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08.18.09

Links 18/08/2009: (L)GPLv3 for GIMP, Tr.im Liberated

Posted in News Roundup at 2:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 58

    The following Linux distributions have been announced last week: SAM Linux 2009, Slack Mini Server 1.4.5, PC/OS 2009.3, Finnix 93.0, SystemRescueCd 1.2.3, Parted Magic 4.4, Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 4 and Calculate Linux Scratch 9.8.

  • Seven things Windows 7 can learn from Linux

    1. More frequent release cycles. As I’ve already explained, Microsoft’s worst enemy has been its very long release cycles. Linux distributors, on the other hand, have the opposite problem – too frequent release cycles. But what would a consumer be more interested in, an operating system that’s eight years old (Windows XP) or one that’s updated every year or even six months? Fresh product releases means fresh marketing and Microsoft knows this. From Windows 7 on it’s bye, bye many-year release cycles and hello two year cycles at the most.

  • Desktop

    • 6 Things all prospective Ubuntu Linux users must know.

      Training
      There is training for Ubuntu by Canonical available for both individuals and corporate users. You get the requisite skills from the maker of the OS.

      Support
      There is a vast array of support available, be it for home or enterprise users. Notable amongst them is the Ubuntu Forums and the new commercial service from Canonical. You will never be alone in your usage of Ubuntu knowing there is always some form of support available to you.

    • Using multiple window managers with nested Xserver

      I use gnome as my default desktop at home and at office. However, my machines have alternate desktop environment such as kde or xfce installed. I use it to test out features of these environment. The normal way to switch to a different desktop is to log out from the current desktop , select a new session from the gdm login window and login again. However, it is possible to open a new desktop environment in a virtual console using xnest nested xserver.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • AMD releases ATI Catalyst 9.8 drivers

      It’s that time of the month again when AMD releases a new set of Catalyst drivers for Radeon graphics card owners. Version 9.8 brings the usual bug fixes and performance bumps in a number of titles, including some significant gains with multi-GPU configurations on Battleforge (up to 50%), Crysis Warhead (7 to 69%), Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X (40 to 60%) and Far Cry 2 (50 to 88%).

    • KMS Page-Flipping Ioctl Ready For Linux 2.6.32

      Kristian Høgsberg has announced that the work he and Jesse Barnes, Jakob Bornecrantz, and Chris Wilson have been working on for the past few months is now ready for prime-time action. This work is the mode-setting page-flip ioctl for the kernel DRM. What this work basically leads to is tear-free updating of the screen with low-latency page-flipping.

  • Applications

    • LMMS: The Linux MultiMedia Studio

      LMMS is music creation software similar to programs such as GarageBand for OSX and FL Studio for Windows. Those programs are designed to streamline the process of making music with a computer in order to get new users into music composition as quickly and painlessly as possible. Their feature sets include preset audio loops, MIDI tracks, and other ready-made musical materials available for immediate use in a piece. Their GUIs invite involvement in the process of making music and it’s clear that the designers want the user to have fun with the program and the process. In this mini-review we’ll see if LMMS lives up to the precedents set by those programs.

    • Gimp for Beginners Part 1

      This is the first part of The Gimp beginner series I am writing for LFY. The first part consist of user Interface introduction. So download the pdf and get started with Gimp.

    • digiKam is da blast!

      Discovering a new program that meets all your expectations, surpasses them and then gives you a backrub and a monthly subscription to Top Gear magazine is a very pleasant prospect. It’s like a hidden 100-dollar note you find in the back pocket of a pair of jeans in your laundry basket. digiKam fits into this category.

    • KMyMoney 1.0 to be released on wednesday 19th

      Last but not least, the summary page, that which is opened when you first start KMyMoney, has been revamped and given a lot of love. New components have been added, to give you more information on your current status at a glance. Information about your budget, your cash flow, and forecast is now accessible there. You even have a chart with your forecast net worth.

    • Improving pxe boot menus

      I am wondering about adding a “Graphics” option into drakpxelinux which would allow people using drakpxelinux to configure a graphical boot menu, probally using a couple of templates and allow them to incorporate their company logo. I am also thinking it might be nice to provide a package that contains a bunch of common pxe tools and configurations. I am Interested in this, because I am also interested in making a better way to network boot Mandriva to run it diskless. I might see if I can get some help with some of it, as have limited perl skills, although the code not looking too tricky from my breif inspection.

    • Top 5 Linux Video Editor Software

      I’m looking for a free video editor similar to – Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple iMovie, Final Cut Pro or Microsoft Movie Maker under Linux Desktop operating system. My tasks are pretty simple such as cutting, filtering, and encoding tasks etc. Can you provide me a list of FOSS software which can be used for video capture and video editing purposes under Fedora or Ubuntu Linux desktop systems?

  • Games

  • Desktop Environments

    • Editing your KDE menus

      So far I have helped you to “Manage your E17 menus” and to “Edit your GNOME menus.” Now it is time to give KDE some love. I admit that I haven’t given KDE much attention here. The reason for that is mostly because KDE 4.x has been mostly buggy and often times painfully slow. But the KDE team is slowly working the bugs out of the desktop and it is turning into something that could easily help the new user make the leap from Windows to Linux.

  • Distributions

    • Noteworthy PCLinuxOS updates (Aug 9st – Aug 15th 2009)

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

    • The Showdown: Fedora 11 vs Mandriva 2009.1

      Well it’s been a long week since I committed to choosing my distribution, but here we are finally. Come September 1st I am going to plop the Fedora 11 DVD in my computer’s optical drive and embark on a 4 month long journey of Linux discovery. Wish me the best!

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat steps up channel reach against Novell and Microsoft

        Red Hat has made no secret of the fact that it wants to get more of its sales through indirect channels. This is not just a matter of shifting the burden of sales to resellers, as is the case with most server makers, but is also a means of keeping Red Hat’s overall revenues growing so it attains its long-term goal of becoming a $1bn, profitable software company.

      • Red Hat Partner Program Promotes Virtualization

        Meanwhile, Red Hat also continues to work closely with the Open Source Channel Alliance, a group launched by Red Hat and Synnex to promote open source applications to roughly 15,000 Synnex resellers.

      • CentOS Pulse #0904 – 16 August 2009

        1. Foreword
        2. Announcements
        1. Kernel NULL pointer vulnerability
        3. RPM packaging best practices
        4. Tip Of The Newsletter
        5. Interview
        6. Jokes and Funny Stuff
        1. And what do you do?
        2. CentOS at LinuxTag from the view of a Debian devloper
        7. CentOS Errata
        1. CentOS 3
        2. CentOS 4
        3. CentOS 5
        8. CentOS in the Spotlight
        9. Upcoming Events
        10. Contributing to this newsletter

    • Debian Family

      • Introducing the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud Alpha Images

        While scouring the Ubuntu FTP server yesterday, in eager anticipation for the Alpha 4 release of the Karmic Koala, the Softpedia team made an intriguing discovery that later proved to be the first images of Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud for Karmic Koala.

      • Pimp Your Ubuntu With Ubuntu Tweak!

        Ubuntu has grown to be one of the easiest distros to use which propelled it to be the most popular Linux flavor currently available. But guess what? Tweaking Ubuntu has can get a lot easier! The aptly named Ubuntu Tweak is designed to give you direct access to some of the hidden settings. Think of it as TweakUI on Windows.

      • Ubuntu Theme Pack – for a Fresh Green Look

        Here is a cool theme pack I was using last month for my Ubuntu desktop. The theme color for this customization is green. So, I have included a green login screen, a green theme, and a green icon pack with a green wallpaper.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Amazon Kindle 2 Review

      Works on Linux: The Kindle 2 is detected as a hard drive by Linux, making it easy to use with it. Calibre software is installable for most Linux distros, and auto detects the Kindle allowing quick syncing of non-Amazon download books.

      [...]

      The Bad

      DRM: Books in the Amazon Kindle store are in the AZW DRM-encumbered format. What can I say about this that has not been said a thousands times before? How can I support DRM and look my look my OSS friends in the eye? Easy, I (mostly) don’t. 90% of the books on my Kindle are free public domain titles or DRM-free titles I purchased from a third party e-bookstore (see above).

      [...]

      The Ugly

      Remote Deletion: In July, Amazon remote deleted thousands copies of 1984 (Irony, thy name is Amazon) from Kindles, since they did not really have the e-books rights for that title.

    • What Will It Take for Open Source to Succeed?

      The open source platforms we see today have every opportunity to succeed above their commercial counterparts. Android, as an example, is the first truly open, freely available Linux-based phone stack. In this, Android presents promising opportunities for developers looking for a simple way to develop open-source applications. Open source has the potential to succeed because, by its very nature, it is not fenced in.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Firefox is favourite for early adopters

    Firefox was the most widely-used browser among early tech adopters in Q2, followed by Google’s Chrome browser, according to software discovery engine Wakoopa. The report, which looks at the emerging trends in desktop software and web applications, found that 55% of early adopters favour Firefox. Internet Explorer – commonly regarded as the world’s most widely-used web browser – came behind Chrome in all territories apart from Asia.

  • 8 Firefox Add-Ons to Boost Productivity

    The Fire Gestures add-on allows you to perform different Firefox operations with a simple gesture of the mouse. For example, you can open a new tab by holding a right click and moving left and right from anywhere in the window.

  • Most Popular Open Source Non-Linux Based Operating Systems [List]

    Whenever you mention the phrase Open Source, most people think of Linux. Such is it’s popularity that even people not familiar with open source software have still heard of this mystical, geeky “software” called Linux. And all though my hats are off for the level of popularity that a college project has achieved, I think there is far more to Open Source than Linux, or as a certain Mr.RMS would like to remind us, GNU Linux.

  • Free-for-all: The Open-Source software movement.

    That’s right. You may not have to go and buy a new computer just because it runs slowly on Microsoft Windows (whichever version you may have). The most popular versions of Linux come with a huge assortment of programs, all of which are free forever, unlike that 60-day trial version of Microsoft Office that came pre-installed on your new computer.

  • Smart-Grid solutions and sustainable software

    Smart grids use digital technology to save energy, reduce cost and increase reliability and transparency. Software is a critical component to successful Smart-Grid operations. Software standards, security and Open Source/Open Access methodologies have been gaining traction as the solution to Smart-Grid software applications: they are sustainable, cost effective and collaborative.

  • Run an open source GSM mobile phone network

    OpenBSC is a GPL implementation of major components of a GSM network. Welte is one of the key developers behind OpenBSC…

  • Business

    • Open source software assessment methodologies

      During difficult times, like the current economic downturn, open source systems are increasingly being adopted due to their significant cost advantages. Additionally, open source products are now moving and maturing up the value chain in areas such as Customer Relationship Management, Business Intelligence, Business Process Management and Enterprise Content Management, to name a few.

    • Digium to Sponsor Asterisk Open Source PBX Workshop at ITEXPO West

      The course, hosted by Digium, the Huntsville, Ala.-based creators and developers of the popular telephony platform, provides a one-day “gentle” introduction to the Asterisk Open Source PBX and is scheduled for September 2.

    • Larry Augustin: Open source fueling enterprise software shift

      Open source is giving a mighty boost to the enterprise software industry, changing the support equation for users and signaling to Microsoft and other proprietary vendors that it’s time to catch on or be left out, according to Larry Augustin, an open source visionary and the current SugarCRM CEO.

  • Fog Computing

    • The people’s cloud

      John Suffolk’s (the Cabinet Office CIO) generously replied to my questions posed in last week’s blog. G-Cloud is ‘go’ and it will be a Private Cloud, based on Open Standards and will use a mix of proprietary and (free?) open source software. All I reckon is left it to see whether it’s stitched together by Microsoft’s technology or Red Hat’s.

      [...]

      Our great Free, Open Source guru Richard Stallman dislikes the Cloud concept. He sees it as a way to hand over your freedom to proprietarists and to get locked into someone else’s computing paradigm. Many including this author agree with him. Below though is a manifesto for a ‘good’ cloud that would benefit the businesses and citizens of the UK without loss of rights and freedoms.

    • With SpringSource Buy, VMware Constructs Cloud Platform

      The talk of CloudWorld this week was VMware’s acquisition of SpringSource. The top-of-mind chatter focused on the price: $400 million plus, a very large sum for a company doing perhaps $25 million in revenues. Certainly there was a good bit of envy in this type of conversation. And, of course, the fact that SpringSource is an open source company further makes the number even more eye-watering.

    • Open Source Micro-Blogging: The Key to Avoiding Another “Twitpocalypse”

      Proponents of the Open Micro-Blogging movement believe it’s time for Twitter to become an open source platform to allow other players into the space, and ensure resiliency and redundancy in the micro-blogging world.

  • Government

    • Switch to open source OS: PCA to special training for IT professional

      Pakistan Computer Association (PCA) is to organize an extensive training programme here today (Tuesday) to provide a unique opportunity to IT professionals and computer vendors for learning and understanding the Open Source Operating Systems.

    • U.S. defense agency teaching open source

      The September 1 seminar, co-hosted by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the Open Source Software Institute (OSSI), promises to detail the Open Source Corporate Management Information System (OSCMIS) program, a “Web-based federal administrative software suite consisting of more than 50 applications which handles human resource, training, security, acquisition and related functions for DISA’s more than 16,000 users worldwide.”

      John Weathersby, executive director of the OSSI, told me over e-mail that “this is about transparency and sharing and making available resources which have already been paid for.”

    • Open Source for America Welcomes The Linux Box as Latest Member in Advocating Open Source in the U.S. Federal Government

      Joining a broad cross-section of more than 1,000 companies, academic institutions, communities, related groups and individuals, The Linux Box is now part of Open Source for America, a unified voice for the promotion of open source in the U.S. Federal government sector. Open Source for America strives to effect change in government to encourage broader support of open source technologies and the open source development community.

  • FSF/GNU

  • Licensing

    • Tr.im going open source

      URL shortening service tr.im is going open source. That’s right – after a week in which they first were planning to go kaput, then got resurrected – this week Eric Woodward, the guy behind tr.im is planning to set it all free.

    • Open Source: the Ultimate Insurance Policy

      Nambu was quite prepared just to shut down tr.im; it only chose open source when it recognised that there was a responsibility to its users to provide some continuity, and that open source was a perfect fit. It enables the software to continue to develop, but only as long as there is interest in doing so. If and when the software truly dies, so will the open source project.

    • GIMP to go (L)GPL3

      According to the change notes for the current development branch the next release of the GIMP image editor will be licensed under the GPL3 and LGPL3. GIMP, the GNU Image Manipulation Program, is currently being redeveloped as the unstable development version 2.7, preparing the way for version 2.8 which will be the next stable version expected for release by the end of the year.

    • The Opposite of Open Source

      Most open source, including most OSI defined open source, does indeed carry restrictions. Most open-source software comes with a license that specifies what you can do with it. That license may be “copy-left,” requiring you to give back any modifications you make to the source code. The GNU General Public License (GPL) is an example. It may be very friendly in a commercial sense, allowing you to keep private (a.k.a., as your own property) your modifications. The very liberal (in the sense of nonrestrictive) BSD license has only a few, loose restrictions, but they are restrictions nonetheless. Any software licensed via the BSD license is someone’s intellectual property. It is proprietary.

    • GPL possibly violated by satellite receivers

      Rohde says he took this up with NDS, the company behind the encryption software used in the receivers, but encountered only silence from ViaSat, so now sees no alternative to taking legal action against them for copyright infringement.

    • FalconView Mapping Software Goes Open Source

      The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has released an open-source version of its FalconView software that displays topographical maps, aeronautical charts, satellite images and other maps, along with overlay tools that can be displayed on any map background.

  • Openness

    • Wikipedia notches up 3 million English-language articles

      Free online encyclopaedia Wikipedia is celebrating a new milestone – an article on Norwegian actress Beate Eriksen added on Monday took the English-language version of Wikipedia over the three million article mark.

    • Why not create an open-source alternative to ITIL?

      Consider: Open source isn’t limited to software. It’s a way to organize like-minded communities that create and refine pieces of intellectual property.

      It might not be possible or practical. On the other hand, a well-constructed framework that:

      * Takes into account not merely process but all of the factors needed for IT to be successful …
      * Provides contextual guidance besides, to make clear where different solutions work and where they don’t …
      * Rejects the “Standard Model” as an underlying premise (it could certainly accept it as a situationally appropriate alternative) …

      … could be immensely valuable.

  • Programming

    • JAK – Open source KML API for Java released

      Micromata Labs, the open source group at Micromata GmbH, has released a Java interface for KML (Keyhole Markup Language) as open source. The idea behind JAK (Java API for KML) is to make it easy for Java based systems to work with geospatial data encompassed within the KML format.

Leftovers

  • Developing Nations May Reuse More Electronics Than Thought

    The authors chose Peru for two reason: Kahhat, who is now an assistant research professor at ASU, is a Peruvian native; and that country maintains an in-depth database that tracks how many new and used computers are imported.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • When ISPs hijack your rights to NXDOMAIN

      Virgin Media’s UK customers are about to experience a wonderful new service that intercepts unresolvable DNS requests and redirects the user to a page full of ads and search results.

    • Virgin hijacks empty pages

      Virgin broadband has started serving up advertising, instead of empty pages, when the domain you were looking for turns out not to be there.

    • The Net closes in on internet piracy

      Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, is said to be persuaded by the argument for tough laws to curb illegal file-sharing after an intensive lobbying campaign by influential people in the music and film industry.

      [...]

      The new Pirate Party UK was reported to be recruiting as many as 100 people every hour since its launch last week. Among its supporters was Stephen Fry, who applauded the new party on Twitter. Yesterday the organisers said they had 259 fully paid-up members, although hundreds more had shown an interest in joining.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Newspapers go ‘Open Core’ to survive

      The Financial Times, for example, is looking for ways to balance free use of its news assets while charging for premium content through micropayments (for individual articles) and subscriptions. The idea is to give away the core of its product to casual readers and charge for more “professional” interest.

    • Newspapers’ Original Sin: Not failing to charge but failing to innovate

      Our Original Sin was failing to see beyond our original business model, not failing to force more of it on the new opportunity.

    • Oh Look, Bloggers Can Do Investigative Reporting Too

      In the latest example, sent in by Chris, a blogger in Florida has apparently been doing an excellent job breaking a number of key stories concerning a recent murder. Even the local police say they’re now seriously investigating leads brought to their attention by this guy’s reporting — even as the local mainstream press continued to argue against what the guy was reporting.

    • Protecting Yourself From Consumers Is Not A Recipe For Success

      William Patry continues to use his new blog to make some great points that bear repeating. In a new post discussing Theodore Levitt’s “marketing myopia” concept (something I believed in long before someone showed me Levitt’s work), he points out how the industry seems to miss this basic point: that it’s not selling “property” to people, but a benefit the customer wants.

    • Finnish Courts: Man Who Shared 150 Albums Owes 3,000 Euros

      An appeals court has upheld a ruling against a guy who was found guilty of sharing 150 albums online, and the court has ordered him to pay 3,000 euros. I’m trying to figure out how 24 songs = $1.92 million here in the US, but 150 albums and 1,850 songs = 3,000 euros (a little over $4,000). Which one seems more aligned with the actual action?

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Thomas Bartol, computational neuroscientist for the Salk Institute 09 (2005)

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

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