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08.10.09

Links 10/08/2009: Linux Gains Tux3, KDE 4.3 and Pardus Get Great Reviews, Arch Linux 2009.02 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 2:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • What Asus wants in a Linux

    The question that must be asked, then, looking at reports from Germany’s Electronista that Asus will deliver a Moblin-based netbook this fall, is whether Intel is going to put serious dollars behind the effort, or just point to the Linux Foundation (the official sponsor of Moblin) when the going gets tough.

  • Pressure Mounts on Windows Tax?

    Please keep up the pressure dear readers. If you buy a computer where you do not “need” a Windows license, for whatever reason (see Simos’ suggestions for 4 of them above) then make sure you contact your supplier and request a refund. By all means use links and reports gathered around the ‘net to support your claim.

  • It’s official: I don’t do Windows

    For a while I still felt relatively comfortable answering questions about Windows machines, but no longer. I tell Windows users to ask Windows users how to solve problems. I really don’t think I can be of much help.

  • Microsoft CEO belittles Apple and Linux in one speech

    It is interesting to watch Ballmer as he tries to place labels on competitor’s business models while patting Microsoft’s back. I would have thought that Ballmer would be a little more humble when it comes to business model discussions, as Vista proved to be one of Microsoft’s biggest fiascos in recent memory.

  • Desktop

    • Using Gnome desktop shortcuts and tips

      Many aspects of a modern Linux desktop are just as easy as to get to grips with as Windows Vista or Mac OSX, with some things possibly a bit easier.

    • Buying or Selling a Linux PC?

      Turn your computer into a open source computer using Linux or BSD and sell it on Buntfu.com for FREE!

    • Why we like Linux desktops

      With the exception of computer games, is there an activity that can be done inside of Windows or OS X that cannot be done equally well on a Linux machine?

    • First Psystar, now Quo, but what about Linux? Enter Mond Computers.

      No, not Linux OS, not Ubuntu or Fedora or anything of the sort. The Mond OS. Remember, the brand and experience must be absolutely consistent. It doesn’t matter squat what this Mond OS is actually based on to the end user.

    • Ubuntu- Apple is a different ball game.

      Mac computers are hugely expensive and anybody that goes in to buy a Mac computer is not someone that considers cost in buying a computer. Most Mac users are people that have seen a certain perceived value in the extra cash they pay for a Mac computer as against what they would have paid for a Windows PC.

      [...]

      There is no doubt that Ubuntu is a powerful alternative to both Windows and Mac OS, a fact that most Windows users attest to after trying Ubuntu, but that message must be wrapped differently in order to deliver to Mac OS users. Canonical must not focus solely on the monetary cost of Ubuntu as a wedge to use in penetrating the Mac OS market. The theme of the strategy must rather focus on the core strengths of Ubuntu that will appeal to Mac users.

    • Linux Monday: Updating the Old Boxes

      The slowest machine I have up is a Celeron 700 that’s running Puppy Linux. It seems to be really sturdy, and it’s an old-style horizontal (as opposed to tower) case that physically fits into an odd nook. It went 57 days without a restart until I bumped the power cord. I originally had Damn Small Linux on this but Puppy was friendlier to my relative newbie skills.

  • Server

    • OpenSource World/NGDC/CloudWorld

      At this point in time, Linux has become part of the data center club. It can be found in organizations of all sizes, in all geographical areas and supporting nearly all workloads. This means that there is a broad understanding of the rudiments of its use, a community of experienced IT folks to operate these systems, and some level of application and development tools support for this platform.

    • Global Transportation Provider Migrates Its Mission-Critical Systems to Red Hat Enterprise Linux

      Previously, OL&T primarily ran its business technology platform on HP-UX and Windows systems and was looking at ways to enhance its infrastructure to support its growing business.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • Multimedia

    • Widgets

      • Makagiga, the taskmanager with the funny name

        I found Makagiga. This program is Java based, so it will run on Linux, Windows, and Mac. It has a nice interface, that didn’t take me too long to figure out. It even has a small collection of plugins allowing you to expand its functionality.

      • Kustodian – a taskbar and quicklauncher combined

        I’d like to introduce a little pet project of mine: Kustodian, which some people would call a ripoff of the mac dock or windows 7 taskbar. But I maintain it’s a thing of it’s own, but it indeed has some similarities.

      • Fun with the new Conky 1.7.1.1

        This is my favourite bit, actually, as in addition to the ${image} function, I’ve also discovered the ${scroll} function, which keeps the artist & track names inside the speech bubble by scrolling them.

    • Editing

      • Viewnior: A simple and elegant image viewer

        Images are part of our every day Internet usage and a good image viewer is an integral part of a good operating system. Viewnior is one such application for Linux. Viewnioris an image viewer program. Created to be simple, fast and elegant. It’s minimalistic interface provides more screenspace for your images.

      • 5 Best Free/Open-Source Mind Mapping Software for Linux

        An outline used to illustrate words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea is called a mind map. A mind map is utilized to manage ideas and arguments making it an effective utility in study, organization, problem solving, decision making, and writing.

        Since mind mapping techniques have been proven to enhance learning more efficiently than the conventional note taking, several mind mapping software have been created. Here are some of the best Free and Open Source mind mapping applications that are available for Linux…

  • Games

    • Bringing Windows games to Linux

      LXF: After deciding to port a game to Linux, what’s the next step for you at LGP?

      MS: Once we’ve made the agreement, we get hold of the source code and then we just do whatever we need to do for the port. Usually, ports are fairly similar.

    • 42 Hot Free Linux Games (Part 1 of 3)

      I will never forget my computer science teacher’s belief that games are only an initial distraction to the world of computing for people interested in computers. He perceived that budding programmers could only be fixated on games for up to 6 months. After that, coders would start to use computers more productively, learning earnestly about the operating system and writing system and application software.

    • PainTown: Open-Source, 2D Fighting Game for Linux

      PainTown is a 2D fighting game somewhat similar with popular titles like Street Fighter (it even allows you to play with a character called Blanka), with versions available for Linux too, besides Windows and Mac. The nice thing about PainTown is that it runs natively on Linux and it’s a standalone game, so you won’t need any emulator like NeoGeo to play it.

    • Cube 2: Sauerbraten – Awesome First-Person Shooter for Linux

      As a game engine, Cube 2 surely is powerful enough to develop any kind of FPS game, and as a game, it definitely offers a great joy playing it. Except for the sounds which may become a little annoying after a few hours of playing, this game is excellent. The graphics are great and it performs pretty well on low-end PCs too, especially if settings are tweaked for optimum performance.

  • K Desktop Environment

    • KDE 4.3 on a MacBook Pro

      This is the first KDE4 version that I could really recommed for full time use. KDE 4.1 was ok, 4.2 was better but 4.3 is really good.

    • MediaCenter again!

      The Plasmediacenter Shell: this is a stand-alone application that can be freely used instead of putting the containment and the applets on your screen :) . The Plasmediacenter can be set fullscreen so that also the playback controls still remain over the mediaplayer applet.

    • Prototypical XSLT support for Konqueror
    • How are Open Source Software Projects Surviving the Recession?

      Though these projects are merely just a snapshot of all the thousands of open source projects out there, they are among the most popular and can arguably be viewed as barometers of the overall community.

      Aaron Seigo, a full-time KDE.org developer who is sponsored by Oslo, Norway-based Qt Software, said KDE.org isn’t seeing any big drops in its contributors, despite the economy.

      “We track these numbers pretty closely,” Seigo said. “The one effect we have seen is that people have had a harder time coming to our in-person conferences. Travel is more expensive lately and people tend not to travel so much when things are tighter.”

      Otherwise, the project isn’t seeing any dips in participation rates, he said. In July, KDE.org had more than 12,000 changes–called commits–contributed to the project code base by developers. That’s up from 10,800 commits in June. Over the past year, the commit rate has ranged from 8,000 to 11,000 per month, Seigo said.

    • Reviews of KDE 4.3

      Besides these reviews you can find buzz surrounding KDE all around the web. Even the more cynical begin to see and appreciate the vision behind the KDE 4 series. Our community, from developers to artists to those members helping out fellow users on IRC or forums, has reason to be proud on the accomplishment which is KDE 4.3. As SoftVision said, “To infinity, and beyond!”

  • Distributions

    • Is too much choice getting in the way of Linux’ acceptance?

      Think about it for a moment. Let the idea sink in. Now, would you be willing to give up your favorite distribution for this to happen? Or would you be willing to accept the idea that your favorite might have to become nothing more than a variant of the “official distribution”? Because we all know that even this wouldn’t stop the open source community from continuing to create the way they do. But even if forks of the “official distribution” were developed, there would still be “the one” that companies and new users could migrate to and know what they were getting, know that they could get world-wide, standardized support.

    • Arch

      • Arch Linux 2009.08 released

        Arch Linux 2009.08 features the 2.6.30.4 Linux kernel and version 3.3.0 of its Pacman package manager, similar to apt-get (Debian / Ubuntu) or Zypper (openSUSE).

      • 2009.02 ISO Release

        We proudly announce the release of the new Arch Linux installation images, version 2009.02. It took us quite a while, but we think the result is worth it: we added some cool new things and ironed out some long-lasting imperfections.

    • Mandriva Family

      • Noteworthy Mandriva Cooker changes (27 July – 9 August 2009)

        There were a lots of package updates in Mandriva Cooker during the last two weeks, amongst others because of rebuilds of all Perl packages.

      • Noteworthy PCLinuxOS updates (Aug 1st – Aug 8th 2009)

        There were a lot of updates to the PCLinuxOS repository last week. Here is a list of interesting updates and new packages.

      • First look at Pardus Linux 2009

        While I had heard and read good things about Pardus for a few years now, I had never tried the distro until the 2009 release. I haven’t been this enthusiastic about a new distro I’ve tried in quite some time. I didn’t find any serious bugs which prevented me from working or which really got in my way at all. The implementation of KDE 4 is probably the best I’ve seen and represents the first time I’ve truly been comfortable working with the latest incarnation of KDE as my desktop environment. The implementation of Xfce is also first rate. Pardus also offers an excellent variety of unique graphical system administration tools that are intuitive and work as expected. Anything available in the GUI also has a command-line equivalent. In the case of PiSi, the Pardus package manager, the CLI edition also offers additional functionality.

        Pardus is generally very user-friendly. There are a few convenience features found in the major distributions, such as automated upgrade notification and automatic network interface switching, that are still lacking in Pardus. These aren’t bugs but rather are missing niceties that I’ve gotten used to in other distros. The Pardus developers do encourage filing wish list items in their bug-tracking system and I may just have to add a few. Internationalization and localization is well done and is nearly, but not quite, complete for “unsupported” languages. It is very complete and functions flawlessly for officially supported languages. I found the forum, Wiki, and in general the English-language documentation for Pardus to be excellent. When I did post in the forum, I received a quick, friendly, and helpful response. That’s all anyone can ask of the community behind any distribution.

        Pardus has a lot to recommend it and definitely rates a try for anyone who wants an excellent KDE 4 implementation. Pardus isn’t perfect, but its flaws and shortcomings are relatively minor compared to many if not most other distributions I’ve tried, including recent releases of some of the big names in Linux. It’s easy enough to install and use that I would certainly consider it a good candidate distribution for a new Linux user, yet it doesn’t lack the features and, apart from the YALI installer, the flexibility an experienced user will desire. I am definitely impressed with Pardus 2009.

      • Review: Pardus 2009

        Overall though, I’m highly impressed with the new Pardus. It’s fast, sleek, stable, and just a good all around new user distro. It’s also a nice improvement on its predecessor. But even with all this greatness, there’s still a few flies in the ointment. Interestingly enough, none are the fault of Pardus, as the issues lie elsewhere in other applications.

        Do I recommend Pardus 2009 for new users? Yes, and completely yes. For power users? Not really. There are few distros that properly balance the needs of the new user with that of the power user, and Pardus chose not to try to be one of those, instead siding with new users. But that’s fine, because this is a good distribution for friends, family, and the occasional co-worker who wants to try out Linux, but needs something newbie friendly to cut their teeth on.

    • Debian Family

      • LiveCD with KDE 4.3.0

        David Palacio prepared a KDE 4.3.0 livecd with help of the pkg-kde and live-helper teams. You can download it via BitTorrent, fetch the Torrent file from here!.

      • Trisquel 2.2 Is Based on Ubuntu 8.04 LTS

        The Trisquel GNU/Linux team announced yesterday the release of Trisquel 2.2, codename “Robur.” This is the third and last maintenance update for the Trisquel 2.x LTS branch, tracking the releases of Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron, on which it is based. However, this Linux distribution doesn’t use Ubuntu’s package repositories; instead, it hosts its own, with all the non-free software removed.

      • Published Trisquel 2.2 Robur
      • Kubuntu

        I think that If you’re like me, and still think that KDE is sitting in the OpenSuSE 9/10 Era, Download a Kubuntu Live CD and have a play around!

      • An Early Look at Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala – Overview & Screenshots

        Ubuntu 9.10, codenamed Karmic Koala, is scheduled for release in late October, and it will be the 11th release of the most popular Linux distribution. Although it is scheduled to come with GNOME 2.28, it will be the first release to introduce the first changes that will be featured in GNOME 3.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 154

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #154 for the week August 2nd – August 8th, 2009. In this issue we cover: Karmic Alpha 4 freeze ahead, Landscape: Canonical Systems Management & Monitoring Tool, ubuntu-ph.org is back in business, First Launchpad community meet-up, Code Hosting quick-start guide, notify-osd 0.9.16 released, Migrating to an Encrypted Home Directory, Touchscreen = fail?, Ubuntu-UK Podcast: Day of Reckoning, Full Circle Magazine #27, and much, much more!

    • New Releases

      • paldo 1.19 released8 Aug 2009

        We are pleased to announce the release of paldo 1.19 with many bug fixes and updates.

        Enhancements to point out:

        * GNOME 2.26.3
        * OpenOffice.org 3.1.0
        * Firefox 3.5.2
        * Linux 2.6.30.4
        * X.org server 1.6.2

      • 5 August 2009 : GParted 0.4.6

        This release of GParted includes some bug fixes, and language translation updates.

        Key changes include:

        * Removed requirement for xxd for ntfs move or paste action
        * Enhanced for new linux-swap “filesystem” types from parted-1.9.0

      • Estrella Roja 2.5
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Kubuntu Netbook Release Coming

      So, off to the Kubuntu 9.10 Alpha 3 Technical Overview. Not a lot more information there; it just says that there is a netbook image, but all that has been done so far is some changes in desktop and font settings, but more will be coming soon.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Keep an eye on your own open source cloud environment

    Want to live in the cloud but don’t quite trust it? SourceForge’s open source project of the month for August may be for you! eyeos is a self-hosted cloud operating environment for business, schools and home built in PHP.

  • Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.6 Alpha, Codenamed ‘Namoroka’

    Currently few add-ons are available for this alpha, the other ones are compatible only with 3.5 and older releases (which is normal given that 3.6 is only in alpha and it won’t be available until late 2009). The popular extension Adblock Plus can be installed in 3.6 at the time of writing, however popular themes or add-ons like Greasemonkey or Noia 2.0 eXtreme are not available yet.

Leftovers

  • Medical Papers by Ghostwriters Pushed Therapy

    Newly unveiled court documents show that ghostwriters paid by a pharmaceutical company played a major role in producing 26 scientific papers backing the use of hormone replacement therapy in women, suggesting that the level of hidden industry influence on medical literature is broader than previously known.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Lib Dems demand curbs on ‘spying’

      The Lib Dems want tighter controls on surveillance powers for authorities including councils and the police.

      More than 500,000 requests to access phone and e-mail records were made in 2008, a report by the Interception of Communications Commissioner showed.

    • Malaysia denies Internet filter will curb dissent

      Malaysia denied on Friday that a proposed Internet filter would be used to police blogs and websites, saying it would be used only to block pornography.

      The denial comes after news that the Southeast Asian country was considering setting up an Internet filter similar to China’s “Green Dam” software, a move the opposition said was aimed at suppressing political dissent.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • What’s A Big City Without A Newspaper? Still A Big City Last I Checked

      A bunch of folks have been asking my opinion on this past weekend’s NY Times Magazine article by Michael Sokolove entitled What’s a Big City Without a Newspaper? To be honest, there’s not much to say about it. The article itself sort of meanders around, and doesn’t make much of a point. Sokolove is wistful for the “good old days” and hopes that there’s a future for newspapers. He dips his toes into some of the new experiments out there to cover the news, and spends a lot of time with the guy who is currently CEO of the bankrupt big Philly newspapers.

    • Court filings are protected by copyright, says lawyer

      A US lawyer has claimed that copyright is violated when courts pass legal submissions on to a commercial publisher. The lawyer claims that the US courts’ behaviour undermines the hundreds of hours of work put into submissions.

    • EMI Loses Its Other Silicon Valley Wiz

      And, of course, the fact that EMI become one of the most aggressive companies suing every potentially innovative startup out there didn’t engender much confidence that the company had figured out how to embrace the new online world.

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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2 Comments

  1. Charles Oliver said,

    August 10, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    Gravatar

    Bringing Windows games to Linux should be this link, I think:

    http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/bringing-windows-games-to-linux-622659

    Rather than the link to the new Arch Linux release, repeated further down the page in it’s correct place.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Thanks. I recently changed my Web browser, which leads me to making more such mistakes.

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