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Links 09/02/2009: KDE 4.2 Review; X.org at FOSDEM

Posted in News Roundup at 5:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish


  • BitDefender Offers New and Improved Features for Linux-Based Users, Free for Home Use

    BitDefender®, a global provider of award-winning antivirus software and data security solutions, has launched a new version of BitDefender Antivirus Scanner for Unices, the on-demand antivirus and antispyware scanner for Linux and FreeBSD, which is free for personal use.

  • ioquake3 Engine Nears New Version

    The team behind the development of the ioquake3 engine, a spin-off of the open-source Quake 3 engine, is preparing for the release of a new update. The second release candidate for ioquake3 1.36 is now available and it features a number of new improvements. This new release of ioquake3 brings off-server data downloading support, OpenAL sound support for surround-sound configurations, Ogg Vorbis audio decoding, full x86_64 architecture support, improved Quake Virtual Machine tools, and there are many other features. There is also an SDL back-end for the OpenGL context, window management, and input.

  • Linux is a mixture, windows is a compound.

    On the other side of the fence. Due to windows being a compound it cannot be changed. One version of windows is only suitable for a single role. You have no choice in the choosing of elements in windows. You cannot have it work under several different file systems. You cannot replace the windowing manager etc. etc. If you did want to do something like have a different window manager or internet browser then all you can do is layer those programs on top of the windows operating system. You cannot remove the original programs or replace them and the layered programs will never be as integrated as in a Linux system. Like many compounds, windows is also very reactive. Any problems or corrosive substances (virus, spyware) coming into contact with a windows compound effects the whole system.

  • KDE 4.2 Review

    I recently did a bunch of package unmasking in my desktop Gentoo installation and did an emerge of KDE 4 .2 and I thought I would share my experiences in my shiny new desktop environment (unfortunately I was unable to see how Amarok2 integrated with KDE 4.2 due to some MySQL embedded compilation issues for 64-bit Linux).


    Overall, KDE 4.2 feels like a HUGE step forward for the KDE 4.X releases and is more what I would have expected the initial KDE 4.0 release to have been. This release feels like a usable desktop and has definitely made me 180 on my post KDE 4.0 release switch to GNOME. The KDE developers have made a strong case on why those users who switched away from KDE because of any disappointment in the 4.0 release should come running back.

  • Kernel Space

    • Texas Instruments Shows Mini Projector At X.Org

      A representative from Texas Instruments had showed up in the X.Org development room yesterday to show off one of their new products: a very tiny projector. This projector has a mini HDMI integrated connector for video input, uses LEDs and DLP technology for display, and can easily fit within your palm.

    • Bringing Multimedia, Audio Into The X Server

      Helge Bahmann talked about bringing multimedia and audio extensions into the X Server this morning at FOSDEM. Helge talked about this topic last year at FOSDEM, but in the past year he has made more progress in this area. No multimedia extensions are yet present in the mainline X Server, but his code is working to varying degrees based upon the situation. This code is also utilizing some existing X functionality already.

  • Distributions

    • The Unthinkable: Moving From Ubuntu to Debian 5 Lenny

      I am thinking the unthinkable…..I am considering changing from Ubuntu 8.10 for my desktop to Debian 5. I have been running the Debian 5 Lenny candidate for awhile and have bee very pleased with the stability and features. It actually functions and acts more like the distribution I need and work on than Ubuntu. Not so say that Ubuntu is bad, just that I typically do not need or use the latest applications. I mainly work on my Linux desktop for about 60 hours a week. So I really need something I can count on. Again, not that Ubuntu has let me down, it has never really crashed on me but I do struggle with bugs from time to time. I use my GUI desktop to work from as I manage Linux servers, either Ubuntu or CentOS.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 128

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #128 for the week February 1st – February 7th, 2009. In this issue we cover: Ubuntu Jaunty Alpha 4 released, Rock the Docs: Ubuntu LoCo Docs Day, Hall of Fame Interview: Christophe Sauthier, Fridge Calendar has moved, Ubuntu HugDay, New Contributing Developer, Launchpod Episode #16, Launchpad performance weeks, Full Circle Magazine #21, Ubuntu podcast #19, Toshiba Netbook with Ubuntu Remix, First Ubuntu Event in Monastir Tunisia, Team Meeting Summaries, and much, much more!

      • Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope” Wallpapers

        First there were Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope” mock-up designs, now showing up are tons of user-created wallpapers dedicated to the next major release version of this popular Linux distribution. If you are interested, let me show you some of those wallpapers here. But please take note that this is not a “best Linux wallpapers list” so I encourage you to lower your expectations and stop oneself from sending us violent reactions :-) However, if you happen to know a link or two to other good Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope-related wallpapers, please do share it with us via comment.

      • Ubuntu Server on Amazon – Beta programme now open

        Ubuntu Server on Amazon gives you the power of Ubuntu combined with the flexibility of Amazon’s cloud computing service. Ubuntu’s modularity, virtualization capabilities, range of applications and optimised performance make it the perfect solution if you’re deploying applications on Amazon’s Elastic Computing (EC2) cloud.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Amazon Kindle: A Road Warrior’s Best Friend

      I don’t care if print is dead, or if it’s just resting a while. What I do care about is getting the best, most versatile access to information when and where I need it. And for this, I’ve come to depend on my Amazon Kindle. While the rest of the tech world is busy kvetching over the forthcoming second-gen Kindle’s design aesthetics and its admittedly hefty $359 price tag, I’m wondering only one thing: Will it make me want to upgrade?

    • Android developers look beyond mobile phones

      Android may only be used in one mobile phone but interest in the wider consumer product development community is starting to grow.

      Californian touchscreen start-up, Touch Revolution has created a custom software installation based on Android which can be used in a range of non-mobile consumer products.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Free software isn’t freeware: why Linux and FOSS have a higher standard

    Microsoft’s recent survey proclaimed nearly half the population believe it is ok to use pirated software for personal use. This diminishes the argument by Linux advocates that you can use their operating system without any cost. Yet, you can’t confuse free as in cost with free as in freedom. Here’s what FOSS really means.


    Worse, when the company ceased it was no longer possible to get maintenance even if you agreed to the fee. So, when your current license period lapsed that was it; businesses had possibly years and years of important information which was plain and simply no longer accessible. Even though it was their own data.

    By stark contrast, if a FOSS program went belly-up you’d never be stuck. Your documents, your data, your information would be available forever because the specifications are always available – as encoded within the program source code.

    Once again, you don’t have to be a programmer for this to benefit you. You might be the CEO of a major business. However, you can find someone – even if you need to hire them – to help out. You can rest easy that your electronic data can always be opened if it has been stored in a FOSS file format.

    Remember, just because FOSS has the word “free” in it, it’s not the same as freeware. FOSS may not cost anything but it’s “free” in a broader sense. It’s free to use in any way you require. More than this, it’s free from risk.

  • Re: A balance of freedoms

    Something that many fail to understand is the fact that proprietary software is designed to divide society. Think about how this relates to Skype. The masters over Skype say, “Come use our Skype software, it is very convenient and it will let you do X, Y and Z. However, you must agree to this set of conditions before you are allowed to install and use Skype onto your computer”. Basically, the set of conditions are intended for the masters of Skype to maintain complete control over their software. As a result of when you choose to accept the conditions, you would also choose to give up your freedom.

  • Putting freedom back in software

    The father of the free software movement descended into a packed room at Concordia Monday explaining to 125 people why freedom is just as important in software as it is in the rest of life.

    Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation and lead architect of the GNU Project – which developed part of the GNU/Linux operating system – stressed that there is an ethical requirement to use software that is “free as in freedom, not as in beer.”

  • New open-source software permits faster desktop computer simulations of molecular motion

    Whether vibrating in place or taking part in protein folding to ensure cells function properly, molecules are never still. Simulating molecular motions provides researchers with information critical to designing vaccines and helps them decipher the bases of certain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, that result from molecular motion gone awry.

  • Dialogic Joins Digium Interoperability Partner Program

    Digium, the innovative force behind Asterisk, the world’s most widely used open source telephony platform, made a joint announcement with Dialogic Corporation, an international provider of world-class products and technologies for media and signal processing, that Dialogic (News – Alert) (News – Alert) has officially joined the Digium Partner program and will soon become an Interoperability Partner.

    This announcement marks the first step in certifying the Dialogic 1000 and 2000 Media Gateway (News – Alert) Series for use by the Asterisk (News – Alert) community.

  • Singing The Praises Of Songbird 1.0

    THERE’S no shortage of quality music player/jukebox software available on the internet and in the past I’ve used iTunes, Amarok, Rhythmbox, Exaile, Audacious and several others.

  • 10 free Linux alternatives to OpenOffice.org

    OpenOffice.org has a reputation for being the premiere office suit for the Linux platform. Maybe so but these days, it’s not exactly a lean slab of software anymore, particularly if you just want to try a component and don’t actually want the whole box and dice. Netbooks are one device category that comes to mind, for sure.

    But what are the alternatives? The reality is, for better or worse, the world is still dominated by Microsoft’s Office so any alternatives must have at least .doc (Word) and .xls (Excel) support. You could argue that beyond that, support for anything else is a bonus. Even if you don’t want or need MS support, there are days when a quick message doesn’t require a complete office suite to unleash itself onto your unsuspecting PC.

  • FLOSS Weekly 55: jQuery


  • Since When was Copyright Infringement ‘Theft?’

    This is the BIG LIE perpetrated again people all around the world. Every organisation in the same ilk as AFACT maintains the same half-truth as if it were cast in stone. They equate “copyright infringement” with “theft.” The word is even welded into their name.

  • Lords: rise of CCTV is threat to freedom

    The steady expansion of the “surveillance society” risks undermining fundamental freedoms including the right to privacy, according to a House of Lords report published today.

  • Creator of iconic Obama portrait arrested

    An arraignment is scheduled on Monday. If convicted on all charges, he faces up to three years in jail, Kenneally said.

    Fairey made headlines this week when The Associated Press claimed his Obama portrait infringed on its copyright to a photograph used for the artwork and that it should be compensated for its use.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Bdale Garbee, Hewlett Packard computer wizard and Debian lead 05 (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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