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Operating Systems

Slackware 14.0 Arrives 183

Posted by timothy
from the significant-digits dept.
First time accepted submitter SgtKeeling writes "After 5 release candidates, a new version of Slackware has been released. From the website: 'Yes, it is that time again! After well over a year of planning, development, and testing, the Slackware Linux Project is proud to announce the latest stable release of the longest running distribution of the Linux operating system, Slackware version 14.0! We are sure you'll enjoy the many improvements. We've done our best to bring the latest technology to Slackware while still maintaining the stability and security that you have come to expect. Slackware is well known for its simplicity and the fact that we try to bring software to you in the condition that the authors intended. We will be setting up BitTorrent downloads for the official ISO images. Stay tuned to http://slackware.com/ for the latest updates.'"
Media

FFmpeg 1.0 MultiMedia Library Released 82

Posted by Soulskill
from the onward-and-upward dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The free software FFmpeg multi-media library that's used by VLC, MPlayer, Chrome, and many other software projects has reached version 1.0 after being in development since 2000. The 1.0 release incorporates new filters/decoders and other A/V enhancements. The code is available from FFmpeg.org."
Games

Valve Blog Announces Dates For Steam Linux External Beta 183

Posted by samzenpus
from the time-to-play dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In the third post to the new Valve Linux Blog, the Linux team has announced that starting next week they will begin their internal beta, with an external beta of 1000 users to begin mid 'some time in October.' There will be an external beta sign up page made available 'soon' according to the blog."
Linux

Torvalds Uses Profanity To Lambaste Romney Remarks 1223

Posted by samzenpus
from the can't-we-all-just-get-along? dept.
netbuzz writes "Last night Linux creator Linus Torvalds took to his Google+ page and called Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney 'a f***ing moron.' Torvalds' stated reason? Romney's much-ridiculed suggestion that air passengers would be safer in emergencies if aircraft windows could be opened (a suggestion which some, including Snopes.com, have taken as a joke). Torvalds also recently called Mormonism, Romney's religion, 'bats**t crazy.' Is this just Linus being Linus? Or does such outspokenness on non-technical matters reflect poorly on the Linux community that Torvalds leads?"
Operating Systems

Ask Slashdot: What Distros Have You Used, In What Order? 867

Posted by timothy
from the was-it-yggdrasil? dept.
colinneagle writes "Linux dude Bryan Lunduke blogged here about the top three approaches he thinks are the easiest for new users to pick up Linux. Lunduke's, for example, went Ubuntu -> Arch -> openSUSE. It raises a question that Slashdot could answer well in the comments: what's your distro use order from beginning to now? Maybe we could spot some trends."
Image

Linux Forcibly Installed On Congressman's Computer In Act of Terrorism 343 Screenshot-sm

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the rms-detained-on-hooliganism-charges dept.
fermion writes with news of Windows computers being forcefully liberated: "The campaign headquarters of Michael Grimm, a U.S. House of Representatives member from New York, were vandalized. What has not been reported everywhere is that Linux was installed on one of his computers, erasing data in the process. Is this a new attack on democracy by the open source radicals, or it is just a random occurrence?" From the article: "'In fact, one officer said to me today they see this as a crime against the government, because I am a sitting United States congressman and they take it very seriously. You know, especially in light of what happened with Gabby Giffords, we're not in the world today where we can shrug things off,' Grimm said. ... [GNU/]Linux, an open-source operating system, was installed on Grimm's computers, erasing the hard drive contents, which included polling and voter identification data. But staff had backed up the hard drive contents hours beforehand. Grimm and his staffers said the vandalism — cement blocks were thrown through the office's windows — is a cover-up for the attacks on the computers."
Privacy

Shuttleworth: Trust Us, We're Trying to Make Shopping Better 255

Posted by samzenpus
from the just-go-with-this dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a blog post responding to the latest controversy over Ubuntu, Mark Shuttleworth says 'integrating online scope results' are 'not putting ads in Ubuntu' because the shopping results 'are not paid placement', but 'straightforward search results'. He goes on to explain his plans to make the Home Lens of the Dash a place to find 'anything anywhere'. Like a cross between Chrome OS's new app launcher, Siri and Google Now 'it will get smarter and smarter' so you can 'ask for whatever you want' it 'just works'."
Privacy

Ubuntu Will Now Have Amazon Ads Pre-Installed 646

Posted by timothy
from the not-what-I-want-by-default dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Scheduled to be released next month, Ubuntu 12.10 now includes both Amazon ads in the user's dash and by default an Amazon store in the user's launcher. The reason for these 'features'? Affiliate revenue. Despite previous controversies with Banshee and Yahoo, Canonical is 'confident it will be an interesting and useful feature for our 12.10 users.' But are the 'users' becoming products?" Update: 09/22 19:35 GMT by T : Reader bkerensa scoffs, calling the Amazon integration unobtrusive, and says objections to its inclusion in the OS should be ignored, "because in reality ads will not be found in 12.10 unless you are seeing them on a third party website you go to in a web browser." He's got screenshots.
Graphics

NVIDIA To Publicly Release Some Tegra GPU Documentation 85

Posted by Soulskill
from the some-is-better-than-none dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It was revealed today during the annual X.Org Developers' Conference in Germany that NVIDIA will be publicly releasing Tegra graphics programming documentation. Initially this will cover their Tegra 2D engine but it's thought they might also be providing 3D engine documentation too. A slide shown at the conference says NVIDIA is committed to open-source. NVIDIA also allegedly has supplied documentation under NDA to one Nouveau developer and taken other covertly supportive steps. These actions come after NVIDIA has been notoriously unfriendly to open-source and months after Linus Torvalds pubilcly slammed the NVIDIA Linux support."
Bug

Stubborn Intel Graphics Bug Haunts Ubuntu 12.04 320

Posted by timothy
from the stupid-ghosts dept.
jones_supa writes "The current long-term support version of Ubuntu (12.04) has been experiencing a remarkably tough-to-crack and widely affecting bug related to laptops using an Intel graphics solution. When the lid is closed, every now and then the desktop freezes and only the mouse cursor can be moved. Compiz is usually found hung in the process, switching to a VT afterwards works. The Freedesktop guys are also informed. Have Slashdotters been bitten by this bug and possibly could offer some detective work to help the OSS community find and apply the correct fix?"
Hardware

Hacking the D-Link DPH-128MS VOIP Phone 26

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the but-does-it-run-netbsd dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I've been working on reverse engineering the D-Link DPH-128MS VOIP phone. It's an end of life product for D-Link but a neat little desktop phone that runs Linux. I've figured out a way to exploit the tftp server running on it to get root access. I'm at the point now of trying to figure out how to update the phone with more files. Check out the writeups I have and the scripts on the link above."
Android

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 Rooted 62

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the meddling-kids! dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Yesterday, XDA Developers forum users kinfaus and pokey9000 were discussing how the latest devices from Amazon (the second-generation 7 Kindle Fire and the 7 Kindle Fire HD) come with more sophisticated protection than their predecessors, including locked bootloaders and 'high security' features offered by their OMAP processors. Today, the devices have been rooted." Using a known bug in busybox dating to April even.
GNOME

Cinnamon 1.6 Brings New Features and Applets 74

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the shiny-things-that-work dept.
An anonymous reader wrote in with news that the GNOME Shell fork, Cinnamon, released version 1.6 yesterday. The release features persistent (and nameable) workspaces, a window list applet, greatly improved notifications (they're collected in one place), improved task switchers and audio control, workspace flipping while dragging windows, and integration with their fork of Nautilus. See the release announcement for more and lots of screenshots (detailed source changelog). From the looks of it, this release is closer than ever to merging the modern Gtk3/GNOME stack with the missing functionality from previous windowing environments.
Intel

Intel Details Power Management Advancements in Haswell 113

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the moar-power-...-reduction? dept.
MojoKid writes "Intel's next-generation CPU architecture, codenamed Haswell, puts heavy emphasis on reducing power consumption. Pushing Haswell down to a 10W TDP is an achievement, but hitting these targets requires collaboration. Haswell will offer finer-grained control over areas of logic that were previously either on or off, up to and including specific execution units. These optimizations are impressive, particularly the fact that idle CPU power is approaching tablet levels, but they're only part of the story. Operating system changes matter as well, and Intel has teamed up with Microsoft to ensure that Windows 8 takes advantage of current and future hardware. Haswell's 10W target will allow the chip to squeeze into many of the convertible laptop/tablet form factors on display at IDF, while Bay Trail, the 22nm, out-of-order successor to Clover Trail, arrives in 2013 as well. Not to mention the company's demonstration of the first integrated digital WiFi radio. Folks have been trading blows over whether Intel could compete with ARM's core power consumption. Meanwhile, Santa Clara has been busy designing many other aspects of the full system solution for low power consumption and saving a lot of wattage in the process." It's mildly amusing that Windows 8 is the first version to gain dynamic ticks, something Linux has had working since around 2007.
Cloud

Study Urges CIOs To Choose Open Source First 95

Posted by samzenpus
from the first-and-free dept.
littlekorea writes "A new study has urged CIOs to consider open source over proprietary software or public cloud services when replacing legacy gear. But the study's author, Professor Jim Norton, warns that open source won't be a cure-all for some companies. From the article: ' Open source software, Norton said, provides enterprise IT with easier access to innovation via a "great global self-re-enforcing community of shared resources, ideas and development." That same community provides a faster response to changes in customer preferences communicated on social networks or via business analytics, and faster resolution of common system problems.'"
Intel

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."
Businesses

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."
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.'"

What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.

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