An anonymous reader writes "NASA's Ames Research Center is working on a new project designed to drastically cut the cost of launching and operating small satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The project, known as PhoneSat, will see the Android powered Nexus One and Nexus S phones command their very own small scale spacecraft this year in a first of its kind research mission."
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An anonymous reader (citing "silly workplace security policies") writes "I'm in charge of developing for my workplace a particular sort of 'dynamic' file server for handling scientific data. We have all the hardware in place, but can't figure out what *nix distro would work best. Can the great minds at Slashdot pool their resources and divine an answer? Some background: We have sensor units scattered across a couple square miles of undeveloped land, which each collect ~500 gigs of data per 24h. When these drives come back from the field each day, they'll be plugged into a server featuring a dozen removable drive sleds. We need to present the contents of these drives as one unified tree (shared out via Samba), and the best way to go about that appears to be a unioning file system. There's also requirement that the server has to boot in 30 seconds or less off a mechanical hard drive. We've been looking around, but are having trouble finding info for this seemingly simple situation. Can we get FreeNAS to do this? Do we try Greyhole? Is there a distro that can run unionfs/aufs/mhddfs out-of-the-box without messing with manual recompiling? Why is documentation for *nix always so bad?""
Penurious Penguin writes "Well within the top ten Linux distros, Arch Linux has a strong following for sure. But with an installation process requiring a little more involvement than the average distro, not every prospective user is ready to embrace the Arch Way, and understandably so. This is where Manjaro steps in. With a 100% compatibility with Arch, uncompromising adherence to principia KISS and a pre-configured Xfce, — or alternatively available GNOME & KDE — those who've been hesitating to explore Arch now have a few less excuses. And a little side-note for those still bitter about the lack of package-signing: You'll be glad to know that Arch fully implemented package-signing in June of 2012."
An anonymous reader writes "OS X 10.8 has been benchmarked against Ubuntu Linux with some interesting results. From the tests on a Apple Mac Mini and Apple MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion was clearly superior when it came to the graphics performance, but the rest of the time the operating systems performed quite closely with no clear winner. OS X also seems to have greater performance issues with solid-state drives than Linux."
Nerval's Lobster writes with a report at Slash Datacenter that a portion of the predicted low-power-ARM-servers future has arrived, in the form of Codethink's Baserock Slab ARM Server, which puts 32 cores into a half-depth 1U server. "As with other servers built on ARM architecture, Codethink intends the Baserock Slab for data centers in need of extra power efficiency. The Slab supports Baserock Linux, currently in its second development release (known as 'Secret Volcano'), as well as Debian GNU/Linux. While Baserock Linux was first developed around the X86-64 platform, its developers planned the leap to the ARM platform. Each Slab CPU node consists of a Marvell quad-core 1.33-GHz Armada XP ARM chip, 2 GB of ECC RAM, a Cogent Computer Systems CSB1726 SoM, and a 30 GB solid-state drive. The nodes are connected to the high-speed network fabric, which includes two links per compute node driving 5 Gbits/s of bonded bandwidth to each CPU, with wire-speed switching and routing at up to 119 million packets per second."
An anonymous reader writes "In an extensive interview with derStandard.at, GNOME designer Jon McCann shares his thoughts about all the criticism GNOME 3 currently faces and why he doesn't think at all that GNOME is in a crisis. He also talks about the current plans for GNOME OS and explains why he thinks that Linux distributions should rethink their purpose."
New submitter vtel57 writes "A recent thread at Jeremy's LinuxQuestions.org lit a fire of enthusiasm for a new Slackware documentation initiative. A new SlackDocs Wiki has been started on Alien Bob's (Eric Hameleers) server. There is also a new mailing list for discussion and coordination of the project. All interested parties are encouraged to visit and participate."
rysiek writes "Polish MP and spokesperson for one of Polish political parties Dariusz Joski returned his state-issued iPad, citing lack of control (Google-translated). Polish Free and Open Source Software Foundation (of Anti-ACTA fame) offered (free of charge, of course) to help him choose, install and configure Linux on his laptop, including setting-up disk encryption. We are still waiting for an answer from the MP." Another concern of his appears to have been a lack of security regarding communications with other government officials.
An anonymous reader writes "Phoronix reports on the progress of kmscon, David Herrmann's virtual console project that aims to supersede the Linux kernel's virtual terminal. kmscon takes advantage of modern Linux features such as kernel mode setting, direct rendering, and udev to provide hardware-accelerated rendering, full internationalization, monitor hot-plugging, and proper multi-seat support. A recent blog post by Herrmann addresses some of his frequently heard questions and criticisms about the kmscon project."
This past week, SCO filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which finally begins the end of a long saga that started over nine years ago. While their anti-IBM litigation has risen from the grave and still shambles onward, the company itself is nearly put to rest after nine years of choosing the wrong legal battle to get into. Even if it may be too early to dance on SCO's grave, join me as I look back over the long and bumpy road to nowhere of The SCO Group.
Ad-hoc wireless mesh networking for the zombie apocalypse. It's also potentially useful for less-thrilling emergencies, such as floods, earthquakes, and political uprisings (or getting everyone at the office their /. fix when the network goes down). The latest version debuted at the HOPE (Hackers on Planet Earth) conference in July, 2012. You can download your very own copy of Byzantium any time you like. Hopefully you will then burn a dozen or so CDs (it's compact enough that it doesn't need a DVD) for friends and neighbors, so that if you suddenly see zombies approaching and your regular ISP has already been overrun and isn't working, you can set up a wireless mesh network and coordinate your anti-zombie efforts. And you won't even need to use the command line. (slides and audio of their presentation)
angry tapir writes "The IDG News Service recently had a chance to speak to JB Straubel, chief technology officer for Tesla, about the Model S all-electric car, its design and technology, and his outlook on electric vehicle technology. He also shed a little light on the car's Linux-based software system."
An anonymous reader writes with word that as of today, the Debian project — one of the first distros, and still going strong, not to mention parent or grandparent of many other distros — is 19 years old. "Quoting from the official project history: 'The Debian Project was officially founded by Ian Murdock on August 16th, 1993. At that time, the whole concept of a 'distribution' of Linux was new. Ian intended Debian to be a distribution which would be made openly, in the spirit of Linux and GNU.' Send an appreciation message: http://thanks.debian.net/."
An anonymous reader writes "It turns out that Linux doesn't work too well on the Apple Retina MacBook Pro. Among the problems are needing special boot parameters to simply boot the Linux kernel, graphics drivers not working, no hybrid graphics support, WiFi requiring special firmware, Thunderbolt troubles, GNOME/Unity/KDE not being optimized for retina displays, and other snafus, including 20% greater power consumption with Linux over OS X. According to Michael Larabel, it will likely not be until early next year when most of the problems are ironed out for a clean 'out of the box' Linux experience on the Retina MacBook Pro."
jrepin writes "The Calligra team is proud and pleased to announce version 2.5 of Calligra, the KDE's office and creativity suite. Words, the word processor, has among other things improved support for editing of tables, tight run-around of text around images, manipulation of table borders, and dragging of text. Sheets, the spreadsheet application has a new stand-alone docker for the cell editor and a new cell tool window with cell formatting controls. Stage, the presentation program, has a number of usability improvements. Flow, the diagram application, has support for new stencils in odf custom shapes. Kexi, the database application, now offers a full screen mode. Krita, the painting application, has a new compositions docker, useful in movie storyboard generation. At the same time as the desktop version, the community also releases a QML based version for tablets and smartphone: Calligra Active." If there's one application here I'd like to see on a (pen) tablet, it's braindump.
jrepin writes "KDE is proud to announce version 2.6 of Amarok music player. While it brings a reasonable set of new features, the focus of this release was on bug fixing and improving the overall stability. The new features are a complete overhaul of the iPod, iPad and iPhone support including solid support for device playlists; transcoding for iPod-like and USB Mass Storage devices; the Free Music Chart service is now activated by default; embedded cover support for Ogg and FLAC files; and album art support for tracks on the filesystem and USB Mass Storage devices."
An anonymous reader writes "Here is an interesting story of a school in Oakland that used old computers running Ubuntu and OpenOffice.org to provide a school computer lab for students."
hypnosec writes "Red Hat has announced the availability of a preview version of its OpenStack Distribution that would enable it to compete with the likes of Amazon which is considered one of the leaders in infrastructure-as-a-service cloud services. The enterprise Linux maker was a late entrant into the OpenStack world where players like Rackspace, HP and Internap have already made their mark. Red Hat's OpenStack distribution enterprises can build and manage private, public, and hybrid infrastructure-as-a-service clouds. These companies will not only be competing with the likes of Amazon, but will also be competing against themselves to get a bite out of the IaaS cloud. What started as a project has quickly developed into an open source solution that enables organizations to achieve performance, features and greater functionality from their private and/or public clouds. The announcement of OpenStack Foundation acted as a catalyst toward the fast-paced development of the platform."
New submitter hey_popey writes "I would like to piggyback on a previous Ask Slashdot question. Do you know of any realistic way to use a tape drive solution at home, not as a backup, but as a regular NAS? I would like, for example, to save the torrents of my Linux distributions on it, and at the same time, play the family videos on a computer. It would seem at a first glance that the transfer rates and capacity of Linear Tape-Open (1.5TB, 280MB/s in 2010) and the functionality of LTFS would allow me to do that, but I don't know the details, or whether this would be economically viable."
An anonymous reader writes "The Wayland-usage in Ubuntu 12.10 via setting it up as a system video compositor has been delayed to at least Ubuntu 13.04. Developers made progress on running Ubuntu on Wayland (there are experimental packages available), but they need more time to complete their work and ready Wayland. For those wanting to try out Wayland on Linux, there is a specialty Wayland LiveCD."