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Links 3/6/2011: Google Censors Emulators After Pressure, More OpenOffice.org Analysis





GNOME bluefish

Contents





GNU/Linux

  • What computer users should know, but don't.
    1. Know your operating system. Knowing what operating system and version you have is a great help for when you have problems and need outside help. It also helps for when you wish to install programs so you can choose the correct one for your operating system.


  • Linux's 'Killer Feature': Impossible to Choose Just One
    Well, June has arrived for another year, and that means the dog days of summer can't be far behind.

    Scorching temperatures have already begun to beat down upon parts of the Linux blogosphere, in fact, which may be why there's nary a barstool to be found down at the seedy but well air-conditioned Punchy Penguin Saloon, where Linux Girl plans to stay until, oh, say, October or so.

    There's been plenty to discuss in recent days, of course, what with Computex going on and all the excitement over Oracle's (Nasdaq: ORCL) OpenOffice move, but many bloggers have preferred to keep their spirits up with a spirited debate instead.


  • Five Things Every Windows User Should Know
    PC users owe it to themselves to consider their options, and those options include a broad array of Linux distributions tailored to virtually every need.


  • Desktop



    • Asus to ship Ubuntu netbooks
      Asus has started selling its Eee PC netbooks preloaded with Ubuntu 10.10.

      Asus will initially sell the 1001PXD, 1011PX and 1015PX, with more models added through the year.

      The original Asus Eee PC 701 - which kickstarted the netbook craze in 2007 - ran on a version of Xandros Linux, prompting speculation that Linux was on the verge of a mainstream breakthrough. It was quickly superseded by Windows XP, however, with tales of high return rates of Linux-based netbooks.


    • ChromeOS huge niche market...???
      The Traditional Desktop computer, on the other hand is a Jack of all trades, a multipurpose, powerhouse tool. With the conventional computer you have flexibility and power. Once again that is not what the Chrome OS is meant to give.

      So, being that the mobile netbook/tablet market and the traditional desktop market are not compatible with the new ChromeOS Operating System and the devices optimized for it. What can we use it for? Where, in the vast operating system lanscape, we can find its niche market?

      In the medium to large Desktop monitors... I think! With the ChromeOS installed there, we only need to add a keyboard with a touch pad and/or a mouse to have a working, comfortable, Internet access device. Simple to setup, simple to use, and optimized to do what 95 percent of the traditional Desktop Users do with their computers. Surf the net for work and fun.


    • We review the System76 Serval Pro: Is it the best Ubuntu laptop ever?
      Independent Ubuntu computer manufacturer System76 refreshed their popular 15.6″ Serval Professional line earlier this year, upgrading the laptop with an impressively fast second gen Intel Sandy Bridge i7 quad core processor, powerful Nvidia graphics, a lovely 1080p display and lots of options for optical drives and storage.




  • Server

    • That Other OS Fails
      Netcraft has produced their monthly rating of reliability of hosting companies. Out of 41 listed, only 5 run that other OS while 24 run GNU/Linux.






  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Hardware and "3.0" difficulties
      The two-figure version numbers are still creating quite a bit of hassle that the developers are working hard to overcome. Inaccurate work by hardware manufacturers causes problems with rebooting and with the handling of UEFI hardware. The maintenance of kernel series 2.6.38 is soon to be discontinued.

      Only hours after the first release candidate of Linux 3.0 was issued, the developers released the first patches to improve the way the kernel handles version numbers which consist of two, instead of three, numbers. Changes include a workaround which allows the version of the depmod program that was current until recently to cope with Linux 3.0. At the same time, a patch to fix the cause of the depmod problems was incorporated in version 3.13 of the module-init-tools, which were also released shortly after Linux 3.0-rc1. Several developers have suggested that, due to these and similar problems, Torvalds should consider using version number 3.0.0 instead of 3.0; however, the alpha male of Linux kernel development has so far not commented on this.


    • The early days of Linux – join us as we celebrate 100 issues of Linux User & 20 years of Linux
      2011 is a year of milestones. Not only is it the year that sees Linux User magazine turn 100, but it’s also a year that Linux celebrates it’s 20th birthday. What better way to commemorate these auspicious occasions than with a walk down memory lane courtesy of past Linux User editor, Richard Hillesley?




  • Applications



    • Proprietary

      • Skype protocol reverse engineered, source available for download
        Hello, I'am Efim Bushmanov a freelance researcher and here is my project files on skype research.

        While "Wall Street Journal" makes politics and skype today's trend, i want to publish my research on this. My aim is to make skype open source. And find friends who can spend many hours for completely reverse it.


      • Researcher reverse-engineers Skype, makes code available publicly
        Just weeks after Microsoft announced it had acquired Skype for $8.5 billion, a Russian researcher has announced that he has successfully been able to reverse engineer the official Skype desktop implementation in an attempt to make the service open source.


      • Skype Reverse Engineered
        Good news for Free Software and open protocols: There has been a sucessful attempt to reverse engineer Skype (Magent URI). Nice timing, shortly after Microsoft’s acquisition Skype could finally be broken. :) He is also including modified Skype executables allowing debugging etc., which is usually prevented by really elaborated anti-features (encryption, kills itself if there is a debugger etc.). The sample code is able to send a message via Skype, awesome!




    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to triple-boot Fedora 15, Ubuntu 11.04 and Windows 7


      • Gimp 2.6 Cookbook
        I’ve been using graphic photo manipulation software programs for nearly 20 years. After using several, I’ve come to the conclusion that all of them are quite similar in features, bells, and whistles. The main difference comes in how they carry out the task at hand. That is to say, the menus, tool bars, and commands are laid out differently from program to program. So, migrating from one program to another isn’t difficult, it’s just that you need to learn (or relearn) the “moves” and menus in order to get the application to respond to your input.




    • Games

      • 12 Paid Games for Linux Totally Worth the Price
        Oil Rush is a real-time naval strategy game based on group control. It combines the strategic challenge of a classical RTS with the sheer fun of Tower Defence genre. OilRush was expected to be available by 2010 itself, but it didn't happen. OilRush RTS game for Linux is now available for pre order and you can expect a release very soon. Price: $19.95






  • Desktop Environments



    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Reflections on Permanently Moving From KDE3 to KDE4: 2 Years Later


      • Efficiently Working With Text Files in KDE (or GNU/Linux in General)
        The bottom line is, if you work a lot with text, consider working with raw text and a powerful editor. Putting the whole thing through an HTML-based piece of software like WordPress or even LaTeX-powered software/front ends like LyX is always possible to do at the end. But the real power is in words; the lighter and faster, the better. To improve access to files and information of interest, divide the text editors/sessions into separate desktops. This reduces movement between desktops and enables focus on particular activities, leaving distractions aside. If you have to open the file manager a lot, then perhaps a better workflow is being missed. Shortcuts too can help.






  • Distributions



    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family



    • Red Hat Family



      • Fedora

        • Fedora 15 LXDE review
          Final Thoughts: The last time I used an LXDE-based distribution, LXDE was considered a geeks-only desktop environment. Since then, it seems to have developed into a nearly fully-featured desktop environment. It is usable by all, but not yet at the level of a KDE desktop. The main problem with Fedora Spins is that they do not seem to have received the same level of development attention as the main edition. But if you are looking for an alternative distribution to a GNOME 3-based distribution, and have the time to tweak and customize a lightweight distribution to fit your needs, this LXDE spin might be what you are looking for.


        • Fedora 15 impressions
          Last week, Fedora 15 was officially released. I installed a copy on my laptop, and quickly got back to work. The install process was the fastest I've seen for any Linux distro - about 15 minutes to install the complete operating system from the LiveCD installer.








    • Debian Family



      • Derivatives



        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • [Screenshots and Video] First Alpha of Ubuntu 11.10 'Oneiric Ocelot' Brings Some Gnome 3 Magic


          • Ubuntu Certification: DELL PowerEdge Servers
            Over the last few months we have crossed the barrier of over 100 server models certified across all Ubuntu releases currently in maintenance. Last monthly alone we add 30 new servers to the certification list.

            We have been working with DELL to certify a large portion of their PowerEdgeline via what we call component equivalency.


          • The new ‘Celebrate Ubuntu’ YouTube channel
            A new official Ubuntu YouTube channel has popped up stuffed with short promotional videos.

            Called ‘Celebrate Ubuntu’, the channel was set up by Canonicals’ Iain Farrell as a result of discussions held at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in May. Those discussions centred around the idea of creating a ‘community toolkit’ that, as Iain explains on his blog, ‘…would allow anyone excited enough to show off and celebrate their use and love of Ubuntu.’


          • Family Farm game in Ubuntu
            We added Family Farm to the Software Center last week and I took a few hours (of non-work time!) to have a look at it. Summary is that it’s a fun simulation game for the whole family where your job is to build up your farm.


          • “For crying out loud Amber, it’s just a stupid newsletter”


          • Canonical Launches Ubuntu-Ready Hardware Certification
            Most VARs in the open source channel are happy just to get free code contributions from their users. Canonical, however, has taken community engagements one step further with the announcement of a user-driven hardware-certification program. Will it work? Here are some thoughts.

            Most software vendors can probably think of more than a few things they’d rather do than test hardware to make sure it works well with their products. Hardware certification demands many tedious hours, not to mention the acquisition of lots of hardware. Nonetheless, for companies like Canonical, whose main product is the Ubuntu operating system, hardware certification is a must-have to appeal seriously to users who want to be sure the Linux-based OS will be compatible with their computers.


          • Looking For Awesome LoCo Team Blog Feeds


          • Cool Projects That Need Your Help


          • Ubuntu/Xubuntu/Kubuntu/Lubuntu Power Tests
            With the extensive Linux power consumption tests that I've been carrying out to solve some nasty Linux kernel power regressions and find other areas for optimization, one of the requests that has come in frequently is to compare the power consumption of the KDE, GNOME, Unity, Xfce, and LXDE desktops. After the article earlier this week to look at how the desktop environments / compositing window managers affect OpenGL performance, I carried out a quick desktop power test. In this article are battery power consumption results for Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and Lubuntu.


          • Ubuntu Power User Branding Winner
            Last week the PowerUser community ran a poll to decide the new logo/branding for our community and the submission by Thorsten Wilms was selected as the winner. Many thanks to Thorsten and all the other people who submitted artwork, they were all fantastic.


          • Flavours and Variants

            • Review: Linux Mint 11 "Katya" GNOME
              Linux Mint is currently my favorite Linux distribution of all and is the one I use almost exclusively on a regular basis. Since the release of Linux Mint 9 LTS "Isadora", I have made it a point to review new releases of Linux Mint. Six months ago, I previewed Linux Mint 10 "Julia" GNOME RC. Since then, I have also reviewed two versions of Debian-based Linux Mint. However, due to Ubuntu's fixed 6-month release schedule, I haven't been able to check out the latest version of Ubuntu-based Linux Mint until now.

              Regular readers of this blog know Linux Mint needs no further introduction. The only things to consider while reading this are that Linux Mint also has a Debian-based version that is going strong, while Ubuntu's state of transition (what with Unity, Wayland, et cetera) could pose difficulties for Ubuntu-based Linux Mint in the future.


            • Bodhi Linux: The Power of E17 Profiles
              One of the many features the Enlightenment desktop has that sets it apart from other desktop environments/window managers is the profiles. Those that have used Bodhi Linux or have compiled Enlightenment from source should already have some idea of what profiles are.

              Profiles are a powerful tool, they control the layout of your enlightenment desktop. I’ve found those coming from other desktops (such as KDE or Gnome) often confuse the idea of profiles with theme. Themes control the colors of your desktop and the appearance of your gadgets.












  • Devices/Embedded



    • Phones



      • Android

        • Google pulls emulators from the Android Market
          The open nature of the Android Market is becoming diminished as Google realizes it needs to take a more active role in its policing it.

          Over the weekend developer Yong Zhang, known on the Android Market as yongzh saw his Android developer account revoked and all the apps he offers removed from the Market. The apps he was offering were all emulators for popular older systems including the NES, SNES, Genesis, N64, Atari, Game Gear, and Game Boy. But Google has seen fit to remove all of them ( including Nesoid, Snesoid, Gensoid, N64oid, Ataroid, Gearoid, and Gameoid).


        • MIPS: More than 90% of Android apps can run on any processor architecture
          Android has been a hot topic at Computex Taipei this year, with various players discussing the pros and cons of developing apps for the respective hardware platforms such as ARM or x86. However when it comes to the MIPS platform, CEO and president of MIPS, Sandeep Vij pointed out that in terms of the application universe, well over 90% of the apps that are available in the Android marketplace work on MIPS.










Free Software/Open Source



  • W3af Open Source App Vulnerability Testing Hits 1.0
    The open source w3af project released a 1.0 stable version this week after five release candidates and months of development. W3af enables developers and security researchers to audit, discover and test Web applications for vulnerabilities.


  • Web Browsers



  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Arguments Over the Future of OpenOffice.org
      Don't expect Oracle's donation of the code of OpenOffice.org to The Apache Software Foundation to settle anything about the troubled office suite. If the situation does improve, it will be small thanks to Oracle.

      According to Oracle, the donation is proof that "Oracle continues to demonstrate its commitment to the developer and open source communities. Donating OpenOffice.org to Apache gives this popular consumer software a mature, open, and well established infrastructure to continue well into the future."

      However, from the way that the donation was done, and the situation it leaves the project in, it looks very much like a last spiteful gesture toward the rival Document Foundation, the project that develops LibreOffice, the OpenOffice.org fork. The result is a future that leaves the future as troubled as the present. At the very least, to some observers it appears to show a disdain for the community that borders on arrogance.


    • The big winner from Apache OpenOffice.org
      IBM is still making Lotus Symphony. Remember Symphony? (Don't worry, it slips my mind occasionally, too.) But IBM is still pushing this OpenOffice.org-based suite as a business desktop application, and Big Blue will be much happier keeping OpenOffice.org with the Apache Software Foundation than The Document Foundation.

      Why? Because when, not if, the OpenOffice.org proposal is approved by the Apache Software Foundation, the OpenOffice.org will be licensed under the Apache Software License (ASL) v2. This means IBM and any other Apache OpenOffice.org project member can innovate the heck out the source code and not be obligated to give back to the mainline OpenOffice.org code, since the ASL is a non-copyleft license. IBM and other OpenOffice.org contributors will also be able to re-license OpenOffice.org code under any license they want, including a proprietary license, should they wish. It also keeps a major Open Document Format project ensconced within IBM-friendly governance.


    • Michael Meeks' Take
      It seems that IBM and the ASF are encouraging individuals from the LibreOffice world to sign on as 'Initial Committers' to their new project.


    • Why OpenOffice Going To Apache Foundation Makes No Sense At All
      Why The Document Foundation is a better choice than the Apache Foundation

      Another point to consider is the developers who will be taking care of OpenOffice. With OpenOffice in the hands of the Apache Foundation, they have to get a new team of developers to take on the development of the project. I am not saying that the Apache Foundation is not capable of doing that. But, for a completely new team to take over a project the size of OpenOffice can be very tough. In fact, that was what happened to Oracle after almost all of the previous developers left. But, The Document Foundation has most of the previous OpenOffice developers. After forking OpenOffice, they are developing one of the best office suite around - LibreOffice.


    • IBM Announces New Open Software Development
      IBM has announced its supporting role in the new OpenOffice.org code base submitted to The Apache Software Foundation Incubator. This is all part of an effort for the company to continue its long-standing commitment to open source. The firm will contribute staff resources to collaborate with the Apache community during the project’s incubation period to further the Open Document Format standard.


    • Oracle proposals may open Java Community Process
      The Java Community Process may get a welcome and much-needed breath of fresh air if a new proposal from Oracle is approved.

      The proposal, entitled JCP.next JSR 1, which is actually Java Specification Request 348, would see a reorganization of the existing Java Community Process to make the JCP a more open environment in which developers can work.

      According to the JCP Program Office, JCP.next JSR 1 (JJ1) "will focus on changes to the JCP Process Document in the following areas: transparency, participation, agility and governance. The Process Document describes the formal procedures used in the JCP program."

      JSRs, by the way, are defined as "actual descriptions of proposed and final specifications for the Java platform."


    • Apache president Jim Jagielski talks about OpenOffice.org next steps
      The ASF is best known for project like the ubiquitous Apache HTTP server — but Apache is home to dozens of projects. Still, doesn't OpenOffice.org seem just a bit out of place here? Jagielski says no. "Although Apache is mostly known for server-side code (either complete servers, middle-ware, libraries, etc...) we do have some client-side and userland projects. Apache OFBiz is likely the best example." In fact, Jagielski says what is "typical" for Apache is "building (or even "re-building") communities around those codebases."


    • What Oracle's Open Source Retreat Means


    • Why Oracle’s donation of OpenOffice disappoints




  • Public Services/Government

    • EU goes global for procurement standards
      On Wednesday, the Commission laid out its strategy for reforming the way EU public institutions deal with standards. Open-source advocates welcomed the strategy, saying it would promote competition, reduce lock-in and lead to faster standard development.

      [...]

      Taylor added that Oasis would not have had to cede control of the OpenDocument Format (ODF) standard to ISO in 2008, if the European Commission had not mandated this as a condition for accepting the standard. "Under this new arrangement there's potentially no need to go to ISO," he said. "Hopefully what we will get is faster standards to market without adding levels of bureaucracy."




  • Licensing





Leftovers



  • Inventing Unix


  • My Thoughts



  • Cablegate

    • Julian Assange wins Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism
      iLeaks founder Julian Assange has been awarded the Martha Gellhorn prize for Journalism.

      The prize is awarded annually to a journalist whose work has "penetrated the established version of events and told and unpalatable truth that exposes establishment propaganda, or 'official drivel', as Martha Gellhorn called it."

      Gellhorn, who died in 1998, was a well-known war correspondent and author.






  • Finance

    • S.E.C. Case Stands Out Because It Stands Alone
      Hundreds of employees worked closely in teams, devising mortgage-based securities — billions of dollars’ worth — that were examined by lawyers, approved by management, then sold to investors like hedge funds, commercial banks and insurance companies.

      At one trading desk sat Fabrice Tourre, a midlevel 28-year-old Frenchman who was little known not just outside Goldman but even inside the firm. That changed three years later, in 2010, when he achieved the dubious distinction of becoming the only individual at Goldman and across Wall Street sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission for helping to sell a mortgage-securities investment, in one of the hundreds of mortgage deals created during the bubble years.


    • Geithner and Goldman, Thick as Thieves
      What was Timothy Geithner thinking back in 2008 when, as president of the New York Fed, he decided to give Goldman Sachs a $30 billion interest-free loan as part of an $80 billion secret float to favored banks? The sordid details of that program were finally made public this week in response to a court order for a Freedom of Information Act release, thanks to a Bloomberg News lawsuit. Sorry, my bad: It wasn’t an interest-free loan; make that .01 percent that Goldman paid to borrow taxpayer money when ordinary folks who missed a few credit card payments in order to finance their mortgages were being slapped with interest rates of more than 25 percent.

      One wonders if Barack Obama was fully aware of Geithner’s deceitful performance at the New York Fed when he appointed him treasury secretary in the incoming administration. The president was probably ignorant of this particular giveaway, as were key members of Congress. “I wasn’t aware of this program until now,” Barney Frank, D-Mass., who at the time chaired the House Financial Services Committee, admitted in referring to Geithner’s “single-tranche open-market operations” program. And there was no language in the Dodd-Frank law supposedly reining in the banks that compelled the Fed to reveal the existence of this program.




  • Intellectual Monopolies



    • Copyrights

      • The Real Legacy of the Hargreaves Report?
        Of course, on its own the report can't achieve much in these three areas. But by raising these issues in a public way it has effectively put down markers. It means that when writing about the area of copyright and its enforcement, we can point back to statements about the need for evidence-based policies, and the fact that practically all the studies trotted out by the content industries are worthless, or that the economic damage of piracy is by no means a given.


      • Cabinet Minister Mandate Letters for The Digital Era


        James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage: Together with Paradis, you will be working on the fourth attempt at Canadian copyright reform. Bill C-32 provides the starting point, but we need to establish a stronger link between copyright and innovation by instituting greater flexibility on digital locks and fair dealing.

        The next four years also offers the chance to create a true national digital library as the foundation of a digital cultural policy. Canada has only digitized 13 per cent of its documentary text and less than one per cent of its video, audio, and photographs. You should assume a leadership position by actively working with provincial and local groups to develop a world-class national digital library that makes Canadian culture available from coast to coast and around the world by July 2015.


      • ACTA

        • Gröna gruppen mobiliserar inför ACTA-omröstning Green Group mobilizes for ACTA vote
          The Green Group (Greens / EFA) in the European Parliament are working hard to ensure that the European Parliament does not give its consent to the ACTA treaty. PÃ¥ ett möte i dag antogs att gruppen kommer att driva kravet pÃ¥ att alla av unionens förhandlingsdokument skall offentliggöras, i enlighet med den förfrÃ¥gan som EDRi (European Digital Rights) framförde till utskottet för Internationell handel (INTA) den 11.e maj i Ã¥r. At a meeting today was that the group will drive the requirement that all the Union's negotiating document to be published in accordance with the request that EDRi (European Digital Rights) expressed to the Committee on International Trade (INTA) on 11th May this year. Vidare kommer man fortsätta driva kravet pÃ¥ att skicka ACTA-avtalet till European Court of Justice (ECJ) och kommer att försöka fÃ¥ upp sin resolution pÃ¥ dagordningen vid nästa plenarsammanträde. Moreover it will continue to drive the requirement to send ACTA treaty to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and will try to bring up his resolution on the agenda at the next session.












Clip of the Day



Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (Wireless Games Contorller Demo)



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Credit: TinyOgg

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