Links 09/08/2009: Zenwalk 6, Linux on TV

Posted in News Roundup at 4:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • On the shoulders of giants

    K. Gopinath, associate professor at the Indian Institute of Science, points out that small manufacturers like HCL, Wipro and Org, adopted Unix and built their own systems. “In the mid-nineties, however, proprietary OS vendor Microsoft became stronger and these firms dropped Unix in favour of MS. Interestingly, as Unix started dying, Linux started coming up.”

    In academic departments, Unix was fundamental when the Web first came in. In 1993, the Linux kernel and the GNU system (of the Free Software Foundation) appeared, followed shortly by the Web. “Now, machines that run on the DOS or Win3.1 operating systems were a serious liability as networking wasn’t part of these systems.” But by the early 1994, the Web could be run on Unix machines or Win3.1machines.

  • The Linux Desktop’s Next Challenge: Layer 8

    These sorts of discussions, especially on sites like Computerworld and here on Linux Journal tend to bring out the same comments from the evangelists (using the term loosely) that now is the time to move to Linux on the desktop and in response you get people saying the last time I tried to install Linux…. In both of these discussions, both points are valid and, in many cases, there is merit to the position.

  • Server

    • Google releases Neatx NX server

      The NX protocol, using SSH as a transport and for authentication, was developed by the Italian company NoMachine, which released the source code of the core NX technology in 2003 under the GPL. NoMachine offers free (as in beer) client and server software for various operating systems, including Linux. It wasn’t very long before free-as-in-speech NX clients emerged, then, in 2004, Fabian Franz implemented FreeNX, a GPL implementation of an NX server.

    • CONNECT open source software gateway

      CONNECT is an open source software gateway that connects an organizations health IT systems into health information exchanges using Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) conventions, agreements and cores services to better serve patients throughtout the country.

  • Kernel Space

    • Gernlinden, Gaming, OpenCL, & OpenGL 3.2

      This week at Phoronix began by learning that Compiz is now running on ATI R600/700 GPUs when using the latest open-source Mesa / DRM stack. Owners of ATI Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 series graphics cards are now just a step away from finding “out of the box” open-source 3D acceleration support. On that same day there was also the release of the OpenGL 3.2 specification, but that didn’t come as a surprise.

  • Applications

    • Free, Open Source DJ Software, Mixxx

      Mixxx 1.7.0 features an overhauled MIDI mapping system with advanced scripting capabilities, improvements to vinyl control, and many other tweaks and optimizations.

    • Quick cli application rundown

      It isn’t unknown that Linux/UNIX systems have a powerful CLI. The heritage of these operating systems is in the CLI, and applications are still written for it. Here is a run down of some of the more popular CLI apps.

  • Distributions

    • Zenwalk 6 – Gnome

      So how does it compare with my distro of choice (Wolvix)? Very well, although on my hardware Wolvix Wine performance is better than Zenwalk as is many of the emulation projects I am running. The memory footprint for running Zenwalk and a few basic operations was a respectable 120mb…very impressive, infact even running a rather large document in OO didn’t take it much above 150mb. Compare that to Ubuntu which has a footprint in similar conditions of 255mb.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-Friendly, Internet-Enabled HDTVs?

      mrchaotica writes “I’m in the market for a new HDTV (in the $1200-or-slightly-more range, as I won the extended-service-plan lottery and have a Sears store credit). Several of the TVs I’ve looked at have various ‘Internet TV’ features (here are Samsung’s and Panasonic’s). Some manufacturers appear to be rolling their own, while others are partnering with Yahoo (maybe in an attempt to create a ‘standard?’). Moreover, these TVs also tend to run Linux under the hood (although their GPL compliance, such as in Panasonic’s case, may leave something to be desired). Finally, it’s easy to imagine these TVs being able to support video streaming services (YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, etc.) without a set-top box, but I don’t know the extent to which that support actually exists. Here are my questions: 1) Is this ‘Internet TV’ thing going to be a big deal going forward, or just a gimmick? 2) Which manufacturers are most [open standard|Linux|hacker]-friendly? 3) Which TV models have the best support (or best potential and community backing) for this sort of thing?”

    • Open Source Television

      What makes the LINK such a compelling platform for these folks and Linux/open source developers in general is the recognition that a real business entity is stepping forward to spend the money necessary to market and commercialize what tech enthusiasts have been doing for years. Like the early days of homebrew computing, it wasn’t until small computer company startups like Apple and Microsoft came along to validate the computer market did such a market blossom beyond the basement.

    • Phones

      • Open Source Mobile Platforms – The Complete List

        Android : With HTC Touch and HTC Hero being a huge success, the Google-promoted mobile stack Android, is touted as something to look forward to. With a Java-like programming interface, the Android SDK is easy to install and start developing apps on. Android Apps for these smart phones are increasing in number and soon can be a serious contender for the iPhone App Store.

        Maemo : Nokia’s 770 Internet Tablet was one of the first commercially available MID running Linux. The Nokia N10 is the latest offering from Nokia running on the Maemo platform. Although Maemo does have VoIP apps, it is primarily being designed for Internet Tablets rather than Smart phones.

        Moblin : Molin, asuumably short for Mobile Linux, was an initiative from Intel. After the release of their Atom family of processors, Moblin recieved further push from Intel in engaging the community. Moblin, like Maemo, is primarily targetted towards Netbooks, MIDs and Internet Tablets. It utilizes some of the modern embedded linux components like the Gnome-based Clutter toolkit which used OpenGL to create fast and visually rich GUIs.

      • Android-compatible app takes on Twitter

        TransMedia, makers of the cross-platform Glide cloud computing OS, announced the availability of a Twitter-like service that supports mobile embedded platforms including Android. Glide Engage is a rights-based social networking and micro-blogging service that enables users to share messages with cloud-stored attachments, says the company.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Open Source Eee PCs in October, Chrome OS Netbooks Coming

        Awesome news from Engadget about the open source future of the next generation of Eee PCs. Their ‘spies’ have uncovered information that the first Moblin-running Eee netbooks will be in stores come October. Asus, the Eee PC manufacturer, is apparently considering making open source OSes an option for all their netbooks in the future.

Free Software/Open Source

  • FLOSS Weekly 81: OpenStreetMap.org

    OpenStreetMap.org, the provider of free and royalty-free geographic data.

    Guest: Steve Coast for OpenStreetMap.org

  • OSCON 2009: Governments and open source

    It is hard to have an overriding “theme” at an event as large as O’Reilly’s Open Source Convention (OSCON), but during the 2009 convention, one subject that came up again and again was increasing the number of connections between open source and government. There are three basic facets to the topic: adoption of open source products by government agencies, participation in open source project development by governments and their employees, and using open source to increase transparency and public access to governmental data and resources. Though much of the discussion (particularly in the latter category) sprang from the new Obama administration’s interest in open data and government transparency, very few of the issues are US-centric: the big obstacles to government adoption of open source technology are the same around the world, from opaque procurement processes to fears about secrecy and security.

  • Growth spotted in the IT jobs market

    Based on its findings, the site said the future looks equally as bright for Open Source developers, infrastructure analysts and business analysts, even though their current supply of work has thinned since last year.

  • Government

    • Why can’t local government and open source be friends?

      Nobody seems to have stood up in a meeting and said: “You know, there’s lots of very good open source content management systems (CMS) out there – there’s one called WordPress which is free and eminently customisable.” This is peculiar, as WordPress was available (and as solid as any CMS) in 2005, runs on MySQL and PHP (which are both free products used by some of the largest companies in the world, such as airlines and Yahoo). And there are pots of programmers around with MySQL and PHP skills.

    • Healthcare

      • Feds to host NHIN software code-a-thon

        The code-a-thon is expected to foster personal connections and help expand the talent pool of developers that might contribute to the CONNECT project, according to Brian Behlendorf, an open source advocate and a contractor on the administration’s Open Government initiative team headed White House chief technology officer Aneesh Chopra.

      • Live from FOSSHealth in Houston Texas

        Bill Vass of Sun (still not Oracle yet he confirms) NHIN CONNECT Efforts is talking about the difference between FOSS and proprietary in which RSA was openly and rigorously examined by experts….

  • Openness

  • Programming

    • Bjarne Stroustrup Expounds on Concepts and the Future of C++

      I am not of the opinion that concepts have failed. My position was that we needed only a few weeks to “fix” what in my opinion were serious usability problems. Obviously, a majority of the committee didn’t agree with that timescale. But just about everyone I talked to expressed support for the idea of concepts and I had to warn against over-optimism about the timescale to get concepts back once they were removed from the working paper. There is a significant difference between “failure” and “not being ready to become the standard for millions of programmers.”


  • Abstracts

    Is digital inclusion a good thing? How can we make sure it is?
    Richard Stallman (Free Software Foundation, USA)

    Activities directed at “including” more people in the use of digital technology are predicated on the assumption that such inclusion is invariably a good thing. It appears so, when judged solely by immediate practical convenience. However, if we also judge in terms of human rights, whether digital inclusion is good or bad depends on what kind of digital world we are to be included in. If we wish to work towards digital inclusion as a goal, it behooves us to make sure it is the good kind.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Maria Winslow, open source biz guru 01 (2005)

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

Microsoft Workforce to Shrink by Another 2,000 or More

Posted in Deals, Finance, Marketing, Microsoft at 11:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sunken ship

Summary: Microsoft sells Razorfish

THIS was more or less expected [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], but now it is official.

French advertising company Publicis Groupe SA has agreed to acquire Microsoft Corp.’s digital ad firm, Razorfish, in an effort to grab more of the ad dollars that are flowing to the Web.

Some people misinterpret the story, which shows Microsoft getting smaller and reaching out for money now that it's also borrowing money. This whole thing counts as either Microsoft chopping a division or laying off staff; it is just organised differently and it bodes negatively for Microsoft, no matter how much lipstick they put on the pig.

Patents Roundup: Patent Applications Fall, Patent System Criticised, In Re Bilski Returns

Posted in Africa, America, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Patents at 6:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: The screws of the patent system are loosening, as new evidence shows

AS we noted before, countries in the West hope to exploit Africa and other less developed areas of the world, almost literally stealing their minerals, flora, and fauna in exchange for patents, i.e. using their so-called “IP” to extort these poor countries (land-grab, neo-colonisation, or whatever else it can be compared to). There is more of that going on in general, with quite a lot at stake now that Microsoft participates in the looting. As we noted a month ago, Glyn Moody wishes to call these intellectual monopolies “a neo-colonialist plot to ensure the continuing dominance of Western nations.”

USPTOA lot of the exploited populations (as opposed to countries) just don’t realise this yet, or those who are privileged enough to know this and gain access to the mainstream media are basically conspiring with other, foreign nations which do the looting and share their gains. Moreover, ordinary citizens are unable to do much, as they have not much power, influence, let alone the ability/permission to organise, especially in suppressed/suppressive countries. This is a class issue as much as it is a geographical issue. WIPO, for example, was established by the powerful to protect those in power.

Moody warns that attempts to patent life are back. He spoke about this last month.

DNA barcoding is such a powerful idea that the parasites have moved in, and started trying to *patent* bits of the idea:

Systematic and phylogenetics, indeed much of evolutionary science, has long and great tradition of making resources and knowledge freely available to other resources. Instead of cash, all an author asks for is a citation or a credit. Therefore, it sounded incredulous to me that one researcher was trying to patent a DNA barcode snippet for a plant gene that was being worked on over several years by a large group of researchers.

It’s a classic situation: not only are scientific techniques being patented, they are techniques that are well established and have been used for years – something that is explicitly excluded even in the most deranged patent regimes. And people say the system is working just fine…

Well, the system is not working fine based on his observation that patent applications are declining sharply.

I have just heard from Ciaran McGinley, the Controller of the European Patent Office, that the number of applications it has received so far this year is down 8%. [...] Internationally, PCT filings are down by 5%. Ouch!

Is it possible that businesses have come to realise that patents are a dying breed?

New Papers Against Patents

Dissent or resentment against patenting seems to be on the rise. We have just found several new papers that are critical of software patents, and of patents in general. We have:

i. Software Patent and its Impact on Software Innovation in Japan

In Japan, the software patent system has been reformed and now software has become a patentable subject matter. In this paper, this pro-patent shift on software is surveyed and its impact on software innovation is analyzed. Before the 1990′s, inventions related to software could not be patented by themselves, but they could be applied when combined with hardware related inventions. Therefore, integrated electronics firms used to be the major software patent applicants. However, during the period from the late 1990′s to the early 2000′s, when software patent reforms were introduced, innovative activities (measuring patent applications) by independent software development firms began.

ii. Patents and the Regress of Useful Arts

Patent systems are often justified by an assumption that innovation will be spurred by the prospect of patent protection, leading to the accrual of greater societal benefits than would be possible under non-patent systems. However, little empirical evidence exists to support this assumption. One way to test the hypothesis that a patent system promotes innovation is to simulate the behavior of inventors and competitors experimentally under conditions approximating patent and non-patent systems. Employing a multi-user interactive simulation of patent and non-patent (commons and open source) systems (―PatentSim‖), this study compares rates of innovation, productivity, and societal utility. PatentSim uses an abstracted and cumulative model of the invention process, a database of potential innovations, an interactive interface that allows users to invent, patent, or open source these innovations, and a network over which users may interact with one another to license, assign, buy, infringe, and enforce patents. Data generated thus far using PatentSim suggest that a system combining patent and open source protection for inventions (that is, similar to modern patent systems) generates significantly lower rates of innovation (p<0.05), productivity (p<0.001), and societal utility (p<0.002) than does a commons system. These data also indicate that there is no statistical difference in innovation, productivity, or societal utility between a pure patent system and a system combining patent and open source protection. The results of this study are inconsistent with the orthodox justification for patent systems. However, they do accord well with evidence from the increasingly important field of user and open innovation. Simulation games of the patent system could even provide a more effective means of fulfilling the Constitutional mandate “to promote the Progress of . . . useful Arts” than does the orthodox assumption that technological innovation can be encouraged through the prospect of patent protection.

iii. Tender: study on the quality of the patent system in Europe [via Digital Majority]

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Internal Market and Services has published a call for tenders for a study on the quality of the patent system in Europe.

The aim is to conduct an economic analysis of the quality of patent rights in order to propose effective policy solutions for the optimal functioning of the future patent system in Europe, considering its objectives to encourage innovation and the diffusion of new technology and knowledge.

This should take into account the co-existence of national and European patents, as well as a future Community patent, which is currently being negotiated between Member States.

That last one need not be seen as critical. It may be seeking to justify exacerbation of the European patent system, so as to benefit lawyers at the expense of scientists.

In Re Bilski Amici (Briefs)

It’s up to the Supreme Court to decide what to do about business method patents. Regardless of the outcome, which seems unlikely to be a reversal, In Re Bilski already eliminates software patents.

Bernard Bilski and Rand Warsaw have their say on the subject:

Petitioners Bernard Bilski and Rand Warsaw filed their Brief For Petitioners last week in what could be this decade’s watershed patent ruling. The patent at issue relates to a method for managing risk when buying or selling energy commodities. The law at issue is whether a process must be tied to: 1) a machine or 2) a transformation of a particular article into a different state to be patentable (the “machine-or-transformation”/“MOT” test). The Brief breaks the case down into five issues…

ABA files an amicus brief in opposition to sanity:

It’s the most important patent case to be taken up by the high court in 50 years, said Rob Lindefjeld, secretary of the ABA’s Intellectual Property Law Section.

“We’re really worried that the Supreme Court will do considerable damage to patents in the area of methods of doing business that should be entitled to protection and swing the pendulum way too far and hurt the patent system for a long time,” Lindefjeld said in an interview.

Microsoft relies on software patents for its attacks on Linux (with words and predatory actions), but as one person in Linux Today puts it, “No amount of patents can save that company from the death befitting it. It won’t be long now.”

“If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today’s ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today.”

Bill Gates (when Microsoft was smaller)

Microsoft Still Says That Linux is Derived from Unix

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Minix, UNIX at 5:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“A couple of years ago this guy called Ken Brown wrote a book saying that Linus stole Linux from me… It later came out that Microsoft had paid him to do this…”

Andrew S Tanenbaum, father on MINIX

Summary: Microsoft calls Linux a Unix derivative, and this is not the first time Microsoft is doing this, just like SCO

Dishonesty of this kind is nothing new at Microsoft. The same old myths that Microsoft is spreading are probably geared towards implying that Linux does something illegally.

Microsoft paid an author to write similar lies about MINIX [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], and in a conferences a few years ago Microsoft disseminated these lies, despite them being challenged. Microsoft also spread false rumours about Groklaw being a front of IBM.

“Microsoft also spread false rumours about Groklaw being a front of IBM.”Groklaw’s editor took a look an article from The Register where Microsoft’s SEC filing is quoted as follows: “The Linux operating system, which is also derived from Unix…

“That’s not true,” says Pamela Jones, “It was what SCO claimed, but SCO has to date been unable to prove any such thing. Microsoft also calls Linux a “UNIX variant” like Apple. So why is Microsoft channeling SCO like this in its 10K? You tell me.”

A few days ago we wrote about how Microsoft uses its search engine to funnel in self-serving disinformation [1, 2, 3]. There is yet another analysis of this behaviour, which is over a year old.

The poster had searched for “why is microsoft word so expensive?” in both Google and Bing. The results were strikingly different. Google’s first two results were clearly web pages discussing that very question: one on MacRumors.com and the other on Ibibo.com. A look at Bing made me scratch my head…just as the post had intended. It’s first response was to the question, “Why is Manhattan so expensive?” If, in Bing’s algorithm, “microsoft” is the same as “manhattan” I think they need to check their programming. The second and third results were about the differences between various versions of Word.

Microsoft is very good at lying with apparent sincerity.

“We have 17.1 million users of bbc.co.uk in the UK and, as far as our server logs can make out, 5 per cent of those [use Macs] and around 400 to 600 are Linux users.”

Ashley Highfield, Microsoft

Beware the Microsoft Bearing Gifts

Posted in Deception, Mail, Microsoft, Novell, Vista 7, Windows at 4:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Bill Gates

Summary: Microsoft starts milking businesses to which it gave early ‘benefits’

WE have been writing a great deal about how Microsoft exploits the education systems in order to get children “addicted” to the company’s products (recent examples in [1, 2, 3), but rarely do we write about how Microsoft applies to the same tactics to commerce. Here is a new example of low entry barrier in businesses. This leaves Microsoft capable of ‘milking’ those businesses, whose digital assets are kept captive.

Microsoft’s Office Live Small Business (OLSB) site advertises itself as offering free Website, domain-name and web-hosting services for small businesses. But at least one of these services — domain-name renewals — is on its way to becoming paid, starting October 1.

This is very typical, and those who fall victim to BizSpark should be made aware of what it really is. We wrote about the subject in:

Vista 7 is another example of a hostage situation, as Microsoft plays all sorts of games with upgrades and editions. At Groklaw, Pamela Jones wrote: “Walt Mossberg has some unintentionally hilarious videos on the anguish of upgrading to Windows 7 and all the choices you face. I forgot what Windows is like. Love the table of choices. If you haven’t used Windows in a while, this will make you smile. I am asking myself, why do people put themselves through this?”

The cost of Windows is mostly hidden. Sadly, this is designed such that people do not notice this, so they keep making the same mistake over and over again. Here is another news story about a firm that ditched Novell.

Palm Beach County, Fla., a midsized organization, chose licensed on-premise archiving software. The organization moved to Microsoft Exchange in 2007 and planned to implement an email archiving product at the same time. Previously, it had been using Novell Inc.’s Groupwise for email, but its archiving capabilities were limited and required considerable manual effort, reported Santhosh Samuel, server manager for the Palm Beach County’s Information Support Services office.

On the positive side, this further weakens Novell, which has been lending credibility to Microsoft’s accusations against GNU/Linux.

Journalists Suggest Banning Windows, Maybe Suing Microsoft Over DDoS Attacks

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 4:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Recent DDoS attacks (Windows botnets running amok) affect many people and lead to hard questions

NOW that Facebook and Twitter are under siege by Windows zombies [1, 2] (it’s not over yet), a lot of people are negatively affected, not just taxpayers and hospital patients. Hundreds of millions of zombie PCs are living proof that there is no end in sight, not as long as Windows remains ubiquitous on the desktop.

Over at IDG, SJVN suggests getting rid of Windows. It’s a modest proposal.

I thought that the massive DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks that knocked Twitter and other social networks out was because of Iran’s government trying to shut down its protesters. I was wrong. Hundreds of millions of Internet users were annoyed because of Windows botnet-based DDoS aimed at one (1) person.

According to security company McAfee’s director of security research Dave Marcus, “This was a very targeted attack, and what the research shows is that it was aimed at one particular person, and that person’s accounts on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LiveJournal.” The target is a pro-Georgian blogger, but he’s still just one man.

For some details on that person, here is the New York Times:

The cyberattacks Thursday and Friday on Twitter and other popular Web services disrupted the lives of hundreds of millions of Internet users, but the principal target appeared to be one man: a 34-year-old economics professor from the republic of Georgia.


That latter link comes from Glyn Moody, a journalist who wrote in Twitter that Twitter was killed “with a Windows botnet, probably. Time to start suing Microsoft, maybe…”

It is a question of liability, but before anyone claims that GNU/Linux would solve nothing, here is a new article worth reading. Code scans do suggest that mature Free software is inherently more secure.

“The fact that any security issue can be seen by thousands of eyes, in fact, makes it easy to find and fix security issues. If you got proprietary software, just because the security vulnerability may not be seen in the open doesn’t make the code more secure,” Kant told LinuxInsider.

Microsoft prepares to bring many more “critical” patches. It never ends, and it’s remotely exploitable. Vista 7 will bring no change to the table. We wrote about this before, e.g. in:

Also see: When Does it Become Appropriate to Take Windows off the Information Highway?

“Two security researchers have developed a new technique that essentially bypasses all of the memory protection safeguards in the Windows Vista operating system…”

Dennis Fisher, August 7th, 2008

More SCO Headlines and What Comes Next

Posted in Finance, GNU/Linux, SCO, UNIX at 3:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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

Bruce Perens

Summary: Another set of newer links for SCO trackers

SCO vs. Linux: an end in sight?

Following the bankruptcy court’s decision to entrust the continuation of SCO Group’s business to a trustee, there’s been a lot of head-scratching over the future of the company. Judge Kevin Gross has yet to appoint a trustee to take the reins at SCO and the Office of the United States Trustee Program has yet to propose someone who will be acceptable to all sides to fill the post. Whoever is appointed, going by the judge’s very clear statement on the matter, is likely to have little room to manoeuvre:

SCO can’t sell itself. Losses of $8.7 million since March

Gross has some harsh details about SCO’s financial situation in his legal opinion document.

“It is an understatement to stay that since the filing of their bankruptcy the Debtors financial situation has greatly declined,” Gross stated. “Their own Operations Monthly Operating Report for March 31, 2009, the latest Monthly Operating Report which Debtors have filed, shows that Debtors have lost $8,652,612 since filing, without taking into account reorganization costs. These losses compare to total assets of $8.3 million of which there is $728,537 of unrestricted cash and net accounts receivable of $1.4 million.”

Does the SCO appeal matter anymore?

A trustee can certainly pursue any legal rights that SCO might have. But, those rights include suing the SCO lawyers for malpractice. Or, for the return of at least some of that $30 million or so in legal fees paid based upon the representation to SCO management in the past that SCO had a case against Novell, IBM and the others. And, that if SCO embarked upon a litigation plan, Red Hat would not sue them for damages as well.

Trusting SCO

The SCO litigation against — well, let’s be honest, against anyone they can think of — has gone on and on and on. As 2007 drew to a close, it seemed the end was in sight, after the company was forced to seek bankruptcy protection to avoid being thrashed in court — which eventually happened anyway. Now it seems the end may really be in sight.

SCO’s bankruptcy “protection” has turned out to be a sieve rather than a safe — what was supposed to preserve the company’s assets in order to protect the interests of its creditors has turned into an opportunity to funnel out as much cash as possible so IBM and Novell can’t recover it. For some time, those familiar with SCO and its abnormal way of doing business have wondered how long it would take for the Bankruptcy Court to wake up and realize what they were up to. It would appear from Wednesday’s activities that it finally has.

SCO’s plan to return rejected by court

SCO’s 8K About the Chapter 11 Trustee & A Change of Control Agreement

Also see:

A Look at the Microsoft-funded SCO Lawsuit in Light of Newer Anti-Linux Microsoft Lawsuits

Novell Responds to SCO Ruling, More News Coverage

• Older (via Groklaw): “How, Why, and When to Seek the Appointment of a Chapter 11 Trustee”

Links 09/08/2009: DebConf9 Coverage, Firefox 3.6 Alpha

Posted in News Roundup at 3:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • EliteTorrents Admin Finally Free After Dark Four Years

    After his release in 2007, Scott was fitted with a monitoring ankle bracelet which restricted his freedom, but the government hadn’t finished limiting his life. Scott had to have special software installed on his computer to monitor his online activities, but since it was Windows only, he had to give up his beloved Ubuntu.

  • Linux Journal Contents #185, September 2009

    In a world of full of standards creating Cross Platform applications ought to be simple, right? Well the important word there is full: you can’t walk down the street these days without tripping over somebody’s standard. As always it’s Open Source to the rescue. This month we highlight a few of the tools available for doing Cross Platform Development: Lazurus, Qt, and Titanium. We also have an interview with the developers of Google Chrome, the newest cross platform browser. Along with our features we have our usual spate of articles on Linux and Open Source: Shoulda (a favorite tool of Hillary Clinton), AppArmor, ImageMagick, Openfire, SocNetV, Linux-MiniDisc, Open Source Compliance, and in the slow but never ending evolution of our own Kyle Rankin, he gets one step closer to being a fan of Twitter by using tircd.

  • Earcandy is the next cool thing you want in Linux if you are a media buff

    Earcandy is a PulseAudio volume manager, which for me is probably the first thing that i ever liked about pulse audio. This volume manager could mute music in your amarok or rhythombox or literally any music player when you play some video in youtube(i am not lying) or VLC or other video players. Mute is not the right word, but instead the music slowly fades away, and the sound from video player fades in. Sounds promising eh? But it is much better than you think.

  • The Bizarre Cathedral – 50
  • ROAD TRIP!!!

    I have made contact with Bob Moore, the guy who helped me “scam” thousands of dollars out of the Linux community for the Tux 500 project. He is working on his end in Indiana to see if we can find someone to secure the stuff until we can make arrangements to pick it up…but that’s a lot to ask of someone on short notice…

  • Ohio LinuxFest 2009 Sept 25-26

    It’s only a little more than a month from now, the seventh Ohio LinuxFest. This year we will be celebrating 40 years of Unix!

  • No 64-Bit Surfing in Windows 7?

    There’s one other way to address this problem, but we imagine most people won’t want to go down that particular road: switch to Linux. Adobe recently released an alpha version of the 64-bit Flash player for that OS, but Windows users still have to wait.

  • Desktop

    • Get a computer for under £15!

      Gary’s response was straightforward. Although he’s had some exposure to free software such as Linux and Open Office — and so wasn’t phased by that aspect of things — he felt uneasy at opening up computers and performing tasks such as adding memory. Could I help him?

    • Happy Birthday to Me, Tech = Change, Change is Good

      Using computers doesn’t require any kind of special geek talents, just study and a mind open to letting some actual knowledge in. Anyone can learn anything, despite the anti-Linux FUD that insists Linux is not ready for “the masses” because it’s not magically simple; these fictional moronic masses who exist only in the mind of FUDsters and astroturfers. It’s a shame to waste so many electrons on such dumb stuff.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • The Status Of Gallium3D Drivers, State Trackers

      With the official documentation for the Gallium3D driver architecture being a bit dated, Corbin Simpson (a student X.Org developer that has largely been working on the Gallium3D driver for ATI R300 class hardware) set out to improve the situation.

    • AMD Publishes New Chipset Documents

      This afternoon though there is RS780 Chipset documents for the CoreBoot developers and the general public.

    • Kernel Log – Coming in 2.6.31 – Part 2: Graphics, audio and video

      Linux 2.6.31 will offer Kernel-Based Mode-Setting for Radeon graphics cards up to model X1950. The developers have included new drivers for X-Fi sound cards and for Intel’s “Next-Generation Graphics Device”. Many further improvements affect the drivers for webcams and TV hardware.

      Despite the summer holiday season in the northern hemisphere, the development of the kernel has continued without interruption, and the fifth release candidate of Linux 2.6.31 has already become available. This version contains the gspca/sn9c20x webcam driver, which still managed to sneak in although the merge window has long been closed. However, this is only one of many changes in the audio and video area of Linux 2.6.31.

  • Applications

    • Industry Heavy-Hitters Swing into Linux Word Processing

      For its part, Moblin is not an office suite but an entire software environment, specifically tailored to netbooks and other embedded devices. Over the past few months, both Novell and Phoenix Technologies have issued promising announcements around Moblin.

    • Complete Guide: Configure and Customise ioQuake 3 in Linux
    • Fall In Love With Ardour’s Digital Audio Workstation

      For many people, a simple audio editor like Audacity is fine for recording, splitting, converting and manipulating audio files. Some folks, though, need an app that can handle more involved projects. Ardour is a digital audio workstation that’s designed for musicians, podcasters, voice actors, editors, and anyone who needs full-blown professional software with all the bells and whistles.

    • 10 best Multimedia Entertainment Software for Linux

      Most of you are of the notion that Linux stands nowhere in entertainment when compared to Windows. Especially, people complain Linux has no cool games. Well, Windows Vista somewhat changed the scenario, as the content played in it gets locked by DRM. Linux has no such issue. On the contrary, Linux has added up a number of cool multimedia entertainment software to its support. We assorted the 10 best multimedia entertainment software to make your experience with Linux richer than every before.

    • The Wine development release 1.1.27 is now available.

      What’s new in this release (see below for details):
      – New version of the Gecko engine.
      – New GSM 06.10 codec support.
      – Improved support for the disk volume APIs.
      – Support for XShm pixmaps for better performance.
      – Various bug fixes.

    • Top 5 Email Client For Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows Users

      Linux comes with various GUI based email client to stay in touch with your friends and family, and share information in newsgroups with other users. The following software is similar to Outlook Express or Windows Live Mail and is used by both home and office user.

    • Firefox 3.6 Alpha 1 now available for download

      The first developer milestone of the next release of Firefox – code named Namoroka Alpha 1 – is now available for download. Namoroka is built on pre-release version of the Gecko 1.9.2 platform, which forms the core of rich internet applications such as Firefox. Please note that this release is intended for developers and testers only.

    • Firefox 3.6 Alpha 1 review

      In the development front, support for multiple background images, gradients, rem units (root font size) in CSS. It scores 94 in Acid3 (the web standards compliance test), one point more than Firefox 3.5.

  • K Desktop Environment

    • First Look: KDE 4.3.0 – A smooth desktop experience

      On the 4th of August, 2009, the KDE community released KDE 4.3.0, delivering its user base the first iteration of this next-generation KDE desktop environment. It boasts a modern and beautiful desktop, with over 10,000 bugs fixed and close to 2,000 features implemented over the older versions, such as the more buggy KDE 4.2.

    • Lancelot launcher

      I decided to try out the Lancelot launcher. And I like it. I’ve even replaced the default KDE launcher with it. As I’ve limited needs to have a menu, I know what I want and I want it fast. And that’s what Lancelot provides.

    • KDE 4.3: Kopete and Lancelot potential issues
  • Distributions

    • Antix M8.2, A review, install guide and comparison to Linux Mint

      I have an old pc, it’s from 2005. (2.4 Ghz P4, 512MB RAM, 80GByte HDD and an 64MB nvidia graphics card.
      I mostly use Linux mint, on all my PC’s. At school via a USB stick, and at work via mint4win.


      Overall Antix is a very good distribution, and on the same PC Mint used about 230-270 mb RAM 5 min after boot, and Antix uses not more dan 80-120. A whole lot better.

    • DebConf9: Satisfying Conclusion

      After almost two weeks in the Spanish province of Extremadura, the free project Debian appears satisfied with the outcome and promises the next release “Squeeze” will benefit from the meeting.

    • Arch

      • Arch Linux Magazine, August 2009

        And the Arch Linux Magazine is born:
        * The PDF version
        * The HTML version
        * Discuss this Magazine

      • Firefly Linux: Another Linux distro for your netbook, but based on Arch Linux

        In the last few months, numerous Linux distros (Ubuntu NBR, EEEbuntu 3.0) have been released for the netbooks. Here is another one, but unlike the two distros mentioned above, it is based on highly sophisticated Arch Linux, which is generally considered for the pro users.


        Its install size is 559MB which is significantly smaller than the Ubuntu NBR. However, it still manager to pack in all the basic apps like web-browser, Open Office, Skype and GIMP (for image editing). Also, everything works out of box (including Wi-Fi).

    • Red Hat

      • Red Hat reveals top five Linux applications of 2009

        Ecommerce, a global web hosting and e-commerce services provider has worked with Red Hat specialist Vizuri to develop an Intelligent Data Centre web services hosting platform that aims to improve customer service, reduce customer turnover and cut operational costs.

      • Red Hat’s Plymouth Sees New Activity

        Fedora 12 is also picking up a number of new features including new virtualization capabilities, improved power management, and many other features. The first alpha release for Fedora 12 is coming in just under two weeks.

    • Ubuntu

      • Linux distro mints “Gloria” KDE release

        For those interested in a non-Linuxer point of view, Bruno Dieter Chan offers his thoughts in a July 28 review on TopTechNews, and they are, well, luke-warm. After praising the distro for playing all his multimedia files, for offering a good web-browsing experience, and for providing reasonably fast 30-second boots, the complaints kick in.

        The reviewer was disappointed in the lack of QuickTime support, as well as some movie “shudder” effects when he tried to use “restricted drivers for my ATI 4850 graphics card.” He also groused over having to download a driver for his Creative X-Fi card, and then noted that it output audio through the motherboard instead of the X-Fi’s jack. Also, apparently, Mint 7 didn’t support plug-and-play with his Canon A400 or fully support his Sansa player.

        “Overall, Mint 7 offers most of the software that an average user needs,” concludes Chan. “Though I have issues with the OS, it still can be used as a ‘light’ desktop OS. But if you’re going to do more than just Web browsing, then it would be better to stick with Mac OS or Windows.”

      • Linux Mint 7 KDE

        All in all, Linux Mint is a fusion between the usability and tools of Linux Mint with the elegance of the KDE desktop. I’m not a great fan of KDE, but the Linux Mint tools certainly help to put this distro above the rest.

      • Coming Soon: Landscape Dedicated Server for Ubuntu

        Longer term, Canonical is working on a Landscape configuration that service providers (ISPs, MSPs, VARs, etc.) can leverage to remotely manage their customer networks, according to Ken Drachnick, Landscape manager at Canonical. It sounds like the potential Landscape service provider edition will debut sometime in 2010.

      • Edubuntu followup

        From what I have seen, heard, and experienced, Edubuntu is almost brutally easy to set up and administer. It is hardly the only choice for this, however. OpenSUSE has kiwi-ltsp, Revolution Linux has a version of K12Linux, and K12Linux, of course, has its own version running on Fedora. Point is, there is a lot of traction growing in the Linux community for thin computing solutions. This will be a very interesting space to watch in the next year or so.

      • Distro Review: Crunchbang 9.04.01

        Ease Of Installation & Use: 3/5
        Stability: 4/5
        Speed: 5/5
        Community & Documentation: 4/5
        Features: 4/5
        Overall: 4/5

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Pandora running a PlayStation emulator

      The emu itself isn’t even optimised for the Pandora, being an ‘off-the-shelf’ piece of Linux software. The sound is therefore a bit choppy, but the team are apparently working on refining it into a dedicated version.

    • Creative Zii Egg’s Plaszma OS gets Opera browser

      Plaszma is a Linux-based OS, and it seems that Creative has selected Opera due to its compatibility with web-based apps. Basically, Creative is hoping that developers will be quick to start rustling up interesting apps and widgets for the Zii Egg due to its use of Opera.

    • Phones

      • Palm opens summer camp for WebOS developers

        So far, about 1,800 developers have signed up for the PreDevCamps, which are intended to stimulate the creative juices of attendees by exploring what’s involved in writing applications for Palm’s innovative webOS, migrating mobile and Linux applications to the new platform, and testing and optimizing them.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Elonex Onet+

        As you might expect, the Elonex Onet+ uses Linux, but its Debian distro has been crafted specifically for this processor.

      • New Interface for Ubuntu Netbook Remix

        After Updating my Dell Mini 9 to the alpha 3 release of Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala last night and running all the updates, I was treated to a completely new UI for netbook-launcher. It’s still unstable, but personally I think its an improvement to the last version which is high praise considering I think the current UI of the Netbook Remix in 9.04 is the most usable netbook interface on the market today.

Free Software/Open Source

  • OOo4Kids proposed as part of OpenOffice.org Project

    Today, I proposed OOo4Kids to become a part of OpenOffice.org Project.

  • Samba Team Blog

    Starting today, we’re going to try and create semi-regular updates on what is going on in the fast moving world of Samba development, what we’re all up to, and where the code is going in the future. This will be a technical blog, with details on the internal changes in Samba code. We hope you enjoy it !

  • Barracuda Branching Into Open Source VoIP

    Barracuda quietly unveiled CudaTel this week, with a Web site offering a glimpse into the company, which promises cheap and easy open source VoIP. CudaTel is a collaboration between Barracuda and FreeSwitch, an open source telephony platform.

  • Is Open Source Software Legal To Use For My Business?

    Short answer – yes.

    Free and open source software is legal for both personal and business use. FOSS comes with a free license such as GPL (e.g. Linux kernel). Other application software comes with a slightly different license. You will find license information on projects website itself.

  • CAOS Theory Podcast 2009.08.07

    Topics for this podcast:

    *Open source as an on-ramp to the clouds
    *Struggle, death and life for CentOS Linux
    *Linux, open source part of embedded sw shake up

  • Another Look at openSolaris

    In summary, my overall impression of openSolaris, when I consider it only as a stand-alone system, and look at the installation and desktop, is not bad. Obviously its big advantage is that it is in use at a lot of large companies, in a lot of large data centers, so knowing it and being able to work with it and manage it, would be a plus. Its big disadvantage, though, is that its configuration and management are dramatically different from any other Linux (or Unix) distribution (at least that I am familiar with), so even experienced Linux administrators will have a pretty good sized learning curve to really become proficient with it. From what I have seen of the desktop, the difference at the user level is probably not as large, but I can’t be sure yet. The place that it really falls down for me, though, is in co-existance and co-operation with other Linux distributions. It just doesn’t do that at all well, and that makes it a royal pain on a multi-boot system.

  • Prime Minister of Thailand uses Firefox

    Via Sugree (and many others on Twitter) it has come to our attention that the Prime Minister of Thailand, Abhisit Vejjajiva, uses Firefox. It’s also pretty cool that the Thai government is using Flickr too.

  • Open Source Groupware Provider Open-Xchange Announces First Partner Summit

    Open-Xchange, the leading provider of open source groupware, today announced the first Open-Xchange Partner Summit taking place October 8 at the RheinEnergie Stadion in Cologne, Germany. The Summit provides the partner community with a unique forum to learn how to advance their business with e-mail and collaboration services.

  • Intelestream Discovers the Joys of Twitter

    Open source CRM consultant firm Intelestream has announced that the company is reaching out to its partners and contacts through Twitter.

  • Download Alert: Free Open-Source DJ software Mixxx!

    Continuing on my journey of discovery of free, open source software I ran across this gem by complete accident. Let’s just say that after about 5 minutes I was completely hooked!

  • Literature

    • Writing a book with the help of the Sakai free software community

      This article is about writing a book with the help of the free software community. The book in question is Sakai Courseware Management with the main authors being Alan Berg (Me myself and I) and Michael Korcuska, the executive director of the Sakai Foundation. In reality, around forty community members delivered valuable content, which the authors distributed strategically throughout the book.

    • The Official Ubuntu Server Book
  • Virtualisation

    • Xen project releases updates

      As a standalone hypervisor on processors with virtualisation features, Xen can run any x86 operating system. Xen can only support paravirtualised guests when the processor has no virtualisation features.

    • Open source Xen a 1-Stop for transport IT company

      The long-term plan is to move away from Solaris on Sparc to Red Hat Linux on Intel for cost and support reasons.

    • Feature: Running Linux in a virtual environment with VirtualBox

      If you are considering trying Linux and don’t want to mess with your exiting Windows installation in any way I can’t recommend VirtualBox enough. It gives you so much freedom to experiment and if you mess up or crash the OS you are trying out it doesn’t matter as its only running in a window just like an application.

  • Government

    • UKGovOSS opens for discussion on open source in government

      A new site, UKGovOSS.org, has been launched by Public Sector Forums to encourage discussion about open source and open standards in government. The UKGovOSS.org was created to continue the discussion which started at PSF’s Local Government Open Source Conference in April 2009.

    • Colosa Joins Open Source for America: Publicly Advocates Open Source Within U.S. Federal Government

      Colosa, developer of open source business process management (BPM) software, ProcessMaker (www.processmaker.com), has joined Open Source for America, a broad cross-section of more than 70 companies, academic institutions, communities, related groups and individuals that serve as a unified voice for the promotion of open source in the U.S. Federal government sector.

    • Three Quick Open Source in Defense Links (and then one other)

      Next week I’ll be participating in the inaugural Military Open Source Software Working Group Conference in Atlanta Georgia. Open source conferences that focus on the defense market are often salesy, have a dearth of actual developers, and tend toward sartorial blandness – a sea of dark blue suits worn by open source vendor sales people so they can convince hesitant buyers that their wares are just like the other guys. Look, we even license it by the seat!

    • Come Fly With Me: Progress FUSE to Power FAA’s Air Transportation System

      Another key factor in the FAA’s decision to select Progress Software, other than the technical and economic reasons, was Progress’ ability to deliver open source solutions backed by a comprehensive support services division. Open Source and SOA are both relatively new concepts to large parts of the FAA’s IT organization, and the FAA will rely on Progress Professional Services to assist with this formidable education challenge. The Progress Education Department is currently delivering a variety of training measures at various FAA locations, tailored to the specific needs of the participating SIPs.

  • Science

    • Talis Incubator for Open Education

      I’m very excited to announce today that we are launching an angel fund to help Open Education projects.

      The Talis Incubator for Open Education provides funding of up to £15,000 to help individuals or small groups who have big ideas about furthering the cause of Open Education. All we ask in return is that you ‘open source’ the results and return the intellectual property back to the community. We won’t, and never will, exert any rights whatsoever as to the intellectual property or ideas that we fund.

    • The Real Hope for Nanotechnology

      Nanotechnology is one of those subjects that seem to veer between hope and hype. DNA-based solutions look among the most promising, because of the fact that the material has evolved to solve many of the same problems as nanotechnology; more subtly, it is inherently digital, which makes its manipulation much easier – and promises structures of almost infinite complexity under computer control.

    • Stephen Friend, Leaving High-Powered Merck Gig, Lights Fire for Open Source Biology Movement

      Sage, as we first described back in March, is attempting to do for biology what Facebook and Twitter have done for social networking, and Linux has for open-source software. Sage is needed because biologists are beginning to see how vast networks of genes get perturbed in complex diseases like cancer, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.

  • Programming

    • Google Chrome Developer Tools for Eclipse Users

      The project is fully open sourced on a BSD-license and consists of two components, an SDK and a debugger. The SDK provides a Java API that enables communication with Google Chrome over TCP/IP. The debugger is an Eclipse plugin that uses the SDK and enables you to debug JavaScript running in Google Chrome from the Eclipse IDE.


  • Could cracked ID cards provide privacy protection?

    The UK National Identity Card can be cloned and altered by IT security experts.

    Colour me unsurprised.

  • High Court shields database state from blame

    An entrepreneur whose fledgling business was ruined by a false entry in a court database has had his claim for compensation rejected by a High Court judge.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Openness unlocking Web’s power

      What these standards have in common is that they are patent-free. You do not need to pay a royalty to develop with them and, crucially, they do not reflect or favor the commercial interests of a single vendor or organization.

      A standard such as HTML 5 is developed with input from all the browser manufacturers, mobile handset vendors, authoring tool creators and hundreds of Web developers worldwide.

      Such open standards take longer to develop than single-vendor proprietary formats, and are likely to be a mess of compromises to please everybody–and that is the beauty of them. No single company or technology can own the Web.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Internet firms resist ministers’ plan to spy on every e-mail

      Internet firms have condemned the government’s “Big Brother” surveillance plans as an “unwarranted” intrusion into people’s privacy.

      The companies, which ministers are relying on to implement the scheme, also say the government has misled the public about how far it plans to go in monitoring internet use.

    • ICANN, the US, and the Panda in the Room

      It is quite understandable why they might see it as darn handy if the US retains a special role in the management of domain names, but this completely fails to take into account what the other 200 countries around the globe who are also online might think.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Moral Panics in the Copyright Wars

      This is a new blog, designed to provide feedback to and discussion about the issues raised in my just published book “Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars,” available here and here. In terms of feedback, I am interested in obvious things like printing errors caught (I have caught 10 that I am happy to point out and did to the publisher already), arguments people think were wrong or overstated, things I missed, as well as good old fashioned disagreements.

    • The Monopolists’ Con of Constitutionality – part 1

      This is the first of a four part series examining the way in which people who should know better maintain and reinforce the con against the US citizen that copyright and patent are sanctioned by the US Constitution.

      As should be increasingly obvious in these days of instantaneous diffusion, the US Constitution is being abusively cited in ever more desperate attempts by the incumbent monopolists to demonstrate a solid foundation for copyright and patent. Naturally, the constitution can do nothing of the sort, so the corporate lackeys who resort to such abuse in pretending otherwise are attempting a con. In this way, it is solely a matter of confidence that anyone is able to persuade their audience that copyright and patent are natural rights of the individual and properly recognised by the US Constitution as deserving of protection by a necessarily empowered government.

    • The most insane bit of U.S. copyright law?

      My dad is a professional musician; he plays blues and jazz and original piano music, and has made five records. For professional musicians outside of pop music (and often in in pop as well), copyright law is already simply a burden to the point that it is almost universal ignored. Gigging blues and jazz musicians have long used “fake books”, unauthorized charts of the melodies, lyrics and chord structure of jazz standards. No one is worried about other musicians infringing on their copyrights, because jazz and blues (among other genres) are rooted in a culture of borrowing and adaptation. It’s inimical to creativity to draw sharp lines between what can and can’t be borrowed or adapted, and indeed in academic jazz programs one learns to improvise by practicing the great “licks” on classic recordings.

    • Leaked Document Reveals Eircom Deal With Irish RIAA

      This month Ireland’s largest ISP will assist with an anti-piracy campaign against its own customers. After making a deal with IRMA, Ireland’s answer to the RIAA, Eircom will first warn alleged copyright infringers before ultimately disconnecting them. Now, in what appears to be a leaked document, the entire groundbreaking deal is outlined.

  • Newspapers

    • License Revoked

      I just got an automated email from iCopyright, the flunkies who handle the AP’s insane blog licenses. It turns out that my “license” to quote Thomas Jefferson has just been “revoked” and my money refunded. When I saw that word, all I could think of was Danny Glover’s response to the bad guy’s claim of diplomatic immunity Lethal Weapon 2: a bullet and the quip, “Just been revoked.”

      Oh, noes! Does this mean I need to take the Jefferson line down? Will they sue me for infringement and cattle rustling if I don’t? Whatever will I do now that the all-knowing AP won’t permit me to use twenty-six words by a man who’s been dead for a hundred and eighty-three years?

    • What If News Organizations Had Their Own Gawker-Like Sites?

      While many journalists are attached to long-form stories delivered in a traditionally detached and serious tone, that doesn’t necessarily align with how more and more people actually consume media and news.

      So why not offer both approaches on a news site? Rather than wait for (or actively solicit) popular venues such as Gawker or “The Daily Show” to imbue labor-intensive, in-depth reporting with mass appeal, news organizations could instead present their own briefer, more lighthearted takes on longer stories and increase the chances of driving traffic and engagement to the original stories.

    • Rupert’s Roller-Coaster

      I think it’s interesting that I almost never quote from or link to News International titles: there’s simply too little there of interest. By contrast, I *do* link quite often to New York Times and Guardian stories, both of which offer stuff not covered elsewhere. So I don’t think I’m going to miss Mr Murdoch’s titles when they suddenly fall off the digital radar…

    • Niche work — if you can get it

      My hunch is that the game is up for the carpet-bombing approach. The era of the all-things-to-all-readers newspaper is ending. That doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that there isn’t a future for some kinds of print newspaper/periodical. Just looking at my own behaviour, I’m happy to pay for certain kinds of high-quality, generalist, content: it’s why I subscribe to the Economist, the New Yorker and the London Review of Books, for example. And why I buy the Guardian. (Full disclosure: I write for the Observer, which is owned by the Guardian.) I’d also pay to read a select number of columnists and reporters — names that come to mind are Paul Krugman, Frank Rich, Vic Keegan, Charles Arthur, Andrew Brown, Martin Kettle, George Monbiot, Robert Peston, Nick Robinson, Rory Cellan-Jones, Bill Thompson, John Kelly. But I wouldn’t pay for any generalist, middle-of-the-road newspaper, online or off.

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