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09.07.09

Links 07/09/2009: New Debian, Linux 2.6.31 @ RC9

Posted in News Roundup at 6:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Skype Trojan targets Windows; Linux and Apple unaffected

    A programmer who wrote a Trojan that allows third parties to listen to Skype calls has released the code so that computer security firms can develop countermeasures.

  • Atlanta Linux Fest 2009

    On the speaker side, Bradley Kuhn, of Software Freedom Law Center, will be talking about GPLv3. Rikki Kite, an editor at Linux Pro magazine, and Kirrily Robert (who gave a keynote at OSCON), will be discussing women in open source.

  • Linux Journal Contents #186, October 2009

    When it comes to hacking nobody does it like an OSS hacker does. An OSS hacker is a real “hacker” and not a “cracker”. This month’s focus is “Hack This/Programming Hacks”. First up on the hacking plate, and on the cover: Coreboot. Coreboot is meant to displace one of the most intransigent pieces of proprietary software: your motherboard BIOS. Next up is a bit of FPGA programming. Then comes some simple O/S development using KVM to learn your first steps. And if you’re an Android drooler, find out where you can put it. In the “unfocused” part of the magazine you’ll find our normal offerings on things such as Spam-Fighting, OpenGL/Clutter, Laptop Hardening, RSpec, HTop, Open Cubic Player, and at least a zillion other things.

  • Linutop 3 – Linux powered Nettop

    The Linutop 3 has 2GB of internal flash memory to store the software and the operating system. It features a custom Linux OS (Ubuntu) & standard software like Firefox, Open Office & VLC mediaplayer.

  • Desktop

    • Linux kernel speeds up on the desktop

      While many Linux geeks were looking forward to USB 3.0 support and new Firewire drivers, kernel developers have also been working on improvements to desktop interactivity, particularly when the OS is under memory pressure.

    • 10+ buzzwords that should be banned at the office

      11: Cutting edge: So modern, it’s to die for. Example: Sleeperama’s cutting-edge mattress will take the country by storm.

      I was going to try to leverage all of the above to produce an essay, but I was afraid that in the effort, I would want to take a cutting edge to my throat. Anyway, word to the wise: Now that these expressions have been officially identified as irritating jargon, you might want to give them up. Unless your boss is planning to circle back to reach out to interface and socialize to your value-add. What can I tell you? It is what it is.

    • The slow route to Linux

      She’s been booting into Linux by default now, because at the moment it’s that or a crippled Windows. The best thing about it is that I haven’t forced her to pick Arch. She made the choice herself.

      The best thing for me is that I have to do the support of her laptop anyway, and I’m much better at it in Linux. Everybody happy.

    • Linux and Digital Rights Management (DRM)

      The principles of open source software and the film and record companies’ perceived need to control how film, video and audio recordings are consumed seem incompatible. This article explores the issues.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.31-rc9

      I know I said I’d just release the final 2.6.31 when I was done diving, but there were more pull requests while I was away than I’m comfortable with at this stage. So I’m doing an -rc9 to let it simmer for a couple of days and get some last-minute testing before doing the final release.

  • Applications

    • Wine, Linux and Multimedia Software (Part 1)

      Installing Ubuntu was easy, with all of my hardware being automatically detected including my laser printer. I was immediately impressed with how simple everything is to use. Some of the software that I used under Windows is also available under Linux. Skype, FireFox, and OpenOffice are three of my most frequently used applications, and the transition to Linux for these applications was painless. However, there remained one significant barrier to becoming productive under Linux. Unfortunately, the developers of many of my favorite Windows software have decided not to release a Linux version. Whilst there are Linux alternatives for many of these applications (some of which, no doubt, are just as good or in fact even better than what I had been using in the Windows world), this did not alter the fact that I would need to learn how a large set of new software worked. Do not get me wrong, I love experimenting with fresh software. But to be faced with having to learn about so many new applications simultaneously was a bit daunting.

    • Creating Pseudo-3D Imagery with GIMP: Part 1

      Here again, I would stress that nothing beats a properly planned image, that applies to all genres you can think of. Some might think it’s a waste of precious time to start sitting and planning without having a concrete output at the end of the thought process. But believe me, the ideas you planned will be far more powerful and beautiful than those ideas you just had, when you were just messing around and playing with the tool directly.

    • Review: Ubuntu Tweak

      I never install anything outside of the official Ubuntu software repositories unless I am able to audit the source code – this is one of the benefits of open-source software. So, I downloaded the Ubuntu Tweak .deb file and unpacked it. Everything looked fine so I installed it. The installation completed without errors on my Ubuntu 9.04 system so I launched the app from a terminal.

    • Arora – completely FLOSS Webkit browser

      If you want to run a WebKit web browser with no strings attached (unlike Safari and Google Chrome), Arora is surely worth a try.

  • K Desktop Environment

    • KDE Community Forums Awarded phpBBHacks.com Featured phpBB For August 2009

      Over the last year the KDE Community Forums have served as a premier platform for the KDE community to communicate with each other. With over 13,000 registered users generating more than 15,000 topics of discussion the site is growing by the minute. A little over a month ago, the forums introduced a new look while moving over to the phpBB forum software. These improvements have clearly caught the attention of many people as KDE’s Community Forums were selected as the phpBBHacks.com Featured phpBB for the month of August 2009.

    • The Ultimate Blogging Client for Linux

      Ever since i started a blog i had always wanted a wanted a application which would allow me do my blogging (preferably offline ) without having to use the web browser. One of the reasons for this was because i (as at then) did not have a stable Internet connection and had to go to Internet cafe to do my blogging which wasn’t really convenient. I wanted a way to do my blogging offline and then upload later. Even when i had a stable Internet connection i still prefer to having to use a browser for blogging. Unfortunately for me most of the blogging applications ( Drivel BloGTK KBlogger gnome-blog) i tried on Linux just didn’t cut it, some didn’t work with wordpress and the once that did weren’t powerful enough or were buggy or just too basic.

    • Four Nifty Blogging Clients for KDE

      When you sit down to put together a blog post, the last thing you want getting in your way is a finicky blogging client. This week, we’ll take a look at open source blogging software designed for the Linux operating system, as well as apps created specifically for the KDE and GNOME desktop. In fact, let’s get started with KDE first.

    • I’m in Love… KDE 4.3.1

      My first impression of KDE 4.3 is that it is a lot simpler for newcomers (than KDE 3) and it looks fantastic. I used earlier versions of KDE4 and they didn’t cause me trouble, but this one is almost perfect and I am unable to find noticeable wrinkles or creases. In fact, the new release incorporates so many wonderful changes that it would be irrational to ever step back to KDE3 again.

    • Amarok 2.2 Beta 1 “Crystal Clear” Released

      The Amarok team is getting ready for the release of Amarok 2.2 and is proud to release the first beta version of Amarok 2.2.

    • How-To: Install Amarok 2.2 Beta 1 from the Kubuntu Beta Backports

      The first beta of Amarok 2.2, codenamed ‘Crystal Clear’, was released on September 4 and packages are available for Kubuntu 9.04 Jaunty from the Kubuntu Beta Backports.

    • Bitten by singletons
  • Distributions

    • How to be anonymous online with Incognito

      At first glance Incognito may seem suited only for the extremely paranoid, because of the totality of tools it offers to hide your online presence. But those tools, each designed to mask a certain aspect of your online activity, have been around for quite a while. This 430MB-ish live CD has many faithful users, but I can’t quote any on its usefulness since their identities couldn’t be confirmed. Yes, Incognito is that good.

    • First Impression: Zenwalk 6.2

      I have a Dell Latitude c600 laptop that I like to use for light work or when I’m on the go. Between overall awkwardness and to age of the laptop I have found it hard to find a Linux distribution that runs well without too much configuration. This isn’t my main computer so I’ve been putting it off until today.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat and HP Optimize Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for HP BladeSystem Matrix

        Yesterday, Red Hat announced the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4, the foundation of the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization portfolio of solutions. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4 is now available on HP BladeSystem and HP ProLiant servers. With this combination, customers can take advantage of an open source, standards-based virtual infrastructure that provides scalability and security capabilities. Additionally, enterprises will be able to leverage management
        capabilities offered by both companies. In the future, customers can expect
        increasing levels of management integration between the system and operating environment to further drive administrator productivity.

      • Is 7 years of RHEL support still sufficient ?

        It makes a lot of sense, now that Linux in general is maturing (and more specifically, the kernel is not having major bumpy releases) and new main RHEL releases are slowing down. Less reasons for a new major release. Less effort to back-port functionality and features. In turn, Red Hat can better deploy its existing resources to fewer supported releases, but instead support them longer.

    • Debian Family

      • First Lubuntu Test ISOs Available

        Yesterday the LXDE community received an announcement on their blog, in which developer Mario Behling told the world about the availability of the first Lubuntu test images, based on Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala). The upcoming operating system already proves to be a serious contender to Xubuntu, the ISO weighing in at a meager 342 MB. The image is based on the work of David Sugar, with added patches by the community.

      • Update for “Lenny”, Debian 5.0.3

        The third update of Debian 5.0 has been released by the Debian developers. The update provides a number of security updates and bug fixes and an updated installer. The announcement summarises the changes while the change log provides a detailed overview of all the changes.

      • Ubuntu 9.10 Gets Unreleased Catalyst 9.10 Driver

        Besides the ATI Catalyst Linux driver still lacking public XvBA support (the library is in the driver, but there’s no documentation or public implementations of it) even though we exclusively detailed the X-Video Bitstream Acceleration architecture nearly a year ago for enhancing HD video playback on Linux, the other leading problem we usually end up facing with AMD’s proprietary Linux driver is their slow response time with supporting new X Server and kernel releases. AMD’s policy has been not to focus on providing support for unreleased kernels/X servers, and then to provide the support once out, but while they do provide new releases on a consistent monthly basis, things usually don’t end up working out as planned.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 158

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #158 for the week August 30th – September 5th, 2009. In this issue we cover: Karmic Koala Alpha 5 released, New Ubuntu TechBoard for 2009, Jono Bacon: Three Years At Canonical, Canonical adds Advanced Ubuntu Service and Support, Ubuntu Stats, Ubuntu LoCo News, Karmic gets another cloud tool: Tahoe-LAFS, Ubuntu Forums Tutorial of the week & Report Abuse Icon, Ubuntu Developer Week Summaries, Help Fill in the Ubuntu IRC channels, Ubuntu Podcast Quickie #11, Ubuntu-UK podcast: The Android Invasion, and much, much more!

      • Taking a look at xPUD 0.9

        xPUD is based on Ubuntu, with ideas borrowed from Damn Small Linux.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Frankencamera is open source, runs on Linux

      Photo scientists at Stanford University have conceived what is probably the world’s first open-source camera. Their contraption, dubbed the Frankencamera, consists of a Nokia N95 mobile phone camera module, circuit board, a couple of lenses from Canon and Linux for all the open-source goodness.

    • Carrier takes heroic step toward Android

      Sprint will be the first U.S. carrier to offer HTC’s “Hero” Android smartphone, complete with the “Sense” UI and a low $180 pricetag. Meanwhile, Google is responding to criticism from Android developers by adding promotional mechanisms to Android Market, and eWEEK looks inside the Android-based T-Mobile MyTouch 3G.

    • New Atom models target low-cost PCs

      Acer, the world’s third-largest PC maker, is already showing off a Linux-compatible N270 Atom-based netbook called the Aspire One, due in the third quarter.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Application Development: 11 Apache Technologies that Have Changed Computing in the Last 10 Years

    The Apache Software Foundation turns 10 this year and will be celebrating this landmark milestone with the largest ApacheCon event in November. Although a completely volunteer organization, the ASF has helped create some of the most important technologies underpinning the modern Internet.

  • What’s An Eigenbase?

    Organizationally, Eigenbase is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity. It has had contributions of various kinds – servers, IP, etc. from numerous companies and individuals since its founding in 2004. John Sichi, president and chairman, worked for Quadbase Systems and Broadbase Software, and was the original developer of Fennel and Farrago, two Eigenbase framework subprojects. John contributes to a number of other open source projects inside and outside of Eigenbase, including JGraphT and LucidDB.

  • Skype for Asterisk Debuts

    Two big forces in the world of VoIP are coming together in a new solution called Skype for Asterisk (SfA).

  • Medical : Sourceforge Project of the Month

    Medical, the Open Source Health and Hospital Information System, has been the winner in SourceForge project of the month.

  • Open source may have won, but not by *that* much

    Curtis makes a wide array of valid points, but sometimes they contradict each other. As just one example, he cites Stanford University research that reveals just .17 bugs per 1,000 lines of code in Linux to highlight Linux’s reliability compared to Windows and other proprietary software, which tends to average 20 to 30 bugs per 1,000 lines of code.

  • DesktopBSD 1.7 – last and final version

    Peter Hofer, founder of DesktopBSD, has announced DesktopBSD 1.7. This new release comes with FreeBSD 7.2-RELEASE-p3 as base system and KDE 3.5.10 as desktop environment and includes a large number of pre-installed applications. The easy-to-use graphical installer and utilities allow for a simple installation and configuration process.

  • OpenOffice.org

    • What’s up in OOo 3.2?

      In 2 weeks it is planned to branch off the code line for OOo 3.2. A Beta will be released based on that version if the members of the release status meeting approve it.

      Currently the developer milestone DEV300m57 will be uploaded and will be available soon. To help checking the new features or finding the new UI for translation I created a Wiki page with all integrated feature and enhancements (based on the feature announcements).

    • New: OpenOffice.org 2.4.3 available
    • Project Renaissance – Support from the University of Osnabrueck

      In addition to going through gazillions of feedback regarding the prototypes on different channels, thinking and discussing further UX engineering initiatives, analyzing the data collected using a new, office productivity specific version of the IsoMetrics usability questionnaire, there are two university projects that we give advice to in parallel.

    • 10 Amazing Tricks for Open Office

      Open Office has carved a niche in the office suite market as the most viable alternative for Microsoft Office. It’s popularity is contributed to the fact that it is a freeware and it supports standard OpenDocument Format as well as Microsoft Office formats. With a Microsoft Office like interface and all essential features, the Open Office suite has been designed to meet the needs of most office environments. It’s no wonder that small and mid-sized entrepreneurs running on budget are increasingly switching to this open source office suite. Open Office 3.0 version was a major upgrade and now we have the 3.1 version with enhanced features and bug fixes. Features introduced in the Office Suite includes a vector-based drawing environment called Draw, a presentation program called Impress, a spreadsheet program called Calc, and several others. With so much on offer, you still have a lot to explore in Open Office. To enhance your experience with the Office Suite we offer you 10 amazing tricks for Open Office.

  • Firefox

    • Firefox Mozilla Mockups for version 4

      How would you like the next version of Mozilla Firefox UI to look ? Would you like it to have a spartan look and feel similar to Google Chrome ? Or should it be an amalgamation of all the good UI ideas found in different browsers like Opera, Internet Explorer 8.0, Safari and Google Chrome ?

    • Fresh Roadmap for Firefox

      The Mozilla Project has updated its roadmap for the coming versions of Firefox. The next big release, Firefox 4.0 with Geko1.9.4 underneath, is scheduled for the end of 2010.

    • Review: My Favorite Firefox Extensions
  • Business

    • Mule is Evolving

      Some of you may have read our recent press release about the new MuleSoft Tcat Server, now in public beta. In a nutshell, the MuleSoft Tcat Server is a new web application server that helps system administrators ditch their bloated, legacy infrastructure in favor of the lighter weight Apache Tomcat, without losing robust enterprise functionality and support. This new offering, solves a huge pain-point for our customers and user community.

    • David Nuescheler on Commercial Open Source Software

      At Day we believe in producing a lot of our code ourselves. If we find ourselves in a position where we need to develop commodity code that is generally applicable and reusable we try to open source as much as possible.

    • Open Source Contract Considerations

      At Crowd Favorite we work primarily with WordPress, but also with many other Open Source projects. We are often working with larger companies that have standard Master Services Agreements (MSAs) or Professional Services Agreements (PSAs). These agreement templates are designed so that these companies have a known legal foundation to work from, and include a variety of requirements and terms that apply to the consultants working for them and governing the Deliverables created by those consultants. These agreements often have standard language in them that have some interesting side-effects when you are working with Open Source.

  • Licensing

    • Opinion: GPL delivers clarity and freedom to business

      The Gnu General Public Licence (GPL) has been around in one form or another since the Gnu manifesto published by Richard Stallman in 1985.

      The free software movement founded at that time has not simply created the most successful copyright licence ever, it has acted as a guide to other, similar movements, including open data, open government and open information systems, such as Wikipedia. It is the same principles that Vint Cerf applied in 1983 when he “invented” the internet.

  • Programming

    • Pyjamas: writing AJAX applications in Python

      Maintaining a complex web application that uses a lot of Javascript for client-side, “AJAX”-style interactivity is rather difficult. The clumsiness of the Javascript language itself, as well as the various tricks needed to make an application work consistently across multiple browsers, all of which must be wrapped up inside HTML, makes for a jumble of issues for the application developer. Pyjamas is meant to ease that development, by allowing client-side applications to be written in Python, then translating that code to Javascript for use by the browser.

Leftovers

  • Music industry calls for filesharing tax

    THE LATEST CUNNING PLAN of the music industry is to get the government to bring in a tax to pay what it claims to have lost to ‘pirates’.

  • Flexbooks – a Non-Braindead way to produce textbooks

    I’ve just seen a post on Flexbooks, an initiative of CK-12 so headed over to have a look. I believe initiatives of this kind are extremely important. Because copyright makes the price of textbooks too high, copyright is a significant barrier to education. A poorly educated workforce is a lower production workforce. In short, copyright ideology substantially lowers GDP. Well, no more. The Flexbooks initiative aims to provide textbooks for K-12 under the CC-BY-SA licence. The obnoxious (and anti-social) ‘-NC’ is absent. Thank heavens these are enlightened educators!

  • Thinking about downloads

    In the internet we have something precious and valuable. In the millenial generation we have something precious and valuable. It is time to keep our heads and do the right thing, foster innovation, encourage cultural expression and adaptation. And avoid seeking to alienate an entire generation…. in order to try and implement a failed proposition.

  • Pirates Party to defend non-commercial file-sharing

    That’s the other mistake — demonising teenagers swapping songs with mates, labelling them sleazy thieves. It doesn’t go down well with either parents or society. The industry, despite everything is still trying to resist a basic fact… that the days of physical formats and high pricing are as dead as the dodo.

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