gbjbaanb writes "TechRadar has gathered a few users and subjected the 3 main Linux desktops to some usability testing for both experienced users and some new to the whole concept." I'm glad to see such ongoing comparisons; they encourage cross-pollination of the best ideas. On the other hand, it's a little bit like trying to determine the "best" dessert; even the most elaborate attempts to find statistical consensus won't answer the question of what's best for any particular user.
jrepin writes "In May 2003, Munich's city council resolved to migrate municipal workstations from Windows to Linux and open source. Munich's LiMux project has announced that it has exceeded its annual target for migrating the city's PCs to its LiMux client. To date in 2011, the project has migrated 9,000 systems; it had originally planned to migrate 8,500 of the 12,000-15,000 PC workstations used by city officials in Munich."
lkcl writes "An initiative by a Community Interest Company Rhombus Tech aims to provide Software (Libre) Developers with a PCMCIA-sized modular computer that could end up in mass-volume products. The reference design mass-volume pricing guide from the SoC manufacturer, for a device with similar capability to the Raspberry Pi, is around $15: 40% less than the $25 Raspberry Pi but for a device with an ARM Cortex A8 CPU 3x times faster than the 700mhz ARM11 used in the Raspberry Pi. GPL Kernel source code is available. A page for community ideas for motherboard designs has also been created. The overall goal is to bring more mass-volume products to market which Software (Libre) Developers have actually been involved in, reversing the trend of endemic GPL violations surrounding ARM-based mass-produced hardware. The Preorder pledge registration is now open (account creation required)." Of course, the Raspberry Pi is not only only much further along, but has recently announced an expansion module (the Gertboard).
New submitter Temporal writes "Yesterday, Slashdot reported on my LAN-party optimized house. But, lacking from the internet at that time were key technical details: How do I boot 12 machines off a single shared disk? What software do I use? What does my network infrastructure look like? Why do I have such terrible furniture? Is that Gabe Newell on the couch? The answer is a combination of Linux, PXE boot, gPXE, NBD/iSCSI, and LVM snapshots running on generic hardware over generic gigabit ethernet. I have even had several successful LAN parties with a pure-Linux setup, using WINE."
First time accepted submitter ilikenwf writes "You may or may not remember the Mozilla-based Songbird media player, which dropped official Linux support in April, 2010. Since then, the Nightingale community fork has waxed and waned in terms of membership and progress, but thanks to having a completely new dev team has today produced a preview build based on Songbird 1.8.1. The team promises a release of a Songbird trunk based build later this year, with fixes and an upgrade to Gecko 6. Plans to support Linux, Windows, and Mac are in the works, with the preview builds being available only for Linux and Windows at the moment. Aside from trying to pull in refugees from the Songbird community, Nightingale wants more developers to aid in fixing dropped and broken features from Songbird — and to add new ones."
Physicser writes "The latest Humble Indie Bundle has gone live, consisting of Super Meat Boy, Shank, Jamestown, Bit.Trip Runner, and NightSky. Also, if you beat the average price, you receive Cave Story+ and Gratuitous Space Battles. As always, the games are DRM-free, and this is the initial Linux release for all seven. I'm also curious to see what will be added later on, as has been the tradition of the Humble Bundles."
An anonymous reader writes "You may recall that in early 2010, Sony decided to roll out an update that would remove the ability for PlayStation 3 owners to install a different operating system on the console, citing security concerns as the reason. Geeks and Linux enthusiasts were outraged at the move, particular since the "Other OS" functionality had been advertised as a feature of the PS3. A class-action lawsuit was soon brought against Sony. Many of the initial claims were thrown out, and now, a federal judge in California has granted Sony's motion to dismissed the lawsuit, saying, 'As a matter of providing customer satisfaction and building loyalty, it may have been questionable. As a legal matter, however, plaintiffs have failed to allege facts or articulate a theory on which Sony may be held liable.' Here's the full text of the order (PDF)."
LinuxScribe writes "According Linux Mint founder Clement Lefebvre, the popular Linux Mint distribution has changed the Amazon.com affiliate code for the Banshee music player so that Mint, not Canonical or the GNOME Foundation, will receive the revenue from MP3 sales through Banshee. Though a trivial amount of money ($3.41 in November 2011), Linux Mint's actions still raise the question: how should revenue be shared between upstream and downstream FLOSS projects?"
bmsleight writes "Android is nice, but I do not want to pay to print or be beholden to the cloud to do everything or chroot. I just want a tablet that can run a MythTv-client, OpenOffice.org and good old apt-get instead of an app market. I have a Joggler — which costs £60 — I'd like something similar but with a battery, a bigger screen, and other modern tablet features. So, what's the best tablet for running a real GNU/Linux distribution (ideally Debian)? Bonus points for the best apt-get-able distribution that works with a tablet."
itwbennett writes "At the Usenix Large Installation System Administration (LISA) conference being held this week in Boston, two Dartmouth computer scientists presented variants of the grep and diff Unix command line utilities that can handle more complex types of data. The new programs, called Context-Free Grep and Hierarchical Diff, will provide the ability to parse blocks of data rather than single lines. The research has been funded in part by Google and the U.S. Energy Department."
wiredmikey writes "It's not news that some of the underlying foundations of the DNS protocol are inherently weak, especially what they call the "last mile" — or the part of the internet connection between the client and the ISP. To address this, OpenDNS has released a preview of DNSCrypt, a tool that enables encrypted DNS traffic, much in the same way SSL enables encrypted HTTP traffic. DNSCrypt will stop DNS replay, observation, and timing attacks, as well as Man-in-the-Middle attacks and resolver impersonation attacks. The tool, available already compiled for OS X, will also run on OpenBSD, NetBSD, Dragonfly BSD, FreeBSD, and Linux. There is no Windows client, which is odd considering a majority of the 30 million OpenDNS users run Microsoft's operating system."
First time accepted submitter clava writes "We have a desktop Java testing application that is going to be administering tests to students on lab computers running Ubuntu 10.x. These computers are used by the students for other purposes and we're not allowed to create special users or change the OS configuration. When the testing app is launched, we need to restrict users from exiting the app so they can't do things like search the internet for answers or use other applications. Is there a good way to put an Ubuntu machine in kiosk mode or something via our application and have exiting kiosk mode be password protected? Any ideas are appreciated."
DrXym writes "GNOME Shell has been criticized for certain shortcomings when compared to GNOME 2.x. Chief amongst them was that 2.x offered panel applets whereas 3.x is seemingly lacking any such functionality. What most people don't know is that GNOME Shell has a rich extension framework similar to Mozilla Firefox add-ons. Now, the official site to install extensions has gone live. So if you yearn for an application menu, or a dock, or a status monitor, then head on over. Extensions can be installed with a few clicks and removed just as easily."
First time submitter Manko10 writes "After the Advent series last year, there is again a Linux Advent calender. The topic of this year's Advent series is '24 Outstanding ZSH Gems'. Every day from December 1st until December 24th an article will be published each covering a special feature of the Z Shell you might not have known yet."
ChristW writes "Remember OpenMoko's first free and open source phones, the GTA-01 and GTA-02 (also called FreeRunner)? There is a new project called Phoenux. The German company Golden Delicous is building a new main board (called GTA-04) for the GTA01/02 case. The new hardware features a DM3730 (800 MHz) processor, a GTM601W UMTS (HSPA) module, and lots more." Would you pay extra for a phone that comes with a Debian build?