Thursday, May 26, 2011

Linux Mint 11

Clement Lefebvre has announced the release of Linux Mint 11, code name "Katya": "The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 11 'Katya'." This release brings improvements to software manager's user interface, new artwork, various system changes, and usability improvements to the update manager: "One of the biggest improvement made to the Update Manager is how it now handles dependencies. It only shows updates, not their dependencies. If the upgrade of a package requires additional changes to your system a dialog pops up with a summary to show you which packages will be installed or removed. This brings a permanent fix to the notorious 'Broken packages' message that used to appear before." Read the release announcement, release notes and what's new page for further details. Download (SHA256): linuxmint-11-gnome-dvd-32bit.iso (867MB, torrent), linuxmint-11-gnome-dvd-64bit.iso (864MB, torrent).

Zenwalk Linux 7.0 "GNOME"

Frederic Boulet has announced the release of Zenwalk Linux 7.0 "GNOME" edition, a Slackware-based distribution featuring the GNOME 2.32 desktop: "We are proud to provide Zenwalk GNOME 7.0 based on GNOME 2.32.1. It is the last step before going to GNOME 3.0. Zenwalk GNOME keeps the same way as the standard Zenwalk edition, a clean and clear desktop. Hal support is removed, NetworkManager is preferred instead of wicd, Rhythmbox is also introduced as the default music player and CD grabber, Viewnior is used as a fast and quick viewer of pictures, and Simple Scan replaces XSane to scan documents. As usual, most packages have been updated to the latest stable version: NetworkManager 0.8.4, gedit 2.30.4, Nautilus, Rhythmbox 0.13.3, Viewnior 1.1, Simple Scan, gThumb 2.12.3, LibreOffice 3.3.1, Linux kernel with BFS scheduler and performance tweaks." Here is the brief release announcement. Download: zenwalk-gnome-7.0.iso (665MB, MD5).

HTC tries to be serious about its bootloader policy

HTC's popular Evo 3D smartphone may be locked, but the handset manufacturer insists a review of its fortress-like bootloader policy is ongoing.

"Thanks so much for providing feedback, we hear your concerns. Your satisfaction is a top priority for us and we're working hard to ensure you have great experiences with our phones," an HTC rep wrote in a recent Facebook post in response to complaints about the issue.

HTC tries to get serious about its bootloader policy

"We're [currently] reviewing the issue and our policy around bootloaders and will provide more information soon. Thank you for your interest, support and willingness to share your feedback."

As AndroidCentral's Phil Nickinson notes, HTC's confirmation of a policy rethink is quite significant, as it marks the first time the corporation has publicly said it was considering such a change.

"For you laymen out there, having open access to the bootloaders and NAND memory are the lifeblood of custom ROMs," explained Nickinson.

"And while the vast majority of Android users are running virgin devices - remember that more than 400,000 devices are being activated every day - the modding community is a vocal one."

Of course, it remains unclear if HTC's current position is simply marketing spin formulated to pacify the seething Android modder masses.

Then again, HTC probably does realize the genuine advantages associated with unlocking future smartphones. Working with the modding community rather than against it is generally a good idea (i.e., Microsoft Kinect), as it is likely to build some serious hype and increase device sales.

Just by how is the question, though, and that is probably what the HTC suits and ties are mulling over as you read this article.

GParted Live 0.8.1-3

Curtis Gedak has announced the release of GParted Live 0.8.1-3, a new stable version of the Debian-based live CD designed for disk management and data rescue tasks: "The GParted team is proud to announce a new stable release of GParted Live (0.8.1-3). This release fixes problems with safe graphics settings mode and fail-safe mode if KMS is on. The PartImage package has also been fixed. This release is based on the Debian 'Sid' repository as of May 24, 2011 (Linux kernel 2.6.38-5). The new GParted 0.8.1 further improves motherboard BIOS RAID support. To avoid partition entry duplicates, all usage of kpartx has been removed. Also partitions with volume labels containing an apostrophe can now be unmounted." Visit the project's news page to read the brief release announcement; the release notes for the new GParted 0.8.1 can be found here. Download (MD5): gparted-live-0.8.1-3.iso (127MB).