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11.23.09

Links 23/11/2009: Sheela Adopts GNU/Linux, Pegatron Smartbook Debuts

Posted in News Roundup at 6:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Two-Wheel Linux, and Other Reasons to Be Thankful for FOSS

    Monoculture in software may have been an improvement over “the previous chaos,” but “monoculture has its problems for monopolistic pricing, epidemics of malware, rigid licensing and a constant struggle to get machines to work for us,” Pogson asserted.

    FOSS, on the other hand, “is the right mix of chaos and order,” he said. “We need both to have a healthy, innovative, flexible infrastructure in IT.”

    In other words, Pogson added, “way to go FLOSS!”

  • Will Windows 7 Promote Linux Adoption?

    Windows users will soon discover that their system contains some powerful utilities that run directly from the dreaded command prompt without engaging the installed versions of the Korn or C Shells.

  • ‘Linux Saves Costs, Provides Flexibility’

    Sheela Group is one of Asia’s largest manufacturers of P.U. (Polyurethane) foam products. Geographically we are present in three countries and are better known by our brand ‘Sleepwell’. We have 10 manufacturing locations in India and 6 in Australia. Our market share in the P.U. foam industry in India and Australia is around 40 and 45 percent respectively. In India we have a distribution network of over 70 distributors and 3000 dealers.

  • netfabb Studio for Linux launched on Facebook

    netfabb is proud to announce the release of a linux beta version of the netfabb Studio Basic software. The software can be downloaded from the netfabb Facebook page at

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 72

    The following Linux-based operating systems were announced last week: Parted Magic 4.6, Fedora 12 and KNOPPIX 6.2. This week’s YouTube-powered video clip showcases the magical powers of the upcoming Chrome operating system from Google. At the end of the weekly you will find the latest Linux distributions released and updated last week, and, of course, the development releases.

  • Nov 22: #085 – Computer America #20

    Why Linux is better — inspired by an e-mail from listener TJ.

  • Server

    • Supercomputer uses a GPU cluster

      THE AUSSIE Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has just knocked together a supercomputer that’s based around a cluster of graphics processing units (GPUs).

    • Jaguar outruns Roadrunner

      The bi-annual Top500 list of the world’s biggest and fastest supercomputers has just been released and shows that Linux-based systems now account for more than 90% of the Top500. Even more interesting is that IBM’s Roadrunner supercomputer, which has dominated the top spot of late, has been dethroned, and substantially so by the Cray XT5 Jaguar.

    • IBM: Back To The Future

      We’ve seen improvements in scale in our zSeries mainframes running Linux, along with networking connectivity and bandwidth and virtualization. It’s the hardware, the entire software stack and the services. In addition, we have a couple of green data centers in Raleigh and Boulder that dramatically improve their efficiency.

    • MXsense Announces Email Archiving Support for Linux and Unix Email Servers

      MXsense Solutions, Inc. today announced a new version of its MXsense Web-based email archiving solution which now supports Linux and Unix operating systems.

  • Google

    • Chrome OS 0.4.22.8 Screenshots
    • A Chrome OS Video Tour

      Fresh off the Interwebs, here’s a Tech Broiler video tour of the latest build of Chrome OS.

    • Chrome’s mission: Making Windows obsolete

      Some people are already convinced that Google will fail with its Chrome operating system. Others think that Chrome can’t possibly be a threat to Windows. Both groups are so, so wrong.

      First, for those who think that Chrome is simply a failure from the word “go”, their reasoning is pathetically flawed. They argue that Chrome will fail because it’s based on Linux. What century are these people from?

    • Chromium OS, Moblin, Ubuntu Netbook Remix Benchmarks

      Next up is Google’s much talked about Chromium OS, which is the open-source version of Chrome OS. With build 999.999.32609.201950-a1 of Chromium OS we had a 2.6.30 kernel (2.6.30-chromeos-intel-menlow), X Server 1.6.3, xf86-video-intel 2.8.0, GCC 4.4.1, and an EXT3 file-system by default. Chromium OS is currently based upon Ubuntu 9.10, but as you can see from some of the version numbers, it’s only loosely based on Karmic — with an entirely different kernel, not opting to use the EXT4 file-system, and many other underlying changes. Chromium OS is also running with the Chrome OS window manager. From our initial Chromium OS testing it had ran surprisingly well on the Samsung NC10 in our hardware configuration with the only major bug we have to report being the system not rebooting properly unless holding down the power button.

    • Top 5 Chrome OS myths debunked

      Misconceptions and misinformation have surrounded the Chrome OS almost since the day it was announced. This week’s press conference at Google’s Mountain View, Calif., campus helped to clear the air, but uncertainty about what the search giant’s new OS has to offer still remains.

      The full picture of the Chrome OS will become clearer as time rolls on. For now, if you want to understand what the Chrome OS is, you first have to understand what it isn’t.

    • Google Chrome OS

      Another fact about Chrome OS, is that it is a minimal system, designed for specific use. It is NOT a fully-fledged operating system with an accompanying software-suite. Rather, it is a GUI-system based on the Chromium-browser project that lets users be “always-logged-in” via various web-services (facebook, MSN, twitter, myspace, etc.) all in one, single UI.

      A great concept for those who only use computers for surfing, mail and the like.

    • How Google’s Chrome OS is pushing us to the clouds

      Last week Google finally unveiled their much-talked-about Chrome OS, and subsequently worked the tech community into a frenzy. The operating system certainly lived up to Google’s initial promises of being browser-centric – it is basically just the Chrome web browser atop a custom Linux kernel.

      [...]

      Ultimately, Chrome OS isn’t something that’s going to make people leave their Windows and Mac computers in droves. But it does have the potential to carve out a strong niche as the platform behind secondary computers (even more so than netbooks today), and it will lead to even more reliance on cloud-based services.

  • Kernel Space

    • The GStreamer, Cairo Video Hackfest Results

      Last month we talked about a hackfest to improve Linux video playback that came about after a GNOME developer began work on using Cairo/Pixman for raw video in GStreamer and looking at other ways to leverage hardware acceleration within this major open-source multimedia framework. This Linux video meeting started in Barcelona on Thursday and is ending today, with some accomplishments.

    • Does Linus Torvalds deserve a Nobel Peace Prize for Linux?

      Coincidentally, Torvalds was named after 1962 Nobel Peace Prize winner Linus Pauling, but the reason he has been put forth is because of Torvald’s work in developing the Linux kernel, which has subsequently formed the basis of many global projects that collectively make the world a better place.

    • Linux reboots are a thing of the past with Ksplice

      Even though the Linux operating system is very stable and rarely needs a reboot, there are times when an update (such as a kernel update) will make this a requirement. At least that used to be the case. That is correct. With the help of a newly developed technology (dubbed Ksplice) even a kernel update will not require a reboot. This is fantastic news to administrators who depend upon constant uptime for their servers and production desktops/machines.

    • No more rebooting. Period.

      There’s a new technology in town for the Linux operating system called Ksplice Uptrack. With this system in place you can now update your system – even the kernel – without a single reboot. Let me say that again – EVEN THE KERNEL! What exactly does that mean? You know all of those promises made by other OS vendors who claim a near 100% uptime with their machines? What happens to those machines when you install a service pack that does anything to the kernel? Time for a reboot (Actually it doesn’t even require a kernel-level update to require a reboot.)

  • Applications

  • KDE

    • digiKam and Kipi sprint

      The developers of digiKam and the Kipi project came together in Essen, Germany on November 13-15 for the second coding sprint for KDE photography applications. With digiKam preparing for the 1.0 release shortly before Christmas, plans were discussed and work began already in feature branches for the following release. A lot of work was put into polishing Windows support, with collaborative testing and bug fixing. The developers of Kamoso took the opportunity to bring Kipi support to their application. A lot of discussion was centered around a future architecture for Kipi plugins for syncing with web services and how Akonadi could help in this context.

    • Javascript plasmoids

      The other day I met with a couple of local entrepreneurs whom Chani had met at the recent Qt Dev Days in California. The four of us gathered around some tasty vegetarian vittles and discussed small devices, Qt and Plasma. It was a good time and we found a lot of common ground .. including agreeing that Javascript is a great language for writing little user interface elements quickly that will run reliably.

    • let’s do coffee ;)

      I remember the first KDE release announcement I ever wrote. It was just me and a text editor and Coolo reminding me it needed to be ready in a day or two, latest. My how things have changed (and for the better).

      I’ve also been hacking my brains out in a few different areas for 4.4, though I’ll blog about some of that later.

    • Subtle moving

      another quick micro thing that will be in Plasma for KDE 4.4: until now, the taskbar items appeared and disappeared “magically” and when a task disappeared between other two, every task immediately disappeared from where it was, appearing in the proper place. That is sooo computer behaviour, one of the little things that makes computer to look innatural and scary…

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian looking at development freeze by March

        The Debian GNU/Linux project is looking at a development freeze in March next year for its next release, Squeeze, the project leader Steve McIntyre says.

      • MEPIS Birthday Surprise: SimplyMEPIS 8.5 alpha Release

        November 21 was the seventh anniversary of MEPIS Linux, so it seems fitting that Warren Woodford has uploaded SimplyMEPIS 8.4.80, the alpha release of MEPIS 8.5. Available from MEPIS and public mirrors, the ISO files for 32 and 64 bit processors are SimplyMEPIS-CD_8.4.80-a0_32.iso and SimplyMEPIS-CD_8.4.80-a0_64.iso.

      • Who’s afraid of Ubuntu Women?

        Clarify the purpose of the #ubuntu-women channel

        The group seemed to feel that there was confusion about what this IRC channel was for. A couple of men in the room said that they didn’t know whether they could or should join the channel, because it had the word “women” in the name.

      • Nouveau To Enter The Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Kernel

        With Ubuntu 9.04 it became easier to use the Nouveau driver with Ubuntu Linux as a snapshot of its DDX driver (xf86-video-nouveau) and its kernel DRM code were packaged up and made available through its package repositories, which continues to be the case in Ubuntu 9.10. Though after the Ubuntu Developer Summit last week for 10.04 “Lucid Lynx”, Canonical is now going to put Nouveau into the kernel by default. Not too many details beyond that or their intentions are known at this time, but Nouveau developers are currently being asked about the matter.

      • Smooth sailing with the Karmic Koala

        Well, I’m happy to report that in my case The Karmic Koala worked flawlessly. As far as I can tell, absolutely every single feature in my laptop works .. for the first time! You name it, it works!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Free Linux CD eases development with LPC3131 development kit

      A Timesys Corp. LinuxLink Development Center CD is to be included with Embedded Artists AB’s LPC3131 developer’s kits, providing a free 30-day trial version of LinuxLink as well as full access to a set of Linux training and educational resources.

    • Movial Joins ARM Solution Center for Android

      Movial, the company that inspires rich and intuitive Internet experiences and a member of the ARM; Connected Community;, today announced it has joined the ARM Solution Center for Android (SCA), a collaborative resource for designers and developers of ARM technology-based products running on Android, the open source platform from the Open Handset Alliance. Movial supports ARM’s initiative by enabling ARM technology-based designers and developers to leverage Movial’s complete set of services for creating innovative and highly differentiated devices and applications withAndroid.

    • Phones

      • Dell launches a smartphone in China

        DELL HAS ANNOUNCED that its first smartphone will be launched in the Chinese market this week.

        Unveiled today, the Dell Mini 3i has a 3.5-inch touchscreen, which is a little bit sleeker than the five inch screen that was rumoured.

      • Google to anoint Android, Chrome OS love (eventually)

        Google has confessed that its Chrome OS and Android projects are likely to come together at some stage down the line as the firm continues to tinker with its operating system vision of the future.

      • Palm Pre update inbound

        The Pre smartphone will be refreshed with an updated webOS “within the next few days”, manufacturer Palm has promised.

      • Ten things mobiles have made, or will make, obsolete

        Phone boxes – Before mobile phones existed these charming, although often smelly, communication booths were very popular.

        [...]

        Wristwatches – Want to know what time it is? Most people have given up on wearing a watch and simply use their mobile phone’s clock.

      • Nokia N900 – is it worth waiting for?

        Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia is betting a lot on its latest smartphone release – N900, which comes with Linux-based Maemo OS. Though its launch date has been delayed till later this year, Nokia claims that it is worth the wait as N900 is a “game changer,” an “internet tablet” with a built-in phone that will change the way we communicate.

    • Sub-notebooks

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mozilla

  • Fog Computing

    • Clearly there is a threat to open source vendors from cloud-based services.

      Had Sun launched MySQL-as-a-service on EC2 it could have grabbed the market share that AWS will now grab with RDS. I’m not sure why Sun failed to do this, incidentally. FathomDB did it, although it lacked the market presence to prevent AWS stealing the limelight. I would argue that Sun/MySQL could have done so.

    • The Affero GPL does not solve the open source/cloud revenue dilemma

      Some commenters have proposed that the Affero GPL is a potential solution to this problem since it applies the requirements of the GNU GPL to code distributed over a network, updating the GPL for a SaaS and cloud age. However, there are a number of reasons why this is not necessarily the case. Here are three of them.

  • Business

    • Growing open source ecosystems: the install story

      While I believe that an open source project like Mylyn should welcome all integrations, an indefinitely increasing support burden is not scalable and can reduce the time available for innovation. We need to avoid the Easter Island effect where everyone builds themselves self-serving heads without prioritizing the long-term health of the ecosystem within which they operate (see Easter Island/Collapse of the Ecosystem).

    • Software pricing: to hide or not to hide? That is the question – Or have the Bazaar’s Principles become obsolete?

      Software vendors don’t like so much publishing their prices on the web site. They will explain they have a very complex price list, or can be very creative justifying why they can’t. But to make a long story short: they just don’t want to. I don’t see the value for the client to hide the price. And that’s exactly why they don’t like to show it.

    • MuleSoft Releases Mule Data Integrator for Data Mapping and Transformation

      With Mule Data Integrator’s intuitive Eclipse-based graphical designer, non-technical personnel can easily create data maps, leveraging Mule Data Integrator’s extensive support for sample documents and complete capture of specification descriptions. The designer reduces the ongoing maintenance burden with automated version upgrades and regression testing.

    • Black Duck Software

      One reason I am curious about this (outside of the fact that I really dislike the fauxpen source business model that Zenoss uses and like to point out flaws whenever I can) is that if you look at the Zenoss Subscriber Agreement (pdf), there is a very odd clause required of all users who buy the enterprise version that forbids forking.

  • Openness

    • Final chapter looms for textbooks in Texas

      Textbooks could be going the way of slide rules and Big Chief tablets within a few years in Texas classrooms.

      State legislation passed in the spring could put up-to-the-minute instructional content at students fingertips — either online or in customized printed form — eliminating the mass-market hardback textbook.

      The sea change could happen sooner rather than later, beginning as early as the 2010-11 school year.

Leftovers

  • E-tailers snagged in marketing ‘scam’ blame customers

    First the good news for consumers: the U.S. government’s investigation into how dozens of well-known online stores worked with controversial marketers to “deceive” customers out of $1.4 billion has prompted some retailers, including Continental Airlines, to sever ties with the marketers.

  • Government Is Good, Don’cha Know

    Why this turnaround? I have seen the light. Government is good, yes, very, very good. How do I know this? Why Douglas J. Amy, a professor of politics at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts (an island of True Political Correctness in America’s Most Politically-Correct State) has opened a world of Truth and Beauty to me with his website, Government Is Good.

  • Activists repeatedly stopped and searched as police officers ‘mark’ cars

    The roads were empty when Linda Catt and her father drove their white Citroën Berlingo into London on a quiet Sunday morning. They could not have known they were being followed.

    But at 7.23am on 31 July 2005, the van had passed beneath an automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) camera in east London, triggering an alert: “Of interest to Public Order Unit, Sussex police”. Within seconds Catt, 50, and her 84-year-old father, John, were apprehended by police and searched under the Terrorism Act.

    After filing a complaint, the pair, neither of whom have criminal records, discovered that four months earlier, a Sussex police officer had noticed their van “at three protest demonstrations” and decided, apparently on that basis, it should be tracked.

  • Shooting Incident Sparks Anger at U.N. Troops

    Boutaud de la Combe, the U.N. spokesperson, told IPS there is an ongoing internal investigation into the incident. She said if troops fired into the ground, not in the air, that was a mistake.

  • Finance

    • Charitable Giving Goldman Style

      And the Wall Street Journal went a step further interviewing a variety of tax experts who noted that a big chunk of the money will go to charitable institutions creating sizeable tax deductions for Goldman. “All in all, tax experts say, the ultimate cost to Goldman could total roughly $136 million to $150 million—70% or more below the half-billion figure that helped generate so much publicity for the firm this week. Interest income from the loans could lower the final bill even more.” Thanks to these reporters for a little truth in lending.

    • NY Times to Goldman Sachs: Pay up to cut public debt

      A New York Times editorial slammed Goldman Sachs for its role in the financial crisis and said that instead of paying big bonuses to its employees it should make a multibillion-dollar gift to help reduce the U.S. national debt.

  • AstroTurf

    • West Va. Chamber of Commerce Plays Dirty With Health Care Reform

      The West Virginia Chamber of Commerce is playing dirty with health care reform. It’s pressuring its homestate Democratic senators, Robert Byrd and Jay Rockefeller, to block health care legislation unless the Obama administration ends what the Chamber calls a “war on coal.”

    • Five Questions, Five Doses of Spin

      Moore said that “we got a lot of things right in the early years: stop the bombs, save the whales, stop toxic waste, but we made a mistake (on) nuclear power.” Moore could have mentioned that he is now a consultant to the NEI, which was created by the PR firm Hill & Knowlton, but didn’t.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • MPAA Says Copyright-Treaty Critics Hate Hollywood

      Dan Glickman, the MPAA’s chairman, informs lawmakers that millions of film-related jobs are in peril because of internet piracy. Simply put, those who don’t back the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting and Trade Agreement don’t support intellectual property rights, he wrote.

    • No, ACTA Secrecy Is Not ‘Normal’ — Nor Is It A ‘Distraction’

      A second point they make is that if the end result is really bad, countries can simply decide not to sign it and not to participate. Yes, stop laughing. It’s as if they think that we’re all idiots who haven’t seen how lobbyists have historically relied on the line “but we must live up to our international obligations” to push through all sorts of laws the public does not support.

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