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05.08.09

Links 08/05/2009: Dell and Android on Sub-notebooks?

Posted in News Roundup at 9:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Windows 7 makes me laugh

    This is a Linux Compiz video. It has been on YouTube for two years. I don’t think it has had many hits since then. Technology has improved, new and better effects are available. It’s quite a lengthy video without any loud trumpets, so I guess you’ll all be asleep before it ends. But it’s neat, flashy and has very subtle background music.

  • One XO Learning Laptop Per South Carolinian School Child

    Last year, One Laptop Per Child/South Carolina launched a XO laptop pilot project at Britton’s Neck Elementary in Marion School District Seven and Rains Centenary Early Childhood Center in Mullins, with 500 computers and an over-riding goal: one XO learning laptop per South Carolinian school child.

  • Kongoni GNU/Linux 1.12.2 alpha released

    South Africa’s newest GNU/Linux distribution, Kongoni, yesterday released its first alpha release for the upcoming 1.12.2 release. Kongoni – the Shona word for Gnu – is a desktop-focused distribution with significant inspiration from BSD-Unix systems. Codenamed Sophocles, Kongoni 1.12.2 is based on Slackware 12.2 with the latest upstream patches and also features KDE 4.2.2 as well as the latest stable releases of most common desktop applications such as OpenOffice.org.

  • Linux Talks, Windows Walks

    In the meantime, Dell redesigns Ubuntu LTS interface in their Mini, adds a tweaked Network Manager and put together a angry little 1o” beast that can kick a 1,366 x 768 resolution right in your face. 32 and 64 GB SSDs will be also available, sadly only to Linux customers as – like previously noted – Windows imposes limits.

  • iPlayer uncovered: What powers the BBC’s epic creation?

    We had to be on Mac, PC and Linux, so we spent a lot of time analysing solutions that we could use, including what I call ‘speed dating’ companies that offer solutions in this area. But ultimately we chose Adobe Air for two key reasons: number one, it had a system that allowed our seven-day or 30-day playback to be enabled and controlled on PC, Mac and Linux. That’s a requirement of a DRM, not that we want to use DRM, but we’re forced to because we make content available for download. It’s part of our rights framework.

  • IBM: Why the Mainframe Will Never Die, Part II

    Q: What has open-source software meant for the mainframe? Do you even play there?

    A: There is a lot of open-source software already available for z/OS. For example, the IBM Ported Tools for z/OS is a non-priced program that delivers tools and applications for the z/OS platform. These applications have been modified to operate within the z/OS environment. The URL is http://www-03.ibm.com/servers/eserver/zseries/zos/unix/ported/.

    The mainframe is a hotbed for business applications—with more than 5,000 unique applications available on the System z platform. Nearly 2,500 of these unique applications are Linux-based.

  • AMD Releases R600/700 Programming Guide

    This 43 page document that is entitled “Radeon R6xx/R7xx Acceleration” provides a basic overview of the ASIC architecture and a small programming guide. This document also covers the packet definitions and information concerning synchronization and cache flushing for these newest graphics processors. Explained in detail is the second generation Superscalar Unified Shader Architecture, technical changes between the R600 and R670, technical changes between the R670 and R700 series, the R600/700 3D pipeline, and various other topics that excite graphics driver developers.

  • Applications/Games

    • 8 Beautiful Conky Desktop Monitor Setup

      Conky is a highly customizable desktop monitor for X Window System. Think of it as KDE4 desktop widgets on crack. Conky, a fork of torsmo, has been around for a long time but new Linux users usually stay away from it because customizing it requires editing the scripted configuration file, which can be a bit intimidating for new users.

    • LGP Prepares For Massive 24-Hour Linux Sale

      Our friends at Linux Game Publishing are preparing for a massive 24-hour sale with their web-store of games they have ported to Linux. This sale begins at midnight (UK time) and during that time each game will be priced at just 9 pounds! For the Americans, that is about $13~14 USD per native Linux title.

  • Desktop Environments

    • How I became an Openbox fanatic

      Prior to buying my new eee pc, I thought I’d finally gotten the ol’ Linux thing figured out. I liked having a desktop chock full of bells and whistles and visual effects and nautilus-integrated apps. I used Mint with the AWN dock and a truckload of Compiz Fusion effects on my enormous, relatively-powerful laptop, and it did every single thing I could think of for it to do.

    • How to Get The Most Out Of KDE4’s Folderview Widget

      The uses and features of Folderview are only limited by the uses and features of KDE. As KDE 4 continues to mature, Folderview will continue to grow into a useful and powerful desktop tool.

    • Get to know Linux: Window Maker

      Continuing with our introduction to old-school Linux window managers, I would like to bring to you Window Maker. The Window Maker window manager was designed to look and feel like the old NeXT GUI (which was spearheaded by Steve Jobs after he was forced out of Apple.) Window Maker is another entry in the long list of lightweight, snappy window managers that can bring new life to old computers. Window Maker is a very stable desktop for the Linux operating system and is often considered one of the most universal and useful window managers available.

  • Distributions

    • Sabayon 4.1 – A Linux monster (cute one)

      Sabayon 4.1 is an incredible, unique distro. The fact it is Gentoo underneath defies common sense. Gentoo usually takes a pint of virgin blood to get going.

    • Review: Linux Mint 6 KDE

      Overall, despite it’s late arrival (blame that on KDE, since the Devs were waiting for the release of KDE 4.2 before they shipped the final version, which IMHO was a wise choice), Mint 6 KDE is once again an excellent distribution.

      Admittedly it requires slightly beefier hardware than previous releases, but given the natural life cycle of the vast majority of systems, this shouldn’t be an issue at all, as it’ll work on all of the most common systems and hardware specs.

      And I am still going to say that Mint 6 KDE is user friendly, even though KDE4 has a slightly larger learning curve than 3.5 did, and is still on the upward swing towards full maturity. But even so, the entire system is well worth checking out and using.

    • Red Hat

    • Ubuntu

      • Living with Ubunut 9.04 “The Jaunty Jackalope” (Full Review!)

        Overall, I can honestly say that this is best Ubuntu release ever, and I believe every part of the community and dev teams are to be commended. Ubuntu 9.04 “The Jaunty Jackalope” is sleeker, faster, and more intuitive that any of its predecessors–and continues to provide what I think is the one of the most productive operating systems around.

      • Running Ubuntu 9.04 With Older Hardware

        Ubuntu 9.04 had booted significantly faster than Ubuntu 8.10, but when it came to the desktop performance with this VIA Nehemiah system with 512MB of system memory, the performance was close between the two most recent Ubuntu releases. In several tests Ubuntu 8.10 was faster than Ubuntu 9.04, but the leads were very small and would likely go unnoticed by the desktop user. At least though the Ubuntu 9.04 desktop remains usable when using this antiquated hardware. The only tests where there was a noticeable difference was when testing the disk with IOzone, where Ubuntu 9.04 had delivered better read and write performance.

      • I Had a Dell Recall Battery? An Ubuntu 9.04 Feature Told Me So.

        This might be another good reason to install Ubuntu 9.04:

        Information from Ubuntu that My Battery is under recall

        I looked at the battery, then called up the Dell recall list. Sure enough – that battery was listed. Interestingly enough, I’ve had this D600 for a while now and there has been no problems up until a week ago when the battery wouldn’t take a charge. Since I usually have this machine plugged in, I never thought twice about it.

      • Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty – Terminal velocity

        Wrapping up: if something isn’t mentioned in the regular Ubuntu forums, isn’t in its repos, or not referenced by the Ubuntu community, better don’t install that. There always are alternatives. Have a good weekend full of fast Terminal fun and don’t come and tell me that you didn’t know it was that simple, like my wife said… Right-click the pictures to view them enlarged.

      • Ubuntu 9.04 CD covers, a game changer.

        So what the hell does any of this have to do with CD covers? Plenty. I have to give all those new graphic designers at Canonical a real slap on the back, they kept it simple and it looks like for the first time a real viable commercial product. That might just be the one thing Ubuntu has been missing all these years. It’s still they same great Operating System, but now it’s wrapped in a nice crisp professional looking package. A package the average consumer will look at in a different light.

    • New Releases

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Routers use Linux for proximity marketing

      Libelium is shipping two Linux-based WiFi and Bluetooth routers that deliver proximity marketing services. The outdoor-mountable “N-Vio” and indoors-only “N-Vio Lite” devices offer public WiFi access, as well as Bluetooth or WiFi-based interactive marketing services, says the Zaragoza Spain-based company.

    • Service offers a “jump-start” embedded Linux platform

      Swedish telecom software firm Enea announced a services-based Linux development platform to jump-start development of embedded Linux projects. The Enea Embedded Linux Project Framework (ELPF) offers “core components, tools, and services common to virtually all embedded Linux projects in a single, one-stop package,” says the company.

    • Linux development tools rev’d for multi-core SoCs

      Tilera Corp. released version 2.0 of its Eclipse- and Linux-based Multicore Development Environment (MDE) supporting its massively multi-core MIPS/ RISC system-on-chips (SoCs). MDE 2.0 offers support for both its Tile64- and newer TilePro-family processors, for development of scalable, multi-threaded, shared-memory applications, says the company.

    • Linux-ready network appliance targets SOHO market

      Axiomtek announced a 1U-height network appliance for the small and home office (SOHO) market. The NA-812A runs Red Hat Linux on an Intel Core2 Duo, offers up to 4GB of memory, and is equipped with six gigabit Ethernet ports, says the company.

    • Linux SOHO NAS offers iSCSI

      Qnap Systems announced a network-attached storage (NAS) device, aimed at SMB/SOHO users, that supports two 2TB hard drives. The Linux-based TS-239 Pro Turbo NAS is notable for its iSCSI (Internet SCSI) target service, enabling the NAS to be configured for expansion or backup for other servers.

    • Verizon Launches MiFi Hotspot Without Subscription

      When we first heard about the MiFi last December, Novatel pointed out that the router is actually a tiny Linux PC, capable of running its own software. The router could check e-mail and store messages on a memory card without a PC, in theory. But Verizon’s version looks like it’s just a Wi-Fi router – for now, at least.

    • BlackArmor NAS: A polished storage server with an open source heart

      Unlike a great number of NAS offerings on the market, the Seagate BlackArmor NAS 440 is more than just a small Linux box with Webadmin slapped onto it.

    • Phones/Android

      • Leaked Image of G3 aka HTC Hero Surfaced

        An anonymous reader sent us these photos of the G3, aka as the HTC Hero, that will be released probably in Q3 this year.

      • Cupcake party: Android 1.5 update coming to T-Mobile G1 owners next week

        Finally, the moment all T-Mobile G1 owners have been waiting for! T-Mobile announced on Wednesday that it will start rolling out the official Android 1.5 (aka “Cupcake”) update to G1 users starting at the end of next week. The update will be delivered over the air in random batches over the next several weeks, and T-Mobile expects to reach all G1 customers by the end of May.

      • HTC Smartphones with Google Android Heading North to Canada

        The Google Android operating system will make an appearance on smartphones launched in Canada in summer 2009, according to Rogers Wireless, one of the largest wireless carriers in Canada. Rogers plans to release the HTC Dream smartphone and the HTC Magic smartphone, both of which use the Linux-based Android operating system, in the coming months.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • The Android Netbooks Cometh

        Thanks to netbooks, 2009 will be “The Year of GNU/Linux,” says blogger Robert Pogson. A netbook running Android has been spotted in the wild — the Skytone Alpha 680. Though its specs may be somewhat anemic and its price may be somewhat high, it’s stirring up a lot of excitement in the Linux community as the harbinger of netbooks to come.

      • Bsquare Announces Flash for Dell’s Android-Powered Netbook– Wha???

        Fresh off the news that HTC and T-Mobile may be working on a Google Android netbook, Bsquare (a software solutions provider for embedded devices) tossed its hat into the ring with a rather bold announcement: It’s porting Adobe Flash Lite 3.17 onto Dell netbooks powered by the Android platform. That’s right, Android on a Dell netbook.

      • Dell Studies Google’s Android for Future Products

        Dell Inc. is studying Google Inc.’s Android operating system for possible use in future products, people familiar with the situation said.

      • Ubuntu Now Available for Mini 10 Customers in the United States and Canada

        Over the last few weeks. we’ve been adding more features and options to the Inspiron Mini 10, which will allow folks to personalize the popular companion device even more like a 720p HD edge-to-edge display, a bigger battery option and five Design Studio choices from Tristan Eaton. For customers in the United States and Canada, today we’ve added Ubuntu as an OS option (starting price of $399) with additional hard drive options..

      • Dell Mini 10v on the horizon; Ubuntu & SSD options appear for Mini 10

        A number of upgrades to Dells Mini 10 netbook have been on the agenda since an internal roadmap was leaked last month. We have already seen Dell add options for a higher resolution display and 6-cell battery and it now looks like it will be releasing a refresh, dubbed the Mini 10v.

      • Dell Mini 10 Netbook Available with Ubuntu and SSD Option

        Dell’s Mini 10 netbook hasn’t been on the market very long, but it has proven to be a popular machine for the computer maker. Dell has announced that it will now be offering new options on the netbook including an SSD and Ubuntu OS.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Theora Ahead of H.264 In Objective PSNR Quality

    Xiph hackers have been hard at work improving the Theora codec over the past year, with the latest versions gaining on and passing h.264 in objective PSNR quality measurements.

  • Open source video codec Ogg Theora hot on the heels of H.264

    For this reason, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and members of the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WhatWG) proposed the open source Ogg codecs Theora (video) and Vorbis (audio), developed by the Xiph Foundation, as the standard for the planned video and audio elements in the “W3C Editor’s Draft” for HTML 5.

  • continued theora improvements

    Monty posted another update on the work that’s been going on to improve the Theora encoder. It’s worth re-posting here because I think that it includes some compelling images and graphs that show you improvements. So I would suggest that people wander over and have a look at his update.

  • Interview with Edward Hervey about the PiTiVI video editor

    My name’s Edward Hervey I’m a half-french, half-scot living in Barcelona and am one of the founding partners of Collabora Multimedia. I have been using Linux and Free Software since around 1995 but only started contributing in 2003 when I finally had enough programming skills to start working on PiTiVi. For several years I concentrated mostly on the GStreamer multimedia framework and plugins in order to get them to a decent level for video-editing and am still actively doing that.

  • Firefox Could Be the Real Facebook Challenger

    Firefox doesn’t keep track of the number of users it has but Asa Dotzler, Mozilla’s director of community development, said today that the company estimates that there are 270 million people using the browser. That’s 35% more users than Facebook has signed up for accounts (200 million), and almost triple the number of people Facebook says log in to the social network every day (100 million).

  • UC Berkeley Extension Offers Open Source Fundamentals Course

    UC Berkeley Extension will start offering a course (1 credit) titled “Open Source Fundamentals and Strategies”. LJ contributing editor Ibrahim Haddad developed the course for UCB and will be teaching it.

  • Prize for open source mobile technology software that’s reinventing healthcare in developing countries

    Officially established as an electronic data collection standard by the World Health Organization, Selanikio’s EpiSurveyor is now the most widely adopted open source mobile health software in the world.

  • Develop Next Generation Mobile Applications And Services: Open Source Middleware On Its Way

    “MUSIC uses Eclipse, Maven and SVN, which need at least Java 1.5, but we recommend Java 1.6. MUSIC applies the LGPL licence (GNU Lesser General Public License. The LGPL licence which does not apply their restrictions to the resulting software, so that it can be exploited under any chosen form”.

    [...]

    A Tutorial on MUSIC will be presented at the 5th International Conference on Open Source Systems on the 3rd of June 2009, in Stockholm, Sweden. The tutorial will provide an overview of the main results of the MUSIC project todate.

  • Philosophy

    • On Libraries: Every Open Source Developer Is Both An Author And A Librarian

      I am running for election to the Board of Directors of the Library in Chappaqua, New York, where I have lived for almost twenty-two years.

      I will carry out my campaign mainly via this blog. I have written many posts in the past about libraries and librarians, and will try to focus on this topic for at least the next few days.

    • The Open Source Philosophy

      The Open Source Definition arose out of the ambiguity of the word “free” in “Free Software,” as defined by the Free Software Foundation.” In the English language, “free” is a loaded term that has two meanings: “freedom”, and “costing nothing.” It was created to get rid of some of the emotional baggage that came with the intense philosophical point of view of the FSF, but just because the OSD is more “business-friendly” does not mean that it doesn’t have the philosophy and intent of openness behind it.

    • The Open Source Philosophy (Continued)

      That said, that philosophy drives me to support the companies that I think are doing it “right.” I work for OpenNMS not just because I think the software’s great, but also because I love that we can compete with “the big guys” by having a better community.

    • How do open source projects develop?

      I am sure you all know that the open source model is vastly different to the closed source model. Sure there are many similarities, especially for large projects, however there are very important differences. The main one being that the source code is open to all :)

  • Business

    • Ming Guang Yong, CEO, Voiceroute

      Yours Truly recently spoke with Ming Guang Yong, CEO of Voiceroute.

    • Interview with Stefano Fornari – CTO – Funambol

      In this interview we talk with Stefano the CTO of Funambol. In specific, we talk about:

      * Defining synchronization as a core technology for the future of mobile computing
      * The protocols underlying synchronization scenarios
      * Various mechanisms used to initiate synchronization
      * Characteristics of the open source community specific to mobility
      * Conventions that govern contributors and contributions
      * Core technical problems in synchronization

  • Sun

    • Oracle Will Stay in the Hardware Business, Ellison Says

      Ellison’s comments confirm Oracle’s intention to maintain and grow Sun’s hardware business, which were outlined in general terms in an April 20 document that discussed Oracle’s plans for Sun.

    • Q+A-What are Larry Ellison’s plans for Sun Micro?

      A. No. Our primary reason for designing our own chips is to build computers with the very best performance, reliability and security available in the market. Some system features work much better if they are implemented in silicon rather than software. Once we own Sun, we’ll be able to plan and synchronize new features from silicon to software, just like IBM and the other big system suppliers. We want to work with Fujitsu to design advanced features into the SPARC microprocessor aimed at improving Oracle database performance. In my opinion, this will enable SPARC Solaris open-system mainframes and servers to challenge IBM’s dominance in the data center. Sun was very successful for a very long time selling computer systems based on the SPARC chip and the Solaris operating system. Now, with the added power of integrated Oracle software, we think they can be again.

    • Fresh Wind at Work: OpenOffice 3.1

      Cute but astute: the new minor version of OpenOffice can do more than ever, such as cast shadows, position chart axes and provide structured conversations through comments.

    • Why Do I Use OpenOffice?

      In addition, using OpenDocument Format as the default file format helps future-proof my documents. After the current producers of “office software” all move on to something else, will you have the right to create a program to read and manipulate your data in the formats it was saved in? Will you be forced to buy a license from someone? Or perhaps be required to use a particular operating system?

    • OpenOffice.org 3.1 arrives, improves user interface

      The first major release of the 3.0 series of open source office suite OpenOffice.org, version 3.1, is now available with big improvements in usability and the user interface.

    • OpenOffice.org 3.1: Looking Sharp

      The updated free office software suite includes more than 20 major changes to its five core applications. Perhaps the most striking new feature, however, is its use of anti-aliasing to render sharper charts, line art, and other graphical elements.

    • OpenOffice 3.1 Gets a Makeover

      With 60 million downloads of its last version, open source office software aims to look better.

    • OpenOffice 3.1: The new features

      Compared to its predecessors, OpenOffice 3.1 offers a whole range of new features. Instant eye catchers are the improved anti-aliasing for graphics, better chart functionality, and the new text highlighting in Writer. However, inconspicuous new features like custom document property fields and the OpenOffice User Feedback Program are just as interesting.

  • FSF/GNU

  • Government

    • Where Open Source, Open Data and government meet

      The Obama administration recently excited the world of open source software by choosing to launch recovery.gov on Drupal. Their choice of a free, open source platform over any proprietary system is as hopeful and promising as the purpose of the website they built, which is to lend transparency to the spending of the $800 billion dollar economic stimulus money. We should be happy both that the U.S. government is embracing open software, and that it is promoting Open Data.

      [...]

      To achieve these goals, and help governments transition into an era of open, linked data, Drupal has some growing to do. As mentioned earlier, we are organizing code sprints that aim to make Drupal 7 a more powerful tool for managing RDF data.

    • SITA pushes open source adoption

      Pumeza Ceza, manager of Foss advocacy at SITA, says the agency has prioritised assisting the government with its drive towards using open sourced software and fostering greater acceptance and use of free and open source software.

  • CMS

    • Will Open Source ‘Kill’ Vignette?

      Ten years ago, Vignette was the brand name for web content management in many respects, plenty of sites (including more than a few that I was associated with) were users and customers. Though Vignette with a valuation of some $310 million is hardly ‘dead’, I also suspect that at many levels of the CMS space, open source solutions, be it Mambo/Joomla, Drupal, Zope or higher up the stack with an Alfresco have displaced Vignette over the years.

      Today I spend most of my time writing about technology as opposed to building it, but I’ve also seen more than my fair share of home grown (usually basic LAMP) solutions displace Vignette as well.

    • Taking Joomla! to new heights

      For someone who heads a project that develops the most widely used open source content management system, Andrew Eddie tends to be somewhat low-key. One could even call him bashful.

    • A Powerful Open Source Content Management System – Drupal

      Large and Friendly Community – With so many major sites using Drupal, it’s not going away soon. For an idea of the size of the developer community, take a look at the long list of community-contributed modules.

    • Open source goes back to school

      The Shuttleworth Foundation is releasing an open source school information management system worldwide.

    • SilverStripe CMS Goes (more) International, Launches Partner Network

      Perhaps most well known for powering the US Democratic Party’s National Convention website, streaming live speeches by Barak Obama and serving 3.2 billion pageviews over 96 hours, SilverStripe was also the winner of the 2008 Packtpub Open Source CMS awards in the Most Promising CMS category. SilverStripe also recently became only the second vendor that is an official Mollom partner.

  • Programming

    • First beta of Python 3.1

      The Python developers have released the first beta of Python 3.1. The new version of the free scripting language is a development version, not for production use. The developers plan this as the only beta and aim to release the final Python 3.1 in June.

Leftovers

  • No bottom to worse at Elsevier?

    The latest development, though, strikes me as something that should be shouted from every available rooftop: Elsevier simply must answer the questions raised.

    Via Dorothea: Jonathan Rochkind has done a little “forensic librarianship” and raised astonishing questions about the entire imprint, Excerpta Medica, which published the fake journal that started all of this.

    Go read Jonathan, but the bottom line is this: Excerpta Medica does not provide a straightforward list of its own publications or make clear which are, ahem, “industry-sponsored”.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Is Internet access a ‘fundamental right’?

      Or how about a right to get The Wall Street Journal? It provides useful commentary on my government’s actions and how they affect my wallet. But then, I’d also need The New York Times so that I could develop a balanced view on important political matters.

      None of which will matter if the government doesn’t force upon me the right to education! And not just any education, but an education that makes me fully capable of making intelligent voting decisions and filling out endless forms.

    • Web designer opposes France’s “3 strikes” law, loses job

      An employee of French broadcaster TF1 was fired after privately expressing opposition to the new “graduated response” bill moving through the National Assembly. He e-mailed his MP, who forwarded the message to the Ministry of Culture, which passed it to TF1.

    • Aussie censors implement six degrees of separation policy

      The Australian Government yesterday broke new records for web censorship by requiring the takedown not just of a page containing harmful content, nor even a page linking to harmful content, but a page linking to a link to allegedly harmful content.

    • European Parliament rejects Telecoms Package

      Telecoms Package surprise result as European Parliament makes a vote for democracy and civil liberties on the Internet. But it is not clear how much of a win it is.

    • Malcolm Harbour Doesn’t Get Net Neutrality

      The questioner is wrong to frame this in terms of blocking *sites*: it’s about blocking *services*, particularly ones based on new protocols piggy-backing on TCP/IP. The Telecoms Package gives telecoms companies the possibility of blocking anything it doesn’t like at this level – killing net neutrality – provided they tell people what they are doing.

  • Copyrights

    • MPAA Shows How Teachers Should Record Movies By Camcording Their TVs

      But, of course, the process also has some requests in the other direction as well… The entertainment industry, for example, would like fewer examples. Kevin alerts us to some video of a recent hearing, where the MPAA actually (you have to see it to believe it) demonstrates how to use a camcorder to videotape a movie off a TV…

    • MPAA Proof of Concept: Copy DVDs by Pointing Camera at Screen

      It’s hard to believe that this video is real, but apparently it is. What you are seeing is the official, MPAA sanctioned method for teachers to make copies of DVDs for educational purposes. Are you ready? To make a copy you play the DVD and aim a camera at the TV screen. I told you it was hard to swallow.

    • RIAA Sues Even More File-Sharers

      Targets 3 more in the New York area alone.

    • Facebook’s E-mail Censorship is Legally Dubious, Experts Say

      When The Pirate Bay released new Facebook features last month, the popular social networking site took evasive action, blocking its members from distributing file-sharing links through its service.

    • Pirate Party 3rd Largest Political Party in Sweden

      Support for the Swedish Pirate Party surged following the Pirate Bay verdict and today it became the third largest political party in the country. When they are elected for the European Parliament next month, the party hopes to end the abuse of copyright by multi-billion dollar corporations.

    • The Culture of Sharing: Why Releasing Copyright Will Be the Smartest Thing You Do

      Last year I Uncopyrighted my blog, Zen Habits, and my ebook, Zen To Done, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. People have used my articles in blogs, newsletters, magazines, ebooks, books and more. And yes, they’ve made profits off me without me getting any of that money … but at the same time, I’ve benefitted: my ideas have spread, my name and brand have spread, and my readership has grown and grown. Since I Uncopyrighted the blog, it has grown from about 30K subscribers to 113K.

      You can Uncopyright your blog, your ebooks, and even your print books. And I can almost guarantee you: it’ll be the best thing you can do as a writer.

    • Steal this archive: Image curator warns of public domain loss, urges greater access

      “If the Google book deal is approved without any changes, we could soon lose 100 million books that society doesn’t know what to do with,” said Prelinger, referring to “orphan works,” or works under copyright, but whose owner is not known.

    • Google Italy explains how Google is different from The Pirate Bay

      Someone at Google is pissing their pants.

      * the file format thing can be said of The Pirate Bay as well
      * The Pirate Bay has not the financial means to create a removal workflow like Google
      * The Pirate Bay removes the contents, it just does when Police asks, as it should be. It doesn’t take the right to judge. Exactly as it should be.
      * the quote of Mazza is just a black on white judgement, without any argument supporting his claims.
      * everyone knows YouTube mades his fortune closing a eye on illegal content, until it really was forced to remove it.
      * misuse of google is easily done, and I can’t see Google be willing to stop that anytime. Now, mr Kennedy try to type Coldplay there. What do you get ? Or type coldplay torrent in google.

      Differences may exist. But you seem not to know those.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Steve Weber, creator of the phrase “anti-rival goods” 05 (2005)

Ogg Theora

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

Goodbye, Alison Brimelow (EPO President)

Posted in Europe, IBM, Patents at 11:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Alison Brimelow

Summary: After protests from her staff, the public, and following layoffs too Alison Brimelow essentially quits her job as head of the European Patent Office

WILL THESE CHANGES MEAN more sanity or even less sanity for the EPO? As Glyn Moody puts it, “[the] next appointment [is] critically important.” Here is the scoop:

Alison Brimelow will not seek reappointment as President of the European Patent Office when her current term expires at the end of June 2010, it was announced today. Rainer Osterwalder, Director of Media Relations at the EPO, told IAM this afternoon: “Yes, I can confirm that Alison Brimelow has informed the EPO staff today that she will not seek an extension of her contract which ends on 30 June 2010.”

It’s important to pressure the EPO not to appoint a person from a company that favours software patents. It’s bad enough at the USPTO, which is said to be preparing an IBMer to become its next director. IBM is not against software patents.

“The European Patent Office is a Corrupt, Malicious Organisation Which Should Not Exist”

Richard Stallman

“Staff at the European Patent Office went on strike accusing the organization of corruption: specifically, stretching the standards for patents in order to make more money.

“One of the ways that the EPO has done this is by issuing software patents in defiance of the treaty that set it up.”

Richard Stallman

Man Who Shows That Vista 7 is as Heavy as Vista Gets Attacked

Posted in Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 10:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Angry alterglobalist mob
Angry Vista 7 mob attacks a numerical benchmark of Vista 7

Summary: Nick Mediati gets attacked personally for saying the truth about Vista 7

According to this new message from USENET, “Nick Mediati is feeling like the most hated man in San Francisco at least this week. The PC World assistant editor wrote “Speed Test: Windows 7 May Not Be Much Faster Than Vista,” which reported the results of our performance testing on the Windows 7 Release Candidate. Suddenly, he finds himself fending off a slew of stinging objections and even scathing personal attacks from commenters on the site who believe his conclusions are biased.”

Compare it to this story from Tim Bray:

In 1997, as a result of signing a consulting contract with Netscape, I was subject to a vicious, deeply personal extended attack by Microsoft in which they tried to destroy my career and took lethal action against a small struggling company because my wife worked there. It was a sideshow of a sideshow of the great campaign to bury Netscape and I’m sure the executives have forgotten; but I haven’t. I should tell that story here sometime so that should my readers discern an attitude problem regarding Redmond, it ain’t because I work at Sun. Also, it has a funny ending.

A couple of weeks ago, when Microsoft had a negative review of Surface taken down, Twitter wrote:

There is nothing gentle about that contact. If you are so “Microsofty” that you would even consider a $13,000 novelty, Microsoft is your oxygen. They go on to explain the hate mail they got.

5pm today that discussion had become so chock full of “web-muck” (the online equivalent of the telephone game, where the original message gets lost in the transmission) that it was becoming a huge distraction. … the tireless Apple vs. PC debate … impassioned souls who accused me of being everything from a “Microsoft Apologist” to “M$ fanboy” to a “complete idiot”

This is typical troll juice and crap flood that comes from Microsoft astroturfers. Microsoft and friends will smear this person to protect what’s left of their own reputations. Had this person worked for Microsoft or a Microsoft partner, they would have been fired. Comments to the apology posts are now moderated and I doubt any will see the light of day.

Let’s not forget the vicious attacks on DaemonFC, who ‘dared’ to criticise Vista 7 in public. Hours ago he told us that Vista and Vista 7 are very comparable in terms of speed. He has been using both (including the RC of Vista 7). This agrees with the benchmark which started this whole post. Other independent people with software which is dedicated to the task of benchmarking have reached the same conclusion. Randall Kennedy, for example, summarised his benchmark findings by writing: “My initial evaluation of Windows 7 shows that it’s really just Vista with a fresh coat of paint.”

So who is behind these attacks? We already know that Waggener Edstrom was behind the bribing of bloggers in exchange for positive early reviews of of Vista 7. Bloggers were given overpowered laptops with Vista 7 preloaded, so of course they say no performance issues. This has “guerrilla marketing” written all over it, but this may also include guerrilla-like attacks on critics, and that would be just criminal.

“I’m a huge fan of guerrilla marketing.”

Joe Wilcox, Microsoft Fan

“I receive an e-mail from Julie McCormick at Waggener Edstrom in which she extends a “special save-the-date” invitation to attend a “unique, invitation-only” event being hosted by the Windows Client team. She labels the subject matter as “confidential”…”

Randall C. Kennedy

“I’ve been thinking long and hard about this, and the only conclusion I can come to is that this is ethically indistinguishable from bribery. Even if no quid-pro-quo is formally required, the gift creates a social obligation of reciprocity. This is best explained in Cialdini’s book Influence (a summary is here). The blogger will feel some obligation to return the favor to Microsoft.”

Former Microsoft manager

Related posts:

User “Microsoft Incentives” Wants to be Your Friend, Too

Posted in Marketing, Microsoft at 9:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Red tail hawk
Big awesome Microsoft is still twitting

Summary: Another potential Microsoft AstroTurfer in Twitter

LAST WEEK we posted proof that Microsoft would be giving gifts to bloggers and to users of social networks (e.g. Digg, Reddit, Slashdot) in order for them to rave about Windows. Microsoft is of course doing it via agencies and agents whom it hires. Waggener Edstrom is the biggest such agency [1, 2], but it’s not the only one. Microsoft is employing companies to pollute Twitter with its marketing buzz and also to track users and messages [1, 2, 3, 4].

Yesterday I received the following message by E-mail: “Microsoft Incentives (msincentives) is now following your updates on Twitter.

Wow! Yay.

“Twitter accounts for offering of gifts (bribes) to ‘fans’ of Microsoft would make perfect sense now that we have evidence of them hiring agencies for such jobs.”Mr. (or Mrs.) Microsoft Incentives must really be interested in twits about GNU/Linux and occasionally some politics.

This is obviously one of those spammy Twitter accounts which are just ‘whoring’ everyone, hoping to earn some attention in return (mutual following) and usually just pointing to bot-powered marketing messages.

We know that Microsoft has a similar Twitter account for MSPs (maybe it’s not directly affiliated with Microsoft), but none of this should be too surprising. Twitter accounts for offering of gifts (bribes) to ‘fans’ of Microsoft would make perfect sense now that we have evidence of them hiring agencies for such jobs [1, 2, 3, 4].

Tread carefully out there.

“Linux Action Show” Dudes Censor Comments They Disagree with, Then Lie About It and Ask People to Troll Us

Posted in Boycott Novell, GNU/Linux, Site News at 9:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The stor[y|m in a teacup] about the Linux Action Show (in the correct chronology)

OKAY, so we wrote a quick post to point out that Bryan and Co. are very hostile towards GNU. And no, it wasn’t trolling and it was not provocative; it was actually pretty polite. The convictions of these guys have been apparent to their audience for quite some time and the latest burst that led to bad press was merely a last straw which — owing to some prodding from a reader — called for a quick post that mostly quoted him. Prior to this post he had submitted a comment to Bryan’s blog, but it was deleted (here is proof), so it was only reasonable to call him on it, especially since he publicly denies censoring comments. This one comment was very polite and it predates any friction there may have developed. It was just a disagreement, so Bryan clearly censors opposing views.

All right, so now a few people lost faith in them. They are acting immaturely about it and it comes from Brian himself. He writes:

“Boycott Novell seems like it is written by poo poo heads”.

Classy. Here is more from Bryan:

The important part there is the use of “poo poo heads” as a phrase. I think that should be the phrase of the day on boycottnovell.com.

“See the latest,” says one of the readers who alerted us about it (there’s more than one). “He’s actually asking for people to troll your site. Surely a violation of terms?” Here is what Bryan wrote in his blog:

“I’m not saying any of you should go there and add a comment along the lines of “Boycott Novell are poo poo heads”… I’m just saying that doesn’t seem like a bad idea to me. (Crud. Where’s that <hinthint> tag… I need a tag organizer!)”

To avoid more trolling, comments on this posts are closed and we won’t waste time writing about this subject again.

Ubuntu Makes Novell’s Mono a “Master Of The Universe” (MOTU)

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, Mono, Novell, Ubuntu at 7:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Money gasp

Summary: Mono Booster allowed increased access to decisions at Ubuntu

Rather than shun Mono, Canonical Ubuntu is giving it more power by making Jo Shields an MOTU. One employee person from Ubuntu says to Jo, “somewhat selfishly, I hope your opinion on the Banshee/Rhythmbox thing will hold more weight now!” We’ve already explained why this is a terrible idea.

UK-IPO Approves Software Patent as Microsoft and its Lobbies Pressure for Software Patents in EU

Posted in Europe, FSF, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 6:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Toy soldiers
Microsoft’s cronies army wants anti-FOSS laws all across Europe

Summary: The UK-IPO is again betraying its principles and lobbying activity from Microsoft deserves at least part of the blame for what happens in Europe

AS WE noted some weeks ago, the EPO is selling out to Microsoft. The UK-IPO has already messed up because of Symbian and it’s happening again after pressure from all sorts of Microsoft buddies like Finjan [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] and Steve Ballmer’s occasional lobbying in London. From yesterday in The Register:

Intellectual Property Office approves software patent for UK

[...]

Software that allows programmers to program a mobile phone system remotely from a computer can be patented because it is more than just a software program, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has ruled.

Who else might be responsible for this? Let us take a look.

ACT, which claim to be protecting small business innovation, are actually a lobbying gun for Microsoft. Here is ACT’s lobbying supreme Zuck pimping Microsoft’s lobbying event for software patents in Europe (it’s all about Microsoft). They have also just pressured the EPO to support software patents, identifying themselves using the old and tired obfuscation (“eBay, Oracle, Microsoft are members of ACT”). These people hardly even hide their intent [MPG].

The EBoA has come under pressure from all sorts of companies with vested interests (“you cannot link any of the documents,” explains a reader, “because they have session keys, [but] the second one is signed by Zuck”) and here is Stefan Steinbrener from the EBoA talking about it. The FSFE was among those who wrote to the EBoA and my submission is missing from the on-line list because I only sent it electronically without a signature. From the FSFE’s Web site:

Our vision is for the European Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) industry become the most vibrant in the world – and the European Parliament shared this vision, when it made the necessary amendments to the directive on computer-implemented inventions during its first reading on 24 September 2003.

To Microsoft, it is important to legalise software patents all across the world so that it can terrorise users and vendors of GNU/Linux everywhere. In Europe, this includes Canonical and Mandriva.

Here is a good new article about FAT and Linux. It comes from Chris Smart, who used to distribute one of the first operating systems with 3-D effects working out of the box (GPL violation though).

Microsoft wants to collect royalties over patents, whether it is from proprietary or open source software manufacturers. In an interview with Chicago Sun-Times Friday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said: “Our goal is to try to educate people on what it means to protect intellectual property and pay for it properly.” If Microsoft lets the cat out of the bag, it’s game over for them. And they know it. Thanks to the patch from Tridge, Microsoft may not be able to collect royalties from other companies who also use VFAT with the Linux kernel.

Microsoft wants the world to believe that there are major patent issues in the Linux kernel, without telling what they are. By doing this they are trying to create a cloud of uncertainty around the use of free software and as a result are hoping to deter companies from taking up the technology over their own. By moving any patent issues into the public spotlight however, those in the free software world can help break down the cloud of fear, uncertainty and doubt that Microsoft is spreading. The future problem will be, are companies willing to fight back and make details of the patent claims public?

For those in favour of humour about the US patent office, here is another article from The Register (about Kindle).

Newer Kindle models may be looking much better, but the e-reader’s debuting aesthetic left quite a lot to be desired. Presumably before the USPTO granted its boon, the Kindle 1′s look was ingeniously guarded by virtue of it already looking like a cheap Chinese knock-off.

We wrote about the Kindle back in March. It is powered by Linux, but it is Defective by Design. Amazon is also a fiend when it comes to software patents.

Moblin Turns to Ballnux

Posted in Hardware, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, Patents, SLES/SLED at 5:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SueMe Nicrovell LinuxSummary: Novell picks up Intel’s work

A REGULAR reader has told us that “Novell backs Moblin 2.0 mobile Linux distro,” pointing to one article from The Register. This seems awfully familiar and The Register seems to be neglecting any criticism.

Quoting from the article, “Despite its Ubuntu and Fedora heritage, Novell seems to be thrilled to be backing Moblin 2.0, which Guy Lunardi, director of client preloads at the commercial Linux distributor, says will be announced as an alpha today and which is expected to begin a normal beta testing schedule in a few weeks…

Our reader asks, “Will this version come without the Microsoft patent pledge and why isn’t Intel scared of violating anyone’s IP?

“This seems awfully familiar and The Register seems to be neglecting any criticism.”“Wait,” he says “I spoke too soon,” quoting further from The Register:

Novell is now contributing code to the Moblin project, adding in code for windowing, email and media management from its openSUSE development project…

Our readers remarks: “Given the virtual stagnation in deployment of openSUSE and the laying off of some staff, wouldn’t Novell have been better served if they had created their own Moblin type project and launched that on the low-powered mobile market? Instead of advertising their competitor’s products on its own web site!” Novell’s direction with GNU/Linux is iffy because it shifts staff to Taiwan.

Quoting further, the reader picks this summary: “the Linux Foundation [...] took over the steerage of the Moblin project from Intel earlier this month [...] The chip maker has figured out that it is difficult to get [...] OEMs [...] to back a project when it is vendor controlled.

This news was also covered in Ziff Davis and its sibling ZDNet.

As part of the agreement with Intel and Moblin.org, Novell will establish a Novell Open Labs group in Taiwan “to foster the adoption of Moblin,” says the company. Novell also plans to work with the Taiwan Moblin Enabling Center (MEC), a joint venture between Intel and the the Taiwan Institute for Information Industry. Novell says it will join MEC’s efforts to validate designs for Moblin compliance.

The Linux Foundation’s choice of OBS is part of a troubling trend that illustrates Novell's impact in there.

“Our partnership with Microsoft continues to expand.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

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