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Links 21/09/2009: Qt Developer Days 2009; GNOME 3.0 Previews



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Contents





GNU/Linux

  • Tux Takes To The Air
    It's simply news that Linux is now on the air. It will air on KLBJ AM. It's also a way for you to use the data without having to remove our taglines.

    Yeah, that's me...Mr. Considerate.

    Both raw tracks are available for download and released under Creative Commons Attribute-ShareAlike 3.0 license. We stipulate no attribution is necessary. You can download the short broadcast version we used, minus our info tagline in mp3 or ogg. You can get the long version in mp3 here and the ogg cut here.


  • No Support?
    I recently mentioned Linux in a conversation that started with "I'm tired of the problems my computer has with Windows" and was told that Linux doesn't have any support.

    Really? Then the dozens of websites, mailing lists, news feeds and IRC channels that I use must be figments of my imagination.

    Searching "Linux support" at Google returned: Results 1 - 10 of about 1,160,000 for "Linux support". (0.26 seconds)


  • Why I Can Never Be Exclusive to Linux and Open Source on the Desktop
    Arguably, in the last 10 years, Linux has matured from a OS that was strictly for UNIX and technical sysadmin-types to a robust enterprise server OS that can scale all the way up from low-power x86 processors to the most powerful mainframe computers and massively distributed architectures. Nobody, especially myself, will question Linux’s huge impact on mid-range and enterprise computing as well as in embedded devices.

    As a desktop OS, the situation has improved greatly, especially in the last 3 to 4 years, particularly with the rise of the user-friendly Ubuntu Linux distribution. Sun’s OpenOffice.org has matured to become a very functional office suite and even my employer, IBM, has gotten in on the Linux productivity suite act with Lotus Symphony 1.3 and we’ve all been encouraged to learn and start using the software.


  • Enterprise LAMP Summit & Big LAMP Camp
    The Enterprise LAMP Summit for CTOs (Nov. 5-6) will feature a case study about the use of several parts of the LAMP software stack in a sophisticated and highly effective patient white board developed by the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Informatics Center.


  • DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 321, 21 September 2009
    Welcome to this year's 38th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Computer security has been a hot topic of discussion on these pages in recent weeks. As a result, Caitlyn Martin has embarked upon writing a series of articles covering the basics of computer and Internet security, starting today with part one - user authentication. In the news section, the openSUSE user community launches an initiative to build an enterprise-level distribution with long-term security support, Mark Shuttleworth announces the code name for Ubuntu 10.04, Clement Lefebvre reveals some early information about the improvements in Linux Mint 8 "Helena", and OpenBSD delays the planned October release by a month over a CD manufacturing error. Finally, don't miss the New Distributions section which includes some interesting new additions to the waiting list, including a Linux-based operating system built around Google's Chrome browser and a new Slackware-based desktop distribution called Salix OS. Happy reading!


  • Remuco as Remote for Your Media Player
    The Remuco project has packages for Arch Linux, Debian, Gentoo and Ubuntu. If you’re using any of the mentioned distros, you should have a way to install the package instead of installing from source.


  • Working with multiple operating systems
    If your guest OS is Ubuntu, restart the Ubuntu virtual PC. Now you will find the guest addition CD icon on the desktop. Access its contents, install the guest addition by clicking on the script file ‘autorun.sh’ and restart Ubuntu. At this point you will find the mouse moving freely all over your machine. You can run the Ubuntu in full screen mode or in seamless mode. The advantage of seamless mode is that you can keep the virtual machine application windows along with the application windows of your host. You will find the Ubuntu application panel on the top of your screen and Windows-XP task bar at its bottom. This means you can listen to a radio programme via Ububtu’s music player RhythmBox while composing an article with MS-Word from Windows XP.




  • FUD

    • Microsoft FUD An Unfired Gun In Austin
      The salesperson could no longer take it and approached us with a smile. He asked Staci if she needed any further help in making a choice. I believe it was the laptop opened for ten minutes with her full attention that got the best of him.

      "Do any of these come with Linux". Her question was direct and without malice...she glanced over at me just for a milisecond after doing so.

      "Um...no, we don't carry Linux products here. I'm sorry."

      No "Windows pitch"....no "comparisons..."

      Just no.

      So...


    • When Someone Says We Should NOT Use Linux..
      Everyone has biases. It’s that bloggers end up broadcasting them to the entire world.

      For us to find out whether something is good or not, useful or not, we have to research further. What could help us in our research? Here are some things that I look for:

      * Other blog entries. What do other people say? Are a majority of relevant search results show that whatever that thing is, is truly terrible? In this case, do we see nothing that says that Linux is good? What are the reasons pointed out by other bloggers? Are those reasons relevant to me as a user? * Forums. Checking up user forums could be helpful too. You could gauge if the users stick with it or not. You will also learn some of their hacks, tips and tricks. A lot of forums have a section for beginners or newbies so that’s one place to check. You could search for your hardware in forums too. There will be a chance that someone has already posted a problem and/or solution to hardware specific issues.






  • Applications

    • The Grumpy Editor's hugin experience
      It is an impressive piece of work, even though it has not yet reached its 1.0 release (version 0.8 came out in July). It definitely belongs on any Linux-using photographer's system.


    • Midori: lightweight browsing
      Despite an already crowded browser market Midori promises to be a lightweight alternative to browser bloat

      Despite an already wide range of browser options available there is always space for one more browser, it seems. Midori is one of the most recent additions to the browser market and bills itself as one of the lightest browsers around. Which is what Firefox billed itself as in the early days of existence, before it became increasingly bloated.


    • Update on using Chromium
      It’s been a little over a month since I started using Chromium, the Open Source version of the Google Chrome Web browser. Since then, I’ve been using Chromium quite extensively. While the honeymoon isn’t over yet, I do have a better handle on what I like and dislike about Chromium and how it fits into my Web browsing and use of Web apps.








  • Desktop Environments

    • Community Members Invited To Qt Developer Days 2009
      The last few years has seen the company formerly known as Trolltech open their arms to one of the largest parts of their supporting community, KDE, in a new way: By offering a few members of the KDE community free admittance to the Qt Developer Days conference. This year is no different, and they have invited a number of people to attend this year's conferences. Yes, that's plural: There are two conferences. One from the 12th to 14th of October in Munich, Germany and one from the 2nd to the 4th of November in San Francisco, USA.




    • GNOME

      • Gnome 3 – A Quick Visual Tour
        Gnome 3, which will be available to install in Ubuntu 10.04, will mark the first radical change to the Gnome Desktop since it's inception, thanks to it’s “new” interface ‘Gnome-Shell’.


      • The path to GNOME 3.0
        GNOME – the FOSS desktop for Linux and Unix – is currently at version 2.26. The next release will be 2.28, leading towards the next major release, version 3.0, which if everything goes well should be released in the spring of 2010. Our associates in Germany, heise open, recently had the opportunity to interview GNOME release manager Vincent Untz about the project. Untz reveals the projects future plans for the GNOME desktop and talks about the User Interface, the new window manager Mutter, the GNOME Shell, Zeitgeist and GNOME Mobile.










  • Distributions

    • Time for a New Puppy: Puppy Linux 4.3
      Mac OS X Snow Leopard? Windows 7? Forget it. The coolest OS release of the year is Puppy Linux 4.3. By now you already know that I have a soft spot for Puppy Linux, so for me each new release of this nifty little distro is a cause for a minor celebration. And the freshly-baked Puppy Linux 4.3 is no exception. In fact, the previous 4.2 release left me somewhat unimpressed, so I've had especially high hopes for the 4.3 version coordinated by Barry Kauler himself. Let me tell you straight away -- I wasn't disappointed.




    • Ubuntu

      • Atlanta Linux Fest: Top 9 Ubuntu Highlights
        More than 600 people registered to attend Atlanta Linux Fest, which was held Sept. 19. Many of the standing-room-only sessions focused on Canonical and Ubuntu. Here are nine Ubuntu-oriented highlights from the event.


      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 160
        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #160 for the week September 13th - September 19th, 2009. In this issue we cover: Karmic Alpha 6 released, Mark Shuttleworth Announces via video Ubuntu 10.04: Lucid Lynx, Countdown Banner Deadline, UDS Update, Ubuntu Screencasts: Reporting Bugs, The first Ubuntu-DK podcast, Swedish LoCo Bug Jam: Linköping, Ubuntu-NH SFD '09 Report, Launchpad 3.0 & Bug Filing changes, Ubuntu Forums tutorial of the week & Community interview, PostgreSQL security/bug fix testers needed, Ubuntu Packaging: Fixing FTBFS, Launchpad Nautilus Preview, In the Press & Blogosphere, Ubuntu-UK podcast: The Tribe of Gum, Linux-ready mini PC powers up, The Art of Community available for free download, and much, much more!


      • From Windows to Linux - Ubuntu & Me
        However, all this took some tweaking to accomplish, but being so user-friendly, Ubuntu makes it easy. If I have a question about how to install a new app, or a plug-in -- which I always do -- help is only a few keystrokes away. Also, I am easily able to update at any time.


      • Finally, FBOs on intel
        Big, big, big thumbs up to the Xorg/Mesa-developer crowd and the hackers behind the intel-driver for OpenGL 2.x support (especially FBOs and GLSL)! Also big props need to go to Bryce Harrington and Alberto Milone for integrating this and pulling in all the needed bits and bytes into Ubuntu! It’s one thing to see stuff landing on f.d.o git, but only when it reaches “mere mortals” in the form of repository-updates it’s truly there (read: where the end-user “sees and feels” it).


      • Mint 8: mintInstall improvements
        The development on the upcoming Linux Mint 8 ‘Helena’ started in the Summer and a series of improvements are already implemented. Today, I’d like to show you the impact on one of our most popular application: mintInstall.


      • Enable Ubuntu Restricted Extras for Hassle-free Multimedia Playback












  • Devices/Embedded

    • Rugged PC/104+ SBC withstands extreme temperatures
      Eurotech subsidiary Parvus is readying a rugged PC/104+ single-board computer (SBC) that incorporates Intel's thermally optimized Z520PT Atom processor. The Linux-ready, mil/aero-focused Isis XL boasts a fanless operating range of -40 to 85 deg C (-40 to 185 deg. F), and a five-Watt TDP, says Parvus.


    • CompactPCI board touted for 10 Watt power draw
      Kontron announced a 3U CompactPCI board based on the Intel Atom N270, boasting soldered components and 10 Watt power consumption. The Linux-ready CP305 comes in a 4HP version with dual gigabit Ethernet and USB 2.0 ports, or a developer-focused, dual-slot 8HP version with additional I/O, says Kontron.


    • Anonymous browsing on Android - Update
      A group of developers at the Digital Technology Group (DTG), formerly the Laboratory for Communication Engineering (LCE), at the University of Cambridge have released two Android applications that allow users to browse the web anonymously using The Onion Router. The Onion Router, commonly referred to as Tor, is free software designed to provide internet anonymity to users while browsing online. It does this by bouncing the communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers from all around the world, preventing visited sites from learning a users physical location.


    • Jolicloud OS seeks to move past browsers
      Jolicloud starts with a great OS, Ubuntu Netbook Remix, and couples it with a different way to use existing web applications. We think the developers have done a great job integrating Prism into their interface and find it very usable. Only time will tell if users are willing to migrate from traditional browsing, to using web apps for what they really are: an application.






Free Software/Open Source

  • Firefox is my PLE
    I also find myself valuing ever more highly Mozilla Firefox’s rich armoury of extensions, which are rapidly transforming the humble web-browser into my portable desktop and, in effect, my personal learning environment. Below are a few of the extensions I’ve discovered, but I’d be very interested to hear about extensions you use yourself, and any you use with pupils.


  • How one Melburnian spent Software Freedom Day
    But for computer science student Minh Van Nguyen, it was a wee bit different. A full-time user of free and open source software for the last three years, he was up bright and early and off to the Chadstone shopping centre in Melbourne's south-east to spread the message of free software.


  • New Release of Encryption Wizard for Oracle Provides Transparent Data Encryption With Free Software Foundation's GNU Crypto
    In the new release, users can optionally load the GNU Crypto Java library directly into the Oracle database. Once this is accomplished, intelligent PL/SQL modules integrate the Java AES ciphers into the Encryption Wizard's cryptography definitions. This provides Oracle Standard Edition databases a free open-source alternative to Oracle's DBMS_Crypto package.




  • Openness

    • Better world: Share things
      Looking for a romantic way to do your bit for the planet? Then move in with your lover, take baths together and snuggle up on the sofa to watch TV together.

      An awful lot of energy could be saved if only people shared things more, especially their homes. The evidence comes from the opposite end of the love spectrum. According to a recent study, if all the couples who divorced in the US had stayed together, in 2005 alone they would have used 2373 billion litres less water and 73 billion kilowatt-hours less electricity. Each divorced person spent 46 per cent more on electricity and 56 per cent more on water.


    • At End of Act II: Are we Played for Fools OR Building a Enlightened Digital World?
      This would be the World Wide Web of Books that we have been dreaming of rather than a Monopoly of Books. Google has helped build momentum– lets take it the rest of the way without blowing it. This could be done by Congress or the Justice Department– both of which are working on this right now.


    • The Open PhD – What a Concept
      Did you know MIT has 1800+ courses available for your viewing pleasure? You can even download the syllabus and assignments (with answers). Some courses even provide copies of old exams. How could I have missed this? It’s not just MIT – other schools belong to the consortium – Carnegie Mellon, Standford, Oxford, Yale, the list keeps going.


    • Show us the data now damnit! Excuses are running out.
      A very interesting paper from Caroline Savage and Andrew Vickers was published in PLoS ONE last week detailing an empirical study of data sharing of PLoS journal authors. The results themselves, that one out ten corresponding authors provided data, are not particularly surprising, mirroring as they do previous studies, both formal [pdf] and informal (also from Vickers, I assume this is a different data set), of data sharing.


    • Open Source Digital Voting Foundation
      One of the signal failures of digital technology in recent years has been e-voting. Practically every high-profile attempt to switch from quaint analogue technologies to swish new digital ones has proved a complete and utter disaster. But taking a closer look at these failures it becomes evident that the problem is not so much e-voting itself, as the toxic combination of e-voting with black-box software.

      The problem is quite simple. If you can't see what the software is doing by looking at the code, you can't possible trust it. And e-voting without trust is about as useful as the proverbial chocolate teapot.

      The solution is equally obvious: mandate open source solutions so that the code can be checked before use.








Leftovers

  • New EU website goes live
    The European Commission will today (21 September) launch a revamped version of its Europa website. After two years of analysis and review, the EU executive hopes its new central web portal will make for a simpler, more organised experience for EU citizens.


  • E.U. Releases E-Mails to Defend Decision on Intel
    European antitrust regulators on Monday published a torrent of internal e-mails and other company documents to back up its record fine against Intel, arguing that they showed computer manufacturers were afraid to cross the chip-making giant.

    Neelie Kroes, the European Union competition commissioner, imposed the €1.06 billion fine in May for abusing its dominance in the computer chip market to exclude its only serious rival, Advanced Micro Devices. Since then Intel has appealed against the decision to a European court, accusing her investigators of botching procedures and trampling on the company’s rights of defense.




  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Music industry talks break down in illegal downloading row
      Many in the music business believe that the disunity, which has involved public spats between the FAC and artists such as Lily Allen, Abba and Muse, will derail Lord Mandelson’s proposals, as the industry fails to present a united front.

      UK Music, the umbrella organisation for the whole music industry, has already dropped all mentions of disconnection from its public statements on the issue, in a desperate attempt to unite the industry. The consultation period for the plans ends in a week’s time.


    • German Youth Would Vote Pirate Party Into Parliament
      Next week the German Pirate Party will compete in the elections for the German Parliament, but this week the country’s youth already cast their votes. In the youth polls nearly 9% of all votes went to the Pirate Party, a result that the party hopes to match in the upcoming election.


    • Brazilian Court Bans P2P Software
      After an earlier decision failed to reach its objective, this week a Brazilian court made an unprecedented ruling against file-sharing clients. Following legal action by anti-piracy groups against a website offering a file-sharing client for download, the court decided that software which allows users to share music via P2P is illegal.










Mark Shuttleworth Announces Ubuntu 10.04: Lucid Lynx





Direct link

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