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Links 12/8/2010: MontaVista Meld Update, '$35 Tablet' Demo

GNOME bluefish



  • Jean Staten Healy: IBM's Worldwide Linux Strategy
    In October of 2000, IBM CEO Louis Gerstner announced that the company would investing $1 billion in Linux development. This announcement came off the heels of two substantial developments in the industry. Google, unknown at the time, appeared with Linux servers in 1998, and Dell announced they would begin pre-installing Linux on select servers in 1999. A few years later in 2004, Big Blue made a formal declaration of sorts in a series of television commercials that culminated with a commercial that aired during Super Bowl XXXVIII, announcing their commitment to a partnership with the Linux community. While intended as a signal to their competitors and the market at large, the message had an unexpected effect on an unexpected audience. It was a celebration heard round the world. The underground community that was beginning to evolve around the Linux operating system had received a shot of notoriety in the arm. The global community of corporate giants had just validated the movement with this one very public endorsement. Then, just as quickly as it had happened, there was silence.

  • Server

    • Moving HPC Closer to The Desktop
      I’ll get back to my coverage of R real soon, but I wanted to continue my thoughts on Cloud HPC. In addition, one of the reasons I need to postpone this article again is my small personal Limulus cluster had to be been taken apart, measured, checked, and reassembled. I use this cluster to try things (like R) and develop software. I am working with a sheet metal fabricator on the next (and final) revision of case modifications. I also installed a new kernel that caused some USB issues. I resolved the issue by using a different cable, but the old kernel still works fine with both cables, go figure. Without USB I cannot control the power to the nodes (unless I rewire some things), so it was slow going for a while. In any case, I had more thoughts about Cloud HPC as well.

  • Google

    • Chrome 6 enters beta, provides more speed and features
      After quite a lot of Dev channel releases, the first Chrome 6 build to have a beta tag (v6.0.472.33) has been made available to the general public for testing and, why not, regular use. The Chrome 6 beta is up to 64% faster than the latest Chrome 5 release and it comes with added features too.

  • Kernel Space

    • Top challenges for Linux kernel team outlined at LinuxCon
      Linux Foundation fellow and new Google hire Ted Ts’o — who is said to be the first Linux kernel developer in North America - said the kernel is as robust these days as any other Unix kernel or any OS kernel out there.

      Yet he sees scalability as one significant challenge for the Linux kernel (all kernels, really) with the “advent of very large numbers of CPUs on a chip. “We thought scalability was largely solved two years ago,” but multicore processing will impose more stringest demands going forward, he said, pointing out that low end laptops will boast 16 to 32 cores in no time.

    • Qualcomm Pushes For Less Linux Fragmentation
      Linux is broadly available on mobile devices, but competing implementations could lead to problems down the road for developers and confusion for customers, according to a Qualcomm executive.

      "There is some fragmentation and that's a challenge. There is no mobile equivalent of x86," said Rob Chandhok, president of the Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC), a division of chip and mobile phone technology provider Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM). "There is a plethora of different configurations for different handsets.

    • Announcing the LinuxCon Just for Fun Poll Winners!
      Today we're announcing the results of our LinuxCon 2010 Just for Fun Poll. A couple of weeks ago we asked you, the community, to vote for your picks in a variety of categories that complemented the focus of LinuxCon: development, IT operations and business. And, we threw some in "just for fun," too. The multiple choice responses were determined by our writers and appeared to be just about the right, since none of our write-ins received as many votes as the existing choices.

    • Btrfs, EXT4 & ZFS On A Solid-State Drive
      With the benchmarks recently looking at the performance of ZFS on FreeBSD versus EXT4/Btrfs on Linux having generated much interest and a very long discussion, this morning we are back with more benchmarks when running ZFS on FreeBSD/PC-BSD 8.1 and Btrfs and EXT4 on an Ubuntu Linux 10.10 snapshot with the most recent kernel, but this time the disk benchmarking is being done atop a high-performance solid-state drive courtesy of OCZ Technology and the CPU is an Intel Core i7. The drive being tested across these three leading file-systems is the OCZ Vertex 2 that promises maximum reads up to 285MB/s, maximum writes up to 275MB/s, and sustained writes up to 250MB/s.

    • Graphics Stack

      • [RFC] Multitouch protocol specification v1
        Below is the first public draft of the multitouch protocol specification, part of the future X Input Extension version 2.1. Earlier versions of this draft have been sent around in private and I'd like to thank Chase Douglas, Carlos Garnacho, Rafi Rubin, Henrik Rydberg, and Daniel Stone for their feedback during this cycle.

      • NVIDIA Puts Out More X Sync Object Patches
        Back in June there were patches published by NVIDIA for X Synchronization Fences after it was in planning since before last year's X Developers' Summit.

      • ATI Radeon R600 Mesa Classic Driver Can Do OpenGL 2.1
        As many people have been quick to report out today in the forums, on Phoronix IRC, and via email, the ATI R600 Mesa DRI driver for the Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 series graphics cards now properly advertises OpenGL 2.1 / GL Shading Language 1.20 support.

      • Nouveau In Linux 2.6.36 Has NVIDIA Fermi Mode-Setting
        What is most interesting about this second Direct Rendering Manager pull request for the Linux 2.6.36 kernel is what's brought on the side of the Nouveau driver: kernel mode-setting support for the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 400 "Fermi" series. While the GeForce GTX 470/480 graphics cards were launched back in March and greeted by support within NVIDIA's proprietary Linux driver, up to this point there has been no open-source support.

      • AMD Gets Back To Working On The Geode Linux Driver
        Martin-Éric Racine has just announced the release candidate of the X.Org Geode 2.11.9 driver in preparations for the X.Org 7.6 Katamari. The AMD Geode driver is not to be confused with the AMD/ATI Radeon drivers for Linux, but rather this is the driver Geode GX and Geode LX embedded SoC such as what's used by the One-Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project. When announcing this driver, Martin-Éric has shared that AMD engineers are back to actually contributing work towards this driver.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Aldacom Offers GPS/Linux PC/GPRS Breadboard
      Aldacom GmbH, of Neu-Isenburg, Germany, recently announced the debut of the AldaLogic C10/3, a breadboard containing an embedded Linux PC on a surface measuring 104 x 63 millimeters.

    • MontaVista Software Launches Meld 2.0 Next Generation Community for Developers of Embedded Linux Devices
      MontaVista(R) Software, LLC, a leader in embedded Linux(R) commercialization, today announced the launch of Meld 2.0, the next generation of the embedded Linux community sponsored by MontaVista. Meld is an active community for all developers of embedded Linux devices. The next-generation Meld introduces a new look and feel to the community along with a new URL,, making it easier for users to connect and share information on embedded Linux design challenges.

    • MontaVista revamps Linux community website
      MontaVista Software has announced the launch of the latest release of its Meld online embedded Linux community.

    • Phones

      • Chrome OS vs WebOS
        Earlier on last week we examined the startling similarities between Google’s Chrome OS and Jolicloud. Of-course Chrome OS hasn’t even been released yet, but I felt it more than fitting to compare the two operating systems by virtue of the purpose that they either serve or will attempt to serve in the future.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Nokia N900 Giving A Good Run For Its Money To Blackberries
          It is the one smartphone device that is sure to give you the computer like experience and that too it work on the ultra fast Linux based software. The Nokia N900, for all practical purposes is a next generation phone device only.

        • A new OS hits version 1.0
          I have another Linux-based OS, Ubuntu, installed that uses its own bootloader. Jolicloud showed up as a second option in the Windows bootloader after that. When I chose it, it completed installation and setup of a user account — pretty standard for any Linux-based OS. It got weird when it demanded that, before anything else, I connect to the Internet. It takes this cloud computing thing pretty seriously! Fortunately, it recognized my wireless network hardware and connected to my home router once I gave it the proper credentials.

      • Android

        • Motorola's pumped-up Droid 2 ships Thursday
          The Droid 2 — successor to the Motorola Droid phone that helped amp up adoption of Android-based phones — will be available from Verizon Wireless for online pre-order Wednesday, and available in Verizon stores Thursday. The phone costs $199.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate and signing a two-year contract.

        • Vodafone backs down in Android row

          Phone giant Vodafone has backed down in a row with customers over software updates for Google Android phones.

          Last week, many customers who own HTC Desire smartphones were prompted to download a software update which they believed was an upgrade to Android.

          Instead it installed irremovable Vodafone-branded apps and bookmarks, including links to dating sites.

        • Top 10 Android Tablets: Dell Streak Pricing, Sale Date Set
          Google's open source mobile platform Android just surpassed Apple's iOS in the smartphone operating system market in terms of sales for the second quarter, and the next big battleground looks to be the tablet market -- where Android-based mobile devices will come up against Apple's impressive iPad.

          Right now the only readily available Android tablet is the Archos 7 Home Tablet, a low cost 7-inch, touchscreen device with no accelerometer and an outdated resistive touchscreen that lacks the ability to download and run mobile apps from the Android Market.

        • Dell Streak will launch this week in U.S.
          Dell announced that it will take pre-orders for its Dell Streak Android tablet on Thursday, with sales beginning the next day. Selling for $300 with a new two-year AT&T contract, and $550 without, the Dell Streak is as much a large phone as it is a tablet, offering voice telephony as well as a five-inch, WVGA display.

        • Android 3 plans ahead
          Most Android users are only now upgrading to version 2.2 of Google's mobile phone operating system but with version 3.0 expected in October, it's worth taking a look at what to expect.

          Google's Android continues to go from strength to strength and is now regularly compared to Apple's iPhone as the real competitor to that platform. And although already very capable the next version of Android, 3.0, promises to be significantly better.

        • Launching Android Apps

    • Tablets

      • Early take on India's $35 tablet: 'Fairly impressive'
        Remember that $35 tablet out of India we told you about last month? If you want to see the much-talked-about prototype in moving color, a gadget show on Indian television just featured an exclusive hands-on that could help dissipate some of the skepticism about the device.

        "Everybody actually said, 'It cannot happen, a $35 tablet,' and not only does it exist, it works and it works brilliantly," said Rajiv Makhni, co-host of the show "Gadget Guru," who took the computer through its paces with show cohort Vikram Chandra and then talked all aspects of the gadget with Kapil Sibal, the country's Minister for Human Resource Development and the same guy who officially unveiled the super-cheap touch-screen device. Aimed at the country's students, it's being called India's answer to Nicholas Negroponte's famed OLPC laptop.

      • India's $35 Tablet is No Vaporware

      • Media unveils Indian laptop @ Rs 1500

      • $35 laptop in India a reality

      • India's $35 Tablet is No Vaporware
        If you thought the Indian HRD ministry's attempt at making that $35 (Rs. 1,500) laptop is pure government fantasy and the usual pep talk we see from the Indian government, be ready to be surprised. Not only does the tablet exist in a prototype form, it actually works pretty well - and how!

      • $35 Tablet makes an appearance on Indian TV (video)
        The Gadget Gurus, the Subcontinent's answer to The Engadget Show, got a special hands-on with that $35 Tablet PC the world's been buzzing about -- delivered by none other than India's Human Resource Development Minister, Kapil Sibal himself. While constantly referring to "the $35 laptop" (we guess you could hold it in your lap) Mr. Sibal gave us the following info: it sports 2GB RAM, WiFI and 3G, microSD storage, and it runs the Android OS. Additionally, it rocks video out and a webcam -- in short,

      • HP preps Android e-reader as WebOS tablet pushes to 2011
        Hewlett-Packard (HP) is preparing a "Zeen" Android e-reader that interfaces with a new HP printer, says an industry report. Meanwhile, HP has postponed its WebOS-based "Hurricane" tablet to 1Q 2011, and the company -- beleaguered by the recent resignation of CEO Mark Hurd -- lost the lead designer of the WebOS-based Palm Pre, say reports.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Linux compliance program a response to surging open-source use
    The Open Compliance Program announced by the Linux Foundation on Tuesday is a response to the surging growth in the use of open-source technologies within enterprises, and by makers of consumer electronic and mobile devices, analysts say.

    Much of the program appears to be directed at addressing what many analysts said is continuing confusion among makers of embedded devices about open-source licensing requirements. But enterprises can benefit from the program as well, they added.

    The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit group that is focused on fostering Linux growth, announced a set of open-source tools, training materials and a self-assessment checklist designed to help companies comply with open-source license requirements.

  • Zenoss Releases 2010 Open Source Systems Management Survey Report
    Reveals flexibility, not cost, drives open source systems management adoption

  • Events

  • Oracle

    • Oracle Charges Into Desktop Virtualization With VDI 3.2
      Oracle is expanding the role it seeks to play in enterprise virtualization by augmenting a former Sun Microsystems approach to desktop virtualization, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, now in release 3.2.

      Oracle VDI 3.2 is a comprehensive approach, starting with a virtualized host, standardized desktop images that run on a server and provide services to end users, which includes delivery of high performance multimedia, such as video and graphics. In addition, it includes a management console, explained Wim Coekaerts, senior VP of Linux and Virtualization Engineering. "This is the first major release of VDI branded with the Oracle look and feel. Oracle is thoroughly committed to the desktop virtualization space," Coekaerts said in an interview.

    • Oracle launches new version of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
      Oracle has launched Virtual Desktop Infrastructure 3.2, which provides a complete management, hosting and access offerings for virtualised desktops hosted in the datacenter.

  • Project Releases

    • My first post, introducing iX.
      To start with I’d like to thank Martin from #iphonelinux for not only setting up our wordpress blog but also for sponsoring the domain. The purpose of this blog is to document the progress of building iX prior to it’s release.

    • opentaps 1.5M1 Released
      There are also some other important enhancements, including a more extensible domains directory for the domains driven architecture, new configuration entities, and configurable security for opentaps that I wrote about in my last quarterly update. Finally, this version includes the full set of new Chinese translations for opentaps.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Are citizens ready for Open Data and Government?
        Data is raw input to economic initiatives just like money or labour, in the sense that it can have the same or greater economic value. Opening public data may be enough to foster many economic activities, because that's all the single, very few entrepreneurs or activists who already wanted those data need. When it comes to transparency in government or relations between citizens and politicians, open data work in practice only if many, many people actually study and process them. But today much, much less people are already prepared to accept and use raw data than blog posts, TV debates or other kinds of inputs. This is a point that has been recently raised by others:

        * The Literacy Challenge of Open Data: "We need a data-literate citizenry, not just a small elite of hackers and policy wonks" * From Gov 1.0 to Gov 2.0: a change in users, too: study demonstrates that current (Italian) Web 2.0 users are not interested in eGovernment"


  • Department for Communities paid for massages, chauffeurs and trip to Blackpool pleasure beach
    The breakdown revealed that the government offices for the regions ran up bills of more than €£100,000 on market research and polling last year.

    The department also spent more than €£1,600 on massages for staff and €£539 on an awayday trip to Blackpool pleasure beach.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Unprecedented warming in Lake Tanganyika and its impact on humanity
      Lake Tanganyika, in East Africa, is the second largest lake in the world (by volume). The lake supports a prodigious sardine fishery which provides a major source of animal protein for the region as well as employment for around 1 million people. Direct observations over past 90 years find that Lake Tanganyika has warmed significantly. At the same time, there's been a drop in primary productivity in the lake impacting sardine populations. To further explore this matter, geologists took lake cores to determine the lake's surface temperature back to 500 AD (Tierney 2010). They found that warming in the last century is unprecedented over the last 1500 years.

    • Is climate change burning Russia?
      Russia has sweltered under an intense heatwave since mid-July, recording its highest ever temperatures. The heat has caused widespread drought, ruined crops and encouraged wildfires that have blanketed Moscow in smog and now threaten key nuclear sites. According to the head of Moscow's health department, the city's daily death rate has doubled – up to 700 from the usual average of 360 to 380.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Prior Restraint Lives: Newspaper Blocked From Publishing Photo of Murder Suspect
      We’re not sure what’s more alarming: that a local California judge has barred the Los Angeles Times from publishing lawfully obtained photos of a murder defendant, or that an appeals court has just decided not to immediately reverse this clear exercise of prior restraint.

      Prior restraint smacks at the heart of the First Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court has never tolerated it, even in the 1971 “Pentagon Papers” case. Then, the justices refused to block The New York Times from publishing sensitive documents concerning the nation’s involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967.

    • Social networking: The good, the bad & the ugly

    • GUADEC: Danny O'Brien on privacy, encryption, and the desktop
      Journalist and digital rights activist Danny O'Brien came to GUADEC to try to educate GNOME hackers about the threats facing journalists, their computers, and their online communication from governments and organized crime. But free software can help, so he wanted to outline the features that he thinks could be added to desktops to help secure them and protect the privacy of all users, not just journalists. Part of his job as internet advocacy coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is to talk to internet developers and "persuade them to think about how journalists in repressive regimes are affected" by the choices those developers make.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Music Festival Producer Pre-Sues Bootleggers
        Ah, pre-crime. THREsq has a worrisome story of a couple of recent lawsuits by concert producers pre-suing potential bootleggers claiming trademark infringement. Yes, they're claiming trademark infringement for something that hasn't happened yet, and simply listing out hundreds of John Doe and Jane Does who can later be filled in. As a part of this, they're getting law enforcement involved by using the lawsuit to ask the court to order US Marshalls, local and state police and even off-duty officers to go ahead and seize and impound the bootlegged material.

      • How Many Times Will Content Industries Claim The Sky Is Falling Before People Stop Believing Them?
        There isn't necessarily anything new in the paper. Many of you probably know all of these stories, and they've been discussed at length over the years in posts and comments here on Techdirt. However, it's nice to put a bunch of them together in a single document just to highlight the same pattern over and over again:

        1. New technology 2. Legacy industry freaks out saying the world is ending 3. Industry flocks to DC & the courts to demand fixing 4. Turns out that the new technology actually increases the market

      • Is the Sky Falling on the Content Industries?
        Content owners claim they are doomed, because in the digital environment, they can't compete with free. But they've made such claims before. This short essay traces the history of content owner claims that new technologies will destroy their business over the last two centuries. None have come to pass. It is likely the sky isn't falling this time either. I suggest some ways content may continue to thrive in the digital environment.

      • ACTA

Clip of the Day

Richard M. Stallman Diputados 2008

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