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Is THIS The Golden Age of Linux?

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Linux

http://lobby4linux.com/modules/weblog/index.php?user_id=1
(article is under the page break)

Anything that evolves seems to have "spurts" during said evolution. The evolution of our own planet has a mystery of its own. A crucial gap remains between the time when nothing was alive and the arrival of the first living creature. Now, it is fully understood that man-controlled progress is not evolution in the true form, but for this topic. we're going to cheat and use it simply because it's convenient.

Generally, when we think in terms of evolution, we tend to think of long spans of time. Linux is a relatively new phenomenon and was first announced to the world in 1991. One would think that tracing the "evolution" of Linux to be a simple thing. hu-uh...not even close to simple.

It would take weeks for me to accurately report the chronological development of Linux. The tens of thousands of programmers and developers who have made Linux what it is today is a staggering thought in itself. Highlighting each one of these individual achievements just from a logistical standpoint alone is overwhelming. From the developers of vi to Open Office, the number of programs written for Linux is easily in the thousands.

The actual core or Linux Kernel is easy enough and the code of that original core is readily available to anyone who cares to research it. It is from that point on that things get a bit complicated. the question I pose is this. At this time in history, at this moment and keystoke, are we in The Golden Age of Linux? Is this our Renaissance? I want to take a few moments and present the arguement that yes, I believe it is...and why I think so.

I can do WHAT with it?

The point can be argued with great gusto, but many will agree that the Golden Age of Linux began with the development and release of the Live CD. I can think of no other technological achievements that have opened more doors for the New Linux User than the Live CD. While the majority of people believe that the folks who develop for Linux actually "invented" the Live CD, it was Mac who produced the very first Live CD as we know it. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LiveCD). I bet that bursts some bubbles. It shouldn't...Mac, as we all know, is a hardware-dependent OS and a Live CD for Mac accomodates no one but Mac users.

It was Klaus Knopper who gave the world the Live CD. (not just one group of users) There is little doubt that Mr. knopper will be recorded in history as one of the greatest inovators in software technology. Knoppix was the shot from Linux heard around the world.

On January 19th, 2003; Klaus Knopper fired that shot. Knoppix, widely regarded as the first stable, usable Live CD for Linux was released to the public. Word spread about this marvel at the speed of Internet. It was not long before the wonder of the GPL allowed an ever-growing list of improvements to be spun off and remastered. Today, The Linux Novice, the curious and the Microsoft-damned can explore, use and reap the benefits of a stable Linux system. This it seems is only the start.

Pocket Full of Linux

Thousands upon thousands of people slid their Live CD's into their pockets and took them to work, to school, and to every other place they could demonstrate and use their power. People who had never heard of Linux or those who thought it to be some obscure programming language were discovering that Linux could be the answer to their computing problem. Note I said problem and not problems, for the one problem in the eyes of millions of computer users is Microsoft.

While the majority of computer users hadn't a clue of their servitude, many did, and Linux gave them a way out. Of course, with the expansion of Linux came more interest in the development of Linux...and the commercialization as well. The development and proliferation of the Live CD would not have been possible without the GPL. Because the majority of Linux technology is open source, the spread and improvement of Linux is as certain as anything can be.

One development that has offered a massive improvement to Linux is klik. While the apt-get/dpkg/rpm software package management systems have vastly improved and simplified the installation of software in Linux, some still complain that there has to be an easier way. Personally, I think if it got any easier than Synaptic, it would present the perils that MS Windows faces with software installation. However, someone was listening and paying attention.

Klik is a software installation method that really does entail just one click. (maybe two if you import the system into your distro). Kanotix, OpenSuse and CPX-mini currently provide the klik software as part of their packaging but it has been made available to many distros for third party install. For details on klik, please see http://klik.atekon.de/.

With Linux gaining in popularity on a daily basis, it only stands to reason that we will gain new developers from those numbers. How can that be a bad thing? Within the past year we have seen projects such as Elive, SymphonyOS, Wolfix and SkyOS take root within the fertile soil of Linux. Individual projects such as KmyMoney and Appgen's Mybooks Pro (proprietary) have given Linux Users the tools to move completely to Linux.

These tools allow the Linux User to import their Quickbooks/Quicken data files to Linux, thus they are no longer dependent upon windows for one single application. With projects such as Xara planning to port their program to Linux, those who depended upon PhotoShop and Xara in Windows can now unshackle themselves as well from the MS yoke.

So is this our Golden Age? My crystal ball is foggy and I cannot see the future as clearly as I would like to. Obviously, I picked the Astro's in 6. If the pace of development for Linux and Linux applications continues at this clip, this is indeed an exciting time. Linux has finally become user-friendly enough for the least computer-adept among us. And I do have one stock tip that you can take safely to your broker. Tums, Rolaids and Maalox are all three good investments right now. I know everyone from mid-management on up at Microsoft will be needing them in great volume.

More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Ubuntu

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  • Yakkety Yak Final Beta Released
  • Canonical Launches Commercial Support for Kubernetes
    Canonical, the lead commercial vendor behind the open-source Ubuntu Linux operating system, is getting into the Kubernetes market. Canonical now offers a freely available implementation of Kubernetes as well as commercial-support options. "I have no doubt that Kubernetes will be one of the major container co-ordination systems," Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, told ServerWatch.
  • [How To] Build an Ubuntu Controlled Sous-Vide Cooker
    I’ll be honest with you from the off: I had zero idea what sous-vide cooking was before I started writing this post. Wikipedia dutifully informs me that’s Sous-Vide is a style of cooking that involves a vacuum, bags, and steam.
  • Mintbox Mini Pro Linux Mini PC Launches For $395
    This week a new version of the popular Mintbox Mini Linux PC has been launched for $395 in the form of the Mintbox Mini Pro which is now equipped with 120 GB of SSD mSATA together with 64-bit AMD A10-Micro6700T system-on-a-chip with Radeon R6 graphics and features 8GB of DDR3L. The latest Mintbox Mini Pro is shipped preloaded with the awesome Linux Mint 18 operating system and includes a microSD card slot a serial port, and a micro SIM card reader. The new Mintbox Mini Pro is the same size as the original and measures 4.3 x 3.3 x 0.9 inches in size and weighs in at around 255g. The Linux mini PC incorporates a fanless design and features an all-metal case made of aluminium and zinc.

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • Minijail: Running Untrusted Programs Safely by Jorge Lucangeli Obes, Google
  • Minijail: Google’s Tool To Safely Run Untrusted Programs
    Google’s Minijail sandboxing tool could be used by developers and sysadmins to run untrusted programs safely for debugging and security checks, according to Google Software Engineer Jorge Lucangeli Obes, who spoke last month at the Linux Security Summit. Obes is the platform security lead for Brillo, Google's Android-based operating system for Internet-connected devices. Minijail was designed for sandboxing on Chrome OS and Android, to handle “anything that the Linux kernels grew.” Obes shared that Google teams use it on the server side, for build farms, for fuzzing, and pretty much everywhere. Since “essentially one bug separates you and any random attacker,” Google wanted to create a reliable means to swiftly identify problems with privileges and exploits in app development and easily enable developers to “do the right thing.” The tool is designed to assist admins who struggle with deciding what permissions their software actually needs, and developers who are vexed with trying to second guess which environment the software is going to run in. In both cases, sandboxing and privilege dropping tends to be a hit or miss affair. Even when developers use the privilege dropping mechanisms provided by the Linux kernel, sometimes things go awry due to numerous pitfalls along that path. One common example Obes cited was trying to ride a switch user function that will drop-root and then forgetting to check the result of the situation relief, or setuid function, afterwards.
  • Intel and Cloudera Give Apache an Open Source Data/Security Tool
    For the past year, we've taken note of the many Big Data projects that the Apache Software Foundation has been elevating to Top-Level Status. The organization incubates more than 350 open source projects and initiatives, and has squarely turned its focus to Big Data and developer-focused tools in recent months. As Apache moves Big Data projects to Top-Level Status, they gain valuable community support. Recently, the foundation announced that Apache Kudu has graduated from the Apache Incubator to become a Top-Level Project (TLP). Kudu is an open source columnar storage engine built for the Apache Hadoop ecosystem designed to enable flexible, high-performance analytic pipelines. And, Apache Twill has graduated as well. Twill is an abstraction over Apache Hadoop YARN that reduces the complexity of developing distributed Hadoop applications, allowing developers to focus more on their application logic. In another Apache-related Big Data move, Cloudera and Intel have announced that they've contributed a new open-source project to the Apache Software Foundation targeted at using Big Data analytics and machine learning for cybersecurity.
  • Twitter Open Sources Stream Processing Engine Heron
    Twitter announced the open sourcing of Heron, a stream-processing engine that is a successor to Apache Storm. Heron is backwards compatible with Apache Storm, which eases its adoption amongst developers. Heron has replaced Apache Storm as the stream data processing engine inside Twitter due to its scalability, debug-ability, ability to work in a shared cluster infrastructure and better performance. A comprehensive list of features is listed in the documentation.
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  • SDL 2.0.5 Is Readying For Release: Relative Mouse Mode For Wayland/Mir, Audio Capture
    SDL 2.0 point releases have ranged from being a few months apart to as much as two years apart. Fortunately, SDL 2.0.5 is now being put together for release just nine months after SDL 2.0.4. With the Mercurial repository, Sam Lantinga bumped the version in preparation for the SDL 2.0.5 release. The SDL 2.0.5 release hasn't officially happened yet, but it should be here soon.
  • Open standards default at Slovenia supreme court
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  • Why there is no CSS4 - explaining CSS Levels
    We had CSS1, and CSS2. We even had CSS2.1 and we then moved onto CSS3 – or did we? This post is a quick explanation of how CSS is versioned today. CSS versions 1 and 2 were monolithic specifications. All of CSS was included in one massive document. Selectors, positioning, colour – it was all in there. The problem with monolithic specifications is that in order to finish the spec, every component part also has to be finished. As CSS has grown in complexity, and new features are added, it doesn’t make sense to draw a line at which all work is stopped on all parts of CSS in order to declare that CSS version finished. Therefore, after CSS2.1 all the things that had been part of the 2.1 specification were broken down into modules. As the new CSS modules included all that had gone before plus any new features, they all came into being at Level 3. Hence CSS3, and people like me who understood CSS as a single specification referred to the group of Level 3 modules as “CSS3”.

Security Leftovers

  • Linux.Mirai Trojan causing mayhem with DDoS attacks
    A Trojan named Linux.Mirai has been found to be carrying out DDoS attacks. The malicious program first appeared in May 2016, detected by Doctor Web after being added to its virus database under the name Linux.DDoS.87. The Trojan can work with with the SPARC, ARM, MIPS, SH-4, M68K architectures and Intel x86 computers.
  • Don't Hide DRM in a Security Update
    Over 10,000 of you have joined EFF in calling on HP to make amends for its self-destructing printers in the past few days. Looks like we got the company’s attention: today, HP posted a response on its blog. Apparently recognizing that its customers are more likely to see an update that limits interoperability as a bug than as a feature, HP says that it will issue an optional firmware update rolling back the changes that it had made. We’re very glad to see HP making this step. But a number of questions remain. First, we’d like to know what HP’s plans are for informing users about the optional firmware update. Right now, the vast majority of people who use the affected printers likely do not know why their printers lost functionality, nor do they know that it’s possible to restore it. All of those customers should be able to use their printers free of artificial restrictions, not just the relatively few who have been closely following this story.
  • 6 Ways Driverless Cars Are Going To Kill Lots Of People
    You've probably read a few articles about driverless cars over the past couple of years. The technology is coming along quickly, with fleets of test cars already on the roads in some states. It seems like soon we'll achieve the American dream of stuffing our faces and texting all we want while still managing to avoid public transportation. But the reality is quite different. We're diving into this technology a little too quickly and ignoring all the warning signs about how we are going to screw up on the way to Driverless Car Utopia.

Red Hat and Fedora

  • Red Hat Inc. (RHT) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”
  • Earnings Estimate Report: Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) , Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT)
  • Switched to HTTPS
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  • Fedora Hubs: Getting started
    Fedora Hubs provides a consistent contributor experience across all Fedora teams and will serve as an “intranet” page for the Fedora Project. There are many different projects in Fedora with different processes and workflows. Hubs will serve as a single place for contributors to learn about and contribute to them in a standardized format. Hubs will also be a social network for Fedora contributors. It is designed as one place to go to keep up with everything and everybody across the project in ways that aren’t currently possible.