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05.21.09

Links 21/05/2009: New GNOME, IBM Promotes Desktop GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 10:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Plugging In $40 Computers

    What would you do with a $40 Linux computer the size of a three-prong plug adapter?

    Marvell Technology Group is counting on an army of computer engineers and hackers to answer that question. It has created a “plug computer.” It’s a tiny plastic box that you plug into an electric outlet. There’s no display. But there is an Ethernet jack to connect to a home network and a USB socket for attaching a hard drive, camera or other device. Inside is a 1.2 gigahertz Marvell chip, called an application processor, running a version of the Linux operating system.

  • The Loongson-2 MIPS Lemote Yeeloong Netbook

    Few hardware vendors have not yet launched their own mini laptop (or, “netbook”). Most brands these days produce their own version of the same hardware, with Intel’s i386-compatible Atom cpu’s and Windows XP installed on a spinning hard drive or sometimes still a solid state disk. Some Linux models are still sold by some vendors, among whom Asus, which more or less started selling in this OLPC-inspired genre of laptops.

  • Linux Outlaws 93 – Danish Weekend

    This week: Fab reviews the Shure SM58+X2u bundle, the new Linux.com, Wolfram Alpha, Intel gets slapped by the EU, the Ubuntu One controversy and a lot more.

  • The one thing needed to move from windows to Linux.

    Meet Will. Will is a very versatile thing. You know what they all say “where there is a Will there is a way.” Will is so powerful that previously unopened doors of opportunity are magically opened for you. Will will carry you through adversity and have you emerge stronger than ever before. All of the most successful people I know of, read or heard about all have Will on their side. If we are sick or injured Will gives us the ability to live. It is Will which drives the Human race forward. It is Will which allowed the recent Hubble huggings. It is Will which made possible the small step for man into a giant leap for mankind.

  • Top 8 reasons why Linux rocks

    Linux has many advantages over other operating systems as people who actually like to use their computers can attest.

  • 9 Ways to Make Linux More Secure

    Security Enhanced Linux was originally developed for The National Security Agency and is now merged with the 2.6 kernel to provide some additional security measures to the Linux operating system. Enabling SELinux is probably one of the most important things you can do if you care about creating a ridiculously secure operating system.

  • World’s Smallest Computer Runs on Ubuntu

    If you had been wondering what would the future of computers be, the answer seems to lie in their sizes. The future PCs would be smaller, more economical and of course very efficient. With that in mind, CompuLab’s Fit PS2 is already being touted as the world’s smallest PC.

  • Desktop

    • Bordeaux Group and MyLinuxSupport signs first reseller agreements

      MyLinuxSupport Inc., signs first reseller agreements with the Bordeaux Software Group and Wine Reviews to resell pre-paid open source support cards. The pre-paid support cards will help reduce costs, complexity and improve overall productivity for businesses and individuals. With a dedicated 24/7 support channel now available business can reduce their total cost of ownership and better protect current and future investments that are in place.

    • Linux welcomed on the desktop

      Linux desktops are easier to implement than IT staff expected if they targeted the right groups of users, a study from Freeform Dynamics has found.

    • Report: Desktop Linux in Business Environments

      Freeform Dynamics Ltd, and IBM have just released a business report titled Linux on the Desktop Lessons from mainstream business adoption.

    • New Study Shows Linux Desktop Growing Stronger
    • IBM: Linux desktops bucking the recession

      IBM put out a study datelined one minute past midnight this Thursday morning commenting on the fact that outside of netbooks, the recession has largely put the kibosh on PC growth. There is according to IBM, however, an area of PC investment that actually saves money for a company: the Linux desktop.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • Ultra X Linux V1.3 Media Edition Released May 22, 2009

      Ultra X Linux V1.3 Media Edition will be released May 22 2009, we are uploading to the web as we speak it may be up today; go to http://ultraxlinux.org to check.

    • 15+ programs you don’t have to miss when you switch to Linux

      My average customer wants to do a few key things with their system and not much else – download music, chat, send email, store digital photos, and play some casual games. Many of their preferred Windows programs are also available for Linux.

      Limewire – Just because you’re switching operating systems doesn’t mean you have to give up downloading music. Limewire is built on Java and is available for Linux.

      Picasa – Most of us have digital cameras by now, and many of us have hundreds (if not thousands) of digital photos. You may have grown to love Picasa on Windows, but you won’t have to give it up if you switch.

  • Games

    • Talking To The Developers Of The Unigine Engine

      While the Unigine game engine may not be as widely known or used as the Unreal or id Tech engines, its capabilities and features have been increasing at an incredible rate. Last year there were two tech demos released by Unigine Corp to demonstrate the capabilities of their proprietary engine — both of which were very impressive — but since then their software stack has picked up a slew of new features like improved physics and multiplayer support. This year they are slated to release a new in-house game / tech demo that will be even more impressive and will go head-to-head with the latest high-end commercial game engines. Through all of their game engine development work, they continue to support Linux gaming, so we recently carried out an interview with them to learn more about their current and future work.

    • 100 open source gems – part 2

      If you haven’t already seen the first part of our 100 open source gems, read it now – and here’s the next 50 great apps!

  • Desktop Environments

    • How can GNOME and KDE developers create the modern Linux desktop?

      KDE and GNOME are the mainstream desktop environments for GNU/Linux. There are lightweight options that use fewer resources, such as Xfce or Fluxbox, but new users are more likely to encounter KDE or GNOME, which most closely follow the familiar desktop metaphors common to Windows or Mac.

      The historic challenge for the KDE and GNOME developers has been to reproduce the functionality available to users of other operating systems, and a bit more besides. But in recent times the developers have begun to look towards a future that might take the desktop further beyond the accepted conventions.

    • KDE

      • Comparing KDE 3.5.10 and KDE 4.2.2 memory usage

        I found that both versions of KDE did swap, to a certain extent, on both PCLinuxOS (KDE 3.5.10) and sidux (KDE 4.2.2), but the memory management was excellent on each system, not too aggressive, nor too inactive, allowing swap where needed, keeping at least a modest amount of free memory at all times, and trimming swap usage when memory requirements were relieved. The result was acceptable performance, even on a system that is nearly a decade old, and contains a Pentium 3 processor with about a 1 GHz CPU and 256 MB of memory.

      • KDE4: The Future of the X Desktop?

        It will be interesting to see whether KDE keeps heading in the right direction, or they end up dropping the ball and screwing it up. It’s off to a very promising start, and I could foresee KDE becoming the default X desktop if they continue in their present direction.

      • 64-bit Arch and KDE 4.2 on ext4

        I wrote my this post last Sunday, but completely forgot to actually publish it. In any case, I’ve been running x86-64 Arch on an ext4 partition with KDE 4.2.3 since. It has been interesting, to say the least.

    • GNOME

      • The Future Of Gnome DE Looks Promising

        One thing we have learned from KDE4 is that its not a good idea to make drastic change to a desktop environment that the users have been used to for a long time. Hopefully the Gnome developers will keep that in mind as they work on Gnome 3.0 release for next year. Gnome is known for making subtle incremental changes instead of doing major overhaul, but the changes they have planned for Gnome 3 is much bigger than we have come to expect from Gnome.

      • GNOME 2.26.2 released!

        This is the second update to GNOME 2.26. It contains many fixes for important bugs that directly affect our users, documentation updates and also a large number of updated translations. Many thanks to all the contributors who worked hard on delivering those changes in time. We hope it will help people feel better in their daily use of computers!

      • Gnome 3.0 General Sociological Research

        First of all we would like to thank the 1000+ people that took the survey in the margin of one week and thus contributed for a better gnome. I (Anton) would like to thanks the others from Gnome Usability team too about their response and advices regarding the questions asked. I have tried to present the results as better as possible by using Open Source tools and the online services of Google Docs. You can view a summary for each question as well as some thoughts at the end of the Summary Data Chapter.

  • Distributions

    • Desktop Linux For The Windows Power User

      Writing for power users, I assume that you have a good working knowledge of Windows and computers in general, but little or no experience with Linux. Therefore, this article will not tell you to compile anything from source code, and no sentence begins with “bring up the terminal” or any other UNIX techno-babble. Common Linux pitfalls like hard drive partitioning, installing software, and setup of essential plug-ins will be addressed entirely by using the graphical user interface (GUI).

    • Ekiga 3.2 on Ubuntu 9.04

      The other day my partner left the market shopping list at home. I took a few minutes off from cleaning the house to try SMSing it to her using Skype, rather than using the small keyboard on my mobile. However I found that the latest Linux Skype client, version 2.0.0.72, does not include SMS functionality (amongst quite a few other features that Windows users have). Frustrated with Skype’s treating Linux users like second-rate citizens, I resolved to see what alternatives there are to Skype. I started with Ekiga, which is pre-installed on Ubuntu. Read on to find out how I went getting rid of Skype and its limitations.

    • Dell knows what’s best for Linux users

      By having a Dell-specific repository for software updates, they’re making themselves a one-stop shop for all things Ubuntu on their hardware. The folks who want to explore the wealth of additional free software available to Ubuntu users can add additional repositories, but the average user just looking for a reliable, supported system should be extremely well served by Dell’s repository, and the work they do to make the packages secure and stable.

    • Shuttleworth’s take on Ubuntu One trademark issue

      The very fact that Canonical supports Ubuntu brings credibility towards Ubuntu. Ubuntu One will also likely be a *great* vehicle of publicity toward Ubuntu. Have you noticed Windows Live and Mobile Me already exist ? Which other alternative has Ubuntu to offer ? (don’t name DropBox, that’s a whole different thing with a different purpouse).

    • Karmic Koala Artwork

      Today I also stumbled across the great artwork by Adrien Pilleboue titled meditating koala.

    • Review: gNewSense Version 2.2

      gNewSense Version 2.2 (pronounced “guh-new-sense”) Code name DeltaH – Origin Ireland, started by and continues to be maintained by bbrazil and ompaul. A live Distribution. Gnome: 2.22.3 Build Date 2008.07.31 – Debian 5.0 Lenny is 2.22.3 Build Date 2008.09.18. gNewSense is a pure 100% Free Software Ubuntu base GNU/Linux sponsored by the Free Software Foundation and it does not contain any proprietary licence code; therefore it is completely legally distributable. gNewSense is a great Operating System.

      [...]

      Conclusion – almost everything worked right of the disk. Using most of the applications contained in this release worked without any problems. Memory sticks were accessed quickly, I burned an *.iso to disk and listen to a Music CD. I like the idea of gNewSense free from non-free software – I joined the Free Software Foundation. Is it newbie ready, well I’m a new Linux user and I got it up and running – easy as abc’s.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Nortel choses Linux for $250 million routing platform

      “We believe Linux is the right OS for the entire architecture,” McHugh said

    • Linux development platform takes on license compliance

      Embedded Alley has upgraded its “Development System for Linux” with tools to create software Bills of Materials, track open source components, trace binary sources, and help OEMs comply with open source license obligations. The new platform also adds support for the Freescale i.MX31 PDK (pictured).

    • Modular open source phone runs OMAP3x SoC

      Open source hacker community GizmoForYou is shipping a Linux hardware/software kit for building a modular touchcreen smartphone. Based on the OMAP35x-based Gumstix Overo Earth single-board computer (SBC), the Flow phone offers modules including GPS, 3.5G cellular, Bluetooth, WiFi, and a camera, says the group.

    • Phones

      • Acer Android Phone Coming This Year

        Acer said it would be releasing this year a smartphone that’s powered by the Google-backed Android operating system.

        The PC maker jumped in the smartphone market this year with its Tempo line of devices. The company is looking to capture up to 5% of the growing smartphone market within five years by offering handsets that are free with contract or have a low price.

      • Android phone number 2 coming to 3

        Since it runs the Android operating system, you’ll get the usual features including Google Maps (complete with Street View’s compass mode), the application marketplace, and other Google services such as Talk, Gmail, Calendar and YouTube.

      • Openmoko involves the community in hardware development

        In April the Openmoko Project announced that after only ten months it was discontinuing production of the Neo FreeRunner phone and after drastic staff reductions would be moving forward with a ‘Plan B’ product. It seems Plan B has now been revealed as Openmoko is inviting the developer community to not only tinker with the software and the casing design of the open smartphone, but it’s also now releasing the hardware design of the FreeRunner (GTA02) for anyone to join in, under the codename gta02-core. The aim is to develop a modified and completely open phone hardware for the FreeRunner within the next six to twelve months.

      • Too many platforms?

        So where is the massive diversity in mobile platforms? Right now, there is Android in smartphones, LiMo targeting smartphones, Maemo in personal internet tablets and Moblin on netbooks. And except for Android, they are all leveraging the work being done by projects like GNOME, rather than re-inventing the wheel. This is not fragmentation, it is adaptability. It is the basic system being tailored to very specific use-cases by groups who decide to use an existing code base rather than starting from scratch. It is, in a word, what rocks about Linux and free software in general.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Intel goes after Windows 7 on netbooks with Linux

        Intel has fine-tuned Linux for Atom-based netbooks with a simple user interface and improved power-saving features

      • Linux To Regain 50% Netbook Market Share

        I’m sure some will dismiss Mr. Lim’s projections as self-serving since Linpus is a Linux distributor heavily invested in the netbook market. It turns out Mr. Lim isn’t alone in seeing Linux equal or even overtake Windows on netbooks. ABI Research sees it happening but they see it taking a bit longer than a year. They see Linux regaining dominance on netbooks by 2012. ABI cites the arrival of low-end ARM-based netbooks as part of the reason for a Linux resurgence. They also cite the arrival of Linux distributions designed for mobile devices, particularly Android and Moblin. Windows doesn’t run on ARM processor based systems.

        While ARM has been getting lots of notice in the tech press a Spanish company called iUnika announced the first netbook with a MIPS processor (pictured). Linux already runs on MIPS processors. The support dates back to MIPS-powered SGI workstations running Linux back in the ’90s. Windows, on the other hand, doesn’t run on MIPS powered systems.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Business Intelligence Scores Another Channel Win

    openbiForgive The VAR Guy if he sounds like Yogi Berra today, but our resident blogger has deja vu all over again. The reason: The folks at OpenBI, a systems integrator in Chicago, have scored yet another win promoting Pentaho’s open source business intelligence software to customers. This is becoming a familiar story for OpenBI and Pentaho’s channel. Here’s the scoop.

  • Interop: SAP CTO backs open source for the cloud

    “SAP is a big fan and supporter of open source,” Sikka said.

    Now Sikka did not detail any specific open source project or efforts that SAP may be involved in, but it’s still interesting to note how supportive his comment are of open source.

  • Microsoft, Digium: Heading In Opposite VoIP Directions?

    Meanwhile, Digium (the upstart company known for Asterisk) is building an online community for ISVs and partners that want to write unified communication applications.

  • Hack: Nintendo DS Controls Open Source Robot

    Surveyor makes open source robot controllers that have quite a fan following among do-it-yourself drone enthusiasts. The company’s core product is the SRV-1, a programmable mobile robot controller that is open source,wireless and video enabled.

  • When will ECM open up?

    We’re often asked why there are so few ECM open source options, when at the same time the Web CMS marketplace supports so many open source alternatives? In the Web CMS world, there are easily 20+ open source CMS options. We cover 10 of the most significant in our Web Content Management research. Conversely, there are really only 4 ECM options globally available today. For the record those are Nuxeo, KnowledgeTree, Alfresco, and InfoGrid.

  • ZooLoo.com Trusts PostgreSQL for Open Source Development

    ZooLoo.com, a soon-to-launch online environment, announced today its support of PostgreSQL, a powerful, open source object-relational database system.

  • New Kenian Open Source awards announced

    The nominations for the first ever Kenya Open Source awards, to be held on the 27th May 2009, has been declared open.

    The awards recognise information and communication industry developers, system administrators and end users who have made notable contribution to Open Source technological advancement.

  • The new economic imperative for open source app dev

    With open source platforms, developers can access technology and community feedback free of charge. “I’d say open source is more economical for all types of development,” says Caleb Houser, a software specialist professionally, as well as a student at Spokane Community College. Open source saves money that could be going for other things, he adds.

  • Leading Voices – Michael Tiemann, Vice President of Open Source Affairs at Red Hat

    This is Michael Tiemann, I am President of the Open Source Initiative and Vice President of Open Source Affairs at Red Hat.

    The IT industry is headed for its own crisis, with plenty of red flags visible if you bother to look, as well as a clear and simple plan to avert the hard landing. But, in an industry famously long on ego and short on humility, can we really hope for a change before these CEOs destroy their companies and the assets of their customers?

    [...]

    The greatest objection raised by software industry participants about Open Source software is that if users are free to read, modify, and share software, then it’s not possible to extract monopoly rents. Based on what we have seen from the monopoly these past 10 years, I’m not really sure that is such a problem.

  • Getting with the (Developer) Program

    In the open source era, do vendor developer programs matter as much as they once did?

  • Blumenthal offers deadlines but puts off the hard decision

    What all this should tell people in the health IT sector, whether proprietary or open source, is that the game is afoot, and that negotiations on how open source and proprietary programs will interact in a new health IT infrastructure are underway.

    The lobbying has begun in earnest.

  • 8 Essential OpenOffice Extensions

    OpenOffice is already a complete desktop office suite that is at par in terms of features with the proprietary Microsoft Office. However, its functionality can still be improved by utilizing useful extensions that are easily available.

  • Drupal is a Webware 100 winner for the third year in a row

    Drupal is a Webware 100 winner for the third year in a row. This year Drupal was in the Social & Publishing category with well known services including MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress.com. Drupal was one of 10 winners in the category.

  • Mozilla

  • Business

    • The new face of open source on Wall Street

      But the more dramatic shift for Wall Street right now is that it is considering open-source alternatives for fundamental, industry-specific applications, applications like Marketcetera’s open-source trading platform, which I’ve called “a lifeline to the hedge fund industry” because it enables the industry to become more efficient and more productive. REvolution Computing, Esper, and others are also benefiting from this shift.

    • Daily P&L reconciliation capability provided by open source platform

      Marketcetera, a provider of open source platforms for automated trading, has released an update of its automated trading platform. The open-source software offers four new features.

  • FSF/GNU

    • Compliance Is The Goal

      We just announced that we’ve settled the lawsuit we filed against Cisco a few months ago. (See this previous blog post for more information about that.) The press release explains the terms we’ve agreed to, but I wanted to take a moment to talk about what people can draw from this.

  • Government

    • Our government should adopt communism to save money

      Why isn’t our government considering doing something similar? It is about to sign another deal with Microsoft locking the government in to using Microsoft software for another 3 years. This deal is called “G2009″. The New Zealand Open Source Society (NZOSS) has called for an immediate halt to the G2009 process. “We rush to criticise banks for profit-taking, but here we are negotiating for marginal cost savings from one of the government’s biggest IT suppliers while they take massive profits from the taxpayer,” says NZOSS President Don Christie.

    • ASEAN Free Software Wishlist

      But, so far as I am aware no one actually is throwing money around. Which is disappointing, given that the Australian government donates $100 million a year to the copyright lobby and even more to the closed source lobby.

    • Government and Open Source Software

      In order to understand the government’s interest in open source software, one must understand the government acquisition process.

  • Licensing

    • Wikipedia to Adopt Creative Commons License

      The Wikimedia Foundation, after a community vote and approval by the Board of Trustees, announced that Wikipedia will primarily be licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License (CC-BY-SA). The license is likely to be applied to the sites sometime during the next month. The decision came after the results of a community wide vote on the proposed the licensing change were released: 88% of voters with an opinion were for the change. The currently used license, GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL), will not be removed, just made secondary.

  • Openness

    • Transparency against malpractic

      As a result of my new enthusiasm to ‘get out more’ I found myself listening to a detailed and balanced ‘non-advocacy’ presentation from a respected OSS Watch staffer.

      He explained patiently how open source licencing worked and how it differed from proprietary licences. But what he did say whilst looking for an everyday resonance to make his points accessible to a non-geek audience, and which really sharpened every-one’s attention, was that proprietary software was built on secret code whereas open source software had transparent code.

      Proprietary software IS composed of secret code. You can’t read it, you don’t know what it does (other than what you can see it do), you don’t know how it does it and you can’t change it.

Leftovers

  • Rewriting Canada’s Copyright Law

    At some point over the last 10 years, copyright became a sexy topic. An issue that was once purely the domain of lawyers, politicians and record industry executives has seeped into the consciousness of everyday Canadians — people who feel that something just isn’t quite right about the way copyright works in this country.

  • Big Content appeals Pirate Bay case—damages were too low

    Movie and music lawyers in Sweden have appealed The Pirate Bay verdict, even though they won the case. More money (and a new legal charge) are behind the appeal. Meanwhile, The Pirate Bay claims that the new judge, the one who decided whether the first judge was biased, may be biased himself.

  • New Jammie Thomas Lawyers Vow to Put RIAA on Trial

    A new team of lawyers representing accused music uploader Jammie Thomas said Wednesday they would defeat the Recording Industry Association of America on its own turf. Stay tuned for the upcoming do-over of the nation’s only music file sharing case to go to a jury.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Steve Weber, creator of the phrase “anti-rival goods” 18 (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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