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03.01.10

Links 1/3/2010: New Linux Benchmarks ARM Development Studio for Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 8:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • GNU/Linux: Current State of Voice Dictation and Recognition

    With the discouraging part behind us I want to look at what is being done and recent developments as of February 2010. Just recently the simon project announced an upcoming 1½ year benefit project on its web log. The announcement includes the following:

    Abstract:
    With the help of verbal control provided by simon using terms of everyday language, useful scenarios and areas of application shall be created to enable an easy use of new communication technologies such as the internet, telephone and multimedia applications for elderly people. Moreover, additional security can be provided, for example, a reminder for the user to take a medication.

    While this announcement does not specifically state work on solving the dictation problem there is at least proof that the assistive software simon is moving forward with its user voice interface. We can only hope that the research done will turn simon into a useful, dictation capable, voice interface for GNU/Linux. Unfortunately, simon uses the HTK-Toolkit which is not GPL and has its own rather restrictive license that includes this clause:

    2.2 The Licensed Software either in whole or in part can not be distributed or sub-licensed to any third party in any form.

    This restrictive license means the HTK-toolkit cannot be distributed with a GNU/Linux distribution. Which also means it is unlikely that simon will be included in many distributions as it relies on this toolkit for the heavy lifting of back-end speech processing.

  • Desktop

    • The Perennial Year of the Linux Desktop

      The gains must come gradually, one user at a time. For me, the year of the Linux desktop is long gone, but I still feel like a relative noob at times. For others it was more recent. Perhaps for you 2010 is the year of the Linux desktop. I’ll make the call now, 2011 is sure to be another year for gradual gains in Linux desktop marketshare.

    • Linux: Can it get any easier?

      Recently I did some articles on Samba and various ways to share folders in Linux. Now, normally Samba can be pretty tricky to set up right. Oh sure, there are tools to help you out with this (and some of those tools actually work quite well), but the end user doesn’t want to have to monkey with Samba. In fact, the end user doesn’t want (or even need) to know what Samba is. End users just wants to be able to tell their computers to share out a folder to other users. Period.

      Of course, most of you are thinking – yeah right…on Linux? Even with Windows you typically have to join either a workgroup or a domain to make file sharing easy. So how in the world could Linux make this easier than it is on Windows? Believe it or not, it now is.

    • Junior High students in Monza build their own Ubuntu computers

      Last November, the Confalonieri Public Junior High School in Monza, Northern Italy set up a really interesting and original optional course for its students. When I heard about it on an Italian mailing list I contacted the two teachers who run the course, Fabio Frittoli and Francesco De Gennaro (quoted below as F&F for brevity) to know something more.

  • Server

    • Is it time for a Windows or Linux server in your home?

      Increasingly today’s modern homes are gaining computing infrastructure to rival many small businesses. Just as a company should consider a server for file and print serving, backups, a web site and centralised e-mail, so too families might like to consider the same. However, what’s right? Windows or Linux?

  • Applications

    • Collection of extensions for Chrome browser | Week9-10
    • Linux 2.6.24 Through Linux 2.6.33 Benchmarks

      At Phoronix we have been benchmarking the Linux kernel on a daily basis using Phoromatic Tracker, a sub-component of Phoromatic and the Phoronix Test Suite. We launched our first system in the Linux kernel testing farm just prior to the Linux 2.6.33 kernel development cycle and found a number of notable regressions during the past three months. Now with the Linux 2.6.34 kernel development cycle getting into swing, we have added an additional two systems to our daily kernel benchmarking farm. One of the systems is an Atom Z520 system but what makes it more interesting is that the system is using a Btrfs file-system and then the second new system added to the kernel tracker is a 64-bit setup. However, to provide a historical look at the Linux kernel performance, we have ran some fresh benchmarks going back to the Linux 2.6.24 kernel and ending with the recently released Linux 2.6.33 kernel.

    • Launchy – A Time-Saving Desktop Shortcut Launch Application for Windows and Linux

      If you spend too much time hunting for shortcuts to open applications, or want to stop wasting time hunting through your programs menu to find the software you’re looking for — Launchy may be the desktop application search tool you’ve been looking for. Here’s why I cannot live without this productivity-enhancing computer software.

    • 13 Linux Twitter Applications Reviewed

      Below sits a list of 13 twitter clients that are either native Linux apps or run extremely well on Linux. At the end of the post is a comparison chart to allow you to easily see which application has which feature so you can make an informed decision.

    • ImageMagick Fun

      The “fun” in the title should be read in your most sarcastic tone of voice… Anyways, one of my professors mailed us a PDF of a scanned document to read (and print out) for the next class. Being that is was scanned in (by what appeared to be the professor literally holding it above a scanner) there was a lot of excess black in the picture.

      I don’t know about you, but printing 2 large blocks of solid black, for 22 pages, doesn’t sound like a wise investment of toner. But ah! Why don’t I just crop off the excess part of each page so that just the scanned-in text is visible, and print that out? This has to be easy, right?

    • Lucidor – Simple eBook Reader

      Lucidor is a computer program for reading and handling e-books. Lucidor supports e-books in the EPUB file format, and catalogs in the OPDS format.

    • Instructionals

    • Games

      • FlightGear 2.0

        Version 2.0.0 of FlightGear, an open source flight simulator, has been released. Major new developments and features in this release includes the following:

        * Dramatic new 3D clouds
        * Dramatic lighting conditions

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Distro Hoppin`: Igelle 1.0.0

      Hey, people! Welcome to a brand new installment of the Distro Hoppin` series! I bet you’ve been waiting for this a long time! Actually I KNOW you’ve been waiting for this a long time. Not because you were anxiously craving for my writing or anything, but because it’s been a friggin` long time since the last hop. Be ashamed of yourself, Danny. Promising to write a post more often than once in a blue moon and going ahead to extend that period to once in an ice age… Tsk, tsk, tsk. OK, insert puppy eyes here and let’s move on. I DON’T NEED YOUR FORGIVENESS!

    • Desktop comparison – Zenwalk Linux, Salix OS and GoblinX

      I love them all, each in their own way, but the purpose was to compare and find a winner if you want an easy life at home and just something that works without much hassle, and I’m not going to cop out now. Xfce is a fast and potent environment that I believe can meet most people’s needs, but it does not achieve its full potential in most distributions due to the underlying base. However in a well-done distro you won’t need any other environment for your daily computing and benefit from a considerable speed gain.

    • New Releases

      • ArchBang 2.00 RC1

        There’s an installer now, but you can always follow this mini-guide to install Arch-Linux w/ OpenBox fast if you want to do it manually big_smile

    • Fedora

      • Calling all Geeks – Fedora 13 needs your help!

        All slogan suggestions need to submitted by 2nd of March, 2010.

        Here’s how your slogan needs to be:

        * Must be between 1-3 words
        * Slogan needs to be an active sentence, like a command e.g. F8: Go higher F11: Reign
        * Slogan must be positive and reflect the idea that Fedora lets users achieve something great
        * Should reflect one or more of the themes from the artwork created by the Artwork team for this release (see the wiki page)

      • Why Fedora needs an Updates Policy

        A huge thread-o-doom on Fedora and updates and what should be done and why the policy is horrible has sprouted on the fedora-devel list (yes, it’s now called devel@lists.fp.o, but I don’t care.) But wait… there is no draft policy yet so how can it be horrible? Oh, yes some of the brainstorming around it

      • Fedora 13 Alpha release delayed

        Fedora Project developers said they will push back the first alpha release for Fedora 13 by one week.

    • Debian Family

      • Dedo Does Debian – Review

        Debian is one of the more important Linux distributions. Without Debian, we would probably not have Ubuntu or APT and Linux desktop would still be a dream. And it just happens that I never gave it a proper review, until now.

        Time to do that. Naturally, I will not be reviewing Debian as any old distro. It has its special place alongside RedHat (CentOS). In other words, it’s not a toy, it’s a serious, somber tool for power users who cherish uttermost stability as the main feature in their operating system, with usability taking the humble second place. Plus, there’s the free software idea, which might also complicate things a little. Don’t expect Debian to run after you like a favorite canine. It’s the other way around.

        [...]

        Debian is a very decent choice. It’s a little conservative, but it works well and compensates the would-be bad stuff with a sense of old, acquired quality. If not for the network issues on my laptop, it would really have been great.

        Enabling non-free repositories really opens up the palette of choices, adding color and spice to the Debian experience and turning a spartan Server-oriented distribution into a fairly adequate desktop system. The kernel oops is somewhat surprising, but it was a one-time error that did not come back since.

        I like Debian. It’s not for everyone, especially not new users, who will benefit more from the mainstream releases like Ubuntu or Mandriva. For power users, Debian makes quite a bit of sense. It’s robust, fast, fairly stable, you don’t get any surprises in between releases, and you can focus on productivity. If you want the little perks, there are there, too, including instant messaging, VoIP, web camera, multimedia support, and other stuff you would normally get from any desktop-oriented system. In a way, it’s the best of both worlds.

        That would be all for today. Dedo did Debian. Now, it’s your turn to start using Debian or send me emails, either praising me or berating my findings.

      • Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu One Music has No Watermarks

          This is just a short blog post to note that Matt Griffin has updated the FAQ for the Ubuntu One Music Store that I previously blogged about.

          Most notable is probably this update:-

          There will be no embedded ‘watermarks’ of any kind on the MP3s in the Ubuntu One Music Store.

        • 4 New Themes For Lucid including Homosapien and Sorbet!

          4 new themes have been chosen for Lucid’s community-themes package. These themes – along with updates version of 4 old favourites – can be installed in Lucid using: -

          * sudo apt-get install community-themes

          Many of the those chosen we have blogged extensively about – Homosapien became a firm fixture in our theme posts over the last few months so it’s great to see it chosen for inclusion.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 182

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #182 for the week February 21st – February 27th, 2010. In this issue we cover: Lucid Alpha 3 Released, Rocking The Opportunistic Desktop, Can you hear the Music, New Ubuntu Members: Americas Board Meeting, Ubuntu Libya LoCo at the Technology & Science Fair, Help localization testing with the ISO tracker, Translating software descriptions with Nightmonkey, Attention Encrypted Home Users, Server Bug Zapping – Call for Participation, Ubuntu Women has a new IRC Channel, Full Circle Magazine #34, and much, much more!

        • Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid) Alpha 3 Screenshots Gallery

          The Ubuntu developers are moving quickly to bring you the absolute latest and greatest software the Open Source community has to offer. The Lucid Lynx Alpha 3 is the third alpha release of Ubuntu 10.04, bringing with it the earliest new features for the next version of Ubuntu.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • ARM announces a development studio

      UK CHIP DESIGNER ARM has announced the Keil Development Studio 5 (DS-5) Application Edition for ARM Linux-based systems.

      ARM claims the DS-5 Application Edition was developed as a tool suite designed to simplify developing Linux and Android native applications for ARM processor-based systems. It was built to reduce the learning curve and shorten the coding and testing cycle.

    • Phones

    • Tablets

      • HP puts out a multi-touch tablet

        HP also announced four models in its middle of the road Probook series, which it says comes in “sophisticated” colours. Colour choice aside, the most interesting feature of these is that they can be pre-installed with SuSE Enterprise Linux.

        All the models HP launched today feature Daystarter, a preboot screen that allows you to view things like your calendar and battery life while booting into Windows. However with SSDs and the option of Linux it isn’t the time taken to get past the splash screen that HP should look to reduce but rather the time taken to load all the pre-installed junk once you’ve made it into Windows.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Time To Rebut The IIPA’s FUD Against Open Source

    A recent blog posting at The Guardian about the US “Special 301″ rules has generated deep concern around the global open source community. It points (via a blog posting by Edinburgh University law lecturer Andres Guadamuz) to this year’s recommendations from the controversially-named International Intellectual Property Alliance, which describes itself as “a private sector coalition… of trade associations representing U.S. copyright-based industries” – namely

    “the Association of American Publishers (AAP), the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)”.

  • Firefox 4 – Updates, Roadmaps And Changes So Far

    Developers and users alike are pretty interested these days in knowing what the Mozilla developers are up to with the new Firefox 4 browser. A product roadmap was released by the foundation giving information on when to expect the next big thing: Firefox 4.
    The report details that Firefox 4.0 is due to arrive in either October or November of 2010 and will bring with it a range of new features, such as a new slick user interface and multi-touch gesture support. But take note that this report is currently classed as a ‘draft’ and could be open to any number of changes.

  • Dual of denial – on the success and failure of dual licensing

    A good example of this is OpenNMS Group. The acquisition of copyright to the 1.0 code base in 2009 out the company in the position of being able to changing its licensing strategy beyong a pure open source approach. While the company is unlikely to go open core (Tarus Balog prefers to call it “fauxpen source”, OpenNMS has delivered Powered by OpenNMS – a commercial license program:

    “While the OpenNMS Group encourages the adoption of open source software, some organizations, due to trade secrets, patents or other proprietary reasons, may not be able to use 100% open source software in their environment. The ‘Powered by OpenNMS’ program allows them to purchase the right to use OpenNMS under a more traditional license.”

    That in itself does not guarantee the continued use of dual licensing. But it does demonstrate. along with the comments of Richard Stallman, that dual licensing remains a valid strategy for generating revenue from open source software that is compatible with the principles of free and open source software.

  • OpenStreetMap updates its maps of Chile

    OSM also mapped large volumes of data during the recent Haitian earthquake. Before the disaster, the OSM maps had been sketchy even in the capital Port-au-Prince. In Chile, thanks to an active local OSM community, the OSM maps are already pretty comprehensive, but, in the rural areas, with the exception of major roads, much remains to be mapped.

  • Google Go captures developers’ imaginations

    Less than four months after its unveiling at an early, experimental stage, Google Go looks promising to developers who say it offers significant improvements over other programming languages.

Leftovers

  • My top 10 geek epitaphs
  • Security

    • Weaponizing Mozart

      In recent years Britain has become the Willy Wonka of social control, churning out increasingly creepy, bizarre, and fantastic methods for policing the populace. But our weaponization of classical music—where Mozart, Beethoven, and other greats have been turned into tools of state repression—marks a new low.

      We’re already the kings of CCTV. An estimated 20 per cent of the world’s CCTV cameras are in the UK, a remarkable achievement for an island that occupies only 0.2 per cent of the world’s inhabitable landmass.

    • Detectives trawl DNA database 60 times a year – hunting for criminals’ relatives

      New concerns have been raised about the use of innocent people’s DNA in police investigations.

      Figures obtained by The Mail on Sunday show that detectives are ordering weekly searches of the DNA database for people with no immediate connection to any crime.

      The searches are used when crime scene DNA samples produce no direct match on the system.

    • Pub landlord is first person in Britain to be jailed over smoking ban

      A former pub landlord yesterday became the first person to be jailed in connection with the smoking ban.

      Nick Hogan, 43, was sentenced to six months in prison for refusing to pay a fine imposed for flouting the legislation.

  • Finance

    • SANDERS: The EU factor in the euro crisis

      Of course the euro did seem the obvious next step in “the European project” — the attempt to end the Continent’s wars, culminating in World War II, which almost destroyed European civilization. The towering figures of Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle saw German-French political unity as the only way to avoid future conflicts. Their inspired helpmates — Robert Schuman, Jean Monnet, Herbert Wehner and a host of lesser-known technocrats — tried to build a parallel economic infrastructure. And under Washington’s sheltering arm, the Soviet threat was held in check and eventually defeated by the world’s most successful military alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

    • PayPal India hits reboot with bank withdrawals

      PayPal confirmed late last week that the Reserve Bank of India had given it the go ahead to restart bank withdrawals in the country for settlements for exports of goods and services.

    • Too Big To Fail As A National Policy In America

      A good example of this policy confusion is the recent controversy about whether the Federal Reserve—when it bailed out American International Group (AIG)—should have insisted on discounts from Goldman Sachs and other AIG credit default swap counterparties.

    • Washington Abandons Greece: Beware of Geeks Bearing Grifts

      The European Union (EU) is shocked — shocked I tell you! — that Greece used financial engineering to qualify for admission. Exactly how did they think that weaker countries managed to meet the requirements? Now the EU is concerned that geeks used their knowledge of Greece’s hidden debt (and bailout negotiations) to manipulate financial markets for their own profit.

    • Kevin Connor: Goldman’s Role in Greek Crisis Is Proving Too Ugly to Ignore

      Goldman Sachs appears to be testing the limits of its special talent for avoiding all accountability following revelations of its role in exacerbating the Greek debt crisis.

    • Goldman Sachs: Betting the Patient Will Die

      Well, it turns out that our old friends at Goldman Sachs had a big hand in the big mess — and, while helping Greece disguise its debt problems, back when it would have been easier to deal with, Goldman also bet that eventually the patient would die — and took out insurance policies to cover itself.

    • Time for Goldman to Come Clean

      Currency traders generally welcome the volatility generated by rotating fears. It would be foolish to assume the worst news will continue to come out of Athens. There are enough problems around the world that the euro’s time as the ugliest princess is likely to be brief.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • [The Silver Lining Development Team Shutting Down]

      In 2005, Phoenix Online Studios received a Cease & Desist letter from Vivendi Universal, the owners of the King’s Quest IP, in regards to our work on The Silver Lining. We complied with the request, and over the months that followed, we were able to work out a non-commercial fan license with Vivendi that allowed us to continue our work on the game.

    • UK to kill off Internet cafes

      HE GLORIOUS BRITISH GOVERNMENT, upon which the sun finally set almost 100 years ago, has decided that having open WiFi networks is bad for the general population and it wants them all shut off.

    • Government to disconnect entire families for alleged illegal downloading

      The Digital Economy Bill, currently being debated in the House of Lords, would give the Government the power to disconnect people from the internet if copyright files are downloaded without permission. The Government, heavily lobbied by the music industry, seems convinced that’s the way to stop illicit file sharing and downloading of music. What’s certain is that entire families could be be disconnected if only one member (or lodger or guest) is accused of illegal downloading.

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