Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 1/7/2011: Linux at HP, Mozilla Thunderbird for Ubuntu Default



GNOME bluefish

Contents





GNU/Linux

  • What WebOS Means To HP, Linux, And You
    In John’s review of the new HP TouchPad, he claimed that “WebOS is the real star of this show. The OS offers true multi-tasking and uses a system of “cards” and “stacks” to display active applications.” I think it’s worthwhile to remind everyone that WebOS is built atop the Linux kernel, and that has several interesting ramifications. HP has continued Palm’s dedication to user experience, and WebOS should make it abundantly clear that “Linux” need not be synonymous with “complex and arcane”. But there’s a lot more than just superficial window dressing to consider.

    HP could have chosen to use Android for their tablet. It would not have been a bad decision, really, but by buying and continuing to develop WebOS, HP is using Linux to better control their own destiny. Jim Zemlin, director of the Linux Foundation, says he sees this “as an anti-Microsoft decision so that they no longer need to rely on a third-party and be beholden when making important business decisions.” This tactic has been tried many times in the past: old-timers will remember various OEMs shipping DR-DOS rather than MS-DOS, and OS/2 rather than Windows 3.1, to fight the Redmond hegemony. But WebOS, and the proliferation of small mobile computing platforms (tablets, phones, printers, etc), allows HP to really own their whole stack, which allows them provide the best experience to their customers according to their own corporate vision.


  • A nice surprise


    Today, I visited the same shop after a particularly hard day of a rather stormy week. I went in looking for an external HD and another clerk brought it to me. I instinctively started turning the box trying to find a Tux signal somewhere and the clerk noticed, so he politely asked me: "Excuse me...What are you looking for?"

    Mentally, I sighed and said to myself "here we go again" before I told him: "I want to know if these devices support Linux".


  • Server

    • 7 Reasons Why Linux Will Rule The Server Market
      e’ve ranted a lot about Linux not being able to catch up on Windows and Mac in the desktop arena. However, we can never complain about the position Linux enjoys in the server market. Of course 20-22 % is too small a figure to put the penguin in a dominant position, but the growth Linux has seen over the years has been astounding. From big companies like Google to small technology blogs that are read by a handful, Linux -- as IBM prophesied in an advert long ago -- is everywhere.

      Here are some of the reasons why we think Linux is the future ruler of the server market:




  • Applications



  • Desktop Environments



    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • New Plasma Active Window Switcher
        Last week, Marco and I have integrated a new window switcher into Plasma Active. We had designed and started to implement this rather central component of the shell during the Tokamak sprint a couple of weeks ago, now it finally made its way into Active, so you can update your system to the latest packages and enjoy it. (In order for it to work correctly, you’ll have to delete your plasma-tablet-appletsrc file, as we do not update these automatically at this stage of development). The new window switcher works very well, and is quite snazzy on top of that. It also contains an application launcher! I’ve recorded a small demo video showing these new features.




    • GNOME Desktop

      • Nautilus Elementary Ambiance Theme Adds PPA, Looks Better Than Ever!
        Nautilus Elementary Ambiance GTK theme by simplygreat is perhaps the most beautiful mod of default Ubuntu Ambiance theme. We have featured it already in our top themes for Ubuntu 11.04 post. Few things have changed lately and the latest Nautilus Elementary Ambiance theme now comes with a PPA. Installation has now become a breeze.


      • Running GNOME apps in Kubuntu
        These days there is a lot of discussion going on surrounding the future of Ubuntu and GNOME with respect to desktop user interface or “desktop experience”. For me personally I find a lot of good in both Canonical’s Unity and GNOME’s gnome-shell. There is, however, enough issues, both technical and political, that I have been more of a mind to try other desktop environments.






  • Distributions

    • Untangle your network
      Untangle it’s a software appliance (based on Debian) that can help you in managing your network from content security to web caching, remote access to policy enforcement, all from one simple, drag & drop command center.


    • New Releases

      • Calculate Linux 11.6 released
        The new version of the distribution Calculate Linux 11.3 has been released. All editions of distribution are available for download: Calculate Linux Desktop with desktop KDE (CLD), GNOME (CLDG) and XFCE (CLDX), Calculate Linux Scratch (CLS), Calculate Directory Server (CDS) and Calculate Scratch Server (CSS).


      • The last Zentyal beta installer (2.1-2) available!
        Zentyal Development Team is glad to announce the availability of a new beta installer, Zentyal 2.1-2! This is the last beta version: from July to September a series of release candidates will be published, and in September the next stable release (Zentyal 2.2) will see daylight.

        This installer contains all the improvements and bugfixes done since the release of the previous beta installer (2.1-1 ). Moreover, it also comes with the first previews of three fully new modules: PPTP, Captive Portal and VM Management. It is important to notice that these modules are still under development and they may be in alpha status – They are not intended for production environments.




    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2011 RC1 Looks Impressive, Screenshot Tour
        Mandriva, through Eugeni Dodonov, announced a few minutes ago, June 29th, the immediate availability for testing of the first Release Candidate version of the upcoming Mandriva 2011 Linux operating system.

        Mandriva 2011 RC1 contains a huge number of changes, compared to the previous development release, Mandriva 2011 Beta 3. It has updated applications, such as Mozilla Firefox 5.0, Opera 11.50, Pidgin 2.9.0, as well as a new revamped interface with new artwork.


      • A quick note about Mandriva 2011 UI
        Folks, just to drop you a quick note about Mandriva 2011 UI – if you enable Desktop effects, you’ll have a completely different UI experience when compared to the one with them disabled.


      • Reviewed: Mageia 1.0
        Our verdict: A worthy successor to Mandriva that promises to deliver even more in the future. 8/10




    • Gentoo Family

      • Larry the Cow Embraces Freedom
        We encourage our developers and users to create Gentoo artwork based on our newly released Larry.


      • Gentoo Screenshot Contest 2011
        Gentoo Users, Developers, and Staffers are encouraged to submit their sweetest screenshots. This year likewhoa went all out and put together a custom cms for us to use for the contest. Please head over to the 2011 Contest Page for all of the details.




    • Red Hat Family

      • Who Says You Can’t Make Money with Open Source?
        Red Hat’s CEO, Jim Whitehurst, expects the company’s revenue to TRIPLE to three billion dollars in five years. This is a company whose only business is providing service and support for open source software.

        IBM, on its 100th year in business, has been richly rewarded for its billion dollar investment in Linux with a market cap today that eclipsed Microsoft’s back in May. I would argue that IBM has created so much shareholder wealth largely because they got open source and they got it early. They built services and products around open source instead of competing with open source.


      • Red Hat Exec's $1 Million Sale


      • Fedora





    • Debian Family

      • Packages I’ve added to LibreOffice in Debian Squeeze


      • How to start contributing to Debian?
        I often get requests of persons who would like to contribute to Debian but who don’t know where to start. Let’s try to answer this question properly so that I can give out this URL the next time that I am asked.

        The Debian website has a page explaining how to help Debian. While it provides no less than 10 suggestions in a daunting text-only list, it’s difficult to know what to do next once you picked up something that you could do.


      • Derivatives



        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 5 Quick Tips to Improve Ubuntu 11.04 Unity Performance
            In my opinion, one area where successive Ubuntu releases continuously under-performed is on the overall system performance front. Every new Ubuntu release feels more and more bloated, especially so with latest Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal. I was quite taken aback by fact that, even the so called Ubuntu "derivatives" like Pinguy OS and Elementary OS were a lot slicker than the original Ubuntu. Having said that, Unity is still very young and I believe it will become vastly improved by the time of next Ubuntu LTS release. But what all can we do to significantly improve overall performance of Ubuntu Unity right now? Lets explore.


          • Flavours and Variants

            • How Linux Mint took over all my computers
              Regular readers will recall that I was pretty darn impressed with Linux Mint 10 on my laptop. I’ve been slowly moving other machines to Mint since then, one at a time. First it was my test-bed machine, with various different versions – Mint 10, Mint 11, Mint Debian. I settled it on Mint 11 64-bit. Then my main desktop, which also got Mint 11 64-bit and is running nicely. The ancient Dell D610 laptop was next to go: that got Mint 10 32-bit.












  • Devices/Embedded

    • Rugged AMC module taps dual-core 1.2GHz QorIQ
      Kontron announced its first AdvancedMC (AMC) processor module equipped with Freescale Semiconductor's QorIQ processors. The single-width, Linux-ready AM4120 module incorporates: a dual-core, 1.2GHz QorIQ P2020 processor with extended longevity support; up to 4GB soldered DDR3 SDRAM; four SERDES lines; three gigabit Ethernet channels; flexible boot options; and under 17-Watt power consumption, says the company.


    • Nokia Will Ditch Users For Microsoft?
      It seems Mr Elop, the ex-Microsoft executive now driving the once master turned mistress Nokia towards Microsoft's bed, is more determined to turn Nokia into a hardware truck which delivers Microsoft's mobile OS.


    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Do We Need An Android Patent Pool?
        Once upon a time a company called iRiver made a name for itself with a line of MP3 players and portable media players. In fact I still have an old iRiver MP3 player lying around which I still use from time to time as a voice recorder thanks to its support for line and mic input. But while iRiver never exactly went away, the company has largely faded into the background after the launch of the iPod touch and iPhone.


      • Motorola XOOM Available In India
        Motorola has announced the availability of Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi and 3G variant tablets in India. Motorola XOOM features a 1GHz dual-core processor and 1 GB of RAM, front-facing and rear-facing cameras, true multi-tasking functionality, and the latest Google Mobile services on a 25.6 cm (10.1-inch) widescreen HD display.



      • E-Books readers sales rise, but are tablets really lagging?
        You see I’m also on record as saying that the Android Linux-powered e-readers were quickly evolving into tablets. Like what tablets you ask? Try the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color: they’re both powered by Android









Free Software/Open Source



  • Further thoughts on the decline of ‘open source’ as a competitive differentiator


  • Open Source is not a Sin, It's a blessing
    The term open source to me means - no vendor lock-in, it means i can try out (at least a community version) without getting some kind of license key. It means there is likely a mailing list and a bug tracker -- you know the stuff that provides transparency.

    What has happened in my view is that some of the commercial open core vendors have so watered down the term open source in their own marketing as to make it meaningless. After all if a so called open core vendor (software based on open source but with added 'stuff' around it) has the bulk of the added 'stuff' non-open source (often the case), then being open source in that context doesn't really matter, does it?


  • Do you FOSS or do you FLOSS?
    Recently a person was writing a paper and they used the term “FLOSS” (meaning Free and Li[bv]re Open Source Software) instead of “FOSS” (meaning Free and Open Source Software). The author happens to have been from Latin America and writing for a United Nations sponsored paper. In these types of papers the term “FLOSS” is used quite regularly.


  • Scientist: How to attribute free software contributions in journal article, proceeding and monograph
    Scientists, academicians and researchers are a group of users that benefits greatly from Free and Open Source Software (FOSS / FLOSS). Most them would use free software not only to help in preparing graph and documentation, but also as the main tool in their investigation.

    Although it is not explicitly required by the software license or by software authors, the role of free software should be appropriately attributed by academicians and scientists who used them in their investigations as it would not only acknowledge the contribution of free software authors (some of them are hardworking academicians or scientists themselves), but this will also done to fulfill the academic accountability on the researchers part.


  • Bear Turns Open Source Shark in Deep Water
    On this day he’s wearing his CEO hat. He’s come to talk about SharkCloud, his latest project, which could be a FOSS game changer if he gets it to fly.


  • FUD Barriers For Open Source Non-Profits?
    Are US open source organisations having their applications for non-profit status blocked?

    In a post to a private mailing list I follow, Software Conservancy chief Bradley Kuhn has confirmed that an unexpected problem highlighted recently by CASH Music is indeed a real issue for open source groups in the USA seeking to formalise non-profit status. I asked Bradley if he'd be happy to share some of the information from that posting and he agreed.

    The problem is that, for unexplained reasons, the US tax authorities (IRS) are not approving applications from open source organisations for tax-exempt status very quickly - if at all. As Jesse von Doom notes in the blog posting that drew attention to the matter, "no one wants to draw the ire of the IRS", but Bradley observes that this is a problem he has been hearing about for over a year.


  • Web Browsers



    • Mozilla



      • Thunderbird Made Default In Ubuntu 11.10, Final Default Email Client Decision Not Yet Taken
        According to a recent change, Thunderbird is now the default email client in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, replacing Evolution. The update should be available for Oneiric users in a few hours.

        But this doesn't mean Thunderbird will be default in the final Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot release because according to the default email client blueprint, the final decision has not been taken yet. We should find out if Thunderbird will stay as default sometime around Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot Alpha 3, after both Thunderbird and Evolution will be evaluated...


      • Mozilla Thunderbird 5.0, a look at new features!| PPA Ubuntu
        The new Thunderbird comes with a handful of new features such as drag and drop enabled interface, improved add-on manager and account creating wizard and several fixes. The most apparent change you shall notice is definitely the better, minimal and more modern interface. The Add-on manager, Trouble shooting page and many bug fixes!


      • Thunderbird joins Firefox with rapid release


      • Firefox 5 A Success For Mozilla
        Firefox may not have been overwhelming in the features department, but it has accomplished a major goal for Mozilla: The transition of users was accelerated by a factor of 2.

        I cannot quite remember a Mozilla browser that was as controversial as version 5, a version that is loved and hated at the same time. For users, Firefox 5 is an almost insignificant update that does not deliver any tangible benefits with the exception of security updates that are phased for Firefox 4 (there was anyway just one big update.) However, as the days go by, we more and more feel that this is not really a browser that was made with Mozilla’s users in mind. This is a browser that was created as a launch platform for future Mozilla browsers. In some way, Firefox 5 is a browser that Mozilla made for itself.






  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle v. Google - Oracle's Response to the Daubert Motion
      Oracle has now filed its brief [PDF] in opposition to Google's Daubert motion in which Google seeks to exclude Prof. Iain Cockburn, Oracle's damages expert, as an expert in the patent infringement suit. Google's arguments largely fell into the category of asserting Prof. Cockburn was ignoring or distorting facts and ignoring well established principles for determining damages.

      In its response Oracle makes a compelling argument that Prof. Cockburn's determinations are within the bounds of reason, that Prof. Cockburn is an established expert on patent infringement damages, and that, to the extent Google disagrees with Prof. Cockburn's approach and findings, Google should put forward its own expert or save its criticism of Prof. Cockburn for cross-examination at trial. It is hard to argue that point.


    • Do We Need An Android Patent Pool?
      Patents are dangerous for the innovation and progress in the IT field. Monopolies like Microsoft, Apple and Oracle have stared using the so-called software patents as bane to block innovation and competition in the market.

      America's controversial software patent law is causing more damage to the IT industry than it is doing good. It's time US congress must take steps to abolish the IT evil called software patents.

      Smaller players, also known as start-up are living under threat of being bullied by mega-corporates like Microsoft and Apple with some unnamed patent seeking ransom or face legal action.




  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • A Python Front-End To GCC Is Brewing This Summer
      It turns out there's another fairly interesting Google Summer of Code project being worked on this summer beyond the exciting projects and the Mesa/X/Wayland projects that have piqued our interest this year. This project was somehow skipped past when looking at the GSoC information before, but it's a continued effort (by the same student last year) to write a Python front-end to GCC.




  • Public Services/Government



  • Openness/Sharing

    • Can Creative Commons solve the digital rights problem?
      The internet has made the sharing and remixing of content into a common pastime but copyright laws, first designed more than 400 years ago, have not kept up. Creative Commons attempts to change that and this week the organisation published a guide, The Power of Open, that shows exactly how the system works.

      Joi Ito, the chair of Creative Commons, told the Telegraph: “If you think about the success of the internet, it allows people to innovate without asking permission.” He said that existing copyright was an obstacle to that and so Creative Commons provided a way to let creators control their rights without stifling innovation.


    • CoLab: An Experiment Into Open Source Science
      Scientific research is exhaustive, time consuming, and often frustrating, especially when the results don’t turn out. What’s more, when publishing research articles, fellow scientists, colleagues, and the general public tend to be unaware of the amount of work put into the research, as the paper published only contains the best of the best in terms of results and findings. All the other data collected, the procedures used, the false starts, unpredictable mistakes and surprises that happen along the way go unnoticed, stored away in boxes to collect dust.

      But why? Why do scientists hide 90% of what they do? Are they afraid of their research being stolen? Are they worried that others in the scientific community may criticize or challenge their findings? Or is it just that they have gotten so used to doing their research behind closed doors that they stopped looking for a new way to do things? Whatever the reason, it seems that scientists should be collaborating and brainstorming together, utilizing the community resources available in order to better their research.


    • Chinese City Allegedly Pursues Open Internet Plan
      At OStatic, we've frequently covered one of the most anti-open technology trends in existence: censorship in regions of the world that don't support open Internet principles. There are many free tools available, including open source tools, that allow for anonymous browsing in these regions, and China remains one of the most restrictive regions of the world in terms of Internet censorship. Now, though, one Chinese city is proposing to break the mold, creating a haven in the center of China for a free Internet.




  • Programming



  • Standards/Consortia

    • EU Commission presents legal package for revised European Standardisation System
      On Wednesday this week the European Commission adopted the legal package on standardisation. It consists of a Communication outlining the strategic thinking and directions for European standardisation and of a Regulation that will lay down the legal principles and constitute the future European standardisation framework. Both texts plus some accompanying material like the Impact Assessment are available from the DG Enterprise website.

      To begin with, the legal package is excellent – highest congratulations to the Commission. It addresses the urgent needs for European standardisation that had been identified in the studies and reports over the last years. Above all, it addresses the needs of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector which has developed different structures globally with well-established fora and consortia being in the lead of ICT standards development. The legal package, following the Digital Agenda, takes this up and provides well-thought-out and sophisticated solutions. They build on the current European standardisation system which proved to be effective and efficient, but complement it with important means taking into account the global realities in ICT.






Leftovers





  • Finance

    • Strauss-Kahn case is 'close to collapse', say reports
      The prosecution case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund and French presidential hopeful accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid, is close to collapse, a report in the New York Times has claimed.

      The newspaper reports allegations that significant problems have emerged with the case against the former IMF boss that could see the conditions of his house arrest in New York being relaxed with immediate effect.

      Based on interviews with two unnamed law enforcement officers, it says that "major holes" in the case will be admitted to a federal criminal court in Manhattan as early as Friday. New York Police Department had no comment last night.




  • Civil Rights

    • US authorities have access to European cloud data
      Cloud providers like Microsoft have to provide US criminal prosecutors with access to customer data, as ZDNet reports. This access applies even if the data is stored by firms based in the EU and in European data centres. This was explained by Microsoft's British managing director Gordon Frazer in London during the launch of Microsoft's Office 365, when he was asked whether Microsoft could ensure that the data stored at its data centres in the EU would never leave Europe.


    • Do We Need An Android Patent Pool?
      The US Congress has made a decision to start using the proprietary and insecure Skype at a time when there are growing concerns over the security and stability of Skype. In the last month alone, Skype has suffered major outages and exposed security holes.

      A recent report revealed a dangerous exploit in Skype for Mac which can be exploited to create a worm that can take control of Mac PCs. I very much doubt that US congressmen use secure Linux machines, however they may be burning the tax-payer's hard-earned money on expensive and shiny new Apple Macs.

      On top of the outage problems and security issues, Skype is going through the transition of being acquired by an abusive monopoly, Microsoft, which creates quite a lot of uncertainty about its future.








Clip of the Day



Greek unrest ahead of new vote 29 to 30 June 2011



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Credit: TinyOgg

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There will be more next week