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Links 23/07/2009: KDE 4.3 Milestone; New Linux RC

Posted in News Roundup at 7:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • A Summer of Linux Delights

    For FOSS devotees who’d like a sprinkling of Linux refreshment this summer, there’s a wide assortment of good Linux news — and a little Linux nonsense — to choose from. Among other things, bask in the knowledge that Red Hat has become the first Linux company to join the Fortune 500. Also, MontaVista has clocked a one-second boot time for embedded industrial apps.

  • Hams, hackers, hobbyists and model railways

    Back in 2003, Scott McNealy, then CEO of Sun Microsystems, dismissed GNU/Linux as a “great environment for the hobbyist” but not for the enterprise. The relative success of Linux on Sun’s chosen ground, and the subsequent decline in the fortunes of Sun have proved McNealy’s assessment to be wrong, but Linux undeniably has its roots and inspiration among hackers and hobbyists.

  • Evolution of a Linux Geek

    I am a Linux geek. There I said it. Actually, I am kind of proud of being a Linux geek. I slogged through the bad old days to get here. It seems like every day something new shows up that makes me glad that I chose Linux as my tool of choice.

  • Solid State Drives Preparing to Dominate

    As an indication of the performance increase you might expect by replacing a hard drive with an SSD, a quick test using a $99 32GB Crucial Internal 2.5″ Solid State Drive reduced the time required to boot Ubuntu 8.04 to 18 seconds on a test system, compared to the 32 seconds required to boot the operating system using a fast SATA II hard drive on the same system. (This is not intended to be a rigorous test but goes some way to illustrating the significant improvements in read times that an SSD can offer.)

  • Is Redmond Getting Its Groove Back?

    Can this really be true? Can Microsoft be gaining ground through it all? LinuxInsider couldn’t resist asking around.

    “I don’t think Microsoft is getting its edge back,” Montreal consultant and Slashdot blogger Gerhard Mack told LinuxInsider.

    “Windows 7 is better than Vista, but still more of a resource hog than XP was,” Mack explained. “Meanwhile, Linux has been lowering its hardware requirements. Previously it managed Vista-level desktop effects with less than XP resources.”

  • Air Cursor Software Coming for Windows, Linux

    The software is compatible with currently available editions of Microsoft Windows, as well as Linux, he said. ITRI is looking for partners to start distributing the software.

  • Podcast Season 1 Episode 13

    In this episode: Google announces its own Chrome OS operating system and the Moblin project gets X Windows running with user privileges. We talk about how we got into Linux and discuss whether we think Google is becoming Microsoft.

  • Welcome to McBuntu’s, would you like fries with that?

    Some would say that comparing Ubuntu or even past them, Mint and PCLinuxOS, is like going to Mickey D’s. It’s like driving in and ordering the combo that has been pre-packaged to accommodate the widest groups typical wants or needs. Nothing wrong with that, lot’s of people like to do things just that way.

  • Desktop

    • Linux desktop will trounce Windows 7

      Branding is expensive and very important. For example, folk will now buy Skoda cars because they know they are well engineered, good value and belong to the Volkswagen Audi group. Skoda sales-people like the SEAT sales-people remind potential customers that they are really buying an Audi at discount prices. Up-scaling a brand such as Skoda costs serious marketing money and even that required a lift up from an already long term expensively established brand (Vorsprung whatever).

      Despite the best efforts of Red Hat and Ubuntu I doubt whether they have enough financial depth to build brands to rival Microsoft!

    • Always Up To Date

      Introducing “Always Up To Date”, our classification for Operating Systems that are ALWAYS updated on the day they ship from On-Disk.com, so you always receive the absolute latest we can provide. This freshness factor results in more secure, better performing installations where every disc is as fresh as a new release.

    • NComputing Brings Cloud Computing Down to Earth With a Perspective on Low-Cost Endpoint Devices

      The Republic of Macedonia, for example, chose NComputing for its massive, 180,000-seat educational computing initiative, which is the world’s largest Linux-based virtual desktop program.

    • NASA takes open source into space

      Some of the 23 projects currently listed, like BigView, reflect a developer focus. BigView “allows for interactive panning and zooming of images,” but only if you’re running Linux on your desktop.

    • Amazon UK refunding Windows license fees

      christian.einfeldt writes “Alan Lord, a FOSS computer consultant based in the UK, has announced that Amazon UK honored his request for a refund of the Microsoft license fee portion of the cost of a new Asus netbook PC that came with Microsoft Windows XP. Lord details the steps that he took to obtain a refund of 40.00 GBP for the cost of the EULA, complete with links to click to request a refund. Lord’s refund comes 10 years after the initial flurry of activity surrounding EULA discounts, started by a blog post by Australian computer consultant Geoffrey Bennett which appeared on Slashdot on 18 January 1999. That Slashdot story led to mainstream press coverage, such as stories in CNN, the New York Times on-line, and the San Francisco Chronicle, to name just a few. The issue quieted down for a few years, but has started to gain some momentum again in recent years, with judges in France, Italy, and Israel awarding refunds. But if Lord’s experience is any indication, getting a refund through Amazon might be as easy as filling out a few forms, at least in the UK, without any need to go to court.”

  • Server

    • Eucalyptus Private Cloud Software Ecosystem Expands

      “We are very excited about our relationship with Canonical,” said Woody Rollins, co-founder and CEO of Eucalyptus. “It is a pleasure to collaborate with a company that shares our commitment to innovation and technical excellence.”

    • Call of Duty: World at War v1.5 Dedicated Server for Linux

      Building on the Call of Duty 4 engine, Call of Duty: World at War thrusts players into the ruthless and gritty chaos of WWII combat like never been before, and challenges them to band together to survive the most harrowing and climactic battles of WWII that led to the demise of the Axis powers on the European and South Pacific fronts. The title re-defines WWII games by offering an uncensored experience with unique enemies and combat variety, including Kamikaze fighters, ambush attacks, Banzai charges and cunning cover tactics, as well as explosive on-screen action through all new cooperative gameplay.

    • EmailWire Press Release Distribution Services on “Better Together: Blades, Linux, and Insight Control”

      In this technical brief white paper, IDC describes the importance of manageability in the selection of a blade platform and examines the needs of the market with respect to managing large volumes of homogeneous Linux platforms, with a specific focus on the capabilities of HP’s Insight Control Linux Edition.

  • Kernel Space

    • NVIDIA 190.16 Driver Brings OpenGL 3.2 To Linux

      Yesterday NVIDIA released their first 190.xx Linux beta driver for their GeForce and Quadro graphics cards. The NVIDIA 190.16 Beta driver brought a number of VDPAU fixes, PowerMizer control features, a number of new official and unofficial OpenGL extensions receiving GLX protocol support, and there were a number of other fixes and enhancements too. However, now that we have had a chance to analyze this driver, there is more in store than what the change-log shares regarding this driver. There is in fact support for the unreleased OpenGL 3.2 specification.

    • Linux 2.6.31-rc4

      Ok, that was a fun week.

      We had a binutils bug, a ccache bug, and a compiler bug. And that was just the bugs that were outside the kernel, but resulted in a broken build.

      But while that was unusual, the rest of the stuff is pretty regular. Lots of small fixes all around. The patch is dominated by a couple of new network drivers, but apart from those, it’s generally pretty small – lots of one-liners and “few-liners”.

    • CoreBoot Gains Native VGA Text Mode

      While Luc Verhaegen (one of the original RadeonHD driver developers) has been out of work since right after FOSDEM when he was laid off by Novell due to cutbacks, he hasn’t quit coding. While Luc hasn’t been working on the RadeonHD driver, or any ATI driver for that matter, one of the projects that he has gotten involved with is CoreBoot, the project formerly known as LinuxBIOS.

  • Applications

    • Bordeaux 1.8.0 for Linux review

      Bordeaux is a Wine GUI configuration manager that runs winelib applications. It also supports installation of third party utilities, installation of applications and games, and the ability to use custom configurations. Bordeaux is written in GTK and requires GTK 2.10 or higher to be installed on a given system. Bordeaux also uses wget and cabextract extensively and they should be installed for Bordeaux to operate correctly.

    • A Detailed Guide To Phoronix Test Suite 2.0

      In less than two weeks we will be officially releasing Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 “Sandtorg” and this by far is the biggest upgrade ever to our flagship testing and benchmarking software. While the Phoronix Test Suite is most often associated with Linux, this open-source software is also compatible with Mac OS X, OpenSolaris, and BSD operating systems too, all of which offer new improvements with Phoronix Test Suite 2.0. In this article we have detailed some of the major highlights of Phoronix Test Suite 2.0 and how we seek to drive innovation into PC benchmarking and performance profiling.

    • Gaming

      • Linux Gaming: Heroes of Newerth

        It’s no secret that one of the areas that Windows has the advantage of Linux, is gaming. It’s not that Linux as an OS isn’t capable of running quality games, it’s just that game manufacterers don’t think the Linux gamers can make them any money. For that reason, it’s always nice when a game is released with a native Linux version, like World of Goo a couple of months ago, and Savage 2. Now, the same people who are responsible for the latter are working on a game called Heroes of Newerth. It’s being beta tested at the moment, and yes, the good people of S2 Games provide Windows, Mac and Linux version (both 32-bit and 64!).

      • Linux Gamers Are Excited For New Games

        A few hours ago we invited everyone to come play this new Linux-native game with us, which happened to be Heroes of Newerth by S2 Games. This game is still under development and details surrounding this title are very scarce as the media (including Phoronix), is not yet allowed to post any media or really talk about the game that much. However, a closed beta is currently going on for this game, both with the Linux and Windows editions. S2 Games was surprised by the interest that was building around this new game of theirs on Linux, so they decided to let us start handing out keys to join the beta program. Well, so far, that is going extremely well.

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Toorox

      Toorox Linux ships as a live DVD featuring KDE 4.2.4, Linux 2.6.28, and lots of useful applications. It uses KNOPPIX hardware detection, but what makes Toorox stand out is its extra tools and utilities.

    • Pardus Linux 2009 International on my Thinkpad T60

      This distro has some great potential. Ubuntu and it’s derivatives may be influential in the English and French speaking world, I can see Pardus being influential in the Turkish and Asian speaking world.

    • Try installing F12 Alpha early.

      According to this posting to the fedora-test-list by Liam, there’s going to be some installation testing for the Fedora 12 (Constantine) Alpha candidate next week, on Wednesday July 29. This is a chance to shake out some of the new features in the Anaconda installation application that have come in over the past couple of months. The more testing we can get on the installer early, the more bulletproof we can make it for our final release by the time code is frozen in the fall.

    • Ubuntu

      • 100% Pure Synth Heaven : Ubuntu Studio 9.04
      • Linux Mint 7 Review

        For new linux users however I would not recomend this. As such ones will find themselves tinkering with alot of things that work out of the box in other linux distributions.

      • A Hands on and Review of Ubuntu One

        Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu) has recently released a beta version of their online file syncing service – UbuntuOne for public testing. This file syncing service is similar to the popular Dropbox service and it allows you to share and sync file across different computers.


        Ubuntu One is still at beta mode and there are plenty of things that are not on par with other online storage solution such as Dropbox. However, with the vision of Ubuntu One and as Ubuntu become more and more popular, I won’t be surprised to see Ubuntu One becoming a major force in the file and data management arena in the near future.

      • I’m Back with Kubuntu Linux (and Happy as Ever)

        So, after two months, I’m back with Kubuntu. This time, I’ve installed KDE 4.2. Many of the kinks of the original Plasma version have been worked out. I’ve been reunited with all my favorite KDE apps in their native desktop environment. Even the sound card is working again. I’m happy to be back. The only real holdover from my Gnome days is Evolution. I’ve left Kmail, and for now have taken a real liking to Evolution as the best email app for my needs.

      • Ubuntu book updated for the Jackalope

        Prentice Hall has published the fourth edition of The Official Ubuntu Book, covering the latest Ubuntu 9.04 release. As with previous versions, the fourth edition aims to bring new users up to speed on the popular Linux distro, from installation to configuration to exploring Ubuntu’s applications.

    • New Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Seagate BlackArmor NAS 420 Review

      Being a Linux user, you’ll want to log into the administration panel to do some configuration first and then mount your network shares. NFS is the closest thing to a native network file system for Linux and I personally like to use NFS over CIFS.

    • Pogo Linux Releases New Storage Appliances, StorageDirector Z250, Z350 and Z450

      Pogo Linux announced the availability of the StorageDirector Z250, Z350 and Z450, the latest storage appliances in the company’s managed-storage product line. The new enhancements include support forIntel’s ( News – Alert) Xeon 5500 series processors and an upgrade to the NexentaStor 2.0 released recently.

    • Phones

      • 5 Best Palm Pre Features That iPhone Can’t Beat

        1. Linux-based webOS

        With webOS, the Palm Pre offers true multitasking capabilities that will enable users to run multiple applications at the same time. You can easily and fluidly switch between running applications (just like swapping cards) on Palm Pre’s touchscreen display. Meanwhile, the latest iPhone OS 3.0 still has a very limited multitasking feature.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Move Over Netbooks, Here Come Smartbooks

        Now that everybody has jumped on the Netbook bandwagon, a new mobile device parade is pulling into town. Led by Qualcomm, so-called Smartbooks are slated to debut in late 2009. Expected to be slightly larger than the iPhone, Smartbooks are mobile Internet devices (MIDs) that run Windows, Google Android and a range of Linux alternatives.

      • Letter of Protest to ASUS

        What I told them was that I resent being forced to pay a “Microsoft PENALTY” for a pre-installed operating system which I have no choice about, particularly when there has previously been a choice and ASUS decided to take that choice away from their customers.

      • NEC pledges WiMAX software to Moblin Project

        NEC, which builds WiMAX radios into several types of mobile devices, has promised to contribute to the Moblin project. Meanwhile, Intel- and Google-backed WiMAX provider Clearwire launched fixed and mobile services today in Las Vegas, its fourth urban market.

      • Intel official touts netbooks at open source conference

        Intel’s work promoting netbooks — the downsized PCs that are gaining in mindshare — was touted by a company official Wednesday, who stressed benefits in boot-up times, graphics, and network capabilities during a technology conference.

      • Vietnamese netbook runs on Hacao Linux – my opinion

        Hacao, made a wise decision by choosing the Pico netbook which is based on the famous MSI Wind netbook. The MSI Wind is one of the most popular, easy to use, netbooks here in the Vietnamese market (though you will tend to see more EeePCs and Aspire Ones in the coffee shops). Pico is a good choice with it large keyboard and monitor screen. My students who own MSI Winds have no complaints.

    • EBook

Free Software/Open Source

  • Seven Tools for Making Firefox Jump Through Hoops

    Clear the decks, I’m now an avid Firefox user. It took me a long time to give up my treasured Maxthon, an Internet Explorer shell that I truly loved. When Maxthon was first released, it had features years before they were added to IE8–tabs, multi-threading, groups, add-ons — things the kids at Microsoft should have copied eons ago, but didn’t.

  • Playing with RAM disks on OpenSolaris 2009.06

    As one can see, working with RAM disks on Solaris/OpenSolaris is fairly simple and can be configured in just a couple of steps. Who knows, you may find situations in your current environment which may benefit from the use of a RAM disk. Note – Do not forget to destroy the zpool and the RAM disks when not in use. The last thing you want to do is waste much needed memory.

  • HadoopDB reconciles SQL with Map/Reduce

    Opponents of SQL had their hands strengthened when Google’s SQL-free technique, “Map/Reduce”, showed it could search databases measured in petabytes. They look on relational databases as antiquated, a technique that can’t cope with today’s quantities of data or meet the requirements of full-text searching. Rather than relations, they rely on key-value pairs.

  • Adobe’s Latest Open Source Project

    Adobe has used the Open Source Conference (OSCON), currently taking place in California’s San Jose, to announce a new strategy for its Flash Platform. Some people are questioning Adobe’s motives.

  • The Wide-Open Career Landscape of FOSS Tech Support

    McNeill sees a growing placement for Linux support — and thus open source — for back end operations, and Bomgar noted that a lot more traction for Linux is occurring. Both factors mean a need for more tech support.

  • Nmap 5.00 Released

    July 16, 2009 — Insecure.Org is pleased to announce the immediate, free availability of the Nmap Security Scanner version 5.00 from http://nmap.org/. This is the first stable release since 4.76 (last September), and the first major release since the 4.50 release in 2007. Dozens of development releases led up to this.

  • Five Ways to Save Money on IT Software

    3. Open Source Operating Systems

    Open source operating systems are easy to sell, however.

    Linux ubiquity is here, and even if you pay for support contracts, the total cost of ownership is significantly lower compared to Windows servers. The stability is proven, as is the interoperability. Phasing out Windows servers by migrating services to Linux is a quick way to save large amounts of money.

    Another common objection to adoption of Linux is staff skill levels. Controversial as it may be, you have to phase out systems administrators that only know Windows. For example, take your average Linux jockey, who has been exposed to the nuts and bolts and knows how the important protocols work, rather than just how one vendor’s GUI works, and thrust new tasks at her. She will quickly master anything and that is the type of sysadmin you want. This rarely works the other way around, yet the Windows-only administrator generally make the same salaries. The sound business decision is fairly straightforward.

  • OmniTI Unveils New Enterprise Open Source Tool to Help IT Managers Better Predict Business Needs

    OmniTI today announced the availability of Reconnoiter, a new Open Source monitoring and trending system that handles highly distributed, heterogeneous environments and implement highly efficient probes for a rapidly growing number of services. As a full-service website consulting company that designs and manages sustainable architectures that can support hundreds of millions of users, OmniTI relies on being able to funnel its network monitoring back to a business intelligence system that is capable of graphing, trending, reporting and fault detection.

  • eyeOS Takes the Operating System Into the Cloud

    With the rising popularity of cloud computing, entire operating systems designed to work in the cloud should come as no surprise. Indeed, virtual computing environments are becoming so predominate that some suspect Google’s development of the Chrome browser — and more recently the Chrome operating system — is nothing more than cloud computing in disguise.

  • Top 3 Open Source Web Analytics Software

    For any websites, blogs and portal owner, it’s essential to realize that results of their investment and hard work they are making in order to achieve the goals they have set should be closely monitored. The key to tracking the health of your site is web analytics software. To help things out we had already done with the top 10 web log analysis software. Given the line of top software, the O’Reilly Radar report shows open source growing exponentially, making it to the mainstream. With free availability joining the ease of scaling and agile nature, there’s a greater inclination towards open source software. Moving with the trend, we went for an extensive research to pick out the top 3 open source software for web analytics.

  • Google O’Reilly Open Source Awards announced

    At OSCON 2009 in San Jose, California, Google announced the winners of this years Google O’Reilly Open Source Awards. The awards have been presented each year since 2005 to individuals for their “dedication, innovation, leadership and outstanding contribution to open source”.

  • Business

    • Kaltura launches open source video platform

      At OSCON in San Jose, Kaltura announced the public launch of its open source online video platform, called Kaltura Community Edition.

    • Contributing to Apache Open Source Projects

      How things are going at the Apache Software Foundation?

      Justin: We currently have over 100 different projects under the Apache “umbrella” with over 2,000 committers and ~350 members of the foundation. Each project is independently operated by what we call a “PMC”. We have about 75 different top-level projects, ~30 or so projects either under Incubation (baby ASF projects), and a bunch of “labs” which are individual projects started by the foundation members.

    • Adhearsion, Voxeo Launch Voxeo Labs

      Fascinated by the Ruby on Rails development environment, he devised a sophisticated application layer to run “over” Asterisk which ultimately led to Adhearsion.


      Adhearsion and Voxeo Launch Voxeo Labs

    • Data Smart: HR specialist selects Talend; MidlandHR selects Talend Integration Suite to provide client datamart

      Talend Integration Suite is the first open source enterprise data integration solution, designed to support multi-user development, and to scale to the highest levels of data volumes and process complexity. The tool is a subscription service that extends award winning Talend Open Studio with professional grade technical support and additional features to facilitate the work of large teams and industrialise enterprise-scale deployments.

    • Open-Source Apps Earn Software Security Seal Of Approval

      The two open-source apps, OpenVPN and the Sendmail Mail Transfer Agent, are both extremely popular among business users. According to a Veracode press release, its “A” rating indicates that a software developer has “developed a secure application that has been independently evaluated for software vulnerabilities against industry standards.”

    • Rapid-I Releases New Version of the Leading Open Source Data Mining, ETL and BI Solution RapidMiner

      Since the release of RapidMiner 4.4 in March, Rapid-I again invested a lot of effort into further improving RapidMiner to better meet the growing demand of data analysis, ETL (Extract, Transform, Load), and BI (Business Intelligence). A lot of exciting new features found their way into the latest release of RapidMiner and can now be downloaded free of charge.

    • Open source DS software starting to bubble up

      I’ve been curious, for a long time, about when truly free open source software would start dribbling on to the DS marketplace. I describe them as truly free because there would be no upsell, but I totally agree with the sentiment that open source software is not free when you consider a skilled IT-type has to be put against the project to make it work and keep it running.

  • Funding

    • Six steps to future-proof your telephone system

      2. Consider open source
      More and more organizations are running mission-critical parts of their business on open source. What was once thought to be the focus of a small group of uber-geeks has emerged as a viable enterprise option. The open source community boasts many developers, creating the next big breakthroughs. While large organizations may topple (read: Nortel), Open source can live on beyond the corporation. It also delivers cost-savings and avoids vendor lock-in.

  • CMS

    • Non Profit Media Companies Jump for Open Source CMS

      Built on the open source blog platform WordPress Multi User (WordPress MU) and some custom themes and plugins such as WPDB Profiling, project leaders claim that the new platform has made it considerably easier and cheaper for WNET.ORG to roll out multiple user-friendly sites.

    • Matt Mullenweg And Dries Buytaert Probably Separated At Birth

      As I came to learn in the interview, it’s as though Buytaert and Mullenweg were separated at birth. They were born only 6 years apart (The older of the two — Buytaert — was born in 1978 when I was a senior in high school). Both went on to create wildly successful PHP-based content management systems (Mullenweg did WordPress, Buytaert did Drupal). Both men open sourced those content management systems. And today, both are the founders of VC-funded commercial enterprises (Mullenweg’s Automattic and Buytaert’s Acquia) looking to capitalize on their founders’ art and fame.

  • Government

    • About Open Source EU Funded Projects Overlapping

      As mentioned before, sometimes EU funded projects overlap. Asking around about European open source initiatives, I happened to get in touch with Paul Adams. Apparently Paul is the only person who has worked on each of the three projects to whom the EC asked to collaborate, and I asked him more about such cooperation.

  • Openness

    • CrowdSourcing gets an Open Source

      A friend pointed out to me the release of Reuter’s Handbook of Journalism.
      He was seeing this as a blow against paid content. I am still trying to get my arms around what will happen in the paid content world. I can make a case for a few models, but the thing I believe the most in is that revenues for specific content go down, while diving down to specific demographics of the audience will get a higher premium.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Apple Withdraws Lawsuit Against Wiki Site Owner Over iPhone/iPod Interoperability Hack Discussion

      Last November, the EFF took Apple to task for threatening the owner of a wiki site. Apple claimed that an ongoing discussion on the site about how to build interoperability between iPods and iPhones and alternative software other than iTunes violated the DMCA — which requires quite a novel interpretation of the DMCA. After Apple refused to back down, EFF sued in April. Somewhere along the way, it looks like Apple’s lawyers started to realize that it had pretty close to no chance whatsoever and has now withdrawn this particular threat.

    • New open source initiatives for the Flash Platform

      Adobe has released the Open Source Media Framework (OSMF) and the Text Layout Framework (TLF) as open source under the Mozilla Public Licence, to address what the company sees as the needs of developers, publishers and media companies.


  • Censorship/Web Abuse

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Industry study claims strong copyrights fuel economic engine

      A report released by the International Intellectual Property Alliance shows that copyright-related industry has been booming in recent years. But a closer examination of the data shows that the numbers don’t add up so easily.

    • BREIN Wants Pirate Bay to Block Dutch Visitors

      Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN has presented its demands to the former Pirate Bay operators and its prospective buyer. Today, in a court case against the three co-founders of the site, BREIN demanded that they block access to all Dutch visitors.

    • YouTube myth busting

      Myth 5: YouTube is only monetizing 3-5% of the site. This oft-cited statistic is old and wrong, and continues to raise much speculation. In our view, the percentage is far less important than the total number of monetized views, and we are now helping partners generate revenue from hundreds of millions of video views in the U.S. every week (and billions worldwide), more than any other video site has total views. Monetized views have more than tripled in the past year, as we’re adding partner content very quickly and doing a better job of promoting their videos across the site.

      These myths are officially busted.

  • Associated Bullies

    • By The AP’s Own Logic, The AP Ripped Off Obama

      I must admit that I tend to disagree with a significant percentage of Lichtman’s conclusions on intellectual property, but unlike many copyright maximalists, I tend to believe he’s much more intellectually honest on these issues. His positions don’t seem to come from a “more is absolutely better because it makes me/my clients more money” position, but he honestly tends to believe that greater copyright leads to a greater net outcome, and tends to argue reasonably about it — though, I believe some of that reasoning, and the assumptions that underpin it are faulty.


      No, what’s not fair is claiming that any of that is the AP’s to own. None of it. Not a single part of it was. All of that — the hope, the way he was looking, was simply there. What made him choose it was the look on Obama’s face — which is not Garcia’s creative output, and thus cannot be covered by copyright. In fact, the most frustrating thing of all is that Cendali repeatedly claims that Fairey was ripping off Garcia (and the AP), but misses the obvious problem with that argument: which is that if her argument is correct, then the AP and Garcia also ripped off Obama, since it was his creativity in looking the way he did and making the facial expression he did. Once again, such externalities are apparently only acceptable when the AP benefits. But, Cendali seems to ignore that, and Lichtman lets her get off, noting that he basically agrees with her.

    • Is The BBC An AP Parasite?

      Anyway, not long after that, I saw that the BBC appears to have a very similar article, and it’s quite clear that all they did was rewrite the AP’s article. At one point, they do credit the AP, but the article is almost a direct paraphrase of the AP’s. So does the AP start calling the BBC a parasite, too? Or does it finally realize that no one owns the news, and lots of publications often rewrite the news and have for ages?

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

A tour of School Park mashup art and Free Software space in Santo Andre, Brazil 04 (2004)

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

Live Blogging: Un-Spinning Microsoft’s Bad Results for This Quarter

Posted in Finance, Microsoft at 3:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft Operating Income Down 30%, Income Down 29%, and Earnings Down 26%

AS we showed before, Microsoft is about to announce disappointing results [1, 2, 3], but it will artistically try to spin its way out of this one, with the help of the press (or “mass media”). To avoid deception from this mass media and a Microsoft press release, as soon as information arrives, we shall append it below with explanations, references, and supporting reports. GNU/Linux and Free software are a major factor in the sharp decline of their most formidable suppressor and a general aggressor in the technology sector.

Update #1 (3:58PM Eastern Time):

Wall Street Journal (ahead of the report): Microsoft Expected To Post Fiscal 4Q Pft, Sales Declines

Update #2 (4:03PM Eastern Time):

As expected, some of the press uses the strategic timing of Vista 7 news to distract from bad results.

Reuters: Microsoft deal talk, optimism overshadow results

Update #3 (4:13PM Eastern Time):

According to the press release (made public minutes ago), “Operating income, net income and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $3.99 billion, $3.05 billion and $0.34 per share, which represented declines of 30%, 29% and 26%, respectively, when compared with the prior year period.” That’s the second consecutive sharp drop of this scale and revenue is down very sharply as well.

In reality, it might be a lot worse due to habits of fraud. Microsoft is said to have lost $18bn in 1998.

Update #4 (4:54PM Eastern Time):

Coverage from the mainstream press is starting to trickle in.

AP: Microsoft fiscal 4Q profit falls 29 percent

WSJ: Microsoft’s Profit, Sales Tumble

Bloomberg: Microsoft Profit Falls 29% as Slowdown Hurts Sales

AFP: Microsoft profit down 29 pct in weak computer market

Why Linux Did Not Need Microsoft’s Code Injection

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, GPL, Kernel, Microsoft, Windows at 6:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: The Novell-supported patch brings a software patents debate into Linux and also leverages Windows

Microsoft claims credit for writing a loadable module for Linux, conveniently characterising it as goodwill. Yesterday we wrote about Novell's role in this advancement of Windows [1, 2] (using the massive Linux program, which Novell has rights over). Going back to the roots of this module, it is almost as though Novell invited Microsoft to Linux. Unofficial Microsoft PR blogs seem to confirm Novell’s role.

Microsoft Introduces Linux to Software Patents (from the Inside)

Matt Aslett and Jay Lyman from the 451 Group write this Q&A, which concludes with:

Absent the company giving up on software patents altogether, we believe that in order to convince those FOSS advocates that it is serious about co-existence, Microsoft needs to find a way to publicly communicate details about those 200+ patents in such a way that is not seen as a threat and would enable open source developers to license, work around, or challenge them. We also believe that the company is aware of this, although finding a solution to the problem will not be easy. But then neither was contributing code to Linux under the GPLv2.

There is also a Q&A from RedMonk.

“Going back to the roots of this module, it is almost as though Novell invited Microsoft to Linux.”One reader has told us that Horacio Gutierrez, one of the key men behind the racketeering operation against Linux, is now writing about “The new world of patent licensing for Linux” in the company’s lobbying blog. “The article describes patent licensing and Linux development under the GPL as something that belongs together,” explains the reader, who quotes from the blog: “real-life proof of Microsoft’s desire to build new bridges among industry partners for the benefit of customers, relying on patent licensing agreements as a means of opening up collaboration opportunities by ensuring mutual respect of IP rights and the innovations they protect. This approach is not unique to Microsoft, but is instead the prevalent model for enabling open innovation in the technology world, consumer electronics being an excellent case in point. IP licensing will also continue to play a key role in facilitating the emergence of new categories of exciting devices that embody the convergence of previously disconnected technologies, such as new generations of mobile phones, mini computers like netbooks and smartbooks, and eBook readers.

Who said anything about patents?

As our reader Goblin puts it, what they are trying to say is that “It’s OK to claim IP rights… as long as you are open about it… it’s a no brainer, Microsoft needs to make money… the shareholders wouldn’t like it acting “for the love of computers”… and for the casual observer it may appear happy and fluffy… this changes nothing. It’s common sense that Microsoft would want to remove ANY competitor and any gestures made to the Open Source community IMO will be ones that benefit Microsoft. As I say, a proprietary firm doesn’t run on kind gestures. This article has just dressed up what we already know.”

At IDG, there is a bit of a chronology up for display, but it mostly praises Microsoft towards the end where the lawsuit against TomTom is conspicuously missing. It seemingly sells the impression that Microsoft improved over time.

Microsoft Monday made an historic move by submitting device drivers to the Linux kernel under a GPLv2 license. Microsoft has had a checkered past with both Linux and its open source GPL licensing structure, so the move was a jaw dropper. Here is a look at some of the milestones since Microsoft internal memos leaked in 1998 that attacked the open source Linux operating system as it began to pick up steam as an alternative to Windows.

It Was No “Donation”

Here is the opinion that “Microsoft code cannot taint Linux,” but the matter of fact is that code which promotes Windows becomes part of Linux and it remains impossible to reject.

Not for nothing do many people in the FOSS community regard any moves by Microsoft in their direction as suspicious. But in this case, there is one leveller – the General Public License.

This is the same license that has been described as viral by the friendly folk at Redmond. This is one of the reasons why Steve Ballmer has likened Linux to a cancer.

The following explains why Microsoft did not choose the GPL; it was obliged to have it chosen, so it was no donation.

So, if my reasoning is correct, and I am very happy to be corrected, this is what seems to be the order of events:

1. MS want Linux to run on its Hyper-V platform

2. They develop and release drivers that use some GPL code and link to static GPL binaries. I don’t know where that original GPL code came from but it sure would be interesting to find out.

3. These drivers are in breach of the GPL and a third party notices

4. MS are forced, nicely, to comply with the GPL, just like every other organisation whose GPL breaches have been seriously challenged.

So, whilst this is all good and marvallous, especially if you want to run Linux on Windows, keep this other factlet in mind. Microsoft has shaken money out of at least 500 organisations including Linux distributers, claiming IP rights over code they have not written because of patents they refuse to identify in public.

This is an interesting story, but not in the way it is being told. Celebrate because we can chalk it up as a success…to the GPL.

Microsoft was actually pressured to publish the code.

Microsoft was actually pushed by the Linux driver project team to make this week’s historic code submission to the Linux kernel.

It’s Business as Usual

More on Microsoft’s motives:

Microsoft will play nice with Linux for the time being if it helps Windows Server gain ground as a computing platform in the data center. But the company’s ambitious goals haven’t changed, and its long-term vision leaves little room for Linux and other open-source technologies.

As our reader Fewa puts it, “I have no problem with them releasing code under the GPL2, it’s not a bad thing. But it needs to be noticed that this code does not help Linux. Just like with Xen, it’s a method to exert some hardware-side control over Linux and also just to try to get a better position in virtualization.”

“Just like with Xen, it’s a method to exert some hardware-side control over Linux and also just to try to get a better position in virtualization.”
Portraying this as generosity and goodwill is a huge stretch. Even Savio Rodrigues, who is sometimes sympathetic towards Microsoft, says that it “was a simple business decision,” leading to the possible suspicion that this patch — just like Mono and Moonlight for example — is what Novell does for Microsoft to saturate GNU/Linux with code that is favourable to Windows at a technical level (never mind legal implications).

It ought to be added that criticism is deserved by several companies that generally pose a threat to Freedom and work around Linux, but Microsoft is among the very few who try to prevent us from using our operating system of choice, just as it committed violations to deprive OS/2 users of that same privilege. The patch was just business as usual, but PR efforts were blinding to many.

“Microsoft is unique among proprietary software companies: they are the only ones who have actively tried to kill Open Source and Free Software. It’s not often someone wants to be your friend after trying to kill you for ten years, but such change is cause for suspicion.”

Bradley M. Kuhn (SFLC)

More Self-serving, Lockin-oriented GPL Code from Microsoft

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GPL, Microsoft at 4:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Locked up

Summary: Microsoft latches onto Moodle to create lock-in at schools

OVER the past couple of days we have explained why Microsoft’s Linux code is a selfish act [1, 2]. It is there to elevate Windows sales. While it is true that many companies like MontaVista and IBM contribute to Linux for personal gain, these companies do not persistently attack Linux, unlike Microsoft.

There’s a lot of talk in the press about a so-called “second” GPL ‘contribution’ from Microsoft, but almost nothing is said about Microsoft’s motives. The purpose of the code is to promote an unethical Microsoft programme by a sort of bundling.

The code Microsoft released is a Live Services Plug-in for Moodle licenced under the GPLv2.

….the plug-in adds Microsoft’s Live@edu services such as e-mail, calendar, instant messaging and search directly into the Moodle user experience and makes them available via single sign-on.

This is in no way helpful to students.

Are Speakers for FOSS Actually FOSS Supporters?

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, GPL at 4:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Is the Free software debate being captured by those who just exploit it?

THERE is a growing concern that companies whose products are either purely proprietary or are closed but built with some Free software components in them will be seizing the debate about Free software and even rename it. A month ago we wrote about Black Duck, which weeks afterwards (and shortly after ushering Microsoft) said that GPL adoption was declining; the evidence was unconvincing because this black box study neglected to say that many projects from CodePlex (serving Microsoft for the most part) had just been added, thus diluting the relative value of the rest of the dataset [1, 2].

In general, as Black Duck is a proprietary software company, we have warned for about a year that it was becoming a problematic spokesman for Free software. Like with “open source” people, they step inside an existing strand and change it from the inside. According to this new press release, Black Duck Software will moderate a panel on FOSS (again). But since Black Duck does not believe in FOSS, what can be expected regarding biases?

WALTHAM, MA — (Marketwire) — 07/17/09 — Black Duck Software (www.blackducksoftware.com), a leading provider of products and services for accelerating software development through the managed use of open source software (OSS), will moderate a Birds of a Feather session at the upcoming OSCON open source convention.

What we see a lot of in general are groups of people who enter FOSS and then daemonise their surroundings by finding others who enter similarly, sometimes with the intent to exploit (Free software and as in cheap software to proprietarise). Consider Microsoft employee Jonathan Wong for example. He’s running a smear campaign against us and he is citing known anti-Linux crowds, pretending that they are pro-GNU/Linux. There is a rebuttal to this daemonisation attempt for those who are interested.

It is written by a chap called Johnathon Wong and he works for Microsoft. He decided to make his opinions known on the website Boycott Novell and Roy (the sites owner)

Other crowds that have awoken recently are the anti-GPL and anti-FSF crowds (including the Linux Action Show). There is an illusion of consent only among those whose convictions on these matters are long held.

Another last group of people who argue to be favouring FOSS are the .NET proponents/developers, who use Mono to help Microsoft. Here is a new post which summarises ways in which Mono makes Microsoft stronger.

* Spreads Microsoft standards
* Spreads Microsoft mindshare
* Increases FLOSS dependency on Microsoft
* Good PR value for Microsoft
* Mono apologists are often obliged to defend Microsoft
* Mono evangelists are often obliged to be Microsoft evangelists
* Divides, distracts and delays the community
* Makes it easier for FLOSS developers to develop on Windows
* Provides some nice FLOSS applications for Windows
* Provides developer tools
* Helps in Microsoft’s fight against Flash
* Helps in Microsoft’s fight against Java
* Decreases effort in general for non-Microsoft tools

None of the above talks about software patents. The issues are many and the list still partial. Here is another new post about Mono — one which does mention the patent dilemma.

Spitting in the wind – Mono 180?


The cost of waging a war on patents is more than any one company wants to bear. We have the open innovation network to help out there, but consider the TomTom case. Notice that out of the 7 or 9 patents at stake, only three related to Linux. Is TomTom going to go to bat for those 3 patents if the other 4 or 6 infringe? No, they are going to have to find a settling point. Since right off the bat a company is facing 8 to 10 million US dollars to fight a patent suite, it makes more sense financially to settle, especially when there is the possibility that you may be found guilty. This does not mean that the Linux patents were legitimate, but sprinkle a few illegitimate patents in with more genuinely infringing patents and you’d be a fool to step up to the plate. Even more, TomTom was facing an injunction, which they could not suffer for the length a trial would take.

Free software came to being through Richard Stallman, who founded GNU and the FSF. As the FSF (with the SFLC’s consent) does not endorse Mono and is not a fan non-Free software, maybe it is time to think about the roots of the movement. This includes the GPLv3, which is merely a patch that closes a loophole exploited to work around core philosophy.

Links 23/07/2009: Sony Ericsson Dumps Windows for Linux, US Free Software Coalition Formed

Posted in News Roundup at 3:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux In the Movies– Thumbs Up!

    YouTube videos are tiny and blurry, and sometimes so herky-jerky they cause motion sickness. But where else can you find thousands of Linux videos on every subject imaginable? Here is a collection of short videos starring Linux: from IBM, Novell, and random creative people doing random creative acts like taking Tux skydiving, running 165 Linux applications at once, and making movies with Blender.

  • Linux Box: Open Source On The Grow

    Ann Arbor’s Linux Box, which has spent the last 10 years writing custom open-source software applications for a long list of clients, says its business is growing rapidly enough that it’s likely to boost staff by 50 percent to 20 within the next year or two.

    “The future is really positive,” said Linux Box co-founder Elizabeth Ziph.

  • Research and Markets: 2008-2009 Annual Report on China’s Open-Source Software Market

    Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/379dcc/20082009_annual_r) has announced the addition of the “2008-2009 Annual Report on China’s Open-Source Software Market” report to their offering.

    Vendors Involved: Red Flag Software Co., Ltd., Novell, China Standard Software, Red Hat, Turolinux, Redflag Chinese 2000, etc.

  • Shutting the window and grabbing my hat…

    As you may already know, I’ve been at war with a few computers. They all have one common trait, they run a Windows OS. Well, for my desk top I chose the nuclear option. I wiped it’s brains out and installed a Linux OS. I should have done this a long time ago. What a difference.

  • Point-For-Point With Keir Thomas About Google Chrome OS

    3. “Google is big, ergo Google is evil.”

    This deserves its own post and may get one later, but briefly:

    No, being rich and big does not make you evil. Let’s take a big, fat example: If they only would quit their illegal anti-competitive monopolistic practices, even Microsoft would not be evil. Yes, I said it. I said it in its own post here. My whole beef with Microsoft is that I’d just like them to leave us all alone. Knock off that antitrust violation and associated nasty business – the stuff that’s gotten them in trouble in the US, UK, and all over the world – and I’d be indifferent to them like any random company. Don’t forget Bill Gates’ ‘Open Letter to Hobbyists’ here. The free community does not have a problem with Microsoft; Microsoft is the one with the problem with the free community.

  • Linux Against Poverty Needs More Computers Now

    Linux Against Poverty, in Austin, Texas, USA, needs more computers right away. They’re doing the hard part, all you need to do is give a little…

  • Audio

  • Desktop

    • Getting your Microsoft Tax Refunded: 10/10 for Amazon UK! [Updated]

      Yesterday I received a great prize from the people at Miserware for helping with the Beta trial of their power saving software for Linux computers; a new and very shiny Asus 1008HA netbook PC.

    • How Does Ubuntu 9.04 Measure Up to Mac OS X?

      Over all, Ubuntu 9.04 averages a B+ in this comparison against Mac OS X usability.

    • VirtualBox 3.0.0 Compiz slideshow

      Last week, I reviewed the newly released VirtualBox 3. The experience was simply phenomenal. VirtualBox 3 brings in a host of new features and improvements, most notable among them the revamped network stack and 3D effects for guest machines.

    • The wrong reasons to use Linux

      1. Compiz. You might read that and feel like you just got hit in the face with a glass of cold water. After all, Compiz is way cool. It’s smooth, clever, innovative, years ahead of the competition and best of all, free-as-in-beer. What’s to dislike?

    • The Reason Why I Loved Knoppix More Than Windows!

      I’ve been a Windows user since fourteen years ago, where the Window 95 was my first computer operating system. Honestly, I was overexcited, as I owned my first computer for the first time in life! I spent over 6 hours daily to learn how to use the computer. Well, in less than three days, I’ve mastered all the basic skills of the computer, including the Windows operating system as well!

      Time flies by, and the Microsoft Windows have been rapidly changed in the past fourteen years. Honestly, I tried every Windows version, from the Windows 1.01 to the latest Windows XP Professional x64 Edition. Frankly, Window Vista is the most terrible that ever released in all the Window versions! I’ve encountered many difficulties and I really losing my temper on this version.

    • Life is about choice, computing should be too.

      Having a choice of Linux distributions to choose from is a good thing. It means that people have a chance to find a distribution which best suits their wanted computing experience. Having only a single operating system to choose from means that everybody is forced into that systems framework. Not unlike the ancient times when all ladies were forced into a constricting corset.

  • Server

    • Open source mainframe software: Two perspectives

      IBM sought to ameliorate the situation with the reviled Object Code Only (OCO) policy. However, in exchange for yanking the source, IBM added many more exit points with structured, well-documented interfaces. In addition to the exits, IBM provided programming interfaces for changing and gathering system information without resorting to actually touching control blocks.

  • Kernel Space

    • LPC: Kernel/Userspace/User Interfaces Microconference

      One of the biggest secrets of FOSS’s success is a well-crafted set of interfaces amongst the various components. Although famously not set in stone, these interfaces permit different FOSS projects to work for the most part separately, while still coming together as a coherent system. Such interfaces are clearly a key topic for the Linux Plumbers Conference.

    • I Like My File Systems Chunky: UnionsFS and ChunkFS

      Given the size of today’s hard drives, a question often asked is how to create and manage large file systems. Many times, this question is asked around ext3 which can be fairly limiting in size. The corollary to this question is how one manages large file systems. In this article, an approach to creating file systems using the concepts of ChunkFS will be presented. In particular, UnionFS will be used to create a large file system from “chunks” using UnionFS and at the same time helps with check and repair times.

    • Do Linux Benchmarks Have A Leg To Stand On?

      Different distros typically run different versions of key software, and this case was typical. While three of the distros installed the EXT4 file system by default, for example, a fourth — Mandriva — uses EXT3. To some extent, these differences make exact comparisons very difficult, although benchmarking can still provide useful information about general performance trends.

      Or can they? Perhaps that’s a debatable point.

  • Applications

    • 10 outstanding Linux backup utilities

      A dependable backup tool is not a luxury – everyone needs to have one. But that doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune to get the feature set that meets your needs. Jack Wallen introduces some great Linux backup solutions, including a few that are cross platform.

    • Using open-source data backup software

      Many people who use open-source data backup software become quite attached to a program, whether it’s Amanda, BackupPC or Bacula. Administrators responsible for protecting data at SMBs or at the departmental level typically gravitate to these free programs because they’re comfortable writing custom scripts and working with Unix and Linux. Also, they can use open-source backup tools such as rsync, which synchronizes files and directories between different locations, and tar, an archiving program.

    • Reviewed: AVG Anti-virus 8.5 for Linux

      Our verdict: Powerful, feature-rich scanner that’s completely lost on its target audience. 3/10.

    • Review: Claws Mail 3.7.2

      Quality wise, I think Claws Mail is a little on the light side and offers a few stumbling blocks for new users. Speed wise. Solid gold. Same with stability. Other than the import feature issue, I found it to be excellent. And I do mean excellent. Not a hitch or glitch or hickup. It’s an email program that’s well worth looking at, especially if you have an older machine, or just want a mail app that’s very light weight and reliable.

  • Audio

    • The LiVES Video Editor and VJ Tool Turns 1.0

      Plans for the future include: subtitle support, effect masks, simplified task support, more plugins, instant opening for more file types, audio streaming, more audio effects, support for more “plugable” frame sources, such as gstreamer and MLT, an on screen display, and much more.

      And of course, now that 1.0 is here, I might start looking at other video editors and VJ tools – with the aim of emulating what they do, only better!

    • Amarok 2.1 Review

      The enhanced plasmoid feature in the 2.1 version shows the favorite and current track ad unlike the earlier versions the plasmoids are united into a single folder and lets you choose or switch with the new taskbar provided in the lower central window.

      A new services plasmoid is another addition.
      Both manual and automatic bookmarking is enabled in the amarok 2.1 version. The player automatically bookmarks a track played continuously for more than 10 minutes and resumes playing from the position when back.

    • Songbird vs. Amarok: How not to design a GUI

      In Songbird the playlist dominates the window by default. This is good because seeing a list of music is what I want. It’s the whole point of a music player.

  • Games

    • Hack and Slash and lose your computer while you’re at it!
    • John Carmack on Linux ports

      LG reader Tweet wrote id Software’s John Carmack about the status of Linux ports for the first-person shooter developer’s upcoming titles (minus QuakeLive, which has a Linux port in active development already)…

    • Frictional Sale Successful
    • Come Play This New Linux-Native Game With Us!

      S2 Games may not be as well known as id Software or Epic Games, but what distinguishes them from most of the other game companies is that they actually support Linux. With S2 Games’ Savage 2, for example they provide a Linux-native game client. S2 Games is hard at work on another title, Heroes of Newerth, and that too will be supported on Linux. In fact, it’s already running on Linux and Linux gamers will likely find a native client binary around the time of the game’s release on Windows (read: it won’t be released months or years later, like what we frequently find with Linux ported titles). Sound pretty great, but too impatient to wait for the game’s release? Well, come play it with us right now! And for free!

  • Desktop Environments

    • Xfce: New Life For Old Hardware

      Not all that long ago I wrote about KDE4 and how impressed I was. I’m not retracting those thoughts. I still feel the same way, and think KDE4 represents a solid step forward for the desktop environment running on X.

    • KDE

      • Akademy 2009 Technical Papers Published: Research And Innovation In The KDE Community

        Over the last few years KDE has seen increased involvement of students and university researchers. While many universities still feel uneasy about working with Free Software, the open and welcoming attitude in the KDE community has already brought several scientific research projects to life. A prime example is of course the Nepomuk project, officially finished but still very much alive within the Free Software- and scientific communities. Furthermore, many involved contributors make use of scientific research papers while looking for inspiration to solve the more complex problems involved in writing software. The Free Software community also contributes in a practical way to science: the Avogadro project, grown out of the KDE educational application Kalzium develops an advanced molecular editor designed for use in computational chemistry, molecular modeling, bioinformatics, materials science, and related areas. Last Akademy, an initiative was developed by Celeste Lyn Paul to bring KDE and science even closer.

      • Gran Canaria Desktop Summit 2009 – The Nepomuk Perspective

        Now I can look back and say: “I have been there. I have witnessed the first joint conference of the two biggest players in open-source desktop software: KDE and Gnome.” And I can tell you: it was good. I personally think it makes a lot of sense to have the conference together.

      • Lancelot 1.7 screencast (KDE 4.3)

        I’ve realized that the one and only screencast of Lancelot I made was even before the 1.0 was released. So, I’ve decided to make a new one. This cast is meant as an introduction to Lancelot, rather than to show the new features.

      • Akademy 2009 Group Photo
      • New “Usability” Group in Review Board

        KDE’s Review Board is a useful way for contributors inside and outside a project to submit patches and have them reviewed and approved by core developers. However, sometimes these patches specifically address design issues, or may introduce new design issues that a designer might need to review. If they are subscribed to the project mailing list or they regularly check Review Board, a designer might be able to notice requests they should comment on.

      • A lightweight heavyweight

        Of course mentioning LXDE in the same breath as KDE and Gnome will make some people bristle. Obviously a project with more than 430 contributors and one with 26 are in different leagues, even if the statistics show them in close succession.

  • Distributions

    • SliTaz 2.0: Simple, Speedy, and Secure

      It has been more than a year since my last look at SliTaz (Simple Light Incredible Temporary Autonomous Zone) GNU/Linux so I kind of miss it already. That’s why I decided to grab its second distribution release.

    • sidux

      • sidux 2009.02, waiting for antiX M8.2

        I was going to wait for both sidux 2009.02 and antiX M8.2 to come out, since there were test versions of both out earlier this month. antiX has been in public testing longer, but anticapitalista wants to get a few things just right before releasing. Meanwhile, the public test versions, including the Pre Final 1 for antiX M8.2 look very good.

      • sidux 2009-02: A Playground For The Adventurous

        KIDS these days have amazing play facilities filled with intricate log-and-cable structures designed to test their nerve and athleticism.

    • Mandriva

      • Samsung NC20 – A Brief Encounter

        That was about all the time that I had with it. We installed a few more optional packages, and Mandriva certainly seemed to work just fine. Oh, also, as my friend has experience with Ubuntu and Linux Mint, I chose to install the Mandriva Gnome version, rather than KDE. Obviously there were no problems as a result of that, either.

      • Pardus 2009

        But something must have gone horribly wrong during the install, because the stability is simply atrocious. Applications keep crashing. One time, I could move the mouse but I couldn’t open a single program because I couldn’t click anything. I booted into 5 minutes ago and Firefox wouldn’t start. I don’t know what happened, but I don’t feel like installing it again.

      • Interesting things I saw at GCDS: Pardus Linux

        This year at GCDS I had the pleasure of meeting Gökmen and Gökçen (pronounced “Gerkman” and “Gerkchan” with hard Gees not Jays). They are part of a relatively small team of around 15 developers who are sponsored by the Turkish government work on a Turkish Linux distribution called Pardus. It is a KDE focused distribution which has been around since the end of 2005. What makes this distribution so interesting is the system tools and configuration tools which they’ve developed based heavily on Python, PyQt and PyKDE.

        Here is a run down on the custom tools that I’m aware of and my impression thereof. I’m getting most of this information from the document “Python in Pardus” [1], my discussions with G & G, and what I’ve seen from playing a bit with the current RC2 inside Virtual Box.

    • Gentoo

      • Open Source Watershed

        Ran across the Open Source Watershed this morning and found it very interesting/illuminating. One of the touted virtues of running a distribution like Gentoo always seemed to be that you had the latest greatest available when it was released, instead of waiting on a binary compatible build for your distro.

      • Gentoo Celebrates 10 Years: 2009/10/04

        Gentoo is turning 10 years old. For the last ten years, Gentoo has been committed to bringing the cutting edge source based distro to users that need more flexibility than binary packages can give them. With a vibrant community and over 300 developers, much has been accomplished since the beginning, Gentoo remains true to its origin.

    • Red Hat

      • Red Hat ups its support for system integrators

        Government policy change prompts vendor to set up global team to boost awareness of open source

      • Mouse with Red Hat

        Any ways so whats interesting with this mouse… look closely it has a official Red Hat logo saying compatible with Red Hat..

      • Fedora 11, Meet The RPM Fusion Website

        SO, there I was, having installed Fedora 11 on a dusty old Compaq Presario – 700MHz AMD Duron processor, 10GB HDD! – and things had gone relatively smoothly, if glacially slowly.

    • Ubuntu

      • Review: The Official Ubuntu Book, 4th Edition
      • Ubuntu Christian Edition 5.0 (Beta)

        Back in 2006, when I was writing for ExtremeTech, I reviewed a version of Ubuntu with a religious theme: Ubuntu Christian Edition. At one point it seemed as though Ubuntu CE had been discontinued but I was pleased to note today that it has apparently been brought to life again:

        Great news!! Ubuntu CE is alive again! A huge thanks goes out to David Kuntadi who has taken on the task of developing the debs for the Dansguardiane-Sword Installer, Bible Trivia, OpenSong, linBread, etc. He is also keeping our new repository organized and updated.


        Clearly anybody who is a faithful Christian that is in the market for a faith-based distribution should check out Ubuntu CE. I regard this release as a new beginning for this distribution and, hopefully, a harbinger of even better things to come. I’d like to see more aesthetically pleasing additions to this distribution in future releases including more Christian wallpaper as well as some Christian-themed music and perhaps even an original Christian theme.

      • Glassbuntu: design a dark crystal Gnome theme for Ubuntu or Linux Mint.

        To allow you to easily design a kick-ass theme for your Gnome, Ubuntu or Mint desktop I started this series of posts. in each I will suggest various windows decorations, widgets icons and background that follow one unique theme and blend well together. I will then suggest a few ways to combine them to make an aesthetically pleasing desktop. This weeks them is Glassbuntu: design a dark crystal theme.

      • Usbuntu Live Creator Makes Bootable Linux USB Drives

        Windows only: Free application uSbuntu Live Creator installs a Live CD from an ISO image onto your USB flash drive—much more useful, portable, and easy to deal with than carrying around a CD.

      • Adventures With Ubuntu

        The other day I was bored. What does one do when bored? Well, generally it’s a good idea to install some variant of Linux. Why? Because Linux is supposed to be hard to install. You’re supposed to struggle in order to get it running smoothly on your machine. It should take hours. It’s supposed to earn you some mad geek cred.

      • Back with a CrunchBang #!

        WHAT happened to the “p-y-e-o-w-w-w”?

        I’ve lost count of the number of times the sci-fi blaster sound that CrunchBang Linux makes when it starts up has made me – or someone in the room with me – jump.

        Now, it makes an equally sci-fi “boop-bleep-bup” sound which is nice, but doesn’t have the same dramatic effect of making people duck if your speaker volume is maxed-out.

      • CrunchBang Linux 9.04.01 Review and Screenshot Tour

        All in all, I admit I had a lot of fun testing Crunchbang. Although some people can find the Openbox Desktop and the grey-black color scheme (the window borders are a bit too dark, people may have problems seeing the buttons) a bit intimidating, Crunchbang’s main strength is that it does not make you watch, but explore.

      • Ubuntu on Pilot Light: wattOS Beta 3

        The goal of wattOS is simple and useful: to build a Linux distro that uses little energy.

      • Asus 1008HA with Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala Alpha2

        So here’s the Asus Eee 1008HA PC running the regular Desktop version of Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10 Alpha 2 (I’ve removed several stickers from the area below the keyboard. These were telling me about some proprietary OS that I didn’t want in the first place)…

      • Icon Theme Hacking Progress

        Quick update on my icon hacking. I have now figured out a way to get most of my notification icons to have broadly the right color.

      • Desktop Theming and Icons

        For some time now there has been a general move over to darker themes in GNOME-land. I have tried a bunch of themes here and there but I have always moved back to the default Ubuntu theme: I always found the dark theme less usable and harder to look at in my day to day work. Last night though, I decided to give it a decent shot and customized the bejesus out of my desktop.

      • Make Ubuntu complete with these additional installations!

        Since Canonical created Ubuntu for the masses, it has encouraged many users to try linux and eventually switch over to linux completely.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 151

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #151 for the week July 12th – July 18th, 2009. In this issue we cover: Ubuntu 8.04.3 released, Kubuntu Council, Kubuntu Wiki, Technical Board: Nominations, Karmic Translations are now Open, New Ubuntu Members, Ubuntu Zimbabwe, Empathy is now in Karmic, AppArmor now available in Karmic: Testing Needed, Ubuntu IRC Council News, OpenJDK 6 Certification for Ubuntu 9.04, Ubuntu Podcast Quickie #9, Ubuntu-based distro touted for power management, and much, much more!

      • Ubuntu App Store: Open for Business?

        Is this the start of something big? Too soon to say.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • GP2X Wiz

      Granted, it’s a truly blatant clone, but it’s incredibly addictive, and makes excellent use of the Wiz’s touchscreen – a feature that has been borrowed from the GP2X F200.

      Like the GP2X before it – and practically every single open source ‘media player’ released so far – the Wiz is also capable of handling music and video. Sadly, like so many of the machines that attempt to be all things to all men, it does neither particularly well.

      In fact, video playback is noticeably worse on the Wiz than it was on the GP2X – but, as always, there’s a chance that coders will release their own media player programs that eclipse the performance of those that come pre-loaded with the console.

    • Phones

      • Sony Ericsson Xperia drops Windows for Android

        An Android-based version of Sony Ericsson’s first Windows Mobile smartphone, the Xperia, has appeared online, prompting speculation that an official unveiling could be just around the corner.

      • Palm’s Linux secret makes the Pre

        You’re lucky that you missed the review I had written of Palm’s Pre after working with it for six weeks. I couldn’t see the attraction. The $299 that Sprint charges to let you out of the store with the Pre isn’t justified by the phone’s out-of-the-box features, and the anemic App Catalog presents few opportunities to elevate the device to the capabilities of others in its lofty price range. The Pre isn’t a bad phone, but it’s simply not worth the $200 to $250 premium over the BlackBerry Curve, the T-Mobile G1, and the iPhone 3G.

      • Open Source Solution for Multiple Mobile Platforms

        I cannot finish without making a comment about the fact that Palm has concluded the super-secret early access SDK program and made the Palm WebOS SDK available to all registered developers. This is an important milestone and will begin to reveal the story about how well WebOS will be received by the developer community at large. What I find interesting is how similar WebOS’s approach is to PhoneGap’s approach.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Vietnamese netbook runs on bilingual Linux distro

        Vietnamese Linux technology firm Hacao has released a netbook, along with a new bilingual (English/Vietnamese) release of its Hacao Linux 2009 CE distro. The Hacao Netbook is based on an Intel Atom-based MSI Wind, and offers a 10-inch screen and 160GB of storage.

      • Bargain Acer Extensa 15″ Linux Notebook Released

        It seems that current economic hard times are really favouring the adoption of Linux as a pre-installed OS by mainstream PC vendors.
        Acer has just released a new Notebook model (5235-571G16N) part of it’s Extensa line, with a full sized 15.6 inch matte LCD screen (LED backlight, 1366 x 768 resolution), 2GHz Intel Celeron cpu, 1GB RAM, 160GB hard disk, a DVD writer drive for a low price that is more typical of an average Netbook. It ships with Linux pre-installed, which avoids the Microsoft ‘tax’ that Linux users have to needlessly pay with most laptops and therefore helps to keep the price low.

      • Kubuntu Netbook Edition starts to take shape

        One of our goals for Kubuntu in this development cycle is to introduce a new sub-flavor of Kubuntu for netbooks (thus Kubuntu Netbook Edition).

      • Linux on Netbooks – ALIVE and WELL!

        Doing my part to bring out the truth about Linux on the Netbook.

        There’s been a lot of buzz lately about netbooks, and many sources out there have not done their due diligence to debunk the myth of “Linux is Dead on the Netbook”. C’mon people, don’t just jump on the bandwagon and repeat the marketing spew, do some research and tell the truth!

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source is Infiltrating the Enterprise

    James Turner: This is breaking news today, so I’ll understand if you don’t feel like you can comment on it at this point. But I’ve seen reports that the London Stock Exchange which was, I believe, one of Microsoft’s Get the Truth poster children, is pulling back from their Windows deployment. Does that say anything to you?

    Jeffrey Hammond: Well, it’s difficult for me to comment on the reasons or what’s going on there. But we’re going to see these sorts of switches back and forth. And you could argue that running open source on Microsoft platforms is also a very interesting way to go. I wrote recently about what Microsoft’s done with their Web PI products that take PHP and make it and PHP-based applications very simple to install on the Windows platform. And so there are both good and bad from Microsoft’s perspective in terms of open source.

  • Apollo 11 command module is released to open source

    The software that helped take humans to the moon has been released to the developer open source community to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.

  • New Apache board elected

    During its annual members meeting, the Apache Software Foundation (FSF) elected a new board of directors.

  • Charity, open source, and happiness

    A few months back Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, delivered an address (audio here) at my alma mater, Brigham Young University, titled “Why Giving Matters.” While focused on charitable giving and its multiplicative value on a nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), it also tells us a lot about why developers contribute to open-source projects.

  • Identi.ca: How free software can drive a social networking revolution

    Social networking, micro-blogging and other such buzzwords abound across web development these days, and the “public” is a fickle as ever. The darling of the media-driven, web-based section of the public is dropped as soon as it gets popular or as soon as somebody figures out a way to make money out of it — money usually involves advertising, which usually ends up bombarding users with spurious post-mercials. How can free software make an impact in such an environment? Enter Identi.ca

  • Copyright Consultation Running On Open Source Software

    Joseph Potvin, an economist at the Chief Information Officer Branch, Treasury Board Secretariat, writes to note that the Government’s copyright consultation is running on open source software. The consultation is using a Mongrel server built in Ruby-On-Rails on a GNU/Linux machine. Sometimes actions speak louder than words.

  • College helps businesses to improve their performance

    More than 30 small and medium sized businesses have saved money and improved their business performance since the launch of Southern Regional College’s Open Source Solution Centre in October, the college has announced.

    Delivered through funding provided by the Connected Project and the Innovation Fund, the centre introduces firms to the benefits of open source software packages — software which is in the public domain and can be modified and improved without paying costly licensing fees.

  • Sun

    • The MySQL Librarian Initiative

      The MySQL Librarian initiative is very young, at the moment there are about 200 items, 130 of them are presentations, 30 videos plus pictures and books. Six months from now I’ll ping Giuseppe to know how it goes.

    • OpenOffice Renaissance prototyping phase drawing to close

      The Renaissance Project team, part of the User Experience Project (UX) at OpenOffice.org, have announced that the Renaissance prototyping phase that began on the 12nd of June, will end on the 24th of July. The goal of the prototyping is to build “a flexible framework for mid-fidelity prototyping to test promising UI designs with real users”.

  • GIMP

    • New brushes for your GIMP!

      For painters and designers they are a must have – custom brushes! They save lots of time and it is fun to work with new ones of course ;)

    • Lightning Brushes

      Then, Open Gimp, select the brush tool, scroll down the brush tool menu and select a lighting bolt. Adjust the color and size and click the mouse on your canvass. You’ve just created a lighting bolt!

    • Gimp Tip : Isolate image from background
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla: Making it Easier, Doing it Right

      Intriguing stuff, and it’s great to see Mozilla working on these areas. As Raskin noted, almost uniquely his team is under no pressure to deliver something soon, unlike most startups; instead he and they can concentrate on getting it right, even if takes longer.

      Against a background where the recent experience of the Twitter team has shown that the browser-based, cloud computing model has not just weaknesses, but a domino-like interlinked set of weaknesses that can lead to catastrophic security failures, it’s comforting to hear that someone is trying to do things properly.

    • 5 Awesome Mozilla Labs Projects for Firefox 3.5

      Throughout the five years, Mozilla has dramatically improved the Internet browsing experience by producing stable, open-source applications that bring simplicity to our virtual lives. The latest version of Firefox is a prime example of how Mozilla integrates practical features into its products, like the inclusion of private browsing, tear away tabs and location awareness, while still maintaining a strong user base and delivering a stable browser.

    • Firefox 3.5 vs. Chromium on Ubuntu 9.04

      With the recent release of Firefox 3.5 the TraceMonkey JavaScript engine is really available for the ‘normal’ user (ie. not the alpha/beta users). It gives you a major speed increase in JavaScript intensive webapps. But how does it compare to Google’s Chromium?

    • Firefox 3.5 makes browsing a delight … and much faster

      Firefox 3.5 is a major improvement over its predecessor (Firefox 3). If you’re not currently a Firefox user, you’ll want to give it a try. If you are, upgrading is a no brainer. 3.5 offers faster Web browsing, better tab handling, a host of interface tweaks – and is noticeably faster than Firefox 3.

    • Tech Review: New FireFox burns the competition

      Six years ago, Internet Explorer was the bully on the playground. Explorer showed up in 1995, punched poor Netscape Navigator in the stomach, shoved it in its locker and by 2002 – 2003 Explorer had a 95 percent usage share for web browsers. The janitor let Netscape out of the locker but it was never the same again. Today Navigator has less than 1 percent usage share, down from more than 90 percent and AOL has discontinued development of the browser.

    • Shiretoko, Harry Potter, championing users, community building, litmus, jetpack, xulrunner, ubiquity, and more…

      In this issue…

      * Spread Firefox affiliate rewards
      * Mozilla introduces Harry Potter personas
      * Discover Shiretoko and interFORest
      * Does Mozilla champion Firefox users?
      * Community building with Markos Moulitsas
      * John Lilly: Lessons from Mozilla
      * Open Web style lectures
      * Lawyers as a community?
      * Help wanted: Mochitest test cases for docshell
      * Litmus project needs owners

    • Add-on contributions, Firefox update, Firebug, Jetpack, Foundation, TraceMonkey, and more…

      In this issue…

      * Add-ons contributions pilot
      * Firefox 3.5.1 update
      * Firebug 1.4 now available
      * Jetpack 0.4 release
      * Mozilla Foundation: July update
      * Billion downloads campaign
      * Building communities with Tyler Bleszinski
      * Poetry + Pragmatics: the Weave version

    • thirty million downloads of firefox 3.5

      In less than three weeks, more than 30 million people have taken the initiative and downloaded a copy of Firefox 3.5.

    • First Look: Firefox 3.7’s New Design

      It hasn’t even been a month since Firefox 3.5 was released to the masses, but Mozilla is already hard at work on FirefoxFirefoxFirefox 3.7. We gave you a sneak peek at what features are coming in 2010, but now we know what Firefox 3.7 may look like when it’s released.

  • Business

    • TomatoCart.com – A New Open Source eCommerce Solution

      Tomato Cart’s application mimics the user experience of desktop Operating System, offering features and applications similar to a PC environment. As such, it is fairly easy for both beginners and professionals to get acquainted with it, and even master it. Additionally, it supports multi-window operations and that enables users to work with several modules simultaneously.

    • Open Source Business Award 2010 – accepting entries

      Although OSBF is based in Germany, the competition is open to businesses throughout Europe.


    • Taking a Principled Position on Software Freedom

      Those of us in the free/libre and open source software (FLOSS) community know the routine by now. Despite the fact that “free software” and “open source” refer to the same software and the same communities, supporters of “free software” like the FSF would have us advocate for FLOSS by talking about users’ rights to use, modify, share, and cooperate; open source supporters like the Open Source Initiative would have us advocate for software by talking about how securing these rights produces software with “better quality, higher reliability, more flexibility [and] lower cost.”

  • Government

    • Open Source for Britain?

      There’s no doubt that the state of open source in government is even more parlous here than in the US, and so the need for such an organisation is even more pressing. But I wonder whether there’s quite the critical mass here: are there enough companies basing their business around open source to fund such an organisation? And, even more critically, could they come up with a better name than Open Source for Britain?

    • Building on Open Data

      One of the great things about openness is that it lets people do incredible things by adding to it in a multiplicity of ways. The beatuy is that those releasing material don’t need to try to anticipate future uses: it’s enough that they make it as open as possible Indeed, the more open they make it, the more exciting the re-uses will be.

    • Red Hat, Oracle, Sun, others join to pitch open source to feds

      More than 50 companies, academic institutions, and other organizations, including vendors such as Red Hat and Oracle, are banding together to promote use of open source by the federal government via an organization called Open Source for America.

    • Linux Paves Way for New “Open Source in America” Coalition

      Some may see this as a victory, but I see it as not good enough. The members of the organization announced today, Open Source for America, agree. We see it as an opportunity to educate government on open source software while effecting change in policy and coordinating collaboration on requirements specific to government.

    • A New Voice for Open Source in Government

      I’m pleased to report this morning on the formation of a new advocacy group for the use of free and open source software in the U.S. Government. I’m also pleased to have been asked to serve on its Board of Advisors, along other proponents of free and open source software, such as Roger Burkhard, Dawn Meyerriecks, Eben Moglen, Tim O’Reilly, Simon Phipps, Mark Shuttleworth, Michael Tiemann, Bill Vass, and Jim Zemlin.

    • Open Source For America coalition formed
    • Red Hat, NCSU join movement to get feds to embrace Open Source
    • Open Source Leaders Team Up to Seek More Clout in Government
    • Group will push open source in US gov’t

      Open-source software needs a higher profile in Washington, D.C., according to a group of about 50 organizations and companies that launched a new campaign to educate U.S. government agencies about the benefits of open source.

      Members of the Open Source For America coalition, which launched Wednesday, include Google, The Linux Foundation, the Mozilla and Debian projects, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Advanced Micro Devices and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

    • KRudd to have PM TV on new open source website

      Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s refurbished website will eventually have message boards and online chat features to facilitate discussion with the public.

      The new portal was unveiled with a completely new layout and several new functions geared towards an interactive experience. It mirrors US President, Barack Obama’s pre-election efforts as he used his official website to garner support from technology savvy voters.

    • What open source government data gets you

      What makes the difference is the transit system’s attitude toward its route data. When you take a proprietary attitude, as MARTA does, riders are left in the dark. An open source attitude, like TriMet’s empowers riders.

  • Openness

    • Free the Patents and Laws, Activist Tells Feds

      What’s worse than being a government agency targeted by a gadfly who wants data to be free and is willing to plead, sue, reverse-engineer, grandstand and shame his way into freeing government data?

      Well, try being a government agency on the receiving end of that in an administration that has pledged allegiance to transparency and openness.

      And that’s exactly where nation’s pre-eminent open-government data fighter Carl Malamud has got the Patent and Trademark Office and the National Archives and Records Administration, which controls — among other things — the Federal Register System.

    • The Crucible Effect and the Scarcity of Collective Attention
    • Douglas Rushkoff’s Open Source Economy: A ReadWriteWeb Interview

      Douglas Rushkoff — author, documentarian, and teacher — is a man on a mission. As a step towards getting “people to see the software-like code lying underneath how they interact,” his latest book, Life, Inc., explores the nature of money, our economic system, and how a corporate mindset has shaped who we are as people in modern society.

  • Programming

    • REVIEW: NetBeans IDE 6.7 Provides Effective Integration with Project Kenai

      One of the biggest improvements in the NetBeans IDE 6.7 is integration with Project Kenai, Sun’s open-source collaboration site. This allows developers to easily collaborate with each other on Kenai right from within the NetBeans IDE, not through a Web browser inside the IDE. The Project Kenai site itself includes full support for source code repositories, enabling developers to connect through any of several source code version control systems.

    • Chris DiBona on the (Computational) Value of Sharing

      I’ve been a programmer since I was 12 years old, so I always knew I would get into computers, computer science, or information technology. I started using Linux when I was in college back in 1995. Then as my professional career developed I realized I really liked Linux and the ideas behind it, and I liked the ideals behind open source and free software. That lead me to where I am today. Right now I’m Google’s open source program manager. What that means is that I monitor open source compliance for all the open source software that we use with the company. I also make sure that stuff that we release is under a proper open source license and, in the case of content, is under a proper Creative Commons license.

    • Ross Turk on the SourceForge Community Awards

      OSCON 2009 is in full swing, which means you can’t walk more than 10 feet without tripping over a well-known geek. We’ve just spoken to Ross Turk, Director of Community at SourceForge, ahead of the Community Choice Awards on Thursday night. Here’s what he had to say on who he’d have chosen, had it not been completely unethical and against all his better principles…

  • Healthcare

    • Open source to power Connecticut HIE

      Hartford Healthcare, which provides rehabilitation, long term care, and hospice facilities in central Connecticut, said today it will combine Misys’ open source connectivity technology with Allscripts EHR systems, a health record built on software as a service, to create Transforming Healthcare In Connecticut Communities (THICC), a regional system linking hospitals, clinics and facilities statewide.

    • Carpenter Builds Open Source Imaging Software

      Anne Carpenter trained as a traditional cell biologist specializing in microscopy with no intention of writing image analysis software. “It wasn’t until I needed software to do something that existing commercial software couldn’t do that I became interested in writing software myself,” says Carpenter. The genesis of CellProfiler was “completely out of necessity.”


      The software Carpenter built—CellProfiler—made its free open source debut in December 2005, and was detailed in Genome Biology in 2006. In January 2007, Jones and Carpenter established the Imaging Platform group at the Broad Institute, focusing on new algorithms and data analysis methods. From here, Carpenter can help dozens of researchers working on clinically relevant projects. “Everything we develop becomes open source, and the easiest way to get that out to the public is to put it into the CellProfiler interface.”

    • Open Source Meets Health Care

      Changing from paper charts to electronic medical records sounds like a relatively easy sales pitch. It improves patient care, decreases the risk of error and adds enormous efficiency into the system.


      We’re using Hewlett-Packard servers, Red Hat Linux, the InterSystems Cache database management system, which is the only proprietary component in the stack. On top of that runs OpenVista.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Cloud providers pressured to open APIs

      Rackspace’s (NYSE: RAX) announcement last week that it would release open application programming interfaces (APIs) for its cloud computing services and open-source API specs in the coming weeks is another example of cloud providers gaining advantage in the market by doing what more established players in the telecom world won’t do.


  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Amazon ate my homework, or why DRM stinks for education

      The phrase “Amazon ate my homework” may certainly have been uttered on more than one occasion since the New York Times reported on Amazon’s deletion of specific editions of George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984 from Kindle e-book readers (and no, the irony wasn’t lost on anybody). Unless you live under a rock, you know that this has been a bit of a discussion topic in the blogosphere. However, the first time I’d heard it put that way was in an email exchange on which I was lurking today, when Daniel Dern, an independent technology writer, made specific reference to the notes/annotations lost by a particular student.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • British Library Turns Traitor

      This once-great institution used to be about opening up the world’s knowledge for the benefit and enjoyment of all: today, it’s about closing it down so that only those who can afford to pay get to see it.

      What an utter disgrace.

    • Asus Uses BitTorrent to Boost Software Downloads

      Asus, one of the leading computer product manufacturers, has recently started to offer BitTorrent powered downloads to its customers. With BitTorrent the company says it can speed up downloads and get software to its customers in less time.

    • 3 Strikes To Be Administered By Post Office Subsidiary

      The now infamous 3 strikes model championed by France’s Nicholas Sarkozy was recently rejected by the country’s highest legal authority. With amendments the plan is back and the latest news is that a subsidiary of the post office will administer the scheme. Lawmakers will today start debating the modified bill.

    • How Copyright Can Be Viewed As Anti-Property

      While I have no doubt that this will upset and anger the folks who believe that copyright is absolutely 100% property, it’s a rather compelling explanation of how copyright isn’t just not like property, but in many ways is anti-property in that it violates some of the basic tenets of true property and true property rights.

    • Plug pulled on unlimited-download site Zookz

      That didn’t take long. Friday evening I blogged that the government of Antigua had issued a terse press release claiming that it had nothing to do with unlimited-download site Zookz. The Zookz legal team responded with an equally terse note saying that it didn’t need the government’s approval, and that its service was perfectly legal under its interpretation of a recent World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling.

    • DRM is ****, RIAA Says

      For years the RIAA has defended the use of DRM, much to the dislike of millions of honest customers who actually paid for their music. Now, in a shocking turnaround, the outfit seems to have come to the realization that DRM does more harm than good and has officially declared its death.

    • Spotify to take online jukebox to the States

      Founded by two Swedish entrepreneurs, Spotify provides an online jukebox allowing users to listen to a library of more than six million tracks, funded either by regular advertising breaks or by a monthly subscription for uninterrupted listening. The model has proved phenomenally popular since its launch in October and has been hailed as a viable alternative to Apple’s iTunes.

    • The customer is the scarcity

      Not all artificial scarcities have been termed illegal as yet: the most glaring example is that of “intellectual property rights”, where something is made artificially scarce using the power of the state; no other rights depend exclusively on state intervention. Strange, that.

    • Copyright Lobbyists Celebrate Latest Bogus Stats With Willing Gov’t Officials

      They don’t actually look at the real research on these things. Instead, they accept as gospel the ridiculous debunked research that comes out of the industry lobbyists who benefit the most from such protectionism that limits real and meaningful competition. And no one calls them on it. Take, for example, this Internet News report on how lobbyists for the music, movie and software industries all got together with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, and talked up a new and misleading study from the International Intellectual Property Association that talks up the importance of copyright.

    • John McCain settles Jackson Browne lawsuit, apologizes for use of song

      We can finally close the book on the 2008 presidential election now.

      Singer Jackson Browne has announced he’s settled a lawsuit against John McCain.

    • Sussex cops try to suppress publication of damning traffic-cam photos by claiming copyright

      The Sussex, England police are trying to suppress publication of images from speed cameras — images that show technical shortcomings in the cameras — by claiming that they are copyrighted. Copyright is meant to protect creativity; I’m not sure who the aggrieved artist is meant to be here. Is there some tortured constable who spent hours on a ladder getting the composition of the camera’s shots just right?

    • This Is Wrong: ‘Without The Content Industries, The Internet Would Be Empty’

      Oh really? Why not try it, and let’s see. The quote, by the way, was brought to us by Andrew Dubber, who properly calls Healey the “Wrongest Man on the Internet, July 2009.” However, this really is how some of these guys think. They don’t think that the internet really existed before they discovered it, and they think that everyone logs onto YouTube just to catch the latest TV clips. They don’t realize that people use it to communicate and share and collaborate — and that’s a lot more useful than using it to get fed some mass market entertainment junk.

    • Why information is its own reward – same neurons signal thirst for water, knowledge

      To me, and I suspect many readers, the quest for information can be an intensely rewarding experience. Discovering a previously elusive fact or soaking up a finely crafted argument can be as pleasurable as eating a fine meal when hungry or dousing a thirst with drink. This isn’t just a fanciful analogy – a new study suggests that the same neurons that process the primitive physical rewards of food and water also signal the more abstract mental rewards of information.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

A tour of School Park mashup art and Free Software space in Santo Andre, Brazil 03 (2004)

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

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: July 22nd, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 3:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


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