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The Linux-Proof Processor That Nobody Wants 403

Posted by samzenpus
from the last-kid-picked dept.
Bruce Perens writes "Clover Trail, Intel's newly announced 'Linux proof' processor, is already a dead end for technical and business reasons. Clover Trail is said to include power-management that will make the Atom run longer under Windows. It had better, since Atom currently provides about 1/4 of the power efficiency of the ARM processors that run iOS and Android devices. The details of Clover Trail's power management won't be disclosed to Linux developers. Power management isn't magic, though — there is no great secret about shutting down hardware that isn't being used. Other CPU manufacturers, and Intel itself, will provide similar power management to Linux on later chips. Why has Atom lagged so far behind ARM? Simply because ARM requires fewer transistors to do the same job. Atom and most of Intel's line are based on the ia32 architecture. ia32 dates back to the 1970s and is the last bastion of CISC, Complex Instruction Set Computing. ARM and all later architectures are based on RISC, Reduced Instruction Set Computing, which provides very simple instructions that run fast. RISC chips allow the language compilers to perform complex tasks by combining instructions, rather than by selecting a single complex instruction that's 'perfect' for the task. As it happens, compilers are more likely to get optimal performance with a number of RISC instructions than with a few big instructions that are over-generalized or don't do exactly what the compiler requires. RISC instructions are much more likely to run in a single processor cycle than complex ones. So, ARM ends up being several times more efficient than Intel."

Are Commercial Games Finally Going To Make It To Linux? 242

Posted by Soulskill
from the yes-no-maybe dept.
colinneagle writes "Those of us who actively promote Linux as a viable desktop alternative to Windows are often greeted with the following refrain: 'Nobody will use Linux because there are no good games.' The prevailing wisdom is that the abundance of high-quality, commercial video gaming is a key factor in the market-share dominance that Microsoft Windows enjoys. And, in all reality, this is somewhat true. So, then, the obvious course of action is to convince the video game publishers and developers of the world that Linux is a viable (if, perhaps, a bit niche) market. And by 'viable' I mean one thing and one thing only – 'profitable.'Luckily, there have been three high-profile recent examples of Linux users going absolutely nuts over video games, forking over their hard-earned cash in the process: the Humble Indie Bundle (drawing in huge numbers of sales — for a DRM-free product, no less — with sales numbers by Linux users consistently beating out sales to MacOS X users); Canonical's Ubuntu Software Center (where video games make up the top 10 paid software packages); Valve's announcement that it is bringing the Steam store, and community portal, to Linux desktop (specifically Ubuntu). Will the indie game developers (along with Valve) reap the bulk of the rewards that releasing games on Linux is offering...or will some of the big publishers realize what they're missing out on and join in the fun?"
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."

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."

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 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."

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."

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."

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 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."

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."

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...)

Time is an illusion perpetrated by the manufacturers of space.