LXer Weekly Roundup for 23-May-2010

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on May 24, 2010 3:24 AM
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)


LXer Feature: 23-May-2010

Some of the big stories this week included the secret identities of Linux distributions, a new flash filesystem, Phoronix tests the speed of Arch against Ubuntu, Android gets an OnStar application, how Linux saved a fast food giant and last but not least a story entitled 'I could license you to use this software, but then I’d have to kill you'. Enjoy!

The end of the (Linux) desktop as we know it: What if the Linux desktop as we know it was a thing from the past ? Major players like Asus, Google, Canonical decided to create their own desktop in order to provide a Zen, very fast environment for millions of users. What are the consequences for the "legacy" windows managers; Gnome, KDE, etc.?

The Secret Identities of Linux Distributions : In the embedded space, there's been a lot of talk about whether Android is fragmented, and if that fragmentation will ultimately hurt Android, because developers won't know what version to code for and users won't know which one to use.

Linux gains flash filesystem: Linus Torvalds announced the release of Linux 2.6.34, which is notable for adding two filesystems: Ceph for distributed and cloud-based applications, and LogFS, which is optimized for flash-memory based devices. Other new features include a faster KVM virtualization driver based on Vhost.net technology, says LinuxPlanet.com.

Is Arch Linux Really Faster Than Ubuntu?: Often when we are preparing for cross-distribution comparisons or benchmarks of different operating systems (like our recent Mac OS X 10.6 vs. Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 benchmarks) we are often asked to include Arch Linux in the mix. This is usually on the basis of including a rolling-release distribution to provide a performance look at a constantly evolving distribution with many of the most recent open-source packages rather than a traditional distribution with packages that may be months older. Many of those requesting Arch be included in our testing mix also claim that Arch performs significantly faster than Ubuntu and our usual test candidates.

I could license you to use this software, but then I’d have to kill you: Just shy of 2000 different licenses cover the 230,000+ projects in the Black Duck Knowledgebase. It's important to note that the top 10 licenses cover 93% of all projects and the top 20 almost 97%. Well over 60% are GPL. So, the vast bulk of projects are under a small number of well-known licenses, and that's a good thing. But the other 3% of projects and 1980-odd licenses (and there are some odd ones!) clearly constitute a "long tail." Join me, won't you, for a journey to the outer reaches of that tail.

GM and Google integrate Android app with OnStar: General Motors (GM) announced that version 2.0 of the Android version of its OnStar Mobile app for the Chevrolet Volt will feature Google Maps integration. The voice-enabled feature, which shows a Volt's location on Google Maps, may only be the first step in Android integration with OnStar, say reports.

How to Convert Your Facebook Superfans Into Brand Ambassadors: Last week, I explored the birth of the “superfan” in social media, drawing from the superfan concept at sporting events and pointing out some fan qualities that my company has observed on our clients’ Facebook Pages. This week, I’m going to discuss how to harness the passion of the superfan in order to convert them into an ambassador for your brand.

The Cost Of Running Compiz: Earlier this week we published benchmarks comparing Arch Linux and Ubuntu. There were only a few areas where the two Linux distributions actually performed differently with many of their core packages being similar, but one of the areas where the results were vastly different was with the OpenGL performance as Ubuntu uses Compiz by default (when a supported GPU driver is detected) where as Arch does not. This had surprised many within our forums so we decided to carry out a number of tests with different hardware and drivers to show off what the real performance cost is of running Compiz as a desktop compositing manager in different configurations.

How Linux Saved A Fast Food Giant: I am a Windows guy. I have always used Windows at home, work, school, everywhere with the exception of my phone (iPhone now Nexus One) and one Linux class at FIU. I have an A+ and MCTS in Windows Vista. Soon I will have my MCITP. I drink the kool-aid. But Linux saved me and the company I sub contract to, a large fast food giant, from near-total disaster. Last month McAfee posted a virus definition update that flagged SVCHOST.EXE as a virus. This is my story of what happened.

How to Watch Hulu.com in the UK: For those not familiar, Hulu is a popular video playback site from NBC that streams many mainstream television shows right to your browser. The biggest problem with the site is that it blocks access for users outside the continental United States. Hulu isn’t the only site in the world that does this either. Many sites restrict access based on the IP Address that you are currently connected with.

Why Can't We All Use Chromium Instead of Google Chrome?: This is something I always asked myself. How is Google Chrome different from Chromium. Apart from the logo, there is hardly any difference visually between the two. So I decided to dig further. Here are some of the interesting facts you should know.

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