09.15.09

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: September 15th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Links 15/09/2009: ARM Joins Linux Foundation, Nokia Defends Linux Diversity

Posted in News Roundup at 5:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • ‘Only Open, Evolving Companies will Survive’—John E Kelly III, IBM

    Is the “Smarter Planet” concept something limited to IBM?

    No, it’s open. We are developing a system based on an open-source standard, not a dedicated system. It is very important to be using Linux, or open communication standards or protocols, for example. If each manufacturer uses its own dedicated components, it will be impossible to interconnect them. That’s why we all have to cooperate with open systems.

  • Tom’s Definitive Linux Software Roundup: Internet Apps

    The first part in our comprehensive Linux App Roundup covers Internet Apps. In this segment, we’ll be looking at Web browsers, RSS readers, podcatchers, FTP clients, download managers, BitTorrent clients, and a slew of other file sharing solutions. There’s also a spotlight on Miro Internet TV, a piece of software that defies category. This does not include apps used to communicate with other specific people, but simply to retrieve content from the Web. The next segment will feature Communications Apps, and will include those titles.

  • Parallels updates its Windows and Linux desktop virtualization application

    The renamed app runs eight times faster than the previous version and adds a number of tools from the Desktop for Mac product

  • Episode 9 – “FISL10″ Has Been Released

    Highlights from FISL10 in Porto Alegre, Brazil including interviews with Chris DiBona and Michael Tiemann, using Open Source to make things out of computer junk, and President Lula da Silva speaks out on free software.

  • Server

    • Is Microsoft as Free as Open Source?

      Lastly, I find that Linux/Unix is more appropriate for servers than Windows, and once you know how to manage Linux, it is hard to go back to the Windows way of doing things. However, most people do not like change, even though we say we do, so our arguments will always be tainted by our own experience.

    • Oracle renews push into embedded open source software market

      Oracle redoubled its efforts in the $2 billion embeddable database market on Monday updating two members of its open -source Berkeley DB family to include support for Windows programming environments. It’s a move Oracle believes could benefit both developers and IT shops.

      [...]

      Other new features in Berkeley DB 4.8 include refurbished APIs designed to simplify application development that reduce time and cost, and better flexibility for addressing applications scalability and on-disk storage requirements. Ease of use improvements include support for foreign keys to help guarantee referential integrity and improved failure handling for multi-threaded applications.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Plumbers Conference schedule posted

      We’d like to remind everyone that Linux Plumbers Conference
      is next week (Sept 23-25), and share our latest news with you.

    • The Linux Foundation welcomes ARM

      To date, ARM has shipped more than 10 billion ARM processors in mobile devices, many of which run Linux. Ian Drew, EVP Marketing at ARM, said that “joining the Linux Foundation is a natural step towards advancing innovation in the Linux community for a rich, always-connected, computing experience.”

    • ARM Joins The Linux Foundation

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that ARM (LSE: ARM; Nasdaq: ARMH) has become a member.

      ARM designs the technology that lies at the heart of advanced digital products, from wireless, networking and consumer entertainment solutions to imaging, automotive, security and storage devices.

  • Gaming

    • Free RPG Editor is Open Source, Runs on Linux

      RPG programmers who are looking to escape the limitations and fees associated with IBM’s flagship RPG editor, Rational Developer for i (RDi), now have another option with RPG Next Gen, a free and open source RPG editor that is based on Eclipse and runs under Linux. Created by Mihael Schmidt of Germany, the RPG Next Gen project is still fairly young, but it shows promise as a lightweight and easy-to-use source code editor.

    • Rage and other Tech5 games might be Linux-friendly

      id’s idTech game engine has a long history of running well on Linux-based machines. Games such as Quake were one of the very few really big PC titles that found themselves installed on all the many flavors of Linux out there.

    • Linux users show their love for indie game

      As you can see Linux is way up there, which is quite a surprise to say the least. For every 232 Linux visitors I get on my website, one of them buys my game. If you compare that to windows users, I need 526 of them to get a sale. For Mac OS X it’s 256. So who would have thought that Linux users are the most eager to buy an indie game? Certainly not me.

  • Desktop Environments

    • KDE 4.3 review

      After 18 more months, 4.3 is the release that 4.0 should have been, and it’s now stable enough for critical use. KDE is also now stuffed full of eye candy.

    • Oxygen is dead, long live Oxygen

      The shadow/glow generation code is being enhanced to offer more options and better glow. It introduces a new approach to the division between oxygen and ozone dilemma, that was suggested by another great hacker/designer Thomas Luebking, that ofers a nice option to people that want to color active and inactive windows in different colors, without making it look completely awkward.

  • Distributions

    • SystemRescueCD 1.3.0 Has Linux Kernel 2.6.31

      This Gentoo-based distribution features, among the other graphical tools, the latest XFCE desktop environment, version 4.6.1. Even if it’s just a stripped-down desktop, with the unnecessary bits removed to keep the distro size low, the amount of included functionality is amazing. You will also find Firefox 3.5.2 and Python 2.6.2, all of them in a 235MB, live Linux system.

    • Absolute Linux 13.0. with IceWM and PCMan

      Paul Sherman has released version 13.0 of his Slackware-based distribution, pulling it level with Slack in the version stakes and relying on the slimline IceWM as window manager.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Meshcom rebrands as EmbedOne for Linux business

      Wireless mesh-enabling software provider Meshcom Technologies has announced its embedded Linux line of business brand name, EmbedOne.

    • Phones

      • Fragmentation good for the user, says Nokia

        Fragmentation within mobile platforms helps handset manufacturers and software developers to properly address customers’ needs, a senior Nokia executive has said.

      • N900 PUSHed as a hacker’s best friend

        This past Sunday I was invited to London’s Southbank to take a peek at a number of arty hacks centred around the new Nokia N900 tabletyphonething. The hackers involved were from Tinker.it, a creative consultancy that seems to specialise in making physical things that represent the digital world. A lot of what they do seems to revolve around the Arduino platform (a small microcontroller that can talk to sensors and various external modules) and Nokia gave them the task of taking us back to the 80’s.

      • HTC Hero firmware upgrade goes live on UK site

        It’s taken them a while to catch up, but HTC have finally added the new Hero firmware to their UK download page. The English 2.73.405.5 ROM brings with it a new lease of speed and general perkiness to the Android smartphone, together with adding touch-to-focus to the Hero’s 5-megapixel camera.

Free Software/Open Source

  • IBM extends Lotus Symphony with widgets

    In an attempt to broaden the appeal of its Lotus Symphony productivity software, IBM has released a number of widgets that boost the suite’s collaborative capabilities.

  • Making preparations for the OpenOffice.org 3.2 release

    Regarding the current developer snapshot DEV300_m58 the branch-off date for the OpenOffice.org release branch OOO320 is not so far away.

  • Asterisk Gets 400 Million New Users

    Traditionally something of a niche phenomenon, open source PBXs have seen a significant surge over the past few years and it has become much more mainstream and more competitive with traditional communications systems. According to The Eastern Management Group, open source PBXs claimed 18 percent of the North American market in 2008, a 40 percent growth from the previous year.

    [...]

    Skype for Asterisk, which Digium co-developed with Skype, is the first Skype-sanctioned connector to a full-fledged PBX system. The add-on to an Asterisk PBX lets businesses register as many Skype accounts as they need, allowing users to receive calls from Skype accounts, right on their IP deskphones. With a bit of additional configuration, users can also place outbound calls to Skype accounts through their Asterisk PBX.

  • TwitApps Shutting Down; Code Goes Open Source

    Twitter application TwitApps has announced on their blog that the service will be shutting down at the end of next week. TwitApps provided two services: Replies which sent you any replies via email and Follows which sent you an email of your new followers regularly instead of getting each follower individually emailed as Twitter does now. The followers function is something I’ve asked Twitter to provide for a while – a digest of daily activity.

  • Open source loves profit

    Some people within the FOSS community do feel that way, of course. They are idealists first, developers second. It is thanks to such people that software is now a hollow mountain, the insides visible and little bits of open innovation pushing through the crust here and there.

  • Open-source software may unify the medical-records realm

    Open-source medical software has been around for over 30 years. Unless you are in healthcare IT, however, chances are you’ve never even heard of it. But that’s poised to change.

    With the passage of ARRA (the American Recovery And Reinvestment Act of 2009, also called the federal stimulus package), some $19 billion dollars have been earmarked for Medicare and Medicaid technology incentives over the next five years. This program is known as HITECH (PDF), short for Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health.

  • Peerless Foods Selects Open Source Solutions From Ingres for Mission Critical ERP and Business Intelligence Platforms

    Ingres Corporation, the leading open source database management company and pioneer of the New Economics of IT, announced today that Peerless Foods, Australia`s largest privately owned producer of edible oils, fats and
    margarines, relies on Ingres as the underlying database for its mission-critical business enterprise resource planning (ERP) and business intelligence (BI) platforms. Ingres Database is theleading independent open source database that helps organizations develop and manage business critical applications at an affordable cost.

  • OpenLogic and Nuxeo Partner to Support Integrated Open Source Enterprise Content Management Stack

    OpenLogic, Inc., a provider of enterprise open source software solutions encompassing hundreds of open source packages, and Nuxeo, an open source enterprise content management (ECM) software and services provider, today announced they are partnering to provide top to bottom support on a robust ECM stack, which includes Nuxeo’s Enterprise Platform, the JBoss application server and the PostgreSQL database.

  • GroundWork Open Source Launches MonitoringForge.org

    Additionally, MonitoringForge provides a unified, professional project and plugin listing for all open source solutions involving monitoring. This web platform is designed to give the project developer control of how their material is presented and managed.

  • Infinispan narrows the gap between open source and commercial data caches

    Many of the projects that I have been involved in do not use a cache solely for the reading of frequently accessed data. This is a common scenario when using caching technologies and is prevalent in the Web 2.0 world (Facebook, Twitter etc.). The applications that I work with process large amounts of data (up to a million objects per day), performing massive numbers of ad-hoc reads, write and update operations.

  • Events

  • CMS

  • Business

    • Into the Cloud: Upwardly Mobile Funambol

      In any case, it certainly provides a handy way for Funambol to distinguish between the open source community edition of its synchronisation software (available under the AGPL), and the commercial version aimed at carriers who have suddenly discovered a violent desire to jump on the cloud computing bandwagon and offer synchronisation services to their customers.

    • ClearFoundation Unveils ClearOS 5.1, Open Source Distribution for Networks and Server based Internet Gateways

      ClearFoundation announced today that ClearOS 5.1 will be available September 30, 2009 at www.clearfoundation.com, the newly unveiled Web site for ClearFoundation. ClearOS is a next-generation Linux server operating distribution for the small organizations and distributed environments. The
      ClearOS Linux distribution has an installed-base of over 120,000 systems that serve approximately 1.2 Million users. It is available in over 20 languages and is utilized in more than 122 countries around the globe.

  • Fog Computing

    • Market Parallels – Cloud and Open Source?

      Any new technology market has its own lifecycle and rhythm. From mainframes, through smartphones, there’s the early years, the rapid growth, some slowing down and inevitably a decline. Some technologies never go away completely (e.g. mainframes), while others never really get a foothold (insert your own example here).

    • Red Hat: Understanding the business benefits of an open source SOA platform

      In a highly competitive business environment, the ability to adapt the IT infrastructure quickly is imperative. Many businesses are turning to a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) to create a flexible infrastructure. SOA enables organisations to build and deploy IT systems that directly serve the goals of the business faster and more easily than traditional approaches.

  • FSF/GNU

    • Interview with Richard Stallman

      Q: How effective do you think you’ve been at creating change?

      A: I cannot impartially estimate my own capacity, so I cannot answer that question. What is clear is that we have at least gained a foothold for using computers in freedom, but that we are still far from our goal: that all software users should be free. At least the free software movement continues to grow.

      Q: What would you consider your most significant accomplishments as an activist?

      A: We have developed free operating systems, free graphical environments, free applications, free media players, free games — thousands of them. Some regions have adopted GNU/Linux for their public schools. Now we have to convince the rest of the world to do the same.

  • Government

    • Kerala’s new IT revolution: ‘Email to All Employees’

      In a unique venture in the country, all state government employees in Kerala have been initiated into the world wide web with the state government initiating its ‘Email to All Employees’ project.

      The new initiative was kicked off today by the Chief Minister of Kerala, V.S.Achuthanandan. The Kerala State IT Mission is the agency implementing the project.

      [...]

      The project has been developed on the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) platform, configured and tested for hardware and software and finally rolled out by the Centre for the Development of Imaging Technology (C-DIT) led by P Gigy, team leader, Open Source Technology Team.

  • Openness

    • Steven Chu Suggests Open Source to Design Net-Zero Energy Buildings

      “We’re talking about an open-source software platform,” Chu said. “You begin to develop a method, just as there is Windows or Linux…There is still incentive for private commercial development, but you set the building industry on a new commercial path.”

    • EDAG ‘Light Car – Open Source’ updates to be presented at IAA in Frankfurt

      In cooperation with the other open source partners TESTA MOTARI (supplier of lighting technology) and Proof Design (composite solar module specialist), the EDAG Group will be integrating all the concepts shown in an EDAG Light Car test vehicle, and presenting this vehicle at the next Geneva Motor Show, in spring 2010.

    • Next: An Internet Revolution in Higher Education

      Scott McNealy, former CEO of Sun Microsystems (JAVA), met me for breakfast at an unassuming little restaurant in a strip mall tucked into the woods a few minutes’ drive from his house. We discussed one of his recent passions: applying technology’s open-source model to education. Sun was an early proponent of open source, giving the concept a huge boost when it opened up its Java software. And McNealy funded and helped promote a project called Curriki to create open-source textbooks that will ultimately be free, via the Internet.

  • Standards/Consortia

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Jim Hogg teaches GNU Linux to high school kids 04 (2008)


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

Wanted: Copy of Steve Ballmer’s Latest “Embarrassing” Public Appearance

Posted in Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, Videos at 10:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“It puts the Linux phenomenon and the Unix phenomenon at the top of the list.”

Steve Ballmer, 2001

Summary: Video of Ballmer’s latest tactlessness goes missing after receiving too much exposure

WE’VE already mentioned Ballmer's iPhone incident, but there is no known footage of it. There was, however, a footage of Ballmer making a characteristically-bizarre appearance, but as Todd Bishop puts this, it “looks like the person who posted this publicly had second thoughts after it started to be viewed publicly (funny how that happens), and switched it to allow only private viewing on YouTube. We’ll let you know if it resurfaces elsewhere.”

All attempts to find a copy of this video were not successful (videos are not being cached). Any other means for retrieving this missing video which was publicly viewable for a while? Here is how Bishop describes it:

Is Steve Ballmer admirably enthusiastic, or is his cheerleading too much following the company’s unprecedented layoffs and cutbacks?

[...]

This particular video doesn’t show the iPhone incident — we’re still hoping to get our hands on a video clip of that — but it does provide a sense for the tone leading up to that now-infamous encounter.

From one comment we learn that “The fact the video is NOT available RIGHT NOW on YouTube says volumes about the current state of employee anxiety. Such lockstep, fearful behavior among the ranks does not bode well for the future of the company.”

Another comment goes as follows: “As a long time ex-MSer, I have to say this used to be energizing but became embarassing some years ago. It’s particularly inappropriate this year with the company’s bad financial performance and the 5,000 layoffs already and likely more to come.”

Silently, Microsoft is still laying off employees without announcing it to shareholders. Well, Microsoft has had happier days.

Ogg Theora

Direct link

“I’d put the Linux phenomenon really as threat No. 1.”

Steve Ballmer, 2001 (year of XP release)

Another Microsoft Vice President Quits, “aQuantive Exodus” Reported by Microsoft Blog

Posted in Finance, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Search at 9:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Suramadu

Summary: Xbox suffers another major blow and “aQuantive exodus” affects Microsoft’s prospects online

IT was only a few months ago that the Xbox director quit the company, soon to be followed by the CTO of this very same unit. Just when it appears like the team has a true vacuum issue yet another leader calls it quits and ‘retires’ at the age of 46. This further confirms the observation that Xbox is a dying team.

As the following coverage reminds us, even Peter Moore (unit head) quit the company last year, along with lots of other staff (“more than 15% of the product team,” wrote an anonymous Microsoft employee).

Microsoft’s Xbox game brain drain continues as a senior executive departs

[...]

Executive departures are fairly common at the Microsoft game business. Peter Moore left in 2008 to join Electronic Arts. Former EA executive John Schappert joined Microsoft to take the helm at Xbox Live, but he left this summer to return to the No. 2 post at Electronic Arts. Kim plans to stay through the end of the year.

This latest development is also covered in:

Given that Xbox has already lost about $7 billion, the unit helps weaken the company which is viciously attacking GNU/Linux (most recently with patent trolls [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]) and thus it is relevant to us. A Microsoft insider very recently shed some light on how bad things are at Xbox.

“Microsoft’s dreams of a profitable advertising platform seem to be fading.”It is equally bad on the Web (if not worse). Microsoft is trying to establish an advertising business in there. Does anyone still remember (let alone uses) this renamed ‘search engine’ (propaganda filter) that Microsoft relaunched? It seems to have sunk into a chasm as soon as the $100 million in advertising budget ran out. Microsoft even paid blogs to make some artificial buzz about it.

Microsoft’s dreams of a profitable advertising platform seem to be fading. In-game advertising staff was massively sacked this year. The ‘father’ of aQuantive, Brian McAndrews, has already quit Microsoft (where he has landed thereafter may be a separate problem), but watch how many colleagues of his quietly followed him:

The aQuantive exodus from Microsoft continues. Just yesterday, we reported that Karl Siebrecht — the former president of aQuantive’s Atlas unit — planned to leave Microsoft to join Seattle online advertising startup AdReady. Now, we’ve received word that three other former aQuantive execs who held general manager titles at the software giant — Aaron Easterly, Brian Handly and Brent Turner — also gave notice last week. And one of those execs has already landed a new job at a Seattle online advertising company

[...]

Microsoft has lost some other key employees who came over in the aQuantive deal, most notably former aQuantive CEO Brian McAndrews who announced his plans to join Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group on August 13th. (That was exactly two years after the aQuantive deal closed).

Microsoft has already gotten rid of over 2,000 employees of aQuantive. It only seem reasonable for their peers to see the writings on the wall.

Is Microsoft Making Windows XP Illegal for Use on the Internet?

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Vista 7, Windows at 9:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Windows XP wallpaper style
Bad firewall

Summary: As ISPs may prepare to require full patching as a precondition to connecting, what does Microsoft’s refusal to patch actually mean?

THE PREVIOUS post showed that Windows is now at risk of being kicked off the Internet if it cannot be properly secured (it hardly can). This gets worse though.

Mentioned the other day was the fact that Microsoft is leaving Windows XP vulnerable with no intention of patching known security bugs. That, by definition, may render Windows XP unsuitable for use on the Internet; it cannot ever be made fully patched and since there is no access to the source code, only one company rules on the matter. As the debate carries on, Slashdot reveals that Microsoft is indeed saying “no” to patching of XP.

Microsoft says it won’t patch Windows XP for a pair of bugs it quashed Sept. 8 in Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008. The news adds Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) and SP3 to the no-patch list that previously included only Windows 2000 Server SP4. ‘We’re talking about code that is 12 to 15 years old in its origin, so backporting that level of code is essentially not feasible,’ said security program manager Adrian Stone during Microsoft’s monthly post-patch Webcast, referring to Windows 2000 and XP.

Here is the newly-cited report.

Microsoft late last week said it won’t patch Windows XP for a pair of bugs it quashed Sept. 8 in Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008.

The news adds Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) and SP3 to the no-patch list that previously included only Windows 2000 Server SP4.

[...]

The bugs in question are in Windows’ implementation of TCP/IP, the Web’s default suite of connection protocols. All three of the vulnerabilities highlighted in the MS09-048 update were patched in Vista and Server 2008. Only two of the trio affect Windows Server 2000 and Windows XP, Microsoft said in the accompanying advisory, which was refreshed on Thursday.

[...]

During the Q&A, however, Windows users repeatedly asked Microsoft’s security team to explain why it wasn’t patching XP, or if, in certain scenarios, their machines might be at risk. “We still use Windows XP and we do not use Windows Firewall,” read one of the user questions. “We use a third-party vendor firewall product. Even assuming that we use the Windows Firewall, if there are services listening, such as remote desktop, wouldn’t then Windows XP be vulnerable to this?”

Amazing!

Does that mean that Microsoft intends to stop sales of XP on all machines? What about the fact that Vista 7′s principal feature is virtualisation of XP? How can that be secured? What about the many existing users?

“What about the many existing users?”“Since Linux is faster and easier to use on the netbooks,” tells us a reader, “Microsoft is still shipping XP in order to hang on to the OEM monopoly. Yet at the same time the official party line is that there will be no patches for XP.

“Do you suppose Microsoft employees managed to lose or erase the source code for that part of XP?”

Could Microsoft be trying to urge people to abandon XP? If so, Vista 7 sure seems like a problem because not only does it rely on XP but it is already a problematic downgrade/upgrade (no genuine consensus or verdict on whether it’s an “upgrade” yet). Ars Technica claims that it can take an entire day just to move to this operating system, even on a fast machine. The source of the claim is Microsoft Corporation.

Microsoft: Windows 7 upgrade can take nearly a day

[...]

The biggest thing that stands out about this chart is the very broad range of the upgrade time: from 30 minutes to 1,220 minutes. That second extreme is not a typo: Microsoft really did time an upgrade that took 20 hours and 20 minutes. That’s with 650GB of data, 40 applications, on mid-end hardware, and during a 32-bit upgrade. We don’t even want to know how long it would take if Microsoft had bothered doing the same test with low-end hardware.

Assuming a wage of roughly $100 per day, the price of Vista 7 sure is higher than the price tag suggests. And what about the cost of insecurity?

Infected Windows PCs May be Banned From the Internet in Australia

Posted in Australia, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 8:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Crash car

Summary: Rogue information vehicles possibly to be quarantined if new policy is passed

ONE MONTH ago it seemed like wishful thinking, but Australia carried the various proposals forward and it may soon disconnect Windows PCs that become a nuisance to everyone else on the network, thus setting an important precedence for other nations to follow. Will they actually use take-downs for the benefit of people rather than Big Media moguls (like HADOPI)? That would be surprising. From IT News:

ISPs asked to cut off malware-infected PCs

The Internet Industry Association (IIA) has drafted a new code of conduct that suggests Internet Service Providers (ISPs) contact, and in some cases disconnect, customers that have malware-infected computers.

The drafted code, which will not be mandatory, suggested ISPs take a four-step approach to protecting customers.

- Identification of compromised computers
- Contact affected customer
- Provision of information and advice to fix the compromised system; and
- A reporting function for alerting about serious scale threats, such as those, that may threaten national security.

Microsoft meanwhile admits (by actions) that AutoRun was a design mistake. The Windows operating system ought to have behaved more like GNU/Linux, which had security in mind from the get-go.

Microsoft has finally removed a function from earlier versions of its Windows operating system that has been widely abused by miscreants to surreptitiously install malware on users’ computers.

In other security news this week:

New York Times tricked into serving scareware ad

Scammers tricked the New York Times’ Digital Advertising department into placing a malicious ad for fake antivirus software on the NYTimes.com Web site over the weekend, the company confirmed Monday.
The newspaper had warned of the scam advertisement Sunday, after receiving about 100 e-mails from concerned readers.

What to Do If You Saw an ‘Antivirus’ Pop-Up Ad

A screen shot of the pop-up window that appears as if it is scanning for viruses.

Three out of four administrators don’t trust anti-virus software

In a recent study, a total of 226 administrators, CIOs and security specialists were asked what they thought of signature and blacklist-based solutions. Three out of four administrators consider signature-based enterprise anti-virus protection unreliable. For zero day attacks in particular, two thirds of the administrators surveyed did not believe that standard anti-virus products helped to prevent attacks.

Yes, that’s how bad it is. When speaking about “anti-virus software”, Windows is more or less implied (or UNIX/Linux servers that merely serve files that may affect Windows clients).

“Our products just aren’t engineered for security.”

Brian Valentine, Microsoft executive

Android Phones to Avoid: LG

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, LG, Microsoft, Patents, Samsung at 8:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

LG

Summary: LG has new Android phone but also a Linux patent deal with Microsoft

ASIDE from LG's criminal activity, it is important to remember that the company is part of Microsoft’s Linux racket [1, 2, 3, 4]. LG has just unveiled a new handset.

Last week, Motorola launched one. Today, it’s LG’s turn.

We have already written about what Samsung's deal with Microsoft may mean to Android and recently we showed what it means to LiMo. It is a similar situation for both because LG chose Android.

…LG made an important mobile move this morning by announcing its first Android phone, the LG-GW620.

Given the patent deal with Microsoft, whenever you buy an LG phone Microsoft will be paid by you for the “Linux” component in this phone. What patents? Nobody knows. It’s just racketeering, so that’s the idea. Carry on boycotting LG to stave off similar deals, preventing them from being signed.

Links 15/09/2009: HP PCs to Boot Linux, gNewSense 2.3 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 7:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • OpenSolaris vs Linux

    Because OpenSolaris is advertised as a desktop distribution, it’s fair to compare it with current Linux distributions. However, the first thing you notice is that the operating system is much slower than Ubuntu on the same hardware, so don’t think about installing it on older hardware. For the rest it looks like a fairly standard Gnome desktop, although NetworkManager is replaced by an application called Network Auto Magic, which does more or less the same thing but has fewer features.

  • AMD solves a fundamental GPU scaling problem

    If you are thinking that Linux, and sometimes even Windows, can do multiple monitors, there is a very large problem with how some implementations work. For Windows, each monitor is it’s own separate workspace, and this has some hugely important implications. If you put two monitors on Windows, and drag a video, or something that uses overlays, so it spans two screens, half of the image or movie will not display.

  • HP busts out fall PC lineup

    Both Envy machines will ship with Windows 7, by the way, and they come with the baby QuickWeb Linux environment that lets users open up the laptop and punch up a Web browser, email client, media player in a few seconds instead of waiting for Windows to load.

  • Games

    • Indie Game Studio Amazed At Linux Sales

      Koonsolo Games, an independent game studio that developed Mystic Mine, is amazed at the rate which Linux users are purchasing their game. We know that Linux gamers are excited for new games, but Koonsolo has released figures showing the proportion of Linux gamers to those on Windows and Mac OS X. Surprisingly, the Linux market-share is not in third, but second!

    • Good News, id Tech 5 Is Likely Coming To Linux

      Contrary to earlier reports stating that the forthcoming id Tech 5 engine from id Software would likely not be ported to Linux due to the involved work, cost, and lackluster Linux graphics drivers (according to John Carmack), it looks like we will end up seeing this next-generation game engine running with Linux.

  • Desktop

    • Reflections on Linux

      Additional to this website (which is by no means a successful venture, but costs me nothing to support), I run a small computer business out of Casa Grande, Arizona. After dealing with dozens of clients with their own individual needs and wants, I have come to one conclusion regarding the Linux operating system. The average user LOVES Linux!

    • Is there an easy way to adapt to Linux?

      So why is Linux different? It needed to be. The Windows way of computing is proprietary. Meaning that it can’t be replicated or improved upon unless it is done by Microsoft. Microsoft decides what features the users get, they decide how you are to use your computer and they decide when to stop supporting their purchased products, the latter also decides when you buy a new computer. Because of all these restrictions, users are trapped into having to adopt other similarly restrictive products. Since this business model is copyrighted, it can’t be modified, so a new way had to emerge.

    • One more Linux user, one less Windows support headache

      Not everyone is going to be as receptive to Linux as my Aunt Jean was; on the contrary, I think where Jean saw lots of opportunity for a new way of doing things, most people react with “OMG THIS IS DIFFERENT! PUT WINDOWS BACK!”, and that’s to be expected. But I think the important thing is to stick to your guns, and keep to that bargain. You’ll find that in doing so, those technically challenged friends and relatives will either be easily-supported converts, or will no longer bother you with Windows problems that need to be constantly untangled.

    • My new laptop is here! My preciousss!

      Installation 1: Ubuntu for serious work

      This installation is meant to be used for actual, productive stuff, not just fun. I booted the latest Ubuntu 9.04 64-bit CD and the real fun started. Everything worked out of the box. Simply everything.

    • Welcome to the Linux Generation

      All that being said, the move to Linux computing is becoming more noticeable now than ever before. Without the economic crisis to factor in to people’s spending decisions, people probably wouldn’t have considered the Linux option as strongly as they’re doing today. When every dollar saved counts, the decision to go Linux may be more about cost savings than anything else, but that might be what it takes to get people to try the OS computer geeks have been raving about for years. Give Linux a shot, and you might be surprised.

  • Kernel Space

    • Google File System II stalked by open-source elephant

      As Google rolls out GFS2 – a major update to the custom-built file system underpinning its online infrastructure – the company’s former infrastructure don sees no reason why the open source world can’t follow suit.

    • Linux 2.6.31′s best five features

      2) Improved desktop speed. Due to some recent changes in the kernel, when Linux systems started running out of memory, the kernel was set up so that PROT_EXEC pages, memory pages that usually belong to currently running foreground programs were being mishandled. Instead of being kept in the memory cache, they were being written to disk until they were needed. As anyone who’s ever done system optimization knows, the last place you want frequently accessed or active desktop programs is on disk. In a worst case scenario, your performance can slow down by 1000% or more. Yuck!

      But now, Linux’s memory management has been improved so that currently running programs stay on top of the list of active memory pages. Technical benchmarks show that netbook users and other people who run Linux on limited memory systems can except to see a desktop that’s up to 50% faster than it’s been in the recent past.

    • LinuxCon Keynote Series: An Interview with IBM’s Bob Sutor

      Q: What are you most looking forward to at the debut year of LinuxCon?

      A: I always try to get an early sense of the vibe of a conference. Is there excitement among the participants? Are people looking forward to creating more technical innovation and greater business growth? Is the community expanding? Are there grand challenges that developers are ready to leap into? I think I’ll see, hear, and feel all that at LinuxCon. I’m also looking to meet in person many of the people involved with the Linux Foundation.

  • Applications

    • Getting Started with Money Manager Ex

      Money Maneger Ex (MMEX) is cross platform. The developer provides editions for both Windows and Linux (Mac users are out of luck). Proceeding to the download page, the site will detect your OS. Linux users are given choices of a download for Ubuntu, OpenSuse, and Slackware. Ubuntu users have a further choice between 32 and 64 bit versions. While not covering all of us, most people will be able to use it.

    • 4 Linux Applications To Keep Your Kids Ahead of the Game

      Kanagram mixes up the letters of a word, creating an anagram. You have to guess what the mixed up word is. Kanagram is a great children’s Linux program that features several built-in word lists, hints, and a cheat feature which reveals the original word. Kanagram also has a vocabulary editor, so you can make the game be as hard as you want it to be.

    • Five Open Source Flash Card Apps to Make Rote Learning Easier

      Chances are, when you’ve needed to learn something by rote memorization you’ve turned to flash cards (multiplication tables, anyone?). There are plenty of ways to learn things that require instant recall but few are as effective as flash cards. The next time you need to memorize a bunch of facts, give one of these desktop and mobile open source flash cards applications a try.

    • RotateRight’s Zoom 1.5 Makes Linux Performance Optimization Easier Than Ever

      Zoom is an essential performance analysis tool for all Linux developers and users. Version 1.5 features several enhancements to help increase programmer productivity and optimize Linux application performance. This reduces costs by making software faster and more energy efficient. Zoom is available for $199 (USD) and offers a 30-day free evaluation period.

    • Bordeaux 1.8.4 for Linux Released

      The Bordeaux Technology Group released Bordeaux 1.8.4 for Linux today. Bordeaux 1.8.4 fixes a critical bug in our wget implementation. If you have had problems with Bordeaux 1.8.2 not installing a application we recommend you update to 1.8.4 and the problem should now be resolved. There has also been a couple other small bug fixes and tweaks.

  • Desktop Environments

    • The Bluecurve Theme For GNOME

      Bluecurve is a desktop theme for GNOME and KDE created by the Red Hat Artwork project. The main aim of Bluecurve was to create a consistent look throughout the Linux environment, and provide support for various Freedesktop.org desktop standards. It has been used in Red Hat Linux since version 8.0, and Fedora Core. Enterprising GUI artists have created themes that emulate the Bluecurve theme on other operating systems, including Windows.

    • Best of both worlds: twin

      I have mentioned a lot of console applications over the past few weeks, but usually either in conjunction with screen-vs, or with something running under X, like Musca.

    • Open-PC users choose KDE

      The first Open-PC survey is now finished. Over 12,000 people participated in our survey with interesting results: 48% choose KDE as the Desktop. 42% choose GNOME and 9% choose Xfce. 52% chose Amarok as mediaplayer and 88% choose Firefox as default Browser.

  • Distributions

    • Trisquel 3.0 STS Linux (Dwyn)

      Pros: Includes free software only. Easy install. Good selection of software.
      Cons: Somewhat unattractive desktop theme and wallpaper.
      Suitable For: Beginner, intermediate or advanced Linux users.
      Summary: Trisquel Linux is best suited for those who prefer not to have non-free software included in their desktop distributions. Beyond that much of what it offers can already be found in other, better known distributions.
      Rating: 3.5/5

    • Mandriva 64bit Review

      The excellent Mandriva Control Center allows you to most of the above. Below are a few more MCC screen shots to show how easy it is to manage your system to graphically.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Top 10 Benefits of CentOS over Fedora

        CentOS or Community ENTerprise Operating System is often compared to Fedora in various Internet forums. CentOS is essentially a community supported free and open source operating system based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It’s targeted at people looking for enterprise-class operating system stability without the cost of certification and support. Whereas Fedora is a Red Hat sponsored, RPM based, free and open source operating system that runs the latest versions of software.When it comes to commercial use CentOS scores highly over Fedora. Let’s see 10 benefits of CentOS over Fedora.

      • Laurus Technologies Expands Reach with RedHat Partnership

        Laurus Technologies, Inc., a privately-held Itasca, Ill.-based consulting and technology solutions provider, announced today a partnership with Red Hat, Inc. to expand its presence in the free and open source software community. Red Hat is known in the industry as a major Linux distribution vendor and a leading purveyor of middleware, applications and management products.

    • Debian Family

      • Karmic Gets New IM Session Status Icons

        Karmic’s session applet icons have been updated to a new set of stylish glossy status symbols.

      • Gecko Edubook Running wattOS

        wattOS is a lightweight Ubuntu based Linux distro designed to run on low power computers and recycled systems. The main goal of the project is to create a full featured operating system with low energy consumption.

      • gNewSense 2.3 released!

        The gNewSense project is pleased to announce version 2.3 of its 100% FSF Free GNU/Linux distribution, in the form of a point update to the release codenamed ‘deltah’.

      • Pen Drive GNU/Linux – GnewSense

        Here is an how to for booting GnewSense from usb drive. GNewSense is a complete Free Operating System and is recommended by Free Software Foundation (FSF). It is derived from Ubuntu. The current version is 2.2 as of writing this post. Since the proprietary components are removed from the Kernel (Linux) and the OS it boots much faster.

      • Break Free with gNewSense 2.3

        I installed gNewSense and have taken these screenshots to share in hopes a few users will give it a shot.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • 6WIND Launches 6WINDPath Multicore Solution to Enable Simplified Networking Scalability and Performance for IP-Based Telecommunications and Enterprise Applications

      6WINDPath is an easy to install and easy to use end-to-end solution. 6WINDPath ensures any existing application running on single-core architectures, using a standard Linux networking stack, can be made to seamlessly and transparently work on a multicore-based architecture.

    • Home smart grid system runs Linux

      Control4 announced a home energy management system designed for “smart grid” interaction, and announced version 2.0 of its Linux-based Control4 Home Automation software. The Control4 Energy Management System (EMS) 100 combines an “EC-100″ home area network (HAN) controller with ZigBee-enabled “WT-100″ wireless thermostats and energy-management software, the company says.

    • Phones

      • Nokia launches N900 hack fest!

        The Nokia N900 net tablet’s hardware is impressive enough, but its real selling point is the all new, multitasking Maemo 5 operating system. Espoo’s proud of what it can do, and to show it off, it’s launching its very own, Nokia endorsed hacking competition for crafty coders. Want to get involved? Keep reading to find out how.

    • Sub-notebooks

Free Software/Open Source

  • Haiku OS Beta 1: Simple Is Beautiful

    Two things about Haiku stand in stark contrast to Linux. The first is the licensing — it’s far more liberally licensed than Linux, and so lends itself to being shaped and implemented in far broader ways. The other is how Haiku is developed — as a total desktop stack, rather than a kernel plus userland tools plus windowing system plus window manager, etc., etc. It’s already made a great deal of difference in terms of the way the whole thing feels and works. It embodies elegance, even if some of the individual windowing/UI metaphors are a bit aged and could use some slicking-up.

  • SpiceBird 0.7 – Strong bird to your fleet

    Still using Thunderbird? Mozilla Thunderbird is very good for sure. but If you haven’t used Spicebird yet, You are missing too much. However its still a beta.

  • Apple opens Grand Central; challenges impede Linux adoption

    Apple has opened the source code of Grand Central Dispatch, a sophisticated concurrency framework for OS X. Although this move opens the door for eventually bringing GCD to other platforms, there are still a number of licensing and technical issues that will impede efforts to adopt it on the Linux operating system.

  • SaaS

    • eyeOS 2.0 rethinks its webtop for 2010

      The eyeOS developers have announced that eyeOS 2.0 will be available on January 1st, 2010. EyeOS, dubbed the “cloud computing operating system” by its creators, is a webtop environment where a server presents the users desktop within a web browser. The Affero GPL3 licensed project, which debuted in 2005 and was released as version 1.0 in 2007, has been developing version 2.0 for a year. The result of this development is a new desktop and new focus on collaboration.

    • OpenGoo Review – DIY Web Office

      Much of project’s polish is due to the fact that OpenGoo is sort of a distribution of other office productivity-related open-source projects. By tapping pre-existing components, such as the widely used FCKEditor for document creation and editing, OpenGoo has managed to progress much more quickly than if the project had been built from scratch.

  • Programming

    • SourceForge vs Google App Engine hosting

      The hosting of BleachBit’s web site, bug tracker, and blog has bounced between SourceForge, Google’s Blogger, Launchpad, Google App Engine, and SourceForge again. Certainly there have been some lessons learned on the strengths and weaknesses of each hosting provider. These may be useful to other open source projects choosing a web host—particularly for demanding, dynamic sites.

Leftovers

  • The Internet at 40: What’s next?

    When the Internet hit 40 years old — which, by many accounts, it did earlier this month — listing the epochal changes it has brought to the world was an easy task.

    It delivers e-mail, instant messaging, e-commerce and entertainment applications to billions of people.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • The Propaganda The Copyright Industry Teaches Our Children

      None of the materials seem to recognize that technology has also changed the production, promotion and distribution of new works, and none seem to recognize that content creation can come from those outside of the big corporate entities who paid for these materials in the first place. Again, it’s worth asking: why does any educational institution or education professional use such obviously biased (and at times misleading) educational materials?

    • Movie Industry Overreaction: Attacking Fan Subbers

      In this case, they’re demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars from three people who helped translate a bunch of films, and run a site for more such fansubs. What a world we live in when those who do free labor for you are worthy of being sued for huge cash amounts.

    • Derivative Work

      Last year, RDR books endeavored to publish an unauthorized encyclopedia of all things Harry Potter. Warner Brothers filed suit, and the resulting litigation turned out to be a fascinating fight over the precise contours of copyright law’s “derivative work” right.

    • Dirt cheap: Techdirt bets on ‘free’ business models

      Heaping criticism and scorn on media companies has worked well for Mike Masnick, operator of the popular blog Techdirt.

      Mike Masnick thinks alternative business models for the music, film, and publishing sectors are out there. He wants to help find them.

      Masnick is the firey commentator who blasts copyright owners and anyone else he believes has failed to accept that in the Digital Age most of the control now rests with consumers. He strongly maintains, however, that there are still ways for entertainers, artists, and journalists to make money. They just have to be developed. Plenty of people disagree with him of course.

    • 50 Cent: Piracy Is A Part Of The Marketing

      However, when they ask him about piracy, and whether or not it makes him angry (around 2 minutes), he responds that: he sees it as a part of the marketing of a musician, because “the people who didn’t purchase the material…

    • Extra Extra: An Interview with Matthew Helmke

      D&S: Why did you self-publish the book and not try to go the traditional publishing route?

      MH: I self-published the book for two reasons. First, I wanted the book to be accessible to as many students of Moroccan culture as possible and decided to license the book in a special way (using Creative Commons license) to allow people to make copies of it and share them or to make derivate works (like study guides or recordings) without fear of lawsuits (see the book’s license section for more information). Also, I didn’t feel that a major publisher would be interested in publishing a book that wasn’t likely to be a best seller even though the information was of high quality and worth publishing. However, by publishing myself and using a print on demand company, I can list the book on Amazon and make it available and easy to find for people with an interest in the topic (and I’m selling approximately one copy every two days, which is better than I anticipated).

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Jim Hogg teaches GNU Linux to high school kids 03 (2008)


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

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