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Links 10/05/2009: Mother's Day for GNU/Linux Too, KDE4 Gets Vista 7 Gown



GNOME bluefish

Contents





GNU/Linux

  • The Thin Line Between Victim and Idiot
    And if you have to use it at work...I understand. Unfortunately, as flawed as it is, it is still a Windows world. The good news? Slowly but surely businesses across the globe are making the switch. Even those that are not yet Linux companies are letting some employees run their choice of operating systems on their work computers. That choice is Linux.

    Look. Here is the way it is.

    When you buy a new computer, chances are it will have Microsoft Windows on it. That didn't come free...the price of the computer is jacked up anywhere from $100.00 to $300.00 to pay Microsoft. It's known as the Microsoft Tax. Microsoft has entered into deals with many of the computer manufacturers to insure that Windows is on about every machine they sell. The kicker here? Those agreements are secret and you and I cannot see them. We've written about this before.

    Microsoft has a virtual monopoly on new computer sales.


  • Dealing with a computer that shuts itself down
    One way to tell, is to boot the machine using a Linux live CD. I've written before that everyone should have a Linux live CD, this being one of the reasons.

    But, he didn't have a Linux CD, so I suggested booting to the BIOS setup screen and walking away. If the computer was still running after a while, the problem was with Windows. If it turned itself off again, then it was a hardware problem.


  • Hooked!
    So, I now have three Linux installations. The problem is, I know nothing about Linux.

    But the latest Linux versions have full GUI and great functionality. You don’t feel you are using Linux. What’s more, they are stable, don’t crash and are, more importantly, free.


  • Why Windows users should switch to Linux
    Forget the thousands of school and university students running Linux on their desktops. Forget the nonprofit and charitable institutions worldwide using Linux to power their systems.

    Forget Google, NASA, the US Department of Defense and dozens of global government agencies that use Linux for their day-to-day operations. Why should you run Linux on your computer?


  • InformationWeek Analytics: State Of Open Source
    As for open source desktop operating systems, we saw growth in use of Linux in 2008 primarily among developers. But as this group enhances desktop Linux variants and contributes that code back to the community, projects like Ubuntu become more viable alternatives for the enterprise.

    On the support front, while 18% of poll respondents purchase support from their open source vendors, most depend on internal resources. Few end users will be able to diagnose and repair even minor issues in open source desktop software, and even fewer will be able to decode the highly technical forums and wikis that comprise the support community, so competent in-house IT resources are a requirement for any organization using open source on the desktop.




  • Mother's Day

    • Why Your Mother Wants You to Use Linux
      4. You don't have to ask her for money to buy new computer hardware to cope up with the latest software since there are lightweight and resource-efficient Linux distros that could make your old computer fly. So another money saved and another spa for your mother.

      5. She wants you stop using bad words after a BSOD. Linux rarely crashes so she should be happy hearing you say "Wow" instead of "F*@k!" or "S#%t!" :-)


    • Happy mother's day, Linus Torvalds
      Today, May 10th 2009, is Mother's day for many countries around the world from Anguilla to Zimbabwe. How fitting, then, to offer a tribute to Linus Torvalds, the "mother" of Linux.








  • Shows

    • Report: Linuxfest Northwest 2009
      I really enjoyed the show. I wish I had some pictures to share. My presentation was well attended so I can't complain.

      The last timeslot on Sunday only had a couple of presentations, nothing that we were really interested in... so we decided to leave early.

      We stopped briefly in Spokane for some dinner at a Carl Junior's. We ended up stopping for the night in Wallace Idaho at the Wallace Inn. It was a bit overpriced, the security guard was creepy and their wifi was substandard... but it worked.

      I look forward to attending LFNW next year if I can. Thanks for a great show!


    • FLOSS Weekly 68: Cinelerra and Lumiera
      Guests: Joel Holdsworth and Aaron Newcomb for Cinelerra.

      Joel Holdsworth is a Mechanical Engineering student at Imperial College London. He has contributed to open source projects such as Wine and Inkscape, and now works as a core developer on Lumiera.


    • LB - Episode 39 - Chad in a FOG by Linux Basement






  • Desktop Environments

    • Download Windows 7 Transformation Pack for KDE
      You’ve heard of Vista Themes and Transformation Packs for XP. Now, it’s time they made one for KDE already.

      Vistar7 is a Windows 7 Transformation Pack for KDE desktops on Linux. This Windows 7 Transformation Pack for KDE has got everything you might need - Windows 7 icons, themes, splash screens, sounds, MS font








  • Distributions



    • Mandriva

      • Choosing the right edition of Mandriva Linux


      • Mandriva Linux 2009.1 (Spring) – Steps Ahead in Linux Desktop War
        My Last tryst with Mandriva was the Powerpack version of 2008. It was good but not great. PClinuxOS 2008 MiniME seemed to me a better choice in terms of stability, wireless configuration and usability.

        I had tried Mandriva 2009. It was full of promises (though there were some showstoppers). When a few days back Mandriva released the latest version of its operating system, Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring, I could not stop myself from downloading it.

        [...]

        Once the leader of desktop linux, Mandriva is all set to acquire its old glory. 2009 Spring release is great in many ways. The more you use it, the more you will like it.


      • Mandriva 2009.1
        This GNOME desktop was excellent, and it maintained the layout of the KDE menu, which is good for someone who wants to try both desktops out.












  • Devices/Embedded

    • Atom-based handheld knows just who you are
      Amrel announced a handheld biometric computer that scans faces, fingers, and iris patterns and checks them in real time. The Linux-compatible "HBS-2" runs on a 1.6GHz Atom processor, has a five-inch touchscreen, includes three cameras and built-in flash, and has a fingerprint scanner, says Amrel.


    • Micro-display PMP runs Linux, Android
      BlueRadios announced a "near-eye" portable media player (PMP) with a Kopin SVGA micro display. The WiFi-enabled WiPC (Wireless internet PC) weighs three ounces, offers the viewing experience of a 15-inch display, runs Linux, Android, or Windows CE/Mobile, and consumes one Watt of power, the company claims.




    • Android

      • T-Mobile to Launch Many Android Devices Later This Year
        T-Mobile USA is looking to introduce Android-based devices from three different manufacturers, Cole Brodman, chief technology officer of the company, said in a conversation with me earlier today. Android is a mobile OS developed by Mountain View, Calif.-based technology giant, Google.


      • World first Android Netbook- Skytone Alpha680
        Great netbook with the latest emerging software system. This is how the Skytone Alpha680 the Netbook based on Android performs. These are some of the typical applications we run on Alpha680. there are a lot more applications to come.




    • Sub-notebooks

      • ARM11 MIDs run Ubuntu
        Chinese portable media player (PMP) vendor SmartDevices is selling an ARM11-based mobile Internet device (MID) and larger 7-inch screen tablet device. Both the SmartQ 5 MID ($150) and SmartQ 7 ($190) devices run Ubuntu Linux, and offer WiFi and Bluetooth, according to Chinese retailer EWorld.










Free Software/Open Source

  • We’ve made a few changes!
    Gitorious now is a project maintained by Shortcut AS, which I co-founded. Shortcut AS now officially supports and develops Gitorious in cooperation with contributors outside Shortcut. Gitorious is, and will continue to be, 100% free software, licensed under the Affero GPL.


  • ICEpdf PDF rendering engine now open source
    ICEsoft is the developer of ICEfaces, a J2EE/Ajax framework for developing thin client and rich client applications. It is also known for its ICEbrowser HTML rendering component, which has recently, and quietly, been removed from sale and an end of life date of December 31st 2010 has been set for existing customers.


  • Low-cost software used to train up Aer Lingus pilots
    The airline chose Moodle, a free and open source e-learning management platform, which made the project considerably cheaper than it would have cost with commercial software.

    Enovation Solutions, a Dublin-based open source consultancy firm, modified elements of the Moodle platform to include Aer Lingus’s courseware, which includes simulator training with procedural and aircraft operation training.


  • Group Establishes Kosovo FLOSS Organization
    A group of Kosovo Free Software enthusiasts established last week the Kosovo Free/ Libre/ Open Source Software (FLOSS Kosovo) organization. The organization aims to promote Free and Open Source Software and knowledge in the newborn South East European country of Kosovo. It will do this by providing essential infrastructure and organizational framework for the support and development of open knowledge and software projects and other endeavors which serve this mission.




  • Mozilla

    • Prism 1.0 Beta Launches With New Website
      Eighteen months ago, we introduced an experimental project called Prism with the goal to “to bridge the divide in the user experience between web applications and desktop apps and to explore new usability models as the line between traditional desktop and new web applications continues to blur.”


    • Mozilla Education: map of active students
      One of our Mozilla Education goals for this year is to get students from around the world working on projects similar to the ones we see coming out of Seneca. There are two ways that this might happen: 1. more colleges offer courses like the ones at Seneca; or 2. individual students build on the existing Seneca program to do their own independent study projects. A couple of months ago, we asked Dave Humphrey to see what he could do to help on both these fronts out.






  • Thunderbird

    • Thunderbird visual refresh on Linux
      Been working on the appearance of Thunderbird for the last two months now and as things are starting to land in the Nightly builds, things are indeed starting to look quite nice. As always, Lapo have been of great help in the icon department.


    • Getting insight into one’s own email
      What other kinds of visualizations, summaries, and analysis would you like to see in Thunderbird, or in add-ons?








  • FSF/GNU

    • The smallest unit of freedom: a Fellow
      Stian Rødven Eide: Your involvement with GNU/Linux started while you were active in the demoscene, which was rather huge in Finland during the nineties. Were you already familiar with the philosophy of Free Software at that time? Was the culture of studying, sharing and improving each other’s code relevant to the demoscene?

      Timo Jyrinki: I don’t think I was really familiar with the Free Software philosophy at all at that time, and not even for some time after starting to use GNU/Linux. The demoscene did have an atmosphere of improving on other’s ideas, but actually seeing code was mostly totally out of the question, except for maybe some snippets. My real introduction to Free Software came from my involvement with Wikipedia.








  • Government

    • Obama and Free Software
      While free software was once considered by some as a fringe movement, it is now mainstream. Fortune 500 companies are embracing free software programs like R to analyse data. Linux, Apache, MySql and PhP (LAMP) servers power much of the Internet. Many cell phones, Kindle 2, and other devices run Linux. There is enormous interest in the development of every aspect of free software tools and applications. Some of the most profitable software companies today are those that are providing services over free software platforms. Free software also is important for empowering and protecting other social movements that routinely rely upon free software for a wide range of services.








  • Healthcare

    • W.Va. saves money on electronic medical records
      Doctors and hospitals in the U.S. worry about costs as they switch over from paper patient records to electronic systems, but West Virginia's seven state-run health care facilities have found a cost-friendly solution.

      Using open-source software based on the system in Veterans Administration hospitals, they're avoiding millions of dollars in licensing fees.


    • Are open source electronic health records the future?
      Though West Virginia may not be in the top national rankings when it comes to overall health, wealth and education, it is leading the way in electronic health record (EHR) open source adoption.

      Recently the state chose to adopt EHRs the old fashioned way...by stealing from the federal government...sort of. By tapping into the Veteran's Affairs (VA) EHR system that is available to health providers at no cost, West Virginia became the first state to adopt the EHR system state-wide, implementing the software across its state-run hospitals and nursing homes.






  • Open (But No Source Code)

    • California open source digital textbook plan faces barriers
      The governor of California has launched a new initiative to compile open source textbooks for the state. He hopes that the plan will help cut costs and improve the quality of education. The effort seems very promising, but the state's complex standards and arduous textbook evaluation process will pose major challenges.






Leftovers

  • Media Vacuums Will Be Filled
    Because the new breed of publisher - the ones doing it for pure passion, at virtually no cost - will and up wounding us where we're weakest. Because we've neglected parts of our audience, pandered to our own prejudices and missed opportunities.


  • Endless Possibilities: Norm Walsh on the Changing Nature of Publishing


  • Is Lala's DRM a new way to lock up music?
    Robertson--the controversial founder of MP3.com, Linspire, and MP3tunes.com--has accused Lala of attempting to transfer control of its users' music to the recording labels.

    Robertson claimed last month on his personal blog that Lala had developed an "insidious new plot" to entice its users to upload music to the company's servers and then trap the music there by embedding digital rights management into the servers. This would enable Lala and the big music labels to exercise greater control over the tunes. He compared Lala's plan with a "roach motel," where songs check in but they can't check out.


  • [Google] The 2008 Founders' Letter
    Given the tremendous pace of technology, it is impossible to predict far into the future. However, I think the past decade tells us some things to expect in the next. Computers will be 100 times faster still and storage will be 100 times cheaper. Many of the problems that we call artificial intelligence today will become accepted as standard computational capabilities, including image processing, speech recognition, and natural language processing. New and amazing computational capabilities will be born that we cannot even imagine today.




  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Thomson Reuters Subpoenas Zotero Hacker Identities
      Zotero is a fantastic Firefox addon for reference management. Mozilla used to ship it as part of Firefox Campus Edition. Recently, they got sued by Thomson Reuters because Zotero 1.5 acquired the ability to convert citation-style files from their proprietary Endnote software. I have an SVN/Trac account there because I contributed a little bit, and I just got this email:
      Dear Zotero Development Community Members,

      First off, please allow me to apologize for clogging your inbox with this unsolicited message, but I hope you'll understand that the severity of the situation requires me to contact you. In its ongoing litigation with George Mason University, Thomson Reuters has demanded that the university produce contact information (name, email, and username) associated with all two hundred eighty-six Zotero SVN/Trac accounts.


    • Ugly Chapter in Yahoo!'s History Revisited
      New Bill Would Prevent Yahoo!, Google and Microsoft from Aiding Oppressive Governments Crack Down on Free Speech








  • Copyrights

    • ‘New’ Anti-Piracy Lawyers Chase UK File-Sharers
      Over the last couple of years everyone has got used to hearing about UK lawyers Davenport Lyons and their campaigns against those it accuses of illicit file-sharing. Now everyone will have to get used to a new player - they’re called ACS Law and the similarities to Davenport are raising more than a few eyebrows.










Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day



Steve Weber, creator of the phrase "anti-rival goods" 07 (2005)

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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