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01.05.09

Links 05/01/2009: GNU/Linux at Honda Dealership, KDE 4.2 Release Parties Planned

Posted in News Roundup at 9:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

  • Linux provides affordable alternative for Honda car dealership

    It’s no secret that the UK’s car industry is suffering badly in the economic downturn. Whilst giant US car manufacturers face bankrupcy and the UK government considers providing emergency credit to Jaguar-Landrover, other industry players must look at innovative solutions to remain competitive.

    Nestling in the heart of Surrey, Trident Honda first considered Open Source software when they were faced with an eye-watering £75,000 to ‘update’ their existing Citrix MetaFrame infrastructure.

  • Linux: this year’s silver lining?

    The key word in that sentence is “new”. Like many watching the PC business, Zemlin thinks 2009 will be a year when netbooks really take off, and Linux is doing well on these platforms. “Linux is taking share from Windows in this new playing field, and we think Linux will be the dominant platform for netbooks,” explained Zemlin. He added that Microsoft has been forced to extend the life of Windows XP and move up the launch of Windows 7 as many consumers and corporations have ignored Windows Vista.

  • Keryx Tutorial: Bringing Updates Home

    Though in most North American cities one cannot find a spot without at least a weak WiFi signal, many of us Linux geeks still live in rural areas with less Internet connectivity. Also, in various non-Westernized nations, there is a growing number of Linux users who may have a computer at home, but cannot afford a decent connection. For both groups, software updates typically demand an Internet connection, which can make updating difficult if not impossible. There is now a solution though, a new program called Keryx.

  • Texas Group Brings Linux Computers Home

    In 2008, The HeliOS Project built, placed and supported 329 computers where they were needed. Sometimes it was necessary to travel over 100 miles to do it. Admittedly, 329 computers doesn’t sound like much. Not many at all in the scope of things. That is until you take into consideration one relevant fact.

    It was done almost exclusively by one man. One guy in a a beat up old Isuzu Rodeo with questionable braking ability and over a quarter million miles on it…that’s averages out to 1 computer installed in a child’s home every 26.6 hours in a year’s time.

  • Running WDSC From a Linux Desktop

    As more and more applications move to the browser, the desktop has become more of a place to boot to than anything else. This begs the question: “How long will Microsoft stay at the top of the desktop operating system mountain?” You can only put so many useful features into a desktop until it’s reached a point of being “good enough and I don’t need to upgrade.” Today, companies stay with Microsoft because it’s safe and is actually cost effective (because staff is trained and knows Microsoft). But what about kids in schools who are learning about these easy-to-use and free operating systems? Dare I say that things like Ubuntu Linux are becoming “cool” to the next generation because feels semi-rebellious to embrace Linux?

  • The Inherent Danger in “Just Working”

    Linux usage — if not outright, across the board, full time adoption — has been on a healthy increase for several years. Part of this is undoubtedly due to the focus on new-user friendly distributions (such as Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS, and Mandriva) that make the now rather wide range of hardware supported by Linux “just work” seamlessly. Before we go further: This is a good thing to strive for and make new users aware of.

  • DECT phones and POS terminals are vulnerable

    The attack on DECT, demonstrated at the 25th Chaos Communications Congress in Berlin on 29 December, used a Linux laptop with a modified €23 laptop card. It can intercept calls and information directly, recording it in digital form. Even if encryption is switched on, the system can bypass encryption – simply by pretending to be a base station that doesn’t support it.

  • KDE

    • Call for Organisation of KDE 4.2 Release Parties

      On January 27, a year after the release of the first KDE 4 version, KDE 4.2 “The Answer” will be released. This release will feature stabilisation and feature completion and is likely to be taken up by a wide audience of users. To celebrate the important event in KDE’s history with our fans all around the world we would like to invite our community members to organise a release party.

    • The Rise of Linux and the Death of Microsoft

      All in all, 2008 was a pretty good year for Linux, and I’m hopeful 2009 will be even better. Some of the notable changes that come to mind:

      The arrival of KDE 4, a new Linux desktop, which, while it was initially received with some criticism, has improved, and is continuing to improve greatly. Linux is becoming a serious threat on the desktop, and I’m hopeful the fabled “Year of the Linux Desktop” may be imminent. The KDE 4.2 beta I’m running at the moment looks very slick and feels very functional.

      Webcam support in Linux has greatly improved very recently. With the merging of the GSPCA and UVC drivers, Linux systems based on recent kernels support most webcams in existence…out of the box.

    • OSCA Foundation, Nepomuk, and the Importance of Semantics

      Nepomuk was managed previously by the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (please note that the previous link references a Wikipedia entry, as the official site isn’t resolving currently). In December, Nepomuk’s official funding ended, but it continues as an open source effort, and the newly incorporated Open Semantic Collaboration Architecture Foundation (OSCAF) plans on working closely with Nepomuk (and similar applications) to further new developments in semantic technology.

  • Google

    • Meet Google Linux

      You knew it was coming. Surely you did. First Google had their “Google Desktop” that mostly went nowhere. Then came Chrome, the browser that threatened to “out cool” any other browser. And then came Android, the operating system for the phone of the future (the one that supposedly could take down the iPhone). Android. An operating system for mobile phones.

      [...]

      Now remember, Google already has Google Mail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google this and Google that. It is now shy only a platform to run as a full-fledged system.

    • [gOS 3.1 released]
  • Distributions

    • Fedora

      • Fedora 11: Blarney? Duchess? Zampone?

        In early December we shared that it was time for the Fedora community to come up with the Fedora 11 codename. Following that many different names were proposed for Fedora 11, but then after each name was evaluated and went through Red Hat’s legal department, the list became much shorter. Now though it’s time for the Fedora community to vote for the official codename.

      • What will Fedora 11 be called?
    • Ubuntu

      • We’ve made it to twenty!

        That’s right, we’ve made it to the twentieth issue of Full Circle! It’s great to have been around this long and to have helped the Ubuntu community for so long. Here’s hoping that we get to Issue 40.

  • Devices

    • Concurrent Announces New MediaHawk(R) Software Release

      Concurrent (Nasdaq: CCUR), a worldwide leader in real-time Linux-based computing technologies, announced today a new software release for its MediaHawk line of video servers. The release is SCTE-130 compliant and features many new functionality and capacity enhancements, most notably play list support enabling advanced advertising.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Next netbook – thinner, cheaper, better, Linux

        All of these factors, as well as other logistics and economics, point to greater use of Linux. The open source OS — available in a variety of distributions that are specialized for netbooks — offers more flexibility in design and may help designers go leaner. In terms of the SSDs, we typically see them included in Linux versions, which may cost the same as the XP version, but is able to include the more expensive, non-moving SSD thanks to licensing savings from Linux. Lastly, as manufacturers drive down the prices of netbooks and their components, there is no question that Linux is a key component of the less expensive netbook. My discussion with Freescale confirmed this.

        As we’ve said, netbooks, MIDs and increasingly other mobile and consumer devices are largely about cost and Freescale agrees that the netbook’s reliance on WiFi, rather than a costly data plan with a smartphone, will be another key driver for consumers embracing netbooks.

      • Will the netbook cannibalize the traditional PC market?

        Will netbooks ultimately put the Linux OS on an equal footing with Windows in terms of market share? Probably not. Given how consumers view netbooks right now — more as a “mini laptop” than as another category of device in its own right– an ultra mobile device more in line with a mobile Internet device (MID) than a PC — consumers are favoring Windows.

        “As consumers come to view it as less of a PC and more of a tool to access the Internet that happens to look like a laptop because of its larger screen and keyboard, then they will probably come to accept Linux more readily,” Solis said. “In addition, only x86-based processors from Intel and Via (AMD had not yet jumped into this game) can support Windows. x86 also support Linux. The competing platform base would be ARM — mostly with Cortex A-8 and Cortex A-9 based processors from ARM itself and its licensees. These platforms do not support Windows XP or Vista, but they do support full PC versions of Linux (that would be optimized for netbooks and MIDs).”

F/OSS

  • Commercial open source business strategies in 2009 and beyond

    The future of commercial open source software lies in commercial licensing strategies, but which are the strategies that are more likely to deliver the results vendors are looking for?

    [...]

    I certainly expect to see more vendor-dominated communities created as vendors seek to use “The Law of Conservation of Attractive Profits” as a strategic competitive weapon with which to undermine rivals and boost revenue generation opportunities.

    While larger vendors have tended to form foundations around previously-proprietary code it is not unreasonable to think that open source specialists could also provide attractive acquisition targets for the same purpose.

  • Voice

    • VoicePHP: Indian Startup Marries Voice with PHP

      Basically, VoicePHP is intended to do the same things as VoiceXML, but by using the familiar PHP programming methology. In doing so, it wants to attract a large pool of PHP-savvy developers and have them develop voice applications.

    • Asterisk Open Source PBX

      Overall this is certainly a nice product to watch and we may be making the change here. Right now we have a demo PC running with a couple analog cards for testing.

Leftovers

  • RIAA dumps dodgy detectives

    NOT HAVING actually understood that harassing and suing its customers isn’t really a good idea, the Big Music MAFIAA has nonetheless dumped one crew of clowns that was doing the harassing. However, it’s not an admission of defeat but just a change of tactics.

  • Wikipedia Raises 6.2 Million Dollars

    Thanks to contributions of $6.2 million, the financial future of the free encyclopedia Wikipedia in 2009 is secured.

  • Copyright Once Again Being Used To Hinder Culture, Not Enable It

    I’m still working my way through James Boyle’s excellent The Public Domain, but it’s chock full of examples of ways that copyright holds back cultural expression — and that comes to mind in reading the saga of a movie called Sita Sings the Blues. It was brought to my attention by Rich W, who saw the film at a film festival a while back and loved it.

  • Back to the future: Vinyl record sales double in ’08, CDs down

    Audiophiles have long argued that vinyl records offer better sound quality than CDs or MP3s, but their stoic loyalty in the face of change was seen as little more than a nostalgic bias during the 25 years in which digital recordings came to dominate the music industry. In recent years, however, sales of LPs — that’s short for long-playing records, kids — have more than doubled online and are regaining overall market share, thanks to new converts looking for more than they can find in an MP3 selling for 99 cents online.

  • U.S. Album Sales Decline 14% While Online Track Sales Surge

    Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter III” was the best-selling album of 2008, a year in which total album sales fell 14 percent as consumers continued to buy single songs online, such as top-seller “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis.

  • China to ‘clean up’ the internet

    The authorities have also published the names of 19 websites that have failed to heed requests to get rid of unsuitable material.

    These include Google and China’s top internet search engine, Baidu.

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