GNOME Shell System Status Area Mockup

The next incarnation of GNOME Desktop Environment, GNOME 3, is creating a lot of buzz everywhere. Many are already counting on GNOME Shell, that will come with GNOME 3, to revloutionize their desktop experience.

Currently, GNOME Shell is at an active development stage and is not considered stable for normal use. The GNOME developers have come up with a amazing mockup for the System Status Area. The mockup is based on the color black, which is going to be the default color of GNOME Shell. The borders have been made grey and the icon design are simplified to make them easier to recognize.

So, here is the mockup:

[via rm -rf/]

Canonical Introduces Support For Syncing Mobile Phones With UbuntuOne

Canonical, the company behind the popular linux distro Ubuntu, has teamed up with Funambol to provide Mobile Phone syncing support with UbuntuOne.

In case you do not know, UbuntuOne is an online storage and backup service owned by Canonical. It is currently available for free to everyone, although users can pay for more storage space. Funambol is an American corporation that earns revenue from its dual-licensing business model that includes commercial software and free open source mobile data synchronization software based on the Funambol core project. (from Wikipedia)

This new service that Canonical is introducing in UbuntuOne means that UbuntuOne users will now be able to sync the contacts in their mobile phone with UbuntuOne’s Contact. The new mobile sync feature is built upon the existing Contact sync feature that UbuntuOne already has. Users need to synchronize the contact in their computer   (Evolution and Thunderbird) with UbuntuOne first, then they can synchronize it with their mobile phone.

Since Funambol is providing the mobile syncing functionalities, the Mobile Sync feature in UbuntuOne already supports most of the mobile handset models. For iPhone users, there will be an app available in the app-store soon.

Right now this service is available to every UbuntuOne user for free. However, once Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx is released, this feature will become a part of the UbuntuOne paid service and will be available only for a 30-days trial to non-paying users of UbuntuOne.

You can read more about the how to set up this service in your phone in the Ubuntu Wiki.

[via Ubuntu One Blog]

No More Linux Support For Songbird

Mozilla Songbird

In a surprising turnaround,   Songbird developers Pioneers of The Inevitable (POTI Inc.) announced on their blog that they will no longer be supporting Songbird on Linux platforms. The developers cite their intent to support an increasing number of devices and a focus on narrow set of priorities meant that they would no longer be able to deliver Songbird as an outstanding product on Linux. This, the developers say,   would not be the right thing to do.

As posted on their blog,

Some of you have noticed that the Linux version has fallen behind, leading to some heated, but healthy debate internally about how to prioritize the development hopper. After careful consideration, we’ve come to the painful conclusion that we should discontinue support for the Linux version of Songbird. Some of you may wonder how a company with deep roots in Open Source could drop Linux and we want you to know it isn’t without heartache.
 We have a small engineering team here at Songbird, and, more than ever, must stay very focused on a narrow set of priorities.

The developers state that they will continue to run the build bots and host the Linux builds on the developer wiki. However this seems like a pointless exercise, especially considering that the Linux version will not be tested and is unlikely to pick up any new features.

Songbird is an open source Media Jukebox and media-oriented Web Browser built on Mozilla’s XULRunner framework with an extensively skinnable interface using what Songbird calls as “Feathers” and features add-on support to change the functionality.

I recently started using Songbird on Linux, and found it to be pretty decent. Will you miss Songbird ? Do drop a comment and let us know.

Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Boots In 3.6 Seconds [Using SSD]

We all know about the obsession with booting speed that Ubuntu has. Since the last two Ubuntu releases, the Ubuntu developers have been consciously pushing for lower boot time.

The upcoming release of Ubuntu, i.e Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx, is already showing signs that it boots fast – very very fast if you are using SSD. The Ubuntu developers will probably not be able to achieve the 10-second boot that they were aiming for in Ubuntu 10.04, but an Ubuntu Developer, Benjamin Drung, has managed to boot Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx in 3.6 seconds using SSD. On a normal spindle-based hard disk, such booting times, of course, cannot be achieved due to the mechanical parts that are involved.

Using an Super Talent Ultradrive GX 64 GB, Benjamin rebooted Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx 30 times. The fastest booting time he achieved was a blistering 3.65 seconds. The overall average boot time however came out to be 4.5 seconds, which is not bad at all.

After everything is installed, the same setup understandably took a little more time to boot at 6 seconds.

All in all, Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx, which is to be releaed less than a month from now, is shaping up to be a release to watch out for.

[You can view the full boot chart at Benjamin Drung’s blog]

New Features Coming in Amarok 2.3.1

Amarok is one of the best music players available for Linux. The latest stable release, Amarok 2.3 brought some cool new features and much needed improvments. Due to the extremely short release cycle that Amarok has, development for the next release, i.e. Amarok 2.3.1, has already been started.

The Amarok team has decided to put in some cool new features for the next release, Amarok 2.3.1. Three of the most exciting new features that are coming in Amarok 2.3.1 are CoverBling, Similar Artists & Upcoming Events and Smart Playlist.

CoverBling

CoverBling is a new applet which will allow you to browse your album collection in an animated 3D view. This is like the Cover Flow feature that iTune has. This is one feature that I am very excited about.

Similar Artists & Upcoming Events

The Similar Artists applet displays a list of artist which are similar to the one you are playing. The Upcoming Event applet displays future events like concerts for the artist that is currently playing. Both of these applets fetch their information from Last.fm.

Automated Playlist Generator

This new feature allows smart creation of playlists that matche user defined constraints. It combines the “Smart Playlist” from Amarok 1.4 with the Bias System from amarok 2.0.

These are the major new features being introduced in Amarok 2.3.1. However, there are other new features and improvements. You can check them out here.

[via Amarok Blog]

Ubuntu 10.10 Codename Announced

Mark Shuttleworth has announced the codename of the Ubuntu release after Lucid Lynx today. In a post in his blog, Shuttleworth announced that Ubuntu 10.10 will be called “Maverick Meerkat“.

This is what Shuttleworth wrote regarding the reason for choosing Meerkat:

Meerkats are, of course, light, fast and social everything we want in a Perfect 10. Meerkats are family-oriented, and we aspire to having Ubuntu being the safe and efficient solution for all the family netbooks. They are also clever meerkats teach one another new skills. And that’s what makes this such a great community.

According to the blog post, Ubuntu 10.10 is going to continue with the push for faster boot time and is also going to focus on the social networking features they are introding in Lucid Lynx. Shuttleworth also mentioned that Ubuntu 10.10 is going to be more netbook friendly.

If you do not know what a meerkat is, here is a description from Wikipedia:

The meerkat or suricate Suricata suricatta, a small mammal, is a member of the mongoose family. Meerkats live in all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana and in South Africa. A group of meerkats is called a “mob”, “gang” or “clan”. A meerkat clan often contains about 20 meerkats, but some superfamilies have 50 or more members. Meerkats have an average life span of 12-14 years.

KDE Software Compilation – Customized Editions and Kim Kardashian

Today we have two big news related to the KDE Software Compilation:

  • KDE SC is coming in three  customized  versions.
  • American socialite Kim Kardashian is going to officially promote KDE SC.

The KDE Team has decided to come out with three  customized  versions of KDE Software Compilation to satisfy the diverse users that KDE SC now has. This is the official statement:

KDE has enjoyed great success over the years and today marks another important step in the evolution of our growing community. Many years ago when KDE was just beginning we had a small user base and similar expectations of how the software should work. But with growth and success also comes new users and new expectations. As an effort to meet the growing demands of our user community KDE has identified 3 key areas in which we would like to better cater to users’ needs. In order to achieve this it has been determined that there will be, going forward, 3 separate releases of each Software Compilation tailored to these areas.

Here are the three editions of KDE SC that is going to be available:

Ultimate Freedom Edition: This edition is for those who prefer full customization in everything. This edition will come with a double, triple and quadruple tabbars to make all the settings accessible quickly. If you want to play around with your computer this is the edition for you.

Dwarfed Freedom Edition: This edition is for those who love open-source softwares but cannot handle all the decisions makings that setting up an open-source software requires. This edition will come with all the normal softwares that KDE SC usually comes with.

Basic Freedom Edition: This edition is for those who have just migrated to KDE SC and open-source. This edition will provide a rock solid stability without any customization. To make sure it is as simple as possible, it will be closed-source and root level functionalities are disabled.

Another big news is that American socialite Kim Kardashian has officially been  chosen  as the official promoter of the KDE Software Compilation.

This is what KDE chief Matthias Ettrich told a press conference in Hamburg:

It’s not often that we come across such a perfect fit. Where would you find a prominent person whose name and surname both begin with K? She’s the perfect choice to promote KDE. She will give us exposure like nobody else can.

As our web page says, we have a strong focus on finding innovative solutions to old and new problems and creating a vibrant atmosphere open for experimentation,” Ettrich said. “What could be more innovative than getting this big K to promote KDE?

Apparently this move by KDE SC has made the people at GNOME worried and are also trying to get a celebrity to promote GNOME as well.

Happy April Fools Day Everyone! :)

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 Released; Beta Version of RHEL 6 Coming Soon

RedHat has recently upgraded its Linux server product to RHEL 5.5 with many new features and performance improvements. The latest OS from RedHat has improved  Windows Interportability and  Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM)  Virtualization which allows running unsupported hardware through an emulator. It also includes support for newer hardware of Intel and AMD.

Tim Burke, vice president of platform engineering at Red Hat, reported to InternetNews.com that,

We overlap on our releases as it takes many years to produce the new version – RHEL 6 – which is currently in development, Within the coming month we’ll have our beta release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.

The hardware is of nominal value until you’ve got the software to enable it and that’s what really shines in RHEL 5.5. We’ve done a huge number of scalability enhancements for both bare metal and virtualization environments.

RedHat will also announce the availability of RHEL 6 in June. This will be the next major version after the release of RHEL 5 in 2007.

One major improvement in RHEL 5.5 is the support for new processor families from Intel (Westmere) and AMD (Opteron). One major feature improvement is the Runtime Allocation which allows processes to scale their memory requirements at runtime. Interportability with Windows 7 has also been improved through improvements in Samba.

Get a 30 days trial version of RHEL 5.5 through the RedHat Network.
(Via: Serverwatch)

Microsoft Interested In Buying Canonical

According to a leaked company memo, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is reportedly interested in buying Canonical, the company behind the popular Linux Distro Ubuntu.

Canonical is responsible for bringing bringing Linux to the masses with its distro Ubuntu, whose main focus is on improved usability and stability. Since its introduction in 2004, Ubuntu has gone on to become the most popular Linux distro and has been increasing its user-base at the expense of Micosoft’s Windows Operating System.

According to a leaked memo, Microsoft considers Linux as the main competitor to its flag-ship product, Windows, and is concerned by the number of people who are turning away from Windows to Linux. Microsoft thinks that this is because of Ubuntu and wants to end it by acquiring Canonical. Here is the screenshot of the memo that we recieved:

Neither Microsoft nor Canonical has not made any official statement regarding this yet. But one thing that is for sure is that this is the Open-Source community’s worst nightmare and they will be furious.

Happy April Fools Day Folks!

Linux Mint 8 Helena Announces the Release of Xfce Version

Linux Mint developers are proud to announce the release of the Xfce version of Linux Mint 8. This latest release features the lightweight Xfce desktop environment and has most of the nautilus features in built.
mint-helena
Based largely on Xubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, the Latest Release from Mint team has been built upon Xubuntu. This ensures it has all the features present in Xubuntu and maybe more.

  • The Software Manager has been redesigned. This new software manager allows for displaying more content. Moreover, the package cache is updates automatically and the package size and installation status is also shown in this new Software Manager.
  • The earlier Upload application mintUpload  has been divided into a File Uploader and an Upload Manager. The upload manager allows different transfer protocols like FTP, SFTP etc.
  • Firefox has the stylish add-on inbuilt.
  • The Mint tools branding has been removed to make this tool available and usable across other distros.
  • Mint is using its own repository for Community Edition packages.

You can check the Linux Mint 8 Helena Xfce release notes for a complete changelog.

Linux Mint 8 Helena Xfce supports both torrent and http download.  The download link can be found on this official announcement page.