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Friday, 31 Oct 14 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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Type Titlesort icon Author Replies Last Post
Story Open source more about process than licensing Roy Schestowitz 02/10/2014 - 12:42pm
Story Open source not just software at Red Hat Roy Schestowitz 03/09/2014 - 8:47am
Story Open source tools help kids discover digital creativity Rianne Schestowitz 26/09/2014 - 8:34pm
Story Optimize your Linux rig for top-notch writing Roy Schestowitz 27/08/2014 - 12:53pm
Story Oracle Doesn't Get Open Source srlinuxx 23/11/2010 - 8:17pm
Story Pardus 2011 RC, impressions from a common user srlinuxx 08/01/2011 - 9:56pm
Story Patent trolls and open document formats with open source thought leaders Rianne Schestowitz 26/08/2014 - 10:44pm
Story People Behind KDE: Debian Qt/KDE Packagers srlinuxx 18/12/2005 - 8:57pm
Story People Behind KDE: Summer of Code 2007 (1/4) srlinuxx 04/08/2007 - 5:51am
Story Peppermint LINUX 3 - The mint with no holes srlinuxx 20/08/2012 - 12:25am

KDE With Theoretical Client-Side Decorations, Windows 10 Influence

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KDE contributor and graphics designer Ken Vermette has penned an interesting series of KDE "What if..." articles where he talks about (and has some visual mock-ups) about what KDE might look like with client-side decorations along and separately if KDE were to use Windows 10 design components.

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Also: What if… Plasma Used Launchers from Other Systems & Enviornments? (Part 1)

What if… KDE Used Windows 10 Design Components?

Pondering FOSS foundations

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In the case of the Document Foundation, the LibreOffice project needed an independent, solid and meritocratic entity dedicated to support it. In other terms, the community wanted to be its own boss and stop relying on corporate – or even third party – good will. If you attend the Community Track on the 31st you will be able to learn more about the Document Foundation and the other entities, but my message here is that while there is no silver bullet in these matters, forcing a community be hosted or to bend to a software vendor never works. It bends if it wants to; it goes whereever it wishes to go. In the case of the Document Foundation, independence and community rule prevailed over convenience; today the results do not need to be proven anymore. But it does not mean we hold the truth more than anybody else: we just ensured the community was in charge.

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10+ Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn

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There is some discussion of whether or not you should upgraded to 14.10 here, but the short version is, for most people an upgrade from 14.04 is not necessary but not a bad idea, and an upgrade from any earlier version is a very good idea. Mostly, though, you should just upgrade.

One could ask the question, should you be installing Ubuntu with Unity. You have to like Unity. I personally like to have a wider range of desktop options than Ubuntu with Unity allows, but for a notebook or laptop where you are going to be using one application at a time, usually use GUI apps, and like to have your computer integrated fairly seamlessly to social networking services, etc., it is a good option.

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Corporate Desktop Linux

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A business doesn’t need a fleet of GNU/Linux guys to run IT. A few will do because one person can easily manage thousands of PCs with FLOSS. There are no licences to count, no networking limitations, no CPUs to count, … They just have to run the software any way that makes sense.

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Open-Source Radeon 2D Performance Is Better With Ubuntu 14.10

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In this article are graphics card tests going back to the Radeon HD 4870 and even going back that far are 2D improvements with Ubuntu 14.10. However, most interesting is the Radeon HD 7000 series and newer where GLAMOR is used for 2D acceleration rather than UXA. GLAMOR leverages OpenGL for 2D acceleration and with X.Org Server 1.16 the GLAMOR support went from being an independent library to a highly-optimized implementation within the X.Org Server. Ubuntu 14.10 uses X.Org Server 1.16.0 along with Mesa 10.3.0, Linux 3.16, and xf86-video-ati 7.4.0.

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What if… KDE Started using Client-Side Decorations?

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The main technical challenges faced by KDE developers is ensuring application consistency will continue to work under various form-factors. When Kwin (the KDE window manager) controls window borders, it can quickly and gracefully adapt to multiple form-factors. For example, in Plasma active space is at such a premium KDE can hide window decorations and embed them into the workspace itself.

The other technical challenge is protocol and cross-enviornment consistency. It’s known that CSD-enabled applications can look extremly awkward when window borders are wrapped around an application not designed to use them. In addition, protocols for drawing CSDs on Linux are a mish-mash at best, and CSD code tends to be far less portable to other desktop environments. Compounding that, KDE has additional features (such as window tabbing) which are inherently incompatible with the feature.

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I’ve been working on making GtkInspector use a different display connection. This helps isolating it from some of the changes you can trigger from inside the inspector UI. Then I thought, why not use a different backend ?!

We did enough work on GDK backend separation that it could almost work. But since we didn’t add API to actually connect to specific backends (users and applications get some control with GDK_BACKEND and gdk_set_allowed_backends()), nobody has ever used multiple backends in the same process. And things that don’t get used don’t work. So some fixes were necessary.

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Conky Manager to Fedora

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Red Hat

Conky Manager is a GUI for managing Conky scripts. It provides options to start/stop, browse and edit Conky themes installed on the system, It

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Taiga, a new open source project management tool with focus on usability

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Taiga is an open source project management tool that aims to solve the basic problem of software usability. Designed with this sole aim, the developers claim it's "beautiful to look at all day long."

Let's start with the history of how Taiga began and then move on to the innovative features this new project management tool offers.

It started with the team at Kaleidos, a Madrid-based company that builds software for both large corporations and startups. Though much of their time is spent working for clients, several times a year they break off for their own Personal Innovation Weeks (ΠWEEK). These are weeklong hack-a-thons dedicated to personal improvement and prototyping internal ideas of all sorts. While there, they unanimously decided to solve the biggest of their own problems: project management.

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Android Wear Gets Its First Big Update

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Google's Android Wear on Thursday got its first major update, bringing GPS support and offline music capabilities to the wearables platform.

"Android Wear is great for tracking things like route, distance and speed," wrote Kenny Stoltz, Android Wear product manager. "Before today, you had to keep your phone close at hand. Starting today, Wear supports watches with GPS sensors, so you can enjoy these features regardless of where your phone's at."

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Positive results from Outreach Program for Women

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In 2013, Debian participated in both rounds of the GNOME Outreach Program for Women (OPW). The first round was run in conjunction with GSoC and the second round was a standalone program.

The publicity around these programs and the strength of the Google and Debian brands attracted a range of female candidates, many of whom were shortlisted by mentors after passing their coding tests and satisfying us that they had the capability to complete a project successfully. As there are only a limited number of places for GSoC and limited funding for OPW, only a subset of these capable candidates were actually selected. The second round of OPW, for example, was only able to select two women.

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Mesa 10.3.2 Has A Couple Bug-Fixes

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For those living by stable Mesa releases rather than the exciting, bleeding-edge Mesa Git code for open-source Linux graphics drivers, Mesa 10.3.2 is available this Friday night.

Mesa 10.3.2 has fixes for Nouveauy's GM107 Maxwell and GK110 support, a handful of Intel DRI driver fixes, and also a few R600g/RadeonSI driver fixes.

Mesa stable users interested in learning more can find the 10.3.2 release announcement by Emil Velikov, the new Mesa release manager. For those after the latest Git developments, Mesa 10.4 will be declared stable in December.

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openSUSE Tumbling, Fedora Slipping, and Calculating Linux

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The big news today is the merger of openSUSE Factory and Tumbleweed. Fedora 21 is delayed again due to numerous blockers. Jack M. Germain looks at Calculate Linux 14 and Bryan Lunduke is back with another desktop review, this week LXDE. There's a "victory for free software" in the news, but it's not in Berlin where Microsoft Office is being substituted for OpenOffice.

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Ubuntu's shiny 10th birthday Unicorn: An upgrade fantasy

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I've been covering Ubuntu for seven of the release’s 10 years and 14.10 is the first time I've had to dig deep into the release notes just to find something new to test.

If you needed further proof that Canonical is currently solely focused on bringing its Unity 8 interface to mobile devices, 14.10 is the best evidence yet.

Almost nothing Canonical develops has changed in this release - there isn't even a new desktop wallpaper. There are some updates to be sure, but they don’t hail from Canonical. Point release updates for default GNOME apps are included, as is a new kernel, the latest version of Mesa, and some other underlying tools.

The lack of updates isn't unexpected, in fact that's been the plan all along.

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today's leftovers

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Leftovers: Gaming

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A victory for free software over the "Microsoft tax"

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This is a guest post by Marco Ciurcina, a lawyer who worked on this case.

The Italian Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione) issued a
judgment1 that bans the "Microsoft tax," a commercial
practice that discourages users from converting their PCs to GNU/Linux
or other free operating systems by forcing them to pay for a Windows
license with their PCs. PC producers in Italy now cannot refuse to
refund the price of the license to purchasers that will not run

The ruling definitively concludes the case filed in 2005 against a hardware
producer by Marco Pieraccioli,2 with the support of the Consumer Association
ADUC,3 and affirms Marco Pieraccioli's right to a refund for the price of the
Microsoft Windows license for the computer he purchased.

The primary reason to insist on using free software4 is because nonfree
software deprives the user of freedom, including the freedom to participate in
its development. The "Microsoft tax" has no effect on that issue.

The "free" in "free software" refers to freedom. It does not mean "gratis,"
and copies of free software do not have to be distributed without charge.
Selling a copy of one free program or many of them is legitimate.5

However, most GNU/Linux distributions are offered to the public
gratis, while Windows is not. Therefore, switching to GNU/Linux offers
an opportunity for the secondary benefit of saving money -- a benefit
that many Italians would value. The "Microsoft tax" has the effect of
abolishing that secondary benefit. Now the secondary benefit must be

The ruling applies to more than just Windows. The Court states a
general principle that applies to any device with software
preinstalled: "...who buys a computer on which a given operational
software (operating system) was preinstalled by the manufacturer has
the right, if he does not agree to the conditions of the license of
the software made available to him at first start of the computer, to
retain the computer returning only the software covered by the license
he did not accept, with refund of the part of the price that
specifically relates to it."6

According to the Supreme Court, any commercial practice that prevents the user
from getting a refund "..would clash in different ways with the rules that
protect the freedom of choice of the consumer, and the freedom of competition
among firms..."7

On the one hand, therefore, the judgment follows the path of the French
Courts' case law, that on several occasions stated that the joint sale of
hardware and software, without providing for the buyer the possibility to
obtain refund of preinstalled software, violates the right of the consumer.8

On the other hand, the Italian Supreme Court states that the act of
hindering the refund violates the freedom of competition among firms.
This statement of principle is interesting considering that, to date,
the antitrust authorities have done little against business practices
that "force" the joint sale of hardware and proprietary software. Now
they may consider taking stronger action.

The focus of the Court's reasoning is that the sale of a PC with software
preinstalled is not like the sale of a car with its components (the 4 wheels,
the engine, etc.) that therefore are sold jointly. Buying a computer with
preinstalled software, the user is required to conclude two different
contracts: the first, when he buys the computer; the second, when he turns on
the computer for the first time and he is required to accept or not the license
terms of the preinstalled software.9 Therefore, if the user does not accept
the software license, he has the right to keep the computer and install free
software without having to pay the "Microsoft tax."


1 Judgement n. 19161/2014 published 11/9/2014

2 I had the honor to assist before the Supreme Court Marco Pieraccioli who
already had favorable decisions both at first instance (judgment no. 5384/2007
of the Giudice di Pace di Firenze) and in second degree (judgment no.
2526/2010 of the Tribunale di Firenze).

3 See

4 See

5 See

6 See p. 22 of the judgment.

7 See p. 21 of the judgment.

8 See

9 The judgment at p. 21 states: "Having been assessed that there are not
technological obstacles, the 'packaging' at the source of hardware and
operating system Microsoft Windows (as it would for any other operating system
for a fee) would actually respond, in substance, to a trade policy aimed at
the forceful spread of the latter in the hardware retail (at least in that, a
large majority, headed by the most established OEM brands); among other
things, with cascade effects in order to the imposition on the market of
additional software applications whose dissemination among final customers finds
strong stimulus and influence - if not genuine compulsion - in more or less
intense constraints of compatibility and interoperability (that this time we
could define 'technological with commercial effect') with that operating system,
that has at least tendency to be monopolistic".

© Marco Ciurcina, 2014 – Some rights reserved
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
License or any later version.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 license (or later version)

Cumulus Linux 2.5 adds mainstream L2 features to bare-metal switching

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As Cumulus Networks attempts to expand beyond the early adopters of its Cumulus Linux bare-metal switch operating system, it is adding Layer 2 networking features aimed at making it easier for enterprises to make the transition from legacy environments to the IP fabrics that most cloud computing customers operate.

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SimplyTapp launches open source tokenization project

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“We don’t want to put any hindrance in the way of a bank launching cloud-based payments because they have to buy or rely on another ecosystem player for new technology and so we thought it was a perfect use case for an open source project. Open source allows a perfect line of audit where you can actually see the source code, modify the source code and make updates to the source code for your environment before you’re running it.

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Google’s Nest buys Linux automation firm, adds five partners

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Google’s Nest Labs acquired Revolv, a maker of Linux-based home automation devices, and announced five new Nest-compatible devices. including the Pebble.

After Google acquired Nest Labs in January $3.2 billion, placing a stake in the fast-growing home automation business, Nest acquired home surveillance camera maker Dropcam in June for $555 million. Now Nest announced it has acquired another major home automation company in its purchase of Revolv. The acquisition, which was announced with no dollar amount, came shortly after the Boulder, Colo. based company announced compatibility with the Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect CO/smoke detector.

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