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Links 21/5/2011: Desktop Linux Does Well, Fedora 15 Comes Shortly, Android on TVs

GNOME bluefish



  • Should Microsoft Be Losing Sleep Over Chrome OS?
    Over at ZDNet, in fact, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols went so far as to suggest that Google's new devices are "a Windows killer," and his sentiment has been widely echoed throughout the blogosphere.

  • Desktop Linux: the final frontier
    Depending on who you talk to, 40 to 75 per cent of the world’s web servers are Linux-based. That is some serious market penetration. But even in organisations running Linux on their servers the operating system is on just 20 per cent of desktops.

    Despite its success in the back office, Linux has not yet made such an impact on the desktop. Does it matter?

    Unsurprisingly, Chris Kenyon, Canonical’s vice-president of OEM services, thinks it does. And, he argues, in the form of Ubuntu at least Linux is making it on the desktop – “just in different locales and at different speeds”.

  • Wyse announces affordable Linux-based thin client for cloud deployments

  • Linux thin client taps new Marvell ARM SoC
    Wyse Technology announced a Linux thin client based on Marvell's new 1GHz PXA510 system-on-chip (SoC), with support for Citrix Receiver, VMware View Open Client, Wyse TCX and VDA, and Microsoft's RDP (remote desktop protocol) 7. The Wyse T50 offers 1GB RAM, 1GB flash, DVI-I with a dual-display option, gigabit Ethernet, four USB ports, and support for 720p video within a browser.

  • Desktop

    • Linutop announces its fourth generation of Linux Nettop
      inutop have provided for several years now some very attractive and ultra compact linux Nettops, and last week the company introduced its fourth generation devices the Linutop4 which fits in just 18.2×20.1×3.6cm and just 936g! The Linutop4 is powered by an Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz CPU comes with 1GB of RAM expandable up to 2GB, 2GB of internal flash memory, Gigabit Ethernet VGA, DVI and five USB 2.0 ports. The Linutop runs on Linuop OS 4.0, an optimized version of Ubuntu made to work flawlessly on such device.

  • Kernel Space

    • [Linux libre 2.6.39]
      20 Mai 2011:: Linux libre kernel 2.6.39 pour Debian Squeeze est maintenant disponnible. Vous pouvez le récupérer directement ici.

    • GL rolls out Linux drivers and APIs for telecom cards
      GL Communications announced Linux support in the form of drivers and APIs for its universal T1 E1 and OC-3/12 STM-1/4 cards. All functions of the hardware are accessible through the API, and many software-based functions are available to ease complex application development. The Linux toolkit consists of C and C++ header files, a 32 bit shared library, and examples of custom applications. The API supports gcc/g++ 4.4.1 and openSUSE Linux 11.2 kernel 2.6.31.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Gets Happy, Puts Out Two New Blobs
        NVIDIA has put out two new proprietary Linux driver updates. One of the drivers is a pre-release in the 270.xx series that largely is after bug-fixing, but the second driver is more interesting as it's the first (development) NVIDIA Linux driver release in the 275.xx series. The NVIDIA 275.09 beta driver brings new features.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME and KDE 2011 Desktop Summit programme published
      The GNOME Foundation and KDE e.V. boards have published the programme for this year's Desktop Summit. Following the opening keynote, attendees can visit one of four different rooms, each with a variety of tracks including community, applications, platforms, tablets, development and accessibility & help.

      The 2011 event will take place over the course of a week from 6 to 12 August at the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany; it is open to developers, community members and users alike. The joint conference is supported locally by the Berlin Senate and the TSB Innovation Agency Berlin GmbH, and is expected to bring together more than one thousand core contributors, open source leaders and representatives from government, education and corporate environments.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome a new OS or just taking advantages of some systemd features?
        The Gnome project is making a lot of noise in the Internet these days, because it seems like they are planning to become a whole new Linux distribution, or maybe we are just not fully understanding things.

      • What's Coming Up For GNOME 3.2?
        Last week marked the end of the feature proposal for GNOME 3.2, for the first major update to the GNOME3 desktop. The GNOME 3.2 release schedule has the final release set for the end of September. In this article is a list of some of the features that were brought up for GNOME 3.2.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Five Linux Distributions Get a Fresh Boost
        Between the launch of a new Linux kernel update and the news that open source has achieved mainstream business use at last, it's been an exciting week in the world of open source software.

    • Red Hat Family

      • With RHEL 6.1, Red Hat's Partnerships And Cloud-based Goals Beckon
        Red Hat has unveiled the latest version of its enterprise Linux offering: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1 (RHEL 6.1), with many new features focused on businesses and organizations. RHEL 6.1 offers improvements in system reliability, scalability and performance, in addition to support for upcoming system hardware. It also delivers patches and security updates, while maintaining application compatibility and OEM/ISV certifications. In Red Hat's quarterly and annual reports one fact that often goes unnoticed is that the company's barnstorming success is largely based on renewal of support and service subscriptions at every increasing prices, and that is largely due to the loyalty that many organizations have toward RHEL. The new release stands to continue that trend, and could win some brand new customers.

      • Will Red Hat come back to haunt the Open Virtualization Alliance?

      • Fedora

        • Fedora at Agora's Open Source / Free Software conference
          I asked if, as disgruntled as I am, I still go and talk about Fedora at a local FOSS conference and the feedback convinced me to go. As the local Fedora community is extremely weak these days, I wasn't able to summon a team (we were on hostile grounds, with Microsoft as the main sponsor of the event), so I joined Ceata.

        • Fedora 15 Boosts Linux Security
          As the starting point for many IT perimeter defense architectures, the firewall is a critical piece of security technology. In the upcoming, Fedora 15 Linux distribution release, a new dynamic firewall technology will help to improve the critical cornerstone technology for server and desktop users.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian GNU/Linux - Repositories and WiFi Firmware
        As I mentioned in my previous post about Debian GNU/Linux 6.0, with this release they now have Live CD ISO images. This is a very convenient way to try out Debian and see if it is going to work on your hardware; if it does, there is also an installer on the Live CD desktop. Very convenient.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 10 Things That Make Ubuntu The Best Alternative Operating System

            In recent years, Ubuntu Linux has become increasingly popular as a replacement for Windows. Ubuntu is an operating system which features a number of advantages that make it an appealing alternative for everyday users. Here are 10 reasons why Ubuntu beats Windows hands down.

          • Ubuntu Kitchen Sink: A Control Center For Power Users
            He does make it clear that it's not replicating the Control Center model which is targeted at end-users. Jono is targeting at power users and his idea of Kitchen Sink is something similar to GConf.

          • Ubuntu 11.04: an OS for your mum
            The world is a big place, and it seems of no coincidence that Canonical’s offices sit 27 floors up in the Millbank Tower with a 360 degree view of it right in the middle of London. Canonical is the parent company of the most popular distribution of the free, open-source computer operating system known as Linux and if there’s one thing between them and their broad horizons, it’s Windows.

            Since 2004 Ubuntu has offered users another way when it comes to their PCs but with that way one of unfamiliar applications, no hotline support and less compatability then one might get with Mircosoft, it’s been a way largely ignored by the mainstream computer owner. According to Canonical, however, with the launch of the latest version, Ubuntu 11.04, all of that is about to change.

          • Interview with Matthew East
            Matthew East is a name which often appears in my inbox every few days, I thought it a good idea to learn more about this Ubuntu Community Council member and his role in the community.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) Features
            The following article will present to Ubuntu fans all over the world, a few interesting features and facts for the next version of Ubuntu OS, the Ubuntu 11.10, dubbed Oneiric Ocelot.

          • Python plans for Ubuntu 11.10 and 12.04
            Last week, I attended the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Budapest, Hungary. These semi-annual events are open to everyone, and hundreds of people participate both in person and remotely. Budapest's was called UDS-O, where the 'O' stands for Oneiric Ocelot, the code name for Ubuntu 11.10, which will be released in October 2011. This is where we did the majority of planning for what changes, new features, and other developments you'll find in the next version of Ubuntu. UDS-P will be held at the end of the year in Orlando, Florida and will cover the as yet unnamed 12.04 release, which will be a Long Term Support release.

          • Rocking The LoCo Community In Oneiric
            I have long been a firm believer that the Ubuntu LoCo Community is one of the strongest elements of Ubuntu. The LoCo community are our eyes, ears, mouths, and hearts in taking Ubuntu to the masses. If we are going to reach out to 200million users, we are absolutely going to need to have the LoCo Community on-board as a well oiled machine. Fortunately, some great work is going on to achieve this.

          • Add Ubuntu One style dark toolbars to all apps in Ubuntu
            It has been two weeks to the day since I shared my enthusiasm for DeviantArtist SimplyGreat’s ‘UbuntuOne style Nautilus-Elementary theme’.

          • Netbook Launcher now Available for Natty!
            Hey guys, you might remember that a few days ago I was asked to build the lucid netbook launcher functionality for maverick; enough people asked me for a natty version that I wanted to make sure you guys got access to the clutter based netbook-launcher too. So here you go!

          • Video: The Future of OpenStack and Why Ubuntu Linux has come first.
            I've been following the open source OpenStack cloud effort since it was first announced in June of 2010. I mean come on, how many times does a tech journalist like me get to interview NASA about enterprise open source tech?

            Over the course of the last year, I've seen OpenStack grow from its NASA/Rackspace base, into becoming the most influential open source cloud project on Earth. I've seen IT vendors big and small including Cisco, Dell, Brocade, Citrix and Canonical all align behind the OpenStack vision.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 201104 Xfce
              Linux Mint 201104 Xfce is a great fit for users on slower or older hardware that craves Debian with all of the Linux Mint tools and goodies. It’s also an excellent choice for those who are minimalists and prefer a lightweight but fully functional desktop environment. Both kinds of users should get many hours of enjoyment and productivity from this distribution.

              But what about Ubuntu users who dislike Unity? I’m sure there are some out there who are still searching for an alternative distribution. I’m happy to say that Linux Mint 201104 Xfce is great for you guys too. In fact, once you get used to Xfce you may find that going back to GNOME or KDE is simply unnecessary unless you crave eye-candy and a bit of bloat in your desktop environment.


              Rating: 4.5/5

            • Kubuntu 11.10 Mobile Devices Sneak Peak
              As mentioned in the general sneak peak, Kubuntu 11.10 will have a strong focus on mobile devices. Since I did not go into details yet, let me make up for this by presenting all the more interesting changes in the area of mobile device support.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • The March Towards Choice in Consumer IT
      The current battle-ground is the tablet PC but, being mobile, ARM and Android/Linux are doing well. No one is being fired for choosing ARM+Android/Linux. Retailers are delivering them to consumers. Businesses are rapidly taking them up. No one really cares that they are not Wintel in large part. OEMs are making smart phones that dock and become a new computing platform capable of most of the tasks which any PC can do. This permits ARM+Android/Linux to invade the Wintel stronghold through the open gates of portability, low-power, tons of applications available on-line, simple/easy user interfaces and more than enough power and performance for most users.

    • Phones

      • MeeGo 1.2 Released
        If you have looked at any of the previous MeeGo/Moblin releases, you'll recognize this as being pretty much the same home screen. I haven't compared them side-by-side, but this one actually does look a little nicer to me, or perhaps I should say a little less objectionable. It still has the same symbols across the top, several of which I still don't get the visual association with their content. Maybe they have just improved the color scheme a bit, or touched up the overall graphics. Anyway, I have looked at each of the pages in the MeeGo desktop previously, so I'll just hit a couple of the better ones this time.

      • MeeGo Linux 1.2 core software now available

      • Android

        • Honeycomb Has Hidden Gingerbread Interface!
          This is one of the reasons Google is holding the Honeycomb code to discourage vendors from putting it on smartphones and create a bad experience for users.

        • Android Honeycomb has hidden Gingerbread interface, enabled by higher LCD density
          Google's already indicated that tablets and smartphones won't be sharing the same Android build until Ice Cream Sandwich in Q4, though interestingly enough, it turns out that the tablet-friendly Honeycomb actually has Gingerbread's interface quietly tucked underneath. According to modder Graffix0214, all you need for making the jump is one simple tweak in a system file: assuming you already have root access, use your preferred method --

        • Multi-Touch Technology Supports Android OS
          Stantum, a leading developer of multi-touch technology, announced today that its patented Interpolated Voltage Sensing Matrix (IVSM) technology now supports Google's Android operating system. IVSM technology's native compatibility with Android's multi-touch framework is being showcased on a demonstration kit in Stantum's booth (#1354) at the SID Display Week exhibition in Los Angeles.

        • Modders Make Android Work the Way You Want
          It’s got an estimated 500,000 users. Many Android programmers use it as a starting point for their own coding projects. And according to the project’s founder, a number of Google employees have it installed on their Android devices.

        • Geniatech launches a TV with Android on board!
          A few years ago , your smart phone was running a proprietary OS, your TV was nothing more than a crap box to recieve local channels and only your computer came with your choice of software. There was no common thread connecting these three worlds. But the situation has altogether changed with the arrival of Android.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Chromebooks - has the future arrived?
        It seems like an age ago since Google first announced ChromeOS and certainly there’s been a lot written about it, including a fair bit in this magazine. Now that the launch of Chromebook models from two manufacturers is imminent, it might be worth reminding ourselves of some of the issues around a “Cloud-based OS” generally, and this one in particular.

      • Will you buy the Google Chromebook?

      • OLPC Will Remain a Non-Profit
        The story in today’s Boston Business Journal about One Laptop per Child requires certain clarification:

        1. OLPC will continue as a non-profit organization in order to carry out its traditional role advocating for 1:1 computing in developing countries as a means to provide a modern education to children.

        2. OLPC will continue as a non-profit organization in its activities to arrange and manage laptop deployments around the world.

        3. OLPC continues to believe that non-profit status enables it to more effectively communicate on the issues of children and education without the possible taint of commercial self-interest.

Free Software/Open Source

  • OSI open reformation begins in earnest
    The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is creating a process for wider participation through working groups and new affiliate programmes which will influence its thinking on its future mission. The programme was unveiled at last week's Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco by OSI board member Simon Phipps. The plans are the result of the OSI's planning for reformation announced in March.

    On returning to the UK, Phipps talked to The H about the plan. He explained that previous efforts to set a future mission for the organisation had not been effective. "Agreeing a mission in advance is too hard" said Phipps, as he explained how the OSI was now planning how to evolve the organisation. Historically the OSI, a non-profit corporation with a small board, set out to educate the world about open source. It has also managed a definition of what open source is, and given its blessing to licences which comply with that definition. Now, says Phipps, it is time to take on the second part of the OSI's 1999 mission statement: "to build bridges among different constituencies in the open source community".

  • Open standards and a smart energy grid: Interview with Green Energy Corp

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • 10 Cool and Useful Google Chrome Tricks You Must Know

      • Why I dumped Debian Squeeze's Chromium for the Chrome browser from Google's repository
        I've always been an advocate for using the packages supplied by the distribution/project you happen to be running as an OS. Rarely do I go outside the "official" repositories for something shinier and newer. That's changing, and swapping the Chromium browser in Debian Squeeze for the Google Chrome browser directly from Google is my latest shift in this direction.

        Why did I do it? Well, I've had more than a few incompatibility problems with the Version 6.0.472.63 of Chromium that is in the Debian Squeeze repositories, which won't be updated for anything but bug fixes for the life of Debian's stable release.

  • SaaS

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • OO.o, TDF and CLAs
      Yesterday I read LWN’s (paywalled but accessible from here) interview with Mark Shuttleworth, where he is quoted as saying that the formation of The Document Foundation (TDF) and its launch of LibreOffice “led Oracle to finally decide to stop OpenOffice development and lay off 100 employees.” Mark says this in the context of his new campaign as an apologist for Contribution Licensing Agreements, about which I have written extensively.

  • Education

    • The Free Technology Academy comes to Greece
      The Free Technology Academy (FTA) is an advanced virtual campus with various course modules, which can be followed entirely on-line and seeks to educate and promote the adoption of Free Software and other Free Technologies. I explained in detail what the FTA is last year. This week the Association of Greek Users and Friends of Free/Open Source Software has joined the FTA’s International Associate Partner Network.

  • Business

    • Interactive Ideas grows by third
      Distributor Interactive Ideas has held up a 32 per cent spike in annual sales as further evidence of the strength of the open-source market.

  • Project Releases

  • Programming


  • How a law firm tested "phantom" AT&T smartphone data use
    New attention is being paid to a class action lawsuit against AT&T. The suit claims that the company's billing system records data use up to three times the actual use, including "phantom" charges that occur when the phone is not in use. AT&T says the issue is just a misunderstanding about how data is used and billed.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • European Commission aims to ban plastic shopping bags
      In their infinite wisdom, the European Union risked further alienating people in Britain last night by calling for a ban on plastic shopping bags. The move, designed to benefit the environment, will mean imposing an expensive tax on shopping bags or banning them altogether.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Harold Camping's Global Apocalypse PR Campaign
      The world is scheduled to end on May 21, 2011. At least that's the hysteria being spread by Harold Camping, the 89 year-old fundamentalist Christian radio preacher and president of Family Radio, Inc., based in Oakland, California.

  • Censorship

    • EU And China Harmonize Their Approach On Censorship

      Many copyright system defenders insist that the two situations are entirely different. In their minds, intermediary liability concerning copyright infringement is "good" because it's stopping illegal behavior. But that's the exact same argument made by the Chinese government. It's stopping people from speaking out, because that form of speaking out is illegal and can cause great harm. The similarities between the EU proposal and the China proposal at the very least suggest that China is learning that mimicking Western claims concerning copyright law will always give it good cover for censoring at home.

  • Privacy

    • Fury as Milton Keynes Council publish personal information on website by accident
      The residents of Middleton have been apoplectic this week after Milton Keynes Council accidently published the results of a residents’ survey on its website, including the addresses and phone numbers of 50 of the respondents. The data breach occurred last week and lasted for 18 hours before the error was noticed and removed.

    • Zuckerberg: Kids under 13 should be allowed on Facebook
      Zuckerberg said he wants younger kids to be allowed on social networking sites like Facebook. Currently, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) mandates that websites that collect information about users (like Facebook does) aren't allowed to sign on anyone under the age of 13. But Zuckerberg is determined to change this.

  • Civil Rights

    • DNA Databases - A Challenge to the Law
      Today the Supreme Court gave a long-awaited ruling on the subject of DNA databases and the ability of the police to store DNA samples of innocent people indefinitely. In a majority judgment (with two of the seven judges disagreeing) the Court ruled that the police practices were unlawful. Due to changes in the law being discussed by Parliament the judges did not go as far as ordering the police to change their practices within a certain time-frame or awarding compensation. It was, however, suggested that if changes were not made soon, further cases could be brought which were likely to succeed.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Hargreaves and the Future of Pirate Policies
      Unfortunately the review has not presented the kinds of radical shifts and reforms that we hoped for. It deals with some of the peripheral issues — albeit fairly well, and in a way that we support — but it still leaves the core, vitally important and urgent problems we face unaddressed.

    • Trademarks

      • Thunderbolt trademark rights will be transferred from Apple to Intel
        Though Apple originally filed for ownership of the "Thunderbolt" trademark associated with its new high-speed data port, the rights will be transferred to Intel, the company with which it cooperatively developed the new standard.

      • Apple rebuts Amazon's stance that 'app store' is a generic term
        "Apple denies that the mark APP STORE is generic and, on that basis, denies that the Amazon Appstore for Android service is an 'app store,'" the Cupertino, Calif., tech giant said in a document filed Thursday in an Oakland federal court. "Apple further denies that defendants [Amazon] have the right to use APP STORE as a trademark in connection with Amazon's mobile software download service for Android devices."

    • Copyrights

      • Does Eric Schmidt speak for Google on copyright?
        Smart, strategic, and frequently inscrutable, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt's comments must often be closely analyzed. Sometimes they're discounted as regrettable, off-the-cuff remarks. Other times, his statements are a window into what is really going on inside his company.

        On Wednesday, Schmidt shocked big media conglomerates, federal lawmakers, and apparently even executives within his own company when he told reporters in London that Google would defy U.S. government attempts to remove sites from the Web that are accused of trafficking in pirated goods. Schmidt, who was at Google's helm during an unprecedented decade-long run of online-advertising success, was referring to a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate last week called Protect IP.

Clip of the Day

See the world's tallest lego tower

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