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11.17.09

Impact of Microsoft Negligence/Incompetence (Links)

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 10:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Coldsteam guard

Summary: How Microsoft’s lack of desire to secure (maybe inability) affects the Internet — as newly-assembled links

Does Microsoft care about their customers’ security? (on this latest negligence/liability issue, see [1, 2])

A few days before the launching of Microsoft’s last operating system, FSFE wondered about users’ security since an important vulnerability has been silently ignored. I then asked myself the question, in what way Free Software is different regarding security?

It appears that our allegations were true and should have been taken seriously. As an article in Computerworld reports, Microsoft finally issued a security advisory about that high-risk vulnerability three days ago. The problem is still not fixed though.

What’s important there is that this vulnerability already triggered a warning (en) by the BSI agency more than a month ago! Despite the consequences, Microsoft meanwhile decided not to tell its customers in order to avoid bad publicity around the launching of Windows7.

Most security products fail to perform

Nearly 80 percent of security products fail to perform as intended when first tested and generally require two or more cycles of testing before achieving certification, according to a new ICSA Labs report. The “ICSA Labs Product Assurance Report” – co-authored by the Verizon Business Data Breach Investigations Report research team – details lessons gleaned from testing thousands of security products over 20 years.

The report found the number one reason why a product fails during initial testing is that it doesn’t adequately perform as intended. Across seven product categories core product functionality accounted for 78 percent of initial test failures. For example, an anti-virus product failing to prevent infection and for firewalls or an IPS product not filtering malicious traffic.

Age of cyber warfare is ‘dawning’

Compiled by security firm McAfee, it bases its conclusion on analysis of recent net-based attacks.

Spam net snared a quarter million bots, says conqueror

Over five days, 487,340 unique IP addresses reported to the ad-hoc server. Using findings derived from last year’s take-down of the separate Srizbi botnet, FireEye estimates that the figure translates to 248,590 unique machines.

Gang sentenced for UK bank trojan

London’s Southwark Crown Court on Friday imposed sentences of as much as 4 and a half years on the men. According to IDG News, they used a trojan known as PSP2-BBB to stealthily monitor victims’ browsers. It inserted special fields into banking pages that asked for sensitive information and then sent it to the criminals when the user complied.

Moonlight and Mono Not GNU/Linux Projects Anymore

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 10:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft Moonlight

Summary: The purpose of Moonlight and Mono put in doubt again

AS Mono and GNOME grow closer, so does the relationship with Moonlight. In September we found that Moonlight had been made redundant by the availability of Silverlight on Moblin, which snubbed Moonlight [1, 2]. As The Source now puts it, regarding “the future of Moonlight,” it’s part of a trend of doing a disservice by advancing Microsoft’s proprietary software and APIs (with patents).

Miguel de Icaza has spoken on The Future of Moonlight, and it is revealing.

We could use Silverlight to build the next wave of cross-platform desktop applications.

Really? We can use closed-source Silverlight to build cross-platform desktop applications? I’ve often said that a significant side effect of all the Team Mono propaganda is promoting Microsoft, and statements like this are exactly what I mean.

Here we have a clear endorsement for a closed-source, proprietary Microsoft technology with whom only Novell has any sort of “covenant” as the future for cross-platform development. In what FLOSS circles is that an acceptable proposal?

[...]

This also touches on the point I make that Team Mono / Moonlight is making no great strides for Linux. They spend a ton of effort on iPhone, Unity engine, and now PS3 and Wii? You might recall a long-winded apologetic where the argument on how beneficial Mono would be to Linux was the major selling point. Somewhere along the line that whole argument got shifted to how beneficial Mono would be to .NET developers.

This strand of work from Novell is mostly spreading .NET, XAML and other Microsoft software/APIs. In addition, it aids proprietary, DRM-laden appliances. It is a lot less about spreading GNU/Linux, only deforming it.

Related posts:

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: November 17th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 9:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.

Links 17/11/2009: Fedora 12, Ubuntu One Music Store Rumours

Posted in News Roundup at 4:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux wins the Clone Wars.

    As far as I am concerned, cloning windows is fine if the hardware you are cloning to is the same as the original windows hardware. If your hardware is different, as is most often the case, then you would be better off to go with a fresh install. With Linux it wasn’t bothered at all with the different hardware.

    So for me it is official. Linux wins the Clone Wars. For windows all I can do is create a motivational poster with a picture of a BSOD and a huge FAIL! caption.

  • Leaning Toward Linux: What SMBs Need To Know

    Once you understand what to expect and how to complete basic tasks, it’s time to get your hands dirty. A good way to start is to grab an old, idle server and download free Linux software from Linux.org, which offers plenty of advice and free operating systems. Otherwise, a search for “Free Linux Software” will provide plenty of hits.

    [...]

    Because Linux is different than Windows, it may initially require more time to set up, as well as enough patience to understand its full potential. If you run a small business and have no Linux experience, you have to weigh the pros and cons. What will it cost to learn Linux or to hire the necessary talent versus how much you can save in licensing costs?

  • Knowledge Worker 2.0: The skills you need to adapt

    Open-source thinking. If we think of the phenomenon that is the Linux operating system in purely human terms, we can see that it is about connecting peer-to-peer knowledge and creating networks of expertise. If you can be seen as a leader who knows how to build upon the ideas of others and create superior solutions because you know how to capture the best from a human system (that is, your team), you will be poised to rise above those who are focused solely on their individual contributions.

  • LPI and UNDP/UNESCO promote Linux education in Middle East

    Ma3bar is an Arab Support Centre for Free and Open Source Software established by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the University of Balamand, Al-Kurah, Lebanon.

  • Desktop

    • How Necessary Is Windows? Part 1: Overview

      What makes it urgent now is a creeping suspicion I have that Windows malware is unstoppable. I see articles on tech sites several times a week describing new and increasingly clever exploits of flaws in Microsoft and Adobe software. This is troubling on many fronts, from the technical–Why in hell do we still have buffer overflow exploits after all these years?–to the purely political: How do we know that exploits in closed-source software have really been fixed? Linux is not immune to infection (it’s secure at least in part because of its rarity) but the fact is that infections are difficult and rarely seen in the wild. I want to take advantage of that security, whatever its origins.

      Hence the current project.

    • How Necessary Is Windows? Part 2: Ubuntu

      Apart from its contrarian (and purely optional) brownness, Karmic’s default GNOME desktop is a great deal like Windows XP. The taskbar functionality is divided between two panels, one at the top and one at the bottom. Now that 20″ displays are common, I use two lines for the Windows taskbar as well and don’t begrudge GNOME the extra line–and you can put both panels at the screen bottom if you want to.

    • The old vs. the new Linux desktop

      And, of course, today you can buy PCs with Linux pre-installed on them from vendors like Dell and System76. While I suspect most people still download and install their own Linux distribution, you no longer have to do it.

      Still, though today’s Linux desktops are bigger, faster, and have far more software and hardware support than the Corel desktop, or its 1999 counterparts from Stormix and Caldera, you can see that their family tree is rooted in this first Linux desktop aimed at the mass market.

    • The Linux consultant: The Maytag repairman of the IT world

      I was enjoying football Sunday with a few fellow IT friends over the weekend. Naturally, between plays, the topics tended to veer towards that of IT. I was the lone Linux guy in the crowd, so my opinion was not the norm (I’m used to that, of course). During the course of the day I pieced a few bits of conversation together and was able to finally draw a conclusion to that age old question, “Why don’t more consultants roll out Linux?” The answer should have been obvious to me all along as I long had all of the information I needed. But after hearing what I heard from the collective mouths of an IT group with years of experience and a metro city’s worth of clients, it became all too clear why Windows is always rolled out.

      $$$$$$$$$

      Now understand the people I was with were all self-employed consultants who depend upon their client’s needed support for income. Needed support.

    • Corporate IT Policies More Linux-Friendly

      As the week began, I had the fortune to come across an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal that addressed the problem employees face all-too-often in the workplace: the hardware and software workers are required to use based on their company’s IT policies is often out of date with the technology they can purchase and use at home as consumers.

    • Polywell MiniBox P5500C Compact Power PC

      This system offers less than 1GB of memory, which is the bare minimum that any full-featured new computer should include. Whether this amount of RAM is optimal for you depends on the PC’s operating system: Windows Vista and Apple’s Mac OS X don’t run well with less than 1GB, Windows XP is fine with 512MB and not too bad with 384MB, and Windows 98 is good with 256MB. Depending on the distribution, Linux can run with as little as 128MB, but most Linux users are better off with at least 512MB–and 1GB is better.

    • The search for the true ‘Open PC’

      I was fortunate enough this week to help conduct an interview with Frank Karlitschek who founded KDE-Look.org back in 2001, which has grown to become one of the biggest online communities for Linux. In 2007, Frank also went on to establish Open Desktop.org and its 35 communities and portals for desktop Linux.

  • Server

  • HPC

    • Linux rulz: Top500 says so

      Today’s release of the list of the top 500 supercomputers shows that well over 90% are running Linux. Also, IBM’s Roadrunner has finally been dethroned; in a big way!

    • Linux dominates top 500 supercomputer list

      The latest Top 500 Supercomputer list is now out (see my colleague Andy Patrizio’s story on InternetNews.com), with the top rig doubling its performance to 1.75 petaflops.

    • Jaguar supercomputer races past Roadrunner in Top500

      The most popular operating system is Linux, with 90 percent of the Top500.

    • China joins supercomputer elite

      The IBM computer is owned by the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and was the first machine to push through the petaflop barrier.

      It is currently able to run at 1.042 petaflops and uses the powerful “cell” chip designed for the PlayStation 3.

  • PlayStation 3

    • PS3, Linux Used to Catch Child Pornographers

      Naturally, cracking a child predator’s password requires software that’s more specialized than what’s found on the PlayStation Store. C3 uses Linux on the PlayStation 3 to run its cracking software. Sadly, the newer PS3 Slims do not support the installation of Linux, so the enforcement body is now looking to buy 40 more original PS3s to add to the 20 it already has.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Media Labs releases LM26415 driver for kernel 2.6.31

      LML26415 is PCI card for full resolution (D1) analog video/audio input and output, based on OpenCores PCI controller and MG1264 (Dallas/Mobilygen) motion video processor.

    • Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 Further Expands The Linux Benchmarking Landscape

      Continuing in the tradition of providing feature-rich, quarterly updates to the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoronix Media has announced the immediate availability of Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 (codenamed “Bardu”). Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 continues to expand the capabilities and feature set for this open-source testing framework with the introduction of many new features, a new graphical user-interface, numerous new test profiles and suites, and a public beta of the Phoromatic remote test management system.

    • Mutter/Clutter Work Leads To New GLX Extension

      Following a meeting last week between Jesse Barnes, Chris Wilson, and Kristian Høgsberg with developers working on the Clutter tool-kit and GNOME’s Mutter window manager, there is a new GLX extension that has been proposed as a result. Jesse Barnes has announced their work on the GLX_INTEL_swap_event extension, which helps GLX integrate better with glib style event loops.

    • VMware Releases Its New Gallium3D Driver

      Last Friday during the Gallium3D workshop we learned that the Tungsten Graphics developers that were bought out by VMware have been working on a virtual Gallium3D driver that would be used by guest operating systems running within VMware’s virtualization platform.

  • Applications

  • Proprietary

    • Adobe releases new Flash, AIR betas

      Adobe Labs on Monday released test versions of two closely related foundations for Net-based applications, Flash Player 10.1 and AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) 2.

    • Remedy Interactive Announces RSIGuard for Linux Users

      National Ergonomics Conference & Exposition (NECE) — Remedy Interactive, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise software solutions that help organizations prevent workplace injuries and reduce injury-related costs, today announced support for Red Hat® Enterprise Linux 4® by releasing a compatible version of its RSIGuard® software.

    • Aldec® Announces Low-cost Linux RTL and Gate-level Simulator

      Aldec Corporation, a leader in RTL Simulation and Electronic Design Automation (EDA), announces a low-cost Linux RTL Simulator today.

    • Pooch 1.8 Clusters Snow Leopard and Linux

      At Supercomputing 2009, Dauger Research, Inc., announces version 1.8 of Pooch (Parallel OperatiOn and Control Heuristic application) and Pooch Pro clustering software. The patented easy-to-use clustering technology now uses nodes running Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard”. The only solution that merges a modern graphical user interface with supercomputer-compatible parallel computing, Pooch debuts support of 64-bit Linux compute nodes alongside Macintosh nodes.

  • Distributions

    • 10 Special Linux Distributions That You Should Know

      At my last, best count, there were over 550 individual Linux distributions. From the most generic, flat installs of the most common distros to ultra-specialized, multimedia-oriented to the eye-popping, fancy ones–they’re all there for the taking. I found ten distributions from among the 500 or so that I know about to spotlight these for some special feature or set of features that will

    • New Releases

      • XtreemOS 2.0 is now available!

        The XtreemOS project has released the second public release of its Linux-based Grid operating system under the motto “Making Grid Computing Easier”. The consortium has conceived and integrated a platform of open source technologies to enable easier usage, management, scalabilty and programming on top of Grid computing resources.

        XtreemOS brings new capabilties to Grids, such as easing job submission and monitoring, while providing a comprehensive security implementation and virtual organization management. XtreemOS comes in three flavors: The PC flavor makes it possible to aggregate standalone PCs as computation resources into XtreemOS Grids. The XtreemOS cluster flavor is based on Kerrighed’s LinuxSSI (single system image) technology. LinuxSSI is a Linux cluster providing users an image of a single large system. The third flavor, XtreemOS Mobile has been tailored to run XtreemOS services on mobile devices, such as Nokia Internet Tablets.

      • Fedora 12 Announcement

        Fedora is a leading edge, free and open source operating system that continues to deliver innovative features to many users, with a new release about every six months. We bring to you the latest and greatest release of Fedora ever, Fedora 12! Join us and share the joy of Free software and the community with friends and family. We have several major new features with special focus on desktops, netbooks, virtualization and system administration.

    • Mandriva

      • Mandriva 2010.0: Quite Possibly The Best KDE Distro This Year

        Conclusion
        Normally I like to provide the good and the bad about every operating system I review, however I cannot find anything to complain about in Mandriva 2010. Although I’ve only had a chance to test Kubuntu 9.10 and Mandriva 2010 when it comes to the new wave of Linux distro’s, it’s obvious to me already that this release is nothing short of amazing, and is everything Kubuntu 9.10 should have been. Mandriva has set the standard that other KDE-based distributions should follow yet again.

        Note: In addition, the GNOME version isn’t half bad either, although I haven’t had as much time to spend with it.

        The Good

        * Everything

        The Bad

        * Nothing

        Overall: 5/5 (Fantastic)

      • Mandriva Linux Community Words: Buchan Milne

        I am a 32-year-old system administrator (”Senior IT Specialist”), who studied to be a Mechanical Engineer, but got into IT while at University. I started my working career at a Linux consulting company (working as a consultant to an ISP, and later on a custom Linux distribution based on Mandrake Linux 9.1 for an OEM). The last 4 years I have been at a Telco, working in their ISP.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Summit and JBoss World 2010 dates confirmed

        Next year’s US Red Hat Summit 2010 will take place in conjunction with JBoss World in Boston, Massachusetts from the 22nd to the 25th of June, 2010. While Red Hat acquired JBoss in April of 2006, the two events have only been linked since 2009. The JBoss World site has yet to be updated to reflect the 2010 event.

      • Red Hat Summit and JBoss World To Be Held June 2010 in Boston

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced it will host the annual Red Hat Summit and JBoss World event in Boston, June 22-25. Each year Red Hat brings together customers, partners, technologists and open source enthusiasts to explore and discuss solutions to global technology challenges.

      • Red Hat Named Large Technology Company of the Year by North Carolina Technology Association

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced it has been named Large Technology Company of the Year by the North Carolina Technology Association (NCTA) in its 2009 NCTA 21 Awards. The criteria for this award include annual revenue of more than $100 million, market leadership, employment growth, innovation and profit margin. Other finalists in the Large Technology Company category included Epic Games, Inc., Microsoft Corporation and Tekelec.

      • ParaScale beefs up cloud storage platform

        ParaScale’s cloud software turns standard Linux platforms (Red Hat Enterprise Linux OS or CentOS) running on commodity servers into a clustered file repository, or storage cloud, with massive capacity and parallel throughput.

      • Parascale ups its cloud storage game

        The cluster is composed of controller nodes and storage nodes, each node being a vanilla Linux X86 server with directly-attached storage.

    • Debian Family

      • Ubuntu Karmic is the venue for Gnome V KDE!

        The preview on the taskbar of running programs is a feature heralded by Microsoft supporters as if its the greatest thing since the microchip. This is available in Gnome and performs in the same way as a Windows counterpart, its not amazing, but it certainly doesn’t take anywhere near the specs that Windows 7 does (IMO) to get it running smoothly. – Just thought Id add that in if you are considering a Linux option rather than a Windows 7 purchase.

      • Arkeia Network Backup: Enterprise Edition for Ubuntu

        In one of my older articles, I explained how Ubuntu Server has slowly made significant inroads in many enterprise data centers. Ubuntu has been the favorite distribution of many system administrators, architects and various other IT staff. It was these fans of the Linux distribution that brought Ubuntu into their data centers and slowly deployed Ubuntu into ever increasing roles. I have seen Ubuntu Server deployed in roles from simple kiosks and desktops to full blown web server and database farms. Many senior level managers do not even know that key components of their infrastructures are running on Ubuntu Server.

      • Tweaking Ubuntu

        ONE of the cool things about using Linux is the degree to which you can customize your system. If you want to make it look and act like a Mac, you can. Want the Windows 7 or Vista glassy look? No problem. You can do that, too.

      • Review: Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

        So in conclusion….would I be able to recommend Ubuntu to other users? Yes I would. It appears that they have built a good distro here. Okay sure there were problems at launch….that is to be expected and yes I will say that I think that they need to do more testing before releasing these distros at times but keep in mind that no release is ever perfect. There will be glitches and problems. You will have to either suck it up and wait for a fix or move to another distro of Linux or go to Windows. The choice is always yours and yours alone. You may have to do some research to get things working properly but remember that there are THOUSANDS of configurations out there and you simply cannot expect Ubuntu to cover them all. Be reasonable.

      • Ubuntu One Music Store

        For those who don’t know, the Lucid UDS has begun today.

        One of the most interesting yet controversial meetings is this: the Ubuntu One Music Store. What it will be is currently left to the imagination since no specification has apparently have been drafted yet. Selling music online has always been a controversial topic, and that adds interest in such a feature.

      • Ubuntu One Music Store, my answers
      • Ubuntu One Music Store: A Real Business?

        Where will the music come from? A new online music store? Or some existing store? My best guess — and this is purely a guess — is some sort of connection to the Amazon MP3 music store, since Shuttleworth briefly mentioned Amazon during the Ubuntu 9.10 launch phone call with media. Also, Amazon in April 2008 released an MP3 downloader program for Linux, including support for Ubuntu.

      • Dell Linux Engineering to participate in UDS-L (November 16-20)

        Lucid Lynx is the code name for the upcoming release of Ubuntu, versioned 10.04. This is a significant release for Canonical and Dell as this it will be an LTS (Long Term Support) meaning it will be supported by Canonical for three years on the Desktop and five years on the Servers.

      • Virtual Appliances as Debian Packages on Ubuntu

        Granted, all of this, for the time being, remains the largely uncompleted work of a single man. We will have to wait for the next Ubuntu Developer Summit to see whether the proposal is deemed worthy of real attention and integration into Ubuntu servers. But even now, it’s a very interesting idea with the potential to go far.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Arrington’s Crunchpad will cost $300-$400, be monetized like Firefox

      Otherwise, there’s been no release date or further announcements, though Arrington claims that there should be big news coming about the Crunchpad shortly.

    • Truly Revolutionary Mashups

      The Amazon Kindle, The Sony E-Reader and the iREX iliad all use Linux operating systems.

      I’m sure you knew that.

      The IREX Iliad makes its code fully available to Open Source developers, even if IREX is a little slow off the mark with their SDKs. The other two only release the bits of code that they are duty bound to do so under the GPL.

    • Linux-based NAS device starts at $70

      Addonics announced a low-cost, six-ounce network-attached storage (NAS) device for the SOHO market. The Linux-based Addonics Mini NAS offers a single 2.5-inch storage bay, an Ethernet port, a USB port, and multiple servers, including UPnP, and supports both SMB and open source Samba network protocols, says the company.

    • Hikari to unleash iFrame Android tablet on Japan (video)

      Hikari’s iFrame (as opposed to the other, Ubuntu-sportin’ iFrame from a while back) is an Android-powered tablet with a skin that’s heavy on the widgets and — in case you’re still intimidated by its difficulty — is also being touted as a photoframe for people who don’t mind ugly photoframes.

    • Android

      • Android 2.0 source released, already ported to the G1

        While Android 2.0 has been floating around on Motorola DROIDs for over a week now, one important chunk of it has been under lock-and-key: the source. Even amongst manufacturing partners, we’re told, Google hasn’t been completely open; outside of Motorola (and more recently, HTC), most of the other handset manufacturers have been left out in the cold with nothing to keep them warm but Android v1.6. Until tonight, that is.

        As the sun set over the Silicon Valley last night, Google pushed the source code for Android 2.0 to the Android Open Source Project. Within two hours, the endlessly able Android community had it up and running on the eldest Android of them all, the T-Mobile G1.

      • Android 2.0 source code now available

        Google has made the source code for the current 2.0 release of Android available to download from its Android Open Source Project page. So far, Android 2.0 has only been released in the US on the Motorola Droid from Verizon. The developer of the CyanogenMod builds of Android, who was recently in the news over a copyright dispute with Google, has already compiled the sources to allow the operating system to run on the first Android phone, T-Mobile’s G1.

      • Third Verizon Android phone a videophone?

        Following its release of Motorola’s Droid and HTC’s Droid Eris, Verizon Wireless will release a third Android phone made by Saygus, say reports. The Saygus VPhone V1 offers a 624MHz Marvell PXA310, a 3.5-inch 800 x 480 pixel touchscreen, a QWERTY keyboard, and proprietary videoconferencing technology, says Saygus.

    • Phones

      • Nokia N900: First Look

        The Nokia N900 has just started shipping and there are already a number of reviews of the device out on the net. I’ve had the opportunity evaluate a pre-release N900 for a few weeks now, and while you can expect a full review in an upcoming issue of Linux Journal, I wanted to give you a quick look into what the N900 is like from the perspective of your average Linux geek. If you’ve read any of my previous articles in Linux Journal, you’ll know that I’m a vim-using, mutt-loving sysadmin who spends a lot of time on the command line, so hopefully I can provide a unique perspective on this device.

        [...]

        If you look at the above list, it’s essentially the same sorts of things I do on my regular laptop. What surprised me the most about the device is just how much it /feels/ like a regular Debian Linux machine, especially on the command line. I mean it uses upstart, pulseaudio, apt-get, GTK and QT libraries, and when I want root I don’t have to use hacked firmware, I just install the gainroot package and type sudo gainroot.

      • Nokia Finally Releases N900, ‘Tis Exciting But A Bit Late

        Nokia has finally released its Maemo5 based smartphone – the N900. Maemo is Nokia’s next generation mobile OS. It is a Linux-based platform that seeks to take on such juggernauts as the iPhone OS and the Android.

        The N900 has intrigued the tech community and people in general with its bevy of features ever since it was first announce. But when you look at it closely enough, it seems like it is too little, too late yet again. Reminds me of the N97 really.

        [...]

        The Nokia N900 Maemo5 phone is now on preorder from the website for $649. Availability is at end of this month (November ’09). Comes only in Black.

      • Nokia N900 Is a Multitasking Champ!

        The Nokia N900, with its Linux Maemo operating system at its heart, is a multitasking beast!

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Don’t Count Linux Netbooks Out

        The announcement last week of a Linux-based smartbook from Lenovo was just one of several signs I’m seeing that Linux will maintain a foothold in emerging portable computing categories, including netbooks and smartbooks.

      • What Lies Ahead for Chrome OS?

        So rumor has it that Google’s Chrome OS, which had been slated to arrive some time next year, is about to arrive as a beta release. As I pointed out this morning, netbooks based on it may help preserve open source influence on a hot hardware category, but is Chrome OS likely to be a smash hit?

      • Menq EasyPC E790 Could be $100 Android Netbook

        We recently received a tip from the always-wonderful-always-excited Nicolas Charbonnier (Charbax). The Archos fan was letting us know about an $80 laptop that can, and will, support Android.

      • Ubuntu Netbook Remix To Be Renamed

        Ubuntu Netbook Remix has become a “brand” almost; people hear the name and instantly know what it is. Changing it may confuse those less enamored with Linux and Ubuntu and lead them to think their OS has been discontinued. It may sound like yet another netbook OS rather than a simply re-branding.

      • ChromeOS with Ubuntu Karmic base? – Leaked Sources.List

Free Software/Open Source

  • It’s a Free Country…

    At the office, you’ve got a sluggish computer running aging software, and the email system routinely badgers you to delete messages after you blow through the storage limits set by your IT department. Searching your company’s internal Web site feels like being teleported back to the pre-Google era of irrelevant search results.

  • 10 open source projects worth checking out

    How many open source projects are out there? Thousands upon thousands. And out of all those projects, how many are worth paying attention to? Thousands? Hundreds? If you remove the usual suspects (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, GIMP, OpenOffice, Firefox, etc.), you can really start paring down the list. Here are 10 open source projects you might never have heard of — but really should check out.

  • A Big Google Chrome Extensions Push Is Imminent (Pictures)

    As you may recall, Google also tipped off its Theme Gallery a bit early on this tab page just before it launched. Chatter here by Google employees seems to suggest this Extension launch is indeed imminent. The image on the right would look to be some sort of new Chrome menu placeholder icon related to extensions.

  • Samba your way to network file sharing success

    Getting a little tired of one Windows SMB (Server Message Block) security problem after another? Want a reliable and fast file and print server without the Windows server headaches? Then, may I strongly recommend that you give Samba on Linux a try? Samba is an open-source program that had provided file and print services to SMB/CIFS (Common Internet File System) clients for more than a decade.

  • PMML and Open Source Data Mining – Predictive Analytics on the go!

    Open source tools provide a cost-effective, yet powerful option for data mining. The following contenders adhere to the PMML standard that facilitates model exchange among open source and commercial vendors, providing a definitive route for production deployment of predictive models.

  • Kerala adopts free and open source software in education

    The Kerala government has adopted free and open source software (FOSS) for the state education department and for e-governance.
    The curriculum department Saturday has also recommended extension of FOSS to higher secondary schools.

    The implementation of this has been entrusted to the IT@school Project, a mission mode agency under the state’s general education department.

  • As it expands into virtualization, open source vendor upbeat on RP prospects

    Red Hat, renowned for its open source solutions, is going head-long into the virtualization space and is hopeful that local companies would adopt what arguably is a double-barreled offering – open source-based virtualization.

    The tech firm said the new product offering, to be distributed and supported locally by MSI-ECS Philippines starting in late 2009, has the potential to benefit local enterprises who need a robust but inexpensive solution for their IT systems.

  • Open-source tools wrest control of personal data

    But we hope to have a beta for early adopters and developers with some kind of usable basic HTML interface by late November that will run on OS X and Ubuntu. We’re about a third of the way there now, but the interface will make or break this, so we have to get it right and we’re still looking for additional user-interface experts.

  • Open-source textbooks ease barriers for students

    Open-source textbooks offer a way to eliminate the exorbitant costs of buying textbooks. Every semester students are forced to pay hundreds of dollars for textbooks that become outdated in only a few months. With prices on the rise, students and faculty need to come together to find a solution that will address this problem once and for all. Open- source textbooks can do that, and challenge the idea of limited access to knowledge.

  • Healthcare Customers Turn to Talend for Enhanced Data Integration
  • Nuxeo World: Conference for the Open Source Enterprise CMS Folk

    Hot plans for March 2010? Paris in spring doesn’t seem like a bad option, if you want to get some insights into the world of open source and enterprise content management.

  • Universities launch Open Library Environment as Kuali Foundation Project

    The Kuali Foundation, Inc., is pleased to announce that a group of leading academic research libraries is partnering in the Kuali Open Library Environment (OLE) (pronounced Oh-LAY) project to develop software created specifically for the complex business management and workflow operations of academic and research libraries.

  • Talking with Eran Gal, CEO of Xorcom

    Xorcom was established in 2004, when we identified the potential of the open source telephony trend. We were especially intrigued by the Asterisk Open SourcePBX ( News – Alert), which back then was still quite immature, but the direction was clear. With the understanding that this approach was destined to change the market completely, we set out to become a leading vendor in open source telephony market.

  • Why Second Life needs OpenSim

    As the number of virtual worlds proliferates, Second Life is beset on all sides — niche worlds, big social worlds, high-end worlds, inexpensive worlds, browser-based worlds, kid worlds, business worlds and many more.

  • Open Source Distribution: Ready to Roll?

    Tech Data, as The VAR Guy expected, is the latest distributor to launch an open source channel initiative. Tech Data’s effort (called Open Tech) follows a Synnex-Red Hat initiative called the Open Source Channel Alliance. But are distributors really ready to support open source in the IT channel? Yes and no. Here’s why.

  • What’s GNU in Virtualization

    All virtualization software in this week’s article is released under the GPL-specifically GPL version 2. Software released under the GPL is free. Free, under the GPL, means that you have the freedom to use, examine, change, redistribute and even sell the software as your own.

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox syncing tool Weaves its way into beta status

      Mozilla’s experimental app that syncs up the “Firefox experience” across multiple browsers has been promoted to beta status.

    • Firefox-syncing Weave updates to beta

      Mozilla’s homegrown tool for synchronizing Firefox across computers and devices graduates to beta and introduces incremental syncing and a more streamlined, less obtrusive experience. Mozilla Weave 1.0 beta 1 looks and feels far more polished than its predecessors.

      [...]

      Weave is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux users.

  • MySQL

  • CMS

    • WordPress Wins the 2009 Overall Best Open Source CMS Award

      Packt Publishing is pleased to announce that WordPress has won the Overall Best Open Source CMS Award in the 2009 Open Source CMS Awards. WordPress has won this Award for the first time in the past four years, earning itself a place in the Hall of Fame category for the Award next year.

    • 8 steps for Drupal 8

      The Drupal 7 code freeze triggered a lot of retrospective about Drupal core, and the Drupal core development model. Some of these discussions are collectively referred to as “smallcore”.

  • Symbian

  • Openness

    • 100 Excellent Open Access Journals for Educators

      Just like physicians, the best educators stay informed with the latest developments in their field. Luckily, it doesn’t take anything more than time to have access to quality journals for educators. The following open access journals provide top-notch scholarly information available at no cost. Most of these journals are published just once or a few times a year, so subscribe to several so you can keep up-to-date on the latest research coming out of the field of education.

    • Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Film Noir, Documentaries & More

      Where to watch free movies online? Let’s get you started. First, we have listed dozens of free, high quality films that you can watch online. Then, below, you can find movie sites that feature free movie collections. Classics, international, film noir, documentaries, indies — they’re all here, waiting to be watched. So please

    • British Library’s Bitter Digital Milestone

      That is: digitising content that is out of copyright, in the public domain, and then making us pay through the nose – us as in muggins public, which has kept the British Library going for two centuries thanks to our taxes, in case you’d forgotten – for the privilege of viewing it online.

      Thanks a bunch, BL, for locking up “an increasing proportion of the nation’s intellectual output” behind a paywall, where few will ever see it: that’s what spreading knowledge is all about, isn’t it? Great work from a quondam great institution, more millstone than milestone…

Leftovers

  • Oil Production is Reaching its Limit: The Basics of What This Means

    I decided to write another rather basic level article because there are so many people I meet who have heard a bit about the oil situation, and it is hard to point to one single article to give an overview of some of the current issues. Regular readers will find many repeats of graphs. There are some new ones, as well, from the Denver ASPO-USA conference. Because there is so much to tell, the story gets a little long.

  • Court Silences CIA Operative Despite Yellowcake Scandal

    Valerie Plame Wilson cannot publicize details of her work as a CIA operative, even though a government official already outed her as an agent in an attempt to discredit her husband, Joseph C. Wilson, a federal appeals court says.

  • The Cyberwar Plan

    In May 2007, President Bush authorized the National Security Agency, based at Fort Meade, Md., to launch a sophisticated attack on an enemy thousands of miles away without firing a bullet or dropping a bomb.

    At the request of his national intelligence director, Bush ordered an NSA cyberattack on the cellular phones and computers that insurgents in Iraq were using to plan roadside bombings. The devices allowed the fighters to coordinate their strikes and, later, post videos of the attacks on the Internet to recruit followers. According to a former senior administration official who was present at an Oval Office meeting when the president authorized the attack, the operation helped U.S. forces to commandeer the Iraqi fighters’

  • Airport rules changed after Ron Paul aide detained

    An angry aide to Rep. Ron Paul, an iPhone and $4,700 in cash have forced the Transportation Security Administration to quietly issue two new rules telling its airport screeners they can only conduct searches related to airplane safety.

  • TSA bans snowglobes. TSA, meet Archimedes.

    The TSA says you can’t carry a snow-globe onto a plane, even if it fits in your freedom baggie, because they can’t measure how much liquid it contains, and therefore it must contain more than three oz of potential explosive, um, water.

  • Bush Feared Successor Might Revoke Telco Spy Immunity

    The George W. Bush administration expressed concern future administrations might not use the legal amnesty it wanted to give the nation’s telecommunication companies that were being sued for assisting the president’s warrantless, electronic wiretapping program, according to internal documents released Thursday.

  • Bush Administration Was Afraid It Would Have To Admit Telcos Helped With Warrantless Wiretaps To Get Immunity

    Of course, the whole thing is silly. Why would the telcos need immunity if they hadn’t broken the law? The only reason to push for immunity was because they obviously had broken the law. The entire push for immunity was never really about protecting the telcos, but about protecting the federal government from having to admit that it clearly broke the law as stated concerning oversight of wiretaps.

  • Tuna body shies from fishing ban

    The body responsible for managing Atlantic bluefin tuna has decided not to suspend the fishery in response to concerns over dwindling stocks.

  • Finance

    • Andy Stern: Goldman Sachs ‘Worships No God But The Almighty Dollar’ (VIDEO)

      Protesters rallied outside of Goldman Sachs’ Washington office office Monday and railed against big bonuses and “Too Big To Fail” banks. The SEIU and Public Citizen, a non-profit public interest group, organized the demonstration. The protesters delivered a letter demanding Goldman use its bonus money to help struggling families.

    • Street Protest at Goldman Sachs DC Office Today
    • Protesters Converge On Goldman’s Washington Office

      The event was organized by the Service Employees International Union and the community group National People’s Action, which staged a similar protest outside the Chicago offices of Goldman and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) last month.

    • Street Protest at Goldman Sachs DC Office Today

      The event will be held outside 101 Constitution Ave. N.W., an office building that’s home to many of the most powerful lobbyists and corporations in town, including Goldman.

    • Activists Protest Goldman Sachs’ Bonuses
    • Lloyd Blankfein and Goldman Sachs are doing ‘Satan’s work’

      Blankfein denies that Goldman Sachs “needed to be” bailed out by US taxpayers, but Arlidge notes, “sure, he took $10 billion from Washington’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (Tarp). But the bank has since repaid the cash, with healthy interest — 23%.” That’s nice, but how much has Goldman Sachs taken from the Federal Reserve, which is an absolute liability of US taxpayers? The Fed, a deceitfully sadistic organization, has ultimately refused to say, which is entirely unacceptable.

    • “God versus Goldman Sachs: A Former Partner Challenges Lloyd Blankfein”
    • Goldman Sachs: It’s Time to Put Country Before Company

      Is this really the “God’s work” that you claim you are carrying out?

      It’s not God’s work to kick families out into the street.

      It’s not God’s work to leave people without health insurance.

      It is not God’s work to put greed over human need and use other people’s money to pay yourselves huge bonuses.

      When we converge on Goldman Sachs’ office today, we will demand that Goldman place their expected $23 billion in bonus money into a fund to help Americans keep their homes in this time of need. We will ask Goldman to put country over company and to truly be their brothers’ and sisters’ keeper.

      Those 23 billion dollars could prevent every single expected foreclosure in America in 2010. That would truly be God’s work — and the American way.

    • Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) Really Does Rule The World

      No one gets to Blankfein’s position by saying dumb things to reporters. This makes me think he knew exactly what he was saying and simply didn’t care what people would think. It makes perfect sense if he believes what he said to be true.

    • Goldman Sachs Sells Miami Condos for $113,000 Each

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. sold 158 condominiums in a foreclosed project outside Miami for about $113,000 each, roughly one-third the cost of land and construction.

  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

    • American Airlines Fires Designer Who Reached Out To Disgruntled Customer

      Now, that’s a good response. It’s human. It explains the situation without PR/marketing speak that a recipient would know was bogus. It is the type of response that makes someone feel good about American Airlines (mostly). So, how did AA respond?

      It fired the guy.

      Apparently, higher level folks at American Airlines didn’t like the fact that an employee was actually being open and honest with a customer, took the text from Dustin’s post (he hadn’t named the designer), searched through the email system, identified the guy… and fired him… and threatened to sue the guy if he spoke to Dustin again.

    • 212 held for providing VoiP

      The Royal Oman Police (ROP) raided 121 cyber cafes throughout the country and arrested 212 people for providing illegal Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoiP) service, a senior police officer said here yesterday.

    • High Court rejects libel case because article received approximately four visits

      A libel action over an article that appeared on the website of a South African magazine has been dismissed by a court in England. Evidence suggested that the article had received only four visits from the UK in a two month period.

    • IGF 2009: Dull speeches and bad wine

      So I’m sat in the opening ceremony of the Internet Governance Forum in Sharm El Sheikh – a cosy cinema seat at the further front-right of a giant summit hall – watching the various dignatories giving a wide variety of dull speeches.

      [...]

      Oh no! I’m being censored again

      Just as inevitable as dull speeches at these events is the Grand Censorship Moment. It’s come early this year, barely hours after the doors opened.

    • Police probe breach of NHS smartcard security as e-records launched in London

      An NHS trust at the forefront of work on the £12.7bn NHS IT scheme has called in police after a breach of smartcard security compromised the confidentiality of hundreds of electronic records.

    • New Zealand Herald drops hard news

      According to Cactus Kate, APN instructed editors to spike any stories that could trigger legal action or are otherwise risky.

      The New Zealand Herald has never been considered the nation’s hardest newspaper, but Cactus Kate’s APN Chicken Out says the company is no longer participating in ‘real media’.

    • Quilliam Foundation Threaten Webhosts To Close Down This Blog

      Having failed to intimidate me, the Quilliam foundation have now written to my webhost in the Netherlands, threatening to sue them in England (English law claims effective universal jurisdiction on libel). They are demanding that my webhost pays damages to the Directors of the Quilliam Foundation.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • The MPAA runs amok

      A SMALL TOWN in the former British colony of Virginia is paying the price of not standing up to the MPAA.

      Coshocton, which is in Ohio and does not have a great tradition of standing up to authority, decided that it would be a wizard wheeze to turn control of its municipal network over to the movie companies’ cartel. After all it did not want any nasty ‘pirates’ in its fine little town, it wanted only plain decent folk who buy lots of gingham and bake lots of apple pies.

      Imagine its shock when the MPAA forced the town to shut down its entire free municipal WiFi network because of a single instance of a single user illegally downloading a copyrighted movie.

    • Wi-Fi Network Shuttered By MPAA Re-Opens

      Earlier this week we reported how a free, tiny (1,000 feet total) municipal Wi-Fi network in Ohio was forced to shut down after an MPAA legal warning. A network user had apparently transferred a file copyrighted by Sony Pictures, and instead of risking a costly legal fight, the network decided to simply shut down.

    • T-shirt firm hijacks good ship Pirate Bay

      Sandryds Handels AB has been all over Swedish Radio today, Torrentfreak reports, saying it plans to use a tweaked version of the Pirate Bay logo on a range of USB sticks.

    • Mariah Carey: The gloves are off

      The singer drops the sugar-coated simpering and shoots from the lip about the music industry and her new business model to save it — which could make her the world’s richest recording artist

    • Mariah Carey Showing How The New Music Business Model Works For Megastars

      She’s working closely with various brands to help fund the business model. She’s selling other product lines such as makeup. But, she’s also come up with some unique “reasons to buy.” For example, she got the magazine Elle to produce an entire issue dedicated to her — but the only way to get it is to buy her new CD. In other words, she’s giving people a reason to buy the CD. And… even better, she (or, her people) sold the ads that are in the magazine and gets to keep all of that money. It’s the superstar blend of recognizing that content and advertising have really become the same thing.

    • Mainstream Press Waking Up To The News That Musicians Are Making More Money

      Hopefully, with more mainstream publications finally picking up on this, both the press and politicians will begin to recognize that the only real “crisis” in the music industry is for those who have stupidly relied on selling plastic discs for way too long. There are plenty of revenue opportunities for musicians, and because of that (in combination with better and cheaper tools for music creation), the actual music industry is thriving at levels never seen before.

    • So what if I copied work says Sir Andrew Motion, Shakespeare did all the time

      Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra borrowed whole passages from Sir Thomas North’s Life of Mark Antony he said, including the description of her barge: “The poop was beaten gold; purple the sails . . .”

Interview with Ted Ts’o of The Linux Foundation/IBM


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