IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: March 11th, 2009 – Part 2

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Enter the IRC channel now

To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.

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IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: March 11th, 2009 – Part 1

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Enter the IRC channel now

To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.

Read the rest of this entry »

Links 12/03/2009: Huge GNU/Linux Success in French Police

Posted in News Roundup at 6:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux s’il vous plaît: French Gendarmie say oui to Ubuntu

    The Gendarmie Nationale – France’s national police force – has been slowly introducing open source software to its 105,000+ policemen since 2005. In 2008 the decision was made to use only Ubuntu for all new workstations. A year on shows this has been a great success with happy users, a better network and cost savings of over seven million euro per year.

  • FR: Gendarmerie saves millions with open desktop and web applications
  • Google and the Linux desktop

    Google’s goal? To set up a cloud-based set of Windows file-compatible applications that will work hand-in-glove with Google Linux-powered desktops. Google already has the applications: Google Docs, GMail, Google Calendar, etc. etc. Now, just add an operating system where they, and not the boys from Redmond, call the shots, and they’re in business.

  • Linux-Lego man trumpets OSH revolution

    The brain behind Bug Labs’ Lego-like Linux building blocks says we’re on the verge of open-source hardware revolution.

    “[Open Source hardware] will happen. There’s nothing stopping it,” Bug Labs CEO and founder Peter Semmelhack told The Reg this morning after trumpeting the biz benefits of open-source hardware during a mini-speech at Silicon Valley’s Emerging Technology Conference.

  • Channel 4 fails to open archives to Mac, Linux fans

    The only web browser currently supported by 4oD, which runs in Windows Media Player 10 or above, is Microsoft’s Internet Explorer versions 5.5, 6 and 7.

  • Toshiba Bringing Netbook To U.S. Market

    Toshiba’s existing netbook, the NB100, currently sold in Europe, is based on Intel’s Atom processor, offers an 8.9-inch screen and is available with either Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition or Ubuntu Linux.

  • Kodak Announces Select Document Scanners With Support For LINUX OS

    Emphasizing support for open source and building on its previous participation in the OpenUSB Project, Kodak has announced at FOSE 2009 in Washington, D.C., the availability of a robust, open source and production quality scanning application for use on the LINUX Operating System called ScanTWAIN.

    ScanTWAIN functionality will support duplex scanning at rated speed on automatic document feeder (ADF) based scanners, like those available from Kodak. The ScanTWAIN scanning application is available via the SourceForge website and is issued under GPL, Gnu Public License, version 2.

  • Lenovo S10 Netbook: Fabulous Hardware, Yuck Software

    But, as the saying goes, it’s no use crying over spilled milk. Just lick it up and move on. The OLPC paved the way; it was intended to be an educational tool for children, but adults everywhere were enchanted and wanted one for themselves. This even made an impression on the inert titans of tech, who ponderously diverted from their doomed path of Jabba’s Law, which is “Bigger! More Lard! More Crapware! *Belch*”, and were sufficiently alarmed to waddle into action. In typical robber-baron fashion, both Intel and Microsoft crashed the OLPC party and tried to co-opt it. So Microsoft is trying to shoehorn Windows XP onto the OLPC, and Intel is trying to steal OLPC’s customers for their Classmate PC.

    I should note that in desktop PCs, laptops, and servers, we get an amazing amount of bang for our hardware buck. Five hundred US dollars buys a desktop system that not too long ago would have been an expensive, high-end server. And thanks to Linux and Free/Open/NetBSD we can actually run nice sleek efficient software that doesn’t require all that horsepower just to get out of its own way.

  • Pricing Free Software

    GNU TOOLCHAIN: $600.


    GNU OPERATING SYSTEM: $800-$1200 – complete and using a GNU kernel.

    LINUX KERNEL: $300.

    GNU/LINUX: $1000-$1500.

    Much more free software is worth a pretty penny, but, the software we listed above is free software. Free software is something that has to exist, and thankfully it does. So we don’t have to pay a cent for this software, and we are free to do with it as we please, excluding AVG. Free software should stay free, the GNU General Public License (GPL) helps with that. If you’re a software developer, please consider releasing your source code under the GPL or something like the GPL.

    With that being said. It’s possible for our prices to be biased, because of the positive impression they have for letting us be free, to use, modify, redistribute, and even sell the software.

    And, the price we would pay for free software may not be what you would pay for free software, this article is our budget for such software. Please feel free to leave a comment with what you would be willing to pay.

  • The Path To Linux Desktop Domination Is Through The Clouds

    I know purists in the Free Software world may not agree with me. Like Richard Stallman, they will argue that Cloud based services are proprietary blackhole and it should be avoided at all cost. Being an insider (an ardent supporter of Free Software), I have a question to my fellow Free Software enthusiasts and evangelists. Did we ever worry about the code that went into the integrated chips that were part of the machines on which we ran our Free Software Didn’t we abstract it out as hardware and not bother about the proprietary code, design, etc. inside them? Why can’t we do the same with Cloud based services? Why can’t we abstract out the software, offered as a service, and worry about other important things like Open Formats, Data Ownership, Data Portability, etc.? Why can’t we abstract out the Cloud Storage service and see if we can manage our data using Open Protocols on them? Yes, We Can. If we accept this kind of abstraction in Cloud Services and embrace it, we can also make Linux the dominant Desktop OS.

  • Linux: Save The Earth, Save A Buck?

    A good example is what’s known as the “tickless kernel.” This is a capability built into recent Linux kernels that powers up the processor — a major power-consumption source in any computer system — only when it needs to work. As others have noted, it’s a power-saving feature that works in devices ranging from netbooks to data-center servers; over time, it can deliver serious savings for companies with even a modest IT footprint.

  • Why I Love Linux and FOSS

    It fosters real innovation, not the fake kind that proprietary vendors are so fond of boasting about.
    It promotes honesty.
    It is a powerful force against tyranny.
    It is a powerful force against shoddiness, and a powerful force for quality.
    It doesn’t force me to choose between my important personal principals and a paycheck.
    Its success does not depend on people being stupid or deceived.

  • The Payola Didn’t Arrive on Time

    It must be that, because the top of the page has tips for switching to Mac on one side, and a story from John Dvorak about the time coming to download Ubuntu.

    Now I have seen Dvorak, in print, long enough to know he has never been in on the hit-you-in-the-face Microsoft slant of the rest of the magazine, but when his article appears with one about a Mac switch concurrently, something is definitely changing. Note I didn’t say wrong, because it should have been this way for quite some time.

    Perhaps the people are tired of the e-mail they keep getting about the bias. Perhaps the changes are due to inner discord, because I’ve heard things are not happy-happy-joy-joy at Ziff-Davis and its various entities. Whatever it is, I’m glad to see it, because the time is over that Microsoft puts out something and the masses accept it blindly, as though it had been delivered on stone tablets.

  • Don’t Tape Me, Bro! Taser Launches Headcam for Cops

    The new camera is head-mounted, so it will record everything the user lays his eyes on. Each headset plugs into a Linux-powered computer that looks curiously similar to a PlayStation Portable, which has an LCD screen so that officers can watch instant replays of their favorite tackles and shakedowns.

  • Open Source Games Funding Survey

    A survey was started to explore the potential of open source gaming business. It consists of 20 detailed questions about how you would fund games and what acts of commercialism you consider moral for free software. Time to fill it in!

  • Comux 001011
  • Distributions

    • Review: Zenwalk 6.0, A Sprint And A Stumble

      THE first real connection I made at an emotional level with a Linux distribution was with Zenwalk, back in its version 2.0 days, and it was that connection which persuaded me to make my first (modest) cash donation to an Open Source project.

    • Slax Linux

      All in all, if you want a fast operating system, then go for Slax Linux.

    • Fun with Puppy puplets

      Puppy Linux 4.1.2 is an amazing little distro — under 100 MB, and yet packed with applications. In this day of portable applications that can be run from USB flash drives, Puppy may be the ultimate portable app. The standard version comes with AbiWord and Gnumeric for office needs, the SeaMonkey web browser and html editor, Fotoxx image viewer, gXine for movies, Gtkam digital camera interface, Xsane scanner interface, ePDFview for PDFs, torrent, Geany and Leafpad for editing text… and the list goes on. Everything is included to give the user a complete operating system.


      Because Puppy Linux is so flexible, new users are often not fully aware of its potential. Now, with the proliferation of puplets, with their variety of window managers and program selections, the possibilities for Puppy are more apparent.

      Puppy is fast and stable, with useful programs. It works well on the newest and the oldest computers. It offers unique backup features with a simple copy of pup_save. It encourages users to customize it, and to learn about Linux in a fun way. Add to this the ability to remaster the ISO using an easy script, essentially merging the pup_save file with the original Puppy distribution files. One can do a personal remaster, with all one’s settings, or remaster for general distribution to others. No other Linux distro does things like this.

    • Mandriva

      • Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring RC1 ready for testing

        The Mandriva development team today announced a release candidate for its 2009 Spring release, codenamed Pomerol. Release candidate 1 includes KDE 4.2.1, GNOME 2.25.92, Xfce 4.6, X.org server 1.6, OpenOffice.Org 3.0.1 and the brand-new qt 4.5.0.

        In addition to features such as Speedboot, included in the beta release last month, 2009 Spring RC1 includes the experimental hybrid ISO technology. Hybrid ISO allows users to dump an ISO image to USB storage devices which can be used to boot additional devices such as netbooks.

      • Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring RC1 ready for tests!
      • After two years, a new PCLinuxOS ships!

        Two years after its last major release, the interesting PCLinuxOS project has quietly posted a major new release. The “pclinuxos-2009.1″ download features a kernel, KDE 3.5.10, and a host of other updates. It is currently difficult to get, however, possibly due to high demand.

    • Red Hat

      • Another 100,000+ week for Fedora 10

        Fedora 10 has been gaining new users at impressive rates. This past week alone Fedora 10 has picked up over 100,000 more.

      • Risk report: Four years of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4

        Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® 4 was released on February 15th, 2005. This report takes a look at the state of security for the first four years from release. We look at key metrics, specific vulnerabilities, and the most common ways users were affected by security issues. We will show some best practices that could have been used to minimise the impact of the issues, and also take a look at how the included security innovations helped.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu in the workplace.

        This is a photo of my latest project at the Behavioral Health Hospital I work for. We are (in Healthcare terms) a small, not-for-profit organization. We need to make better use of open source software. I am going to lead by demonstrating.

      • Review of Linux Mint 6

        Overall the performance of the Linux Mint on the specs that I always use for reviews are quite quick and is pretty fun to see something that is a different color then Ubuntu.

      • Ubuntu 9.04 (alpha 5) Jocular Jack-O-Lantern Review

        Firefox (3.06) came up as expected. Obviously setup had no trouble with any of the virtual hardware (not that I’d expect it to). The update manager found 310.4MB of updates to download. At this rate, I might be up and running fully by next month (no fault of Canonical).

      • Will Karmic Koala & A Bad Economy Conspire to Make Ubuntu The New Leader?

        I think that, with the bad economy, the disgust with Microsoft Windows Vista, and the move to netbooks by many, Linux will make a major move in this year. No, it won’t ‘take over’, but I see it taking up possibly 6-8% market share.

    • Debian

      • First encounters of the SimplyMepis kind

        If you are considering making the move to Linux or are just looking for something new or different to try, you should give SimplyMepis 8 a shot. The official version uses KDE 3.5 as it’s desktop, but there is also a remastered version on the Mepis Lovers Forums that uses KDE 4.2. Either way, it’s a great Linux distro and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

      • Debian Developers Conference call for speakers

        The Debian Project is looking for speakers for the annual DebConf developers meeting. This year’s event, DebConf9, is to be held in Cáceres, Spain from 24th to 30th July 2009.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Ebook reader to offer Linux dev platform

      A Berlin-based start-up called Txtr is readying an ebook reader that boasts an “open architecture” Linux development platform. Like Amazon’s Kindle 2, the Txtr Reader offers a 532MHz processor, a 3G connection, a second-generation E Ink grayscale display, and tie-ins to online services.

    • Open source x86 router distro gains GUI

      In a new release, Vyatta has added a web browser GUI to the community-supported version of its Linux router distribution for x86. Vyatta Community Edition 5 (VC5) also improves virtual private networking, thanks to OpenVPN, which works better in environments with NAT (network address translation).

    • $100 Linux client uses Via’s first ARM SoC

      Via Technologies has quietly established a subsidiary called WonderMedia, which is readying a multimedia-capable ARM9-based system-on-chip (SoC). An early version of the “Prizm” SoC, called the VT8500, is available in a Linux-ready NorhTec MicroClient TC thin-client that costs $100, says the company.

    • Phones

      • STMicroelectronics’ MEMS Enables Motion Sensing in Openmoko Mobile Handsets

        STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), one of the world’s leading semiconductor companies and the number one supplier of MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) motion-sensing chips for consumer and portable applications, has announced that its LIS302DL 3-axis accelerometer is being used by Openmoko, Inc to provide motion-sensing functions in Openmoko’s Neo Freerunner LINUX-based mobile open platform.

      • Major handset makers to collaborate on Eclipse dev tools

        A group of major mobile phone handset makers aim to simplify mobile application development by working together to create a standard set of development tools on top of Eclipse, a popular open source integrated development environment (IDE).

        Eclipse, which was originally created by IBM to provide a robust IDE for Java development, is now managed by the non-profit Eclipse Foundation and has become one of the most widely used development tools in the software industry. Eclipse is highly extensible by design and the source code is available under the permissive Eclipse Public License. These factors have made it a useful starting point for numerous companies that have adapted it for their own SDKs and custom development environments.

      • Android

        • Android app remote-controls three robots

          Surveyor builds a variety of robots that incorporate its open source Surveyor SRV-1 Camera Board and SRV-1 firmware. The latter appears to be based on the uClinux distribution available with the Analog Devices Blackfin BF537 digital signal processor (DSP), along with a Java-based application stack (an alternative build supporting Python is also available).

        • Where’s Got Everything You Need Right There

          Where is a location-based application for the Android platform that gives you information on shopping, travel, gas prices, weather and news, just to name a few. It’s a well engineered app that has already existed for other platforms and now has been ported to Android.

        • Android 1.1 available for Dev Phones

          HTC has released a system 1.1 installation for the Android dev phone (ADP1). Ars shows you where you can find a copy and take advantage of peers support for the upgrade.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • How Low Can PC Prices Go?

        As consumers cut back and the popularity of low-cost netbooks grows, the computer industry could see a sharp drop in prices

      • Windows 7 may not be the solution for the troubled Microsoft

        Microsoft does also get though competition from another big player in the industry: Google. Google has anounced recently it will release a Linux/Android Netbook version & subsidize (3G) network operators to bundle it with a service contract. Mobile operators like Tele2 & T-Mobile already offered Linux based Netbooks with 3G contracts, which sold pretty well.

        Bloomberg.com did publish an interesting article about the upcoming Netbook version of Windows 7 a few days ago with some remarkable statements about this release from several analysts/specialists from Gartner & the PC industry.

      • Linpus QuickOS puts Linux into fifth gear

        Linpus – known from their Linpus Linux pre-installed onto Acer Aspire One Netbooks – announced at the CEBIT they’ve entered into a strategic partnership with Insyde Software – provider of UEFI firmware -, to improve the boot speed & access to the applications of the Linpus Linux version for netbooks. This version will be called Linpus QuickOS.

      • Google to market Android netbooks, mobile TV?

        Rumors have been flying recently that Google is working on a netbook implementation of the Linux/Java Android mobile stack, and that it is collaborating with Asus to develop an Android-based prototype. Asus has been focusing mostly on Windows XP installs for its most recent Intel Atom-based Eee PC netbooks. However, its early models helped Linux capture around a quarter of the hot netbook market.

Free Software/Open Source

  • GCC To Receive Automatic Parallelization Support

    IBM’s Razya Ladelsky today outlined plans for providing automatic parallelization support within the GNU Compiler Collection. The Graphite Framework, which provides high-level loop optimizations based upon the polyhedral model, was merged for the forthcoming release of GCC 4.4 and it will be used eventually to provide some level of automatic parallelization support. Graphite will be combined with autopar, which is an automatic parallelization code generator based upon GOMP that in turn implements OpenMP.

  • Outfit Your Netbook With Open Source: 21 Tools

    2) Operating System: Ubuntu

    Unless you’re buying your laptop second-hand, it’s going to come with the OS pre-installed. If you haven’t yet made your purchase, you may want to consider one of the many models that uses Ubuntu Linux. It uses dramatically fewer resources than Windows (the other most common operating system option on low-cost laptops) and it’s generally considered more secure. In addition, Ubuntu includes many of the most popular open-source applications, such as OpenOffice.org, Firefox, and others.

    2) Browser: Firefox

    Even if you purchase a Windows-based laptop with Internet Explorer pre-installed, you should consider switching to Firefox. It’s more secure (which helps if you’re using a laptop that lacks security features), and it’s fast and easy to use.

  • Etymology of an Open Source App/Project

    Last year, I blogged about 35 Distros and how they got their names. Some of the distros out there have fascinating stories, while others are just too mundane. However make sure you read that blog, its a very interesting one (trust me).

    The natural extension of the “Etymology of a Distro” blog would be delving deeper into Open Source project’s etymologies. Indeed many readers already suggested that. Sadly I got sidetracked and put the whole idea on the back burner.

  • Songbird 1.1 is here

    Almost a million people have given Songbird 1.0 a warm welcome. We thank you for that. We’ve listened to your feedback on Get Satisfaction, our blog and Bugzilla.
    We want to keep bringing out the innovation you deserve. Here is your Songbird 1.1.

  • about:mozilla – Firefox, security metrics, trademarks, Shiretoko, localization, prototypes, Ubiquity, Bespin, Weave, and more…

    In this issue…

    * Firefox 3.0.7 released
    * Beware the security metric
    * Mozilla trademark abuse reporting
    * Shiretoko to be named Firefox 3.5 not 3.1
    * Mozilla localization documentation
    * New tab page prototype

  • Video

    • Video Editing Made Easy with Kino!

      There are lots of good tools in the Free Open Source Software world for capturing and editing video, but common to making almost any movie is a basic understanding of the steps to building a good story using a storyboard editor. This article will help you take the very first step toward creating a movie by using the very simple storyboard video editing program called Kino to create a story.

    • An Interview With The Developers Of FFmpeg

      Earlier this week the FFmpeg project reached version 0.5, which was quite significant considering no new FFmpeg release was made available in years. This release contained a plethora of new encoders and decoders, support for VDPAU, a variety of bug-fixes, and many other improvements. What is next for FFmpeg? When will we see proper Blu-ray support? Will there be a 1.0 release in the foreseeable future? To answer these questions plus others, I spoke with three of the main FFmpeg developers about this very popular — and important — open-source multimedia project.


    • The smallest unit of freedom: a Fellow

      Through the GNU Project and in particular the writings of Richard, I became aware of the larger picture. That is probably also the reason why I believe that his greatest achievement in life was to give this culture of software self-awareness.

      This self-awareness, including the Free Software Definition and the principle of Copyleft, was fundamental for everything that came afterwards, which provides the most important reason for myself to speak of “GNU/Linux.”


  • Guardian launches Open Platform tool to make online content available free

    Open Platform launched with two separate content-sharing services, which will allow users to build their own applications in return for carrying Guardian advertising.

  • Open Up Government Data

    If you’re a fan of free data flow into and out of the government, Vivek Kundra seems like an ally. But we can’t rest on our laurels. Now is exactly the time when lobbying for particular data and documents to be made accessible could be most effective.

    Data.gov is coming: Let’s help build it.

  • Labour’s Open Hypocrisy

    Open information, open innovation, open discussion, open feedback: well, that’s just super-duper and fab and all that, but why not allow a little openness about what the UK government is doing? How about getting rid of the absurd Official Secrets Act, the very antithesis of openness? How about putting the teeth back in the Freedom of Information Act? How about not refusing to publish documents about the Iraqi war? How about letting us see details of MPs’ expenses? How about letting us know where our MPs live? How about letting the public openly rate the government itself – the one group that seems excluded from the wonderful plans to “ebay-ise” UK public life?

  • Australian police may get hacking powers

    The government of the Australian state of New South Wales has unveiled plans to give state police the power to hack into computers remotely, with owners potentially remaining in the dark about the searches for up to three years.

    The new powers are part of a package introduced into parliament last week by Premier Nathan Rees. Broadly, they aim to give police the right to apply for covert search warrants from the Supreme Court to gather evidence in cases that could involve serious indictable offenses punishable by at least seven years’ imprisonment.

  • Hitachi pays $31 million fine for fixing panel prices

    THE COMPANY that sounds like a sneeze, Hitachi has agreed to pay $31 million and plead guilty to charges of fixing the price of LCD panels with three of its rivals.

    Hitachi, LG, Sharp and Chunghwa Picture Tubes have all admitted agreeing to fix the prices of panels shipped to US companies and paid $585 million between them to avoid more trouble.

  • Censorship

    • Phorm CEO clashes with Berners-Lee at Parliament

      Berners-Lee gave a passionate explanation of why he does not believe ISPs should on principle be allowed to intercept and profile their customers’ internet usage. “It is very important that when click we click without a thought that a third party knows what we’re clicking on,” he said. “I have come here to defend the internet as a medium.”

    • Uh oh, Google goes all Phorm on your ass

      Of course Phorm is not alone in the behavioral advertising space, but it has pretty much dominated the media coverage of the market since it started. The British police even got involved after British Telecom conducted secret Phorm trials.

      Now Phorm can probably breathe a sigh of relief as someone more headline worthy enters the ‘we will track your browsing patterns and throw adverts at you that are the best fit’ market. That someone, unfortunately, being Google.

      Google has kind of quietly announced, via the official blog, that it will be ‘making ads more interesting.’ I can only assume that was a display of irony on the part of the writer at Google, one Susan Wojcicki, VP of Product Management.

    • Italian bloggers call for support from around the world to fight blogger-licensing in Italy

      Last week, I gave a talk in Milan and had the immense pleasure of sitting down to lunch with Davide Casaleggio and his colleagues, who work with provocateur, dissident and comedian Beppe Grillo on issues related to social justice and media in Italy.

    • French anti-P2P law toughest in the world

      France’s long talked-out law to kick repeat copyright infringers off the Internet has finally come up for debate in Parliament. If passed, it would be illegal not to secure one’s Internet connection, and even public WiFi hotspots will have to offer only a “white list” of approved sites.

  • Copyrights

    • Copyright extension vote on 23rd March: contact your MEPs now!

      With the European Parliament set to vote on 23 March on extending the term of copyright for sound recordings, key European experts opposing the extension have released a new letter to MEPs warning of the dangers.

    • Top musicians unite to form copyright lobby group

      They earn millions and the extent of their diva-esque demands is often mind boggling. But tomorrow, Robbie Williams, KT Tunstall and the members of Radiohead will join a group of high-profile musicians to protest at how badly they are treated by record companies and music streaming websites like YouTube.

    • Fight Over YouTube Videos Heats Up In The UK; Musician Propaganda Begins

      The very fact that the musicians are so up in arms shows how much more leverage Google has. It shows that a significant part of the value is in YouTube. YouTube can survive just fine without the music videos. The musicians, on the other hand, are suffering. That’s why it’s the musicians complaining. But that shows the very point Google is trying to make: Google has the leverage here, not the musicians. And, yet, the musicians still want to pretend it’s the other way around.

    • Vodafone Music goes DRM-free, throws in free upgrades

      Vodafone announced today that it has reached deals with three of the Big Four labels, allowing it to sell over a million music tracks sans DRM. Best of all, customers who already purchased protected WMA tracks can upgrade to the unprotected MP3s for free—something iTunes should have done when it decided to ditch DRM earlier this year.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Gabriella Coleman, an anthropologist, explains Free Software culture 09 (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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