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03.29.14

Links 29/3/2014: Instructionals

Posted in News Roundup at 6:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Linux News: Tux3, Clang-Built Linux, Collaboration Summit Updates, and Assurances From NVIDIA

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel at 4:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Kernel

  • Tux3 Will Likely Soon Be Added To The Linux Kernel

    The Tux3 author intends to publish his Tux3 patches to the kernel mailing list in the next week or two with the intent of mainlining the file-system into the Linux kernel. There’s still some features to add and bugs to work through, but Phillips is now at a stage where he’s comfortable in seeing all of the code mainlined into the Linux kernel. He also hopes that by being in the mainline kernel will be an up-tick of interest and development support for the file-system. Samsung, among others, have been interested in potentially using Tux3 as an embedded Linux file-system. In fact, he said Samsung may be more interested in using Tux3 than their F2FS Flash-Friendly File-System project and he has been communicating with Samsung’s F2FS developers.

  • Developers Keep Striving To Build The Linux Kernel With LLVM Clang

    With another Linux Foundation Summit means another time to hear an update about LLVMLinux, the Linux Foundation backed project to build the mainline Linux kernel with LLVM’s Clang C/C++ compiler in place of GCC.

Collaboration Summit

Graphics Stack

Canonical Removes Amazon Search From Ubuntu (by Default)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 3:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Ubuntu has removed Amazon results from local search, according to Canonical staff

BASED on this thread which started from yesterday's article, Canonical has removed the controversial behaviour that the EFF and the FSF criticised (to the point where Richard Stallman advised people not to recommend or use Ubuntu). This is great news. Perhaps we are indeed seeing a reformed/reforming Canonical. Let’s hope for more of the same.

Distro News: Makulu, Zorin OS, Pisi, Black Lab, OpenMandriva, Mageia

Posted in News Roundup at 3:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Makulu

  • Makulu Makeover May Give Your Linux Life a Lift

    MakuluLinux was already a solidly performing distro, but the latest version, released last month, takes Makulu to the next level of usability and maturity.

  • Makulu, Ubuntu, and Red Hat
  • Hands-on with Makulu Linux 5 Xfce: The most fun you can have with Linux?

    So here’s the summary. Makulu Linux is the distribution a lot of us think we would like to create, if we had the time, energy and especially the talent to do it. I don’t know anyone in the development team, so this is all speculation on my part, but I would say that it is a group of people who just don’t know when to stop — and I mean that as a compliment, and a very good thing.

  • Red Hat on the Rise, Fun Fun Makulu, and Whazzup Kernel

    Today’s news search turned up quite a bit of data. Red Hat released their quarterly earnings this afternoon and while observers expected good news, some are now reporting not so much. ZDNet.com has two stories of interest today, the first is from Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols reporting on the Linux Collaboration Summit and the other is Jamie Watson’s hands-on review of Makulu Linux 5 Xfce. He said it was the most fun as one could have with Linux!

Zorin OS

  • Zorin OS 8 Makes Learning Linfastic

    Zorin OS 8 installs smartly and runs without glitches. It is a solid choice for hassle-free computing, even if you ignore the education bundle. However, educators with access to computer stations in the classroom can benefit from using Zorin’s Education Edition rather than the Core release. Because it offers all the power of Ubuntu without the Unity interface, you can not go wrong with Zorin OS 8.

  • Hands-On: Zorin OS 8 Linux

    If you choose the free version, you will then be offered a choice between the latest release (currently Zorin OS 8.1), which is based on Ubuntu 13.10, or the current Long Term Support (LTS) release (Zorin OS 6.4), which is based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. Furthermore, both the current and LTS releases have three versions: Core, Educational and Gaming. That’s quite a variety of versions to choose from — and there might even be a “Lite” version coming with LXDE!

Pisi

  • Pisi Linux 1.0 RC2 Erdinc (Release Candidate 2) is finally finished.

    When it became apparent early in 2012 that for political/financial reasons, Pardus was to be abandoned, a small group of Turkish volunteers came together to preserve the unique features of Pardus. The name of this project is Anka (Turkish for Phoenix). Initially the Anka-Team believed the fork could be named Pardus-Anka. Ultimately this was not possible – hence re-branding to Pisi Linux as a reference to Pardus and its package system PiSi (Pisi is Turkish for kitty).

  • Pisi Linux 1.0 RC2 Is Based on Pardus and It’s Now About Cats

    “Pisi GNU/Linux is built from scratch but it is a stable base. On top of that, we keep core user applications, such as Firefox, VLC, etc, up to date as much as we can. To ease the use of Pisi GNU/Linux many codecs are preinstalled allowing MP3 & DVD playback, Flash Player support,” reads the official website.

Black Lab

  • Black Lab Linux 5.0 Beta 2 Is Based on Bleeding Edge Xfce 4.11

    “Today we are pleased to announce the beta 2 release of Black Lab Linux 5. This will be the last Beta for Black Lab Linux 5 until the final release. While it contains all the functionality that will be released in the gold release in May, right now we are working on stability. With that, lets go over what has changed with Black Lab Linux 5,” reads the official announcement.

  • Black Lab Linux 5.0 Beta 2 released
  • Black Lab Linux Education 4.2.5 and Black Lab Professional Desktop 4.2.5 released

    So what changes have been made? There have been quite a few changes to these distributions in terms of updates and functionality. First, we have focused more on the desktop computing spectrum. While we will continue to offer Black Lab Linux + Server Extensions Pak on our server hardware and the Server Extensions Pak as an additional download, we have decided to stick with what we do the best. Which is the desktop systems. We have heard from customers and users that those are the best releases we do, and while we arent totally lost on the server, we feel we have alot of contributions on the desktop.

OpenMandriva

Mageia

  • Multiboot Laptop Update

    When I bought the ZaReason Strata Laptop, I asked them to pre-load Mageia 4 to it. However, I knew that I was going to add more distros to the hard drive as soon as I can, to make it feel like the pentaboot HP Pavilion that died on me.

    To begin, I wiped the original install and re-installed Mageia. Then, I tried to put PCLinuxOS into the hard drive, but the distro had problems with the display. As I could not achieve a decent display, I decided to do some research and try with PCLinuxOS later.

Misc.

  • Simplicity Linux 14.4 Beta Is a Lightweight Distro Based on Puppy and LXDE

    Simplicity Linux, a Linux distribution based on Puppy that uses the LXDE desktop, is now at version 14.4 Beta and brings a buckload of changes and improvements.

  • Smallest Full Linux Distro in the World, Tiny Core, Gets a New Version

    Robert Shingledecker has announced the immediate availability for download and testing of the Tiny Core 5.3 RC1 Linux operating system, one of the smallest full operating systems in the world.

  • MX-14 “Symbiosis” Linux OS Wants to Resurrect Your Old Computer

    “‘Symbiosis’ is a special version of antiX developed in full collaboration with the Mepis Community and using the best tools and talents from each distro. It is a mid-weight OS designed to combine an elegant and efficient desktop with simple configuration, high stability, solid performance and medium-sized footprint.”

  • Trying Out The Latest Wayland Linux Desktops With RBOS

    With last weekend marking an update to the most commonly used Wayland Live CD, I decided to try it out and the different desktop environments that it ships using all the latest code, including the latest development code of Wayland/Weston and the various tool-kits.

  • Clonezilla Live 2.2.2-29 Distro for Backup Features Linux Kernel 3.13.6-1
  • SparkyLinux 3.3.1 Base is out

    The new installer had to be fixed, due to some, small changes between system base of Sparky and LMDE. The network connection did not work after installation the live system on a hard drive (Base Edition 3.3 only).

  • BBQLinux and OS for Android developers and Arch enthusiasts

    BBQLinux is an user-friendly Linux distribution made for Android Developers and for enthusiasts who want to test a bit of Arch Linux. It has everything on board to build AOSP or AOSP-based Distributions like OmniROM or CyanogenMod. It’s based on Arch Linux and uses Rolling Release system. BBQLinux uses Arch repositories so its a direct Arch derivative, for example Manjaro is based on Arch but uses their own repositories.

  • Hands-on: My new laptop and two more Linux flavours

    Absolutely everything in it works with Linux, with the caveat that at least for the moment, you have to create a one-line file to get the wireless networking. All of the auxiliary functions work as well, such as Suspend/Resume and the Fn-keys for Sleep, Display Brightness up/down/off, and Volume up/down/off (mute).

  • Nixed, Seniors, and Networking Basics

    While perusing the news this evening I saw a review on NixOS 13.10 by Jesse Smith. Sandra Henry-Stocker wrote a tutorial on “networking basics for the beginner.” LinuxInsider’s blog safari targeted buzz on “Linux for the senior set” and Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols reports OpenStack’s top operating system is Ubuntu. Finally, a new Debian Project News was posted.

  • Inside Linux Lite – An interview with Jerry Bezencon

    Linux Lite was created to dispel myths that a linux based operating system is hard to use.

    We’re passionate about informing people that there are alternatives to proprietary operating systems.

    The free software and open source world is a place from which you can take, but you must give back. This is a chance for people on our team to give something back.

  • [Beta] OpenELEC 4.0 Beta 2 released
  • Tor-ramdisk updated

    Tor-ramdisk, a tor server distro, was recently updated. Linux kernel, tor binary was updated and haveged was used as entropy generator.

  • Fat Dog unleashed on ARM

    FatDogArm, a relatively new distro was released recently for ARM based computers. It is a small operating system targeted for desktop-style operations. FatDogArm achieved a new milestone with its first beta release. The distribution is quite small in size (less than 300MB). The logic behind the FatDog name is explained on the FatDog64′s site

  • Linpus Lite 2.1 review

    The distribution is published by Linpus Technologies, Inc., a Linux/Android software solutions outfit based in Taiwan. This is about the only Linux provider that does not have a defined release schedule. Whether that’s a good or bad practice is not something I’m going to address here.

KDE News: KDE Almost Has New Release (4.13), Qt 5.3 in Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 2:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Almost Final Release

Qt

Kubuntu

  • Kubuntu 14.04 LTS Beta 2 (Trusty Tahr) Is Out and Based on KDE 4.13 Beta 1

    Kubuntu14.04 LTS Beta 1 (Trusty Tahr) is based on KDE Plasma 4.13 Beta 1, and this means that the final version will likely be based on the final build of KDE 4.13. This is actually very good news because the KDE 4.13 branch has a ton of new features that will be very well received by the community.

  • KDE 4.13 Makes It Into Kubuntu 14.04 LTS

    KDE 4.13 is making it into next month’s release of Kubuntu 14.04 LTS, the KDE version of Ubuntu Linux.

    Going back to January this year has been planning about shipping KDE SC 4.13 in the next (K)ubuntu release. As of today, there’s been mass package updates pushing all of the KDE components up to their latest 4.13 development versions; KDE 4.13 Beta 2 was released a few days ago.

Applications

  • KDE Telepathy 0.8 is out

    Sooooo after a brief period of testing the public beta we bring you the final stable release of KDE Telepathy 0.8.

  • Buy digiKam Recipes, Get Raspberry Pi for Photographers

    Small, affordable, and versatile, Raspberry Pi is a perfect platform for all kinds of creative projects. And as a photography enthusiast, you can put this tiny machine to a variety of practical uses. Transforming Raspberry Pi into a photography tool is not only great hacking fun, it also opens a whole new world of photographic possibilities. The Raspberry Pi for Photographers ebook can help you to turn a Raspberry Pi into a tool for fetching and managing photos, publishing photos on the web, controlling your camera remotely, and keeping your photos safe.

  • Meet Milou, the alternative of Krunner

    The search functionality of KDE software is going through massive transition with Baloo replacing Nepomuk. We have written extensively about it here.

Misc.

  • KDE to Attend Freedesktop Summit 2014

    The summit is a joint technical meeting of developers working on ‘desktop infrastructure’ on the major Free Desktop projects. The event aims to support collaboration between projects by discussing specifications and the sharing of platform-level components. David Faure will be KDE’s primary representative at this year’s summit.

  • KDE Commit-Digest for 16th February 2014

03.28.14

Microsoft is Still Losing Market Share in Actual Web Servers (Not Dummy Domains)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 6:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Apache vs. Microsoft

Credit: Netcraft

Summary: The reality behind Microsoft’s declining presence on the Web and the distortion of statistics which Microsoft is so notorious for

SOME people just don’t investigate before writing. They prematurely mourn a demise of Apache (the Web server) even though there is no demise and nothing to really mourn. Netcraft has finally produced a better graph (as shown above) to show Microsoft exploiting parked domains to make Apache look bad. This is not unprecedented and the peaks in the graph represent similar events that involved GoDaddy, for example.

“…whoever claimed that Apache was having woes or that Free software was losing in servers space should probably post a correction.”Dr. Glyn Moody says he “spoke to Jim Jagielski, who has an impressive entry in Wikipedia that shows him to be well placed to comment on the Apache Web server project” (note that he is a Microosft guy now, having sold out for a high salary).

Moody wrote: “When I asked him whether he was worried that the long and glorious reign of the Apache Web server might be over, he pointed out that the graph where Microsoft had done well was the “Web server developers: Market share of all sites”. In other words, it simply counted every Web site it could find, whether or not that site was important or even active. Netcraft’s analysis confirms that the big jump in Microsoft’s market share was down to almost a single company:

‘Microsoft gained a staggering 48 million sites this month, increasing its total by 19% — most of this growth is attributable to new sites hosted by Nobis Technology Group.’

“As Jagielski notes, the second and third Netcraft graphs, “Web server developers: Market share of active sites” and “Web server developers: Market share of the top million busiest sites”, show a rather different story. In the former, Microsoft made a small gain of 0.18%, while in the latter its growth was negative – -0.10%. In fact, the real star of the latest Netcraft survey is the open source Web server Nginx: it gained an extra 0.60% of the total Web server market, 1.49% of the active sites, and 1.55% of the million busiest sites.”

So whoever claimed that Apache was having woes or that Free software was losing in servers space should probably post a correction. Microsoft is a master of gaming statistics and we showed several times before that Microsoft does this very consciously and deliberately. Right now, for example, Microsoft is lying about so-called ‘sales’ of Vista 8, using bogus numbers, as usual. One response said: “Microsoft will have you believe that the new Windows 8 operating system is doing great in sales and that Linux is not actually gaining any solid ground, but it’s difficult to tell what is happening on the market without any real data. So we turn to the only online shop that has enough sales to provide an accurate picture.”

“I’ve never used Windows XP, because I’ve run Linux on all my PC systems for about 15 years,” wrote this one journalist in a new article. But since many computers come with Windows preinstalled and computers with old versions of Windows still count as “8″, surely Microsoft can lie and try to defend the lie.

Links: Screenshots and Themes

Posted in News Roundup at 5:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mark Shuttleworth With a Beard Starts Sounding More Like Richard Stallman

Posted in GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 6:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mark Richard Buranov Shuttleworth
Photo from Space Facts

Summary: Ubuntu’s founder Mark Shuttleworth explains that his beard is grown as a political statement while he orders the elimination of ACPI, which is favoured by the world’s biggest back doors proponent, the NSA (and GCHQ)

Mark Shuttleworth is a fascinating and charismatic man. At a very young age, equipped with Free software, he was able to make his dreams come true and he is still very good at business [1]. In recent years many tried to portray him as a greedy exploiter — a narrative we rejected and fought back against. As a man who grew up in South Africa, he is aware of discrimination (sometimes to the extreme) and now that he lives in the UK he must be seeing some of the same symptoms, which is why he is growing a beard [2] (to make a statement).

“If Shuttleworth rejects ACPI, then he should also reject UEFI and Amazon (especially the Fog Computing aspect of it).”To be politically expressive sometimes contradicts and interferes with business. Just look at what’s being done to Mozilla right now. We are not going to entertain the politics of intimidation and blackmail (into conformity, by threatening one’s job and free speech), but a lot of readers may already know what we refer to. Either way, earlier this month, in response to NSA revelations, Mark Shuttleworth made it quite apparent that surveillance software like Skype won’t return into Ubuntu’s front page (in the Web site) any time soon. Shuttleworth seems to be grasping the fact that we are moving in a bad direction in technology, where surveillance and back doors are becoming somewhat of a norm. Earlier today a reader send us this news link [3] about US legislators wanting to require back doors not just in phones but also desktops/laptops (call it “Back Doors by Law”). This is seriously messed up!

Now, taking into account monopoly abuser‘s promotion of UEFI, which enables remote destruction of computers (the NSA helps validate this) we should definitely avoid it. Given what Amazon does with the CIA, we should avoid it too, not put Amazon spyware inside Ubuntu (in my job I was writing puppet config files to remove this spyware from hundreds of federated desktops). On the bright side of things, despite Canonical supporting Amazon and UEFI, Mr. Shuttleworth now declares war on ACPI [4], which is deemed a proprietary security threat (possible hijacking or remote bricking, like UEFI). There was press generated to that effect thanks to Mr. Shuttleworth [5-7], raising awareness among many.

Shuttleworth is not typically techno-political, except perhaps when it comes to software freedom. So his stance on ACPI is hopefully the start of more such stance changes. If Shuttleworth rejects ACPI, then he should also reject UEFI and Amazon (especially the Fog Computing aspect of it).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Vendors “looking seriously” at Ubuntu – Shuttleworth

    Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, said that he is “very confident that large manufacturers are looking seriously at Ubuntu as the new open platform of choice”, following the recent announcement that it is working with two small players – bq and Meizu – to bring the first smartphones using the platform to market.

  2. Here’s why Mark Shuttleworth is growing beard

    “There is a slightly serious angle to beard. One of my colleagues was stopped and held by transport police in UK. He was questioned for hours. There was no justification to it and so while he was leaving, he asked them the reason and they said it was the beard. This is disgusting. A society should be civilised enough to not judge people on the basis of how they look.”

  3. Feds want an expanded ability to hack criminal suspects’ computers

    The United States Department of Justice wants to broaden its ability to hack criminal suspects’ computers according to a new legal proposal that was first published by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

    If passed as currently drafted, federal authorities would gain an expanded ability to conduct “remote access” under a warrant against a target computer whose location is unknown or outside of a given judicial district. It would also apply in cases where that computer is part of a larger network of computers spread across multiple judicial districts. In the United States, federal warrants are issued by judges who serve one of the 94 federal judicial districts and are typically only valid for that particular jurisdiction.

  4. ACPI, firmware and your security

    If you read the catalogue of spy tools and digital weaponry provided to us by Edward Snowden, you’ll see that firmware on your device is the NSA’s best friend. Your biggest mistake might be to assume that the NSA is the only institution abusing this position of trust – in fact, it’s reasonable to assume that all firmware is a cesspool of insecurity courtesy of incompetence of the worst degree from manufacturers, and competence of the highest degree from a very wide range of such agencies.

  5. Linux Bugs but Proprietary the Threat Says Shuttleworth
  6. Mark Shuttleworth Calls For An End To ACPI
  7. Proprietary firmware poses a security threat, Ubuntu founder says

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