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Links 01/02/2009: More GNU/Linux Sub/notebooks (Android, Indian Education)

Posted in News Roundup at 5:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish


  • Source: Intel prepping for mass roll-out of Android netbooks

    As netbook sales continue to pick up in a struggling world economy, Intel, which makes the Atom processor found in many of those netbooks, is looking towards the future of the market. Specifically, it’s stepping up its efforts to provide the foundation for Google Android-based netbooks to be mass produced, a reliable source tells us.

    Such an effort could yield Android netbooks as early as this year, but 2010 remains a more likely scenario.

  • $10 laptops on anvil for students

    The Human Resource Development Ministry is in the final stages of bringing out a $10- $20 low power device to take the laptop right into the villages and into the hands of practically every student across the country.

  • Money is Not Wealth

    Why would anyone work for free? I could list a whole lot of reasons, but I think they can all be summed up as “To be who we really are.” Coders code. Writers write. Artists make art. Etc…you get the idea. It’s not really working for free anyway, it’s just not getting paid in money. Payment comes in the form of personal satisfaction, creating something excellent and proud-worthy, sharing, being part of something bigger and worthwhile, having the respect and approval of peers and friends, making the world a little bit better. Getting paid to do what you love is the best of all worlds, though you still have to keep your guard up– you have to watch out for the folks who think that giving you money means they own you; that money justifies anything. Money is a tricky bugger.

  • Join us at FOSDEM ‘09

    Next weekend, the Fedora community will be at the ninth Free and Open source Software Developers European Meeting (FOSDEM)–one of the best free and open source events in Europe.

    And this year again, we expect an amazing attendance. More than 40 Fedora ambassadors are coming from different parts of Europe to represent Fedora and welcome visitors. Incredible, when three years ago, there were only two of us. Another reason to say Fedora is more powerful than 2³ and e³!

  • Sibyl Systems to Distribute Ubuntu Linux Exclusively

    Sibyl Systems, a Central New York based IT solutions provider and subcontracting firm today announced that it will exclusively distribute Ubuntu for all future linux deployments.

    Ubuntu (official IPA pronunciation /ùbúntú/ (oo-BOON-too[5])) is a predominantly desktop-oriented Linux distribution, based on Debian GNU/Linux but with a stronger focus on usability, regular releases, and ease of installation. Ubuntu is sponsored by Canonical Ltd, owned by South African billionaire entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Embedded Linux at 10; How’s its Mojo?

      Embedded Linux has now been around for a decade and consistently ranks as one of the top OS choices for device development. But, does it still have its mojo?

      Four distinguished panelists offered their insights on this intriguing topic in a panel discussion at the Real-Time & Embedded Computing Conference this week.

      The session examined Linux’s strengths and weaknesses relative to mobile and embedded applications ranging from handheld consumer gadgets to automotive infotainment systems to carrier-grade telecommunications infrastructure. It also assessed the quality and completeness of the open-source OS’s available development tools.

Package Management

  • NixOS: A Distro Focused on Next-Generation Package Management

    NixOS is not about to challenge Ubuntu or Fedora as a desktop distribution any time soon. But, then, user-friendliness is not its point. Originally developed by Eelco Dolstra as a doctoral project at Utrecht University, and now developed by a small team at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, NixOS is designed as a test of Nix, a new package manager designed to overcome key problems with existing package managers. As a result, what you think of NixOS is likely to depend largely on your interest in package management.

  • Sun Enhancements to OpenSolaris Take Aim at Linux

    Sun Microsystems’ OpenSolaris 2008.11 includes improvements around software package management and incorporating community packaging efforts. The updates to the free Solaris-based OS shows that Sun will not follow IBM and HP in letting Linux take over the platform space once dominated by Unix.

    OpenSolaris 2008.11, the second major release of Sun Microsystems’ freely-licensed, Solaris-based operating system, hit the Web late last year packed with feature enhancements that illustrate that Sun isn’t about to cede the platform stage to Linux, as brothers-in-Unix such as IBM’s AIX and Hewlett-Packard’s HP-UX have done.

Free Software/Open Source

  • AccessApps: The Braveheart Of Computing

    The team behind it really believe in the Open Source movement’s ability to liberate people from the costly, restrictive bonds of proprietary software. There’s no cost involved in using AccessApps, beyond the initial outlay for a USB memory stick – and the price of these has tumbled. Lots of people talk the Open Source talk, but the AccessApps team are walking the walk. I heartily recommend you walk with them.

  • Forget that expensive software!

    The Open Office package contains software with the exact same functionality as available with Microsoft Office Suite.

    The word processor, spreadsheet and presentation software look nearly identical to Microsoft’s, and if you have ever used Microsoft Office Suite, switching over would not be much of an issue.

  • JP Morgan CDS Analytical Engine becoming open source

    “J.P. Morgan has invested a lot of intellectual capital in this analytical engine. Its willingness to assign this to ISDA for us to make it available as open source to the entire industry demonstrates our collective commitment to the integrity of the CDS product,” said Robert Pickel, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, ISDA. “ISDA and its members are vigilant to public concerns around transparency. This is yet another measure of increased standardization in CDS.”

  • JPMorgan sacrifices CDS engine to open source in bid to stave off legislation

    The CDS analytical engine, originally developed by the Quantitative Research group at JPMorgan, is widely used in the industry to price CDS contracts.

    Isda says it will make the technology available as open source code, thereby increasing transparency around CDS pricing.

  • Open Source Drug Discovery | a.k.a OSDD

    The success of Open Source models in Information Technology (For e.g., Web Technology, The Linux Operating System) and Biotechnology (For e.g., Human Genome Sequencing) sectors highlights the urgent need to initiate a similar model in healthcare, i.e., an Open Source model for Drug Discovery.

  • Open-source politics breathe fresh air into the Big Smoke

    In a corner of his wife’s office in the Centre for Social Innovation, in an old red pile on Spadina, Mark Surman is trying to find a spot quiet enough for a phone interview.

    “Tonya, can I sit here or will I drive you guys nuts?” he asks above clattering keyboards.

    “You’ll drive us nuts, but we love you.”


    “Open” is a hot item in Toronto these days. Mr. Surman is an evangelist for the cause of openness. It’s not just free, open software like Firefox, built by a coalition of volunteers and paid staff. It’s open ideas, open information, and now, open government. And activists like his wife are pushing these ideas into the realm of social innovation.

    Nobody ever accused Toronto of being Silicon Valley North. But the ethos of open-ness has caught on, and it’s starting to turn Toronto into a capital of a different kind.

  • Open Source Research Platform: Wireless At WARP Speed

    Nothing kills innovation like having to reinvent the wheel. Imagine how dull your diet would be if you had to build a new stove and hammer out a few cooking pots every time you wanted to test a new recipe. Until just a couple of years ago, electronics researchers testing new high-speed wireless technologies faced just this sort of problem; they had to build every test system completely from scratch.

  • Jitterbit enhances open source software compatibility with Oracle CRM On Demand

    Jitterbit, a provider of open source business integration solutions, has announced advanced features to enhance the compatibility of its open source integration software with Oracle CRM On Demand Release 16.

  • Development

    • Sourceforge’s Mirrored Content Gets a Hand

      With over 180,000 open source projects in its repository, SourceForge.net has a lot of files it needs to track and serve.

      It can become a challenge to manage all those downloads. For the most part, Sourceforge relies on a system of globally distributed mirror sites that help to deliver open source application files and programs to users.

    • DOD launches site to develop open-source software

      Defense Department officials have launched a new Web site where developers can work on open-source software projects specifically for DOD, David Mihelcic, the chief technology officer for the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), said today.

      The new site, named Forge.mil, is based on the public site SourceForge.net which hosts thousands of open-source projects, Mihelcic said at an AFCEA Washington chapter lunch in Arlington, Va.

  • PBX


  • US Using Bogus Excuses For Denying Access To ACTA Documents

    And here’s another bit of “transparency” that’s just as lacking in the new administration as the last. For months, those of us concerned about backroom deals on intellectual property treaties bypassing an open legislative process have been demanding more sunlight on negotiations around ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. To date, the various folks negotiating the agreement — which includes both entertainment industry representatives and government trade representatives from around the world — have been averse to any sort of transparency, using the rather weak excuse that such treaties are always negotiated in secret. Amusingly, they even recently held a secret meeting where they promised to be more transparent. That’s comforting.

  • Yes, Artists Build On The Works Of Others… So Why Is It Sometimes Infringement?

    Following on our story the other day about copyright questions concerning the “appropriated art” that became the iconic Obama campaign poster, the Wall Street Journal has an interesting article exploring the fine line between derivative works and transformative works in the art world. As you probably know, derivative works (e.g., making a movie out of a book) are considered copyright infringement, but transformative works are not.

  • SaaS: Service Providers Predict Google Will Beat Microsoft

    Five years from now, Google — rather than Microsoft — will dominate the software as a service (SaaS) market, according to 48 percent of managed service providers who participated in MSPmentor’s reader poll for the week ended January 30, 2009. Here’s a closer look at the poll stats — and a surprising snub involving Oracle.

    MSPmentor asked its readers “Five years from now, who will dominate SaaS?” Exactly 100 readers participated in the poll, and responded as follows:

    * Google, 48%
    * Microsoft, 28%
    * Oracle, 0%
    * None of the above, 20%
    * All of the above, 4%

  • Firms back data protection pledge

    Firms are being encouraged to back a pledge to safeguard the data they hold about citizens and customers.

    Drafted by the Information Commissioner, the Personal Information Promise tries to improve respect for the data companies have gathered.

    Firms and organisations who use data that people surrender do not always take enough care with it, said Richard Thomas, Information Commissioner.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

John William Templeton looks at Free Open Source Software and African American culture and innovation 10 (2004)

Ogg Theora

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

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