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Links 02/10/2009: OpenBlockS 600 Debuts, KDE 4 Gets Cool Review

Posted in News Roundup at 3:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • IBM’s developerWorks portal celebrates 10th anniversary

    This week IBM’s developerWorks celebrates its 10th anniversary. The developer website was founded on 28th September 1999 as an open source community portal, with particular emphasis on Java, XML, web services and Linux. The portal now has around 4 million unique visitors per month.

  • Australia

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • LinuxCon: Some advice from Uncle Dirk

      Dirk Hohndel has been a member of our community since the earliest days. In recent years, he has helped direct Intel’s (very friendly) strategy toward Linux – a job which has required, one assumes, a great deal of educational work inside the company. Dirk also spends a fair amount of time outside of Intel, advising the community on how it can work better with vendors, with customers, and with itself. His thoughtful talks on the topic are usually well worth hearing. In two separate talks on the first day of the first LinuxCon, Dirk had some fairly general thoughts on how the next steps toward world domination can be taken.

    • New X.Org Release Process Has Been Reached

      The developers also want to pull the X.Org drivers back into the X Server core, which was done previously before their modularization, but they want to put the drivers back into core in order to come back to a more coherent API. This though will not be happening until early 2011 or so (around X Server 1.10).

  • Applications

    • Top Video Editing Apps for Linux

      Over the years, the one big area where it’s been said that desktop Linux falls down the hardest is with the lack of good video editing suites. And to a degree, this is both true — and not entirely accurate at the same time. In reality, there are plenty of applications out there that work with all of the major desktop environments, the trick is finding one that is both stable and easy to use.


      Kino Video Editor


      Kdenlive Video Editor



    • Heileen 2 Announced

      Blue’s News pointed out that Tycoon Games has announced Heileen 2: The Hands of Fate, a visual novel set in the 1600’s:

      Like Tycoon Games’ most recent game, Bionic Heart, the events of Heileen 2 rely heavily on the user’s decisions. The final game will feature more than twelve unique endings and an enhanced version of the original quest system in Heileen.

    • Chrome and Chromium for Linux Dev Builds Get Extension Manager

      Google Chrome for Linux and Chromium for Linux — Development (Dev) builds, like their Windows counterpart, now have an extension manager that offers an easy and convenient way to monitor and manager your extensions that strange enough do not work.

      How do you get to use the extension manager: Type chrome://extensions in the address bar and get to see what this new feature is all about. As in shown in the screenshot above, you’ll be able to “Disable”, “Reload” and “Uninstall” your add-ons via the extension manager. You can also install “non-extracted” extensions via the “Load unpacked extensions..” button on the right.

    • Desktop Environments

      • KDE 4 Isn’t Too Bad, After All

        On the next page, I’ll wrap up my lovefest for KDE 4, and add in some thoughts on what I’d like to see taken care of in future version updates.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • ARM-based MID boasts voice-enabled Facebook

      AdelaVoice is shipping a voice-enabled MID that’s tuned to social networking sites. The Lighthouse SQ7 is based on SmartDevices’ ARM11-based SmartQ7 design, offering a seven-inch, 800 x 480 touchscreen, 128MB of RAM, 1GB of flash, WiFi, and an Ubuntu Linux-based interface with voice-enabled Facebook and Twitter updates.

    • Phones

      • The open pressure in the mobile game

        While this is not the first time I’ve questioned Google’s approach and Matt has illustrated the problem with half-open, I do believe it is among the key stakeholders in the open mobile opportunity. Still, it is now being put to the test and will have to respond appropriately if it is to retain widespread respect among developers. And Google and Apple are not alone. Any vendor that is picking its fruit from the open source tree must be wary of the line between being open and not.

      • No FOSS for Palm app catalog says Netscape pioneer

        It appears Palm is seeking to follow Apple’s footsteps in gaining a reputation for inconsistent and spurious rejections and removals of iPhone and iPod Touch applications. In this case, Palm has resisted including a free application because the source code is attainable elsewhere.

    • Android

      • Five Features We Want to See in Android

        The most exciting part of our interview with Mozilla Mobile VP Jay Sullivan was when he mentioned how Fennec, a Firefox-based mobile browser (that might land on Android someday), will give Firefox users the ability to sync browser history, passwords, bookmarks, or even the last set of tabs opened. Google can likely go beyond these basics, and should. The only thing better than a fast and snappy browser is one that’s a simple extension of your already-snappy desktop browser.

      • MIPS joins Android consortium

        Processor manufacturer MIPS Technologies has joined the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), a consortium of around 47 companies headed by Google, involved in developing the Android mobile platform.

      • Study: Android’s on a Mobile Web Tear

        The ad marketplace AdMob has released a study that looks at how often the ads on its network are accessed by various mobile platforms. The iPhone ruled the roost at 40 percent, but Android’s figures showed considerably growth. “Android phones actually have only four to five percent of the U.S. market, and they account for 13 percent of usage of AdMob’s network,” said JBB Research CEO Julien Blin. “That’s interesting.”

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Linux Will Regain Lost Market Share, Thanks to Moblin

        The netbook phenomenon was going to hail in the reign of Linux on the desktop. It hasn’t, yet. Now however the Moblin project is changing the game, so much so that we just might see Linux take back that market share which it lost in the very beginning.

      • [IAEP] Sugar Digest 2009-09-30

        1. While the decision panel debates [See http://lists.sugarlabs.org/archive/iaep/2009-September/008746.html] whether or not Sugar Labs should be a GNU/Linux distributor, I thought it would be worthwhile surveying the GNU/Linux distribution’s plans regarding Sugar Release 0.84.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source groups to merge

    Two open source consortia have announced they are to join forces.

    Paris-based OW2 Consortium, whose members include Alcatel Lucent, France Telecom, Red Hat and Thales, will merge with California-based Open Solutions Alliance, which represents organisations including Unisys and Ingres.

  • Zmanda Does Cloud Storage for Less with Open Source

    Zmanda is adding new features to its cloud-based backup offering to better compete with market leaders EMC (NYSE: EMC) and Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC).

    Zmanda uses open source-based backup software and Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) Simple Storage Service (S3) to best EMC’s MozyPro and Symantec on price. Now the company hopes its latest features will catch on with small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) looking to back up their Microsoft Windows environments while meeting security and compliance demands.

  • From Free to Recovery

    As my fellow OSI board member (and report draft author Rishab Ghosh) explains “If you cannot quantify these exit costs, then you should limit them. If you cannot limit them, then you either need other software, or you need better criteria.” When the question is “How do we wasting $1T USD per year on ITC spending?”, the answer is that we’re using inferior tools when superior tools are available. When the question is “Why are we wasting so much year after year after year?” the answer is proprietary lock-in that was never part of our initial procurement calculations. I have spoken with procurement people around the world in both the public and private sectors, and the single best way we can help them do the best job is for a line of business (or a public adminstrations) to communicate clearly and concretely the message that exit costs are real costs, and should be considered in all tenders. They have the necessary expertise to see that those costs are properly evaluated in the context of future procurements.

  • Open Source software growing in importance

    The increasing ease of integration and compatibility with different platforms has seen businesses in the Asia Pacific region increasingly evaluating Open Source software as a viable alternative as they continue to look for ways to reduce operational expenses.

  • Stallman offers prizes for finding free software faults

    The FSF is taking an increasingly aggressive attitude towards the free software issue, and has been taking on some of the biggest players in the business. The organisation recently criticised Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 7, and won a court action against Cisco after the firm used unauthorised free software in its Linksys routers.

  • The Difference Between EULAs and Open Source Licenses

    As a result, GPL court cases have all (as far as I know) been ruled in favour of the GPL, whereas EULA court cases have sometimes been ruled in favour and sometimes against EULAs. GPL: clear-cut. Abide, or lose in court. EULA: muddy. You never really know where you’ll land.


  • Cyberbullying Bill Gets Chilly Reception

    Proposed legislation demanding up to two years in prison for electronic speech meant to “coerce, intimidate, harass or cause substantial emotional distress to a person” was met with little enthusiasm by a House subcommittee on Wednesday.

  • Irate iPhone owner allegedly shows gun to Apple Store worker

    It’s also alleged that Goodrich then opened his shirt to reveal a 9mm handgun, adding: “I’ll do it right now. Look!”

  • Corruption

    • PolitiFact Truth-O-Meter: Goldman Sachs contributions to Obama

      Their analysis of the 2008 presidential campaign found that University of California employees were Obama’s top donor, giving a collective $1.6 million. That system is run by the state of California, and hence is a public employer.

    • Madoff Investor Chais Seeks Access to Goldman Sachs Account

      Investment adviser Stanley Chais, facing lawsuits for directing client money to Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, said his bank account was frozen without proof it wasn’t his personal property.

    • The Great Goldman Sachs Senate-Lobbying Fail

      D.C. staffers are so pissed by the ridiculous lobbying that they’re leaking the lobbying materials.

    • Goldman Critic Assails Firm on Lobbying Effort

      But Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone’s political reporter, who accused Goldman in a recent article of being “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity,” now contends that Goldman is spreading disinformation through its lobbying effort in order to confuse government officials, a charge the investment bank denies.

    • Goldman Sachs, and a History of Financial Crisis

      I thought of Groucho’s quote when I read Matt Taibbi’s article for the July 13, 2009 edition of Rolling Stone magazine on the role that Goldman Sachs has played in contributing to the tech bubble of the 1990s and the housing bubble of the late 2000s.

    • Bailed-out Goldman Sachs, CEO land top honors

      “If you think selling bad investments to the market is fine, then (Lloyd Blankfein) is your CEO,” he said.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • The Tories’ hidden authoritarian streak

      Dominic Grieve’s policy paper Reversing the Rise of the Surveillance State is welcome but even though some important principles are expressed, it is difficult not to feel that the Conservatives are just doing enough to distinguish themselves from Labour before the next election.

    • Congress Moving Forward On ‘P2P’ Warning Law

      This bill is bad news, and it’s yet another attempt by the entertainment industry to get Congress to start slapping specific restrictions on any software it doesn’t like.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • The intellectual property racket

      The Disney Movie Appreciation Club, an organization that was set up with the goal of providing an outlet to relieve overly stressed students, had to be closed down recently due to potential license infringement. The length of a Studlife column is too short to give a comprehensive argument against intellectual property rights. Nevertheless, the recent closing of the club stands out as a perfect example of how, contrary to their original intent, intellectual property rights only limit the availability of information and expression.

Why Larry Ellison hates Cloud computing

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