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April 2007

First Look: Firefox 3 Alpha 4

Filed under
Moz/FF

Mozilla has reached another milestone in the development of Firefox 3, releasing version alpha 4 over the weekend. As with the previous alpha releases, Gran Paradiso Alpha 4 is intended primarily for the developer community and is not yet ready for prime-time use.

Alpha 4 brings a number of new enhancements to Firefox 3, which we outlined yesterday.

Dell to choose Ubuntu

Filed under
Ubuntu

Officially, Dell Inc. hasn't said a word yet about which Linux it will be preloading on its desktops and laptops. Several sources within Dell, however, have told DesktopLinux.com that Dell's desktop Linux pick is going to be Ubuntu.

Review of PCLinuxOS 2007 Test Release 4

Filed under
PCLOS
Reviews

I find it hard to explain why I love PClinuxOS as much as I do, especially considering the other day when I decided to drop into Ubuntu to perform some basic tasks. PCLinuxOS is an excellent release and PCLOS2007 is looking like a real contender for most usable Linux 2007. Let's see how test release 4 behaves.

Reject Windows addiction, says advocate

Filed under
Microsoft

Outspoken Australian free software advocate Con Zymaris has labelled Microsoft's plan to offer Windows for $3 dollars to developing nations as an attempt to "addict" users to Microsoft software.

WHY is the transition from Windows to Linux easy for some people?

Filed under
Linux

After I'd closed the lid on the "Ubuntu is not Linux" , uh, mess, Eric over at Binary World has taken up the idea and tried to grapple with it. I don't know, maybe I should dig it up and check for a pulse. But I'm thinking again... (that's always a dangerous sign!)

Here's the nut of the matter: moving from Windows to Linux is easy for some people and hard for others. WHY?

New mutt 1.5.15 has a very nice new feature!

Filed under
Software

Just found today when I was looking to see if I missed something with the mutt sidebar patch (still irritates me that I have to sync a mailbox before jumping to another mailbox in order for the counts in the sidebar to be updated properly), that mutt 1.5.15 was released earlier this month. This is an extremely worthwhile upgrade, especially because it now has SMTP support built-in.

Introducing Ubuntu’s Add/Remove Packages

Filed under
HowTos

Last week, my fellow FOSSwire blogger Jacob introduced you to APT, the powerful package management system that is underneath Ubuntu.

The command line interface is the most powerful way to manipulate the software installed on your system, but to users who aren’t familiar with a command line interface, it can be a bit daunting.

Standard Office

Filed under
KDE

June 21th 2005 was the day KOffice released version 1.4. I highlight that release because it was the first release where KOffice switched its native format to the OpenDocument Format. That would become an official ISO standard in May 2006.

PCLinuxOS Magazine May 2007 Issue 9 Released

Filed under
PCLOS

It is my privilege to announce on behalf of the team members of the PCLinuxOS Magazine Project sponsored by MyPCLinuxOS.com, the May 2007 issue (#9) is available for download!

Some highlights include:

1. KDE User Guide Part 2
2. Scroogle and Konqueror Integration
3. Top Ten Reasons for Using Linux
4. Linux in Education
5. Updating PCLinuxOS to 2007

Japanese schools may convert aging computers to Linux

Filed under
Linux

A recent article in OhMyNews.com discusses the results of a conference in Tokyo at which educators recommended converting aging computers running Windows 98 and ME to Linux. About 400,000 such machines exist in Japan's public schools and either can't run more up-to-date operating systems or the cost of upgrade is prohibitive.

More in Tux Machines

Linux powered automotive computer is loaded with wireless

Eurotech’s rugged “DynaGate 20-30” is an automotive-certified IoT edge gateway that runs Linux on an Apollo Lake SoC with LTE Cat 4, WiFi, BLE, GPS, 2x GbE, and isolated DIO, serial, and CAN. A week after announcing a BoltGate 20-31 transportation computer aimed at rolling stock applications, Eurotech has unveiled an “automotive-certified Multi-service IoT Edge Gateway.” The fanless DynaGate 20-30 runs the same Yocto-derived Eurotech Everyware Linux distribution with Eclipse tooling and Azul Java support on the same Intel Apollo Lake platform used by the BoltGate 20-31. Read more

Red Hat Promoting Linux Containers

  • Why Linux containers are a CIO's best friend

    CIOs have many challenges today (to say the least), but one of the biggest is enabling the constant development and delivery of new applications — no longer a "nice to have" but a "must have" in today's ever-changing business and global environments. There are many tools that can help CIOs provide this support, but one of the most important is Linux containers. In a recent Smarter with Gartner report, Gartner Distinguished VP Analyst Gene Alvarez named "enabling and balancing product and project management of applications to focus on delivering business outcomes while maintaining highly reliable core business operations" as being one of the key challenges CIOs face in 2020. Organizations are turning to containers as a way to provide this business-technology balance. Indeed, the use of Linux containers has increased significantly in just the last year.

  • Be careful when pulling images by short name
  • Migrating applications to OpenShift, Part 1: Overview

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Tuesday

    Security updates have been issued by Fedora (kernel, kernel-headers, and kernel-tools), openSUSE (glibc and qemu), Red Hat (chromium-browser, container-tools:1.0, container-tools:rhel8, firefox, ipmitool, kernel, kernel-rt, krb5-appl, ksh, nodejs:10, nss-softokn, python, qemu-kvm, qemu-kvm-ma, telnet, and virt:rhel), Scientific Linux (ipmitool and telnet), SUSE (ceph and firefox), and Ubuntu (haproxy, linux, linux-aws, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.3, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.3, linux-raspi2, linux-raspi2-5.3, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, and linux, linux-hwe).

  • Josh Bressers: Who are the experts

    These are certainly strange times we are living in. None of us will ever forget what’s happening and we will all retell stories for the rest of our days. Many of us asked “tell me about the depression grandma”, similar questions will be asked of us someday. The whirlwind of confusion and chaos got me thinking about advice and who we listen to. Most of us know a staggering number of people who are apparently experts in immunology. I have no intention of talking about the politics of the current times, goodness knows nobody in their right mind should care what I think. What all this does have me pondering is what are experts and how can we decide who we should listen to? So I’ve been thinking a lot about “experts” lately. Especially in the context of security. There have been a ton of expert opinions on how to work from home, and how to avoid getting scammed, which video conferencing software is the best (or worst). There are experts everywhere, but which ones should we listen to? I’m not an expert in anything, but there are some topics I know enough about to question some of these “experts”.

  • seL4 Microkernel Optimized for Security Gets Support of Linux Foundation

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced it will host the seL4 Foundation, the nonprofit organization established by Data61, the digital specialist arm for Australia’s national science agency CSIRO. The seL4 microkernel is the world’s first operating system (OS) kernel that is proved secure; it is designed to ensure the security, safety and reliability of real-world critical computer systems. The new Foundation aims to accelerate the development of seL4 and related technologies, and under the Linux Foundation will provide a global, independent and neutral organization for funding and steering the future evolution of seL4. Founding members include Cog Systems, DornerWorks, Ghost Locomotion, HENSOLD Cyber and UNSW Sydney. The trustworthiness of embedded computing systems is vital to improving the security of critical systems around the world to safeguard them from cyber threats. This is particularly paramount in industries including avionics, autonomous vehicles, medical devices, critical infrastructure and defense. The seL4 microkernel is the world’s first operating system with a proof of implementation correctness and presents an unparalleled combination of assurance, generality and performance, making it an ideal base for building security- and safety-critical systems. The seL4 Foundation provides a forum for developers to collaborate on growing and integrating the seL4 ecosystem.

  • The Linux Foundation Throws Weight Behind Secure Microkernel

    Gernot Heiser, who will serve as chair of the new foundation, said the seL4 is unique in that it is mathematically proven to be secure, which provides a robust foundation on which a new generation of embedded systems can be built to drive, for example, internet of things (IoT) applications. Founding members of the seL4 Foundation include Data61, University of New South Wales in Sydney, HENSOLDT Cyber GmbH, Ghost Locomotion Inc., Cog Systems Inc. and DornerWorks Ltd. The hosting of the seL4 Foundation is sure to add more fuel to an increasingly fierce debate over the future of operating systems. Advocates of microkernels contend operating systems in terms of functions and size should be kept to an absolute minimum to both ensure security and maximize flexibility.

Programming Leftovers

  • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn CoffeeScript

    CoffeeScript is a very succinct programming language that transcompiles into JavaScript, so there is no interpretation at runtime. The syntax is inspired by Ruby, Python and Haskell, and implements many features from these three languages. CoffeeScript is closely related to JavaScript without having its eccentricities. However, CoffeeScript offers more than fixing many of the oddities of JavaScript, as it has some useful features including array comprehensions, prototype aliases and classes. It allows developers to write less code to get more done. CoffeeScript is a new language, first appearing in 2009. The first stable release shortly followed in December 2010.

  • Robert Foss: Speed up `git log --graph` 18x times

    This is a speed up of ~18x, compared to the older versions. The way this works is that commit-graph file stores the commit graph structure along with some extra metadata to speed up graph in the .git/objects/info directory.

  • 15 years of Git: How to get started or learn something new

    x If there's anything that's changed software in the past two decades, Git is at the top of the list. If you don't use Git personally, you might think it's just a tech fad, an incidental darling among developers just because it was created by the same person who started the Linux project itself. There may be some truth to that, but Git does manage to achieve some feats that no other industry has managed. With Git, developers spread all over the world are able to work on the same code, literally at the same time, with a history of every change made, and then merge all the work together to result in a finished product. The complexity is enormous, and so the tool itself can get complex, but in the end, it's a major component in keeping the software industry running. Whether you know Git or not, you'll very likely encounter it should you dig deep enough into open source software or enter into computer science. Whether you use Git to just download an installer package or whether you interface with it daily to manage code, learning more about it is elucidating and empowering.

  • EBCDIC Handling Library: A Ruby Project

    As long as we are going to be cooped up with the current pandemic, and to keep my sanity going, I decided to revive a software project that was the basis for my development of credit reporting software, the ASCII to EBCDIC translator. As long as I am going to revive this project, I may as well make a library of functions that handle data in EBCDIC with translations to and from ASCII. Of course, I would have to include UTF-8 and UTF-16 as these character codes did not exist back in the 1990s. [...] One thing that EBCDIC and ASCII have in common is that each character takes up exactly one byte of storage. But that is where the similarity ends. Standard ASCII is actually seven bits long and has numeric values ranging from 0 to 127 (or 0x00 to 0x7f in hexidecimal). So what happens to the eighth bit? Standard ASCII has no default action for characters containing the eighth bit (hexidecimal values of 0x80 to 0xFF.) In practice, however, the eighth bit is typically used for displaying character graphics, i.e. symbols that are typically used to create things like windows on a text display, or large sized logos. This character set can be found on 8-bit machines like the Commodore PET/VIC-20/64/128, the Atari 8-bit line of machines, and even the IBM-PC models 5150, 5160 and 5170 (commonly known as the IBM-PC, XT and AT)