KDE November Updates

Yesterday the KDE team announced the release of a series of updates concerning the Plasma Desktop and Netbook workspaces, KDE Applications and KDE Platforms. In my humble opinion, this excellent desktop environment, notwithstanding its greatness, do suffer a lot for the minor attention that Canonical – which maintain Ubuntu, the most diffused linux distribution – deserve to it, in respect to Gnome (i.e., Kubuntu is clearly not as much developed as Ubuntu). Even if, also Gnome team is somewhat angry with Ubuntu, given the programmed switch to Unity Desktop….


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Ubuntu One Buzz

Well it seems that Ubuntu One is moving its first step into the social web; you can easily obtain a link for the song you're listening to. At variance with Apple's Ping, in Ubuntu One you can propagate this link to the (social) web, via all the services you've already set up in your microblogging client Gwibber. Far better than to have all inside iTunes only!

Oh, and as a nice surplus, you find your messages on Ubuntu One front page too. As an example, you can find on that web page a few of my recent played songs (user @mcastel)

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Ubuntu 10.04, my two cents…

Originally uploaded by mcastellani

Some days ago, I upgraded my linux box to Ubuntu 10.04. I am pleased to say that the upgrade took place without worries and virtually no intervention on my side (aside a couple of request from the upgrade script in order to ask permission to overwrite some system files).
Now, detailed descriptions of the new release may be easily found in the network (you just need to google a bit to find plenty of them), so here I note only some impressions of use. Say, what strikes me without “scratching” too much under the surface, in the first approach. 
    Let’s see …

  • for a “sick” of social networks like myself, Ubuntu 10.04 comes with a really interesting aspect: it is eminently social. It comes with the client gwibber (now at release that supports Twitter, StatusNet, Facebook, Identi.ca, Digg, FriendFeed, and also Qaiku (a microblog service with an exciting support for languages; I like it a lot and, as a matter of fact, I have realized most of the interface translation in Italian). To tell the truth, not only it’s included, but it result deeply integrated in the “social” concept of Ubuntu, for which we can now express our “online presence” directly from the top status bar of Gnome. I am very curious (and so are the developers) to understand whether the inclusion of native Qaiku in Ubuntu will bring more users to put their noses in this interesting but still little known platform.
  • There was much discussion on Ubuntu related sites, concerning the new network online music store that comes integrated into Rhytmbox, the “software and music playback for GNOME”, which is now reached its version 0.12.8 (but what to say about this habit of going forward with the zero point something ?). I just spent a bit of time in it, and I found that the prices of a number of albums are very interesting and – at least in some cases – significantly lower than their  iTunes counterparts .
  • The GNOME desktop backgrounds have my appreciation, for the aesthetic work that I think has given excellent results. Overall, it seems quite clear that Mac OS X has been well taken into account by the Ubuntu developers (up to small details as the discussed choice of putting the icons on the left side of windows) … but that’s OK, no problem;)
  • Even the ‘Ubuntu Software Center’ (again, the not-too-hidden reference not is to the online software repository of Mac OS X) has made significant progress. Browsing through categories to choose the software to install it ‘s now easier, and it is a truly enjoyable experience … and it’s free, too!

Overhall, I like Ubuntu 10.04. Surely there are things to improve and fix (for example, during the first days of use I stumbled upon some oddity of gwibber, which kept to give me authentication error in Qaiku, despite having already added the correct API at least a couple of times …), anyway I think we came to a really respectable version. One of the most important representations – perhaps the most important at present – of an open source operating system. 
… what do you think, I’m exaggerating?

Lucid moves to Yahoo! as Firefox search provider

I’m not sure if it’s already well known, in the community of Ubuntu lowers. Anyway, I just discovered it today: namely, the Firefox default page in the next release of Ubuntu (10.04, code name “Lucid Lynx”) is already online, and it features a search box that it’s not more provided by Google, but instead by Yahoo!
Here is the screenshot of the Firefox default start page in the current Ubuntu release:

If you open Firefox in  a brand new Ubuntu 9.04, here is what you get…

To switch to the page of the next Ubuntu, you simply have to change the following URL:


to this easily guessed URL:


and you’ll be greeted with the following webpage:

Next Ubuntu default Firefox page…

Update: I’ve found the post that talks about the change of default search provider, on the Ubuntu developers list. I easily stumbled upon the page after a quick Google search.. can’t help but notice that Google is (still) my friend …;)

New Brand for Ubuntu?


No more brown in Ubuntu desktop? Anyway, I must recognize that the posted screenshots are pretty…. It seems that Ubuntu is succesfully shaping a path toward a “clear” and fresh new style.
The new layout let you understand that there is something “new”, without loosing completely the old and widely accepted look & feel. Well done Ubuntu!

5 New Things about Windows 8 and Ubuntu 10.04

Interesting comparison between the expected features of the upcoming operating releases from Microsoft and Ubuntu.

Broadly speaking, it seems hard to deny that linux on desktop is getting more and more appealing with time… Problems remains in the lack of certain “key applications” (as iTunes, or Photoshop); its avaibility could drive many user to linux, IMHO…

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