Touch. In fact, it sounds like there is already a prototype of MeeGo Touch + Wayland done by Kristian at Intel. Though this isn't to be confused with the MeeGo netbook edition or even Nokia's version of MeeGo Touch for their hand-held devices as they have the decision of using Wayland or continuing to run an X.Org Server.


      • X.Org Is Looking For A New Logo
        XDS 2010 has just begun in Toulouse, France. Well, besides yesterday's pre-event where we were discussing Wayland and other topics. At the moment just the X.Org Foundation itself is being discussed.

        There is an audio feed of the event that I am recording directly from the microphone feeds and those will be published on Phoronix in the coming days. I will also be recording videos of select talks in HD, but it will be from an integrated microphone source.






  • Applications



  • Distributions

    • Choice is Messy (Free Software Likes It That Way)
      The latest version of this argument is Graham Morrison's article, "The trouble with Linux: There's too much choice." Morrison writes that the amount of choice is "often overwhelming, needlessly complicated and an easy excuse for change. Choice goes hand-in-hand with redundancy and duplicated effort."

      Morrison goes on to suggest that, on the one hand, if the community doesn't make a decision to standardize, then it will lose the choice because others -- presumably, businesses and distros -- will make the choice for them. On the other hand, by giving up a little unnecessary choice, "we'll have gained a whole lot more choice where it's important: the freedom to run secure, safe and supported software on whatever platform we choose."


    • Tiny Core Linux 3.1 is released-It is the world's smallest desktop distribution with an 11 MB live CD
      Team Tiny Core has released Tiny Core 3.1 the world's smallest desktop distribution - an 11 MB live CD, the major theme for this release is the introduction of on demand icons. This allows for more options to have even faster boot times with the easy access to less often used application extensions. Much improved internationalization support and other upgrades and enhancements have been performed throught the system.


    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat tops list of hottest IT security certifications
        The fastest-growing infosec certification is Red Hat's. Launched in 2006, this certification is aimed at senior network administrators and is designed to prove that a person has deep skills related to running Red Hat Enterprise Linux in a secure fashion.

        "Between this time last year and today, the number of people who have passed [the Red Hat Certified Security Specialist] exam has grown by 70%," says Randy Russell, director of certification at Red Hat. "Clearly, something is happening with this particular credential."


      • Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Selected by Qualcomm as a Strategic Virtualization Platform
        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Qualcomm Incorporated has adopted Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization as a key virtualization platform for its production workloads.




    • Debian Family

      • Debian Updates, Code Names, Back Ports, Screenshots, and Derived
        For users who would like to know what an application will look like before they install it, there is a service at screenshots.debian.net. Most screenshots are uploaded by developers, but others can contribute as well. Visit screenshots.debian.net to peruse current screenshots or to sign up to upload.


      • First impressions of Linux Mint Debian — I'm more than a little intrigued
        So Linux Mint Debian is a project I'll definitely be watching. If a Mint distro based on Debian Testing proves to be a success, I wonder if the Mint team's next move will be a distribution based on Debian Stable (though it looks like you can easily make your Mint Debian install stick with Squeeze rather than post-Squeeze Testing). An easy-to-use, multimedia-ready version of Debian Stable would be a great addition to the free, open-source OS ecosphere.

        Linux Mint Debian is good enough that it almost (but not quite) makes me willing to give up data encryption in the installer. However, a check of the Mint forums leads me to believe that an encryption option may be coming to Mint Debian. That could very well seal the proverbial deal. How's that for an endorsement?


      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Four Years And The Chasm
          Six years ago I believe that Ubuntu changed desktop Linux. Of course, this had nothing to do with me. I wasn’t involved back then; it was the fantastic work of the original gangstas such as Mark Shuttleworth, Matt Zimmerman, Robert Collins, Scott James Remnant, Jeff Waugh, Benjamin Mako Hill and others who got this train on the rails. They all have my unending respect: they took the fantastic and inspiring rock that is Debian and they built on it to create something different. It was fresh faced, innovative, and had a wicked-cool tan. It inspired me to use and advocate Ubuntu, and ultimately see if I could fit in in a world populated by such original gangstas. Fortunately, the original gangstas was rather nice and welcoming gangstas…


        • Testing Gnash 0.8.8 On Ubuntu
          Late last month, the GNU Gnash project released version 0.8.8 of its open-source flash player, which touts much better compatibility than its predecessors with popular Flash-centric sites, like YouTube. But how well does Gnash 0.8.8 actually work on Ubuntu? We botched up a virtual machine in order to find out.


        • Canonical's Experiments With Hardware Sensors, Life Beyond Keyboards and TouchScreens
          Advent of Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Kinect, Apple iPhone and the likes changed quite a lot of things. The first thing they destroyed was the perception that, computer controls are all about keyboards and touchscreens. As we are all aware now, there are a bunch of hardware sensors which, with the help of state of the art software, could do such wonderful stuff which we haven't even thought about before.


        • Want to go to UDS Narwhal?


        • Enjoying the new community wallpapers


        • Ubuntu 10.10 Has a Brand New Wallpaper


        • Ubuntu 10.10 Nautilus Elementary PPA Updated, Comes With ClutterView, Embedded Terminal By Default


        • How far are we porting Ubuntu One to windows?


        • Ubuntu Pay is open for translations
          We are pleased to announce that Ubuntu Pay, the new payment service that allows you to buy commercial software (by means of the Ubuntu Software Centre) or subscriptions to services like Ubuntu One (in the near future), is ready to start accepting translations from the community.


        • Unity Netbook Interface Debuts for Ubuntu 10.10
          There are some aspects of Unity which I’m not crazy about. For one, it can feel pretty laggy when performing certain tasks, a problem that might be mitigated by providing better pronounced feedback to the user when clicking buttons.

          I also really wish there were a way to auto-hide the panel on the left of the screen, or even remove it altogether. Granted, the most valuable pixels on my netbook’s tiny 1024×600 display are the vertical ones, but horizontal real estate is not in unlimited supply either, and the space eaten up by the launchers can be problematic–especially since many websites these days are designed for a minimum width of 1024 pixels.

          In general, Unity has shaped up nicely, and offers netbook users an interface that’s both pretty and functional–especially on touchscreen devices. But like most worldly things, it has flaws, which we hope will be addressed for future Ubuntu releases.








  • Devices/Embedded

    • Novatel MiFi 2352 review
      This highly versatile 3G mobile broadband gadget puts a personal Wi-Fi hotspot in your pocket, but watch for scorch marks on your wallet…


    • Phones

      • Palm webOS 2.0 preview video hits the wilds
        First things first -- before you jump on past the break and mash play, mute your speakers. Mute. As in, off. Alrighty, now that you're prepared, you've got two minutes and 14 seconds of teasing just a click away, as some sure-to-be-yelled-at developer has leaked a sneak peak into the wide, mysterious world of webOS 2.0.


      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Palm Design VP Joins Nokia as VP of MeeGo UX


          Peter Skillman brings interface knowledge to burgeoning open source platform.

          Peter Skillman, design VP at Palm has defected to Nokia where he will lend his user interface knowledge to MeeGo. Skill worked directly on Palm's webOS, which while never a top-seller, has definitely earned high marks for its design presentation.




      • Android

        • Avaya Announces Android-Powered ‘Desktop Video Device’
          Earlier this morning Avaya unveiled a new lineup of business class products and service that include the Android-based Avaya Desktop Video Device. With a sizable 11.6” HD touch screen, HD camera, and dual-mic support, the device provides real-time enterprise communication and collaboration.






    • Tablets

      • Asus Linux-based Eee Tablet to cost €£190
        Asus plans to launch its long awaited Eee Tablet with an 8-inch LCD touchscreen in October for around $300 (€£190), though prices vary by market.

        [...]

        The Eee Tablet will run a Linux OS, but not Google's Android mobile operating system, which has long been the rumour. The Linux distribution on board was developed by Asustek, said Jerry Shen, CEO of Asustek, speaking with reporters after the conference.


      • 10 Latest Android-Powered Tablet PCs – Can Any of These Take on the iPad?
        Archos Internet Tablets - Can you say master of tablet PCs? Not quite done with the Archos 5, Archos 7, and Archos 8 released in September of last year and June this year, the French company last month unveiled its latest offerings in what is getting to be a long list of Archos Android-powered tablets. The five (yes, you read that right – 5) tablet devices all come with the Android 2.2 ‘Froyo’, accelerometers, touch screens in varying sizes, and cameras, to name just a few of their features. The Archos fab five take on the first five slots of this list.

        1. Archos 28 With a 2.8-inch resistive touch screen, this midget is apparently the smallest of the lot but there’s still a lot you can do with its 4G of storage, Wi-Fi capability, and a new Archos music application that supports a variety of video and music formats. Browsing on such a diminutive touch screen could still be inhibiting for a lot of people though but at a starting price of $99, it would still spark some interest especially for those who want to browse on the go but don’t want to shell out too much.








Free Software/Open Source



  • Web Browsers



  • CMS

    • Live from New York, it's finally Diaspora night! (Sort of.)
      The consumer-ready alpha is still a few weeks away, but today Diaspora released the developer code as promised. Be patient, though--looks like joindiaspora.com is a little slammed. Skip over to GitHub if you want the code.

      And even if you're not a developer, you can see the first screenshots. You might notice it looks familiar, if you're not one of the (handful of) people who quit Facebook back in the beginning of the summer.


    • Developer Release
      Today we are releasing the source code for Diaspora. This is now a community project and development is open to anyone with the technical expertise who shares the vision of a social network that puts users in control. From now on we will be working closely with the community on improving and solidifying Diaspora.

      We began the summer a list of technologies, and a few bold claims and the goal to make an intrinsically more private social network. The overwhelming response that we elicited made us realize that technology woudn’t be enough. Even the most powerful, granular set of dropdowns and checkboxes will never give people control over where their content is going, let alone give them ownership of their digital self.




  • Healthcare

    • Jesse Dylan, Bob Dylan's Son, Invigorates Open Source Health Care With Lybba
      Jesse Dylan's story is an amazing one. His son was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, an autoimmune inflammation of the intestines which causes chronic pain, vomiting, and other symptoms. Dylan found it to be extremely difficult to find reliable clinical data on Crohn's disease online or through any other medium, so he founded the Lybba project. The goal of Lybba is to create an online central repository of medical information, a "Wikipedia" for the health care industry. Lybba is a non-profit organization that is committed to transforming health care using the principles of the open source movement.





  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Should public administrations promote private products, services and companies?
      Thinkers lending on the side of software neutrality organized a Petition For The Removal Of Proprietary Software Advertising On Government Websites. Zealous members of this community actually went to spend some time to find examples of government websites promoting a product from a private company, such as the website of the French Ministry of Education. This is embarrassing.

      A well-known bias in procurement approach is to ask for a "BMW" or an "IBM" when we need a car or a computer. Open and competitive procurement means that buyers are giving a fair chance to everyone capable to offer a "solution". Brands have value, but why should a public administration pay for brand use (would this be a good use of taxpayer money)? Isn't a generic service satisfying enough if is does the same thing? Even when the product is free of charge, there is still a benefit for a vendor (brand owner) in terms of exposure, promotion, and implicit endorsement when their product is being advertised by a large and well-known organization. Should free of charge products, and others, be examined in light of alternatives before leaning toward one particular solution?




  • Government

    • Romania to develop national open source IT policy
      The government of Romania is considering to develop an IT strategy to increase public administration's use of open source, ICT Minister Valerian Vreme said Tuesday in a press conference.

      "We will work on a strategy on the use of open source software. There are other European countries, such as France and Germany, which extensively use this type of software", Vreme was quoted by Ziarul Financiar, a financial newspaper.

      Increasing the use of open source is one of several options to reduce government spending that were announced by Vreme on Tuesday.




  • Licensing

    • A licensing change for syslog-ng
      Over ten years ago, the development of syslog-ng started out as a purely GPL project, but required copyright transfer for contributed patches. Similar to other projects, for example MySQL, this aimed to keep the codebase under a single copyright, leaving the possibility open for future relicensing and proprietary versions.




  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Innovation the McKinsey way
      I don’t know why but this cynical example from Jacques Bughin (McKinsey & Company) on open innovation is not supposed to be fun:
      When recently Fiat has called its fans to give ideas and feedback on new Fiat 500, no less than 170,000 designs have been proposed graciously, together with 1,000 accessories. No IP, no wage, but there’s a feeling for contributing fans that their opinion matter,
      It is a concept from the news papers business, the letters to the editors. Free content – and from an editorial perspective “improvement of newspaper-reader relations”.




  • Standards/Consortia

    • The ODF Podcast 002: Jos van den Oever and Inge Wallin
      On September 3rd OASIS ODF Adoption TC member Rob Weir sat down KDE community members Jos van den Oever (left) and Inge Wallin (right), in Budapest at the OpenOffice.org Conference, to discuss a range of topics, including the design philosphy of KOffice, its use of ODF 1.2's new RDF metadata capabilities and the Nepomuk social semantic desktop project. You can listen to this interview in our second episode of the ODF Podcast.


    • Sorry you asked.






Leftovers

  • Displaylink does 2560 x 1600 video over USB3
    DISPLAYLINK HAD a beta version of their monitor over USB3 hardware running on the floor of IDF this year, and some other goodies too. Just because USB3 is on the horizon doesn't mean USB2 devices are standing still.


  • Stupid California Police Warn Parents of Pedobear, the 'Pedophile Mascot' (Updated)
    The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department, who can't be bothered to look up Pedobear's extensive Wikipedia entry, issued a very serious warning about Pedobear last week, as seen in the news report above.


  • E-voting system failures lead to call for public clearinghouse


  • Free climbing a tower higher than the Empire State Building


  • The Future Collision of 3D Printer Manufacturers
    However, the RepRaps won't lead to a mass revolution either, at least not yet. They are simply far to complex for most people to own and operate. Today's 3D print operators are much like the barnstorming pilots of the 20th century, who sit ready with wrenches to tune and repair their 3D printer. Yes, they're inexpensive, but our Mom would never be able to use them.


  • Science





  • Finance



    • Credit card writedowns increase in August
      The improvements in the unpaid credit card balances that banks gave up trying to collect stalled in August.


    • Man Who Wrecked the Economy Says Stimulus Didn't Work


    • Industrial production rises 0.2 percent in August
      Production at U.S. factories grew in August for the 12th time in 14 months, but at a slower rate than earlier this year as consumers spent cautiously.


    • Goldman Sachs Goes Republican
      The latest data from the Washington D.C.-based Center for Responsive Politics shows that Goldman has doled out roughly $914,000 to Republican candidates compared to about $776,000 to Democrats in this year's election cycle.

      "I think that Wall Street and other large donors have become not too much unlike the electorate at large – sort of willing to change," said Jennifer Duffy, senior editor of the Cook Political Report, one of the nation's leading non-partisan political handicappers.


    • 'Goldman Conspiracy' helps China defeat U.S.
      Goldman's "ultimate goal is hunting and killing China," warns Li Delin, the Chinese author of "The Goldman Sachs Conspiracy," a bestseller in China.

      Li is not as visually dramatic as Matt Taibbi's Rolling Stone picture of Goldman as a "great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money." But Li's Chinese readers love his "Goldman Sachs knows when to go for your neck" like a "Manchurian tiger."


    • 3 Women Claim Bias at Goldman
      Three former female employees at Goldman Sachs sued the investment bank on Wednesday, contending that the firm discriminates systematically against women.


    • Lehman sues to recover credit swap payments
      Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. is trying to recover more than $3 billion from banks, insurers and other financial services companies that it claims it lost when its bankruptcy filing in 2008 caused its priority payment status to be modified.


    • Gov't: Banks should share Fannie, Freddie costs
      The nation's largest banks have an obligation to pay some of the cost for bailing out mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because they sold them bad mortgages, a government regulator said Wednesday.

      Edward DeMarco, the acting director for the Federal Housing Finance Agency, said the banks this summer have refused to take back $11 billion in bad loans sold to the two government-controlled companies, in written testimony submitted for a House subcommittee hearing Wednesday. A third of those requests have been outstanding for at least three months.


    • EU proposes tougher rules for financial markets
      The European Union's executive on Wednesday proposed tougher curbs on financial market practices seen to have contributed to the global market crisis that drove the world's largest economies into recession.


    • Yes, tax cuts increase the deficit
      There are a couple of weird arguments that come up when you talk about tax cuts. One is that "tax cuts do not cause deficits. Spending does." This is pretty easy to test: If we cut taxes this year but leave spending unchanged, will anything happen to deficits next year? The answer, of course, is yes. They will go up. Fast.


    • Is Walking Away from Your Mortgage ‘Acceptable’?
      While there has been much debate about the ethics of walking away from a burdensome mortgage, the majority of Americans still believe such behavior is unacceptable, according to a report from Pew Research Center.

      On the other hand, more than a third (36 percent) say the practice is at least sometimes acceptable.


    • U.S. Adopts Tougher Stance on China
      The Obama administration is moving to take a harder stance on the Chinese government’s trade and currency policies, with anger toward China rising in both political parties ahead of midterm elections.

      Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, in separate hearings before House and Senate panels, plans to acknowledge on Thursday that China has kept the value of its currency, the renminbi, artificially low to help its exports and has largely failed to improve the situation as it promised to do in June.




  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • No Fishing


      Last week, we teamed up with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) to bring a lawsuit challenging the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) policy that allows agents to search, copy and detain travelers' laptops (and cell phones and cameras and other electronic devices) at the border without any reason to believe that the search will turn up evidence of wrongdoing. These tactics amount to electronic fishing expeditions into the constitutionally protected materials on an innocent traveler's electronic device.




  • Intellectual Monopolies



    • Click video: Apple wants to get in bed with newspaper business
      I filmed a video of my comments on today's San Jose Mercury News story about Apple wanting to get into the newspaper business by selling subscriptions on its iPad and other devices and keeping 30 percent of the subscription revenue and 40 percent of the advertising revenue.


    • Copyrights

      • Cdn Music Industry Assoc Chair: Format Shifting, User Generated Content Keep Piracy Sites Going
        Similarly, the user generated content provision allows Canadians to make non-commercial new works that incorporate other copyrighted works. This provision - dubbed by many as the YouTube provision for supporting popular online mashups - has nothing to do with piracy. It is remarkable to find the chair of a leading industry association now claiming that these provisions support websites that promote piracy. In fact, Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore had a better description for these kinds of claims - radically extreme.


      • Third Time's The Charm?
        After signing its intention to conform its copyright act to World Intellectual Property Organization standards 11 years ago, the Canadian government has introduced Bill C-32, the Copyright Modernization Act, to fulfill that mandate.

        But after the failure of two previous attempts — Bill C-60 and Bill C-61 both died on the vine due to unexpected election calls — some are warning the same fate could befall the CMA, especially since federal conservatives remain in charge and could be toppled by the opposition at any time.

        Many private and public Canadian music industry interests wouldn't mind seeing the CMA — in its present form — defeated, maintaining that the proposed copyright reform falls far short of assisting the very creators the bill is designed to protect.


      • ACTA

        • Another reason for ACTA caution: U.S. rightsholders as government pawns
          Last Sunday, Clifford Levy in the New York Times published a disturbing and eye-opening account of selective crackdowns by the Russian government against alleged pirates of Microsoft products who also happened to be vocal environmental activists. The day after the story’s publication, Microsoft changed its policy, stating (as reported again by Mr. Levy) that it will now “provid[e] a blanket software license to advocacy groups and media outlets,” so that there will be no question about whether certain computers are running licensed software or not. Though they will “be automatically covered by it, without having to apply,” I’m wondering what exactly will qualify as an “advocacy group” or “media outlet,” and how and when those determinations will be made — e.g., before, or after, a seizure has occurred?












Clip of the Day



Ruby on Rails vs PHP - Commercial #6 of 9



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Credit: TinyOgg

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