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Links 22/6/2011: GNU/Linux Dominates More of HPC, Red Hat Upgraded



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Contents





GNU/Linux

  • Why Linux skills are a necessity on your resume
    Jim Zemlin, the Linux Foundation's director, has some heartening news for Linux world professionals. He waslinux-logo recently quoted saying, "Linux's increasing use across industries is building high demand for Linux jobs despite national unemployment stats. Linux.com reaches millions of Linux professionals from all over the world. By providing a Jobs Board feature on the popular community site, we can bring together employers, recruiters and job seekers to lay the intellectual foundation for tomorrow's IT industry."


  • Server

    • The Best & Fastest Computers are Linux Computers
      In the latest Top 500 Supercomputer list list, which was released on June 20th, Linux accounts for 91.00 % of the top supercomputers. Linux is followed by Unix with 4.6%; and Windows with 1.2%. When it comes to super-fast computers like supercomputers or IBM Jeopardy winning Watson, Linux rules.

      Of the fastest of the fast, the top ten supercomputers all run Linux. The top ten, lead by the K Computer at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS) in Kobe Japan, are all capable of performing more than 8 quadrillion calculations per second (petaflop/s) This ranking is determined by how fast the computers can run Linpack, “a benchmark application developed to solve a dense system of linear equations.” The highest ranking pure Windows supercomputer, the Magic Cube at China’s Shanghai Supercomputer Center, comes in at 40th.


    • Linux is speed and power
      Man, what a busy time lately!!... I have struggled big time to finish any of my ongoing articles, but fear not, this blog is very much alive and kicking. Stay tunned for upcoming articles, for there are some interesting things on the way, including reviews for Fedora 15, Fuduntu 14.10, Zorin 5 OS and (maybe) an article on why I decided not to review Ubuntu 11.04 and Unity.


    • GE Global Research Acquires a Cray [Linux] Supercomputer


    • Penguin Computing Launches New Interface for Easy Access to Its HPC Cloud
      Penguin Computing, experts in high performance computing (HPC) solutions, today announced the immediate availability of PODtool, an interface that makes it easy to offload excess workload to Penguin’s on-demand environment Penguin Computing on Demand (POD).




  • Audiocasts/Shows





  • Kernel Space



    • Kernel Log: Coming in 3.0 (Part 2) - Filesystems
      The kernel hackers have optimised the Btrfs code and extended it to include new functions; a substantially improved tool for testing the experimental filesystem is soon to be released. Ext4 now supports the "punch hole" technology for deallocating unused memory areas within a file.

      Early this week, Linus Torvalds released a new pre-release (RC) for Linux 3.0. In the release mail for the fourth RC, he mentions some more extensive changes to the DRM subsystem. Among those changes are patches that improve support for the graphics core of AMD's recently introduced Llano, which was introduced between RC2 and RC3.


    • Oh no 3.0
      After much discussion we decided we bite the bullet and upload a 3.0 kernel. At least we get a chance to identify problematic applications, while still keeping our options open to move to a 3.0.0 kernel for release should that be prudent. As expected this was not smooth sailing, not least for the kernel packaging which needed much love to even correctly build this version. Plus we had to hack the meta packages to allow that to be reversioned later too.


    • ARM support is a mess in Linux land


    • Graphics Stack





  • Applications



  • Desktop Environments



    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Submit a digiKam Tip, Win a ZaReason Teo Pro Netbook
        Russell Ossendryver and his WorldLabel company do an amazing job of supporting the open source software movement and individual open source projects. His company’s blog often features articles by prominent tech writers covering Linux and open source software. And now WorldLabel has kindly agreed to sponsor a competition for the best digiKam tip, where the winner will bag a cool Ubuntu-based Teo Pro netbook from ZaReason.


      • KDE Spanish Community Meets at Akademy-es
        Following the success of last years' event, the Spanish KDE community again held its national Akademy event, Akademy-es 2011, between the 20th and the 22nd of May 2011 in Barcelona. The event was sponsored by Google and Qt/Nokia and was supported by the Linux and Todo-Linux magazines. KDE enthusiasts from all over the country gathered to discuss free software and KDE.

        This year the event had two different hosts: the Polytechnical University of Catalonia (UPC) made its Master Classroom available for Friday's presentations, whereas the School of Sant Marc-Sarrià hosted us on Saturday and Sunday.




    • GNOME Desktop

      • Karen Sandler Named New Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation
        The GNOME Foundation today announced that it has appointed Karen Sandler as Executive Director. Sandler’s dedication to software freedom, her non-profits experience and her involvement in a wide range of free and open source software communities distinguish her as the logical choice for GNOME. “I’m very excited that Karen is joining the GNOME Foundation as Executive Director!”, says Stormy Peters, former Executive Director who has recently joined the GNOME Board as a new Director, “Karen brings a wealth of experience in free software projects and nonprofits as well as a passion for free software. That experience will be invaluable as GNOME continues to expand its reach with GNOME 3.0 and GNOME technologies.”


      • Welcome to Karen Sandler, New GNOME Foundation Executive Director
        In November 2010, after I informed the GNOME Foundation that I'd like to submit some names of potential Executive Director candidates, Germán Póo-Caamaño invited me to serve on the GNOME Foundation's Executive Director Hiring Committee. We agreed that the Committee's work would remain confidential (as any hiring process is wrought with complicated and frank discussions). I usually prefer open processes to confidentiality, but with things like hiring, confidentiality is somewhat of a necessity.


      • Mind-map of Document-centric Gnome






  • Distributions



    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Will Mageia Emerge As A Cousin Of Ubuntu?
        You may hardly find a hard-core GNU/Linux user who has not heard of, or used, Mandriva. Mandrive once was the Android of Linux world. It was user-friendly and powerful. But the company went into trouble and the project was forked.

        Mandriva fork Mageia took birth recently, quit a lot of ink was spent on Mageia, we covered it regularly, keeping a close eye on the development of the project. I believe it is very important for the users to have multiple choices. Ubuntu is the king, the emperor of the GNU/Linux world. We do need a prince (Linux Mint is a king in its own right). We need a distro which is not only easy to use but also continues the legacy of Mandriva -- the #1 distro which ruled the DistroWatch list before Ubuntu arrived.




    • Gentoo Family

      • osc client in Gentoo
        One of the great things we’ve got at openSUSE is openSUSE Build Service. Web service where we can commit sources and recipes and it will produce bunch of binaries for various distributions. Not just for openSUSE. We are friendly people and we love to work together with other distributions. After all, we all have a common goal – make open source succeed and defeat common enemies (some greedy people trying to steal some of our freedoms). OBS follows this path and it is a great tool that can help anybody to package his software for any distribution. It is easy to use and easy to get involved. We even have a public instance where anybody can submit a data and use package for his own purpose. If you want to build a package just for Fedora, we will let you do that. Of course we will be much happier if you’ll consider building it for openSUSE as well, but we don’t force you to do so.




    • Red Hat Family

      • Piper Jaffray Reiterates Overweight On Red Hat
        Piper Jaffray is reiterating its Overweight rating and $57 price target on shares of Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT).


      • Itway SpA Announces Distribution Agreement with Ret Hat, Inc. for the South of Europe
        Itway SpA announced that it has signed a commercial agreement for the distribution of the Open Source solutions born through the collaboration between Red Hat, Inc., a supplier in the open source solutions, and Acronis, a company active n the production of solutions for backup, restoration and security of physical, virtual and cloud environments.


      • Notes from Red Hat Open Source Day 2011
        Red Hat Italia organized its fifth open source day last week in Rome, and it was quite a success by the numbers: 700 people subscribed to the event, about 500 attendees, 6 talks in the plenary session and 12 speeches in the parallel sessions.

        I have been following the whole event before running the final round-table, and I wish to share here some notes from the event.


      • Fedora

        • Fedora 15 rocks on ThinkPad.
          On Friday my new Lenovo ThinkPad x220 arrived and of course in the evening after I finished work, I was jonesing to put Fedora 15 on it. The machine is a type 4286CTO (Smolt info here). I started by booting into the BIOS and checking the options as shipped by Lenovo. There wasn’t much to change here, other than to enable hardware virtualization so I could more easily run KVM on the laptop should I choose to do so later. I didn’t enable the extra direct IO option, VT-d, because I’ve seen it cause weird installation problems in a lot of cases.






    • Debian Family



      • Derivatives



        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Unity Grab Handles Are Beautiful, Learn How to Enable it in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal
            Unity Grab Handles are a fun and aesthetically beautiful way to resize windows in new Ubuntu Unity. Even though they are not enabled by default in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal, you can easily turn Unity Grab Handles on by following a few easy steps.


          • Ubuntu sliding in popularity
            Figures from Distro-watch show that the popular front of Linux, Ubuntu, is sliding in popularity.

            While the distro is still tops, it is starting to look like others are eating into its user base faster than Homer Simpson at an all you can eat penguin steak buffet.


          • Ubuntu Hardware: Debugging Hard Problems
            Some of the work done to enable Sandybridge Suspend (S3) and Hibernate(S4) showed how painful it can be to get hardware to do what it oughts to do! The problem arises when you find yourself with not many tools to debug what is going on, since your console and half of the OS functionality has already gone to sleep.


          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 221










  • Devices/Embedded

    • Dual-threading QorIQs tap 64-bit, 28nm e6500 core
      Freescale Semiconductor announced a series of 28nm-fabbed QorIQ multicore processors, featuring a 64-bit PowerPC core clocked up to 2.5GHz. The Linux-ready Advanced Multiprocessing (AMP) QorIQ series will debut in early 2012 with the T4240, offering 12 cores dual-threaded to 24 virtual cores, numerous acceleration engines, and cascading power management, says Freescale.


    • Phones

      • Nokia N9 could be the first and last MeeGo phone
        Nokia announced its long-awaited MeeGo Linux-based follow-up to the N900 phone -- but when this ships later this year it may well be the company's first and last MeeGo device. The Nokia N9 features an OMAP3630 processor, up to 64GB storage, a 3.9-inch AMOLED display, an eight-megapixel Carl Zeiss camera, NFC, and a "Harmattan" UI with swipe-gesture support, says the company.


      • Android

        • ZTE Launches Gingerbread-Powered ZTE Libra
          ZTE is one of the leading Chinese brands in the world, and they have announced decent and affordable handsets in past, like the trio of new Android phones at MWC. Now ZTE is back again with the announcement of their new Android device, the ZTE X880, codenamed Libra. The Libra is yet another good looking, mid-range device from ZTE. It runs on Android, and there is no custom UI. Yeah, this baby is running stock Android.It was launched in several Asian countries this week, and soon this device will find its way to the UK, maybe as a successor to the ZTE Blade.


        • TiVo App For Android Coming Soon?
          All you patient Android users waiting on an official TiVo app might not have to wait much longer. According to a full-page TiVo advertisement found in the latest issue of CEPro's magazine, the TiVo app will be coming "soon" to Android OS products.

          Exactly what "Android OS products" it will be coming to remains a mystery, as does the specifics of what features the app will include. The statement does come after a reference to the TiVo app for Apple's iPad so one can assume the Android version will include the same features.


        • Sony Ericsson Duo Leaked, Dual-Core CPU?
          We've been hearing a bit more than normal about our friends from Sony Ericsson. First there was the announcement that they'll be incorporating NFC chips into future devices, and now this. We've gotten our hands on a photo of what's being dubbed as the Xperia Duo. We don't have any real specs at the moment, other than the fact that it'll be packing a dual-core processor and what appears to be a rather large screen. Our best guess is that it's hovering somewhere around 4.3 inches, possibly even 4.5, with a front-facing camera. One thing that stands out to me is that the display seems to be nearly edge-to-edge, which should make for an excellent viewing experience.






    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Panasonic Android Toughbook Will Crush The Apple iPad
        Panasonic, the maker of Toughbook laptops, is joining the Android fleet. Panasonic is working on an enterprise-grade Android tablet to the market in the fourth quarter of this year.

        The new Toughbook tablet will appeal to a wide variety of users, including mission critical government personnel, highly mobile field forces, SMB’s looking for a competitive edge, security conscious IT managers and bottom-line focused CFOs.








Free Software/Open Source



  • The Open Source Innovation and Commoditization Frontier
    Thus, for every once-new single-vendor open source project there will be an eventually-new community project, in addition to the originally-new community projects. The ratio may play out to be something like one single-vendor for two community-owned projects, though I think the total number of new community-owned projects is likely to be much higher. So the ratio of successful single-vendor / community-owned projects may well be stabilizing in the 1-10% range. (Please note that I’m just guessing; also, I’m excluding small random ultimately not successful hobby projects here.)


  • 50 Must-Have Open Source Apps for Your Home Office
    These days, more and more people work at home at least part of the time. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, more than half of the 29.6 million small businesses in the country are home-based.

    If you add to those figures the number of people who telecommute to their jobs part of the time, the Telework Research Network estimates that between 20 to 30 million people work from home at least once a week. And WorldatWork claims that approximately 44 million Americans work at home at least one day a year.


  • Open barbarians poised to storm Apple's gate
    Openness matters. Even in the land of open-source software, where openness is the default.

    What this means, as Riehle further elaborates, is that even single-vendor open-source projects, which have open licensing but comparatively closed development processes, will give way to community-led projects over time. "Ultimately, all single-vendor innovation will be commoditized through a community-owned project." Not a good prognosis if you're in the business of selling support or "enterprise" versions of open-source software.


  • How to Contribute to Open Source Projects
    Brian Behlendorf, the founder of the Apache Web Server project and a lead developer on Subversion, discusses how to get started on an OSS project — and what to expect


  • The Open Source Big Bang
    Open source is not only software, but also an approach to software development. The public nature of open source projects lets us show how open source software development scales to the largest project sizes. The following figure illustrates the scalability of open source software development. I call it the big bang of open source.


  • Web Browsers



  • SaaS



  • Databases



  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Head to Head: Microsoft Office 2010 vs Open Office
      A new version of Open Office, the free office suite, has just been released into the wild. Apparently it’s been through a revamp and is now more compatible with Microsoft Office files. The press release accompanying the launch boasts that OpenOffice has gone from being the “free alternative” to the “preferred choice”. Interestingly, though, the new version hasn’t gone with a Microsoft Office-style “tabbed” Ribbon interface, but has instead stuck with familiar menus and toolbars.

      Given that office users are more or less evenly divided between those who love and loath Microsoft’s tabbed interface, this seemed like a good time for a head to head. Has OpenOffice really managed to cut through the tangle of the old-style user interface to produce an office suite that’s both familiar and easy to use?


    • LibreOffice vs OpenOffice: When the Ball Bounces Your Way
      Probably the most boring open source story recently has also been the one getting the most ink. The problem with with the Apache/OpenOffice saga is that the real story already happened, it’s history.

      Oracle’s “gift” of OpenOffice.org to Apache, and the change of license from copyleft to permissive, is merely an epilogue referring back to a prologue: Oracle’s sudden ownership of the open source office suite as a mere byproduct of their acquisition of Sun.


    • Google pans Oracle damages argument: Java was fragmented well before Android
      Google has filed its response to Oracle’s damages claim and as expected the filing rips apart the arguments of an expert witness. One of the more notable items in the filing is the issue of when Java was fragmented.

      Oracle wants a hefty damages for what the company alleges is Android’s patent and copyright infringement on Java. Florian Mueller estimates that Oracle is seeking at least $1 billion or so from Google. That figure—given the Nokia and Apple settlement on Tuesday—seems plausible.




  • CMS



  • Business



  • Licensing

    • Linux Kernel at Centre of Battle For Control of Embedded Devices
      If AVM succeeds in forbidding others from exercising the freedoms explicitly granted by the GNU General Public License terms, it will directly contravene the legal rights of the original authors of the programs, who decided that software freedom and cooperation is more important to them than directly receiving license fees. Moreover, there are also significant economic and business implications. First, it will give device manufacturers the chance to veto software from third parties on their products, resulting in worse products for the user and them being locked-in to purchasing future products from a particular vendor. Second, it will give companies like AVM an unfair advantage over their competitors who are in compliance with the Free Software licenses which they use. Third, it will threaten the cooperative software development model, which has been successfully used by many companies worldwide for three decades.




  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Source Science on the Internet
      How can the Internet help spread scientific discoveries? The internet has heralded a new level of openness and data sharing since its inception. While this revolution of information has swept across our society, openly sharing information in the scientific arena has yet to see a boon in activity. With scientists remaining extremely protective over their discoveries, we have to ask if this behavior is hampering future scientific discoveries.


    • Which Free Documentation License is Right for You?
      When writing documentation for GNU/Linux or any other FOSS project it makes sense to license it under some sort of Free license. Doing so will allow others to redistribute and build on it. But with the plethora of Free Documentation licenses available it can be confusing to choose the right one for you. This article will explain the differences among some of the most common licenses so that you can make the best choice.




  • Programming

    • Ceylon: True advance, or just another language?
      The language road in computer science is littered with the carcasses of what was to be "the next big thing." And although many niche languages do find some adoption in scripting or specialized applications, C (and its derivatives) and the Java language are difficult to displace. But Red Hat's Ceylon appears to be an interesting combination of language features, using a well-known C-style syntax but with support for object orientation and useful functional aspects in addition to an emphasis on being succinct. Explore Ceylon and find out if this future VM language can find a place in enterprise software development.






Leftovers

  • Hands-on: running Haiku alpha 3 on a netbook
    The Haiku open source software project, which is building a clean-room implementation of the BeOS platform, has published its third alpha release. The new version was made available over the weekend, and it offers enhanced hardware support, better stability, and a wide range of new features. I tested Haiku Alpha 3 in VirtualBox and on my HP Mini netbook.

    BeOS was one of the most advanced desktop computing platforms of the '90s, but it failed to gain mainstream acceptance. Be's assets were sold to Palm and eventually ended up in the hands of Japanese browser vendor Access. After Be's demise, the subsequent owners of the BeOS copyrights declined to continue development or release the code base. The Haiku project was formed in 2001 with the aim of rebuilding the operating system from scratch.


  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Decline of Employer-Based Health Insurance
      The global consulting firm McKinsey & Company set off a firestorm when it released a report last week suggesting that 30 percent of U.S. businesses will stop offering health care benefits to their employees after most of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act go into effect in 2014.

      The White House was quick to challenge the validity of the report, noting that McKinsey has so far refused to provide any details of the methodology used to reach its conclusion. All McKinsey will say is that its report was based on a survey of 1,300 employers and “other proprietary research.”


    • Employment-Based Health Insurance Fails America
      If you haven't gotten much of a raise lately, it's probably because the extra money that might have been put in your paycheck instead went to your health insurer if you are enrolled in an employer-sponsored plan.

      Many Americans haven't seen a pay increase of any kind because their employers can't both increase their wages and continue offering decent health care coverage. It has become an either-or for people like Zeke Zalaski, a factory worker in Bristol, Connecticut, who hasn't had a raise in years.


    • Video Highlights Casino Workers' Health Plight
      Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the public health advocacy group Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights have posted a YouTube video about the plight of casino workers, some of the last employees in the country forced to breathe secondhand cigarette smoke at work.


    • Cigarette Health Warnings
      Beginning September 2012, FDA will require larger, more prominent cigarette health warnings on all cigarette packaging and advertisements in the United States. These warnings mark the first change in cigarette warnings in more than 25 years and are a significant advancement in communicating the dangers of smoking.




  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying







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