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Links 20/01/2009: RHEL 5.3, Mandriva 2009.1 Alpha 2

Posted in News Roundup at 12:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish


  • Melbourne school considers thin for 4,500+ PCs

    Morris said he was considering Linux as an alternative, but no decision had been made. The IT director will have to carry out these plans with the same amount of funds he had last year, which he said was less money in real terms because IT’s “landscape” is broadening. The funds pressure could be dealt with via process improvement, better asset management and using technology to free up IT staff time.

  • Once You Go Linux, You Never Go Back

    Unless you are updating your kernel, you will almost never have to restart your computer. Unlike Windows, an update of web-browser (IE8), will not force you to restart your computer twice. While Windows 7 does have better performance over Vista, it is nowhere close to the speed performance of any two year old Linux-based distro. The minimum requirements of running any linux-based distro beats the hell out of running Windows 7.

    If these are not enough reasons why a (real) Linux user will not switch to Windows 7, than you are not really a Linux user to begin with.

  • Foxit Software Delivers Foxit Reader 1.0 Beta for Desktop Linux

    Foxit Software Company is announcing the availability of its Foxit Reader 1.0 Beta for Desktop Linux. This is Foxit’s first beta version of Foxit Reader targeted at the Linux system. Foxit Reader 1.0 Beta for Desktop Linux delivers a broad set of functionality and awe-inspiring high-performance that enables end-users to have access to PDF files on the Linux platform. The free software has been tested on Ubuntu8.10 (kernel: gtk: 2.14.4), Fedora10 (kernel: gtk: 2.14.4) and OpenSuse11 (kernel: gtk: 2.12.9).

  • Sicap Launches Messaging Hub for Utel Fotochat

    For service providers such as Utel, Sicap technology and their commitment to an open-standards framework is getting them to market on multiple operator networks simultaneously and in the most cost-effective way. The Sicap platform uses open source Linux and MySQL™ components which ease the entry of applications and service providers from the Internet world into the mobile sphere.

  • The best three Linux introductions for beginners

    Dell’s Ubuntu-equipped PCs, including the Mini 9, also comes with a legal commercial DVD player and the ability to play MP3, WMA (Windows Media Audio), and WMV (Windows Media Video. In other words, Dell’s Ubuntu computers are Windows-user friendly.

  • Hacking Windows Administrator Password (with good intentions) Using Linux

    In case you or a friend of yours has forgotten his/her Windows administrator password, there’s no need to panic as you can easily hack it by resetting the password provided you have the right tools. One way to do this is to use Linux as your knight in shining armor.

    I’m going to show you how you can smoothly hack a Windows Administrator password using Linux. You will only need a Live CD, and for this example, we will utilize Ubuntu. Also, I assume that you have the basic knowledge on using the Linux command line.

  • 80% of Computer LOHAS: Virus-Free Life on a USB Key

    Before MS respond to your request, please buy such technologies, loudly, from GNU/Linux companies such as PendriveLinux (or the HeliOS Project especially if you represent a university) or from your local Linux businesses. [Disclaimer: I am not (yet) associated with the above-mentioned. You are welcome to find other such companies and leave their or your own web addresses in the comments.] Such collective actions of all consumers [schools, governments, NPO's, bussinesses, ...] and most importantly, their loud opinions expressed as blog posts, newsletter columns, … may collaboratively push Microsoft to respond to your request. Then you will be able to enjoy a Windows version of similar mobility. If you still care about and prefer Windows after living a 80% LOHAS life with GNU/Linux, that is.

  • Transfer Your Terminal with Screen

    Shawn Powers demonstrates the use of the screen command to resume your command line applications when you switch computers.

  • Linux Outlaws 72 – Gotta Bloody Stick o’ Gelignite

    This week we talk about the Palm Pre, the Movit Mini from GiiNii, MySQL developers not being welcome in Australia, iTunes going DRM-free and we also bring you an interview with Campbell Barton of Big Buck Bunny fame.

    If you have any feedback on the show, please leave it in the forums — thread for this episode.

  • Kernel Space

    • Nouveau’s Gallium3D Driver Gets Video Boost

      Younes Manton, the student developer that has been working on Generic GPU Video Decoding that allows video decoding to be done universally in the GPU’s shaders with any Gallium3D driver, has made some more progress on the NVIDIA front.

      We last talked about the state of Gallium3D video decoding back in September when Manton’s video decoding method was working, but at an awfully slow pace. Now with his work on the Gallium3D-based Nouveau driver for NVIDIA hardware, he has achieved more promising results.

    • ALSA 1.0.19 Released With Many Changes

      There were no release candidates or any official test builds this time around, but ALSA 1.0.19 was released this morning. There are many changes to be found in this latest update for the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture. Among other changes, the popular HDA codec driver has received many improvements, fixes, and support for new audio devices.

  • LCA2009

    • LCA2009: Rusty’s baby turns 10

      It was Russell who had the brainwave of hosting a conference of this nature in Australia, an idea born out of a visit to the US in 1997 to attend the USELINUX conference there. He also bankrolled the idea when it finally came to fruition in 1999.

    • LCA2009: Spreading research around

      From the purely technical, the Australian national Linux conference appears to be spreading its wings to embrace more and more aspects of society where openness is needed.

      In one sense, this is subversive; in another sense, it is just a natural outgrowth of an organic movement the seeds of which were planted in 1984 (a year that does have other connotations) when Richard Stallman kicked off the Free Software Foundation.

    • LCA2009: Active Directory in Samba 4 ‘an old story’

      Microsoft knew of the possibility that Samba 4 could supplant Active Directory years ago, hence it was unlikely that the company would feel that it posed any additional threat to Windows Server now, Samba founder Andrew Tridgell said today.

      In an interview with iTWire on the sidelines of the 10th Australian national Linux conference, Tridgell said that the Samba project needed developers to make the implementation smoother.

    • Wikia Co-founder Waxes About Wikia, Wikis, Wikipedia

      Wikis could take a trick or two from Facebook and social networking sites in order to draw more contributors in the new year, says co-founder of Wikia, Angela Beesley, one of the keynote speakers at the upcoming linux.conf.au. She shares her thoughts on wikia, wikis and wikipedia as well as their place in the enterprise with Computerworld.

      What will your talk at linux.conf.au be about?

      I will be talking about the future plans of both Wikipedia and its parent organisation, the Wikimedia Foundation.

    • Google ramps up IPv6 mission, google.com a year away

      During a presentation at this year’s linux.conf.au in Hobart, senior Google software engineer Angus Lees recalled how Google’s IPv6 efforts started as a covert, hobbyist project about two years ago and has gained enough momentum that a AAAA record for google.com could be added to Google’s DNS in a year.

    • Linux.Conf.Au – Day One

      On the systems administration side of things, I listened to Richard Keech talk on “Rapid, repeatable provisioning of Linux systems” using the Red Hat kickstart framework. There were some very good points to this talk, but my colleagues and I agreed we thought our current methods were better. Perhaps we should get around to putting in a talk for next year’s conference.

  • Desktop Environments

    • Move over GNOME, Ubuntu Mobile looks at Qt, other desktop environments

      The Ubuntu Mobile operating system is undergoing its most radical change with a port to the ARM processor for Internet devices and netbooks, and may use Nokia’s LGPL Qt development environment as an alternative to GNOME.

      During a presentation at this year’s linux.conf.au conference in Hobart, Canonical’s David Mandala said Ubuntu Mobile has changed a lot over the past year in that it now includes netbook devices in addition to MIDs and the ARM port.

    • Gallery: Desktop Linux KDE 4.2 RC1

      The latest version of the KDE desktop environment, mostly used on Linux, arrived last week (4.2 RC1), with the final product due on 22 January. ZDNet Australia’s Alex Serpo had a peek inside to see what this overhaul offers.

    • Linux KDE 4.2 RC1: Photos

      The latest version of the KDE desktop environment, mostly used on Linux, arrived last week (4.2 RC1), with the final product due on 22 January. We had a peek inside to see what this overhaul offers.

    • What’s new in KDE 4.2? A Review:

      I just took a quick tour of the newest version of KDE 4.2. Release Candidate 1. Sometime around the end of the month, the KDE developers will unleash the official 4.2 release upon the world, and it will be picked up by your distro creator of choice sometime soon afterwards. At any rate, KDE 4.2 will include a bunch of new features, and some sorely needed bug-fixes. So, how does it hold up so far?

    • Sessions menu (Lancelot)

      Well, the first feature for 4.3 is finished even before the final 4.2 is in your favourite distro’s repositories.

  • Distributions

    • Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring Alpha 2

      The second alpha for Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring (2009.1) is now available. There is information about the new release in various places:

      * Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring release notes: these will be updated to reflect the status of the current pre-release.
      * Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring Errata: these will be updated to reflect the status of the current pre-release.
      * A guide to some major new features of Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring

    • Red Hat

      • Virtualization gets a boost in RHEL 5.3

        Red Hat announced the availability of a new version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) that improves virtualization scalability. RHEL 5.3 also adds an implementation of the open-source OpenJDK Java technology, as well as support for Intel’s Nehalem processor architecture, says Red Hat.

      • Red Hat revs Enterprise Linux distro

        Red Hat today announced the fourth release of its Enterprise Linux commercial distribution, RHEL 5.3, adding support for new hardware, some virtualization tweaks meant to keep pace with recent innovations to hypervisor technology, and all sorts of other goodies.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3 Now Available with Leading Virtualization Performance and Next-Generation Java and Processor Support Capabilities

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the global availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3, featuring the latest open source, commercial-strength technology innovations. In the third update to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, customers will receive a wide range of enhancements, including significantly increased virtualization scalability, expanded hardware platform support and incorporation of OpenJDK Java technologies. Customers with a Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription will receive the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3 update, which is available for immediate download from Red Hat Network.

      • European Real Estate Listing Company Cuts Costs and Energy Use with Red Hat Solutions

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that ImmobilienScout24, one of the most successful real estate listing companies in Europe serving more than 800 million pages and over three million visitors each month, has achieved significantly reduced energy use and operating costs with Red Hat solutions. Utilizing Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced Platform with built-in virtualization capabilities and Red Hat Network (RHN) Satellite, ImmobilienScout24 has cut energy usage by 25 percent, hardware cost per server by 60 percent and operating costs by 10 percent – all while maintaining 100 percent uptime.

      • Fedora

        • The Fedora Engineering Manager

          Though sometimes described as the bleeding-edge testing ground to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (or RHEL for short), Fedora is one of the most popular Linux-distributions around, along with Ubuntu, OpenSUSE and Mandriva.

        • Announcing the Moksha Project and Fedora Community Project!

          We are pleased to announce the Moksha Project and Fedora Community Project. For a while now, Luke Macken, Máirín Duffy, myself and others have been working on consolidating the the Fedora Infrastructure bits under one unified user interface. We have decided to split the efforts into two projects.

          * Moksha – a generic platform for creating live collaborative web applications
          * Fedora Community – a website portal built on top of the Moksha platform

        • Fedora 10 with KDE 4.2 RC

          Alright, so we here at InaTux had the time this week to play around with the newest KDE Desktop Environment (version 4.2 *release candidate*) we have to say– and we might get some criticism for this but– we think that lately the KDE team version by version have been taking large steps in the wrong direction. They have been doing a good job at making a Desktop Environment that feels almost invisible, but the general design of the Environment itself seems a little too much like a Vista (i.e. Widgets) and Mac (i.e. the theme) clone and this isn’t what GNU/Linux was originally designed to be, a clone.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Faster Than Windows XP Feedback

        Want to know what I found really funny? No one questioned that Ubuntu on an old Pentium 4 machine with 768MB of RAM performed better than Vista running on a brand new Intel Core 2 Duo system running at 3.0GHz with 3GB of RAM. How’s that for a slap at Vista?

      • Ubuntu Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs): Still Coming Soon?

        When Canonical announced plans to develop Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) with Intel back in mid-2007, I expected to test — or perhaps even buy — an Ubuntu MID sometime in 2008. But we’re now into early 2009, and the MID effort doesn’t appear to be paying dividends yet for Canonical. Here’s why.

      • It’s All About Community

        I have a strange mind. I read quickly and extract information that sometimes others miss. Images jump out at me, almost off the page. This is true for novels or weblogs. Afterwards, I think about it and it is the images that spring to mind. I can’t even remember a joke verbatim. It is just the way my mind works.

        So when I think of Linux, I think of community. There is lots more to Linux, but it is community that springs to my mind. That is probably because it is like a Second Life for me. I spend much time out there, in the Linux community. But when I think of community, I think of only one thing, Ubuntu.

      • Ubuntu and the French Revolution: A Study

        The one connection that I can draw between revolutionary France and the free-software community, however, is their shared obsession with ideological evangelism, or spreading their own supposed freedoms to the rest of the world, whether the rest of the world likes it or not. Indeed, the goal of bringing Linux to every desktop is rarely questioned.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • SOFTWARE TOOLS: ITTIA embedded RDBMS speeds i.MX processors in consumer apps

      A variety of development tools are available for i.MX processors. In addition to the Linux BSP (Board Support Package) provided by Freescale, custom Linux BSPs for i.MX application processors can be created with LTIB, the Linux Target Image Builder. With LTIB, system builders select packages, set options, and customize the Linux kernel in a simple menu-driven interface. When selections are made, LTIB automatically acquires source code, applies kernel patches, and builds a complete BSP.

    • IPTV Growing Rapidly

      Part of the secret of Motorola’s IPTV success, Stein says, is software. For many of its U.S. customers, including AT&T, it builds STBs with Microsoft software. But in 2006, the company acquired its own IPTV software platform. It purchased Kreatel Communications, a Swedish company with a complete Linux-based IPTV solution, including applications, middleware, and set-top box designs featuring embedded Linux.

      “The primary thing Kreatel gave us was a complete software environment—one that already ran on European-friendly [i.e. Linux-based] hardware,” Stein explains. “Secondarily, but also very important, Kreatel already had a footprint in the European market, which was a fair to growing portion of the [global] IPTV market at the time.”

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Netbooks Poised to Be the New OS Battleground?

        In 2009, it won’t be the “year of the desktop” for any operating system–instead, the coveted trophy seems to be “year of the netbook.”

        Linux, thus far, has been a serious contender in the mobile Internet device (MID) category–small- to mid-size devices with more oomph than a smartphone but less power than an notebook or laptop. Typically these devices, which Intel has coined netbooks, share the common feature of being pre-installed with a basic toolset to surf the net and get some work done: browser, media viewers, word processors, spreadsheets, e-mail client. They also usually have solid-state on-board sotrage capacity, like super-agile internal Flash drives.

      • Looking for Linux, but sold out

        I had an interesting time scouring the Internet for the right netbook for my wife, who’s got a birthday coming up, is due for a new computer and is anxious to use Linux more regularly. While there was the usual difficulty in finding the right specs and color, the biggest hangup was trying to find an Acer Aspire One netbook with Linux on it. It’s not that they aren’t made by the manufacturer, it’s that all the Linux netbooks seem to be getting gobbled up. What was widely available in all of the color, memory, hard-drive and other forms was Windows XP. There were loads and loads of Windows XP netbooks, and even though I’ve had experience paying the ‘Microsoft tax’ and just throwing on the Linux distribution of my choice, my wife wasn’t on board for that. I guess all of my struggling to get sound and WiFi working on my four-year old laptop gave her some reservations. Besides, she wanted a new Linux netbook, and I’m all for buying the Linux pre-installs so manufacturers see and feel the demand and keep making them.

      • Darter Ultra: Linux on a Laptop

        There are a number of netbooks on the market, but I wanted to get my hands on one loaded with the Linux operating system, Ubuntu. With a number of cell phone companies switching to Linux, I think it’s only a matter of time before more and more laptops, see the light. System 76 is a company that is dedicated to the Linux operating system. This is the kind of machine that businesses should send out to their mobile executives. The stable operating system and the price can’t be beat.

    • Phones

      • More devices with Android OS likely to hit market in 2009

        A handful of forces appear to be shaping a year to come that is likely to include numerous device launches featuring the fledgling Android operating system.

      • Five key mobile phone trends for 2009

        1. Talk of the town: Open source
        Open source was for the geekiest of geeks. No longer. Last year, Google debuted its first smart phone based on the Android open-source operating system. Last we checked, members of the Open Handset Alliance include familiar household brands like ASUS, Garmin, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. Although the Kogan Agora Pro, Australia’s first smart phone to run on Google’s Android, has been delayed indefinitely, we’re still placing our bets on giants like Samsung and HTC to introduce their own Android devices this year, maybe as early as Mobile World Congress in February

      • Like the Pre? Wait Until It’s Actually Finished

        Palm is taking a page from Apple’s iPhone strategy book when it comes to keeping things quiet regarding its newly-announced Pre smartphone and webOS mobile platform.


  • The Empire (No Longer) Strikes Back

    Tomorrow’s fight will be about owning the cloud, and the main threat there is not so much Apache, as customised versions of open source software, of the kind employed by Google for its vast server farms: in the latest Netscape survey, Google has around 5% of the Web server market. It’s still open vs. closed, but not as we know it.

    The crucial point is that Microsoft failed to displace Apache, despite its almost limitless resources. This is the crucial lesson for the future, more important than any particular percentage market share: that Microsoft’s attacks can – and have been – beaten off.

  • 2008, the Buzzwords that were

    Sales at open-source software companies are booming, even as stock prices slump. As the recession puts pressure on tech spending, many companies are turning to open-source software. The economic meltdown is fueling a mini boom in the world of open source. The benefits of open source extend well beyond cost savings .Commercial open source is coming into its own can is proved by the fact that the revenues have dramatically increased for Red Hat and Novell Linux in 2008.

  • [Advocate Play Ogg] Inoggaural coverage

    Public events like this should be broadcast in publicly accessible free formats, not used as levers to gain market share and control over citizens for proprietary software companies like Microsoft.

  • A Hippo in Drag

    Hippo CMS is, of course, open source, and a minor update 6.05.06 came out just two weeks ago, so there is no sudden end of life for v6. However, it still presents a bit of a challenge to Bluenog going forward. Will Bluenog CMS fork version 6? Will the company take its time to rebuild its ICE (“Integrated Collaboration Environment”) around the new version 7?

  • Open Source M&A May Outpace the Industry in 2009, Says 451

    Early this week, 451 Group analyst Matthew Aslett shared his thoughts on M&A potential in the open source arena this year. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s certainly worth a look.

  • The perfect storm for open source M&A?

    As has been noted elsewhere, a report published recently by The 451 Group about opportunities for mergers and acquisitions of an by open source vendors is now freely available via The New York Times.

  • Joyent acquires Reasonably Smart

    Marketcetera, a provider of open source platforms for automated trading, has made available the new Marketcetera Automated Trading Platform, reports MSNBC.

    This first production-ready release of the popular open source trading platform for traders, hedge fund managers and broker/dealers offers new features that include robust complex event processing capabilities and enhanced strategy development for faster testing and deployment of algorithms.

  • Open source again

    The blog entry on open source seems to have generated more comments than anything else. Maybe it’s because all the EDA users want software to be free, and all the EDA producers are worried that it might head in that direction. Everyone has an opinion.

    In a seemingly off-topic thought, let me recommend Econtalk which is a weekly interview by Russ Roberts (a prof at GMU and Stanford) with someone knowledgeable on some aspect of economics interpreted in a wide sense. Last week it was Keynesian economics and the week before it was building schools in Africa. I typically burn it to CD each week and listen while commuting.

  • FSF

    • Richard Stallman in VanCity

      Richard Stallman, otherwise known as rms or the founder of the free software movement, will be in town for a series of lectures at UBC and BCIT.

    • Fellowship interview with Enrico Zini

      Enrico Zini is a long time Fellow of the FSFE and a prominent Debian developer. He has been involved in many different projects relating to Free Software and is deeply concerned about social issues. I had a nice chat with Enrico and asked him about some of his favourite causes.

  • Applications

    • Building desktop Linux applications with JavaScript

      During his keynote presentation at OSCON last year, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth described application extensibility as an important enabler of innovation and user empowerment. Citing the Firefox web browser and its rich ecosystem of add-ons as an example, Shuttleworth suggested that the Linux community could deliver a lot of extra value by making scriptable automation and plugin capabilities available pervasively across the entire desktop stack.

    • Mobile Firefox demonstrated on Linux-powered E-Ink display

      Embedded Linux developer Jaya Kumar has successfully tested Mozilla’s Fennec browser on an E-Ink screen. He published several videos on YouTube this week that demonstrate how the open source browser performs on a low-energy monochrome electronic paper display (EPD).

    • New Features in OpenOffice.org 3.1, an Early Look

      OpenOffice.org 3.1 is 65 days away, and developers are finishing up more than 1000 issues targeted for this Microsoft-Office-killer packing an army of new features, enhancements, and bug fixes.


  • UK Government To Force ISPs To Become Copyright Cops

    Like other industry trade groups around the world, the British Phonographic Industry, that country’s RIAA equivalent, has been pushing for British ISPs to become its copyright cops, something a number of ISPs have refused to do. After some threatening noises from British politicians, some ISPs relented, and now, the government is set go all the way by forcing the ISPs to play ball.

  • Telcos want delay in law on net piracy

    New Zealand telcos want to delay the introduction of new copyright laws to police internet privacy by up to two months while they iron out “controversial issues”.

    Section 92A of the Copyright Act requires internet service providers to act against their customers on copyright owners’ allegations of illegal music and movie downloads from the internet.

  • Chinese bloggers banned from stitching up officials

    THE GLORIOUS Communist Party of China has a wonderful method of dealing with blogs which show their officials are living in the lap of luxury while workers live badly.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Lawyer John Koenig on how people make money with Free Software 09 (2004)

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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  27. Open Patent Office is Not the Solution; Ending Software Patents is the Solution

    Our remarks about the goals and methods of the newly-established Open Patent Office and what is instead needed in order to combat the menace that threatens software development

  28. New Scholarly Paper Says “UK’s Withdrawal From the EU Could Mean That the Entire (Unitary Patent) System Will Not Go Into Effect”

    A paper from academics -- not from the patent microcosm (for a change) -- provides a more sobering interpretation, suggesting quite rightly that the UPC can't happen in the UK (or in Europe), or simply not endure if some front groups such as CIPA somehow managed to bamboozle politicians into it (ratification in haste, before the facts are known)

  29. Patent Trolls Update: Rodney Gilstrap Maintains His Support for Trolls, MPEG-LA Goes Hunting in China, and Blackberry Hits Nokia

    A roundup of the latest news about patent trolls and what they are up to in the United States, Europe, and Asia

  30. Guest Post: EPO, an Idyllic Place to Work

    The true face of the EPO as explained by an insider, recalling the history that led to the negative image and toxic work atmosphere


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