Across the pond at Germany's big LinuxTag event, Ksplice unveiled Ksplice Uptrack, a new service that installs security and bug fixes on a running kernel without rebooting. Ksplice, whose technology was developed at MIT, claims to be the only solution that allows this application of updates without rebooting. Currently available for Ubuntu 9.04, Uptrack supports generic, virtual and server kernels. It also works in VMware, Xen, Virtuozzo or other virtualized environments. Although the initial release is a consumer-oriented solution, an enterprise solution is expected in Q3 2009. [See the August 2009 issue for a feature article on Ksplice.]
The company Fixstars (formerly Terra Soft of Yellow Dog Linux fame) keeps cranking out juicy goodies for the PS3 and other Cell-based platforms. The latest solution is the CodecSys CE-10 product, a faster-than-real-time H.264 video encoder that runs off a live USB stick or CD on the Sony PS3 using a microversion of Yellow Dog Linux as its live OS. In the solution, the PS3 acts as an external accelerator, encoding video files sent from the host PC, replacing expensive encoder cards and workstations. The PS3 is connected via Gigabit cable. The H.264 format allows for compression to half the size of MPEG2 for DVD and TV broadcasting while retaining equivalent quality.
Entuity's new network management solution, Eye of the Storm Network Professional Edition (or EYE NPE for short) is now available. The company says that EYE NPE offers “enterprise functionality at a price point previously reserved for workgroup-class tools” and adds “revolutionary technology for the mid-market” regarding automation, accuracy and deep functionality. Other product advantages include automatic surveying of networks in real time, an intelligent view of object connectivity, root-cause analysis and a broad range of configurable thresholds. Furthermore, rather than a device-centric approach, EYE NPE includes user-configurable views that represent any logical collection of devices or segmentation of the network. The solution runs on RHEL Server, VMware ESX Server and Microsoft Windows Server.
Just in at the education desk is mimio Studio 6, the latest release of mimio's interactive teaching software. The application is one element—together with the mimio Interactive System, a projector and mimio Ink Capture Kit—in a system of presenting interactive lessons to students in schools. One can interact directly with the system, as well as import a wide variety of external media. New features in version 6 include support for multimedia files, a gallery for fast lesson creation and a slimmer toolbar. Interesting for us Linux geeks is that the system now works with Linux and Mac OS in addition to Windows, enabling a lesson created on one platform to run on all three.
Building on numerous improvements in the Wine Project, CodeWeavers has released version 8.0 of its popular CrossOver Linux and CrossOver Mac products. These products respectively transform Linux and Mac OS X into Windows-compatible operating systems for selected applications. Both products, says CodeWeavers, include support for Internet Explorer 7, Quicken 2009 and performance upgrades for Microsoft Office 2007, particularly Outlook. In addition, users will find that many other previously supported applications will run much faster and more stably. The company further offers that all of its products are significantly less expensive than the cost of a Windows license, allowing users economically and legally to eliminate the need for Microsoft Windows. (And there was much rejoicing.)
The company Opera (of browser fame) says that its new Opera Unite is a new technology that will shake up the old client-server computing model of the Web and “decentralize and democratize the cloud”. Essentially, Opera Unite is a Web server on the Web browser. It turns any computer into both a client and a server, allowing it to interact with and serve content to other computers directly across the Web, without the need for third-party servers. For consumers, Opera Unite offers greater control of private data and makes it easy to share data with any device equipped with a Web browser. For Web developers, Opera Unite services are based on open Web standards, and creating a full Web service is as easy as coding a Web page. Currently, Opera Unite offers six services: file sharing, Web server, media player, photo sharing, “The Lounge” chat service and “The Fridge” message exchange.
Greening your gadgets and lifestyle can be not only fun but money-saving as well. Such is the motto of Joe Hutsko's new book Green Gadgets for Dummies from Wiley, a title billed as a friendly reference for exploring the environmental and financial benefits of green gadgets. Green gadgets encompass everything from iPods to energy-efficient home entertainment devices to solar laptop chargers and crank-powered gizmos. The book explains how to research green gadgets, calculate energy consumption, make a smart purchasing decision, use products you already own in a more environmentally friendly way, and bid farewell to electronics that zap both energy and money. Finally, the book covers product labels and how to avoid “greenwashing”—that is the overselling of environmental benefits.
CoroWare Technologies announced the Explorer, an all-terrain robot designed and optimized for conducting R&D into new robotic applications that operate in unstructured, outdoor environments. Built on a ruggedized chassis, the Explorer functions well outside the lab, navigating rough terrain and resisting environmental elements. The Explorer's camera, wheel encoders and GPS enable the robot to examine the environment while the fully articulated four-wheel drive ensures the Explorer can navigate curbs, steps and inclines. By including a 2.0GHz PC-class processor, 80GB disk storage space and Ubuntu Linux with support for Player Project pre-installed, Explorer is ready to support any software the developer desires. Explorer comes standard with four-wheel drive, 802.11n Wi-Fi, GPS and 1600x1200 color camera. Expansion capabilities exist via extra USB, RS-232, digital I/O and analog inputs. Options include wheel encoders, a pan/tilt/zoom camera and a 64-bit dual-core motherboard.