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Links 25/6/2011: More Linux in Airlines, More Patent News

GNOME bluefish



  • Is VDI Really an Option?
    For those of you who’ve followed along on my virtualization posts, you’ve noticed that I’m a fan of certain types of virtual desktop infrastructure implementations. This was not always the case. In fact, if you Google my name and VDI, you’ll find that for most of the past three years, I’ve come out strongly against it. So, you’re probably asking, “Why the change of heart?” The answer is simple, it’s a matter of timing and technology. VDI really was not an option before but it is now.

  • Wintel, Death by a Thousand Budget Cuts
    So, goodbye, Wintel. We knew thee well. Hello, Apple and Linux.

  • Desktop

    • Linux is all growed up now
      A weird little meme is squiggling through the Internet this week, one which I feel obligated to squash because it's just plain wrong.

      It's this notion that somehow Ubuntu is losing its popularity because it's slipped in the rankings on DistroWatch. That seems just about the silliest thing I have read in a while.

      First, there's the whole notion of how the rankings on DistroWatch work. They don't count downloads or boxes: they count page hits for each distro's page on the DistroWatch site. "Only one hit per IP address per day is counted," the site explains.


      This is where Linux is: thousands of developers and contributors have poured their skills and hearts into creating this operating system, and sometimes it's hard not to fall into the old habits from the days Linux is young. But to help Linux, we have to look towards a new future, one where the desktop may not be the primary platform, but one where Linux may yet be the most important operating system the world will ever use.

  • Server

    • Supercomputing Freakonomics - Finding Meaning Beyond the Headlines
      Twice a year, the Top500 Project publishes its list of the fastest supercomputers in the world. In the last announcement, we continue to see Linux dominating the list. This is nothing new since Linux has been dominating since the mid-2000s. In fact, Linux share in supercomputing looks a lot like Microsoft’s historical share of the desktop market. I thought it would be interesting to take a step back and look at the performance capability of these computers as a whole and also how the rise of Linux is mirroring the geographical expansion of supercomputers.

      Everybody tends to watch the number of Linux systems on the top500, but there’s a fascinating story being told by the Rmax performance numbers (Rmax is the maximum performance of a computer (measured in Gflop/s) achieved in the HPL benchmark. In many ways, this is a much more enlightening statistic, because it shows us the overall nature of performance on this list, instead of just focusing on individual computers. (This time around, five Linux systems were actually bumped off the bottom of the list, even though Linux’s *total* computing power grew by 38%.)

  • Applications

    • Proprietary

      • Linux Web Conferencing Plugin by Banckle Online Meeting
        After supporting online meeting on Windows and MAC, Banckle Online Meeting now allows you to participate and collaborate in web conferencing, eLearning and webinar activities on Linux as well. It can work on both 32-bit and 64-bit machines.

    • Games

      • Steel Storm: Burning Retribution Summer Special
        Alexander Zubov from Kot-In-Action the developers of the Steel-Storm games loves the GNU/Linux users and want as many of them (us) to buy his game. But he is very disappointed from the sales, only 3% of the consumers are GNU/Linux users.

      • Quake Turns 15, Frag On!
        Somehow many years ago I had gotten hold of a Linux version, perhaps it was distributed by Loki.

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 3 vs. Unity: A Schism in the Making?
        Both GNOME and KDE recently underwent massive redesigns. GNOME 2 morphed into version 3.0 with a radically different look and feel. KDE 4 is also graphically much different from the KDE 3 lineage. Meanwhile, Ubuntu has added Unity to the mix. The future of all will depend on ease-of-use perceptions and end-user hardware.

  • Distributions

    • Musix in the air
      Linux world is huge. Seems like there are more different distributions then stars in Debian galaxy. Some of them are generic, some of them are not. I have already made couple of reviews of Linux-based Operating System specifically created for creative people. They are brothers in blood: Dynebolic and Puredyne. It would be incomplete set if I just stopped at number 2. Number 3 is much more appalling. That's why today's review will be also dedicated to creative Linux. This Tux was born far-far away from many of you: in country of football, beef and tango. Do you know which country I mean? Yes, that is Argentina.

    • Review: Porteus 1.0
      Considering that I reviewed Zenwalk 7.0 not too long ago, I must be going on a Slackware-derived binge or something. Yes, both Zenwalk and Porteus are based on Slackware. Maybe my subconscious is trying to make up for the terrible review (not my assessment of Slackware, but my skill level and writing in that post) of Slackware 13.1. Maybe. I don't know. Anyway, Porteus 1.0 came out yesterday, so I decided to review it.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Gentoo Family

      • A Quick Look at Sabayon 6
        Today, it's not difficult to find a 'great' distro, one that makes it easy to get up and running with a fully functional and robust desktop, fast. Even just five years ago, though, finding a 'do it all' distro was a little more difficult, and it was for that reason that I found myself loving Sabayon Linux (pronounced Sah-by-yon (silent 'n')). Despite being built on an intermediate distro, Gentoo, it made things easy on the layman user - and I know this to be true as I've had many Linux novice friends use it and enjoy it.


        Sabayon 6 was my first foray into testing out the Entropy package manager though, and I do have to say that its command-line component, equo, is quite nice.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat posts bumper financial figures, touts Linux popularity
        Whitehurst's comments about cloud deployments generally using open source have been echoed by Canonical, which claims that Ubuntu is the most popular operating system installed on Amazon's EC2 cloud service.

      • Dell, dozens of other companies, join Red Hat’s fight against VMware
        Fresh off the glow of its first quarter earnings showing double-digit growth, Red HatbizWatch Red Hat Latest from The Business Journals Atlanta in running for 1,000 Time Warner jobsRed Hat CEO: Sales to triple to BRed Hat beats earnings estimates to start off the year Follow this company Inc. announced on Thursday that 65 new companies, including Dell Inc.bizWatch Dell Inc. Latest from The Business Journals DBJ Tech Watch for Friday 6/24: News of Apple, Yahoo, Facebook, Google and moreDell joins alliance to compete with VMwarebizWatch VMware Latest from The Business Journals DBJ Tech Watch for Friday 6/24: News of Apple, Yahoo, Facebook, Google and moreDell joins alliance to compete with VMwareTerremark, Verizon to integrate services Follow this company Michael Dell to bid .45M for Seattle TV station Follow this company (NasdaqGS: DELL), have joined the Open Virtualization Alliance.

        The alliance, established a month ago, is a consortium of tech companies in favor of an open virtualization technology — which is used to move systems to cloud computing. Red Hat, the Raleigh-based open source company, is a co-founder of the alliance along with IBMbizWatch IBM Latest from The Business Journals Federal Contracts: Big Wins for June 23, 2011Meet the Young and the BoldSAS links with Japan’s Fujitsu to open up revenue stream Follow this company (NYSE: IBM), Intel Corp.bizWatch Intel Corp. Latest from The Business Journals Intel plays role in Obama manufacturing initiativeTop 7 Bay Area Patent Recipients - No. 1Feds OK Intel, Rockstar bids on Nortel patents Follow this company (Nasdaq: INTC) and Hewlett-Packard CobizWatch Hewlett-Packard Co Latest from The Business Journals Toolbox: Week of June 24, 2011Oracle’s Safra Catz: Growth ‘with almost no help from acquisitions’Terremark, Verizon to integrate services Follow this company . (NYSE: HPQ).

      • Convirture Joins Open Source Virtualization Alliance

      • $3 billion in sales is Red Hat goal
        Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst has set an ambitious new sales target for the company: Tripling its annual sales to $3 billion in five years.

      • JBoss Application Server 7 to ship in July
        As part of Red Hat’s wide ranging cloud briefing today, its middleware division announced that JBoss Application Server 7 will be delivered in July.

        Execs provided a brief preview of the forthcoming application server, which will incorporate a full implementation of EE 6, including support for web profiles, a tenfold improvement in startup time, enhancements in operational management and ease-of-use in management, monitoring and configuration.

      • Red Hat (RHT) Earnings Estimates Increased by UBS AG (UBS) Analysts

    • Debian Family

      • People behind Debian: Sam Hartman, Kerberos package maintainer
        Sam Hartman is a Debian developer since 2000. He has never taken any sort of official role within Debian (that is besides package maintainer), yet I know him for his very thoughtful contributions to discussions both on mailing lists and IRL during Debconf.

        Until I met him at Debconf, I didn’t know that he was blind, and the first reaction was to be impressed because it must be some tremendous effort to read the volume of information that Debian generates on mailing lists. In truth he’s at ease with his computer much like I am although he uses it in a completely different way. Read on to learn more, my questions are in bold, the rest is by Sam.

      • Debian Project News - June 24th, 2011

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Synaptic Removed From Ubuntu 11.10, Deja Dup Added As Default [Oneiric Updates]
            This was an expected move but it's still a bit weird because there are quite a few features available in Synaptic which are still missing in Ubuntu Software Center, like upgrade/downgrade functionality, lock packages to the current version and so on. But of course, there are 4 months till Ubuntu 11.10 is released so Ubuntu Software Center might get some (or all) of these missing features.

          • Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal review
            Ubuntu 11.04 – codenamed Natty Narwhal – sports a new graphical user interface. This popular Linux distribution's interface is now an opinion divider but worth investigating to see how the free OS compares to Windows and Mac operating systems.


            the classic Ubuntu is readily accessible and more polished than ever.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Xubuntu 11.04 Review
              The default file manager for Xubuntu is Thunar 1.2 which has seen many great improvements recently. The default Thunar interface is quite typical for standard file managers. The left side of the main Thunar window is the shortcuts panel. New items can be dragged into the shortcut panel at any time. The right side of the mian window is where files and folders will be displayed. Above that is a path bar and a menu bar where you can find other ways of interacting with Thunar. Thunar now has improved support for connecting to external devices or networks. Thunar is also lightweight and very fast.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Does MeeGo stand a chance against iOS/Android?
        Is it even fair to pit MeeGo against the market that iOS and Android rule at the moment, some may ask. But, since it is here now, the new kid in town will have to face the music from its other big brothers who rule the locality at the moment.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Airlines To Use Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 For In-Flight Entertainment
        Soon the premium class passengers of the American Airlines will experience the magic of Android powered tablets on their journey. Samsung and American Airlines announced they will provide Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab 10.1 to travellers in seated in premium cabins for a select number of transcontinental and international flights.

        American Airlines, a founding member of the oneworld Alliance, plans to deploy 6,000 of the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 devices onboard select flights beginning later this year.

      • Why the Linux netbook crashed and burned
        This was always Microsoft’s plan since they first were cold-cocked by the sudden explosion of customer interest in netbooks. When netbooks first came along, they almost all ran Linux. Microsoft, which was then stuck with the resource pig known as Windows Vista, simply couldn’t compete. So, reluctantly, Microsoft gave Windows XP Home a new lease on life and sold it below cost to OEMs to kill the Linux desktop on netbooks.

        They were successful. Mind you, the last thing Microsoft wanted was for people to keep using XP. They wanted, oh how they wanted, users to turn to Vista. But, they also didn’t want to turn over the low-end to Linux. So, instead they dumped XP Home to OEMs at below cost to chase Linux off netboooks. It worked.

        The way things were going to go was clear in June 2009 when, I kid you not, Asus’ chairman, Jonney Shih, after sharing a news conference stage with Microsoft corporate VP, OEM Division, Steven Guggenheimer, apologized for showing an Androd-Linux Eee netbook the previous day.

        Mission accomplished, Microsoft finally shut down the XP production line on netbooks on October 22nd, 2010. Today, you can still get XP via the downgrade route from some versions of Windows 7, but you can’t do it for netbooks.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

  • Business

    • Pentaho 4 Improves User-Driven Business Intelligence
      Business intelligence (BI) software is all about deriving value from data. It's a goal that commercial open source BI vendor Pentaho is aiming to expand upon with the Pentaho BI 4 Enterprise Edition release this week.

      The Pentatho BI 4 release includes new tools like an enhanced visual interface and report designer that are intended to help make it easier for users to fully leverage the power of BI.

  • BSD

    • VirtualBSD review - Sneak a peak at FreeBSD
      FreeBSD is a UNIX-like operating system, designed to be super stable and super secure. As such, it is probably not the simplest one to tame and run on a daily basis. Unfortunately, reliability and robustness do not always fully align with the mass-usage model of friendliness.


      While the virtual machine test is far from being a real-life example of how simple or difficult or well-integrated a desktop is, VirtualBSD is a pleasant, refreshing diversion from the mainstream of free operating systems. It is an excellent technology demonstrator. The appliance testdrive proves that BSD is not a monster. Far from it; it's a witty, charming, highly useful platform that anyone could use.

      Even if you never intend on using BSD on your machine as the primary desktop, VirtualBSD could shatter some of your fears and misconceptions about the dreadful UNIX. It may not eclipse the Linux just yet, and probably never will, and it does not have to. What it can do is become another alternative should you need it, should you seek it. Overall, VirtualBSD delivers a handsome punch of good quality in all aspects of the desktop usage, aesthetics, availability of programs, codecs, everything. Quite a surprise and a breath of fresh air.

      Looking back at my flirtations with the BSD family, things are getting better, significantly. The critical turning point is not there yet, but in time, this operating system might stir the flames of competition in the software world. For the time being, you have the perfect appliance to play with and sharpen your UNIX skills.

  • Licensing

    • Berlin GPL case: no decision after oral hearing
      AVM Computersystems, a manufacturer of DSL routers including the popular FRITZBox, is trying to stop Cybits, a maker of web-filtering software, from changing the code which is present in the firmware of its routers.

      The code comes partly from the Linux kernel; given this, the terms of the GPL would extend to the entire codebase giving users the freedom to modify it and use the changed version if they so wished.


  • Finance

    • Bitcoin - I Hardly Knew Ya
      I first heard of Bitcoin when the Free Software Foundation announced they would start accepting it for donations. Before long another story about Bitcoin appeared in my news feeds. Then another. And another. Then the new currency got a black eye, and finally, the Electronic Frontier Foundation stopped accepting donations of it. You know something is on very shaky ground when a non-profit will no longer accept donations of it.

      Bitcoin began life just two short years ago as what some may characterize as an experiment in a new currency. It was to be one that wasn't tied to any country currency and demonstrated the characteristics of rising or decreasing in value somewhat like a stock on an exchange. Perhaps the best advantage of using Bitcoin currency was the ability to conduct purchases anonymously.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Reader's Picks

  • Microsoft's Azure service is a roach motel.
    Getting your data in costs nothing. But you'll need some cash to get it off.

    As is the case with most things Microsoft, data goes in but it won't come out.

  • Hardware

    • Cheap instruments promise to be a game changer for environmental monitoring
      Society is on the cusp of major advances in exposure science. These advances will have the effect of generating large amounts of information about what chemicals we are all exposed to (and what gets into our bodies), democratizing the collection and availability of that information, driving improvements in chemical toxicity testing and changing regulatory policy.

      A few years ago, monitoring equipment was labeled "terrorist gear" and confiscated by the US DHS.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Anti-Trust

    • Microsoft claims DMCA gives it the right to kill your hardware.
      At issue is Microsoft's 2009 remote disabling of Datel memory cards, which prompted an antitrust lawsuit that lives on today-litigation that has morphed into the latest test of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

      The DMCA is an injustice because it says that you can't make your hardware work the way you want it to or tell your neighbors the same. Vista era hardware, particularly monitors, come with keys that can be remotely revoked. This case would extent the DMCA to replacement parts, something that was denied to Lexmark when they tried to block ink cartridge makers by courts instead of software and legitimize behavior that's simply anti-competitive. ACTA would be even worse.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Internet Innovation Alliance an ATT front group
      the chair of the IIA is in reality working for AT&T. If you look a little deeper at the alliance's Website, you'll find that AT&T is also a major sponsor of the supposedly independent IIA

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Facebook Archiving
      [hiring managers are looking to Facebook to find dirt on prospective employees] the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Social Intelligence Corp. has been given the legal thumbs up to archive seven years worth of your Facebook posts. These archives will be used as part of their background checking service for job applicants

      The author mentions Facebook's privacy settings but these are changed at whim by the company and the founder called users, "dumb f***s" for trusting him. Betraying users is the company's business model.

    • Canadian Spy Law Fast Tracked
      Proposed "Lawful Access" bills would require telecom providers in Canada to hand over personal information to authorities without a warrant or judicial oversight, says The bills go beyond violating the civil liberties of Canadians, says - it will also hurt their pocketbooks.

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Clip of the Day

Freescale i.MX 6 Quad-core reference design at FTF 2011

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Credit: TinyOgg

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