IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: March 15th, 2009 – Part 1

Posted in IRC Logs at 8:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Enter the IRC channel now

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Links 15/03/2009: Lots of PCLinuxOS Reviews, Linux is 15

Posted in News Roundup at 5:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Three reasons Microsoft shouldn’t port Windows to the ARM processor

    Without a version of Windows tailored for ARM netbooks, Linux-based platforms such as Google Inc.’s Android mobile operating system could thrive and turn the search and Web services company into “more of a competitor in the desktop operating system business than we ever have before,” admitted Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to Wall Street last month.

  • Linux the cool factor part 3 – Freedom

    In the first part of this series of articles I stated some things about designers and their apple computers, I said that these machines are overpriced and overhyped. This made some people think this articles were about Linux vs Apple. I got a lot of comments from people who seem to like apple:-) and a lot of arguments, some probably valuable.

  • Advocacy at the Speed of Light

    The latest course on the menu is, of course, the Linux.com site. This one is the fun one, because we’ve opened it up to the community to lend their ideas on what they’d like to see out on IdeaForge. If you haven’t been there yet, I highly recommend it, because there’s some seriously good ideas on the site. Here’s the top 5 thus far, in Letterman-like order:

    5. Get the Facts (43 votes): Linux.com should have a “Get the facts”-campaign, explaining why Linux really is more useful and cost-effective than windows. It would obviously include lots of case studies and enterprisey terms.
    4. Get hardware manufacturers to be more supportive of Linux (48 votes): Manufacturers of hardware still default to proprietary operating systems. Petitions companies to give the options to sell O/S free products so users do not need to pay ‘proprietary software tax’. Manufacturers also void warranties on hardware when Linux is installed, petition them to back hardware regardless of O/S like Asus and Toshiba. Reward Linux-compliant manufacturers with coverage/support.

  • rPath CTO and Founder Erik Troan on the Future of Open Source

    Simplifying things greatly, Linux and Apache came along and shifted the focus of open source development towards production applications. Of course, Linux is now used by companies of all shapes and sizes for mission critical applications. The Apache web server is used by, well, basically everyone to make the web work. Those projects, and others which complete open source operating systems, have transformed how companies procure, deploy, and manage production infrastructure.

    Now that Linux and its related projects have become so standard, an interesting change is occurring: More and more open source projects are once again targeting developers.

  • Fancy Schmancy or Fine and Functional?

    In my Linux system, if I wish to do a system intensive task, like movie and sound editing, I can choose a fine and functional window manager like ratpoison or twm (yes I do use twm sometimes :) This way I get every bit of oomph out of my processor for these demanding tasks. Then, when I wish to relax with a bit of TV and web browsing I go for my fancy schmancy KDE for the glitzy glamorous eye candy that I love.

  • Applications

    • 3 Must Have Video Converters for Linux

      You’re a Linux user and you want to convert videos from DVD to iPhone or convert video files in flash format to stream online, what are you choices? A few years back you were stuck with command line only utilities like FFmpeg, which works great but doesn’t offer the ease of use found in GUI applications. Now with the popularity of Linux, you have 3 great GUI applications that can easily handle all your video converting needs.

    • Sendmail going to the cloud

      Sendmail at one point was THE MTA (included with every Linux distro) and like everyone else I used it everyday too. Today Sendmail claims that it is on over 35 percent of all Internet servers, and delivers over 65 percent of all email messages sent globally.

    • 5 Compiz Effects That Are Actually Useful

      Few weeks ago when I read about the formation of a new Compiz Council, I was interested to give compiz another try and in the process I actually found some of the effects that actually enhances my desktop experience (unlike wobbly window) and be more productive.

    • TurnKey Linux Delivers Open Source Appliances

      Explaining how the servers are presented to users, a company spokesman said each of the 12 appliances is packaged as a single “universal” image that can install a pre-integrated turnkey server offering in a matter of minutes.

    • W3C Stats, Linux, Mac, and Windows — Relevant?

      Both Linux and Mac are moving slowly up the graph at the expense of Windows. My prediction? Mac will see another 2% growth year — getting it over 8% — while Linux will rise .25-.50% in 2009, leaving it sitting firmly in the over-4% range in 2010.

    • VirtualBox 2.1.4

      Just after I reviewed Sun’s VirtualBox virtualization solution, the company released version 2.1 which added two major new features along with the usual assortment of bug fixes. Since the release of 2.1, there have been four minor releases, bringing VirtualBox up to version 2.1.4, which is the one I used for this updated review.

  • Kernel Space

    • VDPAU + OpenGL 3.0 On Gallium3D This Summer?

      This is the fourth year that the X.Org project will be participating in Google’s Summer of Code project. In the past we have seen work like Generic Gallium3D Video Decoding using a graphics card’s shaders to assist in video decoding no matter the hardware vendor. This year there are a few interesting possibilities.

    • 15 Interesting Facts About the Linux Kernel

      8. Linux is now one of the most widely ported operating system kernels, running on a diverse range of systems from handheld computers to mainframe servers.

    • How to Get Linux On Anything

      So in honor of your 15th birthday, here is a list of how to install you (Linux) on a…

      • Badger
      • Potato
      • Sega Dreamcast
      • PS3
      • Toaster
      • Roomba
      • Indy500 Car
      • Watch
      • Wrist PC
      • Vest
      • 68k Mac
      • Xbox
      • Small Satellite
      • Router
      • iPhone?!?
      • iPod
      • Zune
      • Android phone

    • Kernel Log: What’s new in 2.6.29 – Part 6: Storage, IDE/PATA, SCSI

      With Linux Torvalds saying 2.6.29 could be available within a week or two, the Kernel Log continues its reporting about the new features scheduled for 2.6.29 with what’s new in terms of storage drivers.

  • Distributions

    • PCLOS

      • PCLinuxOS 2009.1 Bounces Back with a Bang!

        First I installed it on my spare Compaq notebook that has an aging Celeron M processor. And I find it quite snappy. Right from switching on the button to full-blown KDE took 1min 20sec only. And I dare say on a Core2Duo Pentium or Centrino it will dwarf many other desktop-wannabes.

        Long live PCLinuxOS!

      • Blue Hot PCLinuxOS 2009 Walkthrough and First Impressions

        Based on the brief but thorough period of using PCLinuxOS 2009, I can honestly say that it’s another outstanding release for the PCLOS team. It is an all-around user-friendly no-nonsense desktop distro that I can highly recommend to ordinary users as well as power users because it “just works”. I think it truly deserves to be considered as one of the best Linux distro at the moment.

      • The Ill-Fated PCLinuxOS 2009.1 Experiment

        I would happily recommend PCLinuxOS 2009.1 to new and old Linux users alike. PCLOS has a large repository of great (RPM) packages, a thriving, friendly community and a development team who really know how to put together a top class product, even if they do take their time about it.

        The first time you launch Firefox in 2009.1, you’re taken to a customised PCLinuxOS page which has a title in the window border which says: “PCLinuxOS 2009.1 – The distro-hopper-stopper”.

        Cocky? I don’t think so. PCLOS 2009.1 really is that good.

      • PCLinuxOS: Radically simple and a bit boring for geeks

        Tex and the Ripper gang have proved once more, that those who claimed “You need at least a master degree in computer science to maintain a Linux system” are rather redicoulous. PCLinuxOS proves that those chaps are simply lying trought their teeth. If you are actually looking for a no brainer OS (no pun intendet), kiss Microsoft Windows goodby and get your copy of PCLinuxOS.

      • HackMy…phase II

        For those of you who don’t know, Hackmy… forums started out as a “advanced” forum for users of PCLinuxOS.

        HackMy has moved to a new host and has a whole new look and goal though.

        Hackmy is now open to users of Linux, ANY distro.

      • First Look: PCLinuxOS 2009.1 GNOME

        In conclusion, PCLinuxOS 2009.1 GNOME will certainly please its thirsty community. It looks great, it’s stable enough to be used on a daily basis, and it has a lot of useful applications. Get over the minor issues and you’ll be in for an enjoyable experience.

      • Quick look around PCLinuxOS 2009.1

        I was planning to install this on the old test-pc, but PCLinuxOS is very impressive. I think I’ll use it to replace the Windows 7 beta that’s on my main system.

    • Red Hat

      • Fedora 10: Living on the edge

        All my hardware worked out of the box, although I don’t have any “exotic” devices (ATI 3650 video card, Sound Blaster X-FI and onboard ethernet controller). Pulse audio gave me no problems. A nice addition is LXDE Desktop (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment), as it uses less system resources than Gnome or KDE and is ideal for older computers and netbooks.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Podcast Episode #21
      • The Ubuntu Lightweight Minnow

        Selecting a lightweight Linux distribution is about drawing a line. Where you draw the line depends on how many applications, graphics and desktop functionality your willing to sacrifice to get the speed you want or meet the size contains you’re faced with. My line has been drawn between Xubuntu and Fluxbuntu because of the simple fact that it has the perfect amount of apps i want, environment I can tolerate, and community support that I’d be dead without.

    • Debian

      • Debian Project updates Package Policy

        Russ Allbery, a member of the Debian Policy team, has announced the release of version 3.8.1 of the Debian Policy, which includes the first round of Policy changes for the next major version of Debian, code named “squeeze”.

      • Review: Knoppix 6

        I think with this release Knoppix once again gains a reason for use. Before it was more or less the only liveCD. Now every distro has a liveCD. Now it loads up extremely quickly and it has useful programs.

    • New Releases

      • PC/OS 2009v2a Released

        PC/OS 2009v2a has been released for the general public. This release fixes many of the application stability issues that users had with PC/OS 2009v2. With this release we went ahead and and installed all updates so all security updates since PC/OS 2009v2 has been released have been applied. The changes to PC/OS 2009v2a application wise are common across all releases except one application inclusion and one removal.

      • Greenie 4I R3
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Open ecosystems coming: MIC

        Google Inc, Apple Inc and Nokia Oyj have all jumped on the open source bandwagon but to different degrees, said Joyce Chen (陳釧瑤), a mobile communications analyst at MIC.

        For instance, Google’s Android operating system (OS) has an open platform and open source code, while Nokia’s Symbian OS has an open platform, with plans to follow Google’s footsteps and open up its source code next year.

      • Google launches Android team in Taiwan, preps “Cupcake”

        Google has launched an Android development team in Taiwan to provide support to Taiwan-based hardware manufacturers, says an industry report. Another story, meanwhile, reports that wireless carrier T-Mobile will release Android’s “Cupcake” update for its HTC-manufactured G1 phones in April, adding a virtual keyboard.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • “Netbooks” Play Sidekick To Laptop

        The earliest netbooks, and still today some of the cheapest, don’t even run the Windows or the Mac operating system that consumers are accustomed to. Instead, they run customized versions of the Linux operating system. Linux has several advantages over Windows: The software itself is free or cheap to manufacturers, which keeps netbook prices down, and Linux generally runs well on lower-powered computers, which netbooks are. With Linux you don’t get access to all the popular apps you can get on a Windows or Mac computer, but you can run many strong apps, most importantly the excellent Web browser Firefox, which opens the entire Web to you, including your e-mail and good productivity apps, like Google Docs.

Free Software/Open Source

  • ROME 1.0 : Open source Java feed tool is done.

    ROME was not built in a day.

    I’m talking about the Sun sponsored Java open source ROME project here. ROME is an effort I’ve been tracking for years and is supposed to provide a unified set of tools for parsing, generating and publishing RSS and Atom feeds.

    Yes it’s a good idea — that’s why Sun has been working on it for so long. There used to be a lot of confusion across the various RSS (1.0, 2.0) and Atom formats but in recent years I just don’t see that same confusion, at least from an end user point of view. Most modern feed readers just work and leave the mystery of feed format parsing in the background.

  • Open Sources Episode 8: Obey your Puppet master

    For Episode 8 of Open Sources, we’re joined by Luke Kanies, Founder and CEO of Reductive Labs, creators of the open source Puppet project.

  • On Medieval Barbering, Wal-Mart and One Size Fits All With Health IT

    How is it possible that the Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics computerized themselves very effectively as far as anyone can tell without proprietary EMR’s and proprietary EMR vendors? That a large reason for their success is that they made a conscious decision long ago to do something that pre-dates Free/Open Source and looks very much like Free/Open Source? Or is this yet another instance of ‘one size does not fit all’? For the VA, one size very much does fit all as long as software freedom is safeguarded in both the hospitals and clinics with demonstrable superiority.

  • New Open Source Project Monitors Flows of Media

    Media Cloud is a system that lets you see the flow of the media. The Internet is fundamentally altering the way that news is produced and distributed, but there are few comprehensive approaches to understanding the nature of these changes.

  • The beauty of Free Software Development and Free Software Community

    Free Software Community is fundamentally a meritocracy where you get judged by your contribution and your capability. It is not that people are ruthless and look only from the meritocratic perspective. On the contrary people are normally ready to help you while you are out there. When you face problems somebody would guide you towards a solution. Experts will normally help you move in the path towards expertise. When you make mistakes people will criticize you, but then they will also tell you how to rectify your errors, and would probably also help you rectify your errors.

  • Science

    • RKWard – Advanced Free Statistical Data Analysis Tool

      RKWard is a graphical user interface to R, with the objective to provide a user friendly statistical analysis tool with advanced graphics capabilities for documentation and publications. Through RKWard the user has access to all of R’s functions. When starting up the software lists recent projects and data.

    • Open Source 3D Landscape Generators

      I recently noticed two free 3D landscape generators and thought to myself: “I bet there are dozens of never-finish terrain generators for games and vr apps!” I was wrong. In this article, I will introduce the handful of floss scenery generators and editors that I was able to find.

  • Business

    • Orange Leap’s Latest Innovation, The Guru, Makes Sophisticated, Real-Time Reporting Fast and Easy for Nonprofits
    • Infobright Launches Open Source BI Partner Program
    • 1 In 3 IT Shops Uses Combo Proprietary, Open Source Software

      Open source software continues its steady creep into IT shops. A survey of 1,000 users by Talend, a provider of open source data integration software, shows that users are increasingly using the technology to complement its proprietary products.

      About 35% of survey respondents said they use a combination of proprietary and open source software. Explaining the reasons behind their decision, many said they gravitated to open source solutions when proprietary products could no longer solve the problem they were initially deployed to fix, or when the cost of a commercial solution was prohibitive.

    • Italian Open Source Offering: 2008 VIU Research’s Findings

      Open Source software in Italy is considered ready for prime time. ISTAT – the Italian National Institute for Statistics – reported that at the end of 2007 on average 12.2% of Italian enterprises using IT make some use of open source software. IT companies, insurance and banks are the most experienced in using open source (respectively 42.2 %, 39% and 34.1% of them), followed by electronic and optical manufacturers (24.7%).

    • ‘Open source’ vendors push advantage

      Ready to get jealous? How would you like to work in an industry that benefits from economic downturns and for companies that see revenue, customer acquisition and budgets grow during these toughest of times?

      While the majority of b-to-b marketers struggle with budget cuts, layoffs and an overall need to do more with less, one specialized sector is reporting a relative boom time.

  • Finance

    • Developers Combine To Deliver Open Source Trading System

      The solution, based on open source products from Ingres, Marketcetera, and Pentaho, reportedly has many of the same features of competing solutions that use proprietary software but will cost significantly less.

    • Leading Open Source Companies Selected for First of Its Kind Trading Desk Solution

      Three leading commercial open source companies have been selected to deliver a complete trading desk solution that gives the financial services industry a way to automate a majority of business functions done by most trading desks today. Ingres Corporation, a leading provider of open source database management software and support services, announced today that it is part of the solution created by dbConcert, a leading professional services firm focused on delivering world-class implementations of open source software solutions, that ensures all customers get exactly what they need for a complete open source trading system. The solution, based entirely on open source products from Ingres, Marketcetera, and Pentaho, allows organizations to manage their business effectively and make better investment decisions – all at a fraction of the cost of proprietary software vendor offerings.

  • Ingres

    • Is Ingres leading an open source ‘apps stack’?

      With the announcement of an ECM appliance barely a year after its declaration of an integrated business intelligence (BI) solution, open source database vendor Ingres appears to be creating, through partnerships, an alternative ‘one-stop shop’ for enterprise applications. While the likes of IBM and Oracle may not have to worry yet, given these cost-conscious times, Microsoft – whose price-point is closest to open source – and smaller ISVs need to take note.

    • Ingres Says ‘I Do’ To Facebook Wedding Application

      Ingres, supplier of an open source database system, has said “I do” to building a new Facebook application for planning weddings.

      It now serves as the database underlying a social networking site, Connected Weddings, where the personal interests of friends and relatives may result in their being seated together.

  • Server

    • Taking SOA Where No SOA has Gone Before — Progress Beefs Up FUSE

      Is open source becoming the norm in the emerging generation of SOA solutions?

      I recently had the chance to catch up with Debbie Moynihan, director of the FUSE Community and marketing at Progress Software. Debbie was also director of the open source program at IONA Technologies before the company was acquired by Progress in the past year.

    • Update: Open source ERP on Amazon EC2?

      Richardson adds that “those people who like Linux and open systems will find the combination attractive because there’s no cheaper way to do ERP.” The challenge, Richardson says, “is converting downloads into paying customers.”

    • Open Source ERP on Amazon EC2

      Compiere has stepped into the cloud by making its open source ERP wares available on Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).Customers can now tap into the Amazon-hosted virtual computing environment, dubbed Compeire Cloud Edition, for ERP tasks including accounting, purchasing, order fulfillment, manufacturing, warehousing, and CRM.

  • Logs/Databases

  • CMS

    • Stauffer Consulting Services Announces Partnership with Acquia Set to Improve ROI When Implementing Feature Rich Social Publishing Systems

      Stauffer Consulting Services, a software consulting firm specializing in custom software development and open source package implementations, has entered into a partnership with Acquia to improve web and mobile application projects already underway using the open source Drupal social publishing system.

    • Assessing Open Source Web Content Management

      Over the past 12 years, I’ve seen numerous open source platforms emerge in the web content management (WCM) arena. Today, you can find more than 70 open source WCM packages, although I’d argue that 10 of them have pushed ahead to become true global leaders.

    • Open source Magnolia CMS gets new template kit

      Swiss vendor Magnolia International has released the free Community Edition version 4.0 of its Magnolia content management system under the GPLv3 licence. The modular system is based on Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE), Java Server Pages (JSP) and on the Java content repository (JSR-170). The company also offers a commercially licensed Enterprise Edition with extended features and professional support.

    • Assessing Open-Source Web-Content Management

      Joomla! enthusiasts counter that many of these shortcomings can be addressed with third-party modules. But at that point, the platform loses its halo of simplicity, and you’ll likely want an experienced consultant to hold your hand while you’re navigating through the broad ecosystem of potential add-ons.

  • PBX

    • Downturn Good for Open-Source PBXes

      A study has found that open-source PBXes are gaining acceptance among IT executives in North America, mainly because of their minimal cost and high flexibility. The study, by The Eastern Management Group, surveyed 6,000 IT executives and found that Asterisk open-source IP PBX products account for 18 percent of sales among the companies surveyed. Nortel Networks’ products came in second at 15 percent, and Cisco Systems Inc.’s offerings third with 12 percent.

    • Digium Exec Sees Open Source Opportunity in Downturn

      GG: You’re speaking at an upcoming enterprise VoIP event. What topics will you be addressing?
      BM: My speaking engagement is in the presentation theater of our premier gateway partner AudioCodes. My topic, “Open Source in an Economic Downturn,” will be an introduction to why businesses should consider open source based telephony solutions as a remedy to their budget constraints and business phone system needs.

    • Talking with Rick Boone, President, NETXUSA

      The best indicator for me is a record number of downloads of Asterisk (News – Alert) open source in 2008. Asterisk is the worlds leading open source application out there right now and in my opinion is a very big part of why VoIP in general as taken off.

    • Fonality reports 2.8 million trixbox CE downloads in 2008, 750 million calls, 44,000 commercial deployments

      Fonality®, the world’s largest deployment of open source-based phone systems announced high growth in the company’s commercial and open source business units. trixbox® CE, Fonality’s open source project, in 2008 alone was downloaded a total of 2.8 million times, which includes 336,000 SourceForge downloads and an additional 2.48 million downloads and upgrades from trixbox.org.

  • Government

    • Ben Franklin, the first Open Source advocate

      Benjamin Franklin is known in American history as a founding father and a inventor. One interesting fact is that he did not approve of patents. Martin Streicher of IBM points out in his article of 10 tips for sensible systems administration that Benjamin Franklin would more than likely approve of Open Source software.

    • UK should learn from open source schools project

      Avoiding commercial licenses has enabled the National Digital Resource Bank project to succeed, say free software experts

    • UK’s first national open source IT project to demo soon

      The NDRB is based on open source digital content repository software funded by the Spanish government and released under the open source General Public Licence version 2 (GPL2).

    • Schools to benefit from £30m open source project, first in UK

      The NDRB, based on technology used in Spanish schools, enables schools to create, search for and share digital content online, thanks to a new open source platform.

      It will be managed by the North West Learning Grid – a consortium of 2,000 schools – and technical support will be provided by open source specialist Sirius, which is the provider of open source software to UK schools.

      Speaking at the launch, schools minister Jim Knight called it a “landmark project”. Some £30 million will be allocated to the scheme, but operational costs are estimated to be less than £400,000 per year.

    • A New Software Manifesto for India

      A new voice is rising from the great democracy of India, and that voice is proclaiming that the only responsible choice for public sector software is software that is first and foremost available to the public-to read and understand, to modify and improve, and to share and redistribute. The campaign Public Software for Public Sector has published a Manifesto expressing their belief that free and open source software is a natural fit for the vibrant traditions of Indian democracy and its emphasis on sharing knowledge, and that the liberal licensing policies of such software are necessary to ensure that India can build a stronger economic base for the 21st century.

  • Web Browsers

    • Midori: Extremely Fast and Standards-Compliant

      Midori is a lightweight GTK web browser which uses the popular WebKit rendering engine. I installed it on my Eee PC netbook to see if it could replace Firefox for light browsing.

    • Test Drive Firefox 3.1 Beta 3

      Today Mozilla released the third beta for the next major Firefox update, version 3.1. Firefox 3.1, which will likely be re-numbered to Firefox 3.5, will have one more beta before the final release this summer.

      The most significant upgrade coming in Firefox 3.1 is the new Javascript engine, TraceMonkey, which is enabled by default in Beta 3. I tested its performance with the SunSpider Javascript benchmark. Firefox 3.1 performed 1.6 times faster than Firefox 3:
      Firefox 3.1 Beta 3 1914.6ms +/- 6.2%
      Firefox 3 3082.8ms +/- 0.2%

  • Licensing

    • OSI certifies European open source licence

      The Open Source Initiative (OSI), custodian of the Open Source Definition (OSD), has certified the European Union Public Licence (EUPL) as complying with the OSD. Karel De Vriendt, head of the European Commission’s eGovernment programme, says this certification will make it easier to persuade European governments to place their own self-developed open source software under the EUPL.

    • Technological nirvana

      Software activist Richard Stallman on his philosophical roots, the Free Software journey, and his impressions of India’s free software movement.


      “Around 2000, the news media in the U.S. decided to hide the Free Software movement behind the tame, docile philosophy called Open Source. Open Source doesn’t condemn anything, and shies away from the ethical issue of software subjugation,” he says. “Open Source supporters have values the same as that of Microsoft — convenience, reliability… They only differ on the means.”

      Stallman insists that while his is an ideology that places freedom above all, OS is all about practicality. “To disregard freedom for short-term convenience is the act of a fool,” he says.

  • Open (But No Source Code)

    • Open Video Conference in NYC: Call for Proposals

      We are now accepting proposals for panels, workshop sessions, demo sessions, and other programming for the inaugural Open Video Conference in New York. Join us and over 400 participants during our groundbreaking two-day conference and make your imprint on the online video space.

    • Why We Need Open Data

      The same post gives perhaps the best explanation of why open data is important; it’s nominally about open data in science, but its points are valide elsewhere too:

      * Science rests on data. Without complete data, science is flawed.

      * Many of todays global challenges require scientific data. Climate, Health, Agriculture…

      * Scientists are funded to do research and to make the results available to everyone. This includes the data. Funders expect this. So does the world.

      * The means of dissemination of data are cheap and universal. There is no technical reason why all the data in all the chemistry research in the world should not be published into the cloud. It’s small compared with movies…

      * Data needs cleaning, flitering, repurposing, re-using. The more people who have access to this, the better the data and the better the science.

    • Open Source Project: Free resources for people who lead change

      Rick Maurer, change management expert and best-selling business author, announces the launch of Open Source Project, an online resource that includes the e-book titled Introduction to Change without Migraines, where Maurer explains his approach to leading change.

    • Open-source collaboration key to auto sector survival

      Next to the financial sector, the auto industry has received the most attention from governments in Canada and the U.S. as they try to prevent the collapse of ailing enterprises. The fate of that industry is especially relevant to the Golden Horseshoe, the Canadian manufacturing heartland that stretches from Niagara Falls around the western end of Lake Ontario and extends all the way to Oshawa.

    • MAP, Hatchfest sponsor talk on open source creativity

      The event will showcase local artists in a reception from 7-9 p.m. Teresa Spangler, former VP of Sales of Red Hat/Linux, will present a keynote address at 8 PM. Her talk, entitled “The Future of OpenSource,” will address the growth of the concept of open source as it moves beyond software development into education, pharmacology, songwriting, and other areas. In addition to raising funds for both organizations, the event will encourage dialogue, idea-sharing, and networking among the creative community in WNC and its supporters.

    • Born a Creationist, Merck’s Schadt Leads Open Source Effort to Unravel Genome

      One of the world’s brightest minds at analyzing human DNA was born into a family of creationists. When he was 17 and graduating from high school in a rural area of southwestern Michigan, Eric Schadt couldn’t even imagine going to college.

      “My parents were very religious,” Schadt told me on a visit to his office last week. They didn’t emphasize education, and neither did the community, he says. “Higher education just wasn’t something that people looked forward to there. I didn’t really know what college was.”

    • Geospatial: An Open Source Microcosm

      General purpose open source software (OSS) has been on the radar of decision makers for almost a decade. Big projects like Linux, Apache, Firefox and Open Office are supported by Fortune 500 companies like IBM and Sun. Everyone knows about open source, it is in their plans, books have been written. In general information technology (IT), there is little more to say about open source.

    • TV-B-Gone Creator Going Strong With Open-Source Hardware

      The creator of the TV-B-Gone, Mitch Altman, has turned his love of open-source electronic mayhem into a one-man business.

      His website offers the basic TV-B-Gone, a $20 keychain device with a protruding LED that emits 140 different TV power-off codes, enabling it to shut down 98 percent of all televisions with the press of a single button, Altman says.

      “The way I see it, it’s only fair,” Altman says of his infrared light-emitting device. “If a TV shines light at me, I’ll shine a light at it. And if it stops shining light at me, I’ll stop shining light at it.”

    • AirLive Introduces Wireless G Plus Open Source Broadband Router

      AirLive, one of the most advanced and worldwide brands for networking and communication equipments, indicated their intention to enter the open source networking market by introducing their latest Access Point WL-1600GL. AirLive WL-1600GL is a Wireless G Plus Open Source Broadband Router.


  • The Prognosis for Electronic Health Records

    In the meantime, the policy debate has shifted to a discussion over creating interoperability standards using SOA, middleware, and standard file formats, not unlike the idea behind the Open Document Format (ODF) and the Resource Description Format (RDF) standards for information mediation based on extensile but structured meaning, says Jeff Bauer, a partner in management consulting for ACS Healthcare Solutions.

  • Document Freedom Day 09, il 25 Marzo a Milano
  • Create ODF documents without OpenOffice.org

    While you can create and save documents in the OpenDocument format using OpenOffice.org, KWord, or AbiWord, there are other ways to generate ODF files. odtwriter, for example, can help you to quickly convert plain text files formatted using reStructured Text markup into odt (OpenOffice.org Writer-compatible ODF) documents. You might wonder why you’d want to create ODF documents this way, but odtwriter does offer a few important advantages…


  • Stewart slams Cramer with Apple video

    Cramer v. StewartThe highlight of Thursday night’s appearance of CNBC’s Mad Money host Jim Cramer on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart — which both NBC and Comedy Central had done their best to promote as the grudge match of the century — turned out to be a two-year old TheStreet.com video of Cramer being interviewed about about how easy it is to manipulate Apple’s (AAPL) stock price.

  • Obama Administration Claims Copyright Treaty Involves State Secrets?!?

    When the Obama administration took over, there was a public stance that this administration was going to be more transparent — especially with regards to things like Freedom of Information Act requests. The nonprofit group Knowledge Ecology International took that to heart and filed an FOIA request to get more info on ACTA. The US Trade Representative’s Office responded denying the request, saying that the information was “classified in the interest of national security pursuant to Executive Order 12958.” This is a treaty about changing copyright law, not sending missiles somewhere. To claim that it’s a national security matter is just downright scary. As KEI points out, the text of the documents requested have been available to tons of people, including more than 30 governments around the world and lobbyists from the entertainment industry, pharma industry and publishing industry.

  • Censorship

    • Tim Berners-Lee for world Internet czar?

      Speaking to a bunch of possibly sober British politicians, Sir Tim, as he’s known over there, said it’s time that we should really have a jolly good think about who is crawling all over our Web behavior.

  • Copyrights

    • TelstraClear snubs internet law agreement

      Last month protests from bloggers and internet activists led Prime Minister John Key to delay new controversial new copyright rules till March 27 so that telcos and copyright owner groups could work out a code of practice.

      But yesterday TelstraClear – New Zealand’s third biggest telco behind Telecom and Vodafone – said it was not prepared to take part in the code and bolster a poorly drafted law that was bad for its customers.

    • MPAA Matches RIAA In Massive Layoffs

      I missed this one when it initially happened, but it looks like the MPAA is following in the footsteps of the RIAA — who recently laid off a bunch of folks. Apparently the MPAA quickly followed suit and drastically scaled back after the studios cut the MPAA’s funding by about 15 to 20%.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Gabriella Coleman, an anthropologist, explains Free Software culture 12 (2004)

Ogg Theora

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

Here Come the Promotional GNU/Linux Videos

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Marketing, Videos at 10:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Just published.

Direct link

Ogg Theora

More will come soon. We’ll try to produce Oggs from these.

Last night someone informed us of tinyvid.tv. “It’s being massively promoted from the Firefox 3.1 upgrade/install welcome page,” he said.

Quoting from the main page:

This site currently exists to test out usage of the HTML 5 video and audio elements with the Ogg codecs. You’ll need a browser that can playback Ogg media using <video> and <audio>. Firefox 3.1 nightly builds, Opera experimental builds and Safari with XiphQT installed can playback videos with varying degrees of success. Basic playback support for non-HTML5 compatible browsers is provided by the Java based Cortado player.

When it uses Cortado, it still advertises the HTML 5 option:

This is the Java Cortado Applet version of the video player. For a better playing experience you’ll need a browser that can playback Ogg media using <video> and <audio>. Firefox 3.1 nightly builds, Opera experimental builds and Safari with XiphQT installed can playback videos with varying degrees of success.

Patents Roundup: Microsoft, Linux, Acacia, Junk Patents, and Pseudo Reform

Posted in Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 9:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft’s Attack on Linux with Software Patents

Jonathan Corbet’s analysis of the TomTom case is finally available to non-subscribers and more details on why Microsoft is likely to lose the case can be found here.

Bruce Perens and Jeremy Allison discuss the TomTom situation in Slashdot while Stuart DeGraaf writes in LinuxToday:

I believe this is all part of
Microsoft’s strategy to kill
GNU/Linux. Novell won its
case against SCO; Novell
proved that it owns the “IP”
in UNIX. As a result, Microsoft
cozied up to Novell with a
patent protection/extortion
plot it knew would kill Novell.
Now that Novell is at death’s
door, Microsoft will buy Novell,
and own the “IP” rights to UNIX.

Fortunately, ownership of
UNIX doesn’t imply ownership
of GNU/Linux, but I bet that
Ballmer is going to try to
play this legal card anyway.
Ballmer and his M$-bred “IP”
patent trolls (Nathan Myhrvold)
want to destroy the scientific
method and turn the clock back
to the Dark Ages.

Remember that Nathan Myhrvold claims “Intellectual property [to be] the next software.” He is still very close to Microsoft and he is the world’s biggest patent troll, who is now funding a study to defend the practice. Microsoft fosters quite a pack of patent harvesters to potentially support a patent attack on Free software.

Acacia and Other Patent Trolls

Bearing in mind that Acacia has connections with Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11], we have already written about this company in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23]. According to one of our readers, Acacia has just ‘patented’ — or rather — bought a patent on anti-Trap safety technology for vehicles. This is what they do for a living rather than ever produce something. They buy rather than develop, just like Microsoft:

“Usually Microsoft doesn’t develop products, we buy products.”

Arno Edelmann, Microsoft’s European business security product manager

TJ Chiang, a professor at George Mason Law School, wrote for Patently-O about patent trolls and this report suggests that a controversial Burst.com patent [1, 2, 3, 4] is being passed to another unnamed entity (probably a patent troll) which will seek return for this large investment. In other words, the so-called ‘inventor’ of buffering for media — as trivial an idea as it is — is enabling racketeering in exchange for money received for a piece of paper.


Junk Patents

TechDirt is a great resource for information about the troubles with patent systems, the USPTO in particular. The following 3 articles are a few days old, but they are very relevant still.

i. Want To Create A Simple App To Tell You Where Someone Is Calling From? You Can’t, It’s Patented

As he started to write the app, he figured he should take a quick look around to see if anyone else had done so… when he came across the fact that someone had written that app, but thanks to a patent threat, it had been shut down. In fact, the patent holder, Cequent, has sued a few others who dared to create such a simple database lookup app themselves. The patent itself describes an incredibly simple database lookup… yet, now no one else is allowed to create such an app.

ii. The Fight To Patent A ‘Paradigm’ For Marketing

For a variety of reasons this should be unpatentable, and so far (thankfully), the USPTO and the courts have agreed — but Harris keeps trying to appeal, claiming that a company is no different than a machine — and if a machine can be patented, so can the “paradigm” of the company.

iii. Apple Withholds Patent From Widget Standard

It’s way too common these days. The latest to do this appears to be Apple, who withheld a key patent on technology for online “widgets”, which has recently been standardized. The standard was set by the W3C, who asked for companies to commit their patents royalty-free in order to move the standard forward so that everyone could benefit. Instead, Apple held out a key patent, and can now start demanding people pay up.

Speaking of Apple, our reader says that “Apple patents the Wii wand” and another decent article insinuates the the US patent system has gone too far.

When Samuel Hopkins came up with a method for improving the production of potash, it was probably just the kind of invention that President George Washington had in mind when he created the US patent system. Hopkins, who in 1790 received the first American patent ever issued, had discovered a way to increase the production of a critical resource used to make glass, soap, and soil fertilizer.

How does it feel when this very same patent system is implicitly promoting unnecessary death now? Here is the proof from Wikileaks.

2. This document contains a simple, guided system for processing calls for emergency aid. It was created free of charge and distributed with the OpenISES system but was removed from distribution and destroyed due to a patent threat from Priority Dispatch Corporation. This document has the potential to help save lives in areas that cannot afford proprietary emergency response scripts

3. Emergency dispatch offices in areas unable to afford proprietary scripts (especially overseas where U.S. Patent Law does not apply), developers and emergency response personnel wishing to continue the project, and bloggers and journalists wishing to document some of the unsavory ways companies utilize the patent system.

Says one reader: “The patent system promotes and bribes you when you reinforce the belief system. And when you question the religion of the aborigines it would be felt as anything between heresy, intolerance and racism. So you flexibilise your viewpoint, you study the religion and the myths.

“The patent system promotes and bribes you when you reinforce the belief system.”“All what you need to know about patents can be found in the study prepared by Fritz Machlup to Congress, 1958 [PDF, 24.8 MB]. A must read! With it you can debunk 90% of what lawyers tell you as unsound. This is 50 years old but it still reflects the state of the art.

“It is the same with open standards, all you need to understand is that the conflict is about RF and RAND licensing. Everything else is just a screen.”

Reform Farce

The so-called ‘reform’ bill is not much of a change. We are still writing about this [1, 2, 3] and so do many others, e.g.:

i. Abramson on Software and Patent Reform

Tuesday, I was able to speak with Bruce Abramson, who has for years studied the copyright/patent/intellectual property rights conundrum that software presents. And he’s not shy about saying that we’re on course for a series of collisions.

ii. US goes back to work on patent reform

Michael Holsten, HP’s executive vice president and general counsel, said that his company is granted an average of four patents a day, and is constantly targeted by lawsuits over alleged infringements.

They resort to an incorrect solution that protects the likes of H-P but not software developers, particularly not small ones. A ‘reform’ of this kind can only be found in a ‘corporate client state’ — one which is run by (and for) the largest corporations.


CompTIA, Martin Bean, Fraunhofer Fokus, and Other Microsoft Boosters

Posted in ECMA, Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Open XML at 8:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Watching and learning how Microsoft uses its employees and lobbying arms (with intersections) to promote its interests

SOME months ago we mentioned Microsoft’s Martin Bean, who turns out to be also involved in CompTIA, a Microsoft lobbying gun [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Among many other things, CompTIA played a role in the OOXML corruptions and there may be overlap with the BSA, which is also tied to Bill Gates' father.

Probably without awareness of all the above, one reader alerted us that “CompTIA manager buys house.” The article actually says “Microsoft manager” because it’s one of those cases where lobbyists wear multiple hats. For example, Jan van den Beld [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] was working at ECMA while also playing ball for CompTIA (and Microsoft of course).

Anyway, here is part of the new article about Martin Bean:

He has also presented to the U.S. Senate on behalf of the Technology Workforce Coalition, and moderated a town hall meeting for former President George W. Bush. In addition, he was also a board member of Jobs for America’s Graduates, the chair of the CompTIA Public Policy Committee and the president of AIESEC International.

For a Microsoft employee, he sure does a lot of political things. No conflicts of interests there?

Mr. Bean has already invaded the Open University, which sort of vilified Free software shortly afterwards. This appointment may be part of Microsoft's crusade for influence inside education (getting children "addicted" while they are young, even at no cost). Martin Bean is connected to BECTA too because he is mentioned in related documents.

Another Microsoft manager who chalked Free software off the national education agenda recently quit the company. Amid all this, let’s refer back to last month’s post which asks and addresses the question, is Microsoft a "political movement"?

In other news of this kind, <No>OOXML has found out that Fraunhofer Fokus, which is funded by German taxpayers, may in fact be connected to Microsoft; for a fact, it sure serves Microsoft’s corporate interests. The conclusion of the detailed analysis is:

The question is who will trust the research results of Fraunhofer Fokus? And why does the German tax payer invest in a research institution that sells out to companies across the Atlantic regardless of our national public interest in interoperability? For instance Fraunhofer Fokus applauded(!) the ISO adoption of Open XML.

For those who may be interested, we wrote about misbehaviour at the German Institute for Standardization (DIN) in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. ECT has not exactly forgotten the OOXML fiasco and it is being recited in LinuxInsider right now, even though they it tone down a little too much.

Looking ahead, standards organizations “need to sit down and admit there is a problem, and then decide if they want to help or hinder industry progress,” Mack said.

“I’m hoping the ISO recovers from this,” he added. “They have been publicly humiliated by the debacle but refuse to admit anything went wrong. Monty Python’s ‘Black Knight’ imitation would actually be amusing if the stakes weren’t so high.”

ECT is not gutsy enough to say the truth. Contrariwise, another Microsoft lobbying arm, ACT [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], is now being accused by Sun’s Simon Phipps, who says that “ACT are pretty active advocates of all that makes FOSS difficult or impossible.” Phipps packs it up with the usual IBM-hostile venom.

“Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.”

Napoleon Bonaparte

It’s Not a Democracy, It’s ACTAtorship

Posted in America, Europe, Law, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 7:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The reign of imaginary entities

Authorised personnel sign

Summary: The United States denies access to ACTA documents/negotiations whereas the EU softens a little

IN PREVIOUS writings about the ACTA, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18], we showed how it relates to our focus on software patents and the general neglect of human rights, part of which relates to relentless attempts to ban Free(dom) software. Microsoft is not the only party which is interested in this, but it is the main aggressor and Novell helps this. To quote a comment from last night, “I dont worry about Novell distributing as much as them infecting Gnome through their heavy use of mono which is now an integral part of applications like Evolution.

“Microsoft is not the only party which is interested in this, but it is the main aggressor and Novell helps this.”“All of Novell’s excemptions dont apply to other other developers/distros so in a way, when Microsoft comes bearing down on the stolen IP in Mono, and they will, it wont be because of the code Novell developers will have contributed it but the ones who are not covered by the patent.”

But anyway, the subject of this post is neither Novell nor Microsoft but something a lot broader and more far reaching. It demonstrates a more political issue that we complained about before, namely the rule of corporations in what ought to have been a society which is managed by ethical guidelines, not the unconstrained interests of affluent shareholders.

As further sign of degrading law and the crisis of ‘western’ societies (return to feudalism or police states), consider this reluctance to be transparent, courtesy of a president who bragged about openness.

Obama Administration Rules Texts of New IPR Agreement are State Secrets


We have been seeking access to documents relating to negotiations on an important new intellectual property enforcement treaty. The agreement, misleadingly named the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, is thought to cover a wide range of intellectual property enforcement issues — including standards for granting injunctions for alleged infringement of patents or copyrights, damages, seizures of goods in transit, surveillance of Internet digital file transfers, searches of personal property, and a dozen other topics.

Wired Magazine even used a derogatory image, which it put up at the top.

President Barack Obama came into office in January promising a new era of openness.

But now, like Bush before him, Obama is playing the national security card to hide details of the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement being negotiated across the globe.

The White House this week declared (.pdf) the text of the proposed treaty a “properly classified” national security secret, in rejecting a Freedom of Information Act request by Knowledge Ecology International.


If ratified, leaked documents posted on WikiLeaks and other comments suggest the proposed trade accord would criminalize peer-to-peer file sharing, subject iPods to border searches and allow internet service providers to monitor their customers’ communications.

TechDirt claims:

When the Obama administration took over, there was a public stance that this administration was going to be more transparent — especially with regards to things like Freedom of Information Act requests. The nonprofit group Knowledge Ecology International took that to heart and filed an FOIA request to get more info on ACTA. The US Trade Representative’s Office responded denying the request, saying that the information was “classified in the interest of national security pursuant to Executive Order 12958.” This is a treaty about changing copyright law, not sending missiles somewhere. To claim that it’s a national security matter is just downright scary. As KEI points out, the text of the documents requested have been available to tons of people, including more than 30 governments around the world and lobbyists from the entertainment industry, pharma industry and publishing industry.

Obama and Biden are part of a bigger framework and this very recent presentation from professor Lawrence Lessig (scroll to bottom) is worth watching for further details.

Check out this document and a list of involved parties. According to the list, those with a representative involved in the ACTA are Abbott Laboratories, Inc., AbleMedia LLC, Advanced Medical Technology Association, AeA: Advancing the Business of Technology, Alvarez & Marsal, LLC, American Association of Exporters and Importers, American Chemistry Council, American Council of Life Insurers, American Council of Life Insurers, American Council on Education, American Hotel and Lodging Association ,American International Group, Inc., American National Standards Institute ,American Society of Civil Engineers, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc., Applied Materials, Inc., Arjay Telecommunications, Association of American Publishers, Inc., BOSE Corporation, Braden Sutphin Ink Company, Center for Quality Assurance in International Education, CF Industries, Inc., Chemtura Corporation, Cisco Systems, Inc., Citigroup Inc., Color Pigments Manufacturers Association, Inc., Computing Technology Industry Association, Cook Group Incorporated, CropLife America, Deloitte and Touche USA LLP, E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company, eBay Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, Emergency Committee for American Trade, Energy Associates, Entertainment Software Association, Fanwood Chemical, Inc., FedEx Express, FMC Corporation, General Motors Corporation, General Motors Corporation, Generic Pharmaceutical Association, Gorlin Group [the], Gowan Company ,Harkins Cunningham, LLP, Harris Corporation, Haynes and Boone, L.L.P., Hemisphere Polymer and Chemical Company, Inc., Honeywell International, Inc., IBM Corporation, Independent Film & Television Alliance, Intel Corporation , Intellectual Property Owners Association, Intermune, Inc., International Intellectual Property Alliance, Intuit Inc., Investment Company Institute, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Inc., Micron Technology, Inc., Milliken Chemical, Monsanto Company, Motion Picture Association of America, Inc., National Foreign Trade Council, Inc., National Nursing Centers Consortium, National Paint & Coatings Associatio , New York Life Insurance Company, North Coast Medical Equipment, Inc., Oracle Corporation, Pfizer Inc. ,Philadelphia International Medicine, Procter & Gamble Company, Prudential Financial, Inc., Public Policy Software and Information Industry Association, Recording Industry Association of America, Advanced Micro Devices, Rubber Manufacturers Association, S.C.Johnson & Son, Inc., SACMA, Schering-Plough Corporation, Semiconductor Industry Association, Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc., Sotomayor & Associates, LLP, Stryker Corporation, Sun Microsystems, Inc., Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association, The American Institute of Architects, The American Waterways Operators, The Boeing Company, The Dow Chemical Company, The Fertilizer Institute, The Louis Berger Group, Inc., The McGraw-Hill Companies, The U.S.-China Business Council, Thomas G. Faria Corporation, Time Warner Inc., Transaction Network Services, Inc., Troy Corporation, U.S. Coalition of Service Industries, United States Council for International Business, UPS International Public Affairs, Verizon Communications Inc., Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Wilbur Smith Associates, Wiley Rein LLP, and XSelData.

By contrast, the European Parliament does not so religiously hide the documents anymore. In fact, according to professor Michael Geist from Canada, transparency will increase and maybe because of public pressure.

The European Parliament has voted for a proposal to bring more transparency and public access to documents. The resolution includes specific language about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. In particular, it states:

Acting in accordance with Article 255(1) of the EC Treaty, the European Commission should immediately make all documents related to the ongoing international negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) publicly available.

Saint PatrickTransparency is one thing, but to what degree can the public (the ‘little people’) get involved? These are very predatory laws and they are being passed without public inquiry, let alone visibility. This may indicate that there is a lot to hide.

Commissioner Charlie McCreevy [1, 2, Patents Roundup: Microsoft Sued, Health Care Weighs in, McCreevy Denounced] has been one of the biggest proponents of maximising intellectual monopolies in Europe. With some shuffles in the European Commission coming, hopefully he will be out.

Saint Patrick’s Day is approaching and we previously showed the possible relations between Charlie McCreevy (in Ireland) and Microsoft.

“The people of the States now confederated…..believed that to remain longer in the Union would subject them to continuance of a disparaging discrimination, submission to which would be inconsistent with their welfare, and intolerable to a proud people. They therefore determined to sever its bounds and established a new Confederacy for themselves.”

Jefferson Davis

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: March 14th, 2009 – Part 2

Posted in IRC Logs at 4:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Enter the IRC channel now

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IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: March 14th, 2009 – Part 1

Posted in IRC Logs at 3:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Enter the IRC channel now

Read the rest of this entry »

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