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Links 12/5/2011: KDE Platform 5, Chrome/Linux Laptops at $20 Per Month

GNOME bluefish



  • What Linux Needs Is Some Good Marketing
    That's a great and powerful thing for Linux in general--regardless of the resistance Unity has encountered from some longtime users--and it amazes me to see how far Canonical has come with its mainstream focus. If Linux is to enjoy more success in "the masses," then this step had to be taken.

    Now that we seem to be getting this close, however, it's making me think more than ever about what Linux still needs, and one of the biggest things I see is marketing.

  • Linux Heavily Used in the Enterprise by 1999 - And SCO Knew It or Could/Should Have
    Remember how SCO told the court in SCO v. IBM that Linux wasn't ready for the enterprise until IBM got involved in the year 2000 and allegedly worked to make it "hardened" for the enterprise by donating code? It said that it wasn't until 2001, with version 2.4 of Linux, that Linux was ready for enterprise use. Linux, SCO said, was just a bicycle compared to UNIX, the luxury car, until IBM did all that.

  • Server

    • Portable thin client has dual-core AMD G-Series processor
      Wyse introduced a mobile thin client using AMD's dual-core G-Series T56N processor, with integral Radeon HD6310 graphics, and soon to be available with SUSE Linux. The X90m7 offers a 14-inch display with 1366 x 768 pixels, gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/b/g/n wireless networking, 2GB of RAM and 4GB of flash storage, plus a "2G/4G capable" ExpressCard slot and optional smart card reader, the company says.

  • Kernel Space

    • The kernel column #100 with Jon Masters – 100 issues of kernel updates
      To help celebrate Linux User’s landmark 100th issue which goes on sale tomorrow, celebrated Linux Kernel contributor, Jon Masters, recounts some of the biggest developments in the Linux Kernel over the magazine’s last 100 issues…

      I remember the first article I wrote for Linux User & Developer, way back in issue number one. It was a review of the first release, following the announcement by Sun Microsystems (now Oracle) that it was open-sourcing its Star Office product. Times have certainly changed. Sun is no more, and indeed has itself been forked (somewhat without enthusiasm from Oracle) into LibreOffice. In that same time period, untold changes have occurred within the Linux kernel community, which has grown in both size and complexity, along with its body of code…

    • Graphics Stack

      • A Look At Nouveau Driver Power Usage
        There's been many individuals asking how the work is going in tracking down the major Linux kernel power regression I brought to light late last month (actually, there's at least two power regressions in the kernel). Not much progress has been made since then as I've been out of the office (and country) so I've been preoccupied with other matters, but I do happen to have another power test today to satisfy other reader requests.

  • Applications

    • Talking Point: Overlapping Windows
      Back in the 80s, a GUI paradigm called WIMP (Windows, Icons, Mouse, Pointer) began to establish itself as the new way in which most people interacted with computers. When it comes to one of the most significant elements of that system, overlapping windows, I'm beginning to wonder, has it had its day?

      One of few things that Microsoft can claim to have developed from scratch is an efficient method of application switching called the taskbar, although it's now in the process of being superseded on most GUIs by the application dock. One side-effect of that form of program management is that it doesn't penalize the user for running applications fullscreen, and it therefore encourages it. You can glean some ideas about modern user behavior by observing that, in the most popular WM themes and skins, the areas of the window that are used for resizing have almost disappeared. The truth is, if you use Gnome or KDE, you probably run most of your apps fullscreen, most of the time.

    • Proprietary

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments

    • Starting to see more systems with Xfce 4.8 and KDE 4.6.3
      Xfce and KDE are the two desktop environments that I most commonly use, so it is nice when I see distributions that update these environments and keep them close to the most currently available software. In the case of Xfce, Version 4.8 was released near the end of January, so any distribution that offers Xfce really ought to have Version 4.8 available, and the good news is that most of the distributions that I use are now offering Version 4.8, and most of them have the patches that have been added to Xfce 4.8, and some packages are labelled as high as 4.8.3.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Responses to Qt 5

        It’s great to see so much feedback coming in about my Qt 5 blog two days ago. We’ve read and gone through all the comments, but it’s easier to try to answer the questions and concerns in a follow-up post rather than replying to comments.

        We have now created a mailing list for discussions about Qt 5. If you’re interested, please consider subscribing. This will allow us to have better and more structured discussions around Qt 5 than replies to a blog post.

      • relax :)
        After my last blog about a possible future KDE Platform 5 due to Qt 5, it was interesting to watch the number of "Oh no, not another big release that will break the interface we know!" type comments. Let me put all of that to rest:

        The Plasma team has no intention, desire or need to start "from scratch" nor engage in a massive redesign of the existing netbook or desktop shells.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome 3 And Ubuntu Unity Interfaces: Review
        The next Long Term Support version of Canonical’s Ubuntu is set to ship a year from now, with an October release of the OS in between to address usability and hardware fallback issues. A 2D version of Unity is already available in the Ubuntu repositories. As for GNOME Shell, it’s not clear when the new interface will make its way into the enterprise operating systems from Red Hat, Novell or Oracle.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • BackTrack 5 Has Been Released, Download Now
        Offensive Security, leaders in Online information security training, proudly announced a few minutes ago, May 10th, the immediate availability for download of the new and highly anticipated BackTrack 5 release, an extremely popular security oriented operating system.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat honors UW-Madison partnership, contribution to research computing
        Red Hat Inc., the world's largest open-source software company, has given the first Red Hat Cloud Leadership Award to the Center for High Throughput Computing (CHTC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and named the CHTC its first Red Hat Center of Excellence Development Partner.

        Red Hat and UW-Madison have worked together for four years to integrate into the company's products research and software produced by the university's Condor Project — technology widely adopted worldwide by the scientific community to distribute complex computing problems across existing networks ("grids" or "clouds" of computers).

      • Red Hat Elected to DMTF Board of Directors

      • Red Hat's KVM: A better way to virtualize the data center?
        When you virtualize your servers, do you divide them by operating system, or is it practical to use a bare-metal hypervisor to support all your x86 operating systems?

        That's what Red Hat thinks is the best idea - which is why it thinks you would be better off virtualizing using KVM, included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

        With Reg users reporting that the cost of licenses, the problems of managing multiple platforms and virtual machine sprawl are hurdles to virtualisation, the enthusiasm for virtualisation - and the success of early efforts - creates its own problems.

      • Fedora

        • More thoughts on the Fedora Feature Process
          This is the second release running that another component of the Fedora Feature process has come and bitten me in the proverbial. This time its the “Major Features”(tm), must be landed by the Alpha release, part of the process.

          For Fedora 14 the feature that abused this requirement was python 2.7. Rather than landing by the Alpha release it landed moments before we locked down for the Beta breaking things horribly and causing massive amounts of work post Beta when we were suppose to be stabilising the release. This affected Sugar amongst massively as that’s the language its primarily written in.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • The Goal is 200 Million Ubuntu Users in 4 Years - Mark Shuttleworth at UDS[Video]
            "Our goal is 200 million users of Ubuntu in 4 years", said Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth, while delivering the keynote address to the attendees of the Ubuntu Developer Summit, currently taking place in Budapest, Hungary.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Lubuntu to become official Ubuntu derivative
              According to reports, the Lubuntu Linux distribution will become an official Ubuntu derivative. As a fully supported release, its desktop packages will be made available in the Ubuntu repositories for anyone to install – other official derivatives include Kubuntu and Xubuntu.

              In a session at the Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS), which is currently taking place in Budapest, Shuttleworth and Ubuntu Devleoper Colin Watson discussed the details of integrating Lubuntu into the Ubuntu ecosystem with project member Julien Lavergne. Topics ranged from ISO building to Ubuntu One and a global menu.

            • Linux Mint 11 "Katya" Review
              After testing Linux Mint 11, one word comes to mind: Continuity. Katya does include several new features and enhancements which improve the product further, no doubt about it, but are they enough for Linux Mint 10 users to dump their current installation and upgrade? I personally don't think so.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Phones

        • Android

          • Google Activates 400,000 Android Devices Every Day Now!
            During the Google I/O 2011 keynote address, director of Android product management, Hugo Barra, presented a number of interesting statistics. Google has now activated more than 100 million Android devices worldwide and as of April 2011, Google is activating nearly 400,000 Android devices every single day. That number was just around 100,000 just an year ago!

          • Android 3.1 released, as Ice Cream Sandwich waits in the wings
            At the Google I/O conference, Google announced Android 3.1, an update that fixes bugs, tweaks the UI, improves USB support, and adds an Arduino-based Android Open Accessory gadget control platform. Briefly tipping an upcoming "Ice Cream Sandwich" release that will integrate Android 2.x and 3.x, Google also announced Android Market movie rentals, an 18-month Android upgrade program, and an Android@Home home-automation framework.

      • Sub-notebooks/Tablets/Laptops

        • Google To Announce Chrome Laptops-$20/Month
          Google tomorrow will announce sales of the new Chrome laptop in a $20 a month “student package” that combines both hardware and online services, according to a senior Google executive. The product is almost certainly a precursor to an enterprise offering. Google Apps, an online product with features similar to Microsoft Office (word processing, spreadsheets, calendars, and other productivity software) is sold to business for $50 a year

        • Acer and Samsung unveil Chrome OS 'Chromebooks'
          Samsung and Acer will start selling the first Google Chrome OS notebooks starting June 15, priced from $349 to $499 but also available as part of monthly business/school subscriptions. The 12.1-inch Samsung Chromebook Series 5 and the 11.6-inch Acer Chromebook offer dual-core 1.66GHz Intel Atom N570 processors, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, a 16GB solid state disk, memory card reader, a webcam, USB, Wi-Fi, and optional 3G.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Time for a new open source definition?
    Andrew C Oliver recently wrote “I think most know by now that a license is insufficient to make something actually open source.”

    What makes this fascinating is that it involves a director of the Open Source Initiative – the stewards of the Open Source Definition – stating that the Open Source Definition is not enough to define software as open source.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • SeaMonkey: More Than Just a Firefox Clone
        SeaMonkey is a good browser choice and solid alternative to the more popular and traditional Linux-based Web browsers. It will seem like home if you come to it from Firefox.

        If you are an enamored add-on user, the more limited extensions inventory may disappoint you. But its configurability can make up for this. All in all, SeaMonkey is a full-feature

      • [Mozilla] Merge dates vs release dates

        The schedule on the rapid release process specifics document generally focuses on merge dates. There is some confusion as to what to expect on those dates, so hopefully this post will make it clear.

        The main takeaway is that the merge date is not necessarily the date users on a particular update channel will see an update available.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/Sun/LibreOffice

    • SGI Expands Support for Lustre File System
      SGI), a trusted leader in technical computing, today announced that it is expanding its support of the Lustre€® file system to include Level 3 support, and now provides complete end-to-end coverage for its customers. Lustre is a massively parallel file system, capable of supporting compute clusters of thousands of nodes and many petabytes of storage. The addition of Level 3 support brings the SGI€® Lustre€® solution for scale-out computing environments to a support level equivalent to CXFSTM, SGI’s own high-performance scale-up clustered file system.

    • Sonatype donates Maven 3.x integration, Eclipse Integration to Hudson
      We’re very excited about the proposed move of Hudson to the Eclipse foundation. To get the project off the right start in its new home, Sonatype has committed to donating all our Maven 3.x related work to the Hudson project. This includes the Maven 3.x integration for Hudson itself, our Eclipse integration, and our Maven Shell integration.

    • Some Observations on Oracle v. Google, by Mark Webbink, Esq.
      Google believed (and believes) it avoided this licensing structure by implementing a clean room version of the Java runtime. The problem with clean rooms is that, while they may help avoid copyright claims, they are not particularly helpful in avoiding patent claims -- the ol' two-edge sword of software. So if you are going to develop a new implementation of something like the Java run-time environment, you have to not only use a clean room in order to avoid copyright claims, you also have to work around any relevant patents (and this doesn't require a clean room). Suffice it to say that the approach Google has taken has some potential holes in it with respect to patents. Of course, Google believes the Oracle patents are either invalid or not infringed in this instance. [Editorial aside – none of this commentary is intended to imply that patents are a good thing for software; in the eyes of this writer they clearly are not.]

  • Business

  • Project Releases

    • Puppet Labs Releases MCollective Version 1.2.0
      The 1.2.0 release is the latest production release of MCollective and supersedes the 1.1.4 and older releases. This new MCollective release is fully backwards compatible with earlier releases. It is available for download at


Clip of the Day

Welcome to Minecraft - Bonus 001 - Chicken

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Credit: TinyOgg, Twitter

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