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Links 03/05/2009: Fedora Classroom Today, Palm to Enter Sub-notebooks?





GNOME bluefish

Contents





GNU/Linux

  • Deploying PHP Across Windows and Linux
    The popular scripting language has become more versatile than ever before. Today, it's not just the domain of Linux and Apache fans, even Windows users can enjoy its benefits. Here, we compare it on three platforms.


  • Practical Analysis: Mainframes And x86 Headed For Virtual Collision
    That's the number thrown out by mainframers when they talk about how many virtual Linux instances can be supported on IBM zSeries hardware. It's not news that the zSeries runs Linux, but for most of us living in the distributed world of x86 servers, that fact has been treated like something of a curiosity. After all, the mainframe era pretty much ended in the 1970s, right? Wrong. While mainframes aren't at the center of a modern computing environment, they still do certain things well, and their sales typically grow at least as fast as the national GDP. And let's face it, if there are people out there who know how to run 800 VMs on a single set of hardware, they probably have something to teach us.


  • Socket and embWiSe Introduce Linux and Nucleus Support
    Socket Mobile, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCKT), an innovative provider of mobile productivity products, today announced a partnership with embWiSe for the introduction of Linux and Nucleus€® support for the new Socket Go Wi-Fi!€® 802.11a/b/g SDIO.


  • Linux-Powered Amateur Rocket Goes USB
    The Linux flight computer on board the rocket would evaluate all the sensor data and decide when to deploy the parachute. The parachute needed to be deployed in the five-second window when the rocket reached its peak altitude (apogee), slowed down and started to fall downward.


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux software available for discount
    ITS is pleased to offer a Red Hat Enterprise Linux download and patch management service to the Vanderbilt community. The offer provides employees and students with free access to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.3 Desktop for use on personally owned systems.


  • Linux Journal Announces Winners of its 2009 Readers' Choice Awards
    Belltown Media, Inc., publisher of the award-winning monthly magazine Linux Journal, has announced the winners of its annual Linux Journal Readers' Choice Awards. The 2009 winners appear in the June issue, with awards presented to vendors and organizations in 36 categories, ranging from favorite version control system to favorite Linux laptop.


  • OpenVG 1.0 State Tracker Is Here!
    Yesterday we shared the exciting news that an OpenVG state tracker was coming quite quickly to the Gallium3D architecture for providing hardware-acceleration to this 2D vector graphics drawing API commonly used with mobile devices. This hour the OpenVG 1.0 state tracker was committed to the Mesa code-base.


  • Migrating my home Ubuntu Server toward a linutop
    I had the chance to met during the Solution Linux event a lot of very nice people, amongst them many persons from the team that build the Linutop, who are strong Open Source supporters.


  • An interview with a 'normal' Linux user
    PBP: So, would you say Linux is harder to use than Windows, the same, or easier to use?

    D: I guess it's about the same to me really dude. I mean, its not like it's rocket science. You just like, click on a button and look for whatever it is you want to do. Pretty much the same in both of them as far as I can tell. Although, I can say Lavender doesn't get as harsh


  • Terminating a Bad Assumption
    I know a fellow who, in his mid-60's, has been using Windows for about 3 years, and still had no clue what I meant by "double-click," "drag-and-drop," or "select." He already knew about double-clicking, but didn't know what it was called. The notions of "copy-paste" and "clipboard" were totally foreign to him. (So is "don't click that blind link," but that is for someone else to explain. That battle is already being fought by those who actually have something to lose.)




  • Kernel Space

    • View Videos from the 09 Collaboration Summit
      The 3rd Annual Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, held this April 8-10 in San Francisco, left me surprised and in high spirits. Why you ask? Because although I am fully aware that the downturn the economy has taken is affecting both individuals and businesses alike across the board, it didn’t seem to have this effect on the summit this year - not in a lack of attendees, enthusiasm among the participants or spirit of the collaboration.


    • Standing up for Linux support
      Linux is simply a better operating system in so many respects that it doesn’t make sense to change. I am not going to trade the stability and security of Linux for the bug and virus world of Windows just so I can watch Netflix on demand. I think the logic of the naysayers is that this means I should just accept the situation as it stands. I see where they’re coming from, but that’s absolutely the wrong attitude, especially coming from other Linux or BSD users. Desktop Linux users are still a minority, sure; but what’s keeping it that way? Lack of support and compatibility is a big part of the reason; hardware, software, and service vendors locked in to Microsoft standards because they don’t see any reason not to be. And unless we stand up and demand to be counted, there will never be much reason for them to change.

      I want to use the better OS, and I want to be acknowledged as an equal customer. If there is something you want from your business relationship that you’re not getting, you should ask for it. Maybe Netflix or AT&T might still decide not to offer it, but they will never offer it if they don’t know anyone wants it. So we should speak up.






  • Applications

    • Software I'd Pay Money for
      Linux has been my primary Desktop for about 13 years now. As such I rarely have to pay for software. Open source is just awesome that way. Yet when I thought about it I have paid for Codeweavers Crossover Linux, despite the fact that its available for free as wine. I've also paid for Zend's Studio for Eclipse even though much of the functionally is available in the PDT plugin for Eclipse. While I don't do so currently, I've been known to pay for SuSE Linux and StarOffice.


    • Editor's Note: Taking FOSS to the Next Level
      To me Digikam is one great example of the right way to steer the development of a complex application. The Digikam team are very good at understanding what a good digital photo management workflow is, and every release of Digikam advances both functionality and efficiency. They listen to users, and while it is impossible to please everyone, I think they're doing a great job. The best FOSS projects have this blend of clueful leadership that has a sound, clear vision, and also knows how to listen to users.


    • 3 Ways to Record Your Linux Desktop
      In this article I'll include three ways to screencast your Linux desktop with the help of recordMyDesktop, XVidCap and Istanbul. These three applications are included in every major distribution.


    • [Part 1] Progress, plans, and lots of work to do
      Mac/Linux These have proved more difficult than expected, but we're getting close. We expect to also be testing Mac and Linux versions of QUAKE LIVE internally this month and then making those publicly available just as soon as we feel they are ready. This work is being done by a separate programmer in parallel with the other work that we're doing, and is his only priority - point being, that this is a top priority for us and not being delayed because of other work.


    • QuakeLive Linux SITREP




  • Desktop Environments

    • Letter From the Editor: GNOME 3.0
      Another way that GNOME 3.0 should change is to completely rewrite what it means to be a desktop environment. Maybe the entire desktop need not be a desktop metaphor at all. The community has a lot of bright and creative people. I believe its time for the open source desktop community to bring the best minds together to create something completely new. The general interaction of using a mouse, keyboard, and in some circumstances, using ones hand through a touch screen, hasn’t changed in decades. Sure, some fancy 3D effects and such have been added, but the underlying metaphor has not changed. Maybe this isn’t possible in one large change. Maybe iterative design is the way to go. I hope I’m proven wrong.




    • KDE

      • Social Desktop Starts to Arrive
        Access to a lot of user-generated information offers a great way to provide online community support. This user-generated content comes from openDesktop.org right now and there is work going on integrating the KDE Forum as knowledge Base as well, so people can help each other via the web, and application developers transparently integrate this knowledge into applications and the desktop.


      • Top 10 KDE4 Applications
        Yakuake - Great terminal application Yakuake is a very popular Quake-style terminal application which sits in the background unless it's invoked with the (default) F12 global shortcut. It can inherit Konsole's settings and it is probably the best alternative to Konsole. Just like Konsole, Yakuake supports full transparency effects, various colour schemes and backgrounds, middle-click paste and tabs. Definitely an essential tool.


      • The future of PowerDevil (and of power management)
        Now, I’ve been eloquent enough, and now I would like to grab opinion and ideas. Do you like it? Would you like to see it in 4.4? Do you think it’s a major improvement and/or sucks? Let’s gather some ideas so that I know where to work on :)


      • Kdenlive: Breakthrough in Linux Video Editing
        In my view, it has for a number of years now been the greatest failing of Linux: video editors have been a joke. No one who is serious about video editing could really be happy in the least with the sorry state of non-linear video editing apps. There have been some decent entry-level standard def programs, such as Kino. If you were masochistic enough to play along with the quirks and straight-jacketed file format limitations of Cinelerra, well, you could spend many happy months trying to get that to work. Sure there are some nice conversion utilities like Avidemux and Handbrake and (for you command line lovers) ffmpeg and mencoder. And high definition? Well, please just forget about it, unless you really like self-torture and inevitable failure and aggavation. Trying to edit 24p HDV in Cinelerra? Been there, done that, and have very little hair left for my trouble.


      • Where am I?
        So that's IP geolocation, next step is to work on geolocation based on wireless access points. Two neat advantages of this:

        i) Better coarse-level geolocation - record APs visible at home/in the office/parents'/etc., and be able to geolocate at least down to a few km from that.

        ii) In a building with a whole bunch of visible APs, geolocation down to a few metres. And, unlike GPS, works indoors.












  • Distributions

    • Migration to Mepis 8.0 Complete!
      That was one reason I never was happy with Mepis, but Mepis developers have changed from being based on Ubuntu, they are now based on Debian. So I tried it again and find it to be a fine fine Distro.


    • Sabayon 4 Lite MCE Review
      Sabayon is a fairly popular Gentoo-based distribution which is generally said to target power-users instead of users who need user-friendliness. Sabayon Linux is developed by Fabio Erculian in Italy.

      In this review, the normal Sabayon distro won’t be tested, but the recent Sabayon 4 Lite Media Center Edition Revision 2 will be reviewed. This edition is a distro which uses Gnome as the default DE, but also contains Fluxbox if wanting a lighter WM. And consists of XMCE to aggregate media center capabilities.


    • In Praise of Gparted
      The Gnome Partition Editor is not included in the Ubuntu base install, but all you have to do after installation is go to Synaptic and install gparted. That has been a standard step in my post-installation setup and configuration for a long time.


    • Arch User Magazine Issue 2
    • Linux Gazette: May 2009 (#162)
      * Mailbag * Talkback * 2-Cent Tips * News Bytes, by Deividson Luiz Okopnik and Howard Dyckoff * Command-Line Processing with 'process-getopt', by Bob Hepple * New Options in the World of File Compression, by Brian Lindholm A short history of compression; a comparison of gzip, bzip2, and 7-zip; and a pointer to some conversion software. * Joey's Notes: TCP Wrappers on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, by Joey Prestia Our monthly column of basic Linux advice and education * XKCD, by Randall Munroe




    • Fedora





    • Ubuntu

      • See how the new Ubuntu stays competitive
        The latest Ubuntu release--code named Jaunty Jackalope--boots faster, shuts down faster, and includes numerous improvements that help it become even easier to use than before. If you like open-source software like Firefox, you owe it to yourself to see what an open-source operating system can do.


      • Inside Ubuntu 9.04
        If you have an existing collection of music files -- as in, MP3s -- be warned that MP3 playback is not installed by default in Ubuntu. It has to be added after the fact, since shipping the OS with MP3 codecs might run afoul of patent issues in some countries. The good news: if you try to play just such a file, Ubuntu will attempt to automatically detect what's being played and offer to install the components needed.

        The same goes for Flash support -- nobody likes being stuck without their favorite YouTube videos! Click on a page that requires Flash in Firefox, and you'll get a prompt at the top to install the needed plug-ins. Use the "Gnash" plug-in to get Flash going (be sure to restart Firefox after you install it), and for certain Flash-embedded videos that require multimedia codecs, you'll be prompted to add the needed codecs in the same manner as when you try to play MP3s. Finally, you might need to restart any program that depends on such codecs after they're installed, or they may not recognize that anything's changed.


      • Ubuntu 9.04: A Social Event
        The release of Jaunty Jackalope (Ubuntu 9.04) on April 23 might have been the most celebrated open source operating system release to date — with 110 release parties taking place across the globe. But here’s the twist: This wasn’t the result of a corporate PR machine. Instead, the parties involved the efforts of individual Ubuntu community members.












  • Devices/Embedded



    • Phones





    • Sub-notebooks

      • Note to Microsoft: Your Netbook Days Are Numbered
        Linux is fine, but it hasn't had a powerful organization sponsoring it and promoting it to hardware vendors -- until now. And from all appearances, Google is doing a fantastic job of promoting Android to hardware vendors of all stripes.

        A relatively obscure Chinese netbook maker -- Guangzhou Skytone Transmission Technologies -- is about to set loose on the market an Android-powered netbook using an ARM processor chip, probably for under $200. And that's just the beginning. An executive at ARM told Computerworld he expects to see 10 ARM-based netbooks later this year, and it's a safe bet to assume many of those will also be using Android.


      • Will Netbooks be the place where Microsoft stumbles?
        What is interesting here is that Microsoft may not be the operating system of choice for the netbook. The article suggests that Google's operating system may be the operating system of choice. If this happens, then it is possible that Microsoft will face pressure from the low cost end of the computing environment. And the risk to Microsoft is that the netbook will become "good enough" of a computer for enterprize just like so much of the consumer technology.


      • Netbooks: Not if, But What Will Replace PCs
        Having learned from my prediction in 1984 that mainframes were on the verge of extinction, I know that PCs will be with us for years to come. But the future is a world where all sorts of appliances are used to get online and where applications and data usually live in the cloud with access through a browser. No one will consider it necessary to have a PC to go online. No one will be offline for very long.


      • Palm Could Be Working on a webOS-Based Netbook
        Palm is going release an inexpensive laptop running its new webOS, if an unconfirmed report from an industry analyst is correct.

        The webOS is going to debut soon on the Palm Pre, a smartphone being released by Sprint. But Trip Chowdhry from Global Equities Research says Palm is also working on a netbook that will run this same operating system.


      • Palm’s Foleo may rise from the dead with WebOS












Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Index reveals more than just usage stats: the sad case of technology education in the United States
    The Open Source Index is a collection of rankings based on research at Georgia Tech. Recently, Red Hat made the findings available via this cool online web application. It might be arguable that Spain and France rank higher than Brazil (rank: 3) in government adoption of free software but the rankings show that large governments who could be doing amazing programs like the United States (rank: 28) are being beaten out by developing nations like Venezuela, Peru, South Africa, Indonesia, Vietnam — even Costa Rica (population: 4 million).


  • Open Source & Cloud Computing: Is There a Free Software Alternative?
    Pau Garcia-Mila founded three start-ups in Spain and is currently at the eyeOS Project board. He founded eyeOS in 2005 at the early age of 17 and was the youngest member of the '08 Center for Entrepreneurial Learning student from the Judge Business School at Cambridge University in the UK.


  • Tech Evangelists and open source
    Richard Stallman is the poster boy for open source, and is viewed by many as nothing more than a nuisance. Why is this? He’s a bright man. Hired by IBM at an early age he wound up creating one of the first pre-processors for the IBM System/360. At some point, however, he discovered open source and began extolling its benefits. He even created the Copyleft and was the main writer of the GPL. With such a background, why is he considered nothing more than a raving mad man at times?

    Not that I compare myself to RMS, but he and I have something in common. We are both very passionate about Linux and/or open source. So much so that we begin to see the hurdles and challenges of open source software as “features” or “part of the fun”. It’s easy to forget, when challenges are part of what make life a joy, that most people do not want challenges. Challenges make work harder and, therefore, less productive. But evangelists, nay, cheerleaders, are blinded to this.


  • Web Design Setup On Linux
    GIMP is good, GIMP is great, GIMP is what I use for all my image work.


  • Open Source: Wide Open Spaces
    The sun rises in the east, the earth revolves around the sun, and an open source solution arrives when the business it serves has become fat and lazy. At least that's how it used to go. That's what happened in operating systems when Linux was born. That's what happened in content management when Alfresco emerged as that industry's open source entrant.




  • Audio

    • FLOSS Weekly 67: Xen
      Ian Pratt is VP of Advanced Virtualization Prododucts at Citrix Systems, and the leader of the Xen program. Previously, he was a senior lecturer at University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, and a Fellow of King's College Cambridge.


    • Linux Outlaws 89 - The Rickroll of Death
      This week on a belated Linux Outlaws: More political rants as the German government loses its last shreds of sanity, the Pirate Bay judge is implicated as a member of a copyright lobby organisation, Microsoft’s earnings take a drop and Fab previews Chromium on Linux even if he isn’t supposed to.








  • 'Other' Operating Systems

    • It works! Sort of …
      On a whim, I installed the latest pre-release release of ReactOS today. I tried it a long time ago and had no luck whatsoever — black screens, nonbooting or just generalized irregular behavior — and so I rarely give it a thought.


    • FreeBSD 7.2 Review: Improved Virtualization
      FreeBSD is just plain old good UNIX with rock solid networking stack. It is quite popular amongst hosting companies, ISPs, portals (such as Yahoo) and a few large financial institutions because of its reliability, robustness and performance.

      A new version of the FreeBSD is scheduled for release next week (4-May-2009). A beta 2 was made available for download few weeks ago for final round of testing before the official launch


    • OpenBSD 4.5 light cycles into the wild
      The OpenBSD developers are channeling Tron to celebrate the release of version 4.5 of their open source operating system.






  • Sun

    • Oracle Office, MySQL, and other dreams
      Second, for this to really work in light of Sun’s existing licensing commitments, Oracle would have to open source the database and communications components for Oracle Office. Since MySQL is well suited to the job and already open source, my guess is that the pros and cons of using it would then tilt in favor - meaning that my hypothetical Oracle Office would boost the MySQL community first by creating long term support commitments and secondly by putting it at the core of a lot of Exchange replacements.


    • Sun Updates Solaris 10 Performance, Security
      Every six months, Sun updates its Solaris 10 operating system to include bug fixes as well as feature updates. That continues to be the case, even though it's likely to be the last release before Sun (NASDAQ: JAVA) becomes acquired by Oracle.


    • Solaris 11 due mid-2010
      The number and gee-whizness of features Sun Microsystems is putting into updates to both the Solaris 10 commercial operating system and the related OpenSolaris development release of Solaris are slowing. That's the best indication that Nevada - the code name for Solaris Next or Solaris 11 or whatever you want to call it - is getting closer to release.


    • OpenOffice Impress Design Proposals in Final Lap
      Project Renaissance of OpenOffice.org opened up proposals for "Access Functionality" design changes for its office suite on April 20, 2009. The Impress presentation application was chosen as the Guinea pig. Deadline for submissions is just around the corner: May 4, 2009.


    • A Weekend Look At OpenSolaris 2009.06
      It has been a while since last talking about OpenSolaris 2009.06 at Phoronix, but this weekend we decided to fire up Sun's latest build based upon the SXCE 111a build available from Genunix. Enclosed are a few screenshots and other information about this Sun community operating system that should be officially released within a month.






  • FSF/GNU

    • GNU sed goes GPL3
      A new stable release of GNU sed, version 4.2, is available. GNU sed is the free software version of the UNIX stream editor, which is typically used to filter or manipulate files or streams of text non-interactively, for example, within shell scripts. The new version is the first to be released under the GPL version 3 .








  • Government

    • Malaysia to Switch Government Agencies to Open Source
      To date, 462 agencies from a total of 720 agencies have implemented Open Source Software, which managed to provide a savings of more than RM47 million, said Mampu deputy director of ICT (information and communications technology) policy and planning division, Tan King Ing.








  • Licensing

    • NoScript and AdBlock Plus - Dramas!
      Will the FUDsters pick it up? Sadly I bet we will see some more FUD on how Firefox extensions open the same vulnerabilities that ActiveX does; how this is an example of Firefox not really being more secure than IE and so on. Firefox’s superior security has been a very effective point and devestating to IE, especially when mainstream respected sources flat out recommend switching to Firefox.








  • Open (But No Source Code)

    • Study: Doctors Could Give Wikipedia a Booster Shot
      Doctors tend to restrict their writing to journals that target their peers rather than to publications meant for consumption by the general public. For the most part, they have shunned Wikipedia, with its open editing policy. However, a recent study suggests that more professional participation on Wikipedia could be of great benefit to the public.






  • Applications







Leftovers

  • Anti-DMCA crusaders fight for the right to crack DRM
    Every three years, the Copyright Office lets the public ask for exemptions to the DMCA's tough anti-circumvention requirements. Ars talks to three people who will be fighting for your rights to crack DRM, starting tomorrow.




  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Web critic angers Orlando Police Chief Val Demings
      Orlando police Chief Val Demings is threatening to sue one of her critics for creating a Web site that criticizes her performance.


    • Internet Censorship in the US? Or Just Law Enforcement?
      It would seem that George Orwell might have been more prophetic than we perhaps gave him credit for. Currently, our televisions cannot watch us, but at the rate things are progressing, it is only a matter of time. After all, most PCs now come with web cams and certainly 90% of cell phones.


    • No, The Internet Isn't Running Out Of Bandwidth
      Nemertes Research has a history of putting out fear mongering reports about the coming bandwidth flood that will kill the internet. So I pretty much ignored the news that it had come out with another one, which the press is happy to report without any hint of skepticism (or noting that Nemertes is funded by telcos who stand to benefit from fears of a bandwidth glut).


    • Campaigners monitored by civil servants
      Government officials have been monitoring environmental campaign groups and then passing intelligence on to the police, according to documents seen by the Guardian.

      An internal risk report from the Department for Transport reveals that a unit referred to as the comms directorate €­"continuously monitor[ed]" peaceful protest groups opposed to the expansion of Heathrow airport and then briefed detectives about their findings.


    • Telecoms Package: When rapporteurs betray EU citizens.
      On both parts of the Telecoms Package, rapported by Malcolm Harbour (IMCO report) and Catherine Trautmann (ITRE report), agreements have been found with the Council of the EU to destroy or neutralize major protections of the citizens against graduated response, "net discrimination" and filtering of content on the Internet. There is little time left, but the Parliament has a last chance with the plenary vote on May 6th to reaffirm its commitment to protecting EU citizens.


    • Time Warner Cable Earnings Refute Download Cap Economics (Again)
      Time Warner Cable spent much of April pushing scary statistics about internet hogs, futilely attempting to convince the press and its eight million broadband customers that downloading was killing the company’s bottom line and would lead to internet Armageddon if its current buffet-style plan was not replaced with a pay-by-the-byte model.








  • Copyrights









Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day



Not finished: Bhaskar Chakravorti 01 (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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