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Software

Submission + - RPM Package Manager (RPM) version 5.0.0 released (rpm5.org) 2

Robert Scheck writes: "http://rpm5.org/ — 2008-01-05 — After seven months of comprehensive development, the popular Unix software packaging tool RPM Package Manager (RPM) was released as stable version 5.0.0. The relaunch of the RPM project in spring 2007 and today's following availability of RPM 5 marks a major milestone for the previously rather Linux-centric RPM. RPM now finally evolved into a fully cross-platform and reusable software packaging tool.

WHAT IS NEW IN RPM 5.0.0

The Automake/Autoconf/Libtool-based build environment of RPM was completely revamped from scratch and as one major result mostly all third-party libraries now can be linked externally and in a very flexible way. Support for the ancient and obsolete "rpmrc" files was completely removed, as everything is now configured through RPM "macros" under run-time only.

The RPM code base was ported to all major platforms, including the BSD, Linux, Solaris and Mac OS X Unix flavors and Windows/Cygwin. Additionally, the code base was heavily cleaned up and now can be compiled with all major C compiler suites, including GNU GCC, Sun Studio and Intel C/C++.

The RPM packages, in addition to the default Gzip and optional Bzip2 compression, now support also LZMA compression. Additionally, initial support for the XML Archive (XAR) file format was added where the implementation establishes a wrapper archive format for mapping the four sections used in RPM format packages (Lead, Signature, Header and Payload) to files with the same name in a XAR format package. Finally, support for the old RPMv3 (LSB) package format was removed to cleanup and simplify the code base. RPM 5, with respect to RPM format packages, now supports RPMv4 format only.

Additional features for use in package specifications (.spec files) were added, including new standard and even custom tags, new standard sections, etc. Most notably, RPM is now able to automatically track vendor distribution files with its new vcheck(1) based "%track" section and now can automatically download the vendor distribution files, too.

ABOUT RPM

RPM is a powerful and mature command-line driven package management system capable of installing, uninstalling, verifying, querying, and updating Unix software packages. Each software package consists of an archive of files along with information about the package like its version, a description, and the like. There is also a library API, permitting advanced developers to manage such transactions from programming languages such as C, Perl or Python.

Traditionally, RPM is a core component of many Linux distributions, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora, Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise, openSUSE, CentOS, Mandriva Linux, and many others. But RPM is also used for software packaging on many other Unix operating systems like FreeBSD, Sun OpenSolaris, IBM AIX and Apple Mac OS X by the cross-platform Unix software distribution OpenPKG. Additionally, the RPM archive format is an official part of the Linux Standard Base (LSB). RPM is released as free software under the GNU LGPL distribution license.

HISTORY OF RPM

RPM was originally written in 1997 by Erik Troan and Marc Ewing for use in the Red Hat Linux distribution. Later the development of RPM became a classical free software community effort, now lead since many years by RPM's primary developer Jeff Johnson. In spring 2007 the RPM project was relaunched by Jeff Johnson on a new infrastructure provided by the OpenPKG project and its Ralf S. Engelschall. With the RPM 5 milestone, RPM finally evolved into a fully portable and vendor-agnostic packaging tool, which especially is no longer tied to its historical Linux roots."

The Internet

Submission + - Facebook Maxes Out Its Data Center Space (facebook.com)

1sockchuck writes: "Facebook is adding 2 million new users a week, and recently maxed out the data center space at its California facilities. The load on the company's servers "continues to increase at a pretty astounding rate," says Facebook engineer Jason Sobel, who said the fast-growing social networking service has added a data center in Virginia, which is now serving 30 percent of its traffic. Sobel also discusses how Facebook sorts out which data gets stored on the East Coast and West Coast, which has meant some fine-tuning of its MySQL code to properly update Memcached."
Education

Submission + - OLPC a hit in remote Peruvian village (chicagotribune.com)

mrcgran writes: "Chicago Tribune is running a story about the effects of OLPC on a remote village in Peru: "Doubts about whether poor, rural children really can benefit from quirky little computers evaporate as quickly as the morning dew in this hilltop Andean village, where 50 primary school children got machines from the One Laptop Per Child project six months ago. At breakfast, they're already powering up the combination library/videocam/audio recorder/music maker/drawing kits. At night, they're dozing off in front of them — if they've managed to keep older siblings from waylaying the coveted machines. Peru made the single biggest order to date — more than 272,000 machines — in its quest to turn around a primary education system that the World Economic Forum recently ranked last among 131 countries surveyed." A detailed log has been kept and a youtube video is also available."
Space

Submission + - Palau looking into satellite power in next decade

davidwr writes: The island nation of Palau is looking into creating a satellite-to-ground power transmission system. The system will use low-orbit satellites to transmit power to a receiver in bursts, unlike some other plans which rely on geostationary satellites. The initial 1MW project is supposed to go online "as early as" 2012 for a cost of $0.8B. Time will tell if this is cost-effective compared to traditional solar or other sources of power.
Media (Apple)

Submission + - Fake Steve Jobs getting sued by Apple is a HOAX (applegazette.com)

themurph2099 writes: Earlier today both Slashdot and Digg have had articles promoted to their front pages that cover the story of the Fake Steve Jobs being threatened by Apple over "trade secrets". There have been several posts on Fake Steve's blog, and the entire thing has been played out like it is real. There's only one problem...it's not.
Software

Submission + - What are the best network monitoring programs? 1

Ace writes: What are the best programs to keep track of all the IP addresses of incoming and outgoing connections that are connecting to your computer? I've been using firewall software but lately I've discovered strange anomolous connections to .ru sites that I can't explan (and I've run virus scan, have firewall, etc). I'd really like to find a package that logs a list of all sites, their IP's, etc (incoming and outgoing) and which program is doing it. I'd like not to have to reformat but it's looking likely.
Programming

Submission + - Mystery Company recruiting puzzle solved! 1

srealm writes: "Less than 24 hours from posting, the Mystery Company job posting has been cracked! With the collaboration of people at the Google Group setup specifically for cracking this puzzle, the three 'challenges' have been solved, and the company un-masked as N-Brain, Inc in Boulder, CO. The date in question is the release date for their flagship UNA product, meant to promote collaborative development."
Networking

Submission + - Netgear introduces Linux based NAS devices (linuxdevices.com)

drewmoney writes: A LinuxDevices.com article introduces several of Netgear's Linux based NAS devices. These come in a 1.5TB model, all the way up to a 4TB rackmount version. These are geared towards the professional home user, and small and medium businesses. Comes complete with the usual RAID features, file system access and a built in USB print server. All are controlled through a WebGUI and some even have SSH access.
Windows

Submission + - Windows XP driver support begins to end (blorge.com) 3

thefickler writes: "It's official, manufacturers are starting to dump Windows XP support entirely and some new models won't even have Windows XP drivers or any kind of support available, anywhere. One reader, "Mark" contacted TECH.BLORGE regarding installing Windows XP on his HP V6610 (Australian) laptop which is the V6620 in the US. "Mark" said when he went to the HP driver/downloads section that very few Windows XP drivers were available for it and he was right, there were almost no useful drivers for the laptop there. His call to HP support didn't get very far as "HP is no longer supporting Windows XP on the newer PCs.""
Mars

Chance for a Tunguska Sized Impact on Mars 184

Multiple users have written to tell us of an LA Times report that an asteroid may hit Mars on January 30th. The asteroid is roughly 160 feet across, and JPL-based researchers say that it will have a 1-in-75 chance of striking Mars. Those odds are very high for this type of event, and scientists are hoping to witness an impact of a similar scope to the Tunguska disaster. From the LA Times: "Because scientists have never observed an asteroid impact -- the closest thing being the 1994 collision of comet Shoemaker-Levy with Jupiter -- such a collision on Mars would produce a 'scientific bonanza,' Chesley said."

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