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CentOS Rolls Along as openSUSE 12.3 Nears EOL

Saturday 6th of December 2014 04:19:13 AM

Karanbir Singh today announced the inaugural release of CentOS rolling builds. CentOS will be releasing monthly respins of CentOS to include "all security, bugfix, enhancement and general updates." In other news, openSUSE 12.3 nears the end of its support and hit game BioShock Infinite looks to be heading to a Linux machine near you.

The CentOS project today began issuing monthly-updated install media for their popular Linux distribution. These "rolling builds" will consist of the current stable version with "all security, bugfix, enhancement and general updates for CentOS Linux." Singh said these monthly builds will be timestamped corresponding to date of pull not date of release, which may differ by several testing days. The team is hoping to add other build types in the future such as live media and older versions. New builds may be released ahead of schedule if serious security issues arise. Typical downloads are at centos.org, but see the announcement for cloud images and more information.

Marcus Meissner today announced openSUSE 12.3 "discontinuation" or end-of-life saying, "The openSUSE maintenance team announces that the openSUSE maintenance Team will stop releasing updates for openSUSE 12.3 soon." Support will end for 12.3 on January 4, 2015. Those still running 12.3 are encouraged to upgrade. In related news, Neil Rickert today said that Tumbleweed has been "in practice for a month" and "since then, it has been rolling along. All seems to be going well."

Several outlets are reporting today that BioShock Infinite looks to be heading to Linux. GamingOnLinux said Linux binaries are showing up in the SteamDB depot history. Aspyr ported BioShock Infinite to Mac but denies being the one porting to Linux, according to GOL. However, Digital Spy has confirmed the port to come in 2015 stating that publisher 2K Games has announced it on Twitter.

In other Linux news:

* Puzzle GNU/Linux: Integrated Pieces Create an Intriguing OS

* Linux Lite 2.2 Review

* Opensuse linux for education 13.2 — a review

* Marines dump Microsoft for Linux OS on Northrop Grumman radar

* How to upgrade from Linux Mint 17 to 17.1

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Photoshop for Your Chromebook: Almost Here

Friday 5th of December 2014 03:55:24 PM

You've heard the rap on Google's Chrome OS plaftorm: Sure, it's fast and boots up quickly, but there are lots of top-tier applications that won't run it, because Chrome OS does everything in the cloud. When Google first announced its cloud-centric Chrome OS platform, which primarily eschews applications that reside on the desktop for ones out in the cloud, people came out of the woodwork citing popular applications that wouldn't run on it. Among these applications, the Windows crowd made a big deal out of the fact that Photoshop wouldn't run on Chrome OS.

But in October, we reported that that is about to change.  Google and Adobe announced that Adobe's entire Creative Cloud software suite, including Photoshop, will soon be available for Chromebooks. Now, two months later, Google and Adobe are showing their Streaming Photoshop project, and making it available in the educational market.

As The Verge reports, Adobe will test streaming Photoshop for about six months in the educational market, then make it widely available. 

How will the streaming version work? It is designed to run straight from the cloud to a Chromebook. It updates itself and will be fully integrated with Google Drive, so there will be no need to download and re-upload files. You just save your art directly from Photoshop to the cloud. For IT administrators, it will ease some headaches. For example, installation won't be required.

A lot of Chrome users are going to be excited about this. While open source alternatives to Photoshop exist, it's hard to match the application feature for feature. Along with Google's efforts to bring Android apps to Chrome, it looks like we're poised to see Chromebooks become much more capable and flexible.  

If you're familiar with Photoshop, you know that it is an extremly powerful application. It makes sense that the streaming version needs testing for a few months before being unleashed, but it is coming. 

According to the announcement on the Chrome blog:

"Today, in partnership with Adobe, we’re welcoming Creative Cloud onto Chromebooks, initially with a streaming version of Photoshop. This will be available first to U.S.-based Adobe education customers with a paid Creative Cloud membership—so the Photoshop you know and love is now on Chrome OS. No muss, no fuss."

 

 

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Red Hat and Partners Aim to Infuse Open NFV Tools in Telco Data Centers

Friday 5th of December 2014 03:41:49 PM

As 2014 draws to a close, we're seeing a lot of action from telecom players and the open source community surrounding Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) technology. Telecom companies have traditionally had a lot of proprietary tools in the middle and at the basis of their technology stacks. NFV is an effort to combat that, and to help the parallel trends of virtualization and cloud computing stay as open as possible.

In September, The Linux Foundation announced the Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) Project, a group comprised primarily of telecom operators working across open source projects and vendors to implement NFV within their organizations. News has also steadily arrived from Red Hat about its work to drive NFV and telecommunications technology into OpenStack.  Now, Huawei and Red Hat have announced a new global partnership to enable OpenStack-based cloud deployments. By expanding their relationship, Huawei and Red Hat aim to accelerate collaboration around OpenStack for NFV required by Communication Service Providers (CSPs).

According to the 2014 SDN and NFV Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey, conducted by Infonetics Research, 93 percent of telecommunications operators interviewed plan to deploy NFV as carriers work to modernize the way telecommunications networks are built and operated. As OpenStack establishes itself as the platform of choice for NFV workloads, Huawei and Red Hat are engaging in a global partnership to cooperatively engineer carrier-grade cloud solutions for CSPs.

Huawei and Red Hat plan to integrate Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform and Huawei’s FusionSphere Cloud OS at the management layer to offer a single open, flexible, and production-ready cloud platform to support telecommunication carriers' NFV evolution. Huawei and Red Hat say the will align on contributions, engineering, product, and efforts to drive the adoption of OpenStack for NFV implementations by CSPs.

After the OpenStack Summit in May, an NFV community team formed to accelerate development around NFV-specific features.  Red Hat has also collaborated with eNovance, a leader in the open source cloud computing market, to drive NFV and telecommunications features into OpenStack.

Tim Yeaton, senior vice president of Infrastructure Business at Red Hat said, in a statement:

“Carriers and telecommunications service providers are under pressure to modernize their network infrastructure to meet demands created by new service offerings and the explosive volume of data crossing the network. As a result, many are exploring the benefits OpenStack-based clouds can bring to NFV projects. By combining Huawei’s leadership in the telecommunications industry with Red Hat’s leadership in OpenStack and, more broadly, enterprise open source, we are well positioned to deliver cloud solutions that enable carriers to meet their network modernization challenges.”

Read more here: http://www.heraldonline.com/2014/12/04/6590627_huawei-and-red-hat-to-deliver.html?sp=/100/773/385/&rh=1#storylink=cpy

As Opensource.com noted, NFV is an effort to rethink the architecture of data centers:

"This is the telco industry re-imaging their data centers as elastic infrastructure clouds running their 'network functions' as virtualized, horizontally scalable applications on these clouds...These huge telcos want to rebuild their entire data centers with OpenStack and open source."

Read more here: http://www.heraldonline.com/2014/12/04/6590627_huawei-and-red-hat-to-deliver.html?sp=/100/773/385/&rh=1#storylink=cpy

 

Read more here: http://www.heraldonline.com/2014/12/04/6590627_huawei-and-red-hat-to-deliver.html?sp=/100/773/385/&rh=1#storylink=cpy

 

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Fedora 21 a GO after Another RC, New Development Tick-Tock

Friday 5th of December 2014 04:46:13 AM

The big news today is that a fifth release candidate for Fedora 21 was needed, but Fedora 21 was given a GO for the December 9 release. Fedora folks are also talking about a '"Tick-tock" release cadence' for future versions, which would alternate feature releases with "release engineering and QA process and tooling."

A few hours after yesterday's release candidate was announced it was determined that yet another attempt was needed. RC5 was made available in the wee hours this morning. The only real changes between RC4 and RC5 were the versions of python-blivet and pyparted, which were downgraded due to serious bugs.

Jaroslav Reznik today announced the GO of Fedora 21 for release on December 9, 2014. During today's Go/No-Go meeting it was determined that no "unaddressed" blocker bugs remain and it was agreed that "Fedora 21 Final status is go by Release Engineering, QA and Development." Virtual champagne corks followed although Reznik later said, "And now, let's back to work on to the next Next Fedora release."

On that subject, Matthew Miller today posted on a new release process being discussed by the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee dubbed '"Tick-tock" release cadence." This is process in which one aspect of development is the focus one cycle and another the next. In Fedora's case they're discussing using one cycle for new feature development (tick) and then the next on release engineering and tooling (tock). Miller says this will reduce cycle time and avoid some collisions made by doing both together every release. He even threw in the possibility of a third focus being a "polish" release where they concentrate just on bug fixes. The Fedora project has been discussing release cycle improvements for a while trying to improve their delay record.

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Linux Foundation Adds New Leaders, New Events for 2015

Thursday 4th of December 2014 04:01:02 PM

Over the past couple of years, The Linux Foundation has emerged as a very influential organization overseeing not only directly Linux-related initiatives, but important technology efforts including building out "The Internet of Everything." This week, the foundation made a series of announcements, including the news that it is expanding its leadership team, and news about events that the foundation will sponsor in 2015. Here is more.

The foundation announced the addition of industry veterans Steve Westmoreland, Laura Kempke, Philip DesAutles and Russell Farnell to its leadership team.  The roles that the leaders will fill are as follows:

Philip DesAutels, Senior Director of IoT and Leader of the AllSeen Alliance

Laura Kempke, Vice President of Collaborative Projects Operations and Marketing

Russell Farnell, Vice President of Finance and Human Resources

Steve Westmoreland, Chief Information Officer

There are also promtions at the foundation, including:  Angela Brown, now senior director of events; Jennifer Cloer, now senior director of communications and community; and Mike Dolan, now senior director of strategic programs.

It will be interesting to see Philip DesAutels take the lead on managing The AllSeen Alliance. The Linux Foundation's Allseen Alliance initiative is billed as "the broadest cross-industry consortium to date to advance adoption and innovation in the 'Internet of Everything' in homes and industry."

We've covered it extensively, and premier level members of the alliance include Haier, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Sharp, Silicon Image and TP-LINK. Community members include Canary, Cisco, D-Link, doubleTwist, Fon, Harman, HTC, Letv, LIFX, Lite-on, Moxtreme, Musaic, Sears Brand Management Corporation, Sproutling, The Sprosty Network, Weaved and Wilocity. The alliance also includes Microsoft, AT&T Digital Life, Affinegy, GOWEX, iControl Networks, Kii, Muzzley, Patavina Technologies, 2lemetry, Tuxera and Vestel Group, among others.

Separately, the foundation announced its 2015 events schedule, which includes LinuxCon and CloudOpen in North America and Europe, the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, Embedded Linux Conference, Android Builders Summit and ApacheCon. There are new events for 2015, including an open source storage and filesystems conference, Vault, and ContainerCon, focused on the rapidly expanding container industry.

 “Hosting neutral forums where top developer and IT talent can come together to collaborate tomorrow’s biggest innovations is important work that we’re humbled to be able to do for the community and industry,” said Amanda McPherson, CMO and VP of Developer Programs at The Linux Foundation. “With the expansion of Linux and open source to so many industries, we will continue to increase the size and diversity of our events to meet the demands of the industry. We invite you to join us in 2015 for unrivaled opportunities to learn, innovate and collaborate.”

LinuxCon + CloudOpen North America will take place this year in Seattle and will be co-located with the all new ContainerCon, amongst other events including KVM Forum, Linux Plumbers Conference, #MesosCon and Xen Project Developer Summit. LinuxCon and CloudOpen Europe will be in Dublin, Ireland, along with Embedded Linux Conference and other events.

 You can find out much more via the 2015 events schedule.

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Mirantis Offers Free Version of OpenStack Express for Developers

Thursday 4th of December 2014 03:41:34 PM

Today, Mirantis is unveiling the free version of Mirantis OpenStack Express (the hosted on-demand version of the Mirantis OpenStack distribution) for developers. It’s a push to try and encourage developers to build products on top of OpenStack, as the need for a rich ecosystem of such tools is increasing.

The Developer Edition includes an OpenStack tenant with a quota of 4 virtual CPUs, 4GB RAM,100GB of storage and two floating IP addresses, plus access to OpenStack APIs. It also comes with 24/7 support and a dozen tutorials to help developers get started. The online tutorials are based on Mirantis Training for OpenStack. Here are more details.

Mirantis OpenStack Express is billed as the fastest and easiest way to get an OpenStack cloud running. The tutorials that come with the Developer Edition cover common use cases such as adding images, launching VMs, and using the Murano OpenStack application catalogue.

As we’ve covered, Mirantis is a top three contributor to OpenStack, has offered its own OpenStack distribution for some time, and provides popular OpenStack training. This year, Mirantis’ Driverlog initiative catalogued 106 vendor solutions that plug in underneath OpenStack, giving customers a single, consolidated list of compatible hardware. The company has increasingly focused on tools and solutions that orbit OpenStack in its ecosystem.

“The success of OpenStack is all about the solutions running on top of it,” said Mirantis CEO, Adrian Ionel, in a statement. “Hundreds of thousands of developers are now familiar with cloud services and we want to enable them to ride the wave of OpenStack adoption. The free Developer Edition is their invitation to learn OpenStack and see its benefits, at no cost or risk.”

A number of solutions vendors have already started using MOX for application development, including RealStatus, Tata Consultancy Services and Avi Networks. “With Mirantis OpenStack Express, Avi Networks can bring up a robust application delivery solution in minutes, not hours or days,” said Guru Chahal, VP Product Management, Avi Networks. “The technology simplifies OpenStack setup and configuration, saving us valuable engineering resources, and bringing instant value to our customers.”

The Developer Edition of Mirantis OpenStack Express will be free for the first 12 months, and $39.99 per month thereafter. It includes an OpenStack tenant with a quota of 4 virtual CPUs, 4GB RAM, 100GB of storage, and two floating IP addresses, plus access to OpenStack APIs. Developers can add resources on demand, starting with quotas of 2vCPU, 2GB RAM, and 50GB of storage at $19.99 per month.

 

 

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Open Washing, Kali Story, and Fedora RC4

Thursday 4th of December 2014 04:40:54 AM

In the Linuxphere today Adam Williamson announced Fedora 21 Final Release Candidate 4. Lifehacker is running an interview with Kali developer Mati Aharoni and the Linux Foundation released a study on Linux usage trends. Patrick Masson discusses "openwashing" and Linux gaming reaches new milestones. In software news Opera 26 was released, Eric Geier presents firewall options, and The Register features 10 "freeware apps" for Linux.

The top story today is the release of Fedora 21 RC4. Adam Williamson announced it on the Test-Announce mailing list today saying RC4 is basically RC2 with "correct fontconfig caches." RC3 was never released because it didn't finish composing and when that issue was fixed they just decided to call the new spin RC4. Williamson then said, "At present we're hopeful RC4 will be good enough for Final release," so with some good luck Fedora 21 just might hit its December 9 deadline.

Lifehacker's Andy Orin today posted an interview with Kali Linux lead developer Mati Aharoni. Kali's predecessor BackTrack was conceived out of the need for the right tool for a particular job. BackTrack was rebuilt using Debian as the base and renamed Kali. He and his worried about changing the well-known name but decided the "rebranding would be tough, but not impossible." Aharoni's advice is "don't be afraid to leverage existing infrastructure where possible."

Patrick Masson said today that "openwashing" is a big problem in the software industry and folks should be careful. Masson said openwashing is claiming your software is Open Source yet doesn't really comply with all the letters of Open Source Definition. He added non-compliance and marketing claims are getting more and more "egregious. The goal of these unscrupulous organizations is to capitalize on open source's success and the growing interest (and investment) it is enjoying, by duping a naive audience." He reiterated there's a lot of trickery afoot taking advantage of "the gap in knowledge" of those looking to employ Open Source software. He offers up specific examples but ultimately concludes, "Adopter beware."

In other news:

* Ten Linux freeware apps to feed your penguin

* Little Known GUI Firewall Options for Linux

* Opera 26 Stable for Linux now available

* GOG & Steam Both Hit Milestones For Linux Games

* More Linux Malware Targeting in the Future

* 2014 Enterprise Linux End User Adoption Report

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Interview: Apache Software Foundation Elevates Drill to Top-Level Project

Wednesday 3rd of December 2014 04:07:21 PM

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has announced that Apache Drill has graduated from the Apache Incubator to become a Top-Level Project (TLP).

Apache Drill is billed as the world's first schema-free SQL query engine that delivers real-time insights by removing the constraint of building and maintaining schemas before data can be analyzed.

Drill enables rapid application development on Apache Hadoop and also allows enterprise BI analysts to access Hadoop in a self-service fashion.  OStatic caught up with Tomer Shiran (shown here), a member of the Drill Project Management Committee, to get his thoughts. Here they are in an interview.

Can you provide a brief overview of what Drill is and what kinds of users it can make a difference for?

Drill is the world's first distributed, schema-free SQL engine. Analysts and developers can use Drill to interactively explore data in Hadoop and other NoSQL databases, such as HBase and MongoDB. There's no need to explicitly define and maintain schemas, as Drill can automatically leverage the structure that's embedded in the data.

This enables self-service data exploration, which is not possible with traditional data warehouses or SQL-on-Hadoop solutions like Hive and Impala, in which DBAs must manage schemas and transform the data before it can be analyzed.

What level of community involvement with Drill already exists?

Drill is an Apache project, so it's not owned by any vendor. Developers in the community can contribute to Drill. MapR currently employs the largest number of contributors, but we're seeing an increasing number of contributions from other companies, and that trend has been accelerating in recent months.

For example, the MongoDB storage plugin (enabling queries on MongoDB) was contributed by developers at Intuit.

Hadoop has a lot of momentum on the Big Data front. How can Drill help organizations leveraging Hadoop?

Drill is the ideal interactive SQL engine for Hadoop. One of the main reasons organizations choose Hadoop is due to its flexibility and agility. Unlike traditional databases, getting data into Hadoop is easy, and users can load data in any shape or size on their own. Early attempts at SQL on Hadoop (eg, Hive, Impala) force schemas to be created and maintained even for self-describing data like JSON, Parquet and HBase tables.

These systems also require data to be transformed before it can be queried. Drill is the only SQL engine for Hadoop that doesn't force schemas to be defined before data can be queried, and doesn't require any data transformations. In other words, Drill maintains the flexibility and agility paradigms that made Hadoop popular, thus making it the natural technology for data exploration and BI on Hadoop.

What does Drill's status as a top-level project at Apache mean for its development and future?

Drill's graduation to a top-level project is an indication that Drill has established a strong community of users and developers. Graduation is a decision made by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) board, and it provides confidence to Drill's potential users and contributors that the project has a strong foundation. From a governance standpoint, a top-level project has its own board (also known as PMC). The PMC Chair (Jacques Nadeau) is a VP at Apache.

How do you think Drill will evolve over the next several years?

Drill has a large and growing community of contributors. Drill 1.0 will be out in Q1'15. We'll see many new features over the next several years. Here are a just a few examples of initiatives that are currently under way:

Drill currently supports HDFS, HBase and MongoDB. Additional data sources are being added, including Cassandra and RDBMS (all JDBC-enabled databases, including Oracle and MySQL). A single query can incorporate/join data from different sources. In the next year, Drill will become the standard SQL engine for modern datastores (which are all schema-free in nature): Hadoop, NoSQL databases - HBase/MongoDB/Cassandra, and search - Elasticsearch/Solr.

A single enterprise or cloud provider will be able to serve multiple groups/departments/organizations, each having its own workloads and SLA requirements. For example, in Drill 1.0 will support user impersonation, meaning that a query can only access the data that the user is authorized to access, and this will work with all supported data sources (Hadoop, HBase, MongoDB, etc.)

Drill will support not only SELECT and CREATE TABLE ... AS SELECT (CTAS) queries, but also INSERT/UPDATE/DELETE, enabling Drill to be used for operational applications (in addition to data exploration and analytics). Drill will also support the ultra-low latency and high concurrency required for such use cases.

Full TPC-DS support. Unlike other SQL-on-Hadoop technologies, Drill is designed to support the ANSI SQL standard as opposed to a SQL-like language. This provides better support for BI and other tools. Drill will be able to run TPC-DS, unmodified, in 2015.

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CoreOS Team Develops Rocket, Breaks with Docker

Wednesday 3rd of December 2014 03:57:54 PM

Docker has easily emerged as one of the top open source stories of the year, and has helped many organizations benefit from container technology. As we’ve reported, even Google is working closely with it, and Microsoft is as well.

However, the folks behind CoreOS, a very popular Linux flavor for use in cloud deployments, are developing their own container technology, dubbed Rocket, which will actually compete with Docker. Here are the details.

Rocket is a new container runtime, designed for composability, security, and speed, according to the CoreOS team. The group has released a prototype version on GitHub to begin getting community feedback.

According to a post on Rocket:

“When Docker was first introduced to us in early 2013, the idea of a “standard container” was striking and immediately attractive: a simple component, a composable unit, that could be used in a variety of systems. The Docker repository included a manifesto of what a standard container should be. This was a rally cry to the industry, and we quickly followed. We thought Docker would become a simple unit that we can all agree on.”

“Unfortunately, a simple re-usable component is not how things are playing out. Docker now is building tools for launching cloud servers, systems for clustering, and a wide range of functions: building images, running images, uploading, downloading, and eventually even overlay networking, all compiled into one monolithic binary running primarily as root on your server. The standard container manifesto was removed. We should stop talking about Docker containers, and start talking about the Docker Platform.”

“We still believe in the original premise of containers that Docker introduced, so we are doing something about it. Rocket is a command line tool, rkt, for running App Containers. An ‘App Container’ is the specification of an image format, container runtime, and a discovery mechanism.”

There is a specification coming for App Container Images (ACI). Anyone can Read about and contribute to the ACI draft.

The Register also notes this interesting aspect of Rocket:

“Significantly, all of CoreOS's tools for working with App Container will be integrated, yet independent from one another. Rocket can run as a standalone tool on any flavor of Linux, not just CoreOS.”

In a blog post, Docker CEO Ben Golub voiced disagreement with CoreOS's move, and he writes:

“There are technical or philosophical differences, which appears to be the case with the recent announcement regarding Rocket. We hope to address some of the technical arguments posed by the Rocket project in a subsequent post.”

It sounds like a standards skirmish is going to come of all this, but, as is often the case with standards confrontations, users may benefit from the competition.

 

 

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Readers' Choices, Linux Philosophy, and Fedora Numbers

Wednesday 3rd of December 2014 04:39:07 AM

Today in Linux news the Linux Journal's Reader's Choice Award winners for 2014 were posted. David Both discusses "the Linux philosophy" and Marcel Gagne answers "What is Linux?" Matthew Miller says Fedora 21 "on track" and Anne Nicolas posts an interview with Mageia developer David Walser. The Linux Voice asks if Devuan is a good thing and Steven Ovadia talks to Linux developer and writer Akkana Peck.

Linux Journal today posted the results of their 2014 Readers' Choice Awards. The question in which everybody is most interested is answered first. Ubuntu beat out Debian for "Best Distribution" by a mere one-tenth of one percent. Mint came in third followed by Arch then Fedora. Mageia received less than one percent of the vote. In other categories, Lenovo was voted the best laptop vendor for Linux and Firefox is still the best browser beating runner-up Chrome by over twice as much. Audacity gets the best audio editing vote and VLC is the best video player. Civilization 5 won best Linux game and Python got best programming and scripting language. The winner of the "coolest thing" ever done with Linux was "building my procmail pre-spam spam filter back in the mid-late 1990s." See the full post for the rest including the enterprise categories.

David Both today said that all operating system are built using a philosophy. He says the Windows philosophy 'amounts to "shield the users from everything that might get them into trouble."' The MAC OS is similar with an "object-oriented approach." But Both says the Linux philosophy is rooted in Unix and never assumes the user is ignorant or needs to be shielded. In fact, Both says it's this power and freedom that draws users in. He said it changed him and the way he uses a computer. Both concludes it's the Linux philosophy of respecting users that continues to bring folks in.

Marcel Gagne today discussed "what is Linux?" His angle briefly explores the origins of Linux from Torvalds' famous USENET post to probably the most used OS in the world (if you count all the devices too). Gagne said, "These days, Linux is a powerful, reliable (rock-solid, in fact), expandable, flexible, configurable, multiuser, multitasking, and completely free operating system that runs on more platforms that I could hope to mention here." He remembered to mention GNU's place in the equation as well before concluding, "The appearance of Linus Torvalds's Linux kernel has made the GNU dream of a completely free, UNIX-like operating system a reality at last."

In other news:

* Is Devuan a Good Thing?

* The Linux Setup - Akkana Peck, Developer/Writer

* They make Mageia: David Walser

* Fedora 21 release on track; new leadership and counting users

* Debian Project News - December 1st, 2014

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More Android Apps Arriving for Chrome OS and Chromebooks

Tuesday 2nd of December 2014 05:08:50 PM

Just a few years ago, before Android marched to its dominant position in the mobile market, there was much speculation that Google might merge Chrome OS and Android. Early last year, I wrote a post on why that won't happen.

However, an interesting corollary trend is now appearing. Following an initial round of Android apps that can run on Chrome OS, more and more are arriving. The news was announced on a Chrome G+ page, bringing the total number of apps available across Chrome and Android to more than 40.

When Google announced that it would bring Android apps to Chrome OS, it was clear that Chromebook users would start getting much more choice when reaching for apps.

Some makers of Android apps have even confirmed that the best versions of their creations will run on Chrome OS. For example, here is a post from the Evernote blog:

"Whenever we see a major new platform on the horizon, we set a goal for ourselves: make sure Evernote is available on day one. This week’s launch of Google’s Chrome OS store was just that kind of opportunity."

"Evernote for Android is a full-featured app that was designed for a wide variety devices, screens and form-factors. For Chrome OS, we’ve adapted the app to work with a keyboard and mouse. You get the full desktop Evernote experience on a flexible, affordable device. We think it’s tremendous and we can’t wait to see how the Chrome OS market develops around the world."

Vine, Duolingo and Sight Words are other Android apps arriving for use with Chrome OS, and the Google Blog has noted the following:

 "These first apps are the result of a project called the App Runtime for Chrome (Beta), which we announced earlier this summer at Google I/O. Over the coming months, we’ll be working with a select group of Android developers to add more of your favorite apps so you’ll have a more seamless experience across your Android phone and Chromebook."

"In the meantime, please tell us which of your favorite Android apps you’d like to see on your Chromebook."

So which Android apps are new to arrive for Chrome OS? You can reach for Cookpad Recipes, Couchsurfing, and OverDrive, among others.

Google has pledged to bring many more of these apps to Chrome OS. If a Chromebook is on your gift wish list this holiday season, make sure to load yours with some of the better Android apps for it.

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Zenoss Survey Shows the Momentum of Open Source Clouds

Tuesday 2nd of December 2014 04:51:45 PM

There is now no question that countless IT departments are turning to open source cloud computing platforms instead of proprietary ones. Several recent roundups of survey results have illustrated that, and I recently covered cloud survey results from IDG Enterprise here.

Meanwhile, Zenoss, which focuses on cloud management is out with its 2014 State of the Open Source Cloud study which reports that 69 percent of 376 respondents to its survey have implemented a cloud computing platform, with 43 percent of them building on open source. Of these, 69 percent are using OpenStack, which is continuing to gain momentum.

Survey results on the cloud last year showed that many IT departments were still in evaluation mode when it came to open cloud platforms. For some departments, that is still the case.

Thirty percent of the Zenoss respondents are using an open source cloud platform now. That figure is up 72 percent since the last Zenoss survey in 2012.

 The Zenoss survey also provides insight into how various open cloud platforms are faring. OpenStack has grabbed 69 percent of the market. Meanwhile, CloudStack's share has dropped from 18 percent to 14 percent since 2012. Eucalyptus sank from 9 percent of open source deployments to three percent since 2012.

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Systemd to Free BSDs, Mint 17.1, and Coolest Things

Tuesday 2nd of December 2014 04:53:00 AM

Today was another busy day in Linuxland. Linux Mint 17.1 was released over the weekend and a couple of reviews have emerged already. Katherine Noyes says some Linuxers are thinking of heading towards the free *BSDs and Shawn Powers has a list of some of the coolest things folks do with Linux. Jasper St. Pierre explains what's wrong with package managers and Dedoimedo.com is running a best distro of 2014 poll. Ian Sullivan explains how to "De-Chrome" laptops and Bryan Lunduke has a holiday shopping guide.

Linux Mint 17.1, in MATE and Cinnamon versions, was released Saturday. This is just an update and current users can upgrade through the Update Manager. New users can download fresh images from Linuxmint.com. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols posted a guide to setting up Mint "for the first time." Jamie Watson looks at the release and says it's typical Mint, "easy to install, easy to use, and solid as a rock." Jim Lynch covered the release and posted a few thoughts saying, "Cinnamon and MATE have both improved significantly, I don’t think you can go wrong with either."

Systemd continues to trouble many free and open software lovers and Katherine Noyes says the scuttlebutt is that some are considering not just moving to another distribution but all the way to a free BSD. While several sides of the issue are presented, Noyes quotes one blogger saying:

What amazes me is there is an angle nobody talks about. Namely, you have a boot system that frankly nobody was really complaining about, yet all of a sudden we are being told, 'oh the init is horrible, we MUST have Systemd, no question,' followed by voices silenced, threads erased, secret votes.

Does this sound like the normal way Linux does things? And who is it being pushed hard by? Red Hat. Okay, so where does Red Hat get THEIR finances from? Three-letter agencies: DoD, FBI, NSA, CIA.

Jasper St. Pierre, former Red Hat employee and developer, says dealing with package managers can be frustrating. He says sometimes systems get broke and package managers should never be able do that. Other times manual intervention is needed and that can be time consuming and, sometimes, beyond the user's ability. He then says that's because "package managers do not see the OS independently from the applications that make it up: all packages are just combined to create one giant filesystem tree. This scheme works great when you have a bunch of open-source apps you can rebuild at every ABI break, but it’s not great when trying to build a world-class OS."

In other news:

* The Linux holiday shopping guide

* De-Chroming the Acer c720 Chromebook

* Best Linux distribution of 2014 (poll)

* Coolest Things You've Done with Linux

* DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 587, 1 December 2014, Living free with Trisquel

* Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 394

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Report: Hortonworks Sets Terms for Hadoop-Centric IPO

Monday 1st of December 2014 04:30:42 PM

Hortonworks, the company focused on Big Data crunching platform Hadoop, has been much in the news lately regarding plans for an initial public offering (IPO) for its shares. Now, according to a post by Renaissance Capital on the NASDAQ site, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company has announced plans to raise $78 million by offering 6 million shares at a price range of $12 to $14. "At the midpoint of the proposed range, Hortonworks would command a fully diluted market value of $659 million," notes the post.

It adds the following:

"Hortonworks, which was founded in 2011 and booked $42 million in sales for the 12 months ended September 30, 2014, plans to list on the NASDAQ under the symbol HDP. Hortonworks initially filed confidentially on June 27, 2014. Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and RBC Capital Markets are the joint bookrunners on the deal."

During Hortonworks' short existence, Hadoop has emerged as a true open source success story, and Hortonworks' Hadoop distribution, as well as its lates traning and support options, have become very successful.

According to GigaOM, the Hortonworks IPO could be a bellwhether for Hadoop, and could benefit organizations that have invested in it:

"Teradata maintains an 8.3 percent equity share in Hortonworks. HP invested $50 million in Hortonworks in July to give it a 5.9 percent share."

And Matt Asay has written about the impact that Hortonworks' IPO could have on other Big Data players, and some concerns expressed by venture capitalists:

"Given its still shaky financials, the risk isn't merely that Hortonworks will struggle as a public company. The bigger risk is that a weak IPO will hold back other Big Data companies with better financials."

Hortonworks is young enough that these types of concerns will continue to arise, but the company is performing very well and it stands a chance of having a very successful IPO, given the buzz surrounding Hadoop and Big Data.

In enterprises as well as small businesses, the Big Data trend--sorting and sifting large data sets with new tools in pursuit of surfacing meaningful angles on stored information--is on the rise. As we've noted, the Hadoop project has been one of the big drivers of this trend, and has given rise to commercial companies that offer custom Hadoop distributions, support, training and more (with Hortonworks being a prime example). 

OStatic will continue to track the plans for the Hortonworks IPO as more details become available.

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Apple's iOS Platform Dominated Android Over the Holiday Weekend

Monday 1st of December 2014 04:06:44 PM

 Apple's iOS mobile platform has a history of dominating mobile shopping during the holiday season, and it once again did so over the long holiday weekend, beating Android as measured by three different metrics on Black Friday. Adobe tracks the platforms that online shoppers use, and has reported the following: "iOS users drove four times as much mobile sales revenue as Android users, 79 and 21 percent respectively."

 In addition to Adobe's data, IBM tracks holiday shopping and the mobile platforms that drive it, reporting this:

"Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday saw record online retail sales supported by strong mobile growth. Thanksgiving Day mobile traffic accounted for 52.1 percent of all online traffic – the first time mobile devices have outpaced their PC counterparts for online browsing. Black Friday mobile traffic reached 49.6 percent of all online traffic, an increase of 25 percent over last year. Black Friday mobile sales accounted for 27.9 percent of total online sales, up 28.2 percent over 2013."

"iOS once again led the way in mobile shopping this holiday season, outpacing Android across three key metrics on Black Friday:

- Average Order Value: iOS users averaged $121.86 per order compared to $98.07 for Android users, a difference 24.3 percent.

- Online Traffic: iOS traffic accounted for 34.2 percent of total online traffic, more than double that of Android, which drove 15 percent of all online traffic.

- Online Sales: iOS sales accounted for 21.9 percent of total online sales, nearly quadruple that of Android, which drove 5.8 percent of all online sales."

 Apple has much less total market share with iOS than Android does. Specifically, Apple has 12 percent of the smartphone market, according to Gartner, while Android has 82 percent. However, the data over the holiday weekend drives home the point that businesses and retailers must cater to the iOS platform first as they develop shopping experiences and ecommerce sites.

 

 

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