KDE 4.2.0 Released

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The KDE Community today announced the immediate availability of "The Answer", (a.k.a KDE 4.2.0), readying the Free Desktop for end users. KDE 4.2 builds on the technology introduced with KDE 4.0 in January 2008. After the release of KDE 4.1, which was aimed at casual users, the KDE Community is now confident we have a compelling offering for the majority of end users.

Desktop Improves User Experience

Further refinement of the Plasma desktop interface makes organizing your workspace easier. New and improved applets include a Quicklauncher, weather information, newsfeeds, comics, quick file sharing via "pastebin" services. Plasma applets can now be used on top of the screensaver, for example for leaving a note while the owner is absent. Plasma optionally acts as traditional, file manager-like desktop. Previews for the file icons and persistant locations of icons have been added.

The Plasma Panel now groups tasks and display multiple rows. The enhanced system tray now tracks longer running tasks such as downloads. System and application notifications are displayed in a unified fashion via the system tray. To save space, system tray icons can now be hidden. The panel can now automatically hide in order to free up screen space. Widgets can be displayed in panels as well as on the desktop.

KWin offers smooth and efficient window management. In KDE 4.2 it employs motion physics to give a natural feel to old and new effects like the "Cube" and "Magic Lamp". KWin only enables desktop effects in the default setup on computers that are able to handle them. Easier configuration allows the user to select different effects as window switcher, making changing windows most efficient.

New and improved workspace tools increase productivity. PowerDevil supports mobile life by bringing modern and unobtrusive power management to laptops and mobile devices. Ark offers smart extraction and creation of archives, and the new printer tools allow the user to easily manage printers and print jobs.

Moreover, support for several new languages have been added expanding the number of users for whom KDE is available in their native language by roughly 700 million people. Newly supported languages include are Arabic, Icelandic, Basque, Hebrew, Romanian, Tajik and several Indian languages (Bengali India, Gujarati, Kannada, Maithili, Marathi) indicating a rise in popularity in this part of Asia.

Applications Leap Forward

File management becomes faster and more efficient. The Dolphin file manager now has a slider to easily adjust the icon size. Further user interface improvements include tooltips with previews and a capacity indicator for removable media devices. These changes have also been applied to the file dialogs in KDE, making it easier to spot the right file.

KMail's email list views have been reworked by a Google Summer of Code student. The user can now configure the display of additional information optimizing the workflow for each individual folder. Support for IMAP and other protocols has also been improved making KMail much faster.

Web browsing becomes better. The Konqueror web browser improves support for scalable vector graphics and receives many performance enhancements. A new find dialog makes for less intrusive searching inside webpages. Konqueror now shows your bookmarks on start-up.

Platform Accelerates Development

Enhanced Scripting Support. Plasma widgets can now be written in JavaScript, Python and Ruby. These widgets can be distributed online via web-services and online collaboration tools such as GoogleGadgets can be used in Plasma, and support for Mac OS X dashboard widgets has been further improved.

Technology previews of various KDE applications for Windows and Mac OS X are available, some applications are nearing release quality already, while others need some work depending on the functionality they implement. Support for OpenSolaris is upcoming and approaching stable quality. KDE4 on FreeBSD continues to mature.

After Qt will be released under the terms of the LGPL, both the KDE libraries and beneath it Qt are available under those more relaxed licensing terms, making for a more compelling platform for commercial software development.

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Gypsy criminals terrorizing Tesco employees in Sarkad

According to a company representative of Sarkad Tesco, there is a possibility that the business will close down for good, due to gypsy crime.Crooks are threatening and abusing store employees when they catch them stealing and shoplifting. Often, entire families are involved in the scheme. While family members line up at the counter children, as low as kindergarten age, take merchandise out of the store.

They steal everything even shopping baskets. From the 200 only 20 have remained, the rest have been stolen said a company representative. In a letter to the mayor's office, Mr. Csaba Egri, the chief of security complained that customers avoiding the store for fear of violence and harassment by criminals.

The mayor of the town said it was unacceptable that a tiny minority threatening the livelihood of the entire community. Town officials blame the incompetent Roma council for these conditions.

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Workers urged: Go home and multiply

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

TOKYO, Japan (CNN) -- Even before one reaches the front door of Canon's headquarters in Tokyo, one can sense the virtual stampede of employees pouring out of the building exactly at 5:30 p.m.

Japan's birth rate of 1.34 is below the level needed to maintain the country's population.

Japan's birth rate of 1.34 is below the level needed to maintain the country's population.

In a country where 12-hour workdays are common, the electronics giant has taken to letting its employees leave early twice a week for a rather unusual reason: to encourage them to have more babies.

Japan is in the midst of an unprecedented recession, so corporations are being asked to work toward fixing another major problem: the country's low birthrate. Tell us what you think

At 1.34, the birthrate is well below the 2.0 needed to maintain Japan's population, according to the country's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

Keidanren, Japan's largest business group, with 1,300 major international corporations as members, has issued a plea to its members to let workers go home early to spend time with their families and help Japan with its pressing social problem. Watch more on this story Video

One reason for the low birth rate is the 12-hour workday. But there are several other factors compounding the problem -- among them, the high cost of living, and social rigidity toward women and parenting.

In addition, Japan's population is aging at a faster pace than any other country in the world.

Analysts say the world's second-largest economy faces its greatest threat from its own social problems, rather than outside forces. And the country desperately needs to make some fixes to its current social and work structures, sociologists say.

The 5:30 p.m. lights-out program is one simple step toward helping address the population problem. It also has an added benefit: Amid the global economic downturn the company can slash overtime across the board twice a week.

"It's great that we can go home early and not feel ashamed," said employee Miwa Iwasaki.


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Knockout sensation. Kyokushin karate 2009 World Tournament will be held in Hungary

The World Tournament will be held on October 2-4, 2009 in the Papp László Sport Arena. So far, 15 Kyokushin world organizations have indicated their participation. The Kyokushin karate world championship is organized by the Oyama Dojo Sports Club of Szentes that is member of the Hungarian Traditional Kyokushin Karate and the Kyokushin-kan International Karate-do organizations.

Thanks to the hard work of Lajos Szűcs, Deputy Mayor of Szentes and Sándor Brezovai, the announcement was made on the official press conference. Kyokushin karate is the single most popular karate style in Hungary.

Hungarian fighters have proven to be among the best of the sport winning several international awards.The fights will be organized into different weight categories: man can participate in four and women in three categories.

The fights take place without protective gears and end in knockouts. Fighters can also enter into the competition in the kata category. Presently, there are 15 Kyokushin karate organizations world wide with 20 million members.

All of them will take part in the prestigious event.

Hungary will enter into the competition with 28 fighters, which include both men and women.


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Iceland's government collapses amid financial crisis

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

REYKJAVIK, Iceland -- Iceland's coalition government collapsed Monday, leaving the island nation in political turmoil amid a financial crisis that has pummeled its economy and required an international bailout. Prime Minister Geir Haarde said he was unwilling to meet the demands of his coalition partners, the Social Democratic Alliance Party, which insisted upon getting the post of prime minister to keep the coalition intact.

"I really regret that we could not continue with this coalition, I believe that that would have been the best result," Haarde told reporters.

Haarde, who has been prime minister since 2006, said he would officially inform the country's president, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, that the government had collapsed. Grimsson, largely a figurehead, has asked Haarde's government to remain in place until a new administration is formed.

Last week, Haarde called elections for May -- bringing forward a contest originally slated for 2011 after weeks of protests by Icelanders upset about soaring unemployment and rising prices.

But Haarde said he wouldn't lead his Independence Party into the new elections because he needs treatment for cancer.

Foreign Minister Ingibjorg Gisladottir, head of the Alliance party, is expected to start talks immediately with opposition parties in an attempt to form a new government that would rule until the new elections are held.

Gisladottir said Monday she won't seek to replace Haarde as Iceland's leader, proposing Social Affairs Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir -- an Alliance member -- instead.

The prime minister told reporters Monday that he had proposed Education Minister Thorgerdur Katrin Gunnarsdottir to be the new prime minister, but Gisladottir rejected that offer.

"It was an unreasonable demand for the smaller party to demand the premiership over the larger party," Haarde said.

He said he hoped a national government, formed from all of Iceland's main political parties, could lead the country until the elections.

The Alliance Party also has sought the ouster of central bank governor David Oddsson, Iceland's former prime minister, and sought changes to Iceland's constitution to allow it to become a full member of the European Union.

Iceland has been mired in crisis since the collapse of the country's banks under the weight of debts amassed during years of rapid expansion. Inflation and unemployment have soared, and the krona currency has plummeted.

Haarde's government has nationalized banks and negotiated about $10 billion in loans from the IMF and individual countries. In addition, Iceland faces a bill likely to run to billions of dollars to repay thousands of Europeans who held accounts with subsidiaries of collapsed Icelandic banks.

The country's commerce minister, Bjorgvin Sigurdsson, quit Sunday, citing the pressures of the economic collapse.

"We are happy that the government has gone, but now we need to clean up the financial supervisory authority and the central bank," protester Svginn Rumar Hauksson said at a rally Monday outside Parliament. "The protests will continue until it becomes clear that things are really changing."

(The Associated Press)

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