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Links 09/02/2009: Many Mobile Linux Wins, Another GNU/Linux-Only MID

Posted in News Roundup at 11:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish


  • 7 Cool Things to Do With Linux

    So you’ve taken the plunge and installed Linux. You’ve followed all the HOWTOs all over the net. You’ve got your wireless card working flawlessly. You’ve got your video card working (and you’ve begun to loathe that spinning cube). You’ve installed all the “restricted” software like Adobe Flash, Sun Java and Google Earth. You’ve got all the patent restricted codecs and even DVD playback working just like you want. Now what? You want to know what you can do with Linux outside of the surfing, emailing, chatting and media consumption you normally do? Well, here are a few things to keep you busy.

  • Top 10 Responses to Why Should I Use Linux? – A Linux Evangelists’ Reference

    If you’re a Linux enthusiast like me, you’ve probably tried to convert a few people over to Linux from another operating system. Even though you succeed many times, there are always a few ‘geniuses’ out there who need some real persuading to switch over to Linux.

    So here are some quick and simple things about Linux you can point out to your potential convert.

    1. Linux helps you get rid of viruses, worms, and other computer infections.

    Although it is possible to get infected even with Linux (malware is mainly written for Windows), its system architecture, based on a server-client relationship makes it difficult for a virus to do any damage.

  • 21 More of the Best Free Linux Games

    Over the past 4 months we have continued to receive a steady stream of emails from individuals recommending games that were not included in our previous free game articles.

    After much testing, we have whittled down these users’ recommendations to a list of 21 highly addictive Linux games, covering as many different types of game genre as possible. Hopefully, there should be something of interest here for all types of gamers! All of these games are great fun to play.

  • Parcelforce website cold-shoulders Linux lovers

    Many have complained that Royal Mail’s Parcelforce.com site freezes out anyone using a Linux distro. One reader told us: “When you try and ship a parcel [on Parcelforce's website] it checks the browser user agent and refuses to proceed if you are running Linux.”

    We asked the firm whether it was aware of the issue and whether it was working to resolve the problem so that openistas could also order parcels online.

  • New Hat Selects DataDirect Networks to Power the Most Advanced Mac and Linux-Based Color Grading Workflow in Hollywood

    DataDirect Networks, Inc. (DDN), the data infrastructure provider for the most extreme, content-intensive environments in the world, today announced that New Hat, of Santa Monica, Calif., has selected the xSTREAM
    r™ SAN Solution, based on the S2A9900 Extreme Storage platform, to power its Apple® Macintosh® and Linux-based uncompressed 2K color grading post production workflow. New Hat was founded in 2008 by the legendary award-winning post production team of Bob Festa, Clark Muller and Darby Walker and represents the most technically advanced Mac and Linux-based color grading post environment in Hollywood.

  • Linux Guru Exchange

    My thought on this is simple: Create an evironment where those who would consider themselves of guru-level, could post themselves as available for those in need. A guru would then be taken by a new user and marked as “busy.” It’s a simple exchange. But here’s what has always been the catch – cost. The Linux guru idea has always been such that a guru helps a new user because, at one point, a guru helped them. It’s karmic payback, paying it forward – whatever you want to call it.

  • Compiz community shakeup could bring big improvements

    The Compiz project has announced plans for a major reorganization and a new roadmap for integrating major architectural changes.

  • What can Linux do for you?

    As the Linux name has been filtering down from the dizzying heights of geekdom to the general mind share. I am sure that many people have been wondering exactly what this Linux thing is and what can it do for them.

    This is a question that many have been asking and the answers are many and varied. Some answers are simple but unsatisfying like “What ever you want it to do” and some are confusing to those who are not of a technical bent.


    The easiest way to give Linux a go is with a Live CD. This in no way, shape or for will effect your exiting operating systems installation. Unless you wish to. It is just a simple matter of putting the CD in your computer and turning it on. You then have access to a complete Linux system running on your hardware from your CDROM drive. In this manner you can evaluate that Linux distribution and determine whether it is suitable for both your tastes and hardware.

  • AWN

    • AWN dock (and Extras) 0.3.2 released!

      Avant Window Navigator has released version 0.3.2 today. This includes the release of the core dock, “awn”, and all the applets and plugins, “awn-extras”. There was a combination of about 130 bug fixes and feature requests closed in this release, including a few entirely new applets! One of my favorite new applets, moderately pointless I admit, is the Animal Farm applet which displays a cute animal who gives you a fortune on a click, thereupon changing to a different random animal. Below is a shot of 10 of them running :)

    • Awn/Awn Extras 0.3.2 Released!
    • Awn Window Navigator

      I follow development of the awn window navigator closely ever since it was first announced on Launchpad.

  • Kernel Space

    • AMD Shanghai Opteron: Linux vs. OpenSolaris Benchmarks

      All tests on Ubuntu Linux and OpenSolaris were run through the Phoronix Test Suite. The tests we chose to run that were compatible with both Linux and OpenSolaris were LAME MP3 encoding, Ogg encoding, timed PHP compilation, 7-Zip compression, Gzip compression, GnuPG, OpenSSL, GraphicsMagick, BYTE Unix Benchmark, SQLite, Sunflow Rendering System, Bork File Encrypter, and Java SciMark.

    • Linus 2.6.29-rc4

      Another week (and a half), another -rc.

      Arch updates (sparc, blackfin), driver updates (dvb, mmc, ide), ACPI updates, FS updates (ubifs, btrfs), you name it. It’s all there.
      But more importantly, people really have been working on regressions, and hopefully this closes a nice set of the top one, and hopefully without introducing too many new ones.

    • The incredible shrinking operating system

      From the software concept called JeOS (pronounced “juice”), the Just Enough OS, to hardware concepts like Celio RedFly, an 8-inch screen and keyboard device running applications off a smartphone via a USB or a Bluetooth connection, there are an increasing number of indications that the center of gravity is shifting away from the traditional massive operating systems of the past.

    • Resilience® Announces New Linux-based CWR 8100 Series Purpose-Optimized Appliances for Websense Web Security v7

      Each solution is pre-loaded with Websense Web Security on a Linux-based Resilience-hardened OS, which includes Resilience’s automated provisioning functionality, 5-to-LiveSM.

  • Desktop Environments

    • Krita 2.0: a Host of New Features

      Boudewijn Rempt has summarised results of development for the next version of Krita, the painting and image editing application for KOffice. Krita 2.0 will contain a host of new features, some of which are unique in the free software world. Below Piotr introduces some of the new features which will be available in this release.

  • Distributions

    • Linux Monday: Pushing the envelope on old gear

      Old computers are less than a dime a dozen—-literally. I pick them up for free, either through a wonderful group called Freecycle or literally off the street. I live in a college town and at moving time, that old desktop from freshman year isn’t worth packing. So some local geek like me comes along and turns it into a Linux box. (I have yet to have achieve my dream of someone actually paying me to take one away.) Or, if it’s really old, I strip it for the usable parts.


      There’s a few specialty Linux distributions geared toward low-low end machines. Puppy Linux, for example, will run on a 166MHz processor and 128MB of memory. Damn Small Linux takes that even lower–a 486 processor and 8 MB of RAM. Given the lower specs, and the fact that I preferred the mild profanity name to the cutesy name, I started with DSL. The download was also damn small, a mere 50 meg. I though for a moment I’d lost my connection, but no, it was done.

    • Red Hat

      • IBM Uses Red Hat to Reduce Datacenter Carbon Footprint

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Bank of New Zealand, a subsidiary of the National Australia Bank Group, has deployed Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 on IBM System z mainframes to solve environment, space and cost issues related to its datacenter. With Red Hat and IBM solutions, Bank of New Zealand has significantly reduced its hardware footprint, power consumption, heat and carbon emissions and costs, including an expected 20 percent cost reduction over the life of the platform.

    • Debian

      • Debian Project seeks Hardware Donations

        LinuxThe Debian project is looking for sponsors for two new official services: snapshot and data archives. Both services utilize large amounts of data and therefore require a capable machine with a large disk array that provides 10 TB of disk space to start, with the ability to be easily extended. We’d like interested sponsors to contact hardware-donations@debian.org.

      • What’s new with Lenny

        For those getting ready to make the switch and for those who just haven’t really looked in to it, I have decided to list some of the key changes, differences, and improvements between Lenny and Etch that can be found on the Debian Project wiki.

    • Mepis

      • Mepis 8 Replaces 7 – A Good Plan

        I wasn’t planning on making the switch quite yet, but it worked out just right, anyway. Simply Mepis (SM) has been my Linux distribution of choice for a long time now, and it’s getting closer to going gold all the time. The anticipation is growing in the Mepis community, but we can wait (I think).

      • SimplyMEPIS 8.0 RC3: Entering the “Waiting for Lenny” Phase

        MEPIS has distributed ISO files for RC3 of SimplyMEPIS 8.0. The files for 32 and 64 bit processors are SimplyMEPIS-CD_7.9.96-rc3_32.iso and SimplyMEPIS-CD_7.9.96-rc3_64.iso.

    • Ubuntu

      • Set Up a Free Business Server With Ubuntu

        If your network lacks a file server, it’s missing a central hub for storage and backup. You could choose between several free and paid options, from Ubuntu Linux up to Windows Server. Here’s how to get started with the free approach. You’ll just have to scrounge up an old PC you probably have lying around already.

      • Does Ubuntu scare Microsoft?

        The job posting reveals Microsoft’s longstanding competitive concerns about open-source software. Although Google and Apple seem to have been Microsoft’s biggest competitive focus in recent years, Linux and other open-source programs are still there, of course, posing a threat to a wide range of Microsoft products. The Microsoft job posting reflects that broad competition.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Stephen King pens Kindle2 exclusive

      AMAZON IS EXPECTED TO ANNOUNCE the arrival of the new version of its Kindle electronic book reader today, and the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the internet trader has added a bit of clout to the launch by persuading pulp horror author Stephen King to write a new book which will (for the time being at least) be available exclusively on the Kindle 2.

    • Amazon unveils Kindle 2.0

      The worst kept secret in literary history has finally been officially confirmed by Amazon: the existence of its Kindle 2.

    • Amazon Raises an E-Book Specter
    • Embedded Computer Runs Linux, Development Tools, and Access Control

      US embedded hardware OEM KwikByte is shipping an embedded system designed for general purpose computing, access control applications, test stands, and inventory management. KwikByte demonstrated the system running open-source packages and a sample access control application within various environments.

    • New 16-Channel H.264 Embedded Linux Standalone DVR for Business Security Camera Systems

      We are proud to further expand our existing H.264 Standalone DVR product line with the addition of our DVR-26416S 16-Channel Embedded Linux H.264 Standalone DVR. This advanced remote viewable DVR is great for home or business camera installs.

    • Phones

      • Can the $99 iPhone beat off 40 new Androids?

        Are you an Android or an iPhone? Maybe you are undecided, which could be he best position to be in as it seems that the smartphone market is set to be spoilt for choice in 2009. It would appear that Apple is set to release no less than three new iPhones this year while the competing Android powered camp could be flooded with no less than 40 new handsets.

      • Telefonica, other telcos to launch Linux phones

        One of the largest mobile operators in the world, Telefonica (TEF.MC), joined wireless Linux foundation LiMo on Monday and committed with five other major operators to sell phones using its software this year.

        Vodafone (VOD.L), Orange (FTE.PA), Japan’s NTT DoCoMo (9437.T), Korea’s SK Telecom (017670.KS), and the top U.S. operator Verizon Wireless will also introduce phones using LiMo software in 2009, the operators said in a joint statement ahead of Mobile World Congress trade show next week in Barcelona.

        “With a host of operators pledging to deliver handsets in 2009, we expect LiMo to start making real tangible progress in 2010,” said Geoff Blaber, an analyst at research firm CCS Insight.

      • Six carriers promise LiMo phones in 2009

        Six major global operators today affirmed their expectation of shipping mobile phones based on the Linux Mobile Foundation’s (LiMo’s) flavor of Linux during 2009. LiMo, meanwhile, announced its second, more ambitious spec, five compliant royalty-free reference implementations, and two powerful new board members, global mobile operators Telefónica and SK Telecom.

      • BONDI gives mobile widgets a day in the sun

        The Open Mobile Terminal Alliance has launched version one of its Web-2.0-widget platform BONDI with a reference implementation, software developer’s kit and endorsements from Opera and the other Linux consortium.

        BONDI is a selection of extensions to ECMAScript (the scripting language formally, and informally, known as JavaScript) to give digitally-signed scripts access to phone functions, including location, contacts, camera and messaging functions – enabling a scripted application to integrate with the phone environment in just the way that iPhone WebApps failed to do.

      • LiMo Foundation Gets Ready for Next-generation Platform

        The next version of the Linux-based mobile platform LiMo is getting closer to launch and a number of operators are promising handsets during 2009, the LiMo Foundation announced Monday.

      • Linux Phones on Tap for 2009 from Verizon, Others

        Your next cheap phone might be a Linux phone – but you might never know it. The LiMo Foundation announced Monday that Verizon Wireless and other global carriers will be rolling out Linux-based phones in 2009, possibly including low-cost devices capable of running advanced Web apps.

      • LiMo To Ring In Low-Cost Linux Phones

        The LiMo Foundation, a loose federation of global carriers that includes industry heavyweights such as Verizon and Vodafone, said on Monday that several of its member companies plan to roll out low-cost Linux-based phones by the end of this year.

      • Global Mobile Operators Confirm Commitment to Widely Deploy LiMo Handsets

        LiMo Foundation(TM) today announced commitment from six major operator members to specify and deliver handsets using LiMo Platform(TM) implementations in 2009. The LiMo Platform represents the vision, inputs and best-in-breed contributions of major stakeholders from across the mobile industry, enabling operators worldwide to leverage a standard set of market-proven OS technologies across many devices while providing deeply customized experiences to their customers.

      • Movial to Demo Its Advanced User Interface With Accelerated Graphics in LiMo Booth at GSMA Mobile World Congress 2009

        Movial, the company that inspires rich, intuitive Internet experiences, today announced it will demo its Internet Experience Suite’s (Movial IXS) Advanced User Interface with the Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) OMAP(TM) 3 platform in LiMo’s booth at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (B135, Hall 8).

    • Sub-notebooks

      • FluxFlux-Se released

        FluxFlux-Se has been released today. FluxFlux is a PCLinuxOS Remaster & provides a fully configured and ready-to-use live system containing all typical programs for the average user.

      • First look at Moblin V2 Core Alpha

        There has been lots of fanfare around netbooks since this new market exploded onto the scene little more than a year ago. Starting with the ASUS Eee PC, other manufacturers soon followed suit to the point where most major computing brands now have a netbook of some description. This major growth has not been limited just to the hardware realm however, software too has come along for a slice of the pie. Last year saw many new distributions targeting these little machines, most being based off larger mainstream distributions. Intel, who helped boost this market with the release of their low-powered Atom processor, has also been busy in the software arena, sponsoring the Moblin project – a Linux-based platform aimed squarely at netbooks running its hardware.

      • UMID start taking pre-orders for MID M1.

        Since, they are mostly happy with Linux based MID since no concerns are related to doing a web surfing out there. ActiveX is only problem for Korean customers. Linux should good enough to operating over the M1 512MB plus SSD version.

      • HP’s Command-Line Performance

        A new, Linux-powered HP netbook is getting a lot of attention — not for what it includes but for what it doesn’t.

        The HP Mini 1000 Mi Series is a great-looking, reasonably priced netbook PC. It runs on a customized Linux operating system, billed as the company’s “Mobile Internet” platform. And if you check the fine print, you’ll notice that it is missing one very notable feature: a command line.

      • How do you beat free?

        Before I start rolling, I’d like to make it clear that I understand the difference between freeware and Free software. I’ve used Linux for eleven or so years and have been MS-free for basically all of it. Now, on with the show.


        That hundred dollars pays for the MS Windows license (maybe $30) and leaves you some profit — profit which you aren’t making on the hardware because the market’s so tight. Give up MS Windows, and you’ve given up that source of income.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Enterprise Interview: Anthony Gold, president, Open Solutions Alliance

    GM: You’ve said you want to take the OSA to the “next level” by addressing interoperability between proprietary and closed-source software. Could you please say exactly how you intend to achieve that in practical terms? For example, do you contemplate licensing deals with proprietary vendors, or is it a matter of working towards common standards? If the latter, would they be completely open?

    AG: Indeed, I’m looking very forward to taking OSA to the next level by extending the success we’ve had driving interoperability among open solutions to interoperability among the solutions customer demand, regardless of the nature of their licensing terms. And, these conversations are in the works.

    I don’t anticipate working on licensing deals. The OSA doesn’t represent any one commercial entity, so we would not enter into such deals as an organisation.

    Rather, I’m looking to work towards common interoperability practices and standards that allow solutions to easily be deployed together. If these efforts result in standards, I would expect them to be open so that they could benefit everyone in the industry; however, the conversations aren’t at that point yet.

  • New Approach to Open Source Application Deployment

    Open Source application deployment has come a long way. Currently, there is excellent way for Linux distributions to install and update its software. For example, both Fedora and Debian based distribution has RPM / DEB package management systems with its associated tools YUM / APT. This simplifies Open Source application deployment and update with easy to use tools.

    However, we would like to raise two issues for discussion:

    1. In order to create a RPM / DEB package, you will need to learn and understand how to build and maintain these package systems. You need to understand spec / control files; how scripts interact with packages. They are not hard to learn, but there is a learning curve.
    2. The current ways of asking users to specify parameters are not re-usable. A package maintainer can use script and command line to query user input, but that requires hard coding the questions inside the package. Debian has the debconf templating system, which provides a centralized location to store question templates, default values, and variables. This again require learning the debconf system – not difficult to do – but there is a learning curve.

  • Send comments opposing TLS-authz standard by February 11

    Last January, the Free Software Foundation issued an alert to efforts at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to sneak a patent-encumbered standard for “TLS authorization” through a back-door approval process that was referenced as “experimental” or “informational”. The many comments sent to IETF at that time alerted committee members to this attempt and successfully prevented the standard gaining approval.

  • Mozilla to Join EU Suit Against Microsoft

    The European Commission (EC) has granted Mozilla, the open-source collaboration behind the Firefox Web browser, the right to join its antitrust case against Microsoft, a spokesman said Monday.

    The Commission, Europe’s top antitrust authority, charged Microsoft last month with distorting competition in the market for Web browsers by bundling in its Internet Explorer (IE) browser with the Windows operating system.

  • Over 30 Must-Have Open Source Resources

    Periodically, we here at OStatic like to round up our ongoing collections of open source resources, tutorials, reviews and project walkthroughs. These educational tools are a central part of the goal here at the site. We regularly round up the best Firefox extensions, free online books on open source topics, free tools for web developers, resources for online video and audio, Linux tutorials, and much more. In this post, you’ll find more than 30 collections and resources. Hopefully, there is something right up your alley here, and the good news is that everything you’ll find is free.

  • XAware at the Heart of New Mexico’s Innovative Public Safety Information Sharing Program

    XAware, Inc., a leading provider of commercial open source data integration software, today announced its solution is a critical component in a public safety information sharing program operated by the State of New Mexico’s Justice Information Sharing Council (JISC) under the New Mexico Sentencing Commission. XAware’s data integration capabilities enable New Mexico to operate an innovative system for accessing and sharing information from criminal agencies in a way that is secure, efficient and cost-effective.

  • Open-source software suites pre-installed in local PCs

    In a bid to promote the wider use of open-source software in Thailand, the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (Nectec) has joined five local computer manufacturers to pre-install open-source software suites in personal computers.

    The five companies are SVOA, D Com, Synnex (Thailand), IT Bakery and Powell Computer.

    Nectec’s director Pansak Siriruchatapong said Nectec was developing and customising open-source software suites for the local-brand PC companies, including the operating system Ubuntu Linux and applications such as Open Office, Firefox Web browser and Thunderbird e-mail software.

  • Open source software for health investigated

    Open source software is creeping into health systems around the world, but is yet to seriously challenge incumbent proprietary software, according to experts.

    Otago University health informatics lecturer Muzaffar Malik says core open source medical software, such as clinical information system OpenVista, is being used in several countries.

  • Use open system in 2010—ex-poll chief

    Lagman said the Computer Science Department of the University of the Philippines Diliman had been tapped to develop the open source software for the proposed OES.

  • AccesStream Moves One Step Closer to a Version 1 General Availability Release

    AccesStream, a provider of open source enterprise identity access management and security solutions, is pleased to announce the beta 2 release of its identity access management solution to the open source community. The Beta 2 release is the second of three beta releases to culminate with the Version 1 general availability release at the beginning of April. The source code is available for immediate download and testing from AccesStream’s website. This open source initiative will allow developers worldwide to participate in the progress of the Accesstream project.

  • Bruce Perens: Combining GPL and Proprietary Software

    Linux is a natural for embedded systems. That’s why it’s popping up in more cell phones, often without the customer even realizing it’s there. But cell phone manufacturers, and the broader sector of embedded systems, must cope with the problem of how to combine the GPL Linux kernel, and software that isn’t Open Source. How does one do that legally?

  • Events

    • SCALE

      • Red Hat and the Fedora Project to Present at Southern California Linux Expo

        The rise of software patents continues to pose challenges for free and open source software (FOSS) developers, including the difficulties of clearing patents and the risk of patent litigation. In his presentation ? Patents and Open Source After Bilski,? Rob Tiller, vice president and assistant general counsel, IP for Red Hat, will explore the legal issues raised by patent law for FOSS developers and users. Tiller will provide an overview for non-lawyers on exclusionary patent rights and contrast those with the open collaboration culture of FOSS. He will also discuss the recent Bilski decision of the U.S. Federal Circuit, and how that decision might improve the current problem of software patents facing FOSS developers.

      • Preview: Three Trends At Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE)

        As the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) prepares to kick-off February 20 in Los Angeles, The VAR Guy did some preliminary poking around. He wanted to see if there were any key trends worth nothing for open source solutions providers. The result? Take a look at these three anticipated trends and themes from SCALE.

    • FOSDEM

      • South Africa at Fosdem 2009

        Walter Leibbrandt and Friedel Wolff of South African localisation specialists Translate.org.za attended this weekend’s Fosdem 2009 conference in Belguim. They sent Tectonic their thoughts on the two-day European FOSS gathering:

        Day 1
        Fosdem 2009 started! We attended the beer event last night in the centre of Brussels and apparently the bill at midnight was already close to €10 000. We were tired after the flight, so we didn’t hang around until 03:00 like some people apparently did. Several people came to greet us and we also had a random question about what the country domain of Translate.org.za on our T-shirts was

      • FOSDEM – the hordes

        Hordes of unpaid volunteers. Bunches of open source professionals. Lots of freedom activists. You get what you pay for. So this is what you get at FOSDEM. For free.

  • Business

    • Do Top Hackers Have Too Much Money?

      Having money implies a certain amount of time has passed since you first got it, and time changes many things. As most people have found, no matter how wonderful a job can seem at first, in the initial flush of triumph and enthusiasm, after a while things begin to niggle. You may find the work mundane or repetitive, the office uncongenial, management lacking in comprehension, or that there are myriad other things that exasperate you.

    • Open source: It’s about capitalism, not freebies

      I’ve been saying for years that open source is about capitalism, not communism.

      I used to laugh when Microsoft ignorantly slandered open source as “anti-American” because the inverse was so clearly the case (PDF chapter from Open Sources 2.0).

      Now Forbes, hardly a bastion of communist thought, is running an article that profiles several prominent open-source capitalists, including Brian Behlendorf (Apache, CollabNet), John Roberts (SugarCRM), and Rod Johnson (SpringSource). It turns out that these entrepreneurs have found winning ways to turn open source into cash.

    • WSO2 Launches Carbon Modular Open-Source SOA Framework

      WSO2 announces the launch of WSO2 Carbon, the company’s new fully componentized SOA framework based on the OSGi specification. In addition to Carbon, WSO2 announces the first four WSO2 products based on the Carbon framework: WSO2 Web Services Application Server 3.0, WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus 2.0, WSO2 Registry 2.0 and the new WSO2 Business Process Server — WSO2’s first business process management offering.

    • WSO2 offers open source, componentized SOA

      Open source SOA vendor WSO2 on Monday will debut a componentized framework for SOA based on OSGi, with the intent of letting user sites assemble just what they need for their own deployments without having to carry excess software.

  • Hardware

    • Cool projects with open source hardware

      I’m a huge fan of open source software to help me at work and at home. Two of my favorites are WordPress for blogging and Web site design, as well as GnuCash for managing my personal finances. But lately, I’ve been doing a lot more research into open source hardware.


  • Bloggers not protected by anti-astroturfing laws

    You may recall that last year year, astroturfing, sock puppetry and other forms of fake-blog bullshit were made illegal – at least, illegal if they’re carried out by companies.

    Section 22 of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive is absolutely clear, making it illegal to go around “falsely claiming or creating the impression that the trader is not acting for purposes relating to his trade, business, craft or profession, or falsely representing oneself as a consumer”.

  • Dutch government study: net effect of P2P use is positive

    The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs commissioned a study by research company TNO about how much Dutch Internet users download music, movies, and games, and what the social and economic effects of this downloading are. This resulted in a nearly 150-page report (Dutch) with many tables of percentages in it. The report differentiates between paid and unpaid downloads and talks about file sharing, eschewing the word “illegal.” In the Netherlands, only uploading copyrighted music and movies is against the law. “Unpaid downloads” include officially licensed promotional content.

  • Hacker clones passports in drive-by RFID heist

    A British hacker has shown how easy it is to clone US passport cards that use Radio Frequency ID chips by conducting a drive-by test on the streets of San Francisco.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Bdale Garbee, Hewlett Packard computer wizard and Debian lead 06 (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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  1. Friend said,

    February 10, 2009 at 9:07 am


    Great website, but totally unusable. Lot of screen area is just blank.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 10, 2009 at 9:17 am


    We’ll redesign some day. It’s not so simple for the following reasons:

    1. Dependence of content upon page layout
    2. Software version. We run a long-term support version of the CMS and upgrading might break crucial plug-ins, e.g. those which enable cross-referencing
    3. Visual identity
    4. Time. Changing theme in a site with almost 10,000 pages is not like changing underwear. It requires a lot of work to be done properly.

      We’re currently experimenting with a Wiki and we’ll probably restructure access points to content so as to make it easier to navigate through archives.

  3. Friend said,

    February 11, 2009 at 1:43 am


    Nice, maybe you can set up a demo site and invite visitors to comment on improvements, etc.

    you can even as input from users on how to make it better.

    you can try making small changes to css like reducing the left margin size, try using straight corners rather than rounded to improve performance, changing the background colors to white, etc.

    i personally found drupal to be much better than wordpress. maybe its just me.

  4. Friend said,

    February 11, 2009 at 1:45 am


    you can even a write a book on this subject

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 11, 2009 at 5:12 am


    Thanks. I’ll check to find out.

DecorWhat Else is New

  1. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, December 03, 2021

  2. Links 4/12/2021: EndeavourOS Atlantis, Krita 5.0.0 Beta 5, Istio 1.11.5, and Wine 6.23; International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on December 10th

    Links for the day

  3. Another Gemini Milestone: 1,500 Active Capsules

    This page from Balázs Botond plots a graph, based on these statistics that now (as of minutes ago) say: “We successfully connected recently to 1500 of them.” Less than a fortnight ago more than 1,800 capsules overall were registered by Lupa, almost quadrupling in a single year

  4. [Meme] António Campinos and Socialist Posturing

    Staff of the EPO isn’t as gullible as António Campinos needs it to be

  5. António Campinos as EPO President is Considered Worse Than Benoît Battistelli (in Some Regards) After 3.5 Years in Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    The EPO's demise at the hands of people who don't understand patents and don't care what the EPO exists for is a real crisis which European media is unwilling to even speak about; today we share some internal publications and comment on them

  6. Media Coverage for Sale

    Today we're highlighting a couple of new examples (there are many other examples which can be found any day of the year) demonstrating that the World Wide Web is like a corporate spamfarm in "news" clothing

  7. Links 3/12/2021: GNU Poke 1.4 and KDDockWidgets 1.5.0

    Links for the day

  8. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 02, 2021

  9. Links 3/12/2021: Nitrux 1.7.1 and Xen 4.16 Released

    Links for the day

  10. Links 2/12/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.4 Alpha, Qt Creator 6

    Links for the day

  11. The EPO's “Gender Awareness Report”

    There’s a new document with remarks by the EPO’s staff representatives and it concerns opportunities for women at the EPO — a longstanding issue

  12. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 01, 2021

  13. EPO Staff Committee Compares the Tactics of António Campinos to Benoît Battistelli's

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO talks about EPO President António Campinos, arguing that “he seems to subscribe to the Manichean view, introduced by Mr Battistelli…”

  14. Prof. Thomas Jaeger in GRUR: Unified Patent Court (UPC) “Incompatible With EU Law“

    The truth remains unquestionable and the law remains unchanged; Team UPC is living in another universe, unable to accept that what it is scheming will inevitably face high-level legal challenges (shall that become necessary) and it will lose because the facts are all still the same

  15. Links 1/12/2021: LibrePlanet CFS Extended to December 15th and DB Comparer for PostgreSQL Reaches 5.0

    Links for the day

  16. EPO Cannot and Will Not Self-Regulate

    The term financialisation helps describe some of the activities of the EPO in recent years; see Wikipedia on financialisation below

  17. [Meme] Germany's Licence to Break the Law

    Remember that the young Campinos asked dad for his immunity after he had gotten drunk and crashed the car; maybe the EPO should stop giving diplomatic immunity to people, seeing what criminals (e.g. Benoît Battistelli) this attracts; the German government is destroying its image (and the EU’s) by fostering such corruption, wrongly believing that it’s worth it because of Eurozone domination for patents/litigation

  18. EPO Dislikes Science and Scientists

    The EPO's management has become like a corrupt political party with blind faith in money and monopolies (or monopoly money); it has lost sight of its original goals and at this moment it serves to exacerbate an awful pandemic, as the video above explains

  19. Links 1/12/2021: LibreOffice 7.3 Beta, Krita 5.0, Julia 1.7

    Links for the day

  20. Links 1/12/2021: NixOS 21.11 Released

    Links for the day

  21. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 30, 2021

  22. Links 1/12/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and WordPress 5.9 Beta

    Links for the day

  23. [Meme] EPO Administrative Council Believing EPO-Bribed 'Media' (IAM Still Shilling and Lying for Cash)

    IAM continues to do what brings money from EPO management and Team UPC, never mind if it is being disputed by the patent examiners themselves

  24. The EPO's Mythical “Gap” Has Been Found and It's Bonuses for People Who Use Pure Fiction to Steal From Patent Examiners

    The phony president who has the audacity to claim there's a budget gap is issuing millions of euros for his enablers to enjoy; weeks ahead of the next meeting of national delegates the Central Staff Committee (CSC) tells them: "Events show that the delegations’ concerns about functional allowances have materialised. The lack of transparency and inflation of the budget envelope gives rise to the suspicion that high management is pursuing a policy of self-service at the expense of EPO staff, which is difficult to reconcile with the Office’s claimed cost-saving policy, and to the detriment of the whole Organisation."

  25. Video: Making the Internet a Better Place for People, Not Megacorporations

    Following that earlier list of suggested improvements for a freedom-respecting Internet, here's a video and outline

  26. Links 30/11/2021: KDE Plasma 5.23.4, 4MLinux 38.0, Long GitHub Downtime, and Microsoft's CEO Selling Away Shares

    Links for the day

  27. A Concise Manifesto For Freedom-Respecting Internet

    An informal list of considerations to make when reshaping the Internet to better serve people, not a few corporations that are mostly military contractors subsidised by the American taxpayers

  28. Freenode.net Becomes a 'Reddit Clone' and Freenode IRC is Back to Old Configurations After Flushing Down Decades' Worth of User/Channel Data and Locking/Shutting Out Longtime Users

    Freenode is having another go; after “chits” and “jobs” (among many other ideas) have clearly failed, and following the change of daemon (resulting in massive loss of data and even security issues associated with impersonation) as well as pointless rebrand as “Joseon”, the domain Freenode.net becomes something completely different and the IRC network reopens to all

  29. Jack Dorsey's Decision is a Wake-up Call: Social Control Media is Just a Toxic Bubble

    The state of the World Wide Web (reliability, preservation, accessibility, compatibility etc.) was worsened a lot more than a decade ago; with social control media that’s nowadays just a pile of JavaScript programs we’re basically seeing the Web gradually turning into another Adobe Flash (but this time they tell us it’s a “standard”), exacerbating an already-oversized ‘bubble economy’ where companies operate at a loss while claiming to be worth hundreds of billions (USD) and generally serve imperialistic objectives by means of manipulation like surveillance, selective curation, and censorship

  30. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 29, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, November 29, 2021

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