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Links 30/03/2009: GNU/Linux in Danish Ministry

GNOME bluefish



  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 39

  • Never fear Linux
    No matter what Linux distro you are using, it’s a matter of you learning it wholeheartedly. You might hit some snags along the way, maybe printer sharing problems or wireless internet issues, but the thing is that you shouldn’t just give it all up. You still have time if you give it a chance. And a new thing learned gives you enough edge over others who probably don’t have the skill. It will probably come in handy not just for your personal needs but probably for work too. It might also give you an unforeseen opportunity in the future, just you wait and see.

  • DK: Telecom Agency offers open source desktop to staff
    The Danish National IT and Telecom Agency (ITST), part of the ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, has started offering its staff the choice between a GNU/Linux based desktop or a proprietary desktop, announced Christian Lanng, head of the agency's IT and Infrastructure division, at its conference on open source and public administrations, held in Copenhagen on 19 March.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Foundation Welcomes credativ, Strengthens Presence in Europe
      The Linux Foundation welcomed its newest member today, the European-based free and open source standards consulting firm, credativ. This new partnership is a particularly exciting one, thanks to credativ's presence in the United Kingdom, Germany and Canada, and its focus on creating and implementing standards.

    • What's new in Linux kernel 2.6.29?
      The second new file system is called SquashFS and has actually been used by many Linux distributions in the past. SquashFS is designed for general read-only filesystem use so it is of limited practical application to the bulk of users. Where it does come in handy is for Live CDs and for embedded systems.

    • ext4 File System: Introduction and Benchmarks
      Destined to become the default file system for the more popular Linux distributions, ext4 is out of experimental mode and gearing up for production environments. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Applications

    • 21 of the Best Free Linux DVD Tools
      The venerable DVD is a removable media format that was conceived over 15 years ago. However, it still remains today the ideal format for many uses, although blu-ray is starting to make significant inroads in the field of multimedia playback.

    • Review: Amarok 2.0.2 - Better Than 1.4?
      Amarok always had the reputation of being the most popular and powerful audio player available on the Linux platform, and it really deserved that position. I myself am a fan of Amarok for over three years now, and there was nothing I could think of which Amarok 1.4 did not have.

    • New releases catch-up
      Here's some recent updates for those of you too busy to hit F5 on Freshmeat every 10 seconds. Ardour 2.8 is now available featuring track and bus templates, distributable VST support and AudioUnit state saving -- stuff which has to be cool if you're into digital audio. Gnumeric 1.9.5 brings everyone's favourite non-OOo spreadsheet closer to 2.0 with bugfixes en masse, while HardInfo 0.5 displays a shedload more details about your system, and remains the essential fact-gathering tool when you need to get Linux help.
    • D2 Technologies' mCUE(TM) Adds Support for IBM(R) Lotus(R) Sametime(R) on Linux Smartphones
      D2 Technologies, the market leader in embedded IP communications software platforms, today announced that its mCUE(TM) converged mobile communications client software is now interoperable with IBM(R) Lotus(R) Sametime(R), today's most widely deployed unified communications (UC) platform in the enterprise. Through this native support, D2's mCUE achieves increased versatility and better promotes the use of Linux-based mobile devices in enterprise UC scenarios. In turn, OEMs and ODMs can now use mCUE's converged presence-based communications user interface (CUI) to more quickly develop and introduce to market new mobile devices that integrate all session types, including cellular voice call, VoIP, IM, SMS and email messaging.

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Five things every Linux distribution should do
      I've started using Linux with Redhat 6.2, which was released in 2000. The list of popular distributions available back then was limited to Redhat, Mandriva, SUSE, Debian and Slackware. The search for 'Active' distributions on distrowatch listed 296 distributions as of today.

      People choose different distributions based on the popularity, localization, recommendation etc. The explosion in the number of distributions increased the chance of getting a more personalized Linux but this resulted in lack of standards among the distributions as every distribution started using different package management/hardware detection/configuration tools.

    • Review of Tiny Core Linux 1.2 and 1.3 RC2
      I have to admit that I never really saw the point of these mini distributions in the past where you had to use a cut-down set of applications which made life harder. Sure, they were small, but in a time when computers are really fast and powerful, who cares about little tiny systems that can't do everything out of the box? Well I never liked big bloated systems either and I'm a fan of simplicity. My time using Tiny Core has really opened my eyes to a completely different way of computing, and I love it. It's not a crippled tiny system with hopeless applications, but rather an excellent framework which you can then build into anything you want. The packages on offer are on the old side, however, and there is a limited range of software available. To me, this seems like the only thing holding Tiny Core back and is something that I'm sure will change over time. After having used Tiny Core for a short time, it does appear to have everything I need to work with out of the box. I can't wait to see what else I can discover.

    • Why do I like Debian
      Each distro has it's own appeal to different people. I am not going to make a judgment on any distro in this article. Just saying why I Like Debian so much.

      I like other distros for other reasons and maybe I'll explain those sometime in the future. Maybe not.

      All I can say is give me a Debian netinstall disk or a base livecd and I'm a happy camper.

      For me, it just doesn't get better than that.

    • Red Hat

      • Citigroup interested in buying Red Hat?
        And what about the old rumors of Oracle purchasing Red Hat? Even those have surfaced again. And the IBM/Sun take over has found new teeth. The latter purchase of Sun by IBM makes good sense - at least for Red Hat. IBM and Sun both make machines that run Red Hat Linux. If they came together it would mean an even larger company producing Red Hat powered hardware. Of course this would probably only fuel both the rumor mill and the desire of companies to want to swoop down and take away Red Hat.

    • Ubuntu

      • How Do I Create a Bootable Flash Drive?
        You'll need to get an operating system onto the flash drive. You've got a number of options, and I'll discuss two. But first, a couple of rules that apply to any bootable flash drive:

        1) Make sure your PC can boot from a flash drive. You can do this in the hardware settings (also called the CMOS or BIOS settings), but I can't tell you exactly how. Boot your computer and look for a message like "Press KEY for Setup." It will be one of the first things to appear on your screen as you power up. Press that key immediately. Hunt the resulting menu for something like Boot Options or Boot Order. You want to make sure that USB devices are listed

      • Jackalope sighting: first look at Ubuntu 9.04 beta
        Ubuntu 9.04, codenamed Jaunty Jackalope, has reached the beta stage. Ars hops onto the new beta release to see how it performs.

      • Ubuntu 9.0.4 ScreenShots Beta
        Here is my 3rd installment of the 9.0.4 Beta ScreenShots. My first ScreenShot was Kubuntu and then my 2nd one was Xubuntu. Finally I get to

      • Ubuntu Podcast Episode #23 - Leslie Hawthorn

      • Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope Beta on the Mini 9

      • Xubuntu 9.0.4 ScreenShots Beta
        My 2nd set of ScreenShots, this time it is Xubuntu 9.0.4 Beta based on the New Jaunty Jackalope Beta Release of Ubuntu 9.0.4. I absolutely love Xubuntu since it uses the very light and efficient Xfce 4.6. Granted usually I am praising the fancier Ubuntu based distros, but I do love the simpleness and the fast loading of Applications in Xubuntu. Xubuntu also comes with Abiword and Gnumeric, which is the equivalent of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.The other Ubuntu based distro's have been coming with Open Office 2.4 or Open Office 3.0

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Lantronix Introduces New Linux Capability With Embedded Device Server MatchPort AR
      2009 Embedded Systems Conference -- Lantronix, Inc. (NASDAQ: LTRX), a leading provider of secure, remote device networking and data center management technologies, today announced support for Linux on their wired embedded device server product, MatchPort AR. The new offering caters to the growing Linux development community, expanding the market opportunity for the product.

    • Phones

      • Palm Pré to arrive next month?
        The much-hyped Palm Pré could be launched next month, according to Tweets posted by the head of one firm thought to be testing the would-be iPhone killer.

        Jim Van, CEO of Logicom, reportedly updated his Twitter feed last week to say that the phone’s release date will be 30 April.

      • Smartphone Sales Predicted to Stay Strong, to Become Led By Open Source
        The LiMo Linux-based phones are not having a huge impact on the market, and there still is only one Android-based handset in the United States: the T-Mobile G1. The G2 successor is initially only to be sold outside the U.S. It's a shame that more Android handsets weren't shown at the recent Mobile World Congress conference--now the biggest global event showcasing new smartphones.

      • Open Source Set to Thump Apple (in the Long Run)
        The number of mobile application users is set to quadruple in five years, according to new research from In-Stat. And while Apple's iPhone is leading the charge, In-Stat says worldwide sales of open source-based smartphones are expected to be double that of devices based on Apple's software over the same time period.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Moblin V2 vs. Ubuntu Netbook Remix vs. Ubuntu MID
        Last week Intel had pushed out a second alpha release of Moblin V2 and now it boots even faster, which means they are down to the point of being able to boot in just a few seconds. Beyond a very quick boot process, they have already incorporated kernel mode-setting and other newer Linux/X.Org technologies while also working to build a desktop environment around the Clutter OpenGL tool-kit. Moblin is certainly turning into an interesting Intel creation, but how does its performance compare to other mobile-focused Linux distributions? We have benchmarked Moblin V2 Alpha 2 and compared it against what is likely their biggest competitor in the mobile space, Ubuntu Netbook Remix, and the LPIA-based Ubuntu MID edition. Which of these mobile operating systems is the fastest? We hope to find out today.

      • What next for the netbook?
        Price-wise I'd say that high-end netbooks are perhaps getting too far away from the initial premise of a small, cheap companion. These days the high-end models cost at least $900. Kogan Technologies is set to shake things up with its $499 10-inch netbook running gOS - a flavour of Linux designed to play nicely with Google services. I'm wondering if this will put pressure on other netbook makers to get back to basics and release a stripped-down 10 inch netbook to compete at around the $500 mark. Such a price war would certainly see netbooks take off again.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 10 open source books worth downloading
    Free and open source software is all about sharing so, prompted by a reader who emailed me last week to ask about books on Linux, I spent some time over the weekend doing research. The result is a short list of books that users - from newbies to gurus - can download and read at their leisure. There are many more books than just these available online but I chose to limit the list to books that could be downloaded in full. I also chose a wide range of books, from introductions to Linux, books on implementing open source in schools and in Africa, to books that defined the evolution of free software.

  • State of the Project Report: Joomla! Web CMS
    The original intent was to use the GNU Public License (GPL) for Joomla! However, there was an entire ecosystem of proprietary extensions around the open source CMS, with many people making their entire living from these extensions.

    In 2005, the core team had a member of the OSM board write up a rider, granting an exception for these extension developers to use any license they wanted.

    This rider was added in May 2006, but that wasn't the end of the issue. Over the next year, the core team began to worry that exceptions were not in fact legal within some interpretations of the GPL and may put the project in jeopardy. On June 14, 2007, the official announcement "Open Source Does Matter" appeared, re-committing Joomla! to full GPL compliance and promising that the road would not be littered with lawsuits or snap decisions.

  • Recession vs. FOSS
    Pundits and business executives alike are predicting gloomy economic times for 2009. But when the talk turns to free and open source software (FOSS), suddenly the mood brightens. Whether their concern is the business opportunities in open source or the promotion of free software idealism, experts see FOSS as starting from a strong base and actually benefiting from the hard times expected next year.

  • New technologies coming to Web start-ups' rescue
    Investors and entrepreneurs say cloud computing, new -- and free -- programing languages, open-source software, and use of the Internet to distribute and publicize products have made starting a company relatively inexpensive and will allow startups to ride out the credit crunch and recession.

  • Sabre Holdings Standardizes on FUSE Open Source ESB
    Sabre Holdings, parent of the world-renown Sabre travel reservation system and, will standardize on Progress Software’s FUSE open source ESB for real-time integration and SOA with its B2B partners.

    The Sabre decision to settle on FUSE as a standard component in its infrastructure reflects how far open source ESBs have matured in their ability to deliver fault-tolerant, mission-critical integration, executives from both companies said.

  • Albatross: open source Air Traffic Control software
    The Swiss company SkySoft has launched an open source community Air Traffic Control (ATC) project named Albatross. The first free application will be Albatross Display, an open source Air Traffic Controller environment. Albatross Display is expected to be released towards the end of June, under the GPL license. An enterprise version based on Albatross Display will also be produced, tested, certified and come with full professional support towards the end of the year, under the name of OpenSky Visual.

  • UP taps open source voting system
    THE University of the Philippines in Diliman held its first campus-wide computerized elections for the student council last month, with more than 10,000 students casting their votes and the results coming only minutes after the precincts were declared closed.

  • Open-source Flash Game Engine Now In Open Beta
    When it comes to gaming, the most popular platform isn’t the Nintendo Wii, but Flash, the interactive browser plugin that now boasts 99 percent market penetration on nearly a billion PCs. (Flash game advertising network Mochi Media currently counts 100 million players across its system alone.) That huge audience has led to a lot of games, but most of them are rudimentary at best, the product of amateur enthusiasts working with limited resources. That’s why I was excited to hear about PushButton, a Flash game engine from a team of seasoned game developers that’s free, open source, and associated with an innovative revenue model that should help spur its adoption.

  • Business

    • Digium€® Launches Support Services for Open Source Asterisk€®
      Digium€®, Inc., the Asterisk€® Company, today announced the general availability of support subscriptions for open source Asterisk. The software, which Digium’s Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Mark Spencer, created and released under the open source GNU General Public License (GPL) 10 years ago, is now the world’s most pervasive open source telephony platform. The new Asterisk support services allow organizations of any size to leverage the power of open source Asterisk with the confidence that their system is supported by a world-class support organization. The support subscriptions provide technical support, hardware replacements and substantial discounts on training programs to enable users to take full advantage of the power of the Asterisk platform.

    • Job Trends: Tomcat, Spring, Weblogic, JBoss, EJB
      Forrester recently described a trend that they refer to as "lean software" in their paper entitled Lean Software Is Agile, Fit-To-Purpose, And Efficient. They state that "lean software is emerging as the antidote to bloatware" and that "the trend toward lean software has been building for years, but the worldwide recession is accelerating it".

    • Red Hat Adds Muscle to Apache CXF
      We’re happy to announce that as of today, Red Hat has become a key contributor to the Apache CXF, which is an open source, fully featured, easy to use Web Services framework. It is the combination of two projects: Celtix developed by IONA and XFire developed at Codehaus working together at the Apache Software Foundation.

    • Bad economy boosts open source
      The latest 'Future of Open Source' survey was revealed at the InfoWorld's Open Source Business Conference last week. The survey was conducted with 435 respondents and focused on topics surrounding open source software such as the impact of the economic recession, key market drivers, and predictions.

    • IT Cost-Cutting: Consider Virtualization, Look to the Cloud, Check Out Open Source
      In this episode, our analyst guests make their top five recommendations for cutting enterprise IT costs amid the economic downturn. How does IT adapt and adjust to the downturn? Is IT to play a defensive role in helping to slash costs and reduce its own financial burden on the enterprise?

    • Is the downturn good for open source?
      More importantly, the areas where open source is most competitive are different nowadays. In 2000-2002, open source fought for dominance over the operating system, database software, and middleware, and winners included Linux, MySQL, and JBoss. Building upon the spoils of that victory, open source has now spread up the software stack into business applications and into mobile and desktop applications that businesses and professionals use every day. The result is that the open source movement has an entirely new group of people to convert.

    • Open-Source Lucene Fits Site Search Alternative
      The free open-source toolkit Apache Lucene has been making its way into more Web content management systems, according to recent research from CMS Watch. Published findings in "The Web CMS Report 2009" suggest that 40% of manufacturers supporting CMS now bundle the app into their platform.

    • Open Source will thrive in turbulent economy
      A panel of top experts in the commercial open source industry, including executives from Acquia, Novell, Mozilla, Sun Microsystems, and SugarCRM, announced the results of the North Bridge Venture Partners' annual "Future of Open Source" survey.


    • The GPL - Not fade away
      These days free and open source software (FOSS) is recognised as a significant model for the development and distribution of software, transforming the way that software is written, perceived, packaged and sold. A large part of the success of free and open source software has been due to the revolution in software licensing that was led by the GNU General Public License (GPL).

      So it is surprising to see a re-emergence of the argument that "we don't need the GPL anymore", (the "we" refers to "open source" developers, and more specifically, to the Linux kernel developers), and that the argument is underpinned by the hoary suggestion that business is "afraid" of the GPL.

  • Sun

    • Forcing Dutch procurement to be transparent
      You may remember last September I published an interview with crusading Dutch IT journalist Brenno de Winter. During our meeting, we discussed the sorry state of ICT procurement in Europe and the findings from a research group that many tenders illegally specified products rather than technologies.

  • Government

    • CPM, BJP IT-Vision Plan To Help: Expert
      CPM and BJP, in their IT-Vision document have agreed to implement open-standards and use of open-source software. Open-standards benefit organizations ensuring inter-operability, while open-source software significantly reduces perils of vendor-lock

      The IT Vision document of CPM and BJP mentions to implement open-standards. This will bring significant benefits to the IT enabling industries. By adopting open-standards, enterprises can safely install open-source software, said G.Nagarjuna, chairperson of Free Software Foundation of India and a mentor for Ph.D students (Software) at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.

    • Is BJP's 'IT Vision' a boost for open source?
      As India is going for another general elections, the recently released IT Vision document of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has become a hot subject for debate.

      While the vision document includes promises such as multipurpose national identity card (MNIC) with unique citizen identification number (CIN), 12 million new IT-enabled jobs in rural areas, and laptop computers at Rs 10,000 for students, with facility for interest-free loans, it is the prominence given to open source that has made the party's IT vision a hot subject for debate among the industry people.

  • Open

    • Social Documentation
      The new MAA Documentation System combines open-source technologies with deep social computing principles to create a truly innovative approach to museum documentation. The new MAA Documentation System shifts the age-old documentation principles of standardized description and information accumulation to multi-vocal and multi-source accounts and distributed documentation.

      For the past few years, the MAA has been developing an open-source Documentation System. With over 20 years experience of developing its own Documentation Systems and Collections Management Systems, the MAA is just about to finish one of the most ambitious upgrades of its history. In fact, this system is the result of a complete re-think of its documentation practices. Thought the new system takes account of documentation standards, such as SPECTRUM, and newer developments such as CollectionSpace, it differs from the traditional approaches is several key respects.

  • Programming

    • Competitors: IBM-Sun Would Be Good for Java
      Red Hat is a member of the JCP Executive Committee which oversees the JCP. Sharples notes that what drives many of Red Hat's contributions is the desire to make Java simpler to use for more people while retaining the power of the platform. JBoss contributions to the JCP include EJB 3 (nterprise java beans), Web Beans, Seam Framework and Hibernate.

    • EclipseSource Introduces Security for Open Source Downloads
      EclipseSource, the leading provider of Eclipse runtime products and services, today announced Yoxos SecureSource, a subscription-based service that provides secure access to a repository of certified open source plug-ins. The new service provides development teams with secured, reliable access to an uncompromised and consistent code base and is designed to alleviate concerns about source code authenticity and origin.

    • Aptana Unveils Cloud Integration for Java and Eclipse
      Aptana, Inc., today announced the immediate availability of Java support in its application hosting and life-cycle management service, Aptana Cloud Connect(TM). Aptana Cloud Connect is architected to integrate with both leading cloud hosting providers and Aptana Studio, the popular open source web development IDE that also plugs into Eclipse. By integrating directly with Eclipse via Aptana Studio, Aptana Cloud Connect delivers unprecedented efficiency for authoring, deploying and managing Java, Ruby on Rails, PHP, and other types of web applications running in cloud data centers.


  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Save the European Internet – Write to Your MEPs (Again)
      Last week I was urging you to write to a particular set of MEPs about proposed changes to the Telecoms Package, which is wending its slow way through the European Union's legislative system. Now it's time to write to *all* you MEPs, since a crucially important vote in a couple of committees is to take place tomorrow. You can read more about what's been happening and why that's a problem on the La Quadrature du Net site, which also offers a detailed analysis of the Telecom Package and the proposed amendments.

    • Telecoms Package: the good, the bad and the ugly
      Members of European Parliament's IMCO and ITRE committees vote on Tuesday on the Telecoms Package amendments. They have had little time to consider them, let alone to analyse and determine their meaning.

  • Copyrights

    • Disney and YouTube Close to Content Deal, Report Says
      Google is reportedly in talks with Disney to stream ESPN and ABC television programming such as "Desperate Housewives," "Lost," and "Ugly Betty" to YouTube. In a rumored twist to the negotiations YouTube is pressuring Disney not to cut a deal with rival Hulu to provide Disney-owned content to the site, according to reports from the site

    • Torrent Sharing Comes to Facebook: Will the RIAA Step In?
      Soon you may be seeing links to download copies of Star Wars or the newest Britney Spears album pop up your Facebook news feed. This is because The Pirate Bay, one of the world’s most popular websites for file sharing and torrents, now allows you to share links to download these files right from your FacebookFacebook reviewsFacebook reviews profile.

    • Google launches free, legal music downloads in China
      Google Inc on Monday launched free downloads of licensed songs in China, while sharing advertising revenue with major music labels in a market rife with online piracy.

    • The Cyclopedia of New Zealand is now online for sharing
      The New Zealand Electronic Text Centre has just published the final volume of The Cyclopedia of New Zealand, making the full six-volume work available under a BY-SA NZ licence.

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