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LXer Article

The big stories this past week included an update on how far away Chrome OS is, a Ubuntu vs.Fedora comparison, 5 unusual games for Linux and a 200 line kernel patch that makes your desktop snappy. Enjoy!

Ubuntu vs Fedora: which is best?: Linux is always in a state of flux. On any given day, millions of lines of new code are being written, tested, double-checked, merged, packaged and downloaded from software repositories delivering another dose of opensource goodness. Unlike most desktop operating systems, release schedules are based on months rather than years (well, for most flavours of Linux) and so the experience of using Linux is one of trickled iterative change.

Schmidt: Google Chrome OS ‘a few months away’: Google boss Eric Schmidt has said that Chrome OS will be available “in the next few months” — which may be an indication that the company’s browser-based operating system has been delayed. Since unveiling the Chrome OS project last year, Google has said that systems using the operating system would be available by the end of this year. But the end of the year is a mere six weeks away. As he dropped the “a few months away” line at this week’s Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Schmidt said that Gingerbread, the new version of Android, was “a few weeks away.”

Tensions Between Ubuntu, Fedora Mount Over New Website: In an ideal world, free-software developers would happily get along and cooperate towards the same ends. But the world’s far from perfect, as rising tensions between the Ubuntu and Fedora camps have made clear recently in the wake of the founding a new website intended, ironically, to promote “respect” within the open-source ecosystems.

The ~200 Line Linux Kernel Patch That Does Wonders: In recent weeks and months there has been quite a bit of work towards improving the responsiveness of the Linux desktop with some very significant milestones building up recently and new patches continuing to come. This work is greatly improving the experience of the Linux desktop when the computer is withstanding a great deal of CPU load and memory strain. Fortunately, the exciting improvements are far from over. There is a new patch that has not yet been merged but has undergone a few revisions over the past several weeks and it is quite small — just over 200 lines of code — but it does wonders for the Linux desktop.

The Linux desktop may soon be a lot faster: Linux is fast. That’s why 90%+ of the Top 500 fastest supercomputers run it. What some people don’t realize is that Linux is much better at delivering speed for servers and supercomputers than it is on the desktop. That was by design. But over the last few years, there’s been more interest in delivering fast desktop performance. Now there’s a Linux kernel patch that may give you a faster, much faster, desktop experience.

Alternative To The “200 Lines Kernel Patch That Does Wonders” Which You Can Use Right Away: Phoronix recently published an article regarding a ~200 lines Linux Kernel patch that improves responsiveness under system strain. Well, Lennart Poettering, a RedHat developer replied to Linus Torvalds on a maling list with an alternative to this patch that does the same thing yet all you have to do is run 2 commands and paste 4 lines in your ~/.bashrc file.

The Perfect Desktop – Linux Mint 10 (Julia): This tutorial shows how you can set up a Linux Mint 10 (Julia) desktop that is a full-fledged replacement for a Windows desktop, i.e. that has all the software that people need to do the things they do on their Windows desktops. The advantages are clear: you get a secure system without DRM restrictions that works even on old hardware, and the best thing is: all software comes free of charge. Linux Mint 10 is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu 10.10 that has lots of packages in its repositories (like multimedia codecs, Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Skype, Google Earth, etc.) that are relatively hard to install on other distributions; it therefore provides a user-friendly desktop experience even for Linux newbies.

Fixing Akonadi’s warning of the non-existing leap second table: Ever since I installed Kontact 4.5, it has been showing an MySQL warning when starting. The exact error in the logs is:

Can’t open and lock time zone table: Table ‘mysql.time_zone_leap_second’ doesn’t exist trying to live without them

While it’s only a warning, I don’t like to have my logs filled with warnings. Hence, I went on a hunt to prevent this warning. Lots of posts said this issue is fixed in newer versions (certainly not for me!), or it doesn’t matter. But that wasn’t good enough for me..

5 unusal games for Linux: We often hear that there are no games on Linux, or that are much worse than their counterparts for windows, so today I want to show some unusual games that run perfectly on our favorite operating system. Caph Caph is a sandbox game, based on physics. The game target is to make contact red object with green object. You can use various objects, solid, wire (rope), and bendable objects. Gravitation will help you.

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LXer Article

In this week’s Roundup we have; What makes Linux compelling to use? Ubuntu moves away from GNOME, Learning Linux the hardcore way with Linux from scratch, Microsoft is a dying consumer brand, Why Unity in Ubuntu is good for the future and Ronald trip’s response to why Unity is clouding up the desktop. Enjoy!

Linux: What Makes Linux Compelling to Use?: I find Linux to be an excellent general purpose computing platform for day to day personal and small business use. I like the fact that Linux does not cost me money. No, my time is not worthless, but I have wisely spent the time I needed learning how to install, configure and use Linux and the free, open source software that comes with it.

Leaving the OpenOffice.org project: Today is a special day. I feel both sad and relieved, happy and somewhat disgusted. I have officially resigned from all my duties, roles and positions inside the OpenOffice.org project. My resignation is effective immediately and I am leaving the project. I will now be contributing to the Document Foundation, while of course continuing to work at Ars Aperta and at the OASIS as a member of its Board of Director, eGov Steering Committee and ODF Committees. These past days have been tense. In a sense it was to be expected, but on the other hand I feel that it was in fact quite surprising and unprofessional.

Ubuntu moves away from GNOME: The big news at the Ubuntu Developer Summit? Moving to Unity as the default interface for Ubuntu Desktop with Natty Narwhal (11.04), rather than GNOME Shell. Earlier this year, Canonical representatives had to deny that they were forking GNOME with the work on the Unity interface. (Quick disclaimer, I’m a GNOME Member and help out with GNOME PR.) Unity is a Canonical-sponsored project that was initially delivered for the Ubuntu Netbook Remix. GNOME Shell is the interface being developed for GNOME 3.0, which was delayed to spring 2011. Apparently, Canonical were being asked the wrong question. During the opening keynote, Mark Shuttleworth has announced that Canonical is committing to making Unity the default desktop experience “for users that have the appropriate software and hardware.”

What’s The Fastest Linux Filesystem On Cheap Flash Media?: Compact Flash and SD storage cards are everywhere; gigabytes for cheap in a tiny form factor. Most come formatted with VFAT. So what is the fastest Linux filesystem for these little devices? Flash drives and SD Cards are getting bigger, faster and cheaper. They’re not just for sucking down snaps from your pocket camera any more: they’re backup storage, portable homedirs, netbook expansion … you name it.

Learning Linux the hardcore way: Linux From Scratch: I was excited to see that the Linux From Scratch (hereafter, LFS) project just released a new and stable documentation “build” for version 6.7 this past September. I have known about the LFS project for many years but I didn’t start experimenting with it until not too long ago.

Why Unity in Ubuntu is good for the future..: The hype is all about cloud and the end of the desktop as we know it. The recent move from a “pure” gnome desktop to Unity by Ubuntu/Canonical is clearly a sign that of a fast-track type of (r)evolution. Why is it good for the key-players (Ubuntu/Debian, Canonical, Gnome and … the User), what are the risk associated with this somehow bold move?

Microsoft is a dying consumer brand: After several missteps, MS is dying as a consumer brand. Consumers have turned their backs on Microsoft. A company that once symbolized the future is now living in the past. Microsoft has been late to the game in crucial modern technologies like mobile, search, media, gaming and tablets. It has even fallen behind in Web browsing, a market it once ruled with an iron fist.

Using an IMG instead of an ISO to put Debian on a USB Flash drive: Now that I have a laptop that boots from USB, I’ve been using IMG images instead of ISOs when they’re available to test new Linux and BSD systems because they’re so easy to deal with.

Adoption of Unity is the Most Significant Change Ever for Ubuntu, Says Mark Shuttleworth: It’s going to be Unity all the way for Ubuntu’s next major release codenamed Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal”. During Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) at Florida, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth announced that the Unity shell will become Ubuntu’s default interface not just for netbook editions, but also for Ubuntu desktop editions.

Unity Clouding Up The Desktop: Mr. Des Ligneris wrote that the adoption of Unity is a bold move and a good one for Canonical and Ubuntu, as the focus of computing is shifting wholesale to the internet and “The Cloud”. It is an interesting viewpoint from Mr. Des Ligneris. I don’t see the Unity plans as a blessing though. There is no point in turning a full fledged desktop machine into a “Mobile Internet Device”. Their use cases don’t overlap. While a desktop is certainly capable of performing MID tasks, it is not the intended operating area of a desktop machine.

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LXer Article

In this week’s LXWR we have Canonical going on record about open core, Eight reasons to give the E17 a try, Oracle wants LibreOffice members to leave OOo council, The London Stock Exchange smashes the world record trade speed using Linux and with Ray Ozzie just the latest to walk out of Redmond, is this the beginning of the end for Microsoft? Enjoy!

Web browser speed test: Chrome, Firefox, IE9, Opera and Safari head-to-head: With Internet Explorer 9 being acclaimed as the fastest ever browser client from Microsoft, DaniWeb decided to put it to the test against Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Safari and see just how quick it really is in a real world test of web browsing speed.

Canonical, Ltd. Finally On Record: Seeking Open Core: I’ve written before about my deep skepticism regarding the true motives of Canonical, Ltd.’s advocacy and demand of for-profit corporate copyright assignment without promises to adhere to copyleft. I’ve often asked Canonical employees, including Jono Bacon, Amanda Brock, Jane Silber, Mark Shuttleworth himself, and — in the comments of this very blog post — Matt Asay to explain (a) why exactly they demand copyright assignment on their projects, rather than merely having contributors agree to the GNU GPL formally (like projects such as Linux do), and (b) why, having received a contributor’s copyright assignment, Canonical, Ltd. refuses to promise to keep the software copylefted and never proprietarize it (FSF, for example, has always done the latter in assignments). When I ask these questions of Canonical, Ltd. employees, they invariably artfully change the subject.

Fear and loathing and open core: Bradley M Kuhn published an interest blog post at the weekend explaining why he believes Canonical is about to go down the open core licensing route and heavily criticising the company for doing so. My take on the post is that it is the worst kind of Daily Mail-esque fear mongering and innuendo. Not only does Bradley lack any evidence for his claim, the evidence he presents completely undermines his argument and distracts attention from what could be a very important point about copyright assignment. The premise? Mark Shuttleworth has admitted that he plans to follow the open core licensing strategy with Canonical.

Eight Reasons to give the E17 Desktop a Try: During the three and a half years I have spent using Linux I have tried every different type of desktop under the sun and of them all Enlightenment’s E17 is my personal favorite. The following are a few reasons why it may be worth breaking out of your Gnome/KDE comfort zone to give E17 a try.

Oracle wants LibreOffice members to leave OOo council: A group of key OpenOffice.org (OOo) contributors and community members recently decided to fork the project and establish The Document Foundation (TDF) in order to drive forward community-driven development of the open source office suite. Oracle has responded to the move by asking several members of TDF to step down from their positions as representatives on the OOo community council.

London Stock Exchange smashes world record trade speed with Linux: The London Stock Exchange has said its new Linux-based system is delivering world record networking speed, with 126 microsecond trading times. The news comes ahead a major Linux-based switchover in twelve days, during which the open source system will replace Microsoft .Net technology on the group’s main stock exchange. The LSE had long been criticised on speed and reliability, grappling with trading speeds of several hundred microseconds.

Oracle issues first OpenOffice.org 3.3.0 release candidate: Two months after the first beta arrived, the OpenOffice.org developers have issued the first release candidate (RC1) of OpenOffice.org 3.3.0, the next release of the Oracle owned open source office suite. According to the OpenOffice.org Wiki, the RC1 development version will be followed by a second release candidate and a quality assurance (QA) build prior to the final product release. Dates for the RC2, QA and Final version have yet to be confirmed.

Beginning of the end for Microsoft?: Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s chief software architect, is leaving the company. There are a couple of moments in Microsoft’s long history that will be remembered as when the company changed forever. One of those is, naturally, when Bill Gates handed over the reins. The other will be the day that Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s chief software architect, leaves the building.

WordPress Founder on the Key to Open Source Success: As a 19-year-old college student in 2003, Matt Mullenweg developed what has become the largest self-hosted blogging tool on the web. Two years later, he founded Automattic, which runs the content management system for WordPress and a handful of other web tools. WordPress — still free and open source — is currently used by more than 12% of the top million websites (this one included). In a recent e-mail exchange, Mullenweg discussed the open source movement, the shifting personal web publishing world, and the future of WordPress.

Redmond Delivers Another Big POS: In 1996, Microsoft got together with a group of companies that included NCR, Epson, and Fujitisu to produce OLE for POS (abbreviated OPOS), which stands for Object Linking and Embedding for Point of Sale.

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LXer Article

In the Roundup this week we have news of IBM deciding to back Oracle’s OpenJDK instead of Harmony, Phoronix releases the 2010 Linux graphics survey results, 5 mistakes Linux newcomers make and lastly John E. Dunn gets the crazy idea to ditch Windows for Ubuntu. Enjoy!

IBM backs Oracle against Apache and Google’s Android: Oracle is no longer totally isolated on Java — IBM now stands with the giant, in a move that potentially stymies Google’s Android. IBM said Monday that it’s putting its efforts into the OpenJDK project, run by Oracle, and switching away from the Apache Software Foundation’s (ASF’s) Project Harmony on Java Standard Edition (Java SE).

Was Taken For Granted, Now Forgotten: I found a computing treasure in a local Goodwill store three weeks ago: a book about System/360 assembly language. (Assembly language is the human-readable form of the concrete instructions carried out by the computer.) In earlier years, this would have been a wonderful surprise, but a previous find precludes that from happening… Last year, I found a special treat in the discount bin of a local grocery store: a movie, in Mongolian. In the rural Midwest USA, that is difficult to surpass that for surprise finds.

2010 Linux Graphics Survey Results: Last month we carried out our fourth annual Linux Graphics Survey in which we sought feedback from the Linux community about the most common graphics drivers and hardware in use, what display/GPU-related features desktop users are most interested in, and collect other metrics to aide developers.

Linux Gaming: Wine vs. Cedega vs. CrossOver Games: In previous posts, I have highlighted some of the outstanding new native Linux games that are coming out soon or have been out but may not be well known. For many Linux gamers, however, the pool of native Linux games is still too small. As most already know, it is possible to play some Windows games in Linux using Wine. Additionally, there are two prominent commercial spin-offs of Wine that are both designed specifically for gaming: Cedega and CrossOver Games. At one time, there was little difference between the three, other than the graphical configuration interfaces

Top 5 mistakes by Linux first-timers: With the arrival of Ubuntu 10.10, the list of reasons to try Linux for your business just got a little longer. The free and open source operating system is now more user-friendly than it’s ever been before while still offering the many security and other advantages it has over its competitors. If you’re among the legions of new Linux users out there, congratulations on making a smart move! Now that you’re on your way to a lifetime of freedom from high costs, vendor lock-in, constant malware attacks, and the many other disadvantages associated with Windows and Mac OS X, you should be aware of some of the classic mistakes Linux newcomers sometimes make.

Here’s a crazy security idea – ditch Windows for Ubuntu 10.10 Linux: After some days with the latest Ubuntu Linux desktop release, I was planning to devote a few graphs to extolling its many virtues. This is not a hard exercise because Ubuntu 10.10 is exemplary, about as good as it gets at doing the main things desktop operating systems were originally invented to do. It’s refined, uncluttered, comes with plenty of apps for most people and, most of all, it’s stable and fast. It runs happily in 1GB of RAM, something no version of Windows has done since the obsolete XP. There’s even a netbook edition with larger icons.

Is Linux Gaining share at Windows Expense? Maybe, Maybe not: The study also doesn’t shed much light on potential hybrid deployments where Linux is deployed alongside Windows and Unix. “We didn’t ask that question exactly,” McPherson said. “I bet you are correct that many would be hybrid, and that would be good to ask next time.”

KDE 4 vs. GNOME 3: An Early Comparison: How will GNOME 3 compare to KDE 4? The picture is still emerging, since GNOME 3’s official release is still months away. However, with GNOME Shell available as a preview in the latest GNOME releases, a general outline is starting to be visible. Of course, some elements cannot be compared yet. It would be unfair, for instance, to compare panels in any detail, because in the previews GNOME Shell’s panel has neither applets nor configurations. Nor, for that matter, can much be said yet about the upcoming KDE 4.6, which should be the latest version when GNOME 3.0 is released.

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LXer Article

Some of the big stories this week included Steve Ballmer saying Android isn’t free, Bruce Byfield talks about Ubuntu’s real contribution to FOSS, Google makes aggressive counterclaims in the Oracle suit, Glyn Moody asks; Is Microsoft running out of steam? and last but not least Scott Charney, a Microsoft VP says that infected PCs should be banned from the internet. You have to read it to believe it. Enjoy!

Fork You, Oracle!: The open source community viscerally reacts to Oracle’s acquisition of Sun. Well it finally happened, as we all knew it would. Oracle bought Sun and promptly pissed off a lot of people with its heavy-handed ways. Anybody who has followed Oracle’s past antics shouldn’t be surprised by its behavior since acquiring OpenOffice, nor the reaction from the open source community which can be simply summed up as follows:Ballmer: Android ain’t free. Microsoft gets paid.: On the back of the news that Microsoft (MSFT) is suing Motorola (MOT) for patent infringments related to Android, Steve Ballmer tells the Wall Street Journal that HTC is paying a license fee for its use of Android…and that other Android manufactures may be forced to do the same.

The OpenOffice fork is officially here: It’s not that Oracle wishes ill of The Document Foundation and its take on OpenOffice, LibreOffice. Oracle just isn’t going to be having anything to do with it. When The Document Foundation released the beta of LibreOffice, the group wanted to speed up the rate of changes to the notoriously slow OpenOffice office suite software project and make significant improvements to OpenOffice, such as adding Microsoft OpenXML format compatibility to the program. This suggestion received support from all the major open-source and Linux powers: Red Hat, Novell, and Ubuntu. Even Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, announced that they’d place LibreOffice in next spring’s update of Ubuntu.

Ubuntu’s Real Contribution to Free Software: Reactions to Ubuntu are rarely balanced. Too often, people love or hate it so extravagantly that the opinions negate themselves. Often, the reactions are so extreme that a fair assessment of the popular distribution is difficult. Add some genuine mis-steps, and the assessment seems almost impossible. So exactly what does Ubuntu contribute to free software? The answer, I think, is different from what those in either extreme seem to believe.

Google Answers Oracle, Counterclaims, and Moves to Dismiss Copyright Infringement Claim: Google has filed its Answer with Counterclaims to Oracle’s patent and copyright infringement complaint, and how! It’s a very aggressive and confident response to Oracle’s complaint. Google asks that Oracle’s complaint be dismissed, for a judgment in favor of all its counterclaims, for a declaratory judgment that Google has not infringed or contributed to any infringement of any of the patents, a declaration of the invalidity of all the Oracle patents, and a declaration that all Oracle’s claims are barred by laches, equitable estoppel and/or waiver, and unclean hands. It wants Oracle to have to pays its costs and expenses of this litigation, including Google’s attorneys’ fees and expert witness fees, asking for a judgment that this is an exceptional case warranting it.

Is Microsoft running out of steam?: People forget that the central purpose of patents is to encourage real innovation, not simply reward people for being the first to file for even obvious ideas with over-stretched patent offices that set incredibly low bars. The world of patents has become perverted in recent years: patents are seen as valuable things in themselves – the more the merrier – irrespective of whether they do, truly, promote innovation. Worse: in the world of software, they are actually brakes on that innovation, particularly as they begin to interact and form impenetrable patent thickets.

One Billion Dollars! Wait… I Mean One Billion Files!!!: The world is awash in data. This fact is putting more and more pressure on file systems to efficiently scale to handle increasingly large amounts of data. Recently, Ric Wheeler from Redhat experimented with putting 1 Billion files in a single file system to understand what problems/issues the Linux community might face in the future. Let’s see what happened…

Whither the weather? Linux CLI solutions: Command line weather app is example of why the cli is good. The command line is a great place to get weather information. Here, I discuss one cli-app for current conditions and forecasts, in the larger context of why you would ever want to use the command line anyway. There are several ways to use your computer to check the weather. One is to use the Nakob Weather Rock method. Suspend the computer using a rope from a tripod of sticks. If the computer is swaying, that means it is windy. If the computer is wet, that means it is raining.

Mozilla upsets net world order with Bing on Firefox: The Firefox 4 search toolbar will offer Microsoft Bing as an alternative to Google, as Mozilla takes another step towards its traditional nemesis — and apparently hedges its bets against its traditional sugar daddy. As Mozilla announced this morning with a blog post, the latest English-language version of Mozilla’s open source browser — due for release in November — will retain Google as the default search engine. But for the first time, Bing will be listed in the pull-down that lets you change the default. Google will be first on the menu. Yahoo! — now powered by Bing — will be second. And Bing will be third.

Are there too Many Consortia?: Companies that participate in hundreds of standard setting organizations (SSOs) often bemoan the continuing launch of more and more such organizations. Why, they are wont to ask, are so many new ones being formed all the time? And indeed, the aggregate participation costs for such companies in terms of membership dues and personnel are very high.

Sick PCs should be banned from the net says Microsoft: Virus-infected computers that pose a risk to other PCs should be blocked from the net, a senior researcher at software giant Microsoft suggests.

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LXer Article

In this week’s LXWR OpenOffice.org gets liberated, a nice review of Linux Mint, The GNU Project celebrates its 27th birthday, Jono Bacon talks about how Ubuntu gets built, a case for Linux in schools, Rad Hat’s CEO makes it on Mad Money, Microsoft sues Motorola because of Android and a LXer Feature by our own Hans Kwint on the choices Windows and Linux users both have. Enjoy!

LibreOffice: OpenOffice.org Liberated: It has been a long time coming, but finally it happened: OpenOffice.org has been forked under the name of LibreOffice. The Document Foundation will oversee the development of LibreOffice. According to the press release, “The Document Foundation is the result of a collective effort by leading independent members of the former OpenOffice.org community, including several project leads and key members of the Community Council.” Red Hat, Canonical, Google, and Novell are among the backers of The Document Foundation and the new fork.

Goodbye OpenOffice. LibreOffice, Here I Come!: I was ecstatic today to hear the news that former members of the OpenOffice.org Foundation have decided to create a fork of OpenOffice called LibreOffice. This fork will be a democratic and community-driven project, free from the dubious motivations of Oracle Corporation. I suspected that someone would eventually do something like this, but I was not expecting it so soon.

Windows users face as many choices as Linux users: A while ago, Graham Morrison wrote: “The trouble with Linux: there’s too much choice”. Implicitly, the article refers to “more choice than with Windows”. The article led to reactions from Carla Schroeder, Caitlyn Martin, Alastair Otter and Ron Miller. While the articles provided for an interesting discussion, none of them addressed the fundamentals of Linux distributions and choice of desktop software in my opinion. Because from an objective point of view, Windows users face as many choices as Linux users do. But most Windows users are just not aware of all the choices they’re making.

5 Intriguing KDE Apps : The beauty of an open development platform is that anyone can take a stab at creating an application. KDE, which is built upon the Qt application and UI framework, is a shining example of this. A quick look at KDE-Apps.org reveals that new apps are added daily. I periodically browse through the latest KDE apps to see if anything stands out, and I found these five, some of which are in early development.

Linux Mint: the tastier Ubuntu: Launched in October of 2004, Linux Mint has rapidly emerged as one of the most popular desktop Linux distributions. In this review, LinuxTrends takes a look at the latest Linux Mint release and finds it to be preferable to Ubuntu (on which it’s based) in several significant ways.

Happy 27th Birthday GNU Project!: A hearty Happy 27th Birthday to the GNU Project! Here is a link to the original announcement of the GNU Project posted by Richard Stallman on September 27, 1983. Without the GNU project FOSS as we know it today would not exist. Thank You to everyone who works and has worked on the GNU project over the last 27 years. You have helped make the world a better place. We at LXer take our hats off to you.

How we build Ubuntu: Ubuntu is one of the most polished Linux distributions available, fusing the work of a global community of contributors who provide a diverse range of skills to make Ubuntu what it is. While we all enjoy the fruits of a new Ubuntu release every six months, many people have asked the team over the years how this wide range of contributors manage to come together to build a new Ubuntu release.

Linux in Schools: Why schools should have students use and learn Linux instead of some other OS. What computer operating system should students learn at school? Most schools use MS Windows or Mac, but a number have switched or are in the process of switching to Linux. For schools the advantages are lower costs, greater security, no viruses or spyware, easier upgrades and better reliability. Lastly, there are very few licensing hassles or concerns about pirated software.

Red Hat Linux is Mad Money: Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of different people try and explain the economic proposition that open source and Linux offers. One of the best such explanations I’ve ever heard came on CNBC’s Mad Money show this week during which host Jim Cramer was interviewing Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst. With Red Hat, Cramer noted that it is a disruptive force and that’s what makes it attractive. His view is that in tech, disruptive forces are the most valuable types of companies.

Microsoft sues Motorola over patents, citing Android phones: Microsoft has filed suit against Motorola, alleging that the mobile phone maker’s Android-based smartphones violate nine of the Redmond company’s patents. Motorola promised to “vigorously defend” against the allegations, citing the strength of its own intellectual property portfolio.

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LXer Article

In the LXWR this week we have some new happenings with Diaspora, debunking the 1% Myth and a rather subdued response to the announcement of the Open Solaris fork known as OpenIndiana. Also, a Gartner report predicts Android will the top mobile OS by 2014 and could Oracle fracture open source community? Enjoy!

Open-Source GPU Drivers Causing Headaches In KDE 4.5: Martin Gräßlin, the KDE developer known for working on KWin and working on advanced features like OpenGL 3.x compositing in KDE 4.7, has written a new blog post in which he details some of the driver issues currently being experienced by some users of the recently released KDE 4.5 desktop.

Diaspora coming: It’s probably not true to say that everybody hates Facebook. But there are many millions (of the hundreds of millions that use the site) that claim to hate Facebook’s cavalier approach to privacy and founder Mark Zuckerberg’s equally vague approach to the future of our privacy. There are even groups dedicated to encouraging users to leave Facebook (some on Facebook itself, ironically).

Five tips for a smooth Linux migration: We’ve talked a little bit before about ways to bring your new Linux users along so that their migration experience is positive. Here are a few more tips to help make the switch to Linux a pain-free experience for you and for them.

Could Oracle fracture open source community?: An Oracle was a person or agency considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic opinion. How can that particular definition be applied to Oracle the company? It can’t. In fact I would claim that Oracle, the company, is quite the opposite of “wise” or “prophetic”.

A Look at KDE Desktop Effects: KDE’s visual effects for windows and menus technically dates back to KDE 3. Experimental programs like kompmgr provided drop shadows and transparency for windows, and the KDE desktop itself had built-in support for basic menu transparency, shadows, and other effects. With the coming of KDE 4, the number of effects has multiplied, and KWin (KDE’s window manager) is now on par with Compiz (a window manager with numerous desktop effects). Moreover, KWin’s primary advantage over Compiz is that it is part of KDE and integrates perfectly with the rest of the desktop. While support for Compiz has been added, there are still some outstanding glitches when run on top of KDE.

Debunking the 1% Myth: It seems like almost every day someone in the tech press or someone commenting in a technical forum will claim that Linux adoption on the desktop (including laptops) is insignificant. The number that is thrown around is 1%. These claims are even repeated by some who advocate for Linux adoption. Both the idea that Linux market share on the desktop is insignificant and the 1% figure are simply false and have been for many years.

Whither with Ubuntu?: In the Autumn of 2004, I was searching the net and came across this new Linux distribution called Ubuntu Linux. It was based on Debian and was supposedly easy to use. It promoted these seemingly humanitarian concepts and touted itself as shipping with over 1000 pieces of software. Overtime, the colors of the site remained odd, and the default color scheme of the desktop did as well. The word “Linux” was made less and less a part of the website through the few years I followed it closely. By 2009, Linux was only one word in relatively small font size as part of the description of Ubuntu. One of the coolest things about Ubuntu was that you could the install discs for free via snail mail. This also stopped. Over the 6 years of life that Ubuntu has had so far, it has changed drastically.

Linux Mint Based On Debian Released – And It’s A Rolling Distribution!: Linux Mint based on Debian Testing has been released yesterday. Besides being based on Debian and not Ubuntu, there’s something else very special about the new Linux Mint Debian: it’s a rolling release distribution!

OpenIndiana: OpenIndiana is a continuation of the OpenSolaris operating system. It was conceived during the period of uncertainty following the Oracle takeover of Sun Microsystems, after several months passed with no binary updates made available to the public. The formation proved timely, as Oracle discontinued OpenSolaris soon after in favour of Solaris 11 Express, a binary distribution with a more closed development model to debut later this year.

Is Apple Now Blocking Contributions To GCC?: Yesterday on the mailing list for GCC is was brought up if Apple’s Objective-C 2.0 patches for the GNU Compiler Collection could be merged back into the upstream GCC code-base as maintained by the Free Software Foundation. Even though Apple’s modified GCC sources still reflect the FSF as the copyright holder and are licensed under the GNU GPLv2+, it doesn’t look like Apple wants their compiler work going back upstream any longer.

Android Might Be Top Mobile OS Globally By 2014: Gartner has released a report predicting that by 2014, Android will be second only to Symbian in mobile operating system marketshare worldwide, with the two platforms accounting for nearly 60 percent of the mobile OS market within the next four years. The news follows numerous recent bullish reports on the state of Android in the U.S.

99.4 percent of malware is aimed at Windows users: Have you ever thought about measuring the Internet in terms if malware per minute? Me neither, but someone has and it makes for uncomfortable reading if you are a Microsoft Windows user.

5 Things I Miss From Linux When Using OSX: Recently I purchased a MacBook Pro. Principally because I like the hardware, and can put Linux on it. However, it has also given me the opportunity to use OSX. In fact I’ve been using OSX quite a lot – given I’ve paid for it, I want to really see how it works. However, in the course of using it, I’ve come across a number of features of Linux and the KDE desktop that I greatly miss.

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