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04.11.09

Links 11/04/2009: Wine 1.1.19 Released; Gtk+ 3 Roadmap Shaping Up

Posted in News Roundup at 8:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Living Life Without Windows: An Introduction to Linux

    So the questions are…..what can Linux do FOR me? Well the answer to that is quite simple. It will free you and your computer. You can say goodbye to DRM ( Digital Rights Management ) and you can feel secure knowing that your data is safe and immune to viruses and spyware.

  • When did you first use Linux?

    By 1995, though, I was giving up on the x86 Unixes. I saw the x86 Unix vendors were going to follow their mini-computer brothers into irrelevance by refusing to co-operate with each other on open standards. They couldn’t get it through their heads that by making it impossible for ISVs (independent software vendors) to write programs that would run on more than one specific Unix brand, they were killing themselves off.

  • Sun software – Does it make diddly?

    The open source distribution model cannot generate the kind of profits that Sun’s shareholders became accustomed to in the dot-com boom, where every deal started out with a Sparc/Solaris server and moved on to Oracle databases. Red Hat, with an installed base of paying customers in excess of 2.5 million Red Hat Enterprise Linux through the end of 2008, according to Jim Whitehurst, the company’s president and CEO, had $652.6m in total revenues for its fiscal year ended February 28, up 17.5 per cent from the prior fiscal year.

  • Linux Outlaws 86 – Pointless Use of Noughts

    On this show: OpenMoko going down, IBM/Sun deal bust, Wikia Search dead, Novell has no humour and the scoop on Libre.fm.

  • Wine Announcement

    The Wine development release 1.1.19 is now available.

    What’s new in this release (see below for details):
    – Support for Visual C++ project files in winemaker.
    – Improvements to the Esound driver.
    – Many Direct3D code cleanups.
    – Fixes to OLE clipboard handling.
    – OpenBSD compilation fixed.
    – Various bug fixes.

  • Kernel Space

    • FOSS Debates: Dissecting the Kernel

      As the father of Linux and coordinator of the kernel’s development, Linus Torvalds might be expected to have strong views on its importance. In fact, in a recent interview with LinuxInsider, he said he looks at the question in a few different ways.

      “The first one is the purely personal one: I think system programming — and kernels in particular — is just more interesting than doing the more mundane kinds of software engineering,” Torvalds told LinuxInsider. “So to me, the kernel is simply more important than anything else, because it does things that no other piece of software does: It’s the thing between the hardware and ‘ordinary programs.’”

      Of course, “the kernel really is the heart of the OS and tends to be pretty central even aside from my personal opinions,” Torvalds added. “The kernel ends up being involved in everything you do, which means that if there is a performance issue or a security issue with the kernel, you have fundamental problems with anything that builds on top of it — which ends up being absolutely everything, of course.”

  • Applications

    • Vuurmuur 0.7 Firewall released

      Vuurmuur 0.7 is released. Vuurmuur (Dutch for Firewall) is a powerful Firewall Manager built on top of Iptables on Linux.

    • Geek Fun: Frets on Fire

      If you are a fan of Guitar Hero or have never played it before you will have a lot of fun playing Frets on Fire.

  • KDE

    • Amarok 2.1 Beta 1 “Nuliajuk” released

      Amarok 2.1 Beta 1 is out in the wild! Featuring one of the longest ChangeLogs in Amarok history, this beta release showcases what is possible when building on the strong technical foundations that have been laid with Amarok 2.0.

    • easily amused

      I also couldn’t stand that the tab bar, that totally looked like it had a button like a scroll in it, wouldn’t let me grab and drag it. So I implemented that. So not only are tab bars in Plasma animated (thank Marco for that) but you can now grab the tab selection and drag it to another tab. As a bonus: it’s all animated. Click on it, throw it a bit and it moves over.

      [...]

      Let it never be said that I’m not easily amused: the Weather wallpaper shows the weather outside on your desktop. Tonight it was a bit cloudy, so it showed an evening landscape with clouds. A little while later the clouds blew away outside and the wallpaper morphed (there’s a nice 1 second fade :) into a nightscape with a clear starry sky. How cool is that?!

  • Distributions

    • Combining Debian and FreeBSD; Pushing the Envelope of FOSS

      The Debian project made a splash on Sunday with the announcement that two new “architectures” had been added to the Debian FTP archive. Debian has always supported a wide range of processors, though; these architectures are different and noteworthy because instead of providing Debian on different hardware, they build the OS on a completely different kernel: FreeBSD’s. So what exactly does that mean?

    • Cooker – ANNOUNCE : first release of Mandriva Seed

      I’m happy to announce the first public release of Mandriva Seed :

      This tool will dump Mandriva One iso (only 2009 Spring RC2 for now) to usb sticks.

      Just download mandriva-seed.sh, make it executable (chmod +x mandriva-seed.sh), and launch it as simple user. You will be able to select your iso, usb stick destination, and begin ISO dump.

    • Red Hat

      • CIOs committing more to Red Hat, open source

        Not only are JBoss customers more likely to buy deeply into Red Hat, which is not surprising (though for Red Hat, it must be gratifying), but they’re also more likely to buy MySQL and less likely to buy from Microsoft.

    • Ubuntu

      • Weekend Gadget Guidance: Portable Ubuntu runs inside Windows, free

        Portable Ubuntu lets you seamlessly run Linux apps on your Windows desktop as a stand-alone package that runs a popular version of the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution. The package can edit Windows folders and files and it’s persistent — meaning anything you install to it stays with you.

      • Preview of Kubuntu 9.04

        It is that time of the year again, along with the beginning of the spring, yet another release of Ubuntu 9.04 codenamed Jaunty Jackalope is coming shortly to a server near you. As the beta version was released couple of weeks ago, I decided to have a quick look and see what can be expected from this coming release

  • Devices/Embedded

    • A Look At The Tesla S 17-inch Haptic Entertainment And Navigation System

      Its a 17-inch LCD touch computer screen that has 3G or wireless connectivity. When we were in the car, the screen featured Google Maps. Tesla’s website verifies that the screen will be able to feature sites like Google Maps and Pandora Music. From what we saw yesterday, the screen is divided vertically into three separate areas: the maps/navigation screen, radio/entertainment area, and climate controls. The navigation screen has several tabs: “internet,” “navigation,” “car,” “backup,” and “phone.” The entertainment section has several tabs, including “audio,” “media,” “streaming,” “playlists,” “artists” and “songs.” The climate controls seem pretty standard. Our driver (see video) says that the computer is going to be run on some kind of Google Maps software and will feature a “full browser.” It’s not surprising that Google Maps is integrated into the interface, Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page are investors in Tesla. The dashboard is also an LCD touch screen. Tesla has also confirmed to us that the computer/entertainment center will be Linux-based.

    • GUI toolkit supports Linux

      TES Electronics is shipping a version of its graphical user interface (GUI) toolkit for embedded Linux developers. The Guiliani HMI (human machine interface) framework for Linux supports OpenGL ES on both hardware- and software-accelerated GPUs (graphical processing units), and includes a Linux software development kit (SDK).

    • Nokia prepping tablets, netbook, touchscreen phones?

      It is unclear which, if any, of the Nokia devices will run Linux, but both the netbook and the new Internet Tablet, which TheStreet says will offer a 4.2-inch touchscreen and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, appear to be likely candidates. In fact, Nokia’s existing Maemo Linux-based N810 Internet Tablet (pictured at top) already fits the above description.

    • A Marvel of a Marvell

      Now – there is no keyboard or mouse input, nor is there a video display output – so what good is it you may ask??? The system is designed to run Linux and you access the system using a terminal program by connecting a USB cable (supplied) to the Plug Computer and a PC which is where the terminal program resides. This is CLI (command line interface) stuff and anyone familiar with Linux or Unix is familiar with this interface. Not only is it designed to run linux it also comes with a CD which contains the documentation on the system as well as a development system for use in both Windows and Linux – this allows you to build (actually rebuild) the system with the applications you want on the machine. Given you have 512-megs of Flash you can pack a great deal into this small machine! Heck – you could even install Astrisk (a software PBX system) on this machine and use it for VOIP phones – of course you would need to find a USB interface that will work with telephone lines if you want to use the PBX with normal phone lines but just the fact you can run a VOIP system on this machine is impressive in and of itself!

    • Linux Powered Crunchpad Gets a Facelift

      Early prototype Specs:

      Intel Atom Processor
      512 MB memory
      4GB SSD
      Wi-Fi
      Built-in Camera and Mic
      Custom Linux Kernel/Distro
      Webkit browser

    • Phones

      • Google Tablet Leaves Windows Mobile Eating Dust (GOOG, MSFT)

        We’ve been waiting for more devices from Google’s (GOOG) Android operating system, and now it looks like we may soon have some: T-Mobile (DT) is working on both an Android home phone and an Android tablet computer, the company’s partners tell the New York Times.

      • Google vs. Microsoft: The OS Smack Down That Isn’t. Yet

        It had all the makings of a software, super power smack down: Word that Hewlett-Packard had begun testing Google’s mobile operating system dubbed “Android” on a new line of inexpensive, stripped down computers called netbooks.

      • The OESF: Quietly Working to Get Android On New Hardware Devices

        Miura tells EETimes that the CEATEC show will include displays with prototype Android set tops, developed by Motorola for KDDI, a Japanese telecommunication service provider. He also confirms that the OESF is launching several working groups, including ones focused on: set-top boxes; VOIP; network and security; measurement and control; system core; application and services; and marketing and education.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • I’m guilty of getting XP netbooks, but I run Linux

        So while I have indeed contributed to the official Microsoft share of the U.S. netbook market, I am on record here as saying all of my netbooks, including the two Windows XP ones I got for a total of $500, now run Linux. Thus, Linux has 100% market share here, even if the official statistics don’t have it right.

      • Linux Store Open for Business: A Fantastic Voyage

        This store only carries the Windows version and I can’t get the Linux one at the same price. Such a dilemma!

        My option is to live with the Windows XP preinstalled version or to take the time and effort to wipe the drive and install Ubuntu or Linpus although–I’d probably install Ubuntu 8.04 first to see how it works for me before trying Linpus.

      • Portable Linux future using LLVM

        Imagine a single Linux distribution that adapts to whatever hardware you run it on. When run on an Atom netbook, all the software shapes and optimizes to the feature set and processor characteristics of the specific version of Atom. Want to run it as a VM on a new Nehalem-based server? No problem, it re-shapes to fit the Nehalem (Core i7) architecture. And here, when I say “re-shape”, I don’t mean at the GUI level. Rather, I mean the software is effectively re-targeted for your processor’s architecture, like it had been re-compiled.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Reliability of open source from a software engineering point of view

    At the Philly ETE conference Michael Tiemann presented some interesting facts about open source quality, and in particular mentioned that open source software has an average defect density that is 50-150 times lower than proprietary software.

  • Palmetto Open Source Software Conference | POSSCON 2009
  • Why schools should use open source software

    Awareness of open source software amongst teachers, technical staff and students is certainly far greater now than even a few years ago, thanks to projects like Moodle, Firefox and Audacity leading their respective fields. For schools, the appeal of open source is that it’s free. But ‘free’ is about freedom at least as much as it’s about price: Liberté rather than gratuite as the French would have it. The free software movement have identified the four freedoms underpinning open source software, and these offer compelling reasons for educators to look seriously at this software.

  • Gtk+ 3 Roadmap Draft

    So a few months ago, we’ve set down to collect the input from so many people who have contributed feature requests, ideas, improvment suggestions and procedure suggestions to this. An initial draft was then sent to the core team for initial comments.

  • Review: Open-Source Office Suites Compared

    One of my longstanding favorite features of OpenOffice has been the ability to export directly to PDF without needing a plugin or virtual printer driver, with advanced things like encryption and form functionality all included. The range of options in OpenOffice.org’s PDF exporter is a little broader in 3; the big new addition is PDF/A (archival) support, which insures that the PDF in question has all the properties and elements needed to be read in the future.

  • Why open-source library software is a trend

    Open-source software puts the right to make changes to the software in the hands of the public, rather than a company. Users can change, improve, or fix problems encountered in the software, then push it out to a community of users for their consumption. It is free to download, use, and adapt–though there might be costs associated with adapting and supporting it.

    School and public librarians list flexibility, low cost, and convenience as some of the major benefits of migrating to an open-source library management system. Some of the best-known open-source library management products include Koha, Evergreen, and OPALS (OPen-source Automated Library management System).

    Many larger libraries pay a hosting site, such as Equinox Software or LibLime.com, to help with the initial implementation and then pay a yearly fee for hosting. Equinox Software and LibLime.com also provide staff training, support, software maintenance, and development.

  • Tech Insight: Making The Most Of Open-Source Forensics Tools

    While your CFO might love the price of these tools, it may be difficult to “sell” them to your IT management. Most IT executives want someone to point a finger at when a product breaks, and many want 24×7 support. While some of the free and open-source tools do have ties with a company that can be paid for support, most do not.

    But don’t let the support question turn you away. Today’s open-source network forensic tools are incredibly capable, and they can run on old hardware sitting around your shop. Your cost: little to nothing. In the current economy, that’s a pretty compelling business case.

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla’s Mitchell Baker: IE is An “Ongoing Drag” On Web Functionality

      Baker’s post follows a push from the folks at Opera to hold Microsoft’s feet to the fire on supporting web standards that it has promised to support. It’s easy for fragmentation to occur when software providers implement proposed web standards, because, as Baker notes, “there is the question of how one determines compliance with a standard.”

    • Mozilla SUMO Is No Lightweight

      Web browsing is supposed to just be a point-and-click exercise, but there are times when a user has a question or encounters a problem with their browser and needs help.

      For the millions of users around the globe using Mozilla’s Firefox, that’s where SUpport Mozilla (SUMO) aims to come in, with a support forum and live chat features to help users get answers for their browser problems.

  • Cloud

    • An open letter to the community regarding “Open Cloud”

      I write this letter in order to be 100% transparent with you about a new initiative that could prove critical to the development of computing and the Internet: the protection of the term “Open Cloud” with a certification trademark (like British Standards’ Kitemark® and the FAIRTRADE symbol) as well as its definition via an open community consensus process.

      Cloud computing users will soon be able to rest assured that offerings bearing the “Open Cloud” brand are indeed “open” in that critical freedoms (such as the right to access one’s own data in an open format via an open interface) are strongly protected. It will also ensure a level playing field for all vendors while keeping the barriers to enter the marketplace low. Offerings also bearing the “Open Source” mark will have additional freedoms relating to the use, modification and distribution of the underlying software itself.

    • Amazon’s Cloud Plus Open Source: One VAR’s Recurring Revenue Model

      Can solutions providers profit from Amazon Web Services? The VAR Guy found the answer by spending some more time with Levementum, a solutions provider that integrates multiple open source applications (such as SugarCRM and Compiere ERP) into Amazon’s cloud for customers. Here’s a bit about Levementum’s strategy and future direction.

    • New Release of Ubuntu Server Offers Amazon-Compatible Cloud

      The next iteration of Ubuntu Linux will really help companies lift up into the clouds.

      The April 30 release of Ubuntu Server will have the ability to migrate KVM-based virtual machines from one physical server to another, similar to VMware’s ability to use VMotion to migrate virtual machines, said Steve George, director of the enterprise group at Linux supplier Canonical.

    • Cloud Computing and Linux – A Presentation

      When I have a presentation to give, I’m increasingly writing out my spiel (after drawing up the slides), which was the case with the talk I gave this morning at the Linux Foundation’s Collaboration Summit on Cloud Computing and Linux. Thing means for you, dear readers, there’s some meaty text to skim through instead of just boney slides. Also, this time I recorded a practice read-through of the talk which you could watch as well, below. I’m one of those people who never gives the same presentation twice, but you can get an idea of this mornings talk from one or both of the below:

    • Cloud Computing Poses E-Discovery, Legal Risks
  • Health

    • Some thoughts about the future of health care IT

      Beware Stimulating the Perversity of the Health Care system. Their are huge perverse incentives are “baked in” to our Disease Industrial Complex. The commodity of this industry is disease, not health. Regardless of the good intentions and expectations of individuals, the system forces them into less-than-virtuous behavior. The current stimulus effort runs the risk of unintended consequences of stimulating the perversity of our system rather than the virtues we seek. For example, it would appear that the greatest financial value derived from a universally available health record would be increased malpractice suits, because they would be able to program scanners that could automatically scan historical records with 20/20 hindsight and find some instance of an activity that in retrospect was the wrong path to take. This in turn will lead to an even greater emphasis on defense medical practices.

    • Updated open source releases within OpenVista project

      Medsphere today announced the release of open source code for recently developed components of the comprehensive OpenVista electronic health record (EHR) solution.

  • FSF/GNU

    • Intel Looks To Make Large Contribution To GCC

      Intel contributes quite a bit to the development of X.Org and the Linux kernel, through a number of Intel employees working on Linux full-time, making hardware contributions, etc. Up until recently, Intel even had its own Linux distribution (Moblin) for their Atom hardware. One area, however, where Intel has not been a major contributor is with the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) considering they have long preferred their own high-performance Intel Compiler (ICC). That’s not to say Intel hasn’t made any contributions towards this critical piece of free software, but AMD and others have been more involved with GCC while Intel worked on its non-free ICC package. It looks though like things could be changing.

  • Licensing

    • Google Update Goes Open Source

      Keeping software up to date is very important. Not only does it mean that users will always have all the cool new features that we work so hard to develop; it also means that any bugs or security vulnerabilities can get fixed very quickly, everywhere that the software is installed. We’re happy to let you know that we’re sharing our updating software, Google Update, with everyone. Google Update is the shared infrastructure used by Google Chrome, Google Earth and other Google software on Microsoft Windows, to keep our products up to date on users computers.

  • Programming

    • Facebook: Science and the Social Graph

      In this presentation filmed during QCon SF 2008, Aditya Agarwal discusses Facebook’s architecture, more exactly the software stack used, presenting the advantages and disadvantages of its major components: LAMP (PHP, MySQL), Memcache, Thrift, Scribe.

Leftovers

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • EU may force wireless carriers to allow VoIP on cellphones

      The European Union (EU) is preparing binding guidelines for wireless carriers to allow VoIP services such as Skype to run over their cellular network. EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding stated that there “action” should be taken against carriers that use their market power to block “innovative services.”

  • Copyrights

    • My Keynote At Mesh: Growing Communities And Adding True Scarcities

      A bunch of folks have been asking for video from my keynote talk at the excellent Mesh Conference, and here it is (and if you really want to download it, there’s an iTunes link as well). It’s also embedded below if you click through. The whole thing is an hour, but split into four separate videos.

    • Songwriter Claims He Was Exploited By Google… But A Few Seconds Of Logical Thinking Disproves That

      Yup. No one would be talking about Waterman or his song at all in the absence of YouTube and the rickrolling phenomenon. The only “exploiting” being done is now, by Waterman, because he got totally lucky in that a bunch of internet jokesters happened to pick his song (mainly for how bad it is) to use as part of an internet joke. He deserves to get paid for that? It could have just as easily been any other ridiculous pop hit in the 80s. And, if it had been, then no one would be talking or caring about Waterman at all.

    • German Collections Society Trying To Collect For Performances It Has No Rights Over

      The various music collections societies always like to present themselves as being there “for the artists.” When we write about ASCAP in the US or PRS in the UK, we often get angry emails from supporters of those groups (or individuals who work for them) insisting that what they do is all to support the artist, and we should go pick on the record labels or something instead. Yet, that’s misleading. These organizations always seem to keep looking to expand their collections duties, often at the expense of any other business model. Take, for example, what’s happening in Germany, with its collection society, GEMA (which is separately battling YouTube over music videos). You see, like so many of these collections societies, GEMA works on the principle of “guilty until proven innocent.” We’ve seen this with ASCAP and BMI as well — where they insist that anyone who plays live music has to prove that none of it is covered by the collections society.

    • BBC Gets Ready for BitTorrent Distribution

      Today the BBC published the first episode of R&DTV, a Creative Commons licensed show that users are allowed to remix, redistribute and share. The first episode of the monthly technology show features Digg’s Kevin Rose, among others. The BBC hopes to use BitTorrent for the distribution of future episodes.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Nelson Pavlosky, Co-founder of Free Culture.org 03 (2005)

Ogg Theora

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

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