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11.21.09

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: November 21th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 8:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Links 21/11/2009: Smartbooks and Fedora 13 Plans Appear

Posted in News Roundup at 8:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Professional Institute Announces New Affiliate in Turkey

    The Linux Professional Institute (LPI), the world’s premier Linux certification organization (http://www.lpi.org), announced a new affiliate for their program: LPI-Turkey (http://www.lpi-turkey.com/). LPI-Turkey will be managed by Endersys Consultancy and Software Ltd.(http://www.endersys.com). Endersys was founded in 2006 and provides Linux and Open Source solutions, services and IT consulting in Turkey.

  • LinuxCertified Announces its next Linux System and Network Administration BootCamp
  • Coolest Desktop Screenshot Wins Prize
  • LB – Episode 46 – Google and Command Line Fun by Linux Basement
  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.32 (Part 3) – Storage

      The kernel development team have enhanced various aspects of Btrfs, one effect of which is to significantly improve the experimental file system’s write performance. A number of changes to the block layer promise better data throughputs and reactivity. There are also several new drivers for storage hardware.

    • libvdpau, libva Both Updated Today

      In hopes of pushing VDPAU beyond just being a NVIDIA Unix driver technology and to make it an open standard for Linux video driver developers wishing to provide HD video acceleration on Linux via the GPU, NVIDIA released a standalone VDPAU library back in September and have been trying to push some VDPAU bits for DRI2.

    • A Northwest Nobel option?

      That list of Linux-related or -inspired developments is only partial. Here in the Northwest, for example, we could add the Free Geek operations in Portland, which do a lot of good for not only the low-income people and non-profit groups they are specifically aimed to help, but also almost everyone who comes into contact with them. The effects though have been world-wide, and are accelerating. And could grow faster with a little more attention.

    • [ANNOUNCE] xorg-server 1.7.1.902

      As with RC1, there’s nothing overly exciting about this release, just a bunch of fixes all over, with XQuartz having a largest batch of changes. 1.7.2 is scheduled for next friday, so please only nominate crucial fixes now.

    • A New Patch For Radeon DRM Power Savings

      When it comes to the open-source ATI power management efforts, Red Hat’s Matthew Garrett has been working on dynamic down-clocking through AtomBIOS, dynamic clocks support was added to the ATI driver for R500+ GPUs to support dynamic clock-gating and static power management, force low power mode options, and various other techniques are being worked on to conserve power like frame-buffer compression, shutting down PLLs, LVDS re-clocking, and more.

  • Applications

    • Automatic Linux Laptop Backups
    • Opera 10.10 Just a Smidgen Away

      The guys at Opera are being very careful this time. There are so few things left that have been changed that perfection is within reach. This is something I haven’t seen before – a Release Candidate 3 for Opera 10.10.

    • Vim 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Vim
    • Install Multiple Applications With AllMyApps

      AllMyApps offers a similar functionality as Ninite which we have reviewed last month. Both applications allow a computer user to install multiple programs without further user interaction. But that’s where the similarities end. Ninite creates a custom installer based on the selection of applications that the user makes on the homepage. AllMyApps on the other hand consists of a software program that needs to be installed on the computer system and an online part which consists of the selection of applications and the sending of these information to the installed software.

    • How to Configure SAMBA on a Linux Server
  • Games

    • CXGames 8.1 Zombie Mallard Overview

      Left 4 Dead 2 was one of the most anticipated games of 2009 (even with the boycott). Even before its full release (the demo opened to players a few weeks prior) the good people over at Codeweavers where hard at work making sure their CXGames software would be ready to allow Linux/Mac gamers everywhere to fully enjoy this latest edition to Valve’s source games. Less than twenty four hours after L4D2 hit shelves (digital and otherwise) CXGames 8.1 (codename Zombie Mallard) was released.

    • Win a CodeWeavers Linux Gaming Rig
    • Crossover Games 8.1
  • K Desktop Environment

    • Amarok 2.2.1

      Only 6 weeks after the launch of Amarok 2.2.0, the Amarok team is proud to present the next release in the 2.2 series: Amarok 2.2.1. This audio-player can play various audio-file formats & audio-streams. While the developers have focused on fixing bugs and polishing existing features, a few new features make their appearance as well.

    • PulseAudio Phonon Support now in KDE trunk and heading towards 4.4

      I’ve very pleased to announce that my work on Phonon to integrate support for PulseAudio has now been committed to trunk and will form part of KDE 4.4

    • KDE Licensing Policy Changes
  • Distributions

    • linux love, gentoo love!

      actually the new portage kde 4.3.3 seems to be very stable (read usable) for me. the proprietary graphics driver nvidia.ko is doing great! i use suspend2ram about 10 times a day. i leave the pc in suspend2ram for days and it only needs 3W of power! suspend2ram needs 2-3 secs for going down and about 7 secs to come back up! plasma is now at a point that i see it is going to be useful. the expose clone of the kde folks is very very nice to use. dragon player seems to get stable so i can use it with the smb:// kio plugin to watch films from my server. firefox64 selfcompiled now uses a 64bit flash plugin.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora 13 May Support Btrfs System Rollbacks

        Fedora 12 was just released this week, but features for Fedora 13 have been in planning long before this release made it out the door. In fact, it was last month that we began talking about features for Fedora 13. One of the features though that has just been proposed for Fedora 13 is rather interesting and that is system rollback support via Btrfs file-system snapshots.

      • Intel Linux Graphics Shine With Fedora 12

        Lastly, we have the results from Urban Terror. Fedora 12 was the clear winner here where it offered much better performance than 10 and 11. In fact, the frame-rate for Urban Terror in Fedora 12 was doubled of where it was at in Fedora 11.

    • Debian Family

      • 10 easy steps to Ubuntu freedom

        You may be afraid to make the jump to Ubuntu Linux, thinking it may be too daunting to install it by yourself or perhaps you have never even done an operating system installation all by yourself but have a machine spare after your last replacement pc or upgrade arrived and want to dabble with Ubuntu.

      • PiTiVi Creator Responds To Readers Fears…

        We’re progressively getting more company time for PiTiVi (Brandon has been back on it full time for the past frew weeks for example). It’s far from being abandoned/dead, just that we do it at our own pace. It’s freely available (LGPL, no copryight attributions required) and will always stay that way. We always welcome contributions and are pretty fast to review/commit patches.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • HMI SBC gains larger display, Linux BSP

      Blue Chip Technology has released an updated version of its small SBC (single board computer) aimed at embedded HMI (human machine interface) applications. Based on a MIPS32-based RMI Au1100 processor, the new RE1 “REsolution” SBC adds a full Linux board support package and a 7-inch LCD module, says the company.

    • Gaming boards run Linux

      Acrosser announced two Linux-ready “All-in-One” boards for gaming and AWP (Amusement With Prizes) machines. The ACE-B5296 supports an Intel Pentium and 915GME northbridge, and the ACE-B5692 runs a Core 2 Duo and GME965, and both offer dual VGA outputs, PCIe expansion, plus Ethernet, USB, serial, storage, ccTalk, and JAMMA I/O.

    • Low-cost NAS gains USB ports, social net sync

      Cloud Engines has released a new version of its Linux-based Pogoplug networked-attached storage (NAS) device, which uses the Marvell SheevaPlug reference design. The Pogoplug is larger and costs $30 more, but moves from one USB port to four, and adds new synchronization, multimedia sharing, and social networking integration features.

    • Second generation Pogoplug adds more USB ports

      The second generation Pogoplug now features four USB ports. Cloud Engines has released the second generation of its popular Pogoplug “plug-top computer”. The Pogoplug unit is a small Linux computer running an ARM compatible processor that lets users connect and share USB drives over the Internet via its built-in Gigabit Ethernet connection. Supported drive formats include NTFS, FAT32, HFS+, Ext2 and Ext3. Once connected and set up, drives and files can be accessed and shared from any web connection.

    • MontaVista Develops Software for Dell’s Latitude ON

      MontaVista Software, a company that offers open source software solutions for the embedded Linux systems market, reportedly announced that the company developed a software stack for Latitude ON – Dell’s (News – Alert) instant, always on connection to e-mail, Web, contacts and calendar.

    • Phones

      • Open source phone in SA

        Local distributors of the Neo FreeRunner seeing strong demand for open-platform mobile phone.

        The Neo FreeRunner, an open source mobile phone, is now available in South Africa through local distributors Engineering Ideas. The Neo FreeRunner, produced by Openmoko, is built using entirely open source software and open hardware.

      • Nokia

        • Nokia’s Maemo OS – The next big wave

          In my view, the Nokia N900 is shaping up to be the beginning of a very interesting ride for many mobile developers, and for many developers that were previously not interested in mobile computing. And for the regular users? Well, they are in for a treat with all the apps that are going to be developed for this device. And I am not talking of simple unit converters, shopping list programs, car fuel consumption trackers, etc. I believe that the level of sophistication and power of the applications that are going to become available for the N900 will be rivaled by no other phone type device in existence. Don’t believe me? Well, feel free to skip this wave. But as for me, got to go, surf is up.

        • Nokia N900 mobile phone showcased in 30 new videos!

          Nokia has unveiled a series of videos showing the N900 in action, as anticipation builds ahead of one of the most eagerly awaited handsets of 2009.

          The Nokia Conversations blog will have 30 clips to view by the end of November, each of which will showcase a different aspect of the powerful smartphone.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • A Laptop in Every American Backpack

        A single global communications network, composed of Internet, mobile, SMS, cable and satellite technology, is rapidly tying the world’s people together as never before. The core premise of this paper is that the emergence of this network is one of the seminal events of the early 21st century.

      • ARM

        • Inventec Smartbook almost makes me think Smartbooks have a shot

          There’s no question that PC makers and wireless carriers are getting ready to unveil a whole slew of low power smartbooks with ARM processors and Linux…

        • Qualcomm sees big bucks in China’s smartbook market

          It’s almost as if Qualcomm’s CEO Paul Jacobs took a deep breath and looked the vast expanse that is Mainland China and said to himself; ‘There be money in them there hills…’. As well there should be. Qualcomm is arguably the world’s biggest producer of ARM-based silicon, the very silicon that powers virtually every cell phone ever made. Today’s statement however took some commentators by surprise as it was made not in the context of phones, but of smartbooks, miniature computers that are set to replace Netbooks as the next-big-thing in 2010.

          [...]

          Will Android or Google Chrome OS have a part to play? Of course. Will Apple be watching with interest? You bet. ‘Tis an interesting view from here, has to be said.

      • Chrome OS

        • ARM excited by Chrome OS

          Chip designer ARM is excited about the prospect of Google Chrome OS, according to the company’s EVP of Marketing Ian Drew.

          Speaking to TechRadar after being name-checked by Google at the unveiling of Chrome OS, Drew admitted that he couldn’t predict whether the revolutionary principles behind the new operating system would be successful, but that he wouldn’t bet against a company with such a good track record.

        • Just Today: Download of VMware Image of Google Chrome OS

          Google has prepared its Chromium OS, alias Chromium, for download. Anyone hesitant to intall if from source code will find a functioning VMware image from Linux Magazine Online.

        • Want To Try Out Google Chrome OS For Yourself? Here’s How.
        • Chrome OS Smartbooks Coming 2H2010

          They’re reporting that Pegatron Technology has received a “large volume” of smartbook orders from several different clients. It’s believed these smartbooks will launch in Q1 2010 on several different carriers. These first smartbooks are expected to cost around $200 USD. Most of them will sport a Linux OS, due primarily to their tiny display size. Now, here’s where things get interesting;

          “Google Chrome OS-based smartbooks are expected to be available on a large scale in the second half of 2010, Shu added.”

        • What is Google ChromeOS, I mean really ?
        • Having complained about Google Checkout…

          … because of its opaqueness in certain circumstances (and more to say when next I am at a computer), let me mention a different Google project notable for its transparency. That is the “Chromium OS” — a new operating system optimized for “netbooks,” which was announced yesterday as an open-source development project. Google has made the source code available free, along with some design documents and results of early user testing. First video below is the hour-plus announcement session. At the bottom is a three-minute product intro.

        • Five Reasons Google Chrome OS will Succeed

          How do you measure success, anyway? Tony argues that the Chrome Web browser hasn’t caught fire, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t loved by the people who use it (myself included). I’m particularly interested to see if the operating system winds up in smartbooks, which are ultramobile PCs running on Arm-based chips. If that category takes off, Chrome OS could get a spot on the ground floor. Besides, Google said Chrome OS is intended, at present, for secondary machines. Even if people don’t flock to it (and they won’t), that doesn’t make the operating system a failure.
          v

        • Chrome OS: There Will Be Local Storage

Free Software/Open Source

  • Bad code can now be offset

    The proceeds of the money raised is to be donated to worthy open source initiatives. Initially, these projects are jQuery, PostgreSQL and the Apache Software Foundation.

  • Roundcube: the world’s coolest Open Source webmail project?

    Roundcube is a free open source webmail client with an application-like user interface. Roundcube provides all the functionality one expects from an e-mail program and connects to any mail server backend that supports IMAP.

  • Over 50 Free, Must-Have Open Source Resources

    On a regular basis, we at OStatic round up our ongoing collections of open source resources, tutorials, reviews and project tours. These educational toolkits are a big part of the learning mission we try to preserve at the site. We regularly collect the best Firefox extensions, free online books on open source topics, free tools for developers, resources for working with and enjoying online video and audio, Linux tutorials, and much more. In this post, you’ll find an updated set of more than 45 collections and resources. Hopefully, you’ll find something to learn from here, and the good news is that everything found in this post is free.

  • Retrospectiva Keeps Software Development Teams on the Same Page

    Retrospectiva is designed with an eye toward engineering teams that need a tool to carry them through the entire development life cycle. It tracks issues and tickets, manages goals and milestones, and offers code review and revision management features as well. Retrospectiva also includes support for Subversion and Git.

  • Four Open Source File Shredders That Delete Data Forever

    Darik’s Boot and Nuke – Here’s a self-contained boot disk that automatically completely delete the contents of any hard drive it detects. Once you use this app, your data is forever cooked, so be careful with it. DBAN is a great tool for wiping the contents of a computer you’re selling or as a way to ensure you’ve eradicated all viruses and spyware before doing a clean OS install.

  • Open-source virtualization: Who’s biting?

    Virtualization is unarguably one of the biggest trends of the past few years, and open-source software has been on the IT radar for a while now. So does that make open-source virtualization twice as much of a good thing?

    At least some corporate IT departments think so. They’re turning to open-source software as part of their virtualization mix. Sure, savings are a big factor, but so is the ability to tweak the software to suit specific requirements.

    Just ask Stan Yazhemsky, manager of IT operations at Legal Aid Ontario (LAO), which uses Citrix Systems Inc.’s XenServer, a management tool running on the open-source Xen hypervisor.

  • Open-source Ethernet stack will cut development costs

    Austrian researchers have developed an open-source software stack that will help developers to connect devices cost-effectively to industrial Ethernet. The EtherNet/IP Adapter Stack, developed by the Automation and Control Institute (ACIN) at Vienna’s University of Technology, is aimed at developers seeking low- or no-cost communication stacks for simple EtherNet/IP products.

  • Open source comes to Army Go Mobile program

    As a technology guy, I was impressed with the types of devices that were shown, especially the tiny projector. But what impressed me more than anything was that every single application running in the Go Mobile Program was open source.

  • Reed Exhibitions Makes a Stand With Open Source Data Integration Solution

    Talend, the recognized market leader in open source data integration software, today announced that Reed Exhibitions, the world’s leading events organizer, has selected Talend Integration Suite and Talend Data Quality to help better manage the migration and integration of company data.

  • Fog Computing

    • Editor’s Note: Do It Yourself “Cloud”

      But “cloud” covers a lot of different services, and there is no need to throw out good ideas. Cloud services can be roughly divided into four categories: ordinary hosting services for Web sites and email, hosted applications, offsite data storage and backups, and hosting services that use virtualization and distributed computing to provide flexible resource allocation. The last is what I consider to be the true cloud, and the other three items can all be put inside this cloud.

      Whatever you call it and however you want to implement it, why not do-it-yourself? Linux has everything you need. It means being responsible for your own security, hardware, and uptimes, bandwidth costs. It may be that using a hosting service is more cost-effective. But there are plenty of DIY options, and you keep control in your hands.

    • Cloud computing security benefits, risks and recommendations

      ENISA’s report is the first to take an independent, in-depth look at all the security and privacy issues of moving into the cloud, outlining some of the information security benefits of cloud computing, as well as 35 key security risks.

    • Open-source CloudMade takes on Google Maps

      CloudMade is gearing up to release a set of tools that will enable people to quickly and easily contribute to the OpenStreetMap project.

      At the same time the company is looking to create a developer model that will enable developers to use OpenStreetMap data and databases in their websites and iPhone applications.

    • Open source and the cloud – the quick and the dead

      And if you’re wondering why a cloud provider would bother working with an open source specialist vendor, rather than just taking their code, consider this: one of the cloud providers mentioned in this post pays for enterprise Linux support subscriptions rather than using a community Linux or supporting its Linux servers internally. And it isn’t Microsoft.

  • Cartoon

  • Databases

    • EU extends review of Oracle plan to buy Sun
    • Oracle begs EC for more time

      The European Competition Commission is extending the deadline set for Oracle to provide evidence that its proposed takeover of Sun Microsystems will not damage competition for European consumers.

    • Users cautious on Red Hat’s stake in EnterpriseDB

      While industry analysts praise Red Hat’s recent investment in EnterpriseDB as a solid strategic move, users expressed mixed views on the impact of Red Hat’s fiscal stake in the rapidly growing, open source database company.

      Tim Boyer, chief technology officer with Leavittsburg, Ohio-based-Denman Tire Corp., said the partnership would make him consider evaluating EnterpriseDB as an alternative to its long-time Cobol systems.

  • CMS

  • Funding

    • Terracotta buys Quartz

      Open source Java clustering software developer Terracotta announced its intent to buy an open source job scheduler known as Quartz.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU

  • Openness

    • McGinn ushers in an ‘open source’ transition

      Licata’s observation is a reemphasis of what McGinn has been articulating throughout his campaign for Seattle mayor. McGinn calls the period of time between now and Jan. 4, when he is sworn in, as an “open source” transition.

Leftovers

  • Ebay closes Skype sale

    EBAY HAS FINALLY completed its sale of Internet phone and chat service Skype for about £1.66 billion (over $2 billion).

  • Revenue reality of a bestseller

    Back in April when I posted and discussed the royalty statement for Twilight Fall, my top twenty New York Times mass market bestseller, I promised I would post the next royalty statement that came in for the book. That arrived this week, so today I’d like to take a look at that and share some thoughts on how the book performed in the eleven months since the initial release.

    First, the actual statement, which you can view here.

    If I published only one book a year, and it did as well as this one, my net would be only around $2500.00 over the income level considered to be the US poverty threshhold.

  • Environment

    • Koalas ‘could face extinction’

      Australia’s koalas could be wiped out within 30 years unless urgent action is taken to halt a decline in population, according to researchers.

    • Victims of flooding during Hurricane Katrina win compensation

      Ruling opens the door to further claims from up to 100,000 more victims with settlements that could cost billions

    • Fred Singer to speak at climate change sceptics conference

      Professor Ian Plimer, a geologist from the University of Adelaide, has already been in the UK to address an audience of more than one hundred. He will return to speak alongside Lord Monckton of Brencheley at a ‘climate change lunch’ in London in early December.

    • U.S. Skeptic Has a European Outing

      Singer, who has been a consultant to oil companies and the now defunct Global Climate Coalition, has also been a critic of regulatory restrictions on secondhand tobacco smoke. Ben Stewart of Greenpeace said that “conferences like this are designed to create confusion and play into the very understandable psychology of denial that most humans have … This is what these people are relying on. Some are funded by fossil fuel companies so it is a very simple motivation, others have more complex reasons, but it does not change the fact they are wrong.”

    • Exclusive: Attacks On Health Reform Orchestrated By Yet Another Shadowy Corporate Front Group — ‘CMPI’

      The resistance to reforming our nation’s healthcare system has been fueled by entrenched corporate interests. Their deep pockets are funneling money into generating attack ads, funding lawmakers’ campaigns, and hiring lobbyists. These corporate interests are also funding various front groups to make up their own facts and scare the public.

    • Center for Medicine in the Public Interest Fronting for the Drug Industry

      CMPI is headed by Peter Pitts, the head of global health care for the international corporate public relations firm Porter Novelli, which specializes in helping drug companies evade FDA marketing restrictions by using stealth marketing techniques, like creating fake, unbranded “public service ads” nominally to raise awareness of diseases, but that really drive people to drug-company funded Web sites that advertise drugs.

    • THE INFLUENCE GAME: Front group fights health bill

      These below-the-radar activities were the handiwork of a law firm in Charlotte, N.C., that operates a secretive group called Americans for Quality and Affordable Healthcare. The organization’s sponsors remain a mystery — its Web site offers no clues, and the law firm won’t say.

      In a year that has seen hundreds of millions of dollars spent on health care lobbying and TV ads, the advocacy group’s impact is hard to gauge since the full scope of its operations is unclear. But its activities illustrate how some are furtively trying to shape public and congressional opinion through front groups — seemingly independent organizations that pursue their founders’ goals while masking their identity.

    • “Americans for Quality and Affordable Healthcare”: Yet Another Health Insurance Industry Front?
  • Finance

    • Dear Reader, We Cannot Criticize Goldman Sachs. Instead, We Admire It

      Goldman has its former operatives in key posts throughout the government. It knows what the government is doing; it has a fair idea of what the government will do next. In trading US government securities, the biggest business in the financial world, this “insider” knowledge is no doubt a handy thing to have. It doesn’t hurt either that the Fed is making money available to Goldman at practically no cost. Nor, that the Fed is buying its mortgage backed securities – perhaps even ones that would be hard to unload on the private market.

    • Goldman Sachs to take out garbage at Thanksgiving

      Three hundred employees of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Wall Street’s richest firm, have volunteered for the holiday feast and will be tasked with taking out the garbage.

      “Goldman wants their volunteers to sweat,” joked Spooner, who at 6-foot-6 towered above a recent tasting session for the meal at Great Performances’ kitchens in the SoHo neighborhood.

      Goldman Sachs said the firm supports the effort, but referred all questions to the Salvation Army. The company’s volunteers were not available for comment and their names would not be released, the Salvation Army said.

    • Goldman Sachs Execs Skirt Christmas Party Ban

      At Goldman Sachs, tis the season of giving. Not only is the firm lavishing huge bonuses on its employees, but its executives are finding ways around the company’s ban on Christmas parties – by calling them “dinners.”

    • Goldman Sachs, Shareholders Just Can’t Get Along

      Still, I guess I can see where those shareholders are coming from. Why should Goldman get to keep all the loot? Seems only fair that investors get their cut. After all, shareholders are at risk too, you know. Let’s say for a moment that the government wouldn’t rush to Goldman’s aid if Blankfein had to wait in line for a swine flu shot like all the other schmucks — I know, I know, crazy talk, but indulge me — don’t you think those shareholders would be, like, freaked out and stuff?

    • Goldman Sachs apologized for the financial crisis

      As a result, Good initiative the bank could give rise to further criticism from the public and politicians.

      «Apparently, Goldman Sachs is engaged in self-praise,” – said the head of the International Union service workers, Andy Stern. He accused the leaders of the company that they “hog bonuses that are paid from the taxes American workers».

    • Q&A: Why Eric Dezenhall Thinks Goldman Sachs’ Apology May Be a Waste of Time and Money

      Goldman’s move is widely seen as a PR gesture after a series of high-profile flubs that followed its role as a recipient of public bailout money and a nearly $13 billion windfall from the unwinding of positions in AIG – another company that was only able to stay solvent with taxpayers’ cash.

    • Goldman Holders Miffed at Bonuses

      Some of the largest shareholders in Goldman Sachs Group Inc. have urged the Wall Street firm to reduce the size of its bonus pool, arguing that it should pass along more of its blockbuster earnings to investors, according to people familiar with the situation.

    • Goldman holders seek bonus pool reduction-WSJ

      Although the investors are not pushing for a huge cut, they feel Goldman, which received $10 billion of taxpayer help during the credit crisis, should better reward them for this year’s rebound, the paper said, quoting people familiar with the situation.

    • Goldman Sachs’ $500 Million Mea Culpa

      Goldman has also retained the services of the high-powered international PR firm, Brunswick, to make sure that all of us understand that even a vampire squid can be magnanimous. Brunswick has among its ranks the public affairs director and the chief of staff of former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. “Brunswick is a corporate communications partnership,” its home page states. “We provide informed advice at a senior level to businesses and other organizations around the world, helping them to address critical communications challenges that may affect their valuation, reputation or ability to achieve their ambitions.”

  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

    • Oman cuffs 212 for selling VoIP calls

      This year, police in the Arab nation of Oman have raided 121 internet cafes throughout the country and arrested 212 people for providing VoIP services, according to a local report.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Norwegian Band Told It Can’t Post Its Own Music To The Pirate Bay, Even Though It Wants To

      Having recently returned from Norway, where I was impressed at the optimism and the willingness to embrace new technologies and services, it’s disappointing to read the following story (found via brokep) of a Norwegian band who recently released an album on their own label and decided to put it up on The Pirate Bay themselves, as more and more indie labels are doing. Except… the band members are a part of the Norwegian music collection society TONO, who is among those fighting to have The Pirate Bay blocked in Norway.

    • Lily Allen: It’s Ok To Sell My Counterfeit CDs, Just Don’t Give My Music For Free

      Yes, so while some musicians have said they’re fine with non-commercial file sharing, but are against anyone selling their unauthorized works, Ms. Allen seems to have taken the opposite approach. Counterfeit all you want, just as long as you profit from it. Yeah. Someone should explain to her the difference between price and value, and also the benefits of word of mouth marketing. But, it doesn’t seem like she’s much interested in actually understanding this stuff, so if you want to help her understand, maybe go set up a shop selling burned copies of her CDs, and see what happens.

    • He’s Got the Law (Literally) in His Hands

      Neither the courts, nor the lawyers, nor even the Liberian parliament have a physical copy of the country’s legal code. That’s because one man is claiming a copyright on the books — and he’s holding them hostage until he gets paid.

    • Japan Set To Extend Posthumous Copyright

      Recently elected Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama has vowed to extend posthumous copyright protection on compositions from 50 to 70 years.

    • Digital Economy Bill confirms copyright proposals, turns Mandelson loose

      The government unveiled the Digital Economy Bill today, confirming tortuously complicated proposals to combat copyright infringement by to-ing and fro-ing between ISPs, rights holders, Ofcom and the courts. It also paved the way for business secretary Lord Mandelson to rewrite copyright law.

    • Why The Lack of ACTA Transparency Is Not Standard

      In the face of widespread criticism of the lack of ACTA transparency, participating governments and music industry lobbyists have claimed that the transparency issue is much ado about nothing. As governments seek to keep relevant information secret, those same governments released a joint statement last week arguing that “it is accepted practice during trade negotiations among sovereign states to not share negotiating texts with the public at large, particularly at earlier stages of the negotiation.”

    • Another Pro-ACTA Letter from MPAA, RIAA, et al.

      A number of movie studios, record labels, and other copyright-holding companies (and their related trade associations) have also written a pro-ACTA letter to Congress, which I first saw posted on Ben Sheffner’s blog. Minus the bizarre “distraction” claim, it follows the same basic pattern—that ACTA will benefit IP businesses and do nothing harmful.

    • Entertainmnent Industry: Yes, Please Keep Negotiating Secret Copyright Treaty To Save Our Asses

      This letter includes pretty much everyone who benefits from abusing copyright laws and is afraid of the internet:

      Advertising Photographers of America
      American Association of Independent Music (A2IM)
      American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA)
      American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)
      American Society of Media Photographers, Inc. (ASMP)
      Association of American Publishers (AAP)
      Broadcast Music, Inc (BMI)
      Commercial Photographers International
      Directors Guild of America (DGA)
      Evidence Photographers International Council
      Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA)
      International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE)
      Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA)
      National Music Publishers Association (NMPA)
      NBC Universal
      News Corporation
      Picture Archive Council of America (PACA)
      Professional Photographers of America (PPA)
      Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
      Reed Elsevier Inc.
      Society of Sport & Event Photographers
      Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA)
      Stock Artists Alliance
      Student Photographic Society
      The Advertising Photographers of America
      The Walt Disney Company
      Time Warner, Inc.
      Universal Music Group
      Viacom Inc.
      Warner Music Group

    • AP Scans Sarah Palin Book Without Permission; Look Out Google Book Search

      Google, accused by some as being a book thief, now has company — the Associated Press. The AP patted itself on the back in an internal memo that detailed how it scanned a copy of Sarah Palin’s book without permission, to make it searchable.

    • Murdoch’s The Times Accused Of Blatant Copying, Just As It Tells The World You Should Pay For News

      Yes, just as Rupert Murdoch is calling aggregators (sites that simply summarize and link to stories) parasites (even as he owns a bunch of aggregators himself), one of his papers didn’t aggregate, it flat out copied, without permission, a blog post that was written by Edgar Wright as a tribute to Edward Woodward, who recently passed away.

    • Google Blocking Set Top Boxes From Showing YouTube Unless They Pay Up?

      Update: Received a confused and angry email from YouTube PR linking us to the very Wired article we linked to and demanding we add their PR statement (which is already in the Wired article). However, it does not actually answer the questions raised or change the point of this post. The fact that YouTube restricts set tops from accessing the content still does not make sense.

Red Hat Summit 2008: Jim Whitehurst Keynote


European Commission Keeps Getting Filled with Microsoft Cronies

Posted in America, Antitrust, Europe, Free/Libre Software, FUD, Steve Ballmer at 11:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Siim Kallas - GWB
Siim Kallas met Bush, Ballmer

Summary: Opposition to Free software inside the European Commission comes from familiar directions; Latest example is Siim Kallas, who is close to Microsoft

WHEN Microsoft senses that a regulatory department is responsive to Microsoft’s tricks and crimes, then one solution is compliance and another is deformation of the regulatory department. The motto must be like: If you cannot influence the people, replace them.

Microsoft’s influence in the United States government is indicative of Microsoft’s identity as a “political movement”, with notable examples such as its subversion of the US DOJ [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8].

A reader of ours has just brought to our attention the following new article which says: “The vice president of the European Commission has warned that any progress in using open source and open standards in the region will have to be tempered against the possibility that the software could have downsides in terms of security. [...] Although slightly faltering, Kallas’ comments appear to reflect the view – championed by proprietary software makers – that open approaches to software development are somehow more insecure than closed-source techniques and as a result more exposed to hacking or other attacks.

“The motto must be like: If you cannot influence the people, replace them.”Well, the US Department of Defense says that Free software is even more secure. That was earlier this month (or last month when the White House moved to Free software). Our reader then adds: “I wonder, is there a connection between this VP and Microsoft? Donations?

We did some research and found clear links. There are even more Microsoft cronies inside the European Commission, some of whom we covered before (many more references and examples in there, including names). Someone from Red Hat is aware of more examples that we’ve missed, but he did not name them. That’s understandable because there are only borderline cases.

The latest FUD which comes from this vice president of the European Commission was worth investigating because Siim Kallas gave a keynote speech for Microsoft, a company that the European Commission considers to be violating many laws. The page from Microsoft.com says: “The Honourable Siim Kallas, Commissioner & Vice President, Administrative Affairs, Audit, and Anti-Fraud, European Commission giving keynote speech at Microsoft Government Leaders Forum Europe 2006″

There is even a nice photo in there and that’s just one example. Microsoft is lobbying heavily in Europe and it turns out that Kallas was against compulsory registration for lobbyists. What is he trying to hide?

A voluntary registration system for lobbyists has been backed by the European Commission in its Green Paper on transparency released on 3 May. This ‘more credible’ approach was chosen despite “very strong pressure” from NGOs for it to be made compulsory, according to Siim Kallas, Commissioner for Administrative Affairs, Audit and Anti-Fraud

According to a video from europa.eu, “Steve Ballmer, Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, met Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Administrative Affairs, Audit and Anti-Fraud.”

Telepathy a Plugin Away from Mono (Non-ECMA Parts)

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 10:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Telephone

Summary: The road to Mono, courtesy of Novell projects; Moonlight never meant to be Silverlight compatible

BACK in July we showed that Novell was integrating Moonlight and Banshee (also see [1, 2, 3]). This is problematic for many reasons and it leads to more interaction or risky interdependencies in GNOME – ones that involve Mono and "illegal" parts of it in particular [1, 2, 3, 4].

Now we find that Telepathy gets a link to Novell’s Banshee. A similar link to Mono also exists in Evolution, which is a Novell product that falls under GNOME.

Separately, in relation to this report about Windows bias in Silverlight (very much anticipated), Oiaohm tells us: “This here is a pure repeat of what Microsoft did to Java [...] Adding platform depend[dent] extensions to try to limit its range.

What might Moonlight developers (Novell/Microsoft) have to say about this?

What NOVELL Stands For

Posted in GNU/Linux, Humour, Novell at 10:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Humour about Novell as an acronym

Nefarious Organisation Vilifies Every Linux Law

Novell News Summary – Part III: SCO Updates, Company Financials, and Tech Data Arrangements

Posted in Dell, Mail, Marketing, Microsoft, NetWare, Novell, SCO, Servers, UNIX, Virtualisation at 9:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Meteor crater

Summary: Despite being a quiet week for Novell, there are items worth highlighting as follows

Read the rest of this entry »

Novell News Summary – Part II: SLES and Samsung’s Bada, Enlightenment

Posted in GNU/Linux, Linspire, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Samsung, Servers, SLES/SLED, Xandros at 8:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Iguana on a rock

Summary: News catchup with vendors that pay Microsoft for the use of Linux

SUSE (SLES/SLED) hardly appears in the news these days. The exception is stories where RHEL and SLE* are aligned as “officially supported” distributions. Such is the case with SGI news that got covered in:

i. SGI unveils new supercomputer Altix UV

According to SGI, based on open standards, the system’s x86 architecture leverages quad, six or eight-core Intel Xeon processors, codenamed Nehalem-EX. It allows for the use of completely unmodified Novell SUSE or Red Hat Linux operating systems. It is suitable for open source, custom and commercial applications, ranging from technical computing applications like Ansys Fluent to enterprise applications like Oracle.

ii. SGI previews UltraViolet Nehalem EX blade clusters

The Altix UV systems will support Novell SUSE Linux or Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and will run out of the box without any modifications to the Linux code.

iii. SGI Intros Supercomputer With Intel Nehalem EX

The Altix UV’s x86 architecture enables it to run unmodified Novell SUSE or Red Hat Linux operating systems. SGI says the supercomputer is designed for running open source, custom, and commercial applications, ranging from technical applications like ANSYS FLUENT to enterprise applications like Oracle or SAP.

Novell wrote about its relationship with SAP and then there is SEP:

SEP Releases ‘SEP sesam Bare System Recovery for Novell Linux’

[...]

With the release of “SEP sesam Bare System Recovery for SLES Linux” SEP AG further enhances its backup and recovery software portfolio to provide a fast and secure methodology to recover from a major hardware failure.

Novell also wrote about the SUSE Appliance Program, which is related to SUSE Studio.

Today we are introducing the first in a series of podcasts featuring the SUSE Appliance Program and our ISV partners.

Cornelius Schumacher wrote about the versatile SUSE Studio and founder of “Nothing Is Impossible Studio” is supporting SUSE now, along with other GNU/Linux distributions.

Hollar, formerly a systems engineer with BrigTech Consulting of Reston, Virginia, and founder Nothing Is Impossible Studio, a multi-player online game publisher, works with Linux, including Red Hat, Novell and Debian systems.

Open Enterprise Server 2 has its second service pack (it is based on SUSE) while Netware and OES are mentioned for support in this new article about HP.

The software supports HP servers and storage running Microsoft Windows, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, and Novell Open Enterprise Server for Netware and Linux.

Linspire

Linspire is part of Xandros now and its founder is still in hot legal water. Linspire/Lindows gets mentioned here, but in general, Linspire is more of a history now. It’s like Napster.

Samsung

Samsung is one of the companies that sold out to Microsoft and helped it apply a “patent tax” to Linux. Samsung is bringing some Linux phones to Europe (where software patents are void), sometimes via carriers like Vodafone, which is run by a former Microsoft executive [1, 2]. We wrote about this before.

Samsung announced an Android-powered “Galaxy Spica I5700″ smartphone, targeting Europe. In other Android news, Dell confirmed Brazilian and Chinese carriers for its Dell Mini 3, Google released a second-generation developers phone, and ZiiLabs is prepping an Android platform, say reports.

Luckily, Samsung’s phones lag behind the Linux competition which is not submissive to Microsoft.

Like the H1, the M1 has an innovative user interface that puts your contacts front and centre, and uses the Linux-based LiMo operating system. It’s a cool idea, but when we reviewed the Samsung H1 we found the whole thing a bit confusing.

To quote The Mirror:

Gadget review: Vodafone 360 H1 by Samsung

[...]

A nice effort, but there’s little to recommend this above HTC’s Hero or an iPhone.

There is also this:

The Vodafone 360 is currently accessible through desktop computer and on the Vodafone 360 H1 and M1 Linux Mobile phones by Samsung.

It is rather surprising to learn that Samsung may be placing its cards on Enlightenment.

Back in June Enlightenment E16 reached version 1.0.0 and then a few weeks later there was an E17 development snapshot released, but there hasn’t been a whole lot of news out of the Enlightenment camp over the past year.

The H (Heise) wrote about it the following:

Samsung may be sponsoring the Enlightenment window manager project and Enlightenment may be a component in Samsung’s bada mobile operating system. The Enlightenment project, which has been around since 1997, announced today that it was working with a “top-tier electronics maker” which “produces millions of mobile phones, televisions, sound systems and more”.

Our reader MinceR has asked, “any info on Bada besides the press release? And that it’s perhaps based on Enlightenment…”

It could be sarcastically argued that “Bada is Ballnux” because Samsung has a Linux patent deal with Ballmer. We continue to remind people not to touch Samsung products. They need to be persuaded to distance themselves from Microsoft and cancel their patent deal that harms GNU/Linux.

Sadly, Samsung receives preferential treatment in its own country, Korea.

LiMo Foundation announced that Korean wireless provider SK Telecom will deploy a Samsung-made “SCH-M510 “phone that complies with the LiMo (Linux Mobile) specification and offers a 3.5-inch AMOLED display. Meanwhile, LG Electronics, Samsung, SK Telecom, and the Korean government have launched the Korea LiMo Ecosystem Association to promote LiMo app development, says the Foundation.

We previously explained what Samsung does to LiMo [1, 2], emphasising the fact that even in Korea, Samsung helps spread Microsoft’s patent abuse against Linux. The least one can do is avoid Samsung and tell others to do the same.

Novell News Summary – Part I: OpenSUSE 11.2 Reviews, Board Elections, OpenSUSE 11.3 in the Details

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE, Ubuntu at 7:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Baby lizard

Summary: A roundup of news about OpenSUSE, ranging from the latest release to a new OpenSUSE Board whose tenure duration gets doubled

FOLLOWING last week's announcements of OpenSUSE 11.2 there is still a lot of coverage about it (including belated announcements about the KDE side). More launch parties took place and the mainstream press got around to reporting on the subject.

Upgrade stories are quite a few (mostly from SUSE people like Jörg Reuter), and they are mostly positive (it was smoother a transition than from Ubuntu 9.04 to 9.10 on the face of it). From Tux Machines:

For the first time, openSUSE now officially supports a “dist-upgrade” feature, similar to Debian’s. Which is to say, if you’ve got openSUSE 11.1 installed, you should be able to upgrade to openSUSE 11.2 by updating your list of software repositories to point to providers of software for openSUSE 11.2, doing a distribution upgrade via the Internet, and have a reasonable chance of success.

Another successful upgrade:

Oh, it boots very fast, too. Unless the next revision does something to screw it up, I think I’ve found my winner in the Linux wars.

Here is another praise for OpenSUSE 11.2 as a KDE distribution.

Congratulations to the openSuse community to a solid and beautiful release!

Reviews of OpenSUSE 11.2 soon arrived, including this one from Heise (The H).

A whole series of changes awaits users in openSUSE 11.2, including Ext4 as the default file system, boot loader Grub2 and a big move towards the KDE 4 desktop.

Here is another new review from a GNU/Linux skeptic.

We think visually, this is their best release yet. Usability wise they’ve done a great job simplifying things and making them a bit less overwhelming. Previous YaST versions have been a bit too overwhelming for new users and they’ve done a great job addressing this with the last couple of releases.

The desktop felt fast and responsive and contains all of the applications we would expect. There is also the added benefit of their large repositories which contain pretty much everything one would need.

Caitlyn Martin published her review in the latest DistroWatch Weekly.

While SUSE has never been my favorite I have always found it to be a solid distribution in the past. Sadly, at least on my hardware, that simply isn’t true of openSUSE 11.2. Installation on my netbook, which is extremely well supported by a half a dozen other distributions I’ve tried, was exceptionally challenging with openSUSE.

Jamie reports a “mixed bag”.

I’ve been trying out the new openSuSE 11.2 release for nearly a week now, loading it on everything I have. It’s been a mixed bag of results, starting out very strong, and ending up with several significant disappointments. Here is a summary of the highs (and lows):

The cosmetics look great. I have to say, over the past couple of releases openSuSE has gone from what seemed like a fairly “stodgy” distribution, both in terms of cosmetics and content, to one which I think is right up with the absolute leaders in both of those.

One of the first things I noticed, on the first system I installed openSuSE on, was that they have fixed the problem with non-U.S. keyboard maps not working. Hooray! That one has been a minor pain in the neck since Milestone 5 or so, and when it was still there in the RC releases, I was afraid it wouldn’t get fixed before the final release. Well done!

LWN.net also has a new review.

Overall this version of openSUSE acts more like a point-0 release or even a release candidate. Everything feels rough around the edges and as though lots more work is needed. There’s no dispute that openSUSE developers are the most aggressive between minor version releases, but this is the most dramatic effect I’ve witnessed from them. Polish and excellence have always been trademarks of openSUSE, so much so that I’ve come to expect only that. So, it’s shocking to have seen an openSUSE released in such rough condition.

The reviews above concentrate on the KDE side and they are largely positive. OpenSUSE 11.2 uses KDE4 as the default desktop environment now. Regarding the GNOME side, there’s this:

The Gnome desktop in OpenSUSE 11.2 is beautiful (much nicer than the clunky KDE IMHO), but there are a few things that I don’t like about the default settings. I use 8 virtual desktops to keep my desktop organized but I like the taskbar to show all tasks. By default, the gnome panel’s task bar shows only the windows in the current workspace and for some reason you can’t just right-click the panel to change this setting.

The latest Firebird is entering OpenSUSE and the Reiser4 file system is made available also. OpenSUSE Edu Li-f-e is now arriving based on the very latest release and there are AutoYaST goodies to be shared. Documentation soon follows and the opensuse-guide.org Web site gets created.

The second beta of OpenOffice.org 3.2 has come to OpenSUSE and so has pspi.

Remember my blog post about how pspi, the GIMP plug-in that runs Photoshop plug-ins, works on Linux, too? You can now download pspi binaries built on SUSE Linux 10 and Ubuntu 5.10 here.

There is more to be said about OpenSUSE 11.2 and its repositories, as its kernel too is entering some of these.

Want to help test the openSUSE kernel? Want the very latest and greatest openSUSE Linux kernel sources? We have good news for you!

Looking at the board’s elections, the deadline is near, but the timeline has changed.

Candidates for this election will be voted in for a two (2) year term, ensuring that there is continuity within the Board.

Bryen Yunashko is running again and Pavol Rusnak will join the candidates. There might not be enough candidates yet based on reactions like this. One board member quit the team earlier this year, which is maybe why the tenure is to last two years this time around. OpenSUSE is attempting to increase transparency in the board’s activities. Zonker writes:

Ever wanted to know what the openSUSE Board is up to? Have you always wondered what the Board discusses and how it comes to decisions? Are you interested in how your elected representatives work with each other? Maybe you are even interested in running for a seat in the elections and want to know what duties that would bring with it?

Zonker also gives feedback tips (they try to please everyone), which is particularly important when it comes to security. Someone from the SuSE Security-Team has this to say.

Anyway, there are more items in OpenSUSE Weekly News, which was published some days ago.

In this Week:

* openSUSE 11.2 Released!
* Launch Party Locations
* KDE.NEWS/Will Stephenson: Introducing KDE 4 KNetworkManager
* Joe Brockmeier: Microblogging with Choqok in openSUSE 11.2
* h-online/Thorsten Leemhuis: Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.32 (Part 2) – Graphics

OpenSUSE/Novell has already begun talking about OpenSUSE 11.3.

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