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IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: December 13th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


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Links 13/12/2009: More IBM Servers, DRBD in Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 6:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Pogson’s Predictions for 2010

    # GNU/Linux. Enough businesses selling GNU/Linux are losing enough money because M$ is campaigning against GNU/Linux that this is feasible. For example, when M$ provides training materials for retailers’ staff putting down GNU/Linux and denying a market for OEMs selling GNU/Linux, this is grounds for an anti-trust case. Same goes for prohibiting benchmarking, selling same hardware with GNU/Linux and M$’s stuff, and revealing the cost of the OS.

    # Several large US governments will convert to GNU/Linux thin clients in 2010. It just makes sense. The USA has supported M$ further than there is any duty or economic interest. Arguments of protecting US jobs ring hollow in the face of cointinually rising costs for malware, downtime, patching, etc. Taxpayers should have a say, too. They are tired of tax dollars flowing down the licensing funnel to M$. Munich may never pay another volume licence to M$. Why should NYC or LA?

  • China Firms Defend Tech-Purchase Rules

    Some Chinese tech executives say their government isn’t doing enough to protect them. “I hope China will do more … to make the competition more fair,” says Fan Hongguang, product manager for Red Flag Software Co., a Beijing company that produces a Linux-based operating system that competes with Microsoft Corp.’s Windows software.

    Linux technology was developed by programmers around the world, raising questions about whether Red Flag’s product qualifies as “indigenous innovation.” But Mr. Fan says Red Flag has already applied for accreditation for its products under the new rules, and that he’s not worried. “I trust that [Linux's international origins] will not interfere” with the applications, he said.

  • Many benefit from Linux without knowing

    I ‘ve talked to a lot of people who are just not ready or willing to make the move to Linux. They are happy to live with Windows, and, of course, enjoy the world’s largest software support library.

    What might surprise you, however, is that you’re probably using Linux in one way or another, and just don’t know it. For example, I just purchased a new Samsung LCD TV. One of the things that I find attractive is the set’s ability to view JPEG files (photographs), movies and even web pages without the need for a computer. I was caught off guard by the TV’s sophisticated menus and graphics (even built-in recipes). And I was surprised that so much technology is packed into a device essentially considered as single purpose.

  • Red Hat heads back to the desktop with SPICE

    Red Hat is the number one Linux company, but they haven’t been interested in the Linux desktop for years. With the open-sourcing of SPICE (Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environment), that’s changing.

  • Server

    • IBM opens new cloud lab while Microsoft reorgs

      IBM is continuing its investment in cloud computing with a new lab in Hong Kong, expanding the presence of its IBM China Development Laboratory (CDL), the company’s largest with more than 5,000 developers on staff.


      My blogging colleague, James Urquhart, wrote this week about Microsoft’s new business unit that merges its cloud and on-premise server group into one development team, which makes sense, at least in theory.

      Practically speaking, Microsoft is way behind the curve and has a lot of ground to make. I’ve written in the past that the opportunity is theirs to lose, and it’s hard to see how they plan to win, even with this new structure.

    • IBM: LotusLive paying subscribers go from 0 to 18 million in a year

      IBM has 18 million paying client seats for its LotusLive cloud services, a jump that will result in a few double takes among IT industry watchers.

    • Windows and Red Hat pricing on Amazon EC2 vs. on-premise

      * Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition: $2,999
      * Red Hat Enterprise Linux Basic Subscription for 1 year: $349
      * Windows price premium: 759 percent

  • Google

    • Chrome: The new colour of OS

      There is a new kid in the Operating System (OS) block. The source code of Chromium OS, the open source project behind Google Chrome OS, was released a couple of weeks ago and, according to the official Google blog, netbooks preloaded with the finished OS will be available by late 2010.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • Personal Financial Management Software for Linux – Continued

      During the past week I was able to look at a few more candidates in the Personal Financial Management area, and to gain some experience with the one that I have decided to use for now. Please keep in mind that what I am presenting here is intended only to give you an idea of what is available, with a very brief overview of each package, and give you a link that you can follow if you want to investigage further or try one of them yourself.


      So, that’s all the alternatives I’m going to be looking at for now. For my own use, I have decided to continue with KMyMoney. I have been using it, entering my accounts…

  • Distributions

    • REVIEW – xPUD 0.9.2

      Compared to other browser based distros that Ive covered here, xPUD is extremely polished. The menu that greets you is clean, attractive and simple. Even the most IT challenged would have no difficulty in getting to grips with it in a very short space of time. Hardware was recognised without issue and the bootup shutdown times are without doubt the fastest Ive seen in a distro to date.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Digital Gear: Android Tablets Charge Ahead

        Sony has a rich history in developing entertainment devices, and the company’s upcoming Xperia X10 smartphone could become one of the better mobile devices for multimedia and entertainment. The device has the hardware and software necessary to take high-resolution pictures, access Web sites and stream video from the Internet.

        It includes an 8.1-megapixel camera, and images will be displayed on its 4-inch OLED (organic light-emitting diode) touch screen. The device is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor running at 1GHz, which is also used in netbook-like devices running full-fledged Linux operating systems. The Xperia weighs just 135 grams.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Atom N450 Netbooks Hit Full Force in January

        Starting January 11th, you’ll be able to get faster, beefier netbooks, with the arrival of next-gen Atom chips, according to Gizmodo.

        Search for netbooks on Amazon.com and you’ll notice that for all the different models you can buy, the specs are mostly standard: 10.1-inch screen, 160GB hard drive, 1GB DDR2 of memory, and a 1.6GHz Atom N270 processor. If you’re willing to spend the money, you can upgrade to 2GB ram and a 1.66GHz Atom N280, but that’s about it.

      • Netbooks: What’s the small idea?

        None of these three computers were awful, but they all could have been better. It shouldn’t be that hard: Manufacturers just need to remember that netbooks aren’t shrunken versions of regular laptops. It would help if Microsoft stopped trying to wish away this category of computer — but if it won’t, there are good Linux developers that would gladly take its place.

      • Sugar on a Stick: What it means for e-books and education

        “Ooo4Kids” or Open Office for Children brings the power of word-processing, spreadsheets, and presentation tools to the Sugar learner.

        With all of the Activities, Sugar users can share their work, locally in a classroom or globally, from Bangkok to Bogotá to Berlin.

        A new version of Sugar has just been released: Sugar on a Stick v2 Blueberry. Available for download, Sugar on a Stick can be loaded onto any ordinary 1Gb or greater flash drive to reboot any PC, netbook or recent Mac directly into the child-friendly Sugar environment without touching the existing installation. Sugar is also available for GNU/Linux distributions, runs under virtualization on Windows and Apple OS X, and features built-in classroom collaboration and automatic backup to a Journal.

      • Netbook Operating System Jolicloud Set to Take on Google Chrome OS

        When it comes to lightweight operating systems for a netbook or smartbook (which is basically a netbook that runs an ARM processor — expect to see them early next year), much of the recent buzz has centered around Google’s Chrome OS.

      • Jolicloud netbook Linux distro goes beta

        The netbook form factor is here to stay, but even the best operating systems don’t do a great job with squeezing into the minimum screen real estate afforded by a 10.1 incher. Windows 7 is guilty of wasting too much of a netbook’s 1024 x 600 screen with the extremely large task bar, while OS X (if you run a Hackintosh) has the famous dock, which is notoriously unfriendly to smaller screens.

      • Google’s Chrome OS Aims to Speed Up Netbooks

        A few weeks ago, Google unveiled what it’s hoping will be the new standard in netbook operating systems: Chrome OS. Based on Linux, Chrome OS is a fast, low-overhead OS that boots directly into a Web browser to get you online with as little waiting as possible. We’ve been running an early version of Chrome OS on our test systems since Google released the code to the open-source community. Here’s a peek at what you can expect to see when preinstalled systems debut for the 2010 holiday season.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Colorado city adopts open-source platform for its network gateway

    The city settled on Untangle’s Open Source Network Gateway, which fulfilled not only the baseline Web filtering requirements but also includes a suite of add-ons that are saving the city more money.

    Westminster uses an outside service for antivirus protection and to block spam. The service was stopping 90 percent of incoming spam, said network administrator John Neiberger, but the IT staff members still had to deal with the remaining 10 percent until they turned on the Untangle Gateway’s spam blocker.

    “In August, it quarantined 10,000 more messages that we didn’t have to do manually,” Neiberger said. He estimated that freed 33 hours of IT staff members’ time, at a savings of about $1,000 to the city.

  • When integrating many tools, one size does not fit all

    Information technology administrators at Westminster, Colo., saved money by using the Untangle Gateway from Untangle to help monitor and control Internet access, but not everything worked out of the box.

  • 9 Management Apps That Won’t Bust Your Budget

    Open source world delivers enterprise capabilities at a price that’s hard to resist.

  • Is the Future of SOA Open Source?

    The bottom line here is that open source solutions can provide real value to SOA efforts today, both in terms of reductions in up-front cost as well as other the attendant benefits of open source including the ability to directly influence product evolution, more transparent architecture, as long as its functional strengths in service fabric are clearly understood and respected.

  • A spectacular view of the entire Milky Way… using open source!

    Do not adjust your computer screen: what you see here is a piece of genius. A labor of love spanning two years, two hemispheres, two countries and over 3000 images… I give to you, the All-Sky Milky Way Panorama — version 2! And, you’ll be glad to hear, it was stitched together with open-source software.

  • Mozilla

  • Databases/Datacentre

  • Business (Press Releases)

  • Funding

  • Government

    • Obama Promotes New Open Government Initiative

      U.S. government agencies must publish their information online in “open formats,” under a new open government plan released by U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration.

    • OSTP to Launch Public Forum to Discuss Options for Improving Public Access to Results of Federally Funded Research

      On Thursday, Dec. 10, OSTP will launch a public consultation on Public Access Policy. The Administration is seeking public input on access to publicly-funded research results, such as those that appear in academic and scholarly journal articles. Currently, the National Institutes of Health require that research funded by its grants be made available to the public online at no charge within 12 months of publication. The Administration is seeking views as to whether this policy should be extended to other science agencies and, if so, how it should be implemented.

    • Why open source may win the electronic health record market

      There are literally dozens of EHRs to choose from. The vast majority are proprietary.


      Enter Medsphere, a commercial supporter of VistA software. Their OpenVista is open source. Kern could download it, call it free, and then sign a professional services contract with Medsphere for support.

    • Find out where the UK government spends its money

      The Open Knowledge Foundation has created a visualisation so that everyone can easily understand British government spending

  • Programming

    • Eclipse Marketplace is Now Live

      I am very pleased to announce that Eclipse Marketplace is now live. Thanks to everyone that provided feedback as we rolled out Marketplace. A big thanks to Nathan Gervias who has done a great job making Marketplace a reality. The results are fantastic.

    • Sun Microsystems Releases NetBeans IDE 6.8

      Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ:JAVA) and the NetBeans(TM) developer community today announced the availability of the NetBeans Integrated Development Environment (IDE) 6.8, the first IDE to provide complete support for the Java(TM) Platform Enterprise Edition 6 (Java EE 6) and Sun GlassFish(TM) Enterprise Server v3, as well as other innovative new features. Developers can download the NetBeans IDE 6.8 at www.netbeans.org.

    • Sun Microsystems Launches GlassFish Enterprise Server v3

      Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server v3 is the industry’s first application server to support the new Java Platform Enterprise Edition 6 (Java EE 6). Java EE 6 introduces features to increase the flexibility of the platform and enable companies to use the new, lightweight Web Profile, in addition to the full enterprise platform, to help meet their business requirements.


  • Santa Claus banned from visiting locked-up children in UK asylum detention centre

    Santa Claus was prevented from giving presents to the imprisoned children of asylum seekers at the notorious Yarl’s Wood detention centre by private security guards. Yarl’s Wood is a privately run prison whose inmates are UK immigrants who arrived seeking asylum, but whose claims have been denied. They are dragged out of bed in the dead of night and stuck in mesh-windowed vans without their belongings and without the chance to say goodbye to their loved ones, and then detained in terrible conditions that have been decried by human rights advocates, doctors, psychiatrists and other experts. Their “crime” is trying to escape torture, privation, and disaster.

  • Environment

    • Ocean acidification rates pose disaster for marine life, major study shows

      The world’s oceans are becoming acidic at a faster rate than at any time in the last 55m years, threatening disaster for marine life and food supplies across the globe, delegates at the UN climate conference in Copenhagen have been warned.


      Congressman Brian Baird, a Democrat representative from Washington state, who championed a bill in Congress promoting US research on ocean acidification, said these findings would help counter climate change sceptics, since acidification was easily and immediately measurable.

      “The consequences of ocean acidification may be every bit as grave as the consequences of temperature increases,” he said. “It’s one thing to question a computer extrapolation, or say it snowed in Las Vegas last year, but to say basic chemistry doesn’t apply is a real problem [for the sceptics]. I think the evidence is really quite striking.”

    • First days of Copenhagen talks

      A Danish text has provoked strong protests from developing countries in Copenhagen, while there are calls for nuclear’s role to be recognised.

      The Danish text, termed the ‘Copenhagen Agreement’, was leaked to the Guardian newspaper yesteday, although its contents had been discussed informally at preparatory meetings.

    • The Story behind COP15, G77, Klimaforum09 and the Tired Ambassador

      I walked into the alternative to the Climate Conference, ”Klimaforum09,” with a specific question I wanted answered: “In what practical way can the activists here be successful in the effort to avoid catastrophic climate change?” I had heard plenty of general declarations about how bad our plight is, and about the necessity for clean energy to happen fast – but I wanted to know what was being done to get from Point A to Point B.

  • Finance

    • State Of California Doesn’t Know How To Accept $14 Fee

      Reader Justin may have discovered the real reason for California’s fiscal crisis. He owes the DMV $14, but says that the DMV doesn’t seem to want his money. Which is strange, since this is the opposite of how most people think of the DMV. Maybe they don’t have any lines, either.

    • Hundreds of billions in crime money knowingly laundered by banks during credit crunch

      The Observer reports that an estimated $352bn of drug and mafia money was laundered by the major banks at the peak of the credit crunch, while regulators turned a blind eye, since the highly liquid criminal underworld was the only source of the cash necessary to keep the banks’ doors open. As Charlie Stross notes, “A third of a trillion dollars is a lot of money; it’s enough to fund the US military invading another country halfway around the world, or a manned Mars exploration program.” Charlie goes on to mention that now that these narcobucks “aren’t neatly bundled up inside the mattress any more; they’re in the system,” that there’s $0.3 trillion sitting there, nice and legal, entering the investment world.

    • [corp-focus] A Little Bit of Wall Street Reform

      Four hundred forty-two days after Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy, the U.S. House of Representatives has finally passed financial reform legislation.

      The long delay between the onset of the financial crisis — a direct consequence of a quarter century of deregulation — and the passage of Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 did not well serve the cause of reform.

    • Goldman Sachs: One of the Banksters

      The purpose of comprehensive financial reform isn’t to limit bankers’ wealth or to prevent yesterday’s specific problems. It’s about strengthening the financial system. Reducing systemic risk will benefit the whole economy, and in the long run the banks themselves.

  • AstroTurf

    • Insurers Trick Facebook Users Into Opposing Health Care Reform

      A coalition of insurance industry groups called “Get Health Reform Right,” led by Blue Cross Blue Shield and including America’s Health Insurance Plans, the American Benefits Council and others, has been caught tricking Facebook users into sending electronic letters opposing health care reform to their Congressional representatives by paying them with “virtual currency.”

  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

    • Take-Down of Home Video From YouTube Site Leads to Damages Suit

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation is trying to make Universal Music pay damages for unfairly taking a home video of a toddler dancing to a Prince song off YouTube.

      But before the sides get to the sticky question of just how the toddler’s mother, Stephanie Lenz, suffered by having the video pulled and later restored to YouTube, the EFF wants a judge to determine if such damages are even possible.

    • Top Ten China Myths of 2009

      The Internet might be censored but it can never be rolled back in China. Fact: Over the summer, China embarked on an unprecedented effort to maintain stability: it could be called The Great Internet Shut-Down. After scores of people were killed and hundreds injured in the worst ethnic violence in decades in the Xinjiang region, authorities simply turned off large portions of the Web in Xinjiang and left it off for months. No email, Skype, and IM, though local news sites and shopping and such were still available, as this good description points out. The effect on business and education is incalculable, but, in a measure of how much China is willing to do to protect stability, authorities kept the ban in place well into the winter. This would probably not work on a national basis, but the ban was a shocking reminder of what is possible.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Filesharing is good for social welfare

      Does filesharing reduce profits of the music industry? This paper claims so, and that should not be that much of a surprise. However, it also argues that filesharing is welfare improving because it leads to more competition and thus lower prices. Remember, ultimately it is the consumer that counts when computing a surplus, not just music industry profits.

    • Digital Publications May Be A Hard Sell

      Five of the largest U.S. newspaper and magazine publishers have announced plans to develop a new digital e-reader format that would meld the visual esthetics of print with the rich capabilities of online media, including video, social networking, touch input, and games. A joint venture of publishing powerhouses Time Inc., News Corp., Conde Nast, Hearst Corp., and Meredith Corp., the project will launch next year. It’s designed to offer a superior user experience to current e-readers such as the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook, which are fine for book-reading but ill-equipped to handle video, high-resolution color images, and other media elements that today’s Web-browsing readers take for granted.

    • Nobel Streams Laureates Over the Web in Bid to Build Brand

      In a break from decades of Nobel history — when laureates’ lectures were available only in real time to privileged attendees in Oslo and Stockholm — this year’s speeches are being broadcast live on the Web. The offerings are part of the foundation’s drive to spread the Nobel brand and harness long-neglected intellectual-property rights.

    • Sarkozy to protect French literature from readers and the evils of increased relevance

      According to the NYT, Nicolas Sarkozy said that “[w]e won’t let ourselves be stripped of our heritage to the benefit of a big company, no matter how friendly, big or American it is,” probably referring to the fact that about half of the 12 million books scanned by Google are not in English. How exactly is cultural heritage threatened by increased access? Because hundreds of thousands of links to French language books would be added to the 850,000 entries in the French Wikipedia within weeks? Because more and more people around the world would read, re-read, and incorporate in their own lifes, storytelling, and cultural production French works? Prime Minister Francois Fillon similarly said that France would not accept another cultural industry being “threatened by looting.” So culture is looted by access, use, and relevance? What a profound misunderstaning of what culture is and how it works.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Stormy Peters, HP open source strategist 09 (2004)

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

Links 13/12/2009: Preview of Linux 2.6.33, Krita Gets €4,000

Posted in News Roundup at 5:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • When Open Source Meets Closed Minds

    Me: “Do you mean Debian Linux?”

    Caller: “Yes, that! Is it some sort of computer mafia or something?”

    Me: “Uh, no, it’s just a different operating system. Nothing to worry about.”

    Caller: “But it’s illegal! It’s not Microsoft, not even Windows! They’re on a normal Microsoft computer, so they’re breaking the law! I think they stole my identity when I came in the building! I’m calling the FBI!” *hangs up*

  • Killer Applications that make 800 pound gorillas tremble

    The truth of the matter is Gandhi-Con4 has already started. Brazil, the 10th largest world economy and growing, dumped Microsoft in favor of Linux years ago in a desire for transparency and has been tickeled pink ever since. The French Army just quit Outlook in favor of the open source email client, Thunderbird. It does not stop there, remember, countries in every corner of the world have ordered One-Laptop-Per-Child netbooks that run Linux. Tax-payers of the world will see this trend and get sick and tired of seeing that Microsoft is on their corporate welfare dole.

  • The GNU/Linux Naming Controversy Quietly Lives On

    Should we really have to call it GNU/Linux instead of just Linux?

    The question lingers in my mind after a recent reader commented and corrected me that I should use the term “GNU/Linux” when referring to the entire operating system. I guess the naming controversy quietly lives on.

  • Yet Another Reason To Learn Linux – It’s Free

    Your Linux costs don’t end with the Internet. I don’t think that the electricity that powers your computer is free. And the longer your days and nights spent in front of the computer the higher your light and heat bill. Furthermore, the more time you spend on Linux the more money you may end up spending on snacks, new eyeglasses, and taxis when you miss the bus to work because you just couldn’t tear yourself away from the computer in time. I think you get my drift. But we repeat. Linux, this website, and many of the references on the web are free. Should you outgrow Damn Small Linux the larger versions of Linux are free, or at least quite inexpensive when compared to ostensibly similar versions of Microsoft Windows.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: New stable kernels, 2.6.33 with DRBD and RT2800PCI

      Kernel versions, and offer minor improvements and correct several bugs – including one security hole. Torvalds has already incorporated more than 5,000 changes for Linux 2.6.33. Its merge window will probably be open for just over another week. Various developers are working on significant improvements to the open source Radeon graphics drivers.

    • Graphics Stack

      • New xf86-video-intel 2.10 Testing Release

        Less than two weeks ago the first release candidate for the xf86-video-intel 2.10 driver was released, but now the second release candidate can be obtained from its Git repository. Not a whole lot of work has been committed to the Intel DDX driver since xf86-video-intel, but is out there and testing is appreciated.

      • What Will Happen To xf86-video-nv In 2010?

        While the Gallium3D driver to provide 3D/OpenGL acceleration (along with OpenCL, OpenVG, OpenGL ES and other accelerated APIs through the state tracker interface) will not be released right away as this is where the bulk of the development is still taking place, the Nouveau driver already has many advantages over what it is replacing: xf86-video-nv. The xf86-video-nv driver is NVIDIA’s attempt at an open-source driver in the way of just providing very basic user mode-setting for their hardware and limited 2D acceleration. That’s about it for the features of this driver with no RandR 1.2 support or any other DDX features found in most other drivers.

      • The Nouveau Pony Is Pulled, Ctx_Voodoo Ignored

        Leading up to this though, Red Hat attributed Nouveau not entering the mainline tree sooner on the basis of some microcode/firmware concerns. Without sorting out the issue for this mysterious microcode, known as ctx_voodoo, they could not sign off on the code. As of right now, they haven’t even fully resolved this situation but they are just having ctx_voodoo be loaded through the kernel’s firmware loader interface. However, we have learned that ctx_voodoo is not even needed for all graphics cards and that Red Hat was just attempting to ignore this little fact.

      • NVIDIA 190.53 Pre-Release Linux Driver

        For those not interested in the Nouveau driver, head on over to NVIDIA’s FTP server as a new 190.xx driver is available. Late last month NVIDIA released the 195.22 beta Linux driver as the first in this new driver series, and while there are new features and advancements going on there, NVIDIA is still maintaining the current 190.xx stable driver series. Released last night was the NVIDIA 190.53 pre-release driver.

  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment

    • Krita got €4,000 Donation

      Krita’s team have reached their target to raise Krita to the next level since they’ve raised €4,000.00 so far, which is €1,000.00 over their goal!. This donation will be used to hire Lukáš Tvrdý for three months to work for accelerating Krita’s performance, stability and usability.

    • Wow!

      Thanks to our latest donor, Silvio Grosso, we’re at four thousand euros now on Pledgie: Help raise Krita to the next level — which together with the donations people have made into my bank account directly, means that, even after Paypal has taken its cut, Lukas will be able to work on Krita for another month in the summer!

    • What is KDE worth?

      So I got to wondering how much overall our community has generously given the KDE project. I dont have all of /KDE checked out, only /koffice, which is worth a stonking $ 34,484,962.

    • All good things come to an end….

      For the fun time we’ve had working on KPilot or whining about the pity state of device synchronization on Linux in general (still today it seems that there’s not really a rock solid solution available). I’d also like to thank Robert and Doug for their contributions and of course the people who started KPilot in the first place like Dan Pilone and Rainhold Kainhofer. We’ll have to see what the future brings. But with all those new powerful devices, which are able to access various groupware solutions I doubt if anyone wants to really invest in a computer <-> phone/handheld solution. The curtain falls for KPilot, good bye old friend, fare well!

    • Manage your network with the new KNetwork Manager

      For the longest time the only worthwhile network manage (especially of the wireless kind) was the GNOME Network Manager. Once KDE hit release 4 their network manager KNetwork Manager was plagued with issues to the point where it was nearly unusable.

  • Distributions

    • Five Web-Centric Alternatives to Google Chrome OS

      Despite Google’s move into the operating system (OS) space, the idea of a primarily cloud-centric OS is nothing revolutionary; the earliest examples date back to 1999. And although numerous other attempts at developing Web-centric OSesn none up to this point have truly broken into the mainstream. But some current offerings present welcome alternatives to mainstream operating systems, packing in useful features and making it easier to access your online content.

    • Reviews

      • Mangaka Chu

        Mangaka Chu is unique enough that it doesn’t remotely resemble its parent distribution. It has many interesting software choices and seems dedicated to helping their target audience enjoy anime and manga on Linux.

      • Life just isn’t fair

        And then along comes Slitaz.

        Slitaz has already given me the proverbial “middle finger,” as some of my American friends say — being the only distro I know that I didn’t build myself that can run comfortably on less than 16Mb of memory. A day or two ago it did it again, popping up a graphical desktop with Xorg 7.4, which hasn’t worked for me ever.

    • New Releases

      • Development Release: xPUD 0.9.2
      • Ultimate Edition 2.5
      • GNUstep 2.0
      • GNUstep 2.0 OS released

        More than one year after the release of version 1.9, the GNUstep developers have released their GNUstep LiveCD 2.0, which allows the platform-independent, object-oriented GNUstep OS to be tried without installing it. The system is available for 32 and 64-bit systems, as well as for PowerPCs and UltraSPARC. GNUstep 2.0 comes with Linux kernel version 2.6.31 and is based on the Debian distribution. The GUI is provided by the WindowMaker window manager, a design similar to that of NeXTstep.

      • Sabayon Linux 5.1 Released!

        The best, refined blend of GNU/Linux, coming with bleeding edge edges is eventually here! Say hello to Sabayon Five-point-Oneh, available in both GNOME and KDE editions!
        Dedicated to those who like cutting edge stability, out of the box experience, outstanding Desktop performance, clean and beauty. Sabayon 5.1 will catch you, anything that could have been compiled, has been compiled, anything cool that could have been implemented or updated, it’s there: you will find outstanding amount of new applications and features, like XBMC 9.04.1 (formerly known as Xbox Media Center), KDE 4.3.4, GNOME 2.28, and so forth.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat will host forum on open source cloud computing

        Open source software developer Red Hat announced this week that it will host an online forum on open source cloud computing forum on February 10, 2010.

      • Network appliance offers up to 10 GbE ports

        Acrosser is shipping a fanless 1U network appliance that runs Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.x. The AR-R5100FL is a 19-inch rackmount system that incorporates an Intel EP80579 (“Tolapai”) SoC with Intel QuickAssist technology, along with six to ten gigabit Ethernet ports, and dual USB, serial, and SATA ports.

      • Seeding breakthrough thoughts

        There’s also Bob Young from Red Hat Linux – a legendary figure and company hero-worshipped by many in the computer industry. From Young’s accounts over sessions that totalled 10 hours, Martin describes in The Opposable Mind the obstacles and contradictions the former had faced.

        Young was realistic enough to accept that to be sustainable, a revenue stream must be created for Red Hat. He also realised that companies were willing to pay for goods and services, including software. However, they must be reassured the vendor company will be around in the years ahead.

        Young’s competitors were formidable – Microsoft, which wanted to control the server operating system market, and the different Linux distributions. Through integrative thinking, Young focused on getting Red Hat to be seen as the market leader. He decided on a move which astonished everyone – he encouraged companies and users to download Red Hat for free! However, they would have to pay for future services; like in upgrading the software.

        The free downloadings resulted in Red Hat being tabulated in industry statistics and records as the leader in server operating system. It brought prestige, credibility and trust among businesses, with many deciding to use Linux rather than Windows for their servers. Young’s unique decisions and solutions from the opposable factors propelled Red Hat into the big time, and he became a billionaire upon the company’s IPO.

      • FUDCon/Fedora

        • Fedora, open source trademarks and FUD

          To that end, while there is a place for trademark law in open source, it’s my opinion, that the value a brand, or project be it Fedora, Red Hat or any other is more about how they deal with their users and community, than how they deal with Trademark law (but it’s always good to have a lawyer on hand..just in case).

        • FUDCon Toronto report.

          Coming up to this event, I’d been struggling a bit with some mental and spiritual exhaustion. This event helped me get Fedora back into perspective and reminded me what a beautiful thing it is to be surrounded by wonderful, smart people — and how much we can accomplish when we bring our ideas together and compare them constructively to find the best way forward. Thank you to every single one of you who participated either on-site or remotely, for the gift of renewal.

        • Fedora 12 – A Visually-Pleasing, Highly-Configurable Linux Distro You Might Want To Try

          Although my experiences with Fedora over the years have been riddled with installation issues, humdrum looks, and a lack of tools and default software, I seem to be in the minority. What works really well for me, my work flow, and my hardware may not work that well for you – and vise versa. This is why a particular distro may receive a bad review from one writer and a glowing review from another. It all boils down to personal experience. I’m reminded of this every time I try to use Fedora.

    • Debian Family

      • Installing Ubuntu 9.10 Walk Through – VirtualBox

        I went ahead and just did a quick screenshot walk through of installing Ubuntu 9.10, and some possible points of interest for anyone that may need help understanding the steps.

      • Plymouth Gets Pulled Into Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

        Ubuntu 9.10 didn’t end up seeing integration of Plymouth as USplash and the new XSplash ended up being used. However, the Ubuntu development community and Canonical seemed to have changed their mind. Just uploaded to the Ubuntu Lucid repository for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is in fact Plymouth.

      • Plymouth Running On Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

        For those looking to play with Plymouth on Ubuntu right away, it’s as easy as sudo apt-get install plymouth when running on the Ubuntu 10.04 development branch. Yesterday we installed Plymouth on an Ubuntu Lucid box and recorded the video below.

      • What will Ubuntu 10.04 bring to the table?

        I hope you are as excited about 10.04 as I am. I believe this could be the Ubuntu release that the public would have a hard time turning down as its desktop OS. Not only will it have a very solid foundation, the overlaying structure will be much more modern looking.

      • FLOSS Weekly 99: Ubuntu One

        Ubuntu One, the service from Canonical that shares, stores, and syncs files across the cloud with your other devices.

      • Ubuntu backup awesomeness
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux development platform targets multimedia SoCs

      Timesys announced that its LinuxLink embedded Linux development framework supports NetLogic Microsystems’ MIPS32-based Alchemy Au1250 and Alchemy Au1300 system-on-chips (SoCs). The LinuxLink framework provides access to hundreds of open source Linux middleware packages, as well as automated development tools for processors used in mobile consumer electronics, says the company.

    • Hackable Android handheld game device uses Cortex-A8 SoC

      HardKernel is shipping a developer-focused handheld game device that runs Android and offers source code, schematics, and a debug board. The $350 Odroid is based on a Cortex-A8 Samsung S5PC100 clocked to 833Mhz, and offers 10GB of flash, a 3.5-inch touchscreen, 720p video via HDMI, plus WiFi, Bluetooth, and accelerometers.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks

      • JooJoo (supposed-to-be-CrunchPad) Linux-based Tablet PC Unleashed

        So why did they call it JooJoo instead of CrunchPad? Recent disagreements between Arrington and the Fusion Garage team ended the CrunchPad project. Chandra Rathakrishnan, Fusion Garage CEO, later announced that the CrunchPad would be released by the company as the JooJoo to avoid lawsuits.


        The JooJoo is basically just a web-browsing machine. It runs on a custom-made Linux operating system with a sole purpose of running a browser that’s based on Webkit. The home screen is your window to different web sites/applications. The “internet is the application” so you can’t save files like images and documents to your physical storage device.

      • Netbooks and where the future takes them

        Check the operating system. If you can find a netbook with linux, I recommend that one, since it’s cheaper, and then you can install whatever you want, without extra costs for windows.

      • 10 Questions To Ask About Netbooks

        Novell and other members of the Linux community have worked very hard with Intel to ensure compatible Linux drivers were available before netbooks went into production. The result: Solid Linux options for every manufacturer, with some offering pre-loads of Novell SUSE or Ubuntu Remix for netbooks. In addition, Intel has released its own Moblin (Mobile Linux) for the netbook. And the ever-hyped Google Chrome OS, for which open source code is now available, is aimed at netbooks. Google envisions it as a Web-centric complement to another PC.

      • The Moblin Netbook OS – Giving Chrome OS A Run For Its Money

        Google’s new netbook-oriented operating system, Chrome OS, got more than its fair share of press when its source code was released (including a download from our very own Jorge Sierra.) But Google’s not the only major tech company developing a speedy, open-source operating system for netbooks – Intel’s been working on Moblin netbook OS since 2007.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Tech Comics: “Software Documentation?”
  • Free Software or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Computer

    Nobody wants to be feel helpless, to have increased stress, or have their freedom taken away. I care about free software because I value not just my own time and independence but that of my friends, family and customers. If you feel the same, try a 100% free software operating system, try a replacement for your billing software, or communicate with your proprietary software vendor about why they don’t publish their software under a free software license. You have a choice.

  • Free Software Fanatics

    My use of the term “free software fanatic” really rubbed one of my readers the wrong way, and he responded with this, er, rather blunt reply…


    Oops! I certainly never intended to insult anybody with my choice of words, so I apologized in the comments section. But, in a way, I’m very glad that this issue came up as I think it’s one worth exploring.

  • A FOSS Perspective On Richard Schaeffer’s Three Tactics For Computer Security

    Taking Schaeffer’s three tactics as our lead, here is a FOSS perspective on these protection mechanisms:

    Best practices implies community effort: discussing, sharing and collectively building understanding and techniques for managing systems and their software components. FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) communities develop, discuss and share these best practices in their project support and development forums. Debian’s package management system implements some of these best practices in the operating system itself thereby allowing users who do not participate in the development and support communities to realize the benefits of best practices without understanding or even knowing that they exist. This is one of the important benefits of policy- and package-based operating systems like Debian and Ubuntu.

  • Open source was good enough, will non-open source be open enough?

    There was a time years ago when open source software in the enterprise often had to be just ‘good enough.’ Over time, use and broader adoption, open source software has now reached the point that it must often be ‘as good or better’ than proprietary alternatives, now typically getting equal consideration from customers and users.

  • Bad economy may lead to good IPOs in open source

    So settle in for the mid-term march to profitable $100 million open-source companies. At current growth rates, we should start to see IPO action as early as 2012, and perhaps sooner.

  • IT: Move to innovation park benefited South Tyrol’s open source centre

    Making the Italian South Tyrol Free Software Centre (FSC) part of the Digital Technologies Area in the innovation centre in the Italian city of Bolzano, has given it the strength to support public authorities as well as companies in the region, says Patrick Ohnewein, head of the centre.

    The FSC was made part of the Digital Technologies Area of the innovation park (TIS), a project from the trilingual province of Bolzano-Bozen, earlier this year. “It has given us a lot more resources. We are now much closer to the four strategic teams at the Digital Technologies Area, and that has raised our profile with all the organisations that contact the innovation centre.”

  • Mozilla to open – gasp! – Firefox add-on store

    Add-ons product manager Justin Scott (reluctantly) announced the news this morning at an add-on-happy conference in Mozilla’s home town of Mountain View, California. “We’ll probably be doing a marketplace pilot in 2010,” he said.

  • Sun

    • Software Freedom Law Center Chairman to Testify at Oracle/Sun Hearing

      Eben Moglen, the founder and executive director of the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), will assure European Regulators today, that the open source license under which MySQL is distributed can protect the program from any proprietary threats that could emerge from the merger of Oracle and Sun Microsystems.

    • Sun VirtualBox – Free, Powerful Virtualization

      As a whole, VirtualBox is a simple-looking application. On the main screen, as seen above, there’s a VM list to the left, and detailed information on the respective VM you’ve clicked on to the right. There’s nothing much complicated here, and if you were judging the application simply by this screen, you’d likely imagine it’s not too powerful, but what an understatement that would be.

  • Government

    • PL: Interior ministry supports open source group’s procurement project

      The undersecretary of Poland’s Interior Ministry, Witold Drożdż on 2 December became the honorary patron of a project on ‘sound and transparent procurement tools’, an information campaign by the Polish Foundation on Open and Free Software (Fwioo).

    • Does Open Source Software Put Government Security at Risk?

      So, the answer to the question is, no. Using open source software in government, in private business or at home actually puts you at less risk.

      The Obama Administration is moving in the right direction, as are many other of the world’s governments, by transitioning away from proprietary software and using software that is cost-free and open source.
      Maybe once the trend is set, private businesses will follow the example and adopt open source software for their use as well.

      Now there’s some change I can believe in.

  • Openness

    • Open source hardware 2009 – The definitive guide to open source hardware projects in 2009

      In this version of the guide on MAKE I will link to the product page and if it’s sold in the Maker Shed there is an additional link to the Maker Shed if you’d like to support OSH and get a kit or project. For 2009, this guide became so large that it cannot fit in to one post on MAKE so it will be divided up in to sections, 18 of them:

      * 3D printing – Open source hardware is now making things. Physical things you can print out, over the last few year 2-3 projects have really gained momentum and made some wonderful advances in low-cost desktop 3D printing. Projects include Fab@Home, MakerBot and RepRap. A new project was also added this year, s DIY open source construction set for experimental personal fabrication (view projects).

      * Arduino – Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. Perhaps one of the most successful open source hardware projects to date. Dozens of projects are included in the guide (view projects).

      * Arduino shields – This is a new category mostly because there are so many open source hardware shields in 2009. These “shields” add music, internet, GPS and additional functions (view projects).



  • Beware Canadian Otolaryngologists Bearing Coins

    Methods: We performed a prospective experiment involving otolaryngology residents in Vancouver, Canada. The main outcome was the proportion of “heads” coin tosses achieved (out of 300 attempts) by each participant. Each of the participants attempted to flip the coin so as to achieve a heads result.

    Results: All participants achieved more heads than tails results, with 7 of the 13 participants having significantly more heads results (p ? 0.05). The highest proportion of heads achieved was 0.68 (95% confidence interval 0.62-0.73, p < 0.001).

    Interpretation: Certain people are able to successfully manipulate the toss of a coin. This throws into doubt thevalidity of using a coin toss to determine a chance result

  • ‘Degrading’ ordeal over for Tasmania’s top cop Jack Johnston

    IT’S an experience few police commissioners will ever endure: being fingerprinted, swabbed for DNA, strip-searched and shut in a cell.

    For Jack Johnston, 40 years a cop and six months chief of Tasmania Police, the strip search was a final and unnecessary humiliation.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Fueled AIG Gambles

      Goldman originated or bought protection from AIG on about $33 billion of the $80 billion of U.S. mortgage assets that AIG insured during the housing boom. That is roughly twice as much as Société Générale and Merrill Lynch, the banks with the biggest exposure to AIG after Goldman, according an analysis of ratings-firm reports and an internal AIG document that details several financial firms’ roles in the transactions.

      In Goldman’s biggest deal, it acted as a middleman between AIG and banks, taking on the risk of as much as $14 billion of mortgage-related investments. Then Goldman insured that risk with one trading partner—AIG, according to the Journal’s analysis and people familiar with the trades.

      The trades yielded Goldman less than $50 million in profits, which were mostly booked from 2004 to 2006, according to a person familiar with the matter. But they piled risks onto AIG’s books, which later came to haunt the insurer and Goldman. The trades also gave Goldman a unique window into AIG’s exposure to losses on securities linked to mortgages.

  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

    • Amendment Tabled to Delete Clause 17 from the UK Digital Economy Bill
    • Facebook’s New Privacy Changes: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

      Five months after it first announced coming privacy changes this past summer, Facebook is finally rolling out a new set of revamped privacy settings for its 350 million users. The social networking site has rightly been criticized for its confusing privacy settings, most notably in a must-read report by the Canadian Privacy Commissioner issued in July and most recently by a Norwegian consumer protection agency. We’re glad to see Facebook is attempting to respond to those privacy criticisms with these changes, which are going live this evening. Unfortunately, several of the claimed privacy “improvements” have created new and serious privacy problems for users of the popular social network service.

    • Digital Economy Bill: Lords Want To Stamp Out Piracy Chasers

      Members of the House of Lords recently voiced concerns over the UK government’s Digital Economy Bill, stating that the problems facing the entertainment industry are largely of their own creation. There was also criticism of companies who demand cash from file-sharers in the UK, and ideas were put forward to end their scheme.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Russian Publishers Taking A More Progressive View On Book ‘Piracy’

      While some do seem upset about the issue, others are actually figuring out ways to deal with it, including offering their own vastly cheaper ebook versions quickly (and with no DRM), or even working out deals with “pirate” sites to share some of the ad revenue. The one publisher that the article focuses on, Sergei Parchomenko, says that they’re not losing money from pirate sites, but the responsibility is on him to come up with a workable business model. It’s nice to see someone realizing that they need to react to the market, rather than freak out about things.

    • Music as Commerce: Understanding a Mindset

      By and large, thinking of music as commerce, as strictly a means through which money is made, is what got the record industry into this mess in the first place. Long before the Internet and file-sharing became common scapegoats, the record industry’s growth was already based on the notion of a forever expanding market for music that never existed. Because music is such a definitive part of the human experience and passionately embraced the world over, it was supposed that quarter to quarter not only could record labels achieve exponential growth, but that from album to album an artist ought to be able to achieve the same results. But, as we now know, this mindset can only persist for so long, because music as commerce expands rather differently from music as culture.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Stormy Peters, HP open source strategist 08 (2004)

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