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Links 21/08/2009: CentOS 4.8 is Coming, Ubuntu 9.10 Preview

Posted in News Roundup at 9:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Using a USB Turntable with Linux

    Personally, since I bought my own USB turntable, I’ve been enjoying albums that I haven’t listened to in years because they were in storage. Not only that, but, despite the fact that the cult of vinyl seems likely to be around for a few more years, I can’t help being relieved that I’ve transferred my old music to a more accessible format while I still can.

  • Two Notable Linux Updates

    The other release worth checking out is the updated version of Open Discovery, a USB turnkey bioinformatics Linux distribution with a customized MPI specifically designed for multi-core processors. Open Discovery 2 ships with an MPI compiled GROMACS V-3 3, the molecular dynamics software application. You can download Open Discovery 2 here.

  • Desktop

    • Build a High Powered Linux Workstation on the Cheap

      For this series of articles we set out to build a high powered workstation with the latest Linux virtualization software capable of running multiple operating systems (OS) at the same time. Our goal was to get the fastest multiple-core processor and most memory while staying close to the $500 price tag of the other off-the-shelf machines. We also wanted the ability to install at least three hard drives to help with performance issues when running multiple OSes from the same disk.

    • Linux, FUD and Misunderstanding

      Linux is not struggling anywhere, at-least not in my knowledge or on my Desktop.

      Linux is a Free, Rich featured, Fast, and Powerful Operating system.

      That does not mean everyone should use it. Objective of Linux is not to get installed on every computer in world, but to provide a free Operating System to anyone who NEEDS it.

    • Africa’s Lessons for OSCON

      This was the message that FOSSFA brought to OSCON. Open source is not only about technology. It is about the people who use the technology to solve day-to-day problems. Being an advocacy and a support group, FOSSFA emphasizes the opportunities that open source offers to Africa in reaching its development goals in all socio-economic areas.

  • Interview

    • ROSE Blog Interviews: Carla Schroder

      I know for a fact that there are many other interesting women working and playing in open source, and plenty of them I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet. Last week I met Kelaine Vargas at OpenSourceWorld and she sat down and answered my questions in person. I enjoyed that meeting so much that I’ve decided to continue my efforts to find out what women in open source are doing and why they do it. And if I can’t meet you in person, I’ll try to track you down online.

    • Interview with Stephen Lau – Songbird

      In this interview we talk with Stephen of Songbird. In specific, we talk about:

      * How Songbird fits into the Mozilla pantheon
      * Aligning user interests with those of content providers
      * How Songbird fits into the larger world of open source media players
      * Songbird’s business and revenue model in the near term and beyond
      * Usability and expandability as strategic precepts
      * Apple as an inspirational model

  • Distributions

    • Top ten Linux distributions

      One metric is to refer to the popular Linux-tracking website Distrowatch which logs interest in the various distributions. There are certain limitations to using Distrowatch to pinpoint the best Linux distribution because it only tracks user interest in each distribution which can be affected by ongoing news, frequency of releases and many other intangibles. But as a list of the ten most popular distributions it is a useful guide.

    • Austrumi Linux 1.9.3

      As you might imagine, Austrumi Linux is not geared toward competing with Ubuntu, Fedora or any of the larger desktop distributions. Rather it’s all about portability and the ability to maximize utility while minimizing the actual size of the distribution.

    • Gentoo and Arch Linux

      The documentation is extremely good, is updated often and covers everything from basic installation and configuration to getting X up and running and installing and configuring most the popular DE/WM.
      The Arch Linux repos have recently received the new KDE 4.3 packages which allows includes many, many great features, however the one the more interesting ones is that now you can download specific packages from KDE without needing the entire desktop environment, again giving you more level of control over things. I will definitely give KDE a try when I get back home (I am a GNOME user at the moment) especially since the have upgrade kwin, the X Windows manager in KDE, to include Compiz-like effects.

    • Distro Review: Pardus Linux 2009

      Ease Of Installation & Setup: 4/5
      Stability & Speed: 4/5
      Community & Online Support: 3/5
      Features: 5/5
      Overall: 4/5

      Overall I had a lot of fun with Pardus and it may even have finally taught me the virtues of KDE, which was no small task indeed.

    • CentOS 4.8 finally there ?

      So it looks like we are going to have CentOS 4.8 before RHEL 5.4 after all. I blogged about the big 4.8 release delays a week ago and we can expect CentOS 4.8 on Friday if all goes well. Maybe the weekend ?

    • Debian Family

      • What’s New in Ubuntu 9.10

        Karmic won’t bring any revolutionary changes to the default desktop software stack, but there have been some useful overhauls of individual components. Provided the backend of the system is also solid (note to Ubuntu developers: I’d love to have an ath5k wireless driver that finally works without a fuss), Ubuntu 9.10 looks to be a promising release.

      • Karmic: Gnome Control Centre

        In the first of a series on what new software users can expect to find in Karmic Koala come October, we take a peek at the ‘Gnome Control Centre’. Akin to the Windows Control Panel, it will better help users make all-important changes when/if needed…

  • Appearance

    • What a difference fontconfig makes

      Time for a collection of screenshots, as an illustration of Qt applications on OpenSolaris, both on a local display driven by a Radeon X1200 and on a Sun Ray thin client. Not from KDE applications (although we have KDE 4.3.0 packages for OpenSolaris now) but from qtconfig — possibly the first Qt app you will want to run in OpenSolaris to set up some of the fonts correctly. Before running this version of qtconfig, I removed ~/.config — the whole directory tree — so I would get the default settings. There are screenies of the same 300×100 section of the application on four setups: local display or Sun Ray thin client, and system fontconfig or one built from our own packages. I switched my set of package builds to use the system’s fontconfig a while back, but the specfile for fontconfig (useful if you care about Solaris10) is still there. Both are version 2.5.0; for freetype system is 2.3.7 and the specfiles build 2.3.6.

    • Balanzan, a nice looking theme for Ubuntu

      While surfing the internet I came across this blog article about the Balanzan theme. I saw it and realized it’s a nice looking theme and decided to share the view with you.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Windows Mobile Needs Identity to Attack Android, iPhone

      The amount of support for Android has been pretty astounding so far, with Motorola, HTC, Samsung, Garmin-Asus and Lenovo all planning or releasing phones with Google’s OS. Some of these manufacturers are using WinMo as well, but it’s not the everyman Windows was for PCs. Perhaps that’s due to 6.5′s lethargic pace of development.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Locate These Open Source Geocaching Applications

    If you’re already a geocaching fan or want to give it a try but don’t have an iPhone, try out these open source apps for your computer, netbook, or cell phone.

  • Picok: An Open Source Personal Information Manager

    Picok is developed in Switzerland so most of the existing modules, or portlets as they’re known in this app, are aimed at European users. Current portlets include a Swiss weather radar, Pons German-English dictionary, and European rail schedule. However, the project wiki has clear instructions for creating custom portlets on your own.

  • Open Source Web Conferencing Apps Make Meetings Easier

    We’ve covered Dimdim a lot here at OStatic. It’s a full-featured free Web conferencing app that raised $6 million in Series B funding last year and has taken aim at expensive commercial options like Cisco System’s WebEx and Microsoft’s Placeware. Up to 20 people at a time can get together withDimdim’s free version which also includes audio and video sharing, event recording, whiteboards, and private messaging.

  • Under the Hood With VLC Media Player: 4 Resources

    [Y]ou can use it to broadcast your own video content, you can use it as a video transcoder for converting video file formats, and you can listen to and manage podcasts with it. VideoLAN, which makes VLC Media Player, reports that version 1.0 has already hit 14 million downloads.

  • What Free Software, Linux and Microsoft Have Taught Us

    On the other end, seeing Free Software in action has I think given us an appreciation few can match for the potential of fairly egalitarian co-operation. People argue about whether Open Source is Communist or Capitalist or whatever. I think that’s basically a category error in a way. Certainly for most capitalist businesses in practical terms, Free Software lets them save money and get more done better. That’s good for business. But I’d have to say that Free Software does refute the idea that competition is the only way to get anything done, or that self-interest is the only motivator. And we don’t see that only in the software itself.

  • Fog Computing

  • Government

    • DISA promotes open source

      The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is releasing an open-source code named the Open Source Corporate Management System (OSCMIS) as part of its move to support open-source software across the federal government.

  • Literature

    • Are Open Source Textbooks Poised for Their Day in the Sun?

      Now, though, there are some signs that Flat World Knowledge’s effort is paying off. Wired reports that more than 40,000 college students at more than 400 colleges will use digital, DRM-free textbooks from the company as the school year starts in a matter of days, and that’s up from 1,000 in 30 colleges in the Spring.

    • FreeReading Helps Early Learners Strengthen Literacy Skills

      Sponsored by the University of Minnesota, Wireless Generation, and Primary Concepts, the goal of the site is to offer an alternative to many of the expensive tools and textbooks “so that schools and districts can redirect textbook funds to other valuable, highly-impactful components of education. Whether those options include professional development, technology, formative assessment or something else, FreeReading provides an opportunity for districts to rethink the return on their education investment dollars.”

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Linux Needs Open Multimedia on the Web

      The state of web multimedia on Linux is pitiful. Proprietary codecs, plug-ins and closed standards are helping to keep Linux a second rate citizen. What Linux needs is not another proprietary framework like Moonlight, but more open standards. Can Google help by making YouTube a Theora-fest?


  • Oracle’s Sun acquisition passes US anti-trust test

    The $5.6bn takeover of Sun Microsystems by Oracle moved another step toward closing as the US Department of Justice has given the acquisition its nod.

  • TV Everywhere Looks Like A Mess So Far

    There’s also no real consensus between cable companies on how to proceed. One result? Users not having a central resource for video content:

    Bowman suggested that projects like TV Everywhere may not yield a single site that will contain content from dozens of programmers. Instead, the authentication system the industry develops may be used to point pay-TV subscribers to several different sites to view their pay-TV content online.

    No standards, no consensus, and no legal agreements — no problem?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Pirate Party swashbuckles into Finnish politics

      The Pirate Party, which first rose to prominence in Sweden during June’s European elections, has now been officially launched in Finland, the group’s leader said on Wednesday.

    • Why aren’t we paying for news?

      Apart from determined-sounding utterances from certain notable publishers and new pay walls erected this summer in Harlingen, TX, and Schenectady, NY, the industry has made essentially no progress in figuring out how to effectively monetize the formidable web traffic that represents its strongest asset as print franchises wane.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Jin Sato, father of humanoid robots 02 (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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    An obscure union from the Dutch side of things at the EPO is expressing support for the suspended colleagues from SUEPO (more German than Dutch)

  2. Censoring WIPR Article About Censorship by EPO

    A testament to how terrified journalists have become when it comes to EPO coverage, to the point of deleting entire paragraphs

  3. Censorship at the EPO Escalates: Now We Have Threats to Sue Publishers

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  4. Response to Bogus Accusations That EPO Staff Protests Are Really an Attempt to Derail UPC

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  8. Gross Violation of Workers' Rights in EPO: Denial of Christmas Vacation/Leave for Slower Workers

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  9. The Bogus Narrative Floated by EPO Management: Our Judges and Examiners Are Armed and Violent

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  12. HeBS Digital and Black Duck Press Releases Treated Like Articles, Used to Muddy the FOSS Waters

    Free/Open Source software (FOSS) is under attack again, and it's the proprietary software lobby that's responsible for that

  13. EPO President Battistelli Now Intimidates Even National Delegations

    Report about an embarrassing incident implicating Benoît Battistelli and some angry comments cast over the witch-hunting of a judge, using all sorts of questionable tactics

  14. A Look at the Latest Gross Deletionism at the EPO's 'Media Partner', French Newspaper Les Échos

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  15. Rumour About Efforts to Dismiss a Board Judge by Intimidating Boards of Appeal

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  16. President Battistelli Now Pressures/Threatens Politicians Who 'Dare' to Complain About Abuses and Unacceptable Conditions at the EPO

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    French newspaper Les Échos is self-censoring yet again and it is framing the EPO scandals as the fault of employees, not the fault of abusive managers who are working with Les Échos as a so-called 'media partner' (the EPO management is French-dominated)

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