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Links 17/07/2009: Many GNU/Linux Releases and Zeitgeist Engine

Posted in News Roundup at 1:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



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  • Understanding the Scope

    Besides…Linux Against Poverty does not end in Austin…this is only the beginning. People on 4 continents are waiting for us to get this documented so they can hold their own event.

  • Linux, Mac users – your copy of Windows may be tax deductible

    While better than previous years, it is still little comfort to Macintosh users or those who may not be able to get WINE working for whatever reason.

    The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has not indicated any interest in producing either a cross-platform edition of e-tax or a release for any non-Microsoft operating system.

  • Desktop

    • Microsoft Office comes to Linux – MS begrudgingly bends

      While doing their best to keep the stranglehold on the productivity software market, Linux struggles to get a foothold in the market without a painless solution for business documents that doesn’t require how-to instructions on the net. Linux without business documents surely has stunted its growth into the corporate market. By offering their web apps for free, Microsoft is reluctantly offering an olive branch to Linux users. In Microsoft’s video, the company states that browser Internet Explorer won’t be required to use the web app, they even name Firefox and Safari as being compatible. Microsoft doesn’t mention Google’s Chrome (although both Safari and Chrome are built using the same components).

  • Server

    • Community Live – Online Gaming High Scalability

      The inaugural meeting of the Online Gaming High Scalability Special Interest Group was a one day conference on the theme of “Should you bet on the Cloud”. From the users point of view, an online gaming system seems simple but behind the scenes there is a high level of complexity, from ensuring response times, handling hundreds, thousands or more clients, ensuring the reliability of the entire system and managing the security of a system which may be handling virtual or real money. The question asked by the conference was can “The Cloud” help address those issues. The 180 conference attendees came from a wide range of businesses, from the obvious online bookies, poker and other game oriented companies to banks and financial institutions who have similar issues.

  • Kernel Space

    • Ubuntu 9.10 Preview: Kernel Mode Setting

      Put simply, kernel mode setting means the Linux kernel, instead of an X11 video driver, handles the task of configuring the graphics mode of the console. The assignment of this work to the kernel shaves away some overhead, making certain operations faster. It also helps developers by allowing kernel problems to be more easily debugged when X is running, and simplifying the video infrastructure upon which Linux relies.

    • File System Evangelist and Thought Leader: An Interview with Valerie Aurora

      There are many people who are influential in Linux. Many of them you are already aware of, but there are some, who are very influential, that you might not be aware. Valerie Aurora is a very influential thought leader in the Linux and FOSS community. She is responsible for the ChunkFS concepts and for much of the current work in Union file system work within Linux.

  • Applications

    • GNOME’s Zeitgeist Engine Has Its First Release

      One of the GNOME projects that’s in development that should premiere around the time of GNOME 3.0 is Zeitgeist, which is the system for tracking user activity and events and then logging it, so that later on the user can use the Zeitgeist tool to browse or find events and files on the computer.

    • CrossOver Linux 8.0.0 review

      CodeWeavers has released the latest version of its CrossOver software for Mac and Linux users. If you want to try working without Windows but can’t live without a must-have Windows app, CrossOver just might be the answer.

      CodeWeavers CrossOver is a commercial product based on the open-source Wine project. Wine emulates key Windows software libraries, allowing Linux or Mac users to run Windows applications. And unlike virtualization tools like VMware or Parallels, Wine doesn’t require users to install a licensed copy of Windows to get started.

    • Boxee Will Blow You Away

      Boxee is a cross-platform freeware media center software with promising new social networking features. Boxee is based on XBMC media center, an award winning open source project. Since i had already tested the latest XBMC 9.04, i was not expecting anything dramatic from an alpha release of Boxee. I was way wrong.

    • FFmpeg made easy

      So you’ve got those expensive headphones you always wanted. You put them on, set your playlist on shuffle, lean back on the recliner, and hit play. And Robbie Williams sounds just as bad as he did on the older cheapo headphones. What gives? Unless you aren’t a Robbie fan, the music doesn’t sound great because it isn’t encoded to.

    • Linux Games: Eschalon Book I

      In this entry to the Linux Games department I am going to introduce you to a very fine RPG entry created by Basilisk Games called Eschalon Book I. This game is one of the few full-blown RPG games available for Linux, Windows, and OS X. Eschalon Book I won the 2007 Indie game of the year and with good reason. It’s well done.

      Now this game isn’t your standard, free, GPL fare. This game allows you to download a demo but to get the full blown fun you need to purchase the full version. The good news is that the full version will only set you back $19.95 for the download version. You can also purchase the CD version for $39.95. Believe me, this game is worth the price of the download version. Let’s take a look and see why.

  • Desktop Environments

    • A lightweight heavyweight

      So I was amazed, and at the same time pleased, to read on the LXDE devlopment blog that they rank quite high in the list of active projects on Ohloh. You can double-check the figures and the rankings with the links on that entry; I had to look for myself too, but apparently it’s true.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat

      • JBoss Open Choice, Part 1 – JBoss Enterprise Web Server

        It’s July 4th and we have an extended weekend in the US which is a good enough excuse to catch up on some blogging; at least until the Strawberry Margaritas start flowing. At Java One this year we announced an initiative called Open Choice which I blogged about previously. Fundamentally Open Choice is about broadening our footprint and giving customers what they want and moves us closer to supporting the whole applications infrastructure tier rather than just parts.

    • Ubuntu

      • Netbook Performance: Ubuntu vs. OpenSolaris

        There were a few areas where OpenSolaris had pulled ahead (GnuPG, Sunflow), but in the rest of the disk, computational, and other real-world tests, the results were either tied or in favor of Ubuntu Linux. Beyond just the quantitative desktop performance of OpenSolaris and Ubuntu Linux, Ubuntu has other advantages on the netbook when it comes to the Ubuntu Netbook Remix and other optimizations for these small mobile devices. With OpenSolaris there are a few annoyances with the Caiman installer and a few other GUIs when running at the common 1024 x 600 resolution, etc.

      • UbuntuOne in the cloud

        With more and more users turning to the Internet to store and share documents, Linux developer Ubuntu has also entered the market with a beta version of its UbuntuOne service (http://www.ubuntuone.com). The platform is a competitor to the likes of Dropbox and allows users to synchronise files between computers as well as sharing them with friends and colleagues.

      • Ubuntu 9.04 Receives OpenJDK 6 Certification

        Canonical, through Matthias Klose, announced on July 11th, 2009 that the Ubuntu Java development team had completed the certification of the OpenJDK 6 platform for Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope). This means that the OpenJDK 6 package included in Ubuntu 9.04 has passed the meticulous tests of the Java Standard Edition Test Compatibility Kit and that it is now fully compatible with the Java Standard Edition 6 platform, on both i386 and amd64 architectures.

    • New Distributions

      • Clonezilla Live 1.2.2-25
      • sidux 2009-02

        A little later than originally planned, we now have the pleasure to announce the immediate availability of sidux 2009-02 “Αιθήρ”, shipping with kernel 2.6.30 and KDE 4.2.4 in the following flavours:

      • sidux 2009-02 Has KDE 4.2.4 and Linux Kernel 2.6.30

        Stefan Lippers-Hollmann proudly announced earlier today the immediate availability of sidux 2009-02 Linux distribution, dubbed “Αιθήρ.” The new release ships with the powerful Linux kernel 2.6.30 and the breathtaking KDE 4.2.4 desktop environment. sidux is a full-featured Live CD based on Debian Sid, with a special focus on hard disk installations, a clean upgrade path within Sid and supplementary hardware and software support.

      • Elive 1.9.33 development released

        The Elive Team is proud to announce the release of the development version 1.9.33

      • AUSTRUMI 1.9.3
      • ExTiX 7.0
      • Kongoni Nietzsche released

        It is my pleasure to announce that Kongoni version 1.12.2 codenamed Nietzsche has been officially released. This marks the first official and stable release of the Kongoni GNU/Linux distribution after several development releases. Kongoni is a fully free African GNU/Linux distribution based on Slackware with significant inspiration from the BSD-Unix architectures. The operating system is primarily designed for desktop power users and aims to provide a powerful, customizable system that puts the user in control of his own environment while nonetheless being easy to work with and not get in your way.

      • ULTILEX 4.0.0 is released

        ULTILEX stands for “Ultimate Linux Experience”. This is a live Linux CD compilation which in turn contains several live Linux distributions. You can boot ULTILEX from CD/DVD and USB flash devices.

        When you boot ULTILEX, the first thing you’ll see is a beautiful startup screen with menu from which you can choose the exact live Linux distribution to run. The current version of ULTILEX is 4.0.0 and it contains the following live Linux distributions…

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Instant-on Linux vendors respond to Chrome OS

      Instant-on Linux platform vendors Phoenix and DeviceVM have responded to the revelation that Google will soon be releasing its own lightweight Linux platform. They view Google’s entry into the market as a validation of their products and they both have strategies for competing with the search giant.

    • Phones

      • Borqs Secures $17.4 Million in Venture Financing Led by Norwest Venture Partners

        And because Borqs is based on Android and an open source environment, smartphones can be produced at a lower price point to further increase consumer adoption and drive the overall smartphone market. The company currently works with leading mobile operators and tier-one device manufacturers worldwide.

      • What’s Next? A Google Store?

        When Microsoft first announced their retail strategy back in February I wrote a post called Microsoft Retail Strategy Doomed to Fail and I haven’t changed my view. Today, it became clear that in the face of all common sense they are continuing to push forward with this wrong-headed idea.

      • Sybase Announces Support for Android

        Sybase iAnywhere today announced a new version of its iAnywhere® Blue SDK (Software Developer Kit) that will help developers and product managers incorporate Bluetooth® capabilities into Android devices. With the underlying Bluetooth functionality running on a Linux based 2.6.x kernel, the Sybase iAnywhere Blue SDK provides necessary application layer support for developers to effectively add increased wireless flexibility to the rich Android framework.

      • Nokia to bridge Maemo, Symbian with Qt

        Basing Maemo Harmattan on Qt will make it easier for developers to write applications for both Maemo and Symbian, Nokia’s smartphone platform, the Finnish company’s development platform product manager Quim Gil said Saturday at the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Google Chrome OS – a game of chess

        It should not be news to anyone that Google is working on a 2010 release timeframe for its newly dubbed Google Chrome OS. What has been interesting is the chatter which has occured since then, many fingers pointing at Apple as the real beneficiary of this move. However, nothing could be further from the truth. What Google did was brilliant, very similar to its strategy with Chrome and I will outline it below.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google releases open source NX server

    Amid the fanfare of last week’s Chrome OS announcement, Google quietly released an open source NX server, dubbed Neatx, for remote desktop display.

    NX technology was developed by NoMachine to handle remote X Window connections and make a graphical desktop display usable over the Internet.

  • Mozilla upgrades Jetpack browser booster

    Jetpack, Mozilla Labs’ open source technology for building functional add-ins to personalize the Firefox browser, has been fitted with more capabilities in an upgrade detailed over the weekend, including enhancements to the SlideBar information access capability.

  • Small Pieces Tightly Joined: Open Source in the Cloud

    It’s not a shock to state that cloud computing will disrupt the business model of commercial software. But how it will affect the open source movement?


    There’s a lot of talk today about setting up private clouds with an Open Source Cloud OS, but the idea of private clouds is simply a delusion. Since the owner of private cloud has to purchase all required HW upfront, private clouds don’t provide the main benefit of cloud computing: elasticity. Other people will claim that clouds are not compatible with the open source movement or call it outright ‘stupidity’.

  • Is Open Source Software More Secure than Proprietary Products?

    Open source can also make patching software a bit faster. There’s no need to contact the vendor about a bug – like you’d have to with proprietary code – or wait for a next release of the software that’s fixed the bug.

    “If I find a bug in an open source program … I submit a fix to the people who are responsible for the program,” Dolan said. “It gets peer reviewed before it’s accepted, but then it is accepted in short order, so we eliminate this whole workflow of reporting a bug to have somebody else fix it. You just fix it yourself and pass along the fix to

  • Why FreeBSD 8 Won’t Rewrite the Book

    A major release of an operating system typically brings significant changes that require users to learn new skills.

    But backers of the open source FreeBSD 8 operating system say that’s not necessarily going to be the case with its next major version.

    FreeBSD 8 is currently in its beta release cycle with a final release targeted for August. The new release will be the first major release since FreeBSD 7 in February 2008, with the most recent point update being the 7.2 release in May of this year.

  • Business

    • MuleSource Announces Three Consecutive Quarters of Record Bookings

      The second quarter of 2009 was another record for the company, with a 140 percent year-over-year increase in quarterly bookings and over 100 percent growth for the year-to-date period. MuleSource continues to outperform expectations relative to the current economic climate with its consistent and dramatic success.

    • Bacula Systems Extends Open Source Backup and Restore Leadership with Bacula Enterprise Edition

      Bacula Systems SA, the world’s leading provider of Open Source network backup and restore solutions, today announced the worldwide availability of Bacula Enterprise Edition 2.6. Large IT departments now have an Open Source, enterprise-class scalable network backup solution as a realistic alternative to proprietary applications.

    • Former Red Hat execs aim to open-source health care

      That someone appears to be Joanne Rohde, former executive vice president of worldwide operations at Red Hat, who has launched the Axial Project, a stealth-mode start-up that aims to “combin[e] the principles of Open Standards and Open Source…to connect all the parties in the Health ecosystem safely and securely.”

    • Talend Uses Open Source and Community to Transform Data Integration

      Talend, a California-based open source data integration vendor with a development center in China, first shipped product in late 2006, and two and a half years later has established a strong, growing business as more and more firms attempt to build a relatively complete stack of open source data management software.

    • Four Open Source Mind Mapping Apps to Keep You Focused

      Mind mapping tools are among the unsung heroes of project management. They’re often overlooked or underused because some people mistakenly believe the learning curve is too steep or the features are unnecessary. Most mind mapping software is easy to use, however, and the applications are a great way to keep track of projects, research, book notes, and brainstorming sessions.

    • Open-source Lucene threatens Microsoft, Google enterprise search

      You spend $1.2 billion to acquire enterprise search leader FAST in January 2008 and then another $100 million on semantic search vendor Powerset in July 2008, only to have the excellent Apache’s Lucene, an open-source search project, and Solr, an enterprise search server based on Lucene, offer better performance at a 100 percent discount.

  • Government

    • Helping The US Department Of Justice

      I was yesterday, for the second time, on a call with the US Department Of Justice regarding how the Oracle / Sun deal could affect Open Source software, in particular MySQL and Java.

    • Lockheed Martin To Release Social Media Tool As Open Source Software

      Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] announced today that it will release a proprietary social media tool under an open source software license. The announcement, made at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston, is the first of its kind for Lockheed Martin.

    • NL: Dutch police will study moving to open source

      The Dutch police will start investigating how to increase its use of open standards and open source software. A plan to implement the two types of software should be ready early next year, just in time to meet the government’s deadline.

      The police’s IT analysis is mentioned in a letter from Guusje ter Horst, the Interior Minister, to the Dutch parliament, published on 1 July. “If possible, the Dutch police force will make use of the experiences of other organisations. Procurements will then be carried out according to this implementation plan. I will ensure that the cabinet’s policy on open standards is implemented and that a policy on using open source will be developed.”

    • Interim decision in Swiss open source case

      The Swiss Federal Administrative Court has issued an interim verdict in a legal action brought by a group of open source companies against the Swiss Federal Office for Buildings and Logistics (BBL) for awarding a software procurement contract to Microsoft without a tendering process. The decision revokes the restraining order issued at the end of May, but only allows the BBL to continue to obtain such services from Microsoft as are necessary for ensuring the continued function of federal information systems.


  • Google To Newspapers: Here, Let Me Introduce You To Robots.txt

    With the silly introduction last week of the AP’s attempt to create a weird and totally unnecessary new data feed to keep out aggregators and search engines, it seems that Google has gotten fed up.

  • Swedish ISP to appeal file sharing verdict

    Swedish broadband provider Ephone has said it will appeal a controversial court ruling obliging it to hand over information about its customers to five publishers looking into copyright violations.

  • Plato And The RIAA Have Some Views In Common: Gov’t Should Stop Remixes

    Apparently Plato wasn’t a huge fan of innovation in music. James Boyle, who is working on the latest edition of the Tales From The Public Domain comic book has shared a nice little graphic that shows a quote from Plato, suggesting that he wouldn’t be a big fan of remixed music…

  • United Breaks Guitars – A Marketing Case Study In The Making

    If only. Dave has posted a short video on YouTube where he says that song two is even better than song one and should be ready in August. I’ve not seen anywhere that United has responded on YouTube yet, and I suspect their unhappiness will only get deeper until they embrace the situation rather than trying to “solve” it. This one could run and run, and when it’s done I think every corporate marketing team wll use it as a case study.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

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

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    With or without the Unified Patent Court (UPC), which is the wet dream of patent trolls and their legal representatives, the EPO's terrible policies have landed a lot of low-quality patents on the hands of patent trolls (many of which operate through city-states that exist for tax evasion -- a fiscal environment ripe for shells)

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  7. Careful Not to Conflate UPC Critics With AfD or Anti-EU Elements

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  9. PTAB Continues to Increase Capacity Ahead of Oil States; Patent Maximalists Utterly Upset

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  13. The EPO Under Battistelli Has Become Like China Under Xi and CPC

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