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Links 16/02/2009: GNU/Linux Big in Brazilian Schools, New GIMP

GNOME bluefish



  • KDE in nearly all public schools in brazil.

    Today I was in a public school near where I live for a interview with Nazareth, the coordinator of a social-inclusion project for the less afortunate kids in brazil, that live in 2 poor-communities: Alto do Coqueirinho and Bairro da paz.

  • How Not To Make A Commercial Linux Distribution

    Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against commercial Linux distribution, even though some of you might do. But if you are going to make a commercial Linux distribution please by all means do not make it look like or name after every proprietary OS cliché out there and against everything which Linux and free software stands for.

  • RAI Now Provides Support for Linux Networx (LNXI) Evolocity and LS Series Clusters

    RAI recently expanded its large systems expertise by hiring engineers from the former Linux Networx ( LNXI ). They bring with them the proven experience in deploying large and complex systems at a variety of high performance computing centers.

  • Hardware manufacturers embrace Linux

    It seems more and more people are looking at Linux as a real alternative to Microsoft’s desktop operating systems. Both Russia and Cuba have announced that they will be developing their own national Linux distributions for internal use as an alternative to Microsoft products.

    However, it’s more than just former comrades from the Soviet block who are showing interest in finding new uses and functions for Linux. In recent news, Dell announced that it would be releasing one of the world’s first Linux/Microsoft dual boot commercial products with its new hybrid range.

  • You may find you're a Linux geek, too

    The free Linux operating system doesn't reveal its charms easily, but charms it has. You just have to know how to make the software work for you.

    That will become easier next weekend for those in the Los Angeles area, which plays host to the annual Southern California Linux Expo at the LAX Westin hotel.

    Created in the early 1990s to be a freely distributable copy of the Unix operating system, Linux has grown tremendously.

  • Writer's Café 2

    Despite installing locally on your computer, Writer's Café 2 feels like a Web app or even a browser. Writer's Cafe will run on just about any computer, including Linux-based netbooks.

  • MS Office is not integrated with itself

    I'm continually amazed that Windows and other Microsoft products just don't have the same level of integration and "ease of use" that have been there for years in Linux. Microsoft needs to wake up.

  • Installing software on Linux Monday: The repository is your new best friend

    Our word for the day this fine Linux President's Day Monday is “repository.” I admit, it was one of those alien words that buffaloed me when I first started learning. Linux geeks, like any group of insiders, throw around terms that are incomprehensible to outsiders, but it turns out the concept is really easy. A repository is simply an online software library that's built into the operating system.

  • Kernel Space

    • Wayland's Eagle EGL Stack Gets Working DRI2

      It has been a while since last talking about Wayland, which is a new display server for Linux designed around newer X technologies like kernel mode-setting and the Graphics Execution Manager. Wayland is being developed as a side-project by Red Hat's Kristian Høgsberg. There hasn't been anything too exciting to report on lately within the Wayland project, but now its Eagle component has a working DRI2 back-end.

  • KDE

    • Interview: Eigen Developers on 2.0 Release

      Recently Eigen 2.0 was released. You might already have heard about Eigen, it is a small but very high performance maths library which has its roots in KDE. Below, the two core developers are interviewed about it...

    • KOffice 2.0 Beta 6 Released

      The KOffice developers have released their sixth beta for KOffice 2.0. With this release we start to approach the end of the beta series and move towards the Release Candidates. As usual the list of changes is rather long, but it is obvious that the really large issues are starting to dry up. Take a look at the full announcement to find out more, or look at the changelog for the details.

    • New Plasma themes, new Qt, new Lancelot

      First I would like to point out that there are two new Plasma themes on kde-look. Well, at least two *my* new themes. Or to be even more precise, there is one new theme and one old that is new. Or new that is old. Or one theme… OK, I’ll stop now.

      One of the themes is Spoons, which is now named Spoons Original, and is currently the oldest Plasma theme in existence (that’s why I couldn’t really say that there is a new theme on kde-look).

  • Distributions

    • Review: Linux Mint 6

      The latest LXF magazine arrived with Linux Mint 6, Slackware 12.2, and openSuse 11.1. I was originally going to review openSuse, but I have been unable to successfully boot either into VirtualBox or just by booting my computer and running it as a LiveDVD. (ed. note: I just checked the magazine and they suggested booting in failsafe mode, so I’ll try that out in a couple of days) So, we’ll be starting with Linux Mint 6. I reviewed Linux Mint 5 Light back in July 2008. Since I wasn’t using VirtualBox at the time, I only tested it as a LiveDVD and that may have been the source of some of my problems testing the software installation. Plus this time I can review the installation process.

    • Parted Magic 3.6 released

      Parted Magic has been updated to version 3.6 and includes bug fixes, updates and a number of new programs. Parted Magic can be used to create, move, delete and resize drive partitions and will run on a machine with 128MB of RAM. File systems supported include ntfs, fat, reiserfs, reiser4 and hfs+. LVM and RAID are also supported. The update to the open source live CD collection of hard disk management tools "offers a major overhaul in the way Parted Magic boots and behaves."

    • Debian

      • Latest Debian Linux release ideal for recession hit UK enterprises

        The UK's only government-approved open source supplier announced today that the latest release of Debian Linux is ideal for enterprises looking to save money in the recession. Sirius Corporation claims that Debian 5.0, codenamed 'Lenny', includes new security and high performance virtualisation features that make it the most capable and affordable Linux distribution to date.

      • First look at Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 live CD and network installation

        Debian GNU/Linux is the one of the oldest surviving, independently developed Linux distribution and the grand-daddy of many others, including the ever popular Ubuntu. Each release is named after a character from the Pixar animated movie 'Toy Story', and so as it is with 'Lenny' - the pair of binoculars with feet. Debian is unique in that the project is entirely community driven and is one of the largest open source projects in the world. It is governed by two major documents, the Debian Constitution and the Social Contract, the latter being at the centre of the recent firmware debate.

      • Debian's Lenny offers enterprises open-source option

        Debian 5.0, known as Lenny, will offer users improved security handling. For example, as an added protection measure, Debian Installer will now apply any security updates before the first boot. In addition, several security-critical packages have been built with GCC hardening features, and the standard system contains fewer setuid root binaries and fewer open ports. Other new features include support for IPv6, NFS 4, PostgreSQL 8.3.5, MySQL 5.1.30 and 5.0.51a, Samba 3.2.5, PHP 5.2.6, Asterisk, Nagios 3.06 and the Xen Hypervisor 3.2.1.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Training Strengthened in the USA

        Canonical has recently signed and trained up instructors from Fast Lane and Bridge Education, the latest two partners to join the Ubuntu Training Partner Programme. Ubuntu courses are now available in many locations across the USA.

      • ArtistX 0.6, Now Based on Ubuntu 8.10

        Marco Ghirlanda, team leader of ArtistX, announced the immediate availability of version 0.6, now created with the help of Remastersys Live CD creation software. Using the 2.6.27 Linux kernel, ArtistX 0.6 lets you choose between GNOME 2.24 and the recent KDE 4.2 desktop environments and has Compiz Fusion included for a full 3D-effects experience.

        Having plenty of space on a DVD, ArtistX 0.6 comes with almost 2500 free multimedia applications designed for all Linux users. This version is based on the latest stable Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) release and features the Ubiquity installer.

      • Ubuntu partners with HP on Servers

        While HP was slow in supporting Linux on the desktop, HP has long supported Linux on the server. HP currently supports RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux), Novell's SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server), Oracle Enterprise Linux and even the community's own Linux, Debian on its server hardware. Now, HP is about to start supporting Ubuntu on its ProLiant server line.

      • Weekend Success - Ubuntu 8.10 on the HP 2133 Mini-Note

        Once that was done, the rest of the installation and configuration was routine, and Ubuntu 8.10 is now running just fine on the HP 2133.

      • Valentine's Day gifts from the geekish heart

        1. The Valentine's Day (Video) Card: Avoid that schlep down to Fry's, whereas surplus stores, e.g., Surplus Gizmos (where Oregon Scientific's surplus is sent to find a new home) or the FreeGeek Thrift Store, are much funkier. Check out an entire iMac system for $55, loaded up with user-friendly Ubuntu Linux, and oh-so-cute in it's exterior Macitude. No guarantee that actual Blueberry iMac will be there when you arrive, but there are many, many bargains to be had at FreeGeek (and almost all run faster), and every one of them comes with Free Ubuntu Linux and its easy built-in access to thousands of free programs to download. FreeGeek and its Thrift Store are located in the heart of the close-in eastside industrial and shopping district (free parking!), is open until seven, Tues.-Sat., and it's only two blocks off the #70 bus line!

      • Will Ubuntu 9.04 Be Jauntily Fast?

        When announcing Ubuntu 9.04, the Jaunty Jackalope, Mark Shuttleworth had hoped to make this next Ubuntu Linux release perform better and to boot "blindingly quick", in particular with Ubuntu beginning to appear on more mobile devices. Well, with Alpha 4 have been released earlier this month, are Canonical developers and the community in the right direction with making Ubuntu 9.04 boot quickly? We have boot-time benchmarks of the latest Ubuntu 9.04 work along with Linux desktop benchmarks comparing it to its predecessor, Ubuntu 8.10.


        Ubuntu 9.04 is not being officially released until April, but already it appears to be in good standing. On the Intel Atom netbook we used for this round of testing, the boot time was shaved by eight seconds, which is quite noticeable.

    • Red Hat

      • Red Hat Appliance exclusive review

        As well as making it extremely quick and easy for administrators to deploy applications, once deployed, the service and support package makes it easy to keep them running with minimum effort. For example, the appliance comes with a subscription to the Red Hat Network (RHN), which enables IT staff to install software and updates from a browser connected to the RHN web site.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Booksize PC = Good Cheap Alternative Computing

      Bear in mind that if you buy one with an integrated processor and use Linux, the total cost new could be a low as $150!

    • Phones

      • Live video of the Garmin-ASUS nuvifone G60

        Built on a Linux operating system, the phone's simple UI offers one-touch access to calling, searches, maps, contacts, messaging, and the web.

      • Hands-On With Garmin-Asus' nüvifones

        The G60, Garmin-Asus' first nüvifone, is an odd bird. It's a biggish, slab-style touch screen phone running a custom Linux OS built by Garmin, which means that everything works in its own way. It's generally a pretty simple way, but it's not quite like any other phone. It's more like a Garmin GPS device.

      • Hold the phone, Google's on line

        Made by Taiwanese electronics company HTC and dubbed the Dream, it is the first and so far only smartphone in the world to use Android, an open-source computer-style operating system, built by Google and based on Linux.

      • Huawei says to sell 2-3 Android phones this year

        China's Huawei Technologies said on Monday it aimed to start selling 2-3 phone models using Google's Android software platform while introducing more models next year.

        Edward Chen, head of Huawei's devices unit, told Reuters in an interview the firm was also considering introducing phones using software from Symbian, the leading software platform, and from Linux foundation LiMo.

      • Samsung eyes Linux push this year

        The world's second-largest cell phone maker, Samsung Electronics (005930.KS), will start to sell several phones using open-source Linux software platforms this year, a senior executive told Reuters in an interview.

      • Google, Nvidia Bringing Android to Tegra Chips

        Nvidia on Monday said it is working with Google to build support for Linux applications on smartphones with its upcoming Tegra mobile chips.

      • Broadcom Demonstrates First Android-Enabled Mobile Phone Platform Supporting High Definition Camcorder, Video Player and up to 12 Megapixel Digital Camera Applications
      • MOBILE FAIR-Panasonic, NEC unveil 9 Linux phones

        NEC (6701.T) and Panasonic (6752.T) will unveil on Monday nine new cellphone models running the open-source LiMo operating system, wireless Linux foundation LiMo said at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona.

        The focus of the cellphone market has been shifting to software development since Google (GOOG.O) and Apple (AAPL.O) entered the mobile market in the past two years, with phone vendors and operators increasingly looking for open source alternatives like LiMo to cut costs.

    • MID

      • Moorestown MID to run voice-call enabled Moblin

        LG Electronics is collaborating with Intel on a new line of mobile Internet devices (MIDs) based on the latter's energy-efficient "Moorestown" processor. Due to ship in 2010, the MID will run a Linux-based, MID-focused Moblin V2 distribution that will add cellular voice capability, says Intel.

      • MontaVista spins MID stack

        MontaVista will demonstrate a commercial Linux distribution for mobile Internet devices (MIDs). The "Montebello" stack focuses on corporate and consumer devices, offering extended battery life, fast boot-up, and "seamless" handoffs between various wireless networks, said Dan Cauchy, senior director of market development.

      • LG Electronics, Intel Collaborate on Future Mobile Internet Device

        LG Electronics (LG) and Intel Corporation today announced collaboration around mobile Internet devices (MIDs) based on Intel’s next-generation MID hardware platform, codenamed “Moorestown,” and Linux-based Moblin v2.0 software platform. The LG device is expected to be one of the first Moorestown designs to market.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Freescale Offers New Netbook Platform

        Freescale has announced the expansion of its netbook offerings with a new connectivity and operating system options for netbooks based on its i.MX515 processor. The company entered into the netbook market in January 2009 when it introduced its processor.

      • ARM's Multicore Chips Aim for Netbooks

        Ubuntu and Debian Linux both run on ARM chips, and Ubuntu for ARM will go public in April 2009, Bryant said. That version of Ubuntu may even run on existing ARM devices.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 10 Firefox themes that don't suck

    I forgot I was writing a post on my son's computer and captured this one without thinking about it. One of our attentive readers caught it, and wanted to know which theme it was.

    Character-based themes don't often turn out well, but this one is nicely done.

  • Bruce Perens: How Many Open Source Licenses Do You Need?

    About 14 years ago, I created the Busybox embedded systems toolkit for Linux. I put in a month's worth of evenings on the project, which was to build a command-line environment that would fit on a single floppy disk, for the Debian GNU/Linux distribution's installer. I released the product under the GPL license.

  • Sugar in the YiPs Sandbox

    How do you get your hands on some open source customer relationship management software that's ready to rock 'n' roll on the IBM i? Simple: Take a quick Web trip to the Young i Professionals home page, where you'll find one of the more popular business-oriented, open source applications: SugarCRM. Visitors can log into the application--as a user or an administrator--and spend some hands-on time with an open source Web application running on the i platform.

  • Seven predictions for open source in 2009

    1. Adoption of open source software will increase as the economy worsens.

  • The argument for Xiph codecs

    Yesterday I had a random technology developer email me with the question why he should use Ogg over other codecs that have a much more widespread uptake. Of course with “Ogg” he meant “Xiph codecs”, since a comparison of container formats isn’t really what people are asking for. He felt positive towards open codecs, but didn’t really know how to express this with reason. So I wrote up some arguments that can be made for open codecs.

  • Open Enterprise Interview: Brian Reale, Colosa CEO

    He's the founder of Colosa, an open source company based in Bolivia's capital, La Paz.

    Here he talks about his background, how the company came to be set up, what business problems its ProcessMaker is trying to solve, how it compares with Intalio's business process management (BPM) product, and why cloud computing using the Affero GPL is the future.

  • Net filter plan nurtures 'open source government'

    The campaign to prevent the mandatory internet filter in Australia has been like no other campaign before it. Though the subject matter naturally lends itself to the type of campaign we're witnessing - and participating in as never before - it also offers a fascinating glimpse into the way more mainstream campaigns will be run in the future. We are witnessing what may come to be seen as the beginnings of open source government in this country.

  • Musicians Help Aid FOSS Initiative in Africa

    Few things are more heartbreaking than the notion of children without access to healthcare. While no one denies that there's a tremendous need for better healthcare options for American children, the U.S. provides for emergency care, vaccinations, and other basic needs. Children in many other countries aren't so lucky.

    IntraHealth International works with nations across the globe to provide the training and infrastructure communities need to solve public health issues within their own country. One initiative, IntraHealth OPEN focuses on using open source technologies in impoverished areas because of its accessibility, adaptability, and versatility.

  • Open-Source Collaboration Software Adds Language Support, Enhances Usability

    Open-Xchange today announced a comprehensive feature update for the Open-Xchange Server 6 product family - adding support for Dutch and Spanish languages, as well as more than 50 improvements to the Linux-based collaboration suite.

  • GIMP 2.6.5 Released

    GIMP 2.6.5 is a bug-fix release in the stable GIMP 2.6 series. As usual, the source can be downloaded from Binary packages for the various supported platforms should become available soon.

  • Games

    • Top 10 best open source games

      1.) Tremulous – This is hugely popular open source title, being downloaded millions of times since its inception in 2006. Tremulous is a team-based first-person shooter with real-time strategy elements as well. The game is very similar to Quake II and III, and was actually born out of the commercial modification of Quake III Arena. The game-play is inspired the Quake II modification known as “Gloom.” If you’re a fan of Quake, you’ll like Tremulous. There’s already a huge development community and support structure in place, and it’s available on all major platforms – FreeBSD, Linux, Mac OS X and Windows.

      2.) Netrek – This is another long-time favorite in the open source gaming genre. It’s an Internet-based game that can be played by up to 16 players. The game can actually be classed as a hybrid multi-directional shooter and real time strategy game. It combines “twitch” style action-game “dogfighting” with extensive team play and strategy. The game is loosely based on Star Trek Universe, in which each player controls a starship, and has been under development continually since 1986 when it was created a successor to Xtrek.

    • Making money with "free-to-play" games

      Free-to-play games are looking more and more like open source products as commercial entities behind the development and operations figure out ways in which to add value and monetize their user base.

  • Sun

    • blog(FOSDEM, 2009);

      It's been five years since the first Free Java developer meeting at FOSDEM. It's amusing to look back to how a bunch of nice people first met there, sharing the dev room with Debian, to discuss packaging and steps towards liberation of Java. It makes me feel like an old guy. At the same time, it makes me feel like someone with a lot of old friends, so that's not so bad, after all. Not bad at all.


      The final set of talks was devoted to community building, priorities and everything around that. Petteri Räty spoke on recruiting, communication, and lessons learned from the Gentoo Java project's efforts to expand the set of developers, and share the workload of maintaining many packages onto many shoulders.


  • Section 76 ignites new debate

    The National Union of Journalists, in association with BJP, has called for photographers to make their voices heard at a rally on 16 February as a new law is introduced that allows for the arrest - and potential imprisonment - of anyone who takes pictures of police officers 'likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism'.

  • Nokia threat to quit Finland 'unless law changed'

    Mobile phone giant Nokia threatened to leave its native Finland if a change to laws blocking companies from monitoring employee emails was not introduced, a respected Finnish newspaper said Sunday.

  • Internet Security Concerns, Online Anonymity, and Splinternets

    What would it take to create a more secure Internet? That’s what John Markoff explores in his latest New York Times article, “Do We Need a New Internet?” Echoing some of the same fears Jonathan Zittrain articulates in his new book The Future of the Internet, Markoff wonders if online viruses and other forms of malware have gotten so out-of-control that extreme measures may be necessary to save the Net.

  • New Zealand Goes Black

    The previous government in New Zealand enacted an amendment to the Copyright Act that required ISPs to have a policy to disconnect users after repeated accusations of infringement, over the objections of technologists.

  • Commission shelves plans to curb online piracy

    The European Commission is set to put proposals to tackle online piracy on ice until the end of its current mandate, following heavy pressure from telecoms companies and consumer organisations alike, EurActiv has learned.

    The EU executive had been expected to bring forward two initiatives in the first half of 2009, both of which could have forced a more restrictive EU-wide approach to free and illegal downloading.

  • Swedish Newspaper Has Tremendous Success 'Beta Testing' Article On The Pirate Bay

    Last week, in talking about how the Wall Street Journal had laid off its librarians, I suggested that newspapers could start trying a more "open research" system where they ask their community to help them with the research.

  • How The Pirate Bay sailed into infamy

    The Pirate Bay was launched in 2003 and has established itself as the world's most high-profile file-sharing site. But its founders are now on trial for copyright violation and face imprisonment, if found guilty.


    "The tracker provides the user only with .torrent files which contain no copyrighted data. The actual copyrighted material is to be found on the individual machines of our users, not on our servers," says the site.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Bdale Garbee, Hewlett Packard computer wizard and Debian lead 12 (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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