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Links 18/2/2010: Lots of KDE 4.4, Review of SimplyMepis 8.0.15



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Contents





GNU/Linux

  • Linux has reached the Apple buzz of 1976 and Microsoft knows it.
    In the books I am reading I am very surprised at how much Open-source, GPL, OpenOffice, Mysql, Firefox, Gimp and Ubuntu/Linux are mentioned. Not just as a side note but as a featured program(s) that they discuss in detail. Not only is it in the text but I have also found that many people are very aware of these Open-source programs and most use them regularly. I overhear conversations like; “Dude just download OpenOffice or I'm dual booting Ubuntu and Windows” all the time.


  • Penguin Photo Contest
    Introducing Linux Journal's penguin gallery contest. That's right -- penguins. Real, virtual, 2D, 3D, with fish, without fish, etc., etc. Submit your penguin photo or artwork and be entered to win some pretty cool LJ goodies.


  • Linux Outlaws 136 - Make Love, Not Proprietary Software
    This week on the show: Moblin and Maemo now MeeGo, Google launches Buzz, the Olympics on Linux, no more freeze in Fedora Rawhide and more…




  • Events

    • SCALE 8x in Los Angeles This Weekend
      In addition to over 50 seminars and tutorials at SCALE this year, there will be a number of events colocating at the conference. These include UbuCon, Zenoss Community Day, Women in OpenSource, Open Source in Education, StatusCamp Los Angeles, and a ClearHealth 3.0 training day. With so much going on there really is something for everyone at SCALE 8x.


    • Shuttleworth, Rodriguez Keynote at PyCon 2010
      Mark Shuttleworth and Antonio Rodriguez keynote at PyCon 2010, the world's largest conference of the Python programming community. Over 1,000 Python programmers are gathering now at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta for eight days of intensive education, cooperation, and networking.


    • A FOSS lover's look at ViBGYOR 2010
      ViBGYOR, being a socially conscious platform for expression of art, values freedom. True to its spirit, Free Software is used whenever and wherever it can be used. The media centre at the main venue is setup using Ubuntu GNU/Linux, with VLC for playing the movies and AUdacity for audio recording. The online media desk is powered exclusively by GNU/Linux.

      [...]

      It is no coincidence that a lot of Free Software people are present here at ViBGYOR. Its the same spirit that drives them - a thirst for freedom and a vision of free society.


    • Open World Forum call for proposals - associated events
      Our ambition for 2010 is to create a world-changing event, clearly demonstrating that OPEN IS THE FUTURE, with three main themes: Open Innovation, Open Enterprise and Open Society. In addition to the main conference event, we are also seeking proposals for short presentations (FLOSS Vision) and associated events, which are aligned with these themes. This call for proposals is open to all.






  • Search

    • Introducing LinuxSearch.org!
      I have created a handful of Google Custom Searches in past couple of years. These are really handy ways of narrowing your search to a particular field, or set of websites.


    • LinuxSearch.org








  • Graphics Stack

    • AMD Catalyst 10.2 For Linux Gets Direct2D
      This morning we reported on AMD revealing forthcoming Catalyst driver changes, particularly a set of new features that applied to Windows users. However, we hinted that there might be some changes coming to the Linux driver and now Catalyst 10.2 for Linux is out there so we have the first confirmation of what may be to come.








  • Applications







  • Desktop Environments



    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE 4.4 Mail Misunderstanding Explained & Akregator Surprize
        I've gotten quite a few responses to my quickie look at KDE 4.4 under Mandriva written for this week's Distrowatch Weekly. One of which came from Aaron J. Seigo himself. I thought I might share some of what he said since several people expressed similar concerns on the topic here in comments. I also found one really super-duper neato new feature in Akegator in 4.4 that deserves a mention.

        [...]

        Akregator used to display polls and such as plain text, but with 4.3.2 polls rendered in radio-button or clickable format. That was kinda nice. But today I discovered something even better.

        For Webmasters/bloggers/whoever that allow such, videos can now be watched right from Akregator. I don't know any real details, if only certain formats are supported and such, but I'm almost thinking they'd have to be oggs. I'm not sure if Flash videos would work as I disable all such in Konqueror/KDE. I'll check next time I see where someone embeds one in a feed.


      • Personalizing KDE 4.4
        Sticking with our KDE theme this week, it’s time to learn how to make KDE 4.4 yours. You’ve downloaded it, you’ve used it, and now you want to personalize it. You might find things are a bit different than the KDEs of yore (especially if you’re just coming into KDE from 3.5). But no matter what release you’re coming from, it’s always good to know where and how to configure the look and feel of your desktop.

        In this article I am going to show you how to make KDE 4.4 look and feel just the way you want it to. We won’t bother getting into setting up Compiz, this is just straight up KDE goodness. Nor will we discuss the installation of KDE – I will assume that is already complete.


      • KDE 4.4 Review, Screenshot Tour (and KDE 4.0 Comparison)
        21,000 closed bugs later, the KDE team has announced the new KDE 4.4 and I simply had to take a look. After all, the last time I took KDE 4 Series for a spin was back when I still thought open source was one word. To think I actually praised this thing:

        Most of you will remember the flak KDE got for releasing an immature desktop environment experiment as “gold”, and rightfully so: even though many Linux distributions almost immediately included it, nobody could really fit the unstable KDE 4.0 into their workflow.

        [...]

        This review of course depended greatly on the quality of the KDE 4.4 integration in Fedora 13, so take it with a pinch of salt, though I’m confident you will get pretty much the same experience on production releases. I recommend you try KDE 4.4 only if you have a decently powerful machine, I wouldn’t run it on a netbook, to be honest, it consumes more resources than other lighter desktop environments. The KDE guys are doing an excellent job and they deserve more users, so give v4.4 a try, it might just be a keeper!


      • Kdenlive 0.7.7 Released
        This release fixes a lot of bugs reported against Kdenlive 0.7.6, including timeline corruption and various crashes. We also fixed a compatibility issue with Qt 4.6. We hope that this new release will make the video editing experience easier and more comfortable for everyone!






    • GNOME Desktop

      • Elementary Theme Getting New Metacity
        If you're not using the incredibly awesome eHomosapien metacity chances are you're using the default Elementary metacity. You may be interested to know then that this will be getting a bit of a makeover soon (and you can install it now!)












  • Distributions

    • SAM Linux - In the twilight zone
      SAM Linux suffers from all the ailments of a small distro. It has many great things, but the integration is missing. The sum of all parts is lower than the value of each. Proper quality control is missing sorely, beginning with the website design, via hardware compatibility, all the way to small details and annoyances that reduce the professional look and feel of the final desktop.

      Xfce is not the best choice, it seems, due to cross-platform issues that arise, time and again. Combined with other quirks that arose during the testing, SAM Linux makes for an odd choice. Gnome desktop would have been much better, but then, there's PCLinuxOS already.

      [...]

      With a mixed experience and a slight fear, I must conclude that SAM Linux is indeed what it is, a small distro, floating precariously on the thin cusp of the twilight zone. With a little more work in the polish department, it could be a very decent choice. But today, SAM Linux probably makes sense only to hardcore followers and experienced users.




    • Red Hat Family

      • CentOS, I had to try it
        CentOS, not just the distro but the process of building a server itself was quite an interesting and entertaining task. I’m becoming increasingly interested in this area of the linux world as well as in webhosting, I will learn more about those topics in the near present.

        I must say CentOS keeps it’s word when it comes to stability, the kernel and software can be old, and it actually runs quite un-smoothly on my hardware, which was almost all detected, but it is stable. It crashed recently though, the only crash I’ve had in the 4 days I’ve been using CentOS, I think it was triggered by firefox, everything stopped responding except the mouse, I couldn’t even go to another tty or kill x, so I hard rebooted. But not counting that incident it was above-average in stability, especially since I was not using it as a server, but as my personal system as well.

        So, I guess I understand more now why server distros are better for mounting a server, I can see why CentOS is very popular in that area and I would recommend it as such, even to myself.


      • Is RHEL5 the New XP of Linux World?
        If you blamed Redmond for late release of Vista (almost 6 years after XP) then think again, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 is the new XP of Linux World. And the same user-reaction is building towards it.

        As per official documents Red Hat declares of following a 18-24 months release cycle. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 was released on 2007-03-14, and it's about 3 long years now, still there is no official announcement. The question here is how long will Red Hat possibly stick with 2.6.18 kernel line and the contemporary packages. The present status of Red Hat Desktop is a stable but obsolete distribution.








    • Debian Family

      • SimplyMepis Linux 8.0.15 Review
        If you are looking for a release with the latest kernel and the latest desktop, Mepis is not for you. Mepis uses Linux kernel version 2.6.27, with the KDE 3.5 desktop. For older machines, it is an excellent alternative. Mepis is a Debian derivative, and uses the Lenny repositories.


      • Ubuntu: Canonical’s Partner Program Scores 2 Wins
        On the consulting front, The Linux Box of Ann Arbor, Mich., has vowed to “sell, install and support customized Ubuntu-based solutions to organizations running Linux systems. It will also provide businesses with large-scale migration deployment support and training services for cloud computing infrastructures and enterprise desktop alternatives.”




      • Ubuntu

        • Lucid Software Centre Adds 'Featured' Gallery, PPA View


        • OpenShot Now Included in Ubuntu 10.04!
          I have some great news for everyone today. As you can see by the title of this article, OpenShot is now officially included in the Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) repository. If you have an alpha version of Lucid, you can already find it in the Software Center. Just search for "openshot".


        • Prey for Ubuntu
          Prey helps you locate your missing laptop by sending timed reports with a bunch of information of its whereabouts.


        • Guayadeque Music Player: Light, Unique, Awesome?


        • You can’t have it your way
          Who’s to say? There was, a very very long time ago, a manifesto somewhere in the Ubuntu wiki that set out those same terms for Xubuntu. I used to have a link to it, but last time I looked the page was dead. And of course, mob rule crept into that project too, and steered it away from its original plan. :|

          Look, I’m all for brotherhood, helping out the new guy, group hugs and the need to sit down with a box of tissues every few years and watch “Titanic.” But starting an open source project is not that time. Allowing the public to steer the project is insane. No good can come of it. Tell the people from the start: This is what we will do. Do it with us, or do it on your own.




        • Mobile

















  • Devices/Embedded

    • Review: Patriot Box Office PVP
      Today I'm going to be taking a look at the Linux powered Patriot Box Office (PBO), a Personal Video Player (PVP) designed for the home entertainment or theater system. The device is small, easy to use, and provides all the basic features that someone would want in a PVP system. So, let's move on to the system and take a look around.


    • Open source growing footprint in embedded market
      That’s not the only place we’re seeing open source play a role in the latest embedded virtualization technology. Another example is use of the OK Labs’ hypervisor and virtual desktop technology from Citrix in the vendors’ joint effort for the Nirvana Phone. The idea is to quickly and easily transform a handheld device to a full-featured, high-performance PC via docking station. We may also see Linux play an important role as these vendors navigate operating system licensing.

      [...]

      The popular Linux distribution already serves as the basis of Ubuntu Netbook Remix, as well as a number of virtual appliances, and here we see yet another use of it in Ubuntu Electronics Remix, which is centered on electronics development and devices.




    • Android

      • What is wrong with Android
        I recently purchased an HTC Magic, my first device running Android, Google's Linux-based mobile operating system. Although there are a lot of things I like about Android, I also quickly realized that there are also a lot of things that either require urgent improvement or are going wrong altogether. Below is my not-so-small list of Android issues. A lot of them are related to the Android market because it is in my opinion the part of Android that requires the most urgent efforts.

        [...]

        Despite all this, Android is still my smartphone OS of choice because of the openess of the platform (at least compared to Apple offerings). I would however like to see all these issues sorted quickly so that Android has a chance to truly rival the iPhone and create real competition in the mobile and tablet market.


      • Video: Android and Linux Kernel
        At FOSDEM 2010 in Brussels, Linux Magazine Online pulled Android commentator Jan Wildeboer and kernel staging tree maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman away from the daily events to talk with them on camera.










Free Software/Open Source

  • Lustre File System Update
    I'm pleased to say with confidence that Oracle will continue to invest in Lustre. From engineering to sales to deployment and support, it's the same great people working together to make Lustre a success at Oracle.


  • Blender 3D Incredible Machines
    The introduction in the book states that the reader requires no previous experience of Blender to make use of the book. However further on in the book it is said that the book is not a beginners book and that many things will not be described in detail as the reader is expected to know the basics of how to use Blender in terms of its interface and various buttons and keypresses. After having read the entire book I would say that a beginning Blender user would be able to understand most of the book as most of the time things such as key presses and the basics of how to use Blender are explained in a way a new user to Blender would be able to follow.


  • NoteCase: Much More Than a Mindless Text Drone
    Note-taking applications are often dead-simple apps that do little more than display typed characters on a screen. NoteCase does more than that, though it also doesn't let itself get bogged down with so many features that it would qualify more as a word processing app. NoteCase's forte has to do with organizing your notes in a sensible, tree-like system.




  • Education

    • Damned Lies and Statistics, FOSS Sexism and Education
      Guzdial suggests, for instance, that the myth that FOSS developers work for free might discourage students from entering computing science.

      [...]

      The fact that only 15.7% of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are female is not used as a reason why young women should avoid studying business management. So why would the low percentage of women be a reason to avoid studying FOSS? While the percentage of major female CEOs may be ten times greater than the number of female FOSS participants, the number is still dismal.


    • Computer Science Education Benefits from FLOSS
      I read with interest today when Linux Weekly News linked to Greg DeKoenigsberg's response to Mark Guzdial's ACM Blog post, The Impact of Open Source on Computing Education (which is mostly a summary of his primary argument on his personal blog). I must sadly admit that I was not terribly surprised to read such a post from an ACM-affiliated academic that speaks so negatively of FLOSS's contribution to Computer Science education.

      I mostly agree with (and won't repeat) DeKoenigsberg's arguments, but I do have some additional points and anecdotal examples that may add usefully to the debate. I have been both a student (high school, graduate and undergraduate) and teacher (high school and TA) of Computer Science. In both cases, software freedom was fundamental and frankly downright essential to my education and to that of my students.


    • Open source is a restaurant where everyone is a chef
      If someone has an interest in programming for open source, Terry said, they try to get right into it. They don’t start with beta testing, reporting bugs, flagging usability problems, doing all the pre-programming things that lead to a disciplined approach later on. Stuff that’s boring but useful and educational.

      Reading Mike Guzdial’s recollections of Terry’s talk, I began thinking of how people used to start out in restaurants. They washed dishes, they took out garbage, they peeled vegetables, they observed the pros at work before getting any opportunity.






  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla Debates Whether to Trust Chinese CA
      Sometimes geeky technical details matter only to engineers. But sometimes a seemingly arcane technical decision exposes deep social or political divisions. A classic example is being debated within the Mozilla project now, as designers decide whether the Mozilla Firefox browser should trust a Chinese certification authority by default.






  • Databases (Not F/OSS)







  • Business

    • CEO Interview: Marten Mickos on how Open Source businesses can break through the $10-15 million plateau
      Miriam Tuerk sat down with Marten Mickos, former CEO of MySQL AB, to get Marten’s thoughts on how to break thru the sub $10-15 revenue plateau and achieve the hyper growth promise of Open Source.

      Marten Mickos, former CEO of MySQL AB, has the rather unique experience of having grown a commercial Open Source company to sales above $100 million over his 8-year tenure. Other than Red Hat, MySQL is the only company to have independently achieved this milestone, pre acquisition. Many market pundits comment on the difficulty Commercial Open Source companies have in breaking thru the $10-$15 million revenue plateau. I sat down with Marten to get his thoughts on the strategies for success at that stage of growth.


    • Open Collaboration within Corporations Using Software Forges
      Software forges are tool platforms that originated in the open source community. Many corporations are improving and extending their software development practices by adopting forges internally.








  • FSF/FSFE/GNU

    • Conversation with a free software radical
      Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier speaks with Bradley Kuhn, policy analyst and tech director at the Software Freedom Law Center. Learn about the Software Freedom Conservancy and how it helps open source projects from Amrock to Wine focus on development while benefiting from non-profit status.


    • It takes a community
      Thinking back, probably our most important decision affecting community health was made early in the year, when we decided to dump our AGPL license in favor of Apache.

      Although we had never gotten direct feedback that the community didn't like AGPL, we had more forum posts than we thought was healthy that asked pointed questions about our licensing. This let us know that people were confused, and if there was any doubt in our minds, the licensing debacle at Ext js convinced us that Keep-It-Simple-Stupid is the only way to go here.








  • Releases







  • Programming

    • Why SDL Perl Matters
      I read a book proposal years ago on the subject of teaching kids to program with C++. "After a week," it said, "children will know enough to create their own simple text games and animations."

      I was perhaps six years old when I saw my first minicomputer. I flipped open the first page of the manual and typed in the lines verbatim—except I left off the line numbers, likely thinking that they were merely a convenience for readers. Perhaps I've had good taste from the beginning.

      My typing skills were, as you might expect, abysmal. Even so, I had feedback from the computer within fifteen minutes or less. If I'd had to spend a week learning things to move characters around on the screen, I'd have given up.


    • 2010 Board Candidate: Nominee for sustaining member representative








Leftovers



  • Science







  • Security

    • Pouring cold water on the latest Sourcefire rumor
      So who’s the new bidder? Rumor has it that IBM may be looking at Sourcefire now. While the pairing has been making the rounds, we have our doubts about whether Big Blue would actually reach for the security company. Its $1.3bn acquisition of Internet Security Systems in mid-2006 has never generated the returns that IBM had hoped. (The ISS business, which was centered on the company’s Proventia boxes, never really fit well inside IBM Global Services.) Having little to show for that purchase of an intrusion-prevention system (IPS) vendor, we doubt that Big Blue would double down on another IPS vendor, Sourcefire.








  • Environment







  • Finance

    • Greece's Currency Swap Draws New Scrutiny
      A controversial currency swap undertaken by the Greek government in 2001 had no bearing on the country's eligibility for entry into Europe's single currency because Greece was already a member at the time, Greek officials said on Wednesday.


    • Merkel Slams Greek ‘Scandal’ as Goldman Role Examined
      German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it would be a “scandal” if banks helped Greece massage its budget, as European officials investigate Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s role in Greek efforts to conceal the size of its deficit.

      “It’s a scandal if it turned out that the same banks that brought us to the brink of the abyss helped fake the statistics,” Merkel said in a speech in northern Germany late yesterday, without naming Goldman Sachs directly. Greece “falsified statistics for years.”


    • Goldman Sachs: the Greek connection
      With European finance ministers meeting in Brussels today and tomorrow to discuss ways to prevent a debt crisis threatening the eurozone as a whole, a spotlight has been shone on techniques used by Greece and other indebted countries to give the appearance of lower budget deficits and debt levels.


    • It's Greek to Goldman Sachs
      As a result of such shenanigans back in 2001, Greece was allowed to join the European Union while running up enormous debt that went undetected. Greece's neighbors will now be forced to bail it out, much as U.S. taxpayers have done for banks as a result of the scams Goldman and other financial houses pulled off in this country.


    • Goldman Sachs spends $690,000 to lobby government
      The $690,000 spent compares with $530,000 the New York-based bank spent during the same quarter a year earlier when the credit crisis was peaking. Goldman spent $840,000 to lobby the government during the third quarter.


    • Goldman Sachs, Greece Didn’t Disclose Swap Contract
      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. managed $15 billion of bond sales for Greece after arranging a currency swap that allowed the government to hide the extent of its deficit.








  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights







  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM







  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • European ACTA Document Leaks With New Details on Mexico Talks and Future Meetings
      A brief report from the European Commission authored by Pedro Velasco Martins (an EU negotiator) on the most recent round of ACTA negotiations in Guadalajara, Mexico has leaked, providing new information on the substance of the talks, how countries are addressing the transparency concerns, and plans for future negotiations. The document (cover page, document) notes that the Mexico talks were a "long meeting with detailed technical discussions, which allowed progress, but parties not yet ready for major concessions. Due to lack of time, internet discussions could not be concluded."


    • FSF submits comment in USTR Special 301 Review
      The Special 301 Review is a process that the USTR undertakes every year to review the enactment and enforcement of copyright, patent, and trademark laws throughout the world. The office then produces a report placing countries on a Watch List—or even a Priority Watch List—if the USTR feels the laws and enforcement aren't forceful enough.










Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day



Christian Einfeldt's DTP presentation in Berlin 2004 06 (2004)

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

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