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12.29.09

Links 29/12/2009: Google Nexus One and Netbook Details Leak

Posted in News Roundup at 9:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Mean Time To Repair

    The article admitted that the #2 and #3 “application programs” (“Adobe” and “Microsoft”) reported were “closed source” and that “open source” programs tend to show all the blemishes, not just the ones reported by their customers, and reflected back through visible reports by the companies. To be even fairer, I would point out that comparing “Firefox” with all of the applications that Adobe has and all of the applications Microsoft has is a bit like apples and oranges….but that is not the main concept I will try to get across in this blog entry.

  • A New HDR Benchmark Is Coming To Linux

    This new benchmark, which can be found in the Phoronix Test Suite once its released, will focus on SDR/HDR performance. This should end up being a rather nice test profile as right now it’s completely slaughtering the ASUS Eee PC 1201N and other systems being tested remotely through Phoromatic.

  • Psystar Giving Up Mac in Favor of Linux

    Mac clone maker Psystar is retrenching after succumbing to a barrage of copyright litigation brought by Apple, abandoning its Mac offerings in favor of a move toward Linux systems.

  • Server

    • SGI inks deal for Tasmanian cluster

      Supercomputer maker Silicon Graphics has inked a deal to build the Tasmanian Partnership for Advanced Computing – which has the rap name TPAC – at the University of Tasmania on the eponymous Australian island state. The gig: creating a new x64-Linux cluster for climate research.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Entropy in 2010: here we are (almost)!

      So, we’re close to 2010 and Entropy is about to celebrate its third birthday. It’s been a very long road, full of obstacles but hey, we’re getting closer to 1.0! 2010 will be the year of Entropy 1.0 bringing a basic set of features and ideas tossed into the wild software jungle.

    • Linux Wizard – Mandriva: Nine Priorities for Mandriva Incoming CEO

      As everybody^wnobody know, Hervé YAHI is no longer the CEO of Mandriva. So I decide to rip off an article from The VAR Guy to issue an open letter to the Mandriva direction. So here are 9 priorities for the new Mandriva staff

    • Sabayon 5.1 Gamers Linux Screenshots

      The games you see in the screenshot above are all included by default on Sabayon 5,1 Gamers live DVD. Some popular titles include Battle of Wesnoth, Foobillard, Freeciv, Frozen Bubble, GNOME Games, NeverBall, Nexuiz, OpenArena, Pingus, Pychess, Scorched 3D, Spring, Stepmania, Torcs, Tremulous, Warsow, Warzone 2100, and Wormux.

      Here’s some screenshots from Sabayon 5.1 Gamers

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • 2010: The year of Ubuntu Inclusiveness

        If I was forced to provide some quantitative milestones for Ubuntu Women, I would probably offer, along with a grain of salt:

        * Break 5% of Ubuntu Membership held by women (currently 4-point-something)
        * Increase Women ~ubuntu-dev membership by 50% (from 4 to 6)
        * Increase Women ~ubuntu-core-dev membership by 100% (from 1 to 2, because dealing in fractions of people is illegal in most places)
        * Increase active mentors by 100%

        Since these are supposed to be figures for the inaugural term of 6 months, the success of these figures relies fairly heavily upon women who are already involved. This is a critical caveat. Incentives to take the first step to participation, counsel and mentoring will be the most important activities Ubuntu Women undertakes, and will set up the opportunity to aim for better milestones beyond the inaugural 6 month term.

      • Retrospect on Ubuntu in 2009

        All in all, 2009 was not a revolutionary year for the Ubuntu community. There was no LTS release, as there was in 2008 and will be in 2010, and the focus was on incremental development.

        Nonetheless, it’s clear that Ubuntu gained some useful new features, and the community received interesting news, in 2009. Let’s hope the improvements we’ve seen in the last year solidify and expand going into 2010 and the Lucid release next April.

      • Ubuntu as an Internet Client

        Ubuntu actually does all right by these criteria, so perhaps to some degree the conflation of “Internet” and “Web” is driven by the complexities of installing third party apps on Windows, and all of the problems this can cause one’s computer as different versions of shared libraries and such are copied in.

        [...]

        Ultimately, I suppose that I would love it if LifeArea had the Gwibber-like ability to post. There are still other posting tools to try in any case, so I may find one yet. I’m installing Drivel atm.

      • Ubuntu, which direction are you heading?

        But you can’t beat Windows by offering a Windows-looking clone. Because people will still want their Office and their whatever. You may claim that people will have a free Windows alternative available and will flock to it. Well, they already have a free Windows alternative. It’s called pirated Windows and it’s rampant.

      • Ubuntu and Mozilla: The inevitable alliance.

        Speculation is a part of technical news as prophecy is to religion. Its only important, valid or genius if it turns out to be true. However, we dare not have technical news without any speculation at all since this will surely hinder the creativeness of individuals and corporations to explore avenues influenced by ideas expressed in speculation. If any of that made sense to you, good. Because this was the reasoning I used in order to explore and develop the idea to create this article. In other words I have no factual evidence that anything of the sort would occur.

        [...]

        If Mozilla and Ubuntu/Canonical pulled together they should have enough combined resources to really compete in the market place with Google or anyone else. However they can not sit still and do nothing because other larger companies will push them out of the market they helped create. Now is not the time to “See what happens”. Its time to prepare for the future and make essential friends.

      • Where The Heck are all the Ubuntu Games?

        There you have it, you now know the secret of where all the Ubuntu games are. It’s just a matter of searching before you find a game you want.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Not all ereaders are the same

      As we count down to end of 2009, the emerging star of this year’s holiday shopping season is shaping up to be the electronic book reader (or e-reader). From Amazon’s Kindle to Barnes and Noble’s forthcoming Nook, e-readers are starting to transform how we buy and read books in the same way mp3s changed how we buy and listen to music.

    • Openmoko’s WikiReader

      Openmoko, the company that first gained attention for its Linux-based phone platform, launched a new pocket-sized open source product in time for this holiday season, the WikiReader. The WikiReader is an inexpensive ($99), low-power, 4-inch square touchscreen LCD display device pre-loaded with the text of three million Wikipedia pages on a microSD card. In the smartphone era, skeptics might dismiss the device as woefully underpowered, but to the open source community the more pertinent question is what else can it do?

      [...]

      For today, however, the product makes for a fun stocking stuffer for the family hacker. Openmoko is positioning the device in its advertising as a way to get content into the hands of the “75% of the world [that] is offline” — including people in airplanes or on beaches, and “most everywhere.” The WikiReader certainly does that; several online reviews have praised its value in museums and tourist locations, where data plan charges would make a connected device prohibitively expensive to operate.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Ready or not, 2010 could be the year of the smartbooks

        For the past 12 months or so, we’ve heard a lot of talk about mini-laptops running ARM-based processors. These so-called “smartbooks” feature low power ARM processors which means that while they can’t run Windows XP or 7, they can run Linux, last for a very long time on a charge, and some feature integrated 3G connectivity and HD video acceleration features. You also get the ability to receive emails, instant messages, and other data even while the computer is in sleep mode. In other words, they’re like a cross between a smartphone and a netbook, which explains the whole “smartbook” name.

      • New Asus ‘Pinetrail’ netbooks top 10 hour battery life

        Asus’ upgraded Eee PC netbooks sport Intel’s new Atom N450 processor for over ten hours battery life, plus the quick loading ‘Splashtop’ pre-boot Linux OS.

      • Denial

        All over the web are warnings that netbooks are doomed.

        [...]

        No. This is about wishful thinking by the monopolists who need high retail prices to hide the price of their part of the PC, CPUs and licences for software. If prices for netbooks rise, fewer will be sold. Fortunately entrepreneurs all over the world continue to make less expensive netbooks. ARM will dominate netbooks in 2010. You can trade a lot of day-long battery-life for some hair-drying CPUs anytime.

      • White-Box Foxconn Netbooks Surface at FCC

        The rather interesting element is the fact that these are white-box models. This means that the devices will bear the brands of other companies, which implies that Foxconn may have already completed its marketing plans concerning the PCs. If the company has already decided on which companies will sell its product, the actual availability may ramp up over the next couple of months or so.

      • NorhTec Gecko Edubook first look: Netbook that runs on AA batteries

        I mean sure, it has an 8.9 inch 1024 x 600 pixel display and can run Windows or Linux.

      • Google

        • Speculative Googlenetbook specs surface

          Rumors of a Googlebook mirror the speculation that preceded the emergence earlier this month of Mountain View’s HTC-manufactured, Android-powered Nexus One smartphone.

        • Google Chrome Netbook Specifications?

          An Nvidia Tegra chipset (given the late 2010 rumoured release one guesses Tegra 2.0) powered by an ARM CPU and replete with 64GB SSD and 2GB RAM will drive a 10.1 inch HD-ready, 1,280 x 720 resolution touchscreen screened device. The usual array of extras such as WiFi and 3G, Bluetooth and Ethernet are also on the reported tech spec list.

        • Google Chrome OS-based netbook tech specs are out

          Believe it or not – the tech specs of the rumoured Google Chrome OS-based netbook are already out and by the sound of it, the netbook looks to me like a high performance machine.

        • Google’s Chrome-based Netbook Will Be Loaded with Features

          This netbook will reportedly have a 64 GB solid-state hard drive and 2 GB of RAM.

        • Rumors about the ‘leaked’ specs of Google Chrome OS netbook

          Furthermore, the netbook will also probably be powered by an ARM CPU, and will feature Nvidia’s Tegra system-on-a-chip for notably enhancing the audio and video capabilities of the device. However, it is not certain whether all the upcoming Chrome OS-based netbooks will strictly adhere to the rumored specs.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Predictions for 2010

    Open source is already solidly main stream – 2010 will see that become more obvious to more people.

  • 5 Open Source companies that will rule the post-ERP world

    Proprietary ERP companies make connecting to ERP complex. Like Edison and Tesla, they don’t work well with competing systems. Conversely, open source is about unifying things.

  • Etherpad source includes JSMin, which Google Code doesn’t allow

    Last week, Google banned my PHP port of JSMin from Google Code due to a quibble over a line in the license stating that “The Software shall be used for Good, not Evil”, which they believe makes the license non-free. When I asked Google’s Chris DiBona whether all Google Code projects including JSMin would be subject to bans due to this clause in the license, he replied, “Sadly, yes”.

  • JSMin isn’t welcome on Google Code

    Google’s Chris DiBona emailed me this morning to tell me that unless I removed a specific line from the license of my jsmin-php project (a PHP port of Douglas Crockford’s JSMin), Google Code would no longer host the project.

  • Databases

  • CMS

    • Grammys using Drupal

      After the Emmys, the Grammys are onto it as well. That is, the new Grammy.com is using Drupal — and Pressflow to be specific. The Grammy Awards, or Grammys, are presented annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for outstanding achievements in the music industry. Cool!

  • Openness

    • Crowdsourcing: Is There Wisdom In A Mob?

      Most of the offers can be broadly categorized into collective intelligence, crowd-creation, voting/opinion and research. Procter & Gamble’s NPD program Connect + Develop, My Starbucks Idea and AT&T’s “Mark the spot” are all great examples of collective intelligence and, of course, everyone knows about Linux. They harness the power of interested parties to provide ideas and thoughts as they happen, like a permanent, active, feedback loop.

  • Applications

    • The Maker Web Project Helper

      The Maker 1.0 is ready for download from the project page in versions for Windows, Mac OS X and Python source code for Linux. The license is GPLv3.

    • Icinga Core 1.0 Stable & Icinga Web 0.9.1 alpha released!

      Today the Icinga Team releases the Icinga Core 1.0. This is a milestone for both the team and the project as a whole. After many months of hard work we are proud to bring you a stable, alternative monitoring solution. This release includes many changes as suggested by the community and in particular the inclusion of Oracle in IDOUtils.

Leftovers

  • The Top 10 Science Stories of 2009 [Slide Show]

    The H1N1 pandemic, the Copenhagen climate talks, the restart of the world’s biggest experimental device—2009 sped by many scientifically relevant mile markers. The year also celebrated several important past events: It saw the bicentennial of Charles Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his Origin of Species; the 40th anniversary of the first humans on another world; and the 400th of Galileo’s report that proved not all heavenly bodies circle the Earth. The year also marked the first occasion in which the science Nobel Prize committee honored more than one woman—four, in fact.

  • Security

    • Secret mobile phone codes cracked

      A German computer scientist has published details of the secret code used to protect the conversations of more than 4bn mobile phone users.

      Karsten Nohl, working with other experts, has spent the past five months cracking the algorithm used to encrypt calls using GSM technology.

  • Finance

    • Gripping Reality: Sorkin’s Too Big to Fail

      Through the detailed and vivid conversations, you get the keen sense of overwhelming desperation and preservation that overtakes the executives of the sinking financial system. Some of the chief participants failed, some were triumphant, and some were pathetically bailed out. History will ultimately be the true arbiter of whether government and Wall Street averted, mitigated, postponed, or contributed to the financial collapse. Regardless, Sorkin brilliantly encapsulates this emotional panicked period in our history that will never be erased.

    • Shenzhen Nanshan Refuses Goldman Demand for Payment (Update2)

      Shenzhen Nanshan is among 68 Chinese state-controlled companies including China Eastern Air Holding Co. and China National Aviation Holding Co. that lost money on derivative products sold by banks including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch & Co. and Citigroup Inc., according to the State- owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.

    • Goldman Sachs and Others Investigated for Betting Against Securities They Created

      Betting against their own securities has prompted numerous investigations of Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street institutions. Prior to the financial collapse, Goldman and others figured out a way to package risky securities, such as subprime mortgages, and sell them to investors who were told they were buying sound investments. Little did the investors know that the firms selling the synthetic collateralized debt obligations (or CDOs) turned around and bet that the CDOs would fail—costing pension funds and insurance companies billions of dollars.

    • Goldman Sachs and Others Investigated for Betting Against Securities They Created
    • Goldman Sachs and Others Investigated for Betting Against Securities They Created
    • Goldman Sachs Mortgage Bets Said to Draw Probe by Regulators

      The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and brokerage regulators are examining how Wall Street firms bet against mortgage-linked securities to profit as their clients took losses, people familiar with the matter said.

      The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which polices broker-dealers, is looking into whether firms such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. broke rules when selling products known as synthetic collateralized debt obligations, one of the people said. The people declined to be identified because the inquiry is confidential.

    • In the FT’s parallel universe, Goldman Sachs boss is the hero of 2009

      How charitable. This is the bank that intends to distribute about $22bn in remuneration to its employees this year – more than $700,000 each – at the height of the worst recession since the war. Money, of course, partly earned through government support of the US banking sector paid for with taxpayers’ funds.

    • New York Needs Wall Street

      But Obama, unlike Paterson, is being disingenuous; aside from a few snotty remarks, the president hasn’t done much to get the banks lending right now. In fact, his policies have fostered an environment that allows Wall Street to make money — bundles of it as demonstrated by Goldman Sachs’ $20 billion bonus pool — at the expense of helping Main Street. Obama has supported Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s near-zero interest rate policy; he’s basically declared every big bank Too Big To Fail, meaning the federal government will save the likes of Goldman Sachs if it should somehow bet wrong in the trading markets, as it did last year.

    • Saving Goldman Sachs: The Lender as Sucker in High Finance

      Fast forward 20 years and switch from Salomon Brothers to Goldman Sachs. At this time, Goldman sellers were offering their customers a new product, “synthetic collateralized debt obligations.” Synthetic CDOs allowed the buyers to bet heavily on the continued health of the housing market. In a synthetic CDO, however, Goldman was fundamentally making the opposite bet. The buyers were in essence an insurance company. They received regular payments from Goldman as long as the housing market improved. These payments were analogous to the premiums paid on an insurance policy. Like an insurance company, however, the investors were also on the hook for a big payout if the housing market collapsed. Which it did. (For more details, see “Banks Bundled Bad Debt, Bet Against It and Won.”)

    • Being Goldman Sachs XII

      This choice says a lot about the malaise in global finance. It also seems to say a lot about the “collusion” of media and big business and their desire to pull the wool over the eyes of sane people everywhere–sort of like Blankfein’s words that the investment bank was “doing God’s work.”

    • Reuters Blogger Questions Reuters Editorial Actions: Transparency In Action

      Well, here’s an interesting one. There were reports last week claiming that Reuters had spiked a story about hedge fund big shot Steven Cohen after Cohen complained to Reuters management. While Reuters has since strongly denied the charge, it is interesting to note (as sent in by reader JJ) that at least one Reuters blogger complained quite vocally about this decision.

    • Reuters kills hedge fund story after pressure

      Reuters editors last week killed a story by investigative reporter Matthew Goldstein about hedge fund trader Steven Cohen after Cohen complained to top Thomson Reuters executives that he was being persecuted by the news agency’s reporting, sources at Reuters said.

      Goldstein’s story was an “incremental” advance in the reports swirling around Cohen that he engaged in insider trading during the 1980s, Reuters sources said. There have been reports that Cohen is next in the sights of the SEC following the Galleon case, which featured SEC wiretapping the conversations of hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam.

    • The Past and Future Decade in Business at a Glance

      What else will shape the housing market in the next decade? One of the biggest questions is how the government will extricate itself from control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The two companies, which were on the brink of failure in the fall of 2008 and seized by the government, own or guarantee about half of all home mortgages.

    • Stimulus timing

      Finally, you can ask, how much of the stimulus money has been spent? For that you want to look at “Cumulative”, and compare it with the final total for that column.

      [...]

      And when the spending begins to tail off, the effect on growth turns negative.

    • Brace for a “Jobless Decade”

      By any measure, the last decade was a rotten one. It started with a stolen election and the worst terrorist attack in American history. It is ending this week with the United States mired in two wars and deep into a catastrophic recession.

      It’s hard to imagine that the next decade could be worse, but could it?

      There are worrisome signs. An increasing number of economists are saying that without major government intervention, the next ten years could be a “jobless decade.” “It will be the mother of all jobless recoveries,” predicts economic historian John Steel Gordon.

      [...]

      While the stimulus package passed by Congress was big and slowed the pace of job loss, the problem was even bigger. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that the Obama stimulus bill has created or saved between 170,000 and 235,000 jobs per month starting in the second quarter of 2009. Yet, Princeton economist Paul Krugman says that the country would have to produce an additional 300,000 jobs per month for five years to achieve full employment.

  • PR/AstroTurf

    • Senate Health Reform Bill Benefits Big Pharma While Forsaking Cheaper Generic Drugs

      Despite proclaiming a need to cut medical costs, the Senate health care reform bill contains a provision that will benefit large drug companies while hurting manufacturers of generic drugs. As it is now written, the bill will keep less-expensive generic drugs from entering the market for fully 12 years, far longer than the five to seven years President Barack Obama had advocated.

    • Generics chafe under big pharma’s reform shadow

      The massive U.S. Senate healthcare reform measure passed on Thursday with support from the multibillion drug industry, but makers of cheaper generic rivals are feeling left out in the cold.

  • Censorship/Civil Rights

    • Demi Moore’s lawyers threaten Boing Boing over photo analysis blog post

      And here is Boing Boing’s response to Ms. Moore’s attorneys (PDF), prepared by Marc Mayer of the law firm MS&K. The letter is a thing of beauty, and I encourage you to read it in full.

      The letter from Moore’s attorney, Martin D. (“Marty”) Singer, claims that we set out to slander Moore (Boing Boing did not, nor did Mr. Citrano). The letter also includes denials from people involved in the production of the W Magazine cover who insist that the image was not manipulated at all.

      Since receiving this letter, we have discovered that an alternate, and seemingly more anatomically correct version of the W magazine cover (with more hip-flesh) was published in W’s South Korean edition. We have also been informed that Ms. Moore’s attorneys have sent similar letters to other blogs that discussed the possible digital alteration of the US cover image. The story is now being covered by a number of other news organizations and blogs.

  • Internet/Web Abuse/DRM

    • ISPs Won’t Give You Broadband, Won’t let Anyone Else, Either

      Many ISPs fail to expand broadband to all of their potential customers, which is sometimes understandable given the expense. However, we’ve documented countless times how those same ISPs often then lobby to have laws passed or engage in sleazy activities to prevent those towns and cities — or anyone else — from wiring those un-served regions. ISPs get their cake and eat it too — saving money on expansion, while avoiding a future competitor should the local incumbent someday change their mind and decide to service that market. It shouldn’t work that way — but it does, and all too often.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Nine Inch Nails Fans Create Incredible Live DVD From Footage: Encourage Everyone To Share Widely

      But Bittorrent can’t be used for any legitimate purpose, right? And musicians can’t possibly embrace what the technology allows? Once again, we’re seeing why those who embrace what technology allows will do just fine moving forward. It’s only those who think that the answer is to bring out the lawyers and try to hold back progress who will find themselves struggling to create business models that work.

    • 5 Legal Cases That Defined Music in 2009

      Almost a decade after the major labels launched their legal assault on Napster, courts are still writing the rules of the road for the music business’s digital future.

    • Barry the Inaccurate

      Barry Sookman’s most recent post titled Toying with funny math to downplay Canada’s role as a piracy haven is, at best, inaccurate. Since I’m suffering from a nasty head cold I’m only going to cover the most noticeable errors – and then go back to suffering.

      In paragraph three, Barry claims that Mininova is down. A quick visit to the site shows that he is in error, that Mininova is still in operation. He also claims that the court ordered it shut down. This is incorrect. The court ordered that certain torrents be removed. Nothing more. Nothing less.

      In paragraph four, Barry claims that a court ordered that the The Pirate Bay be shut down. He does not mention that an appeal has been filed. In a later paragraph he claims that The Pirate Bay will be shut down shortly, however the shut down order is on hold until the appeal is complete. To the best of my knowledge a court date has not been picked as yet, and since the shut down cannot take effect until after the appeal, his claim that it will be shut down shortly is specious at best.

    • Where Do My Music Rights Start and Stop?

      In an effort to be subversive, I forwarded the email to Fred with a note that said “Wild how the music licensing stuff is stupid.” He responded immediately with “Yup. Rights holders fuck everything up.” I wonder what the machines think of that?

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Joerg Heilig, Sun Microsystems Senior Engineering Director talks about OpenOffice.org 14 (2004)


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

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