With NetworkManager 0.7, which can be found in most modern Linux distributions already, there is "out of the box" support for many mobile broadband / cellular cards in this excellent network management utility. Most SM, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HDSPA, HSUPA, and EVDO devices can then provide an Internet connection to a Linux host usually with the click of a menu item from the NetworkManager plug-in. However, not all mobile broadband devices play well with Linux right now.
A year ago Nokia had bought out Trolltech, the company behind the popular Qt tool-kit, and since then we have seen a few major changes. In September, Trolltech was renamed to Qt Software and then Nokia then decided to license Qt 4.5+ under the LGPL while still offering versions under the GNU GPLv3 and their commercial license. The latest announcement to come out of Nokia / Qt Software is that they will be discontinuing development of Qt Jambi.
NetworkManager, the exceptional free software utility for managing wired and wireless (including mobile broadband / cellular connections), is about to reach its next major milestone since the release of NetworkManager 0.7.0 in the second half of 2008. Red Hat's Dan Williams and his fellow NetworkManager engineers are preparing to release NetworkManager 0.7.1.
Last January when KDE 4 was released it was shared by Trolltech that Qt would be relicensed under the GNU GPLv3. Less than two weeks after that announcement, Nokia acquired Trolltech, the company behind the Qt tool-kit. In September, Trolltech was renamed to Qt Software. Almost a year to the day after Trolltech announced Qt would be put under the GPLv3, Qt Software has announced Qt 4.5 will be relicensed.
The Btrfs file-system was merged into the mainline Linux kernel prior to the release of Linux 2.6.29-rc1, but now a new release of Btrfs is available.
Pidgin 2.5.3 was released yesterday afternoon with 58 changes worth mentioning in its change-log. Some of the changes in this instant messaging client update include a massive code clean-up in the MSN support, improvements to MySpace IM, quite a few new patches, IM images for Gadu-Gadu, and many other changes in Pidgin and its related packages (libpurple, Finch, and the protocols).
The Python Software Foundation has this afternoon announced the much-anticipated release of Python 3.0 (a.k.a. Python 3000). Version 3.0 of the Python language breaks compatibility with Python 2.x with many deprecated features now being removed and a number of significant changes -- including numerous syntax differences.
The Xiph.Org Foundation has announced the 1.0 release of the Theora video codec. This leading free software video codec is free of patents and any royalties. As another win for open standards, Theora 1.0 will be integrated with full support into future releases of the Mozilla Firefox and Opera web-browsers.
The GIMP community has today announced the release of GIMP 2.6.2, the second bug-fix release for GIMP 2.6, which brought a number of changes including GEGL (the Generic Graphics Library) and user interface improvements. Among the bugs fixed in GIMP 2.6.2 include improving the scaling speed, being unable to build GIMP on Solaris 2.8 with Sun CC, compatibility with GEGL newer than version 0.0.20, and other improvements. Several languages also have translation updates in GIMP 2.6.2. The change-log can be found in the GIMP news file and this latest release can be downloaded at GIMP.org.
Tomorrow at the Intel Developer Forum in Taipei, gOS will announce their support for Moblin in an effort to expand the presence of this web-oriented distribution on netbooks (such as the ASUS Eee PC 901) and nettops. According to a press release we've received they have at least one major yet-to-be-announced OEM partner that will use the Moblin-ized gOS on their Atom products. Expect more information soon.
OpenOffice.org 3.0 binaries have already been out for the past few days, but this open-source office suite officially released its version 3.0 status this morning. In OpenOffice.org 3.0 there is improved Mac OS X support with users no longer needing to run it inside X11, there is ODF 1.2 specification support, Microsoft Office 2007 import filters, chart enhancements, enhanced XML support, and many other changes. All of the changes for OpenOffice.org 3.0 can be read about here.
For those using Mono to run F-Spot, Banshee, and other C# and .NET programs, you may be pleased to know that Mono 2.0 has been released. This update has API improvements, new tools, more completed interface objects, C# compiler advancements, and various other changes. The release notes for Mono 2.0 can be found at the Mono Project web-site.
GIMP 2.4.0 was released almost one year ago, but today this popular open-source image editing and graphics program has been replaced by GIMP 2.6. With GIMP 2.6, the toolbox menu bar has been removed and its functionality merged with the main menu bar, toolbox and docks are now a utility window, and there is now also the ability to pan beyond the image border. Additionally, the GIMP free select tool has been greatly improved, there is now brush dynamics capabilities, most color operations now use GEGL (the Generic Graphics Library), and many other changes. The GIMP 2.6 release notes can be found at GIMP.org. Checkout the GIMP homepage for additional information.
Trolltech, the Norwegian company behind the Qt GUI framework, is no more. Earlier this year it was announced that Nokia is acquiring Trolltech and they have now decided they don't like the names Trolltech or Qtopia. Nokia has renamed Trolltech to "Qt Software" and for their mobile/embedded Qtopia framework they are now calling that "Qt Extended". It was also announced earlier this year that Qt is moving to the GPLv3 license. Head on over to the old Trolltech website to meet the new Qt Software.
Fluxbox 1.0 was released in October of 2007, but its first post-1.0 update has now been released. The source to Fluxbox 1.1 has just hit its SourceForge page, but at this time there is no release announcement nor has their project web-site been updated. There is, however, the change-log that ships with the source package to look at.
Pidgin 2.4.0 was released back in March with a number of new features, but replacing that this week is Pidgin 2.5.0. This update delivers a number of new features such as the ability for libpurple to create custom emoticons, SSL certifications support to the NSS SSL plug-in, the MSN protocol is updated to version 15, MSN offline IM now supported, Finch improvements, and there are many other changes. The Pidgin 2.5.0 change-log can be found on their Wiki Change-Log. Download Pidgin 2.5.0 for your favorite platform from Pidgin.im.
Git, the revision control system used by the Linux kernel, X.Org, and numerous other free software projects (including our very own Phoronix Test Suite at Phorogit), has reached a new important milestone. Git 1.6.0 has been released with a number of changes since the earlier Git 1.5.6 release. Changes for building Git in a MinGW environment have been integrated into the mainline code, reduced memory consumption, performance optimizations, improved documentation, and quite a few other noticeable changes. The release announcement for Git 1.6.0 can be read on the Linux kernel mailing list.
Less than two weeks ago we shared that SplashTop Linux was hacked to run off a USB stick, run custom applications, and more importantly having it run on non-certified motherboards (meaning those not sold by ASUS with SplashTop's instant-on Linux environment embedded). These hacks were done by members of our Phoronix Forums, but now a security hole has been discovered. Kano, a member of the Phoronix Forums and the mastermind behind the Debian-based Kanotix distribution, has discovered a serious security problem.
OpenMoko, the folks behind the original open phone design, have released OpenMoko 2008.08, which is their first official software stack release in a little more than a year. With this release, OpenMoko supports EFL, Qtopia, and GTK+ applications on X11. All of the details can be found at OpenMoko.org.
A few (small) interesting tidbits of information to report on from this afternoon's OSCON...
The GIMP crew has been hard at work on their GIMP 2.4 replacement, which will be called GIMP 2.6. There's a number of new features already present within the GIMP 2.6 development tree and just yesterday was the GIMP 2.5.2 testing release. GIMP 2.5.2 refines the combined Freehand/Polygon Select tool, added a dock-able dialog for managing Color tool settings, compatibility changes for the forthcoming GTK+ release, improved pop-up scale button, allow to map dynamics to hardness for the Eraser tool, added new PDB data type for transferring color arrays, and added text search to the Help Browser plug-in. These are just a few of the changes along with bug fixes and code clean-ups, but the complete GIMP 2.5/2.6 change-log can be viewed here. The development snapshots and other versions of GIMP can be acquired from their download page.
A year ago FIC started selling the OpenMoko Neo Base Developer Preview phone and starting on July 4 (in just two days) they will begin selling the OpenMoko Neo FreeRunner. The OpenMoko web store will begin accepting orders starting on the 4th of July while orders will begin processing on the 7th.
If you've been looking out for OpenOffice.org 3.0 or are just looking for a new software package to try out this afternoon, OpenOffice.org 3.0 Beta has been released. OpenOffice.org 3.0 integrates ODF 1.2 support, Microsoft Office 2007 Import Filters, charting enhancements, improved note capabilities in Writer, new icons, and a start center. For Mac OS X users, OpenOffice.org 3.0 will now run without the need for X11 to be installed. In addition, there are bug-fixes and other minor features that make up this beta release. The complete beta feature list can be read on the OpenOffice marketing website. The 3.0 beta can be downloaded here. The OpenOffice 3.0 release candidate is expected on July 25, while the final release isn't expected until September 2, 2008.
Pidgin, the popular IM client once known as GAIM, has flown out of the coop today with a new release. Pidgin 2.4.0 is the first update in about three months, but it brings a number of features to the client as well as libpurple and Finch. Pidgin 2.4.0 adds support for offline messages for AIM, Yahoo! Messenger 7.0+ file transfer support, 64-bit D-BUS fixes, auto-resizing of the chat input text area, theme support for conversation name colors through the GTK+ theme, and new bindings. These are just some of the changes, with the complete Pidgin/libpurple/Fince 2.4.0 change-log being available on the Pidgin developer website. Additional details and download links for this popular multi-platform instant messenger client are available at Pidgin.im.
OpenMoko has today announced that they are now a separate company from FIC. While FIC will continue to invest in OpenMoko and will manufacturer products for the OpenMoko platform, it has become a separate company in order to further develop its brand leadership and develop new open-source business models. FIC, the creator of the Neo 1973 mobile phone and other consumer electronic products, had originally started working on this open-source mobile project back in 2006. The OpenMoko project has been selling its Neo Base Developer Preview since July and has seen new features recently added such as a new user-interface. OpenMoko is competition to Google's recently announced Android project.
A month ago we were first to deliver an in-depth analysis of the DeviceVM's SplashTop (along with subsequent updates), which was found on the ASUS P5E3 Deluxe motherboard and re-branded as an "Express Gate" feature. SplashTop is an "Instant-On Linux Desktop Environment" that can be executed off the motherboard and you can be using Skype or Firefox within a matter of seconds. It's one of the most interesting motherboard innovations we have seen in a while and holds a lot of potential. Only weeks later Phoenix Technologies introduced their SplashTop rival. Phoenix's Linux-based HyperSpace is like SplashTop but can be initiated at anytime while within another operating system.
The Skype team is out with their Skype 2.0 Beta for Linux, which does present one very interesting feature. Skype 2.0 for Linux will support video communication. Other features in the Skype 2.0 Linux beta include the ability to automatically answer incoming calls, full-screen video support, icon updates, and a variety of bug fixes. The complete list of changes for Skype 18.104.22.168 can be viewed at the Skype Garage.
For those that require NDISwrapper to use the Windows driver for their wireless network card on Linux, a new release is now available. NDISwrapper 1.49 includes a fix for invalid MAC addresses (some Atheros devices are affected), kernel crashes with non-preempt kernels, NDISwrapper working with RT-preempt and non-preempt kernels, and dropped support for Linux 2.4 kernels and early Linux 2.6 kernels. All of the details are available from the NDISwrapper SourceForge page.
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