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Links 25/05/2009: Canberra Jail Moves to GNU/Linux, Wii Fit Board Runs with Linux

GNOME bluefish



  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 46
    This week's editorial talks about the Ubuntu Developers Summit. In the Linux distribution announcement section you will find the following releases: Clonezilla Live 1.2.2-14, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.8, NetSecL 2.4, ArtistX 0.7 and Puppy Linux 4.2.1. In other news: AMD announced the release of ATI Catalyst 9.5 video driver suite for Linux systems and the GNOME developers released the second maintenance version of GNOME 2.26. Last week we also published an in-depth review of the Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) operating system. The weekly ends with the video clip of the week, the latest Linux distributions released/updated last week and the development releases.

  • Linux Monday: A Glass of WINE
    The biggest problem most people have with making The Big Move from Windows to Linux, indeed the problem I had, is the One Critical App. Yes, you say, the cost is great, the security is better, the use of resources is better, I even like the open source philosophy. But there's this one program I absolutely can't live without, and it won't work.


    Crossover Office really isn't in the open source spirit. It's based on WINE but contains additional, proprietary code and costs money. They had a free download day last fall, when I grabbed it, but normally each version--Crossover Linux, Crossover Mac and Crossover Games--is $39.95. I'd call it good value for the money.

  • Wii Fit board speaks to Linux
    I'm not the world's biggest Linux fan and I don't own a Wii, but I can always appreciate ingenuity, even if the clear benefits of said ingenuity are not immediately recognizable.

    Case in point, Matt Cutts has connected a Wii Fit balance board to a Linux box via Bluetooth. So far, all he can do is weigh himself in kilograms and move a red dot around by leaning in different directions on the balance board.

  • Desktop

    • Aussie prisoners escape lock-in with Ubuntu PCs
      The Alexander Maconochie jail in Canberra will this week deploy 30 more Ubuntu Linux-based computers for prisoner use after a successful first phase.

      The Prison PC computers created by Melbourne consultancy, Cybersource, were deployed in prisoner group areas such as the education centre and the library.

    • Vista launch best argument for Linux says IBM exec
      Bob Sutor, vice president for Linux and open source for IBM, was speaking on the publication of a global survey on Linux deployment on the desktop, commenting that there was a gradual erosion of Windows use within enterprises. "It's not a full frontal assault," he said. He said that users were learning that there were other alternatives to Microsoft. "It's not just about Linux," he said. "It's the growing use of Macs and the rise of smart phones as alternatives to Windows desktops." He said that Microsoft must be hoping that it gets Windows 7 right or it's really in trouble.

  • Server

    • IBM Launches Smart Cube i and Linux Appliances in the U.S.
      After close to two years of development and preliminary marketing in India, IBM's Smart Cube application appliances went on sale last Tuesday in its home market in the United States, moving one step closer to a worldwide launch. The Smart Cube appliances, which we have been watching closely since Big Blue first started talking about them a year ago, come in Power-i and X64-Linux flavors and are designed to tap into the Smart Market, a clearinghouse for systems and application software aimed at small and medium businesses.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.30-rc7
      Ok, so 90% of the patch is the addition of one new driver, at around 9000 lines for the the Cisco PCI-Express FCoE HBA SCSI driver.

      If you ignore that (and you should - unless you happen to have such hardware and have been pining for the driver to be merged for a long time), the rest is really mostly a collection of small fixes. Several regressions fixed, lots of small cleanup.

  • Distributions

    • Handy Linux distro that can be built on the fly
      A couple of days back, my friend Stuart and I were trying to configure a device via a serial port. You’re probably thinking that’s not so hard, just hook up a console cable, fire up a terminal emulator, make sure you have the right settings and you’re good to go, hey?


      Reading around on the ‘net afterwards I came across Van Emery’s Linux Serial Console HowTo which turns things around the other way (using a serial port to get into a Linux machine).

    • Mandriva

      • Mandriva's answer to Ubuntu One : Click'n' Backup
        There have been few misconceptions which have been cleared by developers : The software was meant to be released previous year but due to some difficulties they plan it to release with 2009.1 Spring , and they say they don't aim to UbuntuOne service which is pretty irrelevant ? Even if they initially didn't launch it to compete with Ubuntu One it doesn't make sense that it is not in competition with Ubuntu one and dropbox..and this service seems to be a good competitor to Ubuntu One and Rockbox ,.

      • First look at Mandriva Linux 2009.1
        For years now I've recommended Mandriva Linux as the best choice for newcomers to Linux. I have always found it to be an incredibly user-friendly distribution that manages to avoid sacrificing functionality for simplicity. I've also found that, more often than not, it has fewer significant bugs than a certain more popular distribution that touts itself as being Linux for the masses. Naturally, when Mandriva announced their 2009.1 release a few of weeks back, I was interested to see how the latest version stacked up. I freely admit I had very high expectations for Mandriva 2009.1.

    • Ubuntu

      • SIGINT: Ubuntu Privacy Remix
        The Ubuntu Privacy Remix (UPR) project is presenting the second beta version of its live CD, at SIGINT 09, a conference organized in Cologne by the Chaos Computer Club (CCC). The conference is debating the topics of monitoring and political interference. The Ubuntu Privacy Remix (UPR) is based on a modified version of Ubuntu 9.04, the most popular Linux distribution.

      • Ubuntu AppStore in the workings ?
        Many Open Source supporters have noted again and again, that Linux repositories are pretty much the equivalent of an AppStore. Interestingly enough, many Mac users noted the same thing, equaling Ubuntu’s Add/Remove program to the iPhone AppStore.

    • New Releases

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Media server debuts
      A small start-up will debut at Computex in June with its open source software for an integrated media server and home router going up against giants such as Google and Microsoft, reports EE Times.

    • Phones

      • Open-Source Smartphones Are The Future
        “The global market for smartphones based on open source platforms including Android will reach 100 million units in three years”. That is the claim made by Panasonic’s director of mobile terminal business this week.

        Panasonic is placing its bet on Android and other open-source platforms to aggressively compete with other smartphones, mainly iPhones and BlackBerrys.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Leveraging Facebook Social Graph for OLPC
        Here's a simple concept that's been evolving over the past couple months: Create A Facebook Connect Powered Micro-Payment strategy to promote OLPC, generate awareness and ultimately raise funds to deliver more educational tools to children around the world. It works like this...

      • Apple to launch netbook?
        At the moment, few netbooks come with an interface as slick as the iPhone. Asus’ original Xandros-equipped Eee PC and the Acer Aspire One with Linpus at least have some extra engineering on board. This is particularly important as Microsoft appears to be doing little perceivable work in matching Windows XP Home Edition to this new level of hardware.

Free Software/Open Source

  • What a long, strange trip it has been...and continues to be
    While a lot of people are still using closed source, proprietary software, the message of Free Software is becoming better understood by more people. I believe we are gaining the critical mass needed to provide good jobs for anyone writing and contributing to Free Software.

    On Tuesday, May 26th I leave for a conference in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. There, as I have for a couple of conferences this year and will for a couple more conferences this year, I will be talking to young people (and not-so-young people) about both the past history and the future promise of Free Software.

  • The future of GIMP's User Interface
    There've been some siginificant changes to the UI when GIMP went from 2.4 to 2.6. However always keep in mind that the current state is an in-between-state for future improvements of GIMP (I'm thinking of the empty window which was introduced first in 2.6).

  • Ready for an Attitude Adjustment? Visit YiPs Sandbox and Try webERP
    You don't hear people dismissing open source software as a fad, a farce, or an IT freak of nature so much these days. Open source used to be a topic that enterprise systems administrators would joke about. It's not so funny, and it's not so freakish, anymore. And that's not to say the switch to open source software has been flipped to the ON position. This is an evolutionary process and it has evolved to the point that acceptability is much more widespread than it was even a year ago, let alone three or four years ago.

  • Business

    • FOSS, the Recession and the Lower-TCO Promise
      As the global economic crisis deepens, companies are considering options they might once have rejected out of hand in order to cut costs. Open source vendors have long waved the lower-TCO banner, and the recession seems to fueling business in the sector. It's not quite clear, though, whether a switch to open source will result in cost savings in the long run.


      As the global economic crisis worsens, it is likely that adoption of open source systems will increase.

    • Openbravo open-source ERP software made modular
      Openbravo, the Spanish developer of professional open source solutions for businesses, has released version 2.5 of its open-source ERP suite. The modular concept introduced with this release is aimed at enabling developers and clients to create additional functions as modules, so fine-tuning the ERP software to meet their wishes better, but without having to change the suite itself. Other new things in Openbravo 2.5 are support for right-to-left languages like Arabic, an autosave function, and improved support for complex organizations.

  • Openness

    • Transparent techies gather in Oxford
      The end of July will see a British BarCamp in Oxford to discuss transparency and openness in government, cyber activism, data and identity protection and the ethics of social media.

    • Digi-Key Releases Open Source BeagleBoard Development Board
      The latest version offers increased design flexibility with twice the memory (256 MB RAM), additional high-speed USB port, and an LCD expansion connector. Based on a Texas Instruments OMAP3530 processor, the BeagleBoard bridges desktop and embedded development by delivering laptop-like performance in a 3x3-inch form factor.


Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Kendall Dawson, Linspire Community Liaison 02 (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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