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Links 05/02/2009: Compiz Council Born, LinuxCon Coming

GNOME bluefish


  • Resilience(R) Joins Ingram Micro, the World's Largest Technology Distributor, to Provide Web Security Solutions

    Resilience, a leading provider of purpose-built security appliances, today announced a distribution agreement with Ingram Micro Inc., the world's largest technology distributor. Ingram Micro will begin offering Resilience CWR Appliances for Websense Web Security v7 through their U.S. channel in February 2009. This new agreement gives Ingram Micro's approximately 170,000 resellers direct access to Resilience security appliances, preloaded with a Linux-based Resilience-hardened OS and Websense Web Security v7.

  • Are You Smart Enough To Use Linux?

    The question doesn't mean, "Do you have the required intelligence to use Linux" but rather "Are you smart enough to make the decision to use Linux and keep that technical edge?"

  • 11 reasons to switch to Linux

    People like to publish top-10 lists of all sorts. And "reasons to switch to Linux" is no exception.

  • Why Ubuntu Linux Is Better [Than] Windows

    So now I am a Ubuntu guy, never to switch back to my old ways! And why is this? Because in my opinion, Windows just doesn't come anywhere near to how good Ubuntu is. These are my reasons why:

  • The smallest threat to open source in 2009

    On Jan. 1, Dana Blankenhorn published the sensationally titled The biggest threat to open source in 2009.

    His thesis is simple: that, because open source software usually lacks any mechanisms for easily updating to the latest security patched version, the growing popularity of open source software will render it more vulnerable to problems than its closed source counterparts.


    Perhaps even more relevant to Danas point is the fact that, on open source Unix-like OSes (but not on MS Windows), the software management system typically manages security updates for far more than just the core OS and a couple of applications created by the same vendor. Such Unix-like OSes software management systems tend to provide security update management for literally thousands of software packages originating outside the core OS project itself--in some cases, tens of thousands.

  • Benchmarked: Ubuntu vs Vista vs Windows 7

    In depth: A lot of people have been chattering about the improvements Windows 7 brings for Windows users, but how does it compare to Ubuntu in real-world tests? We put Ubuntu 8.10, Windows Vista and Windows 7 through their paces in both 32-bit and 64-bit tests to see just how well Ubuntu faces the new contender. And, just for luck, we threw in a few tests using Jaunty Jackalope with ext4.

  • The "Compiz Council" created

    As a result of the general unrest in the Compiz community, a series of conference calls were held to work out how to move forward. The minutes of these conference calls have already been published, but no official statements have been made, until now.

  • Windows is a Waste of Time

    How much time and effort does Windows waste?

    Some years ago studies were produced to show that the introduction of IT did not increase productivity in organisations. "Why not?" wondered all and sundry.

    Well, here's an idea for an answer: Windows.

    Microsoft's monopoly "operating" system is so sub-standard and users spend so much time maintaining their systems that any productivity gains simply evaporate away.


    Compare this to Linux, where setting up a robust and simple firewall and tuning it to suit your needs is as easy as falling over.

  • Ask the Experts: Accounting Software for Linux

    Tim Kissane responds: I have used Gnucash and Kmymoney in the past. Both have been satisfactory. There is another package called HomeBank that may be simpler for home use. You might also want to look at Quasar, Lazy8 Ledger, and TurboCASH. Some of these will import CSV files, but the format will have to be massaged. Others will need a script (in Perl or Python) to convert the CSV into QIF.

  • Exchange 2007 and the Linux Desktop

    Geek points! I got in a "Stranger in a Strange Land" reference! In this case, it is not martian patience, it is just that there is not choice. MAPI support is coming soon, but it is not here yet, and it is getting here far faster than it might otherwise have, since the various projects have access to the actual protocols this time around. It still will take some time. I fully expect that Evolution 2.26.0 will be followed by a series of point releases while all the bugs get worked out on this brand new feature set.

    The funny thing about all this is that it probably still is only a short term thing before all the angst about these protocols fades from relevance. Cloud Computing, Google Gears,, SaaS, Linux based Netbooks, and all the current technology has us heading away these paradigms can not help but have an impact here.

  • Kernel Space

    • Introducing LinuxCon - Our New Annual Technical Conference for All Matters Linux

      The Linux Foundation is very excited to announce the launch of LinuxCon, a brand new annual North American technical conference. The 1st Annual LinuxCon is taking place September 21 – 25, 2009 in Portland, OR. Registration and Call for Papers are now open - details are below.

    • Linus Torvalds – Interview at 2009

      1) Have you given any more thought to changing the version numbering model of the kernel?

      I'd actually like to change the version numbering because right now the 2.6 doesn't mean anything at all. Maybe you read the discussion, we had some discussion on the kernel mailing list. Just from the discussion my takeaway was that right now it's just not worth the pain. So, I think we'll revisit it in a year or two, and when we are 2.6.38 or whatever, we'll say “OK, we're still 2.6, maybe we should reset the numbering some way”. But nobody really came up with very strong arguments for or against any other numbering scheme. There were lots of people with different opinions, but there was no consensus. So, right now, no. In a couple of years maybe we'll revisit it.

  • Distributions

    • Which enterprise Linux to choose?

      Debate abounds between Linux lovers which distribution to choose on the desktop. But what about the server? Yes, all versions of Linux are equally capable of serving your mail and web site, but just what is it in those so-called "enterprise" editions that make them, well, enterprise-y?

    • HP releases netbook interface for Ubuntu

      Hewlett Packard has released a custom version of Ubuntu Linux designed for netbooks. For the HP Mini 1000 Mi Edition, to be exact. Under the hood, the operating system is based on Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron. That means it can run pretty much any application that runs on Ubuntu including, Firefox, Thunderbird, Sunbird and Pidgin. In fact, it comes preloaded with all of those applications plus a few more. It's also fairly easy to install other Linux staples like image editor GIMP.

    • Review: Sabayon 4 Lite MCE (Media Centre Edition)

      SABAYON Linux's live DVD provides one of the easiest ways of getting a Gentoo-based system installed on your PC, and its consistent top-10 Distrowatch listing is testament to its success.

    • Best-Reviewed Lightweight GNU/Linux Distros

      If you are using an old computer or just want a lean, fast experience on a more recent one, you could be interested in using a lightweight GNU/Linux distro as your operating system. There are literally dozens available, but, as I described in my previous post, many of them are very barebones, outdated, potentially unstable, or simply don’t work. Of the distros that made the cut past my seven filtering parameters, three stand out as the best full-featured distros available today.

    • Mandriva

      • Mandriva Announces Pulse 2 v1.2

        Mandriva announced the immediate availability of version 1.2 of their Pulse 2, an Open Source tool for managing workstations, mobile computers and servers. Mandriva Pulse 2's purpose is to make managing of information systems much easier for those who choose to use it.

      • Mandriva Assembly

        Following the announcement of plans to set up an international committee encompassing Mandriva and its Community, here is the first update concerning the policies for this working group. We aim to define roles, targets and missions for this committee in order to motivate members wishing to take part in this adventure.

      • Linux on the HP 2133 Mini-Note, Part 3

        I will be continuing to use Mandriva on the HP, and see if everything else really is working as well as it appears at first glance. If it is, this may turn out to be my preferred Linux on this netbook. I'm also going to be looking into the updated openchrome display driver that I have installed - if I can get that installed and working on the other distributions, it would make life much easier.

      • Ubuntu vs Mandriva : Clash of the titans !

        I have used both of them for quite a long time and I think I can do a better and unbiased comparison... This is not a review so don't expect too much.. Just a small wrap up for people out there looking for newbie desktop... and a report to Mandriva community..

    • Ubuntu

      • Breadbin frees open source

        Breadbin Interactive, a local open source software company, is looking to use its Freedom Toaster platform to promote and expand open source software into the rest of Africa.

        The company plans to expand into Africa to make information feely available, particularly in the enterprise and education space.

      • Canonical Survey Shows Ubuntu Server as Mission-Critical Enterprise Platform

        Canonical, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu Linux, and analyst firm RedMonk have released findings of a survey sent to thousands of Ubuntu users that show usage patterns for the Ubuntu server product.

      • Google: Friend or Foe of Ubuntu?

        Google enjoys a pretty favorable image within the free-software community. In some respects, it deserves this reputation, as it strongly supports many open-source projects. On the other hand, Google is reluctant to open the code of most of its own software. Given this hesitancy, can we trust the company to be always on Ubuntu’s side?

      • Switching from Windows to Ubuntu is easy with an Internet connection

        I think I have already made the move by switching to Ubuntu. Only thing that I want is that Ubuntu CD installation should come with the capability to handle Windows format multimedia. This would allow people to use it even if they don't have an Internet connection with their installation. It would certainly help increase the number of Ubuntu users. CrunchBang Linux is a nice effort.

    • New Releases

      • StartCom Enterprise Linux 5.0.3 Introduces OpenJDK

        Just like the latest release of RHEL 5, StartCom Enterprise Linux 5.0.3 comes as an update to the previous stable release and it provides support for the new Intel Core i7 (Nehalem) processors, better virtualization performance for the 64-bit architectures, and the inclusion of the OpenJDK next-generation Java technology.

      • A New Kiowa Linux On The Way!

        I just received an email from Matt Portner regarding the release of the latest version of Kiowa Linux! As you know, I LOVE this Linux distro! It really pulls in all the best the Linux and Open source worlds have to offer. Kiowa has latest and greatest stable releases of desktop environments, software apps and Linux itself.

      • Berry 0.95
      • Pardus 2008.2
      • MOPSLinux 6.2
      • GeeXboX 1.2
      • Slamd64 12.2
      • Webconverger 4.3

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Radio modem with internet access and a Linux platform

      The product consists of a smart radio modem combining TCP/IP-functionalities, a Linux platform for customer specific applications, and a versatile modular structure. Whereas radio modems have conventionally been used to simply convey data – essentially replacing a cable in inconvenient locations – SATELLAR can do a lot more. The central unit, one of SATELLAR’s modular units, is essentially a computer with sufficient processing power and memory to run sophisticated software applications in addition to the operating system, IP-router, and web configuration server. Fewer devices are needed on site, which means that costs and complexity may be lowered without compromising functionality.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Netbooks are a win for Microsoft? Think again.

        And given that price is the most important element of the netbook market, the moment Microsoft feels they've solidified their market share and being raising prices, their share will vaporize. Linux's existence on netbooks will continue to create a loss for them, regardless of how much "market share" they have. And the best part is, as people get used to Linux on the netbooks, they'll eventually want it on the desktop as well. And that's something that Microsoft will do anything to avoid.

      • Microsoft Leaves the Door Wide Open for Linux on Netbooks

        Windows 7 Starter Edition will also be made available to OEM's for installation on netbooks in all markets. This is presumably so that MS can finally end the sales of Windows XP to the netbook makers. I find it hilarious that Microsoft will offer such a limited, pathetic product for the netbook market. This will be a huge opportunity for the Linux community to educate the public about the plethora of free, feature complete Linux distributions available to run on their netbooks.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source for kids?

    Edubuntu is another such program, based on the Ubuntu Linux operating system and aimed primarily at children in educational environments. According to the distribution homepage, Edubuntu is “Linux for Young Human Beings”. It has its unique ways that encompasses the total learning process. There is load out there for you to evaluate and install for your kids as they grow out of the programs they are currently enjoying.

  • Canadian Government Considers Open Source

    Obviously the Canadians are taking a rather cautious approach here, but it seems that they are seriously considering using more free software. You can submit your comments (in English or French) until the 19 February.

  • Two years on and Zope 3.4.0 is released

    It has been two years since the last official release of Zope and now version 3.4.0 of the web application framework has been released. The Zope development team says that now that 3.4 is out the door, it is renewing its commitment to a short and reliable release cycle of six months.

  • Volantis’ Open Source Mobility Server Links the Mobile Web to Web 2.0

    Released under the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 3, VMS Community Edition 5.1 is an update to the first open source edition of the product.

  • Equinox Software Inc. and NELINET Partner on Evergreen Open Source ILS Solution

    Equinox Software is pleased to announce a partnership with NELINET, a non-profit membership cooperative based in New England, on an Evergreen open source consortial ILS solution for its member libraries.

  • AtMail Announces Latest Version of AtMail Open

    AtMail, a leading provider of easy-to-use, Linux-based email management appliances and software, today announced the availability of AtMail Open 1.03, a new version of its open source webmail product available at ( In addition to enhanced features and functions, AtMail Open is now available as a ".deb" package for the Debian operating system. The Debian Project is an association of software developers who volunteer their time and effort to produce the completely free operating system, Debian GNU/Linux.

  • Open Solutions for Libraries Gain Momentum

    LibLime (, an upstart company that has provided open source software solutions for libraries for several years (best known for its Koha ILS), has made its move to the next frontier of openness—providing open data and open library content. In 2008, LibLime introduced ‡biblios (, an open source, web-based metadata tool for libraries, and it has just launched ‡, a free, browser-based cataloging service with a data archive containing more than 30 million bibliographic and authority records.

  • Podcast: Three Paths to Open Source Geospatial

    Open source is in the news again. This past week the U.S. Department of Defense announced, an open source project repository akin to SourceForge. Last month President Obama tapped Sun Co-founder Scott McNealy to prepare a document on open source and its potential role in government. But what of open source GIS?

  • Actuate Corporation Q4 2008 Earnings Call Transcript

    We also had over 9,000 registrations with over 5,500 unique commercial downloads from BIRT Exchange in 2008 so that’s extremely, extremely substantial. As far as the number of transactions with BIRT related products and services as you may remember we were extremely excited that we broke the 100 mark in Q3 of 2008 just last quarter.


    What I mean by that is our marketing investment in 2009 is making sure that everyone that uses BIRT and again today we estimate 500,000 to 600,000 developers associated with those 6.5 million downloads that they understand when they’re creating extremely impactful applications with BIRT they’re really creating with a product from Actuate Corporation and that when they need additional products and/or services associated with what they’re building with BIRT they can always turn to Actuate regardless of the size of the added value piece that they’re looking for.

  • Talend: open source data integration goes mainstream

    "We provide a core open source application programming interface, licensed under GPL2.0 [GNU Public Licence] and let developers create their own connectors."

  • about:mozilla - Design Challenge, Labs update, Metrics, new Creative Collective, Firefox extensions, Ubiquity commands, and more…

    In this issue…

    * Mozilla Labs Design Challenge * January Labs update * Metrics team updates * Announcing the Mozilla Creative Collective * How to develop a Firefox extension * How to write a Ubiquity command * New automated top site testing * Why Mozilla Education?

  • iTunes Wishes it Could be Like Songbird

    Better than iTunes? Yes. Replacement for iTunes? No, because of the proprietary nature of iTunes and iPods, Songbird can never fully provide the same functions you will get with iTunes while using with Apple products, which is why Songbird is yet to have support for iPhone/iPod touch. But for Linux users who can’t use iTunes, Songbird is the best option not only as an iTunes replacement but arguably the best Linux media player out there.

  • Business

    • Cost of building a social network site drops to near zero

      PLENTY of firms are trying to profit from the gold rush towards so-called social networking sites after the success -or at least popularity- of Facebook, Linkedin, Hi5, and other such sites. And the cost of entry for new players is getting lower all the time.

    • When it comes to IT, big is not beautiful

      Second, we need to follow the example of businesses all over the world and take advantage of “open source” technology. Open source is a way of developing software so that the source code is made openly available to licensed users. It started out as a communal philosophy but it's now mainstream. It has been harnessed by companies such as Amazon and Bebo to enable them to keep down costs and more easily improve their products. Amazon, for example, estimates that using open source has slashed its IT spending by a quarter. And 20 per cent of online Europeans - including me - now use the open source Mozilla browser to surf the internet. Unfortunately the Government is lagging far behind, with open-source suppliers all too often locked out of its contracts.

    • Digium Strengthens VoIP's Ties to Collaboration

      Open source VoIP vendor Digium is busy working both ends of its business. It's continuing to lead the open source Asterisk VoIP effort into new territory through integration with calendaring and instant messaging. But at the same time, the company is also rolling out its commercial Switchvox 4.0 VoIP IP PBX (define), with new unified communications features for customers.

    • New open source chiefs at IBM and at Zend

      IBMs expert on open standards, Bob Sutor, has now been appointed the Vice President of Open Source and Linux. His standards and open source team are moving with him to the Software Group. Sutor, formerly the Vice President of Standards and Open Source at IBM, will now have a focus on the strategic and technical issues that revolve around the free operating system. "If it does or should run on Linux and IBM has a business interest in it, I have an interest in it," stated Sutor.

    • Project Management Slideshow: 10 Open Source Implementation Tips

      How to make sure an enterprise Open Source project goes smoothly. Compiled with help from Ray Wang, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, and Navica CEO Bernard Golden.

  • Funding

    • Open source applications sit at IT strategy table during recession

      In tough times, the "free" price tag of open source software is too good for some CIOs to pass by without at least a second glance. But it can be buyer beware: Despite short-term cost benefits, open source applications require sufficient IT staffing resources for the long term to keep up with code changes.

    • Jahia Web CMS Launches GPL Community Edition

      Another enterprise class content management system adopts open source GPL licensing. It is no surprise. A platform is only as good as its adopters, and offering an open source version in today's competitive CMS market is one path to deployment growth. Building a committed community of third party developers who daily deploy, interact and tinker with a CMS platform can only enhance both the feature offerings and sustainability of that platform.

  • Sun

    • Q&A: Sun open-source officer Simon Phipps

      As the chief open-source officer at Sun Microsystems, Simon Phipps spoke to ZDNet Australia about the MySQL acquisition and community engagement on and OpenSolaris.

    • Toronto company teaches old market new tricks with open source software

      Rightsleeve used Sun Microsystems' MySQL as the underlying technology for the database needed to organize all its different products offered for branding.

      As MySQL is open source software, any company can take the code – for free – and develop it in-house to meet their needs.

  • FSF

    • Episode 0x06: An Exception(al) Podcast

      In this episode, Karen and Bradley discuss the issue of licensing exceptions: texts written that give additional permissions beyond the standard permissions that come automatically with existing FLOSS licenses.


  • EFF Gears Up To Fight Back Against Bogus YouTube Takedowns

    The EFF is noticing this as well and is pointing out that it correctly warned that various automated filtering technologies wouldn't take fair use into account and would cause many more problems. Now, the EFF is clearly looking for a test case, asking those whose videos have been taken down, despite clear fair use -- such as the teenaged girl who's video of herself singing "Winter Wonderland" was removed -- to contact the EFF. I expect we'll see lawsuits filed in short order.

  • ACTA Proposal Would Criminalize Substantial Non-Commercial Infringement

    With various governments still insisting that ACTA negotiations must be done in near total secrecy, various folks are working hard to at least shine some sunlight on the details. Michael Geist discusses what he's been able to piece through, and it's not pretty. The only good news is that everything is still in the early stages, and there's some disagreement among the participating trade reps concerning how certain things should work. However, that's about the only good news.

Net Neutrality

  • UK Government Report Says Net Neutrality Threatens Innovation

    As Mike pointed out, the British government's recent "Digital Britain" report is a mishmash of hedges and wishy-washiness that seems to have been carefully crafted to avoid taking much of a stand on anything. But in addition to its musing on file-sharing, it's worth looking at its recommendations on network neutrality, too. The report says the government should do nothing to prevent ISPs from charging content providers for "traffic prioritization" -- basically letting them charge certain providers a fee in exchange for guaranteed service levels. It also says that traffic shaping and other blocking and network management policies should be a-okay. The reasoning is that ISPs have to be allowed to do these things with their networks in order to "promote investment" and not stifle innovation.

  • AT&T lobbies European Parliament to destroy net neutrality

    AT&T is speading some amendments to the Telecom Package in the European Parliament in order to destroy net neutrality, in order to be able to sell different kind of services at different prices.


  • More Executives Charged With LCD Price Fixing

    Three more executives have been indicted for their alleged roles in an LCD price-fixing scheme, the U.S. Department of Justice said Tuesday.

  • Online Office Applications: Zoho vs. Google vs. Microsoft Office Live

    It's not a real fair comparison to pit Zoho and Google Docs against Microsoft Live Workspace. Office is used to edit documents in Live Workspace and Google Docs and Zoho, particularly with their free online Office services, are not as feature-rich as Office. However, Google Docs certainly holds its own as a good full-blown productivity suite. Zoho has a lot of potential and will certainly serve the purpose, but Google Docs has the edge in features.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Bdale Garbee, Hewlett Packard computer wizard and Debian lead 03 (2004)

Ogg Theora

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

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