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05.06.09

Links 06/05/2009: OpenOffice.org 3.1 is Out, GNU/Linux Reigns ‘Clouds’

Posted in News Roundup at 3:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • syslinux in momentum

    At this year’s FOSDEM we finally had H. Peter Anvin to come over and discuss the syslinux project to a wider audience and I had been waiting for that day for about 3 to 4 years. (Even though I sadly missed hpa on one occasion before :-/)

    It was great to see the project blossom again after some years of diminished interest and getting some developers together (not me, I am just a humble user) was very productive. One of the developers I enjoyed talking to, Erwan Velu, out of the blue revealed he had some unfinished work I was very interested to test.

  • The Big Ubuntu 9.04 Review!

    Ubuntu 9.04 is a great OS, but the Media Players could been better.
    In Ubuntu 8.10 it was bad, but in 9.04 it’s even worse.
    And other things are great.
    And it gives a better default background than 8.xx.
    The next Ubuntu release, Ubuntu 9.10, will come in October, this year.

  • Vyatta Open Source Routing and Security Software

    It has been a very long time since I had the chance to speak with someone from Vyatta about their open source routing and network virtualization technology. After rummaging through my files, it seems that the last time I spoke with them was in June 2007 (see Vyatta – changing the world of routers, firewalls and VPNs.) They’ve been on my mind ever since and I’ve often spoken about their approach and their technology to Kusnetzky Group LLC clients.

  • Kernel Space

    • Flashing Your Motherboard BIOS From The Linux Desktop

      The Flashrom utility is developed by the CoreBoot project (formerly known as LinuxBIOS) as a way to read, write, erase, and verify flash ROM chips. Flashrom has been in development for quite a while (nearly a decade), but now they have finally come out with a version 0.9.0 release and soon expect to reach a 1.0 status. This utility supports nearly every x86 motherboard after having worked on support for over 150 flash chip families (and many various for each family), 75 different chipsets, workarounds for non-standard motherboards, and there is no need for CD-ROM or floppy disk.

    • The LKML Summary Podcast

      I am hoping this of use to some people who can’t read LKML every day. Yesterday took 15-20 minutes to put together, and that’s doable on a regular basis, subject to it being of use to anyone. I figured I’m reading LKML whether I do I summary recording or not. If it takes off, then I’ll try forming a small team to share the effort out.

      Podcast: http://podcasts.jonmasters.org/kernel/kernel.xml

  • Applications

    • Sauerbraten 2009 Trooper Edition Released

      As we shared last week, a new release of Sauerbraten (a.k.a. Cube 2) has been in the making for quite some time, but today an update for this popular first person shooter has been released.

    • Gimp Paint Studio [Gimp Optimized for Drawing and Painting]

      Gimp Paint Studio is a package of new tools and additions which provide improved capabilities focused on drawing and painting for Gimp.

    • Transmission for Linux Reaches 1.6.0

      All BitTorrent users will be happy to hear that a new version of the popular Transmission client has been released, for both Linux and Mac platforms. Transmission 1.6.0 brings a beta client for the Qt framework as well as important new features and improvements.

    • More console apps, for future reference

      I’ve been scraping the Internets again, looking for more fun little things to do at the console, and I found quite a few, thanks to some of the links I mentioned over the past week. I wish I could say I found a few more jewels, but most of what I’m finding now are esoteric, out-of-development or only vaguely useful in certain circumstances.

    • Geotagging with Linux

      Geotagging photographs makes it possible to give your computer orders like “show me on a map where this picture was taken” or “find all my pictures taken within a three-mile radius of Buckingham Palace”. If you want to publish your pictures online, geotagging makes it possible to make your own maps hyperlinked to and from your online picture galleries or services like Flickr.

    • Gmail Notifier is a Light, Convenient Email Checker for Ubuntu

      Linux: Ubuntu 9.04′s Growl-like, transparent notifications are slick and convenient for corner-of-your-view updates. Gmail Notifier takes full advantage of the latest Ubuntu improvements to provide lightweight Gmail checking on a schedule.

  • KDE

    • 8 KDE 4 Distributions

      There are many KDE distributions, but some have refused to move to KDE 4 and have stayed with KDE 3.5 instead like Mepis, Sidux and Slax. Here is a list of KDE 4 distributions to help distro-hoppers with their searching…

    • First view of KDE’s Social Desktop

      At last year’s KDE Akademy saw the first presentationsPDF on a vision for a KDE social desktop and now the first application for that desktop are being shown. In a posting on dot.kde.org, the Social Desktop developers have now shown a Social Desktop plasmoid, the KDE term for an application embeddable in the desktop, and are aiming for it to be incorporated in KDE 4.3 due this Summer. More functionality is then planned for the plasmoid in KDE 4.4.

  • Distributions

    • Terminal server for Debian Linux

      Version 3.0 of the open source x2go terminal server for Linux has been available to download since the end of April. The software, code named Uthörn, was developed for Debian 5.0. The new version aims to improve print server functionality. According to the release notes, it compresses print jobs before sending them, reducing data transmissions by up to 90 per cent. The server is now capable of also outputting sound from sound servers like aRts, ESD (Enlightened Sound Daemon or EsounD) or PulseAudio to clients through the network.

    • 5 Must Try Linux Distros

      Okay, that’s it for now, hopefully this small overview will give you some kind of view of these kick-ass distributions that could change you mind about Linux and ecnourage you to start using open source applications. As already stated, this is not top five list, so don’t start discussion on that it’s useless, and remember a good Linux distribution is part of users taste.

    • Ubuntu

      • Open, Free, Functional, and Wrapped In a Strong Sense of Self

        Over at the Lynx blog, Dougie Richardson cast his vote for the best comment made during the course of Ubuntu’s Open Week. While his choice might be completely subjective, there is no denying that Mark Shuttleworth’s response when asked whether WINE (in its own right, or as a general synonym for Windows compatibility) or native Linux ports were more important to Ubuntu’s success was thought provoking.

      • Ubuntu 9.04 on an 8510p Compaq Laptop

        Have been using Linux on and off since early Slackware days, and Ubuntu since its first public debut too, and I must say, for an out of the box desktop setup/experience, Ubuntu 9.04 is pretty slick.

      • A Look at Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope”

        Ubuntu is definately on right course and given proper oppurtunity(in forms of OEM adopting it) we will definitely see more and more people chosing Ubuntu as their primary desktop operating system.A Look at Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope”

      • Turbo Ubuntu Redux

        Mostly. The GNOME desktop makes it easy to navigate Ubuntu via a GUI interface and navigate the basics of the OS.

        Of course, a weekend warrior’s use of the new Ubuntu does not an advanced and lethal Linux Navy Seal make, so take my experience with a grain of salt.

    • Red Hat

      • Red Hat: UBS Upgrades; Worth Up To $32 In Takeout

        Bellini stresses that the upgrade is not based on expectations of a deal – but that if there was one, the company could be worth $23-$32 a share.

      • A Peek at DeviceKit in Fedora 11 and Beyond

        In my travels, I discovered David Zeuthen’s informative peek at DeviceKit (and its use with and in lieu of HAL) in the upcoming release of Fedora 11.

        Zeuthen says that while the new storage device handling stack is implemented in Fedora’s GNOME 2.26 desktop configuration, it should be appearing in its entirety in the upstream GNOME 2.28 release. The DeviceKit daemon modernizes and adds to many of the features and functions of the tried and true HAL daemon.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Roku Proves Good (Open Source) Things Come in Small Packages

      Maybe that’s something that’s a blessing and a curse. Perhaps on a dedicated, embedded device like Roku (or even TiVO) the terms “open source” and “Linux” aren’t used as the boogey men they are on things like netbooks or smart phones. On any of those devices, however, the real downside to open source for the average end user (if it exists) has less to do with stability or function and more to do with the manufacturer’s configuration.

    • “Hotspot in a box” runs Linux

      Proxicast is shipping a portable, battery-powered 3G and 802.11 a/b/g WiFi hotspot that runs embedded Linux. The Proxicast Cell-Pak is built around the company’s LAN-Cell 2 mobile 3G cellular router, has a rugged, MIL-spec rated case, and targets first-responder applications, says the Pennsylvania-based company.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Video: Netbook is smart phone companion

        In concept, the Redfly approach is similar to the Foleo that Palm Inc. Founder Jeff Hawkins debuted in May 2007 and the company a few months later canceled before it was released. However, the Foleo had its own processor, Linux operating system and basic applications—additions that drive its cost up to about $499.

      • Is Microsoft Headed For A Netbook Train Wreck?

        Want to see a company snatch defeat from the jaws of victory? Just watch Microsoft execute its netbook game plan against Linux.

        For more than a year, Microsoft has relied on Windows XP to keep Linux from claiming a bigger share of the netbook market. It’s a strategy that didn’t work as well as some people have claimed, but it was still relatively effective.

Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenOffice 3.1.0 has been released.

    Currently no changelog or releasenotes are available! I will update this post later.

  • Economic downturn to boost open source

    According to Hasson, it isn’t only the saving on licensing requirements that makes the difference, although these are considerable. Savings are also achieved on the investment requirement for the hardware on which the application has to run.

  • So you want to be an open source contributor?

    Here are some links to information about how you can get involved in some of the popular free and open source projects.

  • Growmanager: A Garden-Variety Open Source Project

    The system is designed to allow users to pick and choose only the modules they need based on what’s being grown and in what environment, so large-scale growers can manage elaborate heating and cooling systems while smaller growers can simply use it to water soil or feed plants.

  • More on open source software

    Children and young people too have something they can use. Under the “Education” category are Maths Tutors and Painting Software. GCompris is an integrated education application that introduces different activities to children aged three to eight.Tux of Math Command is a good way to introduce young people to Tux, the Linux Penguin.

  • FOSS4G conference registration opens

    FOSS4G attracts the cream of international Geospatial Open Source and Open Standards system implementors and sponsors. With themes ranging from the integration of Open Source with Proprietary systems to the building of Spatial Data Infrastructures and application of Open Geospatial Standards, the conference offers a unique opportunity to tap into the wealth of knowledge and experience available among the Open Source developers, sponsors and geospatial professionals of all persuasions. The Open Geospatial Consotium (OGC) is underpinning the conference with a Standards Based integration showcase based on a climate change scenario, demonstrating integration between Open Source and proprietary applications.

  • Open source enterprise network management options

    Search for open source or freeware network monitoring, network mapping, or network management software and you’ll receive a bazillion hits all claiming to be the most comprehensive freeware monitoring tools on the planet. Yes. A bazillion is a technical term. The only true advice I have for you my friend is something I learned in school, caveat emptor.

  • ‘Cloud’/Red Hat

  • Business

    • SpringSource acquires Hyperic to build end-to-end Java stack

      Enterprise Java vendor SpringSource has acquired Hyperic, a company that makes Java-based system monitoring and management tools. SpringSource says that the acquisition will enable them to offer a tightly integrated end-to-end solution for development, deployment, and management of enterprise Java applications.

    • The setting Sun: responses to the acquisition

      Oracle’s acquisition of Sun raised a lot of questions about the future of Sun’s core technologies. Oracle says that it is committed to Solaris and Java, but some open source advocates are concerned about the implications for OpenOffice.org and MySQL. Ars looks at how Oracle and members of the open source software community have responded to the acquisition.

  • Health

    • Psych Hospital Inks Deal for Open Source EHR

      Silver Hill Hospital (New Canaan, Conn.) signed a five-year contract with Carslbad, Calif.-based Medsphere Systems Corporation for implementation, training and support of the company’s OpenVista EHR solution.

    • Few hospitals go paperless using free VA software

      In a country where just 1.5 percent of US hospitals have fully computerized records, one of the poorest and least technologically advanced states has created a paperless records system for its state-run hospitals and nursing homes serving the indigent elderly and mentally ill.

  • Funding

    • Participatory Culture Foundation Supports Open Video with Miro

      As Hulu consolidates its distribution power online by finalizing content deals with Disney, Worcester, MA nonprofit Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF) aims to keep video distribution open and decentralized with an updated version of its versatile, open source video player and BitTorrent client, Miro, and three outreach campaigns. Read on for a quick start guide to Miro and to learn about PCF’s efforts to create Open Video on the web.

  • Releases

    • ICEsoft Open Sources ICEpdf, Industry-leading Java PDF Rendering Technology

      ICEsoft™ Technologies, Inc., a leading global provider of open source enterprise Java technologies and sponsor of the award winning ICEfaces® open source project, today announced a new addition to its open source product portfolio. ICEpdf®, ICEsoft’s Java PDF library and engine, is now available under the MPL open source license.

  • Open (But No Source Code)

    • Extraterrestrials, Computers, and Open Source

      Tarter said they were working on cloud computing and an open source repository of the data, hoping that the public at large could help develop new algorithms for sorting all the data. And there’s a lot of data–the antennas pick up about 15 million signals a day.

Leftovers

  • Another Reason We Need Open Access

    One of the more laughable reasons that traditional science publishers cite in their attempts to rubbish open access is that it’s somehow not so rigorous as “their” kind of publishing. There’s usually a hint that standards might be dropped, and that open access journals aren’t, well, you know, quite proper.

  • Merck Makes Phony Peer-Review Journal

    It is this attitude within companies like Merck and among doctors that allows scandals precisely like this to happen. While the scandals with Merck and Vioxx are particularly egregious, we know they are not isolated incidents. This one is just particularly so. If physicians would not lend their names or pens to these efforts, and publishers would not offer their presses, these publications could not exist. What doctors would have as available data would be peer-reviewed research and what pharmaceutical companies produce from their marketing departments–actual advertisements.

  • Merck And Elsevier Exposed For Creating Fake Peer Review Journal

    Of course, this is exactly the sort of thing that you can do when everything is locked up and proprietary, rather than open. There’s almost no way to confirm or check the data or information to make sure it’s legit, so people tend to assume it is. In that regard, perhaps it’s no surprise that the two companies eventually went down this road, but it does highlight one of the problems with the way the system works today. As Shirky later points out this is hardly unique for a firm like Elsevier, which has faced some serious ethical questions regarding its publications in the past as well.

  • The Safety Gap: Dangerous Devices

    From defibrillators to pacemakers, some experts say too many mistakes are making it to market. There are close to 24,000 companies across the globe manufacturing medical devices — many that help people live longer, healthier lives. But a group of scientists in charge of inspecting these life-saving products say a stamp of approval by the FDA doesn’t mean it’s safe.

  • Mr. Bezos, Tear Down This Wall

    Amazon is not-so-quietly building a wall between itself, its competitors, and open e-book formats. It’s time to show them that those of us who seek e-book readers without boundaries will not stand for their market monopolization and Soviet-style platform containment.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Italy’s Troubling View Of The Internet

      However, that’s hardly all of the oddities coming out of Italy lately. Of course, like France, the country is looking to implement a three strikes law, but has also required all blogs to register with the government. Then there were the folks who ran an online music store, where they had officially licensed the music for sale, but the IFPI claimed they didn’t get all the right licenses, and an Italian court sent them to jail for this (rather than just fining them or passing an injunction). Oh right, and Italian cops have been asking for a back door to listen to Skype calls. And… finally, recently we wrote about a law that the gov’t was considering that would ban anonymity online in Italy — and it just so happened that the law was written by entertainment industry representatives. Add all these up, and it seems that Italy appears to be an incredibly anti-Internet country. You’d have to imagine that can’t be good for business.

    • The Internet Saved My Tongue

      The investigation vividly illustrated how Canada’s provincial and national human rights commissions (HRCs), created in the 1970s to police discrimination in employment, housing, and the provision of goods and services, have been hijacked as weapons against speech that offends members of minority groups. My eventual victory over this censorious assault suggests that Western governments will find it increasingly difficult in the age of the Internet to continue undermining human rights in the name of defending them.

    • Vonage: Not a Telecommunications Service

      Then will come an even harder part: Determining just how much to charge Vonage and its ilk. After all, according to today’s decision, Vonage is not a telecommunications service provider, and should not be charged at all.

  • Copyrights

    • New Zealand Denies It’s Scrapping Copyright Laws

      Despite widespread reports last week that New Zealand was going to scrap its copyright laws, and start from scratch, Tom Rix writes in to point out that New Zealand officials are now denying this report and saying they’re still working on a new version of the copyright amendment that was a source of tremendous controversy recently.

    • Coldplay Giving Away Free CD At Shows And Free Downloads

      A bunch of folks have sent in the news that Coldplay is doing a promotion whereby they’ll be giving away a free CD at every live show and will also make the tracks available for free download on the band’s website. The album itself is live tracks recorded during the current tour.

    • Coldplay to give away free album
    • Amazon Doesn’t Want to Sell Music to Pirates

      A music only torrent indexer, Coda.fm stands out from other sites with its clean design and innovative features. One of these features is a link to buy the various albums on Amazon, after downloading them on BitTorrent and enjoying the sample. Surprisingly enough, Amazon objects to getting business this way and has taken action.

    • EFF Lawyer Says Second Life Copyright Issues “In Some Ways Worse” Than Real Life

      …the creator of every single item in the frame, just as you don’t need to do so when you take a photo of a New York City street. However, that assumption has not yet been tested in court.

    • Warner Music to Warner Music: You are pirates!

      Over on the Sire Records web site, they have a big page full of music videos from all their artists… Except that if you actually click on any of them to play, they’ve *all* been taken down for copyright infringment… by Warner Music Group, Sire’s parent company.

    • Record Label Sponsors BitTorrent Site isoHunt

      At a time when BitTorrent sites are increasingly at odds with the music industry and file-sharing continues to flourish despite legal action, new thinking is called for. Instead of joining the conflict with BitTorrent sites, Honor Roll Music has decided to sponsor isoHunt instead, one of the leading torrent search engines.

    • The Pirate Bay Torrents Listing on the MPAA Website

      A white-hat hacker going by the nickname of Vektor has located several cross-site scripting vulnerabilities in the website of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). In order to prove the existence of the flaws in a humorous manner, he decided to inject a “Thank you” page with a rogue IFrame, which loads the website of MPAA’s most current arch-enemy, the world’s biggest torrent tracker, The Pirate Bay.

    • Copyright claims clamp down on creativity

      At least, it’s an impossibility from our perspective. Copyright ownership and management’s something of a big deal here in America: the RIAA, MPAA and even the various writer’s guilds have been stirring up some serious muck about who can use what intellectual property when and how.

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