olau writes "Michael Meeks, who's worked on GNOME and LibreOffice integration for many years, now for SuSE, has some really interesting thoughts on the recent Linux desktop debate and suggestions for possible strategies. He points out that regarding independent software vendors (ISVs), the real issue isn't actually the quality of the tools but the size and attractiveness of the market, and perhaps that a solution could be lower barriers for paying or donating. Regarding OEMs selling hardware with software preinstalled, he points out that while a free OS + software sounds good for consumers, it's actually a problem for OEMs on razor-thin margins, since they lose the cut they get from the preinstallations. A possible countermove could be nailing robustness and hardware diagnostics for good, lowering OEM support costs."
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lkcl writes "Rhombus Tech's first CPU Card is nearing completion and availability: the schematics have been completed by Wits-Tech. Although it appears strange to be using a 1ghz Cortex A8 for the first CPU Card, the mass-volume price of the A10 was lower than other offerings. Not only does the A10 classify as 'good enough' (in combination with 1GB of RAM), Allwinner Tech is one of the very rare China-based SoC companies willing to collaborate with Software (Libre) developers without an enforced (GPL-violating) NDA in place. Overall, it's the very first step in the right direction for collaboration between Software (Libre) developers and mass-volume PRC Factories. There will be more (faster, better) EOMA-68 CPU Cards: this one is just the first."
itwbennett writes "Slashdot readers are familiar with the Torvalds/de Icaza slugfest over 'the lack of development in Linux desktop initiatives.' The problem with the Linux desktop boils down to this: We need more applications, and that means making it easier for developers to build them, says Brian Proffitt. 'It's easy to point at solutions like the Linux Standard Base, but that dog won't hunt, possibly because it's not in the commercial vendors' interests to create true cross-distro compatibility. United Linux or a similar consortium probably won't work, for the same reasons,' says Proffitt. So, we put it to the Slashdot community: How would you fix the Linux desktop?"
supersloshy writes "The launch of the GNOME 3 desktop environment sparked heated debate and criticism. GNOME developers have been listening to the concerns of its users and it is rolling out several significant changes in GNOME 3.6. The message tray, often called hard to use, was made much more visible in addition to being harder to accidentally trigger. The "lock" screen can now optionally control your music player, the system volume, and display notifications so you don't have to type in a password. GNOME will also support different input sources directly instead of requiring an add-on program. Nautilus, the GNOME file browser, is also getting a major face lift with a new, more compact UI, properly working search features, a "move to" and "copy to" option as an alternative to dragging and dropping, and a new "recent files" section. These changes, among many others including improvements to system settings, will be present in GNOME 3.6 when it is released later this month. Any other additions or changes not currently implemented by the GNOME team can be easily applied with only one click at the GNOME Extensions website."
First time accepted submitter jospoortvliet writes with news of a new openSUSE release. From the release announcement: "Two months of extra stabilization work have resulted into a stellar release, chock-full of goodies, yet stable as you all like it. The latest release of the world's most powerful and flexible Linux Distribution brings you speed-ups across the board with a faster storage layer in Linux 3.4 and accelerated functions in glibc and Qt, giving a more fluid and responsive desktop. The infrastructure below openSUSE has evolved, bringing in newly matured technologies like GRUB2 and Plymouth and the first steps in the direction of a revised and simplified UNIX file system hierarchy. Users will also notice the added polish to existing features bringing an improved user experience all over. The novel Btrfs file system comes with improved error handling and recovery tools. KDE has improved its stability, GNOME 3.4, developing rapidly, brings smooth scrolling to all applications and features a reworked System Settings and Contacts manager while XFCE has an enhanced application finder. Download openSUSE 12.2 from any of our mirrors."
An anonymous reader writes with a quick note about the changing tides of computer architecture. From the article: "Bill Allombert announced [yesterday] via the Debian-devel mailing list that the X86_64 version of Debian has now surpassed all of the other supported architectures by a narrow margin. The most surprising part of this announcement however, and accompanying info-graphics provided on the Debian Popularity Contest page, is that this was not already true."
Orome1 writes "Joanna Rutkowska, CEO of Invisible Things Lab, today released version 1.0 of Qubes, a stable and reasonably secure desktop OS. It is the most secure option among the existing desktop operating systems — even more secure than Apple's iOS, which puts each application into its own sandbox and does not count on the user to make security decisions. Qubes will offer users the option of using disposable virtual machines for executing tasks they believe could harm their computer. These VMs will be lightweight, easily and extremely speedily created and booted, and would be just as easy to discard." First covered back in 2010. See some screenshots of the X11 part in action (and they say displaying clients from multiple "hosts" isn't useful...)
sfcrazy writes "The first ISO (alpha) images of Gnome Shell edition of Ubuntu is now available for download and testing. The Gnome edition of Ubuntu will bring back a lot of hard-core Gnome Shell fans who were looking elsewhere to get the pure Gnome Shell experience. Both Fedora and openSUSE are doing a great job at offering Gnome 3 Shell experience and the arrival of Ubuntu GNOME Remix will give the project the audience it needed."
An anonymous reader writes "Linux creator Linus Torvalds has poured scorn on claims made by the co-founder of the GNOME Desktop project, Miguel de Icaza, that he (Torvalds) was in any way to blame for the lack of development in Linux desktop initiatives. De Icaza wrote in his personal blog: 'Linus, despite being a low-level kernel guy, set the tone for our community years ago when he dismissed binary compatibility for device drivers. The kernel people might have some valid reasons for it, and might have forced the industry to play by their rules, but the Desktop people did not have the power that the kernel people did. But we did keep the attitude.'" Update: 09/02 18:39 GMT by U L : The original source of the comments (and an exciting flamewar between Free Software heavyweights).
olau writes "Hot on the heels on the opinion piece on how Mac OS X killed Linux on the desktop is a more levelheaded analysis by another GNOME old-timer Christian Schaller who doesn't think Mac OS X killed anything. In fact, in spite of the hype surrounding Mac OS X, it seems to barely have made a dent in the overall market, he argues. Instead he points to a much longer list of thorny issues that Linux historically has faced as a contender to Microsoft's double-monopoly on the OS and the Office suite."
An anonymous reader writes "Intel's Open-Source Technology Center was given source-code access to Valve's Left 4 Dead 2 game in order to help them fix Linux bugs and to better optimize their graphics driver to this forthcoming Linux native game on the Source Engine. Intel has talked about their Valve Linux development experiences and now they managed to get Left 4 Dead 2 running on their open-source graphics driver. Valve also has grown fond of open-source hardware drivers: 'Valve Linux developers have also been happy looking at an open-source graphics driver. Valve Linux developers found it equally thrilling that now when hitting a bottleneck in their game or looking for areas for performance optimizations, they are simply able to look into Intel's open-source Linux graphics driver to understand how an operation is handled by the hardware, tossing some extra debugging statements into the Intel driver to see what's happening, and making other driver tweaks.'"
colinneagle writes "Earlier this week I installed the final version of Windows 8. And it is awesome. That's not a joke. Windows 8 is absolutely, unequivocally stellar. And yet, at the end of the day, I am right back to using Linux. Why is that? What is it about Linux that makes me so excited to use it — even while enjoying another operating system that I view as, in all seriousness, a work of art? Why do I not simply install Windows 8 on every machine I own and be happy with it? For me, it's the ability to slowly chip away and remove items from your user interface until you are left with only want you want, and nothing more. The option of looking at an item on the screen, right clicking on it, and declaring to said item 'Listen up, mister Thing-On-My-Screen. I don't want you anymore. Be gone!' Panels, bars, docks, launchers, widgets, gadgets – whatever is on your screen, there is probably a way to send it to whatever form of the afterlife is reserved for unwanted Desktop Crud. And, I'll tell you this right now – as great as it is, you don't find a whole lot of 'Right click, Remove Panel' in Windows 8."
First time accepted submitter Rzarector writes "Good News Everyone! Thanks to the Ubuntu Gnome Community and Jeremy Bicha, it seems that the popular distribution will ship a flavor with a relatively pure GNOME experience in the next release cycle, on October 18. At this point the effort is community based, but hopefully GNOMEbuntu will make it as an official Canonical spin, similar to Kubuntu, Xubuntu, et cetera, in the 13.04 release. This is the story: At the Ubuntu Developer Summit in May, some discussions took place on the need for a Gnome spin. On August 13, Jeremy Bicha posted on Gnome mailing lists about looking a name for the new Ubuntu derivative. After that, I had no news till Stinger gave us a thread in Ubuntu Forums. On there, Jeremy talks about working on an Alpha version! So I contacted him and he verified that GNOMEbuntu will be released together with Ubuntu 12.10."
darthcamaro writes "The wait between Linux 2.x and 3.x was a long one, but the wait to Linux 4? Well, that will only be a matter of three years, according to Linus Torvalds. '"It's just mentally much easier for people to remember the small number," Torvalds said during the LinuxCon conference in San Diego [Wednesday]. "We'll do 4.0 in three years maybe when the sub numbers have grown in the 20's and our feeble brains can't handle it."'"
An anonymous reader writes "Klint Finley discusses Miguel de Icaza's thoughts on how OS X killed Linux on the desktop: 'de Icaza says the desktop wars were already lost to OS X by the time the latest shakeups started happening. And he thinks the real reason Linux lost is that developers started defecting to OS X because the developers behind the toolkits used to build graphical Linux applications didn’t do a good enough job ensuring backward compatibility between different versions of their APIs. "For many years, we broke people’s code," he says. "OS X did a much better job of ensuring backward compatibility."' This, he says, led developers to use OS X as a desktop for server programming. It didn't help that development was 'shifting to the web,' with the need for native applications on the decline."
An anonymous reader writes "The evolution of user interface design in software is a long one, and has historically tracked the capabilities of computers of the time. Early computers used batch processing which, is mostly unheard of today, and consequently had minimal human interaction. The late 60s saw the introduction of command line interfaces, which remain popular to this day, mostly with technical users. Arguably, what propelled computer use to what it is today is the introduction of the ubiquitous graphical user interface. Although graphical interfaces have evolved, in principle they have remained largely unchanged. The resurgence of Apple saw the rise of skeuomorphic graphical user interfaces, which are now starting to appear on Linux. Are skeuomorphic designs making technology accessible to the masses, or is it simply a case of an unwillingness to innovate and move forward?"
An anonymous reader writes "The BeOS-compatible Haiku OS operating system has been ported to x86_64. As part of the Google Summer of Code, a student made a 64-bit port of the kernel and user-space and it's now working. However, not all of the BeOS apps and drivers are yet working in 64-bit mode."
First time accepted submitter ternarybit writes "By 'Linux professional,' I mean anyone in a paid IT position who uses or administers Linux systems on a daily basis. Over the past five years, I've developed an affection for Linux, and use it every day as a freelance IT consultant. I've built a breadth of somewhat intermediate skills, using several distros for everything from everyday desktop use, to building servers from scratch, to performing data recovery. I'm interested in taking my skills to the next level — and making a career out of it — but I'm not sure how best to appeal to prospective employers, or even what to specialize in (I refuse to believe the only option is 'sysadmin,' though I'm certainly not opposed to that). Specifically, I'm interested in what practical steps I can take to build meaningful skills that an employer can verify, and will find valuable. So, what do you do, and how did you get there? How did you conquer the catch-22 of needing experience to get the position that gives you the experience to get the position? Did you get certified, devour books and manpages, apprentice under an expert, some combination of the above, or something else entirely?"
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."
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?""