11.24.09

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Links 24/11/2009: KDE Icon on TV, Ubuntu Netbook Remix Reviewed

Posted in News Roundup at 7:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Google

    • Installing Google Chrome OS

      Google Chrome OS is based on Ubuntu, now Ubuntu by default has a lot of extra not-really-needed packages, so I’m guessing they just hadn’t got around to removing them.

      If I install a base install of Debian, X-Window system and desktop manager I can get it in about the same amount of space (500mb or so).

    • Would You Accept Google’s Free Netbook?

      So, if Google offered you a fast, light, compact netbook for nothing, in exchange for a few ads appearing here and there as you work, would you accept? Or do you think the price you would pay in terms of the company knowing even more about what you do on an hour-by-hour basis would be just too high?

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Konqueror Icon Setting TV’s Ablaze

      KDE software has previously been spotted on “24″ (FOX), “Alias” (ABC), “Dexter” (Showtime), “Heroes” (NBC), “House, M.D.” (FOX) and “Shark” (also on CBS). If you’ve seen it anywhere else, chime in below!

  • Distributions

    • Dell Shows Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Some Love

      As Canonical prepares to launch Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) in April 2010, there are signs Dell will show considerable love to the Long Term Support (LTS) release. Here are some preliminary details about Dell’s look at Ubuntu 10.04.

    • Ubuntu Netbook Remix review

      Although it’s based on the popular Linux distro, Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR) is not a pruned down version of Ubuntu. Instead, its developers discarded old, legacy code not relevant to netbook systems.

      [...]

      Ubuntu Netbook Remix has a tightly integrated and speedy feel to it, and an easy on the eyes design. We found UNR’s quick launch UI not only attractive but so convenient and quick to navigate that we preferred it to the usual desktop interface. Even if your netbook runs Windows XP or 7, you should give Ubuntu Netbook Remix a try.

    • Google Chrome OS benched against Moblin & Ubuntu Netbook Remix

      Interestingly, Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10 came out on top, having the best battery life and lowest CPU/memory usage. The desktop distro OpenSUSE 11.2, was second, whilst Moblin 2.1 came third. Chromium OS was bottom of the pile, although considering very early source code has been released this is not entirely surprising.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • 5 open source VoIP softphones to watch

    The steady rise in people using IP telephony to communicate — for personal and business reasons — has led to the development of a number of different VoIP “softphones” that can be used on a PC or notebook.

  • Nmap 5.10BETA1 released

    Hi folks. I’m happy to announce our first post-5.00 release! It contains the results of a full five months of work, since the 5.00 release candidate was branched off in June. Good work, everybody!

  • Students line up for new free software master at open universities

    Two of Europe’s open universities, the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya in Spain and Open Universiteit in the Netherlands, are about to start the first courses of what will become a Master programme on free and open source software and open standards, The Free Technology Academy (FTA). The program could prove popular, the number of early registrations shows.

  • Episode 0x1B: Jeremy Allison of the Samba Team

    Bradley and Karen interview Jeremy Allison of the the Samba Team.

    This show was released on Thursday 19 November 2009; its running time is 00:55:38.

  • ES: CIO Extremadura ‘open source key to development’

    The use of open source software is fundamental to a sustainable and technologically independent development, says Rafael Martín Espada, Director General of ICT, regional government of Extremadura.

  • Openness

    • Spacehack: Open Source Astronomy for All

      After all the hullabaloo over Balloon Boy, it’s reassuring to learn that some Americans look up for reasons other than media pranks. In fact, whole communities of amateur astronomers and citizen scientists look to the skies for discovery, education, and inspiration. Aiding them in those pursuits is Spacehack, an online directory of and for people who want to participate in space exploration.

    • Making Open Source Communities (and Open Cities) More Efficient

      My friend Diederik and I are starting to work more closely with some open source projects about how to help “open” communities (be they software projects or cities) become more efficient.

    • Promoting Open Source Science

      Open Source Science is a collaborative and transparent approach to science. To me, it means four things:

      1. Open Source: the use of open and freely accessible software tools for scientific research and collaboration.
      2. Open Notebook: transparency in experimental design and data management.
      3. Open Data: public accessibility of scientific data, which allows for distribution, reuse and derived works.
      4. Open Access: public access to scholarly literature.

Leftovers

  • Hacking: who does what to whom?

    A couple of days ago, Jesse Sheidlower wrote to me about the recent climate-scientist email controversy. Since Jesse is a lexicographer, he wasn’t writing about whether this is the blue-dress moment for anthropogenic climate change, or a nontroversy based on the shocking discovery that scientists are not always scrupulously fair-minded in private. Rather, Jesse was concerned about the argument structure of the verb hack.

    [...]

    So it doesn’t surprise me to find that “…hack [into] A for B” turns into things like “How to hack money from the Godfather in Mafia Wars”, or “They hacked the [credit card] numbers from 9 major retailers”, or “Many people used to hack CSS files from the web”.]

  • Volunteers Log Off as Wikipedia Ages

    Wikipedia.org is the fifth-most-popular Web site in the world, with roughly 325 million monthly visitors. But unprecedented numbers of the millions of online volunteers who write, edit and police it are quitting.

  • Of Credibility, Openness and Scientific Tribalism

    It looks like the greatest enemy to climate change science comes not from the denialists – be they fools or knaves – but from narrow-minded tribalists within the scientific community itself who cannot see the bigger picture. Perhaps we should be grateful for the ugly fissures that the CRU incident seems to reveal, since it gives the people concerned a chance to heal them before they lead to irreversible fractures.

  • Explaining ClimateGate: A history of distrust

    It should go without saying that writing an e-mail that includes Freedom of Information in the subject line and advises other people to delete e-mails is an act of amazing boneheadedness. At the very least, it stinks to high heaven. Of all the hacked e-mails I’ve been able to review so far, this one strikes me as the most damning, coming, as it does, in the context of others that make it clear that Jones was dead set on resisting Freedom of Information requests.

  • Unwritten Stories Reveal New Climate Scandal!

    But a much bigger scandal is just waiting to break.

    That scandal?

    1) Climate change is real, it’s here, we’re causing it, and it’s worse than we thought it was.

    2) There is no “debate” about #1; the completely massively overwhelming majority of all the scientists studying this issue, from nearly every angle, agree. Indeed, they agree in such a total majority that we might as well say all scientists agree that climate change is real, is here, is caused by people and is worse than we thought it was.

  • Police State

    • Once Again, If The Gov’t Has Data, It Will Be Abused

      The latest example, found via Michael Scott is the news that a police chief in Iowa has been suspended after he supposedly revealed data that he never should have had in the first place, supposedly handing out information on someone’s driving record and criminal history, despite having no legal reason to even have that info, let alone distribute it to anyone.

    • UK jails schizophrenic for refusal to decrypt files

      The first person jailed under draconian UK police powers that Ministers said were vital to battle terrorism and serious crime has been identified by The Register as a schizophrenic science hobbyist with no previous criminal record.

      His crime was a persistent refusal to give counter-terrorism police the keys to decrypt his computer files.

    • Manchester united against ID cards, ID minister finds

      Sir Joseph Pilling told the Home Affairs committee that 538 people were now on the database – one of them foreign the rest Brits. Pilling is the UK ID czar and is described as “an independent voice… safeguarding the public’s privacy and identity rights”, although he’s been a Home Office Sir Humphrey since 1966.

    • Leaked documents reveal No 10 cover-up over Iraq invasion

      Military commanders are expected to tell the inquiry into the Iraq war, which opens on Tuesday, that the invasion was ill-conceived and that preparations were sabotaged by Tony Blair’s government’s attempts to mislead the public.

      They were so shocked by the lack of preparation for the aftermath of the invasion that they believe members of the British and US governments at the time could be prosecuted for war crimes by breaching the duty outlined in the Geneva convention to safeguard civilians in a conflict, the Guardian has been told.

      The lengths the Blair government took to conceal the invasion plan and the extent of military commanders’ anger at what they call the government’s “appalling” failures emerged as Sir John Chilcot, the inquiry’s chairman, promised to produce a “full and insightful” account of how Britain was drawn into the conflict.

    • Graham Allen says it as it is

      Graham Allen MP has tried harder, with more patience and less thanks, to get Labour to embrace genuine democratic reform than perhaps any other member of his Party, not to speak of his fellow MPs. Now, as yet another Committee reports on how the Commons could be reformed, ePolitix has just published his stark, bitter reflection, asking whether we need (or deserve) a parliament at all. Here it is in full:

      Parliament is sick and decaying – and neither the government nor the media want it to recover.

      A strong parliament would challenge their current duopoly of political power.

    • UK role in torture of British citizens in Pakistan condemned

      Britain’s role in the torture of its own citizens in Pakistan is condemned today by one of the world’s leading human rights organisations as being cruel, counter-productive and in clear breach of international law.

  • Finance

    • Capitalism’s Fundamental Flaw

      Also, in the recent financial crisis, we’ve seen the government intervene on a massive scale, including putting billions into dead or dying companies such as General Motors. Thankfully, however, the government did not continue to do so, and GM entered bankruptcy as it very well deserved. No matter how stupidly Michael Moore’s new film, Capitalism: A Love Story, argues that GM owed its plight to management not respecting the unions, most intelligent people acknowledge that it was the union-enforced inflexibility that brought about the outcome. Here too, capitalism is doing its job of self-correcting.

  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

    • Opera web browser ‘censors’ Chinese content

      Previously traffic ran over Opera servers bypassing the so-called Great Firewall of China, making the browser popular with Chinese users.

      Opera confirmed that it had started directing users of the international version of the mobile browser to the Chinese version on 20 November.

    • Protests grow over digital bill

      The Digital Economy bill has sparked a wave of protest among consumers and rights groups.

      Soon after the bill began its journey through Parliament on 19 November, many expressed worries about parts of it.

    • Setting the record straight on Net neutrality and infrastructure investment

      A new report by the U.S advocacy group Free Press provides clear evidence that, despite the claims of some Internet Serivce Providers, Net neutrality will not harm network investment. On the contrary, the report shows that legal protections in favor of an open Internet will have a positive impact on investment in both the network and applications markets.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Fox calls for US to join France

      MOVIE MONGER Fox Studios is lobbying the US government to pass an anti-piracy law modelled on the one that is being introduced in France.

      The chief executive of Fox Filmed Entertainment said Monday the US should join France in cutting off the Internet connections of users who repeatedly download copyright protected films.

    • Britain’s new Internet law — as bad as everyone’s been saying, and worse. Much, much worse.

      The British government has brought down its long-awaited Digital Economy Bill, and it’s perfectly useless and terrible. It consists almost entirely of penalties for people who do things that upset the entertainment industry (including the “three-strikes” rule that allows your entire family to be cut off from the net if anyone who lives in your house is accused of copyright infringement, without proof or evidence or trial), as well as a plan to beat the hell out of the video-game industry with a new, even dumber rating system (why is it acceptable for the government to declare that some forms of artwork have to be mandatorily labelled as to their suitability for kids? And why is it only some media? Why not paintings? Why not novels? Why not modern dance or ballet or opera?).

    • European MPs votes on new telecoms law

      It comes amid controversial laws being introduced in France and the UK to cut off persistent illegal downloaders.

    • EU Telecom Package To Enter Into Force In December

      The European Parliament today formally approved an update to European telecommunications rules aimed at enforcing consumer rights and supporting a single European market. But the change might also leave the door open for legislation restricting the internet in member countries and potentially questionable traffic management practice by internet service providers, according to a consumer group.

    • UK and 12 Other Member States issue Statement on Telecoms Reform Package [UPDATED]

      Almost two weeks ago I was sent a draft copy of a statement the UK had sent to the Council of Europe which it wanted the Council to publish on behalf of all member states. The statement was based on how the UK would like the Telecoms Reform Package to be interpreted by Member States (MS) and contained a few paragraphs twisting the intent of ammendments to Article 5(3) of Directive 2002/58/EC with regards to informed consent.

      [...]

      My source goes on to explain that from a legal standpoint the statement is “without value” as all member states are required to change their national laws to reflect the revised text of Article 5(3) and also enforce those laws.

    • Digital economy bill: A punishing future

      The digital economy bill is misnamed. A more honest title for the legislation, recently introduced in the Lords, would be the copyright protection and punishment bill. It is less about creating the digital businesses of the 21st century than protecting the particular 20th century business models used in music and film.

    • Here comes a pan-European copyright regime?

      Viviane Reding, accepting an award in Barcelona this morning, flagged her intention to try to extend Brussels’ powers to legislate for copyright in the wake of the Lisbon Treaty.

    • Mandy and Me: some thoughts on the Digital Economy Bill

      ISPs hold an unfortunate piggy-in-the-middle position in all this, forced by the threat of a fine of up to £250,000 to co-operate with rightsholders, even though they gain nothing from the process but overheads and customer ill-will. I have said elsewhere that I do not think it is just or sensible to enrol ISPs as “copyright cops”, but if they are to be, they need strong protection from liability, ideally in the form of an indemnity from the rightsholders who actually plan to benefit from this whole stramash. ISPs face potential liability for sending out libellous allegations to subscribers, and again for disconnecting the wrong person on erroneous evidence, and in breach of contract, However currently all ISPs get by way of protection is the feather-light provision that an indemnity may – not must – be provided by the Code to be drafted (again, no further details now– see new s 124J(4)(b). If I were an ISP, I’d be going out now to price a shedload of legal liability insurance J – or to check out moving offshore.

    • Mandelson’s ‘three strikes’ rule in jeopardy

      The European Parliament tried hard to change the directive in question and proposed Amendment 138, which read: ‘No restriction may be imposed on the fundamental rights and freedoms of end users without a prior ruling by the judicial authorities, notably in accordance with Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union on freedom of expression and information.’

    • EMI Finds Music Sales Actually Growing, Despite Terra’s Troubles

      Terra Firma may have written off 90 percent of its investment in the label after Citigroup refused to ignore about half the debt it provided for the deal, but – slowly, slowly – EMI Group is turning a corner.

    • Radioactive assumptions in the Digital Economy Bill

      Alarmist conspiracy theory? Perhaps. But with the strange business of ACTA — the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, negotiated in high secrecy but reputed to impose draconian rules on over a billion people to match or exceed those proposed in the bill — it’s hard to argue that these issues are receiving proper public debate.

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A Single Comment

  1. uberVU - social comments said,

    November 25, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by mafiawarrior: Links 24/11/2009: KDE Icon on TV, Ubuntu Netbook Remix Reviewed …: So it doesn’t surprise me to find that.. http://bit.ly/5GihJy

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