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04.10.09

Links 10/04/2009: KDE 4.3 Preview; Mozilla Labs Output

Posted in News Roundup at 4:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Foundation CEO: Linux is “fastest growing platform”

    The Linux Collaboration Summit, which is taking place this week in San Francisco, provides participants with an environment for discussion and education. The event, which is hosted by the Linux Foundation and is accessible by invitation only, consists of presentations and discussion panels about numerous social, technical, and economic issues that relate to Linux and open source software development. The first day of the event delivered an edifying experience and a unique window into the views of prominent members of the Linux community.

  • GNU/Linux mainstream: The Simpsons Test

    Thankfully GNU/Linux doesn’t include such software. But, we also can’t see what kind of market share GNU/Linux holds. To the statistics, it’s like GNU/Linux doesn’t even exist. We have to find/guess what the market share is.

  • The new faces of Linux – Who Do I Yell At?

    I just smiled and told him that the install was done, complete with all but a few codecs he might want such as flash. I told him that would take a grand total of about 5 minutes, maybe less. He was skeptical to say the least.

    It only took about 20 minutes inside the system to remove any skepticism he had. I watched him as he “drove” his new system. He didn’t say much, just made sounds of affirmation to himself as he explored and found things to his liking. I showed him how to use k3b, streamtuner, his file system and most importantly to him, his office suite. Rich writes technical bullitens for his company and spends vast amounts of time in either a rich text editor or a word processor. When those thing met his approval, our business was finished.

    [...]

    I explained to him about the EULA and advised him to read it…things would become clear as a bell then. I told him to just take his blood pressure medication prior to doing it. When I briefly outlined the way Microsoft and other proprietary software vendors had protected themselves he just shook his head.

  • Having FUD With Facts

    I don’t own a netbook and I don’t run Linux on any computers. I do, however, follow news about both and try to stay informed. So when I saw this item about how Microsoft, in one year, has virtually pushed Linux out of the netbook OS market by grabbing a 96 percent share, I was so dumbfounded I couldn’t write about it. I just couldn’t get my head around that fact. It didn’t make any sense to me, but there it was, according to market research firm NPD Group.

    [...]

    In her blog, Carla goes on to make an impassioned and stirring plea for computer users to rise up and break free of Microsoft’s market shackles. Except now I feel like a tool for running Microsoft on a desktop and two laptops. So here is my vow: My next computer will run Linux. I just gotta do some homework first.

    You opened my eyes, Carla. I owe you one.

  • Anti-Linux Propaganda du Jour: Windows Owns 96% Of Netbooks

    The anti-Linux propaganda du jour, being dutifully parroted by “news” publications everywhere, is that Windows now owns 96% of the netbook market, and that Linux netbooks are returned four times more than windows netbooks. Both are untrue and have been debunked repeatedly. Yet they persist– why?

    I think Microsoft is growing increasingly desperate, and in hard economic times is finding equally desperate publications who will say anything for a few bucks. Which may be a harsh judgment, but I would rather believe that than believe they simply don’t care to do even the simplest, most basic fact-checking, or are such hard-core Microsoft fanboys that they are only pretending to be journalists when they are really stringers for Microsoft’s marketing department. How else can we explain the same nonsense repeated endlessly, their allergies to saying “Windows” and “malware” in the same sentence, the short shrift given to non-Windows software, the mind-boggling assumption that Windows is computing?

  • MLB.com looks great on desktop Linux

    If you visit MLB.com and look to see if you can watch baseball games over the Internet, you’ll be informed that you’ll need Windows or a Mac to watch them. Wrong. Any modern Linux desktop distribution will let you keep up with your favorite team.

  • Linux and the Drummer

    DING DING DING Linux is gonna be installed.

    What advantages does he get from Linux?

    Better Web Design utilities and programs.
    Open Source music composition software. He does write music after all.
    A more reliable and secure computer.
    Longer usability on his laptop because newer versions of Windows will most likely be unusable on it.

  • My Boss, with a little help, starts the conversion to Linux

    I think the moral here is, there are different ways to get people to be able to use Linux, and Synergy is one of those great tools that enable people to use Linux without having all the hassle that comes with switching over.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Kernel Development Gets An Early Bug-Fix Stage

      With each release, the Linux kernel is resolving more bugs, thanks to a new staging version of the operating system that identifies problems before the kernel’s next proposed release reaches its final review by Linus Torvalds.

  • Applications

    • Stellarium – Planetarium for the Masses

      Some softwares are just too fun to be let go off and this weekend I discovered Stellarium, a free, open source planetarium software that shows a “realistic sky in 3D”. Stellarium is designed from ground up as a simple, easy to use, open source software to observe and learn about the breath taking beauty of the night sky.

    • Audio

      • 10 Music making Apps for Linux

        Ardouris “the new digital audio workstation”. It aims to be a professional DAW, and offers features like “multichannel recording, non-destructive editing with unlimited undo/redo, full automation support, a powerful mixer, unlimited tracks/busses/plugins, timecode synchronization, and hardware control from surfaces like the Mackie Control Universal.”

      • LMMS (Linux Multimedia Studio) – a FL Studio like FOSS program

        It’s been a long time since I have written a post. Past several weeks has been busy, writing course works, as I’m a chemical engineering undergraduate too. To break off the frost, we’ll start from some MUSIC! What I have here today is a fruity – loops ( the commercial music editor for song tracks) like song/melody editor for Linux, with the full swing! Can you believe it? This is the best use of Qt 4 (GUI library) I have yet seen, and the core is written in C++ makes it heavily powerful and versatile over the other Java opponents. Creation of melodies and beats, the synthesis and mixing of sounds are some of the best wanted features of this program.

  • KDE

    • KDE 4.3 – early preview

      Like it or not, KDE 4.3 will be a great leap forward in this environment’s development. I won’t hesitate to say, it will be a bigger one than KDE 4.1 to 4.2. Interestingly enough, my compilation of development snapshot worked stable and jerk-free – no major issues there.

    • Nicer Direcory Thumbnails, and Thumbnail Sequences

      When I did my last blog post, there were some comments that said that the folder previews didn’t look as nice as they could. I agree, luckily, one day later Fredrik Höglund came up with a patch to do some more complex and nicer painting on the items. Now the previews are layed out like a bunch of physical photos, with some random rotations, a white border, and drop shadows…

    • Dashboards, activities and desktops

      That’s a tiny feature that apparently makes several people happy:
      Now the plasma dashboard is a way to quick access your desktop widgets whente desktop is covered by windows, and i really like this feature as it works.

  • Distributions

    • Linux Mint: Ubuntu plus stuff you probably want

      It will obviously take some time to explore Linux Minut, but after just a couple of hours, I find it to be very promising. If you like Ubuntu, but you want it a bit more refined and polished, and you are tired of having to download and install a bunch of stuff yourself, Linux Mint could be just the ticket for you.

    • My Favorite Puppy 4.2 Addition

      As I looked at the recent release of the 100 MB Puppy Linux I realized Puppy 4.2 includes a few feature that are extremely useful for me. Puppy 4.2 comes with two window managers, choose either ICEWM or JWM which is appealing to a wider variety of Linux users. Users may also find appealing, the additional theme options with Clearlooks GTK+2 theme engine, SeaMonkey web browser with MonkeyMenu extension, Puppy control panel, Pwidgets desktop applications, AlsaPlayer and Pmusic for audio entertainment, Streamtuner internet radio, Gxine full-screen video playback, Puppy Web Desktop, extra shutdown options, a new game lineup and more. These are all great changes in my book but one of them brought me some great productive features.

    • First Look: Linux Mint 6 KDE

      Linux Mint is one of those distributions that have always been dear to me. With truly dedicated developers and a strong, faithful community, Mint reached, in only a few years, a very high level of popularity. Being based on Ubuntu, Linux Mint complements it by providing an elegant look as well as a full, out-of-the-box, multimedia experience. That said, seeing the Linux Mint 6 KDE Edition announcement, I thought it would be a great opportunity to check on Mint’s progress and, for once, try the KDE version.

    • MEPIS – Simply MEPIS 8 review

      It looks terrific and it’s got pretty much everything you need for a day to day operating system. Just not always where you’d expect it to be.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 9.04 Versus Gentoo

        I think I’ll stick with Ubuntu right now because its support for KDE 4 is better than what Gentoo currently offers. From what I can tell, Gentoo got in a big fight over how to package KDE 4, causing them to fall behind in stabilizing KDE 4. That fight seems to be over now, so perhaps Gentoo will catch up and lead again. I will seriously consider a switch when Gentoo marks the latest version of KDE 4 as stable.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Google the Android Open Source Bottleneck

        Google Android Engineer echos what I have been feeling for quite a while as he declares that Google itself is a major bottleneck when it comes to Android being an Open-Source project.

      • Android apps: Free downloads for the people

        Google’s Android operating system is a remarkable concept in itself: an open-source OS for portable devices built on Linux. The benefit? Developers don’t have to pay for the software development kit, for one. (Currently, the price is $99 for the iPhone SDK.) This offers the consumer the potential to have some truly excellent apps from creative developers on college campuses everywhere.

      • Motorola smartphone gets widgety

        Motorola does not advertise which operating system (OS) the Evoke QA4 runs, but several hands-on reports from last week’s CTIA Wireless show say the phone runs Linux, most likely an updated version of Motorola’s Linux/Java MotoMAGX stack. In fact, the Evoke QA4 appears to be the second Motorola phone after the Moto VE66 (pictured below, right) announced in November, to support Motorola’s MotoDev Studio for WebUI “widget” platform for MotoMAGX.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • TechCrunch Tablet makes an early debut

        Leaks are always hardest when they hit at home. Now we know how Apple feels. The party responsible for the leak has been penalized severely (whipped with wet spaghetti), so believe us when we say this kind of thing won’t ever happen again. Anyway, so long as the cat’s out of the bag, we may as well give you a few more pics. What you see is a prototype, equipped with an Intel Atom processor and a 12″ capacitative touchscreen. Looks a little different than it did last time, doesn’t it?

      • ARM Cortex-A8 MID debuts

        The Beagle MID is “loosely modeled after the Nokia N800″ Internet Tablet, says HY Research, a small embedded device firm that claims to have developed one of the first Linux-based appliances back in 1996. The Beagle MID project, including mechanical and electronics work, was said to have consumed about 80 people hours.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 2020 vision: What’s next for news

    Open Source wins. Open Source solutions and platforms will push proprietary systems to the brink simply because of the rate at which they adapt to change and innovation. Pay attention to the Big Media attempt to monetize this Open Source principle through the proliferation of news APIs, but don’t expect it to succeed unless these APIs give developers and end-users more freedom.

  • More universities join Yahoo for Net-scale research

    Yahoo is a major contributor to Hadoop, a project within the Apache Software Foundation’s collection, but Google created the underlying technology through its MapReduce algorithm. MapReduce and Hadoop can be used for tasks such as finding, relatively rapidly, all the Web sites that link to a particular Web site, a task that’s essential to the companies’ search engines.

  • Yahoo Extends its Research Reach, in the Open Source Cloud
  • Low power, flat-screen nirvana with Open Source software

    It started with the announcement by HM Gov that for 16 year-olds the Basic Skills component of GSCE Maths, English and ICT have been dropped. They were due to be introduced because employers complained (and Ruth Kelly agreed in 2005) that students could get good GCSE’s in Maths, English and ICT but be functionally innumerate, illiterate and unable to do more than use MS Office.

  • Open Source CMS Drives Academic Initiatives in Cal State System

    In keeping with its mission to identify learning-related problems, and then apply technology to support effective instruction, CDL has added the WebGUI content management system to its stable of technology tools. Built to give average users the ability to build and maintain complex Web sites, WebGUI is modular, pluggable, platform-independent, and designed to keep the management of content in the hands of those who create content, rather than take up the time of busy IT staff.

  • Samba 4 beta offers platform choice to data centers

    Samba 4 is an ongoing major rewrite of the existing interface between Linux and Windows file servers. The goal of the four-year project, which is proceeding concurrently with a Samba 3 update, is to replicate the functions of Microsoft’s Active Directory in a mixed environment (e.g., for Linux, Unix and Windows). Lead developer Andrew Bartlett, whose work is heavily underwritten by Raleigh, N.C.-based Red Hat Inc. was working on Samba 4, alpha 4, when we chatted a year ago.

  • Business

    • Asterisk renumbers open source VoIP

      The open source Asterisk VoIP PBX is now at its 1.6.x release — it’s a number that Asterisk is going to stay at for a long time. That’s the message that Kevin Fleming, Director of Software Technologies at Digium and co-maintainer of the Asterisk told attendess at the IT360 conference here in Toronto.

      Instead of changing version numbers for each new feature based release, Fleming explained that Asterisk will now put new features into its 1.6.x point release.

    • Reaping the benefits of Open Source

      Similarly, a study done by IIM Ahmedabad found that the Government of Delhi would save almost 80 percent by switching to OpenOffice.org. One important reason for suggesting the switch to Open Office was its support for the Open Document Format, an open standard for office documents, ensuring that needless upgrades of office suites and the underlying hardware would not be forced upon them. The usage of open standards also helped the Government of Delhi avoid vendor lock-in, which invariably reduces negotiation capabilities of the customer and thus contributes to a higher price tag.

    • Yes to Open Source, No to SaaS: Which IT Alternatives Will You Adopt?

      Open source software is the most accepted among five IT alternatives — already in use by 42% of those surveyed — while cloud computing is at the bleeding-edge — in use by 14% of respondents. What’s a bit surprising, however, is that software as a service (SaaS) is on more “not likely to consider” lists (49%) than is the cloud (47%). These are just a few of the findings of our “Attitudes and Priorities” survey, which is based on interviews with more than 300 readers with responsibility for enterprise IT purchases.

    • Using Zenoss infrastructure monitoring software in your data center

      Open source software and widespread instrumentation have lowered the costs of producing IT management software. Open source systems management companies are using the free nature of an open source product, coupled with the cheap distribution the Web enables, to boot-strap their businesses.

  • Mozilla

    • On Rating Mechanisms

      We’re pondering about (online) rating mechanisms for quite a while now. One reason being, that we want to add the ability for users to rate concepts (an idea, mockup or prototype) in the Mozilla Labs Concept Series. The general thought behind this is, that a robust rating system allows good ideas to bubble up – and thus makes them easier to spot.

    • Taskfox Prototype: Ubiquity in Firefox

      As a user experience exploration, Ubiquity has been incredibly successful. Over a million downloads have highlighted the need for the web to be connected more tightly with by the power of task-based interfaces. Due to the passion of users, the user tutorial has been translated into ten languages. Similarly, the thousands of commands written for Ubiquity illustrate a latent desire to be able to write tiny amounts of code that enhance the web in fundamental ways.

  • Healthcare

    • Federal Government Releases Open-Source NHIN Software

      On Monday, the federal government made available for download and public use the software code that will connect organizations to the Nationwide Health Information Network, Modern Healthcare reports.

      The no-cost, open-source software, called Connect, was developed under the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s Federal Health Architecture initiative (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 4/8).

    • Feds take health care open source

      President Obama has made transparency a hallmark of his presidency, with open source an integral part of this pledge. Obama has also expressed a desire to overhaul the U.S. health care system.

      This week those two goals came together this week in Connect, “a(n open-source) gateway between multiple federal organizations and the proposed national health information network,” according to Modern Healthcare.

    • Connect: An Open Source Effort to Improve Healthcare Info Sharing

      The Obama administration is committed to overhauling government spending on technology by adopting open source solutions, and healthcare professionals are increasingly heeding the call of open source. This week brings an important step in empowering healthcare IT organizations to tie into the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN), a federal initiative to facilitate the electronic exchange of health information. The open source inititiative is called Connect.

  • Government

    • IT: Small open source grants involve public bodies and schools

      Small grants can jump-start open source development projects that are useful for public administrations and schools and universities, a grant program in Italy’s Umbria region shows.

      The grant program of Umbria’s open source competence centre (CCOS) in 2008 approved 46 software development projects, out of 82 submitted. CCOS donated in total 235.000 euro.

      Of these 46 projects, 22 resulted in software to be used by schools in the region and 9 created applications for public administrations.

    • HU: Companies puzzled over government’s open source plan

      Hungarian open source service providers are anxious to see the details of the government’s request for open source that it announced last week. “How is the government going to procure software that usually is available for free?”

      The deputy state secretary for IT and e-Government Baja Ferenc announced last Thursday that the Hungarian government is going to increase its use of open source software. He said the government will make 12 billion HUF (close to 41 million euro) available for open source. The tender will be published in a few weeks’ time.

  • Open Data

    • OpenSecrets Moves To ‘Open Data’ Model

      CRP is expecting all sorts of data mash-ups, maps and other cool projects to result from the new capability. Transparency group the Sunlight Foundation helped fund OpenSecrets.org’s OpenData initiative to make millions of records available under a Creative Commons “Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike” license. CRP will continue to offer its data to commercial users for a fee.

  • PHP Programming

Leftovers

  • Digital Rights Management and Access to Information: a developing country’s perspective [PDF]

    Digital rights management systems (DRMs) together with technological protection measures (TPMs) have become a controversial topic of discussion around copyrighted works, particularly since the controversial Sony BMG case. This paper addresses some of the concerns around TPM-enabled digital rights management systems as they apply to and impact on developing countries. It highlights issues such as digital censorship, international support for digital rights management and the current legislation in South Africa relating to digital rights management. It also discusses types of digital rights management systems and how they affect access to information and knowledge, as well as their impact on the public domain and privacy. The paper provides some recommendations and challenges to librarians and educators in South Africa and for librarians in other developing countries, on how to address digital rights management issues in relation to their obligations and mandates to provide users and learners with unrestricted access to information.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • China and ACTA: Why Is The Problem Not Made Part Of The Solution?

      Section 2. Border Measures:
      Under discussion is whether border measures should apply not only to importations (as TRIPs prescribes) but also to export and transit of goods;
      Another possible point of contention is whether travelers can import counterfeit or pirated goods for their personal use (de minimis exception);
      It is no surprise that ACTA tries to solve some of the points, which especially has frustrated the US (which among other reasons brought a claim against China at the WTO: DS 362): measures to ensure that infringing goods are not released into free circulation and the destruction of goods that have been determined to infringe intellectual property rights.

    • A little bit of good news from France

      In Spain, as in France, Italy and all over Europe, local “artists” are very active on the anti-freedom of downloading campaign, attributing the bad economic performances of the European (respectively, Spanish, French, …) movie industry to the use of P2P software and downloading. As everyone knows, before P2P appeared the European movie industries were thriving and their movies were dominanting the world market.

  • Copyrights

    • Questions Raised About Logo Artist Who Was Accused Of ‘Stealing’ From Himself

      There are also some other claims that Engle had absolutely nothing to do with some of the logos that he said he designed. However, as the public scrutiny of Engle’s story is spreading, Engle’s reputation is taking a big hit — showing how the damage done to one’s own reputation by plagiarism can be punitive, even without invoking copyright law. Reputation is a scarce good… destroying it by lying and duping a bunch of folks is going to come back to bite you.

    • RIAA gives thumbs up to France’s three-strike law

      France has passed a law that requires Internet service providers to cut off Web access of customers accused of illegally downloading copyright material multiple times.

      Last Thursday, the French National Assembly passed the “Creation and Internet” law, which implements a graduated response program similar to one the recording industry is asking ISPs in the United States to adopt.

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