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Links 11/11/2009: GNOME 3 Again, Mandriva Linux 2010 Called Year’s Best Release

Posted in News Roundup at 1:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • New PC to encourage older users

    The computer is built using Linux operating system, a free operating system that can be customised by users.

  • Computing for older users: Patronising or practical?

    What connects Italian vegans, Valerie Singleton, and Linux Mint? Well they’re all involved in a firm whose business is bringing computing to older users.

  • Operating systems: upgrade or reinstall? guilt or pleasure?

    With Linux there is no guilt in installing a new distribution. If I screw it up, I start over. If I want to try Fedora instead of Ubuntu, I just wipe the disk and try it out. No guilt and no fear.

    There is no user validation or software activation for the common Linux desktop operating systems. I can install it once or ten times. You get the idea.

    It’s very liberating.

  • Linux Desktop Ready for the Users

    I often say that my hypothetical user for Kubuntu is my girlfriend. Unfortunately I’m between girlfriends at the moment but the intent is still there. Someone who uses the computer for everyday tasks of web browsing, chatting, watching videos, listening to music, writing some documents, storing photos. But also someone who doesn’t care about computers any more than I care about my car, it should do the job but I don’t want to have to fiddle with it to get it to work. Unfortunately I rarely get the chance to try out Kubuntu on such users, my family have all been using computers far longer than I have and are just as stuck in their ways as I am in mine.

    But yesterday I did get a chance to install Kubuntu on a dying WIndows machine. The worst part of the process was booting up Windows to see how much disk space there was, it took 20 minutes to boot up loading all the half broken vendor apps and anti-virus software. Then it took 20 minutes just to shut down, every 30 seconds interrupted by a “missing .dll” or similar dialogue.

    So up boots Kubuntu from the CD in half the time than Windows boots from hard disk. All hardware working perfectly.

  • I’m Not A Linux Geek. Really.

    The thing is, folks picture me just like the geeky computer brainiac in the comic. But, really, I’m not a Linux geek. Sure, I run Linux, but I’m not sitting at my computer hammering out hundreds of lines of computer code. I’m not.

    When I run Linux, I’m pointing and clicking just like anyone else would do in Windows or Mac. That’s it. Linux is that easy to use. No kidding. I’m running Linux at the same level and understanding as I would run Windows or Mac.

  • Kernel Space

    • Cox, Gleixner, Ts’o Elected to Technical Advisory Board

      It is often perceived that the Foundation uses TAB to influence the Linux kernel community, when actually it’s the other way around: TAB typically advises the LF, giving us important guidance on what’s happening with the Linux kernel so our membership can better react to the technical changes and advances.

  • Applications

    • Install OpenGoo for in house collaboration tools
    • Chromium (build

      Chromium on my rigs is blisteringly fast, it always was. In the earlier builds there were a few stability issues in respect of JAVA input boxes, but these were not frequent enough to present a huge problem. Once Flash was implemented and was stable, for me Chromium really took off as a browser and I found myself using Firefox less and less.

    • Free Software: Minitube

      The coolest thing about Minitube is it allows you to stream YouTube videos endlessly, without requiring you to install a Flash Player. Just type a keyword and then you can sit back and relax as you watch your favorite YouTube videos hassle-free.

    • Introduction to Computer Vision with the OpenCV Library on Linux

      The purpose of this document is to help a reader to get started with Computer Vision library OpenCV on Linux system. OpencCV is a multi-platform library, but this article will be focused only on OpenCV using Linux operating system…

    • New version of aMSN is available with new features

      Few days ago, a new version of AMSN (0.98.1 stable) was released. AMSN is a Microsoft Messenger clone. It allows you to keep in touch with your friends and exchange instant messages and files. This version makes aMSN a complete msn clone for Linux.

  • DEs/Distributions

    • GNOME

      • Visual Tour of GNOME 3 Shell (in Ubuntu 9.10)

        GNOME 3 is the much talked about next generation GNOME that was supposed to come in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx. It introduces a radical shift from the interface found in GNOME 2.x. In this article we will give you a quick visual tour of GNOME 3 in Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Kola.

      • 10 secrets about Nautilus (file manager)

        The file manager lets you organize your files into folders. Folders can contain files as well as other folders. Using folders helps you find your files more easily.
        I am not going to explore all Nautilus’s features simply because it is a pretty straight forward program to use. There are many secrets about Nautilus normal users might not be familiar with them; therefore, in this article, I will try to shed light on some of them. Although I am using Nautilus on Ubuntu 9.10 in this tutorial, everything mentioned will be valid also on most of other distributions like Fedora, Mandriva or OpenSUSE.

      • How To Install Gnome 3 Shell in Ubuntu Karmic Koala
  • New Releases

    • Mandriva Linux 2010 – Perhaps The Best Linux Release All Year

      This really is a banner release for Mandriva. It’s been a long time since I could recommend it too much, but it’s moved way up my list with 2010. For new users the complete experience with Mandriva One live CD will convince you better than my words and for loyal users, well, you already know. It might be too soon to say, but it feels like this release will go down as Mandriva’s best ever – and perhaps it just might be the best Linux release of the year.

  • Debian Family

    • Ubuntu Testing Team

      We want to build a Testing Team in Ubuntu to try to minimize the impact of bugs in the released versions. This team would have a mailing list and regular meetings on IRC. Activities will be diverse and will include things like: formal manual testing, exploratory testing, writing new test cases, organize and conduct community testing days, automated testing and developing new tools (yes, if you like to code, there’s also a place for you).

    • Xubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala Review

      I’ve been planning a review of Xubuntu for quite some time now, so the release of 9.10 provided a good opportunity. Since Xubuntu has a reputation for running well on older hardware, I decided I’d give it a real test and install it on a boat anchor that I still had in the closet — A 650MHz Pentium III clone with 384MB of ram and 2-13GB hard drives. This just barely meets the suggested (not absolute) minimum hardware requirements specified by the Xubuntu team.

    • Get Aero Snap in Ubuntu

      Ubuntu users can get a the cool functionality of Windows 7’s “Aero Snap” with a few copy’s and a few pastes thanks to an awesome tutorial on the UbuntuForums by forumer gotsanity. Props and cookies go to him for this.

    • Ubuntu 9.10: My First 10 Days

      It’s been about ten days since I installed Ubuntu 9.10 on my main computer. Here are some thoughts on the latest and greatest version of Ubuntu, now that I’ve used it intensively for my daily workflow.

    • Karmic Art, What the Paintbrush is Saying

      Today I’m going to post the artworks, backgrounds and other pictures that have been posted in the last few weeks. Works that either reference ubuntu karmic or at least linux or gnu.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Myka’s New Media Player Now Available

      Creators of the Magic Box, Myka has announced the availability of their new set top box that they’re calling the ION.

      The ION is based on Ubuntu 9.10 and carries a full software feature set. The system supports the much beloved Boxee, which acts as a web video aggregator. Boxee on the ION can be synced with other Boxee installations. XBMC is also featured for media management tasks, and the ION sports a beta version of Hulu Desktop.

    • Phones

      • How Much Linux Is in Android?

        In a talk at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe in Grenoble, France, a speaker took a critical look at the design and development model of Google’s first step toward Linux.

      • Samsung to Discard Windows Phone

        Among the 40 kinds of Samsung smartphones that will be released next year, the portion of Windows Phones will be around 50%, down from 90% in 2008, and Android-based smartphones will be around 30%, or over 10 kinds of models, according to a recent report by HMC Investment Securities, a Seoul-based brokerage firm. Samsung expects to discard the Symbian OS from 2011 and reduce the portion of Windows Phones to 20% in 2012.

      • Samsung Bada unveiled as new iPhone, Android platform rival

        Instead, Samsung’s considerable resources will be devoted toward its own new platform, creating more competition and differentiation in options among smartphone platforms and reducing the energy being channeled toward licensed operating systems, with Windows Mobile being the biggest loser (with the loss of around 1.2 million of the 3.6 million Windows Mobile phones that shipped in Q3 2009), Symbian losing a significant licensee entirely, and Android facing a rival new marketplace for mobile software.

Free Software/Open Source

  • On taking FreeBSD seriously

    I found myself frustrated with Windows 7 at work. It’s a fairly decent system, and a craptonne better than Vista in both performance and resource usage on the old desktop I have (a Pentium 4/2.66 with a gig of RAM). But it was still slow, and I had heard that FreeBSD was fast approaching the ‘usable’ state for a desktop role. So, I decided to take it for a spin.

  • “Firefox Goes Mobile” Winner Announced, Plus a New Design Challenge!

    The results from the Mozilla Creative Collective’s “Firefox Goes Mobile” design challenge are in, and I’m happy to announce that the winner is “Pocketfox”, by Yaroslaff Chekunov. As the official emblem of the upcoming mobile version of Firefox, we’ll be using this image as an avatar on social networking sites, on mozilla.com, on t-shirts and more. It makes a great addition to our portfolio of Firefox imagery!

  • Copyright and Confirmation Bias

    Copyright costs the community. That cost is never factored into any copyright policy – at least, so far as I have been able to tell. Most recently, the prohibition on parallel importing of books is an obvious example. The Productivity Commission put out a report which set out, in bare, incontrovertible terms, the damage that this particular aspect of copyright does to the community. After a long period of merciless lobbying the proposals to remove the anti-consumer restrictions on parallel importing have been defeated (ironically, the report was criticised for being considered analysis, it was even expanded to cover some of the criticisms of it).

  • Progress on Open Database Alliance

    During this autumn I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with Georg Greve, Founder and former President of the Free Software Foundation Europe. Seeing that he had just left his previous post, we realized that his experience would be invaluable to do some of the heavy lifting involved in setting up processes for this fresh association. And so it has been!

  • GNU IceCat 3.5.5 released

    This new version includes all the bug fixes present in Firefox 3.5.5.

  • Unlocking the Cloud Means Open Data

    Opponents of cloud computing cite data loss and vendor lock-in as a primary dangers of relying on such services. They’re valid points, but since cloud computing isn’t going away anytime soon, it’s time to start finding solutions instead of simply sounding alarm bells.

    Today’s guest editor, Rafael Laguna, CEO of Open-Xchange, shares his thoughts about what it would take to make cloud services more reliable and trustworthy.

  • Project management lessons from the FreeDOS Project

    Even though project management is a key element of every open source project, there are only few resources about this topic. That’s why I always enjoy reading about the experience from open source project leaders. Jim Hall, the founder of the FreeDOS project, recently posted a series of four articles which I find particularly interesting.

  • Open Source and Cost of Use

    Funny story: a coworker saw me using Clonezilla the other day. I was sitting in the frigid server room (did I say room, it’s more like a closet really) and cloning the shit out of some laptops. He seemed impressed by the concept and asked me how much did it cost.

  • DK: Rødovre municipality: OpenOffice will be cheaper to maintain

    “OpenOffice will be cheaper to maintain and will run better than Microsoft’s proprietary alternative”, expects Lars Roark, IT manager at the Danish municipality of Rødovre, according to reports in Danish media.

    The municipality on Friday announced it will this week start to use OpenOffice, alongside Microsoft’s proprietary alternative. However the municipality plans to eventually move to OpenOffice completely.

  • MSU BCA students’ Install Fest’ a treat for IT savvy

    This is one fest in M S University (MSU) that will definitely be different from the usual students’ events. Install Fest – to be hosted by Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA) students – will celebrate the launch of two operating systems by Linux Worldwide. Instead of the usual cultural and competitive events, visitors will be given demonstration of the systems and can even download it in laptops or CPUs as well as pen drives.

    This event is on similar lines that happen in software hubs like Silicon Valley in USA on every weekend. The fest will begin with demonstration of the usage and features of the community driven operating systems – OpenSUSE and Ubuntu. BCA students will also orient people on different uses of Linux like coding, presentations, office, gaming, designing and other features in the Saturday event.

  • Drupal wins best open source PHP CMS for second year in a row

    Drupal has won best open source PHP Content Management System for the second year in a row in the Packt Publishing 2009 Open Source CMS Awards. Drupal won by popular vote and a critical selection by a panel of judges. This award reflects the strong support of the Drupal community and our focus on quality which leads to critical acclaim and rapid adoption for large, high quality projects. Drupal won best overall open source CMS in 2007 and 2008.


    • FSFE to award 36 Fellowship grants over the next 12 months!

      Starting in November 2009, Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) will award three people with a Fellowship grant every month for the coming year. Everybody who is actively working for Free Software but cannot afford the Fellowship contribution can apply for the grant.

  • Openness

    • AntWeb, Fedora Project, Wikitravel → CC BY-SA 3.0

      The Fedora Project, best known for its community-centric and cutting-edge GNU/Linux distribution, but also committed to “leading the advancement of free, open software and content” (emphasis added, from the Fedora Project home page), has migrated all of its documentation and wiki content to CC BY-SA from the long-deprecated Open Publication License, via their contributor agreement. Among the reasons:

      4. Other organizations that have content we can reuse in Fedora and contribute back to, such as Wikipedia and GNOME, have switched or are switching to the CC BY SA. Why does this matter? For one easy example, we can write a definitive history of Fedora, host it on Wikipedia as the upstream, then package it as part of the ‘about-fedora’ package.

    • How might P2PU do without copyright?

      The Peer to Peer University is discussing copyright at the moment, and have invited comment from people who have something to say on the matter. They’re looking for “1 pagers” to bring into their meeting for consideration and debate within the P2PU team.

    • A Call for Copyright Rebellion

      The manner in which copyright law is being applied to academe in the digital age is destructive to the advancement of human knowledge and culture, and higher education is doing nothing about it.

      That is what Lawrence Lessig, the Harvard University law professor and renowned open-access advocate, told a theater of higher ed technologists Thursday at the 2009 Educause Conference here. In his talk, Lessig described how digital and Web technology has exploded the conditions under which copyright law had been written.

      “If copyright law, at its core, regulates something called ‘copies,’ then in the analog world… many uses of culture were copyright-free,” he explained. “They didn’t trigger copyright law, because no copy was made. But in the digital world, very few uses are copyright-free because in the digital world … all uses produce a copy.”

  • Programming

    • [Eclipse Foundation] Strategic Value

      Companies that have bet their business on Eclipse obviously have a big self-interest in seeing Eclipse succeed. One might even say they have a strategic interest in seeing Eclipse succeed, hence the purpose of the Strategic Memberships in the Eclipse Foundation.

    • Go: new open source programming language from Google

      Go is a new programming language from Google that aims for performance that is nearly comparable to C, but with more expressive syntax and faster compilation. What it won’t do, however, is liberate the coding masses from bracist tyranny. Google’s Go is yet another take on C.

    • Google ‘experiment’ crossbreeds Python with C++

      Google has open-sourced an experimental programming language that attempts to crossbreed a dynamic web-happy language like Python with a compiled language like C++.


  • What DNS Is Not

    Not all misuses of DNS take the form of lying. Another frequently seen abuse is to treat DNS as a directory system, which it is not. In a directory system one can ask approximate questions and get approximate answers. Think of a printed telephone white pages directory here: users often find what they want in the printed directory not by knowing exactly what the listing is but by starting with a guess or a general idea. DNS has nothing like that: all questions and all answers are exact. But DNS has at least two mechanisms that can be misused to support approximate matching at some considerable cost to everybody else, and a lot of that goes on.

  • Climate Success in Copenhagen

    But one huge achievement looks more certain, and is largely being overlooked: leaders are taking the science seriously. More and more politicians, business leaders, religious leaders, doctors, even soldiers, have decided to try to understand what we know about what we’re doing to our planet. They’re paying attention.

  • I, too, mourn good local newspapers. But this lot just aren’t worth saving

    They are the pillars of the community, champions of the underdog, the scourge of corruption, defenders of free speech. Their demise could deal a mortal blow to democracy. Any guesses yet? How many of you thought of local newspapers?

  • Announcing OUtopia – Open University’s Innovative Experiment in Community

    I spent a few hours of my Halloween this year in the UK at the Open University’s party in a castle in Second Life.

  • Finance

    • Anniversary Sparks Renewed Efforts to Break Up the Banks

      BanksterUSA.org wants to give these citizens a voice in the fight and this week launched its Break Up the Banks initiative. Go to www.banksterusa.org to support Sander’s approach and tell Congress to Break up the Banks!

  • AstroTurf

    • Key oil figures were distorted by US pressure, says whistleblower

      The world is much closer to running out of oil than official estimates admit, according to a whistleblower at the International Energy Agency who claims it has been deliberately underplaying a looming shortage for fear of triggering panic buying.

    • New public relations: Beating back bad press with Google AdWords

      The New York Times reported on its front page in September that hoki, an unattractive sea creature best known as the primary ingredient in the Filet-O-Fish, is at risk of depletion. Naturally, the New Zealand companies that farm hoki by the metric ton weren’t pleased by the article, which pointed to “ominous signs of overfishing.”

    • Lord of climate change sceptics hot under collar

      Instead, a gathering of avowed ”sensible” environmentalists listened closely in the plush surrounds of Melbourne’s Park Hyatt Hotel to a speech by Britain’s Lord Christopher Monckton, who dismissed as ”bogus” fears of global warming.

  • Health

  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

    • YouTube Yanked This Vid Off Infinity Ward Channel — on Modder’s Takedown Notice

      The displeasure directed by some in the Modern Warfare 2 PC community toward Infinity Ward isn’t limited to petitions. This weekend, YouTube removed a video Infinity posted to its channel, after a modder filed a DMCA takedown notice.

    • MPAA Gets Town To Turn Off Free Muni-WiFi Over Single Unauthorized Movie Download

      Amazingly, rather than admit that perhaps that was going a bit too far in punishing everyone in that town over a single individual’s usage, the MPAA couldn’t resist the opportunity to complain about the evils of movie piracy again. The MPAA doesn’t seem concerned at all about the collateral damage, and just thinks that it’s a good opportunity to push ahead with its misguided complaint against file sharing.

    • Ofcom Does the Right Thing on the BBC’s DRM

      A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about the BBC being under pressure to add a form of DRM to its HD service. I included a copy of a letter I wrote to Ofcom, noting that I had only found out about this sneaky move at the last minute, and that comments had to be submitted immediately.

    • We Know Hollywood Is This Dumb. Et Tu, Netflix?

      Back in August, we wrote about the Hollywood movie studios conspiring to keep new release DVDs away from services like Netflix and Redbox for as many as 30 days after their release. The idea behind this from Hollywood’s perspective is simple: If people can’t rent movies right away, they’ll buy more. Sorry, did I say the idea was “simple”? I meant, “idiotic”.

    • Buyers Who Purchased Modern Warfare 2 Via Steam Discover DRM Puts Them 2 Days Behind Everyone Else

      When talking about video games, we sometimes hear that Valve’s Steam is one of the few examples of “DRM that works,” but that’s hard to accept when you hear ridiculous stories like this one.

    • Convicted Murderer To Wikipedia: Shhh!

      In 1990, Bavarian actor Walter Sedlmayr was brutally murdered. Two of his business associates were convicted, imprisoned for the crime, and recently paroled. Who killed Sedlmayr? Its a matter of public record, but if one of the men and his German law firm gets their way, Wikipedia (and EFF) will not be allowed to tell you. A few days ago, the online encyclopedia received a cease and desist letter from one of the convicts—represented by the aptly named German law firm Stopp and Stopp—demanding that the perpetrator’s name be taken off of the Sedlmayr article page.

    • Nobel Prize-winning scientists urge Congress to act to ensure free online access to federally funded research results

      Washington, DC – “For America to obtain an optimal return on our investment in science, publicly funded research must be shared as broadly as possible,” is the message that forty one Nobel Prize-winning scientists in medicine, physics, and chemistry gave to Congress in an open letter delivered yesterday. The letter marks the fourth time in five years that leading scientists have called on Congress to ensure free, timely access to the results of federally funded research – this time asking leaders to support the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2009 (S.1373).

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • ISPs focus of piracy talks

      THE internet industry has warned that a secretive trade agreement currently being negotiated could lead to new criminal charges as part of a global effort to protect copyright and thwart piracy.

      Australia is among more than a dozen countries that for more than two years have been formulating the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which seeks to put pressure on internet service providers to take greater responsibility for copyright breaches.

    • Your Message to Mandelson
    • Compare And Contrast: How GPL Enforces Violations vs. How RIAA/MPAA/BSA Enforce Violations

      …Nick Coghlan writes in to point to an article that highlights how different they are in many cases, with Bradley Kuhn, the technical director of the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), putting forth new guidelines that encourage people not to jump to conclusions when they see potential violations, and to give the benefit of the doubt to anyone they suspect of violating the license. Compare that to the tens of thousands of threat letters sent out by the RIAA, at times with little real evidence.

    • UK.gov denies innocent will be hit by filesharing regime

      Forthcoming laws to reduce the level of peer-to-peer copyright infringement with threats of disconnection will affect “hardly anybody, other than the most serious and egregious recidivistic offenders”, according to culture minister Sion Simon.

    • Targeted Copyright Enforcement: Deterring Many Users with a Few Lawsuits

      I’m not claiming that this trick will definitely work. Indeed, it would be silly to claim that it could drive online infringement to zero. But there’s a chance that it would deter more infringers, for longer, than the usual approach of seemingly random lawsuits has managed to do.

    • “Most Important” Biodiversity Access/Benefit Meeting

      The UN Convention on Biological Diversity is this week undertaking what it said could be the most important negotiation in its history. The CBD is negotiating details of a fair and equitable access and benefit sharing (ABS) regime – in particular, the use of traditional knowledge as related to genetic resources and capacity building and compliance issues, a press release said yesterday.

    • Blink-182′s Tom Delonge: Time To Adapt, Give Music Away For Free, Monetize Other Things

      This one’s from a couple months back, but I missed it at the time. Reader Amber Walker sends in this fantastic video interview with Tom Delonge of the band Blink-182 from the Guitar Center blog, where he makes many of the points that we discuss here, noting how technology has made it cheaper to make, promote and distribute music, and he thinks the big opportunity is in giving your music away for free, and recognizing that there are other things to sell, such as merchandise, but also subscriptions and other types of events.

    • More Independent Film Makers Embrace News Of Their Film Being Pirated

      Alan Gerow was the first of a few folks to send in the news that some independent filmmakers not only discovered that their film, Ink, had ended up being widely available via Bittorrent, but that they were quite happy about the exposure.

Interview with David Miller of Red Hat

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

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    A look at an E-mail from within the EPO which shows how Christmas is used to squeeze staff, urging them to work even faster (despite speed gains) or lose their Christmas leave

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

    A look at the union-busting and protest-crushing moves from high-level EPO managers, who are trying to convince politicians that they do so in an effort to stop terrorists and neo-Nazis

  28. Support SUEPO or End Up Like They and Some of the Boards Did

    SUEPO, the fast-growing staff union of the EPO, increasingly needs the support and protection offered by action and participation from staff

  29. NRC Handelsblad (Dutch Evening Newspaper) Speaks About EPO's Refusal to Accept Court Orders From The Hague

    Article explains the depths of the issues inside the EPO and the unacceptable immunity that management at the EPO continues to exploit, shaming or discrediting the very notion of the rule of law in Europe

  30. 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


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