Archive | May 2015

Kubuntu’s Riddell Out for Not Playing Nice with Others

ubuntuSeems a feud has been brewing behinds the scenes of two of most popular distributions today. That feud, over Canonical’s intellectual property policy, ended with the ouster of Kubuntu project leader Jonathan Riddell. There has been enough noise to prompt Canonical into posting a statement saying Riddell was removed for being disrespectful, becoming increasingly difficult to deal with, and for not assuming the best intentions from Canonical.

In May 2013 Canonical posted their intellectual policy basically saying that anything included in their distribution was theirs and couldn’t be redistributed despite the underlying Open Source license. That ruffled a lot of feathers at the time and several developers never forgot. Some have been trying to get a clarification from Canonical before threatening legal or other action, but some feel Canonical is stalling. No one more than Jonathan Riddell felt the frustration from the glacial pace of Canonical’s legal wrangling. He continued to question the Canonical Council on IP and is now no longer recognized by Canonical. The Kubuntu community who chose Riddell continues to back him and recently reaffirmed their decision. Shuttleworth wrote that Riddell’s refusal to step down nor the community re-vote has any bearing on the decision.

 

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#ISupportJonathan Banner as posted on KFN

 

Canonical spokesman José Antonio Rey posted some of the offending communications from (and to) Riddell. They characterized his communications as causing "offense and were potentially harmful to the community due to his making worst case assumptions." In addition, "Jonathan was insensitive to the requests that he be more respectful and that he was making the situation more difficult." Rey quoted Riddell saying the following in March:

* "czajkowski: best stop giving in to their stalling and just make a statement”
* "mhall119: make a public statement saying it is untrue and irrelevent”
* "pleia2: so make a public statement that it is untrue”
* "czajkowski: so time to give up on the canonical legal dept, they have been stalling for a year, enough already”
* "I’m astonished that the CC doesn’t understand the basics of free software or how it can be harmed by claims that our software is not Free”

It appears to be an old-fashioned standoff. Canonical has asked for Riddell’s resignation and no longer recognizes him as the Kubuntu lead. Riddell refuses to step down and the Kubuntu community refuses to make him.

In other news:

* BusinessInsider.com is reporting that employee lawsuits are what finally sunk the SS. Mandriva. They quoted former CEO Jean-Manuel Croset as saying, "The company was finally at the tipping point of profitability when employee lawsuits forced it into bankruptcy."

* Christine Hall offers her Five reasons to use Linux.

* Debian 8.1 point release due June 6.

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Google’s Brillo is an OS for the Internet of Things

Does the Internet of Things (IoT) need its own operating system? Google thinks it does, and has announced its own offering, Brillo, along with a new common language for connected devices called Weave. Brillo is based on Android and is aimed primarily at devices featuring slower processors and not a lot of memory. The Brillo platform manages and stores data collected by sensors in devices.

If Brillo doesn’t sound all that ambitious, remember that many of the devices in homes and organizations that are being imbued with IoT intelligence are common objects that won’t have a lot of processing power and memory.

 "Since Brillo is based on the lower levels of Android, you can choose from a wide range of hardware platforms and silicon vendors," Google reports. Meanwhile, Weave is positioned as communications-focused:

"Weave provides seamless and secure communication between devices both locally and through the cloud. It’s integrated into the Google mobile platform, so support is built-in to Android and easily available for iOS….The Weave program will drive interoperability and quality through a certification program that device makers must adhere to. As part of this program, Weave provides a core set of schemas that will enable apps and devices to seamlessly interact with each other…Nest and Nest ecosystem devices will also use Weave, so they can easily and securely interoperate with devices from other manufacturers."

 Brillo was announced at Google I/O. According to The Verge:

"Google is rejoining the Internet of Things platform wars. Today at its I/O conference, the company announced Brillo, the ‘underlying operating system for the internet of things,’ with a developer preview coming in Q3 of this year. Brillo is derived from Android but ‘polished’ to just the lower levels. It supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy, and other Android things."

Of course, The AllSeen Alliance is also evolving its common tools and platform for connecting IoT devices. As its leader Philip DesAutels told us in an interview, the Internet of Things is headed for big things in the coming years:

“In five years, I think all of this will be around us everywhere, in everything,” he said. “Predictions that were made three and four years ago have already come true in terms of the ubiquity of bandwidth, connectivity, the availability of radios, and more. We are going to have a lot of power to orchestrate the experiences that we want.”

“The next phase is going to be the really transformational phase,” DesAutels noted. “Systems around you will have a whole lot more information. They’ll be able to deliver a lot more value.”

 

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Considering Hadoop? Evaluate Apache Drill Along With It

MapR Technologies, which focuses on Apache Hadoop, recently announced the general availability of Apache Drill 1.0 in the MapR Distribution. Drill, which we’ve covered before, delivers self-service SQL analytics without requiring pre-defined schema definitions, dramatically reducing the time required for business analysts to explore and understand data.

We interviewed MapR’s Tomer Shiran about the addition of Drill in the MapR Hadoop distribution.  In addition to that interview, Tomer has now posted a video-based whiteboard walkthrough on how to deploy Drill and connect it to Business Intelligence tools. It’s available here.

According to Tomer Shiran, Drill brings flexibility to Big Data tasks. In our interview, he said: 

"When you look at the role of a query engine, you want to be able to execute queries really quickly on a lot of data. But you don’t really want a lot of overhead from things like loading data, creating and maintaing schemas, and transporting and converting data. Drill gives you what you want from a query engine without all of that overhead. It makes for much more agile queries."

Many Hadoop users have to maintain schemas and pre-process data with old approaches to queries. They also can take one-cluster-at-a-time approaches. But as the whiteboard walkthrough on Drill makes clear:

"Sometimes  you may want to query data that actually doesn’t sit on the cluster and  actually can’t sit on the same physical cluster where Drill is running.  For example, if you think about something like AmazonS3, that’s  actually, think of that as some remote storage system whose  implementation details aren’t important, but Drill has to be able to  talk to that remotely. In that case, you have just the Drill bit running  on every node in the cluster and these Drill bits are communicating  directly with the S3 storage through the standard S3 APIs. That’s how  Drill operates."

There are very interesting things going on in the Big Data space, and Drill is destined to become an important tool for many organizations. It’s worth taking a look at the MapR whiteboard walkthrough, especially if you are considering deployment of Hadoop.


 

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Some Basic Linux Commands I Have Used During My Linux Journey – Part 3

As I use linux each day I have to deal with new things and so I learn new commands. I am sure that if you took a look at the previous two parts you know the purpose of piping output of one command as…

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Tweak Your Fedora 22 Desktop Using Fedy And PostinstallerF

None of the Linux distributions comes with all essential applications for daily usage, Agree? You have to install additional Repositories, softwares like Chrome, Flash player, Java or something in…

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How To Auto-Minify JavaScript Files on Page Load in Apache Using UglifyJS

Minifying your JavaScript files is a way of securing your JavaScript codes and reducing your page size, this cannot be done while coding, we have tools for it. But what if you code hands-free and…

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After 17 Years Mandriva Being Liquidated

mandrivaIt’s with a heavy heart that I report that Mandriva Linux is no more. Mandrake Linux, as it was known in the beginning, was the Linux distribution that freed my computer from the lock-in and insecurity of proprietary alternatives. While saddened, no one is really surprised at this last whimper. Mandriva suffered financial issues for nearly the entirety of its existence, even filing bankruptcy at least once. Fortunately, with projects like Mageia and OpenMandriva, Mandrake Linux will live on in more than just our memories.

News of Mandriva’s final demise broke a couple of days ago with the report of their liquidation. Mandriva has been trying for years to bring in enough commercial business to stay afloat. OpenMandriva, the desktop offshoot, was born in order to save the workstation version. Mandriva had suffered with financial difficulties for years and many in Mandriva desktop development and its close community members feared this day would come. So, they banded together to form OpenMandriva. Of course, Mageia Linux is another fork of Mandriva which also formed with the idea of saving the legacy of Mandrake/Mandriva in the process of reaching for the future. PCLinuxOS, while developed separately now, began life as and remained a derivative of Mandrake/Mandriva for several years. ROSA Desktop is also a fork of Mandriva out of Russia. While the commercial arm of Mandriva is forever gone, these and other projects will keep the original vision alive – to provide an easy and beautiful desktop Linux experience to new and advanced users alike.

Mandriva Founder, who was forced out in what some call a ‘hostile takeover’ over a decade ago, has remained a discrete cheerleader for Mandrake in all its incarnations. He said yesterday to not be sad for this is the nature of FOSS. He reminded readers that OpenMandriva, PCLinuxOS, and Mageia remain and even warned folks to be more focused on "today’s IT concerns: privacy and the Google hegemony." He doesn’t regret founding Mandrake Linux, a user-friendly yet cutting-edge fork of Red Hat, to which many users today owe their Linux existence.

OpenMandriva’s Kate Lebedeff paid tribute to the father of their work saying:

Mandrake was the first distribution to make a free operating system available which could be installed and configured by anyone who could use a keyboard and a mouse. The OpenMandriva Association was created to unite the distribution formally known as Mandriva (aka Mandrake); to bring it back to its roots. We thank Mandriva SA for their support at the start and wish the remaining Mandriva employees well for the future. We do and will do our very best to continue to hold and carry their crown – for you.

OpenMandriva 2014.2 will be available in a matter of days according to the same post.

Goodnight Mandrake Linux – thanks for all the fish!

In other news:

Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst has a new book out on how to be a success in Open Source.

Richard Hughes has a little tip for those wondering where are their applications in new Fedora 22.

The Internet of Things: a Surveillance State in Disguise?

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