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Links 15/10/2010: Fusion Fedora 14, MeeGo 1.1 for ARM



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Contents





GNU/Linux

  • Five problems Linux still needs to overcome
    Greg Kroah-Hartman's, a Linux kernel developer and a Novell engineer, Linux Driver Project (LDP), has been creating Linux drivers for years for anything that any vendor brought to the project that needed one made for it for years now. Kroah-Hartman and his crew of open-source developers charge nothing to create Linux hardware drivers. Despite that, a handful of companies still won't release Linux drives. Other companies, like Wi-Fi chip vendor Broadcom, that have been slow to release Linux drivers has recently taken to making them. So what's the real problem?

    I think there are several problems hiding under the 'drivers' issues. First, even now some hardware doesn't have any Linux drivers, or, more commonly, the drivers aren't that good. That's true of Windows as well, but people seem to give Windows a pass for this kind of thing.


  • Aruba Revs Its Wireless Gear with ArubaOS 6.0 release
    ArubaOS is the underlying network operating system that powers Aruba's wireless access points and controllers, and is built on top of a Linux base. With ArubaOS 6.0, new spectrum analysis, security and quality of service capabilities are being baked in. The new ArubaOS comes as Aruba is growing its market footprint following a partnership deal with Dell.


  • Linux users to get AUSkey access before Christmas
    The key replaces the need to separately log into online government services with a username and password, and is integrated into commercial software to provide businesses with a point of access to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) portals, its electronic commerce interface, and the Australian Business Register.


  • Desktop

    • Christmas? It's Still 90 Degrees Here..
      But for us with with The HeliOS Project, it's one of the most satisfying times of the year...haranguing advertising notwithstanding.

      Last year, between November 1st and December 25th, we built and gave away 41 computers. Three of them I delivered and set up on Christmas Day.

      [...]

      We've blown through the machines gathered at this year's Linux Against Poverty event, planned and hosted by Lynn Bender. Having such an all-encompassing event twice in one year is just too much to ask of anyone...it takes months to plan and over 50 people to execute.




  • Server

    • Linux Foundation highlights growth, but what versions?
      The Linux Foundation survey also highlights continued gains for Linux at the expense of Unix, with 19.8% of respondents indicating a decrease in their use of the OS (compared with 18% decreasing use of Windows and only 1.8% decreasing use of Linux). Those planning on increased use were 76% for Linux, 41% for Windows and 19.5% for Unix. We also wonder whether Oracle’s end of support for OpenSolaris will perpetuate Unix-Linux migration?




  • Google

    • Google Testing Chrome OS Release Candidates. Official Release 1 Month Away?
      At their official unveiling event 11 months ago, Google promised that Chrome OS would be ready to by the end of this year — before the holiday season. It looks like they will be able to keep that promise, as bug comments on their Google Code site for the project indicate that the OS has already hit “RC” status — also known as “Release Candidate”.




  • Ballnux





  • Kernel Space

    • Solid-state storage devices and the block layer
      Over the last few years, it has become clear that one of the most pressing scalability problems faced by Linux is being driven by solid-state storage devices (SSDs). The rapid increase in performance offered by these devices cannot help but reveal any bottlenecks in the Linux filesystem and block layers. What has been less clear, at times, is what we are going to do about this problem. In his LinuxCon Japan talk, block maintainer Jens Axboe described some of the work that has been done to improve block layer scalability and offered a view of where things might go in the future.


    • Aava Mobile Joins Linux Foundation
      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that Aava Mobile has become its newest member. It will participate in the MeeGo project with specific emphasis around x86-based devices and the mobile user interface.




  • Applications



  • Desktop Environments



    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Solid Sprint Enhances Key KDE Platform Technologies
        Solid is the part of the KDE Platform that handles interaction with hardware, making it easy for application developers to deal with things like network availability by abstracting underlying libraries within a familiar KDE-style API. As such it is an essential component across all kinds of KDE software. It is getting clear that Solid is becoming a well defined team within KDE and everybody is exited about the idea of attracting more developers interested in hardware support to the desktop, mobile devices, netbooks, media center and beyond. There are now quite a few developers working on Solid so it was a good time to get them all together for a sprint in Madrid, Spain.






  • Distributions



    • New Releases



    • Red Hat Family



      • Fedora



        • Fusion Fedora 14 Remix beta Debuts
          Fusion Linux is a completely free and open source based Linux operating system, it is also a Fedora Remix. It is a installable Live DVD/USB image that includes multimedia functionality out of the box with added desktop tweaks for better usability and additional software.


        • First Look – Fusion Fedora 14 beta Gnome – Review
          Conclusion:

          Pros:

          * Very stable for a beta * Easy and safety-concious installer rivals or exceeds Ubuntu’s Ubiquity * Extra software via the RPM Fusion repositories and others * Nice Chrome web browser didn’t crash at all, as it does in some distro’s * Fast and no noticeable slowdowns or freezing under load * Great detection of video on both my testbed PC’s * Stylish and easy-to-use Desktop and menu * Rivals or maybe exceeds some aspects of Ubuntu though still beta

          Cons:

          * Somewhat large install, maybe release a Netbook or single CD version (probably already happening * Will it support nVidia proprietary graphic’s drivers, including Legacy?


        • Fedora 13: Fixing sound and video for the Lenovo G555
          In order for the "standard" fix to work for sound, I needed 2.6.34 and the full ALSA version 1.0.23 to go with it. Unfortunately, I had to get the missing ALSA bits — meaning the ALSA-driver — from another repo, as they're not in Fedora 13's official repository (and seemingly not needed to have working ALSA for reasons that continue to elude).






    • Debian Family



      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Unity and uTouch
          One of the most exciting things about the Ubuntu 10.10 release has been the delivery of the Unity ‘shell’ in Ubuntu Netbook Edition. For the uninitiated, this delivers a very different user experience to that in the main desktop edition. For a start the icons of the most popular applications are permanently featured on the left-hand side of the screen. This borrows more from the smartphone interfaces but is adapted for use on, in this case, netbooks. So there remains a workspace where users still have sufficient room to watch video, edit photos, create documents, play games, read the web, write emails – all of the usual tasks we use a computer for, day to day.


        • Maverick Upgrade *sigh*
          I’m fairly conservative when it comes to upgrading Ubuntu, every upgrade fails in some way on this System76 laptop. One week after the release of 10.10 and after asking lots of people if they had any problems. I decided to upgrade.

          I shouldn’t have bothered.


        • Installing Ubuntu 10.10


        • 50+ Beautiful Hand-picked Ubuntu Wallpapers
          Ubuntu is a computer operating system originally based on the Debian GNU/Linux distribution and distributed as free and open source software with additional proprietary software available.It is named after the Southern African philosophy of Ubuntu ("humanity towards others"). Ubuntu provides an up-to-date, stable operating system for the average user, with a strong focus on usability and ease of installation. Web statistics suggest that Ubuntu’s share of Linux desktop usage is about 50 percent, and upward trending usage as a web server.


        • Ubuntu - The Flagship Linux Desktop Distro
          The year after Ubuntu's first release the amount of searches of "Ubuntu" versus searches for "Linux" was 13 to 1


        • 10 Reasons to Install Ubuntu 10.10
          It's been a few days since I installed Ubuntu 10.10 and my initial good impressions have not only been confirmed, but exceeded. In my PREVIEW and REVIEW articles I covered some concepts and features that I considered innovative, surprising or simply welcome. Today I want to present 10 reasons why this release is totally worth it installing.


        • Spice up Ubuntu 10.10 desktop with Cairo-Dock
          Ubuntu 10.10, the latest edition of the popular Linux distribution, which was just reviewed here, ships with the same blank desktop that has come to identify the Ubuntu desktop. But you do not have to live with it. You can spice it up with a very simple and elegant application. You can go from the default desktop shown below, to a more sexy desktop.


        • Open Source Technologies: Ubuntu 10.10 Cozies Up to Android, iPhone and the Cloud
          The October 2010 release of Ubuntu Linux brings the usual slate of free and open-source software updates, alongside unique new capabilities around cloud services integration. The distribution's Ubuntu One personal cloud service adds interoperability with Android and iOS-based mobile devices, as well as new support for Windows.


        • Ubuntu 10.10 builds on app store, cloud service strengths


        • Askubuntu Support Site Has Good Pedigree
          All in all, it's great to see this kind of crowdsourced support for Ubuntu, and given the fact that lack of support is so often cited by IT administrators and users as a shortcoming with open source software, it could make a difference for the new version of Ubuntu. Check it out.








  • Devices/Embedded

    • $250 ARM9 computer supports PoE, sips two Watts
      The Linux-based Gateway Express 2 (GWX2) Embedded Computer incorporates Techsol's ARM9-based SA2410 Medallion module, and offers up to 64MB of SDRAM, a microSD slot, an Ethernet port, and four USB ports, says the company.


    • Phones

      • The biggest mistake Palm has made with WebOS
        Palm’s WebOS (a Linux variant) based phones have been out for a while but I haven’t had the need to consider them until recently (in the form of my Treo 650 broken down).

        My Treo 650 was a real workhorse, containing hundreds of contacts, thousands of calendar entries (I use the calendar actively and like to keep entries for a very long time for reference), lots of todos and memos. As a long time Linux/Ubuntu user, I have synchronized and backed up my Treo with JPilot, which is an excellent Linux application. In the past, I have used several Palm devices and I was always able to migrate my complete PIM database with ease between the old device and the new one.


      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo 1.1 for ARM handsets gets closer
          The MeeGo project says MeeGo 1.1 will be available soon for the Nokia N900 smartphone, which will be able to boot into either the MeeGo or Maemo flavors of Linux. Meanwhile, Aava Mobile, which is porting MeeGo to its Intel Atom N6xx based Aava Mobile smartphone reference design, joined MeeGo's overseer, the Linux Foundation.


        • Nokia Prepares to Give Developers a Look at High-End System
          As previously reported, Nokia has high hopes for the MeeGo operating system, which merges Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo Linux-based operating systems, to lead its next-generation mobile devices, including smartphones and tablet computers.

          [...]

          In the blog post, titled “MeeGo calling – on N900,” Mr. Hakulinen said that after months of work the team is in its last phase of development for MeeGo version 1.1, which will give smartphone application developers something tangible to work with. Mr. Hakulinen also said they’re close on an update that will allow users to run both the current N900 operating system, Maemo, and MeeGo on the device.




      • Android

        • LEGO Launches Robot-Controlling Android App
          Semi-autonomous robots are already available in a number of forms: the most notable being iRobot’s Roomba and Scooba line of single-purpose devices. And the new MINDdroid app isn’t going to replace such commercially available robots. But for now, my son and I can look into using a smartphone to remotely control the robot arm we built a few months back.


        • Opera Mobile for Android Coming Soon


        • HTC Releases Source For T-Mobile G2
          Is it that time already? Like clockwork, HTC has released the source code for the G2 – only this time, it doesn’t appear that they’re being very vocal about it. Instead, a few G2 enthusiasts in the #G2ROOT channel on Freenode have managed to find it while digging through HTC’s site.


        • Google: We’re on Track to Make $1 Billion this Year from Android
          Google held a financial earnings conference call earlier today and threw out some interesting mobile-related stats to prove that their desktop search strategy isn’t the only thing poised to earn them some big bucks. According to Google’s Jonathan Rosenberg, if you take all of last quarter’s earnings and extrapolate the trends over the next year, they could be looking at over $1 billion in revenue. It’s a far cry from the $10 billion goal they’ve set before, but it’s a good first step.










Free Software/Open Source



  • Events



  • Web Browsers



  • SaaS



  • Oracle

    • Java wars: IBM joins OpenJDK as Oracle shuns Apache Harmony
      Prior to acquiring Sun, Oracle was one of several companies that sided with Harmony and called for the test suite to be made available under suitable terms, as stipulated by the JCP policy. Oracle reversed its position, however, after completing its acquisition of Sun. Like Sun, Oracle intends to exercise its control over the test suite licensing in a manner that will drive open source Java adopters towards OpenJDK, the implementation that it controls.


    • Will Oracle and IBM Help Java Move Forward?
      As concerns over Oracle's allegedly territorial behavior toward Java continue to spread, with its lawsuit aimed at Google regarding parts of the Java code used in the Android mobile OS fueling the wall of worry, Oracle's agreement to cooperate with IBM on advancing Java is drawing mixed interpretations. Are two of the biggest software titans necessarily going to proceed with the kind of open goals and focus on open standards that Sun Microsystems did?


    • Microsoft Launches FUD VS OpenOffice.org
      Were did all these quotes come from? None other than twelve Microsoft cases studies (You can find a full list/links to these on ArsTechnica). When watching the video you will also notice clever advertising tricks such as a brown colored background whenever they are speaking about OpenOffice and a pleasant blue colored background whenever Microsoft Office is mentioned. This video is nothing other than pure FUD, plain and simple. If Microsoft really does love open source they have a strange way of showing it.


    • http://ostatic.com/blog/will-oracle-and-ibm-help-java-move-forward
      And, this is hardly the first time that Microsoft has shown its poker hand regarding the OpenOffice suite. Jonathan Schwartz, who was Sun Microsystems CEO and had deep involvement in the progress of OpenOffice, started a blog after he left Sun called "What I Couldn't Say," which contains very interesting items from his tenure as Sun CEO. In this post from the blog, he notes the details of a meeting that he had with Microsoft founder and chairman Bill Gates years ago:
      "As we sat down in our Menlo Park conference room, Bill skipped the small talk, and went straight to the point, 'Microsoft owns the office productivity market, and our patents read all over OpenOffice.'"
      It's clearer now, more than ever, that Microsoft takes the OpenOffice suite seriously as competition. Let's hope Oracle and the OfficeLibre community do right by the suite.


    • Microsoft Starts A FUD Campaign Against OpenOffice.org
      Here is the Microsoft video...


    • Key binding compatibility options
      As I posted on the libreoffice development list, I’m currently working on adding a new option page in the Options dialog, to provide a quick way to switch key bindings between LibreOffice’s default and OpenOffice.org’s for Calc. For the most part, the default key bindings are identical between LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org as far as Calc’s concerned, but there are some differences, which are enough to annoy those users who are accustomed to the old key bindings from OOo Calc.




  • CMS

    • WordPress and Drupal: Convergence?
      Obviously, as a once-upon-a-time core developer for the project, and as someone who continues to work in that community, I am pretty familiar with WordPress. There’s hardly a day that goes by that I’m not hip-deep in WordPress code and news. I’ve watched its evolution over these past 7+ years as it has moved from a simple blogging system towards becoming a more full-featured CMS.

      [...]

      WordPress started with good usability, but a limited architecture and feature set. Drupal started with a strong architecture, but a very developer-centric user experience. But WordPress has been steadily improving its architecture. And Drupal has been working on its UI. They had different origins, and they have taken different paths, but they are both evolving towards CMS Nirvana. And we users get to ride along.




  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Respects Your Freedom
      Even if consumers have been brain-washed to feel it is OK for manufacturers of hardware and software to restrict their use of IT for commercial advantage, those who are aware should tell them there are alternatives and we should promote alternatives on all levels. Some day the freedom to use a PC free of arbitrary restrictions will be one of the considerations when purchasing PCs and peripherals and the monopoly will be truly broken. That day is coming soon.






Leftovers

  • The latter-day 'scarlet letter' of sex work
    In the waning days of the last millennium, I worked as a stripper to pay for university. It requires no courage to admit this now, but had I written it a few years ago, when I taught high school, I would have been fired on the spot. My continued presence in the classroom would've set a bad example for the innocent teenagers in my charge, because we can't let "The Children" think sex-industry workers could ever be decent people or anything.


  • Italy to combat prostitution by cutting trees
    Environmental organisations today expressed outrage over a plan by local authorities in the Abruzzo region of central Italy to combat prostitution with deforestation.

    For decades, local law enforcement and politicians have struggled to police the Bonifica del Tronto road, a haven for the sex trade that runs inland for more than 10 miles from the Adriatic coast alongside the river Tronto. Over the years, cameras have been installed, raids mounted, 24-hour patrols implemented and the mayors of towns near the road have signed bylaws imposing fines on prostitutes' clients. All to no avail.


  • Health/Nutrition

    • Where’s Da Bread?
      If you like cramming Lucky Charms and Wonder Bread into your piehole, you’re probably white. But you’re also probably somebody who should go to this Action Center to End World Hunger deal tonight at 6. Harper’s contributing editor and Vice contributing contributor Fred Kaufman will be there to outline how those dastardly diablos on Wall Street are responsible for starving millions of people and why you may not be able to afford to be such a fat piece of shit for much longer.

      Fred’s cover story for Harper’s June issue, “The Food Bubble: How Wall Street Starved Millions and Got Away With It,” picks apart the relationship between Goldman Sachs and the 2008 food crisis that increased the number of hungry people in the world by a good 250 million. It can be a tough read if you’re not familiar with hedging, selling short, demand shock, perpetually selling long on wheat futures, or any of the weird, made-up bullshit that constitutes finance, but the story should be a wakeup call for those of us who take cheap food for granted, aka probably 99.999999% of us.


    • MERCK SUED: HomeAgain€® PET CHIP IMPLICATED IN CANCER
      Pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. has been served with a lawsuit over claims its HomeAgain€® pet microchip induced cancer in a cat. Animal rights attorney Steven Wise seeks "reasonable compensatory damages" for a malignant tumor "likely" induced by a HomeAgain€® ID chip implanted in his client's cat, Bulkin




  • Security



  • Defence/Police/Aggression



  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Climate change could lead to Arctic conflict, warns senior Nato commander
      One of Nato's most senior commanders has warned that global warming and a race for resources could lead to conflict in the Arctic.

      The comments, by Admiral James G Stavridis, supreme allied commander for Europe, come as Nato countries convene on Wednesday for groundbreaking talks on environmental security in the Arctic Ocean.

      The discussions, in the format of a "workshop", with joint Russian leadership, are an attempt to create dialogue with Moscow aimed at averting a second cold war.


    • Brussels plans strict new controls for offshore oil drilling


      The European commission is to reveal plans for tougher controls on offshore oil and gas drilling tomorrow. It would force national governments to abide by rules set in Brussels and extend liability for oil companies in the event of a disaster, The Guardian has learned.






  • Finance

    • French protesters join forces in last-ditch attempt to derail pension reform


      French workers, students and schoolchildren today joined forces in a last-ditch day of strike action and street protests aimed at derailing Nicolas Sarkozy's pension reform.


    • New wave of French strikes raises spectre of May 1968 protests


      The battle between President Nicolas Sarkozy and the French unions over pension reforms enters a crucial phase today with a new wave of strikes and protests across the country.


    • US bankers set for record pay and bonuses for second year
      US bankers are set for record compensation for a second consecutive year, shattering both the illusion of pay-reform and the expectation that bank bonuses would be tempered while the US economy remains weak.

      With third-quarter figures from JP Morgan expected to begin a bumper profit reporting season today, a study of more than three dozen banks, hedge funds, money-management and securities firms estimates they will pay $144bn (€£90bn) in salary and benefits this year, a 4% increase on 2009.




  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • RepubliCorp
      The Cabal of Multinational Corporations is pleased to formally announce RepubliCorpTM, a new combined entity following our complete merger with the Republican Party.




  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Schneier: invasions of privacy a "byproduction of the IT society"


    • The Coalition and Civil Liberties
      It was surprising and disappointing to watch as the Labour government – which gave us the Freedom of Information Act – became the most authoritarian British regime in modern times. As we at Big Brother Watch pointed out in our manifesto before the election, the arrival of a new government offered an opportunity to undo some of that work – and indeed, both parties in the Coalition pledged before the election to reverse the rise of our surveillance state, and reaffirmed that intention in the Coalition agreement.


    • Guest Post by Yasin Akgun: Facebook's Privacy Problem
      There are only two reasons that Facebook is allowed to get away with their overzealous demands over your personal information. They can get away with it because people will simply obey and because there are no national or international laws governing who has a right to demand what personal information you hold and who does not hold these privileged rights. Both issues lie with one group of people, the members of the public. We have the power to do something about it, whether or not we choose to exercise this fast diminishing power is another matter.



    • Bolivian newspapers stage protest
      Several Bolivian newspapers protested last week against a proposed law that would allow the government to shut down media outlets it deems guilty of racism. They carried front pages bearing a single slogan: "There is no democracy without freedom of expression."


    • The Values of Everything


      Progressive causes are failing: here’s how they could be turned around


    • Liu Xiaobo's wife under house arrest
      The wife of Liu Xiaobo, this year's winner of the Nobel peace prize has been placed under house arrest as part of a crackdown by the Chinese authorities aimed at stifling celebration following the award.




  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Council of Europe Agrees That Net neutrality is Key to Freedom of Expression
      On September 29th, 2010, the Committee of Ministers at the Council of Europe (CoE) adopted a declaration on network neutrality1. The declaration is overall a very good news for the protection of freedom of expression and communication in Europe. It is one more indication that governments are finally realizing the importance of the Internet's core architectural principles for the future of rights and freedoms in our democracies.




  • Intellectual Monopolies



    • Copyrights

      • From "Radical Extremism" to "Balanced Copyright": Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda
        Copyright has long been viewed as one of the government’s most difficult policy issues. It attracts passionate views from a wide range of stakeholders, including creators, consumers, businesses, and educators and it is the source of significant political pressure from the United States. The latest chapter in the Canadian copyright saga unfolded in June 2010 as Industry Minister Tony Clement and Canadian Heritage James Moore tabled Bill C-32, copyright reform legislation billed as providing both balance and a much-needed modernization of the law. The introduction marked the culmination of months of public discussion and internal government debate.


      • ACTA











Clip of the Day



uTouch on Unity



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Credit: TinyOgg

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