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Links 11/5/2011: Linux 2.6.39 is Coming, Skypocalypse Analyses





GNOME bluefish

Contents





GNU/Linux



  • Audiocasts/Shows





  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.39 (Part 4) - Drivers
      The kernel now supports USB 3.0 hubs, the latest Radeon graphics cards and Intel's previously problematic GMA500 graphics. Other new additions include drivers for notebooks by ASUS and Samsung, and for audio and multimedia hardware from various other vendors.

      Linus Torvalds released the seventh pre-release of Linux 2.6.39 on Monday night. He wrote: "So things have been pretty quiet, and unless something major comes up I believe that this will be the last -rc". If Torvalds sticks to his usual work patterns, then 2.6.39 could well be released early next week.


    • Linux 2.6.39 Kernel Is Imminent
      "So things have been pretty quiet, and unless something major comes up I believe that this will be the last -rc," began Linus Torvalds in announcing the release of the Linux 2.6.39-rc7 kernel.

      [...]

      Bit more information on LKML.org. Overall the 2.6.39 kernel is turning out to be a great release so far, sans the outstanding power regressions.


    • Linux 2.6.39 nears completion


    • Optimus Fun Merged For Linux 2.6.40 Kernel
      In continuation of the recent topic about NVIDIA Optimus coming unofficially to Linux, Red Hat's David Airlie has just pushed several patches into drm-next that deal with Optimus. These patches will be part of the DRM pull request to then go into the Linux 2.6.40 kernel once its merge window opens.


    • Linux, History, Contributors and Thanks
      One of first things we need to have clear here, is what we are calling Linux is it the GNU/Linux or the just the Linux Kernel. Well usually when people talk about Linux they are referring to GNU/Linux, but what is the difference?


    • Graphics Stack

      • Wayland, X.Org For Ubuntu's Future
        I had some other Ubuntu testing matters to tend to, but the notes can be found on this page.

        Phoronix readers should already be very familiar with Wayland due to all the articles I've written on the topic and even being the first to break the story about Wayland way back in 2008. With that said, here's the interesting bits from the notes:






  • Applications



    • Proprietary



      • Microsoft deal will boost open Skype alternatives
        When rumors began circulating that Facebook was eyeing Skype for potential purchase, more than a few observers began to get nervous.

        Now that Microsoft has bought the VoIP leader, the shock in many circles is palpable. Widely viewed as primarily a defensive move, the acquisition has many wondering how Microsoft will integrate the service with offerings of its own -- most notably Windows Live Messenger -- not to mention how it will affect the 170 million or so Skype users around the globe.


      • Open Source alternatives for Skype


        So with Skype — already proprietary software, already dubious — probably going to Microsoft (as I read via Simon Phipps to the Grauniad and Johan Thelins) there’s an extra impetus to find something else.


      • Microsoft's Skype acquisition may impact Linux users
        After a week of rumors about Skype being heavily courted by buyers such as Google and Facebook, it looks like the winning bidder may be Microsoft.

        According to a story the Wall Street Journal broke late Monday evening (and later confirmed early Tuesday morning), Microsoft has closed a nearly $8 billion deal for the popular voice-over-IP company.

        (In the video below, Keith Shaw talks with CIO.com's Shane O'Neill about Microsoft's $8.5 billion offer to buy Skype, and what it means for Microsoft's consumer and enterprise voice offerings.)


      • Microsoft’s Ballmer $7.7-Billion Skype Blunder
        I’m bemused to see that Microsoft’s Grand Poobah Steve Ballmer has blundered yet again. This time, instead of Vista, the operating system that never should have seem the light of day, or Windows Phone 7, the far too little, too late, attempt to play in mobile devices, he’s wasted a cool $8.5-billion (Billion!) on Skype.

        Seriously? Ballmer just burned more money than Oracle did on buying Sun for a video-conferencing and Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) company? Come on! The only thing that Skype has over any of the dozens of other video-conferencing and VoIP companies out there is brand recognition and Skype’s brand is not worth $850-million much less $8.5-billion.


      • What Does Microsoft Buying Skype Mean For Linux?
        After speculations that Facebook is going after Skype, it has turned out that Microsoft too was interested. In fact, today, we heard that Microsoft has bought Skype for $ 8.5 billion.

        One thing that I wondered when I heard this new is what will happen to Skype on Linux. Everyone who has used the Skype client on Linux knows that it is not even anywhere near the level of the Windows and Mac client. The Linux client of Skype is plagued with problems of video chat, voice chat etc. And to top it off, there is the lack of updates.


      • Skype purchase highlights a weakness in "free enough" philosophy


        If you're a Linux and heavy Skype user, the announcement that Microsoft is purchasing Skype no doubt sent shivers down your spine. You can relax, though: Steve Ballmer says everything will be OK. Reassuring, right?

        Ballmer has assured us that Microsoft will continue to provide Skype for "operating systems and devices not sold by Microsoft," though I'm not sure that explicitly includes Linux. Let's assume for a moment that it does include Linux, though — this is an obvious gap for free software nonetheless.


      • Opera — well worth a look
        The Opera Internet browser goes way on back to 1994 but has struggled for fans over the years.

        That’s a shame, too, as Opera is an incredibly useful Internet suite that — once configured — can do away with a heck of a lot of applications that a good number of users access daily.


      • LibreOffice 3.4 Will Have Native Support for Ubuntu Global Menu
        The Document Foundation and LibreOffice developers have been keeping quite busy. The foundation is busying itself getting ready for the LibreOffice Conference in Paris this fall, organizing speakers, accepting papers, and other thankless tasks while developers are coding full steam ahead.

        Version 3.4 will come with several new features besides its usual bug fixes and performance enhancements. For example, Writer will soon support color and line styles in columns and footers. Greek characters mode will be available for bullet lists too.

        Calc will soon be able to support multiple subtotals for a given subset of number ranges on a single sheet. A complete rewrite of the drawing layer will improve "precision on re-positioning and re-sizing of drawing objects." Impress with sport improved HTML export with images.


      • Is Netflix Coming To Linux?
        Netflix is still not available on Linux platform. One of the reasons being, Netflix says that providers demand strong DRM (digital restriction management) which makes it hard to make content available under Linux.

        This is also one of the reasons Netflix is not available on Android. I think its time for Netflix to follow Apple and force providers to offer content without DRM.




    • Instructionals/Technical



    • Games





  • Desktop Environments

    • Fedora and Gnome 3, Ubuntu and Unity, will openSUSE and KDE benefit?
      Right now it seems like some of the top Linux distributions such as Fedora and Ubuntu are heading down a slippery slope.

      Fedora 15 will be based on Gnome 3, it is still early days for the Gnome 3 project and over time I am confident it will get better but many (including myself) feel its not ready for use.


    • Are Usability Studies Hurting the Free Desktop?
      Few FOSS projects are as concerned with usability as GNOME and Ubuntu. For GNOME, the Sun usability study proved a turning point, especially when its lessons were codified and expanded into the GNOME Human Interface Guidelines.


    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Qt5 .. KDE5?
        As most of those who read my blog have already heard, Qt5 is on its way. The target is 2012 and the focus is QtQuick where there is a high degree of separation between display and data and things are rendered using a hardware accelerated (read: OpenGL) scene graph. This is very much in line with where we are heading with Plasma as well. Exciting times!


      • Muon – KDE Package Manager and Software Center
        During the UDS sessions yesterday about Kubuntu Defaults there was an interesting demo regarding a package manager and software center called Muon.

        [...]

        I know I have left out TONs of features from this but, I wanted to show off something that is bringing Kubuntu forward in the way of assisting users.


      • Amarok 2.4.1 adds new "Preview" feature
        Code-named "Resolution", Amarok 2.4.1 features the addition of a new "Preview" feature for the Organize Collection dialog, as well as support for remote NFS & SMB/CIFS collections. Users can now change text alignment in the lyrics applet and string filtering has been added to the albums applet.




    • GNOME Desktop





  • Distributions

    • 50 Top Linux Distributions
      The list is organized into several different categories. The "major" distributions come first, followed by distros based on Ubuntu, Debian, Red/Hat Fedora, Mandriva, Slackware, Arch and Gentoo. Next come some distros that are optimized for cloud computing, some very lightweight distributions, some that are designed to look as much like Windows as possible and finally, some notable distros that didn't seem to fit into any other category. Of course, some distributions could fit into more than one category, but we tried to place them where they seemed to fit most naturally.


    • CTK Arch: Fast and Furious
      CTK Arch is very interesting distro from my perspective. It is well balanced between graphical and CLI sides of Linux. Maybe I am little bit too unexperienced for it yet, but still can do quite a lot there. I will not recommend CTK Arch for beginners. You need to be prepared to take some of challenges. But once you have some basic knowledge, then digging within CTK Arch will give you unrivalled pleasure of control over system! I should probably look into CTK Arch (or other Arch-based distros) later, when have more Linux experience myself.


    • On technical support, and other things
      So there seems to have been some discussion, lately, about this blog post by Jeff Hoogland on his experience asking a question in #fedora.

      I noticed that no-one has actually posted the discussion, yet, so I will: you can find the full log from Jeff’s initial question to when he leaves the channel at the end of this post. Note: my log is from bip and prints nicknames in an ugly and unreadable way so I went through and fixed those by hand, any errors in nicknames are my mistake, but I did not alter the text at all.


    • Red Hat Family



      • Fedora

        • Awesomeness!


          There have been a lot of people complaining about the Fedora community (Not planning to name any) and the way it works. I am not going to say that everything they say is false or made up, its their opinion and everyone should have one. Well from my opinion the Fedora community is just plain Awehellovcarfun (Yes I made a new word just to prove my point [Awesome + helping + loving + caring + fun]) Its like a fun family where there are all kinds of people, sure there might be some weird people around, but thats what a family is made up of.


        • Freeing up a Fedora Board seat
          As you can see from the Fedora Board History, I have held Elected Seat #5 since July 2008, and while I am rather proud of what we have accomplished during my tenure on the Fedora Board, I do not feel that it is healthy for a community to be run by the same people forever and ever. Accordingly, I will not be seeking re-election to the Fedora Board at this time. (I reserve the right to run in a future election, but I have no immediate plans to do so.)


        • Will Fedora Ever Learn?
          People can argue that Red Hat has nothing to with how Fedora’s ran. I was also told it’s distinctly outside of Red Hat. Then there’s the statement that the Fedora Unity Project runs the ‘Official’ Fedora Forums and the IRC channel(s), which Red Hat and Fedora have no control over. That’s all fine on paper, fact of the matter is Red Hat owns the Fedora trademark (which in my opinion means it owns the rights and responsibilities to Fedora, period), is its biggest sponsor, and it’s largest contributor. On top of that you have paid Red Hat employees conducting business for Red Hat and Fedora in the various Fedora IRC channels. If all of that wasn’t enough, the current Fedora Project Leader himself, Jared Smith, and every other project leader before him, has been an employee of Red Hat.






    • Debian Family



      • Derivatives



        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • What’s happening in Edubuntu for Oneiric?
            Today we had a session at the Ubuntu Developer Summit at Budapest covering the work in Edubuntu for the next release cycle. Not all of the items are assigned to someone yet (especially with the documentation), so if you’d like to get involved, please give us a ping on IRC or mailing list.


          • Shuttleworth bid to sell copyright policy
            He made the admission during his keynote to the Ubuntu Developers' Summit which is taking place in Budapest this week.

            The experienced media operator that he is, Shuttleworth ensured that nobody would refer to this aspect of his speech by throwing out a figure of 200 million as being the number of users he aims for in four years - growth of nearly 1700 per cent, given that Ubuntu now has around 12 million users.

            That number has been spouted over and over again in the tech media and his statements on copyright assignment have been totally ignored. Which I think is what he intended - copyright assignment is a ticklish issue from which he has shied away.


          • 10 Useful Application Indicators for Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal
            Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal is probably the most criticized may be even a tad too under rated Ubuntu release ever. But as we had noted in our previous Ubuntu 11.04 review, it doesn't feel that bad for everyone anyway. Application Indicators are good way to extend the functionality of brand new Ubuntu 11.04 and here are some of the most useful among them.


          • Flavours and Variants

            • LinuxMint11 "Katya" RC is released! | With Screenchots Tour
              With the release of Ubuntu 11.04, at the end of April, the countdown for Linux Mint new release had begun. As Lefebvre, the founder and developer of Linux Mint, announced the release candidate Katya for version 11 of Linux Mint, the moment of discovery is here.


            • Kubuntu 11.04
              The release of Ubuntu 11.04 has garnered an enormous amount of attention, mostly due to the inclusion of Unity as its default desktop environment. But, as with any new version of Ubuntu, there are alternatives available and one of the most prominent is Kubuntu. Kubuntu 11.04 is a KDE-based distro that might work well as a substitute for those who are uncomfortable with Ubuntu’s Unity.

              [...]

              Rating: 4/5










    • Devices/Embedded

      • SOURCE: Tilera Corporation
        Tilera€® Corporation, the leader in manycore general purpose microprocessors, today announced the addition of Wind River support for their TILEPro and TILEGx processors. Such support enables Tilera customers to utilize state-of-the-art commercial Wind River Linux and Wind River Workbench tools and enables easy migration of legacy designs to Tilera's scalable platform.








Free Software/Open Source



  • Verizon Recognized for Technological Achievements and Innovation in Use of Open Source and Middleware Solutions
    Verizon has won in the Superior Alternatives category of the 2011 Red Hat and JBoss Innovation Awards competition. The award, announced during the Red Hat Summit and JBoss World on May 6 in Boston, recognizes Verizon for "the most successful migration from proprietary solutions to open source alternatives."

    Specifically, Verizon won the award for the company's implementation of a new standards-based business process-management system for the company's Integrated Management Platform for Advanced Communications Technologies automated platform, which monitors, troubleshoots and resolves network service interruptions.


  • Web Browsers



    • Mozilla

      • don't let them* re-define open


        If you can substitute the word "participatory" for the word "open" and still be telling the truth, then you're using "open" properly. If you cannot, then you are not.


      • Mozilla Aurora - There will be blood - and fun


        Whether Aurora is a pointer in the right direction, only time will tell. It could turn out to be a useless gimmick, a copycat feature with no purpose at all. On the other hand, it could become a powerful tool for developers and web designers. Increased exposure should guarantee fewer surprises, better compatibility and smoother transitions to new versions. This is particularly important for Firefox addon developers, who now must adapt to the new quick release cycle.

        Media hypes aside, I do believe Aurora has its place in the software testing tier. It's a nice compromise between wider-use betas and wild nightlies, allowing more people to conduct checks and look for bugs without getting scarred by the experience. Overall, in the long run, such practice will draw in more people toward Firefox, or at the very least, make major releases easier and less painful, which is always a good thing.

        Aurora will always be a geek tool, but one with good potential of breeding a new generation of Firefox hardcore fans, obsessed with the thrill of living on the edge, the bleeding edge, where heroes are made or broken. Or at the very least, software is tested.


      • Mozilla Removes User Limit From Firefox 5 Beta
        Mozilla also revealed that there are 417,000 Firefox beta users in total, all of which will be eligible to sign up for the beta channel. If you are not part of the beta program yet, you can sign up for Firefox 5 Beta once it becomes available as a final build on May 17 here.






  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • 7 Nifty Tricks to Get the Most out of LibreOffice Writer
      Since the death of OpenOffice and the release of Ubuntu 11.04, LibreOffice has gained a lot of popularity in such a short amount of time. Though there is not much of a difference between LibreOffice Writer and its Oracle-owned predecessor, there are some tricks that can help you get the most out of it. Here's a look at 7 such tricks.




  • Licensing



  • Openness/Sharing

    • First day at Libre Graphics Meeting
      So here I'm sitting at my desk at my "Cosy Studio" in the Therese Casgrain student housing facility/hotel calles Les Studios Hotel in Montreal. Too tired to do anything but nibble cherry tomatoes and drink a beer, after the first day at the Libre Graphics Meeting, 2011 edition.

      Perhaps slightly less busy than last year, and I'm missing a lot of familiar faces, but the quality of the talks has been outstanding so far. I'm working on experimentally getting colord up and running on my OpenSUSE laptop so I can check whether I can generate Qt bindings for the dbus interface to experiment with integration in Krita.

      If the number of questions people want to ask after a presentation is a measure of success, then Lukas' Krita presentation was a huge success. By that metric, but also by any other metric was a huge success indeed! Lukas showed off all the new stuff we've created since LGM 2010 -- and was followed by Animtim giving a workshop on creating a comic in Krita. The audience was completely silent as he used Krita's mirroring feature, sketch brush, vector layers, hatching brush and color modes to quickly create the first panel for a comic. (But admittedly, I came away with notes on three points where Krita must improve, because Krita made Animtim fumble at times.)




  • Standards/Consortia

    • PJ, Goodbye and Good Luck
      There was a time when daggers were drawn on Linux and its demise was plotted in dark detail. At that hour stepped out a shieldmaiden with a blog, and that blog was Groklaw. Eight years later, we hear the news that Groklaw will cease new postings after May 16th. My sadness in hearing this news is more than equaled by my gratitude to PJ and her community of researchers and commentators, for their enormous effort and unparalleled achievement over these years. The world is a better place because of PJ. Who can hope to say better?








Clip of the Day



Introducing Music Beta by Google



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Credit: TinyOgg

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