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06.26.09

Links 26/06/2009: More Free Software for Austria, Germany, and Italy

Posted in News Roundup at 6:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • LinuxTag 2009: Communtu Eases Ubuntu Installation

    Communtu wants to give new installers and Windows converts an easier time with Ubuntu. They will present a webpage with a list of suggested programs to install as a metapackage, including multimedia and proprietary software, and then install it.

  • Desktop

    • Wiggly windows? That’s just the beginning!

      Compiz is a really cool application. It uses 3D graphics to create really nice desktop effects. A lot of new users to GNU/Linux like the Wiggly windows effect but that is just the beginning. You can do much more with Compiz. One great feature is to create a 3D cube which you can rotate. This allows you to look through several different desktops that are currently being used. There is a feature to zoom in and out from your screen. Another eyecandy is the water effect, it makes it look like it is raining on your desktop.

    • LiMux: Nachahmer für die Münchner Linux-(R)evolution
  • Server

    • Linux-Powered Enterprise Storage: Openfiler

      Open source software is hardly a new concept, but it has only recently begun to make significant inroads into the world of enterprise data storage, where the big name proprietary vendors have (at least until now) had the advantage.

      But as the open source community has grown and code has matured, with Linux taking root in more and more enterprises large and small, storage vendors, including big names like Sun Microsystems, have been developing open source networked storage solutions.

      One network storage software vendor, Openfiler, never needed to be convinced of the benefits of offering enterprises an open source network storage operating system.

    • HPC cluster maker sets x64 chips a-fighting

      Corder used the same power supply, hard drive, and operating system – unspecified, but almost certainly Linux – and says that the amount of memory on the machines was different because of the different memory speeds possible with each chip and the different numbers of memory channels that each chip architecture supports: the Xeons have three channels per socket that run faster than the two channels per socket of the Opterons, so Corder reckoned that to even it out the latter should get a little more memory.

  • Kernel Space

    • Main development phase of Linux 2.6.31 completed

      Just over two weeks after the release of Linux 2.6.30, Linus Torvalds has released 2.6.31-rc1, the first release candidate of Linux 2.6.31. As usual, “rc1″ completes the merge window during which the kernel hackers incorporate the majority of new features into the respective new version’s main development branch. In the eight to eleven weeks that follow, the programmers tend to integrate only smaller changes to fix bugs in the newly merged code without causing any further problems. If the kernel hackers stick to their usual pace despite the summer and holiday season in the northern hemisphere, Linux 2.6.31 will probably be released in late August or early September.

  • Applications

    • Computer Logic Design with KTechLab

      A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article about a digital and analog circuit simulator called ksimus. One of my readers asked what the difference was between ksimus and ktechlab so I thought I’d take a look at ktechlab. Let me just say that both of these programs are a lot of fun to play with.

    • FriendFeed Adds File Sharing. No Movies, But MP3s Are Fine.

      The killer features of FriendFeed continue. Today, the service has just added a way to share files on the service. So now it’s just as easy to share a PDF or text file as it is to share a picture.

    • View the stars in Linux with Stellarium

      If you are learning about the stars in school, an amateur sky watcher, or a meteorologist in the making you need to know your stars. To really see the stars you can visit a real planetarium, you can break out your serious telescope, or you can install and fire up a desktop application like Stellarium.

    • Virtualization software goes multi-processor

      The Sun-sponsored VirtualBox project has released a beta 3.0 version of its free, x86-oriented virtualization software. The Linux-compatible xVM VirtualBox 3.0 adds support for guest Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) with up to 32 virtual CPUs, as well as support for version 2.0 of the OpenGL graphics acceleration standard, among other features.

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat

      • Red Hat CEO Calls on Oracle to Keep Java Open

        But Java is also playing an important part of Red Hat’s business. During yesterday’s call, Whitehurst said that Red Hat’s JBoss Java middleware business is a key part of its product mix, while Red Hat CFO Charlie Peters added that during the first quarter, Red Hat had five deals that were worth $1 million or more, two of which were standalone middleware deals.

      • 16 Videos from Red Hat: Some Marketing, But Good Perspectives Too

        The Value of Red Hat in Jim’s Words. Whitehurst discusses why open source software is a good alternative to proprietary software, and more.

        Red Hat’s Technologies. From virtualization to JBoss middleware, here’s a primer.

        The Subscription Model. Many commercial open source companies have emulated Red Hat’s subscription model. Here’s the company’s explanation of it.

        Liberating Innovation. This video delves into open standards, software licensing, software patents, and more.

    • Ubuntu

      • How to Track Ubuntu Deployments Worldwide

        Here are four ways we plan to compile and examine the survey data:

        1. Plot Ubuntu Business Deployments Globally: Using Google Maps, we’ll show readers where Ubuntu Server Edition and Ubuntu Desktop Edition are taking hold — country by country, region by region.

        2. Explore Server Trends: We’ll explore the key business drivers for deploying Ubuntu Server Edition.

        3. Profile Key Ubuntu Evangelists: Who are the IT managers and business managers driving corporate Ubuntu deployments? We’ll be interviewing dozens of business and technology managers who bet their businesses on Ubuntu.

      • Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase

        The Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase is an opportunity to show off high quality free culture content in Ubuntu. At the heart of Ubuntu’s ethos is a belief in showcasing free software and free culture, and with each development cycle we open the opportunity for any Free Culture artist to put their work in front of millions of Ubuntu users around the world. Although the space restrictions are tight, and we are limited to how much content we can include, this is an excellent opportunity for artists everywhere.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Shuttle XS29f: Linux Looks Great in Green

      Power and space saving computers are in, and Shuttle has a winner with the XS29F. This little gem really skimps on the power consumption to the tune of around 20-25 watts on average. That’s less than half of that 60-watt light bulb shining down on you right now. For the Do It Yourselfer (DIYer) on a budget this box makes a lot of sense.

    • T-Mobile Phones Home, Again

      The G1 is hardly the only Android phone on the market — a number of companies have taken up Android, including G1 manufacturer HTC, which produced the “Magic” or Google Ion. According to reports, the myTouch, announced this week, is “essentially” the same phone as the Magic/Ion, and like the G1 before it, will go up against Apple’s latest iPhone, the 3G S. The T-Mobile myTouch 3G with Google is lighter than its predecessor, a reported six hours of battery life, and will come in a designer “Merlot” color as well as the less chic black and white.

    • Making Uruguays’ 300,000 XO Laptops Count

      We were in Santa Lucía to give workshops explaining how to use the EduBlog blogging platform developed by a team of Uruguayan and American programmers. The XO laptops have been great at bringing information from the wider world to Uruguayan students, thanks to projects like Wikipedia and Conozco Uruguay, both of which come pre-installed on the machines.

Free Software/Open Source

  • VirtualBox 3.0 Beta 2 arrives

    Only one week after the first beta was released, VirtualBox developer Frank Mehnert has announced the availability of the second beta of version 3.0 of the open source desktop virtualisation application for x86 hardware. In addition to numerous bug fixes for the previous release, the second beta includes several performance improvements and fixes for SMP guests. Several OpenGL and Direct3D related issues and a high CPU usage issue on certain idle Windows guests, have also been addressed.

  • USB Thumb Drives and Your Open Source App Arsenal

    Mac users can find a similar one-download solution for putting open source applications on thumb drives at MacLibre. And, for Linux users, see our previous coverage of PenDriveLinux. It gives you downloads and instructions for many portable Linux versions that you can keep with you on your thumb drive. These drives are really inexpensive for lots of capacity now, and they can save you in an on-the-go pinch.

  • Create Tour Widgets For Your Web Site With Amberjack

    If you’ve got a great Web site and want to give visitors a nudge about which parts they shouldn’t miss, have a look at Amberjack. It’s a handy open source widget that acts as a tour guide for your site.

  • Mozilla/Firefox

    • Updated Firefox 3.5 release candidate available for download

      Please note: the Firefox 3.5 Release Candidate is a public preview release intended for developer testing and community feedback. It includes many new features as well as improvements to performance, web compatibility, and speed. We recommend that you read the release notes and known issues before installing this release candidate.

    • First results of Electrolysis, multi-process Firefox

      A few weeks ago, Mozilla announced Electrolysis, a new project that aims to make Firefox a multi-process application, with separate processes for the user interface (chrome), each tab, and plugins, in order to provide higher stability as a a problem with a plugin or a certain web page wouldn’t bring down the whole session; higher performace, as today’s multi-core processors can handle multiple tasks at a time; and stronger security, as each could run on different security contexts.

    • mozillaca, a micro-blog for the Mozilla community
    • Design tools for the open web: reflections on the fixoutlook campaign

      The twittersphere is abuzz with the current twitterstorm about Microsoft’s plan to use the “Word HTML engine” in the next version of Outlook. It’s a campaign that’s an organization which represents people whose living depends on their ability to make compelling HTML pages in email, so it’s not surprising that they have a beautiful site which is getting a lot of people to retweet.

      [...]

      However, for regular folks, life is not rosy yet in the Open Web world. Authoring beautiful HTML is, even with design and graphics talent, still way, way too hard. I’m writing this using WordPress 2.8, which has probably some of the best user experience for simple HTML authoring. As Matt Mullenweg (the founder of WordPress) says, it’s still not good enough. As far as I can tell, there are currently no truly modern, easy to use, open source HTML composition tools that we could use in Thunderbird for example to give people who want to design wholly original, designed email messages. That’s a minor problem in the world of email, which is primarily about function, not form, and I think we’ll be able to go pretty far with templates, but it’s a big problem for making design on the web more approachable.

      There are some valiant efforts to clean up the old, crufty, scary composer codebase that Mozilla has relied on for years. There are simple blog-style editors like FCKEditor and its successor CKEditor. There are in-the-browser composition tools like Google Pages or Google Docs, but those are only for use by Google apps, and only work well when they limit the scope of the design space substantially (again, a rational choice).

  • Business

    • Asterisk: Always On

      Already Asterisk is being grafted onto real-time communications tools. Google search found Asterisk Radio Networks and Wisconsin Emergency Communications (WeComm) on my first keyword entry. This is GREAT stuff, and I’m sure there are many more small projects out there linking new hardware and new software together with Asterisk as the glue. Radios are great, but they’re a niche – the real target is the mobile device.

    • Reductive Labs Q&A – History & the Road-map

      As you might have seen yesterday, one of RedMonk’s clients Reductive Labs was funded yesterday to the tune of $2 million. While they work on and are core members of the popular Puppet project (which we’ve had plenty of interviews around in the podcast if you’d like some background), there hasn’t been a tremendous amount of talk about the company, Reductive Labs itself.

    • Bending the back office: Open source CRM and ERP

      Open source “alternatives” from SugarCRM, Openbravo, and Compiere have tapped the power of open source development to make customization easy, but the line between community and commercial is quickly crossed

    • Open source webERP takes on the big guns

      WebERP is released under the GPL and now averages more than 100 downloads per day from SourceForge.net and has totalled some 250,000 from SourceForge alone.

  • Government

    • Actuate Survey: Open Source Booming in China, Germany and Other Regions

      It’s no secret that certain parts of the world favor open source more than others do. Today, Actuate, which specializes in open source business intelligence applications, is out with its fourth annual open source survey results. The results are based on responses from global business and I.T. professionals from the financial services sector, public sector and the manufacturing industry. This year the survey also included Chinese respondents. Here are some of the highlights from the results.

    • 4th Actuate Annual Open Source Survey Includes China; Attracts a Record Number of Responses
    • Pillars of Open Government

      As you may have noticed, I’m writing more about open government these days, simply because there’s more to write about – and that’s great.

    • IT: Italian government to increase use of open source in schools

      The pilot projects will take place in the Scuola primaria 154 and the Enrico Fermi Institute of Technology. The pilot should encourage other schools to also increase their use of open source operating systems, office productivity tools and for email. Another goal of the pilot is to increase the use of collaboration tools, especially those developed as open source.

    • AT: Vienna to teach its public servants about open source desktop

      In an emailed statement, Marie Ringler, local Green Party councillor involved in the proposal, said: “If we want to switch to GNU/Linux and other open source applications, we should take the fears and concerns of our users seriously. Future open source users should be better informed.”

    • Eee, Look: A Useful E-petition Response
    • Open-source-tic – epetition response

      The Government supports the principle that, where new software is being developed by the Timely Information to Citizens pilots, this should wherever possible be released under open source licence and available for use by other local authorities.

      For many of the Timely Information to Citizens pilots, the focus is not on new software, but on how existing tools and techniques can be used to bring information together and present it in more useful and accessible ways. Several of the projects will utilise existing open source software to create new information sources and channels, and will share their experiences of doing so with other authorities.

      Where the pilots will result in new software tools, ownership and intellectual property rights will usually remain with the individual local authorities. However, most of the authorities concerned have already made a commitment to make these tools available as open source software, or for use by their partner organisations, and we are working to secure the commitment of the remaining.

  • Licensing

    • Video portal software MediaMosa open sourced

      MediaMosa, a video management and distribution platform, which has been developed in the Netherlands to deliver video content to the Dutch educational sector, is now open source

    • An Apology and a Question

      Imagine: a client comes to me and asks to me to build a site for them using WordPress and a paid GPL theme. The ciient also wants a set of customizations made to the theme and site functionality. Some of the custom functionality requested is different visual treatments for each post, based on the post category. This is a fairly common request for larger publishing sites, and one of the reasons we built the Carrington CMS theme framework (which automates this).

      [...]

      I obviously have a vested interest in the WordPress ecosystem remaining strong. I also want people to be able to make a commercial living in that ecosystem (my team included).

      However, I don’t think it’s reasonable to build that ecosystem on the premise that we should ignore certain freedoms of the GPL – and I feel like some folks are asking for that to happen.

  • Openness

    • Open Source Sensing Initiative Eyes How Sensors Affect Privacy and More

      No matter where you are, there are more sensors around you than you may realize. Inexpensive, but driven by processors that are maturing at a fast clip, they monitor the brake pads in your car, the sprinkler systems in the office, and can monitor motion, heat, and much more. Sensors are being deployed in security systems and airports all around the world, among many other places. Futurists believe that sensors will increasingly be embedded inside of us to monitor our physical systems and communicate information about them wirelessly to our mobile devices.

    • Who Pays for Imposing Openness?

      There are two kinds of openness: the one embraced willing, and the other that is imposed. The former comes about because, for whatever reason, people or institutions see that it is ultimately in their interests to be more open (or that by resisting transparency they only make things worse). Imposed openness requires people who get digging to find out those things that others don’t want found, and to make them known anyway.

  • Open Access

    • Open Access and the A-Bomb

      Importantly, by putting their papers into arXiv physicists ensure that they are freely available to anyone who wishes to access them – assuming they have an Internet connection – regardless of whether they or their institution has a subscription to the journal in which the paper is published. Indeed, some papers in arXiv are never published in a journal at all.

    • Book Publisher Eksmo Acquires Online Ebook Store LitRes
    • Article: It’s our data

      The 700,000 pages of scanned images put online in pdf were described by Sir Stuart Bell as a ‘great achievement’ for Parliament. And I suppose it is if you’re used to inscribing your words on animal skins.

    • Five minutes of your time to help us: take part in UK PubMed Central images survey

      The British Library project team, which manages development activities for UKPMC, and is specifically tasked with identifying additional, hard to find content to add to UKPMC, is keen to understand what types of images researchers would find useful for potential inclusion in the repository.

    • Finding a fair price for free knowledge

      TEN years ago, a piece of software called Napster taught us that scarcity is no longer a law of nature. The physics of our universe would allow everyone with access to a networked computer to enjoy, for free, every song, every film, every book, every piece of research, every computer program, every last thing that could be made out of digital ones and zeros. The question became not, will nature allow it, but will our legal and economic system ever allow it?

    • No Raw Data on Recovery.gov. Significant Failure

      Speaking for the coalition, Gary Bass, OMB Watch’s director and CAR’s co-chair, applauded the significant transparency steps OMB has taken in certain key respects. However, much data from the recipients of Recovery Act funds will not be collected or disclosed according the the new guidelines.

    • The Race to Be (Seen to Be) Open

      One of the advantages of the adversarial aspect of the UK’s two-party politics is that politicians have to compete with each other.

      This means that when an important new meme – or fad, depending on your viewpoint – enters political discourse, there is a pell-mell rush to outdo the opposition in adopting it. This can certainly produce bad outcomes – trying to prove you are more dedicated to “fighting terrorism” and other such meaningless slogans, for example. But just occasionally, it can push political parties to move very quickly in the right direction.

    • ScenicOrNot raw data now available for re-use

      It’s available under the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial 3 Licence, and we greatly look forward to seeing what people do with it.

  • Programming

    • Eclipse Eclipses Itself Again

      Instead, Eclipse flies the flag for the very best in free software; as such, maybe its annual release should be celebrated a little more abeyond the programming community that already knows its value well.

  • Ogg

    • Is Ogg Theora the Savior of Online Video?

      I know, you’re going to tell me that the Ogg formats have been pulled from the HTML 5 specification and that they’re not the answer. Both Apple and Nokia have complained about the codecs stating that they are still patented and could create problems later (though I’m certain there are other reasons behind their public condemnation). But there are very few other possibilities as H.264 and MP4 are not free either. So it’s some murky water that we step into right now and going into all the details would require far more room than I’m allotted here on a daily basis. But I believe that OGG (Theora and Vorbis) could be the answer. Sure they are still within patent lifetimes but they are royalty-free. Yes that could be a problem later, but wouldn’t it be simpler just to get something signed and agreed on than trying to work with a codec that requires a royalty fee or starting from the ground up on a new codec?

    • The Saga of Ogg the Great

      Despite the modest name, this is important stuff. As I wrote elsewhere recently, I believe that the arrival of Firefox 3.5, with it support for Ogg’s formats, will mark a turning point in open video and audio. It’s good to have background information on how it all started.

Leftovers

  • Brainwash

    • CMD’s Wendell Potter Exposes Health Insurance PR

      Wendell Potter came to the Center for Media and Democracy in May as an admirer of our work exposing corporate front groups, lobbyists and PR manipulators. He should know, he was one of the best PR executives in the health insurance business, CIGNA’s Vice President of Corporate Communications until he had a major change of heart.

    • Kremlin Creates Panel to Improve Russia’s Image

      The Kremlin has created a high-level commission to overhaul its image on the world stage as the first anniversary of Russia’s war with Georgia approaches.

  • Censorship

    • Iran Has Built a Censorship Monster, With Help From Western Tech

      The Great Firewall of Iran, as it will undoubtedly be dubbed, involves deep packet inspection, a technique that examines both the header and the data part of internet data packets and can be used for eavesdropping, censorship and data mining.

    • China’s censorship blowback

      Aggravation is certainly mounting. After finding Google.com and GMail blocked on Wednesday night Beijing time, Jeremy Goldkorn, who runs Danwei.org wrote a letter to China’s “net nanny,” in which he pointed out: “You are making Chinese people look like children on the world stage. You are bringing shame to the People’s Republic of China, and the Chinese Communist Party.”

  • Copyrights/Trademarks

    • Copyfraud: Poisoning the public domain

      The public domain is the greatest resource in human history: eventually all knowledge will become part of it. Its riches serve all mankind, but it faces a new threat. Vast libraries of public domain works are being plundered by claims of “copyright”. It’s called copyfraud – and we’ll discover how large corporations like Google, Yahoo, and Amazon have structured their businesses to assist it and profit from it.

    • Study: Twitter users buy more music than average ‘Net users

      Twitter users buy more music than the average Internet-using Joe and, when they buy it, they spend more. They also listen to more streaming music and are more engaged with music-related services online. It’s for these reasons that NPD says that Twitter users are valuable to the recording industry.

    • How the Canadian copyright lobby uses fakes, fronts, and circular references to subvert the debate on copyright

      After closely watching the way that the Canadian copyright debate has proceeded (from a new copyright bill drafted in secret and off-limits to input by Canadian artists, librarians, ISPs and scholars; to a plagiarized “independent” report that used faked-up research and US lobby-group talking-points to “prove” Canada’s copyright pariah statement), Michael Geist has created this handy chart showing how the copyright lobby in Canada uses a variety of fronts to subvert the legislative process.

    • Amanda Palmer Connects With Fans, Gives ‘Em A Reason To Buy… And Makes $19k In 10 Hours

      We keep talking about artists who are connecting with fans, and giving them a reason to buy, and it seems like every day we hear of more and more new and creative ways that artists are doing this — even as the naysayers stop by daily to insist it’s impossible for such things to scale.

    • Judge Posner Recommends Extending Copyright Law To Protect Newspapers

      But, really, the idea that some extra protectionism is needed to create news gathering operations suggests an ignorance of what’s actually happening in the marketplace. Yes, it’s messy right now, but more and more news gathering operations are showing up every day — and they’re doing things more efficiently, embracing the power of new technologies to do so, rather than relying on the old inefficient structures. This is a good thing.

    • More BitTorrent Users Go Anonymous

      Users of BitTorrent and other file-sharing networks are increasingly seeking solutions to hide their identities from the outside world. With pressure from anti-piracy outfits mounting on ISPs to police their networks and warn those who share copyrighted content, many file-sharers have decided to negate this by going anonymous.

    • If Downloading A Song Is Just Like Stealing A CD, Why Won’t The RIAA Allow Reselling MP3s?

      When you hear RIAA defenders insist that an unauthorized download is “just like stealing a CD” or something along those lines, it’s worth noting even they don’t really mean it. After all, if a digital file really was no different than a physical goods purchase, then you’d be able to do other things with it — such as resell it. And yet, as you read through Eliot Van Buskirk’s article about new online services trying to create marketplaces for people to sell their “used” MP3s, you’ll see the scenario is quite different.

    • German Publishers demand greater intellectual property laws to protect quality journalism

      The principle publishing houses aligned themselves with trade unions of the music, film and advertising industries at the “International Media Dialogue” in Hamburg earlier this month to discuss to question “No Future for Paid Content? Media Industry Under Pressure”.

    • Bloggers share a moral code

      Andy Koh, Alvin Lim and Ng Ee Soon of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore used a web survey of 1,224 international bloggers with active, text-based blogs to find out more about the authors, their ethical ideals and how they put these into practice. Of those surveyed, about half were male and 65 percent were under 30. Most were well educated, and the majority were from the US – 65 percent – with no other country accounting for more than eight percent of the participants.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Alexandro Colorado, international open source evangelist 08 (2004)

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

Why free software shouldn’t depend on Mono or C# — by Richard M. Stallman

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono at 5:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Debian’s decision to include Mono in the default installation, for the sake of Tomboy which is an application written in C#, leads the community in a risky direction. It is dangerous to depend on C#, so we need to discourage its use.

“We should systematically arrange to depend on the free C# implementations as little as possible.”The problem is not unique to Mono; any free implementation of C# would raise the same issue. The danger is that Microsoft is probably planning to force all free C# implementations underground some day using software patents. (See http://swpat.org and http://progfree.org.) This is a serious danger, and only fools would ignore it until the day it actually happens. We need to take precautions now to protect ourselves from this future danger.

This is not to say that implementing C# is a bad thing. Free C# implementations permit users to run their C# programs on free platforms, which is good. (The GNU Project has an implementation of C# also, called Portable.NET.) Ideally we want to provide free implementations for all languages that programmers have used.

The problem is not in the C# implementations, but rather in Tomboy and other applications written in C#. If we lose the use of C#, we will lose them too. That doesn’t make them unethical, but it means that writing them and using them is taking a gratuitous risk.

We should systematically arrange to depend on the free C# implementations as little as possible. In other words, we should discourage people from writing programs in C#. Therefore, we should not include C# implementations in the default installation of GNU/Linux distributions, and we should distribute and recommend non-C# applications rather than comparable C# applications whenever possible.

Microsoft Innovation is Lawsuits by Proxy

Posted in Antitrust, Apple, Courtroom, Europe, GNU/Linux, Google, IBM, Microsoft, SCO at 8:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Our friends up north [Microsoft] spend over five billion dollars on research and development and all they seem to do is copy Google and Apple.”

Steve Jobs, 2006

Gavel in silk

Summary: Microsoft’s Bling is imitation and the T3 lawsuit is another SCO

A LOT of material has already been written about the fiasco which is Bling, a so-called “decisions engine” which is just a new skin (i.e. bling) on an antiquated search engine whose results are tweaked so as to advance Microsoft's business objectives. For more deficiencies, see for example:

Nessuno has found this article about Microsoft copying another search engine, not just Google. Watch the picture in the article.

There’s no question Bing feels like Kayak. When Microsoft showed us the search engine under embargo, this reporter’s first comment upon seeing the travel page demo’d was “This looks like Kayak.” Our Bing review described its interface as “uncomfortably close to Kayak’s,” an observation that others made as well.

As Nessuno points out, “How do you find time for innovation when you’re so busy threatening companies with nonexistent patents, handing cash under the table to finance anti-Linux suits, bribing Congressmen and EU parliament members, corrupting standards bodies, managing armies of trolls on newsgroups, bribing third-world governments to cut off OLPC, inventing new “Get the Lies” campaigns, paying people to use Bing, fixing security holes in your swiss-cheese OS, copying features from OS/X and iPhone, strong-arming OEMs not to install Linux, etc etc?  No wonder other companies (Apple, Google, …) run circles around MS in real innovation—they have a lot less distracting them.

Speaking of “handing cash under the table to finance anti-Linux suits,” watch this new article about T3′s lawsuit against Linux-powered mainframes. Microsoft sponsors this lawsuit and it also pays professors to write in favour of this lawsuit.

IBM’s antitrust cage gets rattled

[...]

Microsoft, which has managed to dodge antitrust bullets matrix style for years, also chimed into the discussion, with a spokesvoles calling for “greater openness and choice” in the mainframe market. Excuse us while we choke.

It’s just like another SCO where IBM and Linux are targeted. Larry Goldfarb, the key investor in SCO, said that “Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system. But Microsoft did not want to be seen as attacking IBM or Linux.” He also added that Microsoft’s “Mr. Emerson and I discussed a variety of investment structures wherein Microsoft would ‘backstop,’ or guarantee in some way, BayStar’s investment…. Microsoft assured me that it would in some way guarantee BayStar’s investment in SCO.” Keep it classy, Microsoft.

“On the same day that CA blasted SCO, Open Source evangelist Eric Raymond revealed a leaked email from SCO’s strategic consultant Mike Anderer to their management. The email details how, surprise surprise, Microsoft has arranged virtually all of SCO’s financing, hiding behind intermediaries like Baystar Capital.”

Bruce Perens

Latest Lies and Denials from Mono Advocates, Microsoft

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Ubuntu at 7:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sad monkey

Summary: Shackles of Mono justified using disinformation

Gnote 0.5.1 has just been released, as announced by Hubert Figuière in the GNOME mailing lists. Gnote is included by default in Fedora, but the anti-Linux Action Show, which as usual we haven’t any faith in, has had to promote the Microsoft-centric Mono and slam Fedora in public in order to get its message across. Red Hat has just responded:

As the maintainer of Gnote in Fedora, I think I should add a few clarifications and correct some factual inaccuracies in your podcast. In about 1:20 hrs, Bryan adds a comment that Gnote cannot import Tomboy notes. This is completely incorrect. Gnote and Tomboy use the same file format and Gnote in 0.5 version even has a plugin to import Tomboy notes on the first run. It would have been trivial to verify this for yourself.

Yet more lies from proponents of Mono? Specifically against Gnote again?

“According to a very recent poll, 73% of GNU/Linux users say “No” to Mono.”Either way, as we showed last week, proponents of Mono tend to be close to Microsoft and they are very vocal, which gives the false illusion that there is Mono consent. According to a very recent poll, 73% of GNU/Linux users say “No” to Mono.

Last week we saw a former Microsoft employee looking to replace the GIMP with the Mono-encumbered F-spot, at least in Ubuntu’s default build. A Boycott Novell regular, _Hicham_, packages Solang for Fedora in hopes of it serving as another replacement for F-Spot. As Sam Varghese correctly points out, nobody is able to verify that Mono is safe to use, not even Microsoft employees.

There was some inconclusive discussion about patents. While [Microsoft's] Hodge showed us a list of technologies which form the Microsoft Open Specification – there is a promise not to sue if these are used – he, understandably, could not offer any clues on the licensing of patents in Mono, for example.

Varghese is rightly concerned that Ubuntu leads itself deeper into Mono.

The next release of the popular Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution may include a third Mono-dependent application by default, a spokesman for Canonical, the parent company for Ubuntu, told iTWire today.

[...]

According to information available elsewhere, there has also been a proposal for the Ubuntu live CD to remove the well-known image manipulation program, Gimp, with the reasoning apparently beign that F-Spot can handle what the Gimp does.

[...]

Red Hat’s community Linux distribution, Fedora, recently decided to jettison Mono altogether from its default install, and replace Tomboy with Gnote. There are fears in many sections of the FOSS community that Mono may prove to be a patent trap down the line as .NET is totally Microsoft technology.

While some claim that it is possible to obtain a royalty-free, reasonable and non-discriminatory licence for the use of Microsoft patents which may be part of Mono, in reality, it is extremely difficult to even find out how one can do so.

This article is also being referenced by The Inquirer, whose days might be numbered.

There may be a third Mono application in Ubuntu

[...]

But Ubuntu’s inclusion of Mono is not necessarily assured. Fedora, the free desktop version put out by Red Hat, recently dumped Mono from its default install and replace Tomboy with Gnote.

Fedora’s project leader has already acknowledged that legal reasons are among the causes for dropping Mono, which gets increasingly hard to avoid.

How to Securely Manage All Your Password

[...]

As a Mac user, I received two main recommendations. The first was a free, open-source program that security pros like called KeePass, which was built for Windows but is available for Mac, Linux and BSD if you also download the open-source software platform Mono.

The emphasis in red is ours. Remember what Gates said about C# and GNU/Linux.

Microsoft is Policing Digg — Claim

Posted in GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft at 6:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pain

Summary: Evidence of a Microsoft “bury brigade”

DIGG, like Slashdot, lost its way a couple of years ago when companies saw the potential to market, police and guide the zeitgeist. We wrote about this a few times before [1, 2] and SJVN bases his latest article on personal experience which is bitter.

Digg, Dug, Buried: How Linux news disappears

[...]

But, that said, Digg admits that group of users-say Microsoft employees, partners, and supporters-can “abusively bury content.” I’d add, not just ‘can, but do.’

It is no secret that Microsoft gives gifts to users of social networks who promote Microsoft. We even have press releases to show that Microsoft is doing this, so it is not a speculation.

For whatever value it may have, appended below are some posts which may be related to this subject. SJVN has plenty of reasons to be suspicious and very much correct. Microsoft would go to great lengths to prevent him from writing. Remember what happened to Dan Geer [1, 2, 3]?

Related:

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

Joe Wilcox, Microsoft Fan

Microsoft Antitrust Settlement in Arizona Might Not be ‘Funny Money’

Posted in America, Antitrust, Courtroom, Law, Microsoft at 6:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Horseshoe Bend

Summary: The difference between software coupons and purchasing of new equipment

ABOUT a fortnight ago we complained that Microsoft 'compensated' Wisconsin and also Mississippi using ‘funny money’, which means that it’s not real money but merely discounts on future purchases of software, probably from Microsoft whose monopoly was acquired using the same crimes it was sued for in the first place. It’s almost satirical.

“Free (libre) software needs no vouchers because it rarely has a cost of acquisition (i.e. it is commonly also gratis).”Granted, Microsoft has almost no production costs involved in duplication of software, so this is a mockery and hardly even a fine for well-documented criminal behaviour. This may actually serve as more of a reward than a punishment because it helps future spreading of Microsoft software. Free (libre) software needs no vouchers because it rarely has a cost of acquisition (i.e. it is commonly also gratis).

Another settlement has just been reached (this time in Arizona) and based on the descriptions, although they are not very specific, it seems likely that hardware — not software — will be paid for by Microsoft. The amount of money, however, is almost negligible, especially for a large area like Arizona. From Law 360:

A judge has granted preliminary approval of a Microsoft Corp. antitrust class action settlement that will see the software giant give government entities in Arizona $4.4 million to purchase new computer equipment.

According to Wikipedia, Arizona has more than 6 million tenants, so that makes it less than one dollar in compensation per citizen. What a farce. Well, Arizona has been helpful to Microsoft lobbyists who register domains by proxy.

The pro-Microsoft source claims that “The money would be distributed among the government agencies for use in purchasing computer equipment.” It is more repetition of the above, so it does not help in clarifying.

Microsoft Executive Quits, Another Microsoft Executive Penetrates Juniper

Posted in Antitrust, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 5:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ice fishing

Summary: Former Softies drill into the competition

THE ONGOING Microsoft exodus included this departure which was long coming. Jawad Khaki is finally leaving the company,

Jawad Khaki, a longtime Microsoft executive who was an early member of the Windows NT development team, is leaving the company at the end of the month.

We have already seen Jawad Khaki in antitrust correspondence.

There is another interesting move however. Gerri Elliott quit Microsoft several months ago after she had damaged Free software and GNU/Linux adoption. We mentioned her also in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] where concrete examples were given. Well, it turns out that she is landing in Juniper now.

Gerri Elliott, who left Microsoft in January after leading the Worldwide Public Sector division for nearly eight years, landed a job at Juniper Networks as executive vice president of Strategic Alliances, Juniper announced Tuesday.

Now so long ago, Juniper had installed a Microsoft executive as CEO and we saw possible impact. What will be the future impact of Microsoft people running Juniper? It is worth watching closely what happens there.

Links 26/06/2009: Palm, Android and New GNU/Linux Sub-notebooks

Posted in News Roundup at 4:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Ramdisks – Now We Are Talking Hyperspace!

    Ramdisks are usually spoken of in hushed tones when sysadmins get together. Some view them with awe because of their performance and some view them with skepticism and say they are only useful for creating benchmarks. Almost all of them agree that using them on a regular basis must be done with care because of the problem of losing power shuts immediately shuts down the ramdisk erasing the contents of the ramdisk. However, there are uses for ramdisks besides running benchmarks. More over there are storage devices that use RAM as the storage media that can reach rarefied levels of performance of millions of IOPS.

  • Should You Care About Linux?

    Once you have loaded Linux onto your machine, what then? You need software and games. Corel reports more than a million downloads of its Word Perfect 8 for Linux. Loki Software has ported the game Civilization to Linux.

  • Podcast Season 1 Episode 11

    In this episode: Android isn’t as good as Windows CE on smartbooks. Debian bundles Mono. Crossover 8 is released while Opera 10 and Firefox 3.5 are nearly here. Is sound a disaster on Linux? And should geeks boycott closed platforms like the XBox 360, Playstation 3 and iPhone?

  • Anti-FUD

    • The UNIX versus NT Organization

      While going through some old notes, I was reminded that there once existed a website dedicated to explaining the differences between Unix and Windows NT. It began as a research project by one John Kirch. According to the site, after finding almost no information on the subject for his own purposes, Kirch decided to write a paper that compared the two systems critically. The paper covered various topics such as the costs and licensing, functionality, system reliability, management, performance and security issues, common misconceptions about both operating systems, and others. This paper was the beginning for the awareness site that also includes a lengthy article listing, links to FreeBSD and Linux resources, and a litany of companies and which web servers and operating systems host their sites.

      The site authors denounced the claim that the UNIX versus NT Organization was “an anti-Microsoft movement”, stating that “this would be a poor description of what we are about.” We share this sentiment — if Windows is the best option for you, then you have the freedom to choose to use it.

    • So what is stopping YOU from using Linux?

      When it comes down to the nitty gritties there are many reasons why you should use Linux and very few reasons why not. You can postulate all you like. You can um this and er that but when you look at actual fact and not FUD then Linux does look equal, nay better, positioned to be an alternative to other operating systems.

      [...]

      So tell me the reason why you think you can’t use Linux. Make sure it is a valid one and well thought out. If it is a legitimate reason then I will gladly agree. If it is an uninformed reason then I will inform you. If it is a stupid reason then I will not respond.

    • Windows is good enough? Well so is Linux!

      Linux is also “good enough” for the very same reasons that windows uses. In a lot of things Linux is better than windows, in others worse, in general good enough. Oh, its a different operating system and people are not used to it. Crapola! I have had people, who don’t even know what Linux is, come and use my computer to read their email off of the net, download and print them out. Without me opening my mouth. They used it just as competently as their own windows computer.

  • Desktop

    • Berlin art colleges switch to Linux

      Berlin’s art colleges are completely switching over to Linux. Most of the productivity software on the workstations has already been swapped for free alternative products as part of a project that started over eighteen months ago. The IT team at ServiceCenter-IT, responsible for the migration at three colleges; the Hanns Eisler music college, the Ernst Busch drama college and the Berlin-Weissensee art college, is hoping for an easy migration, as users will be able to keep on working with their familiar applications. Starting in June, their workstation PCs will switch to Ubuntu Linux and their servers will use Debian.

    • System76 Bonobo Professional

      The System76 Bonobo Professional starts out at $1,769 USD and can go all the way up to $4,754 if factoring in the highest-end hardware available through System76 and backing it with a three-year warranty and three years worth of technical support.

    • David Versus Two Goliaths

      I have chosen Ubuntu almost 3 years ago and I will keep on using it. I use Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Ubuntu netbook remix. I use Ubuntu more often but I seem to prefer the feel and look of Kubuntu. I prefer the professional look of KDE 4.2.4 over gnome 2.26, that is my opinion and we are all allowed to have opinions.

  • Server

    • eBox Bundles Network Services in a Friendly Package

      The good news is that the eBox platform is completely open-source, licensed under the GPL and free to download, with an active community developing it and driving the project forward.

    • BMC Mainframe Push Helps Fuel Solid Growth

      Another is around the work BMC is doing with specialty engines, which are processors designed to run specific tasks—such as Java or Linux workloads. The specialty engines take those workloads off the general-purpose processor, which increases the performance of the processor. BMC is enabling mainframe users to run some BMC software on the specialty engines, freeing up the general-purpose processor to run other workloads.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.31-rc1

      We’ve had the regular two-week (and one day) merge window, and -rc1 is out, and the merge window is closed.

    • Enter ext4, the filesystem of the future

      iTWire: Fedora has started using ext4 as the default filesystem. What are some of the pros and cons of such a decision?

      Chris Samuel: ext4 is a much bigger change from ext3 than ext3 was in turn from ext2. Ext3 essentially just added journalling to ext2, whereas ext4 moves to an extent based filesystem with other features such as delayed allocations (like XFS) to allow the allocator to be more intelligent about how it lays things out on disk and much bigger filesystem sizes (though the programs to create ext4 filesystems can’t actually make them for you yet). Another nice feature is the fact that the journal data is checksummed so the filesystem can spot any corruption after a crash.

    • Achieving Robust Clustered Storage with Linux and GFS

      Load balancing is difficult. We often we need to share file systems via NFS or other mechanisms to provide a central location for the data. While you may be protected against a Web server node failure, you are still sharing fate with the central storage node.

    • Kernel Log: Main development phase of Linux 2.6.31 completed

      Just over two weeks after the release of Linux 2.6.30, Linus Torvalds has released 2.6.31-rc1, the first release candidate of Linux 2.6.31. As usual, “rc1″ completes the merge window during which the kernel hackers incorporate the majority of new features into the respective new version’s main development branch. In the eight to eleven weeks that follow, the programmers tend to integrate only smaller changes to fix bugs in the newly merged code without causing any further problems. If the kernel hackers stick to their usual pace despite the summer and holiday season in the northern hemisphere, Linux 2.6.31 will probably be released in late August or early September.

    • Should device manufacturers make their firmware open source?

      Independent film makers have developed a firmware update to Canon’s 5D Mark II digital SLR. What should Canon do about it?

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • LXDE: Resource-Friendly Desktop Environment for X

      We’re all pretty much versed in the worlds of GNOME, KDE, and to a lesser degree, Xfce, and while there are lots of alternatives, none of the smaller ones really seem to gain much traction beyond their fans. An exception is LXDE, a small and resource efficient desktop environment.

      The Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment, or LXDE as it’s more commonly known, really takes its “lightweightness” seriously. They claim that LXDE’s minimum hardware specifications are only slightly higher than that of Windows 98, consuming only 45MB of memory after boot. Any Pentium II processor should be capable enough of running LXDE, and thanks to it being ported to ARM an

      [...]

      It seems like LXDE has the possibility of becoming the desktop environment of choice for resource-constrained machines. I have several Pentium II machines that would perform pretty good with LXDE as their desktops, and I must say, t has become a tempting idea.

    • KDE

      • KDE 4.3 RC + Lancelot themes… a bad combo

        Just as a note, since Air is now the default theme for Plasma (and what’s worse, it is even called “default” instead of “air”), you’ll see that the Lancelot themes in 4.3 RC are screwed up. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to fix this before 4.3 RC tagging today (I was too late to discover the issue in the first place).

      • KDE 4.3 branched, trunk is now 4.4

        The release team has just done something a bit different from past release cycles to test out some modifications to our usual work flow: with the release of the first release candidate, 4.3 has been immediately branched off of the mainline trunk, and trunk is now 4.4. In the past we’ve done this only when the new release is actually made, not during the release candidates.

      • On KDE4.3

        We are almost one month far away from the kde4.3 release. Yesterday the 4.3 rc1 was tagged and due to excellent work of our colleagues in OBS we have it already.

        Personally, I would have liked it to go a little bit further away in terms of usability, we will speak about that later. This release will mark the break with 3.5. I see no real reason for not using kde 4.3. All the functionality that people were crying after from 3.5 is finally up and running (a lot of time better) in KDE 4.3.

      • Amarok context view: Flickr applet and minor changes
  • Distributions

    • The g:Mini 3.0 is Released

      The GoblinX Project is proud to announce the release of the new stable g:Mini distribution. The g:Mini 3.0 is released. The g:Mini formerly known as ‘GoblinX Mini Edition‘ is the son of GoblinX and contains only XFCE as the windows manager and GTK/GTK2 based applications. The edition is ideal for those users whose want to remaster the distribution.

    • Elive 1.9.31 Offers Support for Acer Aspire One

      The Elive team announced today yet another unstable release of their Elive Live CD Linux distribution, now at version 1.9.31. Being powered by Debian, Enlightenment E17 and Linux kernel 2.6.26.8, the new development version of Elive, brings many improvements and bug fixes in various areas. But, the good news is that, among other things, the team introduced full support for the Acer Aspire One netbook. Without further introduction, let’s take a closer look at the changes brought by Elive 1.9.31…

    • R.I.P. Linux 9.2 Has Linux Kernel 2.6.29.5

      Only twelve days after announcing version 9.1, Kent Robotti released yesterday a new stable version of his popular R.I.P. (Recovery Is Possible) Linux distribution. R.I.P. 9.2 uses the Linux kernel 2.6.29.5, updates the SVN for GRUB 2 1.96 and comes with a development version of QEmacs 0.4.0 and the recently released Mozilla Firefox 3.5 RC2 web browser.

    • ArtistX Linux 0.7 – An Ubuntu Alternative – Review & Screenshots

      ArtistX is still in the early stages and may not be your workhorse desktop distro just yet (they are still on v.0.70), but there’s a great potential here. If you are interested in using Linux as your multimedia workstation, then you’ll definitely want to give it a try. The only question that I have is, what can they add for the next release, since everything is already included!

    • Mandriva

      • Five Desktop Linuxes Systems

        Of course you can also use straight Mandriva Linux, and perhaps you should. At one time, Mandriva was a well-regarded and well-known Linux distribution but over the years it’s dropped out of sight. It’s time to check into it again.

      • What Took You So Long?

        In my last blog post an anonymous reader asked a friendly question in the comments area, “What took you so long? PCLinuxOS isn’t exactly a well kept secret…”

        How true! I’ve popped that Live CD of PCLinuxOS in and out of my computer for a few years now. I’ve known about it and I’ve played with it, but I’ve never really gone the final step of installing it…until now. This time around, I gave it a good close look. And I’m so happy I did!

      • Distro upgrading today

        I am really keen to see how far the Mandriva 2010.0 KDE 4.3 implementation has come along! Also, Mandriva has some of the best art work and default screen savers of any distribution – only Fedora gives it a run, but Mandriva beats it. Mandriva also runs circles around Fedora on the desktop, so playing with Mandriva Cooker as an experimental system is a no brainer – I do it at least monthly, but often more frequently than that.

      • PCLinuxOS! Wow!

        The extras bonus in all this was the PCLinuxOS forum and community. A really terrific, friendly bunch of folks who are welcoming and ready to help! I had no problems correcting minor issues because i had the help and support of the PCLinuxOS forum.

    • Red Hat

      • Linux distributor Red Hat reports 7 percent increase in profits
      • Red Hat Beats as Frugal Firms Embrace Linux

        “With overall IT spending down on a year-over-year basis, our largest customers continue to renew and spend more with Red Hat,” said Jim Whitehurst, the Red Hat CEO, during a conference call late Wednesday.

      • Fedora’s All Spins Zone

        To my knowledge, Fedora is the only project or distribution that offers the wide variety of live CDs profiling multiple applications and covering multiple versions.

        Grab yourself a Spin, take it for a spin and tell me what you think of it.

      • Open Source: The future of virtualisation

        RED HAT ELIMINATES VIRTUALISATION BARRIERS
        With Red Hat’s Enterprise Virtualisation, businesses can realise improved operational efficiency without changing the application environment. A server virtualised withRed Hat Linux 5 can run existing Windows or Red Hat operating systems as virtual guests, preserving existing hardware and software, while reducing downtime and deployment costs. For IT administrators, this also means tighter server consolidation, simplified system management and ultimately, enhanced performance.

      • Review: CentOS 5.3

        Overall I’m highly impressed with CentOS 5.3! I really feel it’s an improvement over 5.0 and does just enough to reach that tipping point where I feel it is both corporate IT ready, as well as newbie friendly. So pretty much anyone can use it if they want.

    • Ubuntu

      • Linux Mint 7

        Linux Mint has been one of my favorite distributions and it remains so. I happily recommend to anybody looking for a good desktop Linux distribution. It comes with a good bit of software by default, has an extremely attractive theme and makes multimedia related tasks quite simple for the user.

      • Ubuntu Netbook Remix – User Interface Pro/Am Opinions

        Finally, a couple of comments about UNR compared to Moblin. The basic desktop appearance is quite different – UNR has everything spread open, and text labels for each item. Moblin has everything on a panel across the top, with a symbol for each item. I have to say honestly that the relevance of the symbol to the item escapes me and pretty much everyone else I’ve asked about it. I find desktop management and window selection to be more natural on UNR, but I suppose that is because it is essentially the same as what I am used to.

      • New and Updated Distributions on Ant (the Dual Atom nettop)
      • First Look: Ultimate Edition 2.2

        Though only four months passed since the previous release, Ultimate Edition 2.2 was a highly anticipated upgrade by fans all over the world, especially for the fact that it would almost certainly use the Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) base.

        And so it is. TheeMahn announced the new version a few days ago and we couldn’t miss the chance to give you some feedback on how it looks, feels and performs. Ultimate Edition is available as a 2.0 GB DVD ISO and can be run on both 32- and 64-bit platforms.

      • Ultimate Edition 2.2

        Ultimate Edition is an ‘improved’ version of Ubuntu. Unlike Linux Mint, which contains modifications to the source code, Ultimate Edition is simply a lot more packages added to Ubuntu and then made into an ISO using reconstructor.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • TI Debuts Multicore Femtocell DSPs, Partners with Continuous Computing, mimoOn

      Texas Instruments unveiled a new new family of multicore DSPs (digital signal processors) enabling residential and enterprise HSPA femtocells. The solutions include a portfolio of complementary analog solutions, support for Linux, and software solutions from third party developers (Continuous Computing and mimoOn).

    • HP’s Linux-based Printer connects to the web

      Instead, the applications, which are written in Java and run on an embedded Linux OS, are customized so that they only display what the user will specifically need.

    • ARM-based Linux PC in a plug comes to the UK

      Marvell has introduced an ARM-based Linux PC in a plug for £63. Called SheevaPlug, the device is a reference design, evaluation kit, and usable home server rolled into one, and is a shrunk version of the US-only SheevaPlug released earlier this year.

    • Phones

      • The Long March of Androids to the Enterprise

        Androids may not yet be breathing down RIM’s neck, but the prospect of more competition for a place in the enterprise is definitely growing — and BlackBerry addiction may be on the wane. T-Mobile’s myTouch 3G is just the first of an onslaught of Android-based phones expected in the second half of this year.

      • Hero: HTC names third Android smartphone

        Hero also has a 15° curve running through its body that HTC claimed makes the phone perfectly shaped for holding in your hand and against your face.

      • HTC Hero comes with Adobe Flash

        Adobe has confirmed that the latest Android handset from HTC, the Hero, will come with a proper Flash client: version 9 with support for ActionScript 2, with version 10 to follow some time next year.

      • Working with XML on Android
      • Method found for installing homemade apps on Pre

        Participants in the Palm Pre-oriented community PreCentral.net have discovered how to add unsigned applications to the smartphone, opening the way for users to experiment with homebrewed applications.

      • Ars reviews the Palm Pre, part 2: the webOS experience

        In this second installment of our Palm Pre review, we go in-depth on the software side of the device. Does Palm’s webOS really live up to its promise as a “cloud” messaging mobile? More on this topic, as well as the calendar, browser, contacts, alerts, dialer, and other features, inside.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • MilaX OS – Solaris for Netbooks

        MilaX 0.4 is released. MilaX is a Solaris based Operating System & is a small size Live CD distribution which runs completely off a CD or a USB pendrive.

      • OLPC software to power aging PCs

        It has been used by more than one million children on the XO laptop and has also been released as part of other operating systems. For example, it was bundled with releases of the Ubuntu and Fedora Linux systems.

        The latest release – Sugar on a Stick – allows anyone to run the software from a 1GB USB stick. It includes 40 programs, including a word processor, drawing application and games.

      • The little Linux school house
      • Sugar on a Stick 1.0 released

        Sugar Labs, the organisation behind the One Laptop Per Child’s XO laptop software, have released the USB stick version of the Sugar Learning Platform version 1.0.

      • What’s next for Qualcomm?

        A netbook with a Snapdragon processor, it runs Linux and offers constant connection.

      • Always Innovating Touch Book hits production

        When it comes to specs, you can expect an 8.9-inch 1,024 x 600 touchscreen, a OMAP3530 processor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 8GB of SD storage and 512MB of RAM and NAND memory. It uses Linux and has an accelerometer inside.

      • Hybrid Smartbook Touch Book Shipping Next Month

        The slate is Linux powered and has an 8 GB SSD and 512 MB of memory working with a TI OMAP3530 processor. This sounds anemic, but it should actually run decently and for a very long time on a battery charge. The Touch Book is only $299, while the optional keyboard is $99.

      • £149.99 Acer Aspire One A150-Aw Linux Netbook

        The Aspire one was designed to get you online in no time at all and thanks to the Linpus Linux Lite operating system, start up and shut down times are reduced to the minimum. With the Aspire one running on Linux environment, the simplicity continues with the intuitive and specifically optimized software interface.

      • Linux Netbooks: back to the facts

        This shift is helped by the fact that Microsoft is practically giving XP away for free. There are however a lot of opportunities in the near future for next generation Linux distributions on the netbooks, smartbooks and mini PCs. I’ll cover these in an article next week.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Free Download: 100 Open Source Apps for Windows

    And if you’re a Linux or Mac user, you’ll be happy to know that many of these apps work on those operating systems as well.

  • Second Life Gets New Open Source Viewer

    Second Life creators Linden Lab have launched a new Second Life-compatible viewer, which the company developed with the open source community. The company’s goal was to create a “widely-used, openly developed version of the Second Life client.”

    Snowglobe will contain new Second Life features before they become available in the official release. That said, not all features will make it there.

  • REVIEW: Network Virtualization Stands Out in OpenSolaris 2009.06

    Sun Microsystems’ OpenSolaris 2009.06 offers a sneak peek at what’s coming down the pike in Solaris. One of the most compelling features in OpenSolaris 2009.06 is the Crossbow network virtualization system, which allows OpenSolaris administrators to provide individual network services or virtual machines with their own virtualized network adapter and stack.

  • The dangers of taking credit for open-source software

    This is a cautionary tale. Clearly someone made a mistake, and Hughes’ reputation may end up bearing the brunt of the error. It’s important to remember that in the software business there are always two currencies at play: the typical financial currency that we usually think of (you know, money), and credit for the work that was done. Although there is a lot of open-source software that is licensed to be free to use, that fact amplifies the focus on correctly attributing credit for the work that went into the software.

  • The Digital Open Calls on Kids to Enter FOSS Contest

    Non-profit research group Institute for the Future has partnered with Boing Boing and Sun Microsystems to create an online community of young inventors who want to work with open source technology. To sweeten the interest in becoming a part of The Digital Open, community organizers are holding a contest for kids 17 and under to submit their own open source projects for a chance to win a laptop, Flip camera, or one of several other prizes.

  • Firefox

    • Firefox in Context

      Mozilla’s mission is to build choice, innovation, participation and opportunity into the ways people interact with the Internet. The centerpiece is Firefox, because the browser is the lens through which people see and touch the Internet. Over time, people are doing an ever broader set of activities with the Internet. What does this mean for how we think about Firefox? Here’s what I see.

    • Firefox 3.5 RC3 Coming Right Up

      The third Release Candidate build for Firefox 3.5 is on its way. Mozilla repeatedly stressed during the development process of the next iteration of its open source browser that it was aiming to produce a single RC for Firefox 3.5. And fact is that it came extremely close to doing so.

    • Everything you need to know about Firefox 3.5

      Mozilla recently released the second release candidate of Firefox 3.5 and is due to launch the final version before the end of the month. Here’s your one-stop guide to the key new features in the latest version.

  • Business

    • Ingres: An Open Source Rival to Oracle

      I’ve been following the path of Ingres Corp. ever since Terry Garnett and David Helfrich of Garnett & Helfrich Capital bought it from CA a few years back and made it into an independent company once again. Ingres and MySQL are the main open-source alternatives to Oracle in the database software market. Now that Oracle is buying Sun Microsystems, which owns MySQL, you’ve got to figure that Oracle will starve MySQL once it owns it—eliminating what had until now been a potent rival in the Web site market. Ingres is emerging as the last bastion of opposition within the open source world.

    • Magento’s open-source e-commerce platform makes progress–Q&A

      Open source continues to move beyond its original confines of infrastructure software. Open-source application adoption is booming, while even the curmudgeonly router market is getting some open-source polish from Vyatta.

  • Events

    • The Open Source Open Source Conference

      Open Source Bridge, a conference held in Portland, OR last week, answered the question, “can the attendees drive the direction of a conference in the same manner open source software is developed, and achieve better results?” By all accounts, the answer is a resounding, ‘yes.’

    • Win a Gratis OSCON Pass from LQ
  • FSF/GNU

    • Changes in FSFE: Time to pass on the torch

      Karsten Gerloff, FSFE’s new President, spent the past years at the UNU-MERIT, working with people such as Rishab Ghosh to provide the scientific basis for the political change around Free Software. Before that he was an intern at FSFE, working with me at the United Nations, specifically the World Intellectual property Organisation (WIPO), he is familiar with FSFE’s policy work and I have no doubt that he will be able to represent Free Software effectively on all levels.

  • Government

  • Licensing

    • Atari settle over ScummVM based Wii game GPL violations

      The ScummVM developers have agreed a settlement with Atari over GPL violations in three Nintendo Wii games developed by an Atari subcontractor. An official press release from the ScummVM developers “cyx” and “fingolfin” stated that a case over three games, “Freddie Fish: The Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds”, “Pajama Sam: No Need to Hide When It’s Dark Outside” and “Spy Fox: Dry Cereal” which used the ScummVM engine to run classic point and click adventure games, had been settled in May, with Misitic Software paying all legal fees and making a donation to the Free Software Foundation.

  • Programming

    • Eclipse Galileo: The release train leaves the station

      Milinkovich said “When it was just the IDE, things were simpler”. The first named release train of Eclipse, released in 2006, was Callisto which incorporated ten projects. The Galileo release train incorporates thirty three projects, with ten new projects added since last years Ganymede release, over 24 million lines of code in total.

    • Eclipse Galileo Releases 33 Open Source Projects

      The Eclipse Foundation is today making its biggest release of the year, highlighting open source projects created using the Eclipse development platform. Its new Galileo release — the latest in the group’s annual “release train” roundup — includes 33 open source projects that were built with contributions from 44 different organizations.

    • Ruby shines in North American developer survey

      Ruby use is up 40 per cent amongst North American software developers since 2008, according to a new study from Evans Data.

    • Zend Solution Included in IBM Smart Business

      Zend Technologies, Inc., the PHP company, today announced that IBM will ship Zend’s solution for PHP in every IBM Smart Business system in order to provide their customers with reliability, performance, and security for PHP-based Web applications. Today’s announcement marks a significant expansion of the IBM and Zend partnership by now including PHP on Linux operating systems and x86 hardware in addition to IBM i OS and Power Systems hardware.

Leftovers

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • The Guardian Embraces Crowdsourcing The News In Useful Ways

      Following the recent controversy over expense claims from UK elected officials, the paper put all the data online and let people dig through it to see what they could find — and they found a lot of interesting stuff that a group of reporters, by themselves almost certainly never would have had the time or skill to dig out (some of it included statistical analysis of the data).

    • Netherlands Considers Internet Tax To Fund Newspapers That Can’t Compete

      A bunch of folks have been sending in various versions of this translated article from Holland, noting a proposal that’s been brought forth to tax internet connections in order to give the money to industries that are having trouble competing, such as newspapers.

    • Anti-Piracy Lawyers Lose License To Chase Pirates

      Just days after Norway’s data protection department told ISPs they must delete all personal IP address-related data three weeks after collection, it’s now become safer than ever to be a file-sharer in Norway. The only law firm with a license to track pirates has just seen it expire and it won’t be renewed.

      Earlier this month we reported that since Norway’s Personal Data act prohibits the storage of unnecessary data, ISPs in the country must delete all IP address-related personal information they hold on their customers which is more than three weeks old. This makes it very hard in most cases to track down illicit file-sharers.

    • Kindle’s DRM Rears Its Ugly Head… And It IS Ugly

      I asked the customer representative where this information was available and he told me that it’s in the fine print of the legalese agreement documentation. “It’s not right that they are in bold print when you buy a book?” I asked. “No, I don’t believe so. You can have to look for it.”

      We’re not done- it gets even worse.

      “How do I find out how many times I can download any given book?” I asked. He replied, “I don’t think you can. That’s entirely up to the publisher and I don’t think we always know.”

      I pressed — “You mean when you go to buy the book it doesn’t say ‘this book can be downloaded this number of times’ even though that limitation is there?” To which he replied, “No, I’m very sorry it doesn’t.”

      Here is the major problem with this scenario.

    • Comcast And Time Warner Team Up To Control What TV You Watch Online

      So, it was no surprise back in February to hear of plans to make agreements between cable companies and content providers that would limit what kind of video you could watch online, requiring you to be a cable company subscriber and “authenticating” what you could watch. Thus, it should be no surprise that Comcast and Time Warner are now announcing exactly that.

    • Cyber Security Czar Front-Runner No Friend of Privacy

      Former Republican Congressman Tom Davis, reportedly President Barack Obama’s top candidate for cyber security czar, voted repeatedly to expand the government’s internet wiretapping powers, and helped author the now-troubled national identification law known as REAL ID.

  • Copyrights

    • Norway Decides Privacy Is More Important Than Protecting The Entertainment Industry’s Business Model

      It appears that Norway has decided that it’s sick of passing laws designed to prop up obsolete industry business models at the expense of individual privacy. First, the country started telling ISPs to delete log files after just three weeks (making it pretty hard to identify individual filesharers), and now it’s refused to renew the license given to the one law firm allowed to sniff IP addresses in trying to seek out unauthorized file sharing.

    • Three Strikes Rejected In Spain

      It seems like the recording industry’s grand plan to get ISPs to be their copyright police isn’t getting very far. Consumer and legal backlash around the world seems to have stopped it cold. The latest is in Spain, where the entire concept of a three strikes regime has been taken off the table.

    • Kodak Kills Off Kodachrome; Entertainment Industry Take Note

      So it’s quite a milestone to hear that the company is finally killing off Kodachrome, the company’s iconic color stock film.

      The reports about it note how Kodak’s business is now 70% digital and the company has very much embraced the digital age.

    • Sarkozy Says He Will “Go All The Way” With 3 Strikes

      Yesterday from the Palace of Versailles, Nicolas Sarkozy became the first president to address Parliament in 150 years. He took the opportunity to show his determination over the proposed HADOPI legislation, promising that he will “go all the way” to enforce law on the Internet.

      Sarkozy’s address yesterday was made possible by the annulment of a law prohibiting a sitting president from addressing lawmakers. The last time an address of this type occurred was 1848, in Napoleon’s day.

    • Record biz tries suing Irish ISPs into submission

      The major labels want to see Irish ISPs adopt a “three strikes” policy toward repeat online copyright infringers, and they’ve decided that suing the ISPs is a good way to make it happen.

    • Richard Marx (!) attacks RIAA after $1.92M Thomas verdict

      Jammie Thomas-Rasset was held liable to sharing 24 songs, including one by pop crooner Richard Marx. But the lawsuit wasn’t done in Marx’s name—this week, he called out the recording industry’s “greedy actions.”

    • Swedish Appeals Court Denies Pirate Bay Retrial — Says No Bias By Judge

      The Swedish appeals court charged with looking into whether or not the judge in the original trial against The Pirate Bay was biased, has said they found no bias (for real, this time) with the judge, despite his belonging to two groups that have pushed for stronger copyright laws — and the fact that the prosecutors’ lawyers were involved in that organization as well. Apparently, the court says the judge should have brought this information to light sooner, but otherwise said it was no big deal.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Alexandro Colorado, international open source evangelist 07 (2004)

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

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