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Links 25/08/2009: CentOS 4.8, UK Concedes to MAFIAA

Posted in News Roundup at 6:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Using open-source GNU, Eclipse & Linux to develop multicore Cell apps: Part 1

    In August, 2006 I attended the Girvan Workshop for the Cell Broadband Engine and it’s an experience I’ll never forget. For two solid days, IBM engineers explained the processor’s architecture, tools and the many software libraries available for building Cell applications.

  • Tighter Security Urged for Businesses Banking Online

    Even smarter would be a Mac, or some flavor of Linux, or even a Live CD distribution of Linux (after shutdown, all changes are erased).

  • Desktop

    • Time to Face Some Facts

      Being there means being there.

      *No child-related misconduct convictions. We must check to protect ourselves.

      *Absolute knowledge of Linux Distributions and networking procedures.

      *Installers are never alone in the home or the room without one of their parents or guardians present.

      Those are not tough things…I spent 6 hours in a large installfest with 50 local folks who easily matched them.

      I don’t mean to come off as authoritarian or being a jerk…these are just the things that have to be in order to keep what we do alive.

  • Server

    • Platform buys HP’s message passing interface

      Platform Cluster Manager – formerly known as the Open Cluster Stack and in its fifth release – includes an open source implementation of the LSF job-scheduling tool called Lava and developed under a project called Kusu. OCS also includes Nagios for system monitoring, Cacti for node and cluster monitoring, Ganglia for workload monitoring, and other software that’s needed to run an x64-based supercomputer cluster based on Linux.

      HP started reselling its own bundle of the Platform cluster tools, called Platform HPC for Insight Control Environment for Linux, in March. This followed Red Hat’s own Red Hat HPC Solution, which debuted in October 2008, and Dell’s own twist on the Platform stack, called OCS Del Edition, which came out two weeks later. Companies can also download the Cluster Manager tools from Platform directly and pay for support contracts if they want to build their own HPC setups.

    • The Linode Virtual Hosting Solution

      Nearly all of these solutions are based on Linux due to the licensing costs associated with other operating system platforms.

  • Kernel Space

    • Aug. 25, 1991: Kid From Helsinki Foments Linux Revolution

      1991: Linus Torvalds, a 21-year-old university student from Finland, writes a post to a user group asking for feedback on a little project he’s working on. He’s built a simple kernel for a Unix-like operating system that runs on an Intel 386 processor, and he wants to develop it further. The kernel eventually becomes Linux, which is released in 1994 and distributed over the internet for free.


      To that end, Richard Stallman, a programmer at MIT, founded the GNU Project in 1984. Stallman and his collaborators began assembling the various pieces of a free operating system that would be compatible with Unix, strictly adhering to the idea that software should be not only be freely available, but also give its users the ability to freely experiment with its inner workings.

    • What We Use

      So why is all of this? Freedom. Linus Torvalds had no idea what his OS project would look like 18 years after announcing it, but I am willing to bet that he is proud. His kernel is now the most mature kernel on Earth. It has more hardware support than any other, and it is more widely used than all but the NT kernel. Anyone is free to modify it. Anyone is free to fork it. Anyone is free to redistribute it. And boy, do we. Most distributions use a different kernel configuration, and many have their own patch sets and hacks that they use to optimize the Linux kernel in some way. These changes can be trivial (as in GoboHide), or complex changes that allow one to use radically different driver models, processors, or initialization systems. Yet, all of the ways we use it, it’s still Linux.

    • Xi2, Multi-Pointer X Support For FreeGLUT

      Support for X Input 2.0 with Multi-Pointer X capabilities can currently be found in the latest Git master code for the X Server and related libraries, while it will appearing in desktop Linux distributions once there is the X.Org 7.5 release.

  • Applications

    • Opera Unite – Unite Unite the World

      Alongside Firefox, Chrome and possibly Safari, Opera is one of the leading non-IE browsers you can choose to run on your operating system. What makes Opera attractive is that it has quite a few features built in without a need for external modding, like mail, RSS reader and BitTorrent client, it is fast, it is secure, and it can even be run as a portable application.

    • 15 Ubuntu Text Editors – Grab Your Favorite

      The choice of a good text editor is very important because one needs to write, edit, compose/save notes almost on daily basis while working on office projects, class assignments, etc. Like all other operating systems, Ubuntu supports a large numbers of text editors. Below we have compiled 15 useful text editors and their installation details for your productivity.

    • GoogleDocs integration with Nautilus

      During his 12 weeks at Google’s Summer of Code this developer managed to integrate Google Doc’s cloud with Nautilus, so all your docs can be browsed and edited on Linux just like normal documents.

    • Music Player Review: Heavyweights

      The heavyweight champion of the music player review is….. well…
      Amarok if you use Kubuntu (KDE)
      Exaile if you use Ubuntu or Xubuntu (XFCE)

    • Reviewed: Scribus 1.3.5

      We’ve reviewed Scribus a number of times in the past and even included a feature made using the tool in one of the back issues of Linux Format magazine. However, each revisit tends to throw up the same old problems: Scribus’s lack of reliability and poor interface. Thankfully, after two years of solid development, these woes have been banished. Well, mostly – read on to find out what’s changed…

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments

    • Take off and land safely with KDE

      Right now it has only been tested with Dell hardware. I know for a fact it will not work with the Asus eeePC due to their silly wireless drivers. Because of that, I will probably end up either borrowing code from eee-controls or eee-applet or just using those and porting them for use in this applet.

  • Distributions

    • Mandriva 2010 beta: Screenshots

      In the past few days French-based Linux company Mandriva has released a beta version of its upcoming Mandriva 2010 Linux distribution. We took it for a spin in a virtualised VMware environment.

    • Noteworthy PCLinuxOS updates (Aug 16th – Aug 22nd 2009)

      Another exciting week has past already! Can you believe it? Well here’s the latest updates to the PCLinuxOS repository over the past week.

    • 2009,08,24 Vine Linux 5 を公開
    • SimplyMEPIS Linux 8.0

      Certain distributions tend to get more press than others. SimplyMEPIS isn’t one of the ones that gets drooled over by the media the way that Linux Mint, Ubuntu and others do. I include myself in this as a journalist since this blog has been up and running since early July and I’m just now getting to a review of SimplyMEPIS. It’s a shame though as SimpyMEPIS has quite a bit to offer the desktop Linux user as you’ll find out in this review.


      Product: SimplyMEPIS 8.0 Linux
      Web Site: https://www.mepis.org/
      Price: Free
      Pros: Easy install, good selection of apps and excellent online manual.
      Cons: Still uses KDE 3.5 instead of KDE 4.
      Suitable For: Beginning, intermediate or advanced Linux users.
      Summary: SimplyMEPIS is looking just a tad bit dated at this point but it’s still an excellent choice for desktop Linux users.
      Rating: 3.5/5

    • Red Hat Family

      • Rawhide: daily live spins are now available!

        There’s been an exciting development recently in Fedora QA land: thanks to the superhero Kevin Fenzi and friends, we’re now doing an automated Rawhide build of each official live Fedora spin every night, and publishing them here.

      • Announcing Fedora 12 Alpha

        PackageKit improvements – PackageKit now has plugins to install applications from a web browser, and from the command line if a user tries a command from a package not yet installed.

      • Pentaho Announces that Specsavers is Deploying BI to its International Hubs

        Pentaho, the commercial open source alternative for business intelligence, recently announced that Specsavers, the UK’s most trusted optical retailer, is deploying business intelligence (BI) to its international hubs, based on a platform using Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced Platform and Pentaho BI Suite Enterprise Edition. The deployment allows Specsavers to standardize information delivery and metrics at a regional level to help drive continued growth and to maximize corporate agility.

      • Levementum Announces Partnership Agreement with Pentaho

        Levementum, the industry leading open source system integrator, announced today an alliance with Pentaho, the commercial open source alternative for business intelligence (BI).

      • Secure Virtualization Using SELinux (sVirt)

        Next week I will be at the Red Hat Summit talking about SELinux, specifically sVirt, Secure Virtualization.

      • CentOS 4.8 released

        The CentOS development team have announced the release of CentOS 4.8, a free Linux distribution based on the source of version 4.8 of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). The CentOS 4.8 legacy branch release is the eighth update to the CentOS 4 series and features several big fixes, updates and new functionality.

    • Debian Family

      • Review: Ubuntu 9.04

        First impressions were extremely favourable. The default desktop manager is Gnome (2.26) which is very Windows-like with enhanced multi-monitor support in this release. The usual tools to customise desktop colours, wallpaper and screensaver are all there plus support for additional 3D graphical effects, courtesy of Compiz Fusion, should you want them. A separate KDE implementation (Kubuntu) is yet another option plus it features extensive multi-language support.

      • Ubuntu User Issue 2 is out

        Issue 2 of Ubuntu User is now out. Featuring an interview with Mark (SABDFL) Shuttleworth, my second Q&A column (Answerbuntu), plus tons more Ubuntu goodness.

      • Feature Freeze this Thursday

        This means that all of your Karmic-targeted specs should be either at Beta Available or Postponed by the end of day on Wednesday. Please make sure to update the status of your specs. You should check that packages you care about are at a version suitable for release.

        Requests for freeze exceptions for main should be filed as bugs in Launchpad against the relevant package (or just “Ubuntu” if the package is not available yet). Once the bug is filed and the necessary information is available, please subscribe the ubuntu-release team.

      • Feature Freeze this Thursday
      • The Ubuntu Server: Slowly Gaining Acceptance

        A recent Ubuntu global survey showed that only 28% of respondents were from the US, and the majority of these were using the OS only for basic functions such as Web, database and backup servers while only a small minority used it for advanced work such as cluster computing or virtualization. On the other hand, most respondents said they are assigning mission critical tasks to the OS and are planning to add more Ubuntu OS servers in the future.

      • Book Excerpt: Troubleshooting Ubuntu Server

        The Official Ubuntu Server Book will help you identify and resolve the open source server’s network and hardware issues, including an unresponsive Linux host, memory issues, and network card errors.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Nokia smartphone-cum-web tablet re-emerges

      Old rumours that Nokia is looking to replace Symbian with the Linux-derived Maemo OS on it smartphones have been re-stoked following publication of what’s thought to be the phone firm’s latest smartphone-cum-internet tablet.

    • My Android Impression

      First, I love Android due to its open source nature and its Linux underpinning as well as its Java development environment. This is actually perfect for a FOSS advocate and a Java Champion like me. I have tried a mobile phone that runs on Java as well as a mobile device that runs on Linux and I can honestly say that the Android blows them out of the water. Google has done a tremendous job marrying these technology into a single (and still open source) platform.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source software assessment methodologies

    In addition to the coverage, we also looked at the assessment methodologies themselves. The popularity and conditions placed on the utilisation of these assessment methodologies also can have an impact on what is the most appropriate for your organisation. For example, going with a community run assessment methodology better ensures that the model is peer reviewed and verified.

  • Open Source You Can Use, August 2009

    Last but not least, the open source desktop publishing application Scribus is now in its revision. I was using the older build for my own publishing projects and was impressed with the results I could achieve with it, but this version brings the program to an even greater level of polish and professionalism. Best feature: direct export to PDF, with pro-level pre-flight checking options.

  • Exploring Betavine, Vodafone’s Open Mobile Application Community

    Betavine has been getting kudos from the open source community for launching Linux drivers for mobile broadband dongles for a number of Netbook computers. In addition, support for open standards such as W3C is engrained in Betavine’s DNA.

  • Pimp your GIMP!!

    -What?? It says “Quality brushes for Photoshop”!

    That is not an issue as GIMP can use Photoshop bruses. Simply download any brush you like, uncompress it and copy it to /home/username/.gimp-2.6 (this will vary according to username and version). Next time you launch GIMP, you can select your new brushes and make great designs.

  • Open source and cloud computing – when Worlds collide

    *Cloud computing, similar to Linux and other open source software, is also clearly emerging as a major opportunity for hosters and service providers, as well as vendors that cater to them.

  • Healthcare

    • Open source, not $19 billion, may be best health care stimulus

      The federal economic stimulus package provides $19 billion to upgrade the U.S. health care system to digital records. It’s a nice gesture, but the U.S. federal government has already developed a robust medical ERP system that could significantly improve U.S. health care. It’s called VistA. It’s open source.

    • EHRs have open-source software alternatives

      “There’s great hope for open-source,” said Don Thomas, president of Austin, Texas-based SoftLight Development, a technology consultancy and software developer. “I think a lot of doctors love the idea of being able to get out there and get what they want. But it’s one of those things where they hear all the negatives or all the positives, so I encourage all physicians to get out there and do their homework.”

    • Open source can save your life

      In a field as complex and fast-changing as health care a proprietary system would be hard-pressed to keep up with the needs of thousands of hospitals. Open source won’t be perfect either, but putting the resources close to the people using them just makes more sense.

  • Openness

    • Build Your Own Open Source Digital Clock

      The clock kit ships with a power supply, backup battery, a clear acrylic enclosure, and all the parts you need to get the clock ticking in no time. Although everything you need to know about building the timepiece is available online, you may need some soldering skills to put the entire contraption

  • Programming

    • On the PySide – interview

      Recently the dot carried an article about the first public release of PySide, LGPL python bindings to Qt. We conducted a short interview with one of the people behind PySide, Nokia employee Matti Airas

    • New LGPL Python bindings for Qt slither into the light

      A new set of LGPL-licensed Python bindings for Qt has been announced. The project, which is backed by Nokia, will make it easier for commercial software developers to adopt Python and Qt for rapid application development.


  • Federal Courts Sound The Alarm Against RECAP; Worried About PACER Profits

    We’ve been excited to see what would happen with the RECAP Firefox extension, which is being used to help free up public domain court documents that have been locked up behind the PACER paywall. However, there were also questions about how the folks who run and/or benefit from PACER would react.

  • Federal court using scare tactics to block sharing of public records

    It appears that the US Courts, concerned about competition from software that offers the possibility of widespread free access to documents filed on federal judicial dockets, for which the public would otherwise have to pay the courts at the rate of 8 cents a page, are ready to resort to scare tactics to discourage lawyers from using that software.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • UK file-sharers to be ‘cut off’

      ISPs have repeatedly argued that it is not their job to police the web.

      The Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) said it was “disappointed by the proposal to force ISPs to suspend users’ accounts.

    • UK.gov revives net cut-off threat for illegal downloaders

      Today, however, Mandelson’s Department for Business said responses to the consultation had persuaded it to reconsider introducing the threat of disconnection from the internet.

    • ISP Friendly BitTorrent Tracker Doubles Download Speeds

      A new Open Source BitTorrent tracker set to be released in September promises to boost download speeds by up to 150% and decrease the load BitTorrent users put on ISP networks by 20 to 50 percent. Based on the widely used OpenTracker software, the new BitTorrent tracker aims to overcome many of BitTorrent’s current limitations.

    • The Pirate Bay Taken Offline By Swedish Authorities (Updated)

      Following the earlier court defeat for Fredrik, Gottfrid and Peter and the pending civil action taken by several Hollywood studios, the Swedish authorities have now ordered The Pirate Bay to be disconnected from the Internet. The site’s bandwidth suppliers have been threatened with a large fine. The site is completely offline.

    • Pirate Bay site down as anchor set adrift

      The Pirate Bay is out of action again 24 hours after Swedish authorities blocked the infamous BitTorrent tracker site.

    • Fine, Let Newspapers Collude

      It’s difficult to think of anything to say to people who think these ways, other than “good luck.” The real world doesn’t believe in such limitations. If the newspapers collude and come up with a pricing scheme where the lowest option starts at $10 per month — fine. Just go do it, and then let’s see what happens. Because talking about it is getting pretty silly.

    • Music Publishers Sue Websites Over Lyrics

      The NMPA says it has sent cease and desist notices to hundreds of illegal sites over the past three years.

    • Forbes.com CEO Thinks Publishers are Killing Web Ad Potential

      Spanfeller’s piece should prove to be an interesting one to publishers and advertisers alike, but some think it is just simply too late for the industry to adopt a different model. Publishers that try to go a different way face the very real possibility that their advertisers won’t follow them, when they can simply get lower rates elsewhere.

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