City of Munich: “Migration to sustainable desktop completed successfully”

30 05 2013

The administration of the city of Munich in Germany has completed the switch to the open source desktop, says Peter Hofmann, head of the migration project last week Wednesday. The IT department is now securing the strategy, to make sure it can be maintained by the city and to sustainably support interactions with citizens, businesses and other public authorities.

Hofmann, speaking at the Linux Tag conference in Berlin on 22 May, is confident that the city’s open source strategy can be maintained because it is focused on sustainability. “We took small steps, instead of a big bang approach. We prefer quality over time and choose making it ourselves over waiting or spending.”

The city is now using a unified desktop system, Limux, its own distribution based on the Ubuntu Linux open source operating system and open source applications, on 14,000 of the total 15,000 desktops, spread over 51 offices across the city. That is 2,000 more than it’s intended goal, using Limux on 80 % of its desktops. Hofmann confirmed that the city will now switch to using the LibreOffice, an open source suite of office productivity tools, replacing the current open source alternative OpenOffice, that is used since 2006.

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UK to launch first-ever satellite controlled by a mobile phone… and the scientists have chosen a Google Nexus handset

9 02 2013


British space scientists are gearing up to launch the world’s first satellite run entirely using a mobile phone.

The unique STRaND-1 satellite, developed by researchers from the University of Surrey, will be fully controlled by a Google Nexus phone during part of its six-month space mission.

It will launch into a 785km sun-synchronous orbit on the Indian Space Research Organisation’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from Sriharikota, India, on February 25.

The satellite’s launch will be an interesting test of the oft-repeated claim that the mobile phone in your pocket has more computing power than was used to send a man to the Moon.

At the heart of STRaND-1 is an unmodified Nexus One smartphone running an Android operating system, according to Dr Chris Bridges, the Surrey Space Centre’s lead engineer on the venture.

‘We haven’t gutted the Nexus. We’ve done lots and lots of tests on it; we’ve put our own software on it. But we’ve essentially got a regular phone, connected up the USB to it and put it in the satellite,’ he told the BBC.

The smartphone is pressed up against a side panel of the 30cm-long, 4.3kg cubesat, so that it’s 5MP camera can look out and take pictures of the Earth and the Moon.

Read Full Article @Daily Mail

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Former Microsoft Staff Xuxian Jiang Spreads Android FUD

13 12 2012

Summary: A former Microsoft Research Intern is spreading some more “malware”-themed FUD about Android

ABOUT a year ago we wrote about lawyer who was spreading Android FUD after he had removed evidence (from his CV) of former Microsoft employment. He just sort of airbrushed it out of his career history, and just in time for an attack on Android. He then collaborated with a Microsoft lobbyist (who routinely pushes journalists to publish Android/Linux horror stories) in spreading his FUD. This is not a coincidence. It’s a pattern we learned to recognise.

Several weeks ago, former Microsoft staff crafted another piece of “malware”-themed FUD against Android. They try to play an angle which is clearly neglecting to account for trusted repositories and such. If one really insists on installing malware on one’s system, then harm is self-inflicted.

A couple of days ago, Android-hostile sites flooded the press with the “malware” talking point again, attributing the claims to someone who came from Purdue University. His old homepage is gone from the Web now. It was removed recently, but Google still has a cached copy that says:

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Torvalds Kicks Original Linux PC Into Dustbin of History

12 12 2012

Linus Torvalds

On January 2, 1991 a young Helsinki student named Linus Torvalds went shopping for the most badass computer he could afford. He spent FIM 18,000 — about $3,500 — on a gray brick that came with a 33 megahertz processor and 4 megabytes of RAM.

This unremarkable machine turned out to be a historic computer. Usenet post, announcing the birth of Linux., announcing the birth of Linux. And this was the hardware Torvalds used to painstakingly build the very first different emulators, drivers, and utilities that would help him turn Linux into the wold’s most awesome operating system.

On Wednesday, he severed a final tie with that box. He accepted a patch from developer Ingo Molnar that dropped support for Intel’s old 386 microprocessors, the brains of the DX33 system that Torvalds had purchased all those years ago.

But he was a little wistful too. “Unfortunately there’s a nostalgic cost: your old original 386 DX33 system from early 1991 won’t be able to boot modern Linux kernels anymore,” he wrote. “Sniff.”

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Qemu 1.3 Released: qemu-kvm merge into qemu complete

5 12 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 – 10:23 Haydn Solomon

Qemu 1.3 has been released and with it completes the merge of qemu-kvm into qemu.  This means that you can now use “vanilla” qemu to run your kvm virtual machines.  No more need to run the special version of qemu optimized for kvm.  Many other features and enhancements also comes along with this release such as big improvements in USB3, live disk mirroring, support for glusterfs volumes and improved spice support for legacy vga mode.

Below is a list published on the mailing list of these new features and enhancements.

Support for USB mass storage devices and MSI/MSI-X support for the XHCI controller.
New paravirtualized hardware random number generator device.
Glusterfs volumes can be accessed with “gluster://” URIs for “-drive” and similar options. Optionally the transport can also be specified, as in “gluster+tcp://” (other supported transports are “unix” and “rdma”).
A new block job is supported: live block commit (also known as “snapshot deletion”) moves data from an image to another in the backing file chain.
A new block job is supported: live disk mirroring (also known as “storage migration”) moves data from an image to another.
The sendkey monitor command is now available via QMP.

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Dell releases powerful, well-supported Linux Ultrabook

30 11 2012


The laptop comes with Ubuntu Linux 12.04 LTS plus a few additions. Dell worked closely with Canonical and the various peripheral manufacturers to ensure that well-written, feature-complete drivers are available for all of the laptop’s hardware. Out of the box the laptop will just work. They also have their own PPA if you want to pull down the patches separately, either to reload the laptop or to use on a different machine.

The hardware is solid, but the software is the fun part. The Project Sputnik team cooked up two open source tools which come preloaded on the laptop, aimed at automating setting up development environments and making deployment easier: the Profile Tool and the Cloud Launcher.

To find out more, Ars spent some time with Barton George, Web Vertical Director at Dell and one of the biggest driving forces behind Project Sputnik. The Profile Tool, described here on George’s blog, is an application that facilitates the installation of preconfigured development tools, referred to as “profiles.” It’s originally the idea of Charles Lowell, one of the early Project Sputnik “alpha cosmonauts” (the awesome appellation for those who helped test the project in its early stages). The Profile Tool is almost a “reverse cloud” deployment utility, pulling distributed resources down from the cloud to your local workstation.

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Microsoft Cut Surface Tablet Orders In Half

30 11 2012

Microsoft’s decision to do its own hardware with the Surface tablet is not working out, according to a story at Taiwanese site DigiTimes.

It cut its order of Surface tablets for the year to two million units, down from four million, according to supply chain sources speaking with DigiTimes.

Says DigiTimes, “sources from the upstream supply chain believe [Windows 8] may not perform as well as expected in the market.”

Other PC companies like Asus, Samsung, and Dell are seeing weak demand for Windows 8 tablets, says DigiTimes.

Yesterday, Asus CFO David Chang confirmed this, saying, “Demand for Windows 8 is not that good right now.”

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