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Links 10/05/2009: Linux 2.6.30-rc5 is Out, Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 1 is Coming

GNOME bluefish



  • Fast Is Hot
    Now there's Cloud, from Good OS, which gave us gOS Linux and a cover story for Linux Journal in March 2008. Good OS calls Cloud “A New Operating System for 2009”. More specifically, the press release says Cloud “integrates a Web browser with a compressed Linux operating system kernel for immediate access to Internet, integration of browser and rich-client applications, and full control of the computer from inside the browser” (

  • Linux Cloud Computing For The Masses With Zimory
    Options for building and deploying Web-based applications to the "cloud" are abundant. Amazon's EC2 offering has been out for a while and offers a variety of operating systems, databases and storage solutions. Linux choices include Red Hat Enterprise Linux, OpenSolaris, Fedora, openSUSE, Gentoo, Oracle Enterprise Linux, Ubuntu and Debian. When you look at the way Amazon prices their options, you'll quickly see that Linux options are significantly cheaper than Windows.

  • Cuba releases free video game that teaches Unix to kids, built with Blender and GIMP
    NovaTux is the first open source video game to be released by Cuba’s vibrant free software community. The work was done by students of UCI, one of the most important computer science universities in Cuba, which also launched Nova, the first GNU/Linux distribution from the country.

  • Lugradio Live 2009
    Last year there was great excitement when the lads announced that even though the podcast was coming to an end, the live event would happen again in 2009. As the year’s gone on it’s been harder and harder to believe it would really happen. I’d been told by some people close to the camp that it would happen but later in the year but nothing definite. I know the good folk at Wolves LUG have been planning away and working on it for a while. Today brought good news for all LugRadio fans. An announcement was finally made on and Twitter. Drum roll please….

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.30-rc5
      It's been a week (and a couple of days - what can I say?), so here's a new -rc.

      It's been getting quieter, although by -rc5 I obviously always hope for not just "pretty quiet" but "almost deathly quiet", and it never is.

    • AMD/ATI Radeon HD 4770 On Linux
      To those of you interested in AMD's new graphics card, the ATI Radeon HD 4770, it does work with Linux. Right now you can run this first 40nm GPU using Catalyst 9.4, but you will see an "unsupported hardware" logo in the lower right hand corner. There may also be a few other bugs.

    • CUDA 2.2 features visual GPU profiler
      ...GPU debugger that now works on 64-bit Linux as well as 32-bit Linux, and a handful of new APIs introduced in response to developer feedback.

  • Applications

    • Impressive: The new XBMC Media Center
      Version 9.04 of the multi-platform XBMC Media Center is released. Codenamed Babylon, the software comes with massive and in part, impressive changes.

    • Undermining Windows
      So, to conclude: Using MinGW it may be possible to develop software in Linux that can also run on Windows and, as it might likely be cross-platform, receive more attention than a program that is purely Windows, thus be of higher quality and in the end possibly contribute to users switching away from Windows.

  • Desktop Environments

    • Get to know Linux: Xfce 4
      In this most recent series of articles I have been higlighting various Linux window managers and desktops. Most of them are old school and still very relevant. We’ve examined Fluxbox and Window Maker so far. Both of these are very lightweight and fast. Some of them are more modern than others.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Interoperability: The step beyond standards
      The operating system building block is the domain of the Linux Foundation. This organization has two roles. One is the standardization of the Linux operating system for general computing use. The other is to define a carrier-grade Linux that meets the real-time, fault-tolerant, high-availability needs of communications system operation.

    • RealNetworks lets Facet glitter, briefly
      Glaser described Facet to analysts on the company's quarterly earnings call as Linux-based hardware running a software stack "designed to be the successor to the consumer DVD player."

    • E Ink Offers Broadsheet Kit for Developers
      The kit includes a display module, a Linux x86 operating environment, E Ink API software for Broadsheet, various sample images, open source software drivers and applications including support for MMC cards, Bluetooth and USB. The kits will start shipping by the end of the month.

    • ACCESS Linux Platformâ„¢ mini Makes Japan Debut in New Portable Navigation Device
      ACCESS CO., LTD., a global provider of advanced software technologies to the mobile and beyond-PC markets, announced today that ACCESS Linux Platformâ„¢ mini will be deployed in the G-navi (GN-01) portable navigation device to be distributed by Tokyo-based Business Link Corp. This is the first time that ACCESS Linux Platform mini, a compact Linux€® platform for mobile and Internet-enabled devices, has been adopted for a mobile device in Japan.

    • Phones

      • Top 10 features you’ll love about Android 1.5
        As we await a major Android update scheduled this coming Monday, we take an in-depth look at its top 10 user-centric features that up the ante in the mobile arena.

        Last month, Google has officially announced Android 1.5 update, dubbed “cupcake.” Geek’s Joel Evans had a chance to briefly play with the beta, enough to give us first look of exciting new things to come. Barely a month later, the new software is apparently ready to roll on Android-powered devices. Make no mistake, Android 1.5 is a major upgrade. The software brings a host of new capabilities, some of which can’t be found on rival mobile platforms.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Linux netbooks expected to reach 50% market share
        “More and more chip suppliers such as Texas Instruments Inc and Qualcomm Inc are jumping on the bandwagon to adopt Linux,” Lim told a technology seminar hosted by the Industrial Development Bureau yesterday.

      • Cheat Sheet: Netbooks
        The operating system under the bonnet of the original Asus Eee PC, and the OLPC's XO laptop, are versions of Linux. Many of the early players in this game based themselves on Linux, which helped keep the price point low. Netbooks then started popping up that offered consumers a choice of OS: with an XP flavour for Microsoft fans, as well as a Linux version - obviously at a cheaper cost.

Free Software/Open Source

  • ACme: Wireless Energy Management Goes Open Source
    A team of UC Berkeley students have built a wireless sensor network energy management tool called ACme, and the group has released all of its hardware design and software information, including the sourcecode and API, on its web site.


    • SE: Municipalities ask software vendors to use open standards
      Nine Swedish municipalities have asked ten software application firms to start supporting OpenOffice.

    • ARM Again ...
      ... some weeks ago I did blog about cross compiling OOo for ARM, it seemed that others were interested in doing so as well, especially as the available hardware still seems to be somewhat slow, so I do blog again about it :-)

    • ODF Validator Update
      Last week, the OASIS OpenDocument TC approved the most recent draft for part 1 of the ODF 1.2 specification as a Committee Draft 02. This was another large step toward finalizing ODF 1.2.

      This appeared to be a good opportunity to update the ODF Validator at (which we are using at Sun's development team to check ODF documents) to better support ODF 1.2. The update applies to the command line version of the tool, but also to the online version.

  • Government

    • IT: Democrats want public administrations to favour open source
      Two parliament members of the Italian Democratic Party want Italy's public bodies to favour free software. By 2012 all IT systems should be based on such software, MPs Vincenzo Vita and Luigi Vimercati proposed in a bill last month.

      Public administrations should use free software in order to rationalise public spending and encourage reuse and interoperability, the two write in their bill titled 'Network neutrality, free software and society'. "All IT solutions should be based on open protocols and formats."

  • Programming

    • A Brief, Incomplete, and Mostly Wrong History of Programming Languages
      1801 - Joseph Marie Jacquard uses punch cards to instruct a loom to weave "hello, world" into a tapestry. Redditers of the time are not impressed due to the lack of tail call recursion, concurrency, or proper capitalization.

      1842 - Ada Lovelace writes the first program. She is hampered in her efforts by the minor inconvenience that she doesn't have any actual computers to run her code. Enterprise architects will later relearn her techniques in order to program in UML.

    • The A-Z of Programming Languages: Tcl
      Our series on the most popular programming languages continues as we chat to Tcl creator John Ousterhout


  • Doug Lenat - I was positively impressed with Wolfram Alpha
    Stephen Wolfram generously gave me a two-hour demo of Wolfram Alpha last evening, and I was quite positively impressed. As he said, it's not AI, and not aiming to be, so it shouldn't be measured by contrasting it with HAL or Cyc but with Google or Yahoo.

  • South Korea Bans Anonymous Posting On Popular Websites
    In response, Korea has now passed a law that requires anyone posting on a site that has over 100,000 unique visitors a day to reveal their real names and national ID (found via Michael Scott). This seems quite extreme. There are certainly pros and cons to allowing anonymous speech, but it seems to go overboard to outlaw it completely on any relatively popular site.

  • Copyrights

    • No Musicians Have Ever Been Guaranteed To Make Money Selling Music
      Every musician has numerous business models at his or her disposal to get fair compensation for their work. There's no need for Congress to get involved. What Ratner seems to be saying is that her musicians don't want fair compensation -- they want guaranteed, gov't-backed compensation. In other words, she seems to think the government should be providing welfare for musicians. If that's what you believe, then fine, defend why musicians deserve welfare. But don't claim that musicians have ever been "guaranteed" compensation.

    • update on Warner Music (UPDATED) (AGAIN)
      Received a notice that Warner Music had objected to its being posted on copyright grounds. Apparently, YouTube's content-ID algorithm had found music in the video that they claimed ownership to. The organization is apparently responding by disputing the claim. I'll report back when I hear more.

    • YouTube Restores A Fair Use
      Here's what's different about this takedown: NOM's lawyer asked YouTube to restore the video immediately, rather than keeping it off-line for the standard 10-14 business day counternotice period. And YouTube, after doing its own fair use analysis, agreed and obliged.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Steve Weber, creator of the phrase "anti-rival goods" 06 (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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