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04.26.09

Links 26/04/2009: Ubuntu 9.04 Reviews, Android Success

Posted in News Roundup at 6:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Bandit Defense site statistics

    48.5% Windows XP
    23.7% Windows Vista
    9.0% Mac OS X
    7.3% Ubuntu Linux
    3.0% Linux (other)
    2.6% Windows NT 6.0
    2.4% Windows Server 2003
    1.2% Windows 2000
    1.0% Debian Linux
    1.0% (other)
    0.3% iPhone

  • Some IT skills see pay hikes during downturn

    Foote Partners tracks pay for 371 certified and noncertified IT skills, and its first quarter research shows that pay for noncertified skills in Linux rose by more than 28%, while Apache and Sybase noncertified skills saw 25% increases in pay.

  • Re-skilling Europe for the new global knowledge economy

    Europe today is suffering from a skills shortage, made even worse by the economic crisis. Over the past decade, many business leaders have stressed that Europe is simply not producing, attracting, or retaining sufficient numbers of scientists, engineers and IT specialists to meet the requirements of its industries, and the ambition of its ‘Lisbon Agenda’ – that is, to lead the global knowledge economy.

  • Editor’s Note: We Put the “No” In Innovation!

    A general rule of marketing is “The more noise they make, the less they have to crow about.” Who makes the most noise about “innovation”? I bet you can guess….

    Every day I get virtually snowed under by blizzards of press releases. (I’m not sure that email is better than paper, because I could burn paper for heat, or compost it. Happy red worms like paper and break it down fast.) A few of them actually have something to do with Linux and FOSS. The rest are horrid collections of buzzwords, broken HTML, political foamings, spam, and irrelevant whatevers.

    For a long time the favorite buzzword was “paradigm.” Remember all those paradigm shifts? There was a bit of humor value because none of them used the word correctly. (Wikipedia has an excellent article and definition.) But it got boring after the thousandth dopey repetition. Finally it died out, as these things do, and its replacement was “innovation”. Now there is a perfectly good word that does not deserve to be abused in this fashion, but marketers are ruthless and without conscience when it comes to word abuse.

  • Universities Get $5 Million To Tap IBM-Google Cloud

    The IBM-Google cloud runs on Linux-based machines using Xen virtualization and Apache Hadoop, an open source implementation of the Google File System.

  • My Linux Personal Lexicon

    In the spirit of Douglas Adams’ The Meaning of Liff, this is the little list of words I’ve come up with to describe aspects of Linux life. They don’t have to make sense – I’m just being silly.

  • Build a DIY Cloud with Euclayptus, Nimbus and Amazon EC2

    Eucalyptus runs on Linux systems, and RPMs are available for the RPM-based systems. The source is also available for building on unsupported Linux systems, but even more exciting is that you can deploy Eucalyptus on a Rocks cluster. With Rocks, Eucalyptus is deployed with basically one command.

  • Five good reasons to switch to Linux

    4. Freedom. From the beginning Linux has been about freedom. This freedom is all about the user and the freedom from software that offers no opportunity for the user to change the way the software behaves. Recently the Linux Foundation held a contest for a “We’re Linux” video. The winning entry elegantly explains what software freedom is all about. See the video here. Freedom is one of the main reasons why I use Linux. When a piece of software doesn’t behave in exactly the manner I want it to behave I change it. Open source allows me to do that. Try altering the behavior of a piece of Windows software (outside of the preferences window). The old Microsoft question “Where do you want to go today?” With Linux that question would be “Where do you want to go, how do you want to get there, do you want the scenic route, do you want a specific map for your trip (or do you want to wing it), and do you prefer first class or coach?”

  • A question about Linux

    The second part of his question was whether the role he sees Linux playing in the deaths of HP-UX, AIX, and Solaris makes choosing Linux counter-productive in the longer term. The answer to that, I think, is No – because Linux isn’t killing any other Unix; it’s giving people who want to move to x86 a better, and often cheaper, alternative to Windows.

  • Humor: Famous Geeks Make Babies With Hollywood Celebrities

    What if Free Software icon Richard M. Stallman got married with Hollywood superstar Angelina Jolie and had a child? What will their baby look like? I know most of you out there are curious so let’s find out with the help of this interesting website called makemebabies.com. –-They have the technology to generate images of future babies by combining photos.

  • My First Boyfriend Was Windows — I Married Linux

    September of 2001 is seared into more than a few peoples’ memories, but not exactly for the same reasons it’s stayed with me through the subsequent years. On September 12, 2001, I ventured into Boston, greeted by the clacking of the subway and the revving engines of taxis stopped at the mercy of jaywalking pedestrians, while overhead the skies were silent, save the occasional unsettling roar of fighter jets. I had an interview as part of the graduate school admission process.

    The interview went well, and by October I knew I’d need (of course!) a new computer when classes started in January. I decided I’d try a home build, and because my husband jokingly said it would be total overkill and uber-geek, I ordered two hard drives for the new machine. Somehow, between my husband, my brother-in-law (a Slack man from way back) and I, it only seemed logical that two hard drives called for two operating systems.

  • Events

    • How about Portland in September?

      LinuxCon brings together members from all aspects of the Linux community, including core developers, administrators, end users, community managers and industry experts.

    • This weekend: LinuxFest NW

      In tech circles, Washington state may be best known as Microsoft’s stomping grounds — but it’s also home to a thriving community of people devoted to Linux and other open-source programs. That community is gathering Saturday and Sunday in Bellingham for one of its big annual events: LinuxFest Northwest, now in its 10th year.

    • ‘Maddog’ Hall: How open-source software can dominate the world

      Open-source guru Jon “Maddog” Hall, executive director of Linux International, spoke to an overflow crowd this morning at LinuxFest Northwest in Bellingham, making the case that open-source software is as relevant and critical now as ever.

  • Kernel Space

    • GCC 4.4 improves open source compiler with Graphite

      What does that all mean?

      Well it means that (some) programs that are compiled with GCC (and that’s a lot) will now benefit from the improved optimizations and could possibly as a result become faster themselves. It never ceases to amaze me how with every new GCC release, software vendors a few months later will come out and say how their software is now faster as a result.

  • Applications

    • ioquake3 Goes Gold WIth Ogg Decoding, x86_64

      Back in February we talked about a new ioquake3 engine was forthcoming that would deliver a number of enhancements, but this week that new version (1.36) has finally gone gold.

    • New Unigine Project Will Work On Linux

      Unigine Corp has done a phenomenal job with its multi-platform game engine in delivering a new level of OpenGL realism to Linux users — albeit it can tax your hardware quite a bit. Last year’s engine was amazing, but as we shared last week, they are working on a host of new features, including but not limited to multiplayer and physics support. They also have a few internal projects they have been working on.

    • Several powerful console music players for Linux

      These players are among the top audio players for console available on Linux. You can run them in a shell instance without the need of an X Server, and although several use only a command-line interface (like ogg123 of mpg123), several come with a nice, ncurses-based interface which makes music management easier and pleasant.

    • Cover Art & Lyrics Widget for your desktop

      Display album art (and lyrics!) for your playing tracks right on your desktop!

    • new boxee version for Ubuntu, update for Mac and Apple TV

      with every new version Ubuntu is inching closer to mainstream appeal, which is why we chose it as boxee’s Linux distro. we are very happy to release a new version of boxee for Ubuntu, including support for Jaunty Jackalope (9.04).

  • Desktop Environments

    • KDE Brainstorm Monthly Digest – issue 1

      First of all, a few words of introduction. There are quite a number of ideas being posted on the KDE Brainstorm, and it would be nice to know how the initiative is faring, and important highlights, like what ideas are more popular, which are more controversial, etc. That is why the idea of a monthly digest was born (in a similar fashion as the fabolous Commit Digest). Our idea is to publish these digests monthly, providing the community (and perhaps even developers) with useful information about the state of the initiative.

    • E17 now available in Entropy

      Now e17 is installed and you can enjoy it by selecting “enlightenment” from the sessions menu in the login screen.

  • Distributions

    • Kubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope overview and screenshots

      I liked to see KDE 4.2 is much faster than how it was in Kubuntu 8.10. Great transparency effects, wobbly windows, animated minimise/maximise of windows are just a few of the wonderful desktop effects KDE has to offer.

    • GParted partitioning software – Full tutorial

      We’ve covered quite a bit, from creating of new partitions, to resizing, moving, deletion, labeling of partitions, we worked with different filesystems, including Ext3 and NTFS, we even dabbled some in advanced command-line stuff like changing of Inode size.

      I do realize I have not covered every possible aspect of partitioning available, therefore, if you have suggestions or questions, feel free to email me; I will study your scenarios and possibly even update the tutorial to cover even more topics.

    • Vyatta – a fortnight in review

      Well this is really simple, its managment interface (not the WebGUI) its awesome, some of our guys are cisco nuts, vyatta manages to deal with those guys – I have yet to dig into it too much but vyatta seem to have replaced bash with their own shell. The upshot of this ? you can type “configure” and it takes you into config mode like a cisco, it then will autocomplete router style commands like “run show bpg summary” its very clever – to really understand what i mean here try it.

    • Distributions: From Ubuntu to Mandriva and Fedora

      This spring sees a burst of activity for Linux distributions. In addition to Ubuntu and Mandriva, FreeBSD and OpenBSD also put final touches on their new releases

    • Netbook boot times compared: Android vs. Fedora vs. Ubuntu

      GeunSik Lim, a Samsung software developer specialising in embedded Linux system design, has compared the netbook boot times for several Linux-based operating systems to see which was fastest. He compared Google’s Android platform against Linux Fedora 10 and the latest version of Ubuntu (Netbook Remix 9.04).

    • Why Gentoo?

      Not many people know that I run Gentoo (a source-based linux distribution) at home. Largely this is because most people don’t care. But for those who may care, I’ve decided to explain how Gentoo is better, at least for me.

    • Red Hat

      • Red Hat Gets Boost From Tighter IT Budgets

        Linux distributor Red Hat is seeing increased demand for its products even as the recession forces many companies to slash their IT budgets, said Red Hat CEO James Whitehurst.

    • Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Review: Glacier Computer’s Ridgeline W200 Wearable Computer

      Available with either Linux or Windows CE 6.0, the device has built-in Bluetooth and 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi to access remote networks. An integrated GPS receiver also is available. The processor is a Marvell (formerly Intel XScale) PXA270 that runs at 400MHz, and it is built with 128 MB of RAM.

    • Phones

      • Android 1.5 Released

        The first major update for Google’s Android platform, based on the Cupcake development tree, was released today in source form at the project’s git repository. Now it’s up to the OEMs and carriers to deploy it, and the community to port it to other platforms. Dig in for a list of new features.

      • Google Brings Product Search To iPhone, Android

        The simultaneous launch on Android and iPhone could signal a shift in Google’s mobile strategy, as it previously released new mobile features on Apple’s handset first. The Linux-based operating system is expected to be on a slate of new handsets this year, and Google expects 2009 to be a good year for the mobile operating system.

      • Google Android Netbooks Hit China

        Looking to get your hands on a netbook with some official Android goodness? While the US manufacturers haven’t caught on yet, China’s Skytone certainly has and would love to offer you the Alpha-680 netbook for about $100. It comes in white, black, yellow, pink and red. 3G, Ethernet, Wifi and USB ports are all included to get you connected and an SD card reader will provide you with more storage. You’re going to need it too since it only sports 1GB of solid state memory.

      • How vulnerable are the iPhone and BlackBerry juggernauts? Very.

        Android is on the move. Notice T-Mobile’s share and how it surged in the fourth quarter. That was mostly due to the G1 phone. Android is just as hip as the iPhone in geek circles and more phones are on the way.

      • Report: Android Now Has 6 Percent of the U.S. Smartphone Market

        The growth in requests from devices is largely being driven by very healthy growth in usage of the app stores for both Android and the iPhone. Here are some of the other key points from AdMob’s report.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • ARM/Linux netbooks attract carrier support

        AT&T is putting its weight behind netbooks using ARM processors, calling them the “next big step,” according to an article today in EE Times. The carrier has also begun selling four different subsidized netbooks (left) in Atlanta and Philadelphia, with plans to roll them out nationwide.

      • Netbooks: Best of the Best

        The dominant Windows XP (which now runs about 80 percent of netbooks) will be challenged by Linux and Google’s Andriod OS.

      • ARM wants the sub $200 netbook market

        The combination of ARM with Linux – see Ubuntu’s latest release – is almost an impossible one for Intel to beat, price wise, with the British Chippie flogging its SOCs for between $10-$20 whilst Chipzilla’s Atom starts at $35 apiece.

      • What Does Linux Benchmarking Look Like?

        With Phoromatic, there are no geographical boundaries for where you can manage your testing. When tests are done, you can be notified by via e-mail or to your mobile device. I happen to be in Italy, but using the latest Phoronix Test Suite code and the Phoromatic management system that soon will be shared with the public, I am able to effectively manage tests of systems back in the office in the United States.

      • Microsoft is The Big Loser Among the Big 3

        Ultimately, all three companies are going to be fine for a long, long time, but for one quarter at least, it looks like Apple and Google get a chair and Microsoft is left standing alone and blue as the battle for dominance continues.

      • How to install Easy Peasy in Acer Aspire One

        I’ve been using Acer Aspire One for the last month and while I really like its GUI, which made it easy to use like a cell-phone, the pre-installed Linpus Lite is well…Lite…

Free Software/Open Source

  • Sun’s Identity Management Solution supports Google Apps

    Sun Microsystems has released a new version of its OpenSSO Express identity management solution with support for Google Apps Premier. OpenSSO Express is targeted at companies and organisations that rely on Google’s software-as-a-service solution (SaaS) as their central communications platform. With it individuals can use a cross-company single sign-on (SSO) to access the web, mail and other applications.

  • Senator Rockefeller Introduces Open Source EHR Act

    The Health Information Technology Public Utility Act of 2009 will build upon the successful use of “open source” electronic health records by the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as the “open source exchange model,” which was recently expanded among federal agencies through the Nationwide Health Information Network-Connect initiative…

  • Don’t fall for the monoculture myth

    You’ll often read similar recommendations to dump Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (I work full-time for Microsoft) and use any other browser instead. To completely protect yourself, they’ll advise moving off of Microsoft Windows all together.

  • Business

    • Interview: Karen Tegan Padir, MySQL VP, On This Week’s MySQL Conference

      OStatic: What do you think are the biggest barriers to adoption of open source in business? Lack of support? Lack of evangelism and marketing? Lack of training?

      I don’t think it’s any of those things, I just think it’s just a matter of time. I worked at Red Hat for several years. When I worked there, conventional wisdom said that Linux was a toy, that it wasn’t reliable or ready for mission-critical deployment. People sure aren’t saying that anymore!

    • Interview: 9 Questions For Alfresco Software’s Chairman, John Newton

      As enterprises get squeezed by the recession, they’re starting to squeeze their vendors for cost savings. At some point, those vendors’ cost structures and business models won’t support the pressure. In a way, this movement, as we see it, is inevitable. Better evangelists, marketing and perhaps most importantly the ability to successfully leverage the power of the open source community can only make the change come more quickly.

  • Open (But No Source Code)

    • The Economics of Open Access Publishing

      Open Access Publishing is the free distribution of research, whether it is as a pre-print (working paper) or a peer-reviewed article.

    • Free Desks and Chairs, Anyone?

      A salesperson walks into your office today and tells you that you have to buy a new, pre-built, expensive desk for every one of your employees. You have to buy a new desk today and replace it every three to five years. Additionally, there are no options for the desk and you may not alter it in any way — one desk is all we make and you have to buy it from us. You see, you don’t really own the desk; you’re simply purchasing a license to use the desk. Chairs are sold separately and we have the corner on the market for chairs that are 100 percent compatible with the desk. The chairs are also very expensive.

Leftovers

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Three days to save the European Internet

      Two days ago I had no idea the European Internet was under severe threat, and I’m a European. Part of the problem is that Europe is incredibly complicated and the governance is baroque and bizarre. It uses terms like (Acquis communautaire) – admittedly I suffer from Anglophone blindness, but in any language the complexity of terminology and governance is horrendous.

      [...]

      I’ve found Twitter very useful here. 2-3 followers have – in the rather cryptic style of Twitter – pointed out that there are two issues.

      * Net neutrality
      * 3-strikes

    • Why promoting democracy via the internet is often not a good idea

      All in all, the world of international digital activism is much more complex that it appears on first sight. As much as I’d like hope that we are already long past the point where most Western governments, agencies, and NGOs operate on the assumption that “Internet=democracy”, I think that the field is still dominated by cyberutopians who do not see the inherent dangers of many cyberactivist campaigns; nor do they see how these campaigns may actually strengthen the governments they were supposed to challenge.

    • Net service providers now can ‘strike out’ pirating surfers

      The Legislative Yuan ratified yesterday the latest revision of the Copyright Law to empower Internet service providers (ISPs) to “strike out” Internet surfers who have violated others’ copyrights and posted unauthorized content on any Web sites.

  • Copyrights

    • The BBC Rehashes MPAA Propaganda

      As a government owned corporation the BBC has a duty to educate, and be evenhanded in its dealings with subjects. Yet in a recent segment on their long-running ‘Film’ program, currently hosted by Jonathon Ross, the BBC ran a biased segment straight from the MPAA. The BBC on the other hand, believes it was fair and balanced.

    • The Pirate Google
    • Danish Pirate Bay Block Sets Sail for Supreme Court

      In 2008 a Danish court ruled in favor of the IFPI, and ordered the ISP Tele2/Telenor to block all access to The Pirate Bay. Now a petition from the ISP against the decision has been accepted, which will see the appeal go Supreme Court.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Natasha Humphries on globalization and job security with Free Open Source Software 09 (2004)

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