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Links 06/04/2009: More Schools Move to GNU/Linux, Debian Gains Architectures

Posted in News Roundup at 6:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • All Tatarstan Schools Moving to Free Software

    According to the Deputy Minister, in each of the school-level workshops are planned to open courses on the work of «Linux» students. But before that is still to prepare professionals who will lead these clubs.

  • Debian unleashes inner devil

    The Debian project has announced that it is adding two new FreeBSD kernels to the unstable and experimental archive under the name of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD.

  • New architectures


    we just added two new architectures to the Debian archive. Everybody please welcome

    kfreebsd-i386 AKA GNU/kFreeBSD i386
    kfreebsd-amd64 AKA GNU/kFreeBSD amd64

    Note that this enables porter NMUs for those two. In case you have a bug with a patch waiting for your package that has to do with one of them, please either fix it soon or expect a porter NMU to be done soon.

  • From OSX to Ubuntu

    So far I’m not really missing that much – clearly OSX has a certain feel of slickness to it but in the last couple of years Ubuntu has become much more refined and easier to use. More an more works without intervention – I’d long held an opinion that using linux was like owning a vintage beetle — It’s great but you have to spend all weekend tinkering with it to keep it on the road. For me using windows was like that, as I found more and more time was sucked into keeping my PC running. When I switched to OSX I found my productivity went up. So far with Linux it’s too early to tell whether I’m as productive though I’m fairly confident that I’m finding enough software that performs well and is intuitive to use that I should be every bit as “at home” on Linux as I was on the mac. Plus with the added bonus that I’ve got a much better set of linux tools (rather than bsd) under the hood and not to mention that running an open source operating system is a much better prospect long term.

  • Morgan Stanley Growing Its Use of Linux

    Anthony Golia, executive director of enterprise computing at Morgan Stanley, told attendees at the High Performance Linux on Wall Street show this morning that his firm has been using Linux in a big way since 2001.

    “We use it because it performs well on inexpensive, commodity hardware,” Golia said. “That continues to be true and that continues to be a reason we use it.”

  • MIDs to bring Linux to Asia-Pacific

    MIDs (mobile Internet devices) may be the channel for Linux to reach mainstream consumers in Asia, according to an analyst.

    Ian Lao, senior analyst, mobile technologies at In-Stat told ZDNet Asia in an interview, MIDs are expected to do better in the region than in others, and that Linux will likely grow alongside as a result.

  • Linux Runs on Text: Understanding & Handling Text

    This month, as another part of the series about using text on Linux systems, we’ll introduce “plain text” and how you can restructure it. We’ll see how to identify text from different systems (Unix, DOS, Mac) and to convert text between systems. The article ends with some examples, and there’ll be lots more next month.

    If you’re used to clicking on files to view and edit them, you’ll probably find some new tools and concepts here. Gurus, please have a look at the main example and be sure it’s familiar.

  • Seven against the world

    Thanks in part to Vista, open source software has entered into the OS discussion, often for the first time for many CIOs and IT managers.

    “When we moved from XP to Vista we thought about this. If Vista is not going to help us then let’s look at open source technologies like Linux and Redhat, but to move from one technology to another is a huge resource requirement on time and getting all the applications certified,” explained Katyal.

  • Applications

    • 8 Image Viewers for Ubuntu


      Gwenview is by far the most popular image viewer for KDE, and it comes with all the features a well-thought image viewing application should have: it provides a file browser, previews, resizeable thumbnails, and a wealth of plug-ins for basic image manipulation. The sidebar will display image information, together with shortcuts to several useful file operations, like left/right rotation, resize or red eye reduction. You can also insert ratings for your images, up to five stars (handled the same way Amarok 2.0.2 handles ratings for audio files).

    • Moneydance–A cross-platform personal finance manager

      There is one other thing that I found to be a bit different from most other personal finance programs I have used and that is the way Moneydance treats accounts and categories the same. I am no accountant, but that is evidently the way most actual accounting software It’s called the double entry method and while I don’t understand it completely, it basically links the different accounts to each other. In KMyMoney and other personal finance managers, you can set up a transfer from one account to another by calling it a transfer. In Moneydance, I had to chooe the account in the category section of the transaction in order to get the changes to register in both accounts. Once I got past the difference, it’s a piece of cake.

  • Desktop Environments

    • plasma on netbooks

      At last year’s Akademy, we did some work on a layout for a Plasma interface for netbooks on the whiteboard and started putting together some code for it. It then went quiet and pretty much died: we focused 4.2 development on the idea of “traditional desktop usage parity”, there were no SoC projects around the concept to help push it forward and nobody else in KDE really seemed to care enough about the concept of “things that aren’t large screened, mouse driven devices” to give the effort any support.

    • Eight Reasons Why Fluxbox Is My Favorite Desktop

      What other annoyances doesn’t Fluxbox have? It doesn’t take extra time to start up with a splashy opening. It doesn’t declare 1000 dumb sounds for every trivial event (KDE, 1000 confirmed dialogs to disable, waterboarding, dominatrix), it doesn’t require a whole suite of programs to go with its environment… it does exactly what so many interface pundits out there say they want: it’s happy to be invisible. Two days into your first Fluxbox trial, and you will forget it’s there!

  • Distributions

    • Review: Parted Magic 4.0

      As far as actually using Parted Magic 4.0 to partition a drive, it works great. I went in, threw everything at it I could and it worked flawlessly. In fact, the newer version of Gparted works a lot better than the previous versions used. It was more or less *click, click, click, done* when repartitioning a drive. Yes, it was fast!

      And I haven’t seen any failings in all the tests I’ve run, including stability issues. It’s been rock solid. So overall I have no complaints with this version of Parted Magic. I think it’s some of the best work I’ve seen from this developer group since it got started. Well done guys!

    • Review of Parted Magic 4.0

      Hot off the press, Parted Magic 4.0 has been released. In short, it’s a lightweight Linux live CD with a firm focus on partitioning drives. From its web site, “The Parted Magic OS employs core programs of GParted and Parted to handle partitioning tasks with ease, while featuring other useful programs (e.g. Partition Image, TestDisk, fdisk, sfdisk, dd, and ddrescue) and an excellent set of documentation to benefit the user. An extensive collection of file system tools are also included.”

    • Hacker and slasher or stable and steady. There is a Linux for you.

      The first class of Linux distributions which live on the bleeding edge are generally those which are updated frequently. They have a very active community and are often the new kids on the distribution block. Some of the oldest distributions also fall in this class too. These types of distributions are for those who have a good knowledge of the Linux system and are not afraid of the command line. Some examples of these are Gentoo, the unstable branches of Debian and the Fedora project.

    • Arch

      • Another new Arch user

        I had the idea of using Arch for some time now and with the pain of first configuring it gone thanks to the Chakra project I went for it.
        So far I’ve had some minor issues which I’ve been able to tackle. And besides that I have to customize it to use the packages I use I’m a very happy new user. It’s fast and it’s nearly vanilla KDE, so what else can you ask for? =D.

      • Chakra: my new distro of choice.

        And then, two days ago I suddenly came across Chakra. It’s basically Arch linux + kdemod, but then with a live cd and quick and easy installer. And it’s amazing. It absolutely FLIES. On avage it consumes about 150-250 MB less memory then my kubuntu installation (?!). Everything works very well out of the box. The kde packaging is very well done. The live cd environment is one of the most response i’ve ever encountered (and uses only 256 MB RAM). It has rolling releases, so it’s easy to always run the bleeding edge. And it’s package manager pacman is really fast and easy to use.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 136

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #136 for the week March 29th – April 4th, 2009. In this issue we cover: Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.04 Beta released, Newly Approved LoCo Teams, Package Training Sessions, Hug Day: April 9th, Ubuntu Brainstorm: Call for Idea Reviewers, New MOTU, The Fourth Horseman, New Ubuntu Mirror: Colombia, Ubuntu Florida and Pennsylvania Jaunty Release Parties, Launchpad 2.2.3 released, Launchpad: Official Bug Tags, Checkbox 0.7.1 released, Ubuntu Podcast: Qimo, Ubuntu Podcast #24: Mark Shuttleworth Interview, Ubuntu-UK Podcast: The Return, Ubuntu Server Team Minutes: March 31st, and much, much more!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • NetGear offers new four-bay network storage appliance

      NetGear has announced the ReadyNAS NVX, a new network attached storage (NAS) device aimed at the Small to Medium Business (SMB) market. It’s priced starting at $1,500.

    • Linux Console Rears Head Again

      This one costs $380 and comes with Athlon 64×2 5600 CPU (clocked to 2.4GHz), an ATI HD 3200 graphics chipset, 2GB of DDR2 RAM, and a 120GB hard drive. It will use a version of Fedora called Mirrors, which says Engadget “can be upgraded to a beefier build named Mirrors Evolution X.”

  • Sub-notebooks

    • Dell Netbook Roadmap Surfaces

      If the roadmap proves to be accurate, it shows that the Mini 10 will get some new options on April 17 including a 250GB HDD, Ubuntu, an internal TV tuner, 6-cell battery, a 1.86GHz CPU and something called Picasso covers. On April 20, new options will include 2GB of RAM and a Red variety along with a standard 1024 x 600 LCD.

    • Dell Mini Roadmap Points To 11-inch Model

      Dell looks set to break the 10″ barrier with their upcoming Inspiron Mini lineup if this leaked product roadmap is to be believed.

Free Software/Open Source

  • First look: Mozilla Firefox FX 3.6 alpha 1

    Although Firefox 3.5 (formerly Firefox 3.1) is still in beta, Mozilla is already developing Firefox 3.6 code-named Namoroka (a Madagascar national park.)

  • Opening the Door to Open Source

    Open source software, which is written with source code that is widely available with little or no proprietary copyrights, is now entering contact centers and for several good reasons. These chief ones include lower (up to 40 percent) pricepoints, ease of customization, many new solutions, and the coming of age of these applications to endure demanding communications environments.

    Open source delivers these benefits because there are no licensing costs as there is with proprietary software and it has spawned a large and growing community of developers who believe in the concept. Open, though, does not necessarily mean ‘free’. While there is open-source-written freeware available directly via the Web, most applications that can meet the demanding needs of contact centers are packaged, hosted/delivered and supported by suppliers for fees. Those vendors typically offer a mix of core paid and free features.

  • InfoWorld using Drupal

    InfoWorld relaunched on Drupal 6 yesterday! Check out their new site at http://infoworld.com. InfoWorld has been around since 1978 and is a well-known resource for IT professionals. I hope they write up a use case because it is a great testament to Drupal 6.

  • Free Online Book Has Blueprint for Successful FOSS Projects

    Fogel’s book is an 887K PDF file consisting of 9 chapters and several appendices:

    * Chapter 1. Introduction
    * Chapter 2. Getting Started
    * Chapter 3. Technical Infrastructure
    * Chapter 4. Social and Political Infrastructure
    * Chapter 5. Money
    * Chapter 6. Communications
    * Chapter 7. Packaging, Releasing, and Daily Development
    * Chapter 8. Managing Volunteers
    * Chapter 9. Licenses, Copyrights, and Patents

  • Free Open Source License Insight Conference, 16 April 2009, Seoul

    On the 16th of April the Korea Software Copyright Committee (SOCOP) – a non-profit organization under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism having the mandate to promote the protection of software-related intellectual property rights – will host the Free Open Source License Insight Conference, at the COEX Intercontinental Hotel (Seoul).

  • Open Source Podcasts 5-04-2009: Mifos Microfinance Platform, MuleSource, Mark Shuttleworth

    Mifos on FLOSS Weekly Open Source Podcast – George Conard and Adam Monsen of the Mifos Initiative interviewed on FLOSS Weekly provide a look into the Mifos Initative.

  • Business

    • Jitterbit Open Source Integration Now Available on Intel® Business Exchange

      Jitterbit, the leading provider of open source integration software, today announced its award-winning integration suite is available on the Intel Business Exchange. Intel BX offers the best-in-class software and solutions/services from Certified Intel® Software Partners.

      The Intel® Business Exchange gives companies convenient and easy access to cutting-edge software built to take advantage of Intel’s latest platforms and technologies. Featuring a global network of software vendors, manufacturers and publishers, the Business Exchange includes new technologies and applications from Intel and premiere software brands.

    • Life Without Legacy Systems

      We’ve leveraged a lot of open source. There is sufficient open-source infrastructure so that you don’t need to buy enterprise software. You can hire the right people who are capable of managing that infrastructure.

  • Sun

    • Ten minutes with Jonathan Schwartz

      The good news about developing markets is that for the most part, open source appeals to those that are driving change and are investing in infrastructure. In a way, open source in developing markets is a far simpler message to send than in more mature markets.

  • Licensing

    • NiceMac’s Open Source Apps Help Sirius Focus on Core

      On the StarPlayr.com website NiceMac says, “Our redesigned satellite radio desktop and web applications will be open source. Our company plans to challenge proprietary radio systems and lead the forefront for Open Access by creating building blocks under the GPL. Our StarPlayr software will still require a Sirius or XM Radio subscription, but will give customers choice in how they access these services.”

  • Open (But No Source Code)

    • The Future of Our Cities: Open, Crowdsourced, and Participatory

      This is the future that is coming to our cities, one way or another, whether city councils and agencies accept it right now or not. Either it will come in a trickle, as interested developers find ways to build these services without the city’s consent, or it will come in a flood as cities get on board and help push things along.


  • Call the Obama administration and ask for your copy of ACTA now!

    The Obama administration wants to be called about the status of negotiations of ACTA. Call the Obama administration and ask for your copy of ACTA now!

  • The Latest Act in the ACTA Farce

    The rest, unfortunately, is the usual mixture of half-truths and outright fibs. But this constant trickle of such documents shows that they are taking notice of us, and that we must up the pressure for full disclosure of what exactly is being negotiated in our name.

  • Copyrights

    • US District Court: Restoration of Copyright in Public Domain Foreign Works Is Unconstitutional

      The US District Court for the District of Colorado has just granted a motion for summary judgment in Golan v. Holder you will want to know about. It is a very big deal. Anthony Falzone, Executive Director of the Fair Use Project at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society, who led this effort, says, “It is the first time a court has held any part of the Copyright Act violates the First Amendment and the first time any court has placed specific constitutional limits on the government’s ability to erode the public domain.” I read it as saying that nothing, not any treaty, not even the Berne Convention, can trump the US Constitution.

    • Court Rules Part Of Copyright Act Unconstitutional
    • Amazon takes heat over Kindle DRM

      A literacy group is planning to protest against the organisation that pushed for restrictions on Amazon and its Kindle 2 e-book reader.

      The Reading Rights Coalition is to hold a protest in New York on 7 April outside the headquarters of The Authors Guild. The group said that it primarily represents individuals who cannot read print, such as the blind and those with learning disabilities.

    • Stand Up for Your Right To Read

      Last month, a group called The Author’s Guild raised loud objections to the text-to-speech feature in Amazon’s new Kindle 2. They claimed that reading a book out-loud is a violation of US copyright law.

    • Radiohead to Testify Against the RIAA

      Radiohead, the band that made millions of dollars by giving away their music for free, has very little to complain about when it comes to piracy. On the contrary, in a landmark file-sharing case, Radiohead has responded positively to a request to testify against the RIAA.

    • “Limited and Temporary?”

      Thanks to the magic of the class action mechanism, the settlement will confer on Google a kind of legal immunity that cannot be obtained at any price through a purely private negotiation. It confers on Google immunity not only against suits brought by the actual members of the organizations that sued Google, but also against suits brought by anyone who doesn’t explicitly opt out. That means that Google will be free to mine the vast body of orphan works without fear of liability.

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A Single Comment

  1. aeshna23 said,

    April 7, 2009 at 2:51 pm


    I called the Office of U.S. Trade Representative, but they weren’t real friendly. They seemed harried. We need to make sure that they are harried.

What Else is New

  1. United They Stand: FFPE-EPO Supports Suspended Staff Representatives From SUEPO

    An obscure union from the Dutch side of things at the EPO is expressing support for the suspended colleagues from SUEPO (more German than Dutch)

  2. Censoring WIPR Article About Censorship by EPO

    A testament to how terrified journalists have become when it comes to EPO coverage, to the point of deleting entire paragraphs

  3. Censorship at the EPO Escalates: Now We Have Threats to Sue Publishers

    Having already blocked Techrights, the EPO's management proceeds to further suppressions of speech, impeding its staff's access to independently-distributed information (neither ordinary staff nor management)

  4. Response to Bogus Accusations That EPO Staff Protests Are Really an Attempt to Derail UPC

    Common myths about staff protests in the European Patent Office (EPO) debunked, with some additional background and general perspective on recent events, the unitary patent (UPC) and so on

  5. New Heise Article Makes It Clear That 'Nazi'-Themed Accusations Against the Suspended Board Judge Were Insufficiently Substantiated

    The personal attacks on a judge who was illegally suspended (a so-called 'house ban') increasingly look like the management's own campaign of defamation, mostly intended to marginalise and punish a judge who spoke about serious charges against VP4 (Željko Topić)

  6. Links 24/11/2015: Asus Chromebit CS10, Second Linux 4.4 RC

    Links for the day

  7. European Central Bank Staff Committee Adds to Growing Pressure on Abusive EPO Management

    The staff representatives of the European Central Bank E-mail their colleagues -- with European Central Bank managers' approval -- regarding the European Patent Office and its attacks on staff unions

  8. Gross Violation of Workers' Rights in EPO: Denial of Christmas Vacation/Leave for Slower Workers

    A look at an E-mail from within the EPO which shows how Christmas is used to squeeze staff, urging them to work even faster (despite speed gains) or lose their Christmas leave

  9. The Bogus Narrative Floated by EPO Management: Our Judges and Examiners Are Armed and Violent

    A look at the union-busting and protest-crushing moves from high-level EPO managers, who are trying to convince politicians that they do so in an effort to stop terrorists and neo-Nazis

  10. Support SUEPO or End Up Like They and Some of the Boards Did

    SUEPO, the fast-growing staff union of the EPO, increasingly needs the support and protection offered by action and participation from staff

  11. NRC Handelsblad (Dutch Evening Newspaper) Speaks About EPO's Refusal to Accept Court Orders From The Hague

    Article explains the depths of the issues inside the EPO and the unacceptable immunity that management at the EPO continues to exploit, shaming or discrediting the very notion of the rule of law in Europe

  12. HeBS Digital and Black Duck Press Releases Treated Like Articles, Used to Muddy the FOSS Waters

    Free/Open Source software (FOSS) is under attack again, and it's the proprietary software lobby that's responsible for that

  13. EPO President Battistelli Now Intimidates Even National Delegations

    Report about an embarrassing incident implicating Benoît Battistelli and some angry comments cast over the witch-hunting of a judge, using all sorts of questionable tactics

  14. A Look at the Latest Gross Deletionism at the EPO's 'Media Partner', French Newspaper Les Échos

    The EPO's bogus 'journal of record, which Team Battistelli likes to cite in order to bolster its warped version of events at the EPO while maintaining a close secret relationship with the publisher, keeps censoring its own reporters (spiked paragraphs, silently self-censored or censored after publications)

  15. Rumour About Efforts to Dismiss a Board Judge by Intimidating Boards of Appeal

    Comment found online accuses the Administrative Council of pressuring, by threats, Directorate-General 3 to dismiss a judge who is silently accused (with selective 'leaks' to the media, reportedly orchestrated by EPO managers) but not even proven guilty

  16. President Battistelli Now Pressures/Threatens Politicians Who 'Dare' to Complain About Abuses and Unacceptable Conditions at the EPO

    Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’, a French politician, unleashes an angry letter from Benoît Battistelli and reveals just to what lengths the EPO's Team Battistelli is willing to go in order to crush political backlash

  17. EPO: It's Like a Family Business - Part IV

    Some more background information about Elodie Bergot and Gilles Requena, who are married whilst also sharing positions of power at the EPO (and also strong connections/ties with the EPO's President, Mr. Battistelli); Rumours afloat at the EPO -- some with ever-increasing circulation too -- are worth noting

  18. Translation of Thomas Magenheim-Hörmann's Article in the German Media, Urging European Politicians to Intervene in EPO Chaos and Lawlessness

    Frankfurt-based media presents an opinion piece written by a Munich-based economic correspondent, Thomas Magenheim-Hörmann

  19. German Press Says Broken EPO Lets President Severely Punish Staff Not Even Guilty of Any Wrongdoing

    Juve publishes an article which attempts to be 'balanced' (meaning it believes everything that EPO officials say) but at the same time reveals unacceptable practices that go in inside the EPO

  20. German Media Reveals That Out-of-Control EPO Management is Even Threatening and Abusing Lawyers Now

    The EPO's longstanding fight against justice escalates to an unprecedented war on lawyers themselves; “After this latest move,” says a German newspaper, “even lawyers are starting to feel threatened by the Office.”

  21. Washington Post Only Entertains Debate About Patent Trolls (But Not Patent Scope) Whilst US Lawyers Trick the System to Patent Software

    The Bezos-owned Washington Post continues to help those who wish to eliminate patent trolls (which bother Amazon amongst other large conglomerates) but remains void of any coverage about patent scope, including software patents that patent lawyers work so hard to defend

  22. It Pays (Off) to 'Bribe' the Media: Watch How Les Échos Covers EPO Matters and Self-Censors

    French newspaper Les Échos is self-censoring yet again and it is framing the EPO scandals as the fault of employees, not the fault of abusive managers who are working with Les Échos as a so-called 'media partner' (the EPO management is French-dominated)

  23. 'Leaked' PDF Shows How EPO Management Tried to Crush Judge Who 'Dared' to Criticise EPO Management

    The EPO's management continues to chill potential critics and is now making an example of a board's judge, despite having no such authority over him

  24. Links 21/11/2015: Community Appreciation Day, Jolla's Problems

    Links for the day

  25. EPO: It's Like a Family Business - Part III

    A look at how the EPO's management (Željko Topić in particular) defended the unprecedented promotion of Ms Bergot (wife of the president's close assistant), even in the face of outcry from EPO staffwarning

  26. In an Effort to Counter EPO Staff Narrative (After ~2,000 of Staff Protest) EPO Management Portrays Staff as Violent But Provides No Evidence

    The EPO's management has a poor record on accuracy and truth and the latest staff-shaming tactics serve to reinforce that track record

  27. Gross Aggression by EPO Management Shows the Urgent Need to Remove Immunity From EPO

    The increasingly militant approach of EPO management (with counterterrorism staff added to interrogate EPO staff) serves to show an organisation gone truly bonkers

  28. Patents Roundup: Alice Decision Still Upsets Patent Lawyers, Microsoft AstroTurf Group Lobbies on FRAND, Google and Red Hat Recalled

    The reaction of patent profiteers to scope/boundary restrictions, the FRAND lobby by Microsoft's longtime front group, FRAND matters in Korea (affecting Android), Google's response to patent threats, and Red Hat still keeping quiet about its patent agreement with Microsoft

  29. Links 20/11/2015: DockerCon EU, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2

    Links for the day

  30. Patent Lawyers Want to Bring Software Patents (Hence Patent Trolls Too) to Europe, Piggyback Battistelli's Habitual UPC Promotion

    Analysis of the views of academics (profiting from solid research), contrasted with patent lawyers (profiting from feuds and conflicts), and the latter group's exploitation of Benoît Battistelli's misguided policies


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