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06.23.09

Links 23/06/2009: Palm Open Source Portal, StarOffice Gets Arabic

Posted in News Roundup at 7:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Why I Use Linux: Bart’s Story

      I have even convinced 4 co-workers that were fed up with all the viruses and problems into switching and once I got them installed and set up, they just love their new virus free machines. I agree with you 100% that Linux is ready for the desktop but Microsoft has a huge advantage that 95% of the computers sold come with Windows by default and that is hard to battle. We will just have to keep chipping away 1 new user at a time.

    • Easily run Windows apps on Linux with CrossOver Linux 8

      CrossOver Linux 8 is built on top of the open-source project Wine. This is an implementation of the Windows API (application programming interface) on top of the Unix/Linux operating system family. As far as any given program is concerned, it’s running on Windows so you don’t have to tweak the applicaton itself to run on Linux. Wine is a very active project, with 16 years of development behind it. In other words, this program has been better-tested for Windows compatibility than almost any native Windows operating system.

    • Working at the Edge of Reality

      So…giving away computers to kids is easy…fun actually.

  • Server

    • Linux mainframe use grows

      Linux on mainframes is set to increase as enterprises look to deliver more value from existing IT assets during the recession.

    • Linux: It doesn’t get any faster

      Specifically, Linux has increased its already substantial supercomputer market share to 88.6%. Linux is followed by hybrid Unix/Linux systems with 5.8%; Unix, mostly IBM’s AIX, with 4.4%; and running close to last, Windows HPC (high-performance computing) with 1%. Only BSD, with a single representative on the list, trails Windows.

  • Kernel Space

    • A Conversation with Chris Mason on BTRfs

      Chris: Linux has grown a rich infrastructure for filesystems, making it very easy to experiment and innovate with different storage technologies. So, it isn’t surprising that many different filesystem projects have found their way into the kernel.

      One of the reasons we are able to sustain these projects is because Linux is used with so many different workloads and types of storage.

    • Palm Pre WebOS powered by Linux 2.6.24

      At the heart of webOS is the Linux 2.6.24 kernel which originally was released by Linus Torvalds in January of 2008. It’s also got BusyBox — yeah that same busybox that the has been the subject of legal lawsuits — which provides an embedded tool set.

    • Neterion, Inc. Announces Support for its 10GbE Single Root I/O Virtualization Products in Linux Kernel

      Neterion, Inc. today announced that its 10GbE products based on the Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) specification are supported by Neterion vxge Linux kernel driver. The driver is compatible with Linux SR IOV implementation in 2.6.30 and above kernels.

    • New Linux Kernel to Bolster Open Source Momentum

      New versions of the Linux kernel typically come and go without a lot of fanfare except in the communities most affected by the latest bug fixes and other changes. However, with the release of Linux kernel 2.6.30, the broader open source community has reason to smile.

  • Applications

    • Minirok 2.0 – Minimalist Audio Player for KDE4

      Written in Python, Minirok is a minimalist audio player which ships with a simple and intuitive interface, which kind of resembles the Amarok 1.4 interface, except all the major features were removed.

    • Mahjong Zodiac for Linux Released

      Artex Studios, Inc.® is proud to announce the immediate availability of Mahjong Zodiac™ for Linux, a funny and colorful casual skill game. It has a very unique 3-matching and mahjong gameplay.

    • Office suite released in netbook version

      ThinkFree announced the availability of a Linux-compatible office productivity suite designed for netbooks. ThinkFree Mobile Netbook ESD version offers word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation applications, with “round-trip” Microsoft Office compatibility, synchronization and online document collaboration features, and 1GB of free online storage, says the company.

    • 10 (More) Hacking and Security Software Tools for Linux
    • Linux KDE Web Development Tools – Reviews and Screenshots

      Here’s a simple to use and very useful image map editor. Drop an image or existing HTML file into the app window and draw the part of the image you want to map. You can even define map parts of the image using a polygonal area tool.

      Even more impressive is that you can define all the javascript functions that should occur when the selected part of the image is effected. Onclick, OnMouseOver, etc… Tested and works well in KDE and Gnome.

  • CLI

  • Distributions

    • Sabayon Core Sneak Peak

      Lately I have been quite busy with many different (usually sabayon-related) things. A main focus is trying to come up with a a nice theme for 5.0, which is is proving interesting to say the least.

    • Security distribution BackTrack 4 with CUDA support

      The Remote Exploit Team has released a Pre Final version of the BackTrack 4 (BT4) security distribution (code named ‘pwnsauce’) as a 1.3 GB ISO image file. BackTrack offers a wide range of tools to enable users and administrators to test the security of items ranging from web applications to RFID systems. These include LAN and WLAN sniffers, password crackers, vulnerability scanners, the Metasploit exploit framework and several others.

    • Guadalinex v6 is out!

      I am pleased to announce that the final version of Guadalinex v6 is out :-)
      The official news are at the Guadalinex website. But it’s in Spanish, so I’ve decided to explain a bit (in my poor English) what is all about.
      Before to start I like to thank to all those people who help to develop, test, fix, translate and document all those great projects which Guadalinex is based on. I really do. They make this possible and deserve most of the credits.

    • Red Hat

      • Opennet to offer SMB support for open source solutions

        Red Hat Linux distributor Opennet Middle East and Africa has announced the availability of support packages for the SMB market.

        The master distributor and authorised Certified Training Centre for Red Hat Linux in the MENA region hopes that the new support services will help SMBs to increase their uptake of open source solutions, as a cost effective approach to technology.

      • Another view on Red Hat’s Virtualization Portfolio

        Red Hat just trumpeted that its Virtualization Portfolio was just about cooked and ready to serve. While that announcement (see Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Beta Draws Industry Interest) did gather some industry comment, including that made by my colleage Paula Rooney (see Red Hat’s KVM-based virtualization platform moves into beta testing), it certainly can be seen as a predictable move. Rather than just repeating what has already been said, I’m going to present a different view.

      • Fedora Marketing TNG: Project FooBar

        Just wanted to keep people posted as to what’s going on in Marketing and the outcome of my trip to Westford last week. As many of you know, I’ve been thinking about what the next steps we need to take in Fedora Marketing should be. I feel that we have come along way in terms of improving process and that we can go even further while also putting a fresh spin on things. For some time there has been discussion of a “Fedora Magazine” concept; this goes back a couple of years. I really liked the idea and it sort of stuck in my mind all these years and I was thinking we can centralize things around that format. I had a few rough ideas for kickstarting this, but mainly my motivations were to solidify policies and process for what content Marketing creates, who we create it for, the content creation schedule, and how we distribute it.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Netbook Remix – An Acid Test

        So, all things considered I would say UNR passed this initial Acid Test with flying colors. I’m sure that I will hear plenty more from her about it, and I will be watching to see how she gets along with it.

      • Linux Mint 7 Review

        Linux Mint’s purpose was always to be a very user-friendly, simple, and up to date Linux and GNU desktop distribution. Besides being based on Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope (and early on, really just a variant of Ubuntu with integrated media codecs, and Linux 2.6.28, it also incorporated the highly popular open source technology of Gnome 2.26, and Xorg 7.4.

      • Migration Assistant to Automatically Install Equivalent Programs

        There’s a new project to locate installed programs on a Windows partition and install the same or similar programs in Ubuntu during the Ubuntu installation process. The project is called Migration Assistant. Right now, the list of programs is short, but that’s likely to get longer:

        * Audacity
        * Pidgin IM
        * Thunderbird
        * VLC
        * Audacious
        * GMail Notifier
        * XChat

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Embedded Linux: Out of sight, out of mind

      Embedded Linux devices fall into two categories:

      1. Where the Linux OS is anonymous simply because it has been used by engineers as part of the tool set. For example branding of a flight data recorder would be weak. The buyers in a specialist market would buy based on specificaton, price and their own professional evaluation.
      2. Where the Linux OS can do its job but not intrude on the heavy branding of its host device. For example TomTom, Motorola, Palm and Sony would have good market reasons not to compete with Microsoft branding. The don’t wan’t or need any interference from ‘Microsoft Inside’ stickers.

      So what follows this section it is just a list really, thinly disguised by a theme! Apologies, you may know it all already, but hopefully some sections will be as news to you as they were to me. Even with some kind of theme there were still eleven categories. Skip the bits you are familiar with.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android Mobile Sales Chart

          AndroidOS is an operating system for mobile phones developed by Google for mobile phones. It is open source, and based off of the Linux operating system for PCs. It was launched in late 2008, and is becoming a very popular operating system behind SymbianOS, RIM, and the iPhone. One of the key points of the AndroidOS is that the marketplace is rather large, boasting ~1,000 applications, and is expanding. Unlike SymbianOS, the app market works for all phones, making it’s future bright as a major player in the $2,000,000,000 mobile gaming industry.

        • T-Mobile’s Next Android Phone: myTouch 3G

          T-Mobile today unveiled key details about the highly anticipated follow-up to the T-Mobile G1 — a new, Android-powered model called the myTouch 3G.

          Like the G1, the myTouch is built by HTC and runs on T-Mobile’s 3G network, while also supporting Wi-Fi connectivity.

      • Palm

Free Software/Open Source

  • Museums Turn to Open Source During Lean Times

    Some of the organizations hardest hit by the sagging U.S. economy are non-profits and industries that rely on donations and public support to stay afloat. Museums and cultural institutions are turning to open source software as one way to deal with declining attendance and lack of funding to cover operational costs.

  • The next big thing is cybersecurity but what does it mean for us?

    Dan acknowledged that some people had a hard time understanding how open source software could be secure. “There is a perceived risk of open source from a security standpoint, people are very concerned about using software and it’s either “I don’t know where it comes from”, or “what backdoors have been put in the software”. I think it is largely a red herring, people don’t know where their proprietary software was written either nor do they know where the backdoors are in that. In open source, there is usually very robust version control, and you can see every line of code where it came from, who put it there and who made changes to it. The ability to do that inspection and do security audits is much greater in open source than in proprietary software”. About the issue of foreign involvement and where the software is written – at least in Defense – with respect to influence and control, Dan pointed out that in most cases we have no idea where proprietary software is written either, and buying from a US company does not mean that it was written here.

  • OpenOffice.org

    • Design Proposal Collection, Lessons Learned

      So what can be concluded now that the Design Proposal Collection is over? After looking at the individual feedback we got during the proposal collection and thereafter, it seems to have worked well. The weakest points seem to be the schedule and some parts of the documentation.

    • Sun launches StarOffice 9 in Arabic

      Sun Microsystems has once again reinforced its commitment to the region with the introduction of its Arabic version of StarOffice 9.

  • Firefox

    • IE is like malaria, says Mozilla VP

      Mozilla’s VIP of engineering has again likened Internet Explorer to malaria, insisting that although a lot of people have it, most of them wouldn’t actively choose it.

      In a lengthy discussion about the forthcoming Firefox 3.5, Mike Shaver explains that he finds a resurgent browser division at Microsoft a compliment, and insists that all he wants is a fair fight – where browser choice is about suitability and choice and not defaults.

    • First results of Electrolysis, multi-process Firefox

      A few weeks ago, Mozilla announced Electrolysis, a new project that aims to make Firefox a multi-process application, with separate processes for the user interface (chrome), each tab, and plugins, in order to provide higher stability as a a problem with a plugin or a certain web page wouldn’t bring down the whole session; higher performace, as today’s multi-core processors can handle multiple tasks at a time; and stronger security, as each could run on different security contexts.

    • Firefox 3.5 RC Review

      With Google’s Chrome 2.0 speeded up after dropping its beta and Opera 10 beta claiming a better browsing speed, all eyes are on Mozilla’s new Firefox version hyped to touch Amazing feats of speed. Last Friday Mozilla issued the new browser’s first release candidate. It seems to be the most stable and polished make after the year-long development process. Firefox 3.5 Release Candidate (RC) was the first milestone following the beta 4 released in late April.

  • Events

    • 2009 Open World Forum

      The 2009 Open World Forum (OWF) will take place on the 1st and 2nd of October at the Eurosite George V convention centre in Paris. The banner for the forum is “FLOSS: AT THE HEART OF THE DIGITAL RECOVERY” and it promotes free, libre and open source software (FLOSS) as a path to economic regrowth.

    • OW2 Consortium Showcases Open Source Enterprise Solutions at LinuxTag 2009

      The OW2 Consortium is hosting the “Enterprise Development” track for the first time at LinuxTag, Europe’s leading conference and exhibition for Linux and open source software. The all-day track is set to demonstrate the maturity of open source software for entreprise information systems.

    • EcoTuesday event, June 23rd The role of “open source” technology in global sustainability

      Scott will talk about ‘The Role of Open Source Technology in Sustainability’ at EcoTuesday, an event which usually draws between 80 and 100 participants each month.

  • Business

    • Corporate IT done ‘lite’: open source, Web 2.0 gain appeal as budgets shrink

      As the ongoing recession continues to choke IT capital spending, buying integrated software from big-name vendors is on the way out — fast. What’s in is “IT lite,” which includes Web 2.0 technologies and services that are cheaper and easier to implement, mix and match. It also includes software from no-name, up-and-coming vendors; open-source tools and applications; and an ever-widening variety of tools for mapping, chat and more that are available for free on the Internet.

    • Untangle shows how to make open source pay in the SMB market

      In a similar manner, Untangle appears to be doing well with SMBs by giving them what they need, and no more, in an easy-to-consume open-source model that respects their time. There is a lesson in this for open-source companies, and really, any company that wants to build products that will appeal to the SMB market.

    • Starting a Business as an Open Source Consultant

      You have to learn to Say No, no matter how hard it is to do so, Jamison says. Say No to offers to work for sweat equity, to scope creep from customers, to lowering your price. And in open source terms: “We have to say No to working with Microsoft technology,” he adds. “We didn’t start this company to work with frickin’ Microsoft technology.”

    • Squiz Offers 24×7 Support For Its Open Source Web CMS

      Squiz, provider of MySource Matrix, the Open Source Content Management System from down under, is all about being supportive. To prove it, the team behind the name announced that it now offers its shoulder to anyone in need, at any time, from any place.

    • Cowen Group’s CIO Focuses on Mobility, As-A-Service, Open Source

      Flax likes open source technologies because he considers them cost-effective and mature. He points out that many open source projects have communities of developers and users that provide ideas for using and leveraging the technology, and fixes and new releases tend to come out more quickly than for commercial software.

  • Funding

    • Reductive Labs, Moving to Portland, Raises $2M for Open Source IT Automation

      Portland, OR, is gaining an interesting new software company—and this one comes with its own venture funding. Reductive Labs, an open-source startup that helps companies automate their IT management, announced today it has raised $2 million in Series A financing led by True Ventures in Palo Alto, CA. True Ventures put in $1.75 million, and private investors pitched in the remaining $250,000. The deal closed earlier this month, according to Reductive Labs co-founder Andrew Shafer.

      [...]

      Puppet is free to use, and Reductive Labs sells support for customers if they want it. “We tend to do business with people with very large operations. They’re the ones who really feel a need for this kind of automation,” says Shafer. “We are classic open source—we have service, training, and support contracts.”

  • Mechanics

    • Willow Garage: The Personal Robot Will Be Open Source

      Want to build a robot? Join the club. Want to improve the way we build robots? Join Willow Garage. This silicon valley based robotics company is not just designing robots, they’re working on how we design robots by building a programming language and a standard research bot. Best of all, their software is open source – able to be viewed by its users so that they can understand and upgrade it as needed. Imagine a future where each robotics developer can share hardware and software components with each other in a modular fashion. You could just build a robot like a plug and play computer. With open source techniques Willow Garage hopes to expand the boundaries of robotics, both in research laboratories and in our daily lives.

    • 300 MPG Riversimple Urban Car Open-Sources Its Hydrogen Fuel Cell Tech

      A hydrogen-powered two-seater unveiled in London this week can seat two, turn in the equivalent of 300 MPG and hit a top speed of 50 mph. Plus, its blueprints are open source. Take that, auto industry

    • The hydrogen car built on open source technology
  • Government

    • UN and EU urges legislators to support open source and open standards

      Times of economic crisis are an opportunity to review our societal models and take advantage of the latest innovation to foster the world economy. This article is an opportunity to remind that EU officials and United Nations share the same vision on the need to favor open source and open standard to foster economic growth and international collaboration.

    • Open-source software would save governments money, advocates say

      Advocates for open-source software are urging governments to embrace the concept, which they argue will save money, offer more flexibility and create better computer programs by encouraging collaboration.

    • New York State Senate goes open source

      The New York State Senate has launched what it’s calling a cutting-edge program to not only release data, “but help empower citizens and give back to the community”.

    • CIA invests in open-source enterprise search

      Last week, In-Q-Tel, the technology arm of the CIA, invested in Lucid Imagination, which provides support, maintenance, and add-on software for Apache Lucene and Solr. According to Lucid, the Lucene/Solr technology is downloaded more than 9,000 times per day, and more than 4,000 organizations are using the software for enterprise search.

    • Open Source Could Cut Costs for Federal, State and Local Government (Opinion)

      Open source technology enables both equal access and the freedom to distribute a technology’s source code — in essence the “language” on which it’s built. It includes an accepted set of standards that allow a business or government the freedom to move its critical data and IT services on, off and in-between products from different companies, whenever it chooses.

    • CCHIT proposes three certification paths

      Some of the impetus for change stems from the open-source community. Leavitt said feedback from a CCHIT-hosted forum in April showed open-source developers are concerned with the cost of certification. As for meeting all of CCHIT’s criteria, open-source developers run into licensing issues when they attempt to include certain code sets, Leavitt added.

      Another issue is that although CCHIT certifies a specific version of a given software product, open-source software, by its nature, is frequently modified.

    • Survey – “Show us the code” says China

      Elsewhere in the world, the survey confirmed the general trend that open source software is now mainstream for enterprises. In North America, 41 per cent were already using open source, with almost another ten per cent planning to adopt or already adopting. France continues to lead the way in Europe, with 67 per cent already using open source, followed by Germany at 60.6 per cent and the UK trailing at 42 per cent. Attitudes to open source adoption repeat the pattern with those who feel benefits outweigh other issues coming in at 47 per cent in the UK, down from 54 per cent in 2008, while in Germany, 62 per cent believed that to be true. Another problem for the UK is that 22.4 per cent of the respondents in the UK say they are still monitoring developments in open source, but have not yet begun evaluating it.

    • President Lula of Brazil receives ITU Award, Open Source Software cited (updated)

      The open source revolution in South America has a very different flavor in South America that in does in North America, Europe, Japan, China, or Australia for that matter. In those regions, open source is treated like just another choice in the marketplace, as if the future matters not at all, only the present. There are certainly plenty of verifiable examples of just how much better open source can be than proprietary software today.

  • Openness

    • The “Doctor Who” Model of Open Source

      “Open source projects are generally fine when there’s a long-term leader like Linus; but what happens when nobody is able or willing to run things for extended periods? Peter Murray-Rust explains how the open chemistry group known as the Blue Obelisk has evolved what he calls the ‘Doctor Who Model of Open Source’: ‘You’ll recall that every few years something fatal happens to the Doctor and you think he is going to die and there will never be another series. Then he regenerates. The new Doctor has a different personality, a different philosophy (though always on the side of good). It is never clear how long any Doctor will remain unregenerated or who will come after him. And this is a common theme in the Blue Obelisk.’ Could other open source projects learn from this experience as long-term leaders start to move on?”

    • Open Source Dendrochronology

      They practice open source data transparency on the net, which means that arguably amateur dendrochronology is at this time more scientific than the professional variety.

    • Open source Water Quality Management System with Zope

      The Water Quality Management System (WQMS) has been developed by South African authorities on the open source application server Zope and will shortly be in use by all 160 South African local governments. This award winning project, which bears the potential of being shared with neighboring nations, is a new example of open source software being an enabler for innovation and social progress.

  • Programming

    • PHP 5.2.10 released

      Less than one week after the second release candidate was made available, the PHP developers have announced the final release of version of PHP 5.2.10. Version 5.2.10 of the open source scripting language is a maintenance release for the 5.2 development branch and features over 100 bug fixes, including a fix for a security issue that affected exif_read_data () segfaults on certain corrupted .jpeg files.

    • Nokia’s Qt and the Open Road to Code

      Open Source Magazine talks exclusively to Benoit Schillings, Chief Technologist for Nokia’s Qt Software (originally Trolltech) to get an insight into the strategic development of the company’s open approach to its cross platform application framework.

    • SourceForge Announces Finalists of Fourth Annual Community Choice Awards

      “The open source community submitted more than 47,000 nominations, almost doubling the submissions received in 2008,” said Ross Turk, director of community at SourceForge. “The support and enthusiasm people have shown for these open source projects proves that the spirit of community and collaboration is alive and well.”

  • Applications

    • Serna Free XML Editor Goes Open Source Soon!

      We love Serna and wish to share our passion with anyone who wants to make it better. Our mission is to make XML accessible to everyone, and we believe that open-source Serna could enable much more users and companies to adopt XML technology.

    • Secure Your E-Mail With Thunderbird and GnuPG

      The next step is to find a GPG plug-in for the e-mail client you intend to use: In this article we’ll use the open-source Thunderbird 2 e-mail client, although plug-ins of varying quality are available for many more clients including Eudora and Outlook Express on Windows, Thunderbird, KMail and Evolution on Linux, and Thunderbird and Mail.app on OS X.

    • GroundWork Monitor Adds JBoss Portal

      Open source Monitor 6.0, now available in beta, will soon include a software development kit for adding user interface features.

    • CableLabs releases open source software tools

Leftovers

  • Time To Start Thinking About Infinite Bandwidth

    So, all these arguments over “net neutrality” and “metered billing” are missing the point. Bandwidth is going to increase. Those who attempt to cap it or limit it are only going to make their own pipes significantly less valuable. However, those who recognize how empowering more bandwidth can be, and how approaching “infinite bandwidth” opens up the possibility for new services and apps that we can’t even fathom today, will start to realize that providing ever more bandwidth increases value and clamping down on bandwidth kills value.

  • Lessig and Leveraging FLOSS For Ethical Copyright

    My main concern with his talk, and, indeed, with the whole of the conference, was that there was a presumption that academic criticism of copyright was capable of effecting change in the copyright law. Having witnessed first hand the irrelevance of logical or economic arguments in the face of the immense power that copyright cartels have, this presumption is one in which I have little faith. The problem is not one of law, but one of power – power that is out of control. Prof. Lessig does seem to be aware of this, given his stated intention to work in the future on institutional corruption.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Alexandro Colorado, international open source evangelist 05 (2004)

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

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