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Links 09/08/2009: Zenwalk 6, Linux on TV

GNOME bluefish



  • On the shoulders of giants
    K. Gopinath, associate professor at the Indian Institute of Science, points out that small manufacturers like HCL, Wipro and Org, adopted Unix and built their own systems. “In the mid-nineties, however, proprietary OS vendor Microsoft became stronger and these firms dropped Unix in favour of MS. Interestingly, as Unix started dying, Linux started coming up.”

    In academic departments, Unix was fundamental when the Web first came in. In 1993, the Linux kernel and the GNU system (of the Free Software Foundation) appeared, followed shortly by the Web. “Now, machines that run on the DOS or Win3.1 operating systems were a serious liability as networking wasn’t part of these systems.” But by the early 1994, the Web could be run on Unix machines or Win3.1machines.

  • The Linux Desktop's Next Challenge: Layer 8
    These sorts of discussions, especially on sites like Computerworld and here on Linux Journal tend to bring out the same comments from the evangelists (using the term loosely) that now is the time to move to Linux on the desktop and in response you get people saying the last time I tried to install Linux…. In both of these discussions, both points are valid and, in many cases, there is merit to the position.

  • Server

    • Google releases Neatx NX server
      The NX protocol, using SSH as a transport and for authentication, was developed by the Italian company NoMachine, which released the source code of the core NX technology in 2003 under the GPL. NoMachine offers free (as in beer) client and server software for various operating systems, including Linux. It wasn't very long before free-as-in-speech NX clients emerged, then, in 2004, Fabian Franz implemented FreeNX, a GPL implementation of an NX server.

    • CONNECT open source software gateway
      CONNECT is an open source software gateway that connects an organizations health IT systems into health information exchanges using Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) conventions, agreements and cores services to better serve patients throughtout the country.

  • Kernel Space

    • Gernlinden, Gaming, OpenCL, & OpenGL 3.2
      This week at Phoronix began by learning that Compiz is now running on ATI R600/700 GPUs when using the latest open-source Mesa / DRM stack. Owners of ATI Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 series graphics cards are now just a step away from finding "out of the box" open-source 3D acceleration support. On that same day there was also the release of the OpenGL 3.2 specification, but that didn't come as a surprise.

  • Applications

    • Free, Open Source DJ Software, Mixxx
      Mixxx 1.7.0 features an overhauled MIDI mapping system with advanced scripting capabilities, improvements to vinyl control, and many other tweaks and optimizations.

    • Quick cli application rundown
      It isn't unknown that Linux/UNIX systems have a powerful CLI. The heritage of these operating systems is in the CLI, and applications are still written for it. Here is a run down of some of the more popular CLI apps.

  • Distributions

    • Zenwalk 6 – Gnome
      So how does it compare with my distro of choice (Wolvix)? Very well, although on my hardware Wolvix Wine performance is better than Zenwalk as is many of the emulation projects I am running. The memory footprint for running Zenwalk and a few basic operations was a respectable 120mb…very impressive, infact even running a rather large document in OO didn’t take it much above 150mb. Compare that to Ubuntu which has a footprint in similar conditions of 255mb.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-Friendly, Internet-Enabled HDTVs?
      mrchaotica writes "I'm in the market for a new HDTV (in the $1200-or-slightly-more range, as I won the extended-service-plan lottery and have a Sears store credit). Several of the TVs I've looked at have various 'Internet TV' features (here are Samsung's and Panasonic's). Some manufacturers appear to be rolling their own, while others are partnering with Yahoo (maybe in an attempt to create a 'standard?'). Moreover, these TVs also tend to run Linux under the hood (although their GPL compliance, such as in Panasonic's case, may leave something to be desired). Finally, it's easy to imagine these TVs being able to support video streaming services (YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, etc.) without a set-top box, but I don't know the extent to which that support actually exists. Here are my questions: 1) Is this 'Internet TV' thing going to be a big deal going forward, or just a gimmick? 2) Which manufacturers are most [open standard|Linux|hacker]-friendly? 3) Which TV models have the best support (or best potential and community backing) for this sort of thing?"

    • Open Source Television
      What makes the LINK such a compelling platform for these folks and Linux/open source developers in general is the recognition that a real business entity is stepping forward to spend the money necessary to market and commercialize what tech enthusiasts have been doing for years. Like the early days of homebrew computing, it wasn't until small computer company startups like Apple and Microsoft came along to validate the computer market did such a market blossom beyond the basement.

    • Phones

      • Open Source Mobile Platforms – The Complete List
        Android : With HTC Touch and HTC Hero being a huge success, the Google-promoted mobile stack Android, is touted as something to look forward to. With a Java-like programming interface, the Android SDK is easy to install and start developing apps on. Android Apps for these smart phones are increasing in number and soon can be a serious contender for the iPhone App Store.

        Maemo : Nokia’s 770 Internet Tablet was one of the first commercially available MID running Linux. The Nokia N10 is the latest offering from Nokia running on the Maemo platform. Although Maemo does have VoIP apps, it is primarily being designed for Internet Tablets rather than Smart phones.

        Moblin : Molin, asuumably short for Mobile Linux, was an initiative from Intel. After the release of their Atom family of processors, Moblin recieved further push from Intel in engaging the community. Moblin, like Maemo, is primarily targetted towards Netbooks, MIDs and Internet Tablets. It utilizes some of the modern embedded linux components like the Gnome-based Clutter toolkit which used OpenGL to create fast and visually rich GUIs.

      • Android-compatible app takes on Twitter
        TransMedia, makers of the cross-platform Glide cloud computing OS, announced the availability of a Twitter-like service that supports mobile embedded platforms including Android. Glide Engage is a rights-based social networking and micro-blogging service that enables users to share messages with cloud-stored attachments, says the company.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Open Source Eee PCs in October, Chrome OS Netbooks Coming
        Awesome news from Engadget about the open source future of the next generation of Eee PCs. Their 'spies' have uncovered information that the first Moblin-running Eee netbooks will be in stores come October. Asus, the Eee PC manufacturer, is apparently considering making open source OSes an option for all their netbooks in the future.

Free Software/Open Source

  • FLOSS Weekly 81:, the provider of free and royalty-free geographic data.

    Guest: Steve Coast for

  • OSCON 2009: Governments and open source
    It is hard to have an overriding "theme" at an event as large as O'Reilly's Open Source Convention (OSCON), but during the 2009 convention, one subject that came up again and again was increasing the number of connections between open source and government. There are three basic facets to the topic: adoption of open source products by government agencies, participation in open source project development by governments and their employees, and using open source to increase transparency and public access to governmental data and resources. Though much of the discussion (particularly in the latter category) sprang from the new Obama administration's interest in open data and government transparency, very few of the issues are US-centric: the big obstacles to government adoption of open source technology are the same around the world, from opaque procurement processes to fears about secrecy and security.

  • Growth spotted in the IT jobs market
    Based on its findings, the site said the future looks equally as bright for Open Source developers, infrastructure analysts and business analysts, even though their current supply of work has thinned since last year.

  • Government

    • Why can't local government and open source be friends?
      Nobody seems to have stood up in a meeting and said: "You know, there's lots of very good open source content management systems (CMS) out there - there's one called Wordpress which is free and eminently customisable." This is peculiar, as Wordpress was available (and as solid as any CMS) in 2005, runs on MySQL and PHP (which are both free products used by some of the largest companies in the world, such as airlines and Yahoo). And there are pots of programmers around with MySQL and PHP skills.

    • Healthcare

      • Feds to host NHIN software code-a-thon
        The code-a-thon is expected to foster personal connections and help expand the talent pool of developers that might contribute to the CONNECT project, according to Brian Behlendorf, an open source advocate and a contractor on the administration’s Open Government initiative team headed White House chief technology officer Aneesh Chopra.

      • Live from FOSSHealth in Houston Texas
        Bill Vass of Sun (still not Oracle yet he confirms) NHIN CONNECT Efforts is talking about the difference between FOSS and proprietary in which RSA was openly and rigorously examined by experts....

  • Openness

  • Programming

    • Bjarne Stroustrup Expounds on Concepts and the Future of C++
      I am not of the opinion that concepts have failed. My position was that we needed only a few weeks to "fix" what in my opinion were serious usability problems. Obviously, a majority of the committee didn't agree with that timescale. But just about everyone I talked to expressed support for the idea of concepts and I had to warn against over-optimism about the timescale to get concepts back once they were removed from the working paper. There is a significant difference between "failure" and "not being ready to become the standard for millions of programmers."


  • Abstracts
    Is digital inclusion a good thing? How can we make sure it is? Richard Stallman (Free Software Foundation, USA)

    Activities directed at “including” more people in the use of digital technology are predicated on the assumption that such inclusion is invariably a good thing. It appears so, when judged solely by immediate practical convenience. However, if we also judge in terms of human rights, whether digital inclusion is good or bad depends on what kind of digital world we are to be included in. If we wish to work towards digital inclusion as a goal, it behooves us to make sure it is the good kind.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Maria Winslow, open source biz guru 01 (2005)

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

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