The best thing that ever happened to Linux might have been Windows Vista. It also hasn't hurt matters that Ubuntu continues to make the open-source side of the fence more accessible to new users. While Windows 7 more than makes up for Vista's woes, there are now 12 million users rocking Ubuntu.
The upcoming Lucid release may boost those numbers even higher, but the real growth came in the pre-Windows 7 days. In 2008, Canonical estimated there were some 8 million Ubuntu users, so that means there have been about 4 million added since then. Of course, these numbers aren't exact, but they're probably pretty close.
"We have no phone home or registration process, so it's always a guesstimate. But based on the same methodology that we came up with for the 2008 number, our present belief is that it's somewhere north of 12 million users at the moment," Chris Kenyon, vice president for OEM at Canonical, told InternetNews.com.
As impressive as the numbers are, Red Hat's Fedora leads Ubuntu by a good margin with an estimated 24 million installations.
You can't walk a mile on the Internet without stumbling across the same argument over and over: iPad or Chrome? Chrome or iPad? Apple, Google, and Microsoft walk into a room: there are two bats on the ground. Who comes out alive?
The answer, of course, is the proverbial letter D: none of the above. No matter how you slice and dice the various players in the netbook/laptop/tablet/whatever markets, the consumers are the ones that ultimately suffer from today's battles. In the case of Google and Apple, the loss is one of control. And I, myself, worry how this might represent the future of general or portable computing: A time when it's the manufacturer, not the user, who dictates every bit of how you interact with your system.
With the launch of Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) slated for release later this month, the programming team felt the time was right to release a few teaser details for version which will carry the codename Maverick Meerkat. Founder Mark Shuttleworth revealed in a blog entry today that since 10.04 was a long-term support release, the primary focus was on stability and refinement, not new features. 10.10 by comparison will be all about experimentation, and could include some "potentially radical changes".
Specifically Shuttleworth hints at a new UI for netbooks, along with improving the web experience, reducing boot times, and extending social networking integration on the desktop. It sounds to us like Shuttleworth covered off all the buzz words to peak our interest, and if he delivers on all these items, he well indeed might have a much more compelling netbook offering in the future.
"This is a time of change, and we're not afraid to surprise people with a bold move if the opportunity for dramatic improvement presents itself. We want to put Ubuntu and free software on every single consumer PC that ships from a major manufacturer, the ultimate maverick move," Shuttleworth wrote in the announcement. "Meerkats are, of course, light, fast and social-everything we want in a Perfect 10."
Ubuntu 10.10 is scheduled for release in October, but with 10.04 just around the corner I'm sure Ubuntu fans will have plenty to play with between now and then.
The Gnome free-software project this week announced a new version of the Gnome desktop environment and developer platform, Gnome 2.3.
"I'm really pleased with all of the updates in GNOME 2.30," said Stormy Peters, GNOME Executive Director. "I'm excited that I can automatically sync my Tomboy notes between my desktop and laptop computer, easily configure Facebook chat in Empathy instant messenger, and do more with PDFs in Evince. GNOME 2.30 provides everything I need for work and play."
Gnome's developers say the latest release contains significant user-visible improvements and adds a bunch of platform improvements. Also included is a preview of the Gnome Shell, which will replace the existing Gnome panel in Gnome 3.0.
The new release is available now via Gnome Live Media.
It may not have been popular, or even easy, but the simple fact that a PS3 could boot and run Linux was a pretty awesome bragging right, one that will be phased out on April 1st. According to the official Playstation blog April fools day will mark the release of Firmware version 3.21, and the death of the "install other OS" option on non slim PS3's.
Sony wasn't really specific as to why support for such a long-standing feature was being dropped, but like everything that's hard to explain "Security concerns" was picked as a blanket excuse. If you followed our How To guide last year to get this up and running, now might be a good time to say goodbye to your Linux install if you plan to keep using your console for online play.
April fools day is a terrible occasion to try and convince people you're making a serious announcement, but the fact that they are giving us almost a weeks notice makes me think they are serious about this one.
Novell has perused the most recent list of the top 500 supercomputers in the world, and nine of the top ten run on Linux. Not only that, but 85% of the entire list run Linux. It’s not hard to guess why Novell might take an interest in this; Novell’s SuSE Linux is the distro of choice in six of the top ten supercomputers.
After tabulations were complete, Novell wasted no time patting themselves on the back. “Supercomputers are helping to push the boundary of science and knowledge around the world, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server from Novell has been chosen as the optimal operating system to power many of these HPC environments for good reasons,” said Novell VP of Business Development Holger Dryoff.
The current king of the supercomputer hill is the Jaguar computer at the US Department of Energy Oak Ridge lab. It's quite a monster of a machine, capable of 2.3 petaflops. It runs Linux, but not Novell's SuSE. Rest assured, as soon as one of these supercomputers develops sentience and proceeds to wipe out humanity, odds are it will be running on open source. There will be no blue screen to save mankind.
Whether you are preparing to reuse a hard disk for another operating system, clear off your junk shelves by passing along outdated drives to a friend or relative, donate an old PC to a charity or school, discard a too-small USB drive or flash memory card, or repurpose an SSD, you don’t want to leave any information on the storage device. With stories abounding of identity theft aided by information lifted from discarded storage devices, you want devices you no longer plan to use to have no usable information when they head out the door.
When you erase/delete a file from your computer, it’s not really gone until the areas of the disk it used are overwritten by new information. If you use the normal Windows delete function, the “deleted” file is sent to the Recycle Bin until the space it uses is required by other files. If you use Shift-Delete to bypass the Recycle Bin, the space occupied by the file is marked as available for other files. However, the file could be recovered days or even weeks later with third-party data recovery software. As long as the operating system does not reuse the space occupied by a file with another file, the “deleted” file can be recovered.
In this article, we'll show you how to erase your drives the right way, leaving no trace behind.
Freescale refers to this reference design as the “Smartbook”, which is7.87 x 5.04 x 0.59 inches in size, with a 1024 x 600 resolution touchscreen. It has a i.MX515 processor with an ARM Cortex A8 core. It has 512MB DDR2 memory and from 4GB to 64GB internal storage. It is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capable, with support for 3G and RF4CE. It also has a 3 megapixel camera, a microSD slot, a USB2.0 port, a USB mini port, audio input/output, and a SIM card slot. The battery is charged via USB.
While the tablet itself looks good, though perhaps a tad small, its pricing makes it look even better. It’s reported that Freescale is positioning its tablet for the sub-$200 market. Not a bad deal, if the proof of concept bears out. We’ll know in a couple months, as rumor has it Freescale is looking to have its tablet available this Summer.
The Linux faithful should see quite a change when they download the next major release of the popular Ubuntu distro. Version 10.04 is expected to come with a heavily revamped default theme. Yes, gone are the days of the brown default theme that has graced Ubuntu installs since its introduction in 2004.
Canonical has evolved the look ever so slightly as the OS has gone through revisions. The look has been getting decidedly brighter as time goes on with oranges creeping into the desktop color scheme. An expected black/orange redesign back in the 8.04 days never materialized, but the idea of a visual refresh never went away.
The new theme uses “light” as the model. The iconic logo has also been refreshed slightly with a thinner font and overall reduction in size. The Canonical design document claims, “We're drawn to Light because it denotes both warmth and clarity, and intrigued by the idea that 'light' is a good value in software.” There are two different looks currently posted on the wiki page, it is unclear which will be the new default theme. Both have purple and orange elements, while one makes heavy use of slate grey, and the other uses light tans. These are still in the early stages, but it seems clear that Ubuntu will never look the same again.
Think about it for a second. Do you care if your programs are open-source? Do you care if companies whose services you frequent are built around open-source technology or not? Do you care whether their developers, in turn, support other open-source movements or not?
If you're not a decision-maker at a company when it comes to IT requirements or business operations, then no, open-source doesn't matter. If you're not a developer who has the knowledge--but more importantly, the time--to invest as much into an open-source project as you receive back from its functionality, then no, open-source doesn't matter either. If you're a typical computer user who wants programs that offer more than what you'd otherwise find in a vanilla Windows installation, then the concept of open-source really has no bearing on you.
Open-source matters as a concept. In its execution, however, a vast majority of enthusiasts, average folk, and neophytes could honestly care less. But why is that? Why aren't we all raising the flag with Linus Torvalds' head on it and parading through the aisles of our local electronics stores in support of the open-source movement?