LXer Weekly Roundup for 21-Sept-2008

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Sep 21, 2008 9:08 PM
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)


LXer Feature: 21-Sept-2008

In this weeks Roundup we have, The Large Hadron Collider survives its first attacks from hackers, 5 Useful Tips to Customize Firefox 3, Android gets closer to being released, Carls Schroder opines on what it means to be a "geek" and University of Santa Barbara researchers show incredibly easy it is to compromise the security on a Sequoia Systems voting machine. Also, 10 things Linux does better than Windows, a Richard Stallman interview, VLC gets a new look and Google Chrome for Linux?

In this weeks Roundup we have, The Large Hadron Collider survives its first attacks from hackers, 5 Useful Tips to Customize Firefox 3, Android gets closer to being released, Carls Schroder opines on what it means to be a "geek" and University of Santa Barbara researchers show incredibly easy it is to compromise the security on a Sequoia Systems voting machine. Also, 10 things Linux does better than Windows, a Richard Stallman interview, VLC gets a new look and Google Chrome for Linux?

What is happening in the world of Ubuntu?: I have been talking about Ubuntu for a number of articles now and how easy it is to use. In this article I will look at the next two upcoming versions and investigate what they have to offer. Ubuntu, unlike other Operating Systems which could be mentioned, strive for a predictable release schedule. They have only missed it once in eight releases and then only by two months. A new version of Ubuntu is released every six months in April and October. The naming convention is associated with the year and the month that it is released. 8.04 was released in 2008 in the 4th month, April. The previous release was 7.10 in October 2007.

5 Useful Tips to Customize Firefox 3: Firefox is the most popular browser on Linux, being the browser of choice for over 70% of the Linux users. I this article I explained 5 of the most useful and used tips in Firefox, together with screenshots where I considered necessary. Most of them are related with the about:config variables, but I also provided a graphical way of doing things where it was possible.

42 of the Best Free Linux Graphics Software: Linux is a very strong platform for budding artists, photographers, animators, and designers. With inexpensive hardware, free software, and a modicum of talent and inspiration, anyone can create professional-looking computer graphics.

Battle Brews Over Firefox In Ubuntu 8.10: Firefox, what's not to love about this open-source web browser? Well, a number of users following the development work on Ubuntu 8.10 (the Intrepid Ibex) are feeling rather outraged over Mozilla Firefox 3.0.2 and later. In the latest Ubuntu packages, Firefox requires an EULA (End-User License Agreement) be accepted the first time you launch the browser. The EULA mostly deals with agreeing to Mozilla's trademark policies for Firefox.

The Large Hadron Collider switches on. If it's the end of the world, it will be powered by GNU/Linux: You know a science story is big when an experiment gets first or second billing on the main evening news—and it’s not even a slow news day. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is up and running as I write and as far as I can tell I’m still here, so it looks like the doomsayers were a little premature. Unless I’m writing this piece from the far side of the singularity of a black hole in a parallel universe. The LHC is an huge experiment (a snip at $10 billion) to explore the very small and very energetic sub-atomic world to verify, amongst other things, if the Higgs Boson really exists. That will be a monumental triumph for science and the human spirit. I have always been fascinated by particle physics, despite by academic background in the Humanities and I will be following the progress at CERN with great interest.

OpenSolaris 2008.05 is robust and ready: Sun has been getting serious about opening up its software for a few years now. OpenSolaris, an open source Unix operating system like Linux and BSD, released in May, is its latest foray into the open source arena. I found OpenSolaris to be a production-ready OS that works equally well on desktops and servers. OpenSolaris is released under Sun's Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL), which isn't compatible with the GNU Public License (GPL) used by Linux. This means that lots of the technology in OpenSolaris won't be making its way into Linux any day soon. Also, OpenSolaris isn't 100% free, as some components are available only in binary form under the OpenSolaris Binary License.

Everything You Wanted to Know about the New Android Cell Phone: I spoke to Rob Jackson, who started the Phandroid blog and the AndroidForums.com discussion groups and asked him about the impact of the release of the first Android-powered (open source) cell phone, the HTC Dream, which is due for release by T-Mobile on Oct. 20th.

Opinion: The Road to Geekdom: Don't get into IT because you want an air-conditioned office. Get into it because it's your passion. Not sure it's your passion? There are a lot of free tools that'll help you explore.

Not Worried Enough Yet?: Researchers at UCSB have demonstrated how ridiculously easy it is to compromise voting machines from Sequoia Voting Systems, which are currently used in 17 states and the District of Columbia.

Linux devotee tries to spread the word: Larry Cafiero is sitting in his cluttered office in the Santa Cruz Mountains looking nothing like a revolutionary. Friendly bearded face. Casual blue jeans. Comfy work shirt with the little penguin logo. Yeah, penguin logo. See, Cafiero is a Linux guy. Maybe you know one — or a Linux woman. Maybe you know that to love Linux is to live Linux — that you don't just use free and open-source software, you embrace it and evangelize it. Some more than others.

OpenGL 3 & DirectX 11: The War Is Over: Given the prevalence of DirectX nowadays, we tend to forget that 10 years ago an all-out war was being waged between Microsoft and Silicon Graphics in the field of 3D APIs. The two companies were both trying to win over developers, with Microsoft using its financial muscle and SGI relying on its experience and its reputation in the field of real-time 3D.

10 things Linux does better than Windows: If you tallied up the strengths and weaknesses of Linux and Windows, which OS would come out ahead? According to Jack Wallen, superiority in security, flexibility, interoperability, community, and command-line power (among other things) put Linux well ahead. See if you agree with his assessment.

Meet 120 Companies Running Ubuntu Linux Servers and Desktops: The next time somebody tells you that Ubuntu isn't for business, check out this list of more than 120 businesses and organizations across the globe running Ubuntu on servers, desktops and mobile systems. The companies are part of the fast-growing Works With U 1000 list, which will eventually track 1,000 Ubuntu-focused companies across the globe. Take a look or add your company to the list.

Richard Stallman Interview: Richard Stallman talks about GNU’s 25th anniversary, Google Chrome, sharing non-free software, preinstalled GNU/Linux on pc, NDA, OLPC XO.

Installing VirtualBox 2.0.0 On Ubuntu 8.04 Desktop: This tutorial shows how you can install Sun xVM VirtualBox on an Ubuntu 8.04 desktop. With VirtualBox you can create and run guest operating systems (virtual machines) such as Linux and Windows under a host operating system. There are two ways of installing VirtualBox: from precompiled binaries that are available for some distributions and come under the PUEL license, and from the sources that are released under the GPL. This article will show how to set up VirtualBox 2.0.0 from the precompiled binaries.

OpenOffice.org 3.0 Promises New Life for Office Software: OpenOffice.org is in an unenviable place. Office suites -- word processors, spreadsheets, presentations and the ilk -- are utilitarian, complex bundles of software. They are a necessity of modern life, used daily by individuals and businesses all over the world. It isn't that people take them for granted. People don't consider them much at all. It has been a long time since I've had any feelings whatsoever about an office suite. There have been developments in office software that have been innovative, such as online document creation.

VLC gets a new look on Windows and Linux: After two years in development, VLC, the universal media player, has moved from the 0.8.x versions to version 0.9.2. The release, named "Grishenko", is available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and other operating systems, is available to download from the Videolan web site. The most visible new feature in the Windows and Linux versions is a new user interface. The new interface uses Qt4, replacing the previous wxWidgets-based interface as the default interface and allowing for better internationalisation and a richer set of graphical controls.

Google Chrome . . . for Linux?!: As some of you know, Google released a new browser recently, something calledChrome. The idea is/was to fix everything that is wrong with browsers and make the Web browsers a tool to run applications. As opposed to just viewing Web pages. I'm being a bit silly here, but Chrome is built to be more like an operating system than a plain old browser. There's more but it's all only for Windows users since a Linux version doesn't yet exist. Wait . . . What? Check out this screenhost (click it for a full screen view).

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