Canonical remains on course to deliver the next major Ubuntu release, 10.10 aka “Maverick Meerkat,” on October 10, having reached the final development milestone: the Release Candidate. The London-based outfit has announced the Release Candidate for Ubuntu 10.10, which is “complete, stable, and suitable” apart from minor bugs that will be fixed before the final release.
The RC features version 2.32 of the GNOME desktop environment, a faster and cleaner boot process, and a vastly improved Software Center. The whole list of new features can be found here.
“Codenamed “Maverick Meerkat”, 10.10 continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution,” Canonical said in the announcement.
First unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in January this year, Lenovo's IdeaPad U1 hybrid tablet laptop seems to be taking forever to show up in stores. The latest delay has pushed back the launch of the U1 to 2011. The Chinese PC maker attributes the delay to the U1 not being up to the company's standards. Chinese consumers will the be the first ones to lay their hands on the redesigned product when it makes its retail debut next year.
We don't know what the IdeaPad U1 would look like after Lenovo is done revising it as per the company's quality standards, but we do know what it was originally meant to be: an 11.6-inch laptop with a display that doubled up as a Snapdragon-powered tablet when detached from the mother unit.
If you run a 64-bit version of Linux, take note, your system may be vulnerable to attack. Red Hat recently announced an exploit that would allow a local, unprivileged user to escalate their privileges, and while there are published workarounds, they may not completely plug up the security hole.
"The published workarounds that we've seen, including the workaround recommended by Red Hat, can themselves be worked around by an attack to still exploit the system," Jeff Arnold, CEO of Ksplice, said in a blog post. "For now, to be responsible and avoid helping attackers, we don't want to provide those technical details publicly; we've contacted Red Hat and other vendors with the details and we'll cover them in a future blog post, in a few weeks."
In the mean time, Ksplice -- which isn't a free service, but does offer a free trial -- can be used to receive advance notice of upcoming patches.
"Although it might seem self-serving, I do know of one sure way to fix this vulnerability right away on running production systems, and it doesn’t even require you to reboot: you can (for free) download Ksplice Uptrack and fully update any of the distributions that we support (We support RHEL, CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, Parallels Virtuozzo Containers, OpenVZ, and CloudLinux," Arnold explains. "For high profile updates like this one, Ksplice optionally makes available an update for your distribution before your distribution officially releases a new kernel). We provide a free 30-day trial of Ksplice Uptrack on our website, and you can use this free trial to protect your systems, even if you cannot arrange to reboot anytime soon. It’s the best that we can do to help in this situation, and I hope that it’s useful to you."
Keep in mind that if an attacker has already comprised one of your Linux rigs, updating the system won't do a lick of good by itself since the exploit installs a backdoor. You can use this test tool to find out for sure.
Linus Torvalds, who has been living in the United States since 1997 and has two children born in America, is now officially an American citizen himself.
"Yeah, yeah, we should probably have done the citizenship thing a long time ago, since we've been here long enough (and two of the kids are U.S. citizens by virtue of being born here), but anybody who has had dealings with the INS will likely want to avoid any more of them, and maybe things have gotten better with a new name and changes, but nothing has really made feel like I really need that paperwork and headache again," Torvalds explained in a blog post.
In addition to fathering two children, Torvalds is also recognized as the father of Linux, the open source project he presented to the world in September, 1991 when he uploaded the first version of Linux, version 0.01. The rest, as they say, is history.
The right to vote played a part in Torvald's decision to finally become a U.S. citizen. In an interview with NetworkWorld.com, Torvalds pointed out that "Being an alien means that you can't vote, and seeing all the news being about the presidential election (and all the streets here locally littered with signs about the local school bond) tends to remind you about the issue."
"Broadcom would like to announce the initial release of a fully-open Linux driver for its latest generation of 11n chipsets," Broadcom announced late last week. "The driver, while still a work in progress, is released as full source and uses the native mac80211 stack."
Broadcom went on to say that the drivers support multiple current chips (BCM4313, BCM43224, BCM43225) while also providing a framework for supporting additional chips in the future, like the mac80211-aware embedded parts.
We believe that everyone who considers themselves a computer enthusiast should have at least some experience with a Linux environment, but it can be daunting to just jump into the deep end of a completely unfamiliar operating system. One way to get your feet wet is with Cygwin, a free program that provides you with a Unix-like command line, without having to leave Windows. Cygwin is not a Unix emulator (it cannot run native Unix programs, although it does contain the tools needed to compile and run a program from source code), but it does have a wide array of optional packages that let you use most of the tools and utilities that you would commonly use in Unix, in Windows. In this guide, we’ll show you how to get Cygwin set up, the basics of how to navigate a Unix file system, and how to find more information as you need it.
Windows is proprietary. Microsoft Office is proprietary. Internet Explorer is proprietary. In fact, just about every piece of code that comes out of Redmond is proprietary, yet Microsoft likes, nay, LOVES open source. That's right, Sir Skepticism, the largely closed source software giant has a soft spot for open source software, or so Microsoft claims.
"We love open source," says Jean Paoli of Microsoft in a recent interview with Network World (told you so). "We have worked with open source for a long time now."
So where does that leave Linux, Microsoft's main rival next to the Mac OS X platform? Linux and open source aren't necessarily inclusive, and according to Paoli, Microsoft goofed by equating all open source technology to Linux "very early on." But, "that was a really long time ago," he adds. "We understand our mistake."
Paoli, who is the co-creator of the XML specification, is involved with promoting Microsoft's interoperability strategy among key components of cloud networks. It isn't all open source, but it does show Microsoft making an effort to embrace open technologies rather than automatically dismiss them.
Network World has a whole bunch more on the subject (4 pages worth) here.
Well, this is a bit of a bummer. In the wake of Valve's release of Steam for OSX, there were rumors that a Linux version was in the works. In a recent interview with Gamesindustry.biz, Valve's VP of Marketing Doug Lombardi let it slip that Steam for Linux isn't in development. "There's no Linux version that we're working on right now," said Lombardi.
We'd like to point out he did qualify that statement with "right now." That could theoretically mean that a Linux version of Steam could happen in the future. He could have been more categorical in his denial, but it's still sad for fans of Tux. We're still holding out hope Valve is just building suspense for a big reveal at some later date. Hey, it could happen, right?
The next iteration of Ubuntu will accommodate Canonical's UTouch framework, making it the first version of the world's most popular linux distro to feature multitouch support. Codenamed Maverick Meerkat, Ubuntu version 10.10 is scheduled for release on October 10, 2010. According to a post on Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth's official blog, at least a four-finger touch device is needed “to get the most out of it.”
He also revealed that Canonical is developing the new feature using the Dell Latitude XT2 as its development platform. “The design team has lead the way, developing a “touch language” which goes beyond the work that we’ve seen elsewhere. Rather than single, magic gestures, we’re making it possible for basic gestures to be chained, or composed, into more sophisticated 'sentences,'” the South African entrepreneur wrote in a blog post Monday.
“The basic gestures, or primitives, are like individual verbs, and stringing them together allows for richer interactions. It’s not quite the difference between banging rocks together and conducting a symphony orchestra, but it feels like a good step in the right direction.”