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Monday, February 6, 2012

TLWIR 32: Open Sparks Fly, FOSS Players Give Open Advice, and FOSS Petition Gets Key Endorsement

TLWIR 32: Open Sparks Fly, FOSS Players Give Open Advice, and FOSS Petition Gets Key Endorsement

by Rex Djere on February 6, 2012 · 0 comments


Summary: For too long, GNU/Linux has been locked out of the tablet market. That is about to change with the May 2012 arrival of the Open Spark. The Open Spark is a new tablet that will run a variant of GNU/Linux called Mer. A group of 42 Free Software developers have released a wonderful book called Open Advice. It chronicles their lessons learned from working on hundreds of Free Software projects. The Linux Foundation received an esteemed new fellow from SUSE, Mr. Greg Kroah-Hartman. Finally, the Free Software Petition on received a key endorsement.

The four stories for The Linux Week in Review 32 are:

  • The Open Spark: A GNU/Linux Based Tablet That I WOULD Buy!
  • Open Advice Delivers Free Software Lessons Learned
  • Greg Kroah-Hartman Joins the Linux Foundation
  • The Free Software Petition On Gets a Key Endorsement

The Open Spark: A GNU/Linux Based Tablet That I WOULD Buy!
I recently visited a local Best Buy, and I played around with several of the current generation of tablets. I avoided the one tablet that I knew that there was no chance of me buying: Apple’s Ipad 2. The Ipad 2 is a wonderful device, but it is far too locked down for my tastes. For the most part, this left me with the latest Android tablets as my only option. I played with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Toshiba Thrive, also a 10.1” tablet. I liked the Toshiba Thrive a lot more. Some nice features that made the Thrive much more attractive were its full-sized USB ports, an HDMI port, and an SD card slot. The only minus is the Android OS: I really want a fully FOSS tablet. The upcoming Open Spark tablet fits the bill.

The Open Spark has a smaller screen than the Toshiba Thrive, 7.1” vice 10.1”. However, the advantages of a truly GNU/Linux-based system outweigh the Toshiba Thrive’s larger screen size for me. The Open Spark, a Free Software tablet announced a couple of weeks ago, is VERY exciting. It is based on somewhat older hardware, so its specs are  less than the most modern tablets, but it will be released at a great price: about $260. This is one reason that I would buy it. The Galaxy Tab and the Toshiba Thrive are pretty expensive, priced comparably to some pretty decent laptops. The Open Spark comes with the Mer OS installed. Mer is a GNU/Linux OS derived from the defunct Meego OS. The Spark will utilize the Plasma Active Desktop from KDE, and it will be released in May 2012. I cannot wait!


Figure 1: KDE Plasma

Open Advice Delivers Free Software Lessons Learned


I wouldn't really want a Tablet PC for my Self. I much prefer a keyboard and mouse. And I hate those finger smudges on a Touch Screen. Besides, I just bought a 23 inch LED Backlight LCD Monitor! Why would I want something that I need a Magnifying Glass to Read!:O But, for other people... Like my Buddy, who knows very little about Computers, but gets on, Cough Cough... Face Book, with the tiny little Mobile Phone... I think that a Linux Tablet might be just the thing for him. The Freedom and the Lower Price will Definitely Make a Tablet a much more Appealing Choice. Of course I will have to play with it a while (to get it setup for him to use;)


News 02-06-12
Beware the power of Google? | ITworld
Google Summer of Code 2012 Kicks Off - InternetNews.
How to get started using awk – Simple Help
Play hide-and-go-seek with infrared LEDs - Hack a Day
Replacing a phantom limb with a Kinect - Hack a Day
Gunning for Netflix: Redbox and Verizon to Launch Video Service This Year | Epicenter |
Finds of the Week (February 5, 2012)
Russians drill into previously untouched Lake Vostok below Antarctic glacier - The Washington Post
HowStuffWorks "5 Flying Car Prototypes"
Mortgage Relief Plan Is Closer to Winning Support of California -
Heart Hormone Linked to Calorie-Burning Brown Fat
Hard-Boiled Egg Recall Hits 34 States
How to Embarrass Your Ex on Facebook: 7 steps (with pictures) - wikiHow
U.S. Embassy in Syria Halts Operations as Violence Flares -
HowStuffWorks "10 Biggest Snowstorms of All Time"
Electronic candle protects sleeping infant - Hack a Day
Build your own self-driving car - Hack a Day
TLWIR 32: Open Sparks Fly, FOSS Players Give Open Advice, and FOSS Petition Gets Key Endorsement
Lower the national debt by expanding the government's use of Free Software such as GNU/Linux and LibreOffice. | The White House
Piracy and the value of freedom | Linux User

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