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News Bytes

By Deividson Luiz Okopnik and Howard Dyckoff

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. Deividson can also be reached via twitter.

News in General

lightning boltNovell wins Final Linux Legal Battle

After years of litigation, all of the SCO claims have been denied and it will be going into bankruptcy hearings in July - which had been delayed until the final judgement.

As noted on the Groklaw web site, Judge Ted Stewart ruled for Novell and against SCO. Futhermore, SCO's claims for breach of the implied covenant of fair dealings were also denied in the June jugement.

Here is the major part of Novell's statement from June 11:

"Yesterday, United States District Court Judge Ted Stewart issued a Final Judgment regarding the long standing dispute between SCO Group and Novell. As part of the decision, the Court reaffirmed the earlier jury verdict that Novell maintained ownership of important UNIX copyrights, which SCO had asserted to own in its attack on the Linux computer operating system. The Court also issued a lengthy Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law wherein it determined that SCO was not entitled to an order requiring Novell to transfer the UNIX copyrights because "Novell had purposely retained those copyrights." In addition, the Court concluded that SCO was obligated to recognize Novell's waiver of SCO's claims against IBM and other companies, many of whom utilize Linux."

lightning boltOne Laptop per Child and Marvell To Redefine Tablet Computing

In an agreement that could provide advanced, affordable tablet computers to classrooms throughout the world, One Laptop per Child (OLPC), a global organization helping to provide every child in the world access to a modern education, and Marvell, a leader in integrated silicon solutions, will jointly develop a family of next-generation OLPC XO tablet computers based on the Marvell Moby reference design. This new partnership will provide designs and technologies to enable a range of new educational tablets, delivered by OLPC and other education industry leaders, aimed at schools in both the U.S. and developing markets. Marvell is also announcing today it has launched Mobylize, a campaign to improve technology adoption in America's classrooms.

The new family of XO tablets will incorporate elements and new capabilities based on feedback from the nearly 2 million children and families around the world who use the current XO laptop. The XO tablet will require approximately one watt of power to operate compared to about 5 watts necessary for the current XO laptop. The XO tablet will also feature a multi-lingual soft keyboard with touch feedback, and will also feature an application to directly access more than 2 million free books available across the Internet.

The first tablets in the line will be based closely on the Moby, not the XO-3 design, and will focus more on children in the developed world. These will be on display at CES 2011 in January, and available next year for under $100. The original XO-3 design is still planned for 2012 and will benefit from the experience of both the XO-1.75 and the Moby efforts.

"The Moby tablet platform - and our partnership with OLPC - represents our joint passion and commitment to give students the power to learn, create, connect and collaborate in entirely new ways," said Weili Dai, Marvell's Co-founder and Vice President and General Manager of the Consumer and Computing Business Unit. "Marvell's cutting edge technology - including live content, high quality video (1080p full-HD encode and decode), high performance 3D graphics, Flash 10 Internet and two-way teleconferencing - will fundamentally improve the way students learn by giving them more efficient, relevant - even fun tools to use. Education is the most pressing social and economic issue facing America. I believe the Marvell Moby tablet can ignite a life-long passion for learning in all students everywhere."

Powered by a high-performance, highly scalable, and low-power Marvell ARMADA 610 application processor, the Moby tablet features gigahertz processor speed, 1080p full-HD encode and decode, intelligent power management, power-efficient Marvell 11n Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/FM/GPS connectivity, high performance 3D graphics and support for multiple platforms including full Adobe Flash, Android, Windows Mobile and Ubuntu. The Moby platform also features a built-in camera for live video conferencing, multiple simultaneous viewing screens and Marvell's 11n Mobile Hotspot which allows Wi-Fi access that supports up to eight concurrent users connected to the Internet via a cellular broadband connection. The ultra low power mobile tablet has a very long battery life.

Moby is currently being piloted in at-risk schools in Washington, DC, and Marvell is investing in a Mobylize campaign to improve tech adoption within US classrooms. This should help OLPC in the developed world.

For more information, visit http://www.mobylize.org.

lightning boltOne Laptop Per Child To Provide Laptops To High Schools

In June, One Laptop per Child (OLPC) was awarded a bid by Plan Ceibal to provide 90,000 updated XO laptops for high school students in Uruguay. This is the first time the OLPC XO laptops have been specifically designed for high school-aged students and represents a major expansion in its global learning program.

The XO high school laptop (XO-H) is built on the XO-1.5 platform and based on a VIA processor. it will provide 2X the speed of the XO 1.0, 4X DRAM memory, and 4X Flash memory. The XO-H is designed with a larger keyboard that is better suited to the larger hands and fingers of older students. It will feature the learning-focused Sugar user interface on top of a dual-boot Linux operating system, with Gnome Desktop Environment that offers office productivity tools.

The XO-H will be delivered with age-appropriate learning programs adapted to the scholastic needs of secondary schools. A new color variation for the laptop's case (light and dark blue) will be an option for the high school model. The XO, specially designed for rugged environments, is well-suited for remote classrooms and daily transportation between home and school. The XO uses three times less electricity than other laptops and is built as a sealed, dust-free system.

The government of Uruguay through Plan Ceibal has completely saturated primary schools with 380,000 XOs and will now begin to expand the highly successful One Laptop per Child learning program to its high schools. There are 230,000 high school students in Uruguay.

"Until now, the 1.5 million students worldwide using XO laptops had no comparable computer to 'grow up' to," said OLPC Association CEO Rodrigo Arboleda. "The XO high school edition laptop demonstrates how the XO and its software can easily adapt to the needs of its users."

One Laptop per Child (OLPC at http://www.laptop.org) is a non-profit organization created by Nicholas Negroponte and others from the MIT Media Lab to design, manufacture and distribute laptop computers that are inexpensive enough to provide every child in the world access to knowledge and modern forms of education.

lightning boltSwype Beta for Android OS

Swype is offering a narrowcast Beta on its updated Android keyboard application. This application interprets word choices in real time from a dictionary database as a user slides a finger between letters in a continuous motion.

The Swype software is very tightly written with a total memory footprint of under 1 MB.

The patented technology enables users to input words faster and easier than other data input methods - over 50 words per minute. The application is designed to work across a variety of devices such as phones, tablets, game consoles, kiosks, televisions, virtual screens and more.

A key advantage to Swype is that there is no need to be very accurate, enabling very rapid text entry. Swype has been designed to run in real time on relatively low-powered portable devices.

The beta software has built-in dictionaries for English, Spanish, and Italian. The beta software supports phones with HVGA (480h x 320w), WVGA (800h x 480w) and WVGA854(854h x 480w) screen sizes (screen size is detected by the software).

Here are some details on the beta:
* It will be open for a limited time;
* Initially, only English, Spanish, and Italian - more languages to come;
* Some key features of Swype require OEM integration;
* Limited End User Support - mostly forum.

If your phone came pre-installed with Swype, DO NOT download this beta (it won't work).

The beta is open to all phones using Android which do not already have Swype pre-installed. For more information on Swype and the current beta test, go to: http://beta.swype.com/.

lightning boltOpenOffice.org 3.2.1 released

The OpenOffice.org Community recently released OpenOffice.org 3.2.1, the newest version of the world's free and open-source office productivity suite.

OpenOffice.org 3.2.1 is a so-called micro release that comes with bugfixes and improvements, with no new features being introduced. This release also fixes major security issues, so users are encouraged to upgrade to the new version as soon as possible.

This version is the first to be released with the project's new main sponsor, Oracle, and comes with a refreshed logo and splash screen. Following OpenOffice.org's usual release cycle, the next feature release of OpenOffice.org is version 3.3, expected in Autumn 2010.

The OOo Community celebrates its 10th anniversary this year at the annual OOoCon in Budapest, Hungary, from August 31 to September 3.

OpenOffice.org 3.2.1 is available in many languages for all major platforms at: http://download.openoffice.org.

lightning boltLinux Foundation Announces LinuxCon Brazil

Linus Torvalds will speak at first ever LinuxCon Brazil where the country's developer, IT operations, and business communities will come together. LinuxCon Brazil will take place August 31 - September 1, 2010 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Brazil has long been recognized as one of the fastest growing countries for Linux adoption. The Brazilian government was one of the first to subsidize Linux-based PCs for its citizens with PC Conectado, a tax-free computer initiative launched in 2003. Brazil's active and knowledgeable community of Linux users, developers and enterprise executives bring an important perspective to the development process and to the future of Linux.

"Brazil leads many other countries in its adoption of Linux and is a growing base of development. The time is right to take the industry's premier Linux conference to Brazil," said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation.

Confirmed speakers for LinuxCon Brazil include Linux creator Linus Torvalds and lead Linux maintainer Andrew Morton, who will together deliver a keynote about the future of Linux.

Conferences and Events

CiscoLive! 2010
June 27-July 1, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV
SANS Digital Forensics and Incident Response Summit
July 8-9 2010, Washington DC
July 24-30, 2010, The Hague, Netherlands.
Black Hat USA
July 24-27, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nev.
DebConf 10
August 1-7, New York, New York
First Splunk Worldwide Users' Conference
August 9-11, 2010, San Francisco, CA
LinuxCon 2010
August 10-12, 2010, Renaissance Waterfront, Boston, MA
USENIX Security '10
August 11-13, Washington, DC
VM World 2010
August 30-Sep 2, San Francisco, CA
LinuxCon Brazil
August 31-Sept 1, 2010, São Paulo, Brazil
OOoCon 2010
August 31 - Sept 3, Budapest, Hungary
Ohio Linuxfest 2010
September 10-12, Ohio
Oracle Openworld 2010
September 19-23, San Francisco, CA
Brocade Conference 2010
September 20-22, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV
StarWest 2010
September 26-Oct 1, San Diego, CA
LinuxCon Japan 2010
September 27-29, Roppongi Academy, Tokyo, Japan

Distro News

lightning boltNovell Releases SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 Service Pack 1

Novell released SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 Service Pack 1 (SP1) in May, which delivers broad virtualization capabilities, high availability clustering, and more flexible maintenance and support options.

SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 SP1 is optimized for physical, virtuali, and cloud infrastructures and offers numerous advancements, including: Broad virtualization support, including the latest Xen 4.0 hypervisor with significantly improved virtual input/output performance, support for KVM, an emerging open source virtualization hypervisor, and Linux integration components in Hyper-V - an industry first. Best open source high-availability solution, with clustering advances such as support for metro area clusters, simple node recovery with ReaR, a source disaster recovery framework, and new administrative tools including a cluster simulator and web-based GUI. First enterprise Linux distribution with an updated 2.6.32 kernel, which leverages the RAS features in Intel Xeon processor 7500 and 5600 series.

New technology on the desktop, including improved audio and Bluetooth support, as well as the latest versions of Firefox, OpenOffice.org and Evolution, which includes MAPI enhancements for improved interoperability with Microsoft Exchange.

With SP1, Novell is implementing more flexible support options that will allow customers to remain on older package releases during the product's life cycle, and will significantly lower the hurdle to deploy upcoming service packs. While current releases deliver the most value with proactive maintenance updates and patches, for customers that place a premium on stability, this program delivers superior control and flexibility by allowing them to decide when and how to upgrade.

Long Term Service Pack Support will continue to be available for customers that want full technical support and fixes backported to earlier releases.

IBM and other component, system, and software vendors like AMD, Broadcom, Brocade, Dell, Emulex, Fujitsu, HP, Intel, LSI, Microsoft, nVidia, QLogic and SGI leverage Partner Linux Driver Program tools to support their third-party technology with SUSE Linux Enterprise. Novell's partners provide more than 5,000 certified applications today for SUSE Linux Enterprise, twice that of the next closest enterprise Linux distribution provider.

Software and Product News

lightning boltOpera 10.6 Beta offers more HTML 5 features

A new beta version of the popular Opera web browser is available for testing with added support for new HTML 5. Opera 10.6 will include support for the HTML 5 video and the WebM codec that Google released as open source last month. It also includes support for the Appcache feature of HTML 5 that allows web-based applications to run even when a computer is no longer attached to the Internet.

Opera 10.6 is also faster than Opera 10.5 on standard web tests and is informally reported by testers to edge out the current versions of Firefox and Chrome. Additionally, there are enhancements to the menus and tab previews.

There is also support for Geolocation applications. Opera allows you to share your location with apps like Google Maps and can find your location on mobile devices with a GPS.

Download the 10.6 beta for Linux and FreeBSD here: http://www.opera.com/browser/next/.

lightning boltApache Announces Cassandra Release 0.6 distributed data store

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) - developers, stewards, and incubators of 138 Open Source projects - has announced Apache Cassandra version 0.6, the Project's latest release since its graduation from the ASF Incubator in February 2010.

Apache Cassandra is an advanced, second-generation "NoSQL" distributed data store that has a shared-nothing architecture. The Cassandra decentralized model provides massive scalability, and is highly available with no single point of failure even under the worst scenarios.

Originally developed at Facebook and submitted to the ASF Incubator in 2009, the Project has added more than a half-dozen new committers, and is deployed by dozens of high-profile users such as Cisco WebEx, Cloudkick, Digg, Facebook, Rackspace, Reddit, and Twitter, among others.

"The services we provide to customers are only as good the systems they are built on," said Eric Evans, Apache Cassandra committer and Systems Architect at The Rackspace Cloud. "With Cassandra, we get the fault-tolerance and availability our customers demand, and the scalability we need to make things work."

Cassandra 0.6 features include:
* Support for Apache Hadoop: this allows running analytic queries with the leading map/reduce framework against data in Cassandra;
* Integrated row cache: this eliminates the need for a separate caching layer, thereby simplifying architectures;
* Increased speed: this builds on Cassandra's ability to process thousands of writes per second, allowing applications to cope with increasing write loads.

"Apache Cassandra 0.6 is 30% faster across the board, building on our already-impressive speed," said Jonathan Ellis, Apache Cassandra Project Management Committee Chair. "It achieves scale-out without making the kind of design compromises that result in operations teams getting paged at 2 AM."

Twitter switched to Apache Cassandra because it can run on large server clusters and is capable of taking in very large amounts of data at a time. Storage Team Technical Lead Ryan King explained, "At Twitter, we're deploying Cassandra to tackle scalability, flexibility and operability issues in a way that's more highly available and cost effective than our current systems."

Released under the Apache Software License v2.0, Apache Cassandra 0.6 can be downloaded at http://cassandra.apache.org/.

lightning boltPrimal Launches Semantic Web Tools

Paving the way to a Web 3.0 Internet, Primal announced its Primal Thought Networking platform and beta version of its newest service, Pages, from the 2010 Semantic Technology Conference in June.

Delivered on the Software as a Service (SaaS) model, the Primal Thought Networking platform, using semantic synthesis, helps content producers to expand their digital footprint and improve engagement with their consumers, at lower cost. For consumers, the platform delivers a more personalized experience that is based on content relevant to their thoughts and ideas. Rather than sifting through page after page of content, the Thought Networking platform's software assistants automate the filtering processes, delivering more relevant content.

In addition to the launch of the Thought Networking platform, Primal also introduced the beta version of its newest offering, Pages. With Pages, users can now quickly generate an entire Web presence based on a topic relevant to their interests, which then may be explored, customized and shared with friends or the general public. The Pages beta website generator utilizes Semantic Web technology that goes beyond the simple facilitation of content discovery, pulling information from sites like Wikipedia, Yahoo!, and Flickr, delivering relevant and useful content in a centralized view in real-time.

"Semantic synthesis is the ability to create in real time a semantic graph of what I need. With our growing portfolio of IP and patents, we have spent the past several years developing an intuitive technology that annotates a person's thoughts and ideas," said Primal's Founder and Co-President Peter Sweeney, speaking live from the Semantic Technology Conference. "On the content manufacturing plane, we provide content developers with a completely new market of content but will also enable an entirely untapped group of people who would not otherwise have the technical aptitude, but have big ideas to share, to quickly and easily become content developers."

Using Primal's semantic synthesis technology, teachers will be able to seamlessly build a website of course materials for their students; hobbyists can create a one-stop, definitive source of information for their pastime; politicians can build hyper-local, targeted sites featuring local activities and news in support of their constituents.

Join the Primal community at http://www.primal.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/primalfbook.

lightning boltTRENDnet offers First 450Mbps Wireless N Gigabit Router

TRENDnet announced in June a first-to-market 450Mbps Wireless N gigabit router, its model TEW-691GR. Designed for high performance and quality of service, this router uses three external antennas to broadcast on the 2.4GHz spectrum.

Three spatial streams per antenna produce a record 450Mbps theoretical wireless throughput. Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) antenna technology boosts wireless coverage, signal strength, and throughput speed. One gigabit Wide Area Network port and four gigabit Local Area Network ports also offer very fast wired throughput performance.

Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) integrates other WPS supported wireless adapters at the touch of a button. Instead of entering complicated encryption codes, simply press the WPS button on the TEW-691GR, then press the WPS button on a compatible wireless adapter, confirm you would like to connect, and the devices automatically exchange information and connect. The router is compatible with IEEE 802.11n and backward compatible with IEEE 802.11g/b/a devices.

Advanced wireless encryption and a secure firewall offer protection for digital networks. Router setup is fast and intuitive. WMM Quality of Service (QoS) technology prioritizes gaming, Internet calls, and video streams.

"TRENDnet's ability to launch this ground breaking 450Mbps product ahead of other brands says a lot about our recent growth," stated Pei Huang, President and CEO of TRENDnet. "We are ecstatic to set a new performance threshold in the consumer wireless revolution."

The MSRP for the TEW-691GR is U.S. $199.00.

lightning boltTRENDnet Launches Two High Speed USB 3.0 Adapters

TRENDnet in June announced the availability of PC cards that add USB 3.0 Ports to both desktops and laptops. The adapters add two super speed 5Gbps USB 3.0 ports that can transfer content from USB 3.0 storage devices, flash drives, and camcorders at 5Gbps speeds, which are 10 times faster than USB 2.0.

TRENDnet's 2-Port USB 3.0 ExpressCard Adapter, model TU3-H2EC, plugs into any available ExpressCard port on a laptop computer to provide two USB 3.0 ports. A power adapter provides full power to all connected USB 3.0 devices. Backward compatibility allows users to connect USB 2.0 devices to the USB 3.0 ports.

The 2-Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Adapter, model TU3-H2PIE, connects to an available PCI Express port on a tower computer. A 4-pin power port connects to an internal power supply in order to provide full power to all connected USB 3.0 devices. Backward compatibility allows users to connect USB 2.0 devices to the USB 3.0 ports.

"USB 3.0 is like HD television - once you experience it, you won't go back," stated Zak Wood, Director of Global Marketing for TRENDnet. "The tremendous speed advantage of USB 3.0 (5Gbps) versus USB 2.0 (480Mbps) is driving strong consumer adoption. TRENDnet's user friendly adapters upgrade existing computers to high speed 5Gbps USB 3.0."

TRENDnet's 2-Port USB 3.0 ExpressCard Adapter, model TU3-H2EC, will be available from online and retail partners shortly. The MSRP for the TU3-H2EC is U.S. $59.

TRENDnet's 2-Port USB 3.0 PCI Express Adapter, model TU3-H2PIE, will be available from online and retail partners shortly. The MSRP for the TU3-H2PIE is U.S. $49.


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Deividson Luiz Okopnik


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.

Howard Dyckoff

Bio picture

Howard Dyckoff is a long term IT professional with primary experience at Fortune 100 and 200 firms. Before his IT career, he worked for Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine and before that used to edit SkyCom, a newsletter for astronomers and rocketeers. He hails from the Republic of Brooklyn [and Polytechnic Institute] and now, after several trips to Himalayan mountain tops, resides in the SF Bay Area with a large book collection and several pet rocks.

Howard maintains the Technology-Events blog at blogspot.com from which he contributes the Events listing for Linux Gazette. Visit the blog to preview some of the next month's NewsBytes Events.

Copyright © 2010, Deividson Luiz Okopnik and Howard Dyckoff. 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 176 of Linux Gazette, July 2010