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Links 19/12/2014: Robolinux 7.7.1 LXDE, Red Hat Thriving





GNOME bluefish

Contents





GNU/Linux



  • Linux & FOSS Predictions for 2015
    You can tell it’s the holiday season — a lot of people are focusing more on the guy with the red suit who looks quite a bit like Jon ‘maddog’ Hall than they are on digital matters. This also is the time of year, naturally, where pundits make their predictions for the following year.

    However, I should admit something here. Truth in advertising: I don’t have a good record in predicting the future. I have a hard enough time predicting what to wear the following day — oh, right: clothes. But Linux and FOSS being, well, Linux and FOSS, these projections are as good as any prediction now being foisted on the FOSS public by the army of digital pundits out there.

    So what’s going to happen in 2015?


  • Slovakia – Yet Another Government Discovers GNU/Linux Is The Right Way To Do IT
    They put GNU/Linux on those PCs although they could have used that other OS and they found they saved money. The PCs are easy to manage thanks to FLOSS package-management. They were in total control of the PCs because it’s FLOSS, not code designed by some corporate salesmen, but folks who make software that works for the user. That’s been my experience in schools. That’s the experience of other folks who use GNU/Linux in the real world.


  • Desktop



    • Tipping Points
      The last few years has been some kind of a tipping point. Most OEMs are shipping some GNU/Linux units. Many retailers sell them to consumers. European governments are getting behind a move to accept FLOSS and GNU/Linux for purchases. China, India, Russia, Brazil, and several other governments have committed to FLOSS. The preferences for that other OS and its way of doing things are dying. Many schools run GNU/Linux because it is very affordable and their graduates are filling a demand for an educated workforce. Android/Linux is thriving. There’s no reason GNU/Linux cannot as well. It is better suited to run on legacy PCs than Android/Linux. Large screens matter. Mice and keyboards matter. GNU/Linux works very well with them and the performance continues to improve.


    • ​Free software GNU/Linux laptop in development
      Linux laptops are available from major computer OEMs such as Dell and Lenovo and specialized Linux vendors such as System76 and ZaReason, but the Free Software Foundation (FSF), which would prefer it if I referred to Linux as GNU/Linux, doesn't approve of any of them thanks to their use of proprietary firmware. That may not continue to be the case.


    • Purism discovered how to make open-source software laptops even more open
      You may be rolling an obscure flavor of Linux on your new laptop and sporting a Free Software Foundation bumper sticker on your bio-diesel powered V-Dub, but chances are your open-source laptop isn't really that "free," thanks to closed firmware binaries hidden deep inside hardware itself.




  • Server



    • Docker CTO Solomon Hykes to Devs: Have It Your Way
      "We made a very conscious effort with Docker to insert the technology into an existing toolbox. We did not want to turn the developer's world upside down on the first day. ... We showed them incremental improvements so that over time the developers discovered more things they could do with Docker. So the developers could transition into the new architecture using the new tools at their own pace."


    • OPNFV – Our First 90 Days
      In 2014, the widespread interest in creating a platform for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) was evident across all sectors. NFV is moving out of the labs and into the field. A recent study by Infonetics predicts that the SDN and NFV markets are expected to exceed $11 billion by 2018. We're excited to see the industry embrace open source as the way to bring NFV to market faster.




  • Applications



  • Desktop Environments/WMs



    • WTFTW: A Tiling Window Manager Written In Rust
      The WTFTW project is an X tiling window manager written in Rust. The WTFTW name is short for Window Tiling For The Win. WTFTW is written against the latest Rust nightly code, with Rust 1.0 approaching next year. This tiling window manager can be easily tested in Xnest or Xephyr.


    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt



      • digiKam Software Collection 4.6.0 released...
        The digiKam Team is proud to announce the release of digiKam Software Collection 4.6.0. This release includes many bugs fixes in Image Editor and Batch Queue Mananger. Thanks to Maik Qualmann and Jan Wolter to propose patches in KDE bugzilla.

        See the new list of the issues closed in digiKam 4.6.0 available through the KDE Bugs-tracking System.


      • KDAB contributions to Qt 5.4
        Qt 5.4 was released just last week! The new release comes right on schedule (following the 6-months development cycle of the Qt 5 series), and brings a huge number of new features.




    • GNOME Desktop/GTK





  • Distributions



    • A declining number of Linux distros might be killing distrohopping


    • New Releases



    • Red Hat Family



    • Debian Family



      • Derivatives



        • Canonical/Ubuntu



          • GTK 3.14, Nautilus 3.14 Land In Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet [Quick Update]
            Quick update for Ubuntu users planning to use Ubuntu 15.04: GTK 3.14 has landed in Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet. And of course, the default Ubuntu themes, Ambiance and Radiance, have been updated with GTK 3.14 support.

            Furthermore, Nautilus, an application that wasn't updated in quite a while and was still at version 3.10, has been updated to version 3.14:


          • Ubuntu 15.04 Alpha 1 For Its Various Flavors
            While Ubuntu itself no longer puts out alpha/beta releases in favor of just testing out the daily Live ISOs, the various Ubuntu flavors still participating in the traditional release process have done their first alpha releases this afternoon for Ubuntu 15.04.


          • What is Ubuntu Snappy?
            If you're anything like me, you've probably heard about this new thing from Canonical called "Snappy" Ubuntu Core, but at the same time trying to understand exactly what it is may leave you cross-eyed, especially with the buzzwords such as "cloud", "containers" and "apps" floating about. Once you get a handle on it, it's obvious that Canonical's new baby isn't terribly useful for those of us who are simply users, but perhaps it provides an interesting preview of what could come to the desktop version of Ubuntu in the future.


          • China Mobile launches Ubuntu contest for developers
            China Mobile and Canonical have launched the ‘Ubuntu Developer Innovation Contest’ to engage developers “with the next generation of mobile experiences on Ubuntu – which don’t revolve around apps and the app icon grid”.

            Contest submissions can include Scopes and Apps (HTML5 and QML native), and finalists will be selected for two tracks – student and independent developers.


          • First Ubuntu Phone Will Launch In Europe This February
            The first Ubuntu Phone will go on sale in Europe in the second week of February.


          • Flavours and Variants











  • Devices/Embedded



    • LG's webOS 2.0 TVs are coming to CES
      LG's attempt to resurrect webOS for smart TVs is entering a new phase at CES 2015. A wide range of webOS 2.0 TVs will be displayed in Vegas, and LG is focusing on performance; the company says that starting the YouTube app from the home screen is 70 percent faster, for example, and overall boot times should be up to 60 percent quicker.


    • Phones



      • Jolla's Sailfish OS Update 10 Is Now Available
        The tenth update to Jolla's Sailfish mobile operating system is now available. This update is version 1.1.1.26 and is codenamed Vaarainjärvi.


      • Tizen



        • Quick Notes – Hand-Written Note App for Samsung Gear
          The application Quick Notes was created by Application Developer Piotr Walczuk. The idea behind the app is to have the ablity to write down handwritten notes on your wrist, anywhere (well almost), and is available for the Samsung Gear / Gear 2 and Gear S Tizen Smart watches.






    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets



      • Can Jolla Deliver the First Open Source Tablet?
        Some dreams die hard. After the KDE-based Vivaldi tablet failed to appear after three years of anticipation, Jolla is planning a free software tablet of its own. The product is off to a roaring start, having just raised $1,824,055 in its crowdfunding campaign-- almost five times the original target. So, this time, we might actually see some hardware.

        Mind you, whether the tablet will satisfy everyone remains open to doubt. Although Jolla is talking loudly about being "people powered" and listening to want users want, some requests, especially for hardware, may be impossible to fulfill. The manufacturing capacity of advanced features is limited world-wide, and monopolized by large companies like Apple and Samsung.

        More importantly, exactly how free the tablet will be has yet to be announced.








Free Software/Open Source



  • The helpful stranger and meaning of open source
    I’ve been a software engineer for almost 15 years now, and although I didn't realize it at the time, I’ve been working with open source software from the get-go. From basic GNU command line utilities to C compilers, open source was there from the start.

    Even though my professional focus has changed over the years, in one form or another I’ve been living in a open source ecosystem—be it the operating system I used, the libraries I worked with, or even the integrated development environment (IDE) I used on a daily basis. Despite that, it never occurred to me to contribute to open source software until I joined Red Hat three years ago and began working on oVirt, an open source data center virtualization project.


  • Geeks give back: Be an open source tester
    Are you using open source software for free? Do you wish you could contribute, but don’t have the time to learn how a new developer community works?

    Giving cash donations is not necessarily the best way to give back to an open source community. Instead, try channeling any frustration you may feel with open source software and help with testing. It’s good for your blood pressure and good for the rest of the users of the code!


  • Eure-et-Loir department now using Nuxeo document system
    The administration of France’s Eure-et-Loir Department has implemented Nuxeo, an open source enterprise document and content management system. The solution is used to exchange documents between the department’s services and, sometime next year, also with partner-organisations.


  • Events



  • Web Browsers



  • SaaS/Big Data



  • Databases



    • PostgreSQL 9.4 released
      Version 9.4 of the PostgreSQL relational database management system is out. "This release adds many new features which enhance PostgreSQL's flexibility, scalability and performance for many different types of database users, including improvements to JSON support, replication and index performance."


    • PostgreSQL 9.4 Increases Flexibility, Scalability and Performance
      The PostgreSQL Global Development Group announces the release of PostgreSQL 9.4, the latest version of the world's leading open source database system. This release adds many new features which enhance PostgreSQL's flexibility, scalability and performance for many different types of database users, including improvements to JSON support, replication and index performance.




  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice



  • CMS



    • WordPress 4.1 and distraction free writing mode
      WordPress 4.1 is out and one of its new features is a revised “distraction free writing mode.” I seem to remember that it had something like this before, but it was not as well implemented as it is in WordPress 4.1. Now, when you push the distraction free writing mode button, everything else fades away except what you need to write your post.




  • Business





    • Semi-Open Source



      • Open Source vs. Hosted Shopping Cart Solutions
        Given all the options and varying needs of stores, there is no right or wrong answer. Keep in mind that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Having said that, stores seeking the greatest bang for the buck (as in sales generated to investment spent), and those seeking the most flexibility for growth in the future, should highly consider open source for their ecommerce engine.






  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC



    • What Does It Mean for Your Computer to Be Loyal?
      We say that running free software on your computer means that its operation is under your control. Implicitly this presupposes that your computer will do what your programs tell it to do, and no more. In other words, that your computer will be loyal to you.

      In 1990 we took that for granted; nowadays, many computers are designed to be disloyal to their users. It has become necessary to spell out what it means for your computer to be a loyal platform that obeys your decisions, which you express by telling it to run certain programs.



    • FisicaLab update
      Well, I just want to share the progress in the development of FisicaLab. As you know I want a module for thermodynamics in version 0.4.0. This means that FisicaLab needs the ability to handle data from steam tables.




  • Public Services/Government



    • Sandia looks to open-source robot tech
      Researchers at federal defense and energy laboratories are open sourcing some of the electronics and software for two advanced ambulatory robots in hopes of boosting their ability to handle perilous situations.

      In a Dec. 16 announcement, the Energy Department's Sandia National Laboratories said it is developing more energy-efficient motors to dramatically improve the endurance of legged robots performing the types of motions that are crucial in disaster response situations. The project is supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.




  • Openness/Sharing



  • Programming



  • Standards/Consortia



    • OpenSocial Foundation Moving Standards Work to W3C Social Web Activity
      Building on the 31 July 2014 announcement of the W3C Social Web Working Group, the OpenSocial Foundation and W3C today announce the transfer of OpenSocial specifications and assets to the W3C. As of 1 January 2015, OpenSocial Foundation will close and future work will take place within the W3C Social Web Activity, chartered to make it easier to build and integrate social applications into the Open Web Platform.


    • Google delivers an early Christmas gift: Google Drive support for ODF
      Google, in a surprise move, today announced support for ODF (Open Document Format) in its products.

      I remember the days when I had to sheepishly asked people who wanted to share files with me to go back to .doc or .docx as none of the Google properties would talk to ODF files. That was quite embarrassing because I invested a lot of time in liberating those people from Microsoft's vendor-locked file formats.






Leftovers



  • Security



  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression



    • People Who Live in 'Flyspecks' Shouldn't Fling Metaphors
      I suppose you could argue that Cuba was a threat to the United States during 1962's Cuban missile crisis–which was very long ago indeed. I'm more struck by Post reporters Juliet Eilperin and Greg Jaffe's little geography lesson, comparing Cuba to a "flyspeck"–or, in other words, insect excrement.

      Cuba, as it happens, is 42,426 square miles in area–making it bigger than Iceland or Ireland, neither of which would probably like to be compared to fly poop.




  • Privacy



  • Civil Rights



    • Corrupt Greater Manchester Police Officer Jailed
      A corrupt Greater Manchester Police has been jailed after accessing police computer systems and passing on confidential information.

      Pc Katie Murray (born 22/04/1984) of Dunkirk Street, Droylsden was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office and one count of breaching the Data Protection Act. She was jailed for two years and nine months.

      The information was passed on to her sister Lyndsey Murray, (born 10/05/1981) of Ruskin Road, Droylsden, and former partner, Jason Lloyd, (born 20/11/1970) of Peregrine Close, Droylsden, who were both found guilty of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office. Lynsey Murray was jailed for six months.


    • CIA Torture report
      If the history of this century has been about anything so far, then it is the bargain of national security. A constant state of war carried out on a need-to-know basis.




  • Internet/Net Neutrality



    • Making the Internet a utility—what’s the worst that could happen?
      Title II gives the Federal Communications Commission power to regulate telecommunications providers as utilities or "common carriers." Like landline phone providers, common carriers must offer service to the public on reasonable terms. To regulate Internet service providers (ISPs) as utilities, the FCC must reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service, a move that consumer advocacy groups and even President Obama have pushed the FCC to take.




  • Intellectual Monopolies



    • Copyrights



      • Don’t make Google the whipping boy for others' failings
        Google’s motto “do no evil” never meant that much. Google always did what it had to do for its own benefit, but it was seen as -- and arguably was -- a company changing the world for the better. Now it appears that governments around the world are taking the position that Google can’t do anything right.


      • Paulo Coelho Wants to Give The Interview Away Using BitTorrent


        Sony may have withdrawn The Interview but not everyone is scared of releasing the movie. Author Paulo Coelho, whose book The Alchemist has sold in excess of 165 million copies, has just offered to buy the rights to the movie from Sony. He informs TorrentFreak that it would go straight on BitTorrent, for free.


      • Researchers Make BitTorrent Anonymous and Impossible to Shut Down


        While the BitTorrent ecosystem is filled with uncertainty and doubt, researchers at Delft University of Technology have released the first version of their anonymous and decentralized BitTorrent network. "Tribler makes BitTorrent anonymous and impossible to shut down," lead researcher Prof. Pouwelse says.








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