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News Bytes

By Deividson Luiz Okopnik and Howard Dyckoff

News Bytes


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News in General

[lightning bolt]Wind River joins forces with Intel on Auto Linux

Wind River and Intel hope to dramatically disrupt the automotive industry's in-vehicle infotainment market, introducing open source solutions to challenge the current proprietary approach currently taken by the auto industry.

The two companies have collaborated to create an open source Linux platform optimized for Intel's tiny new Atom processor. The specifications and the code from the platform will be released by Wind River to the open source community via Moblin.org.

Wind River also unveiled a platform based on an automotive-optimized commercial Linux. The Wind River Linux Platform for Infotainment is optimized for Atom, and offers integration with many leading third-party networking and multimedia applications, including speech-recognition technologies by Nuance Communications; Bluetooth and noise reduction solutions by Parrot; music management technologies by Gracenote; multimedia networking solutions by SMSC; and DVD playback by Corel's LinDVD.

This approach will enable the development of Open Infotainment Platforms that are based on interoperable, standards-based hardware and software components. This will allow manufacturers to scale software across devices, leading to cost and development efficiencies.

Wind River expects to deliver the open source specification and code to the Moblin.org in-vehicle infotainment community in August 2008.

Companies such as BMW Group, Bosch, Delphi and Magneti Marelli are actively supporting Wind River's strategy to drive Linux into the automotive market. Wind River already plays a leading role in collaborating with industry consortia aimed at developing open, Linux-based software platforms, namely: Eclipse, SCOPE-Alliance, OpenSAF, The Linux Foundation, LiMo Foundation and Open Handset Alliance.

For further information about Wind River's and Intel's open source efforts, visit http://opensource.windriver.com.

[lightning bolt]First Moonlight Release

Moonlight, the open-source alternative to Microsoft's Silverlight, (Wikipedia entry) has released its first efforts for anyone interested in contributing to the project. While it is not ready-to-use yet, this is the first step into inserting Silverlight into Linux by utilizing Mono.

[lightning bolt]NetBeans Community Links to PHP Community with NetBeans Early Access for PHP

At CommunityOne 2008 in May, Sun Microsystems and the NetBeans community announced NetBeans IDE 6.1 General Availability and the NetBeans IDE Early Access for the PHP scripting language, bringing the power of NetBeans to Web 2.0 developers. A download is available at http://www.netbeans.org.

NetBeans IDE Early Access for PHP includes intelligent editing features such as prioritized code completion, instant rename, mark occurrences, dynamic code templates, and easy navigation. Besides the editor, it provides debugging support, deployment to the local server, dynamic help, and sample projects making it easier to get started with PHP development. It also provides support for embedded CSS, HTML and JavaScript(TM) technologies. More details can be found here: http://www.netbeans.org/features/web/web-app.html

NetBeans evangelist Gregg Sporar told Linux Gazette: "The Early Access version of NetBeans support for PHP supports version 5.2 of the PHP language. Our goal is to also support version 5.3 of PHP later this year when we do a final release of our PHP support. Support for PHP 6 is on our road map, but is further out."

NetBeans 6.1 IDE includes new features for developing Ajax web applications using JavaScript(TM) technology and delivers tighter integration with MySQL(TM) database.

JavaScript technology support is based on the dynamic language infrastructure added for the Ruby programming language and includes: semantic highlighting, code completion, type analysis, quick fixes, semantic checks and refactoring. Version 6.1 also adds in a browser compatibility feature that makes it easier to write JavaScript code to run in Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari or Windows Internet Explorer.

The NetBeans Database Explorer in NetBeans IDE 6.1 makes it easier to create, start and stop MySQL databases and to connect to and browse a database's tables. Other new NetBeans features include faster startup and code completion, enhanced support for Ruby and JRuby, including a new Ruby platform manager and support for IBM's Rational ClearCase version control system.

For a full list of features or to download the NetBeans 6.1 IDE, visit: http://www.netbeans.org.

The free NetBeans Day community track offered developers a chance to learn from the experts, find out firsthand what's new and what's coming in the NetBeans IDE and Platform and to network with other members of the community. http://developers.sun.com/events/communityone

[lightning bolt]Ubuntu Live 2008 Canceled

Ubuntu Live, the conference that was scheduled to happen on July 21th in Portland, OR has been canceled. Canonical is going to add Ubuntu content to the OSCON, that will happen in the same weekend, at the same city.

[lightning bolt]OpenSolaris goes LiveCD

At the CommunityOne Developer Conference, Sun and the OpenSolaris community jointly announced a refreshed OpenSolaris, based on Sun's Solaris kernel and created through community collaboration. This version has many of the GNU and open source tools expected by Linux users and an enhanced package manager. Download the OpenSolaris OS now at http://www.opensolaris.com/.

"OpenSolaris ... combines the strong foundation of Solaris technologies and tools with modern desktop features and applications developed by open source communities such as GNOME, Mozilla and the Free Software Foundation," said Stephen Lau, OpenSolaris Governing Board member. "OpenSolaris provides an ideal environment for students, developers and early adopters looking to learn and gain experience with innovative technologies like ZFS, Zones and DTrace. And yes, it uses bash by default."

LiveCD installation and the new network-based OpenSolaris Image Packaging System (IPS) simplify and speed installation and integration with third-party applications. OpenSolaris IPS increases installation speed and accuracy by providing better control of applications and dependencies and offers easy-to-use system management. At a keynote demo, the LiveCD came up in about a minute. A full disk install had about 2 minutes of screens and then took 15 minutes on demo system.

The OpenSolaris OS is the first OS to feature ZFS as its default file system, protecting work with instant roll-back and continual check-summing capabilities to allow users to test ideas. Its Dynamic Tracing (DTrace) feature provides safe, pervasive observability of production systems to accelerate application development and optimization of the AMP/MARS stack. Additionally Solaris Containers can build virtualization-aware applications that can be deployed on single machines through multi-CPU and multi-core systems, without worrying if third-party software will work.

This release is called OpenSolaris 2008.5; the next major release is 2008.11 in 6 months.

[lightning bolt]HP and Novell offer Migration Program for HP Identity Management Customers

HP and Novell have formed an exclusive alliance to migrate HP Identity Center customers to Novell identity and security management solutions. As part of an agreement between the companies, HP and Novell will jointly offer migration services, HP will resell Novell identity and security management solutions and Novell will license HP Identity Center technology.

"HP and Novell have clarified a path forward for HP Identity Center customers who have invested in critical identity management infrastructure," said Gerry Gebel, vice president and service director, Burton Group. "The agreement between Novell and HP is a positive outcome for both vendors as they partner to address technology and services requirements of enterprises in an increasingly competitive industry."

"We chose to collaborate with Novell because of its outstanding set of technologies, recognized market leadership and tremendous commitment to working with HP customers," said Ben Horowitz, vice president and general manager, Business Technology Optimization, Software, HP.

The HP and Novell migration program will provide comprehensive support to customers throughout the transition process, including a license credit for first 12 months, migration services provided by the HP Consulting and Integration team and joint development of migration tools

More information about Novell identity and security management solutions is available at www.novell.com/identityandsecurity.

[lightning bolt]Concordia Project To Tackle Security Policy & Standards at Burton CatalystConference in June

The Concordia Project has announced a sixth face-to-face meeting on security standards taking place at Burton Group Catalyst Conference 2008 in San Diego on June 23. The public meeting is sponsored by Liberty Alliance and Burton Group and is the first Concordia event to focus on policy and entitlements management and associated standards such as XACML and WS-Policy.

The interactive session will feature representatives from Boeing, Cisco, Micron Technology and the US Army, among others, presenting use case scenarios to a Concordia technical team made up of representatives from, among others, IBM, BEA and Liberty Alliance. Registration and more information about the workshop is available at http://tinyurl.com/4dvtpa

The June 23 workshop follows the RSA Conference 2008 event where the community held its first interoperability demonstrations. Nearly 600 attended the public workshop where FuGen Solutions, Internet2, Microsoft, Oracle, Ping Identity, Sun Microsystems and Symlabs demonstrated interoperability scenarios designed to meet deployer requirements using Info Card, Liberty Alliance, and WS-* identity protocols. Previous meetings have taken place at RSA Conference 2007, Catalyst 2007, Digital ID World, the Identity Open Space (IOS) and the Internet Identity Workshop (IIW). All organizations and individuals interested in contributing to the deployment of standardized policy frameworks and proven interoperable standards-based solutions are encouraged to attend the June 23 workshop.

Conferences and Events

Data Governance 2008
June 2 - 5, Hotel Kabuki, San Franciso, CA
DC PHP Conference & Expo 2008
June 2 - 4, George Washington University, Washington, DC
Gartner IT Security Summit
June 2 - 4, Washington DC
Symantec Vision 2008
June 9 - 12, The Venetian, Las Vegas, NV
Red Hat Summit 2008
June 18 - 20, Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA
Gilbane Content Management Conference SF
June 18 - 28, San Franciso, CA
Velocity - Web Performance and Operations Conference
June 23 - 24, 2008, San Francisco, California
Dr. Dobb's Architecture & Design World 2008
July 21 - 24, Hyatt Regency, Chicago, IL
O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON)
July 21 - 25, Portland, Oregon
SansFire 2008
July 22 - 31, Washington, DC
July 26, 2008, Columbus, OH
The 17th USENIX Security Symposium
July 28 - August 1, San Jose, CA

Join top security researchers and practitioners in San Jose, CA, for a 5-day program that includes in-depth tutorials by experts such as Simson Garfinkel, Bruce Potter, and Radu Sion; a comprehensive technical program including a keynote address by Debra Bowen, California Secretary of State; invited talks including "Hackernomics," by Hugh Thompson; the refereed papers track including 27 papers presenting the best new research; Work-in-Progress reports; and a poster session. Learn the latest in security research including voting and trusted systems, privacy, botnet detection, and more.

USENIX Security '08
Register by July 14 and save up to $250!
Taipei Computer Applications Show 2008
July 31 - Aug 4, Taipei, Taiwan
Linuxworld Conference and Expo
August 4 - 7, San Francisco, California

Distro News

[lightning bolt]Fedora 9 is Out!

Less than a month after the release of the new version of Ubuntu, and following a half-year of its own development, the Fedora Project has introduced the Fedora 9 Linux distribution, a.k.a. 'Sulfur'. This distro sports a Linux 2.6.25 kernel, Glibc 2.8, and current versions of GNOME and KDE. It also adds PackageKit, a cross-distribution package management solution.

Fedora still has a complex install and there are reported problems coexisting with other OSes, something that Ubuntu has had in hand for a while, but this is a solid release with broad hardware support.

For more information on Fedora 9 visit: http://fedoraproject.org.

Release notes are here: http://docs.fedoraproject.org/release-notes/f9/

[lightning bolt]openSUSE 11.0 Beta 3 to be last

The openSUSE team has announced Beta 3 as the last beta release of openSUSE 11.0. Over 700 bugs have been fixed since Beta 2, including installation bugs.

The GA release of openSUSE 11 is expected mid-June.

Screenshots of 11.0 Beta 3 here: http://en.opensuse.org/Screenshots/openSUSE_11.0_Beta3
More information at: http://lists.opensuse.org/opensuse-announce/2008-05/msg00010.html

[lightning bolt]Damn Small Linux v4.4RC1

DSL's first Release Candidate for the 4.4 version is out and ready for testing. More info at:

[lightning bolt]MEPIS antiX 7.2 released

MEPIS has announced the release of MEPIS antiX 7.2, the lightweight variant of MEPIS Linux designed for older computers.

Built using the MEPIS Linux 7.0 core, including the 2.6.22 kernel and selected additions from Debian Lenny, the lightweight operating system is appropriate for older hardware and users who like a very fast functional system. Pre-configured window managers Fluxbox and IceWM, as well as Conky and ROX Desktop, come ready to use. The search tool Catfish and the video player gxine have been added.

AntiX is designed to work on computers with as little as 64 MB RAM and Pentium II or equivalent AMD processors, but not K5/K6 processors.

See: http://antix.mepis.com.

Software and Product News

[lightning bolt]Firefox 3 Release Candidate 1 is out

After almost 3 years of fixes and feature development, Firefox 3 Release Candidate 1 is now available for download.

Many new features and changes to the platform for Firefox 3 can be previewed now, including security enhancements and performance improvements over both FireFox 2 and IE 7. FF 3 will also do a better job at memory management.

Most new features are stable in the RC version, but several users have posted that about half of their Mozilla extensions, which worked well with Beta 4 and 5, are not working with the new RC1. The release notes mention this problem and add the following caution: "Poorly designed or incompatible extensions can cause problems with your browser, including make it crash, slow down page display, etc.". Mozilla recommends starting FF 3 in safe mode and removing the offending extension to resume normal operation.

Firefox 3 Release Candidate 1 is available in more than 45 languages as a public preview and can be downloaded from the Firefox Release Candidates page.

Release notes: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/3.0rc1/releasenotes/
Downloads: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-rc.html

[lightning bolt]Adobe Flash Player 10 beta released for Linux

Adobe's latest Flash Player, code-named Astro, was released for Linux. Adobe considers this "an opportunity for developers and consumers to test and provide early feedback to Adobe on new features, enhancements, and compatibility with previously authored content".

[lightning bolt]Melas v0.10.0

A new version of Melas, a system to easily build and package software used to create complete installable packages with dependency checks, was released on May 21. It has several bug-fixes and some new features, including the ability to generate Debian/Ubuntu-compatible dependency strings, integrated fakeroot for installer targets, and several other additions and fixes.i

[lightning bolt]Traffic Control

SpamAssassin just got a boost in its spam-catching ability with the release of Traffic Control by MailChannels. According to Justin Mason, creator of SpamAssassin, "It is clear that there is no perfect defense to spam, and while SpamAssassin provides a level of protection, it can be resource-intensive. Traffic Control for SpamAssassin provides comprehensive coverage of a wide spectrum of spam and other threats, while delivering major scalability benefits". The commercial use of Traffic Control requires a license, but it is completly free for non-commercial use, so if you use SpamAssassin, be sure to grab your copy.
Downloads: http://mailchannels.com/download
Press: http://news.mailchannels.com/2008_05_01_archive.html#1463842964922058052

[lightning bolt]Sun Unveils New Quad-Core AMD Opteron Systems

Sun Microsystems announced its first Sun Fire and Sun Blade systems powered by Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors, bringing increased performance and scalability. The Sun Fire X4140, Sun Fire X4240, and Sun Fire X4440 servers, the newest systems in Sun's x64 server line, give customers better energy efficiency, computer and memory density and scalability powered by Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors. The new Sun Fire systems offer a choice of operating systems including the OpenSolaris, Linux, Windows, and VMware.

For more information on pricing and features, please visit: http://www.sun.com/amd

To take advantage of special offers and promotions for these servers, including Sun's Try and Buy program, visit these URLs:

Talkback: Discuss this article with The Answer Gang

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 © 2008, 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 151 of Linux Gazette, June 2008