LXer Weekly Roundup for 18-Dec-2011

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Dec 19, 2011 4:17 AM
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)

LXer Feature: 19-Dec-2011

In the news this past week we had Dell pulling out of the Netbook market, CNet caught adding malware to Download.com, two articles on how 2011 was apparently not a good year for Linux and our own Emery Fletcher's rendition of 'The Day The Desktop Died'. Enjoy!

Three greatest failures in Linux world 2011: 2011 is coming to its end. It is time to make final roundups and see what happened in our life in this year. So, what was new in Linux world in 2011? What were greatest failures in 2011 from my point of view?

First Release Of Open-Source Blu-Ray Library: The libbluray project put out its first official release a few weeks ago. This open-source (GNU GPLv2) library is intended to support Blu-Ray disc playback by media players such as VLC and MPlayer. The libbluray 0.21 release is the first from the project and it happened on the 30th of November. This release hasn't been widely publicized and I just happened to know about it this morning from an indirectly-related message on another mailing list. This project was born out of the Doom9 community and has been under development since 2009.

CentOS remains way behind in tracking RHEL, Scientific Linux does better, but Debian and Ubuntu deserve consideration, too: When you think "free version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux," I bet CentOS comes to mind. But a look at the CentOS project over the past few years shows a considerable lag between when RHEL releases and CentOS catches up.

2011: The Year of Linux Disappointments: On August 15, LinuxCon celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the Linux kernel with a Roaring Twenties party, complete with swing bands and tuxedos and flapper costumes. The milestone was one that conference attendees were happy to celebrate, despite the obvious embarrassment of Linus Torvalds himself. Unfortunately, 2011 as a whole didn't measure up to those few hours of partying. In fact, whether you are looking at business, the community, or the technology, for free and open source software (FOSS), 2011 was in many ways a disappointing year

Here We Go Again, Another Linux Init: Intro to systemd: In the days of yore we had a System V (SysV) type init daemon to manage Linux system startup, and it was good. It was configured with simple text files easily understood by mortals, and it was a friendly constant amid the roiling seas of change. Then came systemd, and once again we Linux users were cast adrift in uncharted waters. Why all this change? Can't Linux hold still for just a minute?

Nokia and Microsoft Struggle to Find Clear Mobile Message: If Microsoft and Nokia want to succeed, they need to combine a coherent message with a solid to-market strategy and great phones. So far, I'm not seeing that.

European IT authorities want better OOXML in Libre/OpenOffice: Standards icon IT authorities from Germany and Switzerland have announced that they are working together, under the auspices of the Open Source Business Alliance, to improve the way that LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org display and process OOXML-formatted documents. The authorities involved include the IT groups from the cities of Munich, Jena and Freiburg im Breisgau, the Swiss canton of Waadt, the Swiss Federal Court and the Schweizer Informatikstrategie Bund (Swiss IT Federation) whose representatives met at a workshop in Zurich in October to launch the "Precise reproduction of OOXML documents in Open Source Office applications" project. Slides for the workshop provide more details of what was discussed.

Dell pulls out of netbook market: Dell has discontinued making consumer netbooks and appears to be ready to phase out its Latitude business netbooks in favor of larger ultrabooks, says an industry report. The netbook shutdown follows Dell's termination of sales of its Streak 7 Android tablet earlier this month.

CNet's Download.com Caught Adding Malware to Nmap & Other Software: In August 2011, Download.com was taken on a new path by their General Manager and V.P. Sean Murphy. They started wrapping legitimate 3rd party software into their own installer which by default installs a wide variety of adware and other questionable software on users machines. It also does things like redirect user search queries and change their Internet home page. At first their installer forced people to accept the malware or close the installer (see screen shot of infected VLC installer in this article). Later they added a non-default "decline" button hidden way on the left side of the panel. Also, the initial installer shown in the previous screen shot claimed the software was “SAFE, TRUSTED, AND SPYWARE FREE”. In an unusual show of honesty, they removed that claim from the rogue installer.

The Day The Desktop Died: A reinterpretation of Don McClean's"American Pie"

Canonical Will Remove Java From Ubuntu: Because Oracle retired the "Operating System Distributor License for Java", Canonical no longer has permission to redistribute new Java packages. Therefore, in the near future, Canonical will push empty packages to the repositories, removing Sun JDK from user's machines through the usual update process.

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