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GNU is Not Unix

Bringing Free Software To a Street Near You 78

Posted by Soulskill
from the first-hit-is-free-but-so-are-all-the-others dept.
Blug_fred writes "It's that time of year again; the nights are drawing in, the leaves are beginning to turn, and literally hundreds of teams of dedicated F/OSS enthusiasts from around the world are preparing to hit the streets in celebration of Software Freedom Day 2012. In an effort to increase awareness of free and open source software among the general public, SFD teams will be standing around town centers and shopping malls, holding talks at schools and universities, giving demonstrations and handing out GNU/Linux and FOSS collections for Windows on CD. With money being tight and paranoia about malware and viruses at an all-time high, the time is right to help consumers switch to the myriad of quality open source applications available. If you would like to check for an SFD team in your area and consider attending, be it to help out or simply learn more about free software for yourself, there's an interactive map to help you find your way."
X

X11 Window System Turns 25 Years Old 285

Posted by Soulskill
from the old-enough-to-rent-a-car dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The widely used X11 Window System has turned 25 years old today. Version 11 of the X Window System is likely to remain in use for many years to come for backwards compatibility with the many legacy applications, BSD/Solaris systems, and Enterprise Linux distributions. Meanwhile, Wayland is still working to unseat the X Server for the common Linux desktop."
Patents

Patent Troll Sues X-Plane 214

Posted by Soulskill
from the uniloc-has-a-lot-of-x-planing-to-do dept.
symbolset writes "X-plane is a cross-platform flight simulator app, notably the only serious one that supports Mac OSX and Linux. It was the first to include NASA data in their terrain modelling. It's now under threat by an NPE (Non-Practicing Entity) called Uniloc. Uniloc is suing for things X-Plane has done for decades. X-plane cannot afford to defend this suit, so if somebody doesn't step up and defend them then we lose X-plane forever. Quoting: 'I have spoken to a lawyer about this, and I am told that it will cost me about $1,500,000 (one and a half million dollars) to defend this suit. He also told me that it should take about two to three years to defend. This is more money than I have made selling Android Apps in the first place.'"
Linux Business

Red Hat Fights Patent Troll With GPL 98

Posted by Soulskill
from the mightier-than-the-sword dept.
jfruh writes "Red Hat is in the middle of a patent lawsuit with Twin Peaks Software, which claims that a Red Hat subsidiary is abusing a Twin Peaks filesystem lawsuit. Now, Red Hat is launching an intriguing countermeasure: the company claims that Twin Peaks' own closed source software violates the GPL because it makes use of an open source disk utility that Red Hat holds the copyright on. Is this a smart move on Red Hat's part?"
Intel

Intel Says Clover Trail Atom CPU Won't Work With Linux 434

Posted by Soulskill
from the that-will-go-over-well dept.
girlmad tips this news from the Inquirer: "Intel's Clover Trail Atom processor can be seen in various non-descript laptops around IDF and the firm provided a lot of architectural details on the chip, confirming details such as dual-core and a number of power states. However Intel said Clover Trail 'is a Windows 8 chip' and that 'the chip cannot run Linux.' While Intel's claim that Clover Trail won't run Linux is not quite true — after all, it is an x86 instruction set, so there is no major reason why the Linux kernel and userland will not run — given that the firm will not support it, device makers are unlikely to produce Linux Clover Trail devices for their own support reasons."
Graphics

Ubuntu NVIDIA Graphics Driver: Windows Competitive, But Only With KDE 306

Posted by timothy
from the layers-to-work-through dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The NVIDIA Linux driver across multiple GeForce graphics cards can compete with Microsoft Windows 7 on Ubuntu, but only when using the KDE desktop and not the default Unity/Compiz. It turns out based upon recent desktop environment benchmarking, Ubuntu's Unity desktop is now noticeably slower than GNOME/KDE/Xfce/LXDE with multiple GPUs/drivers. Sam Spilsbury of Canonical/Compiz acknowledges the problem but it may take longer than one Ubuntu cycle to correct."
Operating Systems

The Linux Desktop and ISVs/OEMs 195

Posted by Soulskill
from the mixing-freedom-and-business dept.
olau writes "Michael Meeks, who's worked on GNOME and LibreOffice integration for many years, now for SuSE, has some really interesting thoughts on the recent Linux desktop debate and suggestions for possible strategies. He points out that regarding independent software vendors (ISVs), the real issue isn't actually the quality of the tools but the size and attractiveness of the market, and perhaps that a solution could be lower barriers for paying or donating. Regarding OEMs selling hardware with software preinstalled, he points out that while a free OS + software sounds good for consumers, it's actually a problem for OEMs on razor-thin margins, since they lose the cut they get from the preinstallations. A possible countermove could be nailing robustness and hardware diagnostics for good, lowering OEM support costs."
China

Rhombus Tech A10 EOMA-68 CPU Card Schematics Completed 155

Posted by timothy
from the soon-for-the-carputer dept.
lkcl writes "Rhombus Tech's first CPU Card is nearing completion and availability: the schematics have been completed by Wits-Tech. Although it appears strange to be using a 1ghz Cortex A8 for the first CPU Card, the mass-volume price of the A10 was lower than other offerings. Not only does the A10 classify as 'good enough' (in combination with 1GB of RAM), Allwinner Tech is one of the very rare China-based SoC companies willing to collaborate with Software (Libre) developers without an enforced (GPL-violating) NDA in place. Overall, it's the very first step in the right direction for collaboration between Software (Libre) developers and mass-volume PRC Factories. There will be more (faster, better) EOMA-68 CPU Cards: this one is just the first."
Programming

Ask Slashdot: How Would You Fix the Linux Desktop? 1154

Posted by Soulskill
from the solid-color-rectangles dept.
itwbennett writes "Slashdot readers are familiar with the Torvalds/de Icaza slugfest over 'the lack of development in Linux desktop initiatives.' The problem with the Linux desktop boils down to this: We need more applications, and that means making it easier for developers to build them, says Brian Proffitt. 'It's easy to point at solutions like the Linux Standard Base, but that dog won't hunt, possibly because it's not in the commercial vendors' interests to create true cross-distro compatibility. United Linux or a similar consortium probably won't work, for the same reasons,' says Proffitt. So, we put it to the Slashdot community: How would you fix the Linux desktop?"
GNOME

GNOME 3.6 To Include Major Revisions 327

Posted by timothy
from the clamor-from-the-villagers dept.
supersloshy writes "The launch of the GNOME 3 desktop environment sparked heated debate and criticism. GNOME developers have been listening to the concerns of its users and it is rolling out several significant changes in GNOME 3.6. The message tray, often called hard to use, was made much more visible in addition to being harder to accidentally trigger. The "lock" screen can now optionally control your music player, the system volume, and display notifications so you don't have to type in a password. GNOME will also support different input sources directly instead of requiring an add-on program. Nautilus, the GNOME file browser, is also getting a major face lift with a new, more compact UI, properly working search features, a "move to" and "copy to" option as an alternative to dragging and dropping, and a new "recent files" section. These changes, among many others including improvements to system settings, will be present in GNOME 3.6 when it is released later this month. Any other additions or changes not currently implemented by the GNOME team can be easily applied with only one click at the GNOME Extensions website."
Operating Systems

OpenSUSE 12.2 Is Out 96

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the lizard-people-conspiracy dept.
First time accepted submitter jospoortvliet writes with news of a new openSUSE release. From the release announcement: "Two months of extra stabilization work have resulted into a stellar release, chock-full of goodies, yet stable as you all like it. The latest release of the world's most powerful and flexible Linux Distribution brings you speed-ups across the board with a faster storage layer in Linux 3.4 and accelerated functions in glibc and Qt, giving a more fluid and responsive desktop. The infrastructure below openSUSE has evolved, bringing in newly matured technologies like GRUB2 and Plymouth and the first steps in the direction of a revised and simplified UNIX file system hierarchy. Users will also notice the added polish to existing features bringing an improved user experience all over. The novel Btrfs file system comes with improved error handling and recovery tools. KDE has improved its stability, GNOME 3.4, developing rapidly, brings smooth scrolling to all applications and features a reworked System Settings and Contacts manager while XFCE has an enhanced application finder. Download openSUSE 12.2 from any of our mirrors."
Debian

AMD64 Surpasses i386 As Debian's Most Popular Architecture 216

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the big-versus-little-endians dept.
An anonymous reader writes with a quick note about the changing tides of computer architecture. From the article: "Bill Allombert announced [yesterday] via the Debian-devel mailing list that the X86_64 version of Debian has now surpassed all of the other supported architectures by a narrow margin. The most surprising part of this announcement however, and accompanying info-graphics provided on the Debian Popularity Contest page, is that this was not already true."
Virtualization

Xen-Based Secure OS Qubes Hits 1.0 175

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the subhurds-for-the-masses dept.
Orome1 writes "Joanna Rutkowska, CEO of Invisible Things Lab, today released version 1.0 of Qubes, a stable and reasonably secure desktop OS. It is the most secure option among the existing desktop operating systems — even more secure than Apple's iOS, which puts each application into its own sandbox and does not count on the user to make security decisions. Qubes will offer users the option of using disposable virtual machines for executing tasks they believe could harm their computer. These VMs will be lightweight, easily and extremely speedily created and booted, and would be just as easy to discard." First covered back in 2010. See some screenshots of the X11 part in action (and they say displaying clients from multiple "hosts" isn't useful...)
GNOME

Ubuntu Gnome Remix 12.10 Arrives For Testing 175

Posted by samzenpus
from the mixing-it-up dept.
sfcrazy writes "The first ISO (alpha) images of Gnome Shell edition of Ubuntu is now available for download and testing. The Gnome edition of Ubuntu will bring back a lot of hard-core Gnome Shell fans who were looking elsewhere to get the pure Gnome Shell experience. Both Fedora and openSUSE are doing a great job at offering Gnome 3 Shell experience and the arrival of Ubuntu GNOME Remix will give the project the audience it needed."
GNOME

Torvalds Takes Issue With De Icaza's Linux Desktop Claims 616

Posted by samzenpus
from the who's-to-blame dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Linux creator Linus Torvalds has poured scorn on claims made by the co-founder of the GNOME Desktop project, Miguel de Icaza, that he (Torvalds) was in any way to blame for the lack of development in Linux desktop initiatives. De Icaza wrote in his personal blog: 'Linus, despite being a low-level kernel guy, set the tone for our community years ago when he dismissed binary compatibility for device drivers. The kernel people might have some valid reasons for it, and might have forced the industry to play by their rules, but the Desktop people did not have the power that the kernel people did. But we did keep the attitude.'" Update: 09/02 18:39 GMT by U L : The original source of the comments (and an exciting flamewar between Free Software heavyweights).
GUI

The True Challenges of Desktop Linux 505

Posted by timothy
from the editing-video-would-be-nice dept.
olau writes "Hot on the heels on the opinion piece on how Mac OS X killed Linux on the desktop is a more levelheaded analysis by another GNOME old-timer Christian Schaller who doesn't think Mac OS X killed anything. In fact, in spite of the hype surrounding Mac OS X, it seems to barely have made a dent in the overall market, he argues. Instead he points to a much longer list of thorny issues that Linux historically has faced as a contender to Microsoft's double-monopoly on the OS and the Office suite."
Intel

Valve Finds Open Source Drivers To Be Great 159

Posted by Soulskill
from the like-peanut-butter-and-chocolate dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Intel's Open-Source Technology Center was given source-code access to Valve's Left 4 Dead 2 game in order to help them fix Linux bugs and to better optimize their graphics driver to this forthcoming Linux native game on the Source Engine. Intel has talked about their Valve Linux development experiences and now they managed to get Left 4 Dead 2 running on their open-source graphics driver. Valve also has grown fond of open-source hardware drivers: 'Valve Linux developers have also been happy looking at an open-source graphics driver. Valve Linux developers found it equally thrilling that now when hitting a bottleneck in their game or looking for areas for performance optimizations, they are simply able to look into Intel's open-source Linux graphics driver to understand how an operation is handled by the hardware, tossing some extra debugging statements into the Intel driver to see what's happening, and making other driver tweaks.'"
Windows

Windows 8 Is 'a Work of Art.' But It's No Linux 371

Posted by timothy
from the design-team-denied-your-request dept.
colinneagle writes "Earlier this week I installed the final version of Windows 8. And it is awesome. That's not a joke. Windows 8 is absolutely, unequivocally stellar. And yet, at the end of the day, I am right back to using Linux. Why is that? What is it about Linux that makes me so excited to use it — even while enjoying another operating system that I view as, in all seriousness, a work of art? Why do I not simply install Windows 8 on every machine I own and be happy with it? For me, it's the ability to slowly chip away and remove items from your user interface until you are left with only want you want, and nothing more. The option of looking at an item on the screen, right clicking on it, and declaring to said item 'Listen up, mister Thing-On-My-Screen. I don't want you anymore. Be gone!' Panels, bars, docks, launchers, widgets, gadgets – whatever is on your screen, there is probably a way to send it to whatever form of the afterlife is reserved for unwanted Desktop Crud. And, I'll tell you this right now – as great as it is, you don't find a whole lot of 'Right click, Remove Panel' in Windows 8."
GNOME

GNOMEbuntu Set To Arrive In October 157

Posted by timothy
from the would-prefer-mate dept.
First time accepted submitter Rzarector writes "Good News Everyone! Thanks to the Ubuntu Gnome Community and Jeremy Bicha, it seems that the popular distribution will ship a flavor with a relatively pure GNOME experience in the next release cycle, on October 18. At this point the effort is community based, but hopefully GNOMEbuntu will make it as an official Canonical spin, similar to Kubuntu, Xubuntu, et cetera, in the 13.04 release. This is the story: At the Ubuntu Developer Summit in May, some discussions took place on the need for a Gnome spin. On August 13, Jeremy Bicha posted on Gnome mailing lists about looking a name for the new Ubuntu derivative. After that, I had no news till Stinger gave us a thread in Ubuntu Forums. On there, Jeremy talks about working on an Alpha version! So I contacted him and he verified that GNOMEbuntu will be released together with Ubuntu 12.10."
Operating Systems

Linus Torvalds Says Linux 4.0 Could Be Out In Three Years 174

Posted by timothy
from the next-step-only-got-to-3.3 dept.
darthcamaro writes "The wait between Linux 2.x and 3.x was a long one, but the wait to Linux 4? Well, that will only be a matter of three years, according to Linus Torvalds. '"It's just mentally much easier for people to remember the small number," Torvalds said during the LinuxCon conference in San Diego [Wednesday]. "We'll do 4.0 in three years maybe when the sub numbers have grown in the 20's and our feeble brains can't handle it."'"

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