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Links 21/12/2009: Release of KDE Software Compilation 4.4 Beta 2, Parted Magic 4.7

Posted in News Roundup at 10:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Graphics Stack

    • X Server 1.8 Snapshot 2 Released

      With there being just more than three months left until the planned release of X Server 1.8, Keith Packard has just issued the second snapshot for those interested in trying out this developmental X.Org server. The first X Server 1.8 snapshot came two months ago, but this second snapshot is arriving later than expected after having to deal with some bugs.

    • Wayland Updated With KMS Page-Flipping Ioctl

      In separate commits, a few dozen lines of code dealing with Cairo’s surface code was also re-factored. The Wayland Display Server still will not work with all of the latest mainline packages in an “out of the box” configuration, but we’re getting closer to a point where more Linux desktop users can experiment with this unique display server that fully leverages kernel mode-setting and other newer technologies.

  • Instructionals

  • K Desktop Environment

    • KDE Software Compilation 4.4 Beta 2 Released

      In just a bit over a month should be the release of KDE 4.4, or more properly known now as KDE Software Compilation 4.4. A month and a half ago was the first beta release, but now KDE Software Compilation 4.4 Beta 2 is ready and has been released to the public this morning.

    • KDE Software Compilation 4.4-beta2 Out Now: Codename “Claus”

      December 21st, 2009. Today, KDE has released a second preview the KDE Software Compilation (KDE SC), 4.4 Beta 2. The second beta version of KDE SC 4.4 provides a preview and base for helping to stabilize the next version of the KDE Plasma Workspaces, Applications and Development Platform.

      The list of changes this time around is especially long.

    • Merry Christmas : digiKam 1.0.0 is there…

      Dear all digiKam fans and users!

      digiKam team is proud to announce digiKam 1.0.0 !

  • Distributions

    • Parted Magic 4.7 with Google Chrome

      Parted Magic Logo Developer Patrick Verner has announced the availability of version 4.7 of Parted Magic, an open source multi-platform partitioning tool. Parted Magic can be used to create, move, delete and resize drive partitions and will run on a machine with as little as 64MB of RAM. Supported file systems include NTFS, FAT, ReiserFS, Reiser4 and HFS+, LVM and RAID are also supported. The latest 4.7 release is based on the Linux kernel with squashfs-lzma compression and includes several bug fixes, performance improvements, updates and new features.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • MicroNet Rack-Mount Storage Delivers Up to 16TB

      Businesses can never have enough hard drive capacity, and two new offerings from NAS (network attached storage) expert MicroNet Technology help ensure that even a fast-growing organization has plenty of storage headroom.

    • MontaVista integrates multi-core analysis plugin

      MontaVista Software LLC announced a partnership with CriticalBlue to integrate the latter’s embedded multi-core analysis Eclipse plug-in into the MontaVista DevRocket integrated development environment (IDE). The CriticalBlue Prism plug-in enables MontaVista Linux customers to run simulations to analyze and tune the behavior of their code on multi-core processors, says MontaVista.

    • Phones

      • Is the Success of Google’s Android a Threat to Free Software?

        Worse, if efforts to enable Android apps to run on distros like Ubuntu succeed, then we may see closed-source software being used on the free software stack there, too. Ironically, Android’s success could harm not just open source’s chances in the world of mobile phones, but even on the desktop.

        The free software community needs to address these problems by encouraging many more developers to build great Android apps that are truly free. In fact, we have an excellent example of how to do that with the rich ecosystem of Firefox add-ons that are free software. Moreover, this should be an attractive challenge to ambitious coders given the exciting possibilities that mobile offers for new kinds of programs (and not just those based on trendy areas like augmented reality). Maybe the time has come to shift the emphasis away from trying in vain to conquer the legacy desktop, towards excelling on mobile, likely to be the main computing platform for most of humanity.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Clouds, Universities, The One, and What It Is.

        Some packages are already Ubuntu One aware or at least have optional Ubuntu One integration; Tomboy Notes, for instance, to keep track of all those little ideas floating around in your head. You can also load up the evolution-couchdb package if you would like to keep your contact information in sync using Ubuntu One. Client packages come in a desktop-agnostic python version, and a nice GNOME-integrated version (which comes with the Ubuntu Netbook Remix). There is also a KDE client under development if you’d like to give it a try.

      • Jolicloud Wants to be your Other Linux OS

        Overall this distro is pretty slick. It generally succeeds on the stated goal of delivering a Linux version that’s easy to install and works well either as a replacement for your original Netbook OS or alongside. With the extensive list of supported Netbooks, it should prove to be a winner. You have no more excuses if you’re looking for a solid Netbook OS without the Windows baggage.

      • Jolicloud thoughts

        The webpages on the Jolicloud site are also well thought out and well designed. More information about Jolicloud and support can be found on the community page. While you are here you will also notice that you can contact the Jolicloud crowd through Facebook, Flickr or IRC. The online documentation is quite good, although not as good or extensive as the documentation you will find in mainline GNU/Linux distributions such as Fedora, CentOS, Debian and Ubuntu.

      • Dell netbook updated with Pineview CPU

        Announced in February, the Dell Mini 10 appears to be the one of the more popular netbooks on the market, along with the similar, scaled down Mini 10v. The Dell Mini models are also some of the few netbooks from mainstream PC vendors that currently offer Linux (Ubuntu) as a pre-installed option.

Free Software/Open Source

  • IBM supports Tunisian ICT sector

    During a working visit and as part of the 5th edition of the free software forum which was recently held in Tunisia, Mr. Robert Sutor, Vice President of Open Source and Linux at IBM met with Mr. Hadj Gley Minister of Communication Technologies and Mrs. Lamia Chafei Sghaier, Secretary of State to the Minister of communication technologies in charge of Informatics, the Internet and free software.

    During his visit, Mr. Sutor presented projects and programs aiming at fostering partnership between IBM and Tunisia namely in the sector of technological innovations and open source softwares.

  • 8 Free, Offbeat Open-source Social Tools

    Identi.ca is the best-known open-source alternative to Twitter. The microblogging platform is used by lots of people in the open source community, and is a good choice for the business or organization that wants to customize an internal microblogging strategy. Laconica is also worth looking into.

  • Diversity in Free Software: South Asians as an example

    Take a look at the Debian developer map again. You’ll see that Debian is certainly not an Americans-only project, or even an English-speakers-only project. South America has a respectable dotting of developers, and Western- to Central-Europe are packed.

    I have strong feelings about Free Software. It emerges from an ethos of personal empowerment, and with open source it has become a dominant force in computing. Yet there are plenty of sharp people — at least women and South Asians — who, somehow, become culturally excluded from participating.

  • Open Source As A SaaS Endgame – Digging A Bit More

    Even though the open source licensing of SaaS app doesn’t guarantee that the app will flourish after the demise of the original developer/vendor, it lives long enough to ensure business continuity and, with some luck, it can even flourish. I still feel it is still a better option to have open source as an endgame for SaaS. Even if the open source version is of no use to the users, the very fact that it will be available as open source helps the users trust SaaS more than what they do now. It gives them a confidence that their business continuity will not be affected with a move to SaaS.

  • Open Source at SAP in 2009

    In June SAP moved up its membership level at the Eclipse Foundation from Strategic Consumer to Strategic Developer, meaning that SAP commits to having at least 8 full-time developers on the project. However, what is more important than the membership level, is that SAP contributed a lot more code than in the past. SAP now has 13 active contributors at Eclipse and contributed more than 1.8 million lines of code in 2009 which makes SAP the third largest corporate contributor to Eclipse. In 2009 SAP even initiated or co-innitiated two new projects at Eclipse, i.e. the Eclipse Pave project and the Eclipse EGit project.

  • openQRM Lives On

    After going from proprietary to Open Source product, Qlusters shutting down shop, openQRM now gets a bright new future, openQRM Enterprise GMBH could well become the RedHat of the Open Source Enterrpise Management tools, or Open Source Entrprise Virtualization tools, or Open Source Cloud tools ..

  • OTRS AG to float on German stock exchange

    Bad Homburg-based OTRS AG, the company behind popular open source help desk system Open Ticket Request System (OTRS), will float on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on the 23rd of December, 2009.

  • Christmas-Themed

    • Tux’s Christmas Carol

      Ebenezer recognised his office, it was in the early days. He was there laughing and joking and so were his old friends. The atmosphere was jubilant. No one minded that all the computers had blue-screened with cryptic messages, they were all toasting the new Government and the newly signed ‘Memorandum of no-understanding’ that would guarantee many years of great prosperity.

    • The most successful open source project ever

      Last night a colleague of mine was giving me a lesson in accounting (as I am going to start rolling out Point Of Sale systems with him). The lesson was valuable and, in a word, confusing (accountants do have a language of their own). At one point in the lesson I brought up open source, and he nearly turned red saying, “Nothing is free.” That statement got me to thinking about free, open source, and open source projects. He is right – nothing is free. At some point, someone had to make some sort of investment into a project to bring it to life (be that investment money, time, labor, etc). This thought sparked another and led me to, are you ready…

      Santa Claus.

  • Mozilla

    • Is Firefox 3.5 the most popular browser?

      According to new data from the StatCounter.com, Firefox 3.5 is now the most popular browser version in the world at 21.9 percent, surpassing IE 7 21.2 percent.

      The catch (because there always is one with stats) is that on a cumulative basis – that is including all versions of IE currently in use and all Firefox versions currently in use – IE is still ahead.

    • Firefox is the world’s most used browser

      THE MOZILLA FOUNDATION will be celebrating after the web counter outfit Stat Counter revealed that its open source Firefox browser overtook Microsoft’s Internet Explorer as the world’s most popular browser for the first time.

  • CMS

    • Alert: What’s Coming In Open Source CMS In 2010

      Normally in this space we look back over the current month and forward into the next month at what the various open source CMS projects are up to. But rather than blindly putting out an update for January, we thought we’d look farther ahead into what everyone wants to accomplish throughout next year. Call it our open source 2010 predictions with less guesswork and high hopes.

    • BitNami Adds New Stacks to List of Pre-Rolled Open Source Software Deployments

      If you’ve ever wanted to run your own blogging platform, bug tracking system, or wiki but were afraid of getting in over your head, BitNami is definitely worth checking out.


    • Tilting at Windows

      But Stallman — a legend in the programmer community for more than a quarter century — considers it his life’s work to proselytize the free-software gospel, educating the lay people who’d otherwise assume that Microsoft or Apple are exclusively synonymous with computing.

      “They think it’s natural that the software developers will have power over them,” he says. “My mission is to point out to them that that isn’t natural. It’s wrong. It’s an injustice. And they shouldn’t stand for it.”

      Some in the open-source community (a note about semantics anon) have griped that Stallman is a stubborn utopian, whose Manichean worldview and rhetoric are counterproductive to the larger cause.

      Others hail him as a principled and pugnacious advocate for freedom and cooperation, waging war against any and all outside interference with the way we engage with technology — which, of course, is these days tantamount to the way we live.

  • Releases

    • OpenNebula 1.4 (Hourglass) Released

      The OpenNebula team is proud to announce the availability of OpenNebula 1.4 (Hourglass), a new stable release of the OpenNebula Virtual Infrastructure Manager.

    • Collectd 4.9 system statistics collection daemon released

      collectd Logo The collectd developers have released version 4.9 of their open source tool for collecting, transferring and storing system performance statistics. The latest release of collected daemon features a number of new plugins, such as as the ContextSitch, CPU, cURL and Network plugins, and the integration of Python as a new language binding.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Hungary mandates open standards

      The Hungarian government has mandated the use of open standards in its departments in a move to help “foster” competition in the software market.

      The Open Standards Alliance said that the Hungarian Parliament amended Act LX of 2009 on electronic public services last week.

    • Google Races to Speed up the Web

      At first pass, it’s hard to argue with this reasoning, particularly when many of the Google efforts are free and available as open-source software, which anyone can adopt, modify and use.

      Plus, Web latency remains a chronic, thorny problem with many improvement opportunities, and Google has the financial and talent resources needed to lead the way and tackle the bottlenecks.


  • Another Leak, the worst so far:

    You’re probably talking about this terrible security disaster already: the largest database leak ever. Arweena, a spokes-elf for Santa Claus, admitted a few hours ago that the database posted at WikiLeaks yesterday is indeed the comprehensive 2009 list of which kids have been naughty, and which were nice. The source of the leak is unclear. It may have come from a renegade reindeer, or it could be the work of a clever programmer in the Ukraine. Either way, it’s a terrible black eye for Santa. Arweena promised that in the future, access to this database would be restricted on a “need to know” basis. And you know who that means!

  • Jennings fined for timing of Twitter post

    Bucks rookie Brandon Jennings has been fined $7,500 for posting a message on his Twitter account after Milwaukee’s 108-101 double-overtime win over Portland last weekend.

  • Privacy group sues DoJ over ‘digital strip search’ data

    A privacy group has filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Justice for allegedly failing to disclose information about the use of devices that capture black ‘n’ white images of people stripped naked.

  • Closeted lesbian sues Netflix for privacy invasion

    The allegations aren’t the first time a large internet company has been accused of breaching customer privacy when releasing data it claimed was anonymized. In 2006, AOL released 20 million search queries from 658,000 users. Although the company removed names and other personal information, the disclosure proved to be a debacle after privacy advocates showed the data could still be used to identify the people making the searches.

  • An E-Book Buyer’s Guide to Privacy

    As we count down to end of 2009, the emerging star of this year’s holiday shopping season is shaping up to be the electronic book reader (or e-reader). From Amazon’s Kindle to Barnes and Noble’s forthcoming Nook, e-readers are starting to transform how we buy and read books in the same way mp3s changed how we buy and listen to music.

  • Environment

    • Now We Know Where Things Stand at COP15

      So, as the UN Conference toiled away through the night hammering out the final agreement, the Klimaforum was disassembling itself, and the attendees were morphing into party mode. But all were aware that after the weekend blowout the workload was going to have to ramp up severely if we were to avoid catastrophic climate change. My take is that this Conference achieved a very valuable thing: now we know what each nation is willing to do when some pressure is applied. Yes, the answer is “not nearly enough to avoid catastrophic climate change,” because that would require replacing coal as a source for electricity by 2030.

  • Finance

    • As Owners of AIG, the American Public Deserves Some Answers

      More than a year after reckless Wall Street gambling collapsed the economy, no employee of a major American bank or financial institution is behind bars. This fact is all the more astounding when it comes to AIG.

      AIG was at the heart of the financial meltdown. Their “innovative” use of risky credit default swaps (a type of insurance policy on bonds) helped transform boring bond trading into a highly leveraged, high-velocity global business.

      AIGs built up a $500 billion swaps portfolio, but didn’t have the cash when the bond market started to tank. The result? A $180 billion taxpayer bailout. While some of that money may be paid back, we are likely to lose a chunk of it for good.

      The American taxpayer owns 80% of AIG right now, and AIG doesn’t like it at all. It wants to pay back that money lickity split. Wells Fargo and Citibank paid back TARP bailout funds last week. Of course, we didn’t find out until late in the game that Citi was only able to do so because it received billions of dollars in tax breaks from the IRS.

    • The First Shot In An Era Of Open-Source Investigations?

      The authors want to see the communications between the AIG Financial Products division, the emails between AIG and their counter-parties at the financial firms, and more. As experienced hands at determining the timelines and circumstances of financial fraud, these three know exactly where to go to find out the truth – the email record. And as an 80% owner in AIG, the trustees of the taxpayers could make this a reality by demanding such disclosure from the board.

  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

    • Wikileaks is in trouble.

      Despite frequent press confusion, Wikileaks is nothing to do with Wikimedia at all — “wiki” is a generic term for “mass-editable website” and they use MediaWiki, but there’s no connection.

    • Australian Domain Authority Circumvents Standard Process To Shut Down Site Critical Of Australian Internet Filters

      With the news that Australia has decided to censor the internet, a group of protesters decided to set up a website complaining about this effort by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy (who laughably called internet filters “100% effective” based on absolutely no metrics). In setting up this protest site, they were able to register the domain stephenconroy.com.au. Not surprisingly, that got some press attention, and suddenly the Australian domain authority, AuDA, took notice.

    • Oz anti-censorship site is censored

      The Australian company that runs the .com.au domain registry has been accused of abandoning its own procedures to censor a website satirising communications minister Stephen Conroy’s ISP filtering regime.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Transformative Vs Incremental Change

      OK, I’m going to try and explain why Big Music genuinely doesn’t get what’s happening with the online stuff. It’s easy to dismiss the thoughts coming out about ‘3 Strikes Laws’, and Bit Torrent being to blame for the death of musicians’ livelihoods etc. as being a bunch of really rich people want to keep their massive piece of the pie – and there is some of that, for sure. But there’s also an entire way of thinking that explains why they feel the way they do.

    • Why The Record Labels Are Still Confused: The Difference Between Transformative And Incremental Change

      As in the innovator’s dilemma, however, the labels still don’t recognize this. They can only think in terms of the incremental change of “how can we sell more units of music.” That’s the only change they’ve ever really known. They’re not prepared for a situation where the selling of music may not even make sense, and the level of control over an artist has changed dramatically. But they still view — as is often the case in the innovator’s dilemma — as something to be dismissed. The fact that musicians can record for less money… well, it’s not as good as having a record label bankroll you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    • Vancouver Olympics Demands All Copyrights And Royalties From Musician Just To Hear Her Song

      And, of course, acting in a maximalist manner also means little respect for anyone else’s intellectual property or free speech rights. We’ve already noted that some musicians have complained about a contractual gag order, that forbids any musician performing at any Olympics event to speak ill of the Olympics ever. However, it appears that the Vancouver Olympics folks are taking the maximalism even further. Michael Scott points us to a complaint from a musician who wrote a song which she thought the Olympic committee might like. She sent it to them, and was surprised to get back a contract demanding she sign over all ownership and royalties associated with the song before they would even listen to it. And, of course, it would also grant them the ability to do whatever they wanted with the song.

    • Erroneous DMCA notices and copyright enforcement, part deux

      A few weeks ago, I wrote about a deluge of DMCA notices and pre-settlement letters that CoralCDN experienced in late August. This article actually received a bit of press, including MediaPost, ArsTechnica, TechDirt, and, very recently, Slashdot. I’m glad that my own experience was able to shed some light on the more insidious practices that are still going on under the umbrella of copyright enforcement. More transparency is especially important at this time, given the current debate over the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

      Given this discussion, I wanted to write a short follow-on to my previous post.

    • Village People threaten lawsuit over Jamie Oliver advert

      Lawyer says Channel 4 failed to seek consent for trailers featuring Jamie Oliver dressed as members of the Village People

    • Alabama artist Daniel Moore protests part of ruling limiting uses of his Crimson Tide artwork

      Daniel Moore, the artist who has memorialized some of the Alabama Crimson Tide’s greatest football feats, has objected to part of a judge’s order that says he can’t reproduce his artwork for things such as calendars.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Joerg Heilig, Sun Microsystems Senior Engineering Director talks about OpenOffice.org 06 (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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  1. David Gerard said,

    December 22, 2009 at 2:06 am


    The important point with Wikileaks is: they have less than a month’s money left!

    I gave them £50. I think other overpaid geeks should be giving them money too. http://bit.ly/savewl

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It is difficult to run sites that do good rather than sell out. Glyn Moody wrote about this, in relation to British DPI activists this month.

    your_friend Reply:

    NGOs are having a tough time due to the overwhelming concentration of wealth and resulting poor economy. People don’t have jobs, many are actually going hungry and all are worried about losing their houses. Bill Gates has also done considerable damage through his foundation and unethical behavior.

    Gates foundation propaganda is convincing people that rich people are more important for charity than everyone else, which is a lie. The lesson of The March of Dimes was that more money can be raised by asking many people for small donations than by asking a few wealthy people for large donations. Ordinarily and perhaps still, lower income people give a disproportionately high share to charity. Hundreds of thousands of seemingly trivial donations adds up faster than a few multi thousand donations. The March of Dimes benefited from media concentration that no longer exists but that is a secondary consideration. People have forgotten the March of Dimes lesson and are consequently less likely to give. Gates Foundation interference with the UN, think of UNICEF, may also make people cynical. There’s little point in giving if your money is just going to be used as another fat cat tool. Fake charities like the Gates Foundation are damaging in many ways.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Gates foundation propaganda is convincing people that rich people are more important for charity than everyone else, which is a lie.

    Nader has a book on the subject, titled “Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!”

    They basically take away from people’s salaries and then give some of it back in exchange for gratitude and praise. It’s an old trick of robber barons.

  2. uberVU - social comments said,

    January 16, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by onstrategy: OnlineNetworking.biz : Links 21/12/2009: Release of KDE Software Compilation 4.4 Beta 2, Parted…: Contents GNU/Linux D http://url4.eu/xwfM

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  2. Blogger Who Wrote About the EPO's Abuses Retires

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