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Links 20/07/2009: GNU/Linux in South America, Nigeria

GNOME bluefish



  • Wazobia Linux partners with Metasys of Brazil
    The partnership, a first for any Nigerian software company, will be launched at the Nigerian computer society conference slated for Abuja by this month. International Syst and Leapsoft are jointly developing and marketing a suite of software applications and customized solutions for the Nigerian market which when fully developed will be branded Metasys Wazobia. The partnership was structured by Leapsoft executives Bolaji Onibudo and Tola Talabi at International Syst headquarters in Brazil.

  • Did Microsoft force Asus to ditch Linux?
    The problem was that Asus had not only adopted Windows and jettisoned Linux (which I knew), but the computer didn’t even come with the free services that came with the US$199 model. I know there are millions who love Windows. That is their human right. But it fails completely — for me — on usability.

  • How openness and Linux are unlocking innovation [Part 1]
    Additionally, Linux is not tied to the brand or agenda of any other major company, as is the case for Nokia's Symbian OS and Microsoft with its Windows Mobile OS, which creates unfettered business model flexibility that can fully support a highly customisable user experience.

    Mobile Linux solutions share APIs with the desktop and enterprise solutions. As a result, previously developed third-party Linux applications can be ported to the mobile environment more efficiently and cost-effectively.

  • Linux Outlaws 102 - Goo/Linux
    MP3 - 1 hour 52 minutes 57 seconds, 51.7 MB, Ogg Vorbis version here — you can also download all our episodes in both MP3 and Ogg Vorbis format from the Outlaw Archives.

  • The 0s and 1s of Computer Warfare
    There is a reason why open-source operating systems based on Linux are less likely to be infected by a virus than proprietary systems like Microsoft’s Windows: As computer security experts like to say, “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.”

  • A Shiny New Model for the Software License?
    Google recently announced plans for a new PC operating system, the Chrome OS. Within minutes, the media reported an OS war and began telling us who loses and who wins. The Chrome OS will smash Windows! Or else Chrome is actually good for Microsoft and (despite running on a Linux kernel) threatens Linux! Who knows? We might actually have to wait until the new OS comes out, which Google says won’t happen for another year.

  • Ksplice gives Linux users 88% of kernel updates without rebooting
    Have you ever wondered why some updates or installs require a reboot, and others don’t? The main reason relates to kernel-level (core) services running in memory which either have been altered by the update to include new data that can’t be “squeezed in” to its existing footprint, or are currently attached to multiple separate processes which cannot be accounted for without a reboot. Ksplice has figured out a way around that issue in a majority of the cases.


    This technology is only for Linux at the current time. No features like this are available for Windows. The technology does require a kernel patch, as Ksplice itself must be integrated into the kernel. The installation software (.deb package) handles this for you.

  • Das Keyboard Now has Linux and Mac Keycaps Available
    Those behind the Das Keyboard are now offering up new keycaps for Linux and Mac users. Just pop off the designated Windows keys and replace them with the 2 Mac command keys, 2 Mac alt/option keys, and 2 Linux keys.

  • Bull to do homegrown Nehalem EX chipset
    Only two weeks ago, Bull announced that it was creating its own line of extreme-scale blade supercomputers with the unfortunately and presumably unintentionally hilarious name bullx. The machines do, however, include plenty of clever hardware such as nVidia Tesla GPU co-processors, and software such as a complete Linux stack for HPC shops.
  • Tech Watch
    IFOSS L. Rev's Tech Watch section aims to allow technical experts and organisational leaders in Free and Open Source Software to introduce and explain topical issues with important legal aspects. These discussions may form the basis of subsequent detailed examination by IFOSS L. Rev. contributors.

    This issue, KDE e.V. Vice President of Legal Affairs Adriaan de Groot reviews some of the issues presently confronting community software authors: copyright consolidation, making a living from coding, and 'doing legal stuff right'.

  • Applications

    • Freebie LinCity-NG Builds on Classic City Sims
      When I first downloaded LinCity-NG (free), I figured it was a simple clone of an older version of SimCity, primarily aimed at the *nix market. As it turns out, it's more like a first cousin once removed, but that's not entirely a bad thing.

    • 7 of the Best Free Linux Twitter Clients
      Micro-blogging is all the rage these days. It is a webservice which allows the subscriber to send short text updates or micromedia such as photos or audio clips and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group which can be chosen by the user. Subscribers can read microblog posts online or request that updates be delivered in real time to their desktop as an instant message or sent to a mobile device as an SMS text message.

      With micro-blogging, posts are brief (typically 140 – 200 characters) and can be written or received with a variety of computing devices.

  • Distributions

    • sidux 2009-02 Has KDE 4.2.4 and Linux Kernel 2.6.30

    • Second edition of Mandriva Linux One 2009.1 released - Updated
      The Mandriva developers have released a second edition of their Mandriva Linux One 2009.1 LiveCD. The second edition of the LiveCD uses the 2.6.29 Linux kernel and features version 4.2.4 of the KDE desktop environment.

      The release includes all of the available security and maintenance updates up to the 10th of July and several updates to the included applications, such as Firefox 3.0.11, OpenOffice 3.0.1 and version 1.0 of the VLC Media Player. Two new desktop icons allow users to easily install a flash player and several additional audio and video codecs.

    • Kubuntu Jaunty: Just ‘cos I use it don’t mean it’s good
      At the end of the day though, I wouldn’t call Kubuntu Jaunty a particularly successfully release. It took a pretty significant effort to fine-tune the setup to its current state and I don’t find that to be particularly associated to “just works”. I’m going to try out Karmic as soon as it hits beta. Hopefully, we can avoid jumping through hoops to get it setup properly this time.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • ASUS N10J - Netbook or Notebook?
      By sheer chance and very good fortune, I now own an ASUS N10J netbook. Or notebook. Somewhere in between the two, I suppose, in terms of price, features and performance. This is likely to turn out to be very long, so I am going to start off with the summary, for those who just want the high points, and then I'll fill in a lot more details.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mozilla design challenge showcases new browser tab concepts
    Mozilla Labs has announced the winners of its Summer Design Challenge, a competition that called for the interaction design community to submit ideas for reinventing tabbed browsing.

  • How to Bring Open-Source Software into the Enterprise
    Open-source software has gained growing acceptance in the enterprise. Once enterprises put in place the same governance, policy and support processes around open-source software as they do with proprietary software, there is no limit to how much open-source software they can bring into their organization. Here, Knowledge Center contributor Carol J. Rizzo offers five tips on how to bring open-source software into your organization in a way that maps to your corporate risk factors, making open-source software no more or less of a risk than proprietary software.

  • 10 Free Resources for Splashy Graphics and Slick Photos
    A picture is always worth a thousand words. The good news is that in the open source world as well as the freeware world, there are many excellent graphics and photo management tools, plus free desktop publishers and web design templates. Whether you want to produce splashy graphical documents, enhance graphics on a blog or web site, create eye-catching logos, or more, check out our updated collection of ten free applications and resources here.

  • Bureaucrats, Technocrats and Policy Cats: How the Government is turning to Open Source, and Why.
    Open source shares critical values with government and public education that make them function in the ideal; meritocracy of ideas, transparency, collaboration. But where is the sweet spot in the confluence of these social, technical, and public policy ideals? What is the opportunity for the citizen developer to get involved? And would it surprise you to know that change has been quietly at work while you were still standing in line for your driver’s license?

  • New milestone of Unladen Swallow Python JIT shows progress
    The Unladen Swallow project, which seeks to bring a 5-fold performance boost to the Python programming language, has delivered its first milestone release. Although the project hasn't delivered real-world performance improvements yet, the new version is a big step forward and helps to demonstrate the technical viability of the effort.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

School Park mashup art and Free Software space in Santo Andre, Brazil 01 (2004)

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

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