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Links 14/10/2010: LSE GNU/Linux On Line, Linux Tablets Domination Expected



GNOME bluefish

Contents





GNU/Linux



  • Desktop

    • Top 5 Mistakes Made by Linux First-Timers
      1. Expecting Windows

      Humans are creatures of habit, so after years of using Windows--or Mac, if that's the case--it's hard not to expect what you're used to every time you use a computer.

      Ubuntu and recent Linux distributions have incorporated many user-friendliness features from their Windows and Mac competitors in recent years, so there is actually going to be quite a bit of similarity these days--much more than there used to be. When it comes right down to it, though, even consumer-ready Maverick Meerkat isn't Windows, and you shouldn't expect it to be.

      This is not--I repeat, NOT--to say that things are harder. Linux is not more difficult to use, especially if you're on a modern distro like Ubuntu. It is, however, different. It might take you a little bit of time to get used to its slightly different way of doing things. Don't let that put you off--a small learning curve will gain you a lifetime of advantages.




  • Server

    • Faulty Reasoning
      Many banks use UNIX or GNU/Linux for servers because they want performance and reliability. Why do these guys settle for less? I would guess they have been working on false assumptions for a while to get so locked-in.


    • LSE Switchover to GNU/Linux Imminent
      Talk about price/performance. The software they will be using cost so little, the LSE bought the company and will be selling the product. They expect to get 8 transactions to the millisecond.






  • Kernel Space



    • Graphics Stack

      • Notebook Hybrid Graphics On Linux Still Sucks
        For those of you that have been wondering about the state of hybrid graphics support for notebooks running Linux, sadly the situation has yet to improve, which still puts it in shambles.






  • Applications



  • Desktop Environments



    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Marble: configurable routing profiles
        The thing that needs improvement is bicycle routing. I mean in general it works, but when using it in practice it matters a lot (a) what bike you use and (b) what kind of driver you are. So it's nonsense to have a single bicycle routing profile. I want:

        * MTB offroad * MTB shortest route * racing using the shortest route (traffic doesn't matter) * racing using the "nicest" route (cycleways, not too much traffic) * family (cycleways only if possible)




    • GNOME Desktop

      • On GNOME Shell


        So I started using the GNOME Desktop last millennium, and over the last more than a decade have overall been quite impressed with the level of polish. It made a nice change in some ways from Enlightenment, and CDE, which were my previous desktop environments, and I coul live with the RAM footprint (after all, enlightenment is using 1.3GB of RAM now).

        The last few years in particular have seen a growing trend to be more (but not quite) Mac-like, with lots of advanced features being buried over time, and over-simplification (for example, with sound controls). These are minor frustrations, but they can typically be worked around without much hassle and the experience remains overall quite good on GNOME 2.0. Things that used to be a hassle – like notifications, events, etc. and lot of plumbing have been worked out nicely by now. I love the work David Zeuthen and co. have done in particular, but many others have done good things.

        [...]

        For now, my advice is to run “desktop-effects” and switch back to regular panels...


      • GNOME Commit-Digest: Issue 105


        This week… 1988 commits, in 187 projects, by 228 happy hackers (and 349 were translation commits).






  • Distributions

    • Cloudera Announces Major Update to Cloudera's Distribution for Hadoop Beta 3
      Cloudera, a leading provider of Hadoop-based data management software and services, today announced its final major update to Cloudera's Distribution for Hadoop version 3 beta release. Cloudera's Distribution for Hadoop (CDH) is the most comprehensive Hadoop-based data management platform available, comprised of an integrated set of the eleven leading Hadoop projects, all available under an Apache license.


    • Cloudera and NTT DATA Partner to Accelerate Hadoop Adoption in APAC Region


    • Why Major Non-Ubuntu Distributions Need to Step up their Game
      Listening to a review of the new Ubuntu release I could not help but notice the amount of hype Shuttleworth’s little distribution can generate. Can you feel it? The buzz is orders of magnitude greater than with any new major distro release. I’ve criticized Ubuntu in the past, but there is no denying that Ubuntu is a milestone in desktop Linux and has done a great deal of good by making Linux adoption easier for the masses.

      I decided to once again examine the Distrowatch distribution rankings. While these are just a very rough estimates based on site analytics, they give us a relatively good picture of the current state in GNU/Linux land. In this article I would like to highlight a few distributions that have, to put it bluntly, left me completely confused as to where the projects are heading.


    • Debian Family

      • About ZFS in Squeeze


        The bad news is that you won’t be able to use ZFS as your root filesystem in Debian Squeeze with the official installer. The blocker is missing support in GNU Parted. Unfortunately the patch I sent in August wasn’t integrated in time for the freeze (and still isn’t, but there’s no hurry now, it’ll hopefully be there for Wheezy).


      • The Bizarre Cathedral - 84


      • Canonical/Ubuntu



        • 10 Slick Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Wallpapers
          Ubuntu 10.10 final is released and we already had a massive post describing the different customizations possible with Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. Now it's time for some wallpapers. Here is a quick collection of wallpapers for Ubuntu 10.10, mostly branded ones.


        • Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat 10.10 Review
          By far the most popular Linux distribution ever, Ubuntu has been the forerunner in terms of development and use aimed at new linux users coming from Windows or Mac. This is “the” distro when new Linux users want to experiment and eventually migrate from Windows to the free alternative; Linux.


        • Ubuntu Tweak 0.6 Mockup Looks Impressive, Work On The New UI Already Started
          Ubuntu Tweak is every newbie Ubuntu user's closest companion and we have already seen how Ubuntu Tweak is slowly evolving into one among the must have installation candidates for Ubuntu in our Ubuntu Tweak review. And with the new mockup UI, the next phase of development for Ubuntu Tweak has only started.


        • Askubuntu.com- Get help with your Ubuntu Problems
          Askubuntu.com- Get help with your Ubuntu Problems


        • Flavours and Variants

          • Kubuntu and package managers
            KPK arrives in Kubuntu 10.10 dressed for success. With an application-centric interface, new features, tools, and improvements, we finally have a default package manager to be proud of. I sure am floored by it.


          • Kubuntu 10.10
            Summary: Kubuntu 10.10 sets a new standard for this distro; it’s almost (but not quite) as polished as Ubuntu itself.

            Rating: 4/5










  • Devices/Embedded

    • SODIMM-sized module uses Freescale's i.MX28
      Direct Insight announced a SODIMM-sized computer-on-module (COM) based on Freescale's ARM9-based i.MX28 system-on-chip. The 455MHz, 2.7 x 1.0-inch Triton-TX28 module offers extensive I/O, including Ethernet and USB 2.0 On-The-Go and host, plus an available "StarterKit-5" baseboard with a Linux board support package, says the company.


    • Phones

      • Palm Pre 2: HP's first WebOS smartphone?
        French carrier SFR briefly advertised a "Palm Pre 2" on its website, raising speculation that the Pre 2 is the WebOS-running device HP has slated for early 2011. The Palm Pre 2 has a faster 1GHz processor, improved battery life, faster boot time, and a WebOS 2.0 release that offers push integration, according to the advertisement.


      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo Is Starting To Be Usable On The Nokia N900
          The Nokia N900 mobile-phone was released nearly one year ago with the Linux-based Maemo 5 operating system, but earlier this year is when Nokia and Intel decided to combine their Linux-based Maemo and Moblin operating systems, respectively, to form MeeGo. The MeeGo Linux distribution is now running well on Intel Atom netbooks and other devices and there is is even MeeGo IVI for your car and a MeeGo handset preview. However, support for the N900 within MeeGo hasn't been up to speed compared to the level of Maemo support or that of other devices playing well with MeeGo. The support though is slowly but surely catching up for the Nokia N900.


        • Nokia introduces the Qt roadmap
          Better modularisation is also on the agenda. For example, as the QtWebkit component for rendering HTML is seeing rapid enhancement, the developers want to be able to easily update that component without updating the entire framework. Another focus of the development work is the full integration of gestures and tactile feedback into the Qt framework.




      • Android

        • First look at Acer Aspire One D255 with Android


          The Android implementation on Acer's recently launched dual-boot netbooks feels more like a technology preview than a usable product. It is buggy and inextensible, with no possibility to install extra applications from the Android Market or any other repository. As such, it is limited to basic tasks, such as Internet browsing, web interaction, image viewing and media playback. It's hard to say who the product is intended for - the Windows crowd will take one quick look and never boot into it again, while any Linux geek will surely prefer a proper Linux distribution or one of the netbook-oriented variants. Perhaps the only positive point is that by providing a Linux-based alternative on its netbooks, Acer was forced to build these computers from Linux-friendly hardware components, so there are no unwelcome surprises when it comes to hardware support.


        • Sony Announces World’s First Google TV
          Sony just made the first actual Google TV official with their new 46-inch GT1 Sony Internet TV. Billed as the first television with the ability to enjoy apps, watch HDTV, and browse the internet on one device, it runs $1,399 and comes with an RF QWERTY keypad remote with integrated optical mouse.


        • Sony offers Google TV on four HDTVs, one Blu-Ray player
          Sony unveiled four Sony Internet TVs and an Internet TV Blu-Ray Disc Player, all running Android-based Google TV software. Employing an Intel Atom-based CE4100 SoC, the new Internet TV devices range from 24-inch to 46-inch HDTVs, ship with a QWERTY-enabled remote, and offer Wi-Fi, HDMI, and USB connectivity.


        • Android key to HTC, Motorola, and Samsung success, says iSuppli
          Android is behind the second-quarter successes of HTC, Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, reports iSuppli. Meanwhile, global smartphone sales during the quarter reached 60.4 million units, up from 55.8 million units during the first quarter, representing a growth of 8.2 percent, says the research firm.


        • The Android opportunity is an open source challenge






    • Sub-notebooks

      • Acer netbook happily dual-boots Android and Windows 7
        Acer announced a dual-boot Windows 7/Android netbook, featuring Intel's dual-core Atom D550 or single-core Atom N450 processors. The Acer Aspire One Happy offers a 10.1-inch, WSVGA display, up to 2GB of memory, a 250GB hard disk drive (HDD), plus 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth, Ethernet, three USB ports, and eight hours of battery life, says the company.




    • Tablets

      • Gene Munster: Android-Based Tablets Will Be More Popular Than Apple's iPad
        I think it will play very much like the iPhone played out. I think for the first year or so, it's going to be advantage, Apple. But I think that as more of the Android tables come out and get optimized, you're going to see some very stiff competition.

        As a category, the tablet is undeniably going to be the winning category in mobile computing in the next decade, but as far as the market share win, ultimately we think that Apple won't have the majority of the market share. It will probably be with Android-based tablets.

        [...]

        Microsoft is coming from a standing start. Unfortunately, for Microsoft, they've got a lot of work to do if they want to be relevant.


      • Android tablets will surpass Apple's iPad, analyst projects
        Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has projected that Android is likely to surpass Apple in a fast-growing tablet market that he says is "fundamentally shaking" the PC industry. The battle between Android tablets and Apple's iPad will be close, said Munster on BusinessInsider, with the iPad coming up big in a place where you'd least expect it -- the enterprise.


      • Android Tablets – a developer’s view
        While Android 3.0 will bring a lot of nifty improvements, for users as well as developers, tablets running earlier versions of the operating system will be perfectly capable devices in their own right. And when we do get 3.0, we’ll be lusting after 3.1 and 4.0 instead – and the circle begins anew…


      • ZTE joins tablet PC bandwagon with Android offering
        ZTE Corp, China's No.2 telecommunications equipment maker, on Tuesday launched its first tablet PC, the latest entrant to a market that has received a new lease on life with Apple Inc's iPad launch.


      • Chinese handset giant spins Android tablet








Free Software/Open Source



Leftovers

  • Inertia, a force to be reckoned with.
    You may have noticed the percentage figure I used before when I said that the computing world is more than ninety percent run on inertia. I chose that figure for a particular reason. Not only is a certain software platform installed on more than ninety percent of computers it is also a fact that more than ninety percent of the users of this platform use it purely because it comes preloaded and not because they choose to use it. They have no real understanding of this operating system and to them a computer is no different to a television or toaster. Much to the delight of spam, virus and botnet maintainers.




  • Finance



  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Jack Black, America Ferrera Take on "Liars for Hire" in New HCAN Video
      Health insurance industry front groups and their allies are flooding the airwaves with political ads presenting false information about health reform and its supporters, so Health Care for America Now (HCAN) is using laughter to fight back. HCAN, the coalition that led the successful fight for health reform, collaborated with celebrated actors Jack Black and America Ferrera to create a hilarious video lampooning corporate liars for hire—front groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Crossroads and 60 Plus Association. These kinds of groups are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on political propaganda to mislead voters in advance of the November election. On the most important questions facing the country's future—the economy, energy, financial reform and health care—the anti-progressive myth-making machine is going at full tilt, fueled by mountains of campaign cash from unidentified sources.


    • Jack Black Takes on Liars for Hire
      The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the health insurance industry and a slew of new front groups that refuse to reveal their funding sources (like the 60 Plus Association and Karl Rove's American Crossroads), have been pouring millions of dollars into advertising campaigns that present false information about health reform, financial reform and the economy.


    • How to brand a disease -- and sell a cure
      If you want to understand the way prescription drugs are marketed today, have a look at the 1928 book, "Propaganda," by Edward Bernays, the father of public relations in America.

      For Bernays, the public relations business was less about selling things than about creating the conditions for things to sell themselves. When Bernays was working as a salesman for Mozart pianos, for example, he did not simply place advertisements for pianos in newspapers. That would have been too obvious.

      Instead, Bernays persuaded reporters to write about a new trend: Sophisticated people were putting aside a special room in the home for playing music. Once a person had a music room, Bernays believed, he would naturally think of buying a piano. As Bernays wrote, "It will come to him as his own idea."

      Just as Bernays sold pianos by selling the music room, pharmaceutical marketers now sell drugs by selling the diseases that they treat. The buzzword is "disease branding."

      To brand a disease is to shape its public perception in order to make it more palatable to potential patients. Panic disorder, reflux disease, erectile dysfunction, restless legs syndrome, bipolar disorder, overactive bladder, ADHD, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, even clinical depression: All these conditions were once regarded as rare until a marketing campaign transformed the brand.




  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Judge Allows Trial of CFAA Claim Against Wiseguys
      While noting that it took seriously the concerns raised by EFF and others in an amicus brief, a federal judge in New Jersey in the case of U.S. v. Lowson yesterday decided to delay a decision on the thorny question of whether the government can use the Ticketmaster website's terms of use to smack ticket resellers with criminal charges. The Court allowed a federal indictment under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) of online ticket vendors to go to trial in order to develop a more complete factual record.



    • Mohammad Reza Shajarian: Protest Through Poetry


    • Opinions Vary Over Billboard
      A new billboard on I-70B between Grand Junction and Clifton is creating quite a stir.

      It is a political cartoon of President Barack Obama. The billboard is being paid for by a local man who wants to remain anonymous. But, the artist he hired met with KJCT News 8 to talk about his work.




  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • New Democrats lead way on net neutrality
      A new report by the SaveOurNet coalition gives the New Democrats top marks for its political leadership on net neutrality. The coalition – comprised of citizens, businesses, and public interest groups – advocates for clear rules on Net Neutrality and the protection of the Internet's level playing field.




  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • What is Piracy, Really?
      Piracy is stealing, piracy is a crime, piracy is (fill in the blank). We've all heard what piracy is as per RIAA, MPAA among others. But what really is piracy from a consumer point of view?


    • Copyrights

      • Locking Out Lawful Users
        Michael Geist’s edited collection of essays on copyright reform is being released on October 14th, and you are welcome to attend its launch. This exciting and timely publication, entitled ‘From “Radical Extremism” to “Balanced Copyright”: Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda’, contains twenty chapters written by copyright scholars from across Canada. It is to Geist’s credit that he was able to pull this book together on a tight timeline over the summer so that the views expressed therein can have a bearing on the reform process as it continues to unfold. Of course, the speed of this process also reflects a keen sense amongst Canadian copyright scholars that something important needs to be said (and heard) sooner rather than later.

        I was honoured to be included as a contributor, and to have this opportunity to add my voice to the chorus of voices expressing concern about latest copyright reform bill, Bill C-32 (the Copyright Modernization Act. My contribution, ‘Locking Out Lawful Users’, explores the proposed fair dealing and other user exceptions, both in their own right and in relation to the proposed anti-circumvention provisions.


      • Launch: From "Radical Extremism" to" Balanced Copyright": Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda
        This book responds to the need for non-partisan, informed analysis of Bill C-32. An exceptional group of Canadian scholars from coast-to-coast have come together to assess Canada’s plans for copyright reform and the digital agenda in this timely volume that features context for the reforms, analysis of its impact on technology, business, education, and creators, as well as a look ahead to future copyright and digital issues.


      • Why the CBC banned Creative Commons music from its shows
        Not a lot of happy Canadians over on the comments page for CBC Radio's program Spark. The producers for the radio show, blog, and podcast on technology issues have disclosed that the program won't be using Creative Commons licensed materials any more.


      • ACTA











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