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Links 02/06/2009: More ARMs, Preview of Ubuntu 9.10



GNOME bluefish

Contents





GNU/Linux

  • The Myth of the Freeloading User
    As I started to give him directions, I looked down at the package he held, curiosity getting the better of me. Among all of the official print and biohazard warnings, were the words "Live Animals: Leeches." Given that I was sitting in the lobby of a moden health care facility in the early part of the 21st Century, this was a delivery I certainly wasn't expecting.

    Since then, I have learned that, indeed, leeches are often used in medical techniques, particularly where surgeons and physicians need a patent's blood to not clot. They provide a natural, low-impact method to prevent coalguation... so even if the "ick" factor is really high, leeches still have a valued use in today's medicine.

    It's with this bit of knowledge that I approach the whole "leeches" in open source meme that's been floating around of late.


  • Windows 7 vs Linux: Can there be a game now?
    The Linux distros and admirers have made difference in mainly three areas:

    1. Maximum use of all the resources (memory and physical space) 2. Have kept security tightened with no virus and no considerable security loophole 3. open source.


  • Fedora 11 Podcast Series #5 - Presto with Jonathan Dieter
    Presto! Wow, what just happened? Was that a magic trick? Well there is no magic trick here today, but what we do have is the latest in the Fedora 11 Podcast Series, an Interview with Fedora Contributor Jonathan Dieter on one of the coolest new features on Fedora 11 - presto!


  • A Huge Update To Phoronix Test Suite 2.0
    It has only been one week since the release of Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 Alpha 2, but we happen to be ahead of schedule on the third (and possibly the final) alpha release for 2.0 Sandtorg. In the past eight days there has actually been a very large number of changes to the Phoronix Test Suite, both to pts-core and the included test profiles and suites.

    [...]

    The latest release of the Phoronix Test Suite can be downloaded at Phoronix-Test-Suite.com. While most of the work for this open-source benchmarking software is done on Linux, the Phoronix Test Suite is also compatible with Mac OS X, BSD, and OpenSolaris operating systems.


  • Applications

    • LGP Adds Downloads and Rentals
      The Linux Game Publishing blog was updated today:

      A lot of you asked for the ability to download games.

      We have listened and created the reseller download system.

      From today all resellers will be able to sell downloadable copies of LGP games, and these will be cheaper than boxed copies. LGP is not selling downloadable versions directly, as to do so would seriously damage the ability of the reseller chain to compete meaningfully.


    • Write Your Own Novelties
      Some people has the talent to write good stories. Probably most uses only a paper and a pen for this task. However, if you are searching for a respective tool, I maybe have another solution: Storybook!






  • Distributions/Ubuntu

    • Karmic Desktop UDS run-down!
      Overall it is gearing up to be a pretty radical and exciting release; there are some changes to the default application set as well as some major version upgrades of existing core components. We are trying to be fairly aggressive in terms of new stuff so that if Canonical wants Karmic+1 to be an LTS (Long Term Support) release, we can have fairly stabilized new technologies by then (thanks to 6 months of stabilization in the Karmic cycle) instead of having to wait until after the LTS (Karmic+2) to introduce them. Since many of these changes would be too radical to first appear in an LTS, if we don't upgrade now we may not be able to for a year, and have to maintain old versions for 3-5 years in the LTS.


    • A slick looking desktop is possible on Ubuntu!
      Looking good is important for an OS — Mac OS would be a lot less cool if it wouldn’t be considered so well designed — and I think that this is where Linux stays behind. There are a lot of terribly awesome pieces of art out there on the Internet, but they aren’t always that easy to find. For example: the place to be for a good wallpaper is of course deviantART, but you have to know about it’s existence. If you want a good looking theme, go to GNOME-Look.org. There are loads and loads of elements, window borders and, the hardest part to make, icons.


    • Ubuntu Server: Lean, mean, cloud-making machine
      Ubuntu Server is a fast, free, no-frills Linux distribution that fills a niche between utilitarian Debian and the GUI-driven and, some would argue, over-featured Novell SUSE and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.








  • Devices/Embedded

    • Eee PC running Android seen at Computex
      An ASUS Eee PC prototype with a Snapdragon chip-set and running the open source Android operating system has been sighted at Computex Taipei, the Taiwan trade show. Qualcomm refers to designs using the ARM based Snapdragon chip-set as 'smartbooks' and expects to see Snapdragon based smartbook devices available in Autumn 2009. The chip-set/smartbook specification lists 3G connectivity, Wi-Fi, 3D graphics, Bluetooth and GPS among its defining features.


    • Is Windows killing the Netbook?
      The biggest help for the true netbooks however will come from ARM and Linux.


    • Via subsidiary unveils ARM SoC
      Via subsidiary WonderMedia Technologies has announced an ARM9-based system-on-chip (SoC) aimed at "smartbooks," digital picture frames, media players, and other devices. The Prizm 8510 includes an ARM926EJ-S core, a programmable digital signal processor (DSP), gigabit Ethernet, and a wide variety of interfaces, WonderMedia says.


    • Linux development platform supports Atom
      MontaVista Software announced a Market Specific Distribution (MSD) of MontaVista Linux 6 based on the Linux-based, Intel-backed Moblin v2 stack (pictured). The MSD will support development of embedded applications using Moblin on a variety of Intel Atom-based devices, says the company.


    • Acer may be first with Android netbook
      Acer plans to launch a version of its Aspire One netbook with Google's Android mobile operating system in the third quarter of this year, a top executive at the company said Tuesday.


    • Smartbooks: Blurring The Line Between Smartphone And Netbook
      Some companies like Qualcomm (NSDQ: QCOM) and Nvidia are going one better than netbooks when it comes to power savings and small form factors for mobile computing. These devices will use chips based on the ARM architecture instead of the current chip favored by netbooks, the Intel Atom. ARM should be a name familiar to you as it is the chip that powers most of the smartphones currently available, including those running Android, Windows Mobile and the iPhone.


    • Canonical Delivers Next Generation of Ubuntu for Intel-Powered Classmate PCs
      Canonical, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, today announced that it has reached an agreement with Intel Corporation to deliver Ubuntu as an operating system for the Intel-powered classmate PCs.








Free Software/Open Source

  • Why Scientific Software Wants To Be Free
    A consequence of this is that as software moves ever-closer to the heart of the scientific process, so the need to release that code under free software licences increases. First, so that others can examine it for flaws and/or reproduce the results it produces. And secondly, so that other scientists can build on that code, just as they build on its results. In other words, it is becoming evident that open source is indispensable for *all* science, and not just the kind that proudly preclaims itself open.


  • Blender's New Version Has Many 3D Modeling Improvements
    Blender, an open source 3D modeling application so powerful it has been used to create high-quality, full-length animated films, is out in a new version 2.49. The announcement of the new version is here, including details on many significant new improvements. Among other things, it looks like developers are paying a lot more attention to video capabilities, which could make Blender a bigger player in movies and online video offerings.


  • BeyeNETWORK Introduces New Research Focusing on Open Source Business Intelligence Reporting Adoption and Usage
    BeyeNETWORKâ„¢ announces the release of its latest research report: An Adoption and Usage Survey: Open Source Business Intelligence and Reporting. Written by internationally known expert Josep Curto Diaz, this paper includes the results of a BeyeNETWORK survey about the different stages of adoption and usage of open source technologies and describes the current stages of implementation of business intelligence, open source and open source business intelligence products and solutions.


  • Hadoop-Centric Cloudera Gets $6 Million in Series B Funding
    As GigaOm reports: "Cloudera, a Burlingame, Calif.-based start-up that is building commercial services around open source software framework Hadoop, has closed $6 million in Series B funding, bringing the total raised by the company to $11 million.




  • Openness

    • OpenStreetMap adds new translations
      The OpenStreentMap Project has announced that it now has translations in German and partially in French on its main OpenStreetMap site. The project, run by the OpenStreetMap Foundation, is an open source project that is building free online maps, not based on any copyright or licensed map data. The project was started in August of 2004 and has become increasingly popular.


    • Open data in local education: broader lessons for government, citizens and NGOs
      Last months I remember reading a couple of news stories about a provincial government ministry in Canada that was forced to become less transparent.

      Forced?

      Yes, this was not a voluntary move. A specific group of people pressured the government, wanting it to remove data it had made public as well as make it harder for the public to repurpose and make use of the data. So what happened? And what lessons should governments, NGOs and citizens take away from this incident.


    • Welcome to Speaking of Medicine!
      Welcome to Speaking of Medicine, the community blog run by the open access journal PLoS Medicine.

      Speaking of Medicine is designed to be an inclusive and informal site for anyone interested in a truly global perspective on the challenges to human health, and the ethical issues and debates arising from the conduct, reporting and publishing of medical research. PLoS Medicine sees open access publishing and its creative potential as crucial to addressing these challenges; like all of the Public Library of Science (PLoS) journals everything we publish is not only freely available for anyone to read, but for anyone to distribute and re-use, to comment on and rate.








  • Standards/Consortia

    • [whatwg] MPEG-1 subset proposal for HTML5 video codec
      preface: IANAL. This post is meant to briefly describe what we are doing, not to give any legal guidance or opinions. It is not meant to be authoritative, please look at the source code if you want to verify these things yourself. We are using H.264 in Google Chrome, not in Chromium. We do not have the ffmpeg / h.264 related code in chromium (only the header files for ffmpeg), ffmpeg and h.264 related stuff is a complete external dependency loaded at run time. Chromium is the open source project, Google Chrome is the product we build by taking that open source code [chromium] and adding a few things that we don't make available in chromium (e.g. our artwork, and in this case a binary for ffmpeg / h.264 related stuff that is loaded at run time).








Leftovers

  • High-Court Nominee Mirrors Industry Copyright Stance — Update
    When it comes to financial damages in copyright infringement cases, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor embraces the content industry’s party line.

    The Recording Industry Association of America, which has sued more than 30,000 individuals for file-sharing copyrighted music, routinely seeks hefty monetary awards well beyond the financial losses associated with the pilfered music in question. The same is true with the Motion Picture Association of America, the Business Software Alliance and others content owners suing for copyright infringement.


  • Napster: 10 today, had it survived
    Because Napster II is the disinterred corpse of the former P2P file sharing application which lurches from financial crisis to financial crisis.

    Napster — the original, that is — was built by Shawn Fanning and, had the corporate music dinosaurs been able to extract their heads from their anal orifices, they and Fanning would be bathing in endless streams of cash, and it would now be 10 years old.






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