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Links 30/09/2009: Dell and Linux, Garmin Out

Posted in News Roundup at 9:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • During Emergencies, Linux Geeks Also Care

    Locally, a group of Linux advocates set up Sahana, a collection of web based disaster management applications that provides solutions to large-scale humanitarian coordination and collaboration in disaster situation and its aftermath. It’s a good start for us to have a centralized area for any possible communication when disaster strikes. There are also others who have been tweeting and plurking the latest news. The updates were related to volunteer work, how to give relief goods, as well as tips on how to check on your car when it gets flooded to info on which shop offers services to laptops which needed to be serviced/recovered after the flood. I also received messages from friends in other countries and amidst the time differences it is heart-warming to receive messages from those who care.

  • Further Thoughts on the CLI and the Average User

    A week ago I published a boring little post on this blog about the command line and the average user. The essence of it was that non-geeks considering switching to Linux shouldn’t even be shown the command line, as it may scare them away. Much to my surprise, that post got a lot of attention.

  • The Linux terminal – Outliving its relevancy?

    The terminal has simply outlived its relevancy and has to be relegated as soon as possible. It is a big obstacle in the wider adoption of Linux among everyday computer users that just need their machines to do simple things. Why suffer these people with the language of the geeks?

  • Ohio Linux Fest 2009 Report

    This year was the first time ever that I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to visit Ohio Linux Fest, sometimes referred to as Ohio Linux Con. This year’s theme was “40 Years of Unix” and there was a lot there that focused on that theme.

  • Playing Games In Linux

    Not everything in open source is serious and technical. Find out how to put some games worth playing on your Linux desktop

  • Free, Native Linux Plug-ins, and How to Use Them in energyXT for Linux

    With Linux growing in popularity on netbooks – and an option like the pre-configured Indamixx solution saving you the work of optimizing and configuring it – it’s suddenly no longer a stretch to imagine yourself a Linux music user. Of course, what you don’t want is to wind up without the arsenal of plug-ins to which we’ve all become accustomed. There are various ways of hosting Windows VSTs under Linux as though they were native plug-ins; check out dssi-vst (which also enables 32-bit VSTs from Windows under 64-bit Linux hosts), in conjunction with WINE. That should probably be the subject of a separate tutorial. (Ardour 3 also promises Windows VST support.)

  • General Atomics receives more than $65.5 million in DoD contracts

    Poway-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. was awarded a $46,040,935 contract for Linux operating systems, technical orders, improved display, and spares for the Predator/Reaper.

  • Dell

  • Kernel Space

    • JFL Peripheral Solutions Announces Linux® Drivers for Visioneer and Xerox® DocuMate® Scanners

      JFL Peripheral Solutions, the leading independent provider of scanner driver development services and products, today announced the availability of new Linux drivers, for Visioneer and Xerox DocuMate scanners, that expand the compatibility of these scanners to Linux operating systems with exclusive image processing technology. The new standard SANE (Scanner Access Now Easy) driver enables users to scan on Linux-based operating systems including Ubuntu, Suse, Suse Enterprise, Debian and Fedora. In addition to the SANE driver, JFL also announced a soon to be available TWAIN 2.0 driver that is platform independent.

    • Proposed X.org development cycle changes

      The developers behind X.org, the foundation of nearly all graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for Linux, want to change their current development model. Contrary to the initial plans, recent X.org releases have been rather irregular and unpredictable. Consequently, X.org developer Peter Hutterer has proposed the introduction of a six month development cycle.

  • Applications

    • Six Linux backup apps and how to choose the one that works for you

      When it comes to choosing a data backup system tool for Linux, the problem isn’t finding options. It’s choosing the one that best matches your businesses’ needs. Here are six popular Linux data backup offerings and the pros and cons of each.

    • Evince: Speed and Functionality Combined

      In the heterogeneous computing world of today, documents are encapsulated in a variety of formats, from the mundane PDF to the high-resolution tiffs needed in typography. To be able to view all of them you could use four or five different applications, or you could just employ Evince. GNOME users are probably well familiarized with this document viewer. Every time you click a PDF you downloaded from the web, it will start up and, in an instant, render the document for you to view.

  • Distributions

    • Congrats Fabio!

      Well it’s official, Fabio is part of the Gentoo developers team now. This is a great thing for Sabayon and Gentoo. It didn’t come easy tho, but with support and his desire to do it, he did it. Our relationship with gentoo gets better and better all the time. One just has to put the negative comments aside and remember what is important, making it all better.

    • Ubuntu

      • GDM Updated In Karmic Alpha 6 (Screenshot Now Included!)

        The Login screen for Karmic Koala has finally been pushed on the servers and made available through update manager.

      • Day 8 – 10 Days of Ubuntu 10.10 Feature Requests

        Today’s topic is a diverse one, as there are really several issues at play. So bear with me as we tackle each component of the currently lacking Linux online video experience.

      • Karmic Beta Testing
      • Ubuntu: Something for Everyone

        The world of Linux finally has a front-runner distro that can appeal to a wide variety of users and tasks. It’s a shame that so many who are seasoned in ‘Nix are walking around bashing the one distro that is actually bringing users into the fold, simply because it’s actually useful out of the box and easy to keep up-to-date. In my mind, that’s a success for those of us who still believe in the purpose of Linux – a free alternative with choice. If you don’t believe me, grab the latest Live CD and fire up the terminal. It’s still there – and “ls” still works, I promise. See? There’s a little something for everyone.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Native code with Android

        Hot on the heels of Android 1.6 (code name Donut), the Android development team has now released version 1.6 rel 1 of the Android NDK (Native Development Kit). The NDK is a toolkit comparable with the standard Android Software Development Kit (SDK), which allows Android developers to write parts of their applications in native code languages such as C and C++.

      • AT&T Launching Location-Centric Garmin Nuvifone

        The smartphone integrates location-based services into multiple aspects of the proprietary Linux-based operating system, and it will come with the same turn-by-turn navigation features found in Garmin’s high-end navigation units. This includes audible voice prompts for directions, as well as millions of points of interest like restaurants, gas stations, hotels, and other venues. Users can also mount it to the windshield to act like a regular navigation device.

      • Garmin Takes a New Tack With Linux-Based Nav Phone

        Is there a market for a $300 proprietary Linux-based navigation device with phone capabilities? Garmin’s Nuvifone will put that question to the test. Known for its navigators, Garmin might be following Palm’s playbook by adding phone capabilities. Given the popularity of the iPhone, the advance of the Androids, Palm’s struggle to push the Pre — can the Nuvifone find a niche?

      • Updates for Android and webOS as Sprint boosts Linux program

        Both Google itself and Sprint – launch carrier for the webOS-based Palm Pre but now turning its attentions to Android with the upcoming launch of HTC Hero – were enhancing the Android experience. Sprint announced a series of additions on its Applications Developer web site to make it easier for programmers to support Android. It is providing tools to create and test Android apps for the Sprint network, plus implementation information for Hero, and location-based, messaging and other services available via the Sprint Developer Sandbox.

      • Smartphones: System overload

        With the launch of Motorola’s Cliq, the battle between mobile operating systems reaches new heights – and there may soon be a new leader. We survey the top players.


        Android has even given traction to other open-source systems, such as Linux-based Moblin.

      • Qt for Android

        Shocked by the title? So I am.

        Would you like to see Qt supported on this platform? Just two days ago the answer was like “But it’s close to impossible”.

        Now with NDK 1.6 the “little robot” OS opens more to C/C++ native code. I am eager to read some analysis on the topic.

    • Portables

      • Nokia N900 Gets Full Review

        The Nokia N900 takes the functionality of the older Nokia Tablet devices and repackages them into a slimmed down PDA device that features some design similarities with the Nokia N97. So, we get a full QWERTY keyboard sans the tilted slide function, 3.5-inch touchscreen but with a higher resolution. However, the real added bonus is the powerful Linux Maemo OS. Needless to say, we can’t wait to get our hands on especially now the first full-on reviews are appearing.

      • Kicking tires in the Moblin Garage

        The Moblin Garage and App Installer aim to help users to find and install both free and commercial apps. The initial implementation appears promising.

      • Moblin Brings Btrfs into View, Eschews Ext4

        The recently released version 2.0 of Moblin elicited significant feedback. One frequently posed question was, why not ext4?

Free Software/Open Source

  • Yahoo! spruces open source Exchange rival

    Amidst rumors that Yahoo! is looking to sell the company, Zimbra has released a new version of its Exchange-battling open source email and collaboration platform.

    Available beginning today, version 6.0 of the Zimbra Collaboration Suite adds several administrator and mobile tools as well as countless tweaks to the client interface. This includes client-side changes meant to facilitate the addition of Zimlets, those community-created mini-apps that hook into outside web services. With one Zimlet, for instance, you can instantly open a Yahoo! map when a street address turns up in your inbox.

  • Time to jump on the open source train

    Red Hat must be having a giggle, no make that a cackle, behind proprietary tech firms’ backs as they watch their revenues slide whilst the recession is still in full swing.

    The company will be celebrating as it just posted results showing a 12 per cent rise in revenues in the second quarter of fiscal year 2010.

  • How to Make Web 2.0 Work Using Open-Source Enterprise Content Management

    Enterprise content management has traditionally been very expensive to license, roll out and scale. It often requires expensive hardware and supporting software. The enterprise content management industry has been dependent on complexity, with the vendor controlling the customer through proprietary power. But there is a cost-effective alternative: open-source software. Web 2.0 sites have changed the way in which content is both accessed and mashed up. Here, Knowledge Center contributor John Newton explains how open-source software gives companies an enterprise content management solution that focuses on lower cost, greater simplicity and greater customer choice.

  • Open Source was the main topic at the 1st EuroPACS academy course

    The major topic was Open Source Software in medical imaging.

  • Protecode updates portfolio for safe use of open source

    Software lifecycle management vendor Protecode Inc. has made available new components in the third release of its portfolio of offerings that aim to help developers better manage the open source code they reuse.

  • Funambol: open source mobile cloud sync (with contest!)

    Funambol is an open source project, allowing you to host your own sync server. Great for DIY-ers and control freaks. If you’re not ready to manage your own sync server, you can use the MyFunambol portal, which is a hosted version of their solution.

  • Funambol Launches Highly Anticipated Version 8 Open Source Mobile Cloud Sync and Push Email for Billions of Phone
  • Funambol Releases v8 of its Mobile Email Push and Sync Solution
  • Red Hat CEO explains business model of 21st century, benefits of open source

    Red Hat President and CEO Jim Whitehurst opened the third year of Fidelity Investment’s lecture series “Leadership in Technology” with his address entitled “The Open Source Opportunity,” last night in Engineering Building II.

  • NYC Schools Overpaying For Proprietary Software

    What about the fact that open source applications require more customization and hands-on knowledge on the part of administrators?

    Fitzgerald admitted that open source software “requires you devote more time at the outset.” But on the other hand, he told me, “you are spending your money in-house, and the skills you acquire developing the tool stay within your school district.”

  • Open Source Can Help India Save Rs 10,000 crore, Says IIM-B Study

    Even as the current economic climate has compelled the Indian government to go on the austerity drive, by asking its ministers to air travel by economy class–a more compelling option may lie in looking at replacing proprietary software with open source. A recent report titled, ‘Economic Impact of Free and Open Source software-A Study in India’, by a team at IIM-Bangalore, highlights several interesting insights, that show how by replacing just 50 percent of proprietary software with open source in desktops and servers, India can save close to Rs 10,000 crore in 2010.

  • Alert: What’s Coming for Open Source CMS in October 2009

    Welcome to the October 2009 installment of our what’s coming from the open source CMS projects in the next 30 days.

  • On the merits of open source software

    With the advent of Linux for netbooks and companies exploring means to cut costs, use of open source software is on the rise. The next time you need Microsoft Office and go to download an illegal copy of it, why not check out OpenOffice.org for a free equivalent. You’re guaranteed not to get a virus, not to get arrested, and you will probably be surprised when you see how good legitimately free software can be.

  • List of features of OpenOffice.org 3.2

    As you could read with the last developer milestone ( DEV300m60) we reached the date to branch the code line for the OOo 3.2 release. The strings for translation were extracted from this milestone and were integrated into Pootle. Also the last features were integrated. So all teams can start to do their work to get released a full localized and stable build of OOo 3.2 at the end of November ’09.

  • The Business of Open Source is Not Software

    Luckily, there are enough people out there who “get it” that our business is doing very well this year. Their companies now have a competitive advantage, which, over time, will be demonstrated. Only when these advantages are demonstrated in the market place can open source be said to have “won”.

  • Open-Source Software: An All-Star Lineup

    OpenOffice is the undisputed king of open source office software. Boasting most of what you get with the big commercial packages — a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation application — the individual applications in OpenOffice are even compatible with the file formats used by MS Office and other leading fee-based software.

  • Open Source and Open Standards at Home

    Is there a leading example of an Open Source software company?

    Red Hat is an example of one of the best known Open Source companies internationally. They commercially exploit Open Source technologies by providing support and services around a technology platform called Red Hat Linux.


  • Unisys takes services to the desktop
  • US secretly tried to make deal with Goldman Sachs in wake of financial crisis

    Vanity Fair will report in the next issue of the magazine that US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson — a former head of the investment bank Goldman Sachs — tried to orchestrate secretive deals in the midst of the financial crisis but got blowback from prominent investor Warren Buffett.

  • HP-UX 11i v3 Update 5 ‘Vantage’ Adds to Security
  • Literature

    • Kindles yet to woo University users

      Though using a Kindle is voluntary, no one has opted out of using a Kindle in Katz’ class, so he has permitted his students to use location numbers in their written work for the course.

    • European project creating the library of all digital libraries

      This is now likely to change for the better. The DRIVER project is a co-ordinated, multi-phase effort by European information scientists to create a cohesive, robust and flexible, pan-European infrastructure for digital repositories. The researchers have already created a search engine that regroups over a million ‘open access’ articles from 260 of Europe’s leading institutions.

  • AstroTurf

    • Wendell Potter: Baucus’ Health Care Bill Needs Urgent Care

      There are so many problems with the health care reform bill proposed by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), chair of the Senate Finance Committee, it is little wonder that members of his committee have proposed more than 500 amendments to fix it. Unfortunately, some of the worst amendments that would make the bill even more of a gift to the health insurance industry are being offered by Republicans.

    • New Oil and Coal Fronts Greenwash Global Warming

      Television ads from a new Montana-based group called CO2 Is Green claim: “There is no scientific evidence that CO2 [carbon dioxide] is a pollutant. In fact higher CO2 levels than we have today would help the Earth’s ecosystems.” The ads urge voters to contact their Senators and Representative, “and remind them CO2 is not pollution.”

    • Exposing How the Government Lied about National Security Letters and the Patriot Act

      We learned that the true number of the FBI’s unilateral and secret NSL demands in 2004, the year before Bart Gellman’s article was published, was over 56,000. That is, the government made over 56,000 secret demands for personal, private information about Americans using these powers expanded by the Patriot Act in one year. Not 30,000 as Gellman had estimated based on whistleblower information, which the Justice Department strongly attacked as inaccurate. The number reported in the press was not too big, It was too small!

  • Abuse

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Internet Video Celebrity Caitlin Hill 04 (2007)

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A Single Comment

  1. David Gerard said,

    October 3, 2009 at 4:01 pm


    A good GUI interface beats a terminal, but a terminal beats a bad GUI interface.

    Just saying “terminal bad, GUI good” tends to result in the sort of GUI where someone thinks the job is done if they put a button for every command-line switch. (AcidRip is an egregious example.)

    But then, this is an example of how there’s no substitute for good design. And a reason good designers get paid a lot.

    In providing support on a forum, answering with a few lines that can be cut’n’pasted into a terminal is often quicker than giving directions through a GUI … often quite a bad GUI.

What Else is New

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    A look at the latest reckless step from the Budget and Finance Committee of the Administrative Council (chaired by Battistelli's pet chinchilla), which marginalises yet more oversight or a branch which facilitates patent quality control (thereby concealing the effect of Battistelli's ruinous sausage factory mentality)

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  4. The United States Pressures India to Broaden Patent Scope and Other Monopolies

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  5. Budget and Finance Committee of the Administrative Council (EPO) Confirms Exile of the Boards of Appeal

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  8. Puff Pieces of the EPO-IPO (EPO+EUIPO) Have Begun to Appear Amid New Evidence of Brain Drain, Lowered Standards

    The grim vision of the EPO which is losing all its talent (over time), becomes more like a production line (quality does not matter), and produces propaganda for "media positioning" (or "placements") -- all under the guise of 'studies'

  9. Leaked: Minutes From the Administrative Council of the EPO Regarding the 'Reform' (Exile) of the Boards of Appeal

    Details of the relatively secret proceedings back in June (belatedly released only a short while ago), carefully abbreviated to demonstrate which delegations helped Battistelli crush the Boards of Appeal and which ones insisted on maintaining the status quo, as per the EPC

  10. No Promising Future For the EPO Under Battistelli (If Any Future At All)

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    Minutes of the Administrative Council's meeting reveal some truly bizarre rants from Battistelli, who simply refuses to accept that the European Patent Office is burning (without a future direction, only burnout and brain drain) under his poor and abusive leadership

  12. Tata/TCS is Still Pushing for Software Patents in India

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  16. EPO and EUIPO Join Hands to Release Propaganda (for European Media to Parrot) Some Time Tomorrow

    EPO and EUIPO in collaboration for the promotion of the notion that they are both necessary (and reinforced speculations about growing overlap between them)

  17. UPC Preparatory Committee Puts the Brakes on UPC Amid Brexit and Growing Uncertainty

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) preparatory committee recognises that the UPC isn't going anywhere (any time soon) and false job advertisements -- or advertisements for jobs that will never exist -- are withdrawn

  18. Updates Regarding EPO and BoAC: Unrest and Injustice Carry on

    Some of the latest information which is publicly and privately available to us, in particular regarding the case of a suspended judge which represents unprecedented erosion of the appeal boards' independence (and hence lack of justice in the Organisation)

  19. EPO and the “Iberian Connection”: Patricia García-Escudero Márquez - Battistelli's Pet Chinchilla on the Boards of Appeal Committee?

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  22. Translation of Latest Rant From French MP Philip Cordery About Benoît Battistelli's Abuses at the EPO

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  23. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Leaked Document Shows PwC's Dishonesty and Misrepresentation of EPO Staff

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