Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
YokimaSun writes "Fans of classic graphical point-and-click adventure games, will be happy to learn that a new version of ScummVM has been released with support for new games such as 'Once Upon A Time: Little Red Riding Hood,' 'Backyard Baseball 2003,' 'Blue Force,' 'Darby the Dragon,' 'Dreamweb,' 'Geisha,' 'Gregory and the Hot Air Balloon,' 'Magic Tales: Liam Finds a Story,' and more. ScummVM not only supports Windows, Linux and new platforms such as iPhone and Android but also consoles such as Dreamcast, Gamecube and Nintendo 64 and rarer handhelds such as Openpandora and Dingoo."
New submitter zixxt writes "GTK+ Developer Benjamin Otte talks about the stagnation and decline of the Gnome Project. He describes how core developers are leaving GNOME development, how GNOME is understaffed, why GNOME is a Red Hat project and why GNOME is losing market and mind share. Is the Gnome project on its deathbed? Quoting: 'I first noticed this in 2005 when Jeff Waugh gave his 10×10 talk. Back then, the GNOME project had essentially achieved what it set out to do: a working Free desktop environment. Since then, nobody has managed to set new goals for the project. In fact, these days GNOME describes itself as a “community that makes great software”, which is as nondescript as you can get for software development. The biggest problem with having no goals is that you can’t measure yourself. Nobody can say if GNOME 3 is better or worse than GNOME 2. There is no recognized metric anywhere. This also leads to frustration in lots of places.'"
On Tuesday, Microsoft signed a patent cross-license agreement with Amdocs Software Systems. They specifically noted in their press release that the agreement covered Amdocs' use of 'Linux-based servers in its data centers,' and noted that Amdocs paid them money for the privilege. In light of the current state of mobile device licensing, with Microsoft getting a cut from most Android device sales, should data centers operators worry about having to pay Microsoft for their use of Linux servers? From the article: "To date, Linux advocates have been hypersensitive to any move Microsoft has made against the open-source OS—which, to be fair, Microsoft has seen as a threat since its inception. It's certainly possible that Amdocs approached Microsoft for a patent cross-license for its own purposes; but if that's the case, Amdocs would likely have disclosed that fact. Amdocs representatives declined to comment on the deal, and the arrangement has been completely ignored on the Amdocs Website. ... The question, though, is whether Microsoft will begin eyeing data-center operators as a similar source of licensing revenue. The company has avoided directly challenging Linux developer/distributors such IBM or Red Hat, instead targeting partners and customers."
CowboyNeal writes "Last week, Oracle announced that they were making Oracle Linux available free of charge, and also provided a script that makes switching to Oracle Linux nearly painless for existing CentOS users. What makes Oracle Linux unique, and why would anyone want to use it? Read on to find out, as I delve into what Oracle Linux has to offer."
First time accepted submitter Quantus347 writes "I am trying to convince a number of people to give Linux a chance, arguing that it has come a long way on the road of consumer usability. Can you, oh Wise Ones of Slashdot, recommend a Lunix setup that will be as similar as possible to a Windows environment (Windows 7 or XP). These people hate and fear change, and so will latch onto nearly any noticeable differences, so I'm thinking in terms of both front end functionality and the look of the interface. It would also be very important for them to have to go to the command line as little as possible during daily use (meaning as close to never as can be managed)."
An anonymous reader writes "OpenBSD founder Theo de Raadt has slammed Red Hat and Canonical for the way they have reacted to Microsoft's introduction of 'secure' boot along with Windows 8, describing both companies as wanting to be the new Microsoft."
judgecorp writes "Nokia has closed down the Meltemi low-end Linux phone which was supposed to replace its System 40 devices. The platform had never been officially announced and now, apparently, will never see the light of day. Feature phones still make up a giant market where Nokia has dominated, but this leaves its upgrade path in question."
An anonymous reader writes "Gabe Newell wants to support Linux because he think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in PC space. He wants to move away from a closed ecosystem of Microsoft Windows 8. He recently made a rare appearance at Casual Connect, an annual videogame conference in Seattle. From the allthingsd article: 'The big problem that is holding back Linux is games. People don't realize how critical games are in driving consumer purchasing behavior. We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well. It's a hedging strategy. I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space. I think we'll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people. If that's true, then it will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality.' Some Linux users think that this is a win-win situation for Linux users as it will brings good game titles on the Linux system that haven't been there and it will protect steam business model from both Apple and Microsoft."
diegocg writes "Linux 3.5 has been released. New features include support for metadata checksums in Ext4, userspace probes for performance profiling with systemtap/perf, a simple sandboxing mechanism that can filter syscalls, a new network queue management algorithm designed to fight bufferbloat, support for checkpointing and restoring TCP connections, support for TCP Early Retransmit (RFC 5827), support for android-style opportunistic suspend, btrfs I/O failure statistics, and SCSI over Firewire and USB. Here's the full changelog."
New submitter masternerdguy writes with this snippet from Tom's Hardware about yet another tiny, Linux-capable single-board computer: "The manufacturer claims that the Gooseberry is 'roughly 3 x more powerful in processing power,' and twice the RAM (512 MB) [compared to] the Raspberry Pi. The Gooseberry does not come with analog video and lacks a LAN port, but supports Wi-Fi. At this time, the board only supports Android 4 ICS and Ubuntu without graphics acceleration. However, Gooseberry is offering premade images for Ubuntu. Support for Arch Linux is 'expected in the future.'"
An anonymous reader writes "It looks like Valve's Linux team that's still growing has found much interest in open-source graphics drivers. Intel Linux graphics driver developers and Valve's Linux team were meeting for the past week to look at each other's code, work out performance goals, and collaborate on new features. Ian Romanick of Intel blogs, 'The funny thing is Valve guys say the same thing about drivers. There were a couple times where we felt like they were trying to convince us that open source drivers are a good idea. We had to remind them that they were preaching to the choir. :) Their problem with closed drivers (on all platforms) is that it's such a blackbox that they have to play guess-and-check games. There's no way for them to know how changing a particular setting will affect the performance. If performance gets worse, they have no way to know why. If they can see where time is going in the driver, they can make much more educated guesses.' Perhaps the companies are paying attention to Linus Torvalds' memo to NVIDIA?"
hypnosec writes "Google has released the full SDK for its latest edition of Android, Jelly Bean, which was unveiled during Google I/O. Google has already released the source code of Jelly Bean earlier. Google announced through a blog post that developers can develop application against the API level 16 using the new Jelly Bean APIs. Developers would be able to develop apps that will run on Nexus 7 tablets. Jelly Bean is touted as one of the best from Google and it promises a smoother and more responsive UI across the system."
netbuzz writes "Microsoft has apologized and promised to rectify the fact that one of its developers slipped a sexist phrase into Linux kernel code supporting Microsoft's HyperV virtualization environment. In that code, the magic constant passed through to the hypervisor reads '0xB16B00B5,' or a slightly camouflaged 'BIG BOOBS.' After Linux developer/blogger Matthew Garrett criticized Microsoft for the stunt, the predictable debate over sexism in the technology world ensued. Microsoft issued a statement to Network World apologizing and added, 'We have submitted a patch to fix this issue and the change will be published in a future release of the kernel.'"
nk497 writes "Canonical has revealed a system to make web apps behave more like native applications in Ubuntu. The Ubuntu WebApps feature will 'allow applications that normally run in the web browser to have some functionality outside that browser, within the Ubuntu desktop,' product manager Pete Goddall said. Basically, sites can be pinned to the launcher — which sounds a bit like IE9's pinning system, but WebApps can also interact with the OS, displaying notifications for new messages in Gmail, interacting with Last.FM via Ubuntu's sound controls, and when right clicking on photos, including Facebook as an upload option. WebApps will land in 12.10 in October, but there will also be an add-on version for people staying on long-term support version 12.04."
sfcrazy writes "The general tendency within the open source community is to a whole new wheel to push your own cart. A majority of open source projects are suffering from duplication. Luckily, we just noticed a great example of such collaboration (or using resources by different competing projects) within the distro community. Ubuntu's popular Unity shell is being ported to Fedora (the distro which leads the development of Gnome shell and its also the breeding ground of many latest technologies which are used by the rest of the GNU/Linux world). Interestingly developers users openSUSE's build service to create this port. openSUSE leads the development of Gnome and KDE along with LibreOffice." Calling Unity "popular" seems like a stretch, but it's certainly where a lot of Ubuntu work has been lavished; the cooperation that open source code fosters at least lets whoever wants to use or develop it do so.