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03.13.10

Links 13/3/2010: AMD Comes to Sub-notebooks, Tiny and Big (Game) for GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 6:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • FLOSS Weekly 112: Amahi

      Amahi, the home web server that lets you efficiently manage and backup of all the computers, game consoles and other devices in your network.

    • GP-GPUs: OpenCL Is Ready For The Heavy Lifting

      In a previous column, I bemoaned the state of HPC Software. This column was actually a prelude to my column on nVidia CUDA computing. I was particularly impressed at how fast CUDA has gained traction in HPC and other areas. The CUDA wave has definitely hit the beach and I’ll have more on nVidia as the Fermi GPU begins to filter into the HPC trenches. In this column I want to talk about the other GPU language: OpenCL.

  • Google

    • More Reasons Why Chrome OS Will Be Your Extra Operating System

      Google CEO Eric Schmidt, speaking at a conference in Abu Dhabi this week, confirmed that the Chrome OS operating system is on track for delivery in the second half of this year. While we already know that it’s headed for netbooks, there are new reasons to believe that its brightest future may be as an adjunct OS on netbooks and tablets.

      Google is taking several big gambles with its upcoming OS, not the least of which is that it will require users to work with all data in the cloud. That will rule out countless applications and utilities that are, in some cases, beloved to users, and there is a good chance that Google’s cloud-only gamble could backfire.

  • Kernel Space

    • Deferrable functions, kernel tasklets, and work queues

      For high-frequency threaded operations, the Linux® kernel provides tasklets and work queues. Tasklets and work queues implement deferrable functionality and replace the older bottom-half mechanism for drivers. This article explores the use of tasklets and work queues in the kernel and shows you how to build deferrable functions with these APIs.

    • How to compile the Linux kernel

      Do you want to remove bloat from your Linux installation? Are you looking to enable extra features that aren’t provided by your distro? Fancy trying some of the cutting-edge patches doing the rounds? You’ll need to recompile your kernel, and while it might look like black magic if you’ve never done it before, it’s actually pretty straightforward. Read on for everything you need to know…

    • Graphics Stack

      • Proof Of Concept: Open-Source Multi-GPU Rendering!

        Now that David Airlie’s vga_switcheroo has went upstream in the Linux 2.6.34 kernel that provides hybrid graphics support and delayed GPU switching, David went on to look for something new to work on in his downtime when not busy with tasks at Red Hat. This new work is on GPU offloading / multi-GPU rendering.

        Last month NVIDIA introduced Optimus as a way for dual-GPU notebooks to seamlessly switch between the two GPUs but also to offload the rendering workload to the other graphics processor. This is somewhat similar to NVIDIA’s SLI and ATI/AMD’s CrossFire for splitting the rendering workload across multiple GPUs, but it has its differences. David ended up developing a proof-of-concept similar to NVIDIA’s Optimus that he is calling “Prime” and it works with Intel and ATI GPUs.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Kate, KDevelop and Okteta Developers Meet in Berlin

        Berlin, probably one of the most frequented KDE hacking locations in the world, saw another hack sprint from 13th to 21st of February. This time four of the KDevelop and five of the Kate developers shared a week of very productive programming. Additionally team members from Okteta and KDE on Windows joined the meeting.

      • Akademy-es 2010
  • Distributions

    • Epidemic 3.1 installation guide

      Epidemic is a desktop-oriented, KDE, Debian-based (GNU/Linux) distribution developed in Brazil. Epidemic 3.1, the latest edition, features a number of custom tools and improvements. One of those tools is EInstaller, the graphical installation program. It is supposed to be easy to use, but if you have are not familiar with disk partitioning under Linux, you’ll find that it’s not so easy to use. This tutorial provides an installation guide for Epidemic 3.1, with emphasis on the disk partitioning aspect.

    • Ubuntu

      • The often undervalued opinion of the end-user

        There are over ten million users of Ubuntu world wide. That means that there are ten million people who have made a conscious decision to install Ubuntu on their computer. If these ten million people weren’t here, then we wouldn’t exist. We serve the end user, and because we serve them, we want to keep them happy by providing what they want.

      • I don’t like what people tell me is good for me

        At any rate, the point I wanted to make was simply that people need to complain and need to rant about things, if you want them to be good. So please don’t take my rants always as negative, I do rant, and sometimes I rant a lot but I usually do that because I want to improve the situation.

      • Ubuntu Art: March

        One of my many jobs in the community is to bring you lovely Ubuntu planet readers some of the wonderful art works that are created using Ubuntu and the FOSS tools we have in the repositories, all these works come from the Ubuntu deviantArt group.

      • Ubuntu Lucid and THAT button layout

        OK, so as an ardent GUI Designer and general fan of winning computer interface design, I took a strong interest in Canonical’s recent announcement about their new Ubuntu branding, complete with two new default themes set to appear in the upcoming “Lucid Lynx” LTS release in April – named “Ambience” and “Radiance”.

      • New Proposed Ubuntu Lucid 10.04 Ubiquity Slideshow

        The Ubuntu Ubiquity Slideshow is a project which uses Webkit that provides a slideshow when you install Ubuntu.

      • MReleaseSchedule
      • Top 10 Ubuntu Apps that users rated.
      • Variants

        • Four Most Unique Ubuntu Derivatives

          There’s no doubt that Ubuntu has transformed the Linux landscape since its introduction six years ago. It has modified a few key technologies to ensure generally demanding tasks under Linux, simpler for even early computer users. Although, Ubuntu was a debian-based distro, it is a popular framework for several other distros.

          Although you can take a basic Ubuntu source code and make it into almost anything, derivatives are quite popular because they eliminate the need for custom configurations. The huge number of distros testifies to that!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Cool: Linux heats your meal, washes your clothes, makes for household fun

      There’s a lot Linux can not do(yet) but you’ll be suprised what it’s already being used for. Look at this: a microwave running Linux (yes we can!) and a washing machine also.

      It may not be available to us right away but the revolution is coming. While much more devices will be powered up with more complex functionality more manufacturers will discover reinventing the wheel is not Cool. Linux is! And I will start doing household chores happily, like hacking my washing machine. I envision a future where I can install any Linux distribution of choice to my household appliances.

    • Android

      • Embedded Linux keynotes to grapple with Android

        The CE Linux Forum (CELF) has opened registration and announced speakers for its Embedded Linux Conference on Apr. 12-14 in San Francisco. The event will feature keynote speakers Greg Kroah-Hartman and Matt Asay, and offer over 50 sessions on embedded Linux topics including flash file-systems, RT-Preempt, security, Moorestown, and Android.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • AMD to Introduce Netbook Chip in 2011

        Advanced Micro Devices plans to release a processor in its “Fusion” line that will be positioned for the netbook market, putting it in competition with the Intel Atom, and, to a lesser degree, the ARM processor.

        The “Fusion” program is AMD’s (NYSE: AMD) long-term project to integrate its CPU cores with graphics processor cores from ATI, which it acquired in 2006. The first Fusion processors are expected some time early next year. Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) has its own integrated processors, the Westmere family of Core i5/i7 chips, which feature integrated graphics in dual-core CPUs.

Free Software/Open Source

  • ‘Cloud’ vs. ‘source’ in the battle of bland corporate names

    It’s a telling shift in the market, however, that open-source companies don’t seem to be appending their corporate names with “source” anymore as open source goes mainstream.

  • Psst! Hey Kid3! Want a great music file tagger?

    When Urs Fleisch needed a utility to edit the tags of MP3 files in 2002, none of the existing programs available on Linux suited his needs. At first he tried to enhance TkTag, a Perl application, but he soon realized that he had to write his own application to get what he really wanted. Fleisch created Kid3, an audio tag editor that follows the Unix philosophy of “do one thing and do it well.”

    Kid3 originally ran on KDE, but nowadays it runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. It handles not only ID3 tags in MP3 files, but also tags in Ogg/Vorbis, FLAC, MPC, MP4/AAC, MP2, Speex, TrueAudio, WavPack, WMA, WAV, and AIFF files, and it lets you edit all tags in a file, not just a selected subset.

  • Think local, go ‘open’

    Open source technologies are making significant inroads in governments around the world, avers Gopi Ganapathy, President & CEO, Essentia, US (www.essentia-corp.com). This is as a result of open source providing significant benefits such as low cost, flexibility of use and modification, lack of vendor lock-in, and most important of all the ability to create drive a vibrant local economy of solution providers in innovation, development, deployment, training and support, adds Gopi, during a recent interaction with Business Line.

  • VMware Prepares Zimbra Email Appliances for Partners
  • A Modest Proposal for Toyota: Release the Code!

    Things look bad for Toyota. There was yet another unintended acceleration incident involving a Toyota yesterday. A Prius in New York on its way to the dealership to have its gas-pedal checked out crashed into a stone wall.

    Toyota has always maintained that its unintended acceleration problems are mechanical in nature. If it wasn’t a bunched-up floor mat it’s a sticky gas pedal. Customers and regulators have their own theories however. They suspect the electronic throttle control, or ECT.

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox 3.6 sees 100M downloads, now pushing notifications

      Firefox is arguably one of the most successful open source software projects. Mozilla celebrated last year when Firefox surpassed 1 billion total downloads. The current number of active daily users is said to be over 350 million.

    • Crashproofing Firefox 4.0

      The Firefox developers have released a new preview version of Firefox 3.7 which includes many of the features planned for Firefox 4.0. The preview release includes special protection against rogue third-party processes that could crash the browser.

    • Extension Watch: Turn Firefox into an Ebook Reader with EPUBReader
    • Vimperator: Use Firefox the Vim Way

      Want to take full keyboard control of Firefox? Tired of having to mouse around the Web? Firefox has a good set of shortcuts by default, but if you want to go completely keyboard-driven, take a look at Vim-inspired extension Vimperator.

      Vimperator is an amazingly complete add-on for Firefox that gives you access to almost all of Firefox’s features from the keyboard. It takes its inspiration from the popular vi-clone Vim, so many of the keybindings will already be familiar to you if you’re a Vim user. Even if not, Vimperator provides a great way to ditch the mouse and control Firefox from the keyboard.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle: Open Source’s Friend or Foe?

      Oracle to succeed where Sun Microsystems failed – i.e. engaging with the community and turning open source investments into profits – needs to define and implement viable open source strategies for those projects. I believe they can, let’s see how Oracle will move forward in the future.

  • CMS

    • Druplipet, a Drupal chia pet

      And the answer to yesterday’s “Eye grow Drupal” question is: Druplipets. Hundreds of cute little Druplipets, your friendly Druplicon chia pet. Druplipet is the newest member of the Acquia and Drupal Gardens family and will be making appearances at industry events this year. It is making its first appearance at SXSW along with a fun contest. Needless to say, Drupal chia pets are fun and powerful stuff!

Leftovers

  • Ex-Indiana Mayor, Aides Ordered to Pay $108 Million

    A federal judge Thursday ordered ex-East Chicago Mayor Robert Pastrick and two former aides to pay $108 million in civil damages in an alleged sidewalks-for-votes scheme.

    Mr. Pastrick was never charged criminally, though other members of the so-called Sidewalk Six were sentenced to prison. A phone rang unanswered at the office of Mr. Patrick’s attorney, Michael Bosch, when the Associated Press called seeking comment.

  • Assemblyman seeking to ban all salt in restaurant cooking

    A new bill in the state Assembly would ruin restaurant food and baked goods as we know them.

    In a deeply misguided gesture that is also an abuse of the legislative process, a New York City Assemblyman is pushing a nanny-state bill that would ban the use of all forms of salt in the preparation and cooking of all restaurant food.

  • Science

    • DR Congo ring may be giant ‘impact crater’

      Deforestation has revealed what could be a giant impact crater in Central Africa, scientists say.

      The 36-46km-wide feature, identified in DR Congo, may be one of the largest such structures discovered in the last decade.

  • Security

    • Pentagon partially blames the Internet for that Christmas underpants bomber

      This is the lede, verbatim, from a story that appeared in The Hill yesterday: “The Internet allowed extremists to contact, recruit, train and equip the suspect responsible for the attempted Flight 253 bombing on Christmas Day ‘within weeks,’ a top Pentagon official told lawmakers Wednesday.” What’s the implication, that because someone used the Internet to plan something, something bad, we should get rid of it? Fine by me, believe me.

    • Q&A: Google hacking

      Let’s say you’re doing a penetration test. What kind of information about a target can you find out by using Google?

      Anything connected to the web, is indexed by Google. Even administrator’s portals of devices connected to the web, such as printers and webcams are crawled and discovered by Google. You’ll be surprised by how many unprotected webcams are connected to the internet, streaming live video from people’s living rooms, or university dormitories.

  • Environment

    • EU backing for bluefin tuna trade ban sparks Japan protests

      Japanese tuna brokers protested today after the EU decided to support a worldwide trade ban on Atlantic bluefin tuna. EU governments indicated that they would back a complete international ban on the species to allow the bluefin to recover from years of over-fishing.

    • Industries hoarding greenhouse gas emission permits

      Companies across Europe are hoarding permits to produce greenhouse gas emissions worth hundreds of millions of pounds, the Guardian can reveal.

    • Japan arrests whaling activist for boarding ship

      The Japanese coastguard has arrested an activist from New Zealand for illegally boarding a whaling ship last month.

      Peter Bethune, a member of the US-based group Sea Shepherd, is accused of jumping aboard the vessel from a jetski in the Southern Ocean, where Japan was conducting its annual whale hunt.

  • Finance

    • Five Lies About the American Economy

      1. Bold government action staved off a Depression, saving or creating 1.5 million jobs.

      [...]

      2. “No one wants banks making the kinds of risky loans that got us into this situation in the first place.”

      [...]

      3. The economic crisis is a “subprime crisis.”

      [...]

      4. Ben Bernanke is a heroic leader.

      [...]

      5. The worst is behind us.

      [...]

      By a conservative estimate, there may be 3 million to 4 million foreclosed homes coming onto the market in the next few years. This is the inevitable, and salubrious, reaction to many years of real estate inflation, and it will continue to happen no matter how hard the government pretends it can control economic outcomes. See Lie No. 1.

    • Lehman Brothers bosses could face court over accounting ‘gimmicks’

      A court-appointed US bankruptcy examiner has concluded that there are grounds for legal claims against top Lehman Brothers bosses and auditor Ernst & Young for signing off misleading accounting statements in the run-up to the collapse of the Wall Street bank in 2008 which sparked the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

      A judge last night unsealed a 2,200-page forensic report by expert Anton Valukas into Lehman’s collapse, which includes scathing criticism of accounting “gimmicks” used by the failing bank to buy itself time. These included a contentious technique known as “repo 105″, which temporarily boosted the bank’s balance sheet by as much as $50bn (£33bn).

    • Take Action This Week on Banking!

      Financial reform in the Senate is at a critical juncture, as Senate Democrats attempt to achieve a bipartisan bill. Conservative Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) appears to be in the driver’s seat. Corker is an advocate of putting the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) into the Federal Reserve, an institution almost as unpopular with the public as the IRS.

    • Progressive Senators Fight for Real Bank Reform

      Negotiators have failed to break up the too-big-to-fail banks, or effectively cap their size. Worse, the draft continues to exempt the most complex derivatives — including foreign currency swaps and credit-default swaps — from the requirement that they be regulated and traded on an open exchange. You remember credit default swaps. They allow parties with no insurable interest in an underlying asset (i.e., your house) take out insurance on whether or not your house will burn down. This of course gives them an incentive to torch the place. These “financial weapons of mass destruction” played a key role in the collapse of AIG and the global economy, and are now being used by big American banks to torch Greece.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Healthwashing Soda

      As state and local governments consider taxing soda and sugary drinks to raise money and address the national obesity epidemic, manufacturers of sugary drinks — like countless other industries — are taking PR cues from the tobacco industry to defeat the initiatives. The PR tactics they are using are starting to be old hat. By now, everyone should be able to spot them, but just in case you’re not up to speed on your corporate PR literacy, here’s what to look for:

      Step One: Position your product as the solution, not the problem

      [...]

      Step Two: Broaden the issue to take attention off your products

      [...]

      Step Three: Claim it will cost jobs and tank the economy

    • After Victory Over Disney, Group Loses Its Lease

      For a few days last fall, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood celebrated a big victory: the tiny advocacy group had successfully pushed the Walt Disney Company to offer full refunds to everyone who had bought the company’s popular Baby Einstein videos from June 2004 to September 2009.

    • Disney’s Iron-Fisted Marketing to Kids

      In 2006, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood complained to the Federal Trade Commission about Disney’s educational claims about the videos. As a result, Disney dropped the word “educational” from their marketing materials for the videos, but that wasn’t enough.

    • Texas Spins History, Again

      In all, the Board has passed over 100 amendments to curriculum since the beginning of the year. According to the New York Times, “no historians, sociologists or economists” were consulted during the Board’s meetings on these right-wing changes, which were spearheaded by board member and dentist Don McLeroy, who claimed expertise in a host of serious educational matters not involving tooth decay. In the “highlights” of this Texas-sized historical spin, the Board:

      * Required that students learn positive things about “Phyllis Schlafly, the Contract With America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association.”

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Google to strip unique client ID from future Google Chrome installs
    • Google Chrome to do away with unique IDs

      Supplementing other measures to improve the browser’s reputation for data protection, in a white paper on Chrome data protection, Google has announced that it will in future delete the token once Google Chrome runs and checks for updates the first time. From version 4.1, the allegedly anonymous ID will only be used to report successful installation of the browser to Google.

    • World Day Against Cyber Censorship

      World Day Against Cyber Censorship logoTomorrow (12th March) Reporters Without Borders will be celebrating World Day Against Cyber Censorship. While the UK is not on Reporters Without Borders’ list of “Enemies of the Internet,” we should not be complacent.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Keeping the Score

      The other day I heard a music publisher inveigh against composers who post their scores for free as PDFs on their web pages. I am one of that tribe. His argument, which was new to me and interested me, was that those composers pose unfair competition to the composers whose scores are published, and thus cost money.

    • Pink Floyd Beats EMI in Creativity Flap

      Pink Floyd prevailed Thursday in a legal brawl with its label when a British judge ordered EMI to stop selling individual downloads of the acid-inspired group’s songs without permission.

    • ACTA

      • ACTA Supporters – UKIP named and shamed

        The result was a massive landslide in favour of open government and internet freedom. 636 MEPs were on the side of freedom, and just 10 voted in favour of ACTA.

        I can now name and shame those 10, people who were elected to represent us, but who want us to be governed by a secret worldwide clique where the RIAA call the shots and politicians are too scared to tell the public what they are signing us up to. The list in full is:

        * Nigel Farage (United Kingdom, UKIP)
        * Marta Andreasen (United Kingdom, UKIP)
        * Stuart Agnew (United Kingdom, UKIP)
        * Gerard Batten (United Kingdom, UKIP)
        * John Bufton (United Kingdom, UKIP)
        * Trevor Colman (United Kingdom, UKIP)
        * The Earl of Dartmouth (United Kingdom, UKIP)
        * Mike Nattrass (United Kingdom, UKIP)
        * Paul Nuttall (United Kingdom, UKIP)
        * Nicole Sinclaire (United Kingdom, UKIP)

        Just 16 politicians couldn’t make their minds up and abstained. They include:

        * Diane Dodds (Northern Ireland, Democratic Unionist Party)
        * Nick Griffin (United Kingdom, BNP)
        * Andrew Henry William Brons (United Kingdom, BNP)

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