An anonymous reader writes "Right on the heels of Debian's 7.0 ('Wheezy') release, the Aptosid team is proud to announce the immediate availability of the 2013-01 release. Aptosid is a rolling release built on top of Debian's most modern branch Sid, providing the most up-to-date kernel available with patches and stabilization not yet seen in mainline, along with many patched Debian packages, all while maintaining 100% compatibility with upstream Debian (unlike other distros based on Debian). If you think Debian Stable is too old to be useful, give Atposid a spin!"
alancronin writes "Valve have released Portal for Linux through the Steam platform. If you have a copy of the Windows version you will automatically have a copy of it for Linux in your account. There are also rumors of Portal 2 coming soon."
First time accepted submitter anarcat writes "After two years since the last Debian release (6.0, nicknamed "squeeze"), the Debian release team has finally published Debian 7.0 (nicknamed "Wheezy"). A newly created blog has details on the release, which features multi-arch support (e.g. you can now install packages for both i386 and amd64 on the same install), improvements to multimedia support (no need for third party repositories!) and improved security through hardening flags. Debian 7.0 also ships with the controversial Gnome 3 release, and the release notes explicitly mention how to revert to the more familiar 'Gnome classic' interface. Finally, we can also mention the improved support for virtualization infrastructure with pre-built images available for Amazon EC2, Windows Azure and Google Compute Engine. Debian 7.0 also ships with the OpenStack suite and the Xen Cloud Platform. More details on the improvements can be found in the release notes and the Debian wiki." An anonymous reader points out (from the announcement) that "[t]he installation process has been greatly improved: Debian can now be installed using software speech, above all by visually impaired people who do not use a Braille device. Thanks to the combined efforts of a huge number of translators, the installation system is available in 73 languages, and more than a dozen of them are available for speech synthesis too. In addition, for the first time, Debian supports installation and booting using UEFI for new 64-bit PCs (amd64), although there is no support for Secure Boot yet."
First time accepted submitter PAjamian writes "Maintainers of the Anaconda installer in Fedora have taken it upon themselves to show passwords in plaintext on the screen as they are entered into the installer. Following on the now recanted statements of security expert Bruce Schneier, Anaconda maintainers have decided that it is not a security risk to show passwords on your screen in the latest Alpha release of Fedora 19. Members of the Fedora community on the Fedora devel mailing list are showing great concern over this change in established security protocols." Note: the change was first reported in the linked thread by Dan Mashal.
hypnosec writes with word that the OpenWRT team a few days ago released the final version of the project's newest iteration, version 12.09 (codenamed "Attitude Adjustment"). "The final version doesn't support Linux 2.4, because of which the distribution wouldn't run on old router models, for example the Linksys WRT54G models, which have 16MB of RAM and CPUs clocked at 200MHz. The distribution is now based on Linux 3.3 and there is good news for the Raspberry Pi fans as the distribution now supports the credit card-sized computer, along with Ramips routers."
jrepin writes "The government of Spain's autonomous region of Extremadura has begun the switch to open source of it desktop PCs. The government expects the majority of its 40,000 PCs to be migrated this year, the region's CIO Theodomir Cayetano announced on 18 April. Extremadura estimates that the move to open source will help save 30 million euro per year. Extremadura in 2012 completed the inventory of all the software applications and computers used by its civil servants. It also tailored a Linux distribution, Sysgobex, to meet the majority of requirements of government tasks. It has already migrated to open source some 150 PCs at several ministries, including those for Development, Culture and Employment."
hypnosec writes "After a week's delay Linux 3.9 has finally been made available by Linus Torvalds. Last week Torvalds released the rc8 stating that he wasn't 'comfy' releasing the final version yet and that 'another week won't hurt.' Torvalds noted in this week's announcement that last week had been very quiet as there were not many commits and the ones which were there were 'really tiny' so he went ahead with the release of Linux 3.9."
jrepin writes "KDE's integrated development environment KDevelop has just reached version 4.5. 'In this new version you will find brand new integration for Unit Tests, so that you can easily run and debug them while working on your projects. Furthermore, you'll find an iteration of our New Class wizard, many changes regarding polishing the UI in different places, better support for C++11 features and some other things you'll find along the way.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Btrfs is the next-gen filesystem for Linux, likely to replace ext3 and ext4 in coming years. Btrfs offers many compelling new features and development proceeds apace, but many users still aren't sure whether it's 'ready enough' to entrust their data to. Anchor, a webhosting company, reports on trying it out, with mixed feelings. Their opinion: worth a look-in for most systems, but too risky for frontline production servers. The writeup includes a few nasty caveats that will bite you on serious deployments."
Barence writes "Ubuntu has shelved the idea of moving to rolling releases, and will continue to release a new version every six months. Earlier this year, Ubuntu developers discussed the idea of moving to rolling releases, with new features added to the OS as and when they were ready. However, In an interview with PC Pro, Canonical CEO Jane Silber said the developers had taken a 'cold, hard look at our long-standing practices' and decided to stay with twice-yearly releases. It has, however, cut support on non-LTS releases from 18 to nine months." Today, the Ubuntu team have released the latest iteration of Ubuntu, 13.04 ("Raring Ringtail"), along with variants like Kubuntu 13.04.
hypnosec writes "Following delays due to UEFI, the alpha version of Fedora 19 'Schrödinger's Cat' has been released. The alpha version brings with it all the features of Fedora 19, including the updated desktop options – GNOME 3.8, KDE Plasma 4.10 and MATE 1.6. Other new features include Developer's Assistant – a tool that would allow developers to code easily with ready templates, samples and more; OpenShift Origin – through which users will be able to deploy their own Platform-as-a-Service infrastructure; Ruby 2.0.0; Scratch; Syslinux – provides for simplified booting of Fedora; systemd Resource Control – which allows for modification of service settings without requiring a reboot; and Checkpoint & Restore. Downloads and release notes available at the Fedora Project site."
DeviceGuru tipped us to the release of the latest single board computer from Beagle Board. It's been two years since the previous BeagleBone was released, and today they've released the BeagleBone Black (including full hardware schematics) at a price competitive with the Raspberry Pi ($10 more, but it comes with a power brick). Powered by a Cortex-A8, it has 512M of DDR3 RAM, 2G of onboard eMMC, two blocks of 46 I/O pins, a pair of 32-bit DSPs, the usual USB host/client ports, Ethernet, and micro-HDMI (a much requested feature). Support is provided for Ångstrom GNU/Linux, Ubuntu, and Android out of the box. Linux Gizmos reports where some of the cost savings came from: "According to BeagleBoard.org cofounder Jason Kridner, interviewed in a Linux.com report today, cost savings also came from removing the default serial port as well as USB-to-serial and USB-to-JTAG interfaces, and including a cheaper single-purpose USB cable. (Three serial interfaces are available via the expansion headers.) In addition, the power expansion header for battery and backlight has been removed."
When you call your business Penguin Computer & Telephone Solutions, it's obvious that Linux is your favorite operating system. Company owner Frank Sflanga, Jr. happily works on Windows, Mac and whatever else you want or have around, but he is a Linux person at heart; in fact, he's a founder and leading member of The Southwest Florida GNU/Linux Users Group. But the point of this interview, which some will want to label an ad (although it's not), is to show how Frank started his one-man consulting business and made it successful so that other Slashdot readers can follow in his footsteps and become self-employed -- if they are so inclined. You might want to note that most of Frank's clients were not familiar with Linux when he first started working with them, and most are not particularly interested in software licensing matters as long as Frank keeps their stuff working. You might also want to note that Ft. Myers, FL, where Frank is located, is not exactly famous as a hotbed of leading-edge technology, which means that even if you live someplace similar, where business owners ask "What's a Linux?" you might be able to make a decent living running a Linux-based IT consulting business.
An anonymous reader writes with a link to a recent post on Red Hat senior interaction designer Máirín Duffy's blog with an illuminating look at Red Hat's design process, and how things like graphic elements, widget behavior, and bootup time are taken into account. It starts: "So I have this thing on my desk at Red Hat that basically defines a simple design process. (Yes, it also uses the word 'ideate' and yes, it sounds funny but it is a real word apparently!) While the mailing list thread on the topic at this point is high-volume and a bit chaotic, there is a lot of useful information and suggestions in there that I think could be pulled into a design process and sorted out. So I took 3 hours (yes, 3 hours) this morning to wade through the thread and attempt to do this."
Ars Technica reviewer Lee Hutchinson says that Dell's Ubuntu-loaded 13" Ultrabook (the product of "Project Sputnik") is "functional," "polished," and (for a Linux laptop) remarkably unremarkable. "It just works," he says. Hutchinson points out that this is a sadly low bar, but nonetheless gives Dell great credit for surpassing it. He finds the Ultrabook's keyboard to be spongy, but has praise for most elements of the hardware itself, right down to (not everyone's favorite) the glossy screen.
darthcamaro writes "The JBoss Application Server is no more. Just like Red Hat killed Red Hat Linux in 2003 to make way for Fedora, the same is now happening with JBoss and the new WildFly project. 'There was of course the application server, there are a number of JBoss commercial products, there was the community site, etc., so when you asked someone "What is JBoss?" the answer was varied,' Jason Andersen, director, product line management, at Red Hat, explained. 'What we wanted to do was cement the idea that JBoss is a portfolio of middleware products and not just the application server.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Google appears to be preparing the launch of a game center for Android with an unknown name. It looks like the new hub will sport a slew of features, including multiplayer support, in-game chat, lobbies, leaderboards, and achievements. The leaked information come to us courtesy of Android Police, which amusingly stumbled on the details by tearing apart the apk file for MyGlass, the Google Glass companion app that launched earlier this week. The feature list was hidden within, though it's not clear if this was done on purpose to build hype or entirely by accident." While on the topic of Google-branded Android hardware speculation, this wishlist at The Full Signal makes some feature-list pleas for the rumored Nexus 5.
An anonymous reader writes with this good news from the Debian developers who have been working hard to release the next version of the distro: "We now have a target date of the weekend of 4th/5th May for the release. We have checked with core teams, and this seems to be acceptable for everyone. This means we are able to begin the final preparations for a release of Debian 7.0 — 'Wheezy'. The intention is only to lift the date if something really critical pops up that is not possible to handle as an errata, or if we end up technically unable to release that weekend (e.g. a required machine crashes or d-i explodes in a giant ball of fire). Every other RC fix that does not make it in time will be r1 material. Please be sure to contact us about the RC fixes you would like included in the point release!" Of particular interest to casual users, from the list of changes in 7.0: "Debian wheezy comes with full-featured libav (formerly ffmpeg) libraries and frontends, including e.g. mplayer, mencoder, vlc and transcode. Additional codec support is provided e.g. through lame for MP3 audio encoding, xvidcore for MPEG-4 ASP video encoding, x264 for H.264/MPEG-4 AVC video encoding, vo-aacenc for AAC audio encoding and opencore-amr and vo-amrwbenc for Adaptive Multi-Rate Narrowband and Wideband encoding and decoding, respectively. For most use cases, installation of packages from third-party repositories should not be necessary anymore. The times of crippled multimedia support in Debian are finally over!"
The Kickstarter project we mentioned late last month to bring open source video editor OpenShot to Mac and Windows as well as its native base of Linux has surpassed its initial funding goal, and now is just shy (just under a thousand dollars shy, at this writing) of reaching all of the items on a revamped list of stretch goals. The only goal on that list not yet funded is a tantalizing one. JonOomph writes "The lead developer has proposed a revolutionary new feature, which would allow users to offload CPU, memory, and disk cache to a local server (or multiple local servers), dramatically increasing the speed of previewing and rendering. The more servers added to the pool, the faster the video editing engine becomes (with the primary limitation being network bandwidth). If the final goal of $40k is reached in the remaining hours, this feature will be added to the next version of OpenShot." Like all Kickstarter projects, though, there's no actual guarantee that things will come to pass as hoped; ya pays yer money, and ya takes yer chances. Update: 04/16 16:53 GMT by T : Some hours remain, but they've crossed the $40,000 line. I hope the funding is adequate to support the outlined plans.
An anonymous reader writes "Intel has released its first version of Beignet, an open-source OpenCL run-time and LLVM back-end for Linux that uses LLVM/Clang and is compatible with Ivy Bridge processors. Right now there's partial support for OpenCL 1.0 and 1.1 along with other basic functionality." This is not using Gallium 3D, and at least David Arlie thinks it should not be an fd.o project because it duplicates functionality already present in Mesa.