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Links 28/5/2010: KOffice 2.2 Released



GNOME bluefish

Contents





GNU/Linux

  • [It's GNU/Linux]




  • Introductions

    • Linux jargon buster
      Linux is growing in popularity but unless you're up to speed with its jargon the open source operating system could make no sense. We offer a short, plain-English guide to some of the key concepts used by Linux users.


    • Why are you Scared of Linux?
      Note: Before you read this Article I want to tell you that I am a big Linux fan and Linux being an open source Operating System is doing a Great Job.

      Most of the people I know think Linux is very difficult for a layman to understand. They fear that after installing Linux they will not be able to do the normal tasks they do with Windows and thus they prefer paying money to Microsoft instead of even trying Linux.

      There are lot of reasons behind this. Few reasons that I could figure out are:

      1. Lack of Advertising about Linux compared to Windows. I understand that Linux is an open source product while Windows is Commercial but still I feel that there is lot of scope for advertising.

      2. Lack of Awareness among the Retailers of Computers who advise the buyers to go for Windows instead of Linux. Some times its not just lack of awareness but also to gain more commission on the part of the retailer.

      [...]


    • 7 Tips to help your friends move to Linux
      One of my favorite geek shirts is my ZaReason 'Friends help friends use Linux' shirt, which I was in the mood to wear last night after I helped my friend move to Linux. My non-technical friend was suffering from a sickly Windows Vista PC. She'd caught herself a nasty virus (she blames an old Red Hot Chili Peppers video, but we'll never know for sure). Other people had suggested that my budget-conscious friend move to Linux.

      Tip #1: Don't tell your non-technical friends to move to Linux. Please, just don't do this. If you do this, you set them up to hate it. Your friend might be like my friend, who just wants her email, music, and internet to work. My friend doesn't want to install, configure, or troubleshoot. Yes, she's certainly smart and capable enough, but she's just not interested. She's got two teenagers and some chickens to raise and a business to run, and she'd rather live without her computer than spend hours tweaking it. I told my friend I'd be right over to see whether I could help, and I brought along my laptop, a couple of Linux DVDs, and my external hard drive to rescue her music and photos. Friends help friends move.








  • Desktop

    • Linux = Windows anti-virus? Not!
      Recently, I've come across a few interesting, yet misleading articles debating the pros and cons, mostly pros, of using this or that Linux distribution as the ultimate solution to Windows security problems, including frequent malware infections and reinfections and other related issues. While the overall conclusion might be correct, the specific analogies used to prove the point and bring you to said conclusion are most erroneous.


    • What You Use
      So, it seems as if the only applications people miss when using Linux are games and Adobe CS. This will hopefully be less of a problem in the future with Steam coming to Linux. As for the Adobe Suite, I do not see Adobe taking an interest in Linux any time soon, but PlayOnLinux supports some of the Adobe applications. Otherwise, people are forced to look for alternatives to CS. Quite often, people choose Adobe Creative Suite for the layout of the applications, not for their functionality. GimpShop can replace Photoshop, but anything else would require a bit of a learning curve.








  • Ballnux

    • OpenSUSE 11.2 Review – GNOME Desktop Environment
      In conclusion, OpenSUSE is a very nice looking OS, and it has one of the easier installers out there on the market. But if I see it again in any way, shape, or form, at any point in my life, it would be too soon. I’m going to be extremely nice and give OpenSUSE a one and a half out of ten, and would recommend to everyone to stay as far away from it as you can. I didn’t bother looking at documentation, which I admit, might have been a good idea, but if I could break it as easily as I did, no amount of documentation would ever encourage me to use it ever again.








  • Applications







  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • KOffice 2.2 released
      More than six months after the release of KOffice 2.1, the KOffice developers have announced the release of version 2.2 of their open source office suite. KOffice is composed of the KWord word processor, KSpread spreadsheet, KPresenter presentation manager, KPlato project management, Karbon vector graphics editor and Krita, a raster graphics editor.


    • KOffice 2.2 Released








  • Distributions



    • Red Hat Family





    • Debian Family

      • The Spring 2010 Linux Distro Scorecard
        Debian is one of the most successful free software projects that many new users have never heard of. Debian is an entirely community developed Linux distribution with no single commercial backer. While many companies contribute to Debian in one way or another, it's a purely independent project, driven entirely by volunteers. Debian has a large developer community and is the basis for many other projects, including Ubuntu.

        Debian has a very developer-centric community. It's driven by its Social Contract to remain free, give back to the larger community, be open with its problems, and be guided by the needs of its users and the free software community. There's an intense focus on technical excellence and shipping free software. Debian does allow some non-free repositories, but they're not "officially" part of Debian.


      • Parallelism in Debian GNU/Linux Booting
        That is a big improvment over the minutes we spend waiting/please waiting on XP on our old hardware.


      • Ubuntu

        • Spinning off from Ubuntu
          Ubuntu is probably the best known desktop GNU/Linux distribution at street level, picking up new users by word of mouth and astute viral marketing. So much so that for many users new to Linux, Ubuntu has become synonymous with Linux. Linux is Ubuntu; and Ubuntu is Linux. But Linux and free software come in many different flavours, and the adventurous user goes in search of wider options, other distributions and new desktops.

          Ubuntu is easy to install, easy to update, and easy to manage, which makes it attractive to first time users and long term Linux enthusiasts alike. It has a regular six-monthly upgrade cycle, which makes it easy to keep up with the latest and greatest with the minimum of fuss, but also has drawbacks in the form of occasional reliability issues.


        • Ubuntu 10.04 brings Linux closer to the mainstream
          No Windows viruses. Free. Any questions?

          Of course. Start with this one: How can an operating system with those virtues, the open-source Linux, remain confined to a tiny minority of desktop and laptop computers at home?

          Linux may run TiVo video recorders and live inside Android phones, in addition to running much of the Internet's servers, but it still lags on home PCs.

          Will that change anytime soon? A new version of a consumer-oriented edition of Linux, Ubuntu (http://ubuntu.com), offers hope for Linux optimists but leaves room for doubters, too.

          Ubuntu 10.04, nicknamed "Lucid Lynx," comes from London-based Canonical, but like other open-source releases it benefits from other programmers who have improved its source code.


        • Application Menu (Global Menu) For Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 Is Available For Testing
          The Global Menu for Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10 has just been uploaded to a PPA (it's still building, but should be ready in a few minutes). The new "global menu" is called "Application Menu" and it can be installed in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx already (both in GNOME and KDE).




        • Proprietary

          • Ubuntu One
            Ubuntu One offers a couple of subscription options. Choose from the free subscription plan and receive 2 GB of storage or pay a monthly fee for more storage and additional features.

            Subscribers can upgrade, downgrade, change billing information or cancel a subscription at any time. Choose the Account tab on the Ubuntu One website to view details or make any of these changes to your account.

            Ubuntu One uses Ubuntu SSO (single sign-on) for user accounts. If you already have an Ubuntu SSO account or even a Launchpad account, you can use the same username and password.


          • Landscape 1.5: The Implications for Ubuntu Customers and Partners
















  • Devices/Embedded

    • New KaOS KVM based hypervisor available for download - under 10MB with OS embedded in the kernel.
      Carbon Mountain has recently released a new version of its open source KaOS Hypervisor - Version 0.6.0.0. Based on the popular Linux kernel and utilizing KVM technology, KaOS is built from the ground up to contain many innovative features that make it ideal for today’s highly complex and agile virtualized environments.




    • Nokia

      • Hands-on: MeeGo for netbooks picks up where Moblin left off
        Moblin 2 had its own custom Web browser that brought together a unique Clutter-based user interface and Mozilla's Gecko HTML rendering engine. It was a very compelling idea because it opened the door to a browsing experience with rich visual affects and more fluid platform integration. Although the concept is intriguing in theory, it was very difficult for Intel to execute on. The custom browser was incomplete and somewhat dysfunctional when we reviewed Moblin last year. Intel has ditched the custom browser and chose to adopt Google Chrome for MeeGo.


      • Nokia, Opera side with Adobe on Flash
        Nokia and Opera Software have taken sides in the Adobe-Apple battle over Flash multimedia support: They are in the Flash camp.






    • Android

      • Acer unveils Android smartphone and teases with a tablet
        Acer announced an Android 2.1 smartphone called the Stream, offering a 1GHz Snapdragon, a 3.7-inch AMOLED WVGA display, and a five-megapixel camera. At the device's Chinese launch, the company also showed off a LumiRead e-reader with a 6-inch grayscale display, WiFi, 3G, and an ISBN scanner, and provided a brief glimpse of a seven-inch Android tablet.


      • I/O 2010 Words and Faces
        I worked like a madman right through I/O 2010 and went straight from there to an internal meeting and from there to my Mom’s 80th-birthday bash, so there hasn’t been much time for reflection. I can’t find a theme to organize my notes by, so what you get is a dozen poorly-sequenced take-aways interspersed with seven faces.

        The faces are here because I did a bunch of short interviews with strangers and got the idea of pointing my 40mm pancake prime at people straight-on and close-up, and found the results compelling enough to share. I don’t know all the names so I won’t mention any.


      • Pick of the best Android phones
        Motorola Milestone

        The Milestone, otherwise known as the Droid in other markets, is a neat package, coming in at just 13.7mm thick. Even more impressively the Milestone has a slide-out full QWERTY keyboard as part of the package.

        The 3.7-inch touchscreen is every bit as good as the HTC Hero's screen, the most common of the Android phones.

        The Milestone runs Android 2.0 and supports Quad-band GSM and dual-band 3G support. The Milestone also supports multi-touch support, which the Droid in the US didn't.

        The 5MP camera, WiFi and A-GPS is fairly standard, as is the MicroSD slot and 256MB of RAM.








    • Sub-notebooks

      • OLPC rules out Windows for XO-3
        One Laptop Per Child won't use Microsoft's Windows OS on its upcoming XO-3 tablet, which will run Linux, OLPC's CTO said Thursday.

        OLPC's chairman Nicholas Negroponte last year said that the organization was "urging" Microsoft to make a full version of Windows available for the earlier XO-2, which was also based on the Arm processor. The XO-2 was later canceled.

        The XO-3 will also use an Arm processor, but OLPC is ruling out loading multiple versions of Windows on the tablet, said Ed McNierney, OLPC's CTO, by e-mail Thursday.

        "We have no evidence that Microsoft will make full-featured Windows 7 available on Arm, and that's their decision," McNierney said.








    • Tablets

      • ARMed Armies Attack
        The onslaught of ARMed devices will continue indefinitely. Check out the smartphone/tablet Dell has announced. We still do not know the price of it but all they have to do to get some action is be in the neighborhood of the iPad which has fewer features: no Flash and no phone.












Free Software/Open Source



  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla prepares coders for Firefox 4 features
      It was with delight that I read these words on Thursday: "The proposed IndexedDB standard, which provides a local database store for Web applications, will be supported by Firefox 4."

      The statement appears on Mozilla's new Firefox 4 for developers site, boding well for those of us who use the Web a lot: the IndexedDB interface gives Web applications a way to work even without a network connection.


    • Chromium on Ubuntu 10.04 Slower than Firefox?
      I finally tried my ISP's DNS servers and that seemed to take hold, though I don't know why. It shouldn't make a difference but I've been surfing from my Lucid Lynx VM for two days now without a hitch. That leads me to my second problem.








  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSF take on Apple's App Store over GPL2 code
      The Free Software Foundation has said it has approached Apple because a GPL2 licensed application, a port of GNU Go, is available from Apple's App Store. The FSF say that distribution through the App Store is not in compliance with the GPL's conditions because they clash with Apple's terms and conditions. The developers of the application, are also not in compliance with the GPL as they do not currently distribute the source for the application. Brett Smith, writing on the FSF blog, is at pains to say that the FSF have not sued Apple or made any legal demand and says the only reason they are announcing this is because Apple has removed applications from the store before without explanation and that they want to prevent wild speculation.








  • Standards/Consortia

    • Hancom to lose government office monopoly
      This is important news. The crucial paragraph:

      "The National Assembly Research Service (NARS), a parliamentary unit that provides policy research and analysis for legislators, now claims that government organizations should be required to use software products that support open standards. The idea is to eventually allow government documents to be created, read and edited by a wider variety of office applications run on any type of computer operating system, NARS said."

      But let's continue:

      [...]

      Supposedly, according to an Hancom spokesperson, "``ODF is supported on Hancom Office 2010, which was released last year." But I do wonder what "supported" means here; as well, as the article points out,








Leftovers



  • Finance

    • UniCredit Chief Sees Euro Regaining Trust
      The failure of investors to treat the euro area as a unified market could set a dangerous precedent for the bloc’s future, according to the chief of the giant European cross-border lender UniCredit.

      “If I say I am not funding a company because it’s a Spanish company or a Greek company, we have a problem,” Alessandro Profumo, the chief executive, said during a recent interview in Paris. “This is a way of thinking on the topic that could create serious problems.”


    • Nudity and the Financial Markets
      Last week Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany banned naked credit-default swaps on the bonds of European governments and naked short sales of the stock of the country’s 10 most important financial institutions.


    • United States and Germany remain divided over financial regulation issues
      Top U.S. and German officials on Thursday acknowledged differences over key financial regulation issues, and they said a "broad agreement" on basic concepts may not produce uniform rules in all the world's capital markets.


    • Lehman Brothers estate sues J.P. Morgan Chase
      The estate of Lehman Brothers Holdings sued J.P. Morgan Chase, alleging that the firm helped drive Lehman into bankruptcy by forcing it to give up billions of dollars in cash reserves that it otherwise could have used to stay afloat.

      The suit, filed Wednesday, says J.P. Morgan forced the now-failed bank to put up collateral in the days before it collapsed that sapped Lehman of cash that, at the least, would have enabled it to wind down operations in an orderly process.


    • Mortgage rates are back near record low
      Turmoil in the stock market and the European debt crisis are making life easier for American homebuyers and families looking to refinance: Mortgage rates are inching closer to a record low.

      The window of opportunity may close soon. Home loan rates will rise if investors grow more confident and shift money out of the safety of government bonds, which influence mortgage rates.


    • House Approves Pared-Down Spending Bill
      The House of Representatives approved pared-down legislation that would extend long-term employment benefits and revive several popular business tax breaks.

      Friday's vote came after Democrats patched divisions within their ranks over the bill's impact on the nation's budget deficit. The wide-ranging bill comes with a 10-year, $115 billion price tag, about half the cost of a more ambitious package unveiled just days ago.

      The legislation represented a modest but hard-fought accomplishment for Democratic leaders, who struggled for several days to build consensus on the measure, amid demands from fiscally conservative Democrats for greater financial restraint.


    • Republican senators want 'fair' process for Wall St. bill
      Senate Republicans sent a letter Thursday to the top Democratic Wall Street reform negotiators, Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, laying out the key principles they believe will lead to a successful merger of the House and Senate bills.


    • The Cult of Subprime Central Bankers
      The world is suffering from the worst downturn since the Great Depression. The crisis has left tens of millions unemployed in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere. The huge baby boomer generation in the United States, now on the edge of retirement, has seen much of its wealth destroyed with the collapse of the housing bubble.

      It would be difficult to imagine a worse economic disaster. Prior periods of bad performance, like the inflation ridden seventies, look like mild flurries compared to the blizzard of bad economic news in which we are now enmeshed.


    • Wall Street's War
      The real shocker is a thing known among Senate insiders as "716." This section of an amendment would force America's banking giants to either forgo their access to the public teat they receive through the Federal Reserve's discount window, or give up the insanely risky, casino-style bets they've been making on derivatives. That means no more pawning off predatory interest-rate swaps on suckers in Greece, no more gathering balls of subprime shit into incomprehensible debt deals, no more getting idiot bookies like AIG to wrap the crappy mortgages in phony insurance. In short, 716 would take a chain saw to one of Wall Street's most lucrative profit centers: Five of America's biggest banks (Goldman, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup) raked in some $30 billion in over-the-counter derivatives last year. By some estimates, more than half of JP Morgan's trading revenue between 2006 and 2008 came from such derivatives. If 716 goes through, it would be a veritable Hiroshima to the era of greed.


    • Are Goldman Sachs and the Megabanks Able to Wipe out an Entire Economy with a Keystroke?
      "We have found no evidence that these events were triggered by 'fat finger' errors, computer hacking, or terrorist activity, although we cannot completely rule out these possibilities," a recent Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) report on the so-called May 6 "Flash Crash" that wiped out a cool trillion in a mere half-hour weakly admitted. "Much work is needed to determine all of the causes of the market disruption."


    • Goldman Sachs' Morality Play
      After SEC civil charges were lodged against the firm on April 16, Goldman executives mounted a vigorous public defense. Two weeks later, when reports surfaced of Main Justice's emerging criminal probe directed at both the company and an individual executive, Goldman's tone suddenly changed from recalcitrance to conciliation. No surprise--settlement of the civil case is now in negotiation. The mere threat of corporate criminal indictment appears to have changed Goldman's, and the government's, game plan entirely.


    • FT: GS Seeks to Pay “$100s of Millions” to Resolve SEC Charge
      Forget the settlement, I want to know this: Who was the dipshit lawyer that advised Goldman Sachs to fight this tooth and nail? Was it some executive who simply charged ahead, Dick Fuld style? I’d like to know who totally failed to anticipate the political climate, the public reaction, the prosecutors attitude, and myriad factors that has turned this into a giant disaster. Even if GS were to prevail in court, they have already lost. The reputational damage is already measured in $ billions, and will last years if not decades.








Clip of the Day



NASA CONNECT: Atmospheric Detectives (11/19/2003)

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