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IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: December 8th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


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Links 08/12/2009: Dell Vostro V13 $150 Cheaper with GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 7:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 74

    · Announced Distro: Ubuntu Christian Edition 6.0 Beta Brings Server Edition
    · Announced Distro: Calculate Linux 10.0 Is Now Available for Download
    · Announced Distro: SystemRescueCd 1.3.3 Has Linux Kernel
    · Other News: VirtualBox 3.1.0, KDE 4.3.4 and Linux Kernel 2.6.32
    · Video Clip of the Week: KDE SC 4.4 Preview

  • Dell intros new low-cost ultrathin, Vostro V13

    Dell has introduced a new low-cost ultrathin notebook, the Vostro V13. The system closely resembles Dell’s recently released flagship Adamo, except it’s lighter and a grand cheaper. The Vostro V13 is about 0.65in thin, weighs 3.5lbs and starts at $449 with Ubuntu 9.04 or $599 with Windows 7 Home Premium.

  • NHS spend on IT – How would you make savings?

    Here’s another thought. If you were to put a Linux-based operating system on the 800,000 or so workstations now in the NHS and some FOSS productivity software such as OpenOffice, which incidentally will interface with more professional database server systems than many proprietary packages, how much would that cost (other than the man-hours for the installs)? Zilch. Zippo. FA. What if the NHS were to donate 1 GBP for each machine to the Linux distribution developers of their chosen O/S, and 1 GBP towards each OpenOffice installation? That would cost £1,600,000 or less than a third of one percent of the existing discounted Microsoft licensing. That relatively small donation would also ensure some future development of features needed by NHS staff in their chosen software.

  • HP user group Connect looks online for growth

    The site is organized by interest group, including Linux, storage and NonStop computing.

  • Global Outsourced Product Development Leader, Symbio, Acquires Cubical Solutions

    Adding Linux Expertise, Traction with Global Leading Clients

    With over 15 years of software engineering expertise, Cubical delivers service excellence to global industry giants including Fujitsu Services, Nokia Siemens Networks, and EADS. The acquisition of Cubical adds significant expertise for Symbio in Linux and open source product development, leveraging operating environments like Red Hat, SuSE, Maemo, Wind River Linux and OpenEmbedded Linux. This agreement further extends Symbio’s deep domain expertise across mobile, Web, enterprise and embedded technologies, underscoring its commitment to delivering tomorrow’s technology today for world leading innovators.

  • Papers

    • Cal Linux Expo

      The Call For Papers is Open! If you’re considering presenting at SCALE please review our Call For Papers

    • Red Hat Summit and JBoss World Call For Papers Now Open

      Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that the call for papers is now open for the sixth annual Red Hat Summit and JBoss World. These premier open source events will take place June 22-25, 2010 in Boston at the Seaport World Trade Center.

  • Server

    • Linux Private Cloud best for Cabinet Office?

      I understand the the Linux Ubuntu Cloud is quite nice and uses the tried and tested Eucalyptus technology. Also PostgresSQL seems to work as well as Oracle. It’s all free,open source software.

  • Google

  • Kernel Space

    • Notes from the LF End User Summit

      To many, the Linux development community appears to be highly open, with access to developers only an email away. To much of the user community, though, the situation looks different, with core developers seemingly as distant and inaccessible as they would be if they were doing proprietary code. Bridging the gap between users and developers is one of the tasks the Linux Foundation has set for itself; the annual End User Summit is intended to help toward that goal.

  • Instructionals

  • Games

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • xPUD 0.9.2 arrives

        xPUD 0.9.2 features a new App Store, allowing users to easily install additional applications. Vergrößern The xPUD developers have released version 0.9.2 their fast, lightweight, Ubuntu-based Linux distribution with a simple web-based user interface. The latest development release of this “Browser OS” includes several improvements and new features.

      • First Beta of SimplyMEPIS 8.5 Has Linux Kernel 2.6.32

        Announced on December 7th by Warren Woodford and the hard working MEPIS developers, the first Beta release of the upcoming SimplyMEPIS 8.5 operating system is now available for download, for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. SimplyMEPIS 8.5 is still based on the Debian Lenny Linux distribution, but it is now powered by the recently released Linux kernel 2.6.32 and it is built on top of the KDE 4.3.2 desktop environment.

    • Red Hat Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-ready SoCs add multi-protocol support

      Freescale Semiconductor announced two Linux-ready system-on-chips based on its PowerPC-driven QorIQ platform. The QorIQ P1012 and dual-core P1021 SoCs are similar to Freescale’s QorIQ P1013 and P1022 processors, respectively, but add the company’s microcode programming QUICC engine, which supports customers using legacy multi-protocol interfaces, says the company.

    • Renesas Linux & BSP for multimedia

      Renesas Technology has announced the availability of the Renesas Multimedia Solution Linux platform, supporting development of systems incorporating the SH772x series application processor for multimedia applications such as audio and video for portable and industrial devices.

    • Timesys Enables LinuxLink Tools and Support for NetLogic Microsystems’ Alchemy(R) Au1250(R) and Au1300(R) Ultra Low-Power Processors

      The Timesys LinuxLink software development framework gives Au1250 and Au1300 processor users access to a competitively priced, intuitive environment for developing a wide range of Linux-based media and navigation products.

    • Phones

      • Gift Tip 72: Nokia N900 Linux Phone

        The Nokia N900 is Nokia’s first smartphone possessing a Desktop operating system. It is using the Maemo 5 Linux based operating system. With the Nokia N900’s powerful features such as ARM Cortex-A8 processor, up to 1GB of application memory and OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics acceleration, it allows you to deal with multiple application windows at the same while being able to get maximum utility from its touch screen, cellular features and QWERTY keyboard.

    • Android

      • First Android 2.0 smartphone arrives in UK

        Motorola’s first smartphone running Android 2.0 is now available in the UK.

      • Android 2.0: what to expect

        Éclair – also known as Android 2.0 – was released to application developers at the end of October, and this month updated to 2.0.1 thanks to the addition of some minor tweaks. But what should you – the user – expect from Google’s latest handset tech?

      • Android gains bug update as more phones are tipped
      • Google Goggles Gives Android Users Bragging Rights

        Google announced Google Googles yesterday, an application that uses the camera in your Android-powered phone to take a picture, conduct a visual search, then return results. Google admits that it’s very early, but this is extremely intriguing technology and it has the potential to take visual search to a whole new level by combining it with virtual reality to give you results when you have no information whatsoever.

      • Wind River takes Android commercial

        Wind River isn’t listing prices for its version of Android; that will be volume-dependent, but the company has a history of selling embedded Linux so knows what devices manufacturers will pay for. Wind River will be offering their own widget pack and user-interface layers, along with optimisation for TI’s OMAP processors.

      • Wind River adds Android support to OMAP platform
      • Gift Tip 74: T-Mobile MyTouch 3G Android Phone

        The T-Mobile myTouch 3G is the latest Android phone available on T-Mobile. It uses the popular open-source Android operating system, which now offers more than 10,000 applications.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Building the Google smartbook dream machine

        The netbook promises convenience and capability in a small, lightweight, and generally inexpensive package, and the concept of a smartbook goes even further: a handy-dandy combination of smartphone and notebook. Alas, most netbook offerings come burdened with a full-blown Windows operating system, which runs slowly on performance-limited netbook hardware and saps battery life. And Windows is not exactly smartphone-oriented.

      • Sugar on a Stick v2 brings OLPC interface to any netbook

        Sugar OS is the custom Linux user interface designed for the OLPC XO Laptop. Sugar on a Stick is a project that lets you run Sugar from a USB flash drive, no XO laptop required. I first checked out Sugar on a Stick earlier this year, when it was still a bit rough around the edges. But at the Netbook World Summit in Paris today, Sugar Labs CEO Walter Bender introduces Sugar on a Stick version 2.0.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Five technologies to see huge growth in US gov’t, group says

    In addition to cloud computing and open-source software, other technologies that will be hot in the U.S. government through 2014 include virtualization, service-oriented architecture and geospatial technologies, said Input, an analysis and consulting firm focused on government contracting.

  • The Coming Age of Open Source Technology

    Open source software (OSS) is most commonly known as “free” software. However, this does not mean “no cost” but rather “freedom of speech.” OSS is software with a special license that allows users to shape and change it as needed.

    OSS grants users the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change, and improve the program by way of four essential freedoms. These include the freedom to run the program for any purpose, to study how the program works and change it as needed through access to the source code, to redistribute copies to benefit others, and finally the freedom to improve the program and release the modified versions to the public.

  • Axon II Microcontroller and Open Source Library

    John Palmisano of the Society of Robots writes with news of the Axon II microcontroller, and a matching software library designed specifically for robotics. The board is about 2.5 inches square (even though it looks 12 stories tall in the animated 3D tour above!)


    The WebbotLib software library is written in C and licensed under the GNU GPL.

  • CollabNet Fosters Group Innovation in the ‘Cloud’

    Open-source software pioneer Brian Behlendorf, who sports a ponytail and organized an online music site called SFRaves, is the unlikely architect of a new technology being embraced by the U.S. Defense Dept.

    The DOD has started using technology from CollabNet, a Brisbane, Calif., company that Behlendorf co-founded with Bill Portelli, another open-source veteran, to provide an online meeting place in the Internet “cloud” for U.S. military agencies to build software through “crowdsourcing”.

  • Q&A with OrecX’s Bruce Kaskey

    Open source software has been gaining traction as a means to provide cost-effective, flexible, scalable, adaptable and obsolescence-resistant solutions based on code accessible to developers. Lately open source has been enjoined by open platforms and service-oriented architecture aimed at achieving similar results in particular for demanding contact center applications.

  • Rockwell Automation sponsors release of open-source software stack

    Open-source EtherNet/IP communication stack developed by the Vienna University of Technology cost effectively connects I/O devices.

  • Global Provider of Secure Networks to Gaming Industry Taps Open Source Opengear

    Opengear (www.opengear.com) today announced that the Tatts Group, a global provider of highly secure technical systems and networks for electronic gaming machines, has acquired more than 12,000 Opengear SD4000 series device servers.

  • Boxee teams with D-Link for entertainment set-top box

    Boxee has been a favorite among tech tinkerers, who liked using the free open-source software to turn a computer into a powerful set-top box for the TV.

  • Open Cloud Services & Co-operative Community Clouds

    First in regards to Open Cloud Services, basically the concept goes like this; as we move away from the traditional client/server based models of the past to more web centric / service oriented opportunities of the future, we will see open source shift from application centric (source code) toward free open services and information. Cloud providers will essentially give away access in return for greater adopt of their platforms / services, increased customer acquisition and to accelerated creation of data and information. Basically the same reasons companies open source their applications today, just applied in a cloud context.

  • eDoorways Engages Top Open Source Developer DPCI to Assist With Platform’s Acceleration to Web 3.0

    DPCI, an interactive technology agency which delivers integrated content management solutions, has agreed to assist eDoorways in converting the company’s Internet platform to Drupal, an Open Source Content Management System written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License.

  • Why Open-Source Software Vendors Should Charge More

    It’s amazing that this type of misunderstanding of the world of open-source software still exists, but obviously it still does. The flawed logic seems to be that low cost must mean low quality, and since open-source software solutions are often low cost, the conclusion is they can’t be any good. One obvious way forward is for open-source software makers to simply up the prices of their subscriptions: Their software and the entire open-source development process would presumably then become mysteriously “better.”

  • Databases

  • Licensing

    • Licenses are Not the Hard Part

      Even analysis of the GNU General Public License (GPL) is not the hard part. My actual experience with that license has been that the kinds of issues that have engaged (and entertained) lawyers (such as myself) through innumerable hours of legal discourse represent a small fraction of actual cases. In the main volume of GPL-related activity, attention is on the basics–like actually making the GPL-licensed source code available and otherwise getting the details right.


    • GNU Hurd/ news/ 2009-11-30

      A month of the Hurd: initial work on network device drivers in user space, GRUB 2.

      This month Zheng Da, our former Google Summer of Code student working on network virtualization and some related topics, published the code for the pcnet32 device driver that he had modified to run as a user-space process instead of inside the kernel, and posted some preliminary performance benchmark results.

    • Group:FSF/Community Team

      The FSF is putting together a “Community Team” of supporters to spread the free software philosophy in blogs, online press, and through social networking sites.

  • Releases

  • Government

    • Global Dialogue on Exploring the Results of Governmental Open Source Software Policies

      Within the last decade, more than 60 countries and international organizations have developed nearly 275 policy documents related with the use of Open Source in public sector. The rationale behind most of these policy initiatives is the improvement of governance through transparent and effective use of information technology budgets in public sector, as well as economic/engineering benefits of reusable open source software. A majority of these open source initiatives (~70%) have been accepted and final actions have been taken by mid 2008. Suitable business models have been developed to implement these policies and successful public sector solutions based on open source software have emerged.

    • Five Technologies to See Huge Growth in US Gov’t, Group Says

      While many U.S. agencies have been using open-source software for years, the new emphasis on tightening budgets will make open-source packages more popular, Peterson predicted. In addition, many agencies will look for increased ways to customize their software using open-source packages, and some agencies will use open-source software to create private, or hybrid, clouds using open source, she said.

  • Openness

  • Programming

    • The Sun Java EE Also Rises

      I was alerted to this forthcoming news with an invite to a teleconference, which will encompass not only Java EE 6, but also GlassFish v3 and NetBeans 6.8. GlassFish Enterprise Server is Sun’s open source application server “project”, which has an accompanying commercial version known as Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server. Whether Thursday’s announcement will centre of the commercial end remains to be seen.


  • TSA Leaks Sensitive Airport Screening Manual

    Who needs anonymous sources when the government is perfectly capable of leaking its own secrets?

    Government workers preparing the release of a Transportation Security Administration manual that details airport screening procedures badly bungled their redaction of the .pdf file. Result: The full text of a document considered “sensitive security information” was inadvertently leaked.

  • Bonuses all round for failing Border Agency

    The UK Border Agency is paying out £295,000 in bonuses to senior staff despite its ongoing struggle with a backlog of thousands of mystery cases.

    The Home Affairs Committee’s latest report into the UKBA found that although it has worked through about half of its 450,000 backlog, it still does not expect to finish until summer 2011.

  • Surgery fools Japan’s fingerprint checks

    A Chinese woman arrested in Japan had surgery on her fingers to fool biometric border checks when entering the country.

    The 27-year old woman, Lin Ring, who was deported from Japan in 2007, paid for surgery to remove and switch the fingerprints from her left to right hands, and presumably vice versa. Japan uses fingerprint scanners to check travellers entering the country.

  • IRS goes after mother who makes $10 an hour

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is going after a single mother with two kids who makes $10 an hour at Supercuts. When she asked why she was being audited, the IRS told her: “You made eighteen thousand, and our data show a family of three needs at least thirty-six thousand to get by in Seattle.”

  • Who Wants War?
  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

    • Does the EU-Commission use Google Analytics?

      And if so, does this constitute a national security risk? I am just asking because even in private sector operations often passionate citizens approach us with concerns when we use Google Analytics. I am curious if the European Data Protection Supervisor website also uses Google Analytics…

    • EU Chemical Agency and the Analytics trojan

      I wonder how a public authority can make a company use the traffic information of its visitors for commercial analysis purposes. So in other words, a European Union body allows a company from a third nation to record traffic data, to spy on the use of its government websites and hand it out to third nation authorities.

    • Google chief: Only miscreants worry about net privacy

      If you’re concerned about Google retaining your personal data, then you must be doing something you shouldn’t be doing. At least that’s the word from Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

    • Yahoo, Verizon: Our Spy Capabilities Would ‘Shock’, ‘Confuse’ Consumers

      Want to know how much phone companies and internet service providers charge to funnel your private communications or records to U.S. law enforcement and spy agencies?

      That’s the question muckraker and Indiana University graduate student Christopher Soghoian asked all agencies within the Department of Justice, under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed a few months ago. But before the agencies could provide the data, Verizon and Yahoo intervened and filed an objection on grounds that, among other things, they would be ridiculed and publicly shamed were their surveillance price sheets made public.

    • Guest Blog By Carey Mercer: How The Vancouver Olympics Is Fucking Over Your Favourite Artists, And Why You Should Care

      A couple of days ago Frog Eyes frontman/Swan Lake member Carey Mercer sent us a link to an article in the Edmonton Journal that discussed a clause in the contracts signed by performers at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics that barred them from speaking negatively about the Games or the Olympic organizing committee.

    • ECPA Protections Don’t Apply Outside United States

      Along the way, the court rejected public policy arguments in support of the plaintiffs’ claims for ECPA protection. It rejected as well the contention that the ECPA applied because the electronic communications disclosed by Yahoo! China “may” have traveled through Yahoo!’s domestic network. Prior cases under the Wiretap Act, Stowe v. Devoy, 588 F.2d 336 (2d Cir. 1978), for example, have ruled that cross-border phone calls intercepted in Canada were not subject to the Wiretap Act.

    • Kindle Fantasies Are Running Wild — But, For Now, Amazon Is Losing Its Shirt
    • Novelist And Poet Says Google Books And The Kindle Are ‘Nazi’ Technology

      Normally, I would just call Godwin’s Law, and move on, but this is just beyond bizarre. Automatically assuming that all new high tech is a straight line from the Holocaust is just sickening and delusional beyond pretty much any level of standard luddism.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • DigiProtect Now Handing Pre-Settlement Threat Amounts Over To Collections Agencies

      They’re now sending out these letters at a massive rate, and while they’re not actually filing lawsuits, it appears that at least one of the firms involved, DigiProtect, is getting a collections agency involved in some cases. That seems pretty nasty. There’s no actual debt here, because the person has not agreed to pay up, but by handing it over to a collections agency, the person will now get hounded with demands for payment. It’s difficult to see how this is even close to legal.

    • Music Publishers Lawsuit Against Yahoo, Microsoft, Real Tossed For Failing To Prove They Hold Copyrights

      In some cases, those rights are still held by independent music publishers — and there was a fair amount of confusion over who owned what. It was a perfect example of how ridiculous copyright law is today that even in setting up a big music operation from a major company with the major record labels, no one was exactly sure if all the proper rights were secured.

    • IFPI Use IPRED To Demand File-Sharer Info For The First Time

      Music industry group IFPI has today submitted a request to the Stockholm District Court to force an ISP to hand over the personal details of an alleged file-sharer. The action marks the first time a request has been made by the organization under the IPRED legislation introduced in April.

    • Artists’ lawsuit: major record labels are the real pirates

      Between $50 million and $6 billion may be owed to musicians and artists in Canada, but not from your run-of-the-mill file sharers. The Canadian recording industry itself is being accused of massive copyright infringement, and the list of miffed artists just keeps getting longer.

    • How Team Tenenbaum missed a chance to shape P2P fair use law

      A federal judge has made it official: P2P file-swapper Joel Tenenbaum is on the hook for $675,000. The real tragedy here, though, is what might have been, as the judge admits she was receptive to all kinds of limited fair use claims and again slams the record industry’s lawsuit campaign.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Stormy Peters, HP open source strategist 02 (2004)

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

Links 08/12/2009: Fedora Claims Over 20 Million Installations

Posted in News Roundup at 8:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Zemlin: ‘Industry transformation depends on Linux’ (Q&A)

    Most businesses would die without centralized marketing and operations. The Linux kernel, however, thrives under this model.

  • High-Energy Linux: Linux & the Large Hadron Collider

    The biggest, most powerful atom smasher the world has ever seen, the LHC (Large Hadron Collider), with its 17-mile underground loop and TeVs (Teraelectronvolts) of proton beams, is finally up and running, with Linux in control.

    After some LHC engineering problems were fixed, CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research)’s LHC is now back to work exploring if the standard theories of both how matter and energy holds up and how the universe was created. The LHC will do this by smashing together a pair of particle beams that are shot around the circle in opposite directions at just shy of the speed of light. The resulting collision will produce showers of new particles, including, scientists hope, the elusive Higgs Boson particle.

  • Children

    • Tux Typing for kids- A Tuxy alternative to Mavis Beacon.

      Mavis Beacon without a doubt, is the most popular typing package in the world. However, a less known but better alternative to Mavis Beacon is Tux Typing. This cross platform open source typing application is designed to be intuitive, fun and educative with a special emphasis on children. It features the ever funny Tux-the official mascot of Linux- as the tutor.

    • It’s definitely working…

      Both my kids use Ubuntu at home; they are 5 & 9. They skip easily between Ubuntu & the Windows machines they use at school and with their friends. They also switch without difficulty between applications too. When necessary James does his homework in OpenOffice.org and takes a USB stick to school with the files saved in a nasty proprietary format.

  • Server

    • IBM Introduces New Linux Servers for the System z Mainframe

      IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced new hardware, software and services packages to help clients consolidate and virtualize enterprise workloads on IBM System z. Included are two new enterprise Linux servers that provide attractive, off-the-shelf pricing and configurations for large-scale data center consolidation on Linux.

      IBM also announced two new offerings in its System z Solution Edition series that makes System z attractive to new workloads – such as data warehousing, electronic payments and disaster recovery – so clients can run a wider range of their business activities with the powerful reliability, transaction-processing capabilities, and management capabilities and efficiencies of IBM System z.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Gentoo Family

      • Pentoo Linux for Penetration Testing – Review and Commentary

        Pentoo linux is a Gentoo-based live CD with a selection of apps and tools designed to perform penetration testing. They recently released their 2009.0 version and we thought we’d take it for a spin and share our findings.

      • Exherbo Install Process

        So basically, if you can install Gentoo, with or without the handbook, you can install Exherbo. Granted at the moment I’m installing in a VM but that shouldn’t make much difference. It’s just easier for me to start over. Though I haven’t so far. On the same hand though I don’t recommend starting with the pre-made VM on the Exherbo website. The one for VirtualBox at least was so outdated I couldn’t get paludis to work properly to save my life. No matter what I did it just kept bombing because packages had invalid tags on the end of the names. Apparently paludis 0.3x.x.x doesn’t like having “beta1″ or “rc” on the end of your package ID.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Rawhide users: fasten your seat belts

        For the daring folks who follow Rawhide: life is about to get interesting for a while. Fedora developers have announced that Rawhide will be moving to upstart 0.60 and to RPM 4.8.0. Both postings should be considered required reading for people with Rawhide systems.

      • The State of Fedora: We’re Not Just for Fanboys

        With over 20 million installations, Fedora is among the most world’s popular Linux distributions. While that kind of success has been due to a rapid base of supporters, the distro originally launched by Red Hat as a community Linux project is having to bridge the divide between targeting a mass audience and keeping hardcore enthusiasts in the fold.

    • Debian Family

      • X.Org 7.5 Gets Pulled Into Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

        Just in time for the Alpha 1 release of Ubuntu 10.04, X.Org 7.5 with X Server 1.7 has been pulled into the Lucid Lynx package repository. With this push of new X.Org 7.5 packages comes a number of other upstream X package updates along with rebuilds of the other non-updated drivers so that they will work against this latest stable X Server.

      • Ubuntu 9.10: Karmic Koala

        Right off the bat, Ubuntu earned my respect. Installing the entire OS, after deleting and creating new partitions, on my less-than-average HP dv5z took less than 20 minutes. (Side note- the HP dv5z disappoints me greatly. I do not recommend this slow, unstable, and easily-overheating laptop to anyone. I hope the new laptops in this series fare better than this.) I thought it would take a painful hour or more, so finishing the installation in this amount of time pleased me. After downloading all the necessary updates for the system, which went by pretty quickly, I restarted my computer (Ubuntu booted up in about 20 seconds), took a deep breath, and dove in.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Boxee and D-Link Partner For Boxee Box

      The full technical specifications won’t be announced until CES, but the BoxeeBoxeeBoxee did announce some basic details about the Boxee Box at tonight’s event. The big news is that the box is being made by D-link, is WiFi enabled and has an SD slot.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • KDE Plasma Netbook Preview

        With the growing popularity of netbooks, it is no surprise that many Linux distributions and software developers have created customized versions of their software to run on them. Some of the popular choices include Ubuntu’s Netbook Remix and Intel’s Moblin. Not to be counted out, KDE now has a version of their desktop environment designed for netbooks. While it is still under heavy development, I thought now would be a good time to get a little preview of what is to come. For the purposes of this preview, I installed Kubuntu Netbook Edition, but you can conceivably use any distribution that will support your netbook.

      • CrunchPad reborn as JooJoo

        Monday morning, former TechCrunch partner Fusion Garage revealed details of its plans to release its Linux-based Web browsing tablet.

      • The market for humanitarianism

        OLPC is not by any means going quietly into the night in the face of stiff competition. The company just completed the distribution of the XO-1 to 415,000 elementary schools in Uruguay. In addition, OLPC recently inked deals with Rwanda for 120,000 computers and Peru for 294,000 computers. In just three short years, OLPC has managed to sell over a million computers to some 31 countries. Kane proudly notes, “Indeed if a company would build a netbook that would have our qualities of low power and ruggedness, we would love to be out of the hardware business. We would love to have someone providing that machine at the right price point.” Yet it remains clear to Kane and his company that the XO-1 is still the only product suitable for meeting the needs of early childhood education in poorer countries.

Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenOffice.org

    • Question of the Day: What’s the real market share of OpenOffice.org ?

      In this regard, what we witnessed in Orvieto was important. For the first time we recorded about a dozen regions, states and any sort of upper administrative layers in many countries (Italy, Germany, South America, India, etc.) that migrated to OpenOffice.org and is effectively using it. In some countries, some of them earth giants and some others lesser giants, we witnessed purely and simply a national uptake. Brazil is a very telling example of this. It started by Brazilian states and the migration went up to the federal state. After that it reached large central administrations, central banks, large companies, and is now spreading to small businesses. We estimate today between 7 and 30 Million professional desktops that have been migrated to OpenOffice.org in Brazil. It is always possible that Brazilian citizens themselves are craving for MS Office and therefore lined up in IT stores to purchase licenses from Microsoft but local observers seemed skeptical of that. Brazil, some might think, might be the exception in all this (even if it were, what are you doing of their market share?) but we got very clear reports that such phenomena are witnessed elsewhere; albeit on a reduced scale. OpenOffice.org is gaining users in almost every public sector in the world, and gaining many more in the private sector (both small and large companies) while it’s quickly becoming the well known free (as in beer) alternative to Microsoft Office at home.

    • Copying multiple sheets at once in Calc spreadsheets
    • Openoffice.org- Play starwars galaxy easter egg in Calc
  • BSD

    • Six-monthly releases: OpenBSD shows the way

      De Raadt says that by the time one release takes place, the developers are already six weeks into the next development cycle. “The release is a branch off the main development
      tree. In many other projects, it is a live branch, as in a separate team cuts it off and then keeps making minor tweaks to it to make sure it is a good release (why? that is because the mainline is crap).

      “In OpenBSD, the release branch is a dead branch. The day it split from the trunk it was determined to be good enough for making a real release. Without any changes. That is because the trunk is good stuff.”

    • DIY pfSense firewall system beats others for features, reliability, and security

      For one, there is a higher degree of reliability. Running on a full computer system makes it infinitely upgradeable. It can be extended to do more than just shuffle packets back and forth. You can turn a simple firewall into a full intrusion detection system. You can analyze and track bandwidth usage. It can be a VPN end point, a Web proxy, DHCP and DNS server, load balancer, handle automatic failover, and provide great diagnostic tools.

      pfSense, a firewall system based on the FreeBSD kernel, can handle all of this and more.

  • Openness


  • Government

    • Secret files on protesters given to desal consortium

      SECRET police files on people protesting against Victoria’s $3.5 billion desalination project are being made available to the private consortium building the plant.

      Under a deal struck by the State Government in a bid to ensure the project is finished before Melbourne runs out of water, Victoria Police has agreed to hand over photos, video recordings and other police records to the international consortium AquaSure to help it ”manage” protests and potential security threats.

    • Tory donors offered meetings with comms chiefs Steve Hilton and Andy Coulson

      A leaked email details how the party has begun offering wealthy backers the chance to attend ‘private presentations’ in Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) with key figures including director of communications Andy Coulson and director of strategy Steve Hilton.

  • Finance

    • Ask Goldman Sachs: How Deep Does It Go?

      We already know that Goldman Sachs is still engaging in many of the same behaviors that crashed our economy. But here’s what we don’t know – and what Goldman isn’t telling: how deep does it go?

    • Public Citizen rallies against the banksters

      Numerous Public Citizen activists turned out, holding high our protest signs demanding “Put people before Wall Street profits” and “Don’t let the banks drive us off another cliff.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Ambassador Kirk: People would be “walking away from the table” if the ACTA text is made public

      I said that it was untrue that IPR negotiations are normally secret, mentioning as examples that drafts of the other IPR texts, including the proposed WIPO treaty for disabilities and the climate change agreement language on IPR, as well as several drafts of the FTAA text and the 1996 WIPO copyright treaties had been public. Kirk said that ACTA “was different” and the topics being negotiated in ACTA were “more complex.”

      I brought up to Kirk that the USTR had shown ACTA text to dozens of corporate lobbyists and all of its trading partners in the ACTA negotiation, and the text was only secret from the public. Kirk did say USTR was discussing this issue with the White House and its trading partners, but that was about all he could say at that moment.

    • Canadian Recording Industry Hit With $6 Billion Copyright Lawsuit

      Chet Baker was a leading jazz musician in the 1950s, playing trumpet and providing vocals. Baker died in 1988, yet he is about to add a new claim to fame as the lead plaintiff in possibly the largest copyright infringement case in Canadian history. His estate, which still owns the copyright in more than 50 of his works, is part of a massive class-action lawsuit that has been underway for the past year.

      The infringer has effectively already admitted owing at least $50 million and the full claim could exceed $6 billion. If the dollars don’t shock, the target of the lawsuit undoubtedly will: The defendants in the case are Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada, the four primary members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association.

    • French Government’s Plan To Help Book Publishers Adapt: Have Them Embrace Three Strikes Plan

Clip of the Day

kde 4.4 early prewiew (svn 5 Dec 2009)

ODF Wins in Slovakia, Maybe More Countries

Posted in Europe, Formats, OpenDocument, Standard at 5:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Slovakia's flag

Summary: Updates on ODF progress around the world, among developers, and in committees

THE NEWS about Slovakia choosing ODF (OpenDocument Format) was last mentioned in September and now we have Jan Husar stating that “OOXML didn’t made it into national standards and ODF can be used in any version!”

This message was passed on by Rob Weir and many other people who support ODF. Another person says that “In conference with the Dominican Republic document archieve from the ministry of culture about implementing ODF…”

There are few tiny reports about the ODF TC, including this from Dennis Hamilton. Jomar Silva is formally joining the discussion.

Over in Denmark, the anger and confusion are not over. We wrote about this last month and reports continue to pour, albeit they’re mostly/only in Danish:

There is also this report in Dutch and an accompanying photo.

A new version of lpOD has been announced, which is good news to ODF. [via vim expert Bart Hanssens]

lpOD 0.8 has just been released, together with its documentation. You can download lpOD 0.8 here.

lpOD — languages & platforms OpenDocument.
Definition of a Free Software API implementing the ISO/IEC 26300 standard.

This is also mentioned here and there are other new projects that advance ODF.

There is growing pressure on Quickoffice to support ODF on iPhone and Symbian.

I use some open office files in my thumbdrive, so that i can easily transition between my home pc (windows) and linux netbook (Asus Eee PC). I hope Quickoffice can support these files, so that I can also use them on my S60 phone (Nokia E71)

Androffice already supports ODF [1, 2, 3] and so does Officeshots, which has this new article on the subject.

Microsoft Gets Its Way in the European Commission

Posted in Europe, Interoperability, Microsoft, Patents at 5:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EU and Polish flag

Summary: The Microsoft-stuffed European Commission is caving in to Microsoft and the threat of software patents in Europe grows

THERE are (at least) two antitrust-related cases in Europe which affect Microsoft. The first relates to Web browsers and the second relates to interoperability, along with the relation to software patents. What will the new European Commission do regarding these cases now that it’s filled with more Microsoft-sympathetic people?

The first type of case we have covered in:

  1. Mozilla Unofficially Joins ECIS and Opera in Opposition to Microsoft’s Deal in Europe; Microsoft Poisoned Firefox
  2. Parties Behind Complaints Against Microsoft in EU Not Pleased
  3. Microsoft’s Older Crimes Against Web Browsers Return, Microsoft’s New Attacks on JavaScript Revisited
  4. Opera Complains About Vista 7
  5. Microsoft Bypasses the Law and Breaks the Web for Opera and GNU/Linux Users, Again
  6. Mozilla and Opera Still Object to Microsoft’s Deal with the Commission
  7. Microsoft Hopes a Tickbox Will Restore Fair Competition in Europe; Opera Disagrees
  8. Microsoft Crowd Incites People Against Rival Web Browsers
  9. A Ballot Screen is Not Justice, Internet Explorer Still Compromises Users’ PCs

The second case we most recently covered in:

  1. Glyn Moody on European Commission’s Inability to Defend Free Software in Face of Microsoft Lies
  2. Microsoft Wins Free Software-Hostile Deal in Europe, Its Front Group ACT Pleased
  3. European Commission Still Protects Microsoft Lobbyists
  4. ECIS on the Patent Licensing Paradox, Microsoft Confesses Licensing Tricks

According to Reuters, there might be a settlement regarding the first case. It might be announced later today.

Three people familiar with the situation said the European Commission was expected to approve on Tuesday Microsoft’s plan to make it easier for consumers to choose rival browsers on the firm’s Windows operating system, which is used on a majority of personal computers.

The decision would allow Microsoft to avoid another hefty penalty, after it had been fined a total of 1.68 billion euros ($2.5 billion) by the Commission over charges it breached EU antitrust rules.

Opera Software, which initiated this case, is seeing a growth in userbase.

Opera Software announces that within one week of its release, more than 12 million people downloaded Opera 10.10 with Opera Unite.

Regarding the second case, the patent situation in Europe [1, 2, 3] must make Microsoft very pleased. Neelie Kroes was not principally against software patents, despite the fact that they are illegal in the continent. Microsoft and its lobbyists must have brainwashed her. Not only its pressure groups lobbied for this to happen but Microsoft too made it clear that it wants a single patent system (a global one) through which to impose software patents on everyone. As eWEEK Europe puts it:

Companies including Microsoft have been pushing for a more international approach to patents. In September, Microsoft’s Horacio Gutierrez corporate vice president and deputy general counsel said that over 3.5 million patent applications are pending around the world, including over 750,000 in the U.S – and the costs and time-delays are too high at present. A single global patent system would ease the burden on companies and patent offices.

“In today’s world of universal connectivity, global business and collaborative innovation, it is time for a world patent that is derived from a single patent application, examined and prosecuted by a single examining authority and litigated before a single judicial body,” he said.

In 2006, Microsoft and Linux-distribution owner Novell signed an interoperability collaboration agreement which included some protection relating to Microsoft’s ownership of intellectual property in the open source operating system.

It is all said in relation to pan-EU patents, which pose new problems other than the overriding of existing patent law in many countries.

European ministers have reached agreement on a new EU-wide patent structure after lengthy negotiations but have failed to find a way past the biggest obstacle to an EU-wide patent: the cost of translation.

Ministers have approved a new litigation system to deal with a new Europe-wide patent in a deal that will still require the approval of the European Parliament and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

Translation is not the greatest problem if patent law gets perturbed to fit the agenda of stakeholders such as Microsoft, not to mention the pharmaceutical cartel which turns out to be killing people by driving competitors out of the market. [via]

Drug-Makers Paying Off Competitors To Keep Cheap Generics Off Market

Republicans and their allies in the business community talk a good game about the virtues of free-market competition. But, as we’ve seen in the debate over the public option, that stance often goes out the window when corporate profits are at stake.

And now we’ve got another example — one of the sleaziest and most blatantly self-serving yet.

Another great example of patents being used against people. Bill Gates is investing in this practice [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], amongst others.

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: December 7th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 4:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


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