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News Bytes

By Deividson Luiz Okopnik

News Bytes


Selected and Edited by Deividson Okopnik

Please submit your News Bytes items in plain text; other formats may be rejected without reading. (You have been warned!) A one- or two-paragraph summary plus a URL has a much higher chance of being published than an entire press release. Submit items to bytes@linuxgazette.net.

News in General

[lightning bolt]Linux Kernel Launched

Version of the Linux kernel was released on October 18th, introducing several bug-fixes to the 2.6.27 kernel that added a new file-system (UBIFS, optimized for pure flash-based storage devices), several new drivers, and Xen support for saving and restoring virtual machines,

The full changelog of the release can be found here: http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v2.6/ChangeLog-

[lightning bolt]Mono 2.0 Release - Major Milestone Reached

Mono 2.0 was released on October 6th. This very specific release was much awaited by Mono users, and is a major milestone for the Mono project, by offering complete support for Microsoft's .NET 2.0 framework. This gives developers one more alternative for writing portable programs.

More details of the release:
- New controls for Windows.Forms namespace (Tool and Menu bars, DataGridView, and WebBrowser components are some of those components);
- Runtime performance improved;
- Updates to the C# compiler;
- LINQ and LINQ-to-XML support complete.
Along with other changes.

The full release notes can be found here: http://www.mono-project.com/Release_Notes_Mono_2.0.

[lightning bolt]Who says Open Source isn't about money?

Alan Lord wrote on the Inkscape discussion e-mail list:

This is a great story and Inkscape, along with lots of other FOSS, played its part...

Details on the design of a new Dutch coin at the link here: http://pythonide.blogspot.com/2008/10/how-to-make-money-with-free-software.html .

[lightning bolt]Away with the keyboards and mice!

TAG member Jimmy O'Regan sent in this news item, quoting from http://weblog.infoworld.com/fatalexception/archives/2008/10/microsofts_touc.html

"Most recently, Iron Man's Tony Stark designed CAD models for an entire suit of high-tech combat armor using only his bare hands. So how come we're all still using keyboards and ordinary old mice? InfoWorld's ace reporter Paul Krill was the first to spot a new project from Micr0s0ft Office Labs and Micr0s0ft developer Mike Wasserman that could bring those next-generation UIs one step closer."

The code is released under the MS-PL, which is open source and GPL-compatible:http://www.codeplex.com/touchless It's C#, so it should work with Mono (and if it doesn't, it's only a matter of time before some Mono person makes it work)

The article also mentions this project: http://www.hitl.washington.edu/artoolkit/ which is GPL and already works on Linux.

[lightning bolt]Which came first, the 3-D printer or the 3-D printer it made?

Jimmy O'Regan sent in another fantastic tidbit, this one about a self-replicating open source 3-D printer. "RepRap" stands for Replicating Rapid-prototyper, and it's simply too cool to explain briefly here. Code and specification are available under the GPL. "Not counting nuts and bolts RepRap can make 60% of its parts; the other parts are designed to be cheaply available everywhere." They use Art of Illusion ( http://www.artofillusion.org/ ) to design models.

Version 2.0 is being designed, with a goal of being able to reproduce its own electronics, too. They've also had success with plywood http://reprap.org/bin/view/Main/PlywoodRepRaps

Go directly to the RepRap home page here: http://reprap.org/bin/view/Main/WebHome

Conferences and Events

Dreamforce '08 SaaS Conference
November 2 - 5, San Francisco, CA
Storage Decisions 2008
November 4 - 6, San Francisco, CA
System-on-Chip (SoC) Conference 2008
November 5 - 6, Newport Beach, CA
OpenOffice.org Conference - OOoCon 2008
November 5 - 7, Beijing, China
USENIX Large Installation System Administration Conference (LISA '08)
November 9 - 14, San Diego, CA

For the past 20 years LISA has been the focal point for the global community of system and network administrators. This year LISA continues that tradition, featuring innovative tools and techniques essential for your professional and technical development. LISA is the premier forum for presenting new research in system administration. We selected papers showcasing state-of-the-art work on topics including configuration management, parallel systems deployment, virtualization, and security. Bring your perplexing technical questions to experts at LISA's Guru Is In sessions; explore the latest commercial innovations at the Vendor Exhibition; benefit from opportunities for peer interaction (a.k.a. the "Hallway Track").

LISA '08

Early registration discounts for LISA '08, taking place November 9–14, 2008, in San Diego, are now available. Register by Friday, October 17, and save up to $300!

Agile Development Practices 2008
November 10 - 13, Orlando, FL
ISPcon Fall 2008
November 11 - 13,San Jose, CA
Mashup Camp Silicon Valley 2008 - Free Registration
November 17 - 19, Mountain View, CA
QCon-SF 2008
November 17 - 21, San Francisco, CA
SANS 9th Annual Security Conference
November 19 - 21, Washington, DC
SpringOne Americas
December 1 - 4, Hollywood, FL
VMware Virtualization Forums
December 3 - San Diego, CA
December 11 - Boston, MA
USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI '08)
December 8 - 10, San Diego, CA

Join us at the Paradise Point Resort for this symposium covering the most innovative systems research, including over 20 high-quality papers in areas including OS architecture, cloud computing, and monitoring, as well as a poster session. Don't miss the opportunity to gather with researchers from across the systems community in what has become a premier forum for discussing the design, implementation, and implications of systems software.

OSDI '08

Register by November 17 and save $150!


Distro News

[lightning bolt]Ubuntu 7.04 End of Support on October 19th

On October 19th, Ubuntu 7.04 reaches the end of its support life. Supported for 18 months, from April 19th 2007 to October 19th 2008, this version of the Ubuntu distribution will now stop receiving new security patches and updates.

The only direct update path for users of Ubuntu 7.04 is upgrading to Ubuntu 7.10. Details of the process can be found here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/GutsyUpgrades.

[lightning bolt]Red Hat High Performance Computing (HPC) Solution Launched

Red Hat announced the launch of Red-Hat's HPC Solution, a package of tools, including the operating system, cluster-creation and management tools, and development tools, aimed at creation of an HPC cluster in a single, easy to install package.

Backed up by Red Hat support services, the solution brings creation of such services to a new level. According to Red Hat, "With the Red Hat HPC Solution, making changes to the cluster is a snap. With its elegant and powerful node group and repository manager, you can deploy new updates, patches, and software packaged as kits, or re-image new nodes in minutes with no interruption in uptime. Managing four hundred nodes requires as little effort as managing four nodes".

You can check more details of the solution here: http://www.redhat.com/hpc/

[lightning bolt]Ubuntu 8.10 Server Focuses on Java, Virtualization, and System Management updates

The Ubuntu 8.10 Server edition is shipping with several updates, some of then being significant improvements in Virtualization, Java and System Management capabilities.

For virtualization, Ubuntu 8.10 Server comes with a virtual machine builder, allowing the user to create and manage virtual machines via the command line, giving users the option to automate those tasks with simple scripts. It also comes with an updated KVM, allowing more-flexible memory management, including the ability to change a virtual machine's memory amount without the need to reboot it.

By fully supporting Apache Tomcat 6.0 and the Java OpenJDK, Ubuntu 8.10 server also gives developers more options for developing and deploying Java applications.

Ubuntu 8.10 Server also comes with several other improvements, including:
- ClamAV and SpamAssassin in the main repositories, for virus and spam detection;
- Ability to encrypt private directories;
- Landscape (Canonical's System Management Solution) integration within the installer;
- Improved RAID support.

More information about Ubuntu 8.10 Server can be found here: http://www.ubuntu.com/server;
And you can download it here: http://www.ubuntu.com/download;
For more information about Canonical's Landscape, follow this link: http://www.canonical.com/landscape.

[lightning bolt]Ubuntu 8.10 To Be Released on October 30th

Ubuntu's next release, codenamed Intrepid Ibex, will be released on October 30th, and will include several updates, and some new features as well. Some of those features are:

- Ability to install from an USB drive;
- New instant-messaging software;
- Guest Sessions (temporary, secure sessions, used when sharing your computer with someone else);
- 3g network support;
- Built-in time tracker.

Canonical also teamed up with BBC to ensure most BBC material will be available trough Ubuntu 8.10's default media players.

More information about the release can be found on http://www.ubuntu.com/, and downloads will be available on http://www.ubuntu.com/download.

[lightning bolt]Debian 4.0r5

The fifth revision of the popular Debian 4.0 ("Etch") distribution is available for download, containing several fixes for security problems of the stable release.

The full announcement of the release, including a list of fixes and update instructions, can be found here: http://www.debian.org/News/2008/20081023.

[lightning bolt]Linux Mint 5 Fluxbox Released

Linux Mint announced on October 21th the availability of the Linux Mint 5 "Elyssa", Fluxbox edition, developed to be a lightweight distribution, running the Fluxbox window manager.

New features includes an auto-generated and auto-updated Fluxbox menu, Thunar custom actions, better language and localization support, multimedia compatibility with several pre-installed codecs and plugins, and more.

More details and download links can be found here: http://www.linuxmint.com/blog/?p=404.

[lightning bolt]Foresight Linux 2.0.5

On October 17th, Foresight Linux 2.0.5 was released to the public, being the first stable distribution to feature the latest GNOME, 2.24. The distribution also contains several other cutting-edge updates, including OpenOffice.org 3.0 and X.Org server 1.5.1.

More details about this release and download links can be found on http://www.foresightlinux.org/releases/2-0-5.html.

Software and Product News

[lightning bolt]Java 6 Updated!

Sun's Java Standard Edition 6 Update 10's availability was announced. It can be downloaded at http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/index.jsp. Changes include faster startup for Java applications, new Direct3D capabilities, several bug fixes, and more.

More information about the release can be found here: http://java.sun.com/javase/6/webnotes/6u10.html

[lightning bolt]Flash Player 10 Launched

Adobe launched Flash Player 10, with several updates and new features. This update, unlike Flash Player 9, was released on the same day for several platforms, including Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.

While the release does not seem too important for Flash development on Linux (one of the main new features, the ability to use custom filters and effects, can only be achieved on Windows and Mac OS, as it requires the Adobe Pixel Bender toolkit, that runs only on those platforms), for those who want only to be able to watch Flash clips on Linux, this is still a release worthy of note.

[lightning bolt]Gnome 2.24

GNOME received a new update, this month, and includes several new features along with a long list of improvements and bug fixes.

The new features of this release include:
- Included instant-messaging solution;
- Ekiga 3 for audio/video conferencing;
- Tabs and new ways of viewing files on the file browser;
- New and improved screen resolution controls;
- Support for sound themes;
- Several accessibility updates;
And much, much more.

Full details can be found here: http://library.gnome.org/misc/release-notes/2.24/

[lightning bolt]VMWare Workstation 6.5 Released

VMWare Workstation, the virtualization solution from VMWare, just received a new version, and it's full of new features and bug fixes.

Some of those new features include:
- Support for new 32- and 64-bit operating systems;
- Unity mode (integrates the guest and the host desktops);
- Better internationalization support;
- Easy-install option for Linux and Windows guests;
- Virtual network editor for linux hosts;
- Several performance improvements (including network and USB speed-ups);
- Several new developer tools.

The full release-notes can be found here: http://www.vmware.com/support/ws65/doc/releasenotes_ws65.html

Talkback: Discuss this article with The Answer Gang


Deividson was born in União da Vitória, PR, Brazil, on 14/04/1984. He became interested in computing when he was still a kid, and started to code when he was 12 years old. He is a graduate in Information Systems and is finishing his specialization in Networks and Web Development. He codes in several languages, including C/C++/C#, PHP, Visual Basic, Object Pascal and others.

Deividson works in Porto União's Town Hall as a Computer Technician, and specializes in Web and Desktop system development, and Database/Network Maintenance.

Copyright © 2008, Deividson Luiz Okopnik. Released under the Open Publication License unless otherwise noted in the body of the article. Linux Gazette is not produced, sponsored, or endorsed by its prior host, SSC, Inc.

Published in Issue 156 of Linux Gazette, November 2008