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12.18.09

Links 18/12/2009: $99 GNU/Linux PC Fits Keyboard, JooJoo Tells Own Side of Story

Posted in News Roundup at 7:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • InternetNZ highlights Linux Conference

    Hundreds of open source software aficionados will congregate in Wellington this January for the Linux.conf.au conference (LCA2010).

  • Linux conference open source eye opener

    Hundreds of open source software aficionados will congregate in Wellington this January for the Linux.conf.au conference (LCA2010).

    The conference brings together Australasian and international open source practitioners who contribute to the Linux operating system and other open source projects.

  • Drive a Car Over the Internet

    Joker Racer lets you remote-control model cars via your browser window, from anywhere in the world and in real-time. The Linux-powered and Wi-Fi-enabled model cars are equipped with GPS, a mini Linux server and a web cam mounted on top of them. It will even be possible to control the cars with the iPhone. So you can remote drive their wifi controlled cars from your Internet browser! All you will need to do is use your cursor (arrow) keys to control real model cars real-time on your browser. Their real time chat feature will also help visitors to communicate each other during the race.

  • How Fanboys See Operating Systems
  • Cavium Networks Completes Acquisition of MontaVista Software

    Cavium Networks (NASDAQ: CAVM), a leading provider of highly integrated semiconductor products that enable intelligent processing for networking, wireless, storage and video applications, today announced that they have completed their acquisition of MontaVista Software, Inc., finalizing an agreement that was announced on November 10, 2009.

  • IBM developerWorks looks back on 10 years of Linux

    On the occasion of its tenth anniversary, IBM’s developerWorks site for software developers and IT professionals has compiled a list of the top ten developments in the Linux world. The list leaves out several things that Linux enthusiasts might be inclined to include: no Debian, no KDE or GNOME, no Android, Moblin or other embedded system, no exciting advancements in the Linux kernel – IBM’s perspective on Linux is a little different.

  • Windows’ decline could drag others down too

    This is why Linux is important in ways that are not just about opposing Microsoft and its products. Linux is a rival not just because it is second option but because its whole model and rasion d’etre is distinct. Linux and the software of the commons doesn’t necessarily lead to innovation per se, but it does help move the cost of it to the parts of the system that people actually use and care about.

  • Africa

    • ICT: Tunisia to develop cooperation with Linux Institute

      For his part, Mr. Lacey expressed LPI’s interest in strengthening partnership as well as his commitment to make better known the investment opportunities offered by Tunisia.

      It is worth noting that Linux Professional Institute (LPI) is specialized in free software and computer solutions and has subsidiaries in 20 industrialized countries.

    • Linux Fund to support Africa Open Source initiatives

      “On the back-end, open source has succeeded. Most ISPs in Africa depend on open-source server software and management tools. At the desktop level, it has failed because the Linux desktop is still not quite as plug-and-play as it needs to be to facilitate uptake,” said Steve Song, telecommunications fellow at the Shuttleworth Foundation.

  • Desktop

    • What exactly does your netbook warranty cover?

      Ultimately, it looks like this problem may have been confined to a single store, because a call to Best Buy’s customer support elicited a guarantee that another store would allow him to return the computer, and he got a $25 gift card to boot. But that hardly covers the frustration.

    • Varlink gets to the point with Fujitsu

      The deal covers Fujitsu’s entire range, from the entry-level TP-X terminal to the TP-2K series. All terminals are able to run on both Windows and Linux operating systems.

    • Why I don’t (usually) use Windows

      Next week … I’m going to make a bootable external hard drive with a restorable image of Windows 7. Then I’m going to try and squeeze Ubuntu into the Vista restore partition and get the GMA500 drivers working. Spraying Ubuntu over an existing partition should only take an hour or so (call it an hour for the install, then two hours to slurp up the updates over my ADSL line), but it’s anybody’s guess how long the other job will take. At least I won’t be bored …

      If Ubuntu and the GMA500 prove to be fatally allergic to one another, there’s always Mandriva (who claim to include a GMA500 driver in the proprietary stuff that comes with their for-money batteries-included version).

      Microsoft: providing pointless hamster-wheel exercises for gearheads since 1976.

  • Instant-On

    • Dell offers cheaper quick-boot system based on flash memory

      Dell announced Thursday that it’s offering a memory module called Latitude On Flash that can boot up a computer in seconds as an option for some laptops. The module is available alongside the option of an existing quick-boot system that uses an Arm processor.

      Dell’s Latitude On Flash module snaps into an internal mini-card slot and allows computers to boot in a few seconds, using the laptop’s main x86 processor instead of a separate Arm chip.

    • Go faster with Mandriva InstantOn

      Mandriva is proud to announce it’s brand new environment for mobile devices: Mandriva InstantOn. Mandriva InstantOn comes from OEM team specific developments and is available now from our online store, from only 9,90€ (14,90$)!.

  • Server

    • ParaScale Announces Predictions for Cloud Storage in 2010

      Commodity hardware displaces proprietary storage. In 2010, the theme of “intelligence migrating into software” continues with more hardware commoditization. Just as Linux displaced expensive server gear with its attractive commodity footprint, Linux-based cloud storage will displace legacy expensive storage for the same reason: it gives the user choice and it’s inexpensive, highly scalable and easy to manage.

    • Too many servers in your data centre?

      Too many servers in your data centre? IBM is pitching its new Enterprise Linux Server as the ideal solution to server sprawl. It consists of a stand-alone System z mainframe that is dedicated to running Linux and so can consolidate hundreds of virtual Linux machines onto a single platform. Thanks to a new ”save as you grow” pricing model, IBM claims the system offers potential cost savings of up to 80 percent.

    • OpenBlock S600, a powerful server in the palm of your hand

      The OpenBlockS600 is an amazing little server, well built, solid and reliable. Our compact White box is a dream come true for many professionals or simple Geeks. Personally I would love to own an OpenBlockS600 to get better performance than my actual Linux Router/Server/Torrent/Nas solution at home, but sold at a 599 USD suggested price, this solution makes it a bit difficult to suggest to any Geek for Home usage, nope, the OpenBlockS600 is a real professional tool and not a Toy, capable of working for years in extreme situations, exactly what many IT departments may need for their IT solution.

  • Google

    • Download Google Chrome 4.0.249.43 Beta

      Last week, the Mountain View-based search giant upgraded the Google Chrome Beta channel to version 4.0.249.30, introducing extensions for both the Windows and Linux flavors of the browser.

    • Google Chrome OS Initial Review

      In terms of aesthetics, the OS keeps very much out of the way. With all of the use being upon the web, you have no need for taskbars or anything of the sort, meaning all of your screen space is yours, unlike on windows where you have taskbars or OS X where you have docks and such things. However, for the little that it does offer, it is not bad, to tell the truth. Overall a fairly good looking environment to work in.

  • Kernel Space

    • Inside the Linux 2.6 Completely Fair Scheduler

      The task scheduler is a key part of any operating system, and Linux® continues to evolve and innovate in this area. In kernel 2.6.23, the Completely Fair Scheduler (CFS) was introduced. This scheduler, instead of relying on run queues, uses a red-black tree implementation for task management. Explore the ideas behind CFS, its implementation, and advantages over the prior O(1) scheduler.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Ten KDE 4 Tricks Worth Knowing About

      3D Alt-Tab “Cover Switch”

      This is one of the more advanced tricks on my list, because it requires you have desktop effects built into your KDE installation (you probably do), and also proper 3D acceleration (if you can run 3D games or applications, you should be fine).

  • Distributions

    • Fedora 12 Constantine – Mixed feelings
    • Debian Family

      • Where does Ubuntu go from here?

        So much for the business side, but what about Shuttleworth as head cheerleader and leader of Ubuntu? You don’t need to worry about that. As he said with a laugh yesterday in a press conference, he’s still the “self-appointed benevolent dictator for life” of Ubuntu. “It’s a life sentence and I remain undaunted and that remains unchanged.”

      • First Look at Ubuntu 10.04 Alpha 1

        During the development of Ubuntu 9.10 I got used to running the development version on my netbook. I like installing updates every few days to see new improvements be added (and don’t depend on my netbook to get work done), so I installed Ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx” Alpha 1.

        My netbook is an Eee PC 901. Everything works out of the box with the latest versions of Ubuntu. I use the Ubuntu Netbook Remix, but there doesn’t seem to be an alpha release of it available yet so I installed the normal Ubuntu desktop. I downloaded Lucid Lynx Alpha 1 and created a live-USB system using USB Startup Disk Creator.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Diamond launches Linux software development kits

      Diamond Systems has launched a series of Linux software development kits (SDKs).

      Each SDK includes a tiny solid-state IDE ‘flash-disk’ module – preloaded with a Linux OS – that plugs directly into one of Diamond’s SBC or ERS products, ready to boot and run immediately.

      With all required drivers preconfigured and ready to use, these Linux-bootable flash disks complement Diamond’s processor modules to create solid-state Linux-based embedded computers.

    • JooJoo : Linux based Tablet PC

      The JooJoo tablet PC is 12.1 inch widescreen , multi-touch tablet with a 1Ghz Atom processor and 1 GB RAM. It runs a custom Linux OS targeted towards Internet browsing and has Wifi 802.11b/g capability as well as an in-built accelerometer for all the iPhone-like cool features. Other standard tablet PC features include Bluetooth, USB ports, Speakers and a micro-phone. It has a 4GB SSD as opposed to Flash RAM present in most mobile devices.

    • Fusion Garage Slams TechCrunch’s JooJoo Lawsuit

      Fusion Garage, the maker of the upcoming JooJoo tablet, said in a Thursday statement that TechCrunch’s lawsuit against the company is “without merit” and pledged to “vigorously defend” itself.

      TechCrunch filed suit against Fusion Garage on Dec. 11 for false advertising, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of business deals, fraud and deceit, and unlawful business practices. Editor Michael Arrington said that TechCrunch and Fusion Garage were working jointly on the JooJoo, formerly known as the CrunchPad, but that Fusion Garage pulled out of the deal at the last minute and proceeded on its own.

    • Will the litl make it big?

      What it is: With recent news about the Internet-connected CrunchPad (now called JooJoo), I thought it was interesting that the litl has already been shipping. Basically the same concept (except this is a notebook rather than a tablet with a touchscreen), the litl is meant to be an Internet computer (or “Webbook”), accessing its applications across the Internet. There’s no hard drive for installing applications (there is some small memory for content caching), no optical drive and it runs on a Linux operating system instead of Windows or Macintosh. The UI is a bunch of “note cards” that let users access

    • NorhTec Gecko Surfboard: $99 Linux PC in a keyboard

      The oft-delayed ASUS Eee Keyboard is a great concept – squeezing everything from a nettop into a QWERTY form-factor – but what if your computing ambitions are even more moderate? NorhTec reckon they have the product for you in the shape of the Gecko Surfboard, outwardly a regular QWERTY keyboard but actually packed with a 1GHz x86 system-on-chip (SoC), VGA and composite video outputs, 10/100 ethernet and optional WiFi b/g or even 3G.

    • Norhtec Gecko Surfboard Keyboard PC

      The Norhtec Gecko Surfboard Keyboard PC comes with a choice of either Linux or Windows XP as the operating system, prices star at just $99 for the Linux version and about $149 for the Windows XP version.

    • NorhTec Geko Surfboard Will Be At CES 2010
    • PC fits into keyboard, uses only five Watts

      Thailand-based NorhTec announced a device touted as “the world’s most energy-efficient desktop computer,” offered for only $99 with the Linux version. Built into a standard-sized keyboard, the “Gecko Surfboard” runs on a 1GHz x86 SoC (system on chip), operates fanlessly, and uses just five Watts, the company says.

    • Phones

      • Master Google Android: 40 Tips and Tricks

        Android, as recent Verizon commercials remind us, is the antithesis of Apple’s celebrated handset: It’s open source, fully customizable, and free from unexplained app rejections. If the iPhone is Apple’s inalterable masterpiece, the Android platform is Google’s open canvas. The palette is in your hands; it’s up to you to add color.

        We’ve assembled 40 tips and tricks to help you make the most of your Android phone. Some are specific to Android 2.0 or later, but most apply to any Android-based device. And not one of these tricks requires you to jailbreak anything.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Google Is Going to Release Its Own Chrome-based Netbook

        In addition to introducing its own smartphone, Google is reportedly going to release a netbook under its own brand name. Naturally, this is going to run the upcoming Chrome OS, which is being developed for this class of low-cost laptops.

      • Too early to declare victory in the netbook war

        But can he really expect to challenge Android, Symbian and Ubuntu on ARM computers? Can he even expect to match Apple, in that market? I really doubt it, and I suspect there are going to be some panicky slanging matches over the next 24 months, as Intel and Microsoft start blaming each other for taking their eyes off the ball.

      • Olevia move from TVs to Netbooks PCs

        Olevia are based in Shenzhen, China and have been around for a while, cultivating a relatively positive name for themselves producing mainstream consumer electronic products that include decent looking HDTVs and DVD and Blu-ray players among other things. This is their first foray into the highly competitive netbook market however, and they’ve sought out some substantial backing by working with Great Wall, a major Chinese OEM that is part of the very substantial Great Wall Group.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Amberdms gives open source accounting green light

    New Zealand software company Amberdms has released a Web-based open source accounting and billing application aimed at simplifying business and customer management.

    The Amberdms Billing System (ABS) is developed in PHP and provides a set of business management applications including accounting, customer management, time tracking, project management and service billing. ABS runs on the popular “LAMP” stack.

  • The Next Decade Brings Growing Pains of Teen Years

    For those steeped in traditional physical server computing, open-source software presents exceptional possibilities — often at no charge. Several Linux distributions, office suites, server software, client software and desktop applications made available to you with full source code in tow have distinct advantages over their costly proprietary competition.

    First, you’ll have a competitive edge if you aren’t blowing a stack of greenbacks on licensing fees. Second, open-source software promotes innovation by providing access to the underlying program’s source code. You’re free to examine, modify and distribute the software, including source code, in any way you wish. Third, you have the freedom to innovate with open source products. Not only can you change the source code, but you can also create a new product from that code and sell your product.

  • New version of open source CMS webEdition arrives

    A new version of open source content management system (CMS) webEdition containing a number of bug fixes and enhancements has been released. Highlights in webEdition version 6.0.0.7 include extensions and enhancements in the DB/object, shop and workflow modules, such as the addition of countrycode and languagecode attributes to the Paypal tag, allowing shop users to preset the language used on the Paypal site.

  • MuleSoft Updates Tcat Tomcat Java Server

    For some enterprise Java users, Java EE is not the right solution for their middleware server — Apache Tomcat is.

    Tomcat is a widely deployed open source Java JSP (define) and servlet container that has recently gained commercial support by way of several vendors.

    One of the commercial implementations of Tomcat comes from software vendor MuleSoft with its Tcat Server, which this week it updated to version R2 this week.

    The MuleSoft Tcat server adds management features on top of the open source Apache Tomcat to make the server easier to manage and deploy.

  • Mozilla

  • Databases

    • SELinux and PostgreSQL: a worthwhile union?

      When your editor was in Tokyo recently, he had the privilege to talk with KaiGai Kohei at some length about the SE-PgSQL patch set. This work, developed by KaiGai for the last two years or so, integrates SELinux with the PostgreSQL database manager, enabling fine-grained control over access to data stored within a database. The SE-PgSQL patch has struggled to get into the PostgreSQL mainline; it is now preparing for what may well be its last push to be merged. Whether it’s successful may, in the end, depend on whether it receives support from potential users.

    • Ingres goes after disgruntled MySQL customers, partners

      Open source database maker Ingres is hoping to benefit from concerns about the future of MySQL, by luring customers over to its VectorWise product.

    • Continuent Improves Open Source Replication For MySQL And PostgreSQL

      Continuent, Inc., a leading provider of solutions for continuous data availability, advanced database replication, backup and database performance scalability, today announced availability of Continuent Tungsten 1.2.1 for MySQL® and PostgreSQL. Continuent Tungsten offers an easy to manage, dynamic database replication solution with automatic failover, cluster management, high availability and scalability.

  • Sun

    • Oracle lays out its vision for Sun: Will it work?

      Sun won’t play for market share. Ellison was pretty blunt about Sun’s prospects as a massive server player. Sun doesn’t have the scale and frankly getting it isn’t worth the effort. Ellison said:

      One thing we recognized that Sun just really does not now and is never likely to have the volume to compete in the high volume, low margin business of just selling an Intel server with Windows on it or Linux on it one at a time. We think that high volume, low margin business is a good business as long as you have high volumes. That is something that Dell and HP are very good at and we are going to avoid that business.

    • Pearson and Sun Microsystems, Inc. Offer College Students Technology Training, Gateway to Professional Certification

      It has a presence in a wide range of devices, computers and networks. Open Solaris is an open source project created by Sun in 2005 to build a developer community around the Solaris Operating System (OS).

  • CMS

  • Releases

    • PCI Geomatics to Release Open Source PCIDSK Library

      The library will offer full support for raster data within the PCIDSK file, including the reading, writing and creation of raster image data, in all storage types (BIP, BIL, BSQ and tiled images) as well as overviews, metadata and projections. The library also includes access to vector data within the PCIDSK file and is available for both Windows and LINUX operating systems.

    • Blogtronix Launches Sharetronix: The First Enterprise Level Open Source Micro-Blogging Platform

      Blogtronix announces the official launch of its new, enterprise level, open source micro-blogging platform called Sharetronix. Sharetronix already powers over 1,500 communities, in 74 countries and in 12 languages. The open source product’s release is the first step in Blogtronix’s plan to become a major player in the micro-blogging space, which will also see the release of premium products designed to drive adoption through lower prices.

    • WSO2 launches new Business Activity monitoring

      Open source SOA firm WSO2 has launched Business Activity Monitor (WSO2 BAM) that provides real-time visibility into service-oriented architecture (SOA) processes, transactions and workflows.

    • Terminology Tools Open Sourced

      The source code for the IHTSDO Workbench now is available for free under an Apache 2.0 open source license from the Apache Software Foundation, Forest Hill, Md. Apache 2.0 is a backbone and licensing vehicle to distribute the source code. The foundation provides support to open source software projects. IHTSDO also will make a number of seats on a collaborative, Web-based environment used to host the Workbench available free of charge to open source developers.

    • EtherPad goes open source

      As promised earlier this month, the EtherPad developers have released all of the source code to their web-based realtime collaborative word processor service. According to a post on the EtherPad Blog, the “goal with this release is to let the world run their own EtherPad servers so that the functionality can live on even after we shut down etherpad.com”. The EtherPad site will eventually shut down, following Google’s acquisition of AppJet, because the developers are moving to the Google Wave development team.

Leftovers

  • Netflix Spilled Your Brokeback Mountain Secret, Lawsuit Claims

    An in-the-closet lesbian mother is suing Netflix for privacy invasion, alleging the movie rental company made it possible for her to be outed when it disclosed insufficiently anonymous information about nearly half-a-million customers as part of its $1 million contest to improve its recommendation system.

  • Fine for Google over French books

    A Paris court has found Google guilty of copyright infringement in a ruling which could have ramifications for its plans to digitise the world’s books.

  • ‘Iranian cyber army’ hits Twitter

    Twitter has been hit by an embarrassing security breach.

    A group claiming to be the Iranian Cyber Army managed to redirect Twitter users to its own site displaying a political message.

    Twitter said the attack had been carried out by getting at the servers that tell web browsers where to find particular sites.

  • Environment

    • 450 Parts Per Million of Greenwash

      Whatever the outcome of the final hours of wrangling at the COP15 conference in Copenhagen, the odds are that the leaders of some of the world’s richest countries will earnestly declare that they are working hard to stabilize atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations at 450 parts per million (ppm) and ensure that global average temperatures don’t exceed 2 degrees centigrade. Barring spectacular last-minute breakthroughs, such claims would be outlandish greenwash.

  • AstroTurf

  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

    • DRM Fiasco Ruins James Cameron’s Avatar 3D Preview

      Avatar, the long-awaited science fiction epic from James Cameron will launch this week, but already some lucky individuals have seen the movie. The same cannot be said of attendees at a 3D preview showing in Germany yesterday though. The movie’s DRM ‘protection’ system failed and the video could not be decoded.

    • Remixed Danish tourist poster reflects the brutal new Copenhagen police-state

      Carsten sez, “My friend, artist Camilla Brodersen created a wonderful, freely-redistributable rehash of an old Danish tourist poster, highlighting the new situation after the new police powers, as demonstrated in the heavy-handed clampdown on protesters at the recent climate change summit in Copenhagen. My friend Amila juxtaposed the mashup with the original poster on her English-language blog, creating a chilling and all too realistic contrast.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Talking about Internet ‘piracy’

      WITH LORD PETER MANDELSON stepping off of his media mogul friend’s yacht recently and announcing his newly found dislike for the peer-to-peer file sharer, Internet “piracy” has once again become a hot topic. Admittedly fanning the flames a little, the Inquirer sat down with a few key players involved in the current state of online file sharing to discuss the industry’s future developments and, perhaps more importantly, its legal status.

      The first big shot we got hold of was Gary Fung, the owner, creator and admin of isohunt.com, one of the world’s largest torrent search engines. In case you have been living under a rock for the past half-decade, torrent files link multiple users to “trackers” that allow them to connect to one another in order to download legal or illegal content. We began our discussion by asking him to lay out his and his site’s background. Initially isohunt.com began as a programming experiment way back in 2002, but with the growth of torrent usage in 2003, “it just exploded”, rapidly expanding into the industry heavyweight it is today.

    • Unknown filmmaker gets $30m for robot movie

      An unknown filmmaker from Uruguay has been given $30m by Hollywood studio bosses – to turn his $500 YouTube video of a giant robot invasion into a movie

      Would-be director Federico Alvarez, who runs a post-production visual effects house in Uruguay, filmed ‘Panic Attack’ with a budget of just $500 in his free time.

    • Beyond ACTA: Proposed EU – Canada Trade Agreement Intellectual Property Chapter Leaks

      Canada’s participation in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations has understandably generated enormous public concern as leaked documents indicate that ACTA would have a dramatic impact on Canadian copyright law. The U.S. has proposed provisions that would mandate a DMCA-style implementation for the WIPO Internet treaties and encourage the adoption of a three-strikes and you’re out system to cut off access where there are repeated allegations of infringement.

      Yet it would appear that ACTA is actually only part of the story. Canada is also currently negotiating a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union. The negotiations have been largely off the radar screen (and similarly secretive) with the first round of talks concluding in October in Ottawa. Intellectual property figures prominently in the agreement. In fact, the EU proposal for the IP chapter has just leaked online and the document is incredibly troubling. When combined with ACTA, the two agreements would render Canadian copyright law virtually unrecognizable as Canada would be required to undertake a significant rewrite of its law. The notion of a “made-in-Canada” approach – already under threat from ACTA – would be lost entirely, replaced by a made-in-Washington-and-Brussels law.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Joerg Heilig, Sun Microsystems Senior Engineering Director talks about OpenOffice.org 03 (2004)


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

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