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01.12.09

Links 12/01/2009: KDE 4.2 Previews, OpenOfice.org Rave

Posted in News Roundup at 10:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

  • Wireless Linux Terminal Services

    Schools like terminal servers. How else can you explain the popularity of Microsoft’s RDP server to provide file-sharing and controlled Internet access to it’s laptop owning students?

    The problem is that MS RDP is:

    * quite expensive
    * creates complex licence issues
    * pretty slow
    * requires a hi-spec laptop to run the RDP client

    The ideal solution for a school would be good old netboot or PXE boot. The client computer does not need to have school applications installed nor even have a functioning OS. It fetches all it needs from the server.

  • Red Hat’s Open Source Software of Value in These Recessionary Times

    With the current recessionary environment, perhaps it’s not such a bad time to take a look at investing in penguins and fedoras. When I say penguins, I mean Tux, the official mascot of the Linux kernel and when I say fedoras, I mean Red Hat (RHT), the Raleigh, NC-based provider of open source enterprise solutions.

  • Google Chrome Dumps WinHTTP, Linux Version Inevitable

    The preview (alpha) version of Google’s browser, Chrome, was released last week with a number of new features including an update to the V8 Javascript engine, form autocomplete, and experimental user script support that they are calling “similar to Greasemonkey.”1 But probably the most interesting item of note is that the development team has rolled their own HTTP stack.

  • Open Sourcing the Third World

    As I started this series I noted that my interest in Linux was first motivated less by technology and more by philosophy and ideology. Thus, by extension, one way you can encourage the developing world to go open source is by doing it yourself.

    You’ll think of the rest of the world immediately if you check out Ubuntu, the Linux distribution I use. Global accessibility is one of the big goals of Ubuntu developer Mark Shuttleworth, a native of South Africa. The first step of installing, or checking out Ubuntu from a live CD, is choosing your language. Like Press 1 for English on the voice mail, only with lots more options, 64 to be exact. Rep. Steve King (Know Nothing-IA) would first have fits and then try to get it banned under our English Only law. Don’t get scared, the default is the world’s default second language, English. Sure, Windows supports a lot of languages too. But the Ubuntu install process literally makes you think of the rest of the world as the very first thing.

  • An Unexpected Aquarium Experience

    One point here that bears noting: I’ve gotten so used to Linux that I didn’t bother to think about system performance issues when I installed the iso into the Virtual Box. The ISO and the virtual drive happened to be on the same physical drive and even worse in the same partition. Installation took over 2 hours. When I realized what I had done, I realized one user issue that isn’t easily addressed by Linux, if you have more than one drive and you like to jack the performance up, having two drives actually improves performance. The caveat being that if you’re reading from one and writing onto another volume, they need to be on separate physical drives.

    After doing a lot of other things while Visaster SP2 (Windows 7) installed, I’d look in on it and watch what was going on. Somewhere along the way I wondered why the sunlight was streaming down from the sky on the desktop. Yeah I have to admit a really nasty semi-biblical thought passed. Then somewhere along the way the Siamese fighting fish pops up. Oh OK, I think, “We’re under water”. I wasn’t sure if that was a counter-play to Aero or not but I laughed anyway.

  • Linux Outlaws 71 – Evil@Home

    MP3 – 1 hour 36 minutes 42 seconds, 44.4 MB — you can also download all our episodes in both MP3 and Ogg Vorbis format from the Outlaw Archives.

  • kernel

    • Kernel Log: What’s new in 2.6.29 – Part 1: Dodgy Wifi drivers and AP support

      Scarcely two weeks after the release of Linux 2.6.28, Linus Torvalds has integrated comprehensive changes for kernel version 2.6.29 into the main development branch. As of Friday morning, he had added a whopping 7550 patches that changed 8388 files and included more than 1,061,513 new, changed, or moved, lines of code. Over the weekend, the merge window closed and the second phase of the development cycle, which usually lasts some eight to ten weeks, has started with the release of 2.6.29-RC1. In the second phase only corrections, or small changes that do not threaten the code, will find their way into the main development branch.

    • Kernel Log: What’s new in 2.6.29 – Part 2: WiMAX

      In Part 2 of the Kernel Log’s coverage of the major changes happening in the main development branch for the Linux kernel 2.6.29 release, we look at a major new addition to Linux’s networking capability, WiMAX support.

      USB sub-system maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman has brought the WiMAX stack, developed primarily by Intel developers in the framework of the Linux WiMAX project, into the Linux main development branch.

  • Virtualisation

    • WANdisco Unveils Subversion MultiSite Software Appliance Based on Linux

      In general, a virtual appliance is a software application that is pre-packaged with a fully supported ‘just enough operating system (JeOS)’, based on Linux. The application offers everything that is required for the deployment in a virtual machine.

    • 5 Linux-based Virtualization Companies to Watch

      There’s only one company that doesn’t use Linux for its server virtualization platform. Can you guess which one it is? If you guessed Microsoft, you’re correct. Microsoft is a newbie in the virtualization space but wants in and may make significant dents in the already well-established market that is significantly owned by VMware.

  • Desktop Environments (KDE)

    • KDE 4.2 “The Answer” – My Experiences So Far

      This Tuesday (as long as everything goes according to schedule) the release candidate of KDE 4.2 will be released, and I’m extremely excited to see how much has been improved since Beta 2. (Which is what I’m using now). As the final version of KDE 4.2.0 nears release, I’ll be writing more posts regarding my experiences and what you should come to expect. I’ll even include some screen shots for all of you too-much-text-impaired.

      2009 will definitely be an important year for KDE. If you’re already using KDE 4.2 like me, what are your experiences so far?

    • Dragon and SMPlayer

      Kaffeine was the most used Video Player on KDE 3, however, for KDE 4.x it’s in a pretty early stage, but fear not, the SMPlayer (which is technically a Qt application, not a KDE one) and Dragon Player came to fill this hole.

      Why I review two applications that do basely the same? Because Dragon Player is deadly simple, and SMPlayer, while being less simplified, has an amazing feature package.

  • Distributions

    • Interview with Paul Sherman, Absolute Linux lead developer

      Slackware Linux, the oldest surviving Linux distribution, is the parent of many Linux projects that exist today. Absolute Linux is one such distribution, customised for ease of use and speed. It comes with many everyday applications, but just one “fast, stay-out-of-your-way desktop,” all while remaining compatible with official Slackware packages. Absolute Linux 12.2.1 was released last week.

    • A Weekend With Arch

      Within a few months of beginning with Linux, it became obvious that I was one of those who have severe difficulties settling on a distribution. This situation presents some unique challenges, but generally, I’ve found there are more benefits than drawbacks. While I may have favorites, or be more familiar with some distributions than others, they all offer a little something different.

      A few months ago, I wrote about Gentoo. It’s been one of my favorites, as it’s a learning experience and exceedingly stable when it’s been successfully configured. A few commenters suggested Arch Linux as an alternative.

    • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 124

      Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #124 for the week January 4th – January 10th, 2009. In this issue we cover: Next Ubuntu Global Bug Jam, Ubuntu Developer Week Returns, New MOTU’s, New Ubuntu Members, Ubuntu Hall of Fame: James Westby, Good People-Good Teams, Debian Import Freeze, Changes to Launchpad Legal Page, Open Sourcing Launchpad, 12 Days of Launchpad, Ubuntu Podcast #16, Edubuntu meeting minutes, and much, much more!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Can automotive survive without open source?

      The struggling automotive industry needs to embrace open software platforms if it wants to cash in on the growing automotive telematics and infotainment business, says an ABI Research white paper. Partnerships with Linux technology companies are cited by ABI as potential avenues for success.

    • UC Berkeley Extension to Educate Software Developers on Embedded Linux

      For software programmers and developers, the job market can bring promise if they look for opportunities in the smaller consumer equipment sector.

      According to the Embedded Linux Consortium (ELC), cell phone and PDA manufacturers are in need of programmers who are trained in embedded Linux to refine the product’s software code.

    • CES09: iRiver’s Wave Home multimedia web/VoIP gadget

      The iRiver Wave Home does a whole lot more than your traditional night stand clock or digital picture frame. It’s a Linux computer with a 7-inch screen, which has the ability to play music (your own or from the radio) and video, display photos, make VoIP calls and do video conferencing.

    • Linksys launches Linux-based wireless audio

      Linksys is betting that the market for home servers and streaming media is ready to take off, and it wants to go along for the ride. The company’s launched a salvo of home media kit ranging from a sweet-looking server to a range of digital audio gear to stream music around the house.

      The centepiece of it all is the Media Hub, which is a souped-up NAS designed to share music, video and photos across the local network and the Internet. Beneath the Media Hub’s shiny skin beats a customised Linux distro – no Windows Home Server here.

    • olsrd ported to the google phone (android, G1)!

      I have been sitting together with Ivan Klimek from CNL in Slovakia and we had a great hack evening. While I was briefly busy in the meantime he ported over olsrd-0.5.5 to the Google Android Phone! Hurray!

    • Fast Boot

      • Instant-on PCs Could Take off With Netbooks

        Phoenix introduced its own quick-boot environment for netbooks called HyperSpace Dual at CES. Offered as a quick-boot option to Windows, many of the applications included in the instant-on Linux software are browser-based. It can be installed on netbooks or laptops, and can be downloaded from Phoenix’s Web site. It is priced at US$39.95 for one year and $99.95 for three years.

      • A Close Look At Phoenix’s HyperSpace

        With all the talk there’s been about Linux displacing Windows on the desktop, the big question is how is it going to happen? Here’s one possibility: it will outflank it. One way this may happen is through HyperSpace, Phoenix Technologies’ Linux-based boot environment that could give people one less reason to boot regularly into Windows.

F/OSS

  • MPs Propose Use of Open Source Software in Public Administration

    Ljubljana, 12 January (STA) – Three deputies of the ruling Social Democrats (SD) have proposed to the government to overhaul the state and public information systems by abandoning the use of chargeable licence programmes in favour of open source solutions.

  • Corporate IT Skills in an Open Source World

    I’m no programmer, but they sound right to me. In a sense, what we are talking about here is the development of a new kinds of higher-level abilities: not just how to code, but the ability to find, modify, combine and share reusable bits of code, to draw from and feed back into the great free software commons.

  • 2009

    • Commercial open source community strategies in 2009 and beyond

      The open source vendors that are successful in 2009 and beyond will be those that find a balance between the two positions. Nothing new there, but I suspect that this year we will see significant discussion on how to achieve and maintain that balance.

    • Open Source trends in 2009 – what’s new?

      The beginning of the year marks the time for predictions and trend-spotting. Over on Infoworld, Zack Urlocker posts his Open Source trends for 2009:

      * More commercial Open Source
      * More experimentation with business models
      * More acquisitions
      * More power in the user community
      * More mainstream

    • 10 predictions for Linux and open source in 2009

      2009 is here. And for people like me, that means it’s time to put together not a “year in review” but a “year in preview.”

      I don’t like to look back; I like to look ahead. So I offer you this list of what I see in the year to come for the Linux operating system and open source software.

  • Sun

    • The LXF Guide: OpenSolaris distros

      OpenSolaris is the much talked-about open source version of Sun’s industrial strength operating system. It’s a Unix derivative aimed at the same general demographic as Linux or the free BSDs: system administrators, developers, and desktop users. Under the guidance of Debian founder Ian Murdock, OpenSolaris has taken its place alongside Linux and the free BSDs as another viable alternative operating system, and has built up support for 12 languages. It offers commonly used software as found in Linux such as Gnome, Evolution, Pidgin and Firefox. In addition, OpenSolaris includes graphical config tools such as the Device Drivers utility and Package Management suite – the latter having a look and feel that’s not alien to Synaptic users.

    • Review: Free OpenOffice.org Writer surpasses Microsoft Word under the hood

      Pleased, I authored a handwritten note on my card, put it inside an envelope, stamped it, and set it aside to be mailed.

      Next, I wondered how OpenOffice.org would fare against Microsoft’s Save As PDF Add-In. I often need to export documents to PDF, and I’ve noticed that Word tends to produce PDFs that are considerably large in size.

  • Applications

    • The PeC Review: Magento Is the Open Source Powerhouse

      Magento is an open source ecommerce platform designed to empower online merchants and remove barriers in business process and flow. The platform has been downloaded more than 600,000 times, Magento says, perhaps making it the fastest growing ecommerce solution in the market.

Culture

  • The Culture of Free, and The Power of Less

    A few people on other websites have commented on the irony of me selling a book (The Power of Less) about working and doing and living with less, saying something along the lines of:

    “Yes, I’m going to live with less … starting with not buying books!”

  • How Open Source could save the Media Industry

    Youtube was a brilliant idea. Allow users to sign up for accounts and upload video after video after video. Without dolling out so much as a penny Youtube managed to gather millions of user-created videos that other users could watch and enjoy (or not). It was content created by the masses at no charge to the owner.
    But if you read the licensing close enough you realize that basically once you upload a video you can not modify said video (or any aspect of the youtube experience). You can not redistribute user videos on Youtube even though the user may have no copyright on the video.

    [...]

    Take a look at what Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails did with their Ghosts I-IV recordings. Not only did he release these albums in a “Pay for it if you like it scheme” (which, by the way, netted him over $750,000 in three days after releasing) he also released the music and artwork under a creative commons license which allowed the fans to remix the music and alter the artwork. His fans ate it up. This culminated in his allowing fans to video tape the last leg of his Lights In The Sky tour. He eventually released the videos for the fans to enjoy and edit.

  • let the remixes begin (UPDATED)

    Sam did the first remix of my Colbert appearance.

Internet Censorship

  • China tightens Internet hold

    THE GLORIOUS People’s Republic of China has shut down one of the most popular blog sites claiming that it is too vulgar for the previous snow flakes which are the nation’s youth.

  • [UK Wikipedia Censorship]

    The censorship is run by IWF, but no one forced you to join in the first place. I just hope you
    realised what sort of backlash (or Streisand Effect, making Virgin Killer the most visited wikipedia
    article by several thousands pageviews)
    your (and other ISP’s) action created. We are not in China
    or in Australia. About Phorm, I just hope you will inform me as promised, I take you by word.
    Now, to the major problem I have got with your company. What does it mean, exactly, that
    you take matters like “false advertisement” and “lying to potential customer” very seriously? I don’t
    really care what happened to your sales person, I would like to know what are your procedures in
    cases like this with regard to your customer.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Digital Tipping Point: IP attorney Julian Summers end (2005)

Ogg Theora

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

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2 Comments

  1. David Gerard said,

    January 13, 2009 at 3:18 am

    Gravatar

    Dragon Media Player’s killer misfeature – no (apparent) way to fast-forward past the “mandatory” bits of DVDs. As I discovered when trying it out instead of VLC. FAIL.

  2. David Gerard said,

    January 13, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Gravatar

    And another link: Have you seen this? http://philosecurity.org/2009/01/12/interview-with-an-adware-author HOLY CRAP. It explains in precise detail why it’s absolutely impossible to secure Windows.

    S: In your professional opinion, how can people avoid adware?

    M: Um, run UNIX.

    S: [ laughs]

    M: We did actually get the ad client working under Wine on Linux.

    S: That seems like a bit of a stretch!

    M: That was a pretty limited market, I’d say.

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