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Links 04/08/2009: OpenGL 3.2 and KDE 4.4 Released

GNOME bluefish



  • Open source "touch book" shipping worldwide
    A new open source netbook has separate tablet and keyboard sections and is shipping for $US399 globally.

    If you are the type who shuns Windows and wants only alternative OS' on your netbook like Linux or Android, but you don’t want to wait until the Acer dual-boot netbook hits, a company called Always Innovating has a new open source netbook for you. The machine is called the Touch Book and international orders are being accepted.

  • Pulling Some Pranks

  • Desktop

    • Google Chrome OS Could Be Pivotal in the Cloud Revolution
      Google Chrome OS is arriving just in time to take advantage of the perfect storm of cloud services, cheap hardware, and a new generation of platform-agnostic users. Unlike other Linux-based OSs, Chrome has brand recognition that even the biggest neophyte could get comfortable with.

    • Tutorial: Set up Ubuntu Linux on a Windows PC
      With the average netbook struggling to run Vista, we reckon Ubuntu Linux is a more suitable operating system. Here, we explain how to install it on your Windows machine.

      Netbooks have soared in popularity over the past year, offering consumers portable PCs for word-processing and web browsing at rock-bottom prices. Such mini laptops use inexpensive processors that consume a minimal amount of power and thus offer a far longer battery life than most portables.

      But there's one problem: Windows Vista is a resource-hungry operating system (OS), and it will run painfully slow unless your system has plenty of memory and processing power. Installing Windows on a netbook also adds a significant amount to the machine's overall cost.

    • AA-S Best Bet - Linux Against Poverty:
      The HeliOS Project is one of those Austin organizations that puts a lump in my throat every time I write about it. Ken Starks and his volunteers take computers that would otherwise go into landfills or get donated to Goodwill. They get the machines operational and donate them to kids, families and nonprofits that are happy to have functioning desktop and laptop computers.

    • What was your first experience with Linux like?
      Overall, even though I didn’t use that computer after that, that initial experience increased my confidence overall with computers, and piqued my curiosity into using Linux. I’ve also been impressed as to how slick and polished the installation process is now in most Linux distro’s...

  • USB

    • Active Media intros Penguin Bootable Linux USB Drive
      The Bootable Linux USB comes preloaded with the full installation of Ubuntu Linux 9.0.4. It’s an exceptional disaster recovery solution in the case of problems occurring with the operating system on the primary hard drive. Since important data files on the hard drive can be backed up onto the BLU drive or another USB storage device.

    • 60-second review | Back in a Flash
      This device goes beyond your average backup since you can boot an entire Linux operating system.


      Bottom line: This is a new product from a South Florida company. Visually it's not very sleek. But it goes beyond your average backup since you can boot an entire Linux operating system off this baby -- and that'll come in handy if Windows goes completely down while you're working on a project in the middle of the night. The company provides detailed instructions on how to do this and use Linux, since it's not something most of us do every day.

  • Server

    • Apple Shake's demise confirmed
      "Modern VFX houses run a largely Linux-based infrastructure, so Nuke makes sense for them, competing products such as Fusion run a Windows code base -- which us emulated on Linux -- or have developed too slowly (Autodesk Toxik) to be taken seriously", he adds.

  • Kernel Space

    • Five Best Linux HTPC Motherboards
      Our selection criteria were the following:

      * micro-ATX or mini-ITX form factor Size usually matters with a HTPC, few people would want a big tower case in their living room, not to mention the WAF (wife acceptance factor). Also most HTPC specific cases are designed for these form factors.

      * Nvidia GeForce 8200/8300 or 9300/9400 series on-board GPU Nvidia's closed-source Linux drivers are currently the best choice for video play-back in the Linux world, as they support hardware assisted video play-back, which is at it's best with the 8x (for AMD) or 9x (for Intel) series cards, using the VDPAU API.

      * an on-board HDMI and/or DVI video out port The best choice for connecting to your HD-TV, projector or AV receiver.


    • ReiserFS Without Big Kernel Lock
      Even though reiserfs belongs to the veterans of journaling filesystems and established ext3 and ext4 as standard Linux filesystems, a new patch serves to markedly improve it.

    • Phoronix Test Suite 2.0, PTS Desktop Live 2009.3 Released
      Phoronix Media has released version 2.0 (codenamed "Sandtorg") of the Phoronix Test Suite, which encompasses hundreds of updates to its flagship testing and performance profiling software. Phoronix Media has also released PTS Desktop Live 2009.3 (codenamed "Gernlinden"), which is the first Linux-based desktop operating system designed exclusively for carrying out automated tests using the Phoronix Test Suite from a live environment. Phoromatic, a web-based remote test management system, has also entered closed beta testing.

    • How To Survive LinuxCon
      I’ve frequently been accused of packing too much into our Linux Foundation events, making it nearly impossible to choose one session without missing other “must attend” ones. At this accusation, I proudly raise my hand and say, “Guilty as charged.” But by admitting guilt, I am not admitting repentance. While Angela and Craig have ensured enough lunch, break and networking time, LinuxCon is a testament to the same Linux Foundation strategy of packing every session with great speaking talent and interesting Linux and open source topics. One look at the LinuxCon schedule and you will see we really haven’t changed at all.

    • VME bus support for Linux
      Today another nice thing for the Linux kernel happened, we got working VME bus drivers and infrastructure submitted to the kernel tree. Now, I don't expect it to generate as much press as the Microsoft kernel driver thing did, but it should, as I feel it's more important in a way.

  • Applications

    • FSlint - Clean and organize your Linux
      By the time now, we all know that all applications installed on our PC are slowly filling our system with files, then comes a time when controlling everything in our computer becomes virtually impossible. If you want your computer to be running like the first day you had it. Put FSlint the task of cleaning and organizing your Linux very easy.

  • Desktop Environments

    • KDE Community Delivers Incremental Innovations With New KDE 4.3 Release
      The KDE Community today announces the immediate availability of "Caizen", (a.k.a KDE 4.3), bringing many improvements to the user experience and development platform. KDE 4.3 continues to refine the unique features brought in previous releases while bringing new innovations. With the 4.2 release aimed at the majority of end users, KDE 4.3 offers a more stable and complete product for the home and small office.

    • Ongoing Oxygen Icons Usability Survey: KDevelop
      Every few weeks Nuno Pinheiro and the KDE Oxygen Icons team are publishing a new usability survey online to get feedback from users on the look and feel of icons. In particular, the Oxygen team is looking for feedback from individuals that have had no exposure to KDE, so if you are at home or at work, poke your friends and family and have them complete the survey, or simply take the survey yourself.

    • Inventing a New Paradigm: SugarLabs and the Sugar UI
      To say that the technology industry moves quickly would be understated. Firms must innovate, adapt and grow, or fail. Two years ago when One Laptop per Child began shipping their XO-1 laptop, they defined an industry. People were excited not for OLPC’s mission, which always seemed to be a footnote, but for a diminutive inexpensive laptop. Often, the laptop was stated to include a custom distribution of Linux called Sugar that was built to help kids learn. But Sugar is more than just a Linux distro.

    • GNOME Integration with Online Services
      While deciding about libgdata inclusion in GNOME 2.28, we (Release Team) somehow considered it didn’t make much sense to have libgdata in the desktop suite. So, one thing that came to my mind was that we need some space to aggregate development efforts aiming to integrate online social services in GNOME. Also, it seems that we need to highlight those modules in a more clear way as it seems that just a few people are aware of those GNOME-based technologies.

  • Distributions

    • Good Things on the Horizon - But Use Caution!
      We're getting far enough along in the development cycles of several of the major Linux distributions that you can just about see the releases coming over the horizon. I've been trying out several of them, and they look very good already. But, first and foremost, remember that these are test releases, and are likely to still have significant bugs, omissions and various quirks in them. They are not intended for use on production systems!

    • Mandriva Linux 2010.0 Alpha 2 Has KDE 4.3 RC3 and GNOME 2.27.5
      The second alpha of Mandriva Linux 2010.0 was launched last night, on July 31st, by the Mandriva team. The development cycle of Mandriva Linux 2010.0 will continue with a beta release at the end of August, two release candidates scheduled for September and October, and the official public release expected around November, 2009.

    • Mandriva Linux 2010 Alpha 2 released

    • Ubuntu

      • Filling up your new Linux machine (Final in a series of 3)
        Heres a couple of great points... First, most Linux OS distributions come with more than the basic needs. They will install a browser, email and chat clients, news readers and more. Ubuntu for instance comes with Open Office, as well as what is listed above. There are thousands of other packates you can install as well. You may not need to though, as Linux will have pre-installed the "make your life easier" software for you right out of the gate.

      • Ubuntu gets desktop support for small businesses

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Choose your netbook Linux variant carefully
      The experts instead suggest that buyers look at the line of Linux distributions specially tailored for the requirements of the small laptops. They work more effectively with the little displays, for example. Among the Linux packages best suited for netbooks are Ubuntu Netbook Remix, Easy Peasy, and Linpus Linux Lite.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Participate in the open source community through blogging
    Although this isn't unique to open source software, in open source that blog post is an important community contribution—no different than a source-patch submission, entering wiki documentation or communicating in a mailing list.

  • On the Bright Side: Software conference to attract many to SUNY Delhi
    Computer experts from as far away as Turkey are gathering at the State University College of Technology at Delhi Thursday and Friday to explore the wonders of open-source software.

    Open source is a development method for software that allows users to contribute and adapt the programs, presenters said, and the potential of open source is better quality, higher reliability and lower cost.

    The conference will bring together higher-education technology leaders in a discussion about open-source tools, how these tools fulfill the needs of a campus and how these applications are supported internally.

  • Depth of support is key when choosing software
    Certainly open-source software has grown more popular, and as such, supportability has increased proportionately. We expect this trend to continue. In fact, many open-source platforms are supportable nowadays, including the "LAMP stack," which includes the Linux operating system, Apache Web server, MySQL database and PHP programming language. Some might say that the P stands for the Perl or Python programming languages, but PHP is by far the most popular and, not coincidentally, the most supportable of the three.

  • Why Open Source Is Worth Your Time
    Why use open source software?

    The most obvious reason is that you can save a whole lot of money. Another great reason is that for almost anything you want to do on your computer, there is a great application out there. This can be as simple as Synergy, the mouse and keyboard sharing software I mentioned yesterday, to entire operating systems that can replace Windows altogether. Open source software also tends to be more flexible in what it will allow you to do.

  • Making The Case For Free Software
    Jon “Maddog” Hall, president of Linux International, a worldwide nonprofit that encourages the use of free, open source software, spent 16 years working at Maynard-based Digital Equipment Corp., which after becoming a technology pioneer, was eventually acquired by Compaq in 1998.

    It was his experience at DEC that put Hall squarely on the side of open source advocates like those who fought for SiCortex’s source code.

    “A huge amount of the intellectual property developed over the years (at DEC) never saw the light of day,” Hall said. “If they had been open source projects, then that work and intellectual property would not have disappeared and could have been used in different things.”

    Making software source code available without charge to anyone who wants it may seem to be counterintuitive in a capitalistic economy, but open source enthusiasts say that a lot of great programming code evaporates if a company goes out of business or chooses not to move ahead with a product.

  • Mozilla

    • Life After the Launch of Firefox 3.5
      It has now been a full month since the launch of Firefox 3.5 – what impact has the new browser had?

    • Tab previews in Firefox 3.6. Third time the charm?
      Originally planned for Firefox 3.0 and 3.5 but finally backed out in both development cycles, tab preview is available again in Firefox 3.6 alpha 1 nightlies to provide visual tab switching: you press Ctrl + Tab to get previews of the current along with the five most recently used tabs, plus an option to show all tabs’ thumbnails.

    • Is Security The Secret Of Firefox's Success?
      It's Firefox's reputation for superior security, rapid patching of security holes and its multitude of browser extentions that has allowed it to win converts among corporate and personal Web users


      But one of the most prominent reasons for outbreaks occurs through ActiveX running on Internet Explorer. Malicious hackers use ActiveX as an opportunity to exploit users. Realizing that, in 2006, Microsoft started providing more safeguards in Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer 7 does do a better job of protecting users against ActiveX outbreaks. But according to a security report from research firm Secunia, there were more ActiveX outbreaks (366 total vulnerabilities) in 2008 than those that broke out in 2007. It was a black eye for Microsoft.

  • Business

    • EnterpriseDB offers 'way out' from Oracle price hikes
      EnterpriseDB has announced a migration assessment program for database customers who want a "way out" from Oracle price hikes.

      The program features what the open-source database company called a "detailed benefit analysis" and a methodology for migrating to its Postgres Advanced Server.

  • Openness

    • Open Source, Open Research
      Colleges and universities are as much about research as they are about the classroom experience, and just as open source software can provide cost savings, independence, and flexibility to educational institutions through courseware and recordkeeping, it can assist in the research process. Open source and open data standards play a role in collaboration, laboratory and literary scholarly research, publishing, and managing the overall research programs at institutions of higher learning.

    • Educators climb open source Operation Matterhorn
      The University of California is using $500,000 in grants to build an open webcasting platform dubbed Operation Matterhorn, designed to automate the production and distribution of courseware.

    • Wikimedia: Conference seeks open cultural content
      In a world-first conference, the Wikimedia Australia community will this week sit down with more than 170 senior executives from the nation’s largest cultural institutions – from the National Gallery to the Parliamentary Library – to devise strategies to better share Australia's cultural heritage.

      Called ‘GLAM-WIKI: Finding Common Ground,’ the event at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on August 6-7 brings together Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums (GLAM) with Wikimedia Australia, the all-volunteer force that brings Australian content to the Wikipedia site.

    • Open data
      We're always looking for new ways of making it as easy as possible for developers and website owners to access data held by Lichfield District Council in ways that they want - allowing you to remix, mashup and share data easily. Here's a list of what we provide so far, this list is not exhaustive, and we'll be adding more and more datasets as time progresses...

  • B2B

  • Programming

    • Coding and the Meaning of Life
      FOSS coders are a strange breed. Many devote years of their lives and unquantifiable amounts of their passion to a job that may return nothing in the way of concrete rewards. It can, in fact, be thankless -- FOSS coders may get ridicule and criticism instead of riches. Why do they do it? "[Humans] need a purpose in life," says blogger Robert Pogson, "and for some, that purpose includes coding."


      FLOSS projects "will always have collisions of egos/goals/viewpoints, and we should expect people who are motivated to disagree," Pogson added. "This does not break FLOSS or hold it back. It is a meritocracy, with survival of the fittest ideas and idealists."

    • Sony open sources digital effects software
      The new effort includes a Web site aimed at keeping open source developers up to date on the projects. All five of the tools are licensed under the new BSD license, and are hosted on Google Code.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OpenGL 3.2 specification released
      The Khronos Group has announced the release of the specifications for version 3.2 of the OpenGL 2D and 3D graphics platform. The release is the third major update to the specification within a year and adds several new features, including enhanced performance, improved visual quality and accelerated geometry processing. The 3.2 update also makes it easier to port Direct3D applications and includes version 1.5 of the OpenGL Shading Language (GLSL).


    THOUSANDS of the worst families in England are to be put in “sin bins” in a bid to change their bad behaviour, Ed Balls announced yesterday.

    The Children’s Secretary set out €£400million plans to put 20,000 problem families under 24-hour CCTV super-vision in their own homes.

  • Google Apps Campaign: How Not to Influence IT Experts
    Google already claims to serve more than 1.75 million companies and judging by the flashy campaign, it hopes to increase that number in the near future.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Cal State Student Arrested for Playing with Video Games
      Crippen, 27, of Anaheim, was taken into custody Monday morning by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. The arrest follows his indictment by a federal grand jury on two counts of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

    • Don Bartlett Explains How Joe Pug Gave Away Free CDs To Connect With Fans
      There is a great deal of discussion these days about the "new model," but really it is only new to the music industry. Develop a truly great product that people are legitimately excited about. Invest the time, effort and money to market that product efficiently, and leverage small successes into larger ones. Eventually, the successes become large enough that everyone who gambled on the product gets their share of the profits. This is hardly MBA-level material.

    • Dear old ‘Hahvahd’ is much more than a name
      It’s one of many trademarks Harvard zealously protects

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Luis Casas Luengo, Director of Extremadura's Fundecyt foundation 16 (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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