Mat Enders and Tony Bemus
Kernel News: Mat
The development kernel 3.2-rc3 was released on 11/24:
Kernel 3.2 RC3 has a considerable number of small changes and a drm update. As expected, the commits numerous, but small.
On 11/21 the 3.0.10 and 3.1.2 kernels updates were released. Both include several important fixes, however these updates wher unusually small.
The 220.127.116.11, 3.0.11, and 3.1.3 stable updates are in the review process as of this writing.
Linus had this to say about this development release;
“Anyway, whether you will be stuffing yourself with turkey tomorrow or not, there’s a new -rc out. I’d love to say that things have been calming down, and that the number of commits just keep shrinking, but I’d be lying. -rc3 is actually bigger than -rc2, mainly due to a network update (none in -rc2) and with Greg doing his normal usb/driver-core/tty/staging thing”
Distro News: Tony
- 11-19 – ZevenOS 4.0 – Leszek Lesner announced the release of ZevenOS 4.0, an Ubuntu-based distro using the Xfce desktop with a theme fashioned after BeOS. Here is what the announcment says “The ZevenOS team is proud to announce the release of ZevenOS 4.0. This version is based on Ubuntu 11.10 and has a bunch of new features and changes. The base system was updated to Linux kernel 3.0 which brings a bunch of new drivers as well as an improved implementation of the ext4 file system. Also the experimental Btrfs file system is now supported. Besides that ZevenOS 4.0 also has a lot of new stuff in the desktop area. The underlying Xfce desktop was updated to version 4.8 which adds network support for FTP, Samba, SSH, NFS to the Thunar file manager. Also new is a rewritten thumb-nailing system for the file manager which is faster and more efficient. Video editing has been made easier with OpenShot 1.4.” See thier website at www.zevenos.com for a complete list of features and updates.
- 11-24 – Parted Magic 2011_11_24 – Patrick Verner announced the new Parted Magic, version 2011_11_24. Here is what he had to say about it: “There are some major changes that might cause some issues with the multi-boot CD crowd. For a long time the pmagic version of sqfs [squash-fs] and Initramfs would not be found on completely supported computers. Reason 1 – this was caused by Windows based zip programs failing to convert the file names properly. Reason 2 – I wasn’t using the mkisofs -J option when making the official ISO images. Reason 3 – Somebody would remaster the ISO image and not use the mkisofs -l option. Major bug – there was a dummy file mistakenly left in /usr/local/bin that caused the secure erase command to fail, it has been removed. Updated programs – lilosetup 0.2.9.1, TestDisk 6.13, Linux kernel 3.1.2.” See thier website at partedmagic.com for a complete list of features and updates.
- 11-25 – CRUX 2.7.1 – Matt Housh annouced the CRUX 2.7.1 release, an update to the project’s lightweight and fast distribution built for advanced Linux users. Here is what the team says about the new release: “The CRUX team has released an interim release, version 2.7.1. ‘Interim’ means that this release is meant to facilitate upgrades or new installs by saving time that would be taken up by updating quite a few out-of-date packages. This also means that current users of CRUX 2.7 with updated packages do not need to upgrade or reinstall. Release notes: CRUX 2.7.1 includes glibc 2.12.2, GCC 4.5.3 and binutils 2.20.1; Linux kernel 18.104.22.168; packages – CRUX 2.7.1 includes the usual bunch of ports updates, but without any incompatible changes.” See thier website at crux.nu for a complete list of features and updates.
- 11-26 – Linux Mint 12 aaahhhhhh that Minty goodness – The greatly anticipated release of Linux Mint 12, code name “Lisa”, has happened. This is what the realease announcement had to say: “The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 12 ‘Lisa’. Linux Mint 12 comes with a brand new desktop, built with GNOME 3 and MGSE (Mint GNOME Shell Extensions), a desktop layer on top of GNOME 3 that makes it possible for you to use GNOME 3 in a traditional way. You can disable all components within MGSE to get a pure GNOME 3 experience, or you can enable all of them to get a GNOME 3 desktop that is similar to what you’ve been using before. Of course you can also pick and only enable the components you like to design your own desktop. The main features in MGSE are: the bottom panel, the application menu, the window list, a task-centric desktop (i.e. you switch between windows, not applications), visible system tray icons. MGSE also includes additional extensions such as a media player indicator, and multiple enhancements to GNOME 3.” Check out thier webpage at www.linuxmint.com for a complete list of features and updates.
Distro of the Week: Mat
- Puppy – 1625
- Fedora – 1698
- Ubuntu – 1847
- openSUSE – 2429
- Mint – 6064
That means that the number one Mint has almost as many page hits per day as the other four of the top five combined. Mmm mmm mmm that Minty goodness.
Koha creators ask for help in trademark dispute:
Koha, an open source integrated library system created at the Horowhenua Library Trust in New Zealand, is the subject of an ongoing fight with a US company called LibLime. Liblime claims to be “Premeire Open Source Library Support”. Which seems odd as they want to take Koha proprietary. Liblime is trying to trademark the Koha name in New Zealand causing the Horowhenua Library Trust to ask for help in this statement, “The situation we find ourselves in, is that after over a year of battling against it, Liblime has managed to have their application for a Trademark on Koha in New Zealand accepted. We now have 3 months to object, but to do so involves lawyers and money. We are a small semi rural Library in New Zealand and have no cash spare in our operational budget to afford this, but we do feel it is something we must fight.” I have not been following this very closely but it does seem from what I have read that LibLime having been a major contributor to the project now thinks they can claim ownership. You expect this kind of behaviour from the proprietary houses but from inside the Open Source community I find this behaviour reprehensible.
Help the cause – contribute to their legal challenge fund:
Contribute using PayPal see the show notes for the massively long URL.
If you want to contribute via check or money transfer see the show notes for the information.
NZ checks can be made out to Horowhenua Library Trust and posted to:
Levin Library, 10 Bath Street, Levin 5510
Bank deposits can be made to this account:
Te Horowhenua Trust, Westpac, Levin, NZ. 030667-0299274-00 REF: Trademark
Five Gifts for Linux Lovers
1. Linux Foundation Visa Card
Want to support Linux but don’t know how to code to save your life? Consider getting a Linux Foundation Visa Card. If you get approved for this card, the Linux Foundation, gets $50 right away, then a percentage of your purchases ad infinitum. A way to support Linux without any sacrifice on your part.
I know your saying “Chromebook?”, but it is linux underneath. Samsung and Acer both dropped the prices on Chromebooks. They are a steal at $299.
3. Or a powerhouse laptop from ZaReason, Verix
ZaReason’s Verix-17, comes with a 17″ display, 2GBs of RAM, NVIDIA GTX 570M dedicated graphics with 1.5GB GDDR5 video RAM, a dual core i5 2.3Ghz processor, and your choice of the Ubuntu 11.04 family, Debian 6, Linux Mint 11 or Fedora 16.
4. An Android tablet
Sony Tablet S (32GB)
Features The Android 3.1 Honeycomb OS,a Dual-core 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 and 1 GB of RAM, Access to Android Market for Full Customization, PlayStation® Certified tablets that provide out-of-the-box gaming, built-in universal remote not only controls your Sony products, but lots of other brands as well
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (16GB)
Features The Android 3.1 Honeycomb OS, A dual-core Tegra 2 processor and 1 GB of RAM, Access to Android Market for Full Customization, and Integrated Google Services, compatible with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF files, making it ideal for handling your business needs as well as your entertainment
Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 (16GB)
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 is everything the Tab 10.1 is in a slightly smaller form, with a slightly smaller price.
Asus Eee Pad Transformer (16GB, Wi-Fi)
Features The Android 3.1 Honeycomb OS, A dual-core Tegra 2 processor and 1 GB of RAM, Optional Docking station with QWERTY keyboard adds additional 6.5 hours of battery life, to instantly turn the Transformer into PC mode with up to 16 hours of battery life
Asus Eee Pad Slider SL101 (16GB, white)
Features The Android 3.1 Honeycomb OS, A dual-core Tegra 2 processor and 1 GB of RAM, Full QWERTY keyboard built-in, Preloaded Polaris® Office® for mobile productivity
Though it prevents a “pure” tablet experience, the Asus Eee Pad Slider’s built-in keyboard is a welcome feature.
5. Linux t-shirts and odds and ends
If you want something a little more affordable you can always try http://www.cafepress.com/ or http://www.computergear.com/ and type Linux into thier respective search features and you find lots of linux odds and ends.
Linus Torvalds Calls Out Proprietary Tech, Microsoft, and Apple:
Linus Torvalds shared his opinions on Microsoft, Apple, open vs. locked down technologies and the future of Linux, at the LinuxCon Brazil.
In response to a question about secure boot Linus said “Technologies that lock things down tend to lose in the end,” which he compared to Apple’s use of DRM. “People want freedom and markets want freedom,” he added.
Secure boot is a feature Microsoft is requiring from PC manufacturers in order to distridute Windows 8. We’ve talked about this before on this podcast and how it also has the potential to prevent users from installing Linux on a PC shipped with a pre-loaded copy of Windows 8.
“I’m an optimist: openness is successful in the long run, secure boot is another one of these passing fads,” said Torvalds.
His statements have more weight in Brazil, where iPhone users can nolonger buy games for the device, Because of specific legal requirements in Brazil. Apple solution has been to simply remove the games category for users in Brazil. Apple has recently been criticized in Brazil for being the “most closed company in the world.”
Torvalds made the remark in answer to a question about Microsoft’s secure boot feature, saying the initiative – like Apple’s DRM – won’t last forever because “people want freedom and markets want freedom.”
US Gov’t Seizes 130+ More Domains In Crackdown
“The DoJ and ICE have once again taken up the banner of anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting by seizing over 130 domains allegedly involved in those activities. TorrentFreak points out that this newest digital raid happened just before ‘Cyber Monday,’ a time when consumers are encouraged to do a bunch of online shopping. From the article: ‘Compared to previous seizure rounds, there are also some notable differences to report. This time the action appears to be limited to sites that directly charge visitors for their services. Most of the domains are linked to the selling of counterfeit clothing (e.g. 17nflshop.com), and at least one (autocd.com) sold pirated auto software. Last year several sites were taken down because they allowed their users to access free music and movie downloads, and these were followed by several streaming services a few months later. No similar sites have been reported in the current round.'”
Bring your Linux command line to Windows with Gnu on Windows
Even the Microsoft fanboy has to agree that the Linux command line gives the admin way more power. That nolonger has to be a problem, because using Gnu on Windows brings over 130 essential open-source Unix tools to your PCs command prompt.
Bash is there for shell scripting, you will also get; gzip, and bzip2 for all of your archiving needs. Then there is grep, agrep, less, cat, tail and head for searching through text files. You will also get putty, cURL, vim, mv, cp, du, ls along with tons more.
Let’s take wget, as an example. In it’s most basic application it can be used to automate downloading a single file. It can also be configured to retry if there are errors; check the time stamp on the file so it only downloads when it changes; secure the connection by suppling a user name and password; set a limit on the download rate so as not to use up your bandwidth, and a whole lot more. You’re getting better functionality then many Windows download managers offer, except in a highly compact form that is easily automated and scripted.
Yes there are other projects around, like Cygwin, which also bring some of the Linux usability to Windows. However Gnu for Windows is much simpler. All you do is install it, then it adds a 13MB folder of tools into your path, so all of the utilities are imediatly available from the command line. Enter: gow -L
You will get a complete list of the tools available. If you’re already a Linux user, or if you’ve never used it before, Gnu on Windows gives you a quick and easy way to increase your command line fu. Some of those hardcore Windows fanboys are going to say; “Hey what about powershell it is way better than bash.” Well to them all I have to say is:
What are Powershell’s equivalents of:
Not to mention wget?
Mat’s Projects: Black Friday and Android Tablets
Lifelines by I Am Not Lefthanded
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