Links 22/4/2010: Linux 2.6.34 RC5, Valve’s Steam is Coming To GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 7:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • The stories we are all sick of hearing

      I find it rather comical how certain stories just get regurgitated up over and over again. For example I typed in Ubuntu new look on Google and I got 1,800,000 results for that topic alone. Sure some of them are irrelevant results but out of that 1,800,000 many if not most of the results are the same information being posted over and over again. Please don’t be the next blogger to write the next Ubuntu has a new look post. It lost it’s interest after 800,000 postings. I also ran a search for Year of the Linux and got 65,500,000 results. Please no more year of the Linux stories, people who read Tech news often just want to stay up to date on the latest happenings in the world of Linux and after 65 million postings on this topic most could probably care less what you think about it.

    • Extreme Desktop Makeover: Josh Edition

      Many people don’t really care about how their desktop is set up. Those people tend to leave things pretty much at the defaults, or maybe just change the wallpaper or color scheme. Some of us, however, consider desktop layout to be vitally important to productivity. Personally, I like to keep maximum information available at all times, with the ability to access my preferred communication tools. Today, I’m going to show you the methods I use to create my own personal Ultimate Desktop.


      Desktop Management – Compiz Expo

      I can’t live without virtual desktops, sometimes called workspaces. X has supported them for decades, but until recently there’s been very little innovation. The Expo plugin, part of the Compiz package, provides a fast, beautiful, efficient way to view and manage your virtual desktops.

    • Twenty Computers in Twenty Days…

      A perfect storm of sorts took place at Latitude: HeliOS Longitude: Project this week. Tony Medley, the IT Support guy for CompassLearning emailed us and told me that he has 22 Pentium 4 desktop units ready to donate. These are some pretty decent computers. With a waiting list of kids growing every month, this was indeed great news.

      But oh wait…it gets better…

      Teenya Franklin of Knowbility.org contacted us and wanted to know if we were interested in picking up some components and peripherals that had been donated by Dell.

  • Server

    • Highly Parallel HPC: Ants vs Horses

      The non-obvious nature of parallel computing can invite some incorrect assumptions. For instance, combining fast sequential things does not always mean you will create an optimal parallel thing. If scaling, power usage, or I/O are important, then you may be surprised to learn that there are other factors at play than just fast cores. Like my first experience with resistors, “parallel” always seems to introduce some non-obvious results. And, of course, I have not even mentioned about how surprised I was when I learned about capacitors circuits. You can’t make this stuff up.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.34-rc5

      Another week, another -rc. This time there wasn’t some big nasty regression I was working on to hold things up, and it felt like a pretty regular -rc release.

    • Linux compatible wireless keyboard

      SiTouch has announced the release of a new wireless keyboard. This is a very cool looking keyboard with back lit keys for low light. For those of us who occasionally work late on our computer this feature is appreciated. The keyboard also contains a touch pad.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Unigine Takes Advantage Of OpenGL 4.0

        It was just shy of a month ago when Unigine Heaven 2.0 was released with Linux support and it showed what Linux gaming can look like while slaughtering your graphics card. Unigine Corp, the company responsible for this multi-platform game engine, though hasn’t been sitting around idly since the Heaven 2.0 release, but they have in fact been moving forward with great improvements their game engine.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Sabayon

      • Sabayon – Sneak Peek at New Installer

        So far so good! I hope people will find the installer better and have lesser issues. I myself never had problems with the old installer, but thanks to Fabio for making something even better. Feel free to throw a few donation dollars his way while he is in-between jobs and still improving on your favorite distro. He really is working hard for everyone and deserves to be shown some appreciation.

      • Build Your Own Sabayon Linux with Sabayon CoreCD 5.2

        In order to run Sabayon Linux CoreCD 5.2 on your personal computer, make sure that you meet the minimum system requirements:

        · Intel Pentium Pro, Celeron, AMD K6-2, Pentium II or Athlon CPU;
        · 512 MB of RAM;
        · 2 GB of free hard disk space;
        · Supported 2D video card;
        · a CD reader or USB flash drive.

    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS 2010 review

        I was very excited about this release of PCLOS and have been waiting for it to hit for a while now. PCLinuxOS (PCLOS for short) was my second Linux distro I ever used and I really liked it. The only reason I moved on from it was the fact that I never really got used to the KDE desktop, finding it a bit too remniscent of Windoze for my liking. However, I was willing to overlook that detail and give this version another whirl. So here we go.

      • PCLinuxOS 2010 Screenshots
    • Red Hat Family

      • The First Benchmarks Of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0

        The first beta release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 was made available yesterday morning. RHEL 6.0 is set to offer many virtualization enhancements, power management improvements, new security features, many package updates, and even some reported performance enhancements. With Red Hat mentioning this major upgrade to their enterprise operating system carrying “performance enhancements”, these claims have now been tested using the Phoronix Test Suite within our labs. There are some improvements for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 to note, but also some losses.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 14 Codenames Come About

          So far the potential candidates for the Fedora 14 codename include Guiness, Scofield, Bhanji, Kingsley, Astro, and Bacon. However, there’s still six days left to voice your input on this Fedora Wiki page.

        • Fedora 13 Spotlight Feature: NetworkManager Gets Even More Connected

          As with previous Fedora releases, we’ll once again be highlighting some of the new and improved features in a series of blogs leading up to our latest release, Fedora 13, anticipated in mid-May. First up on our list is NetworkManager.

    • Ubuntu

      • Tomcat improvements coming up in 10.04 !

        Jason Brittain, a software architect at MuleSoft and the author of Tomcat: the Definitive Guide, approached us with some ideas about how to improve the Tomcat package in Debian and Ubuntu. Check out his blog post on working with Debian and Ubuntu here.

        Jason noticed that the Ubuntu and Debian init scripts were starting Tomcat via the JSVC service runner, in order to allow binding the Tomcat JVM to privileged server port numbers (port numbers lower than 1024), while still running as an unprivileged user. However, JSVC was also the source of several long-standing bugs: it shuts down Tomcat abruptly and implements unreliable restarts, so it was possible for the init script to be unable to restart Tomcat. Upstream recommends using Tomcat’s catalina.sh script instead, and that script should in turn run the Java binary, so that the init script can properly handle any issues with starts, stops, or restarts. But that script doesn’t have the support to bind ports as root and then run as an unprivileged user, like JSVC does…

      • Change I Can Believe In
      • Canonical to Roll Out Independent Ubuntu Certified Professional Certification for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

        Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, today announced that it will provide its own fully-independent certification for junior-level system administrators to help them with Ubuntu deployments in their office environments. The e-learning course version will be available shortly after the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Long Term Support) release on 29 April 2010 with students able to study in the classroom from June 2010 and the new exam available from October 2010.

      • Canonical open sources Launchpad and Ubuntu Single Sign On code

        More details about the Canonical Identity Provider can be found on the project’s Launchpad page (login required). Canonical Identity Provider code is released under version 3 of the GNU Affero General Public License (AGPLv3).

      • Open vs. Closed: Ubuntu Walks the Line

        Canonical’s 330 employees are responsible for maintaining, supporting and selling service for Ubuntu, an open-source version of the Linux operating system for servers, desktops and computer manufacturers. Some 120-150 of the Canonical employees contribute directly to the new releases of the software that come out every six months, and most of the company’s revenue comes from supporting enterprise server customers and makers of computers that want to put Ubuntu on desktops. Consumers also download the software, but few pay Canonical for support. The company is not yet profitable.

      • Announcing the Release Candidate for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

        The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the Release Candidate for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Long-Term Support) Desktop and Server Editions and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Server for Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) and Amazon’s EC2, as well as Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook Edition. Codenamed “Lucid Lynx”, 10.04 LTS continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution.

      • What to Install After Installing Ubuntu Lucid?
      • Canonical CTO Matt Zimmerman Speaks

        We appreciate Matt’s time for the interview and we look forward to speaking with him again prior to the much anticipated 10.10 release.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • wall mounted touch screen linux computer features “green” technology

      This is a wall mounted, touch screen, low power, linux computer. Made from recycled materials, this is a pretty environmental friendly device.

    • Nokia

      • MeeGo mobile Linux will also do laptops and desktops

        Intel has revealed that it is developing a variant of the Linux-based MeeGo operating system that will run on conventional desktop and laptop computers. This move could substantially broaden MeeGo’s scope, transforming it from a mobile platform into a general purpose Linux distro.

    • Android

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Mobile Devices are Long-term Key for Chrome OS and Android

        Google CEO Eric Schmidt shed some light on the company’s plans for Chrome OS in tablets and mobile devices at the Atmosphere Cloud Computing Summit.

        Cloud computing is the cornerstone of Chrome OS, as the platform runs entirely on cloud servers and all user data is automatically backed up to the same remote server network.

      • Chrome OS kernel source code hints at ARM, Tegra 2 hardware

        Google’s browser-centric Chrome OS hasn’t reached the market yet, but development is progressing and the platform is attracting the interest of a growing number of hardware makers. Although the operating system was principally designed for netbooks, Google has also discussed some opportunities for bringing it to other kinds of devices, including ARM-based smartbooks and tablets.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source training more attractive to workers

    Schools are heeding the call from organizations seeking IT personnel skilled in open source, but such efforts must involve broader industry participation and greater integration across the curriculum, according to an analyst.

    With regard to open source modules, Patrick Chan, chief technology advisor for IDC Asia-Pacific’s emerging technologies practice group, said a more concerted effort is required on the part of institutions to move universities in the same direction.

  • Vendor ownership doesn’t mean lower open source risk

    Having a big-name vendor backing an open source project does not necessarily translate to lower risk of implementation, and companies looking to rely on open source should be prepared to support the project inhouse, urged a founding member of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF).

  • Open source in a new light
  • This Roman knows how to spot the best open source

    My Italian friend Roberto Galoppini has developed a new open source evaluation tool, SOSOpenSource, and Funambol has passed its tests.

    Most open source evaluation tools use a corporate database of code and its licenses. They also tell you only whether code is open source, and what its license says if it is.

  • Motivation and Open Source
  • Moral obligations of Free Software authors?

    I enjoy writing software. I often write software to solve some sort of problem that I’ve had. Usually virtually any code I write winds up in my git repositories, on the theory that it might be useful to someone else. Some of the code that I think might really be useful to people gets even better treatment. OfflineIMAP, for instance, has a very comprehensive manpage, heavily commented example config file, wiki, mailing list, public bug tracker, etc. Most of these I did the majority of the work to create, but OfflineIMAP does occasionally receive code and documentation contributions from others.

  • Oracle

  • CMS

  • Business

    • Zmanda’s Data Backup: Enterprise Quality, SMB Prices

      For many small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), data is the most important asset. And that makes many SMBs vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters because few small business owners have been able to tackle the cost and complexity of data backup and disaster recovery processes. Zmanda, an open source, cloud-based data backup company, aims to change that.


  • Frontier Communications “Testing” To See How Users Respond To Being Ridiculously Overcharged For Bandwidth

    Time Warner Cable eventually backed off the plan, but not before their brand (which they’re planning to change) took a lot of damage. One small reason they backed off was because one of the company’s few competitors, Frontier Communications, started advertising their DSL service as uncapped in order to gain a competitive advantage. Despite the fact Frontier was previously planning to impose 5GB monthly caps on all speed tiers — said ads lambasted the cable industry as greedy. Of course now that Time Warner Cable has backed off, Frontier is testing an even more ridiculous overcharging system.

  • ACTA Treaty Draft Text Released

    Now, the DMCA also contained a “safe harbor” for ISPs that probably would not pass now (since it gave ISPs an exemption for liability that turned out to be broader than initially realized when the DMCA was enacted in the 1990s). I was concerned that ACTA would contain the anti-circumvention provisions but not the ISP safe-harbor rules–but some version of this does, at least, seem to be contemplated in the ACTA text (see pp. 20-21).

    In any case, this horrible treaty needs to be stopped.

Clip of the Day

Bruce Lee: The Lost Interview (filmed in 1971 –> first aired 1994)

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