Items tagged with Open Source

The next version of Linux will not support Intel 386 processors. That's bad news if you haven't upgraded your machine in, oh, 20 years or so, but other than for the sake of nostalgia (and to give those old machines some real-world purpose), the discontinuation of support for old CPUs isn't likely to send shock waves through the Linux community. "This tree removes ancient 386 CPU support and thus zaps quite a bit of complexity, which has plagued us with extra work whenever we wanted to change SMP primitives, for years," Linux developer Ingo Molnar wrote in a message to Linus Torvalds. In doing so, Molnar acknowledged that "there's a nostalgic cost" and all those old 386 DX/SX systems from the... Read more...
It took a little longer than Linus Torvalds would have liked, but after a last minute delay and an extra Release Candidate (RC) release, Linux 3.7 is all polished up and out in final form. Torvalds initially hoped to roll out Linux 3.7 last week, but said he was "uncomfortable" with the release candidate due to some last-minute issues, most notably the resurrection of a kswapd issue. That prompted him to build an eighth RC. "Whee. After an extra RC release, 3.7 is now out. After a few more trials at fixing things, in the end we ended up reverting the kswapd changes that caused problems. And with the extra RC, I had decided to risk doing the buffer.c cleanups that would otherwise have just been... Read more...
Just over two months ago, Linus Torvalds released the Linux 3.6 kernel in final form, opting to push it out to the public rather than building what would have been an eighth Release Candidate. At the time, he said he couldn't think of a major reason to do yet another RC. Since then, work has shifted to Linux 3.7, and this time around Torvalds is reluctantly building an eighth RC, he announced this week. "I really didn't want it to come to this, but I was uncomfortable doing the 3.7 release yesterday due to last-minute issues, and decided to sleep on it," Torvalds state on a message board. "And today, I ended up even *less* comfortable about it due to the resurrection of a kswapd issue, so I decided... Read more...
While we spent Sunday watching the Patriots beat up on the Bills, Linus Torvalds was busy putting the final touches on the Linux 3.6 kernel, which he released in final form to the public yesterday afternoon. He had previously contemplated building one more Release Candidate, which would have been the eighth, but after a week since announcing an rc8 build might be in the works, Torvalds said he couldn't find a major reason to do another RC. "So here it is, 3.6 final. Sure, I'd have been happier with even fewer changes, but that just never happens. And holding off the release until people get too bored to send me the small stuff just makes the next merge window more painful," Torvalds explained... Read more...
We thought it might be nice to have a quick rundown of some of the best apps that are free, open source, and cross-platform. Experienced users may find fault with us for leaving out their favorite app, but hopefully they will agree that the ones we’ve picked here are deserving of recognition. We especially hope this is useful to those that are unaware of the existence of these applications due to the long shadows cast by the proprietary icons of their respective categories. If you feel we did miss an important app though, please let us know in the comments and share your favorites with everyone. Since all of these applications are open source, they have been ported to a variety of platforms.... Read more...
As the resident open source zealot, I thought it might be nice to have a quick rundown of some of the best apps that are free, open source, and cross-platform available to our readers.  Experienced users may find fault with me for leaving out their favorite app, but hopefully they will agree that the ones I’ve picked here are deserving of recognition.  I especially hope this is useful to those that are unaware of the existence of these applications due to the long shadows cast by the proprietary icons of their respective categories. If you feel I did miss an important app, please let us know in the comments and share your favorites with everyone. Since all of these applications... Read more...
Mozilla on Monday is expected to announce that it's no longer going to develop its popular Thunderbird email client, leaving such chores to the open source community at large. News of Mozilla's decision came to light when a confidential letter sent out to "Mozillians" was leaked to the Web for all to see. "We’ve been focusing efforts towards important Web and mobile projects, such as B2G, while Thunderbird remains a pure desktop-only email client. We have come to the conclusion that continued innovation on Thunderbird is not the best use of our resources given our ambitious organizational goals," Mozilla said in an email. Mozilla went on to clarify that it's not 'stopping' Thunderbird,... Read more...
These are strange, strange days that we're living in. HP buys Palm, then basically kills it when they murdered webOS. But then, due to consumer outcries (or just guilt?), webOS is brought back into the fold, but not in a shipping product. No, HP is actually going to invest time and resources to open source webOS. Yes, really. The company this week began executing its plan to deliver an open webOS by committing to a schedule for making the platform's source code available under an open source license. HP's planning to have it all wrapped up by September. HP also announced it is releasing version 2.0 of webOS's innovative developer tool, Enyo. Enyo 2.0 enables developers to write a single application... Read more...
Leave it to the creative cooks working in the kitchen at XDA Developers' forums to come up with a way to serve Android 4.0 'Ice Cream Sandwich' (ICS) on Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet device. A locked bootloader made things more challenging than they had to be, but as with similar recipes, installing ICS on the Nook Tablet is simply a matter sidestepping the locked bootloader altogether. They've figured out how to do that. "So now that we have found the leaking crack in the bootloader and proved its usefullness... others are going to start work on a couple of key projects that I could use a little help on," Android developer Brandon Bennet (nemith) said in a post. CyanogenMod 9 has already... Read more...
CTL probably isn't on your short list of laptop makers if you're in the market for a new notebook, but if you're specifically looking for an Ubuntu-powered machine, perhaps the Oregon-based outfit should be. The 14.1-inch MB40U is CTL's first Ubuntu compatible notebook, and the company's pretty excited about it. So much, in fact, that it's already looking ahead to more Ubuntu products. "CTL is very pleased to introduce our line of notebooks and desktops based on Ubuntu version 11.10. Ubuntu has emerged as one of the most popular and user-friendly Linux operating systems in the market. With Ubuntu, users can have full desktop experience supported by a robust ecosystem and a full suite of free... Read more...
The non-profit group Geeks Without Frontiers today released open source software based on an upcoming WiFi standard. It lets Linux machines be their own WiFi network, no hardware required. The software is based on the not-yet-ratified IEEE 802.11s, an extension to the 802.11 WiFi standard. 11s creates wireless "mesh" networks. Ratification is expected to happen by Q4 2011. 11s allows multiple wireless devices to connect with each other without having a hardware access point between them and to "multi-hop" to reach nodes that would otherwise be out of range. Geeks Without Frontiers is an arm of the not-for-profit agency, the Manna Energy Foundation. Manna's goal is a lofty one. It wants to "positively... Read more...
In a recent interview, Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin declared Linux the victor in its decades-long war with Microsoft. Asked about the importance of MS as a continuing rival, Zemlin stated, "I think we just don't care that much [about Microsoft] anymore," Zemlin said. "They used to be our big rival, but now it's kind of like kicking a puppy." From Zemlin's perspective, Microsoft's continued domination of the x86 desktop/workstation market isn't the rule, but the exception. "I think that on the 20th anniversary, it's worth reflecting back on where we came from," Zemlin said in an interview with Network World. Linux had a "humble start as a project for a college student in Helsinki,... Read more...
Red Hat, the company responsible for delivering Linux and a myriad other open source solutions, has today announced an expanded partnership with Fujitsu that extends the technology leaders' collaboration to the cloud. We're starting to hear more and more about the cloud these days, and it's not a surprise. As Internet connections become easier to find, companies are relying more and more on data stored on a remotely accessible server. Why carry around local files when you can keep them in the cloud, accessible by everyone, from anywhere? The infrastructure is sliding into place to support a cloud-driven world, and both Red Hat and Fujitsu have every intention on being on the cutting edge of that.... Read more...
If you are one of the people that happens to be running a bleeding-edge 'alpha 1' version of Ubuntu Linux on your main desktop machine (and who isn't?), you may have noticed a particular change in recent days: OpenOffice has been replaced by LibreOffice for the upcoming (next April) Ubuntu 11.04 release. What is OpenOffice, what is LibreOffice, and what is the difference? For those unaware, both OpenOffice and LibreOffice are free open-source office software suites which include word processor, spreadsheet, presentation apps, graphic design tools, and database systems. Both of these suites are available for multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac, and Linux. LibreOffice itself is a fork of... Read more...
Google has decided to renege on its promise to support both H.264 and open source codecs in its Chrome browser, dropping support for the former and vowing to completely back the latter. This change will take place in the next couple of months, the search giant said in Chromium blog post. "We expect even more rapid innovation in the web media platform in the coming year and are focusing our investments in those technologies that are developed and licensed based on open web principles," Google said. "To that end, we are changing Chrome’s <video> HTML5 support to make it consistent with the codecs already supported by the open Chromium project. Specifically, we are supporting the WebM... Read more...
When you think about portable gaming handhelds, you probably think first of Nintendo and Sony. Which is perfectly logical given just how important the Game Boy line was in the history of gaming and just how popular the PSP line is today. But the handheld gaming world is much, much bigger than just two giant companies. All sorts of smaller firms are also vying for your business, with GamePark being one of the underground leaders when it comes to producing emulator-ready handhelds. The company is best known for their GP2X and Pandora efforts, but a new device is looking even better than the one's that have come before. The GP2X Caanoo is an open source monster, with a Sega Nomad-esque appearance... Read more...
Just over five months after the browser first entered public testing with an alpha release, Mozilla released Firefox 3.6. Although we had previously heard about delays for the latest version of this popular browser, the actual delay was much shorter than some had expected. So what will you get with Firefox 3.6? Well, for starters, Mozilla is touting the browser's speed improvements, claiming that Firefox 3.6 is more than 20% faster than Firefox 3.5. This improvement is due to "extensive under the hood work" that is designed to improve performance for everyday tasks such as email, uploading photos, social networking, and more. The browser also features support for a wide variety of Web standards,... Read more...
In October, Microsoft announced a tool to allow netbooks lacking DVDs to install Windows 7; it was a key point of the new OS that it run on underpowered netbooks.  Unfortunately, it improperly used GPL source code, which Microsoft admitted on Friday the 13th, a few days after pulling the tool.Bad luck, Microsoft? Well, not really bad luck. GPL, or General Public License (open source) source code was included in the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool, which isn't off-limits, though putting a non-open-source license on a licensed tool is. The Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool was designed to modify a DVD or ISO image into a bootable image that could be put on a flash drive, to be... Read more...
Scientists at Stanford are working on an open source camera that could change the world of photography by giving programmers the power to change and add features to a camera via software updates. If the technology catches on, our cameras will no longer be limited by the software that comes pre-installed from the manufacturer.Nearly all of the features of the “Frankencamera,” including focus, exposure, shutter speed, and flash, are able to be controlled by software. According to Marc Levoy, professor of Computer Science and of Electrical Engineering at Stanford, “The premise of the project is to build a camera that is open source.” Graduate student Andrew Adams imagines a future where users could... Read more...
Software pioneer Bill Gates always wanted a PC on every desk in the world, but we aren't quite sure he envisioned it happening like this. In much the same way as the cellphone industry took off in the 1990s with the advent of the "free-on-contract" phone, a Linux bigwig is suggesting that PCs are the next to follow in those footsteps. Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin, in a recent presentation at the O'Reilly OSCON (Open Source Convention), told onlookers that a trend would emerge in which consumers would be blessed with free computers in exchange for signing onto a cellular data plan. The funny thing is, this prophecy isn't much a prophecy at all. In fact, Sprint is already offering... Read more...
Earlier this week, Google shocked many people when it announced plans to enter the operating system business and offer a Chrome operating system. Although the new Chrome OS isn’t scheduled to be out until sometime next year, many potential customers are already starting to ask questions. For starters, some people are already wondering if they should wait for the OS before purchasing additional hardware. Although the Chrome OS has potential to cause some changes in the industry, we won’t know how big these changes will be until the OS is actually released. Bottom line, if you’re in the market for a netbook today, you might as well spend the money now and enjoy using the machine until Google figures... Read more...
Shock of the month? The year, even? Out of absolutely nowhere, Google--the search engine champ at the moment and the developer of Android--has announced its first full-fledged operating system. Of course, maybe we shouldn't be so surprised. After all, it's not like Google hasn't been dabbling in applications for awhile now.In fact, this announcement came just hours after Google removed the "Beta" label from its entire application suit, Gmail and Gdocs included. The company has also introduced its own browser (Chrome) and its own mobile operating system (Android). Thus, the next logical step is a lightweight OS suited for none other than the netbook.Call us selfish, but we really (really!) wish... Read more...
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