ARM Joins Linux Foundation

"ARM, maker of microprocessors and microcontrollers used in mobile and embedded electronics, has joined the Linux Foundation. Amanda McPherson, vice president, marketing and developer programs, at The Linux Foundation said in the announcement 'By joining the Linux Foundation, ARM is demonstrating its commitment to open standards and Linux.' To date, ARM has shipped more than 10 billion ARM processors in mobile devices, many of which run Linux. Ian Drew, EVP Marketing at ARM, said that 'joining the Linux Foundation is a natural step towards advancing innovation in the Linux community for a rich, always-connected, computing experience.'"

Carrier Pigeon Faster Than South-African Broadband

In an attempt to show just how slow South Africa's Telkom broadband is, a frustrated IT company had a race to see which would be faster: transferring 4GB by sending a USB drive via pigeon 60 miles away, or transferring the files via the broadband connection. There were even rules in place so as to not have any unfair advantage over the broadband such as "birdseed must not have any performance-enhancing seeds within." It was faster to send the data by pigeon than by broadband. It took the bird about an hour to reach the recipient station, and it took another hour to transfer the data to the other computer. The file being transferred via the broadband connection was still at 4%. Telkom said that it is not responsible for the firm's slow Internet speed. Winston, the bird, is safely back in the IT office, probably enjoying birdseed without any performance-enhancing caplets mixed in.

Microsoft Launches Non-Profit Open Source Foundation

Microsoft is creating a 501.c non-profit organization (called the CodePlex Foundation) that will support open source projects from the community. That's a little funny since proof was uncovered that they were providing anti-Linux training in this very same week. The foundation is different from the CodePlex website, launched in 2006. The website is rather a complementing factor to the foundation, or vise versa. A FAQ about the project said, "The Foundation is solving similar challenges; ultimately aiming to bring open source and commercial software developers together in a place where they can collaborate. This is absolutely independent from the project hosting site, but it is essentially trying to support the same mission. It is just solving a different part of the challenge, a part that isn't designed to solve... We believe that commercial software companies and the developers that work for them under-participate in open source projects."

Jobs Makes First Public Appearance Since Transplant

After back and forth rumors about the health of Apple's revered Steve Jobs way back in last year and the beginning of 2009, it turned out that he really did have some health problems: complications with his liver requiring a transplant. It was supposed that he'd return to Apple by the end of June, and now he's finally made his first public appearance since he first took his medical leave of absence earlier this year.

Microsoft Offers BestBuy Employees Anti-Linux Training

According to a leak from a BestBuy employee, Microsoft is initiating a sort of "Anti-Linux Training" course for the employees, and those who take part in the said training are rewarded with a copy of Windows 7 for only ten dollars. The leaked screenshots of the campaign show Microsoft's comparison of its own system with an obscure "Linux" and how Windows is better in every way including security, "free downloads", and software and hardware compatibility.

KDE 4.3.1 Released

In sync with its release schedule, the KDE team has released KDE 4.3.1, the latest and greatest in the KDE line. This monthly release includes fixes for many outstanding bugs, including several crash fixes, and support for transferring files over ssh via KIO::Fish. Those who use KDE can wait for it to be updated on its own or can always download it themselves. On a sadder note, a family member of one of the developers on the team recently passed away; this release is dedicated to her. "KDE 4.3.1 is dedicated to Emma Hope Pyne, the daughter of Michael Pyne. Emma Hope suddenly passed away last week. The KDE community feels incredibly sad about this loss and wishes Michael and the family and friends all the strength needed to cope with the loss of Emma Hope." Our best wishes go out to Michael and his family.

Talks of RISC OS Porting to ARM Cortex-A8

"US-based company Genesi, which builds ARM Cortex-powered appliances that could be compatible with the RISC OS Open Beagleboard work, is said to be in talks with RISC OS companies over a possible port of the OS to its products. It's hoped ROS 5 could be made to run on the lightweight EFIKA MX Open Client, which sports a 800MHz Cortex-A8 processor, 3D graphics hardware, 512M RAM, wifi networking and more. Genesi analyst Matt Sealey said: 'RISC OS is really popular in the UK and the last dedicated RISC OS box - the Iyonix - has been discontinued for six months. We are currently questioning the relevant companies in the UK, including Castle, about collaboration and marketing efforts, and the support they'd need to make it a reality.'"

Remotes and Connectivity: Reason No. 6 Why We’re Fat

While browsing the ever-wider world web today, I came across a story about IBM's patent of a sort of "Facebook Remote Control." It was appalling. Do we seriously need more single-purpose devices that will enable us to sit around more wasting more time than we already do? Does anyone really need to seclude themselves from the world even more to publish their lives on yet another teen-infested network? Must we really always be connected to the net? Read on for my ramble concerning a dark side of technology.

Fedora Stirs in Moblin Technology

The next version of Fedora, Fedora 12, will integrate a Moblin Desktop Environment. It can be easily "groupinstalled" via the yum package manager. The environment has already been added to the Constantine alpha release of Fedora 12 and to Fedora's "Rawhide" development branch. They're seeking testers to "make it great" for the final release of Fedora 12, which will be released in early November.

Eee Keyboard Delayed, Hopefully Launches October

It was a sad day when the Eee Keyboard's initial release date of sometime in August was (which, unless it magically appears for sale today, it's not going to happen) was delayed. The drool-worthy piece of work, which we detailed some months ago, just arrived at the FCC. "Interestingly, the test reports indicate the presence of a UWB radio in addition WiFi and Bluetooth, so it looks like we'll see the planned wireless HDMI model even after the spec pretty much hit the skids earlier this summer. We'll see how it goes -- and if we get that interesting Moblin version alongside the Windows edition when this thing eventually ships." Rumors have been floating around about an October release. Hopefully that's the case (or sooner). Pocketbooks at the ready, gentlemen and ladies.

Canonical Unveils New Ubuntu Software Store

"With the Ubuntu Software Store, Canonical is hoping to unify all of the different package management needs into a single, unified interface. While this will not be achieved in Ubuntu 9.10, Canonical is hoping that all of the capabilities of the update-manager, Synaptic, the computer janitor application, gdebi, and other package management-related programs will be merged into Ubuntu Software Store. When this has occurred, it will be easier on the new end-user having to just deal with a single program to provide all of this functionality."

How Are USB Drives Made?

"No, Billy, USB thumb drives are not made in a magical land with fairy dust and Unicorn tears, and they're not born in the space beneath the Razzleberry waterfall. Yes, we're as shocked as you are. Luckily, the gang at Netbook News are on hand to set us straight with this video of the Kingston Manufacturing Plant, which offers us a rare glimpse into all of the stamping, printing, baking, cutting, and packaging that goes into getting you the portable storage you crave."

Unix Celebrates 40 Years

"The computer world is notorious for its obsession with what is new - largely thanks to the relentless engine of Moore's Law that endlessly presents programmers with more powerful machines. Given such permanent change, anything that survives for more than one generation of processors deserves a nod. Think then what the Unix operating system deserves because in August 2009, it celebrates its 40th anniversary. And it has been in use every year of those four decades and today is getting more attention than ever before."

Reflective Surfaces No Problem for Logitech Mice

"According to Logitech, the Performance and Anywhere use dark field microscopy to detect microscopic particles and micro-scratches on high-gloss surfaces, rather than tracking the surface itself. The mouse sensor 'sees' the clean areas of glass as a dark background with bright dots and then interprets the movement of the dots to precisely track where the device has been moved. The Logitech Performance Mouse will be available in the US and Europe in August for $100, while the mobile-friendly Anywhere Mouse is expected to retail at $80." I don't know how many times I've cursed shiny new desks and wished that someone would finally utilize that dark field microscopy technique (end bad humor). Thank heaven for Logitec finally breaking through.

Stats: Linux Kernel Development Speeds Up

The Linux Foundation has made some analyzation the past two years into just how much code is being added to the project and who is doing that contribution. This year's report is out, and the results are actually quite smile-worthy if you're a Linux advocate: the increase in code contributions is phenomenal, the rate at which these contributions are being submitted is faster, and there are more individual developers than previously.

Some of the Best Free Linux Games

"The many thousands of free games available for Linux has made it difficult to select which ones deserve a special mention. For this article, our objective is not to necessarily select games which have flawless graphics and sound, but instead to identify games which are highly addictive and have great playability. It has taken us weeks of heated discussions to whittle down the games into just 42 titles. We have tried to cover a wide range of game genres. Hopefully there will be something in this article which will be of interest to any type of gamer."

Moonlight 2.0 Released for All Your Beta Needs

The beta for Moonlight 2.0 is now available. It's considered feature complete and is ready to test against Silverlight 2.0-minded websites. Microsoft has already gone and released Silverlight 3.0, but the Moonlight team is pretty confident that users will generally be able to access most if not all web content while Silverlight 3.0 is still young. Moonlight will ask to update itself to the beta automatically in Firefox, but new users can also download the plugin.

Dell Confirmed to be Building Smarphone for China

Rumors had been circulating for months about the mysterious Dell smartphone, and it seems that they've finally been realized-- at least for China. Little details about the smartphone have been released, but we do know that it'll be a 2G smartphone running Android, it's called the "Mini3i," and it "will offer a full complement of music, games and other downloadable content." The release date is still in the dark as is whether or not Dell will eventually spread its smartphone market outside of China. About Dell's Mini3i, an analyst said, "It makes sense for a company like Dell to enter the smartphone market, but what they need to do is find something that sets themselves apart." This is all too true as too many smartphones (and many other devices, for that matter) have the "Me Too" syndrome.

Review of Jolicloud: The Social Netbook OS

A fellow at CNET did a review of a beta version of another Linux distribution built specifically for netbooks. "One of those , called Jolicloud, is launching in beta in the next few months. Created by Tariq Krim, who founded and later left widget-based start page Netvibes, the alternate OS has been designed for Web workers, or people who do most of their work (or play) on Web applications and services. I've been giving it a thorough run-though over the past few days and have come away impressed at what it's trying to do. Some bits and pieces are definitely still beta, but the underlying approach of making Web sites and software applications feel the same, as well as introducing users to new ones to use is really innovative."