06.11.09

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Links 11/06/2009: KDE 4.3 and Firefox 3.5 RCs Are Nearer, Linux 2.6.30 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 4:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Interview with Bob Sutor

    In this episode of Open Voices, Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin talks with newly appointed VP of Linux and Open Source at IBM Bob Sutor. They cover IBM’s current support of Linux, the origin of that support, and the hotspots Bob sees in the Linux and open source market today. Highlights include conversation about cloud computing, Linux on the desktop, ODF, and the growth of the Linux community.

  • New Linux tool helps manage guest virtual machines

    With the increasing prevalence of virtualization comes the greater need for management of “guest” operating systems that run as virtual machines on the hypervisor, and the tool called libguestfs is set to provide that on Linux.

    Libguestfs is a library for accessing and modifying guest vms and can be used for making batch configuration changes to guests, viewing and editing files inside guests, getting disk statistics, migrating between virtualization systems, performing partial guest backups and clones, cloning guests and changing system information of Linux and Windows guests among other things.

  • Active Media Products Launches Penguin USB Flash Drive

    Active Media Products (AMP) today announced a new WWF Penguin USB flash drive that is offered in capacities up to 16GB. Under its licensing agreement with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) AMP develops and sells a series of portable USB flash drives in the likeness of endangered species, and contributes five percent of the retail price of this product line to WWF.

  • The USB Penguin: For the Linux Nerd in Your Life.

    Do you know someone who hates every commercial operating system with a passion that borders on the manic? Do they own a fleet of laptops, netbooks, and desktop PCs all loaded up with different Linux distros? If so, your holiday shopping just got a heck of a lot easier. Active Media Products just released the perfect gift for Linux nerds young and old.

  • Linux-Based Cell Phone Netbook Dream Machine

    A real Linux computer offers up endless options. Suppose I don’t want to pay for 3G service? No problem, ordinary wifi is fine, though a bit more trouble, and I can set up VoIP for free. Using any standard Linux distribution is the way to go; then you have access to the distro repositories and thousands of applications, and all of the flexibility and power of a real Linux, instead of a mangled, non-functional excuse of a Linux.

    I’m going to wait a little longer because I want that perfect trifecta: 3G-capable, long battery life, and low price tag, which to me means under $400. And maybe even one of these newfangled non-Intel CPUs that Windows won’t work on, and probably never will. Not only because I don’t care for Windows, but because they promise better efficiency, performance and low power consumption. And more choice in the marketplace.

  • Desktop

    • Linux: not just for geeks any more

      In times of economic turmoil, when companies large and small are looking for ways to cut costs, open source solutions like Ubuntu (which is free) can be the answer to many computing needs across an increasingly broad spectrum.

    • Ubuntu, almost two weeks in

      Well, the laptop has been running Ubuntu Studio 9.06 (64bit) for almost two weeks and so far the verdict is: Bye-Bye Vista!

      The improvements in the laptop’s performance using Ubuntu vs Vista is quite noticeable.

    • Fun Wallpapers: The Linux Desktop Edition

      Yeah, it’s a little ironic that we’d put together a collection of Linux wallpapers since we cover mostly Microsoft topics—but we’re also fans of open-source goodness and use Linux all the time.

    • CrunchBang Linux is best for old notebook

      It is also interesting looking because it makes use of Conky, which is a free software system monitor for the X Window System. and since it is prominently sitting on the desktop, it makes it seem easy to check it out and start to configure it, with all the examples out there it really isn’t that tough. CrunchBang ran great on that 192MB of RAM dinosaur with Firefox running (with the included Adobe Flash, by the way!), only bogging down when the Package Manager was also running.

      All in all, whether or not your PC is old and worn out, CrunchBang Linux is a great player in Linux arena!

  • Kernel Space

    • Trusted Computer Solutions Offers Free Trial of Industry’s Only Automated System Lock-Down and Security Management Solution

      Trusted Computer Solutions, Inc. (TCS), a leading developer of cross domain, operating system and network security software, today announced that it is offering a free trial version of its award-winning Security Blanket™ product for Linux. Security Blanket is a system lock-down and security management tool that enables systems administrators to automatically configure and enhance the security level for Operating Systems (OS) including Red Hat Enterprise Linux versions 4 and 5, Solaris version 10, CentOS versions 4 and 5, Fedora version 10 and Oracle Enterprise Linux versions 4 and 5.

    • nVidia Linux Display Driver – 185.18.14

      Release Highlights

      * Improved compatibility with recent Linux kernels.
      * Fixed a Xinerama drawable resource management problem that can cause GLXBadDrawable errors in certain cases, such as when Wine applications are run.
      * Fixed XineramaQueryScreens to return 0 screens instead of 1 screen with the geometry of screen 0 when XineramaIsActive returns false. This conforms to the Xinerama manual page and fixes an interaction problem with Compiz when there is more than one X screen.

    • Linux Kernel 2.6.30 released

      After eight release candidates and a rather short development cycle, Linus Torvalds has released Linux version 2.6.30, dubbed “Man-Eating Seals of Antiquity”. As with its predecessors on the main development line of Linux, it introduces a host of innovations.

    • Fine tuning

      Although it wasn’t explicitly planned this way, a whole lot of the changes made in the new kernel version have an impact on file systems and data storage. There are, however, also plenty of changes elsewhere, for example faster booting, more efficient compression algorithms and hundreds of new and improved drivers.

    • SquashFS: Not Just for Embedded Systems

      As we’ve demonstrated over the past several weeks, there are no shortage of new file systems in the latest version of Linux. (See NILFS: A File System to Make SSDs Scream, Linux Don’t Need No Stinkin’ ZFS: BTRFS Intro & Benchmarks and ext4 File System: Introduction and Benchmarks)

  • Applications

    • A Linux Day of Gratitude

      There are a couple of ways to get Audacity 1.3.4. I could grab the source tarball and build from sources. I could look for a backport. I could install a different Linux version that has it. I opted for installing a new Linux because it also gives me the opportunity to check out a different distro. OK so the one I chose isn’t so very different– Ubuntu 9.04 with KDE4, Gnome, XFCE, and a couple of other desktop environments. I have two hard drives with something like a gazillionbytes of storage, so I used GParted to create a 60-gigabyte partition for the new installation.

  • Desktop Environments

    • KDE 4.3 Beta 2 Release Announcement

      June 9th, 2009. The KDE Community today announced the immediate availability of KDE 4.3 Beta 2, the second preview of the 3rd iteration over the KDE 4 desktop, applications and development platform.

  • Distributions

    • Microcore and Qemu

      Microcore is a version of Tinycore that has no graphical environment. It is even smaller than Tinycore, with the CD image being only 7 MB. It looks like a reasonably useful text based minimal operating system that you could use to build your own version on. You could add in utilities like antivirus, etc… to suit your needs.

    • Red Hat

    • Ubuntu

      • Review: Linux Mint 7

        Overall, I’m very impressed with Linux Mint 7. It’s once again outdone itself and easily holds the title as one of the best new user distributions out there. When I first loaded it up, I was worried that they had reached their pinnacle and Mint 7 would be their first step down as every distro does after a while. Some just sooner than others.

        But nope, Mint 7 is still climbing the mountain to bigger, better, greater, faster, and more awesome than all of it’s predecessors. It’s always encouraging to see a distro always getting better, despite how good it was before.

      • Getting to the root of Ubuntu.

        Well I am one of those who went to Debian after using Ubuntu, Kubuntu to be exact. In my case I did a complete reinstall from scratch. Just the other day as I was squeezing my personal installation into the latest testing mold it struck my mind that if I could do this sort of work easily with aptitude then why not try and convert Ubuntu to Debian.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Iomega: EMC’s entry to be at the center of your home

      Schwartz’s plan: Make Iomega’s storage software—a derivative of what is used in EMC’s enterprise systems—consumer friendly so that it takes four clicks to set up. Behind the scenes Iomega would include EMC technology from RSA and other units. Schwartz said EMC retooled Iomega’s software from scratch on the Linux kernel. The benchmark: “Whoever your partner is in life should be able to use this software in 5 minutes,” said Schwartz.

    • Android In Netbooks Makes Headway; To Nibble At Windows Shr

      Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is pinning high hopes on its next-generation operating system Windows 7 to spur PC upgrades, but growing interest in open-source platforms in low-cost computers could potentially nibble at the company’s long dominance in operating systems.

    • Palm Pre breaks Sprint sales records

      The Wall Street Journal cites one such analyst who pegs the sales figures at somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 units sold. Meanwhile, a J.P. Morgan report estimates more than 50,000 units were punted in the first two days.

    • Moblin on the Nettop – First Steps

      The desktop and menus are significantly different than any of the “typical” Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu, Mandriva, Fedora or openSuSE. I don’t even find them to be much like the Ubuntu Netbook Remix – if anything, my first impression of the desktop is better than it was with UNR, I find it to be less cluttered and more intuitive.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Community-Built Software: What I Learned from Calagator, Audrey Eschright

    Many open source projects start with a single developer trying to scratch an itch by making a new tool for their own use. But what if the need to be addressed is bigger, and affects more people? How can the creation of open source software involve a whole community?

  • Yahoo! exposes very own stuffed elephant code

    Yahoo! will not restrict access to the code, which will be available here from the Yahoo! developer network. It will merely require an agreement before downloading. The first release will be Hadoop version 0.20, which is now under alpha test inside the company.

  • Talking with Jim Messer, CEO of Transverse

    Transverse offers their solution via an open source GPL license, which carries no license fees. Users wanting advanced functionality, professional support, documentation, training and product extensions, can contact Transverse when they are ready for a commercial relationship.

  • Tiny Hospital Adopts Open Source EHR

    The 11-bed critical access hospital expects deployment to take three months. Medsphere originally created OpenVista as a commercialized version of the Department of Veteran Affairs’ VistA system. The vendor now makes the software available for free on the open source market and generates revenue by offering support and expertise. Users of the software share best practices and improvements through medsphere.org.

  • World Plone Day Malta

    The 2009 World Plone Day event in Malta took place at the end of March at The Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise in Valletta, the capital city of Malta. The conference was one of many events held around the globe to celebrate and recognise the achievements of the Plone community and latest technological developments from the content management system.

  • Enterprises cut costs with open-source routers

    Frustrated, Noble decided to investigate yet another option: open-source routers. Aware of the open-source movement’s impact on technologies ranging from server platforms to VoIP telephony, he decided that an open-source router ultimately could turn out to be a smart, flexible and cost-effective choice. Curious, he downloaded software from open-source router vendor Vyatta onto a laptop and ran some preliminary tests.

  • EndNote maker’s lawsuit over open-source Zotero dismissed

    The makers of the commercial reference management application EndNote have sued an open source alternative called Zotero, claiming that its ability to import EndNote files violated its creators’ software license. That case has now been dismissed, leaving Zotero in the clear.

  • Firefox

  • OpenSolaris

    • OpenSolaris 2009.06: Getting Better All The Time

      Over the weekend, I had the chance to take a look at Sun Microsystems‘ latest OpenSolaris 2009.06, which it released during last week’s JavaOne conference. The last time I had a look at OpenSolaris, it was just over a year ago, back in May of 2008.

      Much as it is with community Linux releases such as Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora or OpenSUSE, OpenSolaris 2009.06 is an evolutionary, rather than a revolutionary improvement over the initial 2008.05 build. All the major open source packages have been refreshed, as it is to be expected, and for the most part, OpenSolaris provides a comparable user experience to most Linux distributions.

    • OpenSolaris 2009.06 released, new ARM port announced

      Sun has announced the availability of OpenSolaris 2009.06, the third major release of the operating system. An experimental ARM port has also been released.

    • OpenSolaris for embedded systems

      The OpenSolaris developers have announced the release of the first port of OpenSolaris for ARM processors. The release runs on the ARM v6K architecture (ARM11 MPCore) and supports version 2 of the VFP floating-point extension.

  • Business

  • FSF/GNU

    • The Software Freedom Law Show

      In this episode, Karen and Bradley take questions that listeners have emailed and dented to them over the past few months.

  • Government

    • Open government requires pragmatic approach, advocate says

      Chris Messina applauds the City of Vancouver for endorsing the principles of open-source software, open standards, and open data.

      But the open-Web advocate told the Georgia Straight that, for council’s decision on May 21 to have a real impact, the city must clearly define what these terms mean.

    • Federal Government To Upgrade Open-Source NHIN Connect Software

      The Federal Health Architecture is planning to significantly upgrade its Connect software that links organizations to the Nationwide Health Information Network, Government Health IT reports.

  • Openness

    • UHV professor publishes third computer book

      His book “Utilizing Open Source Tools for Online Teaching and Learning: Applying Linux Technologies,” will be released in July through publisher IGI Global, based in Hershey, Pa.

      “The book focuses on strategies for using and evaluating open source products for online teaching and learning systems,” Chao said. “These are programs that aren’t copyrighted and can be altered by anyone without cost.”

    • Open source, digital textbooks coming to California schools

      The cash-strapped Golden State has decided that, starting next school year, schools will be able to use open source, digital textbooks for a number of math and science subjects. Ars talked with Brian Bridges, the Director of the California Learning Resources Network, which will be reviewing the texts, to find out more about what the program entails.

Leftovers

  • Yet Another E-Voting Glitch; This One Adds 5,000 Phantom Votes

    Another election using e-voting machines… and another set of stories concerning massive problems. Slashdot points us to the news that a local election in Rapid City, South Dakota, was about to go to a runoff after no one hit the 50% mark, when someone finally noticed that the 10,488 vote total seemed a bit high. So, they went back and recounted the actual ballots, and discovered only 5,613 people voted, but the software added up the votes incorrectly. Once again, we’re left wondering why it’s so difficult to do simple arithmetic — and why e-voting companies like ES&S are so against allowing experts to look at their source code and maybe help catch some of these bugs before they totally screw up an election.

  • Scanner glitch blamed for election miscounts

    A Pennington County computer software accounting error, and lack of a manually compiled city tally sheet, were blamed Wednesday for reporting mistakes in Tuesday’s municipal and school election results.

  • Google

    • Google plots Exchange escape with Outlook plug-in

      Google has developed a way to help companies move onto Google Apps–and away from Microsoft’s Exchange e-mail software–without forcing a migration to the Gmail user interface.

    • Android scripting on-the-go is go

      Google has announced the Android Scripting Environment (ASE) which allows Android users to write and run scripts in Python, Lua and BeanShell on an Android phone. Scripts have access to many of the Android APIs and are able to start activities, send text messages, make phone calls and read location and other sensor information.

    • Google I/O Foretells the Future of the Internet

      The free Android phone was a splash at the 2009 Google I/O Conference, but the company’s introduction of six novel technologies was something more like a tidal wave. Here’s Linux Magazine’s report. The future starts now.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Phorm gets £15m lifeline

      It’ll use the cash to cover its operating costs while ISPs continue to mull its web monitoring and profiling system.

    • Newspapers’ Plan For Survival: Charge Money, Beat Up On Craigslist And Keep Repeating To Ourselves That We’re Needed

      There’s been plenty of coverage about the potentially antitrust-violating meeting of newspaper execs in Chicago recently, and late last week reports came out about some of the recommendations put forth by the American Press Institute at that meeting. The API apparently handed out two whitepapers, both of which are amusing, only in that someone actually thinks they’re useful. The first was effectively saying: “Craigslist really sucks, so let’s try to beat up on Craigslist.”

  • Copyrights

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