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Links 24/07/2009: Germany GNU/Linux Adoption High, FSF Speaks on TPB

Posted in News Roundup at 3:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Tolis Group releases BRU Server 2.0 for Mac OS X, Windows, Linux

    BRU Server 2.0, an upgrade of the network backup solution. It supports networks of Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris and many other Unix-platform systems. Enhanced functionality is delivered across multiple platforms.

  • Aculab Adds Support for Linux with Prosody S Version 3

    A U.K.-based provider of enabling technology for the communications market today announced the release of the latest version of its host media processing product with embedded support for Linux OS.

  • Desktop

    • The Germans Love Laptop Linux. So Why Don’t We?

      In Germany, two of the top 10 best-selling laptops currently run Linux. What do these folks know that we don’t?


      The popularity of Linux laptops in Germany suggests otherwise. The question remains, however: What accounts for the discrepancy? Does it make sense to suggest that Germans take a fundamentally different approach towards desktop usability compared to their American (or English, or French) counterparts?

    • Linux Laptops Bestsellers in Germany

      A look at the current (23rd July 2009) Amazon.de (Germany) Laptop/Notebook bestsellers list will be a nice surprise for any desktop Linux advocate and possibly a worry for Microsoft and Apple sales executives. At the time of writing there are two Laptops with pre-installed Linux in the top ten bestsellers, both in front of the first bestselling Apple Laptop.

    • Migrating to Linux, Part 2: Avoiding Separation Anxiety

      I finessed my way into regularly using Ubuntu Linux and Puppy Linux on all of my computers.

    • semantic desktop

      I named this post “Tracker” first as I started writing from that perspective, but the problems I’m about to talk are more related to what is called “semantic desktop” and not specific to Tracker, which is just the GNOME implementation to that idea.
      This post is a collection of my thoughts on this whole topic. What I originally wanted to do was improve Epiphany’s history handling. Epiphany still deletes your history after 10 days for performance reasons. When people suggesting Tracker I started investigating it, both for this purpose and in general.

  • Kernel Space

    • Communicating requirements to kernel developers

      The 2009 kernel summit is planned for October in Tokyo. Over the years, your editor has observed that the discussion on what to discuss at the summit can sometimes be as interesting as the summit itself. Recently, the question of how user-space programmers can communicate requirements to the kernel community was raised. The ensuing discussion was short on definitive answers, but it did begin to clarify a problem in an interesting way.

    • Intel’s Wind River Claims Lead in Embedded Linux

      Intel’s Wind River subsidiary is now the leader in embedded Linux, at least when it comes to revenues, according to the market analysis by VDC Research.

      Wind River, which was acquired in June by Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) for $884 million, has more than 30 percent of the total market revenue for embedded Linux, VDC found.

  • Applications

    • 7 of the Best Free Linux Twitter Clients

      Micro-blogging is all the rage these days. It is a webservice which allows the subscriber to send short text updates or micromedia such as photos or audio clips and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group which can be chosen by the user. Subscribers can read microblog posts online or request that updates be delivered in real time to their desktop as an instant message or sent to a mobile device as an SMS text message.

    • Ubuntu to make Linux application installation idiot proof

      There’s really nothing that hard about installing programs on Linux. Anyone who still uses shell commands like say, “apt-get install some-program-or-the-other,” is doing so because they want to do it that way, not because they have to. Programs like Debian and Ubuntu’s Synaptic, Fedora’s yum or openSUSE’s YaST makes installing programs little more than a matter of point and click. Still, some people have trouble, so Ubuntu is reviving a dusty, old project, AppCenter so that anyone can install Linux programs.

    • Get your Hands on Miro 2.5 RC1

      The Miro team has released the first Release Candidate of Miro version 2.5. There is not much information on what Miro 2.5 is supposed to be, but it seem much emphasis has been made to make Miro faster to launch and easier to hack on.

    • Five Open Source Apps to Manage Your Collections

      Comic books, DVDs, old vinyl albums, Star Wars figurines — collecting things is fun. What’s not fun, though, is keeping track of it all. When you have large collection of anything from books to steampunk LEGOS, it’s important to keep an inventory so you know what you’ve got, what you still need, and who borrowed something. Here are five open source collection management apps to help you organize your stuff.

    • Hardware Boost Feature in Chrome

      Google is developing an O3D (Open 3D) plug-in integrated in Chrome browser which is meant for hardware-accelerated 3D graphics in the browser window.

    • Thunderbird 3′s latest beta out now

      Thunderbird 3 beta 3 is now available to download for Windows, Mac, and Linux users. The beta introduces some significant improvements to the open-source desktop client, from performance to interface.

      The new beta is built on Mozilla’s Gecko platform, keeping it up to date with the latest changes that affect Firefox. Mozilla also claims that there are more than 500 changes in this version, and hints at more alterations to come by stating in a press release that many of them are ”laying the groundwork for future changes”. On his blog, Chief Technical Officer of Mozilla Messaging Dan Mosedale said that many of the improvements will help support the new global database search engine. Based on these comments, more betas of Thunderbird 3 are expected.

  • Desktop Environments

    • Barriers to community growth

      Most communities fail to reach critical mass because someone becomes interested in your project, and just bounces off it, because of some difficulties they meet when engaging you. To build a successful community, it is usually sufficient to build a compelling vision, and remove all non-essential barriers to participation in your project that exist.

    • Customizing XFCE

      For the Emerald window decoration I downloaded Liberty Green. To install it I click on Emerald Theme Manager by right clicking the Fusion Icon. Then I click on the import button and find where I downloaded the file. I could see the new theme available and double clicked it.

      I used Murrina Verde Olivo for GTK. I created the directory ~/.themes and copied the downloaded tarball into it. From there I extracted the tarball then deleted it. When i went to Appearances from the Settings menu I could see my newly installed GTK Theme.

      Jungle Green was my choice for an Icon set. I repeated the steps above for the GTK theme, only I created a ~/.icons directory. And in Appearances I found the new set listed under the Icon tab.

    • KDE

      • Hate KDE4? Ignorance Is Probably the Culprit

        Let’s bust some myths today because a majority of KDE 4 haters out there have the same reasons for hating it. I’m pretty sick of seeing posts and news articles about “why I don’t like KDE 4″ and then seeing that the real reason the person is upset is because they don’t spend an extra few moments trying to figure things out…aka lazy and ignorant.

      • My KDE 4.x Desktop Activities Tutorial
      • Akademy-es 2009

        During the final days of the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit, the fourth edition of Akademy-es was held in the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Akademy-es is the sister of Akademy aimed at Spanish speakers.

      • The KDE 4 Journey

        I still remember how eagerly I had waited for the KDE 4 release. I also remember how disappointed I was when it actually came out in January 2008. With that release, KDE lost one of its foremost advocates – Linus Torvalds, to its rival GNOME. Linus was also quoted as having said, “… I suspect I’m not the only person they (KDE community) lost”. He was right. I had given up on KDE too after being a user for almost seven years. Everything was broken. It wasn’t even qualified to be called a release. Since then, I think the project has come a long way.

  • Distributions

    • SliTaz 2.0: Simple, Speedy, and Secure

      The minimum recommended requirement in order to use the main LiveCD is 256MB. However, you will only need 16MB for the “slitaz-loram-cdrom” flavor.

    • Pardus Linux 2009

      Pardus is surprisingly good and is certainly well worth a download for anybody in the market for an off-the-beaten path desktop distribution. Beginners can certainly give Pardus a whirl and intermediate and advanced Linux users might also enjoy it.

      If you aren’t sure about trying Pardus 2009 then hold off until the Live CD version is ready so you don’t have to install it to check it out.

    • REVIEW: rBuilder 5 Streamlines Linux-Based Appliance Deployment

      The 5.0 version of rBuilder boasts several major new features. eWEEK Labs’ tests of the platform, through Version 5.2.1, shows that rBuilder makes it easier to churn out virtual machine images for immediate deployment, and that the Web-based management interface that rBuilder pairs with the appliances it creates is handy. However, Labs did run into some configuration issues, as well as some issues with the new Flash-based Web front end.

    • Choosing a trilogy of distributions

      I happen to choose a trilogy of distributions because I am looking for three different styles of systems:

      1. Cutting edge
      2. Lean and fast
      3. Stable and relatively non volatile

    • Infocomm Live – The Open Source Way – Jim Whitehurst of Red Hat – 31 Jul

      The next installation of Infocomm Live! is here. This time, you get to meet Jim Whitehurst, President and CEO of Red Hat Inc.

    • Ubuntu

      • Karmic Koala Alpha 3 arrives

        The development of the next version of Ubuntu continues with the third alpha release of Karmic Koala. According to the announcement, this alpha contains software updates which “are now ready for large scale testing”. Alpha 3 is one of a number of milestones which the Ubuntu developers release as they progress towards the final October release of Ubuntu 9.10.

      • How UCSB Grad Students Put Cloud Computing Power into Ubuntu

        Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud package includes the UCSB-developed Eucalyptus cloud-building software — the first Linux distribution to include a do-it-yourself cloud kit. Eucalyptus adds a number of new functions to Ubuntu, such as end-user customization, self-service provisioning, legacy application support and automated power controls.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android

      • Android to invade in-home gadgets during 2009?

        Gadget manufacturers will launch a range of Android-based devices for use in and around the home this year, according to a touchscreen gadget company.

      • Google’s Android To Invade Homes

        In a sign that Google’s Android mobile platform has a future far beyond cellphones, San Francisco-based start-up Touch Revolution says a string of well-known companies will introduce a range of Android-powered household gadgets before the end of the year.

      • HTC to Focus on Android Over Other Platforms?

        We keep hearing that a lot of OEMs are working on Android smartphones, even though only a few have made it to market. There is an explosion of Android phones set to appear this year and early next year. Phone maker HTC is one of the biggest players in the smartphone world, and the largest maker of Windows Mobil phones around. It produces some of the most popular phones on the market, the Touch and Touch Pro among them.

      • HTC’s Android Smartphone Production To Surpass Windows Mobile in 2010

        Sales of Android smartphones must been promising enough for HTC, the smartphone specialists, to plan a substantial increase in the proportion of Android-based smartphones it will ship in 2010.

        This will be done at the expense of Microsoft’s Windows Mobile which was HTC’s preferred platform until now; Android currently accounts for 30 percent of HTC’s shipments and the company wants to push this to over 50 percent.

      • Several Chinese Android phones due in Europe this year

        The company has four partners that will brand and sell the Android phone, Liu said, declining to give their names. The partner launching the phone in Europe is a global brand, he said.

        Chinese companies Huawei Technologies and Haier have also revealed plans to sell Android handsets in Europe. Huawei has said T-Mobile will launch its Android phone there during the third quarter. It first announced the 3G handset, which resembles the iPhone, early this year.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Installing Eeebuntu On The eeePC 1000HE

        If you are looking for compact, highly portable and very capable Linux machine, this combination is a great way to go. I definitely made the right choice.

      • ASUS N10J – A Big DUH for me, and a small one too!

        Alternatively, on Ubuntu or most other Linux distributions, you can go to the Package Manager, and select the nVidia proprietary binary drivers for download.

      • £159.99 Acer Aspire One A110 With Linux

        Acer redefines mobile connectivity with Aspire one, the revolutionary netbook packed with fun and powerful computing features in a diminutive 8.9″ form factor.


        This laptop comes with an Intel Atom N270 processor running at 1.6GHz, 1GB RAM, 16GB SSD, a 8.9-inch LCD monitor, Linpus Linux Lite, WiFi, SD Card reader and three USB ports.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Amazon apologizes for Kindle ebook deletion, FSF calls for open Kindle

    BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA — Thursday, July 23, 2009 — The Free Software Foundation (FSF) welcomed the apology issued today by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, as negative reviews from DefectiveByDesign.org campaign supporters criticizing the Kindle’s use of proprietary software and Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) to remotely delete ebooks continued to pour in.

  • Accenture to Acquire Symbian Professional Services Operations from Nokia, Expanding Capabilities in Embedded Software Services for Mobile Devices

    Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has entered into an agreement to acquire the professional services unit of Nokia (NOK) responsible for Symbian customer engineering and customer support. The Symbian operating system is the world’s most widely used platform for smartphones. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

  • The Case for Community Involvement with Commercial Open Source

    There are lots of reasons why open source software as a design, development and distribution model has made great strides over recent years. Distributed development and the ability to discover like-minded collaborators, made possible with the Internet, was a game changer that gave way to a host of lower cost, reliable alternatives to proprietary offerings. And the recent economic downturn is just another shot in the arm for lower cost options.


    • OSCON 2009 – Expo Hall
    • OSCON: Building Belonging (in communities)

      Jono suggests that “Stories are vessels of best practice.” Whenever a community shares a story, it usually has a message attached to it–an anecdote that usually comes to some concrete point. Stories give community members a sense of purpose and belonging; he encourages people to tell stories in their communities.

    • OSCON so far

      OSCON has a major problem: There’s way too much to do! So far, this week has been chock full of excitement.

      Though not part of the “official” OSCON program, the Community Leadership Summit started on Saturday. Lots of people from OSCON were in attendance, but also a fair number of people from communities that have nothing to do with open source. This was a pretty good mix. A few hundred people showed up Saturday morning, and a smaller crowed turned up Sunday.

  • Business

    • City of Chicago Selects SpringSource Hyperic HQ Enterprise to Run and Manage IT and Web Operations

      SpringSource, the leader in Java application infrastructure and management, today announced that the City of Chicago has deployed SpringSource Hyperic HQ Enterprise to monitor and manage its large and complex web operations environment to guarantee satisfaction for residents and tourists making use of government-run services. SpringSource Hyperic HQ offers the most complete solution and experience for managing and monitoring large scale web infrastructure and mission-critical applications.

  • Funding

  • Database

  • Government

    • The status of open government efforts in the U.S.

      In the Washington Monthly, Charles Homans has an extensive investigation into the early efforts, both in Washington D.C. as a city, and on the government level after the high profile nomination (by Obama) of open government advocate Vivek Kundera.

    • European Elections: Are MEPs committed to Digital Freedoms?

      MEPs candidates before the European elections have been called upon to pledge their committment to digital freedoms, 34 of them have now been elected.

    • The Rise of the Open City: the current state of affairs

      I’ve been following with great interest the number of cities partaking in open data initiatives. With the online announcement yesterday of a motion going before Calgary’s City Council, things are again on the move. So what is the count at now? This little table tries to capture who’s done what so far. If I’m missing something please do let me know – I will try to update this from time to time.

  • Openness

    • Pat “Nutter” Brown Strikes Again

      To change the world, it is not enough to have revolutionary ideas: you also have the inner force to be able to realise them in the face of near-universal opposition/indifference/derision. Great examples of this include Richard Stallman, who ploughed his lonely GNU furrow for years before anyone took much notice, and Michael Hart, who did the same for Project Gutenberg.

    • Is the great internet free-for-all really music to your ears?

      ‘You have to think creatively about how to convert the reputation and attention you can get from Free into cash,’ Anderson says. If it ‘doesn’t work at all’, it’s not Free’s fault, he says, adding: ‘The only mystery is why people blame Free for their own poverty of imagination and intolerance of possible failure.’

      It seems to me glib to dismiss anxieties about those things of undoubted value that Free is useless at delivering with an abrupt version of ‘The weak go to the wall’. But Anderson would presumably respond: ‘Don’t blame the weatherman for telling you it’s raining.’


  • Key McKinnon extradition ruling due next week
  • Hacker’s mother defends son

    [Reader's remarks: See Paxman and some lawyer beat up on Gary's mom and no mention that the extradition treaty is asymmetrical, as in no US citizen could be extradited in the reverse direction.

    And Paxo never picks up on her statement that Gary's 'confession' was extracted without a lawyer present.]

  • Fog Computing

    • Open source Hive: Large-scale, distributed data processing made easy

      Thank heaven for Hive, a data analysis and query front end for Hadoop that makes Hadoop data files look like SQL tables

    • The tech jobs that the cloud will eliminate
    • Researchers: Databases still beat Google’s MapReduce

      A team of researchers will release on Tuesday a paper showing that parallel SQL databases perform up to 6.5 times faster than Google Inc.’s MapReduce data-crunching technology.

    • The openQRM Team announced the collaboration with TakeOffTechnology

      Running complete server-systems directly from robust, high-available and performant storage server is one of the main concepts of the openQRM Cloud Computing and Data-Center Management platform. With its unique architecture and data-center abstraction layer openQRM provides a complete separation between software- and hardware stack to make physical hardware replaceable at any time.

    • Engine Yard Announces Newest Version of Engine Yard Cloud

      Offers application services platform for on-demand deployment and management of Ruby on Rails production applications in the cloud

    • Why cloud computing needs open source

      Tech giants like Google and Amazon have laid out the formula to follow for open-source-driven cloud computing environments, according to experts from The 451 Group and Red Hat


      For companies like Red Hat, ISVs have to more fully embrace moving apps that enterprises need to the public cloud, according to Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens. For the future, the company wants to see a higher degree of compatibility between external cloud providers, zero cost of entry and exit for users moving to cloud-based environments, better data mobility, the elimination of ISV licencing obstacles, and an overall reduction in complexity for on-premise cloud installations.

    • Will Google Chrome OS Bring Us the Mythical GDrive?

      Last week, Google announced some interface changes to their Google Docs service that are designed to make finding your files easier. The changes are relatively minor – the “shared with” list has gone away, there’s a new “Sharing” menu, and you now have the ability to save your searches – but that hasn’t stopped some bloggers from theorizing that the shiny new UI is bringing us one step closer to the often theorized, yet never realized, “Google Drive” service, aka “your hard drive in the cloud.”

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • UK Music Industry Economists Admit: Music Industry Getting Bigger, Not Smaller

      Will Page and Chris Carey, where they try to look more closely at the real numbers and conclude that for all the whining and complaining, the UK music industry is actually growing (warning:pdf).

    • Artist Finds His Own Music Video Removed From YouTube, Lashes Out On Twitter

      Hell hath no fury like a music-artist-who-sees-his-own-music-video-removed-from-YouTube scorned. The video sharing service may be doing its best to keep copyrighted material off its website, but London-based artist Calvin Harris, who saw the music video of his ‘Ready For The Weekend – Original Mix’ being deleted from his own account over copyright claims, is not amused. The artist has been lashing out on his Twitter account this morning, and you’re advised to turn your eyes away if you object to foul language.

    • Copyright Group Prosecuted For Failing to Pay Artists

      The attorney general in Brussels has concluded a three year investigation into the money trails at the the local music royalty collecting agency SABAM. The attorney general concluded that the copyright group is not paying the artists the money owed to them, and will prosecute five managers for forgery of documents and abuse of trust.

    • How the Swedish Pirate Party Platform Backfires on Free Software

      The bullying of the copyright industry in Sweden inspired the launch of the first political party whose platform is to reduce copyright restrictions: the Pirate Party. Its platform includes the prohibition of Digital Restrictions Management, legalization of noncommercial sharing of published works, and shortening of copyright for commercial use to a five-year period. Five years after publication, any published work would go into the public domain.

    • Aerial Wolf Kills, Alaska Officials claim copyright infringement of photos

      The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund has obtained government photos of March 2009 aerial wolf kills in which 84 wolves, every wolf they could find, was shot. Officials spotted and shot from the air. Government officials claim the wolf kill is for the good of the wildlife. The photos were obtained through a public records request.

    • UK Council Considers Speed Camera Photos Copyrighted

      The East Sussex, UK Police are attempting to have speed camera photographs removed from websites by claiming they represent copyrighted material. In particular, the police are targeting a set of images taken in June 2008 that motorcyclist Peter Barker used to prove that a radar device that clocked him at 38 MPH must have been wrong. Based on measurements of the photographic evidence, a Brighton Magistrates Court judge agreed and threw out the case against Barker.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Luis Casas Luengo, Director of Extremadura’s Fundecyt foundation 01 (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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