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Links 26/5/2011: Chromebooks and Servers Optimism

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Bringing Technology to a Community

    • Mini-PC offers Chrome OS, modular design
      Xi3 Corp. announced the first desktop PC based on Google's Chrome OS, based closely on its Linux-ready Xi3 Modular Computer mini-PC. The ChromiumPC offers a modular design, including a swappable processor board with a single- or dual-core x86 processor, as well as two upgradable I/O boards.

    • Here come the Chromebooks
      In about three weeks, we can stop talking about how Chromebooks-light-weight laptops running Google’s Chrome OS-might, or might not, work in the real world because we’ll get our hands on the first two models: the Samsung Series 5 and the Acer Wi-Fi Chromebook. Here’s what we know now about them.

  • Server

    • Cray's Linux-based supercomputer integrates AMD Opteron and Nvidia Tesla tech
      Cray's latest supercomputer will run Cray's modified version of SUSE Linux on AMD's upcoming 16-core "Interlagos" Opteron chip and Nvidia's Tesla 20-Series GPU (graphics processing unit). The XK6 system should deliver up to 50 petaflops of performance when it ships later this year, claims Cray.

    • IBM Tops HP, Oracle In Server Growth
      IBM's server revenues grew 22.1% in the first quarter, outpacing rivals as demand for the types of high-end systems in which Big Blue specializes picked up.

    • rPath Is on the Right Track with X6
      The company’s latest offering, rPath X6, expands its ambitions with powerful configuration management capabilities and a spruced-up user interface.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Ubuntu Ambiance GNOME Shell Theme
        After Adwance (Ambiance ported to GTK3), we now have a GNOME Shell theme to get a complete Ambiance look in GNOME Shell thanks to Half-left's latest "Ubuntu Ambiance" Shell theme:

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Zenwalk Gnome 7.0 is ready !

        We are proud to provide Zenwalk gnome 7.0 based on gnome 2.32.1. It is the last step before going to gnome 3.0.


        Kernel with BFS scheduler and performance tweaks

    • Red Hat Family

      • CentOS 5.6: The Reliable Server OS Gets a Revamp
        CentOS (Community ENTerprise Operating System) is the most popular Linux distribution used for web servers, running around 30% of the world’s Linux-based websites, according to a survey by W3Techs. CentOS is built from the freely available sources for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.6 (RHEL) and supports 32- and 64-bit x86 architectures. Since it depends on Red Hat releasing the sources, CentOS is always behind the current Red Hat release. RHEL 5.6 was released in January 2011, and CentOS 5.6 followed last month. I downloaded and tested the latest version and found that CentOS remains a trustworthy server solution. System administrators familiar with any of the CentOS 5 releases will feel immediately at home with this release.

      • Storix announces disaster recovery support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
        Storix Inc., a provider of a Unix-based system recovery solution for AIX, Solaris and Linux systems, announced Tuesday general availability of System Backup Administrator 7.2 (SBAdmin), now with support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.

        Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 offers a number of feature enhancements and additions optimizing the capabilities of customer hardware. Now, with SBAdmin, customers can perform system recovery to the same or different hardware, or to and from virtual systems. SBAdmin works on all supported Red Hat platforms, including Intel 32-bit, 64-bit or IBM Power.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • ←Turning Wireless on Causes Laptop to Freeze on Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal? My Work Around Better Clickpad Support for Ubuntu 11.04
            Ever since I got my HP probook 4420s I have been on a search for the Touchpad (or Clickpad as it is called) Nirvana. On Kubuntu 10.10 Out of the box the clickpad was basically useless, right click and middle click did not work. Thankfully though, a work around helped get the most basic functionality working, but lacked multi-touch (even though the clickpad supports multi-touch) Another patch was released which gave clickpad multitouch support but removed right click option (You have to do a 2 finger tab to right click)

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Puppy Linux Wary 5.1.2 Is Available for Download
              Barry Kauler, the father of Puppy Linux, has just announced today, May 25th, the immediate availability for download of the Puppy Linux 5.1.2 Wary operating system, an edition of Puppy Linux intended for antique machines.

              The new Puppy Linux Wary 5.1.2 distribution focuses on supporting older hardware components. It also brings lots of improvements and bug fixes over previous releases.

              "I was thinking of this release as a bugfix release of 5.1.1, but when I started to tally the changes, I realised that there are a lot and probably I should have bumped the version to 5.2!" - said Barry Kauler in the official release announcement.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Time for Amazon to pay its dues to open source?
    Now, say what you will about Google – and there are certainly things to say that aren't exactly complimentary – but this provides a very useful boost for free software, which finds it hard to fund coders to do all those little tasks that need doing but that nobody ever quite got round to. It also helps train the next generation of hackers – something of vital importance.

    And that's just one of the ways that Google supports open source. Releasing the code for Android (well, eventually) is another, as is employing many of the top open source hackers at presumably generous salaries (who says giving away your code doesn't pay?)

    Now let's compare Google with another leading technology company that also runs its operations pretty much entirely on free software: Amazon.

  • Pearson Moves Product to Open Source Licensing the business-friendly Apache 2.0 free and open source software license. This migration represents a big win for the SIF software development community and existing customers can migrate to the new release with no change in their agent development, sales or delivery approach.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • 7 Exciting Web Apps in the Chrome Web Store!
        Google Chrome web store, an online web store for Google Chrome that houses extensions, themes and web-apps. Some web-apps are particularly worth mentioning. The apps reviewed in this post are free and are not aimed at any particular group (such as developers, project managers, cloud service users or for users from specific etc.) They have a wide-range utility!

      • Chrome will bring about the ICT revolution in schools.
        Google Chrome netbooks are being targeted directly at education and for good reason. Initial press reactions to the Chrome-book are enthusiastic ... with two caveats. These are: ‘it’s a bit expensive for an empty book isn’t it?’ and ‘great concept … maybe too soon?’.

        Nonsense, the Chrome books will save education an absolute fortune and render existing ICT models obsolete: here’s why.

    • Mozilla

  • SaaS

    • Citrix preps own version of OpenStack
      Business Solo: the phone plan that gives you more

      Citrix has announced that it will offer its own version of OpenStack, the open source "infrastructure cloud" platform originally created by NASA and Rackspace.

    • Mo Data Mo Money: Open Source Business Models
      RedMonk co-founder and analyst Stephen O'Grady recently gave a talk at Open Source Business Conference. He's posted his notes and slides here. In the talk, he emphasized his idea that there are four generations of software companies, and that selling software is becoming harder and harder. O'Grady sees the way forward for open source companies is leveraging data.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Review: LibreOffice 3.3 is a viable alternative to Microsoft Word
      Buying the latest edition of a pricey word processor like Microsoft Word for a large number of employees can seem like a bitter pill.

      So you might stick with the last edition for a bit longer, or turn to one of the free options like OpenOffice. These tend to be simpler and less capable than Microsoft’s programs but since many people only scratch the surface of Word’s advanced functions, a cheaper, simpler alternative is worth considering. LibreOffice is the newest free suite of word processor, speadsheet, database and so on.

    • Sun Shines on Oracle as Server Market Rebounds

  • Healthcare

  • Funding


    • @CERN
      just a short note, to tell you that a couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure to be invited to give a lecture at CERN [...] I learned about their needs vs C++ and its runtime library, and sometimes have been able to suggest specific C++0x features to try together with the latest GCC releases, which potentially could improve their software, from the performance point of view or somehow else.

  • Project Releases

    • CUBRID 8.4.0 has arrived w/ x2 faster database engine!
      Here we are! The new and yet the most powerful with almost twice faster database engine CUBRID 8.4.0 beta has arrived!

      This new release is a combination of great new features, frequently request by the users, and increased performance. We have managed to improve the engine performance by almost three fold for certain functions. Based on the same scenario [link to a QA Completion Report (PDF)] we usually used to conduct the quality assurance of a new release, we have seen huge improvements.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Finding the Next Mark Zuckerberg
        Alexander Kiselev is a 19-year-old immigrant from Moscow who is worried that scientific advances in the biosciences aren’t developing fast enough. To spark a new age of discovery, he wants to make experimentation cheaper by creating affordable scientific instruments. With help from the open source hardware community, his first project will be an inexpensive high performance liquid chromatography system, a tool that helps biochemists analyze the components of a sample.

  • Programming

    • Rails 3.1 Nears Delivery
      The open source Ruby on Rails community is gearing up for their next major release.

      This week Rails 3.1 was released as a release candidate, debuting new features for streaming, JavaScript integration and security. Rails 3.1 is the first major update to Rails since the 3.0 release in summer of 2010.

      "There is some very important stuff in Rails 3.1," Nic Williams, VP of technology at Engine Yard told


      From a security perspective, Rails 3.1 also provides developers with a number of improvements. The new Force SSL controller is all about making sure connections are safe and encrypted.


  • Who Belongs to the API Billionaires Club?

  • Health/Nutrition

    • As pollution soars, cancer is now the leading cause of death in China
      The Earth Policy Institute reported on figures today showing that cancer is now the leading cause of death in China, accounting for a quarter of all deaths in the country. The most common type? Lung cancer – caused in large part by increasingly foul air due to a heavy reliance on coal:
      Deaths from this typically fatal disease have shot up nearly fivefold since the 1970s. In China’s rapidly growing cities, like Shanghai and Beijing, where particulates in the air are often four times higher than in New York City, nearly 30 percent of cancer deaths are from lung cancer.
      The figures, which were compiled from the Chinese Ministry of Health, show the other side of China’s rush to develop new sources of energy. In the case of lung cancer, the bad air is compounded by soaring tobacco use.

  • Security

    • Wednesday's security updates

    • ElcomSoft cracks iOS encryption system
      Security researchers from Elcomsoft have discovered a method that allows them to copy and decrypt the memory of iPhones that have built-in hardware encryptionPDF (3GS and 4); hardware encryption is also built into the iPod Touch (3rd generation or later) and all iPad models. What makes their discovery special is that they apparently read the memory directly, which, for instance, even enabled them to restore deleted data. ElcomSoft says that this is particularly relevant for forensic investigations.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Egypt to reopen Gaza strip crossing for first time since 2007
      Egypt will open its crossing with the Gaza Strip this weekend, Cairo's interim military government has announced.

      The move will significantly ease a four-year blockade on the Hamas-ruled territory, but sets up a potential conflict with Israel.

    • Officer who shot student had history of not following orders
      Shortly after a supervisor told Daniel Alvarado to stay with the victim of a minor assault and not search for the suspect, the school district officer ran into the backyard of a Northwest Side home with his gun drawn.

      Moments later, Alvarado fired his weapon, killing an unarmed 14-year-old boy.

    • There’s a Secret Patriot Act, Senator Says
      You may think you understand how the Patriot Act allows the government to spy on its citizens. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) says it’s worse than you’ve heard.

      Congress is set to reauthorize three controversial provisions of the surveillance law as early as Thursday. But Wyden says that what Congress will renew is a mere fig leaf for a far broader legal interpretation of the Patriot Act that the government keeps to itself — entirely in secret. Worse, there are hints that the government uses this secret interpretation to gather what one Patriot-watcher calls a “dragnet” for massive amounts of information on private citizens; the government portrays its data-collection efforts much differently.

    • Reid duels Rand on lapsing Patriot Act
      The federal Patriot Act could briefly expire by the end of the week if U.S. Sen. Rand Paul insists on votes for controversial amendments, officials say.

      The Hill newspaper said if the lapse occurs it could severely impact the law enforcement community, which uses it to track suspected terrorists.

      Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., tabled a motion to extend the Patriot Act in what the newspaper said was a complicated maneuver to circumvent Paul, R-Ky. The maneuver was designed to save time while Paul resists the extension of the law, which expires at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Senate aides told the newspaper.

  • Cablegate

    • WikiLeaks: Saudis often warned U.S. about oil speculators
      When oil prices hit a record $147 a barrel in July 2008, the Bush administration leaned on Saudi Arabia to pump more crude in hopes that a flood of new crude would drive the price down. The Saudis complied, but not before warning that oil already was plentiful and that Wall Street speculation, not a shortage of oil, was driving up prices.

      Saudi Oil Minister Ali al Naimi even told U.S. Ambassador Ford Fraker that the kingdom would have difficulty finding customers for the additional crude, according to an account laid out in a confidential State Department cable dated Sept. 28, 2008,

  • Censorship

    • Obama Should Resist Sarkozy’s Quest to Regulate the Internet
      Addressing some 800 technology executives in Paris on Tuesday at the “eG8″ conference that he created, French President Nicolas Sarkozy presented a vision of greater government involvement in and regulation of the Internet. He plans to push this vision onto G8, G20 and United Nations countries, but it’s an innovation-smothering approach that President Obama should avoid at all costs.

  • Civil Rights

    • US to store passenger data for 15 years
      The personal data of millions of passengers who fly between the US and Europe, including credit card details, phone numbers and home addresses, may be stored by the US department of homeland security for 15 years, according to a draft agreement between Washington and Brussels leaked to the Guardian.

      The "restricted" draft, which emerged from negotiations between the US and EU, opens the way for passenger data provided to airlines on check-in to be analysed by US automated data-mining and profiling programmes in the name of fighting terrorism, crime and illegal migration. The Americans want to require airlines to supply passenger lists as near complete as possible 96 hours before takeoff, so names can be checked against terrorist and immigration watchlists.

Clip of the Day

AVATAR - Official Launch Trailer (HD)

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Credit: TinyOgg

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