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Links 16/6/2010: OpenCL 1.1, LinuxTag 2010 Coverage



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Contents





GNU/Linux

  • Linux, trojans and viruses. A real threat?
    For a viable Linux virus to be written it would have to hack into the Linux system, escalate it's privileges to root and then start infecting files.


  • Why Learn Linux at All
    Linux gives you the freedom to deepen and assimilate as much information as possible, and when you understand things from the inside out that will change your way of seeing and working with her. To me there is no operating system provides this flexibility and control.




  • Desktop

    • Why Ubuntu is harder than Windows
      Installing Software: To install a piece of software on Windows you just follow a few easy steps. First you go to the store and buy the software, then you pop the CD into your disc drive, enter the CD key, wait for the software to install itself onto the hard drive, and you are good to go! Be sure to put the CD and key in a safe place in case you ever need to reinstall the software.

      On Ubuntu to install a piece of software you open the software center. Type in the name of the software you are looking for (or browse by category), click install, and wait for the software to download and install.

      Default Software: Windows offers a fantastic default software install. Need to write a paper? No worries, Windows has the feature-rich Wordpad. Want to surf the net? Internet Explorer has always provided a safe webrowsing experience.

      Ubuntu's default software selection is somewhat disappointing. It has a full featured word processor, spreadsheet editor, and presentation creator. I know most people don't use facebook or twitter, but just in case you do Ubuntu includes Gwibber, a software that fully integrates your social networking with your desktop. For webrowsing Ubuntu only has Firefox and if you want to instant message Ubuntu's Empathy only supports facebook, AIM, yahoo, MSN, IRC...


    • Linux User? 7 Good Reasons to Go Back to Windows
      1. The Sky is Blue And so is Heaven! BLUE! Why do you think the screen goes blue from time to time in your Windows system? That's a reminder of what is to come and what is in store for you once Windows gets to be 8. A vertical infinity of BLUE SCREENS! Surely, you don't want to miss it, do you?

      2. Less Clutter Means SOMETHING It means what? How would I know?? You have to meditate to get the answer! Windows XP gave you Explorer and Windows Movie Maker. Vista didn't give you Movie Maker, but gave you a demon--stration of Office 2007! Windows 7 Starter didn't give you anything! Meditate with me: Less is more, less is more, less is more...




  • Audiocasts





  • Graphics Stack





  • Applications





  • Desktop Environments



    • GNOME Desktop

      • Using Gnome-Shell – Day 1


      • Using Gnome-Shell – Day 2
        Day 2 was a non event. I am beginning to generally dislike Gnome-Shell. It is not the optimum user interface. I am seriously beginning to have my doubts about Ubuntu switching to Gnome-Shell, let’s hope they have something up their sleeve to save Ubuntu from a clunky interface.






    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE at SouthEast LinuxFest
        Celeste also gave a great talk about how KDE is EVERYWHERE! It focused on enlightening the Linux community about how we’re not only on the desktop, but are also spreading our technologies into mobile, netbook, and cloud based environments. She spent some time talking about how KDE is not just software but also a vibrant community including our developers and users. Finally she also covered some of the latest and greatest features of the 4.4 and 4.5 SC releases and introduced the new “Join the game” campaign.


      • LinuxTag from my view
        Now of course I shouldn't dismiss the other people at the booth, I especially think Torsten Thelke (our KDE e.V. intern) did an amazing job, and so did Frederik in his sometimes-scary way. Yes, showing off Fluffy Bunny themed plasma desktops, then jumping some of your fellow booth mates for a hug could be off-putting.










  • LinuxTag

    • [systemd:] Slides from LinuxTag 2010


    • Gentoo at LinuxTag 2010: A look back
      Chithanh participated in the distro contest for us and also was part of the team winning the hacking contest. I assume with his Gentoo shirt on in that moment. The hopefully complete list of current developers who I met on LinuxTag is: lu_zero, idl0r, polynomial-c, dertobi123, amne, rbu, hollow, chithanh, a3li, vorlon, hanno. Current Gentoo-GSoC student Andreas Nüsslein (rewriting webapp-config) also came by, Timo Antweiler said hello, too. Thanks for the chocolate to lu_zero, thanks to the helpful and friendly LinuxTag team (especially Jacqueline), thanks to everyone helping out, especially to Sebastian Dyroff for joining with setup on Tuesday evening. See you again next year!






  • Distributions



    • New Releases

      • Parted Magic partitioning tool updated
        Parted Magic developer Patrick Verner has released version 4.11 of his open source, multi-platform partitioning tool. Parted Magic can be used to create, move, delete and resize drive partitions and will run on a machine with as little as 64MB of RAM. File systems supported include NTFS, FAT, ReiserFS, Reiser4 and HFS+. LVM and RAID are also supported.








    • Red Hat Family

      • Does Open Source Suffer From A Glass Ceiling?
        But looking up today's market cap shows Red Hat with a 5.9B market cap. Not too bad for a company that is doing 750 million in revenue.


      • Red Hat Provides Snapshot Into Red Hat Summit and JBoss World Content
        The Red Hat Summit and JBoss World team presented a preview into this year’s events during a one-hour Red Hat Summit and JBoss World in a Glimpse webinar offering. Four Red Hat presenters, including Red Hat’s global events strategy manager, JBoss product line director and two product marketing directors, detailed why customers, partners and community members attend the event, described the typical attendee and outlined highlights of the events from recurring session topics to the many networking opportunities.


      • Red Hat Summit: Even Microsoft Will Lend a Virtualization Hand
        Frankly, it’s difficult to track everything that’s expected to occur at Red Hat Summit, because the open source company continues to diversify beyond its Linux heritage to promote JBoss middleware and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV). Here’s how The VAR Guy expects the conference to unfold…








    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 10.04 review
        UNR, the netbook version, benefits most from the new theme and more efficient use of screen space, but we're waiting for Canonical's Unity and Gnome 3.0 for any real taste of revolution on the small screen.

        What we're left with is a division. If you're not a current Linux user then Ubuntu offers the best Linux experience you can have. The desktop looks ultra-modern and the package manager is slick, expansive and easy to use.

        But if you're a Linux user looking for a spring break from your current distribution, this release doesn't do enough to warrant the upgrade. While it looks nice, there's no real innovation and nothing we can get too excited about.


      • How does Ubuntu do it?
        I’m again stuck with a full-blown Ubuntu desktop, full of goodies I don’t need and running much slower than I could make it run. But here’s the maddening part, it works. Right-click folder, share, adjusting smb.conf, done. Even worse, I can’t find any reference to my share in smb.conf ! If I knew where the right config is saved, I could simply copy/paste it to a leaner system, but now I can’t.

        Curse you Ubuntu! Curse you for making my life so easy and so difficult at the same time!










  • Devices/Embedded



    • Android

      • Exclusive: Motorola Droid X preview
        Not interested in waiting until the 23rd for Verizon's big announcement? Don't worry, we've got you covered right now! The Motorola Droid X has probably been one of the worst kept smartphone secrets in recent memory, but after spending two hours with the phone we sort of see why. In short, it's pretty awesome. Call it a superphone or a mega-smartphone, but the 4.4-inch handset is absolutely Verizon / Motorola's answer to the HTC EVO 4G, and makes the Droid Incredible look like a bench warmer. What do we mean? We'll let you see for yourself just after the break in a breakdown of exactly what this phone is all about -- and in a video or three of it in action. Oh, and on your way down, make sure to feast your eyes on the gallery, too.


      • DejaOffice Unveils New Productivity Features for Android












Free Software/Open Source

  • 'Appleseed' Open Source Alternative to Facebook Gathers Steam
    All-volunteer, open source Appleseed project seeks to decentralize the social web, and turns to crowdsourcing website IndieGogo.com for funding.


  • A Fatal Flaw For Open Source
    Treb Ryan is chief executive of OpSource, a company that specializes in enterprise cloud and managed hosting. In a recent interview with Forbes, Ryan explains his analysis of how the multi-tenant architecture used for most large software-as-a-service applications will become dominant and present a challenge to the relevance and importance of a large amount of open source software.


  • How Open Source Can Lead to Improved Management of Customer Data


  • Ready For Open Source WAN Acceleration?
    Enter open-source WAN acceleration. Don't expect to see open-source alternatives as mature as those in NMS, but projects like WANProxy and Squid can perform surprisingly well if you have some Linux talent on staff. WANProxy accelerates and compresses TCP and Squid does the brute-force work of caching; drop the software onto some spare servers and your staff can get a feel for the benefits of WAN optimization for short dollars.


  • Open Source Software Company Joins Forces with ForgeRock
    ForgeRock OpenAM, initially created by Sun Microsystems is an open source access management, entitlements and federation server platform.




  • Mozilla







  • Oracle

    • Geek Of The Week: Larry Ellison
      He also attended the University of Chicago before finding his calling in software at the Ampex Corporation, where he created a database for the CIA called Oracle. It was up from there, and Oracle became a huge force in the enterprise software world. Ellison is known for his extravagant taste, and his home cost about $200 million.








  • Healthcare

    • Halamka: Open standards are 'key to interoperability'
      At the Opensource.com Open Your World Forum on May 27, John D. Halamka, MD, CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and CIO of Harvard Medical School, described where open source and open standards fit into the ARRA expectations for healthcare IT. The short answer is, everywhere.

      “We run a data center with a couple of petabytes of healthcare data for three million patients and the entire infrastructure is run on Red Hat technologies,” Halamka said. “We have multiple data centers, multiple clusters of Linux servers and we haven’t had downtime in a couple of years. No CIO in healthcare is afraid of open source. In fact, the movement to Linux clusters that are highly reliable for healthcare is the way the back end in most healthcare data centers seem to be going.








  • Government

    • Open Source Software Gaining Acceptance (Opinion)
      In Inc.'s January 2005 article Open Source: It's Not Just for Geeks Anymore!, Al Canton wrote: "No one is quite sure how to define fire, but everyone knows what it is. Open source software is the same. Like fire, we know what open source does, we know what open source looks like, and we know it when we see it, but no one agrees on a definition."


    • Brazil and India: The Next Generation of Open Source
      India is a heavy user of open source. Sectors leveraging open source include software development outsourcing, business process outsourcing, government services, technical education as well as industries such as banking, insurance, manufacturing, oil and gas, defense and space. According to Wikipedia, India produces 2.5 million graduates every year from which only a small percentage, about 700,000 people are employed by India's BPO industry. The BPO industry which has flourished on cheap, skilled labor has started to leverage open source software based automation to gain further cost advantages.

      Brazil

      Brazil has also been a hotbed of open source activity in recent years. Government agencies, private industry, universities have been teaching and implementing open source solutions to create local centers of knowledge and gain expertise around open source in the country. Seeing India's success in IT outsourcing, Brazil has also declared an interest in using open source to gain leadership in the market of software development outsourcing.








  • Licensing

    • FOSS Compliance: What Are the Basics You Must Know?
      Software compliance isn’t exactly the sexiest topic we tackle at the Linux Foundation, but it’s one of the most important. While we focus *our* efforts on open source software, the vast majority of software compliance efforts are focused on proprietary licenses. Just ask a CIO of an enterprise who has been audited by one of their software suppliers recently, or look at the well funded efforts of the Business Software Alliance, an organization dedicated to stamping out piracy and keeping companies in compliance with their members.








  • Openness/Sharing

    • Free Art License


    • Open Correspondence
      From these we can infer what books, authors, or authors who influenced the author or were being influenced at the time. From this, we can see the growth of the social graph into the cultural graph. Essentially it is the same notion as the social graph but the cultural graph links items like books, poems and events together. In itself it means nothing but linked to the social graph, it allows the user to discover who is being written to whilst a book was being written. Is the author talking to other authors or only to his agent about it?


    • TfL Gives Data To Developers, Now National Rail Must Get Aboard
      Transport For London (TfL) is making its data freely available to web and mobile application developers, in a move that leaves Britain’s overground trains trailing.




    • Open Data

      • Open Data is necessary but not sufficient
        John Wilbanks is Director of Science Commons and a co-author of the Panton Principles. He has responded to my concerns about access to climate change data, with the observation that Open data is not the major problem or solution. I’ll comment at the bottom. I agree with what he says, but I will argue why there is a role for Open Knowledge in this issue.


      • Exoplanet Hunter’s First Data Withholds the Good Stuff
        Without all the data in hand, it’s hard to answer the question that Kepler was built to answer: How common are planets like Earth? Though we now know hundreds of exoplanets, most of them are big, hot Jupiters around very bright stars that could not sustain any kind of life that we recognize. It’s easy to detect the bigger planets that orbit close to their stars because their gravity makes the star “wobble” more noticeably and their size dims its light more. So, the data we’ve collected on extrasolar planets over the last two decades is muddied by observation bias.










  • WebM

    • FSFE Newsletter - June 2010
      Good news about open video formats. In March both our sister organisation the FSF and our associated organisation FFII asked Google to free the video codec vp8 and use it on YouTube. This month Google announced they will do so. From now on users will be able use Free Software to play and encode the new WebM format. "WebM is based on the Matroska container format -- replacing Ogg -- and the VP8 video codec which replaces Theora. Crucially, the Vorbis audio codec is part of the new WebM specification."


    • Firefox 4 sneak peek flaunts Google open video codec
      Mozilla has turned out a Firefox 4 prototype that includes Google's newly open sourced WebM video format, while Opera has rolled the format into a developer build of its own.


    • Mozilla releases Firefox 3.7 Alpha 5 developer preview
      The Mozilla Developer Preview of Firefox 4.0 features several user interface changes, such as an updated Add-ons manager and Aero Glass support on Vista and Windows 7 systems, and adds support for the latest open WebM / VP8 video format introduced by Google as part of the WebM Project. Platform changes include an updated about:memory page that shows the amount of memory being consumed, Mac support for Cocoa event model for NPAPI plug-ins used by Flash 10.1 and the latest Apple Java plug-in, and support for ChromeWorkers with jscytupes.








Leftovers

  • Texas schools board rewrites US history with lessons promoting God and guns
    Cynthia Dunbar does not have a high regard for her local schools. She has called them unconstitutional, tyrannical and tools of perversion. The conservative Texas lawyer has even likened sending children to her state's schools to "throwing them in to the enemy's flames". Her hostility runs so deep that she educated her own offspring at home and at private Christian establishments.


  • The Desktop PC Is *NEVER* Going Away. Period.




  • Environment

    • Gregor MacDonald - Energy, transportation, and transitions
      Gregor MacDonald is an independent energy analyst & investment consultant. He publishes public analysis to his website, Gregor.us and hosts the internet investment show, StockTwits.tv, with Howard Lindzon. He offers private consultancy and regular email newsletters on global energy trends & investment guidelines.

      I asked him some questions about his background, the state of global energy, the BP disaster, and California's dependency on oil...








  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • MEPs want an 'Internet of things'
      THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT has started calling for something it says is an "Internet of things".

      The "things" is stuff that combines electronic chips and Internet addresses.








  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Do you like the new sticker from Defective by Design?
      The campaign to free the digital world from Digital Restrictions Management just got a new sticker. The old one is on my laptop’s screen represents the famous iPod silhouettes with white wires acting as shackles. It was a simple and powerful design. The new one is a the famous 1984 Apple ad, but I’m not sure its message is as clear as before. It also seems to give a sense of ‘victory’ for Apple fans: they now rule the digital world –with shackles, ok, but still winning.


    • Wireless Oligopoly Is Smother of Invention
      If the people who brought us television had played by the same rules that today’s wireless carriers impose — we’d probably all be listening to the radio.

      Which is a nice way of saying the wireless industry — AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile — needs some ground rules that make clear they are common carriers that get the right to rent the airwaves by abiding by fair rules.

      Right now, they play by their own rules.

      Imagine if the wireless carriers controlled your wired broadband connection or your television set. You’d have to buy your television from your cable company, with a two-year contract, and when that ended, you’d have to ask them to unlock it so you could take it to another provider.








  • Copyrights

    • James Gannon – Is He Responding To His Master’s Voice?
      Who exactly is James Gannon representing? He claims, as does Barry Sookman, that what he publishes in his blog is his own opinion. But is it really? Your life experiences, including work are part of what colors your opinions. We know that he’s a lawyer. We don’t know who his clients are – and those clients and their interests will have had an effect on his opinions. But he refuses to say who they are.


    • Assassinate a Pop Star By Illegally Downloading Music
      Anti-piracy campaigns come and go every other month – most of them are either endlessly boring or end up becoming an object of ridicule. A new one just launched takes the form of a site which appears to offer free downloads from top artists, but with a twist. Clicking to download results in various pop stars meeting a grisly end by a bullet to the head or a careless hand grenade.


    • Music Biz Set To “3 Strike” Two-Thirds of Irish Broadband
      Keeping its promise to Ireland’s largest ISP, Eircom, the music industry has targeted the country’s second largest ISP, Vodafone. According to a new report, Vodafone is in talks with the Irish Recorded Music Association about issuing warnings and eventually disconnecting its file-sharing customers. Since its introduction last month, around 800 Eircom customers have already received their first strike.










Clip of the Day



Tony Whitmore on RSS: News, blogs and podcasts (2006)

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