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Links 28/12/2009: Gaming Recommendations, Emacs Embracing Bazaar

Posted in News Roundup at 4:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Auld Lang Syne on the Linux Blogs

    “My New Year’s resolution is to retire gracefully, but I keep getting job offers,” blogger Robert Pogson told LinuxInsider. “Perhaps I will find some career change with which an old man can live.

    “Perhaps I will do part-time work or write full-time instead of teaching,” he added.

  • Brian Caulfield On Start-ups

    First there was the cheap revolution. That was all about using commodity parts, such as Intel’s ( INTC – news – people ) processors, to knock down the price of computing power. Then came the free revolution. That was all about free software, such as Linux. Now there’s “less than free.”
    Article Controls

    The best example: Google’s ( GOOG – news – people ) strategy of sharing ad revenues with hardware partners that are building devices around the Internet giant’s Android smart phone operating system. That’s helped Google grab a respectable chunk of the smart phone software market in a hurry. Now Google could do the same with its Chrome OS software for netbooks, making already-cheap devices cheaper.

  • Desktop

    • Psystar halts sales of Mac cloning tool, will peddle Linux PCs

      Mac clone maker Psystar last week indefinitely suspended sales of its only product, a $50 utility that lets customers install Apple’s Snow Leopard operating system on generic Intel-based computers.

      The company also said it would resume selling systems “in the coming days.” Those machines will run Linux rather than Mac OS X.

    • Chinese pirates clone XP

      We suspect that Redmond is having a few words with Chinese authorities about the cloning.

      We feel sorry for all the Ubuntu developers out there who must be looking at their Open Source child twisted and corrupted until it looks so much like the proprietary enemy.

  • Server

    • The Evolution of Collaborative Innovation

      In those pre-Web 2.0 days, the community concept behind Linux and open source in general was mystifying to many. They were surprised that IBM had so strongly embraced Linux and were wondering what its relevance would be to the world of business. We spent a lot of time explaining that we were supporting Linux because it was an excellent operating system that ran on every single hardware platforms regardless of vendor or architecture, and would thus facilitate the integration of systems, applications and information over the Internet.

      A number of companies were also concerned about using software developed by an open, distributed community, as opposed to a single vendor, as was typically the case. So, we further explained that the open community developing Linux included some of the top programmers and computer scientists around the world. A number of IBM employees were already involved with this community, and several more would now be joining it as part of our new IBM Linux Technology Center. In any event, IBM and its partners would provide support for the Linux-based offerings we sold regardless of how they were developed.

  • Kernel Space

    • Happy Birthday, Linus

      Today is the birthday of Linus. Although that’s essentially a private event for him, there’s an interesting historical link to the creation of the Linux kernel, too.

    • Graphics Stack

      • ATI Linux 2009 Year In Review

        Compared to past years when recapping the AMD/ATI Linux advancements over the past calendar year, 2009 was not quite as exciting, which can be viewed as both good and bad for their Catalyst Linux driver. There were many advancements this year on AMD’s open-source side, but in 2009 there wasn’t as many milestones for their Catalyst driver like in the past with the introduction of CrossFire, OverDrive, same-day Linux support, the AMD Catalyst Control Center, and other new features. Here is our 2009 year in review look at AMD’s advancements to their proprietary Catalyst Linux driver along with our annual benchmarks.

  • Applications

    • No, terminal apps are not dying

      But I do know, and believe in, this: Open source software has many beautiful and amazing advantages over the closed-source model. And only one of those benefits is the idea — no, the proven principle that, 10 or 20 or even 50 years down the road, someone might pick up some crusty old tarball off a backup server somewhere in a forgotten university somewhere on the planet, take a look at the source code and add a new spark of life to an otherwise lusterless, forgotten application.

      Old programs don’t die, they just patiently await reincarnation. ;)

    • An analog clock for the console
    • 6 Really Cool Linux Stocking Stuffers

      Being from the United Kingdom, the week between Christmas and the New Year is usually a work-free zone for me. So here’s a few Linux command-line Easter Christmas Eggs for you to while away a little time if you are unfortunate enough to be back at your desk already.

    • Themes

      • 2 Gorgeous New Docky Skins

        Amongst them are the utterly gorgeous looking ‘Plastic Glass’ theme designed for use in Docky’s 3D mode and an “inlaid” theme that perfectly suits Docky’s Panel Mode. The themes also come with replacement tooltips – a great addition that really makes these themes complete.

        DeviantArt-ist kshegzyaj has created some stunning new themes for use with premier Dock application Docky.

      • 12 Awesome KDM Themes For Your Linux

        KDM (KDE Display Manager) is the K Desktop Environment replacement for XDM, the X Display Manager. KDM allows users to pick their session type on a per-login basis using different themes and user photos.

      • How to customize your KDE desktop with KDE-Look.org

        KDE-Look.org is part of a family of desktop websites, all under the umbrella of OpenDesktop.org. With each release, KDE is moving closer to complete integration with OpenDesktop.org, where the installation of new themes and visual improvements are seamless.

        There are already several visual components of the K desktop environment that are already integrated. Among them are: desktop wallpaper, Plasma themes, KDM themes, KSplash, color schemes, icon themes, emoticons, and widgets (plasmoid scripts). What this means is that a user can open the dialog to change one of these elements, download new themes, and apply them without ever having to leave the window.

      • digiKam 1.1 Splash-screens: call to photographers !

        Just in time for Christmas 2009, digiKam 1.0 have been released. But the future is already there. Next digiKam 1.1 is planed for end of January 2010, as a bugfixes release, to consolidate code with users feedback after production using…

    • Instructionals

    • Games

      • Syntensity

        When first looking at Syntensity, one might infer that it is an FPS game. Nothing could be further than the truth. Syntensity’s main achievement is the Intensity Engine, which is a significantly modified version of the Sauerbraten/Cube2 Engine with a focus on online content. One could even draw parallels to proprietary gaming and say that this might be a FOSS answer to Valve’s Steam service and their Source engine.

      • AssaultCube – An awesome FPS game for Linux.

        AssaultCube retains a movement bug from the original Cube engine that allows players to utilize straferunning to move at a faster speed. This was left intentionally unfixed by the developers because it was considered an enjoyable feature of Cube, similar to bunny hopping in Quake.

      • 3 Wonderful Open-Source Games to Install After Installing Ubuntu

        When it comes to Linux shooter games, there isn’t only one choice. Games like Nexuiz, OpenArena or Sauerbraten were a good fit here too, but I decided upon World of Padman.

        Based on the Quake 3 engine, World of Padman is a fun, cartoon-style first-person shooter with maps, weapons and characters inspired from the Padman series. It features nice, colourful graphics, popular modes like FFA, TDM or CTF, and weapons which will definitely make you laugh the first time you’ll see them.

      • Running World of Warcraft in Ubuntu Linux
      • Gifts for Gamers: Some End-of-Year Recommendations, Part 1

        Christmas is a time for rest and contemplation. To intersperse the period with some distraction on long winter evenings, a number of Linux games can prove some diversion, as this article will show.

        The sports event of the weekend will be going into winter break, and to while away the time, we assembled a short list of interesting but little known games that have been brought to our attention over the last few months. The recommendations cover lots of different game genres, so there should be something for everyone.

  • Distributions

    • Linux Wizard – The point on some Mandriva community projects

      There are many communities based Mandriva derivatives, but few of them are known. So here is a ( not comprehensive ) list of some Mandriva based derivatives or projects :

      * One 64 community : 64bits edition of the Mandriva One LiveCD. A KDE edition and GNOME one are available for download.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Savvytek lands the first Red-Hat Linux virtualization implementation project at MEPS

        In partnership with Red Hat and Oracle; and in their endeavor to lead the market towards a more proficient, secure and better performing infrastructure solutions; Savvytek was chosen by Middle East Payment Services (MEPS) to implement their new core application, RS2, based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Oracle technologies

      • Linux software is rebounding: CEO

        Red Hat Inc., the Linux software maker whose sales and profit in the latest quarter exceeded analysts’ estimates, said demand for its products is reviving, especially in North America.

      • 3 Stocks That Blew the Market Away

        We can start with Red Hat (NYSE: RHT). The Linux-based provider of enterprise solutions delivered a profit of $0.17 a share, ahead of the $0.16 a share that Mr. Market was banking on.

        Red Hat’s success was the result of a 21% surge in its bread-and-butter subscription revenue.

      • Red Hat promotes virtualisation adoption in Middle East through partnership with WorldNet

        Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that WorldNet has become the first Red Hat Virtualisation Specialist Partner in the Middle East.


        “Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation aims to enable our customers to easily move applications and hardware platforms to virtualised computing and cloud computing. We believe that Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, especially the management components, will allow customers to use virtualisation pervasively. We hope that our Virtualisation Specialist partnership with WorldNet will be the first of many in the region,” said Anuj Kumar, General Manager, Middle East and North Africa at Red Hat.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical shines its Ubuntu light on consumers

        No one cares that their TiVo devices runs Linux. It just does. No one cares that the Kindle runs Linux, either. They care about the functionality these devices deliver. That’s the way it should be.

        Canonical’s opportunity is to make Linux so easy that it becomes completely invisible to the end user. And Canonical may well be the best positioned to do this, among its open-source peers.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Kindle/Swindle

    • Nokia

      • Nokia N900 Already Available at Carphone Warehouse

        Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia launched during the ongoing year its first handset running under the Maemo 5 operating system, the Nokia N900, a phone that is expected to arrive on the UK market as soon as January 14 is here. However, enthusiasts in the UK won’t have to wait until then to grab one of these beauties, as the handset has been already put on sale via Carphone Warehouse, though a contract agreement with Vodafone is still required.

      • Snowtter – Snowflakes + Twitter on Nokia N900

        Got a Nokia N900 Maemo device ? You can watch the updates in your Twitter timeline drop onto your screen as snow flakes.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Technology changes ‘outstrip’ netbooks

        Battery life on Linux is in excess of 10 hours, for Windows rarely more than three.

        Machines sporting Arm chips are also likely to be thinner as they will not need the heat sinks demanded by processors used in desktops.

      • So far the netbook as been a resounding success.

        No Windows!

        There was just no way I was going to get my step daughter a Windows netbook for Christmas. No way, no how. I couldn’t find a good way to articulate why, and so for a couple weeks I was just responding, “No Windows!” to my wife’s questions. I hadn’t expected it to be controversial but I did eventually have to explain myself.


        So far the netbook as been a resounding success.

      • Can Jolicloud Win In A Chrome OS Netbook World?

        Jolicloud soldiered on, raising a high profile $4.2 million venture round and finally, earlier this month, releasing a public beta of the product at Le Web in Paris.

      • Google Chrome netbook specs leaked?

        There’s a rumor going around that Google isn’t just developing an operating system for netbooks (which we already know is true), but that company is also in the process of developing an actual netbook. While Google isn’t exactly known as a hardware maker, this rumor falls into the plausible category, since Google is also widely reported to be developing a cellphone running Android OS. And as Apple has demonstrated time and again, if you want your operating system to run smoothly on hardware, your best option is to design the hardware.

Free Software/Open Source

  • VideoLAN Movie Creator

    I’m excited about the upcoming VideoLAN Movie Creator! I’m also excited about making bulleted lists lately!

    1. Pedigree

    The related-project VLC Media Player is a well-known cross-platform project that inspires confidence in the VLMC. I’m not sure exactly how to quantify “name-brand” power as a factor of success (or even if such a thing can be quantified), but this is a good thing.

  • Making Money by Giving Stuff Away

    First, free software appeared among the hacker community, where price was irrelevant, since the culture was largely one of sharing. From there, it seeped into companies, usually unbeknownst to management, which only found out about the fact later. By that time, the open source applications – notably GNU/Linux, Samba and Apache – had not only proved their technical quality, they had shown that something that cost nothing could, indeed, be worth much more than its nominal price tag.

  • A little know but very powerful tool for homeschooling: Free Software

    Stop: How did you discover Free Software?

    Dean: I stumbled across Free Software programs for typing, geography, hangman (spelling) and crossword and soon realized that I could actually make educating my son fun using Free Software that was primarily Linux driven.

    Stop:Did you have to learn programming to use this software?

    Dean: No, I am not a software developer. I am a “post-frustrated Microsoft user” that did the math and figured the amount of time I spent trying to fix things that could not be fixed in Windows would have been spent wiser learning a better operating system (Linux Ubuntu in my case, but there is also a version, Edubuntu,, already preconfigured for school usage). I am happy enough that I want to try to convince other homeschoolers in my area to follow my path.

  • Google

    • 35 Google open-source projects that you probably don’t know

      Google is one of the biggest companies supporting OpenSource movement, they released more than 500 open source projects(most of them are samples showing how to use their API). In this article I will try to write about most interesting and free releases from Google, some of them might be abandoned.

    • Open source rocked 09, thanks to Google

      Bangalore: Since almost 10 years, companies have known the benefits of adopting open source for business. Few have followed but the rest have stayed away from it. With the global economic slowdown forcing companies to rethink strategies, there has been one thing which has motivated companies the most, that is, Google extensively using open source.

  • CMS

    • Drupal thrives in Taiwan

      After a while I discovered that there was even a Drupal Taiwan website. So I got in touch with the site admin and head organizer, Charles Chuang, and he let me know there would be a meetup in late December. The gathering would be at a local cafe in central Taipei and the topic would be new features, discuss strategy, and socialize to make new friends with like-minded souls.


    • GNU Emacs is on Bazaar now.

      In case you missed it: GNU Emacs is on Bazaar now. Please see http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/BzrForEmacsDevs for how to (re)obtain your development sources from Bazaar.

  • Government

    • Everything in health care depends on execution

      These administrative shifts, from proprietary to open source systems, toward routine transfers of medical data, could have happened anyway. They have accelerated thanks to Administration statements endorsing open source systems like VistA. The environment has shifted.


  • Democracy

    • Government Report Absolves ACORN of Voter Fraud

      A newly-issued Congressional Research Service (CRS) study (pdf) on the activities of the community group ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) found no evidence the group has engaged in fraudulent voting or violations of federal financing rules over the last five years. Two members of the U.S.

    • 20,000 State Snoopers Who Can Walk Into Your Homes

      LABOUR has allowed the creation of a massive army of state snoopers who can enter anyone’s home at a moment’s notice, it was revealed yesterday.

  • Environment

    • 125 whales dead in New Zealand strandings

      More than 125 whales have died in two separate strandings in New Zealand, conservation officials said Monday.

    • Open Energy Info

      Open Energy Info is a platform to connect the world’s energy data. It is a linked open data platform bringing together energy information to provide improved analyses, unique visualizations, and real-time access to data.

    • Titnore Woods Need You

      With the threat of development on Titnore Woods fast approaching now is the time to rise up and resist the destruction of our natural environment by corporate greed.

    • VerdantMountains Cannot Stop Water Flowing; Eastward the River Keeps on Going

      In his important speech at the high-level segment of the conference, Premier Wen reiterated the consistent position of the Chinese government. He called on all sides to build consensus and strengthen cooperation to advance the historical process of combating climate change. Confronted by the complicated situation in and outside the Bella Center, Premier Wen was undeterred. With the strongest political will and patience, he shuttled between participating leaders and engaged them in dialogue and consultations. At the critical moment when the negotiations faced the risk of a breakdown, he personally talked to various parties and helped the conference reach the final accord with his painstaking and thoughtful efforts.

      History will remember the important contribution of the Chinese government to the success of the Copenhagen conference.

  • Finance

    • Wall Street: provably culpable or just untrustworthy?

      GRETCHEN MORGENSON and LOUISE STORY add more detail to the story of the collapse of our financial system and how it was brought down by the gang of financial innovators at such respectable financiers at Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley, as well as smaller firms like Tricadia Inc. link here

      The article strongly suggests that the bankers knew what they were doing. They created bundles of mortgages and sold them off to credulous investors. Then they cranked up mortgage creators to market still more toxic mortgages on which to sell more credit default swaps (CDSs).

      When that didn’t satisfy the demand from investors, they came up with synthetic swaps. They knew the many of the mortgages were toxic and after selling them, bought swaps against their failing. When the demand for these grew too large, they created synthetic collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and bet against them as well.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • uTorrent Users Double to 52 Million in a Year

      uTorrent – the preferred Bittorrent client for many BitTorrent users – has been doing really well in 2009. Contrary to reports claiming that BitTorrent and P2P usage has been declining, in the last year uTorrent nearly doubled its userbase to 52 million unique users a month.

    • UK Lawyers Drop “Non-Viable” File-Sharing Cases

      Lawyers who told thousands of individuals that they held proof of their illicit file-sharing, have made a surprise announcement. ACS:Law, who help companies generate revenue from porn movie copyrights, say they are dropping many cases because litigation is neither viable nor beneficial to their clients.

    • Broadband consumers to foot £500m bill to tackle online piracy

      Proposals to suspend the internet connections of those who repeatedly share music and films online will leave consumers with a bill for £500 million, ministers have admitted.

    • Pirate Party: one to watch in 2010

      Threatening to cut off people’s net access is therefore seen as a vastly disproportionate punishment, almost akin to cutting someone’s tongue off. While young female voters also tend to vote Pirate Party, compared to older voters, they do so less than male voters. The Pirate movement’s task, therefore is twofold: to get women to vote for us in the same numbers that men do (which should be doable, since women use the internet as much as men), and to make sure that each years’ intake of new 18 year old voters supports us, while existing supporters continue to support us. If we do that across Europe, we’ll win.

    • My artist’s manifesto

      This is the reason why I don’t create single copies of my photographs or limited editions. I want people to enjoy my photography not because it’s scarce, but because they like it. I do sell signed and numbered copies (limitless editions only), but only for the people who voluntarily want to financially support my art. Don’t buy it as an investment – buy it because you enjoy it and want to see more of it! Everyone else is welcome to just download and use (non-commercially) my photographs any way they like it – on your computer desktop, on your blog, by printing and hanging it on your walls!

    • ACTA as the (Fool’s) “Gold Standard”

      I’ve noted before that at the heart of the ACTA negotiations there is a con-trick being played upon the world: insofar as the mighty ones deign to pass down any crumbs of information to us little people, it is framed in terms of the dangers of counterfeit medicines and the like, and how we are being “protected”. But, then, strangely, those counterfeit medicines morph into digital copies of songs – where there is obviously no danger whatsoever – but the same extreme measures are called for.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Joerg Heilig, Sun Microsystems Senior Engineering Director talks about OpenOffice.org 13 (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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