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Why Top Linux Distros Are For Different Users 496 496

Lucas123 writes "Fedora, openSUSE and Ubuntu Linux desktops may look alike, but they've got some important distinctions, like the fact that Fedora and Ubuntu use GNOME 2.28 (the latest version) for their default desktop, while openSUSE uses KDE 4.3.1. And, Fedora's designers have assumed that its users are wiser than the general run of users. 'For example, in earlier versions, ordinary (non-admin) users could install software on Fedora without access to the root password. As of this version, however, local users will need to enter the root password before they can install software (as they do on almost all other Linux distributions).'"
Red Hat Software

Submission + - Fedora 12 released-> 1 1

AdamWill writes: The Fedora Project is pleased to announce the release of Fedora 12 today. With all the latest open source software and major improvements to graphics support, networking, virtualization and more, Fedora 12 is one of the most exciting releases so far. You can download it here. There's a one-page guide to the new release for those in a hurry. The full release announcement has details on the major features, and the release notes contain comprehensive information on changes in this new release. Known issues are documented on the common bugs page.
Link to Original Source

New "Drake Equation" Selects Between Alien Worlds 220 220

An anonymous reader writes 'A mathematical equation that counts habitats suitable for alien life could complement the Drake equation, which estimates the probability of finding intelligent alien beings elsewhere in the galaxy. That equation, developed in 1960 by US astronomer Frank Drake, estimates the probability of intelligent life existing elsewhere in our galaxy by considering the number of stars with planets that could support life. The new equation, under development by planetary scientists at the Open University in Milton Keynes, England, aims to develop a single index for habitability based on the presence of energy, solvents such as water, raw materials like carbon, and whether or not there are benign environmental conditions.'

Comment 2.5.9 and 2.6.1 are different releases (Score 5, Informative) 127 127

2.5.9 and 2.6.0 were both released Tuesday, August 18th addressing this security issue (CVE-2009-2694). 2.5.9 is 2.5.8 with only CVE-2009-2694 addressed and an unrelated crash bug fix. 2.6.0 contains CVE-2009-2694 in addition to many other bug fixes and the new Voice and Video support.

Unfortunately, another security issue was discovered with sending URL's over the Yahoo protocol and 2.6.1 was released on Wednesday, August 19th. According to the pidgin developers, 2.5.9 was not affected by separate bug.

Note: The Voice and Video support in pidgin-2.6.1 is a bit fragile. You MUST have the latest version of farsight2 and the stack of libraries it requires. You may also need to open ports on your firewall to allow it to connect.


Surface Plume On Betelgeuse Imaged 51 51

BJ_Covert_Action writes "Astronomy Now is running a piece regarding some new, exquisitely detailed pictures taken of Betelgeuse, a star in the constellation Orion. Betelgeuse is classified as a supergiant star, and its diameter is approximately 1,000 times that of the sun. Two teams of astronomers used ESO's 'Very large Telescope,' its NACO instruments, and an imaging technique known as 'Lucky Imaging' to take some of the most detailed pictures of Betelgeuse to date. The new pictures reveal a gas plume on Betelgeuse which extends from the surface of the star a distance greater than that between our sun and Neptune. The images also show several other 'boiling' spots on the surface of Betelgeuse, revealing the surface to be quite tumultuous. Currently, it is known that stars of Betelgeuse's size eject the equivalent mass of the Earth into space every year. This recent astronomy work will help researchers determine the mechanics behind such ejections." Update — 8/05 at 13:31 by SS: Here's the original press release from the European Southern Observatory, since the Astronomy Now page has slowed to a crawl.

Comment Try Gnote instead of Tomboy (Score 4, Informative) 503 503

Have you tried gnote yet? It is a C++ reimplementation of tomboy. gnote's binary package itself is less than 4MB with only a few standard dependencies that you might already have on a GNOME desktop, significantly smaller than Mono. I made the switch fully from tomboy to gnote a few months ago and things are working very nicely.


Red Hat Patenting Around Open Standards 147 147

I Believe in Unicorns writes "Red Hat's patent policy says 'In an attempt to protect and promote the open source community, Red Hat has elected to... develop a corresponding portfolio of software patents for defensive purposes. We do so reluctantly...' Meanwhile, USPTO Application #: 20090063418, 'Method and an apparatus to deliver messages between applications,' claims a patent on routing messages using an XQuery match, which is an extension of the 'unencumbered' AMQP protocol that Red Hat is helping to make. Is this a defensive patent, or is Red Hat cynically staking out a software patent claim to an obvious extension of AMQP? Is Red Hat's promise to 'refrain from enforcing the infringed patent' against open source a reliable contract, or a trap for the unwary? Given the Microsoft-Red Hat deal in February, are we seeing Red Hat's 'Novell Moment?'" Reader Defeat_Globalism contributes a related story about an international research team who conducted experiments to "quantify the ways patent systems and market forces might influence someone to invent and solve intellectual problems." Their conclusion was that a system which doesn't restrict prizes to the winner provides more motivation for innovation.
GNU is Not Unix

TomTom Can License FAT Without Violating the GPL 261 261

dp619 writes "Capped per-unit royalties make FAT licensing agreements permissible under the GPL, and SD Times has found that Microsoft's public license policy caps royalties at $250k. If the royalties are capped — as they seem to be — TomTom should be able to license FAT without violating the GPL. And if that is the case ... TomTom needs some serious explaining to do as to why they aren't licensing FAT. That said, Microsoft still needs to explain why it just cannot say that folks won't violate the GPL if they license FAT under its terms."
Data Storage

Submission + - Solid state drive long term performance analyzed

Vigile writes: When the Intel X25-M series of solid state drives hit the market last year, there was little debate that they were the best performing MLC (multi-level cell) offerings to date. The one area they blew away the competition in was with write speeds where initial reviews showed consistent 80MB/s results. However, a new article over at PC Perspective that looks at Intel X25-M performance over a period of time shows that write speeds are dramatically reduced during modest everyday usage patterns. Average writes speeds are shown to drop to half (40MB/s) or less in the worst cases though the author does describe ways that users can recover some of the original drive speed using standard HDD testing tools.

Seagate Firmware Update Bricks 500GB Barracudas 559 559

Voidsinger writes "The latest firmware updates to correct Seagate woes have created a new debacle. It seems from Seagate forums that there has yet to be a successful update of the 3500320AS models from SD15 to the new SD1A firmware. Add to that the updater updates the firmware of all drives of the same type at once, and you get a meltdown of RAID arrays, and people's backups if they were on the same type of drive. Drives are still flashable though, and Seagate has pulled the update for validation. While it would have been nice of them to validate the firmware beforehand, there is still a little hope that not everyone will lose all of their data."

Firefox 3.1 Beta 2 Adds Private Browsing 216 216

CWmike was one of several readers to point out the release of Firefox 3.1 Beta 2, the first version of its flagship browser to switch on the much faster TraceMonkey JavaScript engine and sport a working privacy mode dubbed "Private Browsing." An ancillary addition to Private Browsing is a new addition to the "Clear Recent History" dialog box allowing users selectively to erase the last hour, the last two hours, the last four hours, today's, or all browsing history — previously, the wipe was all or nothing. This beta includes support for "web worker threads," a developing specification that will let Web-based application developers run background processes to speed up their apps. One feature present in Beta 1 is gone in the new beta: Ctrl-Tab switching. According to the developer, the UI needs more work; the feature probably won't be in the final 3.1.

Comment Linux Flash Workarounds and Tips (Score 1) 437 437

Tips and workarounds for using Flash (especially on Fedora) and avoiding crashes are updated frequently on this site. I follow all the latest patches of nspluginwrapper and firefox upstream to give people the latest advice. (Note: You need the new nspluginwrapper-1.1.2 in order to avoid the most common crashers of Flash 10.)

Red Hat Software

Submission + - Fedora 9 Released

xdancergirlx writes: Following their release schedule, Fedora 9, codenamed Sulpher has been released today. Notable features include the PackageKit package manager, Gnome 2.22, KDE 4.0.3, improved NetworkManager, Firefox 3 (beta), OpenJDK, 2.6.25 Kernel, new upgrade and installation options, and experimental ext4 support. User-friendly release notes available here. Download it here.

Submission + - Intel shows of ray tracing on UMPC->

Rayden writes: "It came as no surprise that while at the Game Developers Conference last week Intel demonstrated its ray tracing hardware and software technologies in an attempt to get game makers excited. What was a surprise was that Intel had the ray tracing engine running on a Sony VAIO ultra-mobile PC. They were emphasizing the scalability of ray tracing technology from larger resolutions to smaller ones, with much less development effort than currently dominate rasterization graphics engines. Intel admits they are well off from the golden-era of ubiquitous ray tracing but with demos like this popping up within 6 months of the engines initial debut, it looks very promising."
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