MonthSeptember 2010

Handsfree Ubuntu

Ubuntu developer Canonical is experimenting with new hardware sensors as it looks at computing beyond the keyboard and mouse.

All computer users are used to controlling their desktop with a mouse and keyboard. But how about controlling your PC without using your hands at all and just using your body?

It’s something that Canonical, the maker of Ubuntu Linux, is starting to work on.

Broadly grouped under the title of “hardware sensors”, Canonical is experimenting with new techniques to manipulate your desktop by simply moving your body.

In a blog posting earlier this week Canonical’s Christian Giordano wrote: “During a small exploration we did internally few months ago, we thought about how Ubuntu could behave if it was more aware of its physical context. Not only detecting the tilt of the device (like iPhoneapps) but also analysing the user’s presence.”

So, for example, if a user is watching a video on screen and leans back the video could automatically be increased in size. Or if the user is further away from the screen than usual popup notifications could be increased in size to compensate for the extra distance.

Other examples which Giordano suggests include being able to change the view of the desktop depending on the position of the user. The “parallax” effect would mean that certain windows would change position depending on the angle they were viewed from.

Giordano has also posted a video on the Canonical Design blog with a rough mock-up of how such a technique would work.

There are endless possibilities when a PC is aware of its user, from pausing a video stream when the user moves away to switching between screens when a user moves. These techniques are, however, still in their early phase of development so won’t be finding their way into Ubuntu this year but could well do in future releases.

Ubuntu ‘not necessarily competing’ with Windows 7

Paul Holt, Canonical, Director Corporate Sales, talks to the
Westminster eForum on open-source software in business and government.
Ubuntu is not in direct competition with Windows 7 in the desktop
operating system market, according to a top Canonical executive.

Ubuntu 9.04 reaches end of life

Ubuntu announced its 9.04 release almost 18 months ago, on April 23,
2009. As with the earlier releases, Ubuntu committed to ongoing
security and critical fixes for a period of 18 months. The support
period is now nearing its end and Ubuntu 9.04 will reach end of life
on Friday, October 23, 2010. At that time, Ubuntu Security Notices
will no longer include information or updated packages for Ubuntu

The supported upgrade path from Ubuntu 9.04 is via Ubuntu 9.10.
Instructions and caveats for the upgrade may be found at Note that upgrades
to version 10.04 LTS and beyond are only supported in multiple steps,
via an upgrade first to 9.10, then to 10.04 LTS. Both Ubuntu 9.10 and
Ubuntu 10.04 LTS continue to be actively supported with security
updates and select high-impact bug fixes. All announcements of
official security updates for Ubuntu releases are sent to the
ubuntu-security-announce mailing list, information about which may be
found at

Since its launch in October 2004 Ubuntu has become one of the most
highly regarded Linux distributions with millions of users in homes,
schools, businesses and governments around the world. Ubuntu is Open
Source software, costs nothing to download, and users are free to
customise or alter their software in order to meet their needs.

Você sabe o que é versão BETA e pra que servem?

Hoje o nome de BETA vem em tudo (em peixes já conhecia). Mas este nome não significa má qualidade, produto inferior, ou algo do gênero. Existem, além de softwares, sites, projetos, e muitas outras coisas em versões BETA. Se até hoje você não parou para imaginar a importância destas versões, vamos destacar aqui alguns pontos importantes.

  • Teste

Versões Beta são versões de testes, tanto de programas quanto de sites. Portanto, não os despreze. Quando algo está em fase de testes, é necessário muito uso e feedback (comentário). Tenha em vista que aquele conteúdo é dinâmico, e a cada nova atualização serão implantados novos recursos, assim como serão corrigidos diversos erros. Ou seja, será algo melhor a cada dia que se passar.

  • Preço

Geralmente estas versões de teste são gratuitas, podendo ser testadas e comentadas por qualquer um. Portanto, faça parte. Prove, comente, e ajude a melhorar.

Além destes fatores, existem diversos outros que você descobrirá ao utilizar produtos ou serviços em versões de testes. Valorize este trabalho, pois são de pequenas ações que se formam grandes revoluções.

Reflections on Ubuntu, Canonical and the march to free software adoption

Prompted in part by the critique of Canonical’s code contributions to the kernel and core GNOME infrastructure, Mark has been pondering whether or not he feels good about what he does every day and how it’s done. He talks about his motivation for working on Ubuntu and some of the project’s achievements. It’s quite a motivational post and worth a read.


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